Thursday, October 1, 2009

Classics: DS9 2:1 – 2:3 – The Homecoming/The Circle/The Siege

(We are reviewing this trilogy of episodes as one unit, as it is a single story.)

Overall rating: 9.5

Another string of crisply written scripts with sparkling dialogue, characters with depth and pathos, a message that sings to the conservatives in the crowd without offending the rest, and a fantastic ensemble cast. The show is really starting to gather momentum.

Plot Synopsis:

Quark manages to gain possession of a Bajoran earring that, he is told, is of great significance. Quark presents this earring to Kira, who goes to Sisko and asks that she be given a runabout to take to Cardassia Four to rescue a Bajoran prisoner of war. As it turns out, the earring belongs to Li Nalas, a legendary hero of the Bajoran resistance. Sisko is reluctant, concerned that green-lighting such a mission will cause an incident with the Cardassians, but when the insignia of a Bajoran extremist faction known as “the Circle” begins to appear on DS9, he reconsiders, banking his hopes on the possibility that Li will bring much needed stability to Bajor. Kira and O’Brien proceed to Cardassia Four and rescue Li and several other prisoners.

Li’s return is greeted with much excitement; indeed, Kira’s stunt attracts the attention of Minister Jaro, who immediately comes to DS9 to take advantage of the situation. Li, meanwhile, is less than gratified by the hero’s welcome he receives. When it becomes increasingly apparent to Li that both Sisko and Kira intend for him to assume a position of leadership on the increasingly restive Bajor, he tries to stow away aboard a ship headed for the Gamma Quadrant. When he is caught, he laments to Sisko that his heroic deeds have been blown way out of proportion. Sisko tells him that Bajor needs a symbol, not a man, and Li resigns himself to the inevitable. The Bajoran government bestows upon Li the new rank of Navarch and assigns him to DS9. Sisko is dismayed to discover that Li will be taking Kira’s place.

A deposed Kira retreats to a Bajoran monastery at the invitation of Vedek Bareil; there, she has an encounter with an orb and sees a vision in which, among other things, she is intimate with Bareil. In the meantime, the Circle’s forces begin to advance towards the capital. Odo receives intelligence from Quark that the faction is heavily armed, and Sisko goes to Bajor to discuss the situation with General Krim – who seems reluctant to engage the Circle’s forces directly – and, later, Kira. After Sisko leaves the monastery, Kira is kidnapped by the Circle and brought to their headquarters. There, she learns that Minister Jaro is leading the Circle in their quickly developing coup d’etat. Jaro demands that Kira give him intelligence on Sisko and the Federation; Kira refuses and is tortured. Sisko, Li, and the others mount a successful rescue operation. Once they return to DS9 with Kira, Odo – who has been pursuing intelligence on the source of the Circle’s armaments – reports that the Circle is being armed covertly by the Cardassians. At that moment, communication to Bajor is cut off entirely; the coup has begun. On Bajor, Jaro assures Vedek Winn that he will ensure that she becomes the next Kai.

Starfleet orders a withdrawal, but Sisko is unwilling to leave Bajor at the mercy of the Cardassians and assembles a loyal team to attack the coup’s forces on DS9 – led by General Krim - guerilla-style. Meanwhile, Kira and Dax take a sub-impulse Bajoran ship to Bajor to deliver evidence of Cardassian involvement to the Chamber of Ministers. Kira and Dax are shot down – and Kira injured – but they successfully complete their mission, putting a halt to Jaro’s coup. On DS9, General Krim surrenders to Sisko; a disappointed Bajoran officer tries to assassinate Sisko, but Li takes the phaser hit and dies.

Stephanie S.’s Ratings:

Writing: 9.5

This arc contains a few predictable moments. For example, it’s pretty much telegraphed at the beginning of The Siege that karma will bite the greedy Quark in the butt – and it’s a given from the start that Li Nalas will not survive the storyline. I find, however, that I hardly mind these elements; overall, the writing is very tight and thoughtful.

