Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

“Tacking into the Wind”

4 stars.

Air date: 5/10/1999
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Mike Vejar

"He was my friend. But his Cardassia is dead, and it won't be coming back." — Damar

Review Text

Nutshell: Not only a great release of tension, but also an exceptionally probing hour that examines internal conflicts.

I'm noticing a trend here. First we get put on standby with episodes that carefully stack the pieces while providing interesting events but also intensely bottled frustration, and then we're permitted an explosive release of tension that leaves us reeling.

"Tacking into the Wind," which might've also been aptly named "For the Homeland," tells the suspenseful and particularly well-realized multi-tiered story of people facing conflict in their own organizations. How they deal with these conflicts could determine the fate of everything they stand for. It also reveals where they've come from and where they're likely headed.

"Tacking" is the best type of action show—one with a strong character undercurrent and ideological core such that we genuinely care about what happens on the screen. We've got the action elements here—dangerous missions and physical fights—but they exist as part of a greater purpose. They're a means to several ends. Those ends prove quite satisfying.

Basically, we have three plotlines here that are put into acceleration mode. We've got the Kira plot as she copes with Rosot; we've got the Worf plot as he copes with Gowron; and we've got Bashir and O'Brien attempting to figure out the Section 31 mystery. The three storylines are assembled with great skill and urgency.

But, more than that, Ron Moore has created a story here that challenges ideologies and asks some really tough questions. Even as the action unfolds at breakneck speed, there's time for scenes of dialog that say a great many things. The plot alone is interesting, but the plot combined with the various characters' sets of opinions and insights makes "Tacking into the Wind" a riveting episode of DS9.

The situation here, as with many situations on this series for the past two years, is one of desperation. The odds seem to be against everybody, and if something goes wrong, the cause may be lost. Watching so many characters with their backs up against the wall, so many attitudes that seem to say, "We have to do this, or else," I found myself caught up in the plotting more than I had thought possible at the outset. That's the benefit of long-term storytelling on a series, and it's nice to see how much DS9 benefits from it.

The strongest storyline is Kira's. I loved all the old wounds it opened. (Some of those were opened last week in "When it Rains...," but this week makes it pay off.) The problem here is one of authority being undermined by personal feelings. Damar, not surprisingly, has coped with the situation through his ability to see the bigger picture, but Rosot is a problem—a fast-growing problem.

Rosot obviously despises working with a Bajoran and goes out of his way to provoke Kira. The problems of yesterday become the problems of today. As the game is played out, it becomes clear Rosot is intended to represent the "old school" Cardassian soldier, one who—at least in attitude—still seems to be living in the days of an old empire that occupied Bajor rather than depending on one of its nationals for survival.

Eventually, Kira must put her foot down, giving Rosot a good beating when he crosses the line. (Watching Kira beat up Rosot is probably as much fun on the visceral level as watching her beat up Damar last year in "Favor the Bold.") Keeping with the "emotional release" angle of the hour, the suddenness of Kira's teeth emerging is like an exhilarating blur; she can certainly turn mean when the situation warrants. After the fight, Garak informs Kira she will have to deal with Rosot again, and we don't doubt him for a moment.

And as if Rosot weren't already enough of a distraction for Kira, there's Odo's situation. It turns out his constant shapeshifting for the recent missions has accelerated the disease's effects on him. He's in very bad shape, but he tries his best to hide his true condition from Kira because he doesn't want to be pitied. What Odo isn't aware of is that Kira knows he's hiding it—and in one scene where Garak "reveals" to Kira that Odo's illness might be a problem for an upcoming mission, Kira explains that she's very aware of what's going on. It's a matter of the facades simply being necessary under the circumstances. (Nana Visitor again shows her astounding ability to reveal her character's vulnerability and emotions without for one second sacrificing her strength.)

But the real standout in this storyline is in how the old wounds of Cardassia and Bajor play a powerful role between Kira and Damar. In a key scene, news arrives that the Dominion have located and killed Damar's hidden wife and son.

Damar: "What kind of state tolerates the murder of innocent women and children? What kind of people give those orders?"

Kira: "Yeah, Damar—what kind of people give those orders?"

Kira doesn't pull the punch, and her statement couldn't be more pointed. And what's amazing is that this tragic news, coupled with Kira's brutally honest statement, might be exactly the dose of sobering reality that Damar needs. Garak explains to Kira precisely what the scene has us thinking: If Damar truly is the leader of a new Cardassia, this tragedy could be a challenge to any of those old, obsolete Cardassian attitudes that he might still be holding under the surface.

In fact, this seems clear even before the end of the episode. There's a dangerous mission to retrieve a Breen weapon from a Jem'Hadar ship—a mission that might be the Federation's key to surviving the Breen. I won't go into the technical details of the mission. It comes across with a suspense greater than I had expected, simply because the underlying material is so strong (and Mike Vejar's direction certainly doesn't hurt). Suffice it to say Rosot chooses this moment to pick a fight with Kira and her methods, and suddenly Rosot has pulled a phaser on Kira, Garak has pulled a phaser on Rosot, and Damar walks into the middle of the situation with his own phaser and must make a decision. Rosot refuses to surrender. He hates this Bajoran woman and wants her dead. We don't need her, he says. He trusts Damar to do what's "right" for Cardassia.

Dramatically, there's only one possible way for this to play out: Damar must shoot Rosot, a fellow soldier and friend that in the past he had trusted with his life. And that's exactly what happens. After killing Rosot, Damar then says what he knows is true: "[Rosot's] Cardassia is dead, and it won't be coming back."

The path the writers have charted for Damar has been absolutely brilliant. It's nice to be able to admire and sympathize with this guy—and without seeing what he truly stands for altered or detoothed. He's still a patriot, but his methods and his idea of Cardassia have changed. The message is clear: Those like Damar with the ability to change are the ones who will survive, while those like Rosot are destined to die along with their defeated world. (It's material like this that makes me wish the producers had ended the war earlier in the season so we could deal more with the post-war issues that will have arisen.)

There are other subplots here. Although they aren't as striking as the Kira/Damar story, they still demand respect. The Klingon plotline offers its share of build-up and payoff. Thanks to thought put into it, it's also much more involving than I had expected, considering this is about the millionth time Worf has had to stand against the Klingon Empire in order to save it.

Gowron is a big problem, putting his political agenda ahead of the war effort, and thus losing his ships with wrong-headed surprise tactics that border on suicide. Martok and Worf have both objected. Gowron has ignored them. Sisko tells Gowron that his actions are ill-conceived. Gowron brushes him aside too.

Finally, with the entire war effort on the line, Sisko's patience with Gowron runs out. He calls Worf in for a rather interesting conversation. The discussion is a quiet, ominous one that basically comes down to Sisko saying, "Gowron has to stop. Whatever it takes." Worf simply replies, "Understood." Sisko asks no further questions. Worf leaves.

Not since "In the Pale Moonlight" have I seen this Sisko emerge, who needs something done and intends to see it through, no matter the cost. If it came down to knowing in advance Worf would have to kill Gowron in a traditional Klingon challenge, I doubt Sisko would bat an eye. That's pretty scary. This is not the Starfleet we used to know. Eight years back when Worf killed Duras in TNG's "Reunion," Picard was extremely displeased. Now we have Sisko all but ordering Worf to do "whatever it takes." My, how times have changed.

That's not to say the first thing Worf does is challenge Gowron to a duel, because he doesn't. He tries some other avenues, albeit without success. Martok is of little help because he feels standing against Gowron would be improper. And Gowron refuses to hear reason from either Worf or Martok. When it ultimately does come down to the traditional challenge, the fight is an exceptionally engaging showdown, simply because the story has sold us so well on the stakes of the outcome. I doubt it comes as a big surprise that Worf is victorious and Gowron must die, but the way these pieces fall into place is simply the way it has to be—particularly given the history of run-ins Worf has had with Gowron and other officials in the empire.

I'll admit Gowron's latest actions in "Tacking" and "Rains" were a bit sudden and forced, but given a key discussion in this installment, I'm willing to look past them.

That key discussion provides the true substance of the subplot, and comes in an unexpected Worf/Ezri scene, where the entire political ideology of the Klingon Empire comes into question. Ezri calls Gowron's latest maneuver a "symptom of a larger problem"—that the empire is dying because of its ongoing willingness to tolerate a corrupt government with shady leaders—perhaps, if we might draw a parallel, a symptom of a problem similar to that of the Cardassians, who have suddenly found themselves obsolete. (And who better to challenge the Klingon political ideology than Ron Moore, who penned a lot of it through his TNG days?) Ezri's honesty pays off and gives Worf a lot to think about—even though he doesn't like the implications. It's great stuff.

Moving on, that leaves us with Bashir's search for a cure to the disease killing Odo. Science is not finding the answer, so O'Brien comes up with the idea of pretending to have found a cure, hoping to lure someone from Section 31 to the station to stop them. Once that operative arrives, they hope to capture him/her in an attempt to learn the secret of the cure. (My thought on this plan is, "That's almost dumb enough to work.") Unlike the other plots, this is setup more than payoff, but I'm fascinated by the possibility of Section 31 playing into the endgame, so we'll wait until next week's installment to say more on the matter.

Other goings-on:

  • The Female Founder's lack of patience is somewhat interesting. She belittles and chews out Weyoun harshly in front of the Breen and constantly threatens him with death (if only the cloning facilities were working). The look on Weyoun's face almost makes me wonder if he'll be the next defector. His incentive to work for her (other than genetically programmed devotion) is seeming increasingly less these days.
  • The Winn/Dukat storyline has gone into temporary hiatus, with no scenes this week. That's probably a good thing, since cramming all the subplots into one episode would probably be to the detriment of everything.

On the whole, "Tacking into the Wind" is excellent work. It's edge-of-seat entertainment that has a real mind working behind it, replete with complex characters, thoughtful dialog, and a true perceptiveness of its fictional set of histories and futures. The stakes in the game are impressively high, but the way the game is played is still more impressive. "Tacking" shows how the struggle to defeat the enemy is demanding a great deal of other political tensions be reconciled in the process.

