Synopsis: A new movement is growing on Bajor. They call themselves “The Circle” and they want “Bajor to the Bajorans”, i.e. all out-worlders should leave the bajoran system. Meanwhile Kira learns that Li Nalas – a hero of the resistance – is still alive and he’s being held prisoner on a cardassian planet. She and O’Brien disguise themselves as traders and try to rescue him.
My Opinion: I remembered this three-part season opener to be somewhat uninteresting but I really enjoyed it this time. It’s “funny” to see how something that happened almost only by accident can develop into a legend and how the protagonist becomes a hero. Although they are nothing alike the story of Li Nalas becoming a hero reminded me of the Firefly episode Jaynestown.
Synopsis: Li Nalas has become the new liasion officer aboard DS9 and Kira has been recalled to Bajor. But there fights have broken out. The Circle has acquired a lot of weapons and is now openly moving against the provisional government. What they don’t know: The weapons were delivered by the Cardassians (although not directly) who are hoping that The Circle drives the Federation away and thus opening the system for another cardassian invasion.
My Opinion: That was an interesting turn of events with Frank Langella (Skeletor in Masters of the Universe) once again in the role of the bad guy. But I like him in these roles. 🙂 Interesting thing – especially in comparison to later seasons and later shows – is that you only had to hear the distant rumbling of war to believe that there is one, without seeing it. I don’t condemn special effects scenes, I really like them, but if a movie or series relies to heavy on them the actual storytelling moves into the background or is forgotten at all. That’s the reason the Star Wars Episodes I – III didn’t work for me.
Synopsis: All non-bajoran civilians have been evacuated with the help of the runabouts Ganges, Orinoco and Rio Grande. But Sisko and his Starfleet crew remains in the hope that he can delay the surrender of the station until Kira presents the evidence of the cardassian involvement in the Chamber of Ministers.
My Opinion: A good conclusion but I hated to see Vedek Winn squirm herself out again. As I said I like good bad characters. I’Ve always liked Gul Dukat or (later) Weyoun, but I never liked Winn (Louise Fletcher; Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). But at least life is going back to normal on the station – for now.
Synopsis: During a plasma storm the station is running only with a skeleton crew when a nearby ship declares an emergency and has to be pulled in. But the mayday was a fake, the ship’s crew takes control over DS9. Why? To get the Dax symbiont and transplant it into the group’s leader who feels that he deserves to be blended with a Trill symbiont. But that will kill Jadzia and Sisko won’t let that happen.
My Opinion:I didn’t pay attention to the credits but when I saw Verad (Dax) I instantly knew I knew him. But it took me a while to figure it out. I assumed that – since he had not much of a mask – he usually wears one. But then it came to me. The beard and the long hair was missing: John Glover a.k.a. Lionel Luthor from Smallville.
I liked this episode because here we saw how a person can change when he/she is blending with a symbiont. This is one of the rare before/after moments since we’ve never known Jadzia without Dax.
Synopsis: When a bajoran man and his adopted – cardassian – son come to the station, Garak becomes interested in the two of them. The boy was raised to hate all Cardassians and to hate all that is cardassian. But he is also not really a war orphan, he’s the son an important cardassian politician and enemy of Gul Dukat’s, the former prefect on Terok Nor/Deep Space Nine.
My Opinion: The end was a bit unsatisfying. While the main scheme was revealed and Dukat was exposed the writers didn’t really manage to explain why Sisko chose to return the son to his biological father. Sure, he mentions it in his log entry but as I said – a bit unsatisfying. But I really liked the way Bashir and Garak have been working together and Garak’s “explanation” of why he knows the things he knows.
Synopsis: DS9 gets a new crew member, Ensign Melora Pazlar. She comes from a low-gravity world and needs to use a wheelchair unless she’s alone and can lower the artificial gravity. She calls it “the Melora problem” that everybody but she creates and she reacts very hostile to any attempt to help her.
My Opinion: This was an interesting mix of two different problems. The first would be the interaction with disabled persons, especially when they don’t want any help. I really liked Paul Hogan’s character’s solution to that problem in Almost an Angel. But I found the second problem more interesting: Am I willing to make a change that will prevent me from ever going home again? It’s a hard choice and I couldn’t say now what I would have done.
