To the Death (***)
It's not often in Star Trek that you get to say that a character is "everyone's favourite <species>", but I think it's safe to say that Weyoun is everyone's favourite Vorta. Sure, Kilana had some great cleavage going on, and Iggy Pop was fun, but Weyoun is Weyoun, he's a part of the fabric of the show. He's so good that the writers retconned an entire species to bring him back, because they had senselessly killed him off. He's fully-formed too, he's not a personality-less goon like Damar was when he was introduced, there's no awkward gazelle-like stumbling like with Garak's omnisexuality back in Past Prologue
, Weyoun is Weyoun from the moment he first appears, and Jeffrey Combs deserves a lot of credit for that. So this episode earns major points for introducing one of the series' best characters.
The rest of the episode is pretty good too, we get to see more of the Jem'Hadar and learn about them while still maintaining their position as dangerous adversaries. There are some missteps, I don't like how this is the second episode this season where we encounter a group of rebel Jem'Hadar, and killing off Weyoun was a weird move. I like that the episode featured an Iconian gateway, little bits of continuity like that are rewarding for long-time fans while not being off-putting for newcomers, I wish that Star Trek had more throwbacks like that but things like that tend to be the exception rather than the rule.
All that being said, I'm deducting a whole star from this episode for blowing up one of DS9's pylons like it's no big deal. When I first saw this episode, that shot of the station was jaw-dropping. The problem is that if you pull off a big moment like that and then pretend it didn't happen in the next episode, it loses its power and you become desensitised to epic moments like that. DS9 is usually pretty good with continuity and having the big moments matter in later episodes, but that doesn't happen here and that's disappointing.
Form of... yet another satchel: 28