Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Change of Heart"


Air date: 3/2/1998
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by David Livingston

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I didn't expect you to surrender so quickly."
"Bad word."
"Very bad."

— Dax and Worf

It's a little difficult to say much that's relevant about an episode like "Change of Heart," simply because there isn't a whole heck of a lot to say. If I wanted to be incredibly concise rather than stretching this review out to 1,000 words with needless filler, I probably could do so without taking anything away from the big picture.

But isn't that kind of what "Change of Heart" did? Stretched the show out to an hour by using filler? A show that probably could've said what it needed to say in half the screen time?

"Change of Heart" is a pleasant hour of DS9 fluff that features a finale with some poignant relevance. The end result is definitely not opaque and hardly challenging. But at the same time, I think it said some things that needed saying. I've stated on many occasions that Worf and Dax as a couple haven't compelled me mainly because the writers haven't made the relationship ... well, affectionate enough. Much of Worf/Dax has boiled down to cliches with an occasional one-liner or sentiment that works.

So let's cut to the chase: The one overwhelming bit of relevance to "Change of Heart" is its ending, in which Worf—who has been forced to leave Dax behind after she was critically injured during a crucial intelligence mission—decides he must put his wife first and duty second by abandoning his mission so he can get his wife medical attention. I'll admit that the inevitable outcome of this episode was about as predictable as they come, but it did finally show where Worf's priorities were, and, for once, the Worf/Dax relationship worked for me on an emotional level.

There's a good scene at the end, where Sisko asks Worf what happened, and Worf explains—he gave up the mission to save Jadzia. The mission was of utmost importance and the defector's information might've been capable of saving millions of lives. But it just didn't matter—Jadzia came first. The ending is interesting because it seems to show just what Worf was risking by making his choice. By all accounts, he should be facing court martial for ignoring duty. (Starfleet won't risk exposing their intelligence strategies by doing so, however.) And Sisko's sobering prediction that Starfleet will probably not offer Worf a command as a result of the incident strikes me as a pretty significant consequence to come out of the episode. But most important is that this finally manages to make me believe that Worf loves Dax; the sentiment transcends the feeling I usually have that I'm just watching the lovers' actions as conjured by a writer. I especially liked that Worf fully accepted the consequences, and spelled out in dialog that he would do it again if he had to make the choice between his wife and his duty.

Unfortunately, this sentiment doesn't quite overcome its own painfully obvious inevitability. And most of the rest of the episode is filler material—not pointless, but not exactly essential, either. There's quite a bit of trivial Worf/Dax dialog. I thought a lot of it worked, though it was in no danger of being particularly compelling. The early scenes do a good job of balancing cuteness and marital bickering. And finally seeing Worf lighten up is refreshing, including the emergence of his reluctant sense of humor. (Worf: "I have a sense of humor. On the Enterprise I was considered to be quite amusing." Dax: "That must've been one dull ship." Worf: "That is a joke! I get it. It is not funny, but I get it.")

Still more filler includes a Runabout flight through an asteroid belt (otherwise known as "DS9 does The Empire Strikes Back"), which was visually neat but not exactly important. And the episode's Quiet Dialog Scenes are simultaneously pleasant, plentiful, and non-essential.

The details of the actual plot aren't all that important, but they set the premise in motion with some reasonable and plausible intrigue. Worf and Dax's secret assignment is to rendezvous with a Cardassian informant named Lasaran (Todd Waring) who wants to defect. I've always found the idea of internal turmoil on Cardassia intriguing, mostly because I don't think everyone there is happy as a Dominion puppet. Lasaran's brief role in the story is evidence of just that—plus, his up-front distaste of his potential rescuers and his very-Cardassian arrogance prove convincing.

I am, however, going to have to register a minor complaint about the way the plots recently have been teasing with their purports of relevance and rarely carrying through. Such plot pieces almost always have something to do with the DS9 current events, yet they rarely end up having a lasting impact. I was genuinely interested by the kind of intelligence information that Lasaran could've offered to the Federation, but since the main drive of the story was the love versus duty angle, Lasaran's doomed fate was basically never in doubt. I think DS9 needs to return to substantive plotting that adds to the canvas, because such plotting has often been the real strength of the series. We haven't received much "true" story-building material since "Sacrifice of Angels." Sure, there have been a number of interesting little pieces that have dwelled in the background, but I'm beginning to thirst for something that will matter in the long run as well as the short.

