(written from a Production point of view)
The Dominion and the Breen negotiate an alliance; Ezri and Worf are sentenced to death. (Part 3 of 9)
Formerly prisoners of the Breen, Worf, and Ezri Dax are now prisoners of the Dominion aboard a Jem'Hadar vessel. Also on board is Weyoun and the Female Changeling. Weyoun congratulates the two Federation officers on witnessing a historic moment: an alliance between the Breen Confederacy and the Dominion, against the Federation. Weyoun has them put together in a single cell as he finds interspecies mating rituals fascinating.
Then the Female Changeling enters after having to concentrate hard in order to maintain her normal, smooth-skinned humanoid form. She speaks about a Dominion-Breen alliance and a treaty which will allow them to wipe out the Federation once and for all.
Reading over the text of the treaty between the Breen and the Dominion, Legate Damar is outraged to learn that Weyoun has promised to cede an unspecified number of planets in the Cardassian Union to the Breen in exchange for their allegiance. Damar, the Cardassian leader, was not even consulted, and Weyoun makes clear that he expects Damar to sign the treaty without reading the fine print – that is, without knowing just how many planets he is signing away.
Weyoun urges Damar to look at the "big picture" – with the Breen's help, the Dominion will soon be victorious, and Cardassia will have its pick of planets in the Alpha Quadrant to choose from. When Damar continues to protest, Weyoun icily reminds him that Cardassia is part of the Dominion now, which means all its planets belong to the Founders now, to do with as they please.
Seething, Damar turns his attention to military matters, urging Weyoun to send reinforcements to a hard-pressed Cardassian unit fighting on Septimus III. Weyoun promises to "deal" with the situation.
Aboard Deep Space 9, General Martok and Captain Sisko are discussing the war, and Martok takes the opportunity to congratulate Sisko on his recent marriage to Kasidy Yates. Martok warns Sisko that a "long, grueling, intoxicating war" has broken out, though Sisko is barely aware of it; Martok himself is a veteran of many "battles" with his own wife, Sirella. He warns Sisko that, as husbands, they may win their share of battles, but they are always destined to lose the war to their wives.
Dukat, still posing as Bajoran farmer Anjohl Tennan, continues his manipulation of Kai Winn Adami. He continually points to her "prophecy", and how it warned her of the Emissary of the Prophets straying from course.
Ezri and Worf are hanging upside down from the ceiling in their cell as they are contemplating their situation.
Kasidy finds it difficult being married to the Emissary, as her Bajoran crew are acting differently now that they serve under his wife and are asking her opinion on all sorts of matters (including spiritual beliefs). Sisko, making dinner, tells Kasidy that each spring he holds a small ceremony on the station blessing Bajoran women who wish to be mothers... and this year, several requests have been made that the Emissary's wife does the honors. Kasidy politely but firmly declines Benjamin's request, and when she leaves for a sonic shower the captain muses to himself that the 'battle' has begun.
After arriving on Cardassia, Worf and Ezri continue to plot their escape from a prison on Cardassia Prime. They soon turn to arguing, invoking the name of Jadzia, Dax's previous host who was married to Worf.
When Damar announces to them that they will be tried as war criminals, be found guilty and executed, Weyoun offers them a chance to escape death, by supplying him with information – both of them have already been mind probed, but Weyoun could use some help making sense of the scattered data they pulled from their brains. Weyoun taunts Ezri by showing her an embarrassing tidbit from her mind probe and taunting her that it would be "such a shame" if she were to die before revealing her "feelings" to Julian Bashir. Worf responds by snapping Weyoun's neck, killing him instantly. Damar laughs heartily at the slimy Vorta's death, chiding Worf that the Dominion will simply replace him with the next clone. He also says that Worf's action changes nothing: Worf and Ezri must choose to cooperate, or die.
In Dominion Headquarters, Damar is enjoying yet another glass of kanar, when Weyoun #8 enters. Damar cannot resist laughing at his predecessor's humiliating death, but his amusement is short-lived as the brand new Weyoun ushers Thot Gor, the Breen commander, into the command center and invites him to make himself at home, including full access to the Cardassians' military database. Much to Damar's displeasure, Weyoun also tells Damar that from then on every military recommendation he makes will go to Thot Gor, who will then pass it on to the Founder.
