In the premiere of Season Five, Odo and team must come face to face with a threat that could ignite a war. Originally airing on September 30, 1996, this is Apocalypse Rising.
Station Log Stardate undetermined: Apocalypse Rising
War has been declared between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Sisko decides to put an end to the altercations by exposing Gowron for the Changeling that he is.
The Rio Grande arrives at DS9 after narrowly escaping an altercation with the Klingons. Sisko and Dax inform the crew that Starfleet is sending in a covert group to prove Gowron is a shapeshifter and that group will be led by none other than Captain Sisko himself.
Looking for Odo, Sisko finds the Constable in Quarks Bar lamenting over the loss of his abilities and finding solace in alcoholic drinks. Sisko requests the former shapeshifter’s participation in Sisko’s mission but Odo recommends one of his deputies instead. Sisko doesn’t take no for an answer and insists that Odo accompany them.
After a briefing on the matter, Sisko contacts Gul Dukat who has a much needed Klingon Bird of Prey. Dukat welcomes the undercover Federation officers on board, warning them that there is every chance they may not make it back from this mission. As they travel to their destination, Worf begins coaching Odo, O’Brien and Sisko in the ways of the Klingons, showing the Klingon officer that they have a lot to learn. Odo finds himself having a more difficult time having lost not only his abilities but also his self confidence. After a brief confrontation with another ship, Gul Dukat drops the quartet off at their destination and leaves them to fend for themselves. Beaming to the station, the four begin their mission to find and expose Gowron.
Joining in the festivities, the group try to blend in by participating in the endurance test of the celebration. Soon General Martok arrives much to their dismay as it is very likely the General will recognize his old allies. The General shows no recognition and the team take the time to plant the polaron emitters that Star Fleet has developed to expose the shapeshifter when he arrives.
Soon their target arrives and Gowron addresses the candidates for the Order of the Bat’leth. After setting the final device, Sisko is called to the stage to receive his award delaying the activation. Just as he receives his award, Martok attacks revealing Sisko as a spy.
Now detained, the four talk to Martok in private. Martok informs Sisko that they failed in their mission and, even if Gowron is a changeling, there is nothing he can do. After a discussion, Gowron agrees to let Sisko and his team kill Gowron to prove he is a shapeshifter. Freeing them, the General leads them to the celebration but stops Odo from accompanying them claiming that there is no telling where his loyalties lay,
Worf challenges Gowron to a fight while Odo realizes what is going on. Odo accuses Martok of being the real traitor and drags the general into the great hall. Exposing him in front of the crowd of Klingons, the fight stops and Changeling Martok is executed by the Klingon warriors.
Explaining the situation, Sisko and Gowron come to an agreement. Realizing he has been led astray, Gowron agrees to call a meeting of the high council to discuss a temporary cease fire and return the group to Deep Space Nine.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
For season Premieres, this one is not the best but it is a pretty good story nonetheless. While not technically a two parter, this episode wraps up much of the story line from the the season finale, effectively ending the Klingon-Federation war that was on the brink, we only really get a hint of the battle that had been taking place in between seasons. In many ways, when this first aired, I went into this season fully expecting an all out war between the two cultures only to be somewhat dissapointed at the rather rushed solution to the season finale of season four. Watching it again for this review series, and so soon behind the season finale before it, I can see how the writers were simply trying to course correct their series by getting this major battle out of the way so that other interesting things could come into play.
That being said, it was fun to see more than just Michael Dorn in Klingon Makeup. From a conversation we had years ago at a comic convention, Dorn indicated that he was delighted to see his cast mates have to go through the makeup process he had to endure on a regular basis. Additionally, I do enjoy Odo’s change in personality as he is forced to regain his self confidence. For years, this man has been a useful shapeshifter who could infiltrate any situation and now he has to rely only on his wits. It would certainly be a struggle.
All in all, not a bad episode, but certainly not one of the strongest season premieres. Then again, not one of the worst either.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- O’Brien really isn’t that convincing as a Klingon, in fact he was rather ugly, for a Klingon that is.
- Interestingly enough, the one Klingon Expert in the crew was left out on this mission, Jadzia Dax. According to Memory Alpha, this was due to her allergic reaction to the makeup.
- Odo gets a chance to get any face he wants at the end of the episode but chooses to have Bashir put him back to Normal.
- Worf and Gowron facing off in the end is a touch of foreshadowing of things to come.
- There is a great throwaway gag where Dukat comments on Kira’s pregnancy as to which she tells him it is O’Brien’s fully confusing the Cardassian officer.
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Late To The Game 10/17/2021 (Originally published 10/7/2019)
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.
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