3. It's Only a Paper Moon
Nog struggles to recover from losing his leg in battle and becomes standoff-ish and remote. He finds solace though in Vic Fontaine's music and decides to stay with Vic in the holosuite. This is a touching episode that shows real character depth for Nog. I've really liked how they developed him from the first season - when he was pretty annoying as the bad influence on Jake, but he's grown so much now. It was terrible to see him in such a depression and have to struggle out of it in this story, and knowing how far Nog has come really drove home the emotion for me. Vic Fontaine is a wonderful character too and I loved seeing a holosuite character make Nog appreciate his life more.
2. Take Me Out to the Holosuite
A Vulcan captain challenges Sisko's crew in a holosuite baseball game and Sisko is determined to train his crew and win. This episode was pure fluff, but much needed levity in the face of so much darkness in this season. And I just love humorous episodes so this one really appealed to me. I was a bit disappointed by the outcome of the game though, but it figures, this show is all about realism.
1. Badda Bing Badda Bang
Because of a 'jack in the box' story written into Vic Fontaine's holosuite program, the DS9 crew help Vic take back his casino from mob gangsters. A period piece/heist/caper episode!! I did already mention my love for humorous episodes right? This one probably tipped the balance when it came to fluff - it's so much incongruous fun in the middle of the season that it makes up for the darkness of the Dominion War stuff coming up in the end. (Although there was the weird throwaway racial issue that came up and was soon forgotten...) This is another one I really enjoyed, and thankfully I was fully satisfied by the ending! Wow Avery Brooks has a gorgeous deep singing voice!
I'm probably going to get fairly detailed in my thoughts on the last season here, so fair warning! I'm not sure what I feel about the Dominion War. I really liked seeing Cardassia fight back and I thought that aspect was the strongest part of the whole story arc - and the most satisfying. When it comes to why the Dominion couldn't crush the Federation earlier, before this even became a full out war, I'm still confused, and even more so after Odo joined with the Founder and in seconds everything was reversed. The Founder, who obviously thought she was above everything and was ready to see everybody die pretty much, turned herself in, was ready to submit to Federation laws and completely surrender the whole war. Why??? Odo must've packed in quite an argument in the seconds he spent joined to the Founder...
The whole Dukat/Kai Winn/ pah-wraiths nonsense - there was a line near the end of the last episode where posessed-Dukat looks at Kai Winn and says "Oh, you're still here?" which made me laugh hysterically since that's pretty much what I was thinking every time the Dukat/Winn storyline showed up in the final episodes! The whole storyline was not necessary at all and it turned Dukat (who I thought was a strong, nuanced character) into this weird caricature villain with no depth. Kai Winn I never liked, so at least I was happy to see her admit that she has always been a selfish, power-hungry monster. Perhaps she didn't use those words.... But the pah wraiths/prophets storyline also really annoys me on a level that it's too much like magic and I didn't feel it was compatible with a science fiction TV show. There really didn't seem much to the pah-wraiths anyways - their apparent goal (take over the world!) is ludicrous and it's unclear what they thought they could do when they did and why. And why we needed another villain in a series chock full of them anyways.
Odo, I was disappointed in as well. I mean, I understood his need to go back to his people, but it just sucked that he had to leave Kira and I didn't really get the feeling that he would be coming back. He could have helped heal the Great Link and then spent what time he could with Kira since she ages. Priorities Odo! I think I felt the most for Kira in this though, it seems like she can't catch a break here.
Sisko....wtf. Again with the prophets! What do these "all powerful" beings need for him to do in their realm that is that important? I would think they would need him in the human realm because they are not there. It's like they needed to do that to him just to make their warnings come true.
In some ways though I was happy with the finale of this series. I liked that people moved on and there were realistic changes in relationships. O'Brien leaving, Worf's promotion, and Bashir and Ezri getting together. There is a nice full-circle quality to the story as well since the series started with Sisko meeting the prophets. I was also happy to see Cardassia in a much nobler light, since they were seen as such unrepentant bad guys for the whole series. Damar's character arc was terrific. As a whole though, the darker nature of this series, and the whole prophets aspect really made me long for the idealism, the adventure and the humanism of TOS and TNG. I watch Star Trek for the enjoyment and the escape and there were many times I didn't feel like watching DS9 because I was not in the mood for it. I'm glad that the Trek franchise did attempt something so different though with this series - I suppose not every iteration of the show has to be about idealism and humanism.
Star Trek Deep Space Nine Series Break-down
Favorite season: Season 2
Favorite episode: The Visitor (nothing can beat the emotion I felt during this!)
Favorite character: Garak - It was Odo for so long, but with the final episodes of season 7, I found I just love Garak a little bit more! At least I can say Odo is my fave of the main cast.
Favorite aspect of the show: the characters and their long-term arcs