(written from a Production point of view)
When Grand Nagus Zek is kidnapped by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance while on a business trip into the "mirror universe", Quark and Rom follow him there.
Odo and Quark are conversing in Quark's as they observe Dr. Bashir and Ezri. It seems Quark is convinced that Ezri is in love with him, although Bashir – and Ezri as well, according to Odo – is not aware of it. Quark's obsession is interrupted when Rom runs in and anxiously informs him that Grand Nagus Zek has gone missing while on a business trip. He was supposed to return in five days but he has now been gone for twelve. However, Quark is not worried, assuring Rom the Nagus probably stopped on Risa. By the time he gets rid of Rom, Bashir, and Dax have left together holding hands, much to Odo's delight.
Quark goes to his quarters to pray (and pay) to the Blessed Exchequer for Bashir to be sent off Deep Space 9 for a few months. He slips the latinum slips into the shrine's lobe in the hope that Ezri will fall for him. Shortly thereafter, the door chime rings; it is Ezri Tigan, dressed in black and not acting at all like Dax. She assertively forces her way into the room, but as Quark learns in a recorded message from Zek, this is not a Vulcan Love Slave role-play but the mirror universe Ezri. In the message, Zek reveals that he is in the hands of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance in the alternate universe, not Risa as Quark originally presumed. Apparently the Nagus is being held ransom, and Quark has three days to secure a cloaking device for the Alliance or Zek will die.
Quark and Rom exit the airlock carrying the extremely heavy cloaked cloaking device they have stolen off of the IKS Rotarran, which occasionally gives off faint glimmers of light. They slowly approach the habitat ring when they hear someone coming and put the cloaking device down on the floor. Captain Sisko and General Martok walk by talking about expanding their lines from the Kalandra system, but they do a double-take as they realize Quark and Rom are idly staring at a bulkhead. Although the Ferengi give no particular reason and Sisko is confused as to what they are doing, Martok grows impatient as they do not have time for such things. Once the soldiers are gone, Quark manages to find the invisible device but burns his finger on an induction coil.
They bring the cloaking device to Ezri in cargo bay 14, where she has apparently set up the interdimensional transporter needed to travel to the alternate universe. As she gets it ready, Rom observes the striking resemblance to the Ezri he knows but believes that this Ezri is taller, which Quark doubts. However, before she leaves, Quark decides that he and Rom need to go with her to ensure they get Zek back. Ezri does not think doing so is a good idea, but as Martok angrily enters the cargo bay and comes after them, the mirror universe suddenly looks a lot more appealing. The three of them transport across with the cloaking device.
Once in the alternate universe, Rom observes how normal the cargo bay on that side looks, while Quark reminds him that Captain Sisko told them once that their counterparts are dead. The similarities soon end when Vic Fontaine – who is not a hologram – backs into the room, a phaser in each hand, followed closely by Bashir and a pair of Terrans. Fontaine, who does not know what a hologram is, is a renegade of some sort, and guns blazing, he is shot dead by Bashir in front of Quark, Rom and Ezri.
With Fontaine dead, the Terrans turn their attention to the newly-arrived trio and the hostile emotions make it clear that Bashir and Ezri know one another. However, contrary to Rom's expectations, the Terrans hold them in no higher regard. They take the Ferengi and the Trill to the brig.
Bashir and Miles O'Brien visit them in their holding cell, and are contemptuous towards Ezri for siding with the Alliance against the Terran Rebellion for money rather than loyalty. Bashir is eager to execute the Ferengi, but O'Brien observes that Quark and Rom's Sisko would not want them in the mirror universe and suggests sending them back where they came from (sans cloaking device). Quark is determined to get the Nagus back though, so they give him until morning to decide. Ezri suggests they take the offer and leave, but the Ferengi firmly refuse despite the hopeless odds.
Aboard the Alliance's massive Negh'Var-class flagship, Kira gently massages Zek's lobes, intent on securing her freedom. Zek has promised Quark and Rom will deliver the cloaking device, and so long as the Intendant believes him, she appears dedicated to pleasing the older Ferengi.
