Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 6 Episode 26

Tears of the Prophets (1)

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Jun 17, 1998 on Syndicado
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Stardate: Unknown

Sisko is ordered to launch attacks against Cardassia and the Dominion. In his absence, Dax is left in command if the station. Gul Dukat is possessed by a Pah-wraith in an attempt to destroy the Bajoran Wormhole and the Prophets. Dukat manages to destroy one of the Bajoran Orbs, and kills Jadzia in the process, although the Dax symbiont is saved. The Bajoran Wormhole implodes, all the Orbs go dark, and Sisko is forced to take time out while the war continues.moreless

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  • Solid Finale & Good Set Up to Season 7

    Gathering up all the important story threads from the six season, the season finale ties them together in an episode with a little bit of everything - the war, the prophets, the pah wraiths, even Vic Fontaine - as, like the fifth season finale, it moves from character to character to move the story forward. (If the episode can be faulted, perhaps it includes too much character, with Jake and Garak getting their moments, but with neither contributing anything significant. It seems the writers simply throw them into the screenplay to give Lofton and Robinson something to do simply because the staff doesn't want to do an important episode without them). With less of a leadup than the fifth season finale, it's underwhelming compared to some of DS9's bigger shows, but a fun hour nonetheless, including one big battle with some fine effects.

    The title itself is derived from the pilot, with Kai Opaka introducing the first Orb in "Emissary" as the "tear of the prophets". And like the pilot, Sisko is the central figure, summoning his inner Ben Kenobi to feel a great disturbance in the force when the episode's most memorable (if contrived) moment happens. This episode is about his choices and his mistake. And as he ends the episode in a completely different mindset than we've ever seen from one of our beloved Star Trek captains before, we're left to ponder all the loose ends, with "Tears" offering only questions and no answers. After many routine episodes in the latter half of the sixth season, this one reshapes the game and leaves us to wonder just what shape it will resolve into for the final season of the series. It's another open ended cliffhanger and another fine finish for a series that knows how to close a season.

  • Prophets vs. Starfleet A solid end to a solid season. It almost felt like a series finale.

    Let me begin by saying I'm slightly surprised there are no other reviews of this episode on this site. People have been jumping to review DS9, especially season 6 so it's a bit surprising to see an episode that was sort of left out. But anyways, this was a thoroughly enjoyable episode. The invasion of Cardassia, or at least the beginning of the invasion, was well put together and fun to watch. It was also nice to see everyone's favorite Cardassian Gul Dukat make a return. He was great as always, although in the grand scheme of things he wasn't really in this episode all that much. His role was pivotal though, but we'll get to that in a minute. All in all, solid acting all around.

    The conflict effectively between the prophets and starfleet was a nice touch. Sisko now has to effectively choose between his career and the religion of millions. The fear having lost salvation, Sisko not knowing what path to follow was all well done. The line Sisko was walking was undoubtedly a narrow one and to see his inner conflict, if for now briefly, was nice.

    What sticks out the most in this episode is the "stunner" of the season, Jadzia Dax's death. Overall this was well handled and adequately surprising. I like the fact that it was Dukat that killed her, well the entity controlling him. That whole sequence was done very well. There was one slight error concerning Dax's death. Once Sisko and crew have returned to the station and they meet with Dr. Bashir, Dr. Bashir clearly says "There was nothing I could for Jadzia". The problem lies in that pesky little "was". If he says was that means she is now dead and certainly couldn't be available for some last words to Worf. The scene where she died was a nice idea, it simply wasn't very logical. It would have probably made more sense for Jadzia to be dead on the spot, right after she was shot, for lack of a better word. The scene with Worf and Sisko could then still occur, just over her dead body instead. We got another strong performance from Avery Brooks. The scene at the end where he talks with Jadzia for one last time was very well written, acted and executed. His departure from DS9 was another unexpected turn, but also well handled. I can't end without explaining why I feel as if this episode almost felt like a series finale and not just a season finale. I suppose it was mainly the score. That somehow haunting trumphet with the shot of a somehow lost Sisko was strangely powerful. The way the shot pulled up and the way the trumpets were playing, it just somehow felt as if this was a last farewell to the character, marking a totally new chapter for Ben Sisko.

