(written from a Production point of view)
Sisko agonizes over his vision from the Prophets, telling him not to marry Kasidy; Kai Winn receives a vision foretelling a "guide" who will help her restore Bajor; Ezri and Worf are interrogated by the Breen. (Part 2 of 9)
As Benjamin Sisko tries to explain his vision from the Prophets to his son Jake, they are paid a surprise visit from Kai Winn Adami. She offers to officiate the Emissary's wedding ceremony. Sisko decides to reveal to Winn part of his most recent vision, about his upcoming Great Trial, but he conceals from the Kai that the Prophets warned him not to wed. Going back to her quarters, the Kai seemingly receives her first vision from the Prophets (actually Pah-wraiths), telling her she must accomplish "a Restoration" of the faltering Emissary via a "guide" who will soon appear to her, telling her that this guide will carry the "wisdom of the land".
Worf and Ezri Dax try to console themselves while being held prisoner aboard the Breen ship. Still unsure why they have been taken prisoner on Goralis III, they are fed a diet of algae paste. Worf makes a romantic overture to Dax, indicating that he believes they will continue the relationship he had with Jadzia, but Dax responds quite coldly.
On Cardassia, Weyoun wakes Legate Damar in his quarters after a long night of drinking kanar and partying. Weyoun tells him to prepare to leave, to a destination unknown, in the afternoon. He informs Damar that his association with Gul Dukat has been found out, as well as Dukat's masquerading as a Bajoran. Later, Damar meets with Dukat, and supplies him with forged travel and identity documents. Seeing the way Weyoun is controlling Damar (and noticing his empty Kanar bottles), he reminds his former officer of how they waged war against the entire Klingon Empire with a single ship just a few years ago and that he must be strong, as he is the leader of the Cardassian people. Damar tells Dukat that he (Dukat) might still resume his former role as leader, but Dukat assures Damar that he is a changed man who now serves the will of the Bajoran Pah-wraiths who have shown him his new destiny. With that, the mentor and pupil say goodbye for the last time. Taking a shuttle, Dukat (disguised as a Bajoran) arrives on Deep Space 9 and walks through the Promenade anonymously.
Kasidy is showing Sisko a Bajoran Navatan shawl, which the Bajorans consider good luck on a marriage when she notices that he is despondent. Sisko finally tells his fiancé about the warning he had received from the Prophets, specifically from his mother Sarah to not marry her. He tells Kasidy that he has a difficult path to walk and that he must walk it alone. Kasidy encourages Sisko to ignore the warnings from the Prophets, but she fails to persuade him away from the will of the Prophets and Sisko reluctantly tells her he cannot marry her. Sadly, she removes her engagement ring, leaves it on the table, and exits his quarters.
In the Breen ship, Ezri relates a strange dream she has had about them, where a Breen turns out to be Julian. While she psychoanalyzes her own dream, the Breen arrive, shocking Worf and Ezri into submission, and dragging Worf away for a painful interrogation.
Dukat, claiming to be a Bajoran farmer, Anjohl Tennan from Relliketh, seeks an audience with the Kai. He manipulates her into believing that he is the "guide" sent by the Prophets. She senses in him a strong pagh, falling for Dukat's deception.
At first playing the part of a humble farmer seeking a prosperity blessing from the Kai, Dukat gradually worms his way into her life, questioning the rightful authority of the Emissary.
At the daily briefing in his office, Sisko reveals to Kira that the wedding is cancelled because of a warning from the Prophets. She tells Sisko that he is doing the right thing, by heeding the Prophets, but he isn't sure himself, telling the major that he is a Human being with dreams and wishes of his own. He says that marrying Kasidy may be a mistake, but it is his mistake to make.
Weyoun, on his way to the mysterious rendezvous coordinates, is greeted on the bridge of the Jem'Hadar ship by the Female Changeling. She appears very weak and frail, as if she is having a problem remaining in solid form. Weyoun promises to lower the temperature even further to make her more comfortable.
Back in the waiting cell with Dax, Worf awakens violently from his interrogation by the Breen. He remembers them using a cortical implant to probe his memory, before losing consciousness. Suddenly the Breen reappear, this time taking Dax to the interrogation chamber.
