Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 5 Episode 14

In Purgatory's Shadow (1)

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Feb 10, 1997 on Syndicado
out of 10
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152 votes

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Episode Summary

Stardate: Unknown After a coded Cardassian message from the Gamma Quadrant is detected, Garak and Worf attempt a rescue. However, they are captured by the Jem'Hadar and imprisoned in the same cell as Enabran Tain, General Martok, and the real Julian Bashir, who had been secretly replaced several weeks prior without any notice. The Jem'hadar fleet invades the Alpha Quadrant when an attempt to seal the wormhole is sabotaged by the changeling-Bashir.moreless

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  • Exciting opening salvo

    This follow-up to third season's "Improbable Cause"/"The Die is Cast" two parter is the opening of a two parter itself, a Garak episode that finally answers some questions about his past. It's an ambitious offering with some big surprises, though most of the material is just exposition to set up "By Inferno's Light". Still, it's great to see Garak in the A story with Robinson at his best; he deftly delivers zingers early ("You know, I think that actually helped my back") before nailing a touching, heartfelt scene near the end.

    The remainder of the episode features diverse character interplay, with Dukat and his daughter (played by a new actress again) getting a B story that doesn't really go anywhere yet.

    It all leads to the inevitable "To be continued" with one of DS9's most dramatic cliffhangers.

  • Things happen here that change the course of the entire series.

    So many things happen in this episode and the next(the second part of a two-parter) that the landscape of the entire series changed. Old stories were given resolution, new stories were introduced, and the war arc that colored the rest of the show begins in force. Garak is one of the most interesting characters, probably because he's so mysterious. But after time mysteries need answers or viewers lose patience. Here we get a satisfyingly huge chunk of Garak's past revealed and resolved. The (re)introduction of General Martok brings back a character who has only been seen as a changeling. The "real" Martok becomes a vital figure in the war and eventually Chancellor. And we meet him here for the first time. And finaly Bashir revealed as changeling. This throws all we knew about the past season in the air. It also does a great job reintroducing the "enemy is among us" paranoia that was explored in "Homefront", and "Paridise Lost"; which is what makes the Dominion such an interesting villian. All around a great episode.moreless
  • Best two-parter of the entire series?

    DS9's writers liked continuity. Continuity in obvious ways - the arcs - but also in more subtle ways. In many ways, this two-parter echoes "Improbable Cause"/"The Die Is Cast" - Garak's old mentor sucks him into a quest in the Gamma Quadrant, a quest in which he's coupled with an unlikely companion (Odo the first time, Worf this time).

    But overall this is a better story, because it's about a lot more than Garak. We get walloped with at least one major surprise once Garak and Worf arrive at the colony. And the cliffhanger at the end is one heck of a headfake.

  • A solid episode.

    This was a great episode that had a little bit of everything. It had some decent writing, good acting, a good plot, and a good storyline. I found the entire episode very entertaining and it was also very pivotal regarding the Dominion war and its balance. My favorite aspects were the capture of some of the good guys. It was interesting to see everyone have to work together to get out of a sticky mess. It was also very interesting to see a battle brewing by the Cardassians. Overall, this episode was great and one of the better episodes of the series. Thank you.moreless
  • One of the best Garak episodes.

    Though I loved all Garak episodes, and I am sorry that there weren't more on the show, this is a rare one in which we get to learn more about Garak. The whole concept is very well done, with discovering that the doctor on the station is actually a changeling, and if I am not mistaken this episode marks the appearance of general Martok, one of the best Klingon characters, in my opinion. Discovering that Tain was Garak's father kinda gave a new insight into Garak's character and made him more "human" in a way, coz it wasn't often we got to see an emotional scene with him. All in all, a great episode, and the continual was good as well.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

James Horan

James Horan


Guest Star

Jim Palladino

Jim Palladino

Jem'Hadar Guard

Guest Star

Carrie Stauber

Carrie Stauber


Guest Star

Paul Dooley

Paul Dooley

Enabran Tain

Recurring Role

Marc Alaimo

Marc Alaimo

Gul Dukat

Recurring Role

Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Nitpick: We learn in this episode that the Breen do not have blood. This calls into question how their physiology gets nutrients to their body tissues.

    • Tain dies in this episode, though not before we learn the exact nature of Garak's relationship with him: Tain is Garak's father.

    • Nitpick: Kira says that the baby was inside her for seven months, but in fourth season episode "Body Parts", Bashir says that Bajorans gestate for less than five months. Alternatively, Bashir may have worked some manipulation has increased the gestation period to equal that of humans. If this is the case, this means the fetus was only months old when transferred to Kira. In "Body Parts" when she first displays the pregnancy, Kira's abdomen is much larger than it should be for a two months pregnancy. However, in the later episode "Time's Orphan", Kira states that she had the baby inside her for 5 months.

