Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

“Call to Arms”

3.5 stars.

Air date: 6/16/1997
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by Allan Kroeker

"The Dominion is making impressive inroads in the Alpha Quadrant." — Odo

Review Text

Nutshell: Nice work. A very good season finale filled with the typically compelling plot-based mayhem.

"Call to Arms" is more good DS9 from a season which I believe may very well be the best season of DS9—and of Trek—yet produced. While "Call to Arms" may not be perfect (it has its share of minor problems) it's quite good. The main reason it works is that it just makes so much ... sense.

Just like in "By Inferno's Light," there's the feeling here that the actual events of this installment are not as important as their implications on future stories to come next season. That's not to say these events aren't interesting as stand-alone entertainment (they are), but they feel more like pieces to the big puzzle than simply set-pieces.

The plot centers around what has been inevitable for what seems like years now: the preamble to an armed conflict between the Federation and the Dominion. More Dominion ships have been coming through the wormhole headed for Cardassia. The number of Jem'Hadar soldiers that must be stationed on Cardassia Prime is staggering. How many? "Too many," Sisko says quietly.

One thing "Call to Arms"—as well as the entire fifth season—has done very well is build the plot developments on top of previous shows slowly, steadily, and plausibly. Even when big, surprising developments do occur, they seem to follow out of what came before and tie into the various political schemes of the series. Heck, even the B-story of last week's comedy show "In the Cards" was a prologue to this episode.

And as a standalone episode, "Call to Arms" is thoroughly entertaining, despite a few flaws. Big action shows are fun, but big action shows that think about their roles in the large scheme of things are both fun and thought-provoking. This installment is an example of the latter.

For example, I find it very believable that Sisko would finally say "enough is enough" concerning all the Dominion troops that have entered the Alpha Quadrant. He decides no more must be allowed to enter, so Dax, O'Brien, and Rom come up with the idea of mining the entrance to the wormhole. And I also thought the response by the Dominion, who send their ambassador Weyoun to object, also made sense. The diplomatic scene here is one of complete insincerity; once Sisko tells Weyoun that he has no intention of removing the minefield, they both realize it will mean war—yet they continue the diplomacy with statements neither side could possibly, as Sisko so aptly puts it, "buy."

I also believe that, in an issue that further complicates matters, the Romulans would sign a non-aggression pact with the Dominion. Given that they, like the Cardassians, suffered such substantial losses at the hands of the Dominion in "The Die is Cast," the Romulans seem like a perfect candidate for caving under pressure they probably realize they can't afford. It rings very true and represents the Dominion's style, which is to shake up governments with subversive policies instead of simply brute force. Odo's keen observation, "The Dominion is making impressive inroads in the Alpha Quadrant," sums things up rather nicely.

Sisko's solution to keep Bajor out of the crossfire of imminent war is simple—but very risky. He recommends to the Bajoran government that they sign the non-aggression pact offered to them a few weeks earlier (see "In the Cards"). This could have some very interesting consequences next season. The notion definitely makes sense, even though it hardly makes for an ideal situation. This proves yet another thing: the series has not forgotten about Bajor. Just as Sisko realizes it's his mission to keep Bajor out of danger, the creators realize that the fate of Bajor will ultimately be more important to the payoff of the series than skirmishes between the Federation and the Dominion.

But for now, the Dominion is the spotlight, and the writers get them right. One idea that really works nicely as "Call to Arms" unfolds is the analysis of the Cardassian/Dominion relationship. Once the Cardassians and Dominion decide they're going to attack DS9, they send a fleet to the station. But there are different agendas working here; Weyoun and Dukat represent, respectively, standpoints from the Dominion and its Cardassian subset. Subtle as it may be, there is significant tension here. And while Dukat will heed the Dominion's decisions to remain peaceful toward Bajor, he certainly doesn't like it—and I think I see the beginnings of a rift here. I wouldn't be surprised to see a major internal conflict that—if I may be so bold in my predictions—could rip the Dominion and Cardassians apart from the inside. The subtext here is clear: Just as Bajor was forced to seek refuge behind the Federation, the Cardassians have sought refuge behind the Dominion. The difference, of course, is what the Federation represents versus what the Dominion represents. (Or, if you're a Maquis, maybe there isn't even a difference at all, which is why I love DS9.)

Of course, we also get a huge battle, which makes use of the station weapons array for the first time since "Way of the Warrior." Execution-wise, this is all well done. The special effects are good, as always, blending together stock material and new shots seamlessly—although this episode does not begin to threaten outdoing the top-notch sequences in "Way of the Warrior" or "Shattered Mirror." But, just as in most big DS9 battles, the sense that All Hell is Breaking Loose™ is conveyed as perfectly as ever. Jay Chattaway's score is fantastic—surprisingly thematic and dramatic. And the sight of so many, many ships is impressive. I don't believe we've ever seen as many ships in a single shot as we do here.

That brings us to the defeat. Even with their arsenal, Sisko and crew don't stand a chance against a Dominion fleet without reinforcements. (The Starfleet reinforcements are busy taking advantage of the opportunity by destroying a Dominion shipyard in Cardassian space, which I suppose will only fuel the fire for a full-scale war.) So, in a surprising turn of events, Sisko and the Starfleet crew is forced to evacuate the station and leave it up for grabs—but not before sabotaging all key systems. Kira and Odo, as members of the "neutral" Bajoran military, remain on board to welcome Dukat to DS9. "Don't you mean Terok Nor?" Dukat immediately asks.

In a number of ways, the ending to "Call to Arms" shows a full circle that echoes back to the first episode of the series—which is very appropriate. More than four years later, Dukat reclaims what he was forced to abandon, only to find it as trashed as the day he and the other Cardassians left it. (Now, that's a rather interesting notion to ponder.) Sisko abandoning the station is a major event, and his emotional speech promising to return feels sincere and keeps the issue in perspective. Even in war, Sisko knows what his real mission is.

As always with DS9, even though the story is far from over, the season finale doesn't come packaged as a cliffhanger—a style that I've really come to appreciate. There are a lot of little details in here that will definitely come into play next season. There's Dukat's uneasy alliance; there are the implications of the Bajoran non-aggression pact; there's Jake being left behind as a Starfleet news correspondent; there's Rom acting as a spy for Starfleet; and there's the cloaked minefield, with its self-replicating ability the Dominion is not aware of. And of course, the show's nicest touch is the baseball, which Sisko leaves on his desk as a very clear message to Gul Dukat: "I'll be back."

And back in force, it would seem. The final shot of the Defiant and Rotarran (Martok's ship) rendezvousing with a massive fleet of Klingon and Starfleet ships is extremely powerful, so much that it actually gave me chills. I predict I'll be viscerally engrossed in the resolution to this storyline next season.

Now, to change gears before wrapping up, I must report on the one real qualm I have with "Call to Arms," which is the subplot structure. This show covers a lot of ground, and some of the background elements nearly get lost. There's an indication here that the writers wanted a "romantic theme" to fill out the story. (Love and war, perhaps?) Unfortunately, very little of it worked.

The topic of Rom and Leeta's marriage (my least favorite characters on this series) takes up too much screen time and has an unsurprising "so what?" effect. The Odo/Kira scene that represents the fallout from "Children of Time" serves as an acknowledgement that we'll see it revived next season, but the scene of "discomfort" in Odo's office is clumsily handled. Then there's Dax's acceptance to Worf's nonverbal marriage proposal, which consists of about 30 seconds of screen time and ends with the typical blank stare from Worf. (My only thought here was "Huh?". It came completely out of left field and had no emotional impact whatsoever.) And am I the only one who wonders what in the world happened to Kasidy Yates (obvious casting issues aside)?

Subplots notwithstanding, "Call to Arms" is yet another in the line of episodes that tie the plot threads together into a big web of political intrigue—an approach that has made this past year an absolutely thrilling season. The execution may not have been perfect, but the themes almost certainly were, and the elements that are hanging over into next year harbor nothing but promise. Onwards!

Previous episode: In the Cards
Next episode: A Time to Stand

End-of-season article: Fifth Season Recap

Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.

◄ Season Index

Comment Section

116 comments on this post

    Watched this last night: love it, love it, love it. This episode and the six that follow it represent the peak of my DS9-fandom. Absolutely brilliant.

    I find it rather convenient that the Dominion actually offered to sign a non-agression pact with Bajor, given that unlike the Romulans, the Bajorans don't really pose a threat to the Dominion. Otherwise great episode - how I wish that I hadn't known the ending in advance.

    As for Kasidy Yates, the reason we haven't seen her since "Rapture" is because Penny Johnson was unavailable.

    Watched this tonight again after a long time. Great ep but couldn't agree more about the 'romantic' side not working. Rom and Leeta's wedding was awful! Worf seemed distinctly underwhelmed at Jadzia accepting his non-offer of marriage. I just thought "Wow, how big-headed are you Dax"? Wait until your asked at least! Great set-up for what is come, can't wait (all over again).

    Not sure how this episode did not receive four stars, though Jammer's rating is still quite high. The penultimate episode, "In the Cards," while charming, was also so light that it could float away, yet it received four stars. Still, I'm nitpicking. This is a great finale to a season, probably the strongest finale of any of the seasons of DS9. It's compelling, tension-filled, and the producers clearly saved money in the budget for the final episode because it shows: what a terrific battle sequence as the Dominion attach DS9. I can't wait to start season six.

    This was definitely the best season closer so far. If the final scene with the baseball isn't a defining moment of Sisko Badassery™, I don't know what is. My only gripe is that everything felt so rushed through. I wish "Let He Who Is Without Sin..." would've been sacrificed to make this a two-parter. I really felt like I was watching an abridged version of an episode that should've it's time to allow for more dramatic impact. Before you know it, the Dominion attack whizzes by, and there's Dukat standing in ops. That said, the fight was beautifully produced, and I can't wait to see how season six picks up the pieces.

    Very much agree with the satisfying balance of not being a forced cliffhanger to hook us into next season, but still paving the way for new storytelling avenues. This is exactly where a season finale should leave us.

    @Nic: I can totally buy the importance of a non-aggression pact with Bajor for the Dominion. The Bajoran Wormhole is, at this point, the most important place in the Alpha Quadrant for them; it is their only supply line from their bases in the Gamma Quadrant Bajor is full of hardened, trained resistance fighters. If I'm the Dominion, and I desperately need to protect the Wormhole (which presumably there still could be some way to permanently shut, despite changeling Bashir's efforts). All it could take to seriously harm the war effort could be one Resistance cell closing it for good. I'd want to neutralize that threat. A non-aggression pact can cover that base while they deal with the rest of the Alpha Quadrant.

    Interesting take. In any case it was a minor complaint, this is definitely DS9's best season finale (and they are all pretty good) and one of the best season finales I've ever seen (along with 'The Best of Both Worlds', 'Scorpion' and 'Chrysalis' from Babylon 5).

    The reason why things where rushed is because thats the way it should feel there was no time it was go go go after the mine field started going up

    Jazeia had no time to sit around for Worf to ask her she gave the warrior a reason to live before he was swept away to Mortoks ship

    Despite ppls dislike of Letta I found it perfect everything was happening so fast with Bajorans being rushed off the station it was now or maybe never

    And Jammer glossed over a great scene with Rom and Quark this ep alone redeemed Rom IMO

    Onward to S6

    Definitely the best season finale ever shot on any Trek series. On the same level as TNG's Best of Both Worlds and All Good Things.

    Such a powerful hour, filled with numerous little character closures. It really feels like a culmination of five long, eventful years for Sisko and company. Bajor really became their home, and it hurts to leave behind Dominion lines.

    Nothing speaks more volumes than Quark kissing Rom's cheek. Feels like a natural progression after five years of constant character development, and it really brings depth to the Ferengi. Gotta give credit to Ira Behr and Robert Wolfe for making them work so beautifully.

    I thought it was pretty bold to put a permanent end to Gamma quadrant exploration, and focus the war on the Alpha Quadrant instead. It kept the focus on where it mattered.

    I'm surprised the Trek producers waited so long to switch from models to CGI. This was the right time to make that leap. This battle is by far one of the best ever designed and directed for a Trek series. Both the Cardassian and Jem'Hadar ships seem a lot more dynamic in their flights. And the sheer number of them is just astounding!

