Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"What You Leave Behind"


Air date: 5/31/1999
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Allan Kroeker

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"All during the years of my exile I imagined what it would be like to come home. I even thought of living in this house again, with Mila. But now she's dead, and this house is about to be reduced to a pile of rubble. My Cardassia is gone."
"Then fight for a new Cardassia."
"I have an even better reason, commander—revenge."
"That works too."

— Garak and Kira

Nutshell: Some weaknesses—one disappointing conclusion in particular—but overall it's a poignant and satisfying end to the final arc and the series.

DS9's final episode is an emotional, eventful story that covers ground like there's no tomorrow—because there is no tomorrow. Here's an episode that must end a war, tie up numerous threads, and essentially close the book on every recurring DS9 character in existence—not an easy task. I dare say they pulled it off very well.

But at the same time, they could've done some things better. Naturally, with the series now over, there could still be half a season's worth of stories to follow up what happens here. Not everyone is going to be satisfied with what we leave behind (there are of course some issues that go unresolved), but I'd guess a great deal of the audience will be. Me—I'm mostly satisfied, although there were some things on the wish list I didn't get.

I liked this closing chapter in the DS9 saga a great deal. No, it's not perfect. I wouldn't call it the best overall episode of the season. But I would call it a big winner, and probably the most emotion-packed and important DS9 outing of the year. Even if it can't wrap up every one of a million storylines, it's a captivating ride that does many things.

The episode's got it all: tense action, smart and probing discussions, gripping final showdowns, fulfilled prophecies, tragic consequences, satisfying comeuppance, gut-wrenching suspense, bittersweet goodbyes, some laughter, and plenty of tears. There's a lot here to reflect upon, even though there's the temptation to reflect upon what there wasn't.

This episode has some flaws when considering the very big series-spanning picture. There's the sense that anything less than perfection would seem somehow disappointing because the series is over. The book is closed and what is here is all we have left to answer the many questions DS9 has posed during its run.

I should probably confess an affection for this series that exceeds any television show I've ever watched, including close runners-up Homicide: Life on the Street and Star Trek: The Next Generation. There's a poignancy in seeing the characters head into their respective final chapters, their fates probably forever being sealed, as there will be no DS9 feature film as was the case with TNG.

So, aside from the sentimental qualities, you ask, was "What You Leave Behind" any good? Well, as I switch into review mode here, I must say the answer is a definite "yes."

The thing that has been both DS9's best quality and at the same time the source for its biggest drawbacks is that there's so much ambition behind the stories that the final outcomes can't always live up to the vast layers of depth and subtlety the creators seem to promise. It's a strange two-edged sword that works both for and against the series, and one can see the phenomenon in operation here. (Of course, I've usually argued that the strengths of this policy have by far outweighed the weaknesses, and I will be arguing that case again here.)

"What You Leave Behind" is the final outcome of the huge arc we've had for the past eight weeks. But more than that, it's also the final outcome of the Dominion War we've had for the past two years. But, more than that, it's also the final payoff for character paths we've had for years before that: Sisko as the Emissary, Dukat as the major adversary, Winn as the schemer of Bajor, Odo as the rogue Changeling, Kira as the heroic freedom fighter, Garak as the exiled Cardassian, and the Founders as the paranoid aggressors of the Gamma Quadrant.

So, then, as they say, where were we?

We've got Kira, Garak, and Damar hiding out on Cardassia. We've got Winn and Dukat embarking on a devious mission into the Fire Caves of Bajor. We've got Sisko, Martok, and Ross leading what they intend to be the final assault on the Dominion fleets. By the end of the show, we presume, all these elements will come together in some way or another, and we've pretty much presumed right.

Perhaps the most interesting series-spanning parallel in "What You Leave Behind" is that of Cardassia and Bajor. While we've had this connection drawn for us recently, most notably in "When it Rains...," I like the idea of the series ending where it started—with an analysis of Cardassia and Bajor. Society-wise, it would seem this episode is more interested in Cardassia than in Bajor (Bajor has been limited via microcosm to Winn, Sisko, and the Prophet/Paghwraith struggle), but along with the topic comes the full circle that plays into a little bit of everything about these two cultures.

From the outset of "What You Leave Behind" (heck, from the end of last week's "Dogs of War") it has seemed abundantly clear the war would be ending on Cardassia Prime. All the major characters are either there already, or on their way.

On Cardassia, the organized resistance is over, but Damar's attempts to bring about a new resistance through the citizens of Cardassia has proven successful; we now have acts of sabotage against the Dominion, giving them even more troubles behind the lines to contend with, and at the worst time to have such problems.

So now, the Dominion's patience with the Cardassian people has run out. Weyoun retaliates in full force, reducing Locarian City and its population of two million to ashes. He says future acts of sabotage by the Cardassians will be met with similar acts of destructive retaliation.

Well, if there's one thing Weyoun and the Dominion haven't learned, it's that their attitude of absolute totalitarian control over such "Dominion puppets" isn't as easy in the Alpha Quadrant as it may have been in the Gamma Quadrant. Just as Weyoun completely misread Damar before his defection, so has he misread the Cardassian population. This is a group that's supposed to be intimidated into submission with threats of annihilation? Cardassian society is as good as dead under Dominion rule, and given Cardassia's proud history, Weyoun's speech is more likely to cause further upheaval, methinks. Needless to say, it's a thrill to watch all of Cardassia begin to finally turn on their supposed ally—an "ally" that assumes its occupied territory's citizens will sit by idly while their interests are being blatantly ignored.

What we have here is an unstoppable freight train set in motion early in the season with Weyoun's idle insults of Damar. Cardassia will rebel, and two million Cardassian deaths is the catalyst, not the extinguisher.

By the time the Dominion realizes this fact, however, it's too late. The Federation and its allies, on the offensive charge into Cardassian space, have engaged the Dominion fleets. By this time, the Cardassian ships are turning their fire upon the Dominion and Breen ships, suddenly turning the tables. Sisko says it all: "The timing couldn't be better."

As was the case with "The Changing Face of Evil," it takes a little while for all of this to get rolling. The episode keeps a healthy emphasis on the character flavor, giving us one last time to follow a halfway-normal day in the lives of the people. A lot of this works every bit as well as it did in "Changing Face"; these people still have lives and plans, even though half of them are headed off into a huge battle. It was nice to see Keiko and the kids again, as well as hear about O'Brien's plans to move back to Earth and teach at the academy after the war ends. Kasidy's morning sickness was a bearable comic scene with a serious (albeit derivative) undertone about leaving behind the loved ones while going off to fight the battle.

I was ho-hum about the Bashir/Ezri bedroom scene, which seems to exist for confirmation of consummation more than anything else, but if you're a Bashir/Dax fan, please feel free to revel in it. (On the other hand, I did like the subtle shot later on where the two glance worryingly across the bridge—seeing if the other has been harmed—when the Defiant comes under heavy fire.)

There's plenty of crosscutting between the storylines, and since they're all interesting, none of them really trip up any of the others. Indeed, it's a credit to Allan Kroeker's direction that an episode with so much going on proves, surprisingly, mostly dead-on in terms of pacing. The story doesn't feel rushed the way a lot of Big DS9 Episodes in the past have. Fast-paced at times, yes; rushed, no.

The only major players in the story not headed for the collision course on Cardassia are Dukat and Winn on Bajor. Dukat returns with his sight restored (after his act of treachery in "When it Rains..."), ready to embark on the mission into the Fire Caves. Noteworthy is how Winn doesn't even look up from her reading when Dukat proudly swaggers into the room, for this is a partnership based on mutually understood exploitation. And their trek through the Fire Caves is the prelude to a separate conflict that has nothing to do with the Dominion War. (More on this, of course, later.)

Behind the lines are Weyoun and the Female Founder, who share a god/child relationship that we've long since understood, but it benefits here from some interesting dialog. There's the sense that Weyoun's unconditional worship of the Founder often falls on deaf ears, as the Founder has an almost unconscious tendency to cast him aside as a mostly irrelevant servant. Still, though, there's a bond here that seems to be unique, as she confesses at one point that Weyoun is the only solid she has ever come to really trust. These are the types of conversations that make DS9 much more than an exercise in plot and instead a rich character show.

Most of the finale's first hour follows the battle to reach the enemy. It's mostly well executed and entertaining, which is important since entertainment value is as necessary a quality as anything else.

There are the expected pyrotechnic battle sequences, an effective mix of special-effects footage from "Sacrifice of Angels" and "Tears of the Prophets" (among others) melded with some new shots. The bottom line is that the battle as conveyed works. And there's one fearsome visual (benefiting from a particularly strong Dennis McCarthy musical punctuation mark) of an immense fleet that reveals just what the Dominion has left for its last stand at Cardassia.

Eventually, defeat becomes clear and imminent for the Dominion; they simply have too many problems and find themselves completely surrounded at Cardassia Prime by the Federation alliance's fleet. Meanwhile, the Female Founder has ordered the elimination of all Cardassians on the planet surface, hoping to ensure an end to Cardassian resistance once and for all. But it's too late, because the weak links have already been exploited.

Kira, Damar, and Garak escape capture and near-execution at Mila's house, thanks to Cardassian troops turning against the Jem'Hadar in retaliation "for Locarian City." Much to Garak's dismay, however, Mila is killed and tossed—discarded—down a flight of stairs, followed by his childhood house being leveled as the Jem'Hadar destroy the city building by building. For Garak, the irony couldn't be more tragic. Here he is, finally ending years of exile, only to return to a Cardassia being destroyed by the Dominion. His plan to keep fighting—with revenge as the primary motive—draws a powerful full circle. Kira has been at this point before—when the Cardassians were the aggressors—and here she is again, fighting the freedom fighter's battle for the Cardassians as history repeats itself and another world is left decimated, albeit under interestingly different circumstances.

Kira & Co.'s latest objective is to make an assault on the Dominion command center in the Cardassian capital—a building so well armored that the explosives they have wouldn't even dent the entrance door. There's a well-conceived but not well-executed gallows humor scene where Our Resistance Fighters laugh at the prospect of their suicide mission not even having the capability to get off the ground, let alone end in a blaze of glory. (Oh well; Nana Visitor's giggle has always been one of the few things I never quite found convincing.) One plotted convenience says the Jem'Hadar—with such impeccable timing—would open the door and release the compound's defenses just to execute some Cardassians. Another convenience has Weyoun send so many guards off to eradicate the population that he leaves his key defenses vulnerable. What can I say? Suspension of disbelief has always been a factor in the equation. It's no worse here than usual.

I was somewhat disappointed by Damar's death. It comes in an action scene and with very little fanfare. Perhaps that's the point—he died in a routine firefight trying to free Cardassia. Still, as a key element in this arc for the past two months, it's almost as if there simply wasn't time to deal with the death of the man who would've been the leader of a new Cardassia. The notion seemingly is: He's dead; on with the story.

Kira and Garak are able to capture Weyoun and the Founder. Weyoun's caustic comments land him in real trouble, and Garak kills Weyoun in a comeuppance scene that shows Garak in all-business mode. I should probably point out that DS9 is the only Trek series where one recurring character can shoot another in cold blood and it can come across as satisfying and even justified. It's an example of how this series can tell Trek-universe stories with dark undertones and get away with it.

In the end, I think the way Cardassia played into the end of the war is among the most brilliant and well-conveyed of the series' large-scale ideas. Their alliance with the Dominion came under extreme, desperate circumstances; the alliance didn't pan out as I'm sure Dukat had envisioned; and ultimately, Cardassia pays the price and becomes a destroyed, defeated, anguished world with more than 800 million dead. One difficulty in the war storyline has been in showing huge losses in the Federation, simply because the higher powers in the Trek universe dictate (appropriately) that the Federation must survive. Making Cardassia pay the price, especially given how much of them we've seen over the course of the "Final Chapter," is the next best thing dramatically.

And watching Cardassia's fate unfold through Garak's eyes couldn't be more appropriate, because he is the survivor we identify with. He is the one who has longed to return to Cardassia and loved his world for what it was. And his painful, truthful, perceptive discussion with Bashir afterward is one of the highlights of the two hours. His acknowledgement of the oft-unspoken-of Cardassian arrogance that "betrayed the entire Alpha Quadrant" is powerful to hear in actual dialog, and his mix of sadness and anger and ultimately his calm acceptance that "We live in uncertain times" is superbly portrayed by Andrew Robinson. Through Garak, Cardassia's losses are hammered home with a true note of partially self-inflicted tragedy. Bravo.

Also of interest is Martok's toast over a devastated Cardassia, and Sisko and Ross' refusal to participate. It's almost as if the war's end has brought about a new sobriety concerning the lingering consequences that lie ahead—yet Klingon warriors will celebrate the victory nonetheless.

The actual end to the war, not surprisingly, comes with a truce (this is, after all, the world of Star Trek), and not the battle to the last Dominion soldier as the Female Founder initially promises. The nature of the truce makes sense, and builds through Odo's arc involving the Founders' disease, the cure, and the long relationship Odo has with his people.

The fact Odo is able to persuade the Female Founder to surrender is a notion that has numerous implicit possibilities. Over the past few months the Founder has grown increasingly ruthless and impatient. (One argument is that the consequences to the Great Link have become increasingly clear and dire.) The ability for Odo to change her mind by linking with her and offering to cure the Link is something that is completely consistent with the nature of the Founders as we've known them.

Back in "Sacrifice of Angels," it was clear the war was never quite so important as protecting the Link; the war was simply a means to an end, complicated by a plethora of other political situations. Here, the truce arises out of the Founder's need to protect the Link while trusting Odo. Included in the negotiated package deal for the truce is Odo finally returning to the Link—something the Female Founder has long been trying to convince/trick/lure Odo into doing, but also something Odo has long wanted the opportunity to do under the right circumstances. The way Odo and the Female Founder tie into the ending of the war is something I think grows naturally from all the past dealings we've seen, so I have no objections. (The change of heart in the Founder might seem sudden, but let's face it—with the cure, Odo is holding the right cards to strike a bargain. Besides, his understanding of "solids" is something the Founder might be willing to listen to given her vulnerable position.)

With the war over, the latter passages of "What You Leave Behind" focus on the final destination of the characters and the situation in the Fire Caves, where Dukat and Winn have successfully released the Paghwraiths.

One execution question I have concerns just how long Dukat and Winn are in these caves. The story crosscuts between the war's final showdown and the scenes in the caves. Then the truce is formed and most of the major characters return to DS9 for celebration and reflection. All this time, Dukat and Winn are in the caves. Apparently it all happens in a matter of hours—making this a particularly active day in the history of the Alpha Quadrant.

The timing seems a bit odd, but manageable. However, this adventure in the Fire Caves brings me to my one serious qualm with "What You Leave Behind"—the one piece of the story that truly didn't live up to where it seemed to be headed: namely, the final analysis of Dukat and Winn.

For me, the jury has been out concerning the nature of Dukat's twists and turns since his downfall last season in "Sacrifice of Angels." "Waltz" was a powerful episode but left Dukat headed in a direction that didn't seem nearly as interesting as the complex layers in what came before. "Tears of the Prophets" and later "Covenant" had him bouncing in a new uncertain direction with the Paghwraiths that seemed to be building somewhere. I thought we were finally getting somewhere truly compelling with the beginning of the final arc. What would Dukat's role in Bajor's fate reveal about him? What is it about Bajor that he really seeks? And what exactly is the nature of his hateful relationship with Benjamin Sisko?

Well, the answer provided in "What You Leave Behind," alas, is about as simpleminded as it could be. In short, "I've won, Benjamin. You've lost" is not what I envisioned as the ultimate explanation of Dukat's motives. And while an epic struggle of good vs. evil, Prophet vs. Paghwraith, Sisko vs. Dukat is entertaining (plenty of neat-looking fire and fury help set the stage of melodrama), DS9 has always been more compelling when dealing with shades of grey, not cut-and-dry absolutes. I wanted an analysis of Dukat that unveiled those complex layers, but here he instead laughs the Evil Laugh, speaks as a Paghwraith about an entire galaxy "burning for all eternity," and exercises the parlor poltergeist tricks that sunk last year's "The Reckoning."

While I think this final showdown proved by far more dramatic than "Reckoning," I still feel short-changed in seeing how simple this conflict resolved itself considering the weeks of buildup we've had devoted to it. Winn's role is a little more opaque; she seems to be uncertain in where her destiny lies, especially (and tellingly) after her own plan to seize the day fails. But the situation with Winn also never quite pays off. Once the Paghwraiths are released, she poisons Dukat, who dies only so he can later be resurrected (and magically transformed back into his true Cardassian form) by a Paghwraith.

This is all very audacious and mystical, but it's also a bit of a muddle, because it doesn't seem to be making much of a point. Yes, Winn is treacherous and, yes, she's constantly looking out for Number One and, yes, she ultimately helps the Emissary stop Dukat (and is killed as a result), but I can't say this made nearly as much sense as it seemed to want to. And I must say I would've been much more comfortable with Dukat talking as himself and not some weird hybrid of a resurrected Dukat/Paghwraith that makes him Evil Incarnate.

On the other hand, Sisko's role in this was quite satisfying, because he chooses to sacrifice himself to save the day, which ties into his role in protecting Bajor and fulfilling his ultimate duty as the Emissary. He and Dukat go literally into the fire, destroying the Kosst Amojan and permanently sealing the Paghwraiths in the Fire Caves. The Prophets save Sisko, however, bringing him to the Celestial Temple where he apparently has always been destined to end up.

This, however, means Sisko must say goodbye to his corporeal existence, so he comes to Kasidy in a vision and explains that he has much to learn from the Prophets, and still more to do for Bajor in his new role. Even though DS9 will almost certainly never have a life beyond this episode, the writers didn't seem to want to close the book forever. Sisko joining the Prophets seems to be permanent, yet not; he assures Kasidy that he will be back ("Maybe a year, maybe yesterday"), but at the same time there's an obvious change in his existence; he has become a Prophet and seems very disconnected from Kasidy and his former existence, even realizing that his life "is not linear."

There's a sense here of the writers perhaps having their cake and eating it too (why promise Sisko will return after throwing him into the fire with Dukat?), but I guess there's a certain balance of bittersweet comfort in knowing Sisko could come back, but perhaps never will.

The fate of the other characters also gets some good screen time, as some choose to stay while others leave. (If there's an appropriate time for a crew to break up and move on to new things, the aftermath of war seems like it.) O'Brien returns to Earth to teach at the academy; Worf agrees to return with Martok to Kronos with a diplomatic role; and of course, Odo must return to the Link—his people need to be saved, and need to understand what he understands about "solids." Life for others will go on at the station: Bashir, Ezri, Quark, Kira, Kasidy, and Jake stay put.

I must admit I had quite a lump in my throat for most of the final act. The episode gets all the poignant goodbye moments right, whether it's the last crew get-together at Vic's, the wordless O'Brien/Bashir hug-goodbye, or the amusing Quark/Odo banter-goodbye, it was all pulled off with sentiment that proved genuine. The Kira/Odo parting was particularly romantic and moving, with the visual of Odo returning to the Link providing almost a storybook finish to their relationship—I found it quite touching. Kudos, of course, go out to Visitor and Auberjonois, who play their characters with all the right notes.

And while I've generally not been a big fan of montage scenes, the montages here had the tearful effectiveness they were shooting for. Montages are a bit of a cliche, but this is a good example of the right time and place. (A shame, however, there were no Worf/Jadzia clips, as Terry Farrell apparently denied permission of their use.) I also loved the final pull-back shot of the station with Kira and Jake watching the wormhole from the promenade—providing a nice echo of "The Visitor."

If there's any other disappointment to be found in "What You Leave Behind," I'd say it would be within what we didn't see rather than what we did. Most notably lacking is some sort of scene that answers the question of Bajor in the political sense. Will Bajor ever join the Federation? Presumably so, but there's no mention of such in dialog, which seems like a huge omission considering that was Sisko's mission in the first place. The closing sense is more one of "life goes on," with Kira now commanding the station instead of Sisko. That's fine, but a look at Bajor's new role in the post-war Federation would've been nice. I'm sure there are other issues that might've been nice to see this season (which we'll revisit in the season recap article), but I'd say this is the most evident oversight.

But not to end on a sour note, because "What You Leave Behind" was anything but a disappointment. There was plenty of closure, lots of good drama, a superb final chapter in the war storyline, and a great sendoff for many of the characters. If only Dukat/Winn weren't such a letdown this would be an easy four-star show, because it tackled a difficult job with surprising adeptness. It satisfactorily answered a great deal of questions while providing the emotional roller-coaster I anticipated. It's tough to say goodbye to this series, but ends must inevitably come. I vote that "What You Leave Behind" makes for a very nice ending.

It's a wrap for DS9, but it's not yet a wrap for me. As in past years, I will post a season recap article sometime this summer. Stay tuned.

Previous episode: The Dogs of War

End-of-season article: Seventh Season Recap

◄ Season Index

174 comments on this review

Thu, Sep 20, 2007, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
DS9 was not only the best series but also had the best ending out of ALL the Trek series (TNG getting second place, with Enterprise and Voyager getting left behind like an evil step child). Let this be a lesson to all shows: If you run a show for seven seasons, reward your loyal viewers by giving the show a good send off and covering up as many of the loose ends as possible.
Tue, Sep 25, 2007, 3:57am (UTC -5)
I admit I love DS9 the best, but I'm a sucker for happy endings.

I wanted Damar to be the new leader of Cardasia (hell, he deserved it), along with Garek.

