Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Improbable Cause"

4 stars

Air date: 4/24/1995
Teleplay by Rene Echevarria
Story by Robert Lederman & David R. Long
Directed by Avery Brooks

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"The truth is usually just an excuse for lack of imagination." — Garak

When Garak's shop mysteriously explodes, Odo opens an investigation into why someone would want to kill DS9's enigmatic tailor. The result is one of the series' best outings, with terrific performances and outstanding direction from Avery Brooks, as Odo learns this mystery runs much deeper than it initially appears.

The creative team again takes a serious look at Garak and his obscure history, with an insightful follow-up to last season's "The Wire." If "Wire" was supposition, "Improbable" is confirmation. At the same time, the writers provide satisfying follow-ups to plot threads from both "The Search" and "Defiant." Rene Echevarria delivers the season's most deftly written story, balancing elements of intrigue and substantial character development into a phenomenal package characterized by the most brilliant dialogue ever sported on the series.

Odo's investigation first leads him to a Flaxian suspect who was quite possibly hired to assassinate the Cardassian exile. But the question remains: Why would anyone want to kill Garak? Part of the problem with Odo's investigation lies within Garak's mysterious past and his talent for "spinning out elaborate webs of lies." Garak maintains that he has no idea why anyone would want to kill him—just a mere tailor. However, Garak, being the puzzle he always is, must surely be hiding something. (After all, as Garak puts it, "The truth is usually just an excuse for lack of imagination.") This leads Odo to begin the investigation with Garak himself.

Odo sticks to Garak through much of the episode, pressing him for more information. The pairing of these two characters makes for one unforgettable scene after another. This installment is wall-to-wall with great lines. These two are an absolute joy to watch, with their entertainingly expansive vocabularies and use of deadpan understatement. Auberjonois and Robinson both turn in superb performances, having full command over their elaborate dialogue and effectively utilizing their vocal talents and facial expressions.

Meanwhile, the plot takes on a startling revelation with each succeeding scene. Odo has O'Brien rig the Flaxian's ship with a tracking device so he can follow it with a Runabout. Upon arriving in the Runabout, Odo discovers Garak waiting there. After a humorous exchange, Odo reluctantly allows Garak to remain on board for the "interesting trip" and begins pursuit. But as the Flaxian engages his warp engines, his ship explodes. Odo's understatement of the year: "Well, it seems that our 'interesting trip' has been cut short."

Evidence suggests that the Romulans hired the Flaxian to kill Garak, then blew up the Flaxian after his failure, but Odo still has no idea why the Romulans would want Garak dead in the first place. This leads Odo to take a Runabout to talk to a mysterious Cardassian "contact" from the Central Command who may have useful information. This is a very ominous and effective scene, with appropriate lighting and a mysterious, full-sounding score by David Bell. Odo's contact proves to be an interesting puzzle. He's undoubtedly indebted to Odo from a previous favor, and their discussion reveals another clue into the plot. The contact speaks of cloaked Romulan activity near the Cardassian border which seems to suggest some sort of preamble to an invasion. Whoa.

But the missing clue is Garak. Odo's contact also supplies the names of five Cardassians who died the same day Garak's shop exploded, and not surprisingly, Garak had previous ties with them. When Odo returns to the station with these names, Garak finally talks of his past.

Garak and the five deceased were powerful associates of Enabran Tain (Paul Dooley), the retired former head of the Obsidian Order (also established in "Wire"). As for why the Romulans would want these former Obsidian members killed, Garak doesn't know. "But Tain might," he says.

Since Garak has an idea where Tain may be lying low, this allows another Runabout trip for Odo and Garak. Here, there's a fascinating discussion between these two characters that reveals some of the more private aspects of their personalities, and it's quite easy to see that both are truly lonely characters.

Suddenly, in the middle of Cardassian space, a Romulan Warbird decloaks and snags the Runabout with a tractor beam. Odo and Garak are taken aboard the ship and find themselves face to face with...Enabran Tain. Tain has some revelations of his own. He was the one who killed his five former associates for fear of those with knowledge of him and his past. He has a rule: "Always burn your bridges behind you. You never know who might be trying to follow." Further, Tain tells Garak of his plan to end retirement, and has joined the Obsidian Order with the Romulan's Tal Shiar, planning to take a fleet into the Gamma Quadrant and wipe out the Founders of the Dominion. (Remember the fleet of Obsidian ships being built in "Defiant"? Bingo.)

Tain decides to give Garak a second chance by forgiving his betrayal (one element which still remains a mystery) and offering him the opportunity to join him. Garak accepts, deciding it's time to end his exile. So much for "plain, simple Garak."

If part two lives up to this half, this may prove to be the best two-part arc of the series, because "Improbable" is the season's most brilliant episode, with a fascinating intrigue plot, great dialogue, engaging character interaction, flawless pacing, and an impressive scope that takes us on several short adventures away from DS9 and ends on a Romulan Warbird. What more could you ask for? And, for once, let's give an A+ to the preview team, whose strikingly intense tour de force preview for part two is unmatched by any Trek preview I've ever seen.

We're talking quality here.

Previous episode: Through the Looking Glass
Next episode: The Die Is Cast

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49 comments on this post

Daniel Lebovic
Mon, Mar 9, 2009, 12:32am (UTC -5)
I still do not understand precisely WHY Garak wanted to pique Odo's curiosity such that Odo would eventually want to enter the Gamma Quadrant with him. What exactly did he think Odo would be interested in (Garak having not known in advance for sure that he would meet and ally himself with Enabram Tain?) Why EXACTLY did Garak want Odo to launch an investigation with Garak as the target? The only purpose (one would think) of getting Odo to investigate is to somehow have Odo around to provide useful information at some point. But it was anything but inevitable that Odo would end up being in that position (which he was, in part II, when Tain sought for him to be interrogated). Other explanations seem rather... feeble. Garak wanted Odo simply to meet his father? To go on a pleasure trip? To share some interesting information?

