Saturday, April 21, 2012

Captain Sisko Becomes A Complete Asshole When “Take Me Out To The Holosuite” Makes Him Into A Baseball Coach.

The Good: I’m struggling here . . . moments of character, Not entirely predictable, That the actors make it through it while appearing to take it seriously.
The Bad: Plot, Character, Guest performances, Utter lack of purpose.
The Basics: “Take Me Out To The Holosuite” might well be, objectively, the worst episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

At the outset of this review, I must confess: the rating at the bottom is actually wrong. I know, I make the ratings, I should just have the right rating there. I’ve rated “Take Me Out To The Holosuite” a 2.5/10 when it ought to be a 1/10. Why is it 1.5 points higher in this review than I honestly believe it ought to be? Some strange block in me exists that will not allow me to accept any episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine at the worst episode of the series except “Destiny” (reviewed here!). “Destiny” is predictable, but it actually ends up having consequences that resonate through the rest of the series after that. That said, I don’t like it, I think it’s cheap Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and I’ve considered it the worst episode for so long that when I eventually make my Worst Ten Episode list for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, it will top (or bottom) it.

But, objectively and honestly, “Take Me Out To The Holosuite” is worse. In fact, “Take Me Out To The Holosuite” has no real redeeming qualities, which makes it irksome for me to write about. I love Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but “Take Me Out To The Holosuite” is a pointless episode that distracts from the narrative flow of the seventh season and is almost enough to make me reconsider the “perfect” rating I gave the final season of the series. Rumor is that “Take Me Out To The Holosuite” stemmed from Michael Piller’s love of baseball and while that might work as a character aspect of Captain Sisko, it works terribly as an episode in the series.

Captain Benjamin Sisko, as it turns out, has a rival. His name is Captain Solok and he is a Vulcan. He has achieved pretty much everything Sisko has either faster or more times than Sisko, making him exceptionally jealous. When Solok comes to Deep Space Nine, he challenges Sisko and his crew to a baseball game. Sisko, a huge baseball fan, is unable to resist the allure of taking on his rival in his favorite game, so he spends a week with Jake and Kassidy trying to get his crew, Rom, Quark and Leeta into shape to beat the Vulcans. This, however, brings out all of Sisko’s worst qualities and in the days leading up to the game, he makes life utterly unpleasant for all of his crew and friends, making them not particularly want to play the game.

Wow, “Take Me Out To The Holosuite” is bad. It is so bad that for the best part of it, there is merchandise. Yes, you can get Deep Space Nine baseball uniforms and hats and they make sense because they were featured in an episode. But beyond that, there is little good in the episode save that it is not entirely predictable (the motley crew of Deep Space Nine does not get into a position where Rom will come up to bat and help them win the game) and Odo throws Sisko out for touching the umpire. And Sisko seems to ultimately learn a very valuable lesson which five year-olds learn these days, so . . .

Sisko’s rival, Solok is one of the least Vulcan Vulcans to ever grace the Star Trek franchise. So, when the circumstances arise which allow Odo to eject him from the game, it seems ridiculous to most Star Trek fans. Indeed, from the moment Solok appears on the station, he appears to be exhibiting a very un-Vulcan sense of pride and ego.

The rest of the episode is a pretty unfortunate wash; Sisko is a jerk throughout and most of the crew only goes along with the baseball game because Sisko has essentially ordered them to (implicitly). In order to make the utter lack of a plot work, the characters are dumbed down – for a former terrorist, Colonel Kira’s sudden lack of coordination is unforgiveable and the fact that Worf is not creaming the balls out of the park when he is at bat is unfathomable as well.

So, “Take Me Out To The Holosuite” ends up being a sport’s game filled with silly acrobatics and other nonsense that does absolutely nothing to advance the plot or characters of the series. This is, truly, the bottom of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine barrel . . . if only I could get by my block to rate it as such!

[Knowing that the season is a much better investment, it's worth looking into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete Seventh Season on DVD, which provides the full story for the conclusion to the series. Read my review of the final season by clicking here!


For other Star Trek episode, movie, and DVD boxed set reviews, be sure to visit my Star Trek Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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