In their cell, Worf has fashioned a club from the leg of a bed. Ezri causes a short-circuit in the cell's wiring that opens the door, allowing them to break out and overpower their Cardassian guards. Worf takes a shot to the leg, and tells Ezri to leave him behind, but she refuses, trying to carry him out and allowing them to be recaptured in the corridors.
Worf and Ezri's absence is felt keenly by everyone aboard Deep Space 9, especially Quark, who continues to pour Ezri's usual drink at the same time every day and place it on the bar. The mood is dreary in Quark's Bar, but the moment seems to be especially poignant to Bashir, who can barely make sense of the situation.
Kai Winn consults with the Orb of Prophecy, but the Prophets do not speak to her. Dukat reveals that he is a servant of the Pah-wraiths, and that he has been brought to the Kai for a purpose: to unite against the Emissary and the Prophets of the Celestial Temple.
The Kai meets with Kira, and bares her soul to her. Kira advises her to step down as Kai, because it was power that led Winn away from the Prophets. However, Winn is unwilling to give up the political power that her position has given her. Further deluding herself, she justifies remaining Kai by declaring that the events are a test for her.
As Weyoun is giving Thot Gor a tour, Damar receives a report that Septimus III has fallen to the enemy, and its entire garrison of 500,000 Cardassians has been slaughtered by the Klingons. Weyoun, who never sent reinforcements, again urges Damar to look at the "big picture" – the Klingons will now have to commit valuable resources to reinforcing a strategically worthless planet, which can only be good news for the war effort; and as citizens of the Dominion, Cardassians can have no greater honor than giving their lives in service of the Founders.
In his quarters, Damar knocks back another glass of kanar, looks at himself in the mirror, and throws the liquor onto his reflection in disgust.
In the cell, Ezri and Worf talk about their frustrating relationship. Ezri asks if Worf feels guilty because he does not love her like he loved Jadzia. Both admit that their romantic involvement on Goralis III was a mistake.
On the day that Worf and Ezri are to be executed, they make peace with each other. They were both confused by some lingering remains of the attachment between Worf and Jadzia, but realize that they are not in love anymore. Worf indicates that he has dishonored himself, because love with Ezri was not the spiritual act that it was with Jadzia. Ezri admits that she had never thought of herself as in love with Doctor Bashir, and that she would have never concealed that from Worf. Instead, they are "friends and more." Having made peace, the only thing left is for them to face their executions.
Damar appears at their cell with two Jem'Hadar guards. As they are led outside to their executions, Damar draws his disruptor and shoots down the two guards, giving their weapons to Worf and Ezri. He guides them to a patrol ship that has the access codes needed to escape their defense perimeter, and tells them to convey a message to the Federation: they now have an ally on Cardassia – him.
In the command center, Weyoun furiously receives the news of the escape, demanding to know what happened. Damar innocently says he has no way of knowing, since Weyoun replaced all the Cardassian guards in the detention block with Jem'Hadar. Weyoun then receives a summons from the Female Changeling, and trembles at having to give her the news. Damar tells him not to worry, Weyoun 9 will fill his shoes if the Founder takes the news badly.
Kai Winn, feeling that the Prophets have turned their back on her, pledges her allegiance to the Pah-wraiths. She and Dukat vow to destroy anyone who would stand in their way, including the Federation, the Prophets, and the Emissary.
"But enough about the war with the Dominion; I want to hear about the war at home! You've just married that freighter captain, didn't you?"
"Then war has broken out... whether you know it or not. A long, grueling, intoxicating war!"
- - Martok and Sisko, discussing marriage
"I hate to admit it, but this is doing wonders for my back."
"I doubt that is what our captors had in mind."
- - Ezri and Worf, hanging upside down in their prison cell
"We must get back to the station and warn Starfleet about the Breen"
"You're right. There's just a few problems. We're on a Jem'Hadar ship, heading in the wrong direction, hanging upside down, and..."
"I think I'm getting space-sick."
- - Worf and Ezri
"You can't be serious."
"I'm always serious."