Garak never had a plan until the end of episode 1, but before that, he wanted Odo to get involved in his.... plan that he didn't have. I don't get it...
Thu, Mar 19, 2009, 8:49am (UTC -5)
I just watched this last night (going through a personal DS9 marathon), and to answer your question, Daniel...I'm pretty sure it's established that Garak found out about the Flaxian's plan to poison him. So in order to save his own life and find out who wants to kill him, he blows up his shop in a way that guarantees that Odo gets involved. After all, Odo suspects Garak is part of the Order, and Garak knows Odo suspects that, so what better way to ensure an investigation takes place? Garak knew Odo wouldn't be able to resist.
Alexey Bogatiryov
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 1:08am (UTC -5)
When this episode aired, this was the point at which I was hooked on DS9 and would not miss it for the world. No better storyline and characterizations as the one that got rolling in the third season have ever been made. I will go out on a limb and declare that DS9 still remains superior to BSG!
Sun, Jul 5, 2009, 7:19pm (UTC -5)
I'm surprised this got a higher rating than 'The Die Is Cast'. For all the dialogue, very little actually happens in this episode- it's really a prelude to the, in my opinion, much better follow-up.
Mon, Feb 22, 2010, 4:33am (UTC -5)
Maybe it's all prelude, but it's very good prelude. Garak is at the top of his game here and every scene with him and Odo s a lust to behold. I can watch their scenes over and over again.
Thu, Jun 17, 2010, 1:14pm (UTC -5)
It was nice DS9 had recurring characters who played a substantial role in the big picture. Over on Voyager, what do we get? Lieutenant Ayala grinning like an idiot from the background.
Wed, Mar 23, 2011, 9:03am (UTC -5)
Fantastic episode. I would rank it next to BOBW, the difference being in this case that Part II is better than Part I.

Daniel: I don't think Garak knew at the beginning WHO was trying to kill him. Even when he found out it was the Romulans who were behind it, he had no idea WHY. So I think he was just trying to avoid being killed by having Odo start an investigation before the assassin had a chance to act. The only way to do that (in his eyes) was to blow up his own shop.

Alexey: I haven't finished BSG yet, but I can't imagine ever loving it as much as I love DS9.
Tue, Jun 28, 2011, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
I also adore the writing and dialogue in this episode. "Julius Caesar" being my favorite Shakespeare play, it was a pleasure to watch Garak and Bashir spar over it at lunch, only to have Garak do an about-face and approvingly quote the play near the end of Part II. ("'The fault is not in the stars, dear Tain, but in ourselves.' Something I learned from Dr. Bashir.") Great way to tie up beginning and end, spread over two full episodes.
The mystery and intrigue of the Cardassians, and Garak's character in particular, have allowed DS9 to age VERY well.
Mon, Aug 6, 2012, 3:23am (UTC -5)
The best episode of the season by a mile for me.
Fri, Aug 10, 2012, 1:52am (UTC -5)
While I do criticize plot twists that don't make sense (see my comment on "Duet"), this time all the plot twists really do make sense. Remember, Garek is just trying to stay alive. He saw the Flaxian assassin and knew he was in trouble. And he didn't want to go to Odo perhaps out of pride. So being the dramatic person he is, he blows up his own shop prompting an investigation and forcing the Flaxian to abandon his plans. At this point I'm speculating, but I think the Romulans may have assumed the Flaxian blew up his shop and were pissed that their assassin was so sloppy. I sincerely doubt that Garek knew that blowing up his shop would eventually lead him to Tain. Again, he was just trying to stay alive.

Great writing. The plot twists are plentiful and make sense. Great acting as well.
Thu, Sep 27, 2012, 5:09pm (UTC -5)
Alexey, I agree
Wed, Oct 23, 2013, 8:57am (UTC -5)
Great episode with some good development for Odo and Garak.

Sun, Nov 3, 2013, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
A pure joy to watch that show, in particular of course the interactions between Bashir and Garak. My favorite piece of dialogue:

Bashir: "But the point is: If you lie all the time, nobody is going to believe you, even when you're telling the truth"

Garak: "Are you sure, that's the point, doctor?"

Bashir: "Of course, what else could it be?"

Garak: "That you should never tell the same lie twice..."
Sun, Nov 3, 2013, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
What Andrew Robinson and the writers behind him offered throughout the series is simply outstanding. I personally enjoy every second of that character, especially his puzzling background and magnificent eloquence.

It's a shame that Robinson (as far as I can see) never was even considered for any kind of award for his performance. But we got used to that, it's Star Trek - 'Science Fiction' - how can that compete with a series like 'Picket Fences' or 'Chicago Hope' (that eventually got at least nominations)...
Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 12:08am (UTC -5)
Phenomenal. 4 stars.
Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
Still I don't understand why Andrew Robinson's Garack was never officially added to the cast. I'm sure by this time when the show originally aired his character became a big favorite of DS9 fans. Andrew stole the show in almost every scene he was in. And it seemed like his screen time increased with every new season. Why did he never get added to the main cast?
Fri, Jul 11, 2014, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
I was pleasantly surprised at how great this episode turned out because it started off so dull. How much longer can they talk about food? How many minutes can it take Julian to tell the story of the boy who cried wolf? But I loved Odo yelling at Garack, and the ending was superb.
Fri, Aug 1, 2014, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
Wow! It amazes me that the same folks that can give us the ‘mirror’ crap can turn right around and give us this tremendous effort.

Note to DS9 writers.... if you want to make an episode a classic, give Garak more lines.

Just a fantastic episode and I believe this is DS9 at its best.

I'm so glad I didn't need to wait a week when I first saw this. Thank god for DVD's.

Jammer, it's easy to make a good preview of a great episode. :-)

EASY 4 stars from me, 5 if I could.
Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
"You both go to such lengths to conceal the true meaning of your words you end up saying nothing" - Odo

That goes for too many people nowadays.

I miss the days when shows slowed down for a good conversation. For me it's like leaving downtown and going out to the countryside. Odo and Garak together = classic. So many good lines, they alone make the episode worth watching.

Odo: "I find it odd that a conduit running behind Garak's shop should just happen to overload."

Garak re-interpreting the story of the boy who cried wolf. HILARIOUS!

Sisko: "I don't expect [the Romulans] to be entirely forthcoming."
[cut to later]
Romulan: "Yes, we destroyed the Flaxian's ship."

Garak: "It seems that our interesting trip has been cut short."

Odo: "If he did know, he'd already be spinning out an elaborate web of lies to cover up the truth."

Odo: "Given those uniforms of theirs, you'd think they'd appreciate a good tailor."

Garak: "Behind that panel is a compartment containing an isolinear rod. If I'm not back within 78 hours, I want you to take that rod ... and eat it."