Miles and Julian 'splitting up', and 'The Sisko' vanishing. Bah, I wanted a happy ending.
Mon, Oct 22, 2007, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Although TNG has the best Trek finale, DS9's is still way ahead of the finales for Voyager, Enterprise, and the original series.
Sun, Dec 30, 2007, 2:00am (UTC -5)
DS9 was a classy show from the beginning and if possible they ended with more class than they started with. This was quite simply seven years of solid story telling.
Tue, Feb 12, 2008, 4:07pm (UTC -5)
Have to disagree that TNG had the best finale. The Time travel device usually breeds success in ST, but on this occasion what should have been a great episode was just a good one. Sure, coming ful circle with the first and last ever TNG epsiodes with Q standing in judgement over humanity was very clever, and the final scene with Picard joining the Poker table works well, but the last ever episode should have done more to showcase and send off the TNG ensemble. for me, DS9 did this a lot more effectively. That said, they waited to get a lot in over 90 mins that they could have resolved throughout the final 10 episodes. But the character goodbyes were particularly good (Garak/Bashir Bashir/OBrien Kira/Odo Odo/Quark). I also thought that the final shot of Kira and Jake (reminiscent of the Visitor) was a great way to end. One criticism of this is that Bajor did not enter the Federation, which is gaping ommission by the writers. I also liked the idea of Siskos destiny in principle, but I sort of felt that his characters destiny was very much unresolved. I felt at the time of the DS9 finale that these were unresolved elements of the overall story and as time goes on and it seems very unlikley that they ever will be, as I doubt there will ever be any DS9 TV movies. On the whole, however, and back to my original point, I was very satisfied with the ending of seven solid years of story telling (Thanks Jayson) of DS9 - the TNG Finale was just okay
Sun, Feb 17, 2008, 10:51am (UTC -5)
With respect, the DS9 finale left too many unanswered questions to be truly satisfying. Why did Odo have to leave to do something the female shapeshifter could have done? After all, Odo seemed to convince her to end the war, so why did all of a sudden have to say that he had to leave perhaps forever?
I also disliked Sisko's departure. I'm sorry but the Bajorans celestial temple just didn't grab my imagination the way stovokor did. Sisko should've either died heroically fighting Dukat or he should've just stayed put and have the final shot of the series be him and Jake staring out that window, which would've brought the series truly full circle as it started with the two looking at the station from the ship taking them there.
I thought TNG did a better job bringing things together toward the end, and it has the Hugo to prove it(a pity those 4 films had to spoil it). The DS9 finale was just OK.
Mon, Feb 18, 2008, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
I found the finale to be a let-down. It just seemed like too much going on at one time, and everything was wrapped up very neatly and very quickly. Some of the acting just didn't click for me - Sisko, Martok and Ross had a rather calm and logical attitude towards what could be the greatest victory or greatest defeat the Alpha Quadrant would ever know. A lot of the acting felt under-played, as if the characters knew they would win in the end. Odo convincing the Founder to end the war was extremely easy, and not the clash of characters and emotions that you'd expect in a show like DS9.

I'll never forgive the use of previous battle scenes. "A Call to Arms" is a good example of using old footage (e.g. they had the same shot of Jem Hadar fighters from "The Search Part 1" but replaced the phasers with photon torpedoes). But in the finale, the new effects shots looked so out of place compared to the stellar scenes from "Sacrifice of Angels" and "Tears of the Prophets". It was bad enough to see the same shot of the Bird of Prey exploding in Star Trek VI and Generations, but for the final battle of a 2 year war to be reduced to cross-cutting between blatant stock footage was very disappointing.

The montages were very effective, and getting to see where the characters ended up was great. However, I think TNG's finale worked better and was more satisfying as a whole.
Fri, Apr 11, 2008, 10:10am (UTC -5)
Actually, I find it quite difficult to even think of this as a finale. This doesn't convey the same sense of closure that the other Star Trek series' finales had in spades.

Then again, perhaps I am just influenced by the fact that I recently started on the "relaunch" book series (for those who do not know, it's effectively "season eight"). Once you get started on those books, it becomes really difficult to see "What You Leave Behind" as a conclusive cut - more like a very extended season finale. (And by the way, though I do not receive royalties or anything, I recommend those books. Very neat stuff.)

Greets Ospero
Sat, Jun 21, 2008, 8:22pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, it was OK. I liked how a few things were tied up - Miles's Transfer, Odo's return to the link, Kira's ending up in Sisko's chair, Garak's end position.

Unfortunately, I found Ezri/Julian to be a bit forced and also found the final scenes between Winn/Dukat/Sisko to be a bit bland. It also seemed a little like the writers wanted to sit on the fence with Sisko's final position - either have the courage to kill him off or don't. They can't have it both ways and still want it to be interesting.

As a final episode, it was good, but it didn't leave me with the same sense of loss that I got from "All good things"
Sat, Sep 20, 2008, 6:19am (UTC -5)
My biggest complaint is that Dukat deserved so much better. I don't mean that in terms of his fate, but in terms of his characterization. Is it not a shame that this finale reduced one of Trek's best and most psychologically complex villains into a silly raving demon? Rather than digging deep into the final deterioration of this complicated egomaniac, the writers chickened out. They turned Dukat into the Final Boss from a cheap video game. I never wanted a cardboard bad guy. Instead, I wanted DS9 to do justice to this man, to show him as a real person who tragically succumbed to his own obsessions, delusions, and hubris.

Alas, it was not to be.
Sat, Nov 8, 2008, 3:42pm (UTC -5)
I'll agree that Dukat deserved better, but I appreciated that the image of Sisko on his knees facing an enemy with superpowers, and a woman caught in the middle was almost an homage to the TOS "Where No Man Has Gone Before." A nice, understated tribute to the franchise's origins.
Mon, Nov 17, 2008, 11:46pm (UTC -5)
So ends the DS9 Saga; it was an amazing series that brough Star Trek into the 21st century. Terrorism, War, and the "gray world" of intelligence were amazing story devices.

The show also benefited from connected ideals of honor, integrity, and duty under haesh circumstance. DS9 was one of a kind, truly great in scope and vision.

With that said, I have to also point this out to everyone. After DS9, Star Trek was never the same again. I grew up on DS9 as a pre-teen and early teenager; I know Jammer and others grew up on TNG or TOS. What happened afterward with voyager and Enterprise was a complete re-tooling to the last generation, not the current generation of Star Trek fans.

It damaged the evolution in ideas that DS9 had created and Star Trek lost relevance. Some may argue DS9 was the wrong kind of vision for Star Trek, because it went against utopian ideals. I would counter and say; Utopia is never completely practical and even Gene Roddenberry would never overstate the value of the human element.

Star trek needed to move toward conflict with intellect and insight, but it did not after DS9. Quite a shame, the evolution of ideals was brilliant, but some never recognized why the change was necessary or saw the need for conflict.
Thu, Mar 12, 2009, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
I still maintain that the Poltergeist-like possession angle of Sisko and Dukat was as stupid in 1999 as it is in 2009.
Still, the finale accomplished much, and is loads more watchable than Endgame or TATV. Although the re-use of so much stock battle footage was darn disappointing.
Thu, Mar 12, 2009, 6:31pm (UTC -5)

If you don't have the DVD's there is a segment on the bonus disk for DS9 S7 that has footage of the final wrap pary for DS9. At the party Ira Stephen Behr makes a statement about how he believes DS9 has forever changed Star Trek and that he is hopfull that DS9's legacy will live on afterwards.

Thats such a sad statement given what happend after DS9. Basically TPTB did a 180 from the quality of DS9 in favor of being "cool" & "hip" and back to this episode, as I said before. DS9 was classy from beginning to end.
John R
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
Hi Jammer,

I read in a DS9 book somewhere that the reason Sisko promised Cassidy that he'd be back was an unforseen issue of leaving a black single mother behind. A 20th century issue, rather than a 24th century issue.

Originally, they had planned for Sisko to tell Cassidy that he couldn't return.

An odd choice, and like you've pointed out - feels a little cheap.
Sun, Jun 21, 2009, 11:04pm (UTC -5)
@ John R

Producers and audiences love happy endings to much,at least they think they do.

And Avery,well he is Avery and that means he demands his colour included into most moves and actions of Sisko.For me the biggest,and almost the only downside of DS9.I love the show,and i think i will see all seasons in a couple of years again,but in the end i wished they chose a other commanding officer to send to ds9,one that can see past colour and culture.Someone without any racism of feeling of beeing discriminated,someone who doesnt take pride into beeing "the first black captain".Just someone who plays someone from the future,without old pains but with the hope that our future hold within it.

Maybe Worf,but only if he doesnt take pride in beeing "the first klingon captain".(just kidding for the last part offcourse,taking pride in beeing the first klingon seems to fit the era ;)
Sat, Oct 3, 2009, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
Was it Avery Brooks who insisted that Sisko's ethnicity be mentioned? He wasn't an executive producer on DS9 & unlike, say, Kevin Sorbo, he always seemed to be a good team player.
Sat, Dec 5, 2009, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
Interesting to see some people had issues with lack of closure to certain elements. It's interesting to note that some of the writers weren't happy with the final chapter of Deep Space Nine, and in relation to the final episodes, they said if they'd been given just a few more episodes to finish telling the final story, they really could have done so much with them.

"What You Leave Behind" is the second ever Star Trek closing episode I've seen. The first one was TATV which was HORRIBLE. The worst episode of Enterprise ever. Horrid ending. Berman and Braga could've taken a leaf out of DS9's book on how to succesfully wrap up a series, without raping characters and giving us the biggest anti-climax since TNG's "The Neutral Zone". I thought "What You Leave Behind" was an incredible conclusion. Very satisfying ending to a great series.

As I write this, I'm getting ready to watch Voyager's "Endgame". I've read that people on this website thinks its crap, well...

There have been good times with Voyager. I can't remember having more fun than when I was watching Seasons 3, 4 and 5, but in its final seasons I'm becoming aware of how flawed it was as a series, especially in terms of continuity and character development. The focus of Seven of Nine and the Doctor always annoyed me. All I can hope is that it's a satisfying conclusion. And no-one respond to this post telling me its crap.

It's funny, but at the same time, I'm onto the final episode of BSG. It was an amazing series and I'm really sad it's finally coming to an end, a feeling I've never really had with another series. I wish they'd made seven seasons of BSG rather than just four. It certainely deserved seven seasons more than Voyager which could happily have worked better with four seasons. Oh well, maybe seasons 6 and 7 really have turned me into a Voyager hater.

But the river must run on...
Aldo Johnson
Tue, Dec 15, 2009, 8:22am (UTC -5)
The last post is December 5, 2009. Wow. Not bad for a decade old TV show. A testament to the series, the writing, the acting. That, or we need to get a life :-)

I must confess that I have a lump in my throat watching this show. Overall, I like it. It ties up the loose ends, and ends with a continuation, not an ending; if 'they' wanted to, there could have been an 8th season.

The weakest part was the Pagh-Wraith part, it's like they ran out of time so they had to wrap up that storyline as tidily as they could.

I do like that Winn seemed to finally chose the good side, trying to destroy the 'key' to the Pagh-Wraith's prison. Note also that she called Sisko "Emissary", not "Captain" or "Sisko." Either that or she just can't stand that Dukat gets to be the top-man.

The montage scenes were a bit too weepy, even for me. But I have to admit I enjoyed them.

The last shot of Jake & Kira at the porthole, then pulling back, was beautiful. To me, it gives a sense of "hill of beans" kind of thing.
Thu, Dec 24, 2009, 12:29am (UTC -5)
Here's a nit that no one has noticed so far: At the party at Vic's near the end, why the hell is Kasady drinking? She's pregnant!
Fri, Dec 25, 2009, 9:19pm (UTC -5)

It could have been synthohol which tastes like real alchol but with none of the negetive side effects. Either that or it was something else but honestly I never noticed before. Finally, it's the future and maybe they can drink and be pregnate at the same time.
Latex Zebra
Fri, Jan 15, 2010, 3:09am (UTC -5)
OK, get this. I've finally seen the finale!
Got the season 7 box set for Xmas and finally got to see the one episode I'd never seen.

Thoughts, pretty much like Jammer, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Weak points, I echo those who thought the Sisko/Dukat finish was a bit weak. Thought the way the Dominion surrended was just very sudden.
Loved the battles, stock footage or not.
Loved the closure for certain characters.

Has Sisko returned in any of the books yet or is he out of bounds... Anyone?
Sun, Jan 17, 2010, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
Sisko does indeed return for the birth of his child (and to see Bajor join the Federation) in the novel 'Unity'.

And yes, as someone mentioned above, Avery Brooks felt very uncomfortable leaving Kasidy with a child and asked the writers to add the like 'I'll be back', which worked out pretty well for the relaunch novels.

I *hated* this episode when I first saw it, mainly because it re-used the battle effects from previous episodes. However I've had a decade to get over it, watched it last night and enjoyed it very muchly.
Tue, Apr 6, 2010, 1:41pm (UTC -5)
I thought much of the episode was contrived, melodramatic and pompous. The clear desire of the writers to end with a big bang didn't do it any good.
Wed, Jun 30, 2010, 2:04am (UTC -5)
Nothing will ever in a million years compare to the babylon 5 finale. Not this, not Lost, not TNG...nothing.

This episode would have been so much better without the Dukat/Winn nonsense.
Mon, Aug 23, 2010, 12:42am (UTC -5)
Great series, I watch it from beginning to end once per year. In just recently watching the "special features" on the last disc of season 7 I noted the following: One of the producers wished he had had "5 more episodes to wrap things up" hello? How about all those episodes about Ezri and the Ferengi that did nothing to advance the story? Was one of the producers in love with Nicole DeBoer or what? Couldn't stand her and yes I know Jammer you thought she was "cute as a button" evidently so did the producers--and none of the last 'backflash" scenes included Jadzia--what was up with that? As for Odo, he ultimately was just another self centered Founder--never liked him--he worked so hard to get Kira to love him and in the end abandoned her--what an $%#* hole. The very best part of Deep Space Nine was the relationship between Bashir and O'Brien and the Klingons. Superb! The Klingons were the only race that fully developed as a culture--interesting that while DS 9 was next to Bajor that other than their obsession with The Prophets we learned little about them--a lot of talk about their art and literature, but nothing in the shows to support it. The Klingons, however, became 3-dimensional--their culture, politics, etc all came to life on the show and quite frankly when I think of this show it's the Klingons, especially General Martok that I remember.
Sun, Aug 29, 2010, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
Jammer--it's always a pleasure to read your reviews, even when I'm squirming in my seat with disagreement. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and attention to detail. While you and I strongly disagree about the quality of DS9 as a series, I was nearly certain that even you would take issue with the montage. For me, who hated the series, it was a moment of "I can't believe they sank that low." Especially considering the holes you point out in wrapping up several character and political arcs, why, why waste time with this nonsense? Strike it, and there would at least be time to fully make sense of the whole thing.

I agree with you that of the 3 stories here (the war, the caves and the prophets), the war is the most successful. It was kind of the writers to at least not demonise the Federation so far as to show them annihilating the entire Dominion army; although hardly surprising considering this series has been intent on proving that the values of the Federation, if not all peoples' values, are a farce.

You expressed disappointment with the FireCaves scene and I can certainly see why, but honestly what could you expect? The lesson here, something the writers could not get around, is that all of this religious mumbo-jumbo has the appearance of complexity and can instigate complexity in character, but its hallmark is in absoluteness--good v. evil, which ironically in spite of this series' attempt to grey those lines, it offensively purports over and over again.

Finally, the prophets. In "Emissary," in spite of my objections, I had the distinct hope that a truly Trekkian message could fight its way out of this idea--a struggle that would have made DS9 a great series in my mind in spite of everything. Alas, instead of the Prophets learning something and proving to us and all that one may find humanity in even the most alien of cultures (as for example happened to the Borg in Voyager), it's time for Sisko to keep learning from the Sensai and make some vague and depthless implications about how stupid humans are for adhering to the Roddenberrian vision of intellect, reason, balance and discipline.

But really, nothing could top the dumbest moments of Star Trek more than that montage; and that theme remix... atrocious. Shame, shame shame. 1 star.
Marco P.
Mon, Aug 30, 2010, 12:51pm (UTC -5)
I've just watched "What You Leave Behind", the DS9 season 7 and series finale. I won't be going too much into detail, I agree with most of what's been said before me. So I'll just say that I was a little disappointed.

Above all, the Dukat/Paghwraith arc should have indeed been capped better: this was the cause for the biggest let-down for me. Rita said it best: they turned Dukat into the Final Boss from a cheap video game. After the complexity that he showed throughout the whole series, the character deserved a better payoff from the writers.

The same arc also poorly settled the issue of the Prophet/Paghwraith battle, which I had hoped would develop over several episodes. Instead, the Paghwraiths are given a half-life of maybe 2-3 minutes at best, just before 'The Sisko' appears to restore order and close the book on them (no pun intended) once and for all. And what a lame ending for Kai Winn.

Overall, while one is sad to see the series go and there is definitely some emotional moments to be found in this episode (particularly because of the fondness one develops for its characters and the DS9/Bajor universe), this won't feature as the best Trek series wrap-up on record. That honor still belongs to TNG in my opinion.
Wed, Nov 10, 2010, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
@Latex Zebra: Hardly anything seems to be out of bounds in any of the relaunches (I'm currently reading the TNG, DS9 and VOY relaunches, as well as Star Trek: Titan, all of which take place after DS9's and VOY's end). To answer your question: yes, Sisko has returned - it took quite a bit, though (seven books or somesuch).

Since the series probably won't be continued in any canonical form, the novels have started taking ever greater liberties. Used to be, you couldn't kill off major characters or change in-universe political dynamics. No longer. I won't say any more, because it really wouldn't be fair to spoiler any of the goings-on in the novels (which range from acceptable to truly outstanding).
Wed, Feb 9, 2011, 3:38pm (UTC -5)
the finale was entertaining especially for the conclusions on the war front...cardassia/garak/damar/kira great work... Damar and Solbor seem to have a parallel, they both followed Dukat and Winn, throwaway character, but when the time came they had pivotal heroic role in their own way, and they both ended up dead...
the Founder going to prison made sense for the atrocity she orderred (the great link didnt tell her to wipe out Cardassia), and her asking Odo to go back to his people to cure them them worked. Odo/Kira separating...people who are of different cultures separating to be with their own people, it is painful and it happens (it works as good counterpoint to the cross cultural relationship that star trek employs in season finales...belanna/paris, worf/deanna

the worst part I still cringe, especially when watching with my brother, was the whole reading of the book in the end. It got so klingon-speak, wizard, dungeons and dragons, I was quite embarassed to watch those minutes.

the montage worked, it showed how much the characters been thru. I can still remember the first season when the show felt much more raw and seeing Jake say farewell was nice. I dont think any other trek show has had so much change in 3 or 7 years, especially starting off so raw and ending on a bittersweet note.

Sisko transfomring into a Prophet was appropriate, given that this show was more in line with mythology than the other treks. you can see similar scifi characters in myth heavy shows... Sheridan crossing the great rim with lorien, kara disappering in BSG, Lost people being in purgatory (for cartoon fans, optimus primal in beast wars)... generally mythologies require the hero to be transformed/rewarded in death/evolved. evolution from hair to goatee to shaved head to prophet hehe!

these last 10 episodes were some of the best, and I really enjoyed the tight writing. Yeah, Babylon 5 did it all the time before DS9 got there, but for star trek it was surprising to do. I dont mind that we didnt see the after-war episodes. I think B5 was pretty boring after the war ended half way. Maybe DS9 ran too long and the show could have ended earlier, but what they did was ok. although scifi wars have become somewhat a cliche, everyone now seems to be fighting a large powerful bleaker enemy.

Dukat was great, even as Anjohl he had his menace.
I loved Winn, even in the beginning and especially her role in one flew over the cuckoo's nest. One of the best villains ever.
Dukat was a little silly as a Paghwraigh, but I give him a pass becuase he did conflicted villainy/menace very well over the run

Finally, I have read 1984 recently. It was a horribly boring book. A lot of great ideas, and some twists, but it dragged. It was a book that I imagined the character living in a world of grey. Having read the reviews here again, I think Cardassia were meant to be world of 1984, except they did it with more excitement. I think the Nebari in farscape were also supposed to be a homage (Cardassia was the polical aspect, the Nebari were the psychological thriller aspect/brainwashing). I do wish farscape had lasted longer.

only wish the new trek movie didnt wipe out all the continuity before, it seems such a waste...
Thu, Feb 24, 2011, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
No one has said it yet, so let me be the first: I LOVE Bashir & Dax and am very happy they are finally together after what was basically a seven-year flirtation (that started in "Emissary"). Bashir has always been my favorite character, and though I'm not quite his age yet I'm sure I'll still be acting just like he does around women for the rest of my life.

Overall I agree with your rating, and think the writers and cast did a terrific job wrapping up all the threads (a tall order to be sure). The episode as such isn't as solid as "All Good Things..." (which gets 4 stars in m book) but then that wasn't an actual finale as it was already known there would be movies after. DS9's last episode had a much harder job to do and I'm amazed they managed to do this much. The disappointments are more about what we didn't see. There most definitely could have been an eigth season, dealing among other things with Bajor's entry into the Federation and possiblity even helping the reconstruction of Cardassia.

I had hoped Damar - one of my favorite recurring characters - would survive a little longer, but his death scene is pitch-perfect (especially his last word "Keep-").

And then, there's the bad. The confrontation between Sisko and Dukat in the Fire Caves really brings down the entire Pah-wraith arc as far as I'm concerned. I'm really not sure what they were trying to accomplish with this, but given all the build-up ("Sacrifice of Angels", "Waltz", "The Reckoning", "Tears of the Prophets", "Image in the Sand", "Shadows and Symbols") I expected Sisko to have a bigger destiny than just pushing Dukat over a cliff. Why did the Pah-wraiths want to 'burn the Alpha Quadrant'? Why were they cast out of the worm hole in the first place? Their motives are never explained, and yet we're supposed to care. And concentrating on the Prophets/Pah-wraiths means that Bajor as a whole was pretty much forgotten. I also would have liked for Sisko to remind Dukat that his actions indirectly caused the deaths of 800 million of his own people (perhaps his family was among them?). It was all style and no substance.

Otherwise, though, I couldn't have asked for a better finale, and my opinion of a TV series (or any entertainment medium) is always strongly dependent on how it ends, so it's safe to say this will remain my favorite series for a VERY long time.
Tue, Apr 19, 2011, 9:08pm (UTC -5)
There's a nice musical moment I didn't notice the first time I watched it. When O'Brien walks into his quarters and picks up the Alamo figurine, you hear an instrumental version of the Irish tune "The Minstrel Boy", which is the song he sung to Maxwell in TNG's "The Wounded" (as well as in a scene that was deleted from "Whispers"). Very subtle, but an extremely nice way to bookend his character arc.
Tue, Aug 9, 2011, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
Wow thinking of DS9 now looking back .... Life was good on...cant believe how screwed up the world has been since star treks voyager ended..another good ending .....we all should of realize it going to shit with (Enterprise) haven't lost hope with the new Star trek .") I wish ds9 would be on reruns dont get enough credit it was one of the best..left me hanging and wanting more every week!")
Thu, Oct 13, 2011, 6:39pm (UTC -5)
Just spent the last couple months plugging away through this series; missed it the first time around, and now I've consumed it whole in a very short period of time.

I avoided this series for a long time. The pilot episode, when it first aired, failed to capture my late teenage interest.

It didn't help that other fans ripped into it saying how boring they thought it would be. "It's on a space station! They can't go anywhere! Where is the 'trekking'??"

How ignorant they were. ;)

DS9 was truly a great series. It's a show I don't think I would have appreciated as much if I'd watched it back then.

While it's not perfect, it was definitely a much more mature series, with stories I couldn't imagine playing out on any other Trek stage. This was a show with balls. It's a shame that it didn't lend itself to a theatrical follow-up like the more mainstream-friendly TOS and TNG did.

