Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Way of the Warrior"


Air date: 10/2/1995
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by James L. Conway

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"We were like warriors from the ancient sagas. There was nothing we could not do."
"Except keep the holodecks working right."

— Worf and O'Brien on life aboard the Enterprise

Nutshell: Spectacular entertainment. An ambitious, all-out action outing that brings about new changes to the series and still manages to make a great deal of sense.

Deep Space Nine kicks off its fourth season with a terrific two-hour premiere—an ambitious movie outing that seems to want to reinvent the series yet again.

Face it. The Klingons returning to an adversarial position against the Federation. The addition of Worf to the cast. Threats of war. Major political changes. Big, bold action sequences. This is a lot of hoopla which makes for a great ratings ploy. All those TNG fans who have still yet to tune into DS9 (despite how good a series it is) may find themselves interested in how things in the Alpha Quadrant will play out.

The question I would have with "The Way of the Warrior" is can the producers pull all of this off successfully, and without alienating the "true," if you must, fans of Deep Space Nine? After viewing this episode, I'm pleased to report that the answer is an enthusiastic yes. "Way of the Warrior" is an exciting piece of work with a lot of stuff happening, and even if the series seems to be undergoing something of a metamorphosis, it's still true DS9.

With the Dominion making them paranoid, the Klingons send a fleet to DS9 where Sisko briefs them on Dominion activity. But the Klingons seem to have another reason to be here, and they aren't enlightening Sisko on that. This prompts the Captain to send for Starfleet's sole Klingon: Lt. Commander Worf. His presence might be helpful because, as Curzon once put it, "The only people who can really handle the Klingons are Klingons."

Worf comes aboard the station. He's basically been on sabbatical since the destruction of the Enterprise a year ago. Sisko gives him the job of looking around and finding out what's going on with the Klingons.

The core of the episode's first half deals with Worf's investigation of the matter. He is able to persuade one of his late father's old friends to tell him the truth, which puts Worf at the center of another loyalty dilemma. Klingon leader Gowron (Robert O'Reilly) asks Worf to abandon Starfleet and join him in this mission. Worf refuses, which pits him against his own people, and informs Sisko of the Klingons' threatening intentions: They intend to invade Cardassia because they believe it has been infiltrated by the Founders.

Meanwhile, we learn that Cardassia has been having enough problems as it is. With the destruction of the Obsidian Order and the ongoing Dominion threat, the Cardassians have sealed their borders. On top of that, their civilian population has attempted to overthrow the military rule.

Whew, talk about some hefty political changes. Quick recap: The Dominion scares the Cardassians, who, as a result, seal their borders, which makes the Klingons suspect a Dominion conspiracy, which cause them to plan an attack on the Cardassians, which in turn makes the Federation uneasy. Got it?

That's a lot for one hour (or rather, one half of a two-hour episode). In fact, it may be a bit too much. My biggest complaint about this episode is how it brings so much change so abruptly. But then again, it's fast-paced even if a bit implausible, and shows what happens when people begin to get paranoid—which they are getting with the Dominion's ominous foreboding.

Sisko can't let the Klingons start causing trouble in the area. This leads him through a convoluted attempt to warn the Cardassians of the impending attack. Since Sisko can't do this directly without showing that he's willfully siding against the Klingons, he brings Garak into the picture in a hilarious scene where he "accidentally" discusses the situation with his crew while being measured for a suit. Garak, in turn, warns his Cardassian contacts.

Eventually, the Federation Council formally condemns the Klingons' attack on the Cardassians. In response, the Klingons cut off diplomatic relations with the Federation and end the peace treaty between them.

From here, the episode's second half delves into a series of action scenes and pyrotechnic numbers as Sisko must take the Defiant to meet Dukat and rescue Cardassian council members before the Klingons capture them. Then Gowron directly confronts DS9, threatening to attack the station unless Sisko agrees to surrender the council members. Sisko refuses, assuring Gowron that the Cardassians have not been taken over by the Dominion. Gowron does not care. He wants total control of the situation.

