Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Go To

    open/close all folders 


     Station Design 
  • This is probably nitpicking in the extreme but - what is up with the station design? The landing pads work fine, but the other docking ports are mystifying. The docking ring - why are the ports recessed? The Pylons - why are they oriented inwards? Perhaps it has something to do with the shield grid, but recessed ports would limit what kinds of craft can fit into those slots and inward-facing pylons limit the ultimate size of craft that can dock there as well as increasing the chance of collision between arriving/departing craft.
    • Alien Geometries at it's finest. Since the station was designed and built by the Cardassians, it probably made sense to them.
    • To be honest a more pressing question is: why is it so small? Or rather, why is a station so small so important when the Federation can churn out things hundreds of times that size? The actual size of the station makes sense in terms of its original purpose as a mining and command platform, but it's far too small. Bajor still owns the place but Starfleet runs and defends the station.
    • The Cardassians probably didn't plan on having non-Cardassian ships dock at Terok Nor with any frequency. It could also be that there are retractable gondolas that extend from the docking ring to accommodate larger ships. Collisions are probably not that common if you can have a Galaxy-class ship maneuverable enough to fly through the doors of Earth's Spacedock. As for why Starfleet didn't build another station, remember that DS9 is owned by Bajor and the Wormhole is in their space. It's likely political and economic reasons that made Bajor insist that the gateway to the Gamma Quadrant would be a Bajoran-owned station and thus reject any Starfleet proposal to build a station of their own.
    • We saw in the pilot that the upper pylons are far enough apart for the Enterprise D to dock with them, and there are precious few ships in the Trek universe larger than a Galaxy-class.
    • Here on Earth, we built the Panama Canal to be wide enough to accommodate the largest ship at the time it was built. In DS9, the Cardassians built Terok Nor to accommodate the largest ship they had available when it was built. And, as noted, if it's big enough for a Galaxy Class, it's big enough for pretty much anything in the Next Gen universe.
      • It should be noted that the station was scaled up or down throughout the series depending on the shot. So it maybe big enough for the Enterprise-D or a Nebula-class at times, but at others it certainly didn't look it.
      • That is understandable, but the inward facing nature of the Pylons would still increase the chances of a collision or damage from engine exhaust. Turned outwards, the docked ships would have all of space's infinite vastness to maneuver in. Perhaps it has to do with balancing the station.
      • Could be to do with defense. The station was in hostile territory during the occupation after all. Having the big ships dock within the inward pylons would keep them within the stations shields more easily, and within the station's sphere of control. It would also keep the big ships out of the line of outward fire too.
    • I don't know if this would be canon, but this image shows that Cardassian ships fit the docking ports pretty well. More seriously, Terok Nor was a simple ore processing station designed specifically for Cardassian ships; I doubt the designers were overly concerned with accommodating non-Cardassians.
      • Could the pylons have been designed with the idea that a large freighter could park in between the pylons and be loaded with processed ore by more than one at a time? I recently saw an episode—I can't recall which one—with a closeup shot of one of the docking ports on an upper pylon, and there does seem to be a piece that looks like it's meant to extend and retract. It's possible that they contain some sort of conveyor system, and can extend far enough to connect to even a relatively small cargo ship parked somewhere in between all three.
    • Going back to the question of why the Federation didn't replace DS9 with a larger, more advanced, and more standardized station when it became clear how important the wormhole was, it probably comes down to politics. The Bajorans had just thrown off Cardassian occupation, so while they needed Federation help, they were uneasy about the prospect of becoming a de facto Federation colony and a significant faction opposed even the limited amount of Federation presence they did allow. Remember, according to Kira in the pilot, they can't even agree that their government is a government which is why they always preface it with "provisional"; everything about the situation is very tentative. By the time the Bajorans had gotten chummy enough with the Feds that they might have been able to give them the okay to put in a much larger station with a much larger Starfleet presence without causing rioting in the streets, there was a war on, so arming what they already had to the teeth probably made more logistical sense than diverting enough resources and manpower to replace it and enough ships to defend both the system and supply lines during construction.
      • This theory might be supported by the seemingly complete lack of Starfleet facilities or personnel on the planet surface. In both TOS and TNG, we've seen that when Starfleet has a space station near a planet, there tends to be a corresponding planet-side facility. Even after the station is moved a significant distance from Bajor—far enough away that a commuter shuttle trip between DS9 and Bajor takes a couple hours—however, there doesn't seem to be even a single member of Starfleet based on the planet's surface. As devastated as the Cardassians left the planet and its people, one would expect that the Bajorans would be eager to have federation hospitals to provide medical relief, and the Starfleet equivalent of the Army Corps of Engineers to help rebuild vital infrastructure and mitigate the ecological damage, yet they're conspicuously absent throughout the series.
      • You really didn't pay attention. Throughout the series it's made very clear that the Cardassian occupation made Bajorans very wary about having occupying forces on their planet. And while Starfleet would not be there as an occupying force, having a bunch of non-Bajorans walking around in uniforms would have escalated tensions way too high. Bajor basically had to join the Federation before any amount of Starfleet presence on the planet would have been even slightly acceptable.
      • If you read the previous two entries a little more carefully, you'll notice that's actually the exact point that they were making: Starfleet didn't replace the station with something better because doing so would be politically unacceptable to the Bajorans, and pointing out the lack of any Starfleet presence on Bajor's surface as evidence to support that theory. Both also based their extrapolations on observations about the subtext of Bajor's relationship with the Federation, proving that the tropers were, in fact, paying attention.

     Beam me to the next star system, Scotti'klan! 
  • "Covenant" confirms that the Dominion has transporter technology that can transport somebody multiple light years (as presumably Dukat did with himself earlier in "Tears of the Prophet"... this may also solve the question of what happened to Eris at the end of "The Jem'hadar"). I realize that the franchise often ducks the bigger implications of transporter technology (and also that the maximum beaming distance is a matter of great inconsistency), but that sounds like a huge technological advantage — almost enough to make space travel redundant! Why use a troop transport ship when you could just beam troops away while sitting comfortably in your home base? Why lug cargo around when you could just transport it? Sure, there may be explanations as to why this technology needs to be used sparingly (perhaps it's super-duper energy intensive), but all the same, reaction to it is surprisingly blasé. I would think that Starfleet would immediately go "go to get our hands on that!"
    • Indeed, the maximum transporter range is given in TNG as 40 000 km. That wouldn't even be enough to transport a person from Earth to the moon... only about a tenth of the way. The Dominion transporters, if they can cover three light years thanks to a "homing transporter" Hand Wave, have a range about 137 million times farther than those of Federation transporters. I would say that's quite a technology gap!
    • That Ferengi that hated Picard had a transporter system with similar range, it was just horribly dangerous. The Dominion obviously worked out the kinks. The technology gap isn't that big. Besides, three light-years isn't that much. The distance between solar systems is greater. The best they could do is invade systems while hanging at the outer rim, and Federation sensor technology has been shown to detect things well in excess of that.
      • We have it on "Covenant's" authority that the Bajoran system and wherever Empok Nor is are less than three light years apart (true, this is awfully close in real-world stellar terms, but Star Trek is often bad at that). Bok's subspace transporter and the dimensional shift of "The High Ground" open up a similar puzzle — these technologies work wonders, even beaming through shields, yet they are treated as verboten because they are hazardous to biological matter. So why not use them for the purposes of shipping (or weaponize them?)? Mind you, that same objection applies to The Fly, too.
      • I always assumed that weaponizing the transporters was something that was a sort of unspoken agreement among all parties not to do, mostly out of enlightened self interest. If someone actually succeeded at this on a scale of using it in their military routinely, the other side would get their hands on it eventually and start doing the same thing to you. Warfare would soon focus entirely on nothing but beaming explosives through shields, and the death toll for everyone involved would be catastrophic. So instead they just say "You know what, let's build better energy weapons, they won't be in such a hurry to copy those and they're a lot more reliable."
      • Sorry, but that just doesn't work. Aside from all the powers (eg. The Dominion, the Obsidian Order, TOS Klingons) who are ruthless enough to resort to such "underhand" tactics whatever some treaty says, the Borg are never going to sign up to any Geneva Convention equivalent in any case because they just don't negotiate.
      • It probably should be noted that there's a sort of area denial weapon in the Star Trek universe called a 'transport scrambler.' These devices don't turn transporters into an offensive weapon; rather, they make it risky or impossible to materialize in a specific area, probably—if the name is anything to go on—by inflicting some nightmarish Body Horror.
      • There is also a very good reason why the Klingons, Romulans, or Cardassians don't use transporter weapons. They have not only the Federation outside their borders to contend with, but each has rebellious/insurrectionist forces within their own population to contend with. Let the political rebels get the idea that transporters can be weapons as well as transport and suddenly keeping a lid on their population gets a whole lot more difficult. So there is probably a quiet agreement not to use them in case it gives their opposition-at-home ideas.
      • As for why no one uses it for cargo transport, there could be lots of reasons. It's possible that it's dangerous for inorganic matter too (beam over a bunch of self-sealing stem bolts, get a mangled box of fused metal). Or someone may have crunched the numbers and found that because of how the long-range transporters work, it's actually less energy efficient than just sending a cargo ship instead. Sure it's probably not as fast, but if the problem's so severe that your own facilities can't handle it and you can't wait three days for a cargo ship you're probably screwed anyway.
    • In the Star Trek canon, Scotty (after he ended up in the 24th century during the events of Relics) developed "transwarp beaming" for the Federation, which allows transport of distances on the order of light years. It took him a bit of time to do it though, so the Federation didn't have it available (yet) by the time of DS9. Transwarp beaming became commonly available in the Federation after the events of Voyager and Nemesis, and Spock Prime took information about this technology back in time with him to the alternate timeline of the new Star Trek movies. Here, he showed it to the younger Scotty, who got it working with the 23rd century tech of the time. "It never occurred to me to think of space as the thing that was moving." It was used in both Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. So the answer is, YES the Federation has this technology, they just don't have it YET during DS9/Voyager.
      • Even here, Scotty ended up in a water pipe and almost drowned. Even if you can calculate the movements to get someone to another planet or ship, you don't have the current sensor data to assess the current situation. This would be dangerous in a war zone. Most likely, it would require specific permanent transport points and even schedules to be performed safely.

     Using phasers like firearms 
  • DS9 introduced the concept of a "phaser sweep": using a phaser set to emit a widely-dispersed, continuous beam to root out hidden Changelings. They used it at a low power setting so it wouldn't damage the scenery, but in "The Rapture", we see Sisko use a phaser on a high-dispersal setting to burn through a wall of solid rock. Not to mention the fact that phaser beams are beam weapons, and can be continuously. But when we get into combat with Jem'Hadar, all we ever see people use are short bursts with no dispersal, essentially as if they were firing bullets. You shoot and you either hit or you miss. Why doesn't anyone ever seem to realize they're holding a beam weapon? If I had four or five Jem'Hadar confronting me, all bunched up in a group a ways off with no collateral damage I had to avoid causing, the first thing I would try is throwing a grenade at them. But since this is Star Trek and I apparently don't have any grenades, I would instead use the phaser I had in my hand and fire a continuous sweep from left to right across their group, or set my phaser to a wide-dispersal beam and just hose down the whole area with energy. It's a lot harder to miss that way. And yet no one ever does. Why is that?
    • In "The Siege of AR-558" one of the grunts hands out "extra power cells" to the troops guarding the perimeter, giving the implication that much like the "energy cells" in video games, a phaser battery offers a limited number of shots, and perhaps those wide-beam sweeps are like firing a real-life machine gun on full-auto (which in real life will exhaust the magazine in seconds.)
    • One time we see something like that is in "Blaze Of Glory", when Sisko is carrying a Jem'Hadar weapon. He sweeps a room with energy bursts, machine gun-style, to root out shrouded Jem'Hadar warriors. But earlier in the episode, during a firefight in which he was holding his phaser, he never thought of any sort of beam sweep.
    • Battery life? The sweeps were specifically stated as being low power, but actually burning through the rock would require a higher drain. Sure, you could probably set the phaser to do that, but then one's in trouble if the enemy is behind cover and one's got a paperweight rather than a phaser. Also, this Troper swears he can remember an episode (not sure which series) where someone fires a phaser on a group of people stunning them all at once.
      • You may be thinking of "The Return of the Archons."
      • Also "A Piece of the Action" did it with the ship's phasers to the surface. They were even able to omit the building Kirk was in and just stun the surrounding neighborhood.
      • Update: The episode this Troper was thinking of was Star Trek Voyager's Cathexis where Tuvok stuns everyone on the bridge and later refers to having his phaser on "wide beam dispersal". Oddly, it looked like it was multiple beams each targeting an individual rather than just a broad sweep.
    • Jake Sisko does this in Nor the Battle to the Strong and accidentally collapses a cave. Obviously he's not a trained member of Starfleet, and he was terrified out of his mind at the time, but it does establish that phaser rifles can be used to sweep an area on a high setting for at least short bursts. One would think that that would be very useful in a pinch.
      • A Klingon also sweeps an area with his disruptor pistol in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Out of universe, it's easy to see why Star Trek generally avoids this; the special effect of that scene, despite being skillfully done from a technical standpoint, just looks bizarre on screen.
    • There could also be an issue of cycle-time. This would probably affect hand-phasers more than rifles, but even with larger weapons it could still be an issue. So, firing a high-power dispersal burst might take out the first wave of infantry, but if there's another right behind them and you're waiting for your phaser to recharge, then you're pretty much dead. The only way those kinds of dispersal bursts would be effective in infantry combat would be as a picket weapon, preferably with at least two other soldiers firing in tight-beam while the guy firing burst mode waits for their phaser to come back online.
      • The dispersal burst may have a more limited range than the tight beam mode. This would really make it only useful for close quarters fighting. Granted this is what we see most often on the show, but if cycle time is an issue it would severely limit burst mode in close quarters, especially against enemies like Klingons and Jem'Hadar who are proficient with edged weapons. By the time your phaser comes back up, you've got a bat'leth in your chest.
      • Battery life is good, but not more important than dispatching the opponents immediately in front of you; if you shoot one opponent of five and his four comrades then kill you, the battery capacity you saved with your tight burst will be wasted. And we're in a post-scarcity society, and phasers are light, so no reason troops shouldn't have two phasers, one on wide beam and one on tight burst, as standard equipment. Obviously they have to limit technology use which would break the combat scenarios they want to show.
    • Even in TOS phaser 1 (the smaller flat less powerful version), could easily stun a crowd of people.

     Jem'Hadar anticoagulant disruptors (+ the mission in "Change of Heart") 
  • By the time "Change Of Heart" rolled around, Worf and Jadzia already knew that a hit from a Jem'Hadar disruptor leaves an anticoagulant in the victim's system, making the wound keep bleeding without stopping. They knew this because they were both present on a mission where they lost someone because of it. And they knew that they were going in on a mission in a Dominion-controlled world. As part of this mission, they brought first aid supplies along. So why did they not think to bring any counter-anticoagulant agent? Surely Bashir has had plenty of time to work out something that would work to help people who have been hit by a Jem'Hadar disruptor...
    • I'll go earlier: Why would you ever put Worf and Jadzia together on a solo mission in the first place? But yes, I agree with you.
      • Production-wise, this episode was considered as being where Jadzia dies rather than the last episode of the season - Worf does complete the mission but not quickly enough to save Jadzia, causing even more angst as he blames himself for her demise. Jadzia's actress was onboard with the idea, but it was ultimately nixed. Whether the episode was designed as an exit episode or simply lent itself to be considered as such, this Troper is not sure.
    • I've always thought it was a bit of a dirty trick to have Kira be the one to send Worf and Jadzia on that ill-fated mission together, rather than Sisko. If it had been Sisko, he would lose moral authority in the final scene on account of being partially responsible for everything that happened.
      • Dirty trick maybe, but it's also the only way the situation makes any sense within the context of the show. For Sisko to send Worf and Dax would have been an Idiot Ball moment, whereas Kira is probably not fluent in the nuances of Starfleet protocols for personnel assignment. More to the point, they wouldn't make any sense to her. For a resistance fighter, going into a dangerous mission with close members of your family isn't unusual, it's just how it is. In Real Life, part of being a successful resistance fighter is assuming from the start everyone you've ever cared about is dead. Either they're in the struggle same as you, or if they're civilians then they'll be arrested/tortured/murdered by the occupying power out to get to you. Either way, they're dead. So for Kira, the idea that Worf would choose his wife over the mission simply didn't register as a real possibility the way it probably should have.
      • To the above content: this is exactly why there should be an explicit policy on not sending romantic partners on such missions together, and that it should not be left to the discretion of Kira or any other commanding officer.
      • To be fair, the episode does try to cover this objection by presenting it as an example of "mission creep"... Worf and Dax are sent merely to receive a message, and then circumstance compels them to go collect the informant themselves. But I don't think it really works, because it ultimately underlines why couples should probably never be on any missions together, let alone solo missions, since shifting priorities are always possible.

    Eat at Quark's? Why? 
  • Food on Deep Space Nine; all of the crew and civilian quarters have food replicators, Ops has food replicators, and there's even a cafe-like area in the Promenade called the Replimat, which has, you guessed it, food replicators. Hell, even Quark's has a food replicator that he uses to serve customers. So, with so many chances to get free food from just about anywhere on the station, why are there so many snack shops and restaurants on the Promenade? I mean, sure, some people would prefer real food prepared by hand instead of the replicated stuff, but if Quark's has a replicator to create orders for his customers, it's likely the other restaurants and food establishments on the station have them, as well.
    • Most of it's probably for the social factor, you don't just go to restaurants to eat, do you? Speaking of replicators, why is it that human life still has the tiniest bit of value? There used to be some Hand Wave about Heisenburg compensators and transport buffers that would make the replication of human beings impractical, but that little incident with Riker basically blew that all away. Even if it's morally reprehensible, why haven't we run across somebody pumping out identical slaves/soldiers/colonists with transporter equipment yet?
    • That was a Freak Lab Accident, the effect's never been duplicated since then.
      • We do: The Jem'Hadar and the Vorta.
      • No, those are explicitly stated as genetically engineered clones.
      • We also have a classic ep of Next Generation called "The Measure of a Man", which establishes - in the context of how easy it would be to create an army of Datas - how seriously the Federation takes the rights of individual sentient beings for just this reason.
    • It regularly comes up that Cardassian technology is completely shitty. It may just be that crew quarter replicators aren't that good, while the ones on the Promenade would get more attention from the Engineering crew, etc. That, and presumably (since the Federation doesn't seem to have any money, except for the times when it does) the crew is getting paid by the Bajoran government, and they have no other use for that money besides wasting time in the Holosuites and food.
      • This explanation is actually confirmed, albeit vaguely, in the very first episode. Jake asks Sisko, "Dad, is THAT the food replicator?" in an incredulous, disgusted tone. Sisko tells him they'll have to rough it for awhile. Given how much retrofitting is on O'Brien's plate all the time, it's likely he never got around to upgrading the replicators, and thus the restaurant food could be considerably better. Quark could also have a better replicator in the interest of providing a better product for higher profits.
      • It's mentioned many times that Rom has jury-rigged Quark's replicators. Since he's a Genius Ditz it seems reasonable to assume he souped them up a bit (no pun intended).
    • On Voyager, crew members occasionally talk about replicator rations (saving them up, gambling with them, restricted them when needed, and so on). Although Voyager was far away from Starfleet (and thus supplies), given that the Federation has obviously finite resources and is a basically communist society, it would be hard to imagine that they don't have some kind of rationing system. It's easy to see how someone could prefer to spend money they had obtained and save their rations, and such.
      • I would not describe the Federation economy as being Communist, so much as provisionally post-scarcity. Communism and post-scarcity are not the same things; Communism implies equal per-person rations of a scarce/finite resource, whereas post-scarcity implies limitless consumption of an infinite resource. In other words, renewable resources of whatever kind would be effectively infinite, and so in their specific case, practical post-scarcity would apply. This would be due not only to matter replication technology, but vast improvements in agricultural technology. Non-renewable or rare resources, on the other hand, would still need to be managed by something like Capitalism; and it is important to remember that the regulation of scarcity, was the primary reason for the existence of Capitalism as an ideology in the first place.

        This is an important distinction to make. The reason why most people can't differentiate between post-scarcity and Communism, is because most people can not truly comprehend post-scarcity, and so they therefore fail to understand that the reason why Communism is not the same thing, is because Communism was a system which was still intended to regulate scarcity; just ideally in an equitable manner. Star Trek aside, we actually have the technology to achieve limited post-scarcity in the area of certain very specific resources right now, but the reason why so far, at least, the idea is not tolerated, is because Capitalism itself requires scarcity in order to survive; and Capitalist advocates tend to be scared of the idea that it would render Capitalism redundant; when in reality, because some things would still be scarce, Capitalism would still be very necessary.
      • How does it logically follow that capitalism would still be very necessary? With only a few scare resources, a system that equitably rations these resources for all Federation members would be inherently more inefficient than a Capitalist system, which is actually massively wasteful but is good at producing fantastic surpluses for a relatively small portion of the total population. And without everyday scarcity it's hard to imagine how exactly where any individual economic advantage from capitalist accumulation would come from. This isn't to say some type of market exchange wouldn't still take place, but market exchange in itself is not sine-qua-non to Capitalism. There's no canonical evidence of any type of Capitalist activity or enterprise taking place within the Federation, and there's even a (rather Anvilicious) repudiation of Capitalist ideology against a straw capitalist in the TNG episode The Neutral Zone
      • Given that replicator rations aren't mentioned or even alluded to in any other Star Trek series, it seems likely that their existence on Voyager was solely a result of their isolation. With both fuel and raw material for the replicators being finite, it makes sense to limit replicator use when you can never be sure when you'll be able to resupply again. And using them like money makes sense too, because in their situation actual money would be quite worthless: they're thousands of light-years away from any merchants who'd actually take whatever forms of currency they might have.
      • Actually, while replicator rations are not alluded to anywhere else, other forms of rations are. At the very least, transporter rations (on Earth) are mentioned on Deep Space Nine.
      • Transporter Rations only seem to apply at the Academy (presumably teaching discipline or some such), and it is stated on Voyager that the rations are introduced to save on fuel since they don't know where to look in the Delta Quadrant.
      • The reference is made by Jake Sisko regarding his dad still going home for dinner every night by beaming over from the Academy. He refers to 'Transporter Credits' rather than rations, suggesting that each person is only allocated a set amount of resources that they can tap into. It's important to remember that the Federation was not a 'everything's free' society, but one where people had to apply for jobs and run households like today. The manner of resource redistribution and the provision for everyone in society is the primary difference.
    • The sense I got from Deep Space Nine was that different replicators have for lack of a better word. So you might be able to get your favorite meal from the replicator's in Quarks, but not from the Replimat. The same could easily go for every snack shop and restaurant on the promenade.
      • The Replimat was also very likely a Federation creation whereas Quark's would likely offer a broader menu. I can't imagine the Replimat dispensing huge amounts of unhealthy food and alcohol to people 'on shift' whereas Quark's was far more relaxed.
    • The reasoning, based especially on the way characters describe their favorite dishes, is probably that while everyone has replicators, not everyone has the recipes that go with those replicators, which are probably regarded as intellectual property in the same way that Coke, Pepsi and KFC have their recipes copyrighted (and we've seen in episodes such as the Doc's holonovel that intellectual property rights are still alive and kicking in the Federation). Quark may serve the best synthahol around thanks to a particular replicator recipe that only he's got the right to use on Deep Space Nine, while a rival shop may serve an unbeatable version of lemon merengue pie. Both would taste better than the standard replicator menu options, since those exclusive recipes are locked out of the public database.
      • And even if your personal replicator has a really good program for, say, sausage and mushroom pizza, the word "replicator" implies that it probably produces the same sausage and mushroom pizza each time, down to the slightest detail. Even if it's excellent pizza, it could lose its appeal after a while. Loading multiple variations of the same dish would help, but it's probably easier to just go out once in a while.
    • And the Expanded Universe has references to some forms of replicator comestibles being horrible. One Data-focused book with plentiful Continuity Porn featured his Love Interest making a remark about "wine from a replicator?" as though this was the height of bad taste.
    • Some people probably enjoy the smells of real food cooking, too. Replicators can't duplicate that, or the happy anticipation it builds.
    • Who says free food is available to everyone on Deep Space Nine? Maybe replicators are only available to residents, and the various merchants and tourists who pass through are buying most of the food. It's a transport hub, remember? Plenty of those traders may not have replicator-tech.
      • Quark's isn't free. Even if he didn't rave about someone owing bar bills in 'Babel', a Ferengi would never give away a free lunch. Given the Ferengi practice Capitalism in it's most obscene form, there is probably nothing in Quark's that can't be purchased with cold hard cash (though for Federation citizens there is probably an exchange of some sort possible, given that they aren't paid in Latinum).
      • The fact it's a transport hub means a lot of people there are travelers, many of whom wouldn't have tasted Bajoran food before. Going to a snack shop or restaurant means that the proprietor can describe the options, answer questions about a dish that a replicator couldn't, and maybe point out what other customers are having, so you can make an informed choice between all the unfamiliar treats on the menu.
    • The impression I always got from the dialogue, especially in Deep Space 9, is that naturally produced food prepared by a sentient chef tastes superior to replicated food. So, if you're broke but want to go out to eat, you go to a replimat. If you have some cash on you, you go to an actual restaurant. I also always got the impression that, at Quark's the food was free but drinks, which were real, and gaming cost money, and the food was just incentive for people to hang out a little longer and maybe play a few more tables.
      • This. It's like tasting the difference between something cooked in an oven/on a hob and something cooked in a microwave.
    • Maybe people just like getting together when they eat.
    • Also, you should come to Quark's 'cause Quark's is fun; come to Quark's; don't walk, run!
  • On Deep Space Nine it's canon that gold-pressed latinum (well, the latter part) is not reproducible in the replicator. Maybe there are foods that are the same?
    • Considering replicators can't do living things and there are plenty of Klingon foods that are served live (gagh and racht, for starters), I would say yes.
  • There's also a huge psychological component to food. It might be for the same reason fancy bottled water in an expensive looking bottle that you paid money for often appeals to people when in blind taste tests they can't tell the difference between it and tap water.
    • While this is possible, I think those blind taste tests sometimes fail to take into account that not all tap water is equal. I know I've had apartments where the tap water would have tipped you off to the difference by the smell, even though it was certified as perfectly safe and clean to drink. There may be something similar with the on-station in-quarters replicators. Yes, the hot dog is perfectly safe and nourishing to eat, and someone will probably inform you that it is structurally identical to what a hot dog should be. That doesn't alleviate the fact that because of some data corruption somewhere in the system, the hot dog smells like cat puke.
  • An early episode of Voyage has the answers, apparently there is some accounting for personal taste compared to the majority. Just because nine people like how something tastes, doesn't mean the tenth person will enjoy it as well. Tom Paris procures (with some difficulty) a bowl of hot, plain, tomato soup. Upon tasting said soup, he complains;
    Tom Paris: "Ugh. Thirty varieties and it still can't get tomato soup right."
  • It's also been shown that the food created by a replicator can't always duplicate the taste and texture of the real thing. After one bite, Eddington spat his food out and lamented how he missed the taste of a fresh tomato. Next Generation showed us the troubles that the replicator had creating gagh, and that was on the flagship of the Federation. The replicators on a run down Cardassian station have to be even worse. The Klingon restaurant wouldn't last long using the replicator.
    • That's a poor example, since gagh is supposed to be eaten while the worms are alive. I don't think even the best replicator can recreate a living being. The replicators on the runabout might not be as good either, hence Eddington's disappointment. Garak also voiced his displeasure with the Earl Grey he got while on a runabout. It may be the data storage and power necessary for replicators means that they're of different quality depending on the size of the construct—runabouts are the worst and starbases the best.
    • Okay, better example. In an episode of TNG Riker invites some of his crew mates over for dinner that he makes himself, but with replicated ingredients. Worf likes it (but then he comes from a culture that eats live worms so there's no accounting for taste) but the others take one bite and are clearly disgusted, and Riker says something like "Even the best cook is only as good as his ingredients." Since it's fair to assume the most advanced ship in the Federation fleet would have the most advanced replicator technology in the federation, this strongly suggests that replicated food, or even replicated ingredients of food, will always be significantly inferior to "natural" food that has been raised, cooked, and prepared the old-fashioned way. If all you're after is a quick bite, a replicator will work. But if you want good food and you're willing to wait, you go to Quark's.
      • Or Riker isn't as good a chef as he thinks. The real problem with the replicator question is what exactly is wrong with the food. Was it programmed with a bad recipe, or is there some transcription error of sorts? If it's the former, why didn't they program a better recipe, and if it's the latter then food that doesn't taste as good should be the least of their worries—if the molecules aren't being copied right, is there hydrogen peroxide where their should be water?
      • Hard to say why replicators would replicate food "wrong" given the technology. But it may be that deconstructing and reconstructing matter down to the cellular level does something to the food that ruins the taste. It's like that scene in the 1986 remake of The Fly where Seth Brundle asks Veronica to try two different pieces of steak, one a normal steak that he cooked himself, and the other a steak he sent through the teleporter first. The steak that came out of the teleporter was made up of the exact same molecules that went into the teleporter, but it tasted weird (I believe "synthetic" was the word they used in the movie). Perhaps it's the same effect here. Something about the replication process changes the food on a fundamental level. Not to the point that it's inedible or toxic, but enough that it just doesn't taste as good as regular food.
      • It's not that the molecules aren't constructed properly. It's because of how the replicator works. Take a steak for instance. The molecular structure of the steak isn't going to be exactly the same all the way through. It's a very complex mix of a bunch of different organic compounds. Replicators do not have the ability to create something like this, it would take a MASSIVE amount of memory that's not possible even in the 24th century. They refer to replicators in-universe using "molecular resolution" rather than "quantum resolution" which is necessary for transporters (the difference being the transporter only has to STORE a pattern for a brief period of time, and not create it from scratch). "Molecular resolution" uses extensive compression and averaging techniques...going with the steak example earlier, it would take a very very small "slice" of steak and then layer it to the size you want to create a replicated steak. The taste and especially texture would be different from a real steak. Think of a replicator as a very high tech 3D printer (only using matter/energy manipulation rather than a stream of raw materials)
      • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Data's Day, Dr. Crusher determines that organic residue left behind after an apparent transporter accident was fake—part of an elaborate deception by a Romulan spy. Crusher had noticed that DNA in the residue had numerous single-bit errors, which she states is typical of replicated matter. It seems plausible that such imperfections might have an effect on the flavor of replicated food.
      • Hate to torpedo a legitimately interesting line of thought, but the ingredients Riker used weren't replicated; he made omelettes from eggs that he picked up on a random planet they had stopped at, and the eggs were so noxious that only Worf could stomach them.
  • In one episode Sisko replicates a drink on the Defiant he takes a sip and makes a face. He then says "I should have taken up Quark on that replicator." So apparently some replicators are better than others.
  • Another theory is the psychological effect. Eating something that has been grown or produced for real may not actually taste different, but is perceived as better because you know it isn't replicated. Just like how we now value hand made products over mass produced things, even if the quality isn't always superior.
    • This may have some worth to it - some mass-produced cheap chocolate confections and baked products are produced on the exact same production lines in the exact same factories that produce the premium 'branded' products. Sometimes it's the buyer that determines the quality of a product, not the product itself.
  • This brings up an interesting issue— it's stated multiple times that Bajor (in general) does not have replicators. Which leads to problems when weather patterns and lack of fertilizer could cause their crops to fail. Yet Bajor, due to the treaty, owns Deep Space 9— you'd think removing the replicators and installing them on their home planet would be one of their first priorities.
    • The number of replicators on Deep Space Nine, used sparingly, could probably help a large city. While impressive, they're an entire planet. They would probably want some of those Class IV Industrial Replicators more. Considering that 12 of them could help a post-Klingon war devastated Cardassian Union and their many planets, the 2 that they got from the Federation would probably vastly surpass what DS9 could provide.
    • Sisko's father managed to run a successful restaurant back on Earth which only served fresh food, nothing replicated. It was stated over time in all the modern Trek shows that replicated food usually isn't as good as the "real thing".
  • In "Blaze of Glory" Eddington is complaining about how his steak tastes like simple proteins instead how a steak should taste. Perhaps, depending on the replicator, there's a limit to how your food is processed. For example, Star Fleet replicators may just mash a bunch of proteins together and call it a steak, while Quark's higher-end replicators may have a more lengthy cooking process.
    • This troper always understood the "I grew it myself" to be 1)pride in craftsmanship and 2)there can be a noticeable difference in vegetables and even livestock depending on what you fed them. Soil content and animal feed can produce enough difference in the final product that replicated food is bland by comparison.
  • Are all species able to use replicators? Remember, Deep Space 9 is a space station that receives people from all over the “Galaxy” (well Alpha and Beta Quadrants), it’s more than possible than many of its visitants do not have replicators or have some but not at the same level than the Federation, you should remember not all the people in the station are Federation citizens and some cultures may not have replicators or eating replicated food is taboo. As for the Federation’s citizens themselves, probably mostly for social reasons.
  • If Bajor or any surrounding area had the same effectively unlimited replicator access core federation worlds or starships do, they wouldn't have crises of farmers, meds or weapons, would they? It's probably an issue of getting enough power in an isolated area, just like in Voyager. Officers and their families are probably the only people on Deep Space Nine with functioning replicators in their rooms, and it's been made clear throughout the franchise that non-replicated food generally tastes better.
    • And realistically, a replicator would require an incredible amount of power to do what it does. This is most evident from the fact that they tend to be the first things to go off-line whenever a starship or space station's main reactor fails. The Federation is probably advanced enough to invent safe and efficient portable fusion batteries, but then that adds maintenance onto the list of considerations when giving these things away to random farmers given how the Kazon proved that a seriously damaged replicator is capable of killing you horribly.
  • A running element of Quark's plotline is that a lot of his goods are imported instead of replicated, putting him under permanent pressure to manage his storage space. Cardassian food and drink specifically has to be stocked instead of replicated. The extent of it varies from episode to episode.

     Why is the crew expected to make ship repairs for ships docking 
  • In "Babel" a captain of a freighter is impatient with O'Brien for not repairing his ship soon enough. This is where the show's not-well-thought-out view of capitalism comes in but I digress. Starfleet is an organization that doesn't deal with money as far as I know. So it's the equivalent of a non-profit or a hybrid military government who has volunteered to run a space station. Expecting them to repair your ship faster or anything along those lines is like expecting Habitat for Humanity not just to give you a home but to repair the plumbing inside.
    • Presumably, they're paying the government of Bajor, which actually owns the station, and provides the majority of personnel for the station's maintenance crew. Starfleet's just there to manage them. There's no reason to think that Bajor's running a charity. That captain is probably paying some manner of port fees and taxes, too.

    Why does Quark have a pitcher of root beer on standby? 
  • In "The Way of the Warrior" Quark pulls out some root beer from behind the counter to give Garak some. Okay, I'll buy that for true aficionados synthehol tastes different from the real thing, so Quark would have to keep his more exotic liqueurs behind the counter. But root beer? You can replicate that stuff, and keeping it at room temperature in an open pitcher will quickly result in flat, icky, unpalatable root beer. No wonder Garak hates it. I can't help but think that had he tried freshly replicated root beer (akin to that from a chilled, pressurized soda fountain), he'd like it much better.
    • Maybe Quark's root beer jug is kept in a little stasis unit under the bar or something. Who knows what goes on under there? He produces all sorts of random drinks from under the bar, so it makes sense to me that there's some technological mechanism under there to keep them in appropriate conditions. Maybe the root beer jug's little cubbyhole maintains a cool environment and seals the jug with a force field.
    • Pretty sure one episode shows Quark getting a shipment of root beer, either by mistake or because he heard humans like it, with him commenting that to Ferengi (and possibly many other races) it's one of the most foul, disgusting smelling/tasting things he's ever come within spitting distance of. He's probably been trying to unload the stuff ever since just to get rid of it. As to why he ordered the real thing instead of replicating, see above. His replicators might not have a program for it, the real thing might taste better (to people who think it's possible for root beer to taste anything other than foul), or since it's Quark he probably picked it up for a song from some other trader who got stuck with the stuff. Heck, since it's Quark that guy might have wound up paying him to take it.
    • They specifically talk about the bubbles, too, so "under-counter fridge unit" is probably the explanation.
    • Perhaps the pitcher had a built-in forcefield to seal the atmosphere. When tilted to pour, the field either releases or is overpowered by the sheer weight of the liquid and dispenses the drink.

    On Screen, MAXIMUM Magnification! 
  • This line (used repeatedly) makes no sense. Sisko shouts it during critical moments in the Dominion war, such as when he's in the wormhole, facing an entire Jem'Hadar fleet. First of all, what's "maximum" magnification? In-universe, it seems to be "the prettiest view that's zoomed out enough to see an entire fleet." Yes, I said zoomed out which is the opposite of "magnification." The realistic application of this would zoom in to see only 3 or 4 ships, you would have to decrease magnification to get a larger view of an entire fleet.
    • Apparently Federation screen technology defaults to minimum magnification when the screen is turned on. Presumably the order "maximum magnification" is Starfleet military shorthand for "helmsman, magnify that image so it's close enough to see, but not so close that I can't tell what I'm looking at".
      • Yes, we've seen in the TNG episode "Q Who" that the so-called default "maximum" magnification, say a screen-filling image of a Borg ship, can be increased even further so you can actually see the ship regenerating. I agree, though, that in a wartime scenario in which there's a lot of things happening at once, a more strategic view would probably be preferable.
    • Simple answer: When someone says maximum magnification, the person working the view screen or the computer zooms it in to the closest magnification where you can see everything in question, be it a nebula, a ship, a pair of ships, whatever. It's not as close as it can zoom in, it's just zoomed in to where you can see the whole thing. Then if you want to see something specific, like a damaged nacelle, it can be zoomed in more.
    • The only way this line makes sense is if the view screen defaults to a nearby view and the dominion fleet is still quite a distance from the Defiant, perhaps the very opposite end of the wormhole. In that instance, a magnification of the default view would show a whole cluster of ships if they were far enough away. Regardless, you still need to assume the helmsman heard the command and understood it to mean "get the best possible image of the entire fleet you can from our distance".

     Vital ability to see tiny indistinguishable specks? 
  • In A Time to Stand Jadzia treats the absence of a viewing screen on a Jem'Hadar ship as an inexplicable flaw in the design. What exactly does she expect the screen to do? The ship's sensors would 'see' anything long before the crew would. In comparison the complaints about a lack of seats, replicators and medical facilities are much more intelligent.
    • Persistent, deep-running streaks of bad writing throughout the franchise have established that for some reason ship sensors can't pick up all of the same details that a view screen can, and that magnifying the view screen can actually get you detail beyond what the sensors can resolve. How this makes anything even approximating sense is anyone's guess... perhaps Federation Engineering strikes again and visual data actually uses a whole second set sensor system with a much higher sensitivity than the important ones (the real surprise for the characters perhaps being that the Jem'Hadar ship was designed in a sensible fashion in this respect).
    • It makes perfect sense, actually. It's quite easier to get a sense of what's going on with a visual than streams of numbers. Any being with eyes would process a visual far more efficiently than a readout on a console. If there's an enemy ship ahead, your weapons officer will have an easier time targeting if they have something to coordinate with rather than just a hit/miss return.
      • Considering the distances the ships would logically be at and the fact that we never see anything like a targeting system on the screen it doesn't seem very likely that it would be of any help. Besides, apart from an apparent lack of tactical imagination there is never any guarantee that the enemy won't be below or above them.
      • Distance doesn't render a visual display moot at all consider radar displays or tactical plots. Early models were functionally extremely abstract showing very raw data with the first models actually just being a spike on a wiggly line interpretation was difficult at best of times and in the stress of combat mistakes were all to easy to make. One of the biggest changes over time has been the increasing abstraction of this raw sensor data into increasingly information dense and easy to interpret imagery. A large display or plot that gives one a clear visual overview of the battle as interpreted by sensors is a fairly blindly obvious and critical feature of any command station on a ship. (The fact that Trek has never really shown the view-screen being used this way not withstanding.) That said the befits and drawbacks of a large central image verses a network of distributed individual ones could be argued, but for someone used to the former the lack of it might be considered a design fail regardless of relative merits.
    • The view screen has the ability to create simulated images. It may be the view screen is normally used to produce an image based upon sensor data in the same way the Jem'Hadar headsets do (it's not as though it's the headsets themselves give the wearer X-ray vision, after all).
    • It's important to remember that one of the most common Trek uses for such a viewing screen is to facilitate face-to-face communication and diplomacy between ships, allowing for added nuances of body language that are otherwise lost via voice or text. The Jem'Hadar, naturally, do no diplomacy on the part of the Dominion; that's the Vorta's purpose, so there's no need for such a thing on a Jem'Hadar warship. In that light, the comment is a reflection on the mentality of Jem'Hadar ship commanders.
      • The Jem'Hadar may not do diplomacy, but their ships ship have visual communication, such as during the first attack on Deep Space Nine, Dukat and Weyoun were seen on their ship and in "One Little Ship" the Vorta had a view screen conversation with his First on the Defiant. So its no that they don't, they do do visual, but presumably only the Vorta and the First get to see it.
    • In For the Uniform, Dax has to pilot the Defiant without the aid of the main computer. While doing this, she seems to rely heavily on the view screen. It is possible that a ship's main viewer biggest job is to provide a visual reference to a helmsman preforming delicate maneuvers when the sensors are off-line.
      • There are many episodes in Star Trek where they only do something when an object is actually visible (albeit with magnification). If she was navigating with that view screen then shouldn't it be much larger and show every angle instead of what's in front of you?
    • There's a major important factor of the view screen that everyone seems to be missing: It lets everyone on the bridge see the same thing at the same time. Sure when they need more detailed analysis from their sensors they look at their boards, but the view screen is an expression of how the other races all, to some extent, recognize that their individuality is a trait that contributes to their victory. If everyone can see the screen some guy off at another station can say "Look, they're opening the shuttle bay on that side!" just because he happened to be the one who noticed. The fact that the Jem'Hadar ship uses the headsets to relay only what's needed and only provide the one in charge with all the necessary data cuts down on individuality and tries to make everyone minions/cogs/subservient.
    • Another function of the view screen is that it effectively functions as a window. Using a modern day analogy, one of the major reasons many volunteers wash out of submarine training is that it is very hard for human beings to function in enclosed spaces without being able to look outside. The big view screen probably helps reassure people that they can still outside, even if there is nothing to see. It's a psychological things, and probably something that The Founders edited out of the Jem'Hadar when they were creating them.
    • If you're close enough for a detailed scan, you're close enough to see them. It's a genre convention that space combat, and most other interactions between ships, happens at a very close range. Most visual medium sci-fi works that way, because using realistic ranges would be visually boring.
    • I think everyone is forgetting a big issue when it comes to view screen vs sensors. The image on the view screen is created with data from the sensors, but that's not the issue. Detailed sensors (even in real life) have the nasty tendency to produce information overload to humans looking at them. They simply present *too much information* for someone to deal with. When this happens, it's very easy to miss tiny details that you would see if presented with much less information. Hence, the view screen.
    • The real problem is the viewscreen only lets them see in one direction at a time, usually the front. This would be mostly useless when they'd need to see in three dimensions. Fine for diplomacy, not battle. Of course Space Is an Ocean.

