Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

“What You Leave Behind”

3.5 stars.

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

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

— Garak and Kira

Review Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous episode: The Dogs of War

End-of-season article: Seventh Season Recap

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

◄ Season Index

Comment Section

334 comments on this post

    DS9 was not only the best series but also had the best ending out of ALL the Trek series (TNG getting second place, with Enterprise and Voyager getting left behind like an evil step child). Let this be a lesson to all shows: If you run a show for seven seasons, reward your loyal viewers by giving the show a good send off and covering up as many of the loose ends as possible.

    I admit I love DS9 the best, but I'm a sucker for happy endings.

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

    Miles and Julian 'splitting up', and 'The Sisko' vanishing. Bah, I wanted a happy ending.

    Although TNG has the best Trek finale, DS9's is still way ahead of the finales for Voyager, Enterprise, and the original series.

    DS9 was a classy show from the beginning and if possible they ended with more class than they started with. This was quite simply seven years of solid story telling.

    Have to disagree that TNG had the best finale. The Time travel device usually breeds success in ST, but on this occasion what should have been a great episode was just a good one. Sure, coming ful circle with the first and last ever TNG epsiodes with Q standing in judgement over humanity was very clever, and the final scene with Picard joining the Poker table works well, but the last ever episode should have done more to showcase and send off the TNG ensemble. for me, DS9 did this a lot more effectively. That said, they waited to get a lot in over 90 mins that they could have resolved throughout the final 10 episodes. But the character goodbyes were particularly good (Garak/Bashir Bashir/OBrien Kira/Odo Odo/Quark). I also thought that the final shot of Kira and Jake (reminiscent of the Visitor) was a great way to end. One criticism of this is that Bajor did not enter the Federation, which is gaping ommission by the writers. I also liked the idea of Siskos destiny in principle, but I sort of felt that his characters destiny was very much unresolved. I felt at the time of the DS9 finale that these were unresolved elements of the overall story and as time goes on and it seems very unlikley that they ever will be, as I doubt there will ever be any DS9 TV movies. On the whole, however, and back to my original point, I was very satisfied with the ending of seven solid years of story telling (Thanks Jayson) of DS9 - the TNG Finale was just okay

    With respect, the DS9 finale left too many unanswered questions to be truly satisfying. Why did Odo have to leave to do something the female shapeshifter could have done? After all, Odo seemed to convince her to end the war, so why did all of a sudden have to say that he had to leave perhaps forever?
    I also disliked Sisko's departure. I'm sorry but the Bajorans celestial temple just didn't grab my imagination the way stovokor did. Sisko should've either died heroically fighting Dukat or he should've just stayed put and have the final shot of the series be him and Jake staring out that window, which would've brought the series truly full circle as it started with the two looking at the station from the ship taking them there.
    I thought TNG did a better job bringing things together toward the end, and it has the Hugo to prove it(a pity those 4 films had to spoil it). The DS9 finale was just OK.

    I found the finale to be a let-down. It just seemed like too much going on at one time, and everything was wrapped up very neatly and very quickly. Some of the acting just didn't click for me - Sisko, Martok and Ross had a rather calm and logical attitude towards what could be the greatest victory or greatest defeat the Alpha Quadrant would ever know. A lot of the acting felt under-played, as if the characters knew they would win in the end. Odo convincing the Founder to end the war was extremely easy, and not the clash of characters and emotions that you'd expect in a show like DS9.

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

    The montages were very effective, and getting to see where the characters ended up was great. However, I think TNG's finale worked better and was more satisfying as a whole.

    Actually, I find it quite difficult to even think of this as a finale. This doesn't convey the same sense of closure that the other Star Trek series' finales had in spades.

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

    Greets Ospero

    Yeah, it was OK. I liked how a few things were tied up - Miles's Transfer, Odo's return to the link, Kira's ending up in Sisko's chair, Garak's end position.

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

    As a final episode, it was good, but it didn't leave me with the same sense of loss that I got from "All good things"

    My biggest complaint is that Dukat deserved so much better. I don't mean that in terms of his fate, but in terms of his characterization. Is it not a shame that this finale reduced one of Trek's best and most psychologically complex villains into a silly raving demon? Rather than digging deep into the final deterioration of this complicated egomaniac, the writers chickened out. They turned Dukat into the Final Boss from a cheap video game. I never wanted a cardboard bad guy. Instead, I wanted DS9 to do justice to this man, to show him as a real person who tragically succumbed to his own obsessions, delusions, and hubris.

    Alas, it was not to be.

    I'll agree that Dukat deserved better, but I appreciated that the image of Sisko on his knees facing an enemy with superpowers, and a woman caught in the middle was almost an homage to the TOS "Where No Man Has Gone Before." A nice, understated tribute to the franchise's origins.

    So ends the DS9 Saga; it was an amazing series that brough Star Trek into the 21st century. Terrorism, War, and the "gray world" of intelligence were amazing story devices.

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

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

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

    Star trek needed to move toward conflict with intellect and insight, but it did not after DS9. Quite a shame, the evolution of ideals was brilliant, but some never recognized why the change was necessary or saw the need for conflict.

    I still maintain that the Poltergeist-like possession angle of Sisko and Dukat was as stupid in 1999 as it is in 2009.
    Still, the finale accomplished much, and is loads more watchable than Endgame or TATV. Although the re-use of so much stock battle footage was darn disappointing.


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

    Thats such a sad statement given what happend after DS9. Basically TPTB did a 180 from the quality of DS9 in favor of being "cool" & "hip" and back to this episode, as I said before. DS9 was classy from beginning to end.

    Hi Jammer,

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

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

    An odd choice, and like you've pointed out - feels a little cheap.

    @ John R

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

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

    Maybe Worf,but only if he doesnt take pride in beeing "the first klingon captain".(just kidding for the last part offcourse,taking pride in beeing the first klingon seems to fit the era ;)

    Was it Avery Brooks who insisted that Sisko's ethnicity be mentioned? He wasn't an executive producer on DS9 & unlike, say, Kevin Sorbo, he always seemed to be a good team player.

    Interesting to see some people had issues with lack of closure to certain elements. It's interesting to note that some of the writers weren't happy with the final chapter of Deep Space Nine, and in relation to the final episodes, they said if they'd been given just a few more episodes to finish telling the final story, they really could have done so much with them.

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

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

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

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

    But the river must run on...

    The last post is December 5, 2009. Wow. Not bad for a decade old TV show. A testament to the series, the writing, the acting. That, or we need to get a life :-)

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

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

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

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

    The last shot of Jake & Kira at the porthole, then pulling back, was beautiful. To me, it gives a sense of "hill of beans" kind of thing.

    Here's a nit that no one has noticed so far: At the party at Vic's near the end, why the hell is Kasady drinking? She's pregnant!


    It could have been synthohol which tastes like real alchol but with none of the negetive side effects. Either that or it was something else but honestly I never noticed before. Finally, it's the future and maybe they can drink and be pregnate at the same time.

    OK, get this. I've finally seen the finale!
    Got the season 7 box set for Xmas and finally got to see the one episode I'd never seen.

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

    Has Sisko returned in any of the books yet or is he out of bounds... Anyone?

    Sisko does indeed return for the birth of his child (and to see Bajor join the Federation) in the novel 'Unity'.

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

    I *hated* this episode when I first saw it, mainly because it re-used the battle effects from previous episodes. However I've had a decade to get over it, watched it last night and enjoyed it very muchly.

    I thought much of the episode was contrived, melodramatic and pompous. The clear desire of the writers to end with a big bang didn't do it any good.

    Nothing will ever in a million years compare to the babylon 5 finale. Not this, not Lost, not TNG...nothing.

    This episode would have been so much better without the Dukat/Winn nonsense.

    Great series, I watch it from beginning to end once per year. In just recently watching the "special features" on the last disc of season 7 I noted the following: One of the producers wished he had had "5 more episodes to wrap things up" hello? How about all those episodes about Ezri and the Ferengi that did nothing to advance the story? Was one of the producers in love with Nicole DeBoer or what? Couldn't stand her and yes I know Jammer you thought she was "cute as a button" evidently so did the producers--and none of the last 'backflash" scenes included Jadzia--what was up with that? As for Odo, he ultimately was just another self centered Founder--never liked him--he worked so hard to get Kira to love him and in the end abandoned her--what an $%#* hole. The very best part of Deep Space Nine was the relationship between Bashir and O'Brien and the Klingons. Superb! The Klingons were the only race that fully developed as a culture--interesting that while DS 9 was next to Bajor that other than their obsession with The Prophets we learned little about them--a lot of talk about their art and literature, but nothing in the shows to support it. The Klingons, however, became 3-dimensional--their culture, politics, etc all came to life on the show and quite frankly when I think of this show it's the Klingons, especially General Martok that I remember.

    Jammer--it's always a pleasure to read your reviews, even when I'm squirming in my seat with disagreement. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and attention to detail. While you and I strongly disagree about the quality of DS9 as a series, I was nearly certain that even you would take issue with the montage. For me, who hated the series, it was a moment of "I can't believe they sank that low." Especially considering the holes you point out in wrapping up several character and political arcs, why, why waste time with this nonsense? Strike it, and there would at least be time to fully make sense of the whole thing.

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

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

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

    But really, nothing could top the dumbest moments of Star Trek more than that montage; and that theme remix... atrocious. Shame, shame shame. 1 star.

    I've just watched "What You Leave Behind", the DS9 season 7 and series finale. I won't be going too much into detail, I agree with most of what's been said before me. So I'll just say that I was a little disappointed.

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

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

    Overall, while one is sad to see the series go and there is definitely some emotional moments to be found in this episode (particularly because of the fondness one develops for its characters and the DS9/Bajor universe), this won't feature as the best Trek series wrap-up on record. That honor still belongs to TNG in my opinion.

    @Latex Zebra: Hardly anything seems to be out of bounds in any of the relaunches (I'm currently reading the TNG, DS9 and VOY relaunches, as well as Star Trek: Titan, all of which take place after DS9's and VOY's end). To answer your question: yes, Sisko has returned - it took quite a bit, though (seven books or somesuch).

    Since the series probably won't be continued in any canonical form, the novels have started taking ever greater liberties. Used to be, you couldn't kill off major characters or change in-universe political dynamics. No longer. I won't say any more, because it really wouldn't be fair to spoiler any of the goings-on in the novels (which range from acceptable to truly outstanding).

    the finale was entertaining especially for the conclusions on the war front...cardassia/garak/damar/kira great work... Damar and Solbor seem to have a parallel, they both followed Dukat and Winn, throwaway character, but when the time came they had pivotal heroic role in their own way, and they both ended up dead...
    the Founder going to prison made sense for the atrocity she orderred (the great link didnt tell her to wipe out Cardassia), and her asking Odo to go back to his people to cure them them worked. Odo/Kira separating...people who are of different cultures separating to be with their own people, it is painful and it happens (it works as good counterpoint to the cross cultural relationship that star trek employs in season finales...belanna/paris, worf/deanna

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

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

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

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

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

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

    only wish the new trek movie didnt wipe out all the continuity before, it seems such a waste...

    No one has said it yet, so let me be the first: I LOVE Bashir & Dax and am very happy they are finally together after what was basically a seven-year flirtation (that started in "Emissary"). Bashir has always been my favorite character, and though I'm not quite his age yet I'm sure I'll still be acting just like he does around women for the rest of my life.

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

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

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

    Otherwise, though, I couldn't have asked for a better finale, and my opinion of a TV series (or any entertainment medium) is always strongly dependent on how it ends, so it's safe to say this will remain my favorite series for a VERY long time.

    There's a nice musical moment I didn't notice the first time I watched it. When O'Brien walks into his quarters and picks up the Alamo figurine, you hear an instrumental version of the Irish tune "The Minstrel Boy", which is the song he sung to Maxwell in TNG's "The Wounded" (as well as in a scene that was deleted from "Whispers"). Very subtle, but an extremely nice way to bookend his character arc.

    Wow thinking of DS9 now looking back .... Life was good on...cant believe how screwed up the world has been since star treks voyager ended..another good ending .....we all should of realize it going to shit with (Enterprise) haven't lost hope with the new Star trek .") I wish ds9 would be on reruns dont get enough credit it was one of the best..left me hanging and wanting more every week!")

    Just spent the last couple months plugging away through this series; missed it the first time around, and now I've consumed it whole in a very short period of time.

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

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

    How ignorant they were. ;)

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

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

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

    It's been a fun ride. *hat-tip* :)

    WYLB was a good finale, but it had one glaring plot hole that I could never quite get past.

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

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

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

    But Sisko left for Bajor during the party at Vic's, and then Kira and O'Brien searched for him in a runabout. It also looks like Odo was going to sneak out of the party with Kira and head to the Gamma Quadrant, but that they had to delay that to involve Odo and Kira in the efforts to rescue Sisko.

    Great show, great season, great finale. I have one nitpick about the more than disappointing conclusion, though.

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

    ...alas, the series was not tied together so nicely.

    As an interesting footnote, look closely in the scene at Vic's bar. I'm fairly certain the actors Casey Biggs and Jeffrey Coombs (Damar and Weyoun) appear in the background

    Great episode, just one thing:
    Where the hell is Jadzia in the flashback sequence?!? She's been the heart and soul of this crew for six years and nobody remembers her... come on!!
    I know, I know, supposedly there's been some legal issues but it's still extremely unsatisfying and doesn't do justice to a great character.

    Just rewatching this. One thing that always bugged me: how could Odo change the female founder's mind? When he had never been able to persuade her in the past, and especially when he now knows that Section 31 tried to commit genocide? (By the way, he is breaking his word to Sisko by healing her.)

    However, I think it could be explained by one thing. The love that Odo and Kira share was not yet part of Odo's experience at the previous time that Odo linked with the founder.

    Nitpicking aside, one has to be impressed that the showrunners were able to tie up almost every major and many minor plot threads in this finale. The final shot reminded me of the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

    @Nebula Nox: Odo convinced the female changeling with the cure AND because he was willing to go back to the link. There was a line at one point from the female changeling that Odo was worth more to the Founders than the entire Alpha Quadrant (I'm paraphrasing).

    @PaulW - that doesn't really wash because the Founders made Odo a humanoid as a punishment, and they were not the ones responsible for reversing it. As a humanoid, Odo would not have been able to return to the link. The \she-changleling later said they'd forgiven him, but that doesn't mean they would have restored him, even if they were capable of doing so. That they had the capability of making him a humanoid in the first place was something I found highly questionable.

    Well, that's the end of my four week-long complete re-watch and it's been a great ride. Some very high highs (I always thought of "Far Beyond The Stars" as the best - but now it's "In The Pale Moonlight", maybe because I've appreciated it more with age?), a few very low lows (I'm looking at you, "Let He Who Is Without Sin") and far too many Ferengi comedy episodes.

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

    I really am going to miss this. Wow.

    Terrible last episode, terrible(and normal) over acting from Avery Brooks, the whole Bajoron/Prophet plotline was embarrassing. The last season of DS9 took a dramatic turn for the worse.

    DS9 finale unfortunatelly didn't meet my expectations. I believe it was overly dramatic just for the sake of it without any real substance and the closure of some of the storylines was terribly rushed and in some cases too convenient.

    The worse thing is after seven years not even a throw away line about how Bajor FINALLY was admitted to the Federation!
    That was originally the entire point of the series until it got caught up in the Dominion war arc...

    Its sad that the last time Deep Space Nine (the station) is ever mentioned in the official Trek canon is in Voyager's episode "Pathfinder" (back in 1999). It's just a throwaway mention of the station.

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

    And that's all they wrote.

    Great finale, but I absolutely lost it when Weyoun started making a "derp face." Unintentionally hilarious!
    I googled the face for others to see:

    Wow, people are still posting on this after 5 years? And linking pictures I saw on reddit? Impressive. I just finished watching this episode a couple of hours ago, and I sort of teared up. It's rare that a show can make me feel emotions for that many characters, good and bad. I really did feel a sort of sadness that characters like Dukat had to end up going nuts and bringing about his own destruction (and 800 million of his race). I could care less about normal villains meeting their demise.

    By far, the saddest thing for me was Julian and O'Brian having to part ways. That stuff hits you right in the feels.

    Like Fortyseven said above, I also missed DS9 when it originally aired, thinking it was going to be boring because it took place on a space station and couldn't go anywhere. In fact, I remember thinking that they brought in the Defiant *because* they finally needed to use the 'trek' element.

    How wrong I was.

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

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

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

    It just goes to show how great this series was—that, even though of course this could've happened off-camera, I'm still left with the feeling that I needed to see that.

    Strange that Winn keeps wearing the Kai robe and goofy hat, and the earring, well after she's renounced the Prophets. I guess they wanted the dramatic moment where she hurls them into the fire caves

    Has anyone ever noticed the scene between Sisko and the Pagh Wraith-possessed Dukat is similar to the scene between Kirk and Gary Mitchell in TOS's "Where No Man Has Gone Before"?

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

    And there's Elizabeth Denher/Kai Winn standing neutral until they ultimately choose to help Kirk/Sisko defeat the bad guy (s).

    @Founders Don't Poop
    Yeah, that shot really jumped out at me, haha. How do you miss that? Didn't someone go "wait, Jeffrey, your lens is crooked"?
    Well, I just finished my great DS9 rewatch over a 7 month period. In some cases, the first time I'd seen episodes in 15+ years (in a handful, episodes I managed to miss entirely!). It was a great ride. I think with the benefit of 15 or so extra years on me, I can see a few more flaws, but my enjoyment improved in some ways too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So there you go, my closing thoughts on DS9 some 14 years after I first saw the finale.

    DS9 is as good as trek ever got imho, and the finale is no exception. Like most here, I could have done without the wraith subplot, but the rest made up for it. The series certainly had it's flaws, of course, but overall it's more consistent, better developed and written, and much, much braver than TNG ever was; head and shoulders above VOY and ENT. It filled out the universe so much better than any other series, making the world feel complex and alive. It dared to be different and challenging. In a world where the easiest and most profitable thing to do is just rebrand and resell the same cliches over and over again, DS9 rejected this idea, and instead was a gutsy and thoughtful take on the franchise the likes of which we will likely never see again.

    I did this for TNG earlier tonight and am doing other series as well. Breakdown of number of episodes with 4*/3.5*/3*/etc. as well as seasonal averages. I count Emissary, Way of the Warrior and What You Leave Behind as two episodes apiece, being two-hour shows.

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

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

    The order by average rank is (4,7 -- tie),2,5,1,6,3.

    I love DS9. It's the best written Trek ever. I grew up watching TNG and loved it to death. And I must admit that I was a Voyager fan for a long time before I gave DS9 any real attention -- but when I did, I realized the wonderful character-driven writing that was the norm here that was unfortunately lacking in Voyager. I love the serialized writing format with the episode arcs that were never used in Trek before, and believe it was one of DS9's major strengths.

    WYLB was a fantastic finale! Loved it!

    I was overall very pleased by the finale, especially the way the war played out - although I wish Damar had gotten to live and be the leader of Cardassia.

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

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

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

    This was my first time watching this series. I avoided it when it first aired because I heard it was depressing and truth be told, I only had time for one Star Trek series and that was TNG. It's still my favorite. However, years later, I'm glad I decided to commit to watching all the other Star Trek series as well, including this one, thanks to Netflix. I leave DS9's finale for the most part satisfied.

    Paroxysmal sobbing. That is all I have to say. DS9 and TNG. They should be the watermarks by which all other Trek is measured. Especially DS9, though I may only be saying that because my eyes are still bloodshot from recent lacrimations. But DAMN, if they didn't know just when and how to manipulate my sentimental little black heart. "What You Leave Behind". What a fucking perfect title.

    I guess the only place left to go from here is BSG. I've had a weird love-hate thing with that series since I finished watching it after its first run. That is, I loved it unashamedly... until season 4. Quite a few years have passed and I like to think I've matured somewhat since then. I hope this will therefore be a slightly newer experience... aided by Jammer's astute analyses as well, of course. :)

    Watched this again the other day. So much of it works -- the Bashir/O'Brien stuff is really strong as is the Kira/Odo stuff. My big gripes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Just watched this episode, finishing my first viewing of DS9.

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

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

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

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

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

    All in all a mixed episode with some clear, emotional highlights. An "okay" ending to a very, very good series!

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


    Top ten lists after having finished the series:

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

    Worst 10
    1 Valiant
    2 Prodigal Daughter
    3 Meridian
    4 The Muse
    5 Time's Orphan
    6 The Storyteller
    7 Let he who is without sin…
    8 Profit and Lace
    9 Sanctuary
    10 The Darkness and the Light

    Well, your bottom 10 list certainly includes some bad episodes -- though more Ferengi shows should be on the list. Also, what's so wrong with "The Darkness and the Light"?

    Your top 10 list is pretty funky, though. How is "Who Mourns for Morn?" anywhere near your top 10? How is "Extreme Measures" -- one of the most disappointing episodes in DS9? Now, I liked "Our Man Bashir", but top 10? Um, no.

    Thinking a little about what @Rif said in the "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?" thread:

    I do think that Starfleet's never really punishing Sisko is a bigger problem than, say, not punishing Bashir over DBIP. Sisko is un-Roddenberryan in two major ways: the religious, nationalistic side with respect to Bajor, and the unethical, "getting his hands dirty" side with respect to things like "For the Uniform," "In the Pale Moonlight," or the "whatever it takes" to Worf in "Tacking Into the Wind." Now, Starfleet at least, or some representative of Roddenberryan philosophy like Bashir maybe, should go after Sisko on both counts, and Starfleet almost never does. Ross sometimes pushes back against Sisko on the Bajor thing, but inconsistently (and he pins a medal to him in "Tears of the Prophets," undermining the whole episode's argument as Confused Matthew pointed out), and no one ever really pushes back against Sisko on the moral stuff. The irony of course is that even if you take Starfleet out of the picture, those two should contradict each other. Sisko ending the show as a self-sacrificing messiah paints him as a saint, rather than the Complex Shades Of Grey guy. That there is no attempt to resolve the contradiction between Sisko as Space Jesus for Bajor and Sisko as poisoner of planets, perpetrator of a massive deception to trick the Romulans into a war, encourager of Worf to assassinate a Klingon head of state who is inconvenient, presents the scary possibility that the show is putting forth the argument that these types of things are the things messiah figures *should* do.

    @Paul completely agree. "The Darkness and the Light" was a good episode. I really loved "Our Man Bashir" because the DS9 writers were so talented: they thought they were having fun, but from another perspective, they ripped apart the James Bond series to such an extent that they were threatened with legal action. I wouldn't put it as a top 10, but it ranks higher than a lot of the other episodes on that list. I'd say: In the Pale Moonlight, The Visitor, and Waltz should be the top 3; but I'm not sure.

    Beyond unrealistic that Worf would have no memories of Jadzia in the ending montage. What was behind that? I doubt Terry Farrell could have prevented it even if she wanted too...she doesn't own the copyright on the scenes. Were the producers bitter towards here. Her absence really lifts you out of the whole thing.

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

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

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

    I'm no expert, but maybe her contract was lacking one of those "continuing use" clauses.

    I just watched this again last night. Because the Founder was dying and felt she had nothing to lose, she was going to have the Vorta and the Jem'Hadar continue the fighting to inflict as much pain and destruction as possible. With their goal switched from conquest to terrorism, they could have done tremendous damage to soft targets. If it were not for the disease, the Founder may have been willing to end the way once there was no hope of winning. So, rather than ending the war, giving them the disease may have put the Alpha Quadrant in danger of greater destruction.

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

    As for Jadzia in the flashbacks, I suppose someone could do a fan edit to put her in. Perhaps extend the song a bit. I would have loved for Quark's flashback to be all about remembering all the latinum he had.

    As far as I'm concerned, Season 7 killed DS9 for me, and that last episode certainly didn't help.

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

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

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

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

    "Countless filler episodes"?

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

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

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

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

    Oh, and as for why the Federation didn't use the cure for the Changelings' disease earlier, they only got it from Section 31 in "Extreme Measures." Maybe the idea should have been brought up sooner, but it wasn't something Starfleet could have used to end the war much earlier than when it was used.

    You know what might have helped? Choosing better clips for that damned montage. I mean, there was a clip from "The Visitor" during Jake's flashback that didn't actually happen (or did, then got erased or whatever). Only SIsko could have held that memory, not Jake. And one of Quark's fondest memories is seeing the rest of the cast troll off to Vic's to execute a heist? Many have already mentioned how the lack of Jadzia made Worf and Bashir's memories really strange as well. Here's another idea: instead of wasting time having Vic sing the song, then repeating the song (with cute "DS9 theme" transitions of key) for the montage, have Vic sing over the montage thus buying the episode at least 4 more minutes of air time so that, I don't know, Sisko and Dukat can have a meaningful exchange of words for the last time.

    Editing was also very strange here--penultimate scene: Kira stands on the Founders' Homeworld (in the Gamma Quadrant) saying a private goodbye to Odo, final scene: Kira is sitting in the Captain's desk and Nog comes in, promoted (indicating time had passed). It was just odd, knowing how much time must have been spent sitting in a runabout getting to and from DS9. I don't know, maybe I'm picking too much. I just feel that this finale had the opposite problem of Voyager's in that there was so much NOSTALGIA being pumped through that the cohesion of the story and the boards felt really off considering it's usually much better than this. In VOY, the story felt more unified and better paced, edited, etc. but there was a serious let-down in the Nostalgia factor, cutting to credits before the ship arrived.

    So the whole show was geared to Sisko fighting a fire monster, was it? Or rather, the writers had no idea where to go or resolve things and made a complete mess of it.

    The latter is what happened. Season 7 was awful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Talking about end, in the end I am really happy that DS9 has ended. I fear for what we should see if it had more seasons. Vampires, angels, a labor camp sponsored by the Federation. Who knows. Without a question, DS9 has boldly go to where no Star Trek should have never had before. Or ever.

    "Talking about end, in the end I am really happy that DS9 has ended. I fear for what we should see if it had more seasons. Vampires, angels, a labor camp sponsored by the Federation. Who knows."


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


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

    Some thoughts...

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

    2. The Dumar/Spartacus subplot was very good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    10. The "memories montage" is pretty bad.

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

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

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

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

    Admittedly the parallel is not quite there. The Borg scenario requires taking an action. The Dominion scenario on the other hand involves the action being taken by a third party (the rogue group Section 31) and Starfleet having an opportunity to intervene. It conjures up ethics class discussions about the Trolley Problem and taking an action that ends a life versus a lack of action that then takes a life.

    If you take out the pahgwraiths stuff, DS9's climax is actually quite touching. While I find the actual "philosophy" of DS9 to be dubious, it did so much wonderful stuff and was quite ambitious. The station is a neat place, and I'm going to miss hanging out at Quark's. I wonder if I'll ever have another DS9 marathon.

    @DavidK You brought a great example of different portray of the Federation and of Starfleet. One that is consistent to how these institutions are thought throughout the franchise. I.e. not genocide friendly, to say the least.

