According to Memory Alpha's original in Universe Timeline, the story sequence is:
Elogium : The Adversary : The 37's.
In the Changeling infiltration story arc, the story sequence is
The Die is Cast : The Adversary : The Way of the Warrior.


Ambassador Krajensky informs Sisko, who has just been promoted to the rank of captain, of a coup on the Tzenkethi homeworld that would also threaten some nearby Federation colonies. With the Defiant on the way to that sector, a distress call from Barisa Prime states that they are under attack by the Tzenkethi. But Krajensky, who is actually a changeling, has deceived everyone aboard, in the hopes of causing a war between the Federation and the Tzenkethi. He morphs and escapes through a hatch. In the following the changeling continues to fool the crew among whom suspicion arises that anyone could be the intruder.

Odo discovers that Sisko is bleeding, inferring that he can't be a changeling because parts separated from the body would return to their gelatinous state. Now they have found a method to expose the changeling. But with the Defiant entering Tzenkethi space with activated weapons, Sisko has to order the ship's self-destruction, giving O'Brien only ten minutes to regain control. During a scuffle in the engineering room Odo jabs the other changeling who falls into the field surrounding the warp core and dies. The changeling's last words are: "You are too late. We are everywhere."

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. The episode begins with Ambassador Krajensky delivering mission orders to Sisko. Pardon my suspicious nature, but did it occur to anyone on the senior staff to double-check this stuff with Starfleet Command? Evidently not, because later Sisko, Kira, Bashir, Eddington, and Odo discuss that they can't be sure there was a coup. And at the end of the episode we found out there wasn't! In Improbable Cause and The Die is Cast we saw a Changeling infiltrate the Tal Shiar and spur on a fool's mission to wipe out the Founders. Odo supposedly filed a full report with Sisko and company. Did nobody make the connection? The report was probably filed away without being read or discussed! [N 1]
  2. Again we must ask: Does the Senior staff do anything on the space station? Here they go again—tramp- ing off on a two-day mission just because Starfleet supposedly wants to show the flag. And even if we agree that Starfleet underlings can handle the senior staff's responsibilities while they are gone, why do Kira and Odo come along? This is a purely Starfleet mission. Kira's job is to be the Bajoran liaison officer to DS9! Did she take a leave of absence to do this? And what about Odo? He's the station's chief of Security! He doesn't belong on this mission. (Yes, Kira and Odo went along during The Search Part 1, but Kira mentioned the importance to Bajor of establishing a peaceful relationship with the Dominion. Yes, Kira and Odo were on board during "Past Tense Part 1 and Past Tense Part 2 but Sisko said they were all called to Earth for a conference. Yes, Kira was on board during Destiny but that was a joint Bajoran/Cardassian/Federation project to set up the communications relay on the Gamma side of the wormhole. Yes, Kira was on board during The Die is Cast, but that was an unauthorized mission to rescue Odo. None of these missions was purely Starfleet. However, the mission in Meridian was, and guess what? Neither Kira nor Odo came along. That made sense! The Defiant is a Starfleet vessel.) What about the recon mission in Children of Time? Was that Starfleet only as well?
  3. To make it difficult for O'Brien to regain control of the ship, the Changeling bludgeons Dax. Kira comments on this clever tactic because Without Dax, O'Brien's job will be much harder. Thankfully, the Chanceling seems to be less clever than every- one thinks. If he's so set on stopping O'Brien, why doesn't he just stop O'Brien?! Why quit with Dax? (Because if the Changeling did what he is capable of doing, there wouldn't be a show. Everyone would be dead. And the Federation would be at war with the Tzenkethi!) To quote Martia in ST VI, Good enough for one – Two would have looked suspecious!

Changed Premises

  1. Supposedly "No Changeling has ever harmed another." We've hear that phrase over and over from Changelings in episodes such as The Search Part 2 and Heart of Stone. But in this episode a Changeling like he's ready to allow Odo to die cause the Changeling won't return control of the ship. Only with semantic tomfoolery could you make the case that this doesn't constitute a Changeling harming Odo. And, what about that "ramming my fist into your chest" thing that the Changeling does to Odo at the end of the episode? Wouldn't that be considered "harming" Odo? Have the Changelings decided that Odo isn't one of them anymore? That would make sense, given that Odo has consistently rejected requests to rejoin the Link!

