Tue
Jul 16 2013 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “The Siege”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege“The Siege”
Written by Michael Piller
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Season 2, Episode 3
Production episode 40512-423
Original air date: October 10, 1993
Stardate: unknown

Station log: We open with some scenes from “The Homecoming” and “The Circle,” followed by Sisko gathering the Starfleet staff of DS9 in ops. With the Circle’s coup, the Bajoran government that invited the Federation to administer DS9 is no longer in power, so Starfleet is no longer welcome on the station. But Sisko needs to delay the takeover of the station long enough for the Cardassian involvement in this mess to be exposed—and besides, many of the Starfleet personnel have developed ties to the station and to Bajor. Everyone agrees to stay behind to help, but their families and other non-Bajoran civilians need to evacuate the station, as it isn’t safe.

Nog and Jake realize they’re going to separate places. Keiko also isn’t thrilled with O’Brien staying behind. Meanwhile, Dax can’t punch a signal through to Bajor, so Kira has to bring the proof physically to the chamber of ministers. Sisko can’t spare a runabout, but Li says they left some sub-impulse raiders underground on one of Bajor’s moons ten years ago. Sisko sends Dax to help Kira get one of the sub-I raiders up and running.

Quark hatches a scheme to sell seats on the runabouts. Odo, naturally, catches him. To add insult to injury, he overbooked slightly, so there’s a near-riot at the airlock. Sisko can’t calm them down, but Li is able to talk the Bajorans who are trying to evacuate into staying through the power of speechifying. The runabouts depart—Dax and Kira on one to be dropped off on the moon—but without Quark. Rom sold Quark’s seat to a dabo girl.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege

The Bajoran raiders arrive, with an occupation force led by General Krim and Colonel Day. Day sneers that the Federation has tucked its tail between its legs, but Krim wonders where the Bajoran officers who served on the station are, where Li is, and is generally skeptical that Sisko readily abandoned so strategic a position. They take ops, but the internal security system is down. Day contacts Jaro, eager to declare victory, but Krim is convinced that the battle’s only begun. Kira, Odo, and Li are unaccounted for, and it’s the latter that convinces Jaro that Krim’s right, as Li would never abandon Bajor. But Li must be taken alive: dead, he’s a martyr, but alive he secures the Circle’s victory.

Kira and Dax find a tiny, cramped sub-I raider in a bug-infested underground cavern, and Dax works to get it up and running. Kira’s almost nostalgic, while Dax is less than impressed with the old rattletrap, but they manage to lift off. As soon as they achieve orbit of Bajor, they’re fired on by two ships. (Dax is only able to detect them using a tricorder, as the raider’s sensors are down.) Kira goes into the atmosphere to level the playing field, and Dax manages to tag one with phasers, but the other one shoots them down and they crash.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege

On the station, main power goes down, thanks to some O’Brien-created sabotage. The Starfleet personnel—in civilian garb, since they’re technically not authorized to be there—are hiding in the conduits, along with Li, while Odo keeps an eye on things while hiding as various bits of wall and floor. Bashir leads a team that captures one of Day’s search parties in a cargo bay. Meanwhile, O’Brien and Li are ambushed in Odo’s office, but Sisko and the rest of their team are able to rescue them, with help from Odo. Day himself leads a team to Quark’s, where they fall into a trap Sisko left in a holosuite. Sisko explains that the Cardassians armed the Circle, and they transport Day out of the holosuite to ops so he can inform Krim. However, Day lies to Krim, saying he offered them amnesty if they freed him and never mentioning the Cardassians.

Krim’s people get the internal sensors back up, but they can’t find the Starfleet combadges—so they must be somewhere shielded. Odo warns Sisko that they’re going to flood the conduits with anaesthezine gas, so they have to abandon their secure location.

With their hidey-holes about to be compromised, and still no word from Kira and Dax, Sisko decides to bring Li to Krim in the hopes that he can convince the general that he’s backed the wrong side. Li is reluctant, saying he’s willing to die for his people, but Sisko cuts him off saying that of course he is, because dying gets him off the hook. But Bajor needs him to live the role they want him to live.