Rules of Acquisition
Synopsis: The Grand Nagus Zek assigns a task to Quark: He is to purchase 10,000 vats of tulaberry wine from the GQ-based Dosi. The negotiations are already hard but suddenly Zak wants not only 10,000 vats but 100,000. Luckily for Quark, one of his new waiters has an ear for business. But Pel isn’t what he appears to be.
My Opinion: I like Ferengi episodes (have I said that already?) and I think it’s funny that things like unknowingly working with a Ferengi female always happen to the more conservative Quark who only tries do earn an (dis-)honest living. This was also the first time that there was a new force in the GQ mentioned: The Dominion.
Synopsis: After Quark has been attacked and nearly killed, Odo has to re-open a five-year old murder case. Back then he was an arbitrator for minor differences between the bajoran workers aboard Terok Nor. But Gul Dukat gave him the task of solving this murder and he encounters a certain Ferengi barkeep and a young bajoran woman by the name of Kira Nerys during that investigation.
My Opinion: This was a very noir episode with a lot of flashbacks to the time of the occupation. It was also the first time that we learn that Quark’s brother Rom might not be as dumb as he seems to be. I really liked it, especially when Quark learned that his brother had access to his money vault. 😀
Synopsis: It has been four years since Sisko’s wife had been killed at the Wolf 359 massacre. But now Sisko meets a fascinating woman by the name of Fenna. But she keeps disappearing and Sisko has a hard time finding her again. Meanwhile the foremost expert on terra-forming has come to the station and he is about to complete his greatest project: the re-ignition of a dead sun.
My Opinion: This was an OK episode, not great though. The terraformer was a self-involved, arrogant man and thus I didn’t care for his death at all. He may have done it for a noble reason and although the one conversation he had with Sisko before his death gave him a more human face, it didn’t help in the end. But I liked the idea that might not end up alone ’til the end of days.
Synopsis: A ship full of refugees comes through “the great eye of the universe” and they are searching for their new home world, Kentanna. According to their legends, Bajor is Kentanna and they want to settle there – all three million Skrreeans. But Bajor has already enough problems of its own…
My Opinion: Another episode I didn’t care for much, because I didn’t care much for the Skrreeans. But I found the end interesting, because they didn’t make it into a happy end, which (not a happy end) will happen more often in DS9 than it did in TNG.
BTW: Here we’ve learned that the Dominion is a conquering force or at least a waring force in the GQ.
Synopsis: An El-Aurian con man comes to the station but isn’t that successful until he gets his hands on an unknown gambling device. From now on, luck is on his side and he establishes a second casino on the Promenade. But soon very unlikely events begin to occur on a regular basis and the odds for chance and probability have shifted.
My Opinion: This episode I enjoyed a lot. The only other El-Aurian we’ve ever met was Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) aboard the Enterprise. And while their main characteristic is maintained (they are good listeners), I liked it that they – as every other people – have dubious guys in their midst. I also liked the matches between Bashir and O’Brien.
Synopsis: Dr. Mora Pol is a scientist who worked with Odo from the beginning, long before anyone knew that Odo was sentient life form. Now he believes, that he may have discovered others of Odo’s kind on a planet in the GQ, He, Odo and Dax fly there to discover something that could be a distant relative to Odo. But after their return the being escapes and threatens the station.
My Opinion: This was another good episode. It gave us an insight about Odo’s early years and especially his relation to Mora. On the surface he doesn’t like him that much but we can also see that he cares for even even though he wouldn’t admit it. And Mora obviously cares for him. It was good to see that there’s something beneath that cynical surface of Odo’s.
Synopsis: Dr. Bashir and O’Brien are helping two formerly waring races to dispose of their biological weapons. But then one side is breaking the treaty and they kill all the scientists and try to kill O’Brien and Bashir who can barely escape. The crew of DS9 is informed that they’ve died in an accident while they have to hide out and try to contact either Starfleet or the other fraction.