Great setup episode. One of Trek's best, and part 2 is even better.
Wed, Oct 1, 2014, 10:51pm (UTC -5)
Interesting fact from Memory Alpha: This was originally intended to be a one-parter, and it would have ended with the rod Garak told Bashir about being real and Garak threatening Tain that its contents would be revealed to Starfleet if he didn't let them go.

Boy, am I glad they didn't go with that ending. It does make Garak's "If I'm not back within 78 hours, I want you to take that rod...and eat it" quote twice as funny though. I'm a sucker for in-jokes and meta-commentary.
Wed, Dec 10, 2014, 11:05am (UTC -5)
What I love about DS9 is the Cardassians. They're the only really well-developed alien race ever made on Star Trek.

They are all-around different. I love the discussions about the difference between Cardassian and human literature for example. Or the way they conduct trials - finally, a society that is truly, entirely different, and yet is big and powerful. The vulcans could have been that, but apart from "no emotion", their society was never really developed.

I LOVED the boy who cried wolf tale: Garek's immediate interpretation of it is so Cardassian, so him, so alien. Or the Cardassian adage about burning your bridges: Taking something we (Western 21st century humans) take for granted and common sense and turning it on its head while still making complete sense.
Nathan B.
Thu, Jul 30, 2015, 8:03pm (UTC -5)
What a phenomenally good double episode! It easily bests BOBW, and ranks as my favourite DS9 outing thus far in the series.
William B
Sat, Sep 26, 2015, 11:20am (UTC -5)
Well, as is often the case I find myself too intimidated by the best of the best to start writing about it right away. I just wanted to say that I think "IC" is definitely a four-star show, and "The Die is Cast" is also 3.5-4 (I have some problems with that one, though I still think it is exceptional). My opinion is that DS9 s3 is a relatively weak year, so I wanted to point out that I love these episodes so it doesn't seem like I have little to praise.
William B
Mon, Oct 12, 2015, 10:50am (UTC -5)
This two-parter still intimidates me but I'm going to roll up my sleeves and try to write a little about it:

Part of the fun of the pairing of Odo and Garak in this episode is that their *deliberately crafted identities* are ones of order and chaos. Odo values "justice" but we've already had the big hint from the Female Shapeshifter that what he cares most about is order; Odo seeks out the truth to resolve what is not resolved. It is his job and he is good at it. Garak's tailor job is orderly in some respects, but it is also chaotic -- stitching together disparate fabrics to make final products -- and his approach to his personal life, outside the tailor job, is to obfuscate, lie, destroy. Garak is the man who blows up his own shop. He runs around tying knots for Odo to untie. These first-order order/chaos identities really are just first-order. Odo's job in security and information is something like we imagine Garak's job may have been in the past, except that the Obsidian Order is far more ruthless. Odo now has contacts that Garak no longer has. And with people he knows dying, Garak is in a bind: he needs to unravel the mystery to save his life, and possibly others as well, but he wants to do so in a way that does not unravel his *own* mysteries, which are his own form of security.

"The Wire" did not reveal the details of Garak's previous life, since he told lie after lie, but they made clear how much his Plain Simple Garak tailor identity was an illusion crafted to hold himself together. He needed the wire to maintain his artificial positive attitude, and when that broke down, his whole identity broke down, leaving him scrambling for others for a time. But at the episode's end, Bashir saved him and Garak returned to the Plain Simple identity, despite Bashir now knowing that this is fake, because at least it is somewhat bearable. By blowing up his own shop, Garak starts by opening the door to the destruction of his current identity -- which he admits gives him a thrill -- which is his way of signalling to Odo (and perhaps the killers themselves) that he is in danger, and not who he says he is, without admitting openly to anything. Garak's security comes from the stability of his identity, but it also traps him; with his shop gone, he can then lie and lie to avoid being vulnerable, but hope that Odo can find out what is really happening to him, find the missing pieces in Garak's own view. And -- honestly -- I think that Garak's blowing up his own shop also means that Garak *hopes* on some level that whatever danger he is in will make his life on the station untenable, that maybe even a time of reckoning is at hand and he may just be able to rejoin Cardassia...though he cannot admit that.

Much of this episode is a tour-de-force of investigative work, moving from detective story to mystery-spy thriller to, eventually, war story as the scope of the matter expands outward; Odo unravels Garak's deceptions skillfully, actually shocking Garak (which delights Odo, one of whose relatively few real pleasures is to catch the perp in the act), tracks down the potential assassin, discovers the Romulan involvement, and finds that Tain's associates have died. "Necessary Evil" similarly had Odo moving outward, to some degree, in an investigation that began small and expanded, and this time Odo seems to recognize, on some level, that he is reaching the limit of where it is wise to proceed; when he and Garak go tracking down Tain, Odo seems somewhat to be trying to dissuade Garak...and yet Odo's curiosity is far too powerful to shut that down. The Runabout scene, coming after Garak has given Odo the figurative runabout all episode, has Garak turn Odo's surgical personality strikes against him, deliberately using Odo's own language ("it has been my observation...") to express some frustration at Odo's lack offeeling, with the hint of rising anger at Odo's judgment that Garak is going off on a maybe-suicidal mission to find Tain, probably anger because Garak is right. Regardless of the reasons, both are tied in to need resolution to this puzzle. That Garak's motivation for all this is deeply personal interests Odo, whose careful observation of humanoids means that he must eventually recognize the personal motivations at te root of most of their behaviour; Odo's outside-observer status makes his own interest in the investigation about a certain distaste for disorder...unless he can also identify, somehow, with Garak.

That the episode deliberately contrasts Odo/Garak with Bashir/Garak is a particular bright spot. Garak ends up having a major episode with several members of the cast -- "The Wire" among others with Bashir, this one with Odo, and (SPOILER) later things like "Empok Nor" with O'Brien, "In the Pale Moonlight" with Sisko, and, um, "Afterimage" with Ezri, in addition to his key involvement in several arc eps. Garak is fully, personally Garak while also doing his own form of shapeshifting depending on who he is with. Bashir tries to impart to Garak the value of telling the truth, tries to communicate to Garak that it is a trait of human(oid)s that they end up trusting those close to them, even if it hurts them, and ends up offering Garak chocolates as he goes away; Garak jokes with him and spars with him, and it's a game and also affectionate. Bashir is a kind of bright, lonely guy who takes pleasure in intellectual pursuits and discussions, and that aspect of Garak is brought out in his Bashir scenes. Odo cuts straight through the fun of sparring, and the slight hint of sadistic pleasure Odo gets when he shows Garak that he can play Garak's game better than him, and then flip the board over in his face, demonstrates that Odo, who makes careful observation of others his purpose work in the absence of his ability to live his own life, is playing for keeps. Often lonely and somewhat isolated due to his intellect as he is, Bashir he cannot quite grasp the level of alienation that Odo and Garak have, and those two *begin*, in an adversarial way, to connect on that level in this episode.

