In the fourth episode of the seventh season of Deep Space Nine, this will probably go down as the most absurd episode of the show, and I am perfectly fine with that. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.
WHO THOUGHT OF THIS. WHO MADE IT HAPPEN. THEY DESERVE A HUG AND A PIE OR SOMETHING. Because holy shit, this episode is pure joy, plain and simple. Amidst the loss, grief, and complexity of the Dominion War, this is a much-needed emotional respite. Is it silly? Absolutely. Does it serve a greater purpose? YES.
I bet you thought I’d say no, but it totally does. Look, Sisko’s love of baseball has been a character staple of Deep Space Nine, and it’s been a while since the show really engaged with it. “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” allows Avery Brooks to immerse himself in Sisko in a way we haven’t seen in ages. Which is sort of the point! The Dominion War is so all-encompassing that it’s hard to imagine life on DS9 without casualty lists, strategy meetings, and interventions from wormhole aliens.
But life goes on. There is more to it than all of this, and this episode just kills it when it comes to camaraderie and character chemistry. I’m reminded of how much fun Worf can be, or how Sisko has a competitive streak a mile wide. The whole episode works as a love letter from the staff to Sisko, too, doesn’t it? Look what they all try to accomplish for him, just so he can stick it to Solok. And oh, Kasidy Yates, you are just so perfect as a partner for Ben Sisko, and I am so glad you are a part of this story.
I don’t even know what my favorite part of this episode is. Perhaps it’s how riveted I was by the game, despite knowing that the Niners would be crushed. Is it the team name? Maybe it’s Ezri’s backflip catch, or Rom’s accidental bunt, or Worf’s super violent motivational cries. (“FIND HIM AND KILL HIM.”)
Actually, I know what it is: it’s the sheer joy on display in that final scene at Quark’s. I kept wondering if the writers were going to come up with some sort of ridiculous method to give the Niners a victory at the last minute. Instead, the Niners lose badly, and IT DOESN’T MATTER. The single run they score against the Vulcans is all they needed because, as Sisko learned years before, there’s no sense in trying to beat Vulcans in a physical competition. It is far more fun to be wacky and strange and emotional, and that’s exactly what you see on display in that final scene. It’s the most non-Vulcan thing imaginable, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The video for “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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