Kira and Dax are rescued by members of Bareil’s order, and they take them to the monastery. Kira’s broken hip is mended, and she and Dax disguise themselves as vedeks, because religious folk are the only ones who can safely walk the streets and enter the chamber of ministers. Bareil insists on escorting them.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege

Bashir and his team create a distraction at an airlock, drawing most of Krim’s forces there. Sisko, Li, and O’Brien then ambush Krim in Sisko’s office. At the same time, Kira, Dax, and Bareil enter the chamber of ministers, where Kira presents the evidence that Odo acquired of the Cardassians’ involvement. Krim is recalled to Bajor, and is pissed at Day for not sharing Sisko’s message. Krim returns command of the station to Sisko, and compliments Li on how well he fought.

As Krim leaves, Day loses it and turns his weapon on Sisko. Li leaps in front of it and is killed saving Sisko. His last words are, “Off the hook at last.”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege

Kira is devastated by Li’s death, though O’Brien doesn’t see what the big deal is—Li was just a regular person. But Sisko reminds O’Brien of the legend of Li Nalas, the hero of the resistance who died for his people, and that’s how he’s going to remember him.

The Sisko is of Bajor: Sisko’s speech at the beginning really gets at the heart of what the show’s about, playing up how important the people on the station are. (I love the line about how governments can break relations with an edict, but for the people on the ground it’s not so simple.) He also manages the impressive trick of doing the you-don’t-have-to-volunteer-for-this-mission-no-one-will-think-ill-of-you part of the speech while really sounding like he means it. Usually that’s a perfunctory, butt-covering aspect of the let’s-disobey-orders speech, but Sisko is earnest about it. He won’t let people endanger their lives or their families’ lives unnecessarily if they don’t want to. (Which makes O’Brien’s decision all the worse, but we’ll cover that in a bit.)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege

Don’t ask my opinion next time: Kira takes to her mission like a duck to water—she gets a nostalgic thrill digging around a cobweb-filled moon and kicking an old sub-I raider to life. She also does a nice job of piloting, and crash lands well enough to walk away from it (sort of). It’s also fun watching her take the piss out of Dax, who isn’t used to technology being so unreliable.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege

Rules of Acquisition: Quark quotes the 31st Rule at Bashir: “Never make fun of a Ferengi’s mother.” This seems an odd Rule, given Ferengi disdain for females, but the later publication of Legends of the Ferengi by Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe revealed that the full Rule had a final phrase: “…insult something he cares about instead.” We’ll chalk up Quark’s leaving off that part to being all verklempt because Rom sold his seat.

The slug in your belly: The second host of the Dax symbiont was named Tobin. He was a socially maladroit engineer, and Dax calls upon his skills with phase coil inverters to help Kira get the raider up and running—barely.

Preservation of mass and energy is for wimps: We see Odo change into the face of a bulkhead and later into a tripwire. He likely turned into other things while spying on Krim, Day, and their people.

No sex, please, we’re Starfleet: Bareil is only in one scene, but he’s still flirting heavily with Kira. He also says “Don’t argue” in a manner that probably was supposed to be a vedek admonishing a civilian, but comes across as a bit creepier in light of their becoming a couple in the future.

Keep your ears open: “You Starfleet types are too dependent on gadgets and gizmos. You lose your natural instincts for survival.”

“My natural instincts for survival told me not to climb aboard this thing. I’d say they were functioning pretty well.”

Kira making fun of Dax, who responds in kind. Given that they crashed a few minutes later, Dax sorta had a point.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege

Welcome aboard: Back again are Richard Beymer as Li, Stephen Macht as Krim, Louise Fletcher as Winn, Philip Anglim as Bareil, and the uncredited Frank Langella as Jaro. Plus we have recurring guests Rosalind Chao as Keiko, Hana Hatae as Molly, Max Grodenchik as Rom, and Aron Eisenberg as Nog. And finally, we have Steven Weber—who was in the midst of his starring role in Wings when he showed up here—as Colonel Day.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege

Trivial matters: This continues from “The Homecoming” and “The Circle,” concluding Star Trek’s first ever three-parter.