     Medieval Bajoran Spacecraft 
  • In Explorers Sisko builds an exact replica of an old Bajoran lightship; a starship that doesn't use engines but operates using solar sails. Exactly how technologically advanced where the Bajorans at the time the original model was built? (Note the gravity net was the only modification Sisko made.) The entire thing is operated solely by cranks and pulleys, there is not any sign of a computer or even much of a power source for that matter. So how exactly did the ancient Bajorans get the original lightship into orbit? Were they somehow able to build a rocket capable of breaking orbit yet somehow not have the technical knowledge to build powered motors for a pulley system?
    • An orbital tether/stratotower maybe? A technology that would be démodé once transporters became available - why spend hours riding a vertical cablecar once you get a tech that can bounce you thousands of miles in seconds? See the Voyager episode that featured this tech.
    • The Prophets did it.
    • It's never stated this is the only form of interplanetary travel ancient Bajor had access to. In fact, we really don't know all that much about Bajor's tech level before the Occupation, but they probably were not pre-warp at the time. Another episode featuring a lightship implied that although the tech was ancient, Bajorans were still using them 200-300 years before the series, even though they were obsolete by then, just like O'Brien likes to shoot the rapids in a primitive kayak when he could easily simulate a more modern, powered vehicle in the holosuites. As for the manual operation of the ship? Maybe they just liked it that way. They might have brought portable computers like laptops on board, too, but that's just speculation. My personal theory is the ancient Bajorans launched these things up in single-use disposable rockets, like the solid-fuel boosters on the space shuttle, that could get the ships into orbit but couldn't go much further. But I also think Bajor was warp-capable and probably had at least a few off-world colonies before the Cardassians invaded, as per Picard's comments in the episode that introduced them that the Bajorans were accomplished artists and architects when humans were still ice age hunter-gatherers.
    • Just had a thought. Perhaps the Bajorans did have access to electricity and motors and stuff but intentionally left it out of the design for some reason. For example, if the ship were to encounter an EMP wave that would cripple the ship. Maybe the Bajorans were expecting something like that to happen. They explicitly mention the Denorios Belt bring a major concern and that's a plasma field within the Bajor system. Surely that would have caused major problems for a ship that does have a power source, right?
      • If they were advanced enough to launch the ships then shouldn't they have been advanced enough to know the basics about protecting electronics? It would seem far more dangerous that without sensors and computers they would go far off course. Of course, unless the Cardassian home planet is in the same system as Bajor it makes even less sense that anyone would try it. Anything less than warp speeds couldn't make that long a trip safely (something an experienced officer like Sisko should know).
    • The Bajorans appear to have suffered from the same problem every other alien in Star Trek does: It has a hat, and its hat is romance. From farmers to politicians to terrorist to, presumably, their astronauts, every single Bajoran is obsessed with romance (in the poetic sense). It may have never occurred to a Bajoran that you could travel through space on anything other than a beam of light. And if it did, maybe they just didn't see the point of doing it any other way.
  • Batteries and motors were too heavy, and it had to minimize weight to be loaded onto whatever rocket launched it back in the day. Or, reducing mass allows the solar sails to accelerate the ship more quickly (which is true). Wild-ass guess.
  • There's more wrong with the design. The sails are way too small to be any good, even if the craft was rocketed into space fast enough to clear its native solar system. There is also no way a solar sailing trip would consist mostly of "tacking against the solar wind" while still more or less in the same system as the star you're trying to fly away from. With a proper albedo difference between both sides of the sail, no journey would have to involve any tacking. And for a partly wooden ship that starts breaking down during normal operations it surely handles flying at at least 3 million times the speed of light (assuming Bajor and Cardassia are only a few lightyears apart, a distance the ship covered in seconds) remarkably well.
    • But the worst offender is the method with which it achieves warp speeds. Warp engines are called like that because they work by warping space around the vessel, allowing your ship to fly slower than light while passing by the rest of the universe at a speed much faster than that. The reason it works this way is because Star Trek at least partially respects the idea that nothing can travel faster than light, and it would in fact cost an infinite amount of energy to propel anything with mass to the speed of light. The ancient ship achieves warp speed by simply being pushed by particles that somehow do fly faster than light, which of course means they can also carry a ship along at those speeds without spending an infinite amount of energy.
    • Also, nobody inside the ship could possibly survive the acceleration. Star Trek usually hand waves this in starships with a system called "inertial dampeners." It's a conceit that's easier to swallow in a world where subspace fields and artificial gravity are commonplace, but the original lightships couldn't have had any such systems. The Ben-Tiki's artificial gravity was installed because Sisko didn't want to spend the whole trip floating around the ship.
  • Why do humans still use canoes and simple sailboats despite having powered watercraft? The lightship may have been based upon a recreational vehicle-design, used by long-ago Bajoran hobbyists who didn't want to let technology do all the work for them.

     Cloning a man as evidence? 
This has been bugging me ever since I saw "A Man Alone". Some funny genetics are found amongst the skin flakes of a murder victim's room. Bashir then clones the genetics to see what it is. Fair enough. But even when he realizes it is developing into a humanoid (and a fully grown one at that), he continues the experiment until there is a fully adult clone living and walking around. Is creating a new life form as part of a crime investigation really all that ethical? Especially considering this person will have a drastically shortened lifespan, and will have to learn even the most basic things. Yet no one seems to even remark on this.
  • To be more precise, he cultures the material, which then begins growing by itself. He wasn't trying to clone it, it was a self-growing clone. All he did was unintentionally give it the means to grow. Once it grew to the point that it was clearly humanoid, it would have been unethical for Bashir to just kill it out of hand.
  • The first Ibudan clone was capable enough to impersonate the real guy and take a massage in the holosuite, so he might have knowledge and behaviors implanted into him—although that raises more questions about if he's aware of the nature of his existence, whether he knew he was going to be a murder victim, et cetera.
    • That actually raises more questions of whether Ibudan should have been arrested for murdering a clone if he wasn't a full life. I think the crime was more trying to frame Odo
      • Recall that we actually see him killed and he does not seem to be anticipating it. It plays like murder.

     Jake's knowledge of ship logistics in Valiant 
  • In "Valiant", the captain asks Nog about some technobabble involving attacking a Jem Hadar ship. Jake knows that his father would never try such a thing. How would Jake know? His interest in ship ops has always been limited
    • Jake can piece together that's a foolhardy, borderline suicidal attack plan, and he knows his father's character even if he doesn't understand all the nuances of the situation. Additionally, raising his father is a tactic to try to get Red Squad to back down (failed, as it turns out).

     The Danube Class ship 
  • 1: How fast is the Danube? It appears to depend on the writer; officially its top speed is Warp 5, or 214 times light speed. Earth is 50 LY from DS9, but Danubes regularly fly there in two weeks or less in the episodes — this is closer to a top speed of Warp 8 or 9 (1024-1516 times light speed).
    • Maybe the DS9 crew retrofitted them to make them more useful. Their drives are still underpowered compared to a full size starship but they're fast enough by the late seasons that a JHAS only catches up with one slowly, and the DS9 Technical Manual gives the JHAS's top speed as warp 9.6, which is comparable to Starfleet capships.
  • 2: Where are the bathrooms? None of the official diagrams seem to show them — there's the cockpit up front, the configurable modules in the center, and the quarters in the rear. It's reasonable to ignore it on a larger ship where we can assume everyone has them in their quarters. But the Danube quarters have been shown (in a Next Gen episode). And characters regularly take long trips on Danubes; the restrooms have to be there somewhere.
    • I always assumed that the head (to use naval vocabulary) was in the middle section. Who's to say the configurable modules take up the entire middle of the craft? See this floor plan.
    • Possibly the bunks can be folded up against the wall to reveal toilet-benches underneath them.
    • The transporters continuously extract waste material directly from the crew's bladder and colon. There are no bathrooms in the future.

  • We know from episodes like "The Measure of a Man" that when a starship is lost, its captain faces a court martial, as happened with Picard over the loss of the Stargazer. So, given that the runabouts all have U.S.S. names, NCC registries and their own proper class name (as opposed to a Type number like shuttles) does that mean Sisko faced a court martial for every one of the dozen or so DS9 runabout that were lost over the course of the series? I mean just off the top of my head there's the Yangtzee Kiang ("Battle Lines"), Ganges ("Armageddon Game"), Orinoco ("Our Man Bashir"), Mekong ("The Die Is Cast"), Yukon ("By Inferno's Light"), Shennandoah ("Valiant"), Gander ("Penumbra") and they're just the ones that had names, as theres also the ones from "The Ship", "Empok Nor", "Nor the Battle to the Strong" and the one Picard had in "Timescape" that were destroyed...
    • No.
    • It's an interesting question, but I'd guess "no" — that the runabouts are treated as different categories than full-fledged starships, and more like the eminently destructible shuttlecrafts. Why they have NCC registries is a bit of a question in itself.
      • Possibly because while they're assigned to various places, they're also expected to be able to do long-range, self-supporting trips that people wouldn't typically use a shipbound shuttlecraft for, like the trip between DS 9 and Earth, or doing a bit of exploring around the Gamma Quadrant. So they're semi-independent, but since they're not actually assigned a captain and crew they don't invoke the automatic court martial.

    Why a wheelchair? 
  • In the season 2 episode "Melora" a member of a low gravity species is confined to a wheelchair because standard antigravity technology wouldn't work in this stations architecture. The wheelchair causes her a lot of trouble even after practicing for a month. Doesn't the Star Trek universe know exoskeletons, which should only be as expensive to make as a wheelchair using replicator technology? Especially jarring because the character wears some sort of braces that look a lot like an exoskeleton.
    • The TNG episode "Ethics", introduced neural implants that send a signal right from the brain to the limbs, but it hadn't been perfected yet. Nog also rigged up some neural stimulators to make a dead man walk in "The Magnificent Ferengi", but the subject just sort of shuffled around like a drunk zombie. Presumably, the Federation had mastered Warp Speed and Teleportation at that point, but not the Neural interface technology being used to make robotic limbs today.
      • Well, it's a little unfair to use "The Magnificent Ferengi" as an example. Nog had a very limited amount of time to jerry-rig a device, and walking naturally is a complex task that involves coordinating muscles all over the body in a very specific way. Also, considering Nog was using equipment that wasn't meant to be used in that way, it's a small miracle that he was able to make the corpse walk at all, let alone walk convincingly. Presumably, Bashir or someone with a biomedical engineering background could have rigged up something a little more convincing than Nog was able to throw together.
      • Not to mention that since the subject that Nog was operating was already dead it wasn't like he was going to have to worry about causing further damage (and also the research has already been done on walking virtually corpses; see TOS Spock's Brain) unlike an actual living person where oh-so much could go fatally wrong with trying to hack their brain.
    • The concern with the Lightworlder visitor may be less about her not having the strength to walk, than about her delicate bones being too brittle for her to do so safely. An exoskeleton that's not perfectly configured and programmed for her movements might be more likely to snap her legs than support them.

     Cloaked Missiles 
  • In Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 05 E 23 Blaze Of Glory, the Klingons provide the Maquis with thirty cloaking devices, which they expect them to use on their ships in border skirmishes against Cardassia and the Dominion. Instead, they attach them to missiles which they aim directly at Cardassian population centers. Except it turns out they don't, but the Klingons and Federation believe they did, so it's apparently a thing you can do in-universe. Wait... you can do that? Cloaking devices don't require a ship to run? Why don't the Klingons and Romulans do this all the time? Point them at military targets if you're not okay with killing civilians en masse, but that still seems like a much better strategy than flying a ship up close to your target, decloaking, and firing disruptors at them while they fire back at you.
    • And how do we know is not common practice? I do see a practical problem with doing it often and is that, as far as I know, only two races have cloaking devices so it will be very easy to point out the possible attacker and such tactic most probably would cause outrage even among allies causing big political damage, and support from an ally and/or not intervention from a neutral part is crucial during war.
    • It's probably not practical. Cloaking devices require such a massive amount of power that they really require a ship's warp core to power them. Thus you'd have to give each missile a warp core, making it likely not feasible from a resources/gain standpoint.
      • Except that it was apparently practical enough for the Maquis to do, and they don't exactly have warp drives to spare.
      • But the Maquis didn't do it, that's the whole point of the episode though. In any case the question is why races with warp cores to spare like the Klingon don't do it often (although that's an especulation) assuming that in effect is not doing often the reason is probably simple logic. If you can put a cloaking devices to something would always be better to do it into a ship that can change course if needed, shot at enemies and do a lot more than just blow when reaching target.
      • The Maquis didn't actually do it, but the Feds and Klingons didn't react to the claim that they did with, "That's ridiculous, where did they get the warp cores?" They reacted with, "Holy !@#$ing !@#$ all those people gonna die!"
      • Which still doesn't take away the rest of the impracticalities: Only two races have cloaking devices so the attack would be easily track to one of them causing outrage, a lot of things can go wrong by having a mindless explosive gadget traveling faster than light, and instead of wasting a warp core would be more useful to put it in a ship. Other than a desperate terrorist organization seems unlikely that the idea have any useful application for a government.
      • You're assuming that they require a ship's warp core strapped to each missile, but there's nothing in the episode to indicate that that's the case. As for outrage, when you can blow up an enemy's military installations with total impunity, their outrage isn't much of a concern.
      • As I said before having your allies happy and keeping the neutral parties neutral is crucial in a war, so yes, outrage from the enemy may not be an issue but outrage from the rest of the Galaxy is.
      • The rest of the galaxy that you can also attack with impunity? Sure. Yeah. Uh-huh.
      • No matter how effective it is to send an FTL mindless projectile toward a target hoping that nothing goes wrong in its way, probably won't be a match if all the rest of the powers of the Galaxy decide to take you down because your are sending invisible FTL machines that kill millions of civilians. Nor even the Klingons could survive a combined attack of all the rest of the superpowers.
      • Ok, I think someone totally miss the whole point of the episode. Exactly what Sisko and Martok were afraid of is that if the missiles effectively reach Cardassia and kill a lot of people, then Cardassia would declare war on the Federation (as the Maquis are its citizens) and the Klingons (as the cloaking devices is from them) causing the entire Galaxy to fall into a bloody war like never seen before (as Cardassia’s allies will respond and the different factions in the Milky Way would align), and if a war declaration was possible even when the attack was done by an illegal terrorist organization not acting in behalf of any of both governments, imagine how would be if a government use it. So, there you have your answer, that’s why no one does that, because it will lead to a brutal Doomsday war. note 
      • Sure, if you use them to kill millions of civilians (as the Maquis were supposedly doing) it's an unforgivable terrorist action. But nothing's preventing their use against legitimate military targets, and doing so would be a lot more tactically sound than flying a cloaked ship right up next to your target and politely decloaking so that you can get fired back at. Think of all the lives that were lost destroying the Dominion's shipyards and ketracel white facilities during the Dominion War. Now imagine that the Klingons or the Romulans accomplished those exact same objectives with zero friendly casualties by using cloaked missiles instead of ships to carry out the exact same attack. What exactly is the down side? They're attacking legitimate military targets, and every major power in the Alpha Quadrant (minus Cardassia) is already allied against the Dominion, so there's no neutral or Dominion-sympathetic party to worry about pissing off.
      • Ok, granted that that will be a legit use of the technology. Yet, there are still a series of logistic problems at hand like the fact that these torpedoes can't be fully control, if at all, and that means a lot of bad things can happen. For example what if the Dominion start using "human" shields as a way to avoid attacks? captains in ships can choose to retry and decide a different set of actions, or what if the Dominion surrender or starts peace negotiations and the attack get suspended? captains can receive the orders for them to stop the attack, and so on. Having unintelligent deathly machines flying around doesn't sound the best idea, especially not if ships with intelligent captains can do the trick anyway.

     No Security Cameras on Deep Space 9? 
  • Why does Deep Space 9 not have any security cameras anywhere on the station? Not even in the vital areas. There were so many Odo investigation episodes that could have been solved instantly with the aid of camera footage. But no, apparently Deep Space 9, a vital space station critical to the war effort, lacks the a basic security feature you find in present day convenience stores. It's especially absurd considering the station was built by the Cardassians, a totalitarian race totally obsessed with security. Not only that, but built to oversee a military occupation and run largely by Bajoran slave labor! You're telling me the overseer of the station wouldn't have cameras to keep track of his slave workforce?
    • Odo said there were security cameras in one episode.

     How did Jake have knowledge of his dad's thoughts on Jem Hadar technology? 
  • In "Valiant", the kid Captain devised a plan to modify the photon torpedos and disarm a Jem Hadar cruiser from 300 meters away. Jake happens to be at the group meeting and says "no way, this won't work, my dad would never do something like this." The Captain seems to be speaking fluent technobabble to an audience of starfleet officers who have been trained to understand it and have been up against Jem Hadar ships. While Jake has lived at the crossroads of the Dominion War, I don't recall him being present on the Defiant or at Ops or sitting in on his dad's strategic briefings at take your son to work day. He's only a recent graduate of Keiko O'Brien's 24th century equivalent of a GED program, I surmise and is mostly a full-time writer.

     Didn't the Klingons Already Solve That Problem? 
  • In "Call to Arms" O'Brien, Dax, and Rom are discussing the apparently insurmountable task of designing an undetectable anti-spacecraft mine to keep the Dominion from crossing into the Alpha Quadrant. So, whatever happened to that cloaking Klingon mine from "The Sons of Mogh" that was undetectable by "any known sensor array," and could cripple a cruiser ten kilometers away? The Klingons were right there on the station, and this was sort of an emergency, surely the Klingons would have been willing to share the design. They seemed a bit prone to accidents, but the invasion was sort of already sort of in-progress at that point, so it probably would have been worth the risk. Fabricating an existing design probably also would have been easier than designing and building a completely new device from scratch. That's especially true because DS9's design had to swarm detonate—20 or 30 per ship, according to Chief O'Brien—so there wouldn't have to be nearly as many of the Klingon model, and they wouldn't have had to worry about making them self-replicating. They could be deployed by cloaked ships, so there was a chance that the Dominion wouldn't have even noticed they were laying a minefield until it was already in place, giving Starfleet a few extra days or weeks to ready itself for war, and maybe even giving Starfleet Command enough time find a couple of extra ships to reinforce the station.

     Why do they say their passwords out loud rather than type them in? 
  • Why do they give their passwords away when they do their command authorization codes? It wasn't even that hard in the 20th century to impersonate someone else's voice.
    • The way it's supposed to work is that the computer crosschecks the authorization codes with the user's biometrics. We have seen that happen explicitly a handful of times across the franchise: Kirk needed a retina scan to access data on Project Genesis; Picard and Riker, and Sisko and Kira used handprints to set the autodestruct on Enterprise and Defiant, respectively; breath print identification was seen being used aboard Discovery—a method that was shown to be ridiculously and predictably easy to defeat. Computer security runs almost entirely on Rule of Drama in the Trek universe, though, and so biometric authentication is utterly nonexistent when the script needs it to be. While the writers are a little more consistent with the computer needing at least voiceprint authentication, they're very willing to forget about it whenever it's convenient: Nog ran amok with O'Brien's access code in "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" and Neelix used an engineering access code he'd overheard with impunity in "Invesgtigations", which, just... ugh. And, as you said, voiceprint isn't exactly secure on it's own—Data once hijacked the Enterprise with what was essentially a playback attack.


     Cross-breedin' Cardies 
  • How the heck does Dukat keep having half-breed children? If a Trill and a Klingon need medical interference to make a baby possible then shouldn't Bajoran/Cardassian offspring require even greater intervention? One is a mammal, the other a reptile!
    • It is never stated in canon that Cardassians are reptiles, though it is admittedly a sensible assumption (but then why do they have hair?). The trouble with species interbreeding has no beginning and end.
      • Reptile scales and hair are both made of keratin, so it isn't that unreasonable to hypothesize that Cardassian hair is just a modified set of scales (possibly evolved as some sort of sexual display characteristic). Dinosaurs had feathers too, which again is just a form of keratin.
      • For that matter, scaly mammals exist on Earth. Just take a close look at an armadillo's armor plating, or the tails of beavers and rats. Trace the Cardassians' evolutionary history back far enough, and you may find they're descended from their home world's version of pangolins.
    • Word of God is that Cardassians have both reptilian and mammalian characteristics. It's also implied that Ancient Bajorans visited Cardassia in lightships before Cardassians were warp-capable, so modern Cardassians might already have some Bajoran heritage they just don't know about or won't admit.
    • In Worf and Jadzia's case, the problem may be related to the symbiont, or rather, exacerbated by it. We know that Dax's previous female hosts have been mothers, so it's entirely possible that a symbiont and a Trill fetus can coexist. Perhaps it's simply more difficult for a symbiont and a Klingon/Trill hybrid fetus to coexist, and requires medical intervention. Maybe the hybrid fetus stimulates the Trill mother's immune response to the point where it begins to attack the symbiont.
      • But do we know whether Dax's previous female hosts became mothers before they were joined or after? If before, there'd obviously be no issue, but given that Jadzia only seemed concerned with the baby being a Klingon/Trill hybrid and not with Dax itself getting in the way, it doesn't seem like a problem (aside from the issue of having enough room in there).
      • Good theory, especially in light of the physical location of the symbiont (very close to the womb in female Trill). There could be all sorts of autoimmune side-effects in that area of the female Trill's body that wouldn't take kindly to Klingon DNA, or any non-Trill DNA in fact, designed/evolved entirely to prevent disruption to the symbiont/host link.
      • This raises another question about the Trill: How does a symbiotic relationship between two species evolve when one of those species must be surgically implanted into the other?
      • Maybe the surgery is a more modern procedure that replaced a less sanitary, natural method of implantation?
      • Possibly symbionts originally lived out their entire lives in their first host, which they entered as eggs/larvae, and died when the host did. Surgery to transfer the symbionts was developed later, allowing symbionts' lifespans to exceed that of their hosts for the first time.
      • According to the novels, Trill are marsupials, with both males and females having pouches. The first joined Trill simply stuffed a symbiont into his pouch. While the books aren't canon, onscreen Dax does seem to have a kangaroo-like pouch that the doctors insert or remove the symbiont into.
    • Bajorans and Cardassians, despite appearances, are more closely-related than Klingons and Trill, I guess. They do live within, like, a parsec of each other, if I recall correctly.
      • And the solar-sailer episode suggested that there's been interaction between Bajorans and Cardassians for millennia, as I recall. That's a lot longer than humans and Vulcans have been in contact. Maybe they've done some genetic retooling over the years or something along those lines. The Cardassians have certainly been known to do it within the canon of the series itself, albeit for rather more politically-motivated purposes.
      • As was discovered in 'The Chase', all humanoid life in the galaxy is at least nominally related thanks to genetic seeding by a primordial race (most likely the Preservers). In the billions of years since, evolution created more drift between certain species than others. While a lot of humanoid races in the Trek universe can interbreed, some can't or have great difficulty doing so (it was suggested for example in one episode that human mothers of Human/Klingon hybrids would have difficulties in childbirth due to Klingon bone structure). It's also known that some biologies are not compatible, for example in VOY the doctor makes an offhand remark that a blood transfusion from a Vulcan would kill a Bolian. In several episodes across the TNG-era series it was mentioned that it was important to have access to at least synthesized versions of a patient's blood. So certain things like blood transfusions or organ donations would be impossible or dangerous, whereas some species can mate successfully and produce viable offspring, just like - you guessed it, real life on our own planet.
      • If humans and life forms from a completely different planet can interbreed, a few reptile-like (I'm not sure if we should try to fit aliens into categories that sprung up on earth) features shouldn't make much of a difference. The humanoid precursors seeded DNA "destined" to bring forth life forms much like themselves, so much like them in fact that they could interbreed. Cardassians are just as much a result of that as the other humanoid species are.

     Layin' Eggs 
  • During the episode To The Death Jadzia responds to a comment made by the Jem'Hadar Virak'Kara saying that there are no Jem'Hadar women by crossing her arms and saying so what do you do? lay eggs? in the most condescending and disbelieving manner possible. This attitude is later replicated in the mess hall between her, O'Brien and Worf and once again they all seem absolutely incredulous at this information. Question: Why? In real life countless mammals and reptiles (which, lets remind ourselves, Jem'Hadar look like a cross between the two) reproduce by laying eggs as well as the fact that there are thousands of smaller creatures that do not have two sexes. As such logically either she or one of her two centuries worth of hosts should have met at least a few sapient species by now who either don't have gender or lay eggs. In fact when you factor in species like the Ocampa or the Xyrillians in the Trekverse who have mating practices that literally border on proving Darwin wrong; the revelation that the Jem'Hadar lay eggs or don't have females shouldn't even bat an eyelid - especially since you would imagine that by the latter half of season 4 they really ought to have been curious why they hadn't even heard about women yet... did they just assume Jem'Hadar had the least sexual dimorphism of absolutely every other species we have ever seen in Star Trek? There also seems to be some very uncomfortable prejudice being shown here from Worf who had previously also shown this hatred toward the J'Naii - I'm fairly certain that in real life such an attitude would be considered racist.
    • Well there seems to be some dispute as to whether Trill in general is a member of the Federation. I've always been in the pro-membership camp, but if they weren't, that might explain why Jadzia isn't as enlightened as she could be on the subject.
    • She's trying to be insulting. The exact scientific accuracy of her statement doesn't enter into it.
      • She's making a specific slur to a race that is very much the self-professed enemy of the Federation, she's not saying it's a bad thing to lay eggs. By that point, it was probably very obvious to Starfleet that Jem'Hadar were not your typical warrior race (very short lifespans, no females, intentional narcotic addiction). At the very least, by that point they probably had a good idea that they were an engineered race. A more murky one is at what point the Vorta crossed the line from 'loyal servants of the Dominion and Founders' to 'intentionally engineered diplomatic caste of the Dominion' in the minds of the writers.
      • Why would she be being so intentionally mean?
      • In context it's a kind of dominance play against these uncertain allies.
    • She was trying to be either sarcastic or offensive. With some Fridge Logic it should be noted that the egg-laying gender would be usually identified as female, anyway - so equating egg-laying with "no women" is presumably either a Critical Research Failure or rather sloppy use of commonly used terminology.
    • The Federation is rather prejudiced towards outsiders in general though no matter how much they try and claim otherwise. That is pretty much Quark's whole argument to Sisko in the episode The Jem'Hadar (and the less said about season 1 Picard and Riker the better). The Federation loves people who remind them of themselves - communist, largely atheist, would rather make peace not war, non-materialistic etc. and are dismissive of anyone who doesn't share their views. I agree that in real life Worf would have been thrown in front of HR pretty damn quickly if he started to say such things about the biology and gender of another race, but Starfleet really does not seem to care. How many casual jokes about pointed ears were thrown at Spock, Tuvok and T'Pol over the years? What seriously is the difference between that and cracking a couple of lines about the eyes of someone from the Far East? In summary, yeah, I could see them treating an egg-laying or non-gendered species like that, but as previously pointed out, the Jem'Hadar are their enemy and thus it does change the context of the situation slightly.

     48 people build a society? "Children of Time" 
  • That is in no way enough genetic diversity to build a community of 8,000. There's no mention of hooking up with the natives, or even that there are any.
    • Considering the amount of times the doctors on the star trek vessels mess around with DNA, it wouldn't surprise me if star trek humans had been genetically edited to remove some, or even almost all, problematic genes. With less of those, the minimum genetic diversity requirement could have fallen by the way side entirely.
      • Except you're not allowed to genetically edit. It's kind of taboo.
      • Creating super people like Khan is taboo. Editing someone's genes to remove a genetic disorder doesn't seem to be. Chakotay had his genes for sensory tremens suppressed before he was born ("The Fight") and The Doctor also suppressed a harmful gene in B'ellana and Paris' kid ("Lineage")
      • That's spot treatment. The ^^^ post is proposing that a whole society of humans, or maybe all of humanity, was systematically treated genetically to remove any and all genes that could possibly cause a problem with a population bottleneck. It's at least a different kind of thing, if not the same as what happened with Khan.
      • The entire population being 'systematically treated' is not that improbable over hundreds of years. We can assume the Federation removes any expressed genetic issues. The question is, does the Federation allow the removal of un-expressed genetic issues, where there is a bad gene but it currently does nothing because is recessive. If it does allow that, even if just 10% of women did that, then that, combined with the removal when the genes do cause problems, would start diminishing the total amount of such genes in the population at large. Assuming this has been going on for centuries, it seems entirely possible there are very few problematic genes left and no need to worry about the 'gene pool'.
  • It also raises the question. Since inter-species reproduction seems to be of the "split the difference" type on Trek, shouldn't Yedrin, being the sixth or seventh generation of Jadzia's issue, be only 1/64 or 1/128 Trill? Would that be enough Trill genetics to express the structures needed to support Dax?
    • That presupposes that his ancestors hadn't bred back into the Jadzia line (some form of cousin marriage, which is permitted in most societies on Earth), which given the small number of colonists seems unlikely that he'd be as low as 1/64 Trill.
      • What may be even weirder is that the episode confirms Dax married Worf and they were happy together. Yet all the Trill and all the Klingon descendants we see are one or the other, implying their marriage failed before they had any children and they both found a human lover after that. If they had been faithful, all of their descendants would be equal parts Trill and Klingon, even after inbreeding. Potentially solved by "Tears of the Prophets", though. Apparently it was going to take medical intervention for Jadzia and Worf to conceive.
      • Worf and Jadzia may have been married and happy, but may have also had children with other people to help bolster the colony's genetic diversity. (Worf wouldn't have liked it but we've seen that he can be pragmatic when the situation is dire enough.) Thus while all Trill and Klingons in the colony would be related to Jadzia or Worf respectively, they might not be related to both.
    • Given the technological level that the colony exists at, it is unlikely that the equipment needed for genetic engineering survived the crash. The most likely explanation is that the survivors had large families in order to bolster their numbers (it is implied that the O'Brien lineage was especially prodigious, as there were lots of Molly's running around) and inbreeding was, at most, another couple of generations away from becoming a problem. When facing the issue of being erased from existence, concerns about your great-grandson marrying his niece become less immediate.
     Bajorian Women and Childbirth 
  • As Chuck at SF Debris points out in his review of the episode "The Begotten," Bajorian women apparently have a "teflon-coated vagina," as Kira birthed the O'Briens' baby without any pain, just annoyance with Miles.
    • One of main reasons why human childbirth is so painful is because we evolved the walk upright which distorted the pelvis and thus made the birth canal a whole lot narrower (don't feel too put out by this ladies, as this is also one of the reasons why the testicles are so vulnerable to injury as they are a awful lot more protected from attack on a creature that walks on all-fours than two). If you've ever watched a dog give birth you'll note just how relatively quick and painless it is compared to humans. If the Bajoran's evolved from a creature that was already walking on two legs then this whole problem would not have arisen. Then there is the obvious fact that we really don't know if she is designed anything like we are downstairs, all that we know is that she has a womb and an opening.
    • Several of the episodes that discuss Bajoran childbirth specifically address this. Bajorans, as long as they're relaxed, do not feel pain in childbirth because their bodies release a natural euphoric to counteract it. There are probably a few other anatomical differences as well, considering that their wombs apparently operate differently too.

Federation / Starfleet

     No law against Genocide 
  • Sisko's feud with Eddington Sisko genocides the Maquis home world. All his officers obey the orders to genocide. And that's it. No pay-back, no investigation. The Federation has no law against genocide.
    • One, there is no Maquis home world, they are a diverse set of colonies. Two, he didn't kill anyone, just made the planet unusable for long-term human (and specifically human) habitation. Three, considering Eddington did the same thing with two Cardassian colonies (made them unsafe for Cardassians but not humans), Sisko's zealous pursuit probably prevented the Cardassians from declaring war on the Federation. The Cardassians and the Federation traded the worlds that were attacked.
      • Doesn't deterrence theory require an equal response? Foreign powers have to believe that if they use their weapons of mass destruction on you, you will retaliate with your own WMD. Otherwise, you're telling everyone that there are no consequences for attacking you. In that case, Sisko might have saved Maquis lives. If the Cardassian missile in the Voyager episode "Dreadnought" was any indication, the Cardassians would have had no problem whatsoever with turning every man, woman, and child on that planet into a fine, radioactive ash. And they probably wouldn't have bothered with things like advance warning. The weapon that Sisko used amounted to a strategic area denial weapon, where as the Cardassians might have used the event as an opportunity to use something much more heinous—like the aforementioned, ridiculously overpowered missile.
    • Note that the Maquis colonists are explicitly said to be going for their ships the second the torpedoes hit the atmosphere. They may have thought he was bluffing, but they were ready to run. The Cardassians also had a chance to leave when Eddington made their planets unlivable.
      • If I plant one of those futuristic bombs that do no physical damage except for killing anything alive, and tell everyone they have ten minutes to get out of the blast range, even if they all escape with no problems it's still attempted murder.
      • They weren't killing anything, they were rendering the planet unsuitable for habitation by a specific race (Cardassians or Humans) by dispersing a specific chemical into the biosphere that would not harm the other life.
      • More like manslaughter, if you honestly do believe no one will be hurt by it.
      • Eddington says to Sisko, "You're talking about turning hundreds of thousands of people into homeless refugees." If even Eddington does not accuse Sisko of causing anyone's death (here or in "Blaze of Glory," where he'd certainly throw such a thing in Sisko's face), it's reasonable to assume that he doesn't.
    • "For the Uniform" has been a controversial episode since it aired, but I think people have a long history of misinterpreting the ending. Sisko did not commit genocide or attempt to — he just ruined the Maquis's real estate. One might note, however, that he did commit a massive ecological crime, but it seems Starfleet is willing to turn a blind eye to that.
      • Generally if you launch weapons towards a space with the express purpose of making that place uninhabitable by the residents until a terrorist surrenders that's going to at least be ethnic cleansing.
      • Perhaps the trouble with that episode is that, as much as it tries to cast shadows over Sisko's motivation and make you wonder if personal animus against Eddington has compromised his objectivity (a Trek staple since the aptly-named "Obsession"), in the end it doesn't really seem to matter much and Sisko's decision seems to be affirmed as right with no real debate. In the end, it seems unwilling to confront the very ethical questions it raises.
      • I think it's because it's implied that the Maquis colonists still got to settle a world, they just got to settle on a world that was originally a Cardassian colony... which is what Eddington intended in the first place. It's just that Eddington didn't want the Cardassians to be able to settle anywhere, but they wind up with somewhere to go, the world Sisko did the same thing to. Since the only real "ecological crime" seems to be a "a particular race can't live here now" but everyone still winds up with a place to go, it comes off as a little bit of a "No harm, no foul" sort of thing. Really Sisko's actions here fit more in the Cowboy Cop Captain Kirk-esque mold than that of the "slathering terrorist" one everyone seems to try to jam him into for this episode. "You took a planet away from People A to give to People B? Fine, I'll take a planet away from People B to give to People A, seems only fair" is totally something Kirk would have pulled.
    • Much of the discomfort with this episode can be easily resolved with a simple hand wave by presumes that whatever chemical Sisko released wasn't instantly fatal. If it's something that would cause serious harm after long term exposure, but will have little if any affect if only exposed to for a few hours, then it simultaneously would make the planet inhospitable to humans while still not putting any lives in direct and immediate danger. There are plenty of known real-world hazards that likewise are not instantly stable but are sufficiently dangerous as to render areas inhospitable while still being safe to spend a few hours in, like the lower (comparably speaking) level radiation around three-mile island. It still makes Sisko's actions questionable, but far more forgivable then other interpretations
      • This is it exactly. The toxins used - trilithium resin (fatal to humans, harmless to Cardassians), and cobalt diselenide (fatal to Cardassians, harmless to humans) are actually very lethal. But they weren't placed on the surface in population centers, they were placed in the upper atmosphere of the planets. The populations on the surface would have time to evacuate before the toxins made it down to ground level, since they had to disperse throughout the atmosphere. The Cardassians that escaped the planets that Eddington bombed had plenty of time to get out with no fatalities, and they didn't have the advance warning the Maquis planet did, so it's obvious that the weapons used weren't instantly fatal to the population on the surface. Both populations had technology that let them escape into space pretty quickly, so it wasn't really an issue and genocide doesn't really enter into it. Yes, it WOULD be genocide if it were deployed against a more primitive race that didn't have such ubiquitous space travel, but neither the Maquis or Cardassians were primitive enough for that to be an issue.
      • Perhaps ecological damage is treated as less of an issue when it's so easy to travel through worlds; if I destroy one world I can always move to another etc. .
      • Is it ecological damage when the ecology of the place is not (as far as we know) damage in any way?
  • Speaking of Eddington, of all the ships in Starfleet they could have sent after him, why did they pick the one ship he had served aboard to catch him? While this was justified in "For The Uniform" by having the Maquis damage the only other ship in range, Sisko had apparently had the assignment for eight months before that. Did it really not occur to them that, in the months he was aboard, he might have sabotaged the Defiant like he did the station? And surprise surprise, it turns out he did!
    • True, and why give Sisko the job of tracking him down at all? A: Sisko's plate is pretty full anyway, and B: Sisko harbors a personal grudge against him and that threatens his objectivity.
      • The Defiant was apparently one of the few major combat vessels the Federation had in the area (not that it makes any sense to have so few there). Of course why the head of the most important space station in the region is going terrorist-hunting instead of delegating to his officers is a good question.
      • Sisko has explicitly gone to Starfleet Command and reserved the task for himself precisely because he hates Eddington's guts. After all Sisko is Javert and Eddington is Valjean. The question is: why would Starfleet acquiesce to Sisko's desire to go after Eddington? It might be because Sisko knows the Badlands best. It might be because he is a highly decorated combat officer whose request cannot be easily refused or he just knows which strings to pull (high ranking Starfleet officers under whose command he may have served). It might be because Starfleet wants to use more ruthless tactics against the Maquis than before. Sisko's personal motivation will then no longer be a liability but an asset (at least he has no qualms about killing traitors to the uniform and even relishes the task).
      • Sort of sidetracking here, but Eddington was never Valjean. He was much more like one of Les Amis de l'ABC.
      • That actually didn't matter. The reason Sisko played Javert is because Eddington saw HIMSELF as Valjean. It didn't matter if he was correct or not...Eddington saw himself as one person from a book, so Sisko intentionally played the part of that person's nemesis in the book to play to his ego.
      • They probably assigned the task to Sisko because A) he knows Eddington, so he's at least somewhat familiar with how he operates, B) he's already stationed close to the Badlands, so they won't have to pull any other ships off of their usual duty, and C) Having lost a state of the art, brand new ship without a trace a couple of years before, Starfleet would have wanted to send a ship capable of defending itself from just about any attack.

     Section 31's Changeling Genocide vs Starfleet's Borg Genocide 
  • I think I've figured out why saying why the S31 virus is unjustified gets me accused of spreading "anti-S31 propaganda" and Word of God seems to say that changeling genocide = okay, yet Borg genocide = wrong. The only times we see a Changeling who's not a Founder are Laas, who's a total jackass, and the baby changeling, who dies. And the writers even decide that in spite of his important relationships with the other characters, witnessing the Occupation, and his proud declaration early on that he's not the kind of person who steps on ants, the only thing that stopped Odo from joining a bunch of genocidal fascists who make the Occupational authorities look like treehuggers is Kira. So the Changelings are Always Lawful Evil and we're not meant to feel that bad about preemptive genocide because they'll end up deserving it (unless they fall in love with a Solid). But doesn't that... not gel with Trek's usual position on "enemy" races? Romulans, Cardassians, Klingons, even Borg all get a chance to prove that they're more complex than that, but the Changelings don't. Seems out of line of Star Trek's usual.
    • The Changelings are a study of what happens when you don't treat new races with openness and respect. From what Laaz and the female Changeling say at different points, Changelings are commonly discriminated against by humanoids. Effectively they founded the Dominion to protect themselves, they just went way WAY overboard with the whole idea. Think of them like a beaten child, of course they're going to lash out, and they'll develop severe defense mechanisms to protect themselves.
    • A couple of points:
      • The Great Link, even if the Founders/Changelings promote it as the perfect melding of thought and form, and infinitely better than any Solid form of intercourse (sexual or otherwise), it's still shown to be unreliable or capable of manipulation—tricking Odo as to who the Klingon infiltrator was, the Female Changeling trying to take his attention off of Kira and all the other Solids, and so on. This was Laas' first time linking, and he probably interpreted Kira's intense presence in Odo's mind as being his only reason for not being a Founder. Odo's own self-doubt probably assumed this to be true.
      • The whole genocide question has been muddy for ages, but one can look at it like this: the Borg, for all their incredible resources and terrifying collective presence, have only made a handful of excursions into the Alpha Quadrant spaced out over a decade or more. Scary as hell, but there's hadn't been a real opportunity for sustained conflict with the Borg until Voyager, and that was on the other side of the galaxy. Thanks to the wormhole, the Dominion was practically right next door, and there were 4 years of tension and cold war leading up to open conflict. There was more time and opportunity to enact such a plan, compared to the Borg incursions. Heck, if you think about it, it's because of the Borg as a implacable threat to the Federation that the Council would be willing to go along with such an extreme measure against the Dominion, even if they didn't directly initiate it. It's not a justification, just something to think about—Section 31 would've committed genocide against the Borg if they had the chance, and the Council would've been too glad to go along with it. The Dominion plague is more a case of aiding and abetting.
      • What is more, the Borg could be viewed as trillions of innocent people being compelled by an alien cybernetic intelligence to do things against their individual will. Since multiple Borg drones have been reformed (Hugh, Picard, 7 of 9) the idea of genocide against the Borg might be seen as killing a slave army which could still (in theory) be cured and freed from bondage. The Changelings are a collective intelligence when in the Great Link, and could be seen as one massive hostile life form (Odo being just the lingering doubts in the back of a single giant mind). Killing a "race" that is uniformly bent on the subjugation of all life in the universe (and has themselves used biological weapons to suppress races, "the Quickening") might be seen in the same way as "curing" the Borg of the malign intelligence that drives the drones to conquest.
    • It's not even that complicated; the two situations are perfectly consistent. Consider:
      • In "I, Borg", the crew of the Enterprise devise a virus that would destroy the entire collective; their decision not to do so is based on the fact that in order for the plan to work, Hugh, who they had come to consider a friend, would have to be infected (in order to get the program into the Borg's network) and would likely become a casualty himself. In "Descent", Picard is rebuked by Starfleet Command for that decision; Nechayev makes it clear that she has no patience for the issues of morality that arose. Picard is given an order to the effect of "if you ever get a chance like that again, take it".
      • Section 31 develops a disease that would kill the Founders. In order for their plan to work, Odo would have to be infected (in order to get the disease into the Great Link) and would likely become a casualty himself. Section 31 isn't exactly known for morality to begin with, and on top of that, Starfleet has made their position on the matter clear. Section 31 makes the tactical choice, infecting (and sacrificing) Odo to destroy the Dominion.
    • I dispute the premise that we're supposed to be okay with genocide against the Founders. It's done by a villainous organization. Our characters act to prevent it. In the end, the implication is that Odo, given his different upbringing, will help guide the Founders to a more peaceful outlook... so they do explicitly get that chance at redemption you are saying is denied; we have already seen it happen in microcosm with the female Founder, who agrees to surrender after linking with Odo. And Laas is a jerk but a complex character since we understand his backstory, and his motivation is largely to be left alone. I don't see a shred of evidence that we are supposed to be even partially okay with the concept of committing genocide against them.

     Does Quark actively court Starfleet business 
  • Either they've evolved past money or they haven't. If it's the former, it's not the best business decision in the world to relocate there, is it?
    • I think the best explanation is to assume that money exists, but the average human doesn't use it (and what money that is used is not hard currency) because Replicators manufacture 99% of everything they need, so it's little more than a luxury used to buy exotic foreign stuff. Also, DS9 is a Bajoran station (with a Federation administration), so his main source of income would be the Bajorans (and foreign trade from the Wormhole).
      • Humans, specifically humans from Earth, don't use money. It was made clear repeatedly that the Federation as an entity DID have money (Federation Credits mentioned more than once), and that several members worlds also used it (the Bank of Bolias was mentioned). It's even mentioned that Starfleet officers are paid quite well (Janeway makes reference to it on a Voyager episode.) So, it's likely that they had money to spend in Quarks bar.
      • Right. I assumed that Starfleet officers are paid, but don't need the money on Earth. However, lots of other cultures still use money, so the people who regularly come in contact with them need to have some currency of their own.
  • There have been minimum-income experiments in the real world a few times, even successful ones. Humans may "not use money" because everything the average person could want (food, clothes, shelter, education, entertainment, decoration) is supplied for them. Purchases from alien traders, individual artisans, and so forth would be another story. If Federation citizens are given a monthly stipend in credits to spend on alien goods or some such — which is a reasonable idea to encourage commerce and a brisk trade in ideas between worlds — then technically credits would be ration cards, not money ... even if those credits are considered money on Bolia or Betazed.

