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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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The Jem'Hadar

Commander Sisko offers to take Jake on a science project through the wormhole to study a planet in the Gamma Quadrant. Jake brings Nog along to help him pass Mrs. O'Brien's science class. Along with Quark, who comes along to persuade Sisko to approve his new business scheme for Deep Space Nine, the Commander and the two boys begin their survey of a planet. On the first night, Commander Sisko and Quark are taken prisoner by the Jem'Hadar, the warriors of the Gamma Quadrant's Dominion.

This is an many many ways a watershed episode of the series. The first one to feature The Dominion. The first one to show The Jem'Hadar and the Vorta (unnamed at this point).

It's intertesting that this episode starts of with Sisko and Jake going on a trip together, with Quark and Nog in tow, and end with a Jem'Hadar ship doing a 9/11 style suicide run into a Galaxy Class starship.

The USS Odessey (the destroyed ship) was deliberately shown as being of the same class as the famous USS Enterprise from TNG, which had just finished airing. The producers wanted to show that their new enemy could have destroyed Picard and his crew! The trailer for this episode apparently made quite a few Trekkies nervous back in the day. ;)

But even though that rather awesome moment is the highlight. There is a lot of really great stuff here. The first half of the episode doesn't even deal with the Jem'Hadar story. It's just Sisko, Jake, Nog and Quark on a camping trip. It's really the first time Brooks and Shimmerman have any extended scenes together. The parallels drawn between Ferengi and human culture are very well done. This was also done to move the Ferengi away from being failed TNG villians, only useful for comic effect. The Next Generation always looked down on them. DS( says, yes they are a greedy rare, but they never has genocide, concentration camps etc etc.

Not much detail is given yet about the Dominion. But the Jem'Hadar come across as lethal and fatalistic.

While the Vorta seen is this episode has differences with the ones the series would later feature. Mostly Eris has telekinetic abilities that would not be seen again. Some people have pointed out the fact that she doenst recognize Odo as a Founder is a flaw. Of course that concept wasn't established until season three.

I've always maintained that even though she is a Vorta it's not a given that she would have met the Founders. Also, when we see the Founders take their "Odo-like" shape, it's never established it's their natural form. I've always assumed it's the shape they took to show Odo how similar they are. It was established Odo took his form from the scientist who worked with him anyway.

Great episode. Some great character scenes. and a sinister and seemingly invincible enemy! A great way to close season 2.


Overview of season two.

While the first season (after the pilot) started of quite slowly and steadily grew in strength. Each episode a little bit better then the previous one, season two starts out and ends great, but fluctuates heavily in between those two highlights.

There is some really first rate episodes like Crossover or Necessary Evil. But also quite a lot of episodes that are perfectly watchable, and important because they introduce (often in very small ways) concepts to the series that would become important later, but are pretty forgettable apart from that.

A main difference with season one is that the characters are fleshed out far more and the interaction between them often leads to very strong scenes, even in fairly dull episodes.

Season two is the last one that had creators Rick Berman and Michael Piller's direct involvment. Both concentrated on the follow up show for The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager.

Leaving Ira Steven Behr as show-runner and having writers like Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Ronald D. Moore to get much more creative control over the series. in season three DS9 would start to move away from the episodic structure into the serialized form the series would ultimately became known, and not really universally loved for.

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The Search part I

Armed with the latest Federation vessel, the crew of Deep Space Nine head into the Gamma Quadrant to find the Dominion's leaders, known only as the Founders.

USSDefiant.jpg

The series finally get's a proper ship! The inclusion of the Defiant would add some much needed firepower to the show.

Ironically though in it's first confrontation The Defiant is no match for it's attackers and defeated with great ease.

The Search part one shows for the first time Sisko's development as a man send to a station he didnt want to be to someone who feels passionate about the job he is doing.

Season three opens with a few changes and additions. First of all it introduces the character of Commander Edington. Who would become of importance later.

Odo sports slight changes in his costume and even make-up. Dax has her hair in a rather Janewayesque style (thankfully not a lasting change)

The show has changed DP's and there's a subtle difference in the way things look.

This episode has the first proper big fight scene of the series save the on in Bloodoath. In TNG and the first two seasons on DS9 fight scenes were never exactly brilliant. But this one is quite well executed.

The cliffhanger. Odo finding his people is unexpected but cool.

The Search part II

Odo has found his home and gets to know his people. Meanwhile Sisko finds out peace talks between the Dominion and the Federation have already started.

I remember that some people objected to the Dallas style "It was only a dream" resolution of the storyline on-board DS9. I'm not usually a fan of that sort of thing, but thought in this case it was well handled.

The central story here actually is the one with Odo and his people. Odo's arc in the first 2 seasons was to find out who he was, where he came from. Resolving that could have potentially ended this very fascinating character. But by having him find out he comes from the race that is now the shows enemy, and to have him turn their backs from them is quite a brilliant new arc. In many ways making Odo more "A Man Alone" then ever.

Like part I this is a solid season opener that sets up, still in a minor way, many aspects which will become part of the shows fabric.

The Changelings, their distrust of other lifeforms and there creed that "One changeling has never harmed another"

The Dominion as a powerful enemy who will try to form alliances with powers in the Alpha Quadrant, and try to play sides against each other. Preferring to, for the time being manipulate from the shadows rather then mount an attack.

The Search part II is the first Trek episode outside of TNG to be directed by Jonathan Frakes. He would helm a few more and guest star in a future episode and then move on to direct Star Trek: First Contact.

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The Jem'Hadar

Interesting. I'd been waiting for you to get to that episode so I could state that I've never liked it too much, but I seem to mix it up with another one. Apparently this isn't the episode with O'Brien and Bashir being prisoners in a Jem'Hadar camp and trying to cure their white addiction.

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I evidently barely recall it, but I do associate a rather strong plot with the Vorta as far as I remember.

It's the introduction of the Vorta, even though the race isnt named here, and the information she gives are all lies.

The House Of Quark

After Quark lies about killing a Klingon in his bar, the dead man's widow abducts Quark to the Klingon homeworld to marry him. Meanwhile, with the threat of the Dominion ever present, most of Keiko's students have relocated to Bajor so Keiko shut down the school.

This is is a hoot. Love the juxtaposition between Klingon and Ferengi culture. The scene where Quark tries to talk the Klingon High Council though a case of financial fraud is hilarious. Especially the puzzled look on Gowron's face. Even though Klingons have featured on DS9, I suppose this episode is the one where they officially inherit them from TNG. Though Klingon stories would not become common till season 4.

Shinnerman gives yet another bold performance. I like that, despite the high comedy, his characters situation isnt just played for laughs, and he emerges quite heroically.

The b-story is good too. Basically O'Brien trying to make his wife feel better.

Good, and funny ep.

Equilibrium

While attending a dinner prepared by Commander Sisko, Jadzia Dax finds an electronic piano once played by Jake. While the others enjoy the food, Jadzia continues to try to play a piece that is floating around in mind. Later, she starts to have hallucinations about a mysterious cloaked figure wearing a mask. A check-up reveals that her connection with the symbiont is growing weaker. Commander Sisko and Doctor Bashir return with Jadzia Dax to Trill to find out from the host doctors what is going on.

Starts out very well. A fun scene where Sisko is cooking for his senior crew ("Beets are a very misunderstood vegetable, Doctor"). Very cute scene of Odo stirring a pot for the first time in his life.

The initial hallucinations and Dax's temper bring a nice air of mystery. but eventually it all becomes a bit flat and dull. The actual riddle and resolution about what is going on, Dax having an unknown host who's memories are surfacing are fine. It's a strong idea. But the executions doesn't really make it seem very exciting or dramatic.

