(written from a Production point of view)
Sisko leads an invasion of Cardassian territory, ignoring a warning from the Prophets, with fatal consequences for a member of the DS9 crew. (Season finale)
On Deep Space 9, the Bajorans are celebrating the Gratitude Festival. In the station's Bajoran temple, Kira Nerys approaches Benjamin Sisko and thanks the Emissary of the Prophets for holding the festival on Deep Space 9, despite the fact the Dominion War is raging. However, Odo is not very grateful at the moment as he and Kira have had their first argument; Odo arrested a Vedek for fundraising on the Promenade and Kira is angry as the Vedek was collecting for flood victims. Odo tries to explain but Kira doesn't want to hear it, leaving the constable sure their relationship is over.
On a more military note, Captain Sisko is awarded the Christopher Pike Medal of Valor in recognition of his remarkable leadership and meritorious conduct against the enemy, and in particular for acts of personal bravery displayed during the battle to retake Deep Space 9. The ceremony is followed by a briefing in the wardroom by Admiral Ross. Now that the Romulans have joined the alliance against the Dominion, Starfleet has decided to go on an offensive war and they have chosen Captain Sisko to plan the invasion of Cardassia.
At about the same time, Quark and Julian Bashir are waiting for Worf and Dax to emerge from their holosuite. When they emerge, Dax tells them that she and Worf have decided to try for a baby, notwithstanding Bashir's concerns that a Klingon and Trill may not be able to have children. Dax is still hopeful, while Quark and Bashir are left miserable upon realizing that any sliver of a chance they had to win Jadzia's heart is now completely gone. Quark remarks that it was bad enough that she married that "Klingon psychopath", but that a baby now means that the marriage is going to last a little bit longer than expected.
Meanwhile, Sisko and Ross are discussing the attack on Cardassia with General Martok, emphasizing the importance of bringing the Romulans aboard. Martok is not happy about the prospects of working with the Romulans as he finds them arrogant and untrustworthy, but Ross insists that without their help, the Federation has little chance of success. Martok bellows that they will succeed. He then goes on to tell Sisko and Ross that at this time next year, the three of them will drink bloodwine in the halls of Cardassian Central Command.
Meanwhile, on Cardassia, Weyoun and Damar discuss the weak defense of the Chin'toka system following the transfer of forces to the Romulan front. While Weyoun is worried, Damar is confident due to the recent construction of Cardassian orbital weapon platforms, which – in addition to being fully automated – also have highly effective weapons and defense systems. However the discussion is interrupted when Gul Dukat arrives requesting a Bajoran artifact that was stolen during the Occupation, as well as swearing vengeance on Captain Sisko. Dukat says that he doesn't hold Damar responsible for Ziyal's death, as he believes that Sisko was behind it all to begin with. He says that he no longer has a need for conquest and power, and that he in fact exists in a state of "complete clarity" which he wishes to share with the universe. Weyoun ridicules Dukat for his petty thirst for revenge, saying that he indeed has changed: from being a self-important egotist to a self-deluded madman. Before he is removed, he says that the artifact he is after will make it possible for Dominion reinforcements to come through the wormhole so that they can get rid of Sisko and the Federation once and for all. This claim grabs the attention of Weyoun.
On Deep Space 9, Sisko and Ross, together with Martok and Worf try to convince the Romulans about the attack. The Romulans and Klingons exchange insults and bicker with one another, until Sisko reminds them that they are allies. The Romulan senator is not quite convinced that an attack on Cardassia would be wise, but the adamant Starfleet officers argue that in order to achieve a lasting victory, they need to hit the Dominion hard by demolishing their shipyards, their weapons plants, and their cloning facilities so as to force them to retreat deeper and deeper into their own territory until Federation ships can surround their headquarters on Cardassia Prime. It will be difficult, Sisko admits, but it is the only way to drive the Dominion out of the Alpha Quadrant, a goal the Federation, the Klingons, and the Romulans all share.
