"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" Defiant (TV Episode 1994) Poster

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A great episode, for fans and non-fans
johnjohnson6851027 April 2012
Sometimes on this show, when they are working on a bad or mediocre script, the actors remind me of high school actors with a lesson or two. But when there is a good script, like this one, all the actors fall into place and you can see how good they really are. I assumed this episode was going to be just a treat for fans only, with a wink and a nod and the presence of Jonathan Frakes, from The Next Generation. But a person could enjoy this without any knowledge of Commander Riker.

The script builds with a movie-quality dramatic tension. It is a little cramped as a story, it doesn't quite fit into one episode, and you might find it slightly overdone. But it has a lot to recommend itself, with good straight action and lots of character nuances. If you're cruising episodes looking for some good ones, I'd pick this one. And I looked up the writer: it was Ronald Moore.
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Riker steals the Defiant
Tweekums16 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
When Riker, from "The Next Generation" turns up on Deep Space Nine Major Kira is happy to show him round the Defiant, after all Commander William Riker, second in command of the USS Enterprise, can surely be trusted; only this isn't William Riker, it is Lt. Tom Riker, the clone created in a transporter malfunction. As soon as Kira deactivates the security systems to show him the bridge controls he stuns her with a phaser before simulating a warp core malfunction and offering to take the Defiant to a safe distance from the station. Once the docking clamps are released he takes the ship to warp and heads to the Badlands along the Cardassian border. Realising they are dealing with the other Riker, Sisko heads to Cardassia Prime to help them prevent a war. Once Riker has beamed a Marquis crew aboard he heads for the Orias system deep inside Cardassian space. Here they are intercepted by Cardassian warships which comes as a surprise to Gul Dukat who thought Orias was just an uninhabited rock. With the Defiant facing impossible odds Sisko suggests a deal to Dukat; spare the ship and its crew and he can have the sensor logs showing the activity of the Obsidian Order in the Orias system, if Riker accepts the offer he will have to agree to a life sentence in a Cardassian penal colony.

This was a good episode and it was nice to see a guest appearance from Jonathan Frakes as Riker, this was made more interesting by the fact that he wasn't playing the better known Will Riker. I liked the fact that this episode provided Sisko with quite a dilemma; does he help an enemy destroy his ship and in doing so kill Major Kira or does he let Riker get away with his actions and risk a war? It also gave us a further insight into the Cardassians showing us that the Obsidian Order clearly operates outside the law.
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good buildup, poor ending
Zephyr70710 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This one played out like an M. Night Shyamalan plot arc; great buildup, then disappointing finish. spoilers follow

Despite some fairly unbelievable breaches of security when Tom takes over the defiant, this episode has some exciting movement to it. My favorite parts of the episode were in the Cardassian command center and illuminating the power and structure of the Cardassian governement and Obsidian Order.

The ending was a big letdown. Felt like a cop out and was very abrupt. The showdown between the Obsidian ships and central command war ships was cool, but the Riker change of heart was not well played out and the good bye kiss and kira swoon were weak. I thought that moment took away from Kira's character, especially seeing as how she mentioned earlier in the episode that she was seeing someone.

However, the worst part was how the maquis crew responded like starfleet officers and not like rebel/terrorist members. They just take the reassignment to a bajoran militia major like it is no big deal and resign themselves to the fact that they have been captured and are going to have to face trial. Not saying that they have no honor, but they outnumber the major and are still in possession of one of the most powerful ships in the quadrant. To hand that over and surrender when there is still a chance of escape seems out of character for how the maquis have been portrayed in previous episodes.
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Just Too Easy
Hitchcoc11 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I have to agree with the reviewers who criticize the conclusion. Tom Riker (the carbon copy of our dear William) fights with the Maqui, but his resolve ends when he finds they are all in a hopeless situation. Unfortunately, this doesn't make for much of a heroic epic. Gul Dukat seems to be so different from what we would imagine him to be, much too willing to compromise. Within the series, it seems unlikely he would appease the Federation the way he does. Oh well.
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Wow...Thomas Riker is a real insecure jerk...
MartinHafer21 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
When the episode begins, Commander William Riker arrives at Deep Space 9. However, it turns out that it's NOT William but his identical version, Thomas (to see more about this, see "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Second Chances"). Years before, due to a weird transporter incident, two Rikers were created and one was left alone on a planet for several years. This stranded one is different--and perhaps has a strong need to differentiate himself from his identical counterpart. While he says he's there for a visit, Thomas is actually there to steal the defiant for the Maquis. After all, he IS exactly like William down to his DNA, so it should be easy for him to obtain the craft for his co-conspirators. What's next? See the show.

All in all, this is a pretty good episode though the resolution to the problem seems to come too easily and too quickly. There really could have been a LOT more tension and action--and the show is neat but incredibly restrained.
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Great beginning, horrible ending
owner-34-71209418 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This should have been at least a 2-part episode. It began brilliantly and all was fine until the end. Then...it was like magic. Suddenly, Tom Riker just changes his mind. Yes, I understand the so-called psychology of his decision. It's BS. Totally and utterly BS. And his "crew" just obeyed like good little Star Fleet crew members, instead of rebel Maquis.

As I said, if this had been a 2-parter...or even multiple parts, it would have been excellent. Gul Dukat looks like a ninny in this episode. There's nothing in this episode, other than the basic concept and the opening few sequences that are redeeming. Pitiful.
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Rikers beard is not enough
thevacinstaller29 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
You know --- He could have just shaved off the side burns and not needed the fake side burns to fool the DS9 crew. "Wait a sec --- Commander Riker has SIDEBURNS! This is clearly an imposter --- arrest that man!"

This is a fun episode and a clever way to get a Next Gen alumni in a DS9 episode. The other reviewers are correct with the assertion that this seems to wrap up to quick and Thomas Riker/Crew is too willing to surrender the mission for hardened resistance fighters. I think this would have worked better if they had the time or the ability to create a conflict between 'reasoned' Thomas Riker and a fanatic maquis member that eventually resulted in Riker haven't to choose the ideals of the federation over the maquis with some nudging from Kira.

Even as it is it's still a solid episode. There is some good character moments with Dukat that add some depth and sympathetic 'cool dad' attributes. I also find it quite interesting the ramifications of the Obsidian Order controlled ships/shipyards for a two part episode that is coming up. That's a nice little breadcrumb left by the writers.
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Defiant Until the End... Then He Changed His Mind.
ghost0ne1 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The title says it all. What started out as an awesome episode ended so horribly that I was yelling at the TV screen. "You can't end it like that!" But it did... It ended that way and it gave me cinematic blue balls. The problem is they had all these pieces in place, all moving towards this massive conflict... then nothing happens. Nope Tom Riker pussyed out and decided not to go through with it. He'd rather spend the rest of his life in a prison camp then go out in the blaze of glory. What?! Why take the time to build all this tension then have no conflict. It's like a woman who teases a penis but does not finish. It aint right. That's what this episode did to me. Don't get me wrong, it was fantastic in the beginning but in the end I was alone with massive blue balls. 5 stars out of 10.

P.S. Like Michael J. Tobias said, they should've made this a two parter. End the first part with a cliff hanger. The Defiant is surrounded! Then start the next episode there and have Riker finish his mission at all cost. That would've been really cool
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