My Top 5 Episodes of DS9 Season Five & Voyager Season Three

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene. See her favorite episodes of Deep Space Nine Season 5 and Voyager Season 3

Deep Space Nine, Season Five

5. In The Cards

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This is a fun episode before everything goes to heck, where Nog and Jake do favors for members of the station’s crew in exchange for something that will help them obtain a rare baseball card for Captain Sisko.

3-4. In Purgatory’s Shadow and By Inferno’s Light

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In this epically named two-parter, we find out Bashir has been swapped for a Changeling, who Garak’s father is, and just how tough of a warrior Worf is.

2. Dr. Bashir, I Presume?

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I was a big Bashir fan from the moment I first saw him in TNG, and it makes me sad that Alexander Siddig doesn’t like this episode and the direction it took his character. While I enjoyed the overly enthusiastic, young doctor, I feel this episode really makes his character richer and more complex.

1. Trials and Tribble-ations

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There’s just no contest. Everything about this homage is pure perfection. I could fangirl over it all day.

Voyager Season Three

5. Worst Case Scenario

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This is a fun one where we get to see how the Voyager crew would have responded to a Maquis coup on board the ship.

3-4. Future’s End, Parts One and Two

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I mean, what’s not to love about Voyager traveling back in time to 1996 and Tuvok’s do-rag?

2. Blood Fever

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This one definitely has awkward moments but the relationship development that takes place is everything.

1. Before and After

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Something about this episode just sticks with me. It’s an interesting look at alternate timelines and seeing Kes’ life play out completely differently.

What are your favorite episodes from these shows’ seasons?

Star Trek Deep Space Nine Season Four: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her favorite episodes of DS9 season four.

Holy cow, I did my season 3 recap in February! I can’t believe it took so long to get through season 4, but then again, I was watching Voyager season 2 at the same time, plus live shows (RIP Castle) until recently.

So I was a little disappointed with season 4. I have gone on the record as saying DS9 is my fave show of all time because of all the epic stuff that happens, but so little of this epic stuff is happening in season 4, and doesn’t it seem like it should be by now? And unlike almost every other DS9 fan I’m not a huge fan of the episode “The Visitor,” though I will say I liked it better this time around than the first time I watched it. However, I do have 5 episodes I did enjoy a good bit and want to share my thoughts on…

5. To The Death

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Sisko and the crew of the Defiant form an unlikely, temporary alliance with the Jem’Hadar for a common goal. But really all you need to know is we finally meet Weyoun.

4. Our Man Bashir

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Dr. Bashir’s adventure spy holosuite program turns into a life or death crisis situation for several of the crew members, and he and Garak have to literally save the day. The episode plays into fun spy show/movie tropes, and I’m always a fan of good Bashir episodes.

3. Little Green Men

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Another fun episode where Quark, Rom, and Nog inadvertently end up going back in time to 1940s Earth. While Rom and Nog simply want to find a way out, Quark doesn’t want to pass up the opportunity to exploit the humans… if only the Ferengi and the humans could communicate pre-Universal Translator.

2. and 1. Homefront/Paradise Lost

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This two-parter takes place on Earth as Sisko goes to Star Fleet to discuss the Changeling issue. And, well, crap hits the fan in these episode as martial law becomes instated on peaceful Earth, paranoia ensues, and Sisko must hunt down the mole in Star Fleet.

If you’ve seen Deep Space Nine, which episodes of season four are your favorite? 

Star Trek DS9 Season Two: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her favorite episodes of Deep Space Nine season two.

OMG, stuff got real a lot quicker than I remembered! I knew that the end of season 2 was a real game-changer, but there were some good episodes all throughout season two that were good indicators of what DS9 would come to be known for. I’m so happy to be watching it again!

I had a really hard time choosing my five… two were really obvious favorites, and then after that I felt most of the other episodes were equally good! It doesn’t help I feel it’s been a while since I’ve watched some of these with TNG season 7 and live TV shows being watched in between episodes, so I did the best I could with trying to narrow it down. I wanted to be sure to mention honorable mentions The Maquis Parts 1 and 2 and The Jem’Hadar, which set up a lot of what’s to come!

5. Whispers

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O’Brien wonders why everyone on the station seems so wary of him. As he seeks out the truth, it turns out to be quite a surprise…

4. Necessary Evil

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This one is interesting as we get a look back in time to how the station was during the Cardassian occupation, and specifically how Odo came into his role.