This is the other quibble I have with this episode, which is that Gowron comes across as too stubborn and unreasonable. It's as if the writers made him more cardboard just so they could force elements of the confrontation. For that matter, would all the Klingons really follow Gowron's lead into conflict with the Federation—especially as unstable as their government always was in TNG? I kind of doubt it. I would've expected this highly politically-endowed series to throw in the fact that not everybody in the Klingon Empire would really be all for this. In all fairness, that would probably just complicate the action in the episode.

The battle scene is quite intense. It's a spectacle not to be missed. Gowron sends dozens of ships at the station. DS9's impressive new defense system is able to fend off the attack, but not before several Klingon boarding parties beam onto the station. This leads to some pulse-pounding hand-to-hand combat with a healthy dose of stylized violence. Like in "The Die Is Cast," the action here conveys a sense of sincere urgency and disorder. It really feels like all hell is breaking loose.

With the Klingons' attack foiled, Gowron stands down and retreats, but not without leaving behind some troops; he seizes a number of nearby colonies and establishes a permanent presence in the area.

Behr and Wolfe's teleplay manages to work the character dynamics almost perfectly while simultaneously throwing us all this plot and action. The character core focuses on Worf, showing a man who has lost direction and purpose since the destruction of the Enterprise. He has even considered resigning from Starfleet, which echoes back to the beginning of the series, where Sisko's loss nearly caused him to toss away his career.

Worf's integration into the crew is plausible and brings up all sorts of new character possibilities. Obviously, he has similarities to Sisko and Dax and already knows O'Brien from the days on the Enterprise. But there's friction with Quark, who complains that Klingons make his customers uneasy. Odo also has some doubts about Worf's loyalties (and I thought that Odo's flinch of surprise when Worf tells him that he's read his security file was a very nice touch; it's details like that which makes this episode so professional).

Director James Conway's pacing is dead-on center, and the entire cast is terrific. The subplots, such as Sisko's intimate discussions with Kasidy Yates (Penny Johnson, whose performance seemed a bit off this week), and Kira's humorous attempts to "develop her imagination" make good background material with appropriate screen time.

Overall, "The Way of the Warrior" is a great installment. It has a fairly earth-shattering plot, exciting special effects and action, good character moments, and a smooth integration of Worf and the Klingon presence. Most importantly, this episode has the sense that it's genuinely continuing the DS9 story with these changes, and not just bringing these changes for the sake of a ratings ploy.

Previous episode: The Adversary
Next episode: The Visitor

Season Index

40 comments on this review

Paul - Tue, Jan 22, 2008 - 7:08pm (USA Central)
I've now only seen up to this episode, so my comments might seem a little outdated, but here goes:
a) It took many years for Worf's character to become what it is at this point. He has developed slowly over many great TNG episodes, and I feel like a lot of character development was rushed during this episode just for the sake of this one episode. Whoops, there goes his reputation with the high council, his land, his family name which took 4 years of TNG to build up.. Ah, well.

b) I'm sick of how easily the Defiant and now the station takes care of opposition ships. Come on now, they can't be the only ship and station in the galaxy to have repeating phasers and torpedos.

c) Finally, and worst of all - I'm absolutely sick to death and disgusted at how easily the Klingons were defeated on the space station. 25 episodes out of the 26 episodes in the season, they're hardcore warriors. Immensely skilled in hand to hand combat and mentally tough. And now in this episode, every man and his dog is beating up Klingons twice his size, wicked knives and batlefs no match for Federation/Kirk-style double fisted strikes to the chest and back. To me, this really detracts from the overall, long term reputation and value of the Klingons.

Overall, short term action positives, long term negatives. The episode as a whole wasn't too bad, but I wish they had of taken a little more care with the Klingons. Why take a group of characters who have been slowly and steadily built up over a whole series of TNG and turn them into a Voyager style "alien of the week" for convenience and a little action's sake?
matt - Wed, Jun 25, 2008 - 11:51am (USA Central)
I knew what your quote at the top for this episode would be. That is one of the funniest lines in all of trek.
Dan - Mon, Aug 18, 2008 - 8:31am (USA Central)
Loved the whole scale of this episode but the whole war with the Klingons story felt forced and surplas to requirements. I think the sudden about face of the Kilngons just doesn't ring true with everything established over the years on TNG.
Jakob M. Mokoru - Thu, Jan 15, 2009 - 1:48am (USA Central)
I agree (mostly) with the review of this very good episode, although I can see the points of the statements above as I hardly recognized TNGs Worf and Gowron the way they were shown in this story.
vince - Fri, Jul 17, 2009 - 2:52pm (USA Central)
Yet again, I find that there are two views of Klingons, one displayed by Worf, and another, totally different one, displayed by all the other Klingons. I wish the other Klingons were less like drunk bozos and had more of Warf's honor. Instead, the other Klingons are just ruthless killers who severely lack the subtlety of the Kardasians or the Romulans.

