Visionary - O'Brien has an accident and suffers a mild case of radiation poisoning. A Romulan delegation has come to the station to discuss the Dominion and there's also some drunks Klingons around. A recipe for disaster! O'Brien convinces Quark to hang his dartboard up in the bar. Quark throws the darts and hits Morn but luckily he always wears a puffy outfit. O'Brien then somehow time jumps to the future and sees himself. Bashir thinks it's just an hallucination from the radiation poisoning, but this is Star Trek. The Romulan delegation are very frosty when trying to get information on the Dominion out of Sisko and Kira (the cloaking device gets mentioned but not T'Rul.) O'Brien sees his past self on the Promenade so it definitely wasn't a hallucination. He jumps to the future again, witnesses a huge brawl between the Klingons and Romulans, and his future self warns him to duck a flying chair. The Romlans debrief Kira and she gets angry when they question the nature of her relationship with Odo. O'Brien and Bashir play darts as he waits for the big fight to start in Quark's. He seems to have changed the future but then finds that Quark has let the Klingons back in the Holosuites and the fight begins when they run into the Romulans. O'Brien jumps to the future again and witnesses his future self be killed by booby trap in a panel. Present day Odo finds nothing behind the panel. Dax detects a quantum singularity outside the station and thinks it's causing O'Brien's time jumps, combined with the weird radiation. That sounds plausible! Kira unknowingly moves the Romulan delegation to the quarters where the booby trapped panel was.
Odo detects that a device has been beamed behind the panel now. Quark tries to get O'Brien to tell him future Dabo numbers. O'Brien time jumps again and finds his own dead body in the infirmary. Future Bashir tells him that the radiation killed him so he can warn himself in the past. Odo does more investigating and finds that the drunk Klingons on the station are part of a strike force who planted a surveillance device in the panel to spy on the Romulans. O'Brien time jumps again and this time witnesses the station exploding. That's some escalation! This time his future self seems surprised to see him, which is weird since surely he should remember jumping to that time? Back in the present, O'Brien wants to intentionally jump to the future again to find out how the station was destroyed. Bashir warns that he'll need to be flooded with radiation and it could kill him. Then there's lots of technobabble. O'Brien jumps three hours to the future and finds his future self in bed. Future O'Brien is completely surprised to see him and doesn't know that the station is going to be destroyed. Wait, what? Why wouldn't he know? It's three hours in the future! If his past self knows about it, surely he would too? But we do get the classic moment of the two O'Briens saying "I hate temporal mechanics!" No one in Ops knows the station's about to explode either, which again doesn't make sense since it's not like they'd all forget in three hours. A Romulan Warbird decloaks. It's them who destroy the station and they're also behind the singularity since Romulan ships use an artificial blackhole as their power source (continuity!) O'Brien is too poisoned to survive another time jump so has to send future O'Brien back inside (who somehow isn't suffering from the radiation poisoning.) So the O'Brien we've been watching for years is dead and now we have an O'Brien from a timeline three hours in the future in his place. Sisko and Kira confront the Romulans, who were plotting to collapse the wormhole and destroy the station to cover it up. Because O'Brien's from the future he knows where Bashir is going to hit the dart board (which makes no sense since he's already altered the timeline by telling Bashir) and when the Dabo numbers are going to come up.
This was always an episode I enjoyed a lot. O'Brien is one of my favourite characters and he's the perfect character for this kind of story because he'll just say something like "I hate temporal mechanics" and have fun with it. And I do still enjoy the story a lot: Colm Meaney is great as always, there's plenty of funny moments and plot twists, and the Romulan plot is good too. But man it makes no sense. I know time travel stories often don't, but this one isn't even internally consistent. The first few times O'Brien time jumps he remembers when his past self is about to appear to him and isn't surprised to see him. Then the last two times he's completely shocked and doesn't know what's going on, because the plot needs him to be unaware that the station is about to blow up. The last time in particular it makes no sense because literally everyone on the station just forgets that it's about to explode and goes back to sleeping or standing about! Or is O'Brien actually jumping to completely different parallel universes the last two times, universes where he didn't time jump? Making the O'Brien we end up with not just an O'Brien from the future but an O'Brien from a completely different reality to the one we've been watching all these years? I know I'm thinking about it too much but it's hard not to! Anyway, this is still a fun episode if you can ignore that whole massive plot hole.
