Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Changing Face of Evil"

4 stars

Air date: 4/26/1999
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Mike Vejar

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"There's something different about you today, Damar; I can't quite put my finger on it. It's almost as if you're half dressed. ... [with mock realization] You don't have a bottle in your hand." — Weyoun

Nutshell: A powerhouse. This is truly what three weeks of setup warrants.

Featuring a flurry of excitement, "The Changing Face of Evil" is a riveting, carefully crafted balance of all the elements we've had over the past three weeks and before that. As DS9 plots go, it's probably the most viscerally engaging edge-of-seat experience this season.

There's a sense that although "Penumbra," "'Til Death Do Us Part," and "Strange Bedfellows" were all solid, interesting, forward-progressing shows, they were somehow lacking something necessary to elevate them to greatness—something "The Changing Face of Evil" clearly has. That element, I think, is emotional release. It's fun to be set up, teetering on the edge of payoff. But at the same time it's in some ways unsettling and frustrating. The payoff is where the crux of satisfaction lies.

"Changing Face" is like the proverbial roller-coaster ride—a skillful tap into a variety of feelings, mainly fear, exhilaration, and anticipation. If "Strange Bedfellows" was the piece that revealed to the audience how characters were committing to new directions, "Changing Face" is the piece where those characters reveal that commitment to other characters.

There are many different types of scenes in this episode, and pretty much all of them work exceedingly well. The episode wastes no time in getting its intentions under way; moments after Worf and Ezri are greeted with happiness as they return safely to DS9, the bad news arrives—the Breen have attacked Earth. A shot of San Francisco shows the burning remains of destroyed buildings at Starfleet Headquarters; the Golden Gate Bridge lies in ruins.

Suddenly, the Federation and its allies, who apparently have had the edge in the war recently, find themselves again facing desperation now that the Dominion have forged this new alliance with the Breen. The Breen's audacity in attacking Earth directly on a suicide mission is unsettling. At the moment, the Breen seem to operate at least partially upon psychological strategy: To strike fear into the enemy is to gain an advantage over the enemy.

With the tone for the hour set, what's interesting about "The Changing Face of Evil" is that a lot of its first half doesn't comprise a tight plot so much as a series of little character snippets leading up to the final act's major events. There are many scenes of calm, everyday life aboard the station, though everyone's a little more alert of the possibility of forthcoming battle.

A surprising amount of this works through the doses of humor. There's a running gag introduced here about a scale model O'Brien has built depicting the battle at the Alamo. The Alamo references, as anyone who has been watching this season at all knows, have become an ongoing tradition, and here O'Brien—and the show's writers—take it to a completely new level that seems to approach self-parody. Here are two guys, O'Brien and Bashir, who have become so obsessed with the Alamo that they have taken to playing out the battle on a 30-square-foot scale model. Or, as Worf observes, "They play with toys." Say what you will about the Alamo references, but I find the quirky persistence of the gag to be strangely refreshing, especially now that the Alamo has left the confines of the holosuite and is being played out in the middle of Quark's bar.

The fact we can have such broad humor in this episode—particularly the joke about Bashir "misplacing" the figurine of Colonel Travis (Nog: "Can't you make another one?" O'Brien: "What, so he can lose it again?")—is an odd pleasure, particularly considering how intense the episode grows in its final act.

Also amusing is the new play on Worf and Ezri. It's nice to see them able to sit with each other at Quark's and socialize without the constant tension looming overhead. Finally, Worf is able to see Ezri as Ezri, and not Jadzia. (Ezri: "You're a good friend." Worf: "I know.") And now that Ezri thinks she might be in love with Bashir, Worf can offer his friendly (sarcastic) opinion on the matter. Okay, so "He plays with toys" isn't the most persuasive argument against Bashir, but it is a funny one.

The newlywed Siskos also get some screen time here, leading to the inevitable but necessary discussion on how they both still have jobs to do and ships to captain, despite the danger with the war going on. None of this is groundbreakingly original, but it is sensible and well played, so I have no complaints. It's marital bickering that's truthful in its concerns and not annoying, so it's absolutely fine by me.

As with the previous three installments, the episode cuts back and forth between several perspectives, one of them of course being the inevitable collision course of Damar and Weyoun. (Actually, the collision has already happened; Weyoun simply doesn't know it yet.) The chemistry between these characters proves absolutely stellar here, the best Damar/Weyoun scenes we've had to date (and quite possibly the last of them). Damar, who has been plotting secretly with Gul Rosot (John Vickery) to prepare the launch of an insurrection against the Dominion, is a changed man with a new confidence—and Weyoun has taken notice.

The dialog here is sharp and acted to perfection. Jeffrey Combs' mocking jest at Damar is as much fun as it has ever been, but the dynamic is different because Damar is no longer willing to be a Dominion puppet ... and Weyoun doesn't see that. The fact Weyoun mistakes Damar's attitude change as a renewed confidence in the Dominion's ability to win the war is absolutely delicious—and absolutely appropriate. In the meantime, the dialog plays suspense games with us as it appears Weyoun might, maybe be on to Damar's plan—before showing us that Damar indeed does have Weyoun completely duped. Casey Biggs brings a commanding confidence to Damar; seeing how his partnership with Weyoun has disintegrated is probably the most well-played element of the past four shows, and in no small part because of Biggs' performance.

Back on Bajor, the Winn/Dukat arc continues to foreshadow the likely disasters to come, but I was particularly glad to see that the Evil Scheming Dialog at the end of "Strange Bedfellows" was more of an isolated moment of dramatic excess than a true indication of Kai Winn turning to transparent "evil." In this installment, she's depicted more as a person searching for answers, trying to come to an understanding of the Paghwraiths and her role in using them to bring about the "Restoration" of Bajor. Unfortunately, what she doesn't seem to understand is that the path she has chosen is more than simply a self-serving means to an end; it's a path of unknown danger that could spell disaster for her and all of Bajor, especially considering our awareness of a "great trial" that the Emissary will have to face. What consequences exactly this will have is anyone's guess, but it seems pretty clear that Winn is completely unaware of the gravity of her situation. She continues to get in deeper and deeper. At this point she has removed books about the Paghwraiths from Bajor's sacred archives, including an ominous text called the Kosst Amojan, which may be the key to releasing the Paghwraiths. Her perusing of these forbidden texts, however, has raised the suspicion of her chief aide, Solbor (James Otis).

Meanwhile, Dukat's menacing side resurfaces in a frightening way (the mere presence of Marc Alaimo's is enough to send chills). When Solbor tries to return the texts to the archive, Dukat punches the guy and tells him not to interfere. Ultimately, Dukat has his way with the Kai, simply because there's no one else around to stop him from manipulating her.

The first four acts of this multi-layered story provide backdrop. The whole time, through the humor, the setup, and the character dynamics, we get the feeling the story is turning into one big, ticking time bomb waiting to go off—which it does in its final act.

Sisko is ordered into a major battle when it looks like the Federation is going to lose its only foothold in Dominion space (the Chin'Toka system, gained in "Tears of the Prophets"), and suddenly the whole tone of the episode launches into anticipation when the prelude to battle takes an unusually large amount of screen time (and is executed with great skill). In a way, it feels almost like the beginning of an end, a final battle. That might be because it is the final battle for the Defiant, which engages the Dominion/Breen fleet and is disabled and destroyed in a sequence of alarming and surprising swiftness. One minute, Sisko is ordering his ship to engage the enemy, and the next, Sisko is suddenly ordering his crew to abandon ship. The Defiant's death is almost painful to watch. (The visual-effects sequence works on the visceral level, but the concept of the Defiant's destruction benefits even more from the human touches, like Sisko's final glance at his wrecked bridge before heading to the escape pod.)

That leaves the Federation with another problem: the Breen's new energy-draining weapon, which takes the Federation by surprise and leads to the fleet's swift loss of the battle at Chin'Toka. Fortunately, Damar's timing couldn't be better; his insurrection has begun. Cardassian fleets have attacked Dominion outposts, and Damar gives an invigorating address to the Cardassian people, telling them to "resist today."

Watching the reaction to Damar's speech is an episode highlight. The key to success is in how all the actors involved look as if they truly believe they are inside the story as it unfolds. Watching Damar on the screen, speaking the unthinkable, Odo stands with a thoughtful, compelled look on his face. Admiral Ross sports a can-you-believe-this-is-happening look. Sisko wants confirmation on what Damar is claiming. Weyoun is absolutely disgusted. I wanted to cheer. This is a real payoff, as entertaining as it is powerful. (One of the first Dominion targets the Cardassians strike is the cloning facility, which conveys a clear meaning: No more Weyoun clones. Now there's poetic justice.)

Weyoun orders the Breen to find Damar, no matter how many Cardassians have to be killed in the process. Immediately after he gives this order, a brilliantly subtle shot has Weyoun looking suspiciously over his shoulder as a Cardassian mans his post in the background. (Talk about your uneasy situations.)

While the Federation and Dominion are having their troubles with the shifts in power, Winn continues a downward spiral that, based on a series of bizarre circumstances, seemingly cannot be halted; she seems destined now to follow through on what she has started. Solbor's appall at the Kai's actions, along with his suspicion of Anjohl, have led him to uncover the truth of Dukat's masquerade, which sends Winn into a shocked frenzy. But she can't allow herself to be exposed, and stabs Solbor in the back—in a brilliant sequence where Winn is so trapped by her inability to relinquish her power and come forward with the truth that she's virtually forced into murdering her own aide (in her mind, anyway). I could understand every moment of her actions and desperation here, because they stand on such a sturdy foundation.

Magical Bajoran properties lead to the secret of the Kosst Amojan's hidden words, but I need not explain this in detail (this review is long enough as it is); suffice it to say Winn's intentions are so close to turning around and backing out of the Paghwraith path, but at the last moment the knowledge and power reveal themselves, leading her—based simply on who she is and how power has constantly led her astray—to continue down the path Dukat has so deviously laid out for her, whatever that may be. (Though it's interesting to note that Dukat seems nearly as awed about everything going on around him as does Winn.)

