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Paradise

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Episode Name: Paradise

Episode Number: 15

Production Number: 435

Season: 2

Director: Corey Allen

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Sisko and O'Brien find themselves stranded on a planet where Federation tech won't work. The colony has rejected technology but the whole colony is rotten at the core...

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I liked this episode, but I really wanted to strangle that woman - which I believe was the point.

The scene where Ben climbed into the box was a great way to show his protest.

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I liked this episode, but I really wanted to strangle that woman - which I believe was the point.

The scene where Ben climbed into the box was a great way to show his protest.

Indeed! I'd yell at her "You'll have to kill me if you want me to bow to your c***!!"

Edited by Ensign Seven

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Just finished re-watching this episode... and I still really, really hate that female dictator version of Robert Picard. (She reminds me a lot of him, I can't help it. I'm sure he'd have approved of her basic ideas.) I understand her desire to get rid of technology and create her own special community - but how about ASKING people first if they want to join instead of going through all the trouble of crashing a ship and pretending you're stuck on a planet that renders technology useless? Ugh, that really riled me up. (Which is indeed the point of this episode, I guess.)

Also, Sisko and the box. I like how he didn't bother to get into any more (pretty useless) arguments with Alexis - he proved his point by going back into the box. Very powerful scene indeed.

I wonder what became of the precious "community". I'm pretty sure that at least some of them changed their minds and went back to "technology land". With Alexis gone and her insane grip on them released, their whole point of view might have changed. Ah, this episode really screams for a sequel...!

So, what can I say about it as a whole... I do like the issues it raises and I do like the fact that they're doing quite a bit of exploring now instead of having everying set aboard Deep Space Nine. And I like it that Miles O'Brien gets so much attention, hehe. And yet this episode isn't one of my favorites in any way, Alexis is too evil. ALSO... one MAJOR gripe that I have: The FIRST thing these stranded people do when they see Sisko and O'Brien is ask "how is the galaxy these days" questions, fine - but to have the man ask about soccer results and the woman ask about FEDERATION FASHION TRENDS... I can't believe the amount of *FACEPALM* this warrants. Seriously, way to go to make women appear concerned about nothing but fashion! And all men care about is soccer, sure! Sexist!FAIL at its worst. Ugh!

This episode gets a 5/10. It's neither particularly bad nor particularly bad.

The favorite moments award goes to the Kira and Dax scenes in general, I just love these two together and I love the way they interact. ;)

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Just finished re-watching this episode... and I still really, really hate that female dictator version of Robert Picard. (She reminds me a lot of him, I can't help it. I'm sure he'd have approved of her basic ideas.) I understand her desire to get rid of technology and create her own special community - but how about ASKING people first if they want to join instead of going through all the trouble of crashing a ship and pretending you're stuck on a planet that renders technology useless? Ugh, that really riled me up. (Which is indeed the point of this episode, I guess.)

Also, Sisko and the box. I like how he didn't bother to get into any more (pretty useless) arguments with Alexis - he proved his point by going back into the box. Very powerful scene indeed.

I wonder what became of the precious "community". I'm pretty sure that at least some of them changed their minds and went back to "technology land". With Alexis gone and her insane grip on them released, their whole point of view might have changed. Ah, this episode really screams for a sequel...!

So, what can I say about it as a whole... I do like the issues it raises and I do like the fact that they're doing quite a bit of exploring now instead of having everying set aboard Deep Space Nine. And I like it that Miles O'Brien gets so much attention, hehe. And yet this episode isn't one of my favorites in any way, Alexis is too evil. ALSO... one MAJOR gripe that I have: The FIRST thing these stranded people do when they see Sisko and O'Brien is ask "how is the galaxy these days" questions, fine - but to have the man ask about soccer results and the woman ask about FEDERATION FASHION TRENDS... I can't believe the amount of *FACEPALM* this warrants. Seriously, way to go to make women appear concerned about nothing but fashion! And all men care about is soccer, sure! Sexist!FAIL at its worst. Ugh!

This episode gets a 5/10. It's neither particularly bad nor particularly bad.

The favorite moments award goes to the Kira and Dax scenes in general, I just love these two together and I love the way they interact. ;)

I give it a slightly higher rating; a 6.

