2024/06/14

 

The 4th season definitely is the best yet! Like with Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine gets a new character in the 4th season. The suits were worried about the ratings and decided they wanted to add a Next Generation character. When Lt. Worf came in, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about it because in The Next Generation he was an interesting character, but I never really liked the Klingon stories. Not like is perhaps too big but these Klingon stories never were my favorite episodes.

 

So yeah, I was not that happy about it. But I was mistaken! Adding Worf to the DS9 cast proved to be successful. Even the Klingon stories usually were engaging. Worf’s character grew more in DS9 in 4 seasons than in 7 seasons of The Next Generation. And then there is his relationship with Jadzia Dax, which was also very well done. So yes, Worf perhaps did not have the same impact as Seven of Nine on Voyager, but it was a good move to do so. It added some spice and he also brought with him humor, which he really has. Some times intentional, most of the times unintentional. And...finally, Ben Sisko with a bald head!



The season opener, “The Way of the Warrior” introduces Worf in an exciting 90-minute TV movie. The Klingons come to DS9 in great numbers, but they aren’t telling the command staff and the Federation why they are there. Captain Sisko thinks about Worf to be their intermediary between the Federation and the Klingons. Even for Worf it is difficult to find out, but he does learn that the Klingons are planning to invade Cardassia because they are convinced the Dominion has taken over Cardassia! When Worf declines Gowron’s offer to come with them, he gets stripped of everything he has build up in the Klingon empire and his brother will no longer have a seat on the Klingon council. When the Federation also does not go along with them, Gowron steps out of the Khitomer Accords. Just fantastic TV, with besides action, lots of humor.

 

Next episode “The Visitor”, a small episode but SO good, really the best that Star Trek has to offer, For me a 10/10. During a mission on the Defiant, an accident happens in engineering which results in Ben Sisko disappearing in front of Jake’s eyes. Suddenly he’s gone! While Jake is trying to cope with the loss of his dad, staying on the station, his dad suddenly appears again, only for a moment. It appears that Ben Sisko is lost in time, Jake seems to be his anchor. He tries to live his life but knowing his father is out there his life never really goes forward. Then he figures out a way to reset everything so they both go back to the moment the accident happens! A true emotional episode, if you don’t shed a tear with this episode, you cannot be human! Guest starring: Rachel Robinson as Melanie, the fan, daughter of Andrew Robinson, Garak.

 

In “Hippocratic Oath” Bashir and O’ Brien crash land on a planet but they soon find out they are not alone. A group of Jem’Hadar are there on the planet and they are responsible for them to crash land. These soldiers have escaped from the Dominion, want to be free of the white. Their leader is free from the white and the Doctor is tasked to find a cure and from his position, it is understandable that he wants to help. Miles, however, thinks very differently about that and tries to sabotage it. He wants to escape. Note - Another great episode, a typical Star Trek issue, help the enemy, what Bashir wants, or let them be damned and escape, what Miles wants. Hence Hippocratic oath.



The season really starts strong because “Indiscretion” is also a very strong episode where Kira and Dukat go on a joined mission to find a crashed prison ship of Bajorans which happened back during the occupation. Dukat has his own interests, he had a Bajoran girlfriend and an illegitimate daughter on that ship. If the daughter still lives, he plans to kill her. Of course, Kira is against that. B-story where Kasidy tells Ben Sisko she has an opportunity to work for the Bajorans which means she could live on the station. Sisko’s reaction: It’s a big step! Not the correct response!

 

In “Rejoined” Jadzia Dax falls in love with a Thrill with a symbiont she did have a relationship with in the past, which is forbidden in Thrill society. Like Jadzia, the host is now a woman. Note in the 90’s this was a heavy episode, two women kissing on TV.

 

“Little Green Men” is definitely in my top two Ferengi episodes. The other one is “The Magnificent Ferengi”. “Little Green Men” is fun time travel story where our beloved Ferengi Quark, Rom, and Nog travel back in time when Quark and Rom bring Nog to earth with a ship he has gotten from his cousin Gaila. They arrive on Earth in 1947, Roswell! Quark sees gold pressed latinum when he sees the backwards humans! He wants to stay, contact the Ferengi home world to have a HeadStart. Luckily Odo is also present, he hid on Quark’s ship because he didn’t trust Quark’s motives to bring his nephew to earth. Note – Such a fun episode, a bit silly but in the right way. A bit over the top but a wonderful episode.