Of course, stellar execution over this slew of plot and characterization certainly doesn't hurt. Mike Vejar's cinematic direction of this episode is phenomenal. "Changing Face" has the aesthetic qualities of a feature film; Vejar's visual sense is always a highlight, and here it enhances the mood wherever necessary.

But what's perhaps most commendable about this episode is that the plot, for all its eventfulness at the end, never obstructs the insight of characterization. Even though most of the events taking place are larger than the characters can possibly be in themselves, the characters never, for one instant, become cogs in the plot's wheel. The personalities remain exceptionally strong and well defined, and major events are punctuated with nice touches (like the simplicity of Weyoun saying, upon the Defiant's destruction: "Poor Captain Sisko. I believe he was quite fond of that ship"). And it's in an episode like this that one can appreciate how much previous stories have made it possible for the motives, dialog, and actions of the characters in a plot of this magnitude to not only make sense, but to be a logical outgrowth of what came before.

"The Changing Face of Evil" is a clear triumph, executed with panache. It has plenty more setup, but it also has a great deal of release. It's a very satisfying hour. Sign me up for the next installment.

Next week: Chapter five. Kira has a new role in a new alliance, and dons a new uniform to boot.

Previous episode: Strange Bedfellows
Next episode: When it Rains...

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

◄ Season Index

99 comments on this post

Thu, Mar 12, 2009, 3:42pm (UTC -6)
The only thing I object to is the Breen's deus-ex-machina-like super weapon that can destroy a ship like the Defiant in one blow. If they had such a thing, I don't see why they would need an alliance with anyone. They could take over the AQ by themselves. I know why the writers have given them this power - to make them super-evil and terrifying for the sake of urgent drama (as if their masks and lack of English don't make them "alien" enough) - but the logic is suspect at best.
Mon, Jun 15, 2009, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
To EP:

You have to figure, to hold an entire quadrant, it would take FAR more than "naval" superiority. It would require a MASSIVE amount of troops to not only conquer but hold every major planet. Since they seem to keep to themselves and have a small territory, I doubt they have that many troops.

Plus, they're not invincible. If they get a shot off, yes, they're done, but the Defiant destroyed one with their first shot. And the enemy would probably start ramming them if it because too desperate.
Tue, Jan 12, 2010, 9:29pm (UTC -6)
Also, you get the impression from previous dialogue by Worf that the Breen were previously fierce isolationists, who immediately killed anyone entering their space (an entire Klingon armada at one point in history) but weren't interested in expansion or war outside those borders... until the Dominion came along. What the Dominion offered them to change that policy I guess we'll never know, but no doubt some shapeshifter trickery to mess with the Breen's internal politics was involved.
Marco P.
Sun, Aug 29, 2010, 6:53am (UTC -6)
Agree with all the above comments.

Plus don't forget the Breen's superweapon is an energy drainer, it doesn't destroy the ship in itself but merely drains its energy. It took several well-adjusted blasts of regular disruptors (following the energy drainer first hit) for the Defiant to explode, which coincidentally gave Sisko and his crew enough time to man the escape pods.

Also agree with Jammer. This was a great episode, both for its dramatic peaks (the destruction of the Defiant, among others) and the fact Kai Winn finally reveals her true nature, forcing her to commit the capital sin. In the process, a drop of blood from her deed reveals the writing from the Kosst Amojan. How dramatic and effective. :)
Sun, Sep 26, 2010, 6:56am (UTC -6)
Having the Breen join the Dominion was a great idea. I like how this alliance was foreshadowed by the season 5 episode where Worf and Garak were captured by the Dominion, and we saw a Breen in the Dominion prison camp. Considering how both Bashir and Martok were replaced by Changelings, it is possible that the captured Breen may have been replaced by a Changeling too. Maybe that's how the Dominion got the Breen to join them.
Mon, Jan 31, 2011, 7:12pm (UTC -6)
You pretty much nail it. The effectiveness of the first four episodes of the arc pretty much depended on how well they pulled off its 'finale' (of sorts), and I can't imagine it being any better.
The Female Changeling's decision to leave Sisko and the others alive seems a bit contrived, especially considering how many times his presence has helped defeat the Dominion in previous engagements. Otherwise, it's fantastic. The key here really was the swiftness of the battle, which proves once again that this show is 100% character-driven and never bogged down by Hollywoodesque motivations. The short time it takes for the Defiant to be destroyed is exactly what makes it both frightening and saddening at the same time. That plus Kasidy burning Sisko's precious peppers!
Fri, Oct 7, 2011, 3:30am (UTC -6)
Another example of reacting rather than thinking on the writers' parts :

Damar says quite clearly that Cardassians should oppose the Dominion because their sacrifice has been met with no reward.

This is precisely the line of thinking which is driving Winn during this last arc--that the Prophets never rewarded her sacrifice. One is labeled wrong, the other right. It is absolutely arbitrary. This is deep-rooted thinking? This is the payoff for years of religious and political polemical "debate"?

Captain Tripps
Mon, Oct 10, 2011, 11:40pm (UTC -6)
That's because Kai Winn has never sacrificed anything for anyone else, only others to pursue her own goals. She's delusional and harboring feelings of persecution over what are usually justified reactions by others to how disgusting a person she can be.

The Cardassians did what they did for the betterment of their entire race (both joining with the Dominion, and rebelling), Wynn is doing it, and has always done it, for the betterment of Wynn. That she has managed to convince herself this equals whats good for Bajor is simply just another symptom.

Seemed pretty dynamic to me.
Mon, Oct 10, 2011, 11:47pm (UTC -6)
The Cardassians also occupied Bajor for the betterment of Cardassia, and Wynn was herself quite active in her own way to resist the Occupation--not for her own selfish goals, but to help her fellow Bajorans. Neither side is completely evil or good--which is excellent character painting on the one hand--but for no explicable reason, Wynn's reasoning is "wrong" while Damar's is "right." It is, as I said, arbitrary and contrived.
Captain Tripps
Tue, Oct 11, 2011, 9:48am (UTC -6)
Hence the title, the CHANGING face of evil.

Of course it's contrived, it's fiction. Made up to tell a specific story.

That being Kai Wynn choosing to finally accept that which she has always considered anathema, whilst the Cardassians grasp at potential salvation. Wynn's reasoning is wrong because of the consequences to others, and the fact that she either dismisses those, or deludes herself into thinking people will be better for it, all so she can empower herself further. How else is that supposed to be depicted?
Tue, Oct 11, 2011, 3:08pm (UTC -6)
Fiction does not intrinsically beget contrivance.

Are you referring to the Paghwraiths as Wynn's anathema? I'm sorry but her descent into what is essentially devil-worship is downright stupid. Her motivations have always been self-serving, it's true, but when she starts talking about burning Bajor and killing off the non-believers, it strikes me as completely false.

I'm not saying that there's something wrong with the Cardassian resistance--simply that their motivations should be self-evident: they deserve freedom just like any society and the Dominion is oppressive. But instead we get this nonsense about being rewarded for sacrifice. What if the Dominion had treated the Cardassians as they did, say, the Breen or the Vorta? Damar's speech would mean very little. The Dominion would still deserve to be overthrown and Cardassia would still need to free itself, but the motivations would be unselfish. As it stands I have a hard time empathising with their struggle given that their motivations are as self-serving as they've ever been and, by no coincidence, are the same as the now evil Wynn's.
Sat, Dec 17, 2011, 9:28am (UTC -6)
That's a fascinating point you make there, Elliott, I hadn't made that specific connection.

But keep in mind that the writers never outright said that Winn is "Bad" and Damar is "Good". Perhaps the parallel was intentional, perhaps it was meant to ask us who really is the bad guy in all this (see Babylon 5's "Signs and Portents" for another example). Damar is certainly not the perfect hero; he has committed his fair share of sins. Winn, of course, has some blood on her hands, but she strikes me more as a victim now than ever before.

Oh Gods, how I love this series!
Nebula Nox
Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 1:31pm (UTC -6)
I, too, have never been completely satisfied with the Female Changling's "mercy" in permitting the crew from the Defiant to escape. After all, she was pretty straightforward about ordering issues to kill in other episodes.

However, the idea of spreading fear is not so bad. As someone who participates in the Great Link, she would believe that the fear would have more influence than it does.
Tue, Apr 17, 2012, 2:11pm (UTC -6)
Yeah, the DS9 crew has undermined the Founders many's hard to imagine they would have spared them. Even if they destroyed the Defiant and its lifepods, there still would have been thousands of others to carry home the demoralized message. The only reason they didn't destroy them is because just about the entire cast of the series was on them.
Thu, May 17, 2012, 1:02am (UTC -6)
Amazing episode. Definetely worth the 4 stars. The destruction of the Defiant even affected me emotionally. I don't know why. Maybe it was Sisko's reaction. Maybe the ship in and of itself had become a character of its own. Maybe I'm just wierd.
Sat, Jun 30, 2012, 7:43pm (UTC -6)
@Nic :

Winn (don't know why I thought it was spelled with a 'y') becomes intent on replacing the prophets (whatever good they do) with "evil fire-monsters", as ConfusedMatthew put it, to set fire to the Universe. Maybe I missed something, but on what level exactly is it a question who the "bad guy" is? The religious arc in DS9 ended up having about as much subtlety and relevance as the end of a bad video game, glowing red eyes and all. Pathetic.
Tue, Dec 4, 2012, 2:12am (UTC -6)
I really liked the Damar/Weyoun arc which offered some new dynamics. But the Dukat/Winn arc let me very disappointed.

