Category Archives: 2371

“State of Flux”

"Aim for their hair, you can't miss!"
“Aim for their hair, you can’t miss!”

Voyager, on a mission to a random planet for food supplies, runs into the Kazon Nistrim, a rival sect to the bad guys from “Caretaker”. After leaving the planet, Voyager finds a crippled Kazon ship with a mostly dead crew — the result of an accident after trying to install a replicator from Voyager. Janeway, Chakotay and Tuvok eventually figure out that Ensign Seska (Martha Hackett) a former Maquis crew member and Bajoran who had a thing with Chakotay back in the day has been working with the Kazon. Turns out Seska’s really a Cardassian agent who was on Chakotay’s ship as a spy and objects to Janeway’s initial decision to strand the ship. After she’s discovered, Seska beams to a Kazon vessel led by Maje Cullah (Anthony De Longis) and escapes.

Why it’s important

This episode, even more so than the pilot, sets up the Kazon to be Voyager’s main bad guys for season two, which we’ll discuss in later reviews. Seska’s defection and assistance to the Kazon Nistrim is a huge domino. We also learn just how nasty the Kazon can be, especially when Culluh has the sole survivor from the crippled ship killed so he can’t provide any information to Janeway. And it shows the Kazon’s near obsession with stealing Voyager’s advanced technology, another major theme in the coming season.

Finally, while it’s not the first episode to explore this angle, “State of Flux” shows how Voyager’s mission is so very different than what we’ve seen before on Star Trek. That a starship crew would beam to a planet and pick berries (among other things) is at least a nod toward the show’s unique premise.

I could really go for some yamok... I mean hasperat, totes hasperat.
“I could really go for some yamok… I mean hasperat, totes hasperat.”

What doesn’t hold up

I really like this episode, so I won’t trash it’s somewhat sketchy premise too much, but Seska’s ability to get around Voyager’s security systems, steal a replicator, etc., is pretty amazing. It either means Tuvok’s not very good at his job or that Seska’s a freaking genius. Keep in mind that Seska 1) was able to contact the Nistrim without anyone noticing 2) got a replicator to them  without anyone noticing and 3) had an emergency beam-out program that knows to send her to the exact coordinates of Cullah’s ship. The first two points would be extremely difficult and the third would be all but impossible.

"An old Earth expression may be in order Commander. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice..."
“An old Earth expression may be in order, Commander. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice…”

Final thoughts

After a lot of episodes in season one that could have just as easily been done on TNG, “State of Flux” does a nice job utilizing Voyager’s premise. Even if Seska’s abilities and methods are unbelievable, it’s totally believable that a member of the Maquis crew — especially, a Cardassian operative within it — would object to Janeway’s initial decision to maroon Voyager and take action against her. And while Seska wouldn’t be considered among Trek’s top villains, Martha Hackett does a nice job playing the role and is effective when her true identity is discovered.

This is also a nice episode for Robert Beltran and the Chakotay character, who would go on to become the most neglected character in the cast in Voyager’s later years. The Chakotay/Tuvok relationship was always one of the show’s most interesting, and seeing the two of them work together to find out who was in contact with the Kazon was great. Chakotay asking Tuvok if he was easy to fool was a nice moment to end this episode.

Coming later this week …

More fun with the Kazon, and a guest appearance by a DS9 regular.


Hi, I'm the first office and I totally won't be dead within the next few hours.
“Hi, I’m the first officer and I totally won’t be dead within the next few hours.”

