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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Let He Who Is Without Sin… (Review)

It would be tempting to treat Let He Who Is Without Sin… as an anomaly.

After all, it is very much the worst episode of the fifth season. There is a very strong argument to be made that it is the worst episode between Meridian and Profit and Lace, which makes it easier to forgive. After all, it is not as though Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has been regularly churning out episodes like Twisted, Tattoo, Alliances, Threshold and Investigations. The second worst episode of the fifth season is The Assignment, and the biggest problem with that episode is that it is both painfully generic and ground zero for a set of major future problems.

This episode is pants.

This episode is pants.

Still, it is important not to gloss over just how terrible Let He Who Is Without Sin… actually is and the very specific ways in which it is terrible. While these sorts of misfires are quite rare in the context of the series’ fourth and fifth seasons, Let He Who Is Without Sin… is not a fluke. The episode did not materialise from nowhere. It is very much the result of a number of creative impulses within Deep Space Nine firing in the worst possible ways. Unlike The Assignment, this episode does not fail because the concept and execution is an awkward fit for Deep Space Nine.

Let Who Is Without Sin… fails in ways that are very specifically tied to Deep Space Nine.

"It's okay, Worf. The writers promised that was only the first draft they sent through."

“It’s okay, Worf. The writers promised that was only the first draft they sent through.”

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Star Trek: Enterprise – Two Days and Two Nights (Review)

Next year, Star Trek is fifty years old. We have some special stuff planned for that, but – in the meantime – we’re reviewing all of Star Trek: Enterprise this year as something of a prequel to that anniversary. This January, we’re doing the first season. Check back daily for the latest review.

To be fair to Two Days and Two Nights, the episode itself isn’t a bad idea.

The stronger episodes of the first season have been those willing to allow the cast a bit of room to define their characters, luxuriating in the human side of mankind’s first real adventure to the stars. Episodes like Breaking the IceCold Front and Shuttlepod One were all built around character moments and interactions, featuring relaxed plotting that left room for the cast to develop their roles.

"So I'm coolin' at a bar, and I'm lookin' for some action.  But like Mike Jagger said, I can't get no satisfaction."

“So I’m coolin’ at a bar, and I’m lookin’ for some action.
But like Mike Jagger said, I can’t get no satisfaction.”

In theory, Two Days and Two Nights does the same thing. Essentially a “holiday episode”, the show features the senior staff of the Enterprise taking two days of vacation time on the surface of Risa. A series of loosely-connected adventures ensue, following members of the main cast as they try to take a break from it all. No points for guessing that very few members of the crew actually get the relaxing vacation they had hoped for.

The problem is that the plot threads all feel a little tired and awkward, coalescing into a Star Trek comedy episode that simply isn’t funny.

It all falls down...

It all falls down…

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Captain’s Holiday (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

Captain’s Holiday is another one of those infamously troubled episodes from the third season that turned out fairly okay, considering all the meddling and tinkering unfolding in the background. That said, it’s more like Ensigns of Command than Yesterday’s Enterprise, but it’s still a watchable and entertaining episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and also probably the strongest comedy episode so far.

Then again, when the show’s other comedy “highlights” include The Outrageous Okona and Manhunt, you can see why this might seem like damning with faint praise.

A hidden gem?

A hidden gem?

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