Distant Voices - Garak gives Bashir a Cardassian holosuite mystery novel for his birthday (all the suspects always end up being guilty.) He's grumpy about his thirtieth birthday and won't sell a controlled substance to Quark's dodgy friend. The alien tries to rob the Infirmary and blasts Bashir in the brain with Force Lightning. Julian wakes up to find the station all smashed up and no one responding to his calls for help. But he can hear distant voices (the title of the episode!) whispering. He finds Quark whipering in his bar, scared of someone. He eventually finds Garak who at least will talk to him. Also Julian's hair is going grew for some reason. Bashir walks around the empty station some more with the lights going out behind him and the electric hands alien chasing him. He finds Kira, Dax, O'Brien and Odo all arguing and being weird. They can't get the station to work and Bashir keeps getting older. O'Brien finds a signal which is the source of the "distant voices" and has Sisko and Dax talking about Julian being in a coma. Yep, this is all just a coma dream and that's why everything's weird. All the other characters represent different parts of his personality, because that's the way comas work on tv shows.
It's worth noting at this point that Alexander Siddig's acting is getting worse the older Bashir gets. He concludes that the alien destroying the station represents the alien telepathically destroying his mind so if they fix the station it will fix his mind. It's dumb. Suddenly he's playing tennis with Garak. He finds Sisko treating sick people. The alien kills everyone else one by one, including melting Odo somehow. The cowardly coma version of O'Brien lasts a bit longer and they find Quark taking bets on how long Bashir will live. He falls and breaks his hip and his old age make-up gets even older. Garak takes him to Ops and sings "happy birthday" to him with a showgirl. They open a panel and tennis balls fall out and Bashir says "my tennis balls!" in a pathetic old man voice. I'm not sure why that hasn't become a meme yet. Bashir figures out that Garak is actually the alien in disguise for some reason. We finally get to the CHARACTER WORK of the episode as the alien points out that Bashir wanted to be a tennis player but became a doctor because that's what his parents wanted. He also sabotaged his final exam at med school so he wouldn't be first in his class as he coudln't take the pressure. The alien doesn't bring up Bashir's genetic manipulation because that wasn't a thing yet and we can't really blame this episode for that. Bashir concludes that he has to go to Sickbay to fix his brain becaue that's the centre of the station for him. He sterilises the alien and wakes up.
Good grief this is bad. Alexander Siddig's acting has improved since season one but he's pretty bad here playing Bashir as an old man (though, ironically, the old age make-up is quite good!) It's a journey inside Bashir's mind but what do we find out about him? He doesn't want to get old! Wow, deep! And okay he gave up his tennis dream to become a doctor but I think we already knew that. It's not a good enough character episode to justify watching Bashir walking around a nearly empty station having annoying conversations with fake people. Even Garak is wasted here. BAD EPISODE.
Through the Looking Glass - O'Brien pulls a gun on Sisko and beams him to a ship. Sisko figures out what's going on pretty fast: he's been beamed to the mirror universe by "Smiley" O'Brien. A Rebellion has begun against the Klingon/Cardassian Alliance and the MU's Sisko was its leader. MU Sisko died and Smiley needs our Sisko to finish that Sisko's final mission: stopping a Terran scientist working for the Alliance from completing work on a new sensory array that can detect the Rebellion's ships. And that scentist is the mirror universe version of Sisko's hot dead wife Jennifer. Nana Visitor gets to do her overacting as Intendant Kira, telling Jennifer that her husband is dead. While kissing a shirtless man. Smiley introduces Sisko to his rebels who include: Alexander Siddig again doing some terrible acting as an asshole version of Bashir, Rom and Tuvok from Voyager (why didn't he end up on the mirror universe version of Voyager with mirror Janeway and the rest?) And Sexy Mirror Dax who kisses then slaps Sisko. Then they go off to have sex and it's all played as a big laugh with no internal conflict from Sisko at having sex by deception with a mirror universe version of his best friend. But she does look really good with that hair. The Intendant orders Garak to randomly execute random terrans. Remember when they had the exact opposite viewpoint last season? I guess they just decided to make Intendant Kira all the way evil instead of letting her keep any depth. Sisko punches Bashir for being annoying. They debate the merits of killing Jennifer. Sisko wants to turn her to the Rebel side. Rom betrays the Rebels and tells the Intendant about Sisko being alive. Klingon and Cardassian ships DECLOAK (remember this in season seven!) around Sisko and Smiley's ship on their way to Terok Nor.
