Big changes on the edge of the frontier with the feature length episode that originally aired on October 5. 1995.  This is Way of the Warrior

The Episode:

Station Log Stardate 49011.4 The Way Of The Warrior

After the events of The Adversary, the Dominion threat is greater than ever.  Soon the Klingons appear with a fleet determined to defend the Alpha Quadrant against the Changelings.  Sisko soon brings in a certain Klingon Starfleet officer to determine the real reason General Martok and his fleet are there.

The Breakdown:

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After an intense training exercise by Odo to help the crew defend against a changeling incursion, Sisko retires to his quarters for a meal with Kasidy Yates.  Just as she begins commenting on his new look (shaved head and goatee) and takes note about the construction being performed on the station, they are surprised by the appearance of the new Klingon flagship and it’s accompanying fleet arrive at the station requesting shore leave.

With the station practically overrun by an army of Klingons, Quark is shocked with how quiet the bar is.  Confirming with O’Brien and Bashir, they assure the Ferengi bartender that Sisko will figure everything out.   In the ready-room, Sisko is doing just that as he and Kira hold a conference with the leader of the Klingon fleet, General Martok. It would appear that the Klingons are there to give the Dominion a run for their money.

It isn’t long before things get violent on the station when a pair of Klingons begin to threaten Morn.  Interceding, Odo steps in but it seems that the two young warriors, including Martok’s son Drex, have a chip on their shoulder.  Returning to his shop, Garak is shocked to find the pair, with friends, waiting for him in an ambush and resulting in a visit to the infirmary for the simple tailor.  It is when Sisko receives a distress call from Kasidy Yates’ ship, the Xhosa that Sisko jumps into action.  Finding Yates’ ship under assault by a Klingon ship, Sisko soon realizes that he needs someone he can rely on who understands Klingon culture and sends a request to Starfleet for some help.

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Reporting for duty at the behest of Starfleet,  Lt Commander Worf arrives on DS9 to assist in the situation.  Worf informs Captain Sisko that, after this brief assignment, the Klingon officer intends to resign his commission.  Sisko understands where the Commander is coming from after the loss of the Enterprise and gives Worf a chance to refuse this posting.  Worf agrees to remain and assist, much to the delight of Sisko.

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Worf immediately visits Quarks bar where, after getting a chilled prune juice, he joins Julian and O’Brien for a game of darts.  There he encounters Dax and Kira as they are exiting the holosuite.  Immediately  it is clear that Dax admires the Commander.  Just as they are getting to know each other Drex begins trouble again causing Worf to intercede.  Worf quickly disarms Drex and takes his D’k Tahg blade. Later, Worf is visited by Martok who demands his son’s blade.  Worf hands it over and chastises the Klingon General for allowing his warriors to behave in such a dishonorable manner.  Demanding to know why the Klingons are there, Worf challenges Martok but only learns that he is on a mission from Gowron himself.

After investigating, Worf soon learns that the Klingons intend on invading Cardassia, taking the world over from the civilian resistance that has overthrown the Cardassian government.  This event could destroy the Federation Klingon Alliance and soon Worf reports this to Sisko, even though informing his Captain may have inadvertently betrayed the Klingon Empire.  Sisko confronts Martok and, just as he thinks he has swayed them from the invasion, the fleet is ordered to head to Cardassia Prime for an invasion.

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Knowing they can not inform Cardassia directly, Sisko decides to invite Garak to ‘measure him’ while they discuss the invasion force approaching Cardassia Prime.  Gathering all of the information he needs, Garak contacts Gul Dukat and learns that Cardassia Prime has indeed fallen to a coup from a citizen rebellion.  However, even with the Cardassians knowing what is coming, It soon becomes clear that the Klingons will settle for nothing less than victory. Sisko is shocked when he is informed that the Klingons have withdrawn from the Khitomer Accords effectively ending the alliance with the Federation.  Soon Chancellor Gowron himself arrives and demands to speak to Worf. On Gowron’s ship, the Chancellor asks Worf to accompany him to Cardassia for glorious battle.

Worf refuses the Chancellor’s request, upsetting the Klingon leader. Upon refusing, Gowron informs Worf that his honor and title will be stripped from him and the Klingon Commander stands firm.  Returning to the station, Worf informs his old friend O’Brien of his fate and that he intends on resigning from Starfleet.  He finds himself lost at sea and unsure of where he needs to be in life.

Worf informs Sisko of his decision and the Captain refuses his resignation.  Informing the Klingon Commander that they need every good officer he can get he is soon informed that the Klingon invasion has breached the front and is close to taking over Cardassia.  Contacting Gul Dukat, Sisko asks the Gul to meet him at a certain location in order to rescue the current governmental body.  Assigning Worf to the Defiant, Sisko takes a small crew into Cardassian space to mount the rescue.

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Upon arriving in Cardassian space, Sisko and crew find Dukat’s ship under attack and nearing destruction.  Sisko sends a message to the Klingons to break off their attack and are answered with shots fired.  Sisko responds to their assault and discovers that they need to beam over the Cardassian survivors before they are killed.  Worf, heading up tactical, begins holding off the Klingon cruisers providing the necessary time for Sisko to rescue the Cardassian crew.  After a tense battle, the Defiant manages to rescue Dukat and his crew and escape the Klingon cruisers.  Heading back to DS9, Sisko shows the Cardassian that they are being followed by the very ships that intend to kill him.