The B-story—in which O'Brien coaches Bashir to play a game of tongo against Quark—is standard, inconsequential subplot fluff, though it manages to connect itself to the main plot reasonably by way of a scene where Quark distracts Bashir from his game with the somber musing over how both Bashir and himself have lost Jadzia to Worf. The sentiment is interesting, if a bit belated. I rather liked Quark's answer to Bashir's question of whether Quark meant what he said or if he was just trying to take advantage of Bashir's resulting distraction: "Doctor, you don't expect me to show you all my cards."

There's not much else to say. Overall, this is a transparent episode that doesn't ask you to think much. Then again, love, by nature, isn't really a subject that demands us to think. Not to be completely cliched, but "Change of Heart" is a tale of the heart (and it even has "heart" in the title). On that level it works okay, though it's firmly grounded in the routine.

Next week: A rerun of "Favor the Bold." The fragmented repeat schedule of the six-part story arc doesn't strike me as logical, but, hey, what can you do?

Previous episode: Honor Among Thieves
Next episode: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

Season Index

56 comments on this review

Charlie - Wed, Apr 23, 2008 - 1:40pm (USA Central)
I can't help but think that it would've been more moving if Jadzia had died at this point in the series, instead of half a season later.
Paul - Sun, May 18, 2008 - 3:24pm (USA Central)
Jammer - In regards to the last comment - Some people (myself included) are reading your reviews AS we're going though the series - can you please delete it?

Charlie - Thanks a lot.
AeC - Thu, Jun 19, 2008 - 6:54pm (USA Central)

Then you probably don't want to know that Dukat is actually Sisko's father and Kira's his twin sister. Or that Kukalaka is in fact not Bashir's teddy bear, but his sled.

(If it's any consolation, it wasn't much of a surprise during the series' initial run, either - it was pretty common knowledge that Terry Farrell wasn't returning for the seventh season.)

I agree with pretty much everything you say here, Jammer, save for the fact that I'd rate it higher. Not that I'm taking issue; it just illustrates how subjectively people are going to react to a story such as this. Quite simply, I was moved. There was nothing terribly original in the story, but it was performed and directed well enough that the sentiments, however well-worn, felt genuine, and for a story as simple as this, that's probably the best thing it can have going for it.
Jammer - Thu, Jun 19, 2008 - 11:28pm (USA Central)
Actually, this is one of those star ratings that I'd revise if I were to revise long-ago reviews. When I saw this again on DVD a few years ago, I realized it was easily a 3-star episode. It worked much better than I'd remembered.
Jakob M. Mokoru - Sun, Feb 8, 2009 - 11:04am (USA Central)
Well I agree with Charlie on this one: What an episode, if Jadzia had died and Worf would have chosen Duty before his wife and she would have died because of it. It would have had tremendous storytelling opportunities.

I was quite moved by the episode. I for my part always liked Jadzia Dax as a character and was quite fond of her marriage to Worf.
EP - Wed, Mar 4, 2009 - 10:44pm (USA Central)
I'll just mention that all modern militaries prohibit husbands and wives from serving in the same chain of command, expressly to avoid the kinds of situations "addressed" by this episode, as I am reminded by constantly by friends and acquaintances currently in service. So for me, I found the plot setup tedious and entirely a writer's conceit, which destroyed any resonance the episode might have had.
Chris - Thu, May 28, 2009 - 12:48pm (USA Central)
I thought this was Worf's best outing since "Way of the Warrior".

He had been written as a stern, grumpy character who was good at fighting and took command of the Defiant now and again. In this episode we get to see Worf having a real relationship with someone. Instead of cliched arguements like we typically see with Dax and Worf, we see Worf willing to compromise, willing to have fun and willing to sacrifice his entire career to save Jadzia's life. If there's one thing that Trek has never done well, it's romantic relationships. But this episode was about as poignant as you can get for a character like Worf.

I agree with Jammer's revision to 3 stars. I don't think it's fair to criticise this episode based on not contributing much to the larger canvas, because there are loads of other standalone episodes. At least this one not only made Worf and Dax's relationship truly convincing for perhaps the first time ever, but it also had a lasting impact on a character by explicitly stating that Worf would not be able to advance his career any further. This makes his future role as an ambassador in "What you Leave Behind" all the more believable, because Worf wasn't going to be a First Officer or a Captain any time soon, if ever.

Unfortunately Star Trek Insurrection and Star Trek Nemesis messed that up by putting him on the bridge of a starship again!
Jay - Fri, Sep 4, 2009 - 11:02pm (USA Central)
This should have been Jadzia's swansong...it would have been ten thousand times more poignant than the trite death-by-supernatural-being that she suffered.
Destructor - Mon, Oct 19, 2009 - 12:52am (USA Central)
We watched this last night and while on the first run I hated it, second time I loved it- we were actually crying by the end!

