Category Archives: 1999


Woah, this episode is really crappy.
“Whoa, this episode is really crappy.”

Voyager rescues another Starfleet ship, the Equinox — a small science vessel that is critically damaged after attacks by some supposedly unknown aliens. We later learn that the ship has had a rougher go of it than Voyager after being swept across the galaxy, and eventually resorted to killing some weird aliens from another realm to fuel an enhanced warp drive. After Janeway learns of this, Equinox Captain Ransom (John Savage) steals some equipment from Voyager and escapes with Seven and the Doctor, leaving Voyager open to attacks from the aliens. Voyager repels the attacks (after two no-name crew members kick the bucket, naturally) and Janeway goes crazy to find the Equinox. She nearly kills a captured Equinox crew member in hopes of gaining information, relieves Chakotay of duty after he objects and later promises the aliens that she’ll hand over the Equinox in exchange for stopping the attacks. Eventually, Ransom realizes he’s in the wrong and helps Voyager, despite objections from some of his crew — but he and most of the Equinoxers are killed in the process and the ship itself is destroyed. Voyager resumes course, with a few Equinox crew members now on board and Janeway and Chakotay (sigh) back to business as usual.

Why it’s important

As we’ve discussed elsewhere, Voyager and Starfleet have a pretty bad reputation in the Delta Quadrant. Even though the damage portrayed in this episode wasn’t all Voyager’s fault, some of it was — so we figured it made sense to include. Also, this episode is important in understanding some of Voyager’s key failings.

Despite me performing unethical procedures on you, I imagine we'll continue our friendship next week as if nothing has happened.
“Despite me performing unethical procedures on you, I imagine we’ll continue our friendship next week as if nothing has happened.”

What doesn’t hold up

Pardon my French, but this two-parter is just a shit show — mostly because of what we don’t see after it and because of Janeway’s unhinged actions. Let’s start with what’s wrong in the two-parter itself.

Much of the badness comes in part two, with Janeway just losing her mind. Given that she called out Ransom’s decisions — questioning whether he continued being a human — her decisions to nearly kill an Equinox crew member and offer to trade the Equinox for Voyager’s safety are, frankly, not in keeping with Starfleet or Federation principles and appallingly hypocritical for the main hero of a Star Trek series. A show that was smarter and that had not pissed away its main premise from nearly day one would have done better on these counts (check out DS9’s controversial but smarter “In the Pale Moonlight”). As it is, this — and “Year from Hell”“Deadlock” and the series finale — are the four best examples of Voyager’s main failings.

A smaller issue in this episode happens when the Doctor, after Ransom deletes his ethical subroutines, is cool with conducting a dangerous procedure on Seven to extract some information. The whole thing was FAR too easy, and the Doctor is portrayed as pleased with himself that he’s now unencumbered and can take actions that might kill Seven! Shouldn’t a medical program, even without ethical subroutines, be concerned with doing no harm? This is sort of like how holographic bullets can kill if holodeck safeties are disengaged. Why make the holograms potentially lethal in the first place?

Another smaller point is that Voyager and the Equinox would even have found each other after both were swept into the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker (as discussed in part one). Given all the times Voyager jumped ahead — and all the times Equinox jumped ahead using the technology in this episode — it’s implausible that the two ships would run into each other. It’s too bad the creators didn’t just have the Equinox get to the Delta Quadrant in a different way with a different starting point.

Then, there’s the whole matter with Janeway and Chakotay. Chakotay plays (effectively) the voice of reason in this episode (which is ironic, given that he was the Starfleet-officer-turned-terrorist when the series began). In a better example of showing a schism between Janeway and Chakotay (in “Scorpion”) the two ultimately worked together to defeat the Borg after a major disagreement — but one that was more tactical than philosophical. Here, there’s no resolution, even though the disagreement between them is FAR more troubling. They simply shrug off the fact that Chakotay was relieved of duty and that Janeway nearly committed crimes. And that’s just ridiculous. Even Ronald D. Moore — who briefly came over from DS9 at this time — is on record as questioning the creators here.

Finally, why don’t we ever see the Equinox crew members who joined Voyager after this episode? Obviously, there’s an easy answer — because the Voyager creators, almost ALWAYS took the easy way out in situations like this. What a waste.

