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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 06 E 06 Sacrifice Of Angels

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Operation Return, the mission to retake Deep Space Nine from the Dominion, is now in full swing. Sisko sends waves of Federation Peregrine Fighters to attack the Cardassian ships, hoping to draw them out of position and break through. Dukat sees through the ruse and plots to give Sisko his opening, only to close back in and surround the Starfleet vessels. Damar also suggests arresting Rom's known associates to ensure there is no further sabotage during the battle. The three conspirators join Rom behind force fields in the Security office, leaving only Quark to help them.

Several wings of Cardassian ships break off and attack, creating the hole that Sisko wanted, but their formation gives away the fact that it's a trap. With the minefield due to come down in several hours, Sisko knows that the Trap Is the Only Option and deploys the fleet to proceed anyway. By this time, Dukat is already toasting his victory with Weyoun. Weyoun suggests that the Dominion will soon have to destroy Earth to eliminate any further resistance. Dukat disagrees, arguing that victory means convincing your enemy they were wrong to oppose you in the first place. He laments that Bajor never saw him as the paternal figure he claims to be.

Meanwhile, Odo and the Female Changeling are discussing the battle, and she notes the Federation's likely defeat. Thinking that she has finally changed Odo to her side, she casually mentions the impending execution of Kira's resistance cell, along with Kira herself. By doing so, she believes that Odo will never be encumbered by his feelings for Kira. However, Odo is horrified at this idea.

Things are going poorly for the Defiant when suddenly green fire bolts rain down on the Dominion ships. The Klingons have arrived. Their surprise attack opens a real hole in the Dominion lines, and the Defiant manages to break through alone. Seeing this, Weyoun wants the Dominion to intercept, but Dukat is in no rush to do so, reasoning that the station's defenses are more than a match for one ship.

Meanwhile, Quark recruits Ziyal to help him break out his comrades. The pair arrive at the brig with Hasperat Souffle. When the jailer decides to inspect the dish, Ziyal simply uses a hypospray to knock him out. Quark is forced to kill the Jem'Hadar guards with Guns Akimbo, and the prisoners are freed. Kira and Rom rush to get to the main computer to shut it down but get pinned down by Dominion guards. They're rescued by Odo and his Bajoran security. The prodigal shapeshifter has switched sides, saying he's not ready to join the Great Link quite yet. Kira and Rom proceed to a junction, but there's no time to shut off the computer, so they settle for taking the station's weapons offline to prevent them from blowing up the mines. But Rom is late by a single second: a beam of phaser fire shoots out and detonates the minefield, destroying all the mines.

Out of options, Sisko decides to hold a Last Stand in the wormhole. Weyoun orders the ship destroyed, but the station's weapons are offline thanks to Rom. The Defiant enters the wormhole, and Sisko gets swept up for an interview with the prophets. They criticize Sisko for wanting end his "game" prematurely. In turn, Sisko chides them for not coming to the aid of Bajor, the civilization that they have nurtured and that reveres them as gods. The Prophets agree to help, but at a price: The Sisko is of Bajor, but he will ultimately not be allowed to rest there.

The Prophets return Sisko to the Defiant, where the crew watch as the Dominion fleet disappears. The Defiant returns to the Alpha Quadrant, and on board the station, the Dominion has a Mass "Oh, Crap!" moment as they realize that their fleet is gone. With the Defiant attacking, the station's weapons still offline, and 200 Federation and Klingon ships breaking through the Dominion ranks, Weyoun notes, "It's time to start packing."

The Female Changeling orders a retreat to Cardassian space. Dukat finds Ziyal to take her with him to Cardassia, but she confesses that she helped sabotage the station and says she doesn't belong on Cardassia. As she turns to leave, she tells her father that she still loves him. That's when a disruptor blast hits Ziyal square in her chest. The shot was fired by Damar, who overheard her confession and then tries to convince Dukat to leave the station on the last Cardassian warship. Horrified, Dukat refuses to listen to him and cradles his dying daughter in his arms, assuring her that he loves and forgives her.

