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  • In several episodes we see Sisko communicating in real-time with people on Earth. Yet Cassidy Yates tells us her brother's colony is "on the far side of the federation" and that it takes two weeks for a subspace message to get there. This would require that Earth and DS9 be relatively near each other as compared to the further reaches of the territory, which raises a question about the "D" in "DS9"
    • This has always been a problem with the franchise. While they likely have relays for the important channels that expedite message transit, scale in space has never been consistent, and often poorly handled(stating ships to be several MILES apart when they're clearly shown only a couple hundred meters from each other at most, scanners that can magically see things a few hundred light years away, etc).
    • I assume the issues with distance and real time communication is related to distance to subspace relays. Subspace communication is apparently extremely fast (warp 9.99999 or something), and that the bulk of communication delays come from broadcasting to and from the nearest subspace relay. Ships and stations still use subspace communications to the relay, but I think these signals are much slower than the relays themselves can effect. So as long as a ship or station is "on network" they have effectively instant communications. As for the "Deep" in Deep Space Nine, I read somewhere that "Deep Space" is the designation for any docking station outside of Federation territory. While Bajor isn't really that far from Earth, it IS past the border.
    • Another possibility is that there's different relay lines. Think how the US Do D/Military have a dedicated network so that the SECOND something is wrong, they can get on the line and contact the people who need to know. Starfleet may be using specialized high-speed dedicated relays, which the officers have access to, wheras civilians are using a much slower network relay (possibly shorter range, so it might travel like a package in shipping (goes from the Bajor sector, to Alpha Centauri, to Vulcan, to Andor, to Deep Space K-7, to Sol, to...)

     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.
    • Or maybe because that's actually how people write in Star Trek? Pay close attention: you will never see a qwerty keyboard anywhere in the trek cannon unless they travel back in time to the present era. What you DO see are people scratching away at pads with styluses. "Writing" seems to be based entirely on dictating to the computer or handwriting recognition with a pen-tool. Since cursive is faster than printing, it makes sense that Jake - a writer - would have taken the time to master the discipline. Based on how many characters over the course of the many series' know how to handwrite, it appears to be a skill that's still used regularly.

     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.
      • Suicidal charges into certain death in the name of honor or avenging a family death is a real-world trait of some human societies. Why shouldn't the same apply to the Warrior Race?
    • 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.
      • Whether or not Dukat was ever formally stripping of his rank, by this point he was acting in more of a vigilante capacity and was peripheral to the war (targeted against the Bajoran religion, not any particular political player). Dax was nominally a soldier but off duty and unarmed when killed, collateral to an act of religious terrorism. But really it's not the formal dictates of Klingon honour in question so much as how Worf would feel about it personally, and I cannot see any scenario in which he would not want vengeance on a personal level, as you allow, yet the show leaves this out.
  • First of all, no one knows where Dukat is in Season 7. He rarely appeared for most of the first half, and in the final episodes, he was a disguised Bajoran. I'm certain that if Worf were to see and recognize Dukat, he would immediately cut him to pieces. Secondly, there was a war going on, so it's highly doubtful anyone of them would have allowed him to take a leave of absence to find and kill Dukat. When Worf killed Duras to avenge K'Ehleyr, Picard chastised him for acting out of conduct for a Starfleet Officer and warned him that if he did it again, he would be stripped of his rank. And Sisko, being less forgiving than Picard, would've actually followed through with it, regardless of his own personal hatred for Dukat. And the last thing Jadzia would've wanted was for Worf to risk facing court martial on her behalf.
    • Another possible reason is that Worf has cooled his head since he killed Duras. He's now thinking clearer, realizes that Dukat is A) NOT their main priority, and B) that killing him won't change anything. Jadzia is gone, she's not coming back even if he personally gutted Dukat, and right then, TWO people he holds in high regard (Sisko and Martok) need him to have their backs. Plus, there's a war on, so he can't go off solo, especially with Dukat being ostensibly under the Dominion.
    • Why wouldn't Starfleet allow Worf to take a leave of absence? They let Sisko go peel potatoes for his dad, and given their opinions on the Prophets, they'd probably say Worf had an even better reason to take some time off. It's more likely that Worf refused to leave his post, citing honor and duty.
  • Is it possible Worf doesn't know it was Dukat? If I recall correctly, there weren't any witnesses, and later dialogue only talks about it being a Pah-Wraith that did it. It could be that nobody on the station knows what happened beyond what can be inferred, and nothing suggests that Dukat was involved. Of course, that raises the question of why Worf doesn't want vengeance on the Pah-Wraiths, but he might be thinking of them more as a force of nature. I doubt even a Klingon would want revenge on, say, an earthquake.
    • In "Covenant," Kira asks to Duat, "Would that be before or after you killed Jadzia?" They know it was him.