Dukat tells "Anjohl'"s story on how he supposedly survived the Occupation by pure chance. A Cardassian misread an order that would have led to his execution. Adami expresses surprise, even amazement at this story, and she explains: she herself bribed the Cardassian officer named Prenar and the transport "Anjohl" was on was deliberately rerouted. Dukat tells Adami that their fates were linked, and she believes him.
Quark delivers Sisko's wedding ring, made of rare Terellian diamonds. Given the nature of the Dominion War, he mentions that the ring is non-refundable and sadly states that it is a pity that something so valuable should go to waste. Sisko is left with food for thought.
When the Breen bring Dax back, she phases in and out of consciousness, rehashing memories and feelings from her past to Worf. While she is at the end of her strength and clearly confused, she talks about her feelings for a man, which is assumed be Worf. However, she instead calls out the name Julian ("kiss me, Julian") while fading in and out of awareness, angering Worf.
Dukat, still posing as Anjohl, makes a late call at Adami's quarters and tells her about the miracle at his "farm" on Bajor, now under the care of his "brother". Adami tells him it's a sign for him to stay since the farm is going to be blessed under his brother's care. Still taken in by Dukat's carefully-planned scheme (and the Cardassian's charm and apparent sincerity), Winn asks him to call her by her given name, which is Adami; they romantically embrace.
When Kasidy's freighter returns to DS9, Sisko immediately confronts her. He professes his love for her, telling her that he wants to marry her, regardless of the Prophets. She accepts (after making sure Sisko isn't going to change his mind again), and they quickly throw together a ceremony (20 minutes, according to Bashir, who just barely made it) in the wardroom. It is a small gathering, and the mood is noticeably somber. Only Nog, Quark, Odo, Kira, Doctor Bashir, Chief O'Brien, and Admiral Ross are in attendance with Kira worried about Sisko defying the will of the Prophets and the others sad that Worf and Dax are going to miss the ceremony. Jake walks Kasidy down the aisle to the service, presided over by Admiral William Ross representing the Federation.
However, just as it becomes his turn to state his marriage vow, Sisko has another vision from the Prophets appearing as his mother Sarah Sisko, warning him against the nuptials. Sisko replies that while Sarah existed as a corporeal form, she understood the meaning and importance of love to Humans. Sarah indicates again that he is about to go through a difficult trial, and that his actions will cause him great pain. Returning from his vision, though, Sisko completes his vows and Admiral Ross declares him and Kasidy to be married.
Worf confronts Dax about her feelings toward Bashir, just as the Breen arrive. Suddenly, Worf and Dax are beamed away with half a dozen Breen to an unknown location.
The two arrive aboard the Jem'Hadar ship carrying Weyoun and Damar where they witness a very disturbing turn of events, one which may change the course of the war. The Breen have entered into negotiations with Weyoun and the Female Changeling to ally themselves with the Dominion, and have presented Worf and Dax as a gift to the Dominion. Weyoun toasts the new alliance, while Worf and Dax can only worry about what this new alliance means for the Federation…
"You shared my mother's existence. You must have some idea what love is. You should know that I will never be happy without Kasidy."
"Your path is a difficult one. I cannot change what is to come."
"Be careful, my son."
- - Benjamin Sisko and Sarah
"I got away from him, but there wasn't any place to run. And just when I thought he was going to kill me, he reached up and took off his helmet."
"And… it was Julian."
"Isn't that strange? I wonder what it means?"
"That Doctor Bashir is a Breen."
- - Ezri and Worf
"This is intolerable! They have us caged up like animals!"
- - Worf
"Worf, face it. The 'Guard, my cell mate is ill' trick didn't work. Neither did your 'I'll make a tool and short-circuit the door' idea."
"We must not give up. The first duty of every captured officer is to attempt escape."
- - Ezri and Worf
"You don't look well."
"What happened to the brave officer I served with? The one who stood at my side as we fought the entire Klingon Empire with a single ship?"
"Those were simpler times."
"Those days might be gone, but the man I served with isn't. He's still within you. Reach in and grab hold of him, Damar. Cardassia needs a leader."
"You were its leader once. You could be again."
"The Pah-wraiths have shown me that I have another destiny. (offering his hand) Good luck old friend."
"And to you."
