Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Die Is Cast"


Air date: 5/1/1995
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by David Livingston

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"You know what the sad part is, Odo? I'm a very good tailor." — Garak

Garak rejoins his former mentor Enabran Tain and the Obsidian Order along with the Romulan's Tal Shiar in their plan to destroy the Dominion by launching an assault on the Founders' homeworld. "The Die Is Cast" lives up to part one, resulting in both of the two parts earning the four-star rating—quite a notable accomplishment. Where "Improbable" was nearly all drama, "Die" ends as a big, bold actioner. These two both succeed, however, for the same primary reason—very meaty characterization.

This episode may sport one of the largest pyrotechnic battle sequences ever on a Trek series, but when it comes down to it, it's all about Garak and Odo, and their common sharing of loneliness. Here are two characters who live on a station in which they are the only ones of their kind, have no real emotional ties, and survive each day by just doing their jobs. David Livingston's direction is superb—again finding the fine line to walk in pacing various elements of action, intrigue and characterization.

Garak's decision to rejoin Tain for this mission is completely understandable. Ending his exile is about the only thing Garak would ever have to look forward to. What else would a lone refugee who is surrounded by people who hate him have to look forward to?

Tain accepts Garak back, but continues to test his loyalty. One conversation between these two reveals that Garak had quite a knack for extracting information—and I can't imagine that his methods of extracting information excluded torture. There's even a suggestion that Garak took "enthusiasm" in such exercises. That is hard to imagine. Now Tain wants Garak to prove his loyalty by extracting from Odo information about the Founders that may prove useful in the assault.

Tain has a prototype device that will create an energy field that prevents any shapeshifter from changing its molecular form. He suggests that Garak test it on Odo. Garak reluctantly agrees.

Garak flips on the device and Odo finds himself locked into humanoid form. Unable to revert to his liquid form and with the 16-hour cycle nearing an end, Odo finds himself in a rather uncomfortable position.

This torture scene is starkly intense. I would argue that it's even more effective than Picard's torture in "Chain of Command II," because we've come to know both these characters, and it is obvious that Garak doesn't take any pleasure in doing this to Odo. Odo, meanwhile, refuses to give in to this torture for some time, turning him into a peeling heap on the floor.

The interesting part is that Garak practically begs Odo to reveal anything—even a lie—just so he can end the torture. This shows Garak, who quite possibly took pleasure in interrogating prisoners in the past, as an effete agent at the mercy of his own sadistic responsibilities. Both Auberjonois and Robinson are riveting, bringing previously unseen dimensions to their characters. Odo finally reveals one thing: Contrary to what he has said in the past, despite trying to turn his back on them, he still has a desire to be with his own people.

Back in the Alpha Quadrant, Starfleet Admiral Toddman (Leon Russom, who also played a high-up Starfleet type in Star Trek VI) brings the DS9 staff up to date with an intercepted message from Enabran Tain describing his motives and intentions for the offensive against the Dominion. With the likelihood that this offensive would lead to a Jem'Hadar vengeance strike against the Alpha Quadrant, Toddman orders Sisko to put the Defiant on standby alert to protect Bajor. Sisko wishes to go into the Gamma Quadrant to attempt to retrieve Odo, but Toddman orders him not to.

Sisko decides to disobey this order. "I am not going to just abandon one of my officers," he tells his crew. He organizes a volunteer mission to rescue Odo. But he tells them not to volunteer so quickly. "There's a good chance you won't be coming back from this mission," he says. Naturally, all the senior officers volunteer, and the Defiant heads into the Gamma Quadrant.

In keeping with the season's tone of having Sisko take initiative, this idea makes sense. However, I still have my doubts that Sisko would take on such a risky mission with such high stakes for the well-being of one officer. Oh well. This is an instance where the ends clearly justify the means for the sake of the plot.

One interesting plot twist is the writers' use of Lt. Commander Eddington, who sabotages the cloaking device and reveals that he reports directly to Toddman. He tells Sisko that without the cloak, the Defiant will have to return to the Alpha Quadrant. Sisko still refuses, sending O'Brien to repair the damage. Threatened with being confined to quarters, Eddington gives his word that he can be trusted—that his sabotage was a one-time occurrence at Toddman's explicit orders.

