"You always said I looked good in a tuxedo."
This show's focus on gradual Character Development
and Story Arcs
, as opposed to more of a "problem of the week" formula of Trek
shows past, tend to give the more poignant moments that much more impact. Suffice it to say that if Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
wants you to cry, you will
open/close all folders
- The first episode starts with a Tear Jerker as Sisko is dragged kicking and screaming from his wife's half-buried body out of his quarters. His broken voice is haunting, especially at the end where he seems to suddenly realize he is going to never be with her again, with nothing left to mourn.
Sisko: "We can't leave her here."
Lieutenant: "We've got to go now, sir!"
Sisko: "Dammit, we just can't leave her here! Oh no!"
- Even before that, we get to see The Battle of Wolf 359, the battle that left 39 starships destroyed and 11,000 men and women killed or assimilated. On TNG, we got to see the aftermath. Here, we get to witness not only the ships being mercilessly blown to bits in a vain attempt at destroying the cube, but some of those 11,000 as they died, all the while the audience knowing that it was all in vain thanks to Locutus out-thinking the entire fleet thanks to Picard's knowledge and experience.
- And later when Sisko meets the Prophets and has to confront his own refusal to move on because he doesn't know how to live without her:
Jennifer Prophet: You exist here.
Sisko: Yes, I exist here.
Jennifer Prophet: It is not linear.
Sisko: [sobs] No. It's not linear.
- Before that, when the realization hits him, the simple, devastating line: "I never left this ship."
- And then, two years later, during "The Search," he has to drag Dr. Bashir away from (the fake) Garak's body, an act which in the novelization he explicitly compares to having to be dragged away from Jennifer. Yikes.
- In Captive Pursuit, the Tosk is a sentient creature from the Gamma Quadrant which has been genetically engineered to be the perfect prey for an entertaining hunt, and indoctrinated to desire no other life. Offered asylum by the Federation, it refuses even in the face of being returned as a living captive, in dishonor, subverting the My Species Doth Protest Too Much Star Trek fans would've expected in such a plot. Its speech is a Crowning Moment of Tear Jerker:
- At least Tosk gets its way, as far as that goes: released back into the Gamma Quadrant, to be hunted to an honorable death (that's the most respectful good-bye it knows to share with its only friend, O'Brien: "Die with honor".)
- Kira breaking down and sobbing at the death of Kai Opaka. Until this point, Kira has been angry and determined, but this? This BREAKS her. As Kai, Opaka is the center of the Bajoran faith, it's through her strength that many Bajorans felt they could get through the Occupation. And she dies here, in an accidental crash on a forgotten moon, seventy thousand light years from Bajor.
- Later, after Opaka has been resurrected by alien microbes, she breaks down again in the Kai's arms, as she admits how she has known only violence, and doesn't know how to let go of it, or how to forgive herself.
- The Cruel Twist Ending from "Duet."
- Or even before that, this episode is just plain grisly. It's the first episode to really go into detail of how horrific the Cardassian occupation of Bajor was. Kira nearly breaks into sobs just giving Sisko the Cliff's Notes version.
Kira: Commander, if you'd been there twelve years ago when we liberated that camp, if you'd seen the things I saw. All those Bajoran bodies starved, brutalized. Do you know what Cardassian policy was?! Oh, I'm not even talking about the murder, murder was just the end of the fun for them! First came the humiliation! Mothers raped in front of their children, husbands beaten till their wives couldn't recognize them, old people buried alive because they couldn't work anymore!
- And then there's Marritza's heartbreaking confession when he can't maintain the masquerade* any longer. Even Kira begins to tear up.
Kira: You're Marritza, aren't you?
Marritza: You mistake me for that bug? That whimpering nothing? Oh, you stupid Bajoran girl. Don't you know who I am? I'm your nemesis. I'm your nightmare. I'm the Butcher of Gallitep.
Kira: The Butcher of Gallitep died six years ago. You're Aamin Marritza, his filing clerk.
That's not true. I am alive. I will always be alive! It's Marritza who is dead. Marritza, who was good for nothing but cowering under his bunk and weeping like a woman. Who, every night, covered his ears because he couldn't bear to hear the screaming...for mercy...of the Bajorans... [collapses into helpless sobbing]
...I covered my ears every night, but...I couldn't bear to hear those horrible screams. You have no idea what it's like to be a coward. To see these horrors, and do nothing. Marritza's dead. He deserves to be dead.
