The Sound of Her Voice:
The A-Story: The Defiant receives a distress call from a Starfleet captain trapped on a remote planet. The crew rushes to save her before it’s too late.
There are seeds of a good story here, but it’s never fully realized. This could have been a rich reflection of how much the war had weighed on and shaped the crew. The idea of diving into the insecurities and anxieties of the crew is certainly well worth exploring, and Brooks, Meaney, and Siddig do well enough with what they were given, but ultimately the structure of the main plot is inadequate to accomplish what the writers set out to do.
Ben, thinking… Julian, pondering….
Miles, happy he’s not being tortured this episode…
The main issue I have is with Captain Cusak (not Debra Wilson, who does a great job with a fairly thankless job). Yeah, yeah there are plot holes galore with the story, in what amounts to the greatest issue of internet lag in history, but what Trek isn’t riddled with plot holes? My problem is Cusak becomes a convenient plot point, a McGuffin, but not really a character. Sisko and the Gang (my new band name) could have been talking to a computer, and it might have had the same effect, which is a shame because I think there is a good story here that gets overshadowed by the unnecessary twist that Lisa’s is a g-g-g-g-g-ghost. I get that the writers wouldn’t want to focus on her and instead wanted to develop the main characters, but the concept of the story doesn’t really allow for that. Had the problems facing O’Brien, Sisko, or Bashir been built up more over time rather than just this one episode, then maybe the catharsis the writers wanted would have been achieved. But also that’s not what DS9 was, because despite all of its praise later for becoming more serialized, DS9 was ultimately still dominated by episodic storytelling. What could have been a story that delved into the psyche and real fears of each of the three, in the end really amounts to very little.
I like long time Trek author Keith R.A. DeCandido’s approach to what could have worked. In his review of this episode, he suggested that it might have been more poignant had the crew already known that Cusak was dead, and their mission instead was to comfort her in her dying days while they attempted to recover the remains. I think that could have made the story work in a way it doesn’t with what we have.
The B-Story: Quark tries to play on Odo’s new relationship with Kira to get one over on his old adversary.
The pair I really ship.
Now I loved the B-story! Like a lot of Trek B-stories, it’s pretty frivolous, but unlike that of the A-story, this twist works because of what we know and love about these characters. Of course, Odo isn’t fooled by Quark’s sitcom-level attempts to hoodwink the constable. Odo knows exactly what Quark is doing, but he’s letting him win one as a way of saying thanks to Quark for his role in Odo and Kira’s relationship. Of course, your enjoyment of this story might be influenced how much you liked the Odo/Kira relationship, or “Odira”? Kodo? Kodora?
Talking about Bashir:
KASIDY: There was a time when you couldn’t get him to shut up.
SISKO: I think I like him better this way.
KASIDY: That’s mean.
SISKO: I was just kidding.
KASIDY: No, you weren’t.
Something very real with this exchange. Not something I could see Kirk, Picard or Janeway saying about one of their crew. Sometimes we don’t always like each other, even when we do.
O’BRIEN: It must have something to do with the energy barrier. When her subspace radio signal passed through the metrion radiation in the barrier, the signal somehow time shifted into the future.
So, what do y’all think?