Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Heart of Stone"


Air date: 2/6/1995
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by Alexander Singer

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"No Changeling has ever harmed another."
"There's always a first time."

— Female Changeling and Odo

Kira and Odo chase a Maquis criminal to an isolated planet where they track him on foot through rocky caves. Kira gets her foot stuck in a bizarre crystal that begins to envelop her entire body. Now Odo must free her before she faces a rather claustrophobic demise.

Set as a B-story is a lightweight but amiable yarn involving Nog trying to persuade Sisko to recommend him for Starfleet Academy. He says he doesn't want to end up like his father Rom, who has chased fortune his entire life with little success.

Forget the B-story; I won't mention it again. The focus here is another character drama from the pens of Behr and Wolfe. This one supplies some interesting moments but repaves familiar ground already well established this season and without exploring new aspects or taking any real risks.

Kira becomes trapped by the end of the first act. Using phasers instantly proves to be a bad idea as the crystal simply absorbs the energy blast and displays a sudden growth spurt. Odo's next attempt is to use a jerry-rigged device from the Runabout to create sound waves at a frequency that may break down the crystal. Naturally, these things take time, and as the computer analyses the composition of the rocky substance, Odo and Kira find they have little to do but talk.

Since "The Collaborator," we have suspected that Odo has some buried feelings for Kira. In "Fascination," the writers confirmed so, as it ends with a disappointed Odo pondering over his affections for Kira as she (presumably) walks away with Vedek Bareil. She hasn't the slightest clue how Odo feels about her. She considers him a close friend—nothing more. Then, last week, in what now seems to be part of a master plan to develop this whole thread, the writers wrote Bareil out of the show by killing him on the operating table. With "Heart of Stone," they waste no time to delve back into this storyline. The results are mixed—often interesting, but in the end (as I will explain in a moment) fairly meaningless.

On the upside, there's a memorable bit where Odo tells Kira the story about how he got his name. Derived from the Cardassian word "nothing," Odo, initially a misunderstood liquid, was destined to be forever known as nothing, even after everyone learned he was a sentient being. It really makes you feel for the guy, and it's nice to see how far the writers have evolved this character in the past two years.

This whole show, however, basically rides on the outcome resulting from one scene, which goes like this:

Kira: "I want you to get out of here."
Odo: "Don't you understand? I can't!"
Kira: "You have to. Odo, please!"
Odo: "No. I won't leave you."
Kira: "Why?"
Odo: "Because! Because—I'm in love with you."

This scene is wonderfully performed by Auberjonois, who does the job of convincing us that Odo has all of these bottled up emotions that begin exploding out of him. But when Kira returns with "I'm in love with you, too" the scene rings completely false, because from what we've been spoon-fed on this issue for the past five months, Kira considers Odo a close friend and nothing more. Simply put, life isn't that easy. This is not a storyline that is about instant happy endings. It's about unreturned feelings.

Fortunately, the script ultimately nullifies this line, because even Odo doesn't believe it. He suspects that this is not really Kira, because Kira would never lie to him, even in a situation like this. Odo is right, as False Kira morphs into her true self—the still nameless shapeshifter (Salome Jens) who tried to coax Odo into taking his "proper place" as a Founder in "The Search." In fact, the shapeshifter masqueraded as the Maquis terrorist, then kidnapped and stashed Kira away in hope of again luring Odo back to the "Great Link."

Okay, there are some problems here. For starters, this episode uses a twist ending that, once again, undermines the impact on the characters. While it's not a total cheat like in "Search II," it does end up putting us back where we started. Since, in reality, Odo said none of these things to Kira, the writers have allowed themselves to take back everything they proposed in the episode. If the intention here was to confirm all the suspicions we've had about Odo's feelings, it's little more than an exercise in redundancy. I got the point in "Fascination." And in the episode's finale, by having Odo not discuss with the real Kira about what he actually said to the shapeshifter, the writers take the easy way out, burying their heads in the sand while burying the topic without any semblance of closure.

