With the chess pieces in place the game to win the Alpha quadrant begins. Originally broadcast on April 28, 1999 this is The Changing Face of Evil.

The Episode:

Station Log Stardate (approx) 52600.1 The Changing Face of Evil

The Earth is attacked and with massive losses on the Cardassian front all seems lost,  especially when Kai Winn dives into forbidden texts.

The Breakdown:

Story A: The War at Home

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After a joyful reunion with their friends, Worf and Ezri return to their work on Deep Space Nine.  The celebration is cut short when a priority one transmission indicates that the Breen have attacked the Earth.

After a direct attack on Star Fleet headquarters by the Breen, Martok indicates that they will find the weakness of the Breen sooner than later.  Returning to his quarters, Ben finds Kasidy busy burning dinner and destroying his prized peppers in the process.  They agree that from now on Sisko is responsible for meals.  Things get even more complicated when Kasidy informs Sisko that she is about to go on a supply run with her ship as to which Ben is not too thrilled.

As Sisko deals with the trouble of being married to a Freighter Captain, Worf and Ezri discuss the merits of her interest in Julian Bashir.  He encourages her to tell the doctor how she feels and it is soon clear that they have become better friends than they could have ever been lovers.  Worf comments that he might be willing to help Bashir and O’Brien in their Alamo Holodeck program.

As Sisko visits Odo in security, Kasidy storms in upset that she has been given a months paid vacation at the request of Ben Sisko.  Thinking he was protecting her, he soon realizes that his attempt was not the right move. Understanding his mistake, Sisko gets Kasidy back on the active list only to be interrupted by Admiral Ross.  It seems the Breen have broken through their line in the Chin’toka system.

Taking the Defiant out to defend their only foothold in Dominion Space, it is clear that the crew are on edge and unsure about their mission.  Regardless, they follow Captain Sisko as they all understand the importance of their mission to defend the Chin’toka system.

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It is not long before the Defiant is disabled by a Breen weapon.  Knowing that the ship is lost Captain Sisko orders the crew to abandon ship before it is destroyed.  With Kira wounded and the ship blowing up around him, Sisko takes one last look at his bridge and leaves with his crew.  Blasting away he watches as the Defiant is destroyed.

Returning to the station defeated, Sisko and team are shocked to get a transmission from Damar encouraging his fellow Cardassians to revolt against the Dominion.  Using the attack on Chin’Toka as a cover, he has destroyed a Dominion outpost effectively destroying the cloning facility preventing the Dominion from cloning any further Vorta or Jem’Hadar.

Damar may have bought the Federation time and now he may be the key to saving the Alpha Quadrant.

Story B: Revolutionaries

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On Cardassia, Weyoun celebrates the attack on Earth with his new Breen allies.  Damar soon points out to the Breen commander that he should expect the Dominion to blame their new allies for any future mishaps as he once held the same position of honor the Breen now do.

Damar is soon visited by Gul Rusot who is both worried and inspired by Damar’s new path as a rebel.  Damar assures Rusot that they will get out from under the Dominions Heel using their soldiers for a clandestine mission that could cripple the Dominion itself.

Weyoun shares his thoughts on the Breen with Damar indicating that, even though they wear cold suits, the Breen homeworld is not the frozen wasteland he had been expecting. As they discuss the matter, Weyoun realizes that Damar has stopped drinking and Damar allows the Vorta believe that it is because Damar once again believes in the Dominion.

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Knowing that Chin’toka is about to fall, Damar puts his plans into place to help ensure Cardassia’s freedom from under Dominion rule.  As he prepares for his attack Weyoun and the female shapeshifter arrive at the front lines to witness the battle of Chin’toka.

With the fall of the Defiant, Weyoun is pleased to announce that the Chin’toka system is now theirs.  Despite the easy targets, the Founder orders the escape pods unharmed in order to allow the fear of the Dominion to spread.

With Damar’s announcement of revolution, Weyoun orders his Breen soldiers to find and kill Damar at all costs.

Story C: The Evil Within

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On Bajor, Kai Winn cancels all of her meetings much to Solbor’s dismay.  When Anjohl arrives, it is clear to Solbor that he is the reason for the Kai’s sudden cancellation of all her meetings.  After Solbor leaves, Anjohl continues his push to convince Winn Adame further into the Pah Wraiths arms.  He encourages her to release the Pah Wraiths from the fire caves and, after she pushes back with old prophecies, he asks her to find the forbidden text of The Kosst Amojan which should have what they seek.

