Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

“His Way”

2.5 stars.

Air date: 4/20/1998
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by Allan Kroeker

"You're not exactly the most lovable person in the galaxy. You're not even the most lovable person in this sector. Or on the station. Or even in this room." — Quark, trying to "help" Odo

Review Text

Nutshell: Pick an adjective: Cute. Shallow. Amusing. Contrived. Pleasant. Inconsequential. Lightweight.

"His Way" is a troublemaker for criticism. I feel as if there are two opposite forces pulling at me, and now I have to find the fair middle ground. I hope I can find it before the feeling becomes one of being drawn and quartered (though I suppose that would require four forces rather than two).

When I said "pick an adjective" above, I meant that you can go one of two ways: You can elect to see this as an hour of pleasant, amusing, inconsequential fluff—or you can see this as a foray into shallow sitcom territory. In a way, the second option also brings with it many characteristics of the first; I often like to see the comic ingenuity that sitcom absurdity can bring along with it. The flip side is that, Ferengi episodes notwithstanding, DS9 is not a series I normally equate with sitcom silliness. Especially when dealing with situations that have long been serious and even weighty issues in the context of some stories, reducing those issues to sitcom stature seems just a little bit wrong.

In this week's case, that would, of course, be Odo and Kira and the years of buildup surrounding their relationship. This buildup, ultimately, has come down to one brief, over-glorified moment (read: kiss) in "His Way." We know Odo has had deep feelings for Kira since as early as second season's "The Collaborator," and whether or not they'd eventually pair up has gone back and forth for literally years (to the point that, a few times, I'd thought it had been permanently put to rest).

Well, now we have the new answer, but it's an answer that leaves many other questions unanswered (or unasked), because the episode that gives us the answer is mostly an exercise in superficialities. Personally, I was never all that compelled by the question "would they pair up?"; I've always been more interested in the historic bond shared between them. These are two characters who saw some really ugly things throughout the Occupation, and their sibling-like bond and mutual understanding was one of the most interesting things about them, making shows like "Necessary Evil" possible.

Now, I'm not fundamentally against them falling in love, but my hesitation is that romantic relationships on DS9 very often lose their subtlety and become as transparent as on many other TV shows. I guess what I liked about that sibling-like bond was that it seemed more sincere, complex, and original, whereas any chump TV show can do simple romance.

So throughout "His Way" I felt the duality of the enjoyable sitcom at odds with the possibilities of complex characterization.

On one hand, there's quite a bit to like here. The cuteness factor is about as high as they come without being overly trite or annoying. Something about the episode's attitude really clicks, and it kept a silly grin pasted on my face while I was watching. The comic timing is good, and watching curmudgeon Odo lighten up some was pretty entertaining and refreshing.

On the other hand, coming off the heels of the intriguing "Inquisition" and tremendous "In the Pale Moonlight"—one of the heaviest stories in the entire series' run—a fluff piece like "His Way" also serves to be a significant break in the momentum. This episode probably would've been more aptly placed in the lineup before "Inquisition." At this point in the season, I'm ready for meat and potatoes.

But fluff we have, so fluff I will analyze.

Most fluff stories have some sort of gimmick, and the big gimmick of "His Way" is the holographic lounge lizard Vic Fontaine (James Darren). Vic is not your ordinary hologram. He's completely self-aware that he's actually a program, and he's very good with people and an expert at improvising. In fact, I wondered at times if perhaps he was just a little too real. But given the previously established character of Minuet way back in TNG's "11001001" (not to mention Voyager's Doctor) the idea of Vic didn't really strike me as implausible if one considers there are probably expert holo-programmers out there somewhere.

Vic is an interesting character, and James Darren's performance is a delight, bringing an amiable aura of seasoned knowledge to the realm of romantic advice. Odo and Vic make good foils for one other—Odo always socially conservative and reserved, Vic always outgoing and outspoken. Auberjonois and Darren work exceptionally well together, and without getting into endless samples of dialog, I'll just say that most every scene between them is a pleasure to watch.

There were some other moments that worked well. I got a kick out of the scene where Odo starts quietly singing in Sisko's office, and then Sisko, unable to resist, joins in. It was very nicely done—understated and amiable. Of course, there's quite a bit of that sort of amicability in this episode.

Vic's advice to Odo is essentially that he needs to relax and have some fun, and not be such an "icicle." Odo's problem, Vic concludes, is a textbook example of "man has buried feelings for woman but woman sees herself and man as friends"—meanwhile, Odo can't stop worrying about Shakaar. Does Kira still have feelings for him?

Some of this discussion begins to turn shallower than I cared for. I for one thought we were done with the whole Shakaar issue a year ago, and I found the pretense that it was a potential problem for Odo's confidence to be forced and derivative. Another hesitation I have is the way the dialog is almost too "human." I know, I know; Trek is really about looking at human issues through different story devices—but the way it happens here (even knowing that Vic was specifically intended as a 1960s persona), I still couldn't help but get the feeling I was grounded in 20th-century romance, rather than 24th.

Those are relatively small complaints. My bigger problems with "His Way" stems from the fact that, in the end, underneath all the good performances, slick production design, and good music by Jay Chattaway, this is really a sitcom that doesn't try to be anything more than an hour of fluff. That wouldn't necessarily be a problem in many cases (especially considering how nicely executed this hour of fluff is), but the fact of the matter is this is the payoff of years of Odo/Kira buildup, and there were serious issues that could've been brought into the light.

Unfortunately, like a sitcom, this whole episode is based upon a series of contrivances, right up to the trick that Vic plays on Kira and Odo so that they meet in the holosuite, and Odo is led to believe she's a holographic simulation on which to "practice" his dating skills. As humbly and humorously carried out as the whole holosuite "date" was, and as much as I enjoyed it while it was happening, and as much as Odo's embarrassment made sense after the plan blew up in Vic's face, the end result still didn't ring true when I stopped to think about it. The reason: because it was all based on a trick rather than a truth. Some truths can be packaged in tricks, but this was done with total disregard to seriousness because it was simply too busy having fun.

And I'll totally come clean by saying that I thought it was fun. But fun only goes so far, and the final act, alas, was just a little to shallow for my tastes. The spontaneity of The Big Kiss seemed a little too much in the realm of sitcom mentality—both in the lead-up dialog and in Allan Kroeker's glorified direction over the event—though both Quark's and Dax's (especially Dax's) reactions were priceless. Kira makes an allusion to a "moment of clarity," in which she apparently realizes that she and Odo were meant to fall in love, but it seems a little more canned for the purposes of entertainment than it does for the purposes of natural character growth.

In the process, some interesting subtleties are lost. For starters, I can finally abandon my few clinging hopes that Odo's betrayal in "Behind the Lines" will add up to mean something in the scheme of the Odo/Kira relationship. And I can also stop wondering if Kira's distress over the alternate-timeline Odo's actions in "Children of Time" will come back into play. In short, I can stop wondering about all the little mysteries concerning Odo and Kira, because they're now a part of the past—a chapter in a book that I feel has been put on the shelf for good. I'm not saying that this book was a must-read to understand DS9 or even Odo/Kira, but it does seem a shame that the writers think it's worthy of stashing away to collect dust. On the other hand, maybe the book hasn't been closed, and Kira/Odo's new direction will still look back on some of these chapters. I wonder, though. It just seems that, based on the simplistic way this pivotal episode in their relationship transpired, we're not likely to turn back and look at these unresolved issues again, which feels quite unfortunate.

Perhaps I'm prejudging, but I'm not sure what else to do at this point. I hope more serious issues will be examined in the context of this new, "official" relationship; I guess we'll just have to wait and see. In any case, I can recommend a bulk of this episode for anyone who likes enjoyable, well-played fluff and comedy. As for more serious aspects, holding one's breath until next week may be the most appropriate course of action.

Next week: Sisko must answer to higher powers.

Previous episode: In the Pale Moonlight
Next episode: The Reckoning

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Comment Section

116 comments on this post

    Maybe I am bit a bias but I think most of DS9 deserves three stars or more but I digress. So this was a ligh weight episode but considering it followed In The Pale Moonlight, it was a pleasent diversion and bringing in James Darren only added to DS9's class act. Btw, I have to agree that when Sisko starts singing along with Odo it felt like such a natural moment that couldn't have easily not been written.

    I'm sorry, but DS9 suffered from the Moonlighting-effect once Kira & Odo got together. Their relationship was much more moving unconsummated. I could say the same for Bashir & Ezri, but she wasn't on the show long enough to make as much of an impression.

    I'm not totally pleased with James Darren's performance. While his acting is okay, his singing gets - especially in the higher regions of his voice - quite forced.

    I guess Sisko really didn't lose any sleep over the decisions he made in ITPM the episode before.

    On top of that, during a war that seemingly claims millions of lives a week, with all the hand-wringing that occurs every week over the casualty lists, all Odo can think of is his lame and superbly-mousey infatuation with Kira.

    On top of that, we've got Vic Fontaine, who, to me, acts in a manner so stereotypical that it rivals the Irish folk from VOY's Fair Haven for ethnically-challenged caricature of the year.