I also agree with the commenter who thought this should be Jadzia's swansong- but then we would have missed the touching scene at the end. I think this is the only DS9 ep so far where I've actually liked Worf!

Good stuff.
J - Wed, Nov 4, 2009 - 9:13pm (USA Central)
EP: Starfleet isn't the military.

I think that this episode is the high point of Terry Farrell's performance as Jadzia Dax. The dialogues flow naturally, you start to buy the two as a married couple, and then her pain is really convincing. I'm also in the "it was better than I remembered" category on this one.
gion - Wed, Mar 24, 2010 - 9:49pm (USA Central)
The episode certainly deserves at least 3 stars. I guess it all hinges on whether you find their relationship compelling. I've always found that it is so the episode moved me.

The idea that a married couple would be sent together on such an important mission is hard to believe however. It makes Sisko appear very naive that he only realises afterwards it's a bad idea.
Nic - Tue, Jun 29, 2010 - 7:09pm (USA Central)
I haven't seen "Tears of the Prophets" yet, but I agree with the above comments that having Jadzia die in this episode would have been fantastic. I heard that even Terry Farrell asked them to do this when she read the script. Talk about putting a character through hell to get good drama!
Jay - Sat, Dec 25, 2010 - 11:09pm (USA Central)
Yes, Starfllet is supposed to be the military. In Rapture, the admiral states that part of admission into the Federation involves "absorbing their military into Starfleet"
John - Wed, Oct 19, 2011 - 3:26am (USA Central)
Definitely at least 3.5 stars for me. This is far better than many 2.5 star episodes out there.
Jay - Sun, Jan 8, 2012 - 10:20am (USA Central)
It occurs to me that if the transporter essentially recreates a person's pattern from new matter each time it's used, anyone that suffers a trauma could simply be transported using their pattern from the last time they used it before they suffered the injury, and be "healed".
Justin - Sat, Apr 21, 2012 - 6:52pm (USA Central)
Very good episode. It definitely deserved the bump up to 3 stars. Worf and Dax were the most convincing as a couple in this episode.
Trekker - Wed, Apr 25, 2012 - 7:56pm (USA Central)
One of my all time favorite episodes of ds9. It's the first episode I ever watched and I fell in love with the characters of Jadzia and Worf (I actully used to love Worf from TNG but here I adored him) and their relationship. It must be one of the best and most realistics romantic relationships in any star trek.
Sophie - Sun, Apr 29, 2012 - 5:50pm (USA Central)
I love that episode. Michael and Terry have great chemistry and make Worf and Jadzia's relationship both realistic and magical.
jason - Fri, May 4, 2012 - 10:48am (USA Central)
Great episode with amazing performances by Michael dorn and terry farrell. In my opinion worf and dax were one of themost convincing and functional couples in star trek
Karl - Sun, May 6, 2012 - 7:42pm (USA Central)
Great episode, 4 stars from me.
Snitch - Fri, May 11, 2012 - 10:24pm (USA Central)
Really just a fluff episode, no chemistry between Worf and Dex. 2 Stars from me
Mara - Sat, May 12, 2012 - 9:04pm (USA Central)
One of the best episodes of Worf in ds9. It really shows the deep relationship Worf and Jadzia share.
6 of 7 - Fri, May 18, 2012 - 7:10am (USA Central)
I absolutelly love the relasionship between Worf and Jadzia. As others have said it's one of the most realistics in any Star Trek. Very good episode, funny at first and emotional later. I loved the ending.
hope - Sat, May 26, 2012 - 10:11am (USA Central)
Worf and Jadzia forever! Best couple in the series.
Kate - Wed, Jun 20, 2012 - 8:49am (USA Central)
A match made in sto-vo-kor! Best love story in all Star Trek! I love the way Worf and Jadzia love each other, I love their banter, their personalities and how much fun they have with each other! They are the perfect match.
Laroquod - Thu, Jun 21, 2012 - 1:34pm (USA Central)
Terrible episode with many groanworthy moments between Worf and Dax involving cheesy jokes made even duller by the general lacklustre delivery and lack of chemistry between them.
The Sisko - Thu, Jun 21, 2012 - 10:07pm (USA Central)
It definatelly deserves a 3 stars rating. It's a deep and emotional episode with great perfomances.
Kayla - Tue, Jun 26, 2012 - 6:06am (USA Central)
I love this episode, Jadzia and Worf are so cute together! Great performances By Michael Dorn and Terry Farrell and beaytiful chemistry. Love the direction
Ian - Fri, Jul 13, 2012 - 12:23am (USA Central)
The episode was absurd both from a military and common sense point of view. No wonder Starfleet seems to always be losing their wars...
A better set up would have been they are finally going on a honeymoon and then this situation arises...
Ginomo - Wed, Aug 1, 2012 - 8:10pm (USA Central)
I agree with most of what was said, except for the idea that the ending was predictable. I watched this episode first run many years ago and I remember thinking that he'd somehow find a way to save Jadzia and still complete the mission. That's how things always seem to work out. I was very surprised that the good guy didn't manage to make it all okay in the end.
Sisko - Mon, Aug 13, 2012 - 7:20am (USA Central)
This episode, once again, showed Dax doing what she does best...get injured and start dying.
Spock - Tue, Aug 14, 2012 - 11:29am (USA Central)
I absolutely love this episode. Yes it has its flaws from a millitary perspective but Worf and Jadzia's scenes are pure gold!
Jill - Sat, Aug 18, 2012 - 5:42pm (USA Central)
This episode had some of the best character moments of the entire series! I love Worf and Jadzia as a couple, they feel very real and at the same time they're fun, cute and hot together!
conroy - Mon, Aug 20, 2012 - 8:19pm (USA Central)
I just watched this episode again. I don't know why, but it was sitting there, so I popped it in. UGH... Apart from the emotional goodness that Jammer mentioned (Worf and Jazdia chemistry always seemed a bit forced), I really HATED this episode, mainly because the premise is totally B.S.

