Life changing event happen to two characters in the episode that originally aired on April 29, 1996. This is The Muse.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined: The Muse
A strange Woman comes to Jake to help him write his novel while Odo deals with a pregnant Lwaxana Troi.
Story A: Jake’s Muse:
Jake watches the passengers disembark onto the Promenade when he notices one of the passengers who seems to also notice him. Jake heads to the replomat where he runs into the woman that caught his eye. She immediately shows interest in Jake’s creativity and is fascinated by his writing. He is shocked to learn that she once worked with a famous Cardassian architect named Tavor Kell and she soon gets Jake to agree to let her help him ‘bring his abilities to the surface.’ He agrees to meet her in her quarters that night and soon cancels a trip with his father in order to meet with her.
That night, Jake visits Onaya in her quarters where he finds her waiting for him. He is clearly nervous and she immediately reassures him that she only has the intention to spur his creativity and not anything else. Handing him a pen used by the famous writer Revalus and a ream of paper, Onaya starts to draw out Jake’s creativity but also something else…
Jake continues to write as Onaya siphons off energy from the young Sisko soon causing him to develop a nose bleed. Determined to keep writing, despite the wound, he does not stop. Soon Onaya forces Jake to stop as he is getting weaker but the young man refuses at first. Heading to the Promenade, Jake collapses in the replimat.
Julian summons Ben Sisko back to the station where he explains that there is something stimulating Jake’s Brain to a level that is killing him. Jake begins calling for Onaya and Ben is determined to find out who this person is. That night Onaya returns to Jake in the Infirmity where she takes him away.
Captain Sisko, Julian and O’Brien find psionic residue on the walls and begins to track down Jake and Onaya before it is too late. Just as Onaya is finishing him off, Ben finds them together. Failing to beam him out, he confronts Onaya where she confesses that she has been a muse for an innumerable amount of talent. Jake was to be her next victim allowing her to feed while Jake gains immortality through his writing. Knowing she is caught, she forms into an energy form and leaves the station before anyone can stop her.
Ben tells his son that he is impressed with the novel that he has written and, even though Jake doesn’t feel that it is his, Ben sees that this novel will be finished one day. Interestingly enough he is right…as we have seen the Novel Anslem before.
Story B: Odo’s honorable offer
Odo arrives in his office to find Lwaxana Troi crying. She soon reveals to him that she is pregnant.
Lwaxana soon tells Odo that she is afraid that her husband is planning to take her baby as soon as the child is born due to the Tavnian culture of separating the sexes. Odo tries to reason with the Betazoid woman but in the end Lwaxana asks the shapeshifter to protect her from her husband.
After thoroughly depressing the rest of the crew, Odo escorts Lwaxana to his quarters and they have some tea together. Lwaxana asks Odo about his love life and Odo explains the loss of Kira to first Minister Shakaar. She laments with him and soon they settle in with Odo forming one of his arms into a blanket to comfort his grieving friend.
Later, Odo and Lwaxana participate in a version of Hide and Seek with her searching him out in his shape-shifted form. Soon his is notified that Lwaxana’s husband has arrived and he heads to the security office to meet with him. Jeyal makes it clear that he has no plan to leave the station until he claims his son. Odo, indicates that he plans to make it so the man can not touch the child as under Tavnian law, the Mother’s Husband has rights over the child, not the child’s father. Odo offers Lwaxana his hand and marriage but Lwaxana warns him that Odo must convince Jeyal that he wants to marry Lwaxana or the ruse will not work.
Odo calls his friends together to witness the wedding and everyone, including Jeyal attend. Odo declares his intentions to the group and soon Jeyal challenges Odo’s feelings for Lwaxana. Soon Odo, clearly uncomfortable, opens up to the group and makes it clear that he actually cares for her. Odo is married and Jeyal tells Lwaxana that he is sad to see her go, asking her to speak well of him with their son. Jeyal leaves and Lwaxana thanks Odo for faking his love for her, even though it is obvious that Odo does care for the Betazoid Woman.
Odo is saddened when Lwaxana informs him that she is heading back to Betazed. He begs her to stay but she informs him that, even though she is in love with him, she knows that he is really not in love with her. His heart belongs to Major Kira and her friendship with Odo is far to important to her despite their being married. They part, much to each others dismay.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
When this episode came up for review, I will be honest, I was dreading it. My memory of the episode was not very flattering and frankly I didn’t care to sit through it again. Boy, was my memory not accurate.
This season has had very little for Jake Sisko to do. Ever since Nog was shipped off to Star Fleet Academy, Jake has been shunted off to the side going multiple episodes without even appearing. It seems that while Nog has been away, Jake has been laboring on his one true love, writing. The problem is, he’s young and, as with most young writers, he is finding the desire to create to be a bigger challenge than he ever imagined. Enter Onaya The Muse.
We know little about Onaya (played by Meg Foster) other than she is ancient and has been inspiring writers for centuries. Sadly, anyone she inspires seems to die pretty soon after but, as she claims, their names live on well after their deaths. In many ways, Onaya is the Star Trek equivalent to a Vampire. Seeking out specific people for her to feed on, she leaves immortality in her wake but that immortality comes with a price, the creators own life.
Jake’s journey is far from over and, as we saw in The Visitor, he is destined to become quite the well known writer. In a way, I kinda hope we get to see Jake again in a future series, or at least a reference to one of his books.
On the flip side, this is a major turning point for Odo and, to a lesser degree, Lwaxana Troi. Odo’s love life has been a constant topic on the series with his pursuit of Kira coming to a critical halt only a shortly before this episode. Having been alone most of his life, it seems that Odo has really developed more as a character in the past four years than he did prior to the Federation taking over DS9. In the short time he has not only fallen in love but found (and lost) his people, been captured, faced certain death and much more, creating the Odo we know and love. All this time there has been one person who has found him irresistible and that person was everyone’s favorite Betazoid, Lwaxana Troi.
Now, initially Lwaxana came across to him as the man hungry cougar that she portrayed in her time on STNG, but that all came to an end when they shared a moment together that revealed their true selves to one another. It seems that, behind all of the intense bravado, both Lwaxana and Odo were just people who wanted to belong, who wanted someone to belong with. With this revelation a deep and profound friendship emerged that never ended. This deep friendship and personal respect led Odo to ‘settle’ and marry Lwaxana even though she knew he would always be in love with someone else.
All in all, this is a great character development episode that really dives deeper into two characters that really haven’t gotten a chance to shine this season. These kind of episodes are rare but when they hit, they tend to really make an impact.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- When Onaya invites Jake to her quarters, I have to think he really believed that she wasn’t just going to show him writing techniques.
- We never see nor hear from Onaya again even though she is still out there…waiting…
- So, for a brief moment in time, Odo was Deanna Troi’s Step Father.
- I have to wonder what happened to Lwaxana’s son and if Deanna ever met him. Maybe he will show up in a later series?
- This episode marks the final appearance of Lwaxana Troi and the final appearance of Majel Barrett on Star Trek. Sadly Barrett passed in December of 2008.
- Michael Ansara appears in this episode as Lwaxana’s husband Jeyal. Ansara had previously appeared as Kang in both this series and the Original Series.
On a side note, We lost one of the Niner’s this past weekend and I wanted to take a moment to recognize him. Aron Eisenberg, who played Nog, passed away this past Saturday 9/21/2019. Our hearts go out to his friends and family. Aron was the best of us and he will be missed.
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: For The Cause
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Late To The Game 9/26/2021 (Originally published 9/23/2019)
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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