January 7, 2013
Star Trek: DS9 - Ep 16 - The Forsaken
Four ambassadors have come to the station to see the wormhole. Dr. Bashir (Siddig El Fadil) has been assigned to escort three of them around the station, and he's having a hard time of it. He just can't make them happy, and they're starting to get perturbed about how Commander Sisko (Avery Brooks) is avoiding them. The fourth, however, doesn't seem to mind. It's Lwaxana Troi, and she has formed an attachment to security chief Odo (Rene Auberjonois) after he finds a brooch that had been stolen from her. This fascination becomes an obsession, and she quickly starts pursuing him all over the station, even forcing him to seek Sisko's advice on how to avoid her advances.
Meanwhile, a probe has come through the wormhole, housing a giant computer. After downloading the computer's files into the station's computer (yeah, that's smart), things start going wrong. Power is interrupted, things start malfunctioning, and Odo gets stuck in a turbolift with Lwaxana. Will they get out before Odo's regeneration cycle is due and he turns into a puddle of goo? And will Bashir be able to finally make the ambassadors happy before he kills them?
I'll get the minor compliment out of the way first, though it's not that minor. Sisko shows great intelligence in not bringing the probe onto the station (O'Brien shows that he hasn't left the Enterprise and their bad decisions behind him when he suggests bringing it aboard). But then he agrees to download its computer? You don't think that might cause a problem, do you? However, if they had any safety protocols whatsoever, we wouldn't have an episode. In this case, that would be a good thing.
Ok, enough of that. How's the acting? For two episodes in a row, the cast phones it in. This late in the season, they were probably getting tired and when they saw a script like this, they gave it the energy it deserved. There's one scene when Odo and Lwaxana are trapped where she gives a monologue recapping one of the Next Generation episodes, and I really, really wanted to put my foot through the TV. Barrett tries hard, but she comes off as either shrill or just annoying.
The final scene in the elevator is almost passable, but it's written with so much sugar that a diabetic would go into shock. The other three ambassadors don't do anything exciting either. In fact, they're almost as annoying, except that they aren't in as many scenes. With their constant complaining, I wouldn't have blamed Bashir for blowing their heads off.
Another scene that almost works is when O'Brien (Colm Meaney) figures out what's going on with the computer, and converses with Dax (Terry Farrell) about it. Unlike their scenes in "Battle Lines," these don't actually seem forced and full of technobabble. Perhaps it's because it's only one scene instead of an extended sequence, but I also thought the actors pulled it off better. All of the regular actors do a competent job, with some flashes of brilliance (the look of fear on Odo's face when Lwaxana first comes on to him is priceless), but only Meaney moves past the silly script.
There's not much more to say about the episode, really. Lwaxana is generally the bringer of doom to any episode she's in, and "The Forsaken" is no exception. It's too bad, really. Deep Space Nine is in the first season's stretch run, and they can't seem to get out of the batter's box.
"Quark has plenty of reasons to feel guilty, but he usually doesn't have to resort to petty theft to please his clients." Odo
"Thank you." Quark