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Sisko tries to regain contact with the Prophets. (Part One of Two) (Season premiere)



Three months have passed since Jadzia's death and Captain Benjamin Sisko departed from Deep Space 9. On the Promenade, newly promoted Colonel Kira and Odo worry that he won't be coming back as they observe members of the cult of the Pah-wraiths chanting in front of the Bajoran temple, identified by red armbands. The cult has become very influential since the Prophets became disconnected from Bajor by turning the orbs black and locking the wormhole entrance.

Meanwhile, the USS Defiant returns to the station from convoy duty, which is now becoming a regular mission for the ship. When Ensign Nog comments that he'd rather be on convoy duty than in battle as it is safer, Worf, who is frustrated at having to protect shipments of stem bolts as well as the fact the Federation's invasion of Cardassian space has made no progress since the First Battle of Chin'toka, takes offense and angrily leaves the bridge. Bashir and O'Brien assure Nog it wasn't personal, and that Worf is hoping that some combat might help him get over his wife's death.

Jake and Benjamin Sisko, 2375

"I've never seen her before, but now I know why I came back here, Jake."

On Earth, at Joseph Sisko's restaurant/home in New Orleans, Jake watches his father play piano and tells his grandfather that he is worried because Sisko has been doing nothing and going nowhere since they arrived. Joseph is concerned but suggests that they just leave him alone. Suddenly, the baseball sitting on top of the piano (the one Sisko took from his desk on DS9), rolls off and lands on the floor. Moving over to reach for it on the floor, Benjamin has a vision of the desert planet Tyree, where he digs in the sand with a shovel to uncover a woman's face. Coming out of his vision, Sisko tells Jake that he knows why he has come to Earth; he has to find this woman.

Act One[]

Admiral Ross informs Kira that the Romulans will be setting up an office on DS9 led by Senator Cretak. Kira is concerned about Romulan soldiers on the station, but Ross assures her that Cretak is cooperative and fully supportive of the Alliance. The Federation needs to do all they can to support her in turn. Furthermore, only twelve Romulans at most would be on the station. Kira is still uneasy, but Ross pulls rank, stating he doesn't need her acceptance. Ross compliments Kira on taking over for Sisko, but Kira obviously thinks it's temporary, telling the admiral that she is merely keeping Sisko's chair warm.

On Cardassia Prime, Weyoun and Legate Damar discuss the war effort. Further advances into Cardassian space have been halted, and they plan to contain the Alliance in the Chin'toka system. Damar is pleased, so he celebrates with a drink of kanar, knowing that Weyoun won't join in. They note that the closing of the wormhole has somehow shifted the war in their favor. Nevertheless, Weyoun expresses worry about Damar's constant drinking.

Back on Earth, Sisko recreates the woman's face on a PADD, and Jake recognizes it from a photo he found while cleaning up a storage space. Joseph is in it, so they show the photo to him and ask who she is. He reacts angrily, refusing to tell them who she is before storming out.

Act Two[]

In his quarters, Worf is in his and Jadzia's bed and finds himself unable to sleep, his mind full of thoughts of his late wife. After looking at a photo from their wedding, he gets up and goes to the holosuite and activates the Vic Fontaine program asking the singer to perform "All the Way". Vic attempts to refuse, but Worf orders him to sing. As Vic reluctantly sings the sad song, Worf listens, the expression on his face a mixture of raging fury and extreme sorrow. Halfway through, he slowly stands and then, with a roar of anguish, begins to trash the lounge.

Later, Kira goes to the office set up for the Romulans to greet Cretak. She's cautious in her greeting, but Cretak is surprisingly cordial, acknowledging Romulans' reputation for being arrogant and looking forward to the common goal of defeating the Dominion. Kira agrees.

In Vic's trashed lounge, Bashir and Quark talk about the hard time Worf is having coming to terms with losing Jadzia. Bashir realizes something must be bothering him, since Klingons usually have an easier time accepting death.

Sisko asks his father about the woman again, and when Joseph stonewalls Ben again, the captain gets frustrated and shocks his old father by grabbing and shaking him. Joseph explains that her name was Sarah, and the two met in Jackson Square in June 2331 and were married two months later. Sisko is shocked that Joseph had a wife before his mother, but a bigger shock is in store as Joseph reveals Sarah was Ben's mother.