After they lost so many ships fighting the Defiant and then Deep Space Nine, you would have thought that they would have learned a lesson. That sort of nihilistic head banging should have put them on Darwin's list long ago.
Nic - Thu, Oct 1, 2009 - 10:11pm (USA Central)
I agree. This was a very good action episode that I had come to expect from Voyager. Unfortunately there are a lot of things that seem contrived (including what you mentioned in your review), and it introduces a lot of elements that seem to put the impending Dominion invasion on hold. I have heard that season 3 was supposed to end with "Homfront" and season 4 open with "Paradise Lost" until the studio asked them to 'shake up' the series and not end with a cliffhanger (a strange request from a studio if there ever was one). Since it was the studio's request, I'm willing to forgive it, but I still think the writers' initial intentions would have made for a better fit.
Joe Ford - Tue, Jan 12, 2010 - 3:31am (USA Central)
DS9, right place, right time. TNG had mapped out the Alpha Quadrant without doing anything truly spectacular with it. The special effects had gotten better and better. Babylon 5 (a show i'm not fond) had shown how darker, arc driven seasons could be very popular. DS9 had already learned by TNGs mistakes with its characters...making them more rounded, darker and flawed.

Then along came Way of the Warrior. I loved the first three seasons of DS9 but it was here that it really kicked off. Worf worked a charm amongst the various rejects in the DS9 characters. Sisko has woken up and finally kicking some serious Dominion ass. The battle scenes are spectacularly good. The political machinations mean we get a grand canvas to tell our character tales in. This show is firing on all cylinders and rarely stopped after this. Garak is bitingly funny. Odo and the drinking scene is sublime. Quark provides some welcome relief. Kassidy really compliments Sisko whilst clearly having some secrets of her own. Dukat is worth his weight in gold.

This is Star Trek at its finest, there will never be another time when it is this involved again because it took 10 years of seasons to get here.
Jay - Sat, Mar 6, 2010 - 6:41pm (USA Central)
It's hard to imagine how the Klingons could wage war against the Cardassians when the bulk of the Federation lies between the Cardassian Union and the Klingon Empire. An unfortunate gaffe.
Jay - Sat, Mar 6, 2010 - 6:49pm (USA Central)
Also, as we find out in Season 5's In Purgatory's Shadow, the Martok in this episode isn't really Martok (since Worf only first meets him in that later episode), so how does Martok pass his own knifeblade blood test at the beginning of this episode with Sisko and Kira?

Latex Zebra - Wed, May 19, 2010 - 8:41am (USA Central)
Jay - I'm sure there is a line in a later epsiode where it is basically shown that the blood test wouldn't work.
Toph in Blacksburg - Wed, Sep 22, 2010 - 7:12pm (USA Central)
Loved the action in this episode, even though it was a little too quick to develop in terms of galactic events.

What remains to me the absolute stand-out scene is the interaction of Quark and Garak, the serving of the Root Beer. Great to see two non-Federation species and their thoughts. If you don't remember it, check it out here, it's a classic scene in my book:



