According to Memory Alpha's original in Universe Timeline, the story sequence is:
Through the Looking Glass : Improbable Cause : The Die is Cast.
In the Enabran Tain's plot story arc, the story sequence is
Improbable Cause : The Die is Cast.


An explosion shatters Garak's tailor shop on Deep Space 9. Partially due to Garak's unwillingness to talk, Odo does not find any solid evidence against the main suspect, a Flaxian named Retaya. Upon leaving the station Retaya's ship explodes, apparently because of Romulan sabotage. Odo surmises that Garak himself is responsible for the explosion in his shop to get the security chief involved. When he tells Garak that five Cardassian agents died in unfortunate accidents the same day that the shop was blown up, Garak becomes uneasy that someone might kill his mentor Enabran Tain, the former head of the Obsidian Order, likewise. Odo and Garak take a runabout to investigate Tain's recent disappearance when they are pulled inside a Romulan Warbird. To their surprise they find Tain who has forged an alliance between the Obsidian Order and the Romulan Tal Shiar under Colonel Lovok. A combined fleet of Warbirds and the ships that the Obsidian Order secretly built in the Orias system is going to destroy the Founders' homeworld in the Delta Quadrant. Garak was actually on Tain's assassination list as he could know too much, but now Tain grants him an opportunity to redeem himself - by torturing Odo in order to find out more about the Founders.


Errors and Explanations

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. The episode begins with Bashir and Garak enjoying lunch together. During their discussion, Garak attempts to prove that humans rush through their meals by motioning to a nearby table and commenting that the Talarian is only half finished while the human's plate is empty. Garak sits opposite Bashir. The table in question is directly behind Bashir. The human at the table sits with his back to Bashir. From my perspective it doesn't look like Garak can even see the human's plate! He could be using a mirror which is not readily visible, hidden in the ceiling!
  2. The security for access to the runabouts leaves much to be desired. At first Odo believes a Flaxian is responsible for blowing up Garak's shop. When the Flaxian departs the station, Odo boards a runabout to follow. He finds Garak seated inside. Garak! The former Cardassian spy! Just sitting there?! Can anyone just wander onto these vessels anytime they choose? Knowing Garak, he probably over-rode whatever security lock there was in place.
  3. Odo seems to be broadening out the targets of his snide humor. Usually it's just reserved for Quark. But in this episode our favourite Changeling comments that one would think the Tal Shiar would appreciate a good tailor—given the look of their uniforms. (Not a nit, just an observation.) Working with humans has obviously rubbed off on him!

