"When It Rains..." Plot Summary:
O'Brien briefs Sisko and Admiral Ross on the Breen weapons, telling them that only Klingon ships can be altered quickly to withstand them. Martok pledges to keep the Dominion engaged while Damar's resistance builds strength. Sisko tells Kira that he wants her to go behind the lines to train the Cardassians as resistance fighters; he acknowledges the irony of the situation and her anger about Ziyal's murder, but reminds her that they are dependent on the Cardassians to protect all their people. When reminded that Kira's Bajoran uniform may antagonize the Cardassians, he also arranges for her to be given a Starfleet commission and uniform. Damar's assistant Rezat complains that he hates dealing with a Bajoran terrorist, but Damar says that he can no longer afford to hate Kira - they need her.
As Odo tells Bashir that he will be accompanying his lover on her mission, the doctor requests a sample of the changeling's protoplasm for experiments on how to synthesize organs for injured soldiers. Garak has contacted Damar to learn where the rebels are hiding, so Kira and Odo take a runabout to meet them. Bashir gets Ezri to come to the infirmary because she's been avoiding him socially, but just as she finishes telling him that she and Worf got together when she rescued him - before she can explain that she realized she's in love with Julian - the doctor gets a look at the readings on Odo's mutagenic sample. He immediately contacts Odo on en route to Damar's hideout to tell him that he's infected with the disease that is apparently killing the Founders.
Chancellor Gowron arrives on the station and is greeted by Sisko and Admiral Ross, but he marches right past them to honor Martok and his adopted brother Worf. He presents Martok with the Cross of Kahless at a ceremony where even the Starfleet officers have to slice their hands for a blood bond, then they all drink blood wine to get rid of the sting. Despite Martok's heroism and popularity - or, as Worf suggests, perhaps because of them - Gowron announces that he is taking direct command of the Klingon forces. "I must take a more active role," he says, telling Martok that the general has done enough.
Kai Winn tells one of her assistants that she's concerned about Solbor's disappearance, but when Dukat compliments her lying, she tells him to remember his place. "I thought my place was in your bed," he suggests, but she is outraged: "Your hands are stained with the blood of my people." Dukat tells her that after they release the Pah-Wraiths, hers will be stained as well, but she says he doesn't understand, berates him for distracting her, and throws him out of her office. Later that night, Dukat sneaks back in and attempts to read the Kost Amojin. "What have you been keeping from me, my sweet...what dark secrets?" he wonders. Sparks fly from the pages into his eyes, blinding him. The Kai enters in her nightgown, telling Dukat that she warned him the Book of the Pah-Wraiths was meant for her eyes alone.
Starfleet stalls Bashir when he requests Odo's medical records; he is told that the files are classified, since Odo has "been in contact with the enemy" when he linked with the female Founder. The doctor has Sisko use his higher security clearance to get the full report, but when he receives it, he realizes that the scans are much older than the recent ones he needed: someone has tampered with the file, undoubtedly Section 31, which doesn't want him to cure the Federation's enemies.
Kira arrives at Damar's hideout wearing three pips on her Starfleet uniform and starts setting up resistance cells similar to the ones used by Bajorans - and the Obsidian Order, Garak points out when some Cardassians resist. They need to decentralize resources in case of attack and to destroy targets like a Dominion weapons facility which is sparsely guarded...by Bajorans. At first Damar says they won't attack any installation where there are Cardassians, but when Kira points out that the Dominion will just stick token Cardassians at every single one of their installations, he reluctantly agrees to her plan. Later, one of his men goads Kira and Odo about whether the shapeshifter was a collaborator when Dukat ran Terok Nor. Kira nearly attacks him and later smashes up a room, telling Odo that she needs to cool off and is going to get a portable cooling unit. While she is gone, Odo discovers that the first symptoms of the disease are appearing on his hands.