Watchable, but forgettable.

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Second Skin.

Kira is kidnapped by the Cardassians, who try to convince her that she is really one of them.

A very interesting premise, which could have been completely pointless if the execution was lacking. It only works if it's in any way credible that Kira might believe she is not who she thinks she is.

Thankfully the script gets is just right.

Nana Visitor goes from distrust and utter disgust to believing it might be true. This is the first episode to signify her slow thaw when it comes to Cardassians.

Garak is shown in a somewhat darker light then usual. Possibly foreshadowing his role in Improbable Cause/The Die Is Cast later in the season.


The Abandoned

In this one we learn some more details about the Jem'Hadar. How they are a genetically engineered race. Their dependance on a missing enzyme in their genetic structure to keep them under control.

Some good scenes for Odo. Who has moved into quarters instead of sleeping in a bucket in his office. The bucket is now used to house the plants Kira gave him as a housewarming gift. Nice touch of foreshadowing.

This is the first episode to refer to Jake's literary talents, foreshadowing his later decision to become a writer/journalist in a B story about Jake bringing the 20 year old girl he's been dating to meet his dad.

The plot has similarities to I Borg, with the difference that the Jem'Hadar boy can not be turned.

Decent, useful episode. But nothing more.

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You want to see me dead?


Civil Defense
While working on the uridium ore processing facility in order to turn it into a deuterium processing facility, Jake Sisko and Chief O'Brien come across a file that doesn't have a name and cannot be deleted. Trying to override the file initiates a localized shutdown of the ore processing area, which had been put in place by the Cardassians in case of a Bajoran revolt during the Occupation. The more the Deep Space Nine crew tries to bypass the security measure, the worse the situation becomes.
Lots of nice character moments in this episode. Odo and Quark trapped together. And particular Gul Dukat blustering about how he will save the station is hid conditions are met, only to be trapped with the other.
Like the way how one seeming solution actually leads them into more trouble, but the episode does suffer from a lack of urgency. 3 minutes to to final destruction and characters are walking...not running...walking to get to Engineering.

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Meridian

Dax falls in love with a man whose world is in a state of flux; Quark tries to create a holographic pleasure program "starring" Major Kira.

Not a favorite. Not just of me, but many involved with the production.

Both the sci-fi aspect and the romance never really convinced me. The acting is actually quite good, and director Jonathan Frakes does well, in a styyle he would revisit for Insurrection. But somehow it never comes together.

After Melora, and second Sight and the romance between Bareil and Kira, this is another example of DS9 doing romance rather poorly.

It's actually weird that just in a little while the show would start to do romance and relationship stories better then any of the series with Sisko and Kassidy Yates, Work and Dax and Kira and Odo.

Weird that a love story is coupled with a B story that is a little bit kinky. An alien who develops a sexual obsession with Kira wants Quark to design a holosuite program with her.

This story is played mostly for laughs. Probably because it would be a bit disturbing otherwise.

The episode features the first appearance of Jeffrey Combs on the series, as well as on Star Trek. He would later play the recurring characters of Weyoun and Liquidator Brunt on the series and Commander Shran in Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as many more single character appearances. Combs is unrecognizable in his make-up, but his voice is unmistakable.

He's the best thing is this rather weak episode.

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Defiant

Thomas Riker, impersonating Will Riker, steals the Defiant in order to fight with the Maquis. Sisko assist Gul Dukat on Cardassia Prime in stopping the ship entering Cardassian territory.

A very interesting way to bring back Riker's "transporter malfunction double". Love the way they acknowledge the age old "evil twin" tradition of giving his a villian's goatee. (the scene where Frakes pulls of the sides of his full beard to reveal the goatee of evil is hilarious)

Jonathan Frakes is a good, very likable actor, often with a bit too little to do on TNG. He's good here as a Tom Riker trying to either be a terrorist or a hero. With "real" terrorist Kira not being that impressed by his determination. You can see this episode was made in a time when terrorists could still be portrayed heroically in American media.

The actual meat of the story might be the Sisko/Gul Dukat part of the episode though. And the first signs of the Obsidian Order massing weapons. There's a very good scene where Dukat tells Sisko he will be missing his son's birthday because of this crisis.

A very good episode with a few nice shots of The Defiant in battle. But still not showing it to be the war machine it will soon be.


Fascination

Ambassador Lwaxana Troi visits the station to attend the Bajoran Gratitude Festival, resulting in an outbreak of passion throughout the station as people admit their secret feelings for others.

A light episode, everyone pretty much falls in love with each other and it's done in a very broad, farcical way.

I generally dont care much for plots like this, some alien disease infects a drew, causes them to behave out of character (Dramatis Personae, The Naked Now)

This one is watchable because it's played mostly for laughs. Though some of the scenes are a tad annoying. (Jake following Kira around etc etc)

Philip Anglim is more effective here then usual as Bareil. His dry delivery makes him an effective straight man and the scene where he tries to punch out Sisko is fun in it's ridiculousness.

Majel Barrett returns as Lwaxana. Throughout most of it her role is to be the reason why the crew is behaving oddly, and she is back to her really annoying persona, but at the end she does have a good scene with Odo. The first where his feelings for Kira are clearly stated.

The most convincing story belongs to the O'Briens. Who, amidst the amorous goings on have a real marital row. For a show that (up to this point) hasn't handled love stories in any particularly interesting way it does very well with the O'Briens. Their story is well written, totally believably, and because it's not caused by Momma Troi's empathic influences, the resolution is actually romantic.

Directed by Avery Brooks, this bottle show does actually loook and feel a bit more sprightly then usual.

Overall it doesnt completely work,. but there's more then enough fun stuff to make it watchable.


Past Tense part 1

Sisko, Bashir and Dax are transported to 21st century Earth, where they find themselves involved in a conflict that will change Earth history and lead to the formation of the Federation.

The first (of only a few) DS9 episodes to take place on Earth

Past Tense is an excellent combination of a social commentary and time travel story.

Sisko and Bashir find themselves in 2024 (only 10 years from now!!!), stuck in a "sanctuary" for the jobless, the homeless, the mentally ill, continuing the tradition of the two parter The Maquis, of putting question marks on the perfection of Earth and the Federation.

It makes you wonder, doesn't it? Are Humans really any different than Cardassians or... Romulans? If push comes to shove, if something disastrous happens to the Federation, if we are frightened enough, or desperate enough, how would we react? Would we stay true to our ideals or... would we just... stay here, right back where we started?

On the sci-fi side of things, this episode contains more technobabble then usual for a DS9 episode. I love the reason O'Brien gives for the unexpected time travel.

The usual nonsense about a microscopic quantum singularity colliding with the transporter-beam causing a phase shift into the bla bla bla...

Kira's reaction to that "Which means what?" got a genuine LOL out of me.

Seeing that this episode takes place mostly 10 years from now, the look feels more dated then DS9 usually does. Computer's in 2024 are huge terminals for instance.

The issues about poverty, unemployment, impending war are sadly still all too relevant.

Excellent part one.

Past Tense part 2

Sisko is forced to take the place of a key historical figure on Earth in 2024 in order to preserve the timeline.

Leaves the sci-fi part and focuses mostly on the hostage situation and the plight of those stuck in the Sanctuary District.