Act Three[]

Joseph tells Ben that he and Sarah were together for two years and he thought they were happy. However, she suddenly left Joseph two days after Ben's first birthday. Joseph still doesn't know why she left and explains that he tracked her down in Australia after three years working as a holophotographer only to find she had died in an hovercraft accident. Joseph admits his guilt that he never told Ben the truth but couldn't do it as he was so close to his stepmother (despite her belief that he should know the truth). As for why the Prophets sent Sisko the vision of Sarah, he concludes that finding out the truth about his mother may be the first step to recovering from recent events.

Kira, on the Promenade, curiously observes Cretak buying a jumja stick, finding it unexpected. Cretak sees her and they pleasantly exchange their opinions on it, Cretak suggesting she try a tart osol twist. To business, Cretak informs her of a squadron of warbirds coming, but also asks about building a hospital facility on Bajor's fourth moon, Derna. Kira promises to ask the Council of Ministers. Cretak is impressed with the efficiency and accommodation being shown. Kira smiles after Cretak leaves, pleased with having such a cordial conversation.

O'Brien plans to visit Worf with some vintage bloodwine from 2301 to try and get him to talk about what's wrong. Bashir tells him not to mention Jadzia until Worf does, knowing Worf needs to talk about her even if he doesn't realize it.

O'Brien approaches a reluctant Worf in his quarters for some conversation and bloodwine. Although Worf originally tries to get O'Brien to leave, he eventually falls into a conversation about their time serving together on the USS Enterprise-D, recalling Reginald Barclay. Later at Quark's, while nursing a hangover, O'Brien informs Bashir and Quark that after talking about several unrelated subjects such as Worf's son Alexander and growing up in Russia, it was while finishing off the third bottle at around 0400 hours that he finally found out why Worf is so upset; Jadzia will not enter Sto-vo-kor because, beside the fact that she never ate the heart of an enemy ("She always was a little squeamish," Quark notes), she was murdered instead of dying in combat. In order to get her there, Worf must win a great battle in her name. With the Defiant mired in convoy duty they decide to ask General Martok for help, who is scheduled to arrive at the station the next morning.

Sisko is washing clams behind the restaurant when Joseph gives him a necklace that belonged to Sarah, which Sisko is surprised to discover is engraved with ancient Bajoran text.

Act Four[]

Sisko is able to translate the necklace's writing as the words "Orb of the Emissary." There is no such orb mentioned in Bajoran religious texts, but he guesses that it exists, and is buried on Tyree and that it may not have gone dark along with all the others.

On the station, the casualty reports come in from the counterattack on the Chin'toka system. The Alliance successfully fended it off, but the price was high. Cretak takes comfort in the victory, and also praises Kira for helping approve the hospital, saying Romulus owes her a debt of gratitude. Kira is again impressed with her, but later, Odo informs Kira that a Starfleet transport ship was turned away from the hospital. Kira thinks it is because the hospital wasn't equipped to deal with non-Romulans, but Odo points out that most of the wounded were Vulcans who share a common biology with the Romulans. Kira suggests that the centuries of distrust between the two species is a factor, before Odo shows her a scan indicating high trilithium levels. It appears there was some deception.

Meanwhile, Martok stealthily enters a holosuite where Worf is practicing bat'leth forms and attacks him. He asks Worf to be his first officer on a very dangerous combat mission, promising the victory will ensure Jadzia gets into Sto-vo-kor.

Later, again in the dark alley behind the restaurant, Sisko is approached by a young Bajoran man wearing a red hood who praises him and mentions the Orb. Sisko is polite and turns away before the man pulls a knife and stabs him, claiming he will never find it. Jake drops the attacker with a heavy sack of clams he was bringing out to be washed. He runs over to his bleeding father and yells at Joseph for help.

Act Five[]

Sisko recovers and comes back to the restaurant, but not before reporting the incident to Starfleet Security. He explains that the man was a member of the Pah-wraith cult and declares his intention to go to Tyree and find the Orb. Joseph is worried, not because of the cult, but because of the Pah-wraiths; if the cult knew about the Orb, chances are the Pah-wraiths know as well and that worries him.

