The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine


by David E. Sluss

1 November 1998

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: The Un-episode: Uninteresting, Unaffecting, and Unnecessary.


MYSTERY OF THE WEEK: As is often the case with Star Trek's premises these days, the big question is: Why? I don't recall hearing a lot of fans demanding that the Humps from "Statistical Probabilities" return. Hey, writers, there's lots of storylines that need wrapping up; the heart-warming saga of the Humps isn't one of them.

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK RUNNER-UP: Where's the war.... blah blah blah. You know, the usual.

STARFLEET UNINTELLIGENCE OF THE WEEK: Sisko says he'd "handle" Starfleet regarding the Humps, but it shouldn't be that simple. The Humps are a proven security risk, who attempted to give sensitive Starfleet documents to the Dominion in "Statistical Probabilities" and who impersonated Starfleet officers in this very episode. I can't believe, particularly during wartime, that the humps weren't immediately put in leg irons and placed on the first ship to New Zealand.

REVELATION OF THE WEEK: Of course, the, uh, thrust of this episode was Bashir looking for a Hump, and we learn that he has been looking for a perfect, genetically-engineered Hump all his life. I'm not sure what that says about Bashir's choice of women in the past, particularly Leeta; any engineering on her is certainly not genetic. Looks like more retro-characterization to me. You know, I'm not sure the genetic enhancement retcon has been good for Bashir's character at all. It seems like he used to get good stories (or at least good lines). But the last year or so, all we've had is a couple of these Hump stories, a few odd scenes of Bashir pining for Dax and making a fool of himself, and a couple of instances of Bashir rattling off calculations Spock-like. If they keep this up, "Bashir episodes" will be just as dreaded as "Quark episodes." Oh well, only 21 episodes left; can't be too many Bashir shows...

WELFARE RECIPIENT OF THE WEEK: Star Trek's Welfare Program made a big payout this week, between Vorrick's gratuitous appearance on Voyager, and Nog's cameo role here. Really, what purpose did Nog serve? He calls Bashir on the com, meets him at the infirmary, and is gone for the rest of the show. Even the "plot element" of the Vampy Hump's attraction to Nog was (mercifully) dropped.

FILLER OF THE WEEK: One of the disturbing trends in DS9 this season is the use of the musical number as filler. We've already had Vic the Holosap, the Federation Anthem, and now this "Do Re Me" thing. Now this scene is a little more worthwhile than some of these filler scenes, but it did seem to go on a lot longer than it needed to. And it drives home the point that it's pure hokum to think that any person, genetically-enhanced or not, could develop language skills, much less a trained musical voice, after such a short period of time.

Previous: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite"
Next: "Treachery, Faith and the Great River"
NEXT WEEK: Hello, Dolly(s)



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