To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S02E25: “Tribunal”

To Boldly Sew is a recap of DS9 episodes, with a specific focus on the fashions of the many aliens and other characters that make up the series. Feel free to discuss matters of plot and general Star Trek things in the comments. 

All screenshots come from, which is the same place as the original TNG fashion blog (

O’Brien is preparing to leave, so dressed like a 1960s boy band rather than a space-faring engineer.

no really, this is what I thought of

I don’t know what’s up with the shirt. Kind of double breasted, but not really. Kind of high-collar, but not really. And then his pants seem to have some sort of odd belt going on?

He’s giving some technobabble instructions to Dax. She makes some notes and Kira tells him to go on vacation and get out of their hair. Dax adds that he should have a good time.

Sisko comes out of his office expressing relief that O’Brien has left, only for O’Brien to rise up in the turbolift and try to say a few more things to Sisko, who also tells him to leave. O’Brien finally departs.

He then runs through the Promenade, past a guy with a mustache, who doesn’t recognize him at first. O’Brien identifies him as Boone, and says they served together on the Rutledge. Boone immediately remembers and they greet each other eagerly.


Boone is wearing a pile of sweaters, to indicate that he is Old and retired. Blue turtleneck with kind of a shiny pattern, then a mustardy vest with some sort of weird black stuff sewn on and green sleeves. He looks like your elderly neighbor or maybe your third grade teacher. You know the guy.

Boone has left Starfleet and settled on Volon III. O’Brien realizes this is on the Cardassian side of the Demilitarized Zone. Boone admits the treaty puts them in harm’s way, but says he runs a ladarium mining sluice, so he’s fine as long as the Cardassians need ladarium for their warp drives.

O’Brien is surprised that Boone can live there after the border wars, recalling that Boone was on Setlik III. Boone says that’s why he left Starfleet. O’Brien has to leave so he says goodbye, but Boone promises he’ll be back in a month or two for another supply pickup. They part on good terms, O’Brien running off.

Boone goes into a dark room and plays back a recording of O’Brien introducing himself to Boone.


O’Brien and his wife have taken a runabout. Keiko wants to know if he has the holo-cam. He doesn’t remember packing it or promising to pack it. He’s very thoughtful and reading technical update manuals. She’s surprised, as it’s their first vacation in five years. I am sympathetic to Keiko. All my husband reads is technical updates.

O’Brien wonders if they ought to have brought Molly rather than leaving her with the Petersons. Keiko says she likes the Petersons more than her parents. She puts out some bowls of food. O’Brien suggests they go back for the holo-cam and Molly.

Keiko asks how many update manuals he has brought. Only a few.


Keiko is wearing a long-sleeved reddish shirt and a brown shiny vest thing. As usual, she has the best fashion taste of the O’Brien family.

Miles seems to have gotten the hint, and sets aside his reading to order the computer to play some traditional Japanese music with a koto and flute. He leans over to kiss his wife, who is obviously still not pleased, but then warms and embraces him.

It’s awkward – the chairs don’t recline. But then they’re interrupted by the computer alerting them to an approaching vessel. O’Brien tells the computer to identify – it’s a Cardassian patrol ship. O’Brien orders shields up, extracting himself from his wife.

Keiko tries to send an emergency subspace signal back to the station, but all frequencies are jammed. The Cardassians hail them. A Cardassian comes on screen and identifies himself as Evek, and orders them to come to a full stop so an inspection team can come aboard.


We last saw Evek when Sisko confronted the Maquis several episodes ago. He is no more remarkable here, in his utilitarian Cardassian uniform, sitting in front of some bright red panels that I thought were stained glass at first.

O’Brien says they have no authority as they are nowhere near the Cardassian border. Evek says they can argue about that later and tells him to comply or he’ll shoot. O’Brien lowers shields.

The Cardassians come on board and say they have orders to arrest O’Brien and begin to search the ship. Keiko is alarmed. O’Brien wants to know what crime they’re talking about but they won’t tell them what he’s been accused of. O’Brien tries to fight but is shot. Keiko is more alarmed. They beam out with O’Brien.

On Cardassia, someone is talking about The Children on a big screen.


