The Infinite Jukebox: Mama Cass’s ‘It’s Getting Better’

The other night, I watched a YouTube video about ’10 Songs that always make you smile’. Like all such things, I had mixed opinions about the choices, though it’s hard to argue against a top 3 of ‘ California Girls’, ‘Here comes the Sun’ and ‘My Girl’. The video itself commented that it was hard to beat the Sixties for happy songs, sunny songs, positive songs, and that’s the same point I’ve made myself: the Sixties was the last great age of optimism, a time when we looked at ourselves saw changes being made that opened things up, broadened things, extended the range of possibilities wider than they’d ever been before. And we believed, naively but honestly, that this condition was eternal, that we had broken on through to the other side, and that it not only was getting better, but it would always get better. It’s in the music at a bedrock basis: hope, belief, wonder, enthusiasm, innocence.

This song could and probably should have been put in that list. It’s not a political song, or a social song, or any kind of symbolic song, though its title and its chorus strips the atmosphere of 1969 down to its minimalist essence. It’s just a love song, by a young lady with her life and her music in front of her, unaware how little longer she would with here to make her own kind of music.

Cass Elliott went (unwillingly) by the name Mama Cass, signalling her association with The Mamas and the Papas. Her solo career left behind the folk-pop of the band, with its roots in the clubs, choosing a more direct pop approach, with lazy, gentle ballads like ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’, mixed with the rousing, uptempo declaration of independence of ‘Make your own kind of music’.

I’ve known ‘It’s getting better’ for a long time. It was Mama Cass’s second top 10 hit over here, a beautifully balanced piece of mid-tempo jangly-pop alleviated with cleverly restrained, but still buoyant horn riffs, leading into a chorus that sucks you into joining in, singing your heart out.

Cass opens with a confession. Once I believed, she sings, that when love came to me, it would come with rockets, bells and poetry. Rockets, bells and poetry: to a lonely, naive, repressed teenager, this was manna to the expectation, though the embittered old man I am now knows that finding rockets, bells and poetry was blazing luck.

But that’s not what it’s about, not at all. Cass expected rockets, bells and poetry, but didn’t get them. Instead, what she got was infinitely quieter, calmer, and yet so much more satisfying. But with me and you, she proclaims, because you can’t keep such feelings in, it just started quietly and grew.

And it’s getting better. Getting better every day.

There’s an uplift to those words, that chorus, a powerful dignity shot through with absolute confidence that just isn’t possible in music today, because the singer cannot be that pure. Too much has happened to allow songs like this to be made today and have any credibility.

But Cass is still singing about how great things are, how natural and right it feels just to be with her man, for the two of them just to be together, and do things together, because the together elevates everything, no matter how small or banal, into a moment of grace and love.

And, best of all, it’s not hard to see that this isn’t half of what it’s gonna turn out to be.

And with those words, Mama Cass reminds us of just how much we have lost that we can no longer say that, or think it or believe it. It isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse and for many of us we will never see it become better, but for three glorious minutes we can travel back in time, and tell ourselves that we don’t mind waiting, no matter how long it takes. Because it’s getting better. Growing stronger. Warmer, wilder. It’s getting better every day.

And that’s why I have an Infinite Jukebox in my head.

When to stop: Goodbye Preacher

Bugger off, you bore me

When it first appeared, last summer, I thought the TV version of Preacher had got it right. It captured the insanity, brutality and sheer cockamie absurd and black humour of the original comic. And in Joe Gilgun as Cassidy, it had an insanely good star.

The first series lasted ten episodes. It started in a blaze of fire and glory and gradually lost steam. By about episode six, the pace had dropped to a crawl and it just had less and less energy from that point on, lifting its head every now and then to bludgeon you into crazed laughter and then slumping once again.

Still, season 1 was, effectively, a Prelude. Things would get a lot more serious once our terrible trio of Jesse Custer, Tulip O’Hare and Cassidy got on the road. And for a little bit, in the first couple of episodes of season 2, it looked like it.

Then they turned the gas off. The third episode dragged and the fourth was even worse. My interest levels dropped between the opening scene and the closing credits. nothing was happening and it was happening painfully slowly.

Maybe it’s me being jaded. I’m finding quite a few things of late to be so slow-moving I wonder what anyone bothered. Unfortunately, Preacher is a TV series, not a movie. And I’ve now baled out.

