Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Fascination

"Peldor Joi!"

This is a lovely little piece of fluff centred on cupid's arrows and the Bajoran Gratitude Festival.

I had a lot of fun with this episode. It is good every once and a while to think about the impact of living in space and having to manage long-distance relationships when both partners have careers. While the story is ostensibly about Lwaxana Troi getting a case of Zanthi fever and throwing her amorous feelings onto everyone on the station, the underlying story was about the subconscious attraction between people who are forced into daily contact in a small space (in space). The plot harkens back to Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with everyone falling in love as they are hit by one of Lwaxana's headaches. The match-ups are fun – Jake is pining after Kira, Bareil after Dax, Dax after Sisko and Quark after Keiko. The only requited couple are Kira and Bashir who comically, literally can't keep their hands off of each other. While there is comedy is in the discomfort of the pursued, there is also pathos in the origin of the trouble, Lwaxan's unrequited passion for Odo, as well as Odo's unrequited yearning for Kira.

There is some lovely character development in the sub-plots. O'Brien is patiently waiting for Keiko and Molly to return for a visit and as one might expect, the highly anticipated time together is spent fighting. It was a nice examination of the realities, particularly the tensions of a long distance relationship. Both Miles and Keiko are tired, frustrated and missing each other. The high expectations that Miles has for their time together just adds to the anxiety. Although O'Brien is a bit of a jerk about things, he shows his love in his willingness to do whatever it takes to keep his relationship and Keiko responds in the same way. We don't often get to see the difficulties in long-term relationships on television.

The other sub-plot was Odo's continuing exploration of what it means to live with humans. He has put aside his longing to be with his own kind and exploring how to interact with his now chosen home. It is clear that Odo has feelings for Kira but I'm not sure how deep they are. She is his first love or experience of what that might be. You see him react to Lwaxana's kiss much as he reacted to Kira touching his hand. I hope they continue to explore this but in a sensitive way.

There were no big crises, no explosions and no meaty moral questions but I enjoyed this episode a lot. It is good to take a rest every once in a while and explore the world you have created in more detail.

Bits and Pieces

Mardah has dumped Jake but she is no ordinary Dabo girl, she is off to the Science Academy on Regulus III.

I liked the Bajoran Gratitude Festival. It is much better than New Year's – no resolutions.

The break from Starfleet uniforms was great. Some beautiful fashion choices (if you leave out Lwaxana's headpiece).


Quotes

Jake: “Okay I’ll go but I’m not going to have any fun.”(Said every teenager for millennia).

Bashir: “Four months, that’s another 150 games of racquetball. I don’t think my elbow can take that kind of abuse."

Jake: “I love you, Nerys. Want to go out with me?”

Lwaxana: “Zanthi fever, that’s impossible. That only affects older Betazoids.”

1 comment:

Thomas Ijon Tichy said...

I have to say this:

Yours is the only positive review I have ever read about Fascination, and that alone is enough to make me love you, as DS9 is my favorite show ;-)