One thing I particularly love about this triplet is that the antagonists are not complete dunderheads. General Krim, for example, accurately predicts that Sisko would never leave DS9 willingly and acts accordingly. Minister Jaro correctly deduces that Li’s presence on Bajor will put a dent in his plans and acts to prevent such an eventuality; moreover, he too is not so quick to sound the call of victory when Krim reports his arrival on DS9. And we see Vedek Winn constantly hedging her bets – withholding her full support for the coup; further, when proof of Cardassian involvement is finally presented, Winn immediately executes an about-face.

These episodes also illustrate one key benefit of planning ahead: you can foreshadow. For example, in The Homecoming, the Cardassians apologize for detaining Bajoran prisoners in violation of their withdrawal treaty, and Kira is quite nonplussed; later on, this seemingly uncharacteristic act is finally explained when it is revealed that the Cardassians are arming the Circle. In this and other ways, the writers consistently put their guns on the wall before they fire them. I like that a lot.

Lastly, this trilogy is replete with the gallows humor and peppery banter that I’ve come to identify as textbook DS9. The story told in these episodes is quite serious, yet throughout, I can’t help but giggle – or sometimes even outright laugh – at the dialogue.

Acting: 9.5

In a few spots, line delivery seemed rather awkward, but generally, performances were strong all around. Even Philip Anglim shows a little more animation in these episodes, striking a better balance between serene monk and ordinary man.

Message: 9.5

If you are looking for evidence with which to critique the Prime Directive, very few episodes deliver as do these three. If the Federation had truly withdrawn from the Bajoran system, the Bajorans – and the wormhole – would’ve been left to the rapacious appetites of the Cardassians. Only an idiot would argue that this would’ve been a better outcome than what ultimately took place after a little “interference.” Fortunately for all involved, Sisko is a master of “creative compliance.” We are left then with an implicit message that should be shouted from every rooftop: non-interference doesn’t work unless everybody practices it.

SABR Matt’s Ratings:

Writing: 9.5

As you’ll see in the highlights, the chief strength of this trilogy is the dialogue…truly remarkable how skilled these writers are. This trilogy does not have any big shocking plot twists or anything…it’s not all that ingenious in terms of plot construction (in fact there’s a lot about the coup itself that is very clichéd, including the idea of the leaders of the coup being xenophobes), but when the dialogue crackles like this stuff – and the characters are as true to form as this, it does not matter.

Acting: 9.8

I was more pleased with the acting than my partner in crime here, but only marginally so. I didn’t really sense the awkwardness that she did…my main complaints are with Bareil and Li. I didn’t really feel the frustration and anguish from Richard Beymer (Li) over his being forced to play a role with which he was uncomfortable and as a result, I wasn’t particularly upset about his death. The rest of the guest cast was very solid, especially Jaro (Frank Langella), Vedek Winn (Louise Fletcher) and General Krim (Stephen Macht), all of whom played their parts with subtlety and skill.

Message: 9.1

This show gets a solid 9 in the message department…for the reason my co-conspirator noted (yay for toppling the Prime Directive!) as well as for its excellent work driving home the point that burying your head in the sand and isolating yourself is not the answer. Just as Kira had to convince herself (and an ardent terrorist) that Bajor for the Bajorans would never work in Past Prologue, here the Circle slams into the hard reality that Bajor is a part of the surrounding space – irreversibly linked to other races from the Alpha Quadrant. Folks who advocate that America should withdraw and seal its borders should watch this trilogy and make the appropriate connection to our current geopolitical situation. We are tied to the world…we can’t go back 150 years and hope the rest of the world will be cool with it. The extra 0.1 is a little bonus for giving us a flash of Nana Visitor in the buff! Hubba hubba!

Highlights (as compiled by Stephanie S.):

ODO: “Hold on, I'm not finished with you.”
QUARK: “Oh, really, Odo? Sometimes I think there's no pleasing you. I help you crack a notorious smuggling ring, yet you still insist on treating me like the enemy.”
ODO: “You are the enemy.”
QUARK: “Then how do you explain my helping you?”
ODO: “That's just it. I can't explain it.”
QUARK: “It's simple, really. I figured we'd been at each others' throats long enough. It's time we called a truce.”
ODO: “Truce? You must be joking.”
QUARK: “Ask the Subytt first officer if I'm joking. From now on, you and I are going to be friends.”
ODO: “You're up to something.”
QUARK: “Why would you say that?”
ODO: “Because you're always up to something.” – You can never go wrong starting an episode with Odo/Quark banter.

