DS9 is practically empty. A plasma disruption has forced most of the station to evacuate. (Didn't they just bring back everyone after the evacuation during "The Siege"?) Still aboard is a skeleton crew of Sisko, Dax, Kira, Odo, O'Brien and...Quark, who is found acting suspiciously in an airlock.
And naturally, with the station mostly empty, bad guys show up. Feigning ship damage, two Klingons, a Trill named Verad, and a woman named Mareel board the station. Making sure to lock Odo up in a jar and sticking it in stasis for good measure, they head for ops.
Verad is there for a specific reason. He's an un-joined Trill, dismissed as "unsuited" for joining. So he's decided to do an end-run around protocol, and just steal a Symbiont. And surprise surprise, the most suitable one is Dax.
Jadzia complies so he won't kill the hostage crew. Very reluctantly, Bashir goes through with the operation, doing his best to keep Jadzia stable.
The new Verad Dax however is feeling fit as a fiddle. His lady-friend Mareel, however, isn't wild about this new, confident Verad, who seems rather uninterested in her.
After making a vain attempt to take down a Klingon, Quark is rushed off to sickbay with an ear injury. It's a lie of course, and Bashir sedates one of the Klingons when he brings Quark in. The twosome quickly release Odo.
As Verad prepares to escape to the Gamma Quadrant, he's met with an docking bay that's empty except for a pissed-off Odo and Kira. Taking down the other Klingon, he runs for another shuttle, only to meet Sisko there, waiting with a phaser. Verad dismisses him, claiming that Sikso wouldn't shoot him for fear of harming the Dax symbiont.
He's wrong. With a quick phaser blast, Verad is taken to sick bay and liberated of Dax, who is safely returned to Jadzia.
- Bad "Bad Acting": Quark's injury acting. Best described as a shrieking bird combined with a fire alarm... which served its purpose, as Quark's reaction to his injury was so annoying that the terrorists send him to the medical bay instead of just treating him on site like they did O'Brien.
- Bash Brothers: Kira and Odo double-team a Klingon and win quite handily.
- Bond One-Liner: "Don't call me Benjamin."
- Canon Discontinuity: Possibly, given that Verad is never brought up again when Dax's hosts are listed off in future episodes. Perhaps he wasn't joined long enough to 'count'.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Major Kira receives on from Mareel, odd since she's generally the one who dishes these out.
- Sisko also hands the Klingon mercenary his ass pretty quickly when they go one on one.
- Dark Action Girl: Mareel, who gives a one-sided brutal beating to Kira of all people.
- Dirty Coward: At least as far as Klingons go. The merc played by Tim Russ shows none of the usual interest in honor or battle preffering to hold captives at bay with a disrupter and even aims for O'Brien's wound with a kick when the main cast are talking after he told them to be quiet. Fittingly he's also not much of a warrior by Klingon standards as when it comes time to fight hand to hand he gets his ass kicked by Sisko pretty easily.
- Failed a Spot Check: Odo finds Quark "meditating" in an airlock and orders him out—but fails to check inside to see if he left anything.
- Faux Affably Evil: Verad initially comes over as meek and genuinely regretful about what he is doing, only to reveal he has no real moral issues hurting or killing anyone who stands in his way of what he wants, he just dislikes the violence involved.
- First-Name Basis / They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Verad Dax, as per usual for the Dax symbiont, calls Sisko "Benjamin." Sisko plays along for a little while, but when it becomes clear that Verad's willing to leave Jadzia to die, Sisko tells him quite bluntly that he's not allowed to use Sisko's first name anymore. (And then shoots him.)
- Instant Sedation: Bashir takes out one of the Klingon guards with the off-button hypospray.
- Irony: The final line of the episode is Jadzia commenting how Verad will "always be with me." Verad is never mentioned again in the series.
- Karma Houdini: Armin Shimerman wasn't wild about this episode because he thought Quark got off way too easy.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Quark uses Obfuscating Annoyance to his advantage several times throughout the episode. First when he meets Odo coming out of the airlock, he acts so smarmy and obviously plotting of something that all of Odo's attention stays on him rather than checking the airlock. Later on, after his gambit in Ops, he wails so shrilly and agonizingly that Verad is willing to send him over to Bashir just so he won't have to listen to him. Once there, Quark continues to be a huge annoying distraction, allowing Bashir to get the drop on his Klingon guard.
- Tuckerization: While testing Dax's memories in Verad, Sisko brings up the "Cliffs of Bole," named for frequent Trek director Cliff Bole (who actually directed the following episode).
- The Worf Effect: Action Girl Kira is issued a No Holds Barred Beat Down by Mareel.
- The Klingon played by Tim Russ also counts. He's supposed to be a Proud Warrior Race Guy but is bested in hand to hand combat by both Sisko and Odo.
- Worf Had the Flu: Only explanation for how Kira got her ass handed to her. When in 3 seasons she would be taking on Klingons 4 at a time.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: As a matter of fact Verad, he would. And does.