The Way of the Warrior
Synopsis: A rather large fleet of klingon ships under the command of General Martok arrives at the station and their true intentions remain unclear. But then they start to search ships that try to leave the bajoran sector to look for changelings. Sisko needs a Klingon to shed some light into this: Lt. Cmdr. Worf, son of Mogh. But when the fleet departs for an attack on Cardassia (that is infiltrated by Founders – or so do the Klingons believe), Worf has to make a choice: To stay with Starfleet or to rejoin his people.
My Opinion: Hawk is back! 😉 This was a great start to the season. Worf and Martok are great additions to the show and I like how fluent the concept of good and bad guys is. Except for Babylon 5 in other shows of that time the good guys remain good and the bad guys remain the bad guys. There’s rarely a grey area. Yes, the Klingons have been the bad guys once, but since the start of TNG they basically belonged to the good guys and that didn’t change – until now. It also often happened that a race was portrayed in a certain way and there were only a few exceptions to that general portrayal. Only Humans had been shown in all variations of grey. That is also due to the fact that TNG has shown a certain race rarely twice (except for the Klingons). DS9 with it’s “port of call” concept has broken with that and has shown all kinds of Bajorans, Klingons, Cardassians and will continue to do so.
Synopsis: An accident happens aboard the Defiant and Sisko gets vaporized and his son is shocked. But a few months later Ben Sisko reappears in Jake’s quarters and disappears again. Then a year later it happens again. Ben is caught in some kind of subspace bubble and Jake (who was involved in the original accident) is his anchor to this world. While his life goes on, he spends his time either with writing or studying subspace mechanics and after fifty years, Jake has figured out how to save his father.
My Opinion: In general, I liked this episode and (again) the relationship between Jake and his father. The story is very emotional and very well told. What bugs me is the fact that the Dominion war didn’t seem to have happened in that timeline. Firstly this contradicts the things we have learned so far about the Dominion infiltration of the AQ (e.g. in The Adversary) and secondly because that would mean that Sisko’s survival would lead to the greatest war in the history of the AQ with its millions of deaths.
Synopsis: O’Brien and Bashir detect a crash-landed ship along a trading route in the GQ. But when they approach the planet they get shot down and have to face a group of Jem’Hadar. But these are not regular Jem’Hadar, these one want to be free and for this they need to free themselves from the Ketracel-white drug. Bashir doesn’t believe this is possible due to his experiences with the Jem’Hadar infant in the previous year.
My Opinion: For the first time since the start of their friendship a rift has been created between Miles and Julian. Although it was sad to see, their behaviour was very fitting to each character. Miles has fought in the cardassian border wars and seen what an ruthless enemy is capable of and Julian is still a very enthusiastic doctor who values life above all else. But I am glad that their friendship will survive things like that.
And now we’ve seen Jem’Hadar who can think and act outside their genetically programmed pattern. Again a race has been shown more than one-dimensional and it will happen again.
Synopsis: Kira is informed that someone has found wreckage parts of a ships she has been looking for. It disappeared six years ago during the occupation. On that ship was a former member of her resistance cell. But when she departs for her search she has an unexpected companion: Dukat.
My Opinion: Once again it has been shown that Dukat isn’t a one-dimensional character but he’s also never been portrayed as a “good guy”. I liked the introduction of Dukat’s “half-breed” daughter Tora Ziyal because she brought out another aspect of Dukat’s character, a side we will see again. I also liked the general idea to put Kira and Dukat on a joined mission without any other character interfering.
Synopsis: Dr. Lenara Kahn comes to the station and she wants to create an artificial wormhole. The problem is: Lenara Kahn was once Nilani Kahn and Nilani was married to Torias Dax two lifetimes ago. In the Trill society it’s strictly forbidden to romantically “re-associate” with a former lover.
My Opinion: Interestingly many people saw this episode as a statement about homosexuality which it was not. I found it very interesting because one had to try to imagine what it would be like to live several hundred years always merge with a new host and thus creating a different personality yet not forgetting the feelings for past loves. It’s even harder to imagine than with the Tok’ra (Stargate SG-1) because there the consciousnesses of host and symbiont were still a bit separated.
