As for Garak the way I saw it was that he planned to kill Gul Toran the entire time which is why he had a second phaser.
The second phaser was the one that he took from Quark. Sure, he could have planned on Quark having the phaser and taking it from him before Toran showed up, but I didn't get that impression.
Admiral Shran wrote:
It shows that he's not, in fact, the universe's ultimate materialist. He is willing to look beyond profit in some situations, an aspect of him that later episodes really develop.
But that's the thing, Quark takes three steps forward in this episode and then takes three steps back in the next, then he spends the rest of the series slowly taking two steps forward again. It's like as if the Quark in this episode is at the end of his character arc, not somewhere near the beginning of it. The same applies to Garak's actions in this episode. I think it was a symptom of the show's episodic nature and that they weren't planning ahead much for future episodes, so they ended the episode by having both of them be heroic even though neither of them were heroes yet.
Blood Oath (***½)
This is my first time seeing this episode since watching TOS, so I finally know who the Klingon guys are. Kor was the first Klingon, he likes talking and executing innocent people. Koloth likes shore-leave and poisoning people. Kang enjoys sword-fights and laughing. I wouldn't say that seeing TOS increased my sentimentality towards this episode or these characters, but I do appreciate that these guys aren't your typical loud, boorish Klingons that became far too common in the post-TOS era. Sure, they shout and act gruff sometimes, but they don't act like as if they're constantly overcompensating for their small members. And that's because they're not, they don't have to act tough because they are
tough, they're Dahar Masters which is something so impressive that even Odo displays some reverence towards them. It feels a little weird having a DS9 Klingon episode without Worf, but I suppose he was doing better things with his time, like awkwardly failing to ask Troi out on a date.
After spending a whole episode in season 1 explaining that Jadzia Dax is a different person from Curzon Dax and not bound by his actions, now we get an episode where Jadzia decides that she is and spends 20 minutes trying to prove it. In truth Jadzia's motivation here isn't logical at all, seeing her old friends again causes her old desire for revenge to resurface and she throws protocol out the window so that she can get her bloodlust on. It isn't what one would consider a commendable line of thinking for a Starfleet officer, but I guess that's part of the point of the episode. On the surface this episode shows the character's strengths, both physically and mentally as she is absolutely determined to go on this adventure and refuses to let herself be left behind. But it could also be argued that this episode displays the weakness of Jadzia in that she can't control this desire for vengeance from a previous life like a Trill is supposed to do. It's an interesting duality, and something that doesn't go away as Curzon's interest in Klingon culture becomes part of Jadzia's character.
The episode itself is good, but I wouldn't consider it great. The Klingon characters come across well in tone, but they still succumb to that old-fashioned Klingon stupidity and it's down to Jadzia to devise a plan better than rushing through the front gate and get themselves killed. The climactic battle where they fight off a small army of androids (which they clearly were as they didn't leave any blood on the bat'leths) was bigger than any action scene on the show so far. The final scene of the episode is great in concept, but the impact this has on Jadzia's friendships is never explored later and that hurts the episode a little.
Sykonee's Counter: 12