Category Archives: Bajoran

“What You Leave Behind”

Hope you like CGI ships getting blowed up!
Hope you like CGI ships getting blowed up!

The DS9 crew, aboard the new Defiant, sets out for Cardassia as part of a huge allied fleet set on ending the war.  Back on Bajor, Dukat (still appearing as a Bajoran) has his sight back and returns to Kai Winn, who has discovered how to release the pah-wraiths from the fire caves — and was waiting for his return to do it. Meanwhile, the Dominion learns Damar is alive on the streets of Cardassia Prime, fomenting rebellion. After Damar’s forces cut power to Dominion headquarters, the female Changeling goes bonkers and starts killing Cardassians indiscriminately. This prompts Damar, Kira and Garak to mount an assault on Dominion HQ. By this point, the Federation and its allies have pushed the Dominion and Breen fleet back into the Cardassian system — as the Cardassian ships have switched sides. As Damar’s party gets into Dominion HQ, Damar is killed — but Kira and Garak capture the female Changeling and Garak kills Weyoun. The female Changeling refuses to surrender, telling Kira that the Jem’Hadar and the Breen will fight to the last man. Kira sends a message to the Defiant, and Odo beams down to talk to the female Changeling. He links with her, she surrenders, and he cures her of the disease and promises to take the cure to the Great Link (as she is likely facing jail time for war crimes). Odo also tells Kira that he’ll be joining the Link for good.

There is... another... Weyou... No there's not!
There is… another… Weyou… No there’s not!

With 800 million more Cardassians killed, the war is over, and the papers are signed back on DS9. Worf becomes Martok’s Federation ambassador, Odo will go back to the Great Link, the O’Briens get ready to head to Earth so Miles can be an instructor at Starfleet Academy and Sisko and the gang have one last night out at Vic’s. On the dance floor with pregnant Kasidy, Sisko realizes he must head to the fire caves and stop Dukat and Winn. An empowered Dukat nearly defeats Sisko, but with a dying Winn’s help, he’s able to grab Dukat and fling both of them into the flames. The pah-wraiths are forever trapped and the Prophets save Sisko — but he must stay with them for an unknown amount of time. When the crew can’t find Sisko, he returns briefly and tells Kasidy he has to leave, but that he will return, “in a year … or, maybe, yesterday.” Worf and O’Brien leave and Kira returns from taking Odo to the Gamma Quadrant. Back on the station, Kira’s left in command, with Quark still at his bar, Nog a newly minted lieutenant and Bashir and Ezri a happy couple. The series ends as Kira hugs a mournful Jake while he looks out a window on the Promenade toward the wormhole.

Why it’s important

As the final episode of Trek’s most serial show, a lot of things happen. The war ends, Cardassia lies in ruins, peace returns, the pah-wraiths are banished, Dukat, Damar, Weyoun and Winn all die, Odo returns to the Great Link, Worf heads to the Klingon homeworld, Garak returns to Cardassia, O’Brien leaves for Earth and Sisko essentially becomes a god.

In other words, a lot of ground was covered here. Say one thing for DS9, it didn’t pull punches and closed NEARLY every open question in a whirlwind of a final two hours — and a final eight episodes.

“This one’s for my homies trying to reconcile the timing of all these events.”

What doesn’t hold up

The absolute most disappointing thing that the creators botched would have been a character moment. It’s simply inconceivable that Sisko wouldn’t say goodbye to Jake. It was a poor decision not to have a final moment with Kasidy AND Jake. The bond between the Siskos was one of the things that series got right from day one, and to not do it justice in the final episode was simply terrible. Remember that “The Visitor” — in which Jake must deal with Sisko’s sort of death —  is widely considered to be DS9’s best episode.

There are some other odd things about this episode — some of which seem like they might have been editing issues. Some of them have to do with the timing of events — particularly in concurrence with “Star Trek: Insurrection”.