QUARK: “I always wondered what your quarters looked like.”
KIRA: “That better not be your only reason for being here.”
QUARK: “You don't entertain much, do you?”
KIRA: “I entertain a lot. I just don't entertain you.”
(Quark tries to follow Kira into her bedroom.)
QUARK: “Let me guess - the bedroom.”
KIRA: “You take one step in here, and I promise you, it'll be your last.”
QUARK: “It could be worth it.”
KIRA: “You have five seconds to tell me what you want.”
QUARK: “Aren't you going to offer me a beverage?”
KIRA: “Five, four…”
QUARK: “Can we at least sit down?”
(An annoyed Kira emerges and starts shoving Quark towards the door.)
KIRA: “Three-two-one.” – Ahaha! Kira has no patience for Quark at all.

JAKE: “You remember that Bajoran girl I told you about?”
SISKO: “The one with the beautiful smile?”
JAKE: “That's right, Laira. I decided to ask her out.”
SISKO: “Well, good for you. And now you've come to the old man for advice on what to say to her.”
JAKE: Dad, I-”
SISKO: “The main thing is, you can't be afraid of rejection-”
JAKE: “Dad, I already asked her out. And she said yes.”
SISKO: “She did? That's wonderful.”
JAKE: “I was just wondering if you had any ideas what we could do. I was thinking of taking her to the holosuites.”
SISKO: “The holosuites? I don't think so.”
JAKE: “Why not?”
SISKO: “Because you're too young to take a girl to the holosuites!”
JAKE: “Okay, then how about if I bring her to our quarters?”
SISKO: “No, no-no-no-no, no quarters.”
JAKE: “We're just going to talk.”
SISKO: “Talk in public.”
JAKE: “It's not the same.”
SISKO: “You want to talk? Take her upstairs. And that way you can talk and watch the ships go through the wormhole.”
JAKE: “That's boring.”
SISKO: “Since when?”
JAKE: “Since I started going out with girls.” – Very cute.

SISKO: “What if I told you I knew someone who could bring stability to Bajor - someone who could unite the factions and give us a chance to do our job?”
DAX: “I'd say give Kira the runabout.”
SISKO: “How do you know about Kira wanting a runabout?”
DAX: “I promised not to tell.” – You can’t keep a secret on this station.

SISKO: “Chief - Major Kira needs a runabout.”
O'BRIEN: “Oh, so she's going to Cardassia Four after all.”
SISKO: “Is there anyone on this station she didn't tell?” – See what I mean?

KIRA: (as she approaches the Cardassian prison camp’s security force field) “How do I look?”
O’BRIEN: “I doubt there’s a Cardassian alive who could resist you.” – Heh.

