(written from a Production point of view)
|DS9, Episode 4x11|
Production number: 40510-483
First aired: 1 January 1996
|←||81st of 173 produced in DS9||→|
|←||81st of 173 released in DS9||→|
|←||393rd of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
|Arc: Starfleet coup (1 of 2)||→|
|←||Arc: Changeling infiltration (4 of 8)||→|
Sisko is recalled to San Francisco after a terrorist bombing reveals that Changelings have reached Earth. (Part 1 of 2)
Lieutenant Commander Dax and Captain Sisko are looking out of one of the Promenade windows at the wormhole as it opens and then closes, without any ships emerging. Dax explains that this is the seventh time this has happened within the last two hours and that each time there are no unusual sensor readings or any sign of ships leaving the wormhole. She mentions that the Bajorans are seeing the unusual phenomenon as a sign from the Prophets, and Sisko, only half-jokingly, asks why the Prophets would send a sign without telling him. Dax rejoins that perhaps they are having trouble recognizing their Emissary with his new beard. The two walk on and as they reach the railing they notice Odo on the lower deck looking slightly aggravated, but before Sisko can find out why Dax finds this so funny, their conversation is interrupted by a comm message from Worf: a priority 1 message from Starfleet Security has just arrived.
In the meantime, Odo makes his way to Quark's Bar and accuses him and Dax of rearranging the furniture in his room while he was regenerating. Quark acts surprised and asks Odo to say hello to Dax for him as Odo is called away to Ops too.
As Odo arrives, the other members of the senior staff are already discussing the message. Worf explains that the message contains a recording made at a Conference between diplomatic representatives from the Federation and the Romulan Empire on Earth. The video is played and shows an explosion caused by a bomb of unknown origin. Worf commands the computer to play the video again but to enlarge a certain section and slow playback to one-tenth of normal speed. This time a vase can be seen to shimmer in the same way that Changelings do in their liquid form. The remains of a Changeling were not found, however, which probably means it escaped without injury. Sisko can't believe it has come to this, but it would seem that Changelings have finally reached Earth.
Odo and Dax are in Odo's quarters "repairing the damage" that she has caused. They discuss the trip to Earth which Sisko and Odo will be making aboard the USS Lakota. Odo doesn't seem to think he will be able to tell Starfleet any more about his race than he already has done in his previous reports, but Dax says that if there really are Changelings on Earth, then Starfleet needs as much help as it can get.
Sisko is talking with his father, Joseph Sisko. They are discussing Sisko's – the family restaurant in New Orleans. Joseph doesn't seem to understand that Ben isn't on a pleasure trip and Ben has to explain that he will probably be spending most of his time in Starfleet Headquarters. After a short discussion Jake comes into the room. Jake asks if Ben has told Joseph that they won't be staying with him. Ben admits he hasn't told him just yet, and Jake complains that if they have to stay with his grandfather he will have to work in the kitchen all day peeling potatoes. Ben tells Jake he is old enough now not to worry about having to peel potatoes all day – his grandfather will probably want him to serve the guests instead.
Back in Quark's, Chief Miles O'Brien and Doctor Julian Bashir leave the holosuite entering the bar dressed in World War II-style flying jackets and caps. Bashir orders scotch and O'Brien orders a pint of beer; they seem to be discussing the Battle of Britain. Quark asks why they are in the bar when the Germans are attacking, but Bashir explains they have to be – it is part of a ritual to remember fallen comrades. "To Clive" shouts O'Brien, after which they both down their drinks in one gulp and are about to throw their empty glasses, when Quark reminds them that they have already discussed the throwing of empty glasses. At any rate, Quark thinks they are taking it all a bit too seriously. After all, Clive was only a holosuite figure. O'Brien tries to explain to Quark that there's more to it than just Clive – it is about the Earth. O'Brien says that when a place you love is in danger and you try to take some action to help make that place safer but fail, it can be very frustrating. Quark says he knows exactly what O'Brien means and tells his own story about how he was serving as a cook aboard a Ferengi freighter hundreds of light years away from home as a currency crisis hit Ferenginar. He says he couldn't begin to explain how bad he felt to know that runaway inflation and rapid currency devaluation was rampaging across his planet like a brush fire. He still hasn't gotten over it to this day when he thinks about how he was powerless to save his accounts.
