CAT | DS9 Marathon
Image in the Sand
Synopsis: The Siskos have gone back to Earth where Ben works in his father’s restaurant. He’s still hoping to get an inspiration on how to re-open the wormhole. And then he finally gets a vision about a human female that’s somehow linked to his father. In the meantime Kira (who has been promotoed to Colonel) has to deal with the Romulans who want to open a hospital on one of Bajor’s uninhabited moons. And Worfs seeks a way to ensure that his wife passes the gates of Sto’Vo’Kor (the klingon heaven).
My Opinion: So Sisko’s mother wasn’t Sisko’s mother? This is a bit of a last-minute revelation, isn’t it? Apart from that this was basically just a prelude to the next episode.
Shadows and Symbols
Synopsis: Just as he was about to embark to Tyree where he hopes to find an answer to his vision, Sisko finds himself in front of Dax – Ezri Dax. Ezri never intended to get joined but the Dax symbiont was dying and she was its only hope. So she joins Ben, Jake and Joseph Sisko on their journey to Tyree. And Miles, Julian and Quark have joined a dangerous mission to honour their memory of Jadzia Dax. Worf and Martok plan to take the Rotarran deep into enemy territory where they intend to destroy a ship yard.
My Opinion: So Dax is back. Why? Why did they feel the need to introduce a new character (and that’s basically what she is) in the last season? She’s a babbling irritant and it will barely get better. And Sisko was conceived by a woman that was inhabited by a Prophet at that time? And he re-opened the wormhole. Hallelujah! Praise the Emissary!
But I liked how Kira took a stand with her wing of impulse fighters agains a group of romulan Warbirds after they deceived her. And I liked the destruction of the ship yard – that should ensure Jadzia’s entrance into Sto’Vo’Kor.
But it was nice to see that they took the chance to show Casey Biggs (Damar) without a mask:
Synopsis: Ezri, who is a counsellor in training, has a hard time. She has to deal with all the memories of her previous hosts (especially Jadzia’s). But she also has to deal with all her – or Jadzia’s – friends aboard DS9 and of course with Worf. But she gets distracted when Garak’s claustrophobia panic attacks worsen and he nearly jumps out of an airlock “to get some fresh air”.
My Opinion: I liked Garak’s inner conflict about “betraying” his own people at the same time as I disliked the entire Ezri plot. And Garaks plot was basically written as a story device for her. If this would have been an exception I could live with it but we will see quite a number of Ezri episodes this season. They wanted to give her a proper profile and background but it feels forced. Ezri here. Ezri there.
Take Me Out to the Holosuite
Synopsis: The USS T’Kumbra (an all-Vulcan ship) comes to DS9 and its captain and Sisko have a history. He challenges Sisko on Sisko’s very own playing field – baseball. Sisko accepts of course and builds his very own baseball team and two weeks later the holo crowd is looking forward to a game of “Logicians” versus “Niners”.
My Opinion: I never cared for baseball but just as Major League this was fun to watch. The huge baseball cap to fit on a Ferengi head or Odo as the umpire or O’Brien’s scotch-flavoured bubble gum: great. But I would have expected more of Worf. He’s a skilled klingon warrior and he can’t even hit the ball once?
A Time to Stand
Synopsis: The war has been going on for three months and the Federation had to take heavy losses. But the minefield is still in place and seemingly unbreachable. Starfleet developes a plan to destroy the Ketracel-White supplies of the Dominion. Without the drug the Jem’Hadar won’t be able to fight anymore. Sisko takes a commandeered Jem’Hadar ship behind enemy lines to accomplish the task.
My Opinion: This is the beginning of a six-part arc, it’s the first time on Star Trek that they did something longer than a two-parter. While Sisko’s mission was interesting it also was “just another mission”. I found it more interesting to observe how the different characters on the station behaved. And I liked how Jake tried to be a reporter and how he and Weyoun discussed the “freedom of the press” in times like these.
Rocks and Shoals
Synopsis: Sisko’s heavily damaged ship crashes on a planet in an uncharted nebula. Most of the crew survives but now they are stranded with no means of communication. And they have another problem: They are not the first to crash there. A group of Jem’Hadar and their Vorta leader are also there and the Jem’Hadar are running low on White which makes them all the more dangerous. On
DS9 Terok Nor life goes on. Kira works within the military hierarchy of the Dominion (Dukat has taken command of the station again) and Odo is a member of the ruling council. But that all changes when some Bajorans begin to demonstrate against (what they feel is) the occupation.
