DS9 Episode 1.12: Vortex

In which Odo gets his hopes up over a tacky keychain.

Memory Alpha says: A fugitive attempts to trade evidence about Odo’s people for freedom.

My Review
This was an episode that I couldn’t remember before reading the Memory Alpha entry; then it came back to me, at least the salient detail of the little gooey doofer the one dude shows Odo, but nothing much else about the plot. I think I remember quite liking the one dude, but I may be confusing him for someone else, so LET’S SEE.

I will use bullet point format for this review, because it’s not an episode I feel strongly enough about to fully summarise. I think that will be the rule from now on, whether I summarise fully or just give bullet point knee-jerk responses depends on how much of a shit I give.

  • I like ‘the usual’ being ‘nothing.’
  • ‘He looks away whenever we make eye contact.’ That means he liiiiikes you!
  • So the Klingons brought him back from the Gamma Quadrant? Did they haze him like they did Riker, or just give him a ride?
  • Who WOULD want to talk to Sisko, honestly? He’s a moai. And the Feds COULD learn a thing or two from the Ferengi about hospitality. Chiefly things involving worms. No, not the kind of worm we put in the tequila.
  • Ooh twinnies. Imagine wearing matching outfits with your twin at their age.
  • ‘You think the whole galaxy is plotting around you, don’t you? Paranoia must run in your species, Odo.’ I hear the tinkling of the wings of the Foreshadowing Fairy!
  • I like how Quark describes Odo sitting at the bar and asking him about people as ‘harassing the customers.’
  • Haaaa, check out that awesome novelty bunch-of-grapes bottle.
  • Why would you negotiate inside a holodeck with no program playing? At least make it look pretty.
  • I love how these guys are, like, SPACE PIRATES, and they’ve brought Quark a Fabergé egg.
  • I remember why I like this guy! He has this awkward, uncomfortable manner, like everything in the world embarrasses and dismays him.
  • I also like how the big tough space pirates can be stopped by one good hard Odo elbow in the chest. Odelbo?
  • Note here that Julian just accepts his tricorder reading as showing that the Miradorn gentleman is dead. In ‘The Passenger,’ he gloated to Kira about learning in the first week of medical school that you can’t trust a tricorder to tell you that. Is that too much of a continuity nitpick? I never know.
  • Aw, poor bereaved twinny.
  • Rom. PIPE DOWN. Unless you’re still fratricidal and HOPE the Miradorn kills Quark.
  • If there will be a trial, where? Do they get the grumpy Adjudicator from ‘Dax’ up from Bajor again?
  • ‘My needs exceed my skills.’ I feel you there, pal.
  • ‘I’ve never heard of a changeling with such versatility.’ In light of later events, later information about the Gamma Quadrant, this is an odd thing to say – other changelings are much more versatile than Odo, whom Croden has only seen disguise himself as a highball glass. On the other hand I think it does turn out that Croden doesn’t really know much about the changelings at all – although he does introduce the term ‘changeling’ to describe them. Six of one and half a dozen of the other.
  • HI O’BRIENNNNNN I am glad to see you!
  • Kira, you sassy bitch! Nice to see you too!
  • Jadzia, you I’m kind of indifferent to today.
  • I like how the back of Quark’s head looks like a bum. I want to walk up behind him, squeeze it and say ‘Parp!’ I am enjoying a mojito.
  • I kind of do believe that Quark talked to Croden out of sympathy, not ‘odious motives.’ I think that his compassion and more odious motives dovetail all the time. He genuinely does care for others who seem unhappy, and simultaneously keeps his eyes and ears constantly open for anything that might be a useful opportunity. The fact that you find out about an opportunity for profit while being kind to a troubled person is neither here nor there.
  • Croden says he’s always wondered why changelings are so distrustful, but then says himself that they were persecuted and driven away from his planet. I know he’s partly bullshitting, but Odo ought to pick up on that inconsistency.
  • Odo! Death threats to a prisoner in custody? Is it for the greater good… the greater good?
  • Now Croden shows Odo his dinky little pendant with a CG gloober inside. I like how he turns and arranges the pendant in his hands – it suggests a magician’s sleight-of-hand and cues you to suspect deception.
  • What Earth river would you most enjoy a DS9 runabout being named after?
  • Did they actually use any of those? I forget.
  • Dax and Sisko get through to someone in authority remarkably quickly – they didn’t even have to go through a secretary. He was just sitting in his office ready to take calls, wasn’t he?
