So, on to the remaining five holodeck episodes of Deep Space Nine!
DS9, Season 4:
"Our Man Bashir"
Julian Bashir, baccarat champion and sex GOD.
This episode is seriously flawless. The script is brilliant and relentless, the sets and costumes are a blast, every character is note perfect, and Avery Brooks was kind of born to play Dr. Hippocrates Noah. This is the only time a DS9 holosuite program actually malfunctions (so Ferengi holosuites are clearly better than the crappy Federation ones they put on starships), and it has a good excuse: Eddington and Odo had to wipe the entire station's computer banks in order to store the transporter patterns of Sisko, Kira, Worf, Dax, and O'Brien. Their physical patterns manifest as characters in Julian's latest obsession (he's such a nerd, and I love it), a James Bond holoprogram. Julian and Garak have to keep the program running and try to save both Anastasia Kermonanov (Kira) and Honey Bear (Dax) from evil supervillain Dr. Noah (Sisko), who is intent on destroying the world. The fact that Bashir destroys Earth in the program to save everyone is the cherry on top. FLAWLESS. This episode is also why I decided I loved James Bond (and then actually saw the movies).
DS9 Season 6:
She's got pretty sweet pipes for a light bulb.
Odo temporarily takes leave of his senses and seeks romantic advice from Julian's new holosuite program - a self-aware holographic lounge singer named Vic Fontaine in 1960s Vegas. (It's unclear which is a greater breach of common sense - asking love advice from a hologram, or doing it because you're taking life advice from Julian and Quark.) It's a good thing that he does, though, because there's a lot of sweetness and fun in this episode. While Kira's down on Bajor presumably rubbing noses with Shakaar, Odo spends a few days being schooled in the art of cool by Vic, who is such a cool hologram that he can use the station's comm system, transfer himself to other holosuites at will, and program elements into the Vegas program HIMSELF. So Odo can practice romancing Kira, Vic creates sexy singer Lola Crystal using Kira's image from Julian's spy program (HA - I have to assume the computer saved the images after the crew was transported to safety, because I kind of doubt that Kira was like "oh, sure, go ahead and use my image as a sex object in your childish spy program). It all ends in horrible, horrible awkwardness when Vic tricks Kira and Odo into having a date on the holosuite while Odo thinks she's still a hologram. Vic is forgiven by the end, though, because all's well that ends in makeouts.
DS9 Season 7:
"Take Me Out to the Holosuite"
Death to the opposition!
I think someone at Star Trek headquarters sat down and said "You know that Little Red girl? We should make an episode that combines all of her favorite things." The result was this episode, which takes our war-weary heroes (plus Kasidy, Rom, Quark and Leeta) and makes them play baseball in a sunny holosuite for an entire hour. They're kind of terrible at baseball, but excellent at being non-stop adorable. As far as the bizarre backdrop of Vulcan/Human racism... I don't even know. Captain Solok is basically a complete ass -- you get the feeling that he just never recovered from being harassed once too often by dumb humans at the Academy (and you know this probably happened because, if Tuvok, T'Pol and Spock have taught us nothing else, it's that Humans are kind of jerks to Vulcans). As for his crew... I can't even imagine how he managed to sell them on the logic of playing a baseball game to revisit their captain's adolescent rivalry with Sisko. However, if you take out the part where this episode assassinated the character of an entire race of people, it's supremely fun. How they missed the opportunity to have Vic Fontaine announce the game I will never know.
"It's Only a Paper Moon"
And to think, all that needed to happen for Nog to follow the family tradition of profits and entertainment venues was to get his leg shot off by Jem'Hadar.
Nog, suffering from post-holy shit I got shot and had my leg amputated-stress, moves in with Vic Fontaine in the holosuite to recover from his leg-replacement surgery and hide from life. It's a bittersweet episode throughout. Countering Nog's experience of retreating from life is Vic, who's getting his first opportunity to have a life since the program is now running all day long, and who is a little reluctant to lose that and push Nog back into the real world. In the end, Nog somehow convinces Quark to leave Vic's program running all the time (can't they just get one of those little tabletop program-only holodeck boxes that they stuck Moriarty and the Countess into in "Ship in a Bottle"?), and Nog starts to come to terms with the fact that war is really horrible and they are probably all going to die. Hooray?
LOOK AT THESE GQ MOTHERFUCKERS!!
Vic Fontaine's lounge suddenly turns into a darker, mob-owned casino, and O'Brien and Bashir can't freeze the program or reverse it. Surprisingly, they're able to leave the holosuite and it's not actually a malfunction - Bashir's holoprogram dealer programmed in a "jack in the box" to make Vegas more exciting. They determine that in order to restore the program and save Vic's holographic life, they need to go Ocean's 11 and steal a million bucks from the casino. Benjamin "let's all spend three weeks learning to play baseball to show up those Vulcans" Sisko is irked that his command staff are wasting their time giving a shit about Vic Fontaine, and he finally admits to Kasidy that it's because Vic's program misrepresents how racist the 1960s were. Kasidy tells him that he's crazy, and I agree - while something like that would be a hot button now, Sisko's stance is basically the 24th century equivalent of me getting pissy that people dress up and go to Ren Faires because women were being legally burned as witches in the 16th century. In the end, Sisko joins the heist in the holosuite and then sings a duet with Vic. Be still my heart!
Next up: the holodeck episodes of Voyager. That seems like it might take a while! Did that crew do anything except hang out on the holodeck??