The Dominion finally make themselves known in the episode originally aired on June 12,1994. This is Jem’Hadar.
Station Log Stardate undetermined: The Jem’Hadar
During an outing in the Gamma Quadrant with Jake, Nog and Quark, Ben Sisko come face to face with the brutal warriors of a new race, The Jem’Hadar.
Jake is busy growing Bajoran Katterpods for his science project when his father comes in and asks Jake if there was any project he wanted to do, what would it be? Jake answers that he would like to go to the Gamma Quadrant to do a planetary survey and his father agrees. Informing Kira and Dax of his upcoming trip, Ben is upset to learn that Jake has invited Nog to join them on their outing. Jake feels responsible for the young Ferengi and encourages his father to agree to take the boy with them.
Meanwhile Nog informs his uncle of his mission to the Gamma Quadrant and, having just been denied an opportunity to advertise on the promenade, Quark sees an chance to bond with the Commander.
Boarding the ship Ben, Jake and Nog are shocked to see Quark has decided to accompany his nephew on the trip. Using his Ferengi logic, Quark convinces the Commander to take him along and they head out to the Gamma Quadrant, quickly finding a planet to scout out.
Finding a place to camp for the night, Quark soon finds the Commander not interested in allowing Quark to sell items over the station monitors. The two boys begin to explore their area finding the planet to be fascinating. Ben cooks Jambalaya for dinner to everyone’s delight but Quarks and soon Quark accidentally sets himself on fire as he complains about being in the middle of the forest casing Nog to run off with Jake following after.
Using the accident as an excuse to tell Ben Sisko that he is racist against Ferengi, they are soon shocked to find a stranger arrive in their camp who quickly stuns Ben Sisko with a strange lights. She soon asks them if they are the Jem’hadar and soon a reptilian hunting squad de-cloaks around them with guns.
Returning to the camp, Jake and Nog find Ben and Quark missing. Soon they notice boot prints all over the camp that don’t belong to the adults and so they begin their search. Soon they find the Jem’Hadar and see them guarding what looks like a cave.
In some unknown location, Ben, Quark and the stranger are trapped in a circle of light. Quark is clearly frightened and Ben has to talk him down from panicking. Ben knows that his son is looking for them even though Nog had been taught to flee at the sight of harm. Just as Ben is about to try to escape, the stranger chimes in to tell him that the barrier surrounding them is lethal. They soon learn that the young woman is called Eris and was being hunted by the Jem’Hadar. She informs them that they Jem’Hadar work for the Dominion, a force that takes what they want by any means necessary. Knowing who they are, Sisko begins his plan of attack by attempting to remove a slave collar from Eris’ neck.
As Ben works on the collar, Quark begins to yell, asking for some help from someone. Soon one of the Jem’Hadar arrives and informs them that The Founders don’t want them released. Quark tries to take over and negotiate but fails miserably with the Jem’hadar easily tossing him to the side. The soldier shows his distaste for his first encounter with them being a human and a Ferengi, and soon shows that he has a vast knowledge of the Federation and the Alpha Quadrant as a whole. After getting no answers, he leaves, reactivating the barrier. Soon, Ben manages to open the collar on Eris inviting Quark to look at the device to possibly pick the lock.
Jake and Nog return to the runabout to scan the planet for Ben and Quark. Trying to beam them up, they find they are trapped in a spacial distortion field. They soon try to take the ship to the wormhole but the ship will not comply. They watch as a ship heads out from the planet and warps away.
Back at the Station an officer identifying himself as Third Talak’talan beams aboard the station and informs them that they have Commander Sisko in their custody. He then informs Kira that the Bajoran Colony, New Bajor, has been destroyed with it’s people having fought valiantly. He then leaves, leaving Kira and crew with more questions than answers.
Continuing to work on the shuttle, Jake remembers his lessons from Chief O’Brien. Disabling the runabout, Jake and Nog decide to try to fly the runabout themselves.