I guess the Cardassians either don’t have individual screens in their homes or feel the need to be kept apprised of all propaganda and news even while out on the streets. We don’t actually see any streets here, so it just sort of looks like they stuck random screens on the sides of buildings for fun.

O’Brien is brought into a room and a bright light is shined on his face. A voice tells him to take off his clothes. O’Brien gives him name and rank and says he’s a Federation Citizen. They tell him to take off his clothes again but he does not comply.

They throw him against a wall and rip off his clothes. They ask if he’ll make a confession. He gives his name, rank, and says he’s a citizen again. The guy in charge says to process him. They shine a light into his eyeball. He cries out in pain.

RIP, blue shirt.

The eyeball scan confirms his identity and his picture appears on screen. Still struggling, O’Brien is dragged to a chair and strapped down. They give him an injection of some kind. He starts to say his name again but then he falls asleep. They cut off a lock of hair and then pull out a tooth, then scan him with some kind of purplish light.

Then a female Cardassian comes in.


It’s hard to tell in the (sigh) dim lighting, but it looks like a) she’s wearing a one-piece jumpsuit, b) it’s not the Cardassian military uniform and c) she’s getting a good look at the O’Brien family jewels.

She asks if he’s been processed. Yes. She looks at him and then says they were told he was not to be harmed. They say he had to be restrained. They bring him clothing. He is allowed to stand up.

The woman apologizes to O’Brien for how he’s been treated. She introduces herself as Makbar, Chief Archon. She says she wants his stay to be as comfortable as possible, and his trial is scheduled to begin in two days. He’s been assigned Kovat as a lawyer.

O’Brien asks again who is accusing him and what he’s being charged with. She says “all in good time” and then leaves, leaving him in a holding cell with some clothing.



Back on DS9, Sisko informs Keiko that Starfleet has ordered the Enterprise and some other ships to the border of the DMZ so they see they are risking their entire treaty. Keiko says that in the meantime her husband is being violated.

Sisko tries to be gentle but she won’t hear it and says that she knows they’re torturing him. Odo admits that this is standard procedure for Cardassian interrogations. She says that Miles spoke about what Cardassians did to prisoners often and they can’t leave him there. Sisko says they don’t even know where he’s being held.

Keiko leaves. Sisko and Odo follow her out to Ops and he says that as soon as he has more information he’ll do everything in his power to help.


Keiko is wearing boring brown pants and matching shoes, and a red shirt that might be a jacket? It’s a more somber look than before, but red was the right choice. She looks good in red.

Before Keiko can respond, Kira reports that he has a subspace transmission from Cardassia Prime. Sisko orders it on screen.

Makbar comes on. Sisko introduces himself, and she does as well, saying she’s the archon representing the Cardassian Empire in its case against O’Brien. Sisko asks if he can talk to or see O’Brien and is denied. He asks if he can be assured O’Brien is well and being treated properly and she says he’s being treated with great care and respect.


We still don’t get a really good view of her outfit here – maybe it’s a sweater? But we do get a good view of her hair. Do Cardassians naturally have very stiff, plastic looking hair, or do they use a megaton of extra-hold gel? Either way, I admire the creativity of their women, as the men all have very boring hairstyles.

Sisko says if O’Brien is not well-treated, he will hold her personally responsible, and that is a threat. She says that Sisko lives up to the reputation he has that she learned about from Gul Dukat. Sisko asks what the charges are and she says they’ll be announced when the trial begins as is customary in Cardassia.

Keiko asks how they can prepare for the trial if they don’t know the charges. Makbar says there’s nothing to prepare – the verdict has already been determined – he is guilty. The trial will reveal how the guilt was proven. She says Keiko can attend the trial in two days time. Sisko says they’ll be there, but Makbar says only the spouse of the offender can come.

Odo asks about his nestor. She says his council and nestor will be assigned by the court. Sisko doesn’t know the word “nestor” so Odo says it’s the advisor to the offender. He tells Makbar he volunteers to serve as nestor in the trial.

She says that’s not possible as the nestor must be an officer of the court. He says he is an officer of the court and he served Dukat on Terok Nor and was designated an officer of the Cardassian Court four years ago to testify in criminal cases. Makbar agrees that he can accompany Keiko. Odo asks what penalty O’Brien faces. Execution is scheduled for next week.

