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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 06 E 04 Behind The Lines

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Pictured: Odo screwing the Female Changeling (and screwing all his friends over)
At Starbase 375, the crew of the Defiant are celebrating another successful mission. Sisko gives a Rousing Speech and ceremoniously places the ship's latest emptied phaser battery cell on display. Immediately afterward, however, he's promoted to Adjutant to Admiral Ross and removed from command of the Defiant. Starfleet has discovered a massive Dominion sensor array, which is a big reason why the war has been going poorly. Sisko comes up with a plan to attack the array through a dangerous part of space. But because of his promotion, Dax will be the one in charge of the Defiant.

Meanwhile on Terok Nor, Kira and Rom are observing the fruits of their resistance cell antics. Rom has swiped a PADD from Damar containing his plan to poison the Jem'Hadar on the station should their dwindling supply of ketracel white run out. Rom made sure the Jem'Hadar found it, and a brawl soon erupts between them and the Cardassians. While Weyoun and Dukat try to figure out how this brawl came to pass, Odo on the other hand knows exactly what happened. He nixed the idea when Kira proposed it, worrying that it would put the security of the station at peril, but she and the rest of the cell went ahead anyway. Odo accuses her of being reckless, while she accuses him of prioritizing the station over the war.

Their argument is not helped by the arrival of the Female Changeling, who is trapped in the Alpha Quadrant due to the mines blocking the wormhole. She's forgiven Odo for his past transgressions and wants the company of a fellow shapeshifter. Odo initially keeps her at arm's length but can't help asking for more information about his people. She repeatedly suggests that they link to help him understand, and he eventually agrees. When Kira finds out about it, she's furious, but Odo assures her that he didn't give up her secrets, and she just wouldn't understand what the link is like.


Back on Starbase 375, Sisko is having trouble letting go of his command of the Defiant. While it's away on its latest mission, he intends to stay up all night waiting for news. Admiral Ross tells him he's now responsible for hundreds of ships and can't afford to be fixated on just one. When the Defiant returns successfully, Sisko watches as Dax gives the same Rousing Speech to the crew that he made before. He leaves with Ross to continue their work.

On the station, Damar arrives at Quark's looking to celebrate a breakthrough he claims will change the course of the war. After plying the Cardassian with free drinks, Quark arrives at Kira's doorstep very drunk and bearing Damar's secret. The barkeep relates what Damar said, and Rom quickly realizes that the man's plan will successfully take down the minefield preventing the rest of the Dominion's fleet from pouring into the Alpha Quadrant. Only by sabotaging the station's deflector array can they stop him. To do that, they'll need Odo to temporarily take the station's security offline at the exact right moment. They break to prepare for the next morning.


The next day, Rom enters the conduit with his tools and waits for the pre-appointed time, but when the moment strikes, Kira sees that Odo is not in his office. She rushes back to the conduit to stop Rom from tripping the alarm. Unfortunately, he already did, and he's promptly arrested. Kira angrily confronts Odo over his inaction. Oddly serene, Odo admits that he was linking with the Female Changeling and says that he now understands what it means to be a shapeshifter. When the shocked Kira accuses him of abandoning his responsibilities to the resistance, Odo states that such matters are no longer his concern. After she storms off, the Female Changeling arrives and asks if Kira's outburst disturbed him. Now totally under her sway, Odo blithely replies, "No, not really."

This episode contains examples of:

