#92 – Basically it’s Old Yeller In Space

11 Comments on #92 – Basically it’s Old Yeller In Space

Poor ol’ Tosk. In the actual episode, he gets to live, of course, but Geordi’s not having any of that; I guess he’s channeling his Straczynski instead of his Roddenberry at the moment.

Because that feels like the difference between Star Trek and Babylon 5, a lot of the time: this episode would have ended about ten minutes sooner, with the station crew simply miserable at the revelation that their good intentions had, instead of bearing fruit for themselves and their culturally mysterious “guest”, led to a situation more ignoble and unhappy than the one they might have thought they were helping avoid. Like that one time that Dr. Franklin secretly gave some alien kid surgery and his parents found out and they euthanized the kid because that’s how they roll, dawg.

Although to be fair to DS9, that’s a bit more how some of these stories go later in the series too.

But here, what we got was some sort of feelgood escapist fantasy resolution — literally an escape, in fact, with O’Brien conspiring with Tosk to make a break for it in the station and even explicitly (if slightly indirectly) assaulting the alien hunters while he’s at it. Which Sisko just sort of winks at, which, hey, Sisko, he’s kinda great specifically for that reason but still. It’s a bit, I dunno. It’s a bit easy.

Because Tosk is still just going to be hunted down and killed, is the implication. The Niners get to feel a bit better about the whole thing but it was no skin off their backs in the first place, and Tosk is still living a monomaniacal existence as a sentient being bred solely to be hunted and slain by a group of beings that have him outgunned and outnumbered. That’s pretty fucking grim, basically, but the episode doesn’t land grim, it tries to land on sort of a wistful “attaboy” note.

Geordi ain’t havin’ it.