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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?
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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...


Tropes

  • 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Yet another example of why DS9's jovial resident tailor is not a man you want to piss off. When Garak asks the Female Changeling if there were any Cardassian survivors from their attack on the Founders', she all but directly states that she's going to exterminate his whole species. The next time we see Garak, he's hacking into the controls for the Defiant 's phaser banks, fully intending to use the Defiant's armament to obliterate the Great Link and knowing full well that he and everyone else on the mission will either die in the blast or be killed by the Jem'Hadar. And then he puts up a surprisingly strong fight against Worf of all people. To reiterate: Do not piss Garak off. You will regret it.
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  • Body Horror: 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.
  • 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.
  • Genius Bruiser: We always knew Garak was tough and smart, but now we know he's really damned tough as well - as in, nearly winning a fight with a Klingon warrior tough.
    Worf: You fight well...for a tailor.
  • 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.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Once again, the great consistency of Odo's patrols (walking the same beat at the same time every day) is praised as professional and efficient when it's actually the opposite. Making it easy for members of your community (including, say, the criminals) to predict exactly where you'll be at a given time is a bad thing for a law enforcement officer.
  • 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 a dork 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."
  • The Needs of the Many: After learning about the Founders' genocidal plans for Cardassia, Garak tries to hack into the quantum torpedoes and phasers of the Defiant so he can turn the Great Link and the planet it's on into a smoking cinder. He expects to kill Odo, Bashir and Sisko as collateral damage, and then for the Defiant to be destroyed by the Jem'hadar, but considers it a small price to pay in order to save the Alpha Quadrant. Worf stops him.
  • 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.
    • Fridge Brilliance: Given that Weyoun was sharing the same mess hall, he could have contaminated something that he knew Odo would touch later. Or a changeling could have infiltrated Deep Space Nine and done the same.
  • 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.
    • The Female Changeling makes it clear that Cardassia too will suffer the consequences of daring to attack them.
  • 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.
  • Tranquil Fury: Garak's omnipresent grin has perhaps never been more terrifying than it was when the Female Changeling tells him, in so many words, that she's going to kill his entire species. The next time we see him, he's planning to hijack the Defiant's controls and pull a Suicide Attack on the entire Founder species.
    Garak: (smiling calmly) It was a pleasure meeting you.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • What Is One Man's Life in Comparison?: Garak knows that attacking the Founders' planet will lead to them all getting killed, "but what are our lives worth to saving the entire Alpha Quadrant?"
  • 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?
  • You Are Already Dead: A chilling example to Garak from the Female Changeling when he asks if there were any Cardassian survivors.
    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: (smiling coldly) It was a pleasure meeting you.

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