Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

“Treachery, Faith, and the Great River”

3.5 stars.

Air date: 11/2/1998
Teleplay by David Weddle & Bradley Thompson
Story by Philip Kim
Directed by Steve Posey

"Has it ever occurred to you that the reason you believe the Founders are gods is because that's what they want you to believe? That they built it into your genetic code?"
"Of course they did. That's what gods do. After all, why be a god if there's no one to worship you?"

— Odo and Weyoun-6

Review Text

Nutshell: Very strong. Some captivating plotting in the background along with a powerful character core.

"Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" gets us back in touch with the "core material" surrounding the DS9 characters, with the first really good Odo-oriented show in quite some time. Lately, DS9 seems to go for broke whenever dealing with its core material, but this episode has a different feel to it: It's somewhat smaller and a bit less far-reaching, and it does what it sets out to do very well.

Over the past few years, DS9 has certainly turned me into a Jeffrey Combs fan. This episode is a good example why. Combs takes Weyoun to a completely new level, which is understandable since the Weyoun in this episode is in essence a very different Weyoun.

The plot: Weyoun contacts Odo with rendezvous coordinates, where he turns himself in as a Dominion defector seeking asylum. The twist: This is a "defective" clone of Weyoun gone "awry"—he doesn't agree with the Dominion agenda of conquering the Alpha Quadrant, and he hopes to bring an end to the war by helping the Federation. The information he has could give the Federation a huge advantage.

The plot's twist puts an established character trait to interesting use. We've known about the Vorta cloning process ever since season five. But here the cloning angle takes on a life of its own. This Weyoun—Weyoun-6, as he is the sixth version—was created after Weyoun-5 was killed in a mysterious transporter accident. With Weyoun-6 now branded a traitor, the replacement's replacement, Weyoun-7, along with Damar, coordinates from Cardassia the hunt for the defector.

What's also interesting to note are the circumstances surrounding Weyoun-5's mysterious demise. There's no proof that his death wasn't an accident, but as Weyoun-7 notes, it was awfully convenient that Damar happened to be called away from the transporter pad seconds before the accident that killed Weyoun-5 occurred. The mutual loathing and mistrust between Weyoun and Damar continues to assure me that we're headed for some sort of major payoff down the line. But who's going to get the better of whom, and what will it do to the Dominion/Cardassian alliance? (The long-term plot patrol puts itself on full alert.) Damar continues to play out treachery in his mind while drinking Kanar like water, possibly on his way to becoming Trek's first recurring alcoholic character; and Weyoun glares at him silently—particularly in one scene where, if icy looks were a phaser, Damar would be nothing more than crispy, char-broiled remains on the ground.

Meanwhile, Weyoun-6 quickly becomes a very wanted man; Damar and Weyoun-7 send Jem'Hadar attack ships to destroy Odo's runabout to prevent Weyoun-6 from revealing military information to the Federation.

This all may sound complicated, but the plot is actually very straightforward, allowing the character core to come out strong. Sure, there's plenty of plotting in the background, but it's subtle and relatively quiet. Meanwhile, the Odo/Weyoun dialog aboard Odo's fleeing runabout takes firm control of the story.

What this episode is really about is the relationship between the Vorta and the Founders. As has been established many times in the past, the Vorta worship the Founders like gods, and this story makes particularly good use of that fact, putting Odo in the middle of a situation where he's worshiped by both the man the enemy wants dead and the man who's calling the enemy's shots. Both are named Weyoun.

What's different about "Treachery" compared to previous episodes that have examined this theme is the way this story brings a more intimate, personal relationship between the worshiper and the worshiped. Weyoun-6 quickly becomes a fascinatingly sympathetic character. And we can see that the fact Odo won't "permit" Weyoun to worship him in the conventional sense (he refuses to be called "Founder" and tells Weyoun that he would treat any prisoner the same as he's treating Weyoun) deeply hurts Weyoun.

There's a great deal of very good dialog between Odo and Weyoun, and through Combs' performance, we can get a sense of how deep these feelings truly run through Weyoun and presumably all Vorta. (Though, at times, I felt that Weyoun's fawning over Odo went just a tad overboard as to become redundant—I probably didn't need it reiterated in every scene.) Auberjonois does a great job of staying in character but reaching out to understand Weyoun's faith in him when he can, particularly at the end.

Meanwhile, Damar and Weyoun-7 delicately plan the death of Weyoun-6. The complication is that Weyoun-7 does not want Odo killed. He remains every bit as respectful to Odo as does Weyoun-6. This makes the strategic moments more interesting, as Damar and Weyoun-7 resort to some dangerous rationalization to write Odo off as "not a Founder," all while knowing they would be very dead if the Founders ever learned they allowed Odo to be killed.

But even more interesting is the subtext when considering the difference between Weyoun-6 and Weyoun-7: One has something in him that makes him believe the war is perfectly justified, while the other doesn't. The implicit question here is: Just what makes us who we are and what we believe? In Weyoun-6's case, it was a cloning "imperfection"; despite having all memories from Weyoun-5, he is compelled to choose a path different from his predecessor.

To revisit a theme, the whole idea of unconditional faith brings back shades of last year's "Rocks and Shoals." Weyoun's faith in the Founders is inherent, and he knows it—but it simply doesn't matter. His faith in Odo is sincere and unwavering, which puts Odo in a personally uncomfortable position—he didn't ask to be a god, but he is a god, like it or not.

The story also drops a major revelation upon us—namely Weyoun telling Odo that a disease is spreading through the Great Link and will possibly kill all the Founders except rogue Odo himself, who could end up being the last of his kind. I probably don't have to explain the consequences that the Founders' deaths would have on the Dominion (I could probably go on for paragraphs), but let's just say this knowledge has evidently been kept quiet up to this point, if Damar's apparent unawareness is any indication. But such knowledge can't be kept secret forever, especially now that Odo knows ... so the schisms in the Dominion/Cardassian alliance could find themselves accelerated as a result of such knowledge.

