(written from a Production point of view)
Sisko tries to prevent the Circle from taking the station; Kira and Dax take proof that the Cardassians are the real force that is arming the Circle to the Bajoran government. (Part 3 of 3)
As the Bajoran assault vessels approach Deep Space 9, Sisko convenes with his crew in Ops and announces his intention to stay and defend the station. He will allow anyone who wishes to leave to evacuate along with the station's civilian population, but the entire crew volunteers to stay with him and fight. Sisko tells his crew they have a lot of work to complete before the Bajoran assault vessels arrive in less than five hours.
Various station residents react differently: Quark decides to sell seats on the evacuation vessels to desperate civilians, by bribing less desperate ones (starting with his brother, Rom) to stay behind and wait for the later vessels to depart. Jake Sisko and Nog realize that they will be leaving on separate runabouts bound for two different colonies, but are determined to stay friends. Keiko O'Brien urges her husband, Miles to leave with her and their daughter Molly, but to no avail.
In Ops, Li Nalas suggests that the Lunar V base may have sub-impulse raiders that can deliver the pad evidence to the Chamber of Ministers. Unfortunately, it was ten years ago that his forces hid them from the Cardassians during the Occupation of Bajor, and it is unclear whether they are still there and capable of flight. Kira is willing to be dropped off so she can try, and Dax can help her with the technology.
Just then, Odo drags Quark in to explain his plan. Sisko angrily grabs him, but then Dr. Bashir calls in to report the consequences of Quark's dealings. A flood of passengers surround the docking bay, thanks to his careless booking. Sisko goes and unsuccessfully tries to calm them, but Li steps forward and manages to calm the crowd by making an appeal for Bajoran unity. As the last evacuation vessel departs, Quark rushes to the airlock, dragging a trunk filled with latinum and insisting that Rom is holding his seat for him. Bashir calmly informs him that Rom gave his seat away to a dabo girl, and has escaped the station and left Quark behind.
Once the occupation force from the Bajoran Militia arrives, the station appears deserted, with no sign of a Federation presence, but General Krim is highly suspicious. His forces set up a base in Ops, and find that the security net is disabled and the Federation crew is unaccounted for, leading him to believe they are still aboard. In particular, he tells the crew to scan the air ducts for organic matter, knowing all about Odo and his shape-shifting abilities.
The USS Rio Grande drops Kira and Dax off on Lunar V and, after a while, they locate one of the raiders. They get to work immediately. Dax mentions she is intent not to have to get stuck eating the local palukoo, as she worries she may be allergic, due to the biochemical reactions between host and symbiont in joined trill.
Minister Jaro hails the station, and Krim's over-confident lieutenant, Colonel Day, proudly informs him that the station has been captured, intact and without casualties. Krim takes over and tells Jaro that their victory is not complete until the station's crew has been accounted for. Jaro orders Krim to capture Li Nalas alive, knowing that he will be an invaluable ally if they can win him over to their side, but dead, he would be a martyr.
Kira and Dax manage to get the craft working, and Dax thanks Tobin Dax, whose knowledge she heavily leaned on. Dax judges the engine not to be able to come back on again, so they quickly seat and start to take off.
In Sisko's office, Krim considers his position, and that of the hiding Starfleet forces. Day wants to take them head-on, and argues with him. Just then, the station's sensor array is sabotaged. Krim's suspicions are confirmed, and the soldiers begin a sweep of the station. Meanwhile, the Starfleet crew, in civilian clothes, breaks with rations in the station's access conduits and waits for movement. Odo reports a team moving toward cargo bay 6. Sisko orders Bashir's team to meet them, and they successfully capture their first five prisoners of war.
Over the skies of Bajor, Dax is disoriented by the antiquated state of the technology, to which Kira tells her they are flying by the seat of their pants. Fighters intercept them and a dogfight ensues. Kira takes the dangerous route of going into the atmosphere in order to level the playing field.
O'Brien is working on a security panel while Li covers him. One of Krim's forces pins them in, but Sisko's group comes from the docking corridor to cover them with phaser fire and a smoke screen. O'Brien and Li escape the other direction where Odo is waiting to turn into a tripwire.
Meanwhile, Kira's plan successfully forces the two attackers to go to thrusters. Dax finds the phaser targeting lock is dead, so she'll have to aim manually. Kira flips the ship around and Dax eventually fires down one of the attackers. Unfortunately, the other one is still behind them and, with a hit to a plasma conduit, they are forced to land.
