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Season Five:
-503: "Trials and Tribble-ations"
-506: "Things Past"
-508: "Rapture"
-511: "For the Uniform"
-520: "Children of Time"
-523: "In the Cards"

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In the Cards

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season Five (1996-1997):

26 episodes @ 43 minutes each.
Get your copy of this 7-disc DVD set from the links below:
Region 1, NTSC, U.S.
Region 1, NTSC, Canada
Region 2, PAL, U.K.
Region 2, PAL, U.K. (Slimline Edition)

In the Cards

(Star Trek - Deep Space Nine episode production code 523)
story by Truly Barr Clark & Scott J. Neal
teleplay by Ronald D. Moore
directed by Michael Dorn
stardate 50929.4

Rarely does a Star Trek episode give me such a wide variety of interesting but totally unrelated things to talk about.

We tip-toe into DS9's foggy long-term Prime Directive situation with Bajor, where Kai Winn has a delicate situation to consider regarding the Dominion, and turns to Sisko as her next best spiritual source of advice. On the one hand, Sisko feels more empathetic towards her and her goals than in any of their other episodes so far, but on the other, he clearly is feeling uncomfortable with the quasi-religious responsibilities she is deferring upon him. He knows the Prime Directive is asking him to walk a fine line here, and with good reason. I think he finds a good balance, in having some advice to offer, without necessarily solving her entire problem for her. As a side note, you have to wonder why the Dominion is meeting with Kai Winn and not the ministers of the Bajoran government, who would be in a greater position of authority to grant what they are asking. Then again, maybe they see Kai Winn as someone through which they can gain a significant advantage more easily.

Today's time-travel notes are less important, since they are less real. Basically, we just hear Jake spin a tall tale at the last minute that hinges on Star Trek's usual abysmal temporal theory. Yep, it's literally just a writer spinning a yarn, all starting with the foolish notion that we could all just be sitting here until "poof" - some form of magic suddenly changes things all around us, without us having to "slide" over to the alternate universe that those versions of past events would create. I wouldn't buy it. Neither does Weyoun. Thankfully this is couched in the same kind of frame that similar ideas were in "Trials and Tribble-ations" earlier this season. Let's continue to poke fun at it, nudge-nudge, wink-wink.

On a completely separate note, one of the great successes of this episode is that it runs into the question of how a society that doesn't use money interacts with a society that does, and then tackles it head on. Jake quotes a line from the recent "Star Trek 8: First Contact" feature film, "We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity" while he and Nog dig into the question of what that really means. Though they never really get a definitive answer, or truly present a complete model of how the economics of the future can work, the seed of it comes through quite beautifully. There are still things that everyone wants and needs, and these things are most easily traded and bartered. Jake and Nog meet a lot of other characters in the episode, and get the economy flowing between them, mostly without using the Gold-pressed Latinum currency of the Ferengi. This is one of the most satisfying and uplifting payoffs any DS9 episode has had this season. In fact, some of these small tidbits are quite priceless.

I was quite surprised to see Michael Dorn's name on the director's credit - and I think he turned out quite an impressive episode where the actors gave a little extra. Bonus.

I'm also a little worried about the DVD packaging listing this episode as having an "unknown" stardate, when Captain Sisko clearly gives the stardate as 50929.4 in the CLOSING monologue. It makes me wonder how many other episodes actually have stardates which the DVD packaging ignores.

This Deep Space Nine Season Five story is available on DVD.
Click on the Amazon symbol for the desired disc format and location nearest you for pricing and availability:

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season Five (1996-1997):

26 episodes @ 43 minutes each.

Get your copy of this 7-disc DVD set
from the links below:

DVD Extras include:

  • Crew Dossier featurette: O'Brien
  • Tribble-ations: Uniting Two Legends
  • Tribble-ations: A Historic Endeavor
  • "Section 31" episode featurettes
  • promenade tour revealing secrets
  • Michael Westmore's Aliens
  • Photo Gallery

Region 1 NTSC

Region 1 NTSC

Region 2 PAL

PAL (Slimline Ed.)

Article written by Martin Izsak. Comments on this article are welcome. You may contact the author from this page:

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Read the next Star Trek review: "Sacrifice of Angels"

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