Love over duty? What kind of man would chose duty over his wife? Most militaries (the U.S. included) will not assign a married couple, siblings, etc. to any dangerous operation for this very reason. If Star Fleet doesn't have the common sense to reassign someone else in Worf's or Jadzia's place, then they deserve to have the mission to be a failure and lose the war to the Dominion.

It has been said before in previous seasons that Chief O'Brien or Major Kira were superior pilots, so why didn't either one go with Worf instead?That brilliant asteroid field scene would have made more sense. Odo has made rendezvous with Cardassian agents before. Why not him? It's utterly ridiculous.

This "love versus duty" angle felt fabricated from the very beginning, and has since become a favorite of Ronald Moore. You see it over and over again in Battlestar Galactica (done much better and more convincing) with Adama and Lee, Lee and Kara, "Athena" and Karl, Karl and Hera, etc.

I'm not saying that the premise is bad. It's just the execution here in this episode that comes off completely fake, while the consequences of failure seriously impacts Worf's career path. I would have loved to have seen Worf become one hell of a Star Fleet captain, one day.
Tiarfe - Sat, Sep 8, 2012 - 9:20am (USA Central)
I am re-watching the series since I missed so many when it was airing. I saw this episode last night and enjoyed it so much it compelled me to search for reviews.

I have to admit the missteps were annoying but the end result makes it worthwhile. Like others have said "Change of Heart" finally gave Jadzia and Worf what they needed to be a viable couple.

I do believe this was the most romantic episode and they are now my favorite couple.

Also I find people are still commenting about this series years after it first aired is AWESOME!
Jock Strapp - Sat, Sep 15, 2012 - 10:45pm (USA Central)
Come on people. This is fiction. Me being a 11-year Army vet, if I can accept the love over duty I'm sure you can too. In general, Star Trek isn't exactly based on reality.

I'd give this episode no less than 3 stars. For all the predictability(though not completing the mission was a shocker) and cliches this story has the payoff in the final scenes make it all worthwhile. And the overall chemistry with Michael and Terry was completely on on full blast. They are officially the best couple Star Trek has produced by far.
John (the younger) - Fri, Oct 5, 2012 - 9:51am (USA Central)
I will concur with a couple of others: I didn't predict that Worf would fail to complete the mission. And felt that the conclusion fit in well with his character development.

About 3 stars.
DavidK - Sat, Jan 19, 2013 - 4:36am (USA Central)
It's funny Jammer thought it was predictable, since RDM has said Worf letting the informant die and going back for his wife was supposed to be quite the surprise. I suppose beyond that one element, the rest of the episode is fairly obvious.

Also according to Memory-Alpha, Terry Farrell suggested that Jadzia die in this episode since they knew by this point she was leaving. That really would have been fantastic.