Next week: Chapter seven. As Odo lies dying, Bashir and O'Brien go head to head with Section 31.

Previous episode: When it Rains...
Next episode: Extreme Measures

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Comment Section

96 comments on this post

    One thing that shows how far The Federation has changed in the war is a comparison between TNG's "Reunion" and "Tacking into the Wind". When Worf killed Duras in a traditional Klingon manner, Picard was pissed. As pissed as we've ever seen Picard. When Worf kills Gowron, The Chancellor of The High Council, Sisko doesn't bat an eye.

    On a story level, I don't see how a leader as seemingly stupid as Gowron has managed to avoid assassination and retain power, particularly in a climate like the Klingon Empire.

    But then I look around the *real* world and see plenty of dumba**es in office today, so I just tell myself that it's art imitating life :-).

    Yeah, when Ezra was saying those lines, I thought, "Hey, I thought they can't see into the future." :-)

    All I can say is WOW. This is easily one of my favourite DS9 episodes. Watching an episode like this tells all of us just why DS9 is so amazing. I mean, no other series can do this for Star Trek. None. Just brilliant.

    It's odd, I could have sworn that it was Jammer who made the observation that this episode is the conclusion of a mighty story arc that was initiated in TNG's 'Sins of the Father'- an arc that crossed ten years and two series' and one that linked directly to how Worf saw himself. Because he was not raised in the Klingon Empire, Worf always saw an idealized version of their culture- he was always aspiring to that ideal, to be the honourable warrior, not realizing that, in reality, the Klingon Empire was highly dishonourable. This is the reconciliation of that viewpoint, and I found Ezri's speech about the Empire very powerful and correct- something that hasn't been said enough, in my opinion. This episode is the 'Unforgiven' of the Empire- the thing that justifies everything that came before it.

    Fantastic episode, this final arc has been brilliant so far. One tiny complaint, surely they could have found a better stunt double for Gowron in the fight, I ended up thinking another klingon had joined in until the close-up.

    Great episode in its majority, and as far as the big picture is concerned. I agree with Jammer in that the moment we learn of the deaths of Damar's family, there is a poignant moment between Damar & Kira tying to old wounds of the Bajor occupation.

    I do have some small issues with this episode though.

    Firstly, regarding Damar's family: ahem... capture & *blackmail*? Way more effective than merely killing them. The Dominion could have forced Damar to choose between giving up the resistance movement or seeing his family die. It would have been a smarter, more logical way for Ronald D. Moore to approach this situation. Instead we are served with a morale on the brutality of war, killing innocents etc. etc., immediately followed by a parallel on the occupation of Bajor (which saw the Cardassians at inverted roles). Good stuff (especially the morale part), but somewheat cliché.

    Secondly, the Worf vs. Gowron battle was necessary and à-propos for plot development, but not only was it lackluster but it also climaxed with the same old routine. That is: hero down, bad guy about to strike the final blow, hero making one final thrust from a position of disadvantage and dramatically winning the fight. I wasn't asking for Jackie Chan-type kung fu fighting, but I've definitely seen better Bat'leth engagements.

    That said, Ezri's analysis on centuries of Klingon Empire political philosophy rang so true, it was the highlight of the episode for me:
    Ezri: "I think that the situation with Gowron is a symptom of a bigger problem. The Klingon Empire is dying, and I think it deserves to die. (...) Don't get me wrong, I am very touched you still consider me a member of the house of Martok, but I tend to look at the empire with a little bit more skepticism than Curzon or Jadzia did. I see a society that is in big denial about itself. We're talking about a warrior culture that prides itself on maintaining centuries-old traditions of honor and integrity, but in reality it's willing to accept corruption at the highest level.
    Worf: "You are overstating your case."
    Ezri: "Am I? Who is the last leader of the High Council that you respected? Has there even been one? And how many times have you had to cover up the crimes of Klingon leaders because you were told that it was for the good of the Empire? I know this sounds harsh, but the truth is you have been willing to accept a government that you know is corrupt. Gowron is just the latest example. Worf, you are the most honorable and decent man that I have ever met, and if you are willing to tolerate men like Gowron then what hope is there for the Empire?"

    I can think of a reason why the Dominion might not have bothered holding Damar's family hostage: Damar knows how the Dominion operates, and realizes that they'll likely be killed along with him no matter what happens, that the promise of keepin them alive was an empty one. And the Dominion knows that Damar knows this.

    It doesn't explain why they'd put so much emphasis on finding them in the first place, though. Kind of counter-productive.

    Great episode, great closure. What a payoff! In the span of 45 minutes we get to see not only the series come full circle with Kira & the Cardassian rebellion, but also the entire franchise, with the Klingon honor/corruption thread. Not to mention Damar becoming my favorite Cardassian character of all time. His growth is exactly what I love so much about Star Trek - the multi-faceted villain who redeems himself and becomes a hero.

    I kind of agree with Marco in the way Worf killed Gowron. He should have gotten to strike a triumphant blow in the heat of combat, not stab him from a prone position. As presented it felt little more Klingonlike than if he'd stabbed him in the back.

    I imagine their intent was more to warn other Cardassians not to support Damar, by showing all the consequences of rebellion. Damar knows the Dominion, so a hostage situation would have been pointless, but finding and murdering his family will give anyone else second (third, fourth, eleventh) thoughts. It's an old tactic, actually, clearly one the Cardassians used against Bajor as well.

    Love this episode, except for OBrien and Bashir's decision to lure in Section 31. Section 31 would not send in someone to destroy Bashir's work - they would kill Bashir.

    In a comment on a previous episode I'd mentioned my disappointment that DS9 didn't develop more supporting Starfleet officers (Nog being the only exception). I did not realize, however, the amazing depth of non-Starfleet secondary characters. Damar, Weyoun, Martok, Ducat, and Garak are all memorable characters who figure prominently in the story arcs. It would have been nice to have more Starfleet characters so that Kira and Bashir weren't always on the bridge of the Defiant (where they did not belong), but the quality of the other supporting characters is amazing.

    With regards to Damar's family, the Dominion is great at manipulation, but we've also seen how cold and callous they can be. At this point in the war, they're in "slaughter everybody" mode. They have such low regard for the Cardassians that rather than play the politics involved with fighting an insurgency they believe they can keep killing them until the insurgency stops. Contemporary counterinsurgent strategies involve making friends out of the affected population. The Dominion is completely autocratic and believes you're either loyal subjugated servants or you're roadkill. Picture more like Rome/Spartacus than Britain/India.

    @Nebula Nox
    I disagree. If Bashir sent a message to Starfleet Medical, claiming to have a cure to Odo's disease, killing him would not only be obvious, but it would serve absolutely no purpose.

    It's not like he wouldn't have records of his findings, official reports, and even word-of-mouth evidence of his cure.

    Killing Bashir would raise too many questions, and you have to keep in mind that Section 31 doesn't want anyone to know that they created the disease and infected a non-founder well before the war even began.

    Something about that speech Ezri has about the Klingon Empire is very memorable. I've seen it mentioned on quite a few Trek boards before, it really sticks out (and single-handedly saves Ezri as a character for me, I already liked her to a degree but that was a set of observations I couldn't see any other character making). I think it's the brutal honesty, and the fact she's calling into question an Empire than Trek fans took for granted as the way things are.

    Anyway, I love this episode at least for that scene, but there many nice facets to it.

    I just rewatched this episode and it is the high point of the show in many ways as the remaining episodes are a bit downhill from here especially some of the resolutions meted out for characters.

    I would only say that everything has seemed soo ruched over the last few episodes which does make it all seem rather forced especially when there was so much tripe earlier in the season.

    I also think this episode is helped by the lack of winn/Dukat whose story has become a pantomime of nonsense by this stage not comparing well at all with the rest of the plotlines which is especially sad as Dukat used to be soo good.

    A great episode with a lot of important story developments. The absence of Kai Winn made it that much better.


    Ahhh, Star Trek is back! Scifi premise, political dilema, character development, Klingon honor battles.

    A great episode, that develops the main story quite a bit. Putting aside the fact that it lays within the atrocious arc about Starfleet allowing Section 31 to develop a genocide, this was one of the best in this vry weak season.

    A great episode - loved Ezri's lines, loved kick-ass Kira. But I was disappointed in Damar's about-face. Just like that, the scales fall from his eyes, he jettisons a lifetime of beliefs, and kills his friend for saying "Let's rebuild our empire"? Yes, certainly it was all very tidy and dramatic, but way too rushed -- and the spped with which Damar dispatched his loyal comrade was really morally questionable. (It's actually not okay to murder your friend and colleague because he holds different political beliefs from you. You might instead try ordering him to put down his weapon.)

    We can all agree this was a a good episode, if not great episode, but I would take it one step further. This is the pinnacle of Star Trek's mythos and deserves its own kind of mythic rating.

    4 stars out of 4 or 10/10 is not enough for an episode that has taken 10 years to build into a powerful sequence of shots.

    Of course there were weaknesses, no writer or actor is perfect, but Worf/Gowron and Damar/Kira moments that have beeen built up makes this worthwhile.

    The Bajoran and Cardassian full circle has begun and Damar is realizing how wrong Cardassia was for what it did to Bajor during the occupation. A new Cardassian mindset will come out of this war that may bring about a cultural and social reforms. Who knows, maybe they will stop copying Orwell :P

    I agree with Ezri; the Klingons from the TOS-DS9 have been a culture of warriors with honor and pride. However, TNG "Sins of the Father" introduce us to their political dishonesty that places insult against any type of warrior honor possible. They accept corruption and the destruction of honorable actions for decades, despite what they know is not true.

    Worf's fight against the corruption of Klingon honor was predestined by the writers, because he represent all the values that Klingons aim for, while Gowron from TNG to DS9 has represented the bloated politically destructive Empire that Klingon culture had become.