A Maquis ship, after a short battle with a Cardassian vessel, is overtaken by a weird energy wave. Shortly thereafter, the Intrepid-class U.S.S. Voyager, under the command of Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) leaves DS9 to find the ship — as her chief of security Tuvok (Tim Russ) was onboard the Maquis ship, undercover — and is overtaken by the same wave and then sent 70,000 light years into the Delta Quadrant, by an alien-looking array. The responsible party runs tests on the Voyager crew — having already done so on the Maquis crew — and sends them all back to their ships, except for Voyager’s Ensign Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) and the Maquis B’Elaana Torres (Roxann Dawson). Janeway forms a temporary alliance with the Maquis commander, Chakotay (Robert Beltran). With tensions high, the ships encounter a junk dealer named Neelix (Ethan Phillips) who suggests that Kim and Torres were likely sent to a nearby planet by the Caretaker (who runs the array) in the care of a race called the Ocampa. Neelix agrees to help Janeway and heads for the planet — where he starts a brief and nasty encounter with the Kazon-Ogla to rescue his lover, Kes (Jennifer Lien) an Ocampa captured by the Kazon. Neelix wants to leave immediately, but Kes agrees to help Janeway. Using the transporter, they make it into the Ocampa’s underground civilization (below the Kazon, who don’t have transporters), powered by the Caretaker, and eventually rescue Kim and Torres. As Voyager heads back to the array to try to get home, the Kazon decide it’s time to take over the array. The Maquis ship is lost in the ensuing battle — but all of Chakotay’s crew get onboard Voyager — and Janeway decides to destroy the array to keep it from falling into Kazon hands (in which they’d likely use it to destroy the Ocampa). Stranded in the Delta Quadrant and with a divided crew the episode ends with Janeway setting a course … for home.

No snark, the Intrepid really was a beautiful ship design.
No snark, the Intrepid really was a beautiful ship design.

Why it’s important

All pilot episodes are pretty significant. “Caretaker” sets the stage for the next seven years of Voyager — why the ship is in the Delta Quadrant, who runs it (under Janeway’s command), who are the near-term bad guys (the Kazon) and who will be Voyager’s guide (Neelix).

Voyager, of course, is a funny series in that many of the aliens we meet along the way are never (or rarely) seen again — as they’re so far away from the rest of the Federation. And the storylines often don’t pick up threads from previous series. This is a note to readers who wonder why we’ll review fewer Voyager episodes — especially in the early seasons — than DS9 or TNG.

Welcome to the Dixie... er Gamma Quadrant
Welcome to the Dixie… err … Delta Quadrant

What doesn’t hold up

Well, first of all, why would the Caretaker — while searching the entire galaxy for a way to procreate — select the same spot twice? After grabbing Chakotay’s ship, shouldn’t he move on? We learn later he grabbed other ships from the Badlands. Maybe the Caretaker can only grab ships from plasma fields?

Secondly, there’s the whole matter of water being at a premium with Neelix and the Kazon, as Neelix asks for water in exchange for helping Janeway. Neelix can apparently leave the system in his own ship, so are we to believe that a wide swath of space only has arid planets? Keep in mind that Neelix seems completely unaccustomed to water — and doesn’t simply say that there’s no water nearby. We learn later that he and the Kazon cover a wide area of space. So, can’t they find some planets with water?

There’s also the matter of just how long the Maquis existed prior to the events here. Keep in mind that we first learned of the rebel group in “The Maquis” in DS9’s second season — which was less than a year before “Caretaker”. This will come up again and again through Voyager, but dialog about how long the Maquis members fought together, developed loyalties, etc., hinges on, well, how long the Maquis could have actually existed. Now, I suppose it’s possible the rebellion was around for a brief period before the Federation discovered it in the previously mentioned DS9 episode. But the treaty that pissed the Maquis off was finalized maybe a year prior to the first mention of the group (in “Chain of Command”). In other words, even if the rebellion started RIGHT after that, they would have had like 18 months to forge any sort of bonds. There’s a line from Chakotay later in the series that he resigned from Starfleet in protest in 2368, which would have been TNG’s fifth season. That seems odd, but even if he joined the Maquis the next day (unlikely, as it’s never stated that Chakotay was one of the group’s founders) there’s no evidence that a rebellion existed earlier than two-plus years prior to “Caretaker”.

More on the Maquis. We see four people who were on the Maquis ship in this episode — Chakotay, Torres, Tuvok and the guy we learn later is Ayala (who, to the creators credit, sticks around as a background credit for much if not all of the series). Beyond that, the ship they’re in looks like one of the standard Maquis raiders from TNG/DS9. In other words, it’s about the size of a shuttle/runabout. But, later, we see that between 20-30 Maquis were onboard. Were the crew members we didn’t see in this episode just clustered in the back?

