Back when DS9 and Voyager were on the air simultaneously, I remember reading an article in TV Guide which postulated that, in the future, Deep Space Nine would be remembered as the best of the (then) four Star Trek television series. The writer made a compelling argument for his case. I don’t remember his specific reasons, but I can tell you this: I have seen every episode of DS9 once, and once only… with two exceptions: I have seen “Blood Oath” (with the three TOS Klingons) and “Trials & Tribble-ations” multiple times each. Because I am less familiar with DS9 than I am TNG, I will probably spend a bit more time summarizing the episodes than I did with TNG, starting with…

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DISTANT VOICES: Bashir gets zapped by an alien and begins to prematurely age. He keeps hearing snatches of voices in the background and finally comes to realize that he’s in a coma. Versions of the crew exist in his fantasy, each representing aspects of his personality. This episode is quite similar to the superior “Visionary,” but this one is a mere hallucination.

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: Another “Mirror Universe” story.

It has been a while since I posted, but I’ve continued to watch. I’ll deal with the last six episodes of season three in a single entry.

IMPROBABLE CAUSE / THE DIE IS CAST: A two-part tale of intrigue featuring Garak and dealing with an alliance between the Obsidian Order and the Romulan Tal Shiar to defeat the Founders.

EXPLORERS: Sisko and Jake try to recreate an historic Bajoran spaceflight using an authentic 800-year-old starship design with solar sails. First appearance of Leeta. First mention of Sisko’s love interest, freighter captain Kasidy Yates. Siko grows a goatee in this episode.

FAMILY BUSINESS: Quark is held responsible for his mother engaging in business and making a profit (illegal for Ferengi females). Liquidator Brunt is played by the same guy who plays the Andorian on Enterprise. Quark’s “moogie” Ishka is played by Second City alum Andrea Martin. First time we see Ferenginar (ferengi homeworld). First appearance of Kasidy Yates. I remember Kasidy Yates and I remember what she looked like, but it wasn’t until I actually saw her on screen that I realized she’s the same actress who plays Dr. Claire Finn on The Oriville.

SHAKAAR: Another episode featuring Kai Winn, easily the most dislikeable character on the entire series.

FACETS: This episode features the Trill ritual in which all of the symbiote’s joined personalities are psychically transferred to other hosts temporarily, giving the actual host the opportunity to interact with them “face-to-face.” (Seems like a bad ide to me; too much could go wrong.) The temporary “hosts” included Kira, O’Brien, Leeta, Quark, Bashir and Sisko. It fell to Odo to take the personality of Dax’s previous host, Curzon. Something to do with Odo’s nature as a Changling caused their personalities to meld, and neither wanted to return to the way they were. Jadzia was particularly interested in asking Curzon why he tried to have her drummed out of symbiont training, and why he later relented. (Turns out he was in love with her.) This episode reminded me a bit of a Dark Shadows sequence in which “past selves” are played by members of the cast.

Also in this episode, Nog passes his Starflleet Academy entrance exam.

THE ADVERSARY: The Defiant is maneuvered into attacking an innocent planet under false pretenses by the Dominion, which would have had disastrous political ramifications, but Sisko and crew thwart the Founders’ intentions. More importantly, sisko is promoted to Captain. (I thought that happened in the first episode of the fourth season.)

Okay, season three was pretty much of a slog, but as I recall, things pick up significantly next season.

You're going to see a lot of the actor who played Brunt, if you haven't already.

On Deep Space Nine? I don't remeber him all that well.

Hmm... Apparently he played Brunt eight different times on DS9 as well as playing a total of eight different roles on various Star Trek series. Oddly, he and I share the same spelling of both our first and middle names, plus he was born on the exact same day as my brother.

There's one particular character that I'm thinking of for Combs, but I can't recall whether you will have seen him yet, or  not.

Unless I miscounted, Jeffrey Combs appeared on 33 episodes of Deep Space Nine, sometimes playing two different characters in the same episode.

Before moving on to season four of DS9, here is a video of the Star Trek roles of Jeffrey Combs ranked.

SEASON FOUR

THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR: Season four is when Deep Space Nine really clicked with me. In my memory, I denote it by two things: 1) Worf joined the crew, and Sisko shaved his head. (The latter may seem superficial, but something about the way he carried himself after that just seemed more commanding.) Re-watching it for the first time in all these years, I can say that all of the elements set forth in the previous season just fell into place. I’m tempted to cite season four as a good jumping on point, but it’s not, really; the groundwork of the early seasons is critical. In this double-length opener, the Klingons arrive at the station, ostensibly to fight against the Dominion, but really to invade Cardassia, asserting the government has been infiltrated by Changlings. The Federation’s stance is neutral, and Worf is reassigned to help deal with the Klingons. The Klingons are thwarted, but Worf is (once again) stripped of his honor.

This is where the series really started to get interesting to me.

THE VISITOR: Sisko is hit by a bolt of light from the Defiant’s warp core during an experiment and is apparently killed in front of Jake’s eyes, but has actually been shunted to a subspace dimension. Sisko keeps reappearing to Jake every 10 years or so due to some sort of bond they share because of the accident. Jake becomes obsessed with saving his father’s life, and finally does, at the cost of his own, many, many years later. this is more than a simple alternate future story, showing as it does how Jake copes with loss over the course of a lifetime.

HIPPOCRATIC OATH: Bashir and O’Brien are captured by the Jem’Hadar. In the B-plot, Odo’s style of security clashes with Worf’s sensibilities.

INDISCRETION: Unlikely allies Major Kira and Gul Dukat embark on a mission to find survivors of a Cardassian transport ship carrying Bajoran prisoners which was lost six years ago. Complicating the matter is the fact that one of the survivors is Dukat’s illegitimate daughter. I preferred this episode’s B-plot concerning Kassidy Yate’s decision to take a job in the Bajoran sector and move aboard the station.

He'll always be Herbert West in Reanimator (1985) to me.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Before moving on to season four of DS9, here is a video of the Star Trek roles of Jeffrey Combs ranked.

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