If you’re just not enjoying something, it is actually ok to stop. When the Fall comes around, I’m baling on Supergirl and Arrow is on double-secret probation. You don’t have to stick with something just to find out what the end is. Endings only matter is you give the proverbial rat’s ass for them. Sorry, Preacher, you don’t interest me any more.

Deep Space Nine: s05 e03 – Looking for par’Mach in all the wrong places


For once, I’m not entirely sure what I want to say about a DS9 episode, let alone how I want to say it.

‘Looking for par’Mach in all the wrong places’ (apparently the longest title for a DS9 episode and the second longest for any Star Trek series) was a purely character-driven episode. It was directed by Andrew J. (Garak) Robinson, though he doesn’t appear in the episode, it was, at the suggestion of Michael Dorn, based on the famous French play, Cyrano de Bergerac, and it initiates the relationship of Worf and Dax as a couple.

It also heavily features Quark and, surprisingly, is actually bearable.

This episode also has a B story which, in standard DS9 fashion, is introduced first in the open, with Doctor Bashir eavesdropping on a seeming row between the O’Briens, which turns out to be a row between the Chief and the Major, their live-in guest whilst Kira is carrying Miles’ baby.

This switches to our A-story, with Dax and Worf present to see a tall, bold, long-striding Klingon woman arrive on the station. Worf falls for her instantly, like the proverbial ton of bricks, though his romantic ideals are shattered when he follows her to Quark’s, and sees her enthusiastically embrace the proprietor. For this is Grilka, and Mary Kay Adams for a second and final time, and she is Quark’s ex-wife, as anyone who recalls ‘The house of Quark’, exactly two seasons ago, will remember (I didn’t).

So, Worf is smitten, and Dax displays considerable equanimity in listening to his moon-struck babblings about how glorious Grilka is. Worf even makes a start on traditional Klingon wooing, only to be told, not unkindly, by her aged Counsellor, Tumek, that as a dishonoured traitor to the Empire, it’s no chance whatsoever, and as a Klingon brought up by humans, Worf wouldn’t know how to woo a Klingon woman anyway.

This is like a red rag to a bull, and this is where the Cyrano bit comes in, because when Quark asks for help in wooing the statuesque Grilka, Worf takes over as his mentor, wooing by remote control, and getting a hell of a long way with it.

Unfortunately, the remote control bit has to become a little more direct. Quark’s filthy and demeaning attentions prove to be too much for Grilka’s bodyguard, Thopok, who demands satisfaction, with bat’leths.

Dax quickly cooks up a device that enable Worf to see through Quarks eyes and control his movements and effectively fight his duel for him without even being in the same holo-suite. Apparently, everybody seems to be incredibly fussed about the way nobody explains just how this little transmitter/receiver device work, and the decision not to explain because that would just bog the story down in unnecessary detail, and I don’t get why all the fuss: this is the twenty-fourth century, I don’t need an explanation for how a scientifically advanced device works and yer dern tooting it would have killed the momentum in its tracks.

Anyway, lots a by-play later, the Quark-puppet wins his duel, spares Thopok’s life and has Grilka jump his bones with true Klingon aggression. Worf, who has proved his point without anyone but Dax knowing, who has won his woman only for her to go off shagging Quark, gets an undeniable touch of the melancholies, from which a by-now frustrated Dax, tired of trying to make him see there’s a randy Trill under his nose, starts a bat’leth fight which draws both into a pyre of lust that ends wiith them shagging (tastefully offscreen, of course).

Both couples wind up in the Infirmary with cuts, bruises, dinged ribs, strains (I will reject all advances from Klingon women if this is what it leads to), causing Bashir to mentally wince so much, he probably pulls a mental hamstring himself.

For all this is an overtly sexual storyline, its ironic that the only female flesh we get to see is in the B story. No, not Rosalind Chao, though it was noticable to the unreconstructed among us just how clingy was that top she was wearing at the start, but Nana Visitor, clad in but a light, and short purple slip, having a massage from Chief O’Brien that started at her pregnancy-swollen ankles and got a long way up her unclad thighs.

If the A-story was about a love triangle, the same went for the B-story, as Miles and Nerys found themselves developing an unexpected – and unwanted – attraction for each other based on their close proximity, that was clearly capable of going beyond the purely sexual.

