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Star Trek DS9 - Season 6 - Episode 06

Star Trek DS9 - 6x06 - Sacrifice of Angels

Originally Aired: 1997-11-3

Synopsis:
Dukat loses a daughter, while the Alpha Quadrant gains a victory. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.49

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

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of DS9 Award."
- In this episode alone, 2800 Dominion ships were destroyed in the wormhole and at least some of the 1254 ships the Dominion sent against the Federation had to have been destroyed as well, along with some of the ~600 Federation ships that engaged the Dominion and some of the Klingon task force too. That's quite a body count. It must have been in the hundreds of thousands at the very least!

Remarkable Scenes
- The sight of the two fleets in formation before the battle. Impressive stuff.
- O'Brien: "Canon to the right of them. Canon to the left of them. Canon in front of them. Volleyed and thundered." Bashir: "Stormed at with shot and shell. Boldly they rode and well into the jaws of death. Into the mouth of hell rode the six hundred."
- Sisko ordering the fighters to attack.
- The entire fleet charging into the battle.
- Dukat: "War is such thirsty business, don't you agree?" Weyoun: "Perhaps if you didn't talk so much, your throat wouldn't get so dry."
- Dukat and Weyoun discussing the Bajoran occupation, the current occupation, and future plans. I love how they casually discuss whether or not to completely wipe out Earth's population to quell possible resistance. This conversation really shows you how insane Dukat is. Weyoun? He's a bit twisted. But Dukat is a maniac.
- Watching ships get picked off left and right as the Defiant charges through the lines.
- The Klingons showing up and joining the battle.
- The Defiant breaking through enemy lines.
- Quark rescuing Kira, Leeta, Rom, and Jake.
- Dukat detonating the minefield literally one second before Rom disabled the station's weapons.
- I love the speechless looks on the Defiant bridge as they watch the mines go one by one.
- Sisko: "Take us into the wormhole." O'Brien: "What the hell. Only going to meet a couple thousand Dominion ships." Dax: "One ship against an entire fleet? That's a hell of a plan B!"
- Female shapeshifter: "Send a message to our listening posts in the gamma quadrant. Tell the reinforcements that the alpha quadrant awaits them."
- Sisko charging the Defiant into the wormhole.
- Sisko to the prophets: "You want to be gods? Then be gods. I need a miracle. Bajor needs a miracle. Stop those ships!"
- Weyoun, realizing they've been defeated somehow: "Time to start packing!"
- Damar murdering Ziyal.
- Sisko and crew reboarding the station.

My Review
And so ends the DS9 occupation arc. This episode is the biggest roller coaster ride ever displayed on Star Trek so far. The massive space battle is indescribably awesome, and the immense use of characters was truly sublime. This episode is everything the conclusion to this magnificent arc should have been and more. Aside from general declarations of the episode's awesomeness, there are some interesting details I'd like to point out. For one, I enjoyed watching Garak fight for the Federation all through the arc. From Call to Arms and onward, Garak chose his side very clearly. He's no longer the ambiguous player of both sides he was in the first season. Another detail I enjoyed was how it was Odo and the Bajoran security officers that ultimately allowed Rom to sabotage the station's weapons and kept the Defiant from being destroyed. If you remember back to earlier in this arc, Dukat and Damar expressed dismay about the idea of armed Bajoran security officers on the station. Seems their fears were justified. :) Last, but not least though is Dukat. The way he fell apart at the end of this episode was absolutely perfect. He went from being absolutely sure of victory, to confused, to realizing he'd been defeated, to despair over Damar murdering his daughter, to totally insane and disconnected with reality in the span of a few minutes of on-screen plot. One of the most brilliant performances I've seen on Star Trek. When you add it all up, this episode is a stroke of utter brilliance.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From RichD on 2006-06-19 at 8:18pm:
    What a fantastic episode. It incorporated brave, bold ideas that were missing in say, the last 2 Star Trek movies. Dukat's meltdown at the end after witnessing the death of his daughter Ziyal was truly gut wrenching. The battle scenes were epic in nature. DS9 is my favorite among all the Star Trek series. This episode ranks among the top five or Six along with In the Pale Moonlight, A Call to Arms, Rocks and Shoals, The Siege of AR558 and The Visitor.
  • From Pete Miller on 2006-07-13 at 1:14am:
    The scenes over the past two episodes where the female shapeshifter is talking to Odo about leaving the pathetic solids behind and joining the great link are really quite disturbing. This reminded me alot of Emperor Palpatine trying to turn Luke Skywalker to the dark side in 'Star Wars: Return of The Jedi'. That shapeshifter lady is so evil, it's unbelievable. She just dismisses all solids as irrelevant and constantly manipulates Odo to turn to the Star Trek dark side. I was waiting for her to start shooting lightning bolts out of her fingers at the end.