An impressive guest cast supports the regulars in this episode with character actors as Dick Smith and Bill Smitrovich being the most prominent ones

This episode contains no less then 3 nods to The Original Series. Two attempts of O'Brien and Kira to travel back in item to find the others lead them in the 30's (at the same time Kirk and Spock were dealing with their homeless issues in Guardian On The Edge Of Forever) and the 60's (when TOS actually aired) The third nod is a cameo by Clint Howard (Balok in The Corbomite Maneuver)

Like part one this is a social commentary that actually works very well. Well acted, with a solid script and good direction by Jonathan Frakes, in his last DS9 ep.

The events in the episode don't really fit 100% in the Star Trek historical timeline though. 2024 is before WWII when hundreds of millions will die. I've always wondered if that doesnt nullify the effects the Bell riots had.

Other then that, splendid two parter and one of the better Star Trek "issue" shows.

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Life Support

After a serious accident, Bashir struggles to save the life of Vedek Bareil while Kai Winn concludes a peace treaty with Cardassia. Jake and Nog reluctantly explore the differences between Federation and Ferengi cultures.

Started out as a Frankenstein-like story for Bashir. but emphasis shifted after it was decided that Bareil should be the one to slowly die. It's a very good way of dealing with a character that wasn't really going anywhere. Instead of just being phased out he get's a rather worthy ending.

This episode establishes the peace treaty between Cardassia and Bajor, which would become important during the Dominion Wars. At first Kai Winn seems genuinely to have changed, but she is still the sly bitch she always was. Fadil is strong in this episode as a doctor who has strong moral reservations about his patients wishes, and Visitor is very moving in the episodes closing scene.

The B story between Jake and Nog is fun, but does break up the grim mood of this episode a bit.


Heart Of Stone

Searching for a Maquis raider on an unstable moon, Kira is trapped in an expanding crystal formation that threatens to engulf her if Odo cannot set her free. Meanwhile, Nog attempts to persuade a skeptical Commander Benjamin Sisko to write him a letter of recommendation to join Starfleet Academy.

Two strong stories both which would be followed up upon during subsequent episodes.

Nog wanting to join Starfleet always seems to me as a parody of Westley Chrusher's ambition to become a Starfleet officer. But it's well played, and will put Nog alongside characters like Worf and Spock.

Eisenberg's acting throughout this story is excellent. No longer just the annoying small Ferengi.

The Odi/Kira story is a good character piece which ends with Odo, first the first time admitting his feelings for Kira, only to have her respond that she loves him too, after which he becomes suspicious. Auberjonois is always brilliant when he is allowed to show the very vulnerable side of Odo. And Visitor is good as a Kira, who actually isnt Kira.

The crystal structure in which she is trapped doesnt really look convincing, but that's really all I can say against this episode.


Destiny

A joint Federation-Cardassian mission to establish a communications relay on the other side of the wormhole is complicated by an ancient Bajoran prophecy of doom.

This decent episode is the first one that really deals in depth with Sisko's reluctant role of Emissary.

Up until now Sisko barely acknowledged the fact that the Bajorans see him as a religious icon, even his first officer.

I love stories concerning inescapable prophecies, that turn out just a tad different then first anticipated. There are some strong scenes with Sisko trying to deal with whether or not go go with his Starfleet instinct, or accept that something deeper might be at work.

There's a B-story about a Cardassian women being attracted to O'Brien and some sabotage that seem intended to fill up the episode. There are also a few scenes with Quark that seem included as time filler.

Again, decent. And significant because it plats a few seeds that would be cultivated later on. Some good special effects too.


Prophet Motive

Grand Nagus Zek has become a philanthropist, and Quark worries that he may have gone insane. Bashir is nominated for a prestigious medical award.

Fun! Wally Shawn is great as always as Zek and the revised Rules of Acquisition are a hoot:

  • 1: If they want their money back give it to them.
  • 10: Greed is dead.
  • 21: Never place profit before friendship.
  • 22: Latinum tarnishes, but family is forever.
  • 23: Money can never replace dignity.
  • 285: A good deed is its own reward

The first episode since the pilot to revisit the Prophets/Wormhole aliens. In that Sisko taught them about linear time, Quark tries to teach them "greed is good" :)

Introduces the dart board to DS9 and the fact that the Prophets refer to the Emissary as "The Sisko".


Visionary

After receiving a minor dose of radiation poisoning, O'Brien inexplicably begins experiencing a series of jumps into the near future. Meanwhile, a Romulan delegation arrives on the station, expecting an intelligence report on the Dominion.

A fun and quite clever time travel episode, which has O'Brien jump ahead a few hours a few times and be able to prevent a calamity.

Seems much less loose with the rules of temporal mechanics then is usual in Star Trek. The future O'Brien gets told things by his past self, which he should actually know, since he experienced them a few ours ago...or not?

The first sign of Romulan involvement when it comes to the Dominion, a subtle, but nice hint to events to come a few episodes from now.

Some good character stuff as always. O'Brien seeing his future...or past self die several times, scolding Bashir for not noticing that he was dying. The first real Kira "outburtst" in a while, and the dart board now finds it's regular place at Quarks.

Good ep.


Distant Voices

After being attacked in the infirmary, Dr. Bashir has a dual mystery on his hands. What has happened to the station while he was out and why is he aging so rapidly?

This one always had a similar feel like some of those really "out there" TNG episodes they did in season 6 or 7. Like the ones where Troi is a cake, Data an Inca deity or all of the crew de-evolve into animals.

Stories like that are quite rare in the more character then high concept driven DS9, but this is quite a well done version of such a story.

Siddig El Fadil is convincing as he slowly ages, and the old age make-up is the best I've seen on Star Trek. The rest of the cast playing different aspects of Bashir's personality if a fun (if cliched) concept. I like that Garak is eventually the one who doesnt belong....

The prologue seems a bit too on the nose though. An episode where Bashir "ages" rapidly, starts out with him being grumpy about turning thirty. But a solid, interesting high concept episode.


Through The Looking Glass

A sequel to Crossover, which introduced the Mirror universe to DS9. In some ways this episode is even better. Certainly in terms of plotting. Crossover was all about returning to the "normal" universe. This episode actually cares about what happens to the people through the looking glass.

It's a clever way of reuniting Sisko with his dead wife Jennifer. Avery Brooks and guest actress Felice Bell have a terrific scene which starts with her as an utterly cold fish, distrusting his every word and ends with her slowly starting to wonder.

Sisko also beds mirror universe Dax in this episode, and Kira. I wonder if he mentioned to them that after he returned to his own universe. ;)

Nana Visitor once again relishes in her role as a sexy, but completely dangerous bitch. Bashir is an obstinate pirate, Dax a tough and seductive mistress. Only O'Brien is fairly similar.

There's even a fun cameo from Tim Russ as Mirror universe Tuvok.

Brilliant fun!

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Improbable Cause.

After an attempt is made on Garak's life, Odo conducts the investigation on who tried to murder the Cardassian tailor and why.

Part one of a 2 part story. With it's second part being groundbreaking for several reasons.

But Improbable Cause is in itself already an excellent episode. Putting Odo, a man who values honesty and order above anything else, and Garak, a man who at times seems barely capable of not distorting the facts or talk in vague terms together in a room (or spaceship) gives this episode some really great character scenes, filled with cracking dialogue and good acting.

Like many episodes dealing with Garak, Cardassians or Romulans, it's full of riddles and enigma's, one following another. And there's a nice mysterious atmosphere to the episode.

Not a lot goes on in terms of action. Just solid character writing, good plotting and fine acting. Never misses a beat.

Part two (The Die Is Cast) would be even better, but this is superb!