SISKO: “The Nanut isn't scheduled to return from the Gamma Quadrant for two years.”
LI: “Actually I planned on staying there considerably longer.”
SISKO: “I don't follow.”
LI: “Commander, I'm going to tell you a story. You may even believe it.”
SISKO: “I'm listening.”
LI: “During the occupation, I was a member of a minor resistance cell - the name is unimportant. One day - this was in the mountains surrounding the Sahving Valley - we were ambushed by Cardassian troops. Only three of us managed to escape. We hid in the hills for two days. Finally the lack of food and water forced us down into the valley. We made our way to a ridge overlooking a small lake. As I was the only one still carrying a phaser, I went ahead to scout for the enemy. Halfway down the embankment, I slipped and went sprawling on my back down to the edge of the lake just as a huge Cardassian emerged from the water. He must have just finished bathing. He stood there, frozen in surprise, dressed only in his underwear, shivering from the cold. I lay there looking up at him, too stunned to even move, and it was only when he reached for a phaser rifle that was lying across his clothes on a nearby rock that I realized I was still holding my own phaser, and I shot him. His body fell on top of me… and that's how my companions found us a moment later. One of them recognized him as Gul Zarale, responsible for the massacre of half a dozen Bajoran villages. Now I tried to tell them what happened, but they had already convinced themselves that I had killed Zarale in some kind of savage struggle… which is what they insisted on telling every Bajoran that we met. And no matter how hard I tried to deny it, the story continued to spread until it seemed all of Bajor had heard it. Soon every victory won by the resistance was attributed to my leadership. Stories of my brilliance, my daring, my courage grew more and more unbelievable, yet the people insisted on believing them. My reputation even followed me into the labor camp, where my mere presence seemed to inspire my fellow prisoners. And I had done nothing but shoot an unarmed Cardassian in his underwear. I'll never forget the look on his face as he died. He was so… embarrassed. So you see, Commander, I have done what Bajor needed me to do. I have allowed myself to be a slave to my reputation all of these years, and now it is enough.”
SISKO: “They still need you.”
LI: “But I am not the man that they think I am.”
SISKO: “Perhaps not. But Bajor doesn't need a man. It needs a symbol, and that's what you are. No one's asking you to lead troops into battle, or to kill a hundred Cardassians with your bare hands. I saw you in front of the crowd on the Promenade. They look at you and they see strength, and honor, and decency. They look at you, and they see the best in themselves.”
LI: “But it's all based on a lie.”
SISKO: “No. It's based on a legend. And legends are as powerful as any truth. Bajor still needs that legend. It needs you.” – In a world in which the academic impulse defaults to iconoclasm, it’s nice to hear a television show defend the value of public legends.

JARO: “Frankly, Commander, I'm surprised at your reaction.”
SISKO: “Oh, I don't think much surprises you, Minister.”
JARO: “But I expected you to be celebrating. I was under the impression that Major Kira has been nothing but trouble to you since-”
SISKO: (cutting in) “Who gave you that impression?”
JARO: “Common knowledge.”
SISKO: “Major Kira has my complete respect. She's been invaluable in establishing this command post, and now she's been dismissed without anyone consulting me, and I don't appreciate it.”
JARO: “Commander - Starfleet doesn't consult us when they wish to promote one of their officers.”
SISKO: “Are you suggesting that this is a promotion for Kira?”
JARO: “Certainly it is. We must find the proper spot for her. After all, she's the one who brought Li Nalas back to us.”
SISKO: “Well then, that's a different matter.”
JARO: “I'm glad you see it.”
SISKO: “Yes, of course I do. For a minute I was thinking to myself: there's a warm wind blowing in from Minicoy.”
JARO: “I'm sorry?”
SISKO: “Just an old saying where I come from. It all started with a famous Ambassador from Minicoy who used to bluster, exaggerate, and dissemble to get what he wanted. Not at all like you or me. He was a bag of hot air, and everyone recognized him for what he was.” – Sisko is doubly awesome here: not only does he leap to his friend’s defense, but he also sizes Jaro up with incisive accuracy. In the subtext, Sisko is saying, “Yeah, you’re full of it.” GREAT scene.