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

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

    About the last point, on the ethics class debate on the diferences beween causing something by taking na action or by not taking, I will pass this one. I don't even think it applies to the context we are talking about. While in the Borg crisis they were sort of facing this dilema of genociding the whole Borgs or being genocide by them, this was not even the case of the Dominion. To begin with, the founders hardly fought direclty themselves. Secondly, there is no reason to think that all single individual in the link being killed was the only solution for the Federation to escape from genocide. In fact, there is not even reason to think that Dominion would genocide anyone (although certainly they were not good at all with thei dominated people).

    @Corey I really liked your list about the last episode. Quite na accurate way of summarizing some important good and bad points. I didn't find the episode to be touching like you, even taking out the pahgwraiths stuff. But I certainly should have given more credit to the final Dumar subplot. In fact Cardassia becoming a dominated planet under resistance just as Bajor was in the beginning against the Cardassian invasion, was in fact a very good way to end the series.

    And like you, I will - actually already am - missing my hanging outs at Quark's. =/

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

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


    Awww, after twenty years I finally have watched the whole thing (well, okay, I skipped some of the Ferengi eps) and now at last I know how it ends.

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

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

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

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

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

    Thanks jammer for the site. It's been a pleasure reading your reviews.

    How much I will miss this show? I had tears in my eyes during all the send off. It was like me sending off everyone. Many of the DS9 episodes were unpredictable and realistic like the good guys will not always have their way. So is the last episode where many of them choose to make a change in their lives, Damar being dead, Garak back home, Odo going back to where he always wanted to etc...I think only Jadazia was missed when Worf had a last look at the station..Otherwise the focus given on each important character was indeed nice! Again I will miss DS9 as I always missed TNG. Good bye Capitain Sisko, we will miss your charismatic leadership.

    I know a lot of you guys feel otherwise, but I actually really enjoyed the flashback montage. It made me tear up, but I'm a nostalgic kind of person so I guess I'm the patsy they hope is watching.

    I've very much a "Do it right or don't do it" kind of person. I liked the montage also, but if they couldn't show Dax in Worf's montage they should have skipped it.

    I don't understand this ending. It's presented as the end to the Dominion threat - but the only thing the Alpha powers did was recapture the Alpha quadrent. In the process almost every Alpha power has been devestated, while the Dominion territory is *completely* untouched. Sure, it'll be tricky to get a foothold again with the wormhole as a bottleneck, but they did it the first time.. and now the Alpha quadrent is exhausted.

    Kahryl, I always wondered what happened to the surviving Jem'Hadar, Vorta, and Founders. Maybe they were exiled back to the Gamma Quadrant. As far as the aftermath, the Dominion initially sent several hundred ships when it took over Cardassia, and lost several thousand when the Prophets stepped in during Sacrifice of Angels. The loss of those resources had to damage the Dominion's position back home. With Odo basically negotiating the surrender, I imagine the other Founders would keep their word to Odo to stay away from the Alpha Quadrant.

    Agreed with most of these comments. The finale was weak. Many of the characters seemed to be out of character. Key discrepancies:

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

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

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

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

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

    There are others, but I have to go eat lunch now. Later.

    I thought it was a fitting end to DS9, overall I enjoyed it and even forgave the montage, even at this final stage the scenes in the Fire Caves with the Pahwraith stuff was just cringeworthy fast-forward material that totally detracted from the momentum of the finale, I guess the script writers had sort of painted themselves into a corner there and there was no way out that was going to be beleiveable or even interesting to the audience, it was rubbish writing and a waste of the actors time. The rest of it was great,and was ably assisted by the non-starfleet cast. I am a late convert to DS9 and give them kudos for pushing the envelope of ST, even though they did fail at times.....

    Jammer: “Well, if there's one thing Weyoun and the Dominion haven't learned, it's that their attitude of absolute totalitarian control over such "Dominion puppets" isn't as easy in the Alpha Quadrant as it may have been in the Gamma Quadrant.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Jammer, I have really enjoyed reading all your reviews. This is the first series I have read each one of them. I think you are incredibly talented and to not have you reviewing something here is a shame and a loss for us all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    That said I would, in a heartbeat, buy a new set of S7 DVDs with this episode updated to remedy this horrific slight.

    A very long post. Summary:
    1) DS9 is Trek. Very good Trek. My favorite Trek (DS9, TOS, TNG, VOY, and the other one)
    2) In this case, the ends justify the means. The Federation deserves to exist, and the moral choice is to fight the Dominion with any means necessary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Closing points:

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

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

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

    I think about Quark's speech in "The Siege of AR-558" about how, when hard pressed, humans will be as violent as Klingons. But -- and this is a key difference -- unlike the Klingons, they won't drink a blood wine toast over a fallen enemy. And *that* earn them the right to survive.

    @zzybaloobah :

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

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

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

    The argument as to whether committing genocide is practical is separate from the argument as to whether or not the Federation would condone/consider genocide. You are attempting to prove the latter with the former, which altogether sidesteps the issues of principles and morality.

    Well, DS9 started out well...early episodes were imbued with classic Trek tropes. Then ratings plummet and we get the 'Dominian War" ===which ultimately devolves into melodrama and soap operaesqe plot lines. I get it, the show was suffering, the writers needed something big, which leads to the classic battle of good vs. evil. Notice however, of the remaining dozen episodes, where is the challenge of convention, the exploration of humanity, the discovery of the alien? Nowhere, ziltch. All tossed out for a plotline better suited to :::gulp:::: ....Star Wars.


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

    My thoughts exactly.

    This is definitely the best final episode of any Star Trek Series, even if I don't consider Voyager's final episode too bad. TNG's final episode is mediocre at best (IMO). As everybody knows, TOS doesn't have one and Enterprise has an awful one.
    The problem with DS9 is that its end on air doesn't really end the story. So many questions remain answered, so many storylines remain open... Will Sisko ever come back? And will Odo really forget Kira? Will Jake see his father, even in a vision? What about Cardassia, its rebuilding was worth seeing. And the female changeling trial, possibly worst war criminal ever... The list could be endless. It was possible to create an entire new series as DS9's continuation. The same cannot be said of any other Star Trek series.

    I can still remember watching the finale first-run back in 1998 or so.. Honestly it really SUCKED that Sisko was (presumably) gone forever, vanished, and away from Jake and his friends. At the very least Picard was still very much alive and with his crew and you knew they'd go on to new adventures both off-and-on screen.

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

    DS9 is by far my favorite Trek, with maybe a handful of bad episodes out of 170+. Kudos to all involved for making this show!!

    @Del_Duio - I actually count "All Good Things" as perhaps the best finale I've ever seen, but it's accomplishing a different goal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Bashir&Dax are embarking on a new journey together.

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

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

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

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

    But a part of me will always be in that holosuite listening to Vic sing "The Way You Look Tonight".

    @ Robert-

    Good points, all!

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

    Now I'm a big O'Brien fan, and Keiko is tolerable, but when you pair them for some big romantic whatever or when they kiss or somesuch it just always looks like both actors are super uncomfortable.

    There were definitely issues with the relationship... but I can't put my finger on why and I wonder if it was the writing.

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

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

    The banter between the two of them felt natural in that scene. Once you see that they CAN do it, you wonder why it doesn't happen more often. ::shrug::

    Also I'd mention that Chao attended his wedding in 2007, so that's nearly 10 years after DS9 ended. If they were close behind the scenes you'd have think the writers could have found some way to give the relationship more zing.

    Did anybody else felt what I did? The federation was not ready for a large scale war. Their ships were an easy target for the Jem'Hadar, the Breen, even the Klingon (there was a time when they are at war during DS9 time frame), let alone the Borg... Punching a hole in those large dishes was child's play.
    By the end of the Star Trek time-line as we know it, they were beginning to do something about it: the Defiant, the Sovereign-class Enterprise...
    Because the time-line basically ends there, we don't know if they ever learned their lesson. We do know that they won the war against the Sphere Builders. A shame that that story was never displayed on screen.

    Am I the only one who thought it was silly that Sisko ordered O'Brien to Sickbay when he had a completely non-life threatening injury, despite the fact that the Defiant is in a huge combat situation? Don't you want your best personnel on duty in such a situation?!?

    I too was disappointed by how Damar died. Considering how his character arc was built up over the past season or so (his character arguably had the most development), having him go out like that didn't provide adequate closure. I read a Casey Biggs interview (source: where he said that they had originally planned an unsatisfying, Tasha-esque death for him, and he asked if that could be changed to a more meaningful death. I also remember reading another interview a few months ago (can't find the link now, unfortunately) where Casey Biggs stated that his last word "Keep.." was adlibbed by him, since he felt that him falling dead without any last words also didn't do Damar justice. It's a sentiment that I share, and I appreciate the gravity and depth Biggs brought to Damar's character - "Well helloooo!" "Maybe you should go talk to Worf again, ha!" are just a few of the choice lines he delivered during the latter episodes of DS9.

    My favourite story arc in general to be honest was the Garak-Kira-Damar storyline. Superb acting and lines. I could have easily surrendered the Pah-wraith storyline for more of their scenes. Dukat's character was butchered, which was a shame, as he shone in earlier seasons, as evidenced by episodes such as the darkly humourous 'Civil Defence.'

    @Vii: If Damar's death as it was in this ep was considered 'more meaningful', I'd hate to know what they had originally written.

    This was still a very good series finale even by today's standards but Damar's death and the wrapping up of the Pah-Wraith arc were major minus points in my book.

    I actually like the abrupt and almost random way Damar died. He died fighting "for Cardassia" - the precise mechanics aren't important, and the execution as presented makes it more realistic. He's not Boromir fighting off orcs in The Fellowship of the Ring.

    I tend to blame Paramount for not really allowing enough budget to end off the Pah-Wraith arc with more impressive setpieces.

    Thanks for this site Jammer and thank you posters as well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    See you in space!!

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

    I love how this board is still going strong and inspiring such stimulating discussion, sixteen years after the series ended.

    (PS - Sorry for not separating the paragraphs above, I'd written it on Word and copied and pasted. Hope no one's eyes are imploding.)

    @zzybaloobah: In any case, the bioweapon attack on the Founders isn't "genocide" -- not in the normal sense of the word.
    Genocide has strong negative connotations for 2 reasons:
    1) It's *mass* murder. Arguably, the Great Link is a single organism. The rules of "mass murder" simply don't apply.
    2) It's indiscrimate targeting of all, including non-combatants. But, all Founders are either direct combatants, or members of an entitty that is guilty of massive war crimes, including genocide and the total subjugation of slave races (Vorta, Jem'Hadar). If breeding slave races to fight your battles isn't a massive war crime then I don't know what is.


    Interesting points.

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

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

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

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

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

    Too many goodbyes, first the bar scene, then the montage scene, then individual goodbyes, then the Jake scene, and finally saying goodbye to the station fadeaway.

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

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

    Who writes this crap?

    They killed Bareil, they killed Ziyal, they gave the spectacular stupendous unique Gul Dukat, the single best character in all of ST a trivial end, and they killed the second best character ever, Damar. Sisko ended up in the never never of the celestial temple idiocy. Every time an awesome promising character or story line was suggested by these mentally challenged and LAZY scriptwriters it was not allowed to go anywhere. The dusgusted smirking look on Weyoun's face when the horrid female changeling is peeling was a dramatic opportunity these idiot scriptwriters missed. Weyoun should have snapped HER neck and the Vorta should have co-ruled the universe with the Carries. I officially loathe DS9, a dozen or so outstanding episodes over the 7 seasons but all the promise of the most inventive ST series ever tossed out the scripwriting airlock.

    I thought the entire series was poorly written. Certain events occurred or had been resolved (mostly the latter) too quickly, as if they knew that people would forget what had happened after a full commercial break. TNG on the other hand, had events occur logically and thoughtfully. Deep Space Nine did have a darker side, examining more complex moral issues and that made it better than TNG.
    I thought the actoring was horrendous for the most part in Deep Space Nine. The best actors were Quark, Odo, and finally Worf. The actor who played Sisco was aweful. I compare him to Shatner because he breaks down his spoken words into groups, and he sounds like a machine when he says his lines. It's a good thing DSP doesn't give Sisco as many lines as TNG gave Picard.
    If you binge-watch the series as I did, you recognize a pattern in how the shows are presented. The middle of each season is dedicated to side-plots and character development, such as Ferengii affairs, etc. By the 5th or 6th season, I learnt to just speed through those episodes. I also noticed that the shows are created around the concepts of tiny cliff-hangers designed to keep the viewer on the couch so that the viewer watches the commercials.
    The ending was disappointed. I was hoping that the Federation would bargain for peace with the Founders using the cure they had. Instead, Odo linked with one of them, and then the war was over. It didn't make any sense. In a way, the cure was the bargaining chip, but it wasn't made clear that it was.
    Deep Space Nine had a very dislikable character or two, and they totally misused those characters during the final episodes and that was the true crime of the series. I'm referring to Dukat and the Kai.
    Another problem with DSN is that there is alot of "spirituality" concepts. TNG was much more Atheistic in nature, even with Q running amok at times. I prefer the religious slandering of TNG over the spiritual overtones of DSN.
    DSN had superior CGI, and the epic battles seemed closer to Star Wars than any other Star Trek I've watched to date.
    I thought it was a mistake to kill Jadzia/Dax in the sixth season. I didn't find her replacement to be compelling at all. She was just a week and uninteresting character that kept whining. It should be noted that she was tiny and uglier too, which doesn't help the cause. I felt like too much time was devoted on that in the seventh season, rather than tying up loose plot ends.
    Also, sometimes the show didn't make much sense. Like the changeling that had the ability to be a gas, a mist, and it can be jailed... Or that the Defiant can be cloaked but during wartime it remains uncloaked and taking on hits when it could have been cloaked... Or how easily people can travil within the galaxy, to earth for instance, as if it didn't take any time at all, unlike TNG where you felt the enormity of the galaxy. Or the weirdness of the alternate universe shows that were obviously time fillers for the writers.
    In conclusion, the final moments of DSN were spoiled with too much interpersonal character sideplots rather than the political aspect of the intergalactic war. Many shows built a plot over a long period of time, but the climax of the story occurs so late that no time is spent on the denouement of the episodes. The only long denouement is the final episode where each character says their departing 'good-byes'.

    ^^ "It should be noted that she was tiny and uglier too, which doesn't help the cause" ^^

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

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

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

    No, not Leeta just kidding! She's super nice in person and goes way out of her way for Trek fans but she doesn't belong in that sentence.

    "I mean compared to Terry Farrell isn't just about everyone tinier and uglier?"

    We believe otherwise.

    Thank you Jammer for some very insightful reviews, that sometimes changed my opinion. Have finally finished a task I started in January. Strangely, I find myself thinking of brilliant individual episodes, and one of the best fictional villains I've ever seen....but.....I think B5 did similar arcs a lot better...and TNG had a much more graceful conclusion. And there was way too much mystico-cobblers (to quote a friend) for my taste. And they ruined Dukat - a truly Shakespearean character - at the end. No, that's ungracious. I shall remember episodes like Duet, the Wire, Rocks and Shoals, In the Pale Moonlight, even It's Only a Paper Moon, as as some of the best drama I've seen in any genre. Some of them probably had more effect on me than anything in TNG. Also I think DS9 generally did comedy much better than both B5 and TNG. I loved Morn, and mostly relished Quark. Now I think I need some British detective drama. Then Voyager awaits.

    DS9's biggest weakness was always Avery Brooks. Scenes between him and Kassidy or Jake, when he lets out that little giggle of his, are near unwatchable. So the fact that his arc is the least satisfying isn't at all surprising. But this episode is still able to be great because the other actors do such terrific jobs. As usual, Andrew Robinson is a cut above the rest as Garak. He way always able to convey so much while saying so little, which is difficult for any actor, let alone one in pounds of makeup and prosthetics on his face. 4 outta 4 stars

    I'm a big Sisko defender but I understand what some people don't like about him. But seriously, you're going to take a dig at his scenes with Jake? I don't think there's anybody on the show he plays against better than Jake. I really bought that relationship.

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

    What specifically did you dislike about Avery and Cirroc's scenese?

    The sickbay scene here shows a somewhat cramped but still rather decent facility. I remember when we first got the Defiant that Bashir said he had to craft a makeshift sickbay in his quarters.

    I have a lot of conflicting feelings about the series and this episode. The episode itself is mostly fine, though I feel Damar's death was a waste -- it would have made much more of an impact if Garak had died instead.

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

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

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

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

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

    Overall, this is the series that I rewatch the most. It's got a sensible storyline, and feels more realistic than most Trek stuff.

    'Rushed' is the word that comes to mind when I think of the last 4-5 episode arc of DS9. After wasting so much precious time with pointless episodes in the beginning of this season, they ran out of time and now everything feels cramped.

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

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


    If you want to blame someone for the absence of Jadzia, you're going to have to blame Terry Farrell herself. The producers wanted to use Jadiza in the flashbacks and even had clips of her in the script but she and her agent wouldn't allow them to do it. They then demanded such a huge sum of money for the privilege of using her clips that it was simply cost-prohibitive.

    @Luke - Source please? I've heard the opposite, that the producers were so cheap they used her pictures and voice in an earlier episode (Pemumbra) without compensation or permission. Her agent filed a complaint which was unresolved when the finale happened, and they couldn't even ask her because they were still in the process of having the original complaint dealt with.

    Been looking around for it and I find things that support my account, your account and a few in between.

    Also, I'm against editing stuff for Blu/DVD releases generally... but could they just add the pics in now? I'd appreciate it :P

    S7 : The Jadzia Cut

    Ugh, stupid comments won't let me paste the links in (something about cutting down on spam).

    I got the info. from Memory Alpha and the links they provide. Go to Memory Alpha's "What You Leave Behind" page. It's under "3 Background Information" and "3.5 Montage scenes". It's the fourth item which starts with "Flashback scenes of Jadzia Dax are conspicuously absent...".

    Interesting. Actually that makes it sound like it wasn't about money as much as it was that she was pushing for a larger role.

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

    I had heard they weren't even legally allowed to ask her because they were in arbitration with her over Penumbra.

    I don't know that I believe the whole "I called your manager" crap... I NEVER got the impression that Terry hated the show, or working on the show, or she hated the directors/writers or anything like that. Just what was the "huge sum" of $$$? Good god man, give Terry a call... someone in the cast give Terry a call...

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

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

    Break.... I'm all for adding them if and when we ever get BLU-RAYs... but I don't ever see that happening.

    I think I've figured out the reason the war in DS9 didn't have a huge impact on me as a whole. I don't understand the Founders motivation as conquering aggressors. They live on a world which isn't under threat and could easily be defended with the Jem Hadar, yet they feel the need to go out and take control of hundreds of other worlds. Why? They're a pool of slime. They have no need for vast resources, they don't even eat so there's no need for new territory for food production. Why do they need to expand their military rule? When the Dominion was first introduced this didn't bother me because it seemed there were hidden motivations, but by the end you have a picture of a single Founder controlling an array of races and ships for no other reason than to conquer the galaxy. I don't buy it.

    But quibbles aside, what an ending. The final third is up there with DS9's finest moments. Poignant, touching and well orchestrated. Take a bow, cast and crew.

    @James the dominion and founders amounted to nothing but mustache-twirlers. Their motivations were hardly developed. Maybe they could have done that instead of the myriad of other filler.

    An almost but not quite perfect way to go out. For me, most of the characters get good resolutions. Possibly the most interesting factor is that two of the main character stories - Sisko and Odo/Kira - don't end up in a Hollywood ending, a particularly satisfying and brave conclusion (which makes Ezri/Bashir even more irritating as that's your classic Hollywood ending right there... but enough of that). To end the series on Jake looking out to the wormhole is a beautiful little downbeat ending. The scenes at Vic's and into the montage sequences are also beautifully scored and staged. I loved Martok's "Humans..." when Sisko and Ross refused to join his toast. If nothing else the Klingons remain unreconstructed. And Weyoun and Damar get the endings they deserved (I always felt appropriately for the latter, who would achieve legendary status in life that his pre-reformation actions perhaps didn't deserve). The action sequences are great (even despite of the reuse of FX shots...).

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

    Still, there was so much good here, and there's been so much to enjoy in the last 7 series, that it would be churlish to mark down the finale too much. "Minsk!" indeed. 3.5 stars.

    "To end the series on Jake looking out to the wormhole is a beautiful little downbeat ending. "

    Boy, you're not kidding Diamond Dave. I HATED this ending then and I hate it now. It was sad enough to see my favorite show end but they really twisted the knife by making it end like that :(

    "I think I've figured out the reason the war in DS9 didn't have a huge impact on me as a whole. I don't understand the Founders motivation as conquering aggressors. They live on a world which isn't under threat and could easily be defended with the Jem Hadar, yet they feel the need to go out and take control of hundreds of other worlds. Why? They're a pool of slime. They have no need for vast resources, they don't even eat so there's no need for new territory for food production. Why do they need to expand their military rule? When the Dominion was first introduced this didn't bother me because it seemed there were hidden motivations, but by the end you have a picture of a single Founder controlling an array of races and ships for no other reason than to conquer the galaxy. I don't buy it."

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

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

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

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

    Of course, it was this trait that was eventually their undoing. The plague unleashed on the Founders was a comeuppance long in the making, particularly when we consider their actions in episodes like Quickening and how they altered and manipulated slave races like the Vorta and the Jem'Hadar. Their ruthlessness in protecting themselves was also the seed of their downfall.

    Nice to see they devoted a solid 15 minutes to resolving the entire premise of the series, at least.

    Also I wonder why they weren't able to put Jadzia in the flashbacks. Worf kissing Ezri was kind of a weird choice. If they couldnt put Jadzia in for whatever reason, it probably would have been best to leave out Worfs romances altogether. A flashback to martok giving worf the family emblem might have been more poignant and meaningful.

    I also wouldve liked to see sisko give some last words to jake. Jake really did fizzle out as a character.

    @JC - They had originally intended for Jadzia to appear in the flashback montage. However, according to Ira Steven Behr...

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

    Given that they had earlier used Farrell's image as Jadzia without her permission - when Ezri sees Jadzia's and Worf's wedding picture and decides to go save Worf - I'm sure that didn't help the situation.

    Long story short, it was either Terry's way or "no way". A bit of a shame too. In retrospect, she could've used the extra publicity.

    Loved this incarnation of Star Trek, if only Voyager had been brave enough to follow the same trend of long term storylines.
    I didn't think that the Dukat ending was a disappointment at all, yes I suppose him and Sisco could of had a more in depth discussion but I've always thought by this point the script writers had made it pretty clear what Dukat wanted; he wanted the Bajorans to love him, respect him and worship him... throughout the entire series the one constant with Dukat has been his continued dismay that his "fair" reign over Bajor was unappreciated by the population and that he looked at them as his "children", this is all something that came easy to Sisco as the Emissary to the prophets with the irony being that Sisco never cared or wanted that worship or adulation which is why Dukat hated him so much.

    zzybaloobah's comment above is the perfect response to so many of the criticisms of how wrong DS9 is regarding the Federation. I find it strange how many Trek fans insist on playing the purity card when their sense of Trek history is lacking detail. Another poster above astutely mentioned the close parallels between the Dukat/Sisko final scene and the final scenes in Where No Man Has Gone Before. Maybe the fire and special words made people upset, but the basic element of the telekinetic powers and strange aura was present in at least a half-dozen TOS episodes. There were countless benign or nefarious "advanced" incorporeal beings in TOS, and yet when they become a major plot focus here it's "technomagicbabble."

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

    I love this finale but don't really have any particular critique or praise for its particulars. It was the fitting conclusion to a story that was all about characters becoming enmeshed in a war they didn't want. The lack of Terry Farrell is a reasonable complaint and is indeed a blight on the flashbacks, and I think it's fairly plain that too much battle footage was re-used, even though it was artfully done in the editing. But I've watched this series a lot of times, and I honestly think that most of the other criticisms being levied at logical issues are resolved by thinking about the facts of the series more. Things that people in a pinch think don't make sense - they really do, but it's not immediately obvious why. DS9 never played to the cheap seats; a lot of its inner thinking is left for the audience to wonder at or learn from re-watching. In this it is pretty much the antithesis to Voyager, which relentlessly hammers you in every episode with exactly what the moral of the story is and exactly what the writers are trying to say (usually Janeway or Chakotay voice the moral explicitly, almost staring into the camera as they do so). But in DS9 we are not privy to what the characters are thinking a lot of the time, and sometimes they do things they don't bother explaining, which doesn't mean they don't have a reason. It just means it's not our business to have it spoon-fed to us. The final link between Odo and the Founder is a great example of this, where frustrated viewers wonder what Odo could really have "told" her (even the question phrased that way belies misunderstanding of what he did). And the lack of having this explained suggests to these views that it was just deus ex machina and that the proceeding surrender was illogical. Such protests really need to be reconsidered, since if the viewer gives any credence to the writers at all they should assume there is a sense to be found and that if it isn't this means the viewer has missed something. The assumption that an immediate lack of understanding means the show screwed up is a bad habit bred by lazy writing in other shows, I think. Then again writers do make mistakes, but it takes some work to determine whether a particular question can be ascribed to an outright mistake versus a mystery to be solved. DS9 is all about the fact that people (alien or Human) are giant mysteries that never fully get solved. The same goes for how to protect paradise; there is no magic answer.

    So, I have already started writing a longish thing on this episode (and, by extension, the closing arc, the season, the series...) but it is hard to pull my thoughts together. I think I will write something short for now, just to get some sense of completion for the moment. Overall, I'm okay with the finale. I don't love it, though I love individual scenes; I don't think it's a failure, though there are certain elements that I consider failures. The Odo/Founder rapprochement and her surrender is a good example of my mixed feelings about the finale. I don't find that element incomprehensible at all, ultimately -- I think that the series as a whole has set up Odo's turning the Founder fairly well, and I have already started on what I think it means and its significance. However, I also agree with, e.g., Ric that the moment falls flat emotionally. I agree with Peter G. above that the writers do understand more or less why the Founder changed her mind after Linking with Odo and that it is probably a mistake to believe that the writers simply boxed themselves in on this particular plot point; I don't really have a problem with it on that particular level. However, as with other elements in the finale, I think it is rushed and lacks some of the poetry that the show has elsewhere. Nor do I think it is wrong for fans to feel unsatisfied with that moment and scene. Most of my feelings about the finale are like that -- that I think that things mostly work, but that due to the amount of material that had to be covered (and some of the material that didn't strictly *have* to be, of course), some things fall flatter than they should, are given less justification than they could, and so on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So I ended up writing a fair amount anyway. I guess I like this finale more than I don't, but I do find it choppy in tone and with several endings I find quite questionable in execution and, well, concept, too, though I admit that I might just not be able to parse it correctly right now. I was originally going to say 2.5 stars or so, but what it does well it does well enough that I think I can recommend it. I will say 3 stars, I guess. As with all my ratings, it is provisional, etc., etc., I can never make up my mind about anything, but overall I am happy with most of where the characters ended up, think that the melancholy, bittersweet feeling is appropriate to the series, and found several moments to be exceptional.