    Gotta give credit also to Allan Kroeker. By far the best TV Trek director, alongside Jonathan Frakes. At this point, he became Trek's preferred ace director for action-packed season finales. After DS9's ending, they immediately roped him to direct every single Voyager and Enterprise finale.

    Great episode and definitely one of the best season-enders Trek had to offer. I agree with the 3.5 star rating, but for a few different reasons. I don't really mind the romance angle, but a couple of nitpicky thing bugs me enough to bring it down a half-star:

    1) The battle is fun to watch, but how is it that the Defiant can take a pounding with shields down, yet some of the Dominion/Cardassian ships get taken out with one or two torpedoes or a short phaser burst? It looks more like a Star Wars. Hell, at least give DS9 quantum (a.k.a. blue) torpedoes instead of the standard photons (orange). They're more badass.

    2) Why did all of the action stop when Sisko decided to abandon the station? Apparently the Dominion "coming around for another pass" gave the Defiant enough time to dock, and DS9 enough time for a leisurely evacuation. Sisko even had enough time to give a speech!!! And why did the Defiant even dock at all? Transporters anyone?
    How long does "coming around for another pass" take for a ginormous fleet of ships? Wouldn't they attack in waves?

    A more plausible ending would have simply been if Sisko had negotiated to surrender and be allowed to leave unharmed in exchange for...oh I don't know...NOT blowing the station up, for instance.

    It is still Starfleet policy to blow your shit up instead of allowing it to fall into enemy hands, is it not...?

    @Justin: I've wondered about your second point, as well. I thought for a while that the Dominion might have allowed the Starfleet crew to escape, but that doesn't seem likely.

    At the same point, the Dominion evacuation in "Sacrifice of Angels" is similar. There's a lot of time for everybody to evacuate -- but that's more easily explained by the fact that the Defiant was the only ship at the station during the beginning of the evacuation (and the fact that the Defiant wasn't in great shape to fight).

    Honestly, there isn't really a good answer.

    To your first point: This is a major issue with DS9 in the later years. For some reason, one torpedo became enough to destroy enemy ships.

    An awesome season finale that not only shook things up (something that has been happening a lot during this season) but completely changed the status quo with our band of heroes actually being forced to ABANDON the station and allow the Dominion to capture it. The whole thing was golden but the best scenes by far were the sabotage of the station that Kira and Odo implemented prior to the Dominion boarding the station, as well as Nog's reaction to the Dominion and calls for payback. Seeing the Defiant and Rotarran join the Federation/Klingon fleet at the end was simply awe-inspiring. Although it was definitely a victory for the Dominion, it was gratifying that they suffered some setbacks- as Weyoun ruefully points out to Dukat, who seems so "drunk" on their capture of the station that he doesn't seem to care about the larger picture of the war.

    @Justin@Paul: I too thought that it was a little strange that they had enough time to abandon the station in the way that they did but I had always assumed that there was an off-screen moment where Sisko issued a formal surrender to the Dominion fleet in exchange for an opportunity to leave the station, which was granted (probably by Weyoun), though OTOH the Dominion ships were still firing on the Defiant and Rotarran as they were leaving, so maybe not. Perhaps, once the minefield was activated, it took some of the wind out of the sails of the Dominion fleet and they realized that they would have to leave the station intact in order to disable the minefield, so they simply ceased their assault for the moment. Maybe they saw that the Federation was abandoning the station, so they just figured that they'd let them leave- so that they wouldn't have to waste more energy fighting them? It is a good question. Just not sure there is a good answer for how they played this scene. It didn't really detract too much from the episode for me, however.

    Call to Arms is the best of any season finales of DS9 and the beginning of the best story arc of the series! A perfect seven part episodes.

    I agree this was a great episode,
    I also agree it was a great season,
    But NOT a cliff hanger ending?
    This I disagree with,
    not only was it stirring and chill sending, but it was perhaps the greatest cliff hanger in any series ever.
    The scene with the Defiant and the Rotarran joining up with the fleet and heading back to DS9
    keep me wondering on the result all during the original hiatus when this was first shown.
    The next season opening? Now that was a letdown...

    this episode had of the most exciting tense moments of any trek.... the build up and activation of the mines... complete heartstopper... and then when it all lights up finally, relief!

    Agree; best season finale of the series. A few minor issues that others have already touched on but otherwise stunning.

    I agree this was a very good finale.

    There's just one thing no one mentioned:
    what was Jake thinking ? He's not Starfleet, but a Federation member, not to mention the son of Sisko. How could he not imagine he could be used as leverage, hostage, or at least questioned (with all the implications about a cardassian interrogation).

    Besides, he acknowledged himself that he wasn't good at handling crisis and death situations. Moreover, in a situation like this, I believe that non-essential personnel would be evacuated, thus Jake non having the choice to stay, wether he's adult or not.

    I liked the touch in the end that Rom is going to feed Starfleet with intelligence, but the Jake end ruined it for me because it was not believable.

    I agree with the comments that the evacuation is handled a little oddly. The only way I can make it work is that the line "coming around for another pass" is completely wrong, maybe leftover from a previous draft, and the Dominion forces were actually withdrawing temporarily to link up with the second wave Dax mentions and come back for a second punch. That's also strange, but it explains why when the Defiant and the Rotarran leave, the station is alone again and they then pass the Dominion fleet on the way out.

    But otherwise, the beginning of the best part of DS9 for me.

    I really do like this series the best, and this was a fine season. That being said, a question. How did the Dominion lose in this episode? There was no need to defeat or even attack the Defiant while it attempted to finish the minefield. In fact, all the Dominion had to do was decimate the completely unprotected and still not yet activated minefield in the 40 minutes it had while the Defiant continued its work. It was inactive....and unguarded! And they had a fleet of vessels that were only occupied because they for some reason attacked the station instead of the inactive minefield. Anyone else notice this?


    The Klingons bought them more time to setup the minefield.

    I loved this episode except for the part with Jake staying behind. This just seems very stupid. The enemy can now use him to get to Sisko.

    @Colin & Baron

    Ron Moore talked a lot on BSG about the problems of writing battle scenes, particularly in space. One of the biggest issues is finding ways to explain what is going on to the audience. They might have a whole battle plan laid out that makes sense when you know all the factors, but you can't necessarily convey that all to the audience easily, or perhaps at all, even if you wanted to. For example, we see DS9 providing covering fire for the Defiant. The Defiant was in the minefield. Therefore, DS9's weapons reach the minefield. Therefore, DS9 could have been covering the mine field as well. Maybe that was why the Dominion engaged the station right away, because they couldn't effectively take out the mines while under fire from the station. That's a detail would add some clarity, but it's easy to see a line like that getting lost when the script has so many other things to juggle. Besides, no one (well, hardly anyone) really wants to see a space battle procedural. The tactics and stuff can be fun, but it's all just a bunch of cgi explosions if you don't care about the characters and the stakes involved. That's the important part. The rest is just details.

    This episode made me think: "finally!"

    efore I started watching DS9 I had heard a lot about how this show was different, how the consequences of the actions (or inatctions) of the characters could be seen and felt in the following episodes throughout the series.

    I immediately fell in love with DS9 and it's wonderful scripts, characters and actors - but I was disappointed to find that the famous consequences where few and far apart - the status quo was maintained almost as steadily as on TNG etc. It seemed that the writers were jumping up and down on the dreaded reset button almost as much on this show as on any other Trek show.

    But then came this episode ...

    The sight of the joined Federation/Klingon fleet at the very end made my jaw drop ... I'm almost certain I peed my pants a little. Wow!

    If you'll excuse me, I'll have to go see the beginning of the next season. Darn it ... I've become a DS9 junkie!

    This is a very good episode, and the ending did surprise me, but Best of Both Worlds this is NOT.

    Amazed I haven't commented on this before.

    This is one of my favourites. Not in terms of being an amazing, thought provoking episode but for being a quick fix of good storytelling and action. Something Voyager was also good at.

    It has a lot of nice touches. Rom is a bit of a dick but the scene where he comes up with the idea for the mines is nice, as is the touching moment with Quark later on. Him asking Sisko, almost literally, to marry him always raises a smile.
    I particularly like the Garak scene with Odo. It has been discussed before the darker tones of DS9 but here we have two characters casually chatting about cold blooded murder. Very well done though. You actually find yourself rationalizing it.
    The battle is awesome and the final scene is hairs up on the back of your neck stuff.
    There is so much to like.
    4/4 easily for me.

    Agree with many others that this was a well written and thoughtful actioner finale, it progresses a lot of plot elements, checked-in with a lot of the characters and their development and shows sign of real writing maturity and complexity.

    Not perfect though - as I agree that the romantic sub-plots generally all misfired and wasted valuable time that could have been better used with more intruige/exposition or even more action scenes, such as the much better Rom/Quark scenes, Sisko/Kira scene, Garak/Odo scene and Dukat/Weyoun scenes, Jake and Nog scenes.

    Everything worked for me including the B-plots. The scene between Kira/Odo in his office didn't seem uncomfortable in the slightest. Rom/Leeta was pleasant enough (then again I don't hate Rom). And Jadzia's line about marrying Worf was not even close to out of left field. It made perfect sense based on the scenes near the end of "Looking for Par'Mach...". It's clearly stated that according to Klingon customs, as brought up by Worf, they should get married. It was Jadzia who wanted to take it one day at a time. Her line in this episode: "It is what you've always wanted, isn't it?" was not arrogant in any sense of the term. It was, not only plausible, but great continuity.

    As it is, this is a phenomenal work of Trek and one of the best finales this side of "Best of Both Worlds" and "Scorpion" among others. Truly stellar work has been done here.

    4 stars.

    I saw nog in ops. Wasn't it just a few seasons ago jake was teaching nog how to read? Ha. We are supposed to believe he went from learning how to read to being accepted to the academy to Sisko allowing him to work in ops? Is it ever said that ferengi have super intelligence in Star Trek?

    @Founder - Illiteracy != Stupidity

    If Nog was good with numbers (which it is established he is... he's bad with business, but that's not the same at being a bad accountant) and good with tools and the only issue he had was reading... it's not THAT much of a stretch to say that NOG is smart and just didn't know how to read.

    There's almost no way to reconcile that with how hard it was for Wesley to get into Starfleet academy.... but we can say that the TNG material was stupid in that regard (it really kind of was).

    I mean, we COULD be expected to believe that Starfleet Academy is like West Point or something and that there are dozens of other military schools (maybe one on Vulcan) for the Federation and that most of the fleet does NOT go to Starfleet Academy. Therefore Nog got in because Starfleet's IDIC policy wants to boast that they have a Ferengi, but EVERYONE who is not enlisted acts like they went to Starfleet Academy, which makes no sense given Wesley's difficulties.


    "2) Why did all of the action stop when Sisko decided to abandon the station? Apparently the Dominion "coming around for another pass" gave the Defiant enough time to dock, and DS9 enough time for a leisurely evacuation. Sisko even had enough time to give a speech!!! And why did the Defiant even dock at all? Transporters anyone?
    How long does "coming around for another pass" take for a ginormous fleet of ships? Wouldn't they attack in waves?"

    I thought the same thing watching this episode.

    At least Sisko's speech didn't contain "I shall return" :-)

    On that note, I thought Sisko's speech was very good and delivered well by Avery.

    I really didn't care about any of the "B" stories. This episode might have been better without any of them.

    This exchange was however a memorable one:

    “QUARK: Rom, I always said you were an idiot, but I never believed it more than I do at this moment.
    ROM: Brother, if you want to insult me, it's going to have to wait till later. I'm busy.
    QUARK: Busy doing what?
    ROM: Preparing perimeter defenses for the attack.
    QUARK: There are dozens of engineers that could be doing that. Starfleet engineers. Humans. You should be on Bajor with your new wife.
    ROM: That's what Leeta said.
    QUARK: Well, she's right. This is not your fight.
    ROM: It's not your fight either, but I don't see you leaving.
    QUARK: I have to look out for my bar.
    ROM: And I have to look out for you.
    QUARK: Me?
    ROM: You're my brother. Whatever happens, we belong together.
    QUARK: Well, like I said, you're an idiot. “

    I also enjoyed the Ziyal/Garak exchange.