Sisko instantly kisses the Intendant because he's decided to use this trip to the MU as an excuse to shag all his friends. She takes Sisko to her quarters against Garak's protests and she considers keeping him alive. Sisko meets Jennifer and she tells him his Rebellion is only causing death and destruction. He tells her he's Luke Skywalker and he's here to rescue her. He tries to talk her into joining the Rebellion and sends a secret message to Smiley in Ore Processing. Sisko shoots some Klingons and O'Brien leads a slave rebellion in Ore Processing. Sisko, Smiley, Jennifer and the others get to the airlock but find Rom (who was secretly still on their side I guess) strung up. The Intendant reveals that Garak tortured the truth out of Rom. Garak says "PURSUE" in a weird voice and there's more running phaser battles through corridors. They hide out in Ore Processing. Jennifer reveals to the Intendant that she's on Sisko's side now. Sisko has used his knowledge of the other universe to activate the statioin's self destruct sequence and the Intendant has to let them go. They go back to the secret base in the Bad Lands and Jennifer reveals that she knows Sisko isn't really her husband. Sisko says a sad goodbye and goes home.
It's a Star Trek does Star Wars. Literally it has a band of Rebels infilitrating the enemy base to rescue a princess (well, Jennifer) and firing lots of phasers in corridors. It probably has the most phasers fired in corridors of any episode so far. On the good side it is pretty fun. Avery Brooks has a good time getting to cut loose as a Sisko who can do whatever he wants and has good chemistry with the actress who plays Jennifer. The downside is that it's already a bit dumbed down from even the previous MU episode, with the Intendant just being an outright evil bisexual here and mirror Garak continuing to not be intersting (that's two episodes in a row that waste Garak!) And Sisko seeing his dead wife again is a pretty huge deal, but at the same time Sisko is fine having sex with Dax? Like it's presented as a "well he had no choice and she's hot!" type thing, but to have Sisko just act like it never happened? They could have at least got some conflict out of it. Or showed him awkwardly reacting to the real Dax when he got home. Anyway I'm not a huge fan of the DS9 MU but this one is an easy watch and I'd take it over the previous episode any day.
One thing they never explain about the TNG era is how professional sports even works in their time. Nobody has or needs money, so what's the point of becoming a pro tennis player? For the trophies alone? With no fat contracts to sell sneakers or power drinks? Maybe on Ferenginar...
Improbable Cause - Bashir tries to explain Shakespeare to Garak. Then Garak's shop explodes and Julian's pants are ruined. Odo suspects someone blew up the shop and begins his investigation. Garak claims not to have any enemies and that he was exiled from Cardassia for failure to pay his taxes. Bashir tells him the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf and Garak takes the moral of the story to be "you should never tell the same lie twice." It's pretty great. O'Brien gives his report on the explosion to Odo who concludes that an explosive device used by Flaxian assassins was behind the bomb...and there's a Flaxian on the station. In another great scene, the Flaxian claims to be a perfume sailsman not an assassin, but Odo proves a certain combination of his perfumes could be deadly. O'Brien plants a tracker on the Flaxian's vessel and Odo and Garak (who invites himself) follow in a runabout. But when the Flaxian ship tries to go to warp it explodes, and the Odo/Garak roadtrip is cut short. The Romulans are seemingly behind the explosion, but when questioned by Sisko Garak claims he doesn't know why the Romulans would try to kill him. Sisko is angry but Odo knows Garak is telling the truth because he didn't try to distract with an elaborate lie. Garak says the truth is an excuse for a lack of imagniation. The dialogue in this episode is ON POINT. The Romulans freely admit to killing the Flaxian as he was a wanted criminal.
