It’s nice to have all the extra screen space around the edges (and widescreen), but it’d be better if they left it at the original crop as it was intended to be seen. The extra detail is fantastic though.
Second Skin - A Bajoran woman contacts Kira wanting to talk about her time in a Cardassian prison camp, but Kira was never there. Odo wonders if Kira's memory was altered because prison records show she was there. Another Bajoran who was there remembers seeing Kira in the prison too. Kira heads to Bajor but never shows up. Kira wakes up on Cardassia and finds that she's been surgically altered to look like a Cardassian. A Cardassian (Entek) explains to her that she's an long term infiltration operative of the Obsidian Order who's had her memories altered to believe she's Bajoran. Her name is Iliana and she's been taken to her childhood home. She meets her Cardassian "father" Legate Ghemor. Garak goes to Bashir with very important news about Kira. Kira naturally doesn't trust Ghemor even though he's nice to her and makes her Bajoran food. Garak has heard from a friend that Kira is being held by the Order but says there's no way to rescue her. Sisko tells him that the Bajoran government wants Garak kicked off the station (racists) to force him into helping.
We find out Ghemor genuinely believes Kira is his daughter as he asks Entek why her memory hasn't come back. Entek questions her about DS9 but she won't tell him anything. He shows her the dead body of the REAL Kira Nerys. Kira nearly breaks out but Ghemor stops her. He says he won't let the Order hurt her but wants her to watch the recording she made before going undercover. She does so. The Defiant enters Cardassian space, disguised as some alien ship. Two Cardassian warships arrive to inspect them but Garak uses a secret code to get rid of them in a great moment of "Garak doing stuff." Just something he overheard while hemming trousers. Kira begins to believe she really is Iliana and smashes a mirror as everyone does when conflicted about their identity. Ghemor decides he has to get her off Cardassia to protect her from Entek. Ghemor introduces her to a friend who believes the Obsidian Order and the Central Command have too much control over their lives and she realises Ghemor is a dissident. She concludes that this isn't about her at all but that the Order suspect Ghemor is a dissident. They kidnapped her so that he would finally act against the Order, believing his daughter to be in trouble. Entek shows up and kills Ghemor's friend but Sisko, Garak and Odo arrive. Entek and Garak are old friends (OR POSSIBLY MORE.) Entek warns that the Order will want Garak dead now and Garak has to vapourise him when he pulls a phaser. Ghemor is taken back to DS9 where of course it's proven that Kira really is Bajoran and it was all a scam. They part on good terms but he warns her not to trust Garak.
Cardassian politics are very interesting! I like that Kira is pretty incidental to the plot and no one's really trying to trick her into thinking she's a Cardassian long term. Although we do get good stuff with her struggling with her new identity. Garak is great as usual and all around it's a very strong episode.
The Abandoned - Jake is dating a Dabo girl and Ben has invited her over for dinner. An old friend of Quark's sells him some salvage from the Gamma Quadrant and he finds a baby amongst it. Bashir doesn't know what species the baby is. There's a cute bit of Sisko holding the baby. He wishes Jake was still a baby and not a stroppy teen. The baby has now grown to look about 8 or 9 years old, despite being only two weeks old. And he can talk. O'Brien examines the wreckage Quark bought but can't find anything, but does talk to Sisko who reveals he doesn't want his sixteen year old son dating a hot twenty year old Dabo girl. Odo's moved out of his bucket now and into quarters and Kira brings him a plant as an excuse to see them. He proudly tells Kira how he experiments with different shapes all over his room. He puts the plant she gave him in his old bucket. It's a good scene. The boy has now grown to teenage size and is clearly a Jem'Hadar. He tries to escape but stops when he recognises Odo as a Changeling. Starfleet want their "specialists" to study the boy but that reminds Odo of how he grew up in a lab. Bashir's on Odo's side but Kira wants the boy gone. Sisko gives Odo a chance to talk the boy out of being evil.
Bashir finds that the boy was born addicted to a certain enzyme and he can't replicate it. The boy just wants to fight everyone (give him a name please, episode.) Marta (the Dabo girl) tells Sisko that her family disowned her because they don't approve of her career and he feels bad for judging her too. We find out that Jake writes poetry. Ben realises his son is growing up. O'Brien finds that drug the boy's addicted to in the wreckage and Odo suspects the Founders use it to control the Jem'Hadar. The boy moves in with Odo. He tells Odo that he's better than humanoids because he's a Changeling but Odo says he's just different. The boy also thinks he's inferior to Odo but superior to everyone else. Odo, possibly stupidly, shows the boy footage of the grown up Jem'Hadar attacking the Defiant but tells him he doesn't have to be like that. He lets the boy kill stuff on the Holosuite but Kira isn't happy. She thinks the boy will always be a killer and Odo's being too soft. Sisko tells Odo that Starfleet's coming to get the boy and he couldn't talk them out of it. The boy was listening in, cloaked, and takes Odo with him on an escape attempt. Odo offers to run off with him but the boy just wants to go back home and kill things. Sisko lets Odo take the boy away so that he doesn't kill anyone. Odo tells Kira she was right.
