There’s a part of me that, well, is really surprised that it took this long for this series to use that sort of a title for an episode.
That said, the Changelings are not the problem here.
Oh, to be sure, the Changelings are still causing problems. But they aren’t front-and-center this time around. Instead, it’s about the Breen, who sometime between episodes attacked and did a lot of damage to Starfleet Headquarters. In San Francisco. You know, on Earth. And they don’t seem to care how many of their own people died in the attack since, well, most of their people who were involved died in the attack.
Man, these are people that have the same level of respect for their underlings life as the Founders. When you make the rather ruthless Cardassians look good by comparison, then that’s saying something. Heck, Weyoun poked one hole in Breen-lore that they wear refrigeration suits because their homeworld is so cold and hostile, but no, he says it’s actually rather pleasant. They just like to wear those suits for some reason.
Likewise, the Breen have a weapon that drains energy from ships, something that means that what should be a big battle at the end of the episode between the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans on one side and the Dominion on the other goes badly because there’s no way to fight this weapon. How bad is it? Sisko is there, and he loses the Defiant. The Female Changeling even lets the survivors go so they can slink back to their own territory and quake with fear.
Have they never met these people before? That’s not how humans work on Star Trek, at least not for very long. Klingons don’t mope. Romulans plot. Besides, this general disregard for how the solids actually feel about things means Damar can do something big and lead a rebellion against the Dominion by first destroying s Vorta cloning facility.
Yes, the current Weyoun might be the last one. And he knows it.
Man, Damar sure knows how to make it personal.
That said, the real changing face might be Winn and Dukat. Winn is reading forbidden texts about the Pah-Wraths. Or, she’s trying to. Looks like it was written in invisible ink. It’s only when her assistant comes in to tell Winn that her new lover is, in fact, a disguised Dukat and he needs to report all this that she stabs him in the back and his blood brings the text of the forbidden book out.
OK, did I question whether or not the Pah-Wraiths were really evil and not just above the morality of linear beings last time? Their books need spilled blood to read. They are evil. I mean, I more or less knew that, but it might have been interesting if that angle was explored a bit more.
Actually, is this the first act of violence Winn has committed? She’s always been more the smiling face of banal evil than anything else, someone who lets others do her dirty work if she even needs to do dirty work and not just work behind the scenes to use politics to get what she wants, namely power. You know, how it usually works in the real world.
As it is, this is an episode where things are getting worse, but that’s what I would expect to make eventual victory feel that much better.