Meanwhile, Quark and Bashir, still feeling miserable about what Dax just told them, decide to drown their sorrows by going to a holosuite to seek counsel from the wise Vic Fontaine, who serenades them with just about the most appropriate song: "Here's to the Losers". At the same time, Benjamin Sisko is having dinner with his son and since the captain "did not overcook the rice", Jake understands that something big is preparing, and asks his father if he can come along. He wants to write about what is happening but Sisko doesn't want Jake anywhere near the war. In the end, however, acquiesces when he realizes that no matter what he does, he won't be able to keep his son away from the action. He asks him to pack and get ready. Jake is enthused but Sisko is worried. As soon as Jake leaves, the Prophets contact Sisko and advise against the Emissary leaving the station and engaging in this war. They don't tell him why, but they are clear about what they don't want him to do.
On the station, Captain Sisko has received information regarding the orbital weapon platforms. It turns out that the Dominion has placed hundreds of them along the Chin'toka system, concluding that this must be the place they have to attack first. Fortunately, the Romulan Star Empire has agreed to join the invasion of Cardassia. They decide that the attack will happen the next day. After the briefing, Sisko tells Admiral Ross about the vision he had and about the warning he received from the Prophets to not join the mission. Ross gives the captain short shrift about this and reminds him that Starfleet is unhappy with a Starfleet captain being a religious icon and tells him to choose between the two: he is either the Emissary or a Starfleet captain; he cannot be both. Captain Sisko decides his loyalties lie with Starfleet and agrees to lead the invasion.
On Cardassia, Weyoun and Damar discuss the planned attack by the Federation and the Romulans when Dukat storms in, celebrating that he finally acquired the artifact he was talking about. He tells them that after studying Bajoran culture and history over the past few months he has come to realize that the wormhole is not only the gateway to the Gamma Quadrant but also the temple of the Prophets who protect the Bajoran people. He says they wasted their time fighting the Bajorans. Instead they should have fought their gods. He then recites an incantation and breaks the artifact, releasing a Pah-wraith that possesses him.
The next morning, Kira visits Odo in his office to say goodbye, as she is leaving with the task force the next morning. Odo is still hung up on their fight a few days ago and assumes their relationship is over, but Kira assures him that simply because they fought (and she still thinks she's right), it does not mean that they are broken up and that she doesn't love him anymore. She suggests they spend their last night together doing something special.
The other senior officers – along with Elim Garak and Jake – prepare to leave as well. Captain Sisko leaves Dax in charge of the station. Dax and Worf, after discussing the difficulties they could face in having children, share a loving embrace. Dax says she wishes she could go with him, but Worf says that she will be with him as she is always in his heart. The USS Defiant assumes tactical formation with the other ships in the fleet and together they set a course for Cardassia.
The combined fleet arrive at Chin'toka, and the Jem'Hadar inflict heavy losses on the Klingons with suicide runs on their ships. Despite this, Martok orders the fleet to fire on the weapon platforms. However only a few are taken out before they become active. Garak discovers that none of the platforms has a power generator, meaning they must all have a central source. Captain Sisko orders it found and destroyed.
Aboard Deep Space 9, Doctor Bashir informs Dax while they walk together on the Promenade that his efforts to enable Dax and Worf to have children have worked better than expected, and Dax should have no problems getting pregnant. Dax couldn't be happier about what the doctor tells her and decides to go to the Bajoran Shrine, as Kira earlier asked the Prophets to help her and Worf have children, to thank them. She goes and kneels before the Orb of Contemplation and before she can say thank you to what she still believes to be wormhole aliens, the candles go out and Dukat appears in the temple behind her. As Dax reaches for her phaser, he suddenly picks her up with a fiery energy wave and then drops her body on the ground. He then effortlessly reaches through the force field and opens the Orb casing, upon which the Pah-wraith transfers from his body into the Orb, causing it to turn black.
Outside the station, the wormhole opens and then seals itself. At the same time as the wormhole collapses, Captain Sisko suddenly feels a jolt and senses that something is very wrong. He says that the Prophets tried to reach out to him. Kira is alerted but stays calm. Just as O'Brien has found the platforms' generator on a small asteroidal moon around one of the two planets in the system, Jake is forced to help his father to his quarters as Sisko seems unable to maintain himself. Kira then assumes command of the Defiant.
On DS9, after the Pah-wraith has left Dukat's body, Dukat kneels in front of Jadzia's body; before beaming out, he touches her head gently and says that, for whatever it's worth, he never meant her any harm.
