The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Tears of the Prophets"

by David E. Sluss

19 June 1998

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: A mess. An episode that tries to be everything succeeds at being nothing.


QUOTABLE OF THE WEEK: "Nice guys ... but absolutely clueless" -- Vic Fontaine, on DS9's writers, perhaps. This ep was all over the map, and all the diverse pieces-parts, from Odo and Kira's spat to Jadzia's biological clock to Dukat's semi-insanity never gelled into anything remotely resembling a coherent whole. Jadzia's death comes across as an afterthought (which it may indeed have been), and winds up seeming less meaningful than even Tasha Yar's all those years ago. Garak shows up for no apparent reason (anyone could have found that the Killer Satellites lacked their own battery packs). Five minutes (and a musical number) are wasted on Quark and Bashir mooning over Dax, presumably to drive home the impending tragedy. Just one problem: we don't see either of their reactions to Jadzia's death, and so the alleged "character work" seems meaningless (and retreaded from earlier episodes, to boot). Kira and Odo get another chance to prove to the world that they have no chemistry at all. Martok gets to posture no less than four times. A cardboard Romulan gets to show what a dick he is. And so forth and so on. Unquestionably the worst of DS9's season finales.

CARDASSIAN UNINTELLIGENCE OF THE WEEK: A single power source for all the Killer Satellites? They don't call him Dumb-Ar for nuthin', folks! Let's face it, if the Killer Satellites had had independent power sources, they would have wiped out the task force. And that <tech> solution by O'Brien was an ST classic (note the look on Kira's face after he proposed it; "Does anyone know what the f&*^ he just said??"). Stripped of the artificial verbiage, the solution boils down to spraypainting the word "enemy" on the power station, and the Killer Satellites thus destroying it. If the Cardie tech is that unsophisticated, it shouldn't be much of a threat. (Like the ad says, why put up with dumb machines when you can have smart ones?)

DOMINION UNINTELLIGENCE OF THE WEEK: You mean to tell me that the Dominion (to say nothing of the Cardassians) didn't already know that the Prophets live in the wormhole, and that they needed that lunatic Dukat to tell them? Where the hell do you think the "wormhole aliens" live? Tahiti?

STARFLEET UNINTELLIGENCE OF THE WEEK: Admiral Wooden was awfully cavalier in dismissing the Prophets' message to Sisko out of hand. You'd think that, after seeing the Prophets save the Alpha Quadrant's collective bacon in the legendary "Craprifice of Angels," Starfleet's brass would be a little more respectful of Sisko's connection to them.

BAD FX OF THE WEEK: Most of the FX was terrific (although I think they went a little overboard with ships spinning end over end after being hit), but the explosion of the power station moon looked as phony as a three-dollar bill for some reason.

UNINSPIRING CLIFFHANGER OF THE WEEK: I trust that the ending wasn't intended to actually be a cliffhanger. Seeing Sisko sitting on his can scrubbing oysters doesn't exactly leave me waiting on pins and needles for the seventh season, I must say. I'd have preferred Kira praying in the Bajoran shrine to her absent or dead gods; some reaction from her would seem to have been in order. I'm not exactly sanguine about next season after seeing this episode, that's for sure.

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This review is copyright 1998 David E. Sluss
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