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Fri, Jan 9, 2015, 9:16am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

Considering that Changelings have been infiltrating the alpha quadrant super powers for at LEAST a year by this point, and probably since before The Search, it is entirely plausible that one of them could replace Bashir without any problem at all. In fact, assuming they couldn't is a failure to recognise the accomplishments of the Dominion over thousands of years.

Regarding the baby Changeling, the infiltrator couldn't have saved it without revealing himself. Bashir was the last one to be informed of the Changeling baby's condition (both Odo & Morah knew before he did). By the time he could have stepped in, the baby was being watched constantly by the resident alpha quadrant expert on Changeling biology. If the station personnel knew enough about the Great Link to be able to diagnose the relation to the Link in Things Past, then they certainly would have been able to recognise what saved the baby if the infiltrator had used the Link to save it. Assuming the baby could be saved in the first place.

Regarding Tain, the Dominion does have transporter technology. If Garak and Odo had time to escape the ship, then the Dominion had time to board it and take prisoners.

As for the runabout being in proximity to the prison, there has been a consistent tendency for the Dominion, and especially the Jem 'Hadar, to overconfident arrogance. There is nothing 'odd' about the situation at all.

The only real problem with the two-parter is in how easy it is to destroy a star/solar system, which is a recurring problem in all of Star Trek. If it is so easy, then all manner of episodes in every installment of Star Trek become questionable. What point is there in any war or significant conflict when you can annihilate a species by blowing up a few stars. Only the Borg and the Q are demonstrably so advanced as to be completely immune to such a tactic.

The Founders used a rogue planet as their home in The Search, so such a tactic wouldn't work on them either, but in their case it would seem they recognise the potential threat of being close to a star. Whereas the Q don't even exist in a way to be threatened so, and the Borg have spread and grown so far that they potentially have dozens of homeworlds and thousands of self sufficient stations and vessels. A single drone could conceivably resurrect the entire collective, so even the destruction of every star in the galaxy wouldn't be much threat to them.

However, all the alpha quadrant powers would be vulnerable to a strategy of nova inducement. Blow up or otherwise destroy the stars for Earth, Vulcan, Andoria, etc.; and the Federation will start falling apart rather quickly. The Klingons and Romulans are even more vulnerable, as their empires are so centralised upon the Klingon and Romulan homeworlds.

Whether or not a nova or super nova could destroy the Bajoran wormhole is a completely pointless question. If it were so easy to render solar systems uninhabitable, some extremist individual or species would have taken advantage of it somewhere along the way.
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