As said above, sending a married couple does seem a recipe for disaster. You could write a scenario where it *had* to be those two, that would have helped. Maybe send them off en route to their honeymoon, then make meeting the informant come up suddenly and with a smaller window, so they're the only ones close enough to make it in time?
wouter - Sat, Feb 23, 2013 - 8:07am (USA Central)
@davidk: they actually tried making it a scenario where it had to be these two: when Kira informs Dax and Worf about the mission, she mentions that the Defiant is off, as are many of the runabouts, to which Dax replies, somewhat sarcastically, "we just volunteered".

Of course, that's not all too convincing, since they're now supposed to be the headquarters of the ninth fleet (or something), and even if they weren't I can't imagine Dax and Worf to be the only qualified officers on the station to pull of such a mission. But hey.
Baron - Tue, Mar 26, 2013 - 8:16pm (USA Central)
I loved this episode. I always like Worf and Dax together but this really brought it home for me. However, I do agree with some of the others that sending them off together was silly but it has been done before.
Elnis - Tue, Aug 27, 2013 - 6:25am (USA Central)
Finally we get an episode, that gives an argument for Jadzia and Worf having a relationship!

Up until now, I just didn't buy it - maybe because Worf has always annoyed the heck out of me. But here, he seems to have more nuances than just "I had fun once - I hated it!" showing in his face and voice. And, given more substance to the character by the writers, Michael Dorn delivers very well!

Terry Farrell's acting is terrific as well! She sells the "humour as a shield" part of Jadzia extremely well. I particularly loved the scenes, where she knew she was pretty much dieing, and tried being her own perky self through the pain and tears. Not all actors can pull off acting several emotions at once like she does here!

I was surprised that Worf didn't end up saving both the informant and Jadzia - and that he chose Jadzia over his duty. I liked it! Good drama, something the Worf character needed - in my eyes, we've never really seen him handled properly, and that includes all the Alexander episodes and the Worf's family honor episodes of the past - they never made Worf work as a 3-dimensional character for me.

So this episode really made some important parts of the Trek universe finally work for me: Worf and the Jazia/Worf relationship.

Good episode!

Elnis - Tue, Aug 27, 2013 - 6:28am (USA Central)
.. and i completely agree with you, Tiarse, it's great that people are still commenting and discussing this series over a decade after it ended.

Just goes to show that Star Trek is something special ;)
RichN - Wed, Oct 30, 2013 - 9:55am (USA Central)
I do not agree with most of the posters. I love the characters of Dax and Worf and enjoyed the romantic interplay. It was entertaining and opened up their relationship a bit and showed how living with DAX had begun to change Worf. However, Cisco and Kiera should take the responsibility for the failure of the mission because sending husband and wives into combat together is a recipe for disaster and would never be done. That said, it is the writing staff that really is at fault because Worf's decision make no sense even in light of his revelation about Klingon history. That is itself does not seem to make much sense given that Klingon society is based on sacrifice for duty and honor. A better example would the movie about the 300 Spartans where the wife of Leonidus tells him when he goes off to battle to be victorious or do not come back. That would be the correct view of Klingon woman regarding his husband going into combat (IMHO -- what do any of really know about what it is like to actually be a Klingon).

I offer this as a reason for not buying Worf's decision to save his wife over performing his duty. What if there were 100 Starfleet people who were in jeopardy and his mission was to meet them an evacuate them? Would he have chosen to save his wife? It is absurd to think that a person believed to have information that could end a war with the Dominion that was already going badly (or at least a huge blow to them and even the playing field) would be sacrificed for a wife or husband or friend. Billions of lives could be saved potentially. If asked the question before the mission if he would sacrifice his own life and that of his wife to save billions of people, what do you think Worf's response would be? I believe with out question that both he and Dax would have said in no uncertain terms, that the lives of billions would come first.

I also think at the end when Dax makes light of Worf's decision to save her, is another failure of the writers. She would feel a tremendous responsiblity for his decision and I believe would be pained to think for years after that she had lived when her death could potentially have saved billions and even ended the war with the Dominion. I also think that she would have some concerns that their relationship might be responsible for Worf losing his edge. She must have known at that point that his career in Starfleet would pretty much be over.

Another point is that after that failure by Worf in his mission, he would have been sent to some outpost somewhere and probably never see Dax much because the distances would be so great. Starfleet Command would make sure that he never was put in a position of command and in any position where he was am important link in the chain of command. Dax and Worf are in the military and the military, when giving out important missions, do not deal kindly with people who fail because they do not live up to the military code (in this case the repeated phrase "a Starfleet Officer". The fact that Worf reappears later in other Star Trek movies with a command also shows that no one really took Cisco's words that he would never have a command very seriously.

