8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Many great episodes, but falls short of perfection,
This review is from: Star Trek Deep Space Nine - The Complete Third Season (DVD)
This is the season where we truly begin to see the show that Deep Space Nine would become. There are many memorable moments in this third season, as well as intense character development across the board. Many storylines introduced in season 2 would finally spawn fantastic episodes in season 3, and the show really began to take on a unique feel as compared to any previous Trek show.
The season opens with the two-parter "The Search" which was the perfect opener to a rousing season. The arrival of the Starship Defiant at Deep Space Nine signaled a radical change in the show's dynamic, as now the crew could venture out into space. Many fans reluctant to try the show earlier were converted by this development. Also, the structure of the Dominion is revealed, and the 'Odo angst' begins. Other noteworthy adventures include "Defiant," which features the return of Tom Riker as a Maquis terrorist who hijacks the Defiant; "Civil Defense," a seemingly metaphoric episode that is suspenseful and has what in my opinion is the most humorous diatribe trading between Dukat and Garak; the "Past Tense" two-parter, which is a good time-traveling episode with gentle social commentary, a continuation of the mirror universe storyline in "Through the Looking Glass. "Explorers" is a warm, character-driven episode that the show could not make enough of, and "The Adversary" is a great conclusion to the season, with Sisko finally being promoted to captain, a suspenseful cat-and-mouse chase with a changeling onboard the Defiant, Odo killing one of his own kind (accentuating the Odo angst) and the implication that changelings have already infiltrated the highest echelon of Starfleet Command, a plotline which would become the basis of an excellent two-part episode in season 4.
The two standout episodes of the season, however, are "Improbable Cause" and "The Die is Cast." Improbable cause has Odo investigating the (apparent) attempted murder of Garak, where nothing is as it seems. The Die is Cast deals with a combined Romulan and Cardassian fleet taking the fight to the Dominion and being utterly destroyed, due to changeling infiltrators. There is much great drama in this episode: the relationship between Garak and Tain, the Eddington/Sisko conflict, and the interesting fact that these two private men have their actions guided by the same dream: to return home. Astounding stuff.
Why only 4 stars? I can't reconcile giving 5 stars to a seasons with arguably the two worst episodes ever produced in the show. "Meridian" is the worst love story I have ever seen produced in any medium, and just like season 4's "Rejoined", Dax allows herself to be led astray by hormones, in spite of all her wisdom, importance on passing on the symbiont, etc. etc. I'm glad the producers finally realized that nobody was buying it. The other bad episode also dealt with love. "Fascination" is one of those "fun" episodes that just never worked out. Although the plot device to spontaneously attract people is logical (I guess), the pairing is odd, to say the least (Jake and Kira? Quark and Keiko? I think not). And, furthermore, the comic aspect of the episode just never materialized. It felt labored and just painful all around.
Deep Space Nine's Third Season began to show the show's potential. There are plenty of great episodes here, and this is the show's true beginning, as we see a more bold structure pervade the show. A worthy buy.