    For all the female shapeshifter's smugness, condescension, superior attitude, and downright xenophobia, it was quite a pleasure to see the prophets destroy the Dominion's ships like flies. It's nice to know that there are those out there who would consider the shapeshifters limited and pathetic, as the shapeshifters consider the solids. It also reveals that the dominion and the shapeshifters are nothing but petty dictators and conquerors. If they were as superior and detached as they claimed, they would be in a situation similar to the prophets, not messing in the affairs of the solids as they currently do.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2010-03-09 at 11:55am:
    This episode marks the end of the fun Dukat, and the beginning of the insane Dukat. I love DS9, but I think this is the single biggest mistake in the DS9 story arc.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-05-18 at 7:33am:
    What a letdown, what foolish decision to let the prophets conjure away that Dominion fleet just like that.

    Btw, I stopped watching DS9 after that bullshit ending to such a promising and exciting story arc, because I just dont trust the authors of the series anymore, dont want to give them the chance to fool me again. ^^
    And I wont read your site anymore btw, guess, the reviews on this site are more to my taste:

    http://www.cynicscorner.org/ds9_6/ds9_6s.html
  • From Bernard on 2011-05-25 at 12:50pm:
    And I'm sure our webmaster is truly devastated by that announcement Zaphod.

    This is by no means the best television I have ever watched, but it is a super conclusion to the 7 episode story arc. It really is. As usual with DS9 it is what's going on with the characters that is important. Here, Marc Alaimo gets to take centre stage and he doesn't disappoint.

    This episode also has a rare commodity in Star Trek... genuine suspense. It builds up and up continuing from where the last episode left off. Will they make it? Will Rom do it? All the pay-offs here are brilliant.

    The only thing that brings this episode down slightly is the problem with many major episodes later in the DS9 run - too much pointless space battles. I just don't want to see another CGI sequence, that's not why I watch Star Trek. TNG had that aspect nailed, used just enough to show what was going on. DS9 in episodes like this hits you over the head with shot after shot of ships exploding... I want to see more of what's going on in Sisko's head, Dukat's head.

    The conclusion that Zaphod takes such exception to is fine with me. In fact they could have used a similar 'get out' in Voyager by using Q to save their bacon instead of the preposterous watering down and then besting of the Borg in 'Endgame'.

    The aspect of the prophets that I dislike as shown here, and I already discussed this in a comment on 'Ascension', is that they become more and more interested in Bajor as the series progresses. Instead of Science Fiction you almost feel like you are watching 'Spiritual-Fiction'. Throughout all other incarnations of Star Trek religious belief was continually held up as ancient superstition by our heroes. Everytime there is a culture or being that holds some beliefs they are shown to be backward or erroneous in some way. This show actually starts to suggest that the spiritual people of Bajor are being watched over by beings that didn't even understand the concept of time in the pilot.

    Anyway, none of that takes away from this episode as a dramatic piece. As our webmaster describes it, 'utter brilliance'. I would say ALMOST flawless, but not quite.
  • From Christopher Wright on 2011-12-18 at 2:56pm:
    Deus Ex Machina. That's that only problem I have with the conclusion. Too many things worked out in this epsiode. The change of h eart Odo had seemed a bit too quick as well. They should have played up the conflict more with Odo in that respect - almost like a drug addict having to give up his fix for the ones he loves. I LOVED the Weyoun's quick retreat comment and body language. I can see why this episode is highly rated, I just wish the resolution was more creative.
  • From JR on 2012-06-12 at 3:04am:
    There are so many good episodes in seasons 5 & 6 and this one is non-stop action. It seems like I find ways to nitpick a bit in each one.

