The Die Is Cast (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

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"The Die Is Cast"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 21
Directed byDavid Livingston
Written byRonald D. Moore
Featured musicDennis McCarthy
Production code467
Original air dateMay 1, 1995 (1995-05-01)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Improbable Cause"
Next →
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (season 3)
List of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes

"The Die Is Cast" is the 67th episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 21st episode of the third season. It concludes the story begun in the previous episode, "Improbable Cause".

Garak has to interrogate Odo to prove his loyalty to his former mentor as a Tal ShiarObsidian Order attack on the Founders is underway.


Garak and Odo have not been heard from on Deep Space Nine in several days, following their departure in a runabout to investigate an attempt on Garak's life. Bashir fears for his friend Garak; O'Brien reminds him that no debris from their runabout has been located, making it unlikely that it has been destroyed.

In Ops, the crew is alarmed when a large CardassianRomulan fleet decloaks; the fleet ignores the station's hails and proceeds through the Wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant.

On the lead ship of the Cardassian–Romulan fleet, Enabran Tain and Garak reflect upon their past times together in the Obsidian Order, the Cardassian secret police. Garak says that he intends to use his newly regained power to exact revenge on several old adversaries, including Gul Dukat, which Tain assures him he will be in a position to do when their mission is complete. Romulan Colonel Lovok, who is immediately suspicious of Garak, informs Tain that the fleet has recloaked and has set course to the Founders' homeworld at Warp 6, as traveling any faster risks detection, even through their cloaking device, by the Jem'Hadar. Tain instructs Garak to question Odo, but Odo does not offer any additional information.

Back on DS9, the senior staff, including Security Chief Michael Eddington, are shown an intercepted transmission where Tain lays out his plans to destroy the Dominion with combined forces from the Obsidian Order and the Romulan Tal Shiar. While both intelligence organizations have acted outside the authority of their respective governments, neither government has chosen to intervene. Vice Admiral Toddman indicates that Starfleet is taking a similar approach, as the mission appears to have a good chance of success, and they are wary of the threat the Dominion poses if left unchecked, he instructs Commander Sisko to keep the Defiant guarding Bajor, but immediately following the briefing, Sisko asks for volunteers for a mission to take the Defiant into the Gamma Quadrant to rescue Odo, warning they will likely all be court-martialed as a result.

Tain again instructs Garak to interrogate Odo, this time using a device that inhibits his ability to shape-shift. Garak is reluctant to apply torture, but knowing that Tain will never trust him if he refuses, he reluctantly does so; as the device begins to cause Odo obvious pain, Garak begs him to reveal anything of use, even if it's a lie. Odo reveals his desire to return to his people and the Great Link despite his voluntary exile, and Garak is relieved to deactivate the device.

On the Defiant, the cloak suddenly fails, and Eddington admits he has sabotaged it under direct orders from Vice Admiral Toddman. Sisko accepts that Eddington, as a Starfleet Officer could not disobey the Vice Admiral, and while frustrated, when Eddington vows to otherwise carry out his duties, Sisko allows him to resume his post. Meanwhile, O'Brien sets to work repairing the cloaking device.

The Cardassian–Romulan fleet arrives at the Founders' homeworld, finding little resistance, and opens fire. While the initial bombardment appears to have been successful, they soon discover that they are reading false life signs from the planet surface, and that the mission was a trap. Suddenly, Jem'Hadar ships emerge from the Omarion Nebula and engage the fleet, vastly outnumbering them. In the resulting battle, the Cardassian–Romulan fleet is annihilated.

Knowing that the battle is lost, Garak leaves the bridge to rescue Odo, they encounter Lovok, who reveals himself to be a Founder, and assists Odo in escaping, as "no Changeling has ever harmed another." Lovok confesses that the Founders viewed the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order as threats and helped push Tain's plan forward in order to destroy them, and hints that the remaining threats, the Klingon Empire and United Federation of Planets, may not be so for much longer. He offers Odo a chance to return to the Great Link, which Odo again declines.

Garak makes his way back to the bridge to save Tain, but Tain refuses to leave, and Garak refuses to abandon him, so Odo knocks Garak unconscious and escapes with him on the runabout, they come under attack, and when all seems lost, Garak sincerely apologizes, which Odo accepts. Suddenly, the Defiant decloaks and rescues the pair, and slips away from the battle to return to the wormhole.

Back on the station, Sisko and his crew escape discipline for their actions, and Odo suggests he and Garak meet for breakfast. Surprised, Garak answers that he didn't think Odo ate anything. To which Odo just replies that, indeed, he does not.


In 2015, recommended this episode as "essential watching" for their abbreviated Star Trek: Deep Space Nine binge-watching guide, pairing it with the previous episode "Improbable Cause".[1]

In 2018, CBR rated "Improbable Cause" coupled with "The Die Is Cast", as the 12th best multi episode story arc of Star Trek,[2] they call it a "fun showcase for Garak", the space station's tailor.[3]

In 2018, reviewed as a pair with the preceding episode "Improbable Cause", "The Die as Cast" was ranked as the 6th best episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine by Vulture.[4]

References to other works[edit]

  • In the episode, Vice Admiral Toddman makes reference to Wolf 359, portrayed in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds", as well as the Deep Space Nine pilot "Emissary", where it figures heavily in Sisko's backstory.
  • In the episode "Defiant", Gul Dukat and Commander Sisko discover that a secret base operated by the Obsidian Order has a fleet of ships, which is forbidden.


  1. ^ "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine condensed: How to watch the most story-driven Trek". 2015-01-19. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  2. ^ "Star Trek's Greatest Episodic Sagas, Ranked". CBR. 2018-11-23. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  3. ^ "Star Trek's Greatest Episodic Sagas, Ranked". CBR. 2018-11-23. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  4. ^ Retrieved 2019-07-11. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]