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DS9 4-07

DS9 4x07
"Starship Down"

Original airdate: 11/13/1995
Rewatch date: 2/21/2014


While in negotiations with the Karemma in the Gamma Quadrant, the Defiant engages a pair of Jem'Hadar warships and winds up trapped in the atmosphere of a gas giant.

Spoiler-free notes:

It's always great seeing James Cromwell.

There are plenty of none-too-subtle parallels to a good submarine adventure. The echo-location system is sonar, obviously; the torpedoes being set to detect anything metallic makes them more like submarine torpedoes; going deep increases pressure to the breaking point; when the gas rushes in, it's very similar to water; etc. In the original concept of this episode, in fact, the Defiant was going to go underwater, not into a gas giant. That would have been really cool, but alas, the budget just made that impossible.

Awesome interior explosions with bodies flying and everything.

The writers are trying once again to put Dax and Bashir together, but it still doesn't click. Bashir comes across as a schoolboy with a crush, and Dax can only respond to his advances with condescension bordering on pity. While that kind of chemistry might work out in some cases, I just don't see it between these two.

Routing the phasers through the deflector array and burning it out after one shot sounds an awful lot like "Best of Both Worlds." Here, though, in the debris-filled atmosphere of a gas giant, the deflector dish seems a lot more important than it did in that episode. Remember, only a few scenes earlier, the deflector array was used to avoid a torpedo.

I didn't think it was his role as Emissary that kept Sisko "at arm's length" from Kira. I thought it had more to do with their occasionally adversarial relationship. They certainly respect each other, but their constant butting of heads between the interests of Starfleet and the interests of Bajor keeps them from being friends the way Sisko is with his Federation counterparts.

Exactly one season after "Civil Defense," DS9 is taking another stab at a "Disaster"-style narrative, this time with more success. It's an exciting episode with a lot of good character development. There's Worf continuing to learn how to adjust his expectations from the Enterprise (O'Brien guiding him through it is a nice touch, since he is also from the same place), Kira confronting her relationship with Sisko, and Dax and Bashir dealing with their relationship. My personal favorite, though, is the stuff with Quark and Hanok arguing about the merits of ruthlessness in trade and being forced to disarm a Dominion torpedo. (Aside: it kind of reminds me of an episode of Night Court--don't judge me; I'm a child of the eighties--in which a CIA agent and a KGB agent get locked in a room together for several hours, going from silent hatred to angry words to friendlier jabs to sitting down and figuring out how to achieve strategic disarmament and bring an end to the Cold War.) "Starship Down" also has a lot of good CG work and special effects, again upping the ante for what Star Trek can achieve visually.





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