Frankly, I'd have preferred to have the writers kill Dukat instead of making him a Paghwraith lover. What happened to Winn was very believable, her distress then the research to seek out what she was in for. Then, poof, they turn her evil ? Yes, she is a woman with hunger for power and yes, she has blood on her hands, but that was because she truly believed she was the one the bajorans needed. She cared for Bajor, during the occupation she tried to ease the pain for some of her fellow bajorans. I'm not saying she was a model of wisdom or goodness, but seeing her accepting to destroy many bajorans or burning the planet she loves is totally out of character. The writers had constructed her characterization very subtly (most of the time), so I'm bitter that this work comes down to this appalling conclusion.
William B
Wed, Apr 24, 2013, 2:52pm (UTC -6)
@Elliott, I want to state how interesting and refreshing your perspective on this show is. I think I am somewhere between Jammer's take on the show and yours.

I disagree with you about Damar here though, for one simple reason. Damar's, and Cardassia's, arc is not over yet. How would Damar come to the conclusion that they deserve freedom? Cardassian society, from what we have largely seen, is an oppressive regime built up with the notion that sacrifice for the state (and crushing opposition) is rewarded. Cardassians as a people have chosen security over freedom (and gotten neither). Damar's speech is in keeping with Cardassian values, and it seems difficult to imagine how Damar, without any particular exposure to other value systems, would be able to get to the value of freedom qua freedom. Nor would Cardassian people particularly respond to that argument, or, at least, that concept would go against the entire Cardassian value system and would be much more revolutionary than the idea that the Dominion has not held up their end of the bargain to Make Cardassia Powerful.

Damar does change over the next several episodes -- the "what kind of people give those orders?" exchange with Kira in which he recognizes the Bajoran perspective on the Occupation for the first time, killing Rusot to protect Kira, the general I Am Spartacus cry for freedom in the last couple episodes -- but he's not there yet. Garak, who has spent much more time outside Cardassia than Damar has, suggests, devastated, in "What You Leave Behind" that Cardassia basically got what they asked for, and one could read that as Garak saying that Cardassia never learned its lesson about the value of freedom until it's too late. In that sense, while Damar has made a step in the right direction in this episode (recognizing that the Dominion has to be overthrown from Cardassia), he's still far from thinking morally, and so the comparison with Winn is not all that far off, though Damar is getting morally better and Winn (admittedly, sadly cartoonishly) is getting morally worse. The story of Cardassia is probably one of the top things to come out of DS9; Garak and pre-Pah Wraiths Dukat (well, except signing on to blow up the Bajoran star system in "By Inferno's Light"), as well as late Damar, are a big part of that.
Wed, Aug 7, 2013, 2:15am (UTC -6)
"You know me so well." - Damar to Weyoun. LOL! PERFECT delivery. Their interplay was the best part of this episode. The Cardassian turnaround was terrific, as were the reaction shots to his speech. Loved it!

I was moved by the destruction of the Defiant as well. Well done.

The only part I disliked: Gul Dukat and the paghwraith nonsense. It's such a shame the way they've destroyed his character.
Sun, Nov 10, 2013, 8:07am (UTC -6)
Things are heating up a bit, but the Bajoran story-line continues to be a major drag on the show.

James R. Kirk
Mon, Jan 6, 2014, 10:13am (UTC -6)
The Dukat/Winn storyline would have been better suited for a novel. It kills the pacing and development of the war arc.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014, 8:44am (UTC -6)
Winn's actions are the opposite of Damar's. Winn, because she didn't get what she wanted from the prophets, decided to stop acting in Bajor's interests and instead act selfishly and against Bajor's interests.

Damar, because Cardassia didn't get what it wanted from the Dominion, decided to stop acting in his own interests and instead act unselfishly in Cardassia's interest.

Winn's story is a classic tragedy, she's brings herself down. Dukat nudges her, but it is still Winn that causes her own downfall. She has opportunities to change the path she is on, but refuses to act. She could have stepped down as Kai. She didn't have to kill her aide. She chooses power each time, and it leads to her undoing.

A good question is would Damar still have turned his back on the Dominion if he didn't see his power being diminished? He was appalled by how casually the Dominion was throwing away Cardassian lives, but on the other hand, the Dominion seems to be setting the Breen over the Cardassians.
Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 2:27am (UTC -6)
Please, please, please, a thousand times please! Really? Blood on a book that makes fire rise and the hidden words to appear? Oh my, that is what they transformed Trek into?

I really enjoyed most of DS9. I even think it had quite a few very powerful episodes and seasons. But really? Kotas has said above that "Things are heating up a bit, but the Bajoran story-line continues to be a major drag on the show". This is very well put. Indeed, this episode has put the arc forward, in interesting ways. Especially due to Damar decision. Of course it makes me interested in seeing the next step of this political and military struggle.

However, it is impossible to watch this and see such lame magictechnobabble dialogues that come without criticism. Jammer and others always criticize the technobabble of a scifi show. It is beyond me how a magictechnobabble is more acceptable to the point of deserving the full four stars. Let’s establish this: a scifi show showing the 24th century has to lose starts and to be blamed when it has scientific-ish technobabble. But should be forgiven or even praised when has magic-ish technobabble.

And what desolates me is that for the writers, talking about the prophets all the time was not enough. Nor was using them as excuses for lame plot-solving such when the prophets made the Dominion ships disappear. Talking about Mamma prophet was not enough. Giving Lord Sith vídeo-game super powers to Dukat last season was not enough. Making Sisko listen to the prophets on Earth and block Bajor's affiliation to the Federation was not enough. Bringing these new allies from nowhere with Power Ranger helmets was not enough. Of course they had also to bring sacred magictechnobabble books with blank pages that become written when blood touches them.
And it is a very strong good Star Trek episode. Please, as far as I have really enjoyed most of this show, this is not Star Trek aymore. Ok, There was Q, there was other unthinkable things in TOS and TNG. That’s always the reply. Ok, granted. But besides each crazy thing being put in context all the time, I am not talking about one esporadic thing here and there. I am talking about the main plot of a Trek show that appears every episode. I am talking about blood on sacred books that get on fire!

Either we should be glad DS9 was ended before us having to see Twilight vampires or magic rings in a Trek series, or I really may have entered into a confusing wormhole myself without noticing.
Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 6:03pm (UTC -6)
To the people who insult Voyager's lack of continuity:

"The Defiant has been destroyed, here's a brand new Defiant."
Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 8:38am (UTC -6)
@Corey: Oh, that's just nonsense. The lack of Voyager continuity was exaggerated by the fact that one ship, on the other side of the galaxy, should have had limited resources. An endless supply of shuttles, a rotating array of crew members and too-easy repairs after episodes like "Deadlock" were far greater problems than the DS9 crew getting a new Defiant.

DS9 was within a couple day's journey of a starbase, and we know that Starfleet vessels were often reassigned (this happened with the Defiant early in the sixth season). Now, you could argue that getting a replacement Defiant undercut some of the drama of the original ship being destroyed. But getting Sisko a new ship was completely plausible.
maple g
Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 6:52am (UTC -6)
Now thats a DS9 episode! So intense. I just wish the Breen had better helmets and costumes. They updated the Starfleet uniforms, so why not make the Breen more badass looking?
Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 6:55pm (UTC -6)
Elliott: Thanks for highlighting one of the things I love about Damar's turnabout here: he is not suddenly being presented as a convert to Federation values: "Freedom is good! Oppression is bad! Pass me a white hat!". He is still very much a cardassian.

As for why we call him a "good guy" - I think that is largely due to the way the storyline has played our human emotions. We have seen him brought down, belittled, stripped of his cocky Cardie attitude by Weyoun and his humiliating position as an unwilling Quisling. His drinking and powerlessness evoked our pity, while his patriotic outrage on behalf of cardassia's dead soldiers cast him in a heroic light. This is great characterization: the writers haven't whitewashed him but they have made us - me, anyway - cheer for him.

K'Elvis, my only disagreement with your take, is your statement that Damar acted unselfishly when he rebelled. That would be true *if* he loved Weyoun and were having a fine time hanging out with him. In fact, his constant humiliation at Weyoun's hands and his consequent (selfish) desire for vengeance, joined with his Cardassian patriotism to make rebellion the obvious choice. His life had become a misery and he had little left to lose.
Sun, Apr 6, 2014, 2:35pm (UTC -6)
Good to see a payoff with some interesting consequences such as San Francisco's destruction and a sense of urgency.

Wed, Jul 2, 2014, 10:52pm (UTC -6)
I agree with Kotas - the Kai Winn/Dukat has continued to detract from all the other good work in these episodes, notably I have not see this season yet but I am now hitting the FF button every time this subplot is on screen. Its poorly written uninteresting maudalin claptrap....
Sat, Jul 12, 2014, 9:49am (UTC -6)
Am I the only one who likes the early season uniforms? You could actually see the shirts and the difference in colors. The later season they all look the same. Don't like it
Wed, Aug 6, 2014, 11:08am (UTC -6)
I find the battles a bit tiresome at this point. There's a disconnect between the ease with which Federation fleets are rendered useless and the pace of the war. I can't reconcile it. If they're beaten that swiftly, shouldn't this have been over much sooner?

That being said, I enjoyed the way this episode wrapped up. The last few episodes have seen Demar begin to question his allegiance and you finally get to see the result of that conflict. They have obviously pulled out all the stops in closing out the series and it holds up well.
Peter Sam
Wed, Aug 13, 2014, 10:50pm (UTC -6)
I don't know if it is intentional, but I noticed some nice hidden similarities in the gags used from the Alamo references throughout the episode. There was a very nice connection from one scene of the story to another and that made the whole thing quite well written as well as executed. The battle of Alamo is strangely similar to the battle that Damar has on his hands in his betrayal of the Dominion and the Breen. Also, the loss of Travis mimics the loss of Kai Winn - the top (wo)man in the Bajoran story - while the battle of the Pah-Wraiths and Prophets is at hand. This episode is so riveting!
Mon, Aug 25, 2014, 12:55pm (UTC -6)
When the Defiant was destroyed to the point of "abandon ship" it didn't resonate with me like Kirk watching his ship's fiery ball enter the atmosphere and saying "Bones, what have I done". It's probably because Defiant was just used, she wasn't part of the crew like 1701, 1701-D and Voyager. (although they tried to make her seem that way)

The Breen's weapon is pretty cool.

