The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"It's Only a Paper Moon"

by David E. Sluss

6 January 1999

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: A five-minute psychobabble plot seemingly padded with forty minutes of music.


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE OF THE WEEK: Some people, myself included, complain about DS9's lack of follow-up to important happenings in the lives of the characters, like, say, O'Brien's virtual imprisonment in "Hard Time" or Sisko's guilt in "In the Pale Moonlight." So I would be remiss if I didn't applaud the DS9 staff for following up on Nog's maiming, which occurred in "The Siege of AR-558" a few episodes back. That's the good news...

WORN-OUT WELCOME OF THE WEEK: I'm not sure who the lounge lizard on DS9's writing staff is, but he should be told that this Vic Fontaine nonsense has to be stopped. Now. Okay, it was novel when Vic the Holosap first appeared, in last year's "His Way," but it's gotten out of hand, and entirely too much time is being wasted on him and his music. In this case, the entire principal cast was virtually sidelined in favor of the Vic 'n' Nog Vegas show. And, for those who are counting, that makes two out of the first ten episodes of DS9's final season which have revolved around the holodeck. Not a good indicator.

QUESTIONABLE TECHNOLOGY OF THE WEEK: While on the topic of Vic, let's chat about the notion of leaving Vic on perpetually, thus letting him "have a life." The Vic program was designed to sing for people, to entertain them, right? So why would the Vic hologram have been programmed with the ability to sleep, or to play cards with his equally holographic band? And we're getting into a "Moriarty" situation in which a hologram becomes sentient, only this time it's being done deliberately by Nog, presumably with the consent of Sisko, who should know better ... oh, damn it, this is DS9; I shouldn't have to be bitching about holodecks here...

DEAD WEIGHT OF THE WEEK: Counselor Ezri Dax proved herself to be absolutely useless at her job this week. All she could say about Nog's treatment is "I don't know," "Let's wait and see," and "The patient can figure out his own therapy." Even Troi put more effort into it that that. And then, after being a jerk to Vic (and Nog) about pulling the plug on the holosuite, she basically admits that Vic is doing a better job than she. What a great character she turned out to be...

Previous: "Covenant"
Next: "Prodigal Daughter"
NEXT WEEK: Ezri comes from a Troubled Family with a Skeleton in the Closet. Can it get any more innovative?



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This review is copyright 1999 David E. Sluss
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