(written from a Production point of view)
The Cardassian-Romulan fleet enters the Gamma Quadrant; Sisko goes against Starfleet orders to rescue Odo. (Part 2 of 2)
Dr. Bashir is eating lunch with Chief O'Brien in the Replimat while trying to begin the same kind of engaging and lively conversation that he typically would with Garak, who is still missing with Odo as they are investigating the bombing of Garak's tailor shop. Bashir quickly finds, however, that O'Brien prefers to spend his lunch eating than talking leaving the discussion very one-sided. Bashir misses his friend and O'Brien is confident they have not been destroyed because debris from their runabout hasn't been found.
O'Brien is called to Ops where tetryon emissions precede the decloaking of the Cardassian-Romulan fleet. The fleet ignores the station's hails and proceeds through the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant. Sisko orders the station be put on red alert immediately and tells Dax to contact Starfleet Command.
Act One Edit
On the lead ship of the Cardassian-Romulan fleet, Enabran Tain and Garak reflect upon their times together in the Obsidian Order. Garak says that he intends to "look up" a number of people once he returns to Cardassia Prime, including Gul Dukat. Tain feels that Garak will be able to "eliminate" anyone after the current mission is completed. Romulan Colonel Lovok enters and is introduced to Garak, of whom he is immediately suspicious. Lovok informs them that the fleet has recloaked and are setting course to the Founders' homeworld at warp 6 (any faster could make them detectable through their cloak by the Jem'Hadar). Tain tells Garak that his first assignment is to extract all information that is possible from Odo, who is being held in quarters surrounded by a force field.
There, Garak uses his usual fake politeness on Odo, who is angered by the captivity he's suddenly found himself in. Garak has certainly taken to his new position quickly, as he asks Odo for information on the Founders. Odo refuses, and, instead, tells him that Tain remains both Odo's and Garak's enemy, even if it seems like Tain has been taken him back. They both tell each other that they should take the time to think about what's been said, with neither apparently backing down.
Back at DS9, the senior staff (along with Security Chief Michael Eddington) is shown an intercepted video in the wardroom in which Tain lays out his plans to destroy the Dominion. Vice Admiral Toddman explains that both the Romulan and Cardassian governments have denied any prior knowledge of the operation, and while they claim to be working on plans to stop Tain it is believed they are happy to sit back and wait since the plan has a very real chance of succeeding. Starfleet is also (unofficially) in support of Tain, as Toddman explains that while he certainly isn't hoping for war, but should there be one, he unquestionably prefers that the Dominion lose it. Toddman then warns that if Tain succeeds, the Jem'Hadar will likely launch a massive retaliatory attack against the Alpha Quadrant and orders Sisko to evacuate Deep Space 9 of non-essential personnel and have the USS Defiant ready for battle. Sisko requests permission to take the Defiant into the Gamma Quadrant to rescue Odo, but Toddman refuses and explicity tells him his priority is to guard Bajor. Directly after the meeting, Sisko instructs the senior staff that as a "volunteer mission" he is going to go to the Gamma Quadrant with the Defiant to rescue Odo, justifying it as they will be able to warn the station (and the task force of nine starships being sent) in case of an oncoming attack.
Act Two Edit
All the senior staff has volunteered for the mission, and the Defiant's bridge is full. Kira gets a repeated message from Toddman, but Sisko suggests that the communication was too degraded to be legible. They leave, go through the wormhole and head directly for the Founders' homeworld.
Lovok and Tain describe the situation: the nearest Jem'Hadar bases to the planet are too far, giving them time to bombard the planet. Pressure is again put on Garak to extract information from Odo about the planet's possible planetary defenses. Garak is less than keen, pointing out that Odo likely put all relevant information in his report to Starfleet… and besides, he doesn't relish the idea of interrogating someone who can change their form at will. Tain presents a device that emits a quantum stasis field which should inhibit Odo's shapeshifting ability. While Lovok is angry that he wasn't informed about this device, Garak does not seem pleased with this news and Tain suggests the Tal Shiar should continue the interrogation. Garak is visibly upset and insists that Odo is his prisoner and that it is his duty to question Odo further. Tain agrees, with skepticism.