Keiko demands to know how they can schedule an execution before a trial starts. Makbar says they believe in swift justice, and ends the call.

Odo says they should leave immediately. He and Keiko head out.

Sisko tells Kira to run a security sweep and investigate O’Brien’s recent activities, trying to come up with something to explain what’s happened. Kira says that O’Brien’s attitude toward Cardassians is hardly a secret – what if he has done something? Sisko says they need to know that also.


Back on Cardassia, O’Brien is resting in his cell. An old man comes to see him.

The old man sits next to him and introduces himself as Kovat. O’Brien says he’s basically already been tried, indicted, convicted, and sentenced. What’s the point of a lawyer?


Kovat, like all old Cardassian men, is wearing multiple sweaters. A red turtleneck, which really does make him look like a turtle, and a brown sweater that looks like it was made from an old blanket your great-grandmother made a long time ago and is very itchy and hideous and no one wants but also no one wants to throw away because it was great-grandma’s pride and joy. It is dirt-brown ugly. I do kind of like the open shapes on the front of it, though.

Kovat says it sounds immodest of him, but the role of public conservator is key to the function of the courts. He’s there to help O’Brien concede the wisdom of the state, to prepare him to accept the inevitable with equanimity.

O’Brien snorts his disbelief.


O’Brien, I’m sorry to say for all the O’Brien fangirls, has gotten dressed and is wearing what I assume is generic Cardassian clothing they had lying around. I’m not sure why he had to get rid of his regular clothing. This stuff looks like it has some weird decoration on the sleeves, and also like it might be a bit big on O’Brien.

Kovat tells him an old Cardassian saying, “Confession is good for the soul.” It’s also good for the populace to see people confess as it makes them feel better. O’Brien is not interested in that.

Kovat then reads O’Brien’s biographical data and Starfleet history. O’Brien demands to know what he’s being charged with. Kovat tells him not to worry about it. O’Brien says it’s insane. Kovat says none of that matters. The trial is to demonstrate the futility of behavior to good order and it will be uplifting. All crimes are solved and everything is perfect.

O’Brien is speechless. Kovat asks if there’s anything O’Brien wants to tell him. O’Brien says only that he is not guilty of any crime and he holds the entire procedure with nothing but contempt. Kovat says this is good and will make everyone feel good. O’Brien asks also if Kovat has ever won a case. Kovat says winning isn’t everything with a big grin and leaves.

Back on DS9, Kira and Dax have found something in the weapons locker. Bashir and Sisko arrive to find that there are no photon warheads left on the station. Sisko wonders how two dozen warheads could leave without perimeter sensors realizing it.

Dax says that the warheads have the same metal as the crates, so the sensors could have been fooled. Kira says it would require a transporter expert. Bashir doesn’t like the implication. Kira doesn’t either, but there is more.

According to the logs, O’Brien was in there a few minutes before he left on the runabout. Dax orders the computer to play the weapons locker’s security log from that time. They hear O’Brien requesting access. Dax says the computer confirms the voiceprint ID and let him in. Kira then says that after the door was opened, some kind of device was activated that froze all the security scanners in the room.

Sisko wants a full analysis of the voiceprint. Bashir says it doesn’t make sense – what would O’Brien do with photon warheads? Kira says give them to the Maquis. Recently, the Maquis stole some launchers but not warheads. Bashir asks if they’re suggesting O’Brien took his wife on a romantic vacation as an excuse to deliver warheads to the Maquis. He doesn’t believe it.

Sisko says that if there were warheads in the runabout, they’ll be used as evidence in the trial and they’ll find out soon enough. Dax says if they were in the runabout, how did the Cardassians find out? Sisko wants to know that answer also, as well as who was the other guy – the one waiting to receive these warheads.

He’s going to alert Starfleet Intelligence, and in the meantime, try to identify any possible Maquis members who’ve been on the station recently.


Back on Cardassia, Odo goes to see O’Brien.


O’Brien hopes Odo is there to take him home, but Odo says he’s not. Odo asks how he’s been treated. O’Brien says he had dental work when he first arrived, but has been okay since then. Odo says Cardassians are required to give the Bureau of Identification one of their first molars. Usually around age 10.

