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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Change Of Heart

I look forward to walking through the jungle without a map and no idea of what lies ahead.

In this fun Deep Space Nine episode, Worf and Dax are tasked with a mission that could impact millions – while back on the station, Bashir and Quark have a sparring match of their own.

Worf and Dax are my favorite couple in this and probably any other Trek series. I love their dynamic, and Michael Dorn as Worf is one of the most underappreciated men on television, sexy even in the bland Trek uniforms and rich with the culture of Klinzhai. Dax is a gorgeous genius with some nice fighting skills and lives of experience behind her eyes. This episode showed pretty quickly how deep their relationship had gotten, and I loved every minute of it and the couple banter.

Bashir and O'Brien may be my second favorite couple, at least in terms of the humor. I think this episode took us a little further into their own dynamic too, surprisingly, since their storyline was fairly weak this time around.

This episode sees Couple #1 assigned to take the runabout Shenandoah out to the Badlands to look for a Cardassian operative. When they land on an occupied planet and are attacked, Dax quickly loses blood and encourages Worf to keep going. Worf, whose solid commitment to duty has by now seen him through two television series and invasions from both the Delta and Gamma quadrants, has to wrestle with the decision: leave his newly bound partner to inevitable painful death alone to save millions of strangers, or find a way to get Dax back to safety. And Worf chooses Dax. I think this is special because Worf, in the history of Trek, rarely chooses his heart. There was that mess with K'Ehlyr and Alexander, and Troi. And with Dax it's like he's finally got it right. Maybe Dax is wondering why he's so quiet and compliant; I'm not. There comes a point in life where you fall in love and you go, hell, I know how easy this is to lose now.

O'Brien and Bashir are on a completely different tack – one so apposite to the other in tone that it almost under cuts the episode. For our dynamic duo, the quest is to out-play Quark in a game of tongo, and ruin Quark's winning streak. For once, Quark wins – by playing very unfairly and dangling the memory of Dax in front of Bashir's eyes, hinting at lost love and passion. By itself the storyline is a comedy; with Dax dying in the Badlands, this discussion manages to bring the episode together.

In the end, Worf gets a fairly strong slap on the wrist from Sisko and Starfleet – and an admission that Sisko would have done the same, had it been Jennifer. We probably won't be seeing this couple going on any missions again soon.

Great Moments

This episode kind of slipped in a big secret: why O'Brien is drawn to Bashir. It isn't jealousy, it's challenge, the challenge of keeping up with someone as amazing as Bashir is. Bashir, on the other hand, admires O'Brien's persistence. That was, however, the best of that storyline.

The honeymoon discussion! Room service!

Todd Waring plays the forgettable Lasarus. Nobody's really that sorry the character died.

Heard on the Holodeck

Worf: Your problem is you cannot accept change.
Dax: I can't accept change?
Worf: That is correct.
Dax: Oh, you've got to be kidding. I've changed bodies six times, Worf.
Worf: Yes, but you are still very set in your ways.

O'Brien: It's the challenge.
Bashir: The challenge?
O'Brien: Isn't it enough? Why do you think I became an engineer? The challenge. What do you think has kept me kayaking down the same river week after week for the last seven years? The challenge. Why would I keep playing darts against someone with a genetically engineered hand-eye coordination?
Bashir: The challenge.

Overall

I love Worf and Dax, but the secondary storyline is a bit blorshtriggle here. 3/5 runabouts.

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