Thursday, April 13, 2017

Deep Space Nine 6x20 "His Way"

rating: ****

the story: Holosuite lounge singer Vic Fontaine helps Odo and Kira finally admit that they love each other.

what it's all about: You mean besides the most romantic moment ever in Star Trek?  You mean besides the debut of Vic Fontaine?

Do you need anything else?

Okay.  Fine.  So let's do this.  Nearly six full seasons into its run, Deep Space Nine finally bites the bullet on the worst kept secret of the franchise, that Odo and Kira were destined to be more than just friends.  Took long enough, right?  But it's perfect timing.  The sixth season began the Dominion War, but also the sometimes seemingly impossible task of telling stories within that context that somehow have nothing to do with it.  Perfect time to fall in love, right?  Of course it is.

Bashir creates the unique holographic character Vic Fontaine as a way to help everyone escape the realities of war.  (This ends up being hugely ironic in the seventh season's "It's Only a Paper Moon," believe me.)  But Vic, who was created with full self-awareness, immediately catches on to the obvious, the monkey in the room, when he performs for the gang and watches Kira and Odo, sensing there's something more than what either has thus far been willing to admit.  Vic is such a unique character.  He's a councilor who also helps Star Trek indulge its interest in popular music (which came into being long before the Beastie Boys, thank you very much), no matter the era.  Vic specializes in standards (he was originally meant to be played by Frank Sinatra, Jr., but now it's impossible to think of anyone but James Darren and his effortless cool inhabiting the role), but he's anything but.  He's like the next iteration of Guinan, the guest character who feels like they exist in their own world, but you're more than glad they visit ours, too.

Much of the episode is helping thaw the perennially icy exterior of Odo, which Vic correctly identifies as the thing standing in the way of love.  Kira will never know how he feels, much less be able to share it, until Odo can let loose a little. 

So much so good.  Then Vic pulls the old trick of getting them in the same room at the same time without either knowing it's going to happen and...Disaster!

Then love.  Epic love!  Odo and Kira exchange one of the great verbal jousts in franchise lore, and conclude that the only they really need to do is kiss.  And then they do.  And then they kiss again.  End of episode!  A true romantic catharsis, and an episode for the ages.

criteria analysis:
  • franchise - Pop music and love.  Knows no boundaries.
  • series - A moment long in coming.
  • character - Odo, Kira, Vic Fontaine!
  • essential - Really, really hard not to love, I think.
notable guest-stars:
James Darren (Vic Fontaine)

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