- - Dukat and Damar
"By the power vested in me by the United Federation of Planets, I pronounce you husband and wife."
- - Ross, marrying Benjamin Sisko and Kasidy Yates
"You are in love with him!"
"I am not!"
"Then why do you dream about him?"
"You're the one that said dreams don't mean anything."
"I should've known. Even Jadzia had feelings for him as well."
"Will you please stop comparing me to her?!!"
- - Worf and Ezri Dax, about Julian Bashir
"You should be honored. You're witnessing an historic moment. The birth of the alliance between the Dominion and the Breen. Changes everything, doesn't it?"
- - Weyoun, to Worf and Ezri Dax
The Final Chapter
- In the original plan for The Final Chapter, Sisko and Kasidy were not supposed to be married until Part 3 ("Strange Bedfellows"). This was because, originally, when Sarah Sisko warns Benjamin that he "will know nothing but sorrow," she wasn't referring to his marriage, but to the building of his house on Bajor. As such, the marriage itself was never in question and was never called off. René Echevarria however, who was writing Part 1 ("Penumbra" – which is where Sarah issues the warning), felt that this didn't really work, that warning Sisko about the house wasn't especially compelling, and something more hard-hitting was needed. He came up with the idea that Sarah warns Sisko not to get married, obviously much more serious than warning him not to build a house. However, after Ira Steven Behr approved Echevarria's idea, it was decided that it made more sense for the couple to wed in "'Til Death Do Us Part"; that after doubt had been sown in Sisko's mind as to whether or not he should get married, he would want to go through with it as soon as possible. As such, David Weddle and Bradley Thompson were informed that they would be handling the wedding ceremony in "'Til Death Do Us Part", not Ronald D. Moore, who was writing "Strange Bedfellows". This late complication and change in plans wasn't entirely well received by Moore. As Thompson explains, "Suddenly it's 'Oh sorry, Ron. You can't get them married because that's going to happen in the second hour now.' And Ron is going, 'Aarrggh! Then what's going to happen in my show?'" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The first four episodes of the arc ("Penumbra", "'Til Death Do Us Part", "Strange Bedfellows" and "The Changing Face of Evil") were all written simultaneously, and during the writing process René Echevarria (who was working on "Penumbra") realized he'd made a mistake that could cause serious problems in the second batch of episodes. Specifically, he felt that he had introduced the Dukat plotline too early in relation to overall proceedings. By having Dukat assume a Bajoran identity in "Penumbra", he set up Dukat's meeting with Kai Winn in "'Til Death Do Us Part", which meant that their storyline had to be extended out over seven subsequent episodes; "We started it too soon and we ran out of story for them. Suddenly we realized that we didn't need them again until the final episode. I was told, 'Find a way to stall.' I needed to leave them in a place where the audience would feel, 'Okay, they're doing this, but I don't need to see them do it.' And I came up with the idea of blinding Dukat." This would take place in "When It Rains...", and effectively removes both Dukat and Winn for several episodes, until the finale "What You Leave Behind" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
"'Til Death Do Us Part"
- This episode was originally titled "Umbra", which is an area of deep shadow. This was to follow on from the previous episode, "Penumbra", an area of half-shadow.
- This episode represents the only time that Sarah refers to Sisko as her son. Both director Winrich Kolbe and Ira Behr were delighted with how the scene turned out, especially the image of Sisko resting his head on Sarah's bosom. As Kolbe explains, "It's typical of something you'd see back in the 1920s. It was a very frequent image – the prodigal son comes home and returns to the source of life, the mother." Similarly, Behr enthuses, "I saw it and I went, 'Yeah.' It speaks to the entire seven years of the show, from "Emissary" to that moment. It just gave me chills." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Some fans felt that the idea that Winn and Dukat embark upon a sexual relationship was a bit over the top, but Brad Thompson explains that that was exactly the point; "The idea of Dukat wooing Winn appealed to us on a very twisted level. Our two bad guys were going to mate! We were howling with glee at the idea!" Ira Behr concurs that the absurdity of the idea was part of the appeal; "The two characters are so worthy of scene after scene after scene. And when we decided that they actually were going to have a physical relationship, it was just dementedly wonderful." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Admiral Ross' speech during Sisko and Kasidy's wedding was composed by David Weddle, who based it on Jean-Luc Picard's speech from the wedding of O'Brien and Keiko in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Data's Day". That speech had been written by Ron Moore, who had based it upon a speech given by Kirk in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Balance of Terror". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The character of Solbor was originally supposed to be a minor role with only one line of dialogue, but the producers were so impressed with what James Otis brought to his one small Pah-wraith scene that they decided to increase the part at the last minute. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Worf's claim that no one who has ever seen what is underneath a Breen's helmet has lived to tell of it seems to contradict the episode "Indiscretion", where Kira and Dukat knock out two Breen guards and take their uniforms, including the helmets.
