In the Gamma Quadrant the Defiant crew witness how a planet appears where there was previously none. A woman named Setlin invites them to their world. She explains that Meridian is subject to dimensional shifts in the course of which the planet reappears after 60 years during which its inhabitants exist as pure consciousness. But the phases of physical presence are becoming shorter each time. With just a few days left for now, Dax devises a method to stabilize the planet's sun in order to equalize the time between the dimensional shifts. While working on the problem she falls in love with Deral, a man from Meridian. Deral decides to leave the planet to stay with Dax, but his departure would destabilize Meridian's society. Determined not to give up Deral, Dax alters her molecular structure so she would be able to join Meridian on the dimensional shift. But the attempt fails, and Dax has to be beamed up to the Defiant to allow Meridian to shift, leaving a saddened couple that would not be able to meet again for the next 60 years.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Near the beginning of the episode Sisko makes a log entry in which he states that despite the Dominion threat, he has convinced Starfleet that exploration of the Gamma Quadrant should continue. I believe Third Talak’TaIan of the Jem'Haddar in “The Jem’Hadar told the crew of DS9 that the Dominion would be offended if anyone came through the wormhole. (If you doubt it, you can refer to my review of that episode for a direct quote. See, I told you l’d be referring to it! Wink, wink.) Evidently neither Sisko nor the Federation care about offending the Dominion. This is terminally stupid. Perhaps they are trying to call the Dominion’s bluff, by demonstrating their refusal to be intimidated. CdnTim 1114 EST 5 Feb 2021 - I'd analogize Starfleet at this point to the Royal Navy circa 1914, utterly convinced of their superiority. They feel exploration is always worthwile and worth risks, especially since the wormhole seems to provide a chokepoint that can be closed if things go really bad.
  2. Why has Sisko - once again - left the station he commands undefended? (A bit bored with DS9, are we? Not enough excitement to keep the commander happy, maybe?) There may be other ships kept in the vicinity of Deep Space Nine.
  3. Why are Sisko and company performing a star system mapping mission? Doesn't Starfleet have science ships to do this stuff? (Oh, wait: l guess Starfleet probably wouldn't want to send a science vessel into the Gamma Quadrant because it wouldn't stand a chance if it encountered a patrol. l guess if you are going to do a mapping mission in heavily guarded enemy territory you really do need a warship!) This could be classed as vital preparation, in case of conflict with the Dominion. CdnTim 1116 EST 5 Feb 2021 - Uh...yes? Does it count as a nit if you answer it yourself?

Changed Premises

  1. My estimation of Quark’s covert intelligence-gathering ability dropped several notches during this episode. In The Collaborator Kira and Odo ask Quark to break into the Vedek Assembly's records. Quark appears to accomplish this task with great subtlety. Yet in this episode Quark approaches a similar problem in a very blatant and obvious manner. A bit of explanation. The subplot of this episode deals with an individual named Tiron. Tiron is smitten with Kira. He tried to initiate a relationship with the real Kira, but she gave him the brush-off - claiming that she already had a lover, Odo! (By the way, Odo’s reaction in this episode to Kira taking his hand during this little charade is the first hint we get that our dear shape shifter has fallen hard for the feisty Bajoran freedom fighter.) Discouraged only slightly by the news that Kira is “taken,” Tiron goes to Quark and orders a custom holodeck program featuring a true-to-life reproduction of Kira. (At least physically. Tiron presumably wants Quark to reprogram her so that she finds him attractive.) At first Quark attempts to capture Kira's image with a holoimager. When that fails, he breaks into the station records and extracts her personal information. One would expect a bit more finesse. Odo and Kira have already apprehended him for attempting to take Kira's picture. They are obviously suspicious about his plans. Why steal only Kira's information? Why not copy the information on all the senior staff? The device he is copying the info to may not have enough storage space for that.
  2. Just before Dax runs off with Doral, Sisko comes to her quarters on the Defiant to talk with her about her departure. At one point he consoles himself with the statement that he's never known Jadzia to do anything without thinking it through. Sisko must have forgotten about the events in Blood Oath. In that episode Sisko tries to talk Dax out of running off with three Klingons to wreak vengeance on their blood enemy. (Just so you get the drift of what’s involved here: Part of the ceremony will involve cutting out the Albino’s heart and eating it as he watches.) During this conversation, Sisko asks if Dax thinks she’s really capable of murdering in cold blood. Dax replies that she doesn't know-that there’s only one way to find out. Does this sound like the response of a person who doesn't do anything without thinking it through? lsn’t Dax merely acting on the emotions of the moment and hoping that everything will turn out for the best? Perhaps she has thought it through, without figuring out an answer.
  3. This episode establishes once and for all that the Dax symbiont has no problem with transporters. You might recall that the Trill symbiont Qdan in The Host (TNG) couldn't be transported without fatal injuries. In contrast, the Dax symbiont in this episode spends six hours getting its molecules scrambled in the transporter and it’s fine. As stated in the entry for The Host, the problem could be unique to Odan’s hosts.

