As the show opens, it’s a tale of two ships: one a Valerian ship potentially carrying weapons and acting against the interest of Bajor (or so Kira says); the other a Klingon vessel which unexpectedly arrives at the station and explodes, delivering only one passenger to safety on DS9–to die. Before he does so, however, he says one mysterious word: victory.
Simultaneously, Odo has a very strange reaction, losing control of his morphic field, then collapsing. Nobody knows why–but the rest of the crew have begun acting strangely, as if they’ve suddenly become characters in the Game of Thrones. Bashir becomes Petyr Littlefinger. Kira becomes a sort of Jaime Lannister, running around the station threatening people (including Quark, in one great scene.) Dax becomes the babbling nurse who somehow manages to survive all the bloodshed. Kira and Sisko both want the Iron Throne of DS9.
During all of this Odo keeps investigating, and discovers the same thing happened to the Klingon crew. It seems clear some sort of aliens have taken over the brains of crewmembers, and Odo needs to figure out how to save the day. The ending, however, makes absolutely no sense. How is a telepathic, intangible entity going to be sucked into space?
In the end, it’s not clear what lasting effect this change is going to have. Kira and Sisko seem to forgive each other fairly easily. And we leave with a view of Commander Sisko, looking at this strange machine-like structure an alien built with his body, softly smiling. All I can think is, yeah, the Universe is full of interesting weirdness.
Bits and pieces
Please explain to me why Starfleet and the Federation don’t have command protocols for when ships strangely appear and crew begin to act strangely? I’m thinking of “Turnabout Intruder” and “Return to Tomorrow” from TOS. Goddess knows how many times Picard and crew had their brains taken over.
Luckily, the children on the ship were on a field trip with Keiko O’Brien during this episode. There was a moment when I was panicking about Jake.
We learn that really, Bashir is useless when it comes to Odo and knows very little about his body chemistry.
I thought Terry Farrell was awesome in this episode. She really pulled off the annoying rambling and made me chuckle.
Odo: So, Quark I heard you had some problems with the Klingons the last time they came through.
Quark: Spare me from beings who think pain is pleasure. In small doses, perhaps, but the Klingons? They're hard on the holosuites, they wreck the furniture. I'm still fixing the walls of holosuite six. I'm not saying they don't spend big. I'm just saying by the time you figure in the damage, I'm lucky to break even.
Kira: My disagreement with Sisko over the Valerians is no secret. Well, you know how he gets once he's made a decision.
Dax: Yeah, it's like talking to a stone. I remember a time on Rochani Three. We were cornered by a party of Kaleans, who were not at all happy to see us, but Benjamin–
Kira: You told me this story this morning.
Dax: Oh. I suppose I did.
I thought this was a pretty good episode with good moments, but it felt from the beginning like a problem-of-the-week episode, and by the end we’ve learned fairly little about our crewmembers.
Two and a half rambling Old Dax Stories.