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The Die Is Cast

The season 4 opener The Way Of The Warrior is the episode that really firmly changed the direction of the series, but thisa change certainly didnt happen overnight. Slowly, throughout season 3 there had been a Dominion plot developing. The Die Is Cast is where the (first) pay of happens.

This also happens to be the first episode where Ira Steven Behr acted as executive producer. And one of the changes he made to the series is that action scenes and space battles would be shown more prominently.

Though seven seasons of TNG, and the first three of DS9 there had been plenty of space battles, but most of them not particularly epic in nature. very sparse on effects shots, relying on tactical read out on computer screens, and dialogue rather then (very expensive visuals)

At this time DS9 was given the budget to show more. This was already apparent in a few episodes. Defiant for instance, and Visionary, which had an impressive shot of DS9 exploding. But "The Battle Of The Omarion Nebula" is the first one that actually shows action on a larger canvas, featuring some extensive and complex visual effects shots, and finally show that The Defiant does have teeth!

But of-course, effects like these cost a lot of money, and are only as good as the story that supports that. Also in that aspect The Die Is Cast shows elements that would become part of the shows DNA.

-The Dominion, rather then staging an all out attack use espionage, and manipulation to achieve their goals. Playing different sides against each other behind the scenes.

-The first time a founder is seen to have infiltrated in one of its' enemies ranks.

-The No Changeling Has Ever Harmed Another mantra is heard again, the last time before The Adversary, where it becomes relevant.

-Odo first states his secret desire to be with his people.

Continuing from Improbable Cause, this episode once again features some cracking dialogue scenes and character stuff. Garak uneasily maneuvering between his old mentor Enabran Tain (good guest spot by actor Paul Dooley) and Odo. An effective scene where Odo is tortured by the Cardassian tailor for information about the founders.

Commander Edington is shown to betray Sisko for the first time. (on Starfleet's orders).

While the first episode highlighted the differences between Odo and Garak, this one ends by showing that in many ways they are dealing with the same issues. Outsiders, by choice.

Superb two parter. With impressive battle music by Dennis McCarthy, very obviously drawn from his Generations score.


Explorers

Sisko builds a replica of an eight hundred-year-old Bajoran spaceship, and tries to use it to prove that Bajoran explorers could have made it to Cardassia without developing warp drive.

Lovely father/son story with some great scenes between Sisko and Jake.

I have always loved the concept and look of the Bajoran lightship, one of the earliest CGI creations on DS9, which would use models for spaceships throughout the entire series, occasionally using CGI animated crafts.

The inside has a nice Jules Verne look too it.

The B story is good too. Bashir having apprehensions about meeting the only person in medicals school who was better then him.

There's a nice scene between Bashir and O'Brien, both drunk, singing Jerusalem, which illustrates why exactly I prefer DS9 over The Next Generation. When did you ever see Geordie and Data sing together drunk?

Explorers introduces the character of Leeta for the first time, and more importantly it would be the first episode with Sisko having a goatee. A small, but significant detail.

As for larger character arcs, this episode shows Sisko becoming more and more interested in Bajoran history and culture, outside of his role as Emmisary. And would introduce both the concepts of Jake wanting to become a writer and Kassidy Yates.

Lovely, warm episode. Even the Cardassians seemed quite friendly.


Family Business

The second Ferengi episode of this season. Like most it's full of broad comedy and satirical overtones. (Quark and Brunt appalled by a Ferengi female wearing clothes etc etc ), but it also had considerable depth as a story about family.

Family Business once again gives Armin Shimmerman a chance to shine. It's still quite a thing that he plays a character who is consistently greedy, selfish sexist and devious, but can make him likable. Max Grodenchick as the goofy Rom is always fun to watch, but also manages to bring considerable depth to the role.

Two new ferengi's are Ishka, Quarks mom who would become a recurring character (though played by a different actress) and Brunt, played by Jeffrey Combs in his second role for Deep Space Nine. Together with his Weyoun a little later, Brunt would be seen in subsequent episodes. Like his first stint on DS9, Combs looks fairly unrecognizable because of the make up, but his voice is instantly identifiable. He gives a wonderful performance here

The B story is about Sisko meeting Kasidy Yates. There's a fun scene where O'Brien and Bashir try to break into Quark's bar and retrieve their "lucky" dartboard.

Fun episode with the usual crisp dialogue and some damn fine comedy.

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Shakaar

News arrives that Kai Winn has also become Bajor's political leader. She asks Kira to negotiate with an old resistance friend about returning soil reclamators.

Serves in someways to a flip-side of season one's Progress. A similar situation. Kira being asked to talk to a group of Bajoran farmers, and sympathising with them. In Progress she eventually sided with the government. This time she doenst, and ends up fighting Kai Winn's forces.

Louise Fletcher is delightfully powerhungry and misguided as ever as a Winn who is now First Minister for a bit.

Duncan Regehr (my childhood Zorro) is pretty good as Shakaar, Kira's future love interest. But isnt really given much to do.

This overall solid episode feels quite rushed. They go from fighting in the mountains to having Shakaar run in the elections just like that. It feels like there is a lot missing that could have made the episode better. The B-story is very slight. O'Brien being on a winning streak with darts. They could have junked that for more of the A story IMO.


Facets

Dax undergoes a Trill rite of closure that brings her face to face with the past hosts of her symbiont, forcing her to deal with feelings of inferiority as a Dax host herself. Also, Nog takes a simulator test as part of his Starfleet Academy admissions process, much to the dismay of his Quark.

Quite a lot of logic gaps in the basic concept of this episode. For a Trill joining with a symbiont is supposed to give you all the memories it assembled from it's previous hosts. Yet Jadzia seemed totally oblivious to the fact that Curzon was in love with her.

There isnt a whole lot of story here, so it feels a bit padded with scenes of Jadzia talking to other previous hosts, embodied by her fellow crewmembers...and Leeta (for no good reason). Nana Visitor as an old biddy and Quark as a female are quite fun, the others are dull. The scene with Joran, the "killer" host is quite out there and creepy, but goes no where. (and the fight scene has the most obvious use of a stunt double I've seen in DS9 so far)

The episode becomes more interesting in it's second half, when it focuses on the Curzon/Odo character. Mainly because it's fun seeing Auberjonois gambling and drinking.

The B story deals with Nog's entrance exam. The best scene has Nog standing up to Quark.

A mediocre episode, but pleasant enough to watch. Good character scenes mixed with stuff that doesnt really work. Better then Meridian, but not then Equilibrium. Season 4 didnt actually have any really memorable Dax episodes.


The Adversary

Odo: Captain, there's something you need to know. The changeling, before he... died - he whispered something to me.

Captain Sisko: Go on.

Odo: He said..."You're too late. We're everywhere."

These lines close out season 3 with an excellent episode full of paranoid suspense.

Like The Jem'Hadar, the season 2 closer, for the first 20 minutes is doesn't seem to be about the Dominion at all, just a simple mission with the Defiant.

The main idea of The Adversary comes from The Thing. A shapeshifting alien infiltrating a crew in a remote location, far away from help. It could be any of of them. And there might be more...they might be...everywhere. This becomes a major concept in season 4, which takes paranoia about the Changelings to a new level.

The second part of this episode has quite effective tense direction, some nice red herrings in the script and punchy scoring by Jay Chattaway.

Before that there is some good character stuff. In Explorers Sisko grew his beard, in this one he finally gets promoted to Captain. Both are small details, but both would help towards strengthening the character of comma...captain Sisko.

