Nearing the end of an erratic season 1 in which the show was searching for its identity, DS9 hit its stride in the final 2 episodes. And then, with this season 2 opening trilogy, the show came running out of the gate.
This episode operates largely as setup for the next two parts, and has several disparate threads that would only come together in parts 2 and 3. But there's enough substance here that the episode is enjoyable watching on its own merits. The liberation of the Bajoran prison camp is exciting. The link to the show's initial arc makes it satisfying - not just another TNG knockoff.
All 3 episodes are recommended.