Star Trek 340: Civil Defense

340. Civil Defense

FORMULA: Disaster + Babel

WHY WE LIKE IT: Dukat traipsing around Ops like he just don't care.

WHY WE DON'T: The unconvincing homemade bomb.

REVIEW: A good sense of urgency reigns in much of Civil Defense, with characters using gestures and actions rather than words to get their points across when time is of the essence. The episode initially follows the disaster movie formula by stranding various characters together in different parts of the station, and well, we've seen this kind of thing before. Where it's better than TNG's Disaster is how every solution brings an even more insoluble problem, courtesy of the devious Cardassian mind.

That's fun enough, as is the visit to the ore processing unit, but relatively ordinary, as is the idea of locking Odo and Quark up together. There's some fine humor there, but you know, nothing... unexpected.

It starts to really get good when Garak strolls into Ops, soon followed by Dukat. The latter's fortuitous appearance strains credulity perhaps, but he's such a delightful villain here that you soon forget about this little convenience. As everyone else is in mortal danger, he takes his time, orders some tea, even knocks down Sisko's baseball, but in the end, he's caught in his own web in one of the best twists the show's given us. The rivalry between him and Garak seems to stem with the Order having Dukat's father disgraced and executed, an interesting tidbit, and reaches its peak when Garak calls him on his trying to pick up Kira (no doubt more sensitive to Cardassian mating rituals). The look of outrage on Dukat's face alone is worth the price of admission.

Ultimately though, Civil Defense is a series of technical problems with technical solutions, and while the character work is good and Jake gets to be a hero, it doesn't quite reach the level of other episodes this season.

LESSON: You may not trust the Cardassians, but they don't trust you. Or each other.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Our favorite Cardassians help make a standard "man vs. his environment" plot fun and exciting.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Orville Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine