26. Broken link (4.26)

Synopsis: Odo is plagued by an unknown ailment that threatens to kill him. Meanwhile, the Federation and the Klingon Empire move closer to war.

Memory Alpha Summary: It’s a bitch to be hungry

Review: Man, DS9 isn’t afraid to take chances with character shifts. On a lesser show, Odo wouldn’t become human, or if he did, it would be only briefly, as the writers would be scared about not being able to rely on Odo’s shapeshifting abilities to wow viewers. Instead they chose the more satisfying character development path. Then you have the announcement at the end that Odo believes Gowron is a changeling. It wasn’t terribly surprising to me, as Gowron’s personality has changed quite a bit since his interactions with Picard. Still fun, though.

One thing definitely noticeable in this episode is how much this crew enjoys working together. The scene where Nerys is sneezing and the senior officers wager on how long before she stops is just a charming, fun scene that totally didn’t need to be in there yet adds so much to the show. When you don’t get to see characters in their lighter moments, the dramatic ones don’t have as much sway. I especially like that Worf joins in on the bet, as the TNG writers would have had him say, “Klingons do not wager on sneezes!” or something. 

The only thing I don’t like about the plot of this episode is that Garak was allowed to tag along on the mission. Don’t get me wrong; having Garak around always make the repartee more delightful; however, I just don’t buy the raison d’etre. Sisko knows Garak is capable of horrible misdeeds, and unlike Quark, has not much incentive to please the captain. Yet he’s allowed on just so he can keep Odo company? The cost/benefit analysis seems off on this one.

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