The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: In the Cards

With the threat of war looming, Captain Sisko is understandably in a tense and preoccupied mood. Determined to cheer him up, Jake enlists Nog’s help to obtain a rare 1951 Willy Mays baseball card. Meanwhile, Weyoun arrives on board DS9 to negotiate a non-aggression pact with Bajor.

With the lengthy and dark Dominion War arc looming, there’s just time for one more light-hearted episode before we hit the season finale. Video game players will recognise this episode as a standard ‘fetch quest’ story – in order to get the item they actually want, Jake and Nog are forced to complete errands which will earn them other items that can be traded for the final prize. Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities for amusement, from poking fun at humanity’s abandonment of money, to Dr Bashir requesting the return of his beloved teddy bear.

This time around, it’s the B-story that’s the serious one, as Kai Winn and Weyoun meet to discuss a non-aggression pact between Bajor and the Dominion. Fortunately, Sisko was perspicacious enough back in Rapture to stop Bajor entering the Federation, which will allow DS9 to be on the frontlines without harm coming to the Bajorans. Nice move, writers.

Bits and pieces

  • Jake’s speech to Nog about how humans have abandoned money in favour of working to better themselves is a deliberate rip-off of Picard’s speech to the same effect in First Contact.
  • Once again, Shakaar sends Kai Winn to act as his representative at important negotiations, instead of attending himself. In fact, I was surprised to realise that Shakaar only appears in three episodes in total, and we’ve already seen all of them.
  • Nog breaking into Leeta’s quarters to steal back Kukalaka is played as amusing, but when you think about it, it’s also a bit creepy. Why not use Rom’s relationship with Leeta to get the teddy back?

Summary – In the Cards: A spiritual successor to Progress.

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