Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Treachery, Faith, and the Great River   Rewatch 
October 20, 2016 3:45 AM - Season 7, Episode 6 - Subscribe

While O'Brien and Nog are embroiled in the Starfleet version of one of those RPGs where you have to give one NPC soap in order to get the grain to trade with another NPC for the key, Odo is faced with unexpected and mysterious clone sightings.

The Great Memory Alpha Continuum will provide:

- Philip Kim's original idea for this episode involved Weyoun coming to Sisko to ask for his help because the Founders are breeding a new race called the Modain, who are to replace the Jem'Hadar. The Modain are far tougher and more aggressive than the Jem'Hadar, and even more loyal to the Founders. Weyoun convinces Sisko that it would be in everybody's best interest to destroy the breeding facility where the Modain are being developed. After destroying the facility however, Sisko discovers that Weyoun was lying – the Modain were not being bred to replace the Jem'Hadar, they were being bred to replace the Vorta. Ira Steven Behr had been looking for a good Weyoun/Odo story since the sixth season, and he believed that Kim's idea could be modified to fit. Consequently he assigned the script to David Weddle and Bradley Thompson, who altered Kim's story into the final episode.

- Of the B-story, which is based on the 1961 Joseph Heller novel Catch 22, with Nog taking the role of Milo Minderbinder, Aron Eisenberg states, "This was Nog taking the same energy and Ferengi ideals he'd had before he joined Starfleet and incorporating them into his goals in Starfleet. What I love about having an honest Ferengi in Starfleet is that he knows how to manipulate the situation. In Starfleet, you go through certain channels to get things done. It's all very official. Nog just feels that you don't have to. You can do it this way and it works just as easily and it's much faster. He thinks it's perfectly natural to do this. No one else in Starfleet would have done things this way except Nog."

- The idea of an officer who wants to sit behind Sisko's desk was Ira Behr's joke about how obsessed Trekkies can become.

- Jeffrey Combs has stated that this was his favorite episode, not only because of the amount of screen time he got, but also because of the opportunity of playing two completely different 'types' of Weyoun in a single episode; "One Weyoun was defective, but that didn't mean that he was weak or that he wasn't manipulative or that he couldn't see what the other Weyoun is doing. Finding the right balance was tricky, so it really was my most challenging show. I would say to myself, 'Okay, now, how would that Weyoun say that line and how would this Weyoun react to it'. I tried to make Weyoun 6 a Weyoun of a different color, a Weyoun who could align himself with the Federation and see the flaws in his leaders. This actually appealed to me. I've always thought that Weyoun had some innate goodness in him somewhere. It's just difficult finding it because the Vorta are genetically designed to be loyal. But one person's defectiveness is another person's enlightenment. He was blind but now he could see. And for that, he was labeled a 'problem.' That was fun to play. I thought of each Weyoun as a different slice of the same pizza. One just didn't have any pepperoni on it."

"Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
"Chief, I can't operate under those kinds of restrictions."

- O'Brien and Nog

"I don't think the universe is ready for two Weyouns."
"I couldn't agree more."

- Odo and Weyoun 7

"You have to have faith, Chief."
"In a rumor?!"
"No... in the Great Material Continuum!"
(sighs) "Who are they?!"
"It's not a 'they', it's the force that binds the universe together."
"Oh, I must have missed that class at Engineering School."

- Nog And O'Brien

"Has it ever occurred to you that you believe the Founders are gods because that's what they want you to believe? That they built that into your genetic code?"
"Of course they did. That's what gods do. After all, why be a god if there's no one to worship you?"

- Odo and Weyoun 6

"This isn't easy for you, but you have to remember, they started this war. You didn't."
"That's true. But I know now, whichever side wins, one thing is certain: I'm going to lose."

- Kira and Odo
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I really liked this episode, and felt that the dual plots both worked well. The interaction between Wayoun 6 and Odo are well written and believable, and the conceit that he is a "damaged" clone is good as it shows there is a fallibility to the Founders technology and techniques. The interaction between Wayoun 7 and Damar is also excellent, with Damar convincing Wayoun to act against his better judgement and the wants of the Founders.

Having Wayoun try to kill Odo and then lie to the Founder woman is a great idea, as it means he is implicated in this and Damar has something almost over him. When the Founder woman turns up and is all messed up and Damar comments on it, this is pretty much the first time we see the illness the Founders have this way, and for it to come after Wayoun 6 tells Odo about it just makes it work better for me.

