During a planetary survey in the Gamma Quadrant, Sisko and the others find a crashed Jem'Hadar ship. Sisko decides they must return with this ship, which could provide vital information about Dominion technology. But a Jem'Hadar recovery team and their Vorta leader are unusually determined to prevent this, leading Sisko to wonder what further secrets the ship might hold.
- Actor Allusion: O'Brien and Muņiz's exchange about Ireland's hills and no mountains references Colm Meaney's role in The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain.
- Broken Aesop: The episode insists that the casualties on both sides could've been avoided if they had all just trusted each other. However, Sisko invokes the runabout crew (who were destroyed the moment Kilana's Jem'Hadar arrived), and T'Lor and Muņiz (killed and mortally wounded, respectively, before any negotiations had begun).
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Muņiz is shot by a Jem'Hadar. The wound appears minor, but bleeding persists until he slowly bleeds to death. Even Worf remarks what horrible way to die it is.
- Due to the Dead: At the end of the episode, O'Brien is watching over Muņiz's body. Worf enters and likens the practice to ak'voh, an old Klingon custom of safeguarding the body of those entering Sto-vo-kor. He then sits beside O'Brien.
Worf: We will both keep the predators away.
O'Brien: I'm sure Quique would have liked that.
- Driven to Suicide: The Jem'Hadar kill themselves over allowing a Founder to die.
- Ms. Fanservice: The Vorta, Kilana, wears a rather cleavagey outfit.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Kilana initially says this is her first mission, but Sisko later realizes this was a lie to get him to underestimate her.
- OOC Is Serious Business: As O'Brien is treating him, Muņiz calls him "sir." When O'Brien doesn't react, Muņiz knows his condition really is bad.
- Poor Communication Kills: The Founder aboard the ship could've been saved if Kilana had been upfront with Sisko immediately.
- Red Shirt: Subverted. Several random crew members are killed (including Mauve Shirt Muņiz), but at the end of the episode Sisko reads off the list of the dead and reminisces about them. It shows that, even if their deaths only serve to excite the audience, for the surviving characters these people's lives and deaths matter. (This was the first time something like this had been done on Star Trek.)
- Vitriolic Best Buds: O'Brien and Muņiz good-naturedly insult each other.
- What Could Have Been: This was the second time the producers wanted to bring back Eris, the very first Vorta encountered back in "The Jem'Hadar," but her actress, Molly Hagan, was again unavailable.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Sisko, as tempers flare amongst the crew.
"I know it's hot. We're filthy, tired, and we've got ten isontons of explosives going off outside. But we will never get out of this if we don't pull it together and start to act like professionals!"
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Sisko appears quite offended when Kilana says he would've killed the Founder or taken it hostage.