    • Goof: Concerning the Borg attack, the stardate for the episode (50560.1) is earlier than that of Star Trek: First Contact (Picard states it is 50893.5), meaning Sisko is speaking about a Borg attack that technically has not occurred yet.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Dukat: You did this on purpose, didn't you?
      Kira: Did what?
      Dukat: Allowed my daughter to associate with a man you know was my enemy, stood by while he whispered poison in his ear, and all under the guise of doing me a favor.
      Kira: No, Dukat. Let's get one thing straight. I didn't bring Ziyal to the station for you. I did it for her. Because I knew it would be better for her to be here, than being a soldier fighting in your private little war with the Klingons.
      Dukat: Save your excuses, Major... you've betrayed me, and I promise you I won't forget it.
      Kira: If that is a threat, I'm not impressed.
      Dukat: There was a time when Bajorans took Cardassian threats very seriously.
      Kira: Not anymore.

    • Worf: What about Garak?
      Sisko: I want him back too. I suppose I don't have to tell you to keep a close eye on him.
      Worf: At the first sign of betrayal I will kill him, but I promise to return the body intact.
      Sisko: I hope that's a joke.
      Worf: We shall see.

    • Worf: You want me to sponsor your application to Starfleet Academy?!
      Garak: What do you think?
      Worf: I think it is a bad idea!

    • Worf: You have no desire to join Starfleet, do you?
      Garak: No, I'm afraid I don't.
      Worf: Then why all of this deception?
      Garak: Because lying is a skill like any other, and if you want to maintain a level of excellence, you have to practice constantly.
      Worf: Practice on someone else.
      Garak: Mr. Worf, you're no fun at all.

    • Kira: Listen, if this about taking Ziyal to services at the Bajoran shrine...
      Dukat: I'm not talking about exposing her to your backward superstitions!

    • Dukat: (about Garak) The man is a heartless, cold-blooded killer!
      Kira: Like I said: he's a Cardassian.

    • Worf: (about Tain) What's wrong with him?
      Martok: It's his heart.
      Garak: Really? There are many who would say he doesn't have one.

    • O'Brien: What help can we expect from Cardassia?
      Dukat: My ship and my crew are at your disposal.
      Bashir: One ship - things are looking brighter.

    • Ziyal: He made a promise, and so did I. I said I would wait for him, and I will!
      Dukat: Is a promise to an enemy of your family more important than obeying your father? So be it. Stay here if that's what you want. Stay here and be damned!

    • Garak: Let this be a lesson, doctor - perhaps the most valuable one I could teach you: sentiment is the greatest weakness of all.

    • Tain: And what about Gul Verem? Were you able to contact him?
      Garak: Years ago.
      Tain: The Romulan ambassador?
      Garak: He's gone. All your enemies are dead.
      Tain: Good. A man shouldn't allow his enemies to outlive him.

    • Garak: Father! Father, you're dying. For once in your life, speak the truth.
      Tain: I should have killed your mother before you were born. You have always been a weakness I can't afford.
      Garak: So you've told me, many times.

    • Bashir: So let me get this straight. You want me to lie to my commanding officer, violate Starfleet regulations, and go with you on a mission into the Gamma Quadrant which will probably get us both killed?
      Garak: I'm ready when you are.

    • Ziyal: You're intelligent, and cultured... and kind.
      Garak: My dear, you're young, so I realize you're a poor judge of character.

    • Ziyal: Well, if this is what you think, why do you spend so much time with me??
      Garak: Because I'm exiled, and alone... and a long way from home. And when I'm with you, it doesn't feel so bad.

    • Garak: (to Dukat) You do have a lovely daughter. She must take after her mother.

  • NOTES (8)

    • James Horan (Ikat'Ika) also played the role of Humanoid Figure on Enterprise. He also played Barnaby on The Next Generation episode "Descent (Part 2)" and Dr. Jo'Bril on The Next Generation episode "Suspicions". On Voyager he played Tosin in the episode "Fair Trade".

    • Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode.

    • Even though Garak (Andrew Robinson) and Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo) would both appear in many more episodes of Deep Space Nine, this episode marks the final time the two characters ever meet face to face.

    • Martok's line about having been captured and detained by the Dominion 18 months prior means that the Martok whose first appearance was in "The Way Of The Warrior" was in fact a changeling. And because the Martok changeling sucessfully passed a blood test, everyone blood-tested since then, from Joseph Sisko to Dukat and the Detapa Council could have been a changeling all along.

    • A dedication appears immediately before the start of the episode: "In memory of Derek Garth." Garth was a member of the crew, a grip, who died in an automobile accident.

    • The "recent Borg attack" Sisko mentioned is, of course, depicted in Star Trek: First Contact. The Defiant was heavily damaged in that film, but was apparently repaired in time for this episode.

    • This episode reveals that Bashir had been captured by the Dominion and replaced with a changeling. Based on the real Bashir's uniform, we can deduce that Bashir was a changeling since at least "Rapture". It is also mentioned in "By Inferno's Light" that he was gone 4 weeks.

    • According to the Deep Space Nine Companion, the Breen were never intended to be humanoid in the first place. One contributor to the Companion said that the biosuit hid a "bug" of some kind.


    • Earl Grey
      Garak mentions that he doesn't like Earl Grey tea. This was in fact, the favorite tea blend of Captain Picard of TNG.

    • In Purgatory's Shadow
      The title of this episode, "In Purgatory's Shadow", is a reference to Dante's The Divine Comedy, one section of which is entitled Purgatorio, or purgatory. Purgatory is the place where sinners who can still be redeemed are sent after death.