My Opinion: It’s seems that you can’t genetically engineer certain attributes together in the same DNA. The Vorta are cunning and shifty and good negotiators but at the same time they aren’t as nearly as loyal to the Dominion as the Jem’Hadar. I liked it how Sisko tried to prevent the bloodshed and although they are the enemy it was a bit sad that the Jem’Hadar had to be slaughtered. But Keevan (the Vorta) will get was he deserves in a later episode.
Sons and Daughters
Synopsis: Alexander Rozhenko – Worf’s son – starts as crew member abourd the IKS Rotarran and Worf has to deal with him, since he is the XO of that ship. But Alexander and Worf have never been close and until now Alexander denied his heritage as a klingon warrior. So why is he there? Meanwhile Dukat has brought Ziyal back from Bajor and to the station.
My Opinion: It was nice to see Alexander again whom we haven’t seen in nearly four years. And I also liked that they didn’t make him suddenly into the perfect warrior. I also liked how Ziyal tried to re-create the triangle relation between her, her father and Kira. But this time it had to fail and it was good that Kira didn’t continue this absurd charade.
This was the second episode that was cut due to the BBFC. About 20 seconds are missing at the end where the three Klingons conducted their hand cutting ritual.
Behind the Lines
Synopsis: Quark learns that Damar (Dukat’s second) has found a way to disable the minefield and Rom (who designed it) confirms that this could work. The resistance cell (consisting of Kira, Odo, Rom, Leeta & Jake) plans to sabotage the station. But then the female founder comes to the station and that changes everything. Meanwhile Sisko was promoted to Admiral Ross’s assistant and Dax takes over the command of the Defiant and she takes it to a very dangerous mission.
My Opinion: This episode was an average one until short before the end. When I first watched it I expected that maybe not everything was going as planned but that they would succeed eventually. It really surprised me that Odo let them down just to get into a link with the other shapeshifter. But that makes the situation aboard the station all the more interesting.
Synopsis: Starfleet has developed a plan to expose Chancellor Gowron as a changeling. For this Sisko has to borrow Dukat’s Bird of Prey and fly deep into the klingon territory. There O’Brien, Odo and he poses as Klingons – or at least Worf tries to teach them how to do that. And of course it’s not that easy for a random klingon warrior to get close to his ruler.
My Opinion: It was great to see Brooks, Auberjonois and Meaney in klingon masks and costume, especially Brooks. And it was funny to see how they tred to behave like Klingons. But I have to admit I think it was a dangerous choice to take Odo, given his current state of mind. Even if it wasn’t voiced in the episode the reason was obviously to challenge Odo, to show him that he can do his job even as a “solid” but he could as well blown it. But in the end it worked out ok and I liked the twist that it wasn’t Gowron at all.
Synopsis: Sisko leads an expidition to a planet in the GQ where they want to determine whether it’s suitable for a mining operation. But then a Jem’Hadar warship crashes on that planet – there are no survivors. But while they are inspecting the wreckage yet another Dominion ship arrives and in the following fight Sisko’s people get trapped in the wreck. Surprisingly the Vorta offers safe conduct if they’d leave the ship. But now Sisko has become curious about what’s so important about a crashed ship (and of course he doesn’t trust her to keep her word).
My Opinion: OK, I was tired, but I dozed off during the episode, what does that tell you?
Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places
Synopsis: Grillka, Quark’s klingon ex-wife, comes to the station because the war had some heavy impacts on her financial situation. And while Quark is happy to see her again, he’s not the only one who finds her fascinating. Worf tries to impress her but doesn’t succeed due to his dishonoured status within the empire. In the end he agrees to help Quark courting her.
My Opinion: The beginning of a beautiful romance. No, not Quark and Grillka, but Dax and Worf. “par’Mach” is klingon for “love”, just a lot tougher than its human counterpart. It was great to see Quark courting Grillka and fighting his challenger while Worf and Dax were secretly helping him to survive. And of course the best part was where the two pairs came into the infirmary at the end of the episode.
Nor the Battle to the Strong
Synopsis: Bashir and Jake (who’s writing an article about Bashir) return from a medical conference when they receive an emergency call. They change course and land on a planet where a Federation force tries to hold the line against klingon ground troops. And while Dr. Bashir works in the clinic Jakes tries to help and not to stand in someone’s way. But he also has to learn about the horrors of war.
