51. The Maquis (2.20, 2.21)

Synopsis: When a Cardassian freighter explodes at Deep Space 9, the Cardassians blame Federation colonists in the new Demilitarized Zone. Sisko tries to rescue Gul Dukat, stop the Maquis terrorists, and prevent a new war with the Cardassians.

Memory Alpha Summary: No sign yet of Chakotay

Review: A pretty blah episode as far as tension and action, but an extremely important episode as far as the direction DS9 goes. It had always bothered me that Roddenberry viewed future humans as essentially flawless. It made for very predictable and occasionally preachy scripts. This quote by Sisko made my spine tingle:

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52. It’s Only A Paper Moon (7.10)

Synopsis: In the aftermath of an injury that left him disabled on AR-558, Nog returns to Deep Space 9, but finds he cannot go on living his uncertain life and seeks shelter within the fictional world of Vic Fontaine and Las Vegas, 1962.

Memory Alpha Summary: R.I.P. Aron Eisenberg

Review: I always like me some Vic Fontaine, and again he turns out to be a much better therapist than the paid therapist on the show.  At least Ezri doesn’t shame Nog like the rest of the crew is doing. It seems unrealistic to me that in the enlightened 24th century, members of the military would expect PTSD to last only a couple of days before every superior officer just be like, “Suck it up soldier!”  

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53. Starship Down (4.07)

Synopsis: Sisko defends a Karemma ship when it is attacked by the Jem’Hadar. Meanwhile, Quark and the Karemma trade minister argue about the value of dishonesty in trading before having to work together to disarm a Jem’Hadar torpedo.

Memory Alpha SummaryQuark saves everyone’s ass again

Review: Disaster, Part II!

In the former we had a quantum filament making the ship fall apart. Here we have…toxic gas. Yeah, it doesn’t quite have the same tension. But it’s still a pretty fun episode for character development. Kira struggles with being friends with someone she considers a religious figure. Bashir gets to cuddle with Dax and not be creepy about it; they even joke about it and Dax delivers a great quote:

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55. Return to Grace (4.14)

Synopsis: Kira and Gul Dukat chase the Klingon Bird-of-Prey that destroyed a Cardassian outpost where Cardassian and Bajoran representatives were holding a conference.

Memory Alpha Summaryand Grace wasn’t happy about it

Review: The writers continue to do a fine job at pigeonholing Dukat into plots while developing his character in a realistic way. On TNG, the story about him reuniting with his daughter would have just dangled forever, but here they deal with it in a fairly satisfying way.

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56. The Collaborator (2.24)

Synopsis: Kira’s lover is accused of collaborating with the Cardassians during the Occupation.

Memory Alpha SummaryKira’s future lover does too!

Review: Holy Hannah is Vedek Winn awesome television. Every time she talks it makes your skin crawl, yet her character is entirely believable at the same time. Vedek Bareil, on the other hand, is kind of dull, so this turn of events is actually welcome, as having Winn as the Kai will definitely lead to better episodes in the future. Unfortunately, we haven’t had enough time with Nerys and Bareil to really buy into their love for one another, so the emotional parts of this episode fall flat a bit. 

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57. The Defiant (3.09)

Synopsis: When Commander William T. Riker from the Enterprise-D arrives on Deep Space 9, he takes a liking to Kira, who gives him a tour of the Defiant. But Riker is revealed to be not who he claims to be when he attacks Kira and steals the Defiant.

Memory Alpha SummaryNot man-whoring should have been our first clue

Review: Unlike Q’s appearance during season one, Riker’s appearance is perfectly timed and never feels contrived. The reveal that it’s Thomas Riker is done early enough to please the audience and to avoid the trap of writing an episode where its only point is to sweep out the rug. It also develops a character that TNG failed to expand upon, though unfortunately, only does so for one episode.

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58. Move Along Home (1. 10)

Synopsis: A visiting delegation from the Gamma Quadrant turns four crew members into “pieces” for a bizarre game.

Memory Alpha SummaryI wonder what Worf’s honor stat would have been.

Review: Considered by many to be one of the worst episodes in the Star Trek canon, and boy I don’t get all the vitriol. It’s goofy for sure but everyone seems to be having fun and it’s not a lazy recycle of a dozen other Trek plots.

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59. The Wire (2.22)

Synopsis: Bashir tries to help when Garak suffers painful headaches from an implant in his brain.

Memory Alpha SummaryThose Baltimore police at it again

Review: Any episode that prominently features Garak is compelling. This one plods a little bit, as it’s just a repetition of Bashir chasing the truth out of Garak, which is like Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy’s football. But the introduction of Tain is great, and the final line of the show is delicious.

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