Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Move Along Home

*** (3 stars out of 5)

Sisko is less than overjoyed to hear his son Jake has learned the facts of life the same way I did: from Nog the Ferengi boy. Speaking of first contact, Sisko is hoping to impress a Gamma Quadrant people called the Wadi.  The Wadi hope only to seek out new games and new casinos.

Rendered in English, their tattoos read: "Apply Prosthetic Forehead Here".

Assuming they're not pulling a fast one, the Wadi prize chopsticks and fruit juice above gemstones. Of course, they brought a lot of worthless gemstones, just as I often stuff my wallet with paper towels when I travel. Spinning the Dabo wheel for six hours, they win plenty of Quark's latinum. As soon as Sisko tires of this, he goes to bed and Quark starts cheating the Wadi.

They catch onto him and angrily unfurl a replicated game board for CHULA as punishment.

When they force the swindler to play it, Sisko, Dax, Kira, and Bashir simultaneously find themselves in a magic maze full of booby traps. For example, disgruntled Kira rams her hooters into a forcefield while failing at life-and-death hopscotch.

As the game drags on and on, Bashir finds the antidote to poison gas in a goblet of fire, but is taken off the board by the next threat. A gelatinous cube by any other name...

Kira and Sisko band together to rescue hobbled Dax from quakes in an all-too familiar cavern set. Falling into a crevice, all four of them reappear intact in Quark's casino.

"It's only a game," laugh the Wadi. (CHULA- soon to be a horrible movie from Milton Bradley.)

"Move Along Home" is a pretty good Quark story; wailing that he's learned his lesson when he thinks lives are at stake, but just as quickly deciding to franchise the game afterwards. The story falls short in other ways, but when you spin the Dabo Wheel sometimes you only get two pinch showing.

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