Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 4 Episode 11

Homefront (1)

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Jan 01, 1996 on Syndicado
out of 10
User Rating
163 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 49170

Starfleet Command places Sisko in command of Starfleet Security, as they believe that Changelings may have infiltrated Earth.

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  • Nice to see Star Trek visiting Earth again

    This Sisko cliffhanger episode, originally conceived as a season finale for the prior year (but postponed at Paramount's request), lacks the budget it might have otherwise have had but makes up for it with character and intrigue. The earthbound story, evoking memories of the 1980s miniseries "V", alternates between tense military scenes (in San Francisco and Paris) and deeply personal scenes (in New Orleans). With Sisko involved with each, we get to see the military plot take shape from the inside while simultaneously getting the Captain's reaction to the situation in a more personal setting, the equivalent of the Sisko family dinner table. It's a genius formula and a nice change of pace from the usual A/B format with different lead characters. Boasting several fine guest star performances, the episode might be most noteworthy for introducing Brock Peters as Grandpa Joseph Sisko. Already well known to Star Trek fans for his performance as Admiral Cartwright in the Star Trek movies, Peters tops himself as the stubborn, elderly patriarch of the Sisko family, stealing every scene he's in and expertly delivering some of Star Trek's greatest lines: "Jake, the only time you should be in bed is if you're sleeping, dying, or making love to a beautiful woman".

    Unfortunately, the Star Trek creators balance Peters' greatness with Herschel Sparber's suckitude. Playing the Federation's president, Sparber has all the charm and charisma of Droopy the dog. The shame of it is that the writing is fine, and had someone like Bernard Hill or Jack Tunney been cast, the part would have been an asset to the story. As is, guest star Robert Foxworth (Admiral Leyton) outclasses Sparber to such an extent, it's easy to wonder why Leyton isn't running the Federation instead. (Well, at least until the next episode)

    Overall, however, "Homefront" is an effective episode that moves the Dominion story forward and provides a nice change of scenery for the series.moreless
  • Sisko goes to Earth after a Changeling-instigated terrorist attack in order to implement greater security measures.

    There are two interesting, intertwined plots in this excellent episode. After Changelings instigate a terrorist attack in Antwerp, Sisko is summoned to Earth by his former boss Admiral Leyton and is put in charge of Earth security. In addition, we get to meet Sisko's father (played by Brock Peters).

    The reluctant President of the Federation is persuaded by Sisko and Leyton to adopt several security measures against the Changeling threat. Nevertheless, after a Changeling is discovered to be impersonating Leyton, Leyton becomes convinced that the new security measures are insufficient.

    This all becomes moot when the lights go out -- Earth's electricity grid goes out and Changelings are suspected. At this point, Leyton and Sisko convince the President to impose temporary martial law. But perhaps things are not quite what they seem...

    The subplot with Sisko and his father provided some nice variety to the story. The tension between the two men -- the son is concerned about his father's health, the father is concerned about his son's increasing paranoia -- is nicely portrayed.

    Two final comments about this episode: I didn't think the guy playing the Federation President did a good job. Perhaps this was intentional, but they could have found other ways to portray a cautious and indecisive leader. Also, I really enjoyed the bit with O'Brien and Bashir coming out of the Battle of Britain holosuite program in full costume to chat with Quark and Odo.moreless
  • The changelings, the Founders of the Dominion, have come to Earth. After all, they're "everywhere".

    "Homefront"/"Paradise Lost" is an unusual two-parter. The two parts are essentially about two different subjects. "Homefront" brilliantly focused on the changeling infiltration of Earth, and raised hopes of a continuation of the subject in "Paradise Lost". However, "Paradise Lost" suddenly focuses on a Starfleet coup to take over the government? In hindsight, this could be a nice example of how the Founders can shake the very foundation(pun not intended) of an organized government. However, "Paradise Lost" will always represent something of a disappointment coming off "Homefront". Now, to actually talk of "Homefront", it is a great exploration of the Dominion and the threat they represent. It is overall a great episode, and I have a weakness for episodes that have a lot of shape-shifting.moreless
  • Fear of the Founders' influence has driven the Federation to persue Starfleet's suggestions on how to counter their plans. Paranoia, and Founder infiltration of Starfleet, drives Earth to desperate measures to ensure security.moreless

    This was a very good episode set, but it relied too heavily on the personality of Ben's father, Joseph Sisko, who is the head chef and owner of a Creole restaurant in New Orleans. It's nice that Jake has family ties, but isn't it a bit stereotypical? I don't know...

    It is made plain that the Founders (shape-shifters) ARE on Earth, but they claim that it is Human paranoia that will bring them down, not the actions of the Founders. Are we expected to believe that Humans have overcome warfare amongst themselves, against all odds, to then simply be tricked into resuming it because of 4 Founders (according to the one that talked to Sisko)? I don't think that works...

    Humans (as I know them) would much more quickly come up with a way of detecting these "Founders" than go back to war against themselves.