That night in the brig, Quark talks about why he wants to save Zek; not because he's married to their mother and is extremely rich, but because of loyalty. Just then, Brunt breaks into Terok Nor's brig to rescue Ezri. Unlike the "normal" Brunt, he is incredibly kind and compassionate. He even offers to take Quark and Rom along, offering them food and water on his waiting ship.
During the ride in Brunt's shuttle to meet the Alliance's regent, Rom eagerly feasts on fried tube grubs, but becomes perplexed by the paradoxical logic of the mirror universe. He and Ezri head to bed, leaving Quark and Brunt alone. Brunt then confesses he hates the Alliance, but helps them because Ezri is his closest friend – although he hints that she is "very particular" about men, when Quark inquires about the nature of their relationship.
Regent Worf, meanwhile, has discovered the sinus-clearing wonder of beetle snuff and eagerly awaits the cloaking device. His pet Elim Garak is eager to kill Intendant Kira, but Worf remains firm in making his own decisions. When Quark, Rom, Ezri, and Brunt deliver the cloaking device, Worf is quite pleased and orders it operational within the hour. Quark expects the deal to complete with the Nagus' return, but Worf does not. Kira then comes out to seductively greet Ezri and the Regent reneges on his deal with the Ferengi. Worf decided to release the Intendant for coming up with the idea to acquire the cloaking device, much to Garak's dismay. Quark and Rom are then imprisoned, but not killed.
As Zek reveals that he stole the interdimensional transporter schematics from Rom's PADD in the middle of night at their mother's home on Ferenginar and came to the mirror universe to discover new business opportunities, Brunt feels guilty about what he and Ezri have done to the innocent Ferengi. He attempts to convince Ezri to ask the Intendant to get them out of prison, but Kira enters as he is speaking and notes that she does not want to waste a favor from the regent on them. She kills Brunt by stabbing him, claiming she felt he was going to betray her and holding Ezri close.
On the bridge, an officer announces that long-range sensors have detected the ISS Defiant, so Regent Worf decides to test his new cloaking device. However, it is not yet operational, so he sends Ezri to fetch Rom. Quark claims they have no reason to help someone who has betrayed them, but Rom and Zek are eager to do whatever is necessary, as they believe Rom's help may allow them to survive. Despite her prior treachery, Ezri's motives appear genuine.
Rom grows impatient with Garak's inability to serve as his assistant, growing defiant when Garak threatens him; he knows Garak needs him more than he needs Garak. Meanwhile, Kira gets on Worf's good side in order to re-gain control of Terok Nor rather than the Alliance ships destroying it. Once Rom installs the device and the ship cloaks successfully, the satisfied regent allows Garak to "get rid of" the Ferengi as he sees fit. Ever a sadist, Garak relishes the thought, intending to test out a deadly and painful virus on them.
As usual, Quark uses his Ferengi cunning to get him out of a tight spot; when Garak enters the brig with the virus, Quark and the others slyly try to convince him that they have valuable information he should want to know and negatively compare him to "their" Garak.
The Terrans meanwhile begin to suspect something is wrong, knowing they should have caught the Ferengi ship by now. Smiley wonders if the regent has the cloaking device already, but Bashir is sure that, even if he does, it could not be functional yet.
However, the regent's ship is right behind them, matching the clueless Humans' warp speed in anticipation.
Right when the regent's ship decloaks and tries to fire on the Defiant, its power grid shuts down, having been sabotaged by Rom. The Ferengi (and Zek's silent Hupyrian servant, Maihar'du) jump Garak when the force field shuts down. Though he manages to overpower them and is ready to inject Quark with the virus, Ezri steps in and injects Garak instead.
At the airlock, Ezri and company find Kira, and both Ezri and Kira are armed. Neither appears to trust the other, but they both lower their phasers slowly. However, Ezri decides not to go with Kira, having developed a conscience. She lets the Intendant go, as she owes her that much. Zek is shocked over the fact that they've mentioned that Brunt is dead but Rom informs him, "wrong Brunt."
