In which Dukat fulfills a promise.
Just a normal day on the station, where Sisko makes the rounds of the peldor festival of Bajor, despite the war. Odo and Nerys are in a fight because Odo arrested a vedek for fundraising without a license. Odo’s dedication to station regulations is matched only by Nerys’ disregard when it comes to people who arrest priests raising money for flood victims. Also, there’s an Orb on station – the Orb of Contemplation. Sisko, meanwhile, is receiving a medal for meritorious courage and bravery – the Christopher Pike medal of honor. This may, however, be a Ruse, because as soon as everyone leaves, Ross tells Sisko that it’s time for the Federation to go on the offensive. And Sisko gets to plan the invasion of Cardassia.
Worf and Jadzia went late in Bat’Leth practice, much to Bashir’s annoyance, because they were talking. They’re going to have a baby. Bashir and Quark are both devastated – until now, there was always a chance that Jadzia would dump Worf and settle on one of them. Even after she got married, apparently. It’s basically impossible that Jadzia doesn’t know what they’re upset about, but Bashir at least tries to cover with a medial opinion about the odds of successful procreation.
Sisko and Martok plan to assault a weak spot in the Cardassian/Dominion line. They’ve found one that’s only being protected by five squadrons, but their success will depend on convincing the Romulans to join in. Martok has no doubts of their victory, but a smash-cut to Cardassia shows Damar and Weyoun, equally hard at work. They know that system is vulnerable, but Damar shows off their new unmanned torpedo platforms. However, there’s a problem.
That problem is Dukat. Nobody is happy to see him, although it looks like Damar is a little worried about Dukat coming for revenge for Ziyal. Dukat, of course, blames Sisko. But now he’s back to get that revenge, and Weyoun is not particularly thrilled with Dukat’s new priorities. Dukat is now a creepy, intense zealot. Weyoun’s not impressed, but Damar holds out long enough to hear why Dukat is here. He’s after a Bajoran artifact that he claims will allow the Dominion through the wormhole again.
The Federation is building a joint Klingon/Romulan fleet, but negotiations are not going smoothly. The Klingon and Romulan tempraments do not mix well. Sisko tries hard to induce calm on the basis that they’re all allies, perhaps forgetting that he helped manipulated the entire empire into this alliance against the prevailing opinion. That said, the Romulan defensive tactic looks a little weak – they don’t have an objective or goal they’re trying to achieve to make victory possible, they’re just kind of chilling out. Given the way they behaved during nominal peacetime with the Federation, I prefer to assume that they’re engaging in deep black-ops against the Dominion, but of course if they won’t tell their allies then they ought to expect this kind of pushing.
Hey, though, point of order. Sisko makes a little bit of a slip when he mentions that they all want the same thing. The Federation, and Starfleet leadership may be inclusive, but these little slips of the tongue are why Gorkon and his daughter were so concerned about the Klingon empire being subsumed. I’d like to think that’s what that little smile was about.
Vic is singing ‘Here’s to the Losers’ for bashir and Quark and a big old empty room. Vic knows what it’s about, and tries to buck them up by reminding them they’ve been pining over a fantasy that’s been a fantasy for five years. Time to move on.
Jake wants to go on the trip to Cardassia, and if not on the Defiant he’ll go on Martok’s ship, but one way or another, he’ll be on that warship with his father. However, the Prophets also have a message for him – The Sisko belongs on Bajor and should not leave. If he leaves the Path, there will be danger. Beyond that, they remain cryptic.
Admiral Ross knows about the orbital weapons platforms, and that they’re going operational in 2-3 days. Martok is about to start throwing some shade on the Romulans, but they’ve committed to the attack, they won’t back out now. In fact, it’s Sisko, after Martok and the Romulan general leave, who voices his concerns to Admial Ross, and Ross makes him choose between being a Starfleet Captain or the Emissary. Sisko will be on the Defiant.
