Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 3 Episode 12

Past Tense (2)

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Jan 09, 1995 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
166 votes
  • A witty conclusion, with nice asides

    For Part 2, Reza Badiyi passes the director's torch to Jonathan Frakes, and the setting shifts from outside to inside. If Part 1 is "The City on the Edge of Forever", Part 2 is Die Hard from Hans Gruber's point of view. (And yet the two go together surprisingly well).

    Sisko and Bashir again take center stage, sharing the A story with several of the characters introduced in the first part. Foremost of these is the unstable instigator of the events, played by Frank Military. The performance is either brilliant or annoying, depending on your viewpoint. (I like to think of it as a little of both). In contradistinction to this character is Webb, the "guy next door," played by Bill Smitrovich. The actor gives him just the right blend of honesty and intelligence, making him one of the most realistic and likeable characters to ever grace a Star Trek series. There are also several others, and the nature of the story allows us to get to know all them better, which enhances the drama of the situation and the power of the climax.

    Meanwhile, Dax again gets the B story, although this time it's brief, written with the sole purpose of opening a door for the A story. It's padded out with a guest appearance from Clint Howard as a mentally-ill homeless man, marking Howard's first appearance on Star Trek since the original series

    episode "The Corbomite Maneuver" (as the youthful looking Balok).

    The C story, with time travelling O'Brien and Kira, is a blatant (but funny) comedic runner that's a bit of filler itself.

    In the end, the joy of Past Tense is seeing our future and Star Trek's past collide, an idea that is elaborated on in TNG's second feature film and the sixth Star Trek series, Enterprise. The greater meaning of the episode, however, lies in a timeless truth: that how we treat each other matters, and how we do so will shape our future. And that's what Star Trek is all about.

  • A nice conclusion, with witty asides.

    This episode more than delivers on the setup of part 2. We get a hostage standoff, the kind of scenario that was pretty rare in the Star Trek, and it shows off the dark edge that we occasionally got out of Sisko. The guy playing Webb provides a sympathetic everyman hero.

    Of course, part of the charm lies in "the little things". Clint Howard's appearance is fun. Kira's "I broke my nose" gag (particularly the punchline) is perfectly delivered. And of course, Sisko's arrival in the history books wraps things up perfectly. (Referenced by Nog in the 4th season).

    Overall, a nice diversion from the series' main arc.
  • Beautiful conclusion

    The trippy cameos in this ep are fun fun fun. Clint Howard playing his trademark mentally off character is the best of the lot. Personally, I think they could have done a few more great cameos when Kira and O'Brien travel to wrong times. So many possibilities, such a squandered opportunity.

    But that's all icing. This episode wraps up the kind of lackluster set up of the previous episode. The rough hoodlum is no more believable than in the last ep, but they try to give a little background as to why he may not be bad. Kind of lame. All these citizens confined to a ghetto, and yet they all maintain civility.

    BUT, this is still a great wrap up. Good action. Good adventure. Plot payoff. And generally good acting, considering Jonathan Frakes is at the helm, and his directing can go either way.

    Plus, Sisko landing in the history book. Love that. Fun ep.