Review: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – “Q-Less”

qless018Dax returns from the Gamma Quadrant with an old friend in tow and things start going haywire.

Welcome back to my reactions to “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” If you’re just joining me, here’s the sitrep. When DS9 originally aired, I never got to see the entire series. Now, I’m going back, with the help of Netflix, and correcting that, and blogging my way through it.

RELATED: More Of My DS9 Writings

The episode starts with Dr. Bashir trying to work his mojo on a woman during a dinner date at Quark’s. He regales the woman with the story of how he completed the Starfleet medical final. It’s actually working. But then he and O’Brien are paged to a docking port, where a runabout has landed without power (literally not enough power to even release the door for manual operation). I do wonder how the ship landed. It must have been brought in by tractor beam?

Anyway, they eventually get the door open (and show us some runabout innards) and Dax and other crewmember are both fine, but there’s someone extra aboard: Vash! When last we saw her, she had left the Enterprise to travel the universe with Q. She’s apparently been in the Gamma Quadrant for the past two years.

Bashir performs a routine medical exam. Everything checks out and he laments that he has no reason to keep Vash in the infirmary with him. He’s really on a roll. O’Brien escorts her to quarters, she asks how Captain Picard is doing, and then goes inside with her big bag. Q (who we saw briefly earlier) appears. It turns out the two had a falling out and he doesn’t want her to leave him. The two bicker until Quark stops by to successfully reach an agreement to auction off Vash’s artifacts from the Gamma Quadrant. Then Bashir shows up and asks Vash to dinner. She says yes, but asks for 20 minutes to freshen up.

Over at Quark’s, Bashir is waiting for Vash when Q shows up as a waiter to try and scare him off. Bashir will have none of it, so Q casts some fatigue spell on him, forcing him back to his quarters. O’Brien sees Q and tells the senior staff up in ops. Sisko speaks of having attended a briefing about Q (good to know Picard hasn’t kept his existence an Enterprise secret). The station experiences a series of power drains and eventually is being pulled out of position and towards the wormhole. They think it’s Q. It turns it’s one of Vash’s artifacts. Sisko has it beamed off the station, where it turns into a beautiful life form and then flies into the wormhole.

Everyone survives and Vash seems set to return to her life of criminal archeology. The episode ends with Bashir awaking and asking “Did I miss something?

I love Q. I think he is one of television’s best recurring characters and John de Lancie plays him brilliantly. That said, I think this is the least interesting Q episode thus far. I say thus far because he does pop up more than once on Star Trek: Voyager and may return on DS9. As a Vash episode, it’s actually quite good. But as Q episode, not so much. Most of the scenes with Q feature him being petty and annoying, as opposed to when we saw him on TNG.

There is, however, a scene between Q and Sisko that leads to the best line of the episode and why Benjamin Sisko is better than Kathryn Janeway. Q turns Quark’s into a boxing arena and when Sisko punches Q, Q complains, “You hit me. Picard never hit me.” Sisko replies, “I’m not Picard.” Sisko is his own man, whereas Janeway felt like an attempt at a female version of Jean-Luc Picard. (That isn’t to say I disliked Janeway when I watched Voyager back in the day, but I have a new appreciation for Sisko. We’ll see how I feel about the two when I eventually watch Voyager all the way through.)

Vash still looks great, but her fashion could use a little work. I guess we have to chalk that up to early 90s Trek fashions. Speaking of which, Q looks ridiculous in that waiter’s uniform. While we’re on the visuals, time and digitization have not been kind to DS9. The colors are all off on this episode. The reds are particularly bad.

I don’t have much else to say, except the following. When the station starts getting pulled towards the wormhole, nobody at the auction realizes until Q drops in to make an announcement and cause a disruption. Is this bad writing or are we to believe that the station has inertial dampers that are so good even during a power drain that nobody would sense the movement?

That’s all for now. Up next: “Dax.”

– Evan Bindelglass
evabin@gmail.com

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One Response to Review: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – “Q-Less”

  1. Liz W says:

    This is one of my favorite DS9 episodes from Season 1, as I like both Q and Vash. However, I agree that Q is annoying and acts very uncharacteristically in this episode. He always looks down on humanity but goes gaga over a human female? I just can’t accept that!

    I LOVE the “I’m not Picard!” statement from Sisko. It really brought out his different personality and style. It seems as if Q learns a little more about humanity from the way Sisko reacts to him.

    I also love the pairing of Vash and Quark in this episode – they are the perfect co-conspirators.

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