     Racism: a fine quality in Starfleet captains! 
  • Or speciesism if you want to get technical but anyway. The baseball episode is fun, but the story's foundations are... illogical. Solok's disdain for any emotional species, especially humans, is completely unconcealed. He's built his academic career on his belief in their inferiority. So how the heck did he get anywhere in Starfleet, and why would they indulge his prejudice so far as to give him an all-Vulcan crew? Never mind the fact that he is also highly decorated. Flagrant prejudice isn't exactly a Starfleet core value, not to mention that a lot of the top brass are humans themselves.
    • Vulcans have had something of a paternalistic attitude toward Humans at least since first contact; a lot of tension exists on ENT between the races, as the Vulcans are barely one step above Q's opinion of humanity as a "dangerous, savage child race." It's possible that racism runs deeper than the series is willing to admit out loud; Humans and Vulcans may still, even in the 24th century, flat-out still not like each other.
    • There is precedent for an all-Vulcan crew (the Intrepid in TOS had 400 Vulcans on board when she was destroyed). As for Solok, there are racist assholes in every line of work (including the present-day military), and some of them find a way to get promoted up the chain.
      • Good point on both things, although I still think Solok publishing one dozen academic papers about how stupid humans are stretches credulity... he's not even making an effort to maintain plausible deniability about it.
      • I don't think he was phrasing them in a way that makes them outright discriminatory. You'd be surprised at the stuff you can write and get away with if you use numbers or clever phrasing. It's more likely his papers were along the lines of "Statistics and biology where Humans have failed to keep up or even match Vulcans."
    • Not only precedent, but considering the demographics and history of the Federation, setting up an all-Vulcan crew probably wouldn't be too hard for a determined racist: Vulcan has more or less the same population and prominence as Earth, and consider e.g. the proportion of humans on the Enterprise-D or the Voyager; there are almost certainly crews consisting almost entirely of Vulcans as well (it's also possible that the Vulcan-dominated ships don't attract that many volunteers from other species; perhaps they're boring?). As for how he gets away with the attitude - he probably gets results. If he happens to be a brilliant military commander in the middle of the Dominion war, Starfleet may well just take what they can get.
      • Also, given the unique environment of Vulcan (Vulcan gravity is roughly twice that of Earth's, with a much thinner atmosphere and an average temperature roughly on par with the Middle East during the summer) it would make sense for an all-Vulcan crew based on the environmental requirements.
      • We have seen plenty of Vulcans on ships primarily crewed by humans and other species as guests and as crew. Tuvok, Sarek and T'Pol never mentioned any special environmental needs. Starfleet is just ignoring (or covering for) a racist.
      • That said, we have never seen humans on a Vulcan ship, where the environment would be set to Vulcan norm. Likely, it is easier for a Vulcan to adapt to Earth conditions (lighter gravity and cooler temperatures) than for a human to adapt to the heavier gravity, higher temperature, and thinner air that a Vulcan ship would be set to by default. Several of the Expanded Universe books have shown humans on Vulcan ships enduring the harsher conditions, or even have Vulcans on human ships adjusting the environmental controls to make their quarters more like Vulcan, something that discourages human visits.
      • Odds are that Vulcans are very uncomfortable in ships designed for human living conditions. But, being Vulcans, they're not likely to complain about it.
    • Probably a case of Solok being a Bunny-Ears Lawyer. You can be a flagrant bigot and still be good at what you do, and at this point Starfleet is hurting for manpower and ships and has been since Wolf 359. Since then they've had a border war with the Cardassians, two or three more Borg incursions including another attempt on Earth, a war with the Klingons that lasted a year or so, and now they're a year and a half into the Dominion War and taking serious casualties (the Seventh Fleet took something like 80% losses offscreen in the season 6 premiere). They can't afford to drum him out because he technically hasn't done anything illegal and, with the casualties they're taking against the Jem'Hadar, they need all the competent COs they can get.
    • It could be that the Vulcans just find his attitudes (twelve academic papers? really?) so embarrassing they don't want him on the home world, so they pulled a few strings with Starfleet Command to keep him out in space. Alternatively, given the smug humanocentrism of most humans in Trek, maybe Solok's bigotry makes him more popular with all the aliens who have to put up with all the Humans Are Special bullshit.
    • It's not without precedent, actually. Sisko is openly racist against Ferengi, Picard is racist against Romulans, O'brien hates Cardassians, and pretty much everyone makes wild generalizations about other races, often speaking entirely in stereotypes that rigidly define entire, multi-planet civilizations.

     Idiotic Federation Treaties 
  • In another "Dax"-related question, who in the world does the Federation come up with to make these damn treaties?! Signing a treaty with the Romulans promising not to develop cloaking technology was bad enough (and yeah, I read Serpents Among the Ruins, and I get that It Makes Sense in Context). But signing a treaty with the Klaestrons allowing for unilateral extradition?! What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
    • Unilateral extradition isn't that odd by itself (at least, it's not an inherently ridiculous concept), but if the Federation is really based on the EU, they would never for a moment consider handing Dax to a government that used the death penalty, without the explicit assurance that the entire plot of the episode wouldn't happen.
      • The series itself never explains the full terms of the Treaty of Algeron, but presumably in return for not developing cloaking technology the Federation gained some concession from the Romulans.
      • If I recall correctly, the thing they gained in return was the Neutral Zone... which is supposed to be a place that the Klingons, Romulans, and Federation all stay the hell out of, using it as a buffer so that no one's right up against anyone else's doorstep peering in on them with a telescope. Of course the Klingons and especially the Romulans violate it constantly, but we've also seen that the Federation tinkers with cloaking technology every so often too, so.
      • That doesn't make sense with what we've seen. The Neutral Zone with the Romulans was created well before "Balance of Terror" where it's clear cloaking technology is brand new. The Romulans are testing it and Federation resolve and it's clear the Enterprise crew never saw it before. Later, in "The Enterprise Incident", Kirk purposely crosses the Neutral Zone with the express purpose of stealing the cloaking device. Spock's final conversation with the Romulan Commander made it clear she assumed the Federation would make use of it.
    • Regarding cloaking, the Federation technically already has it; the Treaty of Algeron bans them from using it, in practice, anyway. So it's similar in some ways to a nuclear ban or some other form of arms control.
      • One of the novels (I don't recall which) had an idea that I rather liked: The Federation actively develops it's own cloaking technology, and the designs and material to construct cloaking devices are always kept aboard deployed starships; ready to be built and installed the moment war is declared with the Romulan Empire. In fact, the show has sort of implied that not only does Starfleet have cloaking technology of it's own, but that their technology is vastly superior to Romulan and Klingon cloaks—and that it has been for quite some time. In TNG's The Next Phase, the Romulans are shown to be tinkering with a phasing cloak, which actually brings a starship out of phase with reality, not just hiding it, but actually preventing the outside universe from interacting with it at all in any normal way. The Pegasus shows that the Federation had actually fielded a working prototype of that sort of cloak ten years earlier. Both side's experiments ended in disaster, but notably, while the Romulan prototype was defective, the Federation model only failed due to operator error.

     No Legal Experts on Deep Space Nine? 
  • There was also the obligatory trial episode, where a crew member had to represent Dax because they had no lawyers. At all. To reiterate the scenario, this is a government that's being operated according to Bajoran law, but is enforced by Starfleet personnel, and is dealing with fallout from what was done under the Cardassian government. Why. The. Hell. do they not have any legal experts? They should need an entire team of them!
    • There's a difference between solicitors dealing with trials and those used for the disputes between nations. Actually having trained trial defense solicitors wasn't a high priority since DS9 doesn't seem to have been equipped for that in mind.
      • The primary mission of Deep Space Nine, at least in the earliest seasons, was to help out war-torn Bajor with Federation personnel and supplies. This would present a pretty significant legal and diplomatic challenges. There should be a number Federation lawyers and diplomats either based on DS9 or Bajor itself; we just never see them.
    • It's never actually established if the Trills joined the Federation or are just merely allies. Due to this, one can infer that there are numerous legal issues over dealing with a Trill citizen, working for the Federation, on a Bajoran space-station. Regardless, it is however established that the Klaestrons have a treaty with the Federation that permitted extradition, but had no such treaty with the Bajoran government. Considering that the Federation was trying to maintain diplomatic relations with both parties, it's likely why they didn't attempt to use their lawyers and let the Bajorans take over the case.
      • Bajor also had a fledgling government and very idealized self-image at that point; it's entirely possible the pre-occupation society didn't have lawyers as such, and the provisional government wanted to mimic that (which would explain why their judge is 100 years old). It's also possible the provisional government had a very crude constitution with an ill-defined judicial branch and Sisko was deliberately exploiting the situation.
    • Further questions are raised by how a minor fringe planet managed to get the Federation to agree by treaty with the extraordinary rendition of its own citizens without even informing Federation authorities of the matter. This is far from the only time in the series we see the Federation Diplomatic Corps to be established as utterly incompetent (the treaty with the Cardassians is a stinker of equal odor), but it's one of the worst.

     Hastily thought out mole hunt from shaky evidence? 
  • In Inquisition Sloan suggests that for most of the episode he had strongly suspected Bashir of being a traitor. However his actions create two problems that really harm the idea of Section 31 being efficient. The first is that the evidence we see isn't exactly strong and hardly enough to go to the effort of kidnapping an important doctor. The second is that if Bashir really had been a traitor his meeting with the fake Weyoun would have tipped him off that this wasn't real.
    • Sloan knew the entire time that Bashir wasn't a mole. He wanted to test him to see if he was worthy of joining Section 31. It's been a while since I've seen the episode, so I don't remember the particular reason it was so elaborate.
      • Sloan mentions that he had been proven wrong by the test, implying he had suspected that Bashir was a traitor before.
      • Sloan lying to manipulate a subject would hardly be out of character. He moved straight from the 'loyalty test' to trying to recruit Bashir. Bashir even calls him out on the 180 in attitude shift that represents. The test was never about loyalty, it was about how easily he could be manipulated. Imagine the holodeck scenario but used by the Dominion and played straight. Bashir as an agent of 31 gets abducted by the Dominion, they want to get information from him, so they try breaking down his sense of reality to convince him to cooperate with them. Bashir's ability to notice flaws in the scenario and resist having his reality distorted enough to cause him to give up sensitive information is what was being tested. 31 didn't stay hidden this long by recruiting chumps, Sloan needs to know how hard it would be to break Bashir. Sloan tortured Bashir, so he could find out how well Bashir would resist torture. That was the test.
      • Simple answer: Sloan assumes that everyone could potentially being a traitor. So he tests them for being a traitor, and if they're not, he's proven wrong and moves forward

     "Or should I say Bill?" 
  • Admiral Ross went without a first name for a while, until "Image in the Sand," when Odo says to Kira (sensitive about being called "Colonel"): "Well, has Admiral Ross, or should I say Bill, arrived yet?" Indeed, later episodes call him William or Bill Ross. The headscratcher is that the Deep Space Nine Companion notes that the writers weren't sure at first if that reference was to be taken literally (and early set decorations called him "Cliff Ross"), because it was in the context of Odo cracking a joke. It was indeed gentle dig at Kira's discomfort with her new title, but how could this joke work at all if Admiral Ross's given name was anything other than William?
    • Could be that Ross's name is Clifford William Ross, and he simply prefers to go by his middle name (or a shortened form of it) in social situations. As neither Odo nor Kira are members of Starfleet, it's entirely possible that when introduced, he simply said "Call me Bill."

     The head of a space station only a commander? 
  • This has always bugged me about Deep Space Nine. When the series starts, Sisko is a commander, only getting promoted to captain during "The Adversary". But shouldn't a space station have a higher ranking officer? It's larger, so probably needs more people to properly maintain. It's a political symbol of the federation, and the commander will be required to negotiate in its name. And, it's the docking place for other federation ships, which are led by captains, which could cause chain of command tension in a crisis.
    • I don't know about other Federation stations, but DS9 was somewhat of a special case. At the beginning of "Emissary", Starfleet wasn't completely taking over the station, but helping out Bajor after the occupation as a facilitator. The Starfleet crew early on was nearly a skeleton crew: you had your doctor, your chief engineer, your head science officer, and a few other crewmen scattered here and there to fill gaps, but the rest of the station personnel were mostly members of the Bajoran militia (such as Odo's entire staff). This wasn't exactly a plum assignment, or even much of an important one; Bajor wasn't strategically important, the station wasn't exactly a major hub for starships, or any traffic, for that matter (remember, it wasn't named Deep Space Nine because it was in a major traffic zone), and the station was still technically Bajoran with a token Federation presence. Perhaps Starfleet just didn't see it as important enough to send a captain in. It was only after the discovery of the wormhole that suddenly Bajor and the station became important to both the Federation and the Alpha Quadrant as a whole, but by then Sisko had already been placed in the position of Emissary by the Bajorans, and the Starfleet higher-ups probably thought it would weaken their relationship with Bajor to bring in somebody else above Sisko at that point.
    • No doubt Sisko has special training and experience that makes him appropriate for such an administration job (and it's easy to forget that, at the beginning of the series, Sisko is a mid-level administrator). I think spending so much time aboard starships throughout most of Star Trek fosters a "captain or nothing!" mentality in most audiences, but realistically a commander is more than experienced enough for most command situations.
    • Frankly I'm surprised it hasn't happened more often (in fact the only other instance I can think of off the top of my head is when {Lt Cmdr} Data was in command of that Nebula-class ship during that Klingon two-parter back in TNG). Chalk it up to Viewers are Morons, I guess. Starfleet's Mildly Military culture notwithstanding, many, MANY real-life navies place sub-Captain officers in command of (smaller) ships (and my own Air Force base has a Colonel in command of thousands of people as opposed to say, a General). Voyager (and especially Equinox) could have and probably should have been commanded by lower-ranking officers. Deep Space 9 was a backwater posting when Sisko was assigned, I have no problem believing that Starfleet let a Commander run things. Hell, their CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER was a Junior-Grade Lieutenant when he arrived! Their Operations officer was a Senior Chief! Reality is unrealistic, so Starfleet has four hundred thousand Captains and they all seem to know each other. As for the chain of command during a crisis, the Captain on that ship may outrank Sisko, but it's SISKO's station.
      • Also, at the start of the series, Sisko is First Officer of a ship while holding the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
      • Another curious exception on DS9 is in "Second Sight," where the U.S.S. Prometheus seems to be commanded by a Lt. jg (albeit it could have been the case that higher offers were simply off the scene for some reason or another).
      • It's been hinted at in the various shows, and outright stated in the extended universe, that a Starfleet captain has the power to enter into treaties and make agreements on behalf of the Federation. That would make sense, given the exploration and first contact duties of a Federation starship. Starship C.O.s may all be captains because, well, you don't want a junior lieutenant setting your foreign policy.
      • Also, in one episode, O'Brien noted to Nog that despite the person's actual rank, it was tradition to refer to the ship's commander as "Captain". This was followed by Nog (an acting Ensign) asking if that meant HE could be referred to as captain, but O'Brien noted that if that happened, there'd be no one left alive to address him as such. Without counting the pips on each Captain's collar, the title isn't indicative of the officer's rank.
      • Indeed, this is addressed in Star Trek Online. You start off on your first ship as an Ensign, and the ship is attacked by the Borg, leaving the entire senior staff dead. You take command, save the ship, and help hand the Borg incursion its ass. In reward, you're promoted to Lieutenant and retain command of the repaired ship. Despite the fact that you then have to climb up the ranks of Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander, and Commander before actually attaining the rank of Captain, everyone still refers to you as "Captain" while you're in command of the ship. (Which is also the case IRL by tradition)
    • Also, IIRC, other starbases in TNG were run by commanders, rather than captains.

     The UFP Never Ratified the Geneva Conventions 
  • In the cold open of Favor the Bold, has always bugged me a bit. In that sequence, the Defiant is made to look damaged and broadcasts a distress call in the hope of luring a Dominion patrol into attacking it, at which point the Rotarran de-cloaks and fires on the attacking ships. Isn't using a false distress call with the intention of ambushing an enemy technically a war crime? Now I'm no fan of Gene Roddenberry's idea of an idillic future where humanity completely evolves past its darker aspects, and I realize that the Dominion forces do far, far worse without hesitation or remorse, but I still find it, I don't know, vaguely disturbing that Starfleet would so casually resort to perfidy.
    • The headscratcher here isn't 'why doesn't the UFP observe the Geneva Conventions', but 'why would the Geneva Conventions even apply?' Given that they are a 400 year-old historical treaty that only applied to countries on Earth? Earth has been through WWIII, wars with the Romulans and Klingons, not to mention several other disputes such as the Cardassian Border 'Wars'. Treaties between disparate interstellar Empires and Confederations are obviously in place, but the series has shown time and again that the majority of races/empires/groups in Trek do not hold to the same ideologies as the UFP. Even the Bajorans, (their aggressive post-occupation attitudes notwithstanding) have some troubling ideas about resistance that the UFP find troubling. Generally the UFP do wage war in an ethical fashion, but during the Dominion War, all bets were off. Any chance to strike against the Dominion would be taken if you'd taken the losses the UFP had to that point. While the Klingons can absorb even devastating defeats as 'glorious battle' and see death in battle as honorable, the UFP can't due to its ideology. It's not surprising to see the UFP take a few tips from the Klingon/Romulan/Dominion playbook and start to use more underhand tactics to win. As Worf says in Way of the Warrior (when questioned on the honor of cloaked ships lying in wait for ships that try to rescue survivors of destroyed Cardassian ships), 'in war there is nothing more honorable than victory.'
      • OP, here, and I was just looking for a vaguely clever name for the folder heading. I didn't actually think that the Geneva Conventions would apply, I mostly chose it because that name telegraphed that the question was about rules of warfare.
    • Attempting to destroy a ship broadcasting a distress call is also a war crime. The Federation is just using the Dominion's dirty tactics against them.
    • True, and the Dominion don't deserve sympathy; but it still strikes me as odd in a series that always takes the time to explore the consequences of what good people have to do in wartime. Not only is it not examined, I get the impression that these operations are kind of routine.
      • It's also dangerous. You're running the risk of drawing innocent people—who are required to respond to distress calls—into a battlefield
      • We have no idea what laws and agreements concerning rescue are even in use by the different belligerentsnote . However, even if the Federation normally refrains from those tactics if the Dominion has a standard policy of firing on ships requesting help then there isn't a point to the Federation keeping that standard. The ships will be fired on regardless of whether they're sincere or not so the Federation might as well make use of whatever advantage they can get.
      • Also it's not exactly likely that Sisko set up his ambush for a Jem'hadar warship anywhere within easy travel time of a civilian vessel that would receive and respond to a distress call.
    • Part of the problem with this headscratcher is that it reflects that most people don't really understand what the Geneva Convention is or does. Most people who bring it up seem to think that it means "The first-world countries who signed this agree to be really nice and caring and not do bad things". Rather, the Geneva Convention has a very specific list of things countries will or will not do in certain situations... and it only applies to other signatories. Thus even if the Federation did hold to the Geneva Convention, unless a Weyoun wanted to show up and sign the Dominion up to it (and actually hold to it themselves in any appreciable way that didn't disqualify them from it), the Federation is not obligated to extend the Geneva considerations to the Dominion. Unless the Federation has actually signed some form of treaty with the Dominion that prohibits faking distress calls, faking a distress call isn't even a war crime... it's just a bit of a dirty trick, and there's a philosophy in warfare that says "Fighting fair is for suckers". The only reason the Federation would have to not pull such a ploy is that doing so would encourage Jem'hadar ships to fire on ships in distress instead of helping them... and since the Jem'hadar ships already do that, there's no benefit to the Federation, even morally really, for not pulling such fake outs.
    • It also means that the Defiant and Rotarran can stay in one place and let the Jem'Hadar come to them. I doubt Sisko would permit them to pull the trick anywhere near where a neutral or civilian ship might have a chance of answering the distress call, so the only likely respondents would be another Starfleet or KDF ship (which would either render that particular iteration of the trick pointless or give them extra firepower), or a Dominion ship (in which case, open fire). I doubt if anyone further up the chain of command in Starfleet, or in the civilian government of the Federation would get to know about it, and if they did, then given the stories about the Dominion, I wouldn't expect them to raise too much of a fuss ("oh, it's just an over-enthusiastic commander on the front line pulling his Cowboy Cop crap again, when is his superior going to call him onto the carpet about it?"). I'd be more concerned about whether the KDF Command or High Council thought the maneuver was dishonorable, and refusing further joint ops. But then, they do have cloaking devices...
      • The Klingons consider nothing more honorable than victory in war, according to Worf in Way of the Warrior. He cautions against scanning for survivors among wrecked Cardassian ships as there are likely to be cloaked Klingon ships lying in wait. So it's doubtful they would have any issue with a distress-call tactic. They may in fact applaud the Starfleet officers involved for doing what it takes. The Dominion itself has shown to only consider or adhere to treaties that benefit itself (such as Non-Aggression pacts with the Romulans, Tholians, Bajor etc that remove key allies or potential allies) and only ever considers the Klingons and UFP as genuine enemies. This is because they (rightly) predicted that those two powers would be their main enemies in any war for the Alpha Quadrant. So it's extremely unlikely that the Dominion would have considered or agreed to any rules of engagement with their primary enemies. It's simply not how the Founders do things. Even when the Dominion comes to the table briefly (in Statistical Improbabilities), it's because they want a valuable planet that will allow them to more easily manufacture Ketracel White in the Alpha Quadrant.
  • Well actually there is something similar to the Geneva Convention in the Star Trek universe, it’s call the Seldonis IV Convention and it’s mentioned in the episode Chain of Command, the Cardassians and the Federation are both signatories. That said, as pointed before, the Federation is not obligated to enforce it on the Dominion if the Dominion is not a signatory.

    Picard, the Absentee Captain 
  • Where the hell is the Enterprise-E during the Dominion War? Surely with the kinds of losses Starfleet is taking — one offscreen fight mentioned in the season 6 premiere stated a casualty rate almost as bad as Wolf 359 — they would need their newest, most powerful warship at the front lines. For that matter we never see any other Sovereign-class ships during the battle scenes, either.
    • The Enterprise-E did take part in the Dominion War off-screen. The reason they didn't show up in the fleet battles is...well...the only way they could really do it is to have Sisko or someone say "the Enterprise is here", and only show the exterior of the ship and none of the actors (basically make the ship itself have a cameo)...and that's not very good storytelling. Having the Enterprise play a meaningful part in the conflict would require at the very minimum cameo appearances from the TNG actors. And unfortunately actors do not work for free and this kind of thing is very expensive. And these episodes were already really high budget as-is with all of the CGI. And the reason they end the shows after 7 years and make new ones is because the salaries of actors goes up for the length of the show, and a new show lets them "reset" it by bringing in lesser-known actors again (until they get well known by the end of their shows). So the real reason is "it would've made the Dominion War episodes too expensive". I just assume the Enterprise WAS there, just not shown on screen. It was confirmed in Insurrection that the 1701-E WAS involved in a lot of battles in the Dominion War.
    • Doyle-ist answer is that it isn't Picard's show any longer so they aren't going to pay top-rate Next Gen actors.
    • Watsonian-answer, from stuff that's been said at cons and in various books, is that they Sovereign class vessels including the Enterprise were doing stuff that could be handled by one ship instead of large fleets. Stuff like dealing with diplomatic crisis, helping colonies which are having the sort of problem that is non-Dominion related, maintaining relationships with non-combatant powers. Which makes sense. Just because there is a war on does not mean that the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere and Eldritch Abominations will stop showing up, or that the imperiled colonies from Mad Scientists will stop being imperiled; basically all the stuff that the Enterprise dealt with on a weekly basis before the Dominion War. Starfleet has got to do all the usual stuff plus fight a war instead, so rather than waste the Enterprise in a confrontation where it could be one-shotted as cannon fodder in a battle it was used for the stuff it always did or for stuff where prestige mattered more than mere strength. The difference between the Dominion War and the two Borg crisis was that Wolf-359 and Sector One battles were acute crisis but the Dominion War was a chronic problem instead of an acute "one battle and it is over" affair. The TL;DR version is that while the Sovereign class were potentially powerful weapons in pitched battles they were also definitely much more useful tools for other stuff that Starfleet has still gotta deal with along with the war.
    • According to Memory Alpha there was only ONE confirmed Sovereign-class starship ever built, and that was the Enterprise-E (there are three other ships listed that might have been Sovereign-class, but they are not confirmed as such). It would be very understandable if Starfleet chose to keep some or all of their finest vessels away from the front lines. Losing a Sovereign-class ship to the Dominion would have been a terrible blow to Federation morale, not to mention put a significant dent in Starfleet military power.
      • No, I'm sorry, but that wouldn't be understandable at all; especially with how badly things were going for the Federation. You don't build ships like Enterprise unless you intend to use them. Take, for example, the U.S.S. Essex—the most advanced aircraft carrier of her time, and the pathfinder for the legendary Essex-class of American carriers—which was commissioned in December of 1942. By May, it was already in front-line combat duty in the Pacific. Keeping a ship like that out of action because you're afraid the paint might get scratched hurts military power by virtue of being an asset that you've sunk huge amounts of time, money, and effort into, only to be unwilling to use the result of that investment. Those are resources that were needed elsewhere in the war effort, so if you don't use what you've invested them in, those resources are wasted. Losing a ship like that would hurt morale, sure, but nothing builds morale like having your top-of-the-line capital ship, the symbol of your nation's spirit and ingenuity, at the center of a battle group, kicking the ever-loving crap out of the enemy.
      • It is really a shame because it would have made for a good two-parter. The idea of the Enterprise showing up to help after "First Contact" would have gotten a lot of people to watch the show. Maybe have them show up to help mine the wormhole? Have Picard and Sisko debate the ethics of provoking a war, bring up the Borg and talk about how Sisko wishes he had been the one defending Earth. Would have done a lot to bring in casual fans.
      • That Memory Alpha article has a flaw: The first of the Defiant class was called the Defiant. The first of the Intrepid class was called the Intrepid. The first of the Excelsior class was called the Excelsior. The first of the Galaxy class was called the Galaxy. The first of the Prometheus class was called the... you get the point. How does it make sense that the first of the Sovereign class isn't called the Sovereign when every other starship follows a very clear design lineage? It should by all rights be called the Enterprise class.
      • It's possible that the ship was called the U.S.S. Sovereign while it was under construction, but they changed the name to Enterprise after NCC-1701-D was destroyed.
    • A possible explanation might be the actual combat role of the Sovereign-class and the newness of the design. It may have been the most advanced ship class in the fleet at the time, but that does not equate to being the most powerful.note  In terms of displacement and hull profile the Sov seems to have been intended as a replacement for the Excelsior-class as Starfleet's standard heavy cruiser, rather than as a battleship-level command vessel like the GCS, and the Excelsiors were built by the truckload for fifty-odd years whereas the Sov was only introduced in 2373. Simple math dictates we were more likely to see an Excel than a Sov.
      • Excelsiors originally played a battleship-like role in Starfleet, being the largest and most powerful ships in the fleet. It's just that decades worth of advances in starship design led to size creep and they became more of cruiser. But they presumably stayed in construction because the design proved adaptable enough to new technology that they could fill roles formerly given to smaller ships. Meanwhile, the Sovereign-class is overall more compact than the Galaxy-class (longer, but not as tall or broad, for less internal volume) and has much larger warp nacelles (which presumably allows for greater speed, otherwise why bother; Galaxy already reused the Nebula engines so they'd be reused again for Sovereign if there was no performance advantage to the bigger ones). Supposedly Sovereigns have a purely Starfleet crew (as opposed to Galaxies having civilian specialists and the provision for the crew's families), indicating that some of the long-term exploration capacity was sacrificed in a wartime design, presumably in favor of a more combat-oriented ship. Sovereigns would probably have better shields as well, because they have less surface area to cover and thus even if power output were identical they'd have more power per square meter. As for why the Sovereigns weren't seen in DS9, we didn't see every battle. There were probably entire fronts to the Dominion War we saw nothing of. The Cardassian Union was hardly small, after all, and that's not even getting into any fighting that might have occurred in the ‎Breen Confederacy and any adjacent Federation or Klingon territory. Realistically, though, we probably should've seen at least some of them. Even if paying the TNG cast as guest stars would've not been worth the expense, they still could've had the USS Sovereign. Have it be Admiral Ross's flagship or something.
      • Interestingly, the Akira-class presents us with the opposite problem. They have a massive presence in DS9 from "A Call to Arms," onward; more so than any of the other ships that made their debut in Star Trek: First Contact. This suggests that they've been in production for a few years, already—it wouldn't be surprising if Starfleet fast-tracked the design, and kicked its production into high gear immediately after Wolf 359. So many Akiras show up during the Dominion War, in fact, that we probably should have seen some evidence of their existence in later episodes of TNG or early DS9.

    Engineers are not important 
  • The chief engineer of DS9 is a non-com, and would be outranked by someone fresh from the academy. The doctor, the chief scientist and the cultural attaché are all high ranking officers, yet in this world where all the most life threatening problems can only be solved by using the right engineering tricks on the stations systems, the chief engineer is not. If I'm not mistaken, on a current day navy vessel the person performing the equivalent function is pretty much the highest ranking person on the ship except for the skipper.
    • Nobody was assigned to DS9 with the belief that it was an important post. Sisko was sent there almost as a pity assignment with a mix of Kicked Upstairs and Reassigned to Antarctica in hopes he'd actually do something when put under a modicum of pressure. Bashir was only a lieutenant - not a particularly high rank, probably the minimum needed to hold a position like Chief Medical Officer in a border outpost. And they didn't even need a full-fledged Omnidisciplinary Scientist warp engineer to maintain the station, just someone with some familiarity with Cardassian tech and in a position to be reassigned - and hey, there was O'Brien, who was already looking to get off a ship and was otherwise good enough. By the time the station became important, suddenly the officer in charge was a local religious figure and effectively untouchable, and in a good place to politely tell Starfleet "no thank you" when the topic of replacing any of his staff came up. After that, it's a matter of Starfleet ranks and promotion prospects being fairly stagnant as established in previous series, and the relative rarity of moving a non-com to CO ranks.
      • Presumably Bashir was commissioned as a lieutenant junior grade straight out of the academy, because that's the lowest rank a medical doctor can hold in Starfleet. That's how it works in the real US Navy that Starfleet is based on, after all.
      • Pedant point: Word of God from Gene Roddenberry is that Starfleet is based on the US Coast Guard, not the navy. With bits of the old British Royal Navy from the age of Wooden Ships and Iron Men on occasion, but mostly Coast Guard. The Coast Guard places a huge emphasis on its scientific and lifesaving missions, far more than on its war time roles, which is something that really comes through in Starfleet.
    • Given Sisko's background, he's fresh from design-building the Defiant at the Utopia Planetia shipyards, he was supposed to be chief engineer as well as Dock Master and O'Brien was his senior noncom in charge of running the repair teams and handling day-to-day training up of Bajoran maintenance teams. I'd hold out that it could also have been Dax who was the Officer-in-Charge, since having a science officer sounds a little egregious, and then O'Brien as the senior non-com.
    • Sisko's background and characterization suggests his talents are as a troubleshooter. Someone who is sent where there is a potential hotspot, and who has the skills to resolve the situation in the best way possible. His job was to help Bajor rebuild and transition into Federation membership, and his skills are well suited to that. It just turned out that the posting was far more important than anyone thought it would be.

     Save Odo's Life, Get One Free Murder! 
  • Okay, "murder" might not entirely fit, but how are Bashir and O'Brien not in trouble for any of the very serious felonies that they committed in Extreme Measures? And not just legal trouble—they killed a member of Section 31! It's hard to say how that organization might respond to one of their agents being killed, but I can't help thinking that Dr. Bashir and Chief O'Brien should be giving serious consideration to defecting to the Dominion before it does.
    • Officially there is no Section 31; in the 400 odd years of on-screen Star Trek history we have seen only Archer and Sisko's senior staff have any proven interaction with them at all. There hasn't even been a single token conspiracy theory. Even if you break in and murder a couple they aren't going to press any kind of formal charges for fear of revealing themselves. As to why 31 didn't didn't just abduct them one night with their fancy long range undetectable transporter I think the same reasoning applies - if anyone on Deep Space Nine has even a shred of concrete evidence (which they reasonably could have as only a fool would count out such accomplished seasoned officers) then say goodbye to that very nice top secret organization you once had. The general population of the ultra-liberal communist utopia of the Federation would never allow such a group to continue operating without a mass protest, to say nothing about what captains like Picard would do. Any man willing to commit treason to save a planet of elves would do so again to stop men like Sloane killing Starfleet officers in the name of his beloved Federation. True he would have to find them first but no matter what Sloane claims, Star Trek 12 proves that Section 31 does have a headquarters (and I'm sorry but there is no way Nero's incursion could have in any way spawned that building short of a Voodoo Shark).
    • Point of order: technically, Bashir and O'Brien didn't kill Sloan. Sloan took his own life by activating a neuro-depolarizing device in his brain.
      • I think you could make a pretty good case for at least culpable negligence, considering the whole...extremely dangerous, highly-illegal Romulan mind probe thing. In fact, we can probably assume that the whole affair ended up being very highly classified, or Bashir probably would have lost his medical license.
      • But Sisko learned of what Bashir and O'Brien were doing and refrained from intervening, too. So a lot of people would go down.
    • Well to be fair, a lot of characters got a "free murder" throughout the series, including Gaila (In The Magnificent Ferengi), and Garak on more then one occasion.

     Why the Name Deep Space 9? 
  • It's not located in deep space, but on Bajor's front porch. None of the other space stations with the Deep Space designation appear to be anywhere near an inhabited planet. Sure, Bajor is "the frontier" from Starfleet's perspective, as evidenced by Bashir's incredibly tone-deaf speech to Kira about "frontier medicine" in the pilot, but that's just the thing: that speech was incredibly tone-deaf, the sort of thing you might expect from a greenhorn like Bashir but not, one would think, from an organization as concerned with diplomacy as Starfleet. They want Bajor to join the Federation, after all: naming the nearest Federation presence to them the future equivalent of "Middle-of-Nowhere Uncivilized Barbarian Observation Outpost #9" seems to be a bad way to get that effort off on the right foot.
    • Maybe it's an artifact title and/or placeholder title? It seems unlikely that in the two hundred or so years since the founding of the Federation that at the start of the series they'd only be up to their ninth deep space station, so maybe it's a designation that gets recycled? Eg There's Deep Space 1 through 10 and those got assigned as they were built, then some time after 10 was built, DS1 was renamed as it was no longer an outpost far from Earth, but the main starbase/administrative hub for that sector, so when the next one was built instead of calling it DS11, they reused the DS1 designation. As the decades have gone on, the Deep Spaces have been renamed and the title moved on to the next one and DS9 was the next one to come up when Starfleet were assigning Terrok Nor's Federation designation. And because they'd invited the Federation to help run the place and wanted to wipe away as much of the memory of the Cardassian occupation as they could, the Bajorans didn't want to keep using Terrok Nor and didn't come up with their own designation so agreed to the Federation one. Also, considering Bajor was working towards becoming a member of the Federation (or at least some elements of the Bajoran Provisional Government wanted to), maybe they saw the Deep Space designation (assuming the above is true) as the first step towards that goal (so it's less "Middle-of-Nowhere Uncivilized Barbarian Observation Outpost #9" and more "Potential-Member-Admin-Hub #9").
    • I think the implication is that "Deep Space" is a term used for Federation facilities that are located outside of Federation territory. Once Bajor joins the Federation, DS9 will probably be renamed 'Starbase Whatever'. The only other Deep Space Station that we've spent any significant amount of time at was Deep Space Station K-7, which was near Klingon space, which we know isn't particularly far from Earth. Since it was built to help the Federation annex Sherman's Planet, however, we know that it was outside of Federation space as well.
      • It almost certainly was. Sherman's Planet was in what was referred to as disputed territory, essentially an a region claimed by both the Federation and Klingons. They were ready to go to war over it. Given that neither Kirk nor Lurry had the authority to prevent Klingons from making use of station facilities, it was probably a condition of the treaty as well to share facilities. However, K-7 was apparently civilian run. Lurry was not in uniform and only addressed as Mr.

     600-ship Fleet tasked to win the war commanded by a Captain? 
  • Why would a fleet of 600 ships that is tasked with winning the war be commanded by CAPTAIN Sisko? Wouldn't a fleet that large and important be commanded by an Admiral? Really, it's no wonder Kirk and Picard never wanted to be Admirals, since apparently Admirals in Star Fleet don't actually do anything important. Not even commanding large fleets, as they have always done as far back in history as one chooses to look.
    • Maybe because Admirals have spent years working desk jobs and are not always best situated in combat situations (like Commodore Stocker from TOS whose entire career took place behind the desk) and Sisko has actual experience as combatant in the war? Besides,IMO, the Admirals in Trek always are acting as more of diplomats than tactical officers and in this case, I wouldn't want one of them to lead the fleet. Both Kirk and Picard have said/implied that being an Admiral is boring desk job and they wouldn't be in the midst of the actual exploration and/or fighting. Perhaps past experiences play a hand, as in the "Call To Arms" novelization (the scene takes place during "A Time To Stand), Bashir mentions that the Defiant is basically the most experienced ship in the Dominion conflict and Sisko is shocked at what orders the fleet must have been given to lose a hundred ships in one ambush, instead of retreating. As a matter of fact, we also see the TNG crew best equipped for skirmishes with the Borg as they were the very first who encountered them and who had a personal history with them. I'd say that in such grave instances, letting the people who have been shown to come up with unorthodox ways of fighting the enemy and defeating them (even on small scales) would logically be better put in use.
      novel!Sisko: The strategies coming out of the admiralty have to be more creative, or we're just looking at more disasters. The admirals who we have now, they haven't fought this kind of a war. I've been out in deep space, defending the station, defending a planet, protecting a sector- you can't just go by the book on tactics! They don't understand. You have to be more creative. You have to change your thinking every single day, because that's what your enemy does. I've got to get close and start changing things.

     Tavnian vs Federation Law 
  • "The Muse": How does Tavnian law regarding the disposition of Lwaxana's baby by a Tavnian supersede Federation law? In other words, why couldn't Lwaxana just file for an injunction in a Federation court? She is, after all, not just a Federation citizen, but a senior Federation ambassador.
    • The Federation in general is HIGHLY respectful of the laws of other worlds, both member planets and non-member planets. Member planets have to agree to the Federation charter (which disallows things like class systems, racial profiling and requires things like democratically elected governments). But these are *loose* requirements, not strict rules. Even member planets are free to make their own rules as long as they don't contradict something in the Federation charter. Also, even if a planet DOES violate the Federation charter, the worst case scenario is they won't be allowed to be a member of the Federation, they won't meddle in their affairs.
    • Several reasons. 1 - Lwaxana and the man were married on the Tavnian homeworld in a Tavnian ceremony. Tavnian custom dictates that the son would be his to raise. Lwaxana would have implicitly agreed to that when she married him. 2 - They are not in Federation territory, they're in Bajoran territory. The federation can't do much about it.

     The Valiant's training cruise 
  • "Valiant" has the Red Squad cadets on a training cruise close to the Cardassian border with only a few commissioned officers who are all conveniently killed in the opening of the Dominion War. Why would Starfleet have a ship full of cadets be near a potential warzone but also have the ship be a Defiant-class who is among the very few dedicated warships in the Starfleet armada and of vital importance for the coming war effort instead of a training vessel.
    • Because the cadets are training for an upcoming war. The time for "peaceful exploration" is over.
      • Emphasis on training for war... they're not meant to be participating directly in the war as cadets. That episode is really contrived.

     O'Brien, Chief of Engineering and intelligence officer 
  • In "Honor Among Thieves", O'Brien works as an intelligence officer (again) infiltrating the Orion Syndicate, and the station keeps lampshading his genius engineering skills by giving hiccups every 5 seconds or so. And he had a wife and two kids. Was Starfleet Intelligence really desperate enough to send someone that important to a suicide mission like that?
    • It's important to note that the Klingons were engaged in war with the Cardassians at the time. O'Brien's presence could be a Call-Back to a fairly forgettable TNG episode, where O'Brien has some backstory revealed that he and his old captain (who is the focal point of that episode) spent a lot of time fighting Cardassians back in a war between the two powers that occurred before the start of TNG.

     Dr. Bashir the Andorian 
  • In "Explorers", how did Dr. Elizabeth Lense mistake Bashir for an Andorian for years without realising her mistake? Does "Julian Bashir" sound at all like an Andorian name? Did she never bother to look up his file? And unless she arrived late to her own graduation and missed him giving the first speech as the Salutatorian, she would have noticed the man giving the speech was human! Granted, she might not have particularly cared who he was, but a woman who's supposed to be as intelligent as Julian is, making such an elementary mistake? It strains credulity!
    • Julian was talking to an Andorian when he was pointed out to her at a party. She may have assumed it was just a strange name for an Andorian. And she missed his speech because she was preparing for hers. She flat out says it in the episode.

     Why is Worf always on the Enterprise-E? 
  • Why is Worf always conveniently on the Enterprise-E, even when he is assigned to Deep Space Nine?
    • Worf was reassigned to the station after the destruction of the Enterprise-D in Star Trek: Generations. This meant that the writers needed to come up with a reason — any reason — to have Worf present on the Enterprise-E for his subsequent appearances in the Next Gen movie franchise. Star Trek: First Contact gives a reasonable explanation. Star Trek: Insurrection blatantly Hand Waves his presence at the beginning of the movie: he begins to explain what he's doing there before Riker starts talking over him. Finally, in Star Trek: Nemesis — which is set after the Deep Space Nine finale, in which Worf resigns from Starfleet and becomes the Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire — Worf is on the Enterprise-E, in Starfleet, as a member of its crew, with no explanation at allnote .
    • Perhaps Insurrection takes place between episodes of Deep Space Nine during Worf's brief vacation from the station in an attempt to be very far away from Keiko O'Brien during her pregnancy (which didn't last long anyway, but Worf wouldn't know that until he got back).
      • The pregnancy was two years past by that point - Insurrection occurred in Season 7, Kirayoshi O'Brien was born in Season 5.
      • Dialogue also establishes that the movie took place after the end of the Dominion War; which ended in the final episode of DS9.
      • Actually, Insurrection HAS to be set during the series - at the end, Worf is no longer on the station or the Defiant. Common fanon puts the events of Insurrection as occurring during the episode 'It's Only A Paper Moon,' which explicitly takes place over several weeks.
      • Worf was setting up the defence perimeter at the Manzar Colony, per the script — the explanation, such as it is, is made inaudible in the finished film.

    No jail time for Mrs. Bashir 
  • In Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 05 E 16 Dr Bashir I Presume, Julian Bashir's father Richard pleads guilty to genetically tampering with his son and strikes a deal where Richard spends two years in minimum-security prison in exchange for Julian being able to keep his medical license and Starfleet commission. Julian's mother Amsha, who is guilty of the exact same crime... looks a little sad, and that's it. What gives? There's no mention that clemency for his wife was part of Richard's plea agreement, and nobody even suggests that she might be in any way culpable as well.
    • I think we just have to chalk that one up to Law of Conservation of Detail. She was definitely at least guilty of accessory, but we get the impression throughout the episode that Richard Bashir was the prime mover in this and it is him that the audience probably most wants to see learn some lesson about not being so flippant and stubborn, while Mrs Bashir has been seen as a sympathetic and moderating force on him. That means he gets the jail time, and the audience still gets to feel sympathetic to Mrs Bashir. And us nitpickers just have to infer that part of the deal was letting her off rather than bogging the episode wrap up down in unnecessary detail.
    • "Richard has agreed to a plea bargain in which he spends two years in minimum-security prison" -> "Richard and Amsha have agreed to a plea bargain in which they spend two years in minimum-security prison." Alternatively, "Richard has agreed to spend two years in jail in exchange for clemency for his son" -> "Richard has agreed to spend two years in jail in exchange for clemency for his wife and son." That's "bogging the episode wrap-up down in unnecessary detail"? I don't buy it. It's literally two extra words in either case.
    • Amsha is William H. Macy to Richard's Felicity Huffman.

    So Brunt just walks away for assault? 
  • In Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 04 E 16 Bar Association, Quark's employees form a union and Brunt comes in to set things back to the traditional Ferengi way. During this, he and two Nausicaan thugs have Quark beaten up and sent to the hospital. DS 9 is not under Ferengi jurisdiction, it's under Federation or Bajoran. Why would they tolerate this, as opposed to throwing Brunt in jail where he belongs?
  • It's all there in the episode:
  • ROM: Odo has him and the Nausicaans in a holding cell. He says it's an open and shut case.
  • QUARK: It's an open and shut case all right, but I'm not going to press charges.
  • ROM: You're not?
  • QUARK: Of course not. I'm in enough trouble with the FCA as it is.
    • The situation is very omerta-like. He may be a victim of the FCA's tactics, but Quark believes in principle in the FCA's authority and isn't going to risk crossing it for fear of further reprisals.