(Kira is packing. The door signal sounds.)
KIRA: “Come in!”
ODO: (agitated) “You're not -”
KIRA: “Leaving? I really don't have much choice, do I?”
ODO: “You're not just leaving, Major. You're surrendering!”
KIRA: “You break the rules, you pay.”
ODO: “Wait a minute - I want to be sure I heard that correctly. Because it doesn't sound like the Kira Nerys who has made a career out of breaking the rules!”
KIRA: “Well, I guess I broke one too many.”
ODO: “Major, you've been breaking one too many for fourteen and a half years! Cardassian rules, Bajoran rules, Federation rules - they're all meaningless to you. Because you have a personal code that's always mattered more - and I'm sorry to say, you're in slim company.”
KIRA: (smiles fondly) “I'll miss you too, Odo.”
ODO: “Have you asked Sisko for help?”
KIRA: “I'm sure he'll do whatever he thinks is best for the station.”
ODO: (in disbelief) “You haven't even gone to him?”
KIRA: (has finally had enough) “Well what do you want me to do, Odo?”
ODO: “Fight for what you want! It's what you do best!”
KIRA: “Well, maybe I just wanted a vacation!”
ODO: “Ha! Idiotic bureaucracy! Now I suppose they'll expect me to break in a new man!”
KIRA: “A great man! Li Nalas can handle the job, believe me.”
ODO: “Well, you did fairly well at it once I smoothed your rough edges.”
KIRA: (stops what’s she’s doing and laughs slightly indignantly)
ODO: “What's so funny?”
KIRA: “I thought you did fairly well, once I smoothed your rough edges.”
(Door signal.)
KIRA: “Yes?”
(Dax enters.)
DAX: “Am I disturbing anything?”
KIRA: “Stick around - you can help me cry in my synthale.”
DAX: “I thought I'd better return this epidellic lotion.”
KIRA: “No - if you like it -”
DAX: “Oh, it's wonderful.”
KIRA: “Well then, keep it.”
ODO: (still exercised) “How can you be chatting about skin lotion at a time like this?”
(Door signal.)
DAX: “Do you have any idea where you'll be stationed?”
KIRA: “Come in!” (Bashir enters.) “Not yet. They say that after I've taken some leave time, I've earned a desk at the foreign affairs building somewhere. Doctor.”
DAX: “Foreign affairs building?”
BASHIR: “I came to give you my best.”
DAX: “Well, that's rather dull.”
BASHIR: (confused) “I beg your pardon?”
KIRA: “Dull is a polite word for it.”
ODO: “Doctor, if you were Kira, wouldn't you at least be complaining to Commander Sisko?”
BASHIR: (to Kira) “Look, I just wanted to wish you good luck.”
KIRA: “Thank you, Doctor.”
BASHIR: (to Odo) “Complaining? About what?”
ODO: “Never mind, Doctor. If she doesn't care, why should we?”
BASHIR: (to Kira) “Have they given you any reason yet?”
DAX: “Did they give you any alternative?”
KIRA: (almost at the breaking point, to everyone in turn) “I do care, no, they haven't, no, they didn't. I really ought to finish packing!”
(Door signal.)
BASHIR: (to Odo) “You said she doesn’t care. You mean about leaving the station?”
KIRA: “By all means, come on in!”
(O'Brien enters)
ODO: “She's done well here. She ought to stay here. And I'd say she could use a little support from her friends, Doctor!”
BASHIR: “Well, yes, certainly, but if her orders are to-”
O'BRIEN: (surveying the now crowded scene and unsure when to jump in) “Er.”
KIRA: (glad to escape the conversation with Odo) “Chief! Come in.”
O'BRIEN: “I didn't mean to intrude. I just-”
BASHIR: “Don't worry, Chief. It's all been said.”
ODO: “Well, I have a good deal more to say, thank you, Doctor!”
O'BRIEN: “Look, I could come back.”
DAX: “Odo, leave her alone. This is Kira's decision to make.” (then to Kira) “Unless of course you want me to talk to Commander Sisko.”
KIRA: “I knew what I was doing. I knew the risk.”
ODO: “That's not what she asked!”
O'BRIEN: “I'd just like to say, Major, it's been a pleasure serving with you.”
(Door signal.)
KIRA: (exasperated) “Come in!”
BASHIR: “Will somebody please explain this conversation to me?”
(Quark enters.)
QUARK: “A party! For you, I would've reduced my catering rates!”
ODO: “It's not a party, Quark!”
QUARK: “Whatever.”
(Quark presents a small bottle.)
ODO: “What's that?”
KIRA: “A bottle of my favorite synthale, I think. That's very thoughtful of you, Quark.”
ODO: “It's also very small.”
QUARK: “I was anticipating a far smaller gathering. I thought, perhaps, an intimate farewell drink, a sympathetic smile, a shoulder to cry on.”
O'BRIEN: “As I was saying, Major-”
QUARK: “You'd be surprised how often that works with women.”
KIRA: (that’s the straw) “Is this a joke? Did you plan this?”
BASHIR: “Nobody could have planned this.”
(Door signal.)
KIRA: “Oh, we're open for business! Come on in! Join the crowd…” (When Vedek Bareil enters, Kira trails off.) “Vedek Bareil.”
BAREIL: “I hope I'm not interrupting.”
KIRA: “No! Please, come in. These are my… these are my friends.” – Hilarious with a touch of “awww!” at the end. Everybody wuvs Kira, don’t they? Especially Odo.