Everybody seemed to see there was something at least potentially going on except, naturally, Keiko. This was an interesting story, and an interesting twist on human relationships, with Miles and Nerys trying to distance themselves from each other to avoid nearing the point of lost control, whilst not letting the oblivious Keiko see that there was anything to back away from.

Matters came to a head when Kira abruptly decided to take several days leave in solitude on Bajor, only for a horrified Keiko to insist the Chief go with her, to look after her. The problem was, this was a gorgeous place in the most romantic of settings…

The drawback with this story was that its treatment was too light, and it was concluded without an ending. Miles and Nerys recognise that they daren’t go off together, and that there is too much of a potential affair that neither wants. So Kira shoots off for some no-doubt pregnant nookie with Shakaar, and O’Brien heads home to (unseen) lie to Keiko about some miscommunication meaning she’d jetted off without him, which wasn’t going to work for a second, or change any of the genuine fears that prompted Keiko to send her husband off with his baby-mother, or actually resolve anything, and I bet we don’t hear of this storyline again.

Basically, this was a lightweight script, with some comic elements that worked mildly successfully, a deliberate contrast that would perhaps have worked better if it were not thrown in so early in the season, when there was so little to contrast it to. But Quark, despite having a major role, was perfectly bearable, because he was playing against his usual, money-grubbing Ferengi self.

At least we’ve now hurdled into the Worf/Dax relationship.

Uncollected Thoughts: Suicide Squad

I debated doing one with Margot Robbie alone but decided that would be sexist

They warned me, but I had to see for myself, and now I have and they were right. DC’s Suicide Squad movie is crap, for all the reasons everybody has already said, but at least it’s not Batman vs Superman crap, though it wouldn’t have to cross a very wide street to be so.

I’m not going to go into expansive detail, which makes a change from the film. Actually, the film doesn’t so much go into infinite detail, dragging things out at every possible turn, as to slide very slowly across the surface of things, dragging it out at every possible turn.

This is the third time out of four DC Universe films (the fourth of which I have not seen and will not see) that I have been checking my watch inside the first thirty minutes (18 minutes and 23 seconds here, a new personal best). This was because the film was doing everything it could to avoid actually portraying a story, and boring the arse off me.

When the ‘story’ actually began, the film had forfeited all goodwill by being so clunky. It then went to to be not so much clunky in its development of the story as non-existent. There isn’t a story, just a series of events, through which we move at a funereal pace, occasionally upping the tempo for ill-directed, confusing fight scenes, in which you can barely see anything anyway because this is all taking place at night (DC films don’t do daylight, it’s far too light-hearted and Marvel).

I recall that a lot of reshooting took place before release in order to add a more light-hearted and comedic tone, but I assume all that stuff got left out of the final print, because I didn’t see any of it. Sure, Harley Quinn is constantly quipping, and snarking, and being generally absurd, but despite a vigorous performance by Margot Robbie, she isn’t actually funny.

Ms Robbie is, indeed, the highlight of the film, but only because her body gets flaunted over and over again, and it’s a nice body. Then again, Cara Delivingne, as June Moone/The Enchantress, also has a nice body, most of which is largely uncovered for 90% of her screen-time, and the film manages to make her look thoroughly unattractive.

I’ll say no more, as others have already said all of this, in more detail, and i am merely recording that they’re right.

I grew up on DC Comics. By temperament, I always preferred their less-frenetic, less-hysterical approach to superheroes. I have a half century’s emotional investment in these characters. I would just like to go and see a film about such characters that is at least half as enjoyable as those featuring Marvel characters for whom I don’t have anything like the innate sympathy. I’m beginning to suspect that I should stick to my boxset of the Christopher Reeve Superman films (maybe not no. 4…)

Tales of the Gold Monkey: e06 – Trunk From The Past

Firstly, an apology: Thursday is Tales of the Gold Monkey day, but, like other posts on this blog, I don’t watch, blog and post instantly, but schedule certain series. You’d think that after 61 years I would have learned how to count up to seven, even across one month’s end into another, but clearly I still have difficulties with simple arithmetic, which is how I managed to schedule last week’s post for Wednesday instead. I feel a proper fule!

Returning to our regularly scheduled feature, episode 6 made up for last week’s sidelining of Sarah by making her the focal point of a story that, with glorious improbability, wore its ‘Son of Raiders of the Lost Ark‘ atmosphere on its sleeve by transporting Ancient Egypt, dead Pharaohs and death curses to the South Pacific!

