Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Shadowplay   Rewatch 
August 24, 2015 3:33 PM - Season 2, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Odo and Dax meet an unusual community on a new planet. Kira makes a better friend. Jake thinks some about his future.
posted by Solomon (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What struck me about this episode was how everyone fulsomely thanks Odo, when it's Dax who fixes their machine and solves the mystery.

One of the few times in the Trek franchise when the child actor doesn't grate.
posted by zadcat at 7:20 AM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

I quite liked this episode- it was refreshing! There was a guy trying to create artificial life who wasn't a total asshole doing it for some nefarious purpose, and a small idyllic settlement that doesn't try to trap several Starfleet officers there.

And the B-plot with Kira, Quark, and Bareil was terrific. Of course Quark knows a vedek with a gambling problem.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:38 AM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Also- more great Dominion foreshadowing.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:10 AM on August 25, 2015

This is one of my favorite episodes. They should have paired Odo with small children more often.

Taya: "...Then the Great Minra said to the evil changeling, "Maybe you can turn into a mountain, or a Ghergher Beast, or a tornado. Those are big things, and big things are easy. I bet you can't turn into something small - like a loaf of greenbread." And the changeling said, "Yes I can", and he did. And do you know what happened?"
Odo: "The Great Minra gobbled him up."
Taya: "How'd you know that?"
Odo: "The changeling in your story wasn't very smart."
Taya: "Could you turn into a loaf of greenbread?"
Odo: "I suppose I could."
Taya: "Show me."
Odo: "And let you gobble me up? I don't think so!"

Kenneth Mars played Colyus. Kenneth Tobey played Rurigan. Two incredibly talented old-time character actors.
posted by zarq at 11:25 AM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

I remember being shocked that Jake didn't want to go to the Academy. I mean, it was Star Trek! He was a kid! Of course he was gonna go to the Academy! But then I thought about it, and realized that if I lived in Star Trek, I wouldn't want to go to the Academy either.

Jake is a pretty interesting character by the time the show ends, which I think is especially impressive because Cirroc Lofton just wasn't a very good actor. He wasn't awful, but he came in as a child actor and he never rose to the same level as the rest of the cast. But the writing of the character was good and everybody around Jake so clearly cared about him that Lofton's kind of flat line readings mostly just read as Jake being a rather low-energy kid.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:38 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

I remember being shocked that Jake didn't want to go to the Academy. I mean, it was Star Trek! He was a kid! Of course he was gonna go to the Academy! But then I thought about it, and realized that if I lived in Star Trek, I wouldn't want to go to the Academy either.

Yep. This is an ongoing theme in the show. DS9 focuses repeatedly on choices characters make for themselves as individuals, rather than living up to (or down to) expectations. It also fits well with the "darker incarnation" that the writers were attempting with DS9. The nice thing about having characters defy expectations and explore the risks inherent to sacrifice is, it allows for a lot of growth. And since DS9 was the most serialized Star Trek to date, character growth didn't vanish a week later.

In previous Star Trek incarnations, the people who went against the grain and were rewarded or punished for doing so were almost always the guest/alien of the week.

So Jake goes against his Dad's expectations and refuses to go to the Academy. (Interestingly enough, Cirroc Lofton himself seems to be following in his character's grandfather's footsteps. He recently opened a restaurant called Cafe Cirroc in Hollywood.) Nog becomes Jake's foil, joins Starfleet Academy against his uncle's wishes and learns that being in the military isn't all glory. Etc., etc.
posted by zarq at 7:54 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I remember kind of worrying about Jake for a while after this, he seemed like he was kind of slacking and just hanging around on DS9. Eventually they made it clear that he was having some success with his writing and he was working hard at it, but there was a period where he seemed kind of rudderless. (As a freelance writer myself, I've learned that even if you're working really hard, to people who aren't you it sometimes looks like you're just spending a lot of time sitting around not doing anything.)

Lofton has a new restaurant? He used to have a wine bar called Cirroc's in my neighborhood, and while I never visited it was still fun to drive by Jake Sisko's bar. It closed a while ago, so it's nice to know he's just moved elsewhere.

I felt kind of mean, after I posted the thing about Lofton not being a very good actor. The fact is that we were seeing him when he was, I don't know, 11-18 or whatever, young enough that it's understandable if he was a little green still. (The actor who played Nog was quite a bit older, so it's hardly surprising his performance seemed more lively.) Lofton was never truly bad, he just wasn't as good as the actors around him who had years of experience.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:43 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Apparently Lofton and his wife opened a restaurant, Cafe Cirroc, next door to their wine bar in Playa Vista a few years back. Yelpers are reporting it has closed and the last reviews look like they're from 2013. There's a report online at Eater LA (2014) that the cafe was moving to Culver City.
posted by zarq at 4:46 PM on August 26, 2015

The one in Playa Vista is the one I was thinking of. I thought that was the wine bar. Anyway, it is indeed closed now.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:04 PM on August 26, 2015

This is, for me, a classic trek episode. It is the kind of idea that would have worked well on TOS or TNG, but on DS9 it is excellent. Love the little Dominion referenece.

Taya is played by the actress who played the little girl in the "imaginary Friend" episode of TNG, but she is better here.
posted by marienbad at 3:22 PM on October 19, 2015

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