Move Along Home
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|"Move Along Home"|
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode|
|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, 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.
- "10 worst Star Trek episodes, according to the fans". CNET. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
- P. Farrand, Nitpicker's Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers New York: Dell (1996): 44 - 47
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