Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Episode Guide - Season 4
Beware, Netflix viewers: Entering Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 4 is the fan’s equivalent of a massive spatial anomaly that deftly and inexorably increases its pull on you…
DS9 is an intriguing combination of stories telling of the lead-up to a massive war brewing between indescribably huge military forces and surprisingly deep character-driven episodes. Opening with “Way of the Warrior” allows Klingon to pepper the reminder of the series, while stuff like “The Visitor” reminds that some of the weirdest aliens in ST are humans. Also getting lots of play in this season of DS9 is the mirror universe, which develops all out of proportion to the original one-joke, one-script concept of the original series.
1-2. The Way of the Warrior – General Martok, captain of a Klingon warship, requests shore leave aboard Deep Space Nine, only to reveal a huge-ass fleet of Klingon ships. Martok proclaims that these are simply reinforcements to counteract the inevitable Dominion invasion out of the wormhole. Lt. Commander Worf also comes aboard to act as liaison between Klingon and Federation interests on the station; the former TNG’er discovers that the fleet will instead be invading Cardassia.
Sisko surreptitiously sends word about the Klingon invasion to Cardassian high command through Garak, and ultimately convinces Gul Dukat to evacuate the planet’s high council about the Defiant. The Klingons thus shift the attack to the station itself, which, in preparation for imminent invasion, has been outfitted with some non-too-shabby defenses… ***
3. The Visitor – Head trip for Jake Sisko, but mostly the audience. The aged Jake Sisko tells the story of his father’s apparent death – we say (write?) “apparent” because a classic temporal anomaly is involved.
4. Hippocratic Oath – Bashir tends to five Jem’Hadar, whose leader can survive without the drug White. Before episode’s end, the doctor is making some interesting discoveries about the super soldiers and their relationship to the Dominion employing them. ***
5. Indiscretion – Talk about your odd couples: Kira and Gul Dukat must work together in investigating the wreckage of a Cardassian ship employed in transporting Bajoran POWs during wartime. ***
6. Rejoined – Jadzia Dax welcomes aboard one Lenara Kahn, the wife of Dax’s former host and presumably no relation to Kirk’s #1 nemesis. As it turns out, Trill society frowns upon spouses/lovers getting back together in different host bodies, a real inconvenience for these two making goo-goo eyes at one another… ***
7. Starship Down – Much of the bridge crew joins Quark as he negotiates a secret trade agreement with a Delta Quadrant species; turns out the Dominion doesn’t exactly approve of neo-liberal trading with Alpha Quadrant folks. To this end, a Jem’Hadar ship soon appears to attack both ships and send them crippled into a gas giant. ***
8. Little Green Men – Three Ferengi and Odo in 1947 Roswell? Yep, and as good as it sounds. ****
9. The Sword of Kahless – With Worf now working the station, you had to figure it wouldn’t be too long before the Klingon-centric episodes returned. In this one, Dax’s old buddy Kor returns; together with Worf, the three hunt for the legendary titular item, which will reportedly unite the Klingon Empire. (Yeah, surrrrrrrrrre.) ***
10. Our Man Bashir – Both a favorite of Bashir groupies and one of the best ST holodeck episodes. Bashir does a 007-style story along with Garak before – no way! – a combination transporter/holodeck malfunction results in the two being trapped in the holodeck with other surprised crew members. ****
11. Homefront – While Sisko and Odo investigate the infiltration of the Dominion’s Changelings into Starfleet, Jake and Nog visit Jake’s grandfather in New Orleans. Before long, all power on Earth is cut (!), and the entire planet prepares for war. ****
12. Paradise Lost – As though things couldn’t get worse during the lead-up to intergalactic war, Sisko and Odo discover that the planet-wide blackout is instead … well, let’s just say that this plot makes any Federation conspiracy story on TNG look like something out of the original series. ***
13. Crossfire – The main plotline: A Bajoran minister flirts with Kira, and Odo gets vaguely jealous. Bleagh. *
14. Return to Grace – Dukat, ostracized from the Cardassian power elite, nevertheless finds himself teaming with Kira (and, this time, his daughter) in further machinations by marauding Klingons against Cardassia – and Bajor. ***
15. Sons of Mogh – That’s right: Kern, son of Mogh, brother of Worf, returns to Star Trek, against feeling the social stigma of another of Worf’s dishonors. Worf, a true weirdo by Klingon standards, messes up Kurn’s ritual suicide/homicide, then attempts to gain his brother’s assistance in preventing a Klingon/Cardassian war. ***
16. Bar Association – You’d think that, after a solid 200 years of hyper-capitalism, someone on the Ferengi homeworld would’ve countered with socialist principles, but guess not because Quark certainly is befuddled and panicked when Rom’s nearly-formed employees union goes on strike. ****
17. Accession – Only on Deep Space Nine would spiritual poets be resurrected. That’s what happens here, and once more the entire series feels like one extremely long episode. ***
18. Rules of Engagement – Two episodes after essentially severing all ties to his own culture, Worf is about to be extradited back to the Klingon homeworld after apparently shooting down a Klingon civilian passenger ship, killing a whopping 441. ***
19. Hard Time – A classic “Torment O’Brien” episode. Before the opening credits, O’Brien is busted on an alien world, tried, convicted and serves out 20 years in prison – except that last bit was solely in his mind. So it’s kind of like “The Inner Light,” but in a very, *very* disturbing way. ****
20. Shattered Mirror – The mirror universe folks need Sisko’s assistance again, so Jennifer enters the “prime” universe. Jake follows his father, as he believes the alternate-universe Jennifer to be his mother. ***
21. Muse – The title refers to the muse of Jake Sisko, an alien woman named Onaya who gets Jake’s creative juices flowing while extracting his lifeforce. Odo, meanwhile, deals with Lwaxana Troi’s latest drama, a pregnancy by a man with extreme views on child-rearing. **
22. For the Cause – Proving once and for all that the DS9 creative team never had a firm idea of what to do with Kasidy, Sisko’s girlfriend, this episode has her revealed as Maquis smuggler. Maybe. Probably. ***
23. To The Death – After an attack by a band of Jem’Hadar ballsy enough to want to take on the Dominion itself, Sisko and his crew aboard the Defiant seek retribution with the assistance of … the Jem’Hadar. ***
24. The Quickening – Bashir and Dax respond to a distress call, finding a Gamma Quadrant worlds whose hospitals are packed by those suffering from a “blight” planted by the Dominion itself several generations past.
25. Body Parts – Quark starts getting his debts settled (so to speak) and will sorted (literally) after getting diagnosed with a disease that’s reduced his life expectancy to one week – or so he believes, as the fact that the Ferengi (spoilers!) makes it to the last episode of DS9’s run… ***
26. Broken Link – Bashir stars yet again, as he attempts to save Odo. Who’s suddenly no longer in total control of his shapeshifting faculties – for mysterious and (since this is the season’s concluding) far-reaching reasons, naturally… ***