Michael Edington returns. The writers often use him when they need someone to be a bit shady and suspicious. You constantly suspect he is up to something. Sometimes she is, sometimes not. A good red herring.

Odo kills someone for the first time, out of self defense. And it's one of his own. After this season repeatedly uses the phrase "No changeling has ever harmed another" I knew even back in the day this would have consequences.

A superb season finale!

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Season 3 overview.

Really the first season to take steps towards serialization, if in a modest way. Introducing the Dominion, and more specifically The Founders. Then a few episodes dealing with The Obsidian Order, hinting at a build up of arms in Defiant. Introducing The Romulans in Visionary and having that all pay of in The Die Is Cast.

Most of the episodes deal with other stories though. Arcs concerning the main characters are continues, particularly when it comes to Bajor and Cardassia.

Season 3 started out strong but leveled of to a lot of viewable, but essentially average episodes with occasional high quality ones before strengthening again. Season 3 is stronger all the way though. There are of course a bunch of boring/forgettable ones, (Meridian, Fascination, Facets etc...) but there are far less of them. The level of "an average" episode was raised quite a bit in season 3. And again, every one of the lesser ones has a few scenes worth watching.

Season 4 is where the show really starts getting into the Dominion War. It will gain a new crewmember...well not that new. And it really starts becoming more serialized from then on. But Season 3 paved the way for that.

It might be the most underrated season of the whole series.


Big fan of DS9. I think it's the best made Trek show so far, even though I hold TOS closer as my favorite. I'm actually holding off on revisiting it now so that when it gets the remastered treatment it will be many times more refreshing.

It's the most diverse when it comes to characters and ideas. The most complex in terms of story structure and plotting. Not just over a season but often throughout an episode.

I love TOS, but it belongs to a different era. I love TNG, it's brilliant when it's good, but there are a lot of times when it's really static. Especially because characters weren't allowed to have any conflicts with each other.

Voyager was OK, but the times when it was really brilliant were far and few between. It also never really was able to get under the shadow on TNG, even having to resort to using the Borg because they didnt have proper villians. I stopped watching during season 5, never returned to it.

Only saw a few episodes of Enterprise. Dull bunch of characters, and even though it was in HD, it looks flat and unimaginative.

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Agreed about TNG, though I think shaking up a few things would have helped aside from just conflict. Data getting his emotion chip in the final season would have really brought something for the writers to run with, but as it is, it really feels tired in the end. Luckily it ended in a finale as great as "All Good Things...". Other than the fourth season of VOY, I really don't like it. It feels like the franchise going through the motions, not willing to do anything daring and with a collection of utterly boring characters aside from 7 and Doc. ENT's first two seasons basically feel like extended seasons of VOY, which was numbing to get through. However, I think it really works starting with the third season where the characters become more compelling, especially Trip. I'd suggest you give that show a shot, or at least start with the fourth season episode "Borderland" which is basically a soft reboot for the series that actually plays with the whole concept of being a prequel to TOS.

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Voyager never seemed as captivating to me. Even though the show had build in character conflicts from the start. The whole Starfleet versus Maquis angle. After such a few episodes that vaporized and it was mostly one happy crew.

Also, they never really felt lost in space. decades away from help, surviving on it's own. This became even worse after a while when they had episodes with Troi and Barclay.

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"Year of Hell" is really the show that could have been. I don't think the whole series could have kept up the conflict of Starfleet and Maquis, but it would have been good for the first season where they're trying to get into eachother's groove and by the end of the season they've settled their differneces so that they could work together against the Kazon (or at least a worthy adversary). Doing what the third season of ENT or even Buffy did by having a one season story arc would have been the best route, since they're going to journey across the galaxy they couldn't keep facing the same threat for seven seasons.

I could really write a whole book on what they could have done to make it a much more engaging show, but I've written about VOY so often in the past that I'm kind of spent. It's the only Trek show I'll never bother revisiting.

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Year of Hell was a good two parter, but the fact that they planned that as a whole season at first and chickened out basically says it all. DS9 dared to go outside the box of what Star Trek was supposed to be. Voyager never really managed that.

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Even more regrettable that it got done away with a reset button, when an earlier episode "Before and After" set it up that there would be consequences after that year of hell with certain characters dead. It might have actually given Chakotay something interesting and worthwhile to do for once if Janeway died.

Oh well.

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The Way Of The Warrior

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Sisko becomes uncomfortable when the Klingons station a task force to help defend against the Dominion. Worf is summoned to find out their true intentions.

This 93 minute season opener represents a turning point for the series.

Even though the quality of the show had increased, rating had not, and Paramount wanted some changes made to the show.

Initially the writers came up with the concept of the Vulcans leaving the Federation (sounds boring) but Ira Steven Behr remembered a line in The Die Is Cast about the Dominion and that they would be taking care of the Klingon Empire.

Involving the Klingons in the Dominion War also paved the way for one of The Next Generations more interesting characters to become a regular here.

Worf, together with Data had probably been the character with the most personal stories devoted to him. Initially about his Klingon heritage, in an impressive storyline about his fall from grace, and a Klingon civil war. one of the few times TNG tried and succeeded an continuous arc. Sadly after that the character mostly got boring Worf/Alexander stories about what its like being a father.

In many ways this character fits far better in the more shades of grey world of DS9, where a greedy, sexist Ferengi can be a main cast member who you root for, and with a human starfleet member who has some racial prejudices. In the 90's I didnt actually like the idea at all. But once Worf joined the DS9 crew, he fitted right in.

The Way Of The Warrior builds upon the concepts created in season 3. The destruction of the Obsidian Order and the resulting change of government on Cardassia, the possibility of Changeling infiltrators operating in high ranking positions, undermining the powers of the Alpha Quadrant, having them fight themselves. Weakening their positions before the Dominion even move in.

This strategy of suspecting the enemy may be out there, scheming in the dark is the one element that kept the Dominion an interesting and threatening enemy throughout the series.

Ronald D. Moore would re-use that concept (with much less success throughout Battlestar Galactica)

Each of the lead characters gets a few nice character scenes. Sisko finally shaved his head and looks how he is supposed to look. He finally wins over Kasidy too.

There is a fun scene between Odo and Garak, now having breakfasts together, cool O'Brien and Bashir stuff and a simply brilliant written and acted scene between Garak and Quark, giving their outsiders opinion on the Federation and it's insidious morals. I would personally rank this scene, written after the episode came up short a few minutes as one of the best character scenes in Star Trek history.

On the Klingon side Gowron makes his second appearance (not as benevolent as House Of Quark) while the new character of General Martok is introduced, who would become an important supporting character later in the series.

This episode features two impressive action scenes. One being a confrontation between the Defiant and some Klingon ships. I've always loved the short moment of pause Sisko has before committing to the attack. It signifies that he knows that his actions will mean war.

The second is an all out assault of a Klingon fleet against DS9, featuring some impressive visual effects. Taking it's lead from The Die Is Cast, and going a step further.

That scene also has a fun reference to the series pilot, in which DS9 tries to convince an attacking Cardassian ship that it's heavily armed.

This time it's no bluff!

The Way Of The Warrior is a treasure trove of great scenes, dealing with character development, friendship, war, comedy, and action. It plays like a second pilot for Deep Space Nine, signifying the point where the show really found it's groove and became brilliant.

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The Visitor

Melanie, an aspiring writer, wants to know why Jake Sisko stopped writing at 40. Jake tells how his father died in an accident and then suddenly reappeared.

After the action packed and clever season opener follows a story of pure emotion. Still considered as one of Trek's greatest episodes, together with The Inner Light and City On The Edge Of Forever.

