Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Way of the Warrior"

3.5 stars

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

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

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

— Worf and O'Brien on life aboard the Enterprise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous episode: The Adversary
Next episode: The Visitor

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148 comments on this post

Tue, Jan 22, 2008, 7:08pm (UTC -6)
I've now only seen up to this episode, so my comments might seem a little outdated, but here goes:
a) It took many years for Worf's character to become what it is at this point. He has developed slowly over many great TNG episodes, and I feel like a lot of character development was rushed during this episode just for the sake of this one episode. Whoops, there goes his reputation with the high council, his land, his family name which took 4 years of TNG to build up.. Ah, well.

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

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

Overall, short term action positives, long term negatives. The episode as a whole wasn't too bad, but I wish they had of taken a little more care with the Klingons. Why take a group of characters who have been slowly and steadily built up over a whole series of TNG and turn them into a Voyager style "alien of the week" for convenience and a little action's sake?
Wed, Jun 25, 2008, 11:51am (UTC -6)
I knew what your quote at the top for this episode would be. That is one of the funniest lines in all of trek.
Mon, Aug 18, 2008, 8:31am (UTC -6)
Loved the whole scale of this episode but the whole war with the Klingons story felt forced and surplas to requirements. I think the sudden about face of the Kilngons just doesn't ring true with everything established over the years on TNG.
Jakob M. Mokoru
Thu, Jan 15, 2009, 1:48am (UTC -6)
I agree (mostly) with the review of this very good episode, although I can see the points of the statements above as I hardly recognized TNGs Worf and Gowron the way they were shown in this story.
Fri, Jul 17, 2009, 2:52pm (UTC -6)
Yet again, I find that there are two views of Klingons, one displayed by Worf, and another, totally different one, displayed by all the other Klingons. I wish the other Klingons were less like drunk bozos and had more of Warf's honor. Instead, the other Klingons are just ruthless killers who severely lack the subtlety of the Kardasians or the Romulans.

After they lost so many ships fighting the Defiant and then Deep Space Nine, you would have thought that they would have learned a lesson. That sort of nihilistic head banging should have put them on Darwin's list long ago.
Thu, Oct 1, 2009, 10:11pm (UTC -6)
I agree. This was a very good action episode that I had come to expect from Voyager. Unfortunately there are a lot of things that seem contrived (including what you mentioned in your review), and it introduces a lot of elements that seem to put the impending Dominion invasion on hold. I have heard that season 3 was supposed to end with "Homfront" and season 4 open with "Paradise Lost" until the studio asked them to 'shake up' the series and not end with a cliffhanger (a strange request from a studio if there ever was one). Since it was the studio's request, I'm willing to forgive it, but I still think the writers' initial intentions would have made for a better fit.
Joe Ford
Tue, Jan 12, 2010, 3:31am (UTC -6)
DS9, right place, right time. TNG had mapped out the Alpha Quadrant without doing anything truly spectacular with it. The special effects had gotten better and better. Babylon 5 (a show i'm not fond) had shown how darker, arc driven seasons could be very popular. DS9 had already learned by TNGs mistakes with its characters...making them more rounded, darker and flawed.

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

This is Star Trek at its finest, there will never be another time when it is this involved again because it took 10 years of seasons to get here.
Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 6:41pm (UTC -6)
It's hard to imagine how the Klingons could wage war against the Cardassians when the bulk of the Federation lies between the Cardassian Union and the Klingon Empire. An unfortunate gaffe.
Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 6:49pm (UTC -6)
Also, as we find out in Season 5's In Purgatory's Shadow, the Martok in this episode isn't really Martok (since Worf only first meets him in that later episode), so how does Martok pass his own knifeblade blood test at the beginning of this episode with Sisko and Kira?
Latex Zebra
Wed, May 19, 2010, 8:41am (UTC -6)
Jay - I'm sure there is a line in a later epsiode where it is basically shown that the blood test wouldn't work.
Toph in Blacksburg
Wed, Sep 22, 2010, 7:12pm (UTC -6)
Loved the action in this episode, even though it was a little too quick to develop in terms of galactic events.

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


-Toph in Blacksburg
Mon, Dec 20, 2010, 7:40pm (UTC -6)
I think this was a really well done episode and I liked it quite a lot when I first saw. I'm a bit more skeptical about it now but as a movie I think it succeeds more than it fails. Some thoughts:
*the defiant rescuing scene was really cool!
*phil farrand once commented on how sisko pauses before giving the order to attack the klingons and that he couldn't imagine picard acting the same way. i don't really agree but it was an interesting thought nonetheless.
*the garak/quark scene was one the execs wanted chopped! I can't imagine the show without it, nor the odo/garak breakfast, a great follow-up to their conversation at the end of the die is cast. and the odo/quark dialogue about the disruptor and rom stealing it for parts! brilliant! on a side note, i've always liked that scene because in such a small throwaway gag you get some more of quark's back story, just enough to let the audience imagine what was going on, maybe in his youth or just travelling or something, and then move on. that's some great writing.
*o'brien's "bang! you're dead!" to odo still makes me giggle for some reason.
*the klingons fighting was abysmal, especially the one who got beat up by a stabbed kira. I think kahless would have jarred that bloke from sto-vo-kor.
*the writers plans did change, with the execs saying, no cliffhanger, bring in worf, shake things up but i don't know whether what they would have done would have been better. for one, we wouldn't have got the adversary and for me that would be no much to pass up.

thanks for your review jammer!
Mon, Apr 11, 2011, 8:55pm (UTC -6)
wow. incredible episode...

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

but whatever. Wish there'd actually been a few more distance shots of the station unleashing hell on the Klingon fleet. be neat to see those fireworks. too many closeups of the turrets for me. lol
Wed, Jul 13, 2011, 9:38am (UTC -6)
While I enjoyed this episode well enough, it does suffer from most of the complaints lodged above. How can every warship except the Defiant blow up with one torpedo? Why are Klingons so easily defeated in hand-to-hand combat?

But the Achilles' Heel of this episode (and most of DS9 in fact) are Andrew Robinson and Marc Alaimo. Not that they are bad. The problem is that they are so darn GOOD that most every other character and actor pales by comparison. When Garak or Dukat are onscreen, this show CRACKLES. My hair stands on end. Birds sing. I know, I've beaten this horse to death on other comment strings. But man! What makes these characters so gripping? Is it the writing, the acting, the Cardassian intrigue and treachery, or all of the above? Not that Odo, Bashir, or Quark aren't good characters. I just love me some Garak/Dukat.
Wed, Mar 14, 2012, 12:57am (UTC -6)
I agree that this is overall a spectacular episode. My main quibble with it, though, is the turnabout of the character of Gowron. He started out on TNG as an ambitious outsider with perhaps a bit too much of a flair for the dramatic. In other words, the perfect Klingon politician. He then became chancellor and turned out to be a fairly competent leader, seizing opportunities that presented themselves, making compromises where necessary, but always appearing strong and, for the most part, honorable.

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

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

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

Oh well, at least we eventually get in Martok what Gowron could have been...
Latex Zebra
Thu, Mar 29, 2012, 3:10am (UTC -6)
This was the first episode of DS9 that I made my wife watch.
She didn't like it. I then found out that she wasn't a fan of Klingons. Had to go all the way back to the start to convince her it was great.
She'll always be a Voyager girl though.
Fri, Apr 27, 2012, 8:03pm (UTC -6)
Great episode and Worf's addition to the show was fantastic. His character was my favorite in TNG and the writers fleshed him out even more in DS9. Especially later with his relationship and mariage with Jadzia.
Thu, May 3, 2012, 7:22pm (UTC -6)
Worf is my absolute favorite character in Star Trek, his story arc is amazing, I loved his character development and his personal conflicts. His character grow even more in Deep Space Nine and he became three dimensional. His dishonor although he only had the Empire's best interest in his heart, Kurn loosing his memory after they came so long to become brothers, his relationship with Jadzia and the understanding he found in her, saving Martok and be accepted in his House, his marriage. I love him! The only thing I did like was that he had to loose the woman he loved.
Mon, Jun 18, 2012, 7:13am (UTC -6)
Worf saved ds9. Now is where the series starts to be really good.
Fri, Oct 5, 2012, 4:54pm (UTC -6)
I loved this episode. It builds on "The Die Is Cast" and previous backstories really well.

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

But the ability of so many on the station to readily defeat two and three and four Klingons at the time in hand-to-hand combat was a lot to swallow. Too much like a bad kung-fu movie. That was pretty damn stupid and kind of hard to get past. But otherwise, epically good episode.
Latex Zebra
Fri, Dec 14, 2012, 9:57am (UTC -6)
In the script, when Martok and Gowron are talking in Klingon during the battle they say.

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

They then take out the shields.

Anyway, never really commented on this episode. It's brilliant.
The bar moment between Quark and Garak gives an excellent outside perspective on the Federation.
This is a solid 4 star episode for me.
Mon, Dec 17, 2012, 11:26pm (UTC -6)
See, I never had a problem with Gowron on DS9. Here, as usual, he's acting like a politician as much as a Klingon warrior. As Worf points out, the war with the Cardassians is another way to stabilize his leadership, rallying an empire that during peacetime squabbled with internal threats into a unified force pointed outward. Gowron (spurred on by faux-Martok) may see the Cardassian coup as a Dominion threat, but he also sees it as a domestic opportunity. He tries to get Worf on his side to bolster his position but when it fails, uses his political power at its high point to send a message to those who would oppose him or the war. Gowron is a politician and a devious one, but on DS9 he's not always making the right choice, which is a nice shade of grey compared to TNG where he was the good guy Klingon vs. Duras.
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 4:13pm (UTC -6)
The action was almost too intense for my sensibilities, so they did a good job. A lot of people died here, meaning Klingons and Federation and Bajoran station personnel - no real mention of it. I thought it was a bit much that all of our main cast members each took on several armed Klingon warriors so successfuly. I know that it's been established that Sisko, Kira, Dax, O'Brien, and Odo are capable hand-to-hand fighters, but these are Klingons!
Wed, Aug 21, 2013, 11:28pm (UTC -6)
DS9 is probably my favorite incarnation of Star Trek however I hate what they did with Klingons. They are one dimensional cliches without personality. Blah blah honor, blah blah many songs will be sung, blah blah Batleth, etc... Especially Worf who seems to have lost all the character development from TNG. He had made progress accepting his human upbringing and his Klingon heritage and had an actual personality. Nope, that's gone now. GRRRRR I'm a WARRIOR, HONOR, TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE GRRRRR... I liked when O'Brien reminded him he used to play poker but it was just brushed aside. I can't stand many of the Klingon themed episodes that come later.

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

One other thing though, don't they have universal translators? Why did Worf have to tell them what the Klingons said? For some reason that drove me nuts, they can understand races they've never met before in the Gamma Quadrant but not a few words from Klingons. I suppose that was just more of the WE'RE BARBARIANS GRRRRR theme...
Thu, Aug 22, 2013, 5:42pm (UTC -6)
JB, I always took the opposite view when it comes to most species on DS9. TNG had alien of the week or cardboard cut out charactatures of those races, but DS9 gave them all very deep backstories. The other thing I enjoyed about DS9 was that they weren't afraid to blast giant holes in Roddenberry's utopian vision wherever appropriate. With your comments about the Klingons, we got to see a little more about Klingon society through the eyes of Quark and Grilka, and (real) Martok. I never liked the one-dimensional nature of most Star Trek aliens (how can an entire species specialize in one thing?), but I loved how when Quark ended up on Qunos he made a mockery of the Klingon's warped honor code.
Thu, Aug 22, 2013, 8:06pm (UTC -6)
Travis, I can't tell if we agree or disagree haha. I'm saying I want more depth to the Klingons. I think to the episodes like where Riker served on the Klingon ship, they had their talk of honor and all that but they could actually carry on conversations without every line being a pigeon-holed cliche. In the episode where Worf accepted discommendation there was flowing dialogue and substance. It wasn't just one liners before hey lets fight! The civil war episodes were similar, with reason to behavior not "The Cardassians aren't founders? Who cares grrrr lets fight!"

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

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

I guess I just don't like the abandonment of everything in TNG as far as how the Klingons act and speak, but thats just me. I think it gives them FAR LESS depth. If you like it then no worries, how boring would life be if we all thought the same!
Tue, Sep 3, 2013, 10:18am (UTC -6)
This episode isn't perfect, but it's still kind of a classic. It's among the most important episodes of Trek for what it introduces and what happens next.

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

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

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

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

4) The only other thing that's always stood out is that the Klingon ships attacking the station seemed to be pretty fragile. In some cases, one torpedo blew up birds of prey.
Wed, Oct 23, 2013, 12:37pm (UTC -6)
Good episode, but I agree with others that the Klingons should have done more damage. Star Trek hand to hand combat is pretty laughable (two handed strikes...).

Tue, Feb 11, 2014, 4:49pm (UTC -6)
Excellent season opener. The Klingon quasi-invasion of DS9's territory is very convincing, and the threat of their presence looms over us the whole episode, making a violent conflict inevitable. Worf is an excellent vehicle to this end, and even though I knew he'd be debuting in this episode, I was relieved to see him. He couldn't have had a better introduction to the series, and overall I like him much better in DS9 than in TNG.
Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 7:59pm (UTC -6)
The only issue I had with this episode was the Klingons being dispatched a little too easily during hand to hand combat. As for the ships exploding from just one or two hits, I had always assumed these were ships that had already come under fire and were damaged as a result.

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

4 stars.
Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
solid episode. loved the interplay between worf and odo, two formidable characters with little time for human 'pleasantries'. and dukat/garek, as someone mentioned above, was also amazing. already seeds of worf/dax romance evident, great chemistry between the two characters right away. finally, was it just me, or did anyone else get a major kick out of the dax/kira holosuite scene when dax basically convinces kira to just kick loose and get it on with a couple of holo-studs. as the scene unfolded I was amazed they were even subtly hinting at it...and then dax said she prescribed 'vigorous exercise starting immediately' and kira just grinned! not so subtle after all! hah my enjoyment likely stems from the fact kira and (especially) dax are two of the most gorgeous women in the trek universe. anyway, another great example of DS9 pushing the boundaries (to my mind in a good/entertaining way). wonder what gene would have thought about that scene!
Sat, Jul 5, 2014, 11:16pm (UTC -6)
I remember watching this episode with my family when it aired. I was only 11 years old at the time. My mom was a big trek fan, but wasn't sold on DS9. She gave it a chance with season 4. I was one of those people that became a fan of DS9 starting with season 4. What attracted me to the show was the sense of adventure, characters, alien, and ships. After watching so many episodes of TOS, TNG, and VOY I didn't mind Trek telling war stories and I never felt it was dark.

Deep Space Nine had it rough with it's time slot. It got moved several times. The time slot for season seven in my neck of the wood was Sunday night at 10:30. It was never a rating success as TNG, but Deep Space nine did benefit by coming after TNG.
Thu, Jul 31, 2014, 1:28pm (UTC -6)
What's not to like about this one. Fantastic season opener.

We get Worf!

We are introduced to Martok!

DS9 can now kick some serious butt!

Some no kidding great fight scenes...

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

Easy 4 stars from me.

@ stallion: No SCI-FI show EVER pulled the ratings TNG did. (up to 20 million at times) There is something to be said about being the only SCI-FI show on the market.
Wed, Feb 11, 2015, 1:48pm (UTC -6)
Someone please explain to me how Sisko can get into a fistfight with a fully armored Klingon soldier and win?

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

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

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

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

Worf: "Nice hat."

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

Quark: [upon realizing Rom took his disruptor] "I will kill him!"
Odo: [smugly] "With what?"
Wed, Feb 11, 2015, 1:55pm (UTC -6)
Oh, don't forget this gem:

Worf: "You are Drex, son of Martok!"
Drex: "That's right!"
Worf: "I am Worf, son of Mogh!" [proceeds to kick Drex's ass]
Dax: "He's good!"
Thu, Feb 12, 2015, 4:56am (UTC -6)
I love this episode, I love Worf, in fact he is the only Klingon that I care about. I have always hated Klingons. I kinda liked Kurn. Someone mentioned something about Sisko shouldn't be able to beat a Klingon, (lol) I think he is the only one who is able to beat them. Sisko is a big man and really tough, he did real well fighting the Jem'Hadar. Sisko is my favorite Captain of all Trek Captains and Janeway is second. Actually Sisko is my favorite DS9 charactter.
Mon, Feb 23, 2015, 7:51pm (UTC -6)
When Garak or Dukat are onscreen, this show CRACKLES.


