(written from a Production point of view)
While Starfleet tightens security measures on Earth, Sisko and Odo discover that Admiral Leyton is deviously plotting to take over the planet. (Part 2 of 2)
In the aftermath of the planet-wide power outage, a state of emergency has been declared on Earth, and Starfleet Security has a presence in every neighborhood on the planet. Captain Sisko and Odo are at Starfleet Headquarters, and Sisko remarks on his discomfort with the situation – "the more I read Starfleet's reports on the sabotage of the power relays, the more unanswered questions I have." No one has been able to establish how the Changelings infiltrated Planetary Operations or how they had the access codes and the know-how to disable every power relay on Earth. Odo then comes up with another question in need of an answer: Red Squad was beamed back to Starfleet Academy twenty-six minutes after the state of emergency was declared, unlike the rest of Starfleet. Upon learning that Red Squad is composed of cadets, Odo reasons that Starfleet wanted them out of harm's way… only for Sisko to immediately point out that Red Squad was re-mobilized a short time later.
Back at Starfleet Headquarters, Sisko (with Odo standing out of sight) contacts the commandant of Starfleet Academy about the transporter record he found, and the commandant immediately becomes guarded and asks if anyone else knows about it… specifically, Admiral Leyton. Sisko replies that he doesn't, and the commandant orders Sisko to destroy the record. Playing along, Sisko tells him it'll immediately be taken care of, and the commandant notes that despite his concerns, Red Squad performed their mission admirably. The call ends, and Odo notes that instead of answers all they've got are a lot more questions.
Sometime later, Sisko goes to New Orleans and is discussing his frame of mind with his father when Nog steps up to his table. It seems that Sisko wants to meet some of the members of Red Squad, and wants Nog to make an introduction. However, Nog is reluctant to disclose any information, as the names on Red Squad's roster are supposed to be a secret and he worries that revealing a name could scupper his chances of getting into the group. Sisko tells Nog that he seems to be under the mistaken impression that he's asking a favor, which he isn't… and directly orders Nog to give him a name, which settles that.
At Starfleet Academy, Sisko holds an interview with one Cadet Riley Shepard. After stating that Red Squad had been briefed to expect that no record would be made of their activity, Shepard explains Red Squad's involvement with the power outage: in brief, they were the ones who did all of the hands-on work to make it happen.
Sisko goes back to New Orleans with Odo and the two of them discuss what Sisko has learned. After ruling out Dominion involvement (since nothing has been accomplished through the incident except the fortification of Earth) and agreeing that Shepard can't be lying, Sisko reluctantly agrees with Odo's belief that the state of emergency was engineered by a clique of Starfleet officers led by Leyton, with the intent of staging a coup d'état.
Sisko and Odo go to Paris and take what information they have to Federation President, Jaresh-Inyo, who is skeptical and shocked. Odo points out that just after it was known that Changelings had infiltrated the Alpha Quadrant, Leyton came to Jaresh-Inyo recommending heavy security measures, a recommendation that was rejected at the time for being too severe. It seems that Leyton used the conference bombing to try to get his security protocols authorized and, dissatisfied at the limited power he was given, he and his supporters sabotaged the power grid to make a Dominion invasion appear imminent.
Sisko also notes that, although it was an act of treason, Leyton likely sees it as an act of patriotism – albeit an extreme one. Jaresh-Inyo admits the accusation is plausible, but needs proof, and Sisko suggests seeing what happens if Leyton is ordered to withdraw the troops he's deployed. If he refuses, then that is the proof Jaresh-Inyo needs. If he agrees, then Sisko will admit he was wrong and will offer his resignation.
Jaresh-Inyo reminds Sisko and Odo that the public overwhelmingly supports the increased security measures, and if they try to scale it back against Leyton's recommendations, it would be a political disaster with the potential to start a planet-wide riot. Sisko offers to bring irrefutable evidence of a plot, and Jaresh-Inyo promises that with that, he would certainly put a stop to it and order Leyton to resign.