At Quark's, O'Brien tells Quark and Bashir that Martok's lone ship will try to destroy a Dominion shipyard located at Monac IV. Bashir declares he will accompany Worf to honor Jadzia's memory, and O'Brien decides to go for Bashir's protection. Quark thinks both of them are crazy.

William Ross, Kira Nerys, and Kimara Cretak

"Either you remove those weapons… or we will."

Kira barges in on Ross and Cretak in the wardroom with proof that the Romulans have armed the hospital with 7,000 plasma torpedoes. Cretak claims it is for defense, but the Bajoran government will not allow the Romulans to have weapons on its moon and have ordered them to leave Derna immediately. The news reaches Dominion Headquarters on Cardassia Prime. Having halted the Federation's advance into their territory, Damar and Weyoun revel upon hearing of the Romulans' treacherous action, the kind of action that could destroy the Alliance.

The morning he is about to leave for Tyree, Sisko finds the restaurant closed and Joseph and Jake packed and ready to go. He agrees to let them accompany him when there is a knock at the door. A young female Trill Starfleet ensign enters and happily greets Sisko, who does not recognize her, and introduces herself as Dax.

Memorable quotes[]

"A lot of people feel abandoned by the Prophets."
"Believe me, I know how they feel. It's no excuse to turn to hate and fear."
"In times of trouble, some people find comfort in hate and fear."

- Odo and Kira

"Romulans. So predictably treacherous!"

- Weyoun

"Sing the song."
"I don't think that's such a good idea."
"Sing the song."
"C'mon, pallie, why rub salt in an open wound?"
"You are a hologram. You are programmed to do exactly as I say. Sing the song."

- Worf and Vic Fontaine, about the song "All the Way"

"I just never thought I'd see a Romulan eating a jumja stick."

- Kira

"Who better than a Klingon to help a Klingon?"

- Bashir

"Worf did this?!"
"With his own two bare hands. And it's not the first time he's busted up the joint. I don't care how much he threatens me; that's the last time I ever sing 'All the Way'. If he wants to hear it again, let him buy a Sinatra album."
"'All the Way'? That was Jadzia's favorite song! I'm sorry, Vic, but you're going to have to forgive him. He's having a hard time accepting her death."
"So am I, but you don't see me busting up the joint."

- Julian Bashir, Vic Fontaine and Quark, on Worf

"I had to give a report to Starfleet Security."
"And the Bajoran that attacked you, who was he?"
"He was a member of a cult that worships the Pah-wraiths. They believe the disappearance of the Prophets will herald a new era for Bajor."

- Benjamin Sisko and Joseph Sisko

"So, what'd you find out?"
"That you should never try to match drinks with a Klingon."

- Quark and O'Brien

"Then what makes him think she's not in Sto-vo-kor?"
"Well for one thing, she never ate the heart of one of her enemies."
"She always was a little squeamish."
"And secondly, she did not die in glorious battle."
"You mean being murdered by a Pah-wraith in cold blood doesn't count?"

- Bashir, O'Brien and Quark, on Worf's determination of Jadzia's status with Sto-vo-kor

"So… how do you like convoy duty?"
"I don't."
"Good, I was afraid you might be getting soft!"

- Martok and Worf

"Miles, I don't know what to say. I'm touched."
"You're both touched!"

- Bashir and Quark

"You wanna get Jadzia to Sto-vo-kor fine, fine, go for it. But can't you do something more sensible? Make a donation in her name! Or bribe someone!"
"It doesn't work that way, Quark."
"It'd be nice if it did."

- Quark, Bashir, and O'Brien

"Emissary, I've come a long way to see you. This moment is sacred, one that will be long remembered. Meeh rak dorah pah wran. Ee toi velah slah. Pah wran amar. Pah wran evak to."
"That's ancient Bajoran."
"The Emissary is wise."

- Bajoran man and Benjamin Sisko

"I don't suppose I can talk you out of going to Tyree."
"If you're worried about the Cult…"
"I figure you can handle them. But if the Cult knows you're looking for the Orb of the Emissary, chances are the Pah-wraiths do as well. And that does worry me."

