Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 3 Episode 9


Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Nov 21, 1994 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
153 votes
  • It's a swerve! But I won't spoil it here.

    Back in the day, there was a lot of excitement about Commander Riker crossing over into Deep Space Nine just as the first TNG movie was debuting in theaters. Turns out, it's a swerve! But while this seems like a letdown at first, the end result vindicates the choice.

    "Defiant" is a chase episode with Riker (in the titular ship) as the prey and the Cardassians as the predators. The twist (inspired by the 1964 film Fail-Safe) is that Sisko joins the Cardassians in their war room to help catch his ship. This gives Avery Brooks a chance to shine and gives us a peek behind the curtain at Cardassian politics, with Mark Alaimo guest starring as Gul Dukat and Tricia O'Neil guest starring as Korinas of the Obsidian Order. The set for the war room is especially nice, with a large viewscreen helping to tell the story in a way that doesn't break the bank. (What's really amazing is that this viewscreen is actually a miniature, though you'd never know it).

    The components all work well together, with the Ron Moore script progressing in a way where the story just keeps getting more interesting. The end result is a military thriller on par with the original series episode "Balance of Terror". The story even plants the seeds for a sequel, but for whatever reason this idea was literally blacklisted by the show's producers afterwards which is perplexing, since Frakes and Nana Visitor (Kira) have mad chemistry with each other. (Rest assured, however, the fallout of this episode reverberate into the future).

    Fans looking for a great Commander Riker episode might be disappointed, but Frakes is fabulous and fans of the actor won't be.
  • A nice cameo by Jonathan Frakes, and a story with serious implications a few episodes ahead.

    I'm personally not crazy about cameo episodes - there were a few of these in season 1, and they were generally pretty stupid. It seems like a high profile guest offers the writers an opportunity to coast - who needs a good story when this hotshot guest is dominating the camera?

    This one is much better, and that's because the writers actually went to the effort of providing an interesting, exciting plot. After the first viewing, the shock of Tom Riker's reappearance wears off - particularly once you realize he won't ever show up again. On the flipside, the Dukat-Sisko scenes provide plenty of excellent chemistry, and the Obsidian Order arc moves toward its surprising resolution later in the 3rd season. There's one scene - where Dukat discusses not being able to take his son to an amusement park - that's particularly well written.

    Not a classic, but a fun and ultimately pivotal episode.
  • A surprising adventure which brings together some of the stranger occurrences in past Trek storylines.

    Even though it was largely for promotional reasons, it was nice to see the appearance by Jonathan Frakes. What could have amounted to a weak cameo turned into an interesting and tense episode harkening back to the oddball plotline of the separated Rikers. This episode has some great moments, particularly the confrontation between the two Cardassian forces, a new development that will hopefully be explored further. DS9 still can't seem to escape the confusing need to have two characters make out, as evidenced by Riker/Kira's little love session at the end. After "Meridian", I wouldn't mind a break from that.
  • Will Riker steals the USS Defiant...or does he?

    The show opens to Will Riker coming aboard DS9 to spend some of his leave time that he has accumulated aboard the Enterprise. He quickly strikes it up with Kira and Sisko being very friendly. After making a few rounds of the Promenade, Riker runs into Kira who promises him a tour of the station. Will suggests going to the Defiant first.

    They arrive on the Defiant and look around the bridge. Will attempts to turn on the systems only to find that they are locked out. New security measures for The Defiant...nifty eh?? Not when a couple seconds later Kira releases them without any question and (did anyone else see this coming...?)

    "Hi, I'm Tom...not Will"

    After faking a warp-core breach, Thomas Riker gains control of The Defiant and takes it into Cardassian Space. Gul Dukat threatens war with the Federation - unless Sisko comes back to help take The Defiant.

    The Defiant bursts into Cardassian space destroying some starbases. Eventually, Sisko and the Cardassians realize that all the warships are being drawn away from the Orias system; according to Dukat, this system is uninhabited. Sisko and Dukat send a warship to this "desolate" system "just in case the Defiant shows up." However the observer from the Obsidian Order tells Gul Dukat and Sisko that any warship sent to this sector will be destroyed by the Obsidian Order.

    As the Defiant makes its run for the Orias system 3 warships show up from the "empty" system. Where did they come from? Nobody knows because the Obsidian Order isn't allowed to have military equipment. Sisko makes a bargain with Dukat to prevent any destruction of the ship or further death. Riker agrees to the terms and races back to meet the Kraxon where he will surrender.

    This all begs the question, why does the Obsidian Order - and for that matter all of the "secret societies" of the Trek Universe have absolutely no one to answer to? They just do whatever they think will "protect" their way of life.