Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Crossfire"

3 stars

Air date: 1/29/1996
Written by Rene Echevarria
Directed by Les Landau

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"People see you as the guy who always gets his man. Now you're becoming the guy who tears up his quarters and sits alone in the rubble. And no one is going to want to place bets on how long someone's going to sit around in the dark." — Quark to Odo

Nutshell: Not riveting, but quiet and sincerely performed. Some particularly good dialog between Odo and Quark stands out.

Well, it's been almost exactly one year since we last saw this thread. I'm referring of course to the buried feelings of love Odo has for Kira, which seemed to climax in the so-so episode "Heart of Stone," before that episode revealed in its closing scenes that the entire show was, in essence, a Dominion trick on its outcast shapeshifter.

And finally the creators have decided to return to it and deal with it—once and for all. While, admittedly, seeing whether or not two members of its cast are going to pair up is one of the last reasons I watch DS9, "Crossfire" deals with the material effectively and plausibly, and without getting too trite in the process. This is a very, very simple episode. There's not much plot here to occupy your brain, but that's not the episode's purpose. What is "Crossfire"? (Well, besides an episode with a somewhat misleading title that sounds like an action/adventure outing?) "Crossfire" is, in a word, "pleasant."

The show was written by Rene Echevarria, who worked with Ron Moore in writing this season's other love story, "Rejoined." And while this story is not as captivating as "Rejoined" was, it does have some great character moments and well-written dialogue scenes.

The plot (what little of it there is) surrounds around the arrival of First Minister Shakaar (Duncan Regehr)—Kira's close friend and leader of the resistance cell from the occupation days, established in last season's episode, "Shakaar." He has come to the station to negotiate with Federation representatives regarding Bajor's entrance into the Federation. But with rumors of an assassin on board, Odo and his staff become the secret service, making sure everywhere Shakaar moves about the station is clear of danger. While on the station, Shakaar begins spending time with Kira, which begins to really get to Odo; he suddenly has to return to facing the reality that he's in love with Kira, and can't bear to see her with someone else.

It doesn't sound like much, but "Crossfire" is a very well-executed character story that takes a rare glimpse at the softer side of the usually curmudgeon-like Odo. Virtually all the credit goes to the performance of Rene Auberjonois, who does a wonderful job of looking distracted, confused, and anguished over his rather unwelcome situation. There are a few standout moments in "Crossfire" where we can, for one brief second, understand that Odo does have the capacity for a full range of humanoid emotions. It's the discretion of those emotions that disappears here.

Take the scene where Shakaar reveals to Odo his feelings for Kira. Kira isn't even aware that she's caught Shakaar's eye, thus Shakaar doesn't know if the possibility exists that they could get together. So he talks to Odo about it, which puts the shapeshifter in a rather uncomfortable position. Odo stays in character; revealing nothing to Shakaar that indicates his feelings, yet the audience can see Odo's pain as clear as day.

"Crossfire's" best scene, however, is not anything that includes Odo talking to Shakaar or even to Kira. The creators wisely fall back on the always-reliable camaraderie-in-code between Odo and Quark. After Odo destroys his quarters in rage over his situation, Quark gives him some advice on his troubles. Yet, Echevarria keeps Quark plausibly in character by disguising his concern for Odo's feelings behind the usual seemingly self-serving priority of his own profits. (And I like the "manhunt pool" angle. It seems...appropriate.) Quark hasn't seemed as sincere as he does in this scene in a very long time. This is the Quark we saw in the earlier seasons, and the Quark I want back.

"Crossfire" is a welcome rarity in that it features a character story without a forced action or jeopardy premise. For once, the writers don't throw us the typical ending. The conclusion, surprisingly enough, does not hang on the would-be assassin being foiled at the last second; all of that, rather, is resolved by the fourth act. Even the show's one moment of jeopardy—the falling elevator bit—is more of a character issue since it deals with the fact that Odo's distraction causes him to make mistakes in his job. This shows faith in the characters' ability to get us through the show on their own. Kudos to Echevarria.

On the other hand, I would have liked a little more discussion concerning why Shakaar is on DS9, other than to fall in love with Kira. His visit concerns Bajor's entrance into the Federation, which is not a lightweight subject by any means. It's one of the fundamental goals of the series—or at least used to be. Limiting the topic in this episode to, seemingly, throwaway lines is a mistake—probably the only really glaring flaw in this episode. I like the fact the creators still acknowledge this aspect of the series, but considering how rarely we see it nowadays, I would have hoped that one of those few times would be a little bit more substantial than this.

But I suppose I shouldn't complain. This is intended as a character outing, not a political development—and on its intentions it delivers. Still, I'll have to admit one thing about this thread. Quark has a fitting line: "I don't care if you and Kira end up living happily ever after or not; I just want to see the situation resolved." I must say that I feel the same way, because topics like this that encompass entire A-stories should be few and far between on DS9. "Crossfire" resolves this thread, and with some dignity.

Previous episode: Paradise Lost
Next episode: Return to Grace

◄ Season Index

60 comments on this review

Jayson
Mon, Jun 29, 2009, 10:57pm (UTC -5)
Jammer, I got the feeling the reason the reason for Shakaar visit wasn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things in DS9 was because it was just "another" meeting. I think are supposed to assume that the process for Bajors admitance to The Federation entails a seemingly endless string of meetings and negotiations. Though it would have been nice to elaborate on this. Anyway I really enjoyed this episode, a painful tale of unrequited love.
Destructor
Sun, Jul 19, 2009, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
I hated this one on it's original airing, but rewatching it recently with my partner we both really appreciated it for it's subtlety and charm.
Larrylongballs
Thu, Nov 19, 2009, 8:33am (UTC -5)
There is only so much that they can do in 43 minutes. Besides this, it was Odo's story and the negotiations had nothing to do with him. This was one of the rare DS9 non action episodes without a B story of another character. I also think Shakaars scene with Odo was Auberjonois finest acting moment in the series.

