Sometimes the past is just the past, sometimes it is painful. Odo finds out more about his own mysterious past while forcing himself to deal with more recent events in the episode that originally aired on January 9, 1994. This is The Alternate.
Station Log Stardate 47391.7 The Alternate
When Doctor More, a person from Odo’s past, arrives with news that they may have information about Odo’s origins, it is all Odo can do to not want to learn more. However, when a life-form that has been brought back breaks out, it is up to Odo and Doctor Mora to figure out how to stop it.
Odo encounters Quark selling remains of a deceased Ferengi, as is tradition, when he informs the barkeep that the pieces he is selling are counterfeit and Quark has been duped. Just as Quark is asking about an investigation Doctor Mora arrives much to Odo’s surprise. The Doctor immediately begins to ask Odo about his life when Mora is introduced to the Ferengi as ‘the doctor who was in charge of Odo’s development’ which in short is, Odo’s Father. It is clear that Odo is not happy about Mora’s appearance and, when the Doctor informs Odo that he may have found information about the shapeshifter’s past, Odo can not resist investigating further.
Odo soon requests the use of a runabout to visit the Gamma Quadrant to investigate the possibilities of DNA that is similar to Odo’s own DNA. Mora believes he has discovered the Origin of Odo and his people. Sisko agrees to the request and sends Dax to assist in the investigation. While on the journey, Doctor Mora recalls his first experiences with Odo when the shapeshifter was first discovered.
Upon arriving on the planet, The team discover the ruins of an ancient civilization with a statue that has some markings that may contain important information. Soon they find material that looks to be similar in composition to Odo. Just as they beam the statue aboard the runabout an earthquake begins causing Doctor Mora, Dax and the third Bajoran doctor to become sick. Odo rescues the team and gets them back to DS9 to save them. Upon returning, it seems that the only person unaffected was Odo himself, even the life-form has multiplied since arriving. Later that evening, Sisko is awakened by an emergency in the science lab. It seems that the life-form has escaped and has destroyed the lab in the process.
As they investigate, Doctor Mora awakes and asks Odo about the life-form. Soon Odo leans that Doctor Weld, the other Bajoran on the expedition, has not recovered yet.
O’brien follows the path of the life-form only to begin hearing a strange growling sound in the jeffries tubes. Miles soon finds the missing life-form in a liquid state and it appears that it has died. Dax and Bashir study the remains and determine that this life-form might have cause the damage in the science lab but they are uncertain for sure. After Dax leaves, Bashir checks on Doctor Mora only to be attacked by a strange creature that has broken in through the air ducts. Using a laser scalpel, Bashir manages to chase it off and calls security.
Using the organic sample found in the science lab, Dax begins to determine what this creature is. Doctor Mora visits Odo and informs him that, while Dax is unaware of it, he believes that the organic sample belongs to Odo. Afraid that Odo has turned into an uncontrollable creature while he regenerates, Dr Mora cautions Odo against telling his friends as they will not understand. It soon becomes clear that Mora wants more from Odo than what he can give. As Mora drills Odo on whether he is innocent or not, Odo begins to transform into a beast in from of Mora’s eyes. Odomonster flees and begins hiding in the air ducts. Mora arrives in ops and informs the crew that this thing is not Odo but is using Odo as a vessel.
Mora volunteers to use himself as bait in a trap for Odomonster and Sisko begins his plan to capture it. After a short wait, Odomonster appears and attempts to attack Dr. Mora. It is only when O’brein uses the security shields do they manage to capture the creature. When O’brien drops the force field, Odo reappears and Doctor Mora helps Bashir clean the entity out of Odo’s system.
In the end, Odo and Mora begin their healing, as Mora asks Odo if he can be part of the Constables life again. Odo agrees.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
While this is a really slow episode with a pretty anti-climactic ending, it does shed some more light on Odo’s past, something that is still very much unknown at this point in the series.
We finally get to meet the man who Odo modeled himself after, one Doctor Mora. Mora is a scientist through and through and it seems that he still resents the fact that Odo has chosen to leave him to pursue other things. It is only when Mora finds something that could be a key to Odo’s past that the good Doctor returns to work with the shape-shifting constable. That being said, it heavily indicates that Mora has not stopped his research into Odo and his past with him even claiming that Odo is his greatest scientific achievement.
Overall it is a decent episode that answers some questions while opening up many many more in it’s stead.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
In this episode Commander Sisko implies that his dad died sometime in the past however his father appears in later episodes. What is Sisko hiding and will we find out why? Lets keep watching and find out shall we?
I did find it interesting that they used magnetic shavings to portray the creature in it’s original form. This worked well as I never noticed it until now.
As it was mentioned in the episode, The Forsaken, we finally see that Odo modeled himself after Doctor Mora.
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Late To The Game 2/21/2021 (Originally published 5/6/2019)
also…doesn’t this next one look like it could be a Genesis Album cover?
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.
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