Nit Central=

  1. Keith Alan Morgan on Saturday, May 08, 1999 - 6:45 am: The Stardate of this episode puts it after Voyager's disappearance, but no one ever mentions it. Rene on Sunday, October 01, 2000 - 6:53 am: Why would anyone mention it? Seniram Starfleet have no way of knowing that Voyaher has ended up on the far side of the Delta Quadrant - for all they know at this point, it may have been swept into Dominion claimed space in the Gamma Quadrant!
  2. Why does Kira have to pretend that Odo is her lover? First of all, her lover at this point is Vedek Bariel. Bariel isn’t there. Secondly, why does she need to mention anything at all about her love life? Shouldn't a simple "You're not my type." work and if that fails she could add, "If you don't leave me alone I'll have you arrested for harassment!" Tiron could regard that as a challenge!
  3. Will on Monday, April 08, 2002 - 10:19 am: This would be a case of 'the-shortest-episode-ever' syndrome, but why don't the mere 30 inhabitants ask Sisko to help them off the planet, so they can lead normal lives? If Dax's boyfriend was ready to come with her, then it's physically possible. The Defiant is probably too small to carry that many passengers, but they arrived 2 weeks before the planet was supposed to fade, which is plenty of time to send a rescue ship. What makes you think they would be willing to leave?
  4. Thande on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 7:44 am: Why does the Defiant have probes, anyway? Isn't it a dedicated warship? (although to be fair, that probe looked pretty muscled and militaristic compared to the others we've seen on Trek!) Seniram They could be used for long term tactical reconnaissance. CdnTim 1120 EST 5 Feb 2021 - Starfleet probes are basically just devices they can launch, and the Defiant has torpedo tubes. Once they were doing mapping, they pulled a few torpedoes for probes.
  5. John A. Lang (Johnalang) on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 6:32 pm: Instead of wasting time by visiting this planet, shouldn't the crew of DS9 be preparing for the Dominion? LUIGI NOVI (Lnovi) on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 6:39 pm: They stumbled onto it by accident, as I recall.John A. Lang (Johnalang) on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 7:53 pm: Yes, you are correct. But still, the voyage wasn't as important as preparing for the Dominion threat. Sisko can go & explore the galaxy after the Dominion has been dealt with. LUIGI NOVI (Lnovi) on Friday, January 11, 2008 - 9:11 pm: Perhaps they were exploring the Gamma Quadrant because Starfleet felt they need all the info they can get on that region, since it's where the Dominion lives. John A. Lang (Johnalang) on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 5:53 am:An intelligence gathering mission? I'll buy that. Tim on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 12:16 pm: What part of STAY OUT of the Gamma Quadrant did the DS9 crew not understand. At the end of the previous season, the Jem'Hadar told them in no uncertain terms that people from the Alpha Quadrant were not welcome in the Gamma Quadrant. They even destroyed the Bajoran colony and a bunch of AQ ships to prove that the Dominion meant business! Phil brought this point up many times in his book. Okay, the Federation wants to explore, but that does not give them the right to trespass into someone else's territory (wouldn't this be like the Feds saying they had a right to explore the Romulan Empire, even though the Romulans wouldn't tolorate it). Maybe if the Feds (and other AQ guys) had done what the Dominion had ordered, the worst war in Federation history might have been avoided. Alas, we'll never know. Still, the fact that the Federation kept invading the Gamma Quadrant anytime they jolly well please no doubt help make the Dominion consider them a threat. Cyber (Cybermortis) on Monday, October 06, 2008 - 7:22 am: Maybe its not such a nit. People had been exploring the Gamma quadrant for something like two years before the Dominion turned up. While the Federation did get to hear about the Dominion they never heard anything about this being Dominion space - and in fact we know from several episodes that there are inhabited planets nearby and other space fairing cultures near the wormhole. None of these seem to have been part of the Dominion, claimed to be part of it or told the Federation that this was Dominion space. As such the Federation could be forgiven for ignoring the threat as unreasonable - If the Dominion had claimed this part of space as theirs right from the start, backed up by the races nearby being part of the Dominion then that would be a different matter. As it is the Dominion are, in effect, trying to lay claim to space arbitrarily.

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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