Top 10 Episodes: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season 7
So…despite apparently being “too dark”, being the “black sheep” of Star Trek, Deep Space Nine still managed to be on the air for seven seasons, and it took the audience on one heckuva journey.
DS9 took Star Trek to war, something that had never really been done before, to that extent. In doing so, it dealt with the issues a prolonged conflict like that can bring up. It experimented and successfully pulled off serialization, with the final third of season 7 basically being a 10-part episode. It tackled comedy episodes with success not seen since The Original Series. And it ultimately told fantastic stories, filled with brilliant characters. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if you haven’t tried Deep Space Nine, I highly recommend it. (Feel free to skip right to season 3 though.)
Here are the Top 10 Episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Season 7.
10. Extreme Measures
One last hurrah for the Bashir/O’Brien tandem…in to the mind of Director Sloane from Section 31.
It’s almost unbelievable that Sisko authorized a “mission” like this, but you do what you have to when it comes to saving a friend’s life. Bashir and O’Brien lure Sloane to DS9 in hopes of acquiring a cure for Odo from him. Things take a turn for the worst though when Sloane opts to commit suicide instead of giving up any secrets. In a last ditch attempt to get the information they need, Bashir and O’Brien enter Sloane’s mind in hopes to find what they are looking for. It is an interesting experience, although not as abstract as one would think. There are some fun moments between the two best friends though, especially one where O’Brien is trying to explain his feelings for Bashir and how that is nothing like how he feels for his wife.
9. The Changing Face of Evil
Let the resistance…begin!
We’re a few episodes into the final arc that ends the series of Deep Space Nine. After a handful of table-setter episodes to get the ball rolling, things really pick up from here and take us to the finish line.
Naturally there are a few different story lines playing out, but the most intriguing one involves Damar. It’s been interesting watching his attitude toward the war and the Dominion change, as more and more Cardassian casualties come in. Being blindsided by Weyoun regarding the idea to join forces with the Breen has made him take a step back and rethink things for him and his people. As Weyoun notes, Damar’s confidence has returned, and that is a welcome sight. It’s much more fun watching Damar take charge and plan the freedom of his people then continuously be kept in the dark by everyone around him.
There is the beginning of what looks to be a massive space battle, however it takes a bad turn for the Defiant and we don’t get to see too much of it. Not to worry though, there will be plenty more where that comes from.
Buckle up. It’s gonna be a wild ride from here on out!
8. Inter Arma Enem Silent Leges
Dr. Bashir gets to play spy – for real this time.
Sloan from Section 31 is back, and this time has a mission for Bashir. There is a great story intricately woven throughout (with some great mind games being played), and probably no one else but Bashir would have been able to figure it out (or survive a little Romulan torture, either). If Koval (the head of the Tal Shiar) looks familiar, that’s because it isn’t John Fleck’s first time playing a Romulan on Star Trek. He previously appeared as Taibak in the TNG episode “The Mind’s Eye”, and would also go on to have a major part in Enterprise as well.
The use of the Intrepid-class ship Bellerophon was a nice touch, as obviously Voyager wasn’t the only ship of that class in service. It was a nice way to continue to tie the multiple Star Trek shows together, as the franchise has always done.
7. The Siege of AR-558
Star Trek takes us right to the front lines of the Dominion War.
It’s a good episode, and has a very gritty, realistic feeling to it. The music helps create that atmosphere, and is one of the few times it is a standout on Deep Space Nine. In addition to the orchestral background, we hear a tune sung by Vic Fontaine in a very tense spot that is quite effective, although one can’t help but wonder: is it really the time for that? (Shouldn’t they be listening for enemy troop movements? What if they saw through the trap?)
Quark has a good commentary on humanity, and also a moment of bravery as we see him use a weapon (which rarely happens). There is nothing good about war, and this episode does a very effective job of showing that.
6. When It Rains…
…it pours. An appropriate title.
For many characters throughout the episode, things seem to go from bad to worse. Martok gets a medal for his war efforts thus far, but then Gowron tells him to sit back – he’s going to take it from here (and all the potential glory that could come with it). Seems like Gowron’s ego couldn’t let Martok hog all the spotlight.
Odo finds out that not only are his people suffering from a lethal infection, but that he is infected as well. Meanwhile, through some digging Bashir discovers that Odo was infected almost 3 years ago during his visit to Starfleet Medical, and that Section 31 is somehow involved.
And how about Kira. The woman who spent the better part of her early life fighting the Cardassians has now been ordered to stand with them and help Damar lead a proper resistance against The Dominon. Yes, they have a common enemy, but as we can see from some of Damar’s officers, they are just as upset with her being there as she is. Vaughn Armstrong adds to his impressive list of guest spots on Star Trek, this time as one of the disgruntled Cardassians. Garak is also back in the storyline now, and that’s always a good thing.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget about Dukat who was blinded by The Pah-Wraiths while trying to obtain their secrets and now Kai Winn has him thrown into the street to beg for food and shelter!