Captain... captain. Are you playing Words with Friends instead of listening to me?!
“Captain? Captain? Are you playing Words with Friends instead of listening to me?!”

Final thoughts

Yeesh. What a mess. The two-parter is somewhat compelling — and part one is much less objectionable — but when you look at Janeway’s actions, the missed opportunities and the complete lack of continuity afterward, it makes you shake your head. Actually, that’s more of how Voyager could be described, overall. Is it time for “Enterprise” yet?

Coming next week …

That guy who played Murdock on the “A-Team” returns to Trek.

“Dark Frontier”

I just watched an old earth film called "Ocean's 11" and now I'm in the mood for a zany heist.
“I just watched an old Earth film called ‘Ocean’s 11’ and now I’m in the mood for a zany heist.”

Janeway gets it into her head to try to steal a transwarp coil from a Borg ship (Bad Idea Jeans, Kathy). She enlists Seven to help with the mission, and asks her to read the diaries (somehow) obtained from her parents’ ship back in “The Raven” as background research or something. As the crew prepares, Seven is contacted by the Borg Queen (Susanna Thompson, apparently replacing the Queen we met in “Star Trek: First Contact”) who tells her that she’ll assimilate Voyager unless Seven comes back to the Borg. During the mission, Seven does just that — despite a puzzled Janeway, who does manage to get the warp coil. Later, the Queen tells Seven that the Borg actually LET Seven leave the collective and join Voyager’s crew (back in “Scorpion”) as a way to get more information about humans in hopes of actually successfully assimilating humanity (uh-huh). Janeway equips the Delta Flyer with the transwarp coil and manages to find Seven and eventually rescues her by convincing her where she really belongs (for like the 100th time) outsmarting the Queen (or something).

I find it helps to picture a species naked when addressing a crowd of them.
“I find it helps to picture a species naked when addressing a crowd of them.”

Why it’s important

We learn a lot more about Seven’s backstory — which is actually a lot of the human/Borg backstory. Her parents, the Hansens, weren’t just zany explorers who ran into the Borg. They were commissioned by the Federation to go LOOK for the Borg. Hmmm.

Meanwhile, Voyager gets access to transwarp technology in this episode — and does get 20 years closer to home before it gives out. So, even though Janeway’s plan is ridiculously dangerous, it does sort of work. Hmmm.

What doesn’t hold up

The Hansen backstory is, simply, infuriating. It’s classic Voyager in that it re-wrote Star Trek history in ways the creators must have (wrongly) thought would increase the drama. Joe Menosky, one of the top people at Voyager back in the day, said (essentially) that continuity should be disregarded when it gets in the way of a good story. That could be one way to look back at Voyager as a series — except that more often than not, the creators didn’t have to disregard continuity to achieve their ultimate goal.

This episode, like so many others, was a situation where the creators could have had their cake and eaten it, too. The Hansens didn’t need to be explorers looking for the Borg. They could have just been unorthodox explorers who happened upon the Borg, which was sort of the implication when Seven was first introduced in “Scorpion” and when her backstory was fleshed out in “The Raven”. That way, the idea that Picard and Co. (and, presumably, the Federation, generally) didn’t know about the Borg back in “Q Who?” could have been preserved. That said, this episode does try to explain how the Hansens got to the Delta Quadrant, which was an open question back in “The Raven”, with a line of dialogue about following a Borg ship into a transwarp conduit.

There’s also the whole idea that the Borg let Seven leave as part of a bigger plan. Assuming the Queen wasn’t just lying to manipulate Seven (possible, I suppose) it seems like a goofy idea. How many times was Voyager almost destroyed since “Scorpion”?

But the biggest thing that blows my mind is that Janeway would attempt to take on the Borg and steal a warp coil, putting her entire crew at risk against an implacable foe. Voyager’s captain has had some pretty questionable decisions over the years, but I wouldn’t have called her “reckless” until this episode. It’s just unbelievable that she would risk having the Voyager “family” assimilated — and that she would then risk the much-coveted warp coil (not to mention her own life, Paris, Tuvok and the Doctor) to save Seven and Seven alone. The idea that Starfleet captains don’t leave their crew behind isn’t a bad one — but when going after one of them puts everyone else in SUCH great risk, you have to question Kathy’s judgment.