Firestone
Mon, Dec 21, 2009, 4:43am (UTC -5)
Maybe I'm a sucker for romance, but I really found this episode to be both good and heartbreaking. You don't always need a complicated plot or quote-worthy dialogue. Seeing Odo going through all that made me feel almost like watching Visitor. Especially the scene with Shakaar and where Odo 'asks' Quark if he was concerned as a friend after which we get a firm negation. You could really feel his pain. Kudo's to Auberjonois for accomplishing all this under that make-up.
Nebula Nox
Wed, Jun 6, 2012, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
You can tell that Kira is already pregnant in this episode...
Jake
Fri, Jun 8, 2012, 8:53am (UTC -5)
While I'm happy Odo thanked Quark for telling him to snap the hell out of it, why doesn't he also thank Worf for saving his shapeshifting ass when he catches Shakaar's would-be killer while Odo's too busy moping about Kira?
Lt. Fitz
Wed, Jun 27, 2012, 9:02am (UTC -5)
The elevator scene really bugged me. How tall are those elevator shafts?! I felt like they had already traveled the height of the entire station BEFORE they started falling! Also, when did Odo get super strength? In any difficult situation in the past, Odo never showed any signs of being able to just push through metal walls. I remember when Kira was being engulfed in some form of crystal, he never even tried to morph into something like a pick and just break the crystal up. I figured that he didn't really have any strength, or just enough to replicate the solidity of lighter materials like bone. Suddenly, he can form steel hammers and apply tremendous amounts of pressure? That scene just seemed so over the top.

Other than that, I was really moved by Odo's troubles. I once had to watch another man win the heart of a girl I longed for. I got her in the end anyway. :)
Cail Corishev
Mon, Sep 17, 2012, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
Standing guard outside your crush's door while she spends the night with another guy is a pretty harsh cure for one-itis, but whatever works.
Chris
Thu, May 16, 2013, 8:43am (UTC -5)
Odo's love for Kira is a comment on the phenomenon of love itself. Odo is a being who doesn't succumb to primitive humanoid emotions. He isn't interested in the day-to-day 'petty' lives of solids. But his feelings for Kira transcend all that. His love is a noble endeavour that goes far beyond a mere emotion.

I also think it's telling that the only person on the station that can see past Odo's impassive facade and see the deep longing and pain in his eyes - is Quark.

Four stars.
Paul
Thu, May 16, 2013, 10:56am (UTC -5)
@Chris: Um, no.

I'm a fan of the Odo/Kira pairing. But I don't like this episode at all. It's trite and has far too many plotholes/illogical points.

DS9 was probably the Trek that came closest to being a soap opera. That's usually OK, but this episode is just too far over the top.
Paul M.
Mon, Jul 8, 2013, 7:11am (UTC -5)
What is the definition of soap opera, if I may ask?
Josh
Mon, Jul 8, 2013, 10:22am (UTC -5)
Apparently it pertains to any show in which characters display emotions or complex relationships. DS9 is pretty far from being a "primetime soap". Current examples of such include Grey's Anatomy. Character-driven drama != soap opera, but then that rebuttal would put a kibosh on Paul's anti-DS9 spamming.
T'Paul
Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
My favourite part here was the Odo-Worf dialogue about rooms and people dropping in "perhaps if I am more--- inhospitable, he will stop."

They're a good pairing those two, a far more interesting bromance than the Kira-Odo story!
Corey
Thu, Oct 10, 2013, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
This one was a great, slow burning masterpiece.
Kotas
Wed, Oct 23, 2013, 1:01pm (UTC -5)

So-so Kira and Odo ep.

5/10
Dusty
Sat, Feb 15, 2014, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
An authentic and moving character piece. Love has rarely been conveyed more eloquently on Star Trek. Kira is a little too one-dimensional and Shakaar's visit a little too convenient, but this is an Odo episode without a doubt, and Auberjonois gives a deeply touching performance. In an episode full of good scenes, none was better than the talk between Odo and Quark at the end. Rene deliberately left a few strands of his hair out of place in that part. Not only does it illustrate angst in the typically spotless and unflappable character, in the DS9 Companion he notes, "I was trying to evoke an image from a Japanese print I'd seen of a warrior in defeat."
Vylora
Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 2:16am (UTC -5)
This is a fantastic episode on every level. It is a credit to the writing team and the acting to show how romance can work well in Star Trek - a medium where it seems to falter more often than not. While "Rejoined" was more of a bottle episode and this is more part of an ongoing character arc, I feel they stand toe to toe in their respective qualities. And I'm not even a huge fan of romantic stories in general.

3.5 stars
Alex
Sun, Mar 16, 2014, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
This was a great episode highlighted by Rene's performance. Personally I've never been in a situation like this but I felt every bit of pain Odo was experiencing. His talk with Quark is definitely one of the DS9's best moments.

3.5 stars

And TBH, this should have been the end of the whole ODO/Kira love fest.
Yanks
Wed, Aug 6, 2014, 10:25am (UTC -5)
I enjoyed this one.

Loved Odo's belt.

Loved these exchange: (lol)
"KIRA: It's just Quark's luck that you would be assigned quarters right above his.
ODO: Luck had nothing to do with it."

"QUARK: I heard some noise, and when I went to complain, I found a work crew installing soundproofing in the floor. I have to say, Odo, I'm touched that you would do something like that for me.
ODO: I'm having the floor reinforced. The fact that they're soundproofing it as well is incidental. If you think I'd put up with three days of construction for your sake, think again."

Nothing epic here, but enjoyable. You really feel for Odo when Shakaar reveals his feelings for Kira.

2.5 stars for me.
MsV
Thu, Feb 12, 2015, 6:40am (UTC -5)
I am all go for an Odo/Kira romance, I couldn't understand how she could be interested romantically with Shakaar. I can't see the chemistry there. He is handsome, but kinda boring.
Spooky McGee
Fri, Oct 16, 2015, 11:30pm (UTC -5)
For some reason, the most touching part was when Odo took great strides to prepare for the security briefing with Kira. He placed the cup just so, then acted non-chalant when she walked in. Sometimes the things people do for us when we are not looking, mean the most.

Obviously the friendship with Quark and Odo's loose hair were telling parts of the character story. The character development, at the end of the day, is why DS9 is my favorite.

This episode has stuck with me through the years. 4 stars.
William B
Tue, Nov 10, 2015, 12:27pm (UTC -5)
I like this episode; I have been mulling over whether I think it's a 2.5 or a 3 star show. I think that the Odo story is compellingly and touchingly realized, with a great performance by Rene. His scenes with Worf and Quark are highlights; the conversation between Odo and Worf about methods to keep people from visiting is probably my favourite scene in the episode, especially Worf's insistent "OF COURSE NOT! THEN THEY WOULD VISIT MORE!" And the Odo/Quark scenes are effective. My big problem with the episode, which largely holds it back, is that Kira is, to be honest, mostly a prop. That this episode throws in "Bajor timetable for Federation membership" and does that only to further the Odo story does not particularly bother me, since it seems like not a particularly important step in a long process which can be dealt with elsewhere. And to some degree, I almost feel that way about Kira and Shakaar...but ultimately the series never does get down to doing much of anything with this pairing, or revealing what this significant development in Kira's life means for her. To some extent, as with the Bajor story, I would not really mind this if:

1) Kira's POV on her and Shakaar were more fully realized in later episodes; or
2) Kira's relationship with Shakaar is not *actually* that important to her.