As usual there is a hint of sarcasm to the whole story which O'Brien picks up on and quips that, despite Quark's little story he doesn't feel any better. Odo walks past the bar and Bashir and O'Brien leave and join him. They briefly discuss the Battle of Britain – Bashir offers Odo the place of Clive but Odo isn't so sure he wants it – for obvious reasons. O'Brien asks Odo to visit his family in Dublin and make sure they are all fine. Clearly recent events have set him and many other people slightly on edge. Bashir says he wishes he could be going along for the ride too and Odo agrees he could do with the company as he has doubts that a Changeling would be very welcome on Earth. O'Brien tries to comfort Odo by reassuring him that people can't hold him responsible for the acts of his people. Odo remains unconvinced however and departs for the Lakota.
Back in ops, O'Brien reports that the Lakota has departed the station. Worf and Major Kira Nerys discuss the wormhole which has now returned to "normal" having last opened twelve hours previously. Kira is somewhat disappointed, as she had hoped that it was the work of the Prophets and that they had finally decided to show themselves to the Bajorans. Worf comments that he prefers the Klingon belief system. Kira asks if the Klingon Gods are just as mysterious those of the Bajorans – of course the Klingons don't have any Gods. They were executed by Klingon warriors over 1,000 years ago because they "brought more trouble than it was worth". O'Brien and Kira agree, that nobody can understand the Klingons but, as O'Brien says, that's the way they like it.
The scene changes to a view of Starfleet Headquarters, San Francisco, Earth. Sisko and Odo meet Admiral Leyton and Commander Erika Benteen in front of the building. After a short series of introductions, in which we find out that it was Admiral Leyton who recommended Sisko for the post on Deep Space 9, the theme of the conversation changes to Odo and Changelings. The admiral hopes that with the help of Sisko and Odo, the task of finding the Changelings on Earth will be easier. Sisko doubts that he and Odo were brought all the way to Earth merely to discuss the situation. Leyton confirms this: because of Sisko's detailed knowledge of and experiences with the Founders, Leyton names him as the acting Chief of Starfleet Security on Earth, effective immediately.
At Sisko's, Joseph Sisko is serving the customers as one can only assume he usually does. He cheerily walks around the restaurant talking aloud to all his customers. He suggests that nobody should even need to look at the dessert menu because if they miss out on his bread pudding soufflé they will regret it. Benjamin Sisko enters and agrees with his dad telling the customers that his dad "knows his bread pudding soufflé". Jake Sisko also appears and a short discussion about Jake growing up and the history of the alligator hanging in the restaurant follows. Eventually, the three sit at a table and discuss the current situation. Odo is not present, having decided, according to Ben Sisko, it was wiser to stay in Starfleet Headquarters under the circumstances. Joseph Sisko can understand why, after all, he hasn't seen people so nervous since the last Borg incident. Anyway, he finds anyone who doesn't eat inherently suspect. Joseph recognizes however that Starfleet must be taking the whole situation very seriously, especially to bring Ben all the way from Deep Space Nine to deal with it. Shortly thereafter, Nog enters the restaurant. It turns out he eats at Sisko's regularly because it is one of the only places on Earth where he can get his tube grubs. Joseph would of course add them to his menu, but his human customers would expect them cooked and with a sauce. Nog finds the idea somewhat confusing as the grubs should be alive and moving as they go down. The idea completely puts Ben off his food.
Some time later, as the restaurant is closing, Nog and Jake sit down at a table where Nog explains that he is having problems at the Academy which he at first put down to him being a Ferengi. He later realized that wasn't the reason and many students have the same problem, especially where the Red Squad are concerned. Red Squad members receive special treatment like extra lessons and excursions that the other students don't.
