Mark Watches ‘Deep Space Nine’: S07E24 – The Dogs of War

In the twenty-fourth episode of the seventh season of Deep Space Nine, the Cardassian rebellion is dealt a setback, but the Federation aims to take advantage of a weakness in the Dominion. Also: Ferengi? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek. 

Some good, some not-so-good… LET’S DISCUSS.

The Rebellion

You know, I do wonder how it is that the Dominion was able to find all 18 of the rebel cells. Based on Kira’s system, this shouldn’t have happened. My only theory is that Legate Broca is the one responsible for it, but even then? I don’t know how he was able to identify literally every single rebel base. Regardless, I was worried that this was it, that the Dominion had truly crushed all chance of a Cardassian rebellion. Seriously, they didn’t kill a few members of the resistance; they murdered ALL BUT THREE OF THEM. The immensity of that sort of loss manifests through these characters’ dejection while they hide in Mila’s basement. It’s a hell of an image, isn’t it? The sight of the three surviving rebels, listless and purposeless, in a filthy basement, while the Dominion announces the death of Damar.

Yet it’s the transformation of Damar into a folk hero that is so goddamn mind-blowing to me. DAMAR. Resisting authority. Breaking laws. BLOWING UP SET OF JEM’HADAR BARRACKS. And now, he’s turned the tide of the rebellion by appealing to citizens to join him. Again: Damar. THE VERY DAMAR I FIGURED WOULD DRINK HIMSELF INTO OBLIVION. Here we are. It’s happening. HOW.

Deep Space Nine

There are two plots that unfold on the station, but we’ll talk about the Ferengi one in a second. Some of these stories are not as developed, but the show packed a lot into forty-five minutes. They had to, given that the finale is up next, and there needed to be a set-up for that. We’ve finally got the confirmation of Julian and Ezri’s romance, which is… a thing. That is happening. Look, I like both of these characters quite a bit, but I can’t generate the same excitement for them that I have for, say, Sisko and Kassidy, or Odo and Kira. Both of those relationships got a great deal of development, and I know that’s why this one suffers. It just doesn’t have the history and depth. But… yay? I guess?

I was much more intrigued by two other developments. First: THE FEDERATION AND THEIR ALLIES ARE GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE. It’s such a frightening and thrilling way to lead into the series finale because this is it. This is the sole chance for the Klingons, the Romulans, the Federation, and the Cardassians to take advantage of the Dominion on the defensive. When will this opportunity ever present itself again? Regardless, Admiral Ross warns Sisko (and thereby, the audience) that this is going to be a brutal, nasty thing. I’M SCARED.

Even more so, though, because of that ending. Kassidy is pregnant, and a reveal like that should be joyous, but it’s tainted by the goddamn Prophets. Was their message a warning or a threat? Was Sisko’s decision to stay with Kassidy a mistake? I DON’T KNOW. I don’t want it to be, especially since there’s now another factor in play. A child! Jake’s gonna have a sibling! (Where is Jake, by the way?) But the Prophets said Sisko would be miserable if he chose to stay with Kassidy, so… UGH. I DON’T LIKE THIS. Please let everything be okay.

The New Grand Nagus

If this is the final Ferengi plot on Deep Space Nine, I would have liked to be able to say that the show went out with a bang. Instead, the genuinely shocking reveal they do give is undermined by the perplexing writing for Quark. Unless there’s some huge change in his characterization in the finale, I’m calling foul. This makes no fucking sense. Oh, Rom is a much better choice for the Grand Nagus, and I wouldn’t change that at all. He deserves it!

What I’m perplexed about is the stubbornness that is written into Quark. Does he really hate the reforms in Ferenginar that much? After everything he’s witnessed and experienced, he doesn’t want anything to change at all? Quark’s changes since the beginning of the series haven’t been grandiose. This is not Odo or Kira or Sisko or… literally every other major character on the show, I suppose. But there has been a change in his perception of others. I’m okay with him being strict about his culture, but the vast majority of this episode is devoted him to acting like he didn’t know Ferenginar was changing ever. How can he be surprised by it? Has his life collapsed around him since he’s treated others better? No? So why write him this way?

Even worse, he only sort of support’s Rom’s promotion. In the face of Rom’s good fortune, Quark puts on this whole display of obstinance, declaring his bar – WHICH ISN’T EVEN HIS AT THE TIME BECAUSE HE SOLD IT TO ROM – a haven of traditional Ferengi values. Yes, he congratulates his brother and says he loves him, but y’all. It’s not enough. It doesn’t undo everything else, and I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT.

Perhaps the finale will give Quark a reason to change anything about himself. Otherwise, this is rather frustrating!

The video for “The Dogs of War” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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