Top 10 Episodes: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season 6
Season 6 of Deep Space Nine didn’t open with a two-parter, or a three-parter…but a SIX episode arc that was captivating, exciting and showed what Star Trek could do in a serialized format.
We also had some great humor in this season, as well as some tremendous drama. Episodes like “Far Beyond the Stars” and “In The Pale Moonlight” are not only highlights of this season, but of the ENTIRE seven year run of Deep Space Nine.
As the show continues the story of the Dominion War and it’s inevitable conclusion, season 6 continued to put out thought provoking, entertaining episodes.
Here are the Top Ten Episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season 6.
10. Tears Of The Prophets
The finale to season 6, and it certainly sets the table for what is to come in season 7.
There are some great space combat sequences, as we see Federation, Klingon and Romulan forces take on The Dominion. Who would have thought we’d see the day when Klingons and Romulans would fight side by side? Gul Dukat also makes his return to Cardassia, joining Weyoun and Damar, albeit in a different role than he had previously held. In a way, his motivation to hurt Sisko specifically seems to have made him more focused and calm. Jadzia’s fate seems to be more a victim of circumstance than anything else, which is unfortunate. It will be interesting to see how they address the Dax character next season.
A nice little touch having Kira recognize that Sisko took his baseball back to Earth, symbolizing his uncertainty if he will ever return to the station.
We learn two things in this episode: Apparently the Federation isn’t as spotless as we’ve always been lead to believe, and Dr. Bashir talks to himself. A lot.
“Inquisition” introduces us to Section 31, an apparent autonomous division that does all the dirty work no one sees in protecting the Federation from outside threats. In a rather creative way, we see here Section 31’s attempt in recruiting Dr. Bashir into their organization. William Sadler was a great casting decision, as he brings an intensity and secretive aspect to the character that fits perfectly. It was fun to see him ask Bashir many questions that directly referenced previous DS9 episodes. Some of his inquiries brought up good points, questions and doubts that we the audience even had as well.
While not action packed, this episode makes up for it with tension and suspicion.
8. Honor Among Theives
Not the most original story, as we’ve seen the “undercover-agent-sympathizes-with-his-objective” in many other forms before, but it was fun to see Deep Space Nine’s take on it.
One of the most alluring things about this episode was the setting that was created to give it that dark, edgy feeling. The lighting in the bar with the fans was a great touch, and the flashes of lightning was very effective, especially during O’Brien’s meetings with Chadwick. (Have to wonder though, all that lightning and no rain, what is up with that planet’s atmosphere?)
It was good to see some continuity on the part of the Vorta that was used, although we can’t be sure if it’s the same one we saw in “One Little Ship” or a clone. Nick Tate as Bilby was most effective, as his personality and the way he warmed up to O’Brien made it hard not to like and care for him.
7. The Magnificient Ferengi
A hilarious, smart and clever installment full of fantastic performances. And it’s all driven by the Ferengi.
Borrowing some themes from the movie the episode is named after (The Magnificent Seven), Quark needs to assemble a team to rescue his mother from The Dominion. At times Ferengi episodes can be a little over the top, but this one is perfect. Rom has some great dialogue, it’s always fun to see cousin Gaila again, and both Vorta that appear are entertaining as well. Bringing back Christopher Shea to reprise his role as Keevan was a great call. When we last saw him he was more of a cold, calculating character, not afraid to sell out those around him in order to survive. This time he plays a comedic role and nails it. Iggy Pop as Yelgrun is also excellent. His voice and inflections are perfect, and his dead eye gaze is fun to watch. He barely seems interested in being there, and yet he is.
Full of great little gags (especially when Quark and Rom pop their head into Sisko’s office after taking a wrong turn via the Jeffries tubes), “The Magnificent Ferengi” is hard to not love.
6. Who Mourns For Morn?
Quark gets his second beauty episode of the season, and Morn actually gets his own storyline! Sort of.
This one is full of great performances, the majority of which are from the guest stars. Taking the cake are the two brothers, one of which sounds like he’s doing his best Jack Nicholson impression. There is so much great dialogue and subtle nuances for the actors to use in this story, it makes for a great viewing experience.
What’s perhaps best about “Who Mourns for Morn” is that it is based on a character that hasn’t had one line in the entire run of the series thus far, despite the audience being told that he is known as being quite the talker. It also makes it that much more humorous when we see how deeply some of the crew are affected when they learn of his apparent passing.
Once again, Deep Space Nine proves it isn’t all doom and gloom and war with a great upbeat installment that is one of the true highlights of the season.
5. Favor The Bold
The penultimate episode of the opening season six story arc, and it sets the table very nicely.
