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Paramount Studios presents
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine—The Complete Second Season (1993-1994)

Sisko: I can't loan you a Starfleet runabout not knowing where you plan on taking it.
Kira: To Cardassia IV to rescue a Bajoran prisoner of war.

- Avery Brooks, Nana Visitor

Review By: Jeff Rosado  
Published: June 10, 2003

Stars: Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Colm Meany, Nana Visitor, Siddig El Fadil (Alexander Siddig), Terry Farrell, Armin Shimerman, Cirroc Lofton
Other Stars: Andrew Robinson, Rosalind Chao, Aron Eisenberg, Max Grodenchik, Marc Alaimo, Richard Beymer, Phillip Anglim, Louise Fletcher, Steven Weber, Robert Mandan, Daphne Ashbrook, Peter Crombie, Wallace Shawn, Richard Kiley, Deborah May, William Schallert, Andrew Koenig, Chris Sarandon, James Sloyan, Darleen Carr, Gail Strickland, Julia Nickson, Kenneth Tobey, Noley Thorton, Kenneth Mars, Ron Taylor, Geoffrey Blake, Mary Crosby, John Colicos, William Campbell, Michael Ansara, Bernie Casey, Paul Dooley, Camille Saviola
Director: various

MPAA Rating: PG for (sci-fi violence, language)
Run Time: 19h:42m:00s
Release Date: April 01, 2003
UPC: 097360589344
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- A-AA+ A-

DVD Review

It only takes a few minutes into the opening episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Complete Second Season to realize the enormous boost in confidence Paramount's television division invested in the series as opposed to its debut season: additional sets, snazzier lighting, more colorful graphics, matte effects and so on. Additionally, the show's excellent cast are more in touch with their characters, which one can feel in the natural cohesiveness of the ensemble. On the downside, the sophomore jinx reared its ugly head on the writing staff resulting in episodes that ranged from slightly above average to so-so on the quality meter in the opening third of the year. Taking a cue from the performers, the scribes got their act together before mid-season resulting in a remarkably consistent string of outings with very few clunkers.

Disc One:

Episode 1: The Homecoming
Stardate: Unknown

"They call themselves 'The Circle'." - Sisko

Li Nalas (Richard Beymer), a Bajoran resistance fighter thought dead is discovered alive at a prison camp in Cardissian territory. Brought back to DS9 by Kira and O'Brien, Sisko seeks Li's help in restoring order to Bajor, a task the reclusive hero would rather not oversee. Meanwhile, Quark is attacked by a group of masked intruders, known as The Circle, comprised of disgruntled Bajorans. Leisurely paced season opener sets up a potentially interesting and exciting storyline to be explored over the next couple of episodes.

Computer, call up a 3.5 rating.

Episode 2: The Circle
Stardate: Unknown

Kira: What do you want me to do?
Odo: Fight for what you want!

Shocked and angry over Kira being relieved of her post and sent back to Bajor, Sisko confronts Minister Jaro, who attempts to calm him down by building up the abilities of Li Nalas, whom he assures will be a more than adequate replacement. Unsure of her future, Kira finds comfort via Vedek Bareil's suggestion of spending time at his monastery only to be kidnapped by The Circle and their surprising ringleader. Meanwhile, Odo and Quark join forces to find out where the renegade group are getting their weapons from. Not quite as exciting as the season debut, but interesting developments (including hints of a budding romance between Kira and Bareil) and the promise of an exciting climax carry this one over the rough points.

All quiet on the DS9 front as The Circle smuggles in a 3 space station rating.

Episode 3: The Seige
Stardate: Unknown

"I wouldn't blame anyone for getting off now while you can." - Sisko

With Bajoran raiders due in hours, Sisko orders an evacuation of the space station, but his crew refuses to desert him. With all the civilians safely aboard runabouts, the commander holes up with O'Brien and Bashir to corner resistance members, while Odo reaches into his bag of shape shifter tricks to help. Kira and Dax obtain crucial evidence to deliver to the Chamber of Ministers but are stalled in a vicious vessel attack.

