Commander Sisko continues to deal with the green goo problem affecting the station, Captain Johnson hides a terrible secret, and Jake struggles with his conscience.
We return where we left off, with three Cardassian warships surrounding the station, and Gul Dukat offering to assist in destroying “the growth which clogs DS9.”
Sisko replies with a “thanks, but no thanks,” then calls Captain Johnson on the Armstrong and says what we’ve all been thinking – that the artifacts may be the key in stopping the green ooze. As in the previous issue, Captain Johnson disagrees, hiding behind Dr. Wembley, and hangs up on Sisko. Dax doesn’t have to be a half-Betazoid counselor to suspect that Johnson is hiding something.
Elsewhere, Odo narrowly evades being consumed by the ooze by shapeshifting into a bird. O’Brien and Dax work on spraying the ooze with the repellant, but they discover that it’s made its way into the ventilation ducts.
Back in Ops, Captain Johnson requests permission for the Armstrong to launch from the station: “If those Cardassians return, it might help if they saw we were ready to fight.” Like they’ll be afraid of your dinky little science ship. Sisko grants his request and sneaks in a request of his own, to speak with Dr. Wembley. Johnson gets angry and hangs up again.
Dax shows up wearing what looks like a Proton pack, and O’Brien beams her onto the Armstrong. She slinks through the hallway with her tricorder drawn. What’s she up to?
On DS9, Jake goes to his father, wanting to tell him something important – that he and Nog were the ones that released the mold from containment – but before he can say those incriminating words, he nearly faints. Sisko, now concerned that the mold is in the “air replicators” goes off with Bashir, leaving Jake to Nog. “My dad says as long as you don’t get caught, it’s NOT your fault,” says Nog.
On the Armstrong, Dax breaks into Dr. Wembley’s quarters, where she finds the artifacts and a tape full of video footage of Dr. Wembley – it turns out the good doctor is dead and Johnson is pulling a Weekend at Bernie’s, using the footage to fool everyone into thinking he’s alive.
Captain Johnson and a couple security personnel storm into the room. They order her to hand over her pack, and she gleefuly complies, revealing the pack was really Odo in disguise. Together, he and Dax beat up Johnson and his men.
Johnson reveals that Wembley died of a stroke shortly after the Armstrong entered the Gamma Quadrant. He used Wembley’s notes to find the artifact so Wembley would get the credit. Really, that’s it. No secret agendas or buried secrets – just Johnson wanting to make sure Wembley gets credit for his find. What a letdown.
Back on the station, O’Brien’s technobabble field doesn’t work and the situation looks grim. Bashir and Dax figure out that Jake and Nog are responsible for releasing the mold; however, the chemical residue left on Jake and Nog’s shoes, from when Nog broke Dax’s beaker, inhibited the mold’s growth.
This leads Dax and Bashir to a solution and the day is saved. Dukat checks in on DS9, and Sisko rubs in the fact that he didn’t need the Cardassians’ help at all.
Like Stowaway, Part 1, Part 2 captures the season 1 feel of Deep Space Nine perfectly, but because of that, is only simply okay. Not good, not bad, just…okay. As with issue 1, the art was superb. I liked how the solution tied into the broken beaker from the previous issue, but its implementation happens way too fast – only one page, to be exact.
I was disappointed in how the Captain Johnson/artifacts subplot was a red herring, and like all red herrings, was a complete waste of time. Which is a pity because I thought the murder cover up was interesting while it lasted. I was also disappointed at the lack of Garak, given his memorable appearance in Part 1.
The only really good thing about this issue were Sisko’s interactions with Gul Dukat at the beginning and end. The writers really nailed their sparring relationship, and I could hear Avery Brooks’ voice in my head. In fact, I still hear Mr. Brooks’ voice in my head as I type this…it’s not going away.