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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 04 E 26 Broken Link

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Uh, Odo? You sure you don't need your old bucket?

Odo is falling apart. A sickness no one on the station can identify or fix. Which means there's only one solution: Head for the new Changeling homeworld and get them to fix him. But the Changelings have other ideas in store for him...


  • All of Them: Garak asks the Founder about survivors from the Cardassian attack on her homeworld:
    Founder: There were no Cardassian survivors.
    Garak: You mean they're all dead?
    Founder: They're dead. You're dead. Cardassia is dead. Your people were doomed the moment they attacked us. I believe that answers your question.
    Garak: [with his scariest smile] It was a pleasure meeting you.
  • Apocalypse How: Garak wanted to use the Defiant's weapons to turn the new Founder homeworld into a smoking cinder and was confident enough in the Defiant's abilities to do so before the Jem'Hadar wiped them out.
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  • As You Know: Odo mentioning that Gowron is the leader of the Klingon Empire, presumably to make sure the viewers can't miss the impact of the revelation about Gowron.
  • Body Horror: The way the female Changeling views Odo's fate. "Perhaps it would have been more merciful to kill you." Not to mention Odo falling apart throughout the episode.
  • Brick Joke: In the previous episode, Garak mentions that he wasn't always a tailor; he used to be a gardener. And while regaling Odo with tales of his time as a gardener at the Cardassian Embassy on Romulus, it's clear that his stay coincided with a number of mysterious deaths of Romulan officials.
  • Didn't Think This Through: While waiting for Odo on the Founders' homeworld, Bashir gets ready to skip a rock on the Great Link out of boredom. Sisko has to remind him that this is not a good idea.
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  • Easily Forgiven: Averted; Garak gets six months in a holding cell for assaulting Worf and trying to start a war with the Founders. Odo thinks he got off easy.
  • Fate Worse than Death: To the Founders, turning Odo into a Solid is this.
  • Girly Skirt Twirl: Garak's customer does this with her new dress.
  • Hive Mind: The Great Link is similar to this. Odo says that the other Founders were trying to hide information from him while Linked, including information on Gowron.
  • Honor Before Reason: Having spent his life bringing criminals to justice, Odo accepts that for breaking his people's cardinal law, it's his turn to be judged. This also means refusing any plans that involve rescuing him.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: The way the Bajoran woman holds out her hand to Odo, she seems to be expecting this. Odo, however, fails to catch on.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Garak tries to talk Worf into allowing him to wipe out the Founders. What's a bit of genocide to a Klingon warrior, after all?
    Worf: I am a warrior, not a murderer!
    Garak: What you are is a great disappointment.
  • I'm Melting!: The Founders' virus, which makes Odo unable to maintain his solid form. When he tries to apprehend a smuggler, he literally dissolves into a puddle.
  • Kick the Dog: The Founders leave Odo with the same face he always has. Odo speculates it's sort of a final "Screw you" from them.
  • The Matchmaker: Garak calls Odo into his tailor's shop where an attractive Bajoran woman who fancies him is buying a new dress. Odo is Adorkable in her presence, but fails to make a date.
  • Moral Myopia: When the female changeling tells Odo that he's going to be punished for killing a fellow changeling, Odo tries protesting that if he hadn't done so, it would have resulted in the deaths of everyone on the Defiant, to say nothing of those who would have died in the war he was trying to instigate. She curtly dismisses his argument, with the heavily-implied viewpoint that the life of a single changeling is worth more than that of every "solid" in existence.
  • Morning Sickness: The Bajoran variation involves sneezing, as Kira repeatedly demonstrates.
  • Naked on Arrival: Solid Odo.
  • Naked People Are Funny: An odd (and facetious) variation that starts when O'Brien comments on how flying the Defiant into the Gamma Quadrant without using the Invisibility Cloak makes him feel naked. When Worf and Sisko concur, Dax chuckles at "being in the same room with so many naked men."
  • Not So Above It All: Odo, despite trying to avoid falling victim to humanoid romantic desires, particularly regarding the woman Garak just introduced him to.
    Garak: But you have to admit — she is quite lovely.
    Odo: Hmm...she is, isn't she?
  • Pet the Dog: The Female Changeling acknowledges and respects the DS9 crew's loyalty to Odo by allowing them to accompany him to the new changeling homeworld, albeit under heavy guard. Doesn't stop her from kicking Garak while he's down.
  • Plot Hole: During their conversation in "To The Death," Weyoun was to leave after clasping Odo's shoulder, thereby infecting him with the virus. However, this shot did not make it into the finished episode, leaving it a bit unclear as to how the Founders infected Odo.
  • Pretext for War: Gowron is seeking to turn a border dispute into war with the Federation.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: The new Changeling homeworld has one.
  • Revenge: Garak's desire to wipe out the Founders is undoubtedly fueled by the knowledge that Enabran Tain is dead, having been told they Take No Prisoners.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can
    Odo: When I joined with the other changelings in the Great Link, I felt something I've never felt before. In that moment, I knew I was home. For the first time, I felt that I understood my people. Their distrust of the solids, their willingness to do anything to protect themselves. And then in an instant it was all snatched away. I'm trapped in this body. I can never rejoin the Great Link.
  • Shape Shifter Mode Lock: Odo's punishment.
  • Sistine Steal: Odo and the female Founder have a pose evoking this when he is Brought Down to Normal.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Averted; Garak is detected by Worf when he tries to tamper with the Defiant's weapon systems. Presumably security got beefed up after a successful attempt at sabotaging said systems nearly got the wormhole destroyed in the previous season's "Destiny".
  • Taking You with Me: Garak wants to destroy the Founders even though the surrounding Jem'Hadar ships would destroy the Defiant.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Odo and Bashir exchange this look when they realize that the only people who can help him now are the Founders.
  • Unflinching Walk: Despite being barely able to hold his humanoid shape, Odo insists on walking down the Promenade without anyone supporting him.
  • We Need a Distraction: Knowing the last thing Odo wants is sympathy, Sisko allows Garak to go on the mission as long as he keeps Odo busy trying to unravel his Mysterious Past.
  • Wham Episode: First the female Founder tells Garak that Cardassia was dead from the moment the Obsidian Order decided to attack the Dominion. Then Odo is punished by the other Changelings by taking aways his shapeshifting and making him permanently human. And if that wasn't dramatic enough, we then find out Gowron is about to wage war with the Federation, and the episode ends with the revelation that Gowron is a Changeling in disguise. Or so they think.
  • Wham Line: Two of them:
    • "Captain...I'm reading a heart, lungs, and a digestive system. It's as if he were...human."
    • "Gowron, the leader of the Klingon Empire, is a Changeling."
  • The Worf Effect: Seems to come into play during Worf's fight with Garak, but Subverted when Worf emerges victorious.
  • Worthy Opponent: While Odo is being escorted off the station, Quark boasts that he expects to own the station by the time he gets back. Odo basically says "Not a chance in hell!" and promises that he is coming back. Quark then demonstrates true respect for the constable, expecting Odo to fulfill his promise of returning.
    • Worf compliments an unconscious Garak after their tussle on the Defiant.
      Worf: You fight well...for a tailor.
  • Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": Averted.
    Garak: Don't tell me you'd object to a little genocide in the name of self defense?


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