In spite of a rousing finish, I can't help but be a little let down by this three-part storyline that could have been more effectively resolved in two episodes.

Au revoir, le Circle; we bid you a 3 station adieu.

Episode 4: Invasive Procedures
Stardate: 47182.1

"I want you to know it's been fun." -Jadzia

Verad, a disgruntled Trill (John Glover) accompanied by the humanoid Mareel (Megan Gallagher) and two Klingon mercenaries seize control of the ship. After stripping all of the officer's of their comm badges and confining poor Odo to the shape shifter equivalent of a pet travel box, the purpose of the takeover is revealed. Frustrated over past attempts to qualify for symbiosis, Verad has come for Jadzia's. In a selfless act to keep the intruder from killing her friends, she tells Bashir to begin the procedure that will surely take her life. After the symbiont is transferred to Verad's body, the post-surgical euphoria is just what he imagined it would be. Faithful that the situation can be reversed, the doctor does all he can to keep Jadzia alive while Sisko and crew prey on Mareel's emotional state (created by Verad's change in personality) in the hopes that she can talk him into doing the right thing. Great guest shot by Glover who's incapable of giving a bad performance with nice support from the always likable (even in bad girl mode) Gallagher.

After a sluggish start to season two, DS9 gets on course with a terrific 4 space station effort.

Disc Two:

Episode 5: Cardassians
Stardate: 46177.2

"They won't hurt you...they're humans. They're not Cardassians." -Proka

Following a friendly chat with Bashir, Garak (Andrew Robinson) is attacked and bitten by a young Cardassian boy. Upon further investigation, Sisko learns the troubled Rugal (Vidal Peterson) is a war orphan whose father is Bajoran, a fact that disturbs Cardassian leader Dukat (Marc Alaimo), who fears others in similar situations will be taught to hate their own race. Garak is skeptical about Dukat's concern and suspects that he may in fact have been behind the very operation that left those Cardassian kids orphaned. Meanwhile Bashir learns that Rugal's stepfather, Proka (Terrence Evans), may have instilled his beliefs in the boy via abuse, a charge he vehemently denies. Clouding matters further is the re-appearance of Rugal's real dad: Kotan Pa'Dar (Robert Mandan), a noted Cardassian political figure who wants his son back. Granted, the situation is soap-ish, but Cardassians is a quietly appealing entry by way of its affecting storyline and good guest shots by Evans, Peterson and Mandan.

Stay away from flesh-biting Cardassian kids; 3 stations.

Episode 6: Melora
Stardate: 47229.1

"No one on this station is completely independent. In space, we all depend on one another to some degree." -Dr. Bashir

Julian can barely contain his excitement at the impending arrival of Melora Pazlar, an Elaysian cartographer on a Gamma Quadrant mission. Due to the drastic atmospheric differences between her planet and others, she must use special devices to get around. With that in mind, special accommodations are made throughout DS9, which winds up annoying the feisty visitor who stubbornly refuses any assistance to such a point that she refuses Dax's help for a runabout trip to the Quadrant. Sisko admires her resolve, but votes thumbs down, which only raises Melora's ire. But a special medical innovation courtesy of Dr. Bashir helps melt her gruff exterior as some intergalactic lip locking commences ...which is just the problem with this mushy episode. Granted, it's nice to know that this generation of Trek storylines are equal opportunity friendly, but this is Star Trek, not The Other Side of the Mountain! Killer make-up job on guest star Daphne Ashbrook, but not even a competing storyline where an old enemy of Quark's is out to get him can elevate this outing above mediocrity.

Love means never having to say...egad, it's catching: 2 stations.

Episode 7: Rules of Acquisition
Stardate: Unknown

Quark: I didn't know she was a female.
Zek: Stupidity is no excuse.

