This episode is the 1st of 6 episodes that setup the main Deep Space Nine story arc. The next episode is "Ensign Ro", a reference in "Unification, Part 1", a Bajoran character in "The First Duty", & "Chain of Command Parts 1 & 2"
Captain Maxwell is joking with O'Brien about getting his silver tongue from "kissing the stone". This is a reference to the Blarney Stone in Co. Cork, Ireland, which is said to give whoever kisses it great eloquence and skill at flattery.
This is the only incident in which Cardassian military officers are seen wearing any kind of headgear. That piece of their uniform was dropped in all other episodes involving the Cardassians in the Star Trek Universe.
At the end of the episode it is stated that Captain Maxwell has handed over command to his first officer. In reality, the pair of them should be in the brig, as it is the job of a first officer to remove a Captain from command if they commit a serious violation of protocol.
The scene where O'Brien and Captain Benjamin Maxwell sing The Minstrel Boy was suggested by Michael Piller. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion) The song tune would be used in one of O'Brien's final scenes in Star Trek, near the end of DS9: "What You Leave Behind". The Minstrel Boy was originally written in memory of those who died during the 1798 rebellion of United Irishmen.
This is Mark Alaimo's third appearance in TNG, each time as a different alien species. In his fourth and final TNG appearance in "Time's Arrow", he would play a Human character, namely Frederick La Rouque, a 19th century professional gambler from New Orleans.
The episode was produced and filmed during the run up to the first Gulf War, and first aired over the course of the war. Director Chip Chalmers observed Picard's push to prevent war and a push for war by many in real life at the time to be an interesting dichotomy of ideas.