However, the part of the episode's plot that begs the most anticipation is the Cardassian/Romulan attack on the Founders. As the episode progresses and the attack becomes imminent, I became aware that someone was going to be wiped out—either the Founders or Tain's fleet. The payoff does a fine job of getting our blood boiling.

In one of the best examples of a character's ghastly realization, Tain is absolutely dumbfounded when he discovers that the Founders have deserted their planet—and set a trap of some 150 Jem'Hadar fighters. The Jem'Hadar charge in with little on their minds but total annihilation.

Like I said before, this final act features some outstanding battle pyrotechnics. Obviously, a lot of time and effort went into this scene. If I had to sum up in one word what these special effects convey, I'd say Pandemonium. Yes, lots and lots of chaos. Through this battle, one can get a perfect sense of disarray, which is what it seems to me the creators wanted—just the basic feeling of the Jem'Hadar completely overwhelming Tain's fleet.

The exploding interior sets and the exterior shots featuring ships filling up the background are well done. Dennis McCarthy's score is good, though I still would've particularly liked bombastic Ron Jones for this scene. (McCarthy, in fact, basically stole some of his own material from the Star Trek: Generations score for this scene.)

Colonel Lovok (Leland Orser), Tain's Romulan co-commander for the mission, turns out to be a Changeling spy who orchestrated the entire offensive in a plot to wipe out two of the four threats from the Alpha Quadrant—the Obsidian Order and the Tal Shiar. The other two are the Klingons and the Federation.

Lovok helps Odo and Garak escape the exploding Warbird ("Because no Changeling has ever harmed another"). Lovok offers Odo a chance to come with him and take a place in the Great Link. Odo politely refuses, so Lovok instead gives Odo access to the captured Runabout.

With little time left, Garak runs to the bridge to try to rescue his mentor from a rapidly disintegrating ship. Tain isn't interested. He has failed in his mission and has no desire to return to his quiet retirement. Odo drags Garak off the Warbird to the Runabout for a narrow escape. Just before the Warbird is completely destroyed, a very detached Enabran Tain sits alone on its bridge. "These Founders, Elim—they're very good," he says to nobody. "Next time we should be more careful." Paul Dooley's engagingly obsessed character dies in an appropriately calamitous downfall. Good work here all around.

Odo and Garak escape one situation to immediately get into another. The Jem'Hadar fighters open fire on the Runabout, and as these two face the realization of impending death, they also realize they are two people who share the common trait of being outcasts of their own groups.

Just in time, the Defiant appears to save the day. And after beaming the two aboard, Sisko must escape the clutches of the Jem'Hadar. Utilizing the latest tactics involving rapid-fire phasers and the use of a Federation Starship as a battering ram, Sisko's little ship escapes in an exciting display of television panache.

In the episode's coda, Odo visits Garak in his destroyed tailor's shop and recommends that the two get together for breakfast sometime. Played with subtlety and in perfect character, this scene exhibits a degree of emotional resonance. A single, outstanding line Garak has manages to sum up his character completely: "Do you know what the sad part is Odo? I'm a very good tailor."

Previous episode: Improbable Cause
Next episode: Explorers

Season Index

35 comments on this review

Murray Douglas - Sun, Sep 14, 2008 - 6:42pm (USA Central)
Awesome review of an awesome episode, I still dont understand how some people did not like this show. DS9 is amazing.
EP - Tue, Apr 21, 2009 - 4:10am (USA Central)
I found it insultingly absurd and hypocritical for Sisko to chew out Eddington for his "betrayal" when he was the one who directly defied Vice-Admiral Toddman's orders. In fact, the only reason that this plot point seemed to exist in the first place was to create False Dramatic Conflict.
The only other thing I didn't like about this standout episode is the characterization of Enabran Tain: he just seems so goofy, so friendly and paternal, like a large teddy bear; I couldn't take him seriously as a super-Machiavellian Uber-Spy. For scary TV-show old guy spies, I like Sloane from the show Alias.
Nic - Fri, Nov 13, 2009 - 8:20pm (USA Central)
Really awsome battle scene, though I would have liked to see more of the actual battle and concentrate less on the Defiant (why are the Jem'Hadar chasing the Defiant anyway? If "No Changeling has ever harmed another", wouldn't the Founders instruct the Jem'Hadar not to fire on ships that have Changelings aboard?)
In answer to your question, Douglas, DS9 is a very entertaining series, but only if you watch it RELIGIOUSLY, which most viewers are not willing to do. It is also the show that strays the farthest from the Trek ideology. In a way, DS9 was the Star Trek series that was most like everything else on TV & film in terms of morality (or lack thereof). People KNOW that Star Trek in general is about peaceful exploration, doing no harm and sticking to your values no matter what, and they tune in expecting exactly that, so when they see thousands of people dying needlessly for no justifyable reason, they are bound to be disappointed.
I still think TNG did the best job, both in terms of its lessons in morality and its ongoing story arcs that were exciting for fans but at the same time not confusing for the casual viewer. I hope this helps.
Elliot Wilson - Tue, Feb 2, 2010 - 9:05am (USA Central)

