The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Dogs of War"

by David E. Sluss

29 May 1999

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: For the most part, the storylines in this episode live up to their name: dogs.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 5.0 (F+)

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK: Who decided that "closure" for the "Ferengi situation" was necessary? During this closing arc, with the exception of the Worf/Ezri/Julian nonsense, the writers have managed to stay pretty focused on the important storylines that need to be addressed. Even last week's "Extreme Measures," while seriously botched, was dealing with something worthwhile. But in the penultimate episode of the series, it's practically a crime for half the show to be devoted to Ferengi slapstick. Does anyone care what Rom's fate will be, or who will replace Zek as Grand Dingus? Was this whole episode crafted just so Jeffrey Combs could play both of his recurring characters in the same episode?

CONTRIVANCE OF THE WEEK: The Grand Dingus calls Quark's Bar and Grill, and speaks to Quark, thinking he is talking to Rom, and from this, all the crapola in the episode ensues. Question: Why would the Dingus have called Quark's if he wanted to talk to Rom? Rom doesn't even work at the bar anymore, and he has his own quarters and, presumably, his own vid-phone. Frankly, this makes this whole plot, if it can be even dignified with that word, as phony as a three-dollar bill.

LAUGH LINE OF THE WEEK: Much as I disliked the Ferengi storyline, I did laugh out loud at Quark's "line must be drawn here" speech, delivered by Shimerman in a manner obviously mocking Patrick Stewart's delivery of it in "First Contant." Other speeches didn't fare so well...

DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB OF THE WEEK: I can't say I buy Dumb-Ar as a motivational speaker. Casey Biggs did alright with his quiet, subdued call for revolution in "The Changing Face of Evil," but he didn't fare nearly as well here, as his speech on the streets of Cardassia Prime came across as merely shrill. It's hard to believe the citizens of Cardassia would rise up on the basis of that, or that they would start chanting "Freedom! Freedom!" in such a cornball fashion because of it.

CHEMISTRY OF THE WEEK: A rare element, to be sure. Sisko and Kasidy were better than they usually are (and Johnson's performance as she frets about the Prophets' warning and what it might mean for the baby was surprisingly good), but Julian and Ezri were awful. Their scenes together were without exception ineptly scripted and horribly acted, particularly the replimat scene. It doesn't help that their "situation," such as it is, is completely contrived and has been an annoying time-suck throughout this entire arc.

DOMINION UNINTELLIGENCE OF THE WEEK: Apparently Dolly the Vorta and the Dominion really believed that Dumb-Ar and his companions were dead. But how could they be so inept? If they knew where Dumb-Ar was going and which ship he was in, couldn't they have scanned for transporter signals at either end? Couldn't they have scanned the ship and noticed that not enough people were aboard when it was destroyed?

REBELLION UNINTELLIGENCE OF THE WEEK: Dumb-Ar lives up to his name, setting up a secret resistance meeting on Cardassia Prime, of all places, which is Dominion headquarters in the Alpha Quadrant. Writer Fiat apparently dictated that Dumb-Ar be there in person to speechify the Cardassian people, but is there any other reason the meeting wouldn't have been set up elsewhere?

DISCONTINUTITY OF THE WEEK: Another slight breakdown of DS9's committee-writing process may have occurred here. In "Extreme Measures," it seemed to be implied that Odo had been made aware of Section 8's involvement in infecting him. After Bashir failed to get the information out of Sloan, he went to Odo saying, "It didn't work"; presumably Odo knew what "it" was. Now, this took place while Bashir was unknowingly still in Sloan's head, but his talk with Odo seemed real and appropriate to Bashir. This week, of course, Bashir tells Odo about Section 8's actions for the first time.

ANACHRONISM OF THE WEEK: If 24th Century medicine can replace any organ instantaneously, alter DNA, and map the locations of specific memories within the brain, why isn't contraception idiot-proof? The shots that Sisko and Kasidy talked about don't sound much more advanced than what is available today, and even calling them "shots" rather than "hyposprays" seemed out of place.

RESET BUTTON OF THE WEEK: So Sisko's new ship is not only a Defiant-class ship but will be named Defiant, with only the carpet changed? Come on...

Cheryl M. Capezzuti contributed to this review.
  

Previous: "Extreme Measures"
Next: "What You
Leave Behind
"
NEXT WEEK: Boy, that preview was so overwrought and filled with hype ("An event for all time!"), that I almost forgot DS9 doesn't air on UPN.

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This review is copyright 1999 David E. Sluss
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