Of the two, the latter would fit if it weren't that Shakaar is such a major figure in Kira's life, someone who kept her alive, a former workplace companion and best friend, and who in this episode Kira keeps talking about viewing as a romantic prospect as a kind of surprising, giggly revelation. I was not particularly a fan of Kira/Bareil, but there was effort to establish that relationship and some effort to establish what it meant to Kira. This one really does seem to primarily make a significant change in Kira's life, with one of the most important people to her, for the sake of making Odo sad. To go forward a tad, "Return to Grace" similarly has Kira/Shakaar interesting insofar as it provides a launching point for Dukat's creepy come-ons. (And, IIRC, "The Begotten" brings him around just to argue with O'Brien.) His absence from "The Darkness and the Light" is all the more striking, since that is the key episode which should involve him even if he and Kira weren't an item. In "Heart of Stone," Kira was a prop to Odo's story too, but it was part of the tale that she was, and the real Kira's life wasn't modified to accommodate the sad-Odo story. Here.... Kira's somewhat surprised, semi-ecstatic reaction to her and Shakaar is...plausible but seems incomplete, and is a significant enough departure from Kira's norm that I really do want/need more, which the episode does not give. The episode hits some of the same beats about Odo over and over again, and to some extent Shakaar starting to share his private thoughts about him and Nerys with Odo seems bizarre. Characters are somewhat warped in order to put Odo in the most awkward of positions.

What largely works is the idea that Odo is such an OUTSIDER! to humanoid emotions that people believe that Odo is unaffected by others' love lives, and finds it all dull. Quark immediately sees through Odo's facade, which to some extent raises the question of why others don't; if Kira is blind to it because it's inconvenient for her, and Worf is unlikely to start prying, you would think someone like Dax would have started guessing by now (considering that she likes to tease Odo, and figured out that Pel was in love with Quark in like fifteen minutes). But there is something particularly effective and tragic here; Odo's whole identity relies on him not breaking character, but the disinterested-in-humanoid-affairs persona he has developed as a way of coping with rejection and Otherness isolates him completely. Kira getting together with Bareil seems to be what first triggered his recognition of his Kira-feelings (at least, at the meta level, that did so), but I think the key development actually is his discovery that His People are dictatorial, and that if it weren't for Kira he would still mostly *not care*. Now he's trapped in the life he "chose," particularly since he is a pariah to his own people having killed them, and his need to maintain what little he has with Kira becomes all the more important, until it is too painful, and he falls back on "security, order" as his raison d'etre. The essentials indeed. That Shakaar/Kira has a similar *sort* of history to Odo/Kira is repeatedly emphasized -- old friends, work companions, but Shakaar made a move whereas Odo is presumptively disinterested in humanoid affairs.

And yes, it is great that while Odo's emotional devastation is primarily about losing Kira, the *trigger* is Worf solving the case and not Odo. If Odo had the courage to tell Kira how he felt, and to take the risk of how that would change their relationship, that would be one thing, but his security-man persona is all that he's been able to rely on consistently, even if it's barely enough to live on. Having that threatened by Worf (who let the Enterprise be taken over by Ferengi, as I believe Odo brings up promptly) is the last straw, the most frightening thing, so he works hard on rebuilding and maintaining that persona, with Quark's help.

It's an effective and touching show, though as I articulated earlier I don't really care for the Kira of it. 2.5 stars.
Diamond Dave
Fri, Jan 1, 2016, 7:55am (UTC -5)
You could kind of see the one sentence pitch for this - Odo loses the girl and then loses his shit. At this point it was an interesting non-Hollywood outcome - of course we get the Hollywood ending later but that's a story for another time. And while the performance is strong, it's difficult to feel too much sympathy for Odo when he doesn't man-up.

We do have some wonderful scenes though - the early one with Odo and Worf is something of a gruff classic, and the interaction between Quark and Odo is also a joy. 2.5 stars.
Matt
Sat, Mar 5, 2016, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
I found this episode to be very boring. Deep Space Nine seems to have a lot of these episodes that are just about "relationships" that don't have a compelling story. There should be a good story first with character development along the way, rather than a weak plot shoehorned in around 45 minutes of exploring someone's "feelings". Is this sci-film or daytime soap?

1 star
Quarkissnyder
Thu, Mar 24, 2016, 6:52am (UTC -5)
Thoughts at large:

I loved the way Odo and Kira laughed about domestic violence. (Sarcasm.)

Why is Quark only now complaining of noise from Odo's quarters? Have they moved recently?

I assumed that Shakar's assistant was the assassin. Was I supposed to, or was that just bad writing/acting?

How big is DS9 that an elevator can fall for that long?

Did it hurt Odo to stop the elevator? Did he shed pieces of himself on the wall? What happens to those pieces?

Which leads to questions about what it means to be a changeling, physically, in general. Why does Odo's face express emotions when he's alone? Does he see through his eyes? How does he hear when he's a briefcase?

What are the benefits of joining the federation? You have to give up your sovereignty -- and then some alien can decide to declare planet-wide martial law. What do you get in return? Keeping in mind that the federation is already protecting Bajor militarily, what else can it offer? Tariff protection? Bragging rights?
Quarkissnyder
Thu, Mar 24, 2016, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
Adding: I was sure that the flowers were weapons, surveillance devices, or changelings. There was one scene when a character (I don't remember who) had half his face against a huge bouquet and kept talking. Then all of the characters had flowers in their rooms. It was weird. Some kind of product placement?
Robert
Thu, Mar 24, 2016, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
"Why is Quark only now complaining of noise from Odo's quarters? Have they moved recently?"

I think so. Something about the way Kira said "It's just Quark's luck that you would be assigned quarters right above his" made me think he moves recently. Let's fanwank that the damage from the season opener caused a few sections to be shut down for repairs and when they were playing musical quarters Odo decided to mess with Quark.

"What are the benefits of joining the federation? You have to give up your sovereignty -- and then some alien can decide to declare planet-wide martial law. What do you get in return? Keeping in mind that the federation is already protecting Bajor militarily, what else can it offer? Tariff protection? Bragging rights? "

I got the impression that they were protecting them to guide them into the Federation. I assume if Bajor withdrew their application that the Federation would be out of there.
Luke
Mon, Apr 4, 2016, 5:07am (UTC -5)
I like "Crossfire" but it does have its fair share of problems. As a character piece for Odo it works and works well, thanks almost exclusively to Rene Auberjonois' performance. The scene where he talks with Shakaar about Kira is indeed a standout, as Jammer right points out. And Odo sitting in the rubble of his destroyed quarters conveys so much emotion even before Quark arrives. Having Odo's hair slightly out of place is a particularly nice touch. Since it really isn't "hair" but a piece of his body - you know what I mean - it shows that Odo is indeed losing control of himself - he can't even keep his humanoid form in check. And I've heard that that little bit was improvised by Auberjonois based on a painting he once saw of a Japanese samurai - and that is why the man is an amazing actor! Still, as a story in its own right, "Crossfire" is pretty average.

