34. Homefront/Paradise Lost (4.11, 4.12)

Synopsis: Sisko is recalled to San Francisco after a terrorist bombing reveals that Changelings have reached Earth. While Starfleet tightens security measures on Earth, Sisko and Odo discover that Admiral Leyton is deviously plotting to take over the planet.

Memory Alpha Summary: Rice-A-Roni

Review: Morn doesn’t get a joke about Andorians!  Morn’s the best. 

This is an above-average episode about how the Dominion sow seeds of paranoia without actually having to a whole lot. The scene where Odo freaks out the President by shapeshifting in front of him is solid, and the scene where Odo recognizes a shapeshifter has taken the place of Leyton is also a chilling moment. Unfortunately other scenes are ruined by grandiose emoting and endless exposition where character’s state every emotion they’re feeling instead of just letting the viewer pick up on them. The President especially is guilty of this, though Leyton is at times as well. Sisko even gets in on the action. “I was hoping that this would never happen. But it finally has. The Changelings have reached Earth.”  

Thanks Sisko for stating the fucking obvious. 

Another character error is when Leyton says the Dominion is the greatest danger to Earth since World War III.  Um…what about the Borg incident where Riker saved the entire planet at the last second just a few years ago? At least Sisko’s dad mentions the Borg.

Speaking of Sisko’s dad, he really saves these episodes. It’s so nice to see someone from Starfleet have a family member who is real and supportive and feels like a relative and not a plot device. Their bond feels real. Their arguments feel real. Their love feels real. The late Brock Peters surely helped the script. His speech about smart men being able to foil any test is right on point but without grandstanding. 

The last hour where Leyton turns into Benjamin Maxwell/Erik Pressman is more fun as there’s more action. The special effects when the Defiant is fighting the Lakota are pretty good, though a longer battle sequence would have been nice. Apparently the budget was horrible for this two-parter due to bad planning and a lot of people who worked on it were disappointed. Still better than The Adversary, at least.

Nice to see Susan Gibney back. It’s too bad she also didn’t get the role of Janeway, though Kate Mulgrew was great. 

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