Dukat’s found the Bajoran artifact he was looking for, to a thunderous lack of applause from Weyoun and Damar. His plan is to use ancient voodoo to destroy the Bajoran gods from where they protect the Wormhole, using an unexpected ally. He says some prayers over a little doll, and breaks it, and suddenly neither Weyoun or Damar are looking quite so bored or mutually embarassed to be in the room. We’ve seen eyes like that before.
Odo’s in his security office when Kira drops by. Odo’s still terrified of Kira’s wrath, even though she’s been over their little argument for, like, days now. He doesn’t quite ‘get’ the concept of minor arguments blowing over, but he’s happy to learn about the concept. With most of the senior staff gone, Jadzia will be in charge of the station. Kira’s even said a prayer for their conception with the Prophets. Pretty much everyone’s looking forward to the mission, although with varying amounts of enthusiasm.
Well, not Weyoun and Damar. Weyoun’s quite displeased with the Cardassian performance, since the weapons platforms aren’t up yet even as the fleet approaches, but Damar is still very confident. The fleets begin to engage, and the Jem’hadar open with suicide ramming attacks. The joint fleet response is to simply take out the weapons platforms and move forward. Just as they start going online. And boy, are they powerful. Weyoun is more than happy to eat a little crow at this display, but is still not getting him any closer to respecting Dukat again. They also have a frank and open discussion about religion that ends with Damar remembering that Weyoun takes his dogma very seriously indeed. It’s like when Chuck Norris tried to talk about Chuck Norris jokes. Garak running intelligence ops, has just noticed that all the platforms are running on beamed power, though, so they have a target to go find.
Bashir gives Dax some good news – the enzymes he’s been giving her to resequence her eggs are working already. She and Worf are probably going to be able to have a baby relatively soon, so she’s going to stop by the temple and thank the Prophets for listening to Kira’s prayer. Hard to say whether it’s Jadzia, the frontier nature of the posting, or the far future, but there seem relatively few hangups about who gets the credit for medical miracles. At the temple, Jadzia admits to the Prophets that she still filters them through the lense of science, and then the lights all go out and Dukat beams in and straight-up murders her with demon magic.
You can tell he’s possessed because he didn’t hold her in the air helpless while he monologued about how she was part of his glorious revenge against Sisko. He just steps over her body, opens the orb box, and pours his demon magic into it until it’s a blackened, charred husk. When it’s over, he’s Dukat again, but really pleased with himself, and the wormhole is poisoned and may have exploded. Or sealed. Sisko feels it even during the battle. But there’s no time for that, Miles just found the power transmission. Kira takes command with Sisko out of commission, and they finish the fight.
Once Dukat is done, he does apologize to Jadzia’s corpse before he beams out. The battle to take out the moon isn’t going super well, but Miles has a plan – spoof the weapon platforms IFF to make them fire at the power generator. The platform weaposn rip right through the shields and take out the defenses in the sector, and none of the Allied fleet forces can resist taking a few pot shots as they pass through. Now they get the news from Deep Space Nine.
Weyoun is suuuuuuper pissed that the wormhole is gone. Dukat’s total lack of apologetics aren’t getting him anywhere, since Weyoun and Damar don’t really see the rather tenuous connection between the Prophets, Bajor, and whatever it is that makes Sisko special.
When the Defiant makes it back to Deep Space Nine, the Exposition Moppet explains that all the orbs are dark, not just the one Dukat poisoned, and that it’s Sisko’s job to fix it. This all on the way to the infirmary, where Bashir explains that he managed to save Dax. Jadzia is gone. She held on just long enough to say goodbye to Worf so he can scream her into Sto’Vo’Kor. Sisko has his own goodbye ritual to complete, so he can come to terms with the one decision he can focus on which could have saved her. His decision to be a Starfleet captain rather than the Emissary, and thereby failing at both. With the successful invasion, Sisko will take a leave of absence to clear his head. And unlike when they abandoned the station to the Dominion, this time he took his baseball. He’s not planning on coming back. Instead, he’s going to peel potatoes in New Orleans for a while.