"Treachery" makes use of the sometimes-dreaded A/B-story structure, which can be a klutzy momentum shifter. But I think it works okay here, probably for the simple reason that I enjoyed the lighthearted B-story. A story about O'Brien desperately trying to acquire a gravity stabilizer for the Defiant (because Sisko told him three days or else) isn't a candidate for most interesting idea of the year, but turning the whole endeavor into a zany comic plot—where O'Brien unwittingly recruits Nog to make a series of trades to acquire the stabilizer as quickly as possible—works well for what it sets out to do.

I loved the idea of Nog temporarily loaning Sisko's desk out to a man who "likes to take pictures of himself sitting behind the desks of famous Starfleet captains." And Bashir's playful sarcasm at O'Brien's desperate idea to replace Sisko's missing desk with a different desk ("It's white, it's the wrong shape, it's the wrong height, it's the wrong width. But other than that, it's perfect. The captain will never suspect you switched desks on him.") was downright funny. Nog's role in all of this melds Starfleet motivation with Ferengi beliefs—a surprisingly palatable notion. (What's also interesting is that the title of this episode can be applied equally appropriately to either storyline. Weird.)

"Treachery" is a solid, well-constructed show. It makes a lot of sense, offers a lot of promising plot progression, and frames its action sequences and special effects nicely, as logical pieces of a well-performed character story. It probably comes as no surprise that Weyoun-6 dies by the end of the episode. But it's how he dies that proves important, because it shows how he didn't really have a choice if he wanted to be true to himself and his gods. If the Founders really are dying and Odo really will be the last of his kind, then what choice did Weyoun have but to kill himself before the Jem'Hadar attack ships were to kill both he and Odo? Weyoun's death scene is actually quite moving, with Weyoun dying in his own god's arms while Odo simply has to ponder all the confusion of a painful and complicated situation he never wanted.

And now that Odo knows he might someday be the only Founder left standing when the war is over, what kind of responsibility will he have to all parties involved when the dust settles? Can he deal with the situation or even the looming possibility itself?

These are questions I enjoy asking, and I look forward to seeing them answered.

Next week: Is it a good day for Kor to die?

Previous episode: Chrysalis
Next episode: Once More Unto the Breach

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Comment Section

84 comments on this post

    Interestingly, the first few times I saw this episode, I hadn't read your review, and I thought of the Nog/O'Brien story as the A-story, and the Odo/Weyoun story as the B-story. But now that I've read your review, I can't get your viewpoint out of my head. It just goes to show you how important a role framing plays in how we judge art and the world around us.

    No idea what prevented this from getting 4 stars. It's one of my favorite episodes in the series. The serious, long-term implications and revelations of the A-plot were masterfully melded with one of the most entertaining B-plots I can recall. This is the episode where I really came to appreciate how likable and unique Nog could be as a character.

    A solid episode. It's surprising how well the Nog/O'Brien B-story fits into the main Odo/Weyoun storyline. A much-needed comic-relief from the high moments of drama.

    My only criticism: in practical terms, it makes much more sense to have the Vorta's suicide mechanism be instantaneous. Surely the Founders could have genetically made it so, and even though I'm willing to suspend my disbelief on this one, the fact we have a "delayed response" is only helpful in terms of the show's requirements: namely that Weyoun-6 must die in the arms of hid god Odo for much more compelling drama. Sorry but it sounds just a tad convenient.

    I thought this episode suffered a little from Split Personality Syndrome. The B-story wasn't bad on its own terms (though it was too similar to "Progress" and "In the Cards") but I think the comedic moments took away from the serious and potentially important developments in the war and the drama of Weyoun defecting. The A-story could have carried the hour on its own, and would probably have deserved four stars in that case.

    An entertaining episode, but I don't think it's worth the stars you gave it. The B-Story was a bit too much like "In The Cards" for me. It was a still a good funny tale, but haven't we seen it before?

    And the A-story left a buncha of questions in my head. If the Jem Hadar were blocking the runabout's transmission so Odo could contact them, then how did Weyoun get a transmission all the way out to Cardassia?

    The larger question (and it may have been answered in later episodes, I forget) but if ALL the FOunders are infected, both in the Alpha AND the Gamma Quadrants, then the infection had to take place before the mining of the wormhole, else there was no way for the Female FOunder to be infected. BUT, if she was infected before she left the Gamma QUadrant, and she and Odo merged together after she got here, then why isn't Odo infected as well?

    Again, this may be answered in an upcoming episode. But the fact this is so glaring to me lowers my opinion of it somewhat.

    Surely the time Weyoun and Odo were on the runabout together hiding amounted to more than 16 hours, so one wonders when he regererates. In fact, one wonders how Odo can partake any runabout missions alone...

    One of the things I enjoyed most about the "great river" story was how true to life it was. The whole barter system for needed parts plays out here in my unit in Afghanistan on a weekly basis and probably has throughout military history.

    I couldn't agree more. From the previous Weyouns in the plot, all we saw was a cold, manipulative, power hungry driven man.

    The first Weyoun we did see, the vibe I got from him was, "these Jem'Hadar are disposable and their faith will never amount up to a Vortas faith." With this one episode, we got to see a different side to the clone. Weyoun Six was still unblinkingly faithful to his gods, and expressed total sorrow after he informed Odo on how to destroy a Jem'Hadar warship.

    The episode, in a way, screams, "who are you really?"

    Regarding the plot in the episode itself, I find it one of the most developed episodes because it gives quite a lot of insight on the enemy, who started up the war, and what they will lower themselves to in order to 'win.'

    it was excellent, that look Weyoun-7 gives Damar after telling 5 about the transporter incident.

    great episode in every way.

    Can't really see what all the fuss is about this episode; personally it didn't really grab me.

    Apart from anything else I just can't believe that Weyoun-7 would allow Odo to be killed. It just didn't feel plausible at all.

    Same goes for Weyoun-6's motivations in defecting; they just didn't feel fleshed-out enough to be believable.

    The only really interesting juicy bit was the mistrustful dynamic between Damar and Weyoun. The rest somehow just felt a bit boring and contrived...

    Enjoyed both halves a lot.

    Travis - I think you're right on the money as to the B-plot being true to military life. It also reminded me a lot of Radar- or Klinger-based B-plots on M*A*S*H.

    You gotta wonder if CIrroc Lofton was ever personally frustrated by the fact that Nog was given so much better and better material as the series progress while Jake, sadly, remained permanently stuck on the sidelines.