Back in New Orleans, Sisko is waiting in his father's restaurant for Nog and Cadet Shepard. Nog eventually arrives, but without Shepard in tow – apparently Shepard was nowhere to be found, along with the rest of Red Squad. The whole squad has apparently been sent on a training exercise. Just after making that announcement, Leyton steps into the restaurant and states that neither Shepard nor the rest of Red Squad will be returning to Earth anytime soon. Leyton then orders Nog back to his quarters at the Academy.
A conversation ensues in which Leyton admits to what he is doing, and that he involved Sisko because the credibility of the latter's field experience with the Dominion was vital to Leyton's plan. Leyton goes on to lecture Sisko about the importance of the chain of command, and point out that he still needs Sisko's cooperation. Sisko refuses, and Leyton orders him back to Deep Space 9, telling him he is not needed on Earth any more.
Sometime later, Sisko is outside with his thoughts when a man appearing to be Miles O'Brien (but who is actually a Changeling) approaches him and claims that there are only four Changelings on Earth (not counting Odo). He claims that four is more than enough, as the Changelings don't fear their enemies as much as they are feared. It is this fear that will eventually destroy Starfleet. Promising that the Changelings have barely begun with their plans for Earth and the rest of the Alpha Quadrant, O'Brien's doppelgänger leaves.
After getting some advice from his father, Sisko contacts Kira Nerys through a Bajoran frequency and starts putting a plan into motion.
At Starfleet Headquarters, Odo and Sisko start reviewing records of personnel transfers, and discover that "Leyton's been a busy man", reassigning "over four hundred officers in the past three weeks" with each officer having served under Leyton at some point. Further examination of the records reveals that another batch of transfers will take effect just days hence, not long before Jaresh-Inyo is due to make an important speech. Sisko asks Odo to get Jake and Joseph off Earth to keep them safe, as he is visited by Benteen, who has just been promoted by Leyton to captain of the Lakota.
When Sisko goes to Jaresh-Inyo to deliver his evidence of the plot, he finds Admiral Leyton waiting for him. Sisko's given a blood screening, and it turns up a false positive. Sisko throws his PADD on Jaresh-Inyo's desk as Starfleet security officers place him under arrest.
Sisko is sent back to Starfleet Headquarters and placed in detention, and from the other side of his holding cell's force field, Leyton promises that Sisko will be freed in a few days after the President's speech… or rather, after Leyton's speech. He intends to remove Jaresh-Inyo from office and take control of Earth himself for however long it takes to eliminate the Changeling threat – years if necessary. Sisko knows that once Leyton seizes power, he'll likely never give it up.
Later, when a security tech comes through the brig to take blood screenings, Odo appears and disables the guards, as well as the tech whose cart he'd hitched a ride on in some other form. While bypassing the force field controls, Odo explains that the random opening and closing of the Bajoran wormhole, which precipitated the current phase of the crisis, was caused by the communications relay in the Gamma Quadrant being fixed with a subspace modulator. Also, the DS9 crew have arrested the individual responsible, one Lieutenant Arriaga, who is willing to testify his part in the plot and is on the way to Earth aboard the USS Defiant. Sisko orders Odo to warn Jaresh-Inyo, and goes to Leyton's office carrying a phaser he took from one of the disabled guards.
Sisko arrives at Leyton's office demanding his resignation from Starfleet and informs him of Arriaga's impending arrival, Leyton is amused but unimpressed. As it turns out the USS Lakota is ordered to intercept the Defiant – its crew has been told that the Defiant is crewed by Changelings.
On the Defiant, which is commanded by Worf, the Lakota crew hails and demand that the ship drop its shields and prepare to be boarded as the ship raises shields and charges weapons.
In Leyton's office, Sisko tries to convince Leyton that other Federation worlds will never accept Starfleet overthrowing their legitimately elected president or establishing of what will essentially be a dictatorship on Earth. It could even cause a civil war. Having the Lakota fire on the Defiant is the first step down that dark path, but Leyton refuses to cancel the order.
On the Defiant, the crew wonder if the Lakota crew are bluffing, however, once they enter weapons range, they are fired upon by the Excelsior-class ship. Chief O'Brien notes that the Lakota seems to have had its weapons upgraded, and unwilling to risk dropping shields to cloak and unsure they can outrun the Lakota, the crew's only option is to fight their way out.