Odo has a shadowy meeting with a Cardassian contact (who has recently changed his appearance) in a cave somewhere. The Cardassian claims Odo is investigating a small piece of a larger puzzle as many cloaked Romulan ships have been detected near the Cardassian border. And five other former Obsidian Order agents have been killed lately. Garak is shocked to see the list of dead agents. Odo angrily tells him to tell the truth and shouts "you blew up your own shop, Garak!" The Flaxian was planning to poison Garak, but Garak spotted him and blew up his shop to get Odo involved. That's the kind of thing Garak does! Garak admits that he and the five dead agents were all favourites of Enabran Tain. He tries to contact Tain but only gets through to his housekeeper Mila, who seems to have some affection for Garak. Tain has disappeared. Garak and Odo get to do their roadtrip after all in search of Tain, after a hilarious scene where Garak instructs Bahsir to eat an isolinear rod if he doesn't return. Garak and Odo exchange more great dialogue as they examine each other's character. Garak tries to find if there's anyone Odo really cares about. They heat to one of Tain's safehouses but a Romulan Warbird captures them. Tain himself is on the Warbird and thanks Garak for coming as it spares him from having to send somene else to kill him. The Tal'Shiar and the Obsidian Order are working together to destroy the Founders before the Dominion come through the wormhole. Remember that fleet Tom Riker found earlier in the season? That was them! Odo of course feels a bit uncomfortable knowing his people are about to die. Tain killed his former agents to tie up loose ends as he's planning to go back to his old job after killing the Founders. Tain is impressed to learn that Garak blew up his own shot (I think we all were!) Tain decides to let Garak go since he believes Garak came to save him, but he's going to keep Odo. Tain makes another offer, Garak can go back to hemming pants or he can rejoined Tain in the Obsidian Order. Garak says "I'm back!" END OF PART 1.
It's just a great episode from start to finish. Pairing up Garak and Odo, two of the strongest characters in all of Trek played by two of the strongest actors, is of course a great move. But the writing is up to the task to with some of the best dialogue in any Trek episode. The plot itself is fascinatig too (he blew up his own shop!) and Bashir and Tain's parts are both perfectly done as well. A TOP LEVEL EPISODE.
The Die is Cast - Bashir tries to have a conversation with O'Brien in place of Garak but Miles just wants to eat. Everyone in Ops watches the huge fleet of Cardassian and Romulan ships shockingly fly through the wormhole. Tain and Garak talk about old times and Tain promises Garak he can kill whoever he wants when he gets home (Dukat is top of Garak's list.) Tain hints that he'll be having Mila killed and Garak argues for her life. Tain introduces Garak to the Romulan Colonel Lovok and puts Garak in charge of Odo's interrogation. Garak and Odo exchange now more tense barbs as they're no longer on the same side. Sisko and the others (including Eddington) watch a message Tain sent to the Cardassians detailing his plan (the Jem'Hadar will die out without the drug needed to keep them alive.) Admiral Toddman instructs Sisko not to try to rescue Odo. Of course Sisko wants to take the Defiant to GQ anyway and asks for volunteers (all the main characters volunteer of course.) Garak tells Tain there's not much point interrogating Odo and Tain suspects Garak has gone soft. The Obsidian Order have a device that can stop Odo from shapeshifting and Garak agrees to interrogate him anyway rather than let the Romulans do it (and to prove himself to Tain.) The Defiant's cloak goes offline and Eddington admits he sabotaged it under orders from Toddman. O'Brien's ready to punch him. Sisko has O'Brien fix it and lets Eddington stay at his station because he trusts the word of his officers (hmm!)