Dukat/Winn... Dukat is revealed as himself in disguise and Winn is the one that kills Solbor (not the expected Dukat). I always knew she had it in her. Should be interesting from here on out.

Damar’s turn is quite refreshing. What’s ironic is the Cardassian/Dominion alliance was brokered by Damar’s mentor Dukat. Now Damar seemingly still has respect for him, but he turns Cardassia against the Dominion. I loved listening to his speech to Cardassia.

Also though this was pretty darn funny:

“I could be the last Weyoun. That's why he picked that target.”

Lol, ya think?

Combs’ delivery is perfect as always.

I’ll go 3.5 stars on this one. Pretty exciting episode with huge implications to the war.
Fri, Sep 5, 2014, 11:06pm (UTC -6)
Jammer says "Magical Bajoran properties lead to the secret of the Kosst Amojan's hidden words, but I need not explain this in detail"

I think he should have explained this in detail because I want to know how in Star Trek these magical bajoran properties work. Looks like jammer evaded discussing the major complaint of the series
Mon, Nov 3, 2014, 9:29pm (UTC -6)
This one is very, very strong. A perfect payoff of the previous three episodes.

Even though this is the much-vaunted "9-part" finale arc, I see "Penumbra" through to "Changing Face" as the first, 4-part act. This episode is very, very satisfying and pays off each story well (Damar-Weyoun, Sisko-Kasidy, Worf-Ezri, and Winn-Dukat). The ending sequence with Damar's announcement is very well done and the destruction of the Defiant hits pretty dang hard. The stakes have gone up significantly since the introduction of the Breen alliance. Yes, they're clearly the cheesiest performers on the set at any given time, but their presence impacts the heroes AND the villains in such a fundamental way that makes arguably the most *pivotal* twist in the whole series. Some fans want to know more about them, but I think they quietly fill their role and are handled perfectly (and the bit about their planet not actually being cold is fitting and hilarious).

If there's a weak spot to be found at all in these first four episodes, it's probably the Winn-Dukat stuff. Don't get me wrong, it's well performed and sensibly written. I just can't shake a feeling of dissatisfaction with it, though. I love that Winn is getting a chance to have her own final, nasty arc in the series. But I'm just not all that huge on the pah wraiths. Everything else is so much more interesting. Oh, and the drops of blood scene made me roll my eyes a bit. Not a good thing when the rest of the hour had me on the edge of the seat.

3-1/2 stars. Almost a 4, but not quite. Quality from beginning to end, and an amazing wrap up of the first act of the arc while kick-starting the next.
Mon, Nov 3, 2014, 9:39pm (UTC -6)
I forgot to mention my favourite little moment in this one in the above post:

That little sneer of disgust that passes over Dukat's face before he wakes up Winn at her desk. So good. Was it in the script? A great touch by Alaimo, if not.
Sun, Nov 9, 2014, 9:26am (UTC -6)
I watched DS9 after watching Voyager in its entirety. I read the jammer reviews as I watched both series and noticed how jammer kept eluding to how much better DS9 handled its long term plots than Voyager.

Now watching DS9 and almost at the end of the series, I COMPLETELY understand jammer's feelings on the matter. Why did Voyager seemingly get so much less attention? The two series were produced almost simultaneously. Was it that the whole premise of Voyager's plot and characters made it too difficult to make things any more interesting. Was it just laziness?
Mon, Nov 17, 2014, 3:02pm (UTC -6)
@Weyoun: I also have fond feelings for the earlier-season uniforms. I think the later gray and black uniforms look better and more professional, but they would never happen in real life - they look so incredibly uncomfortable. First of all, your neck is being half-choked, and second of all, there is so much material that is part of the uniform that you'd be sweating constantly if you were wearing it in a normal outdoor environment. I feel uncomfortable just seeing the later uniforms. The TNG uniforms (seasons 3-7, of course) were the best - they looked great and looked just as comfortable.
Thu, Nov 20, 2014, 4:02am (UTC -6)
God damn, this episode was a tour de force! I particularly liked weyoun's anecdote about the Breen's homeworld being quite moderate in climate. The Breen homeworld being portrayed as a frozen ice planet has been a running gag on the show for multiple seasons now.
Brian S.
Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 9:24am (UTC -6)
Boy, Worf is having the worst luck....Over the last 4 episodes, he's been on 3 ships that have been destroyed (the Klingon ship, the Runabout, and now the Defiant).

Worf just spends like a week in an escape pod, gets rescued, then captured & tortured, is bailed out at the last moment before his execution, and just as he gets back to the station, the first battle he gets sent out on....right back into an escape pod.

Worf should probably just take an extended shore leave, though at this point he'd probably find a way to get a paddleboat blown up, too.

Still, he's probably enjoyed his time in escape pods more than he did his own honeymoon on Risa
Mon, Jun 1, 2015, 10:39am (UTC -6)
Wow, Damar really is a kick-ass character he's awesome and shows up Dukat this season big-time. That speech at the end, and the Founder leader's face is just gold!

BUT THE DEFIANT... I don't care how temporary it turned out to be, that SUCKED.
Mon, Jun 1, 2015, 11:44am (UTC -6)
At this point in the show, the Defiant felt like a flesh-and-blood character which we, the audience, had grown to love alongside the actual flesh-and-blood characters (plus one made of changeling goo). At least for me, I think that's why the Defiant's destruction hurt so much, even more so than the Enterprise blowing up in Star Trek III. I didn't feel quite the same way about, say, NX-01 getting pounded in Enterprise Season 3 (which was also devastating, but more from a standpoint of "crap, our heroes are in deep trouble now", less from a standpoint of "no, I love that ship!").

It's a bit hard to explain, but to me, the Defiant was a ship with her own distinct personality, a fighter just like her captain. Even knowing she gets replaced soon in what's essentially a pushing of the reset button doesn't soften the initial blow by much.

Just my two cents.
Mon, Jun 1, 2015, 1:09pm (UTC -6)
The second time I watched the series was about 6 or 7 years after it went off the air and I had totally forgotten (probably because of the reset) that the Defiant gets blasted. Having it dawn on me and remembering the replacement didn't even help. Still gut punched again.
Tue, Jun 2, 2015, 9:06am (UTC -6)
And even with zero power or shields it still took them 5 or 6 direct hits to destroy it. "Tough little ship" indeed!

I remember the first time they showed it using the pulse phasers, it was so different than the regular stream phasers from the Enterprises. What an awesome idea that was :D
Tue, Aug 25, 2015, 1:25pm (UTC -6)
"Magical Bajoran properties lead to the secret of the Kosst Amojan's hidden words, but I need not explain this in detail"

It's funny how easily Jammer uses the word "magical" without commenting on what a problem this is. There is no magic in the Star Trek universe.

I'm fine with the wormhole aliens being worshipped as prophets by the Bajorans. As Sagan said, "A species technologically advanced enough would appear to us as a god." Non-corporal alien races have long been part of Star Trek. That one would be worshipped isn't surprising.

But my problem here is that when Winn's assistant starts talking about "dark, forbidden texts" (i.e. censorship), the episode expects us to side with him. We're supposed to sympathize with this medieval way of thinking about knowledge. At same point, we have to say that DS9 is moving from sci-fi and straight into mystical fantasy.

As for the rest of the episode, I thought the destruction of the Defiant was a bit rushed considering what a big deal it was. But I did like watching the reaction shots to Damar's speech at the end. Damar is one of the most interesting non-main characters in the show.
Tue, Aug 25, 2015, 1:35pm (UTC -6)
@Steve - There are issues with the magic at the end of DS9. But a race that's basically got a theocracy going on has some censorship and that bothers you? On the other hand... we have dark forbidden knowledge too. If you tried to publish details on how to make a backpack nuke the government would be all over your ass in 30 seconds :P Things that would end the world should probably be kept under wraps.

The magic book was kind of stupid, but I don't have an issue with Solbor at all.
Wed, Sep 23, 2015, 10:38am (UTC -6)
Winn actually has every reason to go with the Pah Wraiths, they have been sold as evil fire monsters by the Prophets but as she said she has never felt the Prophets power, likely never had an orb experience or drank enough Kool Aid to feel them and believe.
As she once said in Rapture, during the occupation she was beaten for her faith, then straight after Bajor gained freedom her faith is worthless as the Prophets revealed themselves and to her, looked like the wormhole aliens that everyone else referred to them as. Worse, they did nothing for anyone unlike their adversaries who are imprisoned for what could be good reasons.
Winn could be a covert atheist who thinks the Bajorans are backward and maybe blames the Prophets for the Bajorans regression and being conquered by the Cardassians in the first place.
The Prophets struck me as like the energy and god like beings of TOS which also went with magic books and the like.
Sun, Oct 18, 2015, 5:24pm (UTC -6)
Louise Fletcher did a terrible job selling that the blood spilled onto the book accidentally...she pretty deliberately held it over the book and tilted it.
Ashton Withers
Mon, Nov 2, 2015, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
I must admit it, even I was a little puzzled about how some book magically revealed itself with only one drop of blood. Really, the whole Winn/Dukat arc is my least favorite story from all of the DS9 10 Parter Finale. Just too out of place for me.
Diamond Dave
Tue, Feb 23, 2016, 4:26pm (UTC -6)
Ah, finally some big pay off. This gets big real quickly, but does well in grounding itself in some nice character touches. Most interesting is how Damar and the Cardassians have now come full circle to be the 'good' guys again - the final moments of the Weyoun-Damar conversation is a real joy.

The Breen cause problems on the big scale - the surprise attack on Earth being almost more shocking that the smashing of the joint fleet and the destruction of the Defiant (which is expertly portrayed both in the characterisation and the visual FX).

It's the Winn story that holds this back a little bit - not because she's pretty well doubled down now for the pah-wraiths, but because mystic texts revealed in fire by blood are just a bit on the nose for Star Trek I think. This ain't your Harry Potter.... 3.5 stars.
Sat, May 14, 2016, 9:08pm (UTC -6)
Damar is absolutely the HEADLINER here, and in an episode in which our precious Defiant (took so long to get so other bitchy Trekkies would look at this series as a "real Trek" series... seriously, you guy are all LIBERALS, looking for shit to be offended by) was taken out, that was DIFFICULT.