I liked this episode greatly, though in terms of visual effects I thought The Way of the Warrior was better and always will be -- not even Call to Arms or Sacrifice of Angels or What You Leave Behind measured.

The torture scene was very intense I agree but at the end of the episode I found myself thinking one thing -- I wish Kira had found out! Seriously, she would have killed Garak.
Lee - Mon, May 10, 2010 - 12:51pm (USA Central)
"You are a practiced liar, Mr. Garak. But I am a practiced observer. And I will be observing you very closely."
Colonel Lovok stole the show a few times. Too bad his character expires. I loved his panicked closeups when the Dominion attacks. The first time I saw this, years ago, I was just blindsided by the fact that he was a Founder. You know, the Founders were born for Hollywood!

Another classic moment is the shot at the very end. Odo's silhouette in the reflection over Garak. This was also used in Improbable Cause when Odo is talking with his unknown (and thankfully, never revealed) Cardassian informant.

Sisko's disobeying orders, pissing on Eddington, and then getting a verbal high-five at the end from the Admiral who ORDERED him not to go (WTF? Why?) was absurd. It can't break the episode though, because we're still high from watching the Defiant plow through Jem'Hadar ships like a boss.

It would have been thoughtful if Sisko had taken a moment or two to beam some Romulan and Cardassian survivors off their doomed ships. That would have made Admiral Yellow Shirts' congrats a little more plausible.
Brad - Wed, Oct 13, 2010 - 1:05pm (USA Central)
I think Lee and EP raise good questions about Sisko, Eddington, and Toddman. Why does Sisko get off with a pat on the back?

Well, Starfleet has a history of allowing its officers to selectively disobey or re-interpret orders. Toddman indicates his sympathy for Sisko; it isn't hard to imagine that the Admiral would have made the same choice. More importantly, Sisko returns with major results: namely, Garak and Odo's reports. Now, Starfleet knows that the Founders infiltrated the Tal Shiar, set up a devastating trap, and see the Federation and the Klingons as the next threat.*

In an odd way, Sisko proves himself more fit for his promotion by illustrating that he has the guts and the backbone to be a ship captain.

*But I have no idea why the Founders think that destroying 20 Cardassian and Romulan ships will knock them out of the fight for the Alpha Quadrant.

Fenne - Sun, Nov 28, 2010 - 3:18pm (USA Central)

"But I have no idea why the Founders think that destroying 20 Cardassian and Romulan ships will knock them out of the fight for the Alpha Quadrant."

My take: the Founders believe they kill two birds with one stone: the Tal Shiar and the Obsydean Order, considered as strong military and intelligence organisations within their civilizations and by the Founders, are both exposed. Because of this debacle, on top of the loss of ships and operatives, they will now be under scrutiny from their respective governments and thereby cripled as a powerful element in the battle against the Dominion, which for the Founders, is a good thing.
Brad - Thu, Feb 10, 2011 - 4:57pm (USA Central)
Well, Fenne, it looks like you are right on the money. We just finished watching the Season 4 opener, 'The Way of the Warrior': the Cardassian military gov't has been overthrown by a civilian gov't and the Obsidian Order is functionally gone because of the battle in 'The Die is Cast'. It had been so long since I'd watched DS9 that I had forgotten that plot point.