Odo mocks the idea of Garak torturing him, but becomes more concerned when the anti-shapeshifting device is activated. Odo goes all dry and flaky pretty fast as he's unable to regenerate. He still manages to hit back at Garak but finally admits that he wants to join the Great Link as the Founders are still his people. This isn't really useful to Garak but it's the only secret Odo has so he disables the device. O'Brien repairs the cloak. Tain orders Odo executed as he has no useful info but Garak and surprisingly Lovok talk him out of it. Tain's fleet fire on the Founder homeworld but there's no change in lifeform readings. It's an Ackbar! 150 Jem'Hadar fighters come out of a nebula and begin destroyed the Romulan and Cardassian ships. Garak quotes Shakespeare to show he loves Bashir more than Tain. Lovok helps Garak and Odo escape because he was a Founder in disguise all along and no chnageling has ever harmed another. Tain came up with the plan to attack originally and the Founders saw it as a way to wipe out the Obsidian Order and the Tal'Shiar. Lovok says the Federation and the Klingons are the only threat remaining to them and they won't be one for much longer. Tain seems to be having a bit of a breakdown on the Bridge and won't leave with Garak. Odo has to knock out Garak and carry him off the ship. The Jem'Hadar attack the runabout even though Odo is on it (guess they don't know, but Lovok should have warned them.) Odo says he understands Garak's desire to go home even though it's just got them both killed, but the Defiant arrives just in time to save them in an impressive visual effects sequence. Garak returns to his shop (he's going to reopen) and Odo suggests they have breakfast sometime (after sleeping together.)
It's the dream Garak two-parter we all wanted! I'd love to give both parts 10/10 but the second part ISN'T QUITE as good as the first just because the whole thing with Eddington sabotaging the cloak feels like padding (they just fix it quickly and it made no difference), whereas part one was all meaty Odo/Garak scenes. But this is still great and probably the best two parter in Star Trek yet!
Explorers - Leeta the Dabo girl (and her breasts) makes her first appearance, pretending to have a cough to get Bashir's attention. The girl who finished above Bashir in their class at Starfleet Medical (they get a lot of mileage out of this bit of character history, don't they) is coming to the station. SISKO HAS A BEARD NOW and has been to a Bajoran library and wants to tell Jake all about it. He's found out about a Bajoran space ship they used to explore their system eight hundred years ago. They don't have warp and fly with solar sails (LIKE COUNT DOOKU'S SHIP.) And he's going to build one. Okay then. Sisko wants to build it the way the Bajorans did. O'Brien questions the ship's flyability but Kira of course believes it would have worked. Ben wants to prove the ancient Bajorans could have made the trip to Cardassia (the Cardassians don't believe it) and wants to take Jake with him. Jake doesn't want to because his girlfriend is coming back to the station. Ben keeps working on it, kind of obsessed like when he was building that alien clock. With the ship finished (it seemed fast) Jake decides to go after all. Dax and Bashir talk about his old friend and he still feels second best to her. Dukat mocks Sisko for believing in Bajoran fairy tales. The Siskos head out and deploy their space sails. Jake is disappointed they only have zero gee rations. Jake shows Ben a story he wrote.
Bashir hangs out with O'Brien and Quark in the bar stalking his old friend (who of course is a hot girl.) But she just walks right by him. Jake is disappointed that Ben isn't completely blown away by his story. Jake tells him he's been offered a writing fellowship at a prestigious school. Something goes wrong with their sails but they fix them. O'Brien and Bashir get drunks together and sing Jerusalem. O'Brien laughs at the idea that the girl is either in love with Bashir or hates him and it's actually pretty great. Ben says "hammock time." Jake tells him he's turning down the fellowship because he's not ready to leave yet. He admits he doesn't want to leave his dad on his own. Jake wants him to start dating and offers to introduce him to a very attractive lady. Something hits their sails. Sisko thnks that tachyons (it's always tachyons) hit them and somehow sent them into warp speed. Bashir confronts his old friend. She thought Julian Bashir was an Andorian and that's why she didn't recognise him. She admits she's jealous of Bashir as she turned down the DS9 job to serve on a starship where she doesn't get to do anything interesting. He invites her to "look at his research." Jake says he's going to stay on the station so he'll have more experiences to write about. Three Cardassian ships appear and Dukat congratulates Sisko on reaching the Cardassian star system. The tachyons must have done the same thing to the ancient Bajorans. Dukta reads a speech about how the Cardassians have just discovered an ancient Bajoran crash site (an amazing coincidence!) and sets off SPACE FIREWORKS.
