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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Starship Down

I am going to pray, because I don't know what else to do. I am losing you and I can't let that happen.

Quark gets outfoxed, Kira's nonplussed and O'Brien gives Worf sound command advice in an action packed episode which sees Sisko pushing back against the Jem'Hadar when he's not unconscious.

The Karemma are a cautious people. They want profit, but they don't want to risk the Dominion giving them a phaser spanking. Enter the Ferengi, protectors of the would-be-spanked, and more particularly Quark, who helps establish a conversation... which promptly gets interrupted by the naughty Jem'Hadar, who come at the Karemma with guns a-blazing. Sisko decides it's time to interfere.

The majority of this episode is spent inside the dim and misty winds of a gas giant. We can basically not see anything, so it feels like a locked room drama. They get shot from the dark, and the Defiant is fighting by shooting into the dark. To make up for the sparseness, the writers have quadrupled the plot. Lots happens. And when it's all done, to me, the most interesting was actually Quark's storyline. I mean, we already know the Jem'Hadar are controlling trade. We already know Sisko is the Emissary, and that Kira respects him. So now we know she can tell stories too. Okay. Worf's story had at least some drama in it, but it felt fairly cardboard - and knowing his experiences on the Enterprise, it's hard not to feel that this was a jump backwards for the character. I mean, he knew Barclay, weird engineers are not that unusual. But Quark was interacting with an alien race, and doing almost first contact type stuff, really getting to know the other culture... which turned out to be a lot more like Quark than we originally imagined. Oh yeah, and there's some interesting banter between Dax and Bashir, but that horse is so old beating it seems like a pretty horrid thing to do at this point. Let it die.

The episode closes with Sisko and Kira getting ready to go to a baseball game together, apparently being more relaxed, because prophetic types don't do baseball, I guess.

Bits and Pieces

Hanok the Karemma trader who plays Quark is played by James Cromwell, who had Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact and some roles on TNG.

It was cool having Worf be in charge and having him be in charge of engineers. I enjoyed that stretch.

The baseball team is the Pike City Pioneers.


O'Brien: With all due respect, I think you're riding the men a bit hard. You have to understand, they're out of their element. They're not bridge officers, they haven't been to Starfleet Academy. They're engineers. They're used to being given a problem to solve, then going out and figuring out how to do it.
Worf: What are you suggesting?
O'Brien: Give them a little slack. Ease up on the reins. Let them do what they're good at, and give them a little encouragement now and then.
Worf: I will take it under consideration.

Quark: That's how it works. The bigger the risk, the bigger the win. You know, there's another risk you could take. Staying in business with me.
Hanok: You never give up, do you?
Quark: No. I tried to cheat you, and I lost, but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up the game. Come on, Hanok. What do you say? You want to keep playing?


Not one of my favorite episodes. It seems like gimmicky filler, despite some fun performances. Two out of five J-class gas giants.


  1. I agree that the Quark stuff was the most original, but I thought the exchange between Sisko and Kira was important. She hasn't let him really see how awed she is by his presence, and this is one of the first times she lets her faith shine through - her faith in him, in his importance. And it's a real bonding time for them.

    Nice review.

  2. I completely agree Victoria. Kira's relationship to Sisko as both her commanding officer and as an icon of her faith is one of the more interesting on the show. They don't showcase it all that often, but when they do I very much enjoy it.

  3. I agree with the previous commenters about Sisko and Kira. Sure, we knew this dynamic kind of existed before, but we've never seen it really tested or played out, nor have we seen the emotions behind it. This reinforces that aspect of their relationship in a way that we never would have gotten without this episode. Totally agree about the Quark stuff, though. And I probably agree about Worf. They were pretty focused on how Worf was out of his element in the very different world of DS9, but they did kind of forget how far he came in TNG, and how much experience he had previously, some of which would be applicable here. This one feels to me like an early attempt to make a 'we're trapped with no way out and limited resources' bottle episode, but they didn't succeed here as much as they do with such episodes later on.


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