    One more quick note. Dukat declares that he wants revenge on Sisko because although it was Demar that pulled the trigger that killed his daughter, it was Sisko who forced his hand. This ultimately doesn't make a whole lot of sense. What did Sisko do? Okay, he won back DS9 but this is war. Previously Sisko and Dukat's daughter had almost no interactions at all so it's not like he turned her against Dukat. Personally, I just don't see what Sisko is supposed to have done. But this ends up just being a minor issue so I'll just stop there.

    Well a new chapter for Ben Sisko certainly does come. This is perhaps one of the biggest turning points of the show. Again this was a great finale and an interesting episode. Highly recommend.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

David Birney

David Birney


Guest Star

Michelle Horn

Michelle Horn


Guest Star

Bob Kirsh

Bob Kirsh


Guest Star

James Darren

James Darren

Vic Fontane

Recurring Role

Marc Alaimo

Marc Alaimo

Gul Dukat

Recurring Role

Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Nitpick: As in previous episodes, shields no longer serve a protective purpose against Dominion forces. Ships are seen to take massive amounts of damage or are destroyed from only a few seconds of plasma fire or plasma torpedo hits. Yet the Defiant takes numerous hits and blasts and suffers no apparent outward damage, just a few jostles and shakes. The Defiant has ablative hull armor and has been seen to absorb more damage, but not that much.

    • Nitpick: During the attack on the asteroid power station, one of the Miranda-class starships bears the registry 'NCC-1864'. This was the registry of the USS Reliant from Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan and therefore cannot be given to another ship.

    • Goof: In the background of the Allied Forces meeting in the ward room, two Starfleet officers are seen wearing command uniforms from the latter seasons of The Next Generation. Previous episodes of Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation films have led us to believe that the new uniforms with lilac shoulders were now used by every member of Starfleet.

    • Nog announces "Captain On The Deck" when Sisko enters the Defiant, but actually it should have been the first to notice that he had arrived. This is debatable as most of the crew would know that Sisko would not have cared for the formality, indicated by his immediate dismissal to "as you were" may have ignroed him, and that Nog is a Ferengi and may have heard him coming before he even entered the bridge.

    • It's interesting how, just 1 episode after allowing Quark to get away with smuggling and selling crystals illegally in "The Sound Of Her Voice", how he prosecutes and even temporarily incarcerates a Bajoran priest for collecting funds for flood victims on the Promenade. Maybe he thinks smuggling is a more honorable profession than fundamentalist panhandling?

    • When the Pah-wraith vacates Dukat, Marc Alaimo's numerous fillings are clearly visible.

    • In a couple of the battle sequences, if you look closely, you can see the Defiant's registry # is NCC-74205, rather than NX-74205 (which it really should be, since there are other Defiant-class ships in service (or at least one, the USS Valiant NCC-74210 from the episode "Valiant"), the Defiant's NX registry should have been changed to NCC, as the Excelsior's was in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. This probably didn't happen due to budgetary concerns, as they probably couldn't use as many of the stock shots of the Defiant from past episodes.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Quark: What is he, a telepath?
      Vic: No, I'm a hologram.

    • Vic: It's simple. You take one beautiful, happily married filly, add the possibility of her giving birth to a foal, and what's it leave you? A couple of love-sick stallions that never got out of the starting gate.
      Quark: Do you have any idea what he's talking about?

    • Bashir: I managed to save the Dax symbiont, but we have to get it to Trill as soon as possible. There was nothing I could do for Jadzia.

    • Letant: So it would appear that your weak spot is about to become a lot stronger.
      Martok: Leave it to a Romulan to run at the first sign of trouble.
      Letant: And leave it to a Klingon to leap to the wrong conclusion. The Romulan Empire has agreed to join the invasion of Cardassia, and we live up to our agreements. The only question is, can the invasion be launched before the defensive grid is activated?
      Martok: We'll have to leave first thing in the morning.

    • Jadzia: I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly. I don't come here a lot, and to be perfectly honest I feel more comfortable thinking of you as wormhole aliens, but Kira believes that you're much more than that. Maybe she's right. I don't know. But if you are Prophets, and you're listening, I just wanted to say...