There isn't much to say because the episode doesn't have much in the way of plot. It is pretty silly that Sisko managed to build a whole spaceship by himself in a couple of weeks. Yet the episode works because the father/son stuff between the Siskos is always so well done. The O'Brien/Bashir drinking scene is a great moment. A pleasant watch!
Yes, which is why I said "pro". There are interstellar baseball leagues, and the idea of a "career" is tennis was a possibility for Julian. Taking the prizes out of the equation doesn't make it seem like a very exciting career, where the "best" player changes frequently. Is tennis something a Terran or a Federation citizen can still immerse themselves in as a livelihood?
Family Business - Jake tells Ben that Kasidy (not Cassidy like I kept typing and had to go back and correct) Yates, the freighter Captain he wanted to set his father up with, is back on the station. Brunt of the Ferengi Commerce Authority (Jeffrey Combs) makes his first appearance and shuts down the bar. Quark is being charged with failing to stop his mother from earning profit (woman aren't allowed to.) Dax also encourages Sisko to ask Yates out. Quark heads to the family home on Ferenginar (it's rainy) and Rom comes too, even though Quark's concerned that he'll just take "Moogie"'s side no matter what. Moogie wears clothes because you can't show naked women on DS9 (and she wants to smash the patriarchy) and Brunt leaves in disgust. O'Brien and Bashir try to break into Quark's to get their dart board and also know about Kasidy Yates. The Ferenginar scenes continue with Quark disappointed about his unconventional mother and Rom defending her. Quark and Moogie have an argument. Moogie takes her clothes off in front of Rom to make him feel comfortable, then sharpens his teeth for him. It's creepy.
Sisko finally meets Kasidy (Penny Johnson) and they make a date. Quark finds that Moogie has made a lot more money than she let on. He can't possibly pay back what she's earned and will end up in prison. Moogie accuses Quark of being jealous of her, just like his father was, because she has the "lobes for business." Quark and Rom have a silly fight scene after Rom says Moogie was right about their father being a lobeless fecker. Quark goes to see Brunt to grass up his mother. Rom shows up and tells him that Moogie will share her profits with him so he leaves. Of course Rom was lying. He tells them both off for arguing and locks them in a room to reach a settlement. Moogie says that Rom is like their father but Quark is like her and she's proud of his business acumen and they make up. On their date, Sisko finds out that Kasidy is into baseball too (they're playing on Cestus 3...with the Gorn?) and is instantly in love. Moogie confesses her crimes to Brunt, playing the subservient female, and he agrees with Quark that it's best the details don't come out as it could bring down Ferengi society or whatever. Rom and Moogie know that she really only gave up a third of her profits.
There's nothing really wrong with the story. We find out a bit about Quark and Rom's history and get to see Ferenginar for the first time. But it's just not that interesting? There's too much of Rom saying things in a stupid voice. Quark doesn't really change his opinion on anything (thought I guess he doesn't have to) and is still a traditionalist at the end. The B-story is fine. There isn't much to say?
Yeah, both stories are just set-ups for better storytelling down the road.
They probably chose Sisko/Kasidy as the B-story for this one because it's just as important and could take up more time if needed. With Ferengi stories, the briefer the better, otherwise you start to feel like you're watching a (twisted) Saturday morning kid's show. Bugaloos! Witchy-Poo! Quark and Moogie!
A show can only juggle so many balls in the air at once -- there were all kinds of inter-species couples (some played by actors of different races) plus a lesbian episode, and Sisko had plenty of opportunities to comment directly on the history of racism that preceded the 24th century. Also, his kissing white women in the mirror universe was no big deal for anyone, since it was ground that Roddenberry had already broken 30 years before.
It's an interesting observation, but I don't think it's something to really "pin" on them as a failing.