  • I always wonder if the many kinds of Forehead Alien that we see throughout Star Trek think that human faces look weirdly plain and smooth.
  • Hi Julian! I know we saw you already today, I just want to say that I think you’re super pretty, and I like how competent and helpful you’re being.
  • I really like the play of the moment where Odo has to give the pendant back. That he would have kept it if Croden hadn’t asked for it.
  • Mmm, a vortex. I wonder what Croden’s other crimes are, incidentally? I presume that the choice not to specify is deliberate, so we can remain ambivalent about him. If we were told that he murders grannies or gropes little kids or steals poor people’s meagre savings and spends them on meth, that would sort of collapse our uncertainty. The whole ‘HE’S AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE’ thing allows us to wonder if he’s unjustly judged by an oppressive regime.
  • Hey, living ‘where you don’t belong’ is just called being an immigrant. Fuck off with your ‘you don’t belong.’
  • Okay, oppressive regime, double wife murder, self-defence, chickens.
  • Look, I can sympathise with your bereavement, but don’t be a jerk to Quark and Rom. They’re just small-time crooks.
  • Ah, the security chips you keep in the till? Nice. Continuity!
  • I like the Miradorn trying to see around Quark’s ears.
  • And of course, Quark wouldn’t want Odo to get himself killed.
  • Ooh, that’s a pretty vortex.
  • Man, I have a dearth of interesting responses to this episode. It is important in terms of seeding in a little information about the Changelings, about Odo’s angst, about the ‘sense of decency, of justice’ – although there’s precious little of that as we go along. Not from Odo, from the other buggers.
  • It was a mistake to have such a strong cocktail. I’m dopey here. But I want to get this done.
  • Ha ha Odo’s hair is flopping around.
  • Why can Odo make realistic strands of hair but not a realistic Bajoran nose? I’m going to complain about this again in ‘Little Green Men,’ when he makes a perfect German Shepherd dog. Not just a generic German Shepherd, but an individual dog known to people on the base.
  • mmmm, thrusters
  • it was a strong cocktail
  • ANY OF IT? ANY OF IT? So most of it was just plausible bullshit… much of which happened to be accurate. Kind of like Lees’ ‘predictions’ in From Hell, which he makes up, and then sees come true.
  • Awwww, he keeps his daughter in the freezer.
  • And of course Odo will do the decent thing.
  • Why, exactly, does getting clonked with a rock knock Odo out? He’s just a blob of jelly temporarily holding a humanoid shape.
  • doop doop doooo
  • they’re going to IGNITE GAS
  • LIGHT THE UNIVERSE’S FARTS
  • ooh, that purple gas shot is really pretty, with the underlit/backlit ship!
  • They are having great times with underlighting Rene Auberjonois’ cool spooky face, too.
  • And so, the twins were… reunited in the afterlife? Maybe Odo did them a favour?
  • Pretty pretty vortex.
  • No, don’t give Odo an adopted daughter. That would be lame.
  • Vulcan band frequency? Hey, I LIKE the Vulcan ship’s blue diamond wallpaper (with a frieze of IDICs). That Vulcan officer lady is pretty! I’m making so little sense.
  • Oh, dear decent kind gruff Odo. Although I wonder how well Croden and… Yareth? will adapt to life on Vulcan. At least it’s a starting point.
  • AWWWW, Odo SMILED. He has a name for what he is.
  • And that was that. I wrote 12366 words about ‘Datalore.’ I have written under 1500 about this. Would you rather find a ‘brother’ who turns out to be a sociopath or a ‘cousin’ who turns out to be a keychain? At least keychains don’t kick you in the head.
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4 Responses to “DS9 Episode 1.12: Vortex”

  1. Mark Says:

    My vote for a runabout name would be the Saskatchewan. Partly because it’s a river that is near me, and partly because I would be amused by the actors’ attempts to say it. (Even many Canadians are unable to say it quite right.)

    Interestingly, Garak would be able to say it correctly — I have heard Andy Robinson say the word and say it right.

  2. solo Says:

    I enjoy how… loopy you became. Yeah, this episode does nothing for me, although the first time I watched it I was very excited at the prospect of learning about Odo’s people. And boy, didn’t they turn out to be fun! :/

    My favorite part of this episode is probably the Odo and Quark interaction in the bar. Always the highlight. ‘The usual.’ pfft They’re great.

    • picardigan Says:

      I think the generous application of rum may be the best way to get through a dull episode of DS9.
      The more I see of Odo’s people, the more I think he was lucky to grow up in a jar in a lab.


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