Also, I take exception to the fact that Cisco would have admitted to Worf that he would have done the same thing. It was a failure in the chain of command and a serious one that Cisco, by making this admission to Worf, is compounding because it would set an example for other Starfleet Officers. One comment that I agree with is that it is no wonder that the Dominion was kicking their butts in the war. This kind of breakdown from the commander of one of the most important stations in Starfleet would reverberate through Starfleet itself.

I provided one final example from real life that is somewhat related regarding what individual Marines at one of the battles in the South Pacific were willing to sacrifice. It was Tulagi, I think. I saw it in a documentary. There was situation where tanks were being used to attack a vital position. And for some reason it was required that individuals Marines had to jump up on the front of the tank to keep the tank which were fitted with firethrowers operational. To jump and do what needed to be done, the Marine knew that it would be certain death, and yet as one Marine after another were killed, another would jump up without hesitation.

I contrast that with Worf, a super Marine, who, by allowing him to decide in favor of his wife over the fate of millions totally depricated that whole concept of what being Klignon warrior means. His comrades in arms, fellow Klignon, I believe would shun him for this failure.

I also think the Klignon legend seems a bit contrived to fit the story line. Shame on the writing staff for justifying the ending by injecting this fable into Klignon litergy.

The fact the Farrell begged them to let her die shows how much she had invested in her character and that she knew that this episode would not fly. And what would have made it even more interesting would be if Warf was not able to rescue the man and he lost out on both ends. That would truly be tragic. Then he could spend many episodes mourning her death and wondering about the Klignon legend of the husband and wife who even challenged the gods by their devotion to each other. Now you have am issue that could affect Warf's dedication to honor and duty.
Kotas - Thu, Oct 31, 2013 - 9:35pm (USA Central)

The interaction between Worf and Dax was actually pretty good in this one, but I don't like the ending.

Squidge - Wed, Dec 18, 2013 - 8:44am (USA Central)
I don't know if I ever bought Worf's & Jadzia's relationshi. In S4, it was there, but in S5 & S6, it seemed a little rush. I think this episode was necessary to give some 'evidence' of the relationship. I dunno. I did, however, Worf's talk with Jadzia at the end, so sweet.
K'Elvis - Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - 9:17am (USA Central)
We care about Jadzia, while the millions who may die because of Worf's actions are mere statistics. I suspect we would not have been so forgiving it instead of Worf and Jadzia, it had been two officers we didn't know and if the people who died were not statistics but characters we knew and loved.
eastwest101 - Wed, Apr 2, 2014 - 10:14pm (USA Central)
I think this episode stands up fine, Terry Ferrell just jumps off the screen whenever she is on it, even after dragging her through the jungle she can still make the script work and good support from Michael Dorn, they both really carried the whole episode.

One of the few decently written romantic eps I have seen....
Vylora - Thu, May 8, 2014 - 1:45am (USA Central)
I remember when I first saw this one, I was actually surprised Worf went back for Jadzia. I was really expecting him to carry out his duties and coming back to find her either dead or some other change in plot that would have her still alive. Though if that'd happened I would rather have her dead as any plot contrivance to have her somehow be alive would have to be very well done.

While in the hypothetical realm here, I had a thought that this particular episode would have been a perfect one to have "that talk" between Kira and Odo as the B-plot. That would mean this would have likely needed to be aired earlier in the season. Not that the B-plot here was bad by any means, but given the nature of the episode and even the title alone seems a fit for me. Either that or I'm just losing it.

Anyway, it worked for me as it is and I can't really find fault with anything other than a couple moments of uninspired dialogue. Not a great episode but definitely worth watching. The scenes on the runabout and the final act are standouts as is the quietly poignant "Klingon heartbeat" moment in the jungle.

3 stars.
Yanks - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 - 9:51am (USA Central)
I've read Jammer's reviews and the comments on this episode and I just shake my head.

Unbelievable. Somehow folks want to justify this crap episode by saying “we finally get a Worf/Jadzia romance episode”? WTF!!!

JAM: “but it did finally show where Worf's priorities were” LOL … REALLY?

This episode just makes Sisko and Worf look like silly fake military officers. What ever happened to "they all knew the risk when they signed up"?

Come one man...

RichN - Wed, Oct 30, 2013 - 9:55am (USA Central), your post is right on the money.