     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. 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? Helm 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.
    • I think a lot of this may be down to us simply not "seeing" very much of any one culture. in the Magnificent Ferangi we're introduced to a Ferangi assassin who doesn't like profit, he just likes killing people. Every society is going to contain a spectrum of people, but due to the writer's reliance on "planet of hats" and the fact that we never see more than 5 or 6 representatives of a given species, its easy to forget that there is more variety hiding beneath the surface.
    • 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!
      • That Gul was Gul Evek. He popped up once more on TNG being ambushed by the Maquis and a few more times on DS9 as the Cardassian liaison/governor of the colonies. He's even in the premiere of Voyager hunting down Chakotay. It's possible that Central Command told him "you helped create this mess, now you manage it."
  • 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.
      • Being born of a fascist species also lends weight toward his beliefs.

  • 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".
    • Even with the DMZ's murky political situation as hashed out above, they were all still the responsibility of the Federation and Cardassian governments to some degree. Eddington wanted them accountable to nobody but themselves.

     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?
    • The statement was never meant to be taken this seriously. He was obviously joking.
    • 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.
    • And if he's running a niche restaurant where he's cooking everything himself, then his ingredients, how everything turns out, and therefore his menu is subject to constant change. He's recommending or dissuading based on what he thinks turned out best for the day.
  • It seems like what he's saying isn't that they'll regret what they did get, but that they'll regret not trying the souffl&eacute. Not insulting anything else, just saying they don't want to miss this.

    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 eight 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 four 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.
      • This is correct, it's discussed in-episode. Kira wants to wait for exactly this reason, but O'Brien tells her, "If we don't leave now, we never will." And there might be interference preventing them from using the transporter.

    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.
    • In fact that was supposed to be their plan before they landed. He prioritized a list of things to get done, then had them all split up and get after those tasks at the same time.
    • 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.
    • Dukat was weirdly obsessed with the space station, as seen throughout the series. The Dominion may have been happy to respect their neutrality agreement with Bajor, but in order to keep Dukat in line they had to make a few concessions.
    • Plus, let's not forget how incredibly strategically important the station is, being located directly at the mouth of the wormhole.
    • 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.
      • Deep Space 9 is the name of the Federation base "on" the space station, the Bajorans simply call it that out of convenience because "Deep Space Nine on Empok Nor or Whatever We Bajorans have renamed it" is a bit of a mouthful.

    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.
      • That assumes he's still alive or in any condition to be involved with Worf's life or that he didn't leave Worf's House by choice at some point.
      • Or, again, location in space. He may be somewhere far off in the galaxy, or somewhere that he can't get to DS9 in a timely fashion.

    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.
    • Worf is absolutely right, Vic is not a real person. He explains it himself, his programming involves being a bit more self aware, he's able to actually register things that don't belong to his program but is otherwise an ordinary hologram. He's not on the level of Voyager's Doctor or even TNG's Moriarty, it's just that the characters don't push him into the limits of his programming often so it can be easy to forget those limitations are still there.

    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.
      • We know there were Oberth-class ships participating in the battle. That's about as non-combat as it gets. They were throwing literally everything they had at the Borg.
    • 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 the 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.
    • The exact "How" may not have been key, but the key was that a child of the Prophets was fated to seal the Pah-Wraiths. Sisko opting for "dramatic body check" is just how it happened to play out. Could have been that, could have been a dramatic sword battle, could have been anything. What was known was that he'd stop them.

     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 it out 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.
    • The Main Characters Do Everything, work and play. Except, I suppose, for manning the station while the principle characters are playing baseball.

