A mystery woman appears on DS9 in A Simple Investigation. Arissa (Dey Young) comes in search of some special crystal, and Odo immediately falls for her. He attempts to help her while they also develop a relationship.
“Simple” provides way too much soap opera than I’d like. It seems inevitable that Arissa will break Odo’s heart in some way, and the show provides a meandering and uninteresting mystery plot. It’s a lackluster show.
Quark finds a new outlet to make money in Business As Usual. When he drowns in debt, his cousin Gaila (Josh Pais) offers him a way out: join with smuggler Hagath (Steven Berkoff) to sell arms. This goes well, and they even figure out how to do it without violating laws. However, this earns him the animosity of the Starfleet personnel and causes him to worry in case he cheeses off the volatile Hagath.
Yes, “Business” provides yet another heavily character-oriented show. Quark has to deal with his conscience when he sees the consequences of his sales. The program works fairly well for what it is, but I must admit I’m getting impatient to see the Dominion war develop; it remains odd that we watched such a huge change in that status a few programs ago and haven’t heard a whit about it since then.
We hearken back to Season Three’s “Second Skin” in Ties of Blood and Water. In that episode, Kira was used by the Cardassians to impersonate the daughter of a dissident leader. He never got back his real daughter, but he established a bond with Kira. Tekeny Ghemor (Lawrence Pressman) led the Bajoran dissident movement against the Cardassian Central Command, and Kira wants him to help the Federation fight Gul Dukat’s new government. Unfortunately, he has a terminal disease, so he seems like a poor choice for this role. Ghemor wants to follow an old Cardassian tradition and pass his memories to a family member; since Kira’s the closest thing, he wants her for the job. This will give the Federation scads of potentially useful insights, but she’s not sure she wants to do it due to issues connected to her own father’s demise.
Boy, talk about a soap opera episode! A surrogate father with a terminal disease makes this show potentially sappy, and when Dukat introduces the prospect he can deliver the location of Ghemor’s daughter, it turns downright mushy. Though it does help further the plot via the Cardassian insights, it remains pretty gooey and emotional overall.
When he feels depressed at the start of Ferengi Love Songs, Quark goes to visit his mother (Cecily Adams). When he settles into his old room, he finds Grand Nagus Zek (Wallace Shawn) hidden in the closet. It turns out that he and Quark’s “Moogie” are having a love affair, and this causes controversy. In the meantime, back at DS9 Rom and Leeta plan their nuptials, but these run into some cultural clashes.
The first strike against “Songs” comes from the absence of Andrea Martin, the originator of the Moogie role. She’s a terrific talent, and Adams fails to bring the same level of life to the role. In addition, we’ve gotten an awful lot of Ferengi-based shows lately. They need a break, as “Songs” seems a little tired.
When a Klingon ship goes missing in Soldiers of the Empire, General Martok gets the command to try to find it. He recruits Worf to help. Behind Worf’s back, Dax comes along as the ship’s science officer.
“Empire” takes an unusual viewpoint, as it examines fearful Klingons. Beaten repeatedly, the crew of the ship lack the usual sense of adventure and pride, so Worf needs to deal with this. Those elements make “Empire” reasonably intriguing and entertaining.
On their return home from a reconnaissance mission, the crew encounters some mysterious lifeform readings in Children of Time. When they zip through the atmosphere toward this planet, Kira gets zapped by energy but seems okay. The crew beam down to the sparsely populated planet Gaia. It turns out that when they try to leave, the ship will go back 200 years and crash-land. The survivors will start their own society, and that means all the inhabitants are actually the crew’s descendants. The crew try to figure out how to leave and avoid this crash but also keep the society in place.
Geez, just thinking about the convoluted plot gives me a headache! It’s a gimmicky show with a sporadically confused story. The show also features some soap opera elements as the alternate Odo reveals his long-lasting love to Kira, who died on his planet years earlier. Despite the bizarre intricacies, I must admit “Time” has some powerful elements, as it explores its subject in a nicely introspective way.
It appears that the Maquis launched some cloaked missiles toward the Cardassians in Blaze of Glory. This could spark a massive war, so Sisko and the others need to find and halt the missiles. Sisko recruits an unusual ally in this quest: captured traitor Eddington. He refuses to cooperate, but Sisko must have his help, so he brings him along anyway and does his best to persuade Eddington to do the right thing.
As seen with the episodes that pair Kira and Cardassians, DS9 loves its situations in which enemies must join forces, and “Blaze” presents a pretty typical entry in that genre. Still, it’s a fairly good one, largely because of the ever-intriguing character of Eddington. He remains a shifty and interesting personality, and it’s fun to see him go one-on-one with Sisko.
When some parts of DS9 go on the blink, some crewmembers head to an abandoned station called Empok Nor for replacements. Did I say “abandoned”? Apparently not, for after the staff – along with Garak to help them avoid Cardassian booby-traps – awaken a resident, they fight for their lives against some nasty genetically altered beings.
“Nor” plays more like a remake of Alien than an episode of DS9. Not that I regard that as a bad thing necessarily. “Nor” boasts a tone that seems darker and more intense than normal, and it provides a fairly taut little horror story. Yeah, parts of it seem quite predictable, especially given the higher-than-normal complement of anonymous – and expendable – crew on the mission. Nonetheless, it’s a lively and entertaining show.
Tensions seem high on DS9 at the outset of In the Cards. A war with the Dominion looks like it might happen sooner than later, and Kai Winn (Louise Fletcher) comes aboard the station to meet with one of their representatives to safeguard Bajor. In the meantime, Jake tries to obtain a recently discovered Willie Mays rookie card for his dad, and despite some setbacks, he and partner Nog won’t give up easily. The pair get more than they bargained for when they meet up with Dr. Giger (Brian Markinson), the card’s purchaser, and a scientist with a plan to defeat death.
Jake-centric episodes usually bite, but this one’s different enough to be entertaining. At times it feels like a self-conscious attempt at some levity before the inevitable season-ending Big Program, but it succeeds nonetheless. It also helps advance the big picture with the issues between the Dominion and Bajor.
Season Five comes to a close with Call to Arms. More and more Dominion ships keep plowing through the wormhole, so the Federation decides to mine that domain to stop them. Not surprisingly, this provokes a negative response from the Dominion even before the next convoy heads through, so Sisko needs to deal with a confrontation from their envoy. This fails to defuse tensions, so the Federation officially finds itself at war with the Dominion.
All I can say is it’s about time! Ever since we first heard about the Dominion in Season Two, the series has slowly and steadily built toward this point - really slowly, as a matter of fact. So slowly I started to think the day would never come when the battle would commence.
But in “Arms” war opens, and it does so in a most satisfying manner. “Arms” offers everything one wants from a season-ending program. It presents a big show with major initiatives, and it also sets up coming events in a really enticing way. While I’ve enjoyed prior seasons of DS9, I can’t say I’ve ever felt really excited to get the next set. “Arms” makes me quite anxious for Season Six.