Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 06 E 06 Sacrifice Of Angels
The 600 ride into the jaws of death, into the mouth of hell.

The resolution of a six-episode arc, and a direct sequel to Favor the Bold, Sacrifice of Angels follows Sisko, again in command of Defiant, and the displaced Deep Space Nine crew on the mission to retake the station from dominion forces.

After a series of costly defeats at the hands of Dominion forces, the Federation Alliance must stop Gul Dukat from dismantling the minefield at the mouth of the Wormhole. So, without the support of the reluctant Klingon High Council, the severely undermanned Federation fleet sets off on Operation Return to take back Deep Space Nine.

To get there, however, they'll have to go through a Dominion Fleet that outnumbers them more than two-to-one.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: The Dominion had completely ignored the Prophets until this point, using the wormhole as a simple Black Box transportation system. When Sisko stirs them up to defend their adopted people, the Dominion learns to their great cost that it was a mistake to underestimate the gods of Bajor. They only intervene once, but it turns the war around at a stroke.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Hell, yeah. Naturally, the Klingons join in.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Several in the course of the episode.
    • Worf and Martok bringing the Klingon fleet into the battle.
    • Odo and his deputies.
    • Quark, to even his surprise.
  • Big "NO!": Dukat when Ziyal is killed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The good guys retake the station, but Ziyal is killed and Dukat is reduced to a shell of a man.
  • Bond One-Liner: Odo delivers one after his deputies mow down a Jem'Hadar squad.
    "Never underestimate the element of surprise."
  • Call-Back: Sisko wins that barrel of bloodwine from Martok. Sisko declares that they'll drink it together.
  • The Cavalry: The Defiant's escorts have been destroyed, there's a squad of Jem'Hadar fighters hot on their tail...and suddenly, green disruptor fire obliterates those ships. The Klingons decloak and strike hard into the Dominion's flank.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The station's Bajoran security force and their guns.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Garak tries to lighten the mood with some commentary, even as consoles are exploding right next to him.
    "Congratulations, Captain! You wanted them angry, they're angry!"
  • Deus ex Wormhole: As if there was any other way to stop thousands of Jem'Hadar ships... Sisko had to goad the Prophets into doing it though.
  • Die Hard on DS9: Quark is the only one who's not detained by Damar, allowing him to free them and help take back the station.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Dukat complains that neither Sisko or the Bajorans ever respected the effort he put in on their behalf. Weyoun barely humors him, and even laughs when he brings up Sisko.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted. Weyoun is already concerned about the logistical nightmare that will be actually garrisoning the Alpha Quadrant.
  • Endangered Soufflé: Though not because it was poorly cooked—because the guard's face fell into it.
  • Foil: The conversation between Dukat and Weyoun highlights the differences between the former's ego and the latter's pragmatism. Dukat toasts himself for a victory that he hasn't won yet, while Weyoun warns him that their fortunes can still go south. Weyoun then wants to annihilate Earth's population to prevent any rebellions from starting there, while Dukat would rather keep everyone alive so that they can acknowledge his greatness.
  • Foreshadowing: The female changeling predicting that Odo will rejoin the Greak Link eventually.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Odo's dilemma between returning to the Great Link or remaining loyal to his solid friends comes to a head, now that his friends' lives or way of life are in peril. He chooses loyalty over the Link.
  • Go Ye Heroes, Go and Die: Bashir and O'Brien reciting The Charge of the Light Brigade was not helpful. Nog straight-up asks them to stop, and the Chief realizes it was a bad idea when Garak asks how it ends.
  • Gul Obvious: Damar.
    Damar: The Defiant has opened fire on us!
    Weyoun: Obviously!
  • Guns Akimbo: Quark during his Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Gunship Rescue: More accurately, an Armada Rescue. A Klingon armada, with Worf and General Martok at the fore, swoops in just in the nick of time.
  • Infraction Distraction: Quark repeatedly asks the Cardassian jail guard not to mess with the Hasperat soufflé he's bringing Kira. This prompts him to inspect it more closely—and Ziyal sedates him.
  • Ironic Echo: Ziyal confesses to her father that she helped sabotage the station. Overhearing this, Damar shoots her without a second thought. Ziyal betrayed her father, making her a traitor and thus an enemy of the state, and as Dukat said in the last episode, "enemies of the state don't deserve mercy."
  • Jail Bake: Subverted with the Hasperat soufflé—it doesn't actually contain anything; it's just there to distract the guard while Ziyal hits him with the off-button hypospray.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: When Quark brings a plate of Hasperat soufflé for major Kira in her holding cell, the Cardassian jail guard believes this is a horribly transparent attempt to smuggle something in to help Kira escape. He's seemingly vindicated when Quark gets nervous about him poking at it. But all of this was just a distraction allowing Ziyal to administer a hypospray to knock him out so the two of them could get inside and reach the holding cells.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em / Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: With the Federation Alliance winning the battle and Dominion reinforcements not coming, as well as DS9's weapons being knocked offline by sabotage, Weyoun and the Founder rather casually decide it's time to leave DS9.
    Weyoun: (Claps hands) Time to start packing!
  • Last Stand: One ship against 2800, and Sisko orders the Defiant into the wormhole anyway in order to live up to her name.
    SF Debris!Sisko: "I don't expect to be able to stop much more than half of them, but maybe we'll get lucky!"
