It is the search for a cure in the episode that originally aired on May 19, 1999.  This is Extreme Measures…

The Episode:

Station Log Stardate 52645.7*

Julian and Miles work to save Odo from his ailment and, claiming they have discovered a cure, hope to lure Section 31 out of hiding.

The Breakdown:

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It is a somber time aboard Deep Space Nine with Odo nearing death in a matter of weeks.  Knowing that Kira has gone through this with Vedek Bareil, Odo pushes Kira to continue her work without him on the Cardassian front as he does not want to put her through more suffering.

Using the Breen weapon to begin working on a counter, O’Brien, Sisko and Julian see Kira and Garak off on their mission.  Miles and Julian inform Sisko that they have plans to lure a member of Section 31 to the station by claiming they have found a cure.  Sisko reluctantly agrees to allow them to continue their subterfuge understanding that this may be the only chance to save Odo.

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Unable to sleep, O’Brien finds Julian in Quarks Bar throwing darts.  After discussing how deep the Section 31 conspiracy must be, they two finally retire for the day where Julian finds a not-unexpected visitor in his quarters, one Luthor Sloan. Trapping the operative behind a force field, Julian stuns the Operative and takes him to the infirmary.

Miles and Julian inform Sloan that they plan to use an illegal Romulan Mind Probes to get information out of the Section 31 Agent.  Despite Sloan’s plea’s, Julian makes it clear he will do anything it takes to get the information he needs to save Odo. Knowing that he has been compromised, Sloan activates a suicide device much to the surprise of the Doctor.  With only a few hours to get the information out of Sloans brain, the two begin to devise a way to retrieve the data. Entering Sloan’s mind using a mutitronic engrammatic interpreter, the two find themselves in a turbo-lift diving deeper into the mind of the Section 31 agent.

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Exiting the Turbo-lift they come face to face with Sloan himself who seems willing to give up the details on the cure but finds himself unable to for some reason.  It seems that Julian and Miles needs to trust this Sloan in order to get to the bottom of why he is unable to tell them the truth. Entering the Ward Room, Sloan addresses a group of people he wanted Julian and Miles to meet.  Sloan seems to feel genuine sorrow for his inability to be present for his friends and family much to Julian and Miles surprise.

Introducing them to his wife, Sloan prepares to hand over the secrets they need.  Just as he is about to reveal everything another Sloan appears and kills the Sloan they were just with.  It is quickly apparent that this is not going to be an easy mission.

Back on the station, Ben Sisko and Ezri Dax find the three bodies linked in the science lab.  Sisko calls for help, knowing that something is not right.

Julian and Miles begin their search through Sloan’s head eventually running into a guard.  When the guard shoots Bashir it becomes clear that they are in mortal danger while in Sloan’s head.  Miles asks Julian to get them out using his hypothalamic feedback but Julian discovers that they are both trapped in Sloan’s mind. As they discuss their pending fate, and their feelings for one another, a bright light forms down the corridor causing them to push forward even further.

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Soon they awake in the Science Lab facing Sisko and Worf.  The two realize that they need to go back in but with Sloan dying it may not be possible.  Working to save the Section 31 operative, Julian struggles soon finds it impossible to save him.  Sloan dies destroying any hope of curing Odo. Breaking the news to Odo, Julian finds the shapeshifter very understanding of the situation. Feeling he failed, Julian heads back to his quarters and soon realizes that something is wrong as the book he is reading is misprinted.   It is then that he realizes that he and Miles are still in Sloan’s mind.  With the revelation, the two continue their mission as Sloan’s mind continues to break down.

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Entering the room that sent them back to the Station, the two find the Dark Sloan who welcomes them to Section 31.  All about him are papers and documents about all of the clandestine affairs the organization has collected.  It seems there is a treasure trove of information there that Julian has access to that serve as a distraction from their mission.  Miles finds the cure but Julian refuses to leave hoping to collect all of the information Sloan has. Realizing that Sloan wants them to die with him, Miles begs Julian to give up collecting the data in order to save Odo.  Julian pulls them out of Sloan’s mind only to come face to face with Ezri and Sisko.

Using his newfound knowledge, Julian concocts a cure for Odo that works almost immediately transforming Odo back to his old self.   Back in Quarks Bar, Julian and Miles share a drink wondering what data Julian gave up bringing back.  Julian acknowledges that if it were not for Miles, Julian would have died in Sloan’s mind trying to gather all of the info he could.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

While this is a rather necessary story to the overall ending arc, the episode itself feels a little out of place in the grand scheme of things.  Not only does it rush Odo’s cure, which in and of itself should have been the focus of a much longer arc, but it also vastly ignores every other story line in this back half of the season.  In a way I almost feel like this should have had a strong B story line focusing on Kira as she tries to handle the ultimate demise of the love of her life.  Instead, we get a rather flat ‘adventure’ through the mind of Sloan which turns out to be a rather boring place after-all.

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One aspect of this episode that should have worked but fell flatly on the floor was the further exploration of Miles’ and Julian’s relationship. It is clear that they are best friends and, there is a rather heavy handed attempt to get them both to admit that they love one another on a more personal level.  Not as lovers, mind you, but something more akin to family.  While Julian fully admits that, while he adores Ezri, he likes O’Brien’s company more, Miles seems to be afraid to admit that he feels the same way as well insisting that he ‘loves his wife’.  While I get what they were trying to do, this just made O’Brien come across as a little homophobic and possibly dealing with some issues from some past toxic masculinity. For some reason he just cant tell another guy that he loves them which is kinda sad.  Seems like a character flaw that O’Brien would have gotten over by now seeing that once he was also pretty bigoted toward Cardassians and (might) have finally gotten past that.  I don’t know, to me, this seems like a stalling point for both characters giving them really nothing in terms of late series character development.  Instead, we got what amounted to a lame ‘Miles Must Suffer’ episode that happened to include Julian and Section 31.

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As for Sloan, what a waste of a character.  Here is an operative who has been built up to be the ultimate agent for a clandestine organization and he falls for a trap that should have never caught him only for him to die?!  Seriously?  It is things like this that make me wish DS9 had had an eight season so they could have given some of these stories a little more time to build.

Overall, this is the weakest of the final story arc so far but at least it gave us Odo back…right?

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • Julian finally admits that he loves Ezri.  So, lets see him actually do something about it.
  • Even though she is nowhere to be seen as of late, apparently Keiko has been on the station this whole time.
  • There is a little problem with the star-date in this one.  Two episodes ago it was Stardate 52684.3 and this episode is Stardate 52645.7.  So either there was some wonky time travel involved or Julian flubbed up his log.

Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review,  I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!  Next Review: The Dogs of War

If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 3/27/2020

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Somewhere in this was the reason the Klingons on Discovery look so very different and you are going to settle for Odo’s cure?!  Damn you Bashir!

Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available.  Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

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