    I really liked the story of the wounded changeling and the forest-dwelling family of Vorta. A charming bit of Trek mythology.

    Speaking of charming, too bad more episodes didn't depict the Ferengi characters like this one did - clever and charming insdead of greedy and silly.

    Just finished watching this and its a 4 from me. Both stories are excellent.
    It should get an extra half star for the chase through the Kuiper belt.

    The story didn't work for me at all.

    How could Odo believe that he is not infected?

    Why would Odo be the last one? What about the other 100 that were sent away?

    It just doesn't make any sense. Also, the Runabout destroying the Jem Hadar Attack Ship with one phaser hit? Come on.

    I just *love* the Nog/O'Brien story here. We already know Nog isn't afraid to use his Ferengi talents (Saurian Brandy anyone?), but here we see how it works out in detail.

    It's not always something we'd want to be involved in, but Nog's heart certainly is in the right place. And indeed, O'Brien's reactions to Nog's exploits are... fun to watch.

    I liked how Weyoun/Coombs was able to convey some of the vulnerability of the small primate ancestors of the Vorta in this episode, and their pride and wonder at their new status in the Dominion. Very convincing.

    Weyoun-7 says that Weyoun-6 is defective, but it seems clear to me that Weyoun-7 doesn't know everything Weyoun-6 knows. If Weyoun-7 knew the Founders were dying, he wouldn't agree to have Odo killed, the last remaining healthy founder. I think the Founders realized they made a mistake telling Weyoun-6 the whole truth after it precipitated his defection.

    First good episode of season 7. A nice intermingling of a one serious and one lighthearted story-line.


    Weyoun - "It's just such an honor to be with a Go... security officer." That's the funniest line in Trek history if you ask me.

    Could Damar have tampered with the clones? Having Weyoun-5 killed doesn't accomplish much, if you know you're just going to get a Weyoun-6 that is just like his predecessor. But instead, Damar gets rid of Weyoun-5, and gets a Weyoun-6 that is different from his predecessor. And so he's replaced by Weyoun-7, and as JPaul points out, Weyoun-7 is willing to kill a changeling. This is behavior very much unlike previous Vorta behavior, Weyoun-7's behavior is in its own way as unusual as is Weyoun-6's.

    I submit that Damar killed Weyoun-5, and tampered with Weyoun-6, in the hopes of getting different behavior. He did get different behavior, but not behavior he desired. Damar than tampered wth Weyoun-7, which produced a Weyoun with reduced loyalty to the Founders. This would be much more to Damar's liking.

    If you look at the Vorta as a product instead of as a person, both Weyoun-6 and Weyoun-7 are "defective". They aren't behaving according to product specifications. But that's only one perspective, people aren't products, they don't need to meet someone else's specifications.

    I think it is pretty safe to say that the origin story Weyoun told about the Vorta was a lie. I'm sure Weyoun believed it, but it most likely was a lie the Founders told them. That they were once primitives, and as a reward for helping a changeling, they were turned into the Vorta of today. Not likely. More likely is that the Founders conquered them and decided they would be useful lackeys. Whatever culture the Vorta really had would have been wiped out. I think Weyoun-6 might be a step closer to the original free Vorta. He still is devoted to the Founders, but has a mind of his own, and a willingness to question the decisions of the Founders, if not question their godhood. That's too far for Weyoun-6 to go.

    Finally! It took 6 episodes for season 7 to deliver an episode that is at the same time watchable and not Trek-offensive. And it did deliver well: quite a strong episode, with a simple and still quite smart premise. Humor was present organically and even the O'Brien and Nog plot B sort of worked.

    There is still a piece of hope for DS9 S7.

    Just finishing ds9 for the first time. Never got into it back in the 90's. I do not like Nog or Rom solely for the way their characters change out of nowhere. Nog whines to Sisko and tells him he and his dad don't have the lobes for business and aren't good ferengis. Then once he's in star fleet the writers decide that he is actually great at finding deals and is still a ferengi. Then you have Rom who once said that women who quote the ROA and wear clothing should be severely punished. Don't even get me started on how Rom became an engineer. Ha. Still a great series but I can't stand Nog especially.

    A well constructed and executed return to form for DS9 S7, Combes gives a great performance despite the B story sort of distracting from the A plot a bit, but a good effective episode. 4 out of 5 stars for me.

    Quarky - I guess Nog shorted himself. Rom is a genius (technically).

    Finally!! DS9 is back on track!

    OUTSTANDING episode!!!

    Jeffrey Combs is just frelling out of this world good.

    It was great learning about the Vorta (whether it is true or not, I think it was). Combs manages to make us feel for him (while probably not all Vorta).

    "ODO: Has it ever occurred to you that the reason you believe the Founders are gods is because that's what they want you to believe? That they built that into your genetic code?
    WEYOUN: Of course they did. That's what gods do. After all, why be a god if there's no one to worship you?" ... lol

    "ODO: You have. And for that you have my gratitude, and my blessing."

    I'm glad Odo gave Weyoun his blessing. Classy.

    Of course the big reveal is that the Founders are dying... and for some reason Odo isn't. Now Odo thinks no matter who wins, he is going to lose.

    For all you Nog haters... all he does is put forth the max effort in everything he does. Can't blame the writers for giving him more screen time than Jake. Jake chose to be a writer and a wuss, not many great stories there.

    Just love the B plot. As a military guy I always appreciated those that could "acquire" stuff.

    The Sisko desk bit was pretty darn funny.

    "NOG: I never lost faith in the Great Material Continuum." :-)

    Love this one all around.

    4 stars.

    It was very wrong to kill Weyoun at the end of episode. Just imagine a few episodes about him helping to defeat the Dominion. it would have been wonderful.

    I always found it funny that a character Nog traded Sisko's desk to is named "Al Lorenzo" and that he was from (or served on) "Deigos Prime" - given that, the last name Lorenzo is Italian/Spanish and "deigo" is an ethnic slur referring to someone of Italian or Spanish descent.

    Its not really offensive in this context, but looks like a little fun on the part of the writers.