There are issues with some of the Borg Queen’s dialog. She says the Borg have tried to assimilate Earth once (actually twice) and that Seven is the first human to leave the collective after being assimilated — and that’s just laughably false. Jean-Luc Picard says “hi.”

Last thing: The Borg Queen, in an effort to convince Seven that she belongs with the Borg, brings out her father, who is still a working drone. While this is a shocking moment, it’s not used to much effect. And wouldn’t Seven have tried to save her father — or been more torn apart by seeing him after she’s saved?

Last, last thing: The Hansen diaries that Janeway has Seven read allegedly came from Seven and Tuvok’s visit to the Hansens’ ship in “The Raven”. But Seven and Tuvok didn’t download anything while in the ship in that episode — and they barely made it out with their lives as it was being destroyed.

Last, last, last thing: On the Borg ship, Seven’s connection to the collective seems like not much of a connection. She actually saves a small group of no-name aliens from being assimilated — a group that seems to be far too down with what’s happening to them, BTW — but the Queen doesn’t figure it out until after it happens. So much for “Our thoughts are one.”

Hello. Daughter Unit.
“Hello, Daughter Unit.”

Final thoughts

All complaints aside, this is an entertaining two-parter — provided you leave some logic at the door. It’s about as cartoonish as Voyager gets, as even the Borg ship looks more colorful and less mechanical. The most poignant moment, though, comes when Seven questions her parents’ ridiculous decision to go after the Borg with a young child in tow. Janeway doesn’t exactly defend them, but she does give them credit for their ingenuity. I suppose they did manage to surreptitiously monitor and study the Borg for a while, but ultimately, they were complete failures and their YOUNG DAUGHTER BECAME A BORG.

Coming later this week …

Another Starfleet ship in the Delta Quadrant? Jigga-what?

“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.


“When it Rains … ” and “Tacking Into the Wind”

I challenge you all to a bug-eyed look contest. I win!!
“I challenge you all to a bug-eyed look contest. I win!!”

Part one: The Breen weapon from the previous episode is stumping the Federation and its allies. Klingon ships can be adjusted to compensate — meaning the Klingon fleet must take on the brunt of the combat duties. Gowron (Robert O’Reilly) shows up, gives Martok an award and then assumes command of military operations. Meanwhile, Sisko sends Kira, Odo and Garak to help Damar’s resistance effort. While they’re en route, Bashir discovers that Odo has the disease that’s infecting the rest of the Great Link. At Damar’s base, Kira’s group encounters resistance (see what I did there?) from the Cardies, but presses on. Back on the station, Bashir discovers that some medical records for Odo he received from Starfleet were faked, making him and O’Brien theorize that our old buddies at Section 31 were behind the cover-up — and likely the disease itself. Meanwhile, Odo displays the first signs of the disease.

Part two: Gowron is taking big gambles with the Klingon fleet — apparently to bolster his own personal glory — and Sisko backs Worf’s plan (without asking for details) to fix the situation. Meanwhile, Kira and Co.  continue to help Damar, eventually stealing a Jem’Hadar ship equipped with the Breen weapon, despite internal strife among Damar’s band and a deteriorating Odo. Martok refuses to challenge Gowron at Worf’s behest. Then, during a briefing with some nameless Klingons, Worf challenges Gowron’s plan to attack a well-defended Cardassian planet. The two start fighting, and Worf kills Gowron (!) and turns over control of the empire to Martok. Meanwhile, Bashir and O’Brien devise a plan to draw Section 31 to the station, by making them think that Bashir has figured out a cure to the disease.

Is Kira gonna have to choke a b***h?!
“Is Kira gonna have to choke a b***h?!”

Why it’s important

The advancement of Damar’s resistance cell and his development as a character are huge pieces. We’ll talk more about Damar below, though, as much of what happens with him is character-based.