Thanks for writing up on the series, Jammer. It was great being able to read your reviews from the perspective of someone who was watching it for the first time, unsure of what was to come. (Though, it was a bit of a shame that I had a few major plot points spoiled in the comments... but hey, I blame myself for reading. ;))

It's been a fun ride. *hat-tip* :)
Thu, Nov 10, 2011, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
WYLB was a good finale, but it had one glaring plot hole that I could never quite get past.

Dukat and Winn enter the fire caves about the same time that the Federation fleet heads to Cardassia. The battle is fought, everybody returns to DS9, the treaty is signed, the senior staff goes to Vic and (apparently) Dukat and Winn stayed in the fire caves for all that time. It must have been several days.

In fact, I've seen it speculated that Worf's appearance in Insurrection occurred after the battle at Cardassia and before he became the new Federation ambassador to Kronos -- meaning that a lot of time had to pass. So were Dukat and Winn in the fire caves for a few weeks?

I've often wondered if there was some heavy editing done in this episode, anyway. When Quark follows Odo and Kira to say good bye, he has a glass of champagne in his hand, which looks suspiciously like what everyone was drinking at Vic's.

But Sisko left for Bajor during the party at Vic's, and then Kira and O'Brien searched for him in a runabout. It also looks like Odo was going to sneak out of the party with Kira and head to the Gamma Quadrant, but that they had to delay that to involve Odo and Kira in the efforts to rescue Sisko.
Mon, Nov 21, 2011, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Great show, great season, great finale. I have one nitpick about the more than disappointing conclusion, though.

It just didn't feel right. I was expecting all along that the entire series had simply been Commander Riker watching a holosuite program calculating the possible outcome of his decision not to play a practical joke on Captain Picard in "Captain's Holiday," where he mischievously gives the captain a Horga'hn, which on Risa is an invitation to orgiastic pleasures. Obviously Riker's decision to go through with the prank avoided the Dominion War altogether...

...alas, the series was not tied together so nicely.
Fri, Jan 13, 2012, 4:38am (UTC -5)
As an interesting footnote, look closely in the scene at Vic's bar. I'm fairly certain the actors Casey Biggs and Jeffrey Coombs (Damar and Weyoun) appear in the background
Sun, Jan 15, 2012, 3:12pm (UTC -5)
Great episode, just one thing:
Where the hell is Jadzia in the flashback sequence?!? She's been the heart and soul of this crew for six years and nobody remembers her... come on!!
I know, I know, supposedly there's been some legal issues but it's still extremely unsatisfying and doesn't do justice to a great character.
Nebula Nox
Mon, Apr 16, 2012, 8:06am (UTC -5)
Just rewatching this. One thing that always bugged me: how could Odo change the female founder's mind? When he had never been able to persuade her in the past, and especially when he now knows that Section 31 tried to commit genocide? (By the way, he is breaking his word to Sisko by healing her.)

However, I think it could be explained by one thing. The love that Odo and Kira share was not yet part of Odo's experience at the previous time that Odo linked with the founder.
Tue, Apr 17, 2012, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
Nitpicking aside, one has to be impressed that the showrunners were able to tie up almost every major and many minor plot threads in this finale. The final shot reminded me of the end of The Empire Strikes Back.
Captain Pike
Sun, Apr 29, 2012, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
The finale was a let down, in fact the whole season was a let down.
Tue, May 8, 2012, 4:00pm (UTC -5)
@Nebula Nox: Odo convinced the female changeling with the cure AND because he was willing to go back to the link. There was a line at one point from the female changeling that Odo was worth more to the Founders than the entire Alpha Quadrant (I'm paraphrasing).
Of Bajor
Fri, May 18, 2012, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
The ending felt rushed and left too many plots untied.
Sun, Jun 10, 2012, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
The final was terrible.
Sun, Jul 1, 2012, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
@PaulW - that doesn't really wash because the Founders made Odo a humanoid as a punishment, and they were not the ones responsible for reversing it. As a humanoid, Odo would not have been able to return to the link. The \she-changleling later said they'd forgiven him, but that doesn't mean they would have restored him, even if they were capable of doing so. That they had the capability of making him a humanoid in the first place was something I found highly questionable.
Thu, Jul 5, 2012, 6:48pm (UTC -5)
Well, that's the end of my four week-long complete re-watch and it's been a great ride. Some very high highs (I always thought of "Far Beyond The Stars" as the best - but now it's "In The Pale Moonlight", maybe because I've appreciated it more with age?), a few very low lows (I'm looking at you, "Let He Who Is Without Sin") and far too many Ferengi comedy episodes.

Yes, there are some imperfections in the finale. But who cares, it hit most of the right emotional beats and left us with just enough plot strands in place for our imaginations to make of it what we will. I'm going to miss this, so far this year I've re-watched all of 24 and Enterprise and this was far better than both of those by some margin. Still got Lost, The X-Files and Smallville to re-watch in full but sure they won't surpass it. Oh, and Voyager and TOS if I get the money together to buy them ;)

I really am going to miss this. Wow.
Tue, Jul 10, 2012, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
Terrible last episode, terrible(and normal) over acting from Avery Brooks, the whole Bajoron/Prophet plotline was embarrassing. The last season of DS9 took a dramatic turn for the worse.
Wed, Jul 25, 2012, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
DS9 finale unfortunatelly didn't meet my expectations. I believe it was overly dramatic just for the sake of it without any real substance and the closure of some of the storylines was terribly rushed and in some cases too convenient.
Wed, Jul 25, 2012, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
The worse thing is after seven years not even a throw away line about how Bajor FINALLY was admitted to the Federation!
That was originally the entire point of the series until it got caught up in the Dominion war arc...
Patrick Dodds
Thu, Jul 26, 2012, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
Its sad that the last time Deep Space Nine (the station) is ever mentioned in the official Trek canon is in Voyager's episode "Pathfinder" (back in 1999). It's just a throwaway mention of the station.

I think that the last mention to anything connected to DS9 was the mention of The Dominion War in Star Trek Nemesis in 2002. Again another throwaway.

And that's all they wrote.
Wed, Aug 1, 2012, 4:46pm (UTC -5)
Not very good episode
Load Blown
Sun, Oct 7, 2012, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
It cried.
Founders Don't Poop
Wed, Oct 10, 2012, 2:55pm (UTC -5)
Great finale, but I absolutely lost it when Weyoun started making a "derp face." Unintentionally hilarious!
I googled the face for others to see:
Mon, Oct 22, 2012, 2:27am (UTC -5)
Wow, people are still posting on this after 5 years? And linking pictures I saw on reddit? Impressive. I just finished watching this episode a couple of hours ago, and I sort of teared up. It's rare that a show can make me feel emotions for that many characters, good and bad. I really did feel a sort of sadness that characters like Dukat had to end up going nuts and bringing about his own destruction (and 800 million of his race). I could care less about normal villains meeting their demise.

By far, the saddest thing for me was Julian and O'Brian having to part ways. That stuff hits you right in the feels.
Joseph S
Tue, Oct 30, 2012, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
Like Fortyseven said above, I also missed DS9 when it originally aired, thinking it was going to be boring because it took place on a space station and couldn't go anywhere. In fact, I remember thinking that they brought in the Defiant *because* they finally needed to use the 'trek' element.

How wrong I was.

Starting in January of this year, I've consumed episode after episode of this wonderfully written series. I still love TNG, but DS9's characters are so intricately written and developed, that a character can say or do something in Season 7, and instantly the viewer recognizes the allusions stretching all the way back to Season 1.

I did have one problem with the finale, though it in no way detracts from my love of the series. Yes, DS9 started with the mission of restoring order on Bajor and bringing it into the Federation.

But the series also started with the love of a father and a son. I really wish Jake and Benjamin had had a final scene together. After all, Jake lost his mother despite her will; now he's about to lose his father *because* of his will. It would've been so touching to hear Benjamin comfort his son, telling him that his new perception outside of linear time reveal to him that Jake will be a successful writer; that Benjamin knows how much Jake loves him, and what Jake would do for him (e.g., The Visitor); and that now Jake must let his father go be who *he* needs to be.

It just goes to show how great this series was—that, even though of course this could've happened off-camera, I'm still left with the feeling that I needed to see that.
Sat, Dec 22, 2012, 11:16pm (UTC -5)
Strange that Winn keeps wearing the Kai robe and goofy hat, and the earring, well after she's renounced the Prophets. I guess they wanted the dramatic moment where she hurls them into the fire caves
Mon, Jan 14, 2013, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
Has anyone ever noticed the scene between Sisko and the Pagh Wraith-possessed Dukat is similar to the scene between Kirk and Gary Mitchell in TOS's "Where No Man Has Gone Before"?

You see Kirk/Sisko looking for Mitchell/Dukat toting a phaser rifle that's willed away by Mitchell/Dukat. Then, they are they are forced to kneel through telekenesis before MItchell/Dukat.

And there's Elizabeth Denher/Kai Winn standing neutral until they ultimately choose to help Kirk/Sisko defeat the bad guy (s).
Sun, Feb 17, 2013, 1:44am (UTC -5)
@Founders Don't Poop
Yeah, that shot really jumped out at me, haha. How do you miss that? Didn't someone go "wait, Jeffrey, your lens is crooked"?
Well, I just finished my great DS9 rewatch over a 7 month period. In some cases, the first time I'd seen episodes in 15+ years (in a handful, episodes I managed to miss entirely!). It was a great ride. I think with the benefit of 15 or so extra years on me, I can see a few more flaws, but my enjoyment improved in some ways too.

I think having an episodic start and slowly transforming into a serial is, oddly, a strength of the show. Some serialised shows are too heavily plotted, it's hard to imagine the characters just living their lives outside the drama. But the evolution of DS9 was a good one, they had the opportunity to introduce elements slowly before taking them in more complex directions.

I think I have a better feel of why I enjoyed DS9 just as much as TNG (shock horror!). Now, don't get me wrong, I started with TNG and I love it in a different way. This topic tends to really rile fans up but I genuinely love both shows for different reasons.

I think one of DS9's great strengths was it felt like a home for the characters. The Enterprise was a military posting, the crew were colleagues at work, even when they were off duty in Ten Forward it still felt like they were sitting amongst their bosses at a work function.

Remember Jadzia's "hen's night"-type party before her wedding? It looked like a real party. If Geordi or Riker had walked in there they would have raised an eyebrow and looked very uncomfortable. And rightfully, because on TNG they were professionals at work and a party of that type in someone's quarters on the Enterprise would probably have led to a dressing down.

But DS9 is (initially) an obscure posting, the crew are guests of the Bajorans, the crew mingles with the "public", with "civilians" much more than the Enterprise crew did. I think a situation like that demands a looser environment. I suppose that's the crux of the difference, Ten Forward felt more like a restaurant, Quark's felt more like a bar.

But that's why I love both shows too, because restaurants and bars both exist and they serve different kinds of people, and I'm glad the Trek universe has them both. The Enterprise is neater, better behaved, more formal, but it's the diplomatic flagship of a military fleet so it should be. DS9 is looser, a bit more relaxed, but it's on the fringes, has civilians passing through it everyday; it needs to be.

And the Trek universe felt richer knowing both of these things were true.

I also like that DS9 showed optimism under stress. As optimistic as TNG was, the Borg were probably the only time I thought their diplomatic ideals were challenged, in the idea of an enemy that could not be reasoned with, in a show built on reason. DS9 showed how difficult it is to hold onto ideals when under pressure. And so it should, because if you lead people to think idealism is easy you're setting them up for a fall.

But, and this is the important part, while the Trekkian optimism buckled under the rougher DS9 years, it never truly broke. The Maquis, Section 31, they were both antagonistic presences that horrified the crew. Sisko believed he could "live with" the events of In The Pale Moonlight, but it was clear he was worried about his own soul, it was clear he wasn't sure if it was a mistake he could live with or not. I think that's important.

I still believe in Trek idealism about what humanity can grow into, but I also think that "humanity" is a large category of people and we don't all grow at once. Even if we achieve a kind of paradise, there will be your Maquis or your Section 31 on the fringes that want to tear it down. You'll always have pressures from outside paradise, your Borg and your Dominion, who are implacable and must be fended off, because paradise is worth defending...and because, for the same reason a moneyless Federation still needs some latinum to trade outside itself, so too does paradise need a military, because just because you've evolved doesn't mean everyone else has.

So there you go, my closing thoughts on DS9 some 14 years after I first saw the finale.
Fri, Mar 8, 2013, 2:07am (UTC -5)
DS9 is as good as trek ever got imho, and the finale is no exception. Like most here, I could have done without the wraith subplot, but the rest made up for it. The series certainly had it's flaws, of course, but overall it's more consistent, better developed and written, and much, much braver than TNG ever was; head and shoulders above VOY and ENT. It filled out the universe so much better than any other series, making the world feel complex and alive. It dared to be different and challenging. In a world where the easiest and most profitable thing to do is just rebrand and resell the same cliches over and over again, DS9 rejected this idea, and instead was a gutsy and thoughtful take on the franchise the likes of which we will likely never see again.
William B
Thu, Mar 28, 2013, 2:32am (UTC -5)
I did this for TNG earlier tonight and am doing other series as well. Breakdown of number of episodes with 4*/3.5*/3*/etc. as well as seasonal averages. I count Emissary, Way of the Warrior and What You Leave Behind as two episodes apiece, being two-hour shows.

S1: 1/5/6/6/2/0/0/0/0 av. 2.93 stars
S2: 3/7/7/5/4/0/0/0/0 av. 3.00 stars
S3: 3/5/8/4/5/0/1/0/0 av. 2.87 stars
S4: 3/7/9/5/1/0/1/0/0 av. 3.04 stars
S5: 5/5/9/3/2/1/0/0/1 av. 2.98 stars
S6: 4/4/7/9/1/0/0/0/1 av. 2.90 stars
S7: 5/5/8/5/2/0/1/0/0 av. 3.04 stars

Series: 24/38/54/37/17/1/3/0/2, av. 2.97 stars

The order by average rank is (4,7 -- tie),2,5,1,6,3.
Tue, Jul 30, 2013, 3:58am (UTC -5)
I love DS9. It's the best written Trek ever. I grew up watching TNG and loved it to death. And I must admit that I was a Voyager fan for a long time before I gave DS9 any real attention -- but when I did, I realized the wonderful character-driven writing that was the norm here that was unfortunately lacking in Voyager. I love the serialized writing format with the episode arcs that were never used in Trek before, and believe it was one of DS9's major strengths.

WYLB was a fantastic finale! Loved it!
Wed, Aug 7, 2013, 2:44pm (UTC -5)
I was overall very pleased by the finale, especially the way the war played out - although I wish Damar had gotten to live and be the leader of Cardassia.

I had jokingly written in a comment to an earlier episode how I half-expected a Breen to take off that helmet to reveal Princess Leia because the outfit was so similar to what she wore in ROTJ to rescue Han Solo. Imagine my delight when in this episode, a "Breen" took off the helmet to reveal Kira in disguise! I wonder if it was a homage?

Everything was great until the paghwraith crap. I agree with those who think it brought the finale down. I was also disappointed that "the Sisko" zapped Kasidy into the temple to say goodbye to her, but completely blew off Jake. So much for the father/son bond.

I don't want to focus on the negative, though. Most of it worked very well. I know some here scorn montages, but it wasn't until the O'Brien/Bashir montage that I got truly choked up. Except for the Worf montage which suffered from the lack of Jadzia (apparently beyond the writer's control), they were effectively done. I cried.

This was my first time watching this series. I avoided it when it first aired because I heard it was depressing and truth be told, I only had time for one Star Trek series and that was TNG. It's still my favorite. However, years later, I'm glad I decided to commit to watching all the other Star Trek series as well, including this one, thanks to Netflix. I leave DS9's finale for the most part satisfied.
Mon, Aug 19, 2013, 6:26am (UTC -5)
Paroxysmal sobbing. That is all I have to say. DS9 and TNG. They should be the watermarks by which all other Trek is measured. Especially DS9, though I may only be saying that because my eyes are still bloodshot from recent lacrimations. But DAMN, if they didn't know just when and how to manipulate my sentimental little black heart. "What You Leave Behind". What a fucking perfect title.

I guess the only place left to go from here is BSG. I've had a weird love-hate thing with that series since I finished watching it after its first run. That is, I loved it unashamedly... until season 4. Quite a few years have passed and I like to think I've matured somewhat since then. I hope this will therefore be a slightly newer experience... aided by Jammer's astute analyses as well, of course. :)
Wed, Aug 28, 2013, 10:33am (UTC -5)
Watched this again the other day. So much of it works -- the Bashir/O'Brien stuff is really strong as is the Kira/Odo stuff. My big gripes:

1) Damar should have lived to be the new leader of Cardassia. That would have been more interesting.

2) The creators really needed to pony up some money to Terry Farrell to use shots of her and Worf in the montage. I have a feeling they planned to use those clips, but had to struggle to find stuff without Jadzia.

3) Not having a good-bye scene with Jake and Sisko was a missed opportunity.

4) A line of dialog, even in the scene near the end with Nog and Kira about the Bajor being accepted into the Federation, would have helped things.

5) It's weird that the space battle scenes rely on SO much recycled footage.

6) As Jammer noted, it's hard to believe that ALL of the Cardassian ships were able to switch sides. Maybe some of them could have done that, but were there no Dominion soldiers on any of them?

7) The scene where Odo tries to sneak away was clearly intended to be used earlier in the episode, probably immediately after the party at Vic's.

8) The timing of Winn and Dukat being in the fire caves -- which must have been for weeks, because the battle ended, the treaty negotiations occurred and Worf was in Insurrection all while they were in there -- makes absolutely no sense. This is the biggest failing of the episode.

Don't get me wrong: This is a strong finale, but it was sloppy, too.

Tue, Sep 3, 2013, 8:36am (UTC -5)
Just watched this episode, finishing my first viewing of DS9.

I've loved watching this series, mostly because of the strong characterization, so parts of What You Leave Behind" had a surprisingly strong emotional impact on me. Particularly Kira and Odo saying godbye as Odo merges with The Link ... I'm a gorwn man, but dear lord, I was weaping like a little baby!

Although I was opposed to the idea of Kira and Odo being a couple when they first started being together, I was turned around completely by the writing and the performances. It's a very romantic lovestory, but based on a mature view of love and relationsships that we seldomly see in Hollywood. Kira and Odo ended up being the very best part of DS9 for me - and it's probably my favorite relationship in all of Trek.

Other than that, I enjoyed this final episode's very cool space battle (I didn't notice the use of old footage). I also enjoyed that we got to "say goodbye" to the characters, but I didn't particularly enjoy the way most of it played out. There was a lot of ground to cover, and much of it seemed rushed and messy to me.

Take the way they wrapped up Sisko's story, for example. In the course of just a few minutes we see Sisko "die", then wake up among the "Prophets" (apparatly one of them now?), then saying goodbye to his wife. 1-2-3 cut. Um ... so ... is this what all the build-up about Sisko as the emissary led to? That's it? Really?! Emotinally unfulfilling! To me, Sisko as THE Emissary quite clearly seemed like the main arc of the series, right from the first episode - and it ends with such a fizzle. I mean ... no goodbye to Jake? Seriously?! Come on!

Another example is O'brien and Bahir. I'm afraid O'brien and Bashir's friendship never really rang true to me - the writers seemed to TELL us how good friends they were rather than SHOWING it to us. "See how we have fun together? That's because we are such good friends, isn't that right? And being friends means that we should point it out to eachother and the viewers repeatedly, saying it out loud". Yeah, alright, good for you. A very childish take on a friendship between two grown men. One of the things in this episode that didn't really provoce an emotional response from me, I'm afraid.

All in all a mixed episode with some clear, emotional highlights. An "okay" ending to a very, very good series!
Mon, Nov 11, 2013, 11:43am (UTC -5)

A strong ending overall. The ending to the dominion arc was very good and the character wrap ups were nice. The end of bajoran/prophets storyline was poor.


Top ten lists after having finished the series:

Top 10 Best Episodes
1 In purgatory's shadow/By Inferno's light
2 Duet
3 Improbable Cause/Die is Cast
4 The Visitor
5 Who Mourns for Morn?
6 In the Pale Moonlight
7 Trials and Tribble-ations
8 It's Only a Paper Moon
9 Our Man Bahsir
10 Extreme Measures

Worst 10
1 Valiant
2 Prodigal Daughter
3 Meridian
4 The Muse
5 Time's Orphan
6 The Storyteller
7 Let he who is without sin…
8 Profit and Lace
9 Sanctuary
10 The Darkness and the Light
Mon, Nov 11, 2013, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
Well, your bottom 10 list certainly includes some bad episodes -- though more Ferengi shows should be on the list. Also, what's so wrong with "The Darkness and the Light"?

Your top 10 list is pretty funky, though. How is "Who Mourns for Morn?" anywhere near your top 10? How is "Extreme Measures" -- one of the most disappointing episodes in DS9? Now, I liked "Our Man Bashir", but top 10? Um, no.
William B
Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 2:57am (UTC -5)
Thinking a little about what @Rif said in the "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?" thread:

I do think that Starfleet's never really punishing Sisko is a bigger problem than, say, not punishing Bashir over DBIP. Sisko is un-Roddenberryan in two major ways: the religious, nationalistic side with respect to Bajor, and the unethical, "getting his hands dirty" side with respect to things like "For the Uniform," "In the Pale Moonlight," or the "whatever it takes" to Worf in "Tacking Into the Wind." Now, Starfleet at least, or some representative of Roddenberryan philosophy like Bashir maybe, should go after Sisko on both counts, and Starfleet almost never does. Ross sometimes pushes back against Sisko on the Bajor thing, but inconsistently (and he pins a medal to him in "Tears of the Prophets," undermining the whole episode's argument as Confused Matthew pointed out), and no one ever really pushes back against Sisko on the moral stuff. The irony of course is that even if you take Starfleet out of the picture, those two should contradict each other. Sisko ending the show as a self-sacrificing messiah paints him as a saint, rather than the Complex Shades Of Grey guy. That there is no attempt to resolve the contradiction between Sisko as Space Jesus for Bajor and Sisko as poisoner of planets, perpetrator of a massive deception to trick the Romulans into a war, encourager of Worf to assassinate a Klingon head of state who is inconvenient, presents the scary possibility that the show is putting forth the argument that these types of things are the things messiah figures *should* do.
William B
Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 2:58am (UTC -5)
*Ric I meant to write
Blake W
Sun, Dec 15, 2013, 5:49pm (UTC -5)
@Paul completely agree. "The Darkness and the Light" was a good episode. I really loved "Our Man Bashir" because the DS9 writers were so talented: they thought they were having fun, but from another perspective, they ripped apart the James Bond series to such an extent that they were threatened with legal action. I wouldn't put it as a top 10, but it ranks higher than a lot of the other episodes on that list. I'd say: In the Pale Moonlight, The Visitor, and Waltz should be the top 3; but I'm not sure.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014, 10:06am (UTC -5)
Beyond unrealistic that Worf would have no memories of Jadzia in the ending montage. What was behind that? I doubt Terry Farrell could have prevented it even if she wanted too...she doesn't own the copyright on the scenes. Were the producers bitter towards here. Her absence really lifts you out of the whole thing.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014, 2:17am (UTC -5)
On Memory-Alpha, Ira Stephen Behr is quoted as saying "We had planned to see Terry Farrell in the flashbacks but she refused to let us use any of her clips. The way I see it is this: Her manager was informed that we were thinking of using Terry in a scene in the final episode. It would have probably been three hours of work... maybe four. The price they quoted us was too high for the budget. After all, this was a show where we had to cut out hundreds of thousands of dollars from the original draft. Her manager was informed that we weren't going to be able to use Terry. And on top of it, the scene we had been thinking of for her was really not that germane to the plot. I think Terry's feelings were hurt. When it came to the issue of the clips, they again felt that they would prefer that we went a different way without using the character of Jadzia Dax. So we did. I wasn't happy about it. I'm still not happy about it. But it is a reminder that even Star Trek is just part of the great showbiz sludge."