3. Tribunal 

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O’Brien must suffer! I have to say, this could have been interesting as two episodes, with more torture for O’Brien and a good B plot too, but what we got was interesting. It’s a look into the Cardassian judiciary system (which is terrible) and we learn a lot about O’Brien as a character.

2. The Wire

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On my first watch of DS9, I didn’t like Garak until I watched this episode, and then everything about him made so much more sense and I finally understood him. I love seeing Bashir’s relentless efforts to help Garak in this episode. And we get this great line: “It’s all true… especially the lies.”

1. The Siege

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This was the third episode of the season, and the first one that made me be like whoa, this is definitely feeling like DS9. There were some really funny moments, but also dark moments, and it doesn’t wrap up nicely like most Star Trek episodes before had.

What are your favorite episodes of Deep Space Nine season two?

Star Trek DS9 Season 1: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her favorite episodes of season one of Deep Space Nine.

On this rewatch of Star Trek, we’re watching the episodes in the order they were aired, meaning that in the middle of TNG season 6, we started incorporating Deep Space Nine episodes into the mix. It’s been interesting so far to see DS9 with knowledge of what happens; I have had more appreciation for some of these earlier episodes (especially the pilot) and some of the characters that it took me some time to care for (namely Kira, Nog, and Garak). And in case you’re new to my blog, Deep Space Nine is my absolute favorite, so it’s a joy to see the characters again.

I thought I would go ahead and mention two honorable mentions: A Man Alone (for Odo’s speech about compromise in relationships) and Babel (for “simple hesitation!”). Overall, season one really isn’t so bad as some make it out to be. On with the Top 5…

5. Past Prologue

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I decided to put this one in my Top 5 because it’s the first time we see Garak. I actually didn’t like Garak on the first go-around until the episode “The Wire,” but this time I like him and his complicated friendship with Bashir right away.

4. Emissary 

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I have a lot more appreciation for the pilot now that I’ve seen the whole series. There is a lot of exposition and introductions, and I got a little tired of Sisko trying to explain linear time to the Prophets/wormhole aliens for the 100th time, but overall this pilot was pretty solid. It was definitely a better start to the series than TNG’s pilot. UGH.

3. Captive Pursuit

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This is a pretty good O’Brien episode where he befriends an alien from the Gamma quadrant whose whole existence is about being hunted. It definitely raises interesting Prime Directive related questions.

2. If Wishes Were Horses

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This is probably surprising to a lot of people, but I really have a fondness for this one. I’ve always shipped Bashir and Dax, so I just love his pining over her at the beginning of the episode, and then to have the “imaginary” Dax throwing herself at him. I remember very specifically from my first watch of DS9 that this was the first episode where I finally felt connected to the characters and decided I would probably would like DS9. I don’t know why, but it is what it is.

1. Duet

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This is an early turning point for Kira, in which she learns she can’t paint all Cardassians with the same stroke. It’s a twisty episode that keeps you guessing and a good episode for DS9 period, not just a “good for season one” episode. It’s non-happy ending is exactly the sort of thing you come to expect from DS9 as well.

What are your favorite episodes of Deep Space Nine season one?

Why You Should Watch Deep Space Nine if You Love Mistborn, & Vice Versa

As I was reading The Hero of Ages (which I’ll attempt to review in the not-too-distant future, but how can I even?!), I suddenly became struck with the similarities between the Mistborn books and my favorite TV show, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. On the surface, it can be hard to miss. Mistborn is a fantasy set in a made-up world, and there are people who are able to draw powers from metals. Deep Space Nine is science fiction, set on a space station that is next to made-up worlds, but many characters come from Earth and none of them have special powers, though there are aliens who have unique abilities. And yet, I found some themes in both that I could not ignore the similarities between, and I feel that if you enjoyed them in one of these stories, you’ll enjoy them in the other.

Overall Character & Story Arcs

Before we get into the common themes, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that both Mistborn and DS9 have strong arcs for a wide variety of characters and for the story as a whole. Garak, who is in only 37 episodes of DS9, is a fan favorite who plays a significant role in the show. Nog, who is only in 47 episodes, starts off in DS9 as an annoying kid and ends up with a profound character arc, and there’s even an episode dedicated to him in the seventh season.