Stephen Macht was one of the finalists for the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard that eventually went to Sir Patrick Stewart. Took ’em six years to finally cast him in another role.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege

Jaro is neither seen nor heard of again on screen, though his younger self appears in the Terok Nor novels Day of the Vipers by James Swallow and Dawn of the Eagles by S.D. Perry & Britta Dennison (in the former, he’s present for first contact between Bajor and Cardassia). He also appears in the DS9 novel Objective: Bajor by John Peel. The Bajor section of Worlds of DS9 Volume 2 by J. Noah Kym establishes that Jaro was arrested after this episode and remains in prison for at least the next six years.

Day also appears in the short story “Ha’mara” by Kevin G. Summers in the Prophecy and Change anthology, a story that takes place prior to this episode. Given that he killed Li Nalas, he’s likely in the prison cell next to Jaro.

Bareil will next appear in “Shadowplay,” which will continue the arc of his and Kira’s attraction. Winn will next appear in “The Collaborator,” in which Bareil will also appear, which will finally resolve the issue of who becomes the next kai.

Walk with the Prophets: “Use your eyes, not your pants.” This is one of those episodes that’s fun to watch but once it’s over you realize it’s managed the neat trick of being chock full of filler, yet also has far too quick and pat an ending.

There are plenty of excellent set pieces here. The colloquy on combat rations is hilarious, Sisko’s speech at the top of the episode is strong yet understated, Nog and Jake’s scene is excellent, Rom selling Quark’s seat is classic (particularly Bashir’s delivery of the news to Sisko and Quark, and Sisko’s tiny smile after, “I guess he sold your seat”), and every scene with Kira and Dax just sparkles (also the aerial combat scene is superbly written and directed). Li’s speech to the Bajorans wanting to evacuate is powerful (“Where are you running to? This is Bajor!” is goosebump-inducing), and Stephen Macht’s Krim is a worthy adversary for Sisko.

But there’s very little substance to the episode. There are two action sequences—Bashir’s ambush in the cargo bay and the firefight outside Odo’s office—that serve absolutely no function. The script can’t even be bothered to explain why O’Brien and Li are in Odo’s office to get shot at. The exchange between Bashir and Quark is entertaining but pointless, and the scene between Jaro and Winn just repeats what we got in a much better scene in “The Circle.”

And then there are the absolute duds. Steven Weber—who is a fine actor generally—is simply awful as Day. The resolution happens far too quickly and easily, with the status quo just restored magically at the end because of one stolen manifest.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege

Plus there’s the painful scene with the O’Brien family, which fails on every level. It continues the reduction of Keiko Ishikawa O’Brien to the role of Person Who Whines A Lot—with the added bonus of the fact that she’s absolutely right. If the crew was actually accomplishing anything on the station to justify O’Brien staying behind, that’d be one thing, but they were just delaying things for a bit—anyone could’ve done that. As an opening-credits regular, O’Brien should be in the thick of the action, but the action in question is so utterly pointless that it just makes Keiko seem correct, for all that the script is constructed in a way to make her appear wrong for not wanting her husband to abandon his wife and child.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: The Siege

In the end, Li Nalas dies in the world’s most predictable death. It was foreshadowed by Jaro, who likened his death to a martyrdom dangerous to him while his being alive would seal his victory, and since we know Jaro’s going to lose (because if he wins, there’s no show), Li has to die. Plus Sisko sets it up with the “off the hook” line.

Overall, this is a strong three-parter, but the last portion is less than the sum of its, ah, parts.

Warp factor rating: 6

 


Keith R.A. DeCandido has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a graphic novel based on the universe of his novel Dragon Precinct and its sequels. Art will be by JK Woodward, (the artist on the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover comic book). Please check it out and spread the word!