Guest star Wallace Shawn returns as Grand Nagus Zek, this episode's saving grace in a dull and strained outing as Quark attempts to do a little wheeling and dealing with Gamma Quadrant visitors, The Dosi. Feeling cocky after a promising start that he feels will please his leader, a young waiter (Helene Udy) urges Quark to be wary of Zek taking credit for the success. Confiding in his new friend deep enough to bestow assistant duties upon him. Unfortunately, matters don't go as well in future meetings with the Dosi, who leave the premises in short order, but that doesn't hold a candle to what Quark faces next as his newest, best buddy reveals a secret about himself that alters their friendship. Maybe it's just me, but the Zek-themed episodes just don't (at least thus far). Although Shawn is nothing short of terrific in his characterization, the writers just haven't been able to capitalize on it. Additionally, the twist at the midway point did nothing to pique my interest.What a crying game, er, shame.

Sophomore season jinx continues, another 2 space station venture.

Episode 8: Necessary Evil
Stardate: 47282.5

"Justice, as the humans like to say, is blind. I used to believe that." -Odo

On a Bajoran getaway, Quark meets with Pallra (Katherine Moffat), a bewitching female who requests his services to locate an item her deceased husband left aboard the spaceship. Upon his return, brother Rom and the Q-ster accomplish their mission only to be caught off guard by a stranger who requests the contents of the strongbox. Upon getting the goods, Quark is shot and apparently fatally wounded. As Julian battles to save the Ferengi's life, Odo investigates the crime. When he learns of Pallra's ties to the case, memories from the past come floating back via his involvement with her while attempting to find who murdered her husband (with all evidence pointing toward a surprising suspect). An inconsistent season thankfully takes a turn for the better with an intriguing mystery, film noir-ish opening and all with a powerful ending as a relationship between two DS9 notables changes... perhaps not for the better.

Great mix of sci-fi and classic murder/mystery: 4 space stations.

Disc Three:

Episode 9: Second Sight
Stardate: 47329.4

"Nothing of worth was ever created by a pessimist." -Seyetik

Sisko is in a reflective, sad mood on the fourth anniversary of his wife's tragic death. While deep in thought, his mood is somewhat lightened by the presence of Fenna (Salli Elise Richardson), a beautiful visitor who brings the commander out of his funk. Yet just as quickly as she appeared, Fenna slips out of sight much to Benjamin's bemusement. More pressing matters await with the arrival of Professor Seyetik (Richard Kiley), a pompous, intelligent galactic specialist whose expertise helps revive dead planets. Although charming, his non-stop anecdotes are inducing yawns until he presents his wife Nidell to the crew, which catches Sisko off guardl; for Nidell is Fenna...or is she? After being relegated to background status for way too long in the season thus far, Avery Brooks takes center stage again with a well written episode that features one of the series' best guest performers in Kiley, with the lovely Richardson in an impressive turn as Sisko's love interest.

Will the real Fenna (or Nidell) please materialize in this 4 space station rendezvous?

Episode 10: Sanctuary
Stardate: 47391.2

"They're experiencing their first taste of freedom." -Sisko

DS9 beams aboard Skreean occupants of a troubled space vessel who can't communicate with the crew much less be understood by the ship's universal translator. Kira gains their trust to the extent that Haneek (Deborah May), the group's sole female feels comfortable enough to chat in English with the major. Turns out that the Skrreean population are in dire need of a new planet to call home since the T-Rogorans have conquered their stomping grounds. While Sisko scouts out possibilities, the spaceship is overrun with refugees, including Haneek's son, Tumak (Andrew Koenig, yes, the son of Trek alum Walter Koenig) who winds up being the target of cruel remarks from Nog (as if Mom doesn't already have enough on her plate). Involving entry given punch by the Skreeans plight and May's affecting performance (cool make-up, too).

No zit-face jokes about our Skreean friends, please: 3.5 stations.