Marritza: What are you doing?
Kira: ...I'm letting you go.
Marritza: ...Security! Security, get in here!
Kira: [Kira steps into Marritza's cell] You didn't commit those crimes, and you couldn't stop them. You were only one man.
Marritza: No, don't you see? I have to be punished! We all have to be punished! Major, you have to go out there and tell them I'm Gul Darhe'el! It's the only way!
Kira: [tearing up] Why are you doing this?!
Marritza: For Cardassia! The only way Cardassia will survive is if it stands before Bajor and admits the truth! My trial will force Cardassia to acknowledge its guilt, and we're guilty, all of us! My death is necessary.
Kira: What you're asking for is another murder. Enough good people have already died. I won't help kill another one.
- In "Invasive Procedures", a Trill tries to steal Dax's symbiont. He ends up with it in him and Jadzia (the host) lying on a bed in the Infirmary dying and feeling "empty". It leaves Sisko, O'Brien, Bashir and Kira understandably sad and angry at the other Trill. Thankfully, there's a Happy Ending.
- The ending of "Necessary Evil" , when Odo realizes that Kira not only committed a murder he thought her innocent of, but kept the truth from him for years. Kira, near tears, confesses she wanted to tell him, but didn't want to lower his opinion of her - what he thinks of her is very important. The last line of the episode is gut-wrenching:
Kira: (brokenly) Will you ever be able to trust me the same way again?
Odo: [Looks up at her in a way that breaks your heart in pieces. He can't answer.]
- The episode "Whispers" ends with A replicant of Miles O'Brien dying. It's bad enough for the viewer, who knows that the one who died never knew he was a fake—he thought he was the real Miles O'Brien—but one wonders how the Starfleet officers felt after they listened to the log entries that person left on the runabout....
- While "Playing God" mainly averts tearjerking, there is a sad Flash Back that reveals that before symbiosis, Dax went through a period where she cried herself to sleep every night.
- "Blood Oath": The deaths of two of Trek's greatest and most well-known (as well as popular) Klingons, Kang and Koloth. In the end, Jadzia sums it up best.
"It's never a good day to lose a friend."
- Kor's singing somehow makes it even more heartwrenching.
- Kira and Sisko, who tried to stop her from going on the quest for vengeance, just look disappointed when she comes back. None of them exchange a word, and she quietly returns to duty with a piece of her innocence gone.
- "Tribunal" has Miles O'Brien being tried in court for a crime he didn't commit. Before sending him to jail, they torture him, taking off his clothes by force and anaesthetizing him. Especially sad is Keiko (who he was supposed to be on a romantic vacation with) being understandably in tears at the thought of her husband being tortured and being threatened to be executed. And apparently, Cardassians let family members attend trials and executions because they like to hear him weep. Yeesh! Thankfully, the loyalty of Odo, Sisko, Dax, Kira and Bashir makes it better.
- "The Visitor" is possibly the saddest thing on television that doesn't involve Fry's dog.
Jake: Read the inscription.
Sisko: "To my father, who's coming home."
- It actually isn't that bad the first time through. The second time, however, all bets are off.
- For context, the episode features an alternate future where Jake, now an old man and reclusive former writer, tell a young student his life story, which diverged after Captain Sisko was seemingly killed in an engineering accident. He moves on to some degree, but every several years his father reappears in reality for a few minutes each time. When Jake realizes what is happening and why, he quits his successful writing career and lets his marriage collapse in order to go back to school and become the foremost expert on the physics causing his dad's condition. Even when, after an attempt to save him fails and Sisko begs his son to move on with his life, Jake is unable to do so. Finally, as an old man, he waits for his father to reappear so he can kill himself and break the cycle. The hardest part to see is Ben Sisko trying to help, seeing his son who is older than he is, willing to give up everything just to be with his dad again.
- The immediate aftermath of Jake's attempt to pull his father out of subspace on the Defiant fails is heartwrenching; Jake is kneeling on the floor, weeping, Dax trying to comfort him.
- At the end of "Hippocratic Oath" O'Brien and Bashir offer to take the Jem'Hadar commander with them. He elects to stay behind as he's responsible for getting his men into this situation and can't abandon them.
- The end of Rejoined - Jadzia Dax is willing to throw away immortality and endure permanent exile from her home civilization to be with her once and hopefully future love. The ending, after the passionate argument asking her former wife not to leave... they lock gazes across the Promenade... and Dax's lover leaves forever, unwilling to make the sacrifice. Dax has simply the most heartbreaking expression...
