The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Field of Fire"

by David E. Sluss

13 February 1999

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: Mildly interesting, but filled to the rim, not with Brim, but with contrivances.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 6.0 (D-)

CONTRIVANCES OF THE WEEK: Sheesh, where do we start? With the gun collector, a red herring for about 30 seconds? With the killer happening to get on the same elevator as Ezri? With Ezri, nervous about a killer on the station, walking the Promenade and finding it completely deserted, for maybe the first time in DS9's history, and making creepy noises? With Ezri figuring out the photographs and then making a huge leap from "The killer hates laughter" to "The killer hates all emotion" and is thus a Vulcan?

TELEGRAPH OF THE WEEK: Speaking of the photos (with that kEwL motion feature), the director overplayed his hand with them, and gave away their importance a little bit too soon, with a lot of lingering shots.

TELEGRAPH OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: Did that young officer in the teaser have "I am a dead man" written on his face, or what? Even if I hadn't seen the promo, and didn't know the episode was about a murder, it would have been obvious that this guy wasn't going to make it through the hour.

DOMINION WAR WATCH OF THE WEEK: Well, we got our obligatory half-baked war references, of course, a hallmark of DS9's non-war episodes, but thankfully the plot of this episode doesn't fly in the face of the existence of the war like so many other episodes do. In other words, even in wartime, a killer on the base does need to be stopped, and so the episode makes sense, at least in that regard. On the other hand, the teaser gives the impression, once again, that the Defiant is going out in combat on a regular basis, and it'd be nice to see what the hell is going on in the war every once in a while.

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK: How does this Trill emergence work anyway? Is Joran entirely in Ezri's head? Is Joran actually an apparition who can walk around and do things independently but that only Ezri can see? This episode (along with its predecessor "Equilibrium," from the third season) suggests that it's the former. But if that's the case, how can "Joran" look into the Vulcan's eyes, and report to Ezri that his eyes make him look guilty, when Ezri didn't look into his eyes? The Trill mumbo-jumbo, as seen in "Equilibrium" and "Facets" has always been a bit goofy, but now it makes no sense at all.

NEW TECHNOLOGY OF THE WEEK: I'm not sure I buy this micro-transporter thing. The transporter system is abusive of physics as it is, of course, but it's almost always been used on stationary objects and people. It's a pretty big leap, it seems to me, for the transporter to be able to stop a bullet travelling at X m/s, deconstruct it, reconstruct it elsewhere, and send it on its way with the same momentum.

MESSAGE OF THE WEEK: For the second time in two weeks, DS9 has tried half-assedly to demonstrate the acceptance of "alternative lifestyles" in the Star Trek Universe, this time with the reference to the dead Bolian officer's "wife and co-husband."

STAR TREK TREND OF THE WEEK: In what may be some kind of sweeps gimmick, both this episode and Voyager's "Bliss" feature women with BFG's (Big F^&#iing Guns).

UNNEEDED PRECAUTION OF THE WEEK: It occurs to me that a Changeling shouldn't really need to wear safety goggles.

ILLOGIC OF THE WEEK: It'd be nice to have gotten some kind of explanation for the killer's actions. "Logic demanded it"? This is a Vulcan, for crissakes, we need a better reason than that. Somebody at DS9 has it in for Vulcans apparently, since on the rare occasion when they appear, they always seem to be criminals ("The Maquis"), arrogant pricks ("Take Me Out With the Garbage"), and, now, psychotics. Why all this pissing on Vulcans?
   

Previous: "The Emperor's New Cloak"
Next: "Chimera"
NEXT WEEK: Changeling intrigue and, as an added bonus, Kira/Odo soap opera shenanigans.

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This review is copyright 1999 David E. Sluss
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