    Wartime extradition 
  • Klingons try to extradite Worf for allegedly shooting a civilian ship.
    Sisko: What are the diplomatic relations between the Federation and the Klingon Empire?
    Prosecution Attorney: There are no diplomatic relations.
    • In that case there is no Extradition Treaty and the episode should end right there.
    • What makes this more ridiculous is that, when the Dominion and Cardassia join forces, Dukat pulls the same thing in regards to a political rival on the station. Sisko pretty much tells him to sod off because there is no extradition treaty between their peoples.
      • The difference is that up until the conflict began the Klingons and Federation were allies and the Federation very much wants friendly relations with the Klingons to resume again. They're playing nice in hopes that it will be a step to reconciliation between their two powers, plus the Federation was not happy with the situation and Worf was hella lucky it was a frame up. Heck, for all we know WORF is the one who accepted the charges set against him and agreed to the trial, murdering civilians would be something all sides could agree would warrant punishment.
      • In my opinion Worf was completely justified in taking the shot. Present day Navies "strongly encourage" everybody to keep well away in peace time. And he was at that time in combat. Anybody who approaches active combat puts themselves willingly at risk. Trying to sneak up on the combatants is suicidal.
    • When the Khitomer Accords were dissolved, ending the Federation-Klingon alliance, it seems very likely that the two sides had to revert to the terms imposed onto them by the Organian Peace Treaty. The word 'treaty' is actually a bit misleading, as neither side actually got any say in the stipulations of the document, they just had to follow them or else. Perhaps extradition was mandated by the Organians, and the Federation had no choice but to go along with it.
  • Changing the subject, three different problems with the "Rules of Engagement" scenario:
    1. Why doesn't anyone think to question what a civilian transport ship is doing with a cloaking device?
      • Possible answer: As far as the Klingons might be concerned, cloaking devices are perfectly acceptable to install on civilian ships during wartime conditions, especially if said ships travel along trade routes that intersect combat zones. It's provocative, but not outright hostile. It's like installing high-powered sonar and radar on a commercial vessel IRL—it's overkill and raises suspicion, but unless it's paired with weapons, not so big a deal.
      • They are in the middle of a war. The Klingons are likely attacking Cardassian civilian ships, so they expect the Cardassians to retaliate in the same manner. The cloak is the best protection they can offer.
    2. The judge is blatantly incompetent. She uses "logic" to justify allowing the Klingons to continue with the hearing when logically Starfleet JAG Corps has jurisdiction, not the Klingons. Therefore Worf should logically be tried only under Federation law, and they establish that he's innocent of all charges under that legal system before the opening credits roll.
      • Possible answer: The judge isn't operating on strict interstellar law and jurisdictions. The obvious intent of the Klingons is to score points against the Fed, since the Khitomer Accords are dead and the strike against DS9 is relatively recent. They could very well use the pretext of Starfleet refusing to submit Worf to satisfactory justice (i.e., Klingon law) to restart the recently-suspended hostilities. The Fed would rather that not happen, since a Federation-Klingon conflict would almost certainly mean a Dominion invasion after it was all over. So from the perspective of Starfleet, they could have informed the judge of the political background and basically told her to consider the logic of provoking the Klingons; she would permit an extradition hearing on the basis that Worf would not refuse due to his honor, and might be sufficient to placate the Klingons. Not strictly legal, but sometimes you gotta legislate from the bench.
    3. Or how about why an unarmed transport would decloak right in the middle of a battle, right in front of an enemy warship ready to shoot at anything that twitches? This particular bit was mentioned only briefly, and outside the hearing. If I were Sisko, I would've put this front-and-center and argued that the transport's destruction was actually the fault of a very stupid (and possibly suicidal) captain.
      • Sisko did question this. He sent Odo to find out if the captain was a glory hound or death seeker. The information came back negative. It's also mentioned several times that the battle occurred very near to a set of shipping lanes. Odo even says it would only take a very small navigational error to end up there. Add in that shields don't function while cloaked. If they were caught cloaked in the middle of a firefight, decloaking and raising shields is a smart maneuver.
      • Shipping lanes aside, the freighter should've still seen the battle and immediately changed course to avoid it.
    • Did Klingons even have cloaking technology at that point? Evidently so, I just don't remember when that was established. They would probably say they cloaked to "avoid pirates", which is very flimsy but that point might have been outside the trial's scope.
      • The Klingons obtained cloaking technology from the Romulans in the 23rd century, in a trade. The Romulans had cloak but not very powerful ships, the Klingons had much more powerful ships but no cloak. So they traded a bunch of D-7 class attack cruisers for cloaking tech. The Romulans used those for awhile and eventually used their tech to upgrade their own ships. And the Klingons got cloaking tech out of the deal.

     The Greatest Klingon Warrior, a Pencil Pusher? 
  • For all the great battle feats Worf accomplishes during DS9, he ends up as an Ambassador?!. Okay, sure, it's a prestigious job and Worf being a Klingon raised by humans sounds like a good fit. But this ignores any character development Worf had over TNG and DS9. He's already on a command track which could lead him to be an admiral. He's got plenty of combat and tactical experience, outwitting opponents from Klingon to Borg. Why would foreign relations, a bureaucratic job, be a good use of his skills? If the Federation needs to combat a new foe, one of its best tactical commanders is now sitting behind a desk giving diplomatic, NOT tactical advice! What a waste!
    • Well it doesn't stick beyond DS9, but it would be a smart move. Back in the episode Change of Heart Sisko bumps Worf off the promotion chain, so a lateral shift to being ambassador is a good way to get his career back on track. Any black mark he received prior to that posting has to be read in the context of serving as a high level ambassador or liaison to another of the great powers. It makes it all the more likely that the promotion board will overlook it.
      • That's a good way to explain why Worf might switch to diplomacy. It should be noted, that even Command Officers who consistently break Starfleet regulations, can still be considered the finest officers and be promoted to admirals. Also that position stuck with Worf at least until Star Trek: Nemesis where he seemed very unhappy indeed until he got to man a tactical post again.
      • That’s assuming being the ambassador to the Klingon is boring. Considering their culture and all the probably rituals they have to do, far from it, also as a Klingon himself even as a Federation’s citizen, Worf may enjoy be back in his home world among his people. And, besides, don’t get fooled by what you see in television, an Ambassador’s job is much more than signing papers, can get pretty nasty sometimes.
    • The whole thing is a bit odd. Why would Martok get to name the ambassador to, not from, his government? If it's some back channel request, isn't that just the kind of cronyism we don't want to see Federation? One wonders what the vetting process is like. Worf is not only a Klingon, but a Klingon who is a member of the Chancellor's house... oughtn't that to raise a few questions about how objectively he can represent the Federation's interests?
      • Well, denying the request that Worf be appointed because he was Klingon would kind of be super duper racist, which the Federation tends to try and avoid for the most part. Also, he's been a member of Martok's house for less time than he's been a Starfleet officer, and for far less time than he's been a Federation citizen, so by time spent his loyalties are clear. His service record also shows that any time his loyalties have been split between the Federation and the Empire, he is very, very clear about the decision he makes; if he chooses the Empire, he informs Starfleet of it very clearly and in no uncertain terms, similarly if he chooses Starfleet he does so without reservation. He's actually a very good pick because he's walked in both worlds and has made his pattern of behavior about choosing between those worlds clear.

    The General's Kia-of-Prey 
  • For much of the second half of the series, General Martok is hanging around the station in one capacity or another, and has command of the Rotarran, a Bird of Prey, which eventually becomes his flagship as he is given command of the Federation-Klingon fleet. Wait, what? Why is a tiny, hundred-year-old skirmisher with a crew of cowards and rookies 1) appropriate for a General, 2) appropriate to act as flagship once said General has been given a proper command again, or 3) a sensible choice of vessel for a man whose family apparently owns a private attack cruiser, a powerful modern vessel representing the best of Klingon ship design?
    • Because he feels a Bird-of-Prey is a proper vessel for a Klingon warrior, far better than the "luxury liner" of a Vor'cha- or Negh'Var- class attack cruiser. When he was promoted to the liaison officer between the Klingons and the Federation, he declined Sisko's offer of quarters aboard the station, saying, "I will keep my flag aboard the Rotarran. At least then I'll feel like I'm still in the war." In other words: It keeps him grounded. I must admit, though, that you're right that it doesn't make much sense from a strategic perspective. Three or four well-placed photon torpedoes would destroy the general's flagship.
      • Simply because the basic external design is 100 years old doesn't mean the Rotarran is a century behind in technology. The Klingons are really fond of that design and seem to upgrade everything under the hood so it can fight against 24th century ships. They are either still building new ones or they're upgrading them the same way the Federation upgraded Mirandas and Excelsiors to be a match for Dominion ships. Another important question is whether the Rotarran is a B'rel-class scout or a K'vort-class cruiser; the latter is larger, better armed and can probably take more of a beating. As for why not command from a more powerful and distinctive warship, it could be that if the Dominion knew Martok were on the only Negh'var in the fleet they would make it a priority target, whereas if there are scores of Birds of Prey in any engagement it's much harder to identify which one Martok is on. It keeps the Dominion on its toes: if they get a report that a squadron of Birds of Prey is going to attack some depot, they don't know if its a bunch of hotheads or the General and won't know how to properly allocate defenses. Contrast that with if they saw a Sovereign-class coming they'd know it was Picard.
    • Regarding his crew that keeps ending up filled with rookies, I can think of at least three reasons why it keeps happening: 1) He got out of a Dominion prison camp after being replaced by a Changeling, so he hadn't re-earned the trust of Klingon veterans yet (backed up by the fact that we only see his crew after he was recently released), 2) he really is a good trainer, general or not, and one of his duties is to train rookies simply because he's the best at it (admittedly this has little proof), or 3) Gowron doesn't want to see him get too popular and so keeps sending him inexperienced crews to hinder his progress (this one's especially backed up by Gowron's behavior near the end of the series).
    • Given that Martok wasn't originally a highly-placed member of the Klingon society, it could be a sign that he considers his humble origins to be a source of honor, and this uses a more humble ship that the large cruisers that the other generals use. Also, there are numerous stories of Generals who will fight alongside their men and end up earning their loyalty, as opposed to those who lead from the rear and merely have obedience (compare General George Patton and General Max Taylor from World War II).
    • I think Martok sees the Rotarran as the symbol of his return to grace as a Klingon warrior. After he left the Dominion prison, General Martok felt as useless and disgraced that ship and its crew was before he took command—he even compared the ship's service record to a prison record. It was his victorious first mission on the Rotarran in which Martok proved to himself that he was still a worthy of command.
    • There actually is an historical precedent for flagships being far more primitive and crappy than the rest of the fleet. In Tudor England, the flagship of Henry VIII was a ship called the Mary Rose, which at the time of its construction was literally the most advanced thing on the sea and proceeded to win many great battles. Twenty years later and it was still in use, but by this time ship building had advanced to the point that rendered it on the verge of obsolescence, and the only reason Henry kept it in service as his lead ship was its fierce reputation and because it carried the name Rose which was the symbol of the Tudor dynasty (and thus the symbol of the whole of England.) This story has a very unhappy ending, for its advanced age was probably a very large contributory factor in the fact that it sank with nearly all hands on board.
      • The 255 year old HMS Victory is still the ceremonial flagship of the British First Sea Lord—the professional head of the UK's Naval Service.
  • Accepting that the Rotarran was, for whatever reason, Martok's ship of choice, why was the flagship of the Klingon Eisenhower so often stuck doing convoy escorts, patrols, and other such crap duty?
    • Either the timeline included involved his time before his full return to grace, or it's training for his less-than-stellar crew and unwinding for him (still contributing to the war since a war without supply lines is a lost war).
    • Also, it is stated that Gowron is going out of his way to give Martok crap duty in hopes of keeping Martok from gaining enough political clout to be a threat for the title of Chancellor.
      • This is the reason for most of the above. Gowron became overly concerned that Martok was going to become a legitimate political rival at some point in the future (since he was popular with most Klingons as he was a 'fighting' General). Gowron decided to start giving him ridiculous objectives so that he would fail and lose support. Worf realizes that Gowron is wasting lives on politics, so like a good Klingon, kills him.
  • For story reasons it was useful to have an alternative to the Defiant which was a small fighter-like starship like the Bird of Prey. Several episodes were mainly spent on Klingon ships, mostly Birds of Prey. Presumably when Martok was made Supreme Commander of the Ninth Fleet, the Rotarran became his flagship by default. He just never changed that arrangement, preferring the worn-in, veteran Bird of Prey to any other ship.
  • There is historical precedent for an admiral not always moving their flag to the most powerful available ship. Admiral Kurita during the Battle of Leyte Gulf initially commanded from a heavy cruiser despite having the two largest battleships in history under his command, only transferring his flag when his ship was torpedoed out from under him.

     Those lazy, lazy Organians 
  • Well here we are in season 4; war between the Federation and the Klingons - exactly the thing that the Organians said that they would prevent to Kirk and Kor. Could the Federation and the Empire always have just warped away and called their bluff?
    • it is possible that since the organian prediction of a federation/Klingon friendship had occurred, the organians took a hands off policy after that point, trusting the two nations to have grown enough to settle their differences peacefully. which then backfired when they couldn't. alternately, it could have been that the Organians only intervened in TOS because the Federation-Klingon war was going to kick off in the Organian's home system, and they just wanted to be left alone. certainly by the time of first Trek films the Organians were not a factor. you have ST 5 with its Klingon Bo P attacking the Enterprise over Nimbus, and in ST 6 both the federation and the Klingons had factions within their military proposing starting a war as a response to the loss of Praxis. and neither side seemed to think that Organians or anyone else would intervene.

     How does the High Council have time for that? 
  • In "The House of Quark", we see the Klingon High Council devote several days to pass judgment on fairly routine legal case involving a widow's rights after her husband's death. Even though the House the husband lead is said to be fairly important, considering how most of the houses are lead by members of the warrior class who are eager to fight to death, you'd think such cases are not uncommon? Now, the High Council is supposed to run an interplanetary empire, so if they're also expected to pass judgment on legal disputes like this, how on earth do they have time for anything else? Shouldn't cases like this be left to the courts, which we do know exist in the Klingon Empire? The High Council doing this is the equivalent of the President of the United States and his cabinet handling individual divorce cases, except that the Klingon Empire has billions of inhabitants instead of mere millions.
    • The Klingon Council is less like a Cabinet and more like a Parliament as their system is clearly closer to a Parliamentary system ála Britain or Japan (as they even have a symbolic monarch) than to a presidential system like the US, with the Chancellor akin more to the British Prime Minister or the German Chancellor. As such yes it is common in many Parliaments that they deal with judicial issues especially regarding noble families, you can see several cases in British or Japanese history were the Parliament had to deal with inheritance of noble house's titles and/or properties after someone's death, even during the time that the British had one of the world's largest Empires. Not to mention the Roman Senate also handle things like that having to also rule the very large —for the time— Roman Empire. So is not such a stretch.

     Baffled by a Spreadsheet? 
  • On a related note, while hearing the court case mentioned above, Quark walks the High Council members through a forensic accounting report he'd prepared. The Klingons clearly do not have any idea what Quark is talking about, and stare at his report with obvious uncomprehending bewilderment. Seriously, every one of them looks like a very stupid person who wandered into an astrophysics lecture. Granted, the average Klingon isn't particularly well known for their intelligence, but these are people who collectively run an empire. Each of them is the head of one of the more powerful Klingon Great Houses, and they've all most likely been high-ranking officers in the Klingon military. They should all have a ridiculously solid understanding of finances; otherwise, the Empire and their own houses would have gone broke long ago, and the Klingon military would be a joke because its leadership couldn't manage their resources. How can they possibly be so bewildered by the details of a financial scheme that was uncovered by Quark, who owns a bar that occasionally manages to turn a profit?
    • The warrior caste is dominant among the Klingons and everyone else (scientist, doctor, advocate) is sort of second rate. Why would anyone on the Council itself (which may be made up entirely of military personnel who would have highest position anywhere on the Empire) possess knowledge of things that are most likely dealt with from the financial staff. The High Council, i.e. the Klingons who take decisions about everything, would most likely simply be advised regarding financial matters but would not require in-depth knowledge. And this was a problem of a noble house, so it wouldn't be necessary for financial advisers to take place in that ruling (as they would be present for situations regarding resources of the militia or the entire home world).
    • it could be that they were familiar with spreadsheets, but their bafflement was over the complex financial maneuvers Quark was describing to them. after all, we see them trying to follow along on their own PAD Ds, so they are able to follow what he is saying. Quark however was describing very complex financial maneuverings, which require a fairly deep understanding of the logic behind financial markets, real estate, banking ,and the like. As Grilka remarked earlier, Klingon warriors do not usually concern themselves with financial issues (presumably they have non-warriors or slaves track such things), and we see Gowron being very disgusted by the idea of a Klingon warrior using 'money' instead of challenges and open combat to achieve a goal. so it is likely that the warriors of the Klingon High Council were having trouble wrapping their head around the financial logic and maneuvering Quark was describing. they certainly seemed to get the gist of it though, since Gowron actually goes so far as to confront D'Ghor over the tactics chosen. presumably bringing down a Great House in itself was not a major crime, but doing so through 'dishonorable' means like financial schemes is.

     The Ritual of Mauk-to'Vor 
  • Why didn't Worf and Kurn simply travel to Klingon Territory to perform the Mauk-to'Vor ritual? Or anywhere that isn't Federation territory, really? They couldn't come up with an excuse for Worf to be gone for a few days?
    • Presumably Worf would still have to answer why Kurn didn't come back with him, and it would likely disgrace the honor of the ritual to lie. Remember, the whole point of the ritual is that it's an honorable thing... treating it like something to hide or be done in secret would erase the honor.
  • And would the ritual be valid by Klingon standards, since Worf is the actual disgraced one, not Kurn?
    • Presumably the Mauk-to'Vor is more a matter of personal honor, and would carry significance for Worf and Kurn whether or not the rest of Klingon society acknowledged it. After all the ritual isn't about making the Council forgive them, it's about Kurn wanting to be able to go to Sto-vo-Kor.

    Never let anyone know about our appearance 
  • How could O'Brien and Bashir not know what TOS-era Klingons looked like? There was a near-war with the Klingons, and multiple border conflicts/proxy wars, during that period. Does the Federation/Star Fleet Academy not teach 23rd-century history? Has Section 31 edited all history books and news reports to replace "Space Mongol" Klingons with "Head Ridge" Klingons?
    • Doylist answer: at the time "Trials and Tribble-ations" was written, there was no official explanation for why Klingon appearance changed between TOS and the movies / TNG / DS 9, and the simplest explanation was that it DIDN'T actually change in-canon, it's just that advances in makeup budgets allowed later iterations of Trek to show what Klingons "really" looked like. The Klingon augment virus from Enterprise was a retcon that hadn't been officially made canon yet. The scene you're referring to was just a cute wink at the audience asking them to not think about it too hard. Watsonian answer: something something temporal paradox tachyons don't think about it too hard.


     Why did Jadzia cover her spots 
  • In Trials and Tribble-ations, why did Jadzia cover up her spots? She herself said that one of Dax's previous hosts, Emony, met McCoy at the University. And Curzon was an old friend of Koloth. That being the case, the Trill were known by the Federation at the time, so why would Jadzia need to pose as a human?
    • Because there are no other trills on board the Enterprise. An observant man aware of that fact would start asking questions.
      • For that matter it may be the case that no Trills served in Starfleet at this stage.
     Putting a murderer in a combat-trained SF Officer's body 
  • In Facets Jadzia goes through a ritual that puts the past hosts in other people's bodies. Not that strange until they put Joran in Sisko's body. They put the mind of a man so wild that he murdered a person in the body of a combat trained officer? Without even restraints or anything more secure than a force field? What did they intend to do if there was a power outage? Send a warning across the station to watch out for the mighty Sisko Fist? You even see the flaws of the idea in the episode, Jadzia was crazy enough to turn off the force field without anyone else in the room or any confirmation that Sisko really was in control (which nearly got her killed).
    • Technically all of them except Quark and Leeta are trained soldiers. It would have been dangerous no matter who they put Joran in. Sisko volunteered because A) he didn't want to make anyone else take the risk, and B) he thought he could control Joran. In the unlikely event of a power outage Jadzia would have knocked Sisko out. And if she didn't, the door to the detention area was locked anyway.
    • I think a more significant issue is that they put Joran in the body of someone who has the authorization codes and voiceprint to activate the self-destruct sequence.
      • Aside from when Curzon merged with Odo, it didn't seem like the Dax personalities were able to access the minds of the people whose bodies they were inhabiting. The only apparent connection between host and Dax personality was that the host could reemerge at will, which the Dax personality knew the host wanted, as demonstrated by Quark interrupting his part of the ceremony. Therefore, Joran in Sisko's body might have had the voice print to do it, but not the knowledge of the code needed. I think it would have been brought up if it was likely to be a problem though.
    • Joran also went through some character retconning/development over the series. When we first learned about him he simply killed a guy. By the time we get to Ezri he's turned into Hannibal Lecter.

     Symbiont relationships 
  • We're told several times throughout the series that the number of Trill symbionts available for joining is pretty small. And in "Rejoined" we find that joined Trills are prohibited from having serious relationships not only with living friends and family of previous hosts, but also with the new hosts to symbionts that past hosts used to have a serious relationship with, even if it was several hosts back. And there doesn't seem to be a statute of limitations on this. If we accept that joined Trills, like any other "elite" subset of any society, would prefer to seek each other's company, doesn't it follow that symbionts would run out of people to associate with eventually?
    • For that matter, what's with Jadzia getting posted to the station commanded by one of Curzon's closest friends, or her running off with three Klingons to fulfill an oath that Curzon made with them, or Ezri getting sent to DS9 to replace Jadzia? In "Rejoined", Jadzia specifically says that the taboo does not apply only to marital/sexual relationships, but to close interpersonal bonds of all kinds, so isn't this episode massively inconsistent with the entire rest of the series? Was it just an excuse to get Terry Farrell kissing another woman on camera?
      • Ezri didn't replace Jadzia at DS9 as Jadzia was a science officer, Ezri was a counsellor. It was just that Ezri never wanted to be joined, so had a harder time of dealing with her now close connections to the DS9 crew, so stayed due to the familiarity.
      • I think some people find it harder to deal with some of these interpersonal relationships over others.
    • There's a ton of inconsistency about the Trill within DS9 (and a ton more if you include "The Host"). Wouldn't Ezri's dalliance with Worf be just as taboo as the events of "Rejoined"? As you say, the fact that Jadzia holds herself to Curzon's blood oath stands firmly at odds with her self-declaration "I'm not Curzon" mere episodes earlier in "Playing God"?
      • There is a big difference between having a different personal style versus whether or not to honor an obligation. In the case of "Blood Oath" it could have been that the oath in question bound not just Curzon (host), but Dax (the symbiont), whereas, in "Playing God", Jadzia Dax was emphasizing the differences in her personal style. Indeed, her attitude in "Blood Oath" is entirely consistent with that in the season one episode "Dax", where she keeps Curzon's promise at great risk to herself.
      • I think being a Dax as similar to real life family structure ("Dax" does become in effect the family name of each host after all, like Curzon Dax, Jadzia Dax, and Ezri even changed her original "Tigan" name to Dax after being joined, effectively becoming "married" to the Dax symbiote). So Jadzia's relationship to Curzon could be seen as his "daughter"; she is her own person with her own way of doing things, but her personality is partly influenced by him and she would likely keep any family secrets or promises out of a sense of loyalty to her "father".
    • Perhaps the provision is only loosely enforced regarding non-Trill? The main reason to prohibit ongoing relationships is to allow the symbiote to have new experiences because it's extremely long lived (if not immortal) and as such could continue repeating relationships over the course of several lifetimes with no net gain. On the other hand, races such as Human or Klingon are mortal and as such less of an issue as they inevitably die, forcing the Trill to make new friends. Even Vulcans and Ferengi only seem to live a couple of centuries, not that long compared to the Trill symbiote.
  • I once read an explanation that theorized that Erzi was posted to DS9 to benefit Ezri, rather than Dax. That since she was never prepared for the side effects of the joining they thought it would help her to be in a familiar location, at least temporarily. It's utter fanwank of course but it seemed to have a certain logic to it.
  • Word of God (found on Memory Alpha) from the show's writers and producers says that the main reason for the rejoining taboo is so that joined Trill don't perpetually reassociate and create an aristocracy of the joined, which would be bad both for Trill society (where joined individuals are already considered somewhat elite) and the host (who would be subsumed by the symbiont's desires). So yeah, the provision is Trill-specific and doesn't apply to cases like Sisko or Worf.
    • That certainly makes sense, but as with many Word of God decrees, one wonders if it would have been so hard to find a place to say this in an episode.
    • We're shown that the Federation won't let a planet in if it has a caste system, maybe that's Trill's way of "finding a loophole" to be a member of the Federation. (Assuming they are; I guess it's never explicitly stated.)
      • We're told that the Federation prohibits discrimination based on caste, not caste systems period.
  • Since the Dominion War was going go poorly and the Federation had done some ethically questionable things already, what if Ezri was ordered back to DS9 once she got Dax explicitly because she would already be familiar with the people and station. Given its strategic value, I could see Starfleet saying "damn the taboo, we're at war" and fixing it later.

     But the Other Dax did it! 
  • In a culture that regularly changes hosts, why don't the Trill have a precedent for crimes committed by a previous host?
    • They probably don't prosecute. One of Jadzia's previous hosts committed murder, they simply erased any record of him and repressed the memories within the symbiont. Odds are they just write any problems like that off as a problem with the host. Hell, Dax has two, possibly three, hosts (the murderer, the guy who stole it for a few hours and possibly the future one from that one planet) that commit serious crimes and nobody ever seems to think there may be a problem with Dax itself for allowing the actions to happen.
    • Trill society could easily have one. However, the symbionts have only been open knowledge to all races within the last couple of years, so it would have been dealt by Trill alone, and other species would not have precedent on the books yet. Tandro wanted Dax to be tried by Klaestrons, presumably so that Dax would be executed and he would have 'avenged' his father's death.
      • So when they got the Trill expert witness, why didn't they just ask him what their policy was for the crimes of past hosts? They never did.
    • No human government refrains from punishing simply because a criminal had a spouse and children. They have to suffer and in a sense they are punished collectively even though that is not the intent of the law. Trill probably made the same reasoning about symbionts.
      • Although there is a big difference between innocently suffering because a loved one is in prison versus suffering because you are in prison. The fact remains that, assuming Curzon was guilty, Jadzia certainly wasn't; neither would she have known about Curzon's crimes prior to joining, and one could not imprison Dax without imprisoning (or killing) Jadzia.
    • Since the Trill system seems to go out of its way to erase any mention of a former host committing a crime and pretends that its system is perfect it's entirely possible that there isn't a single publicly known crime committed by a symbiont until Jadzia was put on trial (and acquitted). They may have decided in their arrogance that since no host would ever commit a crime there was no point in working out the legal ramifications.
      • Then where was the "why the hell are we talking about this? A joined host couldn't have committed the crime" speech from the Trill expert witness?
      • Out-of-universe probably because that point about Trill mentality wasn't established in season 1. In-universe because a government willing to kidnap a Starfleet officer and only after they were caught try to invoke an extradition treaty probably isn't going to listen to a Trill arguing that no host would ever commit a crime and the Bajoran arbitrator would be justifiably skeptical as well. Frankly that's not the strangest of the episode's problems since no one points out the weakness of the 'we confirmed every other suspect's location' evidence and Sisko argues only about the nature of Trill hosts without trying to look into the prosecution's claims.

     more about Dax's extradition 
Okay, so there are four possibilities:
  • The Trill are not a member of the Federation, and Dax is not a citizen (which could be possible, seeing as how Starfleet is a scientific organization first, and a military second).
    • In that case, the Klaestron would have been unable to extradite her.
    • Re: "... which could be possible, seeing as how Starfleet is a scientific organization first, and a military second". The Federation canonically does allow non-citizens to serve, although per Nog, getting into Starfleet Academy requires the endorsement of a serving command-level officer. This is also true in real life, at least in the United States: you're allowed to enlist if you have a green card, and in fact it's often treated as a step towards citizenship.
  • The Trill are a member of the Federation, but Dax is not a citizen.
    • She wouldn't be a citizen, so they couldn't extradite her AND the Federation would have to have established whether a conjoined Trill is a single person or multiple people.
  • The Trill are not a member of the Federation, but Dax is a citizen.
    • In that case, she should be registered as either a single person or as two people. If she is registered as a single person, she would obviously count as a single person under federation law and not be extradited.
  • The Trill are a member of the federation and Dax is a citizen.
    • All of the above.
  • That means that in every case, either Dax couldn't be extradited, or there would have to a law already established.
    • It wasn't until TNG's "The Host" that Trill Symbionts became widely known. Before then, they were very private about such matters. That episode took place in 2367. "Dax" takes place in 2369. To put this in perspective, Data was in Starfleet for over 20 years before his right to choose became law.

     Trills "do not seek relationships" 
  • OK, so was Jadzia's line to Julian about how Trills don't look for romance the same way other species do, a load of malarkey or what? She's shown by her own actions in "Rejoined", "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places", and "Meridian" that that's certainly not true. Within a couple days of meeting the guy, they promise to count each other's spots. Anyway, was Jadzia just saying that to get Julian off her back, or what?
    • For most of those episodes: Early Installment Weirdness, but for a more Watsonian explanation? IIRC, Jadzia is giving that explanation to Julian, who has been constantly hitting on her. It could also still be something that's a general joined Trill principle, but one that you don't tend to follow if Curzon Dax is one of your past hosts—once she began integrating him along with her other past hosts, she decided to go with his more maverick attitude towards life and cared more about enjoying herself and giving Dax a lively experience than following all the ideals for a "good" joined Trill. As for Meridian, it is just a terrible, terrible episode and it's best to ignore its existence. Even the creators hated it.
      • She isn't interested in Bashir so she just says some random crap to get him to leave her alone. It's her equivalent of "I'm not looking for a relationship", "I don't want to ruin our friendship", "I'm just too busy right now", etc.
      • This is it exactly. Bashir is acting like a teenager with a crush, and Jadzia is just not interested in him. She was just trying to be polite. Women do this exact same thing ALL THE TIME in real life, it shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone.

     The Next Generation Trills 
  • OK, so the real world explanation is for why the Trills changed from a Stargate SG-1 Goa'uld style race into a far more benign one is obvious. But how do we explain this in-universe? Are there in fact two different kinds of Trill? Are there two different kinds of symbiont? Are there conveniently two different races with symbionts that just so happen to be called Trill? Was the Trill seen in the Next Generation some kind of mutation or renegade? There are numerous fascinating things that could come of this, and many potential stories that we missed out on and yet very few answers.
    • The expanded universe does established in one of the novels that there are two races of Trills, in a similar way how we have different races that may look very different from each other. As for why the TNG Trill's symbiont seem to be unknown for the crew and/or unwilling/unable to use a transporter, IDK if that was ever explained.
      • There's no canonical explanation, but there's a reasonable inference - at the time of "The Host," the symbionts were a secret, kept from non-Trill. Using the transporter, the symbiont could be picked up as a biological contaminant and 'filtered out' by the transporter's biofilters, which at best (as we saw) blows the lid on the secret, and at worst, could result in the death of the symbiont, and, by extension, the host as well, given that their bodies are dependent on each other after a few days of the initial joining.
    • Even if you ignore everything else, the fact that DS9 Trill have a longstanding relationship with the Federation (we know that Emony Dax was on Earth in the 23rd century, even, and Curzon was a Federation ambassador in the 2290s at the absolute latest) simply does not jibe with "The Host."

     Trill Life Expectancy 
  • Has anyone thought for a second what the life expectancy is for a being that is 300-400 years old and has had nine hosts? Because it isn't very high.
    • As noted up on the top of Fridge Horror, things get a bit skewed when it comes to calculating Trill symbiote lifespans within hosts by the fact that hosts tend to be implanted in their 20s and not at birth.
    • Dax specifically can be said to be skewed, as two hosts (Torias and Jadzia) died unexpectedly, one in a shuttle crash, the other murdered, and Joran having proven unstable and forcibly removed. One of the reasons for things like the taboo of reassociation is that symbionts are going to experience a wide variety of activities while joined, some of them potentially hazardous - a risk of living is an abrupt ending. Five of the eight hosts that preceded Ezri lived full lives and died of old age (so far as we're told in canon, anyway), while two were unexpectedly cut short and a third was a rejected joining, akin to a body rejecting a transplated organ. Considering that Torias and Jadzia willingly engaged in lifestyles where a premature death was a possibility, this isn't a horrible ratio.


     "We're better" 
  • One of Quark's best scenes comes in "The Jem'Hadar," when he turns Sisko's Federation highhandedness back on him: "You're overlooking something, Commander. Humans used to be a lot worse than Ferengi. Slavery, concentration camps, interstellar war; we have nothing in our past that approaches that kind of barbarism. You see? We're nothing like you. We're better." It's a great example of how DS9 calls out Star Trek as a whole on its often hypocritical values. But does it really make sense? The Ferengi hardly have a great record on gender, and we have seen in other episodes that they do indeed practice slavery — maybe not of other Ferengi, but what difference should that make? And as we see in "Business as Usual," some Ferengi seem to have no trouble abetting genocide, so long as there's a profit in it.
    • I think you may have answered your own question, at least to a point. Unlike humans, the Ferengi haven't enslaved their own kind, which to them may be morally inferior to just slavery in general, and perhaps they don't believe that enslavement of other species is slavery at all. And abetting genocide isn't committing genocide. True, they're both morally bankrupt and reprehensible acts, but the minor differences may be enough for Quark to convince himself of Ferengi superiority (which he does, right up to the end of "Business as Usual", and that's mostly because of the scale of that particular slaughter, rather than the act itself). Whether he's right objectively is another matter, but I believe that at least Quark can justify it to himself (keep in mind that Sisko's reaction basically amounts to "You have got to be kidding me.").
    • History is written by the publishers. It's just as likely the history books detailing the slavery and warfare perpetrated by the Ferengi just don't sell as well as the ones that never question the wisdom of the Rules of Acquisition.
    • I wouldn't deny that it probably all makes sense in Quark's mind. But for me at least, subjecting these claims to scrutiny weakens the overall dramatic impact of the scene.
    • That could be the point. Quark goes on about how the Ferengi are better than hew-mons, but in reality the Ferengi have the same flaws that Quark denies. Consider how we tell ourselves today that we are better than our ancestors from even just a few generations back, and then compare our mental image with the reality in the streets.
    • This misses the primary point. The Ferengi are Blue and Orange Morality, but they stick to that. Humans say genocide, slavery, etc. is bad, but did it for thousands of years. Ferengi said not making profit is bad, and (with only small individual exceptions) held to that. This would be similar to only a few cases of fights in the history of human civilization. The point is the Ferengi stick to their moral code, humans don't.
      • You can't call hypocrisy on an entire species. Especially not when the moral values you claim humans don't stick to didn't even exist for most of our history.
      • No, and furthermore, Quark does accuse humans of hypocrisy, but it's along the lines of "You think you're better than us but your horrible history reveals otherwise," not "we are at least consistent in our values." It's simply not what he says. Other DS9 episodes try to redeem the Ferengi along the similar lines (I recall an episode where Nog suggests that the Ferengi could end the Dominion War through their methods by finding something each side wants), but this is a bit of a retcon of the fact that Ferengi were initially presented as a warlike species.
    • I've been wondering what Quark's mother would think of his little speech. Think she'd agree that his definition of "slavery" needs revising? My dictionary defines it as treating people as property. But of course, the Ferengi would never do that. Especially not to half their population.
    • Quark's "We're better" speech is very reminiscent of the morals of a lot of early TNG episodes, in that it makes sense so long as you don't think about it too hard. Objectively speaking, the Ferengi are absolutely not better than the Federation. They may not personally indulge in concentration camps or interstellar war (though I find it hard to believe they've never had to fight a war before) but they certainly have no problem enabling other civilizations to do that via arms deals and such. And as the above troper points out, I think a lot of Ferengi females including Quark's own mother would take great issue with his statement about slavery. Furthermore, I find Quark's statement that the Ferengi never do such things completely ridiculous on the face of it. We're talking about a culture where bribery is considered common courtesy. Are we really supposed to believe that in a culture where bribery is explicitly endorsed by the majority religion (ROA #98: Every man has his price) that no Ferengi has ever bribed a law enforcement officer to turn a blind eye to slave trading, hate crimes, or murder? Obviously this doesn't happen all the time, but surely it must happen sometimes, or has happened in the past. And if it's okay for Quark to condemn the entire Federation because some humans in the past committed genocide or endorsed slavery, then by his very own logic the Ferengi deserve the same condemnation.
  • In Universe, as pointed out on the WMG page, it's highly unlikely that a single school on Ferenginar teaches anything but Ferengi exceptionalism, so Quark's speech is pretty much like a citizen of the People's Republic Of Tyrrany or any fascist regime boasting about their non-existent crime or how they've never committed genocide because Jews aren't really people. Out of universe, either the writers simply forgot Ferengi atrocities in giving Quark a moment of Character Development, or he's meant to be a dark mirror of speech-givers like Picard, because both are only preaching what they know.

     Rom's stands all he can stands 
  • In the first season, Quark is named the Grand Nagus' successor, and shortly thereafter the Nagus fakes his death to see how his son would react. He had hoped he could come out of retirement, but the Nagus' son instead tried to get a Klingon Promotion. Rom was part of the scheme, and was very close to pushing the button before Odo and Zek intervened. Now, that was in season one. Quark already knows Rom has it in him to kill him if he's pushed too far. So why the heck does Quark keep Tempting Fate with Rom? "One for you, seven for me" happened in Season 2. (Rom scurried away, whining.) Rigging Nog's entrance exam into the Academy... refusing to give him any kinda employee protection until he forms the union. Is Quark trying to get Rom to kill him?! Man, family is complicated.
    • Rom isn't bright enough to make Quark's death look like an accident, so even if he killed him and fled the station maybe Quark has something in his will to the effect of, "In the event of my death by unnatural circumstances, I bequeath my assets to Tholian assassins as payment to kill my brother Rom."
    • The idea of Rom conspiring to assassinate Quark has the aura of Early Installment Weirdness, doesn't it?
    • Agreed to the above statement, up there with Odo seeing through Quark's deception in Babel because Rom supposedly fixed something yet, according to Odo "Rom's an idiot. He couldn't fix a straw if it was bent." As to the parent poster, don't forget the Rules of Acquisition: "111: Treat people in your debt like family - exploit them." and, from Voyager - "Exploitation begins at home!" meaning first exploit your family members.

    Don't Mess With the Ferengi Commerce Authority! 
  • The existence of the Ferengi Commerce Authority really bugs me. Remember the Liquidator who somehow had the authority to come on to Deep Space 9 (a Federation outpost), shut down Quark's bar and threaten to sell all of his financial holdings because of his Mother's actions? How can they possibly have that power?
    • Well, even though Quark's is on a Federation outpost, the Ferengi are not a member of the Federation. Nog couldn't even join Starfleet unless Sisko sponsored him.
    • Quark is working under the authority of the Ferengi Commerce Authority. Regardless of where he works, he still has to operate under Ferengi law to keep their authority. Without their authority he cannot do business with other Ferengi. They have every right to revoke his license and take any other actions required under Ferengi law. It's like if you work for an American company in Russia. Your company can revoke your ability to do business with them there. (The Ferengi Government is more like a corporation than a government if you recall).
      • Plus, it's not a Federation outpost. It's a Bajoran outpost with a Federation administration.
      • It's not unprecedented for a government authority to have the ability to reach your assets in another jurisdiction. If you're American, you're a prisoner of the IRS wherever in the world you go. This is not true in most countries' tax systems, who only tax on money earned inside their borders.
    • Because his financial holdings are only recognized by the Ferengi government. The Federation can't stop Brunt from selling off Quark's assets because those assets ''do not exist" as far as the Federation is concerned. It would be like the United States trying to stop Switzerland from seizing the assets of a Swiss tourist.
    • At the end of the episode, he re-opens the bar and continues doing business after Sisko &co. donate furniture and resources (for the community's benefit). The FCA can stop him trading legally with other Ferengi, but have no power to stop him running a business in Bajoran territory, so they don't. (Let's just assume that the Ferengi staff are now formally employed by Sisko or something.)
      • Actually, for the duration of the revocation of Quark's business license, no Ferengi are seen working in the bar. Presumably he hires extra dabo girls, who then pull double duty as waitresses.
  • Doesn't its very existence go against the Ferengi principle of free enterprise anyway?
    • Awfully good question. If the Ferengi are ultra-free market capitalists, then where did all of this regulation come from? Are we supposed to think that the FCA collects taxes from its members? Evidently not, because late episodes state outright that taxes are verboten on Ferenginar (or at least were)... perhaps they collect licensing fees or something similar, but surely operating under their authority is something you have to pay to do, no?
      • It's more complicated than that. In "The Nagus" (an episode filled with Early Installment Weirdness, to be sure), when Quark becomes Nagus, it's implied that the Nagus (maybe acting through the FCA) decides who can do business where, and while in theory they might not always take a cut, it seems like the deals he makes ensure that they generally do. In other words, it operates more like a Mafia than a laissez-faire capitalist government. It seems to me that toward the end they wanted to make a political point against ultra-libertarianism that was different than the points they were making earlier (or even in other late episodes), and they used the Ferengi to do it.
    • If the FCA is officially a monopolistic conglomeration rather than a government, then they can skirt around the free enterprise, no-tax thing by calling them "membership fees" or rent money for living on FCA property (Ferenginar). All Ferengi businesses might be franchises of the FCA and are required to pay supplier fees.
    • There are laws governing Ferengi commerce, but they aren't laws that restrict it i.e. monopoly busting. They are instead designed to ensure that things like unions and contract violations don't interfere with the pursuit of profit. That's why Quark lost his license: he violated the terms of his contract with Brunt, and Brunt used his position to strip Quark's license as an act of petty revenge. Presumably the FCA is funded by the licensing fees that business owners have to pay in order to operate.
    • Ferengi Government isn't "Free Market", it's pro-business. This is a society where greed is considered a virtue, and where cutthroat business practices aren't simply allowed, they're actively encouraged by centralized powers.
      • On at least one occasion (in "The Dogs of War"), Quark explicitly cites "free enterprise" as a Ferengi virtue. Mind
it would hardly be inconsistent for Ferengis to talk about favouring free markets while actually preferring heavily regulated markets — just regulation of a particular kind.

     Why are there no Ferengi Suffragettes? 
  • I find it very hard to believe that a society that has oppresses women to such ridiculous levels that they have to be completely naked in public would not have a Suffragette style movement triggered across the entire Alliance. A lot of people today forget that women back then often resorted to criminal behavior to achieve their ends - vandalizing property and chaining themselves to buildings etc and with the 24th century ability to communicate and travel on a planetary scale (something that was far harder in the early 20th) there should be outbreaks of violence and crime everywhere. And I refuse to believe the Ferengi government would employ Taliban level tactics of stoning women or chopping off their hands to prevent wide scale action due to A) The Federation would have something to say about that (Prime Directive aside) B) It would sully Quark's character irredeemably as all of those comic moments of arguing with his mum and refusing to acknowledge Pel would suddenly take on some very uncomfortable fascist implications. At the very least there should be women everywhere outright flouting the ban on clothes and traveling off world to conduct business - the FCA wouldn't have authority on other sovereign planets no matter how much they may claim to. As I see it, from the evidence presented, either Ferengi women simply weren't trying hard enough to change their society before Ishka started dating the Grand Nagus or they were actually on the whole quite happy with the situation with only a few dissenters around like Ishka and Pel.
    • It's possible that plenty of Ferengi feminists exist, but they're such an embarrassment to misogynist Ferengi men that the men do not talk openly about them. Another possibility is that Ferengi men keep most Ferengi women ignorant of the outside world, so that many female Ferengi females wouldn't know that another way of life is possible (think Afghanistan or the FLDS). Ishka and Pel might have been among the few Ferengi women who received an education and a taste of life beyond their home planet.
    • Watch Ishka's performance at the end of Family Business when she pretends to hand over all her profits to Brunt. She's trying (though not very well) to come off as a Stepford Smiler. From this it can be inferred that many or most Ferengi women are not very well educated and probably don't even comprehend how repressed they really are.
    • Given the punitive measures threatened against Quark for his profit-earning, it's also likely that many Ferengi women who are well-educated and who haven't internalized their culture's extreme misogyny are discouraged because they don't want to ruin the prospects of their husbands/brothers/fathers/sons.
    • When the series was written, no one could have predicted the way social media affected political movements a decade or so later. Yes, it would have been supremely interesting if DS9 was written during Arab Spring, and they probably could have subtly incorporated some 24th century equivalent of a social media revolution
    • Rom's wife was said to have have exploited a loophole in her marriage contract and returned to her family, so, while the system is highly patriarchal, women can still exploit it. Also, while they lord over their wives, "Never insult a Ferengi's mother" is still in the Rules Of Acquisition, meaning women probably do have some pull within the household.
      • The full rule was revealed by the EU as being "Never insult a Ferengi's mother; insult something he cares about," but the point about Rom's wife is still valid.
    • The Ferengi government probably draws the line at stoning or mutilation, but we have seen many times they do practice the death penalty on people who challenge the existing order, even in the pursuit of profit and in relatively minor ways, and in general they never struck me as above more authoritarian practices despite what they claim. Not to mention, even if there'd be little legal recompense for a woman flouting the sexist laws, defying a tradition that has dictated how half the population had behaved for millennia would come with immense social stigma, just like it does in real life.

     Female Oo-Mox 
  • Was it ever stated as to why Oo-Mox is something only the males can experience? If I had to theorize it's because female lobes are smaller and as such may not be as ridiculously vulnerable to pleasure/pain that male lobes are but I was wondering if there was ever a canon reason given.
    • I'm not entirely sure it's ever suggested that oo-mox isn't pleasurable for Ferengi females (though I'm working off memory so I could be wrong). If it is, your theory seems plausible—higher density of nerve endings due to the smaller area of their ears does sound like something that might make oo-mox uncomfortable for them. Given the misogyny in Ferengi culture, though, it seems just as likely that it is pleasant, but nobody cares what Ferengi women like.
    • It doesn't make much sense for female oo-mox not to be possible. After all, humans of both genders share pretty much all the same erogenous zones, despite our considerable anatomical differences. Unless the Ferengi deliberately genetically engineered this difference between their males and females ( not entirely out of the question) Ferengi females probably can enjoy oo-mox. But, as the above troper speculates, it's likely no one bothers to give it to them.
    • Looking at this discussion it seems very likely that the writers were echoing certain ideas on female orgasms on purpose.