-Toph in Blacksburg
Matrix - Mon, Dec 20, 2010 - 7:40pm (USA Central)
I think this was a really well done episode and I liked it quite a lot when I first saw. I'm a bit more skeptical about it now but as a movie I think it succeeds more than it fails. Some thoughts:
*the defiant rescuing scene was really cool!
*phil farrand once commented on how sisko pauses before giving the order to attack the klingons and that he couldn't imagine picard acting the same way. i don't really agree but it was an interesting thought nonetheless.
*the garak/quark scene was one the execs wanted chopped! I can't imagine the show without it, nor the odo/garak breakfast, a great follow-up to their conversation at the end of the die is cast. and the odo/quark dialogue about the disruptor and rom stealing it for parts! brilliant! on a side note, i've always liked that scene because in such a small throwaway gag you get some more of quark's back story, just enough to let the audience imagine what was going on, maybe in his youth or just travelling or something, and then move on. that's some great writing.
*o'brien's "bang! you're dead!" to odo still makes me giggle for some reason.
*the klingons fighting was abysmal, especially the one who got beat up by a stabbed kira. I think kahless would have jarred that bloke from sto-vo-kor.
*the writers plans did change, with the execs saying, no cliffhanger, bring in worf, shake things up but i don't know whether what they would have done would have been better. for one, we wouldn't have got the adversary and for me that would be no much to pass up.

thanks for your review jammer!
enniofan - Mon, Apr 11, 2011 - 8:55pm (USA Central)
wow. incredible episode...

though I gotta say...for a warrior race like the Klingons...they sure are defeated quite easily.

but whatever. Wish there'd actually been a few more distance shots of the station unleashing hell on the Klingon fleet. be neat to see those fireworks. too many closeups of the turrets for me. lol
Stubb - Wed, Jul 13, 2011 - 9:38am (USA Central)
While I enjoyed this episode well enough, it does suffer from most of the complaints lodged above. How can every warship except the Defiant blow up with one torpedo? Why are Klingons so easily defeated in hand-to-hand combat?

But the Achilles' Heel of this episode (and most of DS9 in fact) are Andrew Robinson and Marc Alaimo. Not that they are bad. The problem is that they are so darn GOOD that most every other character and actor pales by comparison. When Garak or Dukat are onscreen, this show CRACKLES. My hair stands on end. Birds sing. I know, I've beaten this horse to death on other comment strings. But man! What makes these characters so gripping? Is it the writing, the acting, the Cardassian intrigue and treachery, or all of the above? Not that Odo, Bashir, or Quark aren't good characters. I just love me some Garak/Dukat.
Justin - Wed, Mar 14, 2012 - 12:57am (USA Central)
I agree that this is overall a spectacular episode. My main quibble with it, though, is the turnabout of the character of Gowron. He started out on TNG as an ambitious outsider with perhaps a bit too much of a flair for the dramatic. In other words, the perfect Klingon politician. He then became chancellor and turned out to be a fairly competent leader, seizing opportunities that presented themselves, making compromises where necessary, but always appearing strong and, for the most part, honorable.

My favorite line of Gowron's: "Have you ever fought an idea, Picard? It has no weapon to destroy, no body to kill. The idea of Kahless's return must be stopped here and now - or it will travel through the Empire like a wave, and leave nothing but destruction behind."

You'd think a character with that kind of nuance would make an easy transition to DS9, a show that is nothing if not nuanced. But what did we get instead? In his first appearance in the Ferengi episode he was nothing more than a Klingon charicature. His next appearance in this episode he comes off as a bloodthirsty moron just wanting to make war with Cardassia because he can. I don't have a problem with the plot of the Klingon vs. Cardassian Empires with the Federation caught in between. Actually it's quite a good idea.

But unfortunately Gowron continued his role as Klingon charicature instead of chancellor . It might have been interesting if he'd have been portrayed as being politically maneuvered into this war by hard-line elements within his own government and that he had no choice to but to capitulate to them. How many times have we seen this in history? That way when he confronted Worf about joining him he could have at least shown that he truly regretted what he had to do to after Worf's refusal and it would have been believable.