This was set up by an extensive flashback, kicking off the episode, set in 1937 Cairo. Archaeologist Professor White, father of our lovely Sarah, translates hieroglyphics into a succinct curse: He who seeks the tomb of the Pharaoh Ka seeks death. The Professor is duly unimpressed, even when the balcony doors slam shut and the light goes off, that is, until he is attacked and stabbed in the chest by a tall, strapping lad in a seriously impressive Anubis helmet.

Meanwhile, in the street, a cab disgorges a sneezing Sarah, her allergies activated by the dust of the excavations and sneezing uncontrollably, and Ted Harrison, her father’s assistant. Oh, and her fiance. We’re prepared for this as it”s a big point, understandably, in the pre-credits foretaste, and the two do appear to be close.

Sarah arrives in Daddy’s room to find his stabbed body on the ancient Egyptian trunk and the Anubis-lad crouched over the body. Being an American spy, she grabs her gun and blasts Anubis off the balcony, which brings Ted running, only to imply she’s had a shock-induced hallucination: there’s no body in the street.

Cut to one year later, and having formed our own conclusions about that engagement given that Sarah is in the Maravellas and playing up to Jake, we cut to our heroic plane-flying team, flying in dense cloud, at tight, with every instrument flopping wildly. They’re delivering a heavily wrapped trunk-shaped package to Sarah. Funnily, when the package breaks loose from its moorings and slides to the back of the Goose, the instruments go back to normal. Only the audience notices this…

So Jake, Corky and Jack deliver the package to Sarah in the Monkey bar, and she goes all little-girl excited over it, believing it to be the dresses she’d requested of her Aunt Helen, but it’s not. it’s the trunk, the one her father was stabbed to death on, and her instant reaction is horror, revulsion and fear.

Jake takes the trunk back to the Goose where Corky, having checked all the instruments, has discovered they’re all 100% ok, which doesn’t explain why they simultaneously went haywire (we know, don’t we, audience?). Meanwhile, Sarah, having retired to bed, is woken by a dream: or is it a dream? The first part of it may be, a vision of her father’s murder, but the second part is altogether more real. This is her father, warning her to be careful. There is no fear in Sarah, only great loss.

Come the next morning, Sarah is explaining the background to Jake, including a somewhat ferocious defence of her father’s pet theory – ridiculous of course but Daddy was convinced of it – that Ka, worried about Tomb-raiding in the Valley of the Kings, had his pyramid built ‘across-the-water’: seriously across the water, in the Maravellas.

Let’s swallow this one whole: this is not the kind of series where adherence to realism is the name of the game. Enter Ted Harrison, greeted with enthusiasm and serious kissing by Sarah that gets Jake’s back up even before Ted reveals himself as Sarah’s fantasy. Technically, that’s true. The engagement has never been formally broken off, though Ted’s attitude towards Sarah being a woman and therefore not capable of standing up for herself is one of the reasons Sarah has, more or less, rejected him.

Ted’s sent the trunk because he’s at last found Professor White’s notebook, though it’s all written in code that only Sarah can break, though she requires twin moments of inspiration from first Corky then Jake to get the passkey. And it’s Jake that spots that the base of the pyramid in the trunk is a star map, identifying a remote island in the northern Maravellas, in the Japanese Mandate.

This is clearly going to be dangerous.Sarah has another vision of her father, warning her not to go, followed by an Anubis with raised dagger, which causes her to faint. Still, she won’t be left behind. Jake and Ted don’t like each other, and have already had one of those fist-fights that smash up the flimsier bits of the Monkey Bar and cause Bonne Chance Louie to stand firmly aside, totting up Jake’s bill (this one totalled 100 francs), but Ted takes things to an altogether dirtier level, saying that he doesn’t want Sarah going with them because he loves her very deeply. And what does Jake have to say to that?

Nothing, in fact. He backs down rapidly, to his own self-contempt, and is ‘rewarded’ by seeing Sarah and Ted holding hands in the back of the Goose as they head northwards. Somewhat maliciously, he has Corky fetch the pyramid stone back and forth, requiring the affianced pair to have to let go of each other’s paws every time. It’s bloody obvious what he’s doing and Sarah isn’t fooled for a moment, nor is Corky, though it does establish that the magnetised stone is what is buggering up the gauges.

