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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 2 Episode 17

Playing God

3
Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Feb 27, 1994 on Syndicado
7.1
out of 10
User Rating
153 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

Stardate: 47678.3

While evaluating a Trill initiate for the first time, Lieutenant Dax accidentally discovers a proto-universe whose rapid expansion threatens not only the station, but the entire Alpha Quadrant and beyond.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A good Trill episode. A bad sci fi story.

    6.5
    The conventional Star Trek episode introduces a sci fi premise and finds opportunities throughout the story for character development. This Dax episode inverts the formula, exploring the characters while finding opportunities to touch on a sci fi idea (a miniature universe). As a Trill story, it's interesting, expanding upon the recharacterization of Dax put forth in "Rules of Acquisition" and introducing Arjin (Geoffrey Blake) who is sufficiently wussy enough to serve as her opposite and highlight their differences. The script develops parallels between Jadzia's experience of being mentored and her attempt at being a mentor and has her come to terms with what each means. It's well played by Terry Farrell and adds interest to the character going forward.



    As a an exciting piece of sci fi, however, the episode falls flat. The fascinating idea of a protouniverse is underdeveloped and given the NIMBY treatment. There's also a C story with "voles" that's reminiscent of the "The Trouble With Tribbles" but it feels more contrived and serves simply as a comedic runner.



    So why is this one called "Playing God"? The protouniverse is such a small part of the overall episode, the title only works if it ties into Dax's story and serves as a witty double meaning; but it doesn't. I suppose it will remain of the show's great mysteries.

    moreless
  • Teri Farrell coming into her own, and an interesting concept, but the scifi plot is a mess.

    7.0
    This is, I think, the first Jadzia episode in which Teri Farrell really gets to shine - the 1st season episode "Dax" involved her sitting mute for much of the time. The concept is interesting; in the early seasons, the writers tended to fall back on "Trill stories" when writing for her character, but it wasn't done often enough to become tiresome.



    The initiate placed under Jadzia's care is played quite unsympathetically - maybe that's the point, but it's a drag. Not as much of a drag, however, as the scifi plot. It's classic 3rd tier TNG, in which a thoroughly lame technobabble story is grafted along to move along the plot but operates as little more than a plot device.



    This is really the last weak episode of season 2. The pace picks up significantly from this point on.moreless
  • An engaging Dax story is saddled with a lame technobabble subplot which simply doesn't make sense

    6.0
    'Playing God' is a tale of two halves. The main storyline sees Dax mentoring a young Trill initiate who hopes to become a host. It's great to see the writers finally playing to Terry Farrell's endearing charm, essentially giving the character a make-over and a whole new lease of life to boot. Gone is the demure and rather boring by-the-book Jadzia of earlier episodes, and in her place we have a roguish, devil-may-care Trill who lives her life with an irresistable joie de vive. The script is well-observed and witty, even if the actual plot-line is less than earth-shattering.



    Unfortunately it's saddled with a half-baked sub-plot involving a proto-universe and a conclusion that's wholly unsatisfying - and which makes very little sense. Just how does moving the proto-universe back to the Gamma Quadrant solve anything?! Am I missing something??moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman

Quark

Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

Lt./Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (Season 1-6)

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Alexander Siddig

Alexander Siddig

Dr. Julian Bashir

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Klingon Host

Guest Star

Richard Poe

Richard Poe

Gul Evek

Guest Star

Geoffrey Blake

Geoffrey Blake

Arjin

Guest Star

Mark Allen Shepherd

Mark Allen Shepherd

Morn (uncredited)

Recurring Role

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Computer Voice

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Sisko: My mind keeps going back to the Borg. How I despised their... indifference as they tried to exterminate us. And I have to ask myself... would I be any different if I destroyed another universe to preserve my own?

    • Jadzia: (Arjin's looking into his glass of synthale) What's so interesting in there?
      Arjin: I can see my future.
      Jadzia: I wouldn't trust a bottle of synthale to tell you the future.

    • Quark: Listen son, when I was a young man, no older than you, I had an apprenticeship with the district sub-Nagus. I licked his boots like you couldn't believe. He loved me. I was his golden boy. I was on a fast track to the top of the Ferengi business world. And then it all fell apart...
      Arjin: How?
      Quark: Rule Of Acquisition 112: "Never have sex with the boss' sister." I was fired, broke. It was quite a setback to my ambitions.
      Arjin: How'd you recover?
      Quark: Never did. Look at me: tending bar out here in the wormhole junction, while the big boys fly past me at warp speed. You only get one shot at the latinum stairway and if you miss it, you miss it. Welcome to the club, son.
      Arjin: Thanks!!
      Quark: Glad I could help.

    • Evek: (talking to Gul Evek about voles) You've got the station, you've got the voles. By the way, their mating season begins in about six weeks...
      O'Brien: Thanks for your help!
      Evek: The Federation could always withdraw from Bajor... (O'Brien shuts down the transmission)

    • Quark: (Quark brings a vole to Major Kira) It ran right across a dabo table!
      Kira: How'd it die? Get into your food?
      Quark: As landlords, you're responsible for this! I expect vermin control or I'm going to...
      Kira: Leave? Oh, please say 'leave'. I'd take a Cardassian vole over you any day.

    • Quark: Don't play with my ears unless you're serious about it.

    • Kira: (debating whether or not to destroy an expanding universe) It's like stepping on an ant hill.
      Odo:
      I don't step on ants, Major.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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