Improbable Cause

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"Improbable Cause"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 20
Directed by Avery Brooks
Story by Robert Lederman
David R. Long
Teleplay by René Echevarria
Featured music David Bell
Production code 465
Original air date April 24, 1995 (1995-04-24)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Through the Looking Glass"
Next →
"The Die Is Cast"
List of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes

"Improbable Cause" is the 66th episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 20th episode of the third season. The story concludes in the following episode, "The Die is Cast".

Garak's tailor shop is bombed, and Odo launches an investigation.


When Garak's tailor shop explodes, Odo finds that it was destroyed by a bomb but set up to make it look accidental. He tracks down a possible suspect but before he can catch up with him, the suspect is killed when his ship blows up.

Odo studies the case further and discovers that the Romulans are behind it. They probably hired the dead suspect, and then killed him to help bury evidence. Odo digs up more information about the incident and finds that it is much more complicated than an assassination attempt on Garak. It seems the Romulans are planning to invade Cardassia and several members of the Obsidian Order, the Cardassian secret police, have been killed in mysterious mishaps recently.

Odo tries to get Garak to admit that he blew up his own shop in order to get Odo to begin an investigation. All of the Cardassians recently killed were close to Enabran Tain, Garak's mentor. Now that all of his associates are being targeted, Tain may be in danger. Odo and Garak set off to locate him.

En route they are captured by a Romulan warbird. When they are brought aboard they find that Tain is there. He tells them he ordered Garak's assassination, as well as those of the rest of his former associates. He is wiping his history clean in preparation for a power play. The Romulan Tal Shiar have formed an alliance with the Obsidian Order, and they are planning an attack on the Founders in the Gamma Quadrant. Once the Dominion is taken out, Tain plans to take control of the Obsidian Order. Since his attempt on Garak's life failed, he asks the tailor to join him. Odo is puzzled when Garak immediately agrees.

The story continues with the following episode, "The Die Is Cast."

Arc significance[edit]

After several episodes leading up to the Dominion War, beginning with Jem'Hadar, the plot outlined in this episode makes war with the Dominion involving Romulus, Cardassia and the Federation inevitable. The repercussions of the events depicted in this episode resonate throughout the remainder of the series. The events of this episode lead to an ill-fated alliance between Romulus and Cardassia. The unannounced and disastrous (and ultimately, failed) preemptive invasion of the Gamma Quadrant by the joint Romulan and Cardassian fleet will eventually envelop the Federation, leading to a guerrilla attack on Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco, and the capture and occupation of numerous Federation planets, including Betazed. The war will eventually involve the Breen. It is a pivotal moment in the timeline of Deep Space Nine, one which would define the plot-line for the remainder of the series.

As a result of the war, Starfleet reassigns Lieutenant Worf to Deep Space Nine.


External links[edit]