Still, I think it is weird that the entire Order came along on the assault, but I suppose that's the plot. No doubt there was much more going on behind the scenes that wouldn't have been appropriate to show on DS9 proper.
Travis - Thu, Feb 17, 2011 - 8:20am (USA Central)
Brad, Tain said they brought all of the Obsidian Order combat vets out of retirement for that mission. Since they built the fleet in secret, they probably also had to provide the manpower in secret which required a lot of their own personnel. With the Cardassian dissident movement, reduction of Order agents, and the revelation that the Order tried to start a war with the Dominion, the revolution was a lot easier for the Cardassian people. It looked like the Tal Shiar was hurt, but not beaten by this though. I think we saw them in later episodes.
Elliott - Thu, Jul 7, 2011 - 1:09pm (USA Central)
Oh Ronald D. Moore...

I have to agree that the business with Garak and Odo and even the entire Founders plot was well handled here and in the prequel, but the entire story involving the Defiant was both unnecessary and offensive.

1) That Sisko would be forbidden to rescue Odo is a complete contrivance. I can understand Starfleet ordering him to wait until backup had arrived to protect DS9, but flat out refusing to let him go at all is just silly and a very transparent excuse to let Sisko disobey orders. For someone who makes such grand claims to honour his uniform, that didn't take much soul-searching.

2) Since the Founders had decided they weren't going to harm Odo, there's every reason to believe the Runabout would not have been attacked during their escape. So, the Definat's presence in the battle was completely, again, contrived; just a poor excuse to show off some special effects and cliché manœuvers.

3) Given that it was Toddman himself who ordered Eddington to sabotage the Defiant, I find it insulting to both basic intelligence and the general competence of Starfleet that Sisko wasn't severely punished for his actions--at least let someone tell him he was wrong. After all, the only thing Sisko accomplished was rescuing Odo and Garak, both of whom provided no new information to the Federation. It wasn't as though his mission had any significance beyond the task at hand.

So why is all this here? Why complain about something which to most is an entertaining action plot? Because it's one of the pillars I have mentioned in previous posts by which this show slowly eroded the nature of Star Trek and played to the lowest-common-denominator. The other plot with Garak and Odo is good, but hardly original--it can stem from almost any genre of television or film. The same can be said to an even larger degree about the Obsidian/Tal Shiar plot. TV is littered with series which make use of their serialisation for good or ill and such a utilisation on DS9, while certainly fun for the religious viewer, provides no depth or insight into the human condition.

It's quite telling that the 2-parter's literary backdrop is Julius Cæsar: it's certainly not Titus Andronicus, but it;s definitely the young, angst-ridden Shakespeare at work. It's solid entertainment but has little in the way of psychological staying power--just like this episode.

I'd give it 3 or 3.5--the business with Sisko is unforgivable but luckily doesn't take up too much screen time. The acting of course, given we see mostly Robinson and Auberjonois, excellent.
Laroquod - Sun, Jun 10, 2012 - 7:21am (USA Central)
I have the opposite. The stuff on the Defiant was all fine. I think Odo and Garak *did* bring back some key information about the Founders' tactics that the Federation wouldn't have had otherwise.

The problem I have is the interrogation scenes between Odo and Garak. They are good scenes, but there is simply no reason for them to exist. Ostensibly, Garak had to break Odo to prove his innocence, but when he does, he keeps what he has found out to himself (which is really nothing special -- anyone could have guessed that Odo feels homesick regardless of his political views because this is the way any humanoid would likely feel). Why keep that information to himself and pretend the torture didn't work, when the reason for the torture was to protect his position with Tain?

Garak's motivations simply don't make any sense here, it makes the interrogation scene play like an elaborate, extended excuse for Odo to reveal his homesickness to the audience because it was completely irrelevant to anything else in the episode. So that whole thing was for the benefit of sentimentality and that's a really weak reason for including something in a script -- the writing came off a straining forcefully to hit an emotional note for Odo that wasn't really justified by the story.

For that reason I have to rate this episode as good (the scenes were after all well played) but not great, and the fault lies squarely with the writing.
Lt. Fitz - Mon, Jun 25, 2012 - 6:12pm (USA Central)
I understand that no changeling hurts another, but why would the changeling let Garak go with Odo? That was as bad a move as letting the DS9 crew go after they had them on the founders' planet.