    The fight could have been done much better and I would have preferred if Star Trek gave Worf what he deserves...the title of "Chancellor". Seriously, he deserves the leadership:

    1. Killing Duras in honorable combat
    2. Thwarting Romulan takeover of the Empire
    3. Finding and placing Kahless on the throne of Emperor
    4. Finding the sword of Kahless and being the only one alive to know where it is in space (Dax aside)

    I can keep naming Worf's accomplishments, but he really should have taken the leadership.


    Anyway, infinite stars to this episode.!

    First time watching this episode and agree with many of the other comments, one of the few true 5 stars out of 5 episodes, it all came together here.

    Its amazing how well it all works without the handicap of the lumpen, ham fisted and totally boring Winn/Dukat subplot. Imagine how good this final series arc would have been without that.

    Nice scene with Ezri and all the non-starfleet cast are excellent and have great material to work with.

    Slow clap.....,,Great episode. No Rom or Nog for one thing. I do find it annoying how Kira is some sort of superwoman. I don't remember. How many times has she been beaten in hand to hand combat? I'm sorry but she isn't that big. The show seems to make us think she could beat Dukat or any Jem Hadar if she had to.

    I did like the tension between Bashir and Obrien. I'm glad Bashir finally told Obrien to shut the hell up. There were so many times in the earlier seasons where Obrien was just mean to Bashir. And after he says that the look on Obriens face is priceless. It's a little shock and a little respect for Bashir finally sticking up for himself.

    Worf killing Gowron was also awesome. I love how even though Worf knows Gowron had to die he still does the death scream because he believes Gowron is still honorable enough of a warrior to enter stovokor. But I don't like how Sisko is basically telling Worf to assassinate the leader of the Klingon empire. Sisko long ago lost the honor or good qualities that starfleet captains have had. I would have seen Kirk or Picard finding another way to persuade Gowron just like I would have seen them finding another way to bring the romulans into the war other than murder and lies. I think once Sisko was fooled by the wormhole aliens into believing they were some sort of Gods it was only a matter of time before he lost all his good qualities and eventually abandoned starfleet and his family to join the aliens.

    The only thing that could have made this ep better is if nog died accidentally frying himself in the engine room of the defiant or more Weyoun but there were only 45 minutes.

    Kira AGAIN physically defeats a stronger foe. The ole' 2 handed "Star Trek punch" certainly is affective. I will say one thing, this time I thought she aptly used the element of surprise and was fast enough with the 1st blow that her impending victory seemed more palatable.

    Garak's presence with the "away resistance team" just adds to the whole thing. Just like the rest of the series, Garak's presence ALWAYS adds to the tension/quality.

    Great exchange between Kira and Damar as Jammer indicates. (just knew this was going to happen)

    I thought the best part about this episode was the "Klingon drama". From a couple stand points.

    Martok... is there ANY doubt he is the consummate loyal honorable Klingon warrior?

    Worf tries to convince him to kill Gowron and...

    "MARTOK: I am a loyal soldier of the Empire. I would rather die than dishonour my uniform by raising a hand to my Chancellor in a time of war. I would bring shame to everything that I've fought to protect, everything that I believe in.
    WORF: General.
    MARTOK: My decision is made. We will not speak of this again."

    He is so spot-on with delivery and content. I just want to grab a batleth and go serve with him. :)

    ...and Ezri (of all people) is spot on about the Klingon high council. Great exchange between her and Worf. I found her to be quite convincing. (surprisingly)

    "WORF: You are overstating your case.
    EZRI: Am I? Who was the last leader of the High Council that you respected? Has there even been one? And how many times have you had to cover up the crimes of Klingon leaders because you were told it was for the good of the Empire? I know this sounds harsh, but the truth is, you have been willing to accept a government that you know is corrupt. Gowron's just the latest example. Worf, you are the most honourable and decent man I've ever met, and if you're willing to tolerate men like Gowron, then what hope is there for the Empire?"

    Wow Ezri, well said.

    The fight was blah, probably the worst part of this episode but this brought a tear to my eye:

    "MARTOK: Worf, I do not seek the leadership.
    WORF: Kahless said, 'Great men do not seek power, they have power thrust upon them'.
    (Worf puts the cloak on Martok.)"

    I thought stealing the Jem'Hadar fighter with the Breen weapon installed was pretty well done. I was surprised when it was revealed that Damar killed Rosot, not Garak.

    The exchange at the end between Kira/Odo was touching. Odo apologizing for hiding his illness only to find out Kira has known all along.

    Don't really know how to short this one. 4 stars.

    I loved Ezri's Klingon speech too. But I thought that from what admittedly little we saw of him, K'mpeK certainly seemed to be a respectable chancellor.

    Except that K'mpek schemes like a Romulan petaQ to pin Duras' dishonor on a convenient target because he is away in the Federation and he's rewarded by having Duras poison him, just like he deserves.

    And although we liked Gowron for awhile he started off by threatening K'Ehleyr for his own political gain and ended by trying to shame Martok for his own political gain.

    And the scheme to dishonor Worf was so shared by the whole council that Gowron once refused to right the wrong just because he needed the council's support. So all the powerful Klingons were more politicians than honorable men.

    Well actually I never "liked Gowron for awhile", but you're right about K'mpek too.

    It was hard for me not to eventually warm up to Robert O'Reilly's character :) But I suppose I shouldn't speak for the fan base! I was a little sad that he didn't have a happier ending.

    I thought Robert O did well being a Klingon, but it was easy to not like Gowron.

    Loved the eyes :-)

    I've been watching a lot of ds9 lately so today I just decided to watch the two parter Redemption episodes of TNG. At the end of the first ep Worf and Gowron are trying to convince Picard and the federation in general to help them in what is a civil war. Picard gives a lecture on non interference. I immediately thought of how different Sisko is. Sisko doesn't care about these principles. He wants to win at any cost. If that means assassinating a leader to install someone who will go along with the federation then so be it. I have to admit ds9 is awesome and I like how dark and gritty it is BUT I have to say I wish he was like Picard. Picard would have stood by federation policy and found a way around Gowron. I also wish Worf had learned some of these lessons from Picard instead of just agreeing with Sisko. As interesting as Sisko is it's just upsetting that the other captains are principled starfleet officers throughout their lives. Then you have Sisko who is forever floating around in the wormhole with these aliens. The writers should never had made him a wormhole alien. They should have ended the series with Bajor entering the federation and Sisko remaining in starfleet.

    I liked Ezri's speech, but honestly, I've never been comfortable with Klingon society. You can have honorable warriors -- those who defend a basically peaceful society against enemies.
    But a "warrior culture" has always seemed inherently dishonorable. Warriors don't farm, teach, produce, etc.... A culture that puts fighting at the top -- particularly one that accepts hand-to-hand combat as a way of settling disputes is inherently broken.....
    Not that I've ever held up "Gene's vision" as some holy thing, but I've always wondered how the Klingons were supposed to fit in....

    Am I the only one who has a problem with the operation to capture the Breen weapon? It's absolutely ridiculous that Damar would not have been recognized. He was the head of the Cardassian military dictatorship and his face was in the public domain. That's like not recognizing George W. Bush or Bill Clinton if they came into the room. It's conceivable that Garak or Kira wouldn't be widely known outside of their circles, but Damar would be known throughout the Quadrant.

    It would have been interesting to have seen a scene where Sisko wonders why Gowron is late for a meeting, only to have Worf tell him that he killed him :-)

    @Toraya: But I was disappointed in Damar's about-face. Just like that, the scales fall from his eyes, he jettisons a lifetime of beliefs, and kills his friend for saying "Let's rebuild our empire"? Yes, certainly it was all very tidy and dramatic, but way too rushed - and the speed with which Damar dispatched his loyal comrade was really morally questionable. (It's actually not okay to murder your friend and colleague because he holds different political beliefs from you. You might instead try ordering him to put down his weapon.)


    I thought it was realistic. Damar's aboutface, as Jammer and lots of other people have noted, has been built up steadily, from episode 4 in season 6 where Damar submits a secret memo to Dukat recommending they destroy the ketracel-white. Already it's implied that he's not happy with the Dominion, and there are countless scenes from that point forward - probably even earlier - where Damar glares at the Jem'Hadar and Weyoun and expresses his misgivings to Dukat, who keeps him at bay, but the seeds of discontent are already there.

    Lots of things have been occurring thick and fast in the past few weeks leading up to the happenings in 'Tacking', and desperate times call for desperate measures, and Damar, as Jammer points out, has shown himself to be a person who can adapt himself to change and proves himself to be more than up to the challenge of a "new world." Garak nails it when he says "If he's the man to lead a new Cardassia, if he's the man we hope him to be, then the pain of this news made him more receptive to what you said, not less." I thought this was a wonderful line, one of the best in this episode, along with the earlier Kira-Damar exchange. It really acknowledged ot both the audience and the characters how much Damar has grown in such a short space of time, and how it's understandable that people might doubt his growth, and by what happens later - him shooting Rusot - it proves that Damar has indeed transcended doubt and proven himself the man Garak and Kira hoped he would become.

    In response to what you said about him attempting to "talk" Rusot out of it - I think we can safely assume that he already tried to do so on many occasions prior to their mission, obviously with no success. Judging by Rusot's willingness to kill Garak, a fellow Cardassian, just because he was on Kira's side, I think it's also safe to assume that he would have killed Damar too at that point, if Damar had showed even the slightest preference for Kira's side. And this was something Damar knew since he presumably knew him very well, so that was really the only option he had left, not to mention the fact that they had to make a speedy escape and they couldn't exactly spare anyone to guard Rusot if they wanted to restrain rather than kill him. In a tight situation like that we've seen that Cardassians prefer to kill rather than take prisoners, by the way Garak dispatched the entire bridge crew and Odo's appalled, "Was it really necessary to kill them all?"