My god, the "warrior" Worf is sent on a GLORIOUS mission, one that could reveal the location of ALL the Founders in the Alpha Quadrant and he ends up sacrificing a big-time operative and the entire mission? IN THE MIDDLE OF A WAR!!! .... and Sisko ends up saying:

"SISKO: As your captain, it is my duty to tell you that you made the wrong choice. I don't think Starfleet will file any formal charges. Even a secret court martial would run the risk of revealing too much about their intelligence operations. But this will go into your service record, and to be completely honest, you probably won't be offered a command on your own after this.
WORF: I understand.
SISKO: I have also issued new orders. You and Jadzia are not to be assigned to a mission on your own ever again. And one last thing. As a man who had a wife, if Jennifer had been lying in that clearing I wouldn't have left her either."

He puts a "you were bad letter" in his record and CONDONES HIS ACTIONS by stating he would have done the same thing!! ARE YOU FRELLIN KIDDING ME!!!! This is the same captain that didn’t go back for his son because of the mission?

All the command prowess Sisko has built up to this point is GONE. (this REALLY pi$$ed me off!!) Worf should be reduced in rank and detained or at the least removed from Star Fleet! Sisko should have thrown him in the brig!

I also don't like Jadzia's reaction to Worf’s actions:

"DAX: I know how much your career means to you."

Really? It's all about his "career"? (slaps forehead) What happened to honor?

This is all just so pitiful.

It's a shame, because I thought Terry's acting in this episode was her finest performance in the entire series.

This episode could have been a 4 star classic!! Even if Jadzia didn’t die (which I thought she should have) Worf should have completed his mission, knowing all along that his par'machkai would very well die but he is honor bound as a Star Fleet Officer and a Klingon Warrior to complete the mission! Why didn’t these narcissistic and dishonorable acts reflect poorly on the House of Martok? Martok should have gone ballistic!

I hope Sisko doesn’t get a call from Kassidy during a mission… eesh…

1 star because Terry’s performance was outstanding.

***Bangs head on desk***

This episode is so damn frustrating.
Robert - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 - 10:06am (USA Central)
"This is the same captain that didn’t go back for his son because of the mission?"

Bwuh? When did Sisko leave Jake behind?

Also, I didn't read that as Sisko condoning Worf's actions. I read it as him being honest and saying that he would have made the same WRONG choice. Worf and Jadzia never should have gone on a mission like that together.

As for Martok, I'm assuming leaving your wife in a ditch is dishonorable too. Unless you have the Klingon bible over there with the priority list for demerits, I'm not sure we can discuss how dishonorable it was.

"SIRELLA: And will you swear to join with her and stand with her against all who oppose you?
WORF: I swear. "

Breaking a promise is pretty dishonorable, be it a promise to stand with your wife always or a promise to fulfill your Starfleet duty. Which is worse? I suppose we'll have to find a Klingon to ask. As far as honor though, something tells me Martok won't have a cow about it.

I'm surprised you have such a negative reaction, I thought this one was a stand out, especially amongst the (mostly... with a few huge exceptions) middling second half of S6.
Yanks - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 - 11:02am (USA Central)

Sirella's line is meant to defend against enemies and other houses. Everyone knows that. No one needs a "Klingon bible".

In 'Call to Arms' Sisko (rightly) chose not to go back for Jake.

"SISKO: I can't risk the entire crew for one man, even though he is my son. Whether I like it or not, he is a man, capable of making his own choices. Maintain current course."

This episode spits in the face of what we know "duty" and "honor" to be. Episode after episode (in all Trek series) reinforce that. (except for this one). Especially for someone (Sisko) that will give the order “Hold” in ‘The siege of ARR588’ and (Worf) in FC “It is a good day to die, ramming speed!”. (Helmsman: No sir, wait - my wife is on the...)

Andy's Friend - Thu, Sep 4, 2014 - 3:30pm (USA Central)
I too think that Dax should have died in this episode, considering that it was known by then that she would leave the series. As for Worf and subsequent commands: some people are reading a bit too much into Sisko's statement here, methinks.

Having said that, I'm with Robert on this one: as far as I remember, we simply do not know the exact priorities of Klingons when it comes to duty to their spouse.

Yanks wrote in the preceding comment that "Sirella's line [And will you swear to join with her and stand with her against all who oppose you?] is meant to defend against enemies and other houses. Everyone knows that." Exactly. But what is leaving Dax behind, if not leaving your wounded wife behind at the mercy of your enemies, presuming Dominion troops come back for their dead, only to find them all killed by Federation weapon signatures?

I'm not really a fan of Klingon episodes, so I may be wrong, but I find it completely believable that the first duty of a Klingon is to his wife.

If this is true, I can perfectly understand Worf's dilemma in this episode, since as a Starfleet Officer, his first duty is to Starfleet; and why he ultimately chooses as he does.