In the end it's all nothing but one giant tease. Will Odo finally reveal to Kira his true feelings? Well, of course he won't. While I give the writers credit for not going with the standard romance-of-the-week angle, everyone knew how this episode was going to end - with Odo still keeping the secret. They just have to ride the whole "will-they-won't-they" angle of the relationship to death, don't they? This is the same problem the Trip/T'Pol relationship faced over on ENT. For some reason Trek writers love to use this whole Twilight-esque romance formula when they stray from romances-of-the-week. Thank God they finally get these two together in later episodes!

But I guess I'm just a sucker for unrequited love stories, even if I'm a little disappointed with how this one was executed. That's probably because I've faced many similar situations myself in real life so my heart really goes out to Odo here. The scene of him standing outside Kira's quarters all night long just for the chance to talk to her just breaks my heart, especially when it ends with Odo learning that they had spent that entire time, well, fucking. There are also some good character moments here. And not just for Odo, but also for Kira, Quark and even Shakaar. As for Quark, this is easily the best use of his character in quite a while - I'd say since "The House of Quark". I like that he genuinely does feel for Odo and wants to help only to hide his friendliness under a veneer of self-surviving profit seeking because that's what makes Odo comfortable. These two have a wonderfully complex relationship.

6/10
Skywalker
Sun, Jun 19, 2016, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
Oh my gosh, the pure torment of Odo! Oh, haven't we all been there... Poor guy. When he enters into Kira's quarters after she has slept with Shakaar, every little thing she says is "like a dagger in me," to quote that line from Fontine in Les Miserables. Just exquisite agony! When Kira realizes later just how much she tortured Odo she is so wonderfully contrite.

And the ending. She must be thinking, "Well, that was weird. I guess Odo doesn't really want to be friends anymore." The touch with the belt was excellent. "Just sticking to the essentials, Major." Nicest way ever to say "go to hell, biatch."
Robert
Mon, Jun 20, 2016, 9:12am (UTC -5)
@Skywalker - Totally agree, I can see why this episode might not be for everyone, but as a quiet character piece about Odo's feelings it's really, really good and Rene nails it hard enough to sell this quiet little character piece.
jadziadaxmd
Sun, Aug 21, 2016, 7:28am (UTC -5)
I liked this episode. In addition to everything said above, I enjoyed the Odo/Worf exchange about how to keep your life in order and prevent people from dropping by their quarters unannounced :)
NCC-1701-Z
Tue, Oct 25, 2016, 7:32pm (UTC -5)
Man I really felt for Odo this episode - I've been in a similar situation before (nothing involving a potential assassin though, thank goodness ;) ) except I couldn't simply walk away due to extenuating circumstances.

I want to give this 4 stars, but I feel somewhat reluctant to let my personal experiences directly influence my rating. Then again, reviews / opinions of episodes are subjective by nature, based on our own biases, perspectives, points of view, stage of life, and experiences. By definition there is really no such thing as a truly "unbiased" review no matter how hard one tries - it's all perspective, and it's through interacting with different perspectives that we learn.

Ah, what the heck. 4 stars.
Robert
Wed, Oct 26, 2016, 8:54am (UTC -5)
@NCC-1701-Z : If art really connects with you, it's good art. That said, I don't think 4 stars is out of line for this episode. It's perhaps Rene's best performance on DS9... and that's saying a lot. It's hard to decide if something should be a 4 or not. Sometimes 4 feels like it should be way more amazing than this quiet character show... but Rene gives everything and then some to this performance. And Armin is excellent as well.
Peter G.
Wed, Oct 26, 2016, 11:04am (UTC -5)
"Crossfire" always leaves me feeling like it was top-notch DS9, but still it's not quite the dazzling experience of watching a "The Die is Cast" or "In the Pale Moonlight." I think it should get top marks for a 'regular' episode, and personally I'd save the 4 star rating for superlative episodes. So I guess it would be 3.5 for me.
Robert
Wed, Oct 26, 2016, 11:10am (UTC -5)
@Peter G - This discussion ends up a lot like Gymnastics scores. In the old system you could get a perfect 10 for doing a lesser difficulty routine perfectly, in the new system you multiply difficulty by perfection. So if you're doing a 17 point routine but lose a point for flaws you still beat the person doing the 15 point routine perfectly.

This episode gets full marks on execution, it's perfect to me. So the question is just... do you need to multiply by difficulty?

I have no problem giving full marks (a perfect 4) to episodes that do what they are trying to do perfectly (like this and Duet). That said, this episode doesn't do 3 flips in the air after it hits the horse, which I think is what you're getting at.
RandomThoughts
Fri, Dec 16, 2016, 10:34pm (UTC -5)
Hello Everyone

Loved, loved, loved Odo in this one. Sometimes I like a nice, calm story, and for the most part, this was just that. Also nice to not be burdened by Techobabble for a bit. And since the story was so simple, there weren't as many plot holes as they seem to have sometimes. Yes, the elevator seemingly fell too far too fast, but that is a minor quibble.

Actually, my only minor problem is that Shakarr would have a security detail with him on the ship, and the head of security for the First Minister would jointly arrange security with the heads of security on the station. Shakarr showed up with one aide, but I believe he'd have a pile of guards, even if he didn't want them, because he's the Bajoran Leader.

I liked the interaction between Odo and Worf tremendously, but also sort of cringed at what they were saying, finding common ground in the ways they keep their friends from visiting. Yes, it was funny, but also sort of horrible. :)

Wandering away... RT
Mark
Tue, Feb 28, 2017, 3:07am (UTC -5)
Boring. Nothing really significant happens in this episode.
SteveRage
Thu, Mar 9, 2017, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
Ugh..... HATED this episode, it's an absolute dump of an episode. This is the sort of episode that people who appreciate quality drama would watch and decry the series as utter dreck and refuse to watch it again. It is beyond frustrating to watch grown adults, leaders of worlds, senior military figures etc. acting like lovestruck teenagers having never been in a relationship before. The dialogue is beyond trite and pathetic. I have no issue with a love story on Trek, but does it need to be so infantile and basic. Also I'm reasonably sure the leader of a planet wouldn't decide to get his legover and publicly spend the night in the first officer's quarters whilst on official planetary business. It's just so childish and comes across as what a 14 year old eould imagine sex and relationships are like. Also, wow they really cut the balls off Shakaar didn't they. He was awesome in the last episode, the rebel terrorist leader who went to war with the provisional leader in order to save the planet is now whining to Odo about whether Kira has "noticed" him or not. And the less said about Odo being completely incapable of doing his job the better.

