Star Trek 441: Chrysalis

441. Chrysalis

FORMULA: Statistical Probabilities + Melora

WHY WE LIKE IT: The musical number.

WHY WE DON'T: Bashir never learns.

REVIEW: Bashir miraculously saves a patient from a severe handicap and falls for here, but she is fated to leave him with a broken heart. Where have I heard that one before? Yes, it's really just Melora with autism, but Chrysalis is a much better episode by virtue of 1) Sarina being a sympathetic character, 2) 6 years of added development to Bashir's character have made us care about his loneliness, and 3) the musical number.

I've seen music used as the soundtrack of a character's heart before, and it is very well used here as Bashir's. When the mutants improvise a song based on musical scales, it not only helps us fall for Sarina ourselves, but is beautiful and cleverly done regardless of context. Honestly, I've often fast-forwarded to that moment just for the song. Uplifting and even moving. So even of the rest of the story relentlessly moves towards its inevitable ending, and the mutants essentially become a background against which Sarina's new self must be contrasted (their frenetic quest to prevent the universe from collapsing in 60 trillion years is a fun moment however), that single moment of musical purity makes Chrysalis worthy of note.

Not that the performances aren't well-judged. Sarina really does seem like a different character once she's "awakened", and the classic switch moments when her condition appears to have been reversed aren't cheesily played as cliffhangers. There's very real pathos here as the poor girl commits to Bashir out of gratitude and couldn't possibly have the maturity to understand what love actually is. Out of the very loneliness she sees in him, Julian somehow decides they should be together and forgets to ask her permission. And he learns that he must respect the freedom he's just given her. It's a fact of life O'Brien already knows, no DNA-enhanced intellect required.

LESSON: Bending the laws of the universe should be entirely possible once you've kicked Heinsenberg and Einstein's faces in.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium (with one High scene): Brilliant musical interlude aside, this is still a strong, but fairly predictable, episode.


Jayunderscorezero said...

Bizarrely, this is probably one of my favourite episodes. "Someone to Watch Over Me" is a guilty pleasure of mine too. I guess I'm just a huge sucker for 'Doctor troubled by unrequited love' storylines for some inexplicable reason.

Siskoid said...

There is, after all, a whole subgenre or romance called "Doctors in Love", so you can't be the only one.

Anonymous said...

wait, seriously?

this episode undoes the idea that muscial numbers have a place in ST that Vic Fontaine gave us, and thankfully gives us back (with a little of sisko's help) in a few epsodes. It's just that big of a train wreck, and a train wreck that never seems to end at that.

the only saving grace of the episode is that it becomes so bad that it's painfully entertaining to watch(ala the Ghost Rider movie)

thankfully it's still better then at least half of Enterprise, but that's not really praise.

Probably the first time i've entirely disagreed with one of your reviews so i thought i'd offer a different saner(kidding!) opinion.

Siskoid said...

While I stand by everything I've said, I really can't fault you for your opinion, Judas. That musical scene for me "works" and casts the rest of the episode in a positive light.

If it doesn't work for you, I agree there's not much there to sustain your interest.

Jayunderscorezero said...

When it comes to Star Trek in particular, I've always maintained that each episode has the potential to be someone's favourite and someone else's least favourite; largely due to a fanbase who can come to the show looking for/expecting greatly divergent things. The same goes for the various series.

My point is, I'm honestly surprised that you don't get "dissenters" like cardboardjudas with every episode.

Siskoid said...

Now if only you can find me someone who likes Shades of Gray or The Lights of Zetar to prove that hypothesis ;).

Jayunderscorezero said...

Well, I'm not entirely sure if they're being totally serious or not, but there are some "Shades of Grey" defenders who've posted their reviews on the imdb:

De said...

Two words why I like "The Lights of Zetar": Mira Romaine.

ROWRR! :-)

Siskoid said...

Mira Romaine making those creepy mouth movements...


Anonymous said...