Back on the station, O’Brien wraps up the updates to the station just in time for the Defiant to arrive with Klingon ships in tow.  Just as the Defiant docks, an entire fleet decloaks near the station, threatening the small federation base.  Knowing the odds are against them, Sisko orders the crew to their battle stations.

Soon Martok contacts DS9 and demands Sisko relinquish the Cardassian Council members to the Klingon fleet.  Sisko informs Martok and Gowron that he has has a year to prepare for an attack by the Dominion.  He has prepared over 5000 photon torpedoes and has them trained on the Klingon ships. Gowron, calling the Captain’s bluff, begins their attack run.   As the Klingon ships attack, Sisko launches his counter measures proving to be more than capable of holding his own against the invading force. way of warrior 11

Before long Klingons begin invading the station itself after disabling the stations shields.  With Klingon warriors running through the station, it soon becomes a fight to the death for everyone on board.  Fighting off the onslaught of Klingon Warriors with minimal casualties, Sisko is soon able to contain the threat just in time for Star Fleet ships to arrive.  Sisko hails Gowron and informs him that the Klingon Empire can not survive a war on multiple fronts.  Gowron reluctantly sees Sisko’s point and informs the Captain that the Federation and the Klingon Empire are no longer allies just before the Klingon fleet disembarks.

After the battle, Sisko approaches Worf about remaining on the crew.  Sisko understands the pain Worf is going through since the loss of the Enterprise but offers the Klingon Commander a chance to start again. Worf accepts the offer joining the crew as the new Strategic Operations Officer.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

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Lt Commander Worf has always been a favorite of mine, his was a character that I was pleased to see evolve over the course of seven seasons and, I was even more excited to learn that he was joining the cast of this new series. Having not seen this character since the events of Generations, we get a first hand look at how one of the officers is dealing with the loss of a ship they had served on for nearly a decade.  For Worf it is even more personal as he sees the loss of the ship as his own fault, as he was the Enterprise’s tactical officer.  Imagine for a moment that you come from a warrior race, a people who are so dependent on honor and duty that it truly defines their very lives.  Now, imagine that you are unable to defend the very ship you are assigned to protect, that your very position aboard that ship is to ensure it’s safety and the safety of it’s crew and it was destroyed on your watch.   How would you react?

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Now, most humans would fall into a fit of depression but, eventually, they would move on and find a way to redefine themselves.  Sisko went through something very similar after the battle of Wolf 359 and the loss of his wife but eventually realized that the only way past his pain was to move through it and focus on his son Jake.  Worf however, after ensuring his son’s happiness on Earth with is parents (which I still have a problem with seeing that there are literal FAMILIES on DS9), has nothing left to grasp onto.  For him he is just trying to get by and, when we finally meet him here, he has all but given up.  To him, he has not only dishonored himself but has dishonored his crew by allowing the ship he served on to be destroyed.  By the end of the episode, he may still have his doubts but seeing the kind of leader Sisko is and the support he has, it seems that the Klingon warrior might have a place to call home again.  Trust me, his time on the series is memorable and he is a welcome addition to the crew.  Now, before you ask, well why didn’t he confide in his old crew mates and let them help him out of this Klingon funk?  This is Worf we are talking about, this guy has trouble talking about relationships, do you think he would ever talk to a fellow crewman about his depression.  Yeah, not likely.

The events in this episode have just been waiting to happen.  With the threat of the Dominion to the Alpha Quadrant, it was only a matter of time before one or more of the many empires throughout the galaxy finally decided to take action.  It is no surprise that, after the failed attempt by the Romulan/Cardassian fleet to take the Dominion head on, the Klingons would seize the opportunity to stake a foothold into the newly weakened Cardassian Union. They have always been a volatile bunch and, even though Gowron means well, he has always proven to be one that was fairly easily provoked.  Spurred on by General Martok, Gowron jumped at the opportunity to take over Cardassia on the claim that the Cardassians might have been taken over by Changelings.  The thing is, no one ever seemed to question if any of the Klingons had been taken over themselves…

Overall, this is a tremendous season opener for Star Trek DS9 and possibly one of the best episodes in the series.  Setting up the events of the entire back half of the series, this episode is full of interesting hints at things to come.  From Gul Dukat taking leadership of the Cardassian government to even the subtle attraction between Dax and Worf, there are some great things that this episode preps us for, many of which will not even fully play out until later in the series.  This was Star Trek in it’s prime and it only gets better from here.

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • There is a slight change to the opening credits and the theme song adding some flourish and a deeper arrangement to the instruments.  Personally, I prefer the original theme, but the credit sequence is pretty killer.
  • We finally see Sisko in his ultimate form, shaved head and a van dyke.  This will be Ben Sisko’s look for the remainder of the series.
  • We learn that Cardassia has sealed their border after the destruction of the Obsidian Order leading to the very invasion the Klingons mount in this episode.way of warrior 5
  • As mentioned earlier, we start to see the sparks between Dax and Worf as she is obviously enamored with the Klingon Warrior.
  •  Great conversation between Quark and Garak about the Federation.  Comparing it to Root Beer, they both see the Federation as a sweet bubbly organization that, the more you drink it, the more you realize you like having it around even though the taste is bitter and too sweet.  They recognize that, while the Federation isn’t perfect, it is a side that might just get them through these tough times.

Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review,  I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!  Next Review: The Visitor

If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 8/9/2019

way of warrior 9
The Cardassian adaptation for Lethal Weapon has some interesting casting choices…

Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available.  Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

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