The Federation And The Dominion Sign The Treaty Of Bajor. The War Is Over
You know how most great shows often have cop out or terrible endings? Well not Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In a 9 part finale leading up to what amount to a movie length Series Final in What You Leave Behind, this series redefines the term epic in a distinctly 90′s fashion.
Summary: By that I mean this was quite possibly one of the last TV Series to forgo Special Effects Bonanzas for solid character and political drama. Everyone plays their part in bringing this series about to it’s bitter sweet conclusion. Driven by his distaste for the Dominion making Cardassia it’s colony (and not failing to note the hypocrisy of the Cardassian people as they were once occupiers too), Damar enlists the help of Colonel Kira and Garak to help lead his rebellion. They do their part by capturing the Breen Super Weapon that was plaguing the Federation/Klingon/Romulan alliances ability to wage ware by disabling their ships power supply, and bring it back to the station. From their Chief O’Brien uses his engineering skills to reverse engineer it and come up with a countermeasure. He and Julien also manage to get the cure for the disease that is killing Odo and the Founder’s and Julien is able to put to rest a dark chapter in his life in Section 31 Chief Luther Sloan’s death. Section 31 being a great arc that cast the Federation in a light that wasn’t that of an unyieldingly utopian and morally perfect society, but one that will do what it takes when necessary to protect that utopian paradise. As Julien put it, Sloan was willing to jeopardize paradise in order to save it. In the end that man died a patriot and Odo was cured. He and Ezri Dax also form a romantic relationship over the course of these episodes as well. Worf also challenges Chancellor Gowron of the Klingon Empire to a duel after it becomes apparent that he is endangering the Alpha Quadrant’s ability to wage war by putting his own political ambitions together. He of course wins and gives the Chancellor to his general, Martok. Meanwhile, through all this Quark provides the crew with much needed emotional support and Rom is named the new Grand Nagus in order to oversee the progressive reforms on Feregnar. All of the players collective actions form just the right conditions necessary for a miraculous attempt to present itself that will allow the Federation to end the war within a weeks time. It’s sort of like Higurashi in how it all comes together in the end
From there the real final chapter begins as the Female Changeling orders all ships to pull back to Cardassia to regroup in the face of a war that is quickly becoming unmanageable for the Dominion. With the Federation alliance closing in and Cardassia beginning to openly rebel, the Dominion had decided to regroup and rebuild for as long as five years in order to surge across the Alpha Quadrant with the Breen when ready. Meanwhile, Winn having forsaken her duty as Kai travels with Dukat to the Bajoran Fire Caves to release the Pah Wraiths in the hopes of bringing an end to Sisko in all their misguided jealousy and hatred. The Federation deciding not to let the chance to defeat the Dominion presses on towards Cardassia in an attack that is sure to be very costly. Meanwhile, Damar, Kira and Garak witness the destruction of all the rebellions cells as they are betrayed by the Cardassian military and find themselves trapped in Garak’s ancestral homes basement. When all looks lost and as the alliance reaches Cardassia, Garak catches word from his father’s trusted servant who has been maintaining the house all these years that Damar’s name his reached legendary status as an unkillable hero and liberator. Kira suggests that he reveal he is still alive in a daring act and they do this by sabatoging a Jem’haddar garrison. In retaliation Weyoun, the second in command of the Dominion’s war efforts orders the destruction of an entire Cardassian city by the Jem’haddar stationed there. Overnight 2,000,000 innocent civilians are slaughtered. This backfires horribly though as the entire Cardassian population rises up to support Damar. Damar, Kira, and Garak then decide to it’s time to kill that bastard Weyoun (Or as Damar who had worked with him for over two years before he regained his conscience called him, “That Vorta Jackal”) once and for all. They sabatoge the entire planets power relay bringing tactical communication from the planet down and throwing the Dominion fleet formation above the planet into not so much disarray as a much more weakened position.
