the story: Kira is assigned to help the Cardassians mount a resistance movement.
what it's all about: The final arc continues to heat up as the most ironic development of the series finally happens. Kira is Bajoran. Before the series began she was a member of the Bajoran resistance to Cardassian occupation. Do you begin to grasp the irony? Between Garak, who was always presented as sympathetic, and Dukat, who when he wasn't being a scoundrel or worse flirted with being a good guy, and not to mention experiences like "Duet" and "Second Skin," Kira spent a lot of time around Cardassians who contradicted the ugly history between their peoples. So in a lot of ways, this development was almost inevitable. All it needed was for the Cardassians as a whole to find themselves in a situation where they matched the unique circumstances Kira kept finding. And this being the Cardassians, it was definitely inevitable.
Which still makes this a powerful moment, and one of the defining stories of the final arc. The way the arc developed is something I haven't always appreciated. You may remember me complaining about the somewhat arbitrary opening acts. At this point everything seems justified. It becomes clear how the arc presents every member of the sprawling cast with situations that push them to their limits, things they never thought would happen in a million years.
Also in this episode: Winn catches Dukat spying on the Pah Wraith book she's been guarding jealously, and laughs at the irony of his being struck blind for it. Bashir realizes that Odo (and the other Founders) were infected by Section 31, which will lead to him finally getting his revenge against an organization that has crossed paths with him one too many times.
And, Gowron comes back into the picture. This is the big one, at least at accessibility goes. Gowron was one of the reasons why Next Generation's Klingons redefined the signature Star Trek aliens. He'd made a few Deep Space Nine appearances, but he never really seemed like a fabric of the series. That changes starting with "When It Rains..." (and if you don't know how it ends...).
All these arcs continue and get bigger in the episodes that follow, and that's how you know the arc has really begun to click.
- franchise - Gowron begins his most significant appearances in this series.
- series - The final arc continues to sizzle.
- character - Kira comes full circle in the way she least expected.
essential- Everything that happens here really pays off in other episodes, one of the drawbacks of heavy serialization.
Robert O'Reilly (Gowron)
Louise Fletcher (Winn)
Marc Alaimo (Dukat)
Andrew Robinson (Garak)
J.G. Hertzler (Martok)
Barry Jenner (Admiral Ross)
Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun)
Salome Jens (Female Founder)