DS9: S4E01a: “The Way of the Warrior: Part 1”

In which Bashir gets killed by a changeling, Martok is the second-grouchiest Klingon we’ve ever met, and Jadzia chooses her target. 

Doing this two-parter in two separate episodes, but Netflix has them as a single track. Plan accordingly.

"And just where do you think you're going, Mister Bashir?"

“And just where do you think you’re going, Mister Bashir?”

Sisko is now fully bald, with all of his hair migrated down to his chin. He and Kira stalk the corridors of the station with phaser rifles, sweeping every room for hidden changelings. Of course, the fact that they’re not bothering to sweep the hallways tells me they still have much to learn about proper paranoia. They don’t even sweep the corners. But the next room they sweep has a changeling sliding off a couch and flying to the promenade, where it catches Bashir off guard and tags him out of the war game. It is useful that Odo is able to conduct drills.

Life goes on – Sisko has a date with Kassidy Yeats, and they exchange presents – a rare silk for a Cestus III Baseball cap that’s 8 weeks away at maximum warp. The Federation is big. Sisko also has maintenance crews working up a few surprises for the Dominion, just in case. Sadly, duty calls – the Klingon flagship, commanded by General Martok, requesting shore leave for his men, in their dozens upon dozens of ships.

They're isnide the room, man!

They’re isnide the room, man!

This may be slightly disingenuous – several of those ships appear to be the 6-12-man scout/destroyer models rather than anything approximating what Starfleet would try to cram into a ship in terms of manpower – one doesn’t picture a Klingon ship crammed full of superfluous mission specialists and doctoral researchers, particularly not on what is clearly an armada. So we’re not dealing with the manpower of a similarly-sized Federation fleet resembling the makeup of the Enterprise D, for instance. Still, it’s a lot of Klingons. They take up their share of space.

Also, check out the new, richer theme song – Now with Undertones!

The Klingons are all incredibly well behaved. No rousting and carousing, everyone is… focused. Bashir and O’Brien couldn’t care less. Martok, Kira, and Sisko discuss the reason for his presence, after performing a very Klingon Changeling Check. Martok has been sent by High Command to help safeguard the station.

Jadzia is trying to teach Kira to have a good time. Her sense of fun is terminally stunted, and Jadzia forces her at friendship-gunpoint to go have sex with a hologram. But apart form that, life goes on – the Klingons are all eyeballing everyone as potential targets, Odo has learned to fake polite eating, and the Cardassian borders are all sealed, with rumors of riots, rebellions, and collapse. The Klingons are also significantly overstepping their bounds. I guess it doesn’t count as dishoborable combat to have your buddies hold someone down and beat the snot out of him if you have no intention of anything worse than a humiliating beating, though.

Kassidy’s ship the Zosa has sent out a distress call, and Sisko goes charging off to the rescue on the Defiant. She’s been impounded by the Klingons, on the authority of Gowron. Kira tells them to stand down, as the local Bajoran representative, and the Defiant has to fire a warning shot, as the Federation’s local enforcer of Bajoran law. Evidently, the Klingon-Federation alliance is strong enough that Sisko doesn’t really worry about jeopardizing it where Kassidy’s involved.

The Klingons are now on the borders of Bajoran space so that Bajoran law can’t stop them. Also, Martok is pissed. I don’t speak Klingon (not for lack of trying) but there’s really no mistaking that tone of voice and a dagger left on your desk. The commander who aborted the detention of Kassidy’s ship has been executed for disobeying orders. Fortunately, Sisko was trained by a nearly-Klingon ambassador himself, and knows that like fighting fire with fire, you fight Klingons with other Klingons. DS9 has a new crewman – Lt. Commander Worf.

Worf has been studying with Klingon monks before Sisko pulled him off shore leave. Worf has also been considering resigning after the destruction of the Enterprise, but as long as he wears the uniform, it has quite a lot of meaning. Enough that he’ll walk into Quark’s, fully occupied by Klingons, and order his usual Prune Juice.

Once again, the costumes appear to be external to the holosuite.

Once again, the costumes appear to be external to the holosuite.

Worf gets introduced arount – to Julian, to darts, to Nerys and Jadzia. Kira is a bit flustered, but Worf recognizes Jadzia as the successor of Curzon. And pretty clearly hits on him. The moment is saved by Drex, son of Martok, throwing a hissy fit and getting his ridges handed to him by Worf, son of Mogh. You can also pretty immediately tell that Jadzia is going to make a conquest of him.

Worf knows how to get a Klingon’s attention, but Martok  has +10 cryptic, and Worf has to go blow off steam with his calisthenics program. I presume that he had it transferred, but it’s also possible that the skull-faced guy is some sort of traditional Klingon boogeyman, in the way that most triple-A shooters are either about zombies or Nazis. Oh no wait, this was Jadzia’s program. Definitely going with the second hypothesis, then, and Jadzia offers him a spar.

Gowron, Kahless, and even Kurn aren’t talking, but Worf has an old drinking buddy of his fathers he can wring some answers out of. They are not good answers. The Klingons are there because they believe that the Cardassian coup was engineered by Changelings, and they’re getting ready to stage an invasion. Sisko meets with Martok, who has to pass up the chain that Starfleet will not participate in a preemptive strike, and the Klingons all ship out to Cardassia.

Sisko and the senior staff all meet about it. They can’t warn the Cardassians, it would be taken as a betrayal and it’s possible that the Cardassian citizens have risen up with the Obsidian Order destroyed, but the Klingons are back in breathing-room mode, and might just move on Bajor after Cardassia. With all these political concerns, Sisko orders a new suit. They don’t bother ending their discussion about the invasion, however. Things are so dire, Garak is even willing to reach out to Dukat. Cardassian colonies are falling, but the Cardassian military is mobilized. Starfleet issued a condemnation, and in response Gowron withdrew from the Khitomer Accords, expelled all Federation citizens within Klingon space, withdrew his ambassadors, and took relations down from Alliance to ‘not currently shooting at each other.’ I don’t know about you, but that sounds exactly like a situation the Founders would love.

Gowron’s also showed up to talk to Worf personally. He’s more a fan of Worf’s than I remembered, and offers Worf a place at his side for the invasion of Cardassia, and Worf is really considering it.

To be continued…

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