Episode Review #5 – DS9 “Honor Among Thieves”

First of all, my apologies for not having posted in ages. I did type up a convention report for Vegas 2008, but I haven’t gotten around to posting it yet. School and work have kept me very busy lately, but I will get that report posted soon!

Fortunately, I found some time to watch some DS9. I know, I really need to get around to doing episode reviews for the other series. I will, I promise! But right now all I have on DVD is DS9, although I may start watching some TOS soon since there are some episodes of that up on fancast.com. TOS should be a lot of fun since I haven’t seen much of that.

But for right now all we’ve got is DS9, so here we go with Season 6, “Honor Among Thieves”. I suppose you could call this an O’Brien episode, but unlike most of his episodes the writers managed to not torture him very much in this one. Well, not torture him like they did in “Hard Time” or “Tribunal”. But I did read someplace that whenever the writers ran out of ideas they would all ask each other if they’d tortured O’Brien yet this season.

Was this the first time they tortured O’Brien in season 6? I can’t remember off the top of my head, I started to lose interest in DS9 after Worf and Dax got married, and the first time I saw “In The Pale Moonlight” I really didn’t like it and got really turned off to DS9 for the rest of season 6. But now that I’m older and wiser (ha!) I’ve come to appreciate certain episodes in this season. Like this one!

For me, this was one of the DS9 episodes that brought out the darker side of the Star Trek universe. It isn’t utopia everywhere, and our heroes aren’t perfect. They explore this idea a lot more in episodes like “In The Pale Moonlight” though…

I really liked how I was drawn in to sympathizing with Bilby, just like O’Brien did. At the end, I kept wanting Bilby to leave with O’Brien and for them to go find Bilby’s family and save them too. Gosh, couldn’t they have found a way to fake Bilby’s death or something and then throw him in prison?

Then there’s Bilby’s cat… So sweet that you see it at the end in O’Brien’s quarters. I’ll have to look for it in future episodes, see if it stays there. But when Bilby asks O’Brien to take care of the cat, I kept thinking that O’Brien should have told him something like, “Sure, no problem, I’m sure my kids will love him,” rather than making Bilby ask him again if he had a family. Although I suppose O’Brien still might not want to reveal too many details about his family, just to keep them safe, but at that point Bilby was already gonna die, and I just kept hoping O’Brien would say something that might actually make the guy feel a little better, like that O’Brien has a family, since that is what’s most important.

Something I really liked about this episode was seeing O’Brien in a new element for him, maybe a wee bit outside of his comfort zone. Yeah, I know, he fixed lots of stuff on his mission, but that’s what I think of when I think of O’Brien, a family guy, and one of those miracle worker Starfleet engineers who can turn rocks into replicators. I don’t think of a spy, and it was great to see O’Brien pull off that part really well, even if he did get in so close that he began to sympathize with the bad guys.

Of course, some bad guys have a good side, and that’s what O’Brien saw and brought out in Bilby. And in the end, even I want to defend Bilby, even if he is running around killing people and robbing banks, I hate to think of what happens to his family.

When DS9 first aired I watched almost all of the episodes. But at the time this one aired I was probably super busy with school and only caught bits and pieces of this episode while doing homework. So it’s been a real treat to go back with an older and wiser (ha!) eye and watch some of these episodes again, now that I have the time to relax and really appreciate them. And this episode did not disappoint. Nice to see a different take on the annual “Let’s torture O’Brien!” episode.

So, what did you all think of “Honor Among Thieves”? Leave a comment!

Live Long and Prosper


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