Krim's second-in-command, Day, corners Sisko, Li and O'Brien in one of Quark's holosuites. However, it is quickly revealed to be a trap, as Sisko and others are merely holograms. The door locks behind Day and his men, and Sisko's voice informs the soldiers of the Cardassians' involvement in the Circle. Day is beamed back to Ops so he may pass the information on to Krim, but Day chooses not to mention it, having dismissed it as a Federation deception. A scan for Federation communicators reveals they are somewhere in the duranium shielded conduits.
Kira was injured in the crash, and so orders Dax to get the evidence to the Chamber of Ministers herself. Dax refuses to leave her, so they hide from the search parties. Kira goes unconscious from the injuries she sustained in the crash.
On the station, Odo informs Sisko that the soldiers intend to flood the conduits with anesthizine gas. They have some time, so Sisko reveals his plan to have Li sway Krim from the "wrong side," and therefore the coup's chance of success. Li needs a little convincing, since he's not sure of his ability. Bashir and Quark's group distracts the bulk of the Bajoran forces by making some noise and surrendering. Krim orders them captured and brought to him, then retreating to the office, after which Li and Sisko capture Krim in an attempt to reason with him.
Meanwhile, Kira wakes up at Vedek Bareil's monastery. Bareil had sent out search parties for them and helps them disguise themselves as vedeks to allow them to travel to the Chamber of Ministers. Once there, Jaro immediately attempts to dismiss Kira as a troublemaker. However, she confronts him and everyone there about the Cardassian involvement, at which point Vedek Winn insists on examining the new evidence. Jaro, despite realizing that if the evidence is correct then the Circle is finished, announces that he will cooperate with any investigation. Kira stands, expecting more of a resistance, but Jaro leaves the room without a fuss.
Colonel Day returns to Ops to find Krim in conference with Sisko. Krim berates Colonel Day for withholding vital information from him, but Day scoffs that Sisko's lies were not worth passing on. Krim informs his subordinate that evidence of those "lies" has already been presented to the Provisional Government, which has recalled him to Bajor, where he expects he will be "asked" to resign his commission. Day withers under his superior's cold fury, realizing that his career is over as surely as Krim's, and the dream of an outsider-free Bajor that Jaro promised them all is now ashes.
Krim formally returns control of DS9 back to Sisko and starts to exit Ops. In helpless rage, Day draws his phaser and takes aim at Sisko. O'Brien yells out a warning, and Li Nalas jumps in front of Sisko, taking the full blast in the chest. Before Day can fire a second shot, Odo has him restrained. Li dies within a few seconds, but not before giving an ironic smile and remarking that he's "off the hook after all."
Sitting together in Quark's, Sisko, O'Brien and Kira reflect on recent events after things return to normal. Kira is devastated as she believed that when Li returned things on Bajor would get better and wishes there were more heroes like him. Sisko reminds her that she's a hero herself, but Kira can't bring herself to appreciate the compliment and leaves the bar. O'Brien questions the image that Bajorans have of Li Nalas, that everyone seems to remember him as larger than life and a military genius and yet the Li Nalas he fought with was just an ordinary man. Sisko interrupts O'Brien and states that Li Nalas was the hero of the Bajoran resistance, a man who showed amazing acts of courage, fought for his people and died to ensure their freedom. That's how the Bajorans will remember him and that's how Sisko will remember him... he deserves to be remembered that way. With that, the two officers then leave to reunite with their returning families.
"Hey! Odo! You'll miss me. You know you will – say it!"
"I'll miss you, Quark."
(stunned) "You said it!"
- - Quark and Odo
"Whoa! What's that, is that a spider or a dog?!"
- - Jadzia Dax, upon spotting a palukoo
"Has there ever been one of your kind and one of my kind who were better friends?"
"And if our fathers couldn't break us up, no stupid coupe day... c– coop day..."
"Coup d'état. It's French."
"Well, no stupid French thing will either."
- - Nog and Jake
"I may have overbooked, slightly."
- - Quark, after selling seats on the evacuation ships
"All right, let's see if we can get out of here without bouncing off any walls."
- - Kira Nerys
"We can't just let the Cardies have the wormhole!"
"They can have the whole Gamma Quadrant, for all I care!"
- - Miles O'Brien and Keiko
"You Starfleet types are too dependent on gadgets and gizmos. You lose your natural instincts for survival."