Flanked by an Excelsior-class ship and a Bird-of-Prey, the Defiant attacks the generator but is unable to penetrate its shields. Chief O'Brien causes the weapon platforms to fire on their own source by imprinting a fake Federation warp signature on the asteroid. His plan works, and the platforms lose all power. The Alliance destroys the platforms and proceeds to take the system as General Martok immediately orders ground troops onto both planets in the system. But the joy quickly evaporates when the Defiant receives a priority one message from Bashir on Deep Space 9.
On Cardassia, Weyoun is furious that not only the Chin'toka system has been overrun by the Federation, but also that the wormhole has vanished along with any hope of bringing reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant. Dukat is not worried at all, stating that both Sisko and the Bajorans have now been cut off from their gods, perhaps forever; without the Prophets, he assures Weyoun and Damar, Sisko is simply just another Starfleet captain. He guarantees that this outcome will help the Dominion a great deal.
The Defiant returns to DS9 and as soon as it docks, Worf rushes to the infirmary. Sisko is told by a little girl that all the orbs have gone black. She asks Sisko to find the Prophets and bring them back. With many Bajorans watching, Sisko promises to try. Everyone heads into the infirmary, where Odo and Quark are already waiting anxiously. Dr. Bashir emerges from surgery and sadly informs everyone that while he managed to save the Dax symbiont, which needs to be returned to Trill as quickly as possible, nothing could be done for Jadzia. Everyone is stunned.
As Sisko looks on, Worf and Jadzia share their final words, as she regrets that the two will now never have children. Jadzia touches Worf's face and as she takes her last breath, she says that their baby would have been beautiful. Worf howls in the Klingon tradition to let the spirits know that Jadzia is on her way to Sto-vo-kor, however a devastated Captain Sisko can do nothing but watch and gently caress her face.
Later, Captain Sisko speaks to Jadzia as she lies in her coffin. He tells her that while Curzon was his mentor, she has been his friend and that he is going to miss her. He regrets not having listened to the Prophets and gone on the mission. He blames himself for her death, stating that maybe if he had listened to the Prophets, she would likely be alive now. It seems that the Prophets have abandoned the Bajorans and him. He calls out to her; telling her that he needs her guidance now more than ever. He needs to know how to make it right again as he failed both as the Emissary and – for the first time in his life – he also failed in his duty as a Starfleet officer. He tells her that he has to get his head together again and think, but he also knows he needs to get away from the station.
Sisko decides to take an extended leave of absence and says farewell to his crew in Ops. When asked by Dr. Bashir when he plans to return, he replies that he doesn't know. He thanks all of his friends for everything, and then he and Jake take off for Earth.
Entering Sisko's office, Kira notices that the captain has taken his cherished baseball with him, indicating that he doesn't know if he'll ever return to the station again.
"It is a private matter."
"We're thinking about having a baby."
"It was a private matter."
- - Worf and Jadzia Dax
- - Martok, to Sisko and Admiral Ross
"We're in the middle of a life-and-death struggle for the control of the entire Alpha Quadrant and all you care about is quenching your petty thirst for revenge! You haven't changed a bit, have you?"
"On the contrary. I'm a new man. I no longer have a need for conquest or power. I'm far beyond all that! I exist in a state of complete clarity, a clarity I intend to share with the universe!"
"You're right, Dukat, you have changed! You've gone from being a self-important egoist to a self-deluded madman – I hardly call that an improvement!"
- - Weyoun and Dukat
"Why did you come?"
"Isn't it obvious? To give you what you desire above all else. The Alpha Quadrant. All I need is a certain Bajoran artifact. One of the many the Cardassians appropriated during the Occupation."
"And how is this artifact going to help us?"
"Let's just say it will make it possible for Dominion reinforcements to come through that wormhole and destroy Captain Benjamin Sisko and the Federation once and for all."
- - Damar, Dukat and Weyoun
"It's tough to lose a woman like Dax."
"I hate to break it to you, pallie, but you lost her a long time ago. You both did. But lucky for you, space is big. There are a lot of other nice girls out there, with or without spots. Capisce?"
- - Julian Bashir and Vic Fontaine, about Jadzia Dax
"Why is it so dangerous to leave? And how will it affect Bajor? You have to tell me!"
- - Benjamin Sisko, to the Prophets
"The Prophets don't see me as a Starfleet Captain. They see me as their Emissary."