I thought it was a powerful statement on power as a corrupting influence; even under a 'noble' premise as going back to nature (which is no more 'noble' than urbanized living, IMO; I've lived in both and I've encountered good and bad people in both). And yes; offering a choice would've made the episode about 10 minutes long, I suppose ( :laugh: ). I think the leader thought she was doing Sisko and the others a 'favor' by cleansing them of their sinful life; even if they resist at first. She probably assumed they'd 'thank her' later. A lot of smug, self-righteous people tend to have this attitude; "I'm doing this for your own good/soul/mental health" whatever. They expect resistance; and then await (with smug anticipation) the moment you come to them and admit how 'wrong' you were. IMO, this is one of the biggest problems of organized religions....

And the 'soccer scores/fashion' bit was really indicative of the kind of '60s thinking that occasionally spilled even into newer ST now and then. Really embarrassing, and fairly unforgivable for a show written in the not-too-distant 1990s.... :thumbdown:

But overall, I liked it.

The box scene was amazing. And very well-acted.

Edited by Sehlat Vie

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It actually also reminds me of the Borg somewhat... you know, the whole "resistance is futile" thing and forcing someone to become part of a collective that does what its queen tells it to do. And all in the name of "improvment". It's funny, the Borg represent all that Alexis would hate, given their semi-biological and semi-technologial nature and the combination of these two and yet their basic ideas are very similar.

I couldn't believe it when I saw that scene, I was like "is this satire or is this meant to be taken seriously?!" And then the woman goes on about having to change all her dresses and everyone laughs because "hahaha women and fashion". Very funny. Not. I so could have done without that moment. (Also, it made no sense. The first thing logic would dictate for them to ask would be how the Federation is doing, how EARTH is doing and then how their loved ones are doing, y'know, their families they sure all left behind and thought they'd never see again - and not to inquire about SOCCER SCORES and FASHION. *facepalm*)

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It actually also reminds me of the Borg somewhat... you know, the whole "resistance is futile" thing and forcing someone to become part of a collective that does what its queen tells it to do. And all in the name of "improvment". It's funny, the Borg represent all that Alexis would hate, given their semi-biological and semi-technologial nature and the combination of these two and yet their basic ideas are very similar.

Very keen observation, monsieur Picard; the struggle between the technological and the agrarian, yet both use similar bullying, strong-arm tactics to achieve their aims. Very keen indeed.

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Oh! Merci, mon ami! :P I don't know where the idea came from, but I'm glad you approve. Maybe it's because Alexis and her creepy smile reminded me a bit of the Borg Queen, lol.

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Oh! Merci, mon ami! :P I don't know where the idea came from, but I'm glad you approve. Maybe it's because Alexis and her creepy smile reminded me a bit of the Borg Queen, lol.

I can totally see that.

What surprised me most was how quickly her supposedly intelligent starfleet crew (except for the nimrods who just wanted to know the soccer scores and fashion tips) all fell in line with her petty self-appointed dictatorship.

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My guess is that she used their fear of dying and the general anxiety that both the crash and the fact that technology no longer worked had created in order to brainwash them into thinking she saved them. It looks so horribly wrong to me how they all willingly decide to stay on that planet. They really look like mindless zombies in a way.

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I like this episode but my god, I HATE that woman, each time I watch the episode I want to pull her from the screen and strangle her. Some powerful scenes with Sisko. I love that they both keep on their own uniforms and O Brien saying at the end that her son did get him out of his uniform to fool him.

7/10

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Ok - so I am returning to my DS9 marathon! And I just rewatched Paradise. I won't lie - in the past - I found this episode to be boring filler for Sisko's character development. I was one of those people that didn't appreciate the intellectual side of Trek as a kid. :P I cared more for cool aliens starship battles and good stories. Now that I love both that aspect and the philosophy - this episode is actually a gem (albeit a slow one). But something I really appreciate is ... this episode actually addresses something I often agonize, obsesses, and often whine about: the human condition in Star Trek. Roddenberry has always sold Star Trek as exploring the human condition and our potential if we just changed for the better.

So we have the Federation which is a multi-planet, multi-cultural, multi-just bout everything union. But is it a union of ideas? Is there room for violence, aggression, greed, or other so-called negative qualities? Is there room for differing views on the "best of humanity"? I don't know .... cause we rarely see it.

This episode actually explores this. We have Alixus (odd way of spelling her name) - this writer who, as Sisko puts it, seems to have an opinion on everything. From politics, to economics, to psychology exploring the human condition. She has a dim view of what Mankind had become.

"The common conceit that the Human species has evolved over the last several centuries is ludicrous. What gains we have made have come at the cost of our own core identities. Man has lost touch with his true power."

