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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Dogs of War

Sisko: "Hello, ship."

By nature I love brevity: A few more shifts in the power structure, and a few more key transformations, have to take place for our characters to move them into place for the grand finale coming up. This may not be the most spectacular of the finale parts, but I love it for a few wonderful moments that it has going for it.

The main focus this week is on new things. A new Defiant, a new Odo, a new Cardassia, a new Ferenginar. Even a new life in Kasidy's womb, and a new budding relationship for Ezri and Julian.

Although the light comic stylings of the Ferengi have never been my favorite parts of the show, but this one is actually pretty nice in light of all the other stuff going on around it. It may not be tonally consistent, but we've been dealing with a lot of heavy stuff lately, so this is a nice break. I'm actually touched by Quark and Rom's interactions here, and their final exchange is pretty lovely. Also, I'll never say no to more Jeffrey Combs, and this week he pulled double duty as both Brunt and Weyoun. I particularly like the little cut they make between Combs' Brunt and Weyoun's announcement to the Cardassian people. Just a nice little in-joke that makes things more fun.

Speaking of in-jokes, in keeping with the more comedic tone of the episode, I caught at least two direct references to the Trek films here. The first is when Sisko tells Ezri that this is what she gets for missing staff meetings. That's a line from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and Kirk says it to McCoy. This line is a favorite in my house whenever somebody has forgotten a family event. Then later, Quark's exaggerated reaction to the new reforms on Ferenginar draws a morally indignant 'The line must be drawn HERE!' from Picard's famous speech against the Borg in First Contact. Both fun little nods you might miss if you're not paying attention, but they make this episode that much more wonderful for me.

It's interesting, actually, that each major storyline and plot point gets a nice little beat I really appreciate. For Quark's storyline, it's that joke, but it's also his final exchange with Rom. For Damar's storyline, it's Kira watching from the shadows as Damar stirs his people to rise up and overthrow their oppressors. I absolutely adore this storyline, and the irony and perfect full-circle narrative perfection that comes from it. I think Damar's character arc in these final episodes of the show might be one of my favorite arcs in all of Trek. And the narrative flourish of Kira watching as he applies her lessons to wage the very war she fought against him is simply perfect. It sends chills up my spine every time.

There are a couple other little storylines here and there, but those are the main two. Bashir and Ezri's relationship is not my favorite thing about this last stretch of the series, but Siddig and De Boer play it pretty adorably. And the little moment that sells this one for me is the interactions between O'Brien and Worf about it. That's when you know you've got a great cast of characters, when pretty much any two of them can react to a development in any other two, and you've got some excellent material. I always laugh out loud when Worf sends the turbolift back down without saying a word.

Overall, I think this episode is a much-needed breath of fresh air before we descend into the depths for the grand finale. Which is weird, because the last episode was also meant to be a breath of fresh air before we descend into the depths. Only this one doesn't have to deal with the implications of attempted genocide by an arm of Starfleet and the very likely slow, painful death of one of our most beloved characters. Is it a little bit too light? Maybe. But I love the little grace notes throughout, and overall I think we needed it going into the big tear-jerker.

Strange New Worlds:

Beyond a visit to Cardassia and a brief look at Ferenginar, there wasn't a lot of planetfall this episode.

New Life and New Civilizations:

We learned about a few key reforms in Ferengi civilization, things that by and large are just your garden variety liberal socioeconomic reforms. It's cute to see Quark react to those things with such indignation and moral outrage... as long as you don't think about it too hard...


-A new Defiant! Almost kind of defeats the impact of losing the old one, huh? Ah, whatever, who cares about that, anyhow?

-Odo's critique of the Federation for the way that Section 31 allows them to keep their ideals while turning a blind eye to the things that are done in the shadows to preserve them is very well-taken. I wish the show would have done a little bit more with that in the face of these developments, but there wasn't really time. I also wish Picard would've done something with that when it brought all this up later on, but they were more interested in returning to the old wells one! more! time! Ah well.

-I really like the last scene of the episode. These are some of the key reasons I love Sisko so much, and it's all in how he reacts to Kasidy's news and adjusts his reaction as he figures out how she's feeling about it.

-For next time: an all-out assault on the Dominion's territory. Here we go, folks. It all comes down to this.


O'Brien: "I don't get it. He's interested. She's interested. What's the problem?"
Worf: "He is an overgrown child, and she is very... confused."

Rom: "You're my brother."
Quark: "And you're an idiot. But I love you."

4 out of 6 unkillable legends.
CoramDeo is Kenough, and great at doing stuff.

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