June 16, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “Treachery, Faith, And The Great River”

Odo tries to help a "defective" Weyoun leave the Dominion.

Wait, I got an episode with two Weyouns?  Twice the Jeffrey Combs?  Well, count me happy for that at least.

Plus, it’s actually a pretty good episode.

The main plot deals with Odo, lured off the station to try and pick up a Cardassian informant he believed dead, finding that instead he has to remove a Weyoun from Dominion space.  Odo is aware that the Vorta, like the Jem’Hadar, are a cloned race, and this one is Weyoun VI.  What happened to Weyoun V?  He died.  Some sort of transporter accident or the like, and I am rather tickled about how the episode largely implies Damar is responsible without outright saying Damar is responsible.

The problem is Weyoun VI is “defective” in that he thinks the war will go badly for the Dominion and wants to try to shorten it by defecting to the Federation.  Odo is the one being he more or less trusts–partially because he has to thanks to genetics–to actually get him out of Dominion space, but because he was defective, there’s already a Weyoun VII with Damar plotting to get Weyoun VI.  VI should just implement his genetic self-destruct, but he’s refusing to do so.

That means Odo gets to sit in-between two Weyouns arguing over subspace transmission.  Credit to Combs in that both Weyouns, though both sounding the same oily tones, have distinct personalities.  Weyoun VI is probably the closest the series has come to a genuinely nice Vorta.  VII seems inclined to take lessons on treachery and tactics from Damar in ways that no other Vorta would.  Maybe Damar finally found a Weyoun after his own heart, even if it mostly comes down to not telling the Jem’Hadar or the (visibly sick) Female Changeling that Odo’s life is in danger since he’s in the runabout that the Dominion ships are shooting at.  That Weyoun VII is at least a little comfortable with killing Odo makes him a more dangerous Weyoun to the main cast.

The episode’s primary focus seems to be Odo as it is.  He’s not comfortable being thought of as a god, and even telling Weyoun VI to knock it off doesn’t work.  There’s no way to get VI back to the station, meaning he’s doomed.  Can Odo put aside his general distaste with Vorta religion to give the dying VI a blessing, letting the Vorta that tried more than most to do the right thing that he’s OK with at least one member of her personal pantheon?

Well, yes.  Vorta religion has always been one of the stranger aspects of that particular species.  They actually know they’ve been genetically tampered with to be that devoted to the Changelings.  They likewise just don’t care.  Heck, that’s just proof that their religion is right, unlike say whatever the Klingons are spouting about Sto’vo’cor.

And on that note, the B-plot also deals with alien religion, namely the Ferengi’s.  Sisko really wants O’Brien to get a part to fix the Defiant within an impossible amount of time.  There’s a backlog, and O’Brien just can’t get it.  Instead, Nog offers to use the Ferengi’s Great Material Continuum, essentially a faith in the free market, to find what O’Brien needs in time to please Sisko.  All he needs is O’Brien’s authorization code.  He assures the Chief that no laws will be broken, and O’Brien reluctantly goes along with it.

The problem is Nog seems to be trading all kinds of things and making nice to various Starfleet officers between scenes to the point where O’Brien keeps finding out after the fact that Nog traded someone’s stuff.  Sisko doesn’t notice his desk missing, but that one’s temporary.  Martok does notice Nog traded a case of fine from Martok’s wife, and he’s a Klingon so he really isn’t happy about that.

But this is the comedic subplot, so Nog’s wheeling and dealing actually works.  O’Brien gets the part for the Defiant, Sisko’s desk is returned before he gets back, and Martok actually gets a even better vintage of wine than the one Nog traded away.  It’s not really explained how all that worked out.  Nog just has faith that it will, something even Rom acknowledges as something akin to Ferengi spirituality.  About all that anyone can say is that by episode’s end Nog has managed to make everyone a lot happier, and O’Brien will be more than happy to let him work his magic again.

Religion is a strange and mysterious thing sometimes.