Sisko and his crew board the station and reunite as conquering heroes. Garak grieves over the death of Ziyal and still wonders why she loved him. Now, he'll never know. Dukat has been left behind, a broken and rambling shell of his former self. As he's being taken away as a prisoner of war, he gives Sisko his baseball back. Deep Space Nine has now returned to the hands of the Federation and its allies.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Dukat's breakdown after Ziyal's death turns the loathed tyrant into an object of pity and arguably even sympathy, with Sisko suggesting that Dr. Bashir might be able to help Dukat, showing compassion to his longtime enemy.
  • Angrish: When Damar attempts to convince Dukat to leave Deep Space Nine (after Damar just fatally wounded Ziyal), Dukat's response is a wordless snarl of total fury which gets Damar to back off double-quick.
  • As You Know: Sisko reminds everyone that their mission is to get to Deep Space 9 and stop the Dominion from taking down the minefield, which everyone on the bridge is well aware of.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: Sisko orders the attack fighters to use Tactical Pattern Theta against the Cardassians.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: The Dominion had completely ignored the Prophets until this point, using the wormhole as a simple Black Box transportation system. When Sisko stirs them up to defend their adopted people, the Dominion learns to their great cost that it was a mistake to underestimate the gods of Bajor. They only intervene once, but it turns the war around at a stroke.
  • Bad Omen Anecdote: O'Brien and Bashir recite part of "Charge of the Light Brigade" before the battle. Given the way the poem ends, it doesn't lift anyone's spirits.
    O'Brien: Cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, cannon in front of them, volley'd and thunder'd.
    Bashir: Storm'd at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well into the jaws of death. Into the mouth of hell rode the six hundred.
    Nog: Whatever it is you two are reciting, I wish you'd stop.
    O'Brien: Steady, Ensign. It's just a poem.
    Nog: It's not the poem that's bothering me.