- - Ezri and Weyoun 7, after the latter "asks" her and Worf for help in interpreting their mind probes
"Well, hello! (guffaws)"
"I'm glad to see you find the death of my predecessor so amusing."
"Oh, you misjudge me. I miss him deeply. Here, let's drink to Weyoun 7!"
- - Damar and Weyoun 8
"Have they agreed to cooperate?"
"No... maybe you should talk to Worf again! (laughs)"
- - Weyoun 8 and Damar
"You have the biggest ego of any man I've ever known."
"Considering how many men you've known, that is quite a statement."
- - Ezri Dax and Worf
"Go. Crawl back to your Prophets. Beg their forgiveness. Live the rest of your life... in Sisko's shadow!!"
- - Dukat, to Winn
"Oh, shut up!"
- - Worf and Ezri during their unsuccessful escape attempt
"It was an unworthy impulse."
"Worf, we're not gods, or Prophets... We're people. We make mistakes."
- - Worf and Ezri Dax
"It appears all we have left to do is to be executed."
"Sounds like a lazy day to me."
- - Worf and Ezri Dax
"Why should we trust you?"
"You can either trust me, or you can stay here and be executed."
"I vote for option one."
- - Worf, Damar, and Ezri Dax, after Damar enables their escape
"The Founder wishes to see me... she'll have to be told about this."
"Oh, I'm sure she'll understand. But if she doesn't... I look forward to meeting Weyoun 9."
- - Weyoun 8 and Damar
"[The Prophets] have never spoken to me; never offered me guidance, never trusted me with the fruits of their wisdom and now I am supposed to step down as kai in order to be blessed by them? No."
- - Kai Winn
"I'm a patient woman, but I have run out of patience. I will no longer serve gods who give me nothing in return. I am ready to walk the path the Pah-Wraiths have laid out for me."
"I'll walk with you. And no one will be able to stand against us."
"Those who dare to try, the Federation and its vedek puppets, the false gods and their precious Emissary, they'll all be swept aside like dead leaves before an angry wind."
- - Kai Winn and Dukat
Background information Edit
The Final Chapter Edit
- In the original plan for The Final Chapter, Sisko and Kasidy were not supposed to be married until this episode. This was because, originally, when Sarah Sisko warns Benjamin that he "will know nothing but sorrow," she wasn't referring to his marriage, but to the building of his house on Bajor. As such, the marriage itself was never in question and was never called off. René Echevarria however, who was writing Part 1 ("Penumbra" - which is where Sarah issues the warning), felt that this didn't really work, that warning Sisko about the house wasn't especially compelling, and something more hard-hitting was needed. He came up with the idea that Sarah warns Sisko not to get married, obviously much more serious than warning him not to build a house. However, after Ira Steven Behr approved Echevarria's idea, it was decided that it made more sense for the couple to wed in "'Til Death Do Us Part"; that after doubt had been sown in Sisko's mind as to whether or not he should get married, he would want to go through with it as soon as possible. As such, David Weddle and Bradley Thompson were informed that they would be handling the wedding ceremony, not Ronald D. Moore, who was writing "Strange Bedfellows". This late complication and change in plans wasn't entirely well received by Moore. As Thompson explains, "Suddenly it's 'Oh sorry, Ron. You can't get them married because that's going to happen in the second hour now.' And Ron is going, 'Aarrggh! Then what's going to happen in my show?'" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- During the composition of this episode, Ron Moore's wife went into labor a month earlier than expected, and Moore had to take a week off. This threw the writing schedule into chaos, and forced Ira Behr and Hans Beimler (who were working on "The Changing Face of Evil") and René Echevarria (who was working on "Penumbra") to abandon their own episodes and complete the writing of this one. As Behr says, "It got very hectic." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- There was a very practical reason for the scene in this episode between Sisko and Martok where they discuss marriage. As Behr explains, "The series was getting so fragmented that we wanted to remind people that Sisko had gotten married in the preceding episode. At the same time, we felt that Martok had been lost from the series for a while, and we wanted to bring him back in." The scene also served to replace the wedding scene which had been shifted to the previous episode. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
"Strange Bedfellows" Edit
- This episode was originally entitled "Eclipse", following on from "Penumbra" (an area of half shadow), and "Umbra" (an area of deep shadow).