As the episode begins, Sisko and the fleet head to Cardassia. If you figure the amount of time it would take to get to Cardassia Prime amid all the battles,  get the female Changeling to surrender, and get back to DS9, at LEAST a week has gone by. That’s probably overly conservative, but it’s a nice, easy number to remember and it serves our purposes. Now, keep in mind that Dukat and Winn leave for the fire caves around the time Sisko’s fleet leaves. And they’re in the caves during the battle. Stay with me on why that’s important …

After the war is over, negotiations commence and the female Changeling signs the treaty. Then, Sisko gets wind of the fire caves thing that’s happening and heads to Bajor — where Winn and Dukat are just wrapping things up. I’ve got to ask — how long were Winn and Dukat in the fire caves? Based simply on the events of this episode, it had to be at least a couple weeks. That seems just impossible. And other events in Trek make this botched sequence EVEN WORSE.

We didn’t review “Star Trek: Insurrection” as it’s a pretty inconsequential movie based on our site guidelines. But Worf’s presence on the Enterprise-E in that film is sort of explained by hinting that the Dominion and the Federation are negotiating a peace treaty while Worf’s away.

So, in other words, Dukat and Winn are in the fire caves as the Federation fleet gets to Cardassia, battles the Dominion forces, gets the female Changeling to surrender and returns to the station — and while Worf has a zorch and a fun adventure with the Enterprise-E crew. Worf is present for the treaty signing and he heads off with Martok afterward. So, it’s really not a stretch to think that Dukat and Winn were in the fire caves for like a month!

There are easy ways this could have been fixed, BTW. Winn, after sort of banishing Dukat, could have decided to go to the fire caves AFTER the Federation won the war — possibly because she thought she’d never have another chance to undermine Sisko. The pah-wraiths could have had something to do with the timing, too. Or, even better, Worf could have joined the Enterprise-E crew after leaving DS9 but before officially taking over as Martok’s ambassador.

But, as it stands, the only conclusion one can draw is that Dukat and Winn were in the fire caves for at least two weeks, probably much longer. And that is just implausible.

Last minor gripe: The creators also seemed to forget one of the original points of DS9 — getting Bajor ready for Federation membership. This could have been EASILY covered by a line of dialog in the finale’s final moments about Kira getting ready for a ceremony about Federation admission. The scene with Nog and Kira in Sisko’s old office would have been perfect. Instead, that matter is left entirely unaddressed. Weird.

I've been in these clothes for like a month!!
“I’ve been in these clothes for like a month!!”

Final thoughts

OK, so the timing issue clearly bothers me a lot. I think it’s because “What You Leave Behind” was ALMOST so freaking good — and where it was bad, it was bad in places that were SO easily fixable. There’s one other item that I’d put on the list of decisions that I disagree with — though it’s more of a weird choice than a bad one: It’s too bad that the creators didn’t let Damar live and become Cardassia’s new leader. Given everything he went through in the seventh season, it would have been a nice moment to see Damar thanking Sisko, Kira, et. al and telling them Cardassians everywhere owe the Federation and its allies their thanks. Showing a somewhat dystopian Cardassia Prime was an interesting choice — but it’s not the one I would have made.

That said, the finale had some really great moments. Odo’s goodbye to Kira was incredibly well done and O’Brien and Bashir’s goodbye was nicely handled. I also liked Ezri waving goodbye to Worf, in a scene that was an obvious callback to Jadzia waving goodbye to him in “Tears of the Prophets”. (Of course, the lack of Jadzia in any of the flashback montage was pretty ridiculous. The creators probably should have spiked the idea if the best they could do for Worf’s memories was a shot of him smoking a cigar — which he shouldn’t have even remembered — in “Our Man Bashir”.)

Flawed finale and all, DS9 still gets major points for its ambition, its acting and its continuity. While it’s not the most popular Trek series and is even considered a black sheep by some, it was the only Trek show other than TOS that could be considered ahead of its time. Comparing DS9 with “Breaking Bad” or “The Wire” is not a stretch — though the latter two series are, obviously, superior. Compare Voyager with either of those series, and, well, your back might give out like mine just did.

DS9 wasn’t perfect. It had too much Ferengi crap, it was very hit-or-miss until late in the second season and it often bit off WAY more than it could chew. But, it’ll always hold a special place in this Trekkie’s heart.

