Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Episode Guide - Season 5

Season 5 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine may be described as the show as its most Next Generation-ish attributes. At least one-quarter of the scripts in DS9 season 5 are “head trip” episodes, and the “Torture O’Brien” trope positively flowers in this run of episodes.

Lots of individual stories could be highlighted here, but of special note is most definitely “Trials and Tribble-ations”, one neat time-travel story about the DS9 crew traveling backward in time to the days of the NCC-1701, where/when they spend much of the time trying to avoid Kirk while trying to prevent his “untimely” assassination.

1. Apocalypse Rising – Klingons! Lots of Klingons! Sisko, Odo and O’Brien disguised as Klingons! These three and Worf infiltrating a drunken Klingon bash! The return of Gawran, one of the baddest of Klingon badasses, bringing more badassery! Great stuff if you dig on Klingons! ****

2. The Ship – While on an away mission, Sisko, Dax, Worf, O’Brien and a neo-Red Shirt witness the crashing of a Jem’Hadar warship whose occupants had been killed in gnarly fashion. The DS9’ers take this as a signal to salvage the ship and get out, but the arrival of a Vorta complicates matters… ***

3. Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places – All right: A Star Trek episode based primarily in romantic relationships that isn’t cloyingly cheesy. Grilka, Quark’s Klingon wife of “the House of Quark”, comes to the station for Quark’s assistance with an accounting issue. Worf begins to get the hots for Grilka, only to become the magnet of Dax’s affections. O, and in a subplot, O’Brien, Keiko and Kira kinda sorta have some three-way tension going on … ****

4. Nor the Battle to the Strong – While returning from a medical conference, Bashir and Jake Sisko receive a distress call from a Federation colony. Soon they’re embroiled in a full-on attack by Klingon forces, and Jake’s bravery is tested mightily. ***

5. The Assignment – This one’s a combination of ST’s Disembodied Alien, Head trip for O’Brien and Torment O’Brien themes: Keiko returns from a visit to Bajor, promptly telling her husband that she’s actually a (yep) disembodied alien. ***

6. Trials and Tribble-ations – Ah, yes, one of the crowning jewels of Star Trek Deep Space Nine and worthy of inclusion on nearly any Top 10 or Top 20 Star Trek Episodes-type listicle. Six of the DS9 bridge crew chase a Klingon criminal into the past, when Deep Space 9 was smaller and was visited by the crew under command of one James T. Kirk… *****

7. Let He Who Is Without Sin... – The way Riker always touted the virtues of Risa on ST:TNG, you’d think things would go a lot more smoothly when Federation types visit the so-called “pleasure planet.” But nooooooo: Worf and Dax attempt to get their kink on but instead discover a longshot insurgency attempt. Some funny stuff with Bashir and Quark takes an unfortunate back seat. ***

8. Things Past – Head trips all around! Bashir finds Sisko, Odo, Garak and Dax aboard a returned shuttlecraft, but comatose. Meanwhile, the four believe themselves to be Bajoran prisoners in a time approximately seven years past – and only Odo remembers the truth… ***

9. The Ascent – Odo and Quark crash land a shuttlecraft (imagine that) on an uninhabited planet and must survive without most or their high technology. In a subplot, Jake and Nog move into an apartment on another side of the station. Pretty good character-y stuff on the parts of several of Deep Space Nine’s ever-burgeoning cast. ***

10. Rapture – The story of Sisko-as-Emissary/Prophet continues, as the Captain experiences visions. Sadly, no reference to or sample of Blondie’s seminal tune is included. ***

11. The Darkness and the Light – A classic “Kira’s past comes back to haunt her” episode, as her former resistance comrades are murdered one by one… ***

12. The Begotten – In a surprisingly touching episode, Quark acquires a baby Changeling which Quark cares for until its inevitable ST-style ending. The subplot has Kira giving birth to the O’briens’ baby. ****

13. For the Uniform – Michael Eddington, former Starfleet officer gone rogue with the Maquis, returns to the station to unleash his “cascade virus” on multiple computer systems. Also to bog down an entire episode with a critical mass of plot-detail minutiae. **

14. In Purgatory’s Shadow – The shuttlecraft of Worf and Garak (Star Trek Guide loves this episode already) is taken by Jem’Hadar, who put them into a prison camp along with … if the off-chance you haven’t seen it, let’s just say a key member of the bridge crew hasn’t been him-/herself for a while. It all ends with the moment viewers have awaited for some time, namely the invasion of Dominion ships into the quadrant and Federation/Cardassian space. And to be continued. ***

15. By Inferno’s Light – A key episode in DS9 continuity, as many of the concepts and characters who drive the series for the next couple of seasons are introduced here. Most prominent among these is of course Cardassia’s alignment with the Dominion. ***

16. Doctor Bashir, I Presume? – Great title, but rather irrelevant to the story. Starfleet is set to reconstruct the Emergency Medical Hologram program based on Dr. Zimmerman and gets to work in replicating Bashir for the job. Yet he has strange misgivings about the “honor.” ***

17. A Simple Investigation – Odo gets to live the space opera romance story arc in a single episode with a beguiling woman who is not as she seems ‘yadda yadda’ never heard from again. **

18. Business as Usual – Now *this* is more like it. Quark’s cousin Gaila promises to help Quark recoup some recent losses in bad investments if Quark helps move some armaments on the black market. ***

19. Ties of Blood and Water – Ghemor, a hero to Bajorans during the war whom Kira hoes will lead a resistance on Cardassia against Gul Dukat’s new government, comes aboard the station to die. And damn does he drag it out. Not even Dukat and Weyhoun can pull this one out of the doldrums. **

20. Ferengi Love Songs – Still on a run of bad luck, Quark heads home to interact with his mother and the Grand Nagus. On the station, crap about Rom and Leeta’s relationship dominates the “action.” **

21. Soldiers of the Empire – Back to the Klingons! General Martok recruits Worf to join him on a quest for a Jem’Hadar ship which has captured 35 Klingons. Dax tags along, and Worf restores some well-missed élan for battle among Martok’s crew. ***

22. Children of Time – Temporal paradox time for Sisko, Odo, Kira, Dax and (naturally) O’Brien, as they meet their apparent descendants after the Defiant crash-lands two centuries ago/two days henceforth. ***

23. Blaze of Glory – The Maquis are reportedly ready to engage in what is essentially a suicide mission against Cardassia, and Sisko must scheme a way out of the attack which he reckons would immediately lead to between the Federation and Cardassia/the Dominion. The subplot traces Nog’s relative success in his position as a Starfleet security (why, dude?) trainee. ***

24. Empok Nor – O’Brien and Garak lead an away team which includes a handful of Red Shirts to the abandoned titular space station. Of course, it ain’t as abandoned as everyone except the viewers would figure. ***

25. In the Cards – What’s the connection between a 325-year-old baseball card, the Jem’Hadar and one man’s quest for immortality? Check out “Jake Sisko vs. the Barter System” – I mean, “In the Cards” to find out. ****

26. Call to Arms – The inevitable comes to pass: Too many Dominion forces exist in Federation space, too many Federation-allied ships have “disappeared” and the danger of a greater invasion is too real. Sisko ultimately pulls the trigger with a preemptive tactic that causes a war and puts DS9 on the front line… ***