I'm surprised too that actor likeness copyright works that way, but it makes sense. I seem to remember reading getting all the old Trouble With Tribbles footage was a legal nightmare as well, contacting estates of extras etc.

But Terry Farrell attended the DS9 wrap party, so things couldn't have been that bitter. Also we're only hearing one side of the story.

I'm no expert, but maybe her contract was lacking one of those "continuing use" clauses.
Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 8:49am (UTC -5)
I just watched this again last night. Because the Founder was dying and felt she had nothing to lose, she was going to have the Vorta and the Jem'Hadar continue the fighting to inflict as much pain and destruction as possible. With their goal switched from conquest to terrorism, they could have done tremendous damage to soft targets. If it were not for the disease, the Founder may have been willing to end the way once there was no hope of winning. So, rather than ending the war, giving them the disease may have put the Alpha Quadrant in danger of greater destruction.

Just what happened when Odo linked with the female Founder? It wasn't just healing, Odo seemed to convince her of the error of her ways, just like he set off not just to heal the other Founders, but to teach them. I find that I am unable to have much pity for the Founders, but if Odo is able to change them, good.

As for Jadzia in the flashbacks, I suppose someone could do a fan edit to put her in. Perhaps extend the song a bit. I would have loved for Quark's flashback to be all about remembering all the latinum he had.
Tue, Jan 28, 2014, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Feb 10, 2014, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
As far as I'm concerned, Season 7 killed DS9 for me, and that last episode certainly didn't help.

The conclusion of the war arc was interesting, if slightly expected (who doubted for a second that the cure would be the ultimate bargaining tool? And why didn't the federation use it BEFORE 800 million lives were lost?). The Cardassian / Dominion / Bajoran is the most interesting aspect of DS9, and it should have filled the whole episode, not just the first third of it. (Including resolutions about Bajora and Cardassia)

On the other hand, I've always thought the Prophets thing was cringeworthy, and the amount of time devoted to "the Pawraith" was ridiculous, considering the little impact it had overall! I couldn't care less about all that religious drivel, and Dukat's character deserved more than to be reduced to a one-dimensional bad guy in the last season.

As for the "ending" of the series, I couldn't believe it when I saw the montage. Never thought I'd see that in a professional TV series. It was so... amateur and obscenely manipulative. I didn't feel sadness, just deep, deep embarrassment.

Anyway, I'd like to forget that season 7 and that sorry episode ever happened and stay with the good memories of season 5 & 6. Unlike Voyager which felt rushed at the end, DS9 felt like it was a season too long and they just didn't know what to do with the show and the story (hence the countless filler episodes of season 7). Really too bad.
Tue, Feb 11, 2014, 1:37pm (UTC -5)
"Countless filler episodes"?

By my "count" there were six episodes that didn't largely contribute to the bigger picture: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", "Prodigal Daughter", "The Emperor's New Cloak", "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" and "Field of Fire". You could argue that "Afterimage" is a tweener.

Now, I'd certainly agree that Ezri Dax was given too much screen time in season 7. But season 7 wasn't any different than previous years of DS9 in including a few episodes that didn't have much to do with the larger story arc. The big difference in season 7 was that there were fewer Ferengi episodes (which, I think, was a good thing). You could argue that the standalone episodes in season 7 were a little harder to believe because they took so much of the main characters' time in the middle of a war.

Season 7 isn't perfect, but your outright hate for it is over the top. The prophets were always a central part of DS9 and the flashback sequence, I thought, was pretty good. It showed how much the DS9 characters had changed (as compared with Voyager, where other than Janeway's haircut and the presence of Kes and Seven, there was nearly no character development for seven years).

The DS9 finale is far from perfect (there are a lot of technical/logical flaws) but I felt it wrapped up the series in a fairly satisfying way.

Oh, and as for why the Federation didn't use the cure for the Changelings' disease earlier, they only got it from Section 31 in "Extreme Measures." Maybe the idea should have been brought up sooner, but it wasn't something Starfleet could have used to end the war much earlier than when it was used.
Thu, Feb 13, 2014, 12:13pm (UTC -5)
You know what might have helped? Choosing better clips for that damned montage. I mean, there was a clip from "The Visitor" during Jake's flashback that didn't actually happen (or did, then got erased or whatever). Only SIsko could have held that memory, not Jake. And one of Quark's fondest memories is seeing the rest of the cast troll off to Vic's to execute a heist? Many have already mentioned how the lack of Jadzia made Worf and Bashir's memories really strange as well. Here's another idea: instead of wasting time having Vic sing the song, then repeating the song (with cute "DS9 theme" transitions of key) for the montage, have Vic sing over the montage thus buying the episode at least 4 more minutes of air time so that, I don't know, Sisko and Dukat can have a meaningful exchange of words for the last time.

Editing was also very strange here--penultimate scene: Kira stands on the Founders' Homeworld (in the Gamma Quadrant) saying a private goodbye to Odo, final scene: Kira is sitting in the Captain's desk and Nog comes in, promoted (indicating time had passed). It was just odd, knowing how much time must have been spent sitting in a runabout getting to and from DS9. I don't know, maybe I'm picking too much. I just feel that this finale had the opposite problem of Voyager's in that there was so much NOSTALGIA being pumped through that the cohesion of the story and the boards felt really off considering it's usually much better than this. In VOY, the story felt more unified and better paced, edited, etc. but there was a serious let-down in the Nostalgia factor, cutting to credits before the ship arrived.
Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
So the whole show was geared to Sisko fighting a fire monster, was it? Or rather, the writers had no idea where to go or resolve things and made a complete mess of it.

The latter is what happened. Season 7 was awful.
Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 4:34am (UTC -5)
What sort of magictechnobabble can be used to explain why evil-prophets that are in reality aliens need sacred words to be read to become free? I mean, what are the effects of the sacred words being pronounced? What sorf of scifi is this?

In what regards execution, how disappointing it was the scene when Odo cures the other founder. Downplayed, boring, no emotion. As well as the end of the battle. As well as the founder accepting the surrender. Why the hell did the founders accept defeat just because one founder linked with Odo? What did Odo "say"? Who knows. Unclear, lazy writing, boring. As well as Odo saying to Kira that he would come back to the great link. Gesus, how flat was the this episode. How cold. How frustrating. Especially Odo's sudden and quite silly decision.

And not a word about the Federation trying to genocide all the founders? Not a word about it, no consequences, no moral debate about such big deal? Where is the DS9 deeper approach? In the end was not deep at all, was only offensive to what the Federation and the Starfleet standed for in other Trek instalments. Not touching the atrocious decision about not giving the cure to the founders is unforgivable.

Odo having to go cure everyone - which was btw an habitliy not dramatically built before, just took from the hat - was infuriating. This is the utopian Federation from original Star Trek.... One that accepts genocide during war times, not like current 20th-2st centuries, but like 17th empires, like 20th century nazi. And in the end, no regrets and no help to the surrendered enemy! If Odo didn't go to the great link for personal reasons, what then?

Ok, blind yourselves and pretend that this is the same Federation from the other Trek. It is not. Whether you like this change or not, is another matter. But this Federation, this Starfleet, are way far from other Star Trek's.

This is not to mention the silly, annoying magic arc. Fires, sacred books with hidden writting that unhide with blood... and now Sisko suddenly knowing that he should be at the fire caves! Hahaha, that has to be the laziest writing in the scifi history. Instead of finding a reason for him to meet the Lord Sith vídeo-game superpowered Dukat, the writers decided that Sisko just suddently knows. Not even due to a silly prophets'vision. He just knows. And in the end, he wins the greateswt battle agains the false evil prophets (!!!) only by pushing Dukat. Making Dukat fall to hell! Read this again: to hell. In Star Trek. Do not laugh. To hell. And Sisko goes to heaven-ish.

My gosh. This is a shame of ane episode. Shame, shame. I enjoyed most of this show for the first 4 seasons. Parts of the 5th. But overall, its legacy is offensive to Star Trek. Is atrocious. Completely changes Federation, Starfleet. Sadly blurs magic and scifi with the single excuse of magictechnobabble. Delivers a lame ending. With the super lazy and poorly executed flashback scenes at the end.

Talking about end, in the end I am really happy that DS9 has ended. I fear for what we should see if it had more seasons. Vampires, angels, a labor camp sponsored by the Federation. Who knows. Without a question, DS9 has boldly go to where no Star Trek should have never had before. Or ever.
Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
"Talking about end, in the end I am really happy that DS9 has ended. I fear for what we should see if it had more seasons. Vampires, angels, a labor camp sponsored by the Federation. Who knows."


"What sort of magictechnobabble can be used to explain why evil-prophets that are in reality aliens need sacred words to be read to become free? I mean, what are the effects of the sacred words being pronounced? What sorf of scifi is this?"


Well, I've been working my way through the entire series too, and have also reached the final two parter.

Some thoughts...

1. The CGI in the final 2 episodes is better than even contemporary TV CGI.

2. The Dumar/Spartacus subplot was very good.

3. Dukat turning into a Bajoran and messing with Winn was actually good in a twisted, psychosexual way, but the writers mess this aspect up by diving into the nonsense with the prophets, Paghwraiths and orbs. This is all cringeworthy.

4. Any scene with the Breen is just unwatchable. Who designed those helmets? The dialogue between the shapeshifters and Breen also reeks of bad prose.

5. Cassidy, Sisko, the "visions" and all that stuff were botched.

6. The franchise's WW2 metaphors are mostly bad. This is ultimately WW2 as written by the victors, with the British and the Americans not Imperialist Empires but good guys.

7. The Federation's threat of genocide is horrible.

8. The writing of the Dominion is one dimensional - a boogeyman like this wouldnt exist or behave in this way in the future. It's all an excuse for big space battles.

9. Kira fighting to liberate Cardassia? Cardassia under occupation? Love the grand irony.

10. The "memories montage" is pretty bad.

11. I think DS9's big flaw is a lack of interest in the culture of the Dominion, why they are how they are, and why there are no other ways to solve their greivances. It's skewed to make war the only option. The final episodes should have at least addressed the philosophical implications of this, but instead we get more bludgeoning; beat the enemy into submission and then force him to exist on your terms.

12. Imagine how bloodlessly Picard would have handled the Dominion war. He would have taken a Genesis device to an uninhabited moon in front of the Dominion, destroyed the moon with the device, told the Dominion to behave themselves, shut down the wormhole, figured out why such a silly militantly heirarchal civilization still exists, liberated its member states (or got them to liberate themselves), cured the Jem Hadar, made the Vorta atheists and addressed the greivances of the shapeshifters using some serious ballsy ballheadedness.

Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 7:17am (UTC -5)
@Ric "This is the utopian Federation from original Star Trek.... One that accepts genocide during war times, not like current 20th-2st centuries, but like 17th empires, like 20th century nazi. And in the end, no regrets and no help to the surrendered enemy!"

That's interesting because TNG's "I, Borg" gets a huge amount of crap thrown at it because it shows the Enterprise coming upon a weapon that could wipe out the Borg and save millions of lives, but they choose not to use it because it amounts to genocide. The comments on that page more or less amount to "the blood of millions is on Picard's hands!" And I, inconsistently I suppose, defend that episode. There will be upset fans no matter what you do really.

Admittedly the parallel is not quite there. The Borg scenario requires taking an action. The Dominion scenario on the other hand involves the action being taken by a third party (the rogue group Section 31) and Starfleet having an opportunity to intervene. It conjures up ethics class discussions about the Trolley Problem and taking an action that ends a life versus a lack of action that then takes a life.
Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 7:05pm (UTC -5)
If you take out the pahgwraiths stuff, DS9's climax is actually quite touching. While I find the actual "philosophy" of DS9 to be dubious, it did so much wonderful stuff and was quite ambitious. The station is a neat place, and I'm going to miss hanging out at Quark's. I wonder if I'll ever have another DS9 marathon.
Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 1:13am (UTC -5)
@DavidK You brought a great example of different portray of the Federation and of Starfleet. One that is consistent to how these institutions are thought throughout the franchise. I.e. not genocide friendly, to say the least.

Whether different fans get upset one way or the other is another matter. And to be honest, na unimportant one. Think of it. If we take this into consideration no debate about any series, show or movie can be done. All criticism becomes unwelcome, because in the end it is impossible to please everyone at same time.

Besides, even if fans have of course the right of having dissimilar feelings about this or that decision made by Starfleet and by the federation, a much less subjective thing is to decide whether such decision is or not consistent to philosophy and with the simbolic universe created for the franchise. In this aspect, I think that your defense of the decision made regarding the Borg and my attack regarding the genocide-friendly Starfleet in DS9 are, actually just being consistent to what we have seen, heard and learned about Federation and Starfleet in a Star Trek universe. Despite of if we persoanlly agree with such decisions or not, if we think they were the correct, moral, ethic, or not.

About the last point, on the ethics class debate on the diferences beween causing something by taking na action or by not taking, I will pass this one. I don't even think it applies to the context we are talking about. While in the Borg crisis they were sort of facing this dilema of genociding the whole Borgs or being genocide by them, this was not even the case of the Dominion. To begin with, the founders hardly fought direclty themselves. Secondly, there is no reason to think that all single individual in the link being killed was the only solution for the Federation to escape from genocide. In fact, there is not even reason to think that Dominion would genocide anyone (although certainly they were not good at all with thei dominated people).
Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 1:18am (UTC -5)
@Corey I really liked your list about the last episode. Quite na accurate way of summarizing some important good and bad points. I didn't find the episode to be touching like you, even taking out the pahgwraiths stuff. But I certainly should have given more credit to the final Dumar subplot. In fact Cardassia becoming a dominated planet under resistance just as Bajor was in the beginning against the Cardassian invasion, was in fact a very good way to end the series.

And like you, I will - actually already am - missing my hanging outs at Quark's. =/
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 9:26am (UTC -5)
@ Ric - Wed, Feb 26, 2014 - 4:34am (USA Central)

Very well put and you've summed up everything I found disturbing about DS9.

Tue, Apr 1, 2014, 3:18am (UTC -5)
Awww, after twenty years I finally have watched the whole thing (well, okay, I skipped some of the Ferengi eps) and now at last I know how it ends.

I liked the finale. Loved the battle scenes and the Cardassian arc. Loved Garak. Wanted to see Damar kill Weyoun but ah well, Garak did a good job of it too. Some moments were too predictable (who didn't know that Cardassian guards would turn on JH guards in time to save our heroes from execution?) but overall it was exciting and emotional. So much so, that the rest of the ep (Sisko, Dukat, prophets, Vic) was abut of an anticlimax. But still. It was good and I can die happy now.

Did find it strange that DS9 started out being Bajor's show, but by series' end the Bajor arc became uninteresting (spare me from emissaries, prophets and fire devils) and all the heart and heroism centered on Cardassia instead. Given where the show started, it would have been nice to see at least a glimpse of Bajor's development -- how its society had rebuilt and matured from season one days and become Federation-ready. But that's a minor nitpick.

The biggest loss was the waste of Dukat on this silly pahwraith arc, as many have said. This is all the more true with Cardassia's fate being the central drama of the finale. I would have loved to see Dukat as a complex antihero - what he used to be - who finally, FINALLY is brought to a glimmer of humility and self-knowledge by the shock of seeing his own world razed as Bajor was razed. Would have loved to see him mumble a not-quite-apology to Kira for the Occupation and then stagger off alone into the wilderness to search his soul and perhaps start down the path to redemption.

I was irritated in S7 by the need to pair everyone off; it seemed trite. Most of the romances fell flat for me all season, most especially Sisko/Kassidy -- she was never much of a character since all she did was hang around Sisko and make vague references to her job. Ezri/Julian was pleasant enough but came out of nowhere The whole Odo/Kira thing was hateful and sadly weakened Odo's poignancy -- Odo was heartrending as a lonely outsider and became boring as Kira's shmoopy boyfriend. They should have finally shared a first kiss in the finale so I could cry, and that's it. (The one romance that worked was, of course, OBrian/Bashir.)

But far outweighing my complaints, there were so many great arcs and rich characters and big themes in this series - definitely the most ambitious and interesting Trek despite its flaws. And the final shot of Jake and Kira on the station? Perfection..

Thanks jammer for the site. It's been a pleasure reading your reviews.
Tue, Apr 1, 2014, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
How much I will miss this show? I had tears in my eyes during all the send off. It was like me sending off everyone. Many of the DS9 episodes were unpredictable and realistic like the good guys will not always have their way. So is the last episode where many of them choose to make a change in their lives, Damar being dead, Garak back home, Odo going back to where he always wanted to etc...I think only Jadazia was missed when Worf had a last look at the station..Otherwise the focus given on each important character was indeed nice! Again I will miss DS9 as I always missed TNG. Good bye Capitain Sisko, we will miss your charismatic leadership.
Fri, May 23, 2014, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
I know a lot of you guys feel otherwise, but I actually really enjoyed the flashback montage. It made me tear up, but I'm a nostalgic kind of person so I guess I'm the patsy they hope is watching.

Tue, May 27, 2014, 9:31am (UTC -5)
I've very much a "Do it right or don't do it" kind of person. I liked the montage also, but if they couldn't show Dax in Worf's montage they should have skipped it.
Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
I don't understand this ending. It's presented as the end to the Dominion threat - but the only thing the Alpha powers did was recapture the Alpha quadrent. In the process almost every Alpha power has been devestated, while the Dominion territory is *completely* untouched. Sure, it'll be tricky to get a foothold again with the wormhole as a bottleneck, but they did it the first time.. and now the Alpha quadrent is exhausted.
Thu, Jul 31, 2014, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Kahryl, I always wondered what happened to the surviving Jem'Hadar, Vorta, and Founders. Maybe they were exiled back to the Gamma Quadrant. As far as the aftermath, the Dominion initially sent several hundred ships when it took over Cardassia, and lost several thousand when the Prophets stepped in during Sacrifice of Angels. The loss of those resources had to damage the Dominion's position back home. With Odo basically negotiating the surrender, I imagine the other Founders would keep their word to Odo to stay away from the Alpha Quadrant.
Fri, Aug 1, 2014, 9:17am (UTC -5)
Agreed with most of these comments. The finale was weak. Many of the characters seemed to be out of character. Key discrepancies:

1) Sisko. His relationship with Jake was repeatedly emphasised to be very strong throughout the series. Yet he simply waltzed off without even saying goodbye. No way.

2) Odo. Supposed to be incorruptible. His sense of justice was supposed to be paramount. Yet he casually, willingly, easily broke his promise not to pass the cure to the Dominion. And Kira was supposed to be the biggest thing in his life. Yet he just tossed her away at the end.

3) Jadzia. Biggest love of Worf's life, but not even in his memories. Big studio fail on this.

4) Dukat. Over the course of several episodes they turned a brilliant, complex villain into a cartoon Evil Man whose primary drive to destroy the entire quadrant (universe?) was petty revenge over one man. Ridiculous.

5) Gowron's fall. If becoming Chancellor had been that easy, Gowron would have been stabbed long ago-- he isn't all that strong or big or powerful.

There are others, but I have to go eat lunch now. Later.
Mon, Aug 11, 2014, 2:42am (UTC -5)
I thought it was a fitting end to DS9, overall I enjoyed it and even forgave the montage, even at this final stage the scenes in the Fire Caves with the Pahwraith stuff was just cringeworthy fast-forward material that totally detracted from the momentum of the finale, I guess the script writers had sort of painted themselves into a corner there and there was no way out that was going to be beleiveable or even interesting to the audience, it was rubbish writing and a waste of the actors time. The rest of it was great,and was ably assisted by the non-starfleet cast. I am a late convert to DS9 and give them kudos for pushing the envelope of ST, even though they did fail at times.....
Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
Jammer: “Well, if there's one thing Weyoun and the Dominion haven't learned, it's that their attitude of absolute totalitarian control over such "Dominion puppets" isn't as easy in the Alpha Quadrant as it may have been in the Gamma Quadrant.”

It’s only not “as easy in the Alpha Quadrant” because their gamma quadrant “help” can’t help. The AQ would have been crushed if 2500 dominion ships as associated troops flooded through the wormhole. It wasn’t their plan; it ended up being a lack of resources.

Jammer: “There's a well-conceived but not well-executed gallows humor scene where Our Resistance Fighters laugh at the prospect of their suicide mission not even having the capability to get off the ground, let alone end in a blaze of glory.”

I thought Garak’s line here was outstanding! “Isn't it obvious? Here we are, ready to storm the castle, willing to sacrifice our lives in a noble effort to slay the Dominion beast in its lair and we can't even get inside the gate.” Then Kira seeing the irony… losing it… then all the others joining in. Only Garak could have delivered that line successfully.

The space battle was visually pretty good, but kind of unsatisfying I thought. One of the best parts was:

“EZRI: They've switched sides.
NOG: Yes!”

Star Trek reuses everything so reusing battle footage is no surprise.

Not sure why the writers thought they had to kill off Damar. His turn for the better I thought was a great character bit in DS9. Maybe they thought that he was stupid enough to follow Dukat, maybe he isn’t the right guy to start a new Cardassia.

Martok, Sisko, Ross toast. Not sure how to read this one. Martok wants to drink to the victory over the Dominion and the end of the war, not to all the Cardassian’s under their feet. I felt this was kind of…. Well pretty poor taste and the writers forcing something down our throats. You know, this whole war thing wasn’t very “trek”, so we have to give something to those fans…

Once they get into the DOM HQ, Garak’s description of Cardassia to Bashir and his people was amazing. “I’m going to miss our lunches together” beckons back to early DS9 as did “Please, Doctor. Spare me your insufferable Federation optimism”. Nice touch there I thought.