Nit Central

  1. Keith Alan Morgan on Saturday, May 08, 1999 - 8:02 am: Kira is supposed to be getting some rooms ready for the Yalosian ambassador (What is she, the maid, now?) and Julian tells her some information that she doesn't know about Yalosians. What kind of system is this, when an ambassador is visiting and you can't get complete information on the do's and don'ts of their kind? They could be reluctant to share too much information about themselves straight away.
  2. The Romulan said that their murder of Retaya was perfectly legal. Excuse me? Wasn't Retaya still in Bajoran space? Don't the Bajoran's consider blowing up someone's spaceship to be murder? If Retaya was in Romulan space okay, then whatever they say is legal is legal, but, under these circumstances, I fail to see how Retaya's death can be considered legal. Brian FitzGerald (Brifitz1980) on Monday, July 20, 2009 - 9:52 am: Well whether or not the Bajorians consider it murder, governments do things like that all of the time. Israeli intelligence hunted down and killed those responsible for Munich Olympics with bombs and shootings in sovereign nations. KAM on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 3:53 am: And if the police of those sovereign nations witnessed the act don't you think they would have arrested the Isrealis? Whether it was justified, or not, most countries have precedures for dealing with alleged criminals, & vigilantism & assassination generally fall OUTSIDE those procedures. Brian FitzGerald (Brifitz1980) on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 1:48 pm: In fact they did; there was a case where an innocent wAlter who they mistook for somebody was killed and several Isreali agents were arrested for it. That didn't stop the Isrealis from doing it. The Romulan told Odo that they killed the guy over subspace so there's not much he could do about it. KAM on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 1:01 am: But I doubt that the Bajorans would consider it legal like the Romulan claimed it was (which was my point). Brian FitzGerald (Brifitz1980) on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 10:46 pm: And my point was, so what are the Bajorians going to do, file a formal protest that does nothing? Luigi_novi (Luigi_novi) on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 11:20 pm: What I understand from Keith's post (and correct me if I'm wrong, Keith) was that he is objecting to the impression, or implication by the scene in question, that the act is considered not only legal by the Romulans, but by the Bajorans too, because Odo does not protest to the contrary, nor is there any talk of retribution. Whether the Bajorans have the ability to address the matter is a separate point; I think what Keith is getting at is that the creators are implying that the act was legal, which I agree, is silly.
    As for what the Bajorans could do, well, since the Federation is administrating the station, and for that matter, defending Bajoran space, they could conceivably do something; An act committed out in the open like that, with responsibility for openly claimed by the Romulans, could lead to an intestellar incident, or increased tensions between the Federation and the Romulans. That's not a smart thing for the Romulans to make no effort to avoid; you'd think they'd at least deny responsibility, instead of acting like they had jurisdiction to do it.
  3. Keith Alan Morgan on Saturday, February 26, 2000 - 2:49 pm: In Chain of Command, the Gul told Picard that starvation & food shortages were a big deal when he was a kid, but here Garak talks about how Humans need to quickly eat their food as if they are afraid of starvation. Mark Stanley on Sunday, February 27, 2000 - 8:51 am: Garak also points out that for generations, *humans* have had more than enough food. His sociological comment is still valid. (Especially if we take into account that Madred had no reason to tell the truth to Picard. His story could be propaganda, true of some small boy hundreds of years past.)
  4. For a covert spy organization, Tain sure talks a lot about it. Mark Stanley on Sunday, February 27, 2000 - 8:51 am: He seems to be partially modelled after *real* spies, who are, historically, the most talkative people on the planet. Most of them would not sell their country, but would give it away for a round of booze and the opportunity to brag to other spies about all the secrets they knew. The rest would be forced to give in to blackmail after a foolish sexual liason with an enemy spy who had a photographer hidden in the hotel room closet.
  5. Palandine on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 3:23 pm: Garak's scheme to get Odo interested in who the Flaxian is is just plain boneheaded. For this half of the plot to make sense, the plot has to go like so:
    1. Garak sees Retaya (sp?) arrive on the station and immediately makes the huge leap of logic that he's there to kill _him_. This is before he knows that someone's been killing a bunch of high-ranking OO guys.