    Finally, I really liked Garak's role in this entire guerilla arc. The focus is mainly on Damar's growth, but I think a lot can be said for how Garak always immediately jumps to Kira's defence ever since they started helping the Cardassians. Kira obviously isn't fond of Garak ("You want me to bring GARAK!?") and I can't see him taking that lying down, but like Damar, he's willing to put aside personal feelings for the greater good, to the extent that he's willing to risk his own life for her in that final epic showdown. Especially in these lines:

    RUSOT: You're still a Cardassian, Garak. You're not going to kill one of your own people for a Bajoran woman.
    GARAK: How little you understand me.
    KIRA: Then let's all get the hell out of here.
    RUSOT: Not you.
    GARAK: I'm still here, Rusot.

    So much going on in this last scene. Very satisfying end to this particular story arc, as many have pointed out before me.

    RUSOT: You're still a Cardassian, Garak. You're not going to kill one of your own people for a Bajoran woman.
    GARAK: How little you understand me.


    It's scenes like this that further my belief that Garak is and always was sympathetic to the Bajoran people and that his sympathy is probably what led to his exile from Cardassia in the first place.

    It's not hard to imagine that Garak was given a brutal assignment against the Bajorans while a member of the Obsidian Order, and then refused to carry it out. In the S2 episode "The Wire," Garak tells a trio of lies about the reason for why he was exiled. You can't trust any of them, but all of them have some variation of him sparing a large group of Bajoran civilians.

    Garak has never shown revulsion, condescension, or even restrained antipathy towards any Bajorans. He's lived on the station for years with them. He hated Dukat (the prefect of the Bajoran Occupation). For someone so formerly ruthless and cold-hearted, he has regularly shown empathy towards the Bajoran people, and been unusually candid about the distasteful atrocities committed by Cardassians during the Occupation.

    Now, in the midst of the Cardassian rebellion, when he's finally getting a chance to fight for/with his people again, he sides with a Bajoran over a Cardassian.

    And I think his words here are very telling. He doesn't say that he's defending Kira because he likes/knows/trusts Kira more than Rusot or because the mission requires it (the way Damar does). Rusot makes it racial. A *Bajoran* is inferior to and worth less than a Cardassian, in his eyes. It's a sentiment Rusot has lived by. It's a sentiment Dukat and Damar have lived by (though Damar is starting to open his eyes to a different perspective). But Garak doesn't hesitate or even have to think about it. "How little you understand me." He's already there. Unlike most Cardassians, Garak already sees Bajorans as equals rather than inferiors. I think he's felt that way for a long, long time, and given the common thread in his "lies" about his exile, I think his feelings towards them played a part in it.

    Rusot makes it racial. A *Bajoran* is inferior to and worth less than a Cardassian, in his eyes. It's a sentiment Rusot has lived by. It's a sentiment Dukat and Damar have lived by (though Damar is starting to open his eyes to a different perspective).


    I'm not entirely sure that Damar started out being racist towards Bajorans, since he was extremely polite and even friendly to both the half-Bajoran Ziyal and Kira when he first met them, on the Groumall in 'Return to Grace.' He banters amicably with Kira about the condition of the Klingon ship, and takes all her orders on board. Can you imagine how Rusot would reacted if Kira had tried ordering him around the bridge or finishing his sentences?

    Also, Ziyal mentions that the reason she's on the Groumall with her father is because she was ostracized on Cardassia: 'There were some Cardassians who could see past the Bajoran ridges on my nose, but not many.' Given how quickly Damar volunteered to help her in the engineering room, and how he showed her the 'knife trick', I think it's acceptable to say he was one of the people who 'saw through her nose ridges.' I can't ascribe that to a desire to please Dukat, since he doesn't come across as the type to suck up.

    In any case, his later enmity to both Kira and Ziyal in 'Favour the Bold' is in direct contradiction to the happenings in 'Return to Grace.' One can only surmise that, during his and Dukat's yearlong guerrilla stint against the Klingons, Dukat must have completely brainwashed him into an 'Idolise Dukat' mode, hence his change.

    "Not since "In the Pale Moonlight" have I seen this Sisko emerge, who needs something done and intends to see it through, no matter the cost. If it came down to knowing in advance Worf would have to kill Gowron in a traditional Klingon challenge, I doubt Sisko would bat an eye. That's pretty scary. "
    I think I'm kind of in the minority in how I view these two (this and actions in Pale Moonlight) acts by Sisko. I was applauding and thinking "it's about time" for his acts in PM, and approved here as well. I guess in my nature I am a little prone to Machiavellian scheming, but only for a just cause. And no, I dont always believe the ends justify the means, but in these situations it is the most logical and in my moral view best way to proceed. This view is falls into the domain of utilitarianism; judging what is right by what does the most good for the greatest number (or causes the least harm). You can view it as sort of adding up "good points", the positive consequences, while subtracting "negative points" for harm/collateral damage/injustice, etc (in theory, and yes it requires some arbitraryness), and this aspect and other restrictions on taking the philosophy too far or too literally prevents it from potentially allowing for the tyranny of the minority by the majority. Kantian morality on the other hand in my view puts far too much emphasis on declaring acts to be right or wrong in more blanket terms; ie. a belief such as "assassination is wrong", no exceptions. I applaud DS9 for taking a step back from the excessively Kantain Trek morality, especially given it's more intense subject matter (don't get me wrong I love TNG but i also kind of accept it as a sci fi like myth /fairy tale; DS9's differences call for a more rational view of morality).

    This leads to my key points, that I believe Sisko was clearly right in both cases and honestly to me the fact that he agonized so much and struggle with to me what were clearly the morally correct actions to take in Pale Moonlight shows that Stat Fleet morality is still there, but given cataclysmic stakes it had to be curved back, or else it would have paradoxically been responsible for more harm than good: no romulans entering the war (or at least not until far later)= dominion defeat Alpha Quadrant powers, unprecedented slaughter and then enslavement/domination of survivors. Ultimately it was even potentially in the formula a beat interest to be forced in earlier on. The fooling of or death of one arrogant senator who was happy to gleefully watch his fellow Alpha Quadrant races slowly be defeated and killed just to help quench his thirst for seeing his Rivals be beaten back and to buy his people momentary solace at the price of doom in the long run is more than clearly justified to as Sisko puts it ensure the safety of the Alpha Quadrant. Similar situation and stakes for the order to stop Galron even if it means killing him, except that here it is an even less morally grey area: Galron is willing to submit his own men to the slaughter, thus betraying them as their commander, while simultaneously seriously hurting the alliance's ability to defend itself, safeguard its civilians and win the war, so think of how much harm those actions could easily cause if they make it so one more system fell to the dominion: one ENTIRE PLANET of people, "just one" system, think of how much evil would befall them because of Galron callously (and effectively evily) being willing to allow this as part of his petty popular image promotion campaign. Thus at the time his death was good triumphing over evil.

    And for those who point to how Picard handled certain situations, remember that he was never faced with anything approaching the cataclysmic situations and consequences Sisko was. You CANNOT compare the situation of Worf killing Duras to him killing Galron here, due to that (unless you are using the rigid kantian morality and don't accept my view on how utilitarian morality is much more proper and logical for DS9's events in question); look at what's at stake and the consequences, along with the situations. Even in the Pale Moonlight events I could image Picard (like Starfleet command) reluctantly approving of or taking similar actions to Sisko's in order to do what is right, despite his personal discomfort with it (although with less unwarranted violence towards Garak ;) )

    I accidently hit submit before I got to the last couple things I wanted to say, the first of which is that from my view on just those moral issues I kinda come off as more pro-Sisko than I am. I love both DS9 and TNG almost equally but for different things, perhaps from an objective view I favor DS9 the most (but for me TNG has a certain intangible "magic" feel to it that makes it difficult to decide, and for me TNG is more suited to watching over and over again), but Picard is easily my favorite Trek captain. (and while I said I could see Picard taking those two controversial actions given the situations, I easily admit that it is more in Sisko's character to do so while Picard may or may not agree, I just think given the context he probably would come around). I also prefer Patrick Stewart over Avery Brooks any day. Also, in my version of utilitarianism "justice" is factored into the equation alongside the more clear "good" and "harm".

    While I appreciated Sisko's ruthlessness when it is called for, I thought he too often behaved a little less... civilized/enlightened than how a 24th century highly evolved human Star Fleet captain (even part prophet) should. He kinda lacked diplomatic graces and charisma/charm, and though it was too often necessary to bark like a dog at people, including his crew. Finally to be clear (I can see this being brought up) my take on ther merits of his poisoning the planet in the DMZ is that it far less worthy of approval, but with enough merits to not be condemned either. What really bothered me there though was how he most unenlightenly let his grudge and then his temper guide his decisions without forcing himself to step back and try to calm down and view the situation without letting his personal feelings interfere. If it had not been Michael eddington who poisoned the Cardassian planet I really can't see Sisko choosing such a drastic retaliation, and in a situation where his decision affected so many lives of the planet's residents it was rather déclassé of him to make a choice with his anger and excessive testosterone (to put it mildly). More like the behavior of a brute than a Star Fleet captain, and the crew likely would have been able to not be punished if they had mutinied (for evidence one can refer to Sisko's own hypocritical quote when berating Worf about how Star fleet officers don't put innocents at risk to make their jobs easier or something like that)

    And now I better stop before I have to make another post explaining how I didn't mean to sound like I don't like Sisko, which in general I do haha... I just wanted to be fair and balanced given my above strong defense of his actions in my previous post.


    Picard would have lost the Dominion War by putting Star Fleet's pretentious principles above the survival of the Alpha Quadrant.

    Of course, Section 31 would have assasinated him to keep him from doing it. :)

    Strong stuff indeed. In an hour we get to tie up two massive continuing stories, both in a satisfying, reasoned and thought provoking way. Damar's journey is complete, and while it's easy to speculate that this would have happened anyway without the death of his family the news and Kira's follow up is as clear a 1-2 punch as you could want to see. To have to gun down Rusot as a necessary and expedient way to remove the old guard is a wonderful scene. And we also get to see the old kick-ass Kira one last time.