    Wow, 17 years after the finale aired the first time, and my fifth or sixth viewing of the entire series, and I STILL get melancholy and sad at the ending. The one thing that strikes me every time is seeing how Ciroc Lofton literally grew up before our eyes during the seven year run of the series. I felt he and Avery Brooks had such a genuine father-in-law chemistry, so believable. All that to say that I personally feel Jake Sisko deserved better than what happened to his father, especially given how he lost his mother at such a young age. But yet, here we are, still talking about the series SEVENTEEN years later. Good job, writers, actors, producers, and staff!

    The Prophet stuff really needed to either be connected to the Cardassia plot - even if only in the slightly loose way they did at the beginning of the season - or have its own episode. As it is, it just feels awkwardly tacked on.

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

    This probably isn't really a valid criticism, but this really doesn't work well as two seperate episodes when its shown that way. The mid point is just a bad place to split it.

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

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


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

    That's not to say I didn't like both endings, it's just that this one overhypes the war only to end it anticlimactically. When I watch this, I always feel like the writers were pushed into making a war story by executives, when they really wanted to do a show about Changlings, the Gamma Quadrant, and Sci-Fi.

    Fri, Jun 17, 2016, 9:37am (UTC -5)

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

    Agree. AGT was much better SCI-FI.

    And jack_Faith,

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

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

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

    They aren't even in the same league.

    "We've never seen such a threat to the Federation. Maybe *that's* why people claim this isn't Trek -- it's hard to have "Trek optimism" when your existence is threatened."

    That's not why people laugh at DS9.

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

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

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

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


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

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

    In making the story in this way, DS9 leaves the consistent atheism of TNG behind in favour of concerns more germane to our world today. I'm something of an atheist myself, but I find the long-term character arcs of the darker, if still Trekkian DS9 much more entertaining.

    @ Nathan B,

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

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

    That being said I agree that in terms of imagery and theme there is something Biblical about Sisko, but I would argue that it's far more to do with Abraham than with Jesus (being an outsider in a strange land, being willing to sacrifice his son, having an uncertain dialogue with a greater power, abiding by the wishes of the prophets as a sort of covenant). That Sisko had a 'divine birth' and is part prophet is the Jesus aspect of it, but we could argue that this aspect of his story is present in the myths of many cultures and isn't Christianity-specific.

    @ Peter G- "The beings in the wormhole are aliens, not gods. Their power is, frankly, trivial compared to what we saw from many beings in TOS, and even some in TNG."

    Don't forget they also made a fleet of thousands of Jem H'dar warships disappear too. The Prophets might not be on par with Q, but that's hardly a parlor trick!

    @ Del_Duio,

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

    Creating a stable wormhole is no doubt a technological marvel - maybe centuries ahead of what the Federation could do at the time. But it's no more divine than warp speed or transporters would be for a race that hadn't invented them yet. Once you have the technology to create such a structure it doesn't seem to me all that impressive to be able to shut it down or redirect what's inside it at will. Now, if the prophets had made a fleet *outside* of the wormhole disappear, that would indeed be pretty good evidence that they were among those 'godlike' beings that Kirk met from time to time.

    Well, Peter G., I think your comparison to Abraham was interesting--there certainly are, as you pointed out, a number of parallels between Sisko and Abraham. That said, I think the Christ-figure designation has far more applicability to Sisko. Abraham did not have an unusual birth or death, and he was not divine. Jesus, on the other hand, has a virgin birth, a resurrection, and is a deity, to boot, so I'd say that it is the Christ-figure comparison is much more applicable here. Furthermore, Jesus, like Sisko, is in a sort of communion with God; thus, for instance, you have Jesus on the cross asking God why he (i.e. God) has forsaken him (i.e. Jesus); I was reminded very much of this when the wormhole closed itself and the Prophets stopped speaking with their Emissary and through the orbs.

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

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

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

    @ Nathan B,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @Nathan B. and Peter G.

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

    Having said that, however:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This is no superstition or white magic charge: it would have you condemned very severely as a heretic until fairly recently. Be glad you're writing this in 2016, and not 1616―or the Holy Inquisition (gasp!) would be knocking on your door anytime soon... ;)

    @ Andy's Friend,

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

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

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

    Peter G. and Andy's Friend: good discussion!

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

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

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

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

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

    DS9, like all other cultural phenomena, didn't arise in a vacuum. With themes from evolution to godhood to the journey of faith and religion, it responds to the world we really live in--which, by the Nineties, was a world in which it was obvious that religion was gaining in importance, rather than declining, DS9 was perfectly positioned to entertainingly probe what it means to be human, even as the two themes (among others) guaranteed a wide potential audience.

    I was disappointed that the writers dropped the ball on the fate of the founder. He/She committed a war atrocity, ordering the killing of 800 million civilians, that made Adolph Hitler look like a Sunday school teacher. But for that, she get's taken into "custody" and is cured by Odo. Garak should have melted her right after taking out Weyoun.

    You might want to read up on whether the Geneva Convention covers those who commit atrocities not to mention the fates of people like Hermann Goering.

    At any rate the Founder had it coming a lot more than Wyoun did.

    I didn't like it. Everything was rushed. It felt like the writers just said 'Ok let's get this over with.'
    Series wrap: The first season started with a whimper. Things got gradually better as the seasons progressed. Then the show ended with a whimper

    "You might want to read up on whether the Geneva Convention covers those who commit atrocities not to mention the fates of people like Hermann Goering"

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

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

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

    While the Prophets had prevented that invasion previously there was never a gurantee that they would continue to do so indefenitely. Moreover, it was certainly in the Federation's interests to find a longer term solution to the problem besides depending the benevolence of alien deities.

    By the way Peter, while I generally agree with your comments concerning the nature of the Prophets and your claim that they are not overtly "divine" for the most part - you are ignoring one small but key piece of evidence.

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

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

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

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

    @ Jason R.,

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

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

    Are the WA's powerful? Yes. But having that kind of power doesn't bespeak being a god. It just means they have a *type* of influence different from the other advanced beings we've met so far. In fact, their uniqueness is precisely the premise of the entire show, so of course they are unlike what we've seen elsewhere. When studying the martial arts or tai chi, for instance, we are taught that precise application of energy is more efficient than brute force. Aikido experts are well-known for being able to disable someone using very little effort or 'force', even though the result can be devastating. It's all about balance, leverage, and knowing exactly which moment and way to push the right button. I see the WA's this way; as using delicate pushes here and there rather than bludgeoning aggression like the pagh wraiths would do.

    Getting back to Weyoun you mentioned that even he did not know what was different. Weyoun, the genetically engineered master general of the Dominion, could perceive nothing tangibly different about the war, yet "something" (intangible?) was different.

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

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

    Okay I concede I am on a bit of a flight of fancy with this theory. My Prophet as writer / God is something I just pulled out of my rear end, although given Sisko's writer / alter ego and the events in the Desert of Tyree, not the craziest of crazy theories.

    @ Jason R,

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

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

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

    But in-story I think the analogy ceases to have direct relevance, because we have to look at what the WA's actually do. And nothing they mechanically do seems to be godlike other than the fact that they have a bird's eye view of time, which I still see as being a technological feature rather than a spiritual one.

    A pretty good last episode to the series.

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

    Winn needed to die a much worse death. I hated her. Next what the heck with the Changlings? They are straight up EVIL. They murdered billions of people, 800 million in the finale? And Odo gets to go back and heal them? I don't think so.
    That was extremely annoying to me.
    The Changlings needed a much more severe punishment. They were heartless and more evil than anyone else. Season Six was the better one with the war stuff.
    This is my first time ever watching DS9. It is like a space soap opera but I did enjoy it.
    Season 7 felt strange. Ezri Dax should not of been cast. They spent way too much time focusing on a new- one season character. That was not good.
    The pay off for Kira and Odo was not impactful. It felt sloppy on the last season with a few good ones. I still enjoyed the show.

    "The Changlings needed a much more severe punishment. They were heartless and more evil than anyone else."

    Like genocide? Because that's what you're advocating if you wanted Odo to not heal them.

    Wow, that was the most depressing ending to a star trek series I've ever seen. I'll admit my feelings for ds9 were so so in the beginning, but I gave the series a shot. Overall my final critique is that it was pretty good and I enjoyed the emphasis on politics and war. I felt that the series was not as good as TNG, but better than TOS. Some of the character plots and development was overbearing and I wanted to see more adventures and sci-fi happenings, but I realize a lot of fans appreciate the character complexity. What can you do? Lol. But I'm glad I gave the series a shot. Cant wait to see Discovery. Hopefully it doesn't suck.

    Like genocide? Because that's what you're advocating if you wanted Odo to not heal them.

    How about putting them on trial for their lives, like we did to high ranking Nazis after WWII? That has the EXACT same outcome. They are going to be found guilty of war crimes and die. But, once again, rampant Leftism and do-gooder mentality means that the Founders escape ANY and ALL kinds of justice.

    It had many good moments but I felt there was too much that let me down.

    All the hype of a big space battle with talk of a final push toward Cardassia Prime only to see stock footage!!! Part 1 ends on a cliffhanger by showing the planet's massive defenses but then about 12 minutes into Part 2 and The Dominion surrenders...war over. Huh? Now we're back at Vic's singing songs soon to be followed by montages which do not include Worf's wife Jadzia. This took up too much time that could have be spent concluding the war at a proper and believable pace. The female founder's sudden change of heart seemed too contrived given that Odo's past links had done nothing to dissuade her hatred and paranoia of the solids. (Then come the fire caves. Ugh.)

    I agree that it felt like The Dominion was let off the hook too easily given their war crimes over the years: attempted genocide on a planetary scale, assassination, biological warfare used on civilians, executing prisoners, shooting of escape pods...just to name a few. Although the TOS episode In Thy Image shows how The Federation was willing to forgive even murder to overcome misunderstandings with different alien cultures, the Founders' misdeeds were too great just to have everything wrap up with a neat bow on it. Over the past several seasons, we saw a lot of death and destruction starting with the USS Odyssey. The writers placed too much weight on me for this ending to be all that satisfying.

    I also wonder if Odo joining the great link means The Dominion will suddenly grant freedom and self determination to all of its citizens including the Jem'Hadar and Vorta? They might have to "redesign" their genetic makeup first.

    Great wrap-up to the show, the montage was fantastic, so poignant, NO *YOU* SHUT UP YOU'RE CRYING!!!

    Thanks for all the reviews and all your comments guys, it's been fun. :)

    Good episode, some beefs of course:

    The timing all off btw. the Winn/Dukat scenes and everything else going on,

    I love how Dukat can just waltz into the Kai's office - is the Vatican that open?

    I thought the wormhole was destroyed, so how is it re-appeared? Did the surrendered Dominion forces return to the Gamma Quad?

    Funny how all those who left DS9 had to go that night of the party;

    Quark hasn't benefited from his brother, Rom, being Grand Nagus - has he?

    A good scene would have been a new Starfleet commander arriving to take command of the station,

    Based on human physiology, I would have thought that cured-Odo linking with the infected-Founder would have resulted in Odo being infected. I guess Bashir's cure created antibodies that then cured the infected Founders.

    Why was Worf still wearing a Starfleet uniform when he left the station - he had already accepted the ambassador role...a Klingon outfit would have been better,

    Why exactly are Ezri and Bashir at stations on the bridge of the Defiant during a battle? Ezri is a therapist and Bashir is a doctor..I don't ever recall Troi or Dr. Crusher having a station on the bridge of the Enterprise-D.

    @Tanner, you ask why Bashir and Ezri are on the Defiant bridge during the decisive battle.

    Well, the good Doctor possesses literally superhuman intellect and hand-eye co-ordination, both of which might come in handy on the bridge of a warship.

    The therapist might be a bit wet, but she possesses roughly 300 years of knowledge and experience from multiple lifetimes (is it 9 at this point?) including those of starfleet officers (Tories/Jadzia/Ezri) and affiliates (Curzon) as well as an engineer (Tobin).

    Both of them have quite a bit more to offer than Mummy Crusher. Not sure about your point regarding Troi mind. Don't let the fact that the Deanna character and the actress playing her are oxygen thieves detract from the notion that, if an option, having a mind-reader on the bridge would be an absolute no-brainer. Also she clearly did have a station on the NCC-1701D bridge - it was right next to the captain.

    WYLB was almost perfect.

    Just to clarify about Odo and the founder - when he linked with her she understood that the solids could love changelings and how much Bashir did to get the cure for Odo.

    At that moment I think she understood that changelings and solids could co-exist - that's why she ended the war.

    Re: Odo returning - a close watching of the series after Odo joins the link up until the end shows that a part of him always wanted to return - the fact he waited showed how much he loved the solids and the female founder would've finally understood this.

    Re: Damar's death, it was poetic and real. War doesn't care who you are - even token skirmishes can end the lives of great men.

    Re: DS9 being over - binge watched all 7 seasons in a month - I'm so sad it's over, it's was the best Star Trek ever made because it was real (even in the 24th century black fathers are absent - jokes!)

    Seriously though, great series - we won't get anything as good as this again.

    People who bash it don't realize how convenient the 45min "encounter, struggle, learn, move on" paradigm is for Star Trek.

    DS9 - like life - shows that you can move on but the problems remain.

    I love you DS9.

    "Just to clarify about Odo and the founder - when he linked with her she understood that the solids could love changelings and how much Bashir did to get the cure for Odo."

    Which is ironic, because if Section 31 hasn't invented the disease, there would be no need for a cure in the first place. Do you think the writers trying to say Section 31 saved the alpha quadrant?

    @ Chrome:

    "Which is ironic, because if Section 31 hasn't invented the disease, there would be no need for a cure in the first place. Do you think the writers trying to say Section 31 saved the alpha quadrant?"

    I think, like many other matters in DS9, they intended it to be grey. I tend to put more stock than many do in the logic Sloan uses when discussing his methods with Bashir.

    However even if we unequivocally say that Section 31 did something bad, I think it's plausible to read from the situation that good can come even from bad things that happen. If they did something wrong, Bashir and Odo were given the opportunity to correct it and perhaps gain the trust of the Founders in a way that wouldn't have been possible otherwise. But it's not Section 31 that are responsible for that good, even though they unknowingly laid the groundwork for it.

    That being said, it's hard to argue that Section 31's methods were ineffective, right or wrong.

    Especially in light of the events of In the Pale Moonlight. "The Ends don't justify the Means" has to be one of those idioms that is universally agreed with in theory but almost never in practice. There is no question Section 31 saved the Alpha Quadrant, none. And given the chance to rectify their evil act the Federation unequivocally stood by it.

    @ Jason R - ""The Ends don't justify the Means" has to be one of those idioms that is universally agreed with in theory but almost never in practice. There is no question Section 31 saved the Alpha Quadrant, none. "

    It's a bit more complicated I think though. Because it took an action by a person who ultimately DID believe that to really save the day.

    That said... I think the whole point of DS9 is that everything is gray. Maybe the ends justify the means sometimes. If I could save my own life by committing genocide I wouldn't do it. The thing I saved wouldn't be recognizable to me. If I could save my family by murdering one innocent person... I'd take that deal.

    In "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" :

    SLOAN: I just wanted to say thank you.

    BASHIR: For what? Allowing you to manipulate me so completely?

    SLOAN: For being a decent human being. That's why we selected you in the first place, Doctor. We needed somebody who wanted to play the game, but who would only go so far. When the time came, you stood your ground. You did the right thing. You reached out to an enemy, you told her the truth, you tried to stop a murder. The Federation needs men like you, Doctor. Men of conscience, men of principle, men who can sleep at night. You're also the reason Section Thirty one exists. Someone has to protect men like you from a universe that doesn't share your sense of right and wrong.

    Maybe he's right, maybe the world needs both kinds of people. But for what it's worth, Bashir ultimately compromised his principals (torturing Sloan leading to death) to stop a genocide. So while I do think that we need both kinds of people it's worth noting that everyone has a trade off where the ends start to justify the means.


    "Maybe he's right, maybe the world needs both kinds of people. But for what it's worth, Bashir ultimately compromised his principals (torturing Sloan leading to death) to stop a genocide. So while I do think that we need both kinds of people it's worth noting that everyone has a trade off where the ends start to justify the means."

    I think the writers were trying to drive home the point that the war had forced these types of principle compromises, whereas they wouldn't happen normally, during Picard's time, for example. Is there a character that walks away clean in DS9? Probably Odo, at least as far as he's shown in the present time when the show takes place. Odo needs to remain clean and pure, so he can be a sort of innocent outsider observing and weighing the rights and wrongs of solids.

    @ Chrome:

    Are you sure that Odo is "clean and pure"? And are you sure that those are qualities that would be convincing to the Founders even if he were? Note that they probably consider themselves to be clean and pure as well, and would assess any comment from an innocent Odo as him being young and naive and not having the wisdom of the link. Clean and pure would seem to imply having steered clear of wrong, but is that what was needed of him to add something unique to the link?

    On the contrary, the series goes out of its way to show that Odo is by no means clean and pure, despite being overall good. We know that an alternate version of him was willing to eliminate thousands of colonists in order to save the love of his life. We know that he collaborated in the execution of Bajoran prisoners in the past to appease his sense of order, and we know that he kept this from Kira and that justice had nothing to do with it. We know that during the 2nd occupation he deserted to the side of the Founders temporarily. This last incident is so serious that it's no surprise how many commenters on this site find his offense there unforgiveable and don't buy Kira accepting his friendship again so easily.

    I think it's his lack of perfection that allowed him the best chance to get through to the Founders. If he had avoided all error he would basically be like the Founders, only just on the other side. But because he made mistakes like the solids, fell in love like one, and was confused about his loyalties like one, he really did experience life as a solid like no other Changeling apparently had. He had some real information to transmit to them that they truly didn't know or believe before. Consider how damning to the female Changeling it would be to discover that her intimate moments with Odo on the station are now considered by him to be a time of weakness and betrayal, while previously she couldn't have understood it as anything but a time of clarity for Odo. Seeing his side of that incident would be a rude awakening, that her 'paradise' could actually be a curse to him.

    If I wanted to pick a character that came out of DS9 clean, or at least cleaner than he was when he came in, I'd have to name Garak. Not clean by Federation standards, of course, but it seems that his patriotism towards Cardassia is refined and focused over time so that in the end he could find himself a hero of his people rather than just looking out for his own advantage. Even just finding common cause with the Federation would be no small matter for a Cardassian. We might also name Quark and Rom, who both have various stains against them but seem to unequivocally veer towards Federation values over the course of the series. But yes, all of the Federation people as well as Kira seem to become tainted with some darkness or another over the course of the series. Miles bears it better than the rest of them because he's already been around the block, but his hands definitely get dirty.

    @Peter G.

    To be honest, Garak had crossed my mind, but his actions in "In the Pale Moonlight" alone are enough to show he's a pretty ruthless person when he wants to be. Odo, on the other hand, only killed a Changeling in self-defense.

    Also, I made a point of saying "in the present time when the show takes place". Odo's rocky start as a security officer is what makes him the honorable man of the present days of the show. I mean, you could argue that Picard was a reckless child because he not only needed to repeat a year at the academy for bad behavior, he got into a knife with Nausicans. But, TNG doesn't focus on Picard of his youth so we don't really see him like that. By the same token, we don't see Odo as the big bad guy who sentenced innocent Bajorans to death, because most of the show focuses on a different, honorable Odo.

    @ Chrome,

    That's basically why I specified that Garak's value were refined and honed, but not by Federation (i.e. nice guy) standards. So he was 'better', insofar as his character and his methods began to be used towards nobler ends than his personal gain. That, at least, seems to have been a trait that even his Federation associates respected, especially Odo and Julian.

    About Odo, yes, some of his misdeeds were in the past, but the issue with him is that he was in denial for a long time about what he had really done. So while the collaboration was 'in the past', as long as he believed he had done no wrong and didn't change then he was the same guy, just in a different environment. It took being made to face his crime to realize how wrong he was (and by extention, how wrong his people are). And of course switching sides during the 2nd occupation happens late in the series, so that too is a question of him realizing what his true nature had been up until that point and finally deciding whether to embrace it or to try to change. The Founders never feel the need to change, and that's the lesson he tought them: how to change themselves, and not just their external shape. It was a core principle of being a Changeling that they were lacking, since they ironically were inflexible in seeing things from different points of view. I think Odo needed to have made serious mistakes in order to be *forced* to adopt a new perspective, since he wouldn't have even bothered trying to do it without the added push of being made to face his errors. Even Dr. Mora told him that he was totally unwilling to change his form until being forced to do so; he wanted to sit around being the same all the time. It seems entirely likely that Odo's people are just the same way, and having been dominant for so long, no one was ever in a position to 'make them' change.

    Odo's worst action were of course the S6 occupation arc. Abandoning his friends to get his link fix. I can't recall him ever doing anything else really terrible during the show's run.

    That said, they are all mostly clean, but they each have blood on their hands a few times for the sake of the greater good. Sisko helps Garak in ITPM. O'Brien violates orders at least once a season for his own moral code. Bashir makes it all the way until the penultimate episode and then commits his act to stop genocide. For my money he's the cleanest. Dax kills the albino in S2 to avenge murder. And Kira... does Kira do anything bad DURING the show? My memory is faltering a bit.

    @ Robert,

    Kira seems to constantly skirt between having turned a new leaf and reverting to her old self. Maybe we can attribute some of that to faulty writing (backsliding her progress), but it seems pretty clear that they intended for her to come full circle and end the series as a terrorist just as she began it. With new understanding, with more control, but having gone through the arc of recognizing peaceful paradise just long enough to know she had to get back in the trenches to fight for it.

    I think a big moment for her that greys her outlook is during the 2nd occupation when she realizes she's a collaborator. Funny enough, for her the greying comes as a result of her becoming *less violent*, whereas for the Federation people it's them becoming more violent for the most part. In terms of being 'clean and pure' I think she was never meant to be that in the first place. In the spirit of Ensign Ro, her role seems to have been one of being damaged goods already, and struggling to balance everything. At her best her purity of intent wins out, but on the balance she has so many jagged edges it's hard for me to see her as having been pure at any point like Julian was in S1.

    I just finished DS9 for the first time ever. I've been a big Star Trek fan forever, but never watched any DS9. Boy was that a mistake. Although it did allow for my girlfriend and I to watch it together, neither of us knowing what would happen next. We have been binge-watching every single one of the 729 episodes and movies of Star Trek in chronological order in preparation for Star Trek: Discovery. We have loved DS9 for the past few months we've been watching, and were quite sad as it approached its end. We were both bawling at the end of What You Leave Behind. I agree with many of the aforementioned flaws (Damar's quick death, Dukat's possession, Bajor not joining the Federation, no Jadzia, etc.), but I still thought it was a great end to a great show.

    That is to say, however, that I am wrecked by Sisko's disappearance. The man just got married and heard he was having a baby, and then he's gone for "Maybe a year. Maybe yesterday." That didn't do it for me, so I looked up to see what the inevitable novel or comic book said happened next. I was pleased to see that in the relaunch novels, he returned from the Celestial Temple on the day his daughter was born. I was kinda furthered saddened though to see that his life wasn't that great after the Prophets, and he wanted to divorce Kasidy to keep her safe, and with his new command he was very short and distant with his crew and all this. I guess eventually it turned out alright though.
    But then I saw the Star Trek Online continuty. Up till now, I have considered STO canon. It is a perfect post-Nemesis storyline that I couldn't have asked for better if I tried. Or it was...
    Apparently it is alluded to that Sisko is STILL with the Prophets, 34 years later?! Wth! I understand that neither the novels or Star Trek Online are canon, but STO seems to be as close as it comes. And this "ending" to one of my favourite characters makes me very sad, and I've been distraught all day. :p Why wouldn't STO tie up this very loose thread??

    Although I would like to say - I'm so glad I stumbled upon this page, and it is SO cool to see a review for the episode from when it came out in freaking 1999, and there are still people commenting on it (before this comment) as recent as yesterday. Such a testament to how great Deep Space Nine was, and forever will be. Here's to hoping Star Trek Discovery is even half as good.

    3.5 stars. Pretty good finale especially when you consider how pretty much every other tv show I can think of barring TNG and nBSG had AWFUL series finales

    The Good:

    The best parts of the Final Chapter were the Dominion war and the Cardassian resistance

    Just a lot of good elements from the Founder disease, the Breen joining the Dominion, the Cardassians growing tired of being second class citizens rising up against the Dominion. The Bajoran Cardassian parallels impressed me a great deal. It's pretty clear none of this was planned from the beginning of the series but it doesn't make the way it all came together any less impressive or awe-inspiring.

    This arc also gave us the most interesting characters with the a Founder Damar Weyoun Garak Kira Odo

    The arc gave plenty of satisfying developments and twists from the attack on Earth, the destruction of the Defiant, the Breen joining the Dominion, the Founder disease bring created by Section 31, the Founder ordering the annihilation of every Cardassian leaving Cardassia in ruin. And all the battles were epic and really well done. I didn't mind the recycled footage myself

    The writers made the Founders worthy Trek villains who demonstrated cunningness and smarts and let me tell you as easy as that sounds I have rarely encountered it

    The Dominion War arc also benefitted from sound tactics and strategies sprinkler through it which made it truly feel like a real war was taking place. It also took what TOS, TNG and DS9 itself established and explored fascinating dynamics created from the Dominion invasion. That's to be commended. It managed to really explore on a truly epic scale these well known societies and in the final stretch reflect on them as a whole which leads me to another good thing that came out of the Final chapter---

    The series gave us closure on the Cardassians, Klingons, Bajorans and even the Ferengi. These would come to be nice sendoffs because as we now know this was pretty much it for the 24th century Alpha Quadrant. I liked Martok becoming Chancellor and Rom the Nagus. I didn't see that this was where everything was leading but in hindsight it makes a lot of sense and all seem appropriate. And Cardassia is in the same position Bajor once was

    I know some people were disappointed the finale didn't address Bajor's admittance to Federation but it must not have been a big deal to me since I didn't really have a reaction either way about it being dropped

    And also Odo leading the Dominion was fine. Although it reinforces for me the romantic angle with Kira and Odo was wrong. Here he gets the woman he loves and dumps her. It would have come across better if they were just friends and saying goodbye to each other

    The Bad

    The initial pairing of Winn and Dukat had potential. Pairing two villains seemed like a winner--on other shows it has been. Unfortunately after The first two episodes featuring them in the Final Chapter this particular thread spun it's wheels in all subsequent episodes dragging things out to the finale. And the payoff to all that was ultimately very very unsatisfying. DS9 you could usually count on to pull the trigger and do the unthinkable but here they didn't let the pagh wraiths out. It all ended before it began and the trial for Sisko was quite anticlimactic. The only two things I enjoyed was Winn's last minute change of heart and one final time Dukat being restored to his Cardassian appearance.

    There was some emotional resonance from Sisko dying but that was undermined with the revelation that he would return 'some' day. I
    Years after I originally watched the finale in 1999 I heard That originally he was gone for good but Aveey Brooks had it rewritten that a Sisko would return one day cause he didn't like the idea of a black man not being there to be a father to a child--which is out of place and ruined an otherwise nice ending for Sisko.

    I also thought that the writers would have A Prophet in Sisko vision take the form of Jadzia so Terry could make an appearance

    The Ezri Bashir Worf romantic stuff bogged down the whole arc taking up way too much time and says a lot of about those characters that their arc revolver around defining them by a romantic relationship

    I wanted to leave my reaction before reading the review, since you often sway me.