O’Brien asks about his wife. She’s there. It’s not permitted for family members to visit offenders in confinement, but she’ll be at the trial – family members are always invited so the public can see them weep. O’Brien doesn’t want her there. Odo thinks this is a mistake. O’Brien says his lawyer has already told him it’s all over but the execution.

He still doesn’t know what he’s charged with. Odo says he also doesn’t know, but they have an idea. He asks O’Brien about the Maquis and if he knows anyone in the Maquis or supplied them with weapons. O’Brien is insulted by the questioning and that no one is telling him what he’s supposed to have done.

Odo tells him that Sisko just told him about the 24 missing warheads and they might have been in the cargo bay of the runabout. O’Brien admits that the Cardassians did find something, but he knows nothing about it and didn’t transport them. Odo asks if he was in Weapons Locker 4 before he left. No. Then why does the log say that he was?

O’Brien is very confused and has no idea. He says that he’s been in Starfleet his whole adult life and no one has questioned his loyalty or had cause to ask if he was a criminal. He took an oath to defend the Federation and he doesn’t steal from them or lie to them. He needs his daughter to look at him and see a man she could respect.

Odo says that being accused of a crime is not a disgrace – some of the great figures of history have shared the honor. Odo says he’s on O’Brien’s defense team, and he and Keiko will be at the trial the next day, but they won’t be weeping and neither will O’Brien – he wants the archon to see the clear, unwavering eyes of an innocent man.

O’Brien agrees. Odo says he’ll see him tomorrow and leaves. O’Brien thanks him for coming.

Dax analyzes the voice modulation patterns of O’Brien’s voice recording. She and Bashir can prove that the voice was O’Brien’s, but the sentence was reconstructed sound by sound.

Kira comes in and says she’s found the Maquis and located a guy named Raymond Boone, who lives in the DMZ and was on the station that day. Three merchants saw him talking to O’Brien on the Promenade just before he left. Recording his voice, possibly, Bashir concludes.


Boone looks like a 70s TV star on his best days, but this vaguely sepia-toned photo really sells it.

Sisko says he’ll have Boone picked up.


On Cardassia, the archon is displayed on a screen on the side of the building as she says that O’Brien is guilty of aiding and abetting seditious acts against the state. The sentence is death – let the trial begin.


Some random Cardassians are watching the trial while milling about outside. The building is remarkably boring – is it the courthouse, or a random building? There are hardly any windows.


Archon Makbar is wearing what sort of reminds me of judge’s robes: mostly black, with a kind of silvery white bib. The sleeves are ribbed.

She asks Conservator Kovat if the offender is ready to face his judgment. Yes. Let him enter.

O’Brien comes in with some Cardassian guards. He climbs up some stairs and stands there.

The archon says that he can spare his family and the Federation further humiliation by dispensing with the proceeding and confessing. O’Brien declines. Very well, she says, and calls in Keiko and Odo. She says that the court recognizes the disgrace that O’Brien brings on his wife and they offer her the opportunity to disassociate from his actions by testifying against him. Keiko says she has no such intention.


The archon calls the first witness. Odo interrupts and asks if he can confer privately with the Conservator. Kovat sighs in disgust. The archon explains that he has no authority to address the court – he’s just supposed to assist the accused. Odo apologizes, saying he’s new at this. She says that all of Cardassia is watching and private conferences don’t make for good viewing, but sighs and agrees.

Odo goes to talk to Kovat, who is a year from retiring and doesn’t want things to be ruined. Odo says they have new evidence to prove O’Brien’s innocence. He explains about the evidence related to the warheads and says they can prove O’Brien didn’t do it. Kovat is confused – O’Brien has been found guilty. Odo explains about the recording and says he can play it for the court.

Kovat says that no evidence can be submitted after the verdict has been reached. Odo says that he knows that but was hoping the most renowned conservator in all of Cardassia… Kovat dismisses the flattery and says they want justice and not chaos in the court and declines to have a part in it.

