Star Trek Deep Space Nine’s 3rd season is a strong season, it only has a few episodes which are below par, but even those episodes are still watchable. This is the season we gain a character, and this is also the season where Sisko is finally becoming Captain, although we have to wait till the last episode for that. In the final 5 episodes or so, Sisko has grown a little beard, it is the beginning of a change in appearance for him. Even with only the beard it’s already a big difference in appearance. Shame he wasn’t allowed to have a bald head (and a beard) from the beginning.


When season 3 starts after the pinnacle season two cliff-hanger, “The Jem’Hadar”, where we meet the soldiers of the Dominion, it becomes clear that the Dominion is fed-up with the Federation come into their territory, the Gamma Quadrant.


Commander Sisko was back on Earth to discuss the current Dominion threat and he took a present with him, the Defiant! A small warship, very maneuverable and very powerful, intended for the Borg war. It’s only a prototype, with the help of the Romulans it has a cloaking device, including a Romulan.

The season opens with a tremendous two-parter “The Search” where we actually meet the Founders aka the Dominion. For the first time we meet the female changeling. The Dominion decide to test the waters as it were when Sisko and his crew are on their way to the Dominion to try and work out a peaceful solution. What is the Federation capable of, what about the Starfleet officers, how would they deal with a Dominion when they would have a big presence in the Alpha Quadrant. Would they put of a fight or would the Federation surrender. Odo feels like he is being pulled towards the Founders home, the great link. The feeling is more powerful than anything else. He also feels betrayed by Starfleet because Starfleet has sent a new security officer named Michael Eddington. Odo resigns.


In the following episode “The House of Quark”, Quark accidentally kills a drunk Klingon! Because business is slow, he tries to boost up his business by boasting about the fight to the death with this Klingon. He sees no harm in this but then suddenly he is being threatened by the brother of the dead Klingon and later he is threatened and kidnapped by the dead Klingon’s widow who has plans for him which would require a commitment from Quark! The school is closed because of the Dominion threat, a lot of folks leave the station because of it and Keiko is bored. Miles tries to keep her happy but ultimately realized he must let her do something worthwhile! In episode 4, “Equilibrium” we go to Dax’s home world Thrill because Jadzia is starting to hallucinate. Sisko & Bashir uncover a big secret which if they would reveal this, Thrill would fall into chaos. Sisko sets an ultimatum, if she dies, Sisko will expose their secret.


“Second Skin” is one of the better episodes this season where Kira has been abducted by Cardassians and when she gains consciousness, she has the appearance of a Cardassian. She is horrified and this becomes worse when she is told that she was a Cardassian spy named Illiana all these years! The Obsidian order tries to lure out Illiana’s father Tekeny because he is a dissident. Great episode, Garak is also present which is always a treat! In “The Abandoned” Odo tries to give a young Jem’Hadar another purpose than just fight and kill, which is proving to be very difficult. B-story is a fun one, Jake is dating a dabo girl. Ben Sisko invites her for dinner and wants to prevent them from dating that is proven more difficult when he learns she’s actually a kind and intelligent woman.

In “Civil Defense” O’Brien accidentally activates an old Cardassian program from the occupation which Imprisons everyone on the station. Garak & Dul Dukat both in the episode, it may be bottle show but with these two characters in the episode, you cannot go wrong. Love the bickering between the two. Also, Quark and Odo being locked up together in the security office was fun.


“Meridian” is the first dud of the season in my opinion where Dax falls in love with a man she has just met. He lives on a planet where he is corporeal for 12 days and 60 years he and his fellow villagers live as energy when the planet disappears. Jadzia wants to go with them, so she will be gone for 60 years but she turns out to be an anker. Don’t understand that Jadzia would go with a guy she only knows for 12 days. B- story is more interesting. Guest starring Jeffrey Combs and Bret Culllen. “The Defiant” is a good episode where we meet a familiar face, Riker, but it turns out to be Thomas Riker. He seduces Kira and takes the Defiant. He has crossed over to the Maquis. Sisko goes to Cardassia with Dukut to try and stop Riker and the Defiant. Note - Good episode, especially the sparring between Dukat and Sisko and the occasional remark from Obsidian order observer. In “Fascination” Lwaxana returns to Deep Space Nine this coincides with a Bajoran festival. Everybody falls in love with each other which results in some awkward situations. Meanwhile Miles and Keiko are going through a rough patch, Keiko tells Miles her job will take a month or two longer. Note - I had more fun watching it again than anticipated.


