Friday, October 08, 2021

3 in If Wishes Were Horses (Deep Space Nine S01-E16)


From story to title, I always thought The Next Generation episode Where No One Has Gone Before was designed beautifully.  The USS Enterprise was thrown millions of light years away from Federation Space because of the Traveler who was powered only by thought. 

Simply put, to go where you haven't been you must first think. Imagination has always been the cornerstone of many science fiction stories. This episode, If Wishes Were Horses, will only be the latest in that long tradition. 

Unlike the old proverb (or is it idiom?) that is the inspiration of the title, wishes do become horses which is to say they easily came to life. I posit that the episode didn’t change the meaning of the proverb which in full says, ‘if wishes were horses,beggars would ride’

Reality or life needs work, and if wishes did become horses you still have to know how to control the horse. Nothing comes easy.

Here are the 3 things that standout in the episode.


Quark and Odo


It’s always fun to watch the love-hate banter between these two, especially when they talk of life. Humanity escapes Odo’s appreciation but Quark, as businessman and bartender character, would. 

Today, their discussion went from Quark wanting Odo to have a day off and use his holosuite, Jake using the holosuite, to Odo declaring his position against imagination altogether.

Waste of time.  Too many people dream of places they'll never go, wish for things they'll never have... instead  of paying adequate attention to their real lives...

True enough in this episode, Odo’s mind was always on the job compared to other Senior Officers whose minds were flying all over. When his emotions, rather his imagination did spike it was only after he got annoyed with Quark, and thereafter an “imaginary” Quark ended up in his holding cell. Technically it is still about the job.


Imaginary Quark cries to be let out of the holding cell

But is Odo right in his view? Should we take the troubles of this episode as a validation of it? 


No Mind on the Present, the Horses have Run Away


The human mind is never permanently on the present if this episode is to be the judge of it. To DS9’s bad luck, the Senior Officers have never ridden these “horses” before. On the bright side this was a great opportunity to find out who the senior officers are.



Now, my good host, if gold is not your pleasure, tell me your needs and I'll tell you my price...

Miles O’Brien is a first time father. I don’t have children so let me imagine as well how he is feeling. He loves Molly, his very adorable and only child. He loathes the idea that there exists any power that would harm a child so much so that despite many real dangers he’s aware of, his imagination solidifies a creature of fiction in Rumpelstiltskin


Julian, you're a wonderful friend

Doctor Julian Bashir is a man rejected by Jadzia Dax so he conjures up a submissive version attending to his every whim. The most interesting part is that a submissive Dax – and this goes for anyone who has had a crush – is a less interesting person. 

We all want the women of our dreams to be more accommodating to us, but to go overboard will she still be the one we admire?

A similar subspace rupture was reported in the Hanoli System

As the science officer you would think Jadzia Dax wouldn’t be the problem in this crisis, but apparently she nearly took out the station. Specialty notwithstanding, maybe more so because of her specialty, Dax needs to dig into archives, recall previous experiences, imagine what a new phenomena could be, and then adjust those assumptions as the facts come in.

What could be inconsistent in this episode is that Odo is a problem solver like her but of a different kind. Safe bet that he processes problems similarly, so he should have imagined something other than Quark in jail. I suppose it can be argued that Odo was strictly on crowd control so his mind was always on the present.


It was your imaginations that created everything... we were just watching to see where it took you.


Buck Bokai is the hardest to understand. He is the product of both Benjamin and Jake Sisko. For Jake Sisko, his reason was more escapist; he wants to play baseball than to do homework (again a message on keeping one’s mind on the present) so Buck appears to him.

Benjamin Sisko has a more academic liking to the game of baseball since he no longer has the luxury of playing on a whim as his son would. He loves the history, the statistics, and the ballplayer which in this case is Buck Bokai.   

From the perspective of an explorer, Commander Sisko is manifesting his enthusiasm in seeing places he’s never been to and to people he hasn’t met. This trait is what helped the station, and also was a counter thesis to Odo’s argument against imagination.

The entity that became Buck Bokai confirms Commander Sisko’s outlook, which is why he likes him.

I've made a connection with mine.  A curious one.  I sensed a feeling from him... an affection for this ballplayer who died two hundred years before he was even born.


Horny or Lonely, why aren’t there more?


Quark, unlike Doctor Bashir, proudly displays what he’s imagining in the middle of a business day, which is to be followed around by scantily clad women. Because of this he lost focus on his business and gambling establishment, which under the current phenomena of wishes becoming horses is filled with costumers winning every roll.

Now maybe this is the pandemic talking, but I’m surprised that Quark is alone in this. More to the point, why did Doctor Bashir imagine Dax so formally? I know Star Trek will not want to go down that rabbit hole, but since we're here imagining a world where 'wishes become horses', it is something to think about.


Why is Julian's Dax 2 different from Quark's women?

Shouldn’t be there more lonely people out in space? It doesn't have to be sex. Ships can be cramped; you’re far from civilization; you’re far from your own race. People could miss a friend, a family member, or wish the smile of a stranger.

It’s been said that the human male thinks about sex every 7 seconds. Ok that’s just about humans but there’s a reason why Quark makes a profit from an adult oriented Holosuite. In that light, Odo should have been chasing many kinds of exotic alien women and not abnormal weather patterns and exotic animals.

No comments:

Post a Comment