The archon asks if he’s ready to proceed. Kovat says he is. Odo asks if he can address the court, and she says he was already told no. He says that the conservator refuses to bring new evidence of a manipulated recording. She orders silence. He asks what he’s supposed to do. She says respect the rules of the court; wouldn’t he like that if they were in his court?

He says he would like to change the venue to his court. No crime has been committed against Cardassia – it was committed at a Bajoran space station. Kovat interrupts to exclaim his humiliation and asks to be refused. The archon refuses him and orders him to sit. She then tells Odo not to try the patience of the court, and the punishment for contempt is unpleasant. He says he regrets he has no teeth to give the Bureau of Identification.

The archon says that she expected the Federation to come up with plenty of new evidence, but it will not be considered. She bangs her gavel and orders the first witness called.


Back on DS9, Sisko and Kira talk to Boone, saying they’re not after the Maquis, just want to free O’Brien. Boone says he doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Kira says that people saw him talking to O’Brien. He says that’s not a crime – they’re old friends from the Rutledge.

Sisko asks if it bothers him that an old friend is about to be executed. Of course. He wishes he could do something to help. Sisko says they won’t turn him over to the Cardassians. He maintains he’s not worried as he hasn’t done anything. Sisko tells Kira to hold him for further questioning.

Bashir goes into the infirmary and finds the lights off. He tries ordering them on, but nothing happens. He tries pushing buttons and nothing happens.

In the shadows, a man appears and tells him not to turn around. Bashir tells him there’s nothing there he could want. Shadow Man says that Bashir has a man in custody suspected of arranging the theft of photon warheads – Raymond Boone. He is not one of us. Bashir realizes Shadow Man is a Maquis.

Why should he believe him? Shadow Man says they knew nothing about the theft and Boone isn’t one of them. That’s all he can tell him. Bashir tries to ask for more information, but the lights come on as Shadow Man leaves.

On Cardassia, O’Brien’s trial is playing out on a big screen overlooking the city. Gul Evek, as witness, says that the Maquis are terrorists who murder innocent Cardassians, as evidenced by the warheads they’ve confiscated from O’Brien’s ship.


Oh, hey, some non-military Cardassians! Boring brown outfits, with some random seams up the back as decoration on the one guy. The guy on the left has a long top.

Kovat asks for clarification about the Maquis and Evek says that they are Federation citizens living in Cardassian territory; the situation is becoming untenable. How many more innocent people must die before the situation becomes clear?

Kovat asks how they know the warheads were headed for the Maquis. The witness says that they have several sources saying the Maquis arranged the theft. Odo objects. He says Evek has quoted reliable sources – he wants to know who they are. The Archon asks if Evek can provide details. He says not without risk to national security. She accepts this.

Odo asks how Evek knew the warheads were on the runabout. Reliable sources told them.


Boone is brought to the infirmary, where Sisko and Bashir are waiting. Sisko says he wants Bashir to give him a physical examination to answer some questions about him. Boone is confused.


A better look at the front of Boone’s outfit reveals that his green sleeves become a green shirt with a very low collar in the front, which does not sacrifice modesty as he’s wearing that blue turtleneck underneath. Also, for some reason unknown, he has a belt over the green shirt, but below the mustard yellow vest.

Bashir says Boone hasn’t spoken to his parents in eight years. Boone says he never got along with them. Bashir says that’s not what they were told. Sisko says he left his wife about eight years ago after being married almost 15 years. And he was discharged from Starfleet after failing several crew performance reviews. All of this seemed to happen shortly after Setlik III.

Boone starts to run but the guards catch him and drag him back to the exam table.


Keiko and O’Brien are talking in the empty courtroom. He apologizes for their failed vacation and says he doesn’t want her to be there next week. She says it’s not over yet. He says not to give them the satisfaction.

A gong sounds and the Archon returns to resume the trial. She sits in her chair and declares things will resume, and O’Brien will testify. O’Brien says he has nothing to say. She says he is compelled to testify and orders him to step forward.


There are also these other four random Cardassians in the room. I’m not sure their purpose, as they never speak. No need for a jury if the verdict is decided. Maybe they’re just spectators?

A lot going on in this shot, but I just want to say that I love the lady on the left’s outfit the best. Why doesn’t she get to sit? Is she a servant of some sort? They all seem to be dressed kind of fancifully, so maybe they’re high-ranking officials.