Then Sisko and Worf foresee what’s going to happen if the Founder doesn’t order the Dominion forces to cease and desist. They send Odo down to “talk with her”. Odo cures her and she makes the only decision she can to save her race, she surrenders and agrees to trial. Fitting I thought. (section 31 did win the war it seems) I thought the Founder signing the treaty and Ross reading from MacArthur’s historic speech on the Missouri.

The Dukat and Winn “thing”. I was OK with Winn turning the table on Dukat and poisoning him. But it was also fitting that the Paghwraiths chose Dukat over Winn. Poor Winn, no one wants her. Remember the prophets chose Kira over her earlier.

I liked them all meeting in Vic’s and I liked the toast, but then Sisko tells Kassidy he understands and has to go. Then everything just goes to hell in a hand basket. Sisko arrives in the Caves, Dukat is possessed by the Paghwraiths, he does some verbal jousting with Sisko, he kills Winn, then Sisko just pushes him over the cliff, the book and Dukat burn and Sisko is saved by the prophets.

I think that is just a steaming pile of crap. I was fine with Sisko interacting and being influenced by the wormhole aliens throughout the show for the most part, but because Ira Steven “I wear my sunglasses at night” Behr wants to make Sisko a “GOD” we get this shit.

How about this. Everything happens the way it did until the battle between Dukat and Sisko. How about the wormhole aliens “inhabit” Sisko and we get the “final battle” that got cut short in ‘The Reckoning’? Now the players are Sisko & Dukat we get some great eyeball lightning stuff and Sisko/prophets win, Dukat/PW’s loose. Sisko stands up, gazes over a burnt dead Dukat corpse, picks up the book and tosses it into the flames. Poof, the book is engulfed in flames and once the book (Kosst Amojan) is gone, so are all the flames. Bajor enters the “Golden Age”. CAPTAIN Sisko returns to DS9 and his family. The “Emissary” is no longer needed. KIA’s and Vedeks are no longer needed, so Bajor gets past itself and enters the Federation. Sisko’s mission is complete.

Make’s sense to me, much better that the turd we got.

While the montages were moving. The Worf one was blood boiling. No Jadzia? Are they CRAZY?!?!? I know all the “excuses” and I don’t buy one of them. She left a year prior to this, I can’t think of one reason this trivial shit couldn’t have been worked out. This smells to me like “she chose to leave so…”

Odo going back was the right thing. Kira let him go once before, so I have no problem with her supporting him here. When he popped on the tux for her I choked up. While I’m not a huge fan of their romantic relationship I always thought their “moments” were real.

It’s soooooooooo bad that Jake couldn’t say goodbye or anything to his father. What were they thinking?

The Bashir/Obrien snippets were good, but missing Bashir/Jadzia clips was a detriment.

Jake/Nog moments were moving to me. Remembering Jake as that little kid was touching.

I thought this was a unique closer as we see heroes like O’Brien and Worf moving on to do other things. (who is going to fix DS9? Rom is the Negus now… lol)

Kira was the logical one to take over the station. One wonders of the Federation will last there.

Sisko living with the wormhole aliens…. Well, you already know what I think about that tripe.

The series ending with Jake and Kira in the window looking out brought a tear to my eye. The series I enjoyed so much was coming to an end and Jake is wondering if he’ll ever see his father again. Very moving.

I can’t give this more than 3 stars. They killed it with the Sisko/Dukat thing. They could have done so much better. I’ll blab more in the S7 summary.

Jammer, I have really enjoyed reading all your reviews. This is the first series I have read each one of them. I think you are incredibly talented and to not have you reviewing something here is a shame and a loss for us all.
Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 11:15am (UTC -5)
"While the montages were moving. The Worf one was blood boiling. No Jadzia? Are they CRAZY?!?!? I know all the “excuses” and I don’t buy one of them. She left a year prior to this, I can’t think of one reason this trivial shit couldn’t have been worked out. This smells to me like “she chose to leave so…” "

It was blood boiling to me as well, but I bought this excuse "Jadzia is not 'remembered' by any of the characters due to a dispute with Terry Farrell over the use of her image in the show, after Paramount used it without permission in "Penumbra"."

April 7th - "Penumbra" airs, containing Terry Farrel's voice at Jadzia/Worf's wedding without Terry Farrell's permission. Her manager logs a complaint with Paramount sometime in the following days.

April 20th - Filming on "What You Leave Behind" wraps.

June 2nd - "What You Leave Behind" airs.

I have heard that, due to the pending dispute they could not even negotiate with Terry for the footage rights. The timeline certainly suggests there was not a lot of time to work it out. I don't know when post production wrapped on the episode.

That said I would, in a heartbeat, buy a new set of S7 DVDs with this episode updated to remedy this horrific slight.
Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 11:45am (UTC -5)
I would too. I wonder when we will get "Remastered" DS9?
Thu, Nov 6, 2014, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
A very long post. Summary:
1) DS9 is Trek. Very good Trek. My favorite Trek (DS9, TOS, TNG, VOY, and the other one)
2) In this case, the ends justify the means. The Federation deserves to exist, and the moral choice is to fight the Dominion with any means necessary.

We've never seen such a threat to the Federation. Maybe *that's* why people claim this isn't Trek -- it's hard to have "Trek optimism" when your existence is threatened. They want Trek to have all the danger of a "Barney & Friends" episode, where "Picard would have found a way to negotiate with the Founders". I can almost hear his duet with the female Founder: "I love you, you love me...". Can you have a *dangerous* universe, where the Federation is fighting for it's very existence against an enemy that will NOT compromise, and it still be "Trek"?
If the answer is "NO", then DS9 clearly ain't Trek.
I think the answer is YES, as long as the Federation behaves appropriately.

Consider some other Trek:
TOS "A Taste of Armageddon" introduced General Order 24: The destruction of an entire planet's biosphere. A GENERAL ORDER calling for genocide. Kirk issues it as a threat -- but I don't think he's bluffing. The TOS Federation will certainly consider genocide.

In TNG "I Borg" they discuss using a drone to exterminate the Borg. Picard doesn't follow through, but it's pretty clear it's NOT because he's opposed to exterminating the Borg, but rather doesn't approve of using Hugh -- a drone who has become an individual -- as the weapon. The TNG Federation will certainly consider genocide.

In Trek canon, the Federation will consider genocide against an enemy, even one not as dangerous as the Dominion.

In any case, the bioweapon attack on the Founders isn't "genocide" -- not in the normal sense of the word.
Genocide has strong negative connotations for 2 reasons:
1) It's *mass* murder. Arguably, the Great Link is a single organism. The rules of "mass murder" simply don't apply.
2) It's indiscrimate targeting of all, including non-combatants. But, all Founders are either direct combatants, or members of an entitty that is guilty of massive war crimes, including genocide and the total subjugation of slave races (Vorta, Jem'Hadar). If breeding slave races to fight your battles isn't a massive war crime then I don't know what is. (In "I Borg", the "single organism" and "no innocent Borg", are used to justify the proposed attack. The exact logic used by Picard would clearly apply to use of a bioweapon against the Founders.)

When EVERY member of the targeted group is guilty of massive war crimes, I'm not seeing a moral argument against genocide. I'm normally pretty isolationish, but given the magnitude of their crimes in the Gamma Quadrant, an attack on the Founders may be the only MORAL response possible.

Did the virus end the war? Maybe not, though I suspect the illness impacted the Dominion's strategic planning (most people don't think their best when dying in pain....). In the end, the Founder was beaten by conventional tactics, and clearly wanted to go down swinging. Odo having the cure shortened the war, saving hundreds of millions of Cardassians. Based on what the Federation knew *at*the*time*, I see no moral qualms with a biological attack. Seems like the perfect "humanitarian" (yes, I see the irony) weapon -- kill the leaders without killing their slave races.

Of course, some will object: The Federation should have found another way -- since, in their Trek universe, there's always a better way. What would Barney do?

Some commentators go off the deep end: "by compromising their principles, the Federation has become as bad as the Dominion".
I call bulls***.
1) Known genocide against at least one non-threatening race ("The Quickening"). Based on fear shown by the Karemma ("Starship Down"), I doubt if it's an uncommon Dominion tactic.
2) The final orgy of death against Cardassia. 800+ million dead with no military objective,
3) Bred two slave races which are biologically incapable of disobedence. And then treat them as all expendible. Pure evil.
4) Invasion of Alpha Quadrant

(For that matter, you could probably compile a similar list of crimes for the Klingons, Romulans, and Cardassians.)

1) Attempted genocide as a defensive measure against a race consisting solely of war criminals.

There's an obvious double standard here: The Federation behaves far better than any other great power, but the instant they act even slightly like another great power, they're suddenly as bad as (if not worse) than the other power.

Closing points:

It's one thing for an individual to choose to die for their principles. But, a solder's choice is a lot more complex. Sloan is at least partly right when he tells Bashir (I'm paraphrasing) that Bashir gets to live by Bashir's principles because Sloan is willing to compromise Sloan's principles to keep Bashir safe. Yes, there's irony there. But Bashir is clearly better with Section 31 than he would be under Dominion rule.

I find it incredible when people object "you're projecting 20th century attitudes into the 24th century." As if those reviewers are from the 24th century. Please, spare me the hypocrisy. The whole show is a projection of 20th Century Western Humanist attitudes (with the glaring exception of the Luddite attitude against genetic enhancement).

Some reviewers have noted that a common theme of Trek is the anti-war message that actions like Sisko in ITPML cost you a bit of your soul. Agreed completely, and I think DS9 generally made that point. But as Sisko said, you live with it, because the alternative is death.

I think about Quark's speech in "The Siege of AR-558" about how, when hard pressed, humans will be as violent as Klingons. But -- and this is a key difference -- unlike the Klingons, they won't drink a blood wine toast over a fallen enemy. And *that* earn them the right to survive.
Fri, Nov 7, 2014, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
@zzybaloobah :

It kind of diminishes your whole argument when you claim there is "no moral problem"; the whole point is supposed to be that it is a difficult choices the Federation has to make (a specious point, but that's another matter). The DS9 ethos is based on the notion that it asks of its characters the difficult questions previous incarnations of Trek didn't bother to do (presumably as these would disintegrate Gene's Utopian vision). The fact that Bashir and O'Brien express such outrage (even at this point in the series) is testament to the fact that there is at least a question as to the morality of genocide, yes?

"I find it incredible when people object "you're projecting 20th century attitudes into the 24th century." As if those reviewers are from the 24th century. Please, spare me the hypocrisy. The whole show is a projection of 20th Century Western Humanist attitudes "

What hypocrisy? What are you talking about? The show is not a projection of 20th century Humanist values, it is an *extrapolation* of where those values would eventually lead in the 24th century, housed in a mythical framework.

The argument as to whether committing genocide is practical is separate from the argument as to whether or not the Federation would condone/consider genocide. You are attempting to prove the latter with the former, which altogether sidesteps the issues of principles and morality.
Sun, Nov 23, 2014, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
Well, DS9 started out well...early episodes were imbued with classic Trek tropes. Then ratings plummet and we get the 'Dominian War" ===which ultimately devolves into melodrama and soap operaesqe plot lines. I get it, the show was suffering, the writers needed something big, which leads to the classic battle of good vs. evil. Notice however, of the remaining dozen episodes, where is the challenge of convention, the exploration of humanity, the discovery of the alien? Nowhere, ziltch. All tossed out for a plotline better suited to :::gulp:::: ....Star Wars.


Ric - Wed, Feb 26, 2014 - 4:34am (USA Central)

My thoughts exactly.
Sat, Jan 3, 2015, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
This is definitely the best final episode of any Star Trek Series, even if I don't consider Voyager's final episode too bad. TNG's final episode is mediocre at best (IMO). As everybody knows, TOS doesn't have one and Enterprise has an awful one.
The problem with DS9 is that its end on air doesn't really end the story. So many questions remain answered, so many storylines remain open... Will Sisko ever come back? And will Odo really forget Kira? Will Jake see his father, even in a vision? What about Cardassia, its rebuilding was worth seeing. And the female changeling trial, possibly worst war criminal ever... The list could be endless. It was possible to create an entire new series as DS9's continuation. The same cannot be said of any other Star Trek series.
Thu, Jan 8, 2015, 8:38am (UTC -5)
I can still remember watching the finale first-run back in 1998 or so.. Honestly it really SUCKED that Sisko was (presumably) gone forever, vanished, and away from Jake and his friends. At the very least Picard was still very much alive and with his crew and you knew they'd go on to new adventures both off-and-on screen.

But with DS9's closer, I never got the feeling that these characters whom you've spent 7 years of your life with will go on to have new adventures off-screen. It really did seem like an *end* to everything.

DS9 is by far my favorite Trek, with maybe a handful of bad episodes out of 170+. Kudos to all involved for making this show!!
Thu, Jan 8, 2015, 9:05am (UTC -5)
@Del_Duio - I actually count "All Good Things" as perhaps the best finale I've ever seen, but it's accomplishing a different goal.

DS9's ending is an ENDING. These characters will all go on to have new adventures, but not with each other.

Your life isn't over after college, but you probably won't have very many more adventures with the group that you hung out with there. DS9's ending is the same.

Sisko and Odo are having some really amazing adventures on what is effectively another form/type of existence.

Jake/Kasidy are embarking on a new journey together as she prepares for her new life as a mother and he prepares to find himself apart from his Dad.

Kira is about to usher Bajor into the Federation and (likely) become the Captain of one of the most important Federation space stations.

O'Brien's kids have gotten old enough that he wants to give them a more stable life and he's doubling down on fatherhood/family life.

Bashir&Dax are embarking on a new journey together.

Martok/Worf are also embarking on a new journey together.

The living supporting characters (Garak, Rom, Nog, etc.) are all heading off to explore new horizons too.

And Quark? The more things change, the more they stay the same. I always loved that part.

The finale had pacing issues, some plots were more satisfying than others, some people got more satisfying endings than others and the montage scene was garbage because of the issue with Terry....

But a part of me will always be in that holosuite listening to Vic sing "The Way You Look Tonight".
Thu, Jan 8, 2015, 10:48am (UTC -5)
@ Robert-

Good points, all!

You actually just reminded me of something and I wonder if anybody else thinks this too: Is it just me or does O'Brien and Keiko have exactly zero chemistry throughout their runs on both TNG and DS9?

Now I'm a big O'Brien fan, and Keiko is tolerable, but when you pair them for some big romantic whatever or when they kiss or somesuch it just always looks like both actors are super uncomfortable.
Thu, Jan 8, 2015, 12:03pm (UTC -5)
There were definitely issues with the relationship... but I can't put my finger on why and I wonder if it was the writing.

Like... the scene in the beginning of "In The Hands Of The Prophets" they felt very much like a married couple and the dialogue felt appropriately flirty and there was chemistry. But it didn't happen often that they got it right.

"O'BRIEN: Try one. You'll like it.
KEIKO: Too early for me
O'BRIEN: You sure?
KEIKO: It's so sweet.
O'BRIEN: It's a natural sweetness from the sap of the jumja tree. It's full of vitamin C.
KEIKO: Since when did you become such an expert on jumja sticks?
O'BRIEN: Oh, Neela told me.
KEIKO: Did she? So, is she working out any better than the last one?
O'BRIEN: Who, Neela? She's terrific. She's even taught me a thing or two.
KEIKO: I'm glad to hear her expertise doesn't end with jumja sticks .
O'BRIEN: No, she's a good engin... Hold on.
KEIKO: What?
O'BRIEN: Well, you're not thinking? Well, Keiko.
KEIKO: Just keeping you on your toes, O'Brien.
O'BRIEN: Oh, very funny.
KEIKO: Be careful who you share your jumja with."

The banter between the two of them felt natural in that scene. Once you see that they CAN do it, you wonder why it doesn't happen more often. ::shrug::
Thu, Jan 8, 2015, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Also I'd mention that Chao attended his wedding in 2007, so that's nearly 10 years after DS9 ended. If they were close behind the scenes you'd have think the writers could have found some way to give the relationship more zing.
Sat, Jan 10, 2015, 6:44pm (UTC -5)
Did anybody else felt what I did? The federation was not ready for a large scale war. Their ships were an easy target for the Jem'Hadar, the Breen, even the Klingon (there was a time when they are at war during DS9 time frame), let alone the Borg... Punching a hole in those large dishes was child's play.
By the end of the Star Trek time-line as we know it, they were beginning to do something about it: the Defiant, the Sovereign-class Enterprise...
Because the time-line basically ends there, we don't know if they ever learned their lesson. We do know that they won the war against the Sphere Builders. A shame that that story was never displayed on screen.
Sun, Jan 11, 2015, 5:00pm (UTC -5)
Am I the only one who thought it was silly that Sisko ordered O'Brien to Sickbay when he had a completely non-life threatening injury, despite the fact that the Defiant is in a huge combat situation? Don't you want your best personnel on duty in such a situation?!?
Sat, Feb 21, 2015, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
I too was disappointed by how Damar died. Considering how his character arc was built up over the past season or so (his character arguably had the most development), having him go out like that didn't provide adequate closure. I read a Casey Biggs interview (source: where he said that they had originally planned an unsatisfying, Tasha-esque death for him, and he asked if that could be changed to a more meaningful death. I also remember reading another interview a few months ago (can't find the link now, unfortunately) where Casey Biggs stated that his last word "Keep.." was adlibbed by him, since he felt that him falling dead without any last words also didn't do Damar justice. It's a sentiment that I share, and I appreciate the gravity and depth Biggs brought to Damar's character - "Well helloooo!" "Maybe you should go talk to Worf again, ha!" are just a few of the choice lines he delivered during the latter episodes of DS9.

My favourite story arc in general to be honest was the Garak-Kira-Damar storyline. Superb acting and lines. I could have easily surrendered the Pah-wraith storyline for more of their scenes. Dukat's character was butchered, which was a shame, as he shone in earlier seasons, as evidenced by episodes such as the darkly humourous 'Civil Defence.'
Sat, Feb 21, 2015, 11:23pm (UTC -5)
@Vii: If Damar's death as it was in this ep was considered 'more meaningful', I'd hate to know what they had originally written.

This was still a very good series finale even by today's standards but Damar's death and the wrapping up of the Pah-Wraith arc were major minus points in my book.
Sun, Feb 22, 2015, 10:02am (UTC -5)
I actually like the abrupt and almost random way Damar died. He died fighting "for Cardassia" - the precise mechanics aren't important, and the execution as presented makes it more realistic. He's not Boromir fighting off orcs in The Fellowship of the Ring.

I tend to blame Paramount for not really allowing enough budget to end off the Pah-Wraith arc with more impressive setpieces.
The Dreamer
Sun, Feb 22, 2015, 12:25pm (UTC -5)
Thanks for this site Jammer and thank you posters as well.

I am a big fan of the entire Trek Franchise. I still have a lot of TNG, DS9 & VOY on VHS. But I did miss a lot of DS9 during the original airing due to the crazy scheduling. My wife did a lot of recording for me since I was a night worker for a long time.

There were episodes in each series that I did really care for but this site along with Memory Alpha gave me new found appreciation for those episodes. Especially when it provided insights into what the producers, actors and directors were trying to do and ether failed or suceeded in accomplishing. Interestingly, they are quite frank about how and when they messed up and equally when they were just trying to have a little fun. E.G. the little ship episode.

Thanks to Netflix (TM) I have been rewatching DS9 solely focusing on how the characters developed. For example, I could not remember the episode where Jake was teaching Nog to read, or when Nog wanted to join the federation since those were always B stories. But I finally found them and enjoyed them. There are also episodes that I don't like as much but hey I know it is just a show and accept it as such. We cannot expect a perfect product. One thing I did appreciate was the effort put forth to flesh out the characters, heck even the GemHadar had some development. But even then, time ran out and some issues could not be shoehorned in even though the producers wanted to. Oh well. It was also obvious that the cast was aware of these efforts and as far as I know, did not have any issues with the screen time or lack thereof. (If they did I know someone will point this out.) Also imagine how things would be now with so many shows going to shorter seasons!

I know that the religious angle was controversial and the producers got a lot of heat for it. Maybe that is why the Pahwraith arc fell a little flat. One poster made a point about the chants needed to awaken the aliens. (Post Hypnotic response perhaps?) But I did like the posts that highlighted that more dialogue would have been interesting in the fire caves between Sisko and Dukat as a follow up to "Waltz", but we did not get it. I am certain that if it did happen, someone would have once again critized Brooks for overacting (not me!). But I guess then it would have been appropriate. Who knows. I do know that the producers tried to bring us the unexpected and most times they succeeed. That being said, If all that was needed was to knock a possessed man with a special book off of a cliff, that was something anyone could have physically done. But in a war of words and wills, perhaps this would have made the showdown more meaningful since that was always the crux between Sisko and Dukat the war of wills as opposed to a physical or spritual confrontation. This would have been interesting, Dukat getting the upper hand by means of his red eye powers an at the same time they are going at it verbally, then Sisko says something that distracts Dukat, affects his focus for a moment, then Sisko gets all "Hulk Hogan" on him, gains the upper hand and then knocks him over the cliff, perhpahs still "dying" in the process. Cheesy? Corny? Perhaphs, but based on the way it happened, Winn could have tackled Dukat and sealed the gate and then what of sisko? Enough on that.

I also wondered why Sisko did not visit Jake either. It seems that corporeal visits to the celestial temple are limited to one person at a time. My only other conclusion is that since Sisko is not "dead" and Jake has matured a lot , he is not the person he was during "The Visitor" and Sisko felt that speaking to Cassidy was the thing to do and that Jake would understand. Whose to say that Jake did not get a visit offscreen or that they did not discuss the events of "Visitor" at some point. I guess a hint would have been nice or those so called "throw away lines" used to tie upt loose ends. But we don't know and can only speculate and I have not read any Trek novels other than Q-Squared so phaser me.

The race discussions were also very interesting. The opinions cited are enough so I wont add to it. I do recall one post about the lack or absense of dark skinned bajorans. There were in fact numerous dark skinned bajorans (civilains, vedeks, security members) throughout the series. But these extras rarely spoke and there was never an episode that featured one of these characters as a major player. Apart from the main cast (Brooks, Dorn, Lofton) there were plenty of African Americans who had intrigal roles so there was plenty of representation. (Tvtropes has topic of about the alleged whiteness of space and sci fi, and they handle it with humor and class as well). So there, as a plot point the race of the actors is a non issue, to me anyway.

Rewatching any program often allows the us to pick up on very subtle actions added to the story line to make us think. I liked the comment about the subtle interacions between Sloan and Ross. I will be looking for that one the next time.

But this is not to say there were no plot holes. The discussion about a "cloaked" trilithium bomb being sent toward a sun was very interesting and nicely discussed on this site. During apocalypse rising I still wondered if stabbing a changling would actually kill him. Remember someone threw an object at Odo and the object went through him, but he was aware of this so that may explaiin it, and he was been knocked out as well . But it was clear that "Martok" wanted them to shoot Gowron anyway. But it is what it is.