Yeah, it's kind of a weird episode. It's pretty good, particularly the Odo/Kira scene, and I like Odo being a caring kind of father to the boy. But the Jem'Hadar doesn't get any personality at all except "I want to kill people!" Compare it to 'I, Borg' where we learn that Borg are people too. The opposite seems to be the case here, as if the point of the episode is just to say "It's okay to kill the Jem'Hadar! They're just like animals!" It's pretty anti Star Trek. But yeah I still enjoyed watching it? And the Sisko subplot was good too.
Civil Defense - O'Brien and Jake are trying to delete old files from the ore processing unit, but trip a Cardassian security routine. A recording of Gul Dukat warns revolting workers to stand down. The Siskos and O'Brien are trapped in ore processing and can't be beamed out because the station will only accept Cardassian security codes. Jake crawls up the ore processing tube to get them out because the Dukat recording is about to release poisoned gas. They escape to another processing level just in time but this activates the security measures station wide. Kira, Dax and Bashir are trapped in Ops and Odo and Quark are trapped in Odo's office. They all try to break out and it's not terribly interesting until Garak gets to Ops. He can move around the station but his security code can't cut down the poisoned gas that's going to kill everyone on the station. He does tell Kira to destroy Life Support to shut down the gas, and she does so, but that means everyone will still die in twelve hours when they run out of oxygen Oh and the self destruct comes on too because everyone suffocating wasn't enough of a ticking clock.
Garak tries to fool the computer into thinking he's Dukat but the replicator in Ops creates an automatic weapon that vapourises a redshirt. The real Dukat then beams in to Ops as he picked up the recording of himself while he was flying about nearby. He could shut down the self destruct but he says he has some demands to be met first and laughs evily. We get Garak and Dukat talking to each other for the first time(!) and Garak brings up that Dukat's father was a traitor. Dukat tells Kira he'll help her out if she allows there to be a garrison of Cardassian troops placed permanently on the station. Obviously she doesn't go for it. Dukat tries to leave the station to give her time to think, but a recording of a higher ranked Cardassian appears and tells him off for trying to abandon his post, disabling his codes and trapping him there with everyone else. This is by far the best part of the episode. O'Brien and the Siskos finally blow their way out of Ore Processing. Garak accuses Dukat of trying to impress Kira with hs posturing in the second best part of the episode. Dukat comes up with a way to overload the powergrid. O'Brien and the Sisko have to get somewhere to do something but there's fire and stuff in the way. Jake saves O'Brien's life. Sisko manages to do whatever he was doing and everything is fine again.
It's a hugely disappointing episode. I was really excited about Dukat(!) and Garak(!!) interacting for the first time, and while they do get a couple of good lines there's really not much substance to their interactions. The rest is just boring, like TNG's 'Disaster' but with less humour. The first half especially I didn't really care what was happening and while it does pick up when Dukat arrives even he feels a bit out of character (the evil laughing?) Then there's more crawling around the Jefferies tubes from Sisko to save the day. There's also a Quark/Odo C-plot that I didn't bother mentioning because literally nothing happens.
Meridian - Odo reveals to Kira that he tried to eat once but it was very messy. This isn't important but it's fun! Jeffrey Combs makes his first appearance (fun fact: he auditioned for Riker in TNG and Jonathan Frakes cast him in this episode because he remembered him, so we have Frakes to thank for Combs in Star Trek) as Tiron, a friend of Quark's who has the hots for Kira. She pretends Odo is her lover to get rid of him. Exploring the GQ, the Defiant comes across a planet that appears from nowhere. The Defiant crew beam down to have "first meal" with the head of the planet and like a dozen other people who I guess make up the whole population. The planet is from another dimension where the people live as non-corporeal beings and they only age when they're in their solid form in our dimension. A guy (Deral) feeds Dax some fruit. Tiron wnats Quark to make a hologram of Kira for him to have sex with. Quark will have to scan her because I guess his holosuite isn't powerful enough just to create a real person like the Enterprise's Holodeck can? Deral explains to Dax that the planet will cease to exist soon because the dimensional shifts are unstable. Quark comes up with a fake contest to get Kira on the holosuite but it doesn't work (does anyone care about this subplot?) Deral and Dax continue to flirt. They go on a walk and climb a tree and have sex and I guess fall in love. Star Trek always does these super rushed love stories and they're rarely convincing.
