In which heels and faces are turned, in multiple orders.
Worf and Ezri are prisoners of the Breen, and a gift to celebrate the new Breen-Dominion alliance. Weyoun orders them thrown into the same cell, in case they want to kanoodle. He’s so thoughtful like that. It’s extremely clear that he’s got a private camera feed to his bedroom. Damar and the Breen captain Thot (the rank) Gor (the name) don’t seem to get off to a good start. The meeting is a surprise to him. Meanwhike, the Founder is looking more and more corpse-like, but with effort can manage to put herself together long enough to make grand assurances of galactic domination.
The treaty is not something that Damar had gotten to read beforehand, and it contains territorial concessions from the Cardassians to the Breen, which Damar is expected to sign without knowing the details of. The dialogue here might as well be lifted straight from Catch-22. The justification is that when they win the war, the new territorial holdings will be more than sufficient compensation, but there’s a solid question as to how many planets an empire can reasonably expect to hold. Damar insists that none of the planets in the Cardassian empire are expendable, and one has to wonder about the political dynamics behind three authoritarian nationalist military empires making deals with each other when they’re in a very poor strategic position. And how much it’s safe to push the minor partner who might not be helping much but whose loss would be devastating. Damar is surrounded by Jam’Hadar and so doesn’t leap across the table to throttle Weyoun, but it might be a close thing. Also, a Cardassian force has been defeated, which Weyoun tries to be reassuring about, to dubious success.
Martok, meanwhile, is crowing about the upcoming defeat there or the Cardassian reserve unit, and then turns to discussing Sisko’s recent wedding, and Sisko’s upcoming war to keep everything he liked about bachelorhood. And Dukat/Anjohl Tennan and Winn Adami are grossly feeding each other fruit and being creepy zealots. It is frankly a tragedy that these two brillian villains took this long to meet up, but it’s going to make an amazing capstone. He’s doing a great job of encouraging her to go against her Emissary. And in their cells, Ezri and Worf are suspended upside-down.
Kassidy at least jokes about taking Sisko’s last name. It’s also causing awkwardness with her Bajoran crewmembers, and she’s not ready to convert.
Ezri and Worf have been transferred to Cardassia, and are working on trying to pull shenanigans with a bed, but aren’t pulling it off quite as well as the Dynamic Duo once did. Worf was really looking forward to using that tech-survivalism elective to look good for Ezri, too. Oh good, he also starts slutshaming, making fascinating viewing for Weyoun to interrupt for some follow-up interrogations. Believe it or not, he’s Good Cop. Damar’s Bad Cop routine is perfectly in keeping with the Cardassian legal code. But when Weyoun gets a little too personal with Ezri, Worf snaps his neck, earning him a gold star in Damar’s ledger that’ll last him until his execution in two days. Presumably while they crack open another Weyoun.
Winn Adami wants to know more about Anjohl Tennan, the guide the prophets sent and who she’s been banging. In that moment, she gets another vision from her Prophets, who finally reveal themselves to be Pah-Wraiths. She demands Dukat go get her their orb so she can take confessional, and so he smirks his way down the corridors. Everything’s coming up Dukat.
Damar’s really amused to see the new Weyoun. Eight, I think. His amusement ends when the Breen stroll in demanding access to secret Cardassian military disposition. In addition, Damar and by extention the entire Cardassian military has been demoted to Advisor of the Breen. Worf has succeeded in dismanting the bed, and once Ezri gets the door blown, the two of them grab the guard’s two weapons (rifle and sidearm) and get about 20 feet down the corridor before being recaptured.
Every day at the same time, Quark pours a drink for Ezri’s empty chair. It’s a mark of character growth that the scene probably won’t end with a comedy beat about charging it to her tab. Instead, he’s willing to drive away Miles and Julian over it. Julian’s already talking about her in the past tense.
Winn is very tense, waiting for her assistant to bring the Orb. But when she opens the box, the Prophets give her the silent treatment. Presumably she’s tainted by the Pah-Wraths, but it’s also possible that this just plays into their Plan. Hey, remember back in the day where there were pissant Godlike Energy Beings on every corner and they were all, uniformly and without exception, terrible?
Ok, good, just checking. Me too. Dukat decides that now is the time to reveal himself, at least insofar as his patrons. Not his true identity. His argument is that the Prophets let the Cardassians run roughshod over Bajor during the Occupation (nationalist persecution), that they’ve promoted an alien to head religious icon (nativism) and that the Pah-Wraiths have a special destiny in mind for her and for Bajor (Exceptionalism). You know, in case you were wondering how authoritarianist recruitment drives work. Winn has enough backbode to tell him to get out, and Dukat has a microtantrum as he leaves. But as time passes with no response to Winn’s pleading as she looks less and less shevled, we can see her start to Turn.
First, however, she calls on Kira for a private audience. And a confession and reconciliation with… perhaps one of the only people she knows will tell her the truth. Kira’s advice is that you have to reject the temptations that lead you astray – lust for power, political gain, all of which Winn is eager to do until it comes to giving up the dumb hat. Winn, a spiritual leader who feels she is being explicitly shunned by her gods, refuses to step down as spiritual leader. Just imagine the Pope giving a press conference and being like “God definitely hates me, because of Reasons. But I’m still the pope, though. You can’t kick me out.”
While Weyoun gloats about how funny and charming and talanted the Dominion’s new SO the Breen are, Damar gets word that their colony on Septimus 3 has fallen, to which Weyoun’s only reply is ‘yeah, so now it’s dealt with.’ The Cardassian are officially demoted to canon fodder, which is really, really not sitting well with Cardassian Hardline Loyalist Damar. It has come to the point where drink isn’t helping anymore.
Speaking of self-loathing, Ezri is reflecting on her contribution to the Dax legacy. In their final hours, Ezri is determined to sort things out between them, and eventually, like pulling teeth, they make progress in the worst therapy session ever. As they achieve closure, Damar comes in to escort them to their execution, then kills the two Jem’Hadar guards and enabls their escape to deliver a message – he’s on their side now and willing to feed the Federation information.
Weyoun is apoplectic, but of course Damar is just a harmless drunken has-been – he was demoted out of even managing the detention areas with Cardassian soldiers. How could he know anything about this? One can only imagine the glee in deliberate incompetence.
And as turnarounds continue, Winn has called Anjohl back to her rooms, speaking of the cold emptiness she’s always felt when in the presence of the Prophets. She’s not ready to give up her ambitions to be blessed by gods who’ve never done anything for her. She’s ready to work with the Pah-Wraiths, just leaning hard into Pope Ratched.