The problem is that in the modern, bureaucratic Western world we have grown accostumed to the concept of duty as a professional duty more than a moral one, the professional considerations normally taking precedence over all other considerations. But it is entirely believable that Klingons feel otherwise. Most cultures on Earth did so until very recently: throughout most human history, your first duty was always to your family. Many would say it still is. So who is to say that Worf isn't following his Klingon honour code in saving his wife rather than completing the mission?

"I shall sing the song of Worf, son of Mogh, and Dax, daughter of Kela, on the planet Soukara! The tale of a great warrior who could have ended a great war, but instead chose to save his incomparable wife! One of the greatest songs of the Klingon Hearts!"

Who is to say this won't be a Klingon classic ever after? As the Tamarians would put it: Worf and Dax, on Soukara :)

Overall, a solid three stars seems right.
zzybaloobah - Mon, Sep 29, 2014 - 12:56am (USA Central)
At the very least, Worf should be reassigned. You can't leave him on the same station with Dax -- how do you know a similar situation won't arise again?

And I think you have to demote him as well. The word *will* get out -- you can't appear to do anything but come down harshly on his behavoir.
"You won't make command" sounds like a real consequence, but in the context of a TV series, it's far off and nebulous... and they didn't even stick with it....

As for Klingon morals -- wife vs. military necessity. He's a Klingon warrior, not a Klingon farmer. I think the choice would be pretty clear.....

$G - Wed, Oct 1, 2014 - 11:17pm (USA Central)
I like this one quite a bit. I'd consider it a hidden gem of the series. It's not one that I'd ever show as a stand-alone, but it really rewards long-time viewers with some really nice Worf, Dax, and even Bashir moments.

On the O'Brien-Bashir sub-plot: I like how this story climaxes half way through the episode. At first it seems like it's getting too much screen time, but by the time it's over it's satisfying. It even has a bit of a Joyce feel to it, in that it starts out as a fun little O'Brien scheme and ends up with BASHIR getting a bit of a revelation. It's played with a slightly comedic bent, but it's not fluff (at least, not to me). I like this sub-plot and I think it's one of the better executed "B" plots of the series.

On the Worf-Dax plot: I enjoyed the "filler". In fact, I enjoy a lot of the Worf-Dax exchanges in past episodes, and it's nice to see them get a serious hour to themselves. A lot of the times their relationship is lighthearted (which was probably the right move), but I liked the seeing minutiae of their married life. It adds a more lived-in feel to both their relationship and the series.

Their interactions were believable (especially Dax's irreverent attitude towards bad situations) and genuinely enjoyable. I like the execution of the ambush on the Jem'Hadar too. Not elaborate, and as rugged as it should have been. The Jem'Hadar didn't look like poor shots either, missing characters who are standing out in the open (sometimes that happens on this show). The Cardassian officer gets just as much screen time as he needs to. His role in the story isn't treated with more screen time than it deserves. I like that the episode kills him off screen too.

Since everyone's going hog wild with future spoilers - I also think this would have been a good place to kill Dax. But, on the other hand, it's also nice that the first serious look we get at their married life doesn't also become a foreboding presence over the episode. I don't like when shows flesh things out only to destroy them shortly after. It's manipulative, but this episode doesn't do that. I still think this would have been a good send-off for Dax, but I think there's some pretty good value in that not being the case too!

Oh, and the asteroid dodging scene? I liked it. Filler? Maybe, but the effects were good and it was only like 30 seconds long and... well, sometimes I just like some excitement during these transit scenes!

Anyway, I think this is a strong episode in nearly every way. But I can see why some might not dig it. A strong 3 stars for me. One of the better "small" episodes from this season.
NCC-1701-Z - Sun, Jan 25, 2015 - 8:00pm (USA Central)
Worf: "On the Enterprise I was considered to be quite amusing."
Dax: "That must have been one dull ship."
Worf: "That is a joke! I get it. It is not funny, but I get it."

That has to be somewhere in the top 5 Best Worf Exchanges ever.
Del_Duio - Mon, Feb 9, 2015 - 4:28am (USA Central)
"This should have been Jadzia's swansong...it would have been ten thousand times more poignant than the trite death-by-supernatural-being that she suffered. "

Couldn't agree more. This is a really great episode and mostly because it's the first one (ever?) that really shows the Dax / Worf marriage as being believable. This one works on a lot of levels. Dorn does a hell of an acting job here. And so does Terry! Finally they give her something meaty to do since some of the season 2 or 3 episodes.

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