 

In “Starship Down” the Defiant is attacked by the Jem’ Hadar while they are in the Gamma Quadrant in talks with the Karemma, which the Federation has trade relations with. Quark is scheming the Karemma by adding taxes and such. With the attack, Sisko is severely injured and Bashir and Dax are presumed dead. Quark and the Karemma spokesman (James Cromwell) are locked in the mess hall with an undetonated warhead. Together they try to disable it and Quark is trying to convince him that taking a risk is all about doing business. Note – Exciting episode with some good scenes between Armin Shimerman and James Cromwell. Also nice are the Kira / Sisko scenes, when he is injured but also in the final moments of the episode when Sisko invites Kira to a baseball game.



After 8 exciting episodes we get the first less interesting episode and yes…it is a Klingon episode, “The Sword of Kahless”. Having said that, it always is a joy to see Kor (John Colicos) coming back. He does come back one more time if I’m correct. The episode itself was less interesting in my opinion where Kor, Worf and Dax are searching for the sword of Kahless, which should bring all Klingons together. Ultimately, during the episode the hostility between Worf and Kor is reason for them to dump the sword in space. Directed by Levar Burton. “Our Man Bashir” is another exciting holodeck story where Julian Bashir “My name is Bashir, Julian Bahir” is James Bond. It is a very fun story, our lead characters all play different parts, except for Garak, who joins Bashir on the holodeck and because of a malfunction, Bashir needs to keep playing the game, so the patterns of our heroes aren’t gonna be lost. Some defining moments between Bashir and Garak. I also especially liked Sisko as the villain! The two-parter “Homefront & Paradise Lost” is another exciting story where the focus is back on the Dominion. It looks like the Dominion have shifted their attention to Earth. Since Ben Sisko is the expert on the Dominion, he is called back with Odo to Earth. Sisko’s old commander, Admiral Leyton (Robert Foxworth), uses this situation to invoke martial law. Note - Funny trivia regarding the actor Robert Foxworth: He was also a recurring character on Babylon 5 where he plays General William Hague, but because he was double booked for a Babylon 5 and Star Trek: DS9 episode, he was not available for a pivotal Babylon 5 episode! He is one of the few actors who played in Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Stargate!

 

I especially like episode 13 “Crossfire” where Odo, who is clearly in love with Kira, has to make way for Prime-minister Shakaar, who was Kira’s commander while she was in the resistance. Shakaar is in love with Kira and the feeling is mutual! They way this is filmed, how Odo with pain in his heart, must watch Shakaar (Duncan Regehr) and Kira grow closer to each other. Note - Rene Auberjonois plays this so well, even with all that make-up on, you really see in his eyes, his face, of what he is going through. “Return to Grace” is another solid episode where we see Gul Dukat again. Kira is going to a conference she really doesn’t want to go to, but it is the prime minister Shakaar who asked her to do this. Dukat, who is demoted to cargo captain because of his illegitimate daughter Zyal, is the one to bring her. Note - Kira-Dukat scenes are always a highlight in any episode, Dukat clearly is infatuated with Kira, but Kira finds him repulsive. No B-story this time. “Sons of Mogh” is also a very decent episode where we see the fallout of Worf becoming outcast when he declined Gowron’s request to join him in his war on Cardassia. His brother Kurn comes to the station. Kurn lost his seat on the council because of Worf’s refusal to join. Also has all their land been seized. Kurn wants Worf to kill him via a Klingon ritual. Worf agrees but Dax figures it out. A painful ending for Worf as he loses his brother apparently forever but not through death. B-story was also an interesting one where Kira and Miles O’Brien find out that Klingons having military exercises right against the Bajoran border.



“Bar Association” is a rather fun Ferengi episode where Rom takes the lead as he has formed a union! Something that is forbidden on Ferenginar. Quark called him an idiot one too many times and now it’s too late and Brunt of course learns of this and comes to DS9 with two Nausicans. B-story is where we see that Worf has troubles living on the station and decides to go and live on the Defiant. Leeta’s (Chase Masterson) second appearance. Rom joins O’Brien’s team in engineering to Quark’s dismay! “Accession” is also an episode I really found to be interesting. A Bajoran man comes through the wormhole, a famous poet named Akorem Laan. He tells the DS9 crew he is the emissary. He is from 200 years in the past. At first Sisko is happy that he no longer is seen as the emissary. But when he gets some kind of hallucination of Kai Opaka and learns that Laan wants to bring back the casting system, he decides to fight for the emissary ship. – Note Because of how this effects Sisko, makes this for a really good episode. And he finally embraces being the emissary of Bajor. And yes, the next episode, “Rules of Engagement”, is also an intriguing episode where Worf stands on trial for supposedly killing 411 innocent Klingon civilians. The Klingon advocate (Ron Canada), really like this episode, even though it is a bottle show (which often are great). Great performance of Avery Brooks and Ron Canada.

