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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: One Little Ship

This is the story of a little ship that took a little trip.

In an episode of Honey, I Shrunk the Runabout, the Deep Space Nine crew is exploring a space anomaly. When this scientific mission endures some frisson, the Defiant finds itself caught in a Jem'Hadar war – and only the Szalinski family trio of Dax, Bashir and O'Brien can save the day.

Three passengers set sail that day for a five hour tour,
a five hour tour.
The Jem'Hadar were getting rough
the Rubicon was tossed;
if not once for this fearless crew
our Defiant would be lost!

Ant-Man meets Star Trek turned out to be a fantastic bit of comic relief in the middle of what's generally a fairly serious season. A scientific mission going awry due to military issues means the Defiant needs to leave the Rubicon, crewed by Dax, Bashir, and O'Brien, stuck in an anomaly which, well, gets anomalous; when the runabout emerges, it's only a percentage of its original size: about four inches high. This leads to a series of great moments as O'Brien tries to deal with reality, and the three try to find a way out of the fine mess they're in.

Seeing a tiny runabout explore the Defiant made for great visuals, as did watching Bashir and O'Brien walk amongst ship circuits. The concept was a clever enough idea for me to think, wow, this could be something on the next season of Discovery. The gobbledygook they use to describe the subspace compression vortex that caused the resize was convincing enough, and the process of helping the Defiant crew was an interesting set of puzzles, some mental, some physical. The banter level is high among these three, which helps lots of technical jargon sound very human at times.

The secondary plotline focused on a Jem'Hadar attack on and takeover of the Defiant, and the revelation that there's growing conflict amongst the different kinds of Jem'Hadar; some, apparently, are a better fit for survival in the Alpha Quadrant than others – or are said to be. The process by which Sisko and the command crew get locked out made little sense to me, but it allowed the Rubicon crew the opportunity to play stealthy support throughout the episode. I did like seeing Sisko try to play his brand of mental games with the Alpha and the Gamma. To be honest, after watching both interact with Sisko, I think the Alpha quadrant guys were a bit lacking. (They also completely got blindsided by a miniature runabout.) Overall, I find the Jem'Hadar, whether Gamma or Alpha, fairly one sided as antagonists – the Borg were so much more interesting – and I wasn't upset when the DS9 crew took over and phasered them out of existence.

Bits and Pieces

This episode is bookended with humor about height, and about Worf's efforts to write poetry. I found the second funny; the first made me roll my eyes.

This episode was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series.

Heard 'Neath The Hull

Dax: Tell Worf I look forward to hearing his poem. I'll bet it'll be inspiring. We'll talk to you again once we've left the accretion disc and reversed the effects of the compression. Rubicon out.
Sisko: Good luck, Rubicon.
Nog: We've lost their signal, Captain.
Sisko: Thank you, Ensign. Mister Worf. Poem?
Worf: It is an ancient Klingon tradition to commemorate an important event with a poem. Jadzia asked me to compose one for this occasion.
Sisko: Well, what have you got so far?
Nog: They've penetrated the accretion disc.
Kira: Now is it my imagination, or did the kid just cover for him?
Sisko: This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Sisko: Any luck, Ensign?
Nog: Not yet, sir. The system's always three steps ahead of me. Every time I get past the primary security net, the secondary always kicks me back out and the codes are all reset, and I have to start all over again. (beep) Like that. Do you have a backup plan in case this doesn't work?
Sisko: Yes. I'll destroy the ship.
Nog: There are still a few algorithms I haven't tried yet.

Overall

While this was a fun episode, I'm not sure how well it wears on repeat watch since it basically functions off a one-shot gimmick, but the acting and camaraderie were great and it was a calming relief from Dominion War games. Four out of five tiny widdle wunabouts.

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