     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).
      • That same rough upbringing could be exactly why Mirror!Bashir is so capable. Vanilla!Bashir was coddled in a warm, loving, peaceful Federation where his early teachers would praise him just for trying hard, and everyone gets a trophy for showing up. Mirror!Bashir, meanwhile, knew he'd get a whoopin' if he didn't figure out what a cat was, and as such tried a lot harder to make up for his shortcomings.
    • 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.
      • Alternatively alternatively, Bashir is a grown man remembering his childhood, a time where he doesn't like to consider in the first place, and his genetically augmented memory hadn't been granted yet, and so his feelings of struggle and frustration with grasping the concepts that his fellow children were getting very easily are stronger memories than the actual events were, so he remembers feeling left in the dust by his peers, while not having been as far back in development as he thinks. Especially if you consider how his parents would have spun the "we were doing what we thought was best for you, trying to give you your best chance" from the time he became aware of the augmentation.
      • Obviously, the real answer is that Mirror!Bashir was established before the genetic augmentation was decided on, and they never have Mirror!Bashir interact with Prime!Bashir after it comes out (indeed, the only time we even see Mirror!Bashir after the reveal is a brief appearance in "The Emperor's New Cloak" and plot stuff precludes anyone bringing it up - even assuming they would, considering Mirror!Bashir's hair-trigger temper). It's not hard to spin the Bashir's actions as being more due to keeping up with the Jones', excused by parents trying to give their child their best chance in life, than necessarily being something that young Bashir needed to have to stay afloat.
      • Another theory is that Bashir did know the concept of a cat and dog when he was a kid, but his eyesight was so bad that he couldn't tell them apart. He said that they enhanced his eyesight and he "couldn't tell a dog from a cat".
  • Frankly the rules of the Mirror Universe's relationship to the Prime Universe are so arbitrary (there's a real Vic Fontaine in the other universe? Shrug, whatever) that saying that alt-Bashir just didn't have the disability that Prime Bashir did makes as much sense as anything.
    • Another possiblity is that Bashir was a savant. Limited grasp of the idea of things (not easily being able to easily identify what a "cat" or "dog" was, but with a different set of skills (think a kid who may not be able to identify pictires of a thing, but have an incredible grasp of spatial concepts like putting puzzles together)

     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).
    • In the earlier case, no one knew Kurn was related to Worf, since he had been adopted by another family, so he was able to avoid dishonor, and it fell on Worf alone. When Worf's family honor was initially restored, he openly claimed Kurn as his brother, so now everyone knows and he can't pretend otherwise.
    • 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".
      • Also, Worf is suggested to have earned his way into the House of Martok because of what he's done for him and for the way he impressed him in the prison camp. Kurn hasn't earned his way into another house, and even if one chose to accept him without him earning it, that itself would probably be read as some level of dishonor.
      • As far as having gotten out of dishonor previously, the two situations aren't exactly comprable. In both cases, it's Gowron who held the power to restore the family's honor. The first time, the hurdle was just convincing Gowron that the dishonor was based on a lie and then convincing Gowron to side with him — Gowron had no individual interest in that issue, not to mention he felt he owed Worf for getting Duras out of the way. The second time, Gowron personally stripped Worf's honor because Worf defied him; getting him to restore it under those circumstances would be all but impossible. In retrospect, they would likely only have had to wait a few years at most (until Gowron's death) before they'd have another chance, but at the time, they probably figured it would be decades before they'd have a shot.
    • 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!).
    • Tolar was a holo-forger. The person who wanted the gel only had the rod for sale. Garak specifically mentions that they were two different people as Tolar was sitting on Klingon death row when the topic came up.

     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").
    • He was also very cooperative with regards to the Maquis threat and having increasingly civil conversations with Sisko every time they met. His characterization was heading in a direction that everybody was forgetting that he used to be the commandant of Space Auschwitz.

     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.
    • Quarantine, for one, and for another it's important to remember that DS9 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.
      • 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.
    • More critically, they're dealing with an airborne viral outbreak they have no cure for. The last thing they're going to want to do is bring anyone else aboard to be exposed. (In fact, there are a couple of references made to having placed the station under quarantine to avoid spreading the virus any further.) And once they are exposed, it's a ticking clock; if they don't find the answer in time, now all they've done is add to the patient count.

     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.

     There's no Google in the Federation 
  • In 'The Sound of Her Voice,' a Starfleet officer is marooned on a hostile planet while returning from a multi-year deep space mission and the team rushes against the clock to save her. At the end they discover she's been dead for years and thanks to a Negative Space Wedgie on the planet their conversations with her went back and forth through a time warp.. They had her name, ship's name, mission, and a lot of personal information from her, but nobody bothered to put any of that into the computer to see what would come out. Sisko managed to fill her in on the entire Dominion War arc up to that point without giving away any story-breaking information, such as the current stardate or any other dates that happened after she died.
    • Despite the writers choosing to selectively ignore canon as they saw fit, the Eugenics Wars took place in 1996 in Trek's timeline. Even with cryogenic spaceships having been developed by then, there is no evidence that anything resembling the "modern" internet had been developed, coupled with a lot of hints to suggest that Earth society post-EW was not in stable condition. Couple that with real-world limitations at the time of writing(technically Yahoo was already around, Google was hardly the first of its kind, but wasn't as commonplace) and the bad habit of Trek's writers barely understanding computers(they don't even understand how to COPY a file!), in hindsight a lot of what was shown back then makes no sense.
    • In addition, even if their computer system could give them the information, someone would have to go and look for it, and since they don't yet know that anything's amiss, there's no reason for them to initiate a search.