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

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

I think one reason they were so good is because Marc Alaimo, Andrew Robinson and Casey Biggs threw themselves so completely into their roles. They really relate to their characters and put themselves in their mindsets. Robinson kept a diary whilst filming DS9, of his thoughts as Garak, and later published it as a novel. They all believed in their characters and their motivations - to the point that I think Nana Visitor even once stated that she had a hard time separating Marc Alaimo from his character, and doesn't like talking to him. That speaks volumes about their dedications to their characters.
Tue, Feb 24, 2015, 11:29pm (UTC -6)
lol the Romulans look like sofas. Yup. Badly upholstered ones...
Mon, Mar 2, 2015, 1:30am (UTC -6)
Regarding Klingons, I don't believe all Klingons are that powerful. Their culture is very diverse as all cultures. Some are strong and some are not, but that does not keep them from joining their military. I don't believe they are as stupid as they are portrayed. I just watched "Search for Spock", The Genesis project was to be a helpful project, bringing life to dead planets, when the Klingons heard of it, they called it a weapon. Why did they seem to see everything in the opposite way? When I watched the "Undiscovered Country," I saw where there was one Klingon that saw things differently. The Chancelor that was killed, I for one do not know how the Klingon Empire survived, they were totally unreasonable and lived in a crazy mixed up society.
Tue, Mar 3, 2015, 9:24am (UTC -6)
One of the great classic double episodes of all times. Yep, when both Garak and Dukat are on the screen together it's drama off the scale. I could watch these scenes on a loop and never have enough. This double episode is paradigmatic of the best Star Trek. The pace is sizzling, not a scene out of whack. The political intrigue and humor are very grown up and realistic,and thank the prophets not a sign of Kai Winn. The Klingons are awesome and are not defeated, they're still at it at the end of the episode.
Fri, May 29, 2015, 8:59am (UTC -6)
Bashir: "They broke seven of your transverse ribs and fractured your clavicle!"
Garak: "Ah, but I got off several cutting remarks which no doubt did serious damage to their egos ... Thanks to your ministrations, I am almost completely healed. But the damage I did to them will last a lifetime."

In an episode chock full of awesome dialogue, that was probably my favorite line. Why didn't they just make Garak a main character?!
Fri, May 29, 2015, 8:22pm (UTC -6)
I guess it's up to me again to point out the huge lack of logic in this two parter, however fun it was to watch:

The Federation / Sisko decided to take the side of the Cardassians (a brutal, totally untrustworthy race) over their allies, the Klingons. It's one thing for the Federation to stay out of the matter, and quite another to totally destroy a treaty and attack the leader of another world. It's not just implausible, it's ridiculous. The Federation had no allegiance or business protecting one of their enemies over one of their allies, and risking suicide in the process. Not to mention, Worf seems just dandy about it all. I am not sure what the writers were even thinking.

And later, the Cardassians do indeed ally themselves with the Dominion. Good going, Starfleet!
Fri, May 29, 2015, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
dlpb: "I am not sure what the writers were even thinking."

They were thinking, "We have all this 'We're everywhere' build-up with the Dominion but you want to see a war with Klingons now that Worf is on the shoe? Yes, sir. We'll do our best, sir."
Mon, Sep 14, 2015, 10:31pm (UTC -6)

Could not agree more. Everyone blames Gowron for the relationship with Worf going sour and the Klingons for the attack on DS9. Why is beyond me.

Worf committed treason by spying for the Federation against the Empire, and Gowron was offering him an opportunity to redeem himself. Worf refused and was lucky that he only lost his honor, and titles, etc.

The Klingons were the Federation's ally, and the Federation took direct moves against Klingon interests and backed a non-ally that eventually did side with the Dominion - the enemy. In the real world this would have been an act of war on the Federation's part.

This is one thing about Star Trek fandom that truly erks me. Everyone identifies so closely with the Federation that they can't see where the Federation is at fault. All they see are the Klingons and whomever not being nice to the Federation.
Mon, Sep 14, 2015, 10:38pm (UTC -6)
Oh, forgot to say - I love this episode, including the dance number when the Klingons boarded the station. : )

What is sad is the writers could not figure out what to do with Gowron after this episode. What a waste of a great character.
William B
Tue, Oct 13, 2015, 8:44pm (UTC -6)
Oh dear.

Sorry, the line wrapping failed totally there for some reason. If Jammer wants to delete that last comment, if he has time, he has full permission....

Um, here's a hopefully more legible version:

And so begins season four. For the fourth season in a row, the DS9 premiere is ambitious and I find myself a little torn about it -- though overall I feel fairly good about this one. The two big plotlines are the shakeup of the quadrant and the cast, and I'll deal with each in turn.

Beginning with Sisko and Kira moving through the corridors with phaser rifles and expanding outward to show the station on alert, attempting to find the changeling is a good payoff to "The Adversary" that sets the tone for this season. People are scared, and that fear is mobilizing people into action. What largely works about "TWotW" is that it builds on political events of the last season or two and before (going back in TNG) pretty effectively: the destruction of the Obsidian Order leads to the dissident movement being able to gain traction in Cardassia, the Klingons' latent desire to go back to The Old Ways, a running theme in TNG (brought up again in "Blood Oath") is given an outlet by the introduction of a new threat, and the Dominion's WE'RE EVERYWHERE message has everyone on their toes. What the story here does fairly convincingly is to demonstrate how fragile international (interplanetary) equilibria can be destabilized by a new crisis, which not that long before this episode was demonstrated from the other direction, with STVI depicting the end of the UFP/Klingon ongoing hostilities because of Praxis' destruction. That the Founders take advantage of the solids' aggressive and temperamental natures is perfectly in keeping with their strategy.

I agree with some of the commenters, though, who think that the episode does not justify Gowron's choices, in keeping with his character as established on TNG. It is not that I think Gowron is a pacifist or something, but he was also a man who clearly recognized the value of choosing his battles, who knew that Federation support mattered, and who recognized, in "Rightful Heir," the power of an idea to sway hearts and minds. Based on, as far as I can tell, no evidence at all, Gowron now decides to invade and conquer Cardassia because he suggests the coup was done by the Founders. The thing is, he *has* to know that the UFP would not support this, and even if he did believe that Starfleet would back him up in general, he has to know also that the way to get the Federation to agree to another war on Cardassia (sneak attack, no less) is to talk to Starfleet Command/the Federation Council, rather than to mass a fleet for Mysterious Reasons at DS9 and continue keeping his motivations secret. It seems likely that Gowron, like Tain in "Improbable Cause"/"The Die is Cast," believed that once he made his move, the Federation would more or less have to follow, but this is a misread of how the Federation and Starfleet generally operate; at the very least it is a big risk. Did he really not expect the Federation opposing the attack on Cardassia as a possibility? Is the need to invade Cardassia really so strong as to justify pulling out of the alliance in a pique of wounded ego?

Now, it may be that Gowron genuinely goes in willing to sacrifice the UFP/Klingon alliance, maybe to test out whether the Federation can be trusted, maybe because he has started to have glory dreams/delusions of the Klingon Empire taking over the whole quadrant. But we also know he does not want war with the Federation, as we see at the episode's end, at least not at this time. In "Redemption," there was a real sense in which both the Gowron and the Duras factions seemed to recognize that the Empire needed *some* allies to survive, whether those allies be Federation and Romulan; given that the Romulans have just been crippled, they need all the help they can get, and deliberately severing those ties seems like a bad move politically. If Gowron is acting on principle and genuinely believes that the Founders have infiltrated Cardassia, well, he sure drops his principled stand quickly -- having absolutely no reaction to the news that Sisko tested the Detapa Council and found they were not changelings. Politicians *do* boundary-post shifting all the time, so that when their initial reasons to go to war turn out to be false they then declare that their real reason was something else, but it is odd to see Gowron do that *on the spot*, without a flicker of doubt in his actions. Certainly, we gather that General Martok has big influence on him, and that explains some of, but not all of Gowron's attitude here.

Conversely, yeah, I think it's a pretty good point that it's bizarre for Sisko et al. to just go, with no discussion whatsoever, to protect the Detapa Council, to the point of firing on their Klingon allies and getting ready for the *Federation* to go to war. This, as often happens, is a decision Sisko just makes on the fly. Now, it is one thing when Sisko decides to sneak word to Cardassia regarding the Klingon sneak attack, where Sisko et al. really do feel that they have a moral imperative to do *something* and decide to get involved in a small way, via Garak. That is pretty typical. Even there, Worf seems definitely uncomfortable with it, but is reluctantly okay to go along with the decision. But then, for the Defiant to go in to protect the Detapa Council without talking to Starfleet, risking war, is one of those things which at *least* needed some discussion. I was actually floored that Bashir mentioned that the Romulans disapprove of using the cloaking device, which was one of the obvious ethical trespasses that I more or less just assumed would go uncommented upon, and I'm willing to let that slide under the circumstances with just a mention (Sisko's wink though -- eek). Still, saving the Council is not discussed at all.

Part of the reason I wanted to write about "The Die is Cast" before doing this description, actually, is because that episode of course featured a *somewhat* similar situation, in which a mass execution was bound to be happening in the near future...and in which not a single character on DS9/the Defiant has any concern about it, which will in this case actually destroy a whole race (well, except for the changelings spread out in the galaxy). No one is claiming the Klingons are going to destroy Cardassia Prime here, by contrast. And here they go after and shoot on Klingon allies rather than rogue Romulan/Cardassians who don't even have their government permissions. Now, certainly, the changelings are all linked together and so one could make a case that there *are* no noncombattants; further, the Dominion is terrifying, and the Founders give a lot of evidence of having an evil and destructive ideology. Still, I wish that some elaboration on the moral imperative of plunging the Federation into war to save the Detapa Council from the Klingons were made. I will note too that "the Klingons will execute the council" is something Worf *hypothesizes* the Klingons will do, if they have gone back to the old ways -- and, you know, actually all they have for evidence of that is that Klingons are being aggressive. The episode treats as something of a fait accompli that the Klingons really are about to slide down that slippery slope into psychopathic despotism. I do have sympathy for Sisko's call to save the Detapa Council and might even agree with it, because, you know, I obviously don't actually want to see a government executed for no reason. However, the negative consequences are something Sisko should obviously be thinking about and talking about before *making* the decision, rather than merely after the fact. A whole lot of people are going to die if war really breaks out between the UFP and Klingon Empire and this is the type of decision that needs to be made by more than just Sisko.

Anyway -- the idea that Cardassia's dissidents succeed in the wake of the Obsidian Order's destruction, and that this then destabilizes Cardassia since it causes (indirectly) the Klingon attack is cool as a Cardassia development. It would have been nice, as well as showing Garak and Dukat's involvement in this to some degree or another, to eventually find out from (say) Ghemour or Natima what the nature of the civilian government is. This makes me think of "City on the Edge" or of the Mirror Universe, where reforms can sometimes come at just the wrong time and lead to a harsh backlash, and the idea of Cardassia moving to civilian government sounds much like this. That Dukat successfully moved laterally into the New System is good work reminding us of Dukat's political success, which is going to be very important soon. The pairing of Garak and Dukat is enjoyable in their brief scenes together, and in particular it helps say something about Garak's loyalty that he stands just beside Dukat in defending the Detapa Council when, unlike Dukat, he can stand no political gain.

If the material for our Cardassian characters is typically strong, I am ambivalent about the reintroduction of Worf -- the most significant Klingon in the Trek universe. Worf is one of my favourite characters on TNG, and he has some good material in DS9, where he fits in fairly well, though there will be some particularly rough patches for the character on this show coming up (which means I overall prefer his TNG material to his DS9 by a fair margin). We see two big conflicts with Worf in this episode: firstly, the conflict between his loyalties to the Starfleet and to the Klingon Empire, which is, yes, something we saw before and will see again and so could be viewed as old hat, but really is a foundational issue of the character, which cannot really be resolved. They are ostensibly brought in direct conflict when Worf has to choose between Gowron and Starfleet around the halfway point in the episode (where I suspect the episode was divided into two halves for syndication). To some degree, I call BS on Worf's claiming that he has to refuse to participate in Gowron's plan because of his duty to Starfleet. This maybe has some truth, but Gowron's plan does not involve attacking the Federation ( least not at this stage), and we have seen in "Redemption" that Worf is willing to resign his commission if he feels a greater moral imperative than the one to his Starfleet oaths. OK, so maybe Worf has changed his mind since "Redemption," and that would be plausible, but to me it makes much more sense if Worf opposes Gowron primarily because he thinks that Gowron's plan is wrongheaded, or, more to the point, that he agrees with the Starfleet/Federation value system when it comes to the Cardassian Invasion question. For Worf to define his actions as being duty to his uniform and oath is something obviously Gowron should be suspicious of, having lived through "Redemption," and seems like a tiny bit of moral cowardice given Worf's previous actions; I think Worf is hiding behind this explanation to avoid putting himself on the line more directly by criticizing Gowron's actions. (We could, however, view this as an outgrowth of Worf's having become more politically savvy and cautious in the years since "Redemption," which would be consistent with later developments anyway.) However, at the very least Worf's decision comes down to choosing between Starfleet and Klingon-as-espoused-by-this-era-Gowron values.

The second is somewhat cribbed from "Emissary" (explicitly referenced), where Worf, like Sisko there, feels like leaving Starfleet and only agrees to this mission as a last stop before he leaves. This one works less well for me. Worf identifies his desire to leave Starfleet early on, and attributes it here and to a degree later in the episode in his conversation with O'Brien as a phase of grief and depression following the Enterprise's destruction. Then after he tells Gowron he cannot join him in his assault on Cardassia because it conflicts with his responsibility to Starfleet, he further articulates that his uniform will now remind him of what he has lost, and doubles up on his reasons for leaving. I find this aspect of things particularly contrived -- it seems like Worf would more naturally cling even more tightly to his uniform in the aftermath of choosing his uniform over his homeland -- but in general I did not know what to make of Worf's desire to leave Starfleet, which is mostly told rather than shown. There are things that I can imagine could have caused this; the Trek novel by Peter David, Imzadi II, imagines quite elaborately some negative events in the Worf/Troi/Riker triangle and Worf's relationship with Alexander that make some sense. And certainly I could imagine Worf/Troi going badly. Worf's studying at Borath suggests that there is some continuing of his spiritual unease from "Rightful Heir." And further, there might be some particular feelings of shame and despair at "letting" the Enterprise be destroyed, by a Klingon ship headed by the Duras Sisters no less. Still, his reasons for this particular period of alienation, and why he believes that it will not be the same to return to the Enterprise once a new one is built, are underdeveloped. As a result, this whole conflict felt manufactured to me, as a way perhaps of motivating Worf's entry into this particular series as having DS9 be Outsider Worf's salvation the way it was for Sisko. It feels like contriving a situation to put Worf into an already-settled arc, rather than one fully organic to Worf himself. If we see this as merely stage-setting for a larger arc, it maybe becomes more palatable.

There are some good Worf moments though: I like the way Worf and O'Brien have a weird stoic/hyperactive relationship, with O'Brien trying very hard to make Worf feel welcome and, to a degree, stake some kind of claim to friendship since he is the person on the station who goes the furthest back with Worf (and I like the darts scene, and the holodeck line quoted above); while it feels a tad padded, I like the Klingon song and intensity with the old family friend; I like his scene with Odo, between sizing each other up and relating to each other. I think I like the way Sisko asserts himself as a potential mentor figure to Worf, but I'm not so sure about his "I'm an officer deep down!" stuff. The Dax/Worf dynamic begins here; Dax's familiarity sort of works as flirting, but also seems a little presumptuous (especially since the "flirting" side of things doesn't progress further for now), one moment among many in the next little while where Dax's Curzon-based attachment to Klingons and Klingon culture has her presuming too much *personal* familiarity with Worf, despite the fact that Worf is not just a Klingon but also his own person. I say this, I guess, as someone who sympathizes with Worf's frequently-expressed desire to be left mostly to his own devices, and it's one thing for friends to get nosy (like the birthday party in the AUs in "Parallels") but another for total strangers. But that's personal pet peeves.

The story is packed with a lot of developments, but also is pretty padded out; some scenes, like Dax and Kira's holodeck escapades, feel completely disconnected from anything else in the story. Some of the padding-y elements are merely cute, but entertaining nonetheless, such as the Quark-Odo scene regarding Quark's old phaser pistol ("I'm going to kill Rom!" "With what?"). And some scenes happen to be fantastic, despite being apparently wholly disconnected from everything else. The episode's strongest scene really is the Quark/Garak root beer discussion, which has gained a lot of attention and justifiably; in the midst of a crisis which will seriously affect their futures, they have to consider that they need the Federation and that the Federation's value system, including aspects they don't particularly like, is becoming integral to their whole way of life. "It's insidious!" It's a scene about globalization, imperialism through deliberately non-imperialist discourse, the homogenization of values *and* the recognition that these things are facts of life that one cannot simply part with; if Quark and Garak do not like root beer, well, they may have to learn to drink it after all. This scene, added because the episode was running low on time and then which the writers fought to keep in, is somehow uniquely DS9, regarding the Federation's influence with a cynical eye while also acknowledging its obvious strengths and allowing non-dominant POVs to come through...and doing all of that by recognizing that the huge upheavals in the quadrant mean that individuals have to form attachments to whatever giants can protect them, even if it means losing something of their own selves along the way.

The episode does have some great action sequences and I think it's quite exciting, even though I also do find that there is something sketchy about the motivations for many of the actions of Gowron, Sisko and Worf...and the episode's overall production value (improved since season three) and ambition convince me that it deserves 3 stars, although I think that it's a little on the shaky side.
Diamond Dave
Thu, Dec 17, 2015, 3:05pm (UTC -6)
Season 4 kicks off and it's immediately foot hard on the gas. Fully justifying the movie length, there's so much packed in and so much scale to the episode it feels like the door has been kicked open into a new realm of storytelling.