"My natural instincts for survival told me not to climb aboard this thing! I'd say they were functioning pretty well."
- - Kira Nerys and Jadzia Dax
"Can you see any openings where we can put down?"
"Six kilometers ahead at 2 o'clock."
"Uh, anything a little closer?"
"How much closer?"
"How about... right here?"
- - Kira Nerys and Jadzia Dax, moments before emergency "landing"
"You're being a fool, Dax!"
"Don't talk to your elders that way."
- - Kira and Jadzia
"This is Commander Benjamin Sisko. Please listen carefully. The Cardassians are supplying weapons for this coup."
"Ridiculous! No Bajoran would ever accept help from them."
"Jaro doesn't know. The Cardassians are using the Kressari to deliver weapons to the Circle."
"That is a Federation lie!"
"The proof is on its way to Bajor. Once this evidence is presented, the coup will end."
- - Benjamin Sisko and Day
"This is a manifest PADD from a Kressari vessel. It bears the thumbscan of a Cardassian Gul who transferred weapons to that ship. Those weapons were taken by the Kressari to the Circle. This coup will deliver Bajor back into the hands of its greatest enemies. Are you willing to live under Cardassian rule again?"
"I assure you, there is nothing to these accusations."
"Then you should have no objection to an inspection of this manifest, Minister."
- - Kira Nerys, Jaro Essa and Winn Adami
"I've done everything I can to help. I'd die for my people, but–"
"Sure you would – dying gets you off the hook. Question is, are you willing to live for your people – live the role they want you to play? That's what they need from you right now."
- - Li Nalas and Benjamin Sisko
"Off the hook, after all."
- - Li Nalas, last words
"Use your eyes, not your pants, Lieutenant."
- - Kira Nerys to Jadzia Dax
"Chief, Li Nalas was THE hero of the Bajoran Resistance. He performed extraordinary acts of courage for his people and died for their freedom. That's how the history books on Bajor will be written, and that's how I'll remember him when anyone asks."
- - Benjamin Sisko
- "The Siege" was the most demanding episode of the season for the special effects team. Gary Hutzel commented: "It was a very big show. It had an Odo morph, miniature photography combined with live action, a big phaser battle and a flying dogfight, which amounts to a lot of effects". (Cinefantastique, volume 25/volume 26)
- After receiving the script for the episode, Terry Farrell contacted Nana Visitor and said; "My God, did you see what we have to do next episode?". Farrell also commented: "because we were shooting ten pages in two days and it was a ship called a 'rider' – smaller than a runabout – we knew we'd have a lot of added actions to perform, and to try to learn our lines over external sound and all the other confusion in a small set would be hard". (The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, p 216)
- The palukoo spider model was a favorite of Joe Longo. Longo commented "The effects guy found that. He was going by a garage sale and got it for about two bucks. It wasn't hairy at the time. It was a plastic spider and mechanical, and it wasn't scary or ugly, just big. But it was exactly what I needed, so I got it from him. I took it out to the special effects shop and had them motor in it with a remote, then over to Michael Westmore and had him put all the hair on it and put in its teeth. The funny thing was, as I remember, that when we brought it up to Mr. Berman, he looked at it and he liked it. I showed him how it moved with the remote, but it was real slow. He said he'd like to see it move much faster, so I sent it back out to the shop and had them put a heavier motor in it I brought it back up for him to look at it again. When I got there, I had the secretary open the door for me and I had the spider run in the room on its own. They all did double takes and really liked it. You only see it real quickly in the show, because if you spend any amount of time on it you can tell exactly what it is". ("Joe Longo Propery Master", Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 4, August 1999, p. 53)
- Producer Peter Allan Fields disagreed with the killing of the character Li Nalas, and he felt that it trivialized the events of "The Homecoming"; "It seemed to me that killing him would just send us back to square one. Why spend three episodes with this guy, and then let him die? You're back as if he'd never been around. We could have written the whole thing without him." Writer Ira Steven Behr counters this by saying there were two primary reasons for killing the character: 1) to complete his arc there had to be a moment of true sacrifice and heroism ("I just felt that this was a man who was living a lie, and at the end there needed to be a form of redemption, one that involved some self-sacrifice."), and 2) the producers didn't want to make Li a recurring character because they weren't sure if they would be able to afford to bring back actor Richard Beymer in the future. As a result of this, the character of Shakaar was introduced in the third season to perform a similar function as that performed by Li in the Circle Trilogy. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. ?))
