Star Trek Deep Space Nine Review: Improbable Cause

This afternoon I continued my screening of multipart episodes of Star Trek DS9 by viewing Improbable Cause and the Die is Cast (Season 3, 1995). In this 2 part episode Garak’s shop is blown up. Garak becomes involved with his formers associates at the Obsidian Order and the Tal Shiar who have a small fleet of ships to destroy the founders of the Dominion homeworld. Their planned act of genocide fails. Odo is freed from torture only to rescue Garak so they can escape together.

The Obsidian Order and Tal Shiar are secret blacks ops organisations of the Cardassians and Romulans much like MI6, the CIA and Mossad in the 21st century. The brutal operations conducted by the Tal Shiar are not much different to the CIA with internment at Guantanamo Bay during the War on Terror. The Obsidian Order were part of the Cardassian security forces that occupied the Bajorian homeworld in much the same way that Mossad assist Israel in occupying Palestine.

The episode shows a dark portrayal of what people with power will do in order to maintain existing power structures. This is evident today where the US and Europe back Ukraine in a proxy war with Russia. Just as Iran and Syria support Russia. The question on my mind as the episode developed was why didn’t the characters not appear to know what they were fighting for. All sides appeared to be fighting for a flag rather than for virtues.

It also made me question my own morality as I knew later on in the series the Dominion would fight an awful war against Earth and the Federation. The Dominion were later responsible for awful atrocities and war crimes. They were prepared to commit genocide themselves if it aligned with their goals. Overall I realised war is complex and in darkness we should always try to navigate it with our best virtues on display. As nothing about the future is as real as the present.