Suddenly, the Defiant's cloaking device fails. If found, they will have to fight.
Act Three Edit
Security chief Eddington admits that he has sabotaged the cloaking device under direct orders by Admiral Toddman. Despite Sisko's noticeable frustration with Eddington's betrayal, Eddington requests to continue his duties giving his word he will do nothing else to impede the mission. Sisko immediately observes that it is his policy to not question the "word" of a Starfleet officer, and he promptly grants Eddington's request. Sisko gives Chief O'Brien a two-hour deadline to fix the cloak, despite the chief telling him it will take ten.
Garak begins questioning Odo and using the quantum stasis device. Odo is about ready to return to liquid form and is discomforted at being forced to maintain humanoid form. As time passes, Odo begins to lose cohesion and taunts Garak. It is clearly bothering Garak to see Odo in such pain and he encourages Odo to confess anything – even to lie – as long as he gives up some information. Odo admits that despite all the atrocities his people have committed, he still desires to return to the Great Link, which is information he hadn't shared with Starfleet, allowing Garak to deactivate the device and end the interrogation. While Odo returns to his natural state and pours himself into the container, Garak holds his head in his hands, showing deep regret at what he has done.
Act Four Edit
O'Brien has managed to get the cloaking device back online. He returns to the bridge to give Eddington a piece of the damage as a jab. Sisko orders Dax to resume course.
Despite learning about the Great Link, Garak informs Tain and Lovok that Odo never broke, and that there is no new information that can be learned from him. Tain then decides Odo has outlived his usefulness, and orders him executed, but Garak suggests that killing Odo might cause problems with Starfleet and the Bajoran government, since Odo is an officer of their militia serving on a Federation outpost. Lovok speaks first and agrees that Odo must not be executed, but based on the fact that not all Founders might be on their home planet, and Odo could be useful in future engagements, and that he wants to take Odo to Romulus for further studies. Tain concedes, and when they're alone, Lovok tells Garak that he knows he's protecting Odo out of friendship. Lovok tells Garak that he knows he is a practiced liar but Lovok assures him that he is a practiced observer and he will be observing him very closely.
The Cardassian-Romulan fleet arrives at the Founders' homeworld, and starts firing. They are initially pleased with the damage they must be doing, but the tactical officer reports no change in lifeform readings. Garak quickly discerns that the Founders are using an automated transponder to send back false life sensor readings from the planet… the planet has been evacuated. Suddenly, they find 150 Jem'Hadar fighters emerge from the Omarion Nebula and engage the fleet. Garak realizes that it was a trap and that the Jem'Hadar had been waiting for them all along.
Act Five Edit
The Battle of the Omarion Nebula begins and the Jem'Hadar begin to annihilate the fleet. Quickly, several Cardassian and Romulan ships are destroyed or severely damaged. During the battle, contact is lost with engineering, which Lovok goes to investigate, leaving Tain in command of the bridge. Garak, seeing the battle not going well, makes his way off the bridge to locate and save Odo. They run into Lovok, weapon drawn, who reveals himself to be a Changeling. He admits that while the plan to attack the Founders' homeworld was indeed concocted by Tain, when they learned of it they pushed it forward in order to destroy the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order viewing them both as serious threats, but not any longer. As far as the Founders are concerned, only the Klingon Empire and United Federation of Planets remain as serious opposition but there are already plans in motion take care of them. Odo is again presented with the choice of joining the Great Link, which he declines, and "Lovok" allows them the chance to escape, explaining that no Changeling has ever harmed another.
Garak makes his way back to the bridge in an attempt to save Tain, but he refuses to leave. Garak tells him that Lovok was a Changeling, and Tain rues that he has become old and let his pride override his instinct noting that in the old days he would have kept someone as smart as Lovok at arm's length. He also tells a pleading Garak that no matter what happens now, he has no intention of returning to his quiet retirement with Mila. Odo has to knock Garak out to force him onto the runabout and escape. As they escape, Tain wryly notes that the Founders are "very good." The runabout escapes the Romulan ship before it is destroyed, but is pursued by the Jem'Hadar and loses shields. When all seems lost, Garak sincerely apologizes and Odo accepts the apology, saying that he understands Garak's desire to return home. The Defiant decloaks and is able to transport Odo and Garak on board. The Defiant attacks and destroys a number of Jem'Hadar fighters, clearing itself a path back to the wormhole.