    Great cliff hanger and season closer.

    3.5 stars for me.

    Hah, Robert's comment brings back memories. It was so long ago I'd almost forgotten. Honestly, and unfortunately, there is a lot of TNG material (usually surrounding early-seasons Roddenberry) that doesn't make sense. In his pursuit of portraying humans as a cohesive, utopian, elitist race he often fuddled things up. That is not an attack on his message; that's a different argument altogether.

    It seems in the TNG days the Federation was being imagined as a much smaller entity. There existed far fewer territories, far fewer starships, and far fewer Starfleet officers. In fact I think the TNG method of warfare was far different. I get the feeling that a hypothetical conflict between the Federation and, say, the Romulans would see battle groups composing of no more than 3 or 4 starships per side. We never saw anything resembling a true fleet until later seasons with Wolf 359 (they built so many more ships specifically to defend against the Borg?) and the Cardassian mess (and DS9 era).

    Part of this is technical and budget limitations. Part of it is a different mindset in the writing.

    You can either suspend disbelief or try to rationalize it within universe.

    Personally, I do the latter. I like to think that in the early TNG-era Starfleet was far too comfortable. It had minimized its defensive fleet and limited its recruiting. With the threat and attacks by the Borg, Starfleet realized it was too complacent and began to change; building more ships and making it far easier to be recruited. There is dialogue to support all of this.

    I also like to think, and perhaps this is wrong, that Federation ships were vastly superior to anything the other powers had, save the Romulans. For example; in Way of the Warrior, a Klingon fleet of probably 50 ships is given pause when its announced a fleet of only 9 Federation ships are coming. Hell, we're shown two of them are Excelsior-class! An ancient-class by military standards. Sisko seems pretty certain that seemingly-low number would completely turn the tide of battle; even with his station "severely-damaged" (his own words in his log.)

    If 1 Federation ship is equivalent to 5 Klingon ships, and almost certainly far more for the other races, you can see how the Federation would become complacent. The so-called Tzenkethi and Cardassian "wars" could have been nothing more than minor skirmishes; a distant-thought to the core of the Federation seeing they were relatively small and on the edge of their space.

    So to summarize, the Federation has few ships and is highly selective in recruiting. This is because of arrogance in their superior technology and complacency. The Borg arrive. The Federation realizes they aren't as safe as they thought. They step up ship construction and ease recruitment restrictions. This serves to be a saving grace as the Dominion appear and wage war.

    @M.P. In TOS, Federation ships were clearly superior -- how much pounding did the Enterprise always take before disabling the enemy with a single shot.
    I think they didn't show big battles in TOS / TNG because they were expensive to film -- now, with CGI, they're not.

    A "real world" reason why you didn't see big battle scenes might be this:
    In TOS, battles were fought at ranges of 30,000 - 100,000 km (which makes sense for FTL-capable ships). You'd need high magnification to even see a ship at that range. Even if you had 50 ships in a single battle, they'd be spread out over millions of km. There's no way you'd ever see more than 2 or 3 up close at any one time.
    (Not sure why battles are now fought at "point blank" range -- other than it looks cool.)

    This is a very strong episode and a great setup for the first chunk of the next season. The episode itself sets up a bit slow, but I think that becomes a much smaller issue with the knowledge that it's part 1 of a 7-part arc (or part 2 of an 8-part arc if you include "In the Cards" (which you should!)).

    3-1/2 stars for me. A great way to start the best 6 hours of consecutive Trek since Wrath of Khan/Search for Spock/Voyage Home. Who needs the TNG movies?

    Agree with the review and some of the comments regarding the Federation and the capabilities of their ships.

    I dont think the Federation vs. Dominion battle plans were very well thought out. In the start of the next episode we see how the Federation have lost 100 or so ships and many more in countless battles. Where the hell are all these ships coming from, and how the hell did they get 600 more for the battle of DS9 6 episodes later?!? (And that wasnt even all of them cause they were waiting on the 7th fleet or something) I hated how two torpedoes destroyed a dominion ship, a trend that followed through the last two seasons. Captain Sisko isnt that resourceful. I would have liked to have seen less ships with more thought out battle plans.

    I get the distinct impression that no matter the absurdities of the plot, or stupidness of the writers, Robert will be here to defend it haha

    In fact, let's run through the nonsense that crops up in this episode to illustrate. I haven't done this before, so it should be fun. It will kind of get to the point about how basic some of this writing is. Due to the laziness of Trek writing, this may take a loooong time.

    1. Ferengi society is absurd. For a space faring race, they are grossly unrealistic. Rom still bleating about nakedness at a wedding is comedic only.

    2. Garak has supposedly gone through 153 wedding dresses with Rom and Leeta. How does he know it's that many? And just how long have they been stood there? Five Hours?

    3. Leeta, Rom, and Ziyal remember exactly which dress goes with which dress number. That means they know all 153 dresses that they discussed with Garak. They know it so fluently, as well. It comes as easy to them as 9 * 9 does to me. 81! There, I can do it too! A piece of cake.

    4. Having this wedding comedy going on at the same time as doom and destruction beckon for the Federation sets a conflicting tone in the episode. Mixing those two storylines is naive writing.

    5. "That's the fifth convoy heading for Cardassia in the last five weeks" And you have done nothing about it. Nothing at all. Talk about Adolf and the 1930s.

    6. Jake is a reporter and reports on his dad. Another shoehorned storyline to give a useless character a reason to remain on the show. The whole thing is stupid anyway. Nothing has led up to this apart from some minor words and HEY PRESTO- Heeeeere's Jakey! We haven't seen any proper "reporters" in Trek until now. It hasn't been touched upon, because Gene and co eradicated this sort of thing, just like Rock music v Classical. This also brings up the whole problem with how jobs would work in a moneyless society. But hell, there is enough crap here to deal with already.

    7. Is Sisko a genetic superhuman too? He can tell you what the 190th Ferengi Rule of Acquisition is on a whim.

    8. Nog is another worthless character who was given a new job to keep him on the show. Suddenly this brainless half-wit is good enough to join Starfleet. Again, it's another example of Star Trek's HEY PRESTO writing.

    9. Mining the entrance to the wormhole. Not a bad idea (maybe you should have started that five weeks ago?), but who have you got coming up with the method? It's Rom- another well established brain-dead character who then suddenly joined Starfleet. On one hand, acts like a retard, on the other, comes up with, and implements, a system of self replicating mines. And that brings up a further logical problem: This idea would have been devised a LONG time ago by somebody else. It's as if the writers thought "Wow, good idea, how fun- roll with it."

    10. Look at how this script progresses:

    Rom: "What if I can't make her happy!? What if this is the biggest mistake of my life!?"

    O'Brien: "ROM!"

    Rom: "...Self replication. That's the only answer."

    WTF is going on there???????????

    And it doesn't stop. Go back and watch.

    I can do it, too: "Balloons!" "E=MC2!"

    11. There is a gaping problem with the mine idea (well, actually several). Even nuclear weapons today would be able to wipe out thousands of them in one shot. And Trek weapons must be better than that, right? But again, the writers don't care, so shut off your brain, people!

    12. "You'll have to wait until the whole minefield is deployed before you can activate it." They can't work individually? That's just nonsense. The explanation Rom gives as to why this is doesn't make any sense either. He then goes on about Leeta's clothes. This entire scene is like he's having some sort of schizophrenic breakdown. The writers want him to be a genius and a dumbass at the same time. Comedy has a place, but not in serious exposition of this kind. And no-one is remotely this way unless they have a medical condition.

    13. DS9 would be long gone. It's right next to the wormhole and the Founders would have obliterated it. Especially given it has nothing substantial guarding it, except Starfleet's trusty "Shields down to 10%".

    14. An ambassador to the mortal enemy of Starfleet comes to discuss the minefield. A bit like that Nazi ambassador who came to discuss allied tactics with Churchill during WW2....

    Oh, and the ambassador knows about a minefield that hasn't even been deployed and to which there was no way an information leak could have occurred. The story doesn't even go into how he found out, because the writers didn't care about that. It's another HEY PRESTO moment.

    15. Starfleet have decided not to send any reinforcements whatsoever to the main (and only) entrance of the enemy fleet to the quadrant. Gross negligence or just bad writing?

    16. "You may kiss the bride."
    An Earth custom. In fact, the whole wedding is too similar. Who says that Ferengis and Bajorans wear dresses and take vows?

    17. Dax said they needed more time for the minefield to be deployed, but 'Lord, it's a miracle!'

    18. Weyoun stated he would destroy the station... but no. Now he has a change of heart. Also, a stationary target sustaining that attack is toast. But again, no.

    19. Evasive manoeuvers set off mines, but being smacked left and right by exploding energy weapons from enemy fire does not. And even worse, an energy weapon hits at the same time as this statement is made.

    20. "Shields at 35%"
    Meaningless babble. Especially since you have "auxiliary power" backup and any number of other writer get-out clauses.

    21. Evacuating the station during a wave attack by the enemy? And you think you're going to live? Well, the writers will make sure that you do.

    22. More wedding talk at a crucial part, this time by Dax. Hello, you are likely about to die. Show some realism to this. Melodrama. Or maybe Dax is a fortune teller and knows already that the Dominion won't destroy the station or pursue them.

    23. Sisko's speech. Where did that final wave go to? And where is the urgency? Dax mentions again that the enemy are preparing for another attack, but this has already been established. And the allies are evacuating during this time hahaha!

    24. Destroying the controls of Deep Space Nine. What kind of plan is that anyway? It doesn't make any sense at all, other than to give some fake "bad-ass" status to Wonder Woman Kira.

    25. Kira, and the commander's son, Jake, are allowed to remain on-board plotting and planning. Did a five year old write this? This isn't how war works in the slightest. Did any of these writers study ANY real life conflict?

    26. How do you get this station back now without destroying it? Don't worry, the writers will make sure you do!

    Well that was a tiresome collection of nitpicks and even more tiresome mean-spirited complaints.

    If you dislike the show so much, why bother expending so much time watching and commenting in it?

    @ Josh

    It's typical DLPB. He comes across as a negative person in general, and I believe some of what he says is purposefully inflammatory.

    If he isn't a troll, then he may be what I have termed as an anti-fan. That is to say, he's a fan of hating something to the point where it is indistinguishable from being an actual fan.

    If only Freud and Jung were around nowadays! They'd have a field day with all the twisted e-pathologies.

    "I get the distinct impression that no matter the absurdities of the plot, or stupidness of the writers, Robert will be here to defend it haha "

    My only (brief) comment here takes a shot at the ridiculousness of Starfleet Academy admissions. I will offer a reverse statement though.....

    "I get the distinct impression that no matter how pointless or minute, any stupidity real or imagined, DLPB will be here to slam it haha "

    As to your list (since I'm the defender)....

    1. Considering they were meant to be the comic relief.... DUH.... if the writers don't take them seriously (most of the time), why would you?

    2. Is it really impossible that they are going through a database of this season's fashions and they happen to be at entry 153?

    3. If they each had 2 or 3 favorites it would not be a stretch for them to remember the numbers on the memorable dresses.

    4. I'm not sure naive means what you think it means. The writers were clearly trying to a) darken a light moment and b) show that life goes on in the midst of war. You can argue if it worked or not (I'm not sure it worked as well as they hoped) but one of the things I like about Trek and DS9 is that they don't just permanently sit in dark and gloomy mode. So I'll give them credit for trying.

    5. Oh right, a captain should just what... fire on the convoy? I would hope Starfleet would approve anything that might START A WAR!

    6. Why would jobs be a problem in a moneyless society. People would do what brought them joy. As to Jake.... I half agree. I like that they made him something other than Starfleet. A writer is not a bad choice (as it allows other jobs to be explored). But kids come home from college to visit their parents all the time. I think that at some point he needed to become a recurring guest star because you are right, they are clearly stretching to find him full time work on this show.

    7. Memorizing a little over 200 rules is not that hard and if you're dealing with Ferengi all the time it could be useful. You honestly don't think hundreds of Trek fans have all the existing rules memorized? Are they genetic super humans? Hell you need to memorize how to draw THOUSANDS of characters to learn an Asian language.... but memorizing 200 rules is beyond the scope of a non superhuman? LOL. I could have the existing rules memorized by next Wednesday if I cared to.