Oh, and, after Torres and Kim are rescued by Voyager, we see them both in Voyager’s sickbay. Somehow, Torres is wearing the exact same clothes she had on before she was captured by the Caretaker and put into weird surgical clothes that she and Kim wear while in the Ocampa civilization. So, did she have the clothes exactly replicated for some reason? Note that this makes sense for Kim, who would have replicated another standard uniform.

And while it’s not a gaffe, the farmhouse “waiting room” that the Caretaker sends the Voyager crew to before testing them has always annoyed me. It’s boring and trite — and it almost feels like filler.

Last point. The relative size of the galaxy that popped up as an issue in DS9 rears its head here. Assuming Janeway and Voyager left Earth AFTER or even around the time Chakotay’s ship was taken to the Delta Quadrant — when Starfleet lost contact with Tuvok — we can assume the Maquis crew was being tested by the Caretaker for like a week, which seems off — considering that the Caretaker tested the Voyager crew for only three days. That is, unless it takes less than a week to get from Earth to DS9.

One of the complaints about Voyager going forward is that it will keep encountering the same bad guys despite the fact that it should be moving quickly toward home. I know Janeway makes a big point here about how the ship will continue to explore during its journey. But there will be a lot of instances where even that doesn’t cover the problems.

Our warrior spirit is as fierce as our hair!
“Our warrior spirit is as fierce as our hair!”

Final thoughts

Other than the goofy thing with the water — and the Kazon establishing themselves as hard-headed idiots — this is a really good episode. In fact, I’ll go ahead and say it: It’s Trek’s best pilot. “Emissary” has its moments, but some over-the-top acting puts it slightly below “Caretaker”.

Some of the most interesting things shown here revolve around the rough edges from the Maquis characters, notably Chakotay, who seems like a straight-up outlaw in parts of this episode but becomes a company man fairly quickly. The tension shown here with him and Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeil) and Tuvok (for the most part) is ignored the rest of the way. One of Voyager’s biggest failings was that it mostly shrugged off the potential conflict between the Maquis and the Starfleet crew after the first few episodes (with some exceptions). As a result, Voyager quickly entrenched itself as “TNG in the Delta Quadrant.”

Beyond that, a lot of the potential regarding an isolated starship with limited resources was pissed away after “Caretaker”, as we’ll discuss. More to come there, dear readers.

Coming next week …

The Kazon’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble.


“The Adversary”

“Oh, yeah? Well, all the male Changelings wear dresses.”

Newly promoted Captain Sisko is ordered by Ambassador Krajensky (Lawrence Pressman) to take the Defiant to the Tzenkethi border as a show of strength. Turns out the Tzenkethi are another race of bad guys with whom the Federation had a previously unmentioned war (boo, creators) and Kranensky says some new instability within their government has Starfleet worried. On the way, O’Brien discovers sabotage, and it turns out Krajensky is actually a Changeling infiltrator. The crew must hunt out the Changeling, who could be impersonating any of them, as the ship is on course for a Tzenkethi settlement, programmed to attack and likely start a war. As O’Brien regains computer control at the last minute — preventing the attack — Odo fights with the other Changeling, who dies in the struggle. But before he dies, he tells Odo, “It’s too late. We’re everywhere,” something Odo conveys to a shocked and horrified Sisko right before the credits roll.

The newly minted Captain Benjamin L. “Blatant Insubordination” Sisko. Oh, and probably the only photo on our site where Sisko will have a beard and hair on the top of his head!

Why it’s important

This is the second instance in which a Changeling infiltrator attempts to destabilize the Alpha Quadrant. It doesn’t work this time, but it sets the stage for a lot of seasons four and five. It partly motivates the Klingon paranoia we see in “The Way of the Warrior”, in which a government change on Cardassia can only be justified to the Klingons as the work of Changelings.