The USS Odyssey arrives at the station with Captain Keogh in command. He decides that they need to go and give the Jem’Hadar a bloody nose but locks down the wormhole until they launch. Retrofitting a few runabouts, they ops team begin to slit up for a rescue mission to find and retrieve their Commander and the others. With the Odyssey in the lead, the team travels into the Gamma Quadrant and begin their mission. Just as Jake and Nog manage to get their runabout under control, the search party find them and take them aboard.
Quark manages to remove the collar allowing Eris to use her powers to destroy the barrier. Surprising the guards, the three make their escape just as the Odyssey arrives at the planet. Three Jem’Hadar ships arrive and begin to attack giving O’Brien a chance to take Nog and Jake down to scan the planet to search for Ben and Quark. Soon the Odyssey finds itself overpowered and needs to back off as soon as they can.
Back on the planet, Ben, Quark and Eris make their escape running through the forest. Just as it looks like they wont be able to go any further, they are beamed aboard the runabout by Jake, Nog and O’Brien. O’Brien informs the team that Sisko has been rescued but it is too late, the Odyssey finds itself under even heavier fire and is soon destroyed with all hands aboard. Knowing they are outgunned, the three remaining shuttle crafts set a course for home to safety.
Upon arriving home, Quark reveals that the device that Eris had on her neck did not prevent her from using her powers, in fact it served no purpose. She admits that she is in fact part of the Dominion and, just as they plan to take her in custody, she beams away to an unknown ship. Sisko knows that the Dominion will return, it is just a matter of when.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
So there it is, the final episode of the second season, and boy was it a big one. Not only did it set off the next story lines in a way no one would ever think possible but it introduced a new faction that had only been hinted at until now, The Dominion. Never before has Starfleet faced a people like the Dominion and soon they would see that they are not the big shots in space that they have believed themselves to be all these years.
The episode itself was one of the best season finales that, while a ratcheting up the tension, avoided being the traditional cliffhanger that finale’s tend to be. We now have several new species, a new enemy and a threat that is completely unknown at this point other than the predator like reptiles known as the Jem’Hadar and the strange eared woman that we would later learn is a Vorta. One thing I do find interesting though is that these events could have been completely avoided. How you ask? hear me out.
You see, when the wormhole was discovered, the Federation automatically assumed that the Gamma Quadrant was a place they could just go in and settle as if it were a wild untamed land. Like Columbus or the Pilgrims setting up colonies in the Americas, the Federation just walked in and started setting up shop like they owned the place. Sure, they made it a point to stop and talk to a few folks but when it came down to it, they just planted their flags wherever they wanted without thinking someone else might have a claim to those places. So, when the Dominion took notice, they saw the Federation as an invading force instead of the polite exploratory group the Federation claims to be. Now, any reasonable folk would tell the invaders to back off but the Dominion knows that this isnt always the best way to do thing as many times those invaders just tell you to kiss off so they decided to make a show of force, and boy did they. It is clear from the start that the Dominion have superior technology and firepower and now that they know where the Federation is, you can bet they will be coming for some retribution.
This is a bit spoilery but One thing I do find interesting is how Eris doesn’t react to Odo in the slightest. Anyone who has watched the show knows that Odo is in fact a member of the Founders that Eris is so devoted to. We soon learn that the founders are a race of shapeshifters and they are in fact the Dominion itself. What shocks me is that, upon seeing Odo, Eris acted like he was just another person and not one of her betters as would be established later in the series. Maybe at this point the writers hadn’t thought that far ahead but it seems like a bit of an oversight. Or, maybe Eris had yet to actually see a Founder, that would be the only explanation.
No matter what, this is a great finale and one that sets the stage for many things to come.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
Morn almost talks for the first time on the series but is cut off at the last minute by Quark.
We discover that the Dominion knows a lot about the Federation and it’s neighbors…I wonder how that could be? hmmmm.
New Rule of Acquisition!
#102 Nature Decays…but latinum lasts forever.
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Late To The Game 4/11/2021 (Originally published 6/7/2019)
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