    8. I like Nog, I'm glad they kept him on. By the end of the show I was more invested in him than in Jake. If you don't like him fine, but I give DS9 a lot of credit for trying to evolve their supporting cast.

    9. While you are correct that some other genius in Starfleet should have thought of this Rom has been shown for 4 seasons now to be a sort of engineering idiot savant. That said, this requires suspension of disbelief (though perhaps not as much as you seem to think it does).

    10. h t t p://

    It may not be stellar writing, but it's a tried and true thing. And besides... would you prefer a montage of people sitting with their hands on their chins?

    11. This is a pretty valid point. Considering there are multiple THOUSANDS of Dominion ships I assume if they just all fly through the wormhole at the exact same time blasting the mines couldn't possibly replicate fast enough. The Founders may not want to risk it (since they are sure they can figure a way to beat the mines) but really there should be a way to "brute force" this.

    12. "The writers want him to be a genius and a dumbass at the same time." Idiot savant. As to your point about the mines... you're PROBABLY right. It entirely depends on how they work though. Perhaps when the mine next to you explodes you're programmed to try to find the nearest ship and blow too and they all talk to each other in network. Does it make LOADS of sense? Probably not. Can you suspend a little disbelief here and have it be fine, yep.

    13. Did you miss the part where the Dominion signs a non-aggression pact with the Bajorans and this is a Bajoran station?

    14. Is Dax cloaked while planting the mines? Is it not possible that there are any founders in all of Starfleet anymore? Come on, if this point is bothering you that's a lack of imagination, not poor writing.

    15. This struck me as extreme cowardice actually. They'd rather reinforce the actual Federation worlds and to hell with Bajor. I did not like this point.

    16. It clearly wasn't a Ferengi wedding, but I would approve of some Bajoran touches. They usually do a good job splashing subtle Bajoran rituals and customs around (like backwards clapping). Although I've been to weddings where people have taken bits and pieces from other cultures, so perhaps they just liked the "kiss the bride" bit.

    17. The Scotty principal?

    18. Where? Weyoun's first line in the episode is "As I see it, you have two choices. Either you remove the mines or we will TAKE THIS STATION from you and remove them ourselves."

    19. DAX: Chief, I'm going to have to take evasive manoeuvres.
    O'BRIEN: If you do, you risk setting off every mine on this ship.

    They didn't say it would, they said it was a risk. I doubt they are happy about the energy weapons fire....

    20. If you can make this comment and still watch Star Trek you're either insane or a masochist.

    21. A cloaked ship at warp with ablative armor can't survive an escape in your head?

    22. Or maybe people like to say meaningful things to loved ones in tense moments.

    23. He made his speech while they were prepping the Defiant for launch and then they beamed him aboard. I don't think he wasted any time....

    24. The Russians used to burn villages and fields before evacuating them so that the Nazi's got jack. And Kira was just running Sisko's program anyway....

    25. While you may be right here (especially about Jake, there are multiple possible reasons Kira could be allowed to stay), it's clearly in the best interest of drama for the next 6 episodes that this be allowed to happen.

    26. Considering it takes 6 episodes that's a lot better than the usual dire cliffhanger resolved in the next episode. Give some credit!!

    Based on my tally about 14 of these points are either you being a pedantic ass (or a troll), 7 of them are a matter of opinion/taste (like if you like Nog/Jake as characters or if the comedy works for you), and about 5 of them are either valid or semi-valid points.

    That's not a good ratio.

    As I said, any and all problems you will just throw away and excuse. And since when has finding problems with a show been trolling. I'm sorry you don't like an opposing view, but that's what this forum is all about. Opinions and reviews.

    Also, you are commenting on this as if it is real. A typical fanboy response. This is a fictional show, written by fallible humans. Until you can treat it that way and with maturity, you aren't really going to be able to look at this objectionably. And that's your problem.

    "Also, you are commenting on this as if it is real."

    Actually your comments are making it sound way more real than mine. I'm commenting on things like writing tropes, tone setting, necessary comic relief, expansion of side characters and suspension of disbelief.

    "And since when has finding problems with a show been trolling."

    I didn't mean to imply your entire post was trolling. I only called 14 of your points trolling.

    To complain that it requires some serious suspension of disbelief to assume that passing a minefield is impossible with thousands of ships, ridiculously powerful energy weapons and when the minefield is so sensitive that evasive maneuvers could risk it blowing to pieces is a perfectly valid complaint.

    To complain that they are shoehorning Jake into plotlines where he doesn't belong is a perfectly valid opinion... though it could be argued either way.

    To assume the captain of a Federation space station with a Ferengi bar on it couldn't memorize 200 rules in such a way that you feel the need to comment on it borders on trolling to me.

    To complain that Star Trek adds lines like "shields down to 30%" to add suspense on a Star Trek review site is trolling akin to complaining that Star Wars has lightsabers.

    See the difference?

    Now granted, Trek has a fine strong history of nitpicking... but when you mix complaining about gaping plot holes (like the minefield) with ridiculous nitpicks like (how does Rom remember two numbers) your post just comes off as silly.

    @DLPB :

    When I first started commenting on this site, I was so angry that a large majority of my early posts came across as rants and "trolling" (although, I still don't really understand what that means). I deserved that backlash because I let my anger about a few specific things seep into every little observation and sentiment. My problem with your posts is that, like my own early comments, they radiate self-righteous arrogance without the disciplined analysis to back them up--this is true even of the few posts of yours with which i have agreed. Here's the thing; if you want to be self-righteous and arrogant, by all means please please be! But, you cannot, as Robert pointed out, make a long list of mostly superficial nitpicks, occasionally sprinkled with semi-relevant observations, and expect to be taken seriously here. My suggestion is that, if you are anything like me, you pinpoint the source of the anger you feel at this show or at Trek in general and keep that isolated from your comments. Just a suggestion.

    I'd argue that 26 writing issues and laziness in a major episode (and only 40 or so minutes long) is not a good thing and shouldn't be acceptable.

    But that's why Trek writers and other shows get away with it- Because you DO accept it, and make excuses for it. Small things add up when they keep coming thick and fast, and when the writers know they don't even have to try.

    You need to get a clue.

    @Elliott "although, I still don't really understand what that means"

    Just for the record I would define trolling as taking a position or a level of passion that is not your own for the sake of getting a rise out of people.

    Like, it might be possible that Captain Sisko's knowledge of a rule of acquisition bothered DLPB to the point that it damaged the episode for him and was therefore worth complaining about, but I doubt it. More likely than not he included it just to make his complaint list longer (which to me is trolling).

    "I'd argue that 26 writing issues and laziness in a major episode (and only 40 or so minutes long) is not a good thing and shouldn't be acceptable.

    But that's why Trek writers and other shows get away with it- Because you DO accept it, and make excuses for it. Small things add up when they keep coming thick and fast, and when the writers know they don't even have to try.

    You need to get a clue. "

    Care to offer rebuttals to any of my counters and see how many of those 26 things are actual issues and which ones are pedantic nonsense?

    Also when you make claims that involve my inability to be objective, look at things maturely or handle opposing points of view but then state your opinions as facts and tell me I need to "get a clue" or stop "making excuses for the writers" when I disagree with you... it does not make you look like the mature one here.

    The 26 points stand for themselves. I have no intention of "debating" with a closed mind. I've seen enough of your posts to know that anything I say, or anyone says, contrary to the Trek bible will be met with excuses and cop-outs.

    You will just have to accept that some people out there can enjoy a TV show at the same time as being annoyed at its short comings and fanbase, and have every right to lambast and criticize said show.

    See you in 2015.

    @DLPB :

    But those 26 points do not stand for themselves. Most have about as much substance as me saying :

    "Quark's ears are too large. What a ridiculous show!"

    It's fairly obvious that whatever it is in Trek that really bothers you (I be willing to theorise it has something to do with your perception of its politics) nurtures a rage-reaction which colours and magnifies your observations of the show (and, again, I say this from experience). For you there are heaps of subtextual justifications behind each and every one of your "points," but those justifications are built of your own psychology, not empirically-derived evidence.

    Step 1) Look at someone who agrees with some of what you wrote.

    Step 2) Call them closed minded anyway.

    Step 3) Refuse to debate any of their points even when some of them (like #18) are shown to prove yours as factually wrong.

    Step 4) ??? (I'm not really sure what you get out of this)

    I think Elliott is being generous in assuming something about Trek bothers you in good faith and that this is not just performance art.

    At least Elliott can attest to the fact that I have criticized my fair share of Trek episodes!

    The fact you think those 26 points I made are the same as criticizing Quark's ears only shows how stupid you are. And by the way, Elliott... I will not be lectured on what I write by someone like you. You are notorious around these parts as someone who dislikes DS9 because it strayed away from your God's (Gene) vision (mainly because DS9 plagiarized B5). The last person I'd take advice from is you.

    Actually, you can be lectured on what to say. He can criticize you if he wants to . . . it's your choice to read and respond to what he says.

    Hence the reason I didn't bother taking the bait when you mounted that silly defense of Christianity as some kind of superior religion. I mean, I read what you said, but it was so silly it wasn't even worth replying to.

    Given that I find all religions to be man made garbage, you obviously aren't reading what I write. Or just plain adding your own bias. However, the claim that all religions and ideologies are equal is clearly a nonsense. What that has to do with this thread and the comments I made here is anyone's guess. I rather suspect it's a derailing tactic from someone very insecure about his own opinions. Stick to the area of debate, please, and stop telling me what I think.

    If all religions are "made man garbage", then how can you argue one piece of trash is any better than the other? It's still all garbage, right?

    Talk about trying to have your cake and eat it too!

    Are you having some sort of comprehension problem? All religions are ideologies. But they are not the same holy book and teachings, and as such contain very different messages. They are not equal. Nazism is also an ideology, and if it was based on a deity, it too would be classified a religion. Would that be equal to Christianity in its teachings? No, of course not.

    Islam is a more dangerous and more backward religion than Christianity. The proof of this is clear when you look at countries around the world based on these two ideologies. And it's clear when you read the 4 Gospels vs the war mongerer Muhammad's combat diary.

    There is no contradiction in finding one ideology worse than another at the same time as seeing them as both stupid. None at all. Clearly, you have an awful lot to learn about religion and ideas.

    DLPB, you are using your opinions as fact. People who live in under dictators, with little education, poor living conditions, etc, are more likely to do desperate things. Christians happen to dominate wealthy countries with more rights, freedoms, education, etc. Islam is in many of the former. Considering this, and the atrocities done in the name of Christianity throughout history, it would be absurd to think that one is any better than the other. Keep people down and they will lash out, in the name of whatever religion they have been told is the truth.

    "Clearly, you have an awful lot to learn about religion and ideas."- This is clearly the case with you as well.

    Has it ever occurred to you that the reason they live in poor countries is nearly entirely related to the religion and culture they adhere to? No, of course it hasn't. Go and take a look at what Churchill said in 1899 about Islam and its power to wreck a country.

    DLPB ― “All religions are ideologies.”
    ― ...

    DLPB ― “Nazism is also an ideology, and if it was based on a deity, it too would be classified a religion.”
    ― Granted, but you mention the one political ideology in History which had clear religious undertones, and the state machinery to implement them.

    Yes, Nazism attempted to abolish Chistianity and establish complete statolatry. Take a look at the remarkable 1943 “Wintersonnenwende” edition of “Frauen Warte”, the official Party magazine for women: it’s a “Winter Solstice” edition, not a Christmas one, as the Christian Christmas as such had been abolished.

    The front page is extraordinary: the centrepiece is a pine tree, but the image is divided in two halves. On the left side, we see half a “winter solstice tree”, with a German family ― father standing tall, mother sitting, young son and little daughter standing ― around a little child in a crib, in warm, candlelight colours in their home; on the right side, we see the other half of the pine tree covered in snow, and two German soldiers lighting a candle over the grave of a fallen comrade, in the cold dark night and the blue-white snow.

    The iconography is fantastic: it completely transforms and subverts the original Christian content of Christmas: instead of a celebration of the Nativity of Christ, we celebrate the birth of yet another German soldier, to take the place of the fallen dead. Absolutely amazing imagery.

