Monday, February 25, 2013

Treachery, Faith and the Great River

**** (4 stars out of 5)

Rushed for time to repair the Defiant, Chief O'Brien enters a bargain with a small orange demon called a Nog. A networking demon who learned more about acquiring needful things in his pre-military life than he ever did at school. Sort of a Radar O'Ferengi, if you will.

Having given Nog his own personal access code out of desperation, Chief O'Brien tries to back-peddle towards a semblance of rationality. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do."

Nog sighs. "Chief, I can't operate under those kind of restrictions."

With a vast network of Starfleet connections, Nog schmoozes and horse-trades and finagles his way toward a replacement gravity generator. As Sisko's desk and Martok's beloved booze go missing, O'Brien begins to wonder if he'll get out of this wheeling-dealing with his skin. The Ensign assures him: the force that binds the universe together in a constantly flowing river called The Great Material Continuum will provide. (That, or they will capsize.)

Elsewhere, a man of strictly regimented behavior has gone off script as well. The Vorta's premier war planner Weyoun 5 dies of natural causes (he's on Cardassia, so naturally he was assassinated). So far, so horrible, but the sixth clone of Weyoun has a slight defect. He's slightly too independent, slightly too pacifistic. Still possessing a genetic bellyfull of Founder worship, Weyoun 6 opts to defect into the personal service of Odo, the least Founder-y Founder around. Rushed into production but fully toeing the party line, Weyoun Clone 7 releases the hounds to kill 6 before he spills all the lokar beans.

We are gifted with a Vorta Origin Story, too. Due to the kindness they showed long ago by sheltering a fugitive shapeshifter, the Founders Uplifted them, David Brin-style, from monkeys to middle-management.

Oh, and incidentally, the Founders have suddenly taken ill.  I can think of at least one galactic quadrant that won't be e-mailing them a "Get Well Soon" card.

"Treachery, Faith and the Great River" has great shuttle-chase effects in the icy wastes of space, but it's in no way a waste of time. Jeffrey Combs as the Weyouns and Aron Eisenberg as Nog carry the whole story on very competent alien shoulders. Character drama! Death scenes! Desk scenes!

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