Episode 11: Rivals
Stardate: Unknown

"House always takes blue." - Quark

Odo pulls aside Martus (Chris Sarandon), an alien man after noticing him attempting to con a widow out of her life's savings. While in custody, a deathly ill cellmate (Albert Henderson) shows him an unusual gambling device that always brought him bad luck. While making one last attempt, Cos finally lands victory only to die moments later. Once released, Martus takes the device to Quark's and goes on a major winning streak leading to the opening of a competing gambling establishment which soon turns the Ferengi's watering hole into a ghost town. Meanwhile, Bashir and O'Brien have a rivalry of their own in progress instigated by a round of racquetball. Nobody plays scoundrels better than Sarandon and although the Julian/Miles storyline is silly, they make it work (but brace yourself for Bashir's courtside wear; the worst jumpsuit this side of late-period Osmond Brothers).

Fun outing that rolls up a 3.5 rating.

Episode 12: The Alternate
Stardate: 47391.7

"One of these days, I'm gonna stop chasing her." - Bashir (on Lt. Dax)

Odo is reunited with Dr. Mora Pol (James Sloyan), the Bajoran scientist that studied the shape shifter in his younger days. Bringing word of a DNA discovery that may point to Odo's origins, they take a runabout with Dax at the controls to the surface of the planet for further investigation. After retrieving a lifeform and preparing to head back, volcanic eruptions emitting dangerous gas impairs Mora, Jadzia and a fellow Barjoan scientist. Fortunately, Odo is unaffected piloting all back to safety at DS9 with the lifeform secured in the laboratory, but the sample has a mind of its own and apparently escapes. But in a twist, DNA evidence left behind in the ransacked facility points toward Odo as the culprit.

Apart from some genuine scares in the homestretch, not the best episode of the season, yet watchable thanks to the immensely talented Rene Auberjonois.

This episode morphs up 3 space stations.

Disc Four:

Episode 13: Armageddon Game
Stardate: Unknown

"I can be thoughtful." - Quark

While working at a Kellerun lab, O'Brien and Bashir are on the verge of eliminating the last remaining supply of Harvesters (a highly dangerous weapon utilized in the long conflict between T'Lani and Kellrun societies). Before mission is accomplished, two Kellerun soldiers invade the premises, but the doctors manage to kill their attackers. Transporter difficulties force them to beam (barely) to the Cardassian planet of T'Lani III. Meanwhile back on DS9, Kellerun and T'Lani Ambassadors inform Sisko his crew members were killed in the line of duty when O'Brien accidentally triggered off a security mechanism as evidenced on a security camera video. However due to inconsistencies in their statements, Benjamin suspects cover-up. Back on T'Lani III, O'Brien becomes deathly ill thanks to stray Harvester material that landed on his uniform during the confrontation at the lab. Forced into the job of engineer, Bashir desperately attempts to repair an ancient com-panel to seek any kind of help before O'Brien's condition grows worse. Nice to see the writers moving the relationship between Miles and Julian past odd bedfellows/rivalry status in an episode that's equal turns reflective, urgent and involving.

Beware of back stabbing aliens; 4 space stations.

Episode 14: Whispers
Stardate: 47581.2

"All I could think of was that this was not my Keiko." -O'Brien

Miles feels detached from his family and crew when they start treating him differently after a return from an assignment involving the Paradas, in the midst of peace talks aboard the station. Suspicious that the visitors may be playing a role in turning everyone against him, Miles attempts to do research on the ship's main computer but is denied access to recent logs also discovering his recent stardate entries are being investigated. Confronted by Sisko, Bashir and Kira, O'Brien escapes into a nearby runabout where he pilots to the site of where this madness begins in a quest for answers.

Strange outing that never finds its footing despite an intriguing set-up that meanders into nowhere with an ending that feels tacked on. And if Miles repeats that replicator recipe for coffee one more time, I'll strike him.

Weakest entry in the series (so far): 2 stations.