Of course, it's the action that takes centre stage. Yes you can quibble about the fighting prowess of the Klingon's but that takes away from the sheer joy of the hand to hand combat, superb space sequences, and the rather awesome revelation of DS9's new combat equipment. The VFX at this point have really moved to a new level.

But really it's the dialogue that should take precedence. There are so many good scenes here, and the whole ensemble gets a chance to shine. Highlight of highlights - Quark's "then you begin to like it" speech. Genius.

And of course that's to say nothing of Worf's triumphant arrival. Fits right in, has a meaty story line, has some quality interaction right of the bat (the scene with Odo being another highlight) and gives the series new impetus. An unreserved 4 stars.
Thu, Dec 17, 2015, 6:22pm (UTC -6)
Absolutely loved this episode as a kid and still do now. In fact it was the very first Star Trek episode I ever saw and made me a fan! I could recite entire scenes from memory back in the day. I missed a lot of the references back then though, such as Kassidy mentioning Sisko's hair (or lack thereof) or all this talk of the Enterprise being destroyed.

Now, being a fan as long as I have, I have a few nitpicks/questions;

When Sisko offers Worf a post on DS9, when does he put so much emphasis on the "Lieutenant" part of "Lieutenant Commander"? Was became a Lt Cmdr in "Generations" and has been wearing the correct rank pips all episode and even introduces himself as such, so why does Sisko make seemingly a big deal out of what is effectively a division transfer, not a promotion?

Speaking of which, O'Brien says to Worf "You look good in red" and Worf says "It feels good". Yet Word spend TNG Season 1 in a red uniform and likely would have stayed there had Tasha not died. O'Brien should know as he started there in red too. OK not really a continuity error, but Worf should have said "I'd forgotten how good it feels" or something.

Why does Worf get to wear that baldric anyway? We have seen several times that modifying uniforms is against Starfleet rules, such as with Ro and Gerron with their earrings and Chell and his necklace. Yet Worf can wear this big silver thing and no one says anything! I know uniform code is captain's discretion to a point, but would every commander Worf ever had have been ok with it? Not even Jellico said anything and he was the one that had the sense to get Troi to put on proper clothes for a change...
Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 6:21am (UTC -6)
So do Federation have Universal translators or not? Why do you get some episodes where they speak in native language and it doesn't get translated and instead have to rely on somebody else to translate? Do the writers just forget or think we're simple enough not to realize? Either way it really gets on my nerves.
Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 9:52am (UTC -6)

From (Which got it from TOS 2x02: Metamorphosis)

Responding to Zefram Cochrane's question about the theory of operation, Kirk explained that there are certain universal ideas and concepts common to all intelligent life, and that the translator compared the frequencies of brainwave patterns, selected those ideas it recognized, and provided the necessary grammar. Kirk further explained that the device spoke with a voice, or the approximation of one, that corresponded to the identity concepts it recognized.

Since it's already scanning brainwaves, presumably it can also detect intent (whether you want to be understood or not), and decide whether or not to translate as appropriate.
Wed, Feb 17, 2016, 3:13am (UTC -6)
I also agree with jammer on ds9 for once but Paul's point c bothered me greatly too. Even in this series we had Dax and 3 old Klingons take out the albino and his small army alone, yet here the Klingons were dropping like flies. Ds9 in general doesn't treat the Klingons well, it reduces them to a repetitive joke and a shallow caricature of what they were, treating them in exactly the same two dimensional way that jammer always criticizes the ferengi's presentation for. Ds9 just can't write Klingons.
Thu, Feb 25, 2016, 5:30pm (UTC -6)
I just watched 'Way of the Warrior' for the first time...well...since the episode originally aired back in 1995. Thank you NETFLIX.

Some questions for our hardcore DS9 fans regarding this episode.

1. During the battle sequence between the station and the Klingon fleet, DS9 is firing off vast amounts of Photon Torpedoes. I would say that 1/2 of the torpedoes veer off into open space without hitting anything. Don't photon torpedoes have a guidance system?

2. DS9 receives a distress call from the Captain of a cargo vessel. I think the captain is Yates? Anyway, Sisko, Dax, Kira, O'Brien, and the rest of the officers of DS9 go off to rescue Yates. So, who is in charge of the station while about 40 Klingon ships are at the station, and whose intentions are at unknown?
Thu, Feb 25, 2016, 10:44pm (UTC -6)
Troy: "...1/2 of the torpedoes veer off into open space without hitting anything."

Are we sure they weren't aiming at invisible targets??

Or at targets farther than point-blank range, as would be more realistic in space warfare? (If space warfare were a real thing.)

But seriously... was it Worf shooting? He can't aim for crap.
Tue, Mar 1, 2016, 12:45pm (UTC -6)

I guess it is possible the torpedoes found other targets

Yes WORF was shooting. LOL.
Mon, Mar 28, 2016, 6:57am (UTC -6)
After taking some time off for Easter, I'm back with DS9: Version 2.0.

"The Way of the Warrior" is an excellent episode. Great action, political intrigue, world-building out the ears, wonderful character work and the introduction of Worf to the series all add up to a real winner of an episode.

What stands out most about the episode is how well it works with established plot-lines even though it was little more than a ratings stunt. The studio forced a lot of these changes on the show and yet they managed to take them all and work them virtually seamlessly into the mix. Following the events of "The Adversary" everything that happens here makes sense. The paranoia that was the defining element of that episode has now spread to the entire Alpha Quadrant. The Cardassians are so scared of the the Dominion that they've gone so far as to seal their borders. The Klingons are so paranoid of a Dominion plot that they're willing to plunge the entire Quadrant into a state of uncertainty (and open war in places) as a result - of course, we later learn that this was all engineered by Changeling Martok, but it still works for this episode. Most importantly, however, even with the new focus on the Klingons as antagonists, the Dominion is still the primary villain of the show. Everything that happens is because of the Dominion or simply the threat of the Dominion. They're still a shadowy, offstage kind of villain but they were almost always that previously anyway.

And, of course, there is the inclusion of Worf into the cast. It's probably the biggest ratings stunt the episode pulls, but it feels completely natural. The nice continuity with the destruction of the Enterprise in "Generations" makes his actions and decisions here completely understandable. If the Enterprise had not been destroyed, I would have a really hard time believing that Worf would either want to remain on the station or ever consider leaving Starfleet in the first place. I seem to remember hearing somewhere - a long time ago - that the original proposal for the ratings stunt was for Data to be the character brought over from TNG only for that to be nixed when the Klingon situation was created. I could be mistaken on that but if that was the plan, I have to say, it would not have worked at all. Data is an excellent character but he simply would not have fit in on "Deep Space Nine" in any way, shape or form. Worf, on the other hand, as a character who is already something of an outsider works magnificently on a show with so many outsider characters. And I think it's fair to say he gets more, and better, character development here on "Deep Space Nine" than he got in the entire seven year run of TNG.

One final thing I'll point out that I think really highlights why "The Way of the Warrior" is such a great outing is the use of the recurring cast. Here is an episode that not only seeks to redefine the show in a huge way but one that uses a fairly large amount of recurring characters in large roles, thereby continuing story elements previously established. Garak, Dukat, Gowron, and Kassidy are all given a lot of scenes. And we're introduced to a new recurring character in Martok, not to mention Worf. And they're all given some fairly important scenes. Garak and Quark's discussion of root beer is a real standout. It serves as a break in the heavy action of the second half and yet still conveys a lot of information and character dynamics. And I just love the fact that Quark and Garak find root beer disgusting and a perfect symbol for how they view the Federation. That made me smile.


Thu, May 26, 2016, 10:16pm (UTC -6)
Times like this make me wonder why the Federation didn't establish a much more substantial presence at DS9 much earlier. If I were in charge of the Federation Department of Defense, I would have built two more Starfleet stations next to DS9 so that the wormhole really could be defended, blocked, protected. Another 20 ships in the Bajoran system would have been nice too.

I'm pretty horrified by Sisko actively wanting the Cardassians to be ready to fight back against the Klingon invasion. I think O'Brien presented the two options as (in my sartastic view) 1) do nothing and let the Klingons take out a dangerous adversary and risk them attacking the Federation, or 2) completely freaking betray the Klingons and ensure that thousands of Klingons die. "I want a third option," says Sisko. Which means he just wanted option #2: to hell with the Klingons and a swift and decisive victory; let's help the Cardies kill as many batleth lovers as possible. I love the manner in which he executed option #2 with Garak, but it's still insane and clearly immoral.

This seems like a good time to complain about dead crew members not getting recognized in funeral services, even by passing mention. People freaking die all the time in Star Trek! Starfleet officers. The sacrificed their lives for *science* and *peace* and the defense of the UFP.

No flags, no burials, no captains writing letters to parents about their children's bravery. I find the absence of at least passing references to these truly huge losses really distasteful.

I freaking love Gowron! What a great character. My favorite was this line:
... or forget."
I played that back about three times and laughed aloud each time! So great.

I really love this episode. It's the final metamorphosis for Sisko into *The Sisko,* now with a freshly shiny head; the Dominion is in the center of the series, and now we have Worf too. And it's awesome.

And it works so very well because DS9 used to be a fairly calm place with occasional tensions. Soon it'll be so wrought with conflict, even reconquered by the Cardassians and the Dominion, that it will hardly resemble the more peaceful station of s1-3. Thus we see what the Federation is fighting for later on in the height of the Dominion War. Battlestar Galactica started out with the gritty war in the first episode, but made good use of flashbacks to help the audience appreciate that those characters weren't always so gritty and hopeless, and that their struggle was to return to their formal, peaceful lives. In DS9 we don't need flashbacks, because we have seen it. Thus the payoff of these "star wars" is enormous.
Fri, May 27, 2016, 1:19pm (UTC -6)
@Skywalker: I disagree it was an unprovoked invasion of a state that had just barely gotten over a revolution that overthrew an oppressive Regime. I'm glad Sisko warned them rather than let the Cardassian union be annexed by the Klingons and alienate themselves from the Federation. That's exactly what the Dominion wanted.
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 11:00am (UTC -6)
An absurd episode and one that marked the beginning of dissatisfaction with DS9. Probably double-so for the all hype this episode got.

The low point was the discussion among the senior staff after getting orders from the Federation not to get involved. The staff pretty much ignores their orders and starts to formulate their plans to handle the crisis. Wow. So the senior staff on DS9 is now in charge of Federation foreign policy?

The episode should have ended with Sisko & company getting cashiered for disobeying direct orders. Sisko relegated to a ceremonial role on Bajor, cutting the ribbons at the opening of shopping malls, Kira overseeing a waste refinement plant on a cold Bajoran moon, O'Brien doing oil changes 24/7 in a federation motor pool, and Bashir reassigned to colonoscopy and rectal exam duty on the Gorn homeworld.

And why do the Klingons beam onto the bridge of DS9 with no disrupters? Instead we get the absurdity of hand-to-hand combat on a 25th century station filled with high tech equipment and weapons. That's really exciting if you're 10 years old. In fact why even beam over your warriors at all? Just beam over a couple of bombs. Boom. Problem solved.

Lot's of fun pyrotechnics, if you're into that kind of thing. But ultimately stupid, insultingly so.

Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 11:16am (UTC -6)
"And why do the Klingons beam onto the bridge of DS9 with no disrupters? Instead we get the absurdity of hand-to-hand combat on a 25th century station filled with high tech equipment and weapons."

Beam weapons on the promenade has always had no consistency. I think in S1 they said that phasers and disrupters and etc couldn't operate due to something the station did to negate them. Of course over the rest of the seasons there's phasers o' plenty so who knows?

You could say the Klingons just enjoy hand to hand battles more, which is probably what they were aiming for.

P.S: I loved DS9 before they pulled the ratings stunt and brought Worf aboard full time here too. Though he had some good DS9 episodes IMO I do think they watered down a great character a bit who probably should have remained on TNG.
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 12:42pm (UTC -6)
"And why do the Klingons beam onto the bridge of DS9 with no disrupters? Instead we get the absurdity of hand-to-hand combat on a 25th century station filled with high tech equipment and weapons.

I think with the Klingons you get more honor by decapitating the bridge officer with your sword rather than shooting him. maybe in the Klingon fleet you need to pay for your own disruptor and thats why only 1 in 6 or 7 carry them.

"In fact why even beam over your warriors at all? Just beam over a couple of bombs. Boom. Problem solved."

Ponder this in an age of antimatter warheads transporters Phasers and photon grenades Klingons still regularly prefer to carry Swords and knives into battle. they just love making things hard for themselves to earn more "honor"
Wed, Jul 20, 2016, 10:44am (UTC -6)
Regarding the Klingon's preference for hand to hand combat as to reason why they don't beam into the bridge with disruptures a blazing:

A nice Theory, except that Elsewhere on the station we do see Klingons with disruptors. So are those the Klingons without honor? The bottom line is that the producers decided that hand-to-hand battles with people punching each other was more "exciting" then the alternative.

And that's fine. But it does mean that you have to shut your brain off for substantial parts of the episode's climax.
Peter G.
Wed, Jul 20, 2016, 2:43pm (UTC -6)
There's only one way to explain hand-to-hand combat in Star Trek, and it also involves a glaring omission we should recognize has always existed, especially since "Fistful of Datas." Why does no one carry a personal deflector shield? The tech exists, and given how much the Federation values its personnel there's no reason why at the very least security wouldn't be equipped with these. But frankly with replicator tech there's no excuse for everyone not to have one. Once we see Worf construct such a device using spare parts in "Fistful" it's obvious that it doesn't require anything special. The real reason no one has this is because it would make action scenes look like crap and up the FX budget in personal combat scenes.

But given that the Trek universe is completely filled with beam weapons, it literally makes no sense that personal deflectors are never used. I therefore conclude that they are *always* used and since this evens out there's no point in showing it; kind of a wash. It even explains how people 'dodge' beam weapons so often (which should never, ever be possible). We can instead interpret this as them taking a hit and their shield being weakened.

Enter the Klingons and Jem'hadar, who use, respectively, bladed weapons and (arguably) particle weapons, both of which can pass through a shield that stops only energy weapons. I think of it like Dune, in the vein of "the slow blade penetrates the shield." Something like that. The Klingons would prefer to use bladed weapons in close quarters if their opponents are relying on personal deflectors and aren't that skilled against swords.

Does that make complete sense? Not exactly, since Trek didn't write it this way. But I think it's a meta-narrative explanation that in my opinion is what the Klingon advantage *should* have been over the Federation in battle. It makes perfect sense for the technological and civilized Federation officers to hide behind their shields while the Klingons rush right in to cut them down with blades and ignore the shields. Trek has ultimately always been mostly about character, so this kind of tech exploration might have been a distraction. But then again it might have made the fight scenes a little more tactically interesting, rather than having us just see our heroes win every fight...just because.
Sun, Aug 28, 2016, 8:32pm (UTC -6)
I love that scene where Garak is just shooting Klingons as they enter the corridor 1 at a time instead of rushing him in groups of 8 or 9. I did like that the Bajoran militia participated in this battle and showed general competence compared to the security teams on voyager and TNG :)
Tue, Sep 13, 2016, 2:39am (UTC -6)
Great discussion over the years in this thread about the Klingons.

One thing that always bothered me about them (and DS9 really hit it hard for me)......

How does a culture that craps on any kid who does not want to be a warrior or a soldier, develop technology to become a space faring species? We know here that we have had millions and millions of scientists over the last 200 years and we haven't even got a person past our moon yet. I would think that Klingon culture would take 10 times as long to reach this development level due to the fact that you are basically a pariah if you say "oh father, I don't want to be a warrior, I want to run experiments every day on dust and particles in hopes that one day we can discover something".

I like the whole honor/code part of their culture. I just think the writers took it way way too far to the point that a society that hell bent on shaming anyone who doesn't want to be killed in a war could not possibly exist beyond low tech nation states on their own planet.

I would have liked them to have balanced the culture out more and had scientists and doctors and so on be honored parts of the culture and not weaklings that are bullied into the corners to the point of contemplating suicide.
Peter G.
Tue, Sep 13, 2016, 8:55am (UTC -6)
@ Dave,

I think the deal with the Klingons isn't that they're all warriors, it's just that the warriors are treated like an elite part of society. If you've seen Starship Troopers you'll notice the similarity in that local customs/propaganda put all sorts of attention and focus on the warrior caste even though the vast majority of people are 'lowly' civilians. In Trek the civilians would probably be unlikely to travel around due to cultural considerations (or even due to poverty), and so the only Klingons the Federation will tend to encounter will be the military since they're on ships. We do get one example of a Klingon lawyer later in DS9, and he doesn't seem like a cowering weakling and has a pride in his own way. But he has no pretensions of being a fighter, either.