"That's the problem, isn't it? And for the past six years, you've tried to be both. And up to now, I've been patient. I've indulged you. I've gone out on a limb for you many times, but this is it. You need to make a decision. You are either the Emissary or a Stafleet captain. You can't be both."
"I'll… I'll be on the Defiant bridge at 0500."
- - Sisko and Ross
"Over the past few months I've immersed myself in the study of the ancient Bajoran texts. And I've come to realize that the wormhole is much more than the gateway to the Gamma Quadrant. It's the temple of the Prophets! It's from there that they smile benevolently down on Bajor. It's from there that they protect that world and its people. The sad truth is: we wasted our time fighting the Bajorans when we should have been fighting their gods."
"How do you fight a god?"
"I'll show you. You see, we have an ally we never knew we had."
- - Dukat and Damar
"Dorrah tolka bretri pah'rahn, meedor.
Dorrah tolka ullkess pah'rahn!"
- - Dukat – file info
"I'm not sure how much faith I have in this… what did he call it?"
"Pah-wraiths and Prophets?! All this talk of gods strikes me as nothing more than superstitious nonsense!"
"You believe that the Founders are gods, don't you?"
"In what way?"
"The Founders are gods."
- - Weyoun and Damar – file info
"I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly. I don't come here a lot, and to be perfectly honest, I feel more comfortable thinking of you as wormhole aliens, but Kira believes you're much more than that. Maybe she's right. I don't know. But if you are Prophets, and you're listening, I just want to say…"
- - Jadzia Dax – file info
"I know this is small comfort, but I never intended you any harm."
- - Dukat, to the fallen body of Jadzia Dax – file info
"This is a disaster! Federation soldiers have landed on Cardassian soil, and now you're telling me the wormhole is gone, and with it any chance of getting reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant!!"
"I'm well aware things didn't turn out quite the way I'd planned, but I assure you we still achieved a great victory."
"Forgive me if I don't share your euphoria."
"Well, you should. The Bajoran people have been cut off from their gods… perhaps forever."
"How does that help us?"
"Because Sisko has been cut off from the Prophets as well. And without the Prophets, he's just another Starfleet Captain."
"And that's supposed to make me feel better?"
"Believe me… it will."
- - Weyoun, Dukat, and Damar – file info
"Emissary! My mother says all the Orbs are dark, that the Prophets have abandoned us. You have to find them, Emissary. You have to ask them to come back."
"I will try."
- - Saghi and Benjamin Sisko, about what happened to the Prophets – file info
"I managed to save the Dax symbiont. We have to get it to Trill as soon as possible. There was nothing I could do for Jadzia."
- - Julian Bashir to Benjamin Sisko – file info
"neH taH Qo'noS.
Hegh bat'lhqu Hoch nej maH.
neH taH Qo'noS.
yay je bat'lh manob Hegh."
- - Worf – file info
"The funeral service is due to begin in a few minutes, Jadzia, but I need to talk to you one last time. When I first met you, you told me that my relationship with Jadzia Dax wouldn't be any different than the one I had with Curzon Dax. Things didn't work out that way. I had a hell of a lot of fun with both of you. Curzon was my mentor. You… you were my friend. And I am going to miss you. I should've listened to the Prophets and not gone to Cardassia. Then maybe you'd still be alive. Dammit! Why aren't you still here, Jadzia? I need you to help me sort things out. Something's happened to the Prophets. Something… that's made them turn their backs on Bajor, and I'm responsible. And I don't know what to do about it… how to make it right again. I've failed as the Emissary, and for the first time in my life I've failed in my duty as a Starfleet officer. I need time to think… clear my head. But I can't do it here, not on the station, not now. I need to get away, and… find a way to figure out how to make things right again. I have to make things right again, Jadzia. I have to."
- - Benjamin Sisko – file info
"I was afraid of that… he's not sure he's coming back."
"What makes you say that?"
"His baseball, he took it with him."
- - Kira and Odo – file info
Story and script
- This episode was originally entitled "Tears of the Gods". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library) Another working title was "Screams Of Armageddon".
