» » Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Field of Fire (1993–1999)

Short summary

To find an apparently untraceable murderer, Ezri Dax reluctantly calls up the residual consciousness remnant of her symbiont's past hidden psychopathic murderer host, Joran.

Ilario's last exchange with Dax is a play on an apocryphal exchange between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Bessie Braddock, Member of Parliament. Ms. Braddock reportedly told Churchill, "Sir, you are drunk", to which Churchill replied, "Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly."

Odo states that there are over 900 Starfleet officers posted on the station.

Tony Dow was hired to direct this episode at the suggestion of Dow's friend, actor Bill Mumy, who previously guest-starred in the DS9 episode "The Siege of AR-558" as Kellin.

This episode was directed by Tony Dow who is better known as the actor who played "Wally" Cleaver on the classic sitcom "Leave It to Beaver".

The working title of this episode was "The Killer in Dax".

This takes place in 2375.

Jeff Magnus McBride previously portrayed Joran in the third season episode "Equilibrium".

This is the first mention of a Bolian having a wife and a "co-husband", implying that many or all Bolians practice a form of polygamy.

47 Reference: Joran says that they have to eliminate 47 Vulcans to find the killer.

Hector Ilario was born in 2353.

This episode represents the third encounter with Joran. As well as "Equilibrium", he also featured in the third season episode "Facets", where he was 'embodied' by Sisko.

Cirroc Lofton (Jake) does not appear in this episode.

A script for this episode was sold off on an online auction

Joran states that Curzon and Jadzia did not know what to do with him, while Ezri states that they buried Joran's memories as deep within them as possible. This appears to contradict "Equilibrium", which stated that Joran's memories were blocked by the Symbiosis Commission until the blocks began to deteriorate in 2371, well after Curzon's death, implying that Curzon never knew of Joran's existence.

Jordan is suppose to be a mental projection caused by Ezri's ritual and not physically there yet in many shots, he's casting a shadow!

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Shalinrad
    Leigh J. McCloskey, formerly of "Dallas," guest stars as one of Ezri's (Nicole de Boer) former hosts, a psychopathic killer with an equally killer wit about him. When mysterious and unsolvable murders hit the space station, Ezri must call on Joran to use his vile background to determine the perpetrators of the heinous acts.

    Many fans of the series did not warm up to de Boer because she replaced the departed Terry Farrell. However, in this installment, de Boer makes the character her own, playing off well with the more experienced McCloskey.

    McCloskey has one of the best lines as he views a family portrait, showing one of the murdered victims in happier times: "How can they smile with such ugly children!" The line is priceless!
  • comment
    • Author: INvait
    In the seventh (final) year of DS9 most non main story arc episodes like this one are under-appreciated. That and the fact that the end is a bit disappointing, explains the overall low rating for this episode. But it's a very clever story, a nice combination of good science- fiction and a murder-mystery. The weapon used is an ingenious idea, and lets your mind wander about all new story possibilities. The psycho play between Ezri and Joran(Dax former killer-host) is well played, and it's a clever way to use this former host as a main character in an episode.
  • comment
    • Author: Rose Of Winds
    This is the sort of story I'd have expected on "Voyager". It's utterly stale, inane, pointless (BY THE WAY, DID YOU REMEMBER THERE'S A CATACLYSMIC WAR GOING ON BETWEEN THE DOMINION AND THE FEDERATION-ROMULAN ALLIANCE?!) story with a payoff about as satisfying as being punched in the head after being told you have a surprise waiting.

    So a 22 year old Federation fighter pilot ends up dead on Deep Space Nine with a bullet hole through the heart and no powder residue on him. I'm only guessing this now because this was supposed to an important clue, and yet is never fully clarified until the very end.

    This leads to Ezri Dax on the case, out to prove how utterly incompetent Starfleet is...

    ...except the case is pretty much broken through and the mystery eliminated and left to merely room-searching the 900+ residents of DS9, which would be a whole lot less if the security did their detective work (which to their credit, they did do some of later on), when Bashir and O'Brian discover that the crime was essentially committed using a Federation projectile rifle prototype with a technobabble device that beams the bullet to the location desired of shooting it.