The two-parter “Past Tense” is one of the better episodes this season where Sisko, Bashir & Dax transport, because of a temporal anomaly, to the past, to the year 2024. It is not a good period in human history where there were sanctuaries for people with no job, no money etc. These people were put in a place where they are no bother to the rest of mankind. They arrive at a pivotal day, Bell, a man living in such a sanctuary starts an uprising which ultimately leads to an end of these places, but when Bell prematurely dies, Sisko takes the place of Bell. “Life Support” is also a favorite of mine, Bareil is injured after a shuttle accident. He and Winn come to the station. Bareil was in the middle of peace-talks with the Cardassians. Because his health is not good, he cannot continue the talks, is it up to Winn, but she cannot do this without Bareil. She continues to seek his advice which means Bashir has to keep him awake which goes against his moral compass. To keep him alive Bashir has to operate on him multiple times so that in the end, he no longer is the Bareil as we knew him. When Winn has had everything, she needs from Bareil, she tells Kira she should let him go! B story – Jake has a date; Nog expects to be there too with a friend of his date, but he is acting like a Ferengi. Note - Great episode, shame Bareil dies, and I have to say, although annoying, Louise Fletcher portrays Winn in a terrific way.

“Heart of Stone” has a way of becoming better every time you watch this. Odo and Kira are chasing someone they think is a member of the Maquis. During the search Kira gets stuck in some crystal formation. Odo tries everything but he isn’t able to free Kira. At some point he gets suspicious about her. Especially when she admits to him that he loves her too! The B-story is certainly as interesting as the A-story:  Nog wants to join Starfleet, Sisko at first isn’t sure, doesn’t think he is serious, but he is. Because like his father, he also does not have the lobes, he doesn’t want to end up like his father, he wants to do something meaningful. Note - Great scene where Sisko is trying to provoke Nog about his desire to join Starfleet. Aron Eisenberg as Nog does a terrific job here. Odo explains his name: Odo = Odo Ital = Nothing – Nice scene where Odo says he is in love with her, grabs you by the throat.


“Destiny” is an episode where we dive a bit deeper into Sisko’s emissary-ship.  A team of Cardassian scientists comes to the station to set up a subspace communications relay in the Gamma Quadrant. Vedek Yarka, wants to speak with Sisko. He brings a warning from the prophets and advises to refuse Cardassians access to the station. He refers to Trakor's third prophecy which tells of 3 vipers - the Cardassians - who return to their nest in the sky, DS9, which would lead to the destruction of the Celestial Temple - the wormhole. Sisko and Kira dismiss it at first, since only two Cardassians scientists are coming. But, when a third Cardassian scientist arrives, Kira begins to give the prophecy credence. With more and more of the predictions are coming true, Sisko must make a choice: his Federation duties, or his role as Emissary. Note – Interesting episode, guest-starring Tracy Scoggings, who also was the Captain of Babylon 5 in season 5.


“Prophet Motive” is another Ferengi episode where Grand Nagus Zek has re-written the rules of Acquisition. Quark is devastated by it and when he learns the Prophets are the responsible ones, he decides to go into the wormhole to speak to these Prophets and demand set things as it was. B- story is about Bashir where he is nominated for a prestige’s medical award. “Visionary” is actually a very good episode where Miles O’ Brien, through an accident, suddenly time travels approximately 5 hours into the future! He finds out that the station is going to be destroyed and he has to stop it. The Romulans visit the station to talk about the Dominion. Federation should share all its information about the Dominion, in turn the Defiant can use a cloaking device. The Romulans are not satisfied with the given information and start all kinds of private questions. Nice moment when Kira says that they suggested that Odo had feelings for her. He was surprised and tries to brush it off as if it was a silly suggestion. “Distant Voices” is the second mediocre episode of the season where Bashir is attacked by an alien and soon realizes he is in a coma but in his subconscious, he is fighting for his life with his colleagues who all represent a strength or a weakness. Note - Best moments are at the beginning and at the end, both Garak-Bashir lunch scenes. Garak: My dear doctor, there is hope for you yet! The 2nd mirror universe episode is called “Through the Looking Glass”. I actually find this one a more interesting one than the one from last season. Miles O’Brien, or rather Smily more or less kidnaps Sisko to the mirror universe to help the Terrans with convincing Mirror Sisko’s ex-wife to stop helping the intendant but use her talents on the Terran side. You can imagine how difficult this must have been for Sisko.

