July 7th, 2012
|06:56 am - Because nobody asked for it|
THE WORST EPISODES OF DEEP SPACE 9 ACCORDING TO THE INTERNET
As determined by searching for "worst episodes DS9" and applying math to the findings
Presented in order from Sucky to Suckiest, with commentary, by somebody who needs sleep
Otherwise known as The One Where There Was A Ship Full Of Cadets. Earns ire for, and inspires fear of, a ship commanded by YA clones of Wesley Crusher and Marissa Picard, Stephen Ratliff's legendary Mary Sue. The episode earns points in my book for realizing halfway through that perhaps this idea wasn't so hot in the first place so let's not have a spin-off, thank you very much.
9. "IF WISHES WERE HORSES"
Otherwise known as The One With Rumplestiltskin Yes Really Go Look It Up No I Don't Know What They Were Thinking Either. First season episode where the holosuites go crazy due to $SCIENCE and start pumping out versions of people's dreams. There were a lot of stinkers in the first season, and this was one of them.
Little Wee Molly O'Brien dreams up fairy tales to drive her dad crazy and Dr. Bashir, who was still being written as an obnoxious horndog, dreams up a Dax who is, like, so totally into him it's embarrassing. Viewer goes all Joan Rivers and does the finger-down-the-throat-aghk-aghk-aghk thing. Repeatedly.
Otherwise known as The One With Q, because... it's the one with Q. They had to have him on at some point, so they did it as quickly as possible in the first season to get ratings. See above in re: first season stinkers. I actually like the ending of this one, if only because Q has a nifty little revelation: It takes the perspective of one of those silly mortals to make him realize that all the things he's seen and done are TOTALLY AWESOME because he's Q. He snaps out of the episode slightly less blase, and that's fine by me.
Otherwise known as The One Where Dax Goes Into An Alternate Dimension And Falls In Love. I didn't hate this one and honestly don't have much to snark about, but the Internet sure detested it enough.
Otherwise known as The One Where Lwaxana Troi Shows Up And Makes Everybody Fall In Love. I admit I have a soft spot for Lwaxana because when she shows up, it's simply to troll the heck out of the episode. Who else can drive Picard crazy? Oh, that Lwaxana. She has a problem, though: if the episode she's in stinks, she's usually written as completely obnoxious. When the episode isn't so bad, like the one in which she gets stuck in a turbolift with Odo (and let that fact sink in: "Fascination" is worse than a stuck-in-an-elevator episode) she drops the obnoxious caricature and turns out all right. In the turbolift episode she's maternally kind to Odo and I like that relationship. In "Fascination", however, all Lwaxana does is go nuts with the innuendo.
5. "LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN"
Otherwise known as The One Where They All Go To Risa And Worf Becomes A Total Downer. The general consensus of the Internet is that this episode stinks because A. it's all about sex but had to be toned down to the point where backrubs are scandalous and B. Worf is a big stinky party pooper with more issues than the New Yorker. While everybody else is swappin' backrubs, Worf turns prickly and joins up with a group of similar malcontents with a plan, obstensibly thought up by a Batman villain, to ruin Risa by controlling the weather. They attempt to make it rain all the time, because as we all know you can't give backrubs while it rains. Worf's a wet blanket through and through, but going in with these jerks is a bit too much, even for Mr. Grumpyface.
4. "THE STORYTELLER"
Otherwise known as The One Where If We Believe Really Hard, Boys And Girls, We Can Make That Monster Go Away. Bashir and O'Brien visit Gullible Town, a backwater Bajoran village where the inhabitants are periodically menaced by a big evil cloud and to drive it off, a spiritual storyteller leads them in what amounts to a collective Care Bear Stare. The Internet doesn't like this episode mostly because these are some of the first native Bajorans we meet in the series and, well, they turn out to be as dumb as rocks and ready to believe anything as long as it's said by some guy standing on those rocks. Not the best introduction but fortunately this characterization of Bajorans was quickly forgotten. In place of the yokels we instead got the likes of Vedek Bareil and Louise Fletcher's Kai Winn, whose character easily ties Gul Dukat for Best DS9 Villain.
