Vic Fontaine’s very existence is at jeopardy in the episode that originally aired on February 24,1999. This is Badda-Bing, Badda-bang.
Station Log undetermined: Badda-Bing, Badda-bang.
Vic Fontaine’s program hits a snag when a hidden program kicks in causing mobsters to remove Vic from his club. The gang, determined to save their friend, gather the troops to find a way to restore the program to it’s original state without erasing Vic in the process.
Miles and Julian try to convince Vic to join them in their Alamo adventure but, after Vic declines, the program suddenly changes with Vic being escorted out of his club by a very aggressive gangster by the name of Frankie Eyes. Miles soon discovers that there is no way to end the program without resetting it completely and agrees to help Vic find a way to save his livelihood without starting over.
After discussing the matter with the Ops team, Julian informs them all that the change in the program is a ‘jack in the box’ which can only be ended if they get rid of Frankie Eyes. Although most of the Ops team is concerned about their friend, it is clear that neither Worf nor Sisko are interested in helping out. The rest of the gang determine that they need a plan despite their Captain’s reluctance to participate.
Visiting their friend, Julian and Miles discover Vic has been roughed up. Tending to his wounds they inform Vic about the Jack-in-the-box program much to Vic’s dismay. Vic makes it clear that he has no plans to run even though things look rough but is concerned when Miles and Julian inform him that they are working on a plan.
Soon the crew begin to work out a way to perform a heist on the casino which would cause Frankie some serious trouble with the mob, specifically one Carl Zeemo. Soon, however, Kasidy discovers that Sisko is not very happy with the situation as he does not like the program as it ignores the struggles of Black people in the 1960’s. Kasidy calls him out on this explaining that Vic’s is a representation of how things ‘should have been’ and not as ‘things were’ andm while he has a point, he is being foolish refusing to embrace the now. She is surprised, however, when Ben later arrives to help, despite his views on Vic’s program. With the team now in place, they are ready for action.
After a planning session, the team go into action and, despite a few unexpected setbacks, the team soon pull off an Ocean’s Eleven style heist that manages to reset the program allowing Vic to continue on as things were. In celebration, Vic and Ben share a duet on stage in front of the rest of the crew.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Holograms and sentiance have been a huge problem in the Star Trek universe. Too often we have opposing opinions even in the same series. While I would have believed that Measure of a Man set the president for any sentiance issues, it seems that Star Fleet has some very archaic views on just what and who is considered sentient or not. Despite the Federation’s edict to Seek Out New Life, every time they are faced with the potential for a new form of life, it seems they go out of their way to deny it’s existence. This is very much the case with Vic.
While it is abundantly clear that Vic Fontaine is indeed a sentient being, in every episode there seems to be a blatant disregard for his awareness. Time and again the crew of DS9 treat Vic as both real and just a program sometimes even in the same episode. While James Darren is tremendous in the role of Vic Fontaine, this aspect of his character and how everyone treats him really bothers me through out this final season.
All that aside, this episode is a very solid entry and one that really shows just how incredible and tight knit the cast of Deep Space Nine really was. Each member of the crew work perfectly together in every way showing just how strong this ensemble cast has become in their seven years together. If anything, this episode is a testament to their hard work in what could possibly be considered one of, if not the, finest series of Star Trek to date. It will certainly be tough for any other series, past or future, to even come close to just how close this cast was and how solid the overarching story was.
Interestingly, Worf does not participate in the heist, citing that he does not view Vic Fontaine as anything more than a hologram. This is odd seeing that he has served with an artificial intelligence in the form of Commander Data so really should be a little more open about such things. Unless he has been harboring negative feelings about Data that we never knew about… In a way, this is also a way for the writers to separate Worf from the crew that have been on the series since the beginning (yes, that includes Dax, not Ezri, but Dax.) This adventure serves as the last time the original crew get a chance to work together for something not Dominion War related as the final song sung by Sisko and Vic states, The Best is Yet to Come…
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- A keen eyed viewer might recognize the replacement accountant as none other that Robert O’Reilly otherwise known as Gowron.
- You might also recognize Mike Starr in the role of Tony CiCi. Mike has been in a ton of films and television series typically appearing as a heavy of some sort.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges
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Late To The Game 3/9/2020
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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