Deep Space Nine: s07 e20 – The Changing Face of Evil


The destruction…

In some ways, we’re still in the transitionary phase of the Endgame, process and progress but no conclusions. Ezri and Worf return to DS9 to hearty greetings from Doctor Bashir and the Chief, who otherwise spend most of the rest of the episode arguing over the Battle of the Alamo, for which Miles has built an impressive model, to scale. This gives Worf the building blocks for his campaign to keep Ezri from Julian.

Of course sh, having effectively deserted her post at the beginning of this sequence, is in for a bollocking from Sisko, which she clearly anticipates. This we don’t get to see, if it ever happened, because Sisko is more concerned for information, on the mysterious Breen, and upon why the hell Damar rescued the pair?

But we start learning that the Breen are certainly effective, militarily, as they attack Starfleet HQ on Earth, and start winning back the Kontaran system, the Federation’s only foothold in Dominion territory. Which leads to massive shock number 1.

Other things are going on. In a minor key, Sisko, very condescendingly, gets Kasidy taken off the active list for freight runs, just in case the Breen pop up out of nowhere. It’s all in a good cause but Kasidy resents the living hell out of it and quite rightly. Sisko is being very twenty-first century Republican about it, running the little lady’s life for her, bless her pretty little head. He does back down, but accompanies it with flowers and a necklace, no doubt found by rummaging in the Cliche Drawer.

In a major key, Kai Winn is nudged by Dukat towards consulting the forbidden book about the Pah-Wraiths, the Costa Mogen. Louise Fletcher shows the Kai’s fears as she’s gradually nudged further and further into blasphemy, withDukat behind her every step of the way, nudging and prodding.

The Kai’s servant, Sobor, is disapproving, though that only rankles the Kai into imperiousness, to the point where Sobor takes matters into his own hands. He denounces ‘Anjol’ the farmer as an imposter: the real Anjol died in a Labour Camp. Winn is shocked and horrified. Even more so when Sobor reveals that he has secured a DNA sample which has been tested.  Not only does it confirm that ‘Anjol’ is not Bajoran, rather Cardassian, but that he is actually Gul Dukat.

The Kai’s horror increases, fuelled by the fact that he has put his X into her Y. She revolts disgustedly, plans to burn the Costa Mogen, which is a book of blank pages, it’s words hidden by some key that’s yet to be unlocked. Winn has a knifethat she’s prepared to stick into Dukat, who’s gone for the approach that it doesn’t matter who he is or how much he’s lied and cheated, he’s doing it for the Pah-Wraiths, and for her power. Somehow or other, the knife the Kai’s grabbed for use on Dukat ends up in Sobor’s back: a Rubicon. And the blood dripping from the knife is the key to the Costa Mogen. The door to Power is open.

But I’ve created a dramatic pause of sufficient length and it’s time to go back to major shock number 1. The Defiant joins the fleet to retake the Kontaran system. It is hit by some energy-draining weapon, left powerless, and is battered. To my surprise, Sisko orders Abandon Ship. The Defiant is destroyed, a step I never expected, and one that, if I had thought they would do this, I would have assumed would be done in the finale, not so long before the end.

There was one other thread I haven’t mentioned, building up through the episode and culminating in not quite so major a shock number 2, reserved for the close. A Quadrant wide broadcast from Gul Demar, or rebellion against Cardassia’s Dominion overlords and an attack on their facilities. In particular, their cloning plant, which Weyoun9 (?) interprets as personal: he could be the last Weyoun…

So: the avalanche begins to move. enough pebbles have been displaced.  Something is coming down the mountain, and the Dominion is in its path. Five more episodes…

5 thoughts on “Deep Space Nine: s07 e20 – The Changing Face of Evil

  1. Again, it’s very hard for me to judge these episodes because A) It’s been ages and as I mentioned they all seem to run together, thanks to the haphazard watching and seeing recaps and B) Because they’re all pretty solid. And as you say here, it’s transitions and progress, with a few curves thrown around. Which is natural with ebbs and flows of war.
    Overall I’d say they’re all solid to really good so far. One upcoming episode during the arc, I consider a very great episode and one of DS9’s best even considering it’s a part of this finale run. And there’s one that’s pretty disappointing…

    1. Doing a quick rehash. There are a couple other thoughts.
      The Breen weapon feels a little to much Deus Ex Machina. Even if they are a smaller empire and isolationists, if they have such a powerful weapon, why would they need the Dominion or fear them or anybody?

      And the Female Changeling’s decision however unwise it might seem, definitley fits into the Dominion’s m.o., as well as the Breen’s attack on Earth, as using the psychological tactics..

      1. I agree with you about the Breen. I don’t remember their having been mentioned before in the entire series, and whilst the introduction of a new ally on either side would tip the balance, the Breen are too powerful and effective to be the complete mystery to the Alpha Quadrant balance of powers that they are. Don’t tell me if there’s a convincing explanation for them coming…

  2. They were name dropped in The Next Generation, DS9 and even Voyager quite a few times, with lots of hints, rumors and legend of their lore and abilities.
    The first appeared in “Indiscretion,” where Dukat and Kira rescue Ziyal. And there was one in the Dominion prision camp in “By Inferno’s Light”/”In Purgartory’s Shadow,” during Season 5.

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