I give the writers credit for putting these two game-changing events in the same episode. I certainly know my head was spinning back in '99 when we got this one-two punch.

"NOOOO!!!! Not the DEFIANT... OH SHIT IT'S ALL STARFLEET.. no way... how long can our buddies hang here..."

"WT Hell is that bitch who murdered my dear Ziyal doing... Yeah, okay, he saved Worf and Dax, but I REALLY LOVED ZIYAL, I don't forgive hi-- Is HE INCITING A REVOLUTION... DAMMIT, YOU'RE MAKING ME ROOT FOR HIM... GOOOOO DAMAR, YOU PATRIOTIC BASTARD!! FOR CARDASSISA!"

*The Emissary Me simply stares*

"Okay, a lot of crap went down in these past seven years!"
William B
Mon, May 16, 2016, 2:45pm (UTC -6)
Elliott's comment from way back when on Winn vs. Damar is partly right, but misses some of the mark for reasons I said before and Toraya elaborates on. Right now, it *is* an open question whether Damar's revolution is for the right reasons. We saw in "Strange Bedfellows" how much the loss of an entire order and the total disinterest shown by Weyoun affected Damar, which demonstrates the genuine leader Damar has the potential to be, caring about those under him, attuned to the fact that Cardassians have lost the right to self-determination, or, rather, have lost it even more strongly than they already had before the Dominion alliance. But it's also true that there is something a little petulant about some of Damar's arguments. He tells the Breen how the Dominion (falsely, it is suggested) blame Cardassia for the losses in the war, and to some extent what Damar and Rusot discuss is how much they wanted to rule the Alpha Quadrant and were willing to sacrifice a great deal of their freedom as a people to do so. So there is an element of Damar blaming the Dominion not because they are more oppressive than Cardassians had quite realized -- though they are -- but because they haven't delivered, which is the thing that he criticized Weyoun for. Along similar lines, that Damar goes after the cloning facility -- which Weyoun *immediately* recognizes as being on purpose to take out the possibility of another cloning-resurrection -- he is specifically targeting Weyoun over a personal grudge. Is the Vorta cloning facility really the most effective target?

And even on a personal level, it's a little sad to note that Weyoun seems actually *hurt* by Damar's decision to target the cloning facilities. Argue they may, and threaten to kill Damar Weyoun has, but in this episode when he spots Damar without a bottle he speaks excitedly and happily of Damar's change and it is part of the same obsequious/diplomatic quasi-friendship that Weyoun tries to maintain with all leaders, where it seems as if he is not even lying when he indicates he really *does* like the people he is pretending to like. Weyoun could not really conceive of Damar's betrayal because death threats are, to some degree, par for the course -- he just went through the Founder telling him to kill all the Vorta scientists just because they had failed to get results, and to replace them with their clones -- and it is difficult for him to conceive of the kind of personal antagonism on the part of a "peer" in Damar that would lead to wanting to snuff out the whole Weyoun line. For his part, I think a lot of why Damar hates Weyoun so much is because Damar sees himself in him, but Weyoun has no problems being a servant, a kind of blind follower which Damar has come to see himself as being over the past few episodes. So the question in this story is whether Damar is more motivated by petty revenge and frustrated power fantasies or for a genuine desire to help his people, given that this set of episodes have given us reason to see both of them -- which is another way of saying, what kind of Cardassia is Damar fighting for?

The Breen alliance as a way of kicking off Damar's rebellion and also another key story over the next few episodes is pretty strong and dense plotting. But...watching this again, I find myself underwhelmed by the effort to present the Breen as the ultimate danger, having them attack Earth and destroy the Defiant. (SPOILERS) Dramatically, I know how quickly this will be undone; it is not just that the Cardassian resistance counteracts the threat from the Breen, but somehow these changes also lead to the tide turning to the point where, after retaking Chin'toka in this episode, in three eps or so the whole Dominion falls back to Cardassia and somehow the whole war is over. The Defiant's resurrection is almost as fast as Weyoun's return from having his neck snapped, which Damar took pains to avoid. The attack on Earth itself does not evoke nearly the kind of emotional toll that it did in "Homefront." It all feels manufactured and all done just for effect when the effect will be quickly reversed/undone anyway.

The Winn/Dukat story is something of an improvement on the last scene of "SB," but I dunno -- Winn's acceptance of the Paghwraith Rapture does not sit particularly better with time, even if she somewhat hopes that Solbor doesn't get burned alive when an indefinite number of Bajorans get killed. I do like how Dukat's mask is starting to slip -- he cannot really act the part of the supplicant for very long before he starts getting angry at the concept of Winn treating him like an inferior. Winn's discovery that "Anjohl" is Dukat followed by Solbor's discovery of what she is planning and the murder is an exciting couple of minutes, and not implausible exactly -- I think that murdering Solbor out of a panicked desire not to be caught makes sense, and I see how that would make her feel more trapped since she now has to rely on Dukat to clean up the body. Even so, the story feels rushed -- having her reaction to finding out who "Anjohl" is be reduced more or less to a single scene blunts some of the dramatic impact, and that she has to rely on him *in the moment* still leaves open how she deals with second thoughts about working with the person who was in charge of ravaging her planet for so long. Most of the damage was done in "Strange Bedfellows."

Anyway I do like this episode and it's got a lot of payoffs, but it's only the Damar story that I think is great, so I will say a high 3 stars.
William B
Mon, May 16, 2016, 3:11pm (UTC -6)
OK, OK, 3.5 stars.

I meant to add, of course immediately after Damar's betrayal, Weyoun goes to kill-every-Cardassian-to-get-him mode, which demonstrates Weyoun's problem, not so much that he's petty as that he's nervous, cowardly and also totally disrespectful of all live that isn't Founders (and to a lesser extent "peers" of his, whom he's in the middle of cozying up to for diplomatic reasons).

For what it's worth, I do like the Winn/Dukat story this episode, and I do like that things are about to turn around when the book reveals itself and, as Jammer indicates, the way that awe-inspiring moment is enough to restore her faith -- faith, here, in the power that the book offers. (I don't really mind the magical properties exactly.) I do think that the way Dukat has managed to isolate her from others has also been an effective tactic to get her to agree to increasingly extreme things. I think it's important that the episode does establish that Winn somehow has some idea that the Paghwraiths will do something good for Bajor, and the apocalyptic Rapture that will destroy all the unworthy ties in with her fundamentalist ideology...but it's still one hell of a leap for her to switch teams as quickly as she does. Nevertheless the tragedy that Solbor gives her the information that would have led her to reject the Paghwraiths most likely (I think that she would have, ultimately, taken their having Gul Dukat as their humanoid representative as a sign that they were a big danger, and Winn was many things but it seems she was not a collaborator with the Cardassians, which would have been one way for her to gain power) happened just at the same moment she was exposed and had to act to protect herself -- had she been told by Solbor about Dukat without finding out that she was working for the PWs something else may have happened and she would not have found herself "trapped" (by her inability to face exposure) the way she does. I also like that the plotline here does establish why Dukat needed Winn specifically -- that the books are only accessible by the Kai does make certain sense (though I'm not quite sure about the choice the next episode makes to have it also be literally that only the Kai can look at it or people get fire-blinded).
Tue, May 17, 2016, 3:08pm (UTC -6)
@William B

"So the question in this story is whether Damar is more motivated by petty revenge and frustrated power fantasies or for a genuine desire to help his people, given that this set of episodes have given us reason to see both of them -- which is another way of saying, what kind of Cardassia is Damar fighting for?"

I think the writers were trying to show how confident Damar was by giving him the luxury of choosing personal targets like Weyoun. We as the audience can only assume the Cardassian resistance hit other, perhaps more strategically important targets, but since the audience isn't connected to those targets, it's reasonable they'd happen offstage.

Damar does care about his people. At least, in his final few episodes he seems will to depart with simple solutions and compromises, when only a new Cardassia unencumbered by the ideas that plagued the old Cardassia.

But I do agree with you that something is off in all this with Damar. He seems *inspired" by Dukat, when Dukat is really the person responsible for the old Cardassia he is fighting against. So, does Damar want something different than Dukat wants and they remain friends despite this? None of this is ever made clear.
Boris Zakharin
Tue, Jun 21, 2016, 8:33pm (UTC -6)
You know, the way the Dominion suddenly does everything in its power to undermine the alliance with Cardassia while seemingly oblivious is a bit too convenient. I can understand bringing in the Breen to help win, and to give them some Cardassian space to appease convince them to join, but to whose benefit is it to lose Cardassian territory and the forces defending it to the Federation? After all, Cardassia is the heart of Dominion space in the Alpha Quadrant.
Mon, Jun 27, 2016, 12:12am (UTC -6)
Comparing the picture of Starfleet HQ blown to bits with the map of the SF Bay area overlaid with casualties Weyoun and Damar are viewing moments later, I think I found a mistake.
If Starfleet HQ is located in close proximity to the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge as the image suggests, it would be in Sausalito. But according to the Dominion, the vast, vast majority of the damage was in Oakland and Alameda, ie, East Bay. There are zero casualties on the map anywhere near the presumed location.
Voyage Home seems to corroborate the north bay location - after all, Chekov has apparantly never heard of Alameda - so what gives?
Fri, Jul 15, 2016, 3:50pm (UTC -6)
Most of Elliot's :comments" are those of a troll......and I've read and responded to a few. A shame actually
Sat, Aug 6, 2016, 3:04pm (UTC -6)
Nice episode hampered only by the sophomoric dialog given to Bashir, O'Brien, Worf, and Dax in the first half of the story.

Sun, Aug 14, 2016, 8:27pm (UTC -6)
A strong episode.