Also don't forget that since the only Klingons we tend to meet are warriors, the only information we really get about Klingon cultures comes from the *point of view* of warriors. It's not like doctors and carpenters are giving us their opinion as well. If Kor makes it sound like Klingon culture used to be this bastion of honor and conquest, don't forget that he may well have been existing in an echo-chamber of elite warrior-aristocrats and likely had little contact with civilian life.
Tue, Sep 13, 2016, 1:00pm (UTC -6)
That is a plausible explanation, thank you. That would have made for a nice episode or two somewhere in Trek canon where they focused on the rest of their society (scientists, doctors, bankers, etc). All we ever really got on DS9 was the warriors and them bullying and making fun of anyone who wasn't one.
Tue, Sep 13, 2016, 7:47pm (UTC -6)
Is this the most commented on episode yet?
Latex Zebra
Wed, Sep 14, 2016, 7:15am (UTC -6)
@Justin - Not even close.

In The Pale Moonlight has double this.
Endgame has loads... Far Beyond The Stars... Well over 200!
Andy's Friend
Wed, Sep 14, 2016, 7:19am (UTC -6)

"Is this the most commented on episode yet?"

Not quite. This one has 67 comments as of today. A quick check of ten I knew would have more shows the following:

TNG's "All Good Things..." has 102
TNG's "Darmok" has also 102
TNG's "The Measure of a Man" has 108
VOY's "Threshold" has 111
TNG's "The Inner Light" has 128
VOY's "Tuvix" has 136
DS9’s "In the Pale Moonlight" has 155
ENT’s "Cogenitor" has 176
DS9’s "Far Beyond the Stars" has 211
ENT’s "Dear Doctor" has 255

And I’m confident that there are a few more episodes with more than 100 comments. With more than 67 there are for sure. So don't worry: it would seem that you still have lots of reading to choose from. :)
Andy's Friend
Wed, Sep 14, 2016, 7:20am (UTC -6)
Damn, Zebra, you beat me to it! :D
Wed, Sep 14, 2016, 9:09am (UTC -6)
You guys should check out "Who Watches the Watchers" I think there's 200 comments on religious B.S. alone!
Latex Zebra
Wed, Sep 14, 2016, 9:11am (UTC -6)
Andy's Friend - Sorry dude. You snooze...


No longer Latex Zebra's Friend. ;o)
Wed, Sep 14, 2016, 10:04am (UTC -6)
The most commented by far is the much-maligned "Star Trek Into Darkness," which has 951 comments as of right now. It had 881 before I posted the long-delayed review and split the thread, and 70 more since.
Wed, Sep 14, 2016, 11:10am (UTC -6)
Meanwhile, "Best of Both Worlds, Part I" - 35 comments.

Feels bad, man. :(
Sat, Nov 19, 2016, 1:47am (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone

@Peter G. made me think about something from another series, Babylon 5. The class/caste system with the Minbari had a Warrior class, a Religious class and a Worker class (and the Worker class was deemed to be a bit lower rung). While they did overlap in some areas (the Religious class had some wicked martial arts of their own), they mainly stayed in their own role, or were supposed to. That is how I view the Klingons. We've even seen it from time to time, when Worf travels for enlightenment for example. They don't spell it out, but I think that is a logical way to view them, and we normally only see the Warriors...

Random thought #1: I have seen all of these before, but some have not. I was really appalled by how many gave spoilers for some things that should be experienced naturally with the flow of time. And early on in the comments, too. I'd have been pissed if I'd read these comments and had plotlines ruined for me...

I'd think the Klingons would have their best shock troops for the battle on DS9, especially since they didn't use them for the invasion of the Cardassian homeworld. As mentioned countless times above, they didn't look like the best of the best.

Random thought #2: Why didn't they keep sending troops over? 40 or so ships sending over their Warriors at the same time should have made mincemeat out of the defenders...

Sisko: So you saw which way the winds were blowing and changed sides.
Dukat: *leaning forward* It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Loved that. Best lines in the episode for me.

Random thought #3: I think it's neat that there are so many comments from the past year or two. While I realize many are made by Jammerlifers, I still see comments from newer folks. I'd be interested to know how many hits the site gets these days, as opposed to when it was ranked first on the Gaggle list. :)

I really loved this episode when it first aired (nearly wore out my tape watching the battle sequences), and I loved it again upon my recent viewing. I, once more, backed up the vid to see the battle a few times.

Random thought #4: It seemed that after TOS episode The Ultimate Computer, they were afraid to put their weapons or ships on automatic (and rarely do so), not quite trusting the computer. That episode showed us what the computer could do, and it was deadly. Trek always seems to show someone using auto-target, then firing manually (looking up at the viewscreen to see if it worked), wasting valuable time, when the computer could have fired so much faster. We finally get to see the computer doing the targeting, because it'd be more than one person could hope to handle with so many enemies. Multiple targets, autofire using the sensors to determine when another ship was vulnerable, concentrating fire until it was a smoky dot. Even back when watching TOS for the first time in the 70's, it always bothered me that they did everything with a manual push of the button (even had the crew in the torpedo room have to hit the fire button after getting an order from the bridge, as if they are on a submarine (Balance of Terror)).

Thoughts heading out of phase... reality creeping in... time to sign off for now.

Sun, Dec 4, 2016, 4:43pm (UTC -6)
Why can't Bashir develop a scan for changelings? HE has one living on the station..analyse. The line that a changeling in the form of a rock will scan as a rock makes no sense, as it should not be able to change it's mass or molecular makeup, not to mention that even in the rock form it still has concioussness, as it can then change into something else.

I still don't get the two different uniforms thing.

Worf's line that he will need time to get used to a red uniform makes no sense, as he wore a red uniform in S1 TNG then switched in S2. I assume he began his Starfleet career with a red command uniform.

The Klingons could have avoided the whole problem withe Federation by flying straight to Cardassia.
Mon, Dec 5, 2016, 1:43am (UTC -6)
Why can't Bashir develop a scan for changelings? HE has one living on the station..analyse. The line that a changeling in the form of a rock will scan as a rock makes no sense, as it should not be able to change it's mass or molecular makeup, not to mention that even in the rock form it still has concioussness, as it can then change into something else.

I still don't get the two different uniforms thing.

Worf's line that he will need time to get used to a red uniform makes no sense, as he wore a red uniform in S1 TNG then switched in S2. I assume he began his Starfleet career with a red command uniform.

The Klingons could have avoided the whole problem withe Federation by flying straight to Cardassia.
Trek fan
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 12:33am (UTC -6)
Enjoying this series for the first time on Netflix. I found this episode a bit overrated, as the frustrating illogic of Gowron's character felt like a pretty forced way of setting up the admittedly impressive battle sequences at the end. Honestly, the battle felt fairly meaningless and sad, as it's clear the Dominion is manipulating the Federation and Klingons and Cardassians into fighting each other. So none of it, I suspect, will really matter in the long run. I would give this show 3/4 stars.

It makes zero sense to me that Gowron would be so stubborn. But after two recent episodes in which changelings posed as a Romulan leader and as a Federation ambassador, plus the changeling hunt stuff in this one, I'm convinced Gowron is actually a changeling -- an idea that came into my mind in his very first scene of this episode, where I felt he was not acting like himself, as I believe only the Dominion would manipulate the Klingons into this war. We'll see what happens in future episodes, but I'll be shocked if I'm wrong about Gowron.
Mon, Dec 26, 2016, 3:11pm (UTC -6)
Dukat comes aboard the Defiant and tells Sisko that there are still lots of council members on his ship. That doesn't seem very captainly...shouldn't Dukat be the last one to leave his ship?
Wed, Feb 8, 2017, 10:56pm (UTC -6)
I see Hawke from "Spenser, For Hire" showed up"
Sat, Feb 25, 2017, 3:10am (UTC -6)
I've always found the visual BJ the camera gives Worf amusing. Reminds me of the way Steven Seagal's characters were treated. But if any character deserves it, it's Worf. He spent years as the most interesting jobber in Next-Gen. He earned star status the hard way. :-)
Wed, Mar 1, 2017, 5:23pm (UTC -6)
Great ep, but two things really bother me:

1. Odo was arguably the deadliest melee fighter they had on the station, and he was absolutely useless. Definitely underutilized here, and I wonder if it's beacuse they spend the whole budget on the space battle scenes (which were great, I admit)

2. The Star Fleet Ops crew defeating the Klingons with hand-to-hand while the Klingons were armed was totally unbelievable. Just total cartoonsville. I wish they'd come up with something more believable or creative.
Thu, Apr 20, 2017, 3:23pm (UTC -6)
Was sort of bored last night so threw this one on again.

As much as I like Worf, I'm one of those people who thought that DS9 didn't need him added as a regular cast member.
Fri, Apr 28, 2017, 7:14pm (UTC -6)
Worf is such a baby. Quark says something rude, and he skulks away. He keeps begging to leave StarFleet in a tedious "should I, shouldn't I?" Dance without making a real decision. The gets all weirded out about being on a cloaked federation ship. Sad.
Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 4:14am (UTC -6)
I liked the Quark/Garak conversation. Both Quark's "Noone ever went broke selling weapons" and the bit about root beer (pasted from imdb to save time):

Quark: I want you to try something for me. Take a sip of this.

Garak: What is it?

Quark: A human drink. It's called root beer.

Garak: [unwilling] Uh, I don't know...

Quark: Come on, aren't you just a little bit curious?

[Garak sighs, takes a sip and gags]

Quark: What do you think?

Garak: It's *vile*!

Quark: I know. It's so bubbly, and cloying, and *happy*.

Garak: Just like the Federation.

Quark: But you know what's really frightening? If you drink enough of it, you begin to *like* it.

Garak: It's insidious!

Quark: *Just* like the Federation.
Tue, Mar 13, 2018, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
How did the Klingon fleet manage to beat the Defiant back to DS9?
Thu, May 31, 2018, 7:24pm (UTC -6)
Terrific way to kick off a DS9 season -- all the political elements, well-developed characters, good action scenes and a great plot. A season should introduce some new twists and with Worf part of the cast (and Martok/Gowron as recurring characters), it is done really well here.

Interesting how Cardassia has a civil uprising now that its SS (Obsidian Order) has fallen. Take away the gun and then freedom can follow. Just needs time in order to establish a non-authoritarian government. But it all flows sensibly after "The Die Is Cast" -- we get consequences of that episode here.

DS9 goes from strength to strength with Worf and his adaptation to the station gives plenty of source material for interesting tales. He's always been good for being caught between loyalties dating back to "Heart of Glory".

Loved the scene where Sisko has Garak measure him for clothing while conveying the Klingon plan. Always great to have Garak and Dukat interacting as well. But one scene that was pure filler was Dax trying to measure up to Worf with the batleth fight -- in a 2-parter, there will be some filler but what's great is that there's very little of that in this one.

Gowron's a bit 1-dimensional here -- yes he's devious as usual but I don't get why he'd throw away the treaty with the Federation over some belief that the Dominion has infiltrated Cardassia. This was a bit weak from the writers, trying to force a conflict between all the familiar powers.

Good battle scenes with the Defiant rescuing Dukat and the Cardassian governing council although I don't get why Klingon boarding parties don't come firing phasers. Instead many of them get phasered when showing up ready to fight with batleths! Seems kind of dumb to me.

Not sure what to make of the Quark/Garak conversation about the Federation being insidious (like root beer once you get used to drinking it). I'm sure both would prefer a Federation presence instead of a Klingon one. But these kind of masked conversations between the 2 are one of the things I've gotten to really appreciate on DS9 -- might be the only thing I appreciate about Quark.

3.5 stars for "The Way of the Warrior" -- literally had everything going on and makes use of well established background and characters in an effective and highly entertaining way. And it's not just superficial stuff either -- Sisko telling Worf about running away may help for a while rings true in all situations (better to face the situation head on). Anyhow, the Klingons are going to be involved in DS9 now -- a wellspring to draw upon.
Peter G.
Thu, May 31, 2018, 8:30pm (UTC -6)
@ Rahul,

I'm not sure if you've seen all these series before and this is a rewatch, or if this is your first go-through, but about this:

"Gowron's a bit 1-dimensional here -- yes he's devious as usual but I don't get why he'd throw away the treaty with the Federation over some belief that the Dominion has infiltrated Cardassia. This was a bit weak from the writers, trying to force a conflict between all the familiar powers. "

There's a specific explanation given later for this, so it's not just lazy writing.
Thu, May 31, 2018, 9:39pm (UTC -6)
@ Peter G.,

I've seen the series before but when judging an episode I try not to do so using knowledge of future episodes. So I know there's more to Gowron than what meets the eye here.

Here's what Jammer said re. Gowron: "This is the other quibble I have with this episode, which is that Gowron comes across as too stubborn and unreasonable. It's as if the writers made him more cardboard just so they could force elements of the confrontation."

So I felt the same way as Jammer but we know from TNG that Gowron is a multi-dimensional character so perhaps more could have been expected of him here. At this stage, to win Cardassia at the risk of losing the Federation alliance seemed foolhardy to me.
Sun, Aug 19, 2018, 4:44pm (UTC -6)
"The Way of the Warrior" is a fantastic start to DS9's fourth season. Out of the three two hour episodes of DS9, this one is by far the best. "Emissary" and "What You Leave Behind" run into pacing issues in their back halves, even though I love the latter as a conclusion. "The Way of the Warrior" maintains its momentum all the way through, and the events feel logical and organic. It's also packed with the rich character moments that make this show so special. From Garak and Quark's famous root beer scenes, to Garak and Dukat's scenes that crackle with electricity, to Bashir saving Odo during combat, "The Way of the Warrior" fills the space in between the action with delightful scenes such as these. And speaking of that action, what a space battle at the end! Aside from the two-handed punches, it's the perfect way to cap off a superlative start to DS9's fourth season.

4 stars.
Wed, Aug 29, 2018, 4:33pm (UTC -6)
@Thunderchild - As the Defiant is leaving DS9, Sisko tells Bashir that there are hundreds of Klingon ships between them and Dukat. Presumably the ones that beat the Defiant to DS9 were some of these hundreds of ships.
Tue, Sep 11, 2018, 11:33pm (UTC -6)
Odo wasn't in this episode but I could swear on of the Klingons in this episode was played by Aberjonois.
Latex Zebra
Wed, Sep 12, 2018, 7:56am (UTC -6)
@John - Odo is in this episode loads.
Mon, Oct 29, 2018, 7:34pm (UTC -6)
For what it's worth, I must say that I respect the DS9 writing staff for rolling with the punches from on high and putting together a season that was dictated to them. Ron Moore and Brannon Braga were similarly hampered in the creation of “Generations,” and both are talented writers. That film was a disaster (albeit a financially-successful one). This season was supposed to begin with “Paradise Lost,” which we will get to in due course. Given the brand new direction things are headed, I think we need to talk about Worf:

For the first five and a half seasons of TNG, Worf was probably my favourite supporting character besides Pulaski. He served as an effective counterpoint to Data with his emotions very close to the surface and his sense of culture highly fleshed-out. The Duras arc from “The Emissary” through “Unification” allowed TNG to tell engaging political stories and utilise the declining Klingon Empire to comment on the evil and unsustainable nature of imperialism. The post “Undiscovered Country” era of Federation-Klingon relations made this commentary even more poignant, as we didn't need to turn the Klingons into strawmen “bad guys” in order to criticise their culture. The Klingons aren't bad people, but their society is in need of revolutionary change, as the Duras plot revealed.

Worf himself is was an excellent example of what multiculturalism means in the Federation. He was educated about Klingon honour and warrior culture—and certainly had the natural temperament to match—but he wasn't *indoctrinated* with it. He was able to parse out the symbols and artefacts of his culture which gave him identity, while still conforming to the ethics of the Federation. This was metaphorically realised in Worf's dress, a Starfleet uniform decorated with the Klingon baldric. Worf was proud of his heritage, but he didn't let nationalism exceed his loyalty to his Federation upbringing. In “Redemption,” he went so far as to resign from Starfleet, but still, he challenged those around him, even his own brother, to evolve, for honour to be something internal, something truly sacred, instead of the sociopolitical currency it had become. As we saw in “The House of Quark,” Worf's efforts seem to have been in vain. This is not to say that Worf was flawless. His personal history with the Romulans, much like Picard's with the Borg, led to some questionable choices in episodes like “The Enemy.” And that's alright; flaws are fine.

Then along came “Birthright”--scratch that. Then along came DS9. THEN came “Birthright,” which caused serious damage to Worf's character. Despite three years having passed since he refused to give up his blood to a Romulan for the sake of peace, despite learning that the Romulan youth was actually trying to embrace positive change in “Unification,” Worf, upon meeting a group of young Klingons who, like him, were NOT indoctrinated by Klingon silliness, becomes a hardline conservative Klingon-values man, and doubles down on his racism towards Romulans. Honour? Courage? Pshh. No, what matters to Worf now is wedding garments and hunting live animals, not because they are traditions which he enjoys and which make him feel connected to the past, but because there is only ONE WAY to be Klingon. His way. This crap is re-enforced soon after in “Rightful Heir,” which establishes that Worf isn't just spiritual (which is fine), he's explicitly religious, not to mention absurdly credulous. After all the craziness he has seen on the Enterprise (“Where Silence Has Lease” comes to mind), the appearance of a Kahless clone is enough to turn Worf into a zealot. Furthermore, instead of preserving the status quo in the hopes that his people will eventually grow up à la “Sins of the Father,” Worf helps introduce a theocratic element into Klingon politics by blackmailing Gowron into installing faux-Kahless as Emperor. So now, the Klingons cease to be a lesson against the evils of imperialism, and become a romanticised celebration of it. The only positive development for Worf came in “Parallels,” which introduced us (back?) to the idea that Worf might be suited to command.