Now, Worf killing Gowron is one of the bolder and bigger moves in any Star Trek series. The two had been friends or enemies dating back nearly a decade and the transfer of power (as done in a way only a Klingon could love) was huge. That Sisko would tacitly endorse Worf’s plan to kill the head of state of an allied empire is pretty freaking amazing. I know the idea is that the Federation is desperate and that Sisko doesn’t really KNOW what Worf’s planning. But still. Damn, Gina.

Some other developments in these two episodes  — including the Dukat/Winn storyline from part one — are really inconsequential in the big picture, or, at most, incremental. But the Section 31 plan to commit genocide on the Founders is pretty freaking huge. There’s some goofiness with the plan and how Bashir and O’Brien figure it out, as we’ll discuss.

Now hand me my pimp hat and pimp chalice.
“Now, hand me my pimp hat and pimp chalice.”

What doesn’t hold up

Let’s talk about how Bashir learns Odo is infected. It all starts when he requests some medical records from when Odo was scanned during his trip to Earth in “Homefront”. Why wouldn’t Bashir — who’s had access to Odo for seven years — have his own scans? There have been times when Odo was really sick and Bashir was trying to help him. Wasn’t he scanning Odo while he was treating him?

Speaking of which, why would the comparison scans matter? Remember that Odo was turned into a human as a punishment by the Founders back in “Broken Link” — a time Bashir was taking a TON of scans of Odo, BTW — and was left with virtually no Changeling stuff in his body. Then, in “The Begotten”, a dying baby Changeling merges with Odo, making Odo a Changeling again. In other words, would the scans taken before Odo lost his shapeshifting abilities be at all helpful? I know there’s the whole bit about “the drop and the ocean” or whatever when it comes to Changelings and the Great Link, but it doesn’t sound like Bashir wanted to study Changelings. He wants to study Odo specifically. And, if so, the scans from “Homefront” should be of no help to him.

Last thought on this point. It’s a little convenient that Bashir and O’Brien are so accurate in guessing that Section 31 was behind the disease. Their supposition certainly makes sense, but they operate on no real proof. What if, after all their sleuthing, someone else had been behind the disease?

Meanwhile, there are a lot of weird little things in these two episodes.

— Kira’s education of Damar’s dudes seems extremely basic, considering that most of the Cardassians should have known how a resistance works based on the recent war with the Bajorans. Shouldn’t they have known how autonomous cells operate and why?

— Speaking of Damar’s resistance, does it seem strange to anyone else that he, Kira, Odo, Garak and Rosot (John Vickery) all go on the mission to steal the Jem’Hadar ship? That would be like George Washington taking his four top advisers to steal a British naval vessel. It’s more likely that some underlings would have been assigned to do it. We’ve talked about this issue before with DS9, though.

— Martok mentions, early in part one, that 1,500 Klingon ships will start raiding Dominion targets, and it’s then said that they’ll be outnumbered 20 to 1. Considering that no reinforcements have come from the Gamma Quadrant — and that the loss of 2,800 Dominion ships in “Sacrifice of Angels” was a big deal — how do the Dominion and the Breen have 30,000 ships? If the Breen, on their own are so formidable, why haven’t they done something on their own, previously? No, this is another example of DS9’s creators amping up the stakes unnecessarily. Why not simply say 10 to 1, or even 5 to 1?

— Gowron is too stupid for words in these two episodes. It’s a shame, because the end result is interesting — but making Gowron look like a total moron wasn’t necessary.

Can you tell me if it was a Section between 30 and 32 that did it?
“Can you tell me if it was a section between 30 and 32 that did it?”

Final thoughts

The Dukat/Winn stuff, in which Dukat goes blind because he reads the forbidden Bajoran texts, was just filler. The Damar/Kira story is probably the strongest of the arc at this point, even if it’s more character-centric, as Damar is making huge leaps as a character. His decision to kill Rosot (in a great scene on the captured Jem’Hadar ship) was a huge indicator of where he believes he needs to take Cardassia. Kira calling Damar out about killing innocents in an earlier scene was wonderful — and Garak telling Kira that she was right to say it was a brilliant decision by the creators. For all three characters, we see just how far they’ve come.

Coming next week …

One of the strangest episodes of DS9, as Bashir and O’Brien have their last buddy episode — INSIDE SOMEONE’S MIND?