Worf warns Martok that Gowron wants to be the savior of the Alpha Quadrant, but Martok insists that their obligation is to fight at Gowron's side to defeat the Dominion; they owe it to their fallen comrades. Gowron later announces a plan to attack the heart of the Dominion. Though Worf and Martok both protest that their forces will be spread too thin and outnumbered twenty to one, Martok can think only of how they will be honored as the saviors of the Alpha Quadrant.
Winn visits Dukat, who is being attended by a Vedek. She says that the doctor can find nothing wrong with his eyes; his blindness is a punishment by the Pah-Wraiths for his arrogance. "You wanted to see whether you could do it without me. Well, you can't." Dukat snaps that a Cardassian doctor could have treated him, then calls her by her first name, but she insists that he needs a lesson in humility and prepares to have him thrown out into the street, telling him that the Bajoran people are very kind and will surely take care of a blind beggar. He begs her to listen to him, but she says he may return only when he is forgiven and his sight has been restored.
O'Brien suggests to Bashir that they should tell Sisko what they know, but the doctor says Sisko would have to report his suspicions, and Section 31 might get rid of all of them. As Quark reveals that he knows about Odo's illness, Bashir discovers from the records that Odo was infected nearly three years previously...when he was at Starfleet Medical. In other words, he didn't get the disease from the female shapeshifter but he gave it to her, and through her the Great Link...Section 31 infected him with the intention of committing genocide. That's what they've been covering up, and what Bashir and O'Brien have to find a way to stop.
I knew this was coming, with Section 31 and the annihilation of the Founders, but that didn't make it any easier on my stomach when I heard the words. That any section of Starfleet - even one so secret that the admirals don't know it exists - would use such methods in the name of war or galactic protection of anything else just makes me ill. Something is seriously wrong with the Federation if an organization like this could exist within its military division, and I hope the Klingons, the Romulans, the Cardassians, the Bajorans, and everyone else make the top brass pay in blood when the mess is over.
The Klingons, of course, may be too busy fighting a civil war. I am starting to wonder again whether Gowron has secretly been replaced by a changeling because his actions otherwise make no sense...again. Why he would think his men will follow him on a probable suicide mission which could have dire consequences for the entire quadrant is beyond me. It's been obvious for awhile why he needs to remove Martok from power - the general's too popular and too visible - but Gowron has been around long enough, having witnessed the fall of the House of Duras, to realize that the sorts of tactics he's employing now will backfire.
Winn, too, should be able to figure out that she has just made a terrible and probably deadly mistake - her own greed for power is as blinding than Dukat's. Yet although it's predictable that he will be able to destroy her once he's free from her, it will be so worth it just to see Dukat for awhile as a helpless beggar among the Bajorans. For better or worse, the Kai is right about her people: they won't let a destitute blind man starve...despite the fact that so many of the Bajorans have starved themselves, and at the hands of that same man. The situation is rich with ironies, none lovelier than Winn's declaration that Dukat needs to learn humility. True, but coming from the one person in the galaxy of whom it is even more true...! I actually felt sorry for the guy when she threw him out of bed, he so looked like he wanted to stay there. And I felt sorry for her too, because I bet he was good.
Speaking of ironies, there's none richer than Kira in a Starfleet uniform training Cardassians to fight like Maquis. I loved the Cardassians rejecting all her ideas, only to have Garak point out that the Obsidian Order would do the same, then Damar agreeing that they haven't got a better plan themselves. Kira's tantrum after being goaded about Odo's conflicted loyalties during the Occupation seemed excessive, since that is something she must have found some way to deal with in order to have fallen in love with him in the first place. Bashir mentioned Odo's discovery and experimentation upon by the Bajoran scientist Mora, who must have left the young changeling conflicted about any loyalties to Bajor; it was helpful to remember that, because the Cardassians had a point about Odo's past compared with Kira's. I loved the look on her face when she first heard Odo's diagnosis, and the look on his face when he lied to her after realizing that he already had symptoms. I don't know if I'll cry for any individual character on this series no matter what happens, but I will definitely cry if these two have to part.
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