Utter, utter crap - 0.5 stars
Vii
Mon, Apr 17, 2017, 11:58pm (UTC -5)
Quarkissnyder - you're not the only one that thought Shakaar's adjutant was pobably the assassin.

I can see what they're trying to do here. It's a nice little character episode. I agree that Shakaar was boring but Bajoran men are shown to be very vanilla in general, which sounds bad, but I found Bareil just as flat. They even look similar, and I'm not just talking about the noses and earrings. The only interesting Bajoran men I can think of is General Krim in the Li Nalas episodes, and that other guy from the Shakaar resistance cell who was blown up in 'The Darkness and the Light.'

For the record, Li Nalas was pretty boring too, but I suppose that shouldn't come as a surprise as Shakaar was supposedly based on his character.

As to Odo's incompetency in this episode.. I get that he's upset that he just lost the love of his life to the First Minister, but I found myself wishing he would just suck it up and get on with his job of catching the assassin. Lives are at stake, man. If I had been in Worf's shoes I probably would have given him a ticking off.
JoeyLock
Fri, May 19, 2017, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
I feel so bad for poor old Odo in this, he was properly in the Friendzone, especially when she put his arm around him thanking him for being such a good friend, its like seeing a man stabbed through the heart.

I never understood how Kira didn't have a single inclination that Odo liked her, like she must be incredibly oblivious or just not very bright, especially when Odo removes the belt at the end and cancels their meetings, its like she can't even put two and two together "Hmm I wonder what that was about?".

But the people above saying "Ugh why is Odo not being better at his job?!" - I don't think you fully understand Odo as a character. He's not grown up as a humanoid, he's not had a "girlfriend" when he was a kid, hes not had a "first love" or experienced being broken up with etc like many humans have, so to most of us, seeing your "crush" go out with someone else isn't nice but its not the end of the world and doesn't make us angry but Odo has never had those feelings, he's never had a girlfriend, hes never had love or a relationship and so all these feelings are brand new to him, shes the only woman hes ever felt for and thats why he lashed out and got so distracted.

Think back to your first love, think about how you felt and how you were on top of the world just to see them smile and how strong those feelings were and for those of you not still with your first love, remember the pain you felt, the heartache, the distraction, the constant sadness for a while afterward etc
That's what Odo felt in this episode, except he not only felt that but he had to protect the bloke his love was metaphorically and basically smooching in front of him with right in his face. I don't think people really think about the emotions behind that situation and seem to think everyone is a Vulcan and "must do their duty". This episode shows the difference between Worf and Odo quite well, despite them both being very isolated, duty-driven personalities as Nikolai said to Worf in TNG Homeward "Duty. That's all that really matters to you, isn't it?".

Odo has always been a man of duty, a workaholic who did his job 24/7 with no break except to regenerate in order to be ready for another day of non-stop work, this is the first time we get to see him show that his job isn't his entire life and yet people still aren't satisfied?
Welshie!!!!!!!!
Sun, May 21, 2017, 1:39am (UTC -5)
This is the worst "friend zoning" in Star Trek since Crusher destroyed Picard in TNG's "Attached."Auberjonois kills it in this episode. This episode is a solid 67 million out of 100 million. The entire time I thinking of Rick Springfield's song "I wish that I had Minister Shakaar's girl"
peter
Sat, Jun 3, 2017, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
Nice episode. Interesting stuff about Odo and Kira's feelings for each other, but also Odo and Quark even if both won't admit it to each other even if their life depends on it. So, Odo got upset to the point of destroying his furniture and sitting in a state of catatonia in the aftermath? Hmm...
peter
Sat, Jun 3, 2017, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Oh, and I forgot, Odo installed soundproofing in his floor? Hehe. But he has yet to tell Kira how he feels...
pfk505
Fri, Jul 14, 2017, 10:14am (UTC -5)
Absolutely cringe-worthy throughout, but only because Odo's pain is so common and easy to relate to for anyone who has ever held some unrequited feelings for another. The performances are great and the Odo/Quark and Odo/Worf scenes are fantastic.

I'll point out that the poster above who pointed out that Kira is reduced to being merely a prop in this (and other) episodes is spot on, and to me this is a major flaw in the story. I was left puzzled as to why Kira would all of a sudden develop feelings for a guy like Shakaar given their shared history, but I suppose these things do happen. The problem is this was never explored. When Kira gives Odo the "if you had asked me a year ago whether this would happen..." line it both fails to provide proper motivation and also drops a massive 5 ton foreshadowing anvil for what is to come.

2.5/4
Startrekwatcher
Fri, Jul 28, 2017, 6:17pm (UTC -5)
2 stars. I don't care about Kira and Odo and Shakaar's love triangle. The Cardassisn away was a MacGuffin and with no plot this was a snooze

Rene is one of the weakest Trek writers--birthright part two, True Q, Eye of the Beholder, Facets, This episode, A Simple Investigation, The Muse to name a few

I think the only episodes I liked of his was TNG Ship in a Bottle and his Final Chapter scripts and even When it Rains wasn't completely smooth sailing
Rahul
Thu, Jun 14, 2018, 6:38pm (UTC -5)
Auberjonois is terrific in this episode -- even under all those prosthetics we can see the emotions clear as day and they're so well portrayed. Not much of a plot here other than the Odo/Kira arc, but in terms of similar frustrated romance episodes, I found "Crossfire" clearly superior than "Rejoined". This episode was good for its various character interactions, something DS9 excels at more than any other Trek series.

I actually really liked the Odo/Worf discussion about order and routine and how they should be inhospitable to prevent folks from visiting them. Quite hilarious.

Then there was Shakaar asking Odo about Kira -- great acting from Auberjonois here, feeling uncomfortable - not wanting to encourage Shakaar and not giving away his feelings, but still trying to be helpful.

I did enjoy the Quark/Odo interaction after the shapeshifter rips up his quarters -- this is the best use of Quark as a 2ndary character: when he is perceptive but conceals his true, upstanding feelings with his typical profit babble. No question there is a subtle kinship between Odo and Quark and here it comes across well. Quark reminds Odo of who he really is or should be -- not the distracted emotional mess he's become.

