Recap: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 07 E 08 The Siege Of AR 558

The Defiant makes a supply run to planet AR-558, the site of a Dominion communications relay that Starfleet captured. The relay has been under constant siege, with the crew defending it overdue to be relieved by a new crew. Sisko, Bashir, Nog, and Quark find themselves stuck on the planet and having to help hold the relay against a Jem'hadar batallion, while dealing with deadly Dominion booby-traps.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Battle Trophy: Reese keeps a necklace of Ketracel-White tubes hung around his neck. Episode writer Ira Steven Behr called this "about as grisly as we could get on Star Trek".
  • Break the Cutie: Nog gets shot, and his leg is amputated.
  • Darker and Edgier: One of the darkest episodes of the whole franchise, providing a wholesale Deconstruction of Roddenberry's vision of an ideal future humanity.
  • Due to the Dead/Continuity Nod: Sisko still reads the lists of those killed in the war.
  • Hoist By Their Own Petard: The Starfleeters use the Jem'Hadars' "houdinis" against them.
  • Hold the Line: Sisko's order to the remaining troops.
  • Humans Are Warriors : Quark explains to Nog what Hew-mons are like beneath the Mary Sue Topia:
    "Let me tell you something about Hew-mons, nephew. They're a wonderful, friendly people - as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts... deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers... put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time... and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people will become as nasty and violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon. You don't believe me? Look at those faces, look at their eyes..."
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: An engineer, not a magician.
  • New Meat: The relief troops at the end.
    Reese: Children.
    Sisko: Not for long.
  • Not So Different: Quark spends a lot of the episode moralizing, but in the end he drops the superior attitude, picks up a phaser, and proves that when push comes to shove he can be just as ruthless as any hew-mon.
  • Papa Wolf: Quark was quick to defend his injured nephew in the quickest and most efficient way possible: By shooting the enemy that was about to attack them.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The invisible floating mines are a disturbing In-Universe example.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Everyone at AR-558 - they were supposed to be rotated out after 90 days. They've been there five months with no relief and under constant attack to the point they went from 147 troops to just 43 by the time the Defiant shows up.
  • Shout-Out: The battle plays out much like the film Zulu. There's even a scene where Jem'Hadar are expended merely to test the defenses of the camp (of course, these Jem'Hadar were holograms).
    • All of the soldiers stationed on AR-558 were named after characters or actors from the WWII movie Hell Is For Heroes.
  • Soldiers at the Rear: Both engineers, Nog and the poor guy assigned to keep AR558 running.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: During the battle
  • War Is Hell: This episode shows no glory, no love of battle. Just the harshness and a piece of rock which no one would care about if not for the technology put there.
  • You Are in Command Now: Lt. Larkin was left in command at AR-558 after Captain Loomis and Commander Parker were killed prior to Sisko's arrival. He takes command as the senior officer when the Defiant is forced to retreat.