    And don't blink, otherwise you'll miss a holographic Kira casually smoking a cigarette. I was almost waiting for a "DS9 is proudly sponsored by Lucky Strike" advert to come on.

    This episode, along with Shades of Grey, Spock's Brain, and Sacred Ground, is one my brother and I automatically skip when we engage in one of our Trek marathons. It's like a gag reflex.

    Ah, well. Good could not exist without evil.

    Any episode with Vic in it has a 2.5 star ceiling. That includes the series finale.

    I've never understood the dis-like for Vic Fontain. I loved every episode the character was in. In an ironic sort of way he was the counciler DS9 never had (minus Ezri) in a reoccuring role. Plus he was so hip and cool in a Vegas lounge singer 60's kind of way.

    With respect, you're all crazy. :) I agree with Ira Behr that this episode was one of the series' triumphs. It's incredibly hard to do any sort of romance, a comedy, a musical in a Trek series; this is a little bit of all three and an introduction of a major recurring character and a payoff to stuff that's been simmering for a long time now--and it works. Jammer prejudges it as "either fluff or shallow." Why? Because it is a romance and not starships shooting at each other? Darren owns this episode, Odo finally gets honest with himself, Nana Visitor vamps it up, and we finally get somewhere on the character's feelings. What's not to like?

    I HATED this episode when I first saw it, but Vic must have grown on me over time, cause I didn't mind it when I rewatched it the other day. Not great, but Shades of Grey? Steady on.

    You'd think Kira would be pissed off at the use of her image as a hologram without permission. After all, she didn't like that the last time someone did that to her in "Meridian".

    I thought the final big kiss was pretty forced and didn't seem believable, but actually, when they were dancing during their date, their attraction to each other seemed far more believable and true.

    Anyone who doesn't like this episode is an icicle who needs to lighten up and have some fun

    I'm on the fence with this one. I really love the kiss scene, I think it's the most sincere scene of the episode, and I did enjoy most of the other scenes. This is probably the best "sitcom fluff" episode DS9 has ever done. However, it's the scenes we didn't get that bother me, the scenes that pay off the relationship these two characters have had over the last nine years. So, they made a great light-weight episode, but I think the storyline deserved a more serious take.

    I just love when Trek doesn't take itself seriously. Lightweight episodes fall in that category for me, and as far as they go "His Way" was a pretty good one.

    On another positive note, Kira & Odo can finally drop the "on again / off again" routine and the series can finally focus on more serious stuff. :P

    This was the beginning of the end for DS9. WIthout a doubt my least favorite episode. It's like one of the producers got a huge hard on for lame lounge music and decided to whip his dick out in public to force everyone to not only look at it, but take a big whiff.

    This is what happens when Hollywood douchebags get too much power, they can impose their personal fantasies on everyone else. Ira Behr is an idiot, and this more than dissolves and respect I had for the man's previous work.

    "This was the beginning of the end for DS9. WIthout a doubt my least favorite episode. It's like one of the producers got a huge hard on for lame lounge music and decided to whip his dick out in public to force everyone to not only look at it, but take a big whiff.

    This is what happens when Hollywood douchebags get too much power, they can impose their personal fantasies on everyone else. Ira Behr is an idiot, and this more than dissolves and respect I had for the man's previous work. "

    And this is what happens when "douchebags" cowardly post their opinions online, knowing they have the anonymity of the internet.
    What a twunt.

    I have no problem with the little get together of Odo/Kira. But I don't care much for how they did it.

    The overall episode was fun, but.............look at it from this angle. Odo has been in love with Kira since the 2nd Season. But when exactly did Kira confess to having any sort of feelings towards Odo other than the friendly kind. Never. So in one episode we are suppose to believe they were meant for one another. Sorry. Not buying it. I could see if this episode was the beginning for a possible relationship in the future but not to just make it happen overnight.

    It seems like the only relationship the writers did right was Sisko/Cassidy. All because it wasn't rushed. Hell, Worf/Dax relationship didn't start feeling right until after "Change of Heart." Oh well, can't get everything right.

    I was thinking about how much fun it would have been if Quark/Kira had gotten together instead. Yeah I know, not possible, but to me it would have been more fun to watch then her and Odo. I mean she hates Ferengi's and can't stand Quark. But what if what Quark did in "Sacrifice of Angels" made her start to see him in a new light. Just curious.

    Jam has a point about "His Way" following on the heels of "Pale Moonlight". A quirk in production vs. airdate order, no doubt. Perhaps this could have been rectified by having Odo go to Garak for romantic advice instead of Vic Fontaine. Now THAT would have been interesting.

    There has always been a real prayer area for Bajorans to go to and pray...actually, it's where Jadzia is killed a few episodes later. But here Kira is in a holographic one just so that Vic can visit her. Lame...

    I did not like this when I first saw it because I did not care for romance between Odo and Kira - I guess I am not a romantic! - but later, they grew on me as a couple. So when I watched this again I actually enjoyed it.

    And Odo did need help courting Kira. Who could he ask? Julian? He has not had much success with women. Garak? Better to consult him about murder, and although Odo and Garak have an understanding since their escape from the Gamma Quadrant, he would never trust Garak with such knowledge. Quark? He's been Odo's closest confidant in this matter - mostly because he's so observant - yet Odo is too proud for this, and besides, Kira can't stand Quark, so his advice might not be so good. A holosuite adviser makes perfect sense, because it's so private - you can turn it off. Besides, we know that Odo was reading up on the subject earlier - he simply did not know what to do.

    Nana Visitor really gave Peggy Lee a run for her money with her rendition of "Fever." Apparently she chose the song herself because it was a personal favorite.

    I never felt the chemistry between Kira and Odo. The whole thing felt forced

    I was disappointed with this episode only because I felt that that it was a too silly and forced ending to the Odo/Kira love saga. I wanted to see them in some sort of serious situation that perhaps caused one of them to save the life of the other, and in doing so, realize how profoundly he or she would have missed the other if they were lost. There is nothing like lives in danger to really make us want to act on those things that we are putting off out of insecurity. I really wanted to see Kira deal with any sort of misgivings she might have about choosing to be romantically involved with a creature so unlike herself (how would making love work, anyway?). She has shown romantic interest only in Bajorans, understandably so, because it is definitely an easier and more natural route. I wanted to see something that would cause her to really be able to overcome that sort of instinctual drive we all have in our natures to be attracted to our own. Sadly, we get what the reviewer accurately described as silly sitcom fluff as well as it was executed.

    These characters deserved a better resolution than this. I could barely stay awake. DS9 and treacle don't mix especially with as complex and interesting a character as Odo. Vic Fontaine was the singularly the worst addition to the show and for them to make him recur weakened the last season especially, in my view. And he can't sing.

    Agree with Moegreen...Vic was an excruciating addition to the show. Just the sight of him triggers an instant fast forward.

    I'm generally not a fan of holodeck outings, this episode included.

    DS9 had generally done a good job with holodeck episodes up to this point. This was not a welcome addition. But it didn't suck. Just OK. 2 stars.

    @Lt. Fitz "(how would making love work, anyway?)"

    Erm, not to be too crass, but the dude's a shapeshifter...I suspect making love would work extremely well.

    Also, "overcome that sort of instinctual drive we all have in our natures to be attracted to our own"

    Wow, that would be offensive if we weren't the only consenting humanoids on this planet. Speciesism ahead of its time!

    Randomly (as I am not rewatching this show at the moment but TNG), I read the review and comments for this episode. I'm with Jammer on the drawbacks to this and think that the 2.5 stars grade is *very* generous. Jammer articulates the problem well. It is not that it's a bad thing for Trek or DS9 to do a lightweight fluffy sitcom plot. It *is* a bad thing for DS9 to do a lightweight fluffy sitcom plot that is a turning point in a generally serious relationship, without actually dealing with any of the reasons that relationship is interesting to begin with. Nor do sitcom episodes have to be meaningless (jeez, "M*A*S*H" was a sitcom and it's the definitive American *war* series), and Trek comedies can be things like "Deja Q" which have more to say about human nature than this does; a comedic episode could have still dealt with the landmines in their relationship ("Children of Time," "Behind the Lines") if it were careful enough.

    And even then, I'm not sure if I could tell you what exactly "The Trouble with Tribbles" reveals about human nature, but it's both a lot of fun *and* doesn't weaken a central story. Similarly, "par'Mach" is not very deep and it is what gets Worf/Dax together, but it works okay because that relationship didn't have any of the baggage at that point that Odo/Kira do. Fortunately, the Odo/Kira story ends up working out okay later on, with "Chimera" the best episode of season seven and their scenes in "What You Leave Behind" some of the best there.

    Incidentally, this episode begins a pretty terrible run at the end of s6 of DS9. The season up to "In the Pale Moonlight" has some lowlights but is generally very strong with several classic or near-classic episodes. *None* of the episodes from this episode through "The Sound of Her Voice" break 2 stars for me, and I'm not sure that I think "Tears of the Prophets" is actually good (though it is the best episode of s6 post-"ITPM"). I can't think of a 6 episode run in any of the first three (live action) series that I would rate as lowly as I do "His Way" through "The Sound of Her Voice," and that includes TOS s3 and TNG s1. (Yes, TOS s3 has "Spock's Brain" and "And the Children Shall Lead" within a few episodes of each other and the only Trek-low-point episode in this run is "Profit and Lace," but that run also includes "The Enterprise Incident.") (I can't think of one in Voyager or Enterprise either but that's because I'm not as much an expert in those, so I won't comment.) Fortunately, while I have mixed feelings on season seven it doesn't fall apart for a string of episodes the way the end of s6 did.