    I didn't hate the finale, and don't feel cheated in any way. It could have been better, but it's certainly not a finale that gives me a negative feeling about the series as a whole, making me never want to rewatch. That's the main thing that I ask of a series finale. Don't make me regret ever having seen the show. Most of the characters got a mostly believable (if not particularly happy) conclusion. It certainly could have been worse.

    I would say that season 7 as a whole was a bit strange. I like one-off, fluff type episodes (if well done) on other Star Trek shows. Heck, on TNG and VOY, they're the norm. But DS9 has always been a bit strange. During the first two seasons, the one-off episodes were perfectly light and fun, and felt like regular Star Trek. But starting around season 3, DS9 one-off episodes started to feel more and more like a waste of time that needed to be waded through to get to the important stuff. They never felt more like a waste of time than in season 7. And now having seen the finale, I can say that the conclusion definitely would have been more satisfying if every storyline had been given more time. Not only more time for the events in the final two hours to unfold, but more time to show what happens after the events of these final two episodes.

    Most episodes this season did include elements of the central arc, but there were definitely a few that could have been almost entirely removed without having too much effect on the overall story (to give us more time for the conclusion). Some of them I either somewhat/quite liked, although they weren't especially necessary for the central arc (Take Me Out to the Holosuite, Once More Unto the Breach, The Siege of AR-558, Badda-Bing Badda-Bing). Others I could have easily done without, (Chrysalis, It's Only a Paper Moon, Prodigal Daughter, The Emperor's New Cloak, Field of Fire, Chimera). I see from your reviews that you quite liked It's Only a Paper Moon and Chimera. I can say that when I was watching them, I didn't dislike them (though maybe Nog could have acted a teensy bit less immature). But looking back, knowing that Nog would go on to be just fine, and that not only had Odo ALREADY been (much more interestingly) tempted and chosen not to abandon his friends for the Changelings in a previous season, but also that the hundred play no further role, and that in the end Odo actually DOES choose to abandon his friends just a few episodes later, making his choice here less meaningful. . . well, I don't care for that episode at all any more. So that's 10 episodes that I didn't feel were especially important to the overall season story, 6 of which I would be perfectly happy to see gone.

    Then, there are a few episodes that did have important bearing on the overall season, either to character development or the plot arc, but could have been condensed a bit to leave more time for other things, like: Shadows and Symbols (I wasn't worried about Jadzia making it to Stovokor), Afterimage (I am glad they gave the audience a chance to embrace Ezri, since she was a new central character who came in at the very end, but thanks to the actress and the character's acceptance by the others, I personally didn't need as much convincing as they gave us), Covenant (we needed an introduction to Dukat's new identity as an emissary of the Pagh Wraiths, but I guess I didn't care much about the Bajoran cult, so maybe the story could have been shortened, and maybe taking place in the same episode as the events of Afterimage, for example), Extreme Measures (I didn't care for the amount of time devoted to being inside the Section 31 agent's mind, though perhaps I wouldn't have minded if the episode had been placed a little earlier in the season).

    Finally, back to the conclusion. Strangely, my biggest complaint in terms of how a character's arc was wrapped up was. . . Damar. We spent quite a bit of time watching him become the leader that the new Cardassia needed. A leader who understood that the old Cardassia was gone and shouldn't return. I wanted him to take his place as the new leader of Cardassia. Instead, he just randomly died in a small firefight. But then, the conclusion didn't even give us the opportunity to see Cardassia start to move on after the war. I was satisfied with the conclusion of the war, but I wanted to see a bit of what happened to Cardassia afterward. This was one of the reasons I think the season needed more time. If Damar had lived, at least we could have assumed that this character who we had gotten to know would be in charge of the new Cardassia, and we could imagine how he would go about it. As it is, if they were really insistent on Damar not living through the war, we needed to see Cardassia a little farther down the line. Who took control? Are there factions, some of which want the Cardassia of old, and some of which want the "new Cardassia"? The only Cardassian we've seen who seemed to understand the truth about Cardassia's past and future, who ALSO lived to the end of the series, is Garak. I somehow doubt that the population would accept him as a leader. He seems much more like a behind-the-scenes guy. What will become of Cardassia? With Damar gone, it's extremely unclear. But not in an interesting, "these are the factions and possibilities" type way. Just.... completely unclear. I would have liked to have known a bit more about Cardassia's future, as well as what Garak's role or life will be like there.

    The rest of the characters finished the series approximately as they should, at least in the short term. The biggest mistake was that Sisko and Odo's long-term fates should have been reversed. By that I mean that we finished the series with the idea that Sisko WILL be back one day, but Odo won't. I'm not sure that that fits with either of their histories, nor with the prophecies/predictions we've gotten from the Prophets.

    The Prophets told us that Sisko and Kasidy were headed for heartbreak if they were married. They also told us that's Sisko's time was almost over, and that he would never find peace on Bajor. We ALSO seemed to see his corporeal body destroyed. Sure, from what we know of the Prophet's power and their nonlinear perspective, it's perfectly reasonable that they could somehow send Sisko back. But it just doesn't ring true, with the prophecies we've heard. It makes sense that they would take him to live with them in the Celestial Temple when his linear existence had come to an end. But if they have the power to send him back sometime. . . it seems like IMMEDIATELY would be the time Sisko would push for. You know, to be with his wife, son, and new baby. If they CAN'T send him back, because his linear existence/corporeal body are over, then the episode should have come out and said that (in dramatic fashion, with his goodbye being directed at Kasidy AND Jake, not just Kasidy), and there should have been emotions and tears. As it is, we just end the episode thinking he's on some sort of Celestial Temple sabbatical. . . which isn't especially emotional, and certainly doesn't seem to fulfill the promise of "sorrow" that will be felt thanks to the wedding. Plus, I have to say, I can't see that the "getting married" had an effect either way. Even if Sisko and Kasidy and just been "dating", he could have ended up knocking her up, and she still would have missed him a bunch when he disappeared.

    Now Odo, I think he should have just gone on a "Great Link Sabbatical". Of course he needs to go there to heal his people, and it will probably be very interesting for him to spend some time in the Great Link. Plus, he really does need to pass on his knowledge and experiences to the Great Link, in order to help his people come to understand and trust solids. But he's chosen his friends over the Changelings before, and he has been claiming to be madly in love with Kira for years. I think Odo (not Sisko) should have been the one to end the series saying "I'll be back one day, though I'm not sure exactly when. When my people are healed and understand the truth about solids." As it is, he's choosing the Great Link (which we've seen has a bit of a pleasurable drug and sex combined brain-washing type effect on him) over Kira and the rest of his friends. It doesn't seem quite right.

    Back to the big show-long arcs. As I've said, though I'm not satisfied with the follow-up (as in, lack thereof) to the Dominion war, I am satisfied with the war's conclusion. But I was quite underwhelmed by the showdown between Sisko and Dukat, which was actually the final struggle between the Prophets and Pagh Wraiths, and the reason for which Sisko's entire life had been pre-ordained and arranged by the Prophets. The Showdown between Kira and Jake when they were possessed on DS9 a few seasons back, which was also underwhelming, still felt more impressive. In the end, it seems like any of the characters could have tipped Dukat off that cliff. The Prophets didn't really seem to intervene, or use Sisko's body as a vessel, or anything like that. It was mostly just that he was able to sneakily push Dukat off the cliff due to Kai Winn's advice about the book and her distracting Dukat. I would have either liked that scene to include a very impressive metaphysical type fight, or even more-so a very impressive bit of dialogue, perhaps between all three characters. I could have used a bit more of Dukat's strange self-delusion about being a loveable guy at the end there, once he had his Cardassian face on. In fact, I would say the best way for it to have gone down would be for Sisko, using his love of Bajor and faith in the Prophets, to have been the one to verbally convince Kai Winn that it wasn't too late for her to serve Bajor, or even form a relationship with the Prophets, with some really moving dialogue. Dialogue that only he could deliver (thus him being chosen as the Emissary in the first place), which would convince her to turn on Dukat and the Pagh Wraiths and for once and for all remember that her love for Bajor should outweigh her thirst for power. Then she could have been the one to push Dukat off the cliff. And if they wanted Sisko to still end up "dead"/in the Celestial Temple, he could have gone over trying to save Kai Winn, perhaps even succeeding, before falling himself. Maybe that final selfless act on his part would be enough to convince her to give up on her self-centered ways. Maybe in a later scene we could have seen her abdicate power and make a plea for a new kind of Kai who would always put the people of Bajor first. Definitely, I can think of many ways that this scene could have gone better.

    Most of the rest of the characters had their stories wrapped up in a way that satisfies me. The ones who I definitely don't feel I need any more information on are Julian, Ezri, Quark, Nog, and Kira. As in, those who remain on DS9 and who have easily-defined positions there. It's easy to picture them continuing happily on DS9. Julian and Ezri will no doubt have nice relationship. They've been friends for years (sort of) and are both positive and easy-going people. Nog has been made a Lieutenant, and he will continue to grow as a Starfleet officer. Perhaps now or somewhere down the line he will become chief engineer of the station, since we know he inherited some innate ability from Rom. Or maybe he will eventually be qualified to take over for Odo. Growing up with Quark as an uncle certainly gives him some insight into the types of criminal activity DS9 might deal with during peace time. Quark will continue to run his bar and try to earn some latinum on the side, and Kira will often foil his plans. Kira has been in charge of DS9 on and off for years when Sisko was on vacations/missions, and we know she's eminently qualified and will do well. We even know that she is strong enough to move on from Odo's loss. She's lost love before, and dealt with much greater loss during the occupation, anyway.

    Characters who I would have possibly liked to have seen a bit more of in their new roles are Rom/Lita, O'Brien/Keiko, and Worf/Martok. Just a few scenes showing them in their new surroundings on Ferenginar, Earth, and Kronos might have been fun or interesting. But, from seeing Zek's work life throughout the show and knowing the direction Ferenginar is moving in (away from unbridled greed and capitalism), I can mostly picture Rom as Nagus. It actually isn't as easy to picture O'Brien teaching at the University, being more of a hands-on guy, but he'll certainly be fine. Might have been fun to see him settling in and telling the young officers-in training what's what. I have a feeling Julian and Miles will be staying in touch and seeing each other as often as possible. From the many visits we've made to Kronos over the years with TNG and DS9, I can mostly picture what the Klingon characters are up to, as well. Though I'm always down to see more of Worf's story. I've been following him since TNG, and this will be the first time (ever?) that he will be living his life on the Klingon homeworld for an extended period of time. Still, I'm happy enough with these endings.

    The two characters who really needed a bit more attention at the end there were Jake and Kasidy (especially Jake, who has been a main character since the show's beginning). Knowing these two characters as I do, what would make the most sense (considering Ben Sisko ever coming back is a big unknown) might be for Kasidy to continue living on DS9 as a base of operations while she works as a freighter captain and raises her baby. She'll have plenty of help/willing babysitters in the form of Ezri, Kira, Julian, etc. And Jake should probably move to Earth, perhaps living with/near his grandfather, and continue with his writing, and maybe also inheriting the restaurant. But with Sisko being "out there, somewhere", will that affect their decisions? Will Jake feel comfortable leaving Bajor/DS9/the wormhole knowing that his father is "there". Will he feel comfortable leaving his baby sibling? What about his friends? Of course he can continue to live on DS9 indefinitely, but at least a few seasons ago, it seemed like he might eventually like to make it back to Earth. And living on Earth seems a little more practical as a long-term plan, in terms of stability/writing/meeting people/dating/etc. And what about Kasidy? Maybe staying on DS9 (where she only moved because of Sisko) will be too painful for her. Perhaps she (along with Jake) will decide she'd rather make her home base on Earth, as a better place to raise the baby among her own people, near the baby's grandfather and brother. And maybe she has family on Earth as well. We don't seem to know much about where she's from, do we? Or maybe Kasidy will decide to honor Ben's dream and live on the land he purchased on Bajor. Especially since she knows that was his dream, and he may return one day. The truth is, though, without Captain Sisko there, Kasidy and Jake seem like they'd probably be happier/more at home on Earth or DS9. Anyway, this is my point. I would have definitely liked to hear a bit more about Jake and Kasidy's plans.

    TLDR: To sum up. The last season wasted a lot of time that could have been better used fleshing out the conclusions to the Prophet/Pagh Wraith arc and to the Afterward situations on Cardassia, Bajor, Ferenginar, and Kronos, as well as giving us more info on what will become of Garak, Jake, Kassidy, and the baby. I disagree with the choice to kill Damar, with them making Odo's return to the Link permanent rather than just a temporary visit for healing and sharing knowledge, and with the decision to make Sisko's absence temporary and of unknown duration, rather than making it more final and death-like, and thus more emotional and affecting. Overall the conclusion left me more satisfied than dissatisfied, despite my issues with it, and I can rewatch the show from time to time knowing that the ending is satisfying enough to leave me with a good overall impression of the show.

    176 episodes later...

    I'm going to use this to reflect on the series as a whole. But first, and very briefly, the final episode. I enjoyed the final episode and it left me feeling a little sad that it's all over. I am, however, glad it was wrapped up conclusively and not left with the characters just going about their jobs ready for work the next morning. The only thing left hanging is, does Bajor ever join the federation? Though I guess that doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

    I'm not going to analyse the show in depth, but here's a few things I think it did very well:

    - I love the feel and atmosphere of the show. The sets, designs, characters all work beautifully together. A lot of thought went into the visual style of the show and it works amazingly

    - After TNG I guess the writers needed something different, I like that they tried to make chracters that weren't all on the same side and were able to introduce different characters with different motives. It set us up for some very interesting storylines

    - Miles O'Brien. This poor guy went through a lot but he's one of the most real and down to earth characters in any of the shows. Yes, he's supposed to be the everyman, but he does it very well, all the while having some of the very best shows.

    - The longer story arcs work incredibly well, hopefully Discovery will take note of that and give us similar arcs.

    - Politics and war. We see factions change side, allies become enemies and the doubcrossing of the dominion. It worked very well throughout the season. The war did get a bit heavy at times but never uninteresting.

    - Grey areas. In TNG we pretty much always had the good guys and the bad guys. DS9 was never afraid to play with grey areas where nobody was necissarily right. This apparoch made for some good stories and interesting character development.

    - Minor characters. All the minor characters were very well cast, played and developed. Special mention to Garak, Kai Winn and Ducat (until he went mental in season 7 and lost any appeal he had)

    And a few negative comments:

    - Klingon episodes are boring

    - Ferengi episodes are stupid

    - The prophets. Without a doubt the worst aspect of the show and my only major complaint. Their vague interjections and motives left a lot of questions unanswered and all the Bajor religion stuff played out incredibly tediously on screen. The show didn't quite jump the shark but when people were getting possessed by demons, it was balancing precariously on top of the shark. Every prophet episode and plot was cringeworthy. These are incredibly powerful aliens, right? Why doesn't the federation, klingon empire, romulans or dominion try to form an alliance with them or do some proper scientific analysis of them and their powers? We never did find out what the orbs were. Having said that, I'd rather have seen more Klingon and Ferengi episodes in place of the Prophets and Bajoran religion.

    Overall though I loved DS9 and although there were a few terrible episodes, it was a wonderful show. I'm going to miss spending my evenings with the DS9 crew but it's time to move on.... across the galaxy to Voyager.

    I find it odd that they would have to get permission from Terry Farrell to use the footage, and that she would have said no. Isn't the shot footage the studios to do with what they please. I can't believe Farrell would be so selfish. Maybe there's more to the story and they didn't want to show Dax, because she left.

    As for the finale, it was okay but disappointing. Odo would do anything for Kira but yet, chooses to leave her. His final words with Quark felt disrespectful. Didn't like the Sisko / Dukat / Winn storyline either. Then I was never a fan of the religious mumbo jumbo throughout the series. No Sisko Jake goodbye.

    There were too many characters who didn't get a look-in, due to the running time and the story threads that needed to be resolved. I'm glad I saw DS9 but I would never watch it again. Once is enough.

    That was a Lord of the Rings level of endless denouement.

    And speaking of LOTR, was anyone else expecting Gollum to come out of nowhere to grab the book and then fall into the volcano?

    The main issue with the pagh wraith subplot is that it had absolutely nothing to do with the war with the Dominion. I had forgotten that. Even until almost the end of the episode I kept expecting them to tie it in somehow. That the pagh wraiths would enter into a last minute alliance with the Dominion, once again tipping the balance, until Sisko sacrifices his life.

    Also, his death, or "death", or whatever, didn't really satisfy the prophesy that he and Kassidy would know only pain (I forget the exact prophecy). They seemed like a pleasant enough couple, but not like Kassidy would not get on just fine without him, as single mother.

    A very good series finale that accomplished pretty much everything it should have. It had the final resolutions of major arcs and the sentimental moments at the end. It left some questions unanswered, but that's fine. Overall a very enjoyable and satisfying 2 hours except for the fantasy aspect of the prophets/pah-wraiths and the resolution of Dukat/Winn.

    The 2-parter actually spends a fair bit of time on an epilogue after the war. I liked that. And the montage in the last half hour was touching -- so many great moments between the characters over the 7 years. I'm sure it would bring a tear to many people's eyes.

    As for some of the specifics, I've always had an issue with the DS9 starship battle scenes. Just too many ships flying in such close proximity -- absolute chaos. How is a real strategy supposed to work? It looks like something out of Star Wars. In any case, war is war. I guess it should look like chaos -- I'll just take it that there is a strategy underway although it is not evident.

    Also, Martok's lines talking about how great a victory it will be, drinking blood wine etc. were starting to get repetitive. I liked how Sisko and the Admiral refused to share in his joy once standing among the Cardassian dead. But this refusal didn't have long-lasting repercussions, fortunately.

    An important character should die in a grand finale and that's Damar. His death works best for furthering Cardassia's uprising. He dies the honorable death and he's a martyr. Great character and good actor is Casey Biggs -- certainly a character that's come a long way. Nice twist with Cardassia being destroyed by an occupation after what its people did on Bajor...

    And what happens with Garak on the free Cardassia? I wish we had more resolution for this special character. Anyhow, I liked his role in the final siege. We know he's got a killer instinct ("In the Pale Moonlight") and he quickly phasers Weyoun and nearly phasers the female Founder.

    The whole link between Odo and the female Founder convinces her to call off the war just after she said doing so would be a sign of weakness. But the link solves all problems and the viewer has to assume the cure to the Founders disease is the answer. Still this was rather sudden as she accepts incarceration too.

    So do we assume the female shapeshifter is in some kind of jail? How do you jail a changeling? And what of the rest of the Vorta and the Breen? Those questions remain unanswered. At least they held a war crimes trial so I suppose we can make some safe assumptions on these issues.

    Bit of an abrupt and weird change when after Vic Fontaine sings at the DS9 goodbye party and then it switches to the fire caves and Dukat is revived from the dewad. (How long have Dukat/Winn been standing at the edge of the fire pit FFS??)

    And then Sisko realizes he's got to go alone to the fire caves. He arrives lickety-split. Gotta say how this part is resolved cheesy/ridiculous and so predictable: Kai Winn is the distraction, Dukat destroys her and then Sisko takes Dukat into the fire with the "Book of the Dead" sealing the pah-wraiths. OK. This is the major weakness of this finale. This looked a lot like the scene when Frodo/Sam reach inside Mount Doom and send Gollum and the ring to their ends.

    The episode glosses over how the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant is re-opened (presumably after Sisko joins the prophets). It's a touching scene as Odo joins the link and cures all the Founders. Odo/Kira's romance has one last moment -- appropriate and struck the write notes.

    A strong 3 stars for "What You Leave Behind" -- really good finale that wrapped up so much about as well as it could be done. Unfortunately, not much said about the future of Bajor. The final scene with Jake/Kira staring out of DS9 as we back away was perfect. Getting closure (learning of the future plans) for so many of the main cast was well done. Quark/Odo have one last interaction. So much to like and so much will be missed from DS9 -- truly awesome Trek.

    Rahul the wormhole never closed except briefly after Dukat released the Pah Raith into the orb . It's just that after their armada got disappeared in Sacrifice of Angels no Dominion forces were going to chance it. But nothing would stop Odo and Kira from using it.

    Jason R. -- OK, yes thanks for the clarification. I guess I was stuck on why no more Jem'Hadar ships would come through or why the female Founder wouldn't try to return home.

    @ Rahul,

    Good call on the comparison to Lord of the Rings, I hadn't thought of that before. It makes the scene better in my opinion, if anything.

    I still want to know what happens to Garek after this. He was such an interesting character. When DS9 ended I had hoped for a while that the next Star Series would have Garek as a main character and would examine his role in the rebuilding of the Cardassian Union.

    DS9 is such a great show. Nana Visitor as Kira is the best part--she holds it all together. It should have been bigger than TNG culturally, but it wan't... Wanna know why??

    Because of all the ugly aliens as lead characters. It's a truism that TV audiences only want to watch good looking people. Even though the most compelling characters on DS9 are so rich and vibrant and wonderful, they're mostly ugly aliens (Quark, Odo, Garak, Worf, Nog, Rom).

    Ugly people suck...

    Good that Winn died.
    Good that Garek didn't die.
    Casidy, meh.
    Quark is great as always. He and Odo had such a relationship.
    Bashir is in a weird place of making Ezri his new male buddy...

    No shots of Jadzia in the final montage. The actress that played her is a bitch for blocking the use of the footage.

    Word about Terry Farrell is that she filed a complaint for use of her voice in the episode where Ezri goes to find Worf and they couldn't even contact her abbot this because the dispute was open. There's a perception that Behr went to Farrell and asked nicely to put her picture in the montage and she demanded am obscene amount of money. To my knowledge she wasn't even asked because of the dispute.

    My fix for the last scene: Kira goes to Jake and says, "I wanted you to hear it first: Bajor's application to the Federation has been approved." He smiles, but it seems forced. "Dad would have liked that," he says with a mix of pride and sadness. Then he turns to look out the window and we have the same great visualization of his loneliness and loss.


    If they would have done the scene the way you scripted it, I would have added another half star to my 3 rating.

    About the montage, I actually thought it was a cheesy TV-trope waste of time (and found the glaring omission of Jadzia to be very distracting).


    Do you have a source for that? Apparently Farrell was still on good terms with cast at this point as she celebrated alongside the cast at the wrap party after they filmed this. I see not using her footage as Ira Behr’s fault though. Surely they could’ve worked out a deal with Farrell’s people if they wanted to, but used the cast as-is to keep costs low.

    “My fix for the last scene: Kira goes to Jake and says, "I wanted you to hear it first: Bajor's application to the Federation has been approved." He smiles, but it seems forced. "Dad would have liked that," he says with a mix of pride and sadness”

    That timeline doesn’t make sense, though. The scene with Jake takes place right after Sisko disappears during a party where the war ends. There’s no way Bajor’s could’ve been admitted so quickly under those circumstances. Are you saying they should have written “ONE YEAR LATER...” then done that scene? If so, that seems a bit heavy-handed for something inevitable.

    I definitely get the impression that SOME time has passed by the end of the episode -- enough for a "new normal" to have emerged on the station despite the recent departures (plus, per Quark's line, for Winn's death to have been confirmed, her succession discussed, etc.).

    Phew. Finished. Two stars for this long and winding finale that just want to tie up too much for one episode. Some stories should have been closed in earlier episodes. A lot of anticlimaxes. Winn and Dukat. Odo and female founder. Well, at least it's over now. #teamelliott

    "That was a Lord of the Rings level of endless denouement."

    You mean a show that lasted seven years and had several character arcs and plot points to wrap up in the finale actually did so? The horror!

    @Jasper-You watched 7,920 minutes of a show that you had nothing positive to say about. Life's too short for that.

    I loved the series. An excellent and darker take on the galaxy rather than the idealized version. In the comments for the previous episode, @Elliot said how it was the "right thing to do" to give a cure to the founders the moment one could be synthesized. Maybe, maybe not. If that is the right thing to do is it wrong then to engage in armed combat against them? Or is that OK despite mass destruction but for some reason infecting the Founders is wrong? It's those sort situations where high handed morality falls apart pretty quickly.

    My biggest issue with the episode was the manner in which Sisko went to the caves. He was dancing with Kasidy and then the writers were like "Oh wait. We forgot about those two people in the cave. Ben go handle that." It was so sudden, jarring and out of place.

    As far as making things less rushed and the writers saying if only we had five more episodes? I echo some of the previous sentiment. You had plenty of other episodes that you chose to waste on fluff and silliness. It's your story. Tell it how you want, but don't later complain that someone didn't give you a chance to tell it better.

    A really good series and I wish we could one day have a modern Trek series in a similar model. Dark, intelligent, realistic.

    @Iceman Mine apparently isn't. I really did like the start of DS9, but the longer it lasted, the worse it got.

    @Iceman Been looking back at my comments. In the first few episodes we agree a lot on bad episodes. And I did write some nice things up until season 4. Maybe I should have stopped right there, but I'm watching all Star Trek seasons and series. Currently watching season 1 of Enterprise. So far it's better than I expected.


    From a while ago :-)

    "And Kira... does Kira do anything bad DURING the show? My memory is faltering a bit."

    I'd say wanting to kill her mother for being Dukat's bedfellow to save and feed her family would count as "bad"

    Too many lame endings for what made DS9 great - the characters.
    A shame it had to happen here.

    Sisko isn't really gone, if anyone wants to see him they could just communicate with an orb. Technically he could contact anyone he wishes through visions even without orbs

    @ Rahul

    You jail a changeling with force fields, they do it multiple times throughout the series

    I suppose that was a good finale. Everything was wrapped up nicely, no loose ends. Well except for Sisko. I remember a long time ago I heard someone say Quark ends up owning a moon. Did I miss something or is that person crazy? I know Quark said his cousin owns a moon. Blah I’m sad to see ds9 end. Well I guess I’m on to Discovery now. After seven seasons of ds9 I’ll try out something shorter. And newer. Let’s see what side of that polarizing show I end up on.

    I think Dukat`s story should have ended when Winn kicked him out, blind, to depend on the kindness of Bajorans. What poetic justice. I don't think his character needed any more explanation. He was a narcissistic megalomaniac who wanted power, glory, and adoration, first from his place with the conquering Cardassians, then with the Dominion, and finally with the Pagh Wraiths. That would have left the final showdown to be just between Cisco and Winn (but a different one to the one shown) perhaps one that explained the relationship of the Prophets to the Bajorans. Why were they prophets only to the Bajorans? (We didn't get a full explanation as to the relationship of the wormhole aliens to the Bajorans did we?) .

    I agree that the mysticism/magic involving the ability to call the Pagh Wraiths, read the pages etc was out of place. There could have been some of that perhaps, since the prophets seemed happy to have the Bajorans worship them? so the use of prayer or incantation could be part of the story. But to actually call the Pagh Wraiths back? Why would that loophole to freeing them have remained?
    I really enjoyed the Winn/Dukat arc but wanted it to end earlier, as I said above, and would have liked something between only Winn and Cisco anyways, something without the pagh wraiths... What fabulous actors played Winn and Dukat!