Coming next week …

A final look at DS9, before we get into Voyager country.

“Extreme Measures” and “The Dogs of War”

Should we, you know, enter his mind. No I just want to do that 'sitting in a chair when you wake up thing' to him first.
“Should we, you know, enter his mind?” “No I just want to do that ‘sitting in a chair when you wake up thing’ to him first.”

Part one: Odo’s back on DS9, and he’s not doing well. Bashir and O’Brien, acting on their plan from “Tacking into the Wind”, lure Sloan (William Sadler) from Section 31. Once they capture him, he triggers a suicide implant, so Bashir and O’Brien use Romulan mind probes to enter his dying mind — which, conveniently, looks like DS9 — to see if they can find the cure to the Changeling disease (bah). The plan generally works, through a bunch of Voyager-style nonsense. But Bashir has to choose between getting all the secrets of Section 31 from Sloan’s mind or escaping in time to save Odo. Or something. What a mess of an episode.

And over here is where I had my Gul Lesset Interrogation Action Playset(tm)
“And over here is where I had my Gul Lesset Interrogation Action Playset(tm)”

Part two: Kira, Damar and Garak take their stolen Jem’Hadar ship to Cardassia Prime for a meeting with some Cardies who say they want to join the rebellion, but it’s a trap, the Jem’Hadar ship is destroyed and the trio must hide in Garak’s childhood home, which had belonged to our old buddy Enabaran Tain. Shortly thereafter, they learn that the Dominion has destroyed all of Damar’s bases. With few other options, Kira, Damar and Garak take the rebellion to the streets. Back on the station, Odo’s cured and is informed that Section 31 infected him way back when to infect the other Changelings — and that the Federation Council is unwilling to share the cure with the Dominion. Oh, and Sisko gets a new Defiant-class ship, which is renamed to honor the ship destroyed earlier in the arc (and allowing existing sets and optics to be used!). At the same time, Grand Nagus Zek (Wallace Shawn, whom we first met in “The Nagus” but who has showed up in numerous Ferengi nonsense episodes) contacts Quark, through a garbled transmission, and tells him he will be the new Ferengi leader. Zek then shows up on the station and tells Quark he actually wants Rom to be the new Nagus (see the garbled transmission above). With Ferengi culture becoming more human, Quark pledges to keep his bar a staple of Ferengi tradition (meh). The episode ends as Sisko, Ross and Martok discuss strategy now that the Dominion and the Breen are pulling back as the Federation can now defend against the Breen weapon. The Federation alliance decides to go on the offensive, in hopes of finally ending the war.

"Busboy, Resistance Leader, Grand Nagus: The life and times of Rom"
“Busboy, Resistance Leader, Grand Nagus: The life and times of Rom.”

Why it’s important

As DS9 draws closer to the end, the plot summaries sort of explain the significance of the episodes. The Dominion pullback is the biggest domino here, as that emboldens the Federation and its allies to try to stick a fork in the fighting.

But getting the cure to the Changeling disease is actually a huge domino, as we’ll see in our next review. Without the efforts of Bashir and O’Brien, it’s likely the war would have lasted a lot longer — as we’ll see.

We also see the end of the Ferengi storylines (mercifully). While the Ferengi characters would often be well used in places (like Quark and Rom’s role in and around “Sacrifice of Angels”), one of DS9’s biggest failings was the thinking that at least two episodes a year had to be Ferengi-dominant, resulting in some of the worst showings the series produced. So, while it’s pretty laughable that the Nagus would have enough power — and enough desire — to change the entire Ferengi culture, apparently based on his experiences in the past seven years, it’s also sort of appropriate.

And it’s a big deal. In the span of about four episodes, DS9 will change the ruler of three major Alpha Quadrant entities — the Klingon Empire, the Cardassian Union and the Ferengi Alliance.