-I have to note that the Winn/Dukat scenes were much stronger here; Winn shows much more doubt than she displayed in that lousy speech that ended the previous episode. Like William B, I don't buy that she really wants the paghwraiths to "win". However, I can believe that she's interested in using the paghwraiths as a counterweight to the prophets. Keeping either side from winning matches her actions at the end of "The Reckoning". In this episode she's mostly interested in researching the paghwraiths, and I think that's a reasonable thing for her character to do.

-Having everybody on to the Defiant never made less sense than it did this episode. Given that they're going only to fight a battle, Counselor Dax should have been left behind. Given that the Breen just managed to launch a surprise attack on Earth, either Sisko or Kira really should remain on the station just in case (even though Starfleet has presumably been keeping a better eye on the approaches to DS9).

-SouthofNorth says:
"Nice episode hampered only by the sophomoric dialog given to Bashir, O'Brien, Worf, and Dax in the first half of the story."

Hey, I enjoyed that sophomoric dialog!

-a long time ago, Evan was discussing the difference in continuity between DS9 & Voyager:
"Was it that the whole premise of Voyager's plot and characters made it too difficult to make things any more interesting. Was it just laziness?"

The powers-that-be running Star Trek (personified by Rick Berman, but he was likely feeling some pressure by his bosses at Paramount) wanted very little continuity in Star Trek, so reruns could be aired in any order. The writers of DS9 constantly fought against that, and gradually got to introduce longer & longer arcs, with greater continuity. For whatever reason, the writers of Voyager didn't fight for continuity in their series. It may be that they felt they were watched more closely by Paramount (since they were the flagship show for the new network), and were thus less able to get away with it. It also may be that they weren't interested in using the possibilities inherent in their premise.
Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 9:19pm (UTC -6)
Ken, I'll be the first to say I am completely opposite Elliot politically and this has led to a few feuds, but I don't think he's wrong in his observations here at all. Just because he disagrees with you - or has critical views of a show you love - does not a troll make. Not even close.

Paul Allen
Mon, Mar 20, 2017, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
Ezri: "Maybe I do love him".... oh god, Ezri scenes are pure gash.
Tue, Mar 28, 2017, 4:39pm (UTC -6)
I've been enjoying reading each review and many comments as I've re-watched this series - so I guess you can call me a "long time reader, first time commenter."

There are some thoughtful commenters out there over the past few years. I've learned a lot about the scenes I've watched, their deeper meaning, and implications behind the scenes (in-story) that I hadn't considered. I've also learned about some of the flaws in what's been done in some episodes. I've found the majority of both pro and con comments to be valid and worth listening to.

But there are some who are constantly writing to try and get confirmation of their own disdain for scenes, characters, or entire plotlines. I don't think they're by definition trolls - they just love the sound of their own voice. They crave confirmation. I think Elliot is one of those. He's even spent countless time on Jammer's review site doing his own episode reviews. For pete's sake, it's called "Jammer's Reviews." Go start your own site, with your own reviews. Find your own audience, who agrees with you, if that's what you really want.

Thanks to all the rest, and to Jammer, for a great companion to DS9 and several other Trek and other shows.

Tue, Apr 4, 2017, 11:30pm (UTC -6)
ND, you took the words right out of my mouth.
Fri, Apr 14, 2017, 4:39am (UTC -6)
The aide should have brought security with him to Winn's office, seems pretty dumb to me. Or, Winn could have called security the second she learned it was Dukat. How did Winn get to be Kai anyway? She has like no charisma and seems selfish, isn't her role like Pope? Imagine all the cardinals voting for her...
Mon, May 29, 2017, 5:40pm (UTC -6)
Wtf are Bashir (a doctor) and Ezri (a counselor) doing on the bridge of a ship that's been sent to battle? Doc, get to the infirmary and wait for the casualties from the exploding panels that could be avoided with a few fuses and the falls that could be avoided with seatbelts. Counselor, stay at DS9 and deal with PTSD and Worf's feelings (can we please have 7 more episodes of Worf dealings with his feelings while being a complete jerk to everyone and acting like a possessive, emotionally controlling ex?)
Mon, May 29, 2017, 7:38pm (UTC -6)
"Wtf are Bashir (a doctor) and Ezri (a counselor) doing on the bridge of a ship that's been sent to battle?"

Bashir is a genius with superhuman abilities (do you remember Khan? espacially in STID) and Ezri have memories and skills of many generations of the Trill hosts (they later making her a captain, in the novels). So...
Sun, Aug 20, 2017, 10:33pm (UTC -6)
3 stars

Glad the ezri worf stuff finally came to an end

Little things like last season hearing Betazed had been captured by the Dominion or here with the sight of a familiar landmark of the Golden Gate Bridge in flames were shocking moments demonstrating how badly the war is going for the Federation. Having the Breen attack a Earth directing very bold decision by the writers and the Dominion. This is one of the many things I loved about the Dominion a War and arc. Things never thought possible the writers were doing. I also was open to the idea as well that anything was possible and could happen including the defeat of the Federation. The scene where Weyoun informs the Breen that the Federation casualty report rising also reinforced the grim situation as well as Martok's comment about the Klingons never doing something so bold as attacking a Earth. And as has been thankfully and one of the more effective things about the Dominion arc that this episode continues is the way an unsettling unnerving vibe is present throughout

Back when I originally watched the Final Chapter I wasn't on the internet so thankfully spared spoilers about upcoming surprises twists and revelations. So I was completely in shock when the Defiant was destroyed. I didn't think the writers would be so bold as to go through with. It provided a truly shocking moment. Not only that but the writers commendably addressed the obvious question we would have after Weyoun days he will order the vulnerable escape pods destroyed--the Dominion are smart villains. They would order the immediate destruction of every one of those pods which were sitting ducks. But then it would have meant wiping out most of the cast so wisely they had the Founder supply a very plausible reason as to why she didn't. And I for one bought it. I also loved the moment when Breen and Cardassians not on Jem hadar bridge to reveal her true feelings about the Breen. That she doesn't care what they would like. Again like all solids they are a means to an end. And of things couldn't get worse the Federation and Klingons have no defense against the Breen weapon.

The Winn/Dukat story wasn't spectacular but moved things forward nicely

I could have done without the Worf and Ezri stuff about Bashir

The Alamo references that kept popping up had me curious of they held done clue or hint as to how things would end on the series

The episodes ending developments were all quite interesting from the defection of Danar to the realization that for now he may be the only thing standing in way of the Dominion. Very exciting stuff
Sun, Aug 27, 2017, 5:42pm (UTC -6)
I don't understand why we don't hear the Breen speaking English through the universal translator like we hear every other species. Is that ever explained?
Jason R.
Mon, Aug 28, 2017, 6:50am (UTC -6)
Quark my read on it is that the Breen do everything to isolate themselves from others, both physically and psychologically. They wear those encounter suits and I imagine they deliberately obscure their language somehow. They are supreme xenophobes.
Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
There have been two or three times that the Prophets have thrown tantrums and sicced floods and earthquakes on Bajor just since the occupation ended, most recently in "The Reckoning". Why are the Prophets the good guys again? When did the Pah-Wraiths last torment Bajor?
Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 3:17pm (UTC -6)
Also, with the magical Kosst Amojan they should officially change the name of the show to D&DS9.
The Dreamer
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 4:44pm (UTC -6)
I read every comment to make sure I would not duplicate an already made statement.

About the book scene, why does it have to be “magic” per se? We have Qs, telepaths, shap shifters etc. Why not aliens who behave like these.

Consider this: We know the wraiths are trapped but still have limited outside influence. They communicated with Sisko, Winn and Dukat.

Even though it appears as if the blood make the invisible ink change, perhaps the wraiths did it after the murder, which gave them even more confirmation of Winn’s turn. Remember she was conflicted and they did it at the right time. Just a theory but it makes more sense the the random chance that blood changes invisible ink.

Any thoughts?
Fri, Jan 5, 2018, 12:17am (UTC -6)
Go start your own site, with your own reviews. Find your own audience, who agrees with you, if that's what you really want.

This is an open forum for people to air their views. You're a bigot.

As for this episode, it sucks. Like most of S7, it's illogical and forced and stupid and dumb. Characters are not behaving remotely like they should be. Characters are being allowed to live, simply because they are established cast. Motivations make no sense. A book spurts fire after blood lands on the pages.

And this Breen race... Whose stupid idea was it to make it so that we can't understand them, but everyone else can? Where are the subtitles? Instead we have the farcical: Beep Whine Beeeeep! "Yes, exactly my thoughts. We are definitely able to do X that you just mentioned to me, but I am repeating so the audience can gain exposition."

Dear god... what a mess!
Thu, Jan 11, 2018, 3:35pm (UTC -6)
An enthralling ending after more of the familiar building up of the various subplots in the first half -- most of it plays out like the prior few episodes until things start to reach conclusions. You know the ante gets upped when the start of the episode talks about the Breen attacking Earth.

I've always been a big fan of the Weyoun/Damar interactions -- here the dynamic is a bit different with Damar's mutiny plan underway. I'm surprised there was no mention of how Worf/Ezri got away and some repercussions back to Damar from Weyoun or further dressing down of the Cardassians. I think that's bit of an omission. I really liked Damar's speech on screens everywhere with everybody's differing reactions -- like watching a World Cup football match!

Couldn't help thinking of those cheesy Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser when Kai Winn opened the Pah-wraiths book with a key -- was as if she was opening the Book of the Dead and about to read a spell :) But in all seriousness, I thought the episode dragged a bit with Winn trying to get something from the book(s). I guess part of it was to lead to Dukat striking Winn's assistant (after he grates on him for long enough) and the fast-forwarding of the now uncovered Dukat's plan. Thought it was quite Shakespearean how Winn stabbed her assistant!!

The war definitely feels tilted in the favor of the Breen/Dominion given the Breen's energy dampening weapon and how quickly the Defiant's destroyed. I don't quite get all the escape pods making it back to DS9 -- the Founder tells Weyoun to leave them alone but that they all get back unharmed seems a stretch to me -- after all they were in a warzone in a faraway system.

