Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Changing Face of Evil   Rewatch 
December 8, 2016 4:41 AM - Season 7, Episode 20 - Subscribe

(Series Finale - Part 4 of 9) The tide of the war turns against the Federation Alliance after a Breen attack on San Francisco and the loss of a strategically important system in Dominion space. Likewise, the Bajor Power Couple experiences a profound—and, naturally, bloody—shift in their relationship.

He who studies Memory Alpha is studied by Memory Alpha:

- The Breen attack on Earth may be the first successful attack on Earth to occur in nearly two centuries at that point. Dialogue in "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost" suggests that the last such occasion was during either the Xindi incident or the Earth-Romulan War.

- The first four episodes of The Final Chapter ("Penumbra", "'Til Death Do Us Part", "Strange Bedfellows" and "The Changing Face of Evil") had all been written concurrently, and as such, this episode represented the finale of the first 'block' of the arc. This is evidenced in the episode itself insofar as the story reaches a number of critical junctures, and serves to introduce several new plotlines. As René Echevarria explains, "It was the culmination of the first four episodes. Damar launches his Rebellion, Winn is completely on board with Dukat, Ezri and Worf have decided not to be together, and Sisko and Yates are together."

- Of the ongoing Winn and Dukat plot in this episode, Behr comments, "She experiences self-loathing and loss, and you wonder, 'Okay, does she get it now?' No, she doesn't. As soon as Dukat explains to her that she can cover the murder up, it's clear that she's the only thing she's worried about. But when the smoke clears, she's still less tainted than Dukat. Dukat is still the master, the manipulator, the liar. They're quite a team."

- This episode marks the destruction of the USS Defiant. The decision to destroy the Defiant was not one that was taken lightly. As Behr explains, "The ship had become a character that had caught on in people's hearts and minds." The producers however felt that something was needed to give the Breen an impactful introduction, and it was agreed that nothing could achieve this quite as well as the destruction of the Defiant. As Behr says, "We wanted to kill the Defiant as a statement on how tough the Breen were. We thought that would rock the characters and the audience." This is similar to why the writers destroyed the Galaxy-class USS Odyssey in the Second season finale "The Jem'Hadar" - to instantly communicate to viewers how dangerous the Jem'Hadar were.

"I could be the last Weyoun."

- Weyoun

"There's something different about you today Damar, I can't quite put my finger on it... it's almost as if you're half dressed..."
"What are you talking about?"
"You don't have a bottle in your hand."

- Weyoun and Damar

"He who studies evil is studied by evil."

- Solbor

"Poor Captain Sisko. I believe he was quite fond of that ship."

- Weyoun

"Cardassians have never been afraid of war, a fact we've proven time and again over these past two years. Seven million of our brave soldiers have given their lives to fulfill our part of the agreement, and what has the Dominion done in return? Nothing. We've gained no new territories. In fact, our influence throughout the quadrant has diminished. And to make matters worse we are no longer masters in our own home. Travel anywhere on Cardassia and what do you find? Jem'Hadar, Vorta, and now Breen. Instead of the invaders we have become the invaded. Our 'allies' have conquered us without firing a single shot. Well, no longer. This morning detachments of the Cardassian First, Third and Ninth Orders attacked the Dominion outpost on Rondac III. This assault marks the first step towards the liberation of our homeland, from the true oppressors of the Alpha Quadrant. I call upon Cardassians everywhere. Resist. Resist today. Resist tomorrow. Resist till the last Dominion soldier has been driven from our soil!"

- Damar

"Legate Damar may be the key to saving the entire Alpha Quadrant."

- Benjamin Sisko
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I was always a little bit irked by them getting a new ship just the same and getting to rename it defiant.
I see why, (i.e. fans like the ship, they have models and sets and a ton of footage etc) but I didn't like the reason.