    Garak: Uh, does that poem end?
    O'Brien: You don't wanna know.
  • Beneath Suspicion: Damar successfully pegs all the existing members of the station's resistance (Kira, Jake, Leeta, as well as the imprisoned Rom), and one potential sympathizer (Ziyal, though Dukat forbids her arrest)... but he never suspects Quark, who by this point is firmly on the resistance's side.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: At this time, the production staff of DS9 had recently transitioned from filming practical, physical models to using CGI. They took advantage of the new technology to stage one of the largest and most complicated space battles in the history of moving pictures. And then the Klingons join in and it gets really hairy. There are over two-thousand starships involved once the Klingons join in.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Several in the course of the episode.
    • Worf and Martok blindside the Dominion armada with the Klingon armada, giving the Starfleet armada a much-needed breather and a chance to make a break for DS9.
    • Odo and his deputies.
    • Quark, to even his surprise.
  • Big "NO!"/Rapid-Fire "No!": Dukat, when Ziyal is shot, then as she dies in his arms.
  • Bittersweet Ending: More emphasis on the "sweet" than the "bitter", but it still counts. The Federation retakes Deep Space Nine, Quark frees Rom and the others, Odo chooses saving Kira over the Founder, and the Prophets eliminate the Dominion reinforcements. But Ziyal is killed, Dukat has been reduced to a rambling shell of a man, and even if the Dominion reinforcements were stopped for now, the minefield has been removed. Furthermore, Sisko has angered the Bajoran Prophets by bullying them into intervening. They make it clear there will be a penance exacted for this down the road.
  • Blatant Lies: When Dukat recognizes Sisko's strategy, Weyoun (not to be outdone in front of the Founder) acts like he understands it as well. Dukat wastes little time in calling his bluff by suggesting that he explain it to the Founder. Weyoun counters, "I could never hope to match your eloquence."
  • Bond One-Liner: Odo delivers one after his deputies mow down a Jem'Hadar squad.
    "Never underestimate the element of surprise."
  • Break the Haughty: Dukat has been smugly riding his high horse since halfway through season 5. Now he's prematurely celebrating his ultimate victory and lecturing Weyoun that winning is not about killing one's enemies but utterly crushing their spirits. By the end of the episode his own spirit has been through the wringer, leaving him completely broken.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Sisko bullying the Prophets into intervening. While it technically works, it also really pisses them off. The Prophets make it clear Sisko that he will pay a price for this down the road.
  • Call-Back:
  • Captain Obvious: Damar.
    Damar: The Defiant has opened fire on us!
    Weyoun: Obviously!
  • The Cavalry: The Defiant's escorts have been destroyed, there's a squad of Jem'Hadar fighters hot on their tail... and suddenly, green disruptor fire obliterates those ships. The Klingons decloak and strike hard into the Dominion's flank.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Rom manages to disable the station's weapons which prevent Damar from firing on the Defiant. When the Defiant returns, the weapons are still offline, and it is this event that spurs the Dominion to order the evacuation to Cardassian space.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The station's Bajoran security force and their guns.
  • Collateral Angst: A rare villainous example, as Ziyal is killed basically just so that Dukat could have a breakdown.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Garak tries to lighten the mood with some commentary, even as consoles are exploding right next to him.
      "Congratulations, Captain! You wanted them angry? They're angry!"
    • Weyoun even gets into the action with his "Time to start packing!" line.
  • Decisive Battle: The Federation retakes DS9 and for the first time, the Dominion is forced to retreat.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • The Dominion were clearly caught out of position when the Klingons attack. The result is a hole opened in their lines in which the Defiant is able to pass through.
    • Let's face it, Dukat had no contingency plan in the extremely unlikely event that the Dominion forces simply disappear.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Dukat cradles the dying Ziyal in his arms.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Dukat complains that neither Sisko nor the Bajorans ever respected the effort he put in on their behalf. Weyoun barely humors him, and even laughs when he brings up Sisko.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted. With conquering the Alpha Quadrant all but assured, Weyoun is already concerned about the logistical nightmare that will be actually garrisoning it.
    Weyoun: Holding on to a prize as vast as the Federation isn't going to be easy. It's going to require an enormous number of ships, a massive occupation army, and constant vigilance.
  • EMP: The Dominion fleet generate one to disrupt Starfleet communications.