Garak's accusations that Odo cannot understand the personal nature of what happens turns out to be relevant for the test: as in "Necessary Evil," at the end of the investigation is something personal for Odo as well as for Garak, and it turns out that their extremely shaky alliance now puts them very clearly on opposite sides. Odo and Garak were both on the station, but on this seemingly neutral Romulan warbird their species allegiances suddenly come to the fore: Odo is a changeling who must be locked up by Tain, and Garak is a Cardassian who once more might return to the fold. As to the consequences of this, well, this is the subject of "The Die is Cast"; for now, I'll note that Odo drops pretense of acting as judge of Garak's behaviour on moral grounds when Garak seems to be making the disastrous move of reuniting with Tain, and starts moving straight for trying to reason with Garak: *this man is bad for you*. Garak does not listen.

4 stars.
Diamond Dave
Mon, Nov 30, 2015, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
I'm a big fan of episodes that start small and end big. This is perhaps one of the best examples - each twist spiraling up and out until we get to the biggest reveal yet as the Obsidian Order and Tal Shiar plot to launch a first strike on the Dominion.

And of course we have Odo and Garak butting heads throughout, which is a joy. It's also good to finally start seeing some hard facts about Garak - "plain, simple" can only go so far - and his evident glee about being invited back to the fold by Tain at the end makes perfect sense.

Downside, well it isn't the fastest paced and you can see how some filler could have been excised had this been a standard episode, but top quality nonetheless. 3.5 stars.
Sun, Mar 20, 2016, 8:52am (UTC -5)
What else could I add to Jammer's already near-perfect review of "Improbable Cause"? I love this episode. The characters are great and they are both absolutely in their respective zones here. The dialogue is off-the-charts phenomenal. The "Boy Who Cried Wolf" scene is a particular stand-out which gives us so much insight into both Cardassian culture and Garak's personality in just a few quick lines. The direction, the acting, the music, the build-up, the pay-off, all are wonderful.

What makes the episode so amazing, however, is that it starts out as a truly simple story about someone trying to kill Garak. That could have ended up being very mundane if there was nothing else to it. But, because Odo and Garak are such great characters, they deserved a better story than simply a run-of-the-mill assassination attempt and so we end up with a plot that has Quadrant spanning ramifications (and plenty of that good-old world-building that I love). And yet, the reveal that Tain and the Romulans are going to preemptively attack the Dominion doesn't come out of nowhere, even though it's only revealed in the final act. The slow, methodical pacing works perfectly to build up to that revelation. Every single scene takes the story slowly from the small-scale interpersonal level to more and more widespread levels.

The scene where Odo meets with his mysterious Cardassian contact is another stand-out moment. It's essentially nothing more than a huge exposition dump and so could have ended up being excruciatingly boring. Instead, however, it's a truly memorable scene due to the ominous music, the wonderful direction, the off-kilter lighting and the amazing use of different perspectives for Odo and the contact. It actually reminds me of the climax of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" - a scene which is literally nothing more than three guys standing around staring at each other and not speaking a single word for five straight minutes and yet it's one of the most badass things I've ever seen in my life. How the hell did Sergio Leone pull that off?! Framing, lighting and music, that's how. Obviously, Avery Brooks was taking lessons from a master.

I really wish I could think of more to say about "Improbable Cause" because it is so, so good! But this is one of those times when it's clear that it's easier for me to talk about things I don't like instead of things I do like. Because I can't think of a single thing I dislike about this episode.

WTF HAIR - 25 (+2)

Thu, Mar 24, 2016, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
What a great episode. It has the little day-to-day things you expect from a DS9 episode like Kira complaining about diplomats, and then it slowly unfolds into this bigger and bigger story. I don't think I quite appreciated the Caesar metaphor the first time I viewed this, but considering *Romulans* are involved, it works out great.

One thing the writers deserve extra credit on is the way they shroud Garak's past. Odo comes very close to guessing what turns out to be Garak's story, and Garak carefully eludes the deduction and instead gets Odo emotional about his own background. That not only showcases Garak's talents while making a good character moment for Odo, but it still leaves Garak's true past a total mystery.

4 stars. Pivital episode. Deserves to be in any re-watching.
Sat, May 28, 2016, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
So my only question is why attack the homeworld? Why not shut down the wormhole. Sure theyd have a war with the federation...but it seems to be a more believable outcome than taking on the dominion.
William B
Sat, May 28, 2016, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
@nothing original 55,

I think Tain had designs on expanding Cardassian space into the Gamma Quadrant afterward. He had big plans for his dramatic comeback, for sure.
Thu, Jun 29, 2017, 3:20pm (UTC -5)
What's most striking about "Improbable Cause" is the many intricate dialogues -- mostly involving Garak, who is a brilliant character. Really can't get enough of Garak, especially the entertaining but all too serious conversations with Odo. A very good moment between the 2 on the roundabout just before being captured by the Romulans when Garak asks Odo if there is anybody he truly cares about. Great stuff here. This episode has some great character development for Garak and even a bit more for Odo -- and a great story with various pieces fitting together well.

Garak's past is a mystery and DS9 always does a good job with exposing these pasts, spinning a good tale of intrigue and cloak & dagger motives.

My only complaint is when the Flaxian also speaks with the same style as Garak/Odo, I was really expecting him to be far more defensive. So in a sense it was good to get the curt Romulan who just admits they blew up the ship. Anyhow, just good to see the contrast between the Romulan and how the rest of the dialogue in the episode was going.

Definitely this 1st parter sets up something highly anticipated in part 2. I'd give "Improbable Cause" 3.5 stars, fascinating dialogue and intriguing story being set up.
Sat, Nov 25, 2017, 6:35pm (UTC -5)
All episodes involving Garak deserve 4 stars, IMO, and this was no exception. I loved this episode. The interaction btw Garak and Odo was great. I also LOVED Garak's take on "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." The first time I heard it, my jaw dropped, and I laughed b/c it is really true!