What doesn’t hold up

“Extreme Measures” is just a terrible, terrible episode. Colm Meaney and Alexander Siddig do what they can, as usual. But the premise and the execution are just awful. Sloan’s mind looks just like DS9? Please. Sloan has the exact formula for the cure to the disease affecting the Founders memorized? Ridiculous. Bashir and O’Brien do all of this unsanctioned (aside from some limited notification of Sisko)? Stupid. It’s too bad, because the Bashir/O’Brien friendship was a real strength of DS9, so it’s hard to figure what the creators were thinking on this one. It frankly comes across as low-rent and trite — a combination of TOS budget limitations and Voyager nonsense.

“The Dogs of War” is a better episode, but so much happens in it that it’s kind of a blur — and it doesn’t even get into the Dukat/Winn stuff. Frankly, the creators’ decision again to shoehorn the Ferengi into stories hurts things. It’s also unfortunate that the creators decided that the Ferengi should evolve to be more like humans (and in a ridiculously fast way). I remember watching this episode in 1999 and thinking that somehow, Rom would bring a bunch of Ferengi ships to help the Federation in the series finale — which would have made what happened here a stronger story. But, of course, that didn’t happen. Instead, it’s just more bad-comedy drivel — even if Max Grodenchik puts in a nice performance in his last outing as Rom.

Final thoughts

These two episodes are probably the weakest in the final arc so far, though “The Dogs of War” isn’t really awful. The finale, of course, has some issues — but we’ll get to that later this week.

Coming later this week …

The finale. Duh. I just said that.


“Strange Bedfellows” and “The Changing Face of Evil”

Laugh it up, you just did the nasty with Gul Dukat
Laugh it up, you just did the nasty with Gul Dukat

Part one: Damar is outraged that the Dominion is willing to give so much of Cardassia to the Breen, and is further outraged when Weyoun essentially sacrifices an entire order of Cardassian troops. Meanwhile, Dukat (still posing as a Bajoran) continues to manipulate Kai Winn — eventually revealing that he’s a servant of the pah-wraiths. With Worf and Ezri scheduled to be executed on Cardassia Prime (after they were turned over to the Dominion by the Breen) Damar helps them escape, telling them that the Federation has a friend on Cardassia. Back on the station, Winn decides to accept the pah-wraiths — feeling the Prophets have turned their backs on her — and vows to work with Dukat to destroy anyone who stands in their way.

Related: There was a world series on at the time. Or would've been had baseball survived into the 24th century.
Related: There was a World Series on at the time. Or would’ve been had baseball survived into the 24th century.

Part two: Worf and Ezri arrive back on the station (having delivered Damar’s message) and a horrified Sisko learns of a Breen attack at Starfleet HQ on Earth. With the Dominion and Breen celebrating, Damar begins plotting against them. Dukat (still posing as a Bajoran) gets Winn to pull some ancient and forbidden texts that are supposed to reveal how to release the pah-wraiths from the Bajoran fire caves (mentioned in “The Assignment”). About this time, Sisko learns that the Dominion is about to retake the Chin’toka system (captured by the Federation in “Tears of the Prophets”) so he takes the Defiant and joins a Federation-Klingon-Romulan fleet to try to stop them. But the Breen employ a new energy-dampening weapon, destroying the dozens of Federation-allied ships, including the Defiant (!) after Sisko and crew manage to escape. Back on Bajor, Winn’s assistant Solbor (James Otis) has figured out who Dukat really is and reveals it to Winn. But Winn doesn’t want to be exposed and kills Solbor with a knife. Blood from the knife touches the previously blank pages of the forbidden texts, providing a way for Dukat and Winn to continue. Back on DS9, Sisko and Ross are freaking out about stopping the Breen when the station intercepts a message from Damar to the Cardassian people, urging them to join his new rebellion.

Why it’s important

The plot summary really covers a lot of the big items, but the Breen’s attack on Earth and Starfleet HQ is another huge moment in DS9’s final seasons (and in keeping with the not-F-ing-around approach we’ve noted before). Damar formally starting his rebellion is huge — and the furthering of Dukat and Winn’s plan is equally important in DS9’s final arc.

I don't think Santa Anna was setting fire to Sisko's model house, Chief.
“I don’t think Santa Anna was setting fire to Sisko’s model house, Chief.”

