**** (4 stars out of 5)
And all's well that ends well... (if only he hadn't as much as said 'Only nine episodes to retirement!')
It seems the entire populace of Bajor wants to come to the wedding of the Emissary, but not everyone's smiling. The Prophet Sarah (Sisko's half-mother) declares his destiny lies elsewhere. Once again, religion stomps all over sex and happiness!
Despite Picard's efforts at reconciliation, it seems the Son'a are still Dominion allies (Aw, that's too generous. I meant insignificant pawns) rather than all going home to their moms on Ba'ku. Nice one, Picard. Leave your mess behind for the stay-at-homes as usual! Also, still plague-ridden, the Founder known as Drop-In-The-Ocean has her Vorta doctors put to death. This encourages their clones to work faster. (Then again, devil's advocate here, why not simply MAKE the clones, PUT them in different labs, and TELL them their earlier selves were executed? Two for the price of one? Many hands make light work? What am I thinking? She's the VILLAIN. If she's not hampering her own recovery by irrationally killing her own minions how would I know who were the good guys?)
Ezri Dax loves to take a Gander... so she does. She steals the runabout (hastily re-dubbed from the long-ago destroyed Ganges to the Newfoundland river Gander) to locate missing Worf after everyone else had to give up searching. They find each other again, in more ways than one. After a night of arguing, getting shot down, and some ill-advised passion on Goralis (Yunga, Yunga!), they are captured by the mysterious Breen. No, not Ben Vereen. BREEN. You remember them? You don't? Well, that's what you get for skimming.
"Penumbra" is the beginning of the most ambitious (and, I would argue, successful) serialized story arc in Star Trek history. The nine final episodes of the niners! Turn off your telephones, ignore your families, and watch it all in one gulp with me, won't you?