Anyway, great 2-parter.
Sun, May 13, 2018, 2:57pm (UTC -5)
Alexey - saying that DS9 is superior to BSG is not, in my opinion, going out in a limb - much as I like the latter. Going out on a limb might be asserting that it's better than Bab 5 (those are my two fave SF series anyway) :)

I have to echo Jammer's comment from an earlier review that Robinson's name deserves to be in the main character credits by this stage. He's contributed way more to this season than Dax, for instance.

Fantastic double ep.
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 12:29pm (UTC -5)
"Improbable Cause" marks the point where DS9 truly finds itself. What starts off as an interesting but not gripping investigation story spirals out of control into a galaxy spanning conspiracy. It's packed with memorable scenes between fantastic actors, and wonderful pieces of dialogue. Like the best of DS9, it's incredibly lean and efficient in its storytelling-there are no 'filler' scenes here. When you throw two actors as talented as Rene Auberjonois and Andrew J. Robinson together, you're pretty much guaranteed magic.

4 stars.
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 1:02am (UTC -5)
Teaser : ****, 5%

I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
As well as I do know your outward favour.
Well, honour is the subject of my story.
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.

Slashfic meets Shakespeare. What's not to love? Garak and Bashir are having one of their typical dates, mediocre food, cultural relativism, sexual tension and literature on the side. Bashir explains the concept of tragic character flaws to Garak by way of the Bard's “Julius Cæsar,” but Garak, as usual, takes a different view—how could such a powerful political figure be so naïve? he remarks. Garak also points out that it's rather odd the way Bashir and some other humans rush through their meals when human kind does not want for food at all (someone tell the Maquis). They part ways, only for Kira to get on Bashir's case a bit over some preparations for visiting guests—Yo'hooligans or something.

KIRA: Then I guess we'll just have to rip out the carpets.

Brazilian wax joke. Siddig/Visitor relationship joke. We're walking...BOOM! Garak's shoppe explodes and Bashir rushes into the inferno to rescue his lunch date, who is quite alive and full of quips. An extremely dramatic teaser with rich subtext, DS9's best character and little touches of humour to boot. But wherefore art not in thy shop today?

Act 1 : ***.5, 17%

O'Brien reports on the tech tech of the explosion and Odo is quite certain this was no accident, given the target. There is a foreign substance present in the rubble which suggests a micro-explosive and so Sisko has all outgoing traffic halted.

Odo questions the cobbler, I mean the good tailor. Garak demurs at the suggestion that this was any kind of attack, wryly listing some unlikely suspects—unhappy customers, tax-collectors...Kira. Put a pin in that one. Odo will investigate nonetheless and Sisko assigns Garak a security detail. When they leave the infirmary, Bashir gives his paramour shit over his lack of trust, citing, per their idiom, the Æsop about the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Typically, Garak re-interprets the parable from a decidedly Cardassian perspective: you should never tell the same lie twice.

Later, Odo calls Garak into his office to review some recent passenger manifests, displaying characteristic impatience and responding coldly to Garak's little barbs. O'Brien enters with a PADD, and explains, quietly, that the bomb in Garak's shoppe was keyed to explode by a genetic marker. Garak is of course the only Cardassian living on DS9 and easily overhears the report. Ah, but you see, dear countrymen, at police academy, Odo was trained in the fine art of racial profiling. So he concludes that the device was planted by Flavius, I mean a Flaxian who boarded the station that very morning.

Act 2 : ****, 17%

Said Flaxian (who looks like Maori catfish) is questioned by the Constable. The man has a sketchy record and happens to be a perfume merchant. Odo, regretting his lack of smelling sense, pretends to peruse the wares in search of a fragrance for his girlfriend in Canada. This unusual stab at the good cop culminates with Odo playing a little chemistry, mixing fragrances. The Flaxian stops Odo from mixing together a third fragrance, because this would cause a less appealing aroma, namely death.

Odo has had O'Brien plant a transponder on the Flaxian's ship. Sounds super legal. When Odo arrives on his runabout to follow him only to discover that Garak has already boarded with the intention of accompanying him. Their verbal sparring is ratcheted up a notch from their last conversation, with verbal quips now carrying the early percolations of menace, and neither party relenting until Odo just sits down, shakes his head and takes off. Garak promises “a most interesting trip” ahead for the pair. Within about 25 seconds, the Flaxian ship explodes. Hmm. That WAS interesting.

Act 3 : ****, 17%

O'Brien is again delivering his post-explosion report. Quite a day he's having. Well, the evidence gives Constable Racial Profiler another lead, pointing them towards the Romulans. Garak says he doesn't know why they might try to kill him and Sisko starts to get punchy. But Odo, the practised observer of humanoids, has peeled away at Garak's methodology:

ODO: He's telling the truth, Commander. He doesn't know why the Romulans would try to kill him.
SISKO: What makes you so sure?
ODO: Because if he did know, he'd already be spinning out an elaborate web of lies to cover up the truth.
GARAK: Well, the truth is usually just an excuse for a lack of imagination.

Odo and Sisko don't expect answers to flow easily from Romulus, but wouldn't you know it? Next scene, a Romulan representative is taking credit for the assassination of the Flaxian assassin. Yeah, that seems legal. Actually, the Romulan insists it *is* legal, which is ridiculous, but whatever. The Romulan is unsurprised to hear about the attempt on Garak's life, mistaking him for a cobbler. I swear, I had forgotten that the show made this JC reference before I made my little joke in Act 1! I'm keeping it. Odo, once again in “Colombo” mode, mentions one last thing: the incredible coincidence of the Tal Shiar (last mentioned in “Face of the Enemy”) finding their target only hours after the attempt on Garak, which she brushes aside and curtly ends the transmission.

ODO: Considering those uniforms of theirs, you'd think they'd appreciate a decent tailor.

And he tells jokes! Well, with the Flaxian dead and the Romulan motivation unknown, the only remaining avenue of investigation is Garak himself. We are reminded of the fuzzy backstory revealed in “The Wire.” Unlike the good Doctor Bashir, Odo has some resources which may help illuminate their path forward, a contact within the Cardassian government with connections to the Obsidian Order. Sisko grants Odo access to a runabout to meet with him.

