Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 3 Episode 21

The Die Is Cast (2)

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM May 01, 1995 on Syndicado
out of 10
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166 votes

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Episode Summary

Stardate: 48622.5 Garak must decide whether or not to kill Odo to please his mentor, Enabran Tain, on the eve of a joint Romulan-Cardassian attack on the Dominion.

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  • Decent finale to a strong 2-parter

    Garak has to be one of the best side characters in any Star Trek I have seen. He's extremely likable despite his numerous deceptions. Andrew Robinson deserves a lot of praise for how he carries this character, particularly how Garak enunciates words and how he uses his eyes and mouth. This two-parter sells the character so well that he should probably have been a main character for the rest of the series. At least it is pleasing that he will get more screen time after this episode in the remaining seasons.

    As for this episode, delving into the back-story of Garak is handled reasonably well without giving too much away. We do not see much of Garak scheming, which is a shame because that in itself would be quite a sight. What I would have liked to see more is a better finish, we didn't see Garak and Bashir having lunch together, but it finished well despite this. Garak has yet to really prove himself a flawless ally to DS9, but the seeds are well and truly planted in this episode. I have heard people say that DS9 gets good in S3 / S4. This might be the point at which is propels itself into another tier.moreless
  • I'm afraid the fault, dear Tain, is not in our stars but in ourselves.

    Named after a quote attributed to Julius Caesar (with the meaning that events have been set in motion that cannot be undone), this conclusion to "Improbable Cause" is the inverse of your typical Star Trek episode. The Odo/Garak relationship from the prior episode is flipped; Garak becomes the authority figure and Odo becomes the character hiding a truth. The evil, large scale invasion fleet isn't a threat to mankind but rather to mankind's enemies. Sisko and his station mates become renegades, violating the orders of Starfleet command except for one who violates Sisko's orders!

    These unusual choices came about become the writers backed into a sequel. (Originally, "Improbable Cause" was to end with Tain having no choice but to let Garak and Odo go when Garak tells him about an isolinear rod back in his quarters on Deep Space Nine containing with secret information he knows, saying that if he's not let go, Bashir's been told to take it Starfleet. "And they'll know everything!" This, of course, comes across as a cheat, and the isolinear rod is even turned into a joke in the actual episode. But being unable to come up with a satisfactory conclusion, the writers turned the episode into a two parter. "We'd painted ourselves into a corner so far, Ron Moore said, "we had to kick out the wall behind us in order to get With "Through the Looking Glass" already set to be shot following "Improbable Cause", they had to shoot "Looking Glass" in the middle of the two parter and then flop the airdates of "Looking Glass" with "Improbable Cause". Someone also brought up the point that "Improbable Cause Part II," the original title of the second part, didn't really make any sense, and so for the first time a two parter had two different titles. So much for the idea that Star Trek episodes don't happen by accident!) Yet for an afterthought, "The Die is Cast" is quite a piece of Star Trek history. In addition to bringing back the Dominion and setting up their future in the series, the special effects (thanks to a boost in their budget) are better than any Star Trek episode to this point. The balance between the personal, character driven moments and the epic action is especially well handled by director David Livingston and sets the stage for more of the same in the future. Guest stars Leland Orser (Colonel Lovok) and Kenneth Marshall (Eddington) deserve special mention for developing their characters so well, giving the A and B stories their added dimensions and giving birth to the question, "Is Eddington a Changeling?"

    All this said, the B story with Sisko does seem to exist simply to pad out the episode, and it's easy to see how the story could be resolved without it.

  • Great conclusion.

    Like TNG's "Chain of Command", an excellent set-up episode is followed by an even stronger conclusion. And like "Chain of Command", a key aspect of this episode is a rather intense torture sequence.

    The main difference, of course, is that the torture here is much more personal and harrowing than it was in TNG. There, it was about Picard standing to a fairly anonymous tormentor - here Odo suffers at the hand of a colleague who has deep misgivings about the act. It's easily the strongest sequence in the episode.

    But there's other stuff here - the shocking surprise upon arrival to the Changeling homeworld, the betrayal by Eddington (a massive red herring for later developments), and of course a thrilling space battle.

    Finally, the concluding scene - with Odo appearing only as a reflection in the mirror, is well written and beautifully shot.

    Unlike "Past Tense", this two-parter would have direct and quick implications for the following episodes.moreless
  • Best episode I've seen of DS9 yet!