- Joseph Sisko and Benjamin Sisko, about the Cult of the Pah-wraiths

"Hello, Benjamin."
"Do I know you?"
"It's me… Dax."

- Ezri Dax and Ben Sisko

Background information[]

Story and script[]

  • When it came to write this episode, Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler tried to achieve something very specific with it. "As we started the final season, we made a very bold and perhaps stupid choice, although I'd do it again," commented Behr. "We wrote the quietest opening episode we've ever done on the show […] This time, we decided we were going to play with the audience's expectations and give them something smaller, more intimate, quieter. A reflective breath, so to speak." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. ?)
  • With the writing staff having taken a hard emotional blow due to the departure of Jadzia Dax actress Terry Farrell, the writers proceeded to fill the vacuum that had been left in the ensemble of main characters by creating a new role, that of Ezri Dax. As René Echevarria recalled, "Once we knew for certain that [Terry Farrell] wasn't going to return, we decided to take the opportunity to create a new Dax." Ira Behr continued, "We knew we needed a female. We couldn't have Kira Nerys be the only female regular character." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. ?) With genuine enthusiasm, Hans Beimler added, "We were introducing a new character, which was really fun to write." (What We Left Behind)
  • In this episode, the writers wrote Kira as having been promoted to the rank of colonel, inspired by Nana Visitor's input. "I asked for it to happen," she explained. "I thought it was high time for it after six years of good service. Everyone around her had been promoted – Sisko, Bashir, Jadzia, and even Nog – so why not?" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 597)
  • The idea behind the Cult of the Pah-wraiths was to show that not every Bajoran was a disciple of the Prophets; as Ira Behr explained, "We wanted to show that, like war, religion can be a dangerous thing. We'd spent six years portraying the Bajoran religion, celebrating it, in a way, and establishing that there is something greater than technology. And that's good. But faith can be subverted very easily. It's what you put your faith in that ultimately matters. A lack of faith, I think, is bad. But unthinking religion is also bad." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. ?)
  • Tyree was named after the Richard Harris character, Benjamin Tyreen, in the 1965 Sam Peckinpah film Major Dundee. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. ?)
  • The Monac shipyard were named after Special Effects Supervisor Gary Monak. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. ?)

Cast and characters[]

  • Casting the newly created Ezri Dax role was not an easy process. Remembered Ira Steven Behr, "We started the casting process, and all I saw was a lot of people who couldn't play the part. There was absolutely no one in the running." René Echevarria picked up the story; "Initially, Ira was looking for someone who had a kind of spooky quality. We talked about it several times as a group, and I wasn't quite getting what he was going for." When the group redefined the character as a neurotic Trill who had a complex personality and hadn't been prepared for joining, the casting process became much more focused. "We wanted someone vulnerable," explained Echevarria, "because Jadzia, as the show went on, became a stronger and stronger character. And someone young." Hans Beimler had worked with Nicole de Boer (who was eventually cast in the part) on Beyond Reality and TekWar, and he called and asked her to send an audition tape to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine producers. She did so, and they invited her to Los Angeles to audition in person. Of her audition, Behr commented, "We got a good vibe off her. She knew the part. She got it. And that was it." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. ?) De Boer herself remarked, "It makes so much sense that it be someone who continues on one of your loved characters. You know, you now get to still see how everybody feels about losing Jadzia through Ezri." (What We Left Behind)
  • Actress Deborah Lacey was highly impressed by the work done on the scene where the face of her character, Sarah Sisko, appears in the sand, Lacey discovering the finalized effect looked "amazing." She further remarked, "Pretty cool. I was blown away when I saw it. It felt so real, and it really helped set me up for the performance of a celestial being. I loved it, and it was spooky at the same time." [1]
  • In the scene in which Ben Sisko returns to his father's restaurant after the stabbing, David B. Levinson can be seen as a waiter emerging from the kitchen, carrying two plates. Levinson more regularly appeared in Ferengi make-up as Broik, a waiter in Quark's.


