The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"'Til Death Do Us Part"

by David E. Sluss

18 April 1999

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: Like last week, there's a lot of set-up and not much payoff, but unlike last week, this episode really feels off-kilter and all over the map. There is some good stuff here, and it's clear we're going somewhere; I just hope we get there soon.


FILLER OF THE WEEK: Did we really need no less than four scenes of Ezri and Worf in the Breen cell having meaningful conversations, getting interrupted by Breen thugs with cattle prods, and getting zapped by said cattle prods and/or being carted away? And the purpose of this meandering plotline is what -- the "revelation" that Dax has the hots for Bashir? Just the development I've been waiting for...

RECYCLING OF THE WEEK: It wasn't enough that we had to sit through all those Ezri shows earlier this season; now we get to hear selected dialogue snippets from each of those episodes again. As if they were worth listening to the first time. Worf's unconscious babbling, on the other hand, was so generic, raving about dishonor and so forth, that one can't pin it to any specific episode. Indeed, it's difficult to distinguish the dialogue of conscious Worf and unconscious Worf at all.

TEMPORAL ANOMALY OF THE WEEK: O'Brien was awfully cavalier about the absent Dax and Worf. Given the amount of time which passed in "Penumbra" and this show (including a couple of days in this episode in which Kasidy was off-station and more than a day of travel by the Dominion vessel), it seems like Dax and Worf would be several days overdue by the time Sisko's wedding rolled around, and that people should be worrying.

OLD ACQUAINTANCE FORGOTTEN OF THE WEEK: In all the talk of whether Sisko should obey the Prophets or defy them, it seems to me that some mention of what happened the last time Sisko disobeyed them, i.e. the death of Jadzia in "Fear for the Profits," was warranted. I'd chalk it up to DS9 staffers holding a grudge against Terry Farrell, except last week they used old tape of her in a voiceover. In any case, the lack of mention this week seemed an odd oversight.

PLOT TWIST OF THE WEEK: I guess we are supposed to be impressed, alarmed -- something -- over the Breen joining the Dominion. I wasn't particularly impressed, and I can't imagine that anyone would be. They've basically been a throwaway race, with only a couple of fairly trivial appearances that I can recall ("By Inferno's Light" and ... rats, the episode in which Ziyal (R.I.P.) first appeared), and some namedropping here and there. There's certainly never been any indication before now that they are heavy hitters, but this week Worf tells us they are Very Dangerous, and that means that we the viewers should be Changing Our Shorts when we learn they've sided with the Dominion. It would have been a lot more interesting if the Tholians had turned up as Dominion allies. Sure, they were a one-shot race, but they were shown to be genuinely dangerous in the original series' "The Tholian Web," and they have an air of mystery about them that the Breen, who are just schmucks wearing helmets, can't touch. In addition, New Trek has been dropping the Tholian name on a regular basis for ten years or more, and it would be nice to have it finally pay off.

Previous: "Penumbra"
Next: "Strange Bedfellows"
NEXT WEEK: Kai Winn and Gul Dukat do the "Cardassian neck trick."



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This review is copyright 1999 David E. Sluss
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