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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Collaborator (Review)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is twenty years old this year. To celebrate, I’m taking a look at the first and second seasons. Check back daily for the latest review or retrospective.

It’s surprising how long we’ve had since a solid Bajoran episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Barring the dark reflection of Bajor as a power-broker (and brief allusion to a colony in the Gamma Quadrant) in Crossover, the last episode to really explore the planet’s political and religious structure was probably Sanctuary, which aired more than half a season earlier. After a reasonably high concentration of Bajoran political adventures in the first season and the first half of the second, it seems that further explorations will be more broadly spaced.

Indeed, the first season ended (and the second season began) with a five-episode run that was heavily anchored in the show’s Bajoran surroundings. However, as of late, it feels we’ve been strangely disengaged from the show’s stated objective of welcoming Bajor to the Federation. With episodes like The Maquis, it seems like the show is making a conscious effort to disentangle Cardassian politics from those of Bajor.

In a way, this probably represents Deep Space Nine growing into the form that it will take for the rest of its run. The second season has really been about Deep Space Nine figuring out what it wants to be, and what it doesn’t want to be. With The Collaborator‘s focus on Bajoran politics feeling conspicuous by the lack of other Bajor-centric episodes in this half of the season, it seems like Deep Space Nine doesn’t want to be a show about Bajor.

Enough rope to hang himself...

Enough rope to hang himself…

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Battle Lines (Review)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is twenty years old this year. To celebrate, I’m taking a look at the first season. Check back daily for the latest review or retrospective.

Battle Lines is, quite frankly, not a very good piece of television. Like a few of the episodes scattered throughout the first season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, it feels like it was pulled from a list of rejected scripts for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Ironically, it feels more like a reheated left-over than the next episode, The Storyteller, which was actually a recycled script from the first season of The Next Generation. Were it not for the involvement of Kai Opaka and a few hints about Bajoran spirituality, Battle Lines would feel almost as generic as The Passenger.

The concept is fascinating, and it represents another long-term shift in Deep Space Nine, but the script from Hilary J. Bader feels too functional and broad to do the episode justice. Instead, it feels fairly bland, which is a bit disappointing for an episode where Sisko accidentally gets the pope caught up in the universe’s most deadly game of laser tag.

Taking a stab at bringing peace...

Taking a stab at bringing peace…

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