Odo goes behind enemy lines to retrieve a Cardassian informant, but instead finds Weyoun, who wants to defect to the Federation. His knowledge of the Dominion could turn the tide of the war, but Weyoun's replacement clone is determined to eliminate his predecessor, even if it means killing a Founder. Back on the station, Chief O'Brien turns to Nog for help in fixing the gravity generators, but Nog's wheeling and dealing may cause more problems than it solves.
This episode contains examples of:
- Asteroid Thicket: Odo tries to lose the Jem'Hadar in an icy Kuiper Belt.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Weyoun 6 helps Odo find the weak point of a Jem'Hadar ship.
- Bittersweet Ending: O'Brien and Nog's plot ends rather happily, but Odo's is an outright downer.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Nog says Ferengi go through multiple sets of ears as they grow up.
- Blatant Lies: The female changeling tries to pass off her deteriorating condition as merely dry skin from the heat on Cardassia.
- Central Theme: Faith; Weyoun's faith in Odo and Nog's faith in the Great Material Continuum are vital to both plotlines in the episode, and in the end, Kira explains to Odo the value of faith, likening Weyoun's faith in Odo to her own faith in the Prophets.
- Chain of Deals: Nog lets someone borrow Sisko's desk for an induction modulator, trades that for a phaser emitter, and trades that for a graviton stabilizer for the Defiant. Ferengi reportedly describe this concept in mythical terms as the Great Material Continuum.
- Character Development:
- Nog's come a long way from "Progress" where he lacked the patience for this type of trading. Of course, he did get at least two and a half bars of latinum in that episode...
- Odo gives his blessing to Weyoun 6 as he dies, showing him beginning to accept himself as a Founder.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Vorta implant for voluntary suicides.
- Clone Degeneration: Weyoun 7 believes that Weyoun 6's defection is the result of an error in the "delicate" Vorta cloning process. Weyoun 6 himself isn't sure if this is true or not.
- Cloning Blues: This episode features two Weyoun clones at odds with one another and the suggestion that their differences may be accounted for by an error in the cloning process.
- Continuity Nod: Chief Lorenzo already took holophotos of himself behind the desks of Captain DeSoto and Captain Picard.
- Cyanide Pill: All Vorta have a suicide implant in their brains.
- David vs. Goliath: Thanks to Weyoun 6's knowledge of Dominion ships, one little runabout delivers a One-Hit Kill to a Jem'Hadar fighter.
- Defector from Decadence: Weyoun 6, since it's the only way to save Odo.
- Definitely Just a Cold: Damar realizes that something is wrong with the Female Changeling when he notices that her skin is very parched and wrinkled, despite her insistence that she's fine.
- Double-Meaning Title: The title refers to both Weyoun 6 (his betrayal of the Dominion, faith in the Founders, and spending most of the episode on the USS Rio Grandeliterally "great river") and Nog (stealing things around the station and faith in the Great Material Continuum that he likens to a river).
- Driven to Suicide: Weyoun 6 activates his termination implant in order to remove Weyoun 7's motivation to kill Odo.
- Even Evil Can Be Loved: Despite all the atrocities the Founders have committed, Odo still cares about his people, and he's devastated to learn that they're dying.
- Expendable Clone: When one Weyoun dies another clone is activated.
Damar: [scoffs] Clones. Keeping track of them is a full-time job.
- Foreshadowing: Damar expresses his misgivings regarding the Dominion war effort and how Cardassia is bearing too much of the cost.
- Go Out with a Smile: Weyoun 6 because Odo gave him his blessing.
- He Knows Too Much: Damar wants Odo dead, even after Weyoun 6 kills himself, arguing the clone may have shared vital intel with him before dying, but Weyoun 7 overrules him.
- HeelFace Turn: Weyoun 6 no longer considers himself a part of the Dominion and pledges his loyalty to Odo.
- Here We Go Again!: After all the deals are resolved, Nog mentions his cousin has a shipment of Sisko's favorite brandy. An interested O'Brien asks, "What does he want for them?"
- Heroic Sacrifice: Weyoun 6 commits suicide so the pursuing Jem'Hadar will spare Odo.
- I Owe You My Life: According to Weyoun 6, this is part of the backstory between the Founders and the Vorta— a family of Vorta saved a changeling's life, and the changeling promised to reward the Vorta.
- Kill the God: Attempted. (From the Weyouns' point of view, anyway. Neither Odo nor Damar buys into the Vorta's religion.)
- Last Request: Weyoun 6's last request is to be blessed by Odo before he dies, which Odo reluctantly grants.
- Last-Second Word Swap: Early in the episode, Weyoun refers to Odo as a god, to which Odo replies, "I'm just a security officer". Later on, Odo grumbles about Weyoun staring at him, to which Weyoun replies, "I'm sorry. It's just such an honor to be sitting here with a g- security officer."
- Let Them Die Happy: As much as Odo hates the Vortas' worship of the Founders as gods, he nevertheless fulfills Weyoun 6's Dying Wish and gives him his blessing, letting him die with a smile on his face.
- Lighter and Softer: Nog and O'Brien's subplot, in which a human teams up with an alien and is at times uncomfortable with the lengths the latter is willing to go to plays out like a much more light-hearted "In The Pale Moonlight".
