Deranged Nasat wrote:
So you could call her The Leader
; imagine it said in a creepy drawn-out voice like in that Simpsons
episode with the cult. After all, that's sort of what she is - the cult leader trying to entrap Odo.
Hmm, it's a good idea but it needs a few extra rounds of free association.
The Leader -> nananananananana -> fishing -> dead fish
From now on I shall refer to the Female Changeling as Dead Fish.
Sacrifice of Angels (****½)
I'm aware of all the flaws in this episode, and if I hadn't been before then I'm sure that years of discussing Star Trek on the internet would have made me aware of them. So when I sat down to watch this episode last night I did so expecting that those flaws would be at the forefront of my mind. But they weren't, this episode grabbed me with its story, its action, and its characters. Yes, I agree that the Defiant being the only Federation ship to break through the Dominion's lines for several hours was mightily convenient. Yes, I too am confused about why Kira and Rom focused on disabling DS9's weapons when there were other Dominion ships around the station that could have blown up the minefield (real good). Yes, it was odd that Dead Fish seemed to know that Odo would betray her and she didn't tell anyone. And yes, I did see that Klingon ship accidentally destroy that other Klingon ship during the final push of the battle. Those flaws, and all the others, prevent this episode from getting 5 stars, but they didn't prevent me from having a damn good time watching it.
I know that the biggest controversy about the episode is the role that the Prophets play in disappearing the Dominion fleet. That's an argument as old as the episode itself and I don't see the benefit in repeating it here, so suffice it to say that I don't agree that it's a deus ex machina, and I actually like it as part of Sisko's arc as the Emissary. My personal view is that the Prophets' intervention indirectly led to Dukat's insanity, which caused him to try and release the Pah-Wraiths, and Sisko had to sacrifice his corporeal existence in the finale to prevent that. That's the penance he's forced to pay: Sisko wins the war for the Federation but at the cost of his future, his family, and his home. I know that a lot of people disagree with me about what happened with Sisko in the finale but that's the way I see it, and when Sisko's arc is viewed that way then this episode is the key moment in Sisko's journey.
Another thing that I like about this episode is that it is a focal point for the major story arcs as well as the minor character arcs. This is the only time in the series that I can think of when the Dominion arc and the Prophets arc intersect. Sisko's arc obviously plays a role as I've already explained. Odo's arc with the Changelings plays an important role in the episode, and while I have my problems with this arc and how it is ignored later, I have no problems with how it's addressed in this episode. Quark is forced to confront his principles, and this is one of the most important moments in his journey as he risks his life to save the galaxy. Ziyal's story comes to an end with her death, which also sends Dukat off in a new direction. That direction might not have been a good idea, but I feel that his descent into madness in this episode is actually well handled. A lot happens in this episode, and while there are certain obvious contrivances in the plot, the key moments and the story as a whole are still being driven by the characters themselves.
If you'll permit me to be shallow for a moment, the battle sequences in this episode are absolutely incredible, this is my favourite sci-fi battle sequence of all time. At the time the episode came out the visual effects were mind-blowing, and while the CG models are looking a little dated these days, the fast pace, the constant movement and explosions, the depiction of complete pandemonium, those things keep that sequence exciting to this day. The score to this episode is also magnificent, it captures the epic nature of the plot and enhances it, it's right up there with the score for The Best of Both Worlds
in my opinion.