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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 03 E 14 Heart Of Stone

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"Come on, Odo, it's pretty ridiculous, don't you think? The two of us being outsmarted... by a chunk of crystal?"
While pursuing a Maquis vessel, Odo and Major Kira wind up trapped on a small moon in the Badlands. Kira's foot is caught in some kind of growing, expanding crystal that will eventually overtake her entire body, and Odo isn't able to remove it or transport her back to the runabout, being forced to helplessly watch as the situation grows more and more desperate.
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Meanwhile, back on DS9, Nog seeks a recommendation from Commander Sisko for his application to Starfleet Academy.

Tropes:

  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: Odo has taken a liking to Earth detective novels, being loaned some by O'Brien.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Odo to Kira. Except it turns out that it isn't really Kira.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Sisko is going mad trying to figure out what Nog's angle is in joining Starfleet. Finally he gets so frustrated he physically shakes Nog, demanding a reason... only to immediately regret it when Nog tells him that he's afraid that he'll wind up failing like Rom.
  • As You Know: Odo explaining to Kira how Bajoran scientists were supervised by Cardassians during the occupation.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Odo doesn't use weapons as a rule, and dislikes the idea of carrying phasers on principle, but when he sees through the fake Kira's story, his response is to grab a phaser, aim it at the imposter, and demand to know where the real Kira is. Even when the imposter reveals herself as the Female Changeling, Odo doesn't lower the weapon, ignoring her assumption that he wouldn't harm one of his own people.
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  • Call-Back: O'Brien's kayaking hobby, first mentioned in "Transfigurations" is mentioned by Odo. This includes how often he dislocates his shoulder.
  • Character Development: One of Deep Space Nine's most stunning examples. Literally one episode ago, Nog was just being a typical Ferengi male chauvinist to the point that he was embarrassing Jake in public. All of a sudden, he reveals his deepest fears to Sisko, and we can never look at him the same again.
    • Similarly, Sisko has always been openly disdainful of Nog to various extents, treating him with at best a sort of cavalier indifference. When he suddenly realizes that Nog's issue is one of a divide between him and his father, the pain and regret is obvious on his face as he listens to Nog speak. It would later turn out that Ben is someone who fully understands the pain that a divide between father and son can create. After this he would take a somewhat more paternal approach to Nog.
  • Determinator: Nog is bound and determined to join Starfleet, despite everyone thinking it's a joke or a prank. He spends the whole episode pursuing Sisko's recommendation for his application, and gets it when he proves he's serious.
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  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The Female Changeling assumes that Odo's love for Kira is the only thing keeping him from joining the Founders, blindly ignoring his contempt for the Dominion's tyranny.
  • Exact Words: Sisko tries to dissuade Nog by telling him that, as a non-Federation citizen, he'll need a letter of recommendation from a command-level officer. A command-level officer... like Commander Sisko.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Subverted; Quark is a fantasy forbidding uncle, but Rom refuses to fall in with his brother's wishes, giving Nog his blessing in joining Starfleet and expressing pride in his son.
  • Foreshadowing: Odo is unable to get a good reading on the crystal that's slowly encasing Kira, and notes that it's almost like the crystal is mutating continuously to keep them from finding out what it is. That is exactly the case.
    • When Odo threatens the female Founder, she doesn't believe he could hurt her, as "No changeling has ever harmed another," but Odo replies that there's always a first time. In the season finale, Odo does in fact become the first changeling to ever harm another.
  • Hidden Depths: While Rom has been fixing the odd broken replicator in the bar, this is the first time that it's mentioned he's actually a mechanical genius who could have been chief engineer of a starship had he been given the opportunity. Season 4 would clearly demonstrate this instead of it just being an Informed Ability.
  • I Am Not My Father: Why Nog is so dead-set on joining Starfleet. He doesn't want to waste his engineering skills like his father. Toyed with in the final scene, when, after Rom gives him permission to go to Starfleet Academy and Quark declares them both insane, Nog proudly replies, "Like father, like son."
