Odo is forced to make a choice between his friends and a chance to join one of his own. Originally broadcast on February 17, 1999 this is Chimera.
Station Log Stardate undetermined: Chimera
When Odo meets another changling from the One Hundred that were sent out when he was, he is faced with a chance to be with one of his own that has yet to be tainted by the Dominion.
Returning from a mission, Odo and O’Brien encounter a strange life-form in space that turns out to be another shapeshifter.
After boarding their ship, Odo and O’Brien are surprised to learn that the changeling is an explorer who has never seen another of his kind. Allowing himself to be taken into their custody, the shapeshifter returns to DS9 with Odo and O’Brien. There Odo explains to Sisko that this newcomer is not one of the Founders but in fact one of the 100 changelings who were sent to explore the galaxy. Odo is instant to be allowed to work with his new friend and Sisko agrees.
Calling himself Laas, the changeling explains that he has been aware for over 200 years exploring the galaxy in search of his own kind. Over time, Odo learns that Laas has formed a separation from ‘solids’ as he has already experienced all he cares to with other people. When Odo explains the Great Link, Lass is excited to join with his new friend in a link experiencing something new for the first time in centuries. After the link, Laas informs Odo that he knows the truth about Odo’s choices. Without Kira, Odo would have joined his people despite the fact they are at war with the Federation.
Soon Odo introduces Laas to the rest of the crew and it soon becomes awkward with the new shapeshifters bluntness. His experiences has taught him that solids are not to be trusted as they tend to destroy the environments they live in with little regard to the natural process. Odo is embarrassed but Laas explains that he has had centuries of existence to pull from and has learned much. Laas soon proposes that he and Odo leave the station and track down the other 100. Odo has much to consider.
Discussing the matter with Kira, Odo explains that Laas’ offer was tempting. Kira is upset that Odo might not be happy on the station and she is afraid Odo wants to leave her and their friends. While he is indeed tempted to explore the Galaxy as a changeling, he tells her that he loves her and is happy there with his friends.
Odo visits Laas and informs his new friend that he will not be joining in the changelings search for others. After discussing the matter, Laas agrees to stay on the station a little longer but soon he proves to be a bit of a nuisance when he begins disrupting station life taking the form of fog, filling the promenade with his gaseous form. Laas is soon confronted by Klingons and inadvertently kills one of them. Soon the Klingons press charges and Sisko is concerned that Laas’ presence is causing issues. With Odo taken off of duty until Laas can be tried for his crime, the Constable finds himself at odds with everyone else. Visiting his new friend, Laas’ reminds Odo that he tried to warn the constable about the natural statue of solids. Laas’ is sure that he is doomed to be committed to death but only hopes that this serves as a lesson to Odo about the Solid’s true feelings.
Discussing the matter with Kira, Odo tells her that he wishes he had taken Laas’ up on his offer and left to search for the others as changelings. He is clearly torn by nature and his choices causing Kira to realize what she must do. Going to Laas’ holding cell, Kira frees the changeling informing him that she loves Odo and wants what is best for her friend. Getting the news, Sisko is furious at the situation and asks his crew to do everything they can to find the escaped prisoner. Kira informs Odo of what she has done and tells Odo that this is his chance to join Laas’ in his search for the other one-hundred. Giving him up, Kira lets Odo go to join Laas. Odo finds the location where Kira sent Laas and informs his new friend that he will not be joining him. Laas, dissapointed, can not comprehend why Kira let Odo leave. Odo says farewell to his new friend and is saddened when Laas refuses to link one final time.
Back on the station, Kira is surprised when Odo returns to her. The two realize that they were meant to be with each other in any form they choose.The two Odo turns into a bright light for Kira and the two embrace in their natural forms.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Although I have mentioned in the past that I am not a big fan of the Odo/Kira relationship coming to fruition, I have to admit, Nana Visitor and Rene Auberjonois make it work perfectly. There is not a moment in the episode, or the season, that you are not utterly convinced of their love for one another and that in and of itself is enough to appreciate it.
That being said, this episode firmly establishes that, although Odo is deeply in love with Kira, he longs to be back with his own people. Sadly, should he choose to return to them, it would be to a place that Kira could never follow.
One incredible standout in this one is that of J.G. Hertzler in the role of Laas. Hertzler is best known for his portrayal of General Martok and, while that role has become iconic to the series, his appearance as Laas is nothing short of amazing. While Martok is loud, angry and boisterous, Laas is practically the complete opposite coming across as almost uncaring at times. If I had not seen his name in the credits, I would have never guessed that this was the same actor suggesting that Hertzler may, in fact, be a changling himself.
All in all, this is a great episode that really gives more weight for things to come. While we never see Laas again, which is somewhat of a miss in my book, the concept that there could be a whole separate Great Link being formed by The 100 is an intriguing one. I kinda hope that CBS explores this in their multiple upcoming series as it is ripe for a good story.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Through Laas, Odo discovers he can become more than just other solid objects, in fact he can become pretty much any form of matter.
- While Martok is mentioned he is never seen. I imagine the time in the makeup chair for Hertzler would have been too much if both characters appeared but I find it interesting that Hertzler played both sides of a fight, the Klingon pressing charges and the alien being charged.
- This isnt the first time Hertzler played a changeling. In fact, if you remember, early appearances of Martok were in fact a changling infiltrator.
- I also love how we are introduced to Laas as a space borne entity. I have to wonder if Odo ever tried doing that himself afterward.
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Late To The Game 3/6/2020
and because this was too good to pass up, you get two!!
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