Recap / Star Trek: Deep Space Nine S04E23 "To the Death"

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Sisko and the Defiant crew join forces with the Jem'Hadar to stop a group of Jem'Hadar renegades from gaining power. They are made aware of an Iconian gateway, which they destroy.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Badass Boast: Omet'iklan promises to kill Sisko once the mission is over, as he sees him as a weak leader for not killing Worf. Worf hears about this and promises Sisko that if the First succeeds, he won't live long to boast about it.
  • Badass Creed:
    Omet'iklan: I am First Omet'iklan, and I am dead. As of this moment, we are all dead. We go into battle to reclaim our lives. This, we do gladly, for we are Jem'Hadar. Remember - victory is life.
    Jem'Hadar: Victory is life.
    • Followed by a Starfleet version:
      Miles O'Brien: I am Chief Miles Edward O'Brien, I am very much alive and intend to stay that way.
      Sisko: Amen, let's get it done!
  • Badass Bystander: One of the Redshirts during the climax fight offs two Jem'hadar at once in the background.
  • Bad Liar: Odo, according to Weyoun. Being a self-professed expert in lies, he would know.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: When Toman'torax (the Jem'Hadar Second) gets in a fight with Worf, both are punished. However, the Omet'iklan kills his second as punishment, and calls Sisko weak for not killing Worf, who is confined to quarters when not on duty for the remainder of the mission. This also extends to other areas, as the episode serves to showcase the Jem'Hadar mentality.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Dax and Virak'kara during the assault.
    Dax: Virak'kara, you still there?!
    Virak'kara: For a little while longer!
  • Continuity Nod: The Iconian gateways reappear from the TNG episode, "Contagion." Worf later recalls his experience and what the Enterprise crew was forced to do.
  • Enemy Mine: The only time that Starfleet and the Dominion work together to defeat a mutual threat.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Omet'iklan makes it clear to Sisko that, while he hates the Federation, the only thing he hates more are renegade Jem'Hadar.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: After Sisko saves Omet'iklan from one of the renegades.
    Omet'iklan: I threatened to kill you, but you were still willing to sacrifice yourself to save my life.
    Sisko: Looks that way.
    Omet'iklan: Why?
    Sisko: If you have to ask, you'll never understand.
  • Expendable Clone: Weyoun (4) is killed in the very same episode that he is introduced in, but that's okay because the Vorta are all mass-produced clones.
    • Note that they later introduced the clone concept PURELY to bring back Weyoun, and, as such, at the time, the assumption was that Weyoun had been Killed Off for Real.
  • Foreshadowing: It is mentioned that Odo will one day be punished for killing a fellow Changeling.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Omet'iklan chides Sisko for not having the stomach to kill Worf for defying his orders—saying the unit comes first. Sisko retorts that killing a subordinate for such a thing would prevent that person from learning from the mistake, as well as jeopardize the morale of his team and the trust they have in him.
  • Honor Before Reason: Toman'torax immediately confesses to Omet'iklan his role in starting the fight—knowing full well of the punishment he'll receive.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: During a training exercise, Omet'iklan told the Starfleet side that there would be three Jem'Hadar soldiers on guard duty per their usual training. They take two, but they can't find the third and then fail the exercise. Omet'iklan reveals there was no third guard and chides the Starfleet officers—saying that nothing in battle is ever a certainty. When the actual mission begins, things quickly don't go to plan due to variables that no training could account for.
  • Mandatory Line: Kira, Bashir, and Quark only appear in the teaser. Kira is injured during the attack and stays to coordinate relief and defense. Bashir stays to take care of the wounded. Quark briefly appears calling for his brother.
  • Not So Similar: While both were spoiling for a fight, Worf only engaged Toman'torax to defend O'Brien from the Jem'Hadar's harassment.
  • Oh Crap!: The assault team realizes that their weapons aren't working, seconds before the rogue Jem'Hadar show up.
  • Older Than They Look: After getting into a discussion about his own age:
    Virak'kara: How old are you?
    Jadzia: I stopped counting at 300.
    Virak'kara: You don't look it.
    Jadzia: Thank you.
  • Portal Door: The Iconian gateway connects to an instantanious Portal Network that had allowed the Iconians to rule an empire 200k years ago, so the danger of the Jem'Hadar getting control of it is even more pronounced as a result.
  • The Profiler: According to Weyoun, Sisko's psychological profile is required reading for all Vorta.
    Weyoun: I probably know things about you you don't know yourself!
    • Averted when the profile appars to be indictate Sisko would be open to an offer to be installed by the Dominion as the sole ruler of the Federation, only a few episodes after Sisko stopped a coupe d'etat on Earth.
  • Serious Business: How the Jem'Hadar view the white distribution, much to Weyoun's annoyance.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Weyoun's Jem'Hadar knew about the gateway all along, much to his surprise.
  • Soldier vs. Warrior: The difference between Starfleet and the Jem'Hadar is defined here. The Jem'Hadar fight "to reclaim their lives," whereas Starfleet fights to obtain an objective.
  • Taking the Bullet: Sisko takes a hit from an enemy Jem'Hadar to save Omet'iklan, but it's a non-fatal wound.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Jem'Hadar and the Defiant crew are only united by the desire to wipe out the renegades and make it explicitly clear (More-so on the Jem'Hadar's side) that if they were not on this mission that they would kill the other side in a heartbeat.
  • This Is My Chair: When Bashir sits down in the mess hall, Dax and O'Brien warn him that he's sitting in Worf's favorite seat. Bashir is unimpressed—until Worf and his Death Glare show up.
  • Undying Loyalty: Omet'iklan tells Weyoun that the Jem'Hadar are more loyal to the Founders than the Vorta will ever be.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Omet'iklan shoots Weyoun for questioning the Jem'Hadar's loyalty to the Dominion.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The Jem'Hadar are ready to kill Sisko and his crew for saving their lives. Weyoun has to order them not to.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The Starfleeters and the Jem'Hadar plan out and rehearse the operation step-by-step. As soon as they beam down to carry it out for real, things start going wrong, forcing them to improvise.
  • Video Wills: Dax and O'Brien record them. O'Brien hopes that Keiko and Molly don't end up hearing his.
  • We Can Rule Together: Weyoun asks Sisko what he would say to being absolute ruler of The Federation. Sisko naturally rejects the offer and Weyoun says "Just doing my job."
  • Wham Shot: DS9 with one of its docking pylons blown off.
  • Worthy Opponent: Omet'iklan ends up being impressed by Starfleet and compliments them on how well they fought.
  • You Have Failed Me: Reconstructed when Omet'iklan executes Toman'torax for failing to follow his orders. Omet'iklan says they had served together for three years, so he knew of Toman'torax's value and ability. However, following orders is essential to their way of life, so Omet'iklan executes him as a reminder to the others of the consequences of disregarding that.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Weyoun was gonna pull this on his Jem'Hadar, who promptly kill him once the mission is over because he had outlived his usefulness.
  • Younger Than They Look: The Jem'Hadar that talks to Jadzia is eight, saying the species is able to fight by their third day of life and that living to age 20 grants "Honored Elder" status.
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