What doesn’t hold up

I hate Winn’s bold pronouncement in “Strange Bedfellows”,  mostly because it seems cheesy and so at odds with her more complex stance in “The Changing Face of Evil”. But oh, well.

Now, one thing I’ve never understood. Why did the Bajorans keep the forbidden texts in the first place? For a spiritual people who revere the Prophets — and faith is supposedly what kept the Bajorans together over the years — why not just destroy the forbidden texts? Hell, given that they were essentially being wiped out by the Cardassians for 50 years, it’s amazing that the Bajorans were able to preserve the texts at all.

Beyond that, how in the hell did the Breen get all the way to Earth? As far as we know, the Breen have no cloaking technology, so they must have gotten past Starfleet’s defenses before being able to attack the planet. Now, we saw the Borg do this way back in “The Best of Both Worlds”, but that was after they destroyed 40 starships — at a time when Starfleet wasn’t all that mobilized for war.

And, finally, it’s just way too convenient that the female Changeling tells Weyoun not to destroy the Defiant escape pods. Her reasoning is that the survivors will spread fear when they return and talk about the new Breen weapon. But that information would have been conveyed in one way or another. Honestly, if I were the Founders, I’d do anything possible to knock off Sisko, considering he has a direct line of communication to god-like beings who destroyed 2,800 Dominion ships at one point.

Final thoughts

Complaints above aside, “The Changing Face of Evil” is a highlight of DS9, from the destruction of the Defiant to the founding of Damar’s rebellion. In both cases, the DS9 creators showed they were really going for broke, even if they had to do so with some goofy logic (like the escape pod bit).

It’s really a credit to DS9 that the final chapter narratives all fit together for the most part, given how many balls were in the air.

Coming later this week …

More final chapter fun, with Gowron donning a dunce cap.

“Image in the Sand” and “Shadows and Symbols”

Either I'm your mother or the midi-chlorians did it, you pick Ben...
“Either I’m your mother or the midi-chlorians did it, you pick Ben…”

Part one: Sisko’s back on Earth at his father’s restaurant, still searching for answers after Jadzia’s death and the departure of the Prophets. Meanwhile, the war continues and Kira grants permission for the Romulans to set up a hospital facility on one of Bajor’s moons — only to find the Romulans are putting weapons there. Worf is still hurting from the loss of Jadzia, mostly because she didn’t get a warrior’s death. After O’Brien (in a great scene) gets to the bottom of Worf’s problems, Martok steps in, asking Worf to be his first officer on a dangerous mission to honor Jadzia. Back on Earth, Sisko finally has a vision and sees a woman’s face in the sand. It turns out the face belongs to the first wife of his father Joe (Brock Peters) and the woman is actually Sisko’s mother, whom Sisko had no knowledge of and who left Joe and died while Sisko was a small child. Sisko decides to go look for the woman and the Orb of the Emissary, mentioned in the vision, on the planet Tyree, and preps to leave with Jake and Joe. As the episode ends, a young woman arrives at the restaurant, identifying herself as Ezri Dax (Nicole de Boer).

Part two: We learn that Ezri was unprepared to take on the symbiont, so she’s having a tough time adapting to being joined. But she leaves with the Siskos for Tyree. Kira, meanwhile, sets up a blockade to prevent the final pieces of the Romulans’ weapons from reaching their base, with Admiral Ross stuck between Kira and Romulan Senator Creetak (Megan Cole). Worf and Martok head out for their mission to destroy a Dominion shipyard with O’Brien, Bashir and Quark along. The three plots coalesce as Sisko finds the Orb of the Emissary but becomes Benny Russell (“Far Beyond the Stars”) in a mental hospital being told his stories of DS9 aren’t real. Just as Sisko/Russell is about to accept this — and as all looks lost for both Kira’s blockade and Worf/Martok’s mission — Sisko/Russell does a 180 and opens the Orb box instead of smashing it. The wormhole reappears, and an emboldened Kira says she won’t back down, despite the presence of several Romulan warbirds — prompting Ross to step in and force the Romulans out. Martok’s ship successfully destroys the Dominion shipyard and Sisko speaks with the woman who was his mother, Sarah (Deborah Lacey). She is a Prophet who briefly merged with a human woman to … orchestrate Sisko’s birth. Sisko heads back to DS9 a hero, and the staff — included a befuddled Worf — meets the new Dax.