26 comments
Uncle Mikey
1. Uncle Mikey
Completely agree, I think. This tryptich could have been the first truly awesome DS9 arc and instead it sort of peters out in missed opportunities and a failure to take chances or make the most of the guest cast.

A similar waste is not finding future uses for Stephen Macht's General Krim. I can understand letting Jaro fade away -- how often are you really going to be able to convince Frank Langella to do this sort of thing? -- but Krim was a character with a lot of potential for showing us a different aspect of Bajor.

As it is, the only regular character who is a member of teh Bajor Militia is Kira, and her perspective has become thoroughly coloured by her close association with the Emissary and more broadly with Starfleet members she's come to respect. She also starts out the series not nearly as sure of herself as she presents, while Krim is older and wiser and clearly pretty self-assured. Krim as a regular could have added a lot of depth to the Fed/Bajor relationship, I think.
George Salt
2. GeorgeSalt
I've had a hard time pinpointing exactly what it is about this story arc that bugs me, but I think I finally have. Lately, on Netflix I've been watching Caprica and the contrast with DS9 is interesting. Caprica gives us a picture of a world that on one hand seems a lot like contemporary Earth -- or perhaps Earth in a few years -- yet, on the other hand, isn't our world in subtle and strange ways. Caprica captures a sense of place that is simply lacking in DS9. As far as I can tell, Bajor consists of about a dozen people. We hear of civil strife in the streets but we never see it. We never see streets or cities. All we get are a few outdoor scenes in the gardens of a Bajoran monastery and the rest is shot indoors on a sound stage. It all feels so small.

One could level this same criticism at all the TV Treks; however, stories of a ship moving through space and visiting other worlds seem to provide more opportunities to create a feeling of epic scale. I realize that the producers don't have an unlimited budget and there is only so much they can do with the resources they have. In the end, DS9 is a story of a small group of people living on a small space station and this effort to expand it to encompass epic events occuring on a planetary scale simply falls flat for me. That, and the fact that this 3-episode arc is utterly devoid of any sci-fi makes a rather bland viewing experience. The main cast, as always, deliver stand-up performances and that's what keeps this thing afloat, although I found the Kira-Dax pairing rather disappointing. They really didn't pull off their attempt at comrades-in-arms banter.
Uncle Mikey
3. bookworm1398
I had so many problems with this episode after the great setup in the first two.
1) If there weren't enough seats to evacuate all the Bajorans, where did these Bajorans disappear to later?
2) If there weren't enough seats to evacuate all the civilians, wouldn't it be the duty of the Starfleet officers to stay behind? Totally spoils the whole mutiny plot.
3) What about all the foreign ships docked at/ incoming? Why didn't anyone warm them and ask them to help with the evacuation?
4) As you mentioned, the political resolution was unconvincing. One manifest, which only links the Cardassians to the aliens not even directly to the Circle and all the Circle rioters just go home? They decide their fundamental disagreements about the future of Bajor don't matter?
5) Quark - why? Why is he in all those scenes?
David Levinson
4. DemetriosX
The biggest problem here is that they rushed things. If they had stretched this out over several more weeks, maybe even the whole season, there wouldn't have been such a feeling of things happening to wrap up the plot in an hour. They just weren't ready for that sort of commitment to an arc yet (and of course, they couldn't have kicked everyone off the station so quickly, but that might have been more realistic).

O'Brien sticking around makes a certain amount of sense, not necessarily from a tactical or Starfleet point of view, but for his character. He knows this is really just a prelude to the Cardassians taking over again and given his dislike, if not downright hate, of the "Cardies", he's not going to pass up a chance to tweak their noses again.

I wouldn't put Quark's abbreviation of the Rule down to his being distracted. He's talking to Bashir and he has some idea how hew-mons think. Quoting the whole thing wouldn't give him an advantage over Bashir in the conversation, but by cutting it short he has the opportunity to put the doctor on the wrong foot.
Christopher Bennett
5. ChristopherLBennett
I didn't like it that they killed Li. As Sisko said, it was the easy way out for him, in a way. I would've rather seen him live and pursue the more challenging path.