Shakaar looks quite different from the "Shakaar" episode -- he's much more cleaned up as a minister. But introducing him again in place of Bareil is a reasonable tool to get the Odo/Kira thing going again. But unfortunately, the whole Bajor joining the Federation doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

And of course Odo can't come around to revealing his feelings to Kira, who likely suspects but doesn't probe.

2.5 stars for "Crossfire" -- need to have one of these kinds of pure character stories once in a while. Odo is terrific here with all the emotions he goes through. It's not a great episode but it is decent and engaging enough. I do think the episode could have made more about Shakaar's duties re. Bajor and the Federation -- it could have involved Sisko perhaps. Not a major knock, however.
Ivan
Mon, Jul 2, 2018, 1:04am (UTC -5)
Worst episode of this season so far. Boring as hell. "Character development"... meh!
Iceman
Sun, Aug 19, 2018, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
"Crossfire" has a pretty decent script, but Rene Auberjonois' performance makes it absolutely soar. You really feel for Odo in this episode, and it's a nice subversion of typical romantic tropes. At least, until they decide to lean into those tropes later.

3.5 stars.
Springy
Wed, Jan 2, 2019, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
Watching and commenting:

--We start off with multiple mentions of using our senses. Hearing, seeing. Noticing. What gives?

--Shakaar has changed his hair. But won't change his meeting place for reasons I can barely buy, but I will.

--Love the Worf - Odo bonding over how to be sufficiently inhospitable.

--Shakaar takes the Middle School approach to deciding whether to ask Nerys to go to the school dance.

--Odo, Odo, Odo.

--Our senses inform, our senses mislead, they help us, they hurt us, they fool us, they distract us. When do we trust what we see, hear, feel? The said, the unsaid.

--Love Quark's footie pajamas.

I liked it.
Elliott
Fri, Jan 11, 2019, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
Teaser : ***.5, 5%

Odo is being fastidious—try not to be surprised. But in this case, he's actually readying his office for his morning briefing with Kira. Everything's in its place, her coffee is just the way she likes it, and Odo is especially interested in watching Kira enjoy it. The scene manages to transcend the DBI nature of the teaser in “Heart of Stone” by actually having an amusing backstory to carry it. Turns out there's a rather kinky couple who enjoy beating each other and fucking in public. I'll take this over the sitcom crap any day. We also get some exposition regarding political resistance to Bajor joining the Federation. It's good to see this story point, which has been pretty dormant this season, brought back to the fore. Eventually, Quark barges in to complain about Odo's noisy shapeshifting, which we learn is the result of Odo deliberately giving himself quarters right above Quark's. Well, Odo, you've mastered the art of creeping on girls you like, gossiping about other people's sex lives and trolling your frenemies. I think you've got this humanoid thing down, buddy.

So, Shakaar [when the walls fell] arrives for his diplomatic meeting with Sisko to continue the Bajor plot and give Bashir the opportunity to give Miles shit. Ah, friendship. He and his aide, Cyrus Gold or whatever, are led to a massive crowd of Bajoran—well, if you don't agree with Shakaar, you'd call them “fans,” but if you do, you call them “supporters.” Oh, and Dax has to comment to Kira that she thinks Shakaar is hot because, you know, Dax. In the midst of all the hubbub, Odo has grave news of a possible assassination attempt on the FM. It's a very breezy teaser with an eclectic but harmonious set of pieces to play with. Shakaar is still mostly a blank slate, but already they've established his lack of political charisma. The Odo-Kira-Shakaar love triangle is obvious several kilometres away, but it feels more or less reasonable. And there's a political plot brewing. Good stuff.

Act 1 : **.5, 18%

Odo and Cyrus debate the security issues in Sisko's office. It turns out the threat is coming from the True Way (c.f. “Our Man Bashir”), and Odo wants Shakaar's appearances cancelled for the moment, but Cyrus and Kira both know that this isn't going to happen.

KIRA: Shakaar knows better than anyone you can't capitulate to terrorists. He used to be one, and the day the Cardassians started to negotiate with him was the day he knew they'd been beaten. He'll stay.

I'm a tad confused by this—so are anti-Federation sentiments being generated by Russian bots, I mean Cardassian terrorists, or are there genuinely anti-Federation Bajorans within their society? Sisko concludes that Worf will cover Odo's normal duties so he can play bodyguard. Eddington is off doing something else at the moment. I'm sure it's not important.

We pickup with Odo briefing Worf on security arrangements, leading to another one of those “DS9 is just more *complicated* than TNG” subtext thingies. One interesting retcon is that apparently, the station is now home to thousands of people, despite the fact that it was firmly established in Season 2 that only 300 or so people occupied the habitat ring. This number was essential to several plots making sense in light of the number of times the station had to be evacuated. So, to be clear: when DS9 retcons in order to grandstand about how deep and dark it is; “totally badass!”; when Voyager retcons about torpedoes and shuttles to make its own plots work; “ugh! Bad writing. The Last Jedi is objectively bad...” Where the hell was I going with this? Oh yeah. Worf is on this show.

WORF: I prefer a more orderly environment.
ODO: We have that in common. My people have an innate need for order.
WORF: How do you tolerate living here?
ODO: I make order where I can.

Auberjonois is expectedly amusing at giving sage advice about how to be an unwelcoming tight-ass to a man famous for drinking prune juice. Based on what we've seen so far this season, I guess we are to conclude that “Generations” was so depressing for Worf, that he's lost all interest in friendship and comradeship. Can't say I blame him.

Odo reports to Shakaar to escort him to his meeting, but Shakaar wants to pray at the temple first. Odo is equally annoyed and concerned over this deviation from his orderly arrangements, but so things are destined to go for the Changeling. Shakaar definitely has that rockstar, populist appeal that puts Odo on edge. Then again, I think he likes it that way:

KIRA: Do you have to stare like that? I think it's making people nervous.
ODO: Good.

Here begins the phase of DS9 wherein Kira is written to intentionally troll Odo's feelings for her. She's made to be friendly in a way that hovers around cock-teasing (goo-teasing?) flirtation while remaining completely oblivious to his rather obvious infatuation with her. This isn't exactly awful to watch or anything, but it's sitcom tedium the likes of which I thought we had left behind. He starts “wearing” his belt again to please her, but she and Shakaar clearly have eyes for each other. Odo is made—or perhaps makes himself—escort the pair on a romantic stroll about the station. Quark is on hand to see exactly where this is going.

Act 2 : **.5, 18%

ODO: I've been working with the Federation for a number of years. They claim to be open and understanding, but somehow they're always convinced that they're right. It can be exasperating at times.

