Odo meets another one of The Hundred, the Changelings the Founders sent out as infants to explore the universe. But this new Changeling is determined to take Odo away from DS9
This episode contains examples of:
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: A platonic version. Quark's rant about humanoid genes seems to stem from his genuine worry for Odo's well-being. Of course, he has to express it in the most grating way possible.
- Broken Aesop: The hostile reactions to Laas's "being fog" on the Promenade seem to stem from bigotry against shape-shifters (including internalized bigotry on Odo's part). O'Brien gives a legitimate, non-bigoted reason to object to that particular behavior: the sudden appearance of fog on the Promenade gives people the impression that there's something wrong with the environmental controls, which is a very serious problem on a space station. There's nothing wrong with being fog, and there's nothing wrong with changing form in public, but taking that particular form in the most public area of the station, without giving advance notice to anyone, is genuinely disruptive—the equivalent of shouting "fire" in a crowded theater.
- Comes Great Responsibility: Laas doesn't seem to realize that having the capability to assume forms such as fire and fog, doesn't mean that he should assume them on a whim. He doesn't seem to get Odo's subtle hints that assuming certain forms can incite panic or at the very least, paranoia. Odo doesn't limit himself to one form to "fit in", he limits himself to one form to help the solids, only changing form when his work demands it.
- Cultural Rebel: Laas rebels not only against humanoids, but also unwittingly against his own people- his chaotic personality is at flat odds with their seemingly innate obsession with order.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Switch "Changeling" with "Gay" and the metaphor writes itself. Especially Quarks "Changeling pride demonstration" line.
- Fantastic Racism/Jerkass: From moment one, Laas flatly refuses to show any respect to humanoids, despite Odo's efforts. To be sure, it is reciprocated, to include a guard not letting Odo talk to Laas alone, but letting Kira do so.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Kira is willing to set Laas free and let Odo be with him.
- Jerkass Has a Point: The Klingons very much DID provoke and attack Laas and his reaction very much WAS self-defense. That Sisko had to resort to arguing that the dead Klingon was reaching for a knife instead of a phaser speaks wonders.
- Shout-Out: Laas kills a Klingon by forming a sword in his hand and then extending it from where he's standing, a move that would make the T-1000 proud.