Teaser : ***.5, 5%

We begin by recapping “The Adversary” without recapping “The Adversary.” The crew are performing phaser sweeps of DS9 in search of a rogue Changeling. Sisko is STILL having people move in groups of two, because...I don't know maybe he's hoping to have a few more red-shirts hentai-strangled to death. The Changeling heads to the Promenade where the Changeling is revealed to be Odo. They're actually running drills to teach the crew...that since Changelings can be anything their efforts are completely hopeless, I guess. Quark tries to tempt Odo into splitting the profits on a wager over future drills, which isn't particularly funny because at this point, Quark needs to show an iota of character growth for me to give a damn about his antics.

In the meanwhile, Sisko isn't letting the threat of Dominion invasion get in the way of his sex life, which might explain why the thought of closing the giant space vagina doesn't occur to him. And so, Kasidy Yates appears in his quarters, complete with candlelight, a new haircut for Sisko and the best beach-towel wardrobe in the quadrant. The pair exchange gifts, which is kind of sweet. As in Season 3, Penny Johnson seems to bring out the best in Brooks' performance, so despite the DBI, I find this scene pretty charming. I guess Yates has been getting dating advice from Kira, as she sees it fit to engage in foreplay by being Captain Exposition. She informs us (not Sisko because, obviously he would already know) that the Cardassians have closed up their borders.

Dax calls to cock-block Sisko, summoning him to Ops to witness the arrival of the new Klingon flagship, the Neckbeard or whatever. Sisko is hailed by one General Martok, who requests shoreleave aboard the station. Because Martok is apparently a prankster, he waits until *after* Sisko grants his request to have the rest of the massive Klingon fleet decloak.

Act 1 : ***, 10%

The new title sequence, confirming that “The Way of the Warrior” is actually the pilot to a new series and not simply a season premiere, introduces the theme to a Casio drumbeat, which is terrible, and some updated graphics, including a shot of the Defiant, which is good.

Quark is disturbed by the sound of foreshadowing, by which I mean the lack of noise in general. His bar is full of Klingons which usually means blustering drunk idiots screaming and singing at the top of their lungs, but Martok's men are disquietingly subdued. Bashir re-assures Quark not to worry; the Klingons are our allies, he says, because the writers care too much about their heavy-handed dramatic irony to give him natural dialogue in this scene.

Martok, meanwhile, meets with Sisko and Kira in the Wardroom, cutting open his hand and demanding the same of them to prove non of them are changelings. [eyeroll] When Picard engaged in stupid Klingon shit he was a guest in THEIR territory, showing deference to their customs for diplomacy's sake. Having Sisko and Kira participate in this nonsense just to broadcast to the audience “LOOK, WE'RE BADASSES” is pathetic. Sisko should grab a hyposyringe and be done with it. Actually, scratch that; was it not established in “The Adversary” that the Changelings could get around the The Thing trick? Well anyway, after ensuring that Kasidy will catch Klingon HPV on their next date, Martok explains that the fleet is here to reinforce the Federation in their glorious battle against the Dominion. Sisko, in an overacted bit because Penny Johnson isn't in the scene, explains that the Dominion seem to be avoiding the wormhole altogether.

In the holosuite, Dax emerges from her threesome to invite Kira to join them. Kira doubles down on her distaste for holographic fun because...

KIRA: I guess I don't have much of an imagination.
DAX: Of course you do. Everyone does. Didn't you play make-believe when you were a child?
KIRA: Yeah. I used to make-believe that the Cardassians would stop killing the Bajorans and just go away.

Dax, you're a fucking idiot. Maybe you need to wake up your little Curzon to remind you not to say patently stupid things, or just let him back into Odo.

On the Promenade, amongst some very leery looking Klingons, Garak and Odo are having breakfast, per their agreement in “The Die is Cast.” Odo has decided to remind us that Changelings can mimic liquids outside their body—in case we needed further proof that these people seem to be intentionally stupid when it comes to the Founders—by showing Garak how he drinks his coffee. Speaking of “The Die is Cast,” Garak has been hearing disturbing rumours from Cardassia about civil uprisings. Apparently, the dissident movement from “Second Skin” is alive and well. Good. Well, for no particular reason, some of the surly Klingons start roughing up Mourn. You know, because beating up a lumpy mute bar-rat is sooo honourable. Odo threatens to imprison the group for their idiocy and they agree to acquiesce “so long as [he] wears that Bajoran uniform.” Later, Garak returns to his shoppe to discover the same Klingon mob waiting to ambush him because, honour. Well, despite Garak's predictably quippy remarks, they pin him down and beat him, because, and I think the theme is clear, honour.

Act 2 : ****, 10%

We pick up in the infirmary, where Garak reveals he isn't pressing charges.

BASHIR: They broke seven of your transverse ribs and fractured your clavicle.
GARAK: Ah, but I got off several cutting remarks which no doubt did serious damage to their egos.
BASHIR: Garak, this isn't funny.
GARAK: I'm serious, Doctor. Thanks to your ministrations, I am almost completely healed. But the damage I did to them will last a lifetime.

So good! For once, Garak's incredulity that they would anyone would be so hostile towards him probably isn't a lie. With his contacts cut off, Garak has no idea what's really going on on Cardassia.

Meanwhile, DS9 receives a distress call from Kasidy's ship, which is under attack, and so Sisko takes the Defiant out to rescue her. They discover that a Bird of Prey has tractored Yates' freighter under orders to search for Changelings. Kira reminds the Klingon commander that whatever his orders from Gowron, they have no jurisdiction to perform illegal searches in Bajoran space. The Klingon is obstinate, inciting Sisko to fire a warning shot. The Klingon is outraged, incensed that an ally would fire on him. Yeah, um, maybe don't assume you can illegally board Federation ships if you don't want the Federation to respond, genius. Must have something to do with honour.

Back in Sisko's office, Dax reports that the search vessels have moved to open space and have stopped searching Federation and Bajoran ships. Well, this minor victory in hand, Martok enters to deliver a message in the form of a dagger. Klingon-expert Dax explains that the Klingon commander's decision to accede to Sisko forced Martok to execute him. Because, honour. Sisko is at a loss, until...

SISKO: Curzon told me once that in the long run, the only people who can really handle the Klingons are Klingons.

Uh, yeah, you're speaking to Curzon. I think Dax would remember this. So, Sisko has a new officer shipped out to DS9, Mr Woof himself, who is cheerfully greeted by O'Brien.

Act 3 : ***.5, 10%

Worf reports to Sisko, who apologises for “Generations” (I'll be here all night). Worf informs him that his character is stuck in stupid by mentioning that he has been spending the months ever since meditating with the clerics who cloned Kahless. Worf says he's not sure how much longer he will remain in Starfleet, finding life amongst non-Enterprise humans “difficult.” Ironically, Sisko takes on the Picard role from “Emissary,” telling Worf that if he'd rather not take this new assignment, he's off the hook. Luckily for him (lest he should learn any damned humility), Sisko is not treated to the same level of spite and disrespect, as Worf intends to perform his duty until he chooses to retire. Sisko tasks him with getting some answers out of Martok.

Worf gets his customary prune juice from Quark's and joins Miles and Bashir at the dart board. He's invited for a game, and almost breaks it. Dax and Kira emerge from yet another holosuite fantasy (King Arthur)—Kira is angry that Lancelot would hit on her character, a married woman. The quintet bullshits for a little bit, I *think* trying to get across the message that the DS9 cast are a bunch of goofballs? Or that Worf is too uptight or something? Anyway, something less boring finally happens, with the same Klingon instigator from before screaming at Quark for some bloodwine. It turns out this overacting buffoon is Martok's son. Worf slaps hip in the face, insinuating a battle to the death, but then just takes the young man's dagger, a grave insult. Dax is so impressed her stupid hat falls off.

Later, Martok arrives at Worf's quarters to retrieve the dagger.

MARTOK: You robbed my son of his honour just to get my attention?
WORF: You can't take away what someone does not have.
MARTOK: Are you saying my son is without honour?
WORF: I am saying your son is a coward and a liar.
MARTOK: And what of his father?
WORF: That remains to be seen.

Worf lays out the problem with the Klingons' erratic and dangerous behaviour, but Martok insists it's all for a greater purpose, specifically...Gowron told them to. Martok assures Worf that Starfleet will get an explanation for all this in due course. Martok's warning to Worf, while possessed of the usual (albeit extremely well-acted) Klingon bravado is rather curious:

MARTOK: My mission will determine the fate of the Klingon Empire. Interfere, and you risk destroying us all.

I expected him to say something like “Interfere, and you shall feel the vengeance of by blade, PetaQ!” or some other bullshit. This response is surprisingly enigmatic, hinting at some sort of deep-seeded fear.

Worf deals with this mystery by kicking Skeletor's ass in the holosuite (c.f. “Where Silence Has Lease”), until he is interrupted by Jadzia. She wants to play, seeing as its her programme and all. She wants to take him on herself, promising to go easy on Worf. Cute. Worf rather easily disarms her, revealing that she's actually there to play therapist. None of Worf's TNG continuity buddies will give him any info, leading to his current frustration. Jadzia thinks he might be able to extract a favour out of one of the thousands of Klingons milling about. So, Worf gets drunk with an old fart, an friend of Mogh's, and who just happens to owe him a favour. The old fart doesn't want to keep Worf out of the ensuing glorious battle, but we don't get to find out what it is yet.

We see Worf have his next run-in with a DS9 cast-member, Odo, who has been a dutiful Gestapo and been tracking Worf's movements. He's deduced that Worf has found what he was looking for but hasn't yet informed Sisko. In a surprise, Odo confides in Worf his own struggles with loyalty between the people he was born to and those to whom he has pledged loyalty. This isn't something I would expect Odo to share so readily, but maybe after his experience in “The Adversary,” Odo isn't so keen on trying to keep secrets any longer.

And so, Worf reports to Sisko: the Klingons are going to invade Cardassia, confirming that the CCC has been overthrown in a coup. Gowron believes the coup was engineered by the Dominion, believing the dissident movement was too weak to accomplish this on its own. So Sisko demands to meet with Martok and Worf insists on being present to account for his role in uncovering the plot. Sisko seems quite surprised that a Starfleet officer would feel the need to own up to his actions instead of just hiding from them. Yeah, Captain, it's called integrity. You should try it.

In the Wardroom, Sisko tells Martok to call off the attack, that the evidence upon which this invasion has been planned is circumstantial and that the Federation council cannot support this action. In fact, if the Klingons proceed, it will jeopardise the Khitomer Accords. Yeah, considering the number of times Curzon has been name-dropped this episode, you'd think the Federation would be sending an ambassador or a diplomat like Picard to the station to deal with this. But no, let's let the guy who disobeys orders regularly, shows no regard for Federation values, is so trigger-happy he designed a ship made of testosterone, and was promoted to captain like yesterday to deal with this galactic crisis. That seems reasonable. Martok is, again, weirdly deferential to this confrontation, agreeing to consult with Gowron instead of banging his fist on the table and telling him that THE BLOOD OF ALL HUMANS SHALL FLOW FREELY IN THE...

Ah, well it turns out he was just lying. Because you know, honour. He has actually ordered the fleet to begin the attack on Cardassia.

Act 4 : ***, %

Sisko informs the senior staff that the Federation has decided not to warn the Cardassians, since the Klingons are their allies. Odo speculates that the Klingon intelligence may in fact be correct. But Worf throws a wrinkle in this mess.

WORF: The issue is not if there are any Founders on Cardassia. There are many Klingons who say we have been at peace too long, that the Empire must expand in order to survive. Fear of the Dominion has given my people an excuse to do what they were born to do. To fight and to conquer.

This echoes all the way back to “Sins of the Father.” Klingon society is at a crossroads where honour has become just a word for most. With the fabric of their culture unable to rely on its original tenets and likely resistance to left-wing reforms, it's not surprising that the sitting government would turn to war to unite the Empire. It's an old trick. It's a sad reality.

SISKO: Then we'll have to make sure that doesn't happen.
O'BRIEN: But how? The way I see it, we only have got two choices, both of them bad. If we stand by and do nothing, we run the risk of being the Klingons' next target. But if we disobey Starfleet orders and warn the Cardassians, we may end up starting a war with the Klingons.

Yeah. Maybe someone with some experience should be contacting Gowron instead of master strategist petty officer O'Brien here. Sisko wants a third option, which turns out to be Garak. The tailor is called to the Wardroom in order to intentionally overhear the senior staff's discussion of the invasion. Uh huh. Okay, someone tell me why Sisko doesn't just tell Garak about the invasion, and then report to Necheyev or whomever that he has violated orders in order to safeguard against Klingon expansion? This cowardly bullshit has Worf on edge, naturally. Well anyway, Garak calls Dukat directly, which is a welcome surprise. Dukat is certain that the Founders have nothing to do with the coup. The two taunt each other over the political situation briefly, which is expecetdly amusing.

Garak's info allowed the Cardassian military to mobilise in time to intercept the Klingon fleet, although the Klingons are making headway. Sisko emerges to inform them that Sisko's been made an admiral for his heroism. No, actually, the Federation has condemned the invasion. Gowron has responded by withdrawing from the accords, ending the peace with the Federation. Jesus, dude. Well, Gowron is actually right here, meaning he's in a cloaked vessel and requesting to meet with Worf.

So Worf beams about the chancellor's vessel. Gowron is magnanimous and friendly, gently ribbing Worf, but assuring him that his actions have not made them enemies. In fact, Gowron wants him to join the fight with Cardassia. Well, there's an option.

Act 5 : ***, 10%

Worf declines the offer, pissing Gowron off. You really need a flowchart to track his thinking in this matter:

WORF: I have sworn an oath of allegiance.
GOWRON: To the Federation.
WORF: You would have me break my word?
GOWRON: Your word? What good is your word when you give it to people who care nothing for honour, who refuse to lift a finger while Klingon warriors shed blood for their protection. I tell you, they are without honour.

Ah, so it's okay to behave dishonourably towards people who behave dishonourably. And by dishonourably, I mean people who refuse to go along with whatever crazy whims Gowron cooks up for himself and the quadrant. Where the fuck is Picard? Well, Worf's refusal to Gowron (who is honourably hiding by DS9 while his men fight and die on Cardassia) means that he's essentially re-dis-commended, and Kurn will suffer the consequences as well this time.

Worf returns to a perch above the Dabbo table, this time joined by O'Brien. He has decided to resign after all (after another flopped meta-joke about how much better DS9 is than TNG. Knock if off, Ira). We learn that Alexander is back in mother Russia, and the chief urges him to stay, now that he isn't welcome in the Empire. Well, there's a motivational speech for you, “Stay with us! We don't hate you!” Ah, but Quark could care less, naturally. A customer who orders prune juice is apparently not worth the effort.

Sisko can't accept Worf's resignation until the invasion of Cardassia is stopped, I guess. It turns out that may be quite soon as the the Klingon fleet is a couple of days away from capturing the flag and killing the government officials. Sisko calls up the civilian Cardassian government, and manages to reach Dukat, the only Cardassian in the galaxy. Actually, Dukat switched loyalties before the coup. Sisko tells him to get the ruling council off the planet and Sisko will escort them to asylum on DS9.

Sisko has Kira evacuate the civilians to Bajor, just in case. Speaking of civilians, Kasidy Yates manages to grab a goodbye kiss before the Defiant takes off. And so it does, with the cloak on. Bashir is on hand to remind Sisko that the use of the cloak is a violation of the treaty with Romulus. I'm sure there will be consequences to Sisko's actions here, right? Yeah. Definitely.

Well for once, the entire staff isn't on the Defiant, with Kira and O'Brien back on DS9 completing security upgrades. Meanwhile, the Defiant receives a distress call from Dukat, whose ship is under attack by the Klingons. Sisko feels compelled to order Worf to decloak and fire on the Klingons.

Act 6 : **.5, 10%

Sisko warns the Klingons to call off their attack and, thank god for small miracles, the Klingons fire upon the Defiant first. While they fight, Dukat informs Sisko that his ship is useless, so Sisko is going to have to drop shields to beam the Cardassians aboard. Finally, Sisko permits Worf to blow shit up, per his idiom. Worf also has a nifty idea to allow the transportation of the survivors aboard involving the tractor beam. Well, because the upgrades to the Defiant didn't include allowing the transporters to beam more than three people aboard at once, we have contrived a situation where the Defiant is going to have her ass kicked for a while. Again. The cloak has been damaged and, without O'Brien aboard, they're going to have to warp home and hope for the best. Bashir tests the Cardassians' blood for Changeling goo, offending Dukat. Finally, There's an amusing exchange on the bridge, where Dukat is his usually happy self.