     Rom's Esoteric Happy Ending 
  • Realistically, how long is someone like Rom going to last as Grand Nagus surrounded by so many people who are going to vehemently oppose everything that he stands for? Brunt or someone similar is going to find a way to crush him either legally or illegally in short order and revert the Alliance back to the way it was with maybe a few concessions here and there to appease his supporters. And that goes double for the radical (for them) new rights for females that he and Zek brought in. You can't change a culture this misogynistic in such a short space of time, real life just doesn't work that way. Perhaps best illustrated by Zek, one of the progressive architects of this new age, visibly awestruck when Ishka suggested that there may be a female Grand Nagus one day. Imagine how the more traditional Ferengi are going to respond. My Fridge Horror sense is tingling as to the sort of bile the first clothed women are going to experience on the streets, and worse, when they start to answer back to men who are used to women being in their place. You only need to look at similarly sexist places on our own planet to see evidence of that.
    • Keep in mind that the Ferengi are not human and do not react the way humans do. What they care about most is earning profits and as long as that happens they're willing to accept changes, even if it's reluctantly. Yes, there will be a period where women are still treated badly simply out of habit but in time that will fade and be forgotten. Remember when the Nagus was changed by the wormhole aliens? He founded a bunch of very un-Ferengi groups that fly in the face of the culture's values and yet they were still fully staffed by Ferengi, even though Quark and Rom agree they'll all be executed if this continues? It seems that the Ferengi are willing to give anything a try so long as it leads to profits in the long run. Of course if it doesn't then yes Rom is screwed but he's not as stupid as he seems and will likely change things one piece at a time so they can accept it.
    • It helped that Rom took power right as a massive backlash against the old way was starting. Not only had Zek's reforms proved unexpectedly popular, the planet was in the throws of a massive disasaster caused by a greedy contractor padding his bottom line by using inadequate materials for vital infrastructure.

     Death Customs 
  • In "The Nagus", dried remains of the Nagus are sold, but since he's not really dead, what's in the disks and who authenticated them?
    • Either they're fake or they're the remains of some other Ferengi, and the authentication is similarly forged. After all, this is a vital step in Zek's faking of his death, since it would look suspicious if such disks did not hit the market. Related question: do Nava and the others who bought the disks get their money back? Knowing what I do of Ferengis, I seriously doubt it.
      • There was probably some sort of disclaimer buried deep in the T&C (I bet the Ferengi are big fans of EULA's that would make even itunes blush in embarrassment), remember Rule of Acquisition #1.
    "Once you have their money, never give it back".
    • And Rule of Acquisition #239:
    "Never be afraid to mislabel a product."
    • In "The Alternate," we hear that Quark possesses fraudulent remains attributed to a Ferengi named Plegg. Quark simply states, "The Ferengi Seal of Dismemberment is right there." One can expect something similar is the case with Zek; some minimum standard of accreditation has been met, placing it in the legal clear.
    • What bothers me though is that episode where Quark promises to turn himself into disks for Brunt, realises that he is not going to die so he backs out, but STILL has to go through with it because of the Rule of Acquisition that states that a contract is a contract is a contract and Brunt has a contract for disks of Quark. So how is that any different to this situation? Brunt was down a Quark and all of those others were down a Zek. Sure, Zek is a lot more powerful than Quark, but even the Nagus seems to be at least partly under the control of the FCA and it would definitely hurt his credibility.
    • The Nagus is (at least as of that episode; his age seems to catch up with him in later ones) also a lot more canny than Quark, and unlike Quark, no one was trying to entrap him into killing himself. So either the Nagus managed some EULA fine-print legalese kung fu that got him out of it, or he managed to trick / blackmail / bribe whoever bought the disks into letting him out of the contract. Or maybe the contract wasn't with the Nagus himself, but some offscreen fall guy who acted as the executor of his will and did the actual selling of the disks. Plenty of ways it could have gone down, we just never got the details because it's honestly not that important.
      • Yeah, the thrust of the issue in "Body Parts" was that Brunt refused to play ball with Quark's attempt to recompense him for the non-supplied disks. It's easy to imagine that Zek, with his resources, would have no such problem (anyone who decided to press the matter would probably just be "taken care of" Mafia-style).
    • I bet even the fake remains of Zek from that time he faked his death are valuable keepsakes. Or try this on: maybe the Nagus made a clone of himself and had it vacuum desiccated so that his remains really are those of Zek — just not that Zek. There's always a loophole!
    • Alternatively, they just started selling disks of "The Grand Nagus" after Zek was announced to have died, but they were actually disks from some really unpopular and disliked Nagus from 300 years ago that had been sitting around gathering dust in a vault. So yes, you got a disk of a Grand Nagus, you just weren't very careful about making sure which Grand Nagus it was. That way you don't even have to pay for a clone, you just finally move some malingering product for a vastly inflated price.


     Bajor the theocracy? 
In "Shakaar", Kai Winn is the sole contender for the post of First Minister for several weeks, until the titular rebel decides to join in. It's meant to foreshadow the sort of person Winn will show herself to be, but wait. She's the Kai and running for First Minister? That would be like the Pope running for a Presidency, and very illegal in some countries (particularly ones with an established church/state separation). She talks about trying to enhance Bajor's chances with The Federation, but would they be cool with a system that allows such a thing to happen?
  • The separation of church and state is usually de jure in nation-states that have a high percentage of religious minorities. And it's to protect the rights of the minority. If the U.S. changed to a reactionary Christian theocracy, it would infringe upon the rights of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindi, atheists, agnostics and so on that live in the U.S.— a not-insignificant percentage. (Note: I am not interested in getting into a debate about the American system of government; this is merely to illustrate a point). In other countries where the separation of church and state is far less pronounced, the overwhelming majority of its citizens tend to follow that religion; some countries even make it a crime to follow any other religion. But I've seen no evidence of anything other than a single religion predominating Bajor. They follow the Prophets. A tiny percentage are members of the Pah-wraith cult, and are ostracized. In any event, the Federation tends to let its individual members choose their own systems of government— and we've had some doozies.
    • True, but Sisko also said at one point that the Federation prohibits "caste-based discrimination" and will refuse membership to worlds that practice it. We can assume they also prohibit religious discrimination since it makes no sense to ban the former but not the latter. Since discrimination against religious minorities is never brought up as a possible barrier to Bajor's admission to the Federation, we can assume the Bajorans don't discriminate against religious minorities. At least, not officially.
  • It's possible that this is meant to say more about the Bajoran people than the Bajoran form of government. They've not even a generation removed from The Occupation, in which the Cardassians dominated every aspect of the Bajoran way of life except for their religion. For better or worse, people often turn to religion when placed in an intolerable situation. The Bajorans were slaves and prisoners under Cardassian rule, and like slaves and prisoners often do, they tried to find comfort in their religion. It makes sense that once they were free, they looked to their clergy for leadership. Electing Shakaar instead of Winn is might be meant to be seen another step toward a healed Bajor.
  • It makes sense that everyone on Bajor believes in the Prophets because they are very real. The only points of contention are whether the Bajoran religion is truly influenced by them intentionally (rather than simply being 'interpretation' of the orbs sending out random images) and, if so, whether any given person should listen to them or not. Just because God exists, and tells you what to do, does not make it the right thing to do.
    • Yep, not only are the Prophets real, but the Federation also recognizes they are real. They just call them "wormhole aliens" instead of Prophets.
  • Even in the United States, it would hardly be without precedent for a religious official to hold a major political office. After all, Mike Huckabee was Governor of Arkansas and ran for president while being an ordained minister, and Jimmy Carter was a Baptist deacon ("Deacon" was even his Secret Service codename!). Certainly some religions (including Catholicism) bar their officials from holding political office but not all by a long shot, and the fact that a person is a political leader and a religious one at the same time does not in itself make for a theocracy.
  • The other question this issue raises is a more practical one. Isn't being both Kai and First Minister far more responsibilities than one person could ever take on? Even if no law prevented, just for a random example, the Dalai Lama from running for President of India, isn't it still practically ruled out by the sheer volume of work that would entail? In the scenario prevented in "Shakaar," it seems less like Queen Elizabeth being simultaneously a de jure head of state and the titular head of the Church of England (which she is) and more like the Archbishop of Canterbury also being Prime Minster of the United Kingdom! Imagine the paperwork!
    • With enough skill and delegation there is no problem. Now whether Winn had those skills or the willingness to delegate is another question entirely.
      • True enough, and in any pure theocracy, the office of head of government and that of religious leader are one and the same. But the point I was trying to strike is just that in a system that is not geared this way, in which these are separate offices, merging them seems like an Herculean task.
      • With the ramshackle nature of the "Provisional" Government of Bajor and the power-seeking/controlling nature of her character, I'm willing to be Winn probably had some interesting ideas on merging the office of First Minister and Kai as far as duties went. Probably not realistic ideas (it would certainly nix any idea about Federation membership, not that Winn would lose any sleep over that), but that is Winn in a nutshell.
    • For the record, the Dalai Lama was the head of government for Tibet for centuries, until it was conquered by China and the current Dalai Lama went into exile.
      • That's perhaps the purest definition of a theocracy — the head of government and head of a faith being one and the same.
  • Well actually the Pope is both the religious leader of the Catholic Church AND the head of state of the Vatican City, and the Dalai Lama although in exile, was until very recently similarly handling both political (or at least administrative) and religious offices, so yes, it can be done. But anyway, in most countries is not forbidden for a religious figure to run for office, and I can be wrong because I’m not American, but as far as I know it’s not forbidden either in the USA, to give an example the president of the Mormon faith can run for president of the USA if he wants, as the president of any other denomination like the Lutherans or the Episcopalians, they just choose not to do it, probably to avoid mixing religion and politics. Some countries do have that specific prohibition, for example in Mexico and Costa Rica their constitutions explicitly forbid that Catholic priests can run for public office, but these is mainly because their current constitutions were written after liberal revolutions again the conservatives and the idea of Church/State separation becoming very important for the liberals because their defeated enemies had the endorsement of the Church. Clearly if Bajor haven’t pass through that kind of social and historical context they probably see no reason for the prevention.
    • Minor thing, but since 1983 Catholicism does explicitly prohibit its clergy from running for civil office (other than in the Vatican, obviously). It's not unheard of, though. Some countries have constitutions that prohibit it as well, largely in Latin America.
    • Contrary to popular belief, the US tradition of separation of church and state is just that, a tradition. The Constitution never uses the phrase in any way. All it says in the Bill of Rights is that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Essentially, it says that Congress can't establish a state religion (e.g. The Church England) or prevent people from worshiping as they wish. There is nothing at all about a person keeping their personal religious beliefs separate from civic duties.
  • It can be noted that the writers often treated Bajor as if it were a theocracy, with the Kai being entrusted with negotiating treaties with the Cardassians ("Life Support") and Dominion ("In the Cards") rather than a representative of the planet's civilian government. One wonders if prior to the Occupation, the Kai was literally the head of state. The show's subtle shift away from Bajoran politics in later seasons leaves some promising avenues of storytelling unexplored (a brewing civil war representing a power struggle between Shakaar and Winn, perhaps — maybe over entry to the Federation? Where would the moderate Vedeks fall in? Does the average Bajoran side with the Provisional Government or the traditional religious authority of the Kai? Do more religious elements of the military break with Shakaar and side with Winn? etc.).
    • So Bajor is basically Iran...
    • For the record, the non-canon prequel novel trilogy Terok Nor shows Bajor did have a (theoretically) secular government before the Occupation.
    • Interestingly, in "Sanctuary," we have both a Vedek and Minister travelling to DS 9 to give the Skrreans the bad news, no doubt to make it clear that both the religious and civil authorities are in accord on this matter.
  • Should be notice that both the Pope and the Dalai Lama have mostly ceremonial functions. The day-to-day administrative work is at the hands of others, each monastery has its own abbot, each order (in the case of Catholicism) and each school (in the case of Tibetan Buddhism) have their own hierarchy, and so on. As very old and very spread faiths that pre-date modern technology most of the management is already widely delegated into local authorities. I'm pretty sure the Dalai Lama can be Prime Minister of India and the Pope president of the US (or more likely Argentina I guess) without their respective religions to even feel it. If Bajor's religious organization is similar and most likely it is, then there's your answer.

     We're more justified than you! 
  • The Bajorans. While you can sympathize with their plight that they've had 50 years of Holocaust-style oppression under the Cardassians, it starts to lose its impact when they excuse themselves at every opportunity of doing some evil act as being what they would have done during the Occupation. Sometimes they actually seem more cruel and extremist than the Cardassians.
    • It becomes more egregious when you realize they had invented advanced technology BEFORE humanity even moved out of caves, what apart from religious fanaticism exactly stagnated the Bajorans so?
    • It's hardly uncommon in Real Life. A person or a group of people feel (and might be entirely correct in doing so) that they have been victimized and so any action they take is justified while any action against them is notnote . In the eyes of many Bajorans what happened was either entirely justified or forced to happen by the Cardassians.
      • In the Star Trek Terok Nor prequel novels, the reason for Bajor's "stagnation" is made clear: They have everything they need. Prior to the Cardassians' arrival, they had little interest in meeting with other races or even colonizing outside their star system, and those that did were considerd fringe, at best.
      • A good comparison for this can be made with the Vulcans. They were way more advanced than humans, even leaving out Enterprise continuity. In the span of a few centuries Starfleet has outstripped them completely. The Bajorans just didn't have that drive.
      • That's not really the best example, because Vulcan is a founding member of the Federation. Vulcan scientists work side by side with human ones designing Starfleet's technology. And even when they don't work directly with each other, they share their discoveries.
    • That seems to be the point that they were trying to make by having them act this way: it's understandable to blame the Occupation for Bajor's initial miseries, and even for a lot of what happens later i.e. being unable to defend themselves when the Dominion come calling. However, it is wrong to use that to justify actions that are as immoral as what they were fighting against, i.e. the bombing of Keiko's school. It's a sign of how far Bajor has to come before it can stand on its own feet again without someone to keep them on the straight and narrow. For lack of a better analogy, Sisko (and by extension, the Federation) is like a therapist trying to help an abuse victim avoid repeating the cycle of trauma that was inflicted on them and find productive ways to move on from what happened.
      • That was the main thrust of Kira, and Bajor's, development in the series, the Bajorans have every right to be angry about the occupation but they're not doing themselves any favors in the long run. DS9 questioned a lot of Star Trek morality, but in Bajor's case, embracing the Federation's brand of multiculturalism really was the practical option.

     The terrorist is right 
  • Kira's reaction when confronted with her crimes in "The Darkness And The Light". She killed innocent people. She admits it, and she doesn't feel the least bit guilty. Her response is to get angry at the guy who tells her how many innocents she hurt and yell at him that he was a legitimate target because he was a Cardassian on Bajor and it didn't matter whether he was a member of the military or not. And that all of the other people she killed, whether adults or elderly or children, whether military or civilian, whether armed or unarmed...they all deserved it because they were Cardassians on Bajor. After seeing that episode, I was glad that one of her victims put her through hell by murdering the other members of her resistance cell. She deserved it, and so did they.
    • Your mileage may vary, but I love this episode for being one of the few episodes to show that several issues are multi-sided. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
    • Kind of ignoring the circumstances of the statement. Kira was not only in the last stages of pregnancy, so the extra hormones weren't helping, the man was planning to cut the baby out of her, a baby that wasn't even hers but actually her close friend's, after she spent days watching her friends be murdered one after another. Had he merely shown up at the station and asked for an apology she may very well have given it to him, she had an entire episode in the first season where she learned the valuable lesson that not all Cardassians were monsters and should be punished solely for existing. Neither of them were particularly rational about the subject by that point.
    • I personally thought it was great that she wasn't apologetic. She didn't try the "you're right, we all did things we had to do, it was war, can't we all get along?" card. She went right out and said, "Whether you were a military general or you picked up garbage for a living, you were a legitimate target!" Try to put yourself in her shoes... your country has been successfully invaded by a brutal dictatorship that enslaves, rapes and murders your people. I'd say the same damn thing.
      • That's pretty much the exact story of the Maquis (the French guerrilla fighters, not the group from the show), and history remembers them very kindly.
      • The main problem with the episode was it completely contradicted the much better season 1 episode "Duet", where Kira managed to mature past that black and white worldview and accept that the people at the bottom weren't automatically guilty. Darkness and Light was a real step backwards in both Kira's character development, and the maturity of the show as a whole.
      • One way of reconciling "Duet" and this episode is that in "Duet", Kira was forced to accept that Cardassians weren't all monsters, and some were truly good people. Note that Kira never disagrees with Marritza's claim that all Cardassia is guilty of the crimes during the Occupation. But in "The Darkness and the Light", Kira was dealing with an insane murderer. Her musings at the end made me think that she pitied Prin on some level, but that she felt she wasn't wrong.
      • It's not hard to reconcile them at all. Her point in "The Darkness and the Light" was that while fighting in the resistance, all Cardassians were legitimate targets as a means to the ends of getting them off the planet. Her point in "Duet" was that, in hindsight and from the Cardassians' point of view, their actions were not equally villainous. You may not like that mixture, but it's perfectly consistent; wartime and peacetime ethics are different. And also, in "Duet" he was repentant.
    • Provoking these kinds of questions was the episode's point. I'm not convinced it does it especially well, but credit where credit is due.
      • It's debatable if those people were truly innocent. They were taking advantage of oppression, enslavement, and murder to live their lives as they wished.
      • Were they? The Cardassian Union seems to be highly autocratic. They might well have been conscripted into their positions. When you live in a dystopian dictatorship where dissent is punished with death, sometimes "just following orders" is a legitimate defense.
      • It's hard to say how legal theory might work several centuries from now but the defense of simply following orders hasn't protected anyone from being arrested for simply being guards at Nazi concentration camps.
      • Nazi concentration camp guards weren't forced into those jobs against their will. They would've either volunteered or been specially chosen for their obscene loyalty to the Nazi party and/or hatred of Jews. And we're not talking about a guard at a Cardassian death camp here. We're talking about a household servant. He probably had no choice at all in where he worked or who he worked for.
      • In addition, although the Nuremberg tribunal rejected following orders as a defense, they did accept the defense of being threatened with death for noncompliance, exonerating Nazi defendants who could substantiate this defense.
      • Further in addition, the Nuremberg tribunal did not put every concentration camp officer on trial. They weren't interested in putting filing clerks, cooks, or janitors in prison just because they happened to get reassigned to Auschwitz. A lot of people on this thread have cited Marritza and claimed that his clear guilt and repentance is what makes him different from Prin. And while Marritza's attitude surely had a profound effect on Kira, at the end of the day she still would have been bound by law to release him even if he hadn't been repentant. Because no matter how you slice it he wasn't a war criminal. In order to be a war criminal you have to actually commit a war crime, and Marritza never did. And neither did Prin. Prin might have indirectly benefited from the occupation in some way, but that alone doesn't make him a legitimate target. At best, you could argue that he was collateral damage, but even that is arguable and depends on whether you think the "collateral damage" argument is morally justifiable.
  • Marritza was trying to get Cardassia to acknowledge its war guilt and was willing to die in process. The other guy was murdering her friends, it's not surprising that he got a different response. If he'd confronted her without killing her friends she might have been more sympathetic.
    • Adding to that, with Marritza, she had learned that not all Cardassians are guilty and deserved to shot. It required compassion, mercy and forgiveness. Marritza, driven by guilt, was trying to get the Cardassians to accept personal responsibility for what they did the the Bajorans. With this, it's the reverse. The Cardassian was the one who was injured by Kira and wanted her to accept personal responsibility for what she did to him while she was a resistance fighter. Unfortunately, he was to driven by madness to consider mercy and his vengeance on her old comrades hardly motivated her into accepting personal responsibility.
  • The Bajoran Resistance was fighting a desperate war against a vastly superior enemy. An enemy that was enslaving, raping, and murdering Bajoran civilians as a matter of course. A horrific state of affairs that persisted for 50 years. The fact that they didn't intentionally target Cardassian civilians is a testament to their moral fortitude. It took a lot less than that to get the Allies to bomb civilian targets in WWII.
  • To expand on the person above me, Kira has absolutely nothing to apologize for. She was born 30 years into, and lived the first 25 years of her life under, a brutal military occupation where the Cardassians were stealing Bajoran women as whores for the brass, herding them into concentration camps, and enslaving and slaughtering them by the millions. They pillaged Bajor's natural and cultural resources, banned the free practice of their religion, poisoned the earth, and in general committed war crime after war crime. The unfortunate truth is that at that point, anyone, Bajoran or Cardassian, civilian or not, who willingly aids the Cardassian Guard occupying forces makes themselves into a legitimate military target. And since the Bajoran Resistance has no way of knowing who's there willingly and who isn't, they don't have a choice but to accept the collateral damage.

    As I did when this was brought up on the Star Trek Online forums, I will also point out the use of past tense when Kira told that asshole he was a legitimate target. See Aamin Marritza from "Duet", and put two and two together. She doesn't consider Cardassian civilians legitimate targets anymore.

    New Bajoran Prisoners As the Plot Demands 

  • In season 2's premiere "The Homecoming", while discussing with Dax whether he should give Kira the runabout to go rescue Li Nalas, Sisko asks, "Suppose I give her the runabout and she does rescue Li Nalas. What do I say to the Cardassians?" Dax replies, "The question is, what do they say to us? They swore they released all their Bajoran prisoners." Now, of course, Kira rescues Li, and it turns out they have a dozen more Bajoran prisoners in that prison camp on Cardassia IV, which Dukat has released, probably to save face. (Because I do not believe him when he says the Central Command was unaware of the presence of those prisoners. They're not that stupid.) So presumably all the Bajoran prisoners detained by the Cardassian government were released then and there. Yet, later that season the Cardassian government agrees to release six Bajoran prisoners in exchange for Natima Lang, Hogue and Rekelen. What Bajoran prisoners?! And then in season 3's "Life Support", we learn explicitly that Cardassia is withholding certain detainees which they hadn't previously mentioned.
    • Actually, this is totally in character with Cardassian society, military, and morality. The Central Command only admits to crimes when it's been caught. It's no surprise to me that years after the Occupation ended, the Cardassians could still be holding Bajorans prisoner. They're Cardassians, the Space Nazis of Star Trek.
    • Not to mention, this is playing off of real-world incidents. For example, the Soviet Union held on to German POWs for years after the war ended. There's also persistent (though entirely apocryphal) stories about American POWs still being secretly held by Vietnam or China after the Vietnam War.
    • Original Poster: But that's exactly my point. Since the Cardassians have already promised that they released all their Bajoran prisoners, the Federation and Bajor should take a more hard-line stance when Cardassia attempts to negotiate with the release of (allegedly nonexistent) Bajoran prisoners. Their governments should say, "What Bajoran prisoners? Your government already agreed to release all of them, and we demand that you live up to that agreement."
      • I agree; this is a simple continuity problem.
    • It could have been a one-time amnesty at the end of the occupation; the Bajorans captured later would be members of the Maquis or other terrorists that carried on the fight after the occupation was over. Though they may be criminals, Bajor would want their citizens back because their government knows full well how harshly Cardassians treat their prisoners.
    • It could have been that the Cardassians were releasing all political prisoners in that agreement, and later prisoner releases were for crimes such as murder, theft, etc. that took place under the Occupation. Or prisoners taken since the end of the Occupation for things like border incursion, smuggling, or espionage.
    • At least for the first year or two of the series, it seems that Cardassia had been looking at the Occupation from a perspective of 'we'll be back shortly.' They didn't expect the provisional government to last, and eventually, the Bajorans would send Starfleet away, leaving Bajor ripe for their return. Especially once the wormhole was revealed, they wanted to go back. So they would keep a handful of prisoners as bargaining chips - "Let us return these Bajoran prisoners who got 'lost in the system," and using that to return to take charge of the 'situation' again. Legal, no, but the Cardassian military tends to follow the belief of they're the ones making the laws, they can decide what's legal. Also, part of the reason that Kira has to mount a rescue of Li Nalas and the other prisoners is the fact that they shouldn't be there - if the Cardassians were confronted with the fact that Bajorans know about these remaining prisoners, they'd probably just kill them then and there, just to keep from being caught in a lie. "No prisoners here, the people you're talking about were executed."
    • Perhaps they were simply misfiled? Perhaps if they'd had Maritza on the job, they wouldn't have miscounted their prisoners.

     Jerk refuses to help? No higher authorities. 

  • In the episode Babel the station has been completely shut down by an old Bajoran-engineered virus that not only causes aphasia but also seems to be lethal if untreated. Kira manages to find a doctor on Bajor who might have some knowledge of it but the moment she brings it up he cuts off communications. Her response is to kidnap him and force him to help them find a cure. It never once occurs to anyone to contact the Bajoran government, explain the situation (including the many infected Bajorans) and ask them to send him to help? For that matter, couldn't the Bajoran government threaten the doctor with prosecution over his negligence? Is force and deliberately infecting him really the first thing that goes through Kira's mind?
    • Kidnapping is generally faster than dealing with red tape, even the emergency services.
    • This is an early first season episode - Bajor is still recovering from the aftereffects of the recent Cardassian occupation and withdrawal and it's likely that the provisional government isn't sufficiently established to be able to help here. It's also consistent with Kira's personality that she would take the direct approach over appealing to whatever authority might exist.

     "Faith" in The Prophets 
  • In Covenant, Odo laments the fact that he wants to share going to religious services with Kira, but that he's not a believer. But...The Prophets—or "Wormhole Aliens"—definitely do exist. They live outside of time, and can see both the past and future. They clearly have a special relationship with the Bajorans. These are indisputable facts. What "faith" do you need to believe in, or pray to, something for which there's unambiguous evidence?
    • While they exist and have a special relationship with the Bajorans, he probably lacks belief in religious ceremony. To him, praying is pointless, because he'd be better off getting in the shuttle and going into the wormhole. As a result, he would find the experience itself meaningless.
    • If God was discovered to be real do you think all Atheists in the world would suddenly convert? No of course not, because even then he would probably be classified by science as a new species of life rather than a deity to be worshiped. Its the same here, just because the Prophets exist doesn't make them Gods in the eyes of non-Bajorans no matter what their powers may be.
      • When one of Kira's ex resistance buddies is assassinated, she says "He died serving the Prophets, they'll take care of him." Sisko is deferential, but there's no concrete proof in the series that the Prophets have an afterlife.
      • The series tiptoes around what the Bajoran view of the afterlife is meant to be. Winn refers to Bareil's death as "having left us to walk with the Prophets" — is this meant to be literal (Bajorans' spirits are meant to go to the Celestial Temple) or just a euphemism? If it's the former, are all the devout supposed to go, or is Bareil a special case because he was a vedek? Perhaps they're vaguely like Judaism, as a religion in which the afterlife is deemphasized.
      • This argument is supported by the fact that Starfleet regularly calls the Prophets 'Wormhole Aliens'. It's only those who've been stationed at DS9 for a while that really use the Bajoran name, so it's certain that Starfleet holds the view that they're just aliens, not gods (especially considering all the A God Am I aliens Starfleet has encountered over the years). So it's entirely plausible that Odo shares that view. Plus, remember his own species goes around claiming they're gods which is something Odo is opposed to, so it's unsurprising that he'd also reject claims to godhood by other species. And theres also the possibility that before sending the infant changelings out into the Galaxy, the Founders may have subliminally programmed them to reject other species' claims to god hood and that they were the only ones to have the right to that claim (or at least accept they are gods but that the Founders are the 'one true gods' a la the Abrahamic god declaring 'You shall have no other God before me.'), which would mean he's psychologically incapable of having faith in another religion.
      • I think maybe the word "faith" should have been replaced with "devotion". Having faith in a god technically just means believing they exist and can do all the things their followers say they can do. In common parlance, having faith in a religion and being a member of the religion are often treated as synonyms, since people who believe there are ultra-powerful entities out there judging their behavior generally want to get on those entities' good side. However, this is not always the case (see: maltheists or misotheists, who believe God exists, but think he's an asshole), and in such situations you need to be a little more careful with your wording.
      • "Faith" doesn't really mean "belief"; it means "trust". If someone has faith in me, that doesn't mean they simply believe I exist, but that they trust me. Similarly, the Bajorans trust the Prophets to take care of them.
      • "Faith" means either or both (it can also mean "duty"), which is why discussions about it tend to devolve into mutual accusations of Four Terms Fallacy.
    • Remember this is a universe where the Greek Gods actually existed and Kirk met Apollo. Add in the Q, Organinans, and Metrons and it's easy to believe godlike beings exist, but you don't have believe they answer your prayers because most of them don't. Bajorans believe the Prophets answer their prayers and given their temporal nature, it's hard to answer if/when they decided to be "of Bajor". They certainly don't have a clue in the pilot, despite having been central to Bajoran culture for centuries.

     Bajorans in the Mirror Universe 
  • Mirror Leeta ("The Emperor's New Cloak"). In the mirror universe the Terrans are to the Bajorans what the Cardassians are in the prime universe and the Cardassians saved their asses, so what the hell is Leeta doing working for the Terrans?
    • The Terran Empire seems to have been overthrown by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance at least a few decades before the DS9 crossover, possibly more than seventy years prior, and if Intendant Kira is any indication Alliance Bajor seems to be a fairly oppressive place (it's just that the oppressors are Bajoran too). It's possible that by this time memories of Terran atrocities are fading, and that some Bajoran losers of internecine struggles might decide to join up with the Terrans against common foes (some might decide that freedom thing the Terrans are talking about sounds good too, although this is the Mirror Universe).
      • Not to mention that the Mirror Universe is rather known for self-serving backstabbing. Perhaps Mirror Leeta just thinks she has more to gain from being on what looks like the winning side.


     The Cardassian Closet 
  • To a certain way of thinking, Garak is indeed the franchise's premier GLBTQ character (not this speaks particularly well of Star Trek's checkered history of dealing with queer issues). This is not to say anything certain about Garak's sexuality (so little is certain about Garak period!) but rather that the character resonates with a certain queer experience. In this it is a bit like K/S, but perhaps with a bit more textual basis — Andrew Robinson has confessed to playing Garak as bisexual or omni-sexual and camping up his scenes with Bashir, but being asked to tone it down by uncomfortable producers. "Queering" Garak is a time-honored way some fans, gay or otherwise, enjoy this character. It's surprising how much vitriolic objection to it one encounters from some fans, though it seldom seems to raise above the level of "Garak can't be gay! Look, there he is kissing a girl! Something no non-straight person has ever been known to do..." But why would anyone point to his relationship with Ziyal as evidence against his queerness? Setting aside the obvious point that it leaves open the possibility of bisexuality, it plays so insincerely, like everyone involved is going through the motions (perhaps a symptom of Robinson's dislike for the plot line). How much screen time do they even have together during their purported relationship? It's a pretty pathetic foundation for "Garak is totally straight," even if that's how it was intended.
    • If all you're asking is why some fans don't seem to like the idea of Garak being anything but straight, the simple answer is that there are still a lot of people who think there is something wrong with being gay. As for how people can point to Ziyal and say that's proof he's not gay, he seemed to get a lot further a lot faster with her than he did with Bashir or any other male character. And he wouldn't be kissing Ziyal to keep his orientation a secret because no one should care if he's gay in the 24th century, so he must be at least a little attracted to her. The insincerity could be explained as the two of them being the only Cardassians on the station and while he would prefer friendship, she's clearly interested in him and the idea of being wanted is too tempting for him to completely ignore.
      • I'd add that attitudes towards gays changed significantly from the 1990s to, say, 2010. Very, very drastically. In 1990's there were just a handful of out actors in Hollywood and now everyone's out of the closet and it's a complete non-issue. See Ellen Degeneres vs. Jim Parsons or Zachary Quinto.
      • This was definitely my sense: that Garak has some real affection for Ziyal, if something short of passion, but it's come about from circumstance as much as anything. One also wonders if this is (for Garak) an act of revenge against Dukat, too, and (for Ziyal) a latching on to a father figure to replace the one she lacked in childhood. All of this pathological potential makes the Garak/Ziyal relationship sound like it should be much more interesting than it is! All in all, his relationship with Bashir is far more emotionally resonant than his relationship with Ziyal.
      • It's not only that people think there's something wrong with being gay, but that they think, as a consequence, that their liking Garak as a character is incompatible with him being anything other than a vagina-loving straight, totally heterosexual guy who digs chicks. When both the actor and writing staff have described the character as bisexual or non-straight, this is a pretty untenable position.
      • While it's homophobia for some viewers, that isn't necessarily the case for everyone; Camp Gay can be silly or girly, and Straight Gay is the exception, not the norm. Viewing a character in new light can be jarring, even if there's nothing inherently wrong with the premise, so if you previously viewed someone as manly and badass and someone insists they're Camp Gay, it's a bit like seeing Darth Vader reduced to a whiny teenager. It doesn't necessarily mean the viewer thinks whiny teenagers are abominations, just that they preferred to view the character a different way.
      • Point taken, and a blanket claim of homophobia is not useful. I would simply add that, though I certainly didn't think of Garak as gay when I was watching DS9 in my early teens, I did recognize that Garak's badassery coexisted interestingly with this sardonic, cultured, vaguely prissy persona of an eternal outsider. In retrospect, one might even call it Wildean. Is "queer Garak" really a case of Alternate Character Interpretation or just acknowledging what's pretty manifest in the text?
      • Garak's only on-screen romantic interest is Ziyal, so apart from Word of God and Behind The Scenes, it's not necessary to be homophobic to interpret Garek as straight. Soap predates DS9 by quite a bit and dealt openly with homosexuality, both Played for Laughs and Played for Drama, with a side serving of No Bisexuals. Since DS9 was pretty forward about Gray and Gray Morality, it would have been nice for them to come right out with an openly gay (or bi) character if that's what they wanted. I've been watching Garak differently since reading this page. He can easily be interpreted as Camp Gay, but I've also known heterosexuals who can only be described as "flamboyant." A baptist preacher once referred to a colleague (married with 3 children) as "quite a flamer;" he had all the cliche mannerisms of Camp Gay. Possibly, he's just hiding it (which is a shame). More likely, stereotypes just don't define character, race, or sexuality. The Ferengi mysogyny is coupled with Blue and Orange Morality when Rom and Quark seem to easily flip genders, despite both being patently heterosexual. So the facts, as presented on screen, are:
    Garek is attracted to Ziyal.
    Garek isn't openly attracted to anyone else.
    Garek acts Camp Gay.
    Garek is from a non-human culture and his mannerisms shouldn't be interpreted the way we interpret human mannerisms (though Trek in general fails to hold this up)
    • In terms of Canon, it's inconclusive. I have no problem with Garek being gay or bi or straight, but it is hard to say he is definitively gay because of Ziyal, regardless how he portrayed the character. (What use would Garak of all people uphold 20th-century earth status quo by pretending to be heterosexual?)
    • I have to admit, all this talk about Ziyal confuses me. When I was watching, the relationship seemed pretty explicitly to be a)she's interested in him (Kira calls it a "crush) b) he likes spending time with the only other Cardassian around, but c) he has no romantic or sexual interest in her, and in fact actively discourages her. Or does no one else remember this exchange:
    Ziyal: You’re intelligent, and cultured… and kind…
    Garak: My dear, you’re young, so I realize that you’re a poor judge of character—
    Ziyal: Why do you always make fun of my feelings for you?
    Garak: Perhaps because I find them a bit… misguided?
    Ziyal: Well, if that’s what you think, why do you spend so much time with me?
    Garak: Because I’m exiled, and alone, and a long way from home, and when I’m with you, it doesn’t feel so bad.
I suppose that last line could be taken as something romantic, but it kinda clashes with what he just said, doesn't it. Coupled with his expression when he embraces him at the end of the two-parter, which is not exactly one of unmitigated joy...
  • I took his gentle rebuff in that scene as his recognition that he's much older than her and thinks she has a temporary girlish crush; that he's in constant danger of being killed by various enemies, which threat carries over to anyone he openly cares about; and that getting too close to him could get her in serious trouble with her father and other Cardassians. In other words, he was trying to do the best thing for her, regardless of his own feelings.
  • There's also the exchange in "Shattered Mirror" between alt-Garak and alt-Worf where Garak appears to solicit Worf and Worf thunders "You are not my type!" This tells us nothing of the sexual preferences of real-Garak, but it does tell us that the writers were perfectly aware of the queer implications around Garak, and were prepared to work in jokes about it.
  • On re-watching the series, Garak's Camp Gay persona in his first couple encounters with Bashir strikes me as a bit of Early Installment Weirdness, because it doesn't seem nearly as pronounced later on.
    • One possibility - the early encounters were not long after he'd activated his implant, and the resulting constant endorphin rush affected his personality (a perpetual literal drug high). As he got used to it, his personality returned to normal.
  • This discussion so far has focused on Garak's undefined sexuality, but also managed to ignore many other aspect's of Garak's persona that easily relate. Garak is a liar, who admits that he enjoys lying for the simple fact it can be more interesting than the truth. Hell, even when he does tell the truth, he has to turn it into a half-truth because the actual truth bores him. His own past is a mystery beyond the fact his father is Enabran Tain, the fact he was a high-ranking member of the Obsidian Order, the fact he was responsible for the death of Dukat's father, and the fact he did something bad enough to get kicked out of the Order AND exiled from his home world. Beyond those few facts, plus perhaps a few from Andrew Robinson's novel(and while I'm aware most novels aren't canon, this one was written by the actor and could be treated as canon unless the copyright holders directly say otherwise), all we see are what Garak wants us to see. He latched onto Bashir not out of a need for a friend or romantic interest but because he needed Bashir to help stop a Bajoran terrorist. After that he... well, it seems as if Garak lives for the moment, reinventing himself with a multiple choice past as he sees fit and adapts to a situation as he sees fit. He may very well suffer from a traumatic past that caused him to snap and he lives the lies to avoid the truth. His supposed sexuality may very well change as easily as his past does, at least in his mind.
  • The problem I can see a lot of people having with Garak being gay or bisexual is that there is simply no hard evidence for it. The two biggest arguments I have seen are that he has a rather campy demeanor (which as mentioned above could easily be the mannerisms of a proven liar and seems to vanish as time goes on), and the fact that he doesn't seem all that interested in sex - which in the end means absolutely nothing and runs the risk of falling into some awfully stereotypical views on how real men act. As for his relationship with other men, there are really only two of any worth to the discussion: Tain (who eventually turns out to be his dad and as such is now irrelevant), and Bashir, who could either be a love interest or a perfectly ordinary close friend, and as Garak has never remotely tried to come on to Bashir, the evidence greatly supports the latter. Incidentally, whilst the OP tries to dismiss the well we have seen him kissing girls! defense as woolly, it really is the cherry on top of the heterosexuality cake like it or not.
    • As noted, his relationship with Ziyal is easily read as a one sided attraction on her part. That's hardly a cherry on anything.
  • For some reason, I imagine him as bi, not gay. I also don't ship him with Bashir. I imagine Garak as bi and Bashir as straight, for some reason.
    • In the interview referenced above, Robinson says that he, "started out playing Garak as someone who doesn't have a defined sexuality. He's not gay, he's not straight, it’s a non-issue for him. Basically his sexuality is inclusive."

     Will the real Darhe'el please stand up? 
  • This is not to knock "Duet", which is one of the best episodes of the series and in all of Star Trek in my opinion. But one wonders exactly how Marritza expected his plan to work. If Darhe'el had been alive, all the Cardassians would have to do to discredit Marritza is simply produce him. And if he were dead, just tell everyone that— hell, half of Cardassia viewed his body! So whether Darhe'el were alive or dead, there was no way Marritza would be able to convince people that he was him. This was not a very well-thought-out plan on his part.
    • He probably wasn't thinking that far into it, having lived with years of pent-up PTSD, guilt, and self-hatred driving him into his plan. Most likely he thought that with his Card-Carrying Villain persona, the Bajorans wouldn't bother to conduct a thorough investigation. Although if he had survived, it's probable that he would have been able to publicly explain his actions, which may still have gone some way to achieving his goal anyhow.
      • This was something [SF Debris] pointed out in his review. Marritza expected Cardassian-style justice - an almost immediate and completely one-sided trial that found him guilty and executed him. He also was clearly not in his right mind.
    • He might not have expected the crew of DS9 (or wherever he ended up captured at) to actually contact the Cardassians and check. This would be a fair assumption assuming the station were run solely by Bajorans, perhaps he didn't know about the Federation involvement (which happened only a few months before he arrived.)
      • Or having checked, he might expect them to believe that the Cardassians had lied. After all, it's not like the Cardassians were above lying to save face on, well, just about anything. If it hadn't been for them finding the records which clearly showed that Gul Darheel had been on Cardassia when the accident happened, therefore couldn't have Kalinora syndrome, therefore the man in the cell couldn't be Darheel then they might well have assumed that the Cardassians were trying to create an alibi.
      • In fact, after receiving that information from Dukat, DS9's crew did assume that it was forged— at least, Kira certainly did. It was the dermal regenerative Marritza was taking that tipped Bashir off.

    Duh, the Cardassians just want the station 

  • And speaking of "Life Support", why are Sisko and Kai Winn so mystified when Legate Turrel insists on an agreement in principle that anything of Cardassian origin left behind in the Bajoran system belongs to Cardassia? Duh, the Cardassians just want the station! And the de facto control of the wormhole that comes with it!
    • And not just the station either. After an Occupation lasting 60 years, there was plenty of Cardassian technology and infrastructure left behind on Bajor. With Bajor struggling with famines and other issues, all it would take would be for Cardassia to walk off with any agricultural technology it managed to somehow lay claim to and Bajor would be struggling even more than before. I got the impression there was an entire can of worms waiting to be opened there that the Kai almost walked into.
    • They were probably mystified trying to figure out what other Cardassian equipment was left behind, other than the station and the previously mentioned infrastructure. They probably suspected something less benign was in the mix when Turrel made that demand i.e. a secret research facility or something similar. Also, look at the farther-reaching consequences of the Cardassians taking back the station: they would likely move the station back to Cardassian space, leaving Starfleet with nothing to guard the wormhole. To replace the station, they would need several ships (probably at least 3-5 Galaxy, Nebula, or similarly powerful ships that can't be spared for guard duty at the ass-end of Federation space) until a replacement station can be brought in. Space stations can't exactly be churned out by an industrial-strength replicator, so it would take time to restore a permanent presence at the wormhole and in Bajoran space, assuming that Winn doesn't take the opportunity to start demanding that Starfleet build a station for them, free of charge. While that debate is going on, the Cardassians can start causing trouble, further dividing the Federation and Bajor, until finally one will snap and leave, allowing the Cardassians to come back in and reclaim the planet (remember: the Federation couldn't be arsed to care about the 60 year Occupation the Cardassians did the first time. If a lifetime of rape and plunder can't motivate one of the strongest militaries in the Quadrant to action, why should round 2 be any different, right?
    • The Bajoran's counter to all of this was to say that Terok Nor (DS9) belonged to them, because it was built by the Bajorans. It actually was, the Cardassians used Bajoran slave labor to build it. Although this became moot because the Federation wasn't willing to give the station up.

     A Thoroughly Polite Dustup 
  • In Apocalypse Rising, Sisko enlists Dukat's help in infiltrating a Klingon facility. En route, their bird-of-prey's false flag is challenged challenged by a Klingon warship, and when the communications equipment that would fool the Klingon patrol into believing that they were on legitimate business in Klingon space fails, Dukat simply destroys the other ship rather than risk discovery. The Starfleet personnel are shocked by Dukat's actions, and an obviously disgusted Sisko asks if it was really necessary. Why exactly is anyone surprised by this when the Cardassian Union—and the Federation, I might add—are in a state of open war with the Klingon Empire? Not only that, but Sisko and company are on a critical mission with much of the Alpha Quadrant at stake; they absolutely can't risk being captured. Unless I'm missing something, destroying that warship is the tactically correct move under the circumstances, it increased the likelihood of success, and was well within the rules of war.
    • You're misremembering that scene a bit. When the communication filter failed Klingon!O'Brien went over to examine it and Klingon!Odo suggested that Worf speak to them. But before they could even try Dukat fired his weapons and destroyed the other ship. It's a matter of perspective. The Federation wants an amicable peace, not to wipe out the Klingons, so they would've preferred to let Worf try and bluff the other ship off. If they were forced to fight anyway, oh well, at least they tried. (And war or no war, those particular Klingons hadn't actually done anything wrong. They were just doing their jobs patrolling Klingon space.) On the other hand, Dukat is angry at the Klingons for what they did to the Cardassian people and every one of them he kills is a sweet little slice of vengeance. He's not stupid, he'll use deception when he can, but if the easier solution is to just kill a Klingon, he'll kill a Klingon. You'll notice that when Sisko asks Dukat "Was that really necessary?!" and Dukat responds that "It was either that or trust in Mr. Worf's ability to lie! And frankly I have more faith in my weapons!"...Sisko noticeably fails to offer a counter-argument.
      • The irony being that Worf had in fact pulled off such a stunt already while serving on board the Enterprise (TNG: "The Emissary").