That they’re in the right place is immediately obvious when the natives on the island wear Egyptian headdresses, divided skirts and speak Ancient Egyptian. Worshipping Jack as a God is another giveaway. And then, in the least surprising surprise twist of all time, Anubis himself, in headdress and costume, emerges from the Goose: it is Ted.

His rationale for all this craziness is that, through his Egyptian mother, he has been a worshipper of Amon-Ra, and a Priest, since he was four. Jack will be worshipped as a living God, Sarah – tricked out in a very fetching black fringe-and-page-boy wig with excessive eye make-up – will become his wife and a Priestess, and Jake and Corky will be invited to the wedding. As the sacrifice.

There’s a somewhat non-Egyptian pyramid in the woods (you can’t get the stone, you know, nor the slaves) with a locking mechanism that requires only the pyramid stone as capstone. This opens the tomb, and the execution is to be Jack and Corky thrust inside, with the capstone, to do a living death.

Which is when Jack saves the day. Our favourite one-eyed terrier has to be carried around in a little because, being a God, as he already knows himself to be, his worshippers can only stand if he is above their head-height. So, leaping from the litter, he forces everyone to prostrate themselves. Jake and Ted have a brief scrap inside the tomb, with the door descending: Jake gets out but Ted is doomed to a living death…

The coda takes place back on Bora Gora, with just Sarah and Jake. Her greatest sadness is that those oddly comforting appearances by her father were only trickery by Ted. But Jake reminds her that this is only true of the second one: the first took place before Ted reached the island. Sarah’s father is indeed watching over her. Whether or not he’s saying this because he believes it or because its gets Sarah melting into his arms for a prolonged snog, we don’t know, but the episode ends on a freeze-frame as a hand lighting a rather ornate pipe appears in the extreme foreground…

I’ve gone on about the plot at greater length than I usually do because, although the story is simple, and is perfectly matched to the show’s ethos of recreating Saturday Morning Cinema with its tongue only so far into its cheek, this episode demonstrated just how dense and detailed episodes can be. The plot is a spine upon which so many different vertebrae, comic and otherwise, can be hung. Touches are light, but are cleverly assembled to imply a depth greater than screen-time requires. Even in small touches, the episode can tease and imply about the established personalities of its cast, suggesting things about the times between episodes.

Sarah’s grief about her father and her self-reliance, despite the way that the show constantly undercuts it is mixed in with Jake’s evident devotion to her and the way that his rootlessness as a soldier of fortune prevent him from saying it in words. There’s a cameo from the Reverend Tennbaum, suspicious of Jake’s plans, as well he might be, but thrown off the scent by Jack revealing a hitherto-unsuspected ability to lie. Sarah’s evident delight at Jake’s childish interruption of the hand-holding. All of these, and more, are indicated by brief moments, kept spare and lean, and used as variations on the cliched set-up.

This was a another very strong episode, and an example of how to write a commercial, entertainment-only series and expand straightforward adventure into something more intriguing.

Deep Space Nine: s05 e02 – The Ship

The Captain and Kilana

Deep Space Nine‘s 98th episode was a curious collection of bits that, for the most part, were well-made in themselves but which didn’t, for me, quite cohere into a substantial whole. The effect was unusual, a bit like the curate’s egg, though without anything in it that was specifically bad.

This was a story for half the cast, Sisko, Dax, Worf and O’Brien, in the Gamma Quadrant on a McGuffin Mission, examining a remote planet for its mining potential. The other half, Odo, Bashir, Quark and Kira, had a ‘B story’ of their own though it’s stretching the boundaries of the term to apply it to something begun and ended in a single scene, lasting about ninety seconds, if that, so we’ll ignore it.

The Sisko Four were in a party of nine, which meant that, even though none of them were wearing red shirts, you knew the other five were going to be for the chop the moment the story really began. Three of them made it onto the guest star list, though only F. J.Rio as O’Brien’s assistant, Muniz, had any kind of role. Four got killed more or less immediately: Muniz was mortally wounded and took most of the episode to die, teasing the audience into hoping for better, because his gently disrespectful attitude towards the Chief, and his obvious competence were the makings of a very appealing recurring character. We could have stood a lot more of Muniz, but his fate was pre-determined.

The open took us from some gentle ribbing between O’Brien and Muniz whilst exploring rough terrain, to the expedition successfully establishing the target planet as worth mining, to a ship coming out of cloaking and crashing not far away, to the discovery that it was a Jem’Hadar ship.

