The cartographer Ensign Melora Pazlar, an Elaysian who is used to very low gravity, arrives at the station. Although she needs a wheelchair to move in environments with nominal gravity, she insists on being treated like everyone else. But she experiences her limits when she drops to the floor and doesn't manage to get up until help arrives. Julian Bashir, who is romantically involved with the Elaysian, surprises Melora with the proposal to adapt her neuromuscular system to normal gravity, even though then she would have to give up her frequent "flights" in low gravity. When Fallit Kot, a sinister trade partner of Quark's, hijacks her and Dax's runabout, Melora saves the day when she deactivates the gravity generators and overwhelms Kot. She eventually decides to decline the proposed treatment.

Errors and Explanations=

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Given that Kot makes his intentions known very early on in the episode (i.e., that he's going to kill our favourite Ferengi “host” ), one wonders why Quark hasn’t arranged for a little bit of preemptive incapaciting We’ve seen in other shows that Quark knows plenty of thugs. Perhaps Quark is planning to negotiate Kot into letting him live! CdnTim 1347 EST 4 Feb 2021 - it might just be outside of his nature. Even early on, Quark does have a rudimentary conscience, and he's a profiteer, not a killer.
  2. Boy, Bashir really turned on the charm in this episode! He must have taken a “Troi” pill before Melora arrived. He must have decided decided to take steps to improve his bedside manner. CdnTim 1450 EST 4 Feb 2021 - Wait, a young man experienced character growth over a year, after leaving school and entering the wider world? That's not a plot oversight...that's plot!
  3. Okay, so Melora invites Bashir in to her quarters because she's about to turn down the gravity. He's nervous and says that he can't tell her how curious he is about low gravity. First, I believe that what we see in this episode is better termed “microgravity” than “low gravity.” Low gravity is what the astronauts-experienced on the moon. Though they could hop a lot farther than on Earth, they didn’t float away. Floating around - as seen during space shuttle missions – requires microgravity. Second, Melora turns down the gravity, and Bashir goes flipping through the air, just like he’s never been in microgravity before. Does this make sense? Starfleet doesn't train their officers in microgravity environments? Starfleet? As in ‘the fleet that the stars”? The fleet that uses artificial gravity on their ships? The fleet that must account for the possibility that their artificial gravity might quit working? (I do have to admit that the Starfleet gravity system seems remarkably stable. cl can think of only one time in the entire history of NextGen that a gravity problem was even mentioned aboard the Enterprise.) On the other hand, Sisko brings along “zero-gravity rations” during his solar sailing adventure in Explorers. This indicates that Starfleet does have a microgravity training program! That could be limited to certain personnel. CdnTim 1352 EST 4 Feb 2021 - Particularly, medical personnel might not get the "full" officer training (as is the case in most real-world militaries). Note that even in Starfleet, where officers seem to be omni-competent, Crusher and Troi needed additional courses to qualify for "line" officer work.
  4. One wonders how life began on Melora’s world in the first place. If the planet has so little mass that it generates only microgravity, how did it retain an atmosphere? Perhaps it started off with a very dense atmosphere, which has lessened over time. CdnTim 1354 EST 4 Feb 2021 - I'm not remotely an astrophysicist, but perhaps a larger world, already carrying bacterial life was fractured (planetary collision, maybe), and a large shard contained a honeycomb-like structure, in which life re-evolved, growth trapping atmosphere in the cave system? Alternately, given the history of Preserver-type activities, maybe some humanoids were transplanted to an asteroid colony thousands of years ago, and evolution weakened their ability to handle regular gravity?
  5. When Melora first arrives on the station she claims that she will be surveying a sector in the Gamma Quadrant. Later, she and Dax take a runabout to the Gamma Quadrant. The entire time, we eavesdrop on them in the Gamma Quadrant the runabout travels at impulse or less. The only way this would make sense is if Melora is surveying the sector in which the wormhole lies. Hasn't this sector been surveyed already? No wonder Melora feels like she's being patronized. It looks like Starfleet is just drumming up things for her to do! What if she was surveying the area behind the Gamma Quadrant mouth of the wormhole?! CdnTim 1358 EST 4 Feb 2021 - given that, after thousands of years of human history, we're STILL mapping everything on the land and under the sea, let alone in our solar system, there's probably still a lot to do!
  6. Odo seems strangely lax in his duties when it comes to protecting Quark. Remember, this is the guy who always manages to into just the right object so he can be at just the right place at the right time. ln this episode he’s lollygagging around in the Security office while Kot attacks Quark in the Ferengi’s quarters. (Then again, maybe Odo’s slacking off on purpose!) Odo thinks Quark could use a good scare. CdnTim 1359 EST 4 Feb 2021 - Odo's still fallible: he's used to thinking about Quark in terms of stopping him from doing things, not protecting him.