    I did not like the montage. I found it out of place, unnecessary, and it rushed the ending. I can decide which memories I cherish thank you very much.

    I, for one, found the battle to be unsatisfying, the end of it anyways. After a battle like that, the leaders would have been busy for weeks or months dealing with POWs, helping Cardassia or other civilians. The timeline was then confusing as they were back on the station in no time it seemed.

    Cisco and the Admiral were churlish to Martok. They had agreed before the battle to drink blood wine. Their response to him didn't seem right somehow. They could have toasted the end of more people dying if nothing else. Think how Jadzia would have handled it, she would have suggested other toasts. And that Admiral is such a follower. He was like a little boy dumping his glass after Cisco did. The interaction seemed to be setting up or foreshadowing that this great alliance would again splinter into rivalry, lack of understanding to others' cultures and even enemies.

    I guess I am okay with Odo's duplicity to Cisco and the others by curing the Founder on Cardassia Prime. He had showed that behaviour before when he linked with the Founder at the station and ignored his duty to help Rom. It made me not like him as much but why should he be likeable? Kira knew him and trusted him. He ended the war. We are left with uncertainty if curing the Founders is good for the Alpha quadrant or not. The Founder at Cardassia had no qualms to commiting genocide against the Cardassians and it was good for Odo to see that. The shades of grey in this series was excellent. Allies today, enemies tomorrow, individual ambitions, emotions (like Odo's) and weaknesses intervening in the best laid plans..

    Overall I am sad the series is done, even after watching it 25 years after it premiered. I have no idea why I didn't watch it when it first aired except I didn't have a TV from late 1992 to early 1996 and then watched little TV after that for a few years.... But I did see the end of TNG so where did I see that? A mystery...

    The actors that played Kira, Winn, Dukat, Garak, Quark were outstanding!!

    Cisco, Nog, Rom, Jake, Worf, Odo, Julian, Miles were all finely acted. I didn't have the complaints others did.

    I liked Ezri's character. I think they showed her youth and naivety well. I didn't care for her romance with Bashir. Why was it necessary to pair everyone up? They even had Quark cuddling that Dabo girl.

    I liked Jadzia at the beginning when she showed the playfulness and other life experiences of the previous Dax (Curzon in particular) but then it became quite boring when her romance with Worf started - it wasn't believable to me. In fact, I didn't like Worf's addition to the cast when it first happened. It was unnecessary, out of place and intrusive to the ensemble. I did like the Klingons. Worf became part of the crew a bit more as time went on.

    I didn't have the complaints about Keiko that others did. In fact I felt her a good match for Miles. Miles is the type of guy who is often grumpy but doesn't expect it to influence others. Some people are moody or grumpy and expect others to respond - rather than ask for what they want if they need company or to talk - they just are moody and expect others to ask them, coddle them, walk around on eggshells etc. They are manipulating others. Miles isn't like that. He would be horrified if he was manipulating others into being attentive to him without him asking directly for the attention. He is a straight shooter and while he wants to be grumpy and express his feelings honestly, he doesn't expect others to jump to attention. Keiko and Miles are busy working parents. They recognize that they are the adults and each has to pull their weight both for the relationship and also for the family. So Keiko calls Miles out when he is not being an adult. Miles appreciates that and isn't put off by Keiko being cross with him. He likes the honesty. Some people want Keiko to be this happy happy wife always smiling and cooing and coddling Miles. He would hate that.

    One of the best parts of this series was the look at the other cultures, the Bajorans and the Cardassians in particular but also the Ferengi and Klingons. I liked the humorous episodes as a good break. It wasn't focussed so much on the Federation like TNG.

    DS9 is one of my favourite TV series of all time. I am somewhat tempted to rewatch TNG...will it live up to my 30 year old memory and fondness?

    Watching and commenting:

    Here we go!!!

    --Ezri and Julian's first time, talking about first times.

    --Miles is gonna teach at the Academy. Kasidy has morning sickness. Defiant going to Cardassia with many others to try to strike the Dominion while they're huddled there, rebuilding.

    --Lots of talk of promises. Throughout the ep.

    --Winn and Dukat. They are almost cute together in a totally evil way.

    --Quark playing Go Fish with Vic! I'm glad to get a last look at Vic. What was the meaning of this strange little interlude, though?

    --The Founder doesn't think twice about executing Kira? Hmmmm.

    --Battle, battle, battle, battle. The Founder thought killing millions of Cardassians would teach them a lesson and secure their loyalty through fear? She's not that wise after all. Cardassians aren't the sort to go peacefully into that good night.

    --What? Killing Damar off?? Bummer. Boo-hiss.

    --Quite the contrast between the silvery lights and tech of the battle scenes and windy fire caves.

    --I hope we get a better explanation for the Founder's turn around, besides the fact that she's feeling cheerier now that she's no longer dying. But we don't.

    --Garak going home to Cardassia. Odo going home to the Great Link. Worf going home to Kronos. O'Brien going home to Earth.

    --The smooth stylings of Vic Fontaine. So glad we got a last bit of Vic.

    --Ben has to go to the Fire Caves. Big Harry Pottery confrontation. Oh wow. Falling through the Fire. Magic book burning has re-trapped the Wraiths. Ben is going to live with the Prophets (is that home, for Ben? Is he being given a choice? Confusing.).

    --Miles finds Colonel Travis, then . . . memories, light the corners of our minds, misty water colored memories . . . of the way they were. Scattered pictures . . .

    --Baseball on the desk, so I guess Ben's coming back?

    --Well . . . I think if it had ended right after Vic sang his song, I'd be happier.

    Very tired and time for bed, so I have to give it all some thought, later. My overall impression right now is good wrap up for the war, decent wrap up for Odo, less good wrap up for the whole Ben-Dukat-Winn thing.


    "--I hope we get a better explanation for the Founder's turn around, besides the fact that she's feeling cheerier now that she's no longer dying. But we don't."

    I would have liked this to be shown more, but here's my take:

    Last season, Odo finally let himself be subsumed by the Link. Basically the Founder had full conviction that she was right about solids, about the meaning of the Link over what solids experience, and so on. At the time, Odo was isolated from the entire Starfleet group, who had been gone for months. He was back to something similar to his Cardassians Occupation role but without the moral certainty he had then, and lots of shame. He was still not quite able to acknowledge his friendship with Quark. And ultimately he figured he and Kira were impossible. He loved Kira but her affection for him seemed to have been predicated on a false version of him - - the ultimate selfless impartial figure, above pretty solid concerns - - that he no longer believes in. It's impossible to trust he can be loved by solids for who he is. At the moment the friendship with Kira was not enough to win out over what the Founder offered. But then it ultimately was enough, a few days later, after the initial shock had worn off.

    So Odo chose Kira. And eventually he went for a relationship - - which ultimately means letting Kira see who he is (Chimera). And she knows it's sort of doomed, but she doesn't flinch from seeing him. Odo really believes now that solids aren't what the Founders say. He had believed in Kira's goodness, but he had been too afraid of her rejection to really believe that even she could truly accept and love him. But now he doesn't doubt anymore. There's also some development of Odo acknowledging his friendship with Quark, his observing Garak's kindness regarding his disease, his really seeing Weyoun-6, his knowledge of the lengths Julian and Miles went to for him.... It's Kira that allows Odo to stop hiding, including from himself, and that openness in turn allows him to see that the solids around him really are the real deal.

    By this ep, the Founder is dying. Her empire is crumbling and the Founder strategy of conquest has backfired. She has even lost Weyoun. Odo comes in and now the levels of conviction are reversed. He is healthy, both in terms of the disease and of having a model of how to coexist with solids that allows him to be functional and happy. And he now knows that he really is accepted, that others will sacrifice themselves for him, that he does not need to dominate them or be ostracized. The Founder's total transformation is a mirror of Odo's last year, this time because it is Odo who has the stronger conviction. And this ties in with one of the series' (franchise's) overall messages, that however tempting domination may seem, it is coexistence abs understanding that wins, as a philosophy.

    Now, I think there is enough background to piece this together, and I think spelling it all out would be tiresome. However, I wish they had found a cinematic way, or with dialogue, to bring out the transformation more. It's one of the most important moments in the series, and it still feels somewhat dramatically inert as it's happening. Overall I'm happy with where Odo's story ended up, though, and appreciate that his dramatic character arc is made so essential to the war story resolution.

    @William B

    Thanks for your thoughts on this. My thoughts, having had some time to contemplate:

    --I agree the Founder's reason for the 180 shouldn't be spellled out. In fact, one of the things I don't like about some DS9 eps is the tedious spoon-feeding scenes.

    --I agree she would have learned, through her link with Odo, how deeply Odo now trusts the solids, and also, how they are not just the insignificant objects she believes them to be.

    --She also would have learned how treacherous they can be, given how the Federation poisoned Odo and all of her people. So, it wasn't a full on love bomb, coming from Odo.

    --I'm guessing Odo conveyed his willingness to go home, which was something she deeply, deeply wanted to happen. I can believe she'd trade surrender (since she knew she was going to lose anyhow) for Odo's return.

    --She's given herself up to stand trial as a war criminal, so I assume she learned from Odo this would be necessary, and she was willing to do that, as well. This I can also believe.

    --Her transformation was probably the most significant moment in the whole ep, it ended the war! But it was so, so blah. I suspect this was so that they could save the big reveal - that Odo was leaving DS9 - for a reveal scene between Odo and Kira. Would have preferred more drama in the Founder 180 scene, and sacrificed for less drama in the Kira scene, but so it goes.

    I was mildly disappointed in this finale. I liked TNG and VOY finales better. ENT had that strangely awful finale, this was definitely better than that, though I liked the second-to-last ENT ep and thought it would have made a solid finale.

    Will try to post a few more thoughts on it all later.


    I agree with your points here. I do think that the lack of reaction from the Founder to the solids having poisoned her is a misstep, because it's hard to see how the fact that a handful of Odo's personal friends worked to undo the attempted genocide created by other solids would prove much, besides that Odo has personally found a few allies among a vast sea of dangers. I also agree that the Founder wants Odo to return to the Link, and that she will stand trial for that reason. In terms of Odo's story, it makes sense that he has to have a deeper, more "solid" conviction in the solids' goodness (or possibility thereof) before he returns to the Link; even if he had tried a bargain where the war is ended so that Odo could return before, he would lack the internal strength to stick with it when surrounded by the temptation of oneness with the Link, earlier in the series.

    Anyway, I agree the moment is pretty blah. It's the end to the war, the major choice of Odo's character arc (which is arguably the most important character story in the series, rivaling Sisko's), and it does sort of sit there.

    I go back and forth on this finale overall -- I definitely like it less than TNG's finale, which I love. There are some things I love about it, and some things I don't think work. The pacing and tone of the episode feels off-kilter, too. Overall when I watched it last I fell on the side of like-not-love, though there are certain scenes I love.

    @William B-As far as Trek television finales go, it's a respectable #2 for me. "All Good Things" is fantastic and obviously the best Trek finale (though if you ask me, it's better as a finale than it is an episode-as an episode, it's solid, as a finale, transcendent), but this comes in *firmly* ahead of "Turnabout Intruder" (sexism yay), "Endgame" (I despised this finale in particular because it squandered so much potential and represents all the failures of Voyager wrapped up into one horrid little package), and "These Are the Voyages" (a bitter, unfitting, and thoroughly unpleasant viewing experience). Though it has its flaws, it also has some truly wonderful stuff in there. And its flaws are not fatal in my opinion-they're more problems with the final two seasons (Evil! Dukat and pah wraith nonsense) as a whole than any specific failing of this episode. More than anything though, this is the last finale that felt as if it had any real passion behind it. Voyager and Enterprise really lacked souls in my opinion, and that only made their finales even worse.

    @Springy-You're welcome to your opinion, but I think "What You Leave Behind" is a qualified success, while "Endgame" is a catastrophic failure. Just my two cents.

    @Iceman, I would put AGT and WYLB as #1 and #2, too. I actually never finished Enterprise - - I lost interest in early s2 when it aired, and never really prioritized picking it back up.

    I tried to watch the Enterprise premiere when it aired, but the theme song repulsed me so much I turned it off and never gave it a second's thought.

    I finally watched it a few years ago ... and while I thought most of the first three seasons were pretty limp and washed-out, I will admit that the fourth season was a lot of fun once they got into the foundation of the Federation. (Fair warning: the last episode is TERRIBLE).

    Is it worth slogging through three seasons to get to the good stuff? Hard to say, but I'd (in the least) give the 4th season a spin.

    Strangely I actually like ENT S4 better than any season of VOY. But as for S1-3...ugh.

    @William B

    I highly recommend ENT S3 and S4 -- much better than its 1st 2 seasons. I'm a huge fan of what ENT did there with a season-long arc in S3 and a few 3-parters in S4. It would be interesting to get your thoughts on these 2 seasons which are definitely above average as far as the entire Trek franchise goes. In fact, I'd go so far as to say ENT S3 is one of my favorites and, even objectively speaking, best seasons in all of Trek.

    Thanks guys. I'll be sure to let people here know if I get around to watching later Ent. (Peter, I do recall your Babylon 5 rec too.)


    Ent S3 was definitely a step in the right direction after abysmally bad first two seasons but... I never really warmed up to that show, even its third or fourth seasons. There was always something, I dunno, fundamentally shoddy about it. Guest actors, characterization across the board, camera work, direction and editing, set design, special effects... Enterprise was on the most basic production level a low-quality TV show, never mind actual storytelling. It looked uninteresting and dated, like a video game that spent countless years in development and was finally released in a hopelessly obsolete state, promising gameplay other studios mastered a long time ago (if this analogy makes any sense). To me, Enteprise was fundamentally fake, down to its very bones.

    @William B

    Just popping in to say that Enterprise does indeed improve about midway S3, but it also over-corrects in many respects and creates a host of new problems to replace the old ones. S4 is kind of the fan-fiction season and has some nice moments, but very little I would call "compelling." It's worth getting through it, I'd say, although this makes the finale all the more egregious since your reward for sticking it out is...well, I'll let you decide if you ever watch it.

    @Paul M.

    The thing to keep in mind about ENT is that the ship should not look anything nearly as sophisticated as the other ships on Trek. The NX-01 should probably look fairly spartan compared to the Enterprise / Voyager -- and it did. But the costumes for aliens and VFX were fine and certainly not detractors. Stuff like direction, camera work didn't bother me like it does with DSC.

    Forgetting about the 1st 2 seasons, which were poor -- though not nearly as bad as TNG's 1st 2 seasons -- it is fair to say there weren't enough good actors and characters overall. That's the biggest problem. But in seasons 3 & 4, it did come up with some decent stories to tell, which is why they were much better seasons than 1 & 2.

    But to say: "To me, Enteprise was fundamentally fake, down to its very bones." is harsh. I'd say, critically speaking, ENT is the 5th best Trek series. I've seen it 3 or 4 times and I still enjoy it.

    @William B-"@Iceman, I would put AGT and WYLB as #1 and #2, too. I actually never finished Enterprise - - I lost interest in early s2 when it aired, and never really prioritized picking it back up. "

    In my opinion, the first two seasons of Enterprise are the worst seasons of Trek ever to air. Even worse than TNG's first two or TOS' third. Just bland, uninspired drivel. Voyager's worst aspects dialed to 11. Voyager did have some genuinely memorable characters-the same can't be said for Enterprise. The third season I found to be a distinct improvement. Though it still didn't reach the heights of the first three Treks (it started off rather terribly and those characters always held it back), it took sizable risks (well, relative speaking-in 2003 it finally caught up to what DS9 was doing in 1997, and TNG in 1991, but whatever) and some of them paid off. I found the fourth season to be somewhat overrated. It was ok-some solid episodes, but nothing truly special. And of course, that finale.....

    @Elliott-Even worse because "Demons"/"Terra Prime" would have made a satisfying conclusion to the show. And then, nope.

    Well, 'Enterprise' bashing - are we?

    ENT Season 1 and 2 are fine (some truly great trek in there). Maybe not exactly made to satisfy long-time trekkie's preconceptions (mine included), but a far cry ahead of DS9's first 2 seasons. Hell, I almost stopped watching DS9 (honestly). Not only were most of the stories bland and uninspiring, the series main characters are struggling to act on par with the other series. DS9 fails if not for the supporting characters.

    Never thought of stopping my ‘Enterprise’ experience. (and yes I hated the opening theme)

    Series closers....

    Nothing compares to TNG's AGT. See my post above for elaboration.

    VOY's End Game is MUCH better than DS9's crap - Sisko knocking up Cassady and abandoning her and his new unborn son and also abandoning his other son, turning into a frellin God mumbo Khosta Mojin jumbo crap. That’s what this series is supposed to represent? …. A Black Captain “leaving his responsibilities behind”?!? Sure, time travel invokes all kinds of questions (End Game), but it does in every episode it's used - aside from maybe one in trek. Janeway’s action are much more plausible that Sisko’s in their respective finales.

    ENT's closer is Demons and Terra Prime. I've heard there is some other episode, but I refuse to acknowledge it. They are so much better than WYLB.

    William B.,

    You need to watch Enterprise like the TNG folks were told to watch DS9. It's different, give it a fair shake.... "but it's not on a ship!!!!" .... just stick with it. Don't be judgmental, invest in the characters and enjoy the ride.

    A closer should at least leave you feeling satisfied, and probably sad... this one left me mad. (for reasons stated above)

    What Sisko's race has to do with the silly way they ended his story? That plot choice seems like someone in the writer's room was stuck until they said "I know, we'll make him a God!" They drew an simplistic parallel: Emissary is to wormhole aliens as angel is to God.... and then they called it a day.

    I doubt for a millisecond race entered into the minds of anyone involved in the creation of the DS9 finale .... it certainly didn't enter into mine watching how his storyline ended. (I was actually rolling my eyes at the unlikelihood he'd make that choice. What's the rush?! He could show up on his okd age deathbed and it would literally make no difference to non-temporal aliens!!!)

    For the record. How many Badmirals have we seen in Trek?

    What race and gender are they?

    If you want to play the racial offense game, you could just as easily argue that Trek presents powerful white males as having a good chance of being evil.

    Offense can be found anywhere if you really look for it .... but, for real, not everything has to do with race.

    @Dave in MN

    "What Sisko's race has to do with the silly way they ended his story? That plot choice seems like someone in the writer's room was stuck until they said "I know, we'll make him a God!" They drew an simplistic parallel: Emissary is to wormhole aliens as angel is to God.... and then they called it a day."

    If you look at the DS9 Companion, apparently Brooks was unhappy with the implication that a black family man and father to a newborn would suddenly just leave his family, so they changed the very ending with Sisko leaving everyone to join the prophets to add that he will return. But you're right, I suppose if Sisko here is an allegory for Jesus, for example, there's no real story reason for Sisko to come back. Even in-universe it seems like him not being able to come back works as a sort of penance for getting his way in "Sacrifice of Angels".

    @Yanks - Not going to get (much) into the "series closers" discussion but acting/plotting-wise DS9 S2 wrecks TNG S2 (Stewart/Spiner and their episodes as the exception). On the whole TNG S2 is very weak. DS9 found it's footing faster.

    "Elementary, Dear Data", "A Matter of Honor", "The Measure of a Man", "Time Squared", "Pen Pals", "Q Who" and "Peak Performance" are the only 7 I think that make the season watchable. 7/22 is NOT a good thing. And they are ALL Picard, Data or Riker episodes. The rest of the cast is not well used at this point.

    By comparison... I only thought 6 episodes of DS9 S2 were bad.

    "Melora", "Rules of Acquisition", " Second Sight", "Sanctuary", "Rivals", "Profit and Loss" were the only ones I think could have been removed and made the overall season better. Sisko, Dax and Kira aren't as strong leads as Picard, Data and Riker at this point... but literally EVERYTHING else is going better.

    I'm not sure why everyone assumes that Sisko is gone by the end of the finale, to say nothing of him "abandoning" anyone. It's not like he knew he'd fall into a pit and die. He went off to save others, and died in the process. That's what Starfleet is frickin about. I've never heard anyone chastise the victims of Wolf 359 for "abandoning" their families, so I don't see why it should apply here.

    That said, given how the episode's actual text plays in the final version, if we are to take what it says seriously then Ben makes it crystal clear that, being non-linear, having fallen into a pit during the finale doesn't mean that his absence must extend beyond that. When he says he might come back, maybe tomorrow, maybe yesterday, I take that to be literally accurate. He is not gone; he will be there for them; and it's not simple to say "when" that will be given what his nature is. It's a sad but hopeful ending, and Kassidy and Jake aren't alone. Besides the fact that they now have each other, Ben can in a way be with them more fully than when he was completely sidelined fighting a war. He was probably barely seeing them at all for weeks at a time at the peak of the war, whereas now he can watch over them always. Something comforting about that, perhaps.

    I think DS9 s2 is better than TNG s2 also. But I think the quality difference isn't as big as Robert is suggesting, at least it's not for me. The Siege is a disappointing end to the opening trilogy. Playing God has lots of problems. Invasive Procedures squanders an interesting promise and weighs down Quark with nearly getting Dax killed with his greed. Paradise divides fans but I'm not wild about it. I like DS9 s2 and it has a huge amount to recommend it -- eps like Necessary Evil, Whispers, Crossover, The Wire, Blood Oath, The Circle, Cardassians, The Jem'Hadar, The Maquis two-parter, The Alternate, The Collaborator, the main cast is becoming more fleshed out and the supporting cast is expanding. Tribunal is good, if a bit on the blunt side for me. I like Rules of Acquisition more than most, also.

    In TNG s2, in addition to the 7 eps you mention which I think are very good to great, The Emissary is a fine and underrated ep. The Picard-Wesley material in Samaritan Snare is fab, and there's a certain cockeyed charm to the Pakleds stuff (which I'm not, note, calling "good" per se). Where Silence Has Lease goes a bit off the rails but mostly works. Contagion is not a classic but is solid. Loud as a Whisper is sometimes silly and has an early-TNG goofiness but also has passion and verve. The Icarus Factor has important insights about Riker's character, while not being especially thrilling in the way it plays, and the Worf subplot is fun. Even many weak episodes have a real spark from the introduction Guinan and (IMO, though this is more controversial) Pulaski, as in The Child. The Dauphin is weak but does have some genuine sweetness in it. The musical scores in TNG s2 are also much better than that in DS9 s2, also. Even an ep as disastrous as Up the Long Ladder has some interesting ideas and the nice tea ceremony scene between Worf and Pulaski. TNG s2 is possibly the most uneven season in Trek full stop, but it has its pleasures for sure. If it sounds like I'm being especially lax with TNG s2 and especially hard on DS9 s2, again I repeat that I think DS9 s2 is much better overall, and the Odo and Garak material in particular is fantastic. TNG s2 is special, though, in that it's at a stage with wild shifts of quality from episode to episode and even from scene to scene, and it has a number of hidden great moments. I dig it, even if you have to sift through a lot.

    @Yanks, thanks. To be clear, I'm not dead-set against watching Enterprise. I haven't been watching much TV lately. I might consider starting from around where I left off (early s2). In general, I am especially interested in s4 -- I find the idea of the Federation set-up to be really intriguing.


    I had much the same experience. I did quit DS9 those many years ago, and was feeling pulled to do it again this time after the first couple of seasons . . . but people here, and just a general desire not to have this big gap in my Trek knowledge, kept me at it. And I was glad I stayed with it, though never did I see anything about it which made it rise wildly above the rest.

    Yes, the finale was bewildering on the Sisko aspect. Sisko was bewildering, period. It was quite a cop out not to clearly spell out whether or not Ben had a choice in abandoning his family. At first it seemed like he didn't, then like he did . . . ugh. Why have him marry and carelessly impregnate Kasidy (they even made a point of this - Ben didn't get his shot)? Just to have him leave? Wince worthy.

    And I was really surprised by the lack of Jake in the finale, after we learn in so many ways how desperately he loves his father.

    I also am not an ENT hater by any means. I do feel like it's something of a different animal, so much closer to our own time, so early on, no Prime Directive or Federation . . . just very different, everything getting established, pioneers making their way. I enjoyed it, especially the whole Xindi arc. But I found it hard to compare to the other Treks. From its music to its sets, it took a different road. Definitely, it's "true finale" was good. That last ep actually wouldn't have been a bad premise for an interesting mid-season ep . . . but wow, did they blow it.

    @all re: Sisko in the finale --

    I think Peter is correct about the intent here, at least in part -- that Sisko, being outside linear time, is able to watch over Kasidy et al. I think the problem I have is that it seems like multiple messages are being sent at once. Sisko really does seem to have made an Ultimate Sacrifice of his life in destroying Dukat, and the show seems thematically to need Sisko to be taken off the table in terms of Bajor anyway. I tend to see it as Sisko's purpose, for the Bajorans, to be the one to shepherd them away from the Occupation into being in charge of their own destiny, or at least to be partners in their destiny with the Federation, whom they neither view as oppressors to be hated nor as mystical beings to be worshiped. The Bajorans needed training wheels to worship Sisko while finding their way back to themselves, and to prevent them from backsliding into defining themselves only in terms of the Cardassians (hence Dukat as anti-Sisko, anti-Emissary in Covenant et al.). Kira and Jake as the final shot of the series, with Kira in charge of her own destiny and perhaps shepherding Jake into his own adulthood, is a good summing-up. Sisko needed to be the guy to take Dukat out, but to take himself out of the picture in the process. But the point is, he needs to be out of the picture. It's not clear how he can be fully out of the picture with respect to Bajor but also present for his wife and soon-to-be-born infant and his older son. And I think the show feels like it's having its cake and eating it too by both having Sisko do the heroic sacrifice thing and be tragically away, but also not committing to it enough to go for a real tragedy of his absence being absolutely felt, partly because Brooks insisted on not having Sisko abandon his child.

    But besides that, I do think his not appearing to Jake, and not even mentioning Jake to Kasidy, was a big misstep. It didn't have to be either/or; he could have talked to both of them, or at least given some indication that he is thinking about Jake. But Jake has been there from the beginning. And The Visitor showed how utterly painful it was for Jake to lose his father but not really lose him, which is basically what happens here. For the show to use its final shot to reference The Visitor makes it even stranger that it plays this way. It's just dramatically strange, to me, and hard to make emotional sense of it all. JMHO.

    I think the main brunt of the Sisko-Prophet-Jake misstep is simply stemming from the fact that the writing team stopped knowing how to write Jake stories in the last couple of years of the show. When they did try to include him it ended up being character sabotage more than anything, where their desperate search for 'his thing' ended up sidelining him into being an annoying person, as opposed to just a person. Whether it was the ridiculous "journalist" stories, or him hanging out at Quark's, it seems that the only thing they could think of for him was to attach him to some pedestrian onlooker role. Maybe this stems from his original role as "Ben's son", rather than having his own storylines going. He did have everything with Nog, but once Nog joined Starfleet those stories mainly fizzled as a central focus. So he got indirectly written out of the show, and I've always noticed this. By the time of the series finale I think they truly didn't know who he was anymore, what to do with him, how to write him, or what needed showing for him. Yes, they could have just written in an ad hoc reference to The Visitor, despite the fact that the writing team seemed generally against specific episodic references (especially those not written by themselves). And this could have maybe shown that the situation is different now than when The Visitor aired.

