April 12, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “Improbable Cause”

Garek's background comes into play after an assassination attempt destroys his shop.

Garek is a character known for keeping things quiet and suspected of being a liar, generally for good reason.  Odo is the station’s chief of security and can seemingly sniff out lies.

It’s about time the two of them were teamed up.

Of course, there has to be a reason for Odo and Garek to work together, and that comes in the form of an explosion that rips Garek’s shop apart and severely injures the “simple tailor” after one of his customary lunches with Dr. Bashir…one that ends when Garek sees Shakespeare as poor material because Julius Caesar from the Cardassian point of view is less tragic and more stupid.

As a Shakespeare guy, I should be a little bothered, but honestly?  It makes sense from a Cardassian perspective.

However, if Garek’s shop blows up, that does suggest someone wants him dead, and that means Odo has to look into it.  The thing is, Garek will claim over and over that he’s a simple tailor, and the fact is, at no point has any of the characters on the show ever believed that.  It’s hinted strongly he was probably a member of the Obsidian Order under the retired spymaster Enabran Tain, and “retired” is something that doesn’t mean much for the Cardassians.

Besides, it doesn’t seem unlikely that there are lots of people who want Garek dead.  The assassin is found later, but he’s off-station and then his ship blows up because the assassin, it seems, was wanted dead by the Romulans.  That could be a cover-up, or it could be a coincidence.  Really, it’s impossible to tell with Garek, and that just means Odo is frustrated, and that means I am just having fun.

That said, the real treat here are the strong hints that Garek’s secrets are a lot less secret than they appear to be, and how Odo’s usual methods of investigation and interrogation don’t work on Garek.  Accuse Garek of blowing up his own shop, and he’ll just act offended.  The fact that, by the time the episode ends, it turns out Garek actually did blow up his own shop actually makes for a mild laugh.  And when Odo tries to fly off in a runabout to look into a clue, Garek is already sitting in the co-pilot’s seat refusing to leave.  Odo is on a time table and has to take the tailor who is probably a former spy if he isn’t a current spy along for the ride.

And who was that older Cardassian woman Garek contacted when he gave a call to his old boss Tain?  She seemed to miss him very much, but all Garek would say was she was a servant.

Look, I do know Tain’s real relationship to Garek.  Cultural osmosis and whatnot.  I think I can guess why that old woman was the way she was.

Regardless, Tain is behind whatever it is that is going on, and that means the Obsidian Order…and the Romulan Tal Shiar.  All those ships Thomas Riker was looking into?  The ones Gul Dukat knew nothing about?  Yeah, that’s what this was.  The two intelligence agencies have a plan to go into the Gamma Quadrant while cloaked, find the Founders’ homeworld, and blow them all to blobby bits.

That’s something big, and I was really invested…and then the episode ended because apparently, this is a stealth two-parter.

So, for all that I got into how nobody believes a word Garek says while still having no idea what the truth is, to say nothing of a pay off to a previous episode’s plot points…well, that seems to be quite a bit, but the story isn’t over.  Garek may be back in Tain’s good graces since the old man is in charge of this, and Garek is back with his people, having deciphered clues that only he could.  Plus, Odo is going back to see his people whether he wants to or not.  Somehow, I doubt the Tal Shiar/Obsidian Order’s plot is going to work out, but for now, at least we see the story going somewhere in a way that I don’t think I have ever seen a Star Trek series go before.