The banter on the board is intriguing and I also don't always agree with the opinions of each one but enjoyed it all nonetheless.

See you in space!!
Sun, Mar 1, 2015, 10:19pm (UTC -5)
@NCC-1701-Z: I completely agree. Considering how they built up his character and drew us into his story arc, if they'd gone with their 'original' script it would have been even worse, considering how unsatisfied most people are with the final product.
@Josh: The comparison with Boromir made me laugh, and I agree that we don't want anything that dramatic - especially given the fact that Damar isn't supposed to be a person who gives grandiose, moving speeches. A scene where Kira or Garak acknowledge his death after the war might have been nice, though, since by the happenings of the last episode the three of them had grown to be somewhat fond of each other. Kira leaning upon Garak's chest and laughingly suggesting they knock on the door to Dominion headquarters really wasn't something I'd expected to see.
@Dreamer: I read another interview with Avery Brooks (can't find the link again, sorry) and he mentioned that he too was displeased at how his and Jake's relationship was unresolved. Apparently the writers hadn't even planned the final scene with Kasidy, but Brooks felt that the connotations of a married man leaving behind his widow and unborn child were unacceptable, which is why the writers eventually went with the King Arthur "I will be back in your hour of greatest need" ending.

I love how this board is still going strong and inspiring such stimulating discussion, sixteen years after the series ended.
Sun, Mar 1, 2015, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
(PS - Sorry for not separating the paragraphs above, I'd written it on Word and copied and pasted. Hope no one's eyes are imploding.)
Brian S.
Mon, Mar 2, 2015, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
@zzybaloobah: In any case, the bioweapon attack on the Founders isn't "genocide" -- not in the normal sense of the word.
Genocide has strong negative connotations for 2 reasons:
1) It's *mass* murder. Arguably, the Great Link is a single organism. The rules of "mass murder" simply don't apply.
2) It's indiscrimate targeting of all, including non-combatants. But, all Founders are either direct combatants, or members of an entitty that is guilty of massive war crimes, including genocide and the total subjugation of slave races (Vorta, Jem'Hadar). If breeding slave races to fight your battles isn't a massive war crime then I don't know what is.


Interesting points.

It could even be argued that the Founders are the only real combatants since the Jem Hadar and the Vorta are just clones serving the Founders purposes and fighting on their behalf.

Part of the reason the Dominion is so strong and so close to winning the war on multiple occasions is that the Founders don't really care about the lives of anyone. There is no cost to them. If Jem Hadar/Vorta are killed, you just manufacture more of them. They have two slave races of entirely disposable people genetically programmed to fight and die for the Founders. A billion Jem Hadar could be killed and the Founders wouldn't care. Simply ramp up production at the cloning facility and in a few months or years, the loss is nullified.

Without the virus, the war against the Alpha Quadrant was entirely a win-win situation for the Changelings. If the Dominion wins, they win. If the Dominion loses, billions of AQ solids are exterminated. Remember, the Changelings hate ALL solids. Their goal is to control or destroy all of them. So even if the Dominion loses and fails to gain control over the entire AQ, what do the Founders get? Billions of dead Cardassian, Klingon, Breen, Romulan, and Federation peoples. Hardly a loss from their POV. The Founders would just assume kill all Cardassians as rule over them, and they don't really care anything for their disposable slave Jem Hadar or Vorta. All of their "solid" enemies everywhere die brutally while they sit back comfortably out of harm's way.

Attacking the Changelings through this virus seems the only way to get them to have any skin (or liquid) in the game.

Though, I must bring up one other point I just considered and hadn't really seen addressed elsewhere.......Odo was apparently infected with the virus back in S4. The Dominion certainly posed a threat at that junction and there had been a few deadly skirmishes, but the Federation was not technically at war with them yet. The Cardassians hadn't even yet joined the Dominion. It wasn't a peace, and the Cardassians/Romulans had tried to destroy the Founders' homeworld with conventional weapons the prior year (a military strike that Starfleet Command seemed tacitly willing to accept even if not wholly endorsing it or willing to carry the attack out themselves), but it is fairly dark to wage this kind of biological warfare as a first strike against an enemy that the Federation wasn't even technically at war with yet.
Fri, Mar 13, 2015, 7:10pm (UTC -5)
Too many goodbyes, first the bar scene, then the montage scene, then individual goodbyes, then the Jake scene, and finally saying goodbye to the station fadeaway.

They should have saved the montage for the end, then cut to a quiet scene of Jake looking out the window, wormhole thing.

On a side note: The Jem Hadar are ordered to let their god be taken as a prisoner. She ordered them to stand down, but it just seems wrong. She and Odo should have went home together, then some Vorta should have stayed on the station to make sure the Alpha/Gamma Quads are completely separate - but peaceful.

Who writes this crap?
Mon, Apr 20, 2015, 10:20am (UTC -5)
They killed Bareil, they killed Ziyal, they gave the spectacular stupendous unique Gul Dukat, the single best character in all of ST a trivial end, and they killed the second best character ever, Damar. Sisko ended up in the never never of the celestial temple idiocy. Every time an awesome promising character or story line was suggested by these mentally challenged and LAZY scriptwriters it was not allowed to go anywhere. The dusgusted smirking look on Weyoun's face when the horrid female changeling is peeling was a dramatic opportunity these idiot scriptwriters missed. Weyoun should have snapped HER neck and the Vorta should have co-ruled the universe with the Carries. I officially loathe DS9, a dozen or so outstanding episodes over the 7 seasons but all the promise of the most inventive ST series ever tossed out the scripwriting airlock.
Mon, Apr 20, 2015, 10:22am (UTC -5)
Sorry, typo, Cardies, that is!
Thu, May 21, 2015, 4:11am (UTC -5)
I thought the entire series was poorly written. Certain events occurred or had been resolved (mostly the latter) too quickly, as if they knew that people would forget what had happened after a full commercial break. TNG on the other hand, had events occur logically and thoughtfully. Deep Space Nine did have a darker side, examining more complex moral issues and that made it better than TNG.
I thought the actoring was horrendous for the most part in Deep Space Nine. The best actors were Quark, Odo, and finally Worf. The actor who played Sisco was aweful. I compare him to Shatner because he breaks down his spoken words into groups, and he sounds like a machine when he says his lines. It's a good thing DSP doesn't give Sisco as many lines as TNG gave Picard.
If you binge-watch the series as I did, you recognize a pattern in how the shows are presented. The middle of each season is dedicated to side-plots and character development, such as Ferengii affairs, etc. By the 5th or 6th season, I learnt to just speed through those episodes. I also noticed that the shows are created around the concepts of tiny cliff-hangers designed to keep the viewer on the couch so that the viewer watches the commercials.
The ending was disappointed. I was hoping that the Federation would bargain for peace with the Founders using the cure they had. Instead, Odo linked with one of them, and then the war was over. It didn't make any sense. In a way, the cure was the bargaining chip, but it wasn't made clear that it was.
Deep Space Nine had a very dislikable character or two, and they totally misused those characters during the final episodes and that was the true crime of the series. I'm referring to Dukat and the Kai.
Another problem with DSN is that there is alot of "spirituality" concepts. TNG was much more Atheistic in nature, even with Q running amok at times. I prefer the religious slandering of TNG over the spiritual overtones of DSN.
DSN had superior CGI, and the epic battles seemed closer to Star Wars than any other Star Trek I've watched to date.
I thought it was a mistake to kill Jadzia/Dax in the sixth season. I didn't find her replacement to be compelling at all. She was just a week and uninteresting character that kept whining. It should be noted that she was tiny and uglier too, which doesn't help the cause. I felt like too much time was devoted on that in the seventh season, rather than tying up loose plot ends.
Also, sometimes the show didn't make much sense. Like the changeling that had the ability to be a gas, a mist, and it can be jailed... Or that the Defiant can be cloaked but during wartime it remains uncloaked and taking on hits when it could have been cloaked... Or how easily people can travil within the galaxy, to earth for instance, as if it didn't take any time at all, unlike TNG where you felt the enormity of the galaxy. Or the weirdness of the alternate universe shows that were obviously time fillers for the writers.
In conclusion, the final moments of DSN were spoiled with too much interpersonal character sideplots rather than the political aspect of the intergalactic war. Many shows built a plot over a long period of time, but the climax of the story occurs so late that no time is spent on the denouement of the episodes. The only long denouement is the final episode where each character says their departing 'good-byes'.
Fri, May 22, 2015, 11:42am (UTC -5)
^^ "It should be noted that she was tiny and uglier too, which doesn't help the cause" ^^

Hahaha, oh come on you had some good points but you had to say this? I mean compared to Terry Farrell isn't just about everyone tinier and uglier?

The best actors of the main cast are for sure Odo and Quark, then next tier I'd say go to Kira and O'Brien / Julian.

As far as the secondary cast goes though, they were pretty much batting 1000 there. Garak, Dukat, Weyoun, Martok, Winn, Damar, Leeta..

No, not Leeta just kidding! She's super nice in person and goes way out of her way for Trek fans but she doesn't belong in that sentence.
Seven Of Nine
Fri, May 22, 2015, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
"I mean compared to Terry Farrell isn't just about everyone tinier and uglier?"

We believe otherwise.

Thu, Jun 18, 2015, 9:56am (UTC -5)
Thank you Jammer for some very insightful reviews, that sometimes changed my opinion. Have finally finished a task I started in January. Strangely, I find myself thinking of brilliant individual episodes, and one of the best fictional villains I've ever seen....but.....I think B5 did similar arcs a lot better...and TNG had a much more graceful conclusion. And there was way too much mystico-cobblers (to quote a friend) for my taste. And they ruined Dukat - a truly Shakespearean character - at the end. No, that's ungracious. I shall remember episodes like Duet, the Wire, Rocks and Shoals, In the Pale Moonlight, even It's Only a Paper Moon, as as some of the best drama I've seen in any genre. Some of them probably had more effect on me than anything in TNG. Also I think DS9 generally did comedy much better than both B5 and TNG. I loved Morn, and mostly relished Quark. Now I think I need some British detective drama. Then Voyager awaits.
Sat, Aug 1, 2015, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
DS9's biggest weakness was always Avery Brooks. Scenes between him and Kassidy or Jake, when he lets out that little giggle of his, are near unwatchable. So the fact that his arc is the least satisfying isn't at all surprising. But this episode is still able to be great because the other actors do such terrific jobs. As usual, Andrew Robinson is a cut above the rest as Garak. He way always able to convey so much while saying so little, which is difficult for any actor, let alone one in pounds of makeup and prosthetics on his face. 4 outta 4 stars
Mon, Aug 3, 2015, 8:09am (UTC -5)
I'm a big Sisko defender but I understand what some people don't like about him. But seriously, you're going to take a dig at his scenes with Jake? I don't think there's anybody on the show he plays against better than Jake. I really bought that relationship.

And while I won't rave about Kas, I honestly bought that harder than most Trek romances... although that's not a really high compliment.

What specifically did you dislike about Avery and Cirroc's scenese?
Sun, Oct 18, 2015, 9:07pm (UTC -5)
The sickbay scene here shows a somewhat cramped but still rather decent facility. I remember when we first got the Defiant that Bashir said he had to craft a makeshift sickbay in his quarters.
Tue, Oct 20, 2015, 1:18am (UTC -5)
I have a lot of conflicting feelings about the series and this episode. The episode itself is mostly fine, though I feel Damar's death was a waste -- it would have made much more of an impact if Garak had died instead.

As for the paghwraith stuff, I actually liked it a lot. Sure, it was poorly edited and shrunk down to an unreasonable amount of time to tell the story it wanted to tell, but it was meaningful. Some people seem to think that a "shades of grey" villain is more interesting than a purely evil one, but I disagree -- Dukat's issues at the end seemed due more to time issues than conceptual ones.

Still, I liked Winn's arc, and her struggles of selfishness vs. faith. It felt very real the way her character behaved, and the path she eventually took made perfect sense. I like that Dukat got the approval of the paghwraith over her (always a minion and never a boss), and I like that Sisko had to sacrifice himself.

The obvious solution here was to simply end the war sooner. Post-war wrap-up was bound to be interesting, and by ending the war first, they could wrap stuff up and have time to properly have Sisko transition into becoming a prophet. I don't know why some are saying that's un-Roddenberrian. Did you see the near-godlike beings in TOS?

In any case, the series overall was alright. I felt it was near about ruined by the entrance of the Klingons (apparently a studio-forced choice), whom I never feel escaped their racial cliches. It was just more of the same, only simplified.

Worf was the worst. He did nothing that he hadn't already done in TNG, other than getting married. He was discommendated in TNG, discommendated in DS9. He was personally involved in setting up a chancellor in both. He was a lousy parent in TNG, and a lousy parent in this. He was a lonely, awkward dude in TNG, and a lonely, awkward dude in DS9.

Overall, this is the series that I rewatch the most. It's got a sensible storyline, and feels more realistic than most Trek stuff.
Wed, Oct 21, 2015, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
'Rushed' is the word that comes to mind when I think of the last 4-5 episode arc of DS9. After wasting so much precious time with pointless episodes in the beginning of this season, they ran out of time and now everything feels cramped.

Now, I'm a sucker for happy endings. After 7 years of watching this motley crew, I want to feel happy knowing everything stays the same. There seems to be absolutely no reason for O'Brien to leave, he just does. Odo could just as well return after healing the Link. I've always found a certain racism implied in his "my people"-routine. He has to be among his own kind, this sounds like an anti-rainbow message to me.
Sisko shouldn't die - in a stupid, unexciting showdown no less - he should build his frickin' house on Bajor and be happy there.
Damar's death is pointless too. Maybe just, but ultimately pointless.

The montages - I don't dislike them as a device, but they were badly done. O'Brien-Bashir was great and brought some tears to my eyes. Odo-Kira was horrible, just two scenes from one episode. Both of them deserved their own montage. But Worf's montage beats that: NO JADZIA. Fuck you Rick Berman! You think Terry Farrell cared? I think she couldn't give a fuck. But the fans, who have loved Jadzia for 6 long years, who have rooted for her and Worf - WE CARE! And all we get is Worf and Ezri. That alone costs this episode two stars at least!
Wed, Oct 21, 2015, 11:13pm (UTC -5)

If you want to blame someone for the absence of Jadzia, you're going to have to blame Terry Farrell herself. The producers wanted to use Jadiza in the flashbacks and even had clips of her in the script but she and her agent wouldn't allow them to do it. They then demanded such a huge sum of money for the privilege of using her clips that it was simply cost-prohibitive.
Thu, Oct 22, 2015, 7:09am (UTC -5)
@Luke - Source please? I've heard the opposite, that the producers were so cheap they used her pictures and voice in an earlier episode (Pemumbra) without compensation or permission. Her agent filed a complaint which was unresolved when the finale happened, and they couldn't even ask her because they were still in the process of having the original complaint dealt with.
Thu, Oct 22, 2015, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Been looking around for it and I find things that support my account, your account and a few in between.
Thu, Oct 22, 2015, 7:42am (UTC -5)
Also, I'm against editing stuff for Blu/DVD releases generally... but could they just add the pics in now? I'd appreciate it :P

S7 : The Jadzia Cut
Thu, Oct 22, 2015, 12:03pm (UTC -5)
Ugh, stupid comments won't let me paste the links in (something about cutting down on spam).

I got the info. from Memory Alpha and the links they provide. Go to Memory Alpha's "What You Leave Behind" page. It's under "3 Background Information" and "3.5 Montage scenes". It's the fourth item which starts with "Flashback scenes of Jadzia Dax are conspicuously absent...".
Thu, Oct 22, 2015, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
Interesting. Actually that makes it sound like it wasn't about money as much as it was that she was pushing for a larger role.

I can find lots of people agreeing with my version around the internet, but no official quote. Maybe I heard it in an interview or something. I can't find the original source, so I guess we'll take Ira at his word for now.

I had heard they weren't even legally allowed to ask her because they were in arbitration with her over Penumbra.
Thu, Oct 22, 2015, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
I don't know that I believe the whole "I called your manager" crap... I NEVER got the impression that Terry hated the show, or working on the show, or she hated the directors/writers or anything like that. Just what was the "huge sum" of $$$? Good god man, give Terry a call... someone in the cast give Terry a call...

Any lame brained idiot EASILY would understand the fallback for not including her.

It's just crap, and the veins pop out of my neck each time I watch it.

Break.... I'm all for adding them if and when we ever get BLU-RAYs... but I don't ever see that happening.
Tue, Feb 9, 2016, 4:49am (UTC -5)
I think I've figured out the reason the war in DS9 didn't have a huge impact on me as a whole. I don't understand the Founders motivation as conquering aggressors. They live on a world which isn't under threat and could easily be defended with the Jem Hadar, yet they feel the need to go out and take control of hundreds of other worlds. Why? They're a pool of slime. They have no need for vast resources, they don't even eat so there's no need for new territory for food production. Why do they need to expand their military rule? When the Dominion was first introduced this didn't bother me because it seemed there were hidden motivations, but by the end you have a picture of a single Founder controlling an array of races and ships for no other reason than to conquer the galaxy. I don't buy it.

Tue, Feb 9, 2016, 6:39am (UTC -5)
But quibbles aside, what an ending. The final third is up there with DS9's finest moments. Poignant, touching and well orchestrated. Take a bow, cast and crew.
Wed, Feb 24, 2016, 7:50pm (UTC -5)
@James the dominion and founders amounted to nothing but mustache-twirlers. Their motivations were hardly developed. Maybe they could have done that instead of the myriad of other filler.
Diamond Dave
Thu, Feb 25, 2016, 9:03am (UTC -5)
An almost but not quite perfect way to go out. For me, most of the characters get good resolutions. Possibly the most interesting factor is that two of the main character stories - Sisko and Odo/Kira - don't end up in a Hollywood ending, a particularly satisfying and brave conclusion (which makes Ezri/Bashir even more irritating as that's your classic Hollywood ending right there... but enough of that). To end the series on Jake looking out to the wormhole is a beautiful little downbeat ending. The scenes at Vic's and into the montage sequences are also beautifully scored and staged. I loved Martok's "Humans..." when Sisko and Ross refused to join his toast. If nothing else the Klingons remain unreconstructed. And Weyoun and Damar get the endings they deserved (I always felt appropriately for the latter, who would achieve legendary status in life that his pre-reformation actions perhaps didn't deserve). The action sequences are great (even despite of the reuse of FX shots...).

But there's a big downside, and as many others have pointed out that's the conclusion of the Sisko/Dukat/Winn arc. I can't help but quote Keith DeCandido over at the rewatch " inane storyline involving glowy red eyes and pretentious sounding prophecies that boil down to “we picked you because we needed someone to tackle a guy holding a book into a big fire." It just didn't work, and it particularly didn't work here, given that the pacing and tone was all wrong at the crucial points. Ah well...

Still, there was so much good here, and there's been so much to enjoy in the last 7 series, that it would be churlish to mark down the finale too much. "Minsk!" indeed. 3.5 stars.
Thu, Feb 25, 2016, 10:25am (UTC -5)
"To end the series on Jake looking out to the wormhole is a beautiful little downbeat ending. "

Boy, you're not kidding Diamond Dave. I HATED this ending then and I hate it now. It was sad enough to see my favorite show end but they really twisted the knife by making it end like that :(
Jason R.
Thu, Mar 10, 2016, 6:51am (UTC -5)
"I think I've figured out the reason the war in DS9 didn't have a huge impact on me as a whole. I don't understand the Founders motivation as conquering aggressors. They live on a world which isn't under threat and could easily be defended with the Jem Hadar, yet they feel the need to go out and take control of hundreds of other worlds. Why? They're a pool of slime. They have no need for vast resources, they don't even eat so there's no need for new territory for food production. Why do they need to expand their military rule? When the Dominion was first introduced this didn't bother me because it seemed there were hidden motivations, but by the end you have a picture of a single Founder controlling an array of races and ships for no other reason than to conquer the galaxy. I don't buy it."

The reason the Founders had the Dominion and the Jem'Hadar was specifically because they chose to go out and conquer an enormous swath of the Gamma Quadrant. It's like looking at a guy worth a billion dollars and a huge commercial empire and asking why he needs to keep working, building bigger businesses and amassing more wealth. If he didn't stop with the first million, why would he stop at the first billion?

To be fair to the Founders, we have seen throughout Trek that other species such as the Klingons frequently subjugated or even destroyed other races. Heck, DS9 begins with the premise of the Bajorans, a peaceful and unsophisticated (technologically) people being brutally subjugated on their own world.

We are told repeatedly that the changelings were persecuted for their unusual nature.

At a certain point, the Changelings decided that the best defence was a good offence, and took that to its logical conclusion. When you think about it, conquering a world isn't much different from conquering a quadrant or a galaxy. The Founders saw no other way to guarantee their own safety.

Of course, it was this trait that was eventually their undoing. The plague unleashed on the Founders was a comeuppance long in the making, particularly when we consider their actions in episodes like Quickening and how they altered and manipulated slave races like the Vorta and the Jem'Hadar. Their ruthlessness in protecting themselves was also the seed of their downfall.
Fri, Mar 11, 2016, 1:07am (UTC -5)
Nice to see they devoted a solid 15 minutes to resolving the entire premise of the series, at least.
Fri, Mar 11, 2016, 1:12am (UTC -5)
Also I wonder why they weren't able to put Jadzia in the flashbacks. Worf kissing Ezri was kind of a weird choice. If they couldnt put Jadzia in for whatever reason, it probably would have been best to leave out Worfs romances altogether. A flashback to martok giving worf the family emblem might have been more poignant and meaningful.

I also wouldve liked to see sisko give some last words to jake. Jake really did fizzle out as a character.
Fri, Mar 11, 2016, 7:26am (UTC -5)
@JC - They had originally intended for Jadzia to appear in the flashback montage. However, according to Ira Steven Behr...

"We had planned to see Terry Farrell in the flashbacks but she refused to let us use any of her clips. The way I see it is this: Her manager was informed that we were thinking of using Terry in a scene in the final episode. It would have probably been three hours of work... maybe four. The price they quoted us was too high for the budget. After all, this was a show where we had to cut out hundreds of thousands of dollars from the original draft. Her manager was informed that we weren't going to be able to use Terry. And on top of it, the scene we had been thinking of for her was really not that germane to the plot. I think Terry's feelings were hurt. When it came to the issue of the clips, they again felt that they would prefer that we went a different way without using the character of Jadzia Dax. So we did. I wasn't happy about it. I'm still not happy about it. But it is a reminder that even Star Trek is just part of the great showbiz sludge."