    Blech. This show was cringe-worthy. I see from the comments this lounge lizard becomes a recurring character- oh no! I wanted Odo and Kira to get together in an intense, epic way. That's what they deserved given the build up. Instead we get cutesy crap. Oh well.

    Masterpiece of an episode. Its a neat little comedy; newsflash the final kiss is a joke! Lighten up.

    There's nothing I hate more than when Star Trek pretends that people in the 24th century will be interested or even know anything detailed about mid-20th century history or culture.

    "And this is what happens when "douchebags" cowardly post their opinions online, knowing they have the anonymity of the internet.
    What a twunt."

    What about people who insult people anonymously on the internet...I'm assuming your birth name isn't "Your mom has halitosis".

    Cringeworthy mess that had me reaching for the FF button as well, I don't know how the crew kept a straight face when shooting the 'Fever' scene with Nana Visitor trying unsuccesfully to channel Michelle Pfeiffer from the Fabulous Baker Boys...

    The "unfabulous DS9 mime?"

    While I agree that the complex nature of the sibling-like bond between Odo and Kira was a great addition to the overall tapestry; I do not for one second believe that it is a loss for them to finally become romantically involved. It changes the structure of their relationship and therefore dramatic elements to be sure. I understand that. But in real life people fall in love all the time. If art is imitating life then it's done a pretty good job here despite what one may prefer to see happen for drama's sake.

    As far as romantic episodes of Star Trek go, this could have easily been a flusher with the setup given here and the way it plays itself out. Surprisingly enough, though, it all somehow works. Not fantastically, by any means, but enough to keep a grin on my face through much of it. The introduction of Vic Fontaine here is not unwelcome in the slightest, but it does have the unintended effect of seemingly stretching the DS9 mythos a bit too thin this close to the eleventh hour. Fortunately it didn't come to that and is left (mostly) as pleasant background diversion here on out. The characters' charm and charisma adds a welcomed nuance.

    Overall I would say its pretty good albeit slow-burning for a size-able chunk of the episode. Throw in some rather pleasant character moments that are easy to overlook because they spring up so naturally and you have a worthy addition to the franchise.

    3 stars.

    I really liked this episode. It's part of the ongoing coming of age saga for Odo, and I found it both heart-warming and inspiring. I guess I've sort of been in Odo's place before when I was a younger man, so I found it entirely relatable. Compare it to the episodes focusing on Dax and Warf's romance, in which there is absolutely no spark and no real sense of depth, while there's real history and complexity between Odo and Kira. This episode artfully realized the build up of a sub plot over six seasons - no mean feat, and one of Trek's better episodes.

    I love the "Vic" episodes.

    I love episodes that explore the Kira/Odo relationship.

    I don't love this one though. It’s kind of a love/hate relationship with this one.

    Cute yes, humorous yes, touching at times yes, but necessary? ... I don't think so.

    It's actually a character killer for Kira. Didn't Odo just "go all linky" with the lead Founder and totally forget/disregard his job and responsibility? Resulting in the falling of the minefield and risk of death to his crewmates? How does Kira just forget that? IS this the same Kira that just plotted to kill her own mother? I don’t see a “forgiving Kira” here…

    It’s a personal opinion I know, but here we are again, a “relationship” within the Chain of Command…. That never works (see Jadzia & Worf [Change of Heart]) and we ALL know what Odo is capable of doing with regards to his feelings for Kira (8000 wiped out [Children of Time]). I thought their relationship up to this point was a great one. Very enjoyable. Deep at times, funny at times…

    This was neither needed nor desired and this is at this time is like jumping off a cliff right after ITPM.

    1 star.

    Yeah, I don't know about this one. I really like Odo and his feelings for Kira in general. I think it's a strong storyline - I really liked "Crossfire" and where it went in the occupation arc. I remember way back in "Cordially" I thought the off-screen talk Kira and Odo had was cute, but hardly appropriate to be the final word on what went down in "Behind the Lines." Kira's generally pretty rough on people she deems to be traitors, so I'd have liked to see the two of them hash it out between then and now. It's not that Odo should have had a long apology. We already know he's sorry. It's that Kira would need to confront whether or not she can trust Odo again, let alone love him. Could she count on Odo to withstand the advances of the Changelings again? If yes, I'd like to see how she came to that conclusion. If no, how can she love him?

    That's part of why this episode is pretty frustrating for me. I'm willing to forgive some episodes on their own merits and blame inconsistencies on the series as a whole ("The Begotten" was good, for example, but Odo getting his abilities back is less a problem with the episode and more a problem with the series arc) but the Odo-Kira rift was a major plot point between two of the show's main characters. What the hell, show?

    I don't know whether I can get on the side of "His Way" regardless.

    Some small things:

    -I'm willing to give a pass to the silly teen rom com KISS ME scene on the Promenade, since Odo has the social skills of a high school introvert to begin with (not a knock on Odo, don't take that the wrong way). It's... fine, I GUESS.

    -Vic. Okay, guys. I have no problem with Vic for the most part or the 60s Vegas lounge as a holosuite thing. But this is a sci-fi show about space wars. I don't want to see him stand there and sing lounge songs in their entirety. It's fine as background noise or as introducing a scene for a few moments - but entire songs!? We get it. The guy can sing. But we only have 40 precious minutes per episode so take it easy on stopping everything for musical interludes.

    2 stars maybe for this one, maybe less since it's kind of aggressively obnoxious.

    Hilarious trivia from Memory Alpha:

    "Ira Steven Behr had been planning a character like this for several years; a Rat Pack type guy who would dispense advice on love and life to the crew of Deep Space 9. He originally tried to introduce the character during the fourth season, where he would be played by Frank Sinatra, Jr. Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe wrote a sample scene and casting director Ron Surma brought it to Sinatra, but he was only interested in playing an alien - he didn't want to play a human, and he certainly didn't want to play a character partly based on his own father."

    Even the guy they *wrote the part* for was like, 'dude, shouldn't I at least be an alien or something". Amazing.

    @ $G

    I think the man playing Vic did a great job, but I have to admit, there are still scenes of DS9 I've never seen simply because I saw the nightclub and immediately changed the channel/fast-forwarded.

    I think the episode works in spite of all the wonkiness. There are so many perfect lines that so capture Odo that, I'm not saying it couldn't have been done elsewhere, but it was done so perfectly here that it's hard to fault them.

    As for not dealing with Kira's feelings.... I appreciate that with so much heavy surrounding these two for the last 3 or 4 years that they just picked something light. I think the singing all works, but overall it's not really a story about them (that'll come later). It's a story about Odo and his walls, and that's why the slow based, lots of singing, lots of silliness kind of all works. It's just what the doctor ordered for Odo.

    I particularly love when he says "Nerys. Kira. Major." and walks away. It's just a beautiful bit of acting watching him put the walls up one at a time. He sells every change in the way he addresses her.

    I like the scene where he sings with Sisko, I like the scenes where he shows us the real him... glad his "friends" didn't see him having fun or wondering what fun has to do with Kira. I actually think this is my favorite "comedic" episode of the series and the fact that it comes after 2 homeruns dramatically is pretty impressive. Of course then we get a nosedive, but that's for another day....

    @ $G,

    "I don't want to see him stand there and sing lounge songs in their entirety. It's fine as background noise or as introducing a scene for a few moments - but entire songs!?"

    Agree completely. I have the same thoughts each time I watch this episode.

    @ Yanks

    Vic's also a bit creepy too, charming though he may be (which kind of makes it worse actually). Kira wasn't NOT with Odo because he doesn't have the moves (the scene with the two holowomen made me want to claw my eyes out about how much it missed the point). All of Vic's moves are cliched "romance" tactics from bad movies.

    Huh. I dislike this episode more each time I talk about it, wow.


    The one time I love Vic singing the whole song is in Bada Bing.... I just loved it when Vic and Avery sing together.

    I'm having a mind block on the "2 woman" thing, but I did enjoy how he tried to get Odo to loosen up.

    I am gratified to see other like-minded individuals out there in the space time continuum known as the internet also disapprove of this truly sappy episode. Kira and Odo deserved much better...instead their multi year romance ends in a punchline better suited to a sitcom. Plus...a holodeck episode. 1 star is pushing it.

    I didn't totally dislike this episode. As Jammer said, it was amusing and lighthearted enough.

    An episode with Holosuite Vic was a cute enough story by itself. I enjoyed some of the singing. I agree it was way too long, but I can accept that an occasional episode with a lighter slower pace works.