Back to the cave set, and we see Odo being observed from the shadows. The contact (a masterful Joseph Ruskin), who has “changed his appearance,” keeps Odo at a distance for their little chat. While the contact has no useful information about Garak per sae, he does tell the constable that the crime he's investigating pertains to a much larger mystery. Cloaked Romulan ships, communications and troops have been noticed near the Cardassian border. An invasion? Maybe. But unlikely. We also learn that five additional former OO agents died while Garak and Bashir discussed the Rubicon. The contact considers his debt to Odo repaid by this information.

On DS9, Garak is positively elated with the news. But the discourse between him and Odo is again ratcheted up:

ODO: I've had enough of your dissembling, Garak! I am not Doctor Bashir and we are not sparring amiably over lunch. Now, you dragged me into this investigation and you are now going to cooperate with me...You blew up your own shoppe, Garak!

Odo's conclusion to the first part of the mystery is thrilling to behold. Remember, the Flaxian used poisons to assassinate people, and so Detective Profiler determines that Garak threw the Flaxian off by blowing his own shoppe up instead in order to trigger Odo into an investigation.

Men at some time are masters of their fates.

So, Garak has manipulated Odo in much the same way as he did Bashir in “The Wire,” and well, this has really pissed Odo off. This time, Garak relents a bit. The five Cylons, I mean dead operatives and Garak himself were close advisors to Enabran Tain, the master spy. Tain himself might have more answers than either of them.

Garak makes contact with Cardassia, to an elderly woman called Mila who calls Garak by his given name, Elim. She reports that Tain has left in a hurry and she's worried he might have been killed, begging Garak to help him. Well, better late than never, the two men are going to get in that runabout and have an adventure, damn it.

Act 4 : ****, 17%

Before boarding the runabout, Garak leaves his paramour with a little inside joke, and Bashir re-gifts some chocolates. Well. The runabout has made it more than 25 seconds away from DS9 this time and Garak directs Odo towards a likely hiding place in Cardassian space. The pair begin their sparring again. We learn that Mila is Tain's housekeeper, and more profoundly, something deeper than debt is motivating the tailor to aid his old mentor, who so cruelly exiled him. Garak turns the analysis around on Odo.

GARAK: There's no feeling behind what you do, no emotion beyond a certain distaste for loose ends and disorder. You don't know what it means to care about someone, do you? People are just interesting creatures to be studied and analysed...I find it interesting that you ascribe feelings and motivations to me that you know nothing about. Or am I wrong? Tell me, is there one person in this universe you do care for? One person who's more than just an interesting puzzle to be solved. Is there, Odo? Anyone?
ODO: If there were, I certainly wouldn't tell you.
GARAK: And that would be a wise decision.

But *we* know who it is, don't we? Mhm. That girlfriend in Canada. When they arrive at the hideout, a Warbird decloaks right above them—in Cardassian space. Hmm. The Warbird locks on a tractor beam and finally boards the runabout. The pair are escorted aboard to a chamber (hey look, the Romulans *did* get a new tailor!), and who should be there to greet them but the man of the hour, with the flames of Troy upon his shoulder, Enabran Tain.

Act 5 : ***, 17%

The two men give each other shit for a few moments, prodding about necklines and waistlines. Tain also taunts Odo over a feigned wounded ego.

TAIN: Cunning, isn't he? He makes a racial slur within earshot of two Romulans, putting me in the position of either defending them, thus giving away my allegiance to them, or letting the comment pass, in which case he's managed to plant a seed of discord between us.
ODO: Frankly, I don't find any of this interesting. You both go to such lengths to hide the true meaning of your words you end up saying nothing.
TAIN: I think you'll find when I have something to say, you won't have any trouble understanding it.

Chilling. Speaking of which, Odo pieces together Tain's plan. The Obsidian Order and Tal Shiar will make a pre-emptive strike against the Dominion. Tain name-drops Orios, where those OO ships cornered the Defiant in...”Defiant.” Tain is quite confident—over-confident, in fact—that his plan to destroy the Founders' homeworld will stave off any threat of Dominion retaliation. Eh...this seems a touch specious. The Changelings definitely rule with an iron fist, but those Jem'Hadar and Vorta aren't likely to just shrug off their annihilation.

Anyway, Garak has an important question for Tain: how do you justify turning this minor mystery into a grand two-parter? Tain had his former protégés murdered (all but one obviously) in order to protect his legacy when, after completing his glorious mission, he exited retirement. This is also a touch flimsy, but he scintillating performance between Dooley, Robinson and Auberjonois makes it hard to care. Case in point, Garak's “I never betrayed you!” is delivered with unusual tumult for the tailor. A heart-breaking reveal of deep emotions.

Tain releases Garak, from the ship and from his death-sentence, but Odo has to remain. Ah, but Tain has another offer—Garak may rejoin his mentor and rejoin the Order. Right now. Odo tries to warn Garak away from this temptation, but Garak simply can't resist.

Episode as Functionary : ****, 10%

The last episode to really utilise Odo as an investigator was “Necessary Evil,” more than a season prior. There, his persona, I wrote, “as the neutral observer, cold investigator and un-relatable alien is cracked open.” This veneer is revealed to be quite fragile. Later, in “The Search,” Resusci Anne explained to the shapeshifter that his personal ethos was inherited from his people: “What you can control can't hurt you.” His pursuit for “justice” (order) consumes him because this is the only way he can define himself in relationship to the those around him.

“The Wire,” despite withholding many details about Garak's past (as does this episode), provided some similar key insights into his character: his personality is compartmentalised into various conflicting agendas, held together by ingenious but ultimately futile lies. The boy who cried “wolf,” indeed.

So bringing together the rigid shapeshifter, who is so practised at the art of sorting through humanoid lies in his attempt to put the universe in good order, and the elusive spy, who so practised at lying no one ever suspects him of being entirely truthful, is kind of genius. Their verbal sparring, enjoyable in its own right, drives the plot and slowly wedges the characters open for deeper analysis throughout the piece.

Overall, the story plays like a more refined version of “The Wire,” replacing a compelling medical mystery with a murder mystery (which is solved). However, the ending, as I think most of us know now, is the result of a late decision to expand this story to deal with the Dominion plot, which only really surfaced once in “Heart of Stone” since the beginning of the season. We shall see how “The Die Is Cast” deals with these threads, but the only real flaw I can discern in this story is the ending whose seams with the expanded story are visible. This by no means ruins anything—the episode is masterful, rivalling the very best this series has ever offered.