- Loophole Abuse:
- Weyoun 6 can't bring himself to keep serving the Dominion, but he still reveres the Founders. He manages to get around that contradiction by pledging loyalty to the one Founder who's unaffiliated with the Dominion: Odo.
- Weyoun 7 goes along with Damar's insistence that Odo's Runabout be destroyed by rationalizing that Odo doesn't consider himself a Founder. (He, of course, recognizes the Founders would have them both killed if they learned what they were doing.)
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Possibly - we never find out for sure. Weyoun 5 was tragically killed in a transporter "accident". Damar was supposed to be there, but got called away at the last minute. Funny, that.
- Modesty Bedsheet: Kira hugs a sheet around her chest when she sits up in the opener.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Weyoun 6's reaction when his advice lets Odo blow up the Jem'Hadar ship chasing them.
Odo: Congratulations. You just saved our lives.
Weyoun 6: And murdered loyal servants of the Dominion. May the Founders forgive me!
- Mysterious Informant: Gul Russol, apparently, until his execution.
- No Time to Explain: Weyoun 6 telling Odo to perform a maneuver against a Jem'Hadar warship, which sets them up to Attack Its Weak Point.
- Oh, Crap!: Weyoun 7 when the female changeling asks whom he and Damar are trying to destroy. He even mentions earlier that if she found out they were trying to kill Odo, they would both be subject to a Fate Worse than Death. Weyoun is especially in a bind because he's most likely physically incapable of lying to a Founder; fortunately, Damar is there to do so while Weyoun just keeps his mouth shut.
- Other Me Annoys Me: Weyoun 7 really isn't happy about Weyoun 6's defection.
"He's a disgrace to me and all Vorta."
- Properly Paranoid:
- Of course Weyoun 6 is paranoid; everyone's trying to kill him!
- Weyoun 7 notes how "convenient" it was that Damar was called away just before the transporter "accident" that killed Weyoun 5. Damar's claims of just being lucky clearly don't sway him.
- Race Against the Clock: The Chief has 3 days to get a gravity stabilizer for the Defiant.
- Scotty Time: O'Brien says fixing the artificial gravity on the Defiant would take three weeks. Sisko gives him three days.
- After Nog obtains the needed part, O'Brien says installing it would take eight hours. Sisko gives him two.
- Sense Freak: Weyoun 6 samples everything on the runabout's menu, not because he's hungry, or because of the taste (Vorta have a very limited sense of taste), but because he's sampling the textures.
- Shoulders-Up Nudity: Kira in the opener.
- Two of them to Star Wars:
- Nog describes the Great Material Continuum as "the Force that binds the universe together".
- Odo's plan to ditch his pursuers by hiding inside an asteroid is straight out of Han Solo's playbook.
- Nog and O'Brien's Chain of Deals recalls many a Zany Scheme seen on M*A*S*H, and includes the theft of the commander's desk as a Shout-Out to the most famous example on that show. Unlike Sisko, Henry Blake never got his prized oak desk back.
- Perhaps it's no coincidence that Weyoun Number 6 rejects the Dominion's totalitarian mindset, and seeks to escape with Odo.
- Stolen Good, Returned Better: All the items used in Nog's Chain of Deals get returned, or replaced with either equal or better versions. This is especially true for Martok's bloodwine, which is replaced with a premium 2309 vintage.
- Stop Worshipping Me: Odo really doesn't like it when Weyoun 6 venerates him as a Founder. Despite this, he still gives the dying Vorta his blessing.
- Teleporter Accident: How Weyoun 5 died. (Except, possibly, for the "accident" bit.)
- Tempting Fate: When Nog leaves DS9 in a runabout, O'Brien comments that nothing else can go missing. Description Cut to...
Martok: Where are my cases of bloodwine?!
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: Weyoun nibbles a pepperoni slice, then sets the rest of his plate aside. This was apparently his last bite after sampling everything else in the replicator's menu.
- Three Laws-Compliant: Weyoun 6 cannot, through inaction, let Odo come to harm, even if he must defy Odo's orders and end his own existence.
- Toplessness from the Back: When Odo uses himself to give Kira a back rub.
- Undying Loyalty: When Weyoun 6 pledges his loyalty to Odo, he means it, ultimately sacrificing his life so the Dominion will spare him.
- We Can Rule Together: With the Dominion in danger of collapse, Weyoun 6 offers Odo a chance to form a new, kinder Dominion.
Weyoun: Think about it, Odo. You have an opportunity to rectify the mistakes your people have made. To build a new Dominion based on cooperation, not conquest. On peace, not war. A new order under your leadership.
Odo: And what's your role going to be in this new order?
Weyoun: Whatever you want it to be. I wish only to serve you.
- We Have Reserves: Damar and Weyoun 7's response when the runabout destroys a Jem'Hadar fighter? Simply send more ships from a nearby base.
- Wham Line: Weyoun delivers a big one:
"A sickness has spread throughout the Great Link. The Founders are dying."
- Wham Shot: Odo and Weyoun receive a hail... from Weyoun.
- You Are Number 6: The Weyouns distinguish themselves in the order they were activated. The one we've known since "In The Cards" was Weyoun 5 (which means the first one we met in "To the Death" was probably #4). The defector Weyoun is number 6, and the one on Cardassia Prime is Weyoun 7.