Four pain-in-the-ass Federation diplomats have come aboard DS9. And unluckily for Bashir, Sisko has foisted three of them off on him.
The fourth? None other than Lwaxana Troi. While she plays at the Dabo table, she loudly exclaims her brooch has been stolen. Though she doesn't sense any guilt in the room, Odo deduces and proves it's a random Dopterian. Distant cousins of the Ferengi, and thus immune to mind-reading. And much to Odo's chagrin, Lwaxana instantly takes a shine to him.
Meanwhile, O'Brien is fighting with the notoriously finicky Cardassian computer system. A problem not helped when a mysterious probe comes through the wormhole.
After nearly getting the Changeling equivalent of his bones jumped by Lwaxana, Odo actually asks for Sisko's help in getting her to leave him alone. Sisko merely laughs him off, and tells him to handle it.
The probe meanwhile is interfering with the stations computers systems, knocking random ones out at random intervals.
And just his luck, Odo happens to be in a lift with Lwaxana when the power cuts out. The transporters are down, he can't shape-shift out, and power restoration could take hours. In short, he's having a really bad day.
Lwaxana passes by the time by talking, even recounting her experiences from "Menage A Troi". Odo, being polite as possible, tries figuring how many volts are in the lift. Though after a while, he shares his stories with her. About being examined by scientists and being used as a party favor. And why he' so "Self-sufficient".
While the ops station tries figuring out how to expel the probes influence from their computers, Sisko asks Kira if she knows Odo's regeneration cycle schedule.
Turns out it's hour 15 of his 16 hour cycle. And he can barely hold himself together. He's more than ashamed of being in this state around someone. As he explains, it's very private. So Lwaxana shares a private secret with him. Her "hair". Well, her wig. She wears it because he regular hair is "Too normal." After sharing this little moment, Lwaxana makes a bucket out of her skirt so Odo can revert to his liquid state.
O'Brien meanwhile has figured out the problem. Comparing the mysterious program to a puppy, he realizes he's been trying to deprive it of what it wants. And after giving it just that, the program becomes benign and all systems are returned to normal. O'Brien decides to keep it, and is advised by Sisko to "Keep it off the furniture."
Lwaxana and Odo emerge from the lift, both back to their regular appearance, and part ways as friends.
And as for Bashir? He gets recommended for a commendation by the three diplomats when he saves them from an exploding corridor fire.
- Adorkable: You wouldn't think Odo of all people could be this. But his sheer confusion about Lwaxana's flirting is most assuredly this.
- "Ass" in Ambassador: Four of them! And poor Bashir gets stuck with three, while the fourth latches on to Odo.
- Body Horror: Odo struggling to maintain his shape as he nears his regeneration period. This is the first time we see Odo in a deteriorating state, and it certainly won't be the last.
- Boldly Coming: Lwaxana has no qualms about swimming the river Odo.Odo: Every sixteen hours, I turn into a liquid!Lwaxana: I can swim.
- Call-Back: At one point, Odo sticks his head out of a turbolift, looks both ways to see if Lwaxana's nearby, and walks out just in time for her to ambush him—just like Picard did in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Half a Life."
- Bashir's sarcastic comment to the ambassadors that life is one adventure after another on the frontier echoes and mocks his own excitement from the first episode.
- Continuity Nod: While trapped in the lift, Lwaxana recounts her experiences from the Next Generation episode "Menage A Troi".
- Double Standard: Stalking, Female After Male: An egregious example. Odo's discomfiture over Lwaxana's unwanted attentions is Played for Laughs throughout, and Sisko gives him the brush-off when he asks for help. Try to imagine a female officer with a difficult upbringing and poor social skills dealing with a male suitor who won't take no for an answer getting treated the same way. What makes it worse is that Sisko comments in this very episode that once when he saw a male ambassador sexually harassing a female officer, he dealt with it by punching the ambassador in question.
- Enmity with an Object: O'Brien declares the station's Cardassian computer to be his arch-enemy, something that Sisko doesn't fully understand.
- First-Name Basis: After spending The Teaser being fairly uptight and demanding Julian refer to her by her full proper title, the Arbazan ambassador, after Julian rescues her and her colleagues from a fire, asks that he now refer to her as "Taxco".
- Hidden Depths: Though she starts off as flirting with him, Lwaxana shows a surprising amount of compassion towards Odo once she can see that he's in distress.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: The first time Odo wants to get away from Lwaxana, he says he hears the com system calling him to Ops. (He doesn't.) The second time, he says he needs to inspect an upper pylon. Lwaxana happily tags along.
- Insistent Terminology: Madam Ambassador Taxco. Though she lightens up after Bashir saves her and the other two ambassadors from a burning corridor.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: O'Brien asks Sisko to listen closely to the computer's voice and see if he notices anything interesting. He's not actually talking about the fact that the computer has the same voice as Guest Star Lwaxana Troi.
- Mathematician's Answer: In this exchange.Lwaxana: Is Odo your first or last name?Odo: Yes.
- No OSHA Compliance: We see what it's like to be in a Cardassian turbolift while it's moving. No walls or even a door to protect the occupants from the transit shaft. It's also mentioned that Cardassian turbolifts run fully exposed power lines to the car, meaning that it's impossible for someone to use an exit hatch (or Odo to squeeze out through the gaps in liquid form) for risk of being electrocuted.
- Not Me This Time: Quark may have little respect for others' property rights, but he didn't steal Lwaxana's hair brooch. Odo even sides with him on that one, though he gets in an insult while doing it.
- Odd Friendship: At the end of the episode, Odo and Lwaxana have become friends.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: For the computer. O'Brien points out how odd it is when it stops arguing with him.
- Please Don't Leave Me: The alien probe's computer program is starved for attention and willing to do anything to ensure O'Brien gives it attention, up to and including interfereing with the station's computer and putting its occupants in mortal peril.
- Punishment Detail: How Bashir sees his assignment. Sisko mentions to him how when he was a junior officer, Curzon used to make him escort pompous ambassadors as well to keep them busy.Sisko: As a matter of fact, Curzon Dax used to take perverse pleasure in assigning me to take care of VIP guests.
Bashir: Oh, so now you take the same perverse pleasure in doing it to me.
- Read the Fine Print: Quark's establishment is in no way responsible for lost or stolen items. It's clearly listed above the door, so high up that you're likely to miss it.
- Rescue Romance: Sort of. Odo saves Lwaxana's hair brooch instead of her life, but that's apparently enough.
- Shout-Out: The ops teams attempt to disarm the computer is an obvious nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Odo spends half the episode in one with Lwaxana, courtesy of an Elevator Failure.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The "puppy" AI is never mentioned again, even though you'd think it would come up during the Dominion occupation.
- Would Rather Suffer: Odo, trapped in a turbolift with Lwaxana and listening to her prattle on, finds himself wondering how many volts are in an open panel.
- You Need to Get Laid: When Odo complains to Sisko about Lwaxana's aggressive pursuit, Sisko suggests that he allow her to catch him.