When First Minister Shakaar pays a visit to the station, Odo and Worf must work overtime to defend against a threat to his life. But when Shakaar begins spending more and more time with Kira, Odo is reminded of the depths of his own feelings for her, and struggles to separate his professional life and his personal feelings.
Poor Odo. His unrequited love for Kira has been a strong thread throughout the series, and it’s played for maximum effect here. We start with Odo’s obvious delight and anticipation of his regular Tuesday meetings with Kira, through being Shakaar’s confidant as the First Minister realises his feelings for Kira, to rage and finally a reluctant acceptance. If Kira is happy, then Odo will let her be happy, and suffer in silence.
There are plenty of great character interactions for Odo this episode.
- Worf: Odo and Worf have an excellent discussion about order, routine, and keeping away guests by being as antisocial as possible. This is an excellent bonding moment for the pair, given that they didn’t get off on the right foot when Worf first came aboard.
- Shakaar: Shakaar confesses his feelings for Kira to Odo, who in return tries to get Shakaar to adopt the wait-and-see approach. But of course, Shakaar decides to just go for it.
- Kira: Kira is either still oblivious or just pretending to be so to spare Odo’s feelings at this point, as pretty much everyone else has figured it out by now. Much as he enjoys spending time with her, Odo decides to distance himself from her – the alternative being to mope in his quarters for the rest of the series.
- Quark: Quark is the one who snaps Odo out of his misery, and his backhanded friendship is rewarded when Odo soundproofs his quarters so Quark won’t hear him shapeshifting at night. Of course, Odo was the one who assigned himself quarters above Quark’s in the first place, so it’s less magnanimous a gesture than it seems.
- The threat to Shakaar’s life comes from The True Way, the same Cardassian revolutionary group who sabotaged Sisko et al’s runabout in Our Man Bashir.
- A new Bolian restaurant has opened on the Promenade, presumably providing some competition to the oft-mentioned Klingon restaurant.
- Apparently it costs money to travel from Bajor to DS9. Why isn’t it free?
- Entry to the Federation is depicted as a slow and bureaucratic process in this episode. I guess we’ve never seen the full timeline before, just the Enterprise swooping in to pass judgement on a planet’s suitability.
If the shoe fits
Think about it for a minute. It’s Odo’s negligence in the turbolift that almost kills Shakaar – one might argue that he did it deliberately. After all, if he can’t have Kira, why not kill all three of them in a tragic murder-suicide? He then thinks better of it and saves everyone.
And let’s think back. Can we really be sure of the circumstances surrounding Bareil’s death? Could it be that Odo sabotaged his recovery somehow? All this time, has he been killing anyone who gets close to Kira? Maybe he wasn’t completely cured after the events of The Alternate after all.
Summary – Crossfire: Odo’s tragic unrequited love continues.