Why it’s important

Well, we learn that Sisko is part Bajoran god, so that’s something. As noted in previous reviews, the DS9 creators really decided to go for broke in the final season-plus. Here’s another example.

The continuation of the Federation/Romulan alliance also is important, though it’s annoying that we see no fallout after this episode — and we later see Creetak as rather buddy-buddy with the DS9 crew, including Kira (hmmm). Meanwhile, we don’t really see how the destruction of the shipyard plays in, but I suppose it can be inferred that it further weakened the Dominion.

Benny you need to calm down. How about a nice glass of kanar.
“Benny you need to calm down. How about a nice glass of kanar?”

What doesn’t hold up

In one way, these two episodes are tough to critique based on our usual criteria. We learn that Sisko is — and always has been — at least partly a descendant of the Prophets, meaning that he was always meant to come to DS9, discover the wormhole, etc. But way back in “Emissary”, the Prophets were all confused about what a linear being even was and certainly didn’t recognize Sisko.

Assuming the Prophets weren’t lying — which is a fairly safe assumption — the guess is that after they met Sisko, they decided to go back in time and make him part Prophet. This squares with what we first learned (sort of) because the Prophets have no concept of time and could move back and forth to do whatever they wanted. But, then, why the interrogation during “Emissary”? The Prophets should have been all like, “Glad you finally got here. This is the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant, as you call it. You may use it. We are of Bajor.”

Granted, that wouldn’t do much for exposition in the pilot. But it would have tracked better with aliens who have no concept of a linear existence.

Oh, and does anybody else think it’s weird that Sisko could take a leave of absence and just borrow a runabout? Wouldn’t this be like a captain in the U.S. navy borrowing a fighter jet to go home for vacation? Granted, we’ve seen DS9 officers take runabouts on vacation before, but not for three months. Also, where is Tyree? Is it in the Bajoran system? Is it just some random world Sisko knew about and recognized in his vision? Like the runabout question, it’s not a huge deal. But both are sort of odd.

Final question, with all of our heroes off the station in the second episode, who was in command of DS9? Ross is there, of course, but he was clearly dealing with Kira and Creetak. The only quasi-main character with any sort of rank whom we don’t see in part two is Nog … so I guess he was treating the Ops staff to some root beers?

Final, final question: Jake says, at the end of part one, that he’s packed his toothbrush. Unless this has become an old saying or something — which is possible — are we to believe that dental care hasn’t advanced in 350 years? We’ll note a lot of items like this in DS9’s final season …

I hope you want to spend most of the final season getting to know me!
“I hope you want to spend most of the final season getting to know me!”

Final thoughts

Ambiguity surrounding the Prophets aside, I love these two episodes, particularly part two. The cross-cutting between the three plots really works, and that things get better for Worf and Kira as Sisko decides to open the Orb box was well done — and the visuals with Martok’s ship are some of my favorite in the series. And though I’ve never been a huge fan of “Far Beyond the Stars” — Avery Brooks’ performance was over the top and most of the other characters played by the regular cast were really annoying — I’ll give the creators credit for calling back to that episode here.

There’s also, of course, the introduction of a major character in Ezri Dax. While the creators rammed a lot of “Ezri Fun!” down our throats in the seventh season — “Prodigal Daughter” and “Field of Fire” almost seem like they were required by de Boer’s agent for her to join the cast — she mostly works in the season’s first two episodes. The scene in the runabout in part two just after she’s been space sick was a bit much, but it actually gave Cirroc Lofton something to do, which doesn’t happen much in the seventh season. De Boer seems to have studied Terry Farrell’s performance, which was a nice touch. But season seven’s slight drop in quality can be traced in part to too much Ezri.