In a similar fashion, while the trilogy mostly focuses on Vin, Elend, and Sazed, and there are important secondaries such as Breeze, Ham, etc., and there are characters who are present in one or two of the previous books who go through big changes in the final book, such as TenSoon and Spook.

Religion/Religious Icons Theme

In both DS9 and Mistborn, there is a definite theme of religion and religious icons. Deep Space Nine focuses on the faith of the Bajorian people; we are introduced to leaders of their faith and see how different they can be from one another, and Sisko, an outsider, is revered as their “emissary,” a religious icon.

In Mistborn, all religion died under the Lord Ruler, save for his. After he is overthrown, the Church of the Survivor is born, turning characters into religious icons, and in the end of the trilogy, without giving away too much, I’ll just say we see this really manifest, in a way much like it did in the Deep Space Nine finale.

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Source

Shades of Gray, Particularly in War

Both DS9 and Mistborn also explore what it means to be a good man or woman, yet to have to also make tough decisions, to possibly kill, and to do things in war that you would normally not approve of. When I was reading The Hero of Ages and Elend struggled with decisions he made, I thought, wow, this is reminding me of In The Pale Moonlight. The season 6 episode of DS9 is one of my favorite in Star Trek, and I can’t imagine a fan of Mistborn not loving this episode, because it really explores the dark underbelly of the good guys.

Bittersweet End

 Both of these endings will give you feels, both sad and sweet. They close some chapters but open up new beginnings and possibilities for many characters and really for the world the story is set in.

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So seriously, if you’re a fan of one, you should really look into the other. They’re obviously different mediums, but both are fantastic stories. Deep Space Nine will not start off like Mistborn; it might even seem silly or just kind of OK to you at first, but I promise if you stick with it you’ll see all the things I’ve mentioned. And Mistborn is a slow burn of a book, taking its time to tell the story, but none of it feels unnecessary. Brandon Sanderson masterfully weaved together all the threads throughout the three books and leaves you without any confusion.

Are you a fan of one, or both, of these stories? 

Memorable Characters of Sci-Fi

I am almost a bit intimidated by the topic I chose for today’s sci-fi month post. Memorable sci-fi characters?! Where do I begin?!

I think one of the misconceptions about sci-fi is that it is all boring science babble and space battles, but as most you are probably aware (because I think I have pretty intelligent and awesome readers!), it really explores humanity in a way no other genre does, and it does this largely through its characters. There’s no way on Earth I could create a list that would true justice to all the fabulous characters in science fiction, but I’m narrowing it down to 2 characters from each of my top 3 sci-fi series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Firefly, and Babylon 5. These aren’t necessarily my favorite characters, just ones that I find extremely memorable and extremely interesting in their character arcs.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Elim Garak

Bashir_and_GarakGarak is in an enigma, which is what makes him such a great character. The first time I saw Garak, the Cardassian tailor exiled on board Deep Space Nine, I found him extremely odd, and in a more annoying way rather than an interesting way. But after the first season episode “The Wire,” which I won’t give away for those who have yet to see the show, everything about him made so much more sense, and I liked him so much more afterwards. Is he telling the truth? Is he on your side? Just how many back-up plans does he have? Garak is true Cardassian, sneaky and smart, and he never ceases to amaze me with his spy skills.

“Truth is in the eye of the beholder, Doctor. I never tell the truth because I don’t believe there is such a thing. That is why I prefer the straight line simplicity of cutting cloth.” – Garak

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Dukat

dukatI really hate Dukat, which is exactly why is the perfect villain. He’s creepy and manipulative, always striving for a position of power. He’s a complex character who goes through a lot on Deep Space Nine, and though I always saw him as evil, he certainly presented himself to others in shades of gray, but I don’t want to get into spoiler territory so I’ll leave it at that. He’s exactly the sort of character you want to see go down at the end of the day. 

“One man’s villain is another man’s hero, captain.” – Dukat

Firefly: Shepherd Book

shepherd-bookShepherd Book is such an interesting character because he’s a preacher who lives on board a ship with criminals and a companion (essentially a prostitute, more on that later), and while he doesn’t agree with what they do and they know it, he doesn’t condemn them for what they do. He’s an interesting man who clearly has a past apart from the ministry that unfortunately, we never learn. What we do know is that he is a man of conviction and a man who loves people, the way I think we all should be.

