Ancient artifacts, Jem’Hadar warriors and an unlikely joint operation. Originally airing on May 13,1996, this is To The Death.

The Episode:

Station Log Stardate 49904.2 To The Death

After an attack by the Jem’Hadar, Sisko and crew team up with members of the Dominion to track down a group of rebels who have discovered another Iconian Gateway.

The Breakdown:

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After driving away Breen privateers, Sisko and crew begin their return to the Station aboard the Defiant. Just as they arrive at the station they are stunned to find one of the upper pylons destroyed. Upon boarding the station, Sisko and team find out that it was a Jem’Hadar strike team that hit and run, stealing supplies and possibly crew-members. Sisko immediately takes the Defiant into the Wormhole in pursuit of their attackers.

Following the Ion Trail of the Jem’Hadar ship, they soon come across a damaged Jem’Hadar war ship broadcasting an SOS. Beaming the survivors aboard, they learn from Vorta named Weyoun, that the attackers are rebel Jem’Hadar and they too are in pursuit. Wayoun explains that the rebels have taken over an Iconian Gateway that would allow them to instantly transport to any location in the universe. The Dominion needs the Federations help to prevent this from occurring, the Gateway is a threat that must be stopped immediately.

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They soon begin planning their attack with Sisko well aware that their Dominion allies could prove to be a problem in the long run. As they discuss their strategy, it becomes clear that the Jem’Hadar view Odo as a traitor. The soon finish their plans and begin training for their mission on the planet. It is soon clear that this mission is going to be a tough one to complete due to the differences between the two groups. It is soon revealed that the Jem’Hadar under Weyoun’s command already know about the gateway and still want to serve the Founders in their mission. Shocked at the revelation, Weyoun is concerned that his men may try for their freedom.

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After witnessing the Jem’Hadar receive their Ketracel White, one of the Jem’Hadar assaults O’Brien resulting in a brawl between Worf and the soldier. As punishment, the Omet’ikalan kills his soldier and makes it clear that he is dissapointed that Sisko did not kill Worf as a punishment. Omet’ikalan warns Sisko that, after this mission, he will kill Sisko in place of Worf. Not long after, Worf approaches Sisko to request that Sisko remain on the ship to avoid being killed by Omet’ikalan. Worf tells his Captain that, if the Jem’Hadar warrior fulfills his mission, Worf will ensure that he does not live to enjoy the moment.

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They all soon arrive at the planet and the mission begins. They soon discover that their weapons are non-functional and are immediately beset by an ambush. Knowing that they have been detected, Sisko agrees to take the battle to the Iconian temple. Battling their way in, Worf releases Odo, who had disguised himself as a satchel on Worf’s shoulder. They soon arrive at the gateway and Sisko is stabbed saving the life of Omet’ikalan. Setting the charges, they all escape the temple, destroying the gateway in the process.

Weyoun beams down with Ketracel White and, just as he asks to inspect the wreckage, Omet’ikalan kills the Vorta leader for questioning his loyalty. Omet’ikalan lets Sisko and his crew go with the promise that, the next time they meet, they will be enemies.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

I love a good Dominion episode and this one certainly fits the bill. While the Dominion as a whole has been quite for much of the season, this episode marks a bit of a turning point for the series with some serious events coming in both the remaining episodes of this season and some massive events on the horizon.

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At this point in the series, we know very little about the Dominion other than they are in control of an entire sector of space, run by Changelings known as The Founders, and have multiple species under their direct command. Although we know little about the Dominion, we knew even less about the warrior race, the Jem’Hadar. These mysterious Predator-like reptilian soldiers present a constant threat to the Alpha Quadrant and for the first time get a little back story. It seems that these beings are not only the army of the Dominion but the Founders literally grow them to serve the Dominion. They are fiercely loyal due to their genetics and their addiction to the drug known as Ketracel White.

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One interesting addition is the character Weyoun, played by the incredible Jeffery Combs. I have been a fan of Combs since first seeing him in The Re-animator (a film that I will eventually get around to reviewing) but his roles in DS9 ranging from Liquidator Brunt to Tiron (in the episode Meridian), have always been a delight. Seeing that the Iconian Gateway would have let to a very easy path to victory for them, It is through Weyoun that we see that the Founders have yet to declare total war on the Federation and are currently in more of a cold war as they still see the potential of some of the races in the Alpha Quadrant. All of that being said, there is a rather intense moment between Weyoun and Odo, indicating that this was Odo’s last chance to make amends for him killing another Changeling in The Adversary. Needless to say, that deed will not go unpunished.

I do enjoy that this is somewhat of a continuation of the story-line from the rather lackluster TNG episode ‘Contagion‘ where we were first introduced to the ancient race of the Iconians. Having now destroyed two Iconian Gateways, it makes me wonder just how many more are out there and if any more will be discovered…

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • New facts about the Jem’Hadar:
    • They don’t eat, they don’t sleep.
    • They get all of their sustenance through Ketracel White.
    • there are no Jem’Hadar women
    • they are grown in birthing chambers
    • No Jem’Hadar lives past 30, with 20 being considered honored elders.
  • We learn that O’Brien records a message for Keiko and Molly every time he heads off on a dangerous mission. This is his 13th message in his time in Star Fleet.
  • We get some more hints of the relationship between Jadzia and Worf in this one with her casually pointing out to Bashir that the Doctor is sitting in Worf’s favorite seat.

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  • Sci-Fi and Star Trek staple Brian Thompson makes another ill-fated appearance, this time as Toman’torax. This is not the last we will see of Thompson in Star Trek.
  • At one point, Weyoun approaches Odo and asks if the Constable is ready to return home. Odo indicates that he is not but it is clear that this is a tender subject.
  • We learn that the Dominion is at least 2000 years old.
  • Even though he died in this episode, this is not the last we will see of Weyoun…

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 Quickening

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 9/27/2019

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Quiet, act like he’s not standing there and maybe he will go away.

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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