The whole Alamo thing with O'Brien and Bashir was odd for me. Yes, it's a bit of levity during tough times but these 2 take it so seriously discussing it constantly while the Defiant prepared to go to war...Come on.

A high 3 stars for "The Changing Face of Evil" -- not as over the moon on this episode as Jammer is but it is a very good one. Dukat, Damar, and Weyoun are all terrific in their parts. Still, the Breen bug me as they are so bland and not having subtitles (although they speak very little) is an omission. Good to start to get some real conclusions to the subplots and tying them together for a grand finale.
Mon, Sep 17, 2018, 9:45am (UTC -6)
Amazing episode! And great review, Jammer.
Jeffrey Combs is intense...what an actor. Episodes like this remind me why I call DS9 my all-time favorite show - and why it's still being discussed nearly two decades after release.
Tue, Sep 18, 2018, 12:49pm (UTC -6)
One nitpick is the disconnect in storytelling between Strange Bedfellows and Changing Face of Evil.
At the end of Strange Bedfellows, we have this exchange:

Ezri: Why are you doing this?
Damar: I want you to give a message to the Federation. Tell them they have an ally on Cardassia.
Worf: Why should we trust you?
Damar: You can either trust me or stay here and be executed.
Ezri: I vote for option one.

Then at the beginning of Changing Face of Evil, we have this scene:

Sisko: Why do you think Damar decided to help you escape?
Ezri: I'm not sure, but I can tell you one thing, he hates Weyoun.
Worf: The Cardassians are a proud people, but the Dominion treats them like second-class citizens.
Ezri: I think Damar is worried that this new alliance with the Breen is going to weaken Cardassia's status with the Dominion even more. But whatever his reasons, we owe him our lives.

They're not sure? I think Damar was pretty clear why.
Tue, Sep 18, 2018, 1:23pm (UTC -6)

That’s a good catch and I think I noticed it too every time I watched these back-to-back. Sisko’s line should be something like “Do you have idea why Damar would want to reach out to us?”
Tue, Sep 18, 2018, 1:29pm (UTC -6)
Sorry, *any* idea is what I meant. I so wish we could edit comments. Auto-correct is a harsh mistress.
Sat, Sep 22, 2018, 2:41am (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone!

My original point with this post was to tell Jammer what a great review this is. I had emotions come up, nodded in agreement or disagreement, and when I was down to the end, I thought it was nearly poetry. Whether you agree or not, it is very, very well written and there was a great deal of thought put into it. Thanks Jammer, again.

And since I'm here, I thought I'd add some random thoughts, in no particular order...

It was mentioned by @William B that the attack on the cloning facilities might just be revenge, with (perhaps) no real war reasoning. I disagree. The Vorta speak for the Founders, and when the cloning facilities are destroyed, there are eventually fewer and fewer Vorta's around to speak for them. If Weyoun (8? 9?) is killed, who is the intermediary between the Founder and those who are running the war? A Jem-Hadar? I think destroying those areas are a logical first step to defeating them, right up there with destroying the K-White facilities. The Vorta are the Dominion's weak link, in my humble opinion.

@The Dreamer. I figured blood for the book was something along the lines of disappearing ink. Perhaps even along the lines of the blood of an innocent (which may or may not have been the case). A chemical reaction. That book was made long, long ago, and who knows what was infused into its pages? Anything advanced enough is considered "magic" to those who are not as advanced, and if it was helped along by the Pah Wraiths at some point...

It does seem weird they'd keep the book around though: (Here are the ways to destroy our gods). Seems like something the Norse gods would do though, since they knew they would be defeated at the end.

Lastly, I think, is that Damar just needed someone to show some faith in him. He'd probably been on board with the Dominion when Dukat brought them in, and would have kept to that course if Weyoun and Company had just treated him as an equal, instead of a subordinate (and the lives of the Cardassians a priority as well). Dukat, in that one shining moment, knew what Damar needed and gave it to him. Would Damar have stayed the course if things were going better? Sure! No reason to get off of the winning horse. But the storyline really allowed us to empathize with him, and eventually root for him. Babylon 5 was masterful at making the characters (eventually) change over time, so that your loyalties and hopes for them changed. While Damar's change was, by comparison, much quicker, it felt natural to me considering what was going on.

Lastly, part #2: When this first aired, we didn't sit and endlessly debate the Philosophies and motivations of all the characters, we just accepted them. In a way, I sort of miss those days...

As always, regards, and be gratetful we have such a great show to discuss...

Brian Lear
Thu, Dec 20, 2018, 2:02am (UTC -6)
I thought this was a pile of crap. Sorry. I know some people love this stuff but it seemed extremely forced. Like a huge hammer hitting you in the head repeatedly with "now here's the part where the main character becomes evil."
I felt like the writers had so little respect for their audience that they felt the need to walk you through each excruciating step in the "story". Not a hint of subtlety or elegance.
Brian T
Wed, Jan 2, 2019, 7:14am (UTC -6)
I had no issues with the “magic book with invisible ink from blood”, I thought it was completely consistent with the worm hole aliens and the precedents set forth by DS9 in universe all the way back to the start of the series.

To me, the worm hole aliens are very powerful beings that live within the confines of the worm hole. They have, at least, the ability to grant visions, move objects in the wormhole through time (as in “Accession”), and to alter a person’s mind (as they did with the Nagus Zek in “Prophet Motive”). They are worshipped as Prophets by the Bajorans and sometimes they can even leave the wormhole to possess either a person or be trapped in an object (such as in “Reckoning” when Sisko smashes the tablet that contained a battling Prophet and Paigh’wraith that then possessed Kira and Jake, respectively).

Then you have the Orbs of the Prophets, which are objects that exist outside the wormhole but somehow are a direct link to the Prophets and their abilities. Through the orbs, you can speak to the prophets and if they find you worthy, they can speak back to you or give you access to their abilities (i.e. visions and time travel). To people who are not worthy and that the Prophets choose not to speak to, the Orbs resemble mysterious inanimate objects (i.e. like when the Cardassians stole them and held on to them as treasures or when Kai Winn begs the prophets to speak to her and the Orb just sits there doing nothing). But the point is, the Orbs are a direct link to the prophets and all their abilities from outside the worm hole (i.e. the Orb of Time took the Defiant back in time in “Trials and Tribble-ations” despite being nowhere near the wormhole). Also, apparently, the Orbs can contain a worm hole alien, such as when the Orb of the Emissary contained the Sara-prophet on Tyree.

So basically, this “magic book” called the Kosst Amojan is an Orb of the Paigh’wraiths. It is a direct link to the Paigh’wraiths that are trapped in the Fire Caves, and probably even contains a trapped Paigh’wraith inside it (just like that wooden statue thing that Dukat broke in “Tears of the Prophets”). To the Bajarorans and everybody else that worshipped the Prophets, the Paigh’wraiths did not find them worthy and choose not to speak to them, so the book appears to be an inanimate old book with blank pages. But when Kai Winn murders her loyal servant, she proves herself worthy and the Paigh’wraiths speak to her by making the text visible (similar to giving someone a vision). In fact, Kai Winn may even be more worthy to receive their blessing than Dukat since she actually made a personal sacrifice (by murdering a faithful servant whom she may have cared for as a friend) as opposed to Dukat who sacrificed nothing personally and only turns to the Paigh’wraiths for power to get revenge. Lastly, the blood dripping onto the pages of the book is simply the physical activation of their blessing (similar to how Dukat had to break the doll in-half to release the wraith or Sisko had to physically smash the tablet to free the aliens inside).

So I never really saw the Kosst Amojan as a “fantasy-crap magic book”. To me, it was always the next logical step in advancing the Paigh’wraiths arc. In fact, Winn’s acquisition and access of the Kosst Amojan, aka the Orb of the Paigh’wraiths, at the end of the season in many ways mirrors how Sisko went on a quest to find and access the Orb of the Emissary at the start of the season.
Cody B
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 11:26pm (UTC -6)
This has to be the strangest rating I’ve seen. A perfectly fine episode but nothing about it says 4 of 4 stars. In fact I’d say this episode along with the last two could have easily been condensed to one episode. It did make me interested in Winn for once so I’ll give it that. I just don’t like bajor centric episodes. The politics. The religion. The politics blending with the religion. Blah. I am now convinced that Bashir still has a lot of his original learning disabled self. First he needs his teddy bear named Kookaloka and now we find out he likes his friend to make him little action figures to play with. Doctor btw. Also I noticed that the Breen seem to have replaced the jem hadar. The way Weyoun commands them around to do the strong arm work. I’d imagine that could be confusing for more casual viewers of ds9.
Tue, Feb 19, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -6)
Changing faces of evil:

--Cardassians going from Dominion to the Federation.

--Kai going from Prophets to Pah Wraiths

--A Book was Evil, but now will bring Paradise.

--Julian should try joining the other side and be Santa Ana. Worf should join the Alamo game he disdains.

--Damar has come through a dark tunnel into the light, says Weyoun.

--Ben goes from loving husband to big overprotective jerk? Then he backs off.

--Trouble between the couples. Adami tells Anjohl not to interfere. Kasidy tells Ben not to interfere.

--Trouble between Julian and Miles. Another reverence to Paradise

This Bajor stuff is more Harry Potter than Star Trek.

But this Battle with the Breen is pure Sci Fi. Very exciting. Well done. Good bye, Defiant. I hardly knew ye.

Back to Harry Potter as The Book catches fire.

Damar takes charge. And changes into the key to saving the AQ.

Uneven, but more good build up.
Tue, Feb 19, 2019, 10:02am (UTC -6)
I'm just surprised that nobody's mentioned that the Battle of Chin'toka is based on the battle of the Alamo. Although I didn't pick up on it either until rewatching DS9 a few years back. One hint: General Santa Anna is the female shapeshifter.
Tue, Feb 19, 2019, 10:33am (UTC -6)

Nice catch! Thanks for sharing that thought.

Yes, agreed.