    2. For some reason, Garak doesn't think that just going to Odo and saying "You might want to check out this Retaya fellow" will get results, although we've never seen Odo take a lackadaisical attitude toward fighting crime on the station. He therefore, on what has to be pretty short notice, fashions a somewhat sophisticated bomb to plant in his shop, again, to make it look like someone's trying to kill him. It has to be of Flaxian design to put Odo on Retaya's trail, and it has to be convincing enough to actually injure Garak. Moreover, presumably he has to avoid getting killed by Retaya during this time without letting the assassin know his cover is blown. Am I missing something? Why wouldn't Garak just tell Odo that he thought Retaya was there to kill him, instead of going through a convoluted and dangerous ruse designed solely to pique Odo's interest? The only thing I can think of is that IITS (it's in the script). However, without Garak's shop getting blown up we'd never get to hear his take on the moral of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," and that alone makes this a great episode. NarkS on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 12:03 pm: This is Garak we're talking about. Honesty and simplicity are not in his vocabulary. Duke of Earl Grey on Tuesday, September 18, 2001 - 9:04 pm: At the time Garak blew up his shop, was that Retaya guy even on the station yet? I thought Garak blew up his shop so that Odo would start the investigation before Garak's intended assasin could show up. He probably didn't know who it would be at that point. I think that if Garak had told the truth from the beginning (or at least hinted at it), he'd be the one under suspicion by Odo, instead of being an apparent victim. Plus, as was pointed out, it would make for a far less interesting episode. Rene on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 12:02 pm: And besides, as Odo pointed out, Garak secretly enjoyed blowing up his shop. So obviously that was added incentive in using the less direct approach. LUIGI NOVI on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 12:35 pm: Duke, when Odo confronted Garak in Act 3,after being given the list of Tain's assassinated spies, he tells Garak that he thinks Garak spotted Retaya, and then blew up his shop so that Odo would begin an investigation. When Garak replies that he could've simply asked Odo for help, Odo replies that he couldn't be certain that Odo would take him seriously, or that he'd help Garak, the exact reasons you mentioned in your post.
  6. Odo’s hearing seems to conform to the dramatic needs of the plot. When he goes to see his informant in Act 3 (played by Joseph Ruskin, who played Galt in The Gamesters of Triskelion (TOS), Tumek in The House of Quark (DS9), Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places (DS9) and the Vulcan Master in Gravity (VOY)), Odo can’t seem to figure out where the informant’s voice is coming from, and spends the duration of the scene talking to him while facing every direction but the one in which the informant is actually standing, as if he can’t pinpoint his voice, even though he’s not that far away. It’s really silly-looking. Of course, when the informant wants to throw a PADD down to Odo, he says, "Here", and suddenly, Odo turns to the informant, apparently now able to discern his location. Corey Hines on Friday, October 19, 2001 - 10:11 am:Well remember, Odo's informant didn't want Odo to see him, since he changed his appearance since the last time they saw each other. And I'm sure the last thing Odo would want to do is just stand there looking in one direction. Besides, it wouldn't have been visually appealing to the viewer. Sven of Nine, with many a cunning plan... on Friday, October 19, 2001 - 10:17 am: Or maybe the Informant had a mini PA system installed at the meeting place and was confusing Odo's hearing capabilities with the use of a clever microphone system that didn't cause nearly as much echo or feedback as other nitpickers might think when they take my suggestion to pieces and digest it.... oh I give up... :) LUIGI NOVI on Saturday, October 20, 2001 - 1:25 am: So you're saying, Corey, that Odo did know where he was, and just played along to respect the informant's feelings, and when the informant said, "Here", Odo had to turn around to catch the padd? Sorry, but in addition to being convoluted, and violating Occam's Razor (which I generally adhere when considering the different possible explanations for nits), you're forgetting that Odo doesn't have functional eyes. Except for the organs in his mouth and throat that he'd have to form in order to talk, Odo doesn't have organs; every square inch (centimeter?) of his body perceives light equally, and can (or should, in theory), be able to see simultaneously in all directions (Phil's nit from Duet (DS9) notwithstanding. Or are you conceding that, but suggesting that again, Odo was "pretending" to act like a solid to respect the informant's feelings? That's a bit too stretch for my taste, but hey, to each his own. :) Ratbat on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 9:01 am: Most of the time, it does seem that when Odo's a humanoid, his visual range is limited to that of his eyes. Maybe he can only really see as we think of it when he's got some. He might have some other sense that isn't quite up to everything otherwise.


  1. According to the episode list, the provisional stardate for this episode is 48716.

Deep Space Nine Season 3
The Search Part 1 I The Search Part 2 I The House of Quark I Equilibrium I Second Skin I The Abandoned I Civil Defense I Meridian I Defiant I Fascination I Past Tense Part 1 I Past Tense Part 2 I Life Support I Heart of Stone I Destiny I Prophet Motive I Visionary I Distant Voices I Through the Looking Glass I Improbable Cause I The Die is Cast I Explorers I Family Business I Shakaar I Facets I The Adversary
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