Ok - to me this is absolutely fascinating territory to explore. I know Trek tries to be more subtle about human metaphors and they often do through aliens, but this one is much more direct. And it is human versus human.

Weirdly enough - Alixus says what I sometimes I feel about Mankind. Yes - of course I like that Mankind has gotten over its old hatreds and has learned to co-exist. I love that Mankind has erased the problems that hold us back as a species. I love that we have united as a species and look at each other as humans FIRST before anything else. I love that science is celebrated and championed. I love that we want to better ourselves. I love that, for the most part, we try not to harm each other. I love alllllll of the progress.

The one aspect I find hard to .... fully back is the idea of "We work to better our species." On the one hand - humans are a herd species by nature and we do try to protect the herd. We often get frustrated when people selfishly live for themselves and do not leave a better world for the next generation. I agree with that to an extent ... But on the hand - I value my individuality and this Borg-lite idea of working to serve Man kind of rubs me the wrong way. Plus, the Federation is just one group, amongst many competing alien groups, that is trying to peacefully and without coercion ... absorb worlds. If 80% of the galaxy one day becomes UFP - what happens to the rest? They'll be forced to either stand alone in isolation or join the "club".

Now, Alixus' focus isn't really on that. In fact - she has her own version of the herd mentality. She'd let her own son die "for the community". She seems to be anti-technology and interestingly enough tell Sisko that there are other scientists in the UFP that think like her. There seems to be a genuine fear or bitterness at how automated the human species had become. That we lost what has grounded her. She wants a return to the physical and less dependency on technology. (A silly thing since even the "primitive" tools they used was technology ...)

In her writings - she says "Humans had become fat, lazy, and dull." I can't say that much is true. Humans still seem interesting, if not a bit cookie cutter good-guy...ish.

Now I too loved the powerful moment when Sisko put himself back in the Hot Box torture/punishment device. In fact, according to the trivia for this episode, this was supposed to be a Sisko episode to show his strength. He sure did that. It was great and like Mr. Picard said - I love that Sisko didn't bother trying to argue with her anymore. It was useless.

But I will say this .... I really wish this had been a TNG episode. And instead of Sisko/O'Brien - it was Picard/Data. Imagine what Alixus would have said had she seen Data. The personification of everything she hates in a humanoid form. And as much as I love Sisko - he didn't really debate her philosophy. He shows her the flaws and expressed concern for the settlers - but .... imagine the dialogue with Picard. Since Picard embraces the Trek philosophy at its most potent versus her push back of it .... it would have been great. I feel like this was a wasted opportunity. The focus clearly was meant to be about Mankind losing something ever since it entered the post-WWIII landscape. Imagine a debate with Picard on that?

As for the rest of the episode - - - - - - - 

It wasn't bad. I feel like Jadzia/Kira parts were filler. We didn't really need all of that. They should have simply focused on Sisko/O'Brien and the colonists. We knew eventually the DS9 crew would search for them, find their runabout, and then beam them up.

I didn't understand the Cassandra/Sisko part? There was an implication Alixus sent her to seduce Sisko but ... this makes little sense to me. Are they sexually open in this community? Or is the implication that Alixus has that much control? It makes no sense actually. I never got the vibe that these people were cultists and slavishly obeyed Alixus. I got the vibe that they crash landed on the planet, banded together to survive, and Alixus "made the best of their situation" with her philosophy. I know they were going for a Jim Jones compound type thing but .... they kind of failed on that end. Even at the end when they want to stay - it was more of a "....well....we've been here all this time and built all of this up.... so.... I guess it makes sense to stay." not a "WE MUST OBEY!"

I liked Joseph (the former engineer) but I found it odd that he never found that device. Especially as he was the last to be "converted". But I guess Alixus was watching him far more closely than O'Brien.

Speaking of - I love O'Brien putting his tactical skills to good use when he tricked Alixus' son.

The ending ... left a lot to be desired. But it was nice that for once - villains were being made to pay for abducting and harming Starfleet officers.

One note: people say "Why didn't she simply get a group of like minded people and go to an empty planet? Why trick these poor people?" I think its because if she made an open call - she'd have had a lot more colonists to govern and she wanted it relatively isolated and quiet. Plus, I bet it isn't easy to procure a colony vessel and beg the bureaucracy of the Federation to grant her a world of her choosing.

All in all - a lot better than I remembered since I was a teen. 7/10.

Edited by The Founder

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