I liked the aerial fighter scenes. I usually don't much care for combat scenes, but this was a kind of visual-effects sequence we hadn't seen on Trek before, and it was impressively achieved.

What bugged me about Sisko's speech to the crew was, well, the crew. This was the first time I noticed the tendency of the Trek casting department to assume that all Starfleet background extras were human. Here and on Voyager, we never seemed to see a nonhuman Starfleet officer or crewperson unless they were a speaking part. I know, prosthetics cost money, but that didn't stop them from populating the Promenade with a wealth of interesting aliens. So their failure to do the same with Starfleet personnel was out of choice (or oversight), not necessity.

I hated it that the Ferengi book added to the "Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother" rule and reversed its meaning. Quark clearly meant it in earnest. And no, it's not odd that they'd have such a Rule. Just because Ferengi don't think females should participate in conventionally male areas of responsibility, that doesn't mean they never value females in any sense. Lots of human cultures have required women to stay in the home or even sequester themselves, yet have still esteemed their maternal role. And I felt it added welcome nuance to Quark to show that he sincerely loved his mother.

I think this was the first time I saw Steven Weber play a villain, a type of role he's played a few times since. He was a sleazy Gotham City councilman in The New Batman Adventures' final produced episode, "Judgment Day," and he's currently Norman Osborn in Ultimate Spider-Man. As I recall, his character on Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was, if not antagonistic, at least kind of a jerk.
Uncle Mikey
6. Scavenger
On Studio 60 Weber played the role that Jane Fonda now has on The Newsroom, the former idealist turned pragmatist boss. (the character was uncast on Sports Night, and he eventually sold the network to Agent Coulson and SHIELD...on West Wing, had Martin Sheen not been cast as Bartlett and the character turned into the focus of the series, that would likely have been the same role.)
Matt Stoumbaugh
7. LazerWulf
You know, I just noticed this, but how come O'Brien doesn't get his own section?
Matt Hamilton
8. MattHamilton
The part that I liked the most about this episode was O'Brien just loving those field rations. It really was just a nice character moment showing that, yeah, I guess you could get used to eating those things on the front lines and form a sort of attatchmen to them. I liked that, and it was funny with everyone else laughing and people very confused as to how he can like them so much. Other than that, I didn't think much of it. I hate Beriel. He's such a terrible actor in this role-wooden and uninteresting. Krim was pretty cool. I like the actor. I was also confused as to why it was such a terrible thing that the Ferengi had that rule. They don't hate women, they just mistreat them, in human terms at least. In every other episode that Moogi appears Quark loves his mama. He tries to hide most of it because of what we'd call Male Bravado, but he loves her.
Sara H
9. LadyBelaine
Sadly, the only thing I remember (well maybe two things) about this episode was how amazingly dorky Jadzia's civilian casual outfit was and also the edible walker spider-thingies on the moon (and that might be among the most awesome sentences I've ever written) are soooooo obviously these awful 90's spider-walker toy thingies that walk in a spastic, disjointed manner only covered in felt and fake fur. I know because my little brother had one and I remember thinking "wow, what awful special effects for a high end sci-fi show."
Joseph Newton
10. crzydroid
The first thing I want to say is, how DUMB are those people who fell into the holosuite trap? I mean, you KNOW it's a holosuite, and you KNOW it's in use, because you just SAID SO two seconds ago. This is the oldest trick in the book!

I also thought this was a rushed ending and that it would maybe have been a little more interesting as a four-parter. See, I liked the battle scenes on the station. So if we had at least one more episode, we could've had all their efforts on the station here, and then the resolution in the next episode. I thought also occurs to me that then they could've had room for O'Brien to go with Keiko...they could've had scenes with him worrying about what was happening on the station.