    But the existence of future recurring Vic episodes makes me wish his light bulb had never been switched on. Julian's Bond holosuite program was done much better, IMO. One full drama/comedy episode with some interesting ideas, then a few minor mentions/glimpses in future episodes for continuity. Vic got more screen time than the departing Terry Farrell, and appeared in almost as many episodes over the final 36 episodes as Garak...including precious minutes of the series finale that bascially forced the writers to rush Sisko's *death* in order to get a full Vic Fontaine song.

    Also, some of Vic's dialogue was cringe inducing as it didn't really fit the characters of Odo & Kira at all....

    "It's the oldest story in the book. She thinks of you as a friend."

    ....a friend who she had no real attraction to earlier in the year even while she was on the rebound. Then you went and slept with Changeling Space Hitler in the middle of an active war, and got so wrapped in your *link*ing that you neglected your duties to such a degree that your love interest was arrested, your crew mate was sentenced to execution, and the entire quadrant was nearly overrun by a merciless army bent on galactic domination.

    Yep, the oldest story in the book.

    "Women have been known to change their minds. You just have to give them a reason....The girl already likes you. That means you're halfway home."

    Unfortunately that whole sexual attraction half of the equation is kind of a major hurdle that one dinner and one dance doesn't cure. Especially in light of events of the past year.

    I can see Kira and Odo repairing their relationship to the degree that she no longer wants to kill him in cold blood for being a collaborator. I can maybe even see her reconciling with him to the point where she can be friends with him again. But actual physical sexual attraction? To the guy who just slept with Female Changeling Space Hitler while she was leading the Resistance?

    Sorry, Vic. There are no Frank Sinatra or James Dean anecdotes that can overcome that.

    James Darren has an excellent voice and I really enjoyed him. I remember when I watched Hey There its Yogi Bear, I loved his voice, at age 7. I personally think Kira is too good for Odo. I have never liked the character very much and when he became a collaborator, it sealed his fate with me forever.

    "Unfortunately that whole sexual attraction half of the equation is kind of a major hurdle that one dinner and one dance doesn't cure."

    I'll grant your other arguments (his earlier betrayal was overlooked way too easily, apparently entirely during a long conversation at Dax's party a few episodes ago) but I wanted to touch on this statement because it resonated with me personally.

    I've been married now for 17 years to a woman who, for the 10 years prior to that, thought of me only as a casual acquaintance and then for that last 3 of those as a good friend. She even admitted in a journal entry back then (that she later revealed to me in a moment of weakness) that though she appreciated our friendship, she found the idea of anything beyond friendship with me to be "repugnant" (her exact word), which I've occasionally teased her about ever since.

    How did we move from the "friend zone" to a romantic relationship that eventually lead to a long-term stable marriage?

    I took her dancing.

    I'm totally serious - there was this girl's choice dance at the university that she really had her heart set on going to, but the guy she wanted to ask become unavailable. Not wanting to miss out on the dance itself but having no one she was truly interested in going with as a date, and knowing that I happened to be trained in ballroom dancing, she asked me to go as a friend just so she could attend and wear the dress she had been wanting to wear for it.

    After that dance, she suddenly saw me in a whole different light and we began dating, fell in love, got married, and have been together ever since.

    My point is, don't underestimate what effect dancing might have on a woman who previously saw you only as a friend!

    How in the HELL does Vic communicate over the station com with Odo WHEN THE PROGRAM ISN'T EVEN RUNNING?

    I just don't get what people see in the Vic character. He's just an annoying cliche to me.

    Vic may have been overused in S7 (I like him, but I can see where some people feel he wore out his welcome). But I personally think he's so effective with Odo here and with Nog in Paper Moon that he can do no wrong in my book.

    I didn't think he needed his own episode in a season where we don't even get a solid O'Brien episode, but then he sings with Sisko and I don't even care. Can an Ezri episode instead.

    "Come fly with me, come fly let's fly away..."

    Sad to hear that Vic ever comes back - way too much complacent, annoying screen time.

    The Odo/Kira kiss looked so painful to watch - almost like some clamp was being shoved on something.

    Odo had some pretty nice moments (the Sisko office singing), but I completely agree with the review that said that they had a complex comrade/siblingy dynamic which was way more moving than the Trek romances ever seem to get. It was such a great contrast to the way some of the characters would sexualize Kira, while Odo always appreciated her for her strength etc. It honestly just felt as if because a 'male' (haha changeling gender by the way!) and a female are friends, the story has to spin them into a romance. Look at Sisko and Dax - works so much better as friends.

    Oh my. Brian S, your Changeling Space Hitler just about did me in. I am wiping away the tears still. And Taron, what a beautiful story. I have also found that deep love can get a simple start. I think sometimes people growing alongside one another eventually find themselves reaching the plane of understanding that brings true love. I agree that this episode is quite a departure but sometimes that's a good thing. You are allowed to fast forward if you want but then you'd miss the fun these usually serious performers are obviously having.

    Four stars! Or at least, three-and-a-half. I *LOVED* this episode, perhaps because Odo reminds me of myself in some ways. By the end of the episode, I wished very much that Vic were real and my friend. I'm glad to hear he'll be back..

    "His Way" is not "In the Pale Moonlight." It's not a serious and deep examination of the darker side of human nature. It's not a reflection on the finer points of ethics and morality. It's a nice bit of touching fun, and accomplishes all that that sort of episode is designed to do. And after ITPM, the timing was perfect, even as "Family" followed "BOBWII." And it's certainly one of the most memorable episodes I've seen in these six seasons. Overall, I'm left very impressed by the versatility of DS9, easily the best of all the Star Trek sub-franchises.

    I actually love all 3 of these episodes ("Pale Moonlight", "His Way", "The Reckoning") for showing off the range of DS9. "The Inquisition" is pretty great too.

    While Pale Moonlight is technically "better", this show is always special to me. And you can give it 4 stars if you love it. It doesn't have to be "Pale Moonlight" to be perfect in it's own way.

    This episode definitely grows on you. At first it would be easy to dismiss as trite, and I'd imagine one could be more sick or Vic Fontaine if one didn't know he was a recurring character. But knowing his future role on the show, and his meaningful interactions with Nog in particular, I appreciate this beginning - the demonstration of his extreme sentience, and his role as a bit of a trickster in particular. I agree with a much earlier poster that Darren's voice sounds a little strained on high notes but I like the tunes he does, and I'm secretly a sucker for the crooner style.

    But the real meat of this episode are the little bits of character interaction throughout that always serve to illustrate these incredible character. In particular I love the long take of Odo and Sisko singing "You can't take that away from me", which is such an incredible moment of levity, especially given the last two episodes.

    I've always been agnostic on the Odo/Kira relationship thing but if you're going to do it, then I suppose this is about as good a way as any other. Think of this as a sorbet to clear the palate before the next heavy course, this is about as light and fluffy a rom-com as you're going to see.

    And yet it kind of works. Vic Fontaine may be a lightning rod for discontented viewers, but James Darren nails the role. The cute Odo moments may be a little too cute, but who can't like he and Sisko singing along together. The kiss scene really works. And if there's a finer verbal expression of embarrassment than "Nerys... Kira... Major" then I've yet to hear it. 3 stars.

    In spite of myself, I enjoyed this episode a fair amount. I guess I should put my biases at the door if I'm starting with "in spite of myself"! But really, my problems with the episode remain. A few seasons ago, it might have worked for the episode to basically portray the major (no pun intended) obstacle to Odo/Kira being Odo's social awkwardness, but not after "Children of Time" and "Behind the Lines." And as with basically every other Kira relationship in the series, the focus is taken off Kira's own perspective to an extreme extent. Kira's dialogue about "perfect clarity" with Dax doesn't cut it. Knowing what's coming in season seven means I can forgive some of this stuff, because I know that there will be some better work for these two as a couple. But this episode is still frustratingly reductive. As Jammer says, Vic's advice is also framed too much in 20th century terms -- hell, 1960's Vegas terms. There's something really *wrong* about the idea that what Kira and Odo really needed is for a 60's lounge singer to identify their *exact problem* as that she just sees Odo as a friend and to manipulate them to get together -- with the episode basically bolstering Vic's perspective despite its obvious shallowness and the lies that Vic does to get them to work. The idea of Vic as a universal expert in romance including interspecies, nonhuman romance is hard to understand. And there is actually something pretty creepy about Odo practicing on a Kira hologram before moving onto the real thing, which I feel like Kira should have at least some reaction to -- remember how Kira reacted in "Meridian" to her image used? How far was Odo planning on *going* with whom he thought was holo-Kira (I assume not that far, but what is Kira supposed to think)?