- According to Ira Steven Behr, the basic premise for this episode was very simple; "We're gonna send Sisko to Earth and all the gods will be dead." René Echevarria elaborates; "We basically knew we wanted to give Sisko a big setback, and have the Dominion attack the Prophets in some way, shape, or form." Important in the preliminary stages of formulating the idea was the episode "The Reckoning". As Echevarria explains, "By the end of that episode, time is sort of out of joint, and things are not as they were destined to be." Similarly, David Weddle, who co-wrote "The Reckoning" with Bradley Thompson, points out, "We loved the idea of the prophecy being unfulfilled. The Pah-wraiths weren't defeated and that enabled Dukat to call upon one." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) As such, this episode is something of a sequel to "The Reckoning" insofar as it examines the consequences of Kai Winn's actions, and her interruption of the battle between the Prophet and Kosst Amojan. Indeed, it is confirmed in "Shadows and Symbols" that the Pah-wraith seen in "Tears of the Prophets" is in fact Kosst Amojan.
- Originally, the story involved the USS Defiant being away from the station on a mission to attack a biogenic plant protected by a large defensive grid. However, while the Defiant was on the mission, Dukat steals a shuttle from the station and takes a chroniton bomb into the Wormhole. Dax, who had been left in charge of the station, pursues him and is somehow killed in her efforts to stop him destroying the Wormhole. However, the writers couldn't decide exactly how to kill her off. As Behr explains, "We had many discussions about what constitutes a heroic death. There were a lot of clichés to avoid. And some clichés that were necessary." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The first draft of the script by Behr and Hans Beimler changed the idea slightly, insofar as Dukat takes a chroniton generator into the Wormhole rather than a bomb. Jadzia pursues him and he simply kills her with a phaser. Michael Piller however, now acting as creative consultant on the show, disliked this scene; "I felt that they had missed an opportunity for drama and for the emotional impact of her death. It felt rushed, and you really lost the chance for a goodbye scene that would leave the audience choked up." As such, the decision was made to allow Dax to live long enough to say goodbye to Worf. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Dukat's role in the final script also changed. As Echevarria says, "Dukat had to get a shuttle, a chroniton generator, an Orb. It was all too mechanical, all comings and going in a spacecraft. It didn't have the kind of mythic proportions that we were looking for." The writers discussed how best to tackle the problem, and Ronald D. Moore suggested that Dukat somehow use a Pah-wraith to destroy the wormhole, while Echevarria suggested that Dukat actually allows himself to be possessed. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
Original story outlines
- Another story idea featured Garak in a prominent role. Ron Moore commented: "In the original outline, we had included a Garak-Kira storyline which had them going off to the Badlands in an attempt to find and intercept Dukat. Garak had been obsessively looking him for months and then got a lead on his movements which suggested he was in Dominion territory and might be crossing back over the border soon. Garak and Kira go out to the Badlands to lie in wait for him, but in the end they are tricked into capturing the wrong ship, allowing Dukat to slip past them and arrive on DS9. We dropped this story because ultimately it went nowhere and served only to make our heroes look bad. Another difference was that Dukat was originally going to steal an orb from the temple on DS9 and use it to kill the Prophets. A small squad of Jem'Hadar soldiers attack the station, causing chaos and giving Dukat time to get into the temple. Dax realizes that the attack is really a diversion and she races to the temple, finds Dukat and a few Cardassians attempting to take the orb. But she's outnumbered and soon disabled. Dukat executes her as retribution for the death of Ziyal, hoping to cause Sisko the kind of grief he has already experienced. This story was the subject of much wrangling among the staff, Michael, Rick, the studio, and just about everyone involved. In the end, we decided that the diversionary raid wasn't working and that it was hard to get Dax in the Temple by herself or even with only a couple of Starfleet security guys - if she thinks there's something really going on, why not take 20 guards with her? Also, the execution angle was dropped as too brutal and that she should at least go down with a phaser in her hand". 
- The scripting of this episode as well as discussions by senior writing staff pertaining to the death of Jadzia Dax are chronicled and partially reproduced in Star Trek: Action!, released by Pocket Books.
