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Top 10 Episodes: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season 5

Top 10 Episodes: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season 5

Season 5 of Deep Space Nine is almost the perfect season of Star Trek.

Humor. Action. Mystery. Klingons, The Dominion, and the best homage to The Original Series there has ever been. This season covers ALL the bases. The writing is sharp, the acting is fantastic, and the visual effects just keep getting better – and on a larger scale as well.

Here are the Top 10 Episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season 5

10. The Begotten

A great episode for Odo, as an “infant” changeling is discovered and Odo wants to help it mature and realize its own potential.

Part of the reason he’s so adamant in raising it himself is he doesn’t want it to experience what he had to as he “grew up” in the hands of a Bajoran scientist named Dr. Mora. Naturally Mora gets wind of this discovery however and comes to the station in an attempt to assist Odo. There are some great moments between what could be considered father and son, as Mora and Odo discuss his upbringing and the methods Mora used. The biggest contribution this episode had on Odo was the return to his shape-shifting abilities, ending his “punishment” existing as a solid.

9. Business as Usual

Quark is approached by his cousin Gaila to work with him as an arms dealer. Since he’s in massive debt, naturally he accepts. The real highlights of this episode are the guest stars, notably the aforementioned Gaila, as well as Haggath. For fans of the early 90’s live action movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the same actor who played Rafael plays Gaila, and does a great job. His voice and the way he talks as well as his mannerisms make him a perfect Ferengi. As for Haggath, while he may seem over the top at times, it actually works with this character. Just like Quark, you have a hard time telling when he is being serious. He’s definitely not one to mess with, that much we know.

Some light moments involve the crew in Ops whispering to each other so as not to wake up O’Brien’s infant son, as well as Worf apparently being the only one other than O’Brien that can pacify his baby boy.

8. In The Cards

A perfect follow-up to the darkness that was “Empok Nor”.

In one of the most subtle, comedic episodes DS9 has done, the story is simple: The crew, (especially Captain Sisko) is feeling down and Jake wants to do something nice for his father. Once again Nog is a prominent character, and his chemistry with Jake is at an all-time high. There is some fantastic dialogue and many great performances throughout the episode. This was an excellent feel good story leading into the serious drama that would be the season finale.

7. Empok Nor

We go a little dark in this one, with the “crazed murderer on a deserted space station” approach.

DS9 is in need of some specific repairs, so O’Brien, Garak, Nog and others take a shuttle to Empok Nor, a sister-station to Terok Nor (Deep Space Nine). Once there though, they need to deal with several Cardassian booby traps, not to mention a few sleeper agents left behind. Nog has started to become a more prominent recurring character, and he’s a good fit. Andrew Robinson (who plays Garak) had to channel his old killer instincts from when he played opposite Clint Eastwood in “Dirty Harry”, circa 1971.

Referring to O’Brien’s background fighting the Cardassians that was first introduced in The Next Generation was a nice touch.

6. The Ascent

A fantastic episode.

Odo & Quark are stranded on a deserted planet after crash landing on way to a Federation Grand Jury. Putting these two long-time adversaries together resulted in stellar dialogue, with insults and verbal jabs constantly flying. The B-story is also very good, with Nog returning from the Academy to live on DS9 with his old pal Jake, who is moving out on his own after living with his father. Both quickly realize they have developed some drastically different living habits since they were childhood buddies.

Light-hearted and quick witted, “The Ascent” is a great watch. An amazing nod to TOS with regards to “Fizzbin”, a fictional card game Captain Kirk made up so many years prior…

5. In Purgatory’s Shadow

The start of a stellar two-parter, full of surprises. DS9 intercepts a Cardassian transmission from the Gamma Quadrant, compelling Garak to investigate. Sisko gets wind of this and sends Worf along with him. They naturally get captured by the Dominion, and are sent to an internment camp where we meet some familiar faces.