Also, I agree that it's clear that Quark (or certainly Rom) loves Moogi, so it was never problematic that he would say that to me, despite the way they treat women in general.
Keith DeCandido
11. krad
So many of the complaints in the comments are budgetary. Part of the reason for killing Li was the knowledge that they wouldn't be able to afford to bring Richard Beymer back regularly. (Shakaar wound up serving the plot function that Li would have had he lived, and was played by the more affordable Duncan Regehr.) And we didn't see the fighting in the streets because that would've been expensive, and this three-parter was already a budget-buster....

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Uncle Mikey
12. RichF
Regarding Quark and the quoting of the rule, perhaps he agreed with the first part of it so much that he intentionally emphasized it by leaving off the second part.
Rob Rater
13. Quasarmodo
@11 Surely they didn't cast Richard Beymer and then say, "Well he's too expensive so now we have to kill him at the end of this 3 episode arc." I assume they'd already planned to kill him, and so then went ahead and cast an actor who cost a little more.
Christopher Bennett
14. ChristopherLBennett
Of course I understand how budget considerations limited their choices, but it's unfortunate when such concerns external to the story lead to decisions that keep the story from being as good as it could've been.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
15. Lisamarie
Agreed, I thought the ending was way too pat and oversimplified. And wouldn't it be kind of easy to fake that kind of evidence, anyway? It would have been cool to see this arc develop through the season.

Bareil and Kira have a relationship? Seriously? Ugh. Unless something changes, I am not seeing the chemistry between them at all.

I don't see a problem with the Ferengi rule as stated. Just because a culture has strict gender roles doesn't mean they don't esteem fertility/motherhood. In fact, I think in some ways, that esteem, when blown out of proportion, is what leads to those strict gender roles. Also, obligatory tvtropes reference, Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas ;)
Christopher Bennett
16. ChristopherLBennett
@15: "In fact, I think in some ways, that esteem, when blown out of proportion, is what leads to those strict gender roles."

Quite so. In a number of historical cultures, the attitude has at least nominally been that women were precious and indispensable in their roles as mothers and nurturers and teachers, that they were embodiments and propagators of the culture's values and spiritual essence, and that they therefore needed to be protected and defended from harm at all costs, kept safely sheltered and apart from the messy and dangerous affairs of men because they were so much more valuable than men.

Although the awful corollary of this kind of thinking is that it's the reason mass rape has so often been used as a weapon of war: if you beleive that women embody the identity and purity of a culture, and you want to tear down and demoralize an enemy culture, it follows that the surest way to do that is to defile their women. Even being treated as a priceless treasure is still being objectified and disempowered, and so it carries a cost.
George Salt
17. GeorgeSalt
@11: I'll admit that I don't know the first thing about the economics of running a TV show. I suspect that CGI were much more expensive back in the 1990s than they are today. These days, even a low budget SyFy B-flick can put sharks in a tornado!

Nevertheless, DS9 feels oddly sparse at this point. I noted the same thing about the 7th season of TNG: in some of the latter episodes the Enterprise seemed eerily empty as if the main cast were running that huge ship by themselves. In earlier seasons, there would be shots of the corridors of the Enterprise teeming with crewmembers.

We'll see the same thing in the next episode in the DS9 rewatch. Of course, the emptiness of the space station is an essential plot element of that forthcoming episode, but I have to wonder if they selected that story over other candidates because of budget considerations. Or, were the producers deliberately pursuing some sort of dramatic minimalism?

How expensive are extras? It seems to me that you could go to a college campus and recruit a group of extras for little more than a decent catered lunch. Lots of people would do it for the bragging rights. Again, I'll admit that I know nothing about the business.
Uncle Mikey
18. Tunod D. Denrub
This episode might come across as a bit weak, but there's one part of it that stuck with me and it's probably not what you think.

While I was watching this episode, the strongest thought I had was "Whoa, they're letting Terry Farrell act. And she's funny!" She may have come out of her shell a little in earlier episodes, but if she did it didn't make an impression on me; however, in the fighter with Kira, Dax is suddenly full of about five gallons of sass, and it is beautiful. It feels like this is where they finally stopped treating Farrell as eye candy and let her show what she can really do.
Michael Burstein
19. mabfan
I watched this episode just before reading the re-watch, and I thought that was Steven Weber. I thought his performance was fine.

