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DS9 3-02

DS9 3x02
"The Search, Part II"

Original airdate: 10/3/1994
Rewatch date: 7/16/2013

Odo learns about his people while the survivors of the Defiant make it back to the station only to find that the Federation is preparing to sign a peace treaty with the Dominion.

Spoiler-free notes:

Why do all the Changelings have the same haircut and facial features as Odo? Odo has explained that his face looks the way it does because he isn't good at making faces, and yet I imagine the Changelings would have had much more time to perfect the process. He has also explained that he modeled his haircut after Dr. Mora, so is it just a massive coincidence that Dr. Mora has the same haircut as all the Changelings?

There are several subtle hints that the Deep Space Nine half of the story isn't actually real. Necheyev talks about the admiralty that Sisko has "always wanted," which was discussed in the previous episode and seems kind of odd for Necheyev to trot out. Garak flat-out admits to having loyalty to the Cardassian Central Command, which is wildly out of character. Events play out in an increasingly irreparable way, culminating in the collapse of the wormhole. Apparently, a lot of fans took umbridge with the ending--believing it to be a deus ex machina--but I wholeheartedly disagree.

The second part of this episode continues to be primarily about Odo and the meaning of home. It is so thematically linked to the first part that the two episodes really should be looked at as one single story. What's interesting about it is that it takes a huge part of the Deep Space Nine mythology--the Gamma Quadrant and the Dominion--and recontextualizes it as being about Odo. Odo understands the Dominion better than anyone else, not only because he is a member of the same species as the Founders, but because he recognizes the isolation and mistrust of "solids" that motivates them. Though the show doesn't quite have a singular storyline, if it did, this episode reveals it to be more about Odo than previously thought.

Spoiler section:

The Changelings facial features are even more perplexing when you consider that the Founders frequently infiltrate various places by posing as actual people. If they were poor with faces, as Odo is, they'd never be able to pull that off.

This entire two-parter is setting up the Dominion War while simultaneously sewing the seeds for its solution in Odo.

DS9 3x01
"The Search, Part I"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
DS9 3x03
"The House of Quark"
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