The Die Is Cast (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
|"The Die Is Cast"|
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||David Livingston|
|Written by||Ronald D. Moore|
|Featured music||Dennis McCarthy|
|Original air date||May 1, 1995|
"The Die Is Cast" is the 67th episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 21st episode of the third season. It concludes the story begun in the previous episode, "Improbable Cause".
Garak and Odo have not been heard from on Deep Space Nine in several days, following their departure in a runabout to investigate an attempt on Garak's life. Bashir fears for his friend Garak; O'Brien reminds him that no debris from their runabout has been located, making it unlikely that it has been destroyed.
On the lead ship of the Cardassian-Romulan fleet, Enabran Tain and Garak reflect upon their past times together in the Obsidian Order, the Cardassian secret police. Garak says that he intends to use his newly regained power to exact revenge on several old adversaries, including Gul Dukat, which Tain assures him he will be in a position to do when their mission is complete. Romulan Colonel Lovok, who is immediately suspicious of Garak, informs Tain that the fleet has recloaked and has set course to the Founders' homeworld at Warp 6, as traveling any faster risks detection, even through their cloaking device, by the Jem'Hadar. Tain instructs Garak to question Odo, but Odo does not offer any additional information.
Back on DS9, the senior staff, including security chief Michael Eddington, are shown an intercepted transmission where Tain lays out his plans to destroy the Dominion with combined forces from the Obsidian Order and the Romulan Tal Shiar. While both intelligence organizations have acted outside the authority of their respective governments, neither government has chosen to intervene. Vice Admiral Toddman indicates that Starfleet is taking a similar approach, as the mission appears to have a good chance of success, and they are wary of the threat the Dominion poses if left unchecked. He instructs Commander Sisko to keep the Defiant guarding Bajor, but immediately following the briefing, Sisko asks for volunteers for a mission to take the Defiant into the Gamma Quadrant to rescue Odo, knowing they will likely be court-martialed as a result.
Tain again instructs Garak to interrogate Odo, this time using a device that inhibits his ability to shape-shift. Garak is reluctant to apply torture, but realizes that Tain will never trust him if he refuses. As the device begins to cause Odo obvious pain, Garak begs him to reveal anything of use, even if it's a lie. Odo reveals his desire to return to his people and the Great Link despite his voluntary exile, and Garak is relieved to deactivate the device.
On the Defiant, the cloak suddenly fails, and Eddington admits he has sabotaged it under direct orders from Admiral Toddman. Sisko recognizes that Eddington could not disobey the Admiral, and while frustrated, when Eddington vows to otherwise carry out his duties, Sisko allows him to resume his post. Meanwhile, O'Brien sets to work repairing the cloaking device.
The Cardassian-Romulan fleet arrives at the Founders' homeworld, finding little resistance, and opens fire. While the initial bombardment appears to have been successful, they soon realize they are reading false life signs from the planet surface, and that the mission was a trap. Suddenly, Jem'Hadar ships emerge from the Omarion Nebula and engage the fleet, vastly outnumbering them. In the resulting battle, the Cardassian-Romulan fleet is annihilated.
Garak, recognizing that the battle is lost, leaves the bridge to rescue Odo. They encounter Lovok, who reveals himself to be a Founder, and assists Odo in escaping, as "no Changeling has ever harmed another." Lovok confesses that the Founders viewed the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order as threats and helped push Tain's plan forward in order to destroy them, and hints that the remaining threats, the Klingon Empire and United Federation of Planets, may not be so for much longer. He offers Odo a chance to return to the Link, which Odo again declines.
Garak makes his way back to the bridge to save Tain, but Tain refuses to leave, and Garak refuses to abandon him, so Odo knocks Garak unconscious and escapes with him on the runabout. They come under attack, and when all seems lost, Garak sincerely apologizes, which Odo accepts. Suddenly, the Defiant decloaks and rescues the pair, and slips away from the battle to return to the wormhole.
Back on the station, Sisko and his crew escape discipline for their actions, and Odo suggests he and Garak meet for breakfast.
The episode serves as a major reboot in plot for DS9. The preemptive attack on the Dominion is a trap. The Founders have all been evacuated prior to the attack, and the Jem'Hadar are prepared for the attack, leading to the annihilation of the Cardassian-Romulan fleet. In episodes to follow, the Dominion launch attacks on the Romulans and Cardassians in the Alpha Quadrant, putting Bajor and the Federation in the cross hairs.
The Dominion War remains a central theme of DS9 for the remainder of the series.
References to other works
- In the episode, Admiral Toddman makes reference to Wolf 359, portrayed in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds", as well as the Deep Space Nine pilot "Emissary", where it figures heavily in Sisko's backstory.
- In the episode Defiant, Gul Dukat and Captain Sisko discover that a secret base operated by the Obsidian Order has a fleet of ships, which is forbidden.
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