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Star Trek DS9 - Season 6 - Episode 04

Star Trek DS9 - 6x04 - Behind the Lines

Originally Aired: 1997-10-20

Various Deep Space Nine crewmembers must play a part in the battle with the Dominion. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.12

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Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.


- Eons ago, the Changelings were like the solids, but then they evolved, according to the female shapeshifter.

Remarkable Scenes
- The crew collecting empty phaser power cells.
- Kira and Rom orchestrating a brawl in Quarks, getting the Cardassians to fight the Jem'Hadar.
- The female shapeshifter's appearance.
- Odo: "She's just trying to teach me about myself. About what I'm capable of becoming." Kira: "An intergalactic warlord maybe? Because that's what she is."
- Nog: "You mean if I had to take command, I would be called captain too?" O'Brien: "Cadet, by the time you took command, there'd be nobody left to call you anything."
- Sisko and Dax both responding when O'Brien said, "All done here, captain."
- Quark to Damar: "Wait a minute. You started a fight in my bar and now you're getting a promotion? What kind of way is that to run an army?"
- Rom: "Brother! Are you all right?" Quark: "No, I'm not all right. I just shared a bottle of Kanar, with Damar!" Quark begins laughing profusely.
- Quark: "I tried. I tried my best to run my establishment under this occupation. But you know what? It's no fun! I don't like the Cardassians, they're mean and arrogant. And I can't stand the Jem'Hadar. They're creepy, they just stand there like statues, staring at you. That's it. I don't want to spend the rest of my life doing business with these people. I want the Federation back! I want to sell root beer again!"
- Odo: "You haven't told me your name." Female shapeshifter: "What use would I have for a name?" Odo: "To differentiate yourself from the others?" Female shapeshifter: "I don't." Odo: "But you are a separate being, aren't you?" Female shapeshifter: "In a sense." Odo: "When you return to the Great Link, what will become of the entity I'm talking to now." Female shapeshifter: "The drop becomes the ocean." Odo: "And if you choose to take solid form again?" Female shapeshifter: "The ocean becomes a drop." Odo: "Ah, yes, I think I'm beginning to understand." Female shapeshifter: "Then you can answer your own question. How many of us are there?" Odo: "One. And many. It depends on how you look at it."
- The Jeffery's tube Rom crawled into was labeled "A51". ;)
- Rom getting caught.
- Jadzia adding another empty phaser power cell to their collection.
- Kira's pissed off approach to Odo's quarters.
- Morn Appearances; 1. Seen behind Damar, just before the brawl. 2. Behind Dukat and Damar as the cleanup from the brawl begins. 3. At the bar while Quark declares that he's renovating.

My Review
A large improvement over the last episode; the Defiant crew has a fetish for collecting empty phaser power cells they use up, the resistance movement on the space station is starting to take shape, the female shapeshifter has appeared again to manipulate Odo, Sisko has been promoted to a fleet captain, and Rom got caught trying to sabotage the station because Odo's being manipulated by the founder. All in all, a complicated episode, but well placed within the arc and thoroughly entertaining. Once again, I'm a bit annoyed that like in DS9: Soldiers of the Empire there's this big buildup at the beginning of the episode concerning a mission against the Dominion, and once again we don't get to see that mission action, only the aftermath.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From MJ on 2011-01-23 at 5:09pm:
    Not a bad episode. For the first time, we get a glimpse of the truly arrogant nature of the Changelings and their apparent lack of concern for the ruinous policies of their Dominion. They simply don't want to be bothered by the solids, and so they are content to dwell in their ocean community and allow genetically engineered soldiers and brainwashed diplomats wreak havoc on the rest of the galaxy, intervening only to ensure their overall plans succeed. They clearly consider themselves a superior life form, and in the Great Link, all the troubles of the galaxy are trivial. It might be easier for the viewer to understand the Changelings if we had some more background on this "persecution" they once experienced at the hands of solids. But for now, they seem even worse than the Borg. At least the Borg were consistent: their collective nature and desire to assimilate explained their indifference to the suffering they caused. Changeling indifference is a bit harder to grasp because it's all so intangible, a big mystery that one could only understand if one is in the Great Link.

    Anyway, a good "continuity" episode, continuing to show life on the station and with the Defiant and Federation. This is certainly not the episode you want to watch if you're checking out DS9 for the first time, or else nothing will make sense.

    I will say this for the writers of DS9: they incorporate humor, wit, and sharp comedy into their scripts better than any other series of Trek. One-liners like the one O'Brien gave to Nog about nobody being left to call him captain are typical of this series. Then you have characters like Quark and Garak, whose sole purpose at times seems to be to deliver comic relief in tense situations. It's a hallmark of DS9, and it's one I thoroughly enjoy. This series probably has the best "quotations" list of any.
  • From L on 2013-08-04 at 2:07am:
    Damn Odo, you'll have to do something pretty big to redeem yourself from this massive lapse in reliability, now that you're a Great Link junkie.
    Slap him Kira. Slap him hard.
  • From AW on 2015-12-29 at 1:14am:
    Not showing the mission is good character development. Overall this show has always been presented from Sisko's perspective. Star Trek has almost exclusively presented envy themes in hokey, usually filler, episodes. Conflict between members of Star Fleet rarely surfaces in such a naturally personal level.

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