  • Endangered Soufflé: Though not because it was poorly cooked—because the guard's face fell into it.
    Quark: And now you've ruined it.
  • Equivalent Exchange: The Prophets finally intervene to stop the Dominion Fleet...but they also make it clear to Sisko it's not without a price tag. Their price is they will exact a penance from Sisko.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite his villainy driving her away, Dukat never stops loving Ziyal and her death leaves him in tears. Not even his defeat in this episode does that kind of harm to him.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The Female Changeling thinks that having Kira executed will make Odo's feelings for her simply go away, and make him more compliant. In reality, it has the opposite effect and causes Odo to turn on the Dominion. Note that "evil" in this context applies specifically to the Female Changeling, as Dukat probably would have told her it was a terrible idea, but she never ran it past him (and probably wouldn't have listened even if he did object).
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Kinda between Quark and Kira from this point forward. While they'll never be close friends, their shared experiences during the Dominion occupation (and Quark saving her life during the breakout) causes Kira's longstanding dislike of the Ferengi to mellow out for the remainder of the series.
  • Foil: The conversation between Dukat and Weyoun highlights the differences between the former's ego and the latter's pragmatism. Dukat toasts himself for a victory that he hasn't won yet, while Weyoun warns him that their fortunes can still go south. Weyoun then wants to annihilate Earth's population to prevent any rebellions from starting there, while Dukat would rather keep everyone alive so that they can acknowledge his greatness. This builds upon their established character traits — Dukat is motivated by self-aggrandization, while everything Weyoun does is in service to the Founders. That scene also effectively applies to the Founder's decision regarding Kira, but on an individual level regarding Odo.
  • Foreshadowing: The Prophets state that the Siso is of Bajor, but he'll find no rest there. The meaning of this proclamation will finally, sadly be revealed in the series finale.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: Odo's dilemma between returning to the Great Link or remaining loyal to his solid friends comes to a head, now that his friends' lives or way of life are in peril. He chooses loyalty over the Link.
  • Guns Akimbo: Quark during his Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Gunship Rescue: More accurately, an Armada Rescue. A Klingon armada, with Worf and General Martok at the fore, swoops in just in the nick of time.
  • Heel Realization: At the last minute, Odo finally realizes what kind of people the Founders are — and what he's become thanks to their influence.
    Odo: There are people out there fighting, dying. People who used to be my friends.
    Founder: They're solids, Odo. You must remember that.
    Odo: I know, but they still mean something to me.
    Founder: The Link means more.
    Odo: That's what I keep telling myself, but somehow I can't quite believe it.
  • Heroic BSoD: Quark gets a thousand-yard stare after shooting the Jem'Hadar guards and has to be dragged away when the escapees retreat. While Quark may lack morals, he's always been horrified by physical violence.
  • Hold the Line: On the Dominion side. The Federation is throwing everything they've got at the station, and the Dominion has to fend them off until they can reopen the wormhole and bring the invasion fleet through.
  • Hope Spot: This episode provides one when the Defiant breaks through and Kira and Rom are rescued by Odo. Just as the heroes seem that they are about to prevent the destruction of the minefield, they find out that they are too late.
  • Humiliation Conga: Dukat goes from the cusp of victory to not only losing the station, but his daughter and his sanity as well.
  • Immediate Sequel: This episode takes place just moments after the Federation fleet spotted the Dominion and opens with the two forces moving to their start positions for battle.
  • Infraction Distraction: Quark repeatedly asks the Cardassian jail guard not to mess with the Hasperat soufflé he's bringing Kira. This prompts him to inspect it more closely—and Ziyal sedates him.
  • Instant Sedation: Hypospray is weaponized once again, this time by Ziyal to knock out the Cardassian guard.
  • Ironic Echo: Ziyal confesses to her father that she helped sabotage the station. Overhearing this, Damar shoots her without a second thought. Ziyal betrayed her father, making her a traitor and thus an enemy of the state, and as Dukat said in the last episode, "enemies of the state don't deserve mercy".