Episode 15: Paradise
Stardate: 47543.1

"Sounds like it took a crash landing for her to find her paradise." -O'Brien

While searching star systems for planets aboard the Rio Grande, Sisko and O'Brien locate one with human lifeforms. After transporting, their equipment becomes non-functional as they are approached by two wary inhabitants, that turn out to be friendly. Escorted to meet the rest of the sparse population including the area's den mother Alixus (Gail Strickland), who tells the visiting crew members that the area is free of technology thus explaining the equipment anomalies encountered earlier. Although Sisko and Miles find the community's non-reliance on bells/whistles admirable, they'd much rather head back to more familiar tech-savvy surroundings. Disappointed that her townspeople haven't been able to win them over, Alixus punishes the citizens by severely rationing water supplies, one of several acts the commander finds very harsh. On home base, Kira and Dax wonder what's happening as they notice the runabout flying aimlessly and decide to check things out. One of Season Two's most fascinating storylines gives guest star Strickland a meaty role as the planet representative whose initially sweet demeanor hides a very warped sense of right and wrong.

Barring punishment, I'll give this episode 4 out of 5 space stations.

Episode 16: Shadowplay
Stardate: 47603.3

"I'm sorry, but after seven lifetimes, the interpersonal questions aren't much fun anymore." -Jadzia

Odo and Dax transport to a unexplored planet after encountering ominous particle fields from their runabout. Unfortunately the one man welcoming committee is not a friendly sort and the two are taken into custody for questioning. Colyus (Kenneth Mars), the wary security protector of the Yaderan colony proceeds to explain that the arrival of the DS9 crew members coincides with unexplained disappearances of local townspeople. Offering their assistance, Dax and Odo are taken to the victim of the most recent case: Taya (Noley Thorton), a bashful little girl whose mother is missing. Odo manages to win the child over and promises to bring her mother back. Taya's ill grandfather Rurigan (Kenneth Tobey) warns the crew members that searching beyond the valley is dangerous, a point proven when Dax's sensing device vanishes and Taya's arm momentarily disappears at a certain region of the countryside. Kenneth Mars proves to be a fine dramatic actor in an episode with a cool sci-fi angle. Thorton's beyond adorable performance, stellar work by long time character vet Tobey (in what would be his final role on television) and the inspired teaming of Farrell and Auberjonois adds up to a very entertaining 48 minutes.

No mirage; this episode chalks up 4 space stations.

Disc Five:

Episode 17: Playing God
Stardate: Unknown

"Arjin, if you truly want to become a Trill host someday, you'll never call me ma'am again." -Jadzia

Jadzia plays host to Arjin (Geoffrey Blake), a young recruit attempting to qualify for symbiont status. Although nervous at first, the wet-behind-the-ears Trill is calmed by Dax's laid back attitude. However, his lack of passion beyond being an eventual host troubles her and Sisko suggests she dig deep into Curzon's memories and adapt his tough-as-nails attitude toward the boy, a method she's unsure about utilizing. Meanwhile, pesty voles (think anti-Tribbles) pollute the station, much to O'Brien's disgust. Additionally, the varmints are shorting out vital equipment containing a protoplasm that may endanger the space station. More drama in this episode than usual with a strong performance from Farrell, who watched her character take a quantum leap in advancement during this season (still, the writers just couldn't resist the chance to put the beautiful actress in a towel, could they?).

Jadzia groupies, get your mind out of the gutter: 3.5 space stations.

Episode 18: Profit and Loss
Stardate: Unknown

A cautious crew welcomes Natima Lang (Mary Crosby), a Cardassian college professor and two of her students for a temporary stay while their badly damaged vessel is repaired. Quark is stopped in his tracks at the sight of her, for Natima is an old flame from his past. As she rejects his offer to pick up where they left off, Garak informs Sisko that the students are actually Cardassian terrorists which counters the professor's claim that her charges are leaders of an underground movement. In the midst of all the turmoil, Quark tries again to mend fences offering Natima's companions a cloaking device only if they leave her behind. But after reluctantly shooting him with a phaser, she realizes her love for him has not abated (but what a weird way to show it, huh?). Crosby and Shimerman make a cute couple with their chemistry elevating a so-so script into an episode worth catching.

