Thursday, March 29, 2012

Classics: DS9 7:20 - The Changing Face of Evil

Overall Rating: 8.7

A solid effort, and a continued strong morality play.

Plot Synopsis:

Wikipedia to the rescue.

The Skinny:

I just have to skip to the end, because this is really the best part of the whole show:
And so two years ago, our government signed a treaty with the Dominion. In it, the Dominion promised to extend Cardassia's influence throughout the Alpha Quadrant. In exchange, we pledged ourselves to join the war against the Federation and its allies. Cardassians have never been afraid of war. A fact we've proven time and again over these past two years. Seven million of our brave soldiers have given their lives to fulfill our part of the agreement. And what has the Dominion done in return? Nothing. We've gained no new territories. In fact, our influence throughout the quadrant has diminished. And to make matters worse, we're no longer masters in our own home. Travel anywhere in Cardassia and what do you find? Jem'Hadar, Vorta and now Breen. Instead of the invaders, we have become the invaded. Our allies have conquered us without firing a shot. Well, no longer. This morning, detachments of the Cardassian First, Third, and Ninth Orders attacked Dominion outposts on Rondac Three. This assault marks the first step toward the liberation of our homeland from the true oppressors of the Alpha Quadrant. I call upon Cardassians everywhere. Resist! Resist today. Resist tomorrow! Resist till the last Dominion soldier has been driven from our soil.
That.  Is an AWESOME speech.  Go Damar!!  Every time I hear it, I feel the need to yell "HOO RAH!!" and pump my fist in the air at its conclusion. :)  I highly enjoyed watching him toy with Weyoun while he was maintaining his facade of friendship as well.

Not gonna lie...I also enjoy Kassidy and Ben arguing over peppers and attempts to keep Kassidy out of harm's way after the Breen attack Earth.  The two developed a very solid chemistry and lines like "That must be the bracelet I ordered.  In case the flowers didn't work," certainly bring a smile to my face.  And who doesn't love Miles and Julian arguing over a scale model of the Alamo as they try desperately to find a way to win an no-win battle while Warf mocks Julian for getting excited over toys.  But the winner of them all for lines comes from here:  "This is what happens when you share your toys."  That cracks me up every time.

The morality play feels a bit forced this week, especially from the perspective of Kai Winn.  She finds out that Gul Dukat is her guide and somehow this information isn't enough to wake her up and make her realize that the Pah Wraiths can't be working in Bajor's best interest?  I guess she was already in for a penny...might as well throw in the whole  Next week is a bit more even on this point, with Winn mocking Dukat for his greediness and sending him out to beg for shelter, but this week doesn't quite play right for me.  Otherwise, this is a near-feature-worthy episode.

Writing: 8.0

I think the main flaw with the script is the lack of time they had to get where they needed to go.  The pacing is're trying to do too much too fast for Winn and Dukat and the pace will become uneven for the war arc as a whole a bit later in the story.  Other than rushing things a bit, it's a fine script, however.

Acting: 9.5

The show-stopper this week is Damar (Casey Biggs)...he's outstanding from the word go.  The main cast is their usual level of awesome to compliment him, as is Marc Alaimo and to a lesser extent Louise Fletcher (Winn) and James Otis (Sobor).  Actually, the coolest thing about this war arc is that it relies very heavily on excellent performances and character-building form a wide cast of recurring characters that are not in the main cast and that essentially all of those recurring characters does an outstanding job with their performance.

Message: 8.5

Damar's speech says it all...where evil persists, we must resist or we are no better than those who would oppress us.  Winn has yet another chance to save her own soul and fight for good on Bajor and she turns it down.  Damar, meanwhile, is stepping up at the perfect time.

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