- It is in this episode where the character of Damar begins the Cardassian Rebellion against the Dominion. Damar becoming a hero was a popular plot line amongst the fans, who found it somewhat unexpected, but Hans Beimler argues that the seeds for his 180° shift in attitude can be traced back to the sixth season episode "Behind the Lines", where it is first established that he is a heavy drinker; "Ira has really good instinct, even when he doesn't know why he wants to do something. It was his idea to make Damar a drinker, but he didn't know back then that he wanted to make him a hero. It was answering the question, 'Why is Damar drinking so much?' that led us there. Damar had a conscience and that ultimately told us where we needed to go." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Beimler also states that from the very start, the character of Damar was always destined to go places, irrespective of his low-key introduction in the fourth season episode "Return to Grace"; "When we decided on Casey, we cast somebody who was better than the role. That meant we could expand the role from what was originally there." As Ira Behr puts it, "The fact was that we could take this character who started out with two lines and over the course of a few years, turn him into a complicated character with the weight of the universe on his shoulders." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- No one was happier with Damar's transformation than actor Casey Biggs, "They started to turn me into a comic book hero. I got to step out of the shadows and save the day!" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- After Damar ceases drinking in this episode, he appears to be lit in a different manner, with less harsh lighting, and softer shadow areas around the face, giving him a warmer look than before.
- Of Weyoun's attempts to convince Damar that the Breen joining the Dominion is a good thing, Jeffrey Combs comments, "That's the used car salesman in Weyoun. He slips into that persona easily. 'Look, don't worry about the details. I'm on your side here. I want you to have this car at a good price. Just sign here. You have nothing to worry about. You can trust me.'" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- This episode is seen as a pivotal one in the role Kai Winn plays in the overall arc. As Behr explains, "Winn is a total loss, she just doesn't get it. She thinks she's going to get it. That's the key! It's intricate stuff. You think maybe she's going to get it, but she just can't." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- When Winn says to Kira, "I've often sensed that you don't approve of how I've conducted myself as Kai, that you believe I've put my own political interests ahead of the spiritual well-being of our people," she could be referring to several instances of past conflict between the two, but the most likely events to which she refers are probably the death of Vedek Bareil in the episode "Life Support" (where Kira felt that Winn was using Bareil's death so as to ensure that she got all the credit for the Bajoran-Cardassian Peace Treaty) and the election of the First Minister of Bajor in the episode "Shakaar" (where Winn attempted to gain control of the Provisional Government as well as the Vedek Assembly, nearly causing a civil war in the process).
- According to Ira Behr, Marc Alaimo never wavered from his belief that at heart, Dukat was an okay guy. He'd developed his theory during the shooting of the third season episode "Defiant", a landmark show in terms of rendering Dukat a more ambiguous character from a moral standpoint, and despite all that Dukat had done, Alaimo still felt there was good in him. As Behr says, "In Marc's mind, I believe he felt his relationship with Winn was legitimate in some way, and that, in some wacky fashion, it was Dukat's bid for legitimacy. I mean Marc was actually upset when we had him hit Solbor. Until the very end, he wanted Dukat to be the hero of Deep Space Nine. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- For this episode, there were two scenes that were filmed but did not make it into the final cut:
- Kira tells Kasidy that even though her father wasn't a religious man, he attended services because he loved her mother, and she was religious.
- Kasidy surprises Sisko during the blessing ceremony, and concludes the ceremony for him.