  • Jail Bake: Subverted with the Hasperat soufflé—it doesn't actually contain anything; it's just there to distract the guard while Ziyal hits him with an Instant Sedation hypospray.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While shooting the unarmed Ziyal in front of her father was going a step too far, Damar is ultimately right that she did betray Dukat.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: When Quark brings a plate of Hasperat soufflé for Major Kira in her holding cell, the Cardassian jail guard believes this is a horribly transparent attempt at a Jail Bake. But poking around the souffle just leaves him vulnerable to hypospray.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: With the Federation Alliance winning the battle and Dominion reinforcements not coming, as well as DS9's weapons being knocked offline by sabotage, Weyoun and the Founder rather casually decide it's time to leave DS9.
    Weyoun: (Claps hands) Time to start packing!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Ever since the Founders have come into the show, their Vorta and Jem'Hadar view them as infallible gods. The Founders believe their own hype, holding themselves above the "limited" solids and so have the right to force their will upon millions of people in slavery and oppression. So now on the eve of victory, when the bulk of their mighty fleet is arriving to usher in a crushing defeat of their enemies, their force is wiped away in a single action by beings who are so beyond the limits of time and space as the Changelings and humanoid solids perceive it. One might even call the Prophets' powers "divine."
  • Last Stand: One ship against 2800, and Sisko orders the Defiant into the wormhole anyway in order to live up to her name.
  • Literal-Minded: Holding the Jem'Hadar guards at gunpoint, Quark says "Nobody move!" and then tells them to open the cells. Of course, they don't move, because Quark told them not to.
  • Little "No": Odo is already doubting his abandonment of his friends when the Female Changeling starts denigrating Kira again, finishing it off with the news that she's going to be executed. His reaction is a horrified "No."
  • Madness Mantra: Dukat tells Ziyal "I forgive you" over and over, even after she dies.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • The whole bridge crew aboard the Defiant when they see the minefield blocking the wormhole destroyed.
    • The Dominion gets a turn when the Defiant emerges from the wormhole... and the Dominion ships don't.
  • Must Make Amends: Odo makes up for his lapse in judgment two episodes ago via a Big Damn Heroes moment, and then covering for Kira and Rom as they attempt to stop the Dominion from destroying the minefield.
  • Moral Myopia: Even (or perhaps especially) in the throes of madness, Dukat cannot accept the simple fact that he's the villain in all this; he tells a dead Ziyal that he forgives her treachery, and "forgives" Sisko as well, returning his baseball in what a deranged Dukat likely considers a reconciliatory gesture.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Dukat's battle plan to envelop and crush the Federation fleet, though unnecessary and more focused on personally defeating Sisko than winning the battle, very nearly worked. It was only through the direct intercession of the Prophets that Dominion reinforcements were stopped from transiting the wormhole. Had that happened, even the 200 Federation & Klingon ships that broke through during the battle wouldn't stand a chance against the several thousand Dominion reinforcements.
  • Neutral No Longer:
    • Sisko gave a "What the Hell, Hero?" speech to the Prophets over the Dominion War, which convinced them to ensure that no Dominion reinforcements will ever make it through the Wormhole... including a monstrous armada already transiting it. The armada just... disappears. note 
    • The Bajoran deputies side with Odo and Kira's resistance in retaking the station. After this episode, with the threat of Dominion reinforcements ended, Bajor begins to openly aid the Federation-Klingon alliance.
  • Never My Fault: When Weyoun brings up the failed occupation of Bajor as reason to be wary of the even bigger job of occupying the entire Alpha Quadrant, Dukat insists that he only carried out policy which was laid out by others, thinking he'd have done a better job if he were the one in charge.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Dukat would in all likelihood have won the war for the Dominion if he had simply held his position until time ran out: even with the arrival of the Klingons, only the Defiant successfully broke out of the trap initially. This is justified, however: as indicated by his speech to Weyoun about defeating your enemy versus "making them realize they were wrong to ever oppose you in the first place", he's more focused on a personal victory over Sisko than on the strategic level.
    • After Dukat decides to have Kira, Jake and Leeta imprisoned alongside the already-detained and condemned Rom, purely to keep them from doing any damage while they take down the minefield, the Female Changeling decides to Kick the Dog and sentence them all to execution, just to make an example out of them. While Odo would likely have been horrified by the injustice of this alone, his feelings for Kira prompt him to turn on the Dominion, and save her and Rom from some Jem'Hadar.
    • Weyoun's agreeing to reinstate Odo's Bajoran security officers at the start of the season also comes back to bite the Dominion on the butt, as Odo alone probably wouldn't have been able to deal with a squad of Jem'Hadar, but a few armed deputies certainly are.