Little Green Men
Synopsis: Quark wants to bring Nog to Earth personally and he takes his new shuttle “Quark’s Treasure”. But he is smuggling Kemocite at the same time and due to sabotage the ship has an accident and travels through time. And when Quark, Rom and Nog wake up they find themselves in a military facility near a town called Roswell in the year 1947.
My Opinion: This was a funny episode. It was great to see how Quark imagined to make business with these kinds of humans who are nothing like the Federation humans of his time. But even he was appalled about some aspects of human society (smoking, atom bomb tests, …). I enjoyed this episode very much.
Synopsis: Business with the Karemma isn’t going so well because it can only be conducted through the Ferengi (The Karemma wouldn’t dare to oppose the Dominion). When Sisko tries to negotiate with them they are attacked by Jem’Hadar fighters and have to hide in a gas giant. From there things get worse.
My Opinion: It was an OK episode. It was interesting to see how Worf had the interact with the engineering crew because that was new territory to him. We mustn’t forget that he has been a command crew officer only for a few months. But I was surprised when O’Brien mentioned that most the engineering crew hasn’t been to Starfleet academy. It seems logical but until now I always thought that everyone who wore the uniform had been to the academy. I think that falls into the same category as we’ve never seen enlisted personnel in TNG – even O’Brien wore the insignia of a Lieutenant.
The Sword of Kahless
Synopsis: Kor believes to have learned where the sword of the first klingon emperor Kahless has disappeared to. It was stolen by the Hur’q over a thousand years ago and now it seems to be in the GQ. He wants Dax to join him and he also invites Worf to come with them. And destiny wanted them to find it. But they have an argument about what they should do with it because the sword is a symbol of power and can be used as such.
My Opinion: I liked this episode. They were on the hunt for an (religious) icon and they behaved accordingly, including the attempt to oust each other. But in the end Kor and Worf came to their senses and did what was best for the empire. They have kept their honour. Qapla’!
Our Man Bashir
Synopsis: Garak has broken into the Holosuite where Bashir was just playing a spy of the british government during the cold war. But then a transporter accident happens and the neurological patterns can be stored into the station’s computers the only place to save their body patterns is the running Holosuite program. And suddenly it’s important not only to win the game but also not to kill any of the characters.
My Opinion: Having watched Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace recently I enjoyed this episode very much. Sisko/Dr. Noah was a much better adversary to Bashir than Le Chiffre was to Bond. 😀 And O’Brien was great as Falcon 🙂 The fun episodes of DS9 are always worth watching.
Synopsis: Sisko and Odo are called back to Earth after an explosion has killed 27 conference members including some Romulans. And the wormhole is opening at random intervals, too. On Earth Sisko gets promoted to acting Chief of Starfleet Security and he implements some security measures to ensure the safety of Federation President Jaresh-Inyo and all Starfleet facilities. But it doesn’t help. The Founders attack Earth’s power grid and disable it. An attack by a cloaked fleet seems imminent.
My Opinion: And now to rather serious business. Benjamin Franklin once said “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Yet, since 9/11 we’ve seem to have forgotten those words and basically every western country is taking away civil rights and enforces a harder security policy. In the EU every phone call ever made, every connection to the internet is to be logged and stored. In the UK the Interception Modernisation Programme even wants to store every e-Mail ever sent (including spam). In Germany our Minister of the Interior wants the right to secretly go into our houses and install trojan horses on our computers and he wants to use the Bundeswehr within our country (which is strictly forbidden by our constitution). Al-Qaeda despises our way of living and what do we do? We destroy our way of living. It’s like committing suicide because we fear death.
Synopsis: The President has declared martial law and the streets are guarded by armed Starfleet troops. But things don’t add up. Earth’s security has tightened yet no Dominion fleet is attacking. The attack on the power grid wasn’t the doing of any Founder – Admiral Leyton did it “for the greater good”.