 

And it goes on, “Hard Time”, a wonderful Miles O’Brien episode where he has been accused by the Argrathi of espionage and has already been sentenced: twenty years jail time in an artificial reality. While O'Brien felt like he was twenty years in a cell, only a couple of hours has passed. For O’Brien this really feels like 20 years, and he is really having a hard time, no pun intended! 😊In the final moments of the episode, it is hard not to get wet eyes! “Shattered Mirror” is the 3rd mirror universe episode, and I thought this one was especially interesting because mirror universe Jennifer comes to our universe and meets Jake. Jake of course is very impressed with Jennifer and does not need any convincing to come with her to the mirror universe. Which obviously was all a play to get Ben Sisko to go there too. Note - For me, till now, the best MU episode, especially because of Jake and Jennifer and the groveling of Garak with the regent. Episode 21 is only the 2nd weak episode of the season: “The Muse” where a woman takes Jake’s energy while she gives him some sort of extra focus to write a best seller. B-story was more entertaining and fun, Majel Barrett is back for the last time as Lwaxana and she is pregnant. She’s fleeing from her husband because he wants to take her son from her. Odo has a daring proposal to make him leave empty handed.



“For the Cause” is another great episode where Kasidy is under suspicion by Odo and Eddington for working for the Maquis. Sisko cannot believe it, but he gives the okay to keep an eye on her. The one they do not keep an eye on is Eddingston. Yes, Kasidy betrays Ben Sisko, but Eddington betrays him and the Federation. Get ready for some revenge seeking Sisko next season! In the final moments it becomes clear that Kasidy and Ben Sisko want to keep fighting for their relationship. With “To the Death” we return to the Dominion, focused on the Jem’ Hadar. The Federation and a group of the Jem’ Hadar are forced to work together to go after a group of rogue Jem’ Hadar, who have attacked the station. These rogue Jem’ Hadar had found a device which used to be from the Iconians, which allowed them to travel to planets instantaneously. Very interesting episode where we meet the Vorta Weyoun for the first time. Giving his fate at the end of the episode, at first sight, it is strange is say ‘first time’. “The Quickening” is more or less a stand-alone episode, but the predicament of the inhabitants, the endless suffering of a disease called the blight, is done by the Dominion as a punishment for not following their rules. It is an interesting Bashir episode who only can help these people indirectly by making sure their offspring is free of the disease the blight.

 

“Body Parts” is a Quark episode, lighthearted even though Quark has gotten a devastating message by a Ferengi doctor. Quark has learned that he is dying, and his brother convinces him to sell himself in parts, custom Ferengi tradition. Anonymous buyer pays 500 bars, he accepts it. Then he gets the message via Bashir that he was mis-diagnosed, the Ferengi doctor had mixed up two patients. When the anonymous buyer turns out to be Brunt, and that he wants the contract being fulfilled, Quark hires Garak to kill him, which also delivers some wonderful Quark (and Garak) moments. The other story is that because of an accident Bashir had to transfer Keiko’s baby into the womb of Kira. The O’Brien’s suggest Kira to live with them till the baby is due. Note – Fun episode, Quark and Garak always guarantee good TV. Directed by Avery Brooks. Of course, the season finale “Broken Link” brings us back to the Dominion! It starts lighthearted (a fun scene) where Garak tries to couple Odo to a very enchanting Bajoran woman. However shortly after that he collapses in Garak’s shop. Because Bashir cannot do anything for him, Odo knows where he must go to, to the Dominion home world, to the great link. It seems the Founders are responsible for Odo being sick, so he had no choice but to come home to be judged for killing another changeling, which has never happened before! His punishment is, for him, a severe one, no longer being able to shapeshift, being a solid! In the final minutes Odo sees Gowron on the monitor and is convinced he is a changeling; the great link was hiding something from him, and he thinks it is this!



Final Word:

Season 4 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, can arguably seen has the TV series’ best season. For me, there are only two episodes which are average or slightly below average: “The Sword of Kahles” and “The Muse” but they are still watchable, it is not that I skip these episodes with a rewatch. There are always moments I enjoy with these episodes also. I don’t think seasons 5, 6 & 7 have less episodes that are below average, still for me, season 6 is my favorite mainly because of the occupation episodes, plus “In the Pale Moonlight” and “Far Beyond the Stars” and several other gems. But that is for later. Season 4 certainly can measure up with these last 3 seasons and certainly in part this is because adding the character Worf but mainly, for me, more the focus on the constant threat of the Dominion and lets face it, season 4 mostly consists of very strong episodes! In my view 24 out of 26!


Screencaps - Taken from TrekCore



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