Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 7 Episode 26

What You Leave Behind (2)

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Jun 02, 1999 on Syndicado
out of 10
User Rating
193 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The Dominion War is entering its final stages, with many surprises. Meanwhile, in the Fire Caves, Kai Winn and Dukat continue their efforts to release the Pah-wraiths. Can they and the Dominion be stopped? Things look grim for the Federation and the crew of Deep Space Nine.


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  • This is the end. Hold your breath and count to ten.

    Closing the book on the series, this episode has to hit a number of plot points (and a record setting number of guest stars), but in the sure hands of director Allan Kroeker (who would on to direct the finales of Voyager, and Enterprise), each beat hits at the right time, giving the war's endgame a satisfying layout and turning the aftermath into an engaging coda. With previous episodes carefully positioning the characters into different facets of the war, the finale is able to bring us its conclusion from a wide variety of viewpoints, giving us a less of a comic book close and more of a realistic representation of victory and defeat than television is known for. (How ironic for this to happen in a sci fi series!) There aren't one or two actions that will ultimately decide the lives of billions; there are many events happening simultaneously that form the conclusion, cutting off options and hemming in the losing side before the leader is finally cornered and forced to accept the checkmate.

    And yet it all leaves room for the aftermath to breath. with the characters embarking on separate paths in a way that leaves no question that this is the end.

    Is the episode perfect? Not quite. The pilot indicates that Sisko's mission is to prepare Bajor to join the Federation, but the finale fails to address the issue. Instead, Sisko feels a disturbance in the force and journeys to the cave set to give us a good versus evil fight that seems more Star Wars than Star Trek. (Although, come to think of it, it does have the same climax as "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the second pilot for the Original The events bring closure to the characters of Dukat and Winn, a must for the series, but the sequence is cartoonish compared to the rest of the episode and gives the series an anticlimactic finish.

    To be fair, however, that's a small piece of the puzzle, and what the finale does well, it does very well. There are some thrilling space battles with impressive visual effects (garnering an Emmy Nomination, even though the sequences are filled out with stock footage). We get death scenes that are all the more dramatic for not being overly so. And there are emotional montages dedicated to the main characters, comprised of footage spanning the seven seasons of the show. There's even the first fully CGI shot of the station, used for a breathtaking final shot.

    In the end, the series remains true to what it's always been: the Star Trek that isn't afraid to get some dirt under its finger nails but finds a way to remain classy.

  • A lack lustre finish to an otherwise great storyline - it just felt too rushed and 'flat'!

    I really felt disappointed by the end of this story - I thought Sisko's character was terribly mistreated...without any future episodes or films he has just been left in limbo! I really cared about this guy and yet I didn't even get the impression of how Sisko felt at the end of the story. Did Sisko WANT to stay with the Profets? Was he thinking about his children at all? I felt cheated that Sisko's feelings and eventual fate were not explored more - especially after seven years of caring abut this guy!! I guess my expectations were so high for the final story and Ira Steven Behr, as the writer, failed to deliver - he even had the holographic singer crooning away as a 'filler' when I would dearly have loved this time for more 'goodbyes' or more action (which wasn't helped, by the way, by the Producers using 'old' CGI from previous episodes). Compared to the final episode of STTNG, this one felt like a missed opportunity.

    I really, really am sorry to give this such a low score but I was so very disappointed. I've been hoping for a film just so that I can really say goodbye to Sisko and the rest of the crew!moreless
  • The war finally comes to an end<br /><br /> and we finally see the back of sisko

    The dominion has pulled back to defend cardassia and the federation alliance comes to thier homeworld.

    The jem hadar meanwhile are busy exterminating the cardassian race atomising cities and so on.

    Legat dumar and his resistance group plot to invade dominion headquarters .

    The battle sequences in space were ok unfortunately i was blessed with a photographic memory for certain things.

    Alot of the effects shots were taken from other episodes.

    They made me sit up and shout at the screen rather than enjoy the drama and destruction .

    So the final battle was a let down for me.

    More satisfying was damars heroic death and they finally get the kill weyoun .the slimey little bastards dead for good now.

    Peace is declared and sisko disspaerars in the fire caves on bajor.


    let the prohpets deal with his "acting skills" for the next few hundered years.

    I was more sad to see o brien leave and say good bye to julian.

    A little more effort could have made this episode great.

    Not to say its anywhere near as awful as endgame(VOY)

    or these are the voyages(ENT) but i was expecting more of a all good things(TNG)moreless
  • A very unique and wonderful ending to a brilliant journey

    I watched this episode many times. Deep Space Nine is by far my favourite Star Trek show. I felt this episode did bring closure to the show, but the way in which it was done was a big surprise.