Leyton notes the irony that Sisko had originally been more interested in engineering than he was at command, until Leyton made him first officer, but notes that he didn't teach Ben about loyalty. Sisko balks at this, feeling Leyton is the last person to speak to him about loyalty when he's broken his oath to Starfleet and ordered one of its ships to fire on another.
Just then, Benteen hails Leyton, and the admiral, still at phaser-point, answers. Benteen informs him they've been unable to stop the Defiant due to her ablative armor (the equipping of which wasn't on the record to Starfleet operations). Leyton amends his orders so that the Defiant isn't to be disabled, but destroyed at any cost. Benteen is shocked, and Sisko pleads with her not to kill the Starfleet officers serving on the Defiant since she knows there's no Changelings on board. Benteen ends the transmission after Leyton reminds her of her orders.
Both the Defiant and the Lakota have been badly damaged, and a good hit from either will finish the other off. The Defiant crew are unwilling to use deadly force against the other crew… and it seems the Lakota crew feel the same as the ship backs off and hails.
Sisko is contacted by Worf, who tells him the Lakota is escorting the Defiant to Earth, however, both ships suffered casualties. Sisko tells Leyton that by now, Odo will have presented his evidence to Jaresh-Inyo… his plot is over. Leyton still refuses to accept this, and tells Sisko he has enough loyal officers left to make a fight of it. Sisko tells him he'll be fighting Starfleet now as well and Benteen, who was his closest ally, has already abandoned him so it'll be only a matter of time before the others do too. Finally accepting he's been beaten, Leyton takes off his insignia pins and leaves his office to be arrested, but hopes that Sisko isn't making a mistake.
The state of emergency is soon lifted, and Earth slowly begins to return to normal. Odo points out to everyone there are still Changelings on Earth, but no one is willing to let them change the way they live… if the Dominion wants to destroy Earth, they have to do it themselves. With that, Ben and Jake say a fond farewell to Joseph and with Odo, begin their trip back to Deep Space 9, while Joseph then opens the restaurant and welcomes in customers as life returns to normal on Earth.
"Admiral Leyton may be somewhat grating and inflexible at times, but for a man of his accomplishments, a man of his distinguished record, to commit treason?"
"I'm sure the admiral doesn't see it as treason! He would probably defend it as a desperate act of patriotism."
- - Jaresh-Inyo and Sisko
"The names of Red Squad members are supposed to be secret."
"But you know who they are."
"It's not easy keeping secrets from a Ferengi. But I feel funny about telling anyone else. Besides, if they found out I told you who they were, I'd never get in."
"Cadet, you are obviously under the mistaken impression that I'm asking a favor. I want a name, and I want it now, and that is an order! Understood, Mr. Nog?"
- - Nog and Sisko, about Red Squad
"So you're willing to destroy paradise in order to save it?"
- - Sisko to Leyton
"In the end, it's your fear that will destroy you."
- - O'Brien Changeling to Sisko
"I never knew it was so easy to break into classified Starfleet files."
"Everything I know I learned from Quark."
- - Sisko and Odo
"Paradise has never seemed so well-armed."
- - Sisko, criticizing the security measures instituted on Earth in the name of civil defense
"Don't kid yourself, Ben. This Pandora's Box of yours...we're opening it together."
- - Admiral Leyton, when Ben refuses to order the Defiant to stand down
"You want to talk to me about loyalty?! After you broke your oath with the Federation, lied to the people of Earth, ordered one of our own starships to fire on another! You don't have the right!!"
"You don't understand me at all, do you?!"
"I used to think I did! I used to think you were a man of principles, a man of honor! I see that I was mistaken!"
- - Sisko and Leyton
"It's not over! I have enough loyal officers to make a fight of it!"
"Who will you fight? Starfleet? The Federation? Don't you see, Admiral? You're fighting the wrong war!"
- - Leyton and Sisko
"If the Changelings want to destroy what we've built here, they're going to have to do it themselves. We will not do it for them."