My Opinion: That episode proves the point I made above. Only four changelings on Earth caused all the havocs and they didn’t even had to do it themselves. I am just glad that Sisko has seen the error in his way. But would he have seen it if it hadn’t been the coup of a Starfleet admiral?
Synopsis: First Minister Shakaar is coming to the station to negotiate Bajor’s joining of the Federation. But a cardassian terror group wants to assassinate him and Odo and Worf are trying to protect him. But Odo has also to deal with the fact that Kira is falling in love with Shakaar while he’s also in love with her.
My Opinion: It’s the same old story. He loves her but doesn’t tell her and she runs off with another guy. But I liked how Quark could see right through Odo’s mask and how he helped him and how Odo thanked him. They both like each other more than they dare to admit (in a total ungayish way 😉 ).
Return to Grace
Synopsis: After he has brought Ziyal home, Dukat has been demoted to freighter captain and he is to bring Major Kira to a conference in cardassian space. But the conference is attacked by a klingon Bird of Prey and the freighter isn’t a match for it. Even when Dukat attacks the BoP doesn’t return fire but simply leaves. There isn’t a worse thing you could have done to Dukat’s pride and he plans to retaliate.
My Opinion: Although I found it a bit unrealistic that the freighter’s disrupters couldn’t penetrate the BoP’s hull even when the shields were down this was a very good episode. I liked it how Kira taught Dukat how to think outside the box and use things in an unconventional way to defeat a superior enemy.
Sons of Mogh
Synopsis: Worf’s (younger) brother Kurn comes to the station and asks Worf to kill him so that he may have an honourable death. Due to previous events, Worf has become an outcast and he was stripped of lands and titles. Kurn, who had a seat on the klingon High Council, is also dishonoured. But Dax interferes and Kurn survives and has to adjust to a life outside the klingon society.
My Opinion: And once again human and klingon cultures have clashed. And once again Worf had to decide whether he wants to be a klingon warrior or a Starfleet officer. But it was a bit sad that Kurn had to “die” and that Worf has now lost his brother forever. He’s alone again. 🙁
Synopsis: Due to the bajoran cleansing ritual, the turnover of the bar is minimal. Quark decides to cut wages by 1/3 but now he’s gone to far. Even his brother revolts against him and they found a union. But unions and strikes are strictly forbidden by Ferengi law. Soon after the beginning of the strike Brunt arrives on the station and he makes it clear that the strike has to end or they will make an example of Quark and Rom.
My Opinion: Finally Rom has emancipated himself from his brother. This episode was a nice reminder of why the first unions were founded and what often happened to “union mans”. But one thing a Ferengi said is still true in our society: We don’t want to overcome exploitation, we just want to become the exploiters.
Synopsis: Captain Sisko has still a hard time accepting that he’s the Emissary of the Prophets when his replacement comes out of the wormhole. The Bajoran Akorem Laan has been in the celestial temple for over 200 years and he believes to be the real Emissary. Sisko has no problem with that until Akorem tries to reinstall the D’jarras, the bajoran caste system in which birth decides what profession one takes as an adult.
My Opinion: This was an OK episode to convince Sisko to keep the role as Emissary. He was willing to give it up but it was good that he fought that decision when he noticed how much power lies in that role and how it can be used to force wrong developements. But it’s no favourite of mine.
Rules of Engagement
Synopsis: The Klingon Empire demands the extradition of Worf after he’s destroyed a barely armed passenger ship in a battle. The facts of what happened aren’t questioned by either side but the Klingons question Worf state of mind, his motives when he destroyed that ship and killed over 400 civilians. But are the facts as clear as they are supposed to be?
My Opinion: I liked how they mixed the scenes in the court room with the “footage” of the actual events and how they seemlessly switched between both timelines. And it was interesting to see a Klingon that wasn’t a warrior in the classical sense. We see that very rarely even though the idea of an antire race of warriors (who are not genetically engineered) is rather unlikely.
Synopsis: Miles O’Brien has been charged with espionage on Argratha and he has been sentenced to 20 years. But these twenty years happen only in his mind, they are a mixture of memory implants and that what Miles adds to these. Unfortunately they are irremovable and now Miles has to reintegrate himself into his former life on the station but the memories haunt him.