My Opinion: I thought this was a really good episode. Once again DS9 has shown Humans much more human and not as perfect as they had been portrayed in TNG. I liked the idea of hearing Jakes notes as voiceover, to hear what he was feeling right now when he meet all these different kind of people. And that he didn’t consider himself a hero just because he saved the day by accident even though everyone else does – that was great.
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.
The Search, Part I
Synopsis: During his stay at the Utopia Planitia ship yards (prior to his assignment to DS9), Sisko has helped designing and building a ship whose sole purpose was to fight the Borg: The Defiant. It’s over-powered and over-gunned for a ship this size but now DS9 needs it. And the feature list has been updated. In the hope to find the Founders of the Dominion without having to engage in battle the Defiant has got a cloaking system – sponsored by the Romulan Empire. Sisko hopes to contact the Founders and show them that the Federation is no enemy of them.
My Opinion: From a diplomatic and tactical POV this was a stupid idea. If you’d want to negotiate with the leaders of an enemy force, would you take your biggest gunship and try to sneak into enemy territory? It would be like taking a B-2 Spirit, landing it on the Red Square and trying to talk to Khrushchev. But I liked the general idea of the Defiant from the beginning. The Star Trekian universe has never been a very peaceful one and the Federation is surrounded mostly by hostile forces. I wonder how many Starfleet ships have been destroyed in the cardassian border wars because they weren’t really equipped to fight in a war.
The Search, Part II
Synopsis: Unfortunately the cloaking system didn’t help in the end and when the crew returns to DS9, the Vorta are already there and they negotiate with Starfleet. But Sisko and the others become more and more uneasy because of where these negotiations are going. Meanwhile Kira and Odo are still in the GQ because Odo has finally found his people.
My Opinion: I remember that – when I watched it for the first time – I didn’t see it coming that the changelings are the Founders. But this episode also made clear that the Dominion isn’t interested in being left alone. Now that they know of the wormhole they want to impose their idea of ‘order’ in the AQ and there isn’t much Sisko or Starfleet could do about it, short of actually blowing up the wormhole. Or as Aragorn said to Théoden: “Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not.”
The House of Quark
Synopsis: A drunken Klingon attacks Quark in his bar but accidentally kills himself. But Quark tells a story how he heroically killed the warrior in a battle of life and death. And ironically, some Klingons actually want that he sticks to that story, although for different reasons. And suddenly Quark finds himself as the head of a klingon house.
My Opinion: I loved this episode. Quark and Grillka were great together and the clashing of ferengi and klingon culture was also fun to watch. But divorce seems to be painful. And it was nice to see chancellor Gowron again although I have to admit the more klingon episodes I watch the less I can wait for Martok to make his appearance.
Synopsis: Dax begins to behave irrationally and aggressively. Additionally she has hallucinations. Bashir fears that the symbiosis is breaking apart and that they may lose Jadzia. Sisko and Bashir return with her to Trill but the mystery is getting bigger instead of being solved. Something isn’t right with one of Dax’s previous hosts.
My Opinion: This was an average episode. The ‘revelation’ wasn’t that interesting and the episode hadn’t much plot at all.
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: Deep Space Nine is a former cardassian space station orbiting the formerly occupied planet Bajor. The Bajorans have lived for 60 years under cardassian rule but now they are free. The provisional government has asked the Federation for support and Starfleet takes over the management of DS9. It’s commander is Benjamin Sisko, who has lost his wife three years ago in the battle against the Borg and now he must raise his son alone in the middle of nowhere. His second in command is Major Kira, a former bajoran resistance fighter. The rest of the crew are both Starfleet officers of all kind of races and Bajorans. Chief of security is Odo, a shape-shifter with unknown origins.
The spiritual leader of the Bajorans asks Cmdr. Sisko to study the “Tears of the Prophets”, mythical orbs that have come to Bajor of the last ten thousand years. With their help Cmdr. Sisko discovers the only known stable wormhole in our galaxy and it leads to the Gamma Quadrant, to a point 70,000 light years away from DS9, on the other side of the galaxy. And suddenly the bajoran system has been put onto the map and the Cardassians will accept any excuse to re-take it.
