***** (5 stars out of 5)
Back in 2024, everyone's too busy using the net to watch porn and cats and cat porn to give two craps about the homeless and mentally ill overflowing their fenced-in 'Escape From New York' ghettos.
Enter Gabriel "Ben Sisko" Bell, the original Hobo With A Shotgun. Caught up in a riot, "Bell" tries to stop the desperate maniac Bittle Coleridge from killing the cops and social workers he's taken hostage.
Jaunting pristinely through the sewers (with the help of four humanoid turtles, one supposes), Dax catches up with her chums, and recovers her stolen commbadge from Ron Howard's weird brother Balok.
Despite the massive budget cuts that have them using 30-year-old cell phones, the National Guard of 2024 is poised to roll right over the poor, the meek, and the huddled masses. Dax's boy-toy Richie Rich salvages a sliver of conscience by risking his broadcast license in the interest of the phenomenal ratings he hopes to get from the homeless pleading their case. Will anyone listen? Maybe. But better let a white person (or at the outside, a Hispanic fellow), do all the talking, apparently...
"Past Tense, Part II" is Deep Space Nine's final shining moment as the only Star Trek on TV, and it's an inspiring voice. Writer Ira Behr's observation of the rich tourists ignoring the scenic street people of Malibu remains equally relevant 17 years later, and will still be relevant with new names and faces so long as people are self-absorbed capitalist greed sphincters.