Admiral Leyton and Ben Sisko meet with the President of the Federation in what seems to be an office in Paris – the Eiffel Tower is clearly visible through the window. Sisko has a number of recommendations for the President regarding the Dominion infiltration and how it can be combated. The President is not eager to turn Earth into a military outpost where everybody must submit to blood tests and phaser examinations of every room must be carried out. He quickly changes his mind however when it turns out that the attaché case Sisko was carrying is, in fact, Odo. Odo points out that Sisko and Leyton were allowed to see the President without having to undergo a blood test or having their personal property checked. If he had been a Founder, he could have killed the President or simply taken his place. The President begrudgingly agrees to allow the new security procedures saying that it has taken a lot of hard work to change Earth into the peaceful place that it now is and that he doesn't wish for this paradise to be destroyed. "We're not looking to destroy paradise," says Sisko, "we're looking to save it."
Sisko and Benteen are going over the new security arrangements using Odo as a test subject. As Sisko found out previously, (DS9: "The Adversary") Changelings can easily be located by sweeping an area with a low energy level phaser beam. A small device mounted above the door of a room can be used to send out a wide phaser beam and scan the room systematically. When the beam comes into contact with a hidden Changeling they are injured and forced to return to their normal form. A beam strength of 3.4 should be enough to stun any Changelings according to Benteen but Odo recommends a strength of 3.5 to be on the safe side. Following the success of the test run, Sisko orders the devices to be installed in every room in Starfleet Headquarters as well as the orbital facilities. As Benteen leaves, she thanks Sisko for managing to convince the President that such measures were necessary. "You think she would have thanked me as well," says Odo. "I'm the one that got shot thirteen times today.". As Nog enters the room, he asks to speak to Sisko alone, and Odo leaves. Sisko and Nog discuss the problems he has been having at the Academy. Sisko says they both knew it would take time for Nog to get used to the academy – and vice versa. Nog wants to become a member of Red Squad and asks Sisko for his help. A Red Squad didn't exist when Sisko was at the Academy and Nog admits it is very new, but says he has the grades he needs to join the squad, he just needs the recommendation of a high ranking officer. Sisko says, when he gets the chance, he will see what he can do. He then, somewhat abruptly, dismisses Nog from the room.
Back at Sisko's, the restaurant seems to be closed and Joseph is preparing things for when it opens later in the day. Ben tells his father that he has been very busy, but that he can't talk about it. His father replies, "Think the admiral could spare you for a few hours a day to visit your father?". Joseph seems to be somewhat disappointed as Jake is away at the Pennington writing school in New Zealand and Ben is constantly busy at Starfleet Headquarters – it is almost as if they were not there at all. Ben counters that his father is more than welcome to visit him on Deep Space 9, but Joseph seems to be very attached to his restaurant and couldn't possibly leave. They discuss Joseph's declining health but the topic changes to business again. Ben says he has a free hour and they agree to go for a walk together in a park.
Back at Starfleet Headquarters, San Francisco, a seagull flies from the sky and lands on a rock before transforming into Odo. Benteen and Admiral Leyton approach just in time to see him finish the transformation. He explains he has just flown around San Francisco and is very impressed. Benteen wonders how many other Changelings are up there in the skies but Odo says, if that was all the Changelings were interested in doing, people wouldn't have to be so worried. Leyton however, rather rudely comments that the other Changelings have better things to do than imitate birds – after all, the other Changelings are much better than Odo at imitating Humans. Benteen, trying to ease the tension a little, says she found the seagull very convincing, but Odo isn't so sure the other seagulls were convinced. Leyton suggests that Odo keep practicing until he succeeds in making the birds think he is one of them. Again, his tone is somewhat abrupt. Odo has picked up on all these signals, however, and he offers the admiral a compliment and holds his hand out in a "shake hands" gesture. The Admiral ignores this and walks away, but Odo catches hold of his arm and their hands fuse together as Changelings do when they link – Leyton is not who he appears to be. The Leyton impostor replies to this sarcastically with "Well Done Odo" then pulls his arm free, transforms into a bird and flies away.
