Friday, September 23, 2016

The WSW Trek 25: #25-21

Spoiler alert: "City on the Edge of Forever" is not my number one choice; in fact, it's not even in my top ten. But it is on this list. "Best of Both Worlds" is not my number one; in fact, it's not even in my top five. But it, too, is on this list.

We'll all get along fine over the next week as long as you remember one thing: this is MY top-25 list, not THE top-25 list. As Fritzi explained so well recently, there's a difference! I don't want any Herberts complaining that this list sucks because "Cost of Living" or "Threshold" or "Profit and Lace" didn't make the cut. This is only one fan's opinion.

Sorry, Voyager fans, there are only two episodes represented here. Sorry, Enterprise fans, you're shut out completely. These are my biases, for better or worse. Get it? Good. And speaking of Voyager, here's the first of the two to kick things off...

25. "Scorpion" (VGR). Kathy does the unthinkable and negotiates with the Borg in order to get home quicker. It's the first appearance of Species 8472, and of course, it's also the first appearance of Seven of Nine. As I said earlier, she turned out to be a good character after all - even if her development came at the expense of others. Yes, Voyager played the Borg card way too often after this episode, but all by itself, it's exciting, and most importantly, it puts Janeway in a situation Picard would never be in. It's unlikely he would make the same choices as her.

24. "Mirror, Mirror" (TOS). Here's another concept that got run into the ground - only this time by DS9. They took a kind of perverse glee in killing off the Mirror Universe doppelgangers, and that was kinda funny (Mirror Odo's death was particularly shocking). After awhile, though, I was like enough, already. Enterprise did some creative things with it, I thought, like the Mirror version of the main titles. Even Star Trek Continues did a pretty good Mirror episode! Still, nothing beats the original. I like how even after all he's seen, Kirk still tries to appeal to Mirror Spock, to try to get him to change his ways - but then, why wouldn't he? Kirk knows Spock as a good man.

23. "The Enemy Within" (TOS). It's good Kirk vs. bad Kirk in another one of those wild'n'wacky transporter mishap episodes! (In the TNG era, "holodeck mishap" would be added to the sub-genre.) As I've said before about this ep, the remarkable part about it is less the solution to the problem and more the realization that Kirk needs both halves working together to be a fully a functional person. Many prime Shatner moments here; I daresay this may be the ep where his reputation as a ham began. It's all good, though. We wouldn't want him any other way.

22. "The Wounded" (TNG). Miles O'Brien should be a basketcase. He and his family have gone through more crazy crap between his years on TNG and DS9 than perhaps anybody not a captain - and the irony is, he's supposed to be the everyman guy to whom ordinary people can relate! Still, he's a terrific character, embodied by an outstanding actor in Colm Meaney, and this ep was one of his finest hours. O'Brien helps Picard track down his old CO, a soldier who wasn't told the war was over. In the process, O'Brien confronts his own prejudices against his former enemy acquired as a result of war. Superbly written and acted all around. Plus, Marc Alaimo as not-Gul Dukat!

21. "His Way" (DS9). I was an Odo/Kira shipper long before I knew the word existed. I totally related to Odo: the "good friend" who always came in second place when it came to Kira, whether to Shakaar or Bareil, neither of whom struck me as being all that - especially Bareil! Couldn't for the life of me understand what Kira saw in such a dull man and I still don't! Odo just needed a little push to get Kira to notice him, and Vic Fontaine, the hologram with a soul and with soul (ya dig), provides it in this delightful, funny and achingly romantic ep. Nana Visitor gets to be sexy and show off her great singing voice, and her chemistry with Rene Auberjonois is pure magic. It's the kind of story that melts even this bitter old bachelor's heart.


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