    Time for Economics 101.
    In an advanced economy, Nog would rent Sisko's desk in return for some common medium of exchange. He would then use that medium to directly trade for the gravity stabilizers. There would be no need for all the other trades. In a primitive economy, you'd go through all the intermediate trades because you lack the common medium that all parties regard as valuable.
    So, the Federation lacks "money" -- and while it makes for entertaining TV, it's no way to run a large economy. Sorry, suspension of disbelief fails me here...
    And, for all the replicator economy boosters out there, why didn't the chief just replicate the gravity stabilizers?


    Great post. Agree on the defective Weyoun 7. That Damar convinced him to do it is proof of that. I have doubts about Damar tampering with cloning process (as you suggest), but it's ironic that 7 here is exactly what Damar wants: a more malleable Weyoun. 5 was the one who was always squeezing the leash. "Imagination can be dangerous" indeed.

    And the Vorta origin story? Awesome. It all reads like a primitive foundation-myth meant to assert its own goodness. We have the persecuted and misunderstood noble race, the inherently evil rival (Weyoun's answer to Odo's question is perfect here), and the warm-hearted primitives who are promised an anachronism that only the story's audience can understand (apes would have no idea what a space empire is). It's really well done. I love every scrap of Dominion mythology we get.

    You know what's great about the Nog plot, despite it being flat out entertaining? That Nog is barely in it, and O'Brien keeps getting his forged signature thrown in his face. Whatever metaphysical force the Ferengi believe in, Nog and his trades are just like it: a force of nature! It turns out Ferengi myths are pretty neat too!

    Oh, and one last thing that I love. That runabout chase in the asteroid belt! I love when Trek treats space travel with the quirks it deserves. It's way better than the (admittedly budget saving) point A to B transit.

    What an inventive episode. This one slides into 4 star territory for being so damn creative on top of being fantastically written.

    Fantastic episode. One thing I really, really like here is the Nog storyline. THIS is how the Ferengi should have been portrayed more often, for some balance and so it wasn't always negative caricature. It's one of the rare cases in which Ferengi philosophy and spirituality is shown in a positive manner and with some depth.

    Just a quick note. It's merely an observation from recently watching this episode, but Sisko comes across as a bit of a jerk. O'Brien isn't lying or exaggerating when he says it'll take weeks to get a new part, but Sisko just says "3 days" as if it will all just magically happen. And then at the end of the episode Sisko only gives O'Brien 2 hours to complete an 8 hour job.

    Just seems like the writers make Sisko out to be a bit unfair in this episode.

    @Jeff - You're knocking a long standing Star Trek trope! Scotty and Kirk used to have these kinds of arguments all the time :P

    Why didn't Weyoun write down the information and give it to Odo. Since he knew Damar and Weyoun 7 was tracking them, he should have written down everything he knew about the Dominion and gave it to Odo so if anything happened to him, Odo still had the goods.

    "Of course the big reveal is that the Founders are dying... and for some reason Odo isn't. Now Odo thinks no matter who wins, he is going to lose."

    Though this last line was predictable, it didn't make it any less powerful. 4-star episode for me as well.

    @ Jeff: I think the writers were going for something akin to TNG's "Relics" as far as Sisko is concerned. Remember the conversation Geordi and Scotty had about how Captains are like babies: How long will it take? How long will it REALLY take? What!? Ye' dinna' tell him how long it'd REALLY TAKE??!



    Yeah, the Sisko-part rubbed me all kinds of wrong ways. I know there is the Trek-meme that an engineer tells his Captain it will take 4 times as long as it will. That, while amusing, always struck me as stupid. It's like haggling on a basar.

    "How long until the Warp drive is back online?"
    "It'll take a week."
    "You have 6 hours"
    "Can't be done, five days is stretching it."
    "I'll give you one!"
    "Make it three, but we won't pass Warp 4."
    "Okay, but you'll have to fix my watch too!"

    But in this situation, it was an asshole-move by Sisko. O'Brien tells him a core component isn't available in under a week. There's no working overtime that'll magically change that. But Sisko is like, "That's your problem!"
    No. It's not.

    "But in this situation, it was an asshole-move by Sisko. O'Brien tells him a core component isn't available in under a week. There's no working overtime that'll magically change that. But Sisko is like, "That's your problem!"
    No. It's not."

    It is now though. Free life advice people. If something is NOT POSSIBLE do not go out of your way to do it for your boss.

    I once did a photo shoot for free for a friend (I'm not a photographer mind you, I just have good gear) because her boss wouldn't pay for a photographer but they needed their photos for their Twitter advertising campaign.

    I did it because I owe this person a bunch of favors but I advised them not to let me because she's just raising stupid expectations for next time.

    Which is what O'Brien and Not just did.

    As Jammer said, the episode's title applies to both stories equally, but since I haven't seen anyone else comment on that so far:

    "Treachery" - Weyoun 6 betrays the Dominion/Nog goes behind O'Brien's back with all the trading.

    "Faith" - Weyoun's faith in Odo and the Founders being Gods/Nog's faith in the "Great Material Continuum"

    "The Great River" - Nog's Great Material Continuum again and, brilliantly but more subtly, Odo's runabout is the Rio Grande, literally "Great River" in Spanish.

    This was a great episode, though I sort of wish he hadn't died at the end. I always wondered why he couldn't have simply pretended to activate his suicide implant. It's not like they had any way to know.

    The "Houdini"s are another example of a one-episode weapon that is too powerful for the universe at a whole. They could have just beamed them everywhere...they could have blown up starship sand starbases all over the place.

    In many ways the most interesting bits in this episode are the two things that aren't actually followed up - the illness of the Founders and the suggestion that Damar did for Weyoun-5. Definitely sets some interesting ideas in motion.

    Otherwise, there's a really good performance differentiating between Weyoun-6 and Weyoun-7, but really there's not a whole heck of a lot the happens to my mind. It's good but not great.
    The B-story is nothing more than fluff. Amiable fluff to be sure, but fluff all the same. 2.5 stars.

