Enlightenment > Star Trek > DS9
DS9 2-16

DS9 2x16
"Shadowplay"

Original airdate: 2/20/1994
Rewatch date: 7/4/2013


Odo and Dax visit an alien colony in the Gamma Quadrant where people are mysteriously disappearing, while Jake tries to figure out how to tell his father that he doesn't want to join Starfleet.

Spoiler-free notes:

How come nobody brings up the Prime Directive? Aren't Dax and Odo totally breaking it?

I like that the Jake subplot--where Sisko encourages him to go work for O'Brien--is picking up a thread introduced in the previous episode.

Odo beaming away to prove his point is priceless.

The little actress who plays Taya also plays a primary character in TNG's "Imaginary Friend."

I'm glad Kira shows genuine hatred for Quark, even going so far as to tell him he's a danger to the station. At least somebody recognizes that he has crossed the line a few times and gotten away with it, as in "Invasive Procedures."

Why doesn't Rurikan just tell Odo the truth when they're alone?

There's another sneaky mention of this Dominion thing...

Sisko is a superdad for how well he takes Jake's confession and how quick he is to assure him that it's okay.

I kept hoping Bashir would reveal that he's been watching Quark the whole time--that he actually learned some tricks from Garak--but alas, I was waiting in vain.

This is hardly the first episode to explore dead people being replicated to soften the blow. However, it does advance a philosophical question that has been explored by small steps in Star Trek before: where's the dividing line between a simulation and a sentient being? You could say it starts with Data's hearing in "The Measure of a Man," or even a little bit earlier with the introduction of the holographic Moriarty in "Elementary, Dear Data." Odo's defense of the holographic villiage--and the bond he forms with Taya--is a big leap towards accepting that even a holographic simulation can be a real being. This is an important theme to explore in sci-fi, since there are many theoretical physicists who think the universe as we know it might be a hologram.



Spoiler section:

ENT's "Oasis" has an almost identical plot to this episode, and it guest stars Rene Auberjonois, the actor who plays Odo.

The philosophical question I discussed above is, of course, further explored by VOY's holographic doctor.





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