When Odo collapses in pain at Garak’s shop, it is the first warning that he is starting to lose his ability to maintain a solid form. With no one in the Alpha Quadrant qualified to treat a Changeling, Sisko and the Defiant take Odo to the heart of the Dominion. Can the Founders help Odo before it’s too late?
As always, DS9 shies away from two-part cliffhangers in favour for another self-contained season finale. Unbeknownst to him, by this point in the series Odo is carrying two viruses – one from Starfleet’s Section 31 (more on that in later seasons) and one from the Dominion, with the latter one taking effect here. Way back at the end of season three, Odo was the first Changeling ever to harm another, and after a year of deliberation, the Founders are ready to act. Forced by the virus to return home for judgement, Odo gets a taste of being with his people for one brief moment, only to be punished by being locked into human form. Now, Odo joins Quark, Worf and Garak as an outcast from his people, at home only on DS9.
- Poor Kira is having a hard time of being pregnant – not only does she suffer from constant sneezing and itchy nose (the Bajoran equivalent of morning sickness), but she doesn’t even get to go on a mission to the Gamma Quadrant. Of course, this actually fits in with my constant complaints that the entire senior crew shouldn’t always swan off in the Defiant, leaving DS9 unguarded.
- Meanwhile, Garak is keen to ask the Founders whether there were any Cardassian survivors from the events of The Die is Cast. This might seem unusually humanitarian for the self-interested Garak, but we have to remember that he’s probably most concerned about the whereabouts of his father and mentor, Enabran Tain.
- Why do the Changelings make Odo human? Since he was found and raised by Bajorans, why not make him a Bajoran, in physiology if not in face? Maybe it’s because the Founders blame the Federation for violating their territory, and have less of a quarrel with Bajor.
- Rionoj, the Boslic freighter captain, makes her third appearance in this episode.
- Odo finds the Bajoran militia uniform itchy, as did Kurn back in Sons of Mogh. Garak claims this is because of the Inkarian wool – as someone who has a similar reaction to wool against the skin, I sympathise for anyone in the Bajoran militia.
Summary – Broken Link: In which Garak tries to set Odo up with a blonde woman who looks a bit like Kira.