For Odo, the events here set in motion his eventual fall from grace among the Founders and his punishment at the end of season four. Odo’s relationship with the Founders is one of the key undercurrent of the series.

Pretty much sums up Starfleet’s ability to stop Changeling infiltrators. Thank goodness for Section 31!

What doesn’t hold up

It’s hard to believe that Starfleet and the DS9 crew in particular hadn’t put more thought into Changeling infiltrators — particularly after the events of “The Die is Cast”. Assuming Odo and Garak told Sisko what the Changeling impersonating Colonel Lovok told them, everyone should have realized a Changeling spy was a good possibility at really any time. The idea of blood screenings was a good one, but it should have been something the crew thought of before this episode.

Bigger picture, it’s really annoying that Starfleet was at war with yet another space empire in the few years before the events of second-generation Trek. Sisko was involved in the war — we learn that here and later — meaning that the conflict was within the past couple of decades. As noted during our review of “The Wounded”, this is an annoying trope of Star Trek, particularly compared with the high-sounding talk during early TNG about a mostly peaceful Federation.

Worse is the fact that the Tzenkethi are never heard from again! Here’s this big, bad space empire relatively close to DS9 — otherwise, why send the Defiant on this mission? — that is significant enough in military force that it can wage a war that the Federation really fears. And yet, when the Federation, the Klingons, the Romulans, the Dominion, the Cardassians and the Breen are involved in a major interstellar war in DS9’s final two seasons, the Tzenkethi are apparently just cool to sit back and watch. That, my friends, is especially weak sauce. The Tzenkethi aren’t even among the powers who sign non-aggression pacts with the Dominion (among the likes of the Miradorn and the Tholians).

It feels like this episode should have been about the change of government on Cardassia, which we see in “The Way of the Warrior”. That would have made a LOT more sense, as it would have explained Kira and Odo’s presence on the mission — the Bajorans would have an active interest in Cardassian turmoil — and it would have made geographic sense. Sending the Defiant to “show the flag”, as Sisko puts in, along the Cardassian border makes sense, based on everything we had seen on DS9 for three seasons. Hell, it’s hard to believe Starfleet would have been cool with Sisko taking the Defiant and the entire senior staff on the mission we see here, given everything we know, and leaving the station and Bajor undefended and understaffed.

Speaking of which, why didn’t Sisko do anything to verify Krajensky’s orders before leaving the station? Keep in mind that the entire mission was inspired by what the Changeling verbally told Sisko. Couldn’t Sisko have checked to make sure that the alleged coup was actually happening? Keep in mind that the Changeling impersonating Krajensky doesn’t tell Sisko to maintain radio silence or anything similar.

Final thoughts

This is probably the weakest of all of DS9’s season finales. It’s not a terrible action outing, but the plot is just too goofy to make much sense — even if the Odo stuff is extremely consequential. Sometimes, episodes are good enough to look past some flimsy logic. But not here.

Beyond that, I guess what we see later indicates that the Changeling whom Odo killed was really just exaggerating. It’s true that Changelings impersonate some pretty important Alpha Quadrant people in the fourth and fifth seasons, but “everywhere” is a stretch. If they were “everywhere”, they didn’t really cause that much damage — or, they were somehow stopped from doing so in a lot of places. I do have a theory on that, but it’ll have to wait. Let’s just say it has to do with something called “Section 31”.

On the other hand, we learn later that the Founders’ hold on the Jem’Hadar is somewhat overstated. So, maybe the Dominion is just really good at fear mongering/propaganda?

Coming later this week …

A TNG character joins DS9. Can Bashir get along with the irascible Dr. Pulaski? Will Nog and Jake look up to Wesley Crusher?

“Improbable Cause” and “The Die is Cast”

“Yippee! Our amazing plan is working! There’s no way that the Dominion would actually have defenses in place for the homeward of its leaders!”

