Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 7 Episode 20

The Changing Face of Evil (4)

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Apr 28, 1999 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
135 votes
  • Good Stuff

    Living up to its title, the fourth part of "The Final Chapter" is a game-changer that puts a cap of sorts on the first block of episodes of the nine part finale (four episodes written together and coincidentally usually appearing on one DVD disc) while also leaving a cliffhanger for the remaining episodes to follow up upon.

    Full of bold strokes and political intrigue, "Changing Face" finally brings several plot lines to their breaking points, balancing its big war story with small, personal moments. With fast-paced scenes that give each character (not named Jake) at least one moment to shine, each of the regulars get a chance to contribute, including an exciting battle with unexpected consequences stuck right in the middle. But the real substance of the episode lies with Kai Winn and Dukat on Bajor and Damar and Weyoun on Cardassia. "Strange Bedfellows" shows us Winn and Damar coming to decisions. This one shows us the consequences. The beauty of it lies in the reactions, whether it be Winn coming to terms with herself, or Weyoun coming to terms with the new Damar. (Combs's icy look is priceless).

    Being stuck in the middle of a giant multi parter, "Changing Face" is easy to overlook when reflecting upon the season and the series as a whole, but stands up with some of DS9's best work and gives "The Final Chapter" the kick in the pants it needs.

  • Death of Defiant, Rebirth of Damar

    This episode, more than any other, set the series toward its conclusion. The Dominion, emboldened by its new Breen friends, is fighting back. The location in question: the Chin'toka system, the hard-won piece of real estate from "Tears of the Prophets". Starfleet fights back, but this time fortune doesn't favor the bold: the fleet, including the Defiant, is decimated.

    In the meantime, Kai Winn deepens her involvement in the cult of the Pah-wraith before learning of "Anjohl"'s true identity. To cover up her secret, she kills her trusted assistant, which provides the key to understanding the mysteries of these powerful beings.

    If these were the only threads in the story, it would have made for a rather depressing episode. There is hope, though, and from an unlikely source: Damar, Cardassian Figurehead and murderer of innocent girls. The scene where he is about to drink and looks in the mirror is excellent--you can look in Casey Biggs' eyes and almost see the gears turning as he becomes disgusted with himself. Also notable is the scene where he kills the guards leading Worf and Dax off to execution--its suddenness is matched only by its unexpectedness. There is literally a moment of shock afterwards. After playing the figurehead, Damar has finally found something to fight for--he certainly has come far since being Dukat's toady in "Return to Grace". Back to Worf and Dax for a moment--they provide some great gallows humor, and I liked how they left it--they certainly couldn't have happened as a couple.

    Once again, a very densely-plotted DS9 episode, and also a very good one.