Meanwhile the battle has been raging above Cardassia for a while now with it looking just like the long and atricious battle they thought it would be. That is until the Cardassians (I found them detestable Nazi allegories for most of the series, but by this point I can’t help but cheer for their liberation from a much greater evil) switch sides during the comm blackout and aid the alliance in pushing the Dominion in further back towards Cardassia. The Dominion is all but screwed and the federation continues pushing despite Admiral Ross’ prediction of a 40% casualty rate for their forces. It’s getting to epic to handle, but it get’s even more so. Damar, Kira and Garak decide to storm the Dominion compound to kill Weyoun and capture the Female Changeling and try to force her to surrender. When they reach the gate they find it impenetrable and are about to give up when the door opens and Legate Broca, the very brief new Cardassian puppet leader is brought out to be executed for his failures. The rebel team blasts right past them as Weyoun brings up communications to find out they are more or less suddenly fucked. In her rage at the betrayal the Female Changeling orders the unthinkable. She orders the Jem’Haddar to begin ”eliminating” the entire population of Cardassia for it’s betrayal. Damar is killed in the siege and dies a surprising hero after all he has done. He was easily one of the more arrogant Cardassian’s in the series when he was Dukat’s second, he even murdered Kira’s best friend who was also Dukat’s daughter. Still, he eventually found his conscience and sacrificed himself and his safe position as leader to try to save his people. As such I’ve given him the honorary nickname of DaGar. Kira and Garak eventually reach the ops center and as Weyoun mocks the death of Damar and the destruction of Cardassia, Garak shoots him point blank, no emotion, no grudges, cold as ice, fuck you Weyoun, your DEAD FOR GOOD!
YES! YEEEEEEEESSS! FINALLY!
You see, Weyoun had actually died 5 times before, but since the Dominion could keep cloning new ones he always came back. Damar himself actually destroyed the cloning facility, ensuring this Weyoun #8 would be the last one. and good riddance at that. Don’t get me wrong, Weyoun was a great Villain, he was even voted one of TV Guides Top 10 Sci-Fi villains of all time along with Dukat, but he was so evil and scheming. Anyway, the Female Changeling isn’t budging and won’t surrender her troops, wanting them to fight to the last man and make the Federation Victory a Phyrric one. Odo ultimately goes to talk to her and by linking with her he passes on the cure. This act of kindness sees her return the favour by ordering the Dominion forces to surrender for the first time in it’s 10,000 year history as she states(whether she has been alive since then is unknown, but it is possible). It seems like another Higurashi style miracle…..but is it.
Everybody ends up winning in the end except for the Cardassian’s. 800 Million civilians were murdered before the Female Changeling gave the order to cease fire and it’s the planet lies in utter ruin. There’s little cause for celebration as Sisko, Ross and Martok try to drink their victory blood wine on Cardassia, but as Sisko puts it “Suddenly the taste seems bitter to me”. Garak in a really awesome bit of dialogue with Julien later on states that Cardassian civilization has been set back 100′s of years and that while he has set foot on his homeworld again for the first time in over 20 years, it will unfortunately never be the same. He also states that he can’t decide whether the Cardassian people deserved this for being to proud and arrogant and for their horrible attrocities against the Alpha Quadrant. He doesn’t even really try to find an answer because he know he can’t, but the dialogue and emotion he conveys through all this should have won Andrew Robinson an Emmy.