Oh well, at least we eventually get in Martok what Gowron could have been...
Latex Zebra - Thu, Mar 29, 2012 - 3:10am (USA Central)
This was the first episode of DS9 that I made my wife watch.
She didn't like it. I then found out that she wasn't a fan of Klingons. Had to go all the way back to the start to convince her it was great.
She'll always be a Voyager girl though.
Tom - Fri, Apr 27, 2012 - 8:03pm (USA Central)
Great episode and Worf's addition to the show was fantastic. His character was my favorite in TNG and the writers fleshed him out even more in DS9. Especially later with his relationship and mariage with Jadzia.
Kara - Thu, May 3, 2012 - 7:22pm (USA Central)
Worf is my absolute favorite character in Star Trek, his story arc is amazing, I loved his character development and his personal conflicts. His character grow even more in Deep Space Nine and he became three dimensional. His dishonor although he only had the Empire's best interest in his heart, Kurn loosing his memory after they came so long to become brothers, his relationship with Jadzia and the understanding he found in her, saving Martok and be accepted in his House, his marriage. I love him! The only thing I did like was that he had to loose the woman he loved.
brad - Mon, Jun 18, 2012 - 7:13am (USA Central)
Worf saved ds9. Now is where the series starts to be really good.
William - Fri, Oct 5, 2012 - 4:54pm (USA Central)
I loved this episode. It builds on "The Die Is Cast" and previous backstories really well.

I'm even willing to suspend disbelief about the station being able to readily fend off the Klingons -- after all, they've spent a year getting ready for an attack from an even more formidable foe in the Dominion.

But the ability of so many on the station to readily defeat two and three and four Klingons at the time in hand-to-hand combat was a lot to swallow. Too much like a bad kung-fu movie. That was pretty damn stupid and kind of hard to get past. But otherwise, epically good episode.
Latex Zebra - Fri, Dec 14, 2012 - 9:57am (USA Central)
In the script, when Martok and Gowron are talking in Klingon during the battle they say.

Martok 'They fight like Klingons'
Gowron 'Then they can die like Klingons'

They then take out the shields.

Anyway, never really commented on this episode. It's brilliant.
The bar moment between Quark and Garak gives an excellent outside perspective on the Federation.
This is a solid 4 star episode for me.
Elihawk - Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - 11:26pm (USA Central)
See, I never had a problem with Gowron on DS9. Here, as usual, he's acting like a politician as much as a Klingon warrior. As Worf points out, the war with the Cardassians is another way to stabilize his leadership, rallying an empire that during peacetime squabbled with internal threats into a unified force pointed outward. Gowron (spurred on by faux-Martok) may see the Cardassian coup as a Dominion threat, but he also sees it as a domestic opportunity. He tries to get Worf on his side to bolster his position but when it fails, uses his political power at its high point to send a message to those who would oppose him or the war. Gowron is a politician and a devious one, but on DS9 he's not always making the right choice, which is a nice shade of grey compared to TNG where he was the good guy Klingon vs. Duras.
Aaron - Tue, Feb 26, 2013 - 4:13pm (USA Central)
The action was almost too intense for my sensibilities, so they did a good job. A lot of people died here, meaning Klingons and Federation and Bajoran station personnel - no real mention of it. I thought it was a bit much that all of our main cast members each took on several armed Klingon warriors so successfuly. I know that it's been established that Sisko, Kira, Dax, O'Brien, and Odo are capable hand-to-hand fighters, but these are Klingons!
JB - Wed, Aug 21, 2013 - 11:28pm (USA Central)
DS9 is probably my favorite incarnation of Star Trek however I hate what they did with Klingons. They are one dimensional cliches without personality. Blah blah honor, blah blah many songs will be sung, blah blah Batleth, etc... Especially Worf who seems to have lost all the character development from TNG. He had made progress accepting his human upbringing and his Klingon heritage and had an actual personality. Nope, that's gone now. GRRRRR I'm a WARRIOR, HONOR, TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE GRRRRR... I liked when O'Brien reminded him he used to play poker but it was just brushed aside. I can't stand many of the Klingon themed episodes that come later.

Anyway, I thought this episode was very good nonetheless. The Founders instigating fighting between the alpha quadrant races makes perfect sense and worked quite well. This does a good job setting up the next several seasons. The battle scenes were great though I don't understand why Federation seems to always take their sweet time firing. The hand to hand combat was okay and I think you're supposed to get the hint that the main characters can fight really well. I love the Quark/Garak scene and Garak/Dukat tension. Kira and Dax being friends was good to see and I liked Kira's reaction to the Holodeck (and her costume and O'Brien laughing at it).

