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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THE WIRE: Dr. Bashir’s Cardassian friend, Garak, collapses from pain caused by an implant designed by the Obsidian Order (the Cardassian intelligence service). Turns out, the device is intended to induce pleasure in order to resist torture, but Garak has been abusing it just to endure life as the only Cardassian left on the station. Garak is my favorite supporting character.

CROSSOVER: The first (of several, IIRC) “mirror universe” episodes of DS9. A century earlier, the Mirror Spock set in motion a series of events wich lead to the downfall of the Terran Empire and the rise of the Cardassian-Kilngon Alliance. It’s a shame Enterprise didn’t get the opportunity to follow up on its mirror universe episode.

THE COLLABORATOR: Another Bojoran political episode. In a nutshell, Vedek Bareil (Kira’s “boyfriend”) is a shoo-in to become the new Kai. After a series of events, Kai Ratchet Winn is elected.

TRIBUNAL: Chief O’Brien is kidnapped and put on trial by the Cardassians. He doesn’t even know what he’s being charged with, only that has already been found guilty and the trial is merely a formality. I did not remember this episode at all, and was kept in suspense (not would he be freed, but how) until the end.

THE JEM’HADAR: A weekend in the Gamma quadrant for Sisko and Jake turns into a foursome when Jake invites Nog and then Quark tags along. They soon encounter a timid humanoid woman who is being pursued by the soldiers of the Dominion (the Jem’Hadar). The boys are separated from the adults and beam to the runabout while Sisko, Quark and the woman are captured. Meanwhile, a Je,’Hadar representative materializes about DS9, informs them that Sisko has been taken prisoner, and that they will no longer tolerate Federation ships traversing the wormhole. A Galaxy class starship, the Odyssey, is destroyed by the Jem’Hadar in a suicide run. The introduction of the threat of these new adversaries is a worthy season cliffhanger.

And that’s the end of season two! I’m in a bit of trouble with Tracy for watching one of the extra features. It was 17 minutes long and was supposed to be an overview of season two. 16 minutes in, they let loose with a HUGE spoiler for a later season. Tracy is not as familiar with DSP as she was TNG, but with only a minute left, I suggested we watch the end of the feature. Then they let loose and even BIGGER spoiler… for season seven!

SEASON THREE:

THE SEARCH, Part 1: I usually deal with two-parters in a single post, but I’m caught up and I fancy the idea of staying caught up to the extent that’s possible. Besides, this is really the middle part of a three-parter which picks up directly from the season two cliffhanger (except that Jadzia somehow took the time to get a new hairstyle between episodes). This season/episode is also when the station acquires the Defiant as an assault vehicle, a development I remembered as happening in a later season but am pleased it happened sooner. This is still not the season DS9 clicked for me; I think that’s next season, but I’ll let you know.

The Defiant has a cloaking device and comes with a Romulan technical advisor as well as a new Starfleet security officer, Commander Eddington, (which causes a conflict for Odo). Their mission is to contact the Funders while avoiding the Jem’Hadar. Odo feels strangely drawn to the Omarion Nebula in the Gamma Quadrant. Dax and O’Brien become separated from the rest of the crew, and the Defiant comes under attack by the Jem’Hadar despite the cloaking device. Odo escapes with the unconscious Kira and sets course for the nebula, where he is greeted by a female shapeshifter who assumes his basic form.

THE SEARCH, Part 2: By the time Sisko & Bashir and O’Brien & Dax make their way back to DS9, the Federation has already formed an alliance with the Dominion. The Romulans are out, the Jem’Hadar are allowed to run amok on the station, and tensions are high. Meanwhile, Odo and Major Kira are still on the Founders’ planet where they eventually discover that the entire episode up until that point has been a simulation run in the captives’ minds.

My first time through these crucial groundwork episodes, I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the differences between the Founders, the Dominion, the Vorta and the Jem’Hadar. This, my second time though, I’m paying closer attention from the get-go, especially now that I have a better idea of what to expect going forward.

THE HOUSE OF QUARK: A drunken Klingon accidentally kills himself in Quark’s bar. Quark takes credit to boost business and becomes embroiled in Klingon family politics. In the B plot, so many Bajorans have left the station in fear of Dominion invasion that Keiko had to close the school. Miles finds a temporary job in her field for her on Bajor (three hours away by runabout; I thought it was closer than that…?), which will get her and Molly out of the picture of six months allowing O’Brien to take on more dangerous missions.

EQUILIBRIUM: Jadzia’s having “symbiont problems.”

Time to catch up on a few episodes I’ve watched in the past few weeks.

SECOND SKIN: Major Kira is kidnapped by the Cardassians and awakens to discover that she is a Cardassian, a sleeper agent surgically altered and brainwashed into thinking she’s a Bajoran resistance fighter whose actual identity the Cardassians stole. The rest of the episode is spent with the Cardassians trying to convince her that the only life she remembers is false, and her friends on DS9 trying to track her down.

As it turns out [SPOILER], the plot is not against Kira at all, but rather the father of the Cardassian spy whose identity she was given. I didn’t remember this episode and it kept me guessing throughout.

THE ABANDONED: An infant found on the wreckage of ship in the Gamma Quadrant grows to young adulthood in a matter of hours. The boy is a Jem’Hadar and is deferential to Odo because he was bred that way (in relation to the Founders). B-plot: Sisko tries to break up a romance between Jake and a D’ado girl.

CIVIL DEFENSE: Sisko, Jake and O’Brien, exploring the ore processing facility on DS9, accidentally trigger a security system meant to suppress a Bajoran worker revolt. Because no Carassians remain to input the security code to shut the program down, every step taken to stop it actually makes the situation worse. Twists throughout, I was on the edge of my seat.

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