Furthermore, I doubt that the nameless female shapeshifter would go to such lengths to sway Odo into returning to the Gamma Quadrant. It's hard enough to swallow that she could or would impersonate Kira with such alarming accuracy. But the fact that she steals a Maquis ship to get Odo and Kira to chase her to this isolated planet seems entirely contrived in retrospect.

"Heart of Stone" has some good dialogue and engaging moments. Unfortunately, the ungratifying end result takes us no further than where we've already been enough times this season.

Previous episode: Life Support
Next episode: Destiny

Season Index

36 comments on this review

Dirk Hartmann - Fri, Jun 6, 2008 - 3:49am (USA Central)
I feel cheated. Shape shifters are known to have problems getting the basic human face "right", but here the founder conveniently is capable of mimicking Kira down to every detail ...
Necros - Sun, Jul 6, 2008 - 1:07pm (USA Central)
I disagree.

1. What's up with some reviewers who are always whining about plots that are using this method? I think it's a good way to explore some thing, make an impact on one or more of the characters but leaving the others alone, saving them for later. It's not cheating, just smart writing. Why so negative?
2. You complain about Odo not telling Kira about his feelings, to get closer to her, yet in "His Way" you complain exactly about that. So, do you want the together or not? -- Oh, and by the way, the writers knew that they'll have Odo return to his people at the end, so he has to leave something very dear to him behind (they didn't know the title yet, interesting coincidence :)) and what would be better, than his beloved Kira.
3. The changelings (the Founders at least) care a great deal about each other, so it makes sense to try and bring him back. She tries some other things later too.
4. Why is it hard to believe that she'd steal a Maquis ship? She knows Odo very well because she linked with him and knew how he and Kira would react.
5. Again, what's your problem with her portraying Kira so well? I think she got some knowledge from the link and I wouldn't be surprised if she gathered some intel about the too using spies. So, it's not hard to imagine she could parade around as Kira for a short while. And she didn't have to know a lot about her either.
6. She is a founder, a very experienced changeling, so it's no surprise she was able to mimic a humanoid face so well. As we see in later episodes, many changelings are quite good at it. :) Our Odo is just a young kid compared to them.
7. Why are you dismissing the Nog storyline? I think it was good too.

And one more thing, I think Nana Visitor gave a great performance too, not just Rene. ;) It's sad to see you don't mention her often enough. :( You didn't even write about her singing the song Fever. I love that song from Nana. No wonder she was very succesful on the Broadway too.

I'm sorry if my English isn't perfect, I'm from Hungary (it's a lot easier translating from English than actually trying to make sense using this language :)), so it's not my mother tongue.
Necros - Sun, Jul 6, 2008 - 1:15pm (USA Central)
Oh, and one more thing. Why didn't Odo tell Kira, again, what he felt/said to the other Kira? It's not that hard to figure it out, he was embarassed and shy, didn't want to go through it again. When it comes to his feelings, he isn't the brave, fearless man, he usually is. Simply put, it makes more sense for him to stay silent about it, it wouldn't be him to pour his soul out to Kira, at least not yet. :)
admirable chrichton - Mon, Feb 23, 2009 - 5:40pm (USA Central)
The scene where Odo tells Kira what his name means, and how his friendship with her allowed him to overcome it, is a beautiful and heartbreaking scene and really highlights how good an actor Rene Aubergonis is.
Destructor - Mon, Jun 29, 2009 - 9:24pm (USA Central)
I liked it, and found the Founder's reasons credible, even compelling. I thought it was a clever way to keep the Odo/Kira tension building without breaking it completely open.

I also think the Nog B-story deserves a larger mention as the start of one of the most important and transformative character arcs of the entire show.
Nic - Thu, Oct 8, 2009 - 2:21pm (USA Central)
I can certainly accept that the female changeling is better at mimicking humaniods than Odo is. But I still think going through all this trouble to get Odo back is a stretch. And what was her plan? How did she thik that masquerading Kira would convince Odo to return to the Great Link? Or was she going to take him by force? It makes no sense. But what really undermines this episode is the hideous-looking rock prop.
However, Nog's story was very touching. It was the first time I actually cared for a Ferengi character. I have heard that this is Aaron Eisenberg favorite episode.
jilly - Thu, Dec 24, 2009 - 11:05pm (USA Central)
Nog's story was wonderful, simply put. Sisko did a fantastic job of giving him every chance to screw it up. Nog surprised him by being committed, and *good enough* to go on to Starfleet Academy. DH and I thought Nog's monologue about his reasons for wanting to be a Starfleet officer both compelling, a wonderfu outgrowth of his experiences with his father and uncle, AND an example of fine acting.

