Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Star Trek 417: You Are Cordially Invited...

417. You Are Cordially Invited...

FORMULA: Haven + The House of Quark

WHY WE LIKE IT: The bachelor and bachelorette parties.

WHY WE DON'T: I guess Alexander had to be there.

REVIEW: As a character-driven detente after an intense storyline, this episode isn't unlike TNG's Family, but way funnier. It celebrates at once the return to the station and Worf and Jadzia's wedding. And while there's the inevitable falling out between the two lovers, there's a sense, much like in Fascination, that no harm will be done here. It's comedy in the Shakespearean sense, and quite amusing even in the smaller scenes (such as Jake "selling" a book, the quotation marks attracting Quark's contempt). It's in that spirit that Kira and Odo make up, but it's perhaps too bad that it's done backstage, a little too much like a reset button.

Most amusing of all are the bachelor and bachelorette parties. Worf is from a culture whose bar mitzvah involves pain sticks, so the boys' belief that his party will be a grand orgy is probably mistaken. The trials actually in store for them are painful and sadistic, which brings out the best in Sisko and the whiners in Bashir and O'Brien. Their antsiness at the chance to finally pummel Worf is great. Of course, the whole thing is undermined by Alexander's slapstick, but a happy Alexander is more palatable than a sad one.

While Worf's closest male friends are going through seven kinds of pain, Dax's party is sheer pleasure. Staged like a real party, full of improvised dances (Nog's great) and mayhem, there's a delicious contrast to the events underscoring the same in the characters. Dax's hangover is hilarious as well, and if you've ever had a fight while hungover, you know exactly where it's all heading. Alert viewers will also spot the mention of a Captain Shelby, meant to be from The Best of Both Worlds, though as a fan of the New Frontier books, I prefer to think of this as someone else with the same name, or else she got a battle commission for a short while.

Though we'd seen a bat'leth wedding in The House of Quark, Worf's has all the trimmings so we get more insight into Klingon culture. Martok's shrewish wife Sirella is a great opponent for Dax, the latter getting some sweet revenge by retconning Sirella's family history. The episode also teaches us that while only men serve on the High Council, the Great Houses are basically run by women. The ceremony (precipitated by Alexander's departure, which at least explains the absence of the Enterprise crew and his human parents) is rather beautiful, retelling the story (a staple of most Klingon rituals) of how two Klingon hearts joined together to destroy the gods (we already knew they were dead, now we know how).

LESSON: Most Klingon men have a subscription to Bride magazine.

REWATCHABILITY - High: Worf's wedding is a Big Event, like all things Worf, and it's commendably done with both respect and humor. You'll chuckle to yourself and might even get misty-eyed.

15 comments:

Teebore said...

This was Alexander's last appearance, right? I can't recall offhand any other episodes he shows up in after this.

Siskoid said...

I think that was it for him.

mwbworld said...

"I think that was it for him."

And so ends the long ST nightmare.

I hereby sentence Alexander and Adric (Dr. Who) to a lengthy stay in purgatory where they can have a emo-esque whine off....

Still an excellent episode, proving once again how good Dax and Worf are both dramatically and comedically.

De said...

In the DS9 Companion, Ira Behr reveals that the off-screen resolution to Odo/Kira was a mistake. Initially Odo was supposed to cut himself off from everyone but Rene Auberjonois objected to the character returning to hermit status after making so many strides.

The conversation can be found in Volume 3 of The Worlds of Deep Space Nine.

Siskoid said...

I hereby sentence Alexander and Adric (Dr. Who) to a lengthy stay in purgatory where they can have a emo-esque whine off....

Can Wesley and Boxxy go with them?

Stephen said...

man siskoid i'm sensing a running themme with you bashir is not your favorite character huh?

Siskoid said...

Quite the opposite, he's one of my very favorites!

The word "whiner" here isn't judgemental or negative. They're actually quite humorous in that mode.

The only recurring negative comment I'd have about Bashir is that I'm not sure he needed the whole genetic engineering backstory or that it helped him all that much. Exactly BECAUSE I liked him so much without it.

mwbworld said...

Wesley sure. Heck to keep the Who/Trek balance thrown in Turlough too!

But Boxy is the man.

Or are you some robot bigot?

Siskoid said...

I'm not sure which Boxy you mean. For me it's the kid in the original Battlestar Galactica.

Stephen said...

lol maybe we should change your handle to bashoid

mwbworld said...

I had completely blocked the memory of that callow uninteresting BSG Boxy.

Instead I was thinking of the awesome Robotic Boxy!

At least so I christened him when I adopted the little scamp.

Jack Norris said...

The robot dog was not named Boxey. Boxey was the kid's name, and Muffit was the name of the robot dog, or "daggit" in Galactica-speak. I would have said "stupid Galactica-speak" were it not for the way that "neo-Galactica" has rehabilitated the worst SF TV series of all time. "GINO" ("Galactica In Name Only", coined by damaged Old-Galactica purists) is a compliment as far as I'm concerned.

Siskoid said...

For my part, that's who I meant. The kid.

Anonymous said...

Teenager Alexander was all right. He was certainly a vast improvement over prepubescent "I don't wanna be a warrior, I wanna be a hairdresser" Alexander. At least teenager Alexander tried, and it's not his fault that he was home-schooled.

I'm grading on a curve here, just as I do with Nog: Nog was never going to be absolutely awesome, but by the end of the series he was a competent officer and that's an A+ on a curve.

LiamKav said...

I quite liked Turlough. Especially the idea the actor said that he played every scene as if him and Tegan were shaging like rabits off camera.