- Dukat's reference to a single ship fighting against the entire Klingon Empire refers to his acquisition of a Bird-of-Prey in the episode "Return to Grace", which he used to make hit-and-run attacks on the Klingons in Cardassian space until the episode "By Inferno's Light".
- When Ezri is raving after being probed by the Breen she quotes dialogue from the episodes "Prodigal Daughter" and "Field of Fire".
- This is the last episode of the series to be directed by Winrich Kolbe.
- The pronunciation guide of the script mentions the Xhosa, although the freighter itself does not appear in the episode. 
- Kai Winn shared that she had never had an Orb experience, yet in the episode "In the Hands of the Prophets", she said to Sisko "The Prophets have spoken to me through the Orbs, Emissary." However her speech in the following episode, that she had to pretend her excitement when first seeing the entrance of the Wormhole, might suggest that she had to lie at several points according to her position.
- Deborah Lacey commented: "“Til Death Do Us Part” was a power episode for me. I remember focusing on the god I was in trying to control Sisko, trying to warn him not to go against me, this feeling of chastising my son, protecting him from danger. It was a haunting feeling, but then giving in to him because she was trying to understand but still very concerned. Another one of favorite lines was in this episode, which is, “Be careful, my son…” There were tears in my eyes and I was very moved when I grabbed his face and put it to my chest". 
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 7.9, catalogue number VHR 4819, 6 September 1999.
- As part of the DS9 Season 7 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Nicole de Boer as Counselor Ezri Dax
- Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Commander Worf
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Julian Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Colonel Kira Nerys / Pah-wraith
- Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun 7
- Penny Johnson as Kasidy Yates
- Marc Alaimo as Gul Dukat
- Casey Biggs as Damar
- Barry Jenner as Admiral Ross
- Deborah Lacey as Sarah
- Aron Eisenberg as Nog
- James Otis as Solbor / Pah-wraith
Special guest star
- Majel Barrett as Narrator
- Brian Demonbreun as a science division officer
- Wade Kelley as Breen guard
- Dennis Madalone as Breen guard
- Angus McClellan as an operations division ensign
- Tom Morga as a Breen guard
- Todd Slayton as Gor
- Unknown actor as Breen guard
algae paste; alien freighter; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran prophecy; Bajoran Resistance; boatswain's whistle; Boday; Breen; Breen-Dominion Alliance; Breen (planet); Breen warship; Cardassia; Cardassians; caterer; com system; cortical implant; Counselor; crop failure; Dax, Jadzia; Dax, Joran; Dominion; Dominion War; Dream; Garak, Elim; fallow; Federation; fertility; Great Famine; Eminence; Emissary of the Prophets; farmer; field; heart; honor; ice cave; Jem'Hadar; Jem'Hadar attack ship; kanar; Kilby; Klingon Empire; Koraga, IKS; labor camp; Lost Klingon fleet; Martok; matrimony; Mow'ga; moba; murder; Navatan shawl; Occupation of Bajor; order; pagh; path; "Piping the Side"; Prenar; Promenade; Prophets; ranjen; Relliketh; Restoration of Bajor; Rogath blight; Rozhenko, Alexander; Saltah'na clock; Second Empire; senior officer; short circuit; springwine; Sto-vo-kor; tabernacle; Talnot; Telna; temperature; Tigan, Norvo; Terellian diamond; vedek; wedding; wedding gift; wedding ring; cargo management unit (unnamed)
- "'Til Death Do Us Part" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "'Til Death Do Us Part" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "'Til Death Do Us Part" at Wikipedia
| Previous episode:|
| Star Trek: Deep Space Nine|
| Next episode:|