Revelations and a new beginning. All of this and more in the episode that originally aired on February 6th, 1995. This is Heart of Stone.
Station Log Stardate 48521.5 Heart of Stone
Kira is trapped in an expanding crystal that threatens her life with Odo desperately trying to find a way to save her. Meanwhile, Nog approaches Sisko with a surprise request.
Story A: Trapped
After returning from a mission, Odo and Kira detect a Maquis attack on a Lissepian ship and head out to investigate. Tracking the Maquis ship near the Badlands, the two venture down to the surface of a moon that can not be scanned by their sensors.
Searching the moon’s caves for the Maquis renegades, Odo and Kira split up. Before long Kira contacts Odo pleading for help, claiming that she is trapped. Odo arrives to find the Major stuck to the ground with a strange crystal formation growing around her foot. Despite their attempts, they are unable to remove the crystal, in fact, the attempts seem to only make the problem worse. The problem is even more compounded when Odo discovers that they can not beam out due to the interference from the caves. Despite Odo’s reluctance, the shapeshifter decides to head back to the runabout in order beam Kira back.
Returning, Odo is distressed to discover that, not only can he not beam Kira back, he can not send an SOS to Deep Space Nine. Launching a probe, he discovers that they will be stuck on the moon for a few days until help arrives. Returning to Kira he is shocked to hear phaser fire and finds his friend claiming that the Maquis agent had just fled the room. He notes that the crystal has grown larger.
Before long the crystal has grown halfway up Kira’s body with no signs of slowing. Odo begins to suspect that the Maquis renegade deliberately trapped them in the cave with the intention for this very thing to happen. Odo remembers an event that helps shatter another crystal and decides to try to build a device that can shatter the one Kira is tapped in. Odo soon begins working on the device and the two begin conversing to help Kira ignore the threat. Much to her surprise, Odo tells Kira about his plans to go kayaking with O’Brien in the holosuites when he returns to the station. Just as they begin discussing his plans, the cave is rocked by a quake causing Odo to use his own body to protect his friend. Soon, it becomes clear that Kira is frighted that she will not survive.
The device is clearly a failure and it soon becomes clear that Odo is not going to be able to rescue Kira. As he talks to Kira, and tells her that even though his name comes from the Cardassian word for Nothing, their friendship has made him see his name as representative of him and means something.
Odo is frustrated that he can not find a solution to their problem and Kira orders him to leave her to let her die as there is no chance of saving her. Odo finally breaks down and tells her that he loves her to which Kira replies that she too is in love with him.
Before long, Odo realizes that there is something wrong, that nothing makes sense. He determines that Kira has been lying to him about the Maquis and her claim to be in love with him. Challenging Kira as to her gravitas, he points a phaser at her only to discover that she is in fact the Female Changeling. The Changeling congratulates him as to his revelation and admits that she was the very fugitive they were chasing. Now knowing that Major Kira is one of the reasons that Odo has remained with the Solids, she reluctantly tells Odo where Kira is. The Female Changeling informs Odo that Kira will never love him as he is a changeling and then beams away. Odo rescues Kira just as the cave begins to collapse and the two flee the moon together.
Upon returning to the station, Odo tells Kira what happened, leaving out that the he confessed his love for her to the shapeshifter.
Story B: The Apprentice
Nog arrives in Ops demanding to be given an audience with Sisko concerning an urgent matter. Letting him in, Sisko is surprised to find that Nog wants to apprentice under the Commander as Nog has just become an adult in the Ferengi culture. Nog is determined that he wants to be the first Ferengi in Starfleet and sees Sisko as his only way in. Sisko tells the young Ferengi that he will consider sending a recommendation letter to Star Fleet for Nog.
Late Nog and Rom find themselves attempting to repair the replicators at Quarks bar despite Quarks apparent lack of appreciation for their efforts. Soon Jake comes in and tells Nog that the Ferengi’s joke was great, sparking Nog to realize that his friend may have sabotaged Nog’s chances to join Star Fleet. Jake apologies to Nog who is clearly upset. Despite his prodding to find out why, Nog refuses to tell his friend his motivation in his wish to attend Star Fleet Academy.
