Hounds of Love
"The Dogs of War" Plot Summary:
Admiral Ross transfers command of the Defiant-class USS San Paolo to Sisko, telling him he has a special dispensation to rename the ship "Defiant." The sheilds have been realigned to resist Breen weapons, but in all other ways it looks just like its namesake. "Hello, ship," Sisko says. Meanwhile, on a Jem'Hadar vessel headed for Cardassia, Damar confers with Kira and Garak about the half a million troops he expects will join the resistance. But when they beam down, Dominion soldiers are slaughtering Cardassian rebels, and the Jem'Hadar ship which carried them there is destroyed. One of Damar's allies betrayed him, leaving the trio stranded on Cardassia. Garak takes them to the only safe haven he can think of: the house of Tain, his father, where housekeeper Mila agrees to shelter them.
Odo is anxious to rejoin Kira, but Bashir tells him first that he must know the circumstances under which he became infected with the Founders' disease. Odo is outraged when he learns of the attempted genocide and rails at Sisko upon being told that the Federation Council has decided not to give the Dominion the cure: "They're abetting genocide." Sisko reminds Odo that the Dominion started the war and Section 31 concocted the illegal disease; Odo scoffs that it must be very convenient to rationalize Section 31 doing the Federation's dirty work. However, he promises not to go off on his own.
Quark is considering a proposal to let the Dabo girls keep a higher percentage of their tips when the Nagus calls. In a static-laced connection, the Ferengi leader announces that he and Moogie intend to retire to Risa, and he's coming to DS9 to name his successor - "You!" Quark rejoices about his future at Nagus, strutting when Brunt arrives to suck up to the new boss, according to Ferengi custom. While giving Quark a pedicure, however, his former adversary informs him of some bad news: taxes, social welfare programs, even a new statute which says the congress has to ratify all laws passed by the Nagus. Blaming Moogie for the rampant do-goodism overtaking Ferenginar which is starting to look like the Federation, Quark prays for strength.
Weyoun announces over a Cardassian broadcast that Damar has been killed and all 18 of his resistance bases have been purged. Kira wants to get off Cardassia, but Mila tells the group that rumors of Damar's survival have spread all over the region. Realizing that the former leader has become a legend, Kira decides they can exploit the idea of the man the Dominion couldn't kill to spark a revolution. Damar agrees that death would be better than rotting in Mila's basement.
As Legate Broka - the new official Cardassian leader - listens to the Founder's plan to retreat to Cardassian space to rebuild, Damar and Kira help Garak sneak a bomb into a Jem'Hadar facility nearby. The tailor is detained, so Damar challenges one of the guards, who recognizes him. Then the bomb explodes, and in the bloody aftermath, many Cardassians recognize and applaud their former leader. Damar makes a rousing speech about freedom being theirs for the taking, calling upon Cardassians to rise up and join him. As his people cheer, Garak hustles Damar out.
Quark rants to Rom that monopolies are now illegal, as is dumping waste and demanding sexual favors from employees. His brother defends economic competition, biodiversity, and freedom from harrassment as he gets Quark to agree to sell him the bar on the station. The Nagus-elect offers his thumbprint on the contract without even haggling, lamenting that he has become soft. "This disease has got to be stopped! The line has to be drawn here!" he cries, proclaiming that he won't take the job unless he can do it on his own terms.
Dax and Bashir discuss their awkwardness around one another, both admitting that it stems from attraction but agreeing that as mature adults, they should protect their friendship from romantic musings. The next morning they cross paths again and laugh together while Bashir says he's glad they got that all out of their systems. They step into a lift together. By the time it arrives in Ops, they are necking heavily, causing O'Brien and Worf to remark how relieved they are that the two worked things out.
