The Good: Consistent Characterization, Amusing, Good Acting
The Bad: Unoriginal Plot
The Basics: A retrospectively weak plot, good acting and steady character development make "Move Along Home" a split decision; ultimately recommended to fans only.
Star Trek Deep Space Nine's rocky start on the airwaves wasn't boosted by this unoriginal episode. Actually, that's not entirely fair for me to say. "Move Along Home" feels rehashed, but it's mostly in retrospect. If you've seen the film The Game (reviewed here!), this episode will seem like a disappointment in that the two end almost identically. It's hard to remember that this episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine precedes the Michael Douglas film by a good four years.
How, then, is it fair for me to criticize the episode on a plot level? It might not be - but the episode feels like a science fiction standard. Watching the episode, it feels like an episode. Whereas other episodes, even episodes before this one drew the viewer in ("Past Prologue," "Captive Pursuit") and made it possible to escape into the episode, this episode feels like a television show.
Sigh. Outside that, there's nothing particularly wrong with this episode. In fact, one of the nice things about this episode is the continuation of creating strong characters. There are some delightful lines wherein Kira, as the three Starfleet officers who are with her deduce they are part of some form of experiment, declares that while they might find it all fascinating, she's an administrator "and this is not what [she] signed up for!"
"Move Along Home," the episode's title, comes from the alien visitors to the station. The Wadi, upon making first contact on Deep Space Nine, head right to Quark's and after being swindled at Dabo, set up their own game. Quark begins playing a table game in his bar, but Dax, Bashir, Kira and Sisko disappear from the station. The quartet awakens inside what they think might be a holosuite, but quickly find that there is no escape. They begin wandering through caves, rooms and solving puzzles without understanding quite why. Soon, Odo and Jake Sisko realize that there is a correlation between the disappearance of the officers and the lives of the four missing people appear to be in serious jeopardy!
I'd like to take this opportunity to write a notation on the larger Deep Space Nine experience because it occurs to me that I've written eight other reviews without ever mentioning this; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a dark series. If you've been watching, you know what I'm talking about. I should have mentioned it earlier, but Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a series that must be watched in the dark. Not just with the lights off, but with no external light. It's a dark series and being in darkness acts as a conduit to the station or whatever setting is on. Plus, I can tell you, there are times that even minor glare will obscure important details. Not in this episode or any that I've yet reviewed, but trust me, they're out there! If you're following any of my recommendations and actually watching any of these shows, it's essential you watch them in the dark.
That said, "Move Along Home" is a basically fun episode and because outside having a completely lame plot, I honestly can't put my finger on what's wrong with it, I'm going to actually recommend it for the serious Star Trek Deep Space Nine fans only.
[Knowing that VHS is essentially a dead medium, it's worth looking into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete First Season on DVD, which is also a better economical choice than buying the VHS. Read my review of the first season by clicking here!
For other reviews of Star Trek episodes, please check out my index page!
© 2011, 2007, 2001 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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