Given that they had earlier used Farrell's image as Jadzia without her permission - when Ezri sees Jadzia's and Worf's wedding picture and decides to go save Worf - I'm sure that didn't help the situation.
Fri, Mar 11, 2016, 9:49am (UTC -5)
Long story short, it was either Terry's way or "no way". A bit of a shame too. In retrospect, she could've used the extra publicity.
Fri, Apr 22, 2016, 8:00am (UTC -5)
Loved this incarnation of Star Trek, if only Voyager had been brave enough to follow the same trend of long term storylines.
I didn't think that the Dukat ending was a disappointment at all, yes I suppose him and Sisco could of had a more in depth discussion but I've always thought by this point the script writers had made it pretty clear what Dukat wanted; he wanted the Bajorans to love him, respect him and worship him... throughout the entire series the one constant with Dukat has been his continued dismay that his "fair" reign over Bajor was unappreciated by the population and that he looked at them as his "children", this is all something that came easy to Sisco as the Emissary to the prophets with the irony being that Sisco never cared or wanted that worship or adulation which is why Dukat hated him so much.
Peter G.
Fri, May 27, 2016, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
zzybaloobah's comment above is the perfect response to so many of the criticisms of how wrong DS9 is regarding the Federation. I find it strange how many Trek fans insist on playing the purity card when their sense of Trek history is lacking detail. Another poster above astutely mentioned the close parallels between the Dukat/Sisko final scene and the final scenes in Where No Man Has Gone Before. Maybe the fire and special words made people upset, but the basic element of the telekinetic powers and strange aura was present in at least a half-dozen TOS episodes. There were countless benign or nefarious "advanced" incorporeal beings in TOS, and yet when they become a major plot focus here it's "technomagicbabble."

I really think these kinds of complaints are sort of petty, because honestly - and this is a complaint I make as an artist rather than as a Trek fan - if you are so sure about what would make a better story then you should become a writer and do better. If you can't, then you should relish the writers who can. I can see an objection to how a story is told in terms of technique and the quality of direction, acting and writing; these are sound areas of concern where a good idea can fall flat. I found the Ezri/Bashir scenes in The Dogs of War fell completely flat (actually worse), but that is a technical complaint rather than an objection to them having a romance in the first place. I can understand an objection about how the story of the Emissary was resolved, for example, but to complain that the basic concept of the prophets and supernatural stuff is stupid; well, that's like watching the X-Files and saying that the mystery stuff was good but the stuff with aliens was stupid. That's part of the basis of the show! It's the concept. The question is what they do with it. Is anything relevant to our lives told through the story? In the case of DS9 the answer comes back with a resounding "yes" in every department.

I love this finale but don't really have any particular critique or praise for its particulars. It was the fitting conclusion to a story that was all about characters becoming enmeshed in a war they didn't want. The lack of Terry Farrell is a reasonable complaint and is indeed a blight on the flashbacks, and I think it's fairly plain that too much battle footage was re-used, even though it was artfully done in the editing. But I've watched this series a lot of times, and I honestly think that most of the other criticisms being levied at logical issues are resolved by thinking about the facts of the series more. Things that people in a pinch think don't make sense - they really do, but it's not immediately obvious why. DS9 never played to the cheap seats; a lot of its inner thinking is left for the audience to wonder at or learn from re-watching. In this it is pretty much the antithesis to Voyager, which relentlessly hammers you in every episode with exactly what the moral of the story is and exactly what the writers are trying to say (usually Janeway or Chakotay voice the moral explicitly, almost staring into the camera as they do so). But in DS9 we are not privy to what the characters are thinking a lot of the time, and sometimes they do things they don't bother explaining, which doesn't mean they don't have a reason. It just means it's not our business to have it spoon-fed to us. The final link between Odo and the Founder is a great example of this, where frustrated viewers wonder what Odo could really have "told" her (even the question phrased that way belies misunderstanding of what he did). And the lack of having this explained suggests to these views that it was just deus ex machina and that the proceeding surrender was illogical. Such protests really need to be reconsidered, since if the viewer gives any credence to the writers at all they should assume there is a sense to be found and that if it isn't this means the viewer has missed something. The assumption that an immediate lack of understanding means the show screwed up is a bad habit bred by lazy writing in other shows, I think. Then again writers do make mistakes, but it takes some work to determine whether a particular question can be ascribed to an outright mistake versus a mystery to be solved. DS9 is all about the fact that people (alien or Human) are giant mysteries that never fully get solved. The same goes for how to protect paradise; there is no magic answer.
William B
Mon, May 30, 2016, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
So, I have already started writing a longish thing on this episode (and, by extension, the closing arc, the season, the series...) but it is hard to pull my thoughts together. I think I will write something short for now, just to get some sense of completion for the moment. Overall, I'm okay with the finale. I don't love it, though I love individual scenes; I don't think it's a failure, though there are certain elements that I consider failures. The Odo/Founder rapprochement and her surrender is a good example of my mixed feelings about the finale. I don't find that element incomprehensible at all, ultimately -- I think that the series as a whole has set up Odo's turning the Founder fairly well, and I have already started on what I think it means and its significance. However, I also agree with, e.g., Ric that the moment falls flat emotionally. I agree with Peter G. above that the writers do understand more or less why the Founder changed her mind after Linking with Odo and that it is probably a mistake to believe that the writers simply boxed themselves in on this particular plot point; I don't really have a problem with it on that particular level. However, as with other elements in the finale, I think it is rushed and lacks some of the poetry that the show has elsewhere. Nor do I think it is wrong for fans to feel unsatisfied with that moment and scene. Most of my feelings about the finale are like that -- that I think that things mostly work, but that due to the amount of material that had to be covered (and some of the material that didn't strictly *have* to be, of course), some things fall flatter than they should, are given less justification than they could, and so on.

For the most part, I think the Cardassia material was strong, especially the series of gut-punches delivered to Garak. (Notably, the focus really does shift away from Damar to Garak as far as Cardassian POV goes early on, which is I think a wise choice since Garak is the more central character.) Garak's final scene with Bashir is my favourite in the episode and maybe the most radical development in the show. It occurs to me that to go from the pitch-black despair, covered with a thin layer of vicious irony which can only barely hold him together, to Vic singing and a long shot of the writers hanging out is a kind of tone whiplash that is incredibly hard to take...but I also feel glad they were willing to accept that tone change. I think that the show was never going to end on that extreme a downer note for the central, opening-cast characters, and so to try to have an ending that does *not* jump from such extremes of experience would basically mean reducing the despair shown in the Garak material, rather than bringing a much more sombre tone to the post-war material, and given that choice I'd rather accept the tone mismatch in order to know that we *have* that Garak scene. Cardassia ends up fighting on the same side of the Federation, but *too late*, and the tragedy that they are ruined on all sides, with both Weyoun and Martok indifferent to their fate, is harrowing. I would like to watch some of the scenes again, especially the laughter-before-the-door open scene, which I think is important insofar as it really does sell how intrinsically Kira has become *one of these guys* and the differences have faded (without her actually forgetting what they, Damar in particular, did), though the gallows humour still felt a little forced when I watched it. The Founder's desperation was particularly well-played, and despite my comments about feeling a little unsatisfied by the Odo/Founder scene, I do like the resonances that it includes -- the way, in particular, Odo comes to the Founder when she is isolated in a bunker, surrounded by enemies, mirrors the way the Founder managed to turn Odo's head in "Behind the Lines" once Odo's "side" was something of a minority with less and less chance any moment.

It's interesting that the people who end up having the most to do dramatically in representing the Federation Side at the end are Kira and Odo. I guess in the end I'm not that concerned that Bajor's entry into the Federation was never secured; I would have certainly liked some dialogue about whether or not there were plans for it underway, even dialogue announcing that it was uncertain. But Kira's ability to be both Bajoran and to take on Federation values, and the way that Starfleet uniform is part of the package that allows her to be able to work with former enemies in the Cardassians, satisfies some of the mythological elements of what Bajor's entry into the Federation would mean without actually having to go through the process. For Odo, well, I said I have started writing about it, and I have, but in summary I think it's tremendously important that he can say and believe that the Federation has its flaws but does not believe in conquest, and I think especially the fact that he owes his cure to Bashir and O'Brien risking their lives is a huge factor...though in the end I feel a bit frustrated that after having the Federation complicit in attempted genocide (it's not just that Section 31 did the virus, but that the Federation then refused to consider even talking about curing them until Odo decided to spontaneously) the argument still rests on the Founder finally seeing the light on Federation goodness. I keep going back and forth on this.

The goodbyes mostly work for me; I do think that aspects of it get excessive, and I find both the song and the montage hard to get through. The way characters are all basically sorted into their own species -- O'Brien, the main human character who is neither mutant nor part Prophet, goes to Earth, Worf to Qo'noS, Odo to his Homeworld, Garak to Cardassia, Rom to Ferenginar, Sisko as part Prophet to the Celestial Temple -- suggests to me the implication that DS9 is a kind of intermediate place, where people grew and changed on their way to (eventually) going back "home." It makes sense to me that Ezri, Julian, and Jake are still on the station, as some of the younger Federation types (who are still growing and becoming in a way that others haven't). Of the goodbyes, Kira/Odo is the most touching but Bashir/O'Brien is also quite affecting, the Quark/Odo ending was a little obvious but still a nice counterpoint, and the little moment between Ezri on the Promenade and Worf was a quiet, understated touch ending a dynamic which was not always dealt with in quiet or understated ways. (Bashir/Garak is a different kind of scene -- the other endings can seem bittersweet, but there isn't much sweet there.) The tone of postwar parting reminds me a great deal of the "M*A*S*H" finale, which I like and which has been not unjustifiably accused of being bloated and sentimental. Despite the fact that the Dominion War was not present at the series' beginning, this whole series has been about something like war -- starting with rebuilding Bajor in the immediate aftermath of devastation, after all -- and the mixed feelings about vicious conflict ending but of people scattering now that this is done mostly come across well, albeit largely only in individual one-on-one scenes. (I was left cold by the party at Vic's, for what it's worth.)

Here is what I have positive to say about the end of the Prophets/Paghwraiths plot: I have felt for a while that Sisko's biggest job with respect to Bajor is to prevent them from self-destructing for a couple of years until they can stand to be themselves. "Covenant," for its flaws, pointed out how Bajorans' desperate need to worship someone can lead them straight back to Dukat, and this has been a common theme in the series, not just that there are Bajoran sectarian conflicts but how quick they are to follow any authoritarian leader (Jarro, Winn, Akorem -- Akorem is not evil but they sure changed everything around for him), and also their desire to lionize people like Opaka, Li and Sisko. "Accession" mostly implied that Sisko's primary job as Emissary was to be an object of worship who doesn't tell the Bajorans to ruin their lives, because if he refuses to fill that vacuum someone else will. So the act of Sisko destroying Dukat and himself in the process seems to me to be symbolic of finally ridding Bajor of its need for a dictator (the psychosexual element of Winn sleeping with Dukat being the ultimate metaphor of Bajoran's desire to go back to the simplicity of following blindly some dictatorial figure) or even a figure of worship -- Sisko remains The Emissary, presumably, to Bajorans, but is now just an idea rather than someone whose job it is to use his near-absolute power over Bajoran hearts and minds a moderate rather than excessive amount.

In the end, this was the big risk for Bajor since the beginning -- for Sisko and the Federation to swallow Bajoran identity wholesale. Sisko and the Federation would be benevolent more so than Dukat and Cardassia (who only saw himself as benevolent), but basically it would be impossible in season one for Bajor to join the Federation as an equal member state rather than as a desperate supplicant. For Kira to be both member of Starfleet and member of Cardassian resistance while also maintaining her Bajoran identity is the way to show that Kira, and thus Bajor as a whole, may now be able to enter the Alpha Quadrant as an equal to other powers. Bajor maybe will or maybe won't join the Federation, but hopefully it will be as an equal. And for that to happen Kira needs to be in charge of DS9, Bajor finally in charge of its own fate, though DS9 remains as multinational as it ever was with no contradiction between Kira being in charge (and being Bajoran in a Bajoran uniform) and Starfleet, the Bajorans, neutral agents like Quark etc. still being involved in the upkeep. The last shot of Kira and Jake links the two as "children" of Sisko who are now grown up.

That Kira is, in addition to taking on Sisko's role, also to some degree taking on Odo also suggests what lessons Odo brought her as well; it occurs to me that Kira's dedication to Odo despite his working for Cardassians and seeing him (for a time) as somehow above the fray of the Occupation, and her falling in love with him as her first non-Bajoran true love, maybe indicates that Odo is the key to Kira learning to see things beyond *just* being a Bajoran; he is the first alien she loved, and that includes an eventual recognition of the alienness of his morality, too. (I think by "When it Rains," Kira knows on some level that Odo was sort of a collaborator, despite her statements to the contrary, hence some of the rage after Rusot's dude suggests the point and the way she says "You don't have to answer that"; it's just that her recognition that Odo really was doing his best given how isolated he was is more important to her than that.)

There is presumably more to say about the Sisko/Dukat/Winn story and Sisko's becoming a Prophet and his conversation with Kasidy and his notable ABSENCE of conversation with Jake (or, frankly, Kira), and I want to, I do, but I've said most of what I have nice to say about it. Really, it might just be that I still don't really understand what this story is supposed to be, and I should take some more time for reflection. I do feel very bad for Jake and for Kasidy, especially because the direction and scoring keep referencing "The Visitor," where Sisko learned how devastating his being dead-but-not-quite-dead was on Jake, effectively ruining his life, and so it bothers me a lot that Sisko plays that "maybe a year, maybe yesterday" card (and also fails to say goodbye to his son), in a way I suspect was not actually intended. But I know that some of it is just that I have a hard time understanding what Sisko's ascension to apparent godhood is supposed to mean in the first place, because I still have a hard time telling to what extent this is supposed to be theology, to what extent it's supposed to be weird powerful alien stuff and how much it's a weird mixture of the two and to what extent it's something else entirely. To me the arc just reads as pretty tragic; rather than coming to a greater understanding or something, it seems to me that Sisko just becomes more and more passive in accepting what the Prophets tell him to do, except for his periodic rebellions which don't seem that convincing for some reason; his credulousness seems more and more cultish as time goes on. Whereas Odo is given an ending where he rejoins his people (with pretentions of godhood) and leaves his loved one, it is still clear that there is a two-way exchange -- Odo gets what he has wanted in reconnecting to his people but he also is there to heal his people and to hopefully change them to become less hostile to the whole universe. I guess we know that Sisko convinced the Prophets to wipe out that Dominion fleet that time, so I shouldn't complain, but "Sarah's" cryptic pronouncements read more and more like explicit manipulation as I watch them, which Sisko increasingly consents to. Peter G.'s interpretation ("Shadows and Symbols" thread) that because Sisko is part Prophet the mythological story here is that Sisko's faith in them becomes faith in himself does intrigue me and I will continue to ponder it.

With regards to the Dukat side of things, the main lesson seems to be that deep down, he's super-duper evil, and the Dukat-Paghwraiths combo want to set the Quadrant on fire, and...I don't know guys, I don't even know. I really do feel like much of the Dukat material, starting in "By Inferno's Light" but especially post-"Waltz," is an attempt to remind the audience how evil Dukat is, but, like, okay, got it; what else do you have to say about Dukat besides that he's evil? Aspects of his seduction of Winn were interesting and I already laid out what I think the Sisko/Dukat Holmes/Moriarty self-other destruction were about, but otherwise it still plays out as goofy, especially in the way the dialogue really tries to sell this as the payoff to a series-long Sisko/Dukat arc. At least we didn't get a reveal that Dukat's mother was possessed by a paghwraith. I do like that the episode pays homage to "Where No Man Has Gone Before," for what it's worth. I'm trying to practice a little humility now and again, so I'm willing to admit that there is artistic merit I am not seeing. I did like Winn poisoning Dukat though, that was rad.

So I ended up writing a fair amount anyway. I guess I like this finale more than I don't, but I do find it choppy in tone and with several endings I find quite questionable in execution and, well, concept, too, though I admit that I might just not be able to parse it correctly right now. I was originally going to say 2.5 stars or so, but what it does well it does well enough that I think I can recommend it. I will say 3 stars, I guess. As with all my ratings, it is provisional, etc., etc., I can never make up my mind about anything, but overall I am happy with most of where the characters ended up, think that the melancholy, bittersweet feeling is appropriate to the series, and found several moments to be exceptional.
Sat, Jun 4, 2016, 1:22am (UTC -5)
Wow, 17 years after the finale aired the first time, and my fifth or sixth viewing of the entire series, and I STILL get melancholy and sad at the ending. The one thing that strikes me every time is seeing how Ciroc Lofton literally grew up before our eyes during the seven year run of the series. I felt he and Avery Brooks had such a genuine father-in-law chemistry, so believable. All that to say that I personally feel Jake Sisko deserved better than what happened to his father, especially given how he lost his mother at such a young age. But yet, here we are, still talking about the series SEVENTEEN years later. Good job, writers, actors, producers, and staff!
William H
Sun, Jun 12, 2016, 4:02pm (UTC -5)
The Prophet stuff really needed to either be connected to the Cardassia plot - even if only in the slightly loose way they did at the beginning of the season - or have its own episode. As it is, it just feels awkwardly tacked on.

And yeah, I wasn't keen on the montage.

This probably isn't really a valid criticism, but this really doesn't work well as two seperate episodes when its shown that way. The mid point is just a bad place to split it.
Thu, Jun 16, 2016, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
"But it is a reminder that even Star Trek is just part of the great showbiz sludge." Ahem. As bathetic comeuppances go Terry Farrell's decision not to give permission outstrips anything from Robert Beltran. That's a telling pay-off for you, folks. I know , trolling again, but one of the weakest players on the show being very coldly professional - read between the lines! Can't help feeling there were a bunch of actors involved in this, often contributing to the drama being sub-par or plain embarrassing, who roll their eyes about the show. There is a sub-reality of DS9. Like they took that allegorical potential in Jordi being a projection for the Trek viewer and really ran with it, quite far. So you succeed in making a show that connects very well to the converted but comes across with manifest shortcomings to the casual viewer, and certainly to anyone looking for outstanding or ambitious long running drama. I don't doubt Ira and Biemler and Ronald Moore think they hit it out of the park and I have to concede, at least formally, the DS9 finale crushes Endgame and All Good Things.

I stayed the course and that montage scene sums well the awkward, painful element. But as I was watching it, finding it all too much, DS9 doing its take on an AFI tribute, I suddenly found, in spite of myself, it was rather affecting. Like, saying to my gf, wtf are dropping now? While fighting back the emotion. Numerous times when I have been frustrated with the show, with how they consistently mess up Worf (compared to TNG), with Dax being Dax, with Sisko saying "Old Man', and well, just being Sisko, with Bashir who early on is singurlarly far worse than anything on Voyager, with that mystic religious bullshit, with Adami, with the gay hairdresser villain and his double act with the female changeling, something still pulls me back in. It might be Morn, could easily be Kira who outshines Sisko as the hero of the show, or Quark. Just generally, the weirdo faces, the non (in the voice of Rom) human ness of it. DS9 is often at its best with the incidental moments. And of course, clearly it takes Trek "outside', conceptually it's far more diverse and questioning than anything else in Trek, those reboots included. And those magnificent Ferenghi! I think the deep conformity, ah the showbiz sludge, of the show sometimes jars with its more absurdist, inspired side but they get it right with Odo going to his tuxedo for the seriously trippy farewell scene with Kira. And special mention for kicking off the montage scene with O'Brien picking up the toy figure. That is a lovely touch. Ha, possib;y taking the bromance a bit far (I mean you may as well just be honest guys, they did have deeper feelings for each other but like Nog losing both his legs sometimes u have to compromise).
Fri, Jun 17, 2016, 9:37am (UTC -5)

This show might have been a better "Last Hurrah" than "All Good Things" but "All Good Things" was definitely better Sci-Fi. I'll take cosmic anomalies over soap opera-level red-eyed monsters any day.

That's not to say I didn't like both endings, it's just that this one overhypes the war only to end it anticlimactically. When I watch this, I always feel like the writers were pushed into making a war story by executives, when they really wanted to do a show about Changlings, the Gamma Quadrant, and Sci-Fi.
Sun, Jun 19, 2016, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jun 17, 2016, 9:37am (UTC -5)

This show might have been a better "Last Hurrah" than "All Good Things" but "All Good Things" was definitely better Sci-Fi. I'll take cosmic anomalies over soap opera-level red-eyed monsters any day.

Agree. AGT was much better SCI-FI.

And jack_Faith,

WYLB should even be mentioned in the same breath as AGT. Read my review above for all the faults. I won't mention them here.

In short, AGT wraps up the series involving all the characters in 3 different times in an interesting SCI-FI puzzle culminated by all the crews working together to prove once again that humanity is worthy of traveling the stars. Capped off by a simple game of cards that ended an historic TV series on a positive and moving note.

WYLB, well.... it's just a turd. Jake loses is father again, Sisko becomes a god via some witchcraft mumbo jumbo crap and they doesn't even remember all the characters in the montages.

They aren't even in the same league.
Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
"We've never seen such a threat to the Federation. Maybe *that's* why people claim this isn't Trek -- it's hard to have "Trek optimism" when your existence is threatened."

That's not why people laugh at DS9.

The problem with DS9 is that the threat is a giant strawman argument. The threat makes no sense and the response to the threat doesn't make sense.

The series is like the Iraq War with spaceships and where WMD's are real and just shut up, don't think and send in the airforce because EXISTENTIAL THREAT and AMERICA!! HOO RAH!! PROTECT THE REALM !
Peter G.
Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 11:03pm (UTC -5)
"The problem with DS9 is that the threat is a giant strawman argument. The threat makes no sense and the response to the threat doesn't make sense.

The series is like the Iraq War with spaceships and where WMD's are real and just shut up, don't think and send in the airforce because EXISTENTIAL THREAT and AMERICA!! HOO RAH!! PROTECT THE REALM !"

Nathan B.
Wed, Jul 6, 2016, 10:22am (UTC -5)
I'm surprised no one mentions here the fact that Sisko is a Christ-figure. Born of the will of the Prophets, taught to suffer and to bear the weight of the Alpha Quadrant, died, and resurrected. Then, like Jesus, he appears to Mary Magdalene, er, Kassidy. That closing shot of Jake and Kira--who so deserved their final goodbyes with Sisko--looking at the wormhole and missing him recalls Jesus's "where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them." But Sisko and the Prophets also have a bit of an Old Testament feel to them, too: that's how they can surprise us with their willingness to undertake actions that don't immediately look right: possessing Sisko's mother's body so that she will bear the Chosen one, firing a gas into a planet that will make it uninhabitable for humans, murdering a foreign diplomat and his enterouge and lying so as to bring the Romulans into the war, etc.

And that's why we don't get to see Bajoran assured of Federation membership. That's why Jake doesn't get his farewell. We're dealing with godhood, now. Things will be different, and surprises will be in store. Ultimately, then, the story is about Sisko's evolution towards, and acceptance of, his divinity.

