Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Episode Guide - Season 2

Essentially yet more warmup is the hallmark of season 2 as Deep Space Nine readied to occupy the lead position of the Star Trek franchise on TV. Season 2 is perhaps most notable for the increasingly humorous interplay between the hyper-capitalist Ferengi characters led by Quark and Odo. Not only does DS9 do for development of Ferengi culture what TNG did for the Klingons’ (seriously, how many Rules of Acquisition get mention through the run of this show?), many of the most interesting twist-laden plots in season 2 are Ferengi-centric. And Star Trek digs on Ferengi, so we’re naturally down with these…

Also of note in Deep Space Nine, season 2: The return of the evil “mirror universe” concept which Picard’s crew somehow dodged for seven seasons in “Crossover”, and the season-concluding “Jem-Hadar”, which introduces the titular badass killers along with the Dominion to the Star Trek universe.

1. The Homecoming – Kira is up to her old tricks as she attempts to rescue a Bajoran war hero still being held as a POW by the Cardassians. (And you saw how just one Cardassian messed up Jean-Luc Picard…) Meanwhile, the story arc of The Circle, a group of Bajoran isolationists, begins. ***

2. The Circle – See what we told you? While Kira ostensibly gets ready to leave his post at Deep Space Nine, the Circle’s plans to overthrow the sitting Bajoran government – including a takeover of the station – progress. Odo finds a conspiracy behind the Circle’s benefactor. ***

3. The Siege – All non-Bajorans except the Federation bridge crew leave the station in anticipation of the Circle’s attack. Sisko, O’Brien and a Bajoran neo-Red Shirt handle the defense of the bridge. In a subplot, after crash-landing a shuttle (imagine that) on a Bajoran moon, Kira and Dax seek to present the evidence of Cardassia’s involvement in The Circle movement. ***

4. Invasive Procedures – And, just as everyone’s returning after “The Siege”, the station is evacuated again, this time for an incoming plasma storm. A Trill and a couple of Klingons see this as a dandy opportunity to … ah, you’ll see. ***

5. Cardassians – Terrible title, but this episode does center on Garak and Bashir, always a huge plus. The dynamic duo investigate the background of a Cardassian boy with Bajoran adoptive parents; then Gul Dukat gets involved… ***

6. Melora – While Bashir assists a Starfleet ensign from a low-gravity planet, Quark gets some karmic payback when an old acquaintance drops by to “settle debts.” ***

7. Rules of Acquisition – Right, then. It’s just about that time in a DS9 season when we get the Ferengi-dominated episode. The Grand Nagus seeks to exploit the financial opportunities in the Gamma Quadrant and reckons Quark is the man for the job. ***

8. Necessary Evil – A good old staple returns: Odo investigating a murder. In this case, the near-murder of Quark, which bears bizarre resemblance to an incident of five years previous. The whodunit aspect goes nicely with the contentious relationship between the shapeshifter and the bar owner.

9. Second Sight – Some of the bridge crew participates in the “reignition” of a star, while Sisko has a brief love affair and discusses it rather blatantly. **

10. Sanctuary – As though the Bajorans didn’t have enough problems with politics and religion, here come a bunch called the Skrreea, who believe Bajor is their homeland. ***

11. Rivals – An El-Aurian con man (that’s very un-Guinan of him) gets hold of a device that can mess with the laws of probability. This leads him to open a bar/casino to rival Quark’s, and in turn to Quark’s establishment of a betting pool taking wagers on an upcoming Bashir vs O’Brien racquetball match. ***

12. The Alternate – More teasing of the Odo origin story: A Bajoran scientist with extensive experience with Odo visits to tell his former charge that he has found a similar lifeform. However, this is all blown away by silliness involving Odo morphing, doing bad stuff and not remembering thereafter. Yawn. **

13. Armageddon Game – Here’s an early entry into the “Torture O’Brien” pantheon of DS9: After destroying a stockpile of biological weapons and toxins, O’Brien is poisoned by a drop leaded from the last container in existence. Deep Space Nine is sent a video showing the deaths of O’Brien and Bashir, which ages Keiko O’Brien about 10 years instantly. ***

14. Whispers – And now … head trip for O’Brien! Upon returning to the station, O’Brien’s paranoia level steadily increases as seemingly everyone aboard the station is acting against him. This one includes quite possibly the greatest concluding twist in Star Trek history and the resultant frisson alone gets many, many points. *****

15. Paradise - O’Brien’s tormentors are on a roll here: In this one, he and Sisko are stranded on a planet on which all their high technology is non-functional. (Figures that this would be the one time that the transporters, which put the DS9’ers in this pickle, it simply work perfectly against all odds.) ***

16. Shadowplay – Dax and Odo help solve the problems of a village on a Gamma Quadrant world from which residents are suddenly disappearing. Unfortunately, the “twists” and antagonist’s motivation have been seen in the Star Trek universe in enough variations so as to be completely utterly predictable. **

17. Playing God – Via some pretty shaky logic and cartoon physics in play, a “proto-universe” winds up on Deep Space Nine; obviously, the continued expansion of this plot device will destroy the station but this realization takes quite a while to grok. In the end, they do what any good Federation sort world: dump the nascent thing in the Gamma Quadrant (and it was never heard from again). *

18. Profit and Loss – Quark’s former Cardassian squeeze – and say what you will about Quark, by the way, but he does attract all manner of intergalactic babes – comes to Deep Space Nne, and Quark soon finds she’s involved in anti-government activity. ***

19. Blood Oath – Jadzia Dax proves herself one of DS9’s biggest badasses by drinking and partying with a “best of” trio of Klingons (Kang, Koloth and Kor) before embarking on a revenge killing with them. ***

20-21. The Maquis, Parts I & II – In a story created to four writers, including franchise head Rick Berman and future Voyager showrunner Jeri Taylor, the Maquis are introduced into Star Trek lore. This terrorist group composed of Federation citizens living on Cardassian border planets concern Gul Dukat enough to get the Cardassian up to Deep Space Nine to request Sisko’s assistance. ***

22. The Wire – Due to a medical emergency, Bashir investigates certain aspects of Garak’s past, while Garak himself feeds him “true lies.” Any episode featuring Bashir and Garak’s witty repartee gets above-average marks at Star Trek Guide! ****

23. Crossover – No, not that kind of crossover …. Rather, Kira and Bashir trip into the Mirror Universe, one with about as complex a backstory as the “prime” universe. In the mirror universe, a Klingon-Cardassian alliance has pounded the like of the Federation and Bajor into submission. And you bet O’Brien gets the most guff of all as a human slave on the alternate-universe station. ***

24. The Collaborator – A bit of a snoozer, with subplots telling of the succession of Bajor’s religious leader and an exiled war criminal. **

25. Tribunal – Odo defends O’Brien, who is tried in a Cardassian court for an unnamed crime he didn’t commit. What more do you need to know? ***

26. The Jem'Hadar – Introducing the badasses of the title, who act as soldiers for the Dominion, shadowy force that rules much of the Gamma Quadrant. Sisko, Quark, Jake and Nog run afoul of a group of Jem’Hadar while camping out on a world in the Gamma Quadrant. (Ooops.) ***