Quark: Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever. [Rule of Acquisition #102]
Sisko wants to spend more time w/ Jake; he encourages his son to think of a challenging science project. They decide to make a trip to a planet (in the Gamma Quadrant) which is like Earth was in its early stage of development. Jake wants to bring Nog along; his friend needs to better his grade. When Quark hears Nog is coming, he wants to come along also- (LOL). Quark thinks he can change Sisko’s mind re: using the station’s screens for advertising. After some research of the planet’s soil and dinner by the campfire, Jake and Nog go off for a while. Suddenly, an alien woman approaches Sisko and Quark. She shoots Sisko w/ a telepathic weapon and says she’s running from the Jem’Hadar (soldiers of the Dominion). She tells Sisko and Quark to run, but all three are captured!
Nog: I’m telling you, Jake, something’s happened to them. Maybe they were attacked by a wild animal.
Jake Sisko: You heard my dad, there aren’t any wild animals, just insects and plants.
Nog: Maybe they were attacked by a vicious tree.
The alien woman, Eris (Molly Hagan), has a collar which prevents her using her telepathic powers to deactivate the containment field they are held in. Third Talak’talan (leader of the Jem’Hadar group) informs Sisko that the Dominion will no longer tolerate the presence of ships from the other side of the wormhole. He reveals knowledge of the Alpha Quadrant, but refuses to allow Sisko to speak with the Founders (leaders of the Dominion). Eris then claims the Founders are a myth. After some hours, Sisko makes some progress on removing Eris’ collar and gets Quark to pick the lock.
Many viewers have commented on the resemblance of the Jem’Hadar to the Tosk (S1 E5). The original script for this ep notes that the Tosk were created as a gift to the Hunters (as a reward for loyalty to the Dominion). So, the Hunters and Tosk were Dominion members; Robert Hewitt Wolfe confirmed the connection.
Quark: The way I see it, Humans used to be a lot like Ferengi: greedy, acquisitive, interested only in profit. We’re a constant reminder of a part of your past you’d like to forget.
Sisko: Quark, we don’t have time for this.
Quark: You’re overlooking something. Humans used to be a lot worse than the Ferengi: slavery, concentration camps, interstellar wars. We have nothing in our past that approaches that kind of barbarism. You see? We’re nothing like you… we’re better.
It’s up to Jake and Nog to get help and rescue the grown-ups, so they return to the runabout. They aren’t able to beam the captives off the planet or bypass the ship’s autopilot to break orbit. When they finally gain control of the ship, they realize that w/o the autopilot, they’ll have to learn to fly it themselves!
On DS9, a ship quickly flies through the wormhole; Talak’talan materializes in Ops, even though shields are raised. He informs the crew that Sisko is being detained by the Dominion, then transports away. Capt. Keogh (Alan Oppenheimer) and the Federation starship Odyssey arrive to assess the situation and mount a rescue mission. He allows the station’s two remaining runabouts, crewed by Kira, O’Brien, Dax, Odo, and Bashir, to accompany the Odyssey.
Third Talak’talan: A Ferengi, and a human. I was hoping the first race I’d meet from the other side of the anomaly would be the Klingons.
Sisko: I’m sorry to disappoint you.
Quark removes Eris’ collar, allowing her to disengage the force field, and they all escape. O’Brien beams aboard Jake and Nog’s runabout and assumes command, then beams aboard Sisko, Quark, and Eris. The starship arrives at the planet and the Jem’Hadar attack mercilessly. Even when the badly-damaged Odyssey turns to retreat, a Jem’Hadar ship rams the ship and blows it up! This was one of the most surprising moments in ST history. Back at the station, Quark discovers Eris’ collar is a fake; she is a spy for the Dominion! Eris beams out to parts unknown, leaving them w/ a warning of what’s yet to come.
Kira: She’ll be back. The question is who she’ll bring with her.
Sisko: If the Dominion comes through the Wormhole, the first battle will be fought here. And I intend to be ready for them.
This exciting ep is the S2 finale of DS9 and features the first appearance of two new alien races (the Jem’Hadar and the Vorta). The new villains are scary, arrogant, powerful, and have contempt for the Federation. Most of all- they don’t play fair. The Odyssey is a Galaxy-class ship (so it looks exactly like The Enterprise); to a regular viewer of TNG, seeing it destroyed could be very shocking! The “kids” (Ira Stephen Behr; Ronald D. Moore) have freedom from the “parents” (Rick Berman; Michael Piller) now. This is the start of the producers’ strategy of leaving the audience in suspense and building on events in previous seasons. This led DS9 to take on a serial-like feel, unlike the episodic feel of TOS and TNG.