Starship Down #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 4, Episode 7) During a battle with the Jem’Hadar, O’Brien offers Worf leadership advice

Rewatching ST:DS9

An enjoyable “crisis creates unusual/dramatic parings” ensemble story.

Quark is on the Defiant to mediate a trade agreement between the Karema and the Federation, but Sisko is annoyed to learn Quark has been adding surcharges and blaming them on the Federation.

Kira tells Dax she suspects Sisko scheduled these trade negotiations so that he wouldn’t have to participate in a Bajoran religious festival honoring his role as the Emissary.

Jem’Hadar warships appear, apparently to punish the Karema for meeting with the Federation. The delegate Hanok nobly offers to surrender himself in order to spare his ship, but Sisko vetos the suggestion.

The Karema ship heads for a nearby gas giant; the Jem’Hadar and the Defiant follow. A plot contrivance particle field flabbergasts the sensors, but a suggestion from Kira provides a partial workaround.

As the pew-pew develops, down in engineering O’Brien engages with a nervous technician, distracting him with a bit of humor and a task to focus on.

A hull breach causes chaos, but emergency forcefields are holding for the time being. Dax is still in the danger zone when Bashir is ordered to seal a bulkhead. He obeys, but joins Dax on the dangerous side, and pulls her to relative safety.

At Sisko’s order, O’Brien rigs an atmospheric probe with a warhead. They manage to take out one Jem’Hadar warship, but the Defiant bridge is hit bad — several bridge crew are killed and the controls are plot-contrivanced out of order, but Worf expertly handles the crisis, leaving Kira to care for the injured Sisko.

Hanok is offended that Quark won’t admit he got caught cheating, and coldly rejects Quark’s offer that they team up to swindle the Federation. Hanok says greed leads to misjudgment, which threatens profits.

Worf settles into a makeshift helm station in the engineering room. He won’t listen to why technician Muniz reconfigured the controls and insists they be reset. When a nervous Stevens responds to an order with, “I’ll do my best,” Worf barks, “I expect nothing less.”

Kira has to keep the injured Sisko awake, but she realizes she never talks to Sisko about anything but work. She admits his status as The Emissary affects how she thinks about him, and babbles even more nervously. Sisko kindly interrupts and asks her to tell him a story. Relieved, she launches into a folktale.

Stevens competently spots incoming targets that turn out to be torpedos. The Defiant avoids one, but the other ends up embedded in the hull, its nose poking into the mess hall where Quark and Hanok have been squabbling.

Because Hanok has nobly been resisting Quark’s unethical offers, our opinion of Quark is at this point pretty low; so it’s an important dramatic shift when we learn Hanok knows a thing or two about these very missiles the Jem’Hadar are using, and Quark realizes it’s up to them to defuse the warhead.

After Worf loses patience with a technician who starts to explain why he thinks Worf’s order is impossible to carry out, O’Brien privately and respectfully reminds Worf that his engineers haven’t been to Starfleet Academy and aren’t used to Worf’s command style. They’re used to being given a problem, and space to solve it on their own. Worf crustily says he’ll think about O’Brien’s suggestion.

Huddled in a non-functioning turbolift, Dax and Bashir have a nice moment that reminds us how much the characters have grown.

Worf, having decided to take O’Brien’s hint, tells Muniz and Stevens he needs a weapon, and shuts his mouth to let them nerd their own way to a solution. It’s a nice moment that shows how much O’Brien and Worf respect each other’s expertise.

As Kira continues to tell her folktale, she realizes Sisko is fading; she shifts to pleading, then praying.

Hanok admits that his people sell torpedoes like this to the Jem’Hadar, and he and Quark share a light moment, leading up to a classic “which wire do I cut” dilemma (but it’s a “firing diode” because this is Star Trek).

While it’s no surprise that the plan of techobabbling the jimberjam ends up working, I found myself grinning happily as the dramatic parings all resolved in satisfying ways. Hanok winds up taking risks and winning big at Quarks’ casino, and Odo is delighted to see Quark annoyed; Dax rescues her buddy Bashir from an awkward social situation with Morn; Worf validates O’Brien’s geek squad (but O’Brien applies some pressure in his own way); and Sisko offers to take Kira to a holodeck baseball game.

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