Some time later Odo, the real Admiral Leyton, Sisko and Benteen are together in a room discussing the impostor. Odo says he knew that it wasn't the real Leyton because he felt the impostor was treating him somewhat aggressively. As Sisko says, Odo is the first Changeling to have rejected his people and it is therefore understandable that they have such feelings about him. Leyton can't understand why the Changeling would have taken on his form but, as Benteen explains, Leyton is a prime target – he has access to all the security protocols. The important thing is however, that the new security measures don't go far enough to stop Changelings from breaking into Starfleet Headquarters. Leyton knows, however, that the President won't allow tighter security. He has been a good peacetime president, but the situation could break out into war if drastic action isn't taken. "The president is a long way from home" says Leyton and that they couldn't expect him to be as concerned about the state of affairs on Earth as a Human would be. The conversation is interrupted by an incoming comm message for Sisko. Jake asks Ben to come to the restaurant as soon as he can. Joseph has been arrested.
As Ben arrives at Sisko's he finds a group of Starfleet officers and his father arguing. The officers have tried to carry out blood tests on Jake and Joseph. They attempt to explain to Joseph that they are simply following the orders given to them that all family members of ranking Starfleet Officers must have their blood checked regularly. Joseph can't believe that such orders would ever have been given and he finds it even harder to believe that his own son was the one who passed them. Even after Ben and Jake submit to the test, Joseph refuses, calling the officers vampires. During a heated conversation between Joseph and Ben, Joseph cuts his hand. He rushes over to the sink to wash the wound. Ben, without even thinking, examines the blood on the knife. Joseph is shocked and clearly disappointed, but this is exactly what the Changelings wanted to happen. People are so scared that they are beginning to have doubts about their own family members. The blood tests may not be all that infallible anyway. Joseph argues that if the Changelings are all that clever, they would find some poor soul in the street, drain him of his blood and use this to get around the blood screening tests. Joseph suffers a minor stroke, caused both by his atherosclerosis and because he got so enraged and overexerted himself.
Odo and Sisko discuss Joseph's recent ill health and Odo points out that when Humans are supposed to do something that would be good for them, they often do the exact opposite. However, the thing which worries Sisko most is that he actually believed that his father was a Changeling, which Odo claims to be a wise thing to assume. Of course, this is exactly what the Founders wish to happen. Sisko tells Odo, "There are times, I wish you'd never found your people", to which Odo can only reply that sometimes he feels exactly the same.
Back at Sisko's, Joseph is back on his feet and going about his work as if nothing had happened – talking with his customers while serving them their food. Eventually Joseph sits down for a moment and talks with Jake about Ben. He is worried that he is overworked and stressed. Before Jake can reply, the lights go out in the restaurant. Nobody is quite sure what has happened but Jake says that the whole block is without power.
Sisko, trapped in an office by the power outage, is trying to open the door as Odo and Admiral Leyton pry it open from the other side. Leyton explains that it looks like the whole Global power grid on Earth has been knocked out including the emergency backups at Starfleet Headquarters. All the evidence points to sabotage and the prime candidates are clearly the Changelings. The power outage means that transporters, sensors and every defense installation on the surface is inactive – which means that the Earth is totally defenseless against a Dominion attack.
"I'm not interested in excuses," says the president as he demands that the power relay system be restored as soon as possible. As he finishes his speech, Sisko, Odo, Leyton and two other officers beam into the office via the transporters on the Lakota. Sisko, in his post as chief of Starfleet Security, recommends that the president call a state of emergency. With the exception of the Borg incident, it has been over a hundred years since such a state was last called. Sisko explains that he has reason to believe that a Dominion fleet is somewhere in the Alpha Quadrant ready to launch an attack on the now defenseless Earth. Sisko continues to explain that, shortly before he and Odo left Deep Space 9, the wormhole was repeatedly opening and closing although no ships were detected traveling through it. It is more than possible, Odo continues, that the Founders salvaged cloaking devices from the Romulan-Cardassian fleet that was destroyed at the Battle of the Omarion Nebula. As it is going to take a fair amount of time to get the power relay system back online (it could take days), the only way to defend Earth is by using the transporters and communication systems of the Lakota to mobilize Starfleet officers. The President is still hesitant to agree to the suggestions, but after Sisko explains how brutal the Jem'Hadar can be in close combat, the president gives control of Earth's defenses to Sisko and Leyton.