It only just occurs to me now though that they could've (should've) said that the Romulan treaty allowing the cloaking device specifically names the Defiant as an allowed ship, so rather than rewrite the treaty they just rename a ship.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:29 AM on December 8, 2016 [8 favorites]

Eh, I'm OK with the São Paulo being renamed (although I might have a different opinion if I were Brazilian), since the Enterprise has already established that precedent for Starfleet, and Defiant is the right sort of name for a ship that's a replacement for a prototype designed to fight under overwhelming odds against a formidable enemy. (I checked to see if there had ever been any real-life equivalent to renaming a ship, and the closest I found were some US Navy ships that were quietly renamed during the Cold War because they'd been given Alaskan place-names of Russian origin.)

As for the episode in general, I like the introduction of the Breen's I Win button, and wish that the showrunners had spent a little more time in the final arc playing with the idea that the Alliance could still lose this fight, maybe even discussing a Plan B, maybe even bringing back the Jack Pack to say, "OK, given the situation now, how can we start setting up the seeds of the Resistance?" (Or have someone mention that, if it looked bad enough, their last message to Voyager, still in the Delta Quadrant, would be TURN BACK.) Damar completing his heel-face turn was satisfying; I still remember when I first watched this episode, getting a chill when Weyoun started questioning Damar's change of attitude, and then feeling relief when it was obvious that Weyoun went with the most self-aggrandizing interpretation of Damar's sobering up. And poor Solbor; he had the best "I am totally not buying your bullshit" look whenever Anjohl-Dukat said something in his presence.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:17 AM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Or have someone mention that, if it looked bad enough, their last message to Voyager, still in the Delta Quadrant, would be TURN BACK

That'd make an awesome and chilling Voyager episode where the crew gets the monthly messages and it's just an ominous, frantic warning to stay away because of the horrors of [transmission ends unexpectedly].
posted by Servo5678 at 9:01 AM on December 8, 2016 [5 favorites]

That'd make an awesome and chilling Voyager episode where the crew gets the monthly messages and it's just an ominous, frantic warning to stay away because of the horrors of [transmission ends unexpectedly].

posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:25 AM on December 8, 2016 [7 favorites]

Ships also change names when ownership changes: consider the USCG Eagle, which began life as a Nazi ship named Horst Wessel.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:01 AM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Also pretty neat: introducing the really-belongs-in-high-fantasy-but-we'll-allow-it-because-Space-Magic element of a book that you can't read unless you kill someone first.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:33 AM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

Nothing to do with this episode, but it must be shared: Simply Having a Wonderful Deep Space Nine (SLYT). (Note that I said it must be shared, kind of like passing along a curse. You have my sincere regrets for an ear worm nearly as sinister as the one in Wrath of Khan.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:26 PM on December 8, 2016 [9 favorites]

Oh holy crap, UH, that was excellent. That pause about 3/4 of the way through.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:58 AM on December 9, 2016

I enjoyed that way more than expected. The "Move Along Home" bit was priceless.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 1:08 PM on December 9, 2016

My favorite moment is the "...that's ENOUGH!!" Although Worf's very honorable Deep Space Nine is pretty fun, too.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:57 AM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Reddit thread from /r/startrek: DS9 is set at an airport.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:44 AM on December 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

From tumblr: It's that time of the year
posted by oh yeah! at 1:36 PM on December 11, 2016

I’m gonna miss Solbor. Nobody else in the cast sounds nearly as much like Riffraff from Rocky Horror.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:23 AM on January 18, 2019

Also I want to put it on the record that my wife and I both laughed out loud at Weyoun’s comment about the Breen being full of surprises
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:23 PM on January 19, 2019

Before Ducat wakes up Kai Winn, that expression, almost a baring of the teeth. Chills.
posted by joeyh at 6:04 PM on November 30, 2019

Winn should have stabbed Dukat and then blamed him for Solbor's death. No one on Bajor would blame her, and she could still continue with the Pah Wraiths if she wanted.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:06 AM on August 27, 2023

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