Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 3 Episode 13

Life Support

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Jan 30, 1995 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
148 votes
  • Rare misfire from writer Ron Moore

    The idea of gradually replacing parts of a man until he's no longer the original man is an interesting story device (as proven by Darth Vader) but it doesn't quite work here, being shoehorned into the ongoing Bajoran political thread last seen in second season's "The Collaborator". The real problem is that the essence of the story is overwhelmed by Kai Winn and the Treaty of MacGuffin. To make matters worse, a lighthearted Jake and Nog B story is thrown in as filler. (The two get into a fight over girls). Even the show's writers have admitted that this doesn't play well against the A story, as their tone's conflict. Perplexingly, Kira's reaction to the whole Bareil situation, which would go well with the main story, is mostly buried in the script.

    In the end, "Life Support" feels like a filler episode with a serious consequence, an awkward dichotomy and rare misfire from teleplay writer Ron Moore.

  • Somewhat slow, but emotionally rich at the end.

    I'm somewhat indifferent to Bareil's character, so his disappearance from the show was not a big loss. That said, this is not a bad farewell, as his slow death in the line of duty provides shades of grey for hitherto unlikeable Kai Winn, ethical dilemmas for Dr. Bashir, and of course a final touching scene for Major Kira.

    The episode's best scenes really come near the end - Bashir's intense confrontation with the Kai, Bareil's creepy behavior after his operation, and that parting scene with Kira.

    The plot with Jake and Nog is frankly not that interesting, and doesn't fit well with the episode's tone. But does provide the classic "What a Tholian Looks Like" joke.
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