This is my first run through of this show as I never watched it during broadcast and I must say after a stellar pilot these last run of episodes has been abysmal with glimmers of brilliance here and there but 'Move Along Home' is the first episode of the season that has been truly atrocious. Definitely agree with the other reviewers this episode was mind numbingly boring and the Wadi are very annoying I hope they don't show back up. The plot could have had more angst and gusto if the crew were really in any danger but I can see why they didn't want to go down that route as this early on in the show it would be pretty pointless to kill off characters were just still getting to know.
Considered by some the worst episode of the season, this offbeat gaming episode attempts to summon the spirit of Lewis Carol but plays out more like a second rate live action role playing convention. (At least Picard doesn't show up to declare, "When one is in the penalty box, tears are permitted.")
The bigger issue here stems from the marriage of two concepts put forth in the pilot. On the one hand, the premise of the show is that Deep Space Nine is sort of an intergalactic bus station, and its inhabitants -- in contrast with the other Star Treks -- don't fly around the universe seeking adventure, instead letting adventure come to them. On the other hand, Sisko and company have just discovered a shortcut to a new place to explore. (Kind of weird putting these two together, isn't it?) The writers' solution to this point has been to find ways for the inhabitants of the Gamma Quadrant to find their way to DS9; which is sort of like the Europeans discovering America and having the next step be Native Americans invading Europe. Fortunately the writers of Deep Space Nine, being rather intelligent, began noticing this issue and began to make changes to allow for better use of the wormhole. But that's in the future.
Meanwhile, this episode has other problems. Most fans can forgive the show for the first meeting with Gamma Quadrant visitors ("Captive Pursuit") being unconventional and underwhelming. But when the second meeting is even more unconventional and consists of aliens forcing Sisko and his friends to play hopscotch, the alarm bells start sounding - even with a nice performance from Armin Shimerman.
While it's true that many Star Trek fans have likely attended gaming conventions, (I've even met Star Trek actors at some of them), not too many want to watch the sci fi equivalent. And it doesn't help that the Wadi not only have a silly name but are downright annoying too.
There had been a few medicore episodes of DS9 up till this point in the first season, but this is the first episode that really sticks out in your mind for being both weird and really not that interesting. Is that actually a point in it's favour that you can actually remember it as a medicore episode where there are others that you cannot even recall a vague plot aspect...maybe.
From the annoying words used within the game itself (Allamaraine, Allamaraine, Allamaraine) to the tacky set pieces used as a visualization of the in-game world, the whole concept comes off as cheap and tacky. Some of the tasks that the DS9 crew had to master within the game to proceed further, such as the impossible task of just drinking the champagne from the glasses, are just plain stupid and leave you scratching your head with their missing point. In the end learning that despite all of these short comings the crew was actually in no danger kind of just cheapens the whole thing to an even greater degree.
The only real hilight of the episode is the great Quark being discovered as a cheater and trying to weasel his way out of paying for it as well as when he breaks down in tears and begs to avoid making the "tough" decision of which path the crew are to take within the game.
This is among the weakest episodes of season 1. The second set of Gamma Quadrant aliens arrive and head straight to Quark's, where they happen to introduce a game which traps and threatens the stations' senior crew.
While there is some tension throughout which prevents this episode from being total garbage, a potentially neat concept turns out to be quite stupid. The leader of the Wadi is incredibly annoying with his "move along home!" chants, while the game itself makes little sense.
The only really enjoyable part of the episode is near the end, where the Wadi leader, surprised at Sisko's anger, explains, "It is just a _game_!"
This episode is about 4 characters, Sisko, Kira, Dax and Bashir, getting stuck in a game brought to the station during first contact with the Wadi from the Gamma Quadrant. There are some absolutely terrible Bashir moments while they try to make their way through the game. Siddig makes for a pretty awful screamer. The peril in the game was silly. Essentially the team needed to conquer hop scotch, a social party, flying lights and a cliff.
My favorite scene in this episode was actually between Commander Sisko and his son Jake. The two play off each other so well, even just a few episodes into the series.
'Move Along Home' is a high concept show that had a lot of potential but it's shot in the foot by severe budgetary constraints and some poor scripting.
The end result is a sporadically amusing, mildly entertaining but deeply flawed hour. The characterisation is exceptionally poor, the Wadi and their game utterly unconvincing (and for that matter downright ANNOYING as it happens) and the ending, wherein we learn that the players were never in any real danger simply serves as the icing on a severely half-baked cake. Ultimately I was left thinking...what was the POINT?! There was none!
I feel quite bad giving DS9 such a hard time with these episode reviews...believe it or not I LOVE the show. It's just that the initial run of episodes were very uneven - ranging from mediocre to downright poor, like this one. Thankfully, it's all uphill from here :-)
As you have probably read in the episode synopsis, "Move Along Home" is about first contact with a new race from the gamma quadrant who make the journey to DS9 because they want to play games at Quark's bar. When they catch Quark trying to cheat them, however, they force him to play a new game and place the lives of DS9's senior officers in peril!
I have some problems with this episode. The main one is that with one exception none of the characters get fleshed out by this episode. Odo is meanicing but useless, Dr. Bashir is a spineless wimp, Major Kira is an angry hothead, Commander Sisko is a cool-under-fire Starfleet officer who would rather stand and die with his friends than leave them to die alone, Dax is the pretty woman who stereotypically falls down twists her ankle and O'Brien is nowhere to be seen, maybe he is off fixing something. The characterizaions in the episode are clearly are taken straight from the writer's guide and it is obvious that no attempt was made to add anything beyond the bare framework laid out by the producers when they first conceived the show.
The epsiode is also boring. No sense of real menace or urgency exists within the "game" and when something does finally happen to one of the players, it happens so fast and is so random that you really don't have time to build up any apprehension. Overall, I find the idea of the game itself really senseless and stupid and the whole episode really seems like nothing more than simplistic tripe intended to fill time.
The one saving grace of this episode is Quark. This is perhaps the first episode where we get to peek beneath his facade and see an individual who really cares about what happens to others. Other epsiodes much later in the series will redefine Quark as much more than the cutthroat Ferrengi businessman he pretends to be and I would like to think that this epsiode is the beginning of that.
That said, I still can't call the episode anything other than "Bottom of the Barrel" and if you have a choice, I advise you skip it.
Emotional response would be intrigued. The alien game is creative and odd. Series impact is minimal. The aliens are Gamma quadrant first contacts. Quark needs some therapy after this one.
# of Nine: Action 7; Drama 5; Suspense 5; Comedy 1
Acting: better for first season
Scenery: DS9, Quark's, alien ship simulation
Costumes: typical; noteable - Gamma quadrant alien first contact
Props: typical; noteable - alien game items
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