At Sisko's, Jake looks out of the window with his grandfather to see Federation troops beaming down into the streets. They look at one another uneasily, seemingly unhappy that the situation has turned so bad.
"Then the Andorian says 'That's not my antenna'!"
- - Quark, to Morn telling the punchline to a joke which Morn fails to understand
"Our gods are dead. Ancient Klingon warriors slew them a millennia ago. They were more trouble than they were worth."
"I don't think I'll ever understand Klingons."
"Don't worry about it, Major...nobody does. That's the way they like it."
- - Worf, Kira and O'Brien
"Benjamin Lafayette Sisko, what the hell has gotten into your head? You actually thought I was one of them, didn't you?"
"I don't know, I wasn't sure."
"This business has got you so twisted around, you can't think straight! You're seeing shapeshifters everywhere! Maybe you want to think about something for a minute: if I was a smart shapeshifter, a really good one, the first thing I would do would be to grab some poor soul off the street, absorb every ounce of his blood and let it out on cue whenever someone like you tried to test me! Don't you see? There isn't a test that's been created that a smart man can't find his way around! You're not going to catch shapeshifters using some gadget!"
- - Joseph Sisko and Benjamin Sisko
"Maybe the Prophets don't recognize you with the new beard."
- - Dax, to Sisko
"Jake, the only time you should be in bed is if you're sleeping, dying, or making love to a beautiful woman..."
- - Joseph Sisko, when asked to go to bed
"I'm not sleeping, I'm checking my eyelids for holes!"
- - Joseph Sisko, being awakened by Jake Sisko
Story and script
- The idea to have Starfleet personnel attempt a military coup was inspired by the 1964 John Frankenheimer film Seven Days in May. When this episode was still being developed as the third season finale (see below), the storyline was slightly different. The Changelings come to Earth and infiltrate the Federation purposely to destabilize it. They bring it to the point of near Civil War, and at that moment, the Vulcans withdraw from the Federation. The episode was set to end as a Starfleet ship opens fire on a Vulcan transport in Earth orbit. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- This episode was originally supposed to be the finale of the third season, with "Paradise Lost" being the opening episode of the fourth season. Towards the end of season 3 however, Paramount said they didn't want a cliffhanger finale, but something more open-ended leading into season 4. The writers' solution was "The Adversary", a finale which put them in a position to go in any number of alternative directions come the new season. Then, during the hiatus between season 3 and season 4, Paramount instructed the writers to do 'something' to shake up the show for the fourth season, which ultimately led to the introduction of the Klingons and Worf to the main cast of character in the episode "The Way of the Warrior". All of these developments meant that the "Homefront"/"Paradise Lost" story was pushed back into the middle of the fourth season. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- René Echevarria, via the Deep Space Nine Companion, describes the episode as "an attempt to make the audience complicit in believing that a threat is imminent, and that by any means necessary it must be dealt with. We go out of Part I saying, 'There's going to be a big battle, and we're going to stop them. Martial law – yes! Clamp down on rights – yes! Blood tests – yes! No civil rights – yes!' And then in Part II we find out that the real point of the story is how dangerous this feeling is." Similarly, Robert Hewitt Wolfe says, "We wanted to make people think we were doing a different story. The whole thing is a total misdirection. Part I is a total misdirection of Part II". Interestingly enough, this attempt to dupe the audience into believing one thing and then revealing something else is not unlike what Ira Steven Behr was aiming for with the 'it was all a dream' conclusion of "The Search, Part II".