(Did O’Brien have the day off or something? He sure does a lot of hanging around with Bashir in this one.)
5. Badda-Bing Badda-Bang
Who doesn’t love a good caper?
It’s another “malfunctioning holodeck” story, but with a twist. No lives are in danger, just Vic Fontaine’s jazz lounge. Our heroes have to break into a casino safe and steal some money in order to help out their dear, self-aware holographic friend. The music is top notch and fits the action on the screen perfectly. Is there a better shot of (most of) the cast during the whole series than the slow-mo shot of them walking down the promenade all spiffed up in tuxedo’s and evening wear? Sisko and Fontaine’s duet of “The Best is Yet to Come” is no coincidence, as it is going to be a wild ride from here until the end of the season – and subsequently the series.
4. Dogs of War
The penultimate Deep Space Nine episode…Sisko gets the Defiant back (sort of), Bashir and Ezri finally officially make their feelings for each other known, Quark thinks he’s been made the next Grand Nagus, and Damar becomes a living legend. Oh yes, and Kasidy tells Sisko she’s pregnant.
It’s a busy one! But when there is only one episode left, all the loose ends need to get tied up – or in line to be tied up in the finale. Damar’s speech to his people after a successful attack on a Dominion installation is inspiring, and makes you truly realize just how far he has come. Not having the new Defiant follow suit with the naming convention subsequent Enterpries’ had with the addition of a letter after its name is a little annoying. Quark doing his Picard impression from “First Contact” was an interesting choice, but kinda fun none-the-less. And props to Jeffrey Combs, who appeared as two separate characters in this episode – Brunt and Weyoun.
3. Take Me Out to the Holosuite
Worlds are colliding in the best way. Star Trek…
After years of wanting to see the holodeck on the Enterprise-D be used for some kind of 24th century sport, Deep Space Nine comes to the rescue with this baseball-themed outing, and there isn’t a single wasted frame of goodness in the entire episode.
Bubble gum. Odo as the umpire (which is played PERFECTLY). Seeing the crew in their uniforms on a baseball field wearing cleats. Worf swinging a bat. It’s all fantastic.
The montages of the crew trying to learn all the incredible intricacies of the rules that are involved in baseball are done so well. The energy, camaraderie and all out FUN “Take Me Out To The Holosuite” is, just oozes in every scene. Joining a great list of light and entertaining DS9 episodes already, this one immediately rises to the top. If you’re a baseball and a Star Trek fan, it would be virtually impossible not to enjoy this one!
2. Tacking Into The Wind
There is still a war raging, but this one is all about the infighting among the allies.
Gowron seems more interested in making a name for himself in this war, and he’s doing his best to make it at the expense of Martok’s life. The character of Martok may be one of the most honourable Klingons in all of Star Trek, almost to a fault if he isn’t careful. The irony of what transpires next between Worf and Gowron is not lost on the long-time Trekkers, as it was Worf killing Duras back in TNG that brought Gowron to power in the first place. (If you care to keep an eye on Gowron during the combat with Worf – it’s a little too easy to tell when the stunt double is in there, and when it’s Robert O’Reilly.)
Meanwhile: Russot has had just about enough of taking orders from Kira. The tension is palpable and comes to a head not once, but twice. The first time around Garak is fantastically hidden in the shadows, taking it all in. The second incident with Russot comes during a highly dangerous and important undercover mission. The stand-off that ensues with weapons drawn is intense, and forces Damar to make a decision. It is always frun to see Garak in his element, and Damar is becoming more and more a new man & leader of the rebellion with each passing episode.
We also see the extent of Odo’s sickness and what Bashir and O’Brien plan to do about it.
1. What You Leave Behind
This is it! It all wraps up here. The war comes to an end, some people live, some people die. (Anyone notice that the Female Shapeshifter is apparently a southpaw?)
Damar is seen as nothing short of heroic and noble in these past few episodes, and this is no exception. You can’t help but feel for Garak. All his life he’s wanted to return home, and now his wish is granted – the only problem is his Cardassia is now in ruins. This is the last time the entire crew is together is at Vic’s, and it’s a great touch having some of the show writers and staff act as extras throughout the scene. You can clearly see showrunner Ira Steven Behr and one of the writers Ron Moore in the background, among others.
If you’re a sucker for goodbyes, then this is the finale for you. Seeing some character flashbacks was a nice touch, however not being able to use visuals of Jadzia stood out like a sore thumb. It’s a bittersweet ending, but sometimes those are the best ones.
(Shame there were never any Deep Space Nine movies, it would have been extremely interesting to look in on the station a few years down the road…)