    And if anything the Klingon arc is even more satisfying. Perhaps surprisingly it's Ezri's speech that crystallises the last decade of Klingon stories in a paragraph - and with Sisko also taking the expedient path it's up to Worf to step up for the good of the Empire. Dirty it may be, but it's also necessary. In Martok - and also Damar - both races now have leaders worthy of the role.

    The Section 31 story line doesn't really advance here, which is about the only reason it's not perfect. "You're right - I do not like it" indeed. 3.5 stars.

    Just one quick note: I like how all three stories here touch on a theme Ron Moore expands upon in BSG, the question of what a society has to do to *justify* continuing to survive. While it is not quite as large-scale in the Bashir/O'Brien plot, there is some degree of Bashir/O'Brien, Worf and Damar all coming up against the difference between the ideals of their civilization and the reality that complicates it, and in all three cases decide that this is the time they must make a stand. The Worf material is a satisfying close to material that goes back to "Heart of Glory," and the big confrontation at the end on the Jem'Hadar warship keeps several threads going at once. It's really wonderful.

    The discussion between Worf and Ezri on the corruption of the Klingon Empire has to be one of the the most powerful discussions in all of DS9 and it's less than two minutes. It's even more rewarding for those longtime fans who have tracked Worf's development throughout TNG. For an episode crammed with good stuff, it's hard to pick one favorite scene but this would probably be it.

    1) Did not appreciate the Gowron send-off. He deserved better.

    2) Come on, we all knew who Damar was going to shoot, so painfully obvious.

    I am glad someone said it in the comments (Xionous, 7 years ago, LOL) because I was wondering if I were the only one to notice how different Gowron's stunt double looked. I realize it's hard to imitate Gowron's eyes but, wow, that was a whole different individual in every way, especially when Worf picks up his broken bat'leth to continue the fight.

    I also agree with Krog's comment. Triumphant episode for many secondary characters.

    I am also glad Winn-Dukat took a hiatus for this fantastic episode. Great review by Jammer again.

    So Damar makes quadrant-wide appeal to all Cardassians to resist the Dominion and all that follow him are a few dozen volunteers???? Not very persuasive to the other 10 billion Cardies..

    4 stars

    The first episode on the Final Chaptee that is solid from start to finish with no real weaknolotbtgrqd featured or filler scene

    Very exciting from beginning to end

    One aspect of the Final Chapter that really impressed me was how it analyzed the various key Star Trek civilizations we have grown to know and the fundamental changes made to them which only reinforced the sense of a farewell--not only to DS9 but to the 24th century Alpha Quadrant. In 1999 just was Voyager left and no news on what would become ENTERPRISE. Here with making a honorable man Martok the new chancellor. Didn't see that coming but in hindsight can see that's where everything was heading for a long time

    Again the scenes featuring the Founder and Weyoun never fail. The Founder realistically and very ruthlessly would want to teach Damar a lesson by having his family killed. And it was also realistic that she would have civilians--not even Cardaasian soldiers--placed at all Dominion facilities. And her reasoning that not only would it possibly deter Damar from attacking but if he did it would hurt them in the eyes of his fellow Cardassians

    The shipyard was a beautifully rendered VFXaaterpiece. The plan of the resistance pretending to be bringing a prisoner and then having Odo--which did surprise me--turn out to be impersonating the Founder was all very suspenseful and exciting

    The episode also did an excellent job of generating a nerve wracking experience on the Jem'Hadar ship for Kira. Not only are they sitting ducks for an hour but Odo is near death. She has to contend with that and getting the ship back to DS9 and have to contend with Rusot.

    I don't agree that they would have killed Damar's family to teach him a lesson, or believe that since he "knows them" there is no point in keeping them. At the very least they would have set a trap for him by holding his family somewhere they think he might try to rescue them from. In fact, a cunning strategist would have held his family and set a trap exactly BECAUSE they thought he knows they will kill them. Cardassians hold family in very high regard so there is an excellent chance he'd postpone the rebellion long enough to try to rescue them.

    More generally speaking, how the Dominion endured for two thousand years is difficult to believe based on their Alpha Quadrant behavior. They make some very dumb decisions. Of course the wormhole aliens doing their deus ex machina moment and disappearing thousands of Dominion ships definitely affected their capabilities, but still, some of their decisions seemed excessively childish for an empire that is so experienced. For example, had they really had the power to hold on to a large Gamma Quadrant empire for so long, they would have known they had to keep their base happy - i.e. the Cardassians. A real-world Dominion, with so much experience, would have kept the Cardassians on their side emotionally and politically - especially the leadership. Sacrificing thousands of Cardassians as a diversion obviously angers the Cardassians, and even though the Dominion may do that as a matter of course with bred Jem Hadar, an experienced empire would have known they can't do that with another race like the Cardassians.

    I guess the Dominion had to behave like they did for the show since an efficient experienced empire would have subjugated the Federation, Romulans and Klingons without too much trouble (just like Jack, Lauren and Patrick predicted in episode 6x09, Statistical Probabilities).



    @ Rom,

    " A real-world Dominion, with so much experience, would have kept the Cardassians on their side emotionally and politically - especially the leadership."

    That depends on the time-frame. The Founders made it very clear to Garak that the Cardassians were already a *dead people* as far as they were concerned; they had no long-term desire to keep them as allies. If they were meant to remain as subjects for centuries that would be one thing, but it seems more evident to me that the Founders wanted the timing to be that the moment the Alpha Quadrant was theirs the Cardassians would be severely punished. In terms of the 'childish' behavior of the female Changeling towards the Cardassians, I interpret it as sadism rather than petulance. I think she enjoyed torturing them as prolonged payback for what the Obsidian Order tried to do.

    Also, as you mentioned, there was no chance whatsoever of the Federation winning except for the miraculous intervention of the Prophets. They had already decided not to treat the Cardassians well, and the one thing that seems clear about the shapeshifters is that they're very slow to adapt and alter their strategy. They think long-term (as Jack explained) and experience time in the long-term. They're not really capable of shifting their intentions and plans quickly to cope with a setback, so their mistreatment of the Cardassians seems to me not so much a mistake as a failure to adapt to a very weird situation (the Prophets). It's their rigidity that ironically dooms them in the end.

    Rom, although this sounds like a cop-out, I don't think you can blame the Dominion for being such bad evil overlords as much as you can blame bad writing. As much as I think the decision to have Damar lead a rebellion was one of the better choices made in this grand finale, the way it happened was pretty transparent. You're right, the complete callousness of the Changeling and Weyoun to the Cardassians was over the top. And against everything we know about them.

    I mean, compare the leadup to Damar's turn to the Dominion's treatment of the Bajorans. The Bajorans offer no resources, no strategic value, no value of any sort other than happening to be right by the wormhole. A truly callous evil empire would have no problem wiping the entire population and leaving the entire Bajoran system as nothing more than a JemHadar stronghold with no civilian population. And yet, they honored the nonagression pact. Weyoun bent over backwards to accommodate Kira on the station, even though he knew exactly where her loyalties lay. That is the Dominion that we had been privy to. The Vorta - and specifically Weyoun - aren't just managers, they are supposed to also be the PR guys, the pleasant face of the empire. Weyoun's sliminess is one of the reasons he was such a big hit with the fans!

    Which is why it's strange that this sudden disregard for Cardassia at the end. It's why I said it was transparent. The writers clearly wanted to turn Damar, so they had to ratchet up the pressure on him. Now yes, there were other circumstances. Weyoun is obviously disgusted by Damar's alcoholism, and Peter does have a point that the Dominion was always planning to dispose of Cardassia eventually. But it was so clear that EVERY single decision was being made to anger Damar, and there's no way that Weyoun didn't recognize that. And while he ultimately takes orders from the Changeling, there's no way that a PR guy like him wouldn't try to alleviate the situation. This whole sequence is just too out of character for him. Like I said, I think it's bad writing rather than providing insights into the Dominion.

    Peter, I agree that the Dominion always planned to dispose of Cardassia eventually, but I just don't see this sudden reversal to that plan while in the middle of a war. Yes, the entrance of the Breen may have shifted the tide, but the basic tenet of the Dominion is that they are extremely cautious. Even if the Prophets through them off their game, that would just make them even more cautious I would imagine. I have a hard time believing they would start killing off Cardassians early given that aspect of them.

    On a non-Dominion, but larger mythology note for Trek from TOS-DS9, I think Worf really deserved to be Chancellor of the Klingon Empire, even more than Martok.

    It's not something I see discussed here or on other Trek related areas, but Worf had a lot of things going for his "divine" right to rule, for a Klingon:

    1. He is from a Noble Klingon House, even back during the TOS days in Star Trek VI, his grandfather was a high ranking member of Klingon society and his father sat on the council. Sure, they're not as militarily oriented or politically connected as the Duras family or even Gowron, which is why Mogh, Worf's father, could so easily be castigated as a scapegoat. Worf is still noble-blooded.

    2. He defeated Duras in a duel, while Duras was seeking to claim the Chancellorship. It means Worf, if he still had his noble title could have made the same claim and legitimately have taken it from Duras (and likely Gowron).

    3. He found Kahless' clone, sure it's not like finding Christ's second coming, but he did install the 1st Klingon Emperor in many generations, returning a constitutional monarch to Klingon Society. In any other situation, he should have been a member at court.

    4. He, along with Kor and Dax, found the Sword of Kahless. That's like finding Excalibur or the holy grail. Of all the odds in the universe, Q must have stacked it in his favor :P Quite honestly, Worf is the only one left from the Quest alive (Kor died in a blaze of glory and Jadzia died due to Dukat), so he has sole claim right now. If he wants to, he can go back to coordinates where he jettisoned the sword, then just take power.

    For all those reasons, Worf, and the writers, should have just let him become Klingon leader, he was meant to be.

