Overall Rating: 6.4
After the snappiness of the Trilogy, anything will seem like a bit of a letdown, but this is marred rather badly by mediocre acting on the part of the guest stars and Avery Brooks, uninteresting characters, and some major quibbles that ruin the realism of the story.
As a skeleton crew hunkers down to weather a severe plasma storm aboard DS9, Odo's security team encounters Quark at airlock 5, apparently up to no good. The usually sure-minded Odo knows he's up to something and escorts him back to the bar, where he was ordered to remain (to defend his latinum, of course). Shortly thereafter, a cargo ship hails the station requesting aid and, after being cleared for emergency docking, a pair of Klingons, a trill named Verad and a woman named Mareel storm the station and hold the Ops crew hostage. They demand that Bashir remove the Dax symbiont from Jadzia and implant it into Verad - under threat of the deaths of the rest of the crew, Bashir consents, knowing the procedure will kill Jadzia. As the crew struggles to overcome their captors, Sisko tries to undermine the relationship between Mareel and Verad, calling attention to how he changes when he receives Dax. Eventually, Quark and Bashir incapacitate one of the Klingons with a clever rouse, free Odo from his stasis chamber and between Odo and Sisko, Verad is stopped before he can leave the station. Bashir returns Dax to Jadzia just in time to save her life and Verad's as well.
There are several oddities and plot holes in this story that annoy me every time I watch it, and we'll discuss those later, but the main problem with the script is the characterization of the two main guest roles. They're not very interesting people. Verad, a failed trill initiate, doesn't have nearly enough back-story or depth to make us care what happens to him and Mareel is even worse. All we get from her is that she "used to live on the streets of (insert random planet)"...which doesn't tell us anything about why she should be so devoted to Verad that she would help him murder someone just so he can be a little more confident and feel like less of a failure. You can do better than that in a 45 minute script...I've seen one-act plays with much livelier characters than this.
Avery Brooks is way over the top again in several places...every time he's asked to deliver the action hero line, it's guffaw-worthy watching him devour not only the scenery but the camera, the potted plants in the actor's lounge and the best boy running lights. How a man who eats so much can stay so healthy is beyond me. The guest stars (John Glover and Meghan Gallagher - and to an even greater extent, Tim Russ) were pretty universally terrible. I'm sorry to say, I found Mareel's character completely flat and uninteresting and Verad wasn't much better - failing miserably to convince me that any part of him was Dax post-joining. A side-comment...I am trying to figure out how Tim Russ landed a lead role on Voyager. He's clearly a HORRIBLE actor as he displays rather prominently even in a bit part in this episode. On the upside, Alexander Siddig and Terry Farrell were both very good in this episode - showing very nice chops in their scenes together after Bashir has removed the symbiont, as was Armin Shimmerman. There's a very well done moment from Nana Visitor as well when she calmly and very ominously tells Quark that for his part in this situation, he's through on the station. Luckily, Quark comes up with the distraction necessary to save the day, and probably his life. :)
This wasn't a particularly message-heavy episode, but it gets some minor positive credit for its depiction of the entire station crew fighting for Jadzia. It's nice to see that these people all care for each other a great deal and work very hard to protect one another.
ODO: "What are you doing out here, Quark? You were told to stay in the bar."
QUARK: "I was saying goodbye to my brother!"
ODO: "You're brother. You expect us to believe you were out here for three hours pining for Rom?"
QUARK: "Alright, Rom couldn't find a glass of water if he was on a boat, but he's still my brother."
ODO: "And you'd betray him in a second if it suited your interests."
QUARK: "That doesn't mean I don't love him." (Odo scoffs) "Chief...do you have any brothers?"
O'BRIEN: "Actually...yeah...I have two."
QUARK: "And did you ever have to say goodbye to them?"
O'BRIEN: "Sure...when I joined Starfleet."
QUARK: "And did it bring a tear to your eye?"
O'BRIEN: "I suppose so..."
QUARK: "Well...tell that to him!" (pointing to Odo) - yyyyyeah...OK Quark. :)
QUARK: "This is outrageous! I won't be treated this way. Commander, who are these people?!"
SISKO: (grabbing Quark by the collar) "Funny, I was going to ask you the same thing! But let's start with how they got past our docking ring security?"
QUARK: "How should I know? I'm just a victim of circumstance, as you can clearly see..."
KIRA: "Save it, Quark! I've put up with a lot from you, but this time, you've crossed a line. When this is over, if anything happens to Jadzia, you are through here." - if looks could kill, Quark would be dead a thousand times from this one scene alone!
BASHIR: (responding to Quark's loud entrance - he's screaming as though in severe pain) "What now?"
QUARK: "My...ear...hurts!! AAAAHHH!!"
BASHIR: "Let me take a look..." (does a quick scan and sees nothing) "Well the damage appears to be superficial." (Quark mouths the word no really strongly) "But...the Ferengi ear is very sensitive...I'd better run a few more tests."
YETO: (Quark is still screaming little a little girl) "Silence, Ferengi!"
BASHIR: "It's not his fault! He's got a severely bruised tempanic membrane and a partially torn malleus. For a Ferengi, either condition could be fatal! Now if you want him to stop, hold this on his ear."
YETO: "I'm not your nurse!"
BASHIR: "Now let's not go through this again." (referring to an earlier confrontation wherein Yeto refused to help Bashir treat Jadzia until he showed a little spunk) "Frankly, I don't have the time. Just hold this against his ear." (Yeto reluctantly takes the instrument and jams it angrily into Quark's ear. Quark shrieks) "Not so hard!" (Yeto lightens the pressure and Quark stops screaming - Bashir is preparing a hypospray behind the Klingon's back) "Just one more moment..." (Bashir sneaks up behind the Klingon and injects him with something that knocks him out)
QUARK: "Thank you, Doctor. I feel better already." - heh
1) I thought Odo was supposed to be a GOOD investigator. When he encounters Quark at airlock 5, he doesn't think to survey the equipment there to look for possible sabotage? He knows Quark is up to something...why doesn't he investigate the matter?
2) When the marauders board the statio and start pointing weapons, they order Odo into a lock-box to keep him from foiling their plan. Perhaps the writers forgot that Odo can shapeshift quickly...he could have formed a tentacle and knocked all four of the assailants to the ground in one quick motion. And I know he can do this because he's DONE it in other episodes. So...why exactly doesn't he? "Well we wouldn't have a show then!" C'mon writers...come up with a better reason Odo is incapacitated...use a little creativity.
3) And about those marauders...as far as we can tell, Quark only screwed with the security sensors in airlock 5...which just happens to be where their cargo ship was miraculously towed? That's awfully lucky.