    Weyoun's death in Odo's arms is one of the saddest scenes in Star Trek ever ;_;

    I doubt this is intended, but I have to say, when Weyoun starts telling Odo about how he has decided to defect because the Founders should live in harmony with the Alpha Quadrant, I almost rolled my eyes -- of course this is what we (and Odo) would want to hear, but why would Weyoun, even a "defective" one, adopt this particular philosophical stance, when there actually *is* ample evidence that it's not just the Founders who are a danger to the AQ but the AQ to the Founders (see, for example, Tain's sneak attack, even though it was engineered partly by the Founders). That Weyoun might wonder about peace is one thing, that he might see the Founders as misguided another...but a defection requires a pretty big leap, and he does not even go on to justify that he has defected because he is concerned about the Founders' best interests, but for a half-hearted moral argument. For Weyoun to have *any* philosophical stance beyond obsequiousness is a large enough departure from Weyoun that one wonders how large this cloning variance really is. But then, later in the episode, it came together for me when Weyoun announced that the Founders -- all of them, save Odo -- were dying, soon to be dead, and that Odo would be the last of his kind, *and the whole of the Dominion remaining*. Suddenly his emphasis on serving *Odo* above all other Founders, his parroting of the values which Odo would be likely to espouse, made perfect sense. The other Founders are dying or dead, and Weyoun-6 has probably seen enough evidence that there will be no cure. Odo really *is* the Founders' entire future, and serving the one God who will survive even if it means betraying the Pantheon about to die is a logical move for one who is so devout. Understand me, I don't mean that Weyoun-6 switched sides because he wanted to be on the side that is winning, but that there is a certain pragmatism even in his intense faith: Odo needs to be protected and supported at all costs because one day he will be the only God that remains. His adoption of Federation/Bajoran-y values of cooperation instead of conquest are probably at least partly genuine, but I also believe, Weyoun still being Weyoun, that he somewhat deliberately chose to emphasize them to curry favour with Odo and to help understand Odo's perspective -- and become the best possible servant to the New Dominion.

    So while the episode ends with Weyoun-6 dead, this episode has Odo going through an arc of reluctantly accepting that he is something of a God to Weyoun-6, and, thus, that he has some sort of responsibility as a “Founder.” His attempts to use some of his authority-as-changeling to accomplish change in the Dominion (even on small scale) with the Jem’Hadar baby in “The Abandoned” and on the station council in the opening to season six were largely failures, but here he manages to give Weyoun a happy death, such as it was. In seeing himself (and his people) through Weyoun’s eyes he appreciates a little more of how weighty his actions are and what kind of impact they can have. I have said before that there is a parallel with Sisko reluctantly accepting his Emissary role. In any case, the transition from Weyoun-as-annoyance to Weyoun-as-valued-companion was well done, particularly in the odd, touching Vorta origin story that Weyoun relates. Auberjonois and Combs are, of course, excellent. SPOILERS: I think this is valuable setting up for the series finale. Having been completely overwhelmed by his previous encounters with the Link, I think that this episode sets up a bit of a paradigm shift as Odo as possibly holding within him the *future* of the Dominion, and the genuine ability to provide change. I will say that even here, it is not clear to me why Weyoun and Odo can conclude so readily that Odo is unaffected by the disease that has affected the Great Link; isn’t the Great Link still in the Gamma Quadrant, and doesn’t that mean that the Female Changeling has linked with Odo more recently than with the GL, unless she has been sneaking by the station since “Sacrifice of Angels”?

    The Damar/Weyoun-7 material is not quite as strong, partly because I am not entirely convinced that Weyoun-7 would be willing to kill Odo the way he does. And yet…it seems as if Weyoun-4 did deliberately infect Odo with a disease back in “To the Death” to set him up for “Broken Link.” Weyoun-5’s traits seem to be somewhat split into Weyouns-6 and 7, here, as if it is no longer possible to be fully devoted to the Founders as a whole and to Odo, with the fragility of the Founders as a whole being too prominent. Either one has to defect, as Weyoun-6 does, or destroy Odo and thus eliminate the apparent source of the cognitive dissonance—that Odo *is* the Dominion’s future. The relative ease with which Damar manipulates Weyoun-7 also indicates the probable reason behind Damar’s (implied) assassination of Weyoun-5—there are enough differences between clones that Damar may have been able to gain an advantage, and seems, at the moment, to have done so.

    The episode has a lot in common with Vortex in season one, to the point where I wonder if it is intentional; both involve Odo protecting a prisoner from attack on a Runabout, in Vortex going to where he *hopes* is evidence of his people and in this episode zooming away as fast as he can. In both cases he comes to have a sort of bond with his prisoner. It forms a bit of pleasing symmetry. Hopefully Odo’s dedication to justice—as represented by his protection of his prisoner—may have some positive impact on his people after all.

    The subplot is linked to this one thematically and also features Nog in a somewhat obsequious role to O’Brien; like Weyoun-6 with Odo he withholds some information and at times seems to be putting O’Brien in danger, but comes through for him at the end. The Great Material Continuum as a Ferengi operating principle (sort of akin to Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand of the marketplace, to some degree) is worth hearing, giving the Ferengi a sort of mythological basis for their materialism, and it’s also something that further explains how their culture can be the way it is—as treacherous as the River is, it is there for everyone to navigate, and Ferengi who believe in it believe that there is some way for the perpetual trading of goods and services can eventually meet everyone’s needs. As we see in this episode, there is some validity to it as a system. All that said, the plot is a little too much like the B-plot in “Progress,” except sadly with Jake having been dropped out of the plot (as he is dropped from nearly every story this year) and takes up more running time than is really necessary for what is basically a fluff piece in an episode with a tragic main plot.

    I think this earns a mild 3.5 stars from me.

    "By Grabthar's Hammer..."

    But in all seriousnes, the ending had two major plot holes I'm not surprised the characters themselves missed. First, either the Jem'Hadar weren't jamming communications this time, and the good Weyoun could've tried to contact them; or they were simply ignoring all communications from the runabout, which is never stated on-screen. Second, "evil" Weyoun had no way of checking to see if his rogue clone had actually killed himself; he simply assumed based on what he saw. If that's the case, the protagonist Weyoun certainly could've faked it. The Vorta are described as master manipulators, after all.

