Tacking into the Wind
|"Tacking into the Wind"|
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode|
|Directed by||Mike Vejar|
|Written by||Ronald D. Moore|
|Featured music||David Bell|
|Original air date||May 12, 1999|
"Tacking Into the Wind" is the 172nd episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the sixth in the final ten-episode arc of the series. The title refers to tacking, a sailing maneuver.
Chancellor Gowron just sent General Martok on an offensive against the Dominion. The battle was lost due to being severely outnumbered. Gowron blames Martok, but Sisko in turn blames Gowron for ordering such a suicidal mission in the first place. Worf tells Sisko that he suspects that Gowron's new military strategies are meant to humiliate Martok's command abilities, with no thought of the consequences for the Klingon Empire as a whole. He urges Martok to challenge Gowron, but Martok refuses to even talk about it.
Garak tells Kira that Odo has been hiding the true extent of his illness; Kira says she knew but wants to let Odo put on a brave front. They go with Damar to a Jem'Hadar shipyard with the intent of stealing the Breen energy dampening weapon. Kira has a tense relationship with Damar's friend and second in command, Rusot. Garak warns her that Rusot will soon attempt to kill her and that she should kill him first. En route, Damar receives word that his family was captured and executed by the Dominion. Kira responds to his outrage at the slaughter of innocent civilians by reminding him that the Cardassians did exactly the same thing during their occupation of Bajor. Damar leaves in disgust, and Kira regrets her words, but Garak points out that Damar still has a romanticism about the past, and this incident along with her words may be what Damar needs to renounce those views and focus on freeing Cardassia from the Dominion. On board a Jem'Hadar ship Odo takes the form of the female changeling, complete with skin damage, and - despite a delay - they successfully steal a ship equipped with the Breen weapon. In the process, Rusot tries to kill Kira and convince Damar to take the weapon for themselves and not give it to the Federation. Damar is forced to kill Rusot, giving up his vision of restoring the old Cardassia and instead aiding the Federation in the hope of creating a better one. As the weapon is installed, the rebels depart the station and head for Federation space.
Worf discusses Gowron's actions with Ezri, who points out that when men as honorable as Martok and Worf knowingly allow corruption at the highest levels, there is no hope for the empire as a whole. Worf muses on this during a High Council meeting in which Gowron presents a suicidal plan of attack against the Dominion. Worf challenges Gowron to a duel, which is evenly matched. Gowron seemed to have the upper hand, with Worf thrown through a window and his bat'leth broken, and was about to kill him when Worf fatally stabbed him with a piece of the bat'leth. By Klingon law, this makes Worf the new Chancellor, but Worf refuses the robe of office and hands it to Martok instead. Martok at first refuses, but Worf reminds him of the words of Kahless who said, "Great men do not seek power. They have power thrust upon them." Martok becomes the new Chancellor.