My Opinion: As a general rule, I happen to like most of the Bashir/O’Brien episodes. And while their previous pairing in The Storyteller wasn’t that interesting, I really liked this one. To put them together in a dangerous situation without any other characters around them was a really good decision.
Synopsis: When Miles returns to DS9 he notices that something is different. Most of the command staff and even his wife is acting weird. And since important negotiations are coming up and he’s cut off from the security preparations, he suspects that someone tries to sabotage these negotiations.
My Opinion: We have seen so many unfriendly takeovers of bodies during the history of Star Trek that O’Brien’s suspicions weren’t that far fetched. Another episode I really liked, especially with O’Briens sympathy he’s shown to his copy and the copy’s declared love for Keiko at the end.
Synopsis: Sisko and O’Brien beam down to a planet that doesn’t lie along the usual trading routes. But as soon as they arrive they find out that none of their technology is working and they can’t contact their runabout. But they find a village full of people who have crashed here a decade ago. They have gotten used to the situation but Sisko doesn’t give up that easily.
My Opinion: This episode reminded me a lot of the former socialistic countries. “Hey we have a good idea and now you have to live in that “ideal” whether you like it or not.” I really liked it when Sisko went back into the box, not bowing to Alixus’s rule. And I also liked how he interrupted her speech pointing out that she let people die for her dream to come true.
Synopsis: Again looking for signs of his people, Dax and Odo are following a strange radiation signature. At the end of it they find a device in a small village, which seems to be the only settlement on the planet. But something is going on in that village: People are disappearing without leaving a trace and Odo tries to help.
My Opinion: This was a rather quiet episode and it only became interesting when the holographic generator had been disabled and we learn about the true nature of the relation between the people of that village and the only real person.
Synopsis: A Trill host candidate comes to the station. Jadzia has to evaluate whether he is suited to be blended with a symbiont. The candidate isn’t very thrilled since it is widely known that Dax has declared 57 candidates as “unsuited” over the last 200 years and the worst of them all was Curzon Dax. But Jadzia is not Curzon.
My Opinion: The candidate had no real plans for the future and I have already forgotten most things about the character. The only interesting thing were some insights into Jadzia’s training who ironically also was evaluated by Curzon – and failed.
Profit and Loss
Synopsis: A cardassian professor and two of her ‘students’ come to the station. They are well aware that they aren’t overly welcome on a bajoran space station but it gets worse when they learn that there’s still a Cardassian aboard: Garak. They are fugitives, the cardassian Central Command has declared them as ‘terrorists’. But the Cardassian Union hasn’t anticipated the involvement of a certain bartender.
My Opinion: This episode on the other hand was very interesting. Quark has broken out of his usual deceiving scheme plotting and has shown real affection towards a person/a woman. Strangely though, Quark always seems to be most interested in non-Ferengi and clothed(!) women, most of them being stronger than him, too. I wonder what he would think about Buffy – ah, yes, I remember, he expelled her from Sunnydale High. 😉
Synopsis: Kang, Koloth and Kor have come to the station. They are all klingon Dahar Masters and they look for Curzon Dax. Eight decades ago the four of them have sworn a Blood Oath to kill the murderer of the first borns of the Klingons. Kang wants to release Jadzia from that oath but she has no intentions of bailing out.
My Opinion: This is one episode I’ve been waiting for. I always thought that it was a great idea to bring the three klingon commanders Kirk faced in the original series once again on screen. While I didn’t care much for the Klingons – or any other alien race except the Vulcans – in the original series, the Klingons have grown on me during TNG and especially DS9. Ironically Jadzia now had the very same problem Worf always had when he took off to do something very klingon-y and very un-Starfleet-y. But at least Kor survived and we will see him again.
The Maquis, Part I
Synopsis: Soon after a cardassian freighter has left DS9, it explodes. Shortly after that cardassian fighters try attack a merchant ship, but get shot down by another ship. And all that in the demilitarized zone between the Federation and the Cardassian Union. The peace treaty had moved the border an now some formerly Federation colonies are within cardassian space and vice versa. And especially the former Federation colonies feel abandoned and try to arm themselves.