    Oh well, it was still a good episode overall, despite the rushed ending. Still would've liked to see a Jem'Hadar or Vorta regular as a protagonist. I've read the relaunch novels, but to be frank, the Iliana Ghemor bit turned me off from the series. Besides, Taran'atar didn't seem as interesting and three dimensional as Goran'Agar or Weyoun.

    I think both portions of the show give an interesting outllokon life and we go through it.

    1) Some people have faith, religious or in humanity in general, or in individuals while some do not.

    2) Some people are trecherous to benefit themselves, others, their society, or their group.

    3) The great river is a link to all people. People navigate it using faith or treachery and often times their viewpoint and actions change as their course in the river changes. In my estimation the river is not just goods/resources but this interaction of people.

    Each person/group being one little part in the river. The river of life.

    I'm a little confused as to how Odo is feeling cold, and made it sound like he needed oxygen, on the runabout (he even talked about freezing to death, and Weyhoun-6 is worried about him dying). Considering that Laas (DS9: Chimera) was able to fly through space (without a ship being anywhere near him!) oxygen and cold shouldn't to be an issue to a changeling..

    I love ST, but these kinds of inconsistencies seem completely unnecessary. Why couldn't just Weyhoun-6 be the one having the issue? Removes some of the immersive feeling imho.

    On the one hand, I always like episodes where Ferengi are treated respectfully as a culture that has a great deal to offer. On the other hand, I agree with Zzybaloobah's comments -- the whole barter plot makes no sense in the context of the federation.

    Yes, it worked on MASH because that was talking about a 1950's bureaucracy. But this is the federation in the middle of a war. If a ship has extra equipment and another ship needs it, I find it impossible to believe the first ship wouldn't just hand it over. If a supply sergeant is refusing to cooperate, then you go up the chain of command.

    I almost cried at the death scene - 4 star episode- after it's over you want to instantly re-watch it.

    If there was one change I could make to this episode it's two simple pieces of dialogue.

    After Weyoun-6 asks if he has failed Odo I wish Odo would have said something like this:

    "If one day I am the last, I wouldn't want anybody else by my side"

    To which Weyoun-6 would have shed a tear of joy and surprise and said with his last smiling words

    "My lord and my god"

    With Odo now holding the dead Weyoun-6 in his arms and a look of loss on his face.

    But that's just my opinion.

    { with the first really good Odo-oriented show in quite some time. }

    Seriously. He was by far my favorite character until the writers screwed him over twice in season 6. Good to see some of the old Odo back - although he's still not the amazing anti-snark force he used to be.

    { The complication is that Weyoun-7 does not want Odo killed. He remains every bit as respectful to Odo as does Weyoun-6. This makes the strategic moments more interesting, as Damar and Weyoun-7 resort to some dangerous rationalization to write Odo off as "not a Founder," all while knowing they would be very dead if the Founders ever learned they allowed Odo to be killed. }

    It's amazing how they worry about what would happend if the Jem'Hadar found out Odo was there - since the JH are programmed to not attack a Founder - but nobody ever brings up sending Cardassian ships. Maybe there aren't any near enough, but it's such a blatantly obvious thing to mention, it made no sense that it wasn't mentioned "What about Cardassians?" *presses buttons* "Damn, none of them are close enough."

    It was WAY too predictable that Weyoun-6 would be dead by the end of the episode, but the death scene was still very moving. Although I did wonder, what if he would have just pressed his hand onto his face and then made a show of pain and fallen on the floor, tricking them into thinking he had committed suicide when he hadn't?

    Odo stories are introspective and deeply plotted.

    I think this is among his best and DS9's best as well, dealing with War, Conscientious Objectors, and Faith. Religion was the subtext, but as a theologian once said, there's no war without faith, because there would be no reason to fight. (I think it was Cardinal Richelieu, not sure if I got his quote right).

    It also opens up a long term plot issue of the Founder's death due to a virus, which is spread in an odd nod to HIV/AIDS (you can interpret it in many different ways, but a changeling's link is pseudo-sexual.)

    Great ep!

    The only thing I have to add is how much I enjoyed the first scene - being in a relationship with a changeling seems to offer so many intriguing possibilities, I wouldn't have minded seeing more of that ;)

    I thought about that as well

    But odo is still an amateur changling and perhaps could not do what Laas did
    As far as the older comment about odo’s delayed symptoms, remember he became human and was reinfected by the founder during season six so the timing fits nicely

    Pretty good episode here with plenty of deep meaning and taking the core story forward with another twist. The Weyoun/Odo dialog really works even if the Vorta's worship of the Changeling gets to be a bit much.

    Also gotta love the scenes with Weyoun and Damar -- clearly something is simmering beneath the surface here even though the 2 weren't really butting heads here. Damar loves his Kanar!

    What I appreciated was getting the backstory on how the Vorta became associated with the Founders - Weyoun 6 told a good little tale, leading to the revelation that the Founders are dying. This is where Odo's character shined as you could see the pain in his face. The ending scene with Kira and Odo is also good as Odo says he can only lose no matter which side wins the war -- good line there.

    The B-plot of Nog/O'Brien trying to get gravity stabilizers -- a bit tiresome with all the horse-trading, but moderately entertaining. Kind of like an abbreviated and worse version of "In the Cards". No idea how Nog pulls off the trade -- chalk it up to the 1 thing Ferengi are good at -- but that all works out in the end despite it turning into a shitshow mid-episode.

    3 stars for "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" -- the faith aspect with Weyoun dying and getting Odo's blessing was moving -- well-portrayed; and Kira being Bajoran relates to this. Some important groundwork laid for the continuation of the Dominion War arc; an intriguing character episode for Odo.

    "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" is an Odo episode on the level of "The Begotten", but instead of being dragged down by the B-plot, it's enhanced by it. The A-plot is superb, deeply moving and tragic at the same time, while Nog and the chief's plot is played for laughs, and yet, they both explore the faiths of different cultures. And for once, an episode about faith doesn't include Bajor, and it's awesome. 4 stars.

    The running gag. At first I found it annoying, but in time I've come to find it amusing.

    "It will take a staff of 10 persons working around the clock for 10 days to complete."
    "You've got 20 minutes."

