Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Move Along Home

Quark and the Wadi face off.
Sisko: First contact is not what it used to be.

A game-obsessed alien race from the Gamma Quadrant brings new meaning to exploring strange new worlds.

I couldn't really get into this episode. A first contact where all they want to do is play games? To be fair, there's some justification for this; some writers and warriors have talked about learning the soul of a people, and gaming might be seen as a window into that soul. Viewed from that standpoint, their search for the Captain of DS9 in Quark's makes sense: He's the gamesmaster. Everything else - including our insight into Quark's morality, which, though ever-shifting, has a limit - stems from that particular difference in this culture.

And it's exciting to see our team build even more. Julian, Kyra, Dax and Sisko learn to depend on each others' skills and insights throughout this episode. So does our team back on board ship, including the annoying new chief of Starfleet Security.

Sisko and Kira try to save Dax.
But the aliens just don't seem to be taking it seriously. From the weirdly shiny costumes to the "alien tattoos" to the nature of the game itself, it's a one-off that's easily forgettable. I guess it could work if they followed it up with an episode that revealed all the silliness had a point - that they were testing our first officers - that there were some psychological weaknesses revealed, especially in Dax, which could be exploited...

But I don't think they will. I feel like I'm trying to retcon this episode so it makes sense; I'm just a fanboy hoping for more. If this episode represents a trend, though, it's no wonder the show has such a bad rep.

Bits and pieces

Costuming again rears its ugly head on this show! The dress uniform for the command staff looks amazing. And the costumes for the Wadi are ugly; they look like Power Rangers rejects.

How does the alien "game" work? From the dialogue it's like they're implying transporter technology was used, but it looks more like a holodeck. Any theories?


Quark: One man's priceless is another man's worthless.

Kira: We're not leaving you here.
Dax: This cavern is going to collapse and kill all of us if you don't go now. Seven lives is more than enough for a Trill. You haven't even finished one.
Sisko: How could I live out that life knowing I left you behind, old man?
Dax: Don't let sentiment get in the way -
Sisko (with Dax): Of command decisions.
Sisko: Yeah, I've heard that one somewhere.
Dax: If you were hurt, I'd leave you behind.
Sisko: Then I'm glad I'm not the one who's hurt.

Odo: Before you blame them, you might want to ask Quark just how all this started.
Sisko: Quark?
Quark: I wish I could explain it. They just had a run of bad luck and they blamed me for their losses and...
Odo: That's not what you said when you were groveling on the floor.
Quark: Oh, that's right, you were here for the groveling.


One out of four Mysterious Alien Gameboards.


percysowner said...

The show does get better. And this is one of the weakest episodes. I hope you start to enjoy it.

JRS said...

Just watched the next two episodes, and already having a lot more fun - more reviews coming soon!