Episode – Move Along Home (Deep Space Nine Season 1)
For those who are new to my episode reviews, you can find the post where I establish my point criteria here.
Episode Overview – The crew of Deep Space Nine welcome a delegation of a newly discovered species, the Wadi, from the Gamma Quadrant. Much to Sisko’s surprise, the guests of honor head straight to Quark’s where they soon begin to play a game that has Sisko and his officers facing stakes that appear to be higher than anyone expected.
Episode Score – 4/10. I found this episode to be fun, yet not very meaningful. The idea of Sisko and his team fighting for their lives in an elaborate maze of puzzles and obstacles is intriguing yet unoriginal. As is typical, the four crew members have to each use their own skill sets to overcome the different levels. Colm Meaney was filming a movie when this episode was filmed, so Chief O’Brien is absent. Replacing the role of the character is Lt. George Primmin, played by James Lashly, and marks the second and final appearance of the character. I liked Primmin, and wished he would have returned a few more times. This being a first season episode, I found that some of the actors were still trying to find their groove with their characters, most notably Alexander Siddig as Bashir. Quark and Odo get some great moments as they try to save the senior officers. What is most telling about this episode is the ending, and it is still debated by fans. Largely, the ending falls flat for many fans. I thought the idea of the whole story being just a game and that the crew were never in any real mortal danger to be unique and original, yet it didn’t quite work for me. It took a potentially great show and made it a bit ho-hum.
Relevance – 1 point. The only thing of true relevance is the mention of the name of one of Quark’s regular waiters, Broik, who will appear in several episodes over the whole seven-year run of the series.
Continuity – 2 points. Trek universe continuity – 1 point. Nothing seemed to be out of place in the Trek universe, especially how greedy Ferengi can be. Character continuity – 1 point. Nobody is acting out of character. Story continuity – 0 points. There really isn’t anything that contributes to story continuity, one way or another.
Character Development – 1 point. Quark shows a bit of affection towards the senior staff as he believes he is playing for their lives. Other than that, nothing really moves any particular character along.
Social Commentary – 1 point. The social commentary in this episode is a stretch for me to make. We can argue that gaming can be dangerous, or we can say that games are simple games and not to be taken too seriously. As I am writing this review, the game Pokemon Go is beginning to sweep the world and is becoming a huge phenomenon, so the message that can be taken from this episode might have a little more meaning than before (told you I was stretching).
Cool Factor – 0 points. While this is a silly, light-hearted episode, I can’t really say there is anything cool about it.
Rank – Ensign (9 points). Not a great episode, and if you are only wanting to watch key, important episodes then this is one to skip. I do have a fond memory connected to this episode. Shortly after it first aired my friends and I attended a Trek Convention in Edmonton (the guest was Nana Visitor). We entered a sound-alike contest which we won with variations of the “Allamaraine” rhyme based on various characters. The only one I can remember off hand was me doing Odo: “Allamaraine, I hate Quark; Allamaraine, he’s a dork. Allamaraine, he thinks I’m not there; Allamaraine, I’m actually the chair”. A silly skit for a silly episode.