My Opinion: This was a great episode in my opinion. It was interessting to see how Miles struggled with his “past” and to learn why he never mentioned his imaginary friend. But I have to admit that his reacclimatization went a bit fast for me, they should have made that process go over more than just one episode. Imagine you go to prison today for twenty years and then you get released. Could you continue your work tomorrow where you left off yesterday? But since they are implanted memories maybe the actual ones from yesterday aren’t forgotten as they would have been if it would have been actual twenty years.
Synopsis: Mirror-Jennifer comes to DS9 to visit Ben and to see Jake for the first time. But when Ben returns to his quarters Jennifer has taken Jake to the other side and Sisko follows. The terran rebels have taken Terok Nor but now they fear the wrath of the Alliance. When “Smiley” O’Brien was on our side he stole the plans for the Defiant and it’s nearly ready. They just need Ben to finish her. But the Regent and his fleet will be here in two days.
My Opinion: Although I like mirror episodes I thought it a bit too cheap to introduce the Defiant and Worf to the other side just because they’ve entered the show in general. But it was another OK episode. I especially liked that Dax slapped him for sleeping with her under false pretenses.
And I noticed once again the flexibility of things: Have you ever noticed on Smallville that Metropolis was just as far away as the writers needed it to be? Sometimes it’s a three-hours drive, sometimes they seemed to be glued together. It’s the same with the fire and shield power of Star Trek ships. Sometimes it takes one shot by the Defiant to take out a Bird of Prey and sometimes they have to shoot half their arsenal at one. And sometimes it takes only one shot to make the Defiant’s bridge explode and sometimes they fight an entire fleet by themselves with just a few scratches afterwards. 😉
Synopsis: Jakes observes the new arrivals on the station to get ideas for his stories when his sight falls upon a very interesting woman who also notices him. Later she approaches him and somehow she can help him to write the best story of his life. But there’s a price tag attached. Meanwhile Lwaxana comes to DS9 again – and she’s pregnant. She’s hiding from her husband who wants to take their son when he’s born as it is custom in his culture.
My Opinion: The part about Jake was ok, I really liked to see Meg Foster again, she has so fascinating eyes. But what I really liked was Lwaxanas part. This was unfortunately the last appearance of both Majel Barrett-Roddenberry as well as Lwaxana Troi on any Star Trek series (except for her role as “Federation computer voice”). Once again Lwaxana managed to get Odo out of his brooding skin, they had much fun together. And I liked how Odo pledged his love to her in the fake wedding ceremony when it was clear that his pledge wasn’t at all fake.
For the Cause
Synopsis: The klingon attacks on the Cardassian Union had devastating effects on its economy and the Federation agrees to deliver industry-size replicators to the Cardassians. But Cmdr. Eddington and Starfleet Security fears that the Maquis could intercept them and Sisko and his crew try to prevent that. But there’s another problem: Captain Kasidy Yates, Sisko’s girlfriend, may be a smuggler for the Maquis.
My Opinion: It was the ideal plot to get Sisko distracted, especially because it was true. And I must say, when I watched it for the first time, I was surprised that Eddington was the traitor. Until the revelation he behaved in this episode as he has always done since his introduction in the third season and thus his mask was perfect. But I am also glad that we are going to see Penny Johnson again, it’s good to see that at least some officers can have a releationship beside their duty.
To the Death
Synopsis: When the Defiant returns they find that the station has been attacked and one of the upper pylons has been destroyed. It was an attack by Jem’Hadar but they didn’t bother to destroy the station because they were searching for some technical equipment. The Defiant pursuits them and encounters yet another Dominion vessel under the command of the Vorta Weyoun. The other Jem’Hadar have gone rogue and try to activate an iconian gateway. The iconian star empire was destroyed over 200,000 years ago. But they had a means of traveling across the galaxy without the use of spaceships. Such a gateway mustn’t fall into the hands of renegade Jem’Hadar or every planet within the Federation would be in danger and even the Dominion could come crashing down. So Weyoun and Sisko forge an alliance to destroy the gateway.
