Deep Space Nine: s07 e24 – The Dogs of War

Why couldn’t they have swapped costumes?

After the tight focus of last week, the penultimate episode of Deep Space Nine was instead a ragbag of set-up across multiple plot strands, involving practically every single recurring character you could name, but not Cirroc Lofton. Only Kai Wynn and Gul Dukat failed to show their faces.

This meant a strong Ferenghi presence, and I’m hoping that the substantial amount of time dedicated to wrapping up their story will mean only a token participation in the series finale, a week from now. It was down to the usual standards. Leeta and a barely clad dabo girl demand a reduction in how much of their tips they have to give to Quark, and he’s thinking abut it when Grand Negus Zek comes on the blower to announce, through appalling static, that he’s going to retire and is appointing Quark as his successor.

Immediately, Brunt turns up to fawn all over the new Negus, and to tell him of the massive changes Zek, under Ishka’s influence, has been pushing through to turn Ferenganar from the unrestricted pursuit of capitalism. Ferenganar’s been so humonised, Quark’s disgusted enough to turn down the post, except that he’s got it all wrong: Zek’s appointing Rom instead. Quark however intends to run his bar in the old fashion unrepentantly.

There, wasn’t that worthless watching? Except for what’s probably a final appearance from Chase Masterson.

What was nearly as awful was the clowning around between Julian Bashir and Ezri Dax, one minute solemnly assuring themselves that it’s better to retain their friendship than lose it over trying to pursue a silly romantic fantasy, the next snogging each other’s faces off in a turbolift. This strand kept Worf and O’Brien in it for a couple of cameos as a Greek Chorus, looking on.

Odo is fully recovered and Bashir drops a brick in telling him how Section 31 infected him. There is a piece of what I take to be foreshadowing, as Odo reacts in disgust to the Federation’s decision not to give the cure to the Dominion in the middle of all-out War against an enemy bent on ruthless conquest (sorry, Odo, you’re being bloody naive). Given that I was not able to escape learning in advance about Odo’s final part in this series, I take it that this is a major factor in his decision.

By far and away the most important strands related directly to the War. Demar’s rebellion is betrayed and destroyed, it’s only survivors being the Big Three of Demar, Kira and Garak. They go underground on Cardassia Prime, in a cellar, to avoid capture and execution whilst Weyoun announces Demar’s death. But the populace don’t believe it, and our trio play on this to turn Demar into Legend, to raise the people.

And a new, pliant Legate takes Service under the Dominion, for whom the Female Changeling is dictating retrenchment: fall back upon a shortened, stronger defensive line, based upon the Cardassian Empire, rebuild, emerge stronger.  The Federation, being naturally timid, will settle for containment.

But Sisko argues otherwise. He has a new Defiant class ship that he’s authorised to rename Defiant, and he foresees what the Dominion expect, and urges attack: break through the Dominion lines before they can settle. Cry Havoc! and let slip the Dogs of War.

Ad a final coda, in which a hostage to fortune, and to the Prophets’ warning: Kasidy Yates Sisko is pregnant. The Emissary is going to have a baby…

2 thoughts on “Deep Space Nine: s07 e24 – The Dogs of War

  1. I concur with your thoughts on Odo’s position. He’s not quite the same naive in his views and just discovering the Changelings, as he was in season 3. He’s joined the link, he knows what they’re capable of and their motives. Naturally he would feel some anger and his code of justice is extremely fair. Maybe he is too naive in his view. Naturally he would believe the Founders to the same if they had a diease wiping out Humans. But he knows they wouldn’t do the same either….

    Probably two years ago, on your first Ferengi episode or two, I brought up how the Ferengi were more vicious and threatening when they were introduced on TNG, and VOY had a few appearances with them portrayed the same way. Heck go back and watch Rom and Nog in the the pilot, Emissary and they’re more vicious.
    There were some enjoyable and some I thought well done. But turning them into 100% comic relief, give many the attitude you have toward them. Quark’s evolution was decent, but they shouldn’t have taken the edge away from them.
    And this being DS9, with the shades of gray, there were times that Quark and the Ferengi should have been played as being in the right compared to the flavorless Federation….

    One aspect that I loved about DS9, was that it was created with few elements introduced in TNG and while later adding it’s own, The Dominion. But it fleshed out and built up on already established races, history and lore from TNG. The space station played a factor, where it wasn’t a weekly starship show in who knows where. The Trill, Cardassians, Bajorans, Ferengi weren’t majorly fleshed out, The Klingons become even more. To me there’s something more skillful about adding to something existing than creating something whole cloth…

  2. There’s no doubt about it, DS9 scores above all otherTrek series precisely because of its static base. Without that, the mythos is impossible, as is the complexity. I could never summon up the same enthusiasm for any other of the first four, and to this day haven’t watched a single episode of any of the post-Voyager efforts.

    You know my position on the Ferengi: I grew completely averse to them. Even with the tonal shade you describe from the pilot (which I can no longer remember in detail), I’ve never seen them as anything but comic relief and I tired of them very quickly.

    I take your point about building upon an existing mythos versus independent creation. As a lifelong comics fan, I obviously can’t disagree. Some of the most powerful stories I’ve read are ones that throw a new light upon an old character. I’d say rather that it’s a different skill as opposed to a superior one: having written my own fiction, I hold original creation in too high an esteem to think otherwise.

    One left…

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