I really have to say that this was entertaining. It took a break from the Dominion war theme and actually managed to stay serious. I liked the acting, the plot, and the entire episode. My favorite aspects was when the crew teamed together to help out Vic and his show. I found that by everyone teaming up and working together, it made for a very good episode that was never boring. It also made me wish that I had a Holodeck. Either way, I was never bored. Overall, this was a great episode that was well written, well acted, and was entertaining. Thank you.
Good ole Julian and Miles are spending a little time on the Holodeck with Vic Fontaine, a singing (and advice giving) hologram that has been seen in several past episodes. All of a sudden, the program changes and the mob takes over Vic's club!
I know what you're thinking: Reset the program! Nope, can't be done or else the Vic character would lose all of his memories. And now I know what else you're thinking: there is a war with the Dominion going on, who cares about a stupid Hologram? Ouch.
Well, you're right (assuming you were thinking what I thought you were thinking). There are bigger things going on within the DS9 universe. But it is nice to have a little stand-alone episode now and then, and the Star Trek writers seem to enjoy writing episodes that take place on the Holodeck.
To be sure, there have been some great Holodeck episodes but it has also been overused a bit between DS9, TNG, and Voyager. Still, once in awhile, the writers still manage to come up with an original idea for a Holodeck episode and there's fun to be had. This is one such episode.
I couldn't get into the earlier season 7 Holodeck episode ("Take me Out to the Holosuite," I believe it was called), but this episode was pretty entertaining in it's own way. The stakes were pretty low for our heroes on the space station, but not for Fontaine, whose program is at stake. On the one hand, the viewers probably don't care for Fontaine quite as much as the characters do. On the other hand, there was some genuine suspense because I didn't know how they would end this one. In "Chimera," when Odo was talking about leaving the station, the viewer knew he wouldn't. Vic isn't an essential character though, and DS9 is the darkest of the Trek world. I didn't think it was impossible that they would destroy the program (Voyager's Doctor, he ain't).
Much of the episode is a spoof of (or perhaps an homage) to the original Ocean's Eleven and the music is quite good. And if you enjoy a good heist (I know I do!), you'll probably enjoy this episode quite a bit. And, if you're still not sold, we get to hear our Captain Sisko sing in this episode......and he's really not too bad!
Star Trek does Ocean's Eleven two years before the George Clooney film (which would mean more if the episode didn't happen 39 years after the Rat Pack original) in this ensemble caper episode that gives the DS9 cast another chance to cut loose and have some fun.
With a flimsy premise that's another variation of the old malfunctioning holodeck idea, even the writers know the audience is going to have to suspend its belief more than usual. (They do help themselves by establishing that only a holographic character is at risk, which is easier to swallow than a real person... though the episode's promotional spot is artfully edited to make it sound like everyone is in danger). But like "Our Man, Bashir" and "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", the plot itself is secondary; what this one is really about is a chance to get the cast into some new clothes and to do something left of center for the franchise.
Veteran character actor Robert Miano stars as Frankie Eyes, the episode's heavy, which would seem like an opportunity for hamminess, though Miano (apparently taking this a little too seriously) plays it straight. With Mike Starr as his right hand man Cicci, and 89 year old Marc Lawrence as his boss, Mr. Zeemo, however, there's plenty of scene stealing performances. (In fact, the replacement accountant, played by a "Bobby Reilly", is pretty good in his own right. Maybe they should turn him into a Klingon leader or something).
Perhaps the most notable character in the whole deal, however, is Sisko. Used initially as an audience surrogate for those who dislike Vic Fontaine, he's ultimately won over and steals the show at the end with a special coda stuck in by the writers to show off his talents and send a message to the fans about the last few episodes of the series.
It's all tied together by Jay Chattaway's score, a throwback to the 60s with classics like "Night Train" thrown in that perfectly matches the old style cinematography.
All in all, it's not something DS9 would want to do every week (especially since it's one of the most expensive episodes of the season), but for a breather before the big war stuff that's upcoming, it's a lot of fun.
Miles and Julian are about to do their usual, Defend the Alamo, and are visiting Vic in the Show Lounge in order to invite him to join them there, when, suddenly, things go awry and the Casino is taken over by an old rival of Vic's, with mob connections. For reasons I won't go into, the program can't simply be reset, and Vic is tossed out. DS9's senior staff, plus Jake, Nog, and Kasidy, most of whom are good friends with Vic, decide to help him out.
Julian, after consulting with the friend who created the Vic program, reveals that this is a "jack in the box", a kicker intentionally put into the program to keep things unstable and interesting. To set things right, the rival must be eliminated. Problem is, he must be eliminated within the constraints of the 1960-era rules, and the rival is "made", so he can't just be killed.
Sisko becomes fairly annoyed with his staff, who are all off helping Vic, and ignoring their day to day work, until, eventually, he gives in and joins them.
What ensues is an homage to "Ocean's Eleven", as they create a clockwork plan to rob the casino's vaults and get Vic's rival in hot water with his capo.
In a fun final touch, Sisko and Vic perform a duet of "The Best Is Yet To Come"!
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