  • Aesop Amnesia: Kira is concerned that the Female Changeling is trying to manipulate Odo, but he claims he linked with her and sensed no hidden motive or plan from her. Not only is he forgetting the Founders have managed to keep secrets from him while linked before, but in the very same conversation he claims that she didn't find out about the resistance on the station; if Odo could keep that secret from her, surely she could do the same from him.
  • As You Know: Kira and Rom relate the events leading up to the Bar Brawl by narrating events as they're watching them in Quark's bar.
  • Badass Boast: Sisko (and later Dax) do a "call and response" one with the Defiant crew every time they use up a phaser power cell after they return to base.
    Sisko/Dax: (holds power cell in their hands) Take a good look at this, people. It says something about this ship. It says that we will fight, and we will keep on fighting, until we can't fight any more!
    Crew: Yes, sir!
    Sisko/Dax: You don't just throw something like this away.
    Crew: No, sir!
  • Bar Brawl: Between the Cardassians and the Jem'Hadar. Unlike most in Star Trek, this one has a body count.
  • Better Than Sex: The link seems to be this for Odo.
  • Call-Back:
    • Damar's worries about a shortage of Ketracel White is likely a direct impact of the destruction of the Ketracel White depot at the hands of Sisko.
    • To the root beer conversation with Garak in "The Way of the Warrior." When the Dominion invaded the station, Quark was all too happy to throw out his root beer and "hew-mon" food for his new Cardassian customers. Now, after living with the Cardassians, Vorta, and Jem'Hadar for months, he finally breaks down and in tears says he wants the Federation back, he wants to sell root beer again.
    • Odo and the Female Changeling run back the details of Odo's relationship with the shapeshifters: he killed one of them, they punished him by turning him into a solid, and now he's a shapeshifter again.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Sisko has to set aside his days of commanding a starship on the front lines to hang back and plan the war at a higher level. He's clearly not happy about sending others to do the work he used to do. Ross has to remind him that he's now responsible for a much larger portion of the war, and he'd better get used to it.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Odo's preferred post-linking activity.
  • Da Chief: Captain Sisko is promoted to this position, to his chagrin.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Sisko is banking on this when planning to attack the array through the Argolis cluster, a dangerous part of space. It works.
    • Quark berates Rom for not coming up with a redundancy to handle if the mines are exposed to an anti-graviton beam that disables the mine's self replicating unit. Rom admits he didn't think of that possibility.
  • Dispense with the Pleasantries: After giving Weyoun his moment to praise her, the Female Changeling cuts short Dukat's long-winded speech about how they are equal partners going into a glorious future and bluntly asks about the status of the minefield.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Odo doesn't want the Female Changeling's pity re his feelings for Kira. Instead, she offers him clarity via the link.
  • The Dreaded: While plastered, Quark says he wants the Federation back, but he adds he can't relax because he knows there are thousands of Jem'Hadar ships on the other side of the wormhole, and that Damar has figured out how to let them come through.
  • Dutch Courage: Quark shares drinks with Damar to loosen him up and learn his secret. He's just drunk enough after succeeding to give his information to La Résistance, since he certainly wouldn't help them while sober.
  • Easily Forgiven: Lampshaded. Odo is completely perplexed that the Female Changeling is talking to him as though nothing had happened.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When Quark tells the conspirators that Damar will use the station's deflector array to disable the minefield, Rom assures them it's impossible...until he starts working out the engineering technobabble in his head and figures out exactly how to do it. Cue worried looks from everyone in the room.
  • G-Rated Sex: The link, once again.
  • Heroic BSoD: It's likely the kanar talking, but Quark absolutely breaks down in front of Kira's resistance cell. He doesn't like the Cardassians, who are mean and arrogant, and he especially doesn't like the Jem'Hadar, who are creepy and just stand around like statues. No matter what he said before, he wants to sell root beer again. Quark does partly snap out of it after the commercial break, once he's had a chance to sober up.
  • Hidden Depths: Damar demonstrates considerable technical skill by figuring out how to bring down the minefield. More, his solution is to do it in such a way that O'Brien and Rom never thought of.
  • Hive Mind: Shapeshifters in the Great Link operate somewhat like a hive mind, something that Odo has a hard time understanding. The Female Changeling doesn't have a name and tries to explain how individual identity is not a big thing for them.