In the meanwhile, Garak orders a drink from Quark. Finally, FINALLY, Quark is afforded a little depth:

QUARK: I should've listened to my cousin Gaila. He said to me, Quark, I've got one word for you. Weapons. No one ever went broke selling weapons. But did I take his advice? No. And why not? Because I'm a people person. I like interacting with my customers. Like you and I are doing right now. Talking to each other, getting to know one another
GARAK: I can see the attraction for you.
QUARK: But when you're dealing in weapons, buyers aren't interested in casual conversation. They just want their merchandise, no questions asked. It's so impersonal.
GARAK: Your charms would be wasted.
QUARK: Exactly.

This good scene is somewhat undermined by the ensuing “root beer” exchange, where the Federation itself is compared to the cloyingly sweet beverage. Garak calls it—and the Federation—“insidious.” Really? Garak, Ira, anybody, do you know what “insidious” means? Please explain to me what part of Cardassian or Ferengi society is opposed to sweetness, effervescence or happiness. Because when something is “insidious,” this means that it gradually subverts one's defences against something harmful. Care to explain what part of the Federation is so harmful? Or are you assholes just going to sit there smugly and jerk each other off for being too cool for Federation school?

Sigh...anyway, the Defiant enters hailing range of DS9, warning O'Brien that with the Klingons in pursuit, the new systems are about to be tested. The Defiant docks and we see that Gowron has actually sent his entire fleet after the Cardassian refugees as they decloak. Sisko arrives in Ops and orders the crew to battle stations.

Act 7 : ***, 10%

Odo informs Bashir that he wants to assign deputies to the infirmary, but Bashir refuses.

ODO: I understand. Just do me a favour. Don't count on that blue uniform to protect you. In the heat of battle, Klingons aren't very choosy about their targets. Doctor or no doctor, you might end up having to defend yourself.

Yes of course, because honour demands no less, right? Quark determines to defend his bar against invasion, which is sort of cute, but Rom has temporarily borrowed his disruptor. Wah wah wahhh We get some snare drum scene-setting, followed by another confrontation between Garak and Dukat, who feel the need to spell out the dramatic irony of their mutual defence of the council members for the audience. Thanks, guys.

Martok hails Sisko and demands those members release. Sisko informs him that the tests prove they aren't Changelings. But Gowron doesn't give a fuck about facts, proving Worf's point. I'll get back to this. In the meantime, Sisko warns the Klingons that he has five THOUSAND photon torpedoes ready to launch. Jesus, man. Again, Gowron could give a fuck, says it's a good day to die and prepares to fire.

Act 8 : ***. 10%

We treated to some eye candy and 'splosions. I don't really care about these sort of things, but it seems like the phaser fire is just coming from everywhere, from the pylons, from the windows, from the runabout pads... Eventually, the Klingons break through the shields and start beaming aboard, leading to hand-phaser fire and eventually, melée combat. While I do believe Gowron's behaviour can be explained, the fact that the Federation and Bajoran forces so easily deal with these warriors is quite absurd. Odo's choice to hit people instead of using his Changeling powers is also pretty ridiculous. The only one who gets seriously hurt is Kira because her attacker choose to knife her instead of using his Bat'leth. Also, where are all the female warriors? Finally, Starfleet reinforcements enter Bajoran space, allowing Sisko to hail Gowron and tell him to call things off. Worf and Sisko are able to get through to him, despite Martok's protests—plunging the Empire into war is exactly what the Dominion wants. A subtle touch is Gowron's comment:

“You have sided against us in battle, and this we do not forgive or forget.”

is directed directly to Worf.

Epilogue ***.5: , 5%

While Quark grinds the Klingon corpses into bar snacks or whatever, Sisko pays Worf a visit. While he provides the requested discharge papers, he bonds a bit with Worf, explaining how his temptation to leave Starfleet was really his desire to escape the pain of Jennifer's death. Sisko's blossoming relationship with Kasidy is a reminder that life goes on. That, while things may not ever be the same, they can still be good.

SISKO: A Starfleet officer. That's what I am, and that's what I'll always be.

It's a good line and a good scene, but Sisko's definition of officer is very wanting. Ah well, Worf doesn't realise this yet, despite that idiocy with Garak. Anyway, Michael Dorn agrees to join the cast, and shows up in Ops with a new red uniform. Sisko conveys the thanks of the Cardassian government to the crew, but it's not all sugar and roses. The Klingons haven't given up control of several colonies and intend to maintain and perhaps continue their imperial expansion.

Episode as Functionary : ***, 10%

Let's begin with the structure of the episode, which is pretty commendable. As I mentioned, this is really is a second pilot to a new show, something which wouldn't be repeated in Trek until Enterprise. The writers are quite aware that they are borrowing from “Emissary” to accomplish this, putting Worf in Sisko's role. However, this pilot is much more focused, not needing to deal with any of the Bajoran bullshit or establish relationships between the entire cast. Rather, each DS9 regular is introduced to Worf in mostly effective scenes. I think his conversations with Dax, Odo and Sisko work quite well, while the meeting with O'Brien and the Lancelot scene are rather forced. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Several of the questions looming at the end of Season 3 were addressed and/or answered here, which is good. The Dominion prove that they can effectively engineer discord without (seemingly) any direct involvement in AQ affairs. That strikes as both politically realistic and a nifty way of supplying the producers their demands while also keeping hold firmly of the series' intentions. The questions about Cardassia are mercifully addressed, as we see what has happened to Dukat and the dissident movement. I much prefer this Dukat to the fireworks dork from last season.

As I mentioned in my introduction, Season 6 of TNG all but ruined Worf's character for me, so I too feel mostly ambivalence about his addition to the cast. On the other hand, his post-”Birthright” identity makes him kind of perfect for this show. It might be interesting to see how Bajoran and Klingon religion intersect (this is me pretending not to know what's going to happen, but the possibility exists at this point for something good to emerge). And it's even possible that Worf will learn that his attitude in “Birthright” was a huge mistake, as it has moved his culture in a dangerous rightward direction. Michael Dorn has good chemistry with the rest of the cast, which is a pleasant surprise, although his particular performance here is not as strong as I would have hoped given his centrality.

Okay, regarding Gowron's attitude, I think Worf's comment to the senior staff about going back “to the old ways” explains this perfectly. Why did George Bush win re-election in 2004? Well, several reasons, but a lot of it had to do with the nationalism and jingoism stoked by the fallout from September 11. For better or worse (usually worse) a nation at war is a nation united. The foundations of Klingon society are falling away. Honour doesn't mean anything anymore, it's just a word, it's just political currency. As a culture, this is bound to lead to existential nihilism on a broad level.What the Klingon people need is massive reforms, the introduction of democracy, of social programmes, an end to the nobility, and an end to the Empire. All such reforms are a huge threat to Gowron and the rest of the Klingon leadership of course, so in lieu of genuine meaning, the people are given a chance to go back to the days of raping and pillaging, the Klingon bread and circuses.

William B mentioned the root beer scene as a comment on globalisation and insidious imperialism. While I think he's correct, there's something that needs to be cleared up about the terminology, because these forces are sadly apropos of our current political crises. “Globalist” is a term that is thrown around by the conspiratorial right quite often. In some cases, it's code for “Jew,” due to a complex series of factors going back to late 18th century antisemitism in Europe (see the recent shooting in PA). That's a whole other topic, but more broadly, the fear of globalisation has to do with Neoliberalism, labour and trade. Capitalists operating on a global market (don't they all nowadays?) tend to favour the dissolution of international protections that limit their ability to exploit the extreme disparity of wealth between the third and first/second worlds. Hence a globalist economy sees the outsourcing of labour to nations who pay poverty wages to their workers with no legal protections, many of whom are often children. Besides the barbaric exploitation of these people, the effect domestically (from a first world perspective), is the loss of working-class employment altogether, as well as the ethical dilemma for the middle class who can only afford to buy goods produced by corporations who exploit the third world (because the Neoliberal economy has also suppressed their wages). I write more extensively on the subject on the “Past Tense II” page, but the irony is, that while the root beer scene is supposed to be a commentary on the Federation and its place in the Trek-verse, it's actually far more applicable to the internal politics of the Klingons. Gowron is an exploitative globalist. It's just that the labour value for Klingons isn't money, it's honour.

Sisko's role in the story is mixed—I think he's better characterised than usual, especially in his conversations with Gowron and Martok, and I am genuinely charmed by the relationship with Kasidy (why did Jammer think her performance was off?), however the bit with Garak and the measurements, as well as the lying to Romulus scene were completely unnecessary, and exist for the same reason as the root beer scene (as intended); Ira and Ron and whoever are overly proud of their subversive This-isn't-your-daddy's-Star-Trek bullshit. Frankly, it stinks. The foreshadowing/thematic elements in the opening acts are also rather clumsy and telegraphed, a symptom of the same arrogance, in my view. However, if we treat this episode like a pilot to a new series to which the previous seasons of DS9 were a prequel, it's definitely the best one yet produced.

Final Score : ***
Peter G.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 12:58am (UTC -6)
@ Elliott,

Just a few thoughts.

"KIRA: I guess I don't have much of an imagination.
DAX: Of course you do. Everyone does. Didn't you play make-believe when you were a child?
KIRA: Yeah. I used to make-believe that the Cardassians would stop killing the Bajorans and just go away.

Dax, you're a fucking idiot. Maybe you need to wake up your little Curzon to remind you not to say patently stupid things, or just let him back into Odo. "

I actually don't think this is an accident or bad writing. There are signs in the series that Dax actually is kind of spacey or at least off in her own zone and isn't that 'with it' regarding what's going on with others. What we saw in Dramatis Personae seems to me a taste of what's to come in terms of some deep truths on the characters, and in Dax's case that person was a complete airhead. I don't think that label rings totally false for her persona here and there, and I also don't say this as a criticism. Overall we see a lot of evidence over the series that the Dax symbiont is pretty selfish and implusive.

"Worf deals with this mystery by kicking Skeletor's ass in the holosuite (c.f. “Where Silence Has Lease”),"

You probably know this piece of trivia, but I just wanted to ask if you're aware that he is literally kicking Skeletor's ass!

"This good scene is somewhat undermined by the ensuing “root beer” exchange, where the Federation itself is compared to the cloyingly sweet beverage. Garak calls it—and the Federation—“insidious.” Really? Garak, Ira, anybody, do you know what “insidious” means?"

I'll field this one. I'm pretty sure what's actually meant here is that, yes, the Federation eventually seems to assimilate anyone who has enough contact with it. Like Eddington said, it's like the Borg. *However* I'm pretty sure the implication here is that while Quark and Garak resent this fact, they also acknowledge that it advantages them to be assimilated (or at least saved by) the Federation in this way. This to me has *always* (since the day it aired) read to me as saying that it can be painful to admit that what the Federation offers really is better than your own culture, but coming to grips with that will cause you concern, bitterness, and fear, and eventually you've get over it when you realize things are better for you now. There'a borderline Christian symbolism here, where the thing everyone wants to hate "saves you" despite it potentially being a painful and gut-wrenching process. Losing your old self - that's tough stuff. I really read this scene this way, and if I'm right then it's actually one of the most optimistic scenes in all of Trek history, showing that alien species recognize the pleasant fizz of Federation values even through they're loath to part with their traditional self-image. That's total trek!

I like a lot of your review, and I generally agree that this served as a second pilot. Well, second and a half, since The Search sort of kind of reboots the tools the show has to play with each episode.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 8:06am (UTC -6)
"This good scene is somewhat undermined by the ensuing “root beer” exchange, where the Federation itself is compared to the cloyingly sweet beverage. Garak calls it—and the Federation—“insidious.” Really? Garak, Ira, anybody, do you know what “insidious” means? Please explain to me what part of Cardassian or Ferengi society is opposed to sweetness, effervescence or happiness. Because when something is “insidious,” this means that it gradually subverts one's defences against something harmful. Care to explain what part of the Federation is so harmful? Or are you assholes just going to sit there smugly and jerk each other off for being too cool for Federation school?"

It's pretty simple actually. Garak and Quark both possess values undesirable to the Federation. Their rough edges are smoothed out by the Federation. Quark is shown to more than just a selfish Ferengi, seen in episodes like "The House of Quark" and "Business as Usual". Garak couldn't just throw himself back into the Obsidian Order lifestyle in "The Die is Cast". There is an interesting conversation about the imperialism of the Federation that will be a part of the season later with Eddington, but in this scene, both Garak and Quark admit the Federation is their best hope, and that they like it despite themselves. I find it quite a positive message that the Federation doesn't need to force its values on people-they'll spread simply by being in/near the Federation. It's very in keeping with Trek's values.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 9:59am (UTC -6)
@Peter G & Iceman:

I would say that i'm open to that interpretation. My issue is that the word "insidious" has a negative connotation. They could have said "seductive." Anyway, your allusion to the forthcoming Eddington remark leads me to believe that the negative spin was intentional, that the Federation doesn't actually *earn* its positive reputation, it's all just so much propaganda. Garak and Quark don't *like* the root beer (the propaganda), they just realise that if you drink enough of it, you learn to deal with it. This suggests that the Federation is...putting heroin in the water supply or something. However, I would agree that if the message was intended to be positive, as you both seem to feel, then it's most definitely a very Trekkian take.

Regarding Jadzia, you might be right, Peter. But that would actually be worse--instead of just a goof, they are intentionally portraying Dax as a self-centred jerk. I guess that fits in with the message of "Facets," that via the Curzon-Jadzia attraction, Dax is in love with herself.

Oh, and I actually didn't know about the Skeletor thing! Neat.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 10:14am (UTC -6)
I don’t know if imperialism is really implied in the analogy. As Elliott points out, nothing the Fedration does is iinherently mperialstic like the Klingons - they’re just offering a freer way of life. A good historical point of reference might be Western Europe/Japan siding with US against Soviet expansion. But those countries retained their cultural identity - so yeah, just like with Eddington’s criticism something in the imperialist critique of the Federation isn’t really fleshed out.

I do like the scene, although it’s funny Quark keeps a pitcher of rootbeer under the bar (Starfleet cadet convention in town?). It’s no wonder Garak hates it, it’s probably become warm and flat being handled like that.
Peter G.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 10:52am (UTC -6)
@ Elliott,

" Anyway, your allusion to the forthcoming Eddington remark leads me to believe that the negative spin was intentional, that the Federation doesn't actually *earn* its positive reputation, it's all just so much propaganda. Garak and Quark don't *like* the root beer (the propaganda), they just realise that if you drink enough of it, you learn to deal with it."

I see the scene is a bit more of a cosmopolitan way, so that Quark and Garak aren't merely bitter converts. I actually attribute to them huge standing in terms of having convictions of their own that have nothing to do with Federation values. In a situation like this, where they're simply forced to admit that when it comes down to it the Federation is their only hope, they may recognize this is true but that doesn't mean they're going to like it. And the reason they don't like it is because in their hearts they're still loyal to their own value systems and homelands. They *comprehend* that something about the Federation is better for them, but they haven't owned it by any means. So I see the word "insidious" as coming from an outside, from cultures actually hostile to that of the Federation, where they see the new values as attacking their own and undermining them. From *our* perspective this is a good thing, but from *theirs* it's an undermining of their self-image, and therefore an insidious process. Don't be too quick to take the words out of an alien's mouth and suppose that the showrunners are calling the Federation insidious. No; that's a Ferengi and a Cardassian who are saying that.

" But that would actually be worse--instead of just a goof, they are intentionally portraying Dax as a self-centred jerk."

I guess you could say that. I think of it more as someone with her head in the clouds. To an extent we might argue that not being in touch with reality does in some way make you a jerk, but in Jadzia's case she's very friendly and caring so I would say her position is more of a space case than a jerk.

"Oh, and I actually didn't know about the Skeletor thing! Neat."

Yeah, Trek bought the Skeletor mask when Masters of the Universe was done with it and decided to have fun with it on occasion.
William B
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 1:04pm (UTC -6)
I hesitate to venture into these waters too deeply because, politically charged and all, but --

I should say, I think that the globalism (not in the antisemitic dog-whistle sense, in the neoliberalism sense) part of things ties in with the implication, that I think is probably partly intended by the script, of reluctant acceptance of Western (neo)liberal democratic (/capitalistic) values as a bulwark against other forces. Neutral smaller powers -- which could apply to the Ferengi or the much-weakened Cardassians, but also applies to Quark and Garak as relatively non-aligned individuals, an exile and a foreign national trader -- have to pick sides in a contest of giants. I tend to think that *some* of what Behr et al. may have been getting at is that instead of "root beer," think Coca Cola, and (economic) imperialistic expansion.

I think this doesn't really work. The problem is that modern-day (or at least 1990s) US and the Federation are conflated into a kind of slightly benevolent but self-interested liberal democratic empire defending against tyranny, which is actually good for the neutral smaller powers its arms protect but which is not the wild paradise it makes itself up to be. This is too kind to 1990s American foreign/economic policy and also doesn't match what we know of the Federation. However, I think it is what is intended, and I kind of like it even on that level as a kind of signal to predominantly American viewers that even if one is 100% behind the benevolent stated aims of the American project, not everyone is going to like the process of coming under Western protection, and they should understand why.