LI: “Commander, anything you need from me, I will try my best to do, but I know that I can never replace Major Kira.”
SISKO: “No one could.” – Awww.

(Kira tries to adjust a row of stones at the monastery.)
BAREIL: “May I make a friendly observation?”
KIRA: (frustrated) “It's crooked.”
BAREIL: (amused) “It's… crooked?”
KIRA: “I've been adjusting it for over an hour. It looks fine from over here, but then I go over there and… This isn't working, Bareil.”
BAREIL: “It's only a row of stones.”
KIRA: “No, it isn't. It's me. The stones are straight. I'm the one who's crooked.”
BAREIL: “Is that really how you see yourself?”
KIRA: “Sometimes. Sometimes I even like being that way.” – Kira is so not made for the religious life.

ODO: “Do you know where these weapons are being sent to on Bajor?”
QUARK: “No, not exactly.”
ODO: “Find out!
QUARK: “Are you out of your mind? My plan is to put as much distance as possible between me and Bajor, thank you very much.”
ODO: “Quark, I hate to do this, but I guess I'll have to.”
QUARK: “That's not fair.”
ODO: “I haven't done anything yet.”
QUARK: “Whatever you're going to do is not fair.”
ODO: “You're a deputy.”
QUARK: “IT’S NOT-” (then what Odo said manages to penetrate) “What?”
ODO: “You're a deputy. I want you to find out where the weapons are going on Bajor. Meanwhile, I'm going to find out exactly where they're coming from.”
QUARK: “You and me, a team?”
ODO: “That's right.”
(Quark breaks into hysterical laughter.)
QUARK: “Goodbye, Odo.”
ODO: “Either that or I'm putting you in a cell.”
QUARK: “Now that's not fair!” – Blackmail. It’s what’s for dinner.

(After Kira’s orb vision.)
KIRA: “Woodcrafts. Definitely the way to go.”
BAREIL: “Is that where the Prophets led you?”
KIRA: “Yeah, lots of hammers and nails and saws surrounded by monks and vedeks - very safe and secure.” – Heh.

(After the coup has started and Sisko is ordered to leave.)
SISKO: “Chief, how long will it take us to evacuate Deep Space Nine?”
O'BRIEN: “I'd say we could have all our people out and away in three hours.”
SISKO: “I mean a complete evacuation. I intend to take all Starfleet instruments, materiel - in fact, all Federation property of any kind. How quickly can we do that?”
O'BRIEN: “Sir, that'll take days - a week for all I know! But those assault ships are going to be here in seven hours!”
SISKO: “Then I guess some of us won't quite be done by the time they get here.” – I love how Sisko creatively interprets his orders. You stick it to the Prime Directive, Ben!

NOG: “Has there ever been one of your kind and one of mine who were better friends?”
JAKE: “Never.”
NOG: “And if our fathers couldn't break us up, no stupid coop day… coop day…”
JAKE: “Coup d'état. It's French.”
NOG: “Well, no stupid French thing will either.” – Very charming.

QUARK: “Hey, Odo! You'll miss me. You know you will. Say it.”
ODO: “I'll miss you, Quark.”
QUARK: (surprised) “You said it.”
ODO: “I'll miss the aggravation, the petty theft, the bad manners-”
QUARK: “Odo! Take care of yourself.” – Lots of nice goodbye scenes here.

(A creature runs by Dax.)
DAX: “Aaah! What’s that? Is that a spider or a dog?”
KIRA: “It’s a pulakoo. The Bajoran moons are full of ‘em.”
DAX: “I suppose you used to make them your pets and sing songs about them around the campfire?”
KIRA: “No – we used to eat ‘em.” – Kira didn’t exactly live a life of leisure, Dax.