Th’ abuse of greatness is when it disjoins
Remorse from power. And, to speak truth of Caesar,
I have not known when his affections swayed
More than his reason. But ’tis a common proof
That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder.

Final Score : ****
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 8:22am (UTC -5)
"Back to the cave set, and we see Odo being observed from the shadows. The contact (a masterful Joseph Ruskin), who has “changed his appearance,” keeps Odo at a distance for their little chat. While the contact has no useful information about Garak per sae, he does tell the constable that the crime he's investigating pertains to a much larger mystery. Cloaked Romulan ships, communications and troops have been noticed near the Cardassian border. An invasion? Maybe. But unlikely. We also learn that five additional former OO agents died while Garak and Bashir discussed the Rubicon. The contact considers his debt to Odo repaid by this information."

That scene may be my favorite in the episode. Aside from that terrible cave set that goes back to "The Enemy" (or further, I can't remember), it's a gripping scene that expands the scope of the show. It also makes total sense for Odo's character-of course he would have contacts on Cardassia.
William B
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 1:14pm (UTC -5)
It's more a matter of The Die is Cast, but I think that the choice to tie in the Odo/Garak material to this big political move has both pros and cons that are already to some extent evident in Improbable Cause.

The episode is also interesting from a genre perspective, I think, in that Odo is sort of a detective/noir character and Garak is sort of a spy story character, and the episode introduces the political tragedy via Julius Caesar in the teaser. These genres each carry some baggage and some meaning, but what's interesting is how Odo and Garak derive their meaning from certain tropes associated with these stories. To be clear, while Odo is into the Mike Hammer books O'Brien lends him, the issue isn't that they are specifically interested in Earth literature, but that the way they construct their identities is related to the types of stories that we tend to tell about detectives and (ex-)spies. I think that having a "political tragedy" story come in to eclipse both the detective and even spy stories at the episode's end sort of makes sense, because both Odo's and Garak's identities are revealed as unstable and are transformed by the episode's end. Garak is back to being full spy, but he's also out of the shadows in doing so.

The disadvantage is that the story of the OO/TS vs. Founders is so big that it might threaten to dwarf Odo and Garak's personal stories, if it's not fully possible to integrate them into the bigger narrative. That what we are seeing is basically Garak's People vs. Odo's People in Cardassia (and specifically the OO) vs. the Founders, with their adoptive home of DS9 and their human(oid) connections there (Bashir, Kira) potentially caught in the middle, is promising.
Peter G.
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
@ William B,

"The disadvantage is that the story of the OO/TS vs. Founders is so big that it might threaten to dwarf Odo and Garak's personal stories, if it's not fully possible to integrate them into the bigger narrative."

What's amazing is that I think this doesn't happen. The stories seem to coalesce perfectly into the larger story, and instead of it eclipsing them I think *they* augment *it*. Because really the OO vs Founders story is an expanding of what's going on in microcosm between Odo and Garak. We have Garak who has essentially invented a detective story for Odo, teasing him with his secret identity as a spy to pique his interest, but who in reality has longings that are more familial. And likewise, Odo wants to solve the ultimate mystery - Garak's identity - and knows he's being set up and intends to follow through anyhow, all this despite secretly also having yearnings (one of which is hinted at by Garak in the shuttle), some of which are familial.


So both personas are a cover for a deeper desire to be "home", and both of them are confronted suddenly with what "home" really is. For Garak's it's a den of betrayal, while for Odo it's a viper's nest where in a similar manner you can't trust anything you see. In the end *both* of them reject the current reality of home and choose exile, and in a way choose each other. I can't think of a better way to cap of a 2-parter about individuals whose identity is about setting themselves apart under an impenetrable cloak. What initially seems like antagonism between Garak and Odo turns out to be both of them coping in a surprisingly similar manner to being in a similar situation.
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 2:18pm (UTC -5)
I agree with Peter G. here. What’s great is the Garak/Odo odd couple material he mentioned stays relevant throughout the two-parter. I’ll admit it’s striking this all starts on a very small scale (attempted murder in a tailor’s shop), but the buildup from prior episodes about the involved parties does believably foreshadow the resulting galactic intrigue.

I might be saying differently if not for “Defiant”, but that episode already tips off the audience that the OO is planning something big with a ship fleet. We also had an idea from “The Wire” that Garak is tied to the OO, so perhaps it was inevitable that material would come together. Finally, since the Founders are involved, it’s fitting Odo should be a part of this too. That the story works reasonably well (and in some cases extremely well) on both an interpersonal and galactic level is to its merit.
Peter G.
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
I'll just add to my comment that this episode gives us perhaps one of the only introspective looks at the Founders and Cardassians, albeit from an indirect perspective. We can see beneath their veneer through Garak and Odo's individual layers.

Garak comes off as mysterious, capable, dangerous, and driven, with humor and obfuscation deflecting attempts to analyse him; while Odo comes off as cold, efficient, driven, capable, and also deflecting with a sort of obfuscation and occasionally sarcasm. Both put on a very bombastic front, almost eccentric and overblown in some respects, only to hide something very simple and low-key, but vulnerable. It's the classic use of big distractions to hide a small truth. And the way each of them does this gives us direct insight into their people, which is one of the few chances we have to see this since we have the chance here to have a micro/macro look at the two people and the two peoples.

The Cardassians, like Garak, put on a big show, in their case pompous, arrogant, brazen, certain, and all that, and we might well infer that behind this sort of 'impressive' facade there is a people that use aggression to avoid facing their demons, whatever those are. And for the Founders we are likewise shown a people that give out being totally certain, unconcerned with solids, brutal, megalomaniacal, and in turn we might well suppose that Odo's inner vulnerability might be there for them as well. In the case of the Link since they have a hive mind to support the psyche this vulnerability has enough cover to avoid exposure, while in Odo's case he's alone and it's much more near the surface for him. We learn later in the series a bit more about what they may be vulnerable about (or scared of).

I like that we subtly get the notion here that behind two sets of fierce and tyrannical people there may be at heart little more than what Picard points out in Gul Madred: a scared child that uses violence and brutality to cover it over. In the case of Garak and Odo they're in touch with it enough that they can - with a bit of prodding - fess up to this without needing to become tyrants themselves to cover it over. And they both do have significant temptations to go that route over the course of the series.

