Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 7 Episode 26

What You Leave Behind (2)

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Jun 02, 1999 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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out of 10
196 votes
  • 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!
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • points for closure, yet lacks with a weak plot.

    i'll give this episode points for actually giving some closure at the end of the series. the other star trek series seem to end very abruptly with a final explosive mission, and once its complete, that's it. sure, there might by some touchy-feely words at the end, but that's pertty much it.

    then again, this episode was weak in its climax. i suppose i was hoping the pah-wraith's would make themselves known in the core of the final battle, but it seemed as though the writer's were simply throwing this in to tie up the path of the emissary. it could've done without the last 20 minutes, or tied the events into the first 40 much better.

    the most touching part of this episode was listening to vic fontaine singing as ever character went through a series of flasbacks as they prepared to move on with their lives. that, tied in with the final scene with odo and kira, and then seeing jake watching the worm hole open and close tully did bring closure and an end to the series.

    though the plot it weak, and events seem rushed in this finale, when you watch the final episode of Deep Space Nine, you'll feel as though you've just completed an extraordinary journey you were hardly aware you were apart of.
  • Watched it again...for the (insert large ammount here) time and it still brought a tear to my eyes.

    Yeah, maybe I'm a wuss, but I loved this show. It was everything Next Generation wasn't. The characters grew and evolved, the world was really created. We got to live outside of the hermetically sealed world of a starship...what an amazing thing!

    Each character was allowed their moment in this finale. Not that they weren't in the other Star trek series, just that it's a good thing to do. We got to the epic ending of the Dominion way with a few requisite twists, nothing surprisingly spectacular, just good solid ending.

    A nice quote from the Civil War. Great touch!

    And...then of course, the finale showdown between Sisko and Dukat. I'm sorry, Ricardo Montalban, Marc Alaimo is the greatest villian in Star Trek. Sisko's transcendancy was a wonderful peice of the puzzle.

    I guess the thing to say is...this episode really wrapped things up nicely. And I was sad to see them go...repeatedly. So, that either shows me how sensitive I am...or how great an series/episode this was. (Maybe it's both.)

  • An effective and exciting conclusion to the series, with slight reservations.

    I watched this entire series via DVD over the course of about six months, and so was able to keep track of the entire plot line much easier than if I had watched it over the seven or so years. This episode, in my opinion, was a great wrap up. The battle scenes are epic, and for the most part, the series is wrapped up nicely. My only reservation, and the reason I can't give this on a full 10 is because of what I felt to be a very unnecesary plot line including Gul Dukat and the Pa Wraiths. In the DVD extras, the writers said that they wanted to literally raise Sisko to the level of a God, and so in that respect, that thread was 'necessary' for thier intentions, however I thought that was a bit too much. Had the series ended in Vic's nightclub 3/4 of the way through the two parter, it would have been a much more fitting and satisfying end to a great series. The concept of having long story arcs taking place on an essentialy immobile space station made for a great long term epic, and this episode did bring as fitting an end as you could expect, an ending that did effectively tie up the most major plot lines. It was done so effectively there would be a hard time trying to continue this particular story, which I think was part of the intention. DS9 is best seen as a whole, no one episode really shown through as 'great', but as a series, it was a winner.
  • A lackluster finale – The Dominion Federation War was tied up too quickly and all of the characters started new lives is just a little too neat and tidy.

    I was disappointed by the finale. I suppose that I was comparing it to the Star Trek: TNG finale and DS9 just couldn’t fill the very large shows created by the TNG crew.

    My first problem was Benjamin Sisko becoming a profit. While I suppose that it’s fitting, what purpose can Sisko actually serve as a prophet. The paraiths are gone forever so all that is left to due is guide the Bajoran people. Only problem is that Sisko is too caught up in himself to really be a good prophet let alone a descent emissary. Just a few episodes earlier, Benjamin defied the prophets when he was married. Another problem is that once Benjamin passes into another realm of existence, he contacts his wife of only a few months. Maybe my family values are off, but shouldn’t his son of twenty years be a little more important than his wife. Jake is left staring off into the distant wormhole wondering about his dad. I hardly call that closure.

    I suppose that this isn’t specific to the episode but Kira Noris and Odo have zero chemistry. I enjoyed the storyline of Odo pining after Kira, but having them actually dating is just counterintuitive. It doesn’t make sense. Kira is full of passion and Odo is cold and stolid. Watching their goodbyes and expressions of affection is just wrong.

    Last of all, why is every major character except Kira leaving the station. I realize the purpose of series finales is to provide closure but a finale can at least be realistic. Yes, the war is ended, but the writers should have spread out the character conclusions across a few episodes. Why would Miles be offered a position, accept, and leave within a week (maybe two)? Futhermore, the whole Julian/Ezhri relationship did not have enough buildup. Yes, it was good that they ended up together but there should be have been more development between lets not ruin the friendship and them waking up in the same bed.

    I guess the main problem was that the writers tried to conclude the Dominion Federation war and provide character closure all in one episode. The result is the end of the war seemed rushed and the characters left the show unrealistically. While I enjoyed DS9 as a series, it deserved a better sendoff.