December 6, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “Penumbra”

The final days of the Dominion War begin.

Alright, here I am:  the final batch of episodes of Deep Space Nine where the series went from episodic to serial for the most part.  And already it feels different.  For one thing, even with two-parters, the show rarely seemed to end with so many plotlines being juggled all at once as happens here.

But there is a lot to cover.

Or, more accurately, there’s a lot to get started here.  In most two-parters, there’s an A-plot that will carry over to the next episode and a B-plot that may or may not.  And honestly, I am not 100% sure which of the plots here is the A-plot.  I think it’s the Ezri/Worf plot.  That one may get the most screen time, but at the same time, the other two plots going on here feel like they may be more instrumental in the long run.

As I see it, the stuff happening on Cardassia are all more or less part of the same plot because Damar is going back and forth between whatever Weyoun (and, but extension, the Female Changeling) want and whatever Gul Dukat is up to.  Dukat snuck back onto the planet, and he’s still all-in for the Pah-Wraiths.  For reasons as yet unexplained, Dukat wants some cosmetic surgery to look like a Bajoran.  Why?  I am not sure, but he got his wish.  Meanwhile, the disease the series has only hinted at a bit here and there is really hitting the Female Changeling hard, but only Weyoun seems to know about that.

Actually, when Damar goes off to take care of Dukat, Weyoun assumes it is because Damar, like Dukat, has a mistress or two he’s off to see.  While Damar did have a female Cardassian in his bed earlier, that moment when Damar assumed Weyoun knew Dukat was back was a nice one, though it does make me wonder how much individual Weyouns remember from one clone to the next.  This Weyoun never actually met Dukat after all.

Over on the station, Sisko proposes to Kasidy.  He wants a small ceremony with Jake as his best man, maybe Admiral Ross as the officiant.  I guess Ross was forgiven for his role in the previous episode.  He even bought some land on Bajor.

Hold on:  the Federation is a cashless society.  How can Sisko buy land on Bajor?  What did he use to pay for it?

It may not matter as the Emissary can’t have a small ceremony for one thing, and the Prophets outright tell him not to marry Kasidy because that would be bad.  Why?  Something about how she cannot take the path he must.  The Prophets were never good for straight answers.

But then there’s the Ezri plot as she goes off alone to rescue Worf from the Badlands.  His ship was attacked and destroyed, but he might have survived if he got to an escape pod in time.  Ezri doesn’t have permission to do this, but Sisko knows the Dax symbiote well enough to know he can’t exactly stop her either.  Well, he technically could rather easily.  He just chooses not to.

Much of this plot does deal with the unresolved feelings between Worf and Ezri.  Ezri may have Jadzia’s memories, but she isn’t Jadzia.  For one thing, she looks shorter.  Worf doesn’t like someone who reminds him so much of his late wife, even if she has some of those memories, and the long trip back doesn’t get them very far when they’re ambushed by the Breen of all people.

Yes, the Breen, a mysterious, silent race that seems to hint at foreboding things but haven’t actually done a whole lot just yet.  Those guys.  Why did they attack Worf and Ezri?  And why did they capture the pair when they found the two post-coital?

I don’t know.  None of these plots are resolved.  The show has gone full serialized from the looks of things.

Though two more notes:  Worf remembers that Ezri was not supposed to have a relationship with a former spouse, but she did anyway.  I would simply point out Ezri was an emergency selection and wasn’t trained to be a host, so they should probably cut her some slack.  That said, her assumption that Worf must have broken some Klingon rules seems pretty unlikely given this is Worf we’re talking about.  I’d believe it for any other Klingon, but not Worf.

And then there’s Quark’s reasoning for how he knows Worf will come back alive:  Worf owes Quark money, and Worf would hate going to the Klingon afterlife knowing he owed anything to a person he hates as much as Quark.

But with that, it’s the endgame for Deep Space Nine now.