O’Brien walks down the stairs to the lower level of the courtroom. Meanwhile, Kovat says this is a good time to advise the offender. Advise him to do what, Odo asks. To confess and throw himself on the mercy of the court, of course. Odo says he never heard of Cardassian courts showing mercy. Kovat says that’s not the point. He pleads him to think of the children and allow them to see the glimmer of enlightenment as the offender realizes that the end is near, let him use his last breath to show remorse.

Archon asks if Odo wants to advise the offender. No. She tells Kovat to proceed.

Kovat asks if O’Brien was abused as a child. What? O’Brien asks. Did he hate them? O’Brien says he loved his parents.

Kovat points toward Keiko and asks if there was spousal abuse. O’Brien says she’s the most wonderful and supportive person he’s ever known. Kovat says he’s trying to establish why a fine man like O’Brien could turn into a criminal. Maybe O’Brien could help? No, because he’s not a criminal. Kovat says he tried and goes and sits down.

The archon asks O’Brien how many Cardassians he’s killed. None, since the war. Including the war?

Odo objects to the relevance. She says his past criminal record is relevant. O’Brien says he’s not sure; it was war and both sides did what they had to do. She says now that they are at peace, does he have a warm place in his heart for Cardassians or is he prejudiced and hates them. Has he not publicly stated his opposition to the treaty because “the bloody Cardies can’t be trusted.” He declines to answer.

She says he’s not allowed to decline to answer. He admits it’s an accurate quote.

Kovat gets up and says that the offender’s guilt has been clearly established and there’s no alternative but to concede the verdict. O’Brien stands up and shouts that he is not conceding, he is not guilty and he does not concede to the court or the Cardassian Empire. Kovat apologizes on his behalf. The Archon says he’s done a wonderful job. He says it’s an honor to serve the court.

The door opens and Boone comes in with Sisko.

Kovat loudly objects. The archon tells him to sit down. She says the Cardassian system of jurisprudence has worked to protect its people, and a guilty man has been brought to justice. But never let it be said there is no room for compassion. She senses in O’Brien the potential for rehabilitation, and he has gained an appreciation for Cardassian law, so in the spirit of furthering Cardassian-Federation relations, she sets aside the verdict and releases O’Brien into the custody of his commander, Benjamin Sisko.

Kovat is astonished and speechless. He asks Odo what happened. Odo says he won, and then leaves. Kovat says they’ll kill him.


On the runabout headed home, Sisko explains to Odo, Keiko, and O’Brien that when Bashir examined Boone, he discovered Boone was missing his first molar, and DNA evidence confirmed he was Cardassian, surgically altered. Eight years prior, to replace the real Raymond Boone, who was taken prisoner on Setlik III and apparently killed in detention.

His ex-wife told Sisko he came back from captivity a different man. She blamed it on bad treatment, but they started thinking. Why frame Miles? Keiko wonders.


Keiko was indeed wearing a brown top instead of a red one in the trial. It’s pretty boring except for the collar, which has a neat floral pattern.

Odo says the trial wasn’t about O’Brien – it was designed from the beginning to discredit the Federation – to show that the Maquis had their official support. Gul Evek’s testimony made it clear the situation was untenable. O’Brien realizes that they would have demanded that the Federation colonies be disbanded.

Sisko says that when Makbar saw Boone enter the courtroom, she realized they had the goods to embarrass the High Command in front of the entire populace.

O’Brien says he’s ready to go back to work, but Sisko says he’s used all his influence to extend accommodations at the lagoon. They’ll drop them off on the way home. O’Brien complains they have no luggage, holo-cam, or anything to read. Keiko thinks this is perfect.

Stray Thoughts:

* Okay, I did not see that ending coming! Totally out of left field.

* How well could the Cardassian justice system really operate with this sort of process? Seems ripe for corruption.

* I really feel for Keiko here, going on a romantic vacation with some update manuals. Sigh.

* Sorry for the lack of post last week, as I wasn’t feeling well. Next week is the last episode of Season 2, and then we’ll have a brief recap of the fashions before moving forward to Season 3!