Power to the Cardassian rebels reformers: 3 stations.

Episode 19: Blood Oath
Stardate: Unknown

"It's been a Klingon afternoon." -Odo

An old promise Curzon made comes back to haunt Jadzia as three ancient Klingon warriors arrive at the space station: Kor (John Colicos), Koloth (William Campbell) and Kang (Michael Ansara), the ringleader of the trio. In times past when Dax was in Curzon's body, the foursome made a pact to kill a man known as Albino, a Klingon enemy whose whereabouts have finally surfaced. Although understandably hesitant, Jadzia is willing to live up to her end of the bargain but Kang stubbornly refuses her involvement. Grippingly dramatic episode sure to bring back memories for Enterprise-era fans, thanks to the appearance of Ansara, Colicos and Campbell (reprising their Klingon roles of yesteryear).

Also, major kudos to Farrell for yet another terrific performance (and since she was a major fan of the original series, what a thrill it must have been to be surrounded by such noted alumnus).

Old Klingons never die.

Episode 20: The Maquis, Part I
Stardate: Unknown

"Now do you see, Commander, that without any help from either one of us, they've managed to start their own little war out here?" - Dukat

Minutes after departing DS9, a Cardassian freighter explodes, but it was no accident according to Dax since preliminary evidence points to an explosive. With the Federation in the hot seat, Sisko's friend Lt. Commander Cal Hudson from Starfleet is called in to assist in the investigation. Dukat plays informer to Sisko stating that certain members of the Federation were behind the Bok'Nor's destruction. Following the Cardassian's advice, the two Runabout to the Volan Colonies in the Demilitarized Zone and wind up getting in the middle of a firing battle between Federal and Cardassian ships. Upon returning, a pow wow involving Sisko, Hudson, colonists and Cardassian rep Gul Evak (Richard Poe) who accuses the colonists of being the guilty party with a video confession as proof. O'Brien's report of a Federation device being the culprit of the explosion strengthens the case. Compounding the investigation is the sudden kidnapping of Dukat as the trail leads to return trip to the Demilitarized Zone for Sisko where a group known as the Maquis has claimed responsibility. DS9 crew members travel to the territory where they suspect he's been taken only to be taken prisoner by armed federation members and their surprise leader: Cal Hudson.

To be continued: A near perfect set up earns 4.5 space stations.

Disc Six:

Episode 21: The Maquis, Part II
Stardate: Unknown

"I'm not just any Cardassian." - Dukat

Benjamin, Julian and Kira are held captive by the Maquis as part II begins; no sign of Dukat to be found. Sisko urges Hudson to do the right thing via peaceful methods, but the lieutenant's frustration with the Federation has prompted him to switch sides. As proof of how over the deep end Cal has gone, he stuns Benjamin and his crew members and escapes with his rebel posse'. Back on DS9, Dukat is being blamed for weapons smuggling by Cardassian Legate Parn (John Schuck), but Sisko doesn't buy into that theory and attempt another rescue. Although hairy, Dukat is brought to safety which leads him to join forces with Benjamin to stop both the Maquis and the weapons smuggling.

Now, this is the kind of multi-part episode that should have have opened the season. Seamless blend of thrills and drama proving what DS9 is capable of when clicking on all cylinders.

Losing none of the momentum from part one, 4.5 on the space station scale.

Episode 22: The Wire
Stardate: Unknkown

Bashir: I hope you don't have one of these little bugs hidden in my quarters.
Odo: Should I?