     Letting the Shapeshifter Play Policeman 
  • Okay, so Odo is discovered by Bajoran scientists. They keep him in a lab for a while, but after they discover that he's sentient and he expresses the wish to leave the lab, being reasonably nice folks who believe in the rights of sentient beings, they let him. After that we're not entirely sure what he gets up to for a while except that he once mentions that the Cardassians, jerks that they are, sometimes make him change shape as a party trick. At some point he finds himself on Terok Nor, where Gul Dukat recruits him to act as a security officer and go-between since he's willing to serve Cardassian interests as long as they're not too evil, but he's still trusted by the Bajoran slaves (more than the Cardassian security officers anyway). Then the Cardassians abandon the occupation and, as far as we can tell, give him a hearty handshake and a fond farewell. WHAT? Seriously? Nobody in the Cardassian government, nobody in the military or the freaking Obsidian Order thought that it might be a good idea to hang on to the shapeshifter? Stick him back in a lab, study him, try to figure out a way to replicate or at least defend against his powers? It never occurred to anybody that it might be a spectacularly bad idea to leave a perfect spy free to do as he pleased? It's not like the freaking Space Nazis were concerned with his rights as a sentient being.
    • Still, Cardassians didn’t had enough power when they were leaving to just kidnap Odo, who was in general accepted as a member of Bajoran society. Yes, they are kind of Space Nazis, but they are Space Nazis after Normandy.
    • Remember also that while Odo may not be as good a shapeshifter as other Changelings, he's still very effective. Are the Cardassians going to grab every sample jar, barstool at Quark's, and dress is Garak's shop because it might be Odo? If he doesn't want to be found, he's not going to be found.

     "You have failed your mission, but I'm going to make you the station security Chief anyway" 
  • In the episode Necessary Evil, it's explained that Odo was brought on the station to solve one specific murder because Dukat felt he and his men were not up to the task of solving a Bajoran crime. But Odo failed in this task, as the murder was never solved at the time. So why did Dukat keep Odo on as station security chief after this? There was no more need for him, and he didn't even accomplish his original objective. Cardassians don't seem like the type to tolerate failure, much less promote people after it.
    • The reason he was brought into that job still stands; he's neither Bajoran nor Cardassian, therefore Bajorans are more likely to talk to him, and Cardassians are more likely to trust that he is being objective.

     What's With That Cardassian in the Hallucination? 
  • So in the episode "Far Beyond the Stars", Sisko is hallucinating that he's in America in The '60s and is a writer, writing about DS9, but sometimes, he briefly starts seeing the real world in pieces (like seeing a man he's hallucinating Worf as turn into the real Worf). During the scene where thugs were beating somebody up, one of them briefly turned into a Cardassian man. Why was there a Cardassian on the station and why was he beating someone up? Was it Garak?
    • It was Dukat. The cops were played by Marc Alaimo and Jeffrey Combs (Dukat and Weyoun) and they briefly turned into their DS9 counterparts during that beating.

     Damar, Women and Children 
  • The episode Tacking Into The Wind where Damar delivers the line what kind of state tolerates the murder of innocent women and children? What kind of people give those orders? which of course leads to some essential character development for him when Kira reminds him of the war crimes perpetrated by the Cardassians toward the Bajorans. One small problem though: the Jem'Hadar and the Founders have no women and children and thus wouldn't have the same cultural blocks that we do. And on that note, when have we ever seen the and women and children double standard from the 24th century Federation or the Cardassian Union? The former loves all life and considers gonads of no importance, and the latter is arguably more matriarchal than patriarchal as whilst we never see any discrimination towards women in the military, male scientists are rare and are both patronized and considered inferior as we see in the episode Destiny.

     Why wasn't Terok Nor destroyed? 
  • Why didn't the Cardassians blow up Terok Nor before withdrawing from Bajor?
    • Try reading the Star Trek: Millennium trilogy. Not exactly canon, but a) it's excellent and b) explains a lot.
    • At the time it was in orbit of Bajor, if it exploded pieces of it might have hit the planet caused damage or killed people. The last thing Cardassia needed was more reason for the Federation to be pissed at them.
    • Given the usual reliability of Cardassian technology, I always assumed they tried and the self destruct failed. They do have a scrapped fusion reactor or two, perhaps they were supposed to explode instead of just shut down improperly.
    • They also left in a rush. One of the plot-points they depended on in early seasons is that the Cardassians didn't even have a chance to completely wipe the computers— O'Brien manages to retrieve all the engineering records from it, he tells Bashir that he could pull the medical records if he let a program run for a couple of weeks, and in one episode he pulls enough image data from a communication recording to identify the man making the recording. (The image they pulled was just a blurry mess, but it was good enough to match with a database of known faces.)
    • Of course this also brings up another problem— why didn't the Federation ever replace the computer system? The Cardassians are known to be magnificent bastards, and early in the series they find the replicators were sabotaged by Bajorans... who knows what kind of backdoors or boobytraps are in the thing?
      • That actually came up in the episode "Civil defense", where O'Brien and Sisko accidentally trip an anti-insurgency program that was buried in the computer. In their defense, they were trying to wipe Cardassian files out of the computer at the just didn't work out too well.
      • And then we find out that the head of Starfleet security on the station was busy installing his own backdoors and booby traps into the computer.
      • In addition, in "The Forsaken", O'Brien tells Sisko that it will take approximately three years to carry out the necessary upgrade.
      • O'Brien refers to the process as 'a root canal'.
    • Given how quickly and how often the Cardassians tried to reoccupy the station, they seemed to view their departure as a temporary one. Before the wormhole was discovered, Bajor had nothing to offer anyone. The Cardassians likely assumed that Bajor would descend into civil war, the Federation would leave after realizing nothing could be done to stop the fighting, and the Cardassians would come back to 'restore order.'


    Whacking the Dominion Hive 
  • In the Deep Space Nine episode "The Jem'Hadar", a Jem'Hadar representative of the Dominion comes through the wormhole and states, in essence, that the Gamma Quadrant (or at least the part of the quadrant near the wormhole) is within Dominion space, and that any excursion through the wormhole would be considered an incursion into their territory and treated as such. The general response on the part of the Bajorans and Federation is basically, "Oh, yeah? Try and stop us from exploring!" Why the sudden disrespect for the requests of a sovereign nation? If the wormhole instead led to, say, an unexplored mass of space within Romulan borders and the Romulans sent a representative that said, "Quit sending ships into our space!" would the Federation thumb their nose at this, or would they back off and resolve the matter more diplomatically? But no, the Federation and other Alpha Quadrant races keep sending their (heavily armed, at least in the case of the Defiant) ships through, completely disregarding the wishes of the Dominion. No wonder the Dominion finally just decided to invade the Alpha Quadrant itself.
    • Because it wasn't actually their territory? If I recall correctly, they don't even really say that it is exactly. It's more that they consider the entire Gamma Quadrant to be their "sphere of influence", and so oppose any other nations entering it. But considering that this is literally a quarter of the entire galaxy, this is rather an extreme position.
    • If I recall correctly, the area around the Gamma Quadrant terminus of the wormhole wasn't Dominion territory for the first two years of Deep Space Nine. Certainly most of the people we met from the Gamma Quadrant in those two seasons seemed to treat the Dominion as an abstractly distant power rather than as an aggressive occupier. It seems more like the Dominion unilaterally annexed that territory around the end of season 2, then barged through the wormhole and told the Alpha Quadrant to GTFO. Since this was Kira they told this too, she naturally wasn't going to take this lying down. It should also be noted that the Dominion asserted their authority in their new "territory" by hunting down and destroying every single Alpha Quadrant ship and colony they could get their hands on.
    • The wormhole terminus was never really part of Dominion territory. I believe the writers used a metaphor something like this: Imagine if the Chinese claimed complete dominion over the East China Sea and added that ANY non-Chinese ships there would be destroyed. Yes, people wouldn't start sailing on the Chinese coast, but they wouldn't really pay any attention to this warning on the coast of Japan or even some distance away from it. One single navy couldn't possibly patrol a region so vast, and the Federation knows that the Dominion is only a distant threat in the section of the Gamma Quadrant they're near, so they keep exploring and don't really get caught.
      • Ignoring for the moment the weirdness about territorial claims in space and the inconsistency about what the Dominion even is (a mafia-like organization that has a private army for when other methods fail? An empire with clearly defined borders?), it is pretty clear that the wormhole is not in Dominion territory. We know this because "Broken Link" has this exchange: "DAX: We've just cleared the wormhole. SISKO: Begin transmitting a request for assistance, then set a course for the Dominion." The dialogue in "The Jem'Hadar" is probably just posturing. After all, it is presumably within their power to collapse the wormhole themselves if they really wanted to keep the Alpha Quadrant powers out.
    • The Federation is a great power in its own right, and even peaceful great powers don't like being bullied. Even weak governments don't like that. The Dominion's demands were a slap in the face of Federation sovereignty.
    • Both the phrase "Whacking the Dominion Hive" and this complaint, by the way, come straight from Phil Farrand's The Nitpicker's Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers, a book full of Headscratchers and other nitpicks. 'Tis a good read.
    • Having encountered the Klingons, the Romulans, the Cardassian, the Borg, and who knows how many other species that had a tendency towards aggressive expansion, the Federation has to understand that when confronted by a society inclined towards violent conquest, submission is a form of suicide. The only way to avoid being run rough-shod over is to establish immediately that the Federation isn't going to kowtow to the Dominion and will instead expect to be treated with respect or, at the very least, a lack of aggression.
      • If anything the mistake the Federation made was treating the Dominion as if it were a power like the Cardassians or the Klingons. They all talked the talk, they'd rattle their sabres (or their bat'leths) maybe have a small border clash, then they'd get down to business of talking things out diplomatically with the occasional bit of posturing going on for face-saving's sake. Even the Klingons, for all their warrior zerg-rush talk have done that. Trouble is the Dominion are more like the Borg in that they are completely irrational in their worldview and genuinely do see it all as "Us vs Them absolutism". To be fair, the Dominion did initially paint themselves as a reasonable power with their use of the Vorta so the Federation's mistake was an understandable one, and even if they had withdrawn back through the wormhole the Dominion would still have come for them eventually.
    • On the flipside, doesn't the presence of a clear military threat in the Gamma Quadrant mean that the Federation ought to have taken a much more active approach? As in: build a starbase at the far end of the wormhole, move an armada in to guard it, don't send out ships without escorts, etc.? If this would seem like an aggressive, militaristic, expansionistic move... well, that's what they were accused of doing anyway, so why not do it correctly?
      • Related to the above — in "Destiny," I'm always a bit amused by the premise. Sure, establishing a permanent communications link to the Gamma Quadrant is a good idea, but you know what else would be good? A lookout. As in, post somebody over there ready to run over and inform DS9 of a threat at a moment's notice. Further, they should be ready to seal the wormhole on short order starting in Season 3, rather than only putting it together on the fly two or more years later.
      • One not-so-minor hitch is that the Bajorans were never fully on board with any solution that would have sealed them off from their religion's "gods." Had the Federation invoked that "nuclear option" of sorts, it would have been a major diplomatic incident even in light of the Dominion threat.
      • To the above: Let's not forget that in "The Search, Part II," Sisko and co. are unequivocally willing to seal the wormhole when there's no other options left (and presumably seek forgiveness from the Bajorans after the fact). There's a rather silly plot point in "In Purgatory's Shadow"/"By Inferno's Light" that only now, when dealing with a ticking clock, does Sisko instruct his crew to come up with a way of sealing the wormhole without harming the Prophets (which the Dominion swiftly subverts). There should have been a standing plan for this since early in Season 3, if not earlier.

     Spotting Changelings: Not So Hard? 
So I just rewatched the episode where Odo gets turned human and something occurred to me. Right after the Changelings spit Odo back out Bashir whips out an ordinary medical tricorder and says he detects various and sundry organs (heart, liver, lungs, or some such) and Bashir says "Gosh! He must be human now!" So wait a minute. If it's that easy to tell humans and changelings apart, why does the Federation have such trouble with it?
  • It's probably more "in contrast to how Odo usually scans" than changelings more broadly. As you say, the Founders must have a means of fooling scans most of the time.
  • Good point, especially given Odo's earlier claim "If you scan me when I'm a rock, you'll detect a rock." But yes, Odo isn't as good a changeling as the others and in any case is usually not interested in fooling scanners, so maybe he normally doesn't bother with the organs. (So his earlier statement should really be "If you scan me when I'm a rock, you'll detect a rock, assuming I decided to fully mimic the rock from the inside out. Otherwise sometimes not.")
    • This is directly addressed in-episode. Bashir notes at one point that when he normally scans Odo, he reads an object of uniform density rather than the fluctuations he's currently detecting due to Odo's illness. Thus, Odo scans like a large mass of jello that can move, rather than having distinct parts like solids. While Changelings probably can mimic humanoids down to internal organs, the more disturbing question is how do they research what all those organs are like so they can mimic them - vivisection?
      • Possibly medical scans, but considering that most Changelings are murderous dicks then yes, probably vivisection. Hell, they may scoop out someone's guts and stuff them in their own bodies to get a "feel" for them to replicate them better.
  • Odo does not at any point try to disguise the fact that he is a changeling when Bashir scans him. He points out at many times during the series that he COULD ("If you scan me when I'm a rock, you'll detect a rock."), meaning he has the ability to hide from scans, and obviously the other Changelings do too. But everyone already knows Odo is a changeling, so what reason would he possibly have to disguise himself from Bashir's scans? Starfleet Security is actually VERY concerned about Odo FOR THIS REASON, and they point it out.
  • While we're at it, why not use telepaths to detect Changelings? Since Betazoids don't detect Odo's emotions, a sufficiently talented one should have little trouble finding a faux example of a race they can normally detect.
    • Telepaths have a habit of being underutilized in every franchise that they are in for the reason being that their powers are nearly always game breaking; that is why they made Deanna Troi half-human just to give her an excuse as to why she isn't just stopping every threat to the ship with a wave of her hand. A full Betazoid guarding every major ship and facility would basically castrate the sole thing that makes the main villain a threat with the exception of their army. Fridge Brilliance of course in that the Dominion attacked and conquered their home world...
      • I can imagine that being that hypothetical Betazoid on duty would be a seriously dangerous job, since the Founders would have no qualms about killing them and calling it a day.
      • Or kill the telepath and then take their place, can you imagine the damage a shapeshifter could do if they impersonated the telepath in charge of finding shapeshifters?
      • You'd need another telepath to keep tab on the first one! And yet another to monitor that one! And...

     Attack of the 50-Foot Odo 
  • So Odo's a changeling, right? We've seen him get pretty small, and change his mass so, for example, when he's a bag he's not as heavy as his humanoid form. This means he can change his mass at will (which is a Headscratcher in and of itself). We've also seen Changelings flying through space on their own without any problems (like Laas did in "Chimera", as a creature the size of a runabout). Why doesn't Odo ever use this to his advantage? Why does Odo take runabouts when he could just go into space by himself? Or, for that matter, why couldn't he become the size of the station and just pick up enemy ships and hurl them into the sun or something (other than it would be totally ridiculous)? They wouldn't even have needed to do effects shots: just shoot Rene Auberjonois handling the actual ship models used for filming! True, it would be pretty silly, but I think there are other possibilities to use a giant Odo (humanoid or not) or at least a space worthy Odo that would've been useful and cool to see without treading into B-movie territory. But I think the only time we ever see him get larger than his humanoid form is when he is protecting "Kira" from a rockfall in "Heart of Stone", at least that I can remember.
    • I agree in the abstract that Odo does not use his powers usefully very often. On those odd occasions when he forms tendrils to grab attackers, I wonder why he doesn't do it more. But do not forget that, in the grand scheme, he is a novice changeling. He was amazed to find that Laas could fly through space as this was a power well beyond his, so one can't expect him to just be able to do it himself. This is an important part of his characterization — remember that Odo is a misfit, not a demigod. Laas had centuries of practice that Odo lacked, and the Changelings in the Great Link had significantly more again.
    • Odo does become significantly larger than his humanoid form in "The Alternate," but does not do so consciously, again an indication that he has vast powers that he has not begun to master.
    • Further, note that the Changelings tend towards using their powers in subtle ways for purposes of infiltration and subterfuge, rather than spectacular shows of force. What would be gained by becoming giant, even if they could do it? Changelings are not invulnerable, and it would just provide a larger target.
    • From a real life perspective it could easily have been because all the shape shifting could be expensive and difficult to do.
    • I just want to know what happens to his comm badge when he turns into, say, a drinking glass (as we see one episode.)
    • He met Laas before "Treachery, Faith and the Great River", so I'd personally like to know why Odo was concerned about freezing to death or asphyxiating in the latter episode. He knows for a fact that Changelings Can Breathe in Space!
      • Laas can also turn into fire, so that may be how he keeps warm in his space-dwelling form. And maybe he just held his breath. If he can travel faster than light then anything is possible!
      • Um, "Treachery, Faith and the Great River" was eight episodes earlier than "Chimera."
    • The answer is obvious. Because he doesn't know how. For a Changeling, shapeshifting isn't as easy as just wanting to be something else and *poof* you're something else. There's more to it than that. It takes serious skill, which Odo doesn't yet have. Before he met Laas he didn't even realize it was possible for him to become fire, or fog, or a space-whale.

     Why was Odo turned Human and not Bajoran? 
  • Why did the Founders in the Link make Odo anatomically human (as Bashir's analysis confirms) and not Bajoran? He has far greater ties to the Bajorans than the Federation; he was raised by a Bajoran scientist, he's part of a Bajoran security force, and the whole basis of the female changeling's accusations about his divided loyalties are based on his love of Kira, who is Bajoran. And the Founders don't seem to be sensitive to the fact that humans are a major force in the Federation; they don't make too many distinctions among species of solids anyway. But if they were going to choose a specific species to turn Odo into, the logical choice would've been Bajoran.
    • It is a curious decision, which reeks of the Star Trek's humanocentric sense that everyone who isn't human should strive to be... or become one involuntarily! But justifications as possible. For the Founders, it's an us and them mentality, as you note: solids are solids. So perhaps their choice was arbitrary. Perhaps they had examined more humans and knew their anatomy better. The "Odo as human" arc turned out to be a bit of a Dork Age, didn't it?
    • Could have been another layer of the punishment. By turning Odo human, he is further isolated from the culture that he grew up in and is thus made even more alone.
      • I'm not sure that really works as an explanation, because 1: Odo was only marginally connected with Bajoran society to begin with, and 2: he doesn't outwardly look like a human even during his exile. He just looks like Odo (and, as emphasized in "Apocalypse Rising," chooses to continue to look that way). The arrangement of his internal anatomy would seem to make little difference.
      • It would add another layer of separation between Odo and Kira for him to be human. There are no secrets in the Great Link, so undoubtedly his entire race knows how Odo feels about Kira. By making him human instead of Bajoran, that adds a definite biological barrier, if nothing else in Odo's mind.
    • Sisko and Bashir (both human) were the ones accompanying Odo at the time. The Founders may have used them as the base template for Odo's new solid form.
    • The simpler and more likely explanation: When Bashir says that Odo has been "turned human", he doesn't mean Odo has literally been turned into someone of Terran extraction. He's using "turned human" as shorthand for "a biological being with a calcium-based endoskeleton and internal organs including a heart and lungs". Odo might not be any actual race in particular, he's just "a biological" now, and Bashir says he's human because "he's a living being as we are familiar with the concept!" doesn't carry the same sort of Wham Line punch.
      • Is not "humanoid" generally that shorthand term? I can't think of an example of "human" explicitly being used to describe a being who was not human, as in Terran.
      • "Humanoid" means having the appearance of a human or being of the shape of a human. In other words, Odo was, usually, a humanoid as a changeling. As for why they said "human", it easily and immediately understandable to the viewer what has happened. Moreover, it is unlikely that Odo was any given race, so much as "no longer a changeling", going into detailed specifics or, worse, no elaborating on phrasing that required it, wouldn't have made a lot of sense right there, much easier to just say, "human", since a human is talking (and it did immediately get the point across of what had happened).
      • Bashir tells Odo: "Physiologically, you're completely human" in the Infirmary at the end of "Broken Link." The clarification "physiologically" leave little space to argue that he is anything other than literally human, as opposed to simply "humanoid" (which might be implied by Bashir's earlier statement "I'm reading a heart, lungs, and a digestive system. It's as if he were human," made on only cursory evidence).
    • The Changelings were busily inserting themselves into every level of the Federation that they could at that point, which would for the most part mean replacing humans. They were probably more familiar with human biology than any other "solid" race... turning Odo into a biological humanoid probably wasn't easy in the first place so they'd go with the race they were most familiar with.

     Confessions of a Linking Addict 
  • In "Behind the Lines" and "Favor the Bold," the Female Changeling weakens Odo's resolve through linking, the act of two or more Changelings melding together. Afterwards, he's completely infatuated, spending days linking with her while neglecting other duties. In effect, he's behaving like the Changeling equivalent of a sex addict. Why did linking with the Female Changeling have this effect on Odo? He links with her in other episodes ("The Search"; "What You Leave Behind") and briefly enters the Great Link ("Broken Link") without any ill effects. Furthermore, he and Laas link in private in "Chimera," but neither man was overwhelmed by the experience. Despite being emotionally vulnerable when the Female Changeling came knocking, Odo isn't shown to have an addictive personality, so what explains this response to linking?
    • I thought it was fairly clear that it wasn't the linking itself, and there's no real "addiction" going on. It was the emotional connection with the Changeling that was weakening his resolve. His continuing desire to rejoin his people was growing stronger and wearing him down. And now that the Female Changeling, because of the mines, is also separated from her people, Odo feels a need to comfort her, and form a small Changeling community with her, as well as learn from her. She's become more vulnerable and more approachable to him, and that makes him feel all the more that he belongs with her and with Changelings in general. And that ends up seeming more important to him. That and the entire time she is feeding him propaganda on how much more important Changelings are than Solid issues, and it's starting to get through. The other times he wasn't as vulnerable, wasn't as desperate for Changeling contact, and Laas wasn't nearly as charming or convincing.
    • I was always curious about linking for another reason. In "A Simple Investigation," Odo explicitly compares it to humanoid sex. This isn't necessarily to characterize the Great Link as a gigantic, non-stop orgy, but to describe the intimacy of the experience... this plays into the war arc as described above. Is it then possible to understand "Chimera" as an episode about a love affair between Odo and Laas?
      • Sure it is, in the same presumably non-sexual way that Changelings are always seeking intimacy with each other. That is, in a way that doesn't seem to be directly related to reproduction, and certainly not intended to cause "pairing off", except when circumstances force it as in the wartime situation above. This would be distinct, however, from Odo's romantic relations with solids, where he seems to have ingrained in himself a heterosexual male orientation (perhaps he emulated Dr. Mora more than he realized), consistently showing attraction, love, and even lust only for female humanoids, and interest in the humanoid reproductive act. His affair with the female Changeling, however, seems to combine aspects of both, since she has consistently appeared (and appealed) to him as a female humanoid and has engaged in solid-style intercourse with him as well as linking.
    • This is the hallmark of how DS9 is Darker and Edgier than Star Trek, The Next Generation. Odo was not a duplicate; he was not borg, his software is not being manipulated; he has not been made super-intelligent by an alien; he was not brainwashed by Romulans, or by a game, and he hasn't had someone else's negative emotions dumped on him. He doesn't even have any mundane Real Life version of any of those, such as an addiction. He is himself, he is Odo, and he chose to betray his friends.
      • Yes, but it still rankles how "Odo and Kira talk in a closet, unseen" serves as a reset button.
      • According to the writers, it bugged them too, but they were having difficulty resolving the situation otherwise. Presumably they could either drag it on for episodes (or seasons) of Kira resenting and sniping at Odo and Odo futilely trying to prove himself to her, or do the closet reset, and they chose the reset. And while it's the easy way out, that doesn't necessarily make it the wrong one... watching two characters hate on each other every episode because of a mistake one of them made might have been accurate characterization but probably not fun to watch.
      • The difficulties of writing episodic television are very real, but even allowing for that, this is awfully weak writing. The problem is not the fact that it happens quickly, or even that it restores some version of the status quo. It's that it happens off-screen, which means it can't contribute to the character arcs of either Kira or Odo. If we can't understand the terms of their reconciliation, then that nullifies the drama of their divide to begin with. And it squanders the opportunity to address another dramatic problem of Season 6: if working through this difficulty moves their friendship to a different place, then their becoming lovers later also seem less sudden and shoehorned (as it does from Kira's side).
      • To be fair, Odo didn't betray his friends so much as neglect his duties, which is still pretty bad, especially given the stakes, but we don't know what linking really feels like, so we can't judge him for getting addicted to harshly. And Kira forgiving Odo so quickly, if given a little more attention, could have been an great oppurtunity to show her Character Development: Odo comes to her quarters carrying flowers and "wearing" a tuxedo, she swats the flowers away and tells him that there's no excuse for what he did and people they both cared about could have died or worse because he got addicted to something just like the thugs he busts, he says she's right, but that regardless of if she forgives him, he's truly sorry, and she looks like she's about to go off on him again, but then smiles and says she believes him.

    If You Prick a Changeling, Does He Not Bleed? 
  • Throughout the Dominion War people show they aren't changelings by bleeding. This test was first suggested and implemented by Martok, who they later learned was replaced by a changeling at the time. Heck, Sisko's father, a chef, figured out how to fool that test as soon as he heard about it.
    • Your point? By the very evidence you supply you seem to get the writers' point right across - that the test was a Batman Gambit by the Founders to sow paranoia amongst the Federation and Klingons, while letting agents who "passed" the test go about their business without suspicion. The very episode in which, as you say, Sisko's father points out the fallacies in the test, was meant to indicate this very plot although it wasn't until much later that they actually learned that, yes, indeed, the one who suggested the test was a changeling themselves.
      • More evidence that it's a Batman Gambit? The Martok changeling isn't the first one to come up with the idea of blood tests — in the episode "The Adversary", Odo notices Sisko can't be a changeling because he's bleeding. But why is Sisko bleeding? Because a changeling hurt him, knowing he'd meet up with Odo soon, and Odo, being a sharp investigator, would notice and develop the blood testing strategy. So, by the time the Martok changeling strolls onto the station, pulls out a knife, and slices his palm open, they all accept it without questioning how or why Martok knows to do such a thing — they just assume he knows because of the intelligence shared by the only trusted person in the alpha quadrant who could have come up with the idea — Odo.
      • Indeed they implement blood screenings even before Martok shows up; in "The Adversary" the changeling (then impersonating Bashir) swaps blood vials to falsely implicate Eddington as the changeling; the fraud is only exposed because the real Bashir happens to be locked up across the hall from the holding cell they are planning to put Eddington in. Why it doesn't occur to them at the time that the blood test can be faked in the opposite direction too, however, is a mystery.
      • Come to think of it, it'd be pretty easy to get around that test if you knew ahead of time you'd be taking it. And by making it standard practice, you know when to expect it.
      • It would be a hell of a lot harder if the Feds did a DNA test on the resulting blood which probably takes less than a minute with their technology, that would at least limit the infiltrators to having to always impersonate the same person.
    • Two Words: Security Theater [1]
    • It's a Shout-Out to The Thing (1982), though it actually seemed to work in that case.

     Scent of a Changeling 
  • When Changelings were infiltrating the Alpha Quadrant, why didn't Alpha Quadrant governments think to use scent to detect them? Being inorganic life forms, Changelings would not smell the same as mammalian life forms in the Alpha Quadrant. Also, Changelings have no sense of smell, so they wouldn't be able to mimic the unique scents of humans, Klingons, or other species they impersonate. Couldn't Alpha Quadrant authorities have used specially trained dogs to sniff out Changeling infiltrators? Better yet, couldn't they have recruited members of races with very strong senses of smell to root out Changelings?
    • Since Changelings can apparently become fire and merge themselves with a human (when the dying Changeling in "The Begotten" linked with solid Odo) there's no reason to rule out the possibility that the infiltrators can't slough off a small amount of cells that retain their solid form and smell convincingly like the original. In principle it's no different than when The Great Link turned Odo into a solid. If The Link can cast off solid organic matter the size of a human, a Changeling should be able to do that with skin cells.
      • What makes you so sure Changelings have no sense of smell? Sure, that's what Odo says to trick the assassin in Improbable Cause, but since he was lying about wanting to buy some perfume who's to say he wasn't lying about having a sense of smell? The whole thing was probably just a Batman Gambit to get the guy to talk.
      • In "If Wishes Were Horses", Quark jokingly tells Odo to try smelling opportunity in the air. Odo replies that he has no sense of smell.
      • See above. That's Odo saying he has no sense of smell. It's possible he doesn't have one because he's not a good enough Changeling to shape shift himself the necessary glands, nerves, and receptors. Other Changelings can obviously exactly duplicate humans, including all their bones and organs, so it's not exactly a stretch to figure they give themselves a sense of smell (and can imitate scents) in the process.

     Can Changelings Always Sense Each Other? 
  • In "The Search", Odo is instinctively drawn to the Omarion Nebula, where he discovers the Great Link. The Female Changeling explains that the pull to other Changelings was encoded in him. This encoding is also exhibited by Laas, who instinctively locates Odo in "Chimera". However, in "Heart of Stone", the Female Changeling disguises herself as Kira and tricks Odo into believing she's Kira for several hours. In other episodes, Odo is in close proximity to Changeling infiltrators, but he doesn't sense their presence. Why couldn't Odo sense that a Changeling was present in all those instances?
    • That's a great point, Changelings do seem to have some innate ability to recognize each other. Another example was in Homefront where Odo identifies a Changeling infiltrator that was impersonating Admiral Layton after only a brief conversation—though I think this was implied to be because of Odo's skill as an investigator. In The Adversary, however, he has no idea who the infiltrator is, so maybe a talented and experienced Changeling is able to hide their nature from a less skilled one.
    • A good point, indeed (it takes a while for Odo to recognize the Martok changeling, too). I wonder, considering that Changelings, though highly used to needing to fool solids, seem not to be used to needing to fool each other, how do they hone these skills?
    • It could also be that their ability to "sense" each other, like the nebula homing signal, is limited to the Hundred. The majority of Changelings wouldn't need a Spider-Sense because they're spending almost all of their time in the Link (and it seems like when they're out doing Dominion dirty work, they tend to be spread out if not completely solo, so don't need a proximity sense—they'd just use normal methods of communication) and the Hundred are supposed to come to them. If two members of the Hundred run into each other, though, it would probably be to their benefit to team up, and they might not recognize each other as like beings otherwise.
    • Odo wasn't sensing other Changelings when he had the "feeling" about the nebula. It was just a vague feeling that he had been there before. Remember, Odo was BORN on that planet. It's like if you go back to a place you lived when you were very young but had consciously forgotten about, but you get a "this place seems familiar" feeling. That's all it was for Odo.
      • Furthermore, Odo didn't feel drawn toward the Omarion Nebula every time he was in the Gamma Quadrant, just during "The Search, Part I." This suggests that the Founders deliberately arranged for him to be drawn home at this time (akin to what they would later do in "Broken Link," if less severely), rather than something innate to his nature.

     Odo can do everything but faces 
  • So if Odo can perfectly imitate a rat, a bird, a chair, a drinking glass, a Bajoran uniform, a working Bajoran comm badge, presumably a working universal translator within his ear, and just about anything else, why are faces so difficult? Ears and noses should not be any harder than fur, paws, feathers, exact details of a rock, that comm badge, etc. He does hair perfectly, we've seen it messy and in strands before, so was the deal with faces just an attempt at making him seem like a stranger, or to make him more visible as "not human/Bajoran/whatever"?
    • Some of that is covered in one very useful line from Homefront: "I'm not sure the gulls would agree." Odo can't imitate fur, paws, feathers, etc. as well as he seems to. It's just that humans (and other humanoid aliens, for their species respectively) are specially attuned to recognizing faces, and thus can recognize any imperfections in the attempt to do so far more easily than for any other object or living thing. At least that's the premise we're asked to accept. (And yes, it means that humans can notice imperfections in imitating Bajorans more than animal species from their own world; it's all part of having humanoid aliens.) I'm not sure this explains the comm badge and the translator, but it's possible that those things are done differently than just replicating the technology; perhaps changelings are inherently able to make their bodies perform such functions in some other way.
    • I've always had a WMG on this that I like: It's an in-built restriction. We know that they have engineered the drive to return home into Odo so I don't find it unlikely to think that things like his regeneration cycle (which Word of God states is unique to him) and the inability to mimic faces are all part of the same thing. My guess is that it requires some form of training in the Great Link to reverse. It would also help prevent him from getting too close to the solids if he can't mimic them properly; the Federation and Bajorans don't care but imagine if he originally landed in the Klingon Empire for example. Incidentally the real world explanation is the same reason Troi isn't a full telepath: to help prevent his powers from reaching Game-Breaker status.
    • Also, real life data indicates that faces are, indeed, hard. There is a whole part of our brain dedicated to recognizing faces, and if this part is damaged, patients have to learn other tricks to tell other people apart from each other. And there are a lot of neurotypical people who have difficulty remembering faces. So imagine trying to create a detailed, unique humanoid face and maintain it constantly, while also maintaining the rest of your shape and walking around talking and checking on Quark - it would be very difficult.
    • On the comm badge, I think we've seen a couple of times (possibly in "Invasive Procedures") people confiscate Odo's comm badge by taking it off his uniform like often happens to the Starfleet people. Yet, we never see it disintegrate into a puddle a few seconds later, so it must be a real comm badge... which raises another Headscratcher... where does it go when Odo morphs into something else? Does he drop it somewhere? If so, does he have to imitate one when he returns to humanoid form? Does it take it within himself, but that would make imitating something like a glass difficult. I don't know, maybe it goes to the same hammerspace he must leave some of his liquid in when he becomes something tiny like a bird and he retrieves it later.

     Odo can't come back? 
  • In the series finale, Odo makes it quite clear to Kira that once he joins the Great Link he won't be coming back. However, it's never made clear why exactly this is the case. Odo's stated goals in joining the Link are: 1) to cure the other Changelings from the virus, and 2) to teach them what he has learned about solids, so they would cease trying to rule over non-Changelings. The first goal is reached almost instantaneously: as soon as Odo enters Link, it starts to heal. The second goal probably takes more time, but it shouldn't take Odo decades... We've seen that the exchange of ideas via the link is very fast; for example, in the finale the female Founder is convinced to surrender almost immediately after the Odo links with her. So, after he's finished with his tasks, there shouldn't be any reason why Odo can't return to Kira – or at least visit him regularly, if he doesn't want to permanently leave the Link again. (Kira could easily visit Odo on the Founder planet too, but that option is never mentioned either.) This is especially baffling since only a few episodes earlier, in Chimera, Odo didn't join Laas because his love for Kira was more important than linking with other Changelings.
    • Odo doesn't ever actually say that he won't come back. He is basically telling Kira that he might not be back for a long time (possibly longer than her lifetime), so he wants to say goodbye now just in case (after all, something could happen to her while he's away, etc). He agreed to return to the Link to cure his people and end the war, and he wants to teach them now to trust "solids", and he recognizes that that is more important than his personal life.
    • It's consistent with the logic with Kai Opaka in "Battle Lines": once you're in the Gamma Quadrant, you're there for good!
    • It's not consistent at all; Kai Opaka was forced to stay on the planet she was on because the nanotech that revived her kept her tied there. If she'd left the planet, she would've died, which certainly isn't the case with Odo. Once he's done teaching the other Changelings about solids, there's no reason why couldn't leave the planet and visit Kira.
      • No need to be so literal. It's a reference to a storytelling device (and note that Opaka is treated as if she is flat out inaccessible forever, when in fact Bajor could hypothetically just radio her every time spiritual advice is needed).

     Typhoid Odo 
  • There's a certain amount that's never made sense to me about the disease Section 31 engineered. Contrary to his original assumption, Bashir determines that Odo was the first changeling infected with it, during the "Homefront"/"Paradise Lost" two-parter. It must have remained within him even during his tenure without his powers; fair enough, the disease needs to survive in a lot of states of matter anyway. But why does he end up showing symptoms at all? Shouldn't he be a Typhoid Mary-style asymptomatic carrier? As soon as he shows symptoms, that eliminates the likelihood of him spreading it. Or was Section 31 just absurdly lucky that it took him so long to show symptoms, doubtless slowed down by factors they couldn't have anticipated (notably, his powers being removed?)?
    • I always figured that he infected the Great Link when they turned him human, which actually ended up purging him of the disease, and he didn't contract it again until the early season six arc when he linked with the female Changeling again. Following that logic, maybe they did infect him with some Typhoid-Mary version of the disease that only activated after being spread once, but after his human stint and re-infection from the female Changeling he would end up with the activated version of the disease.
      • Nice though, but we know that scenario can't be accurate because of this exchange in "When It Rains . . ."
      • BASHIR: Hang on, hang on, I'm just trying to figure out when Odo became infected. I analyzed the sample he left and mapped out the life cycle of the virus. I'm programming the computer to calculate just how long it took for the virus to achieve its present level of concentration.
      • O'BRIEN: That makes sense. According to that, he was infected over two years ago?
      • BASHIR: More than that. I just don't understand. I assumed he became infected when he Linked with the female shape-shifter.
      • O'BRIEN: But if it happened that long ago, how come he hasn't shown any symptoms before?
      • BASHIR: Good question. Got it. Stardate four nine four one nine.
      • O'BRIEN: Almost three years ago.
      • BASHIR: Wait a minute. Four nine four one nine. That's the day that Odo was at Starfleet Medical.
      • This dialogue (key dialogue, as it proves he was infected by Section 31 deliberately) makes no sense whatsoever if Odo was infected, de-infected and re-infected.
  • PS: I move that the disease be formally renamed "odosclerosis."
    • Well, we find out later that when the baby Changeling merges back with Odo, it's essentially able to just "reactivate" him as a Changeling himself, meaning that essentially he never stopped being one. More likely the Founders just forced him into that one form and then locked him that way without causing any actual change to the nature of his cells, which means that even if he'd stayed as physiologically a human the disease probably would have eventually started affecting him.
      • I think that's the only scenario that makes sense with the facts we're given.

Vorta and Jem'Hadar

     Jem'Hadar Tactics 
  • Why do the Jem'Hadar decloak before attacking instead of staying invisible? Even if they can't fire or attack for some reason whilst invisible they could all take positions so everyone ready to fire before decloaking all at once and firing. Rocks and Shoals suggest cloaks works even at extreme close range and some ambushes in that episode suggest that Jem'Hadar they can move whilst cloaked. This could be pretty cool if done, new ways of writing do not necessarily have to be developed as tropes already exist for fighting an invisible opponent (think predator). Imagine an episode with Sisko fighting a Jem'Hadar not through a Napoleonic charge but by setting traps (such as log falls, pit falls, landmines or even a jury rigged bear trap type device) in a forest or in a building and trying to outwit it by using tricks we've seen in movies such as puddles of water to reveal footprints and fire extinguishers to reveal their outline or even listening for footsteps and filling a key corridor with weapons fire. This can work with groups of Jem'Hadar too, the Predator reboot had a group of humans vs many Predators. How badass would the Jem'Hadar seem then and how badass would Sisko be fighting them?
    • I wonder what the Federation's position is on exploding a Jem'Hadar's head with a bear trap? :\, on the other hand this is Sisko we're talking about.
    • Maybe they don't find it honorable to fight without giving their enemies a semblance of a chance to fight back.
      • The Jem'Hadar are not Klingons or Hirogen. They do not fight with honor or to some sort of code. And no, the odd nice one we see here and there are not the majority.
    • It's once mentioned that the Jem'Hadar can loose their ability to cloak (they use the word 'shroud') when they're suffering form Ketracel-white withdraw. This seems to imply their ability to shroud themselves is a biological function, rather than a technological one. Maybe their bodies can't handle the strain of cloaking and combat at the same time. You'd think that if this were the case, though, Jem'Hadar military doctrine would heavily emphasize tactics that minimize close-in combat.

     Me Vorta, me no like art! 
A lot is made of the fact that the Vorta species were uplifted by the Founders and genetically sculpted to be their ambassadors and administrators. Some of this makes sense, like their substandard eyesight but excellent hearing. But how exactly do you genetically engineer a species with no sense of aesthetics? Since when is the ability to appreciate art a genetic trait?
  • Since when is it not? How many other species on Earth besides humans do you know who can? Besides, considering that in Real Life we are nowhere near knowing how to genetically engineer any of these traits, why would we question that if the Founders can do one, they could do the others as well?
  • One wonders if the Changelings merely told the Vorta they had no capacity for aesthetics, and that was enough.
    • I love the idea that this is just one more example of the Founders' casual cruelty. Weyoun clearly wants to be able to appreciate art; he's studying that painting so intently that it's hard not to see longing. In designing the Vorta, they've given them no ability to enjoy beauty, but allowed them the ability to understand what they're missing.
  • If you can implant genetic memory (like a baby Jem'Hadar knowing how to speak and instinctively worshipping Changelings), you can implant a personality into your clones. That's why all the Weyouns are the same. It's a personality trait they've bred into the Vorta somehow.
    • Except that kind of "genetic memory" has the exact same problem. It's nothing but pseudoscience.
      • You mean like faster-than-light travel that doesn't suffer extreme relativistic effects, or aliens from across the galaxy being able to reproduce with one another, or transporters and replicators that don't require prohibitively large amounts of energy to work, or transporter accidents that combine two different species into one healthy individual, or Changelings that can turn into fire and seemingly change mass? It's science fiction, you just have to accept some implausibility for the sake of the storyline.
    • We might be over thinking it a little bit. Brains are complex and most everything we do is accompanied by a host of complex chemical reactions. For the Vorta, certain visual stimuli may simply not trigger the same processes in their brains that they would in a human brain. The Vorta lack of any sense of ascetics may not be a case of designing 'genetic memory,' but simply a hormone imbalance (from our perspective).
  • The Vorta built-in indifference to art and to food flavors (therefore, probably to scent as well) makes sense in terms of their roles as ambassadors: to them, all appearances are equally beautiful/ugly with the exception of the Founders, who will always surpass all others in the Vorta's eyes. With no aesthetic sense, no Vorta will ever mess up a crucial meeting by letting slip a distaste for an ally's clothes fashion or high art, no Vorta will ever offend another creature by wrinkling his nose at any body stench, no Vorta will ever insult a host by disliking whatever national dish has been served to him. Similarly, with no aesthetic sense, no Vorta will ever be swayed in the least by someone's beauty, by the eloquence in presentation that accompanies many arguments, or by the propaganda force in a piece of art or music that would stir the hearts of most other beings — for them, there is no other beauty in the universe except the Founders. Imagine an ambassador who will never judge anyone by the aesthetics of how they look, sound, smell, feel or by what they consider beautiful or tasty or pleasing to the ear, and you have a Vorta.
    • But they'll also be unable to create social connections with their allies either. They won't feel distaste for bad art, but they won't be able to appreciate good art either, which may be taken as an even bigger insult. They won't swoon at the sight of a beautiful female, but again, apparent indifference can be just as insulting as obvious disgust. Even if the Vorta's indifference to all forms of beauty doesn't cause offense, the purpose of an ambassador is to charm the members of a host government. Having no sense of aesthetics whatsoever would be a huge disadvantage in that regard. A Vorta ambassador would be incapable of flattering their hosts by complimenting their culture and/or drawing parallels between their culture and that of the Dominion. In fact they would be fundamentally incapable of even understanding other cultures. I'm not saying a slave race that sees no beauty in the universe, save for their Creators, wouldn't be useful. They would make ideal laborers or bureaucrats (and admittedly the Vorta seem to be those as well). But they would make poor ambassadors.
      • Possible Fridge Brilliance when you consider who created the Vorta: the Changelings. The same Changelings who consider all solid lifeforms as either inferior or inferior and needing to be exterminated. The Vorta are diplomats designed by a race who doesn't really "get" diplomacy.
    • No, 'cause the Vorta can read social cues to see that x painting is clearly valued and lauded by the culture, steer the conversation onto what makes the art so wonderful (technique, history, etc), and then lie about finding it impressive because the Vorta are good at that. Weyoun just confesses his desire to genuinely appreciate them in a private moment.
    • Even if the Vorta have no physical biases towards the species they interact, they still have an obvious disdain towards anyone that doesn't automatically bow down to the Founder's will. And if they meet enough resistance from one particular species (like the Cardassians or the humans), what is to prevent them from developing harmful attitudes towards that species' art and culture?
  • This troper always believed that the Changelings purposely engineered a lack of art appreciation into the Vorta as a way of preventing their minds from wandering off towards anything that doesn't involve absolute loyalty to the Founders. Kind of like how a religious covenant may try to prevent any sexual relations so their followers maintain their closeness to god, except in the case of the Founders what they did was far more invasive.