    What I do appreciate about this episode's characterization is that it does, in some senses, make sense that Odo is only ready to start genuinely trying to be happy now, rather than years ago. Before "The Search," I think Odo had no interest in romance at all, and his attraction to Kira was something he largely was even unaware of until a hint of jealousy hit him in "The Collaborator." After he rejected his people largely because of Kira, I think it made a lot of sense for Odo not to risk things going too far south with Kira and as such to put a distance between them in "Crossfire," because it really would be too damaging for he and Kira to have a falling out, when he actually on some level wanted to return to the Link and, I think, on some level knew that if he had real heartbreak with Kira he would be much more tempted. After his definitely choosing to give up the Link this season, I think Odo actually has more confidence that he can stay away from them than he had in s3-4, where Odo was largely lying to others and himself that he was not tempted at all; in some ways, giving in completely to the Female Shapeshifter and then later changing his mind makes it easier for him to "know" that this is his choice. So a relationship with Kira is actually possible now *for Odo*, *from Odo's perspective*; he can drop the martyrdom act, the claim of standoffishness and disinterest in humanoid affairs, not protect himself from heartbreak when he has lost his people now that he knows more strongly that he can walk away from them. And in that sense, it actually makes sense for Odo to work on his social skills now. I question the idea that it's a 60's Earth lounge singer to do that, and more importantly Kira should still be extremely wary about a relationship with this guy, post-"Children of Time" and "Behind the Lines," but I can kind of see how this still fits in broadly in Odo's story. Vic's advice to Odo to some degree basically comes down to fake-it-til-you-make-it, and so the ep in some respects is really about how entertainment can give you the tools to be charming in your own life, to pretend you're a real cool cat until it's actually true -- which is oddly appropriate for a shapeshifter.

    I do want to give some credit for the weird chutzpah to think this episode could work at all, and to make it work to some degree. I still basically don't believe Kira in it, and that's not a small problem, and I find the treatment of Odo mixed, with some effective material but often overly cute and very reductive of what Odo's problem is (though still accurate on what *one* of his problems is). I do like how Quark is quite genuinely helpful here -- the pretense of them being enemies has largely been dropped at this point. The songs feel like padding and Vic's constant anecdotes and pop culture about the Rat Pack and whatever wear thin quickly. The episode still has a certain zip and sparkle to it. I think I'd say 2 stars overall -- it would be a little higher if there weren't so much history being brazenly ignored and if Kira's perspective got more showing.

    Actually yeah -- Vic does creep me out a bit because of his presumption that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to wooing ladies, which somehow works even if the lady is an alien who won't forgive her own mother for being kidnapped into sex slavery, and the fella slept with a leader of an evil empire. How would Kira feel about her body being used to sexily sing "Fever" to Odo? Despite Odo and Kira knowing each other, in some ways I feel like her reaction wouldn't be that far from Leah Brahms upon seeing the "when you're touching the engines, you're touching me" 'gram, or to a lesser extent Troi upon seeing the "Goddess of Empathy" hologram -- that at the bottom of it, the guy actually sees her primarily as sex object, or maybe he would rather she be sex object than full person. I know, I know -- practice -- but the whole point of the Kira hologram singing "Fever!" is to get Odo used to the idea of keeping his cool in the face of Kira...despite her being fully decontextualized of everything but her voice and body. What is weird is that the episode goes out of its way to underline that Vic is totally right -- Kira is good and wooed.

    "... though it did take me an hour to get rid of the Russian accent." Funniest delivered line in any ST episode I've seen.

    I'll admit - the first time I saw "His Way" I could not stand the character of Vic Fontaine. I hated him. When Ezri was brought onto the show at the start of Season Seven and it was revealed that she was a counselor, my first thought was "Thank God, now we can get rid of that stupid lounge singer!". However, my attitude toward the character has since undergone a rather significant change. It wasn't until "It's Only a Paper Moon" that I finally began to appreciate the character in any remote way. Looking back on him now, all these years later, I think I can safely say that he was an enjoyable, if ultimately unnecessary, addition to the series.

    As a fan of the Kira/Odo relationship (again.... I ship them, sue me!), I have no complaints about this aspect of the episode. In fact, I'm extremely happy that the powers that be FINALLY decided to just go ahead put the two of them together at long last instead of continuing to drag out the "will they, won't they" nonsense. The problem is the overindulgence in 60s era lounge music. I may have grown somewhat fond of the Vic Fontaine character and the humor he brings to the episode really does work, but did we honestly need FOUR separate music numbers in this episode?! One sequence to introduce Vic, I can get behind that. Two sequences, it's pushing it but I can still accept it. Four? That's just too damn much and feels like little more than padding to me. I'm sorry, but I don't watch Star Trek to hear lounge music anymore than I watch it to listen to gansta rap.

    Pick an adjective? Okay, I'll pick.... amusing and shallow. "His Way" is entertaining, sure, and Vic is a lot better than I originally gave him credit for. It's another competently executed piece of fluff ("Deep Space Nine" seems to have a knack for this kind of episode) but I really could have done with slightly less fluffiness.

    HOLODECK TOYS - 24 (+1)


    This ep is kind of a guilty pleasure for me, so I'm inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt. As to its coming immediately after one of the darkest episodes in all of Trek, I'll hand it off to a certain mutant:

    "I'm holding your neck so you don't get whiplash."

    Intellectually, I agree with a many of the complaints about this episode. Furthermore, when the show originally aired I wasn't rooting for a Kira/Odo relationship. (Actually, although it worked out fine, I'm still not sure another direction wouldn't have been better.) And yet, I think this show worked OK the first time I saw it, and I actually enjoy it more now.

    As to Vic: the idea shouldn't work; but the combination of the writers & actor somehow made it work in the series (although the comment there are way too many songs in this episode is spot-on). Like this episode itself, he's something I appreciate more now that I've watched the series multiple times. The first time through, I think I was always disappointed that we were seeing this new character instead of some of other characters we were already familiar with; I subconsciously held that against him. Now, I accept him on his own merits. Ultimately, I agree with Luke's description of him: "enjoyable, if ultimately unnecessary".

    First up, I thoroughly enjoyed this light-hearted episode. I loved Vic: Like Jammer, I thought all the scenes of Odo and him were golden - and, despite it being a spoiler, I'm pleased to read he'll be coming back for more.

    But onto the crux of my comment, my first on these reviews. I've enjoyed reading Jammer's thoughts as I've made my way through DS9 for the first time; I've also enjoyed reading everyone's comments from over the years. I decided to stop reading the comments a few seasons in after reading one too many spoilers.

    Why did I come back?! I know it's a twenty year old show, but damn people! A little warning of spoilers wouldn't go amiss (he says, despite the comments being posted many moons ago).

    I just learned of what seems to be a major death coming up in the show. I shouldn't have come back; why did I come back?!

    But anyway, here's to you Jammer and here's to everyone else keeping the comments going all these years!

    This is a tried and true guy tries to get girl story. While timeless in itself shouldn't be more than a D-Plot in Star Trek.

    The audience is supposed to pine for Odo and is longing. Okay that's soap opera and RL-guys pine for girls without knowing how to handle or approach the situation every living minute for every day.

    Myself included

    As cute as it is I don't watch sci fi for dating tips or that sort of sentiment.

    DS9 couldn't help but bend over backwards to accommodate "mainstream" taste and interest.

    Oh and some of the dialogue is vomit inducing.

    All the lovelies, oohs, ahs, and pallies drive me up the walls.

    I can relate to Odo's restrained and disciplined conservatism especially in public.

    Him backing away from holographic Kira is a little too cliche-I mean really I can't do this. Come on man she ain't real just practice.

    @Caedus - This episode clearly isn't for everyone, but I will still defend the hell out of it. Rene is a great character actor, and this episode really gave him the chance to soar pallie :P

    I like it more everytime I watch it. I don't know why, I just do. It just makes me smile. What are you, some kind of Harvey?

    There's something magical about DS9 in that it has the range to go from Pale Moonlight to this and have them both be amazing in their own way. I get why it's not for everyone, but I'll be over here humming now.

    I did not think I could possibly be as bored watching this episode as I remember being when I saw it when it first ran. I was wrong.

    Isn't using someone's likeness in a holosuite without their permission illegal? Didn't Quark used to get in trouble for that? Odo wouldn't tolerate it, and neither would Kira.

    Also: most awkward kiss in all of Trek history. Was that supposed to be romantic? Ugh.

    Also: The Vic character should be building up to take over all of DS9, since he apparently has unlimited access to the computer. Then Sisko can only shut him down by having calculate pi to the last digit . . .

    I loved this episode

    I have a broken leg and have been binging all of DS9, while finishing Voyager and Enterprise, which I never could when it was on tv initially.

    I have been saving this series for a second rewatching since it aired, so I've forgotten the many twists and turns. While Picard is my fav Captain, DS9 was my fav series, with its dark and intriguing Dominion war and cast of many memorable characters.

    Vic is right up there as one of my fav characters,as he was able to take the crew out of their element, especially for another fav, the ever guarded Odo.

    I'm a grown freaking man and this episode made me tear up in happiness for our friendly shapeshifter. Maybe it's like the equally guarded Picard dropping a tear in front of Data while he was abducted by the Borg, or crying in the arms of his brother, the vulnerability of Odo really got to me.

    It's not easy to do a romance amongst so much technobabble,but this was more than story about love and relations, it was an evolution of Odo.

    My words can't do it justice, but like the Dax and Worf love episode a few shows ago, DS9 really nailed this.

    P.s.I love these reviews and their comments. I've read each one after every episdoe since the beginning of season 5 and wanted to chime in, thank you!

    This bit from Jammer said it best: Another hesitation I have is the way the dialog is almost too "human." I know, I know; Trek is really about looking at human issues through different story devices—but the way it happens here (even knowing that Vic was specifically intended as a 1960s persona), I still couldn't help but get the feeling I was grounded in 20th-century romance, rather than 24th.

