Monday, May 29, 2017

Deep Space Nine 7x15 "Badda-Bing Badda-Bang"

rating: ****

the story: The crew has to come to Vic Fontaine's rescue.

what it's all about: Pretty much the ultimate holodeck episode.  Holodeck episodes became notorious in the franchise because they so often involved some convoluted malfunction that changed the rules holodecks were supposed to follow. Deep Space Nine technically didn't feature a holodeck but rather a holosuite (just as Voyager tried to change the term to holonovel), but all the same, its characters were always going into the holodeck and even had classic holodeck malfunction episodes ("Our Man Bashir").  "Badda-Bing" shares heritage with the classic "A Piece of the Action" and Voyager's "Worst Case Scenario," where insane things had to been seen through to the end (actually, that goes for "Our Man Bashir," too, and even Next Generation's "A Fistful of Datas").

What sets "Badda-Bing Badda-Bang" apart is that it's such a celebratory moment, the last opportunity for Deep Space Nine to have a little fun before things get really dark as the series wound down to its final episodes.  Unlike "Take Me out to the Holosuite" before it, "Badda-Bing" plays itself straight, but it's just such a fun concept, a heist story (years before the rebooted Ocean's Eleven, I might add), and such an unexpected one, that it becomes easy to enjoy on just about every level. 

Let's start with Vic.  This was the lounge singer introduced last season in "His Way," but who took on much greater significance earlier in the seventh season, thanks to "It's Only a Paper Moon."  I wouldn't be surprised if "Badda-Bing" was envisioned while the producers were working on "Paper Moon," as a thank-you.  Vic was a character who should never have worked as well as he did, much less deserve so many spotlights, as the series was coming to an end.  I mean, Deep Space Nine was never exactly hurting for supporting characters, and of all of them, Vic doesn't seem like he warrants so much special attention.  I mean, he's a hologram who admits he's happy living in his holoworld!  And "Badda-Bing" is all about the crew saving that world for him!  I mean, what's the point? 

It's about family.  Vic quickly became symbolic of the family Deep Space Nine cobbled together, a voice who could bring everything into perspective.  And so helping him out is really about putting the emphasis on that family, seeing everyone come together, because in the episodes ahead, they all get flung in opposite directions.  When he and Sisko duet at the end of the episode, it sends chills down your spine.  Next time they're all together, it's the final hour of the series...

criteria analysis:
  • franchise - Classic change of pace, light material.
  • series - Everyone comes together for this one.
  • character - It's Vic's spotlight!
  • essential - Classic romp.
notable guest-stars:
James Darren (Vic Fontaine)
Penny Johnson (Kasidy Yates)
Aron Eisenberg (Nog)
Robert O'Reilly

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