    I do think this area is lacking in the finale, but on the other hand they had given themselves no storyline for Jake leading up to this to conclude in the finale, and one has to pick one's battles. I think something was needed, yes. Maybe just to show that Ben marrying Kassidy gave Jake permission to accept her as a real mother, thus giving him back that mother he lost long ago even while losing his father. That certainly would be a difference. But how to write that and not have it sound pat and patronizing? I don't know. But they did need something. But I would suggest that it may be the case that the dissatisfaction at how *Sisko's* story ended may be getting colored by the writers failing to end Jake's story properly. I don't particularly see anything wrong or unkind about how they had Ben end; it's Jake's story that got buried, and had already been for some time. But that's not something new that suddenly the finale got wrong.

    @Peter, I definitely agree that the writers running out of Jake ideas was a big factor, probably the biggest factor. The problem though is that Jake was always there in part to tell us something about Ben -- how Ben treats Jake, and values and prioritizes Jake, tells us about how Ben sees the world, how he balances his professional and personal duties, etc. Of course it makes sense that this will be less central to Ben as Jake grows up, but Ben's apparent choice not to reach out to or mention Jake at the end, when we haven't (and presumably Ben hasn't) really gotten confirmation that Jake will be okay without him long-term still feels to me like an oversight which can make Ben look bad.

    I do think we could construct a bit of a story that makes sense here -- Jake chose to separate himself from Ben at the end of s5 (by staying on the station), and in The Reckoning Jake tacitly gave Ben permission to prioritizing stopping paghwraiths over him. But it wasn't rendered very clearly.

    @William B: "I think DS9 s2 is better than TNG s2 also. But I think the quality difference isn't as big as Robert is suggesting, at least it's not for me. (...) TNG s2 is special, though, in that it's at a stage with wild shifts of quality from episode to episode and even from scene to scene, and it has a number of hidden great moments. I dig it, even if you have to sift through a lot."

    Oh, definitely. While it's not comparable in quality to TNG of Seasons 3-6, the second season occupies that interesting and sometimes exhilarating middle ground between goofy outlandishness of Season 1 and confident characters as well as storytelling of prime TNG. There is a certain charm to the season, often found in unlikely places.

    "Even many weak episodes have a real spark from the introduction Guinan and (IMO, though this is more controversial) Pulaski, as in The Child."

    Do I sense a fellow Pulaski fan? Perhaps "fan" is too bold a word, but I always appreciated the character and the actress (I must admit, I was sad to see Beverly return). She was the only main character in TNG that was seriously flirting with un-PC behavior and had a degree of unapologetic straightforwardness in her dealings with certain crew members. It was a breath of fresh air among the crew that could at times be considered "stuffy", and I say that qualification in the most affectionate way possible as a great TNG fan.

    "Even an ep as disastrous as Up the Long Ladder has some interesting ideas and the nice tea ceremony scene between Worf and Pulaski."

    A beautiful scene that has stuck with me over the decades. Not only is it strange to see a TNG character willfully poison oneself (and with such enthusiasm!) in order to enjoy tea, but it also reveals a gentler, more existentially romantic side to Worf and the wider Klingon culture. Have you watched this scene with the original Ron Jones music restored? You can find it on Youtube.

    Sorry, @Yanks, I will bash Enterprise til the cows come home ;).

    @William B-I see what you're saying, but the only thing I really judge a TNG season on is episode quality. There isn't really a good way to distinguish the seasons from a plot/character perspective, imo. And far too many episodes can be classified as bad-to-mediocre (or at the very least they don't really work): "The Child", "The Outrageous Okona", "Loud as a Whisper", "Schizoid Man", "Unnatural Selection", "The Dauphin", "The Royale", "The Icarus Factor", "Samaritan Snare", "Up the Long Ladder", "Manhunt", and of course "Shades of Grey" (hard to muster up much emotion toward that episode one way or the other, but it is catastrophically awful). That's over half the season. And of the 10 episodes that remain, none of them particularly impress me. This may be blasphemy, but I'm not particularly impressed by "Measure of a Man" or "Q Who". There is some good stuff there-it's just vastly outweighed by the number of very low points, and not particularly balanced out by the high points. I'd put "Necessary Evil", "Whispers", "Blood Oath", "The Wire", and "Crossover" above every TNG Season 2 episode.

    Re: Jake, Sisko

    Agree about Jake story fizzling out. Once they decided he was going to be a writer, it really stymied things. It's not like Nog's decision to join Star Fleet - so daring and fraught with possibilities. It was a dead end. I'm guessing there was some limitation due to the actor's limitations as well. He wasn't horrible, but he was just sort of . . . blah. I can't imagine him pulling off the Nog role in Paper Moon, for example, if he'd been the one to lose his leg.

    I know I've criticized Brooks and I do think he was mostly awful in the role, but despite that, Brooks has a certain force and charm about him. He's physically dazzling, with large, dark, shining eyes that sparkle with intelligence and wit, and a knock-you-out smile. And that voice! He just makes me think "what a specimen of a man." I know nothing about him, but true to life or not, he exudes power and charm and a kind of likeable goofiness. Ciroc had none of that.

    I just distracted myself to the point that I forgot my point . . .

    Umm . . . well, the Jake-left-out thing didn't bother me all that much. I noticed it, but, in a sense, I'd already given Jake up for dead.

    It didn't bother me that Ben sacrificed himself to stop the wraiths. He had little choice, and I didn't see that move as "Ben abandoning his family," anymore than any man who died in a risky job, "abandoned his family." But when he makes it sound (to Kasidy) as if he could be with them if he wanted to, and maybe he will, sort of, though he has other things to do . . . it just goes south.

    The Prophets have shown they can possess a body in linear time, but not shown any ability to . . . incarnate themselves. I just hated the vagary and thought they were trying to have their Prophet and Daddy, too.

    I've been thinking about why they bothered with the impregnation of Kasidy at all. That doesn't feel like a random, let's just throw that in to add a little drama, thing to do. But maybe it was.

    It makes me think about all those replacements this Season . . . Defiant/Sao Paulo, the Weyouns, Jadzia/Ezri, Gawron/Martock, Founder/Odo, Real Leg/Fake Leg, Zek/Rom . . . Ben/Baby?

    The ultimate and literal way to convey a "life always goes on" message?

    @Paul, I agree about Pulaski! Perhaps more later.

    @Iceman, well, I love TMoaM and Q Who. But certainly I agree that those five DS9 eps are great. Necessary Evil is a franchise high point and The Wire is close behind. I don't know how I'd rank it compared to those two TNG s2 eps personally but both are above any other TNG s2s. Overall, DS9 s2 is far more assured and just plain better than TNG s2. I disagreed with Robert about s2 being only watchable because of the 7 eps he listed, and that there weren't any areas TNG s2 shone, relatively speaking, besides what he mentioned.

    TNG s2 does enough right for me that I think it's worth defending, and I like a lot about most of its weak episodes. I think it has a particular feel to it that no other TNG season has. I perhaps exaggerated when I said that DS9 s2 is not as much better than TNG s2 as Robert implied, but maybe I should say I still like it and find it interesting. But anyway, DS9 s2 has problems and TNG s2 has strengths but sure, DS9 s2 is much better.

    @Springy, that also makes me think of what doesn't get replaced, mostly on Cardassia. The last Weyoun (apparently). Damar, Mila. Sisko and Ross pour out the bloodwine amongst the blood. Garak lamenting that he got Cardassia back but it's no longer his Cardassia. He and Bashir might never see each other again. ("We live in uncertain times.") They really let themselves go very downbeat there. While they parallel Bajor, they notably refuse to give much reassurance that since Bajor is recovering that Cardassia might too.

    I’m missing ds9 already since finishing it earlier this month. Anyone got news on that documentary? I’m pretty sure I read it was supposed to be released this month (February 2019) but looks like that’s not true

    @ Dave in MN
    Wed, Feb 27, 2019, 11:36am (UTC -6)

    "What Sisko's race has to do with the silly way they ended his story? That plot choice seems like someone in the writer's room was stuck until they said "I know, we'll make him a God!" They drew an simplistic parallel: Emissary is to wormhole aliens as angel is to God.... and then they called it a day.

    I doubt for a millisecond race entered into the minds of anyone involved in the creation of the DS9 finale .... it certainly didn't enter into mine watching how his storyline ended. (I was actually rolling my eyes at the unlikelihood he'd make that choice. What's the rush?! He could show up on his okd age deathbed and it would literally make no difference to non-temporal aliens!!!)

    For the record. How many Badmirals have we seen in Trek?

    What race and gender are they?

    If you want to play the racial offense game, you could just as easily argue that Trek presents powerful white males as having a good chance of being evil.

    Offense can be found anywhere if you really look for it .... but, for real, not everything has to do with race."

    You're reading this wrong.

    We have a female Captain as the lead n a Star Trek series because females need to see that role model.

    We have a black Captain of a space station as the lead in a Star Trek series because black kids need to see that role model.

    I have no issues with either. I appaud the effort.

    Sisko starts out as a positive role model because he takes a "shore" command so he doesn't have to leave Jake. Througout the series we see time and time again his love for Jake and just how imortant it is for him to be there for him. We also have one of DS9's most beloved epsidoes "The Visitor" that demonstrates just how important Sisko is to Jake as his father.

    What do we get in WYLB? Our black father role model knocks up his girl friend and leaves her. He also bolts without even a conversation with Jake. Deadbeat black fathers. Exemplifying exactly the biggest problem in the black community then and today. All to make Sisko some sort of god.

    It's garbage.

    @ Iceman

    "Sorry, @Yanks, I will bash Enterprise til the cows come home ;)."

    A mental condition I hear.... treatment is available.... it's called watching Discovery :-)

    I'm also not really sure why Kassidy getting pregnant prior to Sisko 'dying' is something that warrants an objection. I can think of multiple reasons why this is a sad outcome for her and Jake, but objectionable as a story result?

    First of all, the Prophets literally told Sisko that staying with Kassidy was going to lead to pain. This was 100% guaranteed, and he went ahead with it anyhow, since it's 'his life'. Well for those who dislike the idea of the 'black man knocking up his lady and leaving', did you support Sisko making his own decisions, or were you with Kira on her advice that he'd better listen to the Prophets? Think carefully about this one, because if you were rooting for Sisko to make his own decision and not let the Prophets dictate things to him, then the result we got is the one you backed: stay with Kassidy, marry her, and conceive a child with her. He could very well have saved her that pain by giving her a briefer pain beforehand: break up with her and listen to the wormhole aliens. But it's up to the viewer which pain would be worse for her in the end. Which leads to my next point.

    Why should it be supposed that in the DS9 world Kassidy is in some kind of bad position being left pregnant and without Ben? True, it's better to have him there than not. But is it? Maybe he can protect them now in new ways. But putting aside the Ben-is-Prophet thing since we can't really assess it, there's something strange about attributing to a DS9 setting the stigma associated with a deadbeat dad in the 20th century. One objection many people had to Sisko mentioning race in Badda Bing was that in his era it wouldn't be a thing that mattered, so why bring it up? A fair point, although I still think that our modern viewer needed to hear it and be reminded. But now in the finale the reaction seems to be that a 20th century interpretation of a deadbeat dad needs to be read into a 24th century man dying to save his family and the Bajorans. Why? It's not like Kassidy will have money troubles raising the baby; it's not like Jake, Julian, and plenty of others won't be there to help. Medical care is advanced and free; food unlimited; and Kassidy won't need to work if she doesn't want to. So why again is Ben dying the doom that we assume it would be for a modern parents whose SO leaves them while pregnant? It wouldn't be, not in the 24th century Federation. That's a modern conceit incorrectly placed into a setting where it doesn't apply.

    But perhaps the objection stems from a notion that being pregnant is some kind of burden, or trouble that Sisko has foisted on her and then left for her to deal with? Well that's only true if we accept that it's a burden. It can be for some people in our age - although many others would never call it that. In Sisko's age, I doubt it would be seen as anything of the kind.

    So I think there's some difficulty here of mixing modern tropes into the DS9 world and criticizing it on the basis of them, when the objection many people have to DS9 in the first place is that it didn't stick closely enough to the TNG premises in their future (an argument I disagree with, but let that go). If we're going to read story points on the basis of what it means to those people in the future, then the baby has to be seen that way too, and we have no reason to believe that there's any negative side to Kassidy being pregnant; and therefore it cannot reasonably be seen as some fault that Ben went off to sacrifice himself while she was pregnant. I would say that both the writing intention, and what I myself see, is that he died a hero's death (or transformation) and that there's no more to see in it than that.

    Just to chime in: I think Avery Brooks insisted that Sisko state that he would return, to avoid some of the 20th-century-viewership implications of a black man "abandoning" his family. I think some of the objections here make a certain amount of sense given that there already *is* some adjustment made by Brooks to the 20th-century meta aspects. And while it's true that Kassidy is not going to face the same problems as 20th century single parents, the series has spent a lot of time on how difficult losing one's parents (or being alienated from them, nor not knowing/remembering them) can be, right from Jennifer's death in the premiere, and certainly in The Visitor where Jake never recovered from his father's quasi-death. I don't know that I personally entirely agree with Yanks -- or, well, Brooks -- about the relevance of 20th century black communities to this episode. I think the show has always played a bit with the meta level of Sisko's (Brooks') blackness in reflecting Sisko's role in helping Bajor heal from their oppression, his being "of Bajor" etc., so it's maybe fair game, but that aspect of things doesn't bother me that much.

    Anyway I think that the objection people have is somewhat more akin to Springy's -- that it's fine that Sisko sacrificed himself to kill Dukat/the wraiths, at least in terms of the appropriateness of Sisko's choice. (Many people, myself included, aren't wild about the climactic Sisko/Dukat fight playing out the way it did in dramatic terms, but given the set-up, sure, it's appropriate for him to sacrifice himself for the greater good.) The problem comes if we read Sisko as suggesting in his scene with Kassidy afterwards that he *could* return but is choosing not to because the Prophets need him. This is maybe a misreading of the scene, but (at least for Springy) I think that's the crux of what plays as strange about the whole thing. And I don't know; I think it's a reasonable read of the scene, in that while Sisko is certainly following the path laid out for him by the Prophets, there's also not much in the scene to indicate that it's unwilling.

    I don't know whether Yanks feels the same way or not -- so @Yanks, I'm curious: if Sisko had just died killing Dukat in the fire caves, and that was the end of it (no other Sisko scenes after that), would you have the same objection about Ben abandoning Kassidy? Or is it that you, like Springy, see Sisko as deliberately choosing to continue doing the Prophets' work rather than be with Kassidy and the child (and Jake)?

    It's worth adding: like Springy, I do wonder what the actual writing reason for having Kassidy become pregnant was. I'm not saying there isn't one. One possibility is that as Springy says it is emphasizing the "life goes on" message. Another is that I think it is paralleling the opening of the series, with Kassidy now as a (for now) "widowed" single parent (like Ben was at the series' premiere, and as we find out in greater detail at the start of this season Joseph also was) with a child -- which also suggests that life continues and patterns repeat. Another is the possibility that the "nothing but sorrow" dramatic tension was created in order to force one more choice on Ben's part between his own life and the life the Prophets laid out for him, and that tension needed some payoff. I'm not sure. Unlike, say, Keiko's pregnancy then shifted to Kira, it's certainly not an attempt to adjust to real-world issues (Nana Visitor's pregnancy).

    @Peter G

    "I'm also not really sure why Kassidy getting pregnant prior to Sisko 'dying' is something that warrants an objection"

    I'm not sure either. I don't object to it, at all.

    Though I do was wonder why the writers chose to make Kasidy pregnant, as I don't think it was a random thing, just meant to spice things up a bit. And they so specifically made it "Ben's fault," when he admitted to ignoring Bashir's reminders about his shot. It was just . . . strange, and I can't help but wonder what they were thinking - how it was meant to fit into the Season's theme of . . . change and flow.

    The Title of the ep is "What You Leave Behind," and we see what everyone is leaving behind. Maybe the pregnancy is just meant to add weight to that, for Sisko. We do see a good bit about how our individual lives (all our decisions, big and small, like forgetting your shot) impact others and the world around us, and continue to do so, even after were gone.

    So my guess is the pregnancy was about that.

    Good points, William B, and I too am interested to hear exactly what the nature of the objection is. And I agree that some amount of meta-story had been already introduced into Sisko being black, but for the most part these elements were aesthetic: I can't recall a time we were meant to judge Sisko for anything he *did* on the basis of being black. Sure, he had African art; occasionally wore an African design; and he mentioned the thing about race; but those are basically reminders that black people sitll have things to be proud of and to solve. But those aren't relevant to DS9's actual stories. The objection to the baby here seems directly related to Sisko being black, and it would be the first time (by the viewers) that any words or actions of his are being judged purely on his skin color.

    Regarding why the writers chose to make Kassidy pregnent, maybe we'll never know. But I can see a "fate isn't always what you plan" element in it. Someone forgot their contraceptive one day, and boom, a huge change happens that's unplanned and alters the future greatly. And I think this is on point with the Emissary angle, which is that Sisko can make decisions and try to manage it all he wants, but in the end the result will be something he can't anticipate. And yes, life goes on - but more than that, life *emerges* out of uncertainty. So there's maybe some element of 'the game' from the pilot that comes into play here too, where the unexpected has to be seen as a positive rather than a negative thing. And certainly if we chose to read Kassidy becoming pregnant as a huge win for her and Ben, then instead of reading the outcome as "he gets her pregnant and leaves her" it could just as soon be seen as "he and she manage to create something amazing just in time before he dies." And I do think it's a purely modern conceit to see her pregnancy as a burden rather than as an amazing, unexected, benefit. We certainly get no overt text in the series that Kassidy heself sees being pregnant as a problem or a burden. So why should we put those words in her mouth? Or maybe I'm forgetting something and there is a quote to that effect somewhere? If so I guess I'd have to think about it some more.

    @Peter, interesting point about whether the pregnancy is a positive or a negative. My take: I've always seen it as being negative that Sisko disappears shortly after she discovers she's pregnant specifically because I saw it as being tied in with the "nothing but sorrow" statement. Unless I'm missing something, the Prophets "knew" that Sisko was going to "die"/disappear either way, so what is it about the marriage that makes things so much worse? I guess the point is that it will hurt Ben and Kassidy more to be separated because of their marriage than it would have before they got married. However, the baby seems to add to this -- I think there's some implication that the pregnancy would not have happened if they hadn't gotten married (which -- well, Bashir and Ezri had had sex right before the start of WYLB, but still I think the pregnancy is related to that). I guess the pregnancy and the marriage all seem tied up together, and somehow that combination makes things much worse ("nothing but sorrow") than if Ben had just "died" without the marriage. It may be that this is a misreading -- that in fact it's just the marriage but not the pregnancy that is the problem, and/or that it's sad for Ben to be away from the baby but *not* as bad for Kassidy to be raising it. But the weight of the "nothing but sorrow" hangs over those episodes and tends to make me read things in a more tragic light than I would have otherwise.

    Anyway, to expand a bit: I don't think Kassidy has any dialogue that suggests that the baby specifically makes everything worse than it would have been otherwise. But she does seem uncertain at the end of The Dogs of War whether it's good news or not (Ben says that it's wonderful news, and she says "I'm glad you think so"). Some of that is concern that something horrible will happen to the baby, which is not (directly) the case. The opening scene between her and Ben in WYLB also seems to foreshadow his departure from her life:

    (Sisko puts a cold towel on Kasidy's forehead.)
    SISKO: How's that?
    KASIDY: Oh, it's doing wonders for my head, but it's my stomach that's bothering me.
    SISKO: Well, if it will help, morning sickness ends after the first trimester.
    KASIDY: Oh, that's two more months. I don't think I'm going to make it.
    SISKO: You're going to make it.
    KASIDY: Ben? Promise me something. Promise that you'll come home to us.
    SISKO: I promise.
    KASIDY: I don't believe it
    SISKO: I said I promise.
    KASIDY: No, it's not
    (Kasidy runs for the bathroom and the doorbell rings.)

    It's not cast in iron or anything, but that the conversation turns straight from Kassidy (or possibly, as the transcript says, Kasidy with one s) lamenting (presumably mostly hyperbolically) that she doesn't think she can make it through the pregnancy, to making Ben promise to come back to her. Of course they're talking about the war. Anyway Kassidy says to Ben at the end "I'll be waiting," so of course I don't think Kassidy literally doesn't believe she will make it through the pregnancy without Ben; just that I think the scene arguably suggests that she clings to Ben staying with her even more strongly now that she's pregnant. In neither the end of The Dogs of War nor in WYLB does Kassidy seem genuinely excited or happy about the pregnancy. This is, to be fair, because she was worried that something bad would happen *to the baby* (as opposed to Sisko), and since that didn't happen I imagine there may be some relief in that aspect. Hopefully she can look at it the way you suggest -- that they created something wonderful together before Ben exited her life forever -- but it's hard to say from the relatively few scenes we get on the subject.

    @William B - I don't think everything outside the 6 in DS9 were perfect, just that those 6 are the only ones that, if they are my first introduction to the show put me off from coming back. I feel TNG S2 has note that I'm glad weren't my first exposure!

    For TNG I'll add Emissary to my list though, I like that one and I thought it was S3. You are NOT trying to sell me on the Pakleds though, right? :P

    @Yanks, Dave in MN et, al.
    re: Sisko leaving and his race.

    On a story and intent level, Dave is right, Sisko leaving to be God and unable to see his family has nothing to do with the character's race. Ira had no thought for the implications when he wrote it. Yet that doesn't necessarily make Yanks wrong either, on a different level.

    If I may be allowed to stretch the legs of my Comms degree here, I'd like to look at this scene and exchange about it through a pretty basic "meaning making" theory, (of which there are plently) Saussure's 'theory of the sign'

    Saussure posits that a sign (anything communicating meaning beyond it's basic form), is made up of two levels: the signifier (the basic meaning of a sign) and the signified (the deeper meanings attributed to that sign).

    A basic example; 'apple'. The word 'apple' is itself a sign, a jumble of letters arranged in a way that calls forth in everyone's mind; your's, mine, the other commenters, Jammer's, the image of an apple. The image in your head of that apple is the *signifier*.

    But along with the apple in your head come other meanings, associated with that image: meanings given by the context you, yourself place that image in, largely based on experience and yep, society and culture. How so?

    Well, the colours of that apple; green, red, yellow, denote ripeness. But also the taste, texture, and sweetness of that apple. But when looking at an apple, one might also think of education or teachers (giving a teacher an apple at the start of class) or health (an apple a day keeps the doctor away), knowledge and religious connotations (the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil), or even discomfort (an allergy). These deeper meanings come from the world around us, and our experiences, either personal, or societal/cultural. This us the level of the *signified* meaning.

    In this way, an object or idea can have multiple meanings, but also *different* meanings based on the readers/viewers/audience's experience. It's why art is subjective and why sites like this exist, to showcase the different meanings found through another's perspective.

    But to get back to Sisko leaving his family and what role race plays in the meaning signified.

    For viewers who have not grown up in black culture, specifically western "african-american" (quotes used to signify the use of this term here as a generalization of a concept) culture, Sisko having to leave his family and ascending to godhood is a function of the story, the signified meaning that of tragedy and loss. (and perhaps silly writing to tie things up) Surely that is how Ira Behr saw it.

    But, for one who DID grow up in black, "african-american" culture, there is likely a different signified meaning. Now, admittedly, I am no expert on this culture, being white myself, but having read a few responses to this plot point from those of other races and WHY it was a sticking point for them I can glean that "black guy leaving his family" is a common cultural trope, one that carries it's own significance for them, one that I would guess, reaches deep into the meaning of identity for those of this culture. Perhaps it says "black men don't care about the wellfare of their family", "black men are irresponsible", or "black kids growing up without a father perpeuates a cycle of poverty and illicit activity" or something negative like that they'd like to be disassociated from their culture, if not in the minds of those outside it, then at least in the minds of those within it.

    To see a role model character, one that signifies the best a black man can be, then turn around, whether by choice or by the plot, and do an action that to those living in this culture represents or signifies, a major cultural issue, has gotta sting at the very least.

    And, in this way, one can see how race can also create meaning, one that is different from the meanings gleaned, or signified by those of another race.

    We can see how a meaning can be found that we may not have made, because we have no context that would've supported or let us understand that meaning. And yet that meaning is there for those with that context.

    It's important to note that this is all beyond the level of intention as well, as no artist can account for ALL perspectives or experiences.

    And yes, this does sorta touch on all that "representation politics" malarky people can be so touchy about these days, and the huge polarized arguements people are having about, well, not just films, but everything it seems. People ARE looking to find meaning in things, but I think the majority aren't seeing the forests for the trees at this point.

    Anyway, I just saw that exchange and thought I could maybe, hopefully clarify it a bit? And share my own perspective. (And actually use the darned degree I paid for)

    Anybody (esp. Jammer) seen "Whet we left behind"? Ira Behrs DS9-Documentary just released for backers and coming to select cinemas shortly (May, 12th). Not sure, if I can post links, so just google it: it's the first entry.
    The interviews are interesting, the pitch and animated storyboard for an eigth season by the five core writers (Behr, Moore, Beimler, …) is a nice gimick.
    They even remastered the footage (incl. VFX shots!) in HD, which looks absolutely gorgeous! So, what do you think?

    @ Haplo

    "Anybody (esp. Jammer) seen "Whet we left behind"? Ira Behrs DS9-Documentary just released for backers and coming to select cinemas shortly (May, 12th). Not sure, if I can post links, so just google it: it's the first entry.
    The interviews are interesting, the pitch and animated storyboard for an eigth season by the five core writers (Behr, Moore, Beimler, …) is a nice gimick.
    They even remastered the footage (incl. VFX shots!) in HD, which looks absolutely gorgeous! So, what do you think?"

    It's May 13th!!

    I'm there for sure!!


    Very interesting read. I can tell your are a communicator.

    I will boil my point down.

    TPTB decided to center a Star Trek show on a black Captain. Bravo... fully support. Outstanding platform to provide a positive role model to kids of color, etc. (is there another reason to do it?) I also supported casting the first female Captain for Star Trek Voyager. Same reasons. Bravo.

    Sisko throughout the series has done just that for the most part (only a couple waivers for me, but that's all within the story for the most part). We've all had our issues with Avery's acting abilities, but we all support him nonetheless. Sisko has been a great Captain, with huge responsibilities etc. Outstanding role model.

    Then we get this closer. Sisko's dancing, he says he has to go and bam. He's off to fight the good fight, falls into the caves and the "Prophets" save him and take him from his family.

    So what do we get? Sisko is a god and has to go do God stuff, has no idea when he'll return and Kassidy, Jake and the unborn baby are left to fend for themselves.

    Horrible. Of course Yates plays the good abandoned mother "And I will be waiting."...

    Peter G, If Sisko has died, while I didn't want to see that, it would have been better than this IMO.

    What I think should have happened, is the wormhole aliens should have saved Sisko, indicated to him they were going to take him, and Sisko should have convinced them he couldn't come because of his responsibility to his family.

    That would have wrapped the role model thing up perfectly.