    Exactly. Kira appears to have feelings for Odo too, but she's helpless to do anything about them. Because she's female and therefore it's culturally her job to sit there and wait for him to do it. Because a 24th century Bajoran female (even one with the initiative and independence of Kira) and a blob of gel with no biological sex who happens to be in male form both have to follow the rules of 1990 America?

    And yes, after Children of Time and Behind the Lines, there should be some real trouble for them that takes actual work to get through. Not just a magic kiss makes everything magically fine. At least they have a little more chemistry than Worf and Dax do, although this is saying very little.

    Odo was the best character on the show until Behind the Lines. This one made him a little more interesting, but his presence on the show still isn't the same.

    2 stars

    This episode just wasn't very good

    Fluff + heavy on 1950s Vegas + Odo/Kira who work better as friends = underwhelming hour to sit through

    I don't like Holodeck episodes at the best of times but Vic Fontane is very weak addition to the regular cast.

    I wouldn't mind as much if we didn't have musical numbers. If you're going to have him singing in the background while something interesting is happening, find. But to play several songs in their entirety just to have them on the show. Are we on a tight budget and paying the writers by the word or something? There's so much more that could have been done with the screen time.

    It makes no sense that someone 400 years in the future would be interested in such a specific time period. My hunch is one of the writers/producers grew up in that period so wanted to include it in the show. I find Vic tacky and a real detriment to an otherwise excellent show.

    My biggest Vic gripe is that he's given a full song in the final episode where some other scenes feel rushed.

    Lighthearted fun here but, more critically speaking, not that great. Sure, it's cute but I'm personally getting tired of Odo/Kira. We've seen better episodes where their relationship is the centerpiece.

    I did like Vic, the intelligent holodeck singer, as he does make plenty of astute comments about Odo and how he should lighten up. The scenes between the 2 were well done and entertaining.

    The episode dragged on with the music, singing, Odo playing piano -- I understand it is to show Odo loosening up and establishing the Vic character but it's a bit much.

    There's the big cliche with the big Odo/Kira kiss while everybody and their mother in DS9 stands and watches. I don't think Kira had such strong feelings for Odo (what was foremost in my mind was "Behind the Lines") so this scene seemed unrealistic especially after the holodeck date ends up on the rocks when they find out it's for real.

    1.5 stars for "His Way" -- fun, goofy episode. Maybe Vic Fontaine should have been a real character as part of a music troupe stopping at DS9 for a few days -- but I suppose he can also be a super-holodeck character (as we've seen those before). Vic was the lubrication to get this episode to go although you could omit 30-40% of "His Way" and still not miss anything important.

    Charming episode with great period music. The writers in DS9 were often taking big chances and this was another step in that direction. Nana Visitors depth of talent was expanded even more than I thought possible in this episode with her rendition of Fever. I'm thankful the series allowed the platform from which she could showcase her abilities. Three stars.

    I found this episode extremely heart warming and I think their relationship is a long time coming. I like your analysis for sure, but I think for a more casual audience which is 90% of the viewerbase, Kira ending up with Odo is very important and I love the way they did it.

    I'm surprised this review was written in 1998, I think that's when the episode aired, wow

    I loved it and thought it was hilarious throughout. It would be too tempting to have such an ensemble of actors and not do varied and experimental episodes. I grew up with jazz and have an intense appreciation for it and its role in our culture. The scene with Sisko snapping his fingers was wonderful, surprising and very realistic. I might have considered they were implying a black stereotype if I didn't know the Captain was from New Orleans. I'm sure he knew all those songs by heart. I can definitely see where the charms of the episode may have faded; it might seem dated at best to many - the Rat Pack has been gone for quite a while.

    Yeah! I truly, really loved these comments tonight! Where to start?

    Soooooo, if Odo loosens up, his bucket better be nearby him otherwise,,,,,,,,,,,SPLAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is so funny unless you are feeling sad for Odo at the moment. I could not look at Kira and Odo making out because ..... just think, if Odo could have an orgasm....hmmmmm, Kira could drown. AnnnnnnnnD, Data and Yar in the Naked Now, he could smash her flatter than a crepe. What is he gonna do? Wow, Father would be proud of me. Get real.

    Several references were made to Children Of Time. Personally, after seeing this ep again a few days ago, my theory is that they were all melded into some kind of gaseous dream and woke up believing they really met all those people. Kira is crazy as hell wanting to die for those "people" and being angry AAAAAAAATTTTTTTT~~~ !!!
    Odo for saving her. Anyone who feels that way, ought to die. Their life means nothing to them.

    Nana did not like having to present herself in such way and Rene said he did feel for her, this was in T V GUIDE and on the newly made internet back in the day. I think the damn producers and others were pushing her around and punishing her for some reason concerning the politics of how they wanted the series to go. Or some other stupid, CHILDISH reason that only men can come up with when that certain body part starts to squirm.

    Nana also stated that it made sick to have to touch and kiss [on] that foam rubber.

    If you pay attention, the last 2 seasons of DS9 reveals a lot. Watch the actors, they can barely make it thru their lines in all the eps.

    As for Vic, played by James Darren. He is a couple of years older than me and in the '50 and 60's he was coming into his own acting, singing career. Back then all the young want to b's in entertainment kids were made to record records and become BIG stars!!!!! whether they could sing or not. We had Frankie Avalon, ok, all the money hungry agents I guess it was wanted all their little want to be's to sing and make the agents and record companies rich. Hey! Frankie could actually sing. One record here or there and those kids were gone. Darren did a lot of acting gigs and he was good at it. But to put this wanna be Frank Sinatra that is someone else's dream inside Star Trek was a brick slung in my face. Nobody talked the way they have Darren talking back then. I never heard Sinatra talk that way either. BUT, James Darren has to live just like we have to live and I don't blame him for taking this role since he acts and sings. He needs money, do any of us swing thru the trees looking for our din-din on a daily basis. Hmmmmmh?

    The music. I listened to that music when I was a baby and all thru the years until the 70's when it was wiped out by all the crap that came to be. However, I don't want to listen to it any more. That was then, this is now. The jerk that came up with this shit does not have life, even today, I guarantee.

    Nana aced FEVER. Lemesee now, singing it to Odo was crap. Sad, should not have been done. Going much too far since the actors,esp., Nana, are not up for it. Hey, it would have worked great with Dax and Worf because these 2 actors play off each other like nobody's business.

    Rose McGowan did Fever on a Charmed ep for a boyfriend and Rose was great.


    Have to go now.

    I loved this. Loved it. I always like holodeck episodes. I like calmer episodes that explore the characters. Vic Fontaine is the man. I hope I see him again before the series is over. Seeing him help Odo had sweet moments. The odo playing piano scene was great and so was Sisko and Odo singing. You can always feel when the actors are having fun

    Watching and commenting:

    --James Darren. He aged well. Didn't he used to Time Travel?

    --Odo matches better with the female changeling than Kira. For one thing, they look and are much closer to the same age. And the personalities are so different with Kira and Odo. And if there's chemistry here, I sure don't see it.

    --I enjoy seeing and listening to James Darren, but there's not much going on here.

    --Darren and Auberjonois doing fine together, but well, just not much here.

    --Nice set. Kira's song is well done. Victor Borge. He was a funny guy.

    --Ugh. These two are not a good pair.

    Below average. The music and performances save it from the stinker bin.


    I agree about this ep. In general I think the show put a *lot* of effort over the years building up what Kira meant to Odo, romantically, but very little the other way.

    I will say though that there are some eps coming up later that imo make a better use of the pairing, enough to justify the pairing for me, though not really how their getting together is executed. The songs are fun though.

    Re the "female" changeling: while it's true Auberjonois and Salome Jens are closer in age, I get the impression that FC is supposed to be millenia old. While Odo was sent out centuries ago as a baby, he only really started being conscious in Mora's lab, which is around Kira's age, give or take. But comparing ages is hard anyway - - in changeling lifespan terms, and possibly in terms of moral complexity etc., Odo is very childlike.

    This one was kind of silly and shows how important the ghost of Gene Roddenberry was. People now like to criticize Roddenberrys no conflict edict, but it at least made Star Trek unique and interesting. This sort of tired rom com sitcom episode wouldnt have been the center of an episode in his heydey. Not much science fiction to be found here and not a lot thats interesting to me tbh.

    Another holodeck self indulgence. This time with the worst character of the show, Vic Fontaine. The beginning of the end of a great show.

    1.5 stars

    great episode. kira and odo are so great with each other and a sweet fun episode to finally break the ice... the kiss at the end with them not giving a crap about what anyone thinks was awesome

    james darren is fantastic here... i remember him from tj hooker and he looks so good... and what a terrific voice. i think they did an album of his ds9 songs. vic fontaine was such a breath of fresh air considering how much dread is going on in the galaxy at the moment.

    they still do the rat pack songs inspired by all of this at big trek conventions... nana did it this year... jeffrey combs and max and casey do it...

    this episode works better in the streaming era... if you had to wait a week and are dying for some dominion stories you'd be disappointed but with streaming it's right on to the next one.

    i liked how there was no b-story

    the scenario with odo thinking he's with hologram kira but she's the real one is pretty original... nice twist on a screwball setup.

    and loved the idea that vic can access any part of the ship... it makes sense that since bashir is a genetically engineered genius he could create a sentient hologram. though it brings you back to the episode where they were gonna use bashir as the hologram dr prototype or something...