    This is but one of many examples. I could also mention the transformation of the “Volkstrauertag” into the “Heldengedenktag” in 1934, just a year after Hitler came to power. What was a lamentation of war and death (literally the Lamentation of the People) in a remembrance day for the fallen in the Great War, became instead a Celebration of Heroes: a celebration of war and death for the Vaterland. Again, an astonishing, complete transformation of the original. And I could go on.

    But seriously, DLPB, you cannot possibly compare the Nazi attempts at creating a religion of the State with the ideology of any other regime on Earth ― or religions with ideologies in general. Your first statement remains absurd at best.

    DLPB ― “Islam is a more dangerous and more backward religion than Christianity. The proof of this is clear when you look at countries around the world based on these two ideologies.”
    ― Absurd. Based solely on that argumentation, had you lived exactly a thousand years ago you would have every right to claim the exact opposite. You are making a statement from a particular perspective, which is limited in time and space. Yes, it is indeed a "Matter of Perspective".

    DLPB ― “And it's clear when you read the 4 Gospels vs the war mongerer Muhammad's combat diary.”
    ― There is a considerable difference, yes. But as you know, Christianity isn’t just the Gospels. It isn’t even just the Bible. The same, mutatis mutandis, can be said of Islam. And you should know this.

    I don't really know what to make of you, DLPB. Every now and then in your writings you make a valid point. But in between those valid points you write so much nonsense that your overall credibility is next to none. It's a pity, really.

    And it certainly doesn't help when you, being so limited in your understanding of certain topics, or at least in the way you discuss them, begin and end your messages with sentences such as the following ones, which I therefore would like to throw right back at you:

    “Are you having some sort of comprehension problem?”

    “Clearly, you have an awful lot to learn about religion and ideas.“

    Given Islam is essentially fascist and has killed millions since its inception (through wars and otherwise), and continues to do so to this very day, I'd argue Islam and Nazism can be compared directly. But, of course, you know nothing about Islam or its political doctrine, so anything I say or link to will fall on deaf ears.

    It must be hard to bury your head in the sand and close your eyes as you look around the world at the Religion of Peace.

    And, as I said before, this whole topic was a diversion from what I originally wrote. Well done ;)

    DLPB ― "Given Islam is essentially fascist..."
    ― ...?(!)

    You may call the Romanian Garda de Fier (Iron Guard) fascist. You may call the Hungarian Nyilaskereszt (Arrow Cross) fascist. You may *not* call the French Croix-de-Feu (Cross of Fire) fascist. You can't even call say, the German Stahlhelm (Steel Helmet) fascist. There is a difference between such movements as fascism, the radical right, and the conservative, authoritarian right, you know?

    Can you tell me where Islam fits in between these movements?

    Do you know what fascism is at all, DLPB?

    Don't embarass yourself further, and just stick to nitpicking Star Trek, will you?

    There is a reason the word "Islamofascist" is touted about. But since you have no clue at all, I'll do what I do to all people like you and just point you in the right direction:


    I can provide more. A lot more. One last thing, it's you who is embarrassing himself, because to anyone who has studied Islam, its political agenda is obvious. It's totalitarian.

    Just an anecdotal observation, but 100% of the Muslim people I've met (here in the United States) seemed pretty peaceful/friendly to me.

    I definitely would have to agree that with those that say economic hardship and political suppression has a lot more to do with why people resort to violence than any religion. People who are content with their lot in life generally don't blow things up.

    Besides, let's not forget the sectarian Christian violence (Catholic vs. Protestants) in Ireland over the last 50 years. Christianity's recent track record is still pretty spotty if you think about it.

    Final thoughts:

    Your opinions are your own, DLPB, and you are allowed to make passionate arguments in your defense of them. I may disagree, but that's the nature of debate.

    I DO think the only truly embarrassing thing in this discussion (other than your pseudo-Islamophobic statements, I suppose) is your reliance on prefacing and concluding your statements with insults.

    It's very childish and should be beneath you.

    Ah, yes... Islamophobia. Another leftist insult created purely to stifle debate. If you had watched what I sent, you would know why that word is a load of nonsense. And I'm pretty sure Jews, Christians, women, homosexuals and others that Mr. Muhammad objected to will tell you why being afraid of this desert religion is not a phobia at all.

    Also, you may well find many Muslims who ignore their evil prophet, but unfortunately, it is a fact that once they make up a large % of your population (and given their birth rates, this happens eventually), they seek to install Sharia law. It has happened in pretty much every country that formed a Muslim majority (I can't think of one that's a free country that truly respects the rights of non-Islamics).

    So keep praising your ignorance, because one day you'll be losing your freedom too. Well, actually, you won't, because people like me will be there to clean up the mess. Go and research WWII and the reasons Hitler was allowed to gain so much power. It's because silly, naive people ignored his threat, despite his ideologies clear danger, and his crazy book Mein Kampf. The same thing is happening today with Islam, all in the name of political correctness and freedom of religion. Allowing a dangerous and crazy ideology to eventually subdue and infiltrate your country isn't clever or hip- it's just self defeating and stupid.

    That's all I have to say on it. And to be fair, the only reason we got onto this in the first place is because of a diversion tactic to get away from the nasty truths I pointed out about your beloved series ;)

    "Given Islam is essentially fascist and has killed millions since its inception (through wars and otherwise),"

    You could substitute Islam for Christianity pretty easily. Just take out the fascist part, which is not a label I would use for either.

    "Has it ever occurred to you that the reason they live in poor countries is nearly entirely related to the religion and culture they adhere to? No, of course it hasn't. Go and take a look at what Churchill said in 1899 about Islam and its power to wreck a country."

    Are you saying that there have been no christian countries who are poor or have dictators? South America?

    Those who are poor or live in terrible conditions turn to religion more. Combine that with dictators that purposely redirect anger towards other religions and countries, using religion's promises of magic and eternal life and the built in us vs them mentality.

    "Ah, yes... Islamophobia. Another leftist insult c"

    It looks like you are into conspiracies. There is definitely a great fear of islam throughout parts of america, as evidenced by the demonstrations against muslim houses of worship throughout the country, especially in backwoods areas.

    Surveys that confirm this sentiment.

    Here is a survey that confirms the correlation between lack of education and prejudice/hate. This is what makes it so easy to control and redirect the hatred of people under dictatorships/poor living conditions-

    Here is an interesting one. It essentially says that those that are most prejudiced are more likely to think that negative muslim sentiment is unfounded. Kind of like you...

    Here is a direct correlation between being integrated with other religions and one's views being much more tolerant vs being isolated and being hateful/fearful.

    It seems like you are more concerned with conspiracy theories about "leftists"(that don't even exist in the US, considering the democrats are middle/right, further to the right of any major part in any other first world country, and stand where Republicans stood 20 years ago) and are trying to use the "I'm not racists. The real racists are the ones that call out racism!" ridiculousness.

    Republicans do have the highest rate of hate-

    As for Hitler, it is funny that you brought that up. Hitler was able to rise to power because Germany was a beaten people after WW1. Not only did they lose, but they had to pay reparations as well. Hitler promised them a return to their former glory. He redirected their hate and fear towards the jews and other outsiders. Germany was mostly Christian. A beaten, desperate people will always be easily to manipulate.

    ES, your blind leftist support of a religion that kills those that leave it, demeans women and kill homosexuals is laughable.

    I am a Christian. I hope none of you have a problem with it, but if you do, too bad. Its really surprising that some people have such a negative view of people and their beliefs. As for Germany, most of them were afraid of the Nazis, they, for the most part turn their heads when Hitler went after the Jews, A lot of them were not aware of what was happening to the jews. They knew they were herded to camps, but they weren't aware of the brutality until it was too late.

    This episode was spectacular. I loved the visuals and the impending sense of "things about to happen, then all imploding." One great example would be the scene where the Defiant comes under heavy fire from the Dominion whilst deploying the minefield bombs, then the Rotarran decloaking and defending them. I honestly almost cheered out loud, and then Martok hailing the Defiant, telling them to carry on with the minefield and being his usual bombastic Klingon self was wonderful.

    As former posters have pointed out, Jake's staying in the station was a bit implausible due to his identity, unless the Dominion are far more noble than they've been presented as so far. Then again, this might reflect Weyoun's reminder to Dukat and Damar that they have a peace treaty with Bajor which they will not break.

    I also found Damar's way of stating the obvious hilarious here - "Sir, the minefields.." "I HAVE EYES, DAMAR." Dukat's glowering response had me in stitches.

    One question, what do you guys (the ones who are guilty) have against Rom and Leeta? I like Rom, he's a nice guy, Leeta is pretty nice too. Isn't Rom suppose to be stupid? Wasn't he suppose to be Quark's whipping boy? Just kidding, he can be a bit too much sometimes, but isn't he suppose to be? Seriously, I can see how he can get to that last nerve, just like scratching sounds on a chalkboard, but all in all I think he is likeable.


    "24. Destroying the controls of Deep Space Nine. What kind of plan is that anyway? It doesn't make any sense at all, other than to give some fake "bad-ass" status to Wonder Woman Kira."

    I'm not sure if this has been said or not, but it makes perfect sense. Why leave the station operational for your enemy? What sense does THAT make? The Cardassians abandoned Terok Nor as a busted up station where nothing worked when they left at the start of the series. Why? Because then it forces the new station occupant to take time and resources to make repairs. They can't just plant their flag and start with the business of the day. They need to spend their time fixing things and getting everything up and running again.

    Look how long it took O'Brien to get the station working at the start of the series! It took a couple years! Now for the Cardassians it won't take as much time because they're the ones who built the station and they have the technology to easily repair it. O'Brien and Starfleet at their own incompatible technology so it took a long time to get the station working right. Even then, they weren't sure if it would work. Even in "Way of the Warrior" they weren't sure if their new weapon systems would work or blow up the station!

    It makes perfect tactical and strategic sense for Sisko to leave a ruined station for the Cardassians. Dukat and his people have to fix things. My own problem with this strategy (and it's not with this episode but with "Sacrifice of Angels") is that the Dominion didn't do the same thing once again when they left the station. Sisko and his people walked right back into a fully operational station, one that probably worked better than before they left it because the Cardassians fixed it for them! They should've done as much damage as possible on their way out the door to set Starfleet back months on making repairs.

    Just my two cents...

    BTW...I LOVED this episode! In fact, this is one of Trek's best seasons, behind only TNG Season 3. This is season 5's ELEVENTH FOUR-STAR RATED EPISODE for me, which is HUGE!

    I also say Season 3 is the only one to top it because I believe not only are the episodes top-notch but it lays the groundwork for a much richer universe. TOS and TNG Seasons 1-2 were Westerns in Space, but TNG Season 3 made the galaxy a bigger, richer place filled with politics between species. The Romulans became an opponent with plenty of moves and countermoves. The Klingons were given depth and political intrigue. This set the standard for the rest of TNG. If not for TNG-3, there couldn't have been DS9 because the Star Trek universe wouldn't have been so rich.

    I could say more but that's for another day somewhere else!

    Incredible episode! 4/4!!!

    Two things Captain Jon:

    1. By destroying all controls they simply risk the Cardassians destroying the station. That's exactly what would happen in real life, I'm afraid. Then they'd deploy a fleet there. They'd deploy a fleet there regardless, but the writers of DS9 know sod all about real life conflict. A place that important would be defended around the clock.

    2. Kira remains on board and will have to help repair the damage that she caused. A bit pointless. Not to mention she would be executed. I don't buy for once second the lamo excuse the show gives for that not happening - they just wanted her character to live on.

    It's lazy, forced storytelling. I could come up with a lot more issues with this whole affair, too.

    I want to adore this - and leaving the episode on the two magnificent last scenes as Dukat ponders Sisko's message and the Defiant joins up with massive Federation/Klingon fleet leaves on such a high that it's hard not too.

    But really this is an episode that is mostly about two things - resolution and exposition. It lays mighty ground work for the next series, and it has a myriad of good moments. But outside of the genuinely exciting and much delayed fleet action, it does take a while for anything of real significance to happen. Yes, there's a wedding and an engagement I suppose. But that's not what I tuned in for, and I hate deferred satisfaction! 3 stars.