Awesome 2 parter. Had me on the edge of my seat, and when the Romulan said "150 ships" I fell off the couch. :)
Ian - Sun, Jul 22, 2012 - 8:02pm (USA Central)
The problem is nothing is ever suggested that the Romulans were affected by these events.
In the later episode when Cardassia joins the Dominion the Romulans appear to volunteer to take part in the battle that seemed likely to take place (but didn't).
Ian - Sun, Jul 22, 2012 - 9:03pm (USA Central)
It should be known that any officer who disobeys orders like Sisko did would have faced a court Martial.

Of course, then we would no longer have a TV show...
Singer - Fri, Aug 24, 2012 - 6:51pm (USA Central)
That can probably be explained away by the fact that Sisko is granted certain exceptions due to his situation and location. He's given more freedom than a starship captain.

Of course that doesn't help Janeway who crapped on the prime directive more times than Kirk and Picard combined, and they still made her an admiral. I still hold that she was the first certifiably insane captain in the history of Starfleet.
Nick P. - Fri, Nov 2, 2012 - 10:48pm (USA Central)
I think this is my new favorite episode of DS9 for one reason....the MUSIC IS GOOD AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!! Please tell me jerk-off Berman finally laid off that no good music stuff and let McCarthy spread his wings. For the 1st time since the 4th season TNG I wasn't completely taken out of an episode because of horrible music. I so hope this wasn't a one off thing!!!!

BTW, Jammer I do disagree with you a little on Ron Jones, I honestly think McCarthy is the far better composer, he just got so hobbled by Berman for so long. Jones is great, but in the limited time he has been unfettered, he really isn't that much better than his years on TNG.

Back to the point about Changelings never firing on another changeling, I am OK with the runabout scene because the changelings WERE NOT firing, the Jem Hadar were. I guess it could be argued that is a distinction without a difference, but it is OK in my book.
Nick P. - Fri, Nov 2, 2012 - 10:50pm (USA Central)
Oh, one more thing, this is no longer Star Trek. Honestly, Gene would have hated this stuff, lets get real. I still love DS9, but this isn't Star Trek. this is the fetus of BSG.
Latex Zebra - Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - 8:00am (USA Central)
You'd think no other Captain in the history of Star Trek has ever disobeyed a direct order.

For some reason DS9 really upsets a certain section of Star Trek fans but most of their arguements fall apart if you compare bits and peices of other series of Trek or how Starfleet and the Federation have acted historically.
Yes there are a lot more dark aspects in DS9 that, perhaps, go against Gene's vision. Again historically all Trek has had darkness in it. DS9 just had a lot more. Because for most of the shows run they were at war.
Josh - Sun, Nov 25, 2012 - 12:16am (USA Central)
Kirk was charged with nine violations of Starfleet regulations. His "punishment"? Command of the Enterprise-A. I bet that hurt.

The "no longer" Star Trek stuff is tiresome. In Star Trek III risked his ship and crew to rescue Spock - "the needs of the one". I completely reject that Star Trek can be boiled down to a singular doctrine. I suppose Star Trek VI isn't Trek either.

Anyway, if it weren't for super-powerful aliens interfering in human affairs, the Federation would have gone to war against the Klingons in "Errand of Mercy". So unless TOS wasn't Trek either, I'd suggest we're at an impasse.
Mad - Mon, Jan 14, 2013 - 2:28pm (USA Central)
People really need to realize that Gene's vision and Star Trek are two different things. Star Trek is a colaborative work and always has been. Hell, Gene himself was pretty inconsistent about his vision.
Sintek - Wed, May 29, 2013 - 12:31am (USA Central)
Gene, as he came up for breath while rimming Majel, once told me he doesn't give one shit about any vision so long as he's making paper. He then tried to sell me an IDIC pendant while singing the Star Trek theme song lyrics.
PeteD - Wed, May 29, 2013 - 8:11pm (USA Central)
Singer, I disagree. If any Captain could be deemed as certifiably insane, it would be Kirk. No one broke the rules like he did, and no one used brute force like he did, or took risks like he did. Janeway is simply a watered down version of Kirk. The blatant similarities between the two are obvious, as well as being obviously intentional.

As far as this episode is concerned, what else can be said other than - top-notch, awesome Trek! Top 10 DS9 episode(s) for sure!

