So, a thought occurred to me as I watched this episode: much of it was filmed outdoors in a mountainous area and featuring only two members of the cast, and it’s two of the three that wear a lot of prosthetic make-up as different aliens.
That must have been a little more challenging than most for that fact alone.
Honestly, I’ve been somewhat waiting for this episode. As much as Deep Space Nine has shown Quark and Odo are, ostensibly at least, on opposite sides of the law and natural enemies, there’s also been hints that on some level the two respect each other and could almost be friends. Odo has yet to nail Quark for any serious crimes despite the constable’s best efforts, and Quark knows he needs to be at his absolute best to stay that way. There have been moments when the two seem to be if not on the same side than at least close. And when Odo was heartbroken over his lack of love life, Quark was the only one to really notice such a difference in his longtime frenemy.
Huh. “Frenemy” does not set off my spellcheck.
Regardless, what this leads to is an episode where due to a wide range of circumstances, Odo and Quark need to rely on each other. It’s the sort of thing where Odo might have gotten by just fine if he still had his shapeshifting powers, and when the episode is over, Quark tells Odo that he hates Odo, Odo says the same about Quark, and then two share a laugh. It certainly implies they don’t actually hate each other, but it does suggest that they aren’t going to start pretending to be friends any time soon.
As for what happened, Odo was taking Quark, alone, to a Starfleet inquiry when Quark, using his superior Ferengi hearing, realized there was a bomb on board because Quark may have done some business with the Orion Syndicate, a group so dangerous Odo would have taken Quark in the Defiant with a large crew if he had known. So, Odo was fishing, and Quark didn’t actually reveal anything incriminating. Some quick thinking prevents the bomb from killing both men, but the ship does crashland on a cold, mountainous planet. The crash took out the transporter and the replicator. Communications will be difficult to get through this particular planet’s atmosphere unless the pair can get a lot more elevation, and there isn’t much on board in the form of rations or warm weather gear since no one actually foresaw the need for such things.
So, the pair will need to climb the Paramount mountain to get off a signal and hope for rescue. They’ll be swapping the jacket back and forth, the one carrying the bulky communicator getting the jacket until they switch. There isn’t much food, and these two guys can’t quit being themselves during all this. Odo will continue to snipe at Quark in his self-righteous manner. Quark will be something of a big baby. But, when push comes to shove, they’ll get into a shoving match and push themselves off a ledge, breaking Odo’s leg and forcing Quark to make an improvised sled to drag Odo up the hill.
Quark claims, in one of the best lines in a good episode, that he did this not to save Odo but because if Odo dies, Quark can eat him.
So, obviously the pair are rescued when Quark, alone, gets high enough to send off an SOS, and Odo, left behind, went to record some last words that he won’t need just yet.
So, good main plot. The secondary one also worked as Nog and Jake got a place together, but it goes a bit bad because Nog is throwing himself full-on into all things Starfleet while Jake’s general slovenliness annoys Nog. The two split, leading to a nice conversation between Rom and Sisko about how Rom wishes Jake would teach Nog to lighten up a bit while Sisko wants Jake to be a little more responsible. Considering how Rom and Sisko initially felt about their sons’ being friends, that was a nice moment, and since this is still Star Trek, yes, the boys make up by the end of the episode.
So, a nice episode about friendship…even if Quark and Odo are far from friends.