Speaking with Admiral Toddman, Sisko states that it appears no Romulan or Cardassian ships survived the battle. Toddman likens it to the Battle of Wolf 359; a comparison that visibly rattles Sisko, but one that he agrees is fundamentally accurate. The admiral tells Sisko that he won't file charges against him or the crew, but warns him that next time he will have to either court martial him… or promote him. Toddman assures Sisko that in either case, he will be in a lot of trouble. Sisko promises to keep that in mind.
Standing in the charred remains of his shop, Garak reflects on past events and begins to clean up the mess, when Odo appears in the doorway to thank Garak for leaving his confession out of his report. The two agree that the whole conversation is best left forgotten, as Garak decides to rebuild his shop noting the irony that he's actually a very good tailor. Odo asks Garak if they could have breakfast together sometimes. Garak admits he thought that Odo didn't eat, and Odo simply responds that he doesn't before exiting.
"Odo, talk to me! Tell me something, anything! Lie if you have to but just say it, please!"
"Home, I want to go home!"
"And you will, as soon as this is over I promise I will take you back to Deep Space 9."
"No, not the station."
- - Garak and Odo
"Do you remember getting that confession out of Dr. Parmak?"
"I never even touched him…"
"That was the beauty of it!"
- - Enabran Tain and Garak
"It sounds like you're hoping Tain will succeed!"
"I never hope for war, Major – but if it comes, I'd rather see the Dominion on the losing side."
- - Kira, sensing Starfleet's tacit support of the invasion, and Admiral Toddman, more or less admitting as much
"You've turned us into sitting ducks for the Jem'Hadar!"
- - O'Brien to Michael Eddington for sabotaging the Defiant's cloaking device
"I make it a policy to never question the word of anyone who wears that uniform. Don't make me change that policy."
- - Sisko to Michael Eddington after he gave his word to never betray Sisko again
"So much for the Dominion! Open fire!"
- - Tain, moments before the fleet starts firing at the Founders' homeworld
"Why are you helping us?"
"Because no Changeling has ever harmed another."
- - Odo and Lovok
"They're using an automated transponder to send back false sensor readings! The planet's deserted!!"
- - Garak
"It's a trap! They've been waiting for us all along."
- - Garak
"Of course! This whole plan was the Founders' idea in the first place – you wanted the Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order to combine forces, and come in to the Gamma Quadrant, so you could wipe them out!"
- - Odo, after discovering that "Lovok" was a Changeling
"It is not too late for you, Odo. Come with me. You can still become one with the Great Link if you wish."
- - Lovok
"The Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order are both ruthless, efficient organizations, a definite threat to us."
"But not after today?"
"No. After today, the only threat remaining to us from the Alpha Quadrant are the Klingons and the Federation. And I doubt either of them will be a threat for much longer."
- - Lovok and Odo
"It appears I have underestimated the Founders. I should have seen it coming. There was a time when nothing got past me. You remember, don't you, Elim?"
"Yes, I do, but now, we have to go!"
"Go where? Back to Mila and my quiet retirement? I don't think so. I must be getting old. I let my pride override my instinct. Wouldn't have played it that way in the old days. In the old days, I would have kept Lovok at arm's length. He was too cagey, too smart."
"I can't just leave you here!"
"I always did have a soft spot for you, Garak. Another one of my flaws."
"These Founders, Elim, they're very good. But next time… we should be more careful."
- - Tain and Garak
"Sounds like Wolf 359 all over again."
- - Admiral Toddman, referring to the annihilation of the Cardassian-Romulan fleet at the Battle of the Omarion Nebula
"If you pull a stunt like that again, I'll court martial you… or I'll promote you. Either way you'll be in a lot of trouble."
