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Star Trek DS9 - Season 2 - Episode 15

Star Trek DS9 - 2x15 - Paradise

Originally Aired: 1994-2-13

Synopsis:
Sisko and O'Brien are stranded on a planet inhabited by a colony of humans who have rejected any form of technology. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.14

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 27 3 18 13 8 12 13 16 11 6 4

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- There's no essential plot or exposition in this episode that renders it unskippable.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This is the first episode when Jake starts taking lessons from O'Brien.
- This episode establishes that Sisko is terrible at bluffing in Poker.

Remarkable Scenes
- O'Brien talking about how he discovered his talents.
- Alixus justifying trying to "buy" Sisko's loyalty with sexual favors.
- Dax's "rope trick" with the tractor beam.
- Sisko crawling back into the penalty box rather than sacrifice his uniform.
- The engineer guy voluntarily letting himself get knocked out by O'Brien.
- O'Brien phasering out Sisko.

My Review
A colony of luddites dominated by a meglomaniac dicatator with brainwashed followers. Not my favorite topic to address in Star Trek, but certainly an interesting and memorable episode. By the end of the episode all I wanted was to see O'Brien phaser Alixus. Her misguided philosophy of life was just annoying. But Sisko's and O'Brien's resolve against her makes the episode nicely watchable. The biggest problem with the story though is the narrative tries to paint Alixus as vaguely sympathetic at the end and it just doesn't play at all. She beams off the planet acting as though she martyred herself for a great cause and the episode itself seems to imply that in some small way she had. What's worse is none of the colonists are at all outraged by her ten years of deception; in fact they actively defend her actions! I can't help but feel a certain touch of Stockholm Syndrome coming from those poor colonists in the ending, though you'd think at least a few of them would have been outraged enough to want to leave on the spot.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-06-08 at 12:21am:
    I will definitely agree that seeing Obrien phase Alixus would have been wondefully satisfying. However, as annoying as this episode was, I rather liked the ending. Having those two children stand there at the end was like a final statement against the lunacy of the 'community'.

    Never trust governments that sacrifice the rights of the individual for the good of the whole.
  • From EKH on 2007-04-30 at 10:29am:
    "No EM activity down here."
    Umm, hello? How do explain the simple fact that you can still see, then, Mr. O'Brien?
  • From curt on 2010-05-12 at 10:12am:
    The people on the planet were former starfleet members right?(Atleast I think so) If so i find it odd that they would be quick to result to torture. Even if there leader tells them to.
  • From Ry-Fi on 2011-01-27 at 4:46am:
    Problem? Why did the Orinoco have to lasso the Rio Grande out of warp? Hasn't Trek established ages ago that their starships are remote controllable, provided one knows the ship-specific security command code? I was expecting Kira and Dax to simply remote to it and tell it to drop to impulse.

    Naturally I'd just assume that each of the runabouts could remote any of the others, cause well, why the hell not, for obvious tactical and safety reasons! My assumption must be wrong, otherwise this is a glaring moment of writer's oversight...
  • From Bernard on 2011-03-14 at 4:54pm:
    Hmm...

    What to say about this one!

    Very ordinary. The part where Sisko goes and locks himself back in the box is played out to be a really important moment of the episode... but all it achieves is to make him look stupid.

    The characters on the planet are fairly well fleshed our though, shame the plot never really got the most out of them.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-20 at 6:36am:
    Um...
    So for 10 years she exploited us like laboratory rats for her own little social experiment?
    Well, I'm okay with it, no hard feelings, let's keep that "community", I like it...

    I'm speechless, didn't expect that ending, that was really really really bad, mind-boggling, abysmal, WOW!
  • From Bronn on 2011-10-22 at 1:32pm:
    Zaphod's got the right of this. I have no freaking idea how "Whispers," a beautifully executed episode with an exciting premise, rates a 4, while this episode, with a freaking terrible premise and an ending that defies any rationalization, rates a 5.

    This is probably my least favorite episode of DS9 ever. I'm insulted that they attempted to write this character off as sympathetic. For one, Star Trek is a horrible venue for a "Technology is Evil," Aesop, when technology has solved ALL of Earth's problems. Clean, safe, renewable energy, along with groundbreaking medicine and the ability to easily feed every starving person everywhere. Yeah, damned technology.

    And Alixus deserved to be tried for murder. Yeah, trap people on a planet without their consent, force them to suffer and die from snakebites and harsh conditions because SHE rejects modern medicine-that sounds like a heinous crime to me. But the ending makes it seem like we should agree with the crap she's peddling. This episode was a ridiculous mess. DS9 can do so much better, and they know it. What bugs me the most is Ira Steven Behr wondering how she failed to be sympathetic. Yeah, shoving Sisko in a box because O'Brien "hurt the community," through his "selfishly wasted time," trying to contact the runabout so that he could get some medical assistance for the dying girl. How snobbishly selfish of him to agree to the rules of a society where he was stranded in two days ago, and for hoping that he might someday see his child again.

    It's insulting that the writers and producers wanted her to be likable.
  • From Drac on 2013-02-01 at 8:32pm:
    I totally agree with the review. I would personally make up whatever to get them off the planet, because 10 y of brainwashing clearly affecting their judgment. They don't even have enough people.
  • From Domi on 2014-08-17 at 1:32am:
    I didn't think they could make a more unlikable character than Haneek from Sanctuary but they did it. I wanted to smother Alixus with a pillow until she suffocated.
  • From Axel on 2015-06-23 at 1:07am:
    I share the desire to have seen Alixus on the business end of Miles' phaser. She certainly had a hold on these people Branch Davidian style. And it was also disappointing to see the ending where her unwitting pawns basically accept their role in her little social experiment.

    I do agree with Pete Miller that the very ending scene was nice, and I think it redeems the episode a bit. Sure, the writers give Alixus a chance to get on her soapbox and preach her nonsense, but in the end, the community's children are already questioning things. Who knows, maybe down the road they escape that planet while the rest of the community finds themselves suddenly under Dominion occupation :)

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