    Like Diamond Dave immediately above, I think that the episode packs a huge punch of an ending but a lot of it feels like set-up; like Jammer, I feel like most of the romantic material feels wrong somehow. As it turns out, some of it is actually important -- Kira/Odo, in particular, I think needed this "palate cleanser" scene to clarify that they are *not talking about* "Children of Time," to provide a backdrop for "Behind the Lines." Garak/Ziyal, well, insofar as it's important to wrap things up for those two, now is the time. And Rom and Leeta's wedding is very important as a symbol of life of the past few years on the station -- there really did need to be some statement about what the Federation "Deep Space 9" era has meant, and while a Federation/Bajoran wedding would have done that best, a Bajoran/Ferengi wedding with Sisko presiding hits some multicultural Federation-style getting-along points in a way that it's hard to imagine could have happened during the Occupation. Of course, Rom/Leeta's symbolic value has to be weighed against its annoyance value....

    Anyway I think this episode, as set-up, is mostly good and the ending is very exciting; I will have to watch again. What I will say is that I think that the coming Dominion Occupation Arc, or Terok Nor Redux, has a lot going for it, particularly on the station, and one of the thrilling things about it is the way it serves as an opportunity for many of the characters who were on the station during the *original* Occupation, pre-series -- in particular Kira, Odo, Quark and Dukat -- to revisit, directly or indirectly, some of their own past, not in flashback but in exciting present tense. (Rom was on the station too during the Occupation, but his experience during the Occupation was never really given any focus in the show, understandably since he is a secondary character.) Add to them Weyoun, Damar, Jake and others and it becomes quite interesting. That's the opportunity those episodes have, and I hope to write a bit about how they achieve them. What's fascinating is that the Occupation casts a long shadow, and has defined a lot about these characters for years, but now for the first time we see what that actually means for them *now* -- not just reflecting on their experiences, but how they respond to similar conditions.

    I do hope to say more about this episode at some point, but I am falling behind so let's close it for now having just set the stage a little for what the next several episodes can do. I think my rating is 3.5 stars, though it may be closer to 3. Maybe I'll rewatch, etc.

    Perhaps the best season 5 DS9 had to offer. I do love how the Bajoran religion proves flexible enough for the writers to explain away whatever needs ironing out. Like Jake staying behind, convinced that being the Emissary's son will automatically grant him some kind of protective status.

    Jake, who's never been connected with his father's status as a religious icon before. And when it's brought up (like in Rapture) he's quite vocal in denoucing it.

    This is the first time the notion of the Emissary having a family was brought up. And apparently, there are rules as well. Just like in Penumbra, when the rules state Casidy can only have a few dozen girls in her bridal procession.

    And as for Kira staying on: She is the highest ranking Bajoran on the station, Bajor signed a treaty with the Dominion so that allows them some leeway in who runs the place in their name. Also: having the major there fit perfectly in Dukat's twisted notion of getting her in bed.

    "I like to think that in the early TNG-era Starfleet was far too comfortable. It had minimized its defensive fleet and limited its recruiting. With the threat and attacks by the Borg, Starfleet realized it was too complacent and began to change; building more ships and making it far easier to be recruited. There is dialogue to support all of this. "

    This is exactly right. In Best of Both Worlds, Starfleet was able to muster a paltry 40 ships to defend against the Borg threat. They said it plainly during the episode: we're not ready.

    Presumably, the result of Wolf 359 and the borg threat was a renewed focus on ship construction. This would have been spurred on even more by the Dominion threat, against which they had more than a year of lead time.

    These factors explain pretty well why we see fleets of hundreds of Federation ships in DS9 whereas in STNG even a dozen was significant. It's akin to comparing the US. military during the height of World War 2 to what it would have been in the 1920's and 1930's.

    The one thing that doesn't square is what M.P. mentioned, which is the problem of where in blazes Starfleet was getting all the officers and captains for that many starships. From what we saw with STNG, even Wesley Crusher could barely pass the entrance examinations, and he was some kind of techno-Mozart! Seriously, where were they getting all these officers to man that many ships?

    I guess it's just an inevitable plot hole owing to the legacy of Rodenberry's goofier ideas for trek.

    "My own problem with this strategy (and it's not with this episode but with "Sacrifice of Angels") is that the Dominion didn't do the same thing once again when they left the station. Sisko and his people walked right back into a fully operational station, one that probably worked better than before they left it because the Cardassians fixed it for them! They should've done as much damage as possible on their way out the door to set Starfleet back months on making repairs."

    Sisko had time to plan the sabotage of the station as they knew that abandoning it was a likely contingency.

    The Dominion had 4,000 ships coming through the wormhole plus their armada on this side. They were devoting all their resources to bringing down the wormhole. Planning the sabotage of the station on the assumption that it would be retaken was not a high priority.

    "But for now, the Dominion is the spotlight, and the writers get them right." er? Yet again something of a lone voice but I am struggling to give a toss about this one. If the go-to face of the Dominion is that ambassador (is he an escapee gay hairdresser from a daytime soap, I mean) ...? Repeatedly DS9 gears up for it's big dramatic moments with weak players. The incidentals are ok, I guess. I quite liked O'Brien's response to Sisko fuming about his son. Colm Meaney's casualness - whatevs - like a foil against the declamatory Sisko. Even the positioning of Bashir behind Sisko is like a shit-sandwich relation to stuff the OG series nearly always gets right. (Or take TNG Redemption: Data rising on bridge of the Sutherland). It's the grammer of genre, and while I appreciate on paper, DS9 features some of the most daring and novel writing, as a clutch shooter it's pathetic.

    What makes "Call to Arms" so successful isn't it's action, though that is pretty good in and of itself. It's the characters. Everything everyone does here fits perfectly within this episode's context. The meeting between Sisko and Weyoun, Odo's decision to not make a move romantically on Kira, Rom's "Casablanca" speech, Jake's decision to stay behind the lines, Nog's "and then we make the Dominion sorry" line, the Federation's decision to sacrifice the center of the chess board in order to pull off a corner move against the Dominion... it all makes perfect sense.

    But what really stands out for me is Sisko's farewell speech on the Promenade. This moment not only works perfectly with Sisko's character and the episode's context, but it's brilliant in it's own right. It's a great piece of oratory - it makes me wish we had been allowed to see Sisko in front of the Bajoran Chamber of Ministers arguing in favor of signing the Non-Aggression Pact - and it's quite possibly the seminal moment in his entire character development. I think it's fair to say that it's at this point that Sisko is fully a Bajoran at heart, his conversion is complete. Maybe not his religious conversion as of yet, but he definitely identifies himself as a Bajoran from this moment on. "I promise I will not rest until I stand with you again, here, in this place where I belong." Damn, that gives me goosebumps every time! If that doesn't sound the trumpet that he is no longer what he was when this ride began- the doubting Federation type who was unhappy about being assigned to Bajor - I don't know what will. I also highly doubt that the location of this speech was a coincidence. Given that they had Sisko deliver it right in front of the Bajoran Shrine on the Promenade, I don't think the message could get any clearer.

    But, aside from all it's wonderful plot-focused action and great character material, "Call to Arms" also turns it's back on an age-old Trekkian staple - it preaches.... intolerance! When it comes to your enemies building up their military and threatening your security, you should absolutely not be tolerant of that, the episode firmly declares. "A war could be our only hope," Sisko declares at one point. Sadly, that is true. Sometimes you can't peacefully co-exist with your neighbors and it does become necessary to engage in conflict. I couldn't agree more! Hell, the episode even goes so far as to say that an unprovoked military action is justifiable to put a stop to the Dominion threat. Trek sure has come a long, long way since the early days of TNG Season One, hasn't it?!


    I found this episode engaging (get it? engaging). Like some of the commenters above, at the end I felt "at last!" After years of the threat of war with the Dominion, it's finally here.

    Rom's Casablanca speech totally didn't work.

    And Rom announcing LOUDLY in a crowded bar that he is a spy was cringeworthy.

    Several comments:

    Since Odo is a god to the Jem Hadar and the Vorta, can't he order them to leave?

    The station's offenses seemed to be much more awesome in The Way of the Warrior - many more torpedoes were shot out much faster it seemed than here.

    Why didn't a couple of runabouts help the Defiant lay the minefield?

    Why are station personnel the only ones working on a way to mine the wormhole? You'd think a crack team on Vulcan and Earth would be assigned to it. Hell, they made a special team to communicate with Voyager.

    After the Jem Hadar destroyed the Odyssey in an unprovoked attack 2 years ago, I'd think the Federation would have taken a more defensive posture this whole time.

    I'm afraid I was pretty unimpressed ... I thought the episode basically tried way too hard.

    4 stars!

    This episode was DS9's "The Best of Both Worlds". It fundamentally changed the series in a good way and gave the series a direction and consistency

    It was about time for the writers to pull the trigger and have the Dominion attack the Alpha Quadrant at hinting at it for three years
    This was very epic stuff

    I appreciated the namedropping of recognizable Trek races--miradorn, Romulans and Tholians--as governments who signed non aggression pacts with the Dominion. It really sent home the unsettling impact and mark the Dominion was having on the Alpha Quadrant. Furthering the episode's mission to fundamental shift things which was also excellent was having Bajor sign the non aggression pact and not join the Federation from earlier in the season so the Dominion couldn't target Bajor

    It was also glad to see how the writers wisely dialed back the initial characterization of the Dominion frontage early years as a super Borg-like threat to just a very formidable adversary. I think it really worked out better.

    I also wasn't particularly happy back in
    "the Search" when the big reveal to the Founders identity just turned out to be a bunch of shapeahifters. I thought that was pretty ho hum but the writers over the seasons made me realize that while the immediate satisfaction was absent with that particular reveal that in the long term it was a good move to go with that choice

    I also appreciated that the writers used the opportunity with the pressing events at hand to press pause on the Odo/Kira and Worf/Dax romance stuff and to not make a big production of the Rom/Leeta wedding then have Leeta rushed off the station. The sweet scene between Rom and Quatk as Rom rushed with last minute preparations with the Dominion minutes away was also nice These were simply little moments sprinkled in among the flurry of the larger more urgent threats at hand closing in

    One thing I can't praise DS9 about enough and more shows should emulate was their keen ability to acknowledge the reality of any given situation and the players involved and their motives and perspectives. it was smart for Ira to have Weyoun remind Dukat that Bajor had signed a non aggression pact with the Dominion and as members of the Dominion the Cardassians would not be retaking Bajor. That they would be honoring it. This wouldn't be the only time either. Moments like this for me was what made the series sooo good

    It was a real moment of awe when you see the station, the Cardassian/Dominion fleet going after each other. The battle sequences were very suspenseful and exciting. And unlike such scenes nowadays you could actually follow the action rather than it being a blur. When the defiant successfully activated the minefield was a real "stand up and cheer" moment(the idea of a minefield to block the Dominon from a Gamma Quadrant was a very clever idea with cloaked self replicating mines)Then Amidst the lull in the battle -- The moment Sisko orders Federation to abandon the station was a very shocking development

    Then the development that the Federation was going to war was another such shocking moment that left me reeling and stunned. The image of the Defiant and Rotarran joining up with the massive Federation/Klingon fleet was EPIC!

    The episode also did a good Job at leaving the characters in interesting unsettling places
    --the Federation crew on the Defiant along with Garak
    -worf and martok on the Rotatran
    -Kira quark Odo on the station like in the old days with Dukat and Weyoun in control of the station
    -rom as a spy pretending to being back working at Quark's
    -jake staying behind covering the war

    I have to disagree with Jammer--that at this point in Trek--DS9 season 5 was the best Trek season ever produced. That would be TNG season 4. It was the best to date when Jammer originally wrote this review and now decades later with Voyager and Enterprise wrapped, TNG S4 still is--a very consistent season with most weeks being entertaining and telling a variety of stories from character pieces to high concept sci fi mysteries to political and psychological thrillers. There was not a truly awful episode at all that season and the weakest episodes which from my count was around 4 weren't nearly as awful as Looking for Parmach, Let He Who is Without Sin, Ferengi Love Songs, Empok Nor, Soldiers of the Empire. When DS9- S5 was good it was excellent but when it was bad it was awful--very uneven

    "Parmach", "Empok Nor", and "Soldiers of the Empire" are middling to decent. There's 2 stinkers out of 26. TNG S4 has many more-"Suddenly Human", "Legacy", "The Loss", "Galaxy's Child", etc. They're not as bad as "Sin", true, but they're pretty poor nonetheless.