Garak and Bashir discuss philosophies when the Cardassian grows whoozy. After refusing treatment, he later collapses at Quark's. Bashir determines an implanted device is the culprit but the big question is who put it in Garak's brain? When the doctor returns to the Cardassian's sickbed, he's nowhere to be found. Tracking him down, Garak comes clean to Julian about the circumstances of the chip. During his days as a member of the Obsidian Order, the device was planted by the organization's head enabling Garak to be endure torture and pain, two elements the exiled Cardassian has faced from day one aboard DS9. Now that the device is suffering from overuse, Bashir recommends it be turned off, but Garak refuses only to lose consciousness and near death. An acting tour-de-force for Robinson (whom I recognized as Scorpio from Dirty Harry around this time); Faddig matches him all the way. As much as the two characters are supposed to be mutual enemies of one another, it's apparent that a bond has been in formation in spite of their differences for quite a while.

Another 4.5 episode as DS9 continues on a creative roll.

Episode 23: Crossover
Stardate: Unknown

Kira: I'm Kira Nerys.Well, that makes two of us.

During a flight through the wormhole, Kira and Bashir experience severe turbulence as they head back to the space station. Once aboard, they can't help but notice some seriously weird changes. For starters, Kira's questioned as to why she's impersonating the ship's boss. Funny, the last time she looked in the mirror, no resemblance to Benjamin. Before she can get the words out of her mouth, Kira comes face to face with her doppelganger: Kira II, dressed to kill in a leather outfit that would make Emma Peel envious. In due order, Kira and Julian come into contact with exact doubles of their friends: Odo is a sadistic guard, O'Brien is a meek ore worker and a prime example of human slavery in this parallel universe and Sisko is Kira II's mission runner enabling him to escape her wrath. After convincing her counterpart not to kill her, Kira huddles with Julian, gives him a Cliff's Notes version of a similar crossover with one Captain James T. Kirk many stardates ago and advises him to seek O'Brien II's help in securing a transporter to find their way back. Perhaps the season's best episode that pays homage to a classic Star Trek outing (Mirror, Mirror), with the regulars having a blast playing radical variations of their characters (especially Visitor as the "hotter than Georgia asphalt" Kira II) and Brook's hilarious, giddy twist on Sisko; loved his nickname for O'Brien II, too).

Inspired, fun and exciting: Perfect 5 space station rating.

Episode 24: The Collaborator
Stardate: Unknown

"He says he's not guilty." - Kira

"But you're afraid he is guilty." - Odo

On the eve of Kai elections, prime candidate Vedek Bareil is having disturbing dreams including visions of death and encounters with Opaka (Camille Saviola), the former Kai who wanted him to succeed her. Not wanting to spoil what little quality time he has with Kira, Bareil keeps the dreams to himself as the campaign begins to heat up. Following an icy moment when the two lovebirds encounter fellow candidate Vedek Winn (Louise Fletcher), an elderly Bajoran man trying to be inconspicuous is recognized by a fellow citizen as Kubus (Bert Remsen), a Cardassian collaborator. As a huge crowd looks on, Odo arrests the man who only wants to live out his last years in his homeland. Winn wishes to grant that request Kira prevents their departure. Winn then deals a whammy of an accusation: Bareil is a major suspect in a Bajoran massacre. Aside from Fletcher's continuing eerie work as Winn (who makes Nurse Fletcher seem like June Cleaver by comparison) and interesting dream sequences, not a lot to get excited about in this slow, ponderous outing.

Computer, beam aboard 2.5 space stations.

Disc Seven:

Episode 25: Tribunal
Stardate: 47944.2

"We can't leave him there"! - Keiko (Rosalind Chao)

An overworked O'Brien is more than looking forward to well-earned vacation time with Keiko. Before departing, Miles comes into contact with Boone (John Beck), an old friend from his days on the Rutledge. Not wanting to waste a minute of getaway time, O'Brien quickly bids adieu and heads toward a Runabout where Keiko awaits. Barely a minute into the flight,Gul Evek beams aboard and arrests Miles. Taken to Cardassia Prime, the shocked engineer has no clue to his incarceration and is subjected to profoundly cruel torture. Back on DS9, crew members are baffled to hear Miles' voice on a security recording requesting access to a locker holding weapons. However, Jadzia and Julian suspect fabrication while Odo travels to Cardassia to act as Odo's legal counsel. Tense and exciting from the get go until epilogue time; a very good directorial debut from Avery Brooks, too.