Finally, the scene in which O’Brien brings a bottle of blood wine to Worf’s quarters to find out what’s bothering our favorite Klingon really shows how good the DS9 actors were in their roles. For Michael Dorn and Colm Meaney — who had been playing these characters for more than a decade — the ease of the conversation was just so great. “You call that a visit?!” “I enjoyed it.” Perfect.

Oh, and gotta love any mention of our old buddy Reg Barclay from TNG. “Who could forget him?” Worf says, hilariously.

Coming later this week …

Nog does his best Corporal Klinger impersonation. Oh, and the Founders are dying, or something.

“Tears of the Prophets”

We're all in love here. So nothing bad is going to happen. At all. Have fun in the battle I'm going to go read some Anton Chekov.
“We’re all in love here. So nothing bad is going to happen. At all. Have fun in the battle I’m going to go read some Anton Chekov.”

Sisko is tasked by Starfleet with planning a new offensive against the Dominion. As Damar and Weyoun ready for the attack in their closet/headquarters on Cardassia Prime, Dukat shows up, telling them that he can use a captured Bajoran artifact to enlist the Bajorans’ pah-wraiths (introduced back in “The Assignment”) and destroy Sisko in the process. Sisko readies to attack a planet in Cardassian space and is contacted by the Prophets, who tell him not to leave. Sisko, of course, chooses his duty over the Prophets’ warnings. The battle is a success, but a possessed Dukat shows up on the station as it’s happening and deposits a bunch of evil energy — I’m not really sure how else to describe it — into one of the Bajoran Orbs, killing Jadzia in the process. Sisko returns to the station with the wormhole gone and Jadzia dead (though the Dax symbiont is saved and sent to Trill). As the episode ends, a saddened and somewhat lost Sisko is back at his father’s restaurant on Earth, searching for answers.

It's as if millions of voices cried out at once then were suddenly... sorry, wrong franchise.
“It’s as if millions of voices cried out at once then were suddenly… sorry, wrong franchise.”

Why it’s important

This is another episode in the Dukat random-element series. It also connects him with the pah-wraiths, which is an important relationship through the end of the series, as we’ll see.

The Federation and its allies going on the offensive is big, too. The tide of the war was clearly turning at this point.

And then there’s Sisko and his slow and steady march toward a stronger connection with the Prophets. That will come to fruition more in the next few episodes, but it’s shown here. The Prophets clearly are watching and mindful of everything Sisko does — which is a (believable) departure from what we saw way back in “Emissary”.

Scene from the unreleased military procedural spin-off "NCIS: Lakarian City"
Scene from the unreleased military procedural spin-off “NCIS: Locarian City”

What doesn’t hold up

First of all, it’s weird — and clearly contrived — that Dax was left behind in command of the station. The more natural and common thing would have been to have Kira on DS9 and Dax on the Defiant with Sisko. But then, Dax wouldn’t be on the station when Dukat arrived and wouldn’t be caught in the crossfire.

Also, I find it hard to believe that Sisko would allow Garak on the Defiant’s bridge after “In the Pale Moonlight”.

Oh, and this is as good as time as any to bring this up. Dukat beams aboard the station (from parts unknown) because Dominion transporters can operate over extremely large distances (we learn it’s like three light years in a few episodes). So, why wouldn’t the Dominion get three light years away and just beam hundreds of Jem’Hadar on board the station?

Here I am, in a place where I'm almost never at. Asking the prophets if they like Becker.
“Here I am, in a place where I almost never go, asking the Prophets if they like ‘Becker’.”

Final thoughts

Sisko’s talk with Dax’s coffin is a high point of the episode, but so is the initial discussion with Damar, Weyoun and Dukat. One of DS9’s strengths was the great supporting cast who played truly well-developed characters. Jeffrey Combs, Marc Alaimo and Casey Biggs just hit it out of the park in this episode, and Alaimo’s delivery about Dukat being a “new man” was pitch perfect.

Oh, and I don’t care for Vic Fontaine so I won’t write about him much. Sorry!

Coming next week …

New Dax, same as the old Dax. Except shorter.