When it becomes apparent that Gowron is sabotaging the war effort in order to bolster his political career, Commander Worf is forced to take extreme measures to prevent the destruction of the Klingon fleet. Back in the Dominion, Kira assists Damar's resistance movement, but some of the Cardassians are not happy to be taking orders from a Bajoran. When the motley crue attempts to steal a Breen weapon from a Dominion starbase, the team is pushed to the breaking point. On the station, Bashir and O'Brien come up with a scheme to find a cure for the morphogenic virus, and not a second to late; behind enemy lines, Odo's condition takes a turn for the worse.
Tropes in this episode:
- Absentee Actor: Jake
- Armor-Piercing Question: After Damar gets the news that his family has been killed by the Dominion:
Damar: To kill her and my son... the casual brutality of it... the waste of life. What kind of state tolerates the murder of innocent women and children? What kind of people give those orders?
Kira: Yeah, Damar, what kind of people give those orders?
- Body Horror: Due to shapeshifting overload, Odo's body begins to gruesomely decay.
- False Flag Operation: Bashir and O'Brien come up with this to find the cure.
- Godzilla Threshold: Sisko telling Worf to do whatever it takes to stop Gowron. Especially since Sisko knows what the Klingon method is...
- I Will Show You X: When Rusot provokes Kira into attacking him, he casually states that he's just struck a nerve. Kira shows him what "striking a nerve" is by tightening her headlock on him.
- Klingon Promotion: Worf is forced to resort to this to save the war effort. Subverted when he refuses the cloak and passes it to Martok, who could better lead the empire.
- Mexican Standoff: Rusot has a phaser pointed at Kira and urges Damar to join him, while Garak has one pointed at Rusot. Resolved when Damar shoots Rusot himself.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Once Worf takes matters into his own hands.
Worf: You rule without wisdom and without honor. The warriors that are gathered here will not say this to you, but I will. You are squandering our ships and our lives in a petty act of vengeance! You do not care what happens to the Empire! You only care about Gowron!
Gowron: I should have known better than to trust you again. If you were a true Klingon I would kill you where you stand! Fortunately for you, that child's uniform shields you from your rightful fate.
Worf: (places his Starfleet com badge on the table) What I say now, I say as a member of the House of Martok, not a Starfleet officer. Gowron, son of M'Rel, you have dishonored yourself and the Empire, and you are not worthy of leading the Council.
- Reluctant Ruler: Martok, courtesy of Worf.
- Shout-Out: Worf's Kahless quote ("Great men do not seek power... they have power thrust upon them") paraphrases a quote from the letter Malvolia reads in Twelfth Night.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Thot Pran for Thot Gor.
- The Unfettered: When Worf explains the Klingon situation to him, Sisko tells him to resolve it any way he can.
"Do whatever it takes, Mister Worf. Those Klingon ships out there are the only thing between us and the Breen. Gowron is risking the safety of the entire Alpha Quadrant, and he has to stop."
- Undying Loyalty: Martok unfailingly follows Gowron's orders, even after Worf makes him see what is going on.
"I will fight any battle. Anywhere. For the empire."
- Uriah Gambit: Gowron's way of dealing with Martok. Fails the first time, and Worf keeps a second attempt from happening.
- We Can Rule Together: Rusot wants to help Damar restore the old Cardassia. Damar responds by shooting him, saying that the old Cardassia's dead.