This was a brilliant opportunity to get acquire and study hot Dominion technology, and Sisko was determined to gran it with both hands: it was no less than his duty. This led to an oddly atmospheric explanation of the upside-down ships, all flashlights, darkness, hissing pipes and odd camera angles coming together to create a brilliantly effective impression of a kind completely alien to DS9.

The ship contains 29 bodies, its entire Jem’Hadar crew being dead.

Next up was the arrival of another, this time intact Jem’Hadar craft, destroying the runabout and opening fire, killing all the metaphorical ‘red-shirts’ except the belly-shot Muniz, and beseiging the Sisko Four inside.

This Jem’Hadar lot are led by a Vorta, of course. Pleasingly, this was not the ubiquitous Weyoun, but rather Kilana, played by Kaitlin Hopkins as a hesitant ingenue, inexperienced, gently flirtatious and all the while displaying enough cleavage to stun an ox. They want their ship back, and are willing to return everyone to DS9, intact, rather than start a fight.

Sisko, naturally, refuses. Apart from it being his Duty to the Federation, and his personal commitment, he doesn’t trust anyone from the Dominion further than he can spit.

Kilana tries again: this time she only wants a mysterious something off the ship and Sisko can have the rest, which he also turns down, ordering everyone to find out what this so important thing is. They’re all convinced it’s some form of military advance but I could see quite clearly what was coming, and it was a little less than convincing that no-one out of four such hardy and experienced Dominion fighters couldn’t even conceive of the most obvious explanation: there was a Changeling on the ship.

This wilful ignorance persisted even though the Jem-Hadar laid down an ongoing barrage of shells detonating outside the crashed ship, taking great care not to so much as scratch its paintwork. Meanwhile, the bombardment frays everyone’s nerves. Muniz continues to die, still clinging to his irreverent attitude, but getting progressively worse. O’Brien refuses to accept the inevitable and keeps reassuring him he’ll be saved, and even Sisko supports this attitude. This leads to the inevitable conflict between O’Brien and Worf over the latter’s cold-eyed clarity, and his Klingon belief that Muniz should be told the truth, so that he can prepare himself, or even that his struggle should be ended, to give him a death with honour, not this unworthy outcome.

We’re running out of time now, so the pace has to be forced. Muniz expires. Sisko and Dax discover some disgustingly greasy drips coming from the ceiling that prove to be the Changeling, a revelation only to the cast. It’s dying, unable to maintain its structural integrity, and spills all over the floor before turning into carbonised ash. Instantly, the bombardment stops. Kilana teleports aboard. All the Jem’Hadar have committed instant suicide, totally offscreen, because they let their god die. Sisko and Co can go, unmolested, and take the ship with them, no worries, as long as she can scoop up a test-tube worth of the Founder’s remains to take back to the Dominion.

This is the only scene that doesn’t work of itself. Sisko has lost five crewmen, but it seems to be the suicide of the purely homicidal, psychotic Jem’Hadar that pushes him to the edge of mild hysteria over so many people dying for this, and all because he and Kilana didn’t trust each other. It doesn’t work because it’s false. There’s a war going on and you’re not supposed to trust the enemy, especially when they’ve got overwhelming superiority in numbers and weaponry and are promising to let you go. Sisko’s sudden horror at this tragedy and his feeling of responsibility, which will be further developed in a subsequent scene with Dax, also doesn’t work because it has no basis in reality: with the exception of Muniz, who we assume could have been saved with proper medical attention, all the deaths took place before Sisko first spoke with Kilana, so his near-hysteria is for the death of the Jem’Hadar.

Nevertheless, there was an effective closing scene with O’Brien and Worf. The Chief is in the hold with Muniz’s coffin, talking to him, when Worf enters. The Klingon identifies O’Brien’s actions as echoing the Klingon tradition/rite of ak’voh, of friends guarding the body of a dead warrior from predators until it is ready to go to Sto’vo’kar. He joins O’Brien in his vigil.

As I said at the beginning, with the exception of the scene I’ve identified where Sisko nearly gets hysterical, the various elements of this episode are handled well in terms of both writing and acting, and that of the initial exploration of the ship in effects and cinematography, but somehow it didn’t come together as a whole. This was an episode I’ll remember for its parts rather than its sum. And I don’t mean Kaitlin Hopkins’ cleavage when I say that.