Although we are done with DS9 and have travelled back to the past with Enterprise, that doesn’t mean you can’t go back and catch up on the episodes you missed. You can find the rest here!
The origins of a deadly species and the love life of Jake Sisko are explored in the episode that was originally aired on October 31,1994, this is The Abandoned.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined. The Abandoned.
A child is left behind on DS9 that turns out to be one of the Federation’s most vicious enemies. Now Odo must determine what needs to be done, with the child before he hurts someone.
Story A: The Lost Child
Quark is approached by a female business associate who tells him that she has salvage for him from a ship that crashed in the Gamma Quadrant. After playing on his desires, she convinces him to buy the salvage only for him to end up with a load of scrap. As he is investigating the scrap, he discovers a small child in some sort of incubator pod.
Taking the child to the infirmary, Sisko is dismayed that Quark indirectly purchased a child. Julian indicates that the child appears very healthy considering how he was found in the wreckage of a ship. Although it appears the child may need to be placed in an orphanage, Sisko imminently takes a liking to the child, remembering his time raising Jake. The next morning, Sisko is summoned to the infirmary where he finds that the baby is not a baby anymore.
The child has grown from an infant to a 9 year old boy nearly overnight. The boy immediately begins asking questions, attempting to find out all he can about his surroundings. It is clear that the child is much more than he appears.
Julian discusses the situation Dax where he informs the Trill that the child is missing a key enzyme that the child requires. No sooner has Julian mentioned this, he is requested to the infirmary where it soon becomes clear that the boy is a young Jem’Hadar and he is enamored with Odo who he recognizes as one of the Founders.
Sisko informs the crew that the child will be sent to the Federation for further study but Odo objects, offering to take care of the kid himself in lieu of being used as a specimen. Sisko agrees to allow Odo some time with the kid before they have to release him to Starfleet warning the shapeshifter that he is dealing with a Jem’Hadar warrior. Taking the child out of confinement, it is soon clear that the child is having the negative affects of withdrawal from his missing enzyme. Odo convinces the child to let Julian take tests to find the missing enzyme and soon begins to get to know the young warrior.
Working with O’Brien, Odo finds a container with the drug that the Jem’Hadar boy is addicted to. Although they have very little of the enzyme, Julian begins to search for a way to synthesize the drug. In the meantime, they begin injecting the drug into the boy using a device found in the wreckage. Once it is clear that it is working, the boy indicates that he wants to stay with Odo and will not leave the shapeshifter’s side.
In Odo’s quarters, the young Jem’Hadar finds it difficult to accept that he does not have to listen to his own implanted controls. Asking to be shown who his people are, Odo shows him footage of the attack on the Defiant and is soon shocked to learn the boy finds his people to be exactly as he expected. Odo takes the boy to the holosuite to allow him to express his feelings of aggression and violence on holographic people, with the understanding that it stays withing the walls of the suite. Watching the boy fight, it soon becomes clear that he has a lion in a cage waiting to break out. Odo is summoned to meet with Sisko and the shapeshifter instructs the boy to report to his quarters. When Ben Sisko informs Odo that Star Fleet is coming to retrieve the young man, he appears out of no where and kidnaps Odo intending to take him back to the Gamma Quadrant with him.
Odo pleads with the young warrior to not go back to his people but soon learns that the Jem’Hadar is genetically predisposition to go back home, no matter the cost. Willing to take him anywhere, Odo is unable to convince the young warrior of any other option. Odo asks permission from Sisko to take the boy home as he would only end up killing members of the Star Fleet crew dispatched to retrieve him.
Odo returns acknowledging that the Jem’Hadar can not be reasoned with, no matter what age they are.
Story B: The Many Loves of Jake Sisko.
Jake meets with his his Dabo Girl girlfriend, Mardah, where he learns that his father has invited her to dinner, much to his surprise. While it is clear he is in love, it is also clear he is concerned about what could happen.
That evening, Jake confronts his father with what he has learned, telling Ben that he is upset with Mardah being invited to dinner without notice. He doesn’t like being caught by surprise but seems worried about his father meeting his Bajoran Dabo Girl girlfriend.
Although Ben makes it clear he does not want his 16 year old son dating a 20 year old woman, he goes through with the dinner to learn more and try and put a stop to Jake’s latest love. That night, although uncomfortable in the situation, Ben gets to know more about his son’s girlfriend and Jake himself.
After having a pleasant dinner with Mardah and Jake, Ben realizes that he needs to let them be together as long as it lasts. This is his son’s life and he can not interfere.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This one is an episode that, while it has a pretty basic story, it sets up quite a few things to come from both the Dominion side and from Jake Sisko’s personal journey.
Lets start with the Dominion and their use of the Jem’Hadar. Seeing the child grow from an infant to a fully mature functioning adult in a matter of days tells Sisko and in turn Star Fleet that the Dominion could grow an army in a matter of days without so much as batting an eye. That, no matte how many of the Jem’Hadar warriors they take out, there will always be more being grown behind them allowing the Dominion to have swarms of these brutal warriors pour out of the wormhole with nothing to stop them. In many ways, this event could have easily been a demoralizing tool being used by the Dominion to show Star Fleet just how powerful they are. I find it really hard to believe that this boy was just abandoned on a crashed ship but then again, if they are so easy to make then maybe they are easily disposed of as well.
Additionally, this give us a slight glimpse at the Jem’Hadar’s biggest weakness, Ketracel-White. While not named in this episode, this is the first time it is seen and shown that the Jem’Hadar are addicted to it. This weakness will be revisited in the future.
As the Jem’Hadar boy grew up to become the warrior he was predestined to be, we had another coming of age story in Jake’s part of the episode. For Jake it was a matter of finding himself and being afraid his father would not approve of his life choices. While Jake feels he loves the 20-year-old Dabo Girl, Mardah, Ben knows that it is only a matter of time before his son’s heart is broken when this relationship comes to an end. Ben is ready to pass judgement on Mardah but instead learns a great deal about his own son in the process, leading him to realize that he needs to trust Jake to make his own choices.
All in all it is a solid episode directed by none other than Commander Sisko himself, Avery Brooks.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
Odo gets his own quarters in this one and finally uses his bucket for something other than sleeping in.
We learn that Jake is a writer, leading to some interesting Jake episodes to come.
This is certainly not the last time we will see the Jem’Hadar but we never do find out what happened to the young nameless Jem’Hadar from this episode. I assume he fought and died bravely in battle.
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: Civil Defense
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.
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Late To The Game 5/1/2021 (Originally published 6/21/2019)
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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