    • While Gowron is far from being a true villain, his obstructive delays in sending the Klingon forces actually help the Federation when they finally decloak and strike hard into the Dominion flank. This opens up a real hole in the Dominion lines which only the Defiant is able to get through.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The Humiliation Conga that Dukat set off by his sudden act of decency in refusing to kill Ziyal and instead acknowledging her and taking her in as his child finally hits its climax here. After all he suffered for her sake, and then after all the dark compromises and shady deals he made trying to regain what he lost (in part for her sake), he loses both all that he'd reclaimed and her. He'd have been better off if he really was the monster he often acts like.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Weyoun thinks that the Dominion should eradicate Earth's population after taking it over, believing that any organized resistance against the Dominion will start there. Dukat is aghast, as he believes victory means nothing if your enemies aren't made to accept that they were wrong to oppose you.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Dukat breaks out a bottle of kanar and toasts to himself and Weyoun as the "conquerors of the Federation." Weyoun naturally starts wondering why he's already celebrating a victory that's not been achieved yet.
    Weyoun: Aren't you being a bit premature?
    Dukat: I don't think so. Not with twenty eight hundred Dominion ships waiting to come through that wormhole.
    Weyoun: Those ships aren't going to be here for another five hours, and need I remind you a lot can happen in that amount of time.
  • Oh, Crap!: Quark gets this expression when Kira, Jake, and Leeta are taken prisoner, realizing it's up to him to get them (and Rom) back out.
  • Papa Wolf: Even with Dukat's sanity crumbling from their recent loss to the Federation and the Klingons, he keeps himself going long enough to find Ziyal. Her death is what then breaks him completely.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • At the end of the episode, Dukat returns Sisko's baseball, although whether this was an act of kindness or simply the now-insane Dukat's idea of reconciliation with his enemy (he says "I forgive you" as he hands the ball back) is ambiguous.
    • Even if he refuses to admit to his own failings, when Dukat learns his daughter has turned against him he still can't bring himself to harm her.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Knowing that Rom probably wasn't working alone, Dukat decides to allow Damar to have Kira, Leeta and Jake also thrown in prison, noting that he won't be able to keep them there for very long, but it'll at least keep them out of the way long enough to ensure that they can bring down the minefield without any attempts at sabotage. However, the Female Changeling then screws things up by deciding to Kick the Dog and have them all executed, causing Odo to turn against the Dominion.
  • Red Shirt: The Miranda-class starship seems to be showing its age, as seen in this episode. It's the first in a series of battles that shows their surprisingly high attrition rate, amounting to little more than cannon fodder.
  • Sanity Slippage: Dukat's mental state starts falling apart when the Dominion reinforcements fail to follow the Defiant out of the wormhole. He's quickly reduced to desperately scouring the Promenade for Ziyal, ignoring his impending defeat. Ziyal's death proves to be the final straw, breaking Dukat's hold on reality; he ends the episode as a shell of his former self, telling an illusory Ziyal that he forgives her and that they'll be a family.
  • Shout-Out: O'Brien and Bashir quote Lord Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" when it seems likely that they'll be charging to their deaths. Appropriately, as there are around 600 Starfleet ships in the fleet. When Garak asks how the poem ends, they tell him You Do Not Want To Know.
  • Smug Snake: Dukat spends most of the episode patting himself on the back for the impending victory over the Federation, including drinking to his victory while the battle continues raging. All of that confidence (to say nothing of Dukat's sanity) disappears when the Dominion reinforcements fail to come through the wormhole. Although, in all fairness, Dukat couldn't have accounted for the Jem'Hadar fleet simply vanishing mid-transit, and even that only came about because Sisko managed to convince the Prophets to step in.
  • Sorry I'm Late: Worf apologizes for showing up late with the Klingon fleet, as Gowron took a long time convincing.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Specifically, a battleship-era fleet battle; with fast torpedo boats harassing enemy lines, destroyers screening the ships-of-the-line, and heavy-hitting capital ships pounding away at each other with their massive deck guns. A Cardassian Galor-class cruiser even gets her 'T' crossed by a pair of Galaxy-class starships. (2-D Space is, at least, averted.)
  • Start of Darkness: It won't become obvious until "Waltz", but in retrospect, Dukat's really kicks off here. Losing the station and seeing Ziyal murderered in front of him pretty much cuts the brake lines to his sanity.