    "Call to Arms" is one of the best DS9 episodes no doubt -- I've consistently seen it ranked as one of the series' best. It does so many things well as a season finale, tying up lots of loose ends and, of course, it is all out war between the Federation and Dominion. It has a feel of added intensity, so many episodes have been building up to this point -- and I think it sets up a great Season 6.

    The episode has to cover a lot of ground and does it pretty well. As far as "status updates" on the romances: It spent a bit too much time on Leeta/Rom, which has been the weakest part of DS9 in Season 5. As a result, not enough time was spent on Kira/Odo and Worf/Dax, the latter of which has also been a low-point (for me) this season.

    But the romances are the B-plots and the A-plot of everything leading up to the Dominion war made sense to me -- the non-aggression pacts, the minefields, the negotiations between Weyoun/Ben Sisko. All this was really well done. I particularly liked the veiled diplomacy between Weyoun and Ben Sisko. The other thing that is clear is that Weyoun/Dukat are doing a good job concealing their disagreements and the writers have set this up beautifully. I don't get what Jake as a newswriter is still doing on DS9 -- where that goes seems a good mystery at this stage. The baseball left for Dukat at the end is terrific. Dukat knows exactly what Sisko means.

    "Call to Arms" gets 4 stars for me -- riveting episode with the battle, the evacuation (Sisko's speech was on point), and when Dukat/Weyoun etc. arrive on the station to be "greeted" by Odo/Kira it does feel like the good guys have truly lost.

    "Call to Arms" is indeed the "The Best of Both Worlds Part 1" of DS9. It relentlessly builds toward an inevitable cliffhanger, and the tension-building in both episodes is masterful. However, despite the fact that the latter was a brilliant 45 minutes of television, it's hard to feel much about that cliffhanger now. The situation was resolved in the next two episodes without lasting consequences. Not so with "Call to Arms". This permanently changes the status quo of the series. The station will be retaken, but the Dominion War will rage in the background until the end of the series. When the Dominion takes control of the station at the end of this episode, the impact is visceral and still felt. The rest of the episode is pretty great too-the space battle, the mind games between Sisko and Weyoun, the sense that the looming conflict is permeating every facet of life on the station. An amazing conclusion to a grand, thrilling season of Trek.

    4 stars.

    Nice finale.

    Lots of chills, thrills, and decent character interaction amongst the chaos.

    The Dominion's endgame is still confusing to me, and their motivations sketchy, but it's great that, after taking so very, very (very, very) long setting up, they've actually started playing the game.

    I liked the suggestion that there was trouble in the Paradise of the Dominion-Cardassian alliance, and how Dukat bristled at taking orders from Weyoun.

    Nice graphics, and the baseball amid the ruins was a nice touch.

    @ Springy,

    I feel like you're evaluating the 'progress' of DS9 using a completely modern standard that didn't exist at the time. Prior to DS9 the producers of TNG were all but banned from introducing continuing storylines by the studio. They did sneak some in any, like Worf's intermittent Klingon politics arc, and the occasional Romulan buildup episode. But overall they had to make it completely episodic. For DS9 they appeared to get the green light to do *some* serializing or ongoing storylines, but their hands were still mostly tied and they had to make the majority of the series one-off episodes, even when if you look at the larger arc of the series with hindsight the one-offs seem often counterproductive. But I believe they had no choice. So regarding why they took so very, very (very) long to get the Dominion plot going, it was surely because they could only take a few episodes every now and again to develop it, snatching up those opportunities from their general mandate to make episodic TV. You will see by the end of the series why they could only do it a little at a time, so I won't say anything about that now. But I do not believe it's a reasonable objection that a show originating in 1992 took forever by our standards to get the ball rolling. You need to think of it essentially as an episodic show, with occasional arc-movements. This was exactly the structure of the X-File series, which began at roughly the same time as DS9 and was generally seen as a breakthough show for various reasons, one of which was the ongoing plotline. But if you go back and watch it you'll see that most episodes are one-offs, much more so than DS9, the latter of which actually kept characterization and relationship growth episode to episode. Even the fact of steadily progressing the election of the Kai in S1-2 was groundbreaking TV, very new to that era. I believe that is the proper way to evaluate how DS9 used its time, which may be hard to see now, but at the time was rolling its story along at comparatively breakneck speed.

    @Peter G.-

    I think you're right. DS9 wasn't Babylon 5 when it comes to long-form storytelling, but it was absolutely ahead of the curve, and were constantly fighting with the higher ups at Paramount. They wanted the 6-episode arc at the beginning of the sixth season to be 9 episodes, for example. The show as a whole has a very interesting approach to serialization. There are episodes like "Visionary" that utilize the status quo but don't actually advance the main story, there are episodes that move forward a character's development like "Return to Grace", and of course there are the massive, universe-altering events like "Improbable Cause"/"The Die is Cast".

    Also, I felt that many of DS9's non-Dominion episodes were either great in their own right and/or told a story worth telling, or contained great character moments and development.

    the whole odo / kira relationship never worked. i'm sorry, but it's just flat. not believable. no chemistry. nothing. it's awful really.

    This episode was okay. I agree with Jammer on much of what he wrote, but I would have given it less stars. My review boils down to two elements: I like the political intrigue and strategizing but I don't like the romances.

    I agree with Jammer about the Nog/Leeta romance. Really, it comes down to the fact that I hate the Nog character, the way he's portrayed that is. Yes, I get it, he's kind of like an idiot-savant when it comes to engineering. This is the one part of his personality I DO like. But I hate the delivery. I would bet that the actor was told to act the character in this way, so not his fault. But damn, as I go through the DS9 series there is alot about families, babies, people breaking up, getting back together, more than I like. The only relationship I like, which was not profiled in this episode, is K. Yates and Sisko. She's great, well-acted and I like that she's a strong woman. Anyway, back to this episode. I also don't like the Worf/Jadzia coupling, basically because I don't like Jadzia at all. I have a lot of problems with her character in that she's shown to be a drinker, party-girl, gambler, she's been manipulative about relatively minor things. My opinion is that the writers try too hard to make Jadzia powerful by having her act like a debauched person, all for the sake of 'experience', but that doesn't make someone 'tough' and it's a poor example of a Starfleet officer. In any case, I don't like her.

    The positives about this episode for me have to do with Weyoun and Sisko playing the diplomatic game that eventually leads to action. I thought this was very believable. The scene of them calmly and politely exploring what the other person plans to do was understated, which made it more powerful. Here is a situation where I think Sisko acts like a great Starfleet officer. He's polite but firm regarding the influx of Dominion ships/personnel/supplies, and if it leads to war then so-be-it. Also, I like how Sisko supports keeping Bajor essentially neutral, it's clever for all the reasons that have been stated above.

    About the replicating mines, was this something that already existed? Or did Nog invent this on-the-spot? I'm not sure. I realize that the writers want Nog to come across as brilliant in engineering terms, so perhaps he invented this. In any case the mines were necessary, and they couldn't be regular mines because the Dominion would simply blow them up. It worked.

    I agree with Jammer again in that the writers seemed to be going for a "love and war" theme and that it didn't really work. I just subtract more points for the failed romantic plotting than Jammer.

    2 Stars

    Yeah, the romantic interludes here just kinda suck across the board, don't they?

    I don't think I personally like even one of these pairings. It's good that we're dealing with the extreme Odo/Kira fallout from 'Children of Time', but I won't hesitate in saying that pining Odo is easily my least favourite Odo. Rom/Leeta is just *too* odd for an odd couple dynamic -- it strains belief. Dax/Worf, I do have some ability to like (mostly when framed as "glorious Klingon battle couple"), but they seem to be jumping to marriage way too quickly -- I see no indication of much reason for it other than satisfying Worf's Klingon obligations. And Garak/Ziyal... sigh. It *could* be a sweet dynamic on a platonic level -- hell, it *was*! And yet they insisted on shoehorning in Ziyal having a crush on someone old enough to be her father. The kiss she gives him here is decidedly Uncomfortable -- at least Garak looks to be just as uncomfortable as I feel, or this'd be even worse than it is. It seems decidedly creepy on the part of the writers -- and it looks like Garak's discomfort here is solely an acting decision, since the script gives no indication of it.

    (Verdict: "needs more Kasidy".)

    Bleh. At least we've got plenty of good non-romantic character dynamics on display here. One particularly understated one is Jake helping Bashir distribute medical supplies in the Infirmary, in the same vein as '... Nor the Battle'. Jake's clearly on track to becoming a writer, but it almost feels like they're equally setting him up to be a wartime nurse.

    The offputting romances really are the only thing that lower this, though, because it's stellar work otherwise. The buildup is incredible and unprecedented. Seeing Deep Space 9 become Terok Nor once more is heartwrenching to watch, epitomised by the Jem'Hadar forcing open those iconic cog airlock doors. And it's a hell of a move, too -- this space station is the goddamn title of the show, it's absolutely fundamental to it, and to wrest it out of our protagonists' grasp... things really won't be the same ever again.

    We're left with some very interesting character combinations for the upcoming season. Garak with the Starfleet crew deserves a mention -- let's see if the sometimes-shaky trust he's built with them bears out. Regardless, as he tells Ziyal, he'll always find a way to thrive. I'll be *very* interested to see if this accompanies him in a far more prominent role -- maybe he's best if used sparingly, but eh, I'm very ready to see him brought on for longer stretches regardless.

    I was half-expecting Leeta to hide on the station and stick around for Rom's sake -- do something interesting with her that way. But nope, bundled off to Bajor, just as Ziyal is.

    I suspect that Terok Nor itself will be the most interesting setting for the upcoming season of DS9 (or 'TN'). There's so much at play there. The thought of Kira under Dukat's command is already making me squirm, and the Odo-Weyoun dynamic promises to be an interesting one -- a potential way for the protagonists to get the upper hand.

    Then there's Jake. Jake, you idiot, you've put yourself in prime position to be used as a hostage. "The Dominion wouldn't dare hurt the Emissary's son"? Yeah, good luck with that, especially with Kai Winn holding sway over what counts as religion on Bajor. We've seen the title of Emissary switch places effortlessly before, and if that ever happens again, suddenly Jake Sisko's nothing more than a human in enemy territory. On a story level, I don't *think* they'd kill him off... but dammit, Jake, plot armour isn't a valid excuse in-universe.

    (Looks like the Jake-Nog dynamic reversal is finally complete. Jake's the one hanging around the Ferengi family at the bar, and Nog's the one with Captain Sisko keeping him safe.)

    And, uh. Rom as Terok Nor's resident Replacement Garak. That's gonna be. Interesting. Y'know, I half-expected him to be making up the "Federation spy" thing, but it honestly seems like it's *true*... in which case, I really have no idea WHAT to expect. He's a less *obvious* candidate for a spy than Garak, I will at least give him that...?

    Well then! Onto Season 6! This finale has done far more than enough to whet my appetite for more -- I can't wait to see what it has in store.

    (One more interesting dynamic I forgot to mention: the strain beginning to show between Weyoun and Dukat, and Cardassia/the rest of the Dominion in general. No attacking Bajor for you, Dukat -- and god, please don't use Kira as a proxy for her planet...)

    Shock, horror. This is... a pretty good episode.

    I mean, I'd quite happily take the cutting scissors to all the scenes featuring Rom and Leeta, in this and every other episode going. Even if the initial scene with where they're looking at the TOS-styled wedding dress got a few callback bonus points.

    But for the most part, everything works well. The plots, the intrigues, the betrayals, the alliances, it all makes sense within this context.

    Perhaps ironically, the one thing I wasn't particularly impressed with was the battle scenes. They're increasingly Star Wars like, in that battles are carried out at extremely short ranges. It's not a gun-fight, it's not even a knife-fight; it's the space-battle equivalent of mud-wrestling.

    It's dramatic, but also more than a little ridiculous.

    (And without getting into spoiler territory, this trend continues in the sixth season...)

