Sisko is excited about first contact with the Wadi, but when they arrive on DS9, all they care about is going to Quark to play games. But when Quark cheats them at dabo, they decide to teach him a lesson by having him play a game of their devising – in which the game pieces are represented by Sisko, Dax, Bashir and Kira. Could one wrong move on Quark’s part lead to the loss of the senior crew?
This is one of the more disappointing episodes of season one, not least because budget constraints mean that the game played by Sisko and the others is rather underwhelming. We know now that a game where real people are trapped in real jeopardy can work – just look at .hack and Sword Art Online. But here the game itself is silly and dull, and not only is there not much for the characters to solve, there’s never any sense that they are in real jeopardy. Had Kirk been in this situation, he would have had a couple of redshirts with him, and we would have seen their lifeless bodies when their game pieces were lost.
- Bashir manages to go an entire episode without being inappropriate towards a woman.
- Sisko and Kira’s pragmatism towards getting stuck in the game is actually a nice contrast to the “everything’s a fun adventure” Starfleet attitude that Kira mocks. Sometimes things are annoying inconveniences!
- I guess we’re meant to see Quark as a snivelling coward because he couldn’t choose which piece to sacrifice, but in my opinion this means that he actually cares a little about them – otherwise, as a calculating Ferengi profiteer, he could have coldly risked them all.
- Jake is actually meant to be fourteen – having forgotten this, I thought he was about ten. At any rate, he’s now at the age when he can ogle Bajoran girls and listen to Nog’s advice on women. Since we know that Ferengi women aren’t even allowed to wear clothing, Sisko has a lot of work to do in teaching his son a more enlightened opinion.
- Odo’s tense relationship with the ranking Starfleet security officer continues. Unfortunately, Lt Primmin is so dull that it’s not a very exciting story element.
- Why does Quark care so much about gems when he can replicate as many as he likes?
Summary – Move Along Home: “I’m sure all you Starfleet explorers find this fascinating, but I’m a Bajoran administrator. This is not what I signed up for.”