- - Admiral Toddman
"Do you know what the sad part is, Odo? I'm a very good tailor."
- - Garak
"Garak... I was thinking that you and I should have breakfast together sometime."
"Why, Constable... I thought you didn't eat."
- - Odo and Garak
Story and scriptEdit
- The working title of this episode was "Improbable Cause, Part II". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- As with Garak's quick, almost reflexive killing of Entek and Tekeny Ghemor's warning to Kira not to trust him in "Second Skin", the writers saw this episode as another chance to remind viewers that Garak wasn't a typical good-guy, that he was in fact capable of committing knowingly nefarious actions. According to Ira Steven Behr, "We wanted to show what he's capable of, even if he doesn't want to do it. Could you torture someone, if you had to? Garak can do it." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- In an unfilmed or deleted part of the scene where Admiral Toddman is speaking to the Deep Space 9 crew, Toddman mentions that he had bet two cases of Saurian brandy on Bashir winning the Carrington Award ("Prophet Motive") earlier in the year and that, since Bashir lost, he also lost, commenting that "I don't like to lose". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- This episode was the first with Ira Steven Behr as Executive Producer. One of the major changes he made to the series was that action sequences, specifically space battles, had to be shown on-screen more often and not just referred to, as TNG had repeatedly done. As the episode budget of DS9 shows could now accommodate more extensive battle sequences than TNG could do during its series run, starship fights became more commonplace in later seasons – especially during major Dominion War episodes. This particular episode marks the first signs of this change, as it features the biggest on-screen battle in Star Trek history up to that point (the Battle of the Omarion Nebula). (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Visual effects supervisor Gary Hutzel commented on the special effects filming that "We started shooting motion-control on February 21, and we delivered on April 21. We had twenty days motion-control shooting – a record for a one-hour show". ("Believe What You See – Visual FX: Creating the Star Trek Universe", Star Trek: Communicator issue 105, p. 19)
- Hutzel was instructed to come up with a way to do the battle scene without going over-budget. His solution was to create transparencies of the models of the Romulan warbirds and the Cardassian ships, and to use those transparencies in the background. Coupled with the fact that they were in the background, Hutzel ensured that the camera never lingered on one of them too long, so as to ensure viewers didn't spot the effect. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The shot where the USS Defiant destroys a Jem'Hadar fighter and then flies through the debris took 4 days to film. (Deep Space Nine Chronicles)
- Writer Ronald D. Moore, director David Livingston, composer Dennis McCarthy and actor Rene Auberjonois were all extremely proud of the scene where Garak tortures Odo. Livingston says, "I think the scene is the best in the episode. It's very intense, very dramatic, very powerful;" McCarthy explains, "I had to express the horror of what Garak was doing to Odo and yet still put some shred of humanity into the music to show that Garak was suffering too, because Garak was having a hard time doing this. It was an opportunity to get very atonal musically. I don't believe that we ever heard a major chord on that show;" and Auberjonois notes, "I felt like some character from King Lear. The acting method I used was very Shakespearian." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- There are many references to ancient Roman Dictator Julius Caesar in this episode. The title "The Die is Cast" is taken from the words reportedly spoken by Caesar in 49 BC as he led a legion of troops across the Rubicon River – an illegal act that effectively ignited the Great Roman Civil War. Garak also quotes Shakespeare's Julius Caesar to Tain ("I'm afraid the fault, dear Tain, is not in our stars but in ourselves"). Garak and Dr. Bashir had discussed the play in the teaser of "Improbable Cause". Fittingly, in "Family Business", which aired two weeks later, Sisko christens the runabout that replaces the USS Mekong lost in "The Die is Cast" the Rubicon.
- The Changeling says to Odo at the end of the episode that the Dominion already has plans for the Klingon Empire and the Federation. This single line turns out to be a powerful foreshadowing of the story arc the series would undertake during its fourth season, as the Changelings insert an infiltrator to turn the two powers against one another, setting up the Federation and Klingon war. Due to the actions of the regular characters of the series, it also later becomes the Dominion's first defeat, as their subterfuge is discovered and the Federation-Klingon alliance against them becomes stronger than it originally was. Nevertheless, at the end of that same arc, the Dominion gains a foothold in the Alpha Quadrant when the Cardassians, whose war with the Klingons caused the issues between Federation and Klingons, join the Dominion.
