April 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “Badda-Bing Badda-Bang”

The crew need to rob a holographic casino to save Vic Fontaine.

Actor Robert O’Reilly, who usually plays Gowron, here has a prosthetic make-up free role as a holographic casino accountant.  I didn’t realize that when I watched the episode because, just like with the previous episode, the actor had a different name listed in the opening credits, and I wouldn’t have recognized him without his Klingon make-up anyway.  So that makes two episodes in a row where a regular supporting player who usually plays a Klingon was someone else.

Actually, that bit of trivia seems to have a precedent on whether or not I actually watching this particular episode next.  Paramount+, current home to all the Star Trek series, actually has a few of the Deep Space Nine episodes listed in the wrong order.  Now, normally, I might not care that much, and it’s possible some of the other, older series like Next GenerationVoyager, or Enterprise also have this issue.  The thing is, those shows were a lot more episodic in nature, and unless it’s a two-parter or something, it may not matter much.  And while Deep Space Nine is still fairly episodic in nature (this is still pre-streaming Star Trek), this is also the most serialized series of the batch.  This is the one show where watching the episodes in broadcast order might make a difference.  I knew “Badda-Bing Badda-Bang” by its reputation.  I knew it was a light-hearted, much more comedic episode.  I also know the episode Paramount+ listed before it is much heavier in tone.  It may or may not matter where the lighter episode goes, but I do suspect that, as I head into the final stretch, with only ten more entries in this part of my Star Trek journey, I somehow suspect that keeping all the episodes about the war more or less in the right order was probably a good idea.

So, seeing as how all I know about the next episode is it involves Section 31, I figure I should take care of whatever’s wrong with Vic Fontaine now and worry about the dirty tricks and the death to come later.

Because, really, why should the crew care about Vic Fontaine?  He’s a hologram, a special kind that can remember things, knows he’s a hologram, and a few other things.  Is he a friend?  He acts like one.  Is he capable of being one?  That’s a good question, but one that may be more appropriate when discussing a certain EMH over on Voyager.  And not everyone on the station holds Vic in such high regard.  A glitch in his program allows some gangsters, led by one Frankie Eyes that Vic has a history with, to take over Vic’s place and turn it into a 60s Vegas-style casino.  O’Brien and Bashir are there when it happens, and while Vic knows he’s a hologram, Frankie Eyes doesn’t.  The holosuite program won’t delete Frankie or even shut off, and the only way to maybe get rid of the guy is to more or less erase everything and start over, and that includes Vic’s own memory, and Vic won’t stand for that.

Oh, but Frankie’s muscle can actually hurt Vic from the looks of things.

Bashir finds the one way to get rid of Frankie is to get rid of him in a program-specific way.  A phaser won’t work.  He has too many bodyguards to just shoot him with a standard 1960s handgun.  But he has a boss, and if the crew can empty out Frankie’s safe, then the boss will take Frankie away, and Vic’s place will go back to what it was before.  For that, O’Brien and Bashir need a crew.

Worf?  He’s out.  He thinks it’s a little silly.

Quark?  He sees Vic as competition, and his one scene this episode has him remark to Morn that there’s something going on in Vic’s place that he is probably better off not knowing about.

But the rest of the crew?  Bashir and O’Brien are obviously in.  Nog owes Vic for the help Vic gave him, so he’ll be there to use his Ferengi ears to crack the safe.  Ezri can get a job there as a cocktail waitress, Kira can distract Frankie, Odo can carry the money away, and Kasidy even volunteers to help act as a distraction for the security guard who watches the money-counting room.  They just need someone to distract the rest of the floor by posing as a high roller.

Sisko says he won’t do that.  His reasons are because in the real 60s Vegas, black people like himself weren’t treated very well.  He’s not wrong.  Yes, this is a hologram that sweeps away all the bad (but factually accurate) things from the past, but Sisko says he won’t do it.  Then he changes his mind and goes anyway.

As it is, this is a heist, so nothing goes as planned.  The safe Nog practiced with is the wrong one.  The accountant Ezri is supposed to give a drugged drink is out for the day and replaced by a tea-totaler.  The guard Kasidy and O’Brien need to distract is a little too focused.  That does lead to O’Brien being taken off for a strip search, but the Irishman must suffer on this show.  Frankie’s boss shows up a day early.  The timing is all wrong.

But it does work out in the end thanks to quick thinking from Sisko and Vic.  Vic’s place goes back to normal, O’Brien doesn’t want to talk about what happened, and Avery Brooks gets to show off his own singing ability.  Fun episode.

Seems like a nice place to have one last bit o’ fun before things get really dark around the station.