  • Literal-Minded: Holding the Jem'Hadar guards at gunpoint, Quark says "Nobody move!" and then tells them to open the cells. Of course, they don't move, because Quark told them not to.
  • Madness Mantra: Dukat.
  • Must Make Amends: Odo makes up for his lapse in judgment two episodes ago via a Big Damn Heroes moment, and then covering for Kira and Rom as they attempt to stop the Dominion from destroying the minefield.
  • Neutral No Longer: Sisko gave a "What the Hell, Hero?" speech to the Prophets over the Dominion War, which convinced them to ensure that no Dominion reinforcements will ever make it through the Wormhole... including a monstrous armada already transiting it. The armada just... disappears.
  • Never My Fault: When Weyoun brings up the failed occupation of Bajor as reason to be wary of the even bigger job of occupying the entire Alpha Quadrant, Dukat insists that he only carried out policy which was laid out by others, thinking he'd have done a better job if he were the one in charge.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Weyoun thinks that the Dominion should eradicate Earth's population after taking it over, believing that any organized resistance against the Dominion will start there. Dukat is aghast, as he believes victory means nothing if your enemies aren't made to accept that they were wrong to oppose you.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Dukat breaks out a bottle of kanar and toasts to himself and Weyoun as the "conquerors of the Federation." Weyoun naturally starts wondering why he's already celebrating a victory that's not been achieved yet.
    Weyoun: Aren't you being a bit premature?
    Dukat: I don't think so. Not with twenty eight hundred Dominion ships waiting to come through that wormhole.
    Weyoun: Those ships aren't going to be here for another five hours, and need I remind you a lot can happen in that amount of time.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Quark gets this expression when Kira, Jake, and Leeta are taken prisoner, realizing it's up to him to get them (and Rom) back out.
    • The whole bridge crew to the size of the Dominion fleet.
    • And again when they see the minefield blocking the wormhole destroyed.
    • The Dominion gets a turn when the Defiant emerges from the wormhole...and the Dominion ships don't.
  • Red Shirt: The Miranda-class starship seems to be showing its age, as shown in this episode. It's the first in a series of battles that shows their surprisingly high attrition rate amounting to little more than cannon fodder (which is largely due to clips of this battle, especially the Defiant's escorts being destroyed, being reused in almost every subsequent battle in the series).
  • Shout-Out: O'Brien and Bashir quote Lord Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade". Appropriately, as there are around 600 Starfleet ships in the fleet. It leads to an Analogy Backfire when Garak asks how the poem ends.
  • Status Quo Is God: After the status quo was broken in the fifth season finale, it's finally brought back with the Federation retaking Deep Space Nine from the Cardassians and the Dominion.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The minefield is destroyed in the spectacular explosion that Dukat promised.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: A rare villainous example, as Ziyal is killed basically just so that Dukat could have a breakdown.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: The Founder orders a full withdrawal from Federation space.
  • Take Up My Sword: Sisko makes this an order to the fleet - anyone who breaks through the Dominion lines is to make a run straight for Deep Space Nine. Initially, the Defiant is the only ship that succeeds. But by the end of the battle more Alliance ships manage to slip out of the meat grinder.
  • Tempting Fate: When Damar reports that the Defiant has slipped through their blockade, Weyoun orders the ship pursued and destroyed. However, Dukat countermands that, choosing to rely on the station's weapons array. Said weapons are disabled by Rom just in time to allow the Defiant to enter the wormhole.
  • This Cannot Be!: Dukat can barely process that the battle has turned against them just as they were on the cusp of total victory.
  • Time for Plan B: As the Defiant is rushing back to DS9, Jadzia suggests that Sisko come up with a Plan B. When they see the minefield destroyed, Sisko reveals the new plan: fly into the wormhole and stand against the coming Dominion armada.
    Jadzia: One ship against a fleet? That's a helluva Plan B.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: During the battle, Dukat orders the Cardassian fleet to open a hole in their lines. Sisko immediately knows it's a trap, but decides that flying into it is the only way to break through.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Dukat when the Dominion fleet doesn't come through the wormhole and it becomes clear that The Federation and the Klingons are winning the battle. Made worse by Ziyal's death.
  • Visual Effects of Awesomeinvoked: The first time Star Trek really used CGI to its full potential, pulling off a bigger battle scene than ever seen before. Particular mention goes to the early moment when a huge Galaxy-class ship thrusts towards the enemy...only for a second to fly in front at an angle and start blasting away at the Cardassians with its phasers. Unsurprisingly, this scene was repeatedly reused as Stock Footage for battles in future episodes.
    • There's also the Klingons Big Damn Heroes moment, where a Klingon fleet arrives in the nick of time, dramatically lit with a sun behind them as they charge into the fray. This shot was also reused in at least one later episode.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sisko chewing out the Prophets for not being inclined to help him. They accede, but at a cost to be exacted later.
  • You Are Too Late: Kira and Rom's sabotage of the weapons array is too late to prevent the Dominion from destroying the minefield. It does, however, come in handy when the Defiant arrives at the wormhole (as the Dominion can't stop the ship from entering); also, after the Deus ex Wormhole mentioned above, the station is defenseless against the Defiant and the other ships who have broken through the line.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: Garak asks how "The Charge of the Light Brigade" ends. O'Brien replies with this—which basically answers Garak's question.