     Julius Caesar as a fictional story 
At one point Garak and Bashir argue over Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Garak complains that he saw the plot twist coming early on, Bashir argues that it's supposed to be a tragedy. Neither of them acknowledge that the play was based on historical fact. Did the 24th century manage to forget this or something? It seems like an obvious point that Bashir should have made to defend the nature of the story.
  • It's the dramatic presentation that matters. A historical fact can be presented as tragedy, or comedy, or many other ways, in a fictionalized presentation.
    • Plus, Bashir and Garak were specifically debating SHAKESPEARE'S "Julius Caesar". Whether or not the real event happened, they were more mulling over the particular literary technique of THAT work. It'd be like complaining about "The Red Badge of Courage" not especially painting one side as unambiguously the pure, righteous, unconquerable pillar of truth and morality and all good like Cardassian works like to, and trying to say that the real Civil War of the United States was much more complicated. Sure it was, but in this case, that isn't really relevant to the actual discussion about the book.

     Bajor and Cardasia's weird proximity? 
In "Explorers" they discuss ancient Bajorans having reached Cardasia in sublight wooden spaceships. Kira, who strongly believes in this story, discusses it with some of the more skeptical characters who comment that "it would take years". The problem here is in order for this to be remotely plausible, Bajor would have to be in Cardasia's back pocket, astronomically-speaking. While we don't ever get an idea of just how fast the light ships are, "full impulse" is stated to be somewhere around 30% of the speed of light, which means 3+ years to go 1 light year even at full impulse. So for anyone in-universe to believe this story, Bajor and Cardasia would have to be within a few light years of each other and the lightships capable of achieving a significant fraction of the speed of light. Yes, the in-universe explanation is that "tachyon eddies propelled the ship to warp speeds" but watch the episode: the light ship travels at warp for at most a couple of minutes. Apparently Bajor and Cardassia are just right next door to each other?
  • According to memory-alpha they are five light years apart. Which is more then we are to our closest (non sun) star.

     "This is the U.S.S. Defiant" 
In the season 4 episode "The sons of Mogh", Kira opens a hail by saying "This is the U.S.S. Defiant". USS stands for "United States Ship". What possible justification could the Federation have for maintaining that prefix?
  • The prefix "U.S.S." has been used for Starfleet ships since TOS. On those rare occasions when the abbreviation is stated in full, it's sometimes rendered as "United Spaceship" and other times as "United Starship." Gene Roddenberry apparently had strong opinions on having it explicitly not stand for "United States Ship." More on Memory Alpha.
    • If that's the case why use "U.S.S." at all? Why not "U.F.S." or just about anything else the viewer is not likely to immediately interpret as "United States Ship"? Surely any viewer even in the TOS days would be aware that different nations use different prefixes(H.M.S., S.S., just to name a few the average viewer might have encountered).
    • USS has been used since TOS days, and yes, a LOT of classic Trek rose out of US military jargon/practises. Instead of states, it usually refers to United Systems.
    • It should also be noted that the use of USS in Star Trek predates the concept of the Federation. The first mention of the Federation happened midway through the first season, and at least once before that Kirk refers to the Enterprise as a "United Earth ship". In retrospect UFS or FSS would make more sense, but USS was already establish as the Enterprise's prefix before the writers decided that the Enterprise worked for something called the Federation.

     Obsidian Order's knowledge of Kira 
  • In Second Skin, it was never revealed how the Obsidian Order knew of the story of Kira mistakenly killing a mother Hara cat. Kira never told anyone of it, and she's certainly not Iliana Ghemor, so how did the Order know of it? Did they extract it from her memories or did they implant the story into her?
    • I think it's deliberately ambiguous. The Obsidian Order is the kind of organization that seems like it could be capable of either approach, being masters of both espionage and subterfuge, and not knowing how they knew this piece of information makes them more mysterious and threatening.

     Allamaraine Arithmetic 
  • In the "Allamaraine" rhyme from "Move Along Home", "allamaraine" is a game term, "if you can see you'll come with me" is because it's a puzzle... but what's the meaning of "count to four" and "then three more"?
    • The rhyme drops hints on how to solve the puzzle, but not every piece of the rhyme is necessarily symbolic. The first few lines might have just been written as filler for the clue, or the rhyme might have been adapted from some children's game.

