This episode marks the beginning of the final story of Deep Space Nine. After Seven years and an incredible amount of adventures we embark on the final war with the Dominion.  Thank you for journeying with me as I review a series that is, what I consider, some of the best Star Trek has had to offer.  Originally airing on April 7, 1999  this is Penumbra.

The Episode:

Station Log Stardate 52576.2 Penumbra

After Worf goes missing in a battle with the Dominion, Ezri takes it upon herself to find and save the husband of Dax’s former host.  Meanwhile, Sisko buys a plot of land and makes plans to settle down with Kasidy, despite warnings from the Prophets themselves.

The Breakdown:

Story A: The Search for Worf

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Ezri is shocked when Kira brings news that Worf has gone missing during his command of the IKS Koraga.  With the news of her previous hosts husband missing, Ezri finds herself distracted by the thoughts of Worf lost or captured by the Dominion.  Despite Quark’s assurances, a solemn message from Captain Sisko causes Ezri to decide to take matters into her own hands.  Remembering the oath Jadzia gave at her wedding, Ezri steals a runabout and heads out to save her friend.

Sisko learns of her theft and, after contacting her, decides to let her go with copies of the Defiant’s sensor logs.  He knows that bringing her back is a bad move as she is a Dax and she needs to fulfill her mission.

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Entering the badlands, Ezri begins her search for Worf’s ship.  Shutting down her engines, she allows her runabout to be caught in the currents of the badlands maelstrom despite her penchant for space sickness.  Floating through the plasma she soon finds an escape pod containing Worf and beams him aboard.  He is wounded but alive and grateful for her rescue attempt although he finds her presence awkward.   With Worf rescued, Ezri sends a message to the station indicating her success in recovering the Klingon Commander.

As they head home, Ezri begins to discuss Jadzia much to Worf’s dismay.  She asks about Alexander and it seems that his son is doing well. As she discusses their past, Ezri finds it difficult to separate her’s and Jadzia’s lives. Just as things begin to get heated, they are discovered by two Jem’Hadar fighters and, soon, find themselves shot down over a hostile planet.  With their ship destroyed, the two find themselves stranded on the planet without a com unit to contact Deep Space Nine.

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After six days surviving on the planet, Worf arrives at camp with a freshly slain animal.  Ezri has been busy working on a way to boost their combadges but it is obvious that the two are having trouble communicating.  It is clear that they both have feelings for one another but neither want to admit to it.  The two begin to argue and soon the argument becomes a passionate kiss.  After falling asleep, Worf awakes to find themselves surrounded by Breen soldiers who quickly stun the two Federation Officers.

Waking in custody, Worf and Ezri find themselves without their gear on a Breen ship.

Story B: A rift begins

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On Cardassia Weyoun and Damar make their plans to protect the new Ketracel White facility.  It is clear there is a rift forming between them when Damar challenges the deaths of his people during the war.  Damar is clearly bitter at Weyoun and the female founder and makes it known that he believes she has taken ill. Weyoun leaves after instructing Damar to install a private subspace transmitter in the Founders quarters.

After the transmitter is installed, Weyoun visits the Founder who receives news that a cure has not been found for the shapeshifters maladies.  She is obviously upset at the news and reluctantly provides another sample of her necrotic tissue for further testing.

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Damar is shocked when Dukat pays him a visit.  Dukat informs Damar that the former Gul has found the love of the Pah Wraiths and needs his old friends help.  Damar agrees to help Dukat before learning what his former leader has in mind.

Damar and Weyoun discuss recent troop movements when Damar is called away much to Weyoun’s frustrations.  Damar enters his quarters to find Dukat admiring his new altered Bajoran face.

Story C: Mr and Mrs Emissary Sisko

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Captain Sisko shows Kasidy a plot of land he has purchased on Bajor.  While discussing the matter, Sisko refers to his life as more than just being himself, that much of his actions have ended up being more Destiny than choice.  Kasidy assures Ben that she understands his place in the universe and that, no matter what, she still loves him.

With Ezri off hunting for Worf, Kasidy finds Sisko building the model of their future home.  He is concerned about Worf and Ezri and this is the only thing he can think of doing to take his mind off of his troubles.  As he and Kasidy discuss the house, he tells her that he wants to get married.  She is shocked and pleased at his proposal agreeing to marry Ben Sisko.

Jake is pleased at his fathers news and, when Ben asks his son to be his best man, the younger Sisko is elated.  Soon Kasidy and Ben begin planning the wedding arrangements and before long learn that Bajor is planning a big ceremony for them.  It seems that the wedding of the Emissary is a much bigger event than either of them had ever considered.

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Concerned for Dax and Worf, Sisko finds himself working on his model home.  Soon he is whisked away by The Prophets (in the form of his mother) who tell him that he must accept his destiny.  They inform him that Kasidy can not share the same path as the Emissary no matter what it is he himself wants.  They warn him that he will feel nothing but sorrow should he choose Kasidy over his fate.  His greatest trial is about to begin.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

As I mentioned above, this is the beginning of the end.  Setting up several key stories this episode serves as a launching point for what was called The Final Chapter.  Lets break them down individually shall we?

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In The Search of Worf we finally get the confrontation between Ezri and Worf that has been building since her arrival on the station.  If you have been paying attention, despite their amicable arrangement, Worf and Ezri have been very clear on their boundaries thus far.  However, as with most Dax’s, when someone she cares about goes missing, Ezri Dax sets out to find her lost friend and Jadzia’s former lover.

Personally, while the story of Dax and Worf is a great one, this segment felt a little forced.  Honestly it probably would have worked better between Miles and Julian with one of them being captured but then again, there are key things that happen for them later that would prevent that scenerio from playing out.  I can’t say I love the idea of Ezri and Worf, to me Worf would never have dishonored Jadzia in any way and a relationship with Ezri is just that.  He made it clear that he loved Jadzia, not Dax so this whole infatuation of his just feels…wrong.

While it is difficult for them both it soon looks like Worf and Dax will be reunited even though there are specific rules in place to prevent this sort of thing. However, it seems that joy doesnt last long when they find themselves trapped by the mysterious Breen.  While we have seen that the Breen were once allies of sorts with the Cardassians, it has also been somewhat established that they have no such alliance with the Dominion.  What could they have been doing there?  Well, only time will tell…

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In what I call The Rift Begins we begin seeing the cracks in the foundation between Cardassia and The Dominion. It is abundantly clear that Damar has lost faith in his forced partners so, when Dukat arrives, the broken Cardassian leader sees it as an opportunity to strike back.  Now, what could Dukat want with a Bajoran face? Plus, why would the Female shape shifter need a communications device… Don’t worry, you wont have to wait too long to find that out.

Finally, Mr and Mrs Emissary Sisko.

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Ben Sisko finally finds some semblance of happiness and, just when things are going well, who should appear, The Prophets of course.  Not just any Prophets but Momma Prophet herself Jennifer Sisko.  Unfortunatly they share a dire warning with Ben indicating that he has to walk his path alone despite his happiness with Kasidy.  Do you really think Ben is going to just cave in a listen? When has her really ever done that?

All in all, seeing that this is the first part of a massive nine part story, I can’t really judge it as a singular episode.  That being said, this is a wonderful setup for what will be one of the most memorable final Star Trek stories ever broadcast.  See you in a few days with part two: Til Death Do Us Part!

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • We see the Breen Warships for the first time in this episode.
  • There is a brief mention of the Son’a who were one of the key aliens in Star Trek Insurrection.

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: ‘Til Death Do Us Part

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 3/13/2020

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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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