- A scene from the script that wasn't shot sees Miles O'Brien refer to the events of "Prodigal Daughter". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- It was during the shooting of this episode that a joke was spawned at the expense of the Breen; "How do you defeat a Breen?" "You ask him to walk across the room." As assistant director B.C. Cameron explains, "We were working on "Strange Bedfellows", and it was the last scene of the day. Everybody was tired. We were shooting on the Dominion ship's bridge, and the Female Shape-Shifter was supposed to walk in and be introduced to the Breen commander. So I went over to the Breen background extras and told one of them – a great guy named Wade Kelly – to walk across the set and go out the door when we start rolling. But the minute we rolled camera, I realized I'd made a terrible mistake. Poor Wade couldn't see, but he was determined to give it a shot. Sure enough, he gets to an angled piece of the wall that was sticking out and trips, hitting the wall with a big clunk. Then he tries to see if he can find a way past this thing. But he just keeps going clunk, clunk, clunk. I'm thinking, 'Stop, Wade. Just stop.' But he keeps going and finally he gets past his piece of wall and heads for the doorway. But he forgets there's a threshold there, trips over that, grabs the walls, trying to hang on, finally gets out the door. By this time, I can't see him, but I can hear this huge noise, like he's ricocheting off the walls out there like the ball in a pinball machine. It was the funniest moment of the entire series." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- This episode is the second last of the series to have music composed by Jay Chattaway.
- This is the final episode of the series to be directed by Rene Auberjonois. He did not appear in this episode as Odo per se, but did appear briefly as a Pah-wraith in Winn's vision.
- Cirroc Lofton does not appear in this episode.
- Damar's comment that Worf and Ezri's execution sentence has been determined before their trial begins is a reference to the Cardassian justice system that was established in "The Maquis, Part II" and "Tribunal".
Video and DVD releasesEdit
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 7.10, catalog number VHR 4820, 4 October 1999
- As part of the DS9 Season 7 DVD collection
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- Rene Auberjonois as pah-wraith appearing as Odo
- Nicole de Boer as Counselor Ezri Dax
- Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Commander Worf
- Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Julian Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Colonel Kira Nerys
Guest stars Edit
- Penny Johnson as Kasidy Yates
- Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun
- Marc Alaimo as Gul Dukat
- Casey Biggs as Damar
- J.G. Hertzler as Martok
- James Otis as Solbor
Special guest star Edit
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Sam Alejan as a science division officer
- Michael Bailous as
- Majel Barrett as Narrator
- Chuck Borden as a Cardassian guard
- Uriah Carr
- Amy Kate Connolly
- Steve Danton as a Jem'Hadar guard
- Dieter Hornemann as a Cardassian guard
- Randy James as Jones
- Wade Kelley as a Breen guard
- Irving E. Lewis as a Cardassian guard
- Dennis Madalone as a Cardassian guard
- Dan McGee as an operations division lieutenant
- Mark Riccardi as a Jem'Hadar guard
- Chuck Shanks
- Todd Slayton as Thot Gor
- Susie Stillwell as a Bajoran security deputy
- Chester E. Tripp III as a Cardassian guard
- Unknown performers as
Stunt double Edit
- John Lendale Bennett - stand-in for Avery Brooks
- Uriah Carr - utility stand-in & stand-in for James Otis
- Amy Kate Connolly - stand-in for Nana Visitor
- David B. Levinson - stand-in for Armin Shimerman
- Lynn - stand-in for Nicole de Boer
- James Minor - stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Robin Morselli - stand-in for Jeffrey Combs and Louise Fletcher
- Randy Pflug - stand-in for Casey Biggs, Colm Meaney, and James Otis
- Chuck Shanks - stand-in for Marc Alaimo and Casey Biggs
- Todd Slayton - utility stand-in
Alpha Quadrant; Badlands; Bajor; Bajorans; Breen; Breen Confederacy; Breen language; Breen warship; Cardassia; Cardassians; Cardassian patrol ship; Cardassian Tribunal; Cardassian Union; Dax, Jadzia; Defiant, USS; division; Eleventh Order; Eminence; Emissary of the Prophets; Federation; Founders; god; Goralis III; honeymoon; honor; Invasion of Septimus III; interspecies mating ritual; Jem'Hadar; Jem'Hadar attack ship; Klingon Bird-of-Prey; launch bay; legate; mating ritual; milaberry; Milky Way Galaxy; Miranda-class; Occupation of Bajor; Orb of Prophecy; Pah-wraiths; Promenade; Prophets; Qo'noS; Quark's; ranjen; Restoration of Bajor; Romulan; Septimus III; Sirella; sonic shower; spacesick; spring; targ; thot; toast; universal translator; Unroth system; Vor'cha-class; war criminal; whirlpool.
- "Strange Bedfellows" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Strange Bedfellows" at Wikipedia
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