    3.5 stars

    I'm pretty much entirely with Jammer on this. There's fun fluff, I love the musical interludes, I'm a sucker for Sinatra style, and yet... you could put any awkward man and any generic woman of his interest into this. It doesn't really say anything about them as characters. We've had six seasons building up everything they are together, all the complexity of their history. What they mean to each other is unique. This isn't.

    I can only hope we see more from them that isn't just "generic romance" but actually *uses* these characters to the fullest.

    The one thing I like about this is how overly contrived it is. Sentient hologram starts meddling in order to get a couple together? Wow, talk about 'crazy'. But in a way doing this kind of episode says something: it says that Odo was just so dug-in and shy that there was simply no way they were ever going to get together barring a deus ex machina. Basically it would take another 5 seasons of the show for him to be brave enough to tell her how he feels and do something about it, so this episode is saying, hey, let's skip all that and just shove them together. Kind of like butting heads of a couple of numbskulls, which they both were being about this. I kinda like how brazen the writers were being in recognizing the situation they were in - wanting a Kira/Odo romance but being nowhere near it natrually happening - and taking the bull by the horns. A zany episode with a good heart is a nice way to cross that bridge without playing the Dawson's Creek card of dragging things out interminably. I'll thank them for that.

    @Peter G: well, when you put it like that, it is actually kind of a relief. There's so many layers of angst getting between these two that they really could take years digging through it all -- and we'd have Pining Odo the whole time (and also the nondescript Kira that we always seem to get on the other side of this).

    I haven't seen much further than this, and definitely not to any Serious Odo/Kira-centric episode, but the background bits of their relationship I've seen? Not sure how I feel in general, but relatively, I do know that I prefer Soft Sappy Odo to Pining Odo. So, in retrospect: yeah, glad that this one put the kibosh on the latter.

    Kira still seems to be Nondescript Kira, though. Dammit, Kira.

    Guys could you please not discuss the new show in a thread that is readable in the comment stream!

    I also wanna say that Vic Fontaine is also kind of terrifying. He can just... drop into other people's holosuites? And somehow get access to the comm?

    Is this guy gonna be the next Moriarty? Is DS9 gonna get re-recaptured by the Dominion and then fought off singlehandedly by a lone holographic lounge singer?


    "I also wanna say that Vic Fontaine is also kind of terrifying. He can just... drop into other people's holosuites? And somehow get access to the comm?

    Is this guy gonna be the next Moriarty? Is DS9 gonna get re-recaptured by the Dominion and then fought off singlehandedly by a lone holographic lounge singer?"

    They brought this up on treknobabble, and it is funny how sentient Vic seems. Maybe making Moriarty-level holograms is no longer a big deal and people like Felix can just crank them out? If the EMH is any indication, Starfleet doesn't have any respect for these holo-people, either.

    We’ve had a run of dark (and presumably fairly expensive) episodes, so it’s perhaps not surprising that the DS9 writers decided to throw something a bit lighter into the mix. Though arguably it’s a bit disappointing, after the universe-reshaping events of the previous episode.

    Either way, the DS9 writers decided to bring one final new piece to the board in preparation for the final season. A holographic 1960s lounge singer, who lives in a conveniently 20th-century cabaret club, complete with a band and virtual audience dressed in equally 20th-century clothing.

    Because that keeps costs down, and it's something the DS9 audience will appreciate, right? Let's have a shout out to the purely American, white-male, pension-age viewers who were watching TOS when it first aired, something that'll make 'em feel all warm and nostalgic about the good old days.

    Except… that’s probably a tiny percentage of the DS9 audience. In fact, I can't help but think that Vic was more for the writers benefit than anything else. Even if they were mostly /born/ in the sixties and hadn't actually lived through it...

    Certainly, as a non-american who was a young adult when DS9 first aired, it's probably a good job I never got around to watching these episodes back at the time. Because for all that other series such as Babylon 5 drew significant influence from American social and military culture, DS9 absolutely wallowed in it.

    (Then too, I was into electronic music and heavy metal at the time; having to sit through the extended lounge music scenes would have been torture at the time.

    I'm still not that keen on lounge music 20-odd years later, barring the odd bit of Richard Cheese, but at least it's a lot easier to fast forward through the singing these days!)

    To be fair, DS9 is an American TV show and is well within it's rights to focus on American themes. And equally, I can see why Vic was brought in. DS9 lacked a "neutral sympathetic ear" character who could act as a "Doctor Watson" for the audience's benefit, or help guide interpersonal relationships between other characters. Where TNG had Guinan and Voyager had Neelix (for better or - more often - worse), the best DS9 had to offer was Quark, who was never particularly neutral or sympathetic unless money was involved.

    Admittedly, there was also Morn, but he wasn't a particularly scintillating conversationalist onscreen ;)

    Sad to say though, Vic’s character did absolutely nothing for me, and nothing ever happened to change my opinion of his character.

    (That said, I did enjoy the episode where Vic helps a DS9 character come to terms with a tragedy. But that episode was more about the character than Vic, and that way lies spoilers…)

    Vic also raises a much bigger question - one which pretty much all Star Trek series have shied away from exploring. As with Moriarty in TNG and perhaps to a lesser extent with Discovery's Doctor, Vic is presented as being more than just a pre programmed holographic NPC.

    He's self aware and potentially more intelligent than the physical entities which control him. And so arguably, he's just as sentient as any other character on the show.

    What does that say about the holograms which are routinely brought to life to serve the whims of the crew? Quark even makes a point of advertising his holodeck's many sexual simulations, and Bashir and O'Brien routinely run scenarios which involve the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of holographic characters.

    Meanwhile, Vic and Moriarty show that all of these characters are just a stepping stone away from being fully sentient, self aware and living beings.

    (I know some people argue that holograms can't be sentient because they don't have a body and are stored in a computer program. I'm inclined to dispute this on general principles, but for now, I'll just note that there’s a number of DS9 and Voyager episodes where various characters are turned into holograms and are later brought back to a physical existence, and there’s generally no question that they’re sentient while existing as a hologram, nor that the ship’s systems are able to both store and accurately reproduce their personalities, memories and behaviours)

    What does that say about the Federation, that it facilitates the creation of potentially sentient beings, to be used and abused and even killed?

    To be fair, this is a pretty big can of worms for a TV show to delve into. And there’s a Ferenghi freighter full of worms when it comes to the starships which feature so heavily in Star Trek. Because if a starship is powerful enough to power multiple human-level (or greater) AIs - and provide them with simulated bodies, why are the ships themselves not sentient? Why are their computers generally restricted to simple, literal responses? And why is their destruction treated in such a blase way? The closest we ever get to this subject is a few throwaway episodes, such as the Short Trek episode where an abandoned ship (perhaps notably, built using pre-TOS era technology!) develops a personality.

    Should ships have rights? Why doesn't the ship have it's own avatar on the bridge? Why is their intelligence been so constrained?

    Alas, much as with robots in Star Wars, I suspect Trek will never fully explore the implications of AI and holographic personalities. Instead, we'll keep getting stuck with scenarios thrown together by desperate writers looking to scrape one more low-budget American-themed holodeck scenarios out of the previously-abandoned-plots barrel...

    (I'm conscious I haven't covered any of this episode's actual content. This partly because it's fluff, but mostly because I hit fast-forward whenever there was any risk of lounge singing!)

    Great episode. I'd actually give it 3.5 stars. I love the part with Kira singing an amazing version of Fever.

    Vic: You know what a square is, right?
    Miles: One side of a cube.
    Vic: Well that answers my question.

    Re: the "kiss" scene.

    Odo+Kira: SMOOCH
    Everyone around them and everyone on the station for the next week afterwards: IT'S ABOUT BLOODY HELL TIME

    This episode would have been fine before odo's betrayal and the other episode children of time I think you called it.

    Not great but fine. Darren is great.

    but coming after those episodes it just violates what we know about their chemistry and history and so is not a good episode.

    Awesome episode!
    I was cheering at the end.
    Great performances all around, loved the music, Vic Is great!
    Loved it!

    I very much enjoyed the episode. Darren's singing was a little weak, but I thought he did a great job with the character. I'm a big softie for romance, and the banter leading up to The Big Kiss was superb! Very reminiscent of classic romantic comedies. I was laughing my head off! Best laugh I've had in a long time!

    Seriously, this episode should get 4 stars solely on the basis of the two scenes with "holodeck Kira," in which we clearly see Nana Visitor channeling her aunt Cyd Charisse, and doing it very well.

    5 stars, this episode is what it's trying to do and does it well , the whole Vegas club concept works better than what VOY tried to do with Fairhaven.

    Also thank God Frank Sinatra Jr. said no this role , James Darren did a masterful job incanting the charismatic crooner we all came to enjoy .

