Deep Space Nine - Season Two
Deep Space Nine is a flavour of Star Trek in which the Enterprise is replaced by a Space Station. The Station was built by a race called Cardassians during their occupation of a planet called Bajor.
The Federation occupies the Space Station at Bajor's request.
During the First Season we became familiar with the Cast, the culture of Bajor, the Wormhole, the entities within it, and what lies beyond; called the Gamma Quadrant.
Season 2 began with a three part episode. It was a brilliant idea, and the hook; a cogent story the audience could follow.
A hero; Bajor's 'Greatest' is rescued from a Cardassian prison camp .
He is an ordinary man wrapped in legend.
It was well played and a very powerful story.
It is a story one can discuss with some level of intelligence and perhaps many viewers were of the belief that this series got Trek Right!
Vedic Winn, whom we had met in the first season as a narrow minded bigot not averse to murder, builds on that 'power at all costs ' framework. She is the archetypical hypocrite.
The character of Rom is redrafted into the idiot we know. It is clear there has been a rethink. Odo begins to 'take shape', Kira's portrayal is consistent; she maintains integrity from the first season to the last. It is clear this character was well crafted.
Watching the first three 'arced' epis lured into the belief that this was going to be a superior Trek.
This sense was destroyed by random presentations.
What exactly was the point of 'Invasive Procedures?
We 'got' the symbiont thing. We know Quark can't be trusted. Klingons as mercenary could have been compressed in any epi.
The the hero of Bajor is killed, mid First season Kai Opaka, the spiritual leader, was lost. These two factors must create great unrest on Bajor...yet?
In the subsequent epis, not even a reference.
I ceased watching DS 9 directly after this episode.
(As I explained in a previous article, having recently received the entire series, I began watching from Season 4 with no expectation of greater than stray amusement. Shocked by the power of the DS9 I had to view it from the beginning to understand what had happened.)
What turned me off was the lack of story arc; a creation of important characters and events which are discarded with the final credits.
Rewatching Season 2, after the first 3 episodes it proceeds in disjoined manner. Not all episodes are bad, but they are episodes, complete in themselves, with few, if any carry overs.
Some plots so predicable that before the credits appear you know what is going happen. It will take about 40 minutes, so outside of some scenery and dialogue you can cook dinner.
Necessary Evil isn't bad, although a bit melodramatic. Whisphers holds the interest from beginning to end.
Paradise could have been left out.
Why would the Chief Engineer and the Senior Officer leave the station? Plots like these ask for junior officers, new semi-regulars, 'red shirts' if needed. The point of that epi was to tell a 'moral' tale, one doesn't need to abuse the main characters as vehicles.
Profit and Loss had Quark in a 'romantic' role, Garrick betraying himself six different ways.
Blood Oath was one of the best Klingon-centric of all Star Trek.
It was a culmination, of a form, of who Dax was and is.
Bringing in Kang from TOS was a brilliant move, true Trekkers would appreciate and reflect on the time when the writers didn't yet know the cache Klingons would hold.
It stays 'canon' from start to finish.
This is followed by a two part episode introducing the Maquis
Why the Maquis was held until late in the 2nd Season (epi 20)becomes one of those talking points.
My view is that different writers with different clout, those who focused on one cogent story, the end of a war, the withdrawal of the invader, various bits of space falling into one camp or another, were pushed aside by the one off writers with their mini plots.
The trend of the Maquis should have been mentioned, even in side talk from early in Season 2. Not that out of empty space, suddenly this apparently long standing situation.
What's the Point?
After the two epis with the Maquis, the next, "The Wire"concerns Garrick and he Obsidian Order, another unnecessary episode. Everyone who watched the third epi in Season 1 knows Garrick is a spy. That he can't be trusted, and he lies.
After that epi came the introduction of the Alternate Universe discovered by Kirk in TOS.
The Maquis and the A.U. will play future roles; but the viewer has to question...why were they introduced, virtually back to back?
Then comes 'The Collaborator' where Vedic Winn becomes the new Kai after a few twists and turns. Alternate Universe, Maquis, forgotten.
No references, no mention.
Tribunal is a rushed job of Maquis and Cardassian 'justice' where Miles is convicted tried and accused (in that order). It ought have predated the epis about Maquis as a kind of lead in and been at least a two part episode.
The Final Episode in the 2nd Season is the Cliffhanger, The Jem'Hadar.
The Dominion, which will play a main role in the subsequent seasons, and their warriors, the Jem'Hadar are tossed at the audience.
This is to encourage one to look forward to Season 3.
There are 26 episodes in Season 2.
Ten of them are worth seeing.
The problem with DS9 (as well as other dramas) is that without a 'Book' no one knows where one is going. It is hit or miss until such time the writers figure it out, the audience selects what they want to see/not see, and show goes off the air.
Sixteen out of twenty six episodes can be missed and nothing would be lost. They were 'fillers' without purpose.
With ensemble casts where one has five or six regulars and can bring in new set for some aspect, some attention need be paid. And one should not divert from logic to push a character.
It was ten episodes out of 26 which made the show worth watching, a very poor standard.