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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Shattered Mirror (Review)

This February and March, we’re taking a look at the 1995 to 1996 season of Star Trek, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. Check back daily Tuesday through Friday for the latest review.

Shattered Mirror and The Muse represent the nadir of the fourth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

To be fair, it could be worse. Neither episode is Let He Who is Without Sin or Profit and Lace or The Emperor’s New Cloak. Neither is a good episode by any measure, and they certainly rank among the weakest episodes in the show’s seven year run. However, they are more misbegotten lumps of clay than spectacular disasters. Still, as critical defenses go, that is a fairly unconvincing effort. “It could be a lot worse” is hardly the most ringing of critical endorsements.

A close shave...

A close shave…

On the other hand, the fourth season of Deep Space Nine is a fairly spectacular piece of television when taken as a whole. There is a strong argument to be made for the fourth season as the most consistently entertaining season of Deep Space Nine, which stands it in good stead when placing it in the context of the franchise as a whole. The fourth season of Deep Space Nine is one of the best seasons that the franchise ever produced, right alongside the third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

However, even the third season of The Next Generation had its weaker moments; The Price and Ménage à Troi come to mind. The realities and demands of television production mean that a perfect twenty-six episode season without any duds is an aspirational object rather than an achievable goal. The constant churn required to produce twenty-six forty-five minute blocks of television within nine or ten months means that not every episode is going to end up perfectly sculpted. Some will be great, some will be bland. Some will be bad.

ds9-shatteredmirror11a

Yanking his chain…

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