3. "PROFIT AND LACE"
Otherwise known as The One Where Misogynistic Quark Becomes A Fe-male And Learns Valuable Lessons Which Won't Be Retained Into Next Week. Even us smart, discerning science-fiction fans who like the Ferengi episodes ("The Magnificent Ferengi" is absolutely brilliant) can't stand this one. It's another frustrating exercise in Ferengi misogyny which begins with Quark sexually harrassing a Dabo girl and ends with Quark having a change of heart about all fe-males everywhere. I believe this episode inspires his fourth or fifth. Wallace Shawn also doesn't bother to help as the screechy Grand Nagus Zek. It's clear he's having the time of his life playing a Ferengi, but man oh man he's irritating.
2. "THE MUSE"
Otherwise known as The One Where Jake Sisko Gets Seduced By A Creepy Creative Vampire. Oh, look, Jake is being a struggling writer. Oh, look, a mysterious woman from out of nowhere gives him a magic pen and inspires him. Oh, don't look, it's unsettling watching her "inspire" him. Oh, look, his writing's not that great but now it's supposed to be terrific. Oh, look, she's dangerous. Oh, look, Jake's out cold in the infirmary. Meanwhile, Lwaxana and Odo get married. (Long story, but better than the one Jake's writing.)
1. "MOVE ALONG HOME"
Otherwise known as ALLAMARAINE, COUNT TO FOUR, ALLAMARAINE, THEN THREE MORE. Another ludicrous first season episode where the gang gets sucked into a living board game thanks to $ALIEN_OF_THE_WEEK, and have to play their way out by solving puzzles, playing hopscotch, and not choking to death on poison gas. At the end it's revealed that they weren't really in any kind of mortal danger, so the life-or-death struggle which was so cool in the malevolent board game resignedly flops to the ground and stops speaking to anyone. I liked the concept of the game, however, and think Sisko and Kira grudgingly doing the Allamaraine Dance is absolutely hilarious. Otherwise, pbbbththth. The "Worst Of" lists I found differed wildly in some cases, but this episode was the one everybody agreed on.
* THE ONE WHERE KIRA MEETS SEXY EVIL MIRROR UNIVERSE KIRA
* THE ONE WHERE BASHIR FALLS IN LOVE WITH THE STUBBORN WOMAN IN THE WHEELCHAIR
* THE ONE WHERE WEE MOLLY O'BRIEN FALLS INTO A TIME VORTEX AND COMES OUT ALL L'ENFANT SAUVAGE AND STUFF
NOT ON THIS LIST BECAUSE NOBODY REALLY LISTED IT AND BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME
* THE ONE WITH THE BASEBALL GAME
This just makes me sad that the TV gods have cut me off from my clunky space-stories.
Oh man... I can't remember whether DS9 was, overall, any good. I adored it when it came out (fourteen being the Golden Age of Science Fiction and all that), and loved the fact that it had an overarching plot, and took the time to explore the politics of one world rather than dozens. (When I watched Babylon Five a few years ago, and realized the similarities and that Straczynski initially pitched Bab 5 to Paramount before they started DS9, I was Very Sad.) I thought it was the best thing ever, and had an enormous crush on Dax.
But now... see, I read the summaries, and I remember those episodes, and yeah, those don't sound like very good television episodes. Have you seen it more recently than I have? Overall, does it, um, suck?
Babylon 5 fans were very resentful about the whole thing at the time.
I was more into B5 myself. In hindsight, while B5 had a more interesting arc and laudable ambitions, DS9 was probably the better-executed show of the two, from week to week. Certainly the DS9 cast was better on average.