The Nog/O'Brien storyline is just brilliant, funny and accurate. I love the Aron Eisenberg quote about it in the FPP. The way he trades one thing for another and it almost messes up is so well handled, and the comedy with O'Brien and Bashir in Sisko's office with the new, white desk is excellent. The whole "Material Continuum" speech he makes is superb, and fits well with what we know of Ferengi culture and business ideas. Even in this, the Ferengi are more of an actual race then the TNG Ferengi ever could have been.
posted by marienbad at 5:36 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Weyoun 6: Whatever you want it to be. I wish only to serve you.
Odo: All right, and you can start by telling me how one runabout is going to survive an assault by four Jem'Hadar ships.
Weyoun 6: I'm sure you'll think of something.
Motherfucker, get up behind them and shoot them in the ass, like just did to that first Jem'Hadar ship. It only takes one shot to blow them up! Weyoun 6 gave Odo all the information the Federation needs to win the war. If Starfleet builds an armada of runabouts, they'll be invincible. A single runabout can withstand a dozen shots from a Jem'Hadar fighter.

And hey, Weyoun 6: you don't eat pizza with chopsticks. Stupid dead idiot.
posted by riruro at 6:39 PM on October 20, 2016

I love this episode, in part because it really digs into Weyoun as a person and gives him a lot of depth while still very much keeping him Weyoun, and in part because it also gets into the subject of faith, which DS9 does very well at. First, though, I should point out that there's no real evidence that Weyoun 6 is actually defective. He realized that the Founders are dying, and further that there was possibly/probably only one Founder that he knew of who may not be infected, and made the logical decision. And, as Odo points out, the very ambitious decision; Weyoun's worship of the Founders doesn't keep him from working around them and being their handler as much as their servant, as we've seen before, from Weyoun 4 when we first meet him in "To the Death" to Weyoun 5 after the Dominion occupies the station. If you believe that all the other gods are dying, then there's only one whose opinion really counts.

As ambitious as he is, though, Weyoun 6 is also completely sincere regarding Odo, and Jeffrey Combs sells that as well as he has from the beginning, which you'll remember is why the showrunners changed canon specifically to bring his character back, which in turn led to this episode. When someone challenges the divinity of the Founders or the righteousness of the Dominion, Weyoun immediately and completely loses his grinning amiability and practically goes to absolute zero in Planck time. He's not as dickish as he can be, but that's probably because he's with Odo all the time. (Weyoun 7's open suspicion of Damar in Weyoun 5's death is more par for the course, and probably justified, although Damar would in turn be completely justified in arranging a little "accident.") His delight in telling the Vorta origin story also comes across as 100% genuine, and his death scene, where he's beseeching Odo for his blessing not just with his voice but with his eyes, is kind of heartbreaking. If Sisko is perennially uncomfortable with the idea of being a religious figure, Odo positively hates the idea, but he also possesses compassion in a way that none of his other people really seem to.

Faith, from all sorts of different people in all sorts of different circumstances, permeates the entire series and drives it forward in a number of ways. The Dominion and the Federation both believe that their way is the right way, maybe ultimately the only right way; ditto for the Maquis and even the Klingon Empire with its effort to become the conquering power of yore. Sisko and Kira are the most obvious examples among the crew, but you've also got Worf spearheading the effort to get his dead wife into Klingon Valhalla, Bashir responding to the Jack Pack's faith that he can not only help Sarina but do the right thing when it comes time to let go of her, and now Nog revealing a more abstract philosophy behind Ferengi capitalism. I don't think that the philosophy is necessarily a very robust one--it wouldn't really help if the Great Material Continuum put what you need on the other side of the galaxy, even if the Federation had a starship there at one point--but the point, of course, is to get you to at least take a risk and try. (I'm reminded of an old Willie and Joe cartoon from Bill Mauldin in which he shows a bunch of GIs who have captured a German truck and are forcing the driver to take them somewhere while they're kicking other Germans off the truck; they all have bottles of booze that they've "liberated" from the Nazis, and one of them is saying, "Y'see? I told you that we could still have a merry Christmas if only we kept our childlike faith!" Eh, I guess you had to be there.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:01 PM on October 20, 2016 [6 favorites]

I should point out that there's no real evidence that Weyoun 6 is actually defective. [...] If you believe that all the other gods are dying, then there's only one whose opinion really counts.

Wow, never thought of it that way. I'd always just perceived the morphogenic virus revelation to be a straightforward third-act surprise, added just to propel the war storyline forward. But it really has thematic resonance with the rest of the episode.

It's a good example of where DS9 excels compared to other genre shows. We've all seen the One-Off Where Our Heroes Ally with a Recurring Enemy plenty of times, but here the ramifications (and the pathos) are so much stronger than average.

And I wish every Ferengi-focused episode was as well-balanced as this one. I think pairing O'Brien in exasperation mode with cocky Nog was a great call, and Eisenberg is in the zone in that role (as we'll soon see a lot more of).

And it will be a goddamn crime if they don't bring Jeffrey Combs into Discovery in at least a recurring role. I mean, he doesn't seem to be particularly unavailable. (Side note: my second-favorite Combs role of all time is in the Peter Jackson film The Frighteners, a must-see for Combsophiles.) He is the only thing that makes me contemplate ever watching any Enterprise episodes again.