A beautiful blend of sci-fi and human drama, essentially a love story about the inability to deal with loss, and ultimately sacrifice.

Cirroc Lofton is good as a Jake struggling to come to terms with his fathers death, but the episode belongs to Tony Todd, as the older Jake Siso.

Todd is a character actor, known more for tough guy roles owing to his impressive physique and low, distinctive voice (he would return later in the season to play Worf's brother Kurn)

In The Visitor he gives a beautifully moving performance as a man desperate to get his father back. Avery Brooks only has a few minutes of screen time, but is impressive as the worried father.

this is a great example of how a sci-fi concept can be used to tell a human story. Just enough techno babble is given so we kinda understand the situation. But the focus is really on the love story, not the temporal science stuff.

The Visitor in a subtle way revisits a theme from Emmisary, DS9's pilot. In which Benjamin Sisko was unable to get over the death of his wife. Dennis McCarthy's score even references his earlier work (The track "Dad Admonishes"uses a quote from his "Reconciliation" cue from Emissary, when Sisko pleads with a 50+ Jake to move on with his life.)

Although most of the events depicted in the episode are erased when the timeline is reset, there are a few hints of what is to come: Jake does begin writing Anslem before the end of the season, and tension with the Klingons continues to worsen.

A shot of Kira and Jake together early in the episode is very similar to the final shot of the series.

Bashir uses his "old man" voice again. :)

Jadzia doesnt die in this timeline.

Kira starts wearing his new, all red uniform starting this episode.

This deeply moving episode (I genuinely tear up during certain scenes) ranks as one of my all time favorite episodes of Star Trek.

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Hippocratic Oath

Bashir is asked to help a group of renegade Jem'Hadar break their addiction to ketracel white. Meanwhile Worf is dissatisfied with the way Odo runs security.

After two first rate episodes comes a rather mediocre one.

The concept of Bashir trying to "cure" the Jem'Hadar of their addiction is interesting. But somehow it never quite gells. The episode seems to side with Bashir, while I sided with O'Brien, who thought the idea was dangerous and possible treason.

Marian, I believe this is the episode you referred to that you thought was called The Jem'Hadar

The B story is actually the more interesting of the two. Worf, formally the security chief on the Enterprise clashing with Odo and his different way of working.

Nice way to highlight the differences between the more black & white world of the Enterprise and the "shades of grey" DS9.

It also is one of the rare episodes that actually shows why its usefull to keep Quark around.

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Bashir perhaps has the moral high ground. But the way it's shown in the episode didnt persuade me.

Also. It's stated that Bashir could have brought O'Brien up on charges, even though he was in a sense collaborating with the enemy.

Indiscretion

Kira and Gul Dukat go after the lost prison ship Ravinok. Dukat has a secret. Meanwhile Kasidy Yates tries to find work near Bajor, leaving Sisko uncomfortable.

This is the first episode to really bring Kira and Dukat together for a single story. Kira looking for an old friend who was on that ship, while Dukat hopes to find traces of his Bajoran mistress and their illegitimate child.

The "humanization" of Dukat, which started in season two continues here. With him shown more benevolent as ever before. Marc Alaimo gives his best performance to date as a Dukat who, even though he is persistent in his opinions about the occupation, and his flirtations with Kira is utterly charming.

There's a great scene where he and Kira actually share a short moment of bonding together and suddenly he utters the line.

"Major, I'm afraid that if my Daughter is still alive. I'm going to have to kill her."

This episode introduces Ziyal, who would become a semi regular later in the series and the Breen. Mentioned on Star Trek before but never seen. Their helmets are an obvious homage to Princes Leia's disguise when she enter Jabba's palace in ROTJ.

The B-story is fairly standard relationship stuff, but with some nice and funny dialogue. Romance stories work a lot better on DS9 when they move outside the confines of a 45 minute episode.

Good episode.

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Rejoined

Lenara Kahn, the new host of the wife of Dax's former host Torias, comes to the station. While they're not allowed to renew their relation, there's still a spark.

At the time (1995) quite a controversial episode because it depicted two women kissing romantically. Which caused a stir of letters and calls to Paramount. The letters being overwhelmingly positive, the phonecalls being mostly negative.

This is the closest Star Trek came to doing a "gay" episode. There was one previous effort, TNG's The Outcast, which involved Riker falling in love with an alien who was genderless. But since the alien was played by a female actress, it all felt quite safe.

Rejoined depicts two people from the same gender falling in love and therefore feels more daring.

But it's important to stress that it's more then just a "gay issue" episode. It's actually a story about taboo's. And by telling that story with two female actors instead of a male and a female, it's purpose comes across much better.

As per Roddenberry's vision, petty things like sexual discrimination are a thing of the past in the 24th century, and indeed throughout the episode no one even comments about the fact thats it's two females who are falling in love.

This exact same script could have been done with a male actor in the role of Lenara Khan, without changing a single line of dialogue. But the taboo mentioned in the episode would have been seen as silly. A ridiculous role that keeps two lovers apart.

But by casting Susanna Thompson the taboo becomes translated to a level that is far more familiar to the audience of 1995, and indeed today.

This is quite a bold episode. Well written, and more convincing then previous episodes where a main character falls in love with someone after 20 minutes. The actual scene leading to the kiss is very well done, as it the kiss itself.

This is followed by an equally strong scene between Sisko and Dax where he pledges her support whatever choice she makes.

It's a daring, but not wholly flawless episode. It relies on the trusted old story technique of a near death experience to make a character realize how she feels about someone. and in the end, you can already guess the ending.

The acting is very strong, Susanna Thompson is flawless as the fetching Lenara Khan. Farewell is good too, apart from her final scene with Lenara, where she is a bit too declamatory.

19 years ago this was an "important" episode. Thankfully things have moved on a little bit.

But it's still a very good episode.

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Starship Down.

The first part has a deliberate "submarine movie" feel. Similar to The Wrath Of Khan.

Basically a disaster story. The Defiant suffers major damage inside a gas giant when it's being attacked by 2 Jem'Hadar ships.

Several story vignettes pl;ay out with crewmembers trying to survive and fight of the enemy ships.

The most interesting one is the Sisko/Kira story. Kira is trying to keep a injured Sisko from passing out. Some interesting stuff about their relationship and why they arent as close with each other as they are with other crewmembers. In Kira's eyes Sisko is a religious icon, something he is still uncomfortable with.

James Cromwell has a guest role, shortly before becoming famous with Babe. He is quite good in a story with Quark.

Quite a decent episode with some nice character stuff. Also nice that it focuses on the Dominion rather then the still new Klingon treat.

Little Green Men

Quark and Rom ferry Nog to Starfleet Academy in Quark's personal shuttle. During the trip, a temporal anomaly sends them to 1947 Earth where they are held prisoner in Roswell, New Mexico.

Brilliant fun send up of the Roswell mystery. It was the Ferengi's!

Love the 50's B-movie atmosphere with all the usual cliche's. The hard-ass, cigar chomping general. The friendly doctor and his sassy nurse/fiance. plus the usual social commentary of our main characters whenever they travel to the 20th century. Bones disapproved deeply of 1980's medicine, but Quark sees a world ripe for conquest.

This is probably the only episode that actually gets away with mentioning the Universal translator. (the scene with the Ferengi's knocking their heads to try and reset them and the hew-mans imitating their behavior is hilarious)

Not a lot of arc related stuff apart from the fact that Nog is now in Starfleet academy. There's a nice farewell scene between him and Jake.

One of those episodes which gives you a big goofy smile on your face throughout.