It's been a few years since I've seen either and I can't judge which is best overall, but week-to-week I think B5 was way more consistent. DS9 suffered from some dire scrips and terrible acting like every other ST series; I don't remember B5 doing anything seriously bad, and it was really good sometimes too.
DS9 was at it's best in the last two series while B5 dropped off a bit towards to end, which probably affects the final impression.
Granted I have a nostalgia bias for DS9 as I watched it when it first came out, and I saw B5 for the first time comparatively recently, but ugh, I really had to struggle to get through some first season episodes and the continued promise that it gets better was the only thing that kept me watching. It did, of course, but the first season of both shows were pretty terrible. It makes me have patience for shows that start off poorly these days, as I feel as a whole, we don't give most shows a fair shot of getting good. I don't think either DS9 or B5 would survive in today's television climate and that would be a shame for we'd never watch some excellent television that we wouldn't even know we're missing.
Oh yeah, I vaguely remember the first season being shaky now you mention it. I started in S2 so it didn't make that much of an impact.
|Date:||July 7th, 2012 05:53 pm (UTC)|| |
Granted I have a nostalgia bias for DS9 as I watched it when it first came out, and I saw B5 for the first time comparatively recently
Other way round with me, mostly: I watched maybe a dozen episodes of Deep Space Nine, which was clearly much more interesting than any previous form of Star Trek, and then I discovered Babylon 5—right at the end of the first season, thereby skipping many of the howling clunkers that turned early viewers off the show—and promptly left the Gamma Quadrant. I've seen some TNG from time to time, but no DS9 until the last couple of months. I've seen Babylon 5 about two and a half times now.
(It is no longer the best-written television I have ever seen. I am not even sure it's the best-written science fiction. It refutes a lot of clichés and twists other around interestingly, but it is limited in ways I couldn't perceive as an adolescent and there are kinds of dialogue J. Michael Straczynski can really write and kinds he really shouldn't even try. That said, the things I really loved about it, at last check I still really loved. Londo, Vir, G'Kar, I'm looking at you.)
Straczynski loves stagey, hortatory dialogue, and he was at his best writing the over-the-top operatic aliens, who were also played by the best actors on the show. When he was trying to be naturalistic with human characters, it was often terrible.
Seasons 2 through 4 were the heart of the show. The first season was shaky and the last season was an unfortunate afterthought.
Then again, I also disliked what little I saw of the last season of DS9; it seemed like it was turning into a soap opera.
Edited at 2012-07-09 01:47 am (UTC)
|Date:||July 9th, 2012 03:14 am (UTC)|| |
When he was trying to be naturalistic with human characters, it was often terrible.
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for almost anything Bester says and Ivanova's expanding Russian frontier.
Seasons 2 through 4 were the heart of the show. The first season was shaky and the last season was an unfortunate afterthought.
The fifth season would have been much less unfortunate if network dickery hadn't necessitated shoving half its plot into the later fourth season. Otherwise, agreed.
DS9 was, overall, excellent -- many of these are from the first season, which was kind of pathetic. (And/or I'm biased -- I too was a teenager when it premiered, and I loved it so so much. )
Well, I first watched it in adulthood, and I think it's fucking amazing, so I don't think it's bias. *g* (But man, most of these episodes, ugghhhhh.) (Except Meridian, which is really pretty nice, if a bit cheesy, and I suspect the internet hates it because it's all about a lady having lady feelings.)
Yeah, I don't really get the hate for "Meridian." I agree it's not a very good episode, the love story is incredibly rushed and I think that abruptly giving up Starfleet to pursue a relationship wasn't in character for Jadzia, who didn't make sacrifices lightly. But I wouldn't put "Meridian" on any of my personal Bad Episode lists. Perhaps the resentment comes from those who got mad cause it seemed Dax was ready to leave Starfleet to run off with someone and that someone wasn't them.