Zek and Moogie arrive on the station and are surprised to hear Quark saying he won't become Nagus unless he can do things his way. "Who wants you to be Nagus?" Moogie demands, while Zek congratulates Rom on his selection to succeed him in Ferenginar's highest office; he thought he was talking to the younger brother previously, when static interrupted the transmission. The Ferengi need "a kindler, gentler Nagus," Zek declares, ignoring Quark's calling Rom an idiot, but snapping to attention when Quark promises to keep his bar pure by watering the drinks and fixing the Dabo tables. "Are you sure we picked the right brother?" the former Nagus asks Moogie, who drags Zekkie off to Risa for a perpetual honeymoon. Rom tells Quark he can keep the bar and the money Rom was going to pay to buy it, and Quark advises the new Nagus to get a free pedicure from Brunt before telling him his services aren't needed.
Admiral Ross reports on the Dominion withdrawal into Cardassian space. He is hoping the enemy can be contained there, but Sisko and Martok both realize that they need to hit the enemy now, before they rebuild. Reluctantly, Ross and the Romulan leader concur. "Then it's settled," says Sisko. "We attack."
Returning to his quarters, Ben finds Kasidy waiting up for him. "I'm pregnant," she informs him, noting that one of them forgot to get his injection last month as Sisko cringes and recalls Bashir reminding him, but he never followed up. "This is wonderful," he says, but his wife is tearful recalling the Prophets' warning that if they married, it would bring only sorrow. "Nothing is going to happen to our baby," says the Emissary to the Prophets, citing his role as if that will make it true.
The calm before the final storm, this was a near-perfect episode despite minute appearances by my favorite main characters and no guest spots by my favorite recurring characters. I'm reserving judgement on the Federation's appalling willingness to take advantage of Section 31's genocidal behavior by not curing the Founders...forgetting all discussion of moral responsibility, everyone in the galaxy is going to have it in for the Federation when word gets out. Odo's bitterness was well-played, but I was bothered that he promised Sisko not to interfere. Why the hell should he not save his people when Sisko's people murdered them? And how can Sisko not expect him to?
The comic Ferengi storyline was a scream, probably my favorite Ferengi episode ever in terms of deconstructing the ideology of that greedy species. The best lines were Quark's references to other stories in the arc - calling do-good-ism a disease his planet had caught from the Federation, and declaring Sisko-style that the line must be drawn here. It's also poetic justice that Rom should end up as Nagus, in addition to being real justice for the Ferengi people: unlike his brother, who seems to have learned nothing despite having been involuntarily exiled for a time, Rom has Moogie's social conscience and Leeta's concern for workers and the infirm. Quark ends up exactly where he started, which he's bound to realize sooner or later is a good place for him.
Dax/Bashir...ZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Worf went out of his way to point out that Bashir's really an overgrown adolescent, but must he act like one so much of the time around women? Last week he proved how invaluable his enhanced brain can be, so how come he's such a dope? And what does a woman who has lived nearly a dozen lifetimes see in him? I was never a fan of Worf/Jadzia in the early days of broken bones and endless discussions of honor, but their romance took on real poignancy when Worf chose it over his career, and he and Ezri had nice chemistry. I'm sorry that was discarded so quickly, especially since it seems like Ezri's main purpose is to heterosexualize Bashir after all the innuendo between him and O'Brien in the past few weeks, and between him and Garak for years before that.
If Tain was Garak's father but could never acknowledge his illegitimate son, who wants to take bets on Mila being Garak's mother? Why else would a self-declared non-political old woman take in her former employer's prodigal son, his rebel associate, and a Bajoran woman in a Starfleet uniform? It may have been Garak's house, but Damar really shone in this episode. His speech to rouse the populace was very convincing. I'm glad he didn't die in that explosion as the Dominion reported; Cardassia needs a leader like him to rebuild, especially after what I bet the Jem'Hadar are going to do to the revolutionaries in the streets.
One more week, then we lose this show forever. The main characters are already dropping off, moving out, changing their titles and positions; the irrevocability has begun. It sucks.
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