That said, it's undoubtedly true that there were a lot of moments like that one between Quark and Garak in world history, where small neutral powers awaited the battle of the giants that would decide their fate, and reluctantly acquiesced to the power in which they were putting their greater hopes for survival, but without much joy in it. That the Federation really *does* represent benevolent aid, in contrast to the cultural militarism or extreme capitalistic self-protection that Garak and Quark have tied themselves so deeply, makes the recognition that they are going to have to accept Federation help and protection, and ally themselves with them, a very hard pill to swallow, for the reasons Peter and Iceman point out. So I think it's still a great scene, even if I think that some of the (IMO) intended implications don't add up.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 1:19pm (UTC -6)
@William B

I certainly agree that a recurring problem with politics in Trek (and later in nuBSG) was that, in lieu of designing a whole new system which tracks with the fictional history and social evolution (Tolkien style), the writers would often just borrow elements from the contemporary world. It's a lot like the Klingon language, where the words are new, but the structure is simply borrowed from existing languages. That's why you can perform Shakespeare in Klingon but not in Elvish.

Anyway, things like the "seventh guarantee" and the "Jankata accords" are clearly just borrowed existing political elements with new labels slapped on. This often leads to the (erroneous) idea that the Federation analogises the United States, even though Star Trek is explicitly critical of the American experiment. This leads to all kinds of contradictions over the years. I suppose I just find it disappointing that an American would *have* to contextualise Trek by viewing the heroes as extensions of themselves.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 1:35pm (UTC -6)
Good discussion here, folks. :)

William B, I too always equated root beer here (another ubiquitous American soft drink) with Coca-cola. At least that’s the only way to contend with the drink going from being something popular at the academy like Nog described earlier to a drink commonly consumed in the Federation *generally*.

As far neoliberalism and the USA/Federation link, I think in contrast to TNG, DS9 tends to make more obvious parallels between the Federation and Starfleet. Often that does lead to some inspired storytelling, but I do think the writers should not confound American and Federation values without explaining why the Federation chose (American) values in a system where theoretically they’d draw inspiration from all cultures on Earth, not to mention other Federation planet cultures like Vulcan as well.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 1:37pm (UTC -6)
That should read “the Federation and the USA”. Sorry!
Peter G.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 2:10pm (UTC -6)
@ Elliott,

"Anyway, things like the "seventh guarantee" and the "Jankata accords" are clearly just borrowed existing political elements with new labels slapped on. This often leads to the (erroneous) idea that the Federation analogises the United States, even though Star Trek is explicitly critical of the American experiment. This leads to all kinds of contradictions over the years. I suppose I just find it disappointing that an American would *have* to contextualise Trek by viewing the heroes as extensions of themselves."

I think I see what you've been getting at in general, and I could see why you think linking the Federation with the U.S. would be anti-Trek. And I think you are *almost* right: what I think it is could be called anti-TNG, and since for many people TNG was the modern Trek, this would certainly seem like a bit of a contradiction. But in fact TOS played both sides of the fence on the Federation/USA angle in light of the Cold War. In depicting the Feds as clearly being antagonists with the Soviet Klingons the Federation can't be seen as anything but the USA; but at the same time the nature of the Federation itself acts as a critique of what the U.S. actually does. The U.N. is hailed at times, and the UFP flag is clearly based on the UN flag, and yet the actual structure of the UFP shames the UN. So the purpose wasn't to show the U.S. as being good, or bad, but to show what role *it could* be playing if it were better, but that we can hope it's on the better side of things comparatively. I doubt that Gene thought the U.S. was no better than the Soviets.

The feature films play off the themes of TOS, showing the good and the bad in the Federation. Wrath of Khan shows the good intent to create life: it also shows how this kind of power can corrupt people, make then want to take shortcuts, and can cause harm. No organization is so good that it doesn't need watching. ST: VI shows the even darker side, where some people - for reasons they may have believed just - take the wrong side on the issue of peace with a mortal enemy. It's amazing to see a coalition between Klingons, Romulans, and Starfleet people to undermine peace talks; it's like an anti-Federation. Was this anti-Trek as well? I think not. Such discriminating looks at what evil can befall good organizations is what Trek is about. It's never been about naively thinking that all problems are gone in the future, and the only franchise property that risked giving this message is TNG. But not even all TNG episodes agree on this, as some paint perfection while others paint a more DS9-like view from the gallery.

But overall I agree that DS9 takes its cues from TOS much more than from TNG, in that it wants to probe into what a good nation needs to be, but also how it can fall down. It certainly *is* linking the UFP with the USA, but not because they want to prove that the USA is good, or that the UFP is bad. It isn't a 1-to-1 mapping in that way. The root beer image is certainly a reminder that the USA is what's being discussed here, but that shouldn't make us think that therefore the UFP is being described as being corrupt in the ways the U.S. may be corrupt, or that the USA is meant to be seen as being as good as the UFP. The comparison is there for a reason, but not to say they're the same. It's to make sure we understand that *this is what the U.S. should be considering about itself*. Think of it as writers in a country caring about the future of that country. Being Trek, they care about the rest of the world too, but I think the argument might well be that if you want things to get better then start by making yourself better: the rest will follow.
Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 3:35pm (UTC -6)
"Anyway, your allusion to the forthcoming Eddington remark leads me to believe that the negative spin was intentional, that the Federation doesn't actually *earn* its positive reputation, it's all just so much propaganda. Garak and Quark don't *like* the root beer (the propaganda), they just realise that if you drink enough of it, you learn to deal with it."

We'll get to the Eddington thing later on. I'll just say for now that Eddington is kinda full of bs, and sometimes (like his comments in "Blaze of Glory") is just insufferable for the sake of it.
Sat, Dec 1, 2018, 10:51pm (UTC -6)
3.5 stars

I liked the epic scope of this two hour premiere. The number of characters involved(the main cast, Dukat, kasidy, Gowron, Garak, martok who knew how important a character he would become), lots of goings-on(Klingon fleet arriving at ds9 to defend against dominion, cardassians sealing their border, Klingons stopping ships for changelings, Cardassian change in government, klingon invasion of cardassia). I did think DS9 needed a shake up after an uneven third season

Unprecedented to see a main cast member of another series becoming main cast member on another series. Worf has to be the most fleshed out Trek character given his exposure. Was surprised he didn’t remain in security like he did on the enterprise.

Lots of changes in this episode. New opening credits. Couple promotions. Siskos new bald look. Dad’s hair and hair clip. Kira longer hairdo. The new tricorders The much needed station weapons upgrade for a dominion attack

Battle scenes were epic and exciting from the ship battles to the hand to hand combat.

There were a few weaknesses like the dumb holosuite stuff with Kira and Jadzia. I thought the road getting to the federation and Klingons being enemies again was a little rocky. But the idea itself was intriguing. And pays off the idea that once the obsidian order and Tal Shiar were eliminated the only threats from
The alpha Quadrant the dominion faced were the federation and Klingons so what better way than to let them fight each other softening them up for an eventual dominion attack
Cody B
Sun, Dec 23, 2018, 1:18am (UTC -6)
Check out the new fancy pants theme song! We got some edm type electro bass and some drums. Sisko at the disco. About the episode though, I was hoping Worf would bring Alexander to live on ds9. Alexander and Nog seem like they would be fun to watch. I guess we will have to settle with Sisko’s new bald CAPTAIN head for our new entertainment. Which btw I was a bit disappointed how he was just made captain for no apparent reason the previous episode. I guess thats how promotions work, rarely is a person promoted for doing something amazing, it’s years of mundane work done well.
Sun, Dec 23, 2018, 10:38pm (UTC -6)
Watching and commenting:

- We start off with a rousing game of "Find the Changeling."

--Brooks' lack of hair hasn't improved his acting ability, but I really like the look, and every little bit helps.

--Uh-Oh. Kasidy acting suspiciously nosy. Changeling, or mislead?

--Lots and lots and lots of Klingons.

--Worf! I always liked Worf. He has a picture of Alexander. I guess this means we'll see him someday. Alexander was not very interesting as a small child, but we'll see. What's up with Martok, what are the Klingons trying to do?

--"I am not interested in your conclusions. "Worf being his usual blunt self with Odo.

--Dorn wins the deep voice contest with Brooks.

--Intrigue upon intrigue. What gives here? The Klingons leaving the Federation? Conquering Cardassia because they think the Dominion has taken over Cardassia? Is the Dominion controlling Cardassia or Kronos? Or both? Whichever way, it's working to sow major chaos.

--Suspenseful confrontation with the Klingons.

--Garak with an interesting little conversation with Quark. I also think root beer is vile.

--Some clever, funny lines here, great interactions, Garak/Quark, Bashir/Odo, Quark/Odo, Garak/Dukat. All nice little pieces.

--The Cardassians pass the blood test. Gowron next, please.

--The station firing! Nicely done!

--A fight breaks out in the saloon!! The cavalry is on its way. Gowron calls off all the dogs. I guess Gowron is really Gowron after all? Whoops. The Klingons are refusing to give back some of the Cardassian outposts.

--"Who you really are" and "What makes you who you really are?" seem like a major theme here. I see we've decided it's more than just your memories after all . . . there's your values, loyalties, biology, actions, experience and so much more

Very nicely done two parter.
Bobbington Mc Bob
Thu, Jun 27, 2019, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
One word: Wow.

DS( has left TNG far far behind by this point. 100% the finest trek. And that's coming from a HUGE TNG fan.

Bobbington Mc Bob
Thu, Jun 27, 2019, 1:29pm (UTC -6)
PS I was so excited I couldn't type properly
Bobbington Mc Bob
Thu, Jun 27, 2019, 1:45pm (UTC -6)
Also, Worf HAS been on a cloaked ship before. The enterprise was cloaked during "The Pegasus" and he was onboard.
Jamie Mann
Sat, Dec 28, 2019, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
An interesting double-parter - not least because its arguably the first time that DS9 had s chance to shine under it's own lights, rather than being permanently cast in TNG's shadow.

It's also notable how many parallels there are between this episode and the Babylon 5 episode Severed Dreams, which aired some 14 months later. You do have to wonder how much the two series were riffing off each other...

Still, the result is something of a mixed bag. There's some interesting and logical extrapolations - when anyone can potentially be a Changling infiltrator, everyone becomes a suspect, and it makes perfect sense for the Klingon's to suspect their involvement in the political upheaval happening in Cardassia, not least because said upheaval can be traced back to the fact that the Founders had just successfully infiltrated and then destroyed the Obsidian Order. And from there, it's both inevitable and believable for things to come to a head with a showdown between the Klingons and Federation.

As ever though, the devil is in the detail, and while the overarching plot makes perfect sense, there's quite a few things which don't ring as true.

The Kilngons are perhaps the greatest issue for me. Star Trek has always tended towards single-dimensional caricatures for alien species, especially those from TOS, which were usually either thinly disguised allegories of historical or contemporary societies (e.g. the Roman Empire or Soviet Russia) or even just straw men designed to hammer home a point (e.g. "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield".

Unfortunately, while the "roman empire" template for the Romulans gave them some breathing space, the same hasn't been true for the Klingons; their original "brutish, scheming and murderous ways" (to quote Wikipedia) haven't really changed at all, though over the last few decades the Soviet trappings have been downplayed in favour of a model which blends Viking and Samurai stereotypes together to produce a species of honour-obsessed berserker-warriors.

Except... the only Klingon who even vaguely lives up to this ideal is Worf, who wasn't even raised as a Klingon. All the other Klingons in DS9 are generally portrayed as back-stabbing connivers, who will happily twist the concept of honor until it squeals.

And so, we're left with an odd juxtaposition: Worf stands tall while taking a moral high ground, only for Gowron to both completely dismiss his stance and then strip both Worf and his entire famiy and house of all their property, political standing and money.

"Honour"? Yeah, right.

(You also have to wonder how a species like this could ever develop anything more advanced than the ability to wield a rock as a weapon, given that anything other than fighting is seen as dishonourable. But I digress...

Equally, there's perhaps a story to be told about how Worf strives for an ideal which doesn't exist, but I don't think ST ever had the gumption to follow through on this.)

After this, there's the spectacular defence of DS9. Which begins with a dramatic stern chase (later echoed to some degree by the Last Jedi) where both the chasee and chasers somehow manage to conveniently match speeds until they arrive back at DS9. And at no point in this chase does Sisco appear to consider the possibility of continuing deeper into Federation territory where stronger forces may be available, or coordinating some sort of ambush or trap for the Klingons.

Instead, it's straight back to DS9, where we find out that while Sisco and the command crew were doing things like building Space Yachts or running around an out-of-control Defiant searching for Changlings, someone back at DS9 was invisibly upgrading it's offensive and defensive capabilities.

Which is pretty impressive, given that there hadn't been even a sniff of this in previous episodes.

Still, I can buy into this with a sufficiently large pinch of salt. What's harder to swallow is the on-station preparations and defenses, which seem to consist solely of giving a bunch of Bajorian red-shirts guns. They certainly don't seem to have been given much training, nor are they equipped with any form of protective armour despite the fact that Bashir even makes an explicit point of mentioning how Klingons prefer blades hand-to-hand combat. As indeed do the Jem Hadar, who they've allegedly been preparing to face. It's like watching a bunch of mall cops taking on a SWAT team...

(They also seem to have completely forgotten about the replicated smart-guns the Cardassians left buried in the station's security systems. With a bit of target-recognition fine tuning, they'd have been perfect for handling a station invasion, especially since all civilian personal had been moved to safety...)

Still, things go boom, and we even get to see an injured Kira take down a Klingon warrior even if said warrior is notably smaller and lighter than the rest of the invasion force. Bring your child to work day, perchance?

I'd also ask why they didn't focus fire on the massive ship (which presumably hosted Gowron. And why the Klingons with their several-dozen ships were persuaded to break off when they realised that just six Star Fleet ships were incoming. And why those ships weren't closer in the first place. And...

I dunno. A lot of the finer detail can be picked apart in this story, but for all that, the overarching story is solid and takes a number of radical steps in reshaping the DS9 universe. It just remains to be seen if this move towards longer and bolder story arcs carries on...
Baby Mandalorian
Sat, Jun 27, 2020, 10:00am (UTC -6)
Amazing two parter, really starts to shine with all characters being established and introducing Warf into DS9 as a grown character.

My only issue is why doesn't DS9 or the federation send out a general notice to all governments to conduct blood tests on their leadership and military. It would have saved a lot of current and future headaches.
Mon, Jul 6, 2020, 9:19pm (UTC -6)
Okay so this wasn't the worst Klingon episode ever, but it was pretty ludicrous. I just can't take Klingons seriously - they are like the drag queens of Trek (no offense to drag queens) with their camp and melodrama. As for the battle at the end - why the hell wasn't the Defiant out there fighting, or why wasn't it targeted? And everyone involved in the battle on the station should have been drenched in blood by the end.

Also, is O'Brien senior staff now? It seemed out of place for him to be in a strategy meeting.
Mon, Jul 6, 2020, 9:25pm (UTC -6)
And hooray for the bald and bearded Sisko. He seems SO much more confident, too. The shaved head and beard signal a real turning point for the show. I always thought he looked so sanitized before, and now he seems more realistic.
Peter G.
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 10:18am (UTC -6)
I don't normally post links, but I thought this stupid s***-post was funny:
Fri, Sep 4, 2020, 3:46am (UTC -6)
Peter G, thanks for that little piece of Reddit absurdity, I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Just rewatched this episode for maybe the sixth time since the Age of Netflix made it possible, and enjoyed it, of course. Exciting, well-paced, shifted the universe on its axis quite a bit for a single episode, and the introduction of Worf to the series, gotta love it.

However, I've now read all the way through this comment thread - whew - and I'm surprised that the clunkier-than-usual dialogue isn't mentioned, particularly at the beginning of the episode. Sisko meeting with Kassidy tried to work politics into their discussion and I thought it was awkward and forced, the expository dialogue followed by "these are unsettling times" happened I think three times, and lots of other stuff came up that took me way out of the flow of the story. Given all they packed into the thing, it's to be expected, and the brilliant bits - Quark and Garak, most obviously - make up for it. But I almost wish they had turned this into a three-parter and given us more natural dialogue, more consideration given to the judgment call of Sisko's decision to help the Detapa council at the possible cost of starting a war, and a better Klingon boarding sequence where the professional warriors weren't quickly beaten like rented mules at the hands of administrators and operational personnel.

Good discussion though, even with Elliott showing how deeply he drinks from the Enlightenment humanist utilitarian cosmopolitan party keg, to the point of considering anything else to be deeply irrational. Trek has had a lot of different takes on relationships between the society and the individual, between different societies, and so on, but DS9 still tops all the other shows in sophistication when it comes to politics under pressure, and even though I prefer to watch the self-confidence of more idealistic Trek series, I enjoy and respect it.