- A subplot in "Starship Down" has Sisko lying on the floor of the Defiant with a brain injury and Kira telling him stories and apologizing for worshipping him in her religion. Especially sad is her voice when she's apologizing and uses Prayer Is a Last Resort when she thinks he's about to die.
Kira: (tearfully) So the three brothers started arguing about how to divide the money for the kava root. The oldest said that he should get more because it was his idea to sell it in the city, and the youngest objected, saying he was the one to till the—This can't happen! You can't die! You're the Emissary! There's still so much for you to do! I don't know if this is the right thing to do or not but I'm going to give you a stimulant. Captain, I know your beliefs make you uncomfortable around me sometimes, and that maybe that's why you keep me at arm's length. But I don't care about that right now and I am going to pray, because I don't know what else to do. I'm losing you and I can't let that happen.
- "Homefront" has a very harrowing scene. Sisko returns to Earth to approve measures to prevent Dominion changelings infiltrating Starfleet, including blood tests for all personnel and their families. Ben's father, Joseph, refuses to undergo a test, causing a ruckus at his restaurant; he doesn't see any reason to cave into paranoia and doesn't believe the tests would be effective anyway. While cutting ingredients, Joseph accidentally cuts himself. Ben sees the blood on Joseph's knife and breathes a sigh of relief when he sees that the blood doesn't revert to a changeling's fluid, upsetting Joseph so much that he suffers a minor stroke! Thankfully, Joseph recovers, but being so heartbroken that it requires EMS is frightening and heartrending.
- Oh god, "Crossfire." All of it. Even if you ship Kira/Shakaar, it's still sad.
- For context, Odo was in a bad mood in that episode and got distracted so he didn't do his job properly. The saddest scene is when he gets inexplicably angry and breaks everything in his quarters. Yes, Odo, who, just a few episodes ago was calling moving furniture a few centimeters away from its usual place chaos.
- Odo having to sit and take Sisko's lecture after his distraction almost kills Shakaar and Kira. He has no excuse because Sisko is right. Anyone who's ever let their personal issues interfere with their work can sympathize.
- The scene in "Accession" when Kira reveals that following her d'jarra would mean resigning her post. Both she and Sisko are on the verge of tears, a far cry from the depressed Starfleet officer who wanted nothing to do with Bajor and the hotheaded Bajoran who wanted nothing to do with Starfleet.
- "Hard Time", O'Brien is implanted with the memories of a 20-year prison sentence, during which he was kept sane only with the help of a fellow prisoner, Ee'char. After he's "released" and returns to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the prisoner appears as a hallucination to help him get over the experience and regain his humanity. The scene where Bashir attempts to talk O'Brien out of suicide, and the true story of Ee'char is revealed, is heart-wrenching.
Ee'char: Be well, Miles.
- The end of "Shattered Mirror" will get you every time. The episode has its light moments: Jake is so happy to reconnect with his "mother", the Mirror Jennifer, Captain Sisko is essentially having fun commanding the mirror Defiant. The last scene where she dies is essentially reliving the moments of Wolf 359 all over again. This time however, an older Jake is there with his father to relive that pain. Rewatching this scene does not lessen the impact of the moment.
Jake:[after Mirror Jennifer expires] Dad.
Sisko:[Embracing his son, sobbing] Let's go home.
- In "For the Cause," Sisko has learned that Kasidy is smuggling for the Maquis. Right before she ships out on a rendezvous, he intends to follow her in the Defiant to catch her and the Maquis in the act, and he goes down to speak to her, practically pleading with her to join him and drop everything and take a runabout to Risa, just so that she'll be out of the line of fire. He is desperately trying to get her to let him help her out of this, to not be implicated, but he can't say it directly without tipping her off. It's so devastating watching him trying to offer her this chance without actually saying so, and then the look on his face when he realizes that he can't talk her out of it...
- And then there's Kasidy's feelings, realizing that Sisko has almost certainly figured her out, but instead of turning her in he's doing his best to save her without revealing the fact that he knows. And yet, her commitment to duty rivals his and makes her reject his offer. When she describes it as "tempting," she's not kidding.