Though who is Colonel Travis, never-say-die Alamo commander, whose little figurine Julian misplaces? Julian says that he plays Travis during the recreations, but he's not a good fit, is he? Colonel Kira, injured and later being carried in Julian's arms? Is he going to misplace her? Or lose her? Sisko? Is he going to be lost?

Must shut down my brain as I have a date to play Care Bears with a 4 yr old, but interesting analogy with the Alamo.
Tue, Feb 19, 2019, 11:50am (UTC -6)

Ah, interesting question. Bashir uses the phrase "never say die" in Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges, now that you mention it. I don't think Julian's a good fit for the role either, but Travis was a Lt. Colonel so maybe Bashir can relate to Travis on that level. Bashir too gets a huge amount of responsibility on the station, but he's not really calling the shots. I can't speak to your last questions without spoiling things, of course! :-)

One point of interest is that the Female shapeshifter allows the Federation escape pods to go to "spread the word" of the crushing defeat at Chin'toka. Santa Anna did something very similar, where he captured American non-combatants and even adopted a young girl and released them back to the U.S. to spread word of the crushing defeat of U.S. forces at the Alamo. However, that didn't work out so well for Santa Anna, at least...
William B
Tue, Feb 19, 2019, 2:09pm (UTC -6)
Thanks for that, Chrome. I didn't know, for instance, that Santa Anna allowed some to escape to build up the legend of the Alamo victory, like the "Female" Shapeshifter (never sure what best to call her).
Wed, Feb 20, 2019, 2:48pm (UTC -6)
Oh fuck of Elliott you boring bastard. Go wank over Janeway.
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 7:55pm (UTC -6)
This is a forum for open minded discussion and debate. No need for profanities and name calling. I would hope that Star Trek fans would rise above that temptation.
Jamie Mann
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 7:25am (UTC -6)
'Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go...

As noted in the last episode, Ezri gets off scot-free after stealing - and then losing - a runabout; after all, she's brought Worf back with important information about the new alliance between the Dominion and the Breen.

(who, as I noted in the last episode, are a relatively new inclusion to Star Trek lore, having previously been mentioned in passing in TNG before being formally introduced on-screen in DS9's fourth season. And who handily have technological near-parity with the Federation, despite being an isolationist single-species polity...)

And shock, horror, the Breen attack Earth! Oddly, without using their mysterious new weapon. And seemingly, they're driven off without losing a single ship, given that their appearance and technology remains a complete mystery to both the Federation and Klingons. Which is impressive, given the fact that the Defiant is later able to blow large holes in Breen ships /until/ they unleash their mysterious new weapon. Oh, plot contrivances, what evils doth writers commit in thy name?

(Equally, in a universe where a handful of vessels can trigger a solar flare capable of scorching everything up at least least 1AU, sending ships into battle around a planet you're happy to sacrifice seems like a pointless waste of resources...)

Meanwhile, Damar continues to become ever-more disillusioned with the Dominion alliance. There still isn't really any development of his character - he remains a stalwart "my country, right or wrong" patriot, and his decision to try and break free from the Dominion when it becomes clear they're just using Cardassians as cannon fodder is a natural progression of this. But seeing a character who is stolidly predictable makes for a refreshing change, in a series where characterisations and motivations are often as changable as the wind.

Then there's the mumbo-jumbo Prophet supernatural plot. In which it turns out that Books Of Evil (Capitalisation Mandatory) require a drop of blood to activate. And with that, I'm done with this plot arc, as it's just too ridiculous. It's the story-writing equivalent of bolting a fishing-boat motor onto a delivery truck; it just sits there, flapping pointlessly.

But then it's fight time! And things go boom in a fairly satisfactory way, until the Breen unleash their aforementioned weapon. Which, as aforementioned, wasn't used in their raid on Earth, which is presumably has the strongest defences in the Federation. And so it comes as a complete surprise! The allied fleet is shattered! The Defiant is destroyed!

All told, things don't bode well for our heroes (dramatic drum-roll).

But what is this? Damar has triggered his rebellion - and has taken out the Vorta cloning facility. Which makes for an interesting plot point, since it makes Weyoun mortal. Sadly, the repercussions of this are never really explored to any degree; given his devotion to the Founders, it would be uncharacteristic for him to fear death for himself, but I would have expected him to show some concern over the idea that if he died, there wouldn't be anyone left to act as a liaison/buffer for the Founders.

As with the last few episodes, it's hard to judge this as a standalone episode. Still, all the pieces are moving towards the final endgame, even if the "forlorn hope" setup does feel a bit too similar to the way things were laid out for the fifth season finale...
Fri, Jun 18, 2021, 5:08pm (UTC -6)
Santa Anna allowed some non-combatants to escape to spread the word, but executed any survivors of the Alamo and ordered the slaughter of hundreds of POWs soon after at Goliad. Santa Anna believed this would be demoralizing but this did not work, it created anger.

Whatever the Founder's reasoning, it was probably wise not to destroy the life pods. Creating martyrs is risky business, plus if people believe they will die no matter what, they tend to go all out and become vicious.
Fri, Jun 18, 2021, 5:27pm (UTC -6)
Dukat's story went rather loony, but to some degree it's worth it because we get the rise of Damar, a very mundane functional officer. He's clearly no ego-maniac and the dry delivery of his speech makes it seem more real and believable. I doubt a Dukat type could have made a more convincing speech.

I'm also kind of happy that Dukat didn't get redeemed.

Also, it's perhaps Damar's dull demeanor that caused Weyoun to completely miss what was happening with Damar, right under his nose. Weyoun never seemed to consider for a moment that Damar could become a threat.
Fri, Jun 25, 2021, 1:13am (UTC -6)
And neither Kai Winn nor Solbor recognizing Dukat-- I'm almost willing to just go with the notion that it's far more convincing in universe than it is to us...

But they kind of blow that out of the water when Solbor tells Winn it's Dukat and "don't you recognize the face of your enemy?"
Sat, Jan 29, 2022, 11:03am (UTC -6)
DS9 really could have been so much better without the silly Bajoran religious crap.
Fri, Mar 11, 2022, 7:19pm (UTC -6)
Why does Winn say the Par Wraiths are the real Gods and then moments later say Dukat was sent to kill her?

It's inconsistent! In her mind are they the bad ones or not? It's like she flip flops with no reason. This is reminiscent of how Worf goes from wanting Ezri to not in a short time (in the last episode).

DS9 has messy writing.
Fri, Oct 7, 2022, 11:39am (UTC -6)
FOUR STARS for this junk!?! Duuuuuuuuude...

The Cisco and Cassidy: zero chemistry. The Cisco generally has the energy and charisma of 45-year-old wallpaper glue, but it's particularly salient in his personal, especially romantic, interactions.

The religious Bajoux bijoux... - the less said the better. Well, I will say one thing: It's hilarious how those who generally bemoan excessive use of what they term "technobabble" have no issues whatsoever with prophetbabble that underpins not just the bulk of many episodes but entire story arcs.

Then there's the Defiant "pre-launch sequence," with every single senior officer of D.S.9 on board (of course!), including Keera (of course!), engaging in infantile banter. The whole thing takes longer than it took to fire a 1960s' rocket off into space.

The Defiant gets destroyed soon enough though, at long last. Not vaporized immediately, naturally; just very smoke-y and fire-y and sparks-y. The torpedoes were coming at a rate of one per month, it seemed: more than enough time for our most formidable crew to engage in dialog throughout. The Cisco even had enough time to repine about the old gal before abandoning the bridge. Only THEN did she get her coup de grace.

Sure. Very believable. On all counts.

Speaking of believability, if you discover that the second(?) highest-ranking leader of your entire species has been compromised and is unwittingly in thrall to your sworn enemy, do you really go in there--being, like, 200 years old and barely able to stand on your feet--and confront them yourself?!?!?! Would you really not alert a single security officer, never mind some council or something!?!

Sigh... I don't know... Somebody in the comments wrote somewhere that if you have an I.Q. in the double digits, you MUST take this as the stupid entertainment it is. I really need to heed that wise counsel... - although, this kind of idiocy is frustrating, not entertaining. Maybe I should just laugh at it instead.

The only interesting and novel aspect of this episode is the Cardie domestic intrigue. I'm keen to see how that plays out and what the repercussions are going to be. One star for that.

Maybe another half for the action.
Gilligan’s Starship
Thu, Nov 24, 2022, 11:59am (UTC -6)
Powerful episode with a mixture of good & ridiculous.

I know they are trying to make some sort of analogy between the events of the Dominion War & the Battle of the Alamo, but this obsession that O’Brien & Bashir have had with it & Davy Crockett for some time now doesn’t ring true to me & seems forced. And that GIANT model they built (or beamed) into the middle of Quark’s bar is ludicrous!

Speaking of Quark, the writers have given him some insightful dialogue lately, a nice change from the usual snarky/comedic quips.

By the way, those lavender contact lenses they gave Jeffrey Combs really make Weyoun extra creepy! Makeup-wise, I hope they turn Marc Alaimo back into a Cardassian soon, Trek seems to have difficulty with men’s hair in secondary cast members: hairpieces are obvious, or it’s always styled so neat, tidy and shellacked into place, no matter how much or little hair the actor has on his head—it just looks unnatural.

And maybe I’ve just forgotten since so much time has gone by since the start of the Dominion War, but did they ever make it clear why the Founders wanted to conquer the Alpha Quadrant ?
Jeffrey Jakucyk
Mon, Nov 28, 2022, 3:03pm (UTC -6)
"... did they ever make it clear why the Founders wanted to conquer the Alpha Quadrant?"

The Founders crave order, it's a means to protect themselves from what they perceive to be threats all around them. They conquer and then impose their order on those they subjugated. The Female Changeling said in "The Search: Part 2" "The Alpha Quadrant seems wracked with chaos. It could use some order."
Fri, Sep 29, 2023, 7:09am (UTC -6)
“A month’s paid vacation”

I’ve often wondered how the hoo-mans pay for anything at quarks since apparently they work for the joy of being at star fleet.

Submit a comment

I agree to the terms of use

◄ Season Index

▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2023 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. Terms of use.