- - Benjamin Sisko
Story and script
- This episode was originally supposed to be the opening episode of the fourth season, with "Homefront" being the finale of the third season. Towards the end of season 3 however, Paramount said they didn't want a cliffhanger finale, but something more open-ended leading into season 4. The writers' solution was "The Adversary", a finale which put them in a position to go in any number of alternative directions come the new season. Then, during the hiatus between season 3 and season 4, Paramount instructed the writers to do "something" to shake up the show for the fourth season, which ultimately led to the introduction of the Klingons and the episode "The Way of the Warrior". All of these developments meant that the "Homefront"/"Paradise Lost" story was pushed back into the middle of the fourth season. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The title of this episode, much like the graffiti on the entrance to Paradise City, both take their name from a 17th century poem written by the English poet John Milton.
- Ira Steven Behr's favorite line in this episode is "Paradise never seemed so well armed". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) This line, and the title of the episode itself, recalls Sisko's line in "The Maquis, Part II", "it's easy to be a saint in paradise", thus continuing Behr's examination of the core of Gene Roddenberry's utopia.
- In a deleted or unfilmed scene, Jake and Joseph were to leave Earth for Mars from Bracketville Spaceport. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- Writer Tracy Tormé tried to use a similar concept in the TNG episode, "Conspiracy". The original version of that script did not feature alien parasites; the conspiracy in question was simply a military coup within Starfleet. (citation needed • edit)
- Although it is almost impossible to make them out, outside Starfleet Command are a number of statues of famous starships, including the Enterprise from the Original Series. Production designer Herman Zimmerman used Galoob toys as the statues. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- When Odo rescues Sisko he uses what appears to be a Vulcan nerve pinch. The reason the producers had him do this was simple: "we ran out of money for the morphs" explains Robert Hewitt Wolfe. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- As a direct result of the show being pushed back into mid-season when there wasn't too much money around, Robert Hewitt Wolfe was disappointed with the outcome of the two-parter; "If it hadn't been for "The Way of the Warrior", we would have had the necessary money to spend on this two-parter". As well as that, he was disappointed with its positioning within the season; "It wasn't in sweeps. It came out of the middle of nowhere". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- After the episode aired, Ira Steven Behr keeps a note pinned to his office wall which reads "Remember Paradise Lost". The reason, Behr explains, is "to remind me how we'd screwed up". As with "Homefront", Behr blames a lack of money, but in this case, the problems created by budgetary constraints were far more important than in the first episode; "We cut down on opticals in the final space scene, which was a mistake. And we cut down on extras, in terms of showing the occupying Starfleet force on the streets of Earth. To this day, I just can't tell you how aggravated it makes me. It just drives me crazy." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Behr also commented "I did quite like the Oliver Stone salute scene with the shape-shifter. Colm said. 'I have a take on this. I hope you like it'. It was quite the odd little shape-shifter and he had some fun with it. The whole scene was really well nicely done, as was everything with Sisko and his father". (The Producer's View, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, issue 10)
- Red Squad was seen again in the sixth season episode "Valiant", in which David Drew Gallagher reprised the role of Riley Shepard.
- Susan Gibney, who plays Benteen, previously portrayed Dr. Leah Brahms in TNG: "Booby Trap" and TNG: "Galaxy's Child". She was also considered for the role of Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager.
- This is the only episode of the series where Sisko wears the TNG-style uniform for the duration. The only time he is seen wearing his regular DS9-style uniform is in the recap of the previous episode.
- This is the last episode to be directed by Reza Badiyi.
- The events of this episode (a Starfleet admiral attempting a military coup) are similar to the plot of Pocket TOS: Dreadnought!, a Template:Novels by Diane Carey, written about a decade prior to DS9's production. The idea also was part of the original concept for the early TNG episode "Conspiracy".
- Worf's line that "Bartlett and Ramsey are dead, sir" may be an in-joke reference to the 1963 war film The Great Escape, as the two leaders of the escaping Allied POWs were Sqn. Ldr. Roger Bartlett (played by Sir Richard Attenborough), and Gp. Capt. Ramsey (played by James Donald).
- The names of the former crew members of the USS Okinawa are all named after characters from Joseph Heller's famous 1961 novel Catch 22.
- A reference to the number 47 is in the text of the transfer orders for "Red Squad" which designates them as "Cadet Training Squadron 47". Additionally, Sisko states that they returned to base after sabotaging the power relay at 1947 hours.
