Top 10 Episodes: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season 4
Where season 3 of Deep Space Nine was a step in the right direction, season 4 is where it really found its footing. From here until the end of the series, DS9 did some big things that had never been done before in Star Trek.
The addition of Worf to the show was a definite plus. He fit right in with the cast of characters on DS9, and went back to his Next Generation Season 1 roots with the red uniform. If you noticed the the absence of Dr. Bashir in the Season 4 cast photo, fear not – he is still a regular in the series. Perhaps there was a medical emergency in the infirmary the day of the picture.
Here are the Top 10 Episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season 4.
10. Hard Time
O’Brien experiences what feels like 20 years in prison in a matter of minutes, leaving him a little worse for wear once the “sentence” is completed.
The writers seemed to enjoy torturing O’Brien from time to time, and this one was no exception. Ichar was a good character; it was different to see someone like him be around not to cause harm, but try and help O’Brien get through his ordeal – both during and after. While the story may have been a little predictable, it was a great opportunity to see Colm Meaney’s range as an actor.
9. Return To Grace
What may start off as an isolated episode, (Dukat escorting Kira to a conference regarding Bajoran intelligence on the Klingons) actually plants many seeds that will come to fruition over time, some longer than others.
For one, we learn just how much Dukat cares for his half Cardassian/half Bajoran daughter Ziyal. Despite being abandoned by his family and demoted by his government, he still loves her dearly and stands with her. Also during the events of “Return to Grace”, Dukat and his men commandeer a Klingon Bird of Prey, something he will use quite a bit down the road to regain his title and power. And finally, in what was a very minor role, we meet Damar for the first time. In this episode he is merely a part of Dukat’s crew, and NO one had any idea at this point how important and major a character he would become over the course of the series right up until the end.
8. Shattered Mirror
We pay yet another visit to the parallel universe. It seems to be getting easier and easier to travel between the two; one wonders why there weren’t MORE visits. Every time the parallel universe needs Sisko’s help, it seems to be as easy as walking through a door.
We see Worf’s role is the part of the Regent, the Klingon leader of the Cardassian/Klingon Alliance. He and Intendant Kira have a sort of power sharing arrangement, albeit a rocky one.
Can you imagine losing your mother at a young age, meeting her parallel-self years later, only to see her die once again? It’s a wonder Jake could ever function after that. Note to all Ferengi: try not to exist “over there”, it never seems to end well. (That must have been fun for the writers.)
7. Broken Link
In the season finale, Odo seems to be in some trouble physically, and the only way he can be cured is to seek out his people and The Great Link in the Gamma Quadrant.
Fortunately for him (or perhaps not) the female Changeling seeks him out and takes him home both to be cured, and also judged for his crime a year earlier: harming (and eventually killing) another Changeling. Odo’s punishment: he is made human. A solid. While this doesn’t occur until some of the final moments of the show, it definitely gets the viewer thinking of the repercussions. Another thing we find out in the closing seconds? Gowron, leader of the Klingon Empire (and who is currently stepping up hostilities towards the Federation) is a shape-shifter, according to Odo.
Whaaaaat? Chew on THAT for the summer hiatus!
6. Rules of Engagement
This one picks up right away as we open on a dream sequence for Worf, filled with dead bodies, some of them being children. It turns out Worf is accused of opening fire on a defenceless civilian transport during a skirmish with the Klingons. A hearing is being held, witnesses are called and it’s not looking good.
What’s unique about this episode is the way they went about the witness testimony. Instead of a lot of talky scenes in a room, many of the depositions were given during flashbacks, with the characters occasionally speaking directly to the camera. It made for a much more visually interesting episode. Ron Canada guest stars as the Klingon advocate, and as with his other Star Trek guest appearances throughout various incarnations, does a very good job. Quark’s deposition is a high point.
5. Starship Down
During negotiations with the Karemma, the Defiant is attacked by two Dominion ships and is badly damaged. Members of the crew are separated into groups, each with their own distaster on hand. (Much like the appropriately named TNG episode, “Disaster”.)
The best moment comes from an unlikely source: Quark. The way he and Hanok (another James Cromwell guest appearance) react to a potentially deadly situation is extremely funny. It is clear they are having a brief moment after being under so much stress and long negotiations. Armin Shimerman really shines in this scene.
4. Our Man Bashir
Star Trek goes James Bond.
A very fun episode, especially if you are a Bond aficionado. It is another example of how things can go wrong in the holodeck/holosuites, but what you can do. The music, characters and evil plot are all perfectly executed. Having Garak come along and give some perspective from a real spy’s point of view was a good call. Sisko’s Hippocrates Noah was a very convincing villain.
While fans may have really enjoyed the episode, the people over in the Bond camp may have thought it hit a little too close to home as we never got to see that character again, despite Bashir’s prediction to the contrary.
3. To The Death
One of those episodes that has the feel like it could have been a two-parter, but they packed it all into one.
Deep Space Nine falls under attack while most of the senior staff were out on a mission with the Defiant. When they return to see one of the upper pylons broken right off (!!) due to the surprise attack, they leave immediately in pursuit. We learn a lot about the Jem ‘Hadar and their culture (Dax has a great little scene with a Jem ‘Hadar soldier discussing each other’s age), as our heroes are forced to work alongside them in pursuit of the “renegade” Jem ‘Hadar that attacked the station. Having the luxury of years of previous Star Trek history in other incarnations of the show, DS9 makes use of the Iconian’s and their gateways originally introduced in “Contagion” from Season 2 of The Next Generation.
Brian Thompson, who has appeared in the Star Trek universe before (and was also the bounty hunter from The X-Files!) is among a very good cast of guest stars. Clarence Williams III played the part of Omet’iklan extremely well, being the cool, calculated yet honorable leader. Perhaps most importantly though, this marks the first (and certainly not the last) time we meet Weyoun. The strength of Jeffrey Comb’s performance will lead to many more appearances down the road, and not just limited to this particular Star Trek series either.
2. The Way Of The Warrior
Now THAT…is a season premiere.
DS9 was never afraid to shake things up in the Star Trek universe, and in this case they go to war with the Klingons.
Perhaps not all out war, but hostilities were raised enough to have the station defending itself versus a large Klingon fleet, and multiple hand to hand combat instances with Klingon boarding parties. Worf makes his debut on Deep Space Nine, and fits in instantly. Who knew that after one season in red back on TNG that he would be wearing that colour again all these years later. Sisko looks like a new man with the bald head, and someone you don’t want to mess with either. Klingons old and new are introduced, in Gowron and Martok respectively. Lucky for the series, this wont be the last time we see Martok. All in all, an outstanding start to a new season of DS9.
1. The Visitor
After the adrenaline rush of the season premiere “The Way of the Warrior”, DS9 comes right back with an emotional heavy hitter in “The Visitor”.
Many times throughout the series stories will focus on the relationship between Captain Sisko and his son Jake, and this may be the best one of the bunch. The chemistry between Avery Brooks and Cirroc Lofton is so real, you could almost think Lofton WAS Brooks’ son. Tony Todd, who previously has been in the Star Trek universe as Worf’s brother Kurn, takes on the responsibility of playing the older Jake. Through some really good performances we see just how much Jake relies and looks up to his father. There are several touching scenes throughout, a lot of them between Sisko and his son, but also a really good one between Jake and Kira as well.