May 29, 2018
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine “Let He Who Is Without Sin...” (part 4 of 7)
Dax tells Worf to go put on his bathing suit so they can swim in the lagoon. The next thing we see is Worf in his room, holding up a pair of tiny, gold lamé shorts. Thanks guys, I can already feel the vomit rising in the back of my throat.
He grimaces and the door chimes. In walks a guy in a brown coat who looks like Cliff Robertson after somebody smacked him in the face with the Bland and Uninteresting Stick. (Played by Monte Markham. I have no clue who this guy is, but apparently some people do, even though the most notable item I see on his filmography is a regular role on Baywatch.)
“I hope I’m not disturbing you, Lt. Commander,” he says, and with his delivery, I almost expect his next line to be because you’ve just won ten million dollars courtesy of Publisher’s Clearing House! He reveals his name is “Pascal Fullerton”, a name that I think the writers came up with by throwing darts at a computer science textbook and a map of Orange County, respectively.
He calls himself the “chairman” of “the New Essentialists Movement”. Which totally sounds like a funk ensemble from Chicago with about thirty horn players on stage at one time. And come to think of it, for some reason bands like that always have at least one member, usually the drummer, whose nickname is “The Chairman”.
Anyway, every movement’s got a goal, and the New Essentialists Movement is no exception. The Essentialists are keen on “restoring the moral and cultural traditions of the Federation.” He’s got a “statement of [their] principles” with him in the form of an e-padd tablet, and he hands it to Worf, and I get it, it’s just like Jehovah’s Witnesses handing out copies of the Watchtower, get it? Or members of whatever lunatic Christian sect that gives out Jack Chick tracts that say all Muslims are going to hell, get it?
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Fullerton invites Worf to a “rally” that will be held on Risa. This movement has targeted Risa specifically because of the “self-indulgence” it represents, which is “eroding the foundations of Federation society” and causing puppies to get kicked down the street, and flowers and rainbows to be brutally murdered. Well, that’s the essence of it. He says he wants to “shut it down”. What, the whole planet? By the way, there’s a serious flaw in his line of thinking, specifically when it comes to blaming Risa for all the ills of society, but I’ll get into that later when this lapse in logic makes itself more obvious.
When we get back from commercial break, we’re in some Risa interior somewhere, and there’s a table full of Whorega’hns, er, I mean, Horga’hns, and scantily-clad women pick them up as they walk past. I guess, in case you run out of them, or something? Enter Dax and Worf, with Worf totally engrossed in the Watchtower. Dax is a little miffed that he’s reading it, but Worf says Fullerton’s statement is “both insightful and disturbing.” Sort of like seeing Worf in golden Speedos, only insightful. Dax points out he’s still in his uniform, and hasn’t changed into his tight swim trunks, and thank god for small miracles. He ignores her and forces the Jack Chick tract into her hand.
Cut to Leeta’s toes. Shout out to all the Bajoran foot fetishists out there! She’s stretched out on a divan, surrounded by white curtains, as a guy in a purple mesh muscle-T runs some kind of glowing massage tool over her legs. That’s right. A purple. Mesh. Muscle-T. Just try to get this image out of your head. It’s very Rob and Fab. Need I say more?
Leeta tells the guy (who never gets a name, let alone a line) about how tough it is being a Dabo girl. Apparently, just like a pinball wizard, you need a “very supple wrist”. There’s a frontal shot of Leeta showing off her supple wrist, and I do mean frontal, and I do mean supple, because she’s wearing a very loose-fitting silk robe that exposes all the cleavage she has to her name. And I know they’re fake, and that’s pretty obvious, but this shot I don’t mind one bit.
After demonstrating the wrist movement, Leeta links hands with Fab Morvan and says, “Dabo!” Geez, just let it go for a day or two. The only people I know who identify this closely with their service-oriented jobs are Disneyland employees, and they are scary people. You work for Disneyland, you sleep and eat Disneyland, you know what I mean? And Leeta is acting just as cultish as the worst of them. Hot Dog on a Stick employees act like that, too, which for some reason I find much more disturbing.
Anyway, a bickering Worf and Dax stumble through the curtain. Leeta invites them to join her and Fab for a “reyamilk soak”, but Dax says it’s not a good time. Sadly, this doesn’t mean that audiences were deprived of ever seeing Worf soak. In the TNG episode “Cost of Living”, you get to see not only Worf and Troi in a hot tub, but also Worf’s son Alexander and Troi’s mother Lwaxana. Not to mention a cameo from Dustin “Screech” Diamond (thankfully, he never gets anywhere near the hot tub). Frankly, that’s one of my worst viewing experiences as a Trek fan, but I never recapped that episode, because it would just take too long to explain all the background and everything with Alexander and Lwaxana that led up to that episode. But whenever things get really tough, not just while watching Trek, but during my everyday life, I always think back to “Cost of Living” and remind myself that things aren’t so bad at all. And, yes, I realize this recap has been about 75% complete and utter digression that’s totally unrelated to anything happening in the episode. No wonder it’s taken me a year to put up a new Trek recap.
So Worf glowers at Leeta and Fab, but Dax quickly hustles him out. We learn Worf’s reasoning behind this particular glower: “That was not Dr. Bashir.” He should be thankful. I think Alexander Siddig is an awesome actor, but I do not want to see him in a purple mesh anything. Spongeworthy or not.
(Actually, if you watch this episode’s preview, currently on display at StarTrek.com, you can see how this scene was originally shot: Leeta in a hot tub, all implied nudity and boobies popping out. But I guess the suits got a little skittish about including that much nakedness in a Trek episode, and instead we got Mondo Cleavage. Which is too bad for several reasons, most of them related to my own personal high-res screencap collection of naked Trek actresses, but also because it would’ve made Worf’s imminent outrage more understandable. Not a lot more understandable, but still.)
This leads to another tiff between Worf and Dax, which Dax again tries to defuse by cheerfully saying, “What do you say we go sign out a couple of floaters, and take in the sights?” I can think of a few definitions of “floater”, several of which apply to this episode, but I assuming this is some kind of paddleboat or raft? Or something?
Whatever. Worf says he’s going to the Essentialist’s rally instead. Dax thinks he’s kidding, which means the writers probably realized what a stupid plot point this is, but Worf means it.