- Worf's farewell song to Jadzia is: "Only Qo'noS endures. All we can hope for is a glorious death. Only Qo'noS endures. In death there is victory and honor." Ira Steven Behr commented: "It's based entirely on a Native American chant, 'Only the Earth endures'. I like the thought, and it was a nice statement that was lost". Bradley Thompson translated the chant into Klingon, using The Klingon Dictionary. Behr regretted that the audience didn't get to hear the English version. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Just as it had in the fifth season finale, "Call to Arms", and just as it would in the seventh season finale, "What You Leave Behind", Sisko's baseball carries great thematic significance at the end of this episode; whereas in "Call to Arms", he had left it behind to indicate to Dukat that he would be returning to the station, in "Tears of the Prophets" he brings it back to Earth with him, suggesting to Kira that he does not know when, or indeed if, he will be returning. And in the last episode, he leaves it to her as a legacy.
- This episode marks the death of Jadzia Dax, and thus the departure of Terry Farrell from the series. Ira Behr never wanted to kill Dax at all, and he later stated, "I didn't want to kill Jadzia. To me, that had very little to do with good storytelling." (citation needed • edit) After-the-fact, Behr also related to Farrell she had consequently broken his heart, a little bit. (What We Left Behind)
- Terry Farrell likewise didn't want her character of Jadzia Dax to be killed off. Very much wanting to proceed into the seventh season, she felt heartbroken by her conclusion that she had to leave. Some of the reasons she felt she needed to go were because she kept being dismissed instead of listened to by the producers and was frustrated when one of them even told her that, if she didn't sign the contract to appear in Season 7, she would be working at Kmart instead, an incident she later referred to as "the last straw for me." Kerry McCluggage, the former chairman of Paramount Television Group, noted, "I remember distinctly, you know, one meeting where she came into my office and was crying, [….] and she said that, 'I just want out.'" (What We Left Behind) Farrell herself commented, "My heart said it was time to move on. After playing the character for six years, there's things I wish we would have done. I wish I would have had at least one fight scene this year. But there's nine major characters, so the writers can only do so much. I've had six years and one hundred fifty episodes of experience on this show, so my sadness is more in saying goodbye to the people. I don't feel cheated out of the character in the same way as I would have if the show had been canceled, because I've gotten the opportunity to play her." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The staff writers were shocked and in disbelief by Terry Farrell's departure. Ronald D. Moore related, "She's definitely coming back, I don't care what they're saying. I just refused to believe it." One of the reasons why the writing staff felt this way was because the Dax and Worf storyline was a major success. (What We Left Behind) However, it was generally agreed that the writers had little choice but to kill her character. (citation needed • edit)
- The rest of the cast were also highly surprised by Terry Farrell's decision to leave. "I can't imagine that anybody wanted her to go away," Rene Auberjonois noted. "She was good." Michael Dorn was saddened by Farrell's departure too. He remarked, "Only the people involved know the facts. We just know what people wanna tell us." (What We Left Behind)
- Of her death scene, Farrell has said, "It was really hard because my eyes wouldn't stop tearing, and it was very hard to, you know, every time Worf does that guttural scream, water would spurt out of my eyes. I don't think that on my close-up he made the sound, because it was too hard. That was very difficult." (DS9 Season 6 DVD special features: Hidden File 01)
- Although Farrell never appeared on the series again, she did reprise her role as Jadzia in the video game Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Fallen in 2000. Jadzia Dax was seen again in her and Worf's wedding picture, in "Image in the Sand" and "Penumbra", but not during the retrospective in "What You Leave Behind".
- A scene deleted from the episode saw Sisko, Worf, Garak and O'Brien selecting a Cardassian target to attack:
- The Torg'Q system was the first to be suggested by Worf, as it was the closest system along the border to Cardassia Prime, however it was also the most heavily fortified. One advantage of this fact was that the Dominion would never expect an attack there, but the disadvantage was that the element of surprise might not last long, resulting in heavy casualties.
- The Ventani system was the second target, chosen by Garak, because Ventani II was the birthplace of Tret Akleen, the father of the Cardassian Empire. Garak suggested that such a loss of sacred ground would be devastating to the Cardassians, and a great propaganda victory. Disadvantages of this target were that the system had little strategic value, and its loss would have no effect on the Jem'Hadar.