- Director Winrich Kolbe felt that the storyline of the show didn't warrant a third episode, and he felt it would have been better to condense the overall plot, and handle it as a two-parter; "It really appeared to me at times almost like, 'Well, we've got two-and-a-half hours here – let's make it three'." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. ?))
- Gretchen J. Berg commented: "I love seeing how Kira and Dax get stranded and have to work together. They're not talking about boys, they're two strong women who are trying to fix a problem. They rely on their brains and skills. And it's one of the things I love most about Trek". 
- Dax speaks about her second host Tobin, and he is mentioned as an excellent engineer.
- O'Brien mentions the Cardassian front. It was established in TNG: "The Wounded" that he fought in the Federation-Cardassian War.
- Referenced Rules of Acquisition: #31 ("Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother")
- Richard Beymer (Li Nalas) and Frank Langella (Minister Jaro Essa) are the only actors, besides the regulars, to appear in all three episodes in the Bajoran trilogy ("The Homecoming", "The Circle", and "The Siege").
- This episode concludes the first ever Star Trek episodic three-parter. The next was the Augment arc (ENT: "Borderland", "Cold Station 12", "The Augments") during Star Trek: Enterprise Season Four eleven years later. This was subsequently followed by two others: the Vulcan Reformation arc (ENT: "The Forge", "Awakening", "Kir'Shara") and the Romulan arc (ENT: "Babel One", "United", "The Aenar").
- Vedek Bareil's name is misspelled as "Bariel" in the opening credits.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 12, 5 April 1994.
- As part of the DS9 Season 2 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
- Rosalind Chao as Keiko O'Brien
- Steven Weber as Day
- Richard Beymer as Li Nalas
- Stephen Macht as Krim
- Max Grodénchik as Rom
- Aron Eisenberg as Nog
- Philip Anglim as Vedek Bareil
Special guest star
- Sam Alejan as sciences officer
- Majel Barrett as Narrator
- Tracee Lee Cocco as
- Brian Demonbreun as sciences officer
- Kevin Grevioux as operations officer
- Charlie-Olisa Kaine as Kelly
- Frank Langella as Jaro Essa
- Mark Lentry as command lieutenant
- David B. Levinson as Broik
- Susan Lewis as Bajoran woman
- Mary Mascari as Bajoran woman
- Mary Meinel-Newport as Bolian civilian
- Geoffrey Mutch as Bajoran Chamber of Ministers guard
- Karlotta Nelson as Bajoran minister
- Sherry O'Keefe as Bajoran woman
- Randy Pflug as Jones
- Irving Ross as Bolian civilian
- Chuck Shanks as operations officer
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- Michael Wajacs as Bajoran civilian
- Robin Wright as Bajoran Chamber of Ministers guard
- Unknown performers as
2360; ability; accusation; "ace in the hole"; Alliance for Global Unity; amnesty; anesthizine; Antican; Bajor; Bajor moons; Bajorans; Bajoran assault vessel (unnamed); Bajoran capital; Bajoran interceptor (unnamed); Bajoran Provisional Government; Bajoran Resistance; Bajoran sector; Bajoran wormhole; Bilecki's fiance; Bajoran project partner; bar; blasphemy; blood enemy; broker; candy bar; Cardassia IV; Cardassian; Cardie; Chamber of Ministers; coup d'état; dabo girl; Dax, Tobin; Deep Space 9 levels; edict; elders; emergency rations; engagement; evasive maneuvers; extremist; family album; Federation; Federation-Cardassian War; Ferengi; flattery; flush; fracture; freedom; French language; French onion soup; gadget; Ganges, USS; Gamma Quadrant; gizmo; gold-pressed latinum; gul; Hanolan colony; high altitude orbit; hip; holosuite; Ishka; isotope; Jeraddo; Kelly's daughter; Korat system; Kressari; Kressari freighter; leader; liaison officer; Lunar V base; manifest PADD; martyr; memento; monastery; Navarch; navigational sensor; Occupation of Bajor; Orinoco, USS; overbooking; palukoo; passenger list; pet; petty theft; power; prisoner of war; Quark's; religious order; replicator; Rio Grande, USS; Rules of Acquisition; runabout; science fair; sex life; Starfleet; Starfleet Medical Academy; stipend; Sub-impulse raider (unnamed); surrender; thorium; tricorder; Trill; unit; vole; war hero
- "The Siege" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "The Siege" at Wikipedia
- "The Siege" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "The Siege" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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