review by Mary Shaver
(Originally printed in ORACLE newsletter, July 2007)
The Series of reviews focuses on the Dominion Occupation of DS9 and the Dominion War Arc. It covers the season 5 closer “Call to Arms,” and continues into season 6, beginning with “A Time to Stand” and concluding with “You Are Cordially Invited.” Reviews will be limited to the impact of these episodes on Odo and Odo/Kira. All the Battle scenes and War topics speak for themselves.
As it turns out, the only repercussions to Odo’s temporary defection to the Dominion is in his relationship with Kira. Knowing what we know of these two characters, repairing their shattered friendship would seem to be a nearly impossible challenge. Odo’s actions undermined the very foundation of their relationship. How do these two people recover from such a fundamental breech of trust, of faith, and of loyalty?
They do, of course. And as if by magic, it all happens in one night’s conversation. Unfortunately, the viewer is not privileged to sit in on this conversation, which takes place conveniently off camera in Jadzia Dax’s closet.
Over the entire seven-year run of DS9, the writing and the stories were consistently superior to anything being offered by television. The writers seldom stumbled, but when they did, they stumbled badly, and this is a classic case and point. The Odo/Kira dynamic was a major and important storyline that threaded its way through the entire series, and to cheat the viewers of such a significant piece of that dynamic represented a failure–some may even say, a betrayal–on the part of the writing staff. TPTB have since offered up an apology, and a number of explanations, but that does nothing to relieve the dissatisfaction on the part of many viewers who were denied the opportunity to see and hear exactly how Odo and Kira repaired the enormous fractures in their relationship.
Having said that, it is my personal belief that the writers didn’t have a clue how Odo and Kira could possibly resolve their problems. They couldn’t write what they couldn’t envision, so the obvious answer was the cop-out we got. In fairness, however, there are many fanfic writers who have made a huge emotional investment in the Odo/Kira relationship–who are much more in touch with the essentials of these characters than the DS9 writers could ever have hoped to be–and these people have difficulty writing a plausible and believable account of how that conversation might have gone.
In the end, the viewer is obliged to take what is dished out. Odo didn’t face any significant consequences for his temporary defection, and he and Kira were ultimately able to work out their differences.
My lasting impression of the whole story arc comes at the end of “Sacrifice of Angels” as the Dominion forces evacuate the Station, Weyoun asks the Female Founder if Odo will be leaving with them, in what turns out to be a profoundly prophetic statement, the Female Founder says “No. But he will join us one day. It’s only a matter of time.”
Screen captures from TrekCore.com