Monday, November 19, 2012

Things Past

*** (3 stars out of 5)
Life was getting a little too enjoyable on Deep Space Nine in the midst of a brutal Klingon war and simmering Dominion Cold War, so how about a trip down memory lane to the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor once again? Nobody's sick to death of hearing about that yet.

Returning from a historical debate at which Garak wore a nametag reading "Elim Garak- Former Cardassian Oppressor", Sisko, Dax, Odo and their Cardassian colleague enter a dream together from which they cannot awaken. It is seven years ago, and they are all Bajoran slave labour on Terok Nor. Everyone sees them as Ishan Chaye, Timor Landi, Jillur Gueta, and that girl who happened to be hanging around Ishan, Timor, and Jillur.

Dax's character's name being irrelevant, she is scooped up in the daily allotment of women delivered to Gul Dukat's office for the full Roddenberry.  The fellows, meanwhile, are working the fry station and scraping gum off chairs at Quark's when they happen to be standing too close to an explosive assassination attempt on Dukat's life.

Thrax, the station's chief of security, has a fair demeanor for a spoon-head, but he's overworked and too quick to pin the blame. The trio are scheduled for an execution with a free trial if there's time. And only Garak could really use one, truth to tell.

Can they find a way to awaken before their sleeping minds convince their bodies they've been shot? Why is Thrax still working here when this representative weekend of justice miscarriage was really during Odo's tenure? What's really going on here? And could Dax hit Dukat in the head a bit more? I'd really appreciate it.

"Things Past" serves mainly to remind me of what I already know: Kurtwood Smith is the cat's ass. He's great in everything I've ever seen him in. The story itself is grim, glum, dire, dour, no heroes anymore, seen it all before. But damned if it didn't used to give me chills.

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