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February 22, 2013

Star Trek: DS9 - Ep 28 - Second Sight

"Second Sight" is a major letdown after the wonderful "Necessary Evil". Yes, almost anything would be, but "Second Sight" doesn't even try to aspire to that level. It's the second love story in three episodes, which is a bit aggravating when Deep Space Nine has avoided that for the rest of the series so far. Not only that, it's a surprisingly flat one too. If anybody needs a good lay, it's Sisko (Avery Brooks), but this was not the story for it.

It's the four-year anniversary of Sisko's wife's death at the hands of the Borg. Sisko can't sleep and goes for a walk on the Promenade. He finds his favourite spot and looks at the stars, and suddenly there's a woman, Fenna (Salli Elise Richardson) there with him. They seem to hit it off, but she unexpectedly disappears. Even so, Ben is a lot happier than he's been in a long time. Meanwhile, Dax (Terry Farrell) is helping a Federation scientist, Professor Seyetik (Richard Kiley), with a procedure to reignite a dead star. The two stories merge when Sisko discovers some of the truth about Fenna. But it gets even stranger than he could possibly imagine.

The story is rather lackluster and it seems that the actors felt that way too, as most of them give quite flat performances. Brooks is almost expressionless with a couple of exceptions (when Fenna disappears right in front of his eyes, the anguish in his eyes and the burying his face in his hands is actually quite effective). We get the feeling that he is attracted to her, but we don't see the deepness of his feelings that the script seems to imply is there. The reason for that could be that Richardson is really off too. The two don't really have much chemistry.

A couple of good performances, however, come from Terry Farrell and Richard Kiley. Kiley plays Seyetik as a man who is full of himself. He realizes that this is true, makes jokes about it being true, but still can't help but play the character. It's a cover to mask the realization of what he has done to his wife. His final scene, while a bit over the top, is still quite effective as he does the only thing he can think of to save his wife. Farrell is pretty good too, especially in the scene where she's quizzing Sisko on this new woman she saw him with. She reminds Sisko that he would have told Curzon everything, and teases him that he's not telling her because she's a woman. This must be why it's very difficult for Trills to maintain friendships over different lives. She's not a standout, but she does give a decent performance.

This isn't the dress I'm talking about, but there are no
pictures of it, sadly
There were a couple of amusing nitpicks in the episode as well. First, the dress they put Fenna in is *hideous*. I can't even describe it, but combine that with the weird hairstyle they give her and I had trouble not laughing every time she was on the screen. I'm sure they were going for exotic, but they hit absurd instead. Secondly, there is the scene where Seyetik's wife is dying. Seyetik rants and raves at Dax to do something, and I just kept saying: "where's the ship's doctor? Dax isn't a medical doctor. Sure, she'll do in a pinch, but they're on a ship, for Christ's sake! Get the Chief Medical Officer!" (Ok, I didn't verbalize it quite like that, but that is the summary of it). Finally, this should go under acting, but the man only had a couple of lines. Can Mark Erickson, who played the lieutenant commanding the Prometheus, get any less emotion into his voice? I swear, he sounded like he was reading his lines.

There were a couple of effective scenes in "Second Sight," however. The first was mentioned above, the scene between Dax and Sisko. The second was the opening scene between Sisko and Jake (Cirroc Lofton), where both of them are missing Jennifer. Jake tells Sisko about the bad dream he had and he also tells Sisko that he loves him. It's a very touching scene and just cements my feeling that Sisko and Jake are the best dad/son team in Trek, if not television.

That's pretty much it. There was nothing offensively bad in "Second Sight," just…dull. There's no life in the love story, Kiley tries to give life to the rest of it, but there's nothing there. It's an episode that I haven't watched since it originally aired. Now I see why.

Memorable Quotes:

2 Stars


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