There are an awful lot of things going on in this episode, all the set-up for what I am guessing is a big battle to retake Deep Space Nine in the next one. I mean, Nog makes Ensign. That’s kind of a big deal. But I think the biggest surprise for me was that Admiral Ross has actually been helpful. I think I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times there’s been an admiral on any Star Trek series and the character has been even remotely helpful.
Ross keeps popping up, so I should probably keep an eye on him. Deep Space Nine has always done a good job of giving personality to supporting characters that only pop up occasionally.
Essentially, this is the episode where everything and everyone needs to return to Deep Space Nine. The Cardassians have finally figured out how to bring down the mine field, Rom is to be executed by Dukat and the Dominion, and Jake gets the message of the mine field’s imminent collapse out to his father, mostly by asking the silent (but, we’re told, quite talkative) Morn to deliver an encrypted message when he leaves the station to attend his mother’s birthday.
As such, this is an episode to remind the audience what the stakes are. Rom is in custody and set to die. Leeta is back, whimpering in a way that gives the episode some of its few humorous moments. She’s got the Bajoran government petitioning on Rom’s behalf, and Quark managed to get the Grand Negas to offer a lot of latinum to pay for Rom’s freedom.
Small problem there: Dukat doesn’t care what the Bajorans think, and I don’t think any of the other races in the Dominion even care about currency of any kind.
Kira is largely scrambling to get Rom out. Odo could probably do it, but he’s been doing…things with the Female Changeling. Kira even asks Ziyal to appeal to her father, but Dukat didn’t get to where he is by showing anyone mercy.
Through it all, the episode does do a good job of putting in character moments. Garek is convinced Starfleet put some sort of monitoring device into him between interrogation sessions, largely because it’s what he would have done in their position. Sisko manages to convince Starfleet to lend him a whole lot of ships since Bajor is the real key to the war, not Earth, because of the wormhole. Martok apparently had similar problems with Gowron, but he figures if he and Worf both make the same argument, Gowron will have to listen since it came from an ally he respects and an enemy he doesn’t at the same time. Weyoun, for his part, reveals the Vorta have no appreciation for beauty and poor eyesight but great hearing.
However, Sisko must leave early.
It comes down to everyone choosing sides (except for Quark, not that just about everyone doesn’t expect him to side with the Federation), and it is just oh-so-satisfying to see Kira beat the snot out of Damar. That guy had it comin’.
Which means the key to everything on the station may be Odo. It took him some time, but he’s gradually starting to realize the Female Changeling is bad news. Again. He introduced her to sex, or the way the solids perform intimacy. It happened between scenes, and she found it interesting but ultimately underwhelming. He isn’t happy to learn he’s been out of sight for three days. This is bothering him, but she sees it as no big deal.
And then she says the Dominion basically needs to take all freedom away from the Alpha Quadrant.
Cripes, Odo, did it take you that long to be reminded she’s no good? And no, a simple apology to Kira shouldn’t work. You’ll be lucky if she ever speaks to you again after falling into that link thing again.
Well, Sisko is coming back. He doesn’t know if the Klingons are coming. He only has a fraction of the ships he needs. And the Dominion has the station, and means to shut down the mine field to bring in reinforcements, plus twice as many ships anyway.
This is gonna get ugly. I can’t wait.