- O'Brien finally chose the Chin'toka system, because he had noticed that sensor scans of the warp signatures from the Dominion fleet stationed there was slightly different (and almost "too synchronized") than previous scans, suggesting that they were fake signatures. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- For most of the staff, the most important scene in the episode is Sisko's goodbye to Jadzia, because it explains what is going on in his mind; as Hans Beimler states, "Ira and I wanted to find the anguish of the man and focus on what it really was about. The scene had to be about some deep lasting inner truth about Sisko. We had a lot of questions to answer. Why is Sisko leaving the station? Why does he feel he has to go home? We felt that if he could answer those questions, he wouldn't need to go home, so we had to answer them for the viewer by letting them see through Sisko's eyes without being too specific as to where he is in his mind." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- In the end, despite all the problems putting the script together, Ira Behr was extremely happy with this episode; "Everything from the invasion of Cardassia to lovely scenes with Weyoun, Damar and Dukat, to Pah-wraiths and Prophet visitations. All this and Vic Fontaine too. It's an amazingly busy show that seems to be bursting at the seams. Usually, when we do something like this, it's a setup, and we pay it off later on. This time, because of Dax, in a way, we had to set it up and pay it off all in one episode. But that means you'll get a lot of bang for your buck. I think it's a wonderful entrance into the seventh and final season." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- René Echevarria didn't find memorable the circumstances involving the death of Jadzia Dax. (What We Left Behind)
- This is the 150th episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- This episode features the last chronological appearance of the second-generation TNG uniforms (first seen in TNG: "Evolution") in command red, as worn by two officers present during the briefing room scene. Two officers later appear wearing Star Trek: The Next Generation operations-gold uniforms in an establishing shot of Starfleet Headquarters in VOY: "Pathfinder", because this shot was recycled from "Homefront". William T. Riker and Deanna Troi later appear in TNG uniforms in the Star Trek: Enterprise series finale "These Are the Voyages...", although that episode took place in 2370, more than four years before the events of Tears of the Prophets.
- The blue Federation flag that graces Dax's coffin was later reused in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", in the USS Defiant's briefing room.
- When this episode concluded filming, Rene Auberjonois was overjoyed to be finished shooting his scenes as Odo, for the time being. While Ira Steven Behr was walking down to the set, Auberjonois was coming out of the soundstage. He ripped off his mask – which Behr described as "sweaty, disgusting" – and gave it to Behr, telling him to keep the mask "as a souvenir." Much to Auberjonois' amusement, Behr later said the gesture seemed as if Auberjonois was telling him to take the actor's pain, that Behr was causing Auberjonois to suffer. Behr subsequently had the mask mounted in his own library, inside his living room, and vowed to "keep it forever." (What We Left Behind)
- The title for this episode is derived from a line spoken in "Emissary", the series pilot; when presenting Sisko with an Orb for the first time, Kai Opaka describes it as "the tear of the prophet."
- It is not clear why, when Sisko was removed from the bridge of the Defiant, Kira took command of the ship and not Worf. We have seen in various episodes, and it was explicitly stated in "Apocalypse Rising", that Worf, as a Starfleet officer, is the XO of the Defiant, while Kira, as part of the Bajoran Militia, is second in command of Deep Space 9. In addition, the Bajorans had a non-aggression pact with the Dominion, although Ronald D. Moore indicated in a contemporary AOL chat that the Bajorans were combatants in the war by this point.
- This episode confirms what is alluded to in "The Reckoning"; that the Dominion have not attempted to bring any reinforcements into the Alpha Quadrant since their fleet was destroyed by the Prophets in "Sacrifice of Angels".
- This episode features the First Battle of Chin'toka.
- Martok's forecast about the victorious end of the War in one year ties into the fact that the writers expected Deep Space Nine to last one more year (making a total of seven seasons), and their intention to end the series with the end of the war and victory by the Federation, Klingon Defense Forces and Romulan Star Empire.
- The Gratitude Festival was first seen in the third season episode "Fascination".
- Bashir and Quark's reaction to the news that Dax and Worf are going to try for a baby recalls their conversation in "Change of Heart", where they both realize that they are still in love with her.
- This episode represents the first time we have seen the "real" Damar and Weyoun since "Statistical Probabilities". Both were seen as hallucinations in "Waltz", and both were seen as holograms in "In the Pale Moonlight". Weyoun was also seen as a hologram in "Inquisition". This also marks the first appearance of the Dominion Headquarters on Cardassia, which would become a major location throughout the seventh season.
