"Favor the Bold"

Season Six, Episode 5
Written by Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Music by Jay Chattaway
Main Cast:
Avery Brooks as Captain Benjamin Sisko
Rene Auberjonois as Odo
Michael Dorn as Lt Cmdr Worf
Terry Farrell as Lt Cmdr Jadzia Dax
Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
Armin Shimerman as Quark
Alexander Siddig as Dr Julian Bashir
Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys

Guest Stars:
Marc Alaimo as Dukat
Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun
Andrew J Robinson as Garak
Casey Biggs as Damar
Max Grodenchik as Rom
Aron Eisenberg as Nog
Salome Jens as Female Changeling
J.G. Hertzler as Martok
Melanie Smith as Ziyal
Barry Jenner as Admiral Ross


The war comes to a turning point -- Dax tells Sisko that morale is at an all-time low, Starfleet needs a victory, and soon. Sisko announces that his plan to retake Deep Space Nine, the most valuable outpost in the quadrant, has been approved by Starfleet Command. Back on the station, Kira learns that Weyoun plans to execute Rom as punishment for attempting to sabotage the station. Moreover, Dukat will soon be able to dismantle the minefield, and that has to be stopped at all costs -- if the Dominion is able to get reinforcements through from the Gamma Quadrant then they've as good as won the war. Kira manages to get a message smuggled out to Sisko, via Morn, warning him of the impending destruction of the minefield.

Meanwhile, Odo is still enraptured by the Female Changeling but does start to feel some remorse for betraying Kira, his closest friend. He apologises to her, but she rebukes his apology, telling him that "we're way, way past sorry". She does manage to get Ziyal to try to convince her father to release Rom. Dukat is incensed, accusing her of being a co-conspirator. Ziyal doesn't take kindly to that, starting to wonder whether the things he's told her all along, about regretting the awful things he did during the Occupation, are true. Dukat asks Damar to speak with Ziyal, but the heavy-handed Damar instead gets beaten up by Kira when he threatens Ziyal. As Dukat prepares to take down the minefield, Sisko gathers his fleet and prepares to engage the full might of the Dominion fleet in one last, great battle for Deep Space Nine...

(NB: This review is taken from my Season Review . For my original review, see The Dominion War Arc)

Favor the Bold is an excellent build-up to the conclusion of the arc. It deftly juggles a multitude of plot-lines all at once and highlights the best of this story arc, demonstrating the wealth of character development and multi-layered plotting. It bounces plot against plot brilliantly and never drops the ball once while suceeding in cultivating an atmosphere of foreboding doom, the feeling that pretty soon all hell is about to break loose.

The characterisation is the main highlight, with new depth and dimension added to the characters of Quark, Rom and even Ziyal. There's some interesting development in the Dukat/Ziyal relationship, Kira gets to once again regain the strength of character she had in DS9's earlier seasons and, in an episode highlight, she gets to beat the hell out of the unfuriatingly smug Damar. Rom's determination to save the Alpha Quadrant (even if it means sacrificing his own life) was a nice touch as were his attempts to enlist Quark, and the Dukat/Weyoun scenes were equally enjoyable. While most of the best scenes took place on the station, we also got a pivotal scene for Sisko where he tells Admiral Ross that whilst "I will go wherever Starfleet sends me, when I go home it will be to Bajor". It's wonderful to see how much Sisko has grown to love and feel a part of Bajor since he first arrived as a man who wanted desperately to be anywhere but there. His plans to build a house on Bajor were particularly revealing.

The only thing that felt a bit "off" was Odo and the Founder's dirty weekend where it's revealed Odo has just taught her how solids experience intimacy ("so that's how humans do ie, eh? Now we've covered Bajorans, humans, Klingons and Breen...how about we try Cardassian next?"). Already we're starting to see Odo have second thoughts about his allegiances, so at least that gives next week's turnaround a bit of foreshadowing.

Rating: 8.5

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