Watching “Past Tense” In The Present

In 1995, Deep Space Nine premiered “Past Tense”, a two-part episode that finds Sisko, Bashir, and Dax in San Francisco in 2024 – a time when the broken “Sanctuary Districts” for the houseless/jobless are overflowing with underserved and disenfranchised citizens. Our characters end up in the middle of the Bell Riots, a watershed moment that will create social outrage and become a catalyst for the creation of the Federation and the overall improvement of humankind. The ladies discuss how fans find this episode eerily relevant in 2020 as they explore its themes of classism, social apathy, and mental illness. “Past Tense” holds up and serves a few surprises along the way, including Clint Howard (filling in for Iggy Pop!), proof that people still say “The Net” in the future, and showing that Larissa and Lauren have trouble with math when they haven’t had enough coffee.

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