This was a surprisingly engaging episode, actually? LOL that sounds harsh, but a lot of the first season just kinda leaves me cold. We’re already reaching a point where both writers and cast are starting to get more of a handle on the characters, though, which helps to liven things up a lot. Additionally, this is an interesting episode in terms of the groundwork it lays for later developments.
The fact that Croden considers the shapeshifters a legend is interesting, as is the fact that there’s some truth to what he says about their having been persecuted by the solids. He’s also bang on in his comments about the shapeshifters’ general personalities: the Founders are later established as having a strong sense of justice that can very easily become too rigid, even turn into fascism; they have very little trust in other species, which can also turn, as Quark points out, into paranoia.
This is also the first time we see Odo’s weird smile and okay, I admit I’m not the biggest Odo fan, but I love his awkward smile so much.
Shout-out to the props team
I really like both the shiny purple mug Quark is drinking out of in the opening, and the bottle Rom brings on the tray. And the glimpse we get of the Vulcan ship, too, actually.
On the subject of Quark, I feel like it’s a very interesting little characterization thing that he’s got a drawer full of security clearance widgets? It struck me as a subtle way of telling us that, like Garak, he actually has the means to do some serious damage to the station. You can argue that he wouldn’t just out of self-interest, since that’s where he lives, but he could also sell them to someone who does want to fuck things up on the station and disappear into the Gamma Quadrant or something.
The climactic scenes though
First, I have some questions: why would Odo be knocked unconscious by rocks? He doesn’t have bones. Or a brain, for that matter. And doesn’t he revert to his liquid state when he’s unconscious, anyway? I watched this episode with my mother, who initially thought that he was faking it as a test for Croden, and frankly, that might have made more sense.
That aside, apparently the writers and producers were concerned about the reveal of Croden’s daughter being too sappy. Instead, I’ll let my mother, with whom I watched the episode, explain why it resonated pretty hard:
Odo, preparing to transport them both to the Vulcan ship: Don’t thank me, I already regret it.
Mom: …but of course he’s helping them anyway, BECAUSE WHAT KIND OF MONSTER WOULD SEPARATE A PARENT AND CHILD TO SEND THE PARENT BACK TO CERTAIN DEATH?
So, yeah, ouch.
There is very little horniness in this episode, although Quark and Odo are basically Kate Beaton’s Nemesis comics. Like several other duos on this show, actually (Sisko and Eddington, Dukat and Sisko, Dukat and Kira, some hints at it with Dukat and Garak…let’s be real, pretty much Dukat and anyone he interacts with more than once), which might be why it has such a special place in my heart.