The story is a hodgepodge stew characterized by a lot of portentous prophecy dialog. We've got (1) Klingons in the Delta Quadrant; (2) Torres' unborn baby elevated to the level of messiah; (3) ancient prophecies open to the widest of interpretations; (4) Neelix and Tuvok as roommates; (5) Harry being granted the interspecies sex-acts license he didn't get in \"The Disease,\" except that he doesn't want it this time; (6) ideological friction; (7) a deadly genetic disease and the search for its cure; (8) a bat'leth battle (not) to the death; (9) the search for a new homeworld; (10) a Voyager takeover scenario; and last but not least, (11) Neelix getting some action. Yes, that kind of action.
We also have our fulfilled dose of male posturing and testosterone. Eventually T'Greth challenges Paris to a battle to the death (what else) to prove he could be the father of the Kuva'Mach. Paris glares back menacingly to prove he's a real man. Haven't we been here and done this enough times Janeway forbids a death match, so instead it's agreed that it will be a non-lethal knock-down contest. (I guess that's slightly new for a Klingon story.)
Trivial Note - Terry Farrell, who had already decided to leave the series after season six, pushed for Worf to make the opposite decision in this episode, sacrificing Jadzia to complete the mission. Whether she felt that was the better story choice or she just wanted to go ahead and be done with the show is left for you to decide (she has explained her logic behind it as a story choice in interviews). While it's good they didn't go that route, as it would've been a difficult thing for Worf to get past as a character, it would've been a better death than the one Jadzia ends up getting. Also, the Bashir/Quark tongo B-story introduces the lousy subplot where it's revealed that they're both in love with Jadzia. This continues into season seven and just doesn't really work. They kinda both seem like creeps at times because of it.
This is a very intriguing episode, but also an oddly focused one. The death of Vedek Bareil is the first major death on the series (even if the character was never a fan favorite), but instead of focusing the story on Kira, the episode puts Bashir in the spotlight. This is a holdover from an earlier concept for the story that makes a more overt connection to Frankenstein, but most of that was toned way down in the final script, which makes the prominence of Bashir in the episode seem out of place. Still, this is an impactful episode, mostly for what it gives us with Kai Winn. Until very late in the show, she was a nearly perfect villain, in the sense that she was deeply loathsome yet also someone with clear, not necessarily villainous motivations. She had an ego, sure, but she was convinced what she was doing was the will of the Prophets (many religious fanatics in real life could be described the same way, just sub out whichever deity for the Prophets). Here, she almost gets too much venom directed at her from Bashir, as the peace made with Cardassia is a major accomplishment for Bajor, but she's just so hateable that it's hard to know what to make of her in this episode. Also, when Kira finally gets to have her moment with Bareil at the end, it's really sad, and it reminds us how important Kira is to the series.
Trivial Note - Worf and Ezri continue to bicker, as they did for most of the prior two episodes. Worf does get to hand Weyoun his most hilarious death, though, with a quick neck snap during an interrogation. Damar's reaction, and his reaction to meeting the next Weyoun are both priceless. Of course, Damar makes his ultimate decision to rebel against the Dominion is this episode, but we'll discuss that more in the entries for later episodes. Also, after the previous episode ended with a teaser about it, the Breen officially align themselves with the Dominion at the start of this episode, which turns the war on its head. I have much to say about the Breen, one of my favorite Trek creations, which I will unleash on you at some point.
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