    And if it was "impossible" to detect them, there would be common psychology at work, and even sophisticated psychology if necessary. They can't be the same as whatever form they take, or they wouldn't have the ability to transform.moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman


Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

Lt./Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (Season 1-6)

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt. Commander Worf (Season 4-7)

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Robert Foxworth

Robert Foxworth

Admiral Leyton

Guest Star

Herschel Sparber

Herschel Sparber


Guest Star

Susan Gibney

Susan Gibney

Cmdr. Benteen

Guest Star

Brock Peters

Brock Peters

Joseph Sisko

Recurring Role

Aron Eisenberg

Aron Eisenberg


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • This marks another promotion for Captain Sisko, as he is made the acting head of Starfleet Security with Constable Odo serving as his first officer.

    • Nitpick: It's surprising that Joseph Sisko is still alive at this point in the series. In previous episodes, Ben seemed to imply his father was deceased. In "Emissary" and "Paradise", he said his father WAS a gourmet chef (which is still his current occupation in this episode). And in a conversation with Odo in "The Alternate", Ben told him of how his father had a severe illness that made him very weak and he was unable to help him in the end.

    • We learn that Captain Sisko's full name is Benjamin Lafayette Sisko.

    • We find out thee years later that Odo was infected with the morphogenic changeling virus (which he later transmits to the Great Link) while he was at Starfleet Medical. This visit to Starfleet Medical likely took place during this episode.

    • Nitpick: It is extremely unlikely that all of Earth would have a single power relay grid that could be knocked out with only one act of sabotage. It is well established in all the series that Starfleet installs multiple redundant and back up systems. The more critical the function, the more back ups and fail safes. This would certainly be true for planet wide power grids and defense capabilities.

    • Goof: When Joseph cuts his finger, he grabs a towel to stop the blood flow. But as he argues with Benjamin, you see him toss away the towel. And with his hand gesturing you see no cut, and when he grabs a kitchen pole with his cut hand no blood is left on the pole. When it shifts to a wide angle as Joseph collapses, the towel is back in his hand.

    • Goof: In the beginning of the episode, the Orinoco is cleared for landing pad 3. The landing pads are lettered, not numbered.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Joseph Sisko: Jake, the only time you should be in bed is if you're sleepy, dying, or making love to a beautiful woman...

    • Odo: I've found that when it comes to doing what's best for you, you humanoids have the distressing habit of doing the exact opposite.

    • Joseph: But what you're asking me to do is wrong. You can't go around making people prove they are who they say they are. That's no way to live and I'm not gonna go along with it.

    • Sisko: Sir, the thought of filling the streets with armed troops is as disturbing to me as it is to you, but not as disturbing as the thought of a Jem'Hadar army landing on Earth without opposition. The Jem'Hadar are the most brutal and efficient soldiers I've ever encountered. They don't care about the conventions of war, or protecting civilians. They won't limit themselves to military targets. They will be waging the kind of war Earth hasn't seen since the founding of the Federation.

    • Joseph: Benjamin Lafayette Sisko! What the hell's gotten into your head? You actually thought I was one of them, didn't you?
      Sisko: I don't know. I wasn't sure.
      Joseph: This business has gotten you so twisted around that you can't think straight. You're beginning to see shapeshifters everywhere. Maybe you ought to think about something for a minute. If I was a smart shapeshifter, a really good one, the first thing I'd do would be to grab some poor soul off the street, absorb every ounce of his blood, and let it out on cue whenever someone like you tried to test me. Don't you see? There isn't a test that's been created that a smart man can't find his way around. You aren't going to catch shapeshifters using some gadget.

    • Jaresh-Inyo: Earth is in your hands, gentlemen. Do what needs to be done.
      Leyton: Thank you, sir. You've made the right decision.
      Jaresh-Inyo: I hope you're right... for all our sakes.

    • (after Odo morphed back from being a seagull)
      Benteen: Well, if you ask me, that was a pretty convincing seagull.
      Odo: Thank you, but I don't know if the other gulls would agree.

    • Jaresh-Inyo: It took Earth centuries to evolve into the peaceful haven it is today. I would hate to be remembered as the Federation President who destroyed paradise.

    • (talking about gods)
      Worf: Our gods are dead. Klingon warriors slew them all millennia ago. They were more trouble than they were worth.
      Kira: I don't think I'll ever understand Klingons.
      O'Brien: Don't worry about it, Major. Nobody does. That's the way they like it.

    • Quark: I know exactly what you mean. When the Great Monetary Collapse hit Ferenginar, I was hundreds of light years away, working as a ship's cook on a long-haul freighter. I can't tell you the heartbreak I suffered, knowing that rampant inflation and currency devaluation were burning like wildfires through the lush financial foliage of my home. It still depresses me even today.

    • (talking about the wormhole opening at random)
      Jadzia: For all we know, the Bajorans are right. Maybe it is a message from the Prophets.
      Sisko: If it is, they haven't told me.
      Jadzia: Maybe the Prophets don't recognize you with the new beard.

  • NOTES (7)


    • "... that green and pleasant land of yours ..."
      Quark's comment to O'Brien and Bashir is a reference to the last line of the song Jerusalem, which the pair had sung together in the earlier episode "Explorers".