    4 Stars.

    I didn't find most of this plausible. As others pointed out, there were some gaps in logic.
    Nog has been too obnoxious for far too long to redeem himself for me. I know he has a big episode coming up but I don't recall any emotional resonance. I agree that portraying the Ferengi in a better light would have been nice; in TNG they began and stayed synonymous with thieves - I find it a crass racism that, I guess, is more real than your average show.

    The chase and the hiding in the Kuiper belt ice-asteroids was a compelling, fresh twist. Plot holes are plot holes. Sisko is a jerk simply because they needed some sort of antagonistic force driving the Nog/O'Brien story, which for me dominates the episode because Nog's full, unknown, story is so tantalizing. I would love to read a novel telling Nog's entire adventure in all this.

    Several guesses that can answer some ‘plot holes,. (Believe it or not this is only my first time thru ds9).

    Weyoun 7 is defective too.
    There is something about alpha quadrant ‘soil’ that makes defective Jem and Vorta. And it is affecting the Founders too. Odo is not affected because he was raised here.

    (No need to point out to me the actual plot, will be finishing the season over a month)

    I enjoyed it. Combs is great, as always. I liked the "hiding in the ice" business.

    There were definitely suspension of disbelief moments (I found it hard to believe Weyoun 7 would so easily agree to kill Odo, e.g. and that they could be certain Odo wasn't infected, and other things), but they weren't too bad.

    I thought the episode was about uniqueness, what makes us what we are. How one version of Weyoun is different from another, how one desk is different from another, how one year's version of blood wine is different from another . . . better, worse, the way value is assigned.

    Finally moved the arc forward a bit, too, yay!!

    Engaging and above average.


    Good points, I'd never thought of uniqueness in this episode but since scarcity is part of the Nog story, it's definitely a big issue.

    Of course, Weyoun 7 insists there's a defect, but do we really take him at his word? Come to think of it, we should ask if Weyoun 6 and 7 were really different. That Vorta are capable of imprinting on different Founders seems to suggest that the Vorta are not only genetically programmed to be loyal to the Founders, but programmed to be loyal to the Founders who best served the Dominon's interest. In a sense, Odo is actually a more suitable leader for the Founders since he's found a peaceful way to coexist in the Alpha Quadrant and become an influential figure without needless harm to any Vorta or Jem'Hadar.

    People have been giving shout-outs to great Nog episodes due to the actor’s untimely passing. Well, here’s a favorite of mine.

    Although the great material continuum strikes me as a bit of a retcon, it’s a good retcon, and really shows off what a capable Ferengi can do for Starfleet.

    Ny favorite Nog line of all time was from this episode:
    The river provides.

    Rest in peace, Aron Einsenberg.

    I think it actually was "The river will provide."
    Folowing canon as an end unto itself has precisely zero normative value. I can't fathom the mindset which offers as a virtue (the only virtue), "Well, this movie was terrible but at least it followed canon." Or worse! "This movie was grear because it followed canon (and for no other reason)."

    One person's "You must follow canon" is another person's "attempt at censorship."

    An interesting chance to explore a bit more of Weyoun’s character, and that of the Vorta in general. And for the fact that it throws a new element into the season-7 melting pot: the Founders are all dying! Except for Odo...

    This episode also gets some bonus points for the scene where Weyoun 7 looks meaningfully over at Damar when discussing how Weyoun 5 died in an “accidental” transporter accident!

    In fact, this is generally a good episode; it’s fascinating to see how the two Weyoun clones are both equally committed to the Founders, but in different ways. It’s a shame that there’s not much exploration of why this difference emerged, other than to hand-wave some justification around the cloning process.

    If I was guessing, Weyoun 6 presumably sees conciliation with the Alpha quadrant as being a way to get help for the Founders (or at least protect Odo, as he’s the only known uninfected Founder), while Weyoun 7 wants to bring the war to an end quickly to allow the founders to focus all their resources on finding a cure…

    With that said, there’s still some elements which bug me. The key one being the fact that the Federation is still using runabouts with a maximum speed of warp 5 (approx. 213c) to travel through areas filled with Jem Hadar ships capable of travelling at warp 7 (approx. 656c).

    Why? Just why would you travel through space in a ship three times slower than your enemy’s? Talk about being fish in a barrel; surely at this point in the war, Star Fleet should have banned all use of runabouts in contested space and introduced some new ships - or at least bolted another warp nacelle onto their existing ships.

    Pimp my runabout, anyone?

    Sadly, the B-plot felt like little more than a recap of the episode when Jake and Nog were horse trading for a baseball card. Which in turn wasn’t that different to the horse trading Jake and Nog did in Progress when they found themselves stuck with a cargo of stem bolts...

    This episode has a little bit of everything, except Ezri - who we've had too much of at this point. It's really nice when forty minutes of filming feels like a nice long tale, and they succeeded in doing that here.

    I was really glad to have a decent Odo episode - he's off screen far too much in the later seasons, and this was one hell of a good episode for Odo. It was great to see him drop his guard and soften a little. He's usually such a brick wall. Some of Auberjonois' best scenes here, I believe.

    Aron Einsenberg proves what an effortlessly great actor he is, and I enjoy how Nog uses his Ferengi roots in service to his Starfleet duty. For a change, O'Brien's headaches aren't a personal hell. And Combs does wonders here as an actor, cementing his place forever in Trek fandom and SF drama. Every supporting character feels important by this point: Garak, Martok, Nog, Weyoun, and Damar.

    Overall great, pivotal episode to service the final narrative of the series.

    Jeffrey Combs is truly magnificent, and is such a perfect example of how the "guest" actors really made DS9 such a great show. His soft-spoken portrayal of Weyoun is so effective, and he only needs to make a slight adjustment to contrast between good Weyoun and evil Weyoun. His interactions with Casey Biggs as the always excellent Damar were wonderful. Biggs is quietly hilarious in his comments about Weyoun 5, whom we know he basically had killed.

    I found it striking that I was able to sympathize with the good Weyoun in a matter of minutes (who is a "new" character for all intents and purposes), but still cannot make a connection with Ezri, Rom, and Leeta after seeing them countless times. It pains me to see how the DS9 writers wasted so much airtime on Ferengi episodes, Lwaxani Troi, and ineffective main cast members when they could have devoted more time to Weyoun, Damar, Garak, Dukat, etc.

