After months of enduring heavy losses against the Dominion/Cardassian forces, Sisko presents a plan to take the offensive in the war. He convinces Starfleet Command to commit to 'Operation Return:' the recapture of Deep Space Nine. Unfortunately, Damar figures out a way to deactivate the minefield at the mouth of the wormhole within a week; forcing Starfleet to send its fleet before it's ready, without Klingon support.
On the station, an incarcerated Rom and an indifferent Odo means that La Résistance
has very little chance of preventing Damar from taking down the mines before Starfleet arrives.
This episode provides examples of:
- Batman Gambit: The Defiant crew fake damage to the ship in order to lure some Jem'Hadar ships into an ambush.
- Berserk Button: Do NOT manhandle Tora Ziyal in front of Major Kira.
- Big Brother Instinct: As Rom becomes resigned to his fate:
Quark: Besides, do you think your big brother would let anything happen to you?
Rom: What can you do?
Quark: I'm not sure, but I will think of something. No matter what it takes, no matter what I have to do, I'm going to get you out of here.
- Chekhov's Gun: Morn visiting his mother.
- Darkest Hour: The Federation learns the minefield will soon come down, allowing a massive Dominion fleet to come through the wormhole. Lacking the time for additional Starfleet ships or Klingon support to arrive, Sisko has no choice but to take a limited fleet into battle.
- Field Promotion: Nog goes from Cadet to Ensign after spending months on the front lines. O'Brien jokes he didn't know the war was going that badly.
- Genre Savvy/Foreshadowing: Damar tells Ziyal that her father knows the alliance with the Dominion is a dangerous one, and if Cardassia shows any weakness, they will become the Dominion's scapegoats. This is what eventually happens in Season 7.
- "Hell Yes" Moment: When Jadzia says they need a big victory to turn the war around, Sisko tells her he intends to propose a major plan to the brass.
"We're going to retake Deep Space 9."
- Hidden in Plain Sight: The Federation receives word that the minefield around the wormhole is coming down from Morn - Kira's Resistance cell had it encoded on the ribbon he used to wrap his mother's birthday present.
- I Like Those Odds: Averted. Everyone is shocked when they run into a Dominion fleet that outnumbers them two to one. But Sisko knows they have to try and push through anyway. Cue Title Drop.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: See: Berserk Button.
- Oh Crap: Damar's reaction upon learning that the Federation fleet is heading for the station. Of course, Dukat is more immediately concerned with what happened with Ziyal.
- Title Drop: "There's an old saying: Fortune favors the bold. Well, I guess we're about to find out."
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: Said to Quark.