Trekathon Season Review: Deep Space Nine, Season 4

Last season I was getting pretty worried about the trend in Deep Space Nine. Fortunately this year turned things around substantially. We’re still not back to the stellar heights of Season Two, but quality is back.

The two best episodes of the year, *The Visitor* and *Hard Time* are some of the very best things Star Trek in any format has ever done. Touching stories that are also rooted in a science fiction premise. There are also some good looks into the Dominion (*Broken Link*, *To The Death*, *Starship Down* and the Earth 2-parter), and even the ‘light’ episodes had a strong performer (*Our Man Bashir*).

From the finale it looks like there’ll be some direction change in the next season, as the floundering Klingon arc is jettisoned. But they need to find something for Worf to do. Perhaps he could hunt down and destroy the silly plots that go into Ferengi episodes.

Overall we’re about back to where DS9 was in the first season in terms of overall rankings. On balance, I’m going to give the nod to this season on the strength of the two best episodes. But it falls just a little short of TOS season 1, mainly due to those ongoing Ferengi and Klingon episodes that just aren’t working.

That takes the rankings to (with added tiers, given the length of the list now):

The very best of Trek:

– TNG Season 6

– DS9 Season 2

Strong performers:

– TNG Season 3

– TNG Season 5

– TOS Season 2

– TNG Season 4

Mixed bag:

– TOS Season 1

– DS9 Season 2

– DS9 Season 1

– VOY Season 1

– TNG Season 7

Not good:

– DS9 Season 3

– TNG Season 2

– TAS Season 1

– VOY Season 2

– TOS Season 3

– TAS Season 2

– TNG Season 1

That’s 427 watched, 19,086 minutes, and 58.53% complete. 66,511 words written. 310 to go. Now another season each for DS9 and Voyager, plus the TNG crew returns for a second movie.