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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Explorers

Review by An Honest Fangirl

"We'll make a sailor out of you yet."

That's right, people. Sisko now has a beard. There is absolutely nothing else that I need to say here.

Okay, fine, I'll say a little bit more. This was a fun, tightly focused episode. We only really had two stories to follow, and one was rather clearly the subplot. But both stories shared this almost childlike sense of joy that just made really entertaining to watch. There wasn't any doom or gloom or awful emergency. Instead, we got closure and wholesome father/son bonding.

I'll start with the B-plot first, which is Bashir reuniting with his former medical school classmate. Now, we all know by now that Bashir was salutatorian in medical school. He would have been valedictorian, if only he hadn't gotten that one question wrong. I feel like this fact has been brought up in almost every episode I've reviewed here, so it's obviously a large part of his character.

In "Distant Voices" we learned that Bashir had gotten the question wrong on purpose, but that doesn't make his confession of always feeling like second best any less real or potent. The idea that someone could have taken his dream job away from him is a heady thing to wrap your head around, even if it has been years after the event.

So, I'm really glad that Bashir managed to find some kind of closure. It really felt like closing a chapter of anxiety and self-doubt in his life, and it was handled in a very nice way. The conversation between Bashir and Dr. Lense managed to feel engaging and fulfilling without crossing the line into cheesy.

And, of course, I need to mention the drinking scene between him and O'Brien. Honestly, I could probably quote that entire section, as I grinned several times while watching it. I also must say that I'm so glad that it didn't end with Bashir going off to drunkenly confront Dr. Lense. That just would have been painful and uncomfortable to watch.

But the meat of this episode was really Sisko, his drive to prove a piece of ancient history, and the slowly morphing bond that he has with his son. It was really nice to see Sisko so animated about building his solar sail ship to the exact specifications of the blueprints. (It was a gorgeous ship too.)

However, the ship was really just a reason to get Sisko and Jake off together where they could bond and talk to each other without interruptions. Jake getting accepted into this prestigious school without actually applying does test the limits of my suspension of disbelief, but it did allow both men to talk about the dynamics of their relationship.

Sisko, being the good father that he is, is very supportive of Jake's writing and actively encourages him to accept the offer. He doesn't want his son to miss out on an amazing opportunity, especially not due to fear or nervousness. That's something that a lot of parents and children go through. You got to leave the nest eventually, no matter how scary it may seem.

But at the same time, Jake wasn't nervous about himself. He was nervous about his dad. He didn't want to leave him alone, even going so far as to set him up on a date. (Can we all agree that the "Just think of me as another guy" line was a little weird and cringy? Yes? Good.) It really reinforced how much they care about each other, which I feel like can sometimes get loss in the shuffle when the station is dealing with existential threats every other episode.

Otherwise, my only real complaint is that some characters only got a ginned line of dialogue, if that. But that's kind of just the nature of only having two, fairly isolated storylines in the episode.

Random Thoughts

I feel like a lot of O'Brien's dialogue about either loving or hating Bashir could be a direct nod to the audience.

I liked how Dr. Lense's posting aboard the starship took the original idea of Star Trek and turned it on its head. No interesting life forms or planets, just moss.

I wonder if we'll be able to see Sisko's date with the freighter captain. Also, how did Jake meet her?

I just want to say that the "only write what you've experienced" line is awful advice for writers. No one knows how to fight a dragon, but there's plenty of fantasy books involving dragon slaying. Write what excites and interests you. This has been Writing Advice with Fangirl.


Kira: You sound just like a Cardassian.
O'Brien: I beg your pardon?
Kira: They have denied the possibility of ancient contact for decades, because they cannot stand the idea of Bajor having interstellar flight before they did.
O'Brien: With all due respect, Major, you're beginning to sound like a Romulan.
Kira: A Romulan?
O'Brien: There is no piece of technology in existence they don't claim they invented before everyone else.

O'Brien: You're no an in-between kind of guy.
Bashir: What do you mean?
O'Brien: Well, people either love you or hate you.
Bashir: Really?

An Honest Fangirl loves superheroes, science fiction, fantasy, and really bad horror movies.


  1. This has always been one of my favorite episodes, as it is the start of the real friendship between Bashir and O'Brian.

  2. I'm one of the "love Bashir" people. :) What's not to?

  3. The Sisko has a beard. All is now right with the world. That is all.

  4. When originally watching this, all I could think of was 'How in the hell did the station commander find the free time to build this thing?'


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