- This episode contains the second reference to the fact that the Jem'Hadar are genetically engineered to be addicted to a particular drug, after "The Abandoned". However, the drug remained unnamed until the fourth season episode "Hippocratic Oath". It also contains the first reference to the communications array established in the Gamma Quadrant in the episode "Destiny".
- Odo's revelation to Garak that he wants to go home to his own people is the first time which Odo had admitted to this. His desire to return to them became a major theme throughout the sixth and seventh seasons.
- In the fifth season episode "In Purgatory's Shadow", it was revealed that Enabran Tain was not killed in the battle, but taken prisoner.
- The musical soundtrack during the Cardassian-Romulan battle with the Dominion is used again in "The Way of the Warrior"
- This was the first Star Trek episode to have a two-parter with different names.
- This episode (along with "Improbable Cause") was broadcast by the BBC in a feature-length format on its first airing on 13 March 1997.
- Neither Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) nor Armin Shimerman (Quark) appear in this episode. Quark is referred to by Odo at the end of the episode.
- This is the last episode of the series to depict Sisko clean shaven which was first used in the first season episode "Emissary", although he was later seen without facial hair in his photo as Gabriel Bell on Nog's PADD in the fourth season episode "Little Green Men".
- A script from this episode was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. 
- Admiral Toddman has the distinction of being the first 24th century era Admiral to wear the operations gold colors.
Video and DVD releasesEdit
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 3.11, 28 August 1995
- As part of the DS9 Season 3 DVD collection
Links and references Edit
Main cast Edit
- Avery Brooks as Commander Benjamin Sisko
- Rene Auberjonois as Constable Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Julian Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Jadzia Dax
- Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys
Guest stars Edit
- Andrew Robinson as Garak
- Leland Orser as Lovok
- Kenneth Marshall as Michael Eddington
- Leon Russom as Toddman
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Michael Bailous as a Romulan guard
- Majel Barrett as Narrator
- Ivor Bartels as a Human security officer
- Jeff Cadiente as a Romulan guard
- Brian Demonbreun as a Human command officer
- Randy James as Lieutenant Jones
- Dennis Madalone as a Romulan bridge officer
- Tom Morga as a Romulan bridge officer
- Robin Morselli as Bajoran officer
- Unknown performers as:
Stunt doubles Edit
addiction; Algira sector; Alpha Quadrant; arena; Argelian; arms dealer; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran Militia; Bajoran sector; Bajoran wormhole; Barton; bearing; Belak; Cardassia; Cardassians; Cardassian Central Command; Cardassian cruiser; Cardassian government; Cardassian space; chief security officer; Chow-Yun; Constable; court martial; D'deridex-class; debris; Dominion; Dominion cold war; Dukat; Earth; Eye; Federation; fire team; Flaxian; Flaxian ship; Founders; Founders' homeworld; Gamma Quadrant; heart; housekeeper; informant; ion storm; Jem'Hadar; Keldon-class; Ketracel-white; Klingons; Koranak; Lovok; Makar; mantle; massage facility; Mekong, USS; meter; Mila; Milky Way Galaxy; Obsidian Order; Omarion Nebula; orbital bombardment; Parmak; plomeek soup; poison; Porania; Portland, USS; Promenade; quantum stasis field; renting; Replimat; retirement; Romulan; Romulan Senate; Romulan Star Empire; Romulus; runabout; sabotage; sarcasm; shape-shift inhibitor; standby alert; Starfleet; Starfleet Command; strangulation; subspace energy fluctuation; swimming; Tal Shiar; task force; tetryon; tetryon compositor; treason; Vicarian razorback; Willemheld
Deleted references Edit
- "The Die is Cast" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "The Die is Cast" at Wikipedia
- The Die is Cast at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
| Previous episode:|
| Star Trek: Deep Space Nine|
| Next episode:|