Part one: Garak’s tailor shop blows up and Odo begins looking into who did it and why. Turns out the Romulans tried to kill Garak and that several former Obsidian Order colleagues of Enabaran Tain (see “The Wire”) have been killed. Odo and Garak head to see Tain, where they’re intercepted by a Romulan warbird. Tain takes them prisoner and explains that the Obsidian Order and the Romulan Tal Shiar (a similar organization we met in TNG) are working together to eradicate the Founders. Tain tried to kill Garak to eliminate any old loose ends — the mission will mean the end of Tain’s retirement — but Garak and Tain decide to work together again, putting Garak back in the fold and making Odo a prisoner.

Part two: Garak is tasked by Tain and Romulan Colonel Lovok (Leland Orser) to interrogate Odo using a device that won’t allow him to revert to his liquid form. Meanwhile, Sisko and Co. learn of Tain’s plan (after a fleet of 20 starships head through the wormhole) and try to get Starfleet to let them intervene, mostly to save Odo. Starfleet balks, but Sisko takes the Defiant to the Gamma Quadrant anyway. Meanwhile, Garak is basically killing Odo, who only breaks when he admits he still longs to be around other Changelings, despite what he knows about them (a fact Garak doesn’t tell Tain). At the Founders’ planet, Tain’s fleet begins an attack but learns quickly that the Dominion knew they were coming — and a fleet of 150 Jem’Hadar ships emerges and starts firing. Lovok is actually a Changeling who helped orchestrate the whole thing and lets Odo and Garak escape. The Defiant shows up just in the nick of time and pulls them off a runabout that’s under attack. Garak returns to his tailorship, but with a new quasi-friendship with Odo.

“Wow, Renee. And I thought I had to spend too much time with the makeup artists … “

Why it’s important

This is the first time we see a Changeling impersonating a key Alpha Quadrant figure to destabilize the main powers there. It’s interesting that Lovok ominously tells Odo and Garak that his mission would effectively neutralize the Cardassians and the Romulans — leaving only the Klingons and the Federation as threats.

Lovok was actually wrong about the Romulans — who seem to be OK without the Tal Shiar — but he was right about the Cardassians. The loss of the Obsidian Order destabilizes the empire to the point where the civilian leaders take power by the start of season four. This leads the Klingons to think the Cardassian leaders are Changeling infiltrators, prompting the Klingon invasion of Cardassia. When the Federation opposes the invasion, the Klingons end the alliance with the Federation, leading to a brief war between the two former allies. Meanwhile, the Klingon attacks and the continuation of the Maquis threat wreaks so much havoc inside Cardassia that Gul Dukat leads the Empire in joining the Dominion in season five. And the subsequent Dominion attacks on Klingon targets within Cardassian space prompts the Klingons and the Federation to become BFFs again to fight the Dominion.

“Oh, yeah. We totally introduced you back in ‘The Search’ but haven’t seen you since. How ya been?”

What doesn’t hold up

This two-parter is one of the highlights of DS9. But like “The Search” two-parter, there are a lot of logical issues — most of which are in part two.

1) It’s hard to believe that Tain and Co. wouldn’t have thought that the Founders had SOME sort of defenses for their planet. I know that Kira and Odo didn’t note any in “The Search”, but the Founders could have added them after their homeworld was discovered, or Tain should have considered the possibility that they did. And wasn’t it possible — and wouldn’t Tain have figured — that maybe Kira and Odo simply didn’t identify the defenses at the planet?

2) Part two also shows Sisko and Co. going rogue again (which we saw in “The Search”). Sisko heads to the Gamma Quadrant chiefly to save Odo, against Starfleet’s express orders. It’s cool that he’s loyal to his officers, but he very well could have prompted further Dominion attacks by his actions.

Now, Sisko’s stated rationale could have been smarter. Maybe, he could have made an argument about Odo’s potential importance to the Federation. Years later, Odo would help end the Dominion war earlier than it would have ended otherwise. Even at this point in the series, Sisko could have argued to Starfleet that keeping a loyal Changeling in the fold had value. Hell, Sisko could have simply told Starfleet he wanted to save Odo for the above reason — even if he really wanted to do it out of loyalty.