Back to the main plot, I think the writers left plenty of clues this wasn't Kira. I said to hubby, "that's not Kira" when I heard her whining about being trapped over the communicators. And the female shapeshifter, not knowing Kira as well as we do, made her a bit too whiny and less abrasive than we are used to from her.

What is significant was how long it took Odo to figure it out. In a way, this was a wish-fulfillment opportunity for Odo. He got to be Kira's White Knight for a short time, until he realized it was all a lie.

While there is no growth for Kira from this ep, Odo still will recall this experience and his character will be informed by it going forward.

I feel for his dilemma. The truth was finally wrenched out of him...and nothing comes of it. He is still waiting and hoping for her to notice him as a man. It's good stuff.
Josh - Wed, Jun 9, 2010 - 4:42am (USA Central)
I'm going to disagree with many of the things written on this page.

There is one reason why I watch this episode: The Nog storyline which culminates by him shouting: "Because I don't want to end up like my father." Nog steals the entire episode right there. I think this is an episode where the B story overshadows the A story. I have to say that you dismissed the B story far too easily and quickly.

As for the Kira/Odo storyline, there are far better stories involving the two of them.

In my opinion, this would be an episode that I just skip over, kind of like "Without Sin," except for the Nog storyline. I have to say that storyline is what saves this episode.
Sexpun - Sun, Mar 6, 2011 - 10:41pm (USA Central)
"the writers have allowed themselves to take back everything they proposed in the episode."

Not true. They revealed Odo's true feelings for Kira, they can't take that back. Sure, they take back the 'I love you too' from Kira, but then, well that never was Kira, and that's kind of the point of the episode. That the Founder wanted to probe Odo's reasons for not joining the Link, and she thought it was due solely to Kira.

At the end of the episode, the writers have Odo admit to us, as well as to himself, his true feelings for Kira, and that may color/influence his future actions.
"I got the point in "Fascination.""

How? Did you also get the point that Bareil loves Dax, or that Jake loves Kira? Inclinations of love (revealed in Fascination) are not the same as full blooded feelings.

"having Odo not discuss with the real Kira about what he actually said to the shapeshifter, the writers take the easy way out, burying their heads in the sand while burying the topic without any semblance of closure."

That's the point. There is no closure, for us or for Odo, its unresolved on purpose because Odo has yet to resolve it. As someone else pointed out, it makes sense for Odo, a very private person, to not reveal what he said in a moment of unrestrained honesty that he now feels embarassed about. It is a continuing story line/plot device, that will likely crop up again in the future, as Odo struggles with this internal dilemma of unrequited love.

"I doubt that the nameless female shapeshifter would go to such lengths to sway Odo into returning to the Gamma Quadrant."

Why? She's their leader. They are all 'one' in the great link. He is a lost child to ehr, and for all we know their society places great emphasis on togetherness, completeness, wholeness, what have you. No changeling has ever harmed another... their bond is THAT strong, to overcome all personal feelings/greivances to put their collective above all else. Odo may be hugely important to the Changeling society.

I can agree with some parts of most of your reviews, but I think you were unduly critical of this particular episode, especially given the reasons you've outlined.
Captain Tripps - Sat, Sep 17, 2011 - 4:29pm (USA Central)
It's season 3, of course they don't want closure in this relationship. There really couldn't be any at this point anyway, for much the same reasons as made Odo suspicious (and you yourself mentioned). That's not how Kira would have reacted. weird to gripe over something you acknowledge can't come to fruition yet.
Jay - Fri, Oct 21, 2011 - 4:40pm (USA Central)
Why would I want to forget the B-story when it's about tenfold better than the A?
Jay - Fri, Oct 21, 2011 - 4:41pm (USA Central)
And why, considering what his name means, would the Founders continue to call him "Odo"?
Nebula Nox - Fri, Mar 30, 2012 - 1:27pm (USA Central)
It is easy to dismiss the Ferengi. Many in Star Trek treat them with contempt, and too many viewers do, too.