Michael Dorn & Les Landau

Les Landau directs Michael Dorn during filming of a scene in Vic's

  • For the scene with Sarah Sisko's face in the sand, a couple of elaborate clay masks were crafted. Deborah Lacey commented, "This experience was so exciting for me. There was a clay mask made of my face. I had to go to the makeup department at Paramount and sit in a chair with my hair covered, eyes closed and straws through my nose so I could breathe. They placed the clay over my face and I sat for a little while until it hardened. I don't think it was very long. They made two of them. The masks were clay colored, so they had to apply makeup to match my skin tone and makeup for masks to make them look like my face. They looked like a sculpture of my face… pretty amazing. I still have one of two that were made. These masks were used to create the special effect of seeing my face appear in the sand […] The masks look exactly like me, like seeing myself in a quiet peace." [2]
  • After the masks were created, the filming of the face-in-the-sand scene began. "So, on a sound stage on the lot, they made a medium sandbox and they first filmed the masks in the sandbox," continued Deborah Lacey. "They had both masks to work with where my eyes were closed. After they shot the mask in the sand, I was then asked to lay down face up in the sandbox, and they shot my face in a very tight closeup, just to get my eyes to open. So, I did a few takes of opening my eyes, with the direction that I was opening them to speak for the first time." [3]
  • In post-production, the footage of the pair of Sarah Sisko masks was dissolved into the footage of Deborah Lacey opening her eyes. "The special effects (team) […] interchanged the opening of my eyes with the shots of the masks in the sand to make it look like there was a face in the sand that opened its eyes," she explained. [4]


  • Star Trek Magazine writer Ian Spelling approved of this episode's ending, commenting, "When Ezri came along, I thought that was a smart addition… you know, out of necessity, and to make her a follow-up Dax was brilliant as well, because you still had the essence of what the audience knew, yet it's something new and different." (What We Left Behind)


  • One of the reasons given by Worf as to why Jadzia Dax cannot enter Sto-Vo-Kor is that she never consumed the heart of an enemy. Jadzia did vow to kill The Albino and eat his heart. She succeeded in the first part, but evidently never followed through with the second. ("Blood Oath")
  • This is the first episode to establish that Admiral Ross' first name is "Bill". This confused actor Barry Jenner because diploma and award props that, though illegible on screen, had been made for Ross' office on Starbase 375 listed his first name as "Cliff". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. ?)
  • This is the first appearance of Ezri Dax, the ninth host of the Dax symbiont, as well as the first appearance of Sarah Sisko, Benjamin Sisko's birth mother.
  • This is the first episode in which Kira is characterized as a colonel, which took place in the interim between the end of the sixth season and the start of the seventh. Kira also sports a considerably different hairstyle from the previous season.
  • This episode is the first to mention the Cult of the Pah-wraiths. The same cult was subsequently revisited in the episode "Covenant". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. ?)
  • In addition to being the name of a planet in this episode, Tyree was also the name of a main character in TOS: "A Private Little War", but that appears just to be a coincidence. (citation needededit)
  • The show's opening credits are once more changed to include "Nicole de Boer as Ensign Ezri Dax", placing her alphabetically right after "Rene Auberjonois as Odo". Ezri Dax's rank is changed later to lieutenant in the opening credits of the episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", after her promotion at the end of the episode "Afterimage". Nana Visitor's character now appears as "Colonel Kira". The typeface on the credits has also been modified slightly.
  • Early in this episode, Admiral Ross informs Kira that there is to be a permanent Romulan presence on the station. When it seems as if Kira is about to protest, Ross says, "Let's get one thing straight, Colonel. I came here as a courtesy to you. This decision has already been made," to which Kira responds, "And I have to live with it." This would imply that the decision to have Romulans come aboard Deep Space 9 was a Starfleet decision and not something discussed with the Bajoran government (something which is confirmed in the following episode, "Shadows and Symbols"). However, as has been clearly established numerous times, Deep Space 9 is a Bajoran station, and the Chamber of Ministers has the final say in terms of what does and doesn't happen on the station. This issue is clarified in such early episodes as "Emissary", "A Man Alone", "Dramatis Personae" and "The Circle" and is also seen in the episode "Call to Arms", when all Starfleet personnel have to leave the station because the Bajorans have signed a nonaggression pact with the Dominion. As such, it remains unexplained how Starfleet could take such an important decision without first getting the approval of the Bajoran government. It maybe means that Bajor implicitly gave carte blanche to the Federation and Starfleet (after all, they have reconquered DS9). Kira, though being promoted to colonel, is just acting commander of the station while Sisko is on leave, so she cannot dispute political choices, and being a friend and confidant of both Sisko and Garak, she should have at least a glimpse of how it was difficult to gain Romulan alliance.
  • The events of TNG: "Hollow Pursuits" are referred to in this episode by Worf and Miles O'Brien. Geordi La Forge and Reginald Barclay are also both mentioned by name. It is the only time that O'Brien refers to Geordi by his first name.
  • The song Sisko plays in the restaurant before his vision is "Round Midnight", by Thelonious Monk.
  • This episode has one of the longest teasers in Star Trek, lasting just over eight minutes.
  • A part of the scene at Quark's, involving Bashir, O'Brien, and Quark, was used in a 2001 Dutch PSA to raise awareness for dyslexia by SIRE. The footage is overlayed with increasingly garbled subtitles (basically correct translations but spelled wrong). It then cuts to a spoof of the DS9 intro, with messages like "trouble reading?" and "People with dyslexia have trouble on a daily basis" styled like the actors' credits.

