Sunday 22 August 2021

The great COVID lockdown DS9 rewatch: The Way of the Warrior Commentary (Season 4 Premiere)

Klingons doing what Klingons do

The Klingons drive up to DS9 soda shop with a massive war fleet. They circle the station like a biker gang, turning on and off their cloaks so you can’t tell how many there are. And Klingons being Klingons, they immediately make trouble on DS9, beating up Garak and giving Odo serious attitude. 

Why are they there? They won’t say. 

So DS9 has a problem… and who do you call when you have a Klingon problem?


Welcome aboard, Big W

Our favourite pithy bon mot dropper, Worf, has joined the DS9 crew. Was there a need for another colourful character on an already crowded station? I’m not so sure, but if they HAD to add someone, good ol’ deadpan Worf is a great choice.

Worf quickly out honours everyone and discovers the crafty Klingons are there to invade... Cardassia, and BAM! They do. 

The status quo of the past 3 seasons is rent asunder.

The whole sector is going to pot! 

Sisko heads out to save the Cardassian government council from the Klingons because why not, only Dukat’s ship is intercepted by the Klingons. They’re merrily pounding it to bits and are all screw you when Sisko asks them to stand down. 

So… Sisko opens fire on the Klingons, targeting their engines at first, as if that won’t start a war. It doesn’t work. 

So they blow a couple Klingon ships apart.

Which is big. 

Really, really big. 

It's WAAAAR, as starship troopers would say.

Picard would have pulled Sisko aside for a serious chat about now.

Does Sisko have the authority to start war on a whim? He's gonna be in big trouble when StarFleet finds out what he went and done did.

Would Picard have? I’m not so sure he would, but then Picard’s wisdom was backed by writer room immunity.

Sisko flies back at the station with two Klingon attack ships hot on his tail. 

Dukat scoffs; they are no match for DS9! No problem, people.

Then a whole FLEET of Klingon vessels uncloaks, probably breaking the whole season’s SFX budget.

Worf: “What are you orders, captain?”

Sisko: “Battle stations!”

The shit has hit the fan, people. 

Gonna need a new fan soon, if this keeps up.

There’s lots of great character moments in the build up to a galaxy shattering battle. It’s well done, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense. 

Sound and fury signifying manufactured conflict for the sake of drama!

As defenses are prepared, civilian Quark uses Root Beer as a lovely metaphor for the Federation in a scene with Garak: Root Beer is bubbly and cloying and happy, and the worst part is that, if you drink enough of the disgusting stuff, you begin to like it. Insidious, responds Garak, just like the Federation. 

And they both lament that the Federation is their only hope.

Oh, how goodie two shoes grow on you.

Of course, I yell at a show that was filmed over 20 years ago, what are you thinking? It’s transparently obvious that any battle between Klingon and DS9 only weakens the military forces of the Alpha Quadrant, and serves the interests of The Dominion. The dastardly Dominion is following British Empire policies in relation to Continental Europe, and/or their divide-and conquer-Colonial approach, if you want to draw a distinction between the two! 

Don’t you read history?

Don’t you remember the previous episode, where the douche Dominion tried to jump start a war in the season three finale between the Federation and the…er... whatsitname space power I’ve never heard of before (and never hear of again)?

Wait! It’s a loss of short term memory episode we’re in, isn’t it?

Sisko bluffs (or is he?), but Gowron calls him on it and unleashes his dogs of war. DS9 then reveals that it is now bristling with weapons. It was no bluff!

Explosions blossom like a very special episode!

Two powers that should be allies are falling into a pointless, self-destructive battle and likely a larger war.

It’s epic scale senselessness. 

Forget Worf! They needed Picard!

I guess my whole theory that Classic Trek avoided conflict and aimed to be reasonable wasn’t so reasonable a theory.

The shields go down and Klingon assault teams beam aboard the DS9 bridge. A phaser and batleth battle breaks out. Klingons are all over the station!

And actors use.. cover! Cover! Amazing. A concept lost to the Star Wars universe. 

Garak and Dukat make a stand, protecting the Cardassian civilian government. An odd couple indeed. Too bad this backdoor pilot for their sitcom didn’t work out.

The odd Cardassian couple

On the bridge, Kira’s wounded. She’s a main cast member, so you know this is serious.

Worf, ever the bad ass, kills Klingon after Klingon in hand to hand combat. But Sisko’s no slouch, and neither is Dax, and both kill plenty.

Finally the entire Klingon assault force is dead & done.

All those completely ineffectual cannon fodder extras could have been uselessly deployed against the Dominion.

It’s sad.

Perhaps this whole conflict was engineered by the Changelings? But nope, no reveals of changelings in Klingon ranks. Would that be too easy?

Gowron demands a surrender, but Federation reinforcements are on the way and Sisko says, no way Jose.

At long last, Sisko elaborates and reminds Gowron that this is what the Dominion wants. They should be fighting the Domion, not each other. 

Well, duh. 

You might have mentioned that earlier, but better late than never.

Gowron stands down. It’s over. The actor playing Gowron is awesome. He can slip from bombast to whispered persusasion in a single sentence. And his bulging eyes are so expressive!

In the post-battle wrap up, Sisko convinces Worf to stay in StarFleet (His intention to resign was the subplot running through all this, echoing Sisko in the show premiere). Hey, it rhymes! 

Sisko admits he wanted to resign to deal with the pain of his wife’s death. Aha: as noted earlier, the cast are all (or almost all) grappling with their own past & personal suffering. Running away only delays the inevitable.

It’s good stuff.

Worf then swaps the gold uniform for red and becomes the station’s chief operations manager. Whatever that entails. Maybe he'll handle trade negotiations?

Overall, an epic introduction for Worf, worthy of a song... so long as I don’t have to listen to it. 

Klingon songs suck.

Just don't.

Can't wait for what's next!

No comments:

Post a Comment