And by the way, do the scenes with Kira and Dax mean this episode passes the Bechdel Test?

-- Michael A. Burstein
Christopher Bennett
20. ChristopherLBennett
@17: This was before CGI became the primary, go-to visual effects technique. At this point, the station and ships were all physical miniatures, the matte paintings were actual paintings on glass, and so forth, although the compositing and effects animation (beams/forcefields/etc.) was done on video rather than with film techniques. The only CGI that DS9 was using regularly at this point was for Odo's morphing effects.

As for extras, the number that a show can afford does seem to diminish over time. The original Star Trek was the same way -- in the first season, the Enterprise corridors were full of background crew members and landing parties usually had a few redshirts or technicians, but by the third season, the ship was far emptier and landing parties were usually just Kirk, Spock, and McCoy unless they needed a sacrificial victim along. This was partly because the cast and crew's salaries went up from season to season, and partly because the show's ratings were marginal so it had to cut its budget each season in order for the network to keep it on the air.

@19: Yup, the Kira-Dax scenes with the fighters are Bechdel-ready, but they're not the first such scenes in the series. There was Kira's heart-to-heart with Opaka in "Battle Lines" about whether the Prophets would forgive Kira. And "In the Hands of the Prophets" had Keiko and Winn debating science vs. religion in schools, plus Winn and Neela discussing their plan. There may be others as well.
Keith DeCandido
21. krad
A lot of Kira-Dax scenes pass the Bechdel test. Two other examples are their comparison of childhood behavior at the beginning of "Duet," and their conversation about killing people in "Blood Oath."

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Chris Nash
22. CNash
I was impressed by the aerial combat scenes - as soon as Kira and Dax got into the ship, I thought "yeah, it'll just be them in the cockpit the whole time", but then - whoosh! - we get some great exterior model shots too! Their banter is entertaining, but I thought that Dax would have been a lot more gung-ho in situations like this, much like Kira. I guess they had to have one of them be gung-ho and the other be the "straight man".

I was disappointed that Kira doesn't seem to have any reaction to seeing Dax in a vedek's robes, given what she saw in her Orb experience in the previous episode. Of course, she might have been a little bit distracted at that moment...
Heather Dunham
24. tankgirl73
@18 -- That's what I liked about this episode too. For all the plot contrivances, something about the acting and the writing really sparkles, and I think this continues in subsequent eps this season. Dax in the little fighter ship is a prime example of this.

Regarding the preservation (or conservation heh) of mass and energy, we've much discussed the issues of Odo's supposed mass etc etc etc. This episode however, made me ask a different question:

What happens to his com badge when he's something else?

In fact, just as I asked myself the question, we right away got a scene of him stepping halfway out of a wall (said wall being, well, him too) -- and he is immediately in com contact with the others.

Is his com badge part of his shape shifting repertoire, part of him and not a separate object? That would mean he has the ability to become functioning mechanical and electronic objects... Does it 'absorb' into him? Difficult to do when he's a drinking glass. Plus it would beg the question of whether he can use it while in that other form.

I'm stumped...
Uncle Mikey
25. Data Logan
It's always been my understanding that Odo's combadge is a real combadge. He can't make such complicated machinery himself. So, whenever he transforms he must take the combadge with him . But, the show was pretty inconsistent about this and often had Odo doing things that didn't seem possible with that combadge, like changing into a clear wall covering.
Christopher Bennett
26. ChristopherLBennett
@25: Or a drinking glass.

If you go by Robert Hewitt Wolfe's behind-the-scenes explanation that Changelings could fold their mass into the fourth dimension/subspace, then maybe Odo hid the combadge in a subspace pocket.
Stefan Raets
27. Stefan
I'm watching the series for the first time and just made it up to this point. Very interesting three-parter, but what struck me the most here is the incredible improvement Terry Farrell has made in terms of acting skill. I was not very impressed with her during Season One, but she really shines in some of these scenes, especially the banter with Kira in the flyer.

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