“When I talk about belief, why do you always assume I’m talking about God?”

“I don’t care what you believe in, just believe in it.” – Book

Firefly: Inara Serra

inara-serraInara is a companion, which in the world of Firefly, is basically a high-class prostitute, a part of an elite group who go through training and screen their clients. Inara also clearly cares for the Captain of Serenity, Malcolm Reynolds, even though she claims she doesn’t. But a large part of the reason why I chose Inara for this list, and it might be cheating, is that I learned that if we had gotten more Firefly, we would have learned that she actually had an incurable disease that she was dying from, which of course shapes her. What the what?! So fascinating. It’s too bad that, like Shepherd Book and the rest of the Serenity gang, we did not get to know them as well as Whedon had intended for us to.

“A companion chooses her own clients, that’s guild law. But physical appearance doesn’t matter so terribly, you look for a compatibility of spirit.” – Inara

Babylon 5: Londo Mollari

londo2I was continuously floored by Londo’s development throughout Babylon 5 as I watched it. I can’t even scratch the surface of his development in this short paragraph. When we first meet Londo in Babylon 5, he just seems silly, and he somewhat reminded me of Quark on Deep Space Nine. Then things took a turn for the serious. His drive for power, greed, and his hatred for the Narn drove him to make poor choices that went from bad to worse and took him down a dark path. He does find some redemption, but there is no easy out for Londo, and he does get a lot of what he deserves. To sum up Londo’s character development = WOW.

“The quiet ones are the ones that change the universe… The loud ones only take the credit.” – Londo

Babylon 5: Alfred Bester

b5-BesterBester is one of the best villains ever in my opinion. Though he is only in twelve out of 110 episodes of Babylon 5, he goes through quite a lot and we learn a lot about him, about his past and what drives him. He’s frustrating to deal with, he hurts a character on the show that you will love so much more than him, but he has a story too, and that’s what I love so much about the characters on Babylon 5: they have amazing stories. You’ll never root for him, but by the end of the show, you do understand him better than you did at first sight.

“…you’re curious. Kill me and you’ll never know what brought me all the way out here. I think if you weigh that against the brief satisfaction of blowing me out of the sky, you’ll do the right thing.” – Bester

(BTW, you need to read Lianne’s post about why you should watch Babylon 5 if you haven’t already!)

As mentioned before, this list could go on! So tell me, who are your most memorable sci-fi characters?

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Elements from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine I’d Like to See in a Book

Last month, Kelley at Another Novel Read was kind enough to allow me to guest post on her blog one day, and so I chose something near and dear to both of our hearts to talk about: Star Trek! I specifically discussed Elements of Star Trek Voyager I Would Like to See in a Book, since Voyager is her favorite (so far! ;)). As I promised on that post, this is my list of the same nature for Deep Space Nine, my favorite of the Trek series! (BTW, I know that Deep Space Nine and the other Trek series have their own books, and I might check them out some day, this is just certain elements from the show I would like to see in otherwise completely different stories!)

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1. Space Station Life

ds9-lifeThe show Babylon 5 also executed this extremely well, but I would love to read a YA book where life is set on space station (not a spaceship, and I’ll explain the differences in a minute) and you really get the full feel for it. A ship is always on the move, and it largely has the same people on it. Since people live there, it does include many of the things a space station also would, but there are some things it does not include that the station does. Deep Space Nine included shops, a school, a bar (where you can eat, drink, play darts, and gamble), and holodecks, and it was all there not just for the regular crew of the station (and their children), but also for the guests coming and going in and out of the station. Having so many people come into the station also means a wide variety of aliens are likely to be there at any given time, which also makes it all the more interesting!

2. A Secret Agency, a la Section 31

sloanI don’t want to say too much about the role of Section 31 on Deep Space Nine for anyone who has not seen the series, and I only mention it since anyone who has seen Star Trek: Into Darkness will be familiar with it already. The concept of a covert, morally ambiguous organization within a larger organization like Star Fleet is something that just fascinates me. I’d love to see something like this played out in a book.