Martok was such a popular character with both the writers and fans that they found a way to bring him back, this time wielding a scar over one eye. He would become a re-occurring character until the end of the show. There is a touching moment between Garak and Tain, when we learn the true nature of their relationship. It was a nice touch having the captured Bashir sporting the uniform style DS9 had before it changed after the release of TNG’s feature First Contact. Sisko also references the events in the movie, showing that indeed the Star Trek universe is all tied in together.

4. By Inferno’s Light

Once again, Deep Space Nine shows they are NOT afraid to mix things up in the Star Trek Universe, on a galactic scale.

The second part to “In Purgatory’s Shadow”, this episode sets the table for everything that is to come until the series’ end. The Dominion has made its move into the Alpha Quadrant, and Dukat as aligned the Cardassians with them leaving the rest of the major powers to start banding together in order to fight back. The Federation-Klingon alliance is re-instated, and even the Romulans look to be playing ball. It’s going to be fun having more of Martok around on the station, he makes an excellent fellow Klingon friend for Worf, and an honorable one at that. This was another great episode for Garak as well, as we learn about one of his biggest internal fears.

It may have been a very small part, but how about the Breen? Boy, it sure would be cool to see more of them down the road….*wink*

3. Call to Arms

Oh, it’s getting real.

While The Next Generation introduced a lot of the different species and races that populate the Star Trek Universe, Deep Space Nine was the one that actually got in there and started mixing it up amongst the super powers. Star Trek is about to go where it’s never gone before – to war. By the episode’s end our heroes are split up in so many different places one can’t help but wonder if they will ever see each other again. The space battles are starting to reach Star Wars scale.

This is the start of something big – and great.

2. Apocalypse Rising

Nothing beats a good undercover story. The risk. The danger. And what could be more dangerous than going undercover as a Klingon to expose the leader of your current enemy as a Changeling infiltrator?

That is exactly what Sisko, O’Brien, Odo and Worf are tasked with, and it is just great fun watching them pull it off. Avery Brooks makes a KICK-ASS Klingon.

A fun change-of-pace scene occurs between Bashir and Kira regarding the baby Kira is carrying. While the child belongs to neither character, (in a previous episode O’Brien’s wife Keiko and her unborn baby are in danger, so in a pinch Bashir comes up with the idea to transfer the fetus to Kira in order to save the day) it does indeed belong to both actors in real life. That’s because at the time, Alexander Siddig and Nana Visitor were a couple. It certainly adds to Kira’s line, as she indicates her enlarged stomach to Bashir: “Well, this was YOUR idea!”

1. Trials and Tribble-ations

For any fan of The Original Series, this is the best episode Deep Space Nine ever did.

Heck, even if you weren’t, it’s right up there among the best.

Approaching Star Trek’s 30th Anniversary at the time, the producers wanted to do something special, and boy – did they ever. Due to some sabotage the Defiant and its crew are thrown back in time to the events of The Original Series episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” An assassination attempt on Captain Kirk’s life is at stake, and our heroes have to stop it. The ultimate triumph of the show was how seamlessly the DS9 characters were integrated into the TOS footage, especially during Kirk’s dressing down of his officers after a barroom brawl on space station K-7. If one had never seen the TOS episode, they would have been led to believe O’Brien & Bashir were always part of that scene.

There are several other examples of this throughout, especially when Sisko takes the opportunity to meet Captain Kirk face to face. There was tremendous love and care put into making “Trials and Tribble-ations”, as it can be seen in every painstaking detail that was undertaken – from set design and props, to the storyline and dialogue. There were too many tips of the hat and nods to TOS to count, and all were perfectly executed. And if honoring one TV show wasn’t enough? The names of the temporal agents, Dulmer and Lucsly, were anagrams for Mulder & Scully – of X-Files fame. (Although if they REALLY wanted to nail that one of the agents should have been a woman.)

We also FINALLY get an explanation as to why Klingons developed cranial ridges – sort of.

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