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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Favor the Bold

Dax: “I don't know what all you brass hats in Starfleet Command are thinking, but take it from a simple field officer, we're not going to win this war by running away from the enemy.”

After months of doing nothing but retreating from the Dominion, Sisko plans to launch a counterattack, with a simple goal – retake the station. Meanwhile, Rom is about to be executed for treason, with Odo too distracted by the Female Changeling to do anything. Then, as the Dominion and the Cardassians make progress in taking down the minefield, our heroes on the station are becoming ever more desperate.

Boldness is the theme of this episode. We see it in the ploy of Dax as she uses the Defiant as a decoy and in Worf as the Klingons rescue them; we see boldness in Dax as she challenges Sisko to attack rather than to retreat. We see boldness in Sisko as he presents his plan to Starfleet Command. Even Quark encourages Morn to be bold and to defy his mother (Morn doesn’t).

Another quality we see on the station is persistence, especially in both Quark and Major Kira. Heck, if I ever get caught in some really bad situation, I want someone like Major Kira fighting for me. In this case, Quark and Kira are doing what they can to get Rom out of the holding cell. Quark gets an offer from the Grand Nagus and even tries hiring Nausica’ans (and he gets a deal from Leeta). Kira does even more, trying Odo, Weyoun, even asking Ziyal to speak to her father, Dukat. Unsurprisingly, none of this works, which makes sense because Rom was trying to sabotage the Dominion. I mean, if I were running the Dominion, I would execute that Ferengi! Still, I am full of admiration for Kira as she tries every avenue she can think of, including pointing out that Rom is married to a Bajoran citizen.

Then things go from really bad to even badder. Damar has figured out how to deactivate the minefield, a process that will take about a week, at which point many, many thousands of Jem’Hadar reinforcements will pour through wormhole into the Alpha Quadrant. Quark tells Kira she has to get a message to Sisko. She does, using a contact developed through Jake.

Fortunately, when Sisko receives Morn’s ribbon, Sisko already has put together a plan for retaking the station. This is a wee bit coincidental, but not too much, because he would naturally have chosen this attack plan. They simply have to go immediately, without all their allies, in order to protect the Alpha Quadrant.

Now, Odo is the one character who has been disappointing – not just to Kira and to Quark, but with respect to the consistency of his character. He was too easily swayed by the female changeling; he seems to oscillate between the sides too easily. Of course, we don’t know what it is like to be a changeling and what the Great Link is like. And so this might excuse or at least explain Odo’s behavior, which has seemed spineless (of course he doesn’t have a spine). The Great Link is a bit inconsistent in the grand epic. Kira’s fury with him is cathartic to behold.

Title musings. “Favor the Bold” is a great phrase. It comes from the Latin, where it is implied that Fortuna, the goddess of luck, favors those who are bold. And there’s a lot of truth to it. Of course, boldness can get you killed, too, but for our heroes, boldness is the only option with any hope.

Bits and pieces

When Sisko describes Bajor to Admiral Ross, we discover just how attached he has become to the planet.

I sympathize with Damar when Dukat asks him to make peace between Dukat and his daughter. He’s not suited to that sort of mission.

Watching Kira beat up Damar is extremely satisfying.


O'Brien: Engage, retreat, engage, retreat. I tell you, that's becoming our favorite tune.
Bashir: Well, we'd better think of a new tune fast or the only song we're going to be singing is Hail the Conquering Dominion.
Dax: I wouldn't start learning those lyrics just yet, Doctor.

Sisko: The Dominion won't attack Earth.
Sitak: How can you be sure?
Sisko: Because Earth isn't the key to the Alpha Quadrant. The wormhole is. And whoever controls Deep Space Nine controls the wormhole.

Wayoun: I don't know how to judge it. You see, my people lack a sense of aesthetics.
Kira: That's too bad.
Weyoun: I sometimes think so as well. But if aesthetics were truly important, the Founders would have included it in our genetic makeup.
Kira: Or they made a mistake.
Weyoun: Gods don't make mistakes.

Leeta: What could be more important than your life?
Rom: Destroying the anti-graviton beam to prevent the Dominion from taking down the minefield. You've got to finish what I started. The fate of the entire Alpha Quadrant rests in your hands. Billions and billions of people are counting on you.
Quark: Boy, are they going to be disappointed.
Rom: Brother, you can do this. You have to do this. You will do this.
Quark: What happens if I get caught?
Rom: Then we'll die together. Side by side, heads held high, knowing we did our best.

Damar: I don't know what Dukat sees in that woman.
Quark: Then you need to get your eyes examined. One kanar. Want me to leave the bottle?
Damar: Maybe I should have you taste it first. Make sure it isn't poisoned.
Quark: Poisoning customers is bad for business.
Damar: True. But some people may place a brother's revenge above business.
Quark: Not this Ferengi.

Worf: General, perhaps you should return to Kronos and make your plea in person. The Chancellor has great respect for you. If you cannot persuade him, no one can.
Martok: I will go see Gowron and you will come with me.
Worf: No. The Chancellor no longer considers me a friend.
Martok: I know. But what could be better? An ally and an enemy both telling him the same thing. He'll have no other choice but to agree.

Weyoun: I must say, you're doing a wonderful job with Odo.
Founder: Meaning what?
Weyoun: Meaning that he's always posed a potential threat to our plans, but you seem to have neutralized him quite nicely.
Founder: Neutralize Odo? Is that why you think I'm here? Odo is a changeling. Bringing him home, returning him to the Great Link, means more to us than the Alpha Quadrant itself. Is that clear?

Odo: Nerys. I'm sorry.
Kira: Sorry? That's what you wanted to tell me? You're sorry?
Odo: Yes.
Kira: Well let me tell you something, Odo. We are way, way past sorry.

Overall rating

An excellent episode, except that Odo is a bit weak, and even then I’m not sure about that. Three and a half out of four pink ribbons.

Victoria Grossack loves math, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

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