One other thing though, don't they have universal translators? Why did Worf have to tell them what the Klingons said? For some reason that drove me nuts, they can understand races they've never met before in the Gamma Quadrant but not a few words from Klingons. I suppose that was just more of the WE'RE BARBARIANS GRRRRR theme...
Travis - Thu, Aug 22, 2013 - 5:42pm (USA Central)
JB, I always took the opposite view when it comes to most species on DS9. TNG had alien of the week or cardboard cut out charactatures of those races, but DS9 gave them all very deep backstories. The other thing I enjoyed about DS9 was that they weren't afraid to blast giant holes in Roddenberry's utopian vision wherever appropriate. With your comments about the Klingons, we got to see a little more about Klingon society through the eyes of Quark and Grilka, and (real) Martok. I never liked the one-dimensional nature of most Star Trek aliens (how can an entire species specialize in one thing?), but I loved how when Quark ended up on Qunos he made a mockery of the Klingon's warped honor code.
JB - Thu, Aug 22, 2013 - 8:06pm (USA Central)
Travis, I can't tell if we agree or disagree haha. I'm saying I want more depth to the Klingons. I think to the episodes like where Riker served on the Klingon ship, they had their talk of honor and all that but they could actually carry on conversations without every line being a pigeon-holed cliche. In the episode where Worf accepted discommendation there was flowing dialogue and substance. It wasn't just one liners before hey lets fight! The civil war episodes were similar, with reason to behavior not "The Cardassians aren't founders? Who cares grrrr lets fight!"

You're right though, I forgot to write the part where I meant from this episode on (till season seven where Worf seemed to be somewhat reasonable again, he could actually almost carry on a conversation without spouting something annoying). Your example of the Quark and Grilka episode- I totally agree (and like that episode a lot). Gowron actually responded in character and realistically to the situation instead of just making some stupid out of character comment and killing something. Even the early episode where Dax helps the old Klingons take revenge, they had more realistic character. To me it seems they Klingons became the "alien of the week" for a while on DS9, with no personality other than cliches. Martok's wife for example I was like "really?"

As far as the depth and backstories of race on DS9 I agree. For example, the stories about Bajor's past I found very interesting. Like the episode where Cisko finds B'hala (sp?) I really wished I could have found out even more. Insight into the Cardassians, Jem H'dar, the Vorta and so on I appreciated. I think that's just the nature of the setting, DS9 is stationary whereas the Enterprise didn't stay in one place (though they did many episodes about Klingons and gave us more depth).

I guess I just don't like the abandonment of everything in TNG as far as how the Klingons act and speak, but thats just me. I think it gives them FAR LESS depth. If you like it then no worries, how boring would life be if we all thought the same!
PaulW - Tue, Sep 3, 2013 - 10:18am (USA Central)
This episode isn't perfect, but it's still kind of a classic. It's among the most important episodes of Trek for what it introduces and what happens next.

There are a couple loose ends that have always bothered me, though:

1) What happens to Martok's son after this episode? Granted, Martok in this episode was a changeling, but what happened to Drex? Given Martok's later role in the series, it's weird that he's never mentioned again.

2) Where's Eddington in this episode -- and where's Rom? This is one of DS9's regular flaws. They have important guest characters who don't show up in episodes where they should (like Penny Johnson around the time the Federation leaves DS9 in 'Call to Arms'). Rom's mentioned in this episode, but he's not in any of the bar scenes.

3) As for Gowron being hard-headed, I always figured that had to do with him being insecure about his lack of warrior cred -- which we see in season 7 -- and the Martok changeling egging him on. I also don't have a hard time seeing the Klingons falling mostly in lockstep, though we know from later that Kurn and Kor opposed the invasion.

4) The only other thing that's always stood out is that the Klingon ships attacking the station seemed to be pretty fragile. In some cases, one torpedo blew up birds of prey.
Kotas - Wed, Oct 23, 2013 - 12:37pm (USA Central)

Good episode, but I agree with others that the Klingons should have done more damage. Star Trek hand to hand combat is pretty laughable (two handed strikes...).