Perhaps Aron Eisenberg wasn't the greatest actor (he improved tremendously over time) but this is a key turning point in an incredible character arc. I only wish that the writers had been bold enough to make Jake Sisko the "heir" to Quark's bar. He comes from a family of restaurant owners, and a bar is not so far from that. I always thought it would have suited his personality, which was more relaxed. Hoever, perhaps it would not have been dignified enough for the son of the emissary/commander of the station.

As for Odo's confession, it was important. It may have been the first time for him to admit it to himself.
Cail Corishev - Sat, Sep 15, 2012 - 2:00pm (USA Central)
I don't have a problem with the Founder going to absurd lengths to lure Odo back. We learn later in the series that the completeness of the Link is so important to them that they would sacrifice the entire Alpha Quadrant to bring him home. This little scheme pales next to that.

I understand the disappointment over the reset, but it all makes sense, so I don't consider it a cheat. Odo just went through the torture of revealing himself once; he's hardly going to want to repeat the process. Besides, hearing her return his feelings -- and recognizing it as a lie -- may have reminded him that she wasn't ready to hear it. She just watched her lover die, after all. He knows that telling her at this point is going to make her uncomfortable and possibly spoil any future chance they have together. It's one thing to spill his guts when it looks like she might die and it's his last chance, but quite another to do so once they're safe.

Nog's outburst is excellent. After watching the later seasons, it's easy to forget that, at this point, Rom is little more than a toady who gets slapped around regularly by his brother and gets back at him through petty theft. A hard role model for a boy to grow up with, to say the least. When he finally shouts out his reason, it rings completely true.
Sam - Fri, Dec 14, 2012 - 4:52pm (USA Central)
I agree with the sentiment that Nog's story was very important. I'm surprised the reviewer dismissed it. It was a key turning point for Nog but it also highlighted Sisko's character as a powerful commander but also a humanistic one. Here, Sisko feels touched by Nog's ambition and is willing to take a chance against his reputation for recommending him to Starfleet. This is why the writers of this series took pride in writing for him and why this show is the most critically acclaimed show of the franchise
Comp625 - Wed, Jan 30, 2013 - 1:22pm (USA Central)
I have to wholeheartedly disagree with Jammer. Both the A and B storylines in "Heart of Stone" are well-done.

*Storyline A - Kira & Odo*
You have to remember that, up to this point, the viewer has only seen the Founders once (in 'The Search II'). The viewer has also not yet watched the Kira/Odo saga unfold, so naturally, those more poignant episodes will later take precedence over "Heart of Stone." My sense is that most "critics" of this episode are judging it retrospectively after having seen the entire saga unfold. Let me further explain.

The original intent of this episode, back in 1995, was to give the Female Changling another level of creepiness. It continues to emphasize the Dominion's ability to infiltrate and manipulate the mental psyche of our DS9 heroes (much like in 'The Search II') -- this gives the Dominion yet another tactical advantage BEYOND their immense firepower.

Similarly, up to this point, we've seen strong hints about Odo having feelings for Kira. But he's never *poured* out his emotions like he did in these caves. Credit must be given to Rene Auberjonois; his delivery of "Odo Ital" and professing his love for Kira while slowly falling to the ground was extremely moving.

Critics of this episode tend to also forget that Odo is still at the beginning stages of his self-discovering journey; he is deeply exploring emotions about romance (presumably for the first time), and to have them clash with his newly discovered familial Changling roots must be extremely disheartening (no pun intended).

*Storyline B - Nog*
I hadn't seen "Heart of Stone" in at least a decade. However, after rewatching it last night, it was plesant to rediscover that this episode marks the beginning to Nog's own journey into Starfleet.

The comment from "Sam" above was also poignant; the Nog story was to also show that Sisko is open-minded about structure beyond Starfleet guidelines. Frankly, such an attribute is admirable in any leader - e.g. a company C.E.O. or a parent in a household. Without this open-mindedness, Nog's character growth would have been stunted.