Guilty of near-excellence in the first degree:

Episode 26: The Jem'Hadar
Stardate: Unknown

"The security barter will kill you." - Eris (Molly Hagan)
"Thanks for the warning." - Benjamin

Wanting to bond with his son, Benjamin suggests a camping trip. All hopes of a father-son only journey are thwarted as the younger Sisko invites Nog along for the ride who in turn has to be chaperoned by his Uncle Quark. Awkwardness continues once the quartet of campers set up shop on an un-chartered planet with Benjamin and Q. confronting one another which in turn agitates Nog who disappears into the forest. While Jake looks for his bud, the grown up's left behind encounter a frightened female alien who's attempting to elude capture from alien soldiers. Before Quark and Sisko can help, the bad guys surface and take the trio prisoner. It's up to the two boys to save their elders in a worthy finale' to year two with a twist ending that sets up season three.

I'll replicate a 3.5 rating for this season closer.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: As well done as The First Complete Season was in terms of visual goodness, it didn't prepare me for the technical superiority of Season Two. Way less grain, richer colors, even the occasional edge enhancement is masked more effectively. Good enough to make Odo break into a smile (maybe).

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: On a par with its predecessor with more precision and increased separation in the 5.1 mixes. Crystal clear dialogue, deep bass, wide front and rear imaging that enhances every aural element from scoring to sound effects; an absolutely phenomenal job. As a bonus, the original 2.0 mixes heard in the episodes when originally broadcasts are included, but the newly created Dolby Digital re-vamps are highly superior.

Audio Transfer Grade: A+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 206 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Documentaries
4 Featurette(s)
Packaging: unknown keepcase
Picture Disc
7 Discs
7-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Just like The First Complete Season, the seventh disc contains a wide variety of behind-the-scenes features covering a variety of technical and creative subjects that DS9 faithful will enjoy. New Frontiers: The Story of Deep Space Nine (15:23) features executive producer Michael Piller and others discussing the show's creation and how drastically different the original concept was (outdoor setting in the vein of Dodge City). New Stations, New Ships (5:30) spotlights visual effects whiz Dan Curry in a fast-paced overview of the design of DS9 and its mobile vehicles including the Rio Grande and Cardassian vessels.

Michael Westmore's Aliens: Season Two (12:13) gives us a look at the make-up genius' favorite creations from year two combined with fascinating tidbits on how subtle nuances like raised hairlines and color can enhance an already effective job.DS9 Sketchbook (11:03) recalls some of the more memorable sets (including my favorite: the village from Shadowplay) with input from series illustrators Jim Martin and Rick Sternback.

Crew Dossier: Jadzia Dax (17:45) winds things up with a lengthy conversation with actress Terry Farrell as the charming actress covers such topics as her thrill at being involved in a franchise she was a fan of in her younger days, initial intimidation at being surrounded by actors with substantial stage experience and difficulty in mastering the lingo of her character (reviewers have that same problem too, Terry). Also, there are several Hidden Files (that even the most remote control challenged videophile can locate) featuring clips from memorable episodes with brief interviews from the personnel involved.

Well conceived and thought out as these extras are, the only criticism I have with the DS9 sets thus far are the lack of commentaries on the episode discs and other visual goodies that could have been included like episode trailers and convention footage, since devotees are such a huge part of Trek history (not to mention the reason the franchise has lasted all these years).

Extras Grade: A-


Final Comments

More consistent in tone from its freshman season, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine—The Complete Second Season captures a series finding its footing with tremendous potential for more promising adventures to come.


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