The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang"

by David E. Sluss

26 February 1999

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: Look up "pointless" in the dictionary, and you'll find a still from this episode.


CONFESSION OF THE WEEK: I usually watch episodes twice before reviewing them, in order to make sure that my facts are right (my opinions always are, of course), but in this case I admit that I did not. I just couldn't bear the notion of watching the whole thing again. Except for some of the ... uh ... costuming, the watchability of this episode is right down there with "One Little Shit" and "Take Me Out With the Garbage."

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK: Is it fish or foul, excuse me, fowl? Is this episode comedy or drama? Given the subject matter, it seems like this show should be a comedy, and yet there's nothing funny about it. I'm not saying the episode failed to be funny; I'm saying it didn't even try to be funny, as if we were supposed to be taking this stuff as seriously as the alleged Dominion War. So I guess that makes it a drama, right? Well, no, because there doesn't appear to be any drama, either. DS9 dramas usually at least act as though something of importance is going on, but not here. I mean, what's the worst thing that could have happened here? Vic could lose all his memories or be erased altogether? To call those stakes penny-ante is an overstatement. So if it isn't a comedy, and it isn't a drama, I guess that leaves nothing; yeah, that sounds about right...

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: The racial issue seemed really surreal to me, and I'm not entirely sure why it was raised in the first place. It seems strange that in the utopian Star Trek 24th Century, Sisko and Kasidy would think of themselves as "black people." There's never been any indication before in Star Trek that humans still think of themselves in terms of race, and in fact it seems to be at odds with Star Trek's so-called ideals. And yet this notion is dropped haphazardly into this dumb episode with little with no apparent purpose. Especially considering that it took Sisko all of about thirty seconds to get over his reluctance to participate in the idealized 1962 holo-program, it's hard to figure what this was doing in the script.

CONTRIVANCE OF THE WEEK: So some programmer has created a program which can modify itself at random, take over your computer, and make you jump through ridiculous hoops to make it run properly? That's pretty damn implausi -- wait a minute, that sounds like my OS... But really, you have to swallow quite a bit of holodeck nonsense in order to accept the scenario our heroes are put into here.

DOMINION WAR WATCH OF THE WEEK: Yeah, yeah, you've heard it all before. Where's the war ... bla bla bla ... How can the entire senior staff be goofing off in the holodeck ... bla bla bla...

DEAD HORSE OF THE WEEK: This is, what, the sixth or seventh episode in a row in which the Alamo holo-program is mentioned? Note to writers: this in-joke, if that's what it's supposed to be, is not particularly funny, and serves only to make O'Brien and Bashir seem like pathetic geeks with no lives.

CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION OF THE WEEK: Do you suppose Brooks has a "must-sing" clause in his seventh season contract? How else could he possibly have been allowed to sing?

WELFARE RECIPIENT OF THE WEEK: Star Trek's Welfare Program seems to have added Robert O'Reilly to the rolls. I'm about 95% sure that O'Reilly, better known as Gowron, portrayed the replacement counter ("That's about the saddest story I ever heard"). The voice and bug-eyes seem unmistakable, and an actor named "Bobby Reilly" is listed in the opening credits. I guess that since there hasn't been much use for the Gowron character lately, STWP felt obligated to cough up some dough for O'Reilly...

Previous: "Chimera"
Next: "Inter Arma
Enim Silent Leges
NEXT WEEK: There's nowhere to go but up, and it looks like we might be getting back to the war!



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This review is copyright 1999 David E. Sluss
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