Monday, April 28, 2014

Three cheers for Odo! He's the best.

It's been three weeks since I posted about DS9, which I guess means I enjoy watching it more than I enjoy writing about it.  Every time I sit down to compose a blog entry, I decide to watch another episode instead.  I guess I can finally admit it: I love Deep Space Nine.

Before I dig into the nitty gritty of season four, I'd like to express how I feel about (and rank) the characters via their character-driven episodes:

  1. Odo has the most interesting story arc without a doubt. He starts the series with no idea where he came from, and when we do discover his people, they turn out to be the most significant adversary to all the other known powers in the galaxy.  Odo episodes are about self discovery, divided loyalties, and isolation.  Also, he's a shapeshifter and that's cool.
  2. Quark (and the other Ferengi) is the comic relief on DS9 (Rom is totally Urkel), so his episodes are usually hilarious. The plainly ridiculous Ferengi customs and culture are juxtaposed on the mundane and serious setting of the space station.  Sometimes Quark is a distraction, but he can definitely carry an episode, and the writers knew it.  He's mostly two-dimensional, either being reprehensible or learning a lesson and turning over a new leaf, but he does have his complex moments.
  3. Kira is a devout follower of the Bajoran religion, but also military/government official working closely with the Federation.  It's always interesting to see how she reacts when Bajor gets a little too wacky (religious fundamentalism) and the Federation a little too... Federationy?  She tends to be the character things happen around, such that Kira episodes are very often about Winn or someone else other than her.
  4. Dax is one of my favorite characters, but for some reason I don't love Dax episodes.  Like Kira, Dax is best when reacting to other people.  Dax has great one-liners, and she's a good shoulder to cry on, but when the spotlight is on her, it's just not DS9's best.
  5. Sisko likes baseball, cooking, and emissarying, but even more than emissarying he likes not emissarying.  He's got a great captain voice and he can rock a diatribe or two, but he's no Picard.
  6. O'Brien is ornery, so episodes that focus on him can be kind of trying.  They play with his brain a lot (O'Brien's a clone of himself!  O'Brien shifts through time!  O'Brien went to prison but not really!) I guess because they don't know what else to do with a grumpy Irish engineer.  I like Keiko, but she's absent most of the time.
  7. Bashir, just stop.
I didn't include Jake in the above ranking because I just don't care.  I didn't include Garak because he's not in the main cast, but if I did I think he'd be between Odo and Quark.

I promise I won't start season five until I post about season four.

Five Alive

Let us now turn our attention to this plant:

When last we visited my green friend, I was excited to report it had sprouted a third leaf, its first new one since I rooted and planted it.  The plant now boasts five leaves, plus a promising looking shoot.  The three big guys were clearly demonstrating their love for the sun, so I turned the plant hoping to balance things out.  I appear to have confused one of the new leaves, visible slightly right of the center of this photo and looking like an apostrophe.  The other new guy can be seen hiding in the shadow of the bottom-most big leaf, also facing away from the window.  Peer pressure abounds even in the flora community.

Plant dad and clever sculptor Willy informed me this weekend that the plant is a Hoya.  This news inspires such possible plant names as Latoya, Gioia, and Inigo Montoya.  But let's not pretend; obviously the plant's name is now Latoya.

I was glad to discover upon reading this page that Latoya's success could be at least partially attributed to my placement of her in my north(east)-facing bathroom window.  I've also been unwittingly treating her as she likes to be treated, as the page says Hoyas "resent pampering," and I pretty much leave her to her own devices.

Go Latoya, go!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Warm Welcome to Sisko's Facial Hair

I just did a Google image search for "Benjamin Sisko with facial hair."  The results are not stunning.  There's a lot of Sisko scowling with facial hair, and at least one featuring facial hair and crazy eyes, but all the nice shots are of shorn Sisko.  You'll just have to trust me that, on video, the facial hair is an improvement.

And what's the first thing he does with his facial hair?  He builds a sailboat.

or a space moth

When I told my dad, a Star Trek fan from ToS through the present, that I was watching DS9 from beginning to end, he asked me, "Does Sisko have the girlfriend yet?"  At the time he didn't, but that's another milestone we reach in the latter part of season three: Kasidy Yates.  She makes precisely one appearance, so I guess she becomes a bigger deal later.

A more significant milestone to me is the first utterance of the phrase, "No changeling has has ever harmed another," which occurs in "Heart of Stone."  When I heard that, I was like, now we're getting somewhere.

I just finished watching the season three finale, which was an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride.  An evil changeling is loose on the Defiant and he's better at impersonating humanoids than Odo, down to the MOLECULAR EFFING LEVEL.  The tricorders are none the wiser.  So you can imagine this is terrifying and nobody can trust anybody, and YES it of course made me think of the Battlestar Galactica reboot.  This is the benefit of watching these twenty years later.  Instead of saying, "Oh that's been done before," I'm saying, "Oh that was done again, later!"

Just three more things before I go:
  1. Andrea Martin plays a Ferengi in the third season.  And of course she rocks it.
  2. I love how every once in a while the entire cast goes off on an adventure.  Who's watching the station?
  3. This quote from the season finale, in which O'Brien comes up with a way to regain control of the ship.
    Computer: Auto destruct in seven minutes.
    Sisko: Just tell me how long it will take.
    O'Brien: Well I guess it'll have to be less than seven minutes, won't it?
Next stop, season four!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bashir's Brain

I was never in the habit of watching Deep Space Nine when it was airing for the first time, but all of the episodes I caught here and there were from the later seasons.  I just watched "Heart of Stone" in which Kira is trapped in a rock fissure on a moon and Odo must figure out a way to save her.  Since I started rewatching the series, this is the first episode I remember watching previously.  There is also a scene in the following episode, "Destiny," that I recall.

In other milestones, I've also watched the most boring episode of DS9 to date: "Distant Voices." This episode takes place entirely inside Bashir's brain, so there you go.

Some quotes from recent episodes that I enjoyed:

Odo: Well that's an interesting way of scrambling a signal.
Garak: Yes, I thought you might appreciate it on an aesthetic level.

Wormhole Alien (in the form of Kira): Linguistic communication is ... exhausting.