     Why Was The Runabout Unguarded? 
  • In the season five episodes In Purgatory's Shadow/By Inferno's Light the Dominion captures Worf, Garak and their Runabout. After they were brought to the internment camp, why wasn't the Runabout dismantled for intel or destroyed, rather than parked in space over the camp AND unguarded?
    • It shows the Dominion's arrogance, and that they have been the ultimate power for so long that they don't even consider the prospect of people fighting back in any serious manner. Also, that they have compartmentalised tasks and authority so thouroughly that even potentially serious threats can be ignored on the sayso of one Vorta. Ultimately they left it there because they don't care, and they think there is no point to caring, and if the runabout is useful to them later they know where it is. It is careless and arrogant, and that is the Dominion's "hat".

  • Why is Quark so surprised to hear that humans used to smoke nicotine? As funny as the line "if they buy poison they buy anything" is (because is Truth in Television) he sells alcohol. Alcohol is also a poison. He most know by now that even if Ferengis don't, other humanoids do consume small quantities of toxic materials for pleasure.
    • I think the point Quark makes here is that 20th-century humans were dumb and weak-willed enough that they ingested poisonous substances recreationally despite their dangerous side effects. Quark serves, and even ingests, alcohol on a daily basis, but he doesn't consider it a poison that his customers are slowly killing themselves with. Conversely, Quark is not familiar with tobacco until Nog tells him about what he learned about it from his guidebook, and his summary is very terse and lacks nuance. His guidebook describes tobacco as a deadly drug that damages the internal organs when consumed frequently, is highly addictive, and available in stores. While this description is accurate in its broad strokes, it was probably written from the perspective of an "evolved sensibility" 24th-century human author trying to educate their audiences on how imperfect mankind was before First Contact with the Vulcans. Quark, being an opportunist, sees this as a weakness that could possibly be exploited.
    • He may be serving synthahol, or at least alcohol in that time may be less potent or detrimental to the body, if not medical treatments(of which most anything by then can be healed quickly) that reverse the very slow process. But in the 1940s without such advancements? Completely different... let alone cigarettes don't seem to exist anymore even by Kirk's time.

     Don't Bajorans have laws against exploitation? 
  • Quark's business practices are shady at best: Underpaying his workers, no sick leave, no vacations, trying to force his female workers to sleep with him (or perform Oo-mox), forbidding unions... Now, all that may be legal under Ferengi law, and perhaps was allowed by the Cardassians as long as he only used Bajoran workers, but he's on a Bajoran space station now and, thus, needs to follow Bajoran law (while probably also having to follow Ferengi law or he gets his Ferengi License taken away, which must be hell for every Ferengi trying to open a store in a place you can't forbid unions). Quark's bar should've face similar troubles as Walmart did when it tried to open stores in Germany and then tried to break German law in its contracts. So, do Bajorans have no laws whatsoever against work conditions like that? And why didn't Sisko, or one of the other humans, bring it up even if that is the case?
    • Until very recently, the Bajorans all worked as slaves under brutal conditions. By contrast, Quark's employees work there of their own free will, and can quit at any time if they're dissatisfied with the conditions. That's likely considered enough.

     Why would Section 31 develope a cure for the virus they used to infect the Founders? 
  • In When It Rains...., Doctor Bashir and Chief O'Brien begin to come up with a plan to get the cure for the Founder's disease. Under more reasonable or measured efforts, a cure could be used as a barganing chip, but as Section 31 developed the virus specifically to commit genocide, it would make no sense for them to also create a cure.
    • A potential bargain in case they thought the founders might negotiate to save themselves? Or a backup contingency in case the virus mutated & began affecting other species.

     The Visitor 
  • Jake is able to stop Sisko being pulled through time by ending his own movement through time, which "cuts the cord" and sends him back to the time of the accident (had this happened while he was still in subspace, he'd have been lost forever). But why would Jake's death affect the "cord"? A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles.
    • There's some evidence in canon, though none conclusive, or the existence of souls or something similar in the Trekverse, so the number of particles likely didn't matter so long as Jake was alive.

     Everyone is cool with Morn's criminal past 
  • We find out that Morn had been part of a large bank robbery 7 years prior, holding the stolen latinum in one of his stomachs until the statue of limitations ran out. No one, not even Odo, gives him so much as minor hassle over it? Popular or not, logically they should become very wary of him. It's never even brought up again.
    • Presumably, they figure that if Morn wanted to commit any more crimes he would've done so by now. As it stands, Morn's a regular and apparently the life of the party - the statute of limitations ran out, so why would he bother jeopardizing it all?