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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 06 E 04 Behind The Lines

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Pictured: Odo screwing the female changeling (and screwing all his friends over)
This episode starts off with Sisko giving a Rousing Speech after a battle against the Dominion. Almost immediately afterwards, he gets promoted to Adjutant to Admiral Ross, and thus is removed from command of the Defiant. In order to handle a massive sensor array that the Dominion uses to track Federation and Klingon movements (including cloaked Klingon ships), Sisko comes up with a plan to attack the array through a dangerous part of space. But because of his promotion, Dax will be the one in charge of the Defiant. Despite Sisko's worries, the Defiant is successful in her mission and Sisko knows that the ship is in good hands.

But for once, the focus of the episode is primarily on those still on Deep Space Nine. We start off with Kira and Rom observing the Cardassians and the Jem'Hadar from a balcony on Quark's. Damar comes into the bar, clearly irritated about something. Turns out that Rom swiped a PADD containing a memo that expressed Damar's worries about a shortage of Ketracel White (which may have been caused by Sisko destroying a Ketracel White depot at the start of the season). Damar worries that if the supply lines for Ketracel White are not opened up soon, a shortage of White would likely mean the Jem'Hadar running amok. To that end, Damar was proposing that the remaining supply be poisoned to avert that situation.

And wouldn't you know it, the missing pad ends up in the hands of some Jem'Hadar, courtesy of Rom. Several Jem'Hadar angrily confront Damar over this memo, and when Quark tries to defuse the situation, he gets thrown over the bar and a full fledged brawl between Cardassians and Jem'Hadar starts, with several on each side ending up dead. Both Dukat and Weyoun are apoplectic over Damar losing such a memo, before jointly deciding to confine those involved to quarters. While Weyoun and Dukat try to figure out how this brawl came to pass, Odo on the other hand knows exactly what happened. Turns out when Rom swiped the PADD, there was a discussion between Rom, Jake, Kira, and Odo on what to do with it. Odo thought it was a bad idea to leave the PADD with the Jem'Hadar and left. But Rom, Jake, and Kira clearly thought otherwise. Odo is downright furious: if the Cardassians or the Dominion were to find out that Kira was responsible, not only would it give Dukat an excuse to kick all Bajorans off Terok Nor, but it would also give the Cardassians a reason to increase hostilities against Bajor itself. Kira is unrepentant: with their supply lines cut off from the Federation, and Bajor accepting help from the Dominion, Kira knows that there is a second occupation going on. She accuses Odo of trying to maintain a status quo on Deep Space Nine.


Their argument is not helped by the arrival of the Female Shapeshifter. Almost immediately, she can recognize Odo's affection to Kira and starts to capitalize on Odo's emotional state. She offers to link with him in order to give him some clarity by linking with him. Odo accepts, but is in a completely different state of mind afterwards. When Odo admits to linking with the Female Shapeshifter to Kira, Kira is furious. Kira can see that the Female Shapeshifter is trying to manipulate him but Odo reassures her that is not going to happen.

Later, Quark stumbles into a meeting with Rom, Jake, Odo, and Kira, clearly plastered. Turns out that he had a few drinks with Damar who basically told him his plans to take down the minefield. Rom knows exactly how he would be able to accomplish this and how he can thwart Damar's plans. But in order to do so, Rom needs to gain access to a particular power conduit and commit his sabotage before Damar can put his plan into motion. The only hitch? The power conduit is in a secured junction and is also protected by a security alarm. Odo says he can get around this by taking down the alarms as part of a routine diagnostic. Kira proposes that the Odo start this at 0800 hours so Rom can do his work.


Unfortunately, the Female Shapeshifter has picked up this moment to link with Odo again. After sneaking Rom into a conduit, she goes to Odo's office to confirm that he is disabling the alarm. But when she sees that Odo is not in his office, she rushes back to the conduit to stop Rom from tripping the alarm. Unfortunately he already did, and is promptly arrested by Damar and the Cardassians. Kira angrily confronts Odo over his inaction and immediately knows that he linked with the Female Shapeshifter again. With an accusation that Odo has essentially handed over the Alpha Quadrant to the Dominion, she storms off. The Female Shapeshifter appears from a wall and knows that she has successfully turned Odo against his former allies.

This episode contains examples of:

  • As You Know: Kira and Rom relate the events leading up to the Bar Brawl, by narrating events as they're watching them in Quark's bar.
  • Badass Boast: Sisko (and later Dax) do a "call and response" one with the Defiant crew every time they use up a phaser power cell after they return to base.
    Sisko/Dax: (holds power cell in their hands) Take a good look at this, people. It says something about this ship. It says that we will fight, and we will keep on fighting, until we can't fight any more!
    Crew: Yes, sir!
    Sisko/Dax: You don't just throw something like this away.
    Crew: No, sir!
  • Bar Brawl: Between the Cardassians and the Jem'Hadar. Unlike most in Star Trek, this one has a body count.
  • Better Than Sex: The link seems to be this for Odo.
  • Call-Back:
    • Damar's worries about a shortage of Ketracel White is likely a direct impact of the destruction of the Ketracel White depot at the hands of Sisko.
    • To the root beer conversation with Garak in "The Way of the Warrior." When the Dominion invaded the station, Quark was all too happy to throw out his root beer and "hew-mon" food for his new Cardassian customers. Now, after living with the Cardassians, Vorta, and Jem'Hadar for months, he finally breaks down and in tears says he wants the Federation back, he wants to sell root beer again.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Odo's preferred post-linking activity.
  • Da Chief: Captain Sisko is promoted to this position, to his chagrin.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Sisko is banking on this when planning to attack the array through the Argolis cluster, a dangerous part of space. It works.
    • Quark berates Rom for not coming up with a redundancy to handle if the mines are exposed to an anti-graviton beam that disables the mine's self replicating unit. Rom admits he didn't think of that possibility.
  • Dispense with the Pleasantries: After giving Weyoun his moment to praise her, the Female Changeling cuts short Dukat's long-winded speech about how they are equal partners going into a glorious future and bluntly asks about the status of the minefield.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Odo doesn't want the female changeling's pity re his feelings for Kira. Instead, she offers him clarity via the link.
  • Dutch Courage: Quark turns up to La Résistance meeting drunk, because he certainly wouldn't help them while sober.
  • Easily Forgiven: Lampshaded. Odo is completely perplexed that the Female Changeling is talking to him as though nothing had happened.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When Quark tells the conspirators that Damar will use the station's deflector array to disable the minefield, Rom assures them it's impossible...until he starts working out the engineering technobabble in his head and figures out exactly how to do it. Cue worried looks from everyone in the room.
  • Foreshadowing: Damar sure likes his drink. Almost like the pressures of his job were getting to him. It'll get worse for him pretty soon.
  • G-Rated Sex: The link, once again.
  • Heroic BSoD: It's likely the kanar talking, but Quark absolutely breaks down in front of Kira's resistance cell. He doesn't like the Cardassians, who are mean and arrogant, and he especially doesn't like the Jem'Hadar, who are creepy and just stand around like statues. No matter what he said before, he wants to sell root beer again. Quark does partly snap out of it after the commercial break, once he's had a chance to sober up.
  • Idiot Ball: Odo essentially gambles that he can take what the female Founder is offering without compromising himself or his values in any way. It... doesn't work out that way.
  • I Have My Ways: Nog manages to get ahold of real Saurian brandy during a war. Fortunately, Admiral Ross chooses not to pry.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Damar is already testy before the bar brawl, as Kira points out, demanding a drink from Quark. Things rapidly go From Bad to Worse. Later things change and he shares a bottle with Quark to celebrate. Unfortunately this enables Quark to get information from Damar.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    Quark: I just had a bottle of kanar, with Damar. Ha ha ha ha ha! That rhymes!
  • In Vino Veritas: Quark invokes this with Damar, but in doing so falls under its influence.
  • Kicked Upstairs / Soldiers at the Rear: Slight subversion, as the promotion was due to Sisko being extremely good at his job, as opposed to incompetent. He isn't terribly happy about it. Don't worry, he'll be on the front lines soon enough...
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The fight between the Jem'Hadar and Cardassians at the beginning is due to the meddling of Kira and Rom. Kira wants to continue formenting dissension between the two races, but Odo opposes it because if they're caught, it would be just the excuse the Dominion would need to kick every Bajoran off the station.
  • Mathematician's Answer: When Kira asks Damar if he knows where Odo is, Damar simply answers "yes" to piss her off. Instead of taking the bait, she gets him to give the real answer by needling him about his apparent demotion.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Kira's resistance cell uses Damar's own writings to start the Bar Brawl. This naturally gets Damar in hot water with Dukat and Weyoun, so he proceeds to make up for it by figuring out how to bring down the minefield. Not only that, by brushing off Odo's concerns, Kira left him in a mental state prone to exploitation by the Female Shapeshifter.
  • Now You Tell Me: When Kira sees that Odo is not at his station to disable the station's alarms as per The Plan, she quickly tells Rom not to open the panel to the computer—just as he does exactly that, setting off the aforementioned alarms.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Defiant destroying the Dominion sensor array.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When the brawl breaks out and quickly becomes brutal, Kira quietly backs away. Rom, however, is transfixed, clearly unprepared for how violent the success of their plan is.
    • Kira, when she sees that Odo isn't at his post when he needs to be. Then Rom, when he opens up the computer and sets off the alarm.
  • Punishment Detail: When Kira sees Damar in Odo's office, she asks him if Dukat demoted him after the Bar Brawl.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After several episodes of maintaining a somewhat uncharacteristic stoicism, Odo's negligence sends Kira right over the edge. It's rather terrifying the way she storms through the station to confront Odo—her expression suggesting that she's determined to find a way to murder a Changeling with her bare hands.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Literally, after the Cardassians and Jem'Hadar fight in Quark's Bar.
    Weyoun: How could Damar be so stupid so as to leave such an inflammatory document lying around for anyone to find?!
    Gul Dukat: Your men stole it from him!
    Weyoun: Jem'Hadar are not thieves!
    Gul Dukat: And Damar is not a liar!
    Weyoun: Keep...your voice down. [smiles] Our men need to see that we are still allies. Smile!
    [Dukat bitterly does so]
    Weyoun: [through his teeth] Dukat!
    Gul Dukat: I'm smiling!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Weyoun and Dukat are saying this to Damar in all but name for losing a pad with such a damaging memo contained within.
  • The Un-Smile: Surprisingly, Dukat can't fake a smile to save his life. His attempt comes across as if he's trying to suppress a great deal of pain. The fact that he and Weyoun are currently pissed at each other might have something to do with it.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Another instance where The Plan is thoroughly discussed before it falls apart. This time, however, it's not because of an accident or an unforeseeable complication; it's because Odo buggered it up.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kira gives Odo a major butt-chewing for linking with the female changeling and letting Rom get captured.
  • You Are in Command Now: Discussed. Dax takes over the Defiant when Sisko gets promoted, though she doesn't Rank Up. She still gets called "Captain" as O'Brien tells Nog the tradition that the person in command of a ship, regardless of rank, is addressed as "Captain." Nog excitedly asks if he had to take command, would he be called "Captain" too. O'Brien promptly deflates his ego by saying "Cadet, by the time you took command, there'd be no one left to call you anything." This talk becomes a Call-Forward in "Valiant".


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