  • I Have My Ways: Nog manages to get ahold of real Saurian brandy during a war. Fortunately, Admiral Ross chooses not to pry.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Damar is already testy before the bar brawl, as Kira points out, demanding a drink from Quark. Things rapidly go From Bad to Worse. Later things change and he shares a bottle with Quark to celebrate. Unfortunately this enables Quark to get information from Damar.
  • In Vino Veritas: Quark invokes this with Damar, but in doing so falls under its influence.
  • Irony: When the Female Changeling says she came to the station because she wanted to be with one of her own kind, Odo lampshades this and notes how he was turned into a solid the last time they saw each other.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The fight between the Jem'Hadar and Cardassians at the beginning is due to the meddling of Kira and Rom. Kira wants to continue formenting dissension between the two races, but Odo opposes it because if they're caught, it would be just the excuse the Dominion would need to kick every Bajoran off the station.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Kira, Odo, Rom and Jake are the only members of the resistance cell. This trope is obviously why a teenage, human, would-be journalist is part of La Résistance but not any number of Bajoran security officers who might have participated in the original resistance.
  • Mandatory Line: Worf calls in to ask about Dax so he can get a few lines in. Bashir's contributions are also inconsequential.
  • Mathematician's Answer: When Kira asks Damar if he knows where Odo is, Damar simply answers "yes" to piss her off. Instead of taking the bait, she gets him to give the real answer by needling him about his apparent demotion.
  • Mood Whiplash: Quark's drunken appearance at the resistance meeting starts out funny, turns a bit depressed as he misses the Federation, and becomes full of dread when he talks about how the mines will soon come down.
  • Mr. Exposition: O'Brien explains to Nog the naval tradition of referring to the commanding officer as "captain" regardless of their rank, obviously for the sake of the audience. As a Starfleet cadet, Nog certainly should have already known this.
  • The Nameless: This episode officially establishes that the Female Changeling doesn't have a name.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Kira's resistance cell uses Damar's own writings to start the Bar Brawl. This naturally gets Damar in hot water with Dukat and Weyoun, so he proceeds to make up for it by figuring out how to bring down the minefield. Not only that, by brushing off Odo's concerns, Kira left him in a mental state prone to exploitation by the Female Changeling.
  • Now You Tell Me: When Kira sees that Odo is not at his station to disable the station's alarms as per The Plan, she quickly tells Rom not to open the panel to the computer—just as he does exactly that, setting off the alarms.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Defiant destroying the Dominion sensor array.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When the brawl breaks out and quickly becomes brutal, Kira quietly backs away. Rom, however, is transfixed, clearly unprepared for how violent the success of their plan is.
    • Kira, when she sees that Odo isn't at his post when he needs to be. Then Rom, when he opens up the computer and sets off the alarm.
  • The Plan: Kira and Rom formulate a plan to sabotage Damar's strategy to take down the mines. It's so thoroughly discussed that that we know there's no Unspoken Plan Guarantee.
  • Punishment Detail: When Kira sees Damar in Odo's office, she asks him if Dukat demoted him after the Bar Brawl.
  • Rage-Breaking Point: After several episodes of maintaining a somewhat uncharacteristic stoicism, Odo's negligence sends Kira right over the edge. It's rather terrifying the way she storms through the station to confront Odo—her expression suggesting that she's determined to find a way to murder a Changeling with her bare hands.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Literally, after the Cardassians and Jem'Hadar fight in Quark's Bar.
    Weyoun: How could Damar be so stupid so as to leave such an inflammatory document lying around for anyone to find?!
    Gul Dukat: Your men stole it from him!
    Weyoun: Jem'Hadar are not thieves!
    Gul Dukat: And Damar is not a liar!
    Weyoun: Keep...your voice down. [smiles] Our men need to see that we are still allies. Smile!
    [Dukat bitterly does so]
    Weyoun: [through his teeth] Dukat!
    Gul Dukat: I'm smiling!
  • The Un-Smile: After the brawl, Weyoun orders Dukat to smile so that their underlings will see their partnership as strong. Dukat can only put on a grimace.
  • Wham Line: "He said he came up with a way to deactivate the mines. Dukat wants him to start field tests right away."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kira gives Odo a major butt-chewing for linking with the Female Changeling and letting Rom get captured.
  • You Are in Command Now: Discussed. Dax takes over the Defiant when Sisko gets promoted, though she doesn't Rank Up. She still gets called "Captain" as O'Brien tells Nog the tradition that the person in command of a ship, regardless of rank, is addressed as "Captain." Nog excitedly asks if he had to take command, would he be called "Captain" too. O'Brien promptly deflates his ego by saying "Cadet, by the time you took command, there'd be no one left to call you anything."