- Also, "The Quickening". Bashir is trying to find a cure to a seemingly incurable disease which is present in a dormant state in all the people on the planet until the day it "quickens" and leads to their death. Shortly after distributing an antigen he thinks will cure the disease, his volunteers' conditions abruptly worsen and Bashir realizes that the EM fields from his instruments have severely hastened the progress of the disease. All around him are screaming patients in horrendous pain who beg for euthanasia to end their suffering. They all die except Bashir's first volunteer, who is heavily pregnant, but she has quickened, which means her death is soon to come. Bashir stays with her and tries to keep her alive long enough to give birth. She lives just long enough to learn that her baby does not have the disease because the antigen crossed through the placenta and gave the baby immunity.
- Consider that Bashir, at the start, is confident—even cocky—that modern Federation medicine and his own brilliance will be able to overcome this disease. Consider also that he seems to have forgotten he's overlooked that he's trying to beat a Founder-devised and -engineered disease, and the Founders seemed to have mastered genetic engineering beyond anyone else in the entire galaxy back when Earth was still having mere Eugenics Wars. In the end, he does win, which in context is actually something of a moment of awesome for him, but oh, the price they pay for it. Now flash forward to the female Founder's intended last stand in season 7. Isn't that just like the Founders?
- To be entirely fair to Bashir, it's not entirely unreasonable for him to assume that Federation Medical Science could cure these people, as similar "miracle cures" for sick populations had been whipped up by the medical crews of the various Enterprise ships. The end of the episode highlights Bashir's instructions, despite commendations from Sisko, he is still trying (and failing) to come up with a way to cure the rest of the populace.
- This episode particularly hits hard to those in medical science. It conveys so well how dearly researchers want to help people, and how heartbreaking setbacks can be because we know that we can't rush science, but there are real people suffering and dying while they wait on cures.
- At the end of the episode, when the first child born free of the blight is presented, the Teplans begin to celebrate. But Bashir wants nothing to do with the celebration, instead preferring to stand off to the side. This is in reference to Jonas Salk, the man who created the first Polio vaccine, he refused to take any credit for his work and said that it was done not for himself, but for the people.
- Even though the people are overjoyed to learn that their babies from now on will not have the Blight, a baby born the day before Bashir discovered the vaccine is shit out of luck. And the children will still have to grow up knowing their parents could die at any time.
- "The Ship", courtesy of Muñiz. Bad enough that he dies, but instead of an Instant Death Bullet followed by He's Dead, Jim, like with any other Red Shirt, he slowly bleeds out from his phaser wound.
- "Nor The Battle To The Strong." Most of the episode, really. Jake Sisko, stuck on Ajilon Prime with Dr. Bashir, gets a closer look into the horrors of war than he ever really wanted, and he finds himself surrounded by death and destruction, capped off by an embittered soldier who dies right in front of him. Long before the episode is over, you just wanna hug the poor kid.
- "The Begotten". Any Death of a Child is going to be a Tear Jerker, but this one is made worse by how happy the baby Changeling made Odo.
Odo: Please, don't die. I was going to teach you how to turn into a Tarkalean hawk, remember?
- The number of Moments Of Heartwarming in this episode for Odo, Dr. Mora and Kira, only make the ending that much more bittersweet and painful. The fact that the baby Changeling was reaching out to Odo in such a way and the connection he had with it only makes it more so.
- The death of Enabran Tain, who was not only Garak's mentor but also Garak's father as well, in "In Purgatory's Shadow".
- "Doctor Bashir, I Presume". It's revealed that Bashir was mentally impaired as a child, which led to his parents genetically altering him to be much smarter. He's spent his entire medical career holding back, in the fear that if he was just a little too smart he'd be caught, kicked out of medicine, and made a pariah for something he has absolutely no control over. His confrontation with his parents, however, is the worst.
- It's even worse if you have a child with mental impairment. His mother's description of her anguish about watching him struggle and falling further behind really hits home. Thankfully there's a happy tearjerker when mother and father fess up about what they did to the authorities and apologize to Julian, ensuring that they will bear the punishment for their actions and saving both his Starfleet and medical careers.
- And then there's the fact that Mirror!Bashir is apparently intelligent enough, even though he was a slave and wouldn't have had access to genetic engineering. Which implies that there was nothing wrong with him in the first place. It may be that his learning problems were exaggerated from him being a little slower than his peers, but his parents, as many parents in real life do, panicked because they thought it was a predictor of his performance in life.[[note]]In reality, as with, say, height, children who seem below average at first sometimes end up being above average, and vice versa.