O'BRIEN: “Eat hearty. The replicators crash in sixteen minutes. This'll have to last awhile.”
SISKO: (disappointed) “Combat rations, Chief? Couldn't you have replicated something a little more palatable?”
O'BRIEN: “You don't like combat rations?”
SISKO: “A French onion soup would have really been nice.”
O'BRIEN: “Miracle of science, these little combat rations. Timed release formula of all the nutrients the body needs for three days. I love 'em. Only thing I miss about the Cardassian front.”
SISKO: (tapping his comm badge “Sisko to all units: You can thank Chief of Operations Miles O'Brien for your repast this afternoon.”
BASHIR: (in another conduit) “You haven't made any friends here, Chief. Or should I say Chef?”
O'BRIEN: (jovial) “Julian! Well, I would have expected you of all people to appreciate the nutritional value of combat rations.”
BASHIR: “Actually, when I was in Med school, I designed an incredible candy bar which was far superior in food value.”
QUARK: “Am I the only one who doesn't think this is funny?” – Gallows humor ultimately becomes a DS9 specialty.

(On the sub-impulse Bajoran ship en-route to Bajor.)
DAX: (alarmed) “Navigational sensors aren't functioning!”
KIRA: “No problem.”
DAX: (aghast) “No problem? Big problem. Without navigational sensors-”
KIRA: “-we'll have to fly by the seat of our pants.”
DAX: (decidedly unenthused) “Great. Seat of the pants technology.”
KIRA: “You Starfleet types are too dependant on gadgets and gizmos. You lose your natural instincts for survival.”
DAX: “My natural instincts for survival told me not to climb aboard this thing. I'd say they were functioning pretty well.” – Hee!

(Kira and Dax are being pursued by Jaro’s forces.)
KIRA: “There’s one problem.”
DAX: “One?”
KIRA: “The guys flying those ships?”
DAX: “Yeah?”
KIRA: “Used to be the guys flying these ships. Test the phaser banks.”
DAX: “Full power.”
KIRA: “Good.”
DAX: “Ah, not so good. The phaser locks are dead. There's no way to aim.”
KIRA: “Sure there is!”
DAX: “I know, I know. Seat of the pants.”
KIRA: “With your eyes, Lieutenant, not your pants. Just point at them and fire!” – Very sensible.

(After their thrusters are irrevocably damaged.)
KIRA: “Can you see any openings where we could put down?”
DAX: “Six kilometers ahead at two o'clock.”
(But the trees are approaching too fast.)
KIRA: “Uh, anything a little closer?”
DAX: “How much closer?”
KIRA: “How ‘bout… right here.” – Sounds good to me.

(Kira is seriously injured in the crash. Afterwards, she and Dax bicker over what to do next.)
KIRA: “You have to leave me.” (Dax moves to support her.) “That's an order, Lieutenant.”
DAX: “The Federation officially left Bajor yesterday. You're no longer my commanding officer.”
KIRA: “I can't walk!”
DAX: “Yes, you can!”
KIRA: “You are being a fool, Dax.”
DAX: “Don't talk to your elders that way.” – As you can tell, I really like the Kira/Dax interplay in this set of episodes.

LI: “I've done everything I can to help. I'd die for my people, but-”
SISKO: “Sure you would. Dying gets you off the hook. Question is, are you willing to live for your people?” – Leadership is much tougher than martyrdom.

BASHIR: “Quark, leave it!
(Quark is trying to push his heavy case along.)
QUARK: “I can't leave it. It's all that I am. My personal mementos, my family album…”
BASHIR: “It's full of gold-pressed latinum and you know it.”
QUARK: Who told you?
BASHIR: “Your mother did - the day you were born.”
QUARK: “NEVER MAKE FUN OF A FERENGI’S MOTHER! Rule of Acquisition number thirty-one!” – ROTFL.

(After the coup is foiled – thanks to Kira and Dax – and Li is killed, Kira mourns.)
KIRA: “Somehow, you figured now that he was here, things would be better, you know? He'd find a way to make things better… because he was a man who could do that. A great man. I wish I knew where we could find others like him.”
SISKO: “Major, there are heroes all over Bajor. I'm sitting with one.” And on that lovely note, we end.

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