- Michelle Horn (Saghi) later appears in "Penumbra".
- In the scene where the USS Defiant and the USS Hood begin firing on the moon where the power generators are located, the registry number on the front of the Defiant is NCC-74210, the registry number of the USS Valiant.
- Dukat is still using the Federation shuttle he procured from the USS Honshu in "Waltz", though his beaming into the Bajoran Temple on DS9 is accompanied by Dominion transporter effects, audio and visual.
- This episode is the last time we see Dukat in a military uniform. He is wearing civilian clothing in every subsequent appearance for the rest of the series.
- Remastered footage from the episode is featured in the documentary What We Left Behind.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 6.13, catalogue number VHR 4614, 28 December 1998
- As part of the DS9 Season 6 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Worf / Prophet
- Terry Farrell as Jadzia Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Miles O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Julian Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Kira Nerys
- Andrew J. Robinson as Elim Garak
- Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun
- Marc Alaimo as Dukat / Pah-wraith
- David Birney as Letant / Prophet
- J.G. Hertzler as Martok / Prophet
- Aron Eisenberg as Nog
- Casey Biggs as Damar
- Barry Jenner as William Ross / Prophet
Special guest star
- Charles Bazaldua as additional voice actor
- Uriah Carr as an Human operations division officer
- Robert Coffee as a Bajoran officer
- Brian Demonbreun as a Human science division officer
- Kathleen Demor as a Human security officer
- Carlyle King as additional voice actor
- Dan Magee as operations lieutenant
- Mark Newsom as a Bajoran science officer
- Richard Penn as additional voice actor
- Paige Pollack as additional voice actor
- Gary Schwartz as additional voice actor
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- Unknown performers as
- Clynell Jackson III as stand-in for Avery Brooks
- James Minor as stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Cindy Sorenson as stand-in for Michelle Horn
Alpha Quadrant; arsenal; baby; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran Gratitude Festival; Bajoran shrine; Bajoran wormhole; baseball; bloodwine; bearing; booster modulator; capisce; Cardassia Prime; Cardassians; Cardassian Central Command; Cardassian Empire; Chin'toka system (aka Chin'toka); Christopher Pike Medal of Valor; clam; cooking; cruiser; Dax, Curzon; deflector array; DNA scan; Dominion Headquarters; Dominion War; Emissary of the Prophets; euphoria; evasive maneuvers; exercise; Federation; Federation Alliance; filly; First Battle of Chin'toka; flood; foal; Founders; fundraiser; Gamma Quadrant; god; heart; "Here's to the Losers"; holosuite; hour; induction stabilizer; infirmary; Invasion of Cardassia; Irish whiskey; jackal; jambalaya; journalist; Klingons; Klingon Empire; Klingon death ritual; license; madman; mentor; metaphor; moon; New Orleans; O'Brien, Keiko; O'Brien, Kirayoshi; O'Brien, Molly; Occupation of Bajor; "Old Man"; Operation Return; orb; Orb box; Orb of Contemplation; Cardassian orbital weapon platforms; ovarian resequencing enzyme; Pah-wraiths; paragraph; path; peldor joi; plasma torpedo; propaganda; Prophets; Quark's; quote; regenerative force field; rice; Romulans; Romulan front; Romulan Senate; Romulan Star Empire; Septimus III; Sisko, Joseph; Sisko's; Solis; Solarion IV; squadron; stallion; station regulation; subspace power generator; Tora Ziyal; Trills; vedek; war; warp signature; weapon platform; wormhole alien; zoo
Akira-class (starships); Bajoran interceptor (Bajoran interceptor); D'deridex-class (warbirds); Defiant-class; Defiant, USS; destroyer; Excelsior-class (starships 1 and 2); Galaxy-class (starships 1 and 2); Galaxy, USS; Honshu shuttlecraft; Hood, USS; Jem'Hadar fighters; Klingon Bird-of-Prey (Klingon warships); Miranda-class (starships and more); Nautilus, USS; Rotarran, IKS; Saber-class (starships); ShirKahr, USS; Steamrunner-class (starship); Tian An Men, USS; Valley Forge, USS; Venture, USS; Vor'cha-class (Klingon warship)
- "Tears of the Prophets" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Tears of the Prophets" at Wikipedia
- "Tears of the Prophets" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
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