Another Mirror episode and pt 1 of a 2 part story.
Do please mind out for spoilers for part 2 and later developments. The icon with the box and a green arrow enables you to hide stuff behind a spoiler tag.
Feel free to let us know if you want us to cover (re-cover) Justice and Heart Of Glory as well.
"Through the Looking Glass" or "well that was an unexpected reaction"
In the awaited sequel to last season's extraordinary "Crossover," I was shocking bored... Intendant Kira's wonderfully clad arse could not distract me long from the issues of this story.
so Mirror-Dax shows up. In this universe, she is Sisko's mistress, and this brings about a rather interesting scene where she leads him into the bedroom. At first I thought the writers were going to pull on this punch But for once, they allow Sisko to give in to an urge, rather than just avoiding it with a typical reference to duty or consequences.
Sisko and Dax sleeping together here is apparently an indication of something repressed in Sisko—an assertion I find quite interesting. The downside is that after it happens, the episode decides to ignore the emotional aftermath and press on with plot, leaving questions like "Will Sisko ever look at Dax the same way again?" completely up to us.
Sisko had sex with Dax while fooling her into believing he was someone else who she would actually want to have sex with. In other words, at worst he raped her, at best we are in a very very grey squiky area.
Just because Sisko keeps saying he's a starfleet officer doesn't make him one, "Oh, I can see my dead wife again, so fuck my duty and principals. Aren't I great?" enough of that let's screw Dax and find bisexual Kira... Placed into this madhouse dimension, his true colours are revealed to us. He is self-serving, emotional, duplicitous, deceitful and aggressive.
And boy, oh boy, does Nana Visitor recap the role of the evil Intendant with relish. The way she swings from a sultry, pleasure-seeking persona to the malignant overseer who orders random executions is downright icy. Her patronizing, condescending greeting of O'Brien as "the tinkerer" is an unforgettable display of her sugary venom,
This character is either DS9's most complex and memorable villain or a joke. She's self-important and living in the lap of luxury—yet not really happy with what she has because she lacks real companionship. She just wants to be loved, which may explain some of the bisexual and narcissistic overtones evident both here and in "Crossover." For this reason, she hesitates on killing Sisko, despite his prior betrayal of her, and considers giving him another chance to be with her at her side. just the right kind of over the top. but on the other hand propensity for suffering betrayal. Here she is, the ruthless Intendent of Terok Nor, getting taken in by every two-bit shyster who comes her way (male or female). Sisko smiles at her, Smiley lies to her, and next thing you know she's betrayed, everyone's escaped, and Kira is either pouting or lying unconscious on the floor. Without the masterly and cynical Garak by her side, this patsy wouldn't stand a chance. How on earth did such a sucker become the feared Intendent of Tarok Nor?? then again I may have answered my own question.
I feel that the purpose of the mirror universe is purely indulgence, in this manifestation, it begins to become offensive. her Pansexuality is Only to be found amongst the evil mirror female characters; this unfortunately highlights the homophobic blemish which colours most of the Trek incarnations.
After he starts his day dealing with banalities like preventing vole fights on the station, he is whisked into an alternate Anything Goes universe where he is asked to pretend to be a space pirate... so I write the whole thing off as a daydream.
"Improbable Cause" or "the spy that came in from the shop"
going from the last one to this one back to back is crazy from oh so bad to OH so good
"The truth is usually just an excuse for lack of imagination." — Garak
When Garak's shop mysteriously explodes, Odo opens an investigation into why someone would want to kill DS9's enigmatic tailor. The result is one of the series' best outings, with terrific performances and outstanding direction from Avery Brooks, as Odo learns this mystery runs much deeper than it initially appears.
the idea of piquing Odo's curiosity to get him to get rid of the assassin is very clever. and dragging along a clever 2nd guy to keep you alive would be handy for Garak
But the missing clue is Garak. Odo's contact also supplies the names of five Cardassians who died the same day Garak's shop exploded, and not surprisingly, Garak had previous ties with them. When Odo returns to the station with these names, Garak finally talks of his past.
Garak and the five deceased were powerful associates of Enabran Tain the ONLY retired former head of the Obsidian Order Since Garak has an idea where Tain may be lying low, this allows another Runabout trip for Odo and Garak. Here, there's a fascinating discussion between these two characters that reveals some of the more private aspects of their personalities, and it's quite easy to see that both are truly lonely characters.
Suddenly, in the middle of Cardassian space, a Romulan Warbird decloaks and snags the Runabout with a tractor beam. Odo and Garak are taken aboard the ship and find themselves face to face with...Enabran Tain. Tain has some revelations of his own. He was the one who killed his five former associates for fear of those with knowledge of him and his past. He has a rule: "Always burn your bridges behind you. You never know who might be trying to follow." Further, Tain tells Garak of his plan to end retirement, and has joined the Obsidian Order with the Romulan's Tal Shiar, planning to take a fleet into the Gamma Quadrant and wipe out the Founders of the Dominion. Remember the fleet of badass ships being built in "Defiant"? Bingo.
Tain decides to give Garak a second chance by forgiving his betrayal (one element which still remains a mystery) and offering him the opportunity to join him. and in a break from trek plots Garak accepts...
Much of this episode is a tour-de-force of investigative work, moving from detective story to mystery-spy thriller to, eventually, war story as the scope of the matter expands outwards a a super fast pace; Odo unravels Garak's deceptions skillfully, actually shocking Garak which delights Odo, one of whose relatively few real pleasures is to catch the perp in the act.
"Improbable Cause" is the season's most brilliant episode, with a fascinating intrigue plot, great dialogue i.e. Garak: "That you should never tell the same lie twice..." or Garak's "Behind that panel is a compartment containing an isolinear rod. If I'm not back within 78 hours, I want you to take that rod ... and eat it." Or Odo: "If he did know, he'd already be spinning out an elaborate web of lies to cover up the truth." we have engaging character interaction, flawless pacing, and an impressive scope that takes us on several short adventures away from DS9 and ends on a Romulan Warbird. What more could you ask for?