Captive Pursuit oh boy oh boy. Starting off the episode great with Quark apparently having a sexual harrassment clause in his contracts for the women that work at his bar. I think they’re trying to be funny, but hoo boy is it gross. It’s a relief when the alien ship comes through the wormhole and kicks off the A plot. Now, I get sending O’Brien by himself to not overwhelm a new alien, but he is not exactly the most diplomatic person on DS9. Also not exactly the most tight-lipped–or subtle. Watching him deal with the hunt aliens later is like watching a Barbarian in D&D desperately trying to make a deception check. (If only Garak knew, I’m sure he’d be facepalming mightily.)
Fun thing learned this episode that I’d forgotten: Odo doesn’t believe in using phasers.
But good lord do they make every effort to remind us that Quark is a creepy misogynist in this episode. Really leaves a yucky echo on an otherwise fun scene between him and O’Brien.
I think the developing friendship between O’Brien and Tosk (who has the thighs of a greek god, holy shit) could melt harder hearts than mine, and that’s what elevates the episode and keeps my absolute annoyance about Tosk’s “I cannot tell you about the mysterious thing, and by being terribly mysterious, we shall attempt to manufacture tension.” Which is one of my least favorite plot devices out there, and “well he’s an alien and he took an oath” only stretches so far for that. Once the douchey aliens show up, it becomes a very formulaic, classic Star Trek kind of standalone episode, complete with Prime Directive wrangling and a superior officer happily letting his subordinate get away with breaking the rules because it’s the emotionally correct thing to do.
Q-Less okay some background here. You need to realize that Q is literally my favorite semi-regular character of all time, at least once we got away from Encounter at Farpoint and he developed an actual personality. John de Lancie is a fucking TREASURE. So you are damn right I loved the shit out of this episode and still remember it to thise day.
Starting off with Julian hitting on a lady with a play by play of his medical finals is… a choice. The fact that this “gets them every time” is sure another choice; switching back from pure puppy to weird doctor who later flirst with his patients. Shush, Julian, we need to get to Q. Weirdly, I’d forgotten that Vash was actually involved in this episode–but there’s the strong start, with her saying a “friend dropped me off” in the gamma quadrant… and then zoom in to show Q, hanging out by the shuttle in his best creeper way.
Vash, Star Trek‘s answer to Maron Ravenwood, has the B-plot in her bag of tricks from the gamma quadrant–the beautiful gem. Mysterious power fluctuations (that seems to happen a lot in these shows) soon follow. The silliest part of this episode is probably Vash unpacking her bag when she’s only going to be staying in a room for one night–what person does that?
Q! Q! Q! Being obnoxious as only a god-like being who doesn’t understand the word no can. He’d obviously terribly bored and lonely, while he also can’t figure out why threatening people who are tired of his selfish bullshit isn’t a winning strategy to maintain friendships. One of Q’s greatest charms, which really comes into focus after Julian in this episode and Quark in the previous one, is utterly, delightfully awful he is without ever being massively creepy.
Vash: What did they call you, “the god of lies”?
Q: They meant it affectionately.
Oh no. Help. I love Q because he’s basically Loki with fewer daggers and even less impulse control.
O’Brien gets utilized so well in this episode as the link between DS9 and ST:TNG. He explains Vash, and he’s the one who notices Q and raises the alarm. And then Sisko and Q get together and we get to the true best part of the episode.
Q: You hit me! Picard never hit me!
Sisko: I’m not Picard!
Q: Indeed not. You’re much easier to provoke. How fortunate for me.
This episode feels fuller and faster than other episodes, probably because there’s always Q to throw into the scene for snarky dialog to keep things light and moving. And John de Lancie seems like he’s having a hell of a good time, going from annoying child to darkly threatening from one line to the next. The conclusion with the space egg and the beautiful alien creature that comes out of it feels beside the point; the real capstone moment is Q admitting that he keeps humans around because it’s a chance to experience wonder. A+, would watch again and again.