It’s still not over though even as the victory celebration is underway, as Kai Winn and Gul Dukat have succeeded in releasing the Pah Wraiths. Well Winn does as she has poisoned Dukat as a sacrifice leaving him for dead as the Fire Caverns suddenly light up with an evil flame. Sisko get’s a vision from the Prophets telling him to go their to fulfill his final destiny and as he arrives, the Prophet’s have rejected Winn and bring Dukat back to life one last time as their emissary, filling him with their evil power and turning him into a twisted looking version of his former Cardassian appearance. Only Sisko stands between Dukat and him releasing the Pah Wraiths seemingly omnipotent power on the galaxy to as Dukat puts it, “Burn first across Bajor, then across the Quadrant and eventually the entire Galaxy”. Sisko seems helpless as he is paralyzed by Dukat’s new power, but Winn realizing her mistake addresses him as the emissary with true conviction for the first time ever, telling him to take out the book. For this Winn is vaporized and in that instant using all his strength Sisko break free and tackles Dukat off the ledge into the fire caves, destroying the book and sealing the Pah Wraiths once more, thus putting an end to his ambition. In the end Sisko is brought to the Celestial Temple to become one with the prophets, and Dukat is sealed along with the Pah Wraiths.
You Can Almost See It During This Shot, But Apparently Avery Brooks, The Actor Who Played Sisko Actually Caught Marc Alaimo, Dukat’s Actor, Completely Off Guard And Actually Gave Him A Good Bruising When They Hit The Mat. Poor Guy
That’s pretty much the end of the story as Sisko goes missing as far as anyone knows. Colonel Kira assumes command of the station, O’Brien goes to the academy to teach Engineering, and Odo bids farewell to Kira as he returns to the Great Link to cure his people and teach them what he knows about the solids. In one last appearance to Kassidy Sisko (with that amazing makes me cry every time music playing in the background), Benjamin notes that their promise to face this eternal sorrow that the prophets warned of together was the eternal sorrow, as they are now seperated. In his last absolutely godly line sisko says that he has to learn from the prophets before he can return and “Maybe I’ll be back in a year, maybe five years, or maybe….yesterday”. As each characters looks on at things that remind them of the time on the station and each one gets a montage of some of their best moments, we know they have grown and experienced so much on that space station on the far reaches of Federation Space known as Deep Space Nine, and that we got to see it all.
Goodbye *Kaioshin Bawls His Eyes Out*
And then the last shot brings this epic series to it’s epic conclusion as Jake looks out at the wormhole opening as if his father is waving to him. Kira steps up beside him and the camera slowly zooms out from the stations window as we leave DS9 for the last time and the series theme plays. Cut to credits for the last time.
Thoughts: Even this attempt at a final summary I know can’t do this amazing series justice. The writing, characters and dialogue is so top notch at all times it’s hard to imagine if these writers don’t have that muse from the episode of the same name hanging over their shoulders at all times. I can think of precious few series where the characters grow so much over time, where so much changes through the course of it all. Most series are content to maintain a certain status quo, but DS9 never does that, always pushing the limits of the Sci-Fi genre and going…..well, where no one has gone before. I mean how many series end with the main character becoming a god and stay that way. Who would have suspected that Damar would die a patriotic hero rather than a bastard, that Sisko would become a Jesus like figure (Well actually when he grew a beard during the second season I could sort of guess), that Garak would prove such a valuable ally, that Odo would find his people he had long been searching for would become his closest friends greatest enemies? Who could forsee them killing off a major character with one season left? How many series give so much development to even the most minor characters and build up entire civilizations with their own rich history and culture to such an extent? When I first saw Martok or Weyoun or even Dukat I had no idea these recurring guest characters would become so intriguing and influential in their own right. I seriously could write for hours and hours and not convey all I want to about this series so I’ll stop and just say, if you are ever in need of an American Live Action show to try out, pick this one. You won’t be disappointed. This brings to a close one of the main things I would look forward to every night when I got home or wanted something to do besides watch anime. I would always visit that space station called Deep Space Nine and be swept away in the drama and it’s characters. The series pulled me in so much, at times I felt like I really knew the characters, like I was their with them through all their struggles, happy moments and life changing experiences. That’s the beauty of this series and it’s so so hard to say goodbye. I’ll need to think a little about what I’m going to do now, but let me just leave everyone with this.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Final Series Rating: Ten Out Of Ten