- There's also "Ties of Blood and Water" and the death of Tekeny Ghemor. Becomes bittersweet when Kira, after initially refusing to speak to him after discovering that he took part in an attack during the Cardassian Occupation (he was nineteen years old and was told that the people he killed were smuggling weapons), chooses to forgive the man who has come to think of her as a daughter and buries him on Bajor beside her real father (whose dying moments she had been unable to face, choosing instead to go out and hunt down the Cardassians who had killed him). She found the strength to stay by Tekeny's side and her description of his final, struggling breaths is heart-wrenching.
Major Kira: He got so quiet... toward the end. I-I could hear him whispering things — his wife's name, Iliana's, even mine. Then the pain just got too much for him and he just lay there, breathing. And at the end of every exhale... there was this pause, and I thought, "That's it. It's over." Then he'd force another breath. And another... I started counting them. One hundred... two hundred... three hundred... He fought for every last second. I don't think he even knew that I was there.
Doctor Bashir: He knew. You gave him what he needed. He didn't die alone.
Kira: Maybe he gave me something I needed, too. I missed my father's death by less than an hour. Did you know that? Less than an hour! I always told myself that it was... bad luck, bad timing — will of the Prophets. But the truth is...I didn't have to go when I did. I could have stayed a while longer. I saw my chance to get out and I took it. I saw so much death during the Occupation, I felt so much pain. But my father...he was my strength. And I...I couldn't stand to see that strength slipping away. So I ran.
Bashir: Just like you tried to run from Ghemor.
Kira: He reminded me so much of my father... Going through it again, I...I just couldn't face it.
Bashir: But in the end, you did. You were there for Ghemor.
Kira: I owed it to him. I owed it to my father - to get it right this time.
- "Children of Time". The last ten minutes.
- For context, Kira, Sisko, Bashir, Worf, Dax, O'Brien, Odo and 42 redshirts crash the Defiant on a planet on which live their alternate-universe descendants, and there is angst about how if they get back to Deep Space 9, these people would have never existed, but if they don't, Major Kira will die. There's also a few emotions regarding Alternate Odo, who's either in love or infatuated (it's hard to tell) with Kira. Kira, despite knowing it means her death, is the first to say she's willing to do it so the colonists can live. O'Brien, who most vehemently opposes this considering he has his wife and family to get back to, finally relents after spending time with a little girl who's one of his descendants, and convinces Sisko to recreate the accident that strands them 200 years in the past. They're all set to do it, but Alternate Odo hijacked the autopilot to prevent it, and they just stand there in horror as the sensors report there's no sign of the settlement or its people.
- Remata'Klan's Honor Before Reason death at the end of "Rocks and Shoals":
Sisko: Do you really want to give up your life for "the order of things"?
Remata'Klan: It is not my life to give up, Captain...and it never was.
- Even Garak looks unhappy at the senseless slaughter.
- At the very end of "Sacrifice of Angels", when Garak learns of Ziyal's death. It seems subdued, especially compared to Dukat's anguish, but it's also lacking in his usual theatrics; for once, you get the impression that the practiced liar isn't putting on a show.
Kira: She loved you.
Garak: I could never figure out why. I guess I never will.
- Far Beyond the Stars. He may or may not have just been a figment of Sisko's imagination, but still. Poor Benny...
: You can deny me all you want but you can't deny Ben Sisko. He exists! That future, that space station, all those people, they exist in here! In my mind. I created it. And every one of you knew it, you read it. It's here. Do you hear what I'm telling you? You can pulp a story but you cannot destroy an idea!
Don't you understand? That's ancient knowledge, you cannot destroy an idea. That future I created it, and it's real! Don't you understand? It is real. I created it. And it's real! It's REAL!
- The final monologue to "In the Pale Moonlight" sprung tears, perhaps Manly Tears.
Sisko: So... I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would. Garak was right about one thing, a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the safety of the Alpha Quadrant. So I will learn to live with it. Because I can live with it. I can live with it...
- "The Reckoning." Sisko sees Jake in Sick Bay after Jake's been taken over by a Pah-Wraith and almost killed in the ensuing chaos. Sisko tries to explain what happened... but just bursts into tears, horrified at what he almost let happen to his own son.
- "Time's Orphan." 8-year old girl stranded, alone, 300 years in the past. Brought back as a feral girl 10 years (relative to her) later. Eventually, her parents have to send her BACK as her only shot at being happy. Sorry, Chief, looks like being The Woobie runs in the family.