Dusty - Tue, Feb 11, 2014 - 4:49pm (USA Central)
Excellent season opener. The Klingon quasi-invasion of DS9's territory is very convincing, and the threat of their presence looms over us the whole episode, making a violent conflict inevitable. Worf is an excellent vehicle to this end, and even though I knew he'd be debuting in this episode, I was relieved to see him. He couldn't have had a better introduction to the series, and overall I like him much better in DS9 than in TNG.
Vylora - Sat, Feb 22, 2014 - 7:59pm (USA Central)
The only issue I had with this episode was the Klingons being dispatched a little too easily during hand to hand combat. As for the ships exploding from just one or two hits, I had always assumed these were ships that had already come under fire and were damaged as a result.

Fantastic direction, great dialogue, and phenomenal plot maneuvering. I don't think any of the winds of change as it were happened too quickly at all. The talk of the Cardassian government undergoing a shift of power had already been alluded to in the past episodes and the Klingons were probably planning the invasion since then. The only thing that changed specifically in this episode was the actual invasion and the dissolving of the Khitomer accords. I could see this episode being easily rewritten into a multi-part arc however. But it is what it is and in my mind is a classic installment.

4 stars.
mitts - Thu, Feb 27, 2014 - 5:22pm (USA Central)
solid episode. loved the interplay between worf and odo, two formidable characters with little time for human 'pleasantries'. and dukat/garek, as someone mentioned above, was also amazing. already seeds of worf/dax romance evident, great chemistry between the two characters right away. finally, was it just me, or did anyone else get a major kick out of the dax/kira holosuite scene when dax basically convinces kira to just kick loose and get it on with a couple of holo-studs. as the scene unfolded I was amazed they were even subtly hinting at it...and then dax said she prescribed 'vigorous exercise starting immediately' and kira just grinned! not so subtle after all! hah my enjoyment likely stems from the fact kira and (especially) dax are two of the most gorgeous women in the trek universe. anyway, another great example of DS9 pushing the boundaries (to my mind in a good/entertaining way). wonder what gene would have thought about that scene!
stallion - Sat, Jul 5, 2014 - 11:16pm (USA Central)
I remember watching this episode with my family when it aired. I was only 11 years old at the time. My mom was a big trek fan, but wasn't sold on DS9. She gave it a chance with season 4. I was one of those people that became a fan of DS9 starting with season 4. What attracted me to the show was the sense of adventure, characters, alien, and ships. After watching so many episodes of TOS, TNG, and VOY I didn't mind Trek telling war stories and I never felt it was dark.

Deep Space Nine had it rough with it's time slot. It got moved several times. The time slot for season seven in my neck of the wood was Sunday night at 10:30. It was never a rating success as TNG, but Deep Space nine did benefit by coming after TNG.
Yanks - Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - 1:28pm (USA Central)
What's not to like about this one. Fantastic season opener.

We get Worf!

We are introduced to Martok!

DS9 can now kick some serious butt!

Some no kidding great fight scenes...

Kira and Jadzia are even more beautiful than last year! (I wasn't sure that was possible)

Easy 4 stars from me.

@ stallion: No SCI-FI show EVER pulled the ratings TNG did. (up to 20 million at times) There is something to be said about being the only SCI-FI show on the market.
NCC-1701-Z - Wed, Feb 11, 2015 - 1:48pm (USA Central)
Someone please explain to me how Sisko can get into a fistfight with a fully armored Klingon soldier and win?

I kid, of course. One of my favorite DS9 episodes, purely for the spectacle and the changes in the status quo, plus the introduction of everyone's favorite Klingon. The space battle sequences still hold up to this day! I think this is the first time we ever see Federation vs. Klingon duke it out on such a large scale.

And the dialogue. SO many good lines. One of my favorite parts of all DS9, and something easy to take for granted:

Garak: "Let me guess. You're either lost or desperately searching for a good tailor!"
Klingon: "Guess again!" [POW!]

Bashir: "They broke seven of your transverse ribs and fractured your clavicle!"
Garak: "But I got off several cutting remarks which no doubt did serious damage to their egos."

Worf: "Nice hat."

Garak: "I find this hand-to-hand combat really quite distasteful!"
Dukat: "I suppose you prefer the simplicity of an interrogation chamber!"
Garak: "You have to admit, it's much more civilized!"