Remastered version[]

Video and DVD releases[]

DS9 7

New VHS sleeve design

A significant redesign of the video sleeve is seen from this volume on. The traditional "character-in-the-wormhole" image is replaced with episode-specific art, with the episode titles contained in a gold surround, with images of Sisko, Kira and Worf.

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

Guest stars[]

Special guest stars[]



Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]



47; 2301; 2331; 2333; 2336; 2368; album; "All the Way"; ancient Bajoran; ancient Bajoran texts; Armstrong Park; Australia; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran government; Bajoran wormhole; Baldwin Piano Company; barbecue; Barclay, Reginald; baseball; bat'leth; belch; Bishop, Joey (aka Joey); blackjack; bloodwine; bribe; Cardassia Prime; Cardassians; casualty report; Chin'toka system; clam; colonel; convoy; convoy duty; counterattack; craps; crawfish étouffée; combat duty; Council of Ministers; cuckoo; Dax, Jadzia; Derna; desert; dime; Dukat; Dominion; Dominion War; donation; dozen; Emissary of the Prophets; Erdmann, Terry P.; facsimile construction program 047; Federation; Federation Alliance; first officer; front line; gagh; Gamma Quadrant; gumbo; heart; holo-photograph; hologram; holosuite; hospital facility; House of Martok; hovercraft; Invasion of Cardassia; isotope; Jackson Square; jazz; Jem'Hadar; jumja; kanar; Klingons; La Forge, Geordi; leave of absence; loitering; Monac IV; mourning period; murder; Neral; Orb of the Emissary; osol twist; Pah-wraiths; photograph; piano; plasma torpedo; Promenade; Prophets; Quark's; raktajino; recipe; Romulans; Romulan Senate; Romulan underground movement; Romulus; Rozhenko, Alexander; Russia; Saltah'na clock; shrimp; shrimp creole; Sinatra, Frank; Sisko's Creole Kitchen; Sisko's stepmother; squadron; Starbase 129; Starfleet Security; stem bolt; stepmother; Sto-vo-kor; swill; system module; Third Fleet; Third Order; Three Musketeers, The; Trills; toast; tongo; toothbrush; trilithium; Tyree; Vulcans; worship; Yaltar

Starship references[]

Akagi, USS; Aj'rmr, PWB; Bajoran interceptor (unnamed); Cochrane, USS; D'deridex-class (unnamed); Defiant, USS; Enterprise-D, USS; Fek'lhr, IKS; Galaxy-class (unnamed); K'mpec, IKS; Koderex, PWB; Ross' flagship; runabout; Preceptor, PWB; Starfleet transport; Tecumseh, USS; Tomal, PWB; T'Tpalok, PWB; Vor'cha-class (unnamed); Victory, USS; Wyoming, USS

External links[]

Previous episode:
"Tears of the Prophets"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 7
Next episode:
"Shadows and Symbols"