Deep Space Nine: s07 e15 – Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang


Hubba Hubba

It’s something of an achievement, I suppose. It took seasons and years to make me loathe Quark to the point where I automatically shudder at the mere thought of an episode about him. Vic Fontaine didn’t even require a full season.

There’s only one more standalone after this, thankfully, and I could have done without this. It’s a stupid story, no matter how highly rated it is. A ‘jack-in-the-box’ provision in Vic’s program triggers the arrival of mobster Frankie Eyes to throw Vic out and turn his Lounge into a sleazy cabaret of long-legged dancers and long-legged waitresses serving up martinis: Vic’s out.

Naturally, O’Brien and Bashir won’t stand for this. They can’t reset the program without wiping out Vic’s memories of encounters to date, which is our MacGuffin for everyone (including Sisko but excluding our far too sensible Worf) to dress up 1962 Vegas style for an Ocean’s Eleven-style caper, in which the casino will be robbed, Frankie’s boss won’t get his cut and Frankie gets buried in the desert.

Sisko’s belated appearance in Vic’s world gets a controversial scene in which the Captain explains that he hates the thought of the ahistorical lie behind the program. Blacks in Vegas in 1962 were not welcomed as equals, very far from it, and Sisko resents a set-up that denies that reality by pretending everything was well. Kasidy Yates counters this by pointing out that they are equal now, completely so, and that Sisko’s historical perspective is a way of perpetuating those restrictions, in his head.

That this was raised at all was controversial, though in the context of the show it felt like an out-of-place attempt to staple some inconsistent seriousness onto a determinedly unserious premise, and I disagreed with Kasidy’s blythe and bland notion that the evils of the past should be plastered over with modern sensibilities. And the whole point of bringing it up is obliterated when Sisko promptly changes gear and joins the caper crew with great gusto.

I did get some amusement out of the way they firstly ran through the complex, clockwork plan until it worked perfectly, and then Dortmundered the whole thing when it was done for real. I refer of course to the much-missed Donald E Westlake’s ‘Dortmunder Gang’ series of crime fiction in which the titular John Dortmunder creates brilliant criminal plots of the kind that ruthlessly succeed in crime fiction, only to have then screw up over the simple fact of human beings acting like human beings.

That and the sight of Nicole de Boer in waitress outfit, fishnet tights up to her cute little bum, were my only sources of pleasure in an episode that could have been written to order to leave me cold. Badda-bing, badda-bang, badda-bugger off.

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2 thoughts on “Deep Space Nine: s07 e15 – Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

  1. Middle of the road, enjoyable fun, but nothing too great. Worf’s non-partaking always drew my chuckles and was perfect of keeping it in character.
    I don’t know if it’s one of those paradox or logic twist around plots, but Sisko’s spiel does seem out of place. In Trek’s future human racism is gone, as DS9 and others have shown they use aliens and other lifeforms ideas to help show that it’s just redirected and used metaphorically. It makes Sisko one that seems non-color blind and dare be it, racist…
    It’s one of those balancing acts and maybe Avery Brooks influenced the scene. But to me, it works better when trying to address racism with Trek, by doing so symbolically, metaphorically, etc. Far Beyond the Stars, setup worked where it was flashback/dream/vision and actually pertaining to 1950s America.

    And I concur with your thoughts on Ezri and fishnets. A great combination.

  2. From what I read, it was Brooks who wanted the scene inserted. Given the construction of Federation society and the total elimination of human racism, his sensitivity to its past existence is a bit off-balance. Still, Kasidy’s response was too much of a step away: the past exists, don’t pretend it wasn’t what it was despite it being ‘imperfect’ from your contemporary perspective.

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