3) And, as is custom in Star Trek, the admiral who gave Sisko the order is WAY too cool with shrugging off what happened.

4) Finally, the Lovok Changeling who allowed Odo and Garak to leave doesn’t seem too worried about them after they’re on the runabout. If the Defiant hadn’t swooped in, the Jem’Hadar would have killed Odo (and Garak). So the whole business of “no Changeling has ever harmed another” is sort of flimsy. What would the folks in the water cooler in the Great Link have said to the Lovok Changeling had the Jem’Hadar killed Odo?

5) Oh, and whatever happened to the T’Rul, the Romulan sent to DS9 to watch the cloaking device on the Defiant in “The Search”? Her introduction is a big deal in those two episodes, and then, she’s gone.

Part two was written by Ronald D. Moore. As noted in our previous review, Moore’s contribution to DS9 are similar to much of the rebooted “Battlestar Galactica”, which Moore led. In other words, this is compelling drama with good character moments that often rely on flimsy logic.

Final thoughts

I won’t say this very often, but the payoff and performances in this episode really are worth the logical goofiness. Garak and Tain have great chemistry — and this episode really cements Garak’s role as one of DS9’s most important characters. Beyond that, the episodes include some great Odo stuff AND part two has the great payoff of the best battle scenes Trek had done to that point. After this episode, the ship-to-ship battles on DS9 (and on Voyager, which had just premiered) really improved.

This two-parter is one of DS9’s absolute peaks and is incredibly noteworthy in the Trek tapestry. It’s a definite watch for DS9 fans.

Last point, I’m glad they brought back Starfleet security chief Michael Eddington (Kenneth Marshall). It was annoying that he went unseen after his big introduction in “The Search”, but he’s an important character going forward, as we’ll see.

Coming next week …

More Dominion intrigue as Starfleet shows how much they can’t handle Changeling infiltrators.

“The Search”

“We searched the stars, and found none like ourselves … and then we created an oppressive empire bent on subjugating solids.”

Part one: With the Dominion threat looming, Sisko brings the Defiant, a prototype Starfleet warship, to DS9. The ship has a cloaking device (on loan from the Romulans) and Sisko’s mission is to find the Dominion’s Founders and work out a deal. On board the Defiant in the Gamma Quadrant, Odo starts acting strangely and feels an odd pull toward the Omarion Nebula. As it gets closer to finding the Founders, the Defiant loses a short battle with the Jem’Hadar. Odo and Kira escape in a shuttle to find their way to the nebula … where Odo meets a group of people who look just like him. After years of searching, our favorite shapeshifter is home.

Part two: Back on DS9, Sisko and Co. (minus Kira and Odo) are told that their mission succeeded and the Dominion is set to establish an alliance with all the great Alpha Quadrant powers, minus the Romulans, for some reason. Meanwhile, Odo learns about his origins and finds that his people are xenophobes who distrusts solids. He was sent out, he’s told, as a group of 100 infant “Changelings” and wasn’t expected to return for hundreds of years. Back on the station, Sisko and Co. decide the treaty with the Dominion would give up too much — especially after they learn the Federation is going to pull out of the Bajoran system. The group steals a runabout and collapses the entrance to the wormhole. Back on the planet, Kira and Odo discover our heroes being held captive — and learn the whole ordeal on DS9 was a simulation to test their responses. Then, it’s learned that Odo’s people are actually the Founders(!). The female Changeling (Salome Jens) who’s been instructing Odo allows the group to leave … but warns that the Dominion won’t be as lenient next time.

“Benjamin, I think it’s time that we all act like we know better than everyone else in the Federation and blow up the nice wormhole aliens you met way back when.”

Why it’s important

You want big dominoes — then this two-parter is for you, even if the ending to part two is sort of a cheat.