My Opinion: As always when borders are moved some people are waking up on the wrong side of the fence. But to start a shooting war against a vastly superior enemy is stupid at best. And they aren’t risking just their lives and those of their families. If they manage to start another full blown war, then billions of other lives get endangered, too. Do I sound like someone who hasn’t much sympathy for the Maquis? Then you heard right.
The Maquis, Part II
Synopsis: The Cardassians have indeed been smuggling weapons into the DMZ and the Maquis is planning to attack their secret depots. Unfortunately these depots are hidden within cardassian colonies and an attack on these colonies would force cardassian Central Command to retaliate. Commander Sisko and Gul Dukat try to prevent a new war.
My Opinion: As I said, they don’t want peace, the Maquis wants that war and that I’ll never understand.
Synopsis: Garak has serious headaches but he is not willing to have Dr. Bashir examine him until he collapses. Garak has a chip in his head that causes him that pain. Dr. Bashir tries to help him by contacting the former head of the Obsidian Order – the cardassian intelligence – who has implanted the chip when Garak was his personal protégé.
My Opinion: This was a great episode. The variations of Garak’s stories about his past reminded me of the way The Joker was talking about his scars in The Dark Knight. We’ll probably never find out which one/part was true. And I believe it wouldn’t have been good for the mystery of either character (Garak/Joker) if we would have ever found out, what really happened. Hence I really liked the closing dialogue:
Dr. Bashir: You know, I still have a lot of questions to ask you about your past.
Garak: I have given you all the answers I’m capable of.
Dr. Bashir: You have given me answers, all right. But they were all different. What I want to know, out of all the stories you’ve told me, which ones were true and which ones weren’t?
Garak: My dear doctor, they’re all true.
Dr. Bashir: Even the lies?
Garak: Especially the lies.
Synopsis: About a century ago, Captain James T. Kirk had a transporter accident and he found himself in an alternate reality, a mirror universe. Luckily he managed to come back. And when Kira and Bashir fly through the wormhole with a defect impulse engine they find themselves in the very same mirror universe. But things have changed since Kirk’s days.
My Opinion: Yet another good episode. Being a single episode in the original series, we’ve seen the mirror universe here again and from now on there will be more crossovers. As I’ve often stated, I like out-of-character episodes and the Intendant (Kira) and Sisko were really great.
Synopsis: The election for the next Kai is close and Vedek Barail – as the chosen one of Kai Opaka – is most likely to become the next Kai. But Vedek Winn doesn’t give up that easily. She is going to proof that Barail was a collaborator during the occupation and that he’s revealed the position of a resistance cell to the Cardassians.
My Opinion: This is a sad day. Winn has become Kai and that means nothing good for the people of Bajor. And I must admit, I don’t really like the episodes that are about bajoran politics. Too much intrigue and scheme is involved when it comes to Winn.
Synopsis: While on a holiday trip with his wife, O’Brien is being abducted by the Cardassians. Back on Cardassia he is charged with aiding the Maquis and delivering photon torpedos to them. In the cardassian justice system the verdict is always the same: guilty. The tribunal is just to show why he’s guilty.
My Opinion: I liked that episode. Despite the seriousness it was funny to see how O’Brien’s “defense attorney” became more and more despaired. Why would his client be so unreasonable? Why doesn’t O’Brien simply confess and thus proves the effectiveness of the cardassian justice system? And the face he made when he realized that his client was free to go…
Synopsis: Sisko invites his son to do a science project in the GQ who in turn invites Nog. And Quark is accompanying them as well. But they are caught by the Jem’Hadar, warriors of the Dominion. A message is brought to DS9, declaring their capture and the destruction of several ships as well as the destruction of the bajoran colony in the GQ.
My Opinion: And so it begins. The Dominion in shape of the Vorta and the Jem’Hadar has entered entered the chess board. And although they’ve only stated that they do not want any more AQ ships in their territory they’ve also made it clear that they’ve gathered intel about the races of the AQ. Now the show gets really interesting.
The Season – My Opinion: This season was half’n’half. There were a number of very interesting and great episodes mixed with rather uninteresting ones. I especially liked the character-driven episodes like Armageddon Game, Blood Oath and Crossover. And now let us see the Defiant!