On a side note, my girlfriend (who's seeing DS9 for the first time) mentioned how crazy it is to be observe Jake and Nog's characters both grow up -- not only physically but also emotionally. It's nice to see this type of character development take shape in DS9, even with its "ancillary" characters.

My rating: 3.5 out of 4
Grumpy - Wed, Jan 30, 2013 - 4:52pm (USA Central)
Now that this site has a mixture of retrospective and contemporary reviews, some notation of original publication date would be useful. For instance, at the time Jammer wrote this review, it wasn't clear that Nog's arc would become so important to the series. At least, I didn't pick up on it. I thought the Nog business was a distraction from the drama with the main cast (although Sisko's character is revealed somewhat). Now, I can see how both plots, with characters pushed into baring their souls, fit together.
Trent - Mon, May 27, 2013 - 8:08pm (USA Central)
This was a masterpiece of an episode. The Nog storyline was hugely powerful. Notice he rejects profit in favour for the federation, essentially rejecting capitalism for the Federation's post capitalist ethos of service and sacrifice. It's a rejection of the ego and self itself.

And Odo's tale about him being "nothing" was hugely touching.
Kotas - Tue, Oct 22, 2013 - 6:52pm (USA Central)

The main story was "meh", but it had some good and important development for Nog.

K'Elvis - Wed, Nov 6, 2013 - 2:43pm (USA Central)
The B-story is an important one, as we see, it has ongoing reprecussions. However, it does seem to come out of nowhere, we are given little, if anything to think that Nog might want something other than a typical Ferengi way of life. It also marks the beginning of Rom being more of a significant character. I would go as far as to say that the B-story is the real A-story.

The A-story is OK, Odo admitting his feelings about Kira is important. I did roll my eyes when the fake Kira said that she loved him too, but that's understandable. Bariel had just died, and it wouldn't make sense for Kira to share Odo's feelings. But it made sense when we found out this really wasn't Kira after all. The fake Kira made a mistake, and Odo caught it. I thought she was a little too cheerful when her foot was first stuck, that also can be explained by it not being the real Kira.
Jons - Sat, Feb 1, 2014 - 5:06am (USA Central)
As far as I'm concerned, the B-story is that ridiculous Kira - Odo mishap with the ludicrous Dominion plot (as if the Dominion leader would go herself to retrieve Odo, spend so much time, and for what reason we still don't know).

The real story is Nog.
Probably because as humans we ARE unable to empathize and get along with cultures that have values that are REALLY different from our own. (It is telling that everybody thinks "character development" for Nog is him renouncing the Ferengi culture for more human values (do what you're good at, not swear by profit, etc.)).

But oh well, Star Trek is a human TV show, and I'm a human viewer so I guess there's no way out of it. The scene about Nog's motives to join Star Fleet is very powerful, touching and made me genuinely sorry for Nog.

It is horrible for a child to realize their parents aren't role-models and then admit they want to do better. But it was done in a very realistic way - Nog never says his father is an idiot - he still sticks up for him by finding reasons why his father is a loser in the Ferengi culture. And that's only possible because Nog was lucky to be exposed to other cultures, which allow him to have a different frame of reference and a different analysis of his father's lack of success: It's not his father's fault, it's the Ferengi absolute obsession with business, whether or not you "have the lobes" for it.

In that I guess it really is character development, and I felt satisfied that the acme of the episode was Sisko accepting to recommend him - I was afraid that by the end of the episode Nog would somehow change his mind in a typical Star-Trek-Reset-Button plot...
Jay - Thu, Feb 20, 2014 - 12:55pm (USA Central)
To accept at face value (pun intended) that changelings can mimic a person to such painstaking detail just by viewing them stretches reality already. But that they can also do their voice perfectly strains just throws everything out the window. Everyone's voice is unique...how could a changeling so perfectly recreate precise vocal chords and larynx "schematics" that exactly...they can't insta-x-ray someone.
Vylora - Fri, Feb 21, 2014 - 5:17pm (USA Central)
The b-plot is worth the price of admission alone and should've been its own episode. Nevertheless the overall story is well executed. I didn't feel cheated in the slightest and the motives of the Founder makes sense to me.