    The only real saving grace here is that it certainly is easier to raise a child in the 24th century... it's not like Kassidy is going to be in the soup line or something, but that's not the way it is now.

    Huge opportunity missed. here IMO.

    Haplo, Yanks - I've seen the DS9 documentary. I gave it an 8/10 (or a high 3 on the Jammer scale). It was great hearing all the actors talk so intelligently about their roles. For me the season eight part was the weakest element - admittedly they only had one day to come up with it, but I didn't think the writers' ideas worked and a lot of the groundwork and character choices seemed to have been borrowed from the relaunch novels. A shame there was no discussion of The Visitor or In The Pale Moonlight at all in the two-hour runtime, and no discussion of the geopolitical side of the show either (the parallels between Bajor/Cardassia and eastern European countries recovering from Soviet domination in the 1990s, Changeling paranoia in relation to terrorism fears in the U.S., etc.). I did really enjoy it, but it was a little too much of a love-in and nostalgia fest - which is entirely warranted, as the show is awesome, but I'd have preferred a slightly more sober and analytical look at what made DS9 so resonant and timeless, rather than lots of scenes of the cast singing and fooling around.

    So many comments! Mine, briefly: 1. Shouldn’t have killed Sisko. 2. Paghwraith stuff was idiotic. 3. Good to end with Kira, a hall of fame Trek character. 4. Finally, thanks to everyone who made this show, which is fine and enduring entertainment.


    I don't know if you are reading this, but did you go see the DS9 documentary?

    @ wolfstar

    "Haplo, Yanks - I've seen the DS9 documentary. I gave it an 8/10 (or a high 3 on the Jammer scale). It was great hearing all the actors talk so intelligently about their roles. For me the season eight part was the weakest element - admittedly they only had one day to come up with it, but I didn't think the writers' ideas worked and a lot of the groundwork and character choices seemed to have been borrowed from the relaunch novels. A shame there was no discussion of The Visitor or In The Pale Moonlight at all in the two-hour runtime, and no discussion of the geopolitical side of the show either (the parallels between Bajor/Cardassia and eastern European countries recovering from Soviet domination in the 1990s, Changeling paranoia in relation to terrorism fears in the U.S., etc.). I did really enjoy it, but it was a little too much of a love-in and nostalgia fest - which is entirely warranted, as the show is awesome, but I'd have preferred a slightly more sober and analytical look at what made DS9 so resonant and timeless, rather than lots of scenes of the cast singing and fooling around."

    I enjoyed it. There was about 70 folks in the theater I saw it in last night. We all applauded when it was over. I gave some $$$$ to the effort so Steven was speaking to me at the end :-)

    I was a little disappointed that it seemed they were all whining about not getting the credit it/they deserved? I was surprised that Armin Shimmerman was so taken aback with some criticism... it really bothered him? .... DS9 made him... we wouldn't know who he was if not for DS9.

    We got to see Terry talk about the contract issues... sort of, she never really exposed the whole thing but you could see it really bothered her on how she was treated.

    The stuff we got in HD was pretty darn amazing looking. I also liked the cartoon sketch stuff...

    I didn't mind the season 8 stuff. All good and would have been interesting for sure. It was funny as hell when Nog (Aron) went off :-)

    I don't like the idea of Garak being gay and needed to be in a relationship with Bashir.

    It also really didn't feel like this was a reunion... they are together all the time at the conventions...

    Some laugh-out-loud funny moments.

    Behr needs to grow up and lose the purple goat.

    Of course they go to 'Past Tense' and 'Far Beyond the Stars' as the key episodes that make DS9 great. .... not so sure about that, I might have chosen others... many others...

    I think they got everyone that was alive to participate... quite the gaggle of niners :-)

    HAHA... they hit on the DS9 ending controversy... brought up pretty much every point I made here... I feel vindicated :-)

    I stayed until the end so the run time for me was closer to 2 1/2 hours.

    I'll purchase it on DVD and add it to my collection.

    Oh, I forgot to mention... They showed one of my favorite moments in all of trek during the documentary. Sisko and Vic singing "The Best is Yet to Come".

    One thing I marvel at is how much Jake (Cirroc Lofton) grew (physically) from 1993 (age 14) to 1999. In Season 1, he was a skinny kid much shorter (obviously) than Ben Sisko. At the end of the show, he's taller (over 6 ft.) and a basically a fully developed man. Must have grown an inch per season!

    Dr Bashir to Ops, medical emergency: Bobbington McBob has sustained a serious case netflix binge watch end-mourning. 300 ml of tarkalian tea, stat

    Just saw the sad news that René Auberjonois has passed away. Very sad and unexpected. I've been watching a lot of DS9 of late and this feels like such a loss.

    I just saw the news about René as well. A wonderful performer, whose work in Altman movies, Beauty and the Beast, Frasier, etc. I enjoyed. His A-game, terrific work as Odo, having the most expansive, complex and demanding arc of the series (possibly of the franchise?), playing a character who was a shapeshifter, grump, cynic, romantic, pillar of integrity, near-fascist, traitor, collaborator, freedom fighter, prodigal son, hermit, friend, lover, and self-sacrificial redeemer of his fallen god people, and keeping these disparate elements balanced within a believable whole, could never have worked without this man's dedication, talent, and soul. RIP.

    RIP, Rene' .

    A wonderful actor who added so much to this series, and seemed very well loved.

    I've been trying to think of my favorite Odo moment, and though I can't narrow it down, I enjoyed his banter with Quark the most. Shimerman tweeted a nice message in remembrance and it wasn't surprising to read he considered him a close friend. They had great chemistry.

    I did love when they were stuck in Odo 's office together:

    QUARK : Should've listened to my father. He always warned me this was gonna happen.

    ODO : What? That you'd spend your final hours in jail? I could have told you that.

    Looking over Auberjonois's bio, it was surprising to see that I first saw him perform through MASH and "The Little Mermaid" before he was cast here as Odo. DS9 really gives Auberjonois plenty of time to show us his true ability in playing many parts. I mean, he's a shapeshifter; he can literally be anything and somehow he pulled off that complicated role beautifully. Many thanks to him for all these years of entertainment!

    Jeez, I meant The Little Mermaid, not Beauty and the Beast (thanks Chrome). Les Poissons is great.

    This guy Auberjonois is a brilliant so-and-so. He was always marvelously inventive and nuanced as Odo, and as Garak pointed out, had a flair for sarcasm. He's worked for years in many projects including MASH and even Frasier, and I've lately been watching him on Boston Legal. I don't even care for the show that much but his scenes are gold, as are those of 1-2 others on the show. Feeble as it is, I watched another episode last night with my wife to commemorate him.

    When I saw him on Broadway in a silly musical, I was amazed at how much his graceful motions and perfect timing translated into a movement-based piece of theatre, because on DS9 his movements, body positions, and even head angle often help determine what the view is meant to understand. He was just that good of a storyteller.

    I don't know how it happens, but the tour de force performance seems to come in the odd roles on Trek, like Spock, Data, and now Odo, all of which are the outsider trying to make sense of humans. Funny how we relate to them the best. Voyager had their outsider begin as Doc, although that didn't really seem to gel as the person trying to learn about humanity sort of role, and so although Picardo is endlessly entertaining I don't know how much we identified with him as a person. Seven probably occupied that niche when she came on the show. But out of all of the above characters, you could be sure of one thing: Auberjonois' scenes were never going to be boring.

    Until we meet again. Farewell Odo.

    "Why did Odo have to leave to do something the female shapeshifter could have done?"

    Did you miss the part where she was being tried as a war criminal? Did you just expect them to let her go back to the Gamma quadrant? She'd probably go back to scheming on wiping out the solids, after not too long. Better to keep her locked up forever. Odo had the ability to change the mindset of the shapeshifters, and "keep them in line" so to speak.

    Here we go, racing down to the finish line, and the referee is standing and waiting to wave his big flag and declare the race over!

    There's the Allied fleet, charging towards Dominion space, as the Breen and Founders plot to defeat them.

    Stumbling along beside them - and discarding bits of religious paraphernalia as they go - is Dukat and Winn, as they delve deep into a cave in their quest to unleash demons via some mystical mumbo jumbo. It's frankly embarrassing to watch them struggle along, so let's move on.

    There's Vic Fontaine, to remind us of the writers obsession with the Brat Pack. Thankfully, he decides to take a break to avoid wrinkling his suit, and so quickly falls by the wayside as the newly reborn Cardassian resistance charges into the lead by taking out the Dominion's long-range communications. Sadly, this triggers reprisals which kill millions of civilians, and Kira, Damar and Garak find themselves captured and dragged off by the Jem Hadar for execution.

    Meanwhile, the Allied Fleet is pushing ahead and mixing it up with the Dominion fleet, only to struggle as Breen ships dart about and Jem Hadar kamikaze pilots take out Klingon ships in various bits of recycled footage. As ever, the CGI scenes are fairly exciting, but utterly ridiculous, as ships close to implausibly close ranges; as in previous episodes, it's like watching two battleships moving up next to each other before firing their main batteries at each other. And naturally, amid all this death and destruction, we have to pause so Bashir and O'Brien can have one last bonding session together. Will Molly and Kirayoshi end up with the first male-partner parents in Star Trek? Who knows...

    But wait! The scorched-earth policy of the Dominion has finally pushed the majority of the Cardassian solders into open revolt! The tide of the naval battle is turning, as the Cardassian battleships turn on their erstwhile allies. The finish line is in sight, but the question remains: will the Cardassians be able to wipe out the Jem Hadar before they can eliminate the civilian population of Cardassia Prime?

    Sadly, we'll have to wait to find out, as the camera switches back to team Mumbo Jumbo, as they mutter incantations last heard in an old episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Cry havoc and let slip the low-quality supernatural special effects!

    Thankfully, racing past this ever more pathetic plot thread is the resistance, who pause as they reach the final stretch to share a brief - and highly forced - moment of quality laughter time. And there they go, charging into a narrow passageway with all the tactical subtlety of depressed lemmings, only to be mowed down like American passenger pigeons. If only years of occupying an unwilling population had led to the development of inner-city and building-clearance tactics.

    Alas, Damar is one of the casualties. It was perhaps inevitable - it's the ultimate sacrifice for the ultimate patriot - and it helps to spur the rest of his crew to dive into the doorway to try and capture the headquarters - which handily, is only lightly occupied as most of the Jem Hadar have nipped out to drown babies. So let's drape a flag over Damar and continue on.

    The finish line is tantalisingly close now; we can see it flapping in the wind, as Kira, Garak and generic Cardassian Trooper #12 break into the room where the Founder is waiting for them. And for an added bonus, Garak gets to gun down Weyoun in cold blood, ending his clone-line. Sadly, not even the Founder expresses more than mild regret over his passing - after all, she can order a new Vorta from Amazon. But first, she has an announcement to make: even if the Founders have been defeated, their remaining Jem Hadar and Breen ships are more than capable of continuing their scorched-earth policy across the quadrant.

    And so, everyone stops to take a breather and consider this. Despite the fact that all they'd need to do would be to send Odo down to impersonate her and call a ceasefire - after all, he's "genetically" identical to her, and in the future, all technology from all species is trivially hackable /unless/ the writers have pulled some negative technobabble out of a hat.

    You also have to ask: would the Breen join in with this? We still don't know for certain why they decided to come out of isolation to join forces with the Dominion; would they really be willing to send their fleet out on a berserker mission? At this point, the sensible option would be to pull an Italian maneouvre and throw their support in with the Allies, or risk being ground down in a war of attrition. And how much damage could the Jem Hadar do before they ran out of white? They've shown surprisingly limited loyalty to the Founders in previous situations like this, so could well end up negotiating a settlement with the Allies.

    But having had a breather, the Allies send Odo racing out into the lead, to negotiate a settlement with the Founder - and to pass the cure over, to boot. And so champagne corks pop and chaff fills the air, as everyone comes together to negotiate Peace In Our Time.

    Alas, the race isn't quite over yet. Because while all the other racers are celebrating, here comes Dukat and Winn in their little three-legged race. A little bit of back-stabbing and yet more mystical crap brings out the Pah Wraiths, who in turn drag Sisko back into the race. And after zombie-possessed Dukat does a bit of Evil Villain gloating, this final pair cross the line by rolling across it as they kick and bite each other in one of the most undignified plot-arc resolutions ever.

    I mean, really: Sisko's grand role for the Prophets involved falling off a cliff edge? So much for all the build up.

    And so it all ends, the final episode of the final season of DS9. In some ways, it's more of a whimper than a bang, but the writers do deserve credit for hauling the whole kit and kaboodle all this way.

    If only the same could be said for Voyager...

    To me, starting with Sloan’s and Gowron’s deaths, this final stretch of DS9 strikes me as “what would happen if George R R Martin wrote Trek?” And I don’t mind it one bit.

    For me, however, TNG’s finale is the gold standard, and TOS’ finale is the crap standard on the other end of the spectrum. DS9’s finale is nearly as good as TNG’s, but what TNG did was make a great finale that was also top-notch sci-fi. This episode was not great sci-fi, and the elements in the first half that were, were much more “Star Wars” than “Star Trek.”

    The real issue was the pagh-wraith wrapup which was not “Star Wars” nor “Star Trek,” but “Harry Potter.” I also didn’t like how this season opened with Sisko going through this hunt to find the Orb of the Emissary, and that doesn’t come into play? The final scene with pagh-Dukat would have been much more interesting if Sisko would have been on equal ground with the Orb on his side, rather than some deus ex bookina resolution where burning a book traps a near omnipotent force in the fire caves.

    Aside from that big letdown, it was fantastic and emotional and leaves the fan imaging “what’s next?” As you know the series is over but these stories can go on, which is what a finale should do. 3.5 stars from me.

    Not intending to do a full review myself of this episode right now. It is, after all, only the 4th DS9 ep I've commented on here. But after binging all seven seasons in May and June of 2020 mid-pandemic, I feel I should at least leave a comment here... at the end.

    In skimming some of the other comments, it seems that the ending not quite being perfect has ruined the show for some... this sounds a very familiar refrain to my ears thanks to having heard/read the fan reactions to shows like LOST and BSG and even the Sopranos and the dissatisfaction with those endings that many hold. I'm not going to try and talk anyone out of not liking specific endings, mind you. Taste is taste. But I would like to try and talk people out of saying it "ruined the show" for them. Come on, folks... if 95% of the show (or even 60%!) was good to great for you... remember that instead of an ending, or aspects of an ending, that disappointed you. It's the journey, not the destination, yadda yadda...

    Myself, I finally watched this episode about 10 days ago, at the end of that 52 day run my wife and I had just concluded of watching 7 years of TV in just over 7 weeks, and... I overall loved it. Was it as good as a Duet, Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast, The Visitor, Rocks and Shoals, Far Beyond the Stars, In the Pale Moonlight, Tackling into the Wind... or even (to me, a tier of eps slightly behind the aforementioned) a Necessary Evil, The Wire, Second Skin, the Way of the Warrior, etc. etc.?

    No, probably not. Wouldn't make my top 20 in all likelihood. But it would probably make a top 40 or 50 (and out of ~175, I'd say that ain't bad). I'd say I enjoyed almost every aspect of it to some degree, with the least enjoyable parts being the Winn/Dukat bits... but that's been the case for the entire final 10 eps of the show, this super-heavy-serialized wonder of a chain of episodes. When Winn cast out Dukat for a bit and the next ep or two didn't have any scenes of them, things got a bit better for me in that there was no obvious weak spots. But here we are, at the end, with all needing to be resolved.

    I think the writers did a very good job. Endings are HARD, man! I think compared to those other shows I mentioned--and many others that people are disgruntled about--this finale leaves little to complain about in the greater scheme of things, even if there are parts that some of us are less fans of than other parts. The main complaint I have is that there isn't a season 8 (or 9... come on! 9 seasons of Deep Space 9... how perfect would that have been?!) to come after it... ah, for a long Return of the King-esque epilogue season. ;)

    See you next time, Space Cowboys.

    I think it was a strong end. It improved upon the first season and followed through mostly. My only let downs were dukat and winn which was a solid waste of time the last half of the season. Both characters were kind of wasted, not because they are bad actors just I think they were contrived to produce the final half narrative as the protagonists, but it made no sense or was forced. That whole story was a bit awkward.

    Otherwise everything else went pretty good. I felt there could have been a more climactic space battle, but I guess Trek doesn't excel in that. I liked Ezri but it was all forced just because Jadzia left. I wonder what really happened with her leaving.... i feel like there is some #metoo stuff that happened but maybe thats wishful thinking.

    Worf was super annoying this entire season. He seemed really out of character and just a man-child behaviour. The only good outcome near the end was him fighting the Jem hadar (sp) on that asteroid in a previous episode. Otherwise his drama was insufferable with Ezri and constantly complaining, the complete opposite of what you'd think a Klingon would carry themselves- plus the constnat use of the word honour made it lose meaning.

    Miles + Chief were amazing as always. Thank god there wasn't any obrien wife this season, from memory. She should have always just been a reference character.

    Anyway, good episode, a decent ending. Left some open threads and storylines that could (or maybe could have 20 years ago) be explored more.

    The impact of Jadzia's death had frankly been overfocused on already especially "Penumbra", that episode already concluded the focus on her, not having her in Worf's memories in the series finale was a *little* odd but understandable and not a big problem.

    Overall I loved the episode. The depiction of the war, both the space combat and depiction of the Cardassian Resistance, was some of the best it had ever been, appropriately much more intense than in most episodes, and the conclusions were strong. The conclusions to Kira's and Odo's stories both together and individually were really strong.

    The nostalgia and sense of farewell was earned, appropriate, effective. Worf becoming an ambassador was definitely random, even a little half-hearted, but still a fine end as was Bashir and O'Brien parting and, though a little obligatory, Bashir and Dax ending up together at least for now. Sisko being with the Prophets and not anxious to return also felt a little random but in-line enough with his characterization and plot threads through the series.

    Just finished rewatching the entire series for the first time since it originally aired over 20 years ago. The last ten hours of this season stand up so well. I’ve always loved DS9, but I think this ending is even better than I remembered. The best Star Trek has to offer, and I would say at or near the top of science fiction TV in general (with BSG being the one possible exception). These last 9 episodes are probably the first serialized television I ever watched and, after the rewatch, I’d put it up there with other great early serialized dramas like The Sopranos and The Wire. This isn’t as refined or sophisticated as those HBO greats, and is certainly more cheesy, but in terms of compelling serialized drama it’s as good as anything. DS9 is my favorite series of Trek. It revolutionized the franchise and the genre and is an early part of the revolution of television in general. It deserves even more respect than it already gets.

    Massive let-down. Everything just seemed to be conveniently wrapped up for the good guys, with the Winn/Dukat arc wrapped up in a very pathetic manner that seemed rushed. And let's never mention that cringeworthy scene where Kira laughs!!

    Remove the end nostalgia and you've a very average episode.

    So, last week, like a doofus, I decided to disagree with someone on Twitter about nuTrek. Yeah, big mistake. But the way that arguement went has kinda sat with me all this time. Essentially the defendents view was that Star Trek's core tenent is exploration, and thus it should be able to explore different tones. My counterpoint that Trek's core tenent is optimism, and the tone of the franchise should be one that is optimistic.

    Their counter the THAT was... Deep Space Nine. Because DS9 to them is not an optimistic show. And all I could think was how surface level are people viewing these shows to see a series that yes, does revolve around a costly and deadly war, but is also still optimistic? I listed out a number of optimistic aspects of the show, Nog's easy physical recovery from a grave injury, the ease of availability for psychological help with that, the Bajoran's recovery efforts and the major strides in that, stuff like that.

    The person screenshotted it and then posted a smug tweet of it to their followers. No doubt hoping to dogpile as well as provoke me into saying something they could victimize themselves with. That bait I did not take and did my best to extricate myself from what I sensed could turn into a nasty twitter dogpile, cause boy do some people know how to game that system to work for them and point their "legions" in a direction, as they paint themselves in a certain way, regardless of other perspectives.

    But I realized that a) if the reading comprehension of modern (entitled) viewers is so shallow so as to only see surface level of the media they partake in, then OF COURSE nuTrek is to their liking and those damn shows found and are writing for their audience. And b) if that is NOT the case, then perhaps *I* mis-read this show...

    So, is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine an optimistic show? And does it provide reasonable justification for the existence of the darker toned, harsher nuTrek shows?

    Yes, DS9 does have a darker tone than TOS, TNG, VOY, or ENT. However, there is a difference between a dark tone and nihilism.

    Despite DS9's darker tone, it is still undeniably an optimistic view of the future. Nog's attempt to better himself, Kira's struggle to overcome her prejudice against Cardassians, Sisko's gradual acceptance of a new worldview (i.e. the Bajoran faith), Odo's feelings that he must atone for his actions during the Cardassian Occupation, everyone being willing to look past Bashir's illegal genetic enhancements, Quark's slow but eventual embrace of Federation values, and how literally everyone bends over backwards to help O'Brien in "Hard Time" are just a handful of examples.

    NuTrek, on the other hand, is not optimistic. It's a nihilistic dystopia for the sake of being a nihilistic dystopia. This is a universe where people are openly bigoted and racist, where people have no problem enslaving Soong-type Androids, where people openly and frequently use the most vulgar language, where a legacy character (Icheb) is viciously murdered for shock value, where Seven of Nine is turned into a blood-thirsty murderer because.... why not?, where numerous characters are either alcoholics or outright drug addicts, where the Federation publicly declares that they get to decide if a species lives or dies, where one of the franchise's most beloved characters (Jean-Luc Picard) is turned into a doddering old fool who constantly has to be humiliated and put in his place and who is always forced to apologize for things he didn't do, and where literally everyone who isn't named Michael Burnham is a blithering idiot who has to have Female Space Jesus tell them what to do (after she has a long cry, of course). I honestly don't see how anyone can argue that this is optimistic in any way.

    And if Trek's core tenet is exploration, then let's look at some of the most beloved episodes.... "The City on the Edge of Forever", "Mirror, Mirror", "The Best of Both Worlds", "The Inner Light", "The Visitor", "Duet", "Timeless", "Living Witness", "Similitude", "Twilight". What exploration goes on in those episodes? Not much. They're all either straight-up character dramas or episodes that show a.... wait for it.... optimistic view of the future.

    So no, you haven't misread DS9. The only thing you misled was Twitter. Seriously, why would you get into an argument about.... well.... anything on Twitter? There's no why that will end well. LOL!

    @Luke I think that to many of us who grew up in a certain time and place nuTrek can seem nihilistic. I for one agree with your characterization - to a point. But you have to realize these shows are basically chimeras - they are a hodgepodge of different ideas, both nihilistic and cynical as well as intensely hopeful, all mixed into one bag. Part of this is just terrible writing.

    If I'm being charitable here, what I suspect is going on is that nuTrek is intensely cynical of certain types of power structures (the Federation, white men...) and yet intensely optimistic and upbeat concerning others that appeal to its target audience. Even things like alcoholism and drug addiction, which in an older generation's moral lens are indicative of decay and degeneracy, in the newer generation's can be highly redemptive.

    I don't know if I am explaining this very well, but what I suspect is that there's a moral paradigm shift between what say Boomers, X'ers and even some millenials would call "cynical" and what current generations would consider so. An alcoholic drug abused person being thrown out by her family could be seen as nihilistic by some, or intensely redemptive by others. An old white patriarch's decline and the repudiation of his values could be seen as cynical or incredibly positive.

    I'm not convinced that all the viewers are speaking the same moral language here - hence why I sincerely doubt you would get much agreement that nuTrek is "nihilistic" versus previous incarnations.

    Sorry, I just wanted to try to better explain myself here. On the alcoholism / drug point (Raffi being the relevant example from ST Picard) to an older generation, a person being a drug addict is shameful. A show that has a main character who is so addicted is seen as nihilistic even glorifying something degenerate and unseemly. Raffi being kicked to the curb by her family is the icing on the nihilist sundae.

    Yet people talk about their alcoholism, their drug addiction all the time on social media. Just this week I read about Megan Merkhle giving an interview where she seemed eager to announce to the world her mental health troubles, claiming she was tempted to "self harm" from them. She was eager to share details about how she was abused by the Royal Family.

    People would not be doing this if they truly saw such things as shameful. I respectfully suggest that this is not cynicism but a kind of inverted cultural currency they are trading in, where being seen as "damaged" (in specific well defined ways) lends a kind of gravitas and credibility. It is a bit like the warrior's scar - something that arose from injury and pain becomes a symbol of strength.

    So the message of the story isn't "look how terrible and damaged these people are, what a shitty world" but rather it becomes something more along the lines of "look how much these characters have endured, aren't they great?"

    Then when you combine that kind of moral currency with the right kind of person (in this case a black woman) it is no longer a nihilistic message but an intensely satisfying one that reaffirms the target audience's moral worldview. That is the antithesis of nihilism which posits the futility of any value system. There is a real value system being affirmed in these shows, it's just not the one that many older (and even not so old) viewers grew up with.

    By the way (my last post I swear!) there is something vaguely Christian to this idea of suffering and abuse conferring moral greatness on the abused, isn't there? I can't remember who was making this argument, but I recall reading recently this notion that woke ideology was actually an offshoot of a Christian belief system.

    For me, another angle different from dark tone / optimism is about just having some class/decency. Classic Trek has that class/decency in that it knows how to handle dark topics without getting nihilistic. It knows the boundaries and won't go past them, whereas nu-Trek is nihilistic, brutally violent and vulgar. Nu-Trek is a product of the streaming generation whereas classic Trek was made for TV. But it ultimately comes down to the writers and producers and if they themselves have class and decency (and if they're good at their jobs, which nu-Trek writers aren't).

    DS9 was darker than any other classic Trek, sure. But it was still handled with class and decency. But yes, Trek is supposed to be optimistic. I'm sick and tired of dystopian, hopeless etc. -- that's not Trek, and it certainly doesn't feel like it.

    I have no intention on joining the discussion I just wanted to applaud Jason R. on his view of things. Very interesting thoughts maybe even spot on.

    DS9 is the opposite of nihilistic: it is the sentiment of TNG but applied in practice. TNG offered us a future where certain amazing things can happen, but DS9 challenges us with the idea that actually making them happen can be very hard; that while petty greed and selfishness may have left us behind, there are still grave difficulties to face in achieving the dream of civilization. But DS9's message is that despite these hardships, *it can be done*. Perhaps sacrifice is involved, perhaps pain, perhaps a requirement to change one's point of view, and perhaps not everyone will end up a convert to the cause. A Kira might come around, but a Gul Dukat might not. A Garak and a Quark might find at least common cause with us, while a Gul Russot and a Liquidator Brunt might not. It may be hard until the final moment to tell where someone will lie, and so we must try to create bonds with them.

