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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Shadowplay

"You're a danger to this station. I don't just not like you, I despise you."

While on a scientific mission to investigate strange signals from the other side of the wormhole which might lead to clues about the origin of Changelings, Dax and Odo somehow manage to get accused of murder. Meanwhile, back on the station, Major Kira pretends she's the Black Canary.

This was a fun episode that added to the bigger storyline, gave us maybe a couple of clues about the shadowy Dominion, some more insight into our characters, and some maybe-progress at learning about Odo's people.

The more I learn about Odo, the more I love him. How he feels women do not react to him with interest (cough cough Lwaxana Troi cough cough), the quality of the bond he develops with Taya, our recognition of Odo's acceptance of a huge breadth of forms for life, possibly because of his own experiences: all these are describing the beginning of a unique trajectory. Which is interesting, because what I saw in the Changeling stories were echoes of typical fairy tales–Rumpelstiltskin, for example. He's reminding me of G'Kar from Babylon 5, only less grunty.

I don't love the tale of the hologram-people; it feels like we've been here before with Moriarty and reminds me of a storyline or two from The Next Generation and TOS. But it serves to springboard a confirmation that there's information out there, possibly about the direction of the Dominion, and a quote that the Dominion "comes in and changed our whole way of life" to the extent that someone confined themselves to a holodeck and arguably cornered themselves into a form of mental illness or dependency. I wondered at the end why Dax and Odo weren't far more concerned than they gave evidence of being; they were all "Look, we saved the holodeck people and convinced the owner of their holosentience! Fun shape-shifting time!" Enjoyable while it's happening, but confusing when you think about it. I'd be asking "How widespread are these people? Where was the location of the last world? Are they incredibly armed?"

Or at least copying the contents of the holographic computer's knowledge database for later review.

"Let's save the fake people and ignore the foreboding warnings from the man who made them."
"Okay. Unconventional, but I'm bored."

The Kira/Quark storyline continues. We can't blame Kira for the level of her hate. Regardless of who shoved them into the same room, her passion for Bareil is real–and so is my pity for Bareil when Kira's passion for trumping Quark seems to be slightly greater than her interest in intimacy. Isn't he extremely hunky in this episode? And fairly pathetic when she runs away to confront her nemesis? But also–at the end of the episode Quark's situation is largely unchanged, and it's not clear to me why there's not more consequence for Quark's clear involvement in several situations regarding station safety and crime lately. So I guess the biggest point of interest from this storyline is the progress in Kira's relationship with Bareil. Now that they've been more intimate, however, is Bareil going to die? I have forebodings.

She's smiling. This can't end well.

The Jake storyline is actually my favorite from this episode. For a while I've viewed his relationship with his Dad as a sort of problematic one, and slightly too perfect. Tonight is actually an example of that–Sisko basically instantly accepts Jake's change of goals, which seems slightly unrealistic to me. It's nice to see Jake questioning his own goals and not simply accepting the force of his father's significant personality. The irony, of course, is that Sisko sent Jake to O'Brien in the first place. I wonder if Jake has the success of his recent business with Nog in mind?

Here's hoping my questions about the Dominion get cleared up soon, though.

Bits and Pieces

Dax confessing that after centuries the unconventional questions are more interesting. I've been calling her Granny Dax sometimes for her matchmaking nature, and wonder how much of that is Curzon and how much Jadzia...

I love the storytelling scene between Odo and Taya, their bonding over their solitude. It's incredibly bittersweet, but also, it makes Odo's character-to me-more complex. How much of his interest is from his investigator side? How much of his incredibly sweet manner is a way to get information? Sometimes I wonder.

The top-dance at the end was cute, but made me roll my eyes.

Dominion foreshadowing, yet again.


Odo: Because women don't react to me in that manner.
Dax: Are you saying that you've never had a female friend?
Odo: I consider Major Kira a friend.
Dax: That's not what I meant. I'm talking about an intimate friendship.
Odo: That's a very personal question.
Dax: I'm sorry, but after seven lifetimes the impersonal questions aren't much fun anymore.

Odo: I see. So, have you scanned the area for signs of transporter activity?
Colyus: It was the first thing I tried. I didn't find anything. You know, I've been protector here for almost ten years. I like to think I'm pretty good at my job. People trust me to solve their problems. But whoever's behind these disappearances is a lot smarter than I am. I have to admit, I'm starting to get desperate.
Odo: Maybe what you need is a little help.

Kira: I'm sorry.
Bareil: Don't apologize. I should have seen it coming. Where did you learn to play like that?
Kira: My brothers and I used to play at the Singha refugee camp. There wasn't much else to do.
Bareil: Yeah, I was at Relliketh. And now here we are. That was delicious.
Kira: Thank the replicators.
Bareil: Here, let me help.
Kira: That's not necessary. Your shoulder–
Bareil: Never felt better.
Kira: Maybe I could use some help after all.
(Bajoran smoochies ensue)


While I felt the crew made some weird decisions tonight, at least they did it in an entertaining way; I love the banter and support between Odo and Dax, the relationship between Kira and Bareil, and I'm predicting more interesting stories for Jake coming up.

Three out of five omicron particle holographic solid projector thingies.


  1. This episode always makes me want to write a fan fiction story about the Doctor from Voyager taking Vic Fontaine and Moriarty to this planet to build a bigger colony of holograms. Maybe we'd find out that Moriarty's countess is really Minuet in disguise and then hijinks could ensue. Probably best if it just stays in my head though.

  2. This was always one of my favorites, specifically the parts of it dealing with Dax & Odo and the hologram village. Odo's interactions with Taya are sweet, and two of the villagers were played by actors I enjoy from other things. The town investigator was played by Kenny Mars, who was the wacky constable with the fake hand in Young Frankenstein("Vollowing in his grandfather's vootsteps! Vootsteps, vootsteps!"), and the non-hologram guy was Kenneth Tobey, who played the Air Force Captain in the old 50's version of The Thing From Another World(one of my all-time faves). I love the scene when they shut the holographic projector down and learn his secret. There's a lovely sadness to his story, and Rene Auberjonois does a wonderful job talking about how what makes someone real isn't the particles their made of, but the impact they have on your life. In the hands of a lesser actor that speech would have been corny, but Rene nails it. Maybe I'm just a softie, and maybe I'm biased because of the actors involved, but that plotline hits me right in the feels every time :)


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