The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: In Purgatory’s Shadow

When DS9 receives a coded Cardassian message from the Gamma Quadrant, Worf and Garak are dispatched to find out if there were any survivors from the ill-fated Cardassian-Romulan attack on the Dominion. But when they are captured and taken to a Dominion internment camp, they discover not only some surprisingly familiar faces, but an enemy fleet on course for the Alpha Quadrant.

It’s time for the big mid-season two-parter, and that means it’s time for some Dominion action. On this rewatch, I find myself enjoying the good standalone stories rather than the big set pieces, but this is still a good build-up episode. There are some surprises, some big fleets of ships, and a cliffhanger that ultimately won’t deliver exactly what you expect, but will set up the series for plenty of action and drama later on.

Changelings and other Dominion matters
• Why do the Dominion bother keeping prisoners in an internment camp instead of just killing them? It’s possible that they retain them for intelligence value, although arguably Martok and Tain had been captured so long ago that they had no longer had any relevant information to impart. Perhaps they are being kept as potential hostages, or simply to give the Jem’Hadar some punching bags.
• In this episode we learn that the original Martok is still alive. He will become a recurring character in his own right, instead of as a Changeling.
• We also learn that Bashir has been captured and replaced with a Changeling, who is the Bashir we have been seeing on the station for the last few episodes. Bashir says he was captured about a month ago, which would put his abduction at around the time of The Begotten (as the baby is now around a month old), but the fact that he. Is wearing the old-style uniform means he must have been captured before Rapture. Yet this makes me uncomfortable, as it means the Changeling Bashir both delivered the O’Brien baby and performed brain surgery on Sisko.
• The O’Brien baby is named Kirayoshi.
• We learn that Tain is Garak’s father, thus explaining Garak’s unshakeable loyalty towards him. We still don’t know why Tain exiled Garak.
• Ziyal’s actress has been recast yet again. Her make-up has been toned down a bit to de-emphasise the Cardassian features and skin tone.

Summary – In Purgatory’s Shadow: The Dominion are coming…

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