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Star Trek DS9 - Season 4 - Episode 23

Star Trek DS9 - 4x23 - To the Death

Originally Aired: 1996-5-13

Synopsis:
Attempting to stop a group of Jem'Hadar renegades from gaining power, Sisko and the Defiant crew must join forces with deadly Jem'Hadar soldiers. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.03

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Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This is the first episode to feature Weyoun. The episode also establishes many important smaller details about Dominion culture that will be relevant later. And this episode also serves is a sort of minor sequel to TNG: Contagion.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode establishes that solid neutronium can withstand several quantum torpedo blasts.

Remarkable Scenes
- DS9 with a whole pylon destroyed!
- Weyoun meeting Sisko.
- Weyoun: "The Dominion has endured for 2000 years and will continue to endure long after the Federation has crumbled into dust."
- Odo: "Are you accusing me of something?" A Jem'Hadar: "It is not for us to accuse a god of betraying heaven."
- The Jem'Hadar soldiers trying to provoke Worf into a fight.
- Omet'Iklan announcing that he knows about the Gateway and that they don't need to keep secrets and use the White to ensure their loyalty because he believes the Jem'Hadar are more loyal to the Founders than the Vorta will ever be.
- Lots of great Jem'Hadar tidbits here. Jadzia: "Am I really that interesting? You've been standing there staring at me for the last two hours." Virak'kara: "You are part of my combat team. I must learn to understand your behavior. Anticipate your actions." Jadzia: "There must be something you'd rather do. Maybe get some sleep?" Virak'kara: "We don't sleep." Jadzia: "How about getting something to eat?" Virak'kara: "The White is the only thing we need." Jadzia: "Don't sleep, don't eat. What do you do for relaxation?" Virak'kara: "Relaxation would only make us weak." Jadzia: "Well you people are no fun at all. Glad I'm not a Jem'Hadar woman." Virak'kara: "There are no Jem'Hadar women." Jadzia: "So what do you do... lay eggs?" Virak'kara: "Jem'Hadar are bred in birthing chambers. We are able to fight within three days of our emergence." Jadzia: "Lucky you. So let me get this straight. No sleep, no food, no women. No wonder you're so angry. After 30 or 40 years of that I'd be angry too!" Virak'kara: "No Jem'Hadar has ever lived 30 years." Jadzia: "How old are you?" Virak'kara: "I am eight." Jadzia: "I would have guessed at least fifteen." Virak'kara: "Few Jem'Hadar live that long. If we reach twenty, we are considered honored elders... How old are you?" Jadzia: "I stopped counting at 300." Virak'kara: "You don't look it..." Jadzia: "Thank you."
- Weyoun staring at Odo, obviously regarding Odo as a god. O'Brien to Odo: "I wonder what would happen if you went over there and ordered him to stand on his head."
- Weyoun administering the White. Worf: "Loyalty bought at such a price is no loyalty at all."
- Omet'Iklan: "I am First Omet'Iklan and I am dead. As of this moment we are all dead. We go into battle to reclaim our lives. This we do gladly, for we are Jem'Hadar. Remember, victory is life!" O'Brien: "I'm Chief Miles Edward O'Brien. And I'm very much alive, and intend to stay that way!"
- Omet'Iklan killing Weyoun.

My Review
A real thriller, this episode has many things going for it. Seeing an entire pylon destroyed on DS9, the delightful character of Weyoun, tension with the Jem'Hadar, a big battle, and so many other things. Of course, it's also a reference to the events of TNG: Contagion. I liked the idea of the Iconians quite a bit in that TNG episode, and it was nice to bring them back for this episode. Once again, the Gateways are destroyed, but I'm glad this time. Gateway technology is somewhat overwrought and would fundamentally alter the entire storytelling of Star Trek were it to become normative for the characters to use. Overall, I was extremely pleased with this one because we're finally getting to see some real contention with the Dominion. At the same time, it was a rare moment of truce between the Dominion and the Federation, something we may never see again to this extent.

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