crew crash-lands their captured Dominion fighter only to find themselves in conflict with a Jem'Hadar crew that crashed there two days previously. Forced into a kill-or-be-killed situation, Sisko and friends discover that the loyalty of the Jem'Hadar to the Dominion transcends strategy, deception, and even betrayal. And a shocking demonstration forces Kira to realize that she is transforming into the one thing she hates most.
This episode contains examples of:
- Absentee Actor: Worf and Quark.
- Bittersweet Ending: Sisko's crew survives and with a major Dominion prisoner, but lost one of their own and had a pointless fight with the Jem'Hadar. Vedek Yassim commits suicide, which forces Kira to realize she has do something against the new Occupation.
- Dirty Coward: Keevan might be the most contemptible Vorta ever. Oh, he'll get his.
- Kira comes to see herself as this by the end of the episode.
- Famous Last Words: "EVIL MUST BE OPPOSED!"
- "Our death is glory to the Founders."
- Heel Realization: Vedek Yassim's suicide causes Kira to come to this.
- Hypocritical Humor: O'Brien can say "damn", but he tells Nog "watch your mouth!" when Nog does it back.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Kai Winn has seldom been on good terms with the DS9 crew, but she urges Kira to stand up to the Dominion, remembering her own struggles during the Cardassian occupation.
- Lured Into a Trap: The Jem'Hadar—by their Vorta leader. And they know it, but they still walk into it, because it's the "order of things."
- MacGyvering: In-Universe, Starfleet Engineers have apparently achieved this version of Memetic Badass status, as according to Keevan, they can "...turn rocks into replicators."
- My Country, Right or Wrong: The Jem'Hadar. . .up to 11.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Because Terry Farrell has a severe sunlight allergy, Jadzia was seriously injured at the beginning of the episode and spent most of her time in the cave.
- Additionally, an extremely hot temperature and no light kept them from filming Worf's one scene in the episode. Though initially disappointed by that, production agrees the end they went with (Sisko's closeup) worked better given the episode's bittersweet tone.
- Red Shirt: Lieutenant Neeley and Ensign Gordon were never seen after this episode, though Neeley defies the trope by surviving.
- Skewed Priorities: They've crashed on a barren planet, have no means to call for rescue and face the possibility of the Dominion finding them, but then the other shoe drops: O'Brien tore his pants.
Sisko: (cracking up) You... You tore your pants?
O'Brien: (realizing) Yeah, I tore my pants. I guess... I guess I'm really in trouble now!
- Smarter Than You Look: Remata'Klan says this of all Jem'Hadar.
"Despite what Keevan may think, the Jem'Hadar are often one step ahead of the Vorta."
- Undying Loyalty: Despite knowing that Keevan is setting them up, none of the Jem'Hadar go against orders.
Sisko: Keevan doesn't deserve the unwavering loyalty you're giving him.
Remata'Klan: He does not have to earn my loyalty, Captain. He has had it from the moment I was conceived. I am a Jem'Hadar. He is a Vorta. It is the order of things.
Sisko: Do you really want to give up your life for the 'order of things'?
Remata'Klan: It is not my life to give up, Captain – and it never was.
- Worthy Opponent: Remata'Klan is arguably one of the most honorable Jem'Hadar ever portrayed.