Move Along Home
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|"Move Along Home"|
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||David Carson|
|Story by||Michael Piller|
|Featured music||Dennis McCarthy|
|Cinematography by||Marvin Rush|
|Original air date||March 14, 1993|
In this episode, a group of aliens known as the Wadi pay a visit to the Deep Space Nine space station in the 24th century. Soon, Quark is forced to play a game in which the lives of the crew appear to be at stake.
Deep Space Nine has the distinction of making first contact with a Gamma Quadrant species known as the Wadi. However, the Wadi show no interest in formalities and head straight to Quark's. The Ferengi initially sees the Wadi as a potential source of great profit, but when the Wadi master Dabo and go on a winning streak, he has one of his waiters rig the game. The Wadi catch him and force Quark to play "an honest game" called Chula.
Meanwhile, Commander Sisko, Dr. Bashir, Major Kira, and Lt. Dax find themselves in an abstract, dream-like world. One of the Wadi appears and cheerfully yells, "Move along, move along home!" They are faced with several puzzles, including a simple yet alien version of the human game Hopscotch. As Quark continues to play the game, after Odo finds the four senior officers missing, Quark comes to realize that they are part of the game he is playing.
Later on in the game, Bashir's piece is removed from the game, and he disappears from the maze. Quark is then faced with a choice between a shorter, more difficult path or a longer, easier one for his remaining "players". He chooses the shortcut, and when Constable Odo objects, he explains that with risks to his "players" involved in every move, advancing them home as soon as possible is the wiser choice. Ultimately, Quark chooses the shorter path for the officers. However, the results of his next roll force him to sacrifice one of his players.
Quark begs the Wadi not to make him choose, so they make the game choose at random. Sisko, Kira, and Dax are faced with scaling a mountain during a violent earthquake, and Dax's leg becomes stuck between two rocks. Although she tells Sisko to leave her behind, he and Kira help her walk across a ledge on the rock face. They slip, however, and the three of them fall into the abyss—only to re-materialize in Quark's, along with Bashir. Quark is elated and begins to collect his winnings, but the Wadi explains that all his players were lost; the crew was never in any real danger. "It's only a game!" he laughs.
As Sisko is about to angrily confront the Wadi over what they have experienced, Odo interrupts and tells him that he would do better to talk with Quark first about certain confessions that were made while the game was in progress. The Wadi depart as Sisko turns his attentions to Quark.
In 2016, fans at the 50th anniversary Star Trek convention voted "Move Along Home" as the worst episode of the series, and the eighth-worst episode of the Star Trek franchise overall, being the only episode of Deep Space Nine to end up in the bottom ten. Digital Fox ranked this episode as the second worst episode of all Star Trek up to 2018.
Avery Brooks, who plays Commander Sisko, reported during a panel discussion at DragonCon 2013 that this was one of his two least favourite episodes. In 2018, CBR included this episode in a list of Star Trek episodes that are "so bad they must be seen". However, Fatherly listed this episode a recommended watch for parents and children noting that it was silly, bizarre, but entertaining, and shows how Quark tried to cheat but was caught.
- "10 worst Star Trek episodes, according to the fans". CNET. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
- Heller, Leejay (June 16, 2018). "The Worst Star Trek Episode of Each Star Trek Series". Digital Fox. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- "Star Trek: 20 Episodes So Bad They Must Be Seen". CBR. December 12, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- "The 10 Best 'Star Trek' Episodes to Watch With Your Kids". Fatherly. October 31, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
- P. Farrand, Nitpicker's Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers New York: Dell (1996): 44 - 47
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