    Love the episode. But one small flaw: how did Odo know exactly how the female changeling looked while she was decomposing on stage? Having him appear as her in somewhat good health would have been more expected. But, it's a small point.

    This was a great episode, in the highest fantasy tradition of coming out the other side of a brutal war with society remade for the better. (That's one reason why it's called fantasy.)

    I definitely have some quibbles though.

    Odo didn't bring his bucket? He's lying in bed, sick and exhausted. Why doesn't he rest?

    I loved the Worf fight and the aftermath.

    But . . .

    Really, anyone who kills the emporor gets to become emporor? There would be a new gym rat on the throne at the end of every single day.

    Julian really needs to sleep.

    Can you just take off your uniform and do whatever you want? I assume Worf is going to court-martialed now?

    I too wondered about odo impersonating the founder knowing her condition

    Since Changlings can imitate voices Odo could have filled in for Luaren , but he was about to turn all “pile of leavesy” shortly afterward, so I guess it was all on Kira and it did add more suspense to the scene

    Minor quibbles but idid notice

    Additionally Gowron’s politcal slant can also be seen In the tng era with his “re writing “ history, taking all the credit for the events of Redemption. I believe this was revealed in Unification when they needed a ship. Nice gradual continuity there. So along with his treatment of Worf at end of WOW after AR revealed that the founders hoodwinked him exposed his stubbornness and concern more about politics.

    Like the character but Gowron has it coming

    Found it!

    Episode was TNG S5:Ep7 - Unification I

    Gowron has been ignoring hails from the Enterprise, Worf explains the possible reason.

    Worf: Sir

    Picard: Yes, Lieutenant

    Worf: I believe I know why our messages are not being answered. Gowron has been re-writing Klingon history.

    Riker: Rewriting history ?

    Worf: Yes, he is claiming that it his courage, his . . . . genius (said with sarcasm), that brought an end to the civil war

    Picard: I see

    Worf: In the new version, there is no mention made of the Federation’s help in his rise to power.


    So Gowron has been up to shenanigans for quite some time. He picked the wrong time to as Koval put it in Enta Arma [. . . .], Gowron allowed business to become personal. And Worf had to clean up yet another mess.

    A truly terrific episode and one of the best of the series -- the ending is awesome with the 3 Cardassians standing off (maybe a bit of "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly" -- might be a stretch) as well as Worf killing Gowron. This is what we want to see and we get the best of Kira/Odo as it relates to the shapeshifter's illness taking a turn for the worse big time.

    So we get a better indication of Gowron's plans - to discredit Martok as he's become popular and is sure to be a threat for leader of the Klingon Empire. So Gowron's been sending Martok's men to get their asses kicked -- it is actually an interesting tactic from Gowron that lives up to his devious reputation. Finally Worf calls him out after speaking with Ezri. Gotta love those Gowron eyes when he gives one of his stares!

    The fight between Gowron and Worf was a bit cheesy -- but whatever, the point is they fight and Worf wins and crowns Martok. All of that makes sense -- funny how Worf gets to do the deed again as he did in TNG -- all with his captain's acknowledgement. Yes, it has that "In the Pale Moonlight" flavor as Sisko tells Worf he has to do whatever it takes.

    Ezri actually was useful in this episode -- she said what I had been thinking for a long time: that the Klingon Empire has got to go. Their warrior nonsense and honor is such BS given that the leader is always corrupt. Gowron is no different and Worf has always been covering up lies etc. to maintain stability. Yes, the Klingons have to change their ways.

    One of the other subplots advances nicely: Bashir and O'Brien are such a good pair of dudes together -- gotta love the frank dialog between the 2 for finding a cure for Odo's disease and the plan involving Section 31.

    Damar has become such a great character -- from Dukat's No. 1 to a man leading a new Cardassia. He has to deal with the old school Rosot. This is written and acted so well. The Rosot character is well-acted too -- his hatred for Kira was building and it leads to a major standoff on the Dominion station. Garak is always great telling Kira kill or be killed. The tension was palpable all throughout the mission. And Kira's line to Damar when he finds out his family has been killed -- she doesn't hold back and it's powerful stuff.

    Last but not least -- Kira/Odo and how the 2 love/respect each other and try and make the situation better for the other. This was touching for sure. Odo's in rough shape and Kira knows it but she doesn't let on to make the shapeshifter feel better. And Odo doesn't want to see sadness in Kira's eyes.

    4 stars for "Tacking Into the Wind" -- Whatever it takes is common theme in this episode -- just pushing things to the limit and going over the edge. The subplots work so well to make an outstanding episode -- all so powerful and with really significant resolutions. The Klingon Empire gets a new direction as does Cardassia. A monumental episode for sure.

    Having read the Memory Alpha version of these stories, I get to see how the stories were shaped. Since events had to shape the narrative, things had to happen differently than if these were real events.
    Dr. Bashir said he had to contact Starfleet Medical to get early information about Odo. But they could get information from the Bajoran doctor who found him. That's information predating Federation contact. The Cardassians may have had information as well. Plus the Changeling orphan who appeared on DS9 had probably never been in the Link. That's all information on the Changelings that Starfleet didn't have. But if they'd done that, there would have been no reason for the next episode.
    Also, I don't know how much Odo had been involved in activities fighting the war, but if he is sick, shouldn't he have been in the equivalent of a hospital bed? Where is his bucket? If changing shape make him sicker, don't change shape! But that also changes the episodes. But I like what they did.

    Great ep. But when Kira made her comment to Damar at that moment I just felt it made her look like a cold hearted bitch no better than the Cardassians she hates. She could have made her point another time or way. That's honestly the first time I felt that toward a Star Trek main character.

    "More generally speaking, how the Dominion endured for two thousand years is difficult to believe based on their Alpha Quadrant behavior. They make some very dumb decisions...For example, had they really had the power to hold on to a large Gamma Quadrant empire for so long, they would have known they had to keep their base happy - i.e. the Cardassians. A real-world Dominion, with so much experience, would have kept the Cardassians on their side emotionally and politically - especially the leadership. "


    In the Gamma Quadrant, it seems most of the planets they rule simply through fear and might.

    Most of the GQ worlds have either an isolated population, or a small federation of systems. The Cardassian Empire seems like the the largest and most powerful independent group they've "conquered" in some time.

    Out in the Gamma Quadrant, they don't need to keep anybody happy. If a conquered world tries to rebel, the Founders simply obliterate that world as a lesson to all the others to stay in line.

    I suspect none of the other GQ worlds would still have even the military resources the Cardassians have. The Founders would have disarmed their conquered worlds of most of their military weaponry long ago. Any singular world or small alliance that even drummed up enough resources to fight would have been instantly wiped out.

    The Founders don't care about keeping the masses happy because they don't have to care. They live far away on an isolated world. The enforcers of their regime are disposable clones they care nothing for. There's no need to play nice with the subjects because they pose no threat. Anybody rises up, smack them back down with vengeance. That was their game plan and it worked well for centuries.

    It was less effective on the Cardassians for two reasons:

    1) The Cardassians were very still heavily armed and had nearly the entire Alpha Quadrant working against the Dominion at the same time. When Cardassia finally rebelled, all the AQ superpowers were right on the doorstep. If any other GQ world rebelled, with no other outside support--like the combined might of the Federation-Klingons-Romulans AND the wormhole access cut off--they would've just been easily overwhelmed and dispatched without a second thought. There's no reason to keep any other GQ world populace happy.

    2) The Cardassians hadn't been subjected to Dominion rule for more than a few years. The only way the Founders could gain their initial foothold in the Alpha Quadrant was to at least pretend it was more of a military alliance than a pure subjugation. In the GQ, there's no need for alliances or agreements, the Dominion just conquers. Once a generation or two of isolated subjugation passes with no hope in sight, the will to fight back wanes.

    Whoa, this one was incredible. I'm going to watch it again (partly to forget about Extreme Measures) before I finish the series. Awesome review, Jammer!
    A few thoughts...
    Ezri - her best scene, best episode. I love Worf, and I love Ezri,
    and different as they are, they have been great together, and no better than here. I love when DS9 is realistic on the interpersonal level.
    Kira - Pure balls. And Nana really shows her acting chops in this one. As Jammer observed: "Nana Visitor again shows her astounding ability to reveal her character's vulnerability and emotions without for one second sacrificing her strength." I couldn't have said it better, she's amazing.

    Watching and commenting

    --Gowron is incredibly foolish, here. This is the least compelling of the story lines.

    --Little Kira as Wonder Woman is just so hard to buy. This time she beats up Rusot. Garak advises Kira to kill him.

    --Damar's wife and son were killed - nice moment when Kira minces no words to remind him of Cardassian cruelties, and great scene with Garak telling Kira she had an impact on Damar.

    --Ezri with similarly strong words for Worf, about the corruption in the Klingon govt. Later more truth-to-power from Worf to Gowron. Wow. This storyline got a lot more interesting. Wow.

    --Good suspense on the mission to get the Breen-enhanced Jem Hadar ship.

    --O'Brien with a decent plan for helping get info to cure Odo by luring Section 31.

    --Damar and Worf make similar decisions to try to change their worlds.

    --Nice, nice, nice. Well done ep, weaving a lot of threads skillfully.

    A great one.

    Great episode. And they’ve brought the main characters back to center stage where they belong; too often in season 7 they’ve been pushed aside.

    On we lurch...

    Odo's freshly discovered illness continues to increasingly affect him - conveniently, far more quickly than we've observed with other changlings. Still, this does lead to a genuinely touching moment when Kira is forced to admit that she knows that he's suffering, and that she's having to accede to his wishes and pretend that she doesn't know.

    (I'm aware the writers tried to justify this by claiming that the frequency at which the Founders change affects the rate of infection, but at the same time: Odo changes at least once a day when he goes from goop to solid. Also, this explanation doesn't bode well for Grumpy McIsolationist, who flew in and out of DS9 a few episodes earlier after a little goop-exchange session with Odo...)