  • I Can't Believe a Girl Like You Would Notice Me: Odo doesn't believe that Kira would look at him that way, and it's what tips him off that it's not really her.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When Jake hears Nog wants to join Starfleet, he immediately assumes it was a joke and tells his father as much. It wasn't a joke, and Nog's reasons are not a laughing matter.
  • Kick the Dog: The Female Changeling takes a moment to express her belief that Kira could never come to love Odo before beaming away.
  • Kill and Replace: Implied to be the fate of the original owner of the Maquis Raider used by the Female Changeling.
  • Loser Son of Loser Dad: Nog is scared that he'll become this trope, knowing that Rom's life hasn't turned out so great.
  • Mandatory Line: Bashir appears briefly to talk about one of the officers on the station (see Mr. Seahorse below), a conversation which is completely unrelated to the rest of the episode.
  • Mr. Seahorse: Sisko and Bashir discuss an upcoming baby shower for one Ensign Vilix'pran, who is about to become a daddy.
  • Name One:
    Odo: After all, we've been in worse situations than this one and come out all right.
    Kira: Name three.
    Kira: I can't think of any either.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Nog starts his application for Starfleet by offering Sisko the requisite bribe, as per Ferengi tradition. Subverted slightly since Nog was trying to purchase an apprenticeship, one could look at it as a fee. Of course, given how Ferengi society works...
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Odo knows Kira doesn't love him, and neither would she lie just to make him happy.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Odo never uses phasers. When he points one at the Female Changeling, you KNOW he's pissed.
  • Planet of Hats: Harshly Deconstructed. Rom may be a Gadgeteer Genius, but he's gotten nowhere in life because he fails to live up to the Ferengi ideals of business. Nog realizes that about himself as well, which is why he's decided to join Starfleet.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Inverted, as the sight of Kira being slowly engulfed by the crystal and Odo struggling to free her calls this trope to mind.
  • Reality Ensues: Jadzia invokes this trope on Nog, bringing him to the cargo bay and giving him hours of inventory work to do. Her point, of course, is that Starfleet, for all the adventure and discoveries, is often just hard work. Subverted when Jadzia reports back to Sisko that Nog finished the inventory in record time, and he found some things that previous reports missed! It seems that all the time Nog put in at Quark's bar actually paid off.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Sisko is as skeptical as everyone else about Nog's sudden desire to attend Starfleet Academy, but he goes out of his way to give Nog a chance to prove himself before making up his mind.
  • So Proud of You: Rom defies Quark and proudly lets Nog enlist in Starfleet.
  • Spotting the Thread: Aside from his observations of Kira in the past, Odo's first clue that all is not right is that the phaser marks from the supposed Maquis are directly behind Kira, meaning she should have been hit.
  • Techno Babble: Odo comes up with some involving an ultrasonic generator. It doesn't work.
  • That's an Order!: Kira to Odo, when she's trying to get him to leave her behind so that he doesn't risk being killed by the seismic tremors causing the cave to collapse. He doesn't listen.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Odo attempts to transmit an emergency message from the Badlands, and the computer informs him that they should receive the message in approximately two days, because the plot depends on Odo and Kira being stuck where they are with no hope of outside help.
  • The Trickster: The Maquis vessel was the female Changeling all along. She lured Odo and Kira out to the Badlands, then kidnapped Kira and impersonated her in an attempt to get Odo to come join the Dominion.
  • Wham Episode: A minor example. Odo reveals that he's been in love with Kira for years. Meanwhile, Nog's climactic scene with Sisko changes his whole arc, and Rom's by proxy, for the rest of the series.
  • Wham Line: Nog proving to Sisko, once and for all, that this whole Starfleet thing is no joke.
    Sisko (shaking Nog by the shoulders): Come on, Nog, tell me! Why is it so damned important that you get into Starfleet? Why are you doing this?!
    Nog: Because I don't want to end up like my father!
  • What Have I Done: Commander Sisko after Nog reveals the reason he wants to join Starfleet: he's ashamed of his father. Commander Sisko looks like he got a Gut Punch from himself for not believing him and making him reveal it.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: The Female Changeling says this when Odo points a phaser at her, reminding him that no Changeling has ever harmed another. Odo's response? "There's always a first time."
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