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Star Trek DS9 - Season 7 - Episode 08

Star Trek DS9 - 7x08 - The Siege of AR-558

Originally Aired: 1998-11-18

A brutal battle on planet AR-558 has far reaching consequences for young Nog. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.32

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



Remarkable Scenes
- Vic: "Sometimes being a hologram can be a real pain in the asymmetric photons."
- The Defiant taking out a Jem'Hadar fighter.
- Quark: "Let me tell you something about hew-mons, nephew. They're a wonderful, friendly people as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts, deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers, put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time, and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people will become as nasty and violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon." Nog's response: "I feel sorry for the Jem'Hadar."
- Vargas: "McGreevey put this bandage on me. He ripped up his own uniform to make it." Bashir: "He sounds like a good friend." Vargas: "He was a jerk. I couldn't stand the guy. He wouldn't shut up. Yap, yap, yap. He thought he was the world's greatest authority on everything. And now he's dead and I should have more respect. But god I hated him. One minute he's tying this bandage around my arm talking his head off and the next minute he's lying flat on his back with a hole in his chest. And I just sat there and I looked at him. He was so quiet. He was so quiet! One time in his life he's quiet!"
- Kellin: "I'm an engineer, not a magician!" Not exact, but I'll count it. Count 26 for "I'm a doctor, not a (blah)" style lines, which McCoy was famous for.
- The Jem'Hadar attack on the scouting team.
- Dax and Kellin revealing the Houdinis.
- Sisko ordering the Houdinis moved into the ravine so they explode on the Jem'Hadar.
- The mines going off as Vic Fontaine's music plays in the background.
- The battle.
- Rules of Acquisition; 34. War is good for business. 125. You can't make a deal if you're dead.

My Review
An episode in the tradition of DS9: Rocks and Shoals, we get to see brutal ground combat when some of the crew intermix with another group of Federation soldiers in a struggle to hold AR-558, a captured Dominion communications relay. The premise is pretty basic, but it's the execution that shines. The physical and mental struggle of the soldiers portrayed in this episode was well crafted and captivating. This episode really gives you a feel for the horrors of the Dominion war. The only annoying thing about this episode is the immense amount of casualties suffered among non main characters. The worst thing that happened to a main character was Nog losing his leg, and in the 24th century that's not much of a loss, seeing as how they can be replaced. An episode like this would have been a much better fit to kill off Jadzia Dax, if they had done it a bit earlier, and it would have added additional significance to an already incredible story. But Jadzia is already dead. What's done is done and I think they made the most out of this episode; it was most impressive.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From MJ on 2011-02-13 at 7:30am:
    DS9 was ahead of its time, really. The '90's were a time of peace, so the topics the series grappled with-the horrors and stresses of war, injuries in combat, and losing comrades-were incomprehensible to most Western viewers. Since 9/11 and the Iraq War, these issues have been thrust into public discourse, at least more so than they were in the recent past. This makes it very interesting to go back and watch DS9 episodes like the Siege of AAR-558.

    The episode gets a lot of things right, and is surprisingly realistic given the time period in which it was produced. I agree that Nog's loss of a leg is not the same in the future as it would be today, although I do think the injury is at least more relevant to the viewer this way. The real beauty of this episode is the changing Nog. Nog has always been pretty gung-ho about joining Starfleet, but this will shake him to the core. Nog is actually one of my favorite characters for the same reasons Worf was in TNG: the first of his kind to join Starfleet, somewhat scorned by his people for doing so, and the issues he faces along the way.

    On another note, I really enjoyed the lighting of this episode. I notice things like this because of my profession, and providing lighting in an environment that is supposed to look dark can be challenging, but I really thought they did a great job with this set.

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