The episode opens with some continuity: Kira is saying a prayer to her departed lover, Bareil. Sisko arrives to share some absolutely cheerful news. It seems the First Minister of Bajor has suddenly died, and the Provisional Government has already appointed an interim leader until new elections are held: Kai Winn, the woman whom every viewer should hate by now. Naturally, the crew is disturbed by this, as the power-hungry spiritual leader is now running the government, so things will very much not end well. Soon after, Kai Winn arrives on the station with a task for the Major. It seems that Kira's resistance cell leader, Shakaar, has not returned some soil reclamators which are now desperately needed to make Bajor's breadbasket fertile again, thus allowing them to start growing foodstuffs for export. Keeping her hatred for Winn from all but erupting now, she is forced to agree. As this goes on, a subplot develops where Chief O'Brien is on a winning streak at darts.Kira goes to meet Shakaar, who invites her to stay and have dinner with other members of their cell, who are now farmers as well. He tells Kira his side of the story: after being on the waiting list for a long time, he finally got the reclamators to make his own farms fertile, but now that Kai Winn is in charge, they're suddenly "desperately" needed elsewhere. Kira returns to Winn to deliver his answer of no, but then Winn decides to leap off the slippery slope and sends soldiers to take back the equipment. Kira and Shakaar overpower them, and then flee into the mountains, bringing with them many former members of the resistance. Meanwhile, just as Quark is about to win big on Chief O'Brien's winning streak, he pulls his shoulder and it's over.Kai Winn asks Sisko for help in locating Kira and Shakaar, whom she's now labeled as dangerous fugitives. However, sharing Kira's hatred for the woman, Sisko replies that what's happening on Bajor is a strictly internal matter, and thus is able to stand behind the Prime Directive. This, of course, gives Kai Winn reason to say the alliance between Bajor and the Federation is now in jeopardy. Meanwhile, things get heated in the mountains as the resistance members are being pursued by soldiers that are getting better at tracking them, knowing the mountains just as well as Kira and Shakaar. With nowhere else to run, the two sides agree to stand down, unwilling to fire on their fellow Bajorans and start a civil war over some farming equipment. Instead, Shakaar returns to the capital and announces he's going to run for First Minister. Facing an extremely popular and famous resistance leader, Kai Winn steps down from running the government. Back on the station, Dr. Bashir begins a winning streak at darts, causing Quark to approach him.
- Alien Non-Interference Clause: Sisko refuses to send Starfleet Security officers to help as this is a purely internal matter on Bajor. He also refuses to endorse Kai Winn as a candidate for First Minister on the same grounds, though quite frankly he wouldn't have done so even without the Prime Directive.
- An Arm and a Leg: Kira's old comrade Furel. Before going on a mission to rescue Kira and Shakaar, he prayed to the Prophets and offered his life. Fortunately, the mission only cost him an arm, and feeling that the Prophets were being generous that day, he hasn't gotten a replacement.
- Colonel Badass: Lenaris Holem. Cool and level-headed, even when realizing he's walked into an ambush.
- Determined Homesteader: Shakaar and all the farmers, who take to the hills rather than submit to Kai Winn.
- The Evils of Free Will: When it seems likely that Kai Winn will win the upcoming elections, Odo notes that one of the problems of giving people freedom of choice is that sometimes they make the wrong choice.
- Holding Your Shoulder Means Injury: O'Brien messes up his shoulder. Again. Surprisingly, though, he wasn't kayaking this time. (Quark made sure of that.)
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Kai Winn's insanity is beautifully showcased here, as she turns a matter of simple mediation and compromise into a preamble for civil war and a severance of relations between Bajor and the Federation. And all of this... is over farming equipment.
- Laser-Guided Karma: For the first time in a long time, Winn's manipulative and zealous nature catches up with her.
- Nostalgia Filter: Lampshaded In-Universe when one of the ex-resistance fighters notes that tramping around the mountains, hunted by security forces, really wasn't more fun than farming.
- Unexpected Successor: Shakaar goes from farmer to fugitive to leader of Bajor in about a month.