Would anybody care to point out an instance where the Federation makes grandiose claims about being “understanding?” As far as I can recall, the Federation strives to be right all the time, and is interested in debating the issues that concern its positions—well, except on this show. Whatever. Odo observes that Bajor is a bit handicapped by its history with the Cardassians. I'm sure Iceman would agree with me here that it's really frustrating to be teased with interesting political discourse when the episode is far more interested in the love-triangle stuff. What is clear here is that Echevarria is not particularly interested in the Star Trek-y substance that makes for interesting analogies and conversations regarding politics. Rather, there are a number of throw away lines about time-tables and bureaucracy that could apply equally to just about any political body as it could to the Federation or Bajor. It's generic, and thus it is boring.

Well, Shakaar drops the bombshell and asks Odo about Kira:

SHAKAAR: What I mean is, has she ever said anything to you that might indicate that she thought of me as more than a friend?
ODO: Ah. Well, let me think. No.

Auberjonois' delivery here was so perfect that I spat out my coffee. Now I need to change my shirt. Brilliant. Odo clumsily tries to dissuade Shakaar from pursuing his feelings for her. The conversation is fine, but by making Odo's feelings the focus, we've been denied the chance to observe *why* Shakaar might be falling in love with Kira. So it's less a relationship than a plot device.

Later on, Quark is preparing some jungle juice and planting eaves-dropping devices in the wardroom in order to pull off one of his typical schemes, stealing intelligence on the negotiations between Bajor and the Federation. Hey Quark, how much latinum for that device? I would LOVE some more details on these meetings. Well Quark doesn't beat around the bush too long, laying bare the fact that he knows Odo's in love with Kira and terrified of losing her to Shakaar. As expected, this is met with angry dismissals from the constable.

Act 3 : ***, 13% (short)

We pick up in Odo's office, mirroring the teaser. Kira shows up late to ruin Odo's sense of order and fuck with his emotions—again. She's not drinking her coffee, she's late, she's distracted...oh, and she's all of these things because she spent the morning—and maybe the night?—with Shakaar. Awkward. This is followed by Odo continuing to play chaperone on the pair's romantic tour of the station, “inadvertently” preventing a kiss at one point. And then, Odo is distracted during a conversation with Worf by the pair making dinner plans and ends up allowing a saboteur to...erm, sabotage the turbolift they're on. Dun dun dun...

Act 4 : ***.5, 18%

And so, Odo is forced to use his changeling powers to stop the lift mid-fall and save the trio from death. I'm not sure it was intentional, but I was reminded of the lift scene with Lwaxana way back in “The Forsaken.” There, Odo was forced to make his Changeling nature plain and expose himself as vulnerable. Here, Odo's abilities clearly make him powerful, but they also serve to remind him of how different he is from the humanoid after whom he pines.

Sisko is pretty annoyed with Odo's lapse in attention, but refrains from reading him the riot act. After all, this is a situation where getting angry and belligerent would be somewhat justified, whereas shaking Nog nearly to death for wanting to join Starfleet made no sense whatsoever. That's how you keep the voices in your head off balance, keep them guessing. You go, captain.

Eventually, Odo resolves to speak to Kira, but finds security posted around her quarters—Shakaar is inside. Odo decides to torture himself by standing watch personally while they “talk politics” until well into the morning. Let's hope he can morph himself some ear-plugs. After Shakaar leaves, Kira is very giggly and “you're such a good FRIEND, Odo,” gutting the poor sap completely.

Odo returns to his office to find that Worf has already apprehended the True Way saboteur. Having been robbed of the last vestige of his personal dignity—the chance to at least be the best god-damned policeman in the quadrant, even if he can't have the girl—Odo goes on a rampage in his quarters, an ironically humanoid response to grief. René is quite potent here, almost frightening.

Act 5 : ***.5, 18%

Well of course, Quark is on hand to make another noise complaint, letting himself into Odo's quarters.

QUARK: I knew it would come to this. You take the form of an animal, you're going to end up behaving like one.

Quark spins a yarn—possibly—about Odo's mismanaged feelings interfering with his man-hunt betting pool (speaking of Lwaxana...). It's a very sensible conversation that utilises the subsurface friendship between them. Quark reminds him of that always-reliable *semblance* of which I went on at length in the review to “Necessary Evil.”

Odo sheds his belt, passes off his bodyguard duties and cancels his morning meetings with Kira henceforth. And so things are back to normal, with Odo getting back to his routine, as it were. And even sound-proofing his floor for Quark's benefit. Hang in there, tough guy.

Episode as Functionary : **.5, 10%

I don't want to bend the timeline too much here, but I can't help but note the similarity between the Odo/Kira dynamic and the EMH/7of9 story over on Voyager that will appear in a few seasons. What doesn't work for me about the former is the fact that Kira is so fucking dense about Odo's feelings for her. She is very experienced with romantic relationships, very intelligent and very forthright about her opinions and observations, whereas Seven has/had the emotional maturity of a seven-year-old. Her blind spot regarding Odo is never adequately explained and it feels very scripted and forced to have her behave the way she does, just so the writers can torture Odo. In the same vein, the Kira/Shakaar relationship is more or less ignited and developed off screen, so there's very little to invest us in their feelings for each other.

That being said, the opportunity afforded to Odo and his growth is very good. Seeing him realise he's lost his opportunity is pretty heart-breaking, and the scenes between him and Quark are easily four-star material. In the end, the choice to use the episode's three plots (Kira/Shakaar getting together, the assassination attempt, and Bajor's negotiations with the Federation) as background for Odo's tale of personal tragedy is a double-edged sword. The character material for him is excellent, but the lack of insight into the other plots, which the series at least pretends to care about, is frustrating.

Final Score : ***
Iceman
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
@Elliott-

"Auberjonois' delivery here was so perfect that I spat out my coffee."

Auberjonois is a goddamn treasure, and this is not open to debate.

" What doesn't work for me about the former is the fact that Kira is so fucking dense about Odo's feelings for her. She is very experienced with romantic relationships, very intelligent and very forthright about her opinions and observations, whereas Seven has/had the emotional maturity of a seven-year-old."