    I could not, and still cannot, figure out how a mere Captain, on one of the lead ships no less, is commanding the entire fleet of ships. That would be the responsibility of someone three or four grades higher. They even had an admiral (not sure how high) in the last couple episodes that could easily have been included.

    I understand Sisko commanding maybe one attack wing, but giving orders to all of them while making a rapier himself is a bit ridiculous.

    I also agree with the above sentiment that having the prophets "disappear" all the dominion ships in the wormhole was pretty cheesy. It would have been cooler if Rom's minefield ended up working after the dominion thought it was clear and ordered their ships through. But, I gather there will be some repercussions to Sisko for asking the prophets to act, and I guess that will make for a good storyline down the road.
  • From Captain Keogh on 2013-03-17 at 7:20am:
    I remember the first time I saw this episode, I was only 8, I was amazed at how many ships there were.

    I alos loved the ending where Dukat is being led away and O'brein is holding a baseball bat, I just thought there was a bit of humour in that.
  • From L on 2013-08-04 at 4:05am:
    I didn't see any O'Brien with a baseball bat.

    This was a fitting climax. Hard to see how the rest of the season can compete.

    I was as shocked as Dukat was when his daughter was killed. Why did they have to do that? I really liked her. Almost made me cry, especially coming straight after the honest exchange between them of their love for each other.

    The Changeling's callousness and superiority is becoming more evident and sinister.
    The head changeling's apparent blandness just increases this evil.

    I did not like the Prophet's cliched intervention, and the demanding of a 'price' to do so. I don't see any reason they had to deny Sisko his future happiness, other than the usual psychopathic motivation of those who call themselves gods.
    A very slight anti-climax to a moving story arc.
  • From TheAnt on 2013-09-15 at 7:22pm:
    It really is a great episode, tension and quite some excitement how the situation will resolve with such impossible odds.
    A remarkable scene in my book is when Quark stand stunned after killing the two guards.

    Odo comes around all of a sudden, sadly it does not feel altogether convincing. Ok Kira have given him a verbal kick in the gonads, yet even so he shrugs off the lure of the changelings from having been all enthralled.

    The reason I cannot give the episode a solid 10 is the fact that the Dominion is defeated by a Deux ex machina - that's where the storytelling depart from the style which have made Star Trek great - not even 'Q' did any supernatural rescue from the Borg for example. I shake my head and give a thumbs down on this detail.

    Now if we accept that, and watch this as Space opera in the Star Trek universe.
    Then Dukat's madness is rather fitting, and as such t can be viewed as one heck of an episode for entertainment value, with good action and multiple story lines that make it top notch drama.

    A small correction, it's actually Weyoun who push for the idea of wiping out Earth's population. Whereas Dukat appear to think it might not be necessary if only the will to resist can be broken by a decisive victory.
  • From Axel on 2015-05-09 at 8:13pm:
    Sure, this does end with a deux ex machina as other comments have pointed out. It's made a little more bearable by the fact that the wormhole aliens (hate calling them Prophets) do extract a price from Sisko in exchange for intervening purely at his insistence. Without that aspect, it would've been a lot more ridiculous to simply have them make the Jem'Hadar fleet disappear. It would've begged the question as to why Sisko doesn't just go to the wormhole aliens every time he needs help fighting the Dominion.

    I would've preferred an ending that involved the minefield too. Far too much time was spent on that plot element for it to simply end as abruptly as it did. But the episode still gets an 8 from me for all its other awesomeness.

    It's been suggested that Roddenberry might've included more space battles in TOS if he'd had the budget and technology. This episode shows what that can add: a fantastic visual to go along with the plot. It's also beautifully acted especially by Alaimo.
  • From Zorak on 2016-06-21 at 12:48am:
    All other things aside, the ending with Dukat was surprisingly heart wrenching. As much of a villain as he is and as much as he had it coming to him, I couldn't help but feel for the guy. That was brutal.

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