The introduction of the Defiant (which is pretty badass) and other items spawning from Sisko’s return — a relationship with the Romulans regarding the Dominion, the introduction of Michael Eddington (Kenneth Marshall), Starfleet’s new security chief at DS9 — shows the magnitude of what happened in “The Jem’Hadar”. DS9 had a lot of turning points, but the first part of “The Search” is as big as any in the series — even without the introduction of Odo’s people. And, of course, they’re not just Odo’s people. The Changelings turn out to be the Founders of the Dominion! Talk about a jaw-dropping couple of hours (or, couple of 45 minutes).

DS9 was the best Trek series at showing consequences. Sometimes, the creators stacked the deck too much against our heroes only to have to backpedal — the threat of Changeling infiltrators in the middle seasons — a threat that largely passed — is the best example. But, what we see here is really compelling storytelling that was ahead of its time. What we start seeing in the third season of DS9 — and particularly, in the fifth, sixth and seventh seasons — was more akin to the great serial dramas of the 2000s than the episodic fare of the 1980s and 1990s.

The super cool starship Defiant.

What doesn’t hold up

Anyone who loved the rebooted “Battlestar Galactica” will love the events of these episodes and will likely see similar flaws. Not shockingly, Ronald D. Moore, the originator of the new BSG, wrote the teleplay for part one. Like BSG, these two episodes are compelling, but not without their shares of logical flaws and outright goofiness. A quick list:

1) Sisko’s mission is to reach out to the Founders and create a dialog — essentially, a peace mission. To do so, they send him on a ship that is armed to the teeth. Not exactly an olive branch. Meanwhile, the ship is barely operational! This is something that we saw a lot of in the Trek movies — the Enterprise would be sent on a key mission despite not having a full crew or being fully operational — and it was as goofy then as it is here.

2) Part one begins with Kira talking with the senior staff (minus Sisko) about how they could defend the station against a Dominion attack. It’s necessary for exposition (I guess) but it seems odd to have the convo apparently two months after the events of “The Jem’Hadar”. What had they been doing for two months? It’s not weird that the conversations were ongoing — but the dialog would seem to indicate that they took forever to reach pretty obvious conclusions.

3) Things actually get stranger in part two. While the stuff on the Changeling planet (until the end) is fine, the “events” on the station are really strange. Sisko (who’s not even a captain, let alone an admiral) is just too annoyed about being kept out of the loop during the “peace negotiations”. Not only is he low-ranking (relatively speaking) he was in a shuttle with a Bashir for most of the talks. Would it even have made sense to just throw him in?

4) Then, as the Dominion’s experiment continues, it’s hard to believe that Sisko and Co. would go as rogue as they did. O’Brien getting beat up by the Jem’Hadar was clearly shocking — as was the murder of the Romulan T’Rul (Martha Hackett). But the crew acts like they are a helluva lot smarter than their superiors. At this point in the series, Sisko’s connection to the Bajoran faith is still tenuous — he only begrudgingly accepts the Emissary stuff — so it’s not totally out of the question that he’d blow up the wormhole. But the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

5) Then, there’s the whole business of how the Dominion left the Defiant in orbit (and possibly repaired it?) allowing our heroes to leave and (apparently?) return to DS9 after Odo gets the female Changeling to let them go. The Defiant was “dead in space” at the end of part one, according to Odo, so did the Dominion repair it? But more than that, did the Dominion expect to let Sisko and Co. return after the experiment? Shouldn’t they have been tearing the ship apart to learn about Starfleet’s new defensive capabilities? It’s not at all a stretch to say the Dominion hadn’t seen a ship like the Defiant before.

Final thoughts

As noted, this two-parter is entertaining but it’s just got a ton of logical issues. The Sisko and Co. being too big for their britches shows up later in season three — and we saw a touch of this at the beginning of season two when Sisko used the flimsiest excuse to remain on the station despite orders (and the Prime Directive) that should have kept him out of an internal Bajoran matter.

As DS9 progresses, Sisko’s role in Starfleet and Federation grows enough where it’s not hard to figure he could go on to some of the big things that he did. But, at this point, he’s two years off being stationed in a back alley of space as a mid-level administrator!

Coming later this week …

Enabaran Tain takes the fun to the Dominion.