Treachery, Faith, and the Great River
Overall Ep :
First Aired :
4 Nov 1998
Season Ep :
Those Dominion attack ships have really gone downhill. When we first saw them, three of them killed a Galaxy class Starship! Now even a Runabout is more than a match for them. Trek is always doing this - introduce some new uber-baddie to make us all go "oooooh!", only to then make them much weaker over time so that our heroes can actually defeat them. Voyager's treatment of the Borg is the classic case, but the Dominion fares little better.
They hide the Runabout in a "Kuiper belt". Kuiper belts are real things - a shell of lumps of ice in the outer part of a solar system. It's believed that many comets come from the Kuiper belt, when some disturbance there sends one arcing into the inner system. However, no Kuiper belt could ever be as dense as what we see here. There is literally an "iceberg" every few hundred metres. If such a shell surrounded a solar system, you'd never be able to see any of the stars at night! In reality, objects such as this would be at least hundreds of thousands of kilometres apart in a Kuiper belt.
Odo spends hours on the Runabout with Weyoun. If I were him, I would have had Weyoun dictating 'Important Facts of the Dominion War' into the Runabout computer for that entire time. That way even if Weyoun died, Odo would return with a priceless trove of Dominion war secrets. As it is, he asks one question about a new Ketracel White facility and otherwise just engage in chit-chat.
Great Moment :
Jeffery Combs as Weyoun, especially since he has to play two different versions of him.
Body Count :
Weyoun dies. A Jem'Hadar attack ship is destroyed by a Runabout.
This episode introduces the idea of the Great Link having been contaminated with a sickness that will ultimately threaten to destroy the Founders. We will eventually discover that the virus was created by Section 31; Odo was infected in the episode "Homefront", back in the 4th season, and he passed it on to the link when he went to the Founder's home planet to be turned into a solid in the episode "Broken Link" at the end of that season. He may have been cured of the virus when he was turned into a solid, in which case his linking with the Female Founder during early season 6 would have re-infected him. This would explain why Odo is one of the last of the Changelings to exhibit symptoms of infection, even though he was the first to be infected.
This is Jeffrey Combs's favourite episode, partly because he got a lot of screen time in it, but also because he enjoyed the challenge of having to play a "good" Weyoun and a "Bad" Weyoun. He especially enjoyed the idea that what the Dominion regarded as a 'defect' in Weyoun would be regarded by others as 'enlightenment'.
The Rio Grande Runabout is the one used in this episode - the same one which crashed in "The Ascent". Presumably the wreck was tractored into orbit, repaired, and returned to service.
The original idea for this episode had Weyoun defecting because the Dominion was breeding a new race called the Modain, a much tougher and more loyal warrior species than the Jem'Hadar. Weyoun convinces Sisko to attack the facility where the Modain are being created. However, once the facility is destroyed it is discovered that Weyoun was lying, and the Modain were actually a replacement for the Vorta. The script was modified because Ira Steven Behr had been on the lookout for a good Odo/Weyoun story for a while, and thought the idea of a Weyoun defecting would fit.
Nog's B Story was based on the novel Catch 22, with Nog as a more benign take on Milo Minderbinder. Aron Eisenberg loved the idea that Nog could work towards Starfleet goals, but do so in a very Ferengi way.
The idea of a Starfleet officer who likes to photograph himself sitting behind the desk of famous officers was a little parody of the more obsessive Star Trek fans inserted by Ira Steven Behr.
The Federation stands to make one of the greatest intelligence coups of all time when none other than Weyoun tells Odo he wants to defect. But his cloned replacement is willing to do anything to stop him, even kill a Founder... Meanwhile O'Brien trusts Nog to get hold of a vital part for the Defiants gravity grid - and soon finds himself faced with a network of favours that extends across half the quadrant.