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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As I recall, that was because Alexander "Julian Bashir" Siddig had gotten Nana Visitor pregnant IRL.

That's right!

BROKEN LINK: Odo can no longer retain solid form and asks to be returned to his people. Little did he know that the Founders caused his malady in order to draw him home to stand trial (for the murder of a fellow Changeling in season three). As punishment, the Founders take away his ability to transform and make him permanently human. Odo learns that Klingon Emperor Gowron is himself a Changeling.

This is the last episode of season four.

SEASON FIVE

APOCALYPSE RISING: Sisko, Odo, O’Brien and Worf are surgically altered (well, I guess Worf is not) to infiltrate the Klingon empire and expose Chancellor Gowron as a Changeling. It turns out that Martok, not Gowron, is the Changling. It was the Founders’ intention that, with Martok as Chancellor after Gowron’s assassination, they would have control of the Klingon Empire. With the plot exposed, Gowron agrees to a cease fire with the Federation. Sisko makes for a convincing Klingon; Odo and O’Brien, not so much. In a meta-textual joke, because Bashir transplanted the O’Brien’s baby into Kira womb, she blames him for her condition.

I liked that episode.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

SEASON FIVE

APOCALYPSE RISING: Sisko, Odo, O’Brien and Worf are surgically altered (well, I guess Worf is not) to infiltrate the Klingon empire and expose Chancellor Gowron as a Changeling. It turns out that Martok, not Gowron, is the Changling. It was the Founders’ intention that, with Martok as Chancellor after Gowron’s assassination, they would have control of the Klingon Empire. With the plot exposed, Gowron agrees to a cease fire with the Federation. Sisko makes for a convincing Klingon; Odo and O’Brien, not so much. In a meta-textual joke, because Bashir transplanted the O’Brien’s baby into Kira womb, she blames him for her condition.

THE SHIP: While on a survey mission in a runabout, Sisko and company discover a crashed Jem’Hadar vessel which they plan to salvage. Another Jem’Hadar ship arrives and destroys the runabout. The Vorta in command demands that sisko relinquish the ship, but he refuses. She agrees to let Sisko keep the ship if he allows her to retrieve something from inside. Without knowing what she wants, he refuses. It ends up being a Founder, who dies. The Jem’Hadar commit suicide for allowing a Founder to die, and the Defiant arrives to salvage the crashed ship.

LOOKING FOR PAR’MACH IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES: Quark’s Klingon ex-wife, Grillka, visits the station. Worf is attracted to her, but nonetheless helps Quark survive a dual over her with another Kilingon.

NOR THE BATTLE TO THE STRONG: Jake is thrust into a combat situation along with Bashir because reasons. Doing triage in a make-shift hospital in a cave, he meets a variety of character types, including an officer who shot himself in the foot to avoid battle and another who later died from wounds received while saving his unit. When Jake and Bashir leave the cave to retrieve a generator from their runabout, shelling starts and Jake runs away. He later feels guilt even though they both survived. When the enemy soldiers make their way into the cave, Jake holds the line while the others escape. He fires blindly into the ceiling, which collapses, almost killing him. He is hailed a hero but doesn’t feel like one. He later writes an truthful article about his experiences and shows it to his father.

The episode’s title is Biblical, from Ecclesiates 9:11: "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."

Heroes never think of themselves as heroes.

THE ASSIGNMENT: A non-corporeal entity takes over the body of Keiko O’Brien and threatens to harm her body or their daughter Molly unless Miles does exactly as he is told. He’s not really certain, at first, what the alien is up to, but it eventually becomes clear that this group of aliens, the Pah-wraiths, want to kill the Founders and take their place in the Bajoran religion. O’Brien recruits help from an unlikely source. A very tense episode.

TRIALS & TRIBBLE-ATIONS: As I mentioned in the very first post to this thread, “Trials & Tribble-ations” is one of only two episodes of Deep Space 9 I have seen more than once. I am not one of those people who think “The Trouble with Tribbles” is one of the three best episodes of TOS, but it is my favorite of DS9. In addition to the phenomenal digital effects, it blew my mind (at the time) that the difference between TOS Klingons and the ones from TMP was actually addressed in canon! Trivia note: the temporal investigators “Dulmer" and "Lucsly" are anagrams for "Mulder" and "Scully".

LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN: Julian and Leeta (and, for some reason, Quark) join Worf and Dax on their vacation to Risa. For those of us who suspected Worf and Dax have been having sex, this episode lays that question to rest (pun intended). Worf was traumatized as a boy when he accidentally killed another boy while playing soccer. Julian and Leeta (it turns out) have come to Risa for a silly (and wholly unrealistic in my experience) Bajoran “rite of separation.” The movement of “Essentialists” provides the episodes main conflict, and presages such things as the today’s “anti-vaxxer” movement.

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