The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Heart of Stone

When Odo and Kira follow a Maquis raider to an unstable moon, Kira gets trapped in a crystalline formation that slowly grows the encase her entire. As Odo tries to find a way to free her, they may have to accept that nothing will work. Meanwhile, Nog has decided he wants to join Starfleet, but he must work hard to convince Sisko that he is serious.

Heart of Stone brings us two very different stories. The main plot is a bit of a hard sell – “Kira gets stuck in a rock” hardly sounds like the most fascinating material, but actually it works quite well. Odo’s interactions with Kira are well done, and the pain with which his admission of love for her is wrenched out of him is a moment the series has long been building towards. The final reveal that it isn’t Kira at all feels a tad contrived, but it does give us an insight into how much the Changelings want Odo back.

What really makes the episode shine, however, is the B story, in which Nog reveals that his ambition is to attend Starfleet. The Nog we’ve seen thus far has been concerned with latinum, women and petty crimes, but even though this change of heart might seem unexpected, I applaud it as a brilliant direction for the show. It’s not Wesley or Jake who will be joining Starfleet, it’s Nog – the one everyone dismissed as a shallow Ferengi. Nog’s seen how badly his father is treated because of his lack of business nous, and he doesn’t want the same to happen to him. Admittedly, we’ve never really been given the impression that Nog is particularly bad at business, but this one scene does a lot to characterise both Nog and Rom, so I’ll take it. I love it when characters like Nog defy expectations and make good.

Other observations

  • Although we’ve had hints of it before, this is the first episode which really establishes Rom as more than a shallow idiot. He’s bad at business, has low self esteem, and lets Quark bully him, but when it comes to engineering, he really is talented.
  • In order to apply to join Starfleet, a non-Federation citizen needs a letter of recommendation from a command officer.
  • Back in TNG’s Transfigurations, Chief O’Brien sustained a dislocated shoulder through kayaking on the holodeck. Here we learn that he still enjoys this pastime on DS9’s holosuites, and has even started inviting Odo to come along with him.
  • Odo’s name is derived from “Odo’ital”, which was the Cardassian labelling on his container. Since no one knew what he was, it just means “nothing”.
  • The unseen Ensign Villix’paran is apparently “budding”, which is his species equivalent of pregnancy.
  • Despite Odo’s hatred of phasers, he handles one in this episode.

Summary – Heart of Stone: Kira gets trapped in a rock, and Nog decides to join Starfleet.

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