- This one ends up inverted though. Feral-Molly ends up arriving in the past mere minutes after her younger self and ends up performing a Heroic Sacrifice to send the little girl home, choosing to negate her own existence in the process. So it's a happy ending, but still tearjerking on behalf of Feral Molly.
Feral!Molly: Molly home.
- Even the Kirayoshi subplot becomes a Tear Jerker in hindsight once you realize that it inspired Jadzia and Worf to have a baby of their own, only for Jadzia to be killed by a possessed Dukat as she's praying to the Prophets for help with her fertility.
- The end of "The Sound Of Her Voice." The crew did all they could to save Captain Cusak, but were doomed from the start because of the timeshifted signals. Sisko laments that it isn't right for her to stay alone in this cave; she deserves to be with her friends.
- Also from the episode, O'Brien confessing that this war is hitting him harder than the Cardassian War he fought in before. He's having trouble connecting with people because any of them could be dead tomorrow. And you realize that this same thing is happening for thousands of people all over the Alpha Quadrant. How many people are out there, trying to cope with their fears without telling their friends or being analyzed by a counselor?
- Jadzia's death in "Tears of the Prophets" was easily one of the saddest sequences in Trek's history. And poor Worf. Even he can't keep a stiff upper-lip about this. His roar at the end is concentrated tear-jerker-ness. (Sure, it's Klingon ritual to warn the dead another warrior is coming, but be honest: Worf just screamed because the woman he loved is dead in his arms, he wasn't there to help her, and he couldn't do anything to save her), and then his sobbing prayer over her body.
- The actual ritual involved holding open the dead's eyes and roaring but Worf forgoes that part because he can't even bear to look at her.
- Worse, this is the second time this has happened to Worf.
- And in the next two episodes, his ongoing grief (smashing up Vic's place after demanding he sing Jadzia's favorite song, and Vic indicating that it was far from the first time) over her death, culminating in tears of joy as he accomplishes his goal of honoring her death in a great battle and assuring her entrance to Sto-Vo-Kor.
- Sisko breaking down over her coffin, telling Jadzia that he doesn't know what to do and that he still needs her help. He's so shaken that when he goes on leave, he takes his prized baseball with him, which Kira recognizes as a sign that he's not sure he'll ever come back.
- A little thing that's heartbreaking all on its own — the Defiant returns to DS9 after the victory at Chin'toka, and Worf RACES to the infirmary. Seeing him running, almost panicked is a jarring moment all on its own, and really hits home that this is happening, that Jadzia is dying.
- In Real Life, Jadzia's death in Sickbay was Terry Farrell's last scene to ever film for the show and by the time they wrapped for the day she had to go home genuinely heartbroken in the middle of the night.
- The death of one of the greatest Klingon warriors the galaxy has ever known: Kor, who first appeared for the franchise three decades earlier on TOS. Both "Blood Oath" and "Once More Unto The Breach" become this way with the passing of all three of the Klingon trio.
- What really makes this one sad? Kor's big Heroic Sacrifice comes at the heels of him trying to have one last battle, just like his Glory Days, but he's old, past his prime, and, as it turns out, suffering from dementia - he nearly gets the crew all killed when he starts hallucinating at a key moment in battle. A bitter Martok and some of the crew taunt him mercilessly, while Kor looks absolutely ashamed of the shell of a man he's become. It's almost a relief when he gets the opportunity to die in battle so the crew can escape.
- Not to mention a few scenes later. Martok is recounting what he said to Worf and realizes that the revenge he has waited decades for against Kor has done nothing but make him feel ashamed of himself for doing it.
- To add a meta layer to the poignancy of this, John Colicos' performance as Kor was his last acting role before he died of a heart attack a year and a half later.
- The battle in "The Siege of AR-558." The haunting, mournful music playing over the phaser fire and screams of battle makes it even harder to watch dry-eyed as the away team and the Starfleet officers who have been slowly dying, both physically and psychologically, fight a brutal and ugly battle for the sake of a hunk of technology and many of the episode's characters are killed.
- One of the most harrowing parts is what happens to Nog: he is ambushed by Jem'Hadar and hit in the leg by a blaster, the damage requiring amputation. It is absolutely heartwrenching when he falls to the ground and cries out in pain.
