5. A Man Alone
We’ll be honest – A Man Alone mostly gets on this list because the first season didn’t have a lot of great episodes, and I really like Odo in the beginning of Deep Space Nine. It’s mainly a murder mystery, but the mystery isn’t that great. It’s just fun to see Odo in action.
4. Captive Pursuit
Captive Pursuit is another solid episode that probably wouldn’t make the top five in a Season 3 or the top fifteen in a season 5 of DS9. Nevertheless, it’s an O’Brien centered episode where O’Brien isn’t constantly being beaten up or messed with, which is nice. O’Brien trying to figure out the alien’s deal is a good time.
3. Past Prologue
Past Prologue is sort of surprising. Usually second episodes are kind of lame, but this one keeps the political intrigue rolling, even adding some interesting layers. Plus it introduces Garak! Everyone knows Garak is awesome.–
Emissary is a really strong premiere to a Trek show, and establishes DS9 as possibly the most ambitious of the franchise. The episode plunges the viewer into a much messier and meaner part of the galaxy and let’s us know we won’t be leaving anytime soon.
Duet is the first great episode of DS9. It’s got a mysterious and fascinating Cardissian figure. It pits Kira and Sisko against each other and both have understandable and sympathetic positions. Duet starts to reveal just what kind of group the Cardassian’s are, all while providing a difficult and compelling moral situation for the main characters.