    There's then a fairly unmemorable sub-plot where Bashir is trying - and failing - to find a cure for Odo. Admittedly, this is all just a setup for a Cunning Plan ((c) Baldrick), in which O'Brien and Bashir decide to set up a trap for Section 31, in the hope that whoever they catch will have some knowledge of how to cure the infection. As plans go, it's more threadbare than a carpet moth's security blanket, but hey. This is Star Trek, and one-in-a-million chances happen nine times out of ten ((c) Pratchett).

    But the main plot threads of this episode lie elsewhere.

    First, there's the political battle within the Klingon High Council, as Gowron's machinations and paranoia threaten the war effort. Naturally, the only way to resolve this is with a fight to the death.

    As ever, it's hard to believe that any species could advance as far as the Klingons have while still hewing to a social system where the biggest and strongest can bully their way into a position of power. And Sisko's implicit order to Worf strikes an odd note. "Will no-one rid me of this troublesome priest?" is a recognised political tactic, but as with the Pale Moonlight episode, it's driven by a moral flexibility (or weakness) within Sisko that's traditionally not been present.

    Still, the outcome is a positive one, and perhaps long overdue - as Ezra notes, the Klingon empire has long since failed to live up to it's principles. Though it's perhaps a shame that DS9 never really turned this lens onto the Federation itself.

    The other plot thread revolves around the newly born Cardassian resistance; Rusot continues to take his frustrations out on Kira, who resoundingly beats him up when he goes too far. As ever, the sight of seeing a small female handily taking out a larger soldier is a bit dissonant - all that armour the Cardassians wear must be as thick as toilet paper!

    But still, it's more about having a setup for a dramatic stand-off later in the episode, when the resistance is partway through stealing a piece of vital technology and Rusot's frustrations boil over again. Watching him plead his case with Dumar is believable, even if his plan isn't - there's little or no chance that the resistance would be able to make effective use of the stolen technology, and it'd be virtually impossible for them to drive off the Dominion by themselves - but his actions are heartfelt.

    Sadly for Rusot, while Dumar is at least as much of a patriot as he is, Dumar has already made his peace with the fact that Cardassia's best chance for survival lies with the Federation. And so, he's forced to shoot Rusot dead.

    Once again, I'm impressed by Dumar's characterisation; he's arguably one of the most consistent characters to appear in DS9, and in some ways, perhaps one of the most tragic.

    And so, we're one step closer to the end of the story...

    @Jamie Mann
    Good thought on Sisko's Henry II hint to Worf concerning increasingly Beckety Gowron. Sad how far the once astute Gowron has fallen. In fact, sad how far so many of the characters have fallen.
    Lots of meddlesome priests in DS9 at this point. Kai Winn actually took out one herself, and with her descent into mental illness rejoices at the sad predicament of a Dukat now blinded, by sending him into the streets to beg like some late 24th century Belisarius.

    Shades of Star Wars with the enter-the-control-room-with-Wookie-as-fake-prisoner-ploy, but at least it develops in an interesting way with Odo posing as the (spoiler) Founder, successfully, until overcome with shapeshifter psoriasis. Kira, always a treat, does a decent impersonation of the Vorta Luaran.

    I never would have thought that Damar would look heroic, but his actions have actually helped our valiant band survive against the odds. I completely agree with those who view him as a breath of consistency in a time of fragmentation. He helps the story along in pleasing ways. 3.5 Stars for sure.

    Absolutely spectacular.

    The fivesome of Kira, Odo, Garak, Damar and Vornar is fantastic. And a semi-Mexican stand-off to boot.

    It does strain credibility that this team could expect to go unrecognized under cover, but gratefully, Damar is indeed recognized.

    And the character Damar has a very believable arc that you never would have expected in his early appearances. He's had to grow up very quickly. He has to eat quite a lot of s*** from Kira (even though she's mostly not doing it intentionally).

    My only complaints are regarding the Gowron/Worf parts. The Gowron problems aren't new, he's been pretty poorly written throughout DS9. He's a pale version of his TNG self, but at least he still has the eye thing.

    Second complaint is that Worf should have accepted being chancellor. The only reason he didn't is I'm sure due to executives wanting him to remain available for TNG movies.

    Also, there's a GREAT double head fake when Odo impersonates the female Founder.

    We see her come in, thinking "yeah, that's Odo", then the Founder's shocked reaction when the Vorta and Jem Hadar are mowed down makes you think "It really IS the Founder!!!" but, nope, that was just Odo's shocked reaction.

    Does anyone else think it was odd how the Neurazine gas would effect the Breen who are in environmental suits? There was 4 of them in engineering installing the weapon. Otherwise excellent episode.

    In my opinion probably the strongest of this 9 part series finally . My only critic (and this harkens to Way of the Warrior and Apocalypse Rising) , is how dumb DS9 Gowron has gotten compared to TNG Gowron. Now this could imply that corruption and lust for fame and power have gotten to him , but this is a hard exercice because there is no scene or episode that shows Gowron's sudden mood twist towards conquering .

    In TNG I saw him as a reformer , someone willing to do things differently then Kempec all while stepping aside and let his generals do the fighting. So a no nonsense politician.

    What makes this episode so strong is a B story that lasted over the spam of almost 10 years in the making (Worf disposing of Gowron.....might I add under Sisko's order to do it by any means, I could presume he's somewhat ordering his removal by assasination). And a very star wars like infiltration mission with Kira and the gang, topped off by Bashir's discovery that section 31 is probably behind the virus . A lot is set in motion in 45 mimutes .....

    It's a shame seeing Gowron act so incompetently now. It's one thing to see him more corrupt, but someone of this level of intelligence couldn't scheme his way out of a paper bag. I think it's also a shame the Klingon sub-plot got directed here instead of seeing how the Klingon fleets would handle the frontline Dominion war on their own.

    I agree with Quarky and Yanks. It just isn't realistic for Kira to beat up the men she fights. I am not making fun of females, but they just are not on average as strong as males.

    @ Sean J Hagins
    Even if we assume that Bajoran women are physically weaker than men and that Bajorans are more or less as strong as Cardassians, then we still have Kira who is essentially an elite veteran (she was in the resistance since she was 14) and Rosot who, considering the state of the Cardassian military (corrupt, nepotistic), has probably mostly attacked Kanar bottles and sofa cushions.

    And what are the producers supposed to do? Never have women in a physical confrontation with a men or have them lose every time? Is that what you want?

    Hand to hand combat has never made sense in DS9. Klingons should break Humans like twigs, Jem Hadar should be even stronger than Klingons.

    The scene also plays like Rusot wasn't quite prepared for a fight -- he expected that he could cow Kira with his physical size alone. Instead she unleashed everything before he could effectively respond, basically using his overconfidence against him.

    @Booming maybe when O'Brien asks Sisko if he ever served with any Bajoran women in Emissary he was referring to their mega strength. Maybe Kira can snap Worf in two like a twig :)

    Probably. That is the reason why she was the only one who got a knife in the back. The Klingons knew that as long as she is standing they will all die...
    Look at that scene. She never gets tired. She is like a machine!

    @Booming: Yes. I am not being facetious. That is what I want. Or at least have the woman win by either leverage or outsmarting an opponent, or possibly some kind of skill-not just strength for strength. If you watch the Avengers (*I am referring to the 60s TV show with John Steed and Mrs Peel (and later Tara King)*), both Peel and Tara beat up a fair share of men-but always by skill (martial art in the case of Peel), or outsmarting (in the case of Tara)

    Or they could just hit the men over the head with clay pots like in Qpid. Every time, clay pots.

    "And what are the producers supposed to do? Never have women in a physical confrontation with a men or have them lose every time? Is that what you want?

    Hand to hand combat has never made sense in DS9. Klingons should break Humans like twigs, Jem Hadar should be even stronger than Klingons."

    Well, I guess we're to believe that Kira's far more wicked with her two handed haymaker than even Kirk or god forbid Spock: (That level of sodium addiction could never withstand Kira!)

    Or, you could just have a fight that actually makes sense in terms of suspension of disbelief, like this scene from Atomic Blonde:

    Not the best movie, but this scene was pretty good. When I've seen women in real life beat men in hand to hand combat, they did it by being quicker, more highly skilled, and by fighting dirty. They did not do so by overpowering men with raw strength, unless they just happened to be much bigger and the dude was some scrawny Pee Wee Herman that shouldn't ever ball his fist up anyway. All it takes is one good hit from a physically more powerful man and the woman is most likely going down, even if he's the lesser skilled fighter.

    Look at how much damage she takes in that last fight even though she landed the clear majority of hits. She just squeaks out a win and pays a heavy price in physical damage to herself. That's what I expect to see in women vs men fights with bigger male opponents. ("Am I your bitch now?" she says. Now tell me, doesn't that just get your literal male bashing feminist juices flowing? That's a rhetorical question; no need to answer. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°))

    There's a legitimate reason combat sports have weight classes. Say what you want about Discovery's shortcomings, but they have a lot more credible and far better executed women vs men fights than any of the other series:

    However, there are women who are just genetic freaks. How about producers casting their roles a little bit better so that we fans can more readily suspend our disbelief?

    You could also go the route of just having a flat out super entertaining fight from a suitably badass female character, so that the fans don't even give a damn that it's unrealistic for a woman who doesn't completely look the part of a genetic freak to be tossing men around like ragdolls:

    @Sean J Hagins
    "with John Steed and Mrs Peel"

    lmao! I'm sorry, but those sound like porn names. Not that I would necessarily know what a porn name sounds like... just saying. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. Nobody is questioning that men are normally superior in a fight because of their physical strength. It is a little weird that people have no problem accepting that a Klingon or Vulcan man is several times stronger than a human man but the thought that a Bajoran woman could be super strong is beyond what some here can stomach. They actually did that on the Orville. Maybe Humans are the wimps of the galaxy and anybody else is super strong in comparison. A male chimp for example is four times stronger than an adult man. :)
    Is it really such an unthinkable concept that Bajoran women are much stronger than their Human counterparts?