    Add to that a headset device that essentially acts as the FarSight XR-20 rifle in "Perfect Dark" in being able to see through walls perfectly and zoom in even right through people.

    So Ezri Dax goes through this tedious process of bringing out Joran, one of Dax's previous hosts, and goes through this incredibly boring pale-imitation-ripoff of a Hannibal Lecter-type lecturing of Joran trying to get Ezri inside the mind of a killer.

    All of which pretty much amounts to absolutely nothing as the final damning clue is established pretty much out of detective skills that would make Robert Goran of Law and Order CI and Sherlock Holmes combined look like child's play, or the Mary Sue inclinations obvious in a bad script---All the victims had pictures in their quarters of themselves and/or family, with people smiling or laughing.

    Therefore, the killer must be a Vulcan, they establish.

    Long before you can even begin to put together the logic (HURDURR) behind this assessment, LO AND BEHOLD, A VULCAN ENTERS THE SAME ELEVATOR EZRI AND HER HALLUCINATED-JORAN IS ON! And long before you can laugh it off as a stupid cliché' that MAYBE will be lampshaded, JORAN SAYS HE IS DEFINITELY THE KILLER! So rather than confront him, or get security to search his quarters for his gun, she goes to her own quarters, and uses the FarSight XR-20 to spy on him, catch him looking up her service record, and get HIS OWN FarSight XR-20 to put on. In a scene so blatantly obvious in coming, it has no shock value attached to it at all, they both spot each other pointing the guns at one another, and Ezri's shot hits while his misses her.

    In order to close the ultimately pointless plot line involving Joran, she confronts his wounded form in his quarters, seemingly about to kill him while Joran urges her on. Instead, she asks why he did it, and he says...

    "Because logic demanded it" Any random assortment of words could have been put there that would have made more sense than that. Is this implying that this Vulcan is stupid enough to think of the concept of "logic" as some sort of deity, or a universal force like Chi or the Force? Or was there a whole subplot involved about his motivations seeming logical that was completely cut out of the episode that no one cared enough about to fix this loose end? It doesn't even matter anyway. The whole thing was as pointless as an average episode of "Voyager"
  • comment
    • Author: Daizil
    All the stuff with Ezri performing the right of emergence to bring about an image of Joran (a previous host who was a murderer) so she could get into the killer's head is cliche and boring but that's not what brings my score to a lowly three stars. This episode has a bad case of amazing-tech-itis. There are plenty of episodes across many sci-fi shows where they get their hands on some amazing tech or knowledge and then conveniently forget about it for the rest of the series. This is one of those episodes.

    A micro-transporter on the barrel of a gun that fires titanium bullets is already a hard swallow but okay. We do have other evidence of precision transporting in Trek such as when they beam a baby out of the womb in Voyager or when they beam a tiny spy device into a bulkhead in an earlier DS9 episode, etc. But we can't stop there because how is our killer going to see what he's shooting at? I know! Magic X-ray googles!

    Not only can these magic goggles see through solid matter like bulkheads or people, but they can be zoomed so they DON'T see through objects at a certain distance. If they saw through all matter then surely you'd be looking through the entirety of the station into the blackness of space. So of course we need to be able to zoom the goggles. Is someone standing in front of a monitor you need to look at? Just zoom in through their body and there you go! Now you somehow have a magic invisible floating camera between that person in your way and the monitor in front of them.

    It's just ridiculous and thankfully they ignore this tech exists in every other part of Trek. If it did exist they'd be as common as phasers and would be used CONSTANTLY. How many plots would be foiled by just one pair of these goggles? What if a ship had this technology on a larger scale and could just peer inside Starfleet Headquarters when they suspect alien corruption and immediately see the nefarious things unfolding there? This plot device tech is just plain horrendous and they should not have thought it was okay to casually introduce it with a bit of technobabble.
  • comment
    • Author: Bludworm
    This stand alone episode finds the crew of DS9 searching for a killer who is using a rifle to kill people in their own rooms. There are many questions that need answering; why is he rifle when evidence suggests the victims were shot at point blank range? Why are there no powder burns? and why is he using a conventional rifle when everybody else uses phasers in the 24th century. While Odo and Chief O'Brien are investigating the technical aspects of the crime Captain Sisko asks ship's counsellor Ezri Dax to provide a profile of the sort of person who might commit such a crime. This causes her some difficulties as it forces her to confront the memories of Dax's former host Joran, a man who had murdered three people in cold blood. As she interacts with Joran she gradually gets into the mindset of the killer, while this enables her to close in on the killer it also brings out more dangerous feeling which she must control.