    Yes we all love the science of Star Trek, the techno babble, the awesome sets, costumes, races, but... It's the awesome battle sequences which often times are far too lacking and sparse that really ups the wow factor. And this episode more than delivers on that front. I love seeing the various Star Trek ships, cloaking, uncloaking, flying & fighting and this episode just rocks the house with these sequences. All that said though almost equal to this are some of the most unforgettable dialog and scenes between Odo and Garak, which marks the beginning of a friendship despite what happens in the episode

    In this second half of the two-parter we really see the Defiant kick some Jem Hadar ass, wasting more than a few of their ships, meanwhile the Romulan and Cardassian armada get caught with their pants down and blown to bits. One does have to ask themselves though how the Defiant was able to reek such havoc while monster ships like the Romulan war birds were just ripped apart. Whether the battle capabilities of the Defiant were simply overblown (given this show is all about DS9 and its new flagship added in season 3) or the element of surprise of having the Defiant swoop in coming out of cloaked state, either way it still made for some nice eye candy and I probably shouldn't think to much about the realism of that tiny ship being that tough. In any case The battle scenes are quick but they are awesome and unlike the Defiants first encounter with the Jem Hadar this time it just tears through them like tin cans and certainly makes an impression upon the viewer.

    Obviously these two episodes open up a huge can of worms for the DS9 space station, the federation and really solidify the threat of the Dominion and line up some good episodes and future stories as a resultmoreless
  • Turning point in Deep Space Nine

    "The Die Is Cast" is clearly not the greatest Star Trek episode ever aired. There are many things I as a fan would had done differently. Nevertheless its a unique piece of drama that is memorable and a turning point in the series.

    The highlights of the episode is the continued development of the relationship between Odo and Deep Space Nine space station resident Garek. The two characters are an interesting match, but prior to this episode and its lead-in, "Improbably Cause" very little of this was explored. This certainly changes when we see Odo tortured by Garek. The extremely beautifully choreographed scene between them in the tailor shop done in a single take, with Odo only visible in the mirror is classic. Unfortunately I'd had liked to had seen a little more bitterness between Garek and Odo over this event, especially in later episodes when - unfortunately - the torture scene seems too easily forgotten.

    The first thing I'd change about this episode is to tie the title more nicely with the first part: I never liked "Improbably Cause" as clever as it was. I'd much prefer if they'd chosen "The Die Cast, Part 1/2" for both episodes.

    Another thing I'd like to see changed is the unnecessary rescue of Odo and Garek by the Defiant. Eddington's sabotage of the cloaking device was interesting development of his character but it could had been left for other episodes. Frankly I'd like to had seen that air time devoted to Garek/Odo/Tain storyline and elaboration on the station resident's reaction to the attack on the Dominion.

    There is no reason why Odo could not had gotten home with the undamaged runabout. In fact I don't understand why the Jem'Hadar attacked the runabout at all with him in it! As far as I'm concerned it a major plot error. The changeling Romulan was clearly beamed aboard a Jem'Hadar ship and should had been able to make it clear that the runabout contained a shaft-shifter and to leave it alone. If they had simply done that there would be no need for the Defiant in the script at all!

    Another item on my wish list would be to see Garek captured by the Jem'Hadar instead of Tain. The Dominion could perhaps had kept him alive in exchange for trying to convince Tain to save Odo's life. He could had easily been reintroduced to the series later. This way at least we would feel that Garek paid some price for the sorts of things he did in this episode instead of just getting away with it like he did.

    Another loose end in the story is how the Cardassians developed the quantum stasis field that prevented Odo from morphing? Did they get the data from the Bajoran scientist that studied Odo? Its interesting to note this is one of two similar weapons used against the changelings. The other being the Polaron emitters which cause them to revert to their gelatinous state. Either could be lethal.

    The Tal'shair and Obsidian Order were pretty naive to think they could wipe out the Dominion so easily.

    Fast moving episode. A pleasure to watch!moreless
Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

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

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Alexander Siddig

Alexander Siddig

Dr. Julian Bashir

Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney

Chief Miles O'Brien

Leland Orser

Leland Orser

Colonel Lovok

Guest Star

Leon Russorn

Leon Russorn

Admiral Toddman

Guest Star

Wendy Schenker

Wendy Schenker

Romulan Pilot

Guest Star

Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson


Recurring Role

Ken Marshall

Ken Marshall

Lt. Cmdr. Michael Eddington

Recurring Role

Paul Dooley

Paul Dooley

Enabran Tain

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Nitpick: Admiral Toddman is seen wearing a gold uniform. Usually, Stafleet admirals were seen wearing red.

