Here are my thoughts on three more episodes from DS9's first season for those of you still checking in.
Q-Less (1x06): This, the sixth episode of the show's first season, was/is another favourite of mine from when the show premiered way back in 1993. Q's presence had a lot to do with that, seeing as he was one of the more popular 'villains' from TNG, but I've seen some bad Q episodes in my time, so it's not like he carried the show. Once again it was an entertaining story and good character bits that made this one stand out early on in the season.
After watching Picard match wits with Q for 7 years over on TNG it was pretty rewarding to have Sisko take him down with a couple of punches after being provoked. "Picard never hit me," Q says while massaging his chin.
"I'm not Picard," replies Sisko in a scene that could almost stand as a mission statement for the show.
The show doesn't really focus on any one character so it kind of breaks the trend of introductory stories. In fact, the presence of Q and Vash could have been a stunt to grab TNG viewers who were resisting watching the new show. Either way, it is clear that it is the characters who are carrying this show once again (which is good when you consider the MacGuffin of a 'problem' that they must overcome) and I think this is good.
Dax (1x07): The show starts its slippery slope with 'Dax', regressing into just another generic Trek show full of techno-problems and technobabble. Not to mention yet another trial, this time with Dax as the 'guilty' party.
While I thought that the episode did a good job of communicating a lot of information about Dax and how Trills operate, I think it was too soon to do another trial episode. It was only 4 episodes prior that we had Odo wrestling with much the same problem. I'm sure there was a better way to accomplish what they wanted to do, but they chose this.
It's actually a well written and well acted episode co-scripted by Trek legend, DC Fontana, and directed by veteran director, David Carson, it's just very poorly scheduled by placing it seventh in airing order. It's unfortunate but I just can't give it more points despite some of its finer points.
The Passenger (1x08): The slippery slope becomes a full-scale avalanche with this Bashir-centred episode. Again, everything but the A story is handled well and fits within the established tone of the show, but the main plot, revolving around a vicious criminal who seems to be able to organize and execute a hijacking despite being dead, falls so short of anything remotely good to render this a virtual waste of time.
There's a nice moment between Bashir and Kira in the teaser, and the introduction of a new character, Primmin, provides some comic tension as Odo is forced to accept having Starfleet security on board, but overall this could have been so much better than what it was.
Next up, the absolutely dreadful 'Move Along Home' to 'Vortex', an episode that I think may be new to me.