The Terrans return to Terok Nor triumphantly with the Regent in their custody and Ezri now on their side. After their recent ordeal, Quark offers to take Ezri back to our universe, but she decides to turn over a new leaf with the Terrans. Suddenly Leeta shows up, much to Rom's delight; however, it is the mirror Leeta, who has never seen him in her life and has been sent by O'Brien to "debrief" Ezri, as the two look seductively at one another. Rom suddenly wants to go home after seeing this, to which Quark and Zek agree wholeheartedly.
"It looks like Deep Space 9 to me."
"I suppose a cargo bay… is a cargo bay, no matter what universe you're in."
- - Rom and Quark
"Doesn't he realize she loves me?"
"I don't think he does. To be honest, I don't think she does either."
"Thanks for your support."
- - Quark and Odo, discussing Julian Bashir and Ezri Dax spending time together
"Does it have to be so rough the first time?"
- - Quark, after Mirror Ezri barges into his quarters and slams him against a wall
"My name's not Dax!"
"Oh, oh, I get it! Your clothes, the knife, this aggressive attitude, it's all role-playing! Call me 'Shmun'!"
- - Mirror Ezri and Quark
"I told you cloaking the cloaking device was a good idea."
"Brilliant. But couldn't we've done something about its weight?"
"Nope. But if it makes you feel any better, the cloaking device on the Defiant is a lot heavier."
"Tell it to my hernia."
- - Rom and Quark
" I can't believe it… Julian just shot Vic Fontaine!"
"I thought Vic was his favorite singer. No wonder they call it the alternate universe."
- - Quark and Rom
(After seeing mirror Worf for the first time) "Look who the Regent is!"
"So, who's President of the Federation? Gul Dukat!?"
- - Rom and Quark
"Are you suggesting we go back home?"
"It's the smart move."
"Do we look smart to you?"
- - Quark and Mirror Ezri
"I still don't understand why you came here in the first place."
"It's simple, really: to open new financial opportunities to the Ferengi people."
"In the alternate universe!?"
"Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time."
- - Quark, Zek, and Rom
"Where do you think you're going?"
"With him. He needs my help."
"You're a bartender, Quark. What are you going to do, mix him a drink?"
"Don't worry brother, I'm not thirsty."
- - Mirror Ezri, Quark, and Rom
"You mean we're going home?"
"No. He means you're going to DIE."
- - Rom and Mirror Garak
"I don't understand. Is this Garak of yours an assassin or a tailor?"
- - Mirror Garak and Rom, Quark, and Zek in unison
"You shouldn't have killed Brunt."
"Isn't it a little late to be developing a conscience?"
"I hope not."
- - Mirror Ezri and Intendant Kira
"Sorry, wrong Brunt."
- - Zek and Rom
"Oh, let her go. There's something about that woman I find intoxicating."
- - Zek, about Intendant Kira
"This is quite a fascinating place! Don't you agree?"
"I… wanna go home."
- - Zek and Rom
"Captain O'Brien would like to have a word with you."