In making the story in this way, DS9 leaves the consistent atheism of TNG behind in favour of concerns more germane to our world today. I'm something of an atheist myself, but I find the long-term character arcs of the darker, if still Trekkian DS9 much more entertaining.
Nathan B.
Wed, Jul 6, 2016, 10:25am (UTC -5)
"...Bajor assured...." Sorry!
Peter G.
Wed, Jul 6, 2016, 10:42am (UTC -5)
@ Nathan B,

"In making the story in this way, DS9 leaves the consistent atheism of TNG behind in favour of concerns more germane to our world today."

I beg to differ. The beings in the wormhole are aliens, not gods. Their power is, frankly, trivial compared to what we saw from many beings in TOS, and even some in TNG. That they had the ability to bring Sisko into the Celestial Temple rather than let him die is a neat trick, but somewhere in the vein of Sloan avoiding death on Romulus using transporter sleight-of-hand. Since the major races all have the technological ability to teleport people across large distances one hardly needs to presuppose divine intervention to explain Sisko being saved.

That being said I agree that in terms of imagery and theme there is something Biblical about Sisko, but I would argue that it's far more to do with Abraham than with Jesus (being an outsider in a strange land, being willing to sacrifice his son, having an uncertain dialogue with a greater power, abiding by the wishes of the prophets as a sort of covenant). That Sisko had a 'divine birth' and is part prophet is the Jesus aspect of it, but we could argue that this aspect of his story is present in the myths of many cultures and isn't Christianity-specific.
Wed, Jul 6, 2016, 11:11am (UTC -5)
@ Peter G- "The beings in the wormhole are aliens, not gods. Their power is, frankly, trivial compared to what we saw from many beings in TOS, and even some in TNG."

Don't forget they also made a fleet of thousands of Jem H'dar warships disappear too. The Prophets might not be on par with Q, but that's hardly a parlor trick!
Peter G.
Wed, Jul 6, 2016, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
@ Del_Duio,

The prophets making a fleet disappear had a profound effect on the Alpha Quadrant, but in practice it wasn't much different than cutting the rope on a bridge that an army is crossing. It doesn't take a god to allow the army to tumble to its doom for trusting that the bridge-keeper will allow it to cross. This was one of the great wake-up calls in the series, because all parties involved in the conflict had basically forgotten the prophets existed and were taking travel through the wormhole for granted. This colossal omission in judgement was why what happened to the fleet was such a reversal. But it didn't happen because the prophets were great, but rather because the Dominion and Dukat were too self-involved to see what was right in front of them.

Creating a stable wormhole is no doubt a technological marvel - maybe centuries ahead of what the Federation could do at the time. But it's no more divine than warp speed or transporters would be for a race that hadn't invented them yet. Once you have the technology to create such a structure it doesn't seem to me all that impressive to be able to shut it down or redirect what's inside it at will. Now, if the prophets had made a fleet *outside* of the wormhole disappear, that would indeed be pretty good evidence that they were among those 'godlike' beings that Kirk met from time to time.
Nathan B.
Fri, Jul 8, 2016, 12:51am (UTC -5)
Well, Peter G., I think your comparison to Abraham was interesting--there certainly are, as you pointed out, a number of parallels between Sisko and Abraham. That said, I think the Christ-figure designation has far more applicability to Sisko. Abraham did not have an unusual birth or death, and he was not divine. Jesus, on the other hand, has a virgin birth, a resurrection, and is a deity, to boot, so I'd say that it is the Christ-figure comparison is much more applicable here. Furthermore, Jesus, like Sisko, is in a sort of communion with God; thus, for instance, you have Jesus on the cross asking God why he (i.e. God) has forsaken him (i.e. Jesus); I was reminded very much of this when the wormhole closed itself and the Prophets stopped speaking with their Emissary and through the orbs.

I think the term "Christ-figure" is the one that best captures this aspect of Sisko. Of course, there are similar figures in other mythologies and in stories from other cultures, but the fact remains that DS9 was produced by Western culture steeped in biblical imageries and stories.

Now the fact that Sisko is willing to do things like murder several Romulans, and deceive an entire people in ITPM, throws a whole twist on the Christ-figure theme.

Back in The Next Generation, on the Enterprise, there is in Picard's conference room a painting showing the light of a sun coming over the shape of an intervening planet. It's an obvious allusion to a magnificent scene from "2001: A Space Odyssey"--it's shown quite a number of times in TNG. 2001 itself was paying homage to Nietzche's "Thus Spake Zarathustra," which predicted that mankind would eventually turn into something god-like, once it had cast off the shackles of religion. The whole idea of TNG is that things, people, species, even ship spare parts, are evolving into something that we could conveniently call "godhood." Sisko in DS9 parallels this evolutionary development, except that he gets incorporated into a existing sort of religious system--even as Odo does (despite the fact that he didn't want it). A major part of DS9, then, remains optimistic about the potential of living, sentient beings in a fundamentally TNG-ish kind of way.
Peter G.
Fri, Jul 8, 2016, 9:57am (UTC -5)
@ Nathan B,

Sisko obviously does have some Christ-like narrative qualities, so in a broad sense I wouldn't dispute that he has some Abrahamic and some Christ qualities. However in the sense of the general DS9 narrative he seems like Abraham rather than Christ, to me. The most important reason for this is because, simply, Sisko isn't perfect, and isn't any kind of messiah. He is part-prophet, but Jesus wasn't part god; according to Christianity he *was* god. He literally could not do wrong. Moreover, he was meant to be not only the example but also to be worshipped. Not Sisko on either count. He's just a good guy trying to keep the faith. And then of course there's the matter of the fact that the prophets are not divine, and therefore Sisko cannot be divine because he's one of them. It just means he isn't entirely human. He's no more divine than Spock is for having been born of two different species.

Not that it's that central to your argument, but I have to nitpick this point:

"Nietzche's "Thus Spake Zarathustra," which predicted that mankind would eventually turn into something god-like"

This is incorrect. Nietzsche's overman has nothing to do with either evolution or with divinity, and is entirely a psychological statement about what men can be if they aspire to greatness. Similarly:

"The whole idea of TNG is that things, people, species, even ship spare parts, are evolving into something that we could conveniently call "godhood.""

This is *definitely* not what TNG is about. Granted, we do get a tiny clue from Q that humankind may be destined for something great down the road, but the Roddenberry universe is not about men becoming godlike but rather about them becoming humane.

Now that I think about it this is actually kind of central to your point after all. I would really oppose the notion that Star Trek has anything to do with humans aspiring to become gods, and in fact there are many episodes in TNG and TOS where it is made explicit that if offered such powers they should be rejected. One of the biggest apparent objections to DS9 is the Sisko-prophet-divine thing, and I think part of the problem here is people buying into the Bajoran interpretation and taking whatever they say for granted. The Bajorans say the prophets are gods, and we are told the prophets are real, therefore this show is about religion - what a bunch of BS. Something like that. Well they aren't gods, we should not take the Bajorans' word for it, and although the prophets are real the show is no more a religious show featuring a messiah than was "Where No Man Has Gone Before" or "Hide and Q".
Andy's Friend
Fri, Jul 8, 2016, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
@Nathan B. and Peter G.

Re Sisko as Jesus or Abraham, I tend to agree with Peter. It seems to me that Nathan is focusing on Sisko as *form*, which indeed most resembles Jesus; while Peter is speaking of Sisko more as *function*, which equally obviously more resembles that of Abraham. As I believe that, in this context, function is more important than form, I tend to agree with Peter. But you are actually both right, in different ways.

Having said that, however:

PETER G.―"simply, Sisko isn't perfect, and isn't any kind of messiah. He is part-prophet, but Jesus wasn't part god; according to Christianity he *was* god."

I may be reading you wrong, but it seems to me that you've got it all wrong. Jesus was, indeed, only part god.

Jesus was both *fully divine* and *fully human,* and as such, only part God. This is called the Hypostatic Union: True God and True Man. It is fundamental Christology of all major Christian denominations that survived the 5th century, and the Council of Chalcedon (451), the only exceptions being the Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Syriac Orthodox, and a couple of ofshoots. These are extremely ancient churches, in communion with each other, but not with any other Christian churches.

Other than the above, the Hypostatic Union was maintained by all: the Catholic Church, all Protestant denominations after the Reformation, as well as the Orthodox Church. As I wrote, it's fundamental Christology.

What you are suggesting sounds like Monophysitism: the belief that the divine nature of Jesus is somehow more important than his human nature.

You should know that Monophysitism was condemned as a heresey at Chalcedon, and a very serious one―denying the nature of Christ (of which it is only one variant).

This is no superstition or white magic charge: it would have you condemned very severely as a heretic until fairly recently. Be glad you're writing this in 2016, and not 1616―or the Holy Inquisition (gasp!) would be knocking on your door anytime soon... ;)
Peter G.
Fri, Jul 8, 2016, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
@ Andy's Friend,

"I may be reading you wrong, but it seems to me that you've got it all wrong. Jesus was, indeed, only part god.

Jesus was both *fully divine* and *fully human,* and as such, only part God."

Yeah, I think you're just reading me wrong. When I used the word "part" I meant as in a fractional sense. Spock is, for instance, 1/2 Vulcan, 1/2 Human (or maybe close to there, depending on how the genetic dice fell). He is neither Human nor Vulcan, but a hybrid of both. Similarly Sisko is not entirely a prophet, nor is he entirely Human, although we aren't told exactly in what way his 'being a prophet' manifests physically, if at all. Jesus, however, was entirely a man, and also entirely God. He was not a 1/2 Human, 1/2 God hybrid species. That's what I meant when I said he wasn't "part god". I know the heresy you mentioned and that's not what I meant. The fact of Jesus supposedly having been both entirely Man and God is a statement of the miraculous, just as transubstantiation in the wafer is miraculously both a wafer and the body of Christ. But there is nothing 'miraculous' (i.e. impossible according to physics as we know it) about Sisko's origin. He was just born of a woman possessed by some entity. What's so miraculous about that? It's definitely weird, and even cool, but not divine.
Nathan B.
Wed, Jul 13, 2016, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
Peter G. and Andy's Friend: good discussion!

I think a few things need to be cleared up. First, I use the word "god-like" as something of a metaphor--both for Star Trek and for Nietzsche. Furthermore, Nietzsche's Overman emerged from the same intellectual stream that produced Charles Darwin. Also, I do definitely think that Sisko *functions* as what is traditionally termed a Christ-figure. The fact that he does so does not mean that this role exhausts who Sisko is, though! I agree that Sisko can be fruitfully compared to Abraham--and that comparison also does not exhaust his character, either.

More centrally, I think that Peter G. and I have a fundamental disagreement about the meaning of Trek. As I see it, the evolution of humankind and other species towards something that greater is central to Trek, most especially in TNG. From Transfigurations to Evolution to Emergence to the Q episodes, TNG celebrates the evolution of species and individuals, and that evolution is open-ended, and often trends in the direction of the divine.

Regarding the notion that humans should not aspire to be god-like, I disagree. I suspect you may be thinking most especially of two episodes: "Hide and Q" and "The Nth Degree." But surely the point of these two episodes is that humankind is destined for far greater power and knowledge, but these have to come organically from within--no short-cuts. No one argues that because the boy Wesley refuses Q's gift of instant manhood, that he should remain a boy forever. As Wesley tells Q, "I'd rather get there on my own." If Wesley had accepted Q's gift, he would have been a sort of Pakled (i.e. he would be advanced but without the morality to justify the advance). Similarly, Barclay as God didn't work because it wasn't a logical development of Barclay's journey--he was literally zapped into godhood by an alien.

Speaking of aliens, the Wormhole aliens are worshipped as gods by the Bajorans. Now, DS9 drops hints that the Prophets have already evolved (they are, "of Bajor," as the Prophets themselves put it. But apart from Keiko and Jake (and Weyoun), no one ever says the Bajorans shouldn't worship the Prophets. Sisko himself goes out of his way to tell Jake, who wants to see the Wormhole Aliens as not divine, that "we can't afford to think that way." Now, in the real world, I side with Keiko and Jake, but that's another matter.

DS9 delves not only into themes of evolution, but also the meaning of faith. After we see so many heartfelt prayers, from Dax at the orb to Weyoun (forget which #) to Odo, to even Dukat at the altar of the Pah-wraiths, you can't say that DS9 isn't a show in large part about the impulse to faith and religion. The fact that this theme sits in fruitful tension with the stories of evolution to godhood is a testament to the tremendous writing that undergirds the whole series.

DS9, like all other cultural phenomena, didn't arise in a vacuum. With themes from evolution to godhood to the journey of faith and religion, it responds to the world we really live in--which, by the Nineties, was a world in which it was obvious that religion was gaining in importance, rather than declining, DS9 was perfectly positioned to entertainingly probe what it means to be human, even as the two themes (among others) guaranteed a wide potential audience.
Nathan B.
Wed, Jul 13, 2016, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
Sorry for the typos. I wrote my comment on my cell phone!
Mon, Aug 8, 2016, 11:16am (UTC -5)
I was disappointed that the writers dropped the ball on the fate of the founder. He/She committed a war atrocity, ordering the killing of 800 million civilians, that made Adolph Hitler look like a Sunday school teacher. But for that, she get's taken into "custody" and is cured by Odo. Garak should have melted her right after taking out Weyoun.
Peter G.
Mon, Aug 8, 2016, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Good thing no one relies on you to uphold the Geneva Convention...
Mon, Aug 8, 2016, 9:25pm (UTC -5)
You might want to read up on whether the Geneva Convention covers those who commit atrocities not to mention the fates of people like Hermann Goering.

At any rate the Founder had it coming a lot more than Wyoun did.
Fri, Aug 12, 2016, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
I didn't like it. Everything was rushed. It felt like the writers just said 'Ok let's get this over with.'
Series wrap: The first season started with a whimper. Things got gradually better as the seasons progressed. Then the show ended with a whimper
Jasonr R.
Thu, Sep 1, 2016, 11:33am (UTC -5)
"You might want to read up on whether the Geneva Convention covers those who commit atrocities not to mention the fates of people like Hermann Goering"

I am pretty sure Goering got a trial and wasn't "melted" on the spot by the people who captured him.

But apart from the moral implications of murdering a captured surrendering enemy leader on the spot without trial there was the pragmatic issue of what to do about The Dominion. Its Alpha Quadrant forces may have been beaten but that was only a tiny sliver if its total power which was completely untouched in the Gamma Quadrant and still capable of invading (and conquering) the alpha quadrant.

Yes they could have let the founders die of the virus but this would have plunged the Gamma Quadrant into chaos and may have endangered the alpha quadrant if rampaging Jem Hadar came scrambling through the wormhole looking for revenge. (A scenario discussed previously when the Obsidian Order and Talshiar attempted genocide on the Founders)

While the Prophets had prevented that invasion previously there was never a gurantee that they would continue to do so indefenitely. Moreover, it was certainly in the Federation's interests to find a longer term solution to the problem besides depending the benevolence of alien deities.
Jasonr R.
Thu, Sep 1, 2016, 11:54am (UTC -5)
By the way Peter, while I generally agree with your comments concerning the nature of the Prophets and your claim that they are not overtly "divine" for the most part - you are ignoring one small but key piece of evidence.

When Dukat released the Pah Raith and closed the wormhole there is a curious scene where Weyoun frankly acknowledges that Dukat's actions have somehow tipped the momentum of the war in the Dominion's favour. This follows Gul Dukat's previous comments that the Prophets would protect Bajor and that to deafeat Bajor one needed to defeat their Gods first.

Weyoun makes it clear that he does not believe the Prophets to be Gods (leading to one of the funniest moments between Weyoun and Damar). This tells us that unlike Dukat or Kira his assessment must be considered unbiased. So we must presume that Weyoun knows what he is talking about!

I suppose you could say that this is just coincidence, but again I find that hard to accept given Weyoun's comments.

Getting back to what you said previously, yes TOS and STNG did have powerful entities like Charlie, the Dowd and Q who could perform great feats. But I doubt there were any who could (or would) use their power to subtly tip the balance of a galactic war in favour of one race or the other. This to me is a level of power beyond what we had previously seen. Yes Q could have vaporized the Federation, but influenced "fate" in this way? This is the antithesis of what Trek stands for or stood for previously. If meddling with fate is not divine power it is practically indistinguishable from it. Even Q could never have accomplished this - as was clear particularly Hide and Q and EAF.
Peter G.
Thu, Sep 1, 2016, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.,

The question to ask is what changed after the wormhole closed. Or even better, what were the WA's doing before it closed? Or even better, what do they do in general aside from communicating with the Emissary? We don't know the answers to any of these therefore it's difficult to argue what they ceased doing as a result of Dukat's actions. We could even argue the placebo affect, where the Bajor sector was key to Starfleet's general actions and the morale around Bajor was destroyed. There is also the fact that Sisko left, which then begs the question of how vital he really was to Federation planning. Offhand we'd guess not that vital, except the series puts him right on the front lines of both action and planning time and again, being the designer of the offensive actions into Cardassian space as well as the fleet commander in certain battles. We might be tempted to explain this away as "well he's the star so duh they're making him involved in everything", but to take the story seriously it does appear that his insight is somehow vital to the war effort. And by this time in the series his insight comes at least in part from the WA's.

Are the Krenim in Voyager considered by anyone to be divine? They had the power to rewrite history for large swathes of space, to say nothing of affecting future events. Although between you and me the writers had no business giving such a technology to any race roughly on par with other spacefaring races, all the same no one suggested they were divine for having mastery of the future and the past. They just had a crazy tech, that's all. In fact there's no reason to believe the WA's even have this power; theirs is far lesser based on what little we know. What it seems they can do is inspect timelines side-by-side and analyze what actions or events lead to one or the other, and they therefore can choose whether to prod the course of events one way or another. This is not dissimilar to the power of the kwizatz haderach in Dune, who likewise isn't a god but simply knows which levers to pull at which time in order to create the desired future. This can even involve minor influences and acts that create large results; it doesn't have to be major things like the dominion fleet vanishing. In fact, I got the distinct impression that the WA's were facing a turning point when they made the fleet vanish, and that they had never done anything like that 'before' and weren't even planning to do it then if not for Sisko's plea. Rather, it seems their preferred method of altering events was to use remote communication tech and get individuals to make choices that would lead in the desired direction. Remember "Statistical Probabilities", and you may see where I'm going with this. The whole point of that episode was that one single person in one room could affect galactic events, and this should tell us that the WA's don't need to exert massive power to create massive results. Just a word in the ear of the right person at the right time and defeat could become victory. Weyoun himself says he doesn't even know what's different, only that the Dominion is having better results. If the change was noticeable he'd have mentioned it; therefore the change must have consisted of minor or even undetectable shifts in patterns.

Are the WA's powerful? Yes. But having that kind of power doesn't bespeak being a god. It just means they have a *type* of influence different from the other advanced beings we've met so far. In fact, their uniqueness is precisely the premise of the entire show, so of course they are unlike what we've seen elsewhere. When studying the martial arts or tai chi, for instance, we are taught that precise application of energy is more efficient than brute force. Aikido experts are well-known for being able to disable someone using very little effort or 'force', even though the result can be devastating. It's all about balance, leverage, and knowing exactly which moment and way to push the right button. I see the WA's this way; as using delicate pushes here and there rather than bludgeoning aggression like the pagh wraiths would do.
Jasonr R.
Fri, Sep 2, 2016, 4:44am (UTC -5)
Getting back to Weyoun you mentioned that even he did not know what was different. Weyoun, the genetically engineered master general of the Dominion, could perceive nothing tangibly different about the war, yet "something" (intangible?) was different.

You mentioned the Krenim. True they could erase entire species but whatshisname didn't foresee Janeway flying Voyager up his a$$ did he? Just as Q didn't foresee Picard besting him, particularly in the earlier episodes when he was much more the malevolent adversary. Powerful entities could influence the direction of events within the story but not the *story* itself.

Something about the Prophet's abilities strikes me as "meta". Their power is almost like that of the writer himself- when they're there, the good guys can't seem to lose even though logically they should! Does that make J.J Abrams a Pah Raith?

Okay I concede I am on a bit of a flight of fancy with this theory. My Prophet as writer / God is something I just pulled out of my rear end, although given Sisko's writer / alter ego and the events in the Desert of Tyree, not the craziest of crazy theories.
Peter G.
Fri, Sep 2, 2016, 11:50am (UTC -5)
@ Jason R,

Alright. I think I see where we might take your argument. But first, about Q, even in TNG it seems evident that Q deliberately wants to amuse and surprise himself, so whether or not he can actually see the multiverse and all its futures, it appears that he allows him self at least to momentarily not glance at that so that he can enjoy himself. Voyager's "Death Wish" expands on how far a Q might have to go in order to actually achieve that amusement, which may even include wilfully ignoring what he already knows. The prophets, on the other hand, have motives we know not of, but which seem content on keeping firm control over what they're planning.

But back to your suggestion. I think there's a strong case to be made that the prophets actually are meant to be an allegory to the writers of Trek...or any other series. All of the levels are there: they can "see" the possible futures but try to guide the 'good' one into production. They tell the characters what to do, but conversely are informed by them and even learn from them as time goes on. Many writers express that after writing certain characters for a while they take on a life of their own and begin to almost write themselves; the author no longer needs impose arbitrary words and acts to that character, but rather they make demands of their own that are almost logical necessities of what came before. This kind of interplay can be seen in the interplay between Sisko and the prophets, where the main character is the writer's emissary in the world of imagination. This is brought out nicely in the Benny storyline, where he is both the writer and he who is written; the dreamer and the dream. If a world is supplied with sufficient internal logic it will begin to dream itself; it supplies its own fuel, it the writer is sensitive enough to use it. JMS said this many times about his writing of the Babylon 5 characters. And it's also true that both the prophets and the writers care about the characters, even though an unbridgeable gulf separates the caretaker and the cared for in this sense.

So on a meta-level, yes, I think the WA's are the counterpart of the writing staff, and their interaction with the story is analogous to the interaction writers have with the story. Usually it will run along its intended course, and once in a blue moon the writer will step in and shake things up permanently. The prophets did this with the Dominion fleet just as the writers did it by introducing the Dominion in the first place, or even by other shake-ups like the Kira/Odo romance. You can even see a principle of writing being stated through the manner of the prophets, which is gentle guiding and future-thinking, while not allowing the hand of the author to be seen too blatantly or to get in the way of the organic development of the world being created.

But in-story I think the analogy ceases to have direct relevance, because we have to look at what the WA's actually do. And nothing they mechanically do seems to be godlike other than the fact that they have a bird's eye view of time, which I still see as being a technological feature rather than a spiritual one.
Sat, Sep 17, 2016, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
A pretty good last episode to the series.

A little too much space magic for my taste, to the point of almost putting the episode in the fantasy category than the science fiction - a slight distraction from an otherwise satisfactory ending.

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