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The Trek Nation - Starship Down

Starship Down

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 10:13 AM GMT

See Also: 'Starship Down' Episode Guide

A battle with the Jem'Hadar strands the Defiant in the atmosphere of a planet. While Dax and Bashir are trapped in a lift together and Kira tries to keep a dying Sisko alert on the bridge, Quark represents the best hope for assistance.

Analysis:

Warning: silly alert! Dull episodes do that to me! From the previews I was afraid we were going to get a boring, didactic plotline about a space battle with the Jem'Hadar. Instead we got four boring, didactic plotlines for the price of one! "Starship Down" was like four fan-written short stories slammed together into an episode. My tastes favor blatant hurt/comfort over cliched Ferengi scheme-and-save-the-day moments or Real Men Don't Like Computer Nerds scenarios, but I'd have to say that these were equally ill-considered, undercook, and overstated.

Taking them one at a time: I feel like I've seen that entire sequence with Quark and the alien before, only the alien had a slightly different nose. The opening scene where Sisko caught the Ferengi on the grift had potential, but it was squandered over the course of the rest of the episode. Worf among the engineers was even worse; you expect me to believe that he learned NOTHING about command after seven years of observing Picard in action? I'm glad TPTB feel sorry enough for the poor techies to, um, humiliate them publicity by patronizing them as pathetically as Worf did. And for GOD'S sake, is it so hard to think of something for O'Brien to DO?

Let's turn to Dax and Bashir. There was a time when the idea of them stuck in a lift together might have had titillation potential for some and made others vaguely queasy. Now They're Just Friends, which seems to have been the point of the entire sequence. Well, that's nice, but its also boring as hell. Someone send the writers some of those sexy fan stories where get trapped in a Jeffries tube or thrown in a pit by hostile aliens, and keep each other warm via heavy-duty bodily contact which gets them hot and bothered: that's the POINT of writing hurt/comfort stories! Having them hug sweetly and discuss the fact that there's no chemistry whatsoever is worse than doing nothing at all, since now no one can even imagine what fun Dax and Bashir could have stuck on a runabout together.

As for the other couple du jour, Sisko and Kira--'bout time they did some bonding. I just wish to hell tey'd bonded as equals with all of their facilitates, like during that marvelous scene in "The Circle" instead of having him half-dead and her sniveling. I know I've said this too often over the course of the past year; but I WANT THE OLD KIRA BACK. Don't shoot me, Nanites, this is not meant as a criticism of Ms. Visitor's performance; she's doing a fine job preventing me form throwing up while the strongest heroine we've ever had on television get reduced to pretty smiles and wide-eyed gush. But not even she can save moments like Kira sobbing, "You can't DIE!" or doing that overzealous "He's the Emissary" routine.

I seem to remember the old Kira fighting an awful lot with the Emissary the first two seasons. And I always thought that Sisko avoided her at parties becuase he was terrified of her nasty-ass sense of humor, not because he was afraid she'd start acting like a crazed fan. I guess that with the absence of Bareil, Shakaar, and most recently Odo (where HAS he been all season?) from her psychic landscape, TPTB have decided that Kira needs Sisko to stop in as appropriate father-figure for her to adore.

I'm going to stop and focus on the marvelous fanfic potential in those scenes instead of the sad realities. If I were a real Sisko/Kira fan, this episode would have put me in heaven. Hand-holding! He called her by her first name twice! And wasn't "Want to go to a baseball game?" the like Kasidy used to hit on HIM? (I am resisting making a dirty joke using baseball metaphors here...) I know, I should grow up, but when they're going to do episodes this bad, they have to forgive us for finding ways to make them interesting. First off, I could think of more creative ways to keep Benjamin awake than any of the ones which Nerys tried. Secondly, I think we should all speculate on subject of the second story she told him...

Kira sobbing over Sisko's prone form had me shuddering, and I don't mean because I was worried about Ben's chances of survival.

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Michelle Erica Green reviews 'Enterprise' episodes for the Trek Nation, for which she is also a news writer. An archive of her work can be found at The Little Review.