- - Klingon soldier, to Regent Worf
Story and script
- This episode came about because Ira Steven Behr wanted to have a Quark/Rom show before they got into the final arc, and they chose the mirror universe as the setting because "It gave us a chance to present another example of the Ferengi having to face adversity and danger, and Quark having to rise above himself a little bit." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Behr also commented: "We all felt the need, with a small 'n', to revisit the alternate universe one last time. Let's face it, the alternate universe is such a wacky idea, and I don't care what anyone says, "Mirror, Mirror" was a wacky, silly show. Though we tried in many ways to play it with a straight face, at first, in Deep Space Nine, as time went on it just became tougher for us to not see it as what it was, which was kind of a rather flakey alternative to what we had been doing. So who better to have to have Rom and Quark? Rom is trying to figure out the alternative universe. I just thought Rom stood in for all the fans who want logic and who want it to make sense, and want it to be taken seriously, something that is inherently not that serious. He cracked me up every time he tried to label it, or tried to find a definition of it. To me it spoke a lot about the fans and Star Trek, his little arc in that show, the need for it all to make sense in the most obvious way. To really enjoy the alternate universe episodes, you just have to let go, you have to relax your sphincter a little bit and not be so anal about it, and just try to have some fun. We all love, obviously, the Intendant, and we just had a lot of fun with the characters. It was not an easy show to do, because it is tough to get the tone right. The whole thing was pretty funny". (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, No. 4/5, p. 72)
- The idea to steal the cloaked cloaking device was René Echevarria's. In order to pull off the scene, Max Grodénchik and Armin Shimerman practiced for three days, because they had to make the object look like it had weight, keep a constant distance from one another and keep their own hands at a set distance apart. In the end, the effects crew decided to have them carry a rectangular transparent filament which would be edited out in post-production. However, the scene didn't play right, and so Echevarria came up with the idea of the occasional fizzle, as seen in the finished episode. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- During the design phase of this episode, illustrator John Eaves was given the task of designing the cloaking device. When he presented his final drawing, he handed in two pictures; one of the cloaking device, and one of the cloaking device cloaked. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Ira Behr was extremely happy with how this episode turned out, primarily because, through Rom, "We finally got to question the whole lunatic idea of the mirror universe." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Nicole de Boer had an absolute blast making this episode, and afterwards she asked, "Can I play this character all the time?" Louis Race points out, "Nicole's performance gave me a real appreciation of her skill as an actress. She wasn't just playing 'Cute in Leather'. She became a much more sinister and driven, harder-edged character." de Boer herself says, "After playing sweet Ezri, I thought, 'Yeah! This is gonna be fun!' Not that Ezri was too sweet, but this was just really fun to do." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Of the mirror Brunt, Jeffrey Combs says, "Our Brunt is just out and out tenacious, mischievous, and mean. So for the mirror Brunt, I just decided to be in a good mood. He was this guy who's willing to help out in a pinch and not out to hurt anybody." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Like the episode "Rejoined", this episode also contains a kiss between two women: The Intendant and the mirror Ezri. Nana Visitor was not particularly enamored of the scene however; "I never intended for Intendant to be bisexual. I think that was an assumption that everyone, including the writers, made after the character fell for Kira in "Crossover". But that had been total narcissism on her part. It had nothing to do with sexuality." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- One actor who was happy to see an end to his mirror character was Andrew J. Robinson; "I was really, really, really happy about Garak's death. I never liked those alternate universe shows because that Garak was just a stupid bad guy. The thing that's great about our Garak is that he has subtext. There's a lot going on beneath the surface, and if you don't pay attention, then you're in trouble because he's got you. But the mirror Garak had no subtext. He was just a toady opportunist." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- LeVar Burton commented on "The Emperor's New Cloak" that he "loved doing that one. I'd been in the mirror universe before with Bareil, Kira, and the Intendant, so "The Emperor's New Cloak" was a return trip to the alternate universe for me, and a really fun trip". The episode was the tenth and final Deep Space Nine episode to be directed by LeVar Burton; the previous episode he had directed was also a mirror universe episode, "Resurrection". ("Foresight", Star Trek Monthly issue 50)
- Vic's death scene in this episode was the second time James Darren had died on-screen; the first time was in the 1961 film The Guns of Navarone. Darren commented: "The alternate universe episode was just a lot of fun". 
- This episode was the last Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode to focus on the mirror universe and the episode set furthest into the future in the mirror universe. It is also the first to visit the universe since the fourth season episode "Shattered Mirror" (the fifth season had no mirror episode, and the sixth season's episode, "Resurrection", was set in the prime universe). Furthermore, it marks the death of Elim Garak. It also marks both the introduction and death of the mirror Vic Fontaine (who only appeared in one scene) and Brunt (which continues the theme of a Ferengi dying every time we visit; in "Crossover", the mirror Quark was killed, in "Through the Looking Glass", it was Rom and in "Shattered Mirror" it was Nog.
