The Federation Alliance goes on its first major offensive against the Dominion since the retaking of DS9: the taking of the Dominion shipyards in the Chin'toka system. Meanwhile, Dukat returns to Cardassia Prime with a plan of his own - one that he believes will not only allow the Dominion to again use the wormhole, but will strike a blow against the Emissary as well.
This episode contains examples of:
- Apologetic Attacker: Dukat to Jadzia.
- Call-Back: Sisko's baseball once again serves the Rule of Symbolism. At the end of the previous season, he left it on his desk, as a message to the Dominion that he would be back. Here, he takes it with him, not sure if he is coming back.
- Cannot Keep a Secret: Jadzia, when Bashir and Quark wonder what she and Worf were talking about in the holosuite:Worf: It is a private matter.
Jadzia: We're thinking about having a baby!
Worf: It was a private matter.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Zigzagged. When the allied ships reach Chin'toka before the weapon platforms are online, they easily destroy the platforms. Then the platforms activate and begin tearing into the allied ships—until O'Brien tricks them into destroying their power source, at which point they go dead. The Alliance then easily takes Chin'toka.
- Da Chief: Admiral Ross gives Sisko quite the dressing down for being indecisive following the Prophet's warnings. It's not cruel and Ross notes he's bent over backwards for Sisko before regarding his status as Emissary, but that's at an end. He forces Ben to choose: is the Emissary of the Prophets or a Starfleet captain? Sisko chooses his captaincy...and pays the price.
- Death Wail: The return of the Klingon Death Roar, under particularly horrible circumstances.
- Downer Ending: Oh boy...
- Dropped a Bridge on Her: Jadzia dies rather casually and arbitrarily, with it not even being clear until her actual death scene that Dukat did anything other than just render her unconscious. This becomes a plot point in the next two episodes, as Worf grouses about Jadzia not getting an honorable death and tries to ensure a great victory is accomplished in her name.
- Easily Forgiven: Dukat bears Damar no ill will for what happened to Ziyal, insisting that it was instead Sisko's fault.
- Famous Last Words:Jadzia: Our baby would have been so beautiful.
- Fantastic Racism: The mutual loathing between Romulans and Klingons is on full display between General Martok and Senator Letant. Both deliberately antagonize each other over their perceived racial failures, stupidity and foolhardiness for the Klingons, being sneaky, cowards for the Romulans.
- Heroic BSoD: Sisko goes into one after Jadzia dies and the Prophets disappear. Bashir also looks like his world just ended. Next season will reveal Worf's struggle with Jadzia's death.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Cardassian weapon platforms are nearly impervious to attack, but are being fed power from a central source. O'Brien uses some sensor trickery to make them fire on it, turning them into little more than floating metal once their power source is gone.
- Hypocritical Humor:Weyoun: Pah-Wraiths and Prophets...all this talk of gods strikes me as nothing more than superstitious nonsense.
Damar: You believe that the Founders are gods.
Weyoun: That's different.
Damar: In what way?
Weyoun: The Founders are gods.
- Keystone Army: Taking out the defense grid's power generator shuts down all the weapons platforms at once.
- Kill Sat: The Cardassian orbital weapon platforms.
- Killed Off for Real: Fan favorite Jadzia Dax, murdered in cold blood by a Pah-Wraith-infested Dukat.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Sisko when the Pah-Wraith invades the wormhole.
- As long as the weapon platforms and their power source have their Deflector Shields up, the allied ships can't even scratch them.
- The Defiant takes several hits from the platforms while the ships around her are being torn apart.
- Nothing Personal: How Dukat views killing Jadzia. He was only targeting the orb, and she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Cardassia has been breached by the joint Federation-Romulan-Klingon forces. But they've lost many ships in the attempt, Jadzia is dead, the wormhole is gone and Sisko leaves the station.
- Ramming Always Works: The Jem'Hadar fighters ram Martok's ships to buy time for the defense grid to activate.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Weyoun gives one to Dukat, who doesn't seem to care.Weyoun: We're in the middle of a life-and-death struggle for the control of the entire Alpha Quadrant and all you care about is quenching your petty thirst for revenge. You haven't changed a bit, have you?
Dukat: On the contrary. I'm a new man. I no longer have a need for conquest or power. I'm far beyond all that. I exist in a state of complete clarity, a clarity I intend to share with the universe.
Weyoun: You're right, Dukat, you have changed. You've gone from being a self-important egoist to a self-deluded madman. I hardly call that an improvement.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Dukat is possessed by the Pah Wraith, his eyes turn red.
- Talking to the Dead: Sisko speaks to Jadzia's coffin near the end of the episode.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The strategy meetings show how tenuous The Alliance is, with Sisko playing referee between General Martok and the Romulans.
- Unfriendly Fire: O'Brien tricks the weapon platforms into firing on their own power generator.
- Voice of the Legion: Dukat gets a second voice layered over his normal one when initially possessed by the Pah-Wraith.
- Wham Shot: Sisko takes his baseball with him when he leaves the station. note
- You Are in Command Now:
- Major Kira takes over command of the Defiant when Sisko cannot continue in the wake of the Prophets' disappearance. It doesn't make a lot of sense as Worf, the nominal first officer of the ship, should really be the one taking command — but he was busy at the tactical station and Kira may have been assigned as the Number Two specifically for the battle.
- Not long thereafter, the Defiant gets a message from DS9, but it's from Dr. Bashir, who would presumably be the next-ranking Starfleet officer on the station with Jadzia having been incapacitated (and mortally wounded).