I put this one right up there with ITPM, by the way.
Tue, Dec 18, 2018, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Watching and commenting:

--Garak's shop explodes!

--Fascinating, but Gul Darnitt (bothersome younger brother of Gul Dukat)!!! My teenager is having an emergency of the teenage variety. I must turn this ep off and do a mom-thing.

Later, Trekanatti.
Sat, Jan 26, 2019, 9:07am (UTC -5)
3.5 stars

I very much enjoyed the intrigue and cloak n dagger vibe throughout the episode be it the bombing of Garak’s shop, the ensuing investigation with the Flaxian assassin, the Romulans showing up, the secret rendezvous with Odo’s Cardassian source, hints of unusual Romulan activity and build up, murders of intelligence officers, or trip to locate the missing Tain

The episode was going extremely well until the final act when the answers that came were kind of underwhelming. I didn’t particularly care for Tain eliminating his associates as the reason aromulans were assassinating agents. I was kind of lukewarm to the idea that the fleet was going to attack the dominion who had been MIA all season after much pomp and circumstance at their arrival at the end of season two then the season two parter

I also will confess I never cared for Tain or was all that invested in his and Garak’s relationship.

But for 4/5 of the hour the episode was very entertaining and intriguing before taking a left turn in the final act
Tue, Apr 2, 2019, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Loved the episode (like everyone else)!
Odo’s meeting with his mysterious Cardassian government contact in the cave reminded me of All The President’s Men when Robert Redford met with Deep Throat in the parking garage. Great directing by Avery Brooks!

5 stars, great stuff!
Sun, Mar 1, 2020, 1:37pm (UTC -5)
This episode also links back to 'Defiant' with Thomas Riker also discovering the Obsidian Order plan.
SS Elim
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 10:09pm (UTC -5)
"The truth is usually just an excuse for lack of imagination." This may be my favorite, and the definitive, Garak quote.
Mon, Dec 6, 2021, 11:42am (UTC -5)
Elliot said:

"Sisko grants Odo access to a runabout to meet with him."

So...can Onccne he last liquified?

If not, I hope Federation runabouts have a cr-ooze control setting.
Tue, Aug 23, 2022, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
Very, very nice so far (15 mikes in); I think we may be on to a winner here!

I can't help but roll my eyes though about there apparently being no surveillance cameras anywhere on D.S.9, including the busiest parts of it, which are frequented by some super shady characters. Come on now, even back in the mid-1990s when this aired security cameras were all over our city streets, so it wouldn't have required any imagination for the station to have them, too. Of course, that would have nixed about a third of the total episodes! 🤣

What's the moral of the story about the boy who cried wolf? "That you should never tell the same lie twice..." Wonderful!!!

"The truth is usually just an excuse for lack of imagination." EXQUISITE!!!

"Considering those uniforms of theirs, you'd think they'd appreciate a decent tailor." OUTSTANDING!!!

"Always burn your bridges behind you. You never know who might be trying to follow." Not an unwise apercu!

Good gracious, this episode is chock-full of witty, wry one-liners. Love it!

Dodo meeting the Cardi spook in some cave: very nicely done.

Dodo exploding at Garak: BEAUTIFUL! I like how they've been adding color to this character, and by the gallon, too.

Dodo and Garak's personal tete-a-tete in the shuttle: eminently watchable and interesting. I usually hate "small talk" but I thoroughly enjoyed their exchange of remarks about themselves and each other.

The repartee among Dodo, Garak, and the fat Cardi: loved every second of it. Superbly done.

I genuinely can't wait for the next episode!

Four stars!
Sat, Nov 12, 2022, 9:54am (UTC -5)
Rewatched this ep for the first time in years... it has aged like fine wine. In fact, I picked up on a bunch of things I missed out on when I was younger. And this time around, I found myself really appreciating the cave scene where Odo meets his Cardassian contact. As an aspiring mystery writer, I say: very, very well done!!! I also love how through Garak, we get some deep insights into the Cardassian mind. One thing DS9 did very well was dive deep into alien perspectives and cultures (esp. the Bajorans, Cardassians and Dominion), so you really sensed you were getting a good window into a vastly different way of thinking that felt realistic and believable.

I miss the days when Trek was made by adults for adults, complex, sophisticated, well-written. Yeah, occasionally you'd have a bad writer, a bad ep, a more lighthearted-don't take too seriously-episode, but the core was always there.

I've refrained from bashing the current crop of what currently passes for Trek on this site, since I figure the people who enjoy it don't want to hear unrelenting negative comments about it (for which I don't blame them). However, I would like to ask any of them to (re-)watch this two parter with an open mind and really ask themselves: is there anything under the Trek banner made in the last five years that can come close to equalling the well-written dialogue, characterization and plotting of this two-parter? Heck, the physical sets themselves still look amazing even today! What does "new Trek" have to offer that can possibly beat this?
Sat, Nov 12, 2022, 10:29am (UTC -5)

Completely understand where you're coming from. And I have bashed the "current crop of what currently passes for Trek" on many occasions, as and when I felt it deserved to be bashed.

But to answer: "What does "new Trek" have to offer that can possibly beat this?"

I would point to 2 DSC episodes that I think are on par with "Improbable Cause / The Die Is Cast" -- "Forget Me Not" and "...But to Connect". For all of DSC's flaws, these 2 episodes really stood out to me as exemplifying what can make a Trek episode something very special. And after I watched those 2 DSC episodes, I truly felt gratified as if I had seen some truly outstanding Trek.
Corey R.
Wed, Aug 16, 2023, 7:07pm (UTC -5)
"So my only question is why attack the homeworld? Why not shut down the wormhole. Sure theyd have a war with the federation...but it seems to be a more believable outcome than taking on the dominion."

I think they wanted the Dominion to be a non-factor for good. After all, there's nothing saying the Dominion couldn't just naturally expand its territory into the Alpha quadrant the slow way. By destroying the founders, the Dominion will never be a threat to Romulus and Cardassia. Also too, both empires were pasted by the Federation which is why the empires have non-aggression with the Federation - they have no interest in being defeated by the Federation yet again. Anyways it's the Dominion who the Obsidian Order and Tal Shiar want eliminated as a threat, the peace loving Federation is only a potential threat, not an actual one.

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