Enlightenment > Star Trek > DS9
DS9 2-06

DS9 2x06

Original airdate: 10/31/1993
Rewatch date: 6/28/2013

Bashir falls for a new ensign whose alien physiology is built for extremely low gravity.

Spoiler-free notes:

I like the idea of exploring how other species deal with what should be an inevitability (but which hasn't been discussed much on Star Trek before): variable gravity. As a way to approach the subject of disability, it is actually pretty clever.

The Klingon food kiosk is awesome. I could watch an entire episode from there.

The zero-G special effects are better than I would expect.

Isn't it insanely unethical to run a medical experiment on somebody without any kind of clinical trials or consulting with Starfleet Medical?

Two aliens talking about a human fable is lazy and illogical storytelling.

There are two ways of looking at this episode: from the perspective of Bashir's character and the perspective of Star Trek telling a heavy-handed story about disability. As a way of growing Bashir, it is a success, because it makes him a far more interesting character than he has been before. In the first season, his pathetic pining over Dax threatened to turn him into La Forge, but here, with the way he cuts right through Melora's barriers with confidence and charm, he shows that he is a very different kind of character capable of deep interpersonal understanding. On the other hand, from the perspective of an episode about how we deal with the disabled, it is a corny, soapy, vomit-inducingly amateurish mess. I can't think of a more obvious and unnecessary line than "Thank you for letting me in," and the scene where Dax and Melora discuss the pros and cons of long-distance relationships is the kind of thing I got sick of in middle school. Though TOS and TNG are strongest when they use sci-fi to make a clear commentary on social issues, DS9 is actually weaker under the same dynamic. DS9 works better with moral complexity and ambiguity, neither of which can be found in "Melora."

Spoiler section:

Dax talking to Melora about whether relationships can work between two wildly different types of species is a good bit of incidental foreshadowing.

When Bashir comes up with the modified neuromuscular adaptation treatments, one gets the feeling, in retrospect, that he's using his genetic enhancements to pull it off.

DS9 2x05
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
DS9 2x07
"Rules of Acquisition"
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