Jadzia comes up with a way to save the planet. Quark is caught trying to take pervy holophotos of Kira. Deral wants to leave Meridian to be with Dax (as they're totally in love!) because the planet's about to leave for the other dimension for sixty years. Quark hacks Kira's personnel file. Dax realises that Deral doesn't want to leave his people. There's so few of them that they can't afford to lose another (they haven't been able to have children because their stays in the physical realm were getting shorter and shorter.) Jadzia wants to stay with him and has asked Julian if he can adjust her body so she can enter the non-corporeal realm. She reqests a sixty year leave of absence. Sisko thinks this is all kind of nuts and he's right. But she says she knows what real love is now and has to stay (what does this mean for the Dax symbiont? Fuck knows!) Tiron finds that his sexy Kira hologram has Quark's head (the way they do this looks really unconvincing, like Shimmerman was just lying behind a sexy woman actress and stuck his head over her shoulder) and that's it, that's the payoff to that subplot. Everyone says a sad goodbye to Dax and she beams down for her new life but something goes wrong and Dax can't go through to the energy realm. She says she needs some time...just sixty years or so...
It's a really bad episode. The Dax/Deral relationship is completely rushed because the episode needs them to be totally in love pretty fast so that we can believe Dax is willing to give uper her physical life for him. It just isn't believable. The acting isn't even bad or anything, it's just that the story's too stupid. The subplot is pretty bad too. I don't like it.
Defiant - Kira is stressed out at work so Bashir orders her to take a day off. She isn't enjoying it until WILLIAM RIKER(!!!) shows up and hits on her. Dax makes fun of her for obviously wanting to cheat on Bariel with Riker. Kira takes Riker on a visit to the Defiant. The run into O'Brien and Riker says "I have nothing to say to you O'Brien, I think you know why" and he leaves. O'Brien looks confused (not as confused as millions of viewers!) Kira releases the security lockouts on the Defiant and Riker stuns her. He beams two Maquis (you can tell by their clothes) onboard and pretends there's going to be a warp core breach so Sisko will release the docking clamps. He warps away then rips his FAKE SIDEBURNS off! He's actually Tom Riker! Sisko and Odo give the exposition about Tom's creation to Dukat, who doesn't care much until they tell him Tom's in the Maquis and they have the Defiant. Once again Sisko and Dukat must work together to prevent a war. Sisko knows how to stop the Defiant since he helped build it and goes to Cardassia with Dukat. Tom apologises to Kira but doesn't explain why he couldn't just shove her back onto the station before stealing the ship. Dukat enjoys showing off to Sisko in his command centre until the observer from the Obsidian Order (Korinas) arrives. She already knows the Defiant has a cloaking device, of course (Sisko explains that their agreement with the Romulans said they could only use it in the GQ, so I guess that kind of explains why T'Rul isn't around anymore.) Sisko impresses Korinas by noticing Riker pulling a trick that fools Dukat. The Defiant is headed into the heart of Cardassian space.
Tom Riker says "tough little ship" like the better Riker will one day say. Kira sabotages the cloak but Tom takes them into a nebula. She questions why Tom is doing any of this as he doesn't live in the DMZ and his actions will result in more deaths. We get the "Dukat has depth!" scene like in 'The Maquis' as he tells Sisko he was supposed to take his son to a zoo today or something. Tom tells Kira that regengade Cardassians are building an invasion fleet and he's going to stop them. Kira tells him he's not very good at being a terrorist as he isn't using the Defiant to kill every Cardassian he can. Dukat wants to send a ship to the sector where the renegade fleet is being built (as Sisko has found something there) but Korinas says that any ship sent to that sector will be destroyed by the Obsidian Order. A Cardassian warship chases the cloaked Defiant. More ships show up from the forbidden sector and Dukat realises that the Obsidian Order have ships even though they're not supposed to. Kira tells Tom that this is really about Tom's jealousy of Will Riker and he's looking for a way to set himself apart. Sisko tries to make a deal with Dukat to hand over the Maquis and the Defiant to the Federation in exchange for the sensor logs Tom's taken of the forbidden sector. He agrees but won't hand over Tom Riker. The Defiant manages to disable the Cardassian warships which attack them. Dukat and Sisko contact Tom with their deal, guaranteeing him that he won't be executed. Kira enoucages him to take it as he'll never reach the forbidden sector. Tom agrees, to save the lives of his crew. There's a stand off between the Obsidian Order ships and Dukat's ship but the OO ships fly away. Kira promises to get him out of prison (lol) and he kisses her.
Riker! TOM Riker! It's a very good episode. I like how Tom doesn't turn into a totally unreasonable terrorist blowing everyone up and continues to behave like a Starfleet officer. He and Kira make a good pairing. Sisko and Dukat teaming up is always good, even if it feels a bit too similar to 'The Maquis.' Of course we'll never see or hear about Tom Riker again and that's kind of a shame and kind of makes the episode feel a bit irrelevant in the end?
Fascination - Marta has gone to a science avademy and broke up with Jake just before the Bajoran Gratitude Festival. Keiko is coming to visit and Bashir advises O'Brien to convince her to stay. But he's happy with her gone I guess! Odo is sad to hear that Bariel will be attending the Festival with Kira. Molly throws up on O'Brien because Lwaxana Troi give her too much candy. Lwaxana is here to see Odo because she's heard about the Founders and probably wants to have sex with him. Bariel tells Kira that Winn is making a good Kai so far. Miles and Keiko have an argument, like always. Kira hosts the festival on the Promenade. Everyone gets weird headaches. Jake tells Kira he's got the hots for an older woman: her. He tells her he loves her. Dude. Bariel gets creepy with Jadzia. There's a long tracking shot of festival stuff going on on the Promenade. Keiko tells Miles she has to stay on Bajor for another seven months and they argue again. She's been asking a MALE FRIEND for marital advice and Miles isn't happy. Why don't they just get a space divorce?
Quark tells O'Brien he should have forced Keiko to stay with him and not let her get a job and wear clothes. Bariel isn't interested in sexing Kira again as he wants to find Jadzia. But Jadzia is making a move on Sisko, who isn't into it. He has Julian scan her brain but he find she's normal and Dax says it was all a joke. Miles apologises to Keiko. He's ready to move to Bajor with her to save their marriage. Bashir and Kira try to find out why everyone's acting weird but then start kissing each other and I guess Siddig and Nana were really into it because they had a baby a couple of years later. Jadzia starts stroking Sisko while nerdy Bariel tries to ask her out. Keiko comes to the party in her red dress and their marriage is fine again. Dax beats up Bariel after he punches Sisko (it's the best part of the episode, probably.) Lwaxana gets a headache then Quark does too (but Ferengi have four lobed brains!) then makes a move on Keiko and it's finally clear what's going on here. Lwaxana has some stupid telephatic virus that makes her sexy feelings for Odo pass on to everyone around her, but it only effects people with a pre-existing latent attraction. Well that's a conveniently specific virus. O'Brien didn't actually have the virus though (even though we saw him holding his head in the exact same way as everyone else earlier) and he really does love Keiko that much. But he's fine with her leaving and getting to hang out with Julian again.
It's not a good episode. There's just not enough plot to fill 45 minutes. There's some funny parts (Bariel getting beat up) but most of it's just characters randomly kissing and long shots of the festival. The O'Brien plot goes almost too far with their arguing, to the point where it's like the episode is telling you they should probably just split up. And Lwaxana Troi barely does anything the whole episode, which is kind of weird? Anyway it's better than 'Merdian' but not worth actually watching (even though I just did.)
Past Tense: Part 1 - The Defiant is visiting Earth for a meeting with Starfleet about the Dominion. Quark makes a call just to get him in the episode (the Nagus wants his nephew out of an Earth jail.) Sisko, Dax and Bashir beam down but something weird happens during the transport. They find themselves lying in the streets of San Fransisco in 2024. Sisko and Bashir are sent to a "Sanctuary District" by cops. Dax is found by a rich man who takes her to his office. (It's surely intentional that the two brown-skinned characters are assumed to be drugged-up homleless people whereas the beautiful white woman is assumed to be wealthy and to have been mugged, but it's never commented on in the episode. But it's there!) Sisko explains early 21st century history to Julian, every city in the United States has a Sanctuary District where people without jobs or places to live are locked up. The guy who found Dax (Brynner) is some kind of famous internt mogul. The computers have touch screens! Maybe we'll have them in six years. Back in the 24th century O'Brien gives the technobabble explanation to Kira about how the others were sent back in time. Bashir and Sisko provide social commentary on how some of the people in the Sanctuary District are mentally ill and need treatment rather than improsinment. Sisko notices the date and realises the Bell Riots will start soon and hundreds of people will be killed. Of course they can't interfere. Sisko also knows about Gabriel Bell who will be killed during the riots after saving some hostages, leading to major social refroms across America. Sisko and Bashir are processed and given ration cards but aren't allowed to leave the SD.
They have a hard time finding somewhere to stay as the SD is overcrowded. There's more good Star Trek style social commentary on caring for the mentally ill. They run into a gang of street toughs wearing hats. They end up sleeping on the street. They trade their uniforms to get access to the roof of a bulding. Bashir helps a kid who got beat up. Jadzia (in rich person 2024 get-up...which is really hot?) ends up at a fancy party with Brynner's rich friends and she finally learns that her friends are probably in a SD. The hat gang try to mug Sisko and Bashir but a resident saves them. He's fatally stabbed by Hat Gang Leader. Sisko takes his ID and finds that he was Gabriel Bell. The hostages Bell saved will die and the future will be changed. In the future, O'Brien can't contact Starfleet anymore (surely the timeline change should have happened as soon as Sisko went back in time?) Starlfeet is completely gone and only a Romulan signal can be picked up. Luckily the Defiant was trapped in a "subspace bubble" and wasn't effected by the changes (isn't that always the way!) The beaten up boy's father is planning and rally and Sisko and Bashir help him as they have to try to make events play out as they would if Bell wasn't dead. The riots begin at the processing centre and Sisko and Bashir save a guard. Hat Guy (he's a dick!) is holding the staff hostage. Sisko and Bashir join him and Sisko introduces himself as Bell...Gabriel Bell.
It's DS9's first time travel story and it's a great first part. Setting it in the near future, rather than in say the 19th century like TNG's rather weak 'Time's Arrow' is a stroke of genius, allowing them to do full on Star Trek social commentary. Maybe some will find it too preachy or whatever but this is what Star Trek's all about. Avery Brooks gives his best performance yet as you can tell he's engaged with the material like never before. The only weakness is the usual technobabble contrivances (which all goes to poor Colm Meaney) but it's hard to do time travel stories without some of that.
Past Tense: Part 2 - The siege at the processing centre goes on, with Sisko and Bashir trying to keep Hat Guy from killing anyone. The gruff security guard from part 1 (Dick Miller, who I once mistook for Robert Loggia to my eternal shame) shows up with a gun but Sisko tackles him before anyone gets hurt. Dax watches news of the riot on Brynner's internet and decides she has to get into the SD. O'Brien narrows down to ten possible time periods where the away team could have arrived and he and Kira beam back to all of the to each of them to check. Sisko uses his friend (Webb) from part 1 to get more reliable residents to come to the processing centre to help. Hat Guy just wants money and a helicopter but Sisko wants to make a list of demands to improve conditions. He has Webb speak on "the net" using some kind of "netcam" (2024 is wild!) Dick Miller riles up Hat Guy and he nearly ruins the hostage negotiations. Sisko and Webb calm things down. The woman who works at the processing centre tells Bashir stories about working in the SD. Hat Guy is ready to kill Dick Miller and has a tense stand off with Sisko ("I don't like your hat!")
Sisko gets angry at Dick Miller for being so uncaring. Kira and O'Brien beam to the sixites and encounter hippies. Jadzia sneaks into the SD through the sewers. She's captured by the Hat Gang and finally reunites with Sisko and Bashir. Jadzia and Bashir go looking for her stolen comm badge and find Clint Howard(!) has it. He's scared of aliens but gives the badge back to Dax because she's a nice alien. Jadzia convinces Brynner to give the SD residents access to his information network (or whatever it is?) Despite the hostage negotiator's efforts, the governor gives the order for the military to move in and end the siege. O'Brien and Kira finally arrive in the right time period and contact Dax. Hat Guy gives his hat away to Webb's son. The military arrive and kill Hat Guy and Webb. Sisko takes a bullet for Dick Miller (who is now on the side of the residents.) They go out onto the streets and see hundreds of people have been killed. Dick Miller lets Sisko and Bashir go, putting their ID cards on to of the dead bodies (so that's why Bell is still believed to have been killed.) Everyone gets back to the future and Bashir shows Sisko an article on Bell, where a a photo of Sisko is used for him.
It's not quite as good as part 1 because so much of it takes place in the processing centre and there's a bit too much of Hat Guy and his bad acting. But it's still a great episode, making this one of the best two parters Star Trek has ever done.
Life Support - Jake agrees to go to dinner with a (human, this time!) girl even though he has plans with Nog. There's been an accident on a Bajoran transport and the passengers, including Kai Winn and a badly injured Vedek Bariel, are rushed to Sickbay. Winn speaks to Sisko in private, revealing that she and Bariel were secretly negotiating a "final peace treaty" with Cardassia. The Cardassians may even issue an apology for how they treated the Bajorans. She credits Bariel with how well the talks have gone and fears they will fall apart without him. Bashir declares Bariel dead and begins an autopsy, but his brain scans find that his nerves are still sending signals to his brain, even though he's brain dead (look, I don't understand medical science.) It's something to do with the weird space radiation he was exposed to. He manages to restrore Bariel to life. Winn wants to get right back to the negotiations immediately and invites her Cardassian contact to the station. Jake breaks the news to Nog that he's standing him up for a girl but Nog gets him to turn it into a double date. Bashir tells Bariel that the radiation he used to treat him is shutting down his organs and he needs to put him back in stasis, but Bariel wants to stay awak to help Winn with the peace talks. He opts for a more dangerous treatment, despite Bashir's reservations. Sisko sits in on the talks between Winn and a Cardassian Legate who admits there are still Bajoran prisoners held on Cardassia. He wants Bajor to hand over all Cardassia equiptment left behind on the planet. Winn is really bad at negotiating and just wants to ask Bariel what to do.
Then we cut back to the lightweight Jake/Nog story where Nog acts like a sexist prick (it's a cultural thing!) and ruins the date. Bariel is in great pain and struggles to help Winn so she asks Bashir to give him more drugs. Bariel's organs are dying but he insists Bashir keep him alive during the negotiations so Bashir replaces his organs with artificial ones. Bashir goes to Winn and asks her to tell Bariel that she doesn't need him anymore, so he'll be free and no longer in pain. Winn pretends to be outraged at being asked to lie. She won't help and Julian can barely control his anger. He realises that if the talks fail she'll need someone to blame: Bariel. Jake wonders if Sisko was right that humans and Ferengi can never be friends but his father tells him to fight for their friendship. Bariel's brain is irreversibly damaged. Winn wonders if the damaged parts of his brain can be replaced with artificial implants. Bashir worries that the "spark of life" will be lost if he does so. Winn and Kira both think Bariel would want the positronic implants. Jake has Odo arrest him and Nog (for robbing the Tholian ambassador, and Nog has a kind of injokey "I don't even know what a Tholian looks like!" comment) so they can talk. Bariel wakes up with a robot brain (who can tell the difference, really) and has no emotions now. And not in a cute way like Data. Jake apologises to Nog for forgetting that Ferengi hate women. Nog says he held back by not asking his date to chew his food for him. The Cardassians sign the peace treaty. Quark names a souffle after Kai Winn. The other half of Bariel's brain dies and Kira begins Bashir to replace that with robot parts too but he won't do it. Bashir makes a compassionate speech to Kira and she accepts that it's time to let Bariel die. She stays with him until the end.
There's some very strong parts to this episode. The whole medical ethics thing is quite well done. Alexander Siddig does some strong acting, especially in the scene where he dresses down Winn. But it has some unfortunate weaknesses. Lousie Fletcher gives a pretty poor performance, especially given how good she usually is, because she was ill during the filming of the episode. The Nog/Jake B-plot isn't good (how many times do we have to be reminded that Ferengi are horrible BUT WE CAN'T JUDGE THEM?) and it's weird cutting between the deeply serious main plot and that unfunny comedy. Kira doesn't get much to do, spending most of the episode looking sad at Bariel's bedside, despite it being her boyfriend's last episode. And I would have liked to have seen more of the Bajoran/Cardassian peace talks because they're really quite a big deal! But all that said it's still good!