 

Fetching the forbidden text, Solbor is clearly upset at the request. Speaking frankly, he indicates that the book has not been removed from the archives for 700 years.  Despite his urging for her to not study the book, Solbor is forced to relinquish the book.  Solbor warns Adame to not trust Anjohl as they do not know who he really is.  They are shocked, however, when Adame and Anjohl finally open the book to find the pages blank. It seems they have more to do before discovering the secrets of the Pah Wraiths.

Returning to the Kai with additional materials, Solbor informs her that the Vedeks have been asking about her obsession with the dark texts.  Soon she sends both Solbor and Anjohl away indicating that she wants to be alone.

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As the Kai sleeps, Solbor attempts to remove the books from her study only to come face to face with Anjohl who physically attacks the caring assistant.  Knowing that Kai Winn is at a crossroads, Anjohl protects his interests and drives Kai forward in her studies.

After their confrontation, Solbor returns with news that Anjohl is not who he claims but is in fact a Cardassian. Solbor reveals that Anjohl is in fact Gul Dukat as to which Adame realizes the truth.  Dukat reveals that he is planning to release the Pah Wraiths and Solbor realizes that Kai Winn has betrayed them.  As he turns to leave she stabs her assistant in the back killing him instantly.  Winn attempts to destroy the book but as soon as Solbor’s blood drips on the pages the text is revealed.  Now with a renewed focus, Adame Winn begins her final dive into the evil of the Pah Wraiths.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

Okay, the first blood goes to the Dominion, or to Kai Winn if you want to be literal about it.   The last three episodes set the board, this one sets the stakes.  So far in the series the ‘threat’ of the Dominion hasn’t really been felt.  Sure they can hide among others easily, something that seems to have been forgotten, but otherwise they have been little more than a barking snarling dog that has yet to actually bite anyone.  Sure it has frightened off the mail man a time or two but other than that, not much.  Until Today.  Whether it is because of the Female Shapeshifters escalated deterioration or the fact that they just have been very ineffective as conquerors, the Dominion is striking back and boy do they hit hard.

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Even Kasidy tries to help with the anxiety.

With that in mind, lets talk about the various story arcs in this one.  Story A, which I refer to The War at Home, deals mostly with how everyone is handling the current fighting.  Some, like O’Brien and Bashir, deal with it with their holosuite simulations, others, namely Sisko, deal with it by trying to protect those they love.  No matter what, they all are seen to have some significant coping mechanisms that really define who and where they are in their lives.

Sadly this safety net is taken away when they all lose one of their closest friends, the USS Defiant.  I have to say, that moment was both sudden and unexpected, but then again, someone has to die in the battle, why not the ship itself?

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In the segment I call Revolutionaries, we really get a sense of who Damar really is.  This is a guy who is, as I mentioned in last episodes review, a real patriot. He truly only wants what he feels is best for the Cardassian people and, when he notices that they are now the conquered, he does all he can to destroy those that are destroying them.  If you think about it, it is almost ironic that the Cardassians have become a subjugated people.  After their treatment of the Bajoran’s during the occupation, the conquering species believed themselves to be rather untouchable, yet here they are pretty much in the same situation as the people they once oppressed.  Sure, it’s not quite the same as there are no Cardassians in labor camps that we are aware of but still, for the Cardassians this is practically torture.

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Finally, The Evil Within.  For so long Adame Winn has done all she can to lead the people as she believed was best only to continually find herself unworthy of her position.  Now with the promise of a greater power it is only a matter of time before she discovers that the Pah Wraith really have no use for her other than to free them.  I mean, seriously, how far can one fall before realizing that the bottom is much closer than it might seem?  Sealing her fate with the murder of Solbor I was a little shocked that she was not more repulsed by his initial revelation that her ‘friend’ was none other than Gul Dukat.  Did she know all along and just didn’t really care or has she slipped so far down the rabbit hole that it just doesn’t matter to her any more.  I think it is a little of both to be honest.

All that being said, even if the Federation succeeds in defeating the Dominion, they are about to have a major threat that is going to make the Dominion look like a bunch of horny tribbles.

Overall, a solid first strike for an episode that is mostly there to ratchet up the anxiety of the story.  With everything in place the first block has to fall and fall it did.  Come back in a couple of days for more in the final story of Deep Space Nine!   Only a few more episodes to go!

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

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  • With the cloning facilities destroyed, this is likely the final Weyoun in the series.  For the first time in his life, he is facing his own mortality.
  • We also get a chance to see the start of a potential relationship between Ezri and Julian as she wrestles with her emotions about him.  I love that she and Worf have become better friends due to their experiences together giving her someone she can talk with.

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: When It Rains…

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 3/20/2020

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Next time, Benjamin, be sure to delete your browser history BEFORE loaning me your personal PADD.

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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