     Genetic Loyalty 
Doesn't anyone find the idea of the Vorta and Jem'hadar being genetically engineered to revere the Founders as gods kind of out there? While it's been partially proven that there are a set of genes known as VMAT2 (also known as the "God Gene") that allow for a high degree of spirituality to be passed on, being able to biologically control how that spirituality is expressed towards certain groups just doesn't seem possible. A person can be born with a high level of VMAT2 but not automatically become a Christian (though he may be more predisposed towards becoming one than a person with a lower level of spirituality). The same can be said about man's best friend as well. We've bred dogs for thousands of years to regard humans as undisputed pack leaders, but just because a dog is loyal to one human doesn't mean it's loyal to every other human (unless it was exceptionally friendly). And even a dog's loyalty can run short if it's master is being particularly abusive. Weyoun was acting pretty scared when the Female Changeling angrily suggested killing and replacing him with another clone if the cloning tanks ever got working again. There were plenty of hints that he was trying to prolong his own survival by lying that the amount of time it would take to fix them would last days, if not weeks.Most of the Jem'hadar have never actually seen a founder, yet continue their duties anyway out of spiritual obligation, kind of similar to a bunch of militant Puritans. While the Vorta have more direct communication with the Founders, they still remain staunchly loyal to their masters because so far their masters have never done anything that they consider particularly abusive. While it is true they were engineered with no taste in art and lack a few human senses, if their story about them being ape-like forest dwellers that were uplifted by a grateful changeling is true then what reason do they have to complain about their servitude? And besides, what the Vorta get in exchange for that servitude isn't half bad - they're functionally immortal, can get nifty telekinetic powers, and are responsible for heading most aspects of a powerful interstellar empire while their masters lounge around and be peaceful on their home planet. That sounds like a pretty good deal.
  • But the Vorta and Jem'hadar are not bred like dogs. They are genetically engineered from the ground up — the Jem'hadar may not have had any existence before the Founders, and we only have Weyoun's word that the Vorta did. The fact that we don't have a gene that would make us fanatically loyal to a group of strangers from birth does necessarily not entirely mean such a gene could never exist in any creature, does it? After all, they've had literally millennia to get it right.
    • And if it's true that the Vorta were just timid (and possibly non-sentient) ape-like creatures beforehand, then it's probable that little of their former dispositions remain after the Founders' influence, taste for nuts and berries notwithstanding.
  • Even if that is true, how would both races be able to maintain their loyalty to their masters if some members of the Dominion decided to go renegade? The Dominion may be linked but as Odo has shown it's not foolproof. For example, If the Vorta and Jem'hadar were to receive two contradictory orders from two conflicting "gods", which one are they going to follow? Heck, how are they able to tell who and who is not a changeling? Like the Rubber-Forehead Aliens, there's a decent chance there could be an alien species out in space that may have forms and abilities similar to the Changelings. If the Jem'hadar and Vorta encountered them, would they treat them with the same reverence?
    • We have seen Jem'hadar go rogue ("To the Death," and sort of in "Hippocratic Oath"), and we have also seen Vorta opt for self-preservation over their orders (Keevan), so it obviously is possible for them to disobey the Founder under some circumstances. They're clearly not genetically incapable of doing so (again: if that were the case, White wouldn't be necessary), just that they're powerfully predisposed to follow the Founders' will
  • It's not necessarily all genetic. We know that Jem'hadar are grown in artificial wombs. Perhaps part of the pod's function is to condition their developing minds with certain beliefs and attitudes. Similarly, the Vorta don't necessarily have genetic memory. Maybe they get periodic brain scans. Then when one dies, the clone gets imprinted with the most recent "backup" of his predecessor. That would explain why the loss of the Alpha Quadrant cloning facility could mean no more Weyouns, if the memory files were stored there. They could always take DNA samples from Weyoun 8's corpse, but they wouldn't have his memories to put in the new clone.

     Jem'Hadar quarters 
  • A plot point in "Behind the Lines" is that a squad of Jem'Hadar find Damar's PADD outside of their quarters. Why would the Jem'Hadar use any quarters if they don't sleep?
    • With the Cardassians and Bajorans on the station maintaining a schedule of shifts, it could easily be that the Jem'Hadar have rotations as well, where they spend their "off hours" (accepting that a Jem'Hadar would probably never consider themselves as 'off duty') and utilize personal quarters as military barracks. Same general concept as crew quarters, enough that language streamlining would easily see them as the same.

Other Races

     State-sponsored murder has no consequences 

  • In Armageddon Game the T'Lani and Kellerun decide to help each other bury all knowledge of a biological weapon by killing everyone involved in dismantling it, including Bashir and O'Brien. Ignoring the fact that they thought they could murder two officers from the regional superpower they then try to murder Sisko and Dax when they attempt to rescue the two. By this point it's clear that at least an important Federation officer is aware of the attempted murder and the two races could reasonably infer that his officers would know where he went and what his suspicions were. Did they really think that they could just cover this up too? Were they really certain that the Federation wouldn't consider retaliation? For that matter their motives make no sense. They offer to let Sisko and Dax go if they hand over Bashir and O'Brien because they just want to kill anyone who had knowledge of the weapon. If they really can't trust the Federation to never make use of the weapon then murder won't change anything, the Federation easily has enough resources and expertise to make its own.
    • Another horrifying thought: Given the length that the T'Lani and Kelleruns were willing to go to to prevent knowledge of the harvesters from continuing to exist... who's to say that O'Brien and Bashir were necessarily safe once they arrived back on the station? Did they have to look over their shoulders the rest of the lives?
    • Probably not. Now that the Federation knows what they wanted to do, trying it again would give them worse things to worry about than a few biological weapons here or there. And Bashir and O'Brien are unlikely to return to T'Lani or Kellerun space of their own accord, or even talk to their representatives, so the knowledge won't be returned to the people who are interested in it.
      • The T'Lani and Kellerun were certainly willing to attempt murder when there was no reason to think that O'Brien and Bashir would return anyway. Really the only way they could be safe would be a very large warship reminding both species why the Federation is one of the dominant powers in the galaxy.
    • I'm more interested as to why they had to dismantle the weapon if no one was to have knowledge of its working. Couldn't they just flung it into a star, or disperse it with a transporter? Surely there were other ways than to spend a week trying to destroy the weapon by finding the right frequency and then killing everyone involved. Also, we've seen memory manipulation technology multiple times - that would have wiped their memories and not lead to a conflict with the Federation.
  • My favorite example of state-sponsored murder having no consequences on the show occurs in the episode Improbable Cause, in which the Tal Shiar blows up a ship in sovereign Bajoran space. . .and then claim that they were well within their rights to do so because the man who owned the ship was a criminal. It gets even better when we find out that the man had been hired by the Obsidian Order and the Tal Shiar to assassinate Garak. We never hear of any action taken against the Romulans government for this.
    • Well, the Romulan empire is a hostile and powerful nation that doesn't have any relevant treaties with the Bajorans, so you can't exactly just reprimand them without inviting a war that you'll lose.
      • IIRc they waited until just after the ship left Bajoran space. Sisko complains about it and the Romulans make that point.
      • After watching the episode again, there's nothing that conclusively states whether or not the ship was still in Bajoran space. Dialogue only tells us is that his ship had departed DS9 slightly more than two minutes before it exploded, and that it had been traveling at sub-light speed during that time. Since the explosion was clearly and immediately visible to Garak and Odo, we can infer that the ship hadn't traveled very far by Star Trek standards, but not if it was still in Bajoran territory.
    • Let's put this another way: The intelligence service of one superpower infiltrated a military base operated by a rival superpower—on foreign soil, though it may be—and planted a bomb on a ship that was docked there. It's not just an act of state-sponsored murder, it's an act that has a real potential to lead to an armed conflict.
      • One assumes this is just the kind of case where the Federation is apt to say, "Well, that was certainly wrong but since no Federation citizens were involved, let's not worry ourselves too much..." Further, nothing conclusively says that it was on DS9 that the Romulans planted the bomb — it could have been there all along, but not activated till after he left the station. Because of the relative smallness of this incident (not to mention the course of events immediately following), it's easier to justify than many similar cases.

     The Prophets care about marriage? 

  • So the Prophets/wormhole aliens are non-corporeal beings which don't experience linear time (and I'm putting aside all the problems *that* causes) and have said several times that they don't understand, and don't care much about the lives and problems of corporeal beings. (Sisko got them to admit they were wrong on some of the caring part, granted, but...) But then in Till Death Do Us Part, they have a hissy-fit about Sisko marrying Cassidy. They say "she can't walk the same path as him". How can they associate such a culture-specific act as marriage with their cosmic idea of a path for their emissary? Why didn't they object the same way when they started dating, or when they first fell in love (both long before their marriage)? Using the Federation-designated marriage event seems a little too convenient to the plot.
    • The Prophets didn't say Sisko couldn't get married. They just said if he did it would cause sorrow. Because they knew what was going to happen to him.

     As long as it's all a game laws don't matter 

  • In Move Along Home the Wadi force Kira, Sisko, Dax and Bashir to be game pieces in Quark's game, at times making them reasonably believe that their lives are in danger. At the end of the episode Sisko starts to call them on this before Odo advises him to get the full story from Quark. Even though Quark did unwittingly help cause it that doesn't change the fact that the Wadi abducted several officers. So are we supposed to feel that as long as Quark gets yelled at and the Wadi explain that they never had the four in real danger it makes the crime go away? Would Sisko tolerate it if they did this again?
    • Diplomatic immunity?
      • Exactly. Seriously, what do you expect Sisko could do? Arrest them? Expel them? Kick the first formal visitors from the Gamma Quadrant off his station because they made him think he was in personal danger? I'm amusing myself by picturing Admiral Nechayev's reaction that decision! Sisko's reaction — "that was weird, but let's put it behind us" — is the only one possible.
      • If they had put a gun to his head and then revealed that it was fake I doubt he would have been so forgiving.
      • And? They didn't put a gun to his head. And try this on for size: the Wadi well and truly did not seem to understand that anyone wouldn't want to take part in their game. They misjudged their audience (as did the Iyaarans in Liaisons) but when cultures are interacting for the first time, this is a known risk.
      • It also might be good to recall that Captain Kirk, in episodes like "The Corbomite Maneuver" and "Spectre of the Gun," shakes off the fact that aliens have just put him and crew through the ringer and still wants to make friends with them. What the Wadi are doing isn't so different.
      • It's a cultural confusion. These types of games are normal for the Wadi and they didn't realize how terrified it would make the humans who are in the game.
      • Who's to say Sisko could have done anything to them if he'd wanted to? He knows they have the ability to abduct people from their quarters without a trace and stick them in some other dimension or version of reality. Would the brig hold them? What might they be capable of if he offended them? Best to smile and hope they go away peacefully.
      • And don't forget, the whole thing was Quark's fault in the first place.

    Good Luck With That Trapped on a Deathless War World Thing! 
  • Deep Space Nine episode "Battle Lines"
    • They discover a planet with the mysterious power to provide eternal youth and immortality. Its inhabitants have for centuries lived a life of unceasing fear, violence and despair. They were jailed there centuries ago as part of a plan to make their existence an approximation of eternal Hell. Everyone there wants to leave. In the course of the action, the highly-revered religious leader of one of the Federation's most important allies is stranded there. The only thing separating the planet from the outside world is an aging automated satellite defense system.
    • Starfleet Response: Who cares? Let the fuckers rot.
      • Said satellite system is also the only thing keeping those inhabitants alive.
      • Starfleet began working on a way to get them out of there without killing them, but it was never brought up in the series again.
      • The planet is in the Gamma Quadrant, which just happens to be enemy territory for the second half of the show. Even if anyone has the time and resource to come up with a solution, there'll be a minor problem in testing it out or implementing it, if you catch my drift.
      • They left Opaka behind because they had no way to get her off-planet without killing her. And even if they had, she seemed to have decided that bringing peace to this world was her destiny. Kind of a noble sacrifice.
      • A good thing Kira was there, though. The Bajoran government would likely have been pretty pissed off and suspicious if an all-Starfleet crew came back and said "Yeah, she told us to tell you she's staying behind. You'll have to take our word for it." Bajor was still somewhat uncomfortable with the Federation at that point, and something like that would have been a major, major problem if the government's own chosen liaison officer couldn't verify Starfleet's story.
    • The original poster seems to have neglected this conversation towards the end of the episode:
      Shel-la: Leaving without us?
      Bashir: My analysis of the microbes that keep you alive showed that if you were to leave the moon, you would die...
      Shel-la: So there is no end.
      Bashir [turning to Sisko]: Commander, I find myself caught in a moral dilemma. As much as I'm dedicated to the preservation of life, I wonder if we shouldn't help these people end this torture...
      Sisko: How could you do that?
      Bashir: Anything that can be programmed can be reprogrammed. If I can disable the mechanism in these microbes, they would no longer function when someone was killed, and these people would finally be allowed to die.
      Shel-la: You've seen our lives here. Please... it's the only solution left. Give us a way to reprogram these microbes, and it will mean the end of this war.
      Kira: You really think the fear of death would stop the fighting? It never has in any other war.
    • The following is the Wham Line here:
      Shel-la: No— but it will allow us to finally win. Wipe out the Nol for good.
      [We cut to Bashir's astonished, disgusted reaction.]
      Shel-la: On this world, your disabled microbes would be the ultimate weapon, Doctor— one that we could use to truly destroy our enemies.
    • So the point here is: They didn't disable the microbes because the Ennis and the Nol-Ennis would simply use it as an excuse to finally annihilate one another. They had no interest in making peace with one another, and that's why Kai Opaka willingly stayed— to help them begin the healing process. (In the Expanded Universe, the two tribes eventually make peace, unify, and gain the ability to leave the moon.)
      • That makes sense - when they had the benefit of immortality, if not for the war, they would have had plenty of time to develop scientific processes necessary to not only understand the microbes, but alter them. It is possible that it was, in part, a component of the plan of those who imprisoned them there to begin with - their fighting would continue until they had eventually learned the futility of it, and started to actually work together. Eventually, they would come to develop the technology necessary to end the cycle completely and escape the moon, but it could only happen if they first end their war with each other, and since both sides were made immortal, war could not be ended by the victory of one side over the other - only a diplomatic ending was possible.
    • The surprising thing to me was that the Bajorans seemed to treat her as though she died, and we never heard from or about her again. Beloved as she was, you'd think they would have tried to stay in touch with her. Even if she could never leave the planet, she could write encyclicals or whatever Kais do when they're not grabbing people's ears. When there were disputes over things like Bajor's leadership or whether to enter the Federation, you'd think both sides would be going to her (when the wormhole was open) seeking her endorsement.
    • Star Trek Online finally wrapped up this plot point. Bashir had apparently been working on a fix for the microbes as one of his many projects for years, and because they need to bring Opaka back, he, the player character, and Kai Kira return to the planet. Opaka has, in fact, been able to negotiate a peace so Bashir is able to "cure" the nanites without moral issue, and Opaka returns to Bajor and resumes her position, with Kira stepping down to assume a Captaincy in Starfleet. The Enis and Nol-Enis presumably return to Bajor with Opaka.

    Deanna Troi's Baby Brother 
  • From "The Muse", how in the Nine Hells does Tamnian law regarding the disposition of Lwaxana Troi's child supersede Federation law? Instead of going through that unbelievably ridiculous rigamarole with Odo, why didn't Troi just file an injunction in a Federation civilian court? After all, she's not just a Federation citizen, but a freaking ambassador.
    • Lwaxana wanted sole custody of the child. There's no reason to think the Federation courts would give her that. Jeyal is the father, and hadn't shown himself to be an unfit parent. At least not by his own culture's standards.

     You don't mind us invading your station, do you? 
  • In "Captive Pursuit", the unnamed hunter species fires on DS9, beams heavily armed men on board, and engages in a fire fight with security officers. All the while refusing to communicate at all. When the fighting stops, they seem utterly bewildered that anyone would object to their behavior. The episode focuses on the culture clash regarding the morality of hunting a sentient being, but what about the attack on the station? They could easily start wars that way. Why would they think they could forcefully invade an unknown alien space station without consequences?
    • Being from the Gamma Quadrant, you'd think that they'd be a lot more cautious. Imagine what would happen if they'd tried that crap on a Dominion facility.
    • There was a deleted scene where a Hunter was shown on a Dominion ship, indicating they are part of the Dominion. Since at the end of "Captive Pursuit" they say that the Alpha Quadrant will be considered out-of-bounds for any future hunts I'd imagine they have a similar rule about any Dominion installation, as well.
    • The best I can figure is they thought they were entitled to beam onto DS9 and continue their hunt without interference, so they thought they were defending themselves from the DS9 crew.
    • Branching off from this, why the hell didn't Sisko hammer home to the hunters that, even though if he refused to hand over Tosk and thus broke their cultural laws, the hunters have ALREADY broken not just cultural laws but rules in place for the safe and decent continued living of everyone on board DS9? Handing over Tosk would've been fine if the hunters had actually simply asked the station to beam aboard and continue their hunt, problem solved! At the very least, Sisko should've hammered home that the attack on the station was so unjustified that no, Prime Directive be damned, he does not have to follow the cultural laws of a race that introduced itself as hostile! The hunters should've been kicked off the station, or arrested, at least! And then Tosk could've been allowed to do what he needed, since the ruth came out at that point.
    • It's a case of "no harm, no foul," surely the unofficial rule of DS9 in these early episodes.
    • Additionally, DS9 is, at this point, still undergoing the basic work of turning it from an ore processing facility to something more resembling a typical starbase. The station's defenses are still minimal - they only had SIX photon torpedos in Emissary, all of which were used in Kira's efforts to bluff the Cardassians. Even assuming that the weapons systems were getting the upgrades we would later see, those upgrades would be in the earliest stages of implementation. The station simply had no method of defending itself that wasn't relying on the ships - kicking the Hunters off the station would have just led to them being able to start opening fire on the station until they battered the shields down anyway. Practically, Sisko's hands were tied by the limitations of what he could do to back up his authority when the Hunters tried to start the conflict, with the station being rather toothless at that point.

     Why call them Prophets? 
  • Why are the deities worshiped by the Bajorans called the "Prophets?" A prophet is an individual who communicates with a deity. Sisko's role as the Emissary is literally that of a prophet. Saying that the Bajorans worship the Prophets is like saying that Muslims worship Muhammad, or that the leader of their country is an ambassador.
    • The Prophets are never presented as creator deities: they are expressly described as shepherding or helping a Bajor that already existed when they first revealed themselves to the Bajorans. Nearly every time their impact is described, it involves both spiritual and practical teaching and guidance, and one term for someone who teaches about existential issues is "prophet". As for Bajoran theology on matters such as the creation of the universe and the afterlife and whether a deity is involved: almost nothing is revealed.
      • Historically in real life, many religions have been fairly indifferent to the origins of the universe or the planet and focus on intermediary spiritual entities rather than the creator god(s).
    • Maybe they hold that there is a higher level of divinity that the Prophets have one foot in and link the material universe to it, perhaps with its own deity that Shall Not Be Named or something similar. It's not like the series ever really goes into detail.
    • Maybe because one of the main bases for their faith is the Orbs—through an orb experience, you generally see the past or the future, right? Meaning that the beings who give those experiences, through the orbs, are like prophets.
    • This troper always took the term more in its original linguistic sense of "someone who tells what will happen," as opposed to being the mouthpiece for the supernatural. In other words, in Bajoran religion, the primary (emphasized) characteristic of their Gods is that they communicate the future (or sometimes the past, or what is otherwise outside the realm of mortal knowledge) - this is notably what the orbs do for example. Translation Convention also possibly applies, since "Prophet" may be the closest English translation of the native Bajoran term, but may not be saddled with the same kinds of implications.
      • It may not even be a translation issue, Prophet may very well be a Bajoran word that just happens to also mean something in english.
    • Probably for the same reason the hourglass-shaped devices are called "orbs".
    • This is given a handwave in season 1 or 2. Sisko notes to Jake that the Prophets basically exist outside of time and do not perceive past, present, and future the way humans and Bajorans and so forth do. The line goes something like, "That could be considered prophetic."


     Random overly-complicated conspiracy 
  • In Whispers why did they see the need for a long, very suspicious and constantly breaking down conspiracy to keep the clone O'Brien in the dark? If they had to keep it secret why didn't they just tell him that he had a non-contagious but dangerous disease that needed him to remain in the sickbay. It'd be incredibly easy to slip him a sedative and give him a mild fever. Instead they not only constantly dropped blatantly obvious hints to O'Brien, they also forced Keiko (someone who can be very emotional and not good at hiding feelings), Molly (a child) and Quark (someone just not safe to trust a secret to) to go along.
    • Yeah, "Whispers" is a good example of an effective episode that falls apart when put to logic. Even if one assumes that Molly is just being stroppy and Quark is acting oddly and these are all coincidences, it's obvious that the smart thing to do would be to sequester O'Brien and hope for the best.
    • Odo once stated that killing your own clone is still murder and as such implies that under Bajoran law clones have just as many rights as normal people do. Slipping him a sedative and give him a mild fever sounds like something that seriously breeches their canon of ethics. Of course this is just Bajoran law we're talking about here as Riker and Pulaski once got away with slaying their illicitly made clones without even a slap on the wrist and we all know from Bashir how badly they treat augmented humans... so in fact they probably could have just transferred him to a Federation ship outside of Bajoran space and done whatever the hell they liked with him so the original point still stands in a way.
      • They (clones) have the right not to be killed, just like normal people do, but I doubt those rights include keeping the job, spouse, and guardianship of your original and their kids. The duplicate O'Brien basically had no legitimate reason to be on the station, and so could have been detained on that basis.
      • They also don't have to do anything underhanded to the fake O'Brien. They can handle him straightforwardly, just with incomplete information. As soon as he arrives on the station, they can say, "We need to confine you for security reasons. Sorry, we can't explain why until after the peace talks. Here's some technical manuals to read and plenty of coffee." Fake O'Brien is no doubt aware that crew members are not always going to be immediately informed about their superiors' rationale for orders, however odd they may seem; confining him wouldn't be unethical, just unusual. If he's a fake, they buy time to investigate the matter on other fronts. If he's not, all they have is a grumpy engineer on their hands. The absolute last thing you want is to put him in a position where he becomes suspicious and still has the autonomy to roam the station on his own volition (since they have no idea what might trigger his programming), but the plot needs him to do so nevertheless.
      • Considering that they don't seem to give a damn about the clone as it lies dying and all the other breaches of privacy we've seen on Deep Space Nine it seems very hard to believe that giving him a sedative is where they draw the ethical line.
        • This is a factually incorrect recounting of the events in the episode.
  • You all seem to be forgetting the extremely important point that they aren't SURE that he's a clone. They're trying to determine if he is or not without arousing his suspicion, because if it's a clone and has been programmed to kill someone, who knows what it will do if it knows it's been discovered?
    • Everything seems to indicate that they knew exactly what he was and if they weren't sure who the target was, why would they wait and allow someone with all the engineering and combat experience of O'Brien permission to wander around the station? If he's kept in a confined place with a plausible reason at least they aren't putting the entire station at danger and forcing his family to live with an unknowing imposter by letting him roam freely.
  • Everyone seems to have watched a very different version of this episode than I recently did, because among other things I specifically saw that when the clone went down, Sisko was kneeling at his side and calling desperately for Bashir to come help (and he did try).

     Most intriguing inquest ever 
  • I'm always disappointed that we don't get to see the inquest of Garak that follows "Empok Nor," which O'Brien implies will go smoothly. "True, he's mysterious and unpredictable. True, we think he used to be a spy or assassin or torturer or something. True, he has betrayed us on multiple occasions and once tried to sabotage the Defiant to commit genocide. True, he killed a Starfleet crewman. But honestly! He's really a great guy..."
    • Basically, Garak was not in control of his actions during that episode, and he even tried to warn everyone of what he might do. He wasn't held responsible for the actions that took place when he was effectively in a state of Grand Theft Me.
  • I suppose the question is how impartial said inquest is likely to be, and whether it's run by the Bajorans or Starfleet.
    • There were extenuating circumstances. Basically, it's "Let's reset Garak and forget this poor episode ever happened."
      • Interestingly, though, Nog remembered that incident, and as of Rocks and Shoals, no longer trusts Garak—so there was some continuity.
    • There seems to be a rule in Federation law that says if you've been forced to do something against your will thanks to Mind Rape, Grand Theft Me illicit drugs and chemicals etc. that you are free from any and all punishment. Garak is by far not the first person who Starfleet has allowed to escape punishment and personally I agree with them; why should you be in trouble for something that some dick has decided to inflict upon you?
      • Indeed, many jurisdictions have such laws dealing with "diminished responsibility." That Garak would be cleared is not particularly at issue; it's just that any thorough inquest would need to pry into Garak's past and character... fun times. I suppose Starfleet intelligence (with whom Garak is tacitly working) would just have to step in.
      • Additionally to this, Starfleet has a set of Guarantees that sentient beings accused of a crime are entitled to, which very specifically includes the right not to answer a question because it could implicate you. Presumably any time that the inquest ventured away from the very specific event in question, Garak invoked this Guarantee and the court was obliged to treat that as him not implicating himself in a crime.

     Jake's Penmanship 
  • In The Muse, we find Jake falling under the influence of a leanan sidhe style character who draws out his talent for writing, at the expense of his life energies. She introduces him to something completely new: writing on paper, with an old-fashioned ink-based calligraphy pen. And yet he writes in cursive—a difficult style that takes lots of practice and study to learn, and is rapidly becoming a lost art even in today's world with the advent of personal computing—and his penmanship is beautiful. How can someone who's never written with a pen and paper write like that?
    • A Wizard Did It. Since Onaya's using her ability to inspire Jake's writing, and then sucking his life energy, it's not that much of a stretch. We've seen stranger things happen.
    • [[WMG Maybe he's never used a pen and paper because he's been using a PADD and stylus?]]

     Worf vs. Dukat 
  • Worf presumably knows that Dukat killed his wife, but I've always thought it a bit odd that he doesn't seem to take it that personally. He assures her place in Sto-vo-kor but never avenges her death or even seems particularly determined to do so (admittedly, the presence of Ezri is a calming factor). I can see why the writers didn't want to go that direction (how many characters can have arch-rivalries with Dukat, anyway? Sisko, Kira, Garak... the list goes on), but compare what he did to Duras.
    • Dukat was disguised as a Bajorian for most of the seventh season, so it may have been a matter that Worf couldn't find him. If you were looking for Dukat, would looking for him in Kai Winn's vagina be among the first things you did? Above all though, Ezri's presence does negate a good reason for revenge, he can talk to her after all and avenging the death of someone you can still talk to (more or less) doesn't make much sense.
      • For the record, Dukat is in disguise on Bajoran for seven episodes which relatively speaking cover a short temporal period... hardly most of the season by any measure. And Worf expresses no desire for revenge on Dukat at any point, even before Ezri turns up,
    • I wonder if destroying that Dominion shipyard in Shadows and Symbols would be considered sufficient revenge in lieu of killing Dukat?
      • One almost gets the impression that Worf, having found religion since "Reunion," now pursues revenge through a different, sideways strategy.
    • The Worf that killed Duras and the Worf that started season 7 of Deep Space nine is not same man. Look at how he acts in Where Silence Has Lease - the man often acted like a confused wild animal. He is calmer, more rational and arguably may still have had Picard's condemnation of him all those years before still ringing in his ears. Besides that, Worf had a massive advantage against Duras in that A) he was directly next to the Enterprise at the time and B) was forced to accept Worf's challenge by the other Klingons. Even before the plastic surgery Dukat could be anywhere in the galaxy and is very likely to either run away to shoot Worf on sight - remember that both men involved here are highly skilled soldiers whereas Duras was far more bark-than-bite as they say.
      • Again, the question is not "could Worf practically have achieved vengeance on Dukat?" so much as "isn't it odd that Worf never expresses any desire to do so?" I simply don't think being so nonchalant about his wife's murderer being at large is in character for any version of Worf, or any practically Klingon for that matter. It points to how clumsily Dax's death was handled overall.
      • Clumsy as it was, I wonder if the writers assumed that fans would understand that Worf's desire for revenge was just a given. The show repeatedly addressed Worf's feelings on the matter, and at this point, the Klingon mentality had been firmly established, so maybe they just missed opportunities to highlight it when they came thinking that they'd be retreading old ground.
    • Well, considering that Dukat literally burned Jadzia to death with "magic", even Worf may have felt the odds far too risky. Warrior race or no, I doubt a Klingon's going to think it smart to challenge someone who merged with an alien being that's practically god-like and could probably bake his internal organs with a mere thought.
      • You mean Worf the Klingon, who once challenged his commanding officer for cowardice? The same Worf who instead of revenge led a mission where he almost flew into a sun to honor Jadzia? I don't think so. At least he would never admit that was the reason.
      • You also have to remember that Worf is a man who on several occasions has expressed an intent to physically attack Q, and was only held back by officers with cooler heads. In fact, assaulting beings with god-like powers was more or less his job description on TNG—he's the namesake for more than one trope that illustrates that. Worf would pimp slap Yog-Sothoth without any concern for the consequences.
    • Worf is obsessed with winning a great battle to get Jadzia into Sto-vo-kor, but I doubt that is the only reason. It's possible he doesn't stop at blaming Dukat for Jadzia's death but rather the whole lot of them and is that much more eager to take down the Dominion and Cardassians because of her murder.
    • Another point: in "Sons and Daughters," Jadzia says, "Every time a member of the House of Martok gets dishonored or killed, I'll have to drop whatever I'm doing and rush off on some quest for vengeance." But she herself ends up a member of the House of Martok a few episodes later. Shouldn't an entire Klingon Great House be after vengeance for Jadzia, then? If this all happens off screen, well... lousy showing, House of Martok.
    • Revenge is not the problem - finding Dukat is.
      • Again, there is not a single indication that anyone tried to find him, or wanted to find him.
    • Perhaps stranger is the fact that in "Image in the Sand," everyone is trying to figure out why Worf is not getting over mourning Jadzia's death, and no one even raises the fact that her murderer is out there as a possible factor.
    • She was killed by a high ranking military officer of a faction they were at war with. While I have no doubt Worf would happily break Dukat in half given the chance, it is not a death that demands vengeance. The Empire would stop functioning if every death ever required vengeance. Contrast the Blood Oath (from episode of same name). The Albino killed three children with a custom virus. Those were murders that required vengeance. Dax was a solider who died facing her enemy in combat. One sided it may have been, but it was face to face.

     Future militaries are fine with fraternization? 
  • Modern militaries have policies against fraternization between officers, as well as between superiors and their subordinates. However, fraternization doesn't seem to be an issue in Star Trek universe militaries. For instance, Kira enters a romantic relationship with Odo, even though she is his superior officer in the Bajoran militia. Bashir and Ezri Dax become romantically involved, even though they're both Starfleet officers. Neither of these couples face official censure for their relationships. Considering the problems that can potentially erupt when romantic relationships develop in a military force, why do the Bajoran militia and Starfleet seem okay with it?
    • Most regulations against fraternization in the modern military relate to either being involved with someone when there is a rank disparity or if one is in command of the other. Kira and Odo are, as you said, in the Bajoran militia, so who knows what their regulations say about fraternization. As for Bashir and Dax, they are of similar rank (only being one rank apart from each other) and since neither was in command of the other (he was a medical officer and she was a counselor, which oddly isn't in the medical corps, it seems) so their relationship was of a type usually considered acceptable in the military.
    • Starfleet officers are prone to wasting huge amounts of resources on purely personal business on an alarmingly frequent basis, based only on personnel friendships. In modern times, it would be like taking a modern Cruiser on a trip to retrieve a friend's (Who you haven't seen since college) shoes he lost gambling, burning through millions of dollars in fuel, firearms, and lives spent. Once you cross lines like that, quid pro quo and playing favorites with your subordinate friends seems like a trivial affair.
    • This is specifically addressed in one episode. Worf and Jadzia - Worf failed to complete a mission because he couldn't leave his injured wife in danger like that, resulting in the death of the agent they were originally sent to retrieve from behind enemy lines. Sisko specifically berated Worf for that, even saying Worf would probably never get a command of his own now. Whether that was a violation of Starfleet policy on Sisko's part in assigning the two of them or something the officers were simply expected to compensate for is unclear. In Worf's defense, he nearly does do it.
      • Sisko didn't assign them the mission, Kira did and given that she's Bajoran Militia, she may not have seen a problem with sending them together. Anyway, their mission wasn't originally to retrieve the Cardassian guy, it was just to collect a message from him, so there may not have been any issue with sending a couple out together to basically listen for radio for a while and fly back.
    • Given that Starfleet vessels are often called upon to travel to unexplored regions for years at a time, regs on fraternization are likely much looser than modern militaries - it's one thing to spend months at sea with occasional calls, mail, and the odd visit home to visit with loved ones, it's another to be hundreds if not thousands of light-years from home, with potentially little ability for real time communication. The crews on those ships become families. And we even see it in Star Trek: The Original Series, when Kirk officiates a wedding between two officers, where there's no mention of one of them being transferred off. So if the regs are relaxed for the frontier explorers, they're probably equally relaxed for station duty, as there's probably a uniform rulebook.
      • Pure fanon, but for that reason I tend to limit prosecutable fraternization in my fanfics to "dating your direct superior". Dating or marrying somebody in another department is apparently perfectly acceptable, as evidenced by Miles and Keiko (aboard the Enterprise Miles was in engineering or operations depending on whom transporter operators report to, while Keiko was probably in the science department since that's the logical place for a botanist). By the same token, Worf was DS9 strategic operations officer (tactical) and Jadzia was head of the science department (although why they would send a science officer to extract a defector is beyond me). Tom and B'Elanna? Tactical and engineering.
    • Alternative theory: Starfleet regulations were written, at least in part, by Vulcans. They never saw any need for a rule against fraternization, because a Vulcan would never allow emotional attachment to a fellow officer to affect their decision making. And since none of the other species who make up the Federation want to admit they're less qualified for leadership than the Vulcans are, they have to act like fraternization is no big deal for them, either.

     Is Star Trek universe overspecialized 
  • Bajorans are painted as largely agrarian. Ferengi are painted as overly obsessed with profit. Klingons are painted as overly obsessed with being a warrior. These are all stages of evolution below that of a society capable of reaching advanced levels of scientific and technological achievement big enough to have a space empire.
    • In Klingon society, to be a rocket scientist would be too nerdy to be respected and considered honorable. With Ferengi, a society driven solely by capitalist interest would never reach the space age. It's true that space exploration is now shifting to the private industry but those corporations are being funded by starry-eyed entrepreneurs. The Bajorans, as some primitive third world religion-based expy, just seems a little too primitive and reminds me of the times of King David in the Old Testament or something.
      • Remember that the Ferengi are explicitly stated to have bought their warp drive technology from the Breen rather than developed it on their own.
      • Depending on the story line, the Klingons have been depicted as an overly simplistic race of near-psychotic warriors, or as a diverse and rich people. In the original series, they were an analogue for the Soviet Union, and were more or less shown as an appropriately well-rounded species. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country carried on that tradition and showed them to be lovers of fine art and philosophy who mostly set aside their pride and sued for peace with the Federation when they needed its help. Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine flanderized them in to the obsessively Proud Warrior Race with a corrupt and complacent government that most people knew them as. Enterprise, to its credit (a phrase that this troper feels dirty using), tried to rectify this by having a Klingon defense attorney give a speech lamenting the loss of the finer points of Klingon society to the overly glorified warrior caste.
      • But even in TNG and DS9, although I agree that the Klingon were flanderized, it it’s still clear that not all Klingon are warriors, and that there are Klingon scientists, engineers, merchants, etc. Besides, what constitutes a “warrior” in the Klingon culture may be a matter of subjectivity, it’s seems that they have a lot of warrior ritual and a warrior base culture but, other than “act like warrior” you can do any profession you like unless you’re in a ship.
    • As for the Bajorans, their planet spent 60 years being exploited of all it's natural resources, and then the Cardassians all but salted the earth when they left. If they can't feed their population, they soon won't have a population. All of their weapons got turned into plowshares and they started farming in hopes of growing enough food to feed their people. Besides, their society has already been stated to have been insular before the Occupation anyway, with them eschewing colonies and exploration in preference to staying on their home world, despite having developed the technology to sail between Bajor and Cardassia before humans discovered fire.
    • One episode had then Kai Winn attempt to renege on an agreement to farmers leasing them soil reclamators to make food so she could instead use the reclamators to produce cash-crops for export. Ignoring planetary food concerns for the star trek equivalent of Tobacco and Cotton? The farmers were understandably angered but due to budget only about a dozen freedom-fighters-turned-farmers-and-back were shown instead of the entire province worth of people. Other provinces were implied, but not shown.
      • In other episodes Industrial sized Replicators were mentioned. Some were given to the Bajorans and more to the Cardassian Union. Those would be the star trek equivalent of factories.
    • Remember that with the Klingons, for the most part, we only ever saw soldiers. We saw a doctor or two and some engineers and diplomats, but almost every Klingon on screen was a soldier. We do see the lawyer trying to extradite Worf, who considers the courtroom his battleground. The expanded universe does show that there are many Klingon professions that are honorable but not as much as warriors: artists are the most common. When it comes to things like agrarian duties and other menial tasks, Klingons actually have a number of races that they conquered as part of their empire that do much of the work.
      • With as much as Klingons love opera, they must hold their species' Rossinis and Bizets in high regard...
      • Yeah, but somehow they probably treat them as warrior-bards or something (just as the lawyer in "Rules of Engagement" frames himself as a kind of warrior of jurisprudence, in order to stay on brand). A sanitation worker could probably be a noble occupation provided that they work in "warrior" lingo somehow.
    • Its also worth remembering that the Expanded Universe is not even close to being official canon. On-screen what we see is the Klingon lawyer in the episode Judgement telling Captain Archer that the other professions such as artist and teacher were considered honorable but the warrior class has now completely superseded them. Given how we see 95% of Klingons act by the 24th century it is clear that he was right.
    • Most warrior societies have different definitions of what really constitutes a warrior and/or other honorable jobs, as for example Vikings held Poets is very high regard and Odin was also the god of poetry (after all, you need a talented guy to say all the brave stuff you did, probably that time's equivalent of a publicist) and in Feudal Japan Buddhist monks were considered untouchable holy men that nor even a powerful Samurai could order their death (obviously there would be some exceptions but was still somewhat of a taboo to kill a monk). For what we see on-screen lawyers are very well respected in Klingon society so is possible that Klingons consider the way they fight things in court something similar to be a warrior.

     Who's responsible for the Maquis? 
  • SF Debris brought up an interesting headscratcher regarding the Maquis. There are two possible scenarios:
    • 1. The Maquis (and by extension, the rest of the Demilitarized Zone residents who have been left high and dry on the wrong side of the border) are still Federation citizens. And yet they take actions against the Cardassians. This would create a war.
    • 2. The Maquis are no longer Federation citizens (as was implied by dialogue in the episode "Journey's End", specifically Picard's admonition "I want to make absolutely sure that you understand the implications of this agreement. By giving up your status as Federation citizens, any future request you or your people make to Starfleet will go unanswered. You will be on your own and under Cardassian jurisdiction.") And yet the Federation attempts to protect them, which would eventually create a war.
      • This is probably where it all went wrong. Picard managed a sensible compromise (or as sensible as was possible under the circumstances), keep your citizenship and leave, or stay and become Cardassian citizens. That is straight forward enough; clearly when it came time for Federation Ambassadors to formalize that someone back-pedaled, took a clear-cut compromise and created a quagmire because it seemed "nicer".
      • Memory Alpha pretty much puts "Journey's End" as what gave the Maquis their start. Sure that Gul said the Cardassians would leave them alone. But the Central Command has a populace under a resource crunch. The Obsidian Order won't like non-Cardassians living in their space, being absolute xenophobes and statesec. The native American colonists got roughed up after that Gul was probably removed from command, perhaps they got kicked off the planet. Any ones who escaped told their fellow DMZ colonists that "those damn Cardies" are not to be trusted. The Obsidian Order and Central Command found a distraction: "That Federation is sending colonists to the worlds we promised you!" Gee thanks Captain Picard!
  • Based on my understanding, the Maquis are largely made from the colonists in the Demilitarized Zone. Some colonies were part of the planet-swapping deal made with the Cardassians (like the afore-mentioned Native Americans), while others were simply the original colonies which were presumably forced to disarm (since it's called a "demilitarized zone"). Some people were forced to move, and some opted to relinquish their Federation citizenship in favor of staying, while others didn't have those problems since they weren't part of the planet swap. However, there was still a massive sense of solidarity between the assorted colonies, which got especially hot when the Cardassians started causing problems and the Federation wasn't exactly quick to respond.
    • Well, there were the DMZ colonists. And a number of Bajoran nationals (IE with Bajoran citizenship) as well as some Bajorans who might have had Federation citizenship because of Star Fleet service (like Ro Laren) or because they were living on Federation colonies during the Occupation and had "assimilated." And then there were a number of former Starfleet officers. Some of them were retired and had served in the Cardassian War but most of them, even the vets, were still in service. These were people like Chakotay whose citizenship was probably questionable given that he was considered a "terrorist" by his own government (he was definitely a Federation national). Some of the DMZ colonists might have technically been made Cardassian citizens by the treaty, but this point was never clarified, as the question of whether Federation citizens who joined the Maquis lost their citizenship (though I suspect that it was a matter of waiting and seeing whether the rebellion could be put down peacefully or if the Feds would eventually have had to use brute force, if the Cardies and the Jem'hadar didn't beat them to it in the later seasons. Also, these points about citizenship were never clear because the Treaty was that badly written.
      • I'll go a little further and blame the Federation Council for approving such an ill-conceived treaty. It was made clear that conditions were deteriorating toward a breaking point as early as TNG's The Wounded. Granted, at that point it seemed more likely that the result would be armed conflict between the two governments, but conflict was inevitable. The Wounded was written during the era of Roddenberry's ideal humanity, so it really stood out that seasoned Starfleet officers were still carrying around the trauma of their wartime experiences—trauma that expressed itself as racism and paranoia. Many of the officers who defected to the Maquis might have done so in part for an opportunity to fight the Cardassians, with a convenient cause to rally around.

  • There is suspicion that Kasidy sold medical supplies to the Maquis. Odo wants an illegal search to gather evidence.
    Sisko: You can't do an illegal search on a Federation citizen.
    Odo: She ceased to be a Federation citizen when she helped the Maquis.
    • Holy Patriot Act, Batman. Fed citizens have inalienable rights, but any policeman, even a foreign policeman can cancel your citizenship and rights on suspicion???
    • Odo also has a bit of a history of Orwellian beliefs so i'm not surprised he acts that way.
    • In addition, in "The Maquis, Part II", Admiral Necheyev confirmed that Maquis are still Federation citizens. I am inclined take her word over Odo's.
    • Odo's been well-established as basically a fascist who is constantly annoyed at the rights the Federation gives its citizens (and criminals). (Probably due to being trained by Cardassian security services.) His line there is consistent with his characterization— and him obeying Sisko's orders on the matter, despite his personal opinion, is also.

  • One line that always intrigued me is Eddington's post hoc lament "This wasn't supposed to happen. We were winning. The Cardassian Empire was falling into chaos. The Maquis colonies were going to declare themselves an independent nation." I wonder what this unfulfilled nation-building plan looked like? If the Maquis have already renounced their Federation citizenship like the colonists of Dorvan V did, declaring themselves independent would seem rather redundant. Or is it that declaration of nationhood that we should focus on — an assertion that this is not just a contested space, but a fully-fledged, recognized power with treaties and boundaries of its own?
    • I think he meant something like "declare ourselves, and have enough structure, clout, and power to be recognized and function as, an independent nation".

     If you eat at my restaurant, you'll be making a mistake you'll regret for the rest of your lives! 
Joseph Sisko: Now I don't want to see anyone studying the dessert menu. If you order anything but the bread pudding soufflé, you'll be making a mistake you'll regret for the rest of your lives.
  • Is that really how restaurant owners talk? Throwing a big chunk of their own product under the bus?
    • When a restauranteur constructs a cult of personality for themselves, as Daddy Sisko has, that's hardly implausible. Bear in mind, this is a guy who has no respect for his medical doctor because he doesn't know the difference between Cajun and Creole food. He's a cantankerous old man with some misplaced priorities, and should be thought about in this light.
      • Of course, since no one needs money in the Federation, what does he care?
      • It's not about money, but about professional pride.
      • Then where's his professional pride about the rest of the menu?
      • This is just the dessert menu he's talking about, which may only have one or two other items on it — some generic bowl of ice cream, an unimpressive cheese cake, and the specialty item.
    • Could have just as easily been the special for the night, and he was being hyperbolic when he said it.
      • This is exactly what it is. Keep in mind, he runs a well known restaurant, and a lot of his customers are regulars. He was just engaging in some good natured humor/chit-chat with patrons who probably already know him quite well.
    • Shit, maybe he'd just realized he'd forgotten to get the ingredients for anything except a bread pudding soufflé (and how does that work, by the way?) and was extemporizing to cover his ass.
  • At least in some countries in Europe you can ask your waiter (especially in smaller restaurants) for "recommendations" or if something "is good". So while shouting owner is probably not a common sight you can get hints what to order.
    • Also legendarily true in small-town greasy spoons in the US — it's a cliche scene for a waitress to go so far as to warn customers away from menu items that aren't very good that day.
  • He's hardly putting down the rest of the menu, anyway. Everything else on the dessert menu could still be great, but that night in particular the bread pudding soufflé turned out so perfect that it blows everything else out of the water. He's showing pride as a host as well as a chef by urging his customers to try the best he has on offer. It would be an insult to hospitality for anything less.