Heart of Stone - Odo and Kira are travelling in a runabout together (everything's back to normal with Kira after Bariel's death, but I guess DS9 wasn't really serialised until season six) when they spot a Maquis fugitive and go after him. Nog goes to see Sisko in his office and gives him latinum. He's an adult now and wants to purchase an apprenticeship from Sisko and become the first Ferengi in Starfleet. Sisko doesn't really take it seriously but Nog needs him to write a letter to get into Starfleet Academy. Kira and Odo end up in a cave and seperate. Shortly after Odo finds that Kira's foot is trapped in some kind of crystal...and it's spreading. They can't get the crystal off and it starts growing up Kira's leg when she shoots it with a phaser. Also the cave is going to collapse or something. Quark is mean to Rom (sorry, 'House of Quark' character development, you've been forgotten!) and blames him for everything breaking down when it's really Quark's fault. Jake tells Nog that trying to join Starfleet was a pretty funny joke but Nog tells him he was serious. Odo continues to try to get Kira out and she encounters the Maquis while he's in the runabout. The crystal continues to grow. Sisko tells Nog he hasn't written the letter yet because of Nog's shady past. He has Nog take an inventory of a cargo bay. The crystal spreads up to Kira's waist and Odo starts talking about criminal activity reports Starfleet sends to the station. It's because one had a technobabble way to get her out of the crystal.
The cyrstal spreads up to under Kira's arms. Odo tells her how he's going to go kayaking on the Holosuite with O'Brien. Nog does a great job with the inventory but Sisko still wonders why he wants to join Starfleet. Odo can't get the crystal off and only Kira's head is free now. Odo tells Kira how he got his name: it comes from the Cardassian word for "nothing" as Doctor Mora classified him as "unkknown sample" in the Cardassian lab. He says due to the friends he's made he no longer thinks of himself as nothing. Odo doesn't understand why his technobabble hasn't saved Kira yet but she orders him to leave because the cave could collapse at any moment and there's no way to save her. Odo tells her he can't leave her...because he's in love with her. Kira says she loves him too. Wait whaaaaaat? Sisko gets Nog to admit the real reason he wants to join Starfleet in an emotional scene: because he doesn't want to end up like his father. Rom's been chasing profit his whole life but it's gotten him nothing. Rom is a technological genius and could be a Starfleet engineer but he chose business instead and is treated poorly by Quark as a result. Nog wants to do something worthwhile with his life instead. This is a great scene. Odo finally figures out that the whole scenario isn't real (Kira lied about where the Maquis shot at her, and about loving Odo) and asks who she really is. It's the Female Changeling! She was the Maquis too. She wanted to find out why Odo stayed with the solids and suspected it was due to his love for Kira. She has it confirmed now and wants Odo to come with her because he doesn't have Kira anymore. But then she tells him Kira's location right away. So what, exactly, was her plan? Anyway, Odo rescues the real Kira and doesn't tell her about the whole "love" thing. Quark tells Nog he can't join Starfleet but Rom stands up to him and says Nog can.
It's a mixed episode. In that the main plot is shit and the B-plot is great? Okay, that's a bit harsh. The part where Odo finally admits to Kira that he loves her is important (except it's not really Kira so it's not that important!) But most of it's just Odo saying "I can't get you out of this crystal!" Then the Female Changeling reveals herself and...just lets Odo go. She seemed to have a plan to get him to come with her, but she instantly gives up on it so the whole thing was pointless. But the Nog plot! It's great! The scene where Nog says he doesn't want to end up like Rom. The final scene where Rom stands up to Quark. That's all great! That should have been the majority of the episode rather than Kira saying "help I'm stuck in a rock!" again and again.
Destiny - A team of Cardassian scientists have come to the station (they all have names that I'm fucking going to have to look up how to spell, fuck) to help set up a subspace relay to allow communications through the wormhole. A lot of Bajorans oppose the recent peace treaty and won't be happy to see Cardassians walking around the station. A Vedek comes to see Sisko and tells him that the Prophets don't want the Cardassians on the station. An ancient Bajoran prophecy says that when "three vipers" try to look through the temple gets it will destroy the wormhole and cut Bajor off from the prophets. But there's only two Cardassian scientists coming, not three! The Vedek is quite sure his interpretation is correct but Sisko doesn't realy take him seriously. The two Cardassian scientists arrive and seem friendly. One of them clashes with O'Brien briefly. But then it turns out a third Cardassian is going to arrive. THREE VIPERS. Odo finds out that the Vedek was kicked out of the assembly but Odo points out that Sisko has never been comfortable being the Emissary and that may be why he's so quick to dismiss the prophecy. The other Cardassian arrives and the first two don't seem to like her much. Quark makes them Cardassian food but the first two don't like Cardassian food (what? They don't like any food from their whole planet?) They head out in the Defiant and see a rogue comment, which Kira thinks could be the "sword of stars" from the Bajoran prophecy.