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The Sword Of Kahless

Klingon Dahar Master Kor, Jadzia Dax, and Worf search for the fabled Sword of Kahless on a remote planet in the Gamma Quadrant.

The first episode since The Way Of The Warrior to focus on Worf. (the ones before this one were written before Dorn was cast on the show).

The only one to make mention of the cloned Emperor from TNG and the only one to show what happened to Toral after Redemption part II.

Overall a good episode with strong character stuff, and once again John Colicos is a delight to watch as Kor. Who unlike most Klingons does not look down on the once again disgraced Worf.

The "epic" quest itself actually inst very epic. Just tow forcefields to get past and they get to the sword. Then a lot of walking around the well known Star Trek cave set...

The sword has a effect on the two Klingons much like The One Ring, though the writers never intended it to have any kind of powers, just that the holy nature of the sword was pitting Klingons against each other.

This is something that didnt come across all too clearly on screen.

Good, but not great ep. A nice mixture of Indiana Jones and Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

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Our Man Bashir

When an transporter emergency turns the command crew into holosuite characters, Bashir's James Bond fantasy takes on a deadly reality.

After Little Green Men and The Sword Of Kahless the third episode in a row to take inspiration from the movies.

The closest thing DS9 did to one of those Holodeck gone haywire episodes that TNG used to do quite a lot, though with a twist.

Ultimatly it's a James Bond spoof, containing loads of fun references to the movies (this was shot just before Goldeneye was to be released)

The cast obviously had fun with this. Nana Visitor delights in doing a bad Russian accent, while Avery Brooks actually makes quite a creepy Bond villian. And Siddig El Fadil, (now named alexander Siddig professionally) does look good in a tux.

Garak is along for the ride, and as someone who was a proper spy this Flemming-esque fantasy looks ridiculous. Leading to a nice sort of Ian Flemming versus John Le Carre sort of clash.

As a lifelong 007 fan I found this one epic fun.

Because most of the main crew is in the holosuite we see Eddington again, in a rare sympathetic appearance. Odo shows himself to be more familiar with station operations then one would expect, and even Quark uses a bit of technobabble???

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Homefront / Paradise Lost

Sisko travels with Odo to Earth when a bombing at a Federation conference is determined to be the work of Changelings.

While Starfleet tightens security measures on Earth, Sisko and Odo discover that a Starfleet Admiral is deviously plotting to take over the planet.

Takes it's cue from a line Sisko had in The Maquis, about Earth being a paradise. And the Season three cliffhanger which stated that Changelings are "everywhere"

The second two-parter to take place mostly on Earth. The first part shows the potential treat of Changelings on Earth and how Starfleet is unable to properly act to deal with this treat because of insufficient mandate and resources.

Eventually after a supposed Dominion terrorist attack shuts down all Earth power Sisko pleads with the President of the Federation to declare martial law and allow Starfleet to randomly test people to make sure they are human.

Part two turns that all on it's head when it turns out the attack was a ruse my Starfleet Admiral Layton to gain a greater mandate and have Starfleet troops armed on Earth, in an attempt to overtrow the Federation government, who in his view don't do enough to protect it's citizens against the Dominion.

This excellent two-parter brings back warm feelings about pre-9/11 positions on personal freedom, and the rights the Goverment had to question and detain it's people without just cause. And pry into their personal information.

Sadly the positions taken by Sisko and Leyton in part one are pretty much the default of Westerns society now, or it's governments at least.

The episode poses excellent questions on how protecting paradise by ruling with paranoia and fear actually destroys it.

This story introduces Sisko's father Joseph to the series, played by a wonderful Brock Peters as a willful, stubborn old man who turns out to actually have the right idea about the situation on Earth.

This makes Sisko the first Captain to now only have a child, but a parent featuring on the show.

Robert Foxworth makes for a good Admiral Layton.

Due to it being down on budget, there isnt much in the way of action in the 2-parter. The Starfleet troops overrunning every streetcorner on Earth are shown as a few guys standing in from of Grandpa Joe's restaurant. Most of the story consists of strong dialogue scenes, with a few money shots of The Defiant battling a Federation Starship trown in.

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Crossfire

First Minister Shakaar visits the station, despite a threat of assassination. He falls in love with Kira much to Odo's dismay.

Like O'Brien frequently has an episode where he is put through hell, Odo gets the occasional episode where his hopes are crushed and his heart broken (even though he has no heart).

His love for Kira is a plotpoint that has been there since season two, but not touched upon much. Here Odo has to stand by and watch her fall in love with another man, and then has to listen to her talk about it also.

Auberjonois excels in this episode as an Odo who has slowly become hopeful, and quickly sees his hopes dashed. Leading to a breakdown and a scene where Quark, of all people, helps him out again.

The scene where Kira shares the "happy" news with him is genuinely heartbreaking. You can see Odo squirming.

This is the second episode to feature Shakaar, they have softened him down quite a lot from the stoic, heroic figure of season three. Afterwards he would appear in just one more episode. The second love interest of Kira that didnt quite work. Though for the purpose of this episode, Duncan Regerh actually does quite well.

In a fairly serious episode there is a funny scene between Odo and Worf sharing similar thoughts about life, and the difficulty of arranging security on DS9.

In it's own small way, really a first rate episode with some great character scenes. A personal favorite.

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Return To Grace

Dukat returns, stripped of his prestige, to escort Kira to a Cardassian conference about the Dominion. But an attack by a Klingon raider may give Dukat a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of his government.

Picks up where Indiscretion left of, with a Dukat demoted to captaining a freighter after he reveals to have an illegitimate daughter.

Dukat has always been a talkative character, but I'm guessing there are few episodes where he has more dialogue then this one, where he tries (in vain) to get Kira to be interested in him.

The episode contains plenty of good character scenes between Dukat and Kira, as he ends up being the terrorist she used to be. Some of the writing is a bit too explanatory though.

Marc Alaimo pretty much takes center stage in this episode. Playing Dukat with the greasy charm of a man who desperately wants to be liked, understood, desired.

Much of his career he has played villains, understandably, because he has the look for it (no one wore the Cardassian make-up better then he did). But this is the only role I've seen him in where he is given the chance to add depth to a character.

Two important things happen in this, decent, but not remarkable episode that will become of great importance later. The character of Damar is introduced and Ziyal, Dukat's daughter starts to live in DS9.


The Sons Of Mogh

Worf's brother Kurn arrives on the station, and asks Worf to kill him. Meanwhile, Klingon ships are detected outside Bajoran space.

The first episode to show some attraction between Worf and Dax. The two actually fit well together, with Dax being sort of an honorary Klingon (due to her previous experiences with them)

Starts out very strongly with a scene where Worf actually stabs his brother, to release him from the dishonor Worf's actions in The Way Of The Warrior has brought upon his family. It's a nice portrayal of non-western cultural traditions and how they can seem barbaric and senseless in our eyes. Traditionally the best Worf episodes on TNG were the ones that dealt with the disparity between Klingon and human culture.

Tony Todd makes for an imposing Klingon. But Avery Brooks is pretty imposing when he scolds Worf for his actions too. The bald head and goatee really did do wonders for the character.

The resolution is one that divided many fans. Worf has Kurns memory wiped so he can start a new life, without dishonor. For a sci-fi show it's certainly allowable, but it does have the slight whiff of cop-out about it. Not actually killing Kurn, but sort of killing him as far as his kinship with Worf is concerned. It might have worked slightly better if it hadn't been presented as a "cure-all" and the implications would have been dealt with more in-depth.