    I was disappointed where Dukat ended up, just because I got bored with him and Winn. But it was the storyline that in many ways was required. The prophets have always been a force within the storyline of DS9, of Bajor and Cardassia. The war with the dominion seemed to be the main focus, but the prophets always had to have an ending, as did Sisko as the emissary. It was sad he left Jake and Cassidy Yates. But you maybe wonder if ever since Jennifer died, his life was set on a path and he that path had an ending with Bajor. After all we know that linear time, does not exist for the prophets, in other words, the writers did what had to be done, finished what was already written for his character and gave Sisko himself closure of sorts.

    I also found the Cardassia angle brilliantly written. I have always been a huge fan of Garek, he is a brilliant character. When the founders ordered the extermination of the Cardassian people, followed by Martok offering a toast to victory amongst the ruins and dead of Cardassia, suggesting in some way it was poetic justice, Sisko's reaction reminded me of one of the tragedy's of world war II when Germany was reduced to dust and the russians and american's met in Berlin. In Garek's discussion with Bashir afterwards, he stated it was heartwrenching that their culture, their music, art, literature etc. Great people were gone, but said that we were guilty for our arrogance. I felt in that portrayal the writers really took from our own history of War, one of the many tragedy's that all of us will lose much that is dear and we will all reflect upon how arrogance brought it all to this point. Sisko clearly felt too, there was no victory, just such sorrow it ever had to come to this.

    For all these reasons I give the episode top marks as a really intelligent ending to a show that in my opinion was far far deeper, far darker, with personalities and storylines far more real than anything Star Trek had before or after. Deep Space Nine was a very unique show and I think we have Ronald D. Moore to thank for the pleasure and sorrow of this ending.moreless
  • A good story always leaves some unanswered questions and know how to use silence, how to leave you questioning the motives, the future, the decisions of the characters. This was one of those stories.moreless

    I take it everyone reading this review (I hope there's at least one person reading it...) has already seen the episode, so I'm not recapping it or quoting lines.

    My personal belief is that a good story always leaves some unanswered questions. Not unanswered in a bad way, as in not-concluded-storylines. Unanswered means that good stories know how to use silence, how to leave you questioning the motives, the future, the decisions of the characters. Personally, I prefer the writers not telling me exactly why Sisko took that rather final decision. I prefer the writers not giving me the details: I'd rather keep thinking of Sisko as a round character, with his own obscure moments, his regrets, his blinding passion. Passion never lets you take or leads you to cristal clear conclusions.

    I loved the ending scene: silence and darkness all around, but still a window. Still hope.moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman


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

Alexander Siddig

Alexander Siddig

Dr. Julian Bashir

Greg Ellis

Greg Ellis


Guest Star

Mel Johnson Jr.

Mel Johnson Jr.

Legate Broca

Guest Star

Robert O'Reilly

Robert O'Reilly

Gowron (archive footage)(uncredited)

Guest Star

Deborah Lacey

Deborah Lacey


Recurring Role

James Darren

James Darren

Vic Fontane

Recurring Role

Marc Alaimo

Marc Alaimo

Gul Dukat

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • After Dukat says "Farewell, Adami" in the fire caves, he is holding the Text of the Kosst Amojan in his right hand. A moment later, Sisko tackles Dukat over the precipice and the book has vanished. As we see both men plummet, Dukat is holding the book again.

    • Quark talks about the election of a new Kai. This makes sense because Winn is dead. But how does anyone know that? The only witnesses to her death were Sisko and Dukat. Sisko speaks to Kasidy later, but he only tell her what happened to him. He does not mention Winn. However, considering how long it would take for Kira to bring Odo to the Founders' Homeworld and return to Deep Space Nine (a few days' travel time at least), it is possible the Bajorans had come to the conclusion that Winn was dead, or at the very least were electing an interim Kai.

    • In the last closeup scenes with Weyoun and the Founder, you can see that Weyoun's right contact has moved out of place. His right eye appears to be looking upward, while the left is looking forward.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Martok: Remember these are Cardassians lying dead at your feet. Bajorans would call this poetic justice.
      Sisko: That doesn't mean I have to drink a toast over their bodies.

    • Quark: (confidently to Kira after Odo refused to say a final farewell to Quark) That man loves me. Couldn't you see? It was written all over his back.

    • Sisko: You are pathetic!
      Dukat: Then why are you the one on your knees?
      Sisko: First the Dominion, now the Pah-Wraiths. You have a talent for picking the losing sides... (growls with pain)
      Dukat: Benjamin, please, we've known each other too long. And since this is the last time we will ever be together, let's try to speak honestly. We've both had our victories and our defeats. Now it's time to resolve our differences and face the ultimate truth: I've won, Benjamin. You've lost.
      Sisko: The Pah-Wraiths will never conquer anything. Not Bajor, not the Celestial Temple and certainly not the Alpha Quadrant.
      Dukat: And who's going to stop us?
      Sisko: I aaammm!!!!!!
      Dukat: (laughs) You can't even stand up.
      Winn: Then I'll stop you.

    • Female Shapeshifter: (after Weyoun is killed) I wish you hadn't done that. That was Weyoun's last clone.
      Garak: I was hoping you'd say that.