    • Dukat: I've found it. Behold - the key to victory. Oh, I see you remain skeptical. Well, you won't be for long. Over the past few months, I've immersed myself in the study of the ancient Bajoran texts. And I've come to realize that the wormhole is much more than the gateway to the Gamma Quadrant. It's the temple of the Prophets. It's from there that they smile benevolently down on Bajor. It's from there that they protect that world and its people. The sad truth is... we wasted our time fighting the Bajorans when we should have been fighting their gods.
      Damar: How do you fight a god?
      Dukat: I'll show you. You see, we have an ally we never knew we had.

    • Damar: If you're here because of what happened to your daughter...
      Dukat: Damar. You disappoint me. I would have thought you of all people would be glad to see your old mentor. I don't hold you responsible for Ziyal's death. You may have fired the phaser, but it was Benjamin Sisko who forced your hand. And that's why I'm here. The time has come for me to take my revenge against the good Captain.
      Weyoun: We're in the middle of a life-and-death struggle for the control of the entire Alpha Quadrant, and all you care about is quenching your petty thirst for revenge. You haven't changed a bit, have you?

    • Kira: I was afraid of that... he's not sure he's coming back.
      Odo: What makes you say that?
      Kira: His baseball, he took it with him.

    • Sisko: The Prophets don't see me as a Starfleet captain. They see me as their Emissary.
      Ross: That's the problem, isn't it? For the past five years you've tried to be both. And up to now I've been patient. I've indulged you. I've gone out on a limb for you many times, but this is it. You need to make a decision. You are either the Emissary or a Starfleet captain. You can't be both.

    • Bashir: I don't want to dampen your spirits, Jadzia, but I told you before you were married that from a medical point of view, it wouldn't be easy for a Trill and a Klingon to have a child.
      Quark: And I'm worried the kid'll end up looking like his father!
      Jadzia: Well, I hope she does! (she makes a face at Quark and leaves)

    • Dukat: Well, isn't anyone going to welcome me home?
      Weyoun: Heroes get welcomed home, Dukat, not failures. Or have you forgotten that, under your leadership, the Dominion nearly lost this war?
      Dukat: As I recall, Weyoun, you were standing by my side agreeing with every decision I made.

    • Martok: What good is an ally who'll stab you in the back?!
      Letant: You see the primitive rage in his eye? The uncontrolled brutality? Klingons can be quite entertaining, can't they? Every Romulan zoo should have a pair.

    • Admiral Ross: Good luck, gentlemen... good luck to all of us.
      Letant: Romulans don't believe in luck.
      Martok: All the better! Leaves more for the rest of us!

    • Weyoun: It pains me to say this, but you Cardassians are proving to be quite a disappointment.
      Damar: I'll remind you that you said that.

    • Weyoun: Pah-Wraiths and Prophets! All this talk of gods strikes me as nothing more than superstitious nonsense!
      Damar: You believe that the Founders are gods, don't you?
      Weyoun: That's different.
      Damar: (chuckles) In what way?
      Weyoun: The Founders are gods.

    • Dukat: (to Jadzia) I know this is small comfort, but I never intended you any harm.

    • Sisko: The funeral service is due to begin in a few minutes, Jadzia, but I need to talk to you one last time. When I first met you, you told me that my relationship with Jadzia Dax wouldn't be any different from the one I had with Curzon Dax. Things didn't work out that way. I had a hell of a lot of fun with both of you. Curzon was my mentor. You, you were my friend. And I am going to miss you. I should've listened to the Prophets, and not gone to Cardassia. Then maybe you'd still be alive. Dammit! Why aren't you still here, Jadzia? I need you to help me sort things out. Something's happened to the Prophets, something that's made them turn their backs on Bajor and I'm responsible, but I don't know what to do about it, how to make it right again. I've failed as the Emissary, and for the first time in my life I've failed in my duty as a Starfleet officer. I need time to think, clear my head, but I can't do it here, not on the station, not now. I need to get away, and find a way to figure out how to make things right again. I have to make things right again, Jadzia. I have to.

    • Weyoun: This is a disaster! Federation soldiers have landed on Cardassian soil, and now you're telling me the wormhole is gone?!! And with it any chance of getting reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant!!
      Dukat: I'm well aware things didn't turn out quite the way I planned, but I assure you we still achieved a great victory.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Christopher Pike Award
      Sisko receives the Chistopher Pike Award. Chistopher Pike was captain of the USS Enterprise before Kirk as seen in the original pilot.

    • Tears Of The Prophets
      The episode title, "Tears Of The Prophets", refers to the what the Bajoran people originally call the Orbs.