Episodes “Improbable Cause” & “The Die is Cast” are probably my favorite episodes of the 3rd season! Garak & Odo are going to try and find Tain, who is missing, they are captured by a Romulan vessel and Tain is on it. He tells them the Obsidian Order and the Tal Shiar are planning an attack on the Dominion home world! Their plan is to wipe out the changelings in one big attack! Tain seduces Garak to join him and gives him his first task, to interrogate Odo. Of course, the Dominion has spies and infiltrators everywhere, so it will not be so easy as it seems. Note – These episodes are the icing on the cake this season! Next-up, “Explorers”, also a favorite episode of mine! Benjamin Sisko has grown a beard and his head is not bald yet but there definitely is less hair on it and he looks so much better already. That a minor change like that can change so much in a facial expression! Sisko is building a sail spaceship and intends to fly to the Cardassian border to prove that the ancient Bajorans could have done this also. Jake tells his dad that he has accepted on a university in New Zeeland to write stories and he also has a possible date for his dad, a freighter captain, Kasidy Yates. Bashir gets nervous when the woman he lost too to become valedictorian. At first, she doesn’t recognize him because she thought Bashir was an Andorian! Note – First time Leeta is seen as a dabo girl. Also, we see that the friendship between Bashir and Miles is growing.


“Family Business” is another typical Ferengi episode. It is an okay episode, nothing special but both Armin Shimerman and Max Grodénchik as Quark and Rom, make you wanna watch this episode again and again with every rewatch! Quark’s mum has unlawfully made profit and now he has to pay everything back. Ben Sisko meets with Kasidy Yates and after a stiff start they hit if off! Note – Directed by Rene Auberjonois and first time we meet Brunt (Jeffrey Combs). In “Shakaar” Winn has been temporarily appointed as Prime Minister after the death of the current one! Kai Winn asks for Kira’s help; she asks Kira to talk to Shakaar about returning some farmer devices. Shakaar was the former leader of Kira’s terrorist cell. When it turns out that Winn has deceived Kira, she and her former group go in hiding. Winn risks a civil war over a couple of devices! When a truce is formed between the military and Kira and Shakaar and his men and women, Shakaar decides to run for president and “ask” Winn to step back from the coming elections otherwise it will be made public that she was willing to go to civil war.

In “Facets” Dax asks the crew to join her Zhian'tara ritual. The memories of her former hosts will take over their bodies. Odo becomes Curzon, or more accurate, they both are behind the wheel so to say! Dax finds out why Curzon first failed her and later on didn’t object when she re-applied…because he was in love with her. Nog is busy with the final tests to be accepted at Starfleet Academy. Quark tries to sabotage Nog’s test and when Rom finds out, he passionately tells Quark he has nothing to say about Nog, he is the father. He warns him to stay out of it. Nog retakes the test as passes! Note – Sisko agreed to join with Joran, a not so stable character, a murderer even. Avery Brooks played him in such a wonderful but creepy way. Shame the scene was so short, otherwise the episode was okay! In the finale episode of the 3rd season, “The Adversary”, Benjamin Sisko finally gets promoted to Captain! A Federation ambassador is there too and has an assignment for Sisko, he must take the ambassador to Tzenkethi but on the way there some strange things happen and they also receive a message that the Tzenkethi has started an attack. Sisko and the rest of his crew are worried they find themselves in a war with the Tzenkethi. Meanwhile is becomes clear that the ambassador was a changeling who was seeking for a war between the Tzenkethi and the Federation and Odo does something no other changeling has ever done!


Final Word:

The 3rd season has really become a strong season in my humble opinion, only a few duds but otherwise than that a very solid season with some strong to very strong episodes this season. Definitely a tick up from season two, a great new character in the form of the ship the Defiant and also Michael Eddington, as security officer, promises to be a strong addition in the coming seasons. I would rate this season 8-/10, it is just that good. Next season another new character added to the show and an even greater season than this season, so much looking forward to the 4th season!

Screencaps taken from: TrekCore.com

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