Sisko tells Kira that her religious beliefs have no place on the Bridge of the Defiant. They have a heart to heart and Kira admits it's hard to work for a religious icon like Sisko. She argues that even if Sisko thinks the prophets are aliens, they're aliens who can see the future so it's possible they could have told a Bajoran about all this three thousand years ago. Sisko goes ahead with the mission anyway. O'Brien and the Cardassian scientist argue more. She thinks men aren't good at science. Something goes wrong and the carrier waves makes the wormhole open. It alters the path of the comet and it's now heading to the wormhole. If it hits, the wormhole will collapse. They have a SCIENCE MEETING back on the station. O'Brien comes up with a solution. Men are good at science! The scientist starts getting sexy with him now and tells him she's quite certain. She saw his hostility as flirting because Cardassians are weird. They have a good laugh about it! This subplot was kind of pointless but was amusing enough. The Defiant fires on the comet but its weapons system goes offline. The comet splits into three fragments, still heading for the wormhole. The two nice Cardassians reveal that the third one is a member of the Obsidian Order and must have sabotaged the weapons and the communications relay because the Order oppose the peace treaty (for some reason?) Sisko and Kira take a shuttle (Kira believes she's here to help the Emissary) to guide the comet fragments through the wormhole. Some of the comet...stuff leaks anyway. The wormhole is permanently wedged slightly open because of it and communcation is now possible. The prophecy came true, just not in the way everyone thought it would! The Vedek realises he let his distrust of the Cardassians bind him but tells Sisko of another prophecy, that the Emissary will soon face a "fiery trial..." FORESHADOWING!!!!!!!!
It's a good episode! I like how even though Kira and the Bajorans think of the wormhole aliens as being prophets it still works if you think of them just being non-linear aliens. There's good twists and turns as parts of the prophecy turn true. I liked that two of the Cardassians did turn out to be nice and they were fairly good characters. So yeah, good episode.
Prophet Motive - Quark has finally met a woman who wants his self-sealing stembolts and will wank his ears, but Grand Nagus Zek arrives on the station. Sisko and the others throw a surprise party for Bashir because he's been nominated for an award. Bashir tells Dax he's sure he won't win because it's an award that goes to old people. Quark and Rom are comically mismatched roommates while the Nagus is staying in Quark's room (it's a big station, surely he could stay somewhere else?) The Nagus is strangely friendly and not his usual grumpy self. He's rewritten the Rules of Acquisition and Quark is shocked to find the first one is "if they want their money back...give it to them." The rewritten rules put things like family and friendship above profit. Quark desperately tries to find a secret code in the new rules then decides the Nagus must have some bigger plan after he continues to act weird. This is all supposed to be funny but I don't find it particularly amusing. The Nagus ruins Quark's business deal with the ear wank girl. O'Brien and Bashir play darts together and exchanges bants. Zek puts Rom in charge of his new benevolent association. Rom likes it but Quark is angry at Zek trying to change the Ferengi way of life.
Quark has Bashir examine Zek to see if there's anything wrong with him but he finds nothing. Zek is planning to give a gift to the Bajorans so Quark and Rom break into his ship to find out what it is. It's one of the missing Bajoran orbs. Quark has an Orb vision where he finds out that the Prophets gave Zek the idea for the new Rules and changed Zek somehow. He finds from Zek's logs that he went into the wormhole to talk to the Prophets. There's another pointless scene with someone (Odo this time) talking to Bashir about the award. Bashir still thinks he has no chance. Quark and Rom kidnap the Nagus and Quark takes him into the wormhole. The Prophets make their first actual appearance since 'Emissary' talking to Quark (in the form of people he knows.) They tell him Zek came to them to try to gain business advantages by learning of the future from them. He taught them about profit and they didn't like it. They changed Zek to how the Ferengi were many years ago before they embraced profit. Quark tells them greed is good because it motivates people to improve themselves. He says if they don't change Zek back more and more Ferengi will come to the wormhole and annoy them. So basically the Prophets turn Zek back into his old self because Ferengi are so annoying. The restored Zek tells Quark he's going to sell the Orb to the Bajorans for a huge profit. Bashir doesn't win the award and is secretly sad. That's it, that's the end of that b-plot. Rom embezzled money from benevolent association and Quark is proud.
This is the kind of Ferengi episode I don't really enjoy. It relies on us just finding the Ferengi naturally funny without actually having many jokes or funny scenarios. I don't find Rom very funny at this point (he's just annoying.) Wallace Shawn is good but Zek doesn't really get anything fun to do. The plot is really thing. It's basically "Zek is weird, Quark goes to the wormhole and makes him not weird." The Bashir B-plot is utterly pointless. The saving grace is the scene with Quark in the wormhole talking to the Prophets. That's actually fun! But yeah this is totally skippable.