**** (4 stars out of 5)
Perhaps the medal is Starfleet's way of buttering Sisko up for the bad news: they'd like him to organize the joint UFP/Klingon/Romulan attack on the Dominion installations in the Chin'toka system. And if it wouldn't be too much trouble, could he stop being Bajor's religious leader? It's freaking all the secular humanists out.
But no amount of visually stunning space battles won in the spirit of interstellar co-operation and slightly morally compromised freedom and democracy will make up for the loss of a single life-long friend. Need I add... SPOILERS?
In the enemy camp, drunk Damar and uptight Weyoun are making s'mores when Dukat barges in, raving like a madman. Well, I should say EXACTLY like. He's going to war against Bajor's gods. (Hey, it worked for the Klingons.) And like the Santa of religious artifact looters, Dukat's bearing gifts. Watch out for Bajoran nesting dolls: unlike the Russian kind they have free demons inside. Sisko's nemesis gets a Pah-Wraith as the prize at the bottom.
And while the fleet is off on their big push, the Wraith rides in cold-blooded comfort into church to wreck a Celestial Orb. This carries the outcast wormhole-dwellers back to the roost. Before you can say 'cliffhanger' the Temple of the Prophets is hanging up a "Closed for Jihad" sign.
And there's a new spotted angel in Klingon Heaven.
"Tears of The Prophets" is still terribly exciting. Action and drama. Faith and despair. Victories that taste like failure. Complex storylines paying off in flames and big boom-ba-ba-blam-Michael Bay 'Splosions! This is where the big bucks go, and I dare you to stop now. The final season is going to be amaze-balls!