Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 7 Episode 9


Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Nov 25, 1998 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

out of 10
127 votes
  • Dukat doing what he does best: talking about how great he is

    Dukat is back for another Kira episode about the two at odds. Turns out that the Cardassian has done a pretty good job of making a copy of all he's lost. Taking over Deep Space Nine's abandoned sister station, Empok Nor, he's become the head of a cult of Bajorans that worships the Pah-wraiths. In a way, it's better than his time as head of Deep Space Nine; he has no superiors, and the Bajorans love him. The only thing missing from his fantasy life is Kira, whom he fetches (or abducts, depending upon your choice of words) to begin the episode. And with that, we're off and rolling.

    Like he does in TNG's "Birthright Part 2", Rene Echevarria sketches out the characters and layers them into the battle of wills between the protagonist and cult leader. But whereas Birthright is more like a prison escape story, this episode draws from the Heaven's Gate Cult (which ironically borrowed from Star Trek, with members, including Nichelle Nichol's brother, wearing "Away Team" patches when they committed suicide in 1997). Kira sees the group descending into madness but is powerless to stop it.

    Mark Alaimo, of course, chews the scenery and is great as Dukat; but it's Norman Parker with an outstanding performance as Vedek Fala who really anchors the episode.

    Unfortunately, Echevarria's exploration of cult life (and death) must fit inside the hour (with time for commercials too), limiting his plot points and forcing a quick conclusion. But even if the ideas are oversimplified, the issues of the cult mind that are addressed here make for interesting television.

  • Good, but misplaced in the order of episodes, if you ask me.

    Why didn't "It's Only A Paper Moon" directly follow "The Siege of AR-558". Why in the world was this episode squeezed between the two?

    The banter with Odo about Klingon faith in the teaser was funny. Had me chuckle a little bit. It was good to have a little joke after the depressing, yet excellent AR-558 episode.

    This episode sets up the final chapter. But, it's been a long time since the "Tears of the Prophets". I'd pretty much forgotten about the Pah-Wraiths by this point. Maybe I'm just being skeptical because AR-558 was a great episode.

    This episode would be a filler episode if it didn't set up things to come. Why oh why doesn't Kira just kill Dukat and do the Federation a favor? I just don't get it. She's a trained soldier. She could snap his neck in a second and try to escape.

    Overall, this is a pretty good episode. It makes me want to go read the Millennium trilogy again.
  • Why it was there

    Shardyk pointed out that paper moon should have directly followed siege. There had to be an episode between the two to account for Nog\'s time in the hospital. This allowed Nog the time to get unwell so that he can get well in the next episode. All together it was a good episode and does a good job of leading into the finale.
  • Dukat's Evengelical Seminary

    A clever episode in which we see what goes on all to often in our society, especially these days, murderers, liars, and cheats passing themselves off as 'holy' men, and expecting everyone else to make the sacrifices that will ensure their life of comfort.
    Marc Alaimo handles the role here of a 'transformed' Dukat quite well, it could've devolved into self-parody if not handled correctly; Nana Visitor also gives a great portrayal of the disgust and revulsion all sane and logical people regard this kind of hypocrisy with. Definitely different in context to the war episodes surrounding it, but a great character piece nevertheless.
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