As far as Gene hating this, as Nick P. inferred.... I say BALONEY! The Wrath Of Khan is as "dark" and "cynical" as it gets - not to mention the early "Borg" episodes. And "Yesterday's Enterprise" was the darkest all time Trek episode in any series. Picard sending Tasha back in time was the most serious "prime/time directive" rule broken to date - as the later consequences revealed.
ProgHead777 - Fri, Jul 19, 2013 - 4:12am (USA Central)
"Do you know what the sad part is Odo? I'm a very good tailor." ~Garak

Well, damn. Just think about that for 3 minutes.

I love DS9 and I'm convinced that all of those fanboys that think it's the "worst" Star Trek series cannot possibly know their asses from a hole in the ground. Go watch "Keeping Up With the Kardashians". It's probably more your speed.
Robert - Fri, Jul 19, 2013 - 8:33am (USA Central)
@Prog - Pretty much agree. I could totally understand someone who feels it's their least favorite (though it is my favorite)... because it's themes and darkness might not be everyone's cup of tea... but WORST? Impossible.
eastwest101 - Mon, Aug 26, 2013 - 5:43pm (USA Central)
One of the best outings for DS9 that I have seen so far since started watching from S1.

A few tiny holes in logic but overall an excellent effort and a much more polished script.
Kotas - Wed, Oct 23, 2013 - 9:00am (USA Central)

Excellent finish to the best multi-part story-line of the series thus far.

NoPoet - Mon, Dec 9, 2013 - 4:51am (USA Central)
Nick P's comments hit closest for me. The music has always been a sticking point for me in early Trek, a discordant series of notes that detract from the action and do not enhance it at all. In the later seasons of DS9 and Voyager, the music became very good. Balls to Rick Berman for his stupid directives.

I think this is one of the best episodes of Trek ever. People miss the point that this story was about the Romulans and Cardassians taking matters into their own hands by flattening the Founders. If there are three species who think committing genocide is the answer to all problems, it's these three. So why isn't DS9 Star Trek? Star Trek is about bare-fist fights, phaser battles and people breaking the Prime Directive.

DS9 actually sums up Trek's supposed ethos more than the others do: the Defiant doesn't mess with primitive species, the DS9 tream don't battle every alien race they encounter and we see humans co-existing with a variety of alien species. No other Trek shows us humans who have lives beyond their uniform; every alien who sets foot aboard the E-D or Voyager is up to no good; Janeway was forced by hostile aliens to use Voyager as a battering ram through the Delta Quadrant every week.

DS9 built a rich tapestry of galactic politics; events and decisions had repercussions; characters moved on with their lives; we got recurring heroes and villains; there was little buggering about with the Prime Directive. If DS9 isn't Trek, then Trek was doing something seriously wrong.
Vylora - Sat, Feb 22, 2014 - 1:39am (USA Central)
This two-parter is a great example of fantastic Trek storytelling that would have made a better feature film than most of the ones released. It even had neat eye candy at the end which, thankfully, made sense in story terms instead of just being there to look cool. Though it kind've threw me off a bit to see, a couple of times, phaser fire hitting nothingness yet their was still something exploding.

I agree Toddmans orders for the Defiant to stay and guard Bajor was a bit misguided but I chalked up as to an imperfect human giving an imperfect order. I never saw it as an excuse for dramatic tension. It also makes sense for Sisko to get pissed at Eddington despite disobeying orders himself. After all he did make them visible and thus more likely a target on top of stalling the rescue of Odo. The fact Sisko allowed him to stay at his post was very telling and a well written alternative than just having him confined. It also brings up the different circumstances of when and when not to take matters into your own hands. Toddmans line at the end of the ep was a little too tidy for my tastes though it may be possible their was some second-guessing on his part. Who knows and is a minor quibble.

This is one of those two-parters that I perceive as one whole episode. I don't really see enough to differentiate the two to not. Anyhow, this was absolutely a classic in my book and ranks very highly in my favorites of all of Star Trek.