- Excluding the recap from "Homefront" and Kira seen in Ops through Sisko's desktop monitor, this is the third out of four DS9 episodes that do not have any scenes set on the station. The other three are "Past Tense, Part I", "Past Tense, Part II" and "Children of Time".
- Quark (Armin Shimerman) does not appear in this episode.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.6, 3 June 1996
- As part of the DS9 Season 4 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf
- Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien and O'Brien Changeling
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
- Robert Foxworth as Admiral Leyton
- Herschel Sparber as Jaresh-Inyo
- Susan Gibney as Benteen
- Aron Eisenberg as Nog
- David Drew Gallagher as Riley Aldrin Shepard
- Mina Badie as a security officer
- Rudolph Willrich as Bolian commandant
- Jack Janda as a Sisko's Creole Kitchen waiter
- David B. Levinson as a Sisko's Creole Kitchen waiter
- Dennis Madalone as a Human operations officer
- Shannon Thornton as a Sisko's Creole Kitchen waitress
- Mark Zilbert as a Starfleet officer
- Unknown performers as Two Lakota officers
2302; ablative armor; accusation; Antwerp Conference; Arriaga; artichoke; asteroid belt; authorization code; Bajoran; Bajoran wormhole; bar; Bartlett; Beumont, Neffie; beer; blackout; Bolian tonic water; cart; central computer network; civil war; cloaking device; coffee; Commander in Chief; Commander, Starfleet; constable; Corps of Cadets; Creole food; CTS-47; cup; darts; deflector shield; dissenter; Division of Planetary Operations; Dominion; Dominion cold war; Earth; engineering; exaggeration; Excelsior-class; executive officer; Federation; Federation government; Federation-Tzenkethi War; Ferengi; furniture; global power grid; invasion; Lakota, USS; Lakota casualties; Lakota operations division crewmen; Lisbon; local time; Luna; military dictatorship; oath; "old man"; OIC; okra; Okinawa, USS; overstatement; Pacific Standard Time; PADD; Pandora's Box; Paris; pasta boudin; patriotism; Phillips, Zoey; Phillips' parents; pint; plot; politics; power grid; Promenade; quantum torpedo; Quark; Ramsey; ranking officer; ready room; Red Squad; relay satellite; replicator; resignation; restart sequencer; restaurant; riot; satellite; San Francisco; SATCOM 5; Sector 001; security chief; security lockout; security officer; service number; ship design; sickbay; sleep; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Headquarters; Starfleet Operations; subspace modulator; tactical operations; terrorism; transporter log; treason; tube grubs; vacation; vampire; warp drive; year
Personnel assignment log: adjutant; Administrative Operations; Ahn-Ahn; Alacorn, I.; Alapa; Alapag, C.; Banda, A.; Bell, P.; Brinkerhams; Byard, J.; Cabrera, I.; Carriere, M.; Ceja, I.; Combat Information Center; Comeau, W.; Cornelius, R.; Daneeka; Daviomeisi; Deguzman, A.; Deleonvive, J.; Delosreyes, R.; Dopter, B.; Dunsel, W.; Edzhuayan, I.; Efland, Y.; Efro; Egan, I.; Elizarraaaz, F.; Engineering Operations; Eroreich, U.; Espevik, I.; Estradajem, A.; Facilities; Faith, G.; Feinberg, I.; Felchin; Ferro, Z.; Firoi; Fleet Supply Office; hygienist; Maintenance; Maraangopol; McWatt, I.; Middike, T.; Mies, W.; Miev, L.; Mignacca, G.; Miller, T.; Moodus, I.; Mooneyham, B.; Moore, B.; Nakonse, K.; Njoka; Nuttman, M.; Nyquist, M.; Nzenwa, J.; Ochray, I.; Okayama, T.; Ombudsman; Orr, I.; Osborn, B.; Pacheco, P.; Personnel Deployment; Planetary Defense Systems; Polanco, O.; Profitt, M.; Ramcharan; Rechelia, R.; Rhone-Nowlan; Roto, R.; Salter; Santiago, D.; Sheeran, I.; Snowdon, T.; Stohatta, A.; Starfleet Dental; Starfleet Medical; Strategic Operations; Sweem; Utopia Planitia
- "Paradise Lost" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Paradise Lost" at Wikipedia
- "Paradise Lost" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
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