Discussing staff assignments, Ben Sisko and Bashir walk the promenade. Passing by Quarks, Ben is accosted by Nog who becomes upset that Sisko does not seem to be interested in considering the young man for a recommendation. Nog swears that he can do better and Sisko soon comes up with a chance to prove himself by conducting an inventory of Cargo Bay 12, which contains a considerable amount of valuable materials. Dax escorts the young Ferengi to the cargo bay informing him of the task at hand. Nog graciously accepts the challenge and begins his work. The next morning Dax informs Sisko that not only did Nog complete the task but did a better job than the last inventory. Sisko now must find out why Nog wants to join Star Fleet.
Despite Nog’s attempts, Sisko turns the young Ferengi down, telling him that he could never make it through Star Fleet and the Commander has no plans to entertain this latest scheme. Nog rebukes, telling Sisko that he wants this more than anything in his life. The young man tells Sisko that he doesn’t want to end up like his father, Rom, who has been chasing profit his entire life only to face failure. Nog knows that he will never be a successful business man and wants to make a name for himself. While Rom is a technical genius, he has no sense for business and is a failure. Nog wants to be the best he can be and sees Star Fleet as a way to prove himself. Sisko realizes that this is a real thing and agrees to send a letter of recommendation for the boy, telling him that the young man has a lot of work ahead of him.
Nog informs Quark and Rom that he is joining Star Fleet and Quark forbids it. Rom steps in and tells Quark that Nog has his blessing to go to Star Fleet Academy.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Appearing at first to be just another, search for the Maquis episode with a humorous B story, this ended up being one of the most important episodes of the season setting up some seriously huge events that would come later in the series.
Lets start with the Kira/Odo story.
Throughout the series it has been hinted at that Odo has had some deep affections for the Bajoran Major. Many times have we seen him upset when Kira mentions another love or goes out with another man, only to keep his mouth closed when he has an opportunity to tell her as he is scared of the reaction. When he finally tells Kira his feelings, he realizes that something is wrong when she immediately replies in kind, in very non-Kira fashion the fact that he has spoken it aloud now brings these feelings into reality for the first time in the series. Sure he has mentioned he cares for her but never with so much conviction and heart. While it will be a while before he even casually mentions this to Kira, this is the start of something that you simply can’t put back into the bottle.
Now, let’s talk about that shapeshifter. Notice how easy it was for her to take the form of Kira? Frightening huh? Makes you wonder who else they could have replaced. That plus the fact that the Female Changeling went to all of this effort to convince Odo to return to the Great Link really implies that they want or need Odo for some deeper reason? Is it information? Is it to convert him? or is it something less sinister, are they really that desperate to bring in a lost family member? Those answers come and boy are they interesting.
As for the Nog story, this one had some major revelations as well. The fact that Nog wants to join Star Fleet when, in the past, Jake made it clear he was not interested, is a bit of a change from the norm established with Wesley Crusher on STNG. While Sisko understood and respects his son’s wishes, you got the feeling that he was,understandably, dissapointed in this. Enter Nog.
So, when Nog comes around asking for a recommendation, Ben Sisko immediately thinks it is an elaborate plot by the young Ferengi. How could he support this young Ferengi after his own son rejected a potential Star Fleet career? I remember growing up, my own father assumed that I, too, would follow his path and become an educator of some sort. As I grew up, he kept insisting that I get my teaching certificate as I could always be a teacher should I have need of a job. Seeing the hardships my Father went through as a teacher, I had (and have) no interest in that particular field of work so I went into another field. My dad was proud of my career choice much like Rom is of Nogs and to this day he reminds me of that. All Nog wants is to find a better life than what his parents had, a wish we all want for ourselves.
Story wise, this sets off a chain of events that we will see escalate in the coming seasons. Trust me, Nog’s journey is far from over. Additionally, it is finally mentioned that Nog’s father Rom is in fact a skilled technician, something only hinted at in the past. This will come back around as well.
All in all, great stories, great character development and a wonderful segue into the back half of the season. Next up, a prophecy fulfilled…
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
We learn the secret of Odo’s name. It is derived from the word Unknown Sample which was translated to Odo’ital which means Nothing.
We finally see Rom stand up to Quark about something, this will not be the last time.
This is also not the last we will see of the Female Changeling…
There is a great reference to O’Brien Kayaking on the Enterprise, dislocating his shoulder. Seems the Chief still has his favorite past time.
New Rule of Acquisition! Rule #18 A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all.
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Late To The Game 5/29/2021 (Originally published 7/10/19)
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