Quark: [upon realizing Rom took his disruptor] "I will kill him!"
Odo: [smugly] "With what?"
NCC-1701-Z - Wed, Feb 11, 2015 - 1:55pm (USA Central)
Oh, don't forget this gem:

Worf: "You are Drex, son of Martok!"
Drex: "That's right!"
Worf: "I am Worf, son of Mogh!" [proceeds to kick Drex's ass]
Dax: "He's good!"
Diane - Thu, Feb 12, 2015 - 4:56am (USA Central)
I love this episode, I love Worf, in fact he is the only Klingon that I care about. I have always hated Klingons. I kinda liked Kurn. Someone mentioned something about Sisko shouldn't be able to beat a Klingon, (lol) I think he is the only one who is able to beat them. Sisko is a big man and really tough, he did real well fighting the Jem'Hadar. Sisko is my favorite Captain of all Trek Captains and Janeway is second. Actually Sisko is my favorite DS9 charactter.
Vii - Mon, Feb 23, 2015 - 7:51pm (USA Central)
When Garak or Dukat are onscreen, this show CRACKLES.


I'm probably replying to this comment 4 years too late, but I have to concur utterly with your sentiments. I fell in love with DS9 the very first time I watched it, but upon my second and third viewings, the only episodes I felt like watching were the Garak centric episodes, and Dukat before he started all that Pahwraith nonsense. The Cardassian-Dominion arcs in the last season, especially, were the cherries atop of a fabulous cake, and introduced another superb Cardassian, Damar.

It's almost as if all the genius from the writers, when it came to constructing species and characters in ST, went into these few Cardassian characters and actually the whole Cardassian race as a whole. The only other alien species that comes close to the development of Cardassians is probably the Borg, but in a different way. As some others have pointed out, the inconsistencies of Klingons weakened their credibility, and the same actually goes for Romulans, whom to me always seemed like plot-device villains that looked like sofas. The Ferengi and the Breen were a joke, and the Vulcans were too one-dimensional to be truly compelling - in a nutshell, they're logical, emotionless and suffer from pon farr, which makes for episode B plots when the writers can't come up with anything else. But the Cardassians were passionate, slimey, devious, sincere, and perhaps redeemed. You rooted for them, you sometimes wanted their guts, but you couldn't stop following their storyline and inexplicably caring about them.

I think one reason they were so good is because Marc Alaimo, Andrew Robinson and Casey Biggs threw themselves so completely into their roles. They really relate to their characters and put themselves in their mindsets. Robinson kept a diary whilst filming DS9, of his thoughts as Garak, and later published it as a novel. They all believed in their characters and their motivations - to the point that I think Nana Visitor even once stated that she had a hard time separating Marc Alaimo from his character, and doesn't like talking to him. That speaks volumes about their dedications to their characters.
Justin - Tue, Feb 24, 2015 - 11:29pm (USA Central)
lol the Romulans look like sofas. Yup. Badly upholstered ones...
MsV - Mon, Mar 2, 2015 - 1:30am (USA Central)
Regarding Klingons, I don't believe all Klingons are that powerful. Their culture is very diverse as all cultures. Some are strong and some are not, but that does not keep them from joining their military. I don't believe they are as stupid as they are portrayed. I just watched "Search for Spock", The Genesis project was to be a helpful project, bringing life to dead planets, when the Klingons heard of it, they called it a weapon. Why did they seem to see everything in the opposite way? When I watched the "Undiscovered Country," I saw where there was one Klingon that saw things differently. The Chancelor that was killed, I for one do not know how the Klingon Empire survived, they were totally unreasonable and lived in a crazy mixed up society.
Icarus32Soar - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 - 9:24am (USA Central)
One of the great classic double episodes of all times. Yep, when both Garak and Dukat are on the screen together it's drama off the scale. I could watch these scenes on a loop and never have enough. This double episode is paradigmatic of the best Star Trek. The pace is sizzling, not a scene out of whack. The political intrigue and humor are very grown up and realistic,and thank the prophets not a sign of Kai Winn. The Klingons are awesome and are not defeated, they're still at it at the end of the episode.

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