Fortunes Of War
"Favor the Bold" Plot Summary:
Dax, still in command of the Defiant, warns Sisko that morale is low and Starfleet needs a victory soon. He concurs, and tells her of his plan to retake Deep Space Nine. Several admirals fear that diverting the fleet will leave Earth vulnerable, but Sisko believes Earth is not an important target for the Dominion; control of the wormhole is far more important. Starfleet agrees to reroute a large number of ships from the front to the station.
Odo remains intimate with the female changeling, spending three days locked away with her, linking and demonstrating to her how humanoids have sex. He misses meetings with the ruling council and doesn't help to get Rom out of prison. When he finally leaves his quarters with the Founder, she sends him away during a report on Dominion war activity. He tries to apologize to Kira, but the Major is livid.
Kira tries to get Weyoun to release Rom, claiming that his Bajoran wife will make it very difficult for the Dominion to continue to hold him if they want to maintain good relations with Bajor, but Weyoun insists that Rom will be executed. Quark seeks ways to free him even though Rom tells his brother that it's more important for him to disable the antigraviton emitter which is destroying the mines that guard the wormhole. Kira tries to have Ziyal intervene with Dukat, but Dukat angers his daughter who then stops speaking to him. Kira beats up Demar when he tries to force the girl to see her father.
When Quark learns from Demar that the minefield is almost down, Morn agrees to sneak a message to Sisko warning him that the wormhole will be open in a matter of days. Though Gowron is not sending Klingon ships and the fleet is having problems on the battle front, Sisko and a great many ships head for the station to reclaim it and disable the beam which is destroying the mines.
This was another gripping episode, though the dialogue was inconsistent and the characterization uneven. When an episode's title is based on a platitude - in this case, "Fortune favors the bold," which Sisko recited at the end in case we missed the reference - it's often the case that the whole show can be reduced to a cliche.
It's hard to say whether that's true of this installment because we don't yet know how it ends; I was a little disheartened to see the words "To Be Continued" before the credits, since that would seem to imply a resolution coming up next week rather than merely one more installment in what's been an excellent arc on this series. I suppose they'll retake the station, and I suppose that's a good thing, but I was really enjoying watching the crew struggle to redefine itself as part of something bigger than Deep Space Nine.
There are two things I love about this season. One is how unafraid the writers have been to let things simmer, especially with Sisko; he hasn't done anything really theatrical, few big speeches, no grand heroics, but in this situation it actually makes him come across more effectively than if he were pulling hotshot heroics. Unlike the big wars fought in Treks past, where Picard joined the fight against the Borg or Worf joined a Klingon battle fleet, we're getting a real sense of the scope of this conflict - it's not bad to see that Sisko's just one officer of a great many whose lives have been turned upside down in the struggle. His devotion to duty and willingness to wait until the right moment to pressure the admirals has made him look very strong.
The other thing I love is Kira. For the first time in three years, I feel like the character I loved first season is back. She's smart, she's tough, she's unafraid to show anger or hurt or fear, she doesn't take crap from anyone in the name of friendship, she's emotional but not sentimental. I cheered aloud, watching her beating up Demar and later telling off Odo. It's wonderful to see her acting out of Sisko's shadow. I really liked her interactions with Ziyal, too - she's maternal, but not letting herself get close enough to get hurt if and when Ziyal chooses to side with her father against Kira's interests.
I hate Odo, and I can't figure out why the writers are setting him up this way - if it turns out that he's pretending to be a bad guy, playing along with the Dominion for the good of the Federation, then we'll know the Great Link is a pretty weak thing and everything that makes changeling culture interesting will be ruined, but if he's not pretending, if he's really so whipped by this gendered shapeshifter that he can't think about anyone else, I don't see how he's going to regain the respect of any of the people on the station during the run of this series. If he's in control of himself at all, his actions are unforgivable, and if he's not, then he's too weak for his job.
On the other hand, for some perverse reason, I like Dukat. Maybe because, though Ziyal is right that he's ruthless and megalomaniacal, he still seems to care about certain people beyond any logic. I am deep down hoping that he turns out to be redeemable. I'm tired of Garak's cliche-spouting and I haven't missed Bashir...and I definitely haven't missed Worf, Dax, or Worf/Dax...it's been a pleasure to have the spotlight on the characters who've gotten it these past few weeks.
The most interesting moment all episode was when Sisko announced that he would build a home on Bajor and return there no matter where Starfleet sent him. This is the first time the Emissary has ever expressed that sort of affection for the planet, and his reading of prophetic texts seems to indicate that he's taking that obligation ever more seriously. I like that character growth a lot...I hope we get to keep this Sisko when the war ends.
Deep Space Nine Reviews