My Opinion: It’s very clear from the beginning that DS9 will be different than its predecessor Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). TNG played on a all-Federation-personnel Starfleet spaceship, while on DS9 uncounted cultures clash: Starfleet personnel, Bajorans and the civilians aboard the station – for example Quark, the Ferengi bar owner. And most of the characters have a background story and their lives haven’t been straight-forward. I really like that. Unfortunately I can’t really remember what I thought about them, when I saw them for the first time back in the mid-90s, but DS9 is now my favourite Star Trek show and one of my favourite Sci-Fi shows.
I also liked the idea of the “handshake” when the Enterprise made an appearance in the pilot episode, something they will do again when the Voyager departs from DS9 in their pilot episode. But the meeting between Captain Picard and Cmdr. Sisko also showed that these shows will be different.
Synopsis: A bajoran scout ship is being attacked by a cardassian warship but the pilot can be beamed out shortly before his ship is destroyed. He seeks asylum aboard DS9 because he was a member of the Khon-Ma, a “terrorist cell” during the occupation. Kira knows him from these days and she pleads to Sisko to grant asylum. But not all Cardassians have left the station. The local tailor Garak – who is suspected to be a spy – contacts Dr. Bashir in a rather unorthodox way and informs him about a meeting between two klingon renegades and the former terrorist.
My Opinion: The first episodes of the season will be used to introduce the viewers to the characters. While the pilot was mostly about Sisko and the loss of his wife at Wolf 359, this episode is about Kira and her past in the resistance. It was an OK episode, but I really liked the introduction of Garak, who will become an interesting guest character over the years.
A Man Alone
Synopsis: Odo tries to throw a Bajoran out of Quark’s casino/bar and wants him off the station. A few hours later that man is dead and there are no traces that could explain how the murder had left the crime scene. As chief of security Odo investigates but soon becomes a prime suspects and thus having a conflict of interest. Meanwhile Chief O’Brien’s wife Keiko – who was a botanist aboard the Enterprise – has nothing to do on DS9 and becomes frustrated. When Sisko’s son Jake befriends Quark’s nephew Nog and subsequently gets into trouble, she decides that the station needs a school.
My Opinion: This episode introduces Odo who has also been security chief during the last years of the occupation. I really like that he’s a man of principles who has his own codex and who values justice above all else. It was only consequent that it was he who pointed out that only a shape-shifter could have left the crime scene without leaving a trace. The story’s hole was that the doctor couldn’t figure out what these DNA particles were until it grown into a whole body. After all he was second-best in his year at medical school…
Categories: DS9 Marathon, DVD / Blu-ray, DVD Marathon
Tags: Babylon 5 · Bajoran · Benjamin Sisko · Cardassian · Curzon Dax · Ferengi · Jadzia Dax · Jake Sisko · Jean-Luc Picard · Julian Bashir · Kai Opaka · Kai Winn · Kira Nerys · Klingon · Lwaxana Troi · Miles O'Brien · Nagus Zek · Nog · Odo · Quark · Star Trek · Star Trek DS9 · Star Trek TNG · Stargate SG-1
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Since this is the third series within the Star Trek universe, I’d like to explain a few settings.
Geography: In Star Trek, the Milky Way is divided into for logical quadrants, Alpha to Delta. The Sol System (we) lays directly on the border of the Alpha and Beta Quadrant. The Federation consists of 150 worlds, most of them being in the Alpha Quadrant. Great parts of the Beta Quadrant belong to the Klingon and the Romulan Empire. The Klingons are our allies, while we have a fragile peace with the Romulans.
Another major power is the Cardassian Union with whom we recently (throughout the 2360s) were at war. But now we also have a fragile peace treaty with them. The Gamma and Delta Quadrant are fairly unknown to us due to the vast distances.
Which brings us to traveling. The Warp Drive allows us to travel faster than light, current Warp engines allow a constant traveling speed of Warp 8, which is approx. 1024 times the speed of light (c). The Warp scale is exponential with Warp 2 being 10 * c, Warp 9 being 1516 * c and Warp 10 an unreachable indefinite speed. With our galaxy being 100,000 light years in diameter, it’s still huge even at these traveling speeds.
Races: The Federation consists of a number of different species, among them the Humans, the Vulcans, the Betazoids (telepaths). The Klingons are a proud warrior race while the Romulans are descendants of Vulcans who left a long time ago because they didn’t agree with “the establishment”. The Cardassians are conquistadors who try to widen their own territory.
We know that the Borg live in the Delta Quadrant. They are a biomechanical race who assimilate other life forms and their technology into their collective. In 2366 one Borg cube attacked a Federation fleet of 39 ships and destroyed them all.
And now we can start…