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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Rocks and Shoals

"What did he say?"
"All the wrong things."

Last episode, Victoria opened by saying that this six episode stretch were some of the absolute best of Star Trek. I was a little skeptical at first, but now I'm coming around to her point of view. This is an incredibly promising start to the season.

This was a very heavy episode, but also a fantastic one. DS9 does its best when it delves into moral complexities and the choices that people are forced to make in horrible situations.

Generally speaking, there are rules of war that humanity follows that were borne of centuries of doing horrible things to each other. Other species don't have those rules. They have very different ones, if they have any at all. How do you reconcile that?

When the majority of our group crash landed on a deserted planet, that's something that Sisko has to grapple with. He tried so hard to save Remata'Klan's life. I don't think that he was just trying to be manipulative. I think that Sisko genuinely sees the Jem'Hadar as honorable and trustworthy soldiers. They've just been raised in a system in which they don't get to make the decisions.

Like Sisko said, indoctrination can't be undone in just one conversation. As much as you can appeal to someone's honor or loyalty, it isn't always enough. I hated seeing Remata'Klan and the rest of his squad just get gunned down. It was simply so tragic, but also realistic. A different show would have let Sisko convince him. That would have been the ideal solution. But war doesn't have an ideal solution. Sometimes, the manipulative and the treacherous win.

It really says something about Sisko's character that he didn't kill Keevan after he surrendered. It would have been justifiable. Maybe even acceptable. I certainly wouldn't have judged him for it. But he still abided by the rules of war.

Kira, Jake, and Odo didn't have as much screen time as our other group, but their scenes left the greatest mark on me. I went through the same emotional journey that Kira did. She was doing what Sisko told her and tried to keep the easy peace that Bajor had managed to strike with the Dominion. A full scale protest would have led to a serious and violent crackdown on the station. It would have only made things worse. That feels indisputable.

But Jake and Vedek Yassim had very good points. The Dominion were slowly curtailing their freedoms one by one. It was simply a gentle, slow occupation as opposed to a sudden, overwhelming invasion. I certainly hadn't expected Vedek Yassim's solution to the issue of "opposing evil." I literally said "Oh my God" out loud. It was simply so quick and honestly beautifully done that it struck a major chord with me. And with Kira. I loved watching her realization that her role had essentially reversed from when she was in the Resistance. Kira had become a collaborator. They very thing that she hated.

I'll be curious to see how hers and Odo's resistance takes shape and form. The circumstances haven't changed. Open protests and blunt journalistic questions about civil rights still aren't the solution. They're going to need to be a little more circumspect than that.

Random Thoughts

"Rocks and Shoals" is the informal name for the Articles for the Government of the United States Navy. It's an incredibly harsh justice code for Navy ships, where deliberately stranding or harming a vessel is punishable by death.

Jake was asking some incredibly blunt questions there. He needs to learn some tack for when he interviews people who maybe aren't so sympathetic.

Apparently, Dax was injured because Terry Farrell has a skin condition that reacts very poorly in direct sunlight. Temperatures on set also reached as high as 128 degrees Fahrenheit, or 53 degrees Celsius, the highest recorded temperature in ten years.

An Honest Fangirl loves video games, horror movies, and superheroes, and occasionally manages to put words together in a coherent and pleasing manner.


  1. I did not know the source of the title, "Rocks & Shoals" - thanks! And again, I am relieved that Jake is finding being a journalist is a little harder than he expected.

  2. Yeah, I had never heard of the term either! But it felt like a random choice so I looked it up. At first I thought that it was another way of saying "rock and a hard place," since that seemed to sum up the theme of this episode too, but it's a (now out of date and replaced) navy doctrine.


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