- The worst part of this comes later on when the Dominion and Breen manage to retake the Chin'toka system in "The Changing Face of Evil". All the Starfleet personnel who died during the siege died for nothing because in the end, AR-558 and the comm hub end up back in enemy hands. Talk about Shooting the Shaggy Dog.
- "It's Only A Paper Moon," and Nog's crying fit to Vic Fontaine. He honestly thought he was untouchable, until he lost a leg two episodes earlier. Now he's truly afraid, for the first time. It hits harder since all this time we've watched him grow from a rascal running around on the station with Jake, into a model Starfleet officer, and we're reminded all too suddenly that in the grand scheme of things, Nog's still only young, and he's in the middle of a war. Poor little guy.
You stay here, you're going to die. Not all at once, but little by little. Eventually you'll become as hollow as I am.
Nog: You don't seem hollow to me.
Vic: Compared to you, I'm hollow as a snare drum. Look, kid, I don't know what's going to happen to you out there. All I can tell you is that you've got to play the cards life deals you. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but at least you're in the game.
- At one point, Rom and Leeta come into the program to check on Nog. He ditches them for some computer-generated high-rollers, and they're left at a table, holding hands and looking miserable.
- The villain of "Field of Fire" is a demonstration of what happens to Vulcans when they become a Shell-Shocked Veteran: they snap. Chu'lak was an officer on a Starfleet ship that suffered immense casualties, as in him being one of a handful of survivors. Being a Vulcan, Chu'lak attempted to suppress his feelings and was unable to do so leading to him go on a murderous rampage. Seeing a member of one of Star Trek's most revered alien races fall so low is rather heartbreaking.
Ezri: Tell me, why did you do it?
Chu'lak: Because logic demanded it.
- The episode "Extreme Measures", where Bashir and O'Brien enter the brain of a dying Sloan to retrieve the cure for the disease Section 31 created to kill Odo. While in there, they see Sloan have an imaginary goodbye to his family, saying he regrets that his life of secrecy in the name of preserving the Federation kept him from being closer to them. Even worse, because Sloan is actively trying to distract Bashir and O'Brien from finding the cure, we don't know if this is real regret on his part or another ruse. Either way, the implications are depressing.
- The sequence of memories from "What You Leave Behind" as O'Brien, Worf, Quark and Sisko reminisce about the past seven years before going their separate ways. Try watching that without tearing up.
- The goodbye party at Vic's, with him singing Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight" to the crew.
- Odo rejoining The Great Link, saying goodbye to Kira in the tuxedo.
- The final moment with Jake; Kira comforting him as he looks out into space, wondering when/if he'll ever see his father again.
- Weyoun... poor, poor Weyoun. Not just his death(s), but his entire existence, really. Particularly the "defective" one who died in Odo's arms after a Heroic Sacrifice. But even the look on one of the regular Weyouns' face when one of his Gods (who would throw away his life in a heartbeat, if she had a heart at all) refers to him as a trustworthy and loyal servant.
- The look on his face when the female Founder calls him the only solid she ever trusted. He looks so pleased to hear that, you get the feeling that he lived his entire life, the lives of every Weyoun that came before him, to hear these words. And he probably has, as well.
- That moment when the Female Changeling orders Weyoun to have the Vorta doctors working on a cure replaced by their clones (making it somewhat ambiguous if she wants them executed or ordered to commit suicide). We knew she was ruthless, but these are her own loyal servants who are working day and night to cure her people that she's ordering destroyed for not getting it done fast enough for her liking. The worst part is, judging by Weyoun and the other Vorta, if they were asked to commit suicide, they probably did it without hesitation, not feeling betrayed by their god, but feeling as though they deserved it because they failed her.
- "Afterimage": Ezri Dax tries to settle in at Deep Space Nine, but besides Sisko and Quark, everybody, especially Worf, is uncomfortable having her there. Then, while she's trying to help Garak with his claustrophobia, he delivers a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech that utterly crushes her spirit, leaving her so devastated that she heads to the Bajoran chapel where Jadzia was killed and cries.
- The sheer relief on Worf's face when Ezri tells him that Jadzia loved him as much as he did her, at hearing that just one more time, from the only person who would know for certain, speaks to how much that little fear in the back of his mind had been gnawing at him. It's like he lets out a breath he'd held since Jadzia had died.
- "Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended... we have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no going back. We must move forward to preserve in peace what we've won in war". Doubly sad as these words also closed out the the Second World War.