4 stars.
NCC-1701-Z - Sat, May 3, 2014 - 11:41pm (USA Central)
Odo's sarcastic tone when he asked Garak "Oh, no, you're going to torture me, aren't you?" cracked me up. Funniest line of the episode.
ConstableOdo - Sat, Jul 12, 2014 - 10:09am (USA Central)
I find Odo very whiney. He's always crying about missing "his people". In season 7 it's revealed that if it wasn't for Kira he would be a founder living in the great link even with the knowledge that the dominion was killing millions to impose their order. He wasn't staying because he disagreed with the dominion. That is an amazing truth. Another way that ds9 isn't normal trek. Normally treks main characters have good morals. Not so with odo. He is like all changelings. All he cares about is order and the great link with the one exception that he is obsessed with Kira yet is afraid to tell her. The scene when he's crying to garak about missing his people is hard to watch. If he's so homesick he should go home and quit stalking Kira
William B - Sat, Jul 12, 2014 - 12:36pm (USA Central)
To be fair, part of the reason Odo was crying in this episode is because he was being horribly, painfully tortured.
Travis - Sat, Jul 12, 2014 - 12:58pm (USA Central)
Regarding DS9 morality, the Starfleet personnel have good morals, but DS9 liked to ask and answer the question "what happens when the rest of the world doesn't live in paradise?" "Normal Trek" as you say assumes everyone you deal with is rational and can be peacefully dealt with. The problems with the Bajorans, the Maquis, and later the Dominion showed that sometimes you can't afford perfect principles when you're dealing with people who don't have it as good and just want to burn it all down. Janeway liked to speak the Federation gospel until she finally recognized it was going to get them killed if she couldn't be a little flexible. Sisko had to deal with gamblers, assassins, spies, con artists, civil wars, and interstellar wars to the death all on his doorstep.
Yanks - Fri, Aug 1, 2014 - 2:23pm (USA Central)
Wow, some of the criticism here is baffling.

Admiral Toddman's order to Sisko is absolutely plausible and SMART! The Defiant's presence at the wrong time in this conflict would/could directly get the Federation involved. That's the last thing anyone wants.

About Sisko defying orders... he just didn't blow the ADM off. He had a plan, and a pretty reasonable plan to defend Bajor. ... and the ADM never specifically told him not to venture into the GQ. (he probably should have, that's the mistake I see)

"SISKO: I am not going to just abandon one of my officers. Toddman's concerned about the defense of Bajor, and so am I. If we detect a Jem'Hadar strike force heading for the Alpha Quadrant, we'll use the communications relay to warn DS Nine, and we'll do everything we can to stop them before they reach the wormhole. I consider this a volunteer mission, but don't volunteer yet. There's a good chance you won't be coming back from this mission. And even if you do, you'll probably be facing a general court martial. If you do decide to go, be aboard the Defiant at fifteen thirty hours. Dismissed."

That and he made it a volunteer mission!

Kirk and Picard have done much worse when it comes to "following orders". ... and they didn't leave their officers behind either.

The only real issue I see with this episode is that the Jem'Hadar attack the shuttle with Odo on it. It was given to Odo/Garak by a Founder, I find it hard to believe that Founder didn't make it very clear not to shoot the one with Odo on it.

The interrogation scene with Odo and Garak was a trek classic. Odo's smugness to Garak, not fearing torture to Garak pleading with Odo to give him something was epic to say the least… intense and dramatic.

As to why Garak didn't reveal what he'd found out to Tain? ... or he felt bad for his friend (we know that's true) ... or what he did find out had no bearing on the plan ... or maybe he didn't want to tell Tain that Odo just wanted to return to his people because he didn't want that to sound like a plea for Garak's desire to return home ... pick one.

As soon as Sisko knew Eddingon was acting on Toddman's orders his tune changed ... think about it. All good stuff, well written.

One of the best 2-parters in all of Trek and definitely the best so far in DS9.

Just LOVED the mirror scene at the end between Odo and Garak.

"GARAK: Do you know what the sad part is, Odo? I'm a very good tailor."

Wow, just wow.

5 out of 4 stars.
Filip - Sat, Nov 15, 2014 - 10:20am (USA Central)
Everything that needs to be said has already been said in your review and the comments. One of the finest Trek hours, 5/5 without a doubt in my opinion.
MsV - Thu, Feb 19, 2015 - 3:53pm (USA Central)
This was an exceptional 2 parter, I really liked the scenes wih Odo/Garak. The interrogation scene was useless, Odo had not hidden anything from the Federation except his personal desire to be with his people, which would not have benefited anyone.

I would think that founder would have told the Jem'Hadar not to fire on the shuttle, be he didn't.

Someone mentioned the only reason Odo stayed with the Federation was Kira, not so, Odo could not see himself aligning himself with murderers, he did not could that order.

Excellent, excellent, excellent.

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