    • (last line of the series)
      Quark: The more things change... the more they stay the same.

    • Sisko: Sarah? Are you there? What happened?
      Sarah: The Emissary has completed his task.
      Sisko: But, the Pah-Wraiths?
      Sarah: You've returned them to their prison within the Fire Caves.
      Sisko: The book was the key, wasn't it?
      Sarah: To a door that can never be opened again.
      Sisko: And Dukat, is he dead?
      Sarah: He is where he belongs. With the Pah-Wraiths. Your time of trial has ended. You need to rest now.
      Sisko: Oh, I intend to... as soon as I return to Deep Space Nine.
      Sarah: That won't be necessary. You're with us now.

    • Dukat: Did you really think the Pah-Wraiths would choose you as their Emissary? Soon the Pah-Wraiths will burn across Bajor, the Celestial Temple, the Alpha Quadrant. Can you picture it? An entire universe, set in flames!!! To burn, for all eternity. The Prophets have sent me a gift... their beloved Emissary, set forth like an avenging angel to slay the demon.

    • Kira: This war's over. You lost.
      Female Shapeshifter: Have I? I think you will find that neither the Jem'Hadar, nor the Breen would agree with that assessment - they will fight to the last man.
      Kira: And what would that accomplish?
      Female Shapeshifter: Isn't it obvious? You may win this war, Commander, but when it is over I assure you that you will have lost so many ships - so many lives - that your victory will taste as bitter as defeat.

    • Female Shapeshifter: The war between the Dominion and the Federation alliance is now over.
      Ross: Four hundred years ago a victorious General spoke the following words at the end of another costly war: 'Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exhalation of triumph. From both we have learned... there can be no going back. We must move forward, to preserve in peace what we've won in war'.

  • NOTES (13)

    • Originally, Morn was going to deliver the final line of the series.

    • The music that plays as Odo and Kira say goodbye is the same that plays while Kira says goodbye to Bareil in the third season episode "Life Support".

    • During breaks, the cast took souvenir pictures and swapped autographs. The official wrap party was held at Modrian Hotel with James Darren singing The Way You Look Tonight.

    • This episode marks the deaths of Damar (Casey Biggs), the last Weyoun clone (Jeffrey Combs) and Kai Winn (Louise Fletcher) in that order.

    • Michael Dorn (Lt. Worf) and Colm Meaney (Chief O'Brien) are only actors to appear in the finales of both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat), Aron Eisenberg (Nog), J.G. Hertzler (General Martok) and Mark Allen Shepherd (Morn) are the only actors, besides the regulars, to appear in both the pilot and finale of the series. This is the first of two Star Trek series finales in which Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun) appears. The second is the Enterprise finale "These Are The Voyages..." in which he plays Commander Shran.

    • Final episode of the Dominion arc, the longest running arc in Trek history, that began in season two's "Rules Of Acquisition".

    • In the original draft of the script, Damar still went down with all guns blazing, but without any lines. Distraught at the thought of a death without words, Casey Biggs asked Director Allan Kroeker for permission to improvise, hence his final words of "Keep...". When asked at conventions, Biggs admits he had no idea of how he was going to finish the statement.

    • Avery Brooks is the only regular to appear in every episode of the series.

    • The Dominion members use what appears to be an ink pen and paper when they sign the surrender.

    • Ira Steven Behr admits that it seemed fitting that Dukat, having been Sisko's foil and counterpart since the beginning of the series, become the Anti-Emissary.

    • This was the final episode of Star Trek to air before the death of DeForest Kelley on June 11, 1999.

    • Jadzia is not 'remembered' by any of the characters due to a dispute with Terry Farrell over the use of her image in the show, after Paramount used it without permission in "Penumbra".

    • During the 'farewell toast', many of the actors appeared out of costume. Including J.G Hertzler, Aron Eisenberg, Jeffery Combs, Max Grodenchik, Casey Biggs and Cecily Adams. The entire writing staff and Ira Steven Behr can also be seen.


    • your victory will taste as bitter as defeat.
      The Founder is referring to what is known as a Pyrrhic Victory. It is when a victory has came at such a high cost that it doesn't differ from a defeat.

    • Battle of Thermopylae
      The holosuit program that Dr. Bashir and Ezri Dax decide to run, the Battle of Thermopylae, is a reference to the battle where a small band of Spartans led by King Leonidas defended a mountain pass against the vast Persian army. It is also depicted in the movie 300.

    • Where No Man Has Gone Before
      The scene in the fire caves where the Pah-wraith-possessed Dukat forces Sisko to kneel before him is very reminiscent of when Gary Mitchell, Kirk's original first officer who was corrupted by god-like power, forced Kirk to 'pray' to him, in that Original Series episode.

    • Admiral Ross: Today the guns are silent...

      Admiral Ross quotes a couple of passages from the speech of General Douglas MacArthur at the end of World War II on Sep.2.45 after the Japanese surrender.