So far, the opening story arc has put more focus on the war effort for the various ships fighting for survival with the B-plot focusing more on life on the occupied station. This episode flips that around and puts the focus squarely on the character of Odo. If there’s one character whose allegiance during all this that should be challenged, it would be him.
As it is, the Sisko plot is also working out in interesting ways. He spends the episode worrying from a Starbase while the Defiant runs a dangerous but vital mission without him. Promoted to the Admiral’s aide, he isn’t expected to spend time on the front lines anymore, and as Starfleet has finally found out why the Dominion has been able to predict their every move–some very long range scanners on an outpost next to a nebula–could provide the Federation and Klingons quite the boost if the Defiant can navigate through the nebula, evading detection, until it can destroy the sensor array on the other side. Dax is put in command of the ship–in another nice touch, O’Brien teaches Nog a bit more about naval tradition since Dax is now sort of a captain–and Sisko is left behind to worry about what’s happening to his friends and crew. Dax and the others are actually successful, but that whole attack happens off-screen. I didn’t think that would happen in other circumstances, but the real focus here is on the station.
As it is, the Resistance is doing what looks to me like petty pranks. That means things like Rom and Kira swiping Damar’s datapad, one where he muses perhaps the Jem’Heddar should be put to death before their Ketracel White runs out, and leaving it where the Jem’Heddar can find it. That leads to a fight at Quark’s. It turns out Odo was unaware this was happening and he disapproved. Kira and the others decided to do it anyway.
By the by, the Resistance seems to be basically Odo, Kira, Jake, and Rom. Not much of a resistance. Quark knows they exist and, if he’s drunk enough, will give them a tip. He needs to screw his courage up a bit first. He doesn’t like things the way they are. The Cardassians are mean, and the Jem’Heddar just stand there and don’t use any of his services. So, when he overhears Damar bragging about how he found a way to disable the mine field, yeah, Quark will get himself rip-roaring sauced and go share.
I know part of Quark’s whole deal is he knows a lot more of what happens on the station than he probably should, but does anyone else think that if he knows who the Resistance is, shouldn’t other people? I get that the rank and file Cardassians and Jem’Heddar aren’t very bright, and Odo probably can keep Weyoun off their back, but wouldn’t Dukat have a good idea of what’s going on?
Then again, Dukat and Weyoun aren’t getting along, trying to one-up each other at every opportunity. There’s a lot of opportunities here for Rom, who knows the mines very well, to sabotage Damar’s plan. Everyone in the Resistance approved. All they need is for Odo to order a special security sweep that would allow Rom to sneak into the necessary parts of the station. That sounds easy enough.
Enter the Female Changeling.
No, she doesn’t have a name. Odo asks her as much. How she has a gender but not a name, I have no idea.
The thing is, one of the key aspects to the Odo character is he’s a solitary being, but not by choice. He knows little about his people, and what he’s learned he hasn’t liked very much. He’s smitten with Kira, she knows, but nothing has gone any further than that, something the Female Changeling makes a note of. She doesn’t really approve of Odo with anyone but his own kind, and they’ve even forgiven him for killing another of their kind.
Seriously, they never had anyone hurt one of their own before? I mean, the Female admits their race used to be solid. Couldn’t one of them hurt another back then?
Never mind. Odo is learning about his people again, even as he knows the Female Changeling can’t be trusted, even as Kira warns him not to trust the Female Changeling…he goes for the Great Link again, a moment that I might have likened to Changeling Sex, but the way it’s discussed here it’s more, a means by which the Changelings merge and find a single identity and communion in ways that can’t really be put into words.
And so, despite his promise to help, Odo is busy Linking with the Female to do the thing to keep Rom out of custody. Rom is arrested, and Odo doesn’t seem to be feeling all that guilty because, when the Link is in action, nothing else matters.
Yeah, that says something about Odo. He’s rarely had a chance to really explore what he is, all of his knowledge comes secondhand at best, and he’s been so lonely while hiding that behind a gruff exterior. Can I blame him for what happened? Yes and no.
But…did the Female do that at that time on purpose? Odo says she doesn’t know his plans, but somehow, I have my doubts.