3. An Unlikely/Untrustworthy Friendship

Bashir_and_GarakFor me, one of the most interesting dynamics of Deep Space Nine was that of Dr. Bashir and Garak. The two have a very odd friendship, where they frequently dine together and Bashir will never stop insisting that he believes Garak is a spy. In the episode “The Wire,” when Bashir discovers just how much Garak has lied to him, he asks him what was actually the truth, and Garak tells him, “It’s all true, especially the lies.” This, in a nutshell, describes Garak and his relationship with Bashir, and really with everyone. He’s never straightforward and sometimes you think you can trust him, but sometimes you know you can’t. I would love to read about a friendship as complicated and dynamic as theirs.

4. Important Arcs for Secondary Characters

vic&nogOne of my favorite episodes of Deep Space Nine is “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” (BTW, if you’re ever going to watch the series, do NOT look up the synopsis for this episode! Major spoilers!) The whole episode centers on Nog, a secondary character whose name does not ever show up in the main credit sequence. And it is an amazing episode, because it’s about a defining moment in Nog’s life, and the arc he experiences in the episode alone does more for Nog than some characters get out of a whole series of a show. For this much emphasis on a secondary character for a book, it would probably need to be a series, but just the same, I’d love to see amazing growth from secondary characters in books in addition to the primary ones.

I could think of more elements from DS9 I’d love to see in a book, but talk about spoiler city! There’s just so much goodness to be had, so watch the show and discover it!

What elements from Deep Space Nine or your favorite science fiction show would you like to see in a book? 

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Wednesday Round-Up: The Elite, DS9, Dory, Castle, & Whedon

I have no idea how often this “Wednesday Round-Up” feature will happen or if it will ever happen again, but I felt possessed to share a few things and just decided to put it all in one round-up-style post.

Waiting On Wednesday: The Elite by Kiera Cass

WoW

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There is a weekly blog event hosted by Breaking the Spine called Waiting on Wednesday, where book bloggers share upcoming book releases that they are anticipating. Well, I have been looking forward to The Elite since I finished The Selection, but now that we’re in its release month, it’s starting to feel real! I’m super nervous about the book, as I have heard there are so many twists and turns that makes everything frustrating, but I know I won’t be able to put off reading it for too long. And then I’ll have to wait until NEXT YEAR for the last book! Ack! Note to self: don’t get into anymore series when only the first book is released. Also, Team Maxon, for anyone who cares. I plan to review The Selection on here before too long. Anyone else looking forward to The Elite?

Why You Should Watch My Fave TV Show, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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If you want to know why I love Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, read this. Even if you haven’t heard of it, read it, because then you will know of it, and then you should promptly watch all seven seasons of it. Amazing story arcs, character arcs, great stories of science fiction that mirror modern times and have great social commentary… there is just so much goodness in the show! Yes, it’s 10+ years old, but good storytelling knows no age, and that is certainly true of DS9. Any other Trekkies out there?

Finding Dory: Couldn’t Pixar Find New Stories?

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This article about Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo, is very timely. My husband and I have spent the past couple of weekends going through the Pixar movies we own, and we have been complaining about how Pixar just doesn’t produce as good of movies as they once did. We were also pointing out all the great details in the movie. In fact, we watched the mini-documentary on the making of Finding Nemo that was on the bonus disc, and everyone who was involved with the look of the film was required to become scuba diving certified and go scuba diving! And then they actually went to Australia to check out the Great Barrier Reef! How awesome is that? And such amazing attention to detail! So even though I think Disney has ruined Pixar a little and made them do these silly sequels, I will forgive if finding Dory is anywhere near as well-done as Finding Nemo. What do you think of a Nemo sequel?

Castle’s 100th Episode

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Monday was the 100th episode of my favorite currently-running show on TV (AKA, the only one I actually watch on a consistent basis), Castle. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it stars Nathan Fillion as writer Richard Castle, who shadows a homicide detective for writing inspiration. At least, that’s how it began. Now, he pretty much works at the precinct (unpaid) and is dating detective Kate Beckett. The 100th episode was a nod to the Alfred Hitchcock movie Rear Window. In the episode, Castle finds himself injured much like Jimmy Stewart’s character is in the movie, and he too spies on his neighbors, and his imagination runs wild with what he sees. It was a great episode, and one that I think would be fun to check out even if you haven’t watched the show before. Any other Castle fans out there?

Great Quote About Writing from Joss Whedon

Lastly, I just wanted to share this quote. I think it is a perfect description of why I write.

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