Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 03 E 09 Defiant

It's time to spin the "Kira is pissed off" wheel. The winner this week is...overworked!

Yes, DS9's walking temper tantrum is getting run ragged by work order after work order around the station. It finally comes to a head when she snaps at Bashir who needs a runabout to transport medical supplies. The good doctor notes how overworked and stressed she is, and forces her to take some time off.

Forcibly parked at Quark's, he orders her to relax with various stress relieving tools. And if she doesn't use two of them, she's gonna come back tomorrow. Well, someone offers to assist her in relaxing: Will Riker.

The bearded one is on his own vacation after Dr. Crusher finally forced him to take some time off. Running into Kira, she offers to show him the new U.S.S. Defiant. After a brief bit of harshness between Riker and O'Brien, Kira powers the ship up...and instantly gets phasered by Riker. Faking a plasma conduit malfunction, Riker makes off with the ship.

Two people beam on board, and "Riker" removes his fake sideburns. This is Thomas Riker, the accidental copy from "Second Chances".

And the bad news doesn't stop there. With Dukat on board the station, Odo delivers the info that Thomas Riker is a part of the Maquis. And he's in possession of a lethal new battleship. It's not hard to guess where they're heading with it. Sisko and Dukat reluctantly join forces and head for Cardassia Prime.

Monitoring the situation with an Obsidian Order observer in the room, the Defiant attacks Outpost 61. But Sisko notices they made no attempt to cloak and that the Warp Signature is off. It's a decoy. The actual Defiant uncloaks and destroys Outpost 47 before heading straight into Cardassian territory.

As the Defiant continues to carve a swath of destruction, Sisko again notices something odd: The attacks have forced the Cardassian fleet to leave the seemingly unimportant Orias system undefended. Dukat orders a ship there, but is stopped by the observer. The Orias System is under Obsidian Order protection.

The Defiant is headed for the system with an entire Cardassian fleet on their tail. Things get odd when they arrive. Three Cardassian ships move from the planet to defend it. Under the order of the Obsidian Order. Who are forbidden to have said ships.

As Kira tries talking down Thomas, Sisko and Dukat work out a deal: Sisko offers him the Defiants logs, which contain some valuable info on this mysterious sector. In exchange, he wants his ship and the Maquis to be returned to Federation space for trial.

Dukat won't accept this until Sisko makes a concession: He'll give him the logs and Riker. So long as Thomas isn't sentenced to death like the Cardassians are so apt to do.

Thankfully, Thomas still has some shred of his other self's honor. To save his crew, he accepts a life sentence in the Lazon II labor camp. And gives Kira a parting kiss before being beamed away.

Tropes featured:

  • Anti-Villain: Tom Riker - he's the bad guy because he hijacks the Defiant and goes marauding through Cardassian space. But he still tries to act like a Starfleet officer, even surrendering in the end for the sake of his crew.
    Kira: No, you're trying to be a hero...and terrorists don't get to be heroes.
  • Beard of Evil: Full beard=Good. Goatee=Bad.
  • The Big Board: The action is portrayed via viewscreens and sensor panels rather than scenes of dramatic space combat.
  • Doctor's Orders: Bashir brings Kira up short by invoking his authority as CMO to immediately relieve her of duty. When she protests, he states that not even Commander Sisko can override his judgment in matters of a medical nature.
  • Enemy Mine: The situation forces a team-up between sworn enemies Sisko and Dukat.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Dukat spends most of the episode stewing because he missed his son's 11th birthday party.
  • Foreshadowing: The Obsidian Order's fleet of ships hidden in the Orias system would come into play a few episodes later.
  • Inter Service Rivalry: It's made quite clear by this episode that the Central Command and the Obsidian Order do not get along. At all.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: 'Will' Riker snapping at O'Brien for no apparent reason.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Tom chews Kira out when she sabotages the Defiant and nearly gets herself killed in the process. It's clear he's more upset about the latter than the former.
  • You Know What You Did: Thomas Riker pulls this on O'Brien, to drive him off and avoid arousing suspicion from him. O'Brien clearly does not know what he did, but Riker's rank is too high for him to protest.