The Pensky Podcast

It’s Only a Paper Moon

October 28, 2019

After surgery and rehabbing for his lost leg, Nog returns to DS9. While the crew are happy to have the Ferengi ensign back, Nog seems down in the dumps. He sleeps all day, and when he's not sleeping he's got his iPod repeating the same song over and over.

Nog is depressed and suffering from PTSD. After finding counseling from Ezri Dax to be lacking, he moves into a holosuite and takes up rooming with Vic Fontaine, DS9's resident holographic lounge singer. The two quickly become best buddies and, through the process of learning about each other, develop a special bond that helps each move forward with their respective "lives".

"It's Only a Paper Moon" is a low-key character piece that pushes the main cast aside to focus purely on Nog and Vic. It's an examination of finding meaning in life and a philosophical pondering about what makes life worth living.

DS9 has struggled to find a use for Vic, but "Paper Moon" does a very capable job of providing him a reason to continue existing. The show also runs into trouble when it tries to combine parallel stories with the technology based set-up of such a character.

In this episode of the podcast, Wes and Clay discuss the finer points of not being distracted and debate the merits of Vic Fontaine.


The guys talk about listening to music with headphones, taking away Nog's agency, and slamming doors!