I've been watching the series on Netflix streaming since January, realizing I had really missed it and wanted to see the full run. I like watching the evolution of shows and DS9 evolved marvelously once it came into its own (New badges! New uniforms! Rules of Acquisition! The Defiant! Someone mentioning "the Dominion" for the first time! Bald bearded Sisko! New new uniforms! Weyoun! Ezri...?)
Actually, I think Ezri got a raw deal writing-wise, totally not her fault, and smarty people involved with the show seem to agree there.
DS9 gave depth to so many species. TNG had Ferengi, sure, as comic bad guys. Cardassians were just evil warmongers. TNG showed you how they annoyed Starfleet. DS9 showed you how they lived. DS9 gave them languages, moral codes, societies. And I adored the fact that there were so many shades of gray.
I'm about a third of the way through Season 7, and everything will start to wrap up soon. The show really does hold up, takes off around Season 3 and there's been some great science-fiction going on. I'll be sad to finish it, but I really loved watching it all. Well, most of it. "Trials and Tribble-ations" is still wonderful. The early ep where Bashir gets possessed by the ghost of a criminal who apparently loves to overact, not so much.
After this I was thinking of starting in on Babylon 5 since I haven't seen the full run, but I may be a little space stationned out. I might go back to Farscape, which I hadn't seen at all until this year.
Edited at 2012-07-07 02:29 pm (UTC)
The show really does hold up
Whew! Yay, I am glad to hear it. (Go teenage me, you are vindicated, though we may need to talk seriously about all those Xanth novels.) I'm also glad to hear it's available through Netflix streaming-- now that I have that capacity on my computer, I will so be watching this. Hurrah!
DS9 showed you how they lived. DS9 gave them languages, moral codes, societies. And I adored the fact that there were so many shades of gray.
I loved that so much! I forget which episode it was where one of the Ferengi really, really called the Federation people out on the fact that they are overflowing with Love and Tolerance and Respect For All People-- except when those people hold values that are genuinely different. It was my introduction to the hypocrisy that can come with un-thought-through multiculturalism, and understanding exactly how difficult a discipline real multiculturalism actually is. That was awesome.
|Date:||July 8th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)|| |
I watched the whole series via Netflix from January to March. There are some stinkers in the first season, but I actually think the first season is better than I thought it was at the time. Some of the long arc set up stuff that they do in that season actually holds through the series. I found DS9 on the whole to be better than most of what's on TV these days and definitely so once we meet the dominion.
If these are the worst episodes, then "Deep Space Nine" really is the best of the Star Treks or even the whole space station genre (I say quickly as I duck out of the way of thrown things by "Babylon 5" fans).
I also like "Q-less" for pretty much the same exact reason you state not to mention the fisticuffs between Sisko and Q. Fun fact: I once ran a LARP inspired by "Let He Who Is WIthout Sin." I can't really defend "Move Along Home," though I also liked the game concept even if it wasn't well done (although, this is essentially based on a memory that's twenty years old as I don't think I've seen it since it first aired) so the "The Muse" tops my personal list of all time clunker. But even that one I didn't like because I thought it was boring, not because I actively hated the episode (which happened frequently while watching Voyager).
I note that most of these are from the first season as DS9 was still trying to find its space legs. I feel that once you hit the One with the Bell Riots, it hits its stride.
Edited at 2012-07-07 03:46 pm (UTC)
Oh bite me, internet, "Q-Less" was awesome.
Solely and entirely because Sisko punches Q in the face and Q is shocked enough to say "You hit me! ... Picard never hit me!"
...For the purpose of having Sisko snarl "I'm not Picard," though it took a while longer for the writers to discover exactly how he wasn't Picard.
I am surprised Profit and Lace isn't widely regarded as the worst episode.
Also, I am surprised Move Along Home made this list. It was an amusing if cheesy episode.
While neither surprise me in the least when coming from you, seeing both a Darkplace icon and proof that someone else knows The Power And Terrible, Terrible Glory that are the Ratliff Marissa fics were just about the most smile-inducing thing what's happened to me all day. :)