When the Cardassians undergo a change in government, the Klingons are suspicious that it is the work of the Dominion. They begin planning an aggressive campaign, leaving Sisko in a difficult position. Must he support the Federation’s allies, or should he try to protect the Cardassians? When it comes to dealing with Klingons, sometimes the thing you need is another Klingon – and there’s only one Klingon in Starfleet who can help.
It’s a new season, bringing with it a new remix of the opening theme, and a new main character in the form of TNG’s Lieutenant Commander Worf – as promoted in Generations. It’s an explosive, action-packed set piece, and it marks a step change for DS9, but how much has it stood the test of time?
Back in the day, I remember how excited I was when my grandmother bought me a VHS tape of The Way of the Warrior. Hooray, a feature-length episode that had lots of excitement and action, and introduced Mr Worf from my beloved TNG to the cast. During the rewatch, I actually approached this episode with trepidation. I had grown accustomed to, perhaps even fond of, the non-Worf cast, and I was reluctant to embrace the new dynamic when it involved a grumpy, straight-laced Klingon. Would I even get on with the Worf/Jadzia romance this time around? That remains to be seen, but still this episode is pretty good for what it is – a big ticket adventure full of space battles, dramatic character moments, and power shifts across the Alpha Quadrant.
Worf is here! There’s already some tension with Jadzia, the resident Klingonophile of the station, as she takes on Worf with a bat’leth. She’s determined to prove that her love of Klingon martial arts and all things Klingon isn’t just a holdover from Curzon’s life.
Worf, meanwhile, has been on the Klingon monastery at Boreth ever since the destruction of the Enterprise-D. Until the events of this episode, he has been considering resigning his commission.
- The Klingons have withdrawn from the historic Khitomer Accords, the peace treaty between them and the Federation. Bashir says that this ends twenty years of peace, but Federation-Klingon relations are meant to have been truly peaceful for at least the last thirty years, according to TNG. And of course, it’s been eighty years since the first steps towards peace in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
- In Emissary, Sisko tells the Cardassians that Starfleet has installed 5000 photon torpedoes on the station, and then tries to trick them into believing his bluff by using a thoron and duranium illusion. In this episode, Sisko tells Martok that Starfleet has installed 5000 photon torpedoes, and Martok thinks it’s a thoron and duranium illusion. In fact, the station is now indeed armed with 5000 photon torpedoes.
- Everyone seems willing to cut the palm of their hand to prove to the Klingons that they aren’t Changelings. I guess Bashir can heal that without scarring, but it seems like a particularly painful place to cut. Of course a Klingon would do it in order to be macho, but do the non-Klingons really have to follow suit? Are they just caving to peer pressure?
- O’Brien says that now Worf has switched to command, he’ll be learning from the best, i.e. Sisko. Once again, O’Brien, where’s your loyalty to Captain Picard?
- Worf is still a fan of prune juice.
- Dax has been promoted to Lieutenant Commander since last season, making her equal in rank with Worf.
- Somehow, almost all of the Ops crew are able to defeat highly trained Klingon warriors in bat’leth combat. Are standard s slipping in the Klingon Empire? Warriors just aren’t what they used to be.
- Odo has decided to be more sociable by pretending to drink coffee when he sits with people. He makes both the coffee and the cup out of his own body, and thus can refill it at will (presumably he has to hold onto it at all times so it doesn’t revert to a gelatinous state). Personally, I would find this a bit disturbing.
- Odo has also started breakfasting with Garak, something they decided to do after The Die is Cast.
- Yamok sauce returns, as Bashir and O’Brien ask for some at Quark’s. The Cardassian drink kanar also reappears – let’s hope this bottle hasn’t gone bad.
- The Cardassian government has fallen to the dissident movement seen in both Profit and Loss and Second Skin.
- Gowron claims to be friends with Worf, even though Gowron has only ever been manipulative towards him. He strips Worf of the land and titles restored to him after his discommendation was reversed in Redemption. This will also have an effect on Kurn, as we’ll see in a later episode.
- Kira still can’t relax and enjoy the holodecks, as she is all too aware that they aren’t real.
- O’Brien jokes with Worf about the frequent holodeck malfunctions on the Enterprise-D, which were the source of many storylines. There are still holodeck stories to come in both DS9 and Voyager.
- Sisko and Kasidy have gone from first date to proper couple since last season.
- From this season onwards, Siddig El Fadil has changed his stage name to Alexander Siddig.
Summary – The Way of the Warrior: Twice the runtime, a hundred times the Klingons. Grab a flagon of bloodwine and enjoy.