    "You could also go the route of just having a flat out super entertaining fight from a suitably badass female character"
    Hand to hand combat did always look bad in Trek because it was bloodless. I always chuckled when Worf hit a Klingon with his discount batleth and you could clearly see that he hadn't even made a cut in the uniform. :D
    One could also mention that good looking fight choreography takes a lot of time which they did not have on TNG or DS9 and some of the other shows with their very demanding schedules.

    You watched the entire Atomic Blonde movie?! I barely made it past the 5 min. mark. *shudders*

    My point is simply they could and should do better.

    A Bajoran woman being stronger than a Cardassian or Human male would be absolutely fine. Unfortunately, the canon never stated any such thing and there's a lot of material indicating Kira is the only Bajoran woman having that level of success with @$$ whooping dudes.

    "I always chuckled when Worf hit a Klingon with his discount batleth and you could clearly see that he hadn't even made a cut in the uniform. :D"

    Lol. They got them on sale 3 for $9.99 at the Klingon Family Dollar.

    I don't know how expensive or time consuming it would be to hire a good fight choreographer and decent stunt folk. But I've seen quite a few matinee movies on that Family Dollar discount budget do quite a bit better than Star Trek with clearly just thrown together footage. If they're short on time cut out some of those Ferengi scenes. They can never go wrong on the cutting room floor, or even the storyboard room trash bin.

    Atomic Blonde wasn't that bad. It was watchable if only for the fights and lesbian love scenes. :D

    Another explanation could be that Cardassians being all snakelike get really sleepy and weak in those cold, dark caves.

    " If they're short on time cut out some of those Ferengi scenes."
    Cut out Ferengi scenes?! Somebody call the authorities! We have a madman.

    DS9 and Stargate SG-1 had comparable budgets. If Stargate and it's various franchises can pull off decent looking fights with a similar schedule at the same period in television history, there's no excuse.

    Yes they were more focused on action than Star Trek was. That means it should be even easier for Star Trek to produce better looking action, since they only have to do so sparingly, instead of almost every single episode like Stargate.

    Hey, if you like the Ferengi, more power to you. I for one can't stand them, although Quark and Nog were probably the most tolerable.

    Never watched Stargate. Didn't like the movie.

    I don't understand the logic. If a production has more experience with action it will always do better with action scenes. Maybe DS9 didn't even have a dedicated team for action while Stargate (insert show name here) probably had one because it's an action heavy show.

    "Hey, if you like the Ferengi, more power to you."
    No, if I were actually a Ferengista but I'm not. Too over the top and some of the worst episodes. Oh an that whole Rom becomes nagus storyline. Jesus, like it was written for five year olds. Not a fan of Star Trek's scammers in chief.
    (listened to this while writing, lucky accident)

    Ezri telling Worf that the Klingon Empire is grossly hypocritical-- including Worf himself-- was brilliant, and her single best scene. It was also the best former Dax host name dropping ever.


    I didn't like the movie either. Too serious without the payoff. However, the show was a completely different product. It had some good sci fi ideas, some of the best action for that budget, and several of the most gorgeous space battles imaginable, even after you take into consideration what we got later on with The Expanse. Not that I recommend it. Probably, not your cup of tea. Too much US military propaganda. But it did give us some great sci fi, which is what I was there for.

    My point is simply you have to hire the right people. And just like they have different people direct or write every episode, they can have different stunt coordinators than their usual people. I don't see a problem. I've seen shows which don't really focus on action yield far more credible action sequences than some of the crap I've seen in the Star Trek franchises. I mean just recall this ridiculous one from TNG:

    You've got Picard dodging phaser fire AFTER the beam has been fired. How much did they pay the stunt choreographers from that episode? They should get a refund. I could do better than that and you'd only have to pay me with a cameo and free room and board during the shoot. Some marketable set pieces might come up missing and turn up on Craigslist later on, but hey! You get what you pay for!

    I thought that you might be joking about the Ferengi thing, but for a hot minute I was afraid you weren't. I've hated them since TNG. I barfed all over my tv when DS9 decided to include them in the cast. Where's the Jesus Christ boy when you need a meme? Couldn't we have gotten a Darmok instead? You can keep Quark as a Ferengi, but what if Morn had been a Darmok?

    Everybody: "Hey, it's Morn! How they hanging Morn?!?"
    Morn: "Beowulf, as he drank from his horn." Gulp. "Kahless , his keg of blood wine empty."

    And what if we replaced all that time spent on Ferengi episodes with an arc about Morn bringing the Darmok into the war on the side of the Federation? Bring in some linguists to flesh out the language. It could've been epic.


    I completely agree. That is one of the few times I've liked Ezri Dax.

    "Too much US military propaganda."
    Now I'm intrigued. :D
    *a few minutes later*
    Wow, that shows is actual propaganda. I thought you meant just the usual militaristic posturing, not that the US military actually proofread every script and actual generals and staff would often participate as actors. Several Air Force chief of staff appeared as themselves!
    *Even more minutes later*
    Wow again, so civilian oversight was always portrayed as bad and incompetent, while the military has to constantly lie to the public. Always for good reasons, of course!
    Well, I see no problem with any of these messages. :D

    " I mean just recall this ridiculous one from TNG:"
    That scene is amazing. Star Trek was always bad when it comes to fight scenes. The TOS fight scenes often looked like the beginning of a rough gay porn scene.

    I think it showed that fighting wasn't the focus of the show. In NuTrek the fight scenes look much better but everything else is awful.

    "You've got Picard dodging phaser fire AFTER the beam has been fired."
    Maybe the Federation is so humanistic that the Phaser has an extra slow setting. You probably have to skip through 50 non-lethal settings until you get to anything actually dangerous.

    I did not hate the Ferengi. Every now and then there was a good episode, like the one where Quark became a weapons dealer and the one with Iggy Pop as the dumbest Vorta in the alpha quadrant. In general their episodes were fairly bad, though.

    " but what if Morn had been a Darmok?"
    That shiny monster thingy??


    Yeah. Actual propaganda. It was putrid, but it helped keep the budget down and I got some great sci fi out of it.

    "That scene is amazing. Star Trek was always bad when it comes to fight scenes. The TOS fight scenes often looked like the beginning of a rough gay porn scene."

    Lmao! Very apt description right down to the rock hard onlooker at timestamp 1:24 with the overly interested body language. "Look at all that 'action' going on over there!"

    I don't think everything else is awful, but to each her own.

    That's hilarious. Speed regulation phaser fire. Suddenly that scene where Riker is ratcheting up the phaser way past 11 to stop the assassin makes sense. He wasn't sure the beam would make it in time.

    Oops, I meant Tamarians. I can never remember their name, only Darmok.

    Wow what a grim and gritty and bloody episode:
    - Damar’s family is assassinated; Kira’s zero-pity cold-blooded response to it. Awesome Kira moment.
    - Garak kills a Vorta and Jem’Hadar soldiers, no prisoners, damn, Garak kills without a flinch.
    - Death of Gowron. Holy crap, one of my favourite characters. Stabbed by Worf with a broken bat’leth , whoa.

    I also really liked the grim score and set lighting and the understated episode title.

    Loved it.

    And also:
    Damar kills Rusot!
    What a bloody episode, damn!

    Brilliant episode!

    A great relief from the flaws of previous ones.

    I sort of sympathize with Rusot insofar as I understand his frustration. If, to survive, Cardassia has to change so fundamentally, what is he fighting for? People don’t fight for the abstract idea of a people or a country, they fight to protect or preserve a way of being associated with a people or country, if that’s lost then what are you fighting for? It’s akin to a politician changing his entire platform in order to win election, yes you’ve won but you don’t get to do anything with that because it isn’t actually you who has won.

    From Rusot’s perspective, if Cardassian values are going to change so much that a Bajoran woman could ever have authority among the people, then win or lose Cardassia is lost and it is not worth fighting for.

    So... um... did Section 31 just not have a backup delivery system for the virus?
    They had no way of knowing when Odo would ever link with another changeling, or if it would happen at all. And from their perspective, once Odo did finally link with another changeling, who knows when that changeling would carry it back to the Great Link? Then there's the virus's natural incubation period. Add all those unpredictable factors together and you have a weapon that might not have even taken effect until the war was over.

    What I'm saying is Section 31 got really lucky that The Founders decided to hold a trial over Odo within the Great Link. But by that time Odo had already been carrying the virus for quite a while, and the war had already killed many people. So they should have had another more direct delivery method and had Odo serve as a backup.

    It's a four-star episode for sure, only marred by the Klingon "honor" crap.

    Gator-eyes is gone and Worf is now the leader of the entire Klingon empire, just because he defeated a guy thrice his age in some hand-to-hand combat!??!?!? But he renounces it and anoints Murtoq instead, just like that!?!?!?!


    Aside from that tidbit, this ep. made for an excellent, edge-of-the-seat viewing.

    Much as I can't stand Dodo, his sickness and coming to terms with it and its effects on Keera are...very moving.

    Damar's act of killing his friend for the greater good was incredible. (Bashir, take note, dumbass!) That scene alone is worth four stars.

    This episode was gold, one of my favs. The dialogue was so rich and so well balanced with meaningful action. My fav scene was the conversation with Ezri and Worf. So raw, honest, intimate and necessary. They went from being Starfleet officers to members of the house of Martok discussing the state of the empire. It was so intriguing.

    So many other good scenes.... definitely a keeper.

    I always liked Damar's story arc. He was fully developed from a hanger-on to a principal to a tragic hero. Like all of the side players in DS9, the show took advantage of Casey Biggs' skills and gave him as much stretch as possible.

    It doesn't really matter how much woke they throw on people, no-one is buying Superwoman Kira or any other of this forced nonsense designed to make everyone and their pony equal in all things. It just looks stupid - and it's poor writing as some above have alluded to.

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