    I enjoyed this episode and found it to be one of the more memorable episodes of the series. I thought that Nicole de Boer did a great job as Ezri, the leading character in the episode. She is ably supported by Leigh McCloskey who guest starred as Joran.
  • comment
    • Author: Bys
    "Field of Fire" is a truly bad episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space 9" and it's one I hope never to see again. It begins with a senseless murder on DS9 and no one knows who did it. So, as Ezri Dax hasn't yet established herself as an important member of the crew yet (just an insecure and wimpy one), she decides to play Nancy Drew, Girl Detective and go in search of the killer (isn't what Odo and Worf are for on the station?!). And, to assist her is her alter-ego--the previous incarnation who was a murderer. Together, these crime fighters go off on an adventure....and a dumb one at that-- especially regarding the murderer and his motivations.

    The biggest problem is the dumb plot device of having Ezri standing around having a conversation with her fellow crime fighter who you see standing with her, talking out the crime with her. It is a cheap plot device to show what Ezri is thinking and it really makes for a bad episode--almost as bad as the terrible one where they played baseball on the holodeck.
  • comment
    • Author: Jeb
    I will probably not get to where I accept Ezri as a replacement for Jadzia. She's a bit too perky and cute and never stops talking. I think this episode was created to get her into the action. She does talk tough and manages things pretty well. But that whole business of of calling our bad boy, Joran, in a kind of necromantic method just bothered me. The other part is that the story is rather dull and juvenile.
  • comment
    • Author: Butius
    The kid gets shot down three time in a row: First by Bashier and Obrien, then Ezri, and then by a murderer. Wish we got to know him as well as the rest of the crew does. Turns out its an Ezri episode.

    Spin off idea. Tales of a Symbiont -

    Step 1) Write an episode for each of the previous Dax hosts

    Step 2)

    Step 3) Profit

    Oopsies, another murder. Turns out the killer is using a transporter riffle. Not sure why Ezri is the lynch pin of this investigation but even Worf confirms that its HER investigation. Ezri invokes the memories of Juran and we've got a foil for the plucky young counselor. He does his best to turn her into a murderer.

    Spin off idea - Mind Hunter in Space

    Step 1) A variation on Mind Hunter set in the Star Trek universe

    Step 2)

    Step 3) Profit

    Exographic scanners are amazing and I want one. Not for anything perverted. Actually its for a friend.

    A weapons collector becomes a suspect of the real investigators, Ezri nearly kills him, but then Sisko gives her his blessing to continue HER investigation. After a third murder Ezri realizes that the murder is targeting happy people, people that are laughing. Turns out its a Vulcan she's after. Conveniently, she ends up in the elevator with a Vulcan, THE Vulcan. So she shoots him before he can shoot her. All's well that ends well I suppose.

    Spin off idea: Gate Trek

    Step 1) Rename all secondary characters from Star Trek planets from Stargate

    Step 2)

    Step 3) Profit

    Verdict: Illogical but Watchable
  • Episode cast overview:
    Avery Brooks Avery Brooks - Captain Sisko
    Rene Auberjonois Rene Auberjonois - Odo
    Nicole de Boer Nicole de Boer - Lieutenant Ezri Dax (as Nicole deBoer)
    Michael Dorn Michael Dorn - Lt. Commander Worf
    Cirroc Lofton Cirroc Lofton - Jake Sisko (credit only)
    Colm Meaney Colm Meaney - Chief O'Brien
    Armin Shimerman Armin Shimerman - Quark
    Alexander Siddig Alexander Siddig - Doctor Bashir
    Nana Visitor Nana Visitor - Colonel Kira
    Art Chudabala Art Chudabala - Lt. Hector Ilario
    Marty Rackham Marty Rackham - Lt. Chu'Lak
    Leigh McCloskey Leigh McCloskey - Joran Belar (as Leigh J. McCloskey)
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