The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Emperor's New Cloak"

by David E. Sluss

6 February 1999

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: Mostly drivel, with a couple of worthwhile scenes. But at least we got to see Vic Fontaine killed.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 4.0 (F)

SURPRISE OF THE WEEK: Most of the previous "Mirror Universe" episodes of DS9 (with the exception of last year's "Interment") have at least had interesting things going on, and so it was surprising to see so little happening here, with interminable filler scenes in various jail cells, etc. I expected this episode to not be particularly intelligent, but I didn't think it would be so dull.

SURPRISE OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: As a sort-of "Ferengi show," the Ferengi comedy crapola was kept largely in check, amazingly enough. Even Zek was relatively subdued.

CONTRIVANCE OF THE WEEK: Are we really supposed to believe that two Ferengi can waltz onto a Klingon warship, go to the engine room, remove the cloaking device, and do a mime routine while carrying it out of the ship without being caught? The Klingons have been friendly with the Federation for too long. Their security is now every bit as inept as Starfleet's. Oh, and while I'm on about it, I'd be very surprised if we see Quark and Rom punished for this theft. It seems likely that the Klingon penalty for such a crime would be death, but I'm quite certain that no consequences, much less death, will be shown.

CENSORSHIP OF THE WEEK: While The Powers That Be were willing titillate with another "lesbian kiss" to show how tolerant they are, there was an inexplicable editing job in one of the jail scenes in which Intendant Kira apparently grabs Zek's servant's "family jewels" and squeezes hard. But the jewel-grabbing is not actually shown; we see Kira making a move, followed by the poor guy sitting down with a pained expression on his face.

POOR CONCEPT OF THE WEEK: This episode leaves the impression that the Evil Alliance consists of exactly one ship, on which everyone, the boss, lackeys, prisoners, etc., resides, and that the defeat of that one ship marks the end of the Alliance. Does that make a damn bit of sense, or square with the previous Mirror episodes? Hint: the answer has two letters.

WELFARE RECIPIENT OF THE WEEK: J. G. Hertzler, who dons his rubber head for the sole purpose of half-assedly working a mention of the Dominion War (what war?) into the episode. I do have to admit though that the scene with Martok's and Sisko's double-take in the corridor was worth a smile.

QUESTIONABLE CAMEO OF THE WEEK: Nice as Vic Fontaine's death was to witness, it stretches the Mirror Universe concept to the breaking point to have a real human being as the doppelganger of a hologram. Rom's right: the mirror universe doesn't make any sense.

OVERSTATEMENT OF THE WEEK: While the Ferengi's taunting and distraction of Garak was a high point, such as it is, of the episode, the problem with the sequence is that the poison Garak threatens the Ferengi with supposedly has a lot of grisly effects, but all that happens when Garak is himself injected is that he keels over. Why all the build-up?
  

Previous: "Prodigal Daughter"
Next: "Field of Fire"
NEXT WEEK: More filler, as Ezri confronts her past. (What, again?)

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This review is copyright 1999 David E. Sluss
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