    Great episode , not much to say , it does what it's supposed to do , Nog episode are always great .

    On a strange note , the title seems like something I hear in a Pink Floyd song , '' The Endless River'' ?

    The A plot is excellent but the B plot is really unlike Trek. Sisko bullying one of his staff is a ruinous to the show. Kira also acts harsh with the Chief. TBH even the chief is overly angry when talking to Nog in the beginning. This is not how you expect good humans today to behave.

    DS9 really likes to spoil the morals of its character even when there are no shades of grey. The only people who acted well were Nog and Worf.

    This show could have been much better without the super flawed characters for the sake of plot.

    I too found it a bit obstinate of Sisko to demand the repair be done in a certain timeframe, particularly when O'Brien is telling him that they simply can't get the part any faster. What is he supposed to do? And then to ice it, after he gets the part, which he doesn't get very much credit for, Sisko doesn't even let him have the eight hours he needs to install it. I guess if O'Brien keeps giving in to the demands and fulfilling them, maybe Sisko has experience to tell him that his hardass demands work. But yeah, I thought it was overly demanding for plot's sake.

    The only other real gripe I had about the way the B-story susses out is that Martok's blood wine is evidently needed by Nog for a trade in order to ultimately get the stabiliser... but within a day (before Martok's threatened deadline expires), Nog has replaced the blood wine with... blood wine... implying it came from his cousin the wine and spirits dealer.

    The only way this possibly makes sense is if 1) Nog had to trade Martok's wine because his cousin couldn't get Nog the wine soon enough to trade for the stabiliser (or whatever led up to the stabiliser) or 2) Nog couldn't get whatever he needed to give to his cousin to buy the wine by the previous day.

    Neither of these is a terribly satisfying explanation to me without some sort of line explaining the apparent inconsistency of how Nog needed to give away 16 case of blood wine in order to ultimately get 16 cases of better blood wine, plus the stabiliser.

    It's one of the strking things about DS9 -- the second tier characters: Weyoun (Combs), Garak (Robinson), Dukat (Alaimo) (I'm sure there are more) are all top notch. Put an episode in the hands of Combs & Auberjonois with a compelling story and the result will be a top tier show. This is an excellent episode. The shot of Weyoun asking for Odo's blessing as he dies is worth other entire episodes.

    As a Trek fan with religious beliefs, I find it intriguing that Trek writers keep showing us that practically every species except Earth's humans have some kind of spiritual belief system.

    @Trish: Yes, though an atheist, I remarked on this many a time myself. Of course, the Federation is an uber-"enlightened," ultra-"progressive" collectivist utopia, where there is no "greed," no divisions among men of any kind, no superstititions, etc. Everyone is rational, tolerant, law-abiding, always ready for a group hug and prepared to give you a foot rub 🙄 Yet, it seems (old) white men are still running the show, there are no gays or trans-anythings, everyone is clean-shaven and squared away, and I don't recall even seeing a tatt on anyone.

    Strikingly, not a single person, even an extra, is ever shown or seen wearing a kipah or a hijab, rocking a kirpan at the waist or a crucifix around the neck, organizing a christening or a bar mitzwa for their kids, or reading the Bhagawadgeeta or quoting from the Book of Mormon. Seems legit.

    The one, as glaring as it is laughable, exception is Acoushla Moya or whatever his name is in Voyager: an Indian with all kinds of "native" tattoos, and a "dreamcatcher" prominently displayed in most every episode, who regularly goes on some mind-trip quests with buffaloes and whatnot.

    Contrast that with pretty much every other species, even more advanced ones like the Vulcans. They all have at the very least some metaphysical (not to say "spiritual") beliefs, traditions, and rites.

    I mean, I get it: Ol' Gene and his Star Trek universe co-creators and successors would've either had to come right out and say that progress means a total elimination of religion OR they would've had to show religion coexisting with technological and societal "progress." Either choice would have exposed them to criticism and hostility. So, they just erased any human religious dimension from consideration altogether. The result is the absurdity you highlight.

    One of the things I loved about Babylon 5 was its willingness to dip its toes into things like (human) religion in the future, crime and punishment and yes, there is even a urinal scene. Star Trek always had a blind spot there, Gene's vision and all. Not saying religion should be quite as it is today, but there should be... something rather than nothing.

    Babylon 5 was a fine show. I still remember G'Kar's speech to Londo after the Narn got enslaved by the Centauris. Very profound and moving; more than a decade after I first saw it, it still gives me the chills.

    Fantastic episode. I really can't fault it--either the A- or the B-story--and it's a full four stars for my money.

    Shouldn't Odo have sent a transmission to DS9 as soon as he beamed up with Weyoun to the Runabout, telling them his situation and that he would likely have Dominion ships on his tail? Given how valuable Weyoun would have been to the Federation, they probably would have immediately sent the Defiant to rendezvous with them.

    @Jslvester I wholeheartedly agree. The actors you mentioned are certainly successful “working actors”, but this iteration of Trek allowed them to move beyond the typical character roles they’d normally been typecast in. Alaimo, Robinson, Shimerman, Eisenberg, etc. are not the “handsome leading man” types, but being covered in alien make-up, that’s not necessary, so they really get to show us their acting chops.

    I had just finished watching the ep “Waltz” and the next day saw Mark Alaimo in a bit part in one of the Naked Gun movies, playing a typical two-bit thug that had no more than a couple minutes screen time. What a contrast! Hats off to the showrunners of DS9 for giving these actors some of the finest moments in their on-screen careers.

    Odo could stop the attacks or even the war at the Alpha Quadrant side by just saying so, as a God.

    When I heard that Aron Eisenberg had died, like many others, I was devastated... mainly because I never got the chance to meet him and tell him how much I loved Nog and how much the characters growth over the course of the series made me love DS9. But on the day I heard, I watched this episode, because it just shows Nog in such a joyful light. I agree with mentions above that in my mind the A plot is the Nog/Obrien Plot, whilst the Ode/Weyoun part is obviously integral to the Series in general, for me it's secondary. The seen with O'Brien and Nog in the replimat where Nog explains the Great River... just wonderful.

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