The mines are coming down, Dominion reinforcements are just on the other side of the wormhole, and Sisko proposes a plan to finally retake Deep Space Nine. Odo has been out of it for a while as he’s been busy “linking” with the Female Founder, and Kira’s anger towards him is totally warranted. The look on Odo’s face when she tells him they are “beyond sorry” is perfect, as he realizes he may have just damaged their relationship forever. Another good moment involving Kira occurs when her and Quark interrupt Morn wrapping a present he plans to send off the station to his mother. Nog gets a promotion in this one, and he’s been a perfect fit on the bridge. His working relationship with O’Brien is nice to see. Weyoun is also on point, as we learn a few more things about his species in intersting fashion. Get ready for the next episode – it’s about to go down!
4. Sacrifice of Angels
The opening season arc comes to a head in “Sacrifice of Angels”, complete with a space battle that has made any other Star Trek space battle sequence up to this point look like a minor skirmish.
It’s been fun to watch how an unfortunate shared experience like interstellar war has brought people together in ways that may have not otherwise happened. Garak is practically a full fledged member of the Defiant’s bridge crew, and Quark and Kira working together is something you wouldn’t have expected to see based on their relationship from season one. These episodes have been huge for Quark’s brother Rom, not to mention Nog as well. Ziyal’s fate is made even more sad and touching as she may have been the most innocent member of this entire war, being more a victim of circumstance than anything else. Anyone else find it a little TOO convenient that the only ship to break through the Dominion lines was the Defiant? Come on now. Damar’s quip to Leeta was fantastic, as he’s becoming a better and better character with each passing episode.
Looks like the Prophets/Wormhole aliens are really starting to get involved in the goings-on of Bajor!
3. Rocks and Shoals
Oh we’re getting real now.
The Dominion War is well underway, and we see that our Federation friends are feeling the effects. Picking up from the season premiere, our heroes on the damaged, undercover Dominion ship crash land on a deserted planet. They soon learn they aren’t alone, as their Dominion pursuers also crash landed. There is a small group of Jem ‘Hadar, along with their Vorta. Meanwhile, we see that Kira has become a little too comfortable sharing Ops and Deep Space Nine with its new keepers. There is some great use of slow motion throughout this episode, and the Bajoran demonstration is a highlight of that. It’s interesting to see after that rather serious display just how much Kira realizes she’s become complacent sharing the station with her former enemies.
Everything that takes place on the planet is gold. Nog and Garak referring to previous events in the episode “Terok Nor” is great, the dialogue between the characters when they are under pressure is well written, and Christopher Shea plays a great Vorta. One notable guest star you probably won’t recognize under the Jem ‘Hadar makeup? Phil Morris. He appeared in The Original Series as a child, in Star Trek III, and even later in an episode of Voyager. But probably his most recognizable role? The fast talking Jackie Chiles, from Seinfeld. Oh you better believe it!
2. Far Beyond The Stars
What a great Star Trek episode. This goes back to the roots of what the show was really about: real life issues, under the guise of science fiction.
The focus of “Far Beyond the Stars” was race and prejudice, and while the majority of the storyline was set in what appears to be 1930’s Earth, it’s sad to see that these issues are still relevant today. Avery Brooks’ directing (and most notably acting) was some of the best he did during the entire series.
In addition to a great story, the other big appeal to this episode is the chance for the audience to see our favorite characters in a different light – without their usual makeup! So many of the cast of DS9 are buried under latex, but in this story we see the actors who portray the likes of Odo, Worf, Quark, Nog, Dukat, Weyoun and Martok as they look in real life. Rene Auberjonois (who plays Odo) does a great job of playing Herb, the senior editor who is often the bearer of bad news. It’s fascinating to see Michael Dorn, Armin Shimerman, etc. without their “usual” faces that Trek fans are so used to seeing.
A great story with amazing performances – “Far Beyond the Stars” is among the best of the series, let alone the season.
(Fun fact: The cover of the magazine Aron Eisenberg’s character sells Avery Brooks near the beginning is actually some concept art of a space station from The Original Series!)
1. In The Pale Moonlight
It is no coincidence an episode this good involves Garak, as he is one of the most compelling characters on the show. Pairing his performance with an equally stellar outing from Sisko makes for an outstanding installment.
It is fascinating to see just how far Sisko is willing to go in order to try and improve the Federeation’s chances in the war with the Dominion. Everyone has a breaking point or a line they think they will never be willing to cross – until they do. What would push YOU past the point of no return?
Senator Vreenak is cast perfectly, the dialogue is unmatched and the story is so good it’s no surprise that not only is this the top episodes of the season, but one of the top episodes of the entire series.