3 stars.
Alex - Sat, Feb 22, 2014 - 10:38pm (USA Central)
Jammer - I think you need to re-write this review. The fact that just dismissed a rather IMPORTANT character transition for Nog was an embarrassment. Think it through. After finishing the entire series you can't honestly say that you feel the same way about this episode now as you did on your 1st viewing. I know you're not a big Ferengi fan but come on.
Corey - Sun, Feb 23, 2014 - 7:18am (USA Central)
@ Alex.

To me this is a powerful episode as well, but I think we're privy to a kind of hindsight that Jammer didn't have when first watching this episode.
Paul M. - Sun, Feb 23, 2014 - 5:09pm (USA Central)
@Alex and Corey

This whole thing with Nog in Starfleet, while paying dividends later on, was just infuriating when I first watched it. Here's a guy who didn't know how to read and write just two years ago! Are we to believe that he managed to catch up on all those countless years of education he missed in such a short time frame? And then he got into the prestigious Starfleet Academy, you know the one where geniuses like Wesley and Picard had failed their entrance exams when they first applied.

For my teen self 15 or more years ago, that was just too much to swallow. These obviously brilliant minds (hey! Wesley IS brilliant! Honest!) weren't good enough; such was the caliber of Starfleet cadets, little me thought, when suddenly this quasi-moron comes along and just waltzes around San Francisco!

What? :) It bothered me something fierce in that tender age.
DavidK - Mon, Feb 24, 2014 - 8:08am (USA Central)
@Paul M
Must be that pesky affirmative action again ;)
MisterFred - Tue, Jun 3, 2014 - 12:37pm (USA Central)
I'm surprised you dismissed the B-story so quickly. Nog breaking down and admitting to Sisko he's ashamed of his father is the best scene in the whole episode (and frankly, when I first saw the show I couldn't think of anything Nog could say to get Sisko's recommendation, until he came up with that).
Quarky - Thu, Jun 12, 2014 - 3:31am (USA Central)
I don't understand why people like nog joining starfleet or rom becoming an engineer. It is established in earlier episodes that rom is an idiot and not just by quark. Odo and moogie say it as well. Roms mom says he doesn't have the lobes for
Business but is made the grand negus. Nog says he also isn't a smart ferengi and good at making profit. But then in the later seasons they make him a good ferengi when it comes to profit and acquiring items. It was bad enough that they made the ferengi simply comedic after the first season of stng. Then in ds9 they make every ferengi but quark turn away from their society and become human basically. I'm in the minority though. Most people love what the writers did and really feel for the new versions of rom and nog even though it came out of nowhere
Robert - Thu, Jun 12, 2014 - 9:25am (USA Central)
"I don't understand why people like nog joining starfleet or rom becoming an engineer. It is established in earlier episodes that rom is an idiot and not just by quark. Odo and moogie say it as well. Roms mom says he doesn't have the lobes for business but is made the grand negus."

However implausible it is, Rom is a raging liberal by Ferengi standards and Moogie turned Ferenginar into a liberal paradise that needed someone like Rom.

"Nog says he also isn't a smart ferengi and good at making profit. But then in the later seasons they make him a good ferengi when it comes to profit and acquiring items. "

Nog doesn't have the lobes for business. Future episodes that show him being good at trading just show him being better at it than Chief O'Brien. And being better at business than a 1960s lounge singer. Ok, so the kid that grew up in Ferengi culture can barter and do math. Does that really bother you? Quark considers himself a failure compared to Gaila and it seems Nog is even worse than that.

You're just taking all this to the extremes. It's MUCH more logically consistent than you give it credit for.

People often consider mechanics dumb. There's a tendency to look down on people who aren't as quick in the head but are great with their hands. That's Rom. He's like a space MacGyver. He even fixes the replicators with pots and pans. It's supposed to be played for laughs, but I never got the impression he was actually dumb (except MAYBE early S1), but I could see other Ferengi calling him that if he's horrible at business. That's what THEY value, and Rom is bad at it.