- In what would seem to be a continuity error, the Grand Nagus tells Quark that the mirror universe does not have cloaking technology, despite the fact that in "Through the Looking Glass" Alliance ships are seen de-cloaking on screen. In later non-canon novels, this was explained as being the difference between Alliance cloaks and Romulan cloaks. However, in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly", the ISS Enterprise possesses a Suliban cloaking device over two hundred years before the Deep Space Nine mirror universe episodes.
- This episode is dedicated to the memory of Jerome Bixby, who died shortly before the airing of the episode. He is best known for writing the first mirror universe episode, TOS: "Mirror, Mirror".
- The title of the episode was obviously inspired by the 1837 Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale "The Emperor's New Clothes". The title also contains a pun on the word "Cloak" insofar as it seems to refer to a garment, but in reality it refers to the cloaking device.
- Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode.
- Kira Nerys, Worf and Miles O'Brien do not appear, only their mirror counterparts do.
- The Intendant is the only mirror universe character to appear in all five Deep Space Nine episodes to deal with that universe. The only other characters who appears in all five episodes are Benjamin Sisko and Odo.
- 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 7.6, 21 June 1999
- As part of the DS9 Season 7 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Constable Odo
- Nicole de Boer as Counselor Ezri Dax / Ezri Tigan (mirror)
- Michael Dorn as Regent Worf (mirror)
- Colm Meaney as Miles O'Brien (mirror)
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Julian Bashir / Julian Bashir (mirror)
- Nana Visitor as Intendant Kira Nerys
- Andrew J. Robinson as Elim Garak (mirror)
- Jeffrey Combs as Brunt (mirror)
- Max Grodénchik as Rom
- J.G. Hertzler as Martok
- Tiny Ron as Maihar'du
- Chase Masterson as Leeta (mirror)
Special guest star
- Uriah Carr as a Human civilian
- James Darren as Vic Fontaine
- Cathy DeBuono as M'Pella
- Brian Demonbreun as a Human science division officer
- Dieter Hornemann as a Terran rebel
- Wade Kelley as a Vulcan rebel
- Shauna Lewis as a dabo girl
- Dennis Madalone as a Terran marauder
- Angus McClellan as a Human operations division ensign
- Tom Morga as a Klingon Alliance officer
- Chuck Shanks as a Human operations division officer
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- Todd Slayton as a Klingon Alliance officer
- James Lee Stanley as a Vulcan rebel
- Susie Stillwell as a Terran rebel
- Unknown performers as
amateur; amusement; assassin; Bareil Antos; Blessed Exchequer; body temperature; boiling; bunk bed; business safari; cc; cloaking device; color; crossover; cup; Dax, Jadzia; debtor; Defiant, ISS; Dukat; engineering notebook; escape shuttle; evasive action; Federation; Ferengi; Ferengi Alliance; Ferengi shuttle; fistful; gesture; Gowron; gray; heart; hernia; hero worship; Hupyrian; Hupyrian beetle snuff; Ishka; internal organ; ionic storm; isodine coupler; latinum; "lining one's pockets"; multidimensional transporter device; notebook; organ; paint; Parada; pat on the head; power grid; President of the Federation; Quark; Quark's; ram; rebel; regent; rest and relaxation; Risa; role playing; Rom; Ross, William; Shmun; sinus; Sisko, Benjamin; sympathizer; T'lana; tea; Terok Nor; Terran Rebellion; Terran Resistance Forces; traitor; troll; Ulcartic virus; unconditional surrender; Vulcan Love Slave, Volume III (volume); wench
- "The Emperor's New Cloak" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "The Emperor's New Cloak" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "The Emperor's New Cloak" at Wikipedia
|Mirror universe-related episodes|
|ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly" • "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"|
|DIS: "Into the Forest I Go" • "Despite Yourself" • "The Wolf Inside" • "Vaulting Ambition" • "What's Past Is Prologue"|
|TOS: "Mirror, Mirror" • "The Tholian Web"|
|DS9: "Crossover" • "Through the Looking Glass" • "Shattered Mirror" • "Resurrection" • "The Emperor's New Cloak"|
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| Star Trek: Deep Space Nine|
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"Field of Fire"