My Opinion: This episode was good to show the contrast between the philosophy of Jem’Hadar warriors and Starfleet personnel. And of course I liked the introduction of Weyoun even though they killed him in the end and then had to find a way to bring him back in future episodes. Luckily other producers aren’t as quick with killing people. Imagine Joss Whedon would have actually killed Spike on his first appearance in School Hard! 😉
What bothered me a bit was that the writers outnumbered the heros by quite a number (10:1 was it?) and then neither showed that many enemies nor presented a solution how they did actually win against such a force. 2:1 or 3:1 would have been more realistic without compromising the plot.
Unfortunatley this episode was cut in Europe because the british BBFC demanded a cut when the Jem’Hadar First broke the neck of the Second as punishment because he disobeyed an order.
Synopsis: Bashir and Dax beam down on a planet where the entire population is infected by a disease that has been there for over two centuries. The Dominion engineered this virus as a punishment, it marks its victoms with lesions and it’s always deadly when the Quickening comes. Bashir tries to help and to find a cure.
My Opinion: This episode was without any action or any fights in it and I thought it was a good change of pace. It’s obviously very Bashir-centered but I really like his dedication, his unwillingness to give up even if the task seems impossible. But I also thought that it was a good decision that he didn’t find a cure, just a vaccine for unborn children. It becomes unrealistic when doctor X in series Y goes to planet Z and always finds a cure where others have failed for ages. This way it was half a happy end and the perfect closing scene was that he still hasn’t given up.
Synopsis: Quark learns that he has a fatal illness and will die within the next week. As it is custom he tries to auction his vacuum-desiccated remains on the Ferengi Futures Exchange. And there’s actually a buyer who wants to pay a lot. It’s only after that Quark learns he isn’t ill at all. But Brunt – who was the buyer – insists on the deal (Rule of Acquisition #17: “A contract is a contract is a contract… but only between Ferengi”) and now Quark tries to find a way to not to break the contract, even if that means that Garak must kill him. Meanwhile the Runabout “Volga” has an accident in which the pregnant Keiko O’Brien is injured. Dr. Bashir has no choice but to transfer the baby into Major Kira, the only other woman aboard.
My Opinion: Both storylines were very interesting. The latter one was necessary due to Nana Visitor’s real pregnancy. But it was nice to see how the O’Brien’s invited her to live with them until the birth and so on. But Quark’s storyline was really great. How he tried to remain true to the Ferengi ways even if that would result in his death. But also how he saw that the price would be ultimately to high even though Brunt subsequently stripped him of everything he owned. And it was nice to see how all the people on the station helped him to re-equip the bar with drinks, glasses and furniture. They are like a big family with many different members, but a family nonetheless and that’s what I like about the show.
Synopsis: Odo has suddenly become ill and Dr. Bashir has no way of helping him. Sisko decides to bring him to the Founders, maybe they can help him. But it was the Founders who made him ill, to force him to come home, to judge him. Never before has a changeling harmed another until Odo killed one last year.
My Opinion: Minbari do not kill Minbari. Never has a changeling harmed another. It’s highly unlikely that species who wage wars and kill other species would actually have such a strict view regarding their own kind. It doesn’t really add up. But be that as it may I thought it to be an interesting judgement, to make him “solid”. I also thought that Garak’s actions were also fitting for his character, that he would actually try to do something like this.
The Season – My Opinion: I thought the season had a lot of interesting episodes, especially the growing conflict with the Klingons and Worf’s role in it, but also Dukat’s developement. He remains an interesting character. The conflict with the Dominion is growing but it’s not yet the main focus of the show – but that will change next year. I think it was a good idea that they didn’t start the war yet, even the Dominion needs time to prepare (= to infiltrate the AQ) and it gave the Federation the time to get paranoid.
After the winter break it was a bit hard to restart this marathon, I wanted to watch other stuff like House M.D., but now I am totally hooked again.