  • Status Quo Is God: After the status quo was broken in the fifth season finale, it's (mostly) brought back with the Federation retaking Deep Space Nine from the Cardassians and the Dominion (though the war is far from over).
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The minefield is destroyed in the spectacular explosion that Dukat promised.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: No one on the station feels like gloating to Dukat about his failure to keep the station after what he's gone through.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: The Founder orders a full withdrawal from the area surrounding Deep Space Nine.
  • Talking to the Dead: A far less sentimental example than usual for this trope: Ziyal's death devastates what's left of Dukat's sanity, and he pours his heart out to her while alone in a cell.
  • Take Up My Sword: Sisko makes this an order to the fleet - anyone who breaks through the Dominion lines is to make a run straight for Deep Space Nine. Initially, the Defiant is the only ship that succeeds. But by the end of the battle more Alliance ships manage to slip out of the meat grinder.
  • Tempting Fate: Dukat's entire attitude reeks of this trope, especially when toasting said presumed victory before the minefield is down, he & Weyoun are already talking about how best to occupy the Alpha Quadrant, during the active fleet battle. When Damar reports that the Defiant has slipped through their blockade, Weyoun orders the ship pursued and destroyed. Dukat countermands that and chooses to rely on the station's weapons array. The weapons are disabled by Rom too late to stop the mines being blown up, but just in time to allow the Defiant to enter the wormhole.
  • This Cannot Be!: Dukat can barely process that the battle has turned against them just as they were on the cusp of total victory.
    "Victory was within our grasp! Bajor! The Federation! The Alpha Quadrant! All lost!"
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Bashir and O'Brien begin to recite The Charge of the Light Brigade in reaction to the size of the Dominion fleet—which was in no way helpful. Nog straight-up asks them to stop, and the Chief realizes it was a bad idea when Garak asks how it ends.
  • Time for Plan B: As the Defiant is rushing back to DS9, Jadzia suggests that Sisko come up with a Plan B. When they see the minefield destroyed, Sisko reveals the new plan: fly into the wormhole and stand against the coming Dominion armada.
    Jadzia: One ship against a fleet? That's a helluva Plan B.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: During the battle, Dukat orders the Cardassian fleet to open a hole in their lines. Sisko (and Bashir) immediately realizes it's a trap, but decides that flying into it is also the Alliance's best shot at breaking through.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Dukat when the Dominion fleet doesn't come through the wormhole and it becomes clear that The Federation and the Klingons are winning the battle. Made worse by Ziyal's death.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The Prophets confronting Sisko on his suicide mission. Then later, the Dominion ships disappearing.
    • A literal shot, as Ziyal is mortally wounded by an off-screen Damar.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sisko chewing out the Prophets for not being inclined to help him. They accede, but at a cost to be exacted later.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Terok Nor is shown to be surrounded by a number of Dominion ships at the start of the episode. However, they completely disappear when the Defiant arrives, as Dukat doesn't order them to engage when the station's weapons array fails. It's likely that those ships were later redeployed during the episode to secure weak spots when Dukat redeployed the fleet to counter the Federation. Knowing Dukat, he likely thought that with the reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant due to come through anyway, he could go ahead with said redeployment. There may have been one or two ships that show up during the Dominion's evacuation of Deep Space Nine.
  • You Are Too Late: Kira and Rom's sabotage of the weapons array is too late to prevent the Dominion from destroying the minefield. It does, however, come in handy when the Defiant arrives at the wormhole (as the Dominion can't stop the ship from entering), and afterwards when the Defiant starts firing at the station, prompting the Founder to call for an immediate withdrawal.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: Garak asks how "The Charge of the Light Brigade" ends. O'Brien replies with this—which basically answers Garak's question.
  • You're Insane!: Non-verbal, but Weyoun's expression as Dukat says that there should be statues of him on Bajor says a lot about his opinion of Dukat's mental state.


Video Example(s):


"It's the Klingons, sir!"

Worf and Martok blindside the Dominion armada with the Klingon armada, giving the Starfleet armada a much-needed breather and a chance to make a break for DS9.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / BigDamnHeroes

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