Oh yes, and don't forget the War! There was an early announcement that the show would attempt a 10-part resolution to the Dominion War, but viewers could be forgiven for forgetting all about it with so much sentimental distraction. When the horrors of war did resurface, they at least injected a few surprises into the mix. Odo and his ambiguously "evil" Founders were hit with a melting disease, prompting a backstabbing race for the power of developing and owning a cure. The original baddie Cardassians finally settled on the Federation's side. Contrary to these interesting twists, however, were the unexpected turns taken by matters relating to Sisko's spiritual destiny. Suddenly the mystery of the wormhole and an entire religious belief system was reduced to the problem of correctly translating the words of a sacred book. The struggle to join with some evil aliens significantly diluted the attempt at resolving what had begun seven years before in the show's pilot episode. Ultimately, Sisko's destiny, as with all those who'd followed him to the open-ended climax, was to be decided elsewhere. In a move that was either bold and daring--or possibly born of desperation for not having thought things through properly--the show's storylines were to be continued in a series of spin-off books. --Paul Tonks
I can't believe how much I cried while watching some of the episodes. The series finale, definitely. But I just watched It's Only a Paper Moon today, and that was another one. It has Nog dealing with the effects of being in the war. What a powerful episode. Nog sure has come long way from the little troublemaker he was in the series pilot.... The actor did a wonderful job in Paper Moon. I think what makes it even more poignant is that we're dealing with wars right now. Vic Fontaine was wonderful in this episode too. I'm so glad they introduced that character. Too bad he hadn't been a regular on the series. Why do we love our holograms so?? :-) Perhaps it's because when they experience day to day living as holograms, it gives us a better appreciation of what it means to be human. Something we so take for granted, maybe.
The reason I'm giving this 4 stars is that because this season has so much to do with war, some of the episodes have been really hard for me to watch. I cry so much that the end I'm just so exhausted. But it's not a complaint about the acting. Rather, the actors have done a great job of making me feel emotionally connected to the situations they find themselves in.
The different love stories that come up in the season do two things. One, love gives you a sense of hope in the midst of the bleakness of the Dominion war. Two, you never know if you're going to lose one of your loved ones to the war, and so it ups the emotional ante.
I would recommend taking this season in small doses.
Season 7 tied up most of the loose ends from the previous six years. As Executive Producer and writer Ira Steve Behr noted, DS9 evolved without any clear cut plan in mind beyond the current season. In many respects, that was the to the series' advantage. Jadzia Daz, Worf's wife and fellow officer, is murdered at the conclusion of season six and it appears that the evil spirits of the Pah-wraith have taken control. The Dominion looks like they will actually win the war and Gul Dukat, Sisko's doppleganger and foe,has over the course of seasons 6 and 7 gone completely insane.
Worf must deal with the loss of his mate and his world continues to crumble as the Daz symbiot returns as Ezri Daz (played by the marvelous and beautiful Nicole deBoer) bring back ghosts he'd thought he had put behind him. Sisko has returned to Earth taking a leave of absence from the Federation to work at his father's restaurant. Image In The Sand opens with Sisko trying to uncover the mystery of his mother's death and his visions. An attempt on his life makes him rethink his isolation from the world. Other strong episodes include After Image where Garak has massive anxiety attacks related to his role in helping the Federation overturn the Cardassian Empire. He feels like a traitor even though Cardassia is now just a pawn of the Dominion. Chrysalis focuses on Julian Bashir's love affair with another genetically enhanced individual who, until recently, was in something of a catatonic state. The best episode for me is Treachery, Faith and The Great River. Weyoun one of the genetically engineered overseers of the Jem H'adar betrays the Dominion. He gives information to the Federation in return for asylum. Evidently he's been judged defective and the Dominion has elected to terminate him and replace him with yet another clone.
Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges and Extreme Measures reintroduces Section 31 the secret cell that operates within the Federation. This secret organization will do anything, regardless of ethics or morality, to insure the Federation wins the war against the Dominion. Willian Sadler is superb as Sloan who tries to recruit Bashir in the former. In the latter episode, Bashir must enter the dying man's mind to find a cure for the wasting disease that was introduced to destroy the Founders (the leaders of the Dominion) by Section 31. It threatens the Founders and Odo who was used to introduce the disease to his people.
The grand finale is a marvelous two parter that doesn't provide complete resolution but, like the best novels, leaves enough loose ends to make the series interesting. I don't want to spoil it as there are a number of powerful surprises.
While season 7 didn't quite live up to seasons 4, 5 & 6 it was a strong send off for the series. Unlike The Next Generation (which I still love despite its flaws), on DS9 not everyone got along and the conflicts made the show that much more interesting. Oh, and if you purchase seasons 6 & 7 you'll get $20.00 back from Paramount (a similar promotion was used for Next Gen). A great series (not just a great Star Trek series)rode off into the sunset without ever looking back.