    • Goof: The Tal Shiar had no knowledge of the new device developed by the Obsidian Order that could keep shapeshifters in a single form, but when Garak brings it into Odo's room it's set up by a pair of Romulans!

    • Nitpick: The padd that the Romulan Colonel/Changeling gives to Odo is the same one Odo used as evidence against the Circle in "The Circle".

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Col Lovok: (referring to Odo) My interest in the changeling is based on what I believe to be the strategic interests of the Romulan Empire. But you, you seem to have a personal interest in him.
      Garak: Well, tell me, what else am I feeling? I've never been psychoanalyzed by a Romulan before. This is a fascinating experience!

    • Sisko: (after Eddington's sabotage is revealed) I'm afraid I'm going to to have to confine you to quarters, Mr Eddington.
      Eddington: Sir, if we run into the Jem'Hadar you're still going to need a chief security officer.
      Kira: What makes you think we'll trust you again?
      Eddington: Because I give you my word.
      Sisko: (staring him in the eyes) I make it a policy to never question the word of anyone who wears that uniform. Don't make me change that policy!

    • Garak: I realize it must be nearly time for you to return to your liquid state. So I thought I'd bring you something to relax in.
      Odo: How kind.
      Garak: But before you go for a swim, I have a few questions I'd like to ask you.
      Odo: I have nothing to say, Garak.
      Garak: I had hoped that a few hours alone might jog your memory, but I can see that I'm going to have to take steps I had hoped to avoid.
      Odo: (in a mocking voice) Oh, no, you're going to torture me, aren't you? How I've dreaded this moment. Please have mercy, Garak.
      Garak: You do have a certain flair for sarcasm. It's one of the things I like about you.

    • Enabran Tain: These Founders, Elim, they're very good. Next time... we should be more careful.

    • Odo: Of course. This whole plan was the Founders' Idea in the first place. You wanted the Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order to combine forces and come into the Gamma Quadrant so you could wipe them out.
      Lovok: Not exactly. Tain originated the plan. And when we learned of it, we did everything we could to carry it forward. The Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order are both ruthless, efficient organizations... a definite threat to us.
      Odo: But not after today.
      Lovok: After today the only real threats to us from the Alpha Quadrant are the Klingons and the Federation. And I doubt either of them will be a threat for much longer.

    • (after attempting to destroy the Founder's homeworld)
      Female Romulan: Colonel, there are ships coming out of the nebula.
      Lovok: What kind of ships?
      Female Romulan: Jem'Hadar fighters.
      Tain: How many?
      (a pause. The female Romulan looks at the readings in front of her. Whatever she sees there temporarily stuns her into silence)
      Tain: I asked you a question!
      Female Romulan: 150.
      (now it's Tain's turn to look stunned)
      Tain: Tactical display on screen.
      (dozens of dots appear on the display, confirming a nightmare scenario)
      Garak: It's a trap. They've been waiting for us all along.

    • Odo: Home! I want to go home!
      Garak: And you will! I promise. As soon as this is all over I promise to take you back to Deep Space Nine...
      Odo: No! Not the station! Home to my people!
      Garak: The Founders? You want to return to the Founders? I thought you turned your back on them.
      Odo: I did. But they're still my people. I tried to deny it. I can't forget. I can't. They're my people, and I want to be with them in the Great Link.
      Garak: I knew there was something, some secret you were holding back.
      Odo: And now you've found it. I hope it's useful.

    • Garak: (on the loss of his tailor shop) You know what the sad part is, Odo? I'm a very good tailor.

  • NOTES (8)


    • The Die Is Cast

      In 49 BC, Julius Caesar was poised at the Rubicon River making up his mind whether or not to cross and throw the Roman Republic into Civil War. When he decided to cross and go to war, he said, "The die is cast," meaning that he had made his choice, and the outcome was up to Fate.

    • Admiral Toddman: Sounds like Wolf 359 all over again.
      The Admiral refers to the battle in which the Borg obliterated over thirty Starfleet and Klingon vessels. It is also the battle in which Sisko's wife Jennifer died.

    • Garak: The fault, dear Tain, lies not among our stars but in ourselves.

      This line is paraphrased from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.