Note: To save my sanity, from here on I’m only going to cover the episodes that stand out to me, or ones I have a really funny comment on.
Season three again starts with a multi-part episode, and it’s important. Founders! The Dominion! THE DEFIANT. I fucking love that ship.
- Episodes 1 and 2 – The Search: Sisko gets a new ship, The Defiant. Designed to kick the shit out of the Borg, he figures it’ll do well against the Dominion. Also comes with a Romulan woman running a cloaking device. Odo’s nose gets out of joint when a ‘Starfleet Security’ guy, Commander Eddington, gets assigned to the station. It’s kind of sad that they get their ass kicked on the Defiant’s first mission, but hey. I like that the Founders tried to determine just how far the Federation would go in a war via the simulation.
- Episode 6 – The Abandoned: Look, an adorable baby! Hey, it’s a Jem’Hadar. Solid work establishing that much of the Dominion is brutally controlled by the Founders, through genetic engineering, and the threat of the Jem’Hadar which are bred to be loyal. Sets up some later episodes.
- Episode 9 – Defiant: I love this, as it rewards us for TNG not taking the easy way out by killing off the duplicate Riker. Tom Riker steals the Defiant and tries to blow up some Cardassians. He’s not very good at it. Sisko is a lot smarter than Dukat.
- Episode 13 – Life Support: Vedek Bereil has been helping Kai Winn negotiate peace with Cardassia, but their transport is damaged and Bereil severely hurt. An interesting counterpoint to TNG’s The Measure of a Man, as they replace part of the Vedek’s brain with a positronic one so he can continue his work. He is not the same, however, and Bashir refuses to replace the rest of his brain, that Bereil’s “Spark of Life” would be gone despite the fact that we know of positronic lifeforms.
- Episodes 20 and 21 – Improbable Cause, The Die is Cast: Garak explodes his own shop to get Odo to investigate an assassin sent to kill him. It leads Garak back to Enabran Tain his mentor, who has been working with the Romulan Tal Shiar to build ships to attack the Founders. Garak joins Tain on his mission. They try and bomb the heck out of the Founders but…they aren’t there. The Romulan equal to Tain is a Founder, and it was a plot to lure the Obsidian Order and Tal Shiar to one place, where they can be destroyed. Odo and Garak are rescued by Sisko and the Defiant.
- Episode 25 – Facets: Dax’s previous hosts are telepathically bonded to willing subjects, so she can talk to them directly. Nice in that if gives you a sense of some of them, especially Curzon, who freaking loves being in Odo’s body and doesn’t want to give it up. It’s odd how many episodes this show has that allows the principal actors to act differently (Mirror Universe episodes, holodeck accidents, Lwaxana Troi making everyone horny, this).
- Episode 26 – The Adversary: Sisko is promoted to Captain, and at the ceremony, an Admiral asks Sisko and the Defiant to go with him to negotiate with a race that is threatening war with the Federation. Turns out the Admiral is a Founder, and he’s TRYING to start that war with the Defiant. Odo kills the changeling, but not before we find out that they are ‘everywhere’. Foreshadowing ahoy!
Season three was a strong one, with some great guest stars and interesting plots. Still too many one-off episodes but they hadn’t really committed to the story arcs yet. BUT DEFIANT!