Really my only gripe about this episode is its clunky title. It sounds like it belongs on a bawdy '70s comedy film, maybe with truckers, or a big airboat race or something.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:09 AM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, gotta agree with Halloween Jack - Combs ability to portray the two sides of Wayoun's persona and the way he switches between them is phenomenal. The episodes where he is in the control room with the Cardassians, and is in full-on boss mode, giving orders in a way that totally portrays him as someone used to having his orders followed, when the Founder woman walks in, and instantly he is so fawning and obsequious it is unreal. He opens his arms wide and practically genuflects, saying something like, "Founder, how may I serve you?" Absolutely brilliant stuff.

I should point out that there's no real evidence that Weyoun 6 is actually defective

omg! Mind = blown! Had never thought about that. Such an interesting idea, that he is just acting rationally, and siding with the one non-ill god. Loved Odo's last line as well.
posted by marienbad at 4:57 AM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Eisenberg killed it as Nog. I got curious what he'd had been up to lately, and after a decade-long drought he's apparently acting again, so that's nice. (He also seems to be mostly working as a photographer, and he had a crowd-funded kidney transplant in 2015!)

This show features way too many awesome actors who pretty much vanished after it wrapped. Eisenberg, Marc Alaimo, Andrew Robinson, Terry Farrell... even Avery Brooks!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:44 PM on October 21, 2016

Brooks is 100% made for stage acting. "Waltz" played to is strengths because it was set up like a play. I would love to see him in something like Waiting for Godot. And I think theater is boring as shit!
posted by riruro at 2:09 PM on October 21, 2016

I soooo wish they had come up with a name for the 'female changeling'. Or at least had Weyoun 6 refer to her as just 'The Founder' instead when talking to Odo.

Good episode though. It seemed hard to believe that Weyoun 7 would be able go along with Damar's plan to kill Odo, what with the genetic conditioning. Even following the "lives of the many outweigh the life of the one" math, it just seems like a Vorta should have more of a problem with directly harming a Founder than the abstract harming of all Founders.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:30 PM on October 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is one of my favorite episodes. It's filled with quiet, character revealing Weyoun #6 moments, and the storyline between the Cadet and the Chief was hilarious. But truly, the best scenes of this episode are the ones between Damar and Weyoun #7. Damar is now guzzling kanar like water, and it looks like he's on his way to becoming the show's first alcoholic character. Much to Weyoun's disgust. It is also revealed to us that Weyoun #5 was killed in a transporter accident. Weyoun looks directly at Damar when he says that it's awfully convenient that Damar was called away just as they both were about to step onto the transporter pad. :D

Weyoun loved sparring with and lecturing Dukat and was often bemused by his arrogance, but you always had a sense that there was at least some mutual respect between them. But Damar and the new Weyoun truly loathe each other and that's fun and fascinating to watch.

Meanwhile, Weyoun #6 is the fervent worshiper and Odo is the reluctant god. #6 has clearly come to the conclusion that Odo may make a better deity than the Female Founder. Combs pours his soul into all of his characters, and the faithful reverence and awe he has of Odo is almost palpable.


The Rule of Acquisition revealed in this episode is # 168: "Whisper your way to success."
posted by zarq at 8:19 AM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Good episode though. It seemed hard to believe that Weyoun 7 would be able go along with Damar's plan to kill Odo, what with the genetic conditioning. Even following the "lives of the many outweigh the life of the one" math, it just seems like a Vorta should have more of a problem with directly harming a Founder than the abstract harming of all Founders.

I think there's also a dollop of self preservation involved. The Weyouns are already wary of taking the blame on how badly this war is going for the Dominion, and Weyoun 7 is extremely defensive about Weyoun 6 being defective - making sure we all know that Weyouns don't usually become defective. He has to work with the guy who had Weyoun 5 murdered, and he knows that Damar wouldn't hesitate to throw him under the bus as well. Weyoun wants to get rid of the reminder that Weyouns can be defective as soon as possible - it's personal for him, and as long as they're talking about how horrible Weyoun 6 is they're going to be suspicious if Weyoun 7 has the same faults - and he doesn't want to piss off Damar too quickly. So he's willing to reason his way into thinking that Odo isn't really a god, so it's okay.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:04 PM on March 14, 2017

mood: Chief O'Brien crossly telling Nog, "This is no time for Ferengi fairy tales."
posted by duffell at 5:27 PM on January 21, 2019

Also, man, DS9 got the best episode titles.
posted by duffell at 5:28 PM on January 21, 2019

Going back and watching one of my favorite-ever episodes right now. Completely forgot about the sexygross Changeling Massage at the start of the episode. I bet that'd feel amazing.
posted by duffell at 4:27 AM on May 4, 2019

What's wild is that Milo Minderbinder is one of the most vile, reprehensible, evil characters in all of fiction, and Nog here is totally worth rooting for, but I think that's because Nog's scheme doesn't involve, you know, selling soldiers' medical supplies or bombing his own base. I saw what he was doing as something close to Uncut Gems, but still much more lovable.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:55 PM on May 28, 2020

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