The Dominion’s invasion of the Alpha Quadrant comes to a head in the ultimate battle for Deep Space Nine. It is a mad rush to prevent the Dominion from taking down the mine field around the wormhole in the episode that originally aired on November 8, 1997. This is Sacrifice of Angels.
Station Log Stardate undetermined: Sacrifice of Angels
With the Defiant in the lead, Star Fleet has launched an armada with one mission, to take back DS9 in order to secure the wormhole. Facing insurmountable odds, Sisko and crew must rush to their destination before the Dominion can deactivate the mine field around the Wormhole. Should they fail, this could mean the end of the Alpha Quadrant.
The Federation Armada is lined up for the invasion facing the jaws of death before them in the form of the Dominion Fleet. The time comes and Sisko gives the order, fire at will
On Terok Nor, Gul Dukat explains what he believes Sisko is planning and assures the Female Shapeshifter that they should have the minefield down in just eight hours. Dukat also explains that he will allow Sisko a way in only to trap him behind the lines. After the Dominion representatives leave, Damar makes it clear he has nothing but contempt for the Dominion and Dukat agrees, acknowledging that after the war things will change. Damar suggests that they arrest Kira, Jake and the rest of Ben Sisko’s allies in order to prevent any future attempts at sabotage. Dukat agrees but insists Damar leave Ziyal out of it.
In Quarks Bar, the conspirators discuss the rumors they have heard and begin plans to help Ben Sisko from within. Before they can act, the group is detained by Damar and his soldiers making things look even more hopeless. It is now up to Quark to act without his friends.
Sisko sees Dukat’s trap and decides to take it despite knowing it is an obvious ruse. Back on the station, Dukat is pleased that his trap has been sprung and begins planning his victory. Weyoun makes it clear that the only way to ensure victory of the Federation is to eradicate the people once they gain control. Dukat disagrees, arguing that they should instead demonstrate their dominance over their new subjects showing that they are indeed the victors of the war.
Meanwhile, in Odo’s quarters, he is clearly torn with the ongoing war. Talking with the Female shapeshifter, she makes it clear that she feels Kira doesn’t deserve his love and affection. When she tells him that she has sentenced Kira to death in order to free him, he rejects her even though she tells him that he is too late to help any of his friends.
The battle wages on and it soon becomes clear that the Federation is vastly outnumbered and outgunned but Sisko pushes through with the Defiant. Determined to win no matter the cost he is pleasantly surprised when the Klingon Fleet arrives unexpectedly. Turning the tides of the War, the Defiant punches a whole into blockade and the small ship sets a course for Deep Space Nine. Underestimating Sisko, Dukat allows the ship to keep it’s course toward the station.
Quark, knowing that he is on his own to save his friends, allies with Ziyal to bring Kira Hasperat Souffle. After the guard refuses to allow Quark a chance to deliver his gift, Ziyal knocks the guard unconscious while he is not looking. Bursting in armed, Quark demands that the Jem’Hadar guards free his friends. When they refuse he kills them both to everyone’s surprise, even his own. With Kira and the rest of the saboteurs free, they begin their mission to shut down the station and prevent the wormhole from being accessed. In his quarters, Odo refuses to go with the female shapeshifter when she is taken to safety.
While Sisko charges toward the station, Kira and her team find themselves in a batter of their own. Kira is pleased when Odo comes to the rescue using the Bajoran security forces to assist. Kira is pleased to see him but questions why his is so willing to give up his connection to the Great Link. He informs her that he is not ready for the paradise it offers and allows Kira to get to work.
As the minutes tick away, Dukat continues to remain confident that they will destroy the mine field before Sisko arrives. Just as the Defiant arrives, Dukat destroys the minefield and Sisko orders the ship into the wormhole. It seems he has a plan ‘B’.
On Terok Nor, Dukat and crew watch as Sisko makes his way toward the Wormhole but are unable to stop him due to Rom sabotaging the stations weapons. Sisko prepares to face the oncoming fleet of Jem’Hadar and is suddenly pulled into the realm of the Prophets.
The Prophets inform Sisko that he is not allowed to die. They will not allow The Sisko to sacrifice his life in order to prevent the Jem’Hadar from arriving in the Alpha Quadrant. Begging for their help, they make it clear they have no interest in corporeal matters. It is then he challenges them and informs the Wormhole Aliens that if they are truly ‘of Bajor’ then they should do something. They inform him that they will help but at a penance, that while The Sisko is of Bajor but he will find no rest there. Returning him to his ship, the crew is shocked to watch the Jem’Hadar fleet vanish before their eyes.
On Terok Nor, Dukat and crew are shocked to watch the Defiant exit the Wormhole without the Jem’Hadar fleet behind them. Soon Terok Nor find themselves under attack and Weyoun, accompanied by the Female Shapeshifter, declare their retreat. Gul Dukat is beside himself and, despite Damar’s insistence to the contrary, Dukat insists that he find his daughter Ziyal.