Still a strong episode nonetheless. The first one that really deals with Worf's dis-commendation and the effects it had to his family. (though Alexander is forgotten here in this episode...)

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Bar Association

Unfair working conditions and pay cuts cause Rom to organize a union of the employees of Quark's Bar. Meanwhile Worf still finds it hard to settle on the station.

A Ferengi bottle show with a lot of nice comedy elements, but also a somewhat more serious notes when it comes to the relationship between Quark and his brother Rom.

Rom is usually the lovable and comic sidekick to Quark (who is more mean spirited in this episode then usual). But Max Grodénchik has already shown the capability of given the character something more. In this one he is lovable, funny, persistent and heroic, at the same time.

The scenes where he and Quark face off not only work as good comedy, there are good character scenes.

This episode shows the Rom has a crush on Leeta, and he will leave his job at Quarks and start working for chief O'Brien. Like Nog before him he is striking out on his own.

The B-story deals with Worf's annoyance with living on DS9 and he decides to take residence on The Defiant instead. This story serves to give Worf and Dax more screentime together, and show Dax as someone he can share personal issues with.

Solid ep, with a lot of fun stuff.

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Accescion

A man claiming to be the emissary comes through the wormhole. Sisko is happy to give up his position, untill the new Emissary declares radical reforms. Meanwhile Keiko returns and O'Brien stops spending time with Bashir.

The first episode in a while to deal with either Bajor or Bajoran religion. It's an important one in the development of Sisko's acceptance as his role as Emissary. In Destiny, he began to show some faith in ancient Bajoran prophecies, but still remained uncomfortable with his role as a religious icon. In this one he at first gives it up gladly to someone who seems more capable, and willing, but when the new Emissary starts demanding radical reforms Sisko, for the first time, claims the title as his own. Though more out of practical consioderations then actual beliefs...for the moment.

The episode poses some interesting questions about faith, without providing an easy answer. It shows Kira ready to give up her career because she's been told her Gods have a different path for her in store.

This good episode does show the otherwise stuborn and willfull Bajorans follow the plans of their newly appointed Emissary a bit too easy.

There's quite a moving scene between Sisko and Kira once she tells him of her plans to resign.

The story wraps up a little bit too neat I guess. Though I like the fact that the Prophets changed the timeline by sending the "false" Emissary to his own time, and have everyone be aware of the fact that that's not how it was supposed to be.

The B-story deals with Keiko's return to DS9 and her pregnant, and therefore O'Briens return to married bliss. A fun scenes recalls TNG's Disaster when Worf mentions he will be away from DS9 when the baby is delivered.

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Rules Of Engagement

When Worf destroys a civilian shuttle during an engagement with the Klingons, an extradition hearing is held to see if he must face charges.

An interesting episode in that it's one of the rare DS9 or indeed Star Trek episodes where characters break the fourth wall and talk directly into the camera. It's gives this courtroom drama a visual flair often lacking in similar episodes of this kind.

The episode has a lot in common structurally with the season one episode Dax. Unfortunately it also shares some of that one's weaknesses.

The accused, Worf, is mostly seen not heard. Sitting behind a desk saying nothing. In many ways this episode is more about Sisko and his duel with the Klinging advocate, a solid role by Ron Canada.

In both Dax and Rues of Engagement things seem to be going from bad to worse for the defendant, when Odo suddenly drops by with the solution to everything. It would have been more interesting to actually see him dealing with his investigation on this one

The highlight is the closing scene between Sisko and Work, where Sisko gives the Klingon a good dressing down for firing on an unidentified ship. This is the first episode to clearly draws Sisko as a battlefield commander, rather then just the manager of a space station. Avery Brooks gives a strong performance throughout.

Would have been a better episode if it dealt more directly with Worf, but still pretty good.

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Hard Time

Convicted of espionage, Miles O'Brien is given the memories of twenty years in prison in a matter of hours. Returning to DS9, O'Brien finds he cannot shrug the memory of his awful experience or rid himself of the guilt he feels over the death of his cellmate.

Another "O'Brien Must Suffer" episode. One of the best ones actuaully. Nice blend of sci-fi and drama.

The concept is similar to what happened to Picard in The Inner Light, where he was given a lifetime of memories in mere minutes.

Colm Meaney gives a hell of a performance as a guilt ridden O'Brien in agony over an act of killing that never really happened, but haunts him.

Craig Wasson gives a good performance as his cellmate for 20 years.

If there is any complaint is that 45 minutes really isnt enough to fully justify this story, but other then that it's a great episode.

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Shattered Mirror

When the Mirror Universe counterpart of Sisko's deceased wife lures Jake to the other side, Sisko must follow and help the human resistance against the Alliance's forces.

Direct sequel to the dark and broody Crossover and the more action oriented Through The Looking Glass.

In the last one Sisko became enamored with his dead wife's mirror universe double. The same happens to Jake after she lures him to the mirror universe in an attempt to force Sisko to help them complete a build on "their" Defiant.

For what is essentially a big action extravaganza where the rest of the cast dresses up and plays warped versions of themselves, the Sisko family are the only ones playing it straight. I like the ways Jake fawns over his "mirror mom" and how Sisko resents that she used his son to lure him back.

Of the rest of the cast Nana Visitor is once again a delight, sexy, selfish and lethal, this time Nog gets it, and Jennifer!

Michael Dorn becomes Regent Worf in this, who has Garak on a chain and has fun playing an evil version of his so honorable character. He gets a laugh by using Picard's catchphrase "make it so"

The fairly thin and rather unbelievable plot (could the Terrans really build a copy of the Defaint just like that) is little more then an excuse for some fun action and adventure, and the episode provides that with a epic spacebattle (the first since The Way Of The Warrior). The Defiant against several Klingon ships. Some great effects shots of dog fighting around and though DS9 and in close proximity to a massive Klingon battleship.

The ending, Jennifer dying after trying to save Jake, makes it a bit more then just an action episode though.


The Muse

A mysterious woman approaches Jake about his future as a writer. Odo promises to do whatever it takes to help Lwaxana Troi keep her baby over the father's wishes, even if it means marrying her himself.

Two stories of equal importance in this ep. Both of them problematic though.

The premise of a "space vampire"that preys on the energy of artistic minds is certainly interesting. Quite old school Star Trek. but something about the execution is lacking. Meg Foster is rather fantastic in her role as the seductive and mysterious Oyana. In make up and persona she reminds of Alice Krige's Borg Queen. Sadly the sensuous undertone of the story isnt really acknowledged by either the direction of Cirroc Lofton's Jake Sisko. Lofton is usually fine in the role, but here he is so passive, though I guess the script is to blame. So the story lacks effectiveness. Some nice details though. Like Jake writing on actual pen and paper from now on.

The second story's premise is ridiculous. Lwaxana pregnant and on the run. The story hardly makes any sense.

What does work is the chemistry between Auberjonois and Majel Barret (who came up with this story, and I assume the show runners simply humored her on this).

The two get quite a good mileage out of that chemistry, and the shared history they do have, making Odo's declaration of affection actually convincing. But in the end it's juts a plot convenience.

On a script/story level this is probably the worst episode of season 4, and one of the most flawed of the series. There is solid acting and good character stuff that keep it watchable though, just.

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TNG had a mirror universe, remember? They put a whole shitload of them onscreen at once, and it was chaos. That episode actually undermines the idea of one primary alternate reality, THE Mirror Universe that TOS established and DS9 revisited, which is why the concept was abandoned.

The novel Q Squared remains my favorite presentation of mirror universes.

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