- The screenplay for this episode describes Joseph Sisko by saying, "the years are starting to run out, a fact he is determined not to reveal to his son". It describes Admiral Leyton as "a veteran of conflicts with the Romulans, Tholians, Cardassians and Borg." Jaresh-Inyo is described as "a willowy, contemplative humanoid alien". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- Jaresh-Inyo was not a popular character with either the fans or the producers. It was generally felt that he came across as far too soft to be the leader of the Federation, that there was no chance someone like him would ever have gotten into that position. Interestingly, of this problem Ira Steven Behr simply says, "the casting decision didn't particularly work", implying that the producers were unhappy with Herschel Sparber's performance. The writers saw Jaresh-Inyo as being like Jimmy Carter. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Initially, this episode was to contain a reference to United Earth, and an explanation of how the Federation President could override the UE government and declare martial law, and why no UE government officials are ever seen in the episode. According to Ronald D. Moore all references to United Earth were cut to prevent the episode from being overly-complicated. (AOL chat, 1997)
- As a direct result of the show being pushed back into mid-season when there wasn't too much money around, Robert Hewitt Wolfe was disappointed with the outcome of the two-parter; "If it hadn't been for "The Way of the Warrior", we would have had the necessary money to spend on this two-parter". As well as that, he was disappointed with its positioning within the season; "It wasn't in sweeps. It came out of the middle of nowhere". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Joseph Sisko describes a method the Changelings could use to get around the blood tests. It is probable that this technique has already been used, as General Martok gave a blood sample in "The Way of the Warrior", despite the fact that (as revealed in "Apocalypse Rising") he had been replaced by a Changeling.
- It is interesting to note that the Romulans and the Tholians, who lost citizens in the Antwerp bomb, both sign nonaggression pacts with the Dominion in 2373.
- The Borg incident mentioned in this episode refers to the first invasion attempt of Earth by the Borg, which was shown in the TNG episodes "The Best of Both Worlds" and "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II".
- The Earth-Romulan War is alluded to when mentioning the struggle that led to the founding of the Federation.
- It is revealed in "When It Rains..." that Odo was infected with the morphogenic virus by Section 31 during the events of this episode and gives the stardate for the day when Odo is at Starfleet Medical as stardate 49419.
- Susan Gibney, who plays Erika Benteen, previously portrayed Dr. Leah Brahms in TNG: "Booby Trap" and TNG: "Galaxy's Child".
- This is the first time we see Sisko's in New Orleans, and the first time we see Brock Peters as Joseph Sisko. He previously played Admiral Cartwright in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
- This is the first time we see Sisko wearing a TNG era style uniform since the pilot "Emissary".
- Jaresh-Inyo says "with the exception of the Borg incident, there hasn't been a State of Emergency declared on Earth in a century". This could refer to the V'Ger incident in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which is conjecturally set exactly a century before this episode. On the other hand, the Star Trek Chronology speculates this to be a reference to the Whale Probe's inadvertent attack on Earth seen in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, set some 86 years before this episode.
- Appearing all together in this episode are Rene Auberjonois, Michael Dorn, and Brock Peters, all of whom played supporting characters in the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
- Jake Sisko suggested to Nog that he might even join Red Squad when Nog expressed his worries about being accepted by his peers. Nog eventually does join Red Squad as a provisional officer with the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the episode DS9: "Valiant".
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.6, 3 June 1996
- As part of the DS9 Season 4 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf
- Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
- Robert Foxworth as Leyton and Changeling
- Herschel Sparber as Jaresh-Inyo
- Susan Gibney as Erika Benteen
- Aron Eisenberg as Nog
- Ivor Bartels as a security officer
- Brian Demonbreun as a Starfleet science officer
- Kathleen Demor as a security Officer
- Randy James as Jones
- Jack Janda as a Sisko's Creole Kitchen waiter
- David B. Levinson as
- Paul Lewis as a Sisko's Creole Kitchen waiter
- James Minor as a operations division officer
- Robin Morselli as a Bajoran officer
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- James Lee Stanley as a Bajoran security deputy
- Shannon Thornton as a Sisko's Creole Kitchen waitress
- Unknown performers as
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