Equipment Oddities

  1. This is a cheap shot In this episode Melora is confined to a wheelchair. It limits her access to the station. Wouldn't you think that, by the twenty-fourth century, cybemeticists would have invented practical multilegged walking machines? How would that improve her access? CdnTim 1401 EST 4 Feb 2021 - No matter how gentle, an articulated walking system would subject her to more impacts and shocks then antigravity or even wheels. Every step would be a little jarring, and that would be exhausting after a full day!
  2. Bashir claims that Melora will need to use a wheelchair because the standard antigrav units won't work with the Cardassian technology of the station. Evidently, someone upgraded the system because just two episodes from now - in Necessary Evil - Bashir will order an antigrav stretcher to take an injured Quark to the infirmary. This could have been inspired by the difficulties experienced by Melora when using the wheelchair.
  3. Somehow Kot’s phaser managed to elude Odo’s Security sensors. (l’m telling ya - Odo is just not trying when it comes to this guy!) The phaser could have been designed to confuse the sensors by appearing as something else.
  4. Somehow Kot also manages to elude all the force fields we have seen Odo erect at a moment's notice when faced with a fleeing criminal. (Getting the picture here yet?) He could have a talent for evading and/or overriding force fields.
  5. While chasing the runabout containing Kot, Quark, Dax, and Melora as it travels at warp, Bashir asks O’Brien if they could beam the occupants off the craft. O’Brien says he wouldn't advise it. Did O'Brien just forget that he beamed an away team to the Borg ship while at high warp The Best of Both Worlds Part 2 (TNG)? (l suspect Odo had a chat with O'Brien before he left the station.) That was a completely different situation!
    1) The pursued runabout may be maneuvering too much for O’Brien to match warp velocity for transport, which he was able to do with the Enterprise when in pursuit of the Borg Cube.
    2) The warp speed transport in The Best of Both Worlds used a six person transporter to transport four people. The beam out Bashir is talking about would require O’Brien to transport four people using two pads, which is tricky enough at sublight speeds!
  6. l love twenty-fourth-century musical instruments! We get to see one of Klingon design at the end oi this episode. The “singing” Klingon favors Melora and Bashir with a selection. With his right hand, he strums away on this because the guy never changes fingerboard position with his left hand - never touches the strings at all - and the instrument knows exactly when to change chords! Gotta admire that twenty-fourth-century engineering. It may have been specially programmed to do this.

Continuity And Production Problems

  1. The preview for this episode features graphics from The Chase (TNG) in the lower left-hand comer. True, they look cool, but what do they mean in this context‘? They could relate to the cell modification Bashir is attempting.

Deep Space Nine Season 2
The Homecoming I The Circle I The Siege I Invasive Procedures I Cardassians I Melora I Rules of Acquisition I Necessary Evil I Second Sight I Sanctuary I Rivals I The Alternate I Armageddon Game I Whispers I Paradise I Shadowplay I Playing God I Profit and Loss I Blood Oath I The Maquis Part 1 I The Maquis Part 2 I The Wire I Crossover I The Collaborator I Tribunal I The Jem’Hadar
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