    Good Luck With That Cardassian Prison Thing! 
  • Deep Space Nine episode The Homecoming: Kira and O'Brien go to break Bajoran prisoners out of jail. Good so far. They can't use the transporter to beam them up because the runabout's transporter can only beam two people at a time and there's a dozen, so beaming two of them will make the guards fire on the rest. Makes sense so far. They land, make a daring escape with six of the prisoners, get to the runabout and fly off because the guards are firing with hand weapons. Then, even though no one is shooting at them with weapons rated for ship fire, they raise shields and fly off leaving 6 of the prisoners to die instead of beaming them onto the ship! What the hell?
    • They have to leave in a hurry because there are two warships coming into range; they may just not have had the time.

    Changelings Fail Kidnapping Forever 
  • Another Deep Space Nine episode, "The Adversary": It's a "find the clone among us" plot with Changelings, and we're told the Changeling is Eddington. On leading him to the brig, we find out it's actually Bashir, who was the one to convince us it was Eddington, and we find this out because we run into the real Bashir, who's penned up across from the brig. But why the hell would the Changeling put Bashir right across from where he knew they were going to put the Changeling when they found it? And if it's because that's the only brig, why would he leave the door open??
    • It wasn't a brig. It was regular crew quarters with a forcefield around it.
    • In addition, the door wasn't open - by "coincidence" Julian happened to release the forcefield when the rest of the crew were imprisoning Eddington.

     A bit quick to profile there 
  • In Field of Fire why is Ezri so quick to assume that the murderer must be targeting people who are laughing in their photos? For that matter, why is she so quick to assume that it was a Vulcan murderer? For all she knows it could have just as easily been a professional from a completely different species who had been sent after specific targets.
    • And the heck of it is, she was right. Of course, it wasn't just her coming to that conclusion; Joran helped quite a bit.
    • That was probably what they meant to imply: that with Joran's mind brought to the forefront, Ezri had essentially imbued herself with the instincts of a killer. Not just a killer, actually; a person who is willing and able to commit murder in cold blood. She was allowing Joran's homocidal instincts to guide Ezri's psychiatric insights and the two elements working together allowed her to reach that conclusion.
      • It was made extremely clear that Joran was no cold blooded killer in the episode he was created in, he was constantly described as being very angry even by his own family and killed someone out of that anger. If anything, he was the worst possible person to go to for help in finding a Vulcan killer. And the profiling is still ridiculous. In the episode it could just as easily have turned out that the people murdered were part of a covert operation that they were being killed for by the romulans or that one was a case of mistaken identity.

     Off-screen, never mentioned before war crimes? 
  • In Waltz Sisko is transporting Dukat to Earth so he can be investigated for war crimes. What war crimes? Pretty much everything we saw of him during the war suggested he was rather restrained and making an effort to be reasonable. If they're referring to his occupation of Bajor then why isn't he being tried on Bajor? In Duet Sisko had no problem allowing the clearly biased Kiranote  investigate a man pretending to be a Cardassian war criminal.
    • I'd assumed "investigated for war crimes" was code for "tie him up in enough red tape 'preparing' for a trial that he can safely be imprisoned without charges until the war is over".
      • That sort of thing usually got at least some discussion on the show, even if it was just to state that this was the least bad option. Even if we assume that a de facto imprisonment was the unstated goal, it still doesn't explain why he wasn't handed over to Bajor. There a conviction and execution would be guaranteed. It feels like the writers thought that Dukat was getting too popular.
      • That guaranteed execution might be part of why the Federation would have been reluctant to hand him over to the Bajorans...
    • There's also a big difference between what we saw of Dukat, as viewers, and how much the Federation knows. We know that he was actually pretty restrained because we saw it happen, but the Federation would realistically need to carry out an investigation to sort things out, which is what they were doing now that they had him in custody. Plus, I'm sure "investigating" Dukat's role in the Dominion War is, in part, a way of trying to get him to cooperate and provide them with valuable intelligence.
    • Dukat was the Cardassian head of state who presided over the Dominion slaughter of the Maquis, which very likely included the children and other non-combatants that happened to be in the DMZ at the time—and we have seen children in Maquis camps. To do so, Dominion forces, acting as agents of the Cardassian Union, violated a legal demilitarized zone. Also, assuming that the rules of war in the Star Trek universe are similar to those in the real world, he could also be charged with waging a war of aggression in violation of international law (in this case, the peace treaty between the Federation and the Cardassian Union), and waging an unprovoked war. Also, there was that little matter of trying to destroy the Bajoran star system by blowing up its sun, which, besides killing the entire population of Bajor, would have obliterated a joint Federation, Klingon, and Romulan fleet without provocation. That makes at least six war crimes, including attempted genocide, that he is directly responsible for. Add the above his treatment of the Bajorans during the Occupation, and Dukat is one of the worst war criminals in Star Trek history.
      • And in spite of this, Dukat's actor (Marc Alaimo) says he always thought Dukat was the good guy, and raised a "my character wouldn't do that" objection when the time came to assault Kai Winn's errand boy/adviser, very late in the Pah Wraith storyline.
      • With no mention ever made of children casualties (either in the episode where it's revealed that they were defeated or the episode where Dukat was being transported) that doesn't seem likely. Attempting to blow up the Bajoran system would be a possibility, though probably not the fleets since they're obviously war vessels in a time of war.
      • The fleet probably could have gotten away because they had warp drives, but yeah, Dukat's kind of a dick.
      • Okay, they never actually mention dead children but, really, did you really expect that they would? We know the Dominion has no issue with committing genocide (since they nearly blew up Bajor's sun) and we saw in Blaze of Glory that there were families and children among the Maquis, AND they were being pursued by trigger-happy Jemhadar. Fortunately Sisko and Eddington got them out, but do you really think the Dominion would have spared the noncombatants if they hadn't arrived in time?
      • A charge for waging a War of Aggression seems unlikely, unless the Federation is blatantly pulling a Victor's Justice and ignoring the Klingon invasion of Cardassia. Which is the way those laws are traditionally enforced, admittedly, but that seems a bit to realpolitik even for this show.
    • I think it's fairly obvious that, whatever Dukat is being charged with, the real goal is to extract some measure of justice for the Bajoran occupation. The reason the trial is being held on Earth rather than Bajor is for two reasons: First, because Bajor is far too close to the front lines and holding Dukat's trial there is just asking for the Dominion to try and rescue or assassinate him. Taking Dukat to Earth makes it harder for the Dominion to get to him. Second, because the Feddies really, really, really want the Bajorans to join the Federation. Holding the trial on Earth gives the Feddies another chance to show the Bajorans how awesome the Federation is by showing off their greatest success, Utopian Earth.
    • Also international courts are rarely located in the country were the crimes were committed, cases like Ruanda and Cambodia were judged in La Hay for example.

    Split Up For Unnecessary Danger 
  • In Empok Nor why does O'Brien keep telling his subordinates to split up? It's pretty foolish the first time, the second it's downright idiotic after the Cardassian soldier makes it clear what's going to happen. He doesn't need them working at the same time and there's nothing stopping them from moving as a group to fix one thing and then the next.
    • It's probably just ingrained habit. Starfleet personnel are expected to be one-man repair teams in most circumstances, so he sends them off each to a job. O'Brien's basically just suffering from a relaxing of wartime reflexes caused by serving seven years on the nice, big, relatively safe (aside from that week's disaster) flagship of the fleet. He probably wouldn't have done the same thing later on when he's back in war-mode.
    • O'Brien says out-loud later that Garek was right to pursue the crazy Cardassians from the get-go and he made a mistake trying to repair the comm equipment faster than the Cardassians could kill them. Presumably, he includes the splitting-up as part of the mistake.

    Handing DS9 Back To The Cardassians 
  • At the end of Season 5, knowing that the Federation cannot hope to hold DS9 against the Dominion, they abandon the station, and Gul Dukat takes it over peacefully. However, they had made a point of having the Bajorans sign a non-aggression pact with the Dominion, which allowed the Bajorans to work out a deal with the Dominion similar to the one they had with the Federation. The question is, why did the Bajorans let the Dominion take over the station, when they could have simply had Kira assume control, and declare that DS9 was now a solely Bajoran station? The Dominion had shown that they kept their word, and it's unlikely they would have broken it just to take Deep Space Nine, given that it would undo all the hard work they did before the war to isolate the Federation and the Klingons. And to boot, they could charge Dominion ships docking fees.
    • That would have required much more leverage, which the Bajorans simply didn't have. The Dominion keeps its a point. They kept their word to the Bajorans because they had nothing to gain from breaking it. Controlling DS9 means the Dominion can control access to the wormhole. If the Bajorans had tried to seize the station the Dominion would likely have tried to take it from them. By force.
    • "We're a Bajoran station now." "We have 20,000 photon torpedoes that say you're not." "Uh. Welcome home!" The Bajorans only have a weak military at best, probably don't even have the trained personnel available to run DS9's (Federation-installed) weapons platforms, and with few exceptions are basically pacifists-at-heart. Kira's not stupid.
    • This brings up an interesting related question: During the periods that the station is run by Starfleet personnel, why is it called Deep Space Nine? The designation 'Deep Space Nine' doesn't seem to make any sense from a Bajoran perspective. 'Deep Space' seems to be a Starfleet station designation for Federation facilities that are located outside Federation territory, but the station itself belongs to Bajor, so Starfleet naming conventions shouldn't apply to it? Surely the Bajoran government wouldn't describe something that is located inside their solar system as being in deep space.
      • Convenience, I suppose. Apparently the Bajorans didn't want to keep the Cardassian name so they had to call it something else. "Deep Space Nine" is as good a name as any. Especially since the station is still run by Starfleet, despite being nominally owned by the Bajorans. If the Bajorans had ever decided to pass on Federation membership and ordered the Feddies out of their space, they probably would have come up with another new name for the station. EDIT: Oh and also, despite their occasional brave boasts the Bajorans are quite aware that their continued freedom is dependent on the Federation's protection. Calling the station "Deep Space Nine" makes it a visible symbol of Federation power and warns any enterprising conquerors to steer clear of Bajor and the wormhole unless they want to go toe-to-toe with Starfleet.
      • The station was legally owned by Bajor but they leased the trashed former terok nor to the UFP's starfleet command to run hence the starfleet starbase name it has. Bajor still has it's own staff there but the day to day ops is done by starfleet staff. When starfleet pulled out and the Dominion took over management Kira opted to keep the ufp name while Dukat decided to restore it's old Cardassian name.
      • This arrangement was created along with a plan to have Bajor formally join the Federation. Bajor was actually due to join the Federation in season 5 (it was only put on hold due to Sisko's visions). In the relaunch novel series, Bajor joins the Federation after the Dominion War ends. Either way, once Bajor joined the Federation, DS9 would become an official Federation facility anyway.

    Meridian: the disappearing planet 
  • If Meridian's population was facing extinction when the planet stopped switching between dimensions, why didn't they evacuate? There were under 30 inhabitants, it would have been easy to get them to DS9.
    • Possibly an issue with taking them away from the planet? If your body is used to dimension-hopping and you force it to stop, there's a chance it could have nasty unpredictable side effects i.e. suppose you take them away from Meridian, but their bodies shift dimensions anyway. The next time they shift back, they could appear in open space. With the limited time before the next shift, the crew wasn't likely to solve that particular problem before the planet vanished again.
    • They just like their planet and the lives they have on it. They also seem to genuinely like the other dimension, they'd just like a little more time in this one. In the episode, one of them wants to leave, but changes his mind when he realizes his people will need him on the planet. There's no technobabble involved.
      • Speaking from a practical point of view, you could suggest moving to another planet for the next sixty years, and moving back onto this one during its next short appearance, that would only leave the eventual complete disappearance as a problem. But maybe they like the other dimension a little too well to stay away from it for that long?
    • When they are in the "other dimension", they exist as consciousness only, and do not age. With only brief periods in our universe, they effectively have MUCH longer lives than they would have otherwise. This would be a big draw to a lot of people.

     Stealing the Bear 
  • This is a minor point, but in In The Cards, Nog has to steal Dr. Bashir's stuffed bear from Leeta. Why did he wait till she was asleep to break in and take it? Nog's a character who's debut appearance took place as he was burglarizing the station's assayer's office. Granted, he's not a very successful thief, but being Quark's nephew, he should have picked up a little trade craft since then. Breaking in while she was sleeping just adds a really, really creepy vibe to that scene.
    • If the bear is present when she goes to bed and missing when she wakes up she's not going to suspect that someone broke in and took it while she was sleeping. She's going to assume she just lost it somewhere. But if she comes home from work and something is mysteriously missing from her quarters, common sense would indicate a burglary and an investigation would reveal that someone hacked the lock.
    • Indeed, that's how the scene plays out at the end of the episode: Leeta has her quarters torn apart, frustrated at "losing" the bear with no indication that she thinks it was stolen.
    • In that case, on a station where everyone has access to replicators, why not simply break in while she's at work and replace it with an identical bear? Nog stands less chance of being caught if she thinks she's misplaced the bear, but even less if Leeta doesn't have any reason to think she's lost anything at all.
      • It's implied to take more than sticking something in the replicator to be able to make a copy of it. Quark says he'd have to get Kira in a holosuite to be able to make a proper scan of her at one point, I think. Nog might not have the equipment or the time to make a scan of the bear and replicate one.

     "You Have Failed Me, Odo... you're hired?" 
  • In the episode "Necessary Evil", it is established Odo got his station as constable as a result of doing a task for Gul Dukat, which impressed him. Except the end of the episode shows that Odo didn't actually solve the crime, and in fact let the real suspect get away. So what, did Dukat just decide to give him another chance after a complete failure?
    • Dukat might be A Nazi by Any Other Name, but he doesn't think he's one, and Odo had a good rapport with the Bajorans. Since standard Cardassian practice was to execute ten random Bajorans, Dukat probably decided it would help his "benevolent overlord" image to have an authority that would be considered more fair. Even though Odo didn't find the killer, Dukat knew he had the potential to be an effective constable and having him around was good for keeping the Bajorans in line without using force. (There's also a novel about this time wherein Dukat secretly obstructed the investigation because he knew it was Kira and didn't want to execute the daughter of his late mistress.)
    • Also, by hiring Odo as constable, he adds a buffer layer between his men and the Bajorans. With Odo in charge of investigations, the Bajorans would likely blame Odo for anyone who is arrested and executed, since it is Odo who actually does that. What he didn't count on, however, was Odo living up to his threats of impartiality and fairness, meaning that the Bajorans came to respect and trust Odo rather than scapegoat him for the crimes committed against them.

     Worf's tiny wedding party? 
  • Does Worf not consider the crew of the Enterprise his friends? He didn't invite them to his wedding. Not even his cha'Dich, Picard. Riker invited him to his wedding.
    • There are a couple interesting issues here. The TNG crew not being present could easily be explained away by the war—Starfleet just needed the Enterprise and her command staff elsewhere. It's not as easy to explain why the Rozhenkos weren't there, though the war might have also made travel between Earth and DS9 too dangerous for them to make the trip. Interestingly, the Captain Shelby who was mentioned to be in command of the starship Sutherland was an intentional reference to Elizabeth Shelby from Best of Both Worlds. With Sutherland docked at the station, it seems a little rude for her not to have shown up.
      • Does Worf consider her a friend? after all Worf was far closer to Riker during Best of Both Worlds who spent the majority of the time arguing with Shelby over his jealousy and her mild insubordination. Stands to reason that, fearing he may be seen to be taking sides, Worf barely even spoke to her beyond anything that was strictly business. We certainly don't see him heavily interacting with Shelby on-screen.
      • Are we sure that it was an intentional reference to the Shelby of "Best of Both Worlds" (never given a first name in those episodes, incidentally)? Because I distinctly recall the male pronoun used in the episode, and this transcript seems to agree with me. I don't have the DVD at hand — can somebody check the closed captioning of the DVD and see if it supports this conclusion?
      • According to my source for that factoid, Memory Alpha, Ron Moore, the writer of the episode, stated he was making a reference to Elizabeth Shelby as a bit of Mythology Gag. He didn't know, however, that EU author John Ordover had been promised by the show's writers that they had no intention of using Shelby again. Since canonically making her the captain of the Sutherland would derail a ton of effort that Ordover had put into Shelby's character in his novels, I'd be willing to bet that the pronoun switch was a last minute attempt to avoid torpedoing all of Ordover's hard work.
      • One wonders, then, why not just change the name? Or was this a post-production thing, where it's easier to redub a pronoun than a longer name? In any event, there's really nothing to explain here; whoever this Captain Shelby here (who, as you'll recall, is explicitly mentioned to have some past connection to Dax, not Worf) might be, it's entirely possible that he/she is having briefings or something similar while the crew enjoys some R&R on the station.
      • That would be my guess. They probably realized the mistake so late in the production process that there wasn't any time for ADR.
    • If you recall the episode, the timeline of the wedding is moved up to accommodate Alexander. That's the reason.
    • You know who's absence from Worf's wedding is particularly glaring (besides his parents)? Jeremy Aster from The Bonding. The episode ends with him becoming a member of the House of Mogh. He is now for all intents and purposes Worf's brother. Although given how A) Worf completely lost contact with Alexander until recently and B) The House of Mogh effectively no longer exists since Worf joined the House of Martok, Jeremy may have been excommunicated in all but name. Wow, Worf. That vow to look after him clearly meant a lot to you.

    Where is the Sisko now? 
  • A couple of episodes before the finale, when Sisko has a vision of the Prophet who was his mother, she tells him that his fate is not before him but "behind him". And in the finale, when Kasidy has a vision of Sisko, he tells him that as a Prophet he will exist outside linear time, and that they might meet each other "yesterday". These bits of dialogue seem to hint that when Sisko returns from the wormhole, it will in the past. But in the end we never find out whether Sisko will ever return. So what was the point of those hints? According to Memory Alpha, at some point the writers considered ending the finale with a scene of Benny Russell holding a script for television series called Deep Space Nine in his hand, but that idea was nixed. Were the aforementioned lines hinting towards this ending, that Sisko might come out of the wormhole in the past, as Benny Russell?
    • According to the characters page, Avery Brooks didn't like the Unfortunate Implications of a black man abandoning his family, so that line was put in to imply that he might be right back. The "or yesterday" part could be a reminder of the Prophets' existence outside time. It also allows him to show up in EU materials pretty much anywhere in the timeline.
    • The Prophets are sending Sisko around dropping off objects connected to the Emissary. How else did the Prophet end up in Sarah and then in a desert planet.

    "He is not real!" 
  • In "Badda Bing, Badda Bang", Worf is unwilling to even consider the personhood of Vic Fontaine. Seems like a scorching case of Aesop Amnesia, considering that he knows holograms can be sapient (Moriarity), and worked for 7+ years with another artificial life form, namely Data! What the hell, Worf?
    • Worf tends to not put a lot of thought into the things he says. In the episode where Bashir's genetic enhancements are discovered he vigorously defends the Federation's policy that disallows modified humans from serving in Starfleet. When Bashir asks him the obvious question "If that's true, shouldn't I have been forbidden from joining Starfleet?" Worf's only response is "You are an exception." No explanation for why Bashir is the exception, he just is. I imagine he would say the same about Data. Artificial lifeforms aren't people...except for Data. He's an exception...because he is. So there.
    • Whilst I do agree with this, one point has to be asked: Does Worf ever actually acknowledge Data as alive? Or Moriarity as anything other than a malfunctioning piece of software? Because i'm thinking very hard here and I can't remember a single concrete line of dialogue to prove it.
      • I don't know about Moriarty, but Worf has repeatedly shown that he considers Data one of his friends and honored crewmates. Data is a person to Worf for sure. Other artificial lifeforms, who can say. Worf is just like that, he thinks in very broad generalities and stereotypes, and when he meets an exception to those it doesn't cause him to rethink them, he just decides that individual is an exception. It's actually a very... human... trait.

    Sisko's unhappiness with the assignment at first 
  • When Sisko and Picard meet the first time Picard notes that Sisko objected to the assignment of Commander of Deep Space Nine, and Sisko replies that he's investigating returning to Earth. Um, aren't most Starfleet assignments, especially those involving command, supposed to be given with the assumption that it will last for years and years? Deep Space Nine's first commander should be assigned with the idea that s/he will be there until Bajor joins the Federation, right? It wouldn't do for Sisko to show up and then leave a month later, right? It sends a bad message to both the Bajorans and the Starfleet staff on the station.
    • I think they thought Bajor's joining the Federation would be quick, so that he could've had it both ways. They didn't realize how fucked the situation was even *before* the dominion and all that stuff.
    • It's Sisko's 'nice' way of saying he thinking about quitting Star Fleet. It appears that as long as you're not actively in the middle of a shit storm, you can quit your post at any time in Star Fleet.
    • Yes, he said he was thinking of returning to civilian work — presumably leaving Starfleet.
    • It's a little surprising that Picard was caught so off-guard by Sisko's feelings. Picard was invested both professionally and personally in the Bajoran situation—he says as much while he's briefing the commander—so it's odd that he hadn't reviewed the service record of the man he'd be handing off Bajor's future to; or at least had Troi do it for him. You'd think he'd recognize that a single father who'd avoided field assignments for years probably wouldn't be the best person to put in charge of a frontier outpost—or, at the very least, notice that he was technically responsible for the loss of Sisko's ship, and the deaths of his friends, colleagues, crew mates, and wife.
      • Picard still has significant issues regarding Wolf 359 and the Borg, it is not unsurprising that he might be sub-consciously avoiding the issue and mentions of it. He probably doesn't even know he is doing it, but skipping over it or glossing past it would not be out of line with current thinking on PTSD. There is also Picard's natural personality trait of repressing emotions and just getting on with things to take into account too. It's just one of those horrible things that is depressingly human.

     Jennifer's Death 
  • One of the big recurring headscratchers of the TNG era was the idea of allowing families on starships assigned to exploratory missions, because those ships are still exposed significant amounts of danger. Nothing like hitting that Negative Space Wedgie and having a school full of children taken out in the process. However what really stands out is: Why the didn't Federation fleet that met the Borg at Wolf 359 apparently bother offloading their civilians before going into battle? They had to take the time to scramble the fleet, so you'd think that they would have had plenty of time to evacuate the civilians and children. It strikes me that not only was Jennifer's death unnecessary, but had anyone in Starfleet's hierarchy had a lick of sense, it never would have happened in the first place.
    • Do we know where all the ships in that battle came from? It's likely that they were scattered all over the place so they might not have had time. It may have taken, say, a day to assemble the fleet, but they weren't sitting around twiddling their thumbs for the full twenty four hours; by the time they'd all detoured to the nearest star base (whether the nearest to where they started out, nearest along the way or nearest to Wolf 359), offloaded all the civilians, and then proceeded to Wolf 359 they might have missed the Borg by an hour or two or would have only been able to fight with half the fleet.
      • And yet we saw on several occasions during TNG it took minutes to evacuate non-essential personnel and civilians from Enterprise-D, a ship with a standard complement of something around 1000 people (3000 max). Saratoga and other Miranda-class vessels are significantly smaller than that, with a crew of only about 220-230 at most (some examples during the TNG era such as Lantree and Brattain are known canonically to have as low as two or three dozen). Further, the timeline gives Starfleet at least a couple days, if not a week or more, to assemble the fleet, which consisted of forty starships. So it's pretty clear there should have been more than enough time to assemble the fleet, disembark families and non-essential crew, brief the commanders, and deploy at Wolf 359 to intercept the Borg.
      • Again, do we know where the ships were all stationed before they were assembled into a fleet? It may only take minutes to offload the civilians, but they still need to fly to a planet/star base first - they can't just shove all the civilians into a transporter and hit transport as they're flying at warp (at least not without that transwarp beaming tech from the Abrams films). Frequently the Enterprise has been the only ship in range of Earth (although I think that was mostly in the TOS era so maybe Starfleet got its act together since then) so it's not implausible that the ships were days, if not that entire week away. For easy counting let's say it was only twenty four hours and they met the Borg dead on the 24 hour mark; a ship is at planet A, which is 23 hours away from Wolf 359 at maximum warp taking the direct route; the only Federation world/star base en route (or at least the closest to the direct route) is at planet B, which is 13hours from both; this means total travel time for that ship, would be 26hours (plus five minutes to offload the civilians), which means they show up an hour after the Borg rather than an hour before. The same thing can happen even with a week to prep - if the ship is far enough out, the detour could have cost valuable time. Also, do we know how many ships had civilians on them? Maybe the ones that did were the ones that were furthest out and couldn't detour in time, while the rest who were able to get there sooner were able to offload while waiting.
      • Starfleet might have sent in non-combat ships specifically to pick up civilians and ferry them to a safe planet or starbase.
    • The novelization of the episode had Jennifer Sisko being a Starfleet officer herself. Apparently she was just out of uniform and in her quarters because whatever her duties were had no relevance to a combat situation.
      • No relevance to a combat situation... This is Wolf 359! The battle for the very fate of the Federation and probably a greater part of the Alpha Quadrant. And this was no random attack, this was part of Admiral Hanson's specially assembled battle group. Is there seriously any conceivable reason why she would be out of uniform? And if so, why she would even be there in the first place if she was that irrelevant?
      • She was asleep?
    • Might she have been, a la Keiko, a civilian who was nevertheless starship personnel? That justifies her being out of uniform and being on tthe ship to begin with.

     Sisko's Big Silly Destiny 
  • So Sisko's Big Important Destiny, the thing that it was important enough to subject his mother to rape-by-proxy to ensure he would be present for, was to tackle Dukat off a cliff. Really, Prophets? Really? You needed The Chosen One for that? You couldn't find a decent high school linebacker to handle that one? Or, I dunno, Nog with a phaser set to "stun"? A big strong guy with a big rock? Heck, you're the guys who exist in all points of time simultaneously, you couldn't have arranged for someone to deal Dukat's dad a swift kick in whatever passes for nards in Cardassian physiology the day before he would have been conceived?
    • Presumably the only reason Sisko is able to tackle Dukat is because he's half Wormhole Alien. If anyone else had tried to do that, Dukat's Pah-Wraith powers would've stopped them. (And if Dukat hadn't existed, the Pah-Wraiths would've simply chose someone else to seduce Kai Winn.) Admittedly it's still a stupid way to end the arc of your main character, but this would at least explain why it has to be Sisko who does it, not Nog with a phaser.
    • Perhaps it had more to do with the symbolism of a Prophet('s offspring) imprisoning a Pah-Wraith as opposed to how he does it. Also, given that they are non-linear beings, there would be no point affecting Dukat himself as someone else would have taken his place and the Pah-Wraith would have only be contained for sure if it fought a Prophet.
    • I'm assuming that leading the Bajoran people post-occupation and the sequences in "Rapture" where he told them they shouldn't join the federation yet were also important.

     Lieutenant Sisko 
  • In "Trials and Tribble-ations", why did Sisko wear a TOS uniform with lieutenant stripes. Yes, he said it was to avoid attention and the out-of-universe reason was that it would match with the dialogue of the stock footage of Kirk at the end, but since Sisko is in his 40s, wouldn't wearing lieutenant commander stripes be more convincing to fit in, given that it seems unlikely that an officer that old can have a lower rank, alternate Picard in "Tapestry", not withstanding.
    • Starfleet doesn't have time-in-grade requirements or an up-or-out policy so people can and do stick at low ranks for a long time. This is in accordance with the Federation philosophy of finding a niche you love and sticking to it for personal fulfillment. We've seen older lieutenants a lot over all the shows, so that is no problem. If Sisko had picked a higher rank than that then Kirk would definitely notice him. Lt. Cmdr is a senior rank on the TOS Enterprise, an officer coming in on that would be sure to attract attention as he'd be on par with the department heads and be on a special directive from Starfleet. Really Sisko's problem is choosing Command Gold as his uniform color instead of Ops Red or Science Blue, as they would be far less likely to attract Kirk's attention; admittedly Science Blue might attract Spock's attention though. Engineering or Security Red would be far safer as a cover.
      • Given the hundreds of crew members aboard starships and space stations, it seems unlikely that the senior officers will pay attention to every minor officer with the same uniform color.
      • The stranger thing is that Sisko, O'Brien and Bashir all wear the 23rd century equivalents of their regular Starfleet uniforms (aside from Sisko's lower rank) and the switch of colors for command and engineering is noted by Bashir as he is the only one who keeps the same uniform throughout as medical was always blue. Yet Dax, a science officer, chooses to wear a red engineering uniform for no apparent reason.
      • Yet Dax, a science officer, chooses to wear a red engineering uniform for no apparent reason. No reason in-universe certainly, but in the real world, the red miniskirt is one of the most iconic pieces of Star Trek clothing there is. The whole episode is pure fanservice.
      • One can even squint and make Dax's 23rd century nostalgia an in-universe justification for her costume choice.
      • This was almost certainly it. She spent most of the episode cooing over how "sexy" the 23rd century style was. Since they're undercover anyway, it doesn't really matter what color they wear, she probably just asked for red because she thought she'd look better in it as a solid color.
      • You could also make the argument that she realized that she'd garner less attention accessing certain areas of Enterprise if she were wearing a operations/engineering uniform than if she wore a sciences uniform. Remember that Dr. Bashir had to do some quick thinking when an engineer asked why a sciences officer with a medical tricorder was supervising some routine maintenance. She's certainly qualified to be an engineer from what we've seen—probably more so than even O'Brien for that time period's technology—so she could back up that uniform with actual knowledge if she needs to (i.e., she probably wouldn't nearly blow her cover by accidentally cutting power to an entire deck like O'Brien did). Bashir was stuck wearing blue because he doesn't have much in the way of engineering or starship operations knowledge, but could absolutely handle any medical task thrown at him.

     Is DS9 a Starbase? 
  • On several occasions ("Tribunal," "Equilibrium"), DS9 is referred to as a starbase. Why isn't it referred to that way more often, and what is the minimum threshold for a "starbase," anyway?
    • According to Memory Alpha, a "starbase" is the general term for any kind of permanent Starfleet support facility, including ground facilities, spacedocks (dedicated starship maintenance facilities), and space stations like DS9. So calling it a "starbase" is a little like calling a car a "vehicle." Correct, but most of the time people use the more specific term.

     How do you know it doesn't just sound like "need"? 
  • In one episode, there are aliens whose language doesn't translate with the Universal Translator at first, but eventually it does, however, at first, only a few words are translated. This is noticed when Odo notices a woman saying the word, "need". But the thing is, how is he to know that it's not some alien word or even part of a word that just sounds like "need" to him?
    • Well, he doesn't. He is just pointing in case it is relevant (which it proves to be).

     Ineffective Blood Testing 
  • They constantly test for changelings with a blood test. They keep doing it and believing the results even after they find out the man who came up with the test was a changeling infiltrator, and even Sisko's father figured out how a changeling could get around it. And even though the blood tests have never actually exposed a changeling—the only two people "exposed" as changelings were both victims of false positives.
    • That's par for the course in some modern militaries: If it doesn't work, keep doing it until it does. Maybe humans haven't changed as much as they claim.
    • There's more to it than that. The idea for the blood test came in the third-season ender, "The Adversary." In the fourth-season opener, "The Way of the Warrior," General Martok uses the blood test to prove he really is who he says he is. A year later, in the fifth-season opener "Apocalypse Rising," it's revealed that a changeling replaced Martok. Midway through the season, "In Purgatory's Shadow" has the real Martok in a Dominion POW camp, where he says that he'd been kidnapped two years earlier, midway through Season 3. Meaning that, until then, the Martok we'd seen had always been a changeling. And as Bashir pointed out in "Apocalypse Rising," any changeling impersonating a Klingon would have to be able to bleed on cue. Put it all together, and you realize that there was a changeling posing as Martok and bleeding when necessary before Starfleet's use of blood tests had even been conceived. The truth is, the blood tests were never a viable way to expose changelings.

     Defiant missing from Klingon Battle 
  • Where was the Defiant when the Klingon fleet attacked in "The Way of the Warrior"? Really, the ship was probably staying under the cover of the station's shields so that they didn't get caught in a 50-on-1 curb-stomp, but it was like they were never there ...
    • The Defiant had been severely damaged rescuing the Cardassians minutes earlier, and most of the battle-related systems were among the damaged parts. It wasn't in any shape to defend itself, let alone the station.

     Take Me Out to the Holosuite tryouts 
  • They had tryouts and Quark was invited onto the team but the other staff members weren't allowed? Would it have been that hard to throw in a few extras?
    • Most viewers of a long-running ensemble series want to see the main characters do stuff rather than bringing in random extras we have no connection to and making them a central part of the episode just because by strict logic it's what would happen in that situation.

     Mirror Bashir's Learning Disability 
  • In "Through the Looking Glass", we meet the Mirror Universe version of Bashir. Given that the technology to make human Augments almost certainly doesn't exist, shouldn't Mirror!Bashir still be severely developmentally disabled?
    • Given the heightened aggression and irrationality presented by many Humans in the Mirror Universe, it actually makes a lot of sense that the Augments won the Eugenics War or it was never banned, thus making their descendants all Augments.
    • None of them seem quite so bright as to be Augments. Look at how mirror Bashier acts: he's an aggressive idiot who is constantly unable to grasp the full scope of both his actions and any of the major events around him. A more likely story is that Mirror!Bashir is a bit low on the brain power, considering that he's portrayed mostly as Dumb Muscle. By all indications, it seems he wasn't so much "disabled" as just rather slow. The Julian Bashir from regular continuity was lagging badly behind the other children before his parents got him enhanced, but that doesn't necessarily mean he would never have grown and developed sufficiently to take care of himself eventually; just that he probably would have had a more menial adulthood. Mirror!Bashir is probably a pretty accurate picture of how Bashir would be without those enhancements (and with a much rougher upbringing).
    • Alternatively, maybe he did receive similar enhancements but under much different circumstances (more "dark," per the mirror universe idiom).
    • Bashir wasn't necessarily noticeably disabled. He was diagnosed at a young age so that diagnosis might not have meant he would have grown up to be visibly disabled. My older sister, for example, didn't excel academically at a young age but she ended up an Echol's Scholar, a Fulbright Scholar and is now the youngest dean in her college's history at age 38. Simultaneously, Bashir might have had overly cautious parents.
      • Bashir himself says his disability was fairly pronounced. He says something along the lines that when other children were learning to spell "dog" and "cat", he was still struggling with the concepts of a dog or a cat, which is something most toddlers can do. The "prime" universe's Bashir almost certainly would have been developmentally a child all his life, so there's likely some other explanation in the mirror universe. Possibly he had ancestors that were developmentally disabled, but they were augmented or fixed by the less morally-concerned Terrans (or the less morally-concerned prior generations of Bashir parents), so by the time Mirror Julian was born those genes had been removed from his family line. So no genius-level augments but also no mental disability.

     In "Defiant" why did Riker keep Kira on the ship? 
  • He stunned her. Why not beam her back to the station, or continue to stun her with the gun?
    • He might have been hoping to convince her to join the Maquis. Or using her as a hostage if it became absolutely necessary.

     Sons of Mogh 
  • It's Star Trek, so yeah there's plenty to be found. One notable example includes the episode featuring Worf's brother and its resolution. It basically has both of them completely forget how they handled a very similar situation before (their family standing in disgrace) and ends with Worf arguably crossing the Moral Event Horizon for a really bad solution to a problem that ends up solving itself within a season when the dishonor is lifted (again).
    • That's not really the best example, since they dealt with it before by pretending they weren't related (not really an option anymore since everyone knows they are) and technically their family honour wasn't restored, Martok made Worf an honorary member of his own family (although he might have extended the offer to Kurn if Worf had asked nicely).
    • Kurn could not have joined the house of Martok at the time of the episode. Not even Worf was a member of the House of Martok at this point. He didn't join until "Soldiers of the Empire". Martok and Worf didn't even become friends until "In Purgatory's Shadow". Both episodes take place in the season after "Sons of Mogh".
    • I think the main thrust of the point stands. They had been in dishonor before and gotten out of it. Also, if Worf was able to join another house, then surely Kurn would have had a much easier time of it. After all, it wasn't Kurn's fault.
    • Klingon laws and traditions don't care about "fault". A Klingon has to bear the dishonor of his family members also, not just his own. If Worf does something dishonorable, then it affects Kurn just as much. Even if he didn't do the act himself, he would be "the brother of a traitor". Just as Duras was "the son of a traitor".
    • The main point of the episode is Kurn is showing all the symptoms of clinical depression after having had his entire life taken from him, twice attempting suicide by proxy and then putting a gun to his head and coming very close to pulling the trigger before Worf takes it off him. Worf's solution is basically to have Kurn join another house but it would be interesting to know Kurn's reaction if Worf had actually suggested it to him rather than resorting to a memory wipe and subterfuge. Was he in the right frame of mind to have gone along with it willingly or would he have still seen death as the only release?
    • I think he still would have seen death as his only release. Unlike Worf, Kurn had lived among Klingons his entire life, so his discommendation was much more painful to him. When Worf was discommended, he resumed his life more or less as it was; Kurn's livelihood had been ripped away from him. Voluntarily joining the House of Noggra wouldn't have made him feel any better because he would have to live a lie with the knowledge that he could never go back. Eventually he would have just tried to kill himself there instead.

     Why didn't Odo break the Quantum Stasis Field? 
  • The Die is Cast: The device being used to torture Odo is sitting on a desk right in front of him, seemingly unprotected. Garak leaves him alone with it for hours. Why doesn't Odo just break the device?
    • Odo is more acquainted with Cardassian technology than the rest of the crew, and has dealt with Cardassians longer than everyone else and thus understands their methods. He may have recognized Garak's apparent neglect of the device as Schmuck Bait—the device may have been set to do something truly nasty to him if he touched it.
    • Garak never actually leaves the room, he's there the whole time. Odo's used to using his shapeshifting abilities, while Garak has likely had Obsidian Order training for combat, and he can call on the Romulan guards if Odo were to attack him. So Odo doesn't really have much opportunity to go for the device.

     Loose Ends 
  • "In The Pale Moonlight" has Sisko talking about the casualty list he had to post each Friday and how it motivated him to roll with Garak's shady scheme to get the Romulans into the war even as he began to have serious doubts that he was doing the right thing. For all the emphasis on how every name on that casualty list was a loved one, friend, or associate to somebody, however, neither he nor anyone else agonizes much over the four Romulan bodyguards who also got killed by Garak's scheme. Sorry, dudes, but you're Red Shirts.
    • The entire point of that episode was that Sisko had reached the point where he was willing to sacrifice a handful of lives (against his principles) to save billions more. And he is quite clearly agonized over the entire plot.
    • Not just Sisko, but Garak doesn't care either. Watch as he lists the price of Sisko's victory to him near the end: see any glaring omissions in that list? That's right: he mentions only two lives, not the six lives it actually cost.

     Loose Ends Part II 
  • Another point from earlier in the episode "In The Pale Moonlight": that optolythic data rod ended up costing Sisko 85 liters of bio-mimetic gel which, as Bashir pointed out, is dangerous stuff that can be used for highly illegal genetic experiments and biogenic weapons (the weapons of mass destruction of the future). Sisko didn't think to ask, but isn't that one more loose end Garak needed to tie up? It couldn't be a good idea to let some loose cannon with an unknown agenda be roaming freely around the Alpha Quadrant with enough material to build a bio-nuke. If Garak couldn't trust his source not to misuse that phlebotinum, he must surely have had to arrange to make a "tragic casualty of war" out of whoever sold him that data rod as well.
  • There was no agent, and no informant/supplier who needed the bio-mimetic Gel. Garak made the bomb himself to destroy the shuttle himself to frame the Romulans, and might have used the doom gel to fake the crystal, if he didn't have one of his own to use. Remember, Garak played Sisko like a fiddle, up to and including using the "good men died to get this" by telling Sisko that all of his contacts died in hours, then later telling Sisko to use the same excuse on the Romulan Rep he tried to trick. Ergo, Garak had been planning for something like this all along, and had as much needed in place as he could get.
  • I doubt that the bio-mimetic gel was used to create the data rod, and it's unlikely that Garak would go through the trouble of requesting the bio-mimetic gel if he just happened to have a data rod for use. As for Sisko not mentioning the supplier for the rod as a casualty in his personal log, I think it can be easily chalked up to Sisko not feeling as guilty about an anonymous supplier as he did about the murder and massive conspiracy plot he just carried out.
  • The bio-mimetic gel was payment for the alien who programmed the data rod. And Garak implies to Sisko that he killed that alien in addition to the Romulans. Sisko asks "And what about Tolar? Did you kill him too?" And Garak replies, "Think of them both as tragic victims of war." So presumably Garak gave back the bio-mimetic gel, or kept it, or used it in the explosive after taking it from Tolar post-murder.
    • Considering that Bashir specifically mentions that organic explosives can be made with bio-mimetic gel, it seems likely the idea is that Garak used it to make the bomb (poor Tolar... both murdered and stiffed!).

     Rurigan's clothing 
  • Shadow Play, the third mention of the Dominion, involved a colony where everyone and everything in it was a hologram, except the old man who founded it. The holograms had to be shut down to repair the generator, otherwise it was going to fail anyway (and possibly be unrepairable). When it was shut down, literally everything but the old man and his clothes disappeared. Why didn't his clothes disappear? Holographic clothing is perfectly usable; the only reason they shouldn't have disappeared was that he happened to keep a personal replicator and only used clothes created by it. However, the logistics of maintaining that would likely be beyond him considering the isolation of the colony.
    • Maybe his clothes aren't replicated. It's perfectly feasible that one of the village holograms is a tailor, crafting clothing for him out of the local environment's resources.

     Civil Defense 
  • Didn't Dukat lose all his credibility when he was called upon to rescue the situation and used it to hold Kira hostage? Why did they trust him again up until Season 5 when he joined the Dominion?
    • Well, he does help them to a degree in "The Way of the Warrior" and later, in "Apocalypse Rising." His humbling after "Indiscretion" is a major factor in making him seem more trustworthy (emphasis on "seem").

     Babel question 
  • If the whole crew was being infected and their crew compliment was going to keep diminishing until everyone was deadly sick, why not call for backup from the nearest ship nearby. To me, that was beyond stupid
    • Quarantine, for one, and for another it's important to remember that DS 9 is on "the frontier"... there's not always going to be a nearby ship, or at least one that can help. Most civilian ships are not going to be equipped to do so, and even most Starfleet ships might not have the necessary equipment. Unless there was a passing medical ship or Galaxy class near enough to make a difference, all calling in another ship would do is risk spreading the infection.
      • It seems like they could have at least made a call and referenced it by saying "the SS ____ will be on its way in ___ days." Also it doesn't seem like it takes that long to get to Earth and it also seems like we see starfleet officers on the promenade so one or two ships of some size usually seems to be docked
      • This gets brought up a lot on Star Trek headscratchers, about how "Well it wouldn't have taken THAT much to satisfy this question", but you've got to remember three important things. One, all those "Not that much" scenes people want add up over time. Two, most people who go looking for this sort of nitpick would not be satisfied and merely shift their question to something else, like "Well why didn't the SS ____ get there at any point? Why didn't it show up at the end of the episode? Why couldn't they get there faster?" Three, and the biggest and most heavily-weighed reason for not doing it, most viewers simply do not care about minor nitpicks like this. The viewers that do are in an extreme minority, and if you ever want to see what TV writers think of them, check out the Simpsons clip about asking questions at an Itchy & Scratchy panel.

     Children of Time only works if everyone has sex at the exact same time in round 2 
  • In order for the Defiant to reproduce the same society 200 years later, they'd have to mate at the exact same points in time so that the exact right sperm and egg pairings could produce the exact right people. For all we know, knowing Kira has a lethal wound could have caused Bashir to devote more effort to her. Additionally, maybe Kira might have decided to freeze her eggs to preserve her legacy if she had advanced notice. Similarly, maybe O'Brien wouldn't have waited ten years to get with that red shirt female crewmember because he wouldn't have needed that time to give up. That would have mean she'd have different eggs when they had sex and that would have thrown everything off. As a result, the society of the future was already doomed anyway.


Example of: