Synopsis: A Federation ambassador brings newly-promoted Captain Sisko orders to take the Defiant on a patrol of the Tzenkethi border, where a destabilizing coup has just taken place, but everything is not as it seems. (Season finale)
Memory Alpha Summary: Wish they would have told me before I agreed to be host!
Review: A fairly disappointing season finale naturally features The Dominion much like TNG’s season 3 finale featured the Borg. And while The Dominion feel like more of a threat after this episode, the script itself is pretty cheeky and predictable.
It starts with a silly teaser of Sisko saying he’s giving his last ever commander’s on DS9…because surprise he’s now captain! Aw, fuck you guys. And then O’Brien states Sisko is the best captain he’s ever had. Wait a minute. He’s been your captain for literally 90 seconds and he’s already better than Picard? Well, we know O’Brien’s opinion I guess.
The plot itself sees the crew wrapped up with the Tzenkethi, a group of people on the verge of being at war with the Federation. The mere fact that this group we’ve never heard of before today is now suddenly super important basically screams that this is a diversion (by the writers and The Dominion). At least the Tzenkethi show up after this episode and aren’t solely a one-off plot device.
What follows is basically a thirty minute investigation/chase scene wherein we know somebody is a Changeling but not who and let’s try to find them. Which is fine, except at two different times there are characters who have to stop and argue about who might be who and agree to submit themselves to tests that prove or disprove their non-Changelingness. And then on top of it all we’re made to think Eddington is a Changeling only for the writers to change that next season because they realized fans would be expecting that. Just sloppy stuff.
Other ridiculousness in this episode includes another example of how stupid the auto self-destruct sequence is on Federation ships, requiring two officers to disarm it instead of one.
Finally, Sisko says he plans on going on a date with Casidy Yates to game 7 of the 1964 World Series. While that was a good series overall, game 7 wasn’t terribly dramatic as the Cardinals took a 6-0 lead after five innings. The Yankees would come back a little, but they never got the winning run to the plate. That Sisko would pick this series doesn’t make sense unless he’s a huge Cardinals fan. Why not pick a super dramatic game 7 to show Casidy how great baseball can be? Like, I don’t know, game 7 of the 1991 World Series which recently had happened? Or game 6 of the 1993 World Series with Joe Carter’s walk-off homer?
I will say the visual effects in his episode, what with all the morphing is pretty sweet.