    In contrast, it appears at least to me that in NuTrek that the world can much more neatly be divided into good guys and villains. The good guys may, as Jason R suggests, be considered good on account of a shifting moral currency (and even this shifted currency could well fall under a defintion of nihilism, depending on whether we want to go down that road), but there is no doubt that on ST: PIC Rafi and Picard are good guys. Picard may be foolish, and it may be that (from a right-wing perspective) his goodness derives chiefly from admitting that he is foolish and must defer to those who know more, but nevertheless he is no villain at any point in the series. Seven may be a murderer at this point, but the show paints her as a hero, perhaps based on the newish principle that villains deserve no quarter. And Rafi's honor may in part derive from having weakness and yet not selling out; but Rafi is certainly a hero of the series. Contrast these troubled yet invariably hailed characters with the Romulans in PIC; with the mirror universe people in DISC; with the Klingons in DISC S1. There is no attempt made to show the point of view of these people, because they are simply evil for evil's sake. From the standpoint that we would hope that *anyone* could turn to the good side (like Vader), that is what I would call a Christian message. The hope for Dukat to eventually soften and find a way to co-exist with Federation people meant he was never written-off as a person, perhaps until Waltz. That Garak may have been an enemy spy did not stop regular and even friendly relations with him. And despite Quark repeatedly making missteps and openly espousing values that were frankly anathema to the Federation ethos (e.g. misogyny, greed, unequal rights, cheating customers, etc etc) his personhood always remained open to friendliness and even friendship, which did finally result in his family generally coming more and more towards an understanding with the Federation's perspective. Jake and Nog are also a good example of bridging the gap despite common ground being scarce.

    But the point of view that rushes to categorize people as good or bad; of their views being acceptable or appalling; and of their worth being defined in bleak and simple terms, that is not what I would call an optimistic message. I'm not sure it's nihilistic, and for that we might have to get into the forms of moral currency used in DISC and PIC. But the good/bad paradigm employed by these series are really far less optimistic than DS9, by leagues and miles. They are not really optimistic at all, since they simultaneously suggest that not only will the idea of good make little headway in the future, but that things will get worse rather than better in understanding those furthest from our cultural values. Those most opposed to our point of view will devolve into being mere villains, caricatures of our opposite. The effect would seem to be to suggest that 'our' point of view is impregnable and unassailable, that the enemy is those who won't agree. Sisko may have compromised on a few occasions for the sake of the Federation, making him morally imperfect, but this same imperfection is perhaps what allowed him to bend enough to compromise with people like Quark, Odo at times, and even Kai Winn. He knew that the bigger picture requires sacrifice, even self-sacrifice, and that always being right is not the way forward. This is where DS9 differs most from TNG, and if anything this approach of compromise is the more enlightened and optimistic, because it tells us that we can accept change in ourselves without fearing that it means we've been degraded. In fact the message seems to imply that without this change we risk being morally calcified and deadened, and that our biggest challenge is not to overcome the enemy, but to understand them. This is why Sisko would not drink over the ashes of Cardassia, despite the arc having been one of material struggle. At least to my sensibility, in PIC and DISC the main value seems to be victory, over and above finding common ground. Maybe that is indeed nihilistic. We are not going to get an episode like TNG's The Enemy in either of these series.

    What the hell Jason?! Not that your posts were bad in the past but this is such a nuanced post I think I need some time to reflect on that. Very insightful.

    Personally I think that DS9 was several things and hard to pin down. Other more or less wrote it, and I agree, that DS9 was positive Trek in a darker time. TNG was pretty dark sometimes but non committal. Some day they were here and then they were off to another planet. DS9 was far more focused on a specific place. TNG would have been different if we had seen the aftermath more often. The two parters were generally darker in TNG, I think.

    Nolan said: "So, last week, like a doofus, I decided to disagree with someone on Twitter about nuTrek. "

    I think it's important to keep 4 things in mind:

    1) Modern Trek is garbage
    2) Modern culture is garbage
    3) People in general are garbage
    4) Don't waste time trying to convince anybody of anything. They aren't worth the effort.

    Saying that modern ppl (the "right black person" no less) proudly display things like addiction and abuse and racist victimization because they don't see these things as shameful, sounds awfully like accusing them of virtue signalling for social capital.

    More likely, younger ppl talk more about their problems because these things are no longer shameful, and because society's starting to rightfully shift the "shamefulness" on those causing the poverty, addiction, racist abuse etc.

    Nu-Trek, meanwhile, just wallows in bad writing. Audiences do not watch Raffi and applaud her for being a victim. There's no cultural change that makes nu-Trek hip to its zeitgeist.

    As always, great, insightful replies from this group. I have to admit, when a couple people hit me with the DS9 is not optimistic and sneered at the idea, I at least needed to take a moment to verify my reading of the series. But I figured I couldn't be THAT wrong. Yeah, it's "the war series" but it's also so much more than that. Indeed, as I mentioned, the thinking behind those sneering opposing views seems to be the trend among the younger viewers. This, plus the entire argument, betrayed a lack of nuance, perspective and comprehension in the thinking I encountered, as well as a sence of entitlement and in-grained unmovable conviction in that thinking. "It can't be wrong because I thought of it." There's also a trend to take insults of an argument as an insult to the arguer.

    But yest @the other Bob, I knew going in diving into that topic on Twitter was folly, and yet here I am. This fool trod where angels fear to go.

    Not that'll help my case for doing so, but the reason I waded in was because I saw that tired and lazy "It's Star Trek because Star Trek is in the title argument" with the counterpoint that even though the botched restoration of a"The Virgin Mary" painting is still called as such, no one would say it is the same as it was before. It is clearly an inferior product.

    The argument to this was that there are many different parts of the Trek franchise rather than a singular work. This is what lead to the Trek's main thrust is optimism perspective.

    It was, in all very unproductive in terms of convincing others, as most endeavours to do so on the internet are, but it did allow me a better chance to see and analyze the thinking of those on the opposing side at least.

    I don't have anything substantive to contribute. I just want to state how fascinating, thought-provoking and welcome the last few comments (Jason R et al) in this episode thread have been.

    Ok, let's go through this. I would like to point one thing out first and then dive into the rest. I would somewhat argue that drug abuse and/alcoholism wasn't seen or portrayed as a sign of degeneracy, even though it sometimes has that element but often in movies or shows it highlights societal failure. A victim of society succumbs to an addiction which has at it's core a critique of society and sad. In TNG to Voyager phase of Trek the topic of drug use was fairly vague. Sometimes it was about addiction, sometimes it was illegal, sometimes it wasn't.

    Now to your actual points. By the way, I always love it when people make a point that gives me a new perspective. What you are saying is, I believe, that NuTrek is at it's core about perseverance. Especially personal perseverance. So if alcoholism or drug use is portrayed it isn't highlighting a failure of society but shows how this victim can fight on. Even highlighting intersectionality by contrasting Picard and Raffi. Both have their careers destroyed but while Picard fell on a mountain of pillows in beautiful France, Raffi crushed into a pile of rocks in the desert. That she is still willing to fight is what is inspiring. Maybe what younger generations take from this is that if she can fight on, I can fight on.

    That brings me to another question. Why would such a message be appealing to the younger generation? I grew up in the 80s-90s and especially the 90s were a time were many things (for people in the West) seemed possible. Sure there were problems but nothing that could not be overcome. But it was also a time were leftist parties all over the west moved away from economic narratives (Clinton, Blair, Schröder and all the other third way leftists), one might even say they moved away from great narratives for how society should function in general. To quote LBJ, the last US president that tried to transform US society, the "great American society". But in the 90s it didn't matter that much. Things were going well enough to ignore many things.

    Moving to now (that this was made in the late 90s show how far ahead of it's time this movie was in many ways)

    Problems seem insurmountable (climate change, pandemics and a million other societal ills) and the bigger leftist parties all seem incapable of giving meaningful answers to any of those problems. Young people tilt to the left. That might be the reason why NuTrek is so focused on personal perseverance and close personal relationships. It is an emotional holding pattern. Insurmountable odds and a lack of solutions. NuTrek is saying:"Keep on fighting, hopefully we will find answers along the way."

    Thanks Jason. You really brought it together for me. I knew that there must be something in there that appeals to people. Sure the writing is bad or shallow but it obviously clicks with many. Maybe this is the reason.

    Adding to that another thought. Many here thought that ST:Picard humiliated Picard for being an rich white guy but following this new interpretation it is not about humiliating Picard, it is critiquing him for giving up. Sure he sacrificed his career but apart from that he has a pretty nice life. Still he sat in his chateau making wine, instead of continuing to fight.

    Is it heavy handed and out of character for Picard, yeah but I think I understand the message that it tries to convey a little better.

    “To quote LBJ, the last US president that tried to transform US society”


    I think you could argue that Voyager isn’t a very optimistic vision of the future. Imagine traveling far far away from home and meeting strange new races only to find out that every foreigner is a bad guy trying to antagonize your ship. Then you’re offered multiple chances to find your way home only for those chances to materialize as hoaxes or too dangerous. It’s actually rather depressing.

    "That brings me to another question. Why would such a message be appealing to the younger generation? "

    Booming this is the question that we need to answer. But I start from a different perspective - you are looking at it as a sign of disillusionment with the failures of the modern age, but I see the opposite: disillusionment with its successes. And to answer your final question first, why does the Picard character becoming the whipping boy of the series? It's not (primarily) because he's white, but because he's old.

    We both are about the same age. We and the generation after us grew up in the most prosperous age in history in the west. Inequality grew yes, but by almost any other metric we are better off. Crime is way down since we were born (ever visited NYC in the 1980s? Haha), life expectancy is way up, easy credit has fuelled not just prosperity, but extravegency.

    So why would a generation that grew up in comfort idolize suffering? Well a senior orthopedic surgeon once told me that the lesser the injury the greater the complaint.

    And I saw it again and again hundreds of times - the woman who became quadriplegic and would never walk again would complain less than the woman with neck pain from a rear ender at 20 mph.

    I knew there was malingering, exaggeration to make money, but that always felt like a poor explanation. What I realized was that people crave legitimacy, and the more their suffering is doubted, the more they need it to be validated so they overcompensate. Suffering is currency. It's authenticity and legitimacy. And when you get told again and again that you have it easy, you react against that.

    And getting back to our generation and its progeny, we crave that legitimacy that our parents and grandparents had. Raffi is a great example of this. She suffers but look how she suffers: drug abuse, broken family, depression - the calling cards of the past 20 years.

    For the boomers, heroes were warriors like their parents. For today's kids, heroes perhaps are alcoholics, divorcees, depressed people, like their parents.

    I may be losing coherence here so I'll stop. We can all agree that nuTrek is godawful but more and more I can see that calling it "nihilistic" is a copout.

    @Katie Yes I agree I even said this I think just lask week on here that the premise of Voyager is depressing, but even through all the hostile aliens and false hope of returning to the AQ the crew, especially Harry, still managed to keep an optimistic outlook that someday they would make it home.

    Also, Janeway as a Starfleet captain (inconsistent as she was written) tried her best to be a model representation of what the Federation and its values were while in the DQ.

    They were still stopping to explore. They still used diplomacy as the primary reaction to conflict. They were still promoting peace. To me the show never felt depressing because of how determined they were to keep going and how Janeway for the most part never conformed to the environment around her.

    @ Jason R.

    The difficulty with your analysis is that ironically it's too logical and organized. I think your observation is accurate about making a big stink about small woes, and this may well apply to the sort of person who insists that their suffering is legendary when by 1970 standards they have it good. Perhaps having fewer problems causes those few to be highlighted in occasionally grandiose ways. And no doubt social media has greatly exacerbated the narcissistic tendency for someone to feel entitled for their POV to be not only acknowledged but for there to be a significant reaction to it.

    However the writing in both PIC and DISC is far too disjointed to be seen broadly as a critique of classical liberal values, or as a platform for a new morality to be set in the future. Moments or even partial arcs could be read that way plausibly, but it can't outright explain the various (IMO) randomness we get over the course of seasons.

    One principle that does seem more or less consistent in both shows is that the good guys are chiefly defined by their feelings rather than their intellectual positions. I think Picard is humiliated not so much because he's old - although perhaps that stands as a physical reminder - but because he leads with mind rather than his heart. He is the obsolete embodiment of being right on account of his intellectual convictions, where his noblesse is that he won't let his feelings interfere with his duty. This is an archetype probably most notably found in the stiff upper lip British Empire standards of excellent. Alec Guiness in Bridge over the River Kwai: the champion of stoic integrity.

    But if the heroes are here defined not by what they think buy what they feel (quite clearly shown on DISC even more so than PIC) then Picard would be seen as almost dismissing their heroism merely by the fact of not suffering enough himself. He is given flak for quitting, as you mention, but in his view he was taking a moral stand against the Federation. For him that entailed guts, courage, and sacrifice of the only part of his life that mattered to him: his career and duty. This is so small thing. But it is a major copout if the moral currency (as you put it) is to be *seen* as suffering. PIC S1 ends with an emotional sendoff to Data, and Picard joining the fold by giving up the stiff upper lip in favor of having his heart on his sleeve and apologizing for having not done so earlier. His redemption (in the eyes of the series) is marked by a rebirth in body. Likewise, Seven of Nine's persona finds its home here in Icheb's destruction. Her agony is her rightness, her vengeance the proof that she cared.

    The common theme for both series is that good guys feel a lot, suffer, and don't put ideas ahead of their personal POV. It's no wonder this should offend some fans: it is the direct contradiction of TNG's world view.

    "And one of Quark's fondest memories is seeing the rest of the cast troll off to Vic's to execute a heist?"
    I threw my hands up in disbelief at that clip. WTFFFFFFFFFFF.

    "Talking about end, in the end I am really happy that DS9 has ended. I fear for what we should see if it had more seasons. Vampires, angels, a labor camp sponsored by the Federation. Who knows."
    Fucking LOL.

    First 4-5ish seasons of this show were mostly fantastic. Which made it all the more aggravating observing the decline in quality in the last 2-3ish seasons. Characters stopped being consistent, some picking up (temporary) psychopathic traits with no repercussions. Multiple instances of PTSD being dealt with as if it were the 1950s.

    This episode was mostly meh for me. I agree with what Elliott, Corey, and a few others have already written. Some good (space battles; Cardassia uprising), some bad (fucking magic; rushed pacing), lotta cringe (montage lol; Vic singing; why is Ezri on the defiant?).


    The writers invented all of this stuff, why do we have to do all the work?

    I enjoyed WYLB despite its problems, which have been described, discussed and debated so ably elsewhere, by many respectable minds. Glad that you did the heavy lifting.

    @Peter G. (Feb. 27 2019 ): You're dead on right about the writers being at a loss on what to with Jake. He was always best inside his own family, but time and time again they chose "character sabotage".

    That the writers didn't give 22 seconds of script to allow Jake and Nog to sort out their friendship, once so important to the two characters, was almost as big a miss as the whole Jadzia non-appearance. And what about Joseph? Where's the healing gumbo scene where he teaches Kasidy how to cook a descent meal? That might have worked, given that the writers already established that she couldn't boil water, and worst than that, she completely wrecked Sisko's 3-month homegrown peppers.

    I didn't mind the last shot being of Kira and Jake, since Kira played that same supportive role once before after Ben Sisko's disappearance. It worked well, I thought, but perhaps it could have followed the gumbo preparation scene I just laid out.

    So many things to say, so little time. I'll leave it there for now, apart from saying that DS9 was a great viewing experience. It's a series I am sure I will revisit.

    Pretty decent series finale. Minor complaints:

    * I firmly believe Garak would have shot Odo before allowing him to link with the Founder.

    * O'Brien's mentioning he would be leaving DS9 once the war is over just seemed weird. As viewers, we know the Feds will win and that most likely O'Brien would survive, but a character in the story indirectly suggesting that just seemed wrong.

    * Intercutting the space battles, the events on Cardassia, and the end of the war scene on DS9 with Winn and Dukat's story made it seem like they must have been in the caverns for weeks.

    @Silly "I firmly believe Garak would have shot Odo before allowing him to link with the Founder".

    I couldn't agree more. LOL . While I developed the ability to tolerate and even appreciate much that Odo did, he disappointed me in the end. Poor Kira! Garak must have had something to say on the matter, but he became instead a relic of a dead world (similar to Commissioner Bele in TOS' Let That Be Your Last Battlefield) and just melted away into the Cardassian night.

    It really seems a missed opportunity for Garak not to have taken Odo out before the dreaded 'mercy link'. It would have been completely in character for Garak to do something like that. If for no reason other than to resurrect the Obsidian Order.

    the rabid indepth analysis; the could of, should of, or i would of, is fun to reflect upon, but show ended as a masterpiece; all by itself - with all its colorful and characteristic wrinkles. This was my 2nd time around around the bases...I can't wait to score again!

    Great finale, I find it amusing how many bitter commenters are calling this ep a letdown or saying the series went downhill earlier in the comment section. It’s clear some of you don’t know what you want and when you get it you still complain.

    The finale wasn’t rushed, didn’t drop plotlines and offered a satisfying conclusion to everyone. Granted Ducat’s final scenes should have been longer and had more relevance but other than that I’m fine with it. The Alpha quadrant suffered heavy losses. The female changeling will be tried and likely executed. Odo saved his people. Kira took over the station. The Cardassians got their poetic justice as Garrak puts it for the occupation. And Sisko isn’t truly gone. A well done finale as a whole.

    It is weird that The Sisko didn't give a farewell to The Sisko Kid, especially considering Sisko has experienced first hand Jake's extremely obsessive behavior regarding him in The Visitor.

    I'm not so convinced Jake had matured significantly since The Visitor, considering that episode covered decades of his life.

    My Head Canon is that Sisko appeared to Jake (or briefly snatched him) off camera.

    Am I the only one who finds the voice of Julianna McCarthy (Mila) virtually indistinguishable from that of Louise Fletcher (Kai Winn)?

    The two women share no screen time, do they?

    I was actually kind of surprised to find that two different actresses played the respective characters. I thought it might be an act of creative casting to have the same person in both roles.

    I just watched the entire series for the first time, watched the finale last night. I was putting it off, because I didnt want the show to end. I shed a tear. What an awesome series!

    That final scene with Jake and Kira, is the most amazing scene that I have seen.

    It's so poignant and representative of life.

    This final episode is itself the story of life. The horrors and the successes are spread unevenly.

    Finished a re-watch of the series tonight (just in time, family is getting rid of Netflix).

    When this episode aired I liked a lot of it and hated a lot of it. Watching it again, a little less than 23 years later? I don't hate as much of it and I kind of regretfully admit that it is the "best" of the Trek series finales.

    I found the re-used battle footage to be EXTREMELY lame. If you can't afford to do new stuff, why not just drop that footage entirely and pack in another character-development or plot-resolution scene?

    I liked the open-ended ending, and Jake watching the wormhole open made my eyes water a little bit. The series did such a service in the Jake-Ben relationship; a single father raising a son with love and honor. It felt very fitting that Kira was by Jake's side, as she had been consistent through the entire series that she genuinely and always believed Sisko was the Emissary, and so in looking at the Wormhole she's just reaffirmed in her faith that its the Celestial Temple and he is where he needs to be and that the Prophets will take care of him.

    The montages made me teary-eyed too, because they showed how all of these deep relationships developed, and all the bits and pieces that came together to form them. The lack of Jadzia footage was an enormous hole that was keenly felt, and it's really too bad that they treated her so badly that she wouldn't allow for it.

    I would have liked for Bashir and Garak to get slightly more time; Bashir seemed to barely say anything at all in that scene. It was touching for Garak to confess what a good friend Bashir had been to him.

    Odo gliding into the Great Link like a stage player on a wire was fantastic. Very bombastic and I like to think that the scene had kind of a duality to it: on the one hand, he was in an isolated place with Kira and could demonstrated the change in his personality that came from being with her, and on the other hand he was surrounded by the near-entirety of his people, and could share with them the sheer joy of loving a solid.

    Rewatching two decades later has another bittersweet element to it: the novel continuation. Over twenty years I read them all and enjoyed a continuation of the setting and characters. And now, due to Picard (a series that simply isnt worth the loss), that setting is being canceled and all the plots and stories of those books are being rendered inert. It just makes me sad because so much cool and monumental stuff happens in those books to Kira, Ezri, the Siskos, and Bashir, characters that deserved more attention and definitely won't get it on-screen.

    I also just want to say I've so thoroughly enjoyed visiting this site, reading people's thoughts about one of my favorite television shows of all time. Even when their opinions are 100% wrong! :)

    Watched DS9 during its run in the 90s, it was always my favorite Star Trek due to character development and story lines. Over the last 2 years have watched with my 13 year old daughter, and last night we watched the series finale. Watching it with someone who has never seen it was emotional for me. I forgot how great an ending it was. So cool to pass on my love of that show to “the next generation!”

    Why was Ezri on the bridge?

    On top of that, why doesn't the Defiant have it's own bridge crew, rather than relying on the Chief Engineer and Chief Medical Officer to man bridge stations?

    On top of that, I could ask why the DS9 senior staff have to serve on the Defiant at all. The Defiant (especially since the war hit full force) should have it's own dedicated crew and commanding officer, independent of the station. That way you aren't stripping the station of it's Captain and senior staff every time the ship is launched.

    It's quite true, but it's not only a problem with this episode. The Defiant is treated like Sisko's hot rod that's an extension of DS9's personnel rather than a starship in its own right that's assigned to DS9. Hence the weird phenomenon where we get Kira serving on the bridge of a starship she shouldn't have any training in (why exactly are she along on the mission in "Children of Time," say?). And the fact that Defiant is apparently completely empty when docked at DS9 ("Defiant") when it should have at least a skeleton crew on it at all time, ready to launch if it becomes necessary.

    TvTropes has a page called The Main Characters Do Everything that applies to a lot of Star Trek but maybe is most keenly felt in DS9. Episode to episode, the characters' job descriptions vary from flight traffic controllers to deep space explorers.

    This did not have to be a two-parter, i.e. 90-minute, finale.

    If they'd cut out the middle-school nonsense with Smiley, Bashir, their respective wife and girlfriend, everything with the Dollar-Tree Mel Brooks, and ESPECIALLY the Bajoux bijoux voodoo and all that, this could've been whittled down to 45 mikes, if that.

    BTW, is The Cisco the ONLY captain in the entire StarFleet?! He acts like he's the frikken head of the entire dadgum Federation; in reality, he's the captain of a space station in some backwater part of the quadrant, which is not even all that strategically important anymore since they welded that wormhole shut. Ridics.

    (I wrote that before I saw Top Hat's comment above! Seem I'm far from being the only one perturbed by this.)

    The Boss Level showdown between The Cisco and Dukat... 🤦‍♂️

    All the mystical fantasy-religious dreck that preceded or followed it... 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

    Now, those who came across and bothered to skim through my drivel on here know that I have little but scathing remarks for many of the dramatis personae of this show. Still, I'm not immune to the sentimental pangs of parting with the characters who have been a part of my life for...well, I be! exactly three months to the day! any means. There were some very moving moments, primarily the scenes of Cardies summoning up the courage to stand up for their freedom. They were infrequent though. The war's final act was rushed and fanciful even by D.S.9's/Star Trek's risibly appalling standards. The retrospective reminiscences were a nice touch, if a bit too on-the-nose.

    Everything else? Forgettable. I do like a well-executed happy ending although I prefer something more realistic. This finale provides neither.

    Three stars, mostly as a gesture of good will.

    My first time seeing the finale, I’d say overall it was nicely done, but it left me wanting in some storylines.

    The opening scene had me thinking we were headed into Deep Space 90210 territory, but happy to see romantic relationships weren’t the focus too much. I think Andrew Robinson & Jeffrey Combs both had EXCELLENT scenes and were my favorite performers in this finale.

    Glad to see Marc Alaimo back in his Dukat make-up but the showdown between him and Sisko was too much like something out of Raiders of the Lost Ark or Poltergeist. Dukat is now super-powered (like Gary Lockwood in TOS “Where No Man Has Gone Before”) but is it because of aliens or mystical creatures? I never got a clear understanding of what the Prophets/Wormhole Aliens were—and maybe that was intentional on the writers’ part.

    I did enjoy seeing old TOS Klingon Battlecruisers in the attack fleet 👍

    The wrap-up & montage good-bye sequences were fun, but I don’t recall Rom & Leeta getting a scene—perhaps I missed it.

    I only saw a handful of DS9 eps when it came out, so it was rewarding to finally see what I’d heard so many talk about over the years. Definitely unique in many ways (a captain who is a loving father, well-rounded villains who you were never sure about, etc.) . It would be nice to see the producers of the newer Trek series take their cue from this show on how to write compelling characters & plotlines, because despite this series missteps, at stands the test of time for good, solid storytelling. 👍👍

    Almost perfect, or at least excellent episode. But...

    The Dukat / Winn scenes where much too long and had a very strange chronology embedded in the parallel battle. I accept the story, but it felt strange, and I forwarded these scenes when reviewing after the reviewing.

    Regarding Damars death. It would be very interesting to learn about the reasons why they killed him of, and the way they did it. The chemistry and development of the relations between Kira and Damar with Garak as catalysator was very well made and interesting.

    There have indeed been more strange killing offs in trek. Especially in the last "real" Enterprise episode.

    Did they just got tired and wanted to go home or was there a considered thought behind it?

    Logically Damar would have been as good choice for Cardassia as Martok for the Klingon empire. Perhaps they thought they could not let everyone survive.

    In my opinion killing off Garak in a heroic death would have been better. As he always chose to live and survive, the ultimate sacrifice would have been suitable transformation. We would then have had Damar's development from an evil stereotype to something more tolerable.

    [Comment moved by Jammer to the end of the series due to spoilers.]

    Ok, what I just stumbled upon
    A few tracks from DS9 I liked for various reasons. Yes, I actually once had the entire DS9 soundtrack but now I only have the MP3's left.

    1. Quaker Odo: I just think it's a really sweet track.

    2. The Die is Cast - Demolished / Escape / Hard to Digest: This is just so dramatic and Sisko saying fire is so cool. That whole shot with the Klingons attacking was also... I must admit I was always chuckling a little about the hand to hand fight scenes. Not just Garak and Dukat.

    3. The Visitor. One Last Visit: Maybe the saddest DS9 episode. Apart from "the Quickening" the episode I cried the most about

    4. The Sword of Kahless - Worf and Kor Fight / Sword Tumbles Into Space
    This is one of those episodes where I liked Jadzia. She constantly has to navigate between those to idiots and I also loved it when they gave the sword away and really grew as people. Overcoming their lust for power, doing whats right. That's my jam...

    5. The Ascent - Quark Ties Splint / Trudging Montage: The scene were they think that they have done it and then see that the actual mountain is so much further away. Just a nice, personal episode.

    6. Sacrifice of Angels - Klingon Fleet to the Rescue : We probably said there with our mouth open when those two Miranda class ships exploded... "We just lost the Sitak and the Majestic" Farewell comrades...

    7. Tacking Into the Wind Worf Kills Gowron: That famous scene where one of the most able warriors of Klingon history kills a scheming politician.

    8. The Siege of AR-558 - War Adagio: I don't like this episode as much as many here but I kind of liked this scene. They messed it up with the scene after this where Sisko says "We held". Make an anti war episode or don't.

    9. The Quickening. Musica: I love this episode. It has so many things. "You gave me hope" Oh Ekoria...

    10. Deep Space Nine theme (seasons 1-3)

    PS: generally still a lot of tracks missing from this four cd soundtrack compilation that I really liked :)

    Submit a comment

    ◄ Season Index