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PLOT: We join in on a conversation aboard the station as Sisko informs Kasidy that he has bought land on Bajor and plans to build a house. They discuss other matters, such as his birth being orchestrated by the Prophets and Sisko asks if it bothers her? Kasidy replies that regardless of circumstances, she loves him for who he is.

Ezri meets Bashir and O'Brien at Quark's and begins to tell them about having run into one of Jadzia's former dating partners but Kira interrupts with news that Worf's Bird of Prey has been reported destroyed during a mission near the Badlands. Although survivors were rescued from escape pods, Worf was not among them. Later, Ezri is telling Quark about Worf, when an incoming message from Captain Sisko tells her that the search is being cancelled because of increasing Dominion activity in the area. On Cardassia, Damar and Weyoun discuss whether to send Jem 'Hadar ships after the Defiant (which is still near the Badlands) but decide that protecting a Ketracel white plant is more important. Damar also questions Weyoun about the condition of the female Founder but Weyoun angrily tells Damar it's none of his business and that all he has to do is obey the Founder's orders.

Ezri enters Worf's room and reminscises about Jadzia's relationship with Worf and remembers Jadzia's vow to always protect Worf. With conviction she takes a runabout (without permission) and begins searching for her former husband. When Sisko hears of Ezri's departure from the station, he hails her vessel and tries to convince her to return to the station but upon refusing, Sisko has the logs from Defiant's search transmitted to her. As he explains to Odo, if he stopped her, she would never forgive him.

Now approaching the Badlands, Ezri goes on the assumption that Worf may have made it to an escape pod, which drifted into the Badlands. Using a computer projection of where a powerless escape pod might have been pulled into he Badlands, she heads for that position and then has the computer shut down all propulsion on the runabout so that it can drift along in the Badlands' currents. Meanwhile back at DS9, Sisko is unable to sleep (he is worried about Worf and Ezri) so continues making plans for his Bajoran house. Kasidy comes to him and he takes the opportunity to ask her to marry him, which she accepts.

In the Badlands, Ezri spots what looks like a Klingon escape pod. She puts a tractor beam on it and beams Worf aboard - who has been injured. Ezri tries to make him comfortable but he still feels uncomfortable around her. On Cardassia, the Founder summons Weyoun and asks him about the latest vaccine test. He gives her the news that it was also a failure, to which she orders him to have the scientists executed and their clones activated as the price for their failure. She gives Weyoun a small sample of herself and warns him not to let the Cardassians know about the disease that is affecting the Founders because the Cardassians cannot be trusted.

Heading back to DS9, Worf tries to remain occupied so he does not have to deal with his feelings for Ezri. Regardless, Ezri makes an awkward attempt at conversation and inadvertently reminds Worf of his departed wife. However, the conversation is short-lived as two Jem'Hadar ships attack the runabout - disabling the engines. As the runabout begins to malfunction and crash, Worf and Ezri use an emergency beam-out to head to a nearby planet but in their rush to escape forget to bring communications - effectively stranding them.

Back on the station, Sisko and Kasidy are discussing their plans for a very small wedding, when a young Bajoran girl comes up to them and congratulates them. It's soon evident that the word of their engagement has spread throughout the station and everyone is expecting one of the biggest weddings in Bajoran history. On the planet, Ezri and Worf have set up camp and much to Ezri's displeasure, Worf arrives at camp carrying the carcass of an animal he has killed for food. The two again get into an argument and in the heat of the moment, kiss passionately. Sometime later, the two (obviously having made love) are awakened by a noise and are stunned by Breen soldiers. They later awaken in a cell aboard a Breen warship. Meanwhile, on Cardassia, Damar has an unexpected visit from Dukat, who asks for Damar's help. A little later, Damar sneaks away from Weyoun to meet Dukat in his quarters. A surgeon brought there by Damar has completed surgery on Dukat, who now looks like a Bajoran.

On DS9, a sombre Sisko is making a log entry (noting Worf and Ezri have been missing for four days but that the Defiant cannot search for them because of heavy Dominion activity near the Badlands) when is he is interrupted by a vision from his mother. She tells Benjamin that Kasidy cannot walk the same path that he must follow and that she is not part of his destiny. Sisko protests and says that if the Prophets care anything for him, they will not ask him to give up this but he is warned that there are many tasks still ahead. Sisko is told that his greatest trial is about to begin but that all will be as it should be…

REVIEW: Welcome to the first of the "Final Chapter" episodes, though one could be forgiven for assuming that all we are going to see is the on again/off again turbulent relationship between Worf and Ezri. Though I have often liked the banter between these two, I did tire somewhat listening to them rehash pretty much everything we have heard up to this point. So, Ezri can steal a runabout any time she feels like it? I did not really buy the scene between Sisko and her but understand that the story was trying to hurry things along for their confrontation and subsequent "making out" scene on the planet -- kudos to the special effects team for the nice shot as the runabout explodes in orbit after streaking across the night sky.

Hmm what else? I could have done without the soppy dialogue between Sisko and Kasidy as he proposes marriage to her though I guess it was a lot better than it could have been. What I really hated was the Prophet scene interrupting the dialogue once again -- though I understand that those scenes are necessary for the "Emissary" continuation, they really have not been serving their purpose for a long time now and are just so damn annoying to sit through. The writers may think they have tapped an inner source of depth by featuring them but I totally disagree. People may criticise Voyager (sometimes justifiably) but at least we do not see them resorting to crap like this -- they get on with the business of being what a Star Trek show is supposed to be about instead of resorting to "theatre."

The scene where Dukat comes to Damar to undergo surgery was a bit too "Melrose Place" for me and after reading some of the upcoming story lines, it seems that Winn is going to emulate Amanda. Obviously Dukat is also going to be a major player in the remaining episodes but hopefully his lines will be more compelling than those he got this time around?

Overall, not the most ambitious start to the remaining handful of episodes but based on next week's trailer and the fact that this week was more set-up than pay-off, I do not have too many complaints. 6.5/10