    Disappointing exit scene for Sisko. And I would have boobytrapped the baseball to take out half the station. A fleet to take out the shipyard? Surely a few dozen cloaked warp missiles?

    It's amazing how everytime you post you prove what an idiot you are.

    And Kassidy Yates hasn't been seen because she's still in prison for smuggling to the Maquis. Duh

    Ira Behr loves to contrast mundane domestic scenes with giant galactic wars. And so this episode - which kicks off the Dominion War - opens with Rom and Leeta picking out a wedding dress.

    Such trivialities pile on: Sisko and Jake share dinner, Kira and Dax chat about Yamok sauce, Miles talks about shipping Keiko and the kids off the station, Nog brings Sisko some coffee, and so on and so on. It's a more concise and brisk version of "Way of the Warrior's" first act- the calm before the storm.

    The aforementioned storm begins with news that the Romulans have entered a non-aggression pact with the Dominion. Such sinister whispering, which encapsulate how methodically sinister the Dominion are, effortlessly pitting Empire against Empire (Why isn't the Federation this smart?), lead to scenes in which Miles, Dax and Nog brainstorm ways to block the wormhole. Unfortunately these scenes are silly: the wormhole should have been secured years ago. At the very latest, it should have been secured immediately after learning that the Dominon tried to explode Bajor's sun.

    And methods of blocking the wormhole should have been cooked up years ago by Federation experts, tacticians and scientists, and not left to the last minute. That Rom figures out a solution - self-replicating mines - when nobody else can, is similarly unbelievable.

    The mines themselves are a bit hard to believe. It's not physically possible for a mine to have enough feed stock to keep replicating itself. And any hegemony like the Dominion possesses enough explosives to simultaneously detonate all mines at the same time.

    But the show's going for a WW2-in-space vibe, and the mine fields look cool, so we can let that slide.

    From this point onwards, the episode serves up one iconic scene after the next. Starfleet positions its fleets to hit the Dominion elsewhere (they use DS9 as bait). Odo fakes com-traffic in order to create the illusion that DS9 hasn't evacuated civilians. The Defiant begins laying a vast mine field at the wormhole mouth. The Dominion send Weyoun to DS9 to negotiate the removal of the mine field, and Sisko gathers his crew and dramatically notifies them to prepare for war.

    The only thing lacking here is Sisko explicitly calling out Weyoun for trying to decimate a Federation fleet with an exploding sun several months prior. Surely that event, from the Federation's perspective, and which Dukat confirmed, was the first formal act of war. Weyoun's acting like the Federation are unfairly policing an international shipping lane, not justifiably blockading a "nation" with a recent history of blowing up an entire planet! The Sisko/Weyoun conversations are going for a level of cordial suspicion which the show should be well beyond.

    More great scenes follow: Sisko assembles the Bajoran Council of Ministers and pushes them to sign a non-aggression pact with the Dominion, Sisko politely "turns down" Kira's request that Starfleet turn DS9 over to the Bajoran Militia, Nog indulges Ira Behr's fondness for "Casablanca" homages (he echoes Bogart in his farewells to Leeta), and Garak regrets not shooting Dukat in the back a decade prior, an act "everyone on the station will also soon regret".

    Then Damar, Dukat and Weyoun roll up in a hilariously huge Dominion Fleet, looking like wannabe gangsters with fancy space-monocles. Sisko dares them to kick his ass, which they dutifully oblige.

    This episode juggles a big cast much better than "Way of the Warrior" did. It's a leaner, more streamlined episode. It's action climax is also better, with the Defiant frantically laying mines, Martok's Bird of Prey bravely running interference, and DS9 spitting quantum torpedoes like a station on cocaine. Some of the FX shots are a bit hokey, but the battle holds up better than similar fare from the era, and several of the compositions are pretty great.

    Sisko then gives the order to evacuate DS9. He hops aboard the Defiant, which blasts through the Dominion fleet with Martok's Bird of Prey dramatically in formation.

    The iconic scenes then keep coming: the Dominion board DS9, walking in lockstep like Nazi henchmen. Before they arrive at Ops, Kira and Odo self-destruct all useful computers and databanks. Then Dukat famously finds Sisko's baseball - "He's sending me a message" - and we close with Sisko looking pensive on the Defiant, which famously joins formation with a massive Federation fleet.

    End result: DS9's best season climax since Season 1's "In the Hands of the Prophets", and arguably one Trek's top five season finales.

    Sisko could have booby trapped the station with Covid. Cardassians are well known to be vulnerable to viruses (TNG "Ensign Ro")

    Disabling all of the DS9 Keurig Raktajino machines was very cold blooded.

    After doing a big rewatch of Voyager (well, the half or so of episodes that are worthwhile), I'm starting some DS9 rewatch here.

    What strikes me most in flipping from Voyager to DS9 and this episode in particular is how much richer these characters and their relationships with each other are. Scene after scene of relationships that feel real and particulad and informed by past experiences in a way Voyager could never do-- I love those characters and some of the relationships, but they operate at a much simpler level (in part because there is less continuity and therefore development, but also because characters are put in fewer stories that even seem
    to allow them to grow in the first place).

    In fact, even in a fairly minor scene like the exchange between Dax and Martok when he arrives to the rescue, and forgetting all the particulars of their past relationship (which I don't think was much apart from Kurzon Klingon stuff)--- there was a richness to their pretty simple exchange that came from actors knowing the nuances of their (I think somewhat) limited history.

    And of course all of the wonderful material informing Dukat's personal relationship to the siege and sisko.

    Anyway, in my mind DS9 is the best trek because of the storytelling, but I can't say that it's my favorite crew. For whatever reason that is, its certainly the richest one. I guess I just like my Voyager junk food...

    @ Occuprice,

    I definitely think there is a texture in DS9's scenes that is lacking in other post-TOS Treks. It's not just the character histories alone, although that memory no doubt informs the scene work, but it's the ongoing feelings about each other that begin and end each scene. No scenes are stand-alone - all fit into the ongoing relationship that you palpably feel. in VOY there are some fun exchanges, no doubt about it, but usually the start of a scene is neutral and it's the plot element or story points that create either tension or positive feelings. Even with Tom/Harry you don't quite get pals happy to see each other when they meet; it requires what they are doing to show they are friends. Contrast with Dax in DS9, who despite being a novice actor at the start of the series, does still manage to capture one important element: warmth. When she sees a friend, you get the feeling right away there is affection there, and the story points and plot are not necessary to make that come out. Part of it probably had to do with the cast's working atmosphere and respect.

    TNG had a similar texture through the latter parts of its run, certainly from S4 onwards, which is an enjoyment of being together. At times it feels like RIker and Troi are the lynchpins of this feeling, but you definitely sense they like each other. Now this is one-note, and rarely are there other textures that are very evident, but that's ok, the show is fun and that really is enough to make it enjoyable. On DS9, by contrast, it's in-character relationships, not the out-of-character fun that we tend to see. Odo/Quark scenes, for instance, don't just start at zero and then heat up once they're getting on each other's nerves. You can sense whatever the hell it is they have between them at all times. Kira alternatively has great warmth for some characters, and various other feelings for others (for instance immediate irritation with Quark or Garak).

    So I do think it's not only the plots and show continuity on VOY that gets the reset switch each episode, but it also goes for how the characters think or feel about each other. They are really starting at neutral in most episodes. This does in a way leave room for writers to do absolutely anything they wish without regard for having to keep continuity, or having to worry about whether the actors would like it. On DS9, it was apparently common for the actors to fight for their characters, say they would or wouldn't do certain things; that type of thing. On VOY it seems like it was more of an auteur's vehicle, and in fact Moore says something to this effect. When he asked them what he limitations were and how the characters and stories needed to be, they told him just write whatever he wanted. In his case that was a big negative, but maybe it allowed the show to be freer in some way the showrunners wanted. Mulgrew did apaprently put her foot down on certain issues, but I think they were meta issues rather than in-character things. For instance she's said many times that she told them flat out Janeway would not have a romantic relationship on the show. But that's not because of how her character was written or how things developed on the show, but rather because she felt it was sending the wrong message about a strong female captain inevitably ending up in a relationship. That's a fine reason, but it's not one related to her character's development.

    I may have trailed off here a bit, but I guess my point is that it's funny how the show's tone on DS9 and VOY in particular really trickle into all departments, right down to how the actors walk into scenes.

    The episode really carried the whole DS9 Alamo analogy forward in so many ways. A sacred band composed of the major cast alone, unaided save for the stalwart Martok and Garak held down the whole fort pretty much by their lonesome. I seem to remember comments being made about the near complete absence of Starfleet vessels during most of the celebrated Dominion War. The reality of that was pretty glaring here.

    What was so important elsewhere in the quadrant that not even a blessed shuttle craft or runabout was sent to help?

    After seeing the immense fleet the Defiant meets up with at the end of the episode (in good Empire Strikes Back mode), I'm not quite getting why the Federation was unable to send even a single ship to help defend DS9 in its hour of need.

    A very, very good episode, no question about it but I can't say it got me overly excited. Maybe because I've been binge-watching the show--and, remember, this is my first ever viewing of D.S.9--, I wasn't on the edge of the seat with this one. There was only ever going to be one of two outcomes: Cisco wins or he *temporarily* loses. After all, the show is called Deep Space Nine, not "Deep Space Nine and Friends," so they'll be back. That part, then, was underwhelming although I *am* looking forward to seeing *how* they're going to retake the station. I just hope it's not going to be some stupidly unrealistic gambit with Jake and/or one of the leftovers pulling an inside sabotage job.

    Speaking of underwhelming: Rom and Leeta. 'Nuff said.

    But yeah, 3-1/2 stars from me, too.

    I can buy the Dominion offering a non-aggression pact to Bajor.
    1. Because of the wormhole

    2. Because they already stated (when they found out about the Romulan non-aggression pact) that the Dominion was signing these pacts with a growing number of alien races, not just the major military powers. It seems like they were trying to sequentially reduce the amount of planets that might otherwise side with the Federation/Klingon forces. Even lesser military powers can still provide crucial support in war time. The Dominion wants as little of that available to their enemies as possible.

    One thing that I find really hard to believe is that Starfleet wouldn't spare even a handful of ships to help defend the station, when they are deploying the mines that might very well save the Alpha Quadrant.

    If I recall, the in-universe justification was that Starfleet was dedicating ships to destroying Dominion shipyards... a single mission.

    But if it takes the entirety of Starfleet just to knock out a couple shipyards, then they don't have a chance of defeating the Dominion.

    Startrek writing frequently has issues with maintaining a consistent sense of scope. This is an example of that. How many ships does Starfleet have? How powerful are they? This episode makes it seem like Starfleet doesn't have many ships at all because a single mission utilized them ALL.


    "Since Odo is a god to the Jem Hadar and the Vorta, can't he order them to leave?"

    Yes. Excellent point, but it would mess up the script! Seriously though, Odo is conspicuously missing in some of the major Dominion scripts; they just didn't know what to do with him. (His scene with Major Kira worked for me, though.)

    There's a lot to like in this episode. I particularly appreciate how it touches on so many characters. I think this episode is a pretty good argument for Starfleet being non-military, they sort of suck at it. Also, the minefield looked pretty two-dimensional.

    Rom seems to reveal the haters in the audience, just because he's not up to your definition of intelligent. (Seriously, isn't there enough suffering in the world without adding more?) Where is the criticism of Jadzia, who seems almost unconscious, and is never required to behave professionally? And Worf is uncharacteristically passive with her... and a lot less interesting.

    I appreciated Jeffrey Combs a whole lot in this episode. He has a presence on screen, even in the background, he's so damn convincing as the vorta.

    I think the weakest part of the story (and also the analysis in the comments), is the idea that Dominion *needs* to honor its non-aggression pact with Bajor. Why would they? It's obvious that the Cardassians have zero respect for Bajor, and the Founders seem like even bigger assholes, so I wouldn't expect better.

    I guess I'll be rewatching DS9 for a while; I will do my best to only comment on the episode and not give away further information.

    This episode has my favorite exchange not only of all of DS9 but of all of any Trek shows:

    Odo: You'd shoot a man in the back?
    Garak: Well, it's the safest way, isn't it?


    Submit a comment

    ◄ Season Index