And at least it's not the Kurtzman era.
Wed, Oct 14, 2020, 7:40am (UTC -6)
"The Way of the Warrior" always seem a bit poorly paced to me, with maybe one or two subplots too many. The episode checks in on EVERYONE, relentlessly dragging every character into the mix.

I feel a better script would have streamlined this, bringing characters together in groups rather than checking in on them individually or in pairs, and maybe simplified Worf's dilemma and removed his face-to-face meeting with Gowron.

Still, the episode is packed with great little moments. And we're treated to the bulbous-eyed Gowron, the scenery chewing Martok, and some good (even iconic) dialogue by Quark, Garak and Dukat.

Unfortunately, like most tales of this ilk, the episode rear-loads with all its pyrotechnics, action and FX, and gambles that its climactic payoff will be worth an hour and a half of padding. Better to sprinkle your action throughout.

I thought the Klingon/Cardassian/Federation dilemma was interesting, and a bold move. But does it actually go anywhere from this point onwards? In season 4 we see Cardassians fighting Klingons in "Return to Grace" and "Rules of Engagement", but that's it really for the season.

With the first episode of season 5, the status quo then seems restored.
Frake's Nightmare
Thu, Jan 21, 2021, 4:24pm (UTC -6)
Boy that Noddy Holder sure can be mean!
Wed, Feb 3, 2021, 7:58am (UTC -6)
I always held this episode in high regard but after my most recent viewing I've changed my mind and started to see some of its pretty big flaws. I totally get the invasion of Cardassia and somewhat buy into the reasons behind it, but the writers should've treated the growing tensions between Klingons and the Federation as the result of the said invasion with a bit more restraint. This way, by so easily ending the treaty with what are most probably their closest allies (just think back to the Federation's role in their civil war) and provoking a war on two fronts with the Dominion looming over the Alpha quadrant makes them look like a bunch of space buffoons bent on destroying everything just for the sake of it. The justification that they are 'a warrior race' just doesn't fly here because they are also members of a vast interstellar community and it makes it hard to believe that any society this short-sighted and ill-tempered would make it to a status of an interstellar empire. Other than this instance the writers were more or less successful in balancing this warrior aspect with common sense, but unfortunately they went overboard in this instance. Finally, the hand to hand battle sequence was executed quite poorly because the invading parties of what are supposedly highly skilled warriors where dispatched with ease, having stabbed Kira beat a Klingon twice her size an absolute eye-roll. It suffices to compare the Klingons here to those of 'Nor the Battle to the Strong' (which is an infinitely better episode) to see their poor depiction.

SPOILER ALERT (in case there is anyone watching the show for the first time)
I wonder if the writers had already planned at this point for Martok to be the changeling or if they decided to go with that idea only later. Even so, to have one man cause such mayhem is again a testament to everything that's wrong with this episode.
Wed, Feb 3, 2021, 8:06am (UTC -6)
Oh, I forgot to mention the part which actually prompted me to leave this comment - the resolution to the episode was ridiculous. Was it really necessary for Sisko to say out loud what was clear to anyone with half a brain for Gowron to realize what kind of situation this conflict is putting everyone in, something he should've figured out on his own as the leader of an entire empire? I guess they should've started quoting Khaless at the first sign of trouble.
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 11:56am (UTC -6)
Great episode, especially the action sequences topped with the ST Generations theme playing, it makes for something out of our confort zone from what we've seen in TNG (which normally resolves into a diplomatic solution admit the rising tensions).

Concerning Gowron's out of character mood shift , I could argue that this is thought to be explained in a later season that he might be a changeling hence his brash actions, but as the series goes on and spoiler, Martok is the culprit , it sort of leaves you wondering if the writers sort of rewrote the TNG Gowron to make him more of the perfect imperial bouffon .

In TNG we saw a cunning and calculated Gowron always willing to let the better general get the job done, DS9 Gowron is just straight out....Klingnon, evidence to that in ''Taking Into the Wind''...all this to say the last true appearance of TNG Gowron would be in ''House of Quark''
Mon, Mar 22, 2021, 5:35pm (UTC -6)
The extended episode held my interest, but I fall in with all of those persons who believe that Klingon statecraft is perpetually stuck in kindergarten, and that the high council is better described as the "highchair". Gowron, a character I frankly like, was reduced to Nog at his petulant worst. I must admit also that the spectre of another Worf "identity crisis" arc did not fill me with much glee. I like Michael Dorn and the Worf character, but I am tired of "Please, Worf, please stay, pretty please" story lines.

I greatly enjoy Avery Brooks's performances and look forward to those more and more as I watch the series from start finish for the first time. The best line in the episode was when after being forced by Klingon paranoia to undergo with Kira a dreary cut-the-hand blood test: Sisko says facetiously to Martok " Now that that is out of the way..." Really made me laugh! The writers should have had him say: "I hope the Dominion doesn't show up in the next few minutes, now that the three of us are wounded". Or "I'll show you solid, will somebody call Bashir for some band-aids? Geez Louise".
Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 9:03am (UTC -6)
A bit epic, but almost everybody in Operations being better at hand to hand combat-- and batleth combat!!! -- than Klingons was very very silly. Talk about serious villain decay.

Also, IMHO, Worf was a very dour and dreary addition to the show. Watching Worf whinge and people whinge about Worf for four years was not much fun.
Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 10:30am (UTC -6)
I liked Worfi! But you are right about the fight scenes. Some are just plain awful. In one or two scenes you can actually see how people wait for their go to move. It looks so weird.
Peter G.
Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 10:40am (UTC -6)
It's a problem with the form. How can you do excellent hand-to-hand combat on TV? It used to be, you couldn't. Now it's borderline. But then how do you deal with a race whose defining quality is being physically martial? Just talk about it and never show? The best answer probably lies in 'artistic' renderings, like Worf's fighting resembling tai chi, where you're fundamentally seeing dance. But even that doesn't work in a full-on war scenario. So I guess the answer is don't show a full-on war scenario other than with phasors?
Jason R.
Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 11:01am (UTC -6)
I don't think that it would be that difficult to portray combat more intelligently and indeed it would probably have helped rather than hurt the show.

It is the 24th century. They should have embraced that premise. Have automated phaser turrets (like that thing that appeared in the replicator in Civil Defense) mowing down Klingon soldiers.

If a few Klingons get within melee range, let the hand to hand combat play out logically. Humans use phasers where they can. The turrets take them out eventually.

No way Sisko Kira should be holding their own in hand to hand combat with Klingons (let alone Jen'Hadar!) nor should they have to. It's their station. They have phasers.

I have said it before that it's utter BS to have someone like Kira fist fighting Klingons and Jem'Hadar. Her fighting style should be more like Garak.
Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 11:19am (UTC -6)
Well, that is the problem with Klingons in general. These guys should not have phasers or spaceships. They should live in caves eating each other.

To answer your question, yes. Attacking people who have that kind of firepower with swords would be suicide anyway. But if you think for a moment about it many things fall apart. Why not beam some kind of death ray bomb on the bridge and then beam over or 50000x other scenarios that would be smarter than beaming over in small group.

Same goes for NuTrek were the Romulans use throwing knives. It does not belong in Star Trek. At least not in an actual war scenario or spec ops stuff.

While I didn't like the siege of ar 558 that much, the fighting in there was handled better because it was mostly shooting, even in close combat. The hand to hand combat scenes were very short and chaotic as they should be.
Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 11:23am (UTC -6)
But that is the problem with sci fi personal combat. It should not exist. If you really think it through then it should just be high tech drones fighting 17 seconds and so quickly a Human couldn't perceive it.
Peter G.
Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 1:19pm (UTC -6)
Well there's a reason why Frank Herbert created in-universe reasons why hand combat was necessary. Too much pew pew and combat becomes distanced to absurdity and means nothing in terms of narrative. But when transporters and planet-killing tech exist in-universe (even in TOS they said a starship could level a planet) at that point you have to just close your eyes and enjoy the storytelling. To whatever extent they needed to show fighting I think it should have been character-driven rather than plot drive. A good example of this was Dukat and Garak fighting side by side.
Thu, Jun 17, 2021, 11:53pm (UTC -6)
Trek has struggled with fight scenes, which is kind of weird. At least this isn't as bad as early TNG, like Heart of Glory, where security officers jumped their whole bodies in the line of fire.

That said, I don't think this particular hand to hand was staged poorly. Parts of it might have been.

But Sisko being able to defeat Klingons with a batleth is crazy. I can buy Dax doing it because of her history.

To me, the Klingons fight so incredibly poorly that if I were Sisko, I would believe it was intentional.

Rewatching this, I get the feeling Avery Brooks was not at all pleased with Michael Dorm joining the cast. Sisko seems incredibly blah and subdued in the relevant Sisko/Worf scenes. It's quite possible Brooks perceived Dorn's arrival as a threat.
Thu, Jun 17, 2021, 11:56pm (UTC -6)
Oh and I'm also willing to dispense disbelief to some degree in that the humans are doing fancy 23rd+ century fighting techniques but that the show can't adequately depict this. That's what some of the novelizations suggest. For example, Kirk didn't defeat Space Seed Khan merely by hitting him with a plastic pipe.
Mon, Jul 26, 2021, 11:33am (UTC -6)
I looked up what Dax says to Worf in Klingon when they first meet.

"Yes, but I am much better looking." or "Yes, but I have better legs."

Something along those lines, if my source is correct.
Wed, Aug 18, 2021, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
Add me to the list of people who have always been a little annoyed at how universal translators seem to work on everyone but the Klingons.

Other than that, excellent episode, and Worf is a wonderful addition to the show. :-D
Mon, Oct 18, 2021, 9:25pm (UTC -6)
On repeated viewings I noticed something pretty slick the writers did, showing their effort to “play fair” and be internally consistent. Immediately after the scene where we see Martok (who is a changeling) and Sisko do a blood test by cutting their hand with knives, we have a scene where Odo is sitting in Quarks bar with other members of the crew. He is seen to apparently be drinking coffee, but he explains how the cup and the liquid are actually a part of him that he shapeshifted to be able to “appear to share the dining experience”. He shows how he can drink from the cup (reabsorbing a part of himself), and how he can refill the liquid in the cup when he wants to (we simply see the level of liquid start to rise as he says this), again via applied shapeshifting of his body.

I really appreciated this scene on repeat viewings long after I had become very familiar with DS9 as a complete series… why? The writers immediately, if indirectly, play fair with how they just showed the changeling Martok pass a knife-cut blood test; with Odo’s demonstration of changeling liquid manipulation, they are showing us how simple blood tests can likely be circumvented by changelings since Odo can manipulate liquid in a coffee cup to such a degree with intricate shapeshifting. I found it interesting and ironic how the Odo drinking and refilling coffee scene comes immediately after the Martok blood test scene. I doubt many people were sharp enough the first time around to realize what the writers were showing them and to say “hey, if Odo can do that I bet the changelings can get around the primitive blood test we just saw”… I certainly wasn’t, but it still is a sharp move on the writers part. It also provides some fuel for thought a little later in Homefront where Sisko’s father talks about how a smart changeling could suck up someone’s blood and release it on cue; with Odo’s demonstration in mind we know that his theory is plausible (although it differs from what Odo is doing but still it shows the detail with which Changlings can manipulate their body and liquids as a part of it).

I will say that while this episode is great and so is DS9 as a series and on a certain level I really enjoy the Klingons in it (especially in my initial viewing), I will say I agree with those who take issue with just how stereotypical the Klingons become on DS9… they become even more one dimensional and in a warrior/drunken buffoon on their time off sort of way. Even in TNG the Klingons like many Trek aliens were not very three dimensional, but they could still be taken seriously enough as having an interstellar empire (if one allows for an amount of suspicion of disbelief). In DS9 they become less and less sophisticated. Personally I like the portrayal of the Klingons in “The Undiscovered Country”… there it was not hard to believe that the Klingons, though a people with a strong warrior inclination, were intelligent and sophisticated enough to run an empire, especially in the upper levels of their society. Don’t get me wrong I also really like TNG’s honorable, in some ways samurai/Viking take on them, but I think there is room for all three visions of Klingons in order to have a more three dimensional race; characters like the upper crust we see in the Undiscovered Country as the race’s military brass, and political or at least intellectual leaders (I also like the Klingon leadership in TNG mostly though), perhaps scientists and scholars as well could behave that way, TNG’s portrayal of them for the race’s bourgeoisie level military officers (ie Galron and Kimpek, Worf’s brother), and then yes there is room for DS9’s stereotype of Klingons in the race’s rank and file soldiers/enlisted men.
William B
Mon, Oct 18, 2021, 9:34pm (UTC -6)
Great catch on the coffee scene, Brian.
Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, Oct 19, 2021, 9:48am (UTC -6)
Yes, a very interesting take on the coffee from a narrative point of view. Without realizing that it makes the scene feel a bit odd and out of place. Also the special effects on that are laughable. René Auberjonois has a death grip on that mug to hide the tube used to refill it, and the way it just sort of gurgles and slowly rises is quite lame.

Practically speaking, I think Changeling Martok and Odo are doing different things. Odo is in constant contact with the coffee and cup, since they're just reformations of his body. Changelings can't maintain the shape of a piece of them that's been disconnected, so the purpose of the blood tests is not to show that blood drips from their wounds in the first place, but that the blood doesn't turn into undifferentiated Changeling goo afterwards. The generally accepted explanation is that he did what Joseph Sisko suggested. Another option would be a knife that has a small blood reservoir in the handle. Prop knives for movies do this all the time.

Production-wise, when this episode was written for the end of Season 3 (even though it got pushed back to the Season 4 premier) Martok was not planned to be a Changeling. His reveal doesn't happen until the Season 5 premier "Apocalypse Rising" but I wonder if Joseph Sisko's theory was planted in "Homefront" (halfway through Season 4) specifically to address this.
William B
Tue, Oct 19, 2021, 1:49pm (UTC -6)

While I believe that the writers didn't intend Martok to be a changeling, sometimes writers of serial fiction do include a few redundant open-ended hints to give them the wiggle room to make patches later. If they can do so in character beats then all the better. I wouldn't be surprised if the Odo scene was something to that effect. It's worth noting too that Odo is a much worse changeling than the Founders and so his doing a pretty weird and kind of gross coffee cup thing would also be a kind of way to fool the audience into thinkin the Founders wouldn't be capable of much greater subtlety, on a small level. In any case, I like the idea that there was some groundwork laid early on that the changelings' powers are counterintuitive.
Sat, Nov 27, 2021, 8:37pm (UTC -6)
Drex gets the Chuck Cunningham treatment after this..we never hear of him again even thought Martok becomes a key character on the show and Worf joins his house.
Tue, Nov 30, 2021, 6:29pm (UTC -6)
@1:11:00 Quark & Garak's famous conversation on the Federation "It's insidious", scene was famous by January 1999 (, isn't that interesting? @1:26:20 Gowron "We do not forgive...or forget", perhaps that's where the hacker group Anonymous got there slogan from. Bajoran law on unnecessary stops & seizure made a good point and would return later in the series.

Over all score: 9/10
Tue, Apr 12, 2022, 10:32pm (UTC -6)
Another exciting war episode with an absurd premise. Typical DS9. They fought the Klingons on Worf's hunch that the Klingons were going back to their old ways and wanting to attack the Federation next!!

Ds9 was great when is stuck to traditional Star Trek and written by guest writers.
Jason R.
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 4:31pm (UTC -6)
I just noticed for the first time that when they are evacuating the d'tappa council members from Dukat's ship he beams over after only half of the council members have been beamed over. I suppose he should be commended for not being the first one to leave his ship haha
Fri, Aug 26, 2022, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
Well, now...

Definitely an enjoyable, action-packed, edge-of-the-seat tense eppy, with many twists and turns. It was good seeing Worf again but, man, Klingons are such freaks... - and not in a good way!

I like Q-ball Cisco. I REALLY like his new lady friend! Their courtship and swapping spit? Not so much. Slow and tedious; it's not what I watch this kind of shows for.

ADORED the battle scenes. As more than one commenter wrote above, many things made no sense, but who cares: This is not a documentary!
Wed, Sep 14, 2022, 9:07am (UTC -6)
One aspect of Jadzia and Kira that comes into play from time to time -- when it comes to hand-to-hand combat, they both tend to kick ass. This episode is no exception to that.
Sun, Oct 9, 2022, 3:14pm (UTC -6)
Patricia Tallman makes yet another appearance as a Defiant Bridge officer. You might know her for playing Lyta in Babylon 5.
Black Oatmeal
Tue, May 16, 2023, 9:54am (UTC -6)
DS9 is simply the best Trek series. It was the best when it originally aired, but I think the distance between it and number 2 (TNG) has grown. DS9 has aged much better.
Fri, Aug 11, 2023, 10:14am (UTC -6)
The moment they started pretending Enterprise was no longer there, I just stopped watching this show. What right had they to spoil another series for the fans? They couldn't get another idea to being Worf on board.
Fri, Aug 11, 2023, 10:41am (UTC -6)
What do you mean? TNG was over, the Enterprise-D was destroyed in Generations, and the Enterprise-E was not yet built, so Worf was between ships. The DS9 writers had a perfect opportunity to bring Worf aboard without having any effect on TNG, and that's what they did.

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