I suppose I can see where you're coming from, but I was just re-watching "Children of Time" again (brilliant episode btw), and Odo notes that he did *everything* in his power to conceal his feelings. Add that to his already gruff demeanor, and I think it's plausible that Kira would be in the dark. After all, Odo's never mentioned or showed attraction to a solid before.
Peter G.
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 1:41pm (UTC -5)
I see nothing at all unbelievable or even slightly questionable about a guy thinking he's so transparent that everyone must, whereas from the lady's perspective she detects nothing; or at least what she does detect doesn't hit her radar as "guy is interested." Putting aside the fact that this scenario is such true to life that it's funny to even question it's realism, from a cultural standpoint there are standard signals that in a culture will be understood to be flirting or courting rituals, whereas in another culture they may have no meaning. To whatever extent we can pretend that everyone on Star Trek is really human with makeup them *maybe* we could suggest that Odo's signals (or his failure to hide them) would be apparent to a Bajoran. However I find it much more plausible to say that whatever Odo would consider to be "obvious" is probably not even a standard humanoid signal in the first place. Why would a Changeling bad at shapeshifting stumble accidentally into giving off unwanted signals of a Bajoran-recognizable nature? The given circumstances of the episode are the she *does not* see it. It is not a given that her failure to do so is because she's slow on the uptake or dense. There is no reason provided, and attempting to assume one is probably misguided, beyond the obvious fact that we're being shown the "she doesn't see how he really feels" scenario in broad strokes. If anything it skirts reality to a large extent to suppose that any portrayal of a woman 'not getting it' would be a portrayal of her as dumb or a tease, because I'm sure there are many valid reasons why these things do in fact go unrecognized. This is doubly so for someone like Kira who doesn't go in for subtle signals but rather likes people to just come out and say bluntly what they think. Dax, on the other hand, is into innuendo and she would be more the type to examine small behavior details to see if a guy likes her; she probably has this in common with Bashir, if I had to guess.

And then on top of all this there's the whole history with Odo, of working for the Cardassians, being seen as a symbol of sorts to both sides; he's barely a person at all to people in some sense, and he wants it that way. The odds are way stacked against him that anyone would read vulnerable desire into the invulnerable lawman at this point in time. And I think we're meant to see it as a testament to just how observant Quark is, and how well he knows Odo, that he's the only one who picks up on it at all. This should be a clue as to Quark's gifts, not to Kira's deficit.
William B
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 8:57pm (UTC -5)
"This should be a clue as to Quark's gifts, not to Kira's deficit."

Yeah, and they do put a lot of emphasis in this episode on Quark's ears, and how minuscule a signal he can pick up with them, IIRC.
Peter G.
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
Oh man, sorry about all the typos in my last message. It was very hurriedly typed and I should have proofread it.
Elliott
Mon, Jan 14, 2019, 9:20am (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

I mean, we are always free to hand-wave things like this away, but Kira is written very male-gaze-y here (and in subsequent episodes on this storyline). Everything about the way Odo's attraction is portrayed is conveyed in very conventional, human (read: American) terms. This is a shorthand that Star Trek uses often, and I don't really have a problem with it in that respect, but I can't write Kira's obliviousness off in the same breath.

I think the deeper problem is that Kira is being used entirely as a prop. Not only are her (friendly) feelings for Odo being shown exclusively from his perspective, but her feelings for Shakaar are barely touched upon. We only see the result. She's kind of a cipher in this story.
Peter G.
Mon, Jan 14, 2019, 9:42am (UTC -5)
@ Elliott,

"Not only are her (friendly) feelings for Odo being shown exclusively from his perspective, but her feelings for Shakaar are barely touched upon. We only see the result. She's kind of a cipher in this story."

Oh, for sure. It's his episode, not hers, there's no doubt of that. And to the extent that we're seeing his POV that's why it makes sense for *us* to see everything so obviously in Odo but she doesn't notice: it's because we're seeing not just his body but his mind as well. The POV gives us access to things the others don't see, other than I guess Quark. That's a pretty standard storytelling technique, and I don't think it's any sign of shortcoming that Kira being seen through Odo's POV means that she's a cipher. Most people are ciphers, and actually the weird thing in media is when people are portrayed as *not* being ciphers; that is the exceptional case (in terms of being realistic).

If the whole series had been like this I would agree with the objection that the female character is being objectified and sidelined, but since there are so many Kira-centric episodes we know that's not the case here. But I certainly wouldn't begudge a writer from choosing to focus on one character's POV in a particular episode.
Elliott
Mon, Jan 14, 2019, 10:43am (UTC -5)
@Peter G

I'm going to reserve judgement a bit on Kira for now. I don't recall her feelings for Shakaar ever being explored like Odo's are here, nor do I remember her finally falling for Odo working for me (except maybe in "Chimera"), but I could be forgetting something.

That said, with the exception of some really painful Troi moments and maybe "Drive" on Voyager, there aren't examples in Trek of female anxiety over relationships. It's always the men who are insecure and whose feelings need to be validated or tragically unrequited.
Peter G.
Mon, Jan 14, 2019, 11:13am (UTC -5)
@ Elliott,

Agreed about Trek and women in general. Although to be fair that's maybe what comes of having a principally male writing staff. It may not be so much that they don't care about Kira's perspective, but I could see a case to be made that they might be able to understand her perspective as well as Odo's.

There's also an inherent asymmetry in the Kira/Odo POV comparison. Odo is insecure, has no romantic experience, doesn't understand or even usually recognise his own feelings, and is much more scared than he realizes. This sort of underdog position is something people (and writers) can relate to. Kira, on the other hand, is a sort of person (and they definitely exist) that people flock to, men find it easy to be with, and who quite ably can move from one relationship to another without having difficulties "dating" or finding good partners. Sure, there's a perspective there to explore, and a real POV to portray, but from the perspective of an average viewer, to say nothing of an average sci-fi fan, her POV is not nearly as relatable on the relationship front. The reaction would be more like 'cry me a river' to hear Kira's relationship woes, even though indeed she does mourn for Bareil and that is explored to a small extent. But what is there, really, to explore about her liking Shakaar? He's a charismatic leader, who shares a past with her, they're both VIP's, and it just sort of felt natural to them. What else is there to say, really? I personally never felt I needed more details than that.
Iceman
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
@Elliott-

"Everything about the way Odo's attraction is portrayed is conveyed in very conventional, human (read: American) terms. This is a shorthand that Star Trek uses often, and I don't really have a problem with it in that respect, but I can't write Kira's obliviousness off in the same breath. "

Well, I think it's pretty obvious why it's not something that should be complained about-Star Trek is made by Americans. That being said, I do have a problem with how all the substantive Odo/Kira stories in the series are from Odo's perspective. I don't think it's a problem with "Crossfire" though. It specifically calls him out for his behavior. It only becomes a problem for me when they start trying to sell the Odo/Kira pairing believably.
ian
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 1:27am (UTC -5)
i found this episode to be very affecting and emotionally involving. i really felt odo's loneliness, especially at the heartbreaking conclusion of the story. a great character development episode for odo that really brought him to life as a character.

Submit a comment





◄ Season Index

▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2019 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.