They never go back on it. Nog's speech in this episode confirms that his father is an awful Ferengi. But he's a good engineer.
Quarkissnyder - Sat, Jun 14, 2014 - 11:18pm (USA Central)
I thought the B story was great but I agree with the above comments that Nog never would have gotten into Star Fleet Academy. A certified genius like Wesley Crusher was rejected when he first applied (okay, that was a really stupid plot on TNG), but there's no way Nog could pass the entrance exam.

I could not suspend my disbelief with the A story. In then end Kira acting out of character made sense, but there was so much that didn't. Especially: when Odo couldn't send a communication from the moon, why didn't he simply take the shuttle craft away from the interference, contact DS9, and return. It would have taken about 20 minutes.
Yanks - Thu, Jul 17, 2014 - 1:46pm (USA Central)
Sorry Jammer, I just love this episode.

Sure the founders are better at shape-shifting that Odo, that's an easy one. We see it later in the series too. What's funny is that they choose to shape shift to appear like Odo many many times. Why?

Rene' and Nana play off each other wonderfully. I can't imagine playing Kira's part in this one. I think I read somewhere where it was a painful task.

The writers don't get away with anything. Odo reveals to himself, finally, that he loves Kira. That's HUGE!

The "B" story is just as good as the main plot. Nog wanting to join Star Fleet is very interesting and when he finally breaks down and gives his reasons why it very emotional. Well played by Aaron.

@ Paul M. - Wesley is white. He has to meet the standards. I'm sure Star Fleet has special programs with different standards that promote diversity. ;)

Both stories well written and delivered.

This is an easy 4 stars for me.
Diane - Wed, Feb 11, 2015 - 6:31am (USA Central)
Hi Yanks, I think the reason Wesley Crusher had to go through great lengths to get into Starfleet was he was so young. (my opinion) He was only 16 years old. Nog, was no dummy, he had a year to bring his grades up and some other skills needed to get in. At least this is what I always thought. Now my take on the female changeing, I felt this was not Kira the first time I saw this episode. She seemed to overplay Kira, she laughed to much, she played a little too needy. I had started to like Kira a lot better by the time I saw this episode, she remained a strong female character, and she had stopped being b@@@@chy.
MsV - Mon, Feb 16, 2015 - 8:48pm (USA Central)
I liked the b story better. I got a little misty-eyed when Nog was explaining why he didn't want to be like his father.
Brian S. - Wed, Feb 18, 2015 - 1:49pm (USA Central)
@Paul M:"Here's a guy who didn't know how to read and write just two years ago! Are we to believe that he managed to catch up on all those countless years of education he missed in such a short time frame?"

I never bought the whole didn't know how to read bit. Ferengi culture is backwards in many ways, but for a society that is so obsessive about business and profit, you'd think a teenage Ferengi male would be literate enough to read & write financial statements, a business plan, a standard contract, etc.

I think it would fit much better that Nog couldn't read English, and that--for whatever reason--Starfleet and Keiko's school didn't translate too many things into Ferengi. Or perhaps that Nog can read well enough for being an employee at his job. Rom did say early in Season 1 that they are given work-study positions. I'm surprised that he wouldn't be able to read well enough to read a business contract. But even reading a menu or a Ferengi financial statement is different from reading a novel or writing an essay. He probably isn't totally illiterate, but rather just very far behind compared to where Jake is. For someone as old as Nog (probably 18-20 years old) only being able to read at a 1st grade level is virtually illiterate.

Nog is very qualified in many other ways. He's a hard worker and seemingly a good engineer. The ability to read Moby Dick and the ability to repair a plasma conduit or understand warp drive mechanics are not the same.

Besides, if you already know how to speak a language, and you already know what all the words mean, simply learning how to read written words isn't all that difficult.
HawgWyld - Thu, Jun 25, 2015 - 9:06am (USA Central)
I've got to go along with all of those saying this is a good episode because of the excellent "B" story. I could have done without the whole "let's trick Odo" bit, but the major story arc involving Nog becoming a Star Fleet officer started here and that makes this episode worthwhile.

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