Agreed. Yeah, you knew what was happening and where it was going to end up - but still I did kind of enjoy the journey.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like (21) Activities (23) Advice (74) Alien Nation (34) Aliens Say the Darndest Things (8) Alpha Flight (25) Amalgam (53) Ambush Bug (46) Animal Man (17) anime (53) Aquaman (71) Archetypes (14) Archie Heroes (10) Arrowed (20) Asterix (9) Atom (31) Avengers (59) Awards (33) Babylon 5 (140) Batman (680) Battle Shovel (13) Battlestar Galactica (134) Black Canary (22) BnB 2-in1 (40) Books (61) Booster Gold (16) Buck Rogers (19) Buffy (6) Canada (71) Captain America (69) Captain Marvel (56) Cat (156) CCGs (59) Charlton (12) Circles of Hell (6) Class (11) Comics (3986) Comics Code Approved (12) Conan (15) Contest (13) Cooking (15) Crisis (78) Daredevil (33) Dating Kara Zor-El (5) Dating Lois Lane (23) Dating Lucy Lane (13) Dating Princess Diana (11) DCAU (404) Deadman (9) Dial H (128) Dice (10) Dinosaur Island (16) Dinosaurs (67) Director Profiles (9) Doctor Who (1685) Doom Patrol (22) Down the Rabbit Hole (7) Dr. Strange (17) Encyclopedia (28) Fantastic Four (56) Fashion Nightmares (19) Fiasco (14) Films Within Films (6) Flash (86) Flushpoint (86) Foldees (12) French (49) Friday Night Fights (57) Fun with Covers (56) FW Team-Up (37) Galleries (9) Game design (26) Gaming (111) Geekly roundup (769) Geeks Anonymous (47) Geekwear (13) Gimme That Star Trek (61) Godzilla (53) Golden Age (440) Grant Morrison (75) Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction (8) Green Arrow (50) Green Lantern (87) Hawkman (40) Hero Points Podcast (13) Holidays (241) House of Mystery (16) Hulk (44) Human Target (8) Improv (34) Inspiration (45) Intersect (5) Invasion Podcast (44) Iron Man (50) Jack Kirby (87) Jimmy Olsen (74) JLA (97) JSA (26) K9 the Series (30) Kirby Motivationals (18) Krypto (202) Kung Fu (100) Learning to Fly (11) Legion (130) Letters pages (6) Liveblog (12) Lonely Hearts Podcast (21) Lord of the Rings (18) Machine Man Motivationals (10) Man-Thing (6) Marquee (89) Masters of the Universe (9) Memes (39) Memorable Moments (35) Metal Men (5) Metamorpho (65) Millennium (72) Mini-Comics (5) Monday Morning Macking (7) Movies (457) Mr. Terrific (6) Music (73) Nelvana of the Northern Lights (9) Nightmare Fuel (22) Number Ones (60) Obituaries (42) oHOTmu OR NOT? (79) Old52 (12) One Panel (300) Outsiders (166) Panels from Sheena (5) Paper Dolls (7) Play (77) Podcast (498) Polls (5) Questionable Fridays (13) Radio (16) Rants (20) Reaganocomics (8) Recollected (11) Red Bee (26) Red Tornado (10) Reign (563) Retro-Comics (3) Reviews (52) Rom (116) RPGs (540) Sandman (23) Sapphire & Steel (37) Sarah Jane Adventures (70) Saturday Morning Cartoons (5) SBG for Girls (4) Seasons of DWAITAS (100) Secret Origins Podcast (8) Secret Wars (25) SF (30) Shut Up Star Boy (1) Silver Age (371) Siskoid as Editor (35) Siskoid's Mailbox (10) Space 1999 (51) Spectre (21) Spider-Man (100) Spring Cleaning (15) ST non-fiction (19) ST novels: DS9 (8) ST novels: S.C.E. (19) ST novels: The Shat (2) ST novels: TNG (9) ST novels: TOS (13) Star Trek (1725) Streaky (2) Suicide Squad (39) Supergirl (90) Superman (1062) Supershill (11) Swamp Thing (24) Tales from Earth-Prime (7) Team Horrible (4) Teen Titans (85) That Franchise I Never Talk About (53) The Orville (29) The Prisoner (5) The Thing (54) Then and Now (4) Theory (51) Thor (52) Thursdays of Two Worlds (43) Time Capsule (8) Timeslip (7) Tintin (23) Torchwood (62) Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms (5) Toys (65) Turnarounds (7) TV (193) V (6) Waking Life (1) Warehouse 13 (9) Websites (102) What If? (103) Who's This? (211) Whoniverse-B (11) Wikileaked (3) Wonder Woman (84) X-Files (246) X-Men (103) Zero Hour Strikes (27) Zine (5)