The Dominion begin their retreat from the station while Dukat rushed through the station in search of his daughter. Finding her, he asks her to join him in his return to Cardassia and is upset when she refuses. She confides in him that she helped Kira and the other escape knowing full well that it spells the end of their relationship. Just as she turns to leave Dukat is shocked when Damar shoots her with a Disruptor. Dying in his arms, Dukat tells her that he loves her and that he forgives her.
Celebrating their victory, all of the families reunite. Jake and Ben, Jadzia and Worf, Rom and Nog, but it is when Garak discovers Ziyal has been killed that the reunions take a somber tone. Kira tells the tailor that Ziyal lived him and he accepts that he will never know why.
In the holding cells, Odo escorts a broken and rambling Dukat off the station. In the end, Gul Dukat hands Sisko his baseball with the words ‘I forgive you too’.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
What an end to the first major battle of the Dominion War. While this is not the end of the War itself, it is a major part of it and one that will have ramifications for the rest of the series.
Like last time, lets start with Ben Sisko. After quite a while away from his home on DS9 our intrepid Captain finally has his home returned to him. But, At what cost? At the very end everything seemed like it was doomed to failure, not only had they failed to prevent the mine field from collapsing but the Dominion Fleet had begun their trek through the wormhole. Sisko knew that ordering the ship to face this fleet was asking for death but there was literally nothing else he could do. Enter, the Prophets.
I have to wonder if Sisko had not hoped deep inside that the Wormhole Aliens would interfere in some way. That, he was there to show them that he had finally accepted them into his life and, should they interfere, he would continue to promote the Prophets and their way of life. Interestingly, they twisted it on him informing The Sisko that, yes they would help, but his life would take a very different direction, one in which he would never find peace on Bajor. While I know what they meant by that, I will not go too deep into it for those who are just now watching the series. Trust me, it is a fascinating tale that we will be covering in this review series.
Odo’s journey was far less spiritual and much more of a personal journey, depicting some pretty touch choices for the shape-shifting constable. Imagine finally finding a place that you could call your own, a place where you were accepted and never judged for who you were and what you could do. Now, imagine the cost of such a place to be the lives of everyone you ever cared for. Pretty steep price huh? This is the choice Odo had to make in the remaining hours and, like you would expect out of our favorite Shapeshifter, he chose wisely. Knowing he would not be able to experience the personal connection provided by the Great Link, he chose to find and defend his friends. This choice will haunt Odo for the rest of the season but will also allow for some great character development as the series progresses. Let’s be honest, did you really think Odo would end up betraying them all? Now Odo must find a way to regain Kira’s trust, something that is sure to be a herculean task.
The biggest impact this episode had was on Gul Dukat. For the longest time, Dukat has been the defacto ruler of Bajor from his time in the Occupation to the more recent time with the Dominion. He has always felt that he could make Cardassia great and, along with it, be the only logical choice to rule the Alpha Quadrant.
Deep down, Dukat wanted to be accepted as much as Odo did and because of this, he had developed a sort of pathos that had him believing he was in the right at every step. It was never that people hated him for his actions, instead he felt it was that he was simply misunderstood and not appreciated. Enter Ziyal. From the beginning he had never intended in falling in love with is estranged daughter Ziyal. In fact, if you remember, he had every intention to kill her when he found out she was still alive in order to prevent her from a split life between two cultures. Being half of anything is tough enough but when each of your halves hate one another, this could end up being one of the worst situation for a young girl to find herself in. It as only because of the influence of Major Kira that Ziyal lived and, because of this, Ziyal, Kira and Dukat had a very strange relationship that centered on Ziyal herself.
To Dukat, Ziyal was the perfect balance between the Cardassians and the Bajorans but he chose to only see her Cardassian side most of the time. Ziyal, however had other ideas and recognized how evil the Cardassian people could be and chose the opposite route instead. Somehow, for all of Dukat’s faults, Ziyal had developed an innocence that ran the opposite of her fathers. It was a major point of contention but, in many ways, it was also a chance for Dukat to have a sense of redemption as well. Here was a perfect person that he had helped create and, despite how far he knew he had fallen, she would always be that reminder that he could do good. Her death, however, would destroy Dukat and in the episodes to come we shall certainly see his madness take form. Much like Sisko’s journey, Dukat is about to face one of his own.
Overall, the Dominion Invasion and the first major battle of the Dominion War could not have been wrapped any better. This is one of the biggest and most influential battles that Star Fleet has faced since the Borg and even then, the shear scope and magnitude is much further reaching than the Battle of Wolf 359. This six episode event was the turning point that literally sets up the rest of the series and the ramifications to come are some of the most intense and enjoyable stories we have seen on Star Trek before and since. I look forward to talking to you as we venture forth.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- The Wormhole Aliens refer to Sisko’s life as a Game. This is a direct callback to his first encounter with them in the Pilot episode.
- This is not the last we see of Weyoun, the female Shapeshifter or even Damar. Trust me, they have a lot more to do.
- Ziyal’s death will have a profound affect on Garak as well as we progress through the rest of the series.
- While Nog is home, this is not the last time the new Ensign will face the Jem’Hadar.
- Sisko wins his bet against Martok as to who would set foot on DS9 first.
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: Ferengi Love Songs
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Late To The Game 1/30/2022 (Originally published 12/18/2019)
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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