**** (4 stars out of 5)
Wow. Spend an eye-blink with Voyager and we're suddenly three months into the Dominion War. Sisko and his Starfleet gang (plus Mr. Garak for colour) are living on Starbase 375. Where the uniforms are brighter but the prospects are pretty dim.
Weyoun and the Dominion are actually on their best behaviour with their new bitch planet Bajor. Nobody's enslaved, nobody's going hungry. Of course, they're not exactly equals or anything. Bajorans with extra gumption are moving back to Terok Nor, but none of them are allowed to have guns. It's like Canada with lizard men!
98 out of 112 ships from Starfleet's Seventh Fleet are destroyed by Jem'Hadar. THIS AFTERNOON. This is bad news, but apparently typical of the way things are now. Luckily, our characters are all alive in the AfterMASH, while Dax and Worf are making wedding plans. Mostly Worf.
Sisko's crew is on a secret mission aboard their captured Jem'Hadar ship to destroy the biggest ketracel-white factory in Cardassian space. Along the way, they are forced to exchange fire with U.S.S. Centaur under Captain Charlie Brown, uh, Reynolds. Again, luck is on their side in disabling their out-of-the-loop allies without adding a 99th Starfleet ship to the Dominion tally.
Dukat's initials are S.G. And based on his behaviour toward Kira, if the 'G' stands for Guy, the 'S' probably stands for Sexual Harassment.
Stifled and presumably just standing around keeping Kira alive for the past 3 months, Odo finally makes a request and gets his Bajoran security force reinstated. In return, Weyoun requests his idol Odo sit on the station's Ruling Council with him and Dukat. And also would it kill him to pat Weyoun on the head every once in a while? Wiping out all freedom in the galaxy is so stressful!
Sisko's Sneakies lose their warp drive destroying the white supply. Think Voyager has it bad? Well, what about a 17 year journey with no chairs and rations for only 3 weeks? Join us next time when we'll see if Mr. Garak is as delicious as he looks...
"A Time to Stand" and the rest of this six-episode epic wartime experimental story arc was a full head and shoulders above its sister series. Like the Next Generation, I felt like Deep Space Nine got a little better at saying what it wanted to say every year. I may hate war, but I loves me some space drama!