    I actually loved this episode! I don’t get the hate for it. It was a nice break from the dominion. I felt it was about time for Odo to get with Kira. I thinking the storyline was great. To each their own.

    I felt like normal Odo watching this, but cracked in the end.
    This was a fun; albeit, at times cringe episode. But fun, and I smiled; and maybe did more than that.
    Well done!

    I think DS9 only did romance well with Sisko and Kassidy. Everything else seemed a bit off, particularly the Odo/Kira romance.

    I prefer the Odo from "Children of Time" and "Heart of Stone", always pining for Kira from afar. I'd have kept them tragically apart, Kira repeatedly turning him down, and then Odo somehow finally, tragically, dying to protect her somehow.

    Instead this tragedy was given to Dax and Worf, a couple I'd have liked to seen stay together. Their romance wasn't that convincing, but Dax could sort of pull you in, every now and then.

    Watching Odo and Kira, in contrast, just seems phony. I don't buy her falling for him. And from here on in, Kira's "romantic acting" will seem increasingly forced, her rapport with Odo - they were so naturalistic around each other in early seasons - disappearing entirely..

    This episode was kind of the beginning of the end for DS9, for me. Especially coming right on the heels of the best episode of DS9.

    I remember when I was watching the series live, *hating* Vic Fontaine, and *hating* Vic Fontaine episodes. It became especially egregious in Season 7 when I felt like they were "wasting" time with this holoprogram fluff that they should have been using to tie up loose plot threads and advance the metaplot.

    When Vic shows up in the mirror universe as an actually person during an episode that makes no sense anyhow, yeesh, that was really jumping the shark.

    So much criticism of what I see as an episode of harmless fun. Given the DS9 continuum, the Dominion War just got a whole lot more complicated, so what’s wrong with a diversionary tale like this? James Darren is smooth and plays his character admirably. It brings me back to a time when my life was much less certain than it is now.

    Vic: You know what a square is, right?
    O'Brien: It's ... one side of a cube.
    Vic: Well I guess that answers my question.

    Ira was starting to lose it and make some really bad decisions at the end of DS9...this (Vic) was one of them. In a strange sense Vic is kind of a Mary Sue character. He's "too perfect", almost everybody loves him, and they eat up his every word. This makes him boring and obnoxious. Also DS9's obsession with 20th century Earth is cringe. Why not 20th century Andor or 20th century Vulcan? Plus the 20th century wasn't that interesting...when the writers introduce this, they're engaging in selfish nostalgia that muddies the science fiction illusion which is tough to maintain. Trek should be forward looking, not backwards looking. Lastly, there really isn't anything attractive about Vegas lounge singers. It's boring music in a boring setting, and you have to be pretty drunk to appreciate it.


    This episode is a bit of a curiosity to me. The music is fine; I especially like the Fever number and the Odo/Sisko "You Can't Take That Away From Me" duet. Darren is good, as are Auberjonois and Visitor. I think "Paper Moon" later really does make good use of Vic to further a character arc. I think the problem with this one is that there is so much history between Odo and Kira that to focus in on "shy guy needs to loosen up" flattens the characters. I do see how it plays into their story, and it kind of works as a companion to "Crossfire," where that reticence was Odo's biggest problem, but there are so many bigger fish to fry in terms of their history, particularly "Behind the Lines" but also "Things Past" and especially "Children of Time" which aren't that long ago. So much work in "Time" and "Lines" threw serious roadblocks in the way of their relationship and to give Kira serious reasons to doubt whether Odo would be a good partner. Even if we assume they talked it all out in "...Cordially Invited" and everything is fine, dramatically I think it's a mistake to have their dynamic change around based on a dialogue-thin American-Songbook jukebox musical, even if Odo looks good in a tux. Knowing that this isn't the end of their story I don't think it's fatal, and so in that sense it's possible to appreciate the episode for its light charms.

    @ William B,

    I think one of the charms of this episode (and perhaps why I like it more than most) is because if we take it literally it isn't actually a American-Songbook musical. It's a play on that, but literally speaking Odo isn't human and doesn't know any of the references. Yes, we can superimpose him on a human 'nerd' or something who is totally oblivious to pop culture references and who is 'not cool', but in Odo's case he is a literal space alien being taught how to be a cool cat in Vegas. That alone makes the plotline more bizarre than it in fact even appears in the episode! But the extreme discomfort Odo experiences is noteworthy, in that he's learning to be something completely new, rather than engaging in some social remedial program for people who can't get a date. This is probably the most real-deal Changeling experience he's ever had since Mora's testtube, since the pain of having to go through something uncomfortable may well be connected with 'becoming' that thing. How can a Changeling learn what it's like to "be" a human without going through the pains a human does, or worse? From that standpoint I think Odo's reward is earned. He'll do just about anything it takes to get to the finish line. And yes, it does all track in somewhat parallel manner into the "makeover" romantic comedy story, but that's what makes it easy to watch rather than a truly new take on "alien learns how to woo human woman", which would have been drastically different.


    True, and/but Odo learning to be a Cool Cat isn't to impress a human woman, but a Bajoran woman, 400 years after this music's heyday. In the 1990's Vic's advice is anachronistic but is within the cultural lexicon of most viewers. In universe, in order to woo a woman of a different species, Odo takes advice from a computer program he got from their doctor friend of a third species doing the style of a four-hundred year old nightclub act. (?) It is pretty nuts when put that way. I think the makeover/jukebox musical framing is so dominant that I can't take the sci-fi implications seriously.

    @ William B,

    Yeah, taken in all its literal glory the story is basically incomprehensible. But I do think at least a sliver of Odo's journey goes beyond the "square" who needs to learn how to be cool and does imply being even more alien than that. Some of his embarrassment is of actually not knowing what anyone is talking about, rather than being out of his element and in a scenario he's seen but not experienced. For example some of the one-liners he says to the real Kira seem to be innocent in their audaciousness, rather than a person who knows they're 'putting on the moves.' It makes him more vulnerable and less wanting to just be more like one of the players. That it's totally anachronistic is why we can easily accept that he truly means no ill and isn't even trying to be a player, but rather just wants to know how to speak to Kira at all.

    I do agree that she is treated 100% just like a human woman, and although that's technically out the literal boundaries it's nevertheless reinforced when we see fake Kira appear on the holodeck initially. It sets her up as being someone who fits into that world. Ironically that works because Visitor really is from that world (albeit in its future, a bit) so she can play being familiar with that setting. It should set off alarm bells if we're being literal, but let's face it, the Bajorans were never really very alien anyhow.


    I can see that. It actually makes me think of how Data recites 60's sitcom husband platitudes in In Theory. Opinions vary but I think that largely worked for that episode because the signifiers were there for us in the audience to see that Data was trying to enact a stereotyped partner, even if it is unlikely that in universe those would be the referents Data would be choosing. Of course, that didn't work, but mostly because Data didn't care about that relationship the way Jenna wanted him to. Odo clearly wants to find a way to connect with Kira and is very alien.

    I think for Odo to be so clueless also helps Kira see him more clearly. Everyone, including Kira, assumed that Odo's "impartial observer" identity as well as his detective identity meant he understood solids, but I think we gradually learn he was able to largely predict their behaviour, but did not really understand them from the inside out, or there were gaps. That she thought Odo was basically a humanoid who was savvier than most is part of what made his failures and betrayals sting so much. Actually seeing Odo being more naive and more alien than she had thought, via his clumsy attempts to appear more worldly and human(oid) might make it easier to connect to him on those terms.

    @ William B,

    "Actually seeing Odo being more naive and more alien than she had thought, via his clumsy attempts to appear more worldly and human(oid) might make it easier to connect to him on those terms."

    Oh, I really like this. Thinking in this way goes quite a ways in explaining why Kira accepts so many things that viewers rail against, especially in regard to the conversation in "Cordially" that we aren't privy to, and subsequently Kira forgetting everything else problematic. It doesn't actually require us to think she forgot it so long as we remember that he's truly alien and that she came to realize that over time. These betrayals don't exactly require explaining if it would only be a betrayal if it was a savvy human doing it. For a child, or someone truly unknowing, it would just be errors, not betrayals. And in fact we know that the female Changeling was quite intentionally manipulating him. Yes, she could say all she wanted that it was all on the level, but too much in that performance and in the story tells me it wasn't. So in this context it was child-Odo who was groomed rather than an adult making an informed decision to switch sides.

    If you ask me one of the most striking Odo/Kira issues is from Children of Time. Knowing someone wiped out a timeline for you has got to have some effect...either good or bad. And frankly alt-Odo was so straightforward with her that it's almost more on her afterward if anything between her and Odo was weird. And I think that's because she's also less savvy than she lets on as well. In her best episodes I think Kira lets through a child-like aura, both in her faith, but also in her shock at sometimes realizing how wrong she was. The fact that she's had a few relationships means she's not inexperienced per se, but I don't think she really knows how to handle complicated situations where feelings are involved. Her penchant for 'simple men' (including O'Brien...) would seem to back up the idea that she isn't ready for complications or difficulties in a relationship, which is probably why someone like Dax can have a friendship with Quark and Kira can't.

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