Equipment Oddities

  1. Just a minor item: When Dax scans the senior staff for tetryon particles, she closes and reopens the tricorder between each scan. Why? Isn't there a reset button for the sensors? (She's probably just nervous.) She could be clearing the previous scan results from the tricorder’s memory.
  2. The Defiant must be a highly automated ship. After the discovery of the Changeling, Sisko orders Odo and Eddington to confine all nonessential personnel to their quarters. Yet earlier we learn that there are only forty- seven people on board! With only forty-seven people to begin with, how many are really "non-essential" for running this starship? (l know for sure that O'Brien could use some help in Engineering!) Perhaps they are second shift personnel.
  3. As the teams depart to search the ship, everyone picks up a phaser rifle from the table behind the captain's chair on the bridge. Oddly enough, after everyone leaves, there's a phaser rifle left—apparently unattended! Is that one for the Changeling to use? Maybe it’s a spare!
  4. Does anyone else find it odd that the Changeling took over every system on the ship but forgot to disable the self-destruct? Any attempt to tamper with the self destruct system might have accidentaly set it off!

Nit Central

  1. Cableface on Saturday, December 05, 1998 - 12:38 pm: How could Bashir open the door to his cell, from the inside, with a forcefield in operation? Chris Thomas on Friday, February 04, 2000 - 10:31 pm: I thought he did the ol' Star Trek trick of fiddling with the panel, causing a little explosion which forced the door open.
  2. BrianB on Wednesday, April 14, 1999 - 2:37 am: Why do all Changelings wear the same apricot jumpsuit? cableface on Saturday, April 17, 1999 - 3:25 pm: I think it's supposed to be a generic asexual kinda thing, just like they are. They can conquer planets but they have no idea of fashion sense.
  3. Keith Alan Morgan on Saturday, May 08, 1999 - 8:34 am: Why does Jake pin on Sisko's Captain's pip? If you're going to all the trouble of having a ceremony about it, then shouldn't an Admiral do this? D4everman on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 3:07 pm: Often in today's military, a spouse or family member will be invited to pin the new rank on a service member that's being promoted. Its not unheard of, or really unusual.
  4. If the Tzenkethi are an aggressive race, then why doesn't Starfleet already have a few ships patrolling the Tzenkethi border? The Federation probably agreed to pull back from the border as part of the deal to end the previous war. Also would a sawed off little ship like the Defiant really be enough to impress the Tzenkethi to avoid a war? ("Oooooh, don't mess with the Federation! Just look how tiny and thin that ship is! They really mean business now!") Defrul on Tuesday, February 29, 2000 - 5:28 pm: That little ship is one of the most heavily armed warships in the quadrant (Gul Dukat said in Defiant). Wouldn't you want to send your best into a hostile situation? They would then think twice about messing with you.
  5. When 'Bashir' takes blood from the Bolian it seemed to contain a lot less blood than the samples taken from Kira & Eddington.Chris Thomas on Friday, February 04, 2000 - 10:29 pm: Maybe that's simply the nature of Bolian blood? You try to extract the same amount as from a human but you get less.Mark Swinton on Tuesday, February 29, 2000 - 4:51 pm: Maybe the fake Bashir knew something about Bolian medicine, which might easily state that "Bolians need their blood, particularly in Class-M atmospheres. When conducting tests or administering treatment necessarily involving the sampling of blood, take the minimum possible quantity to prevent the patient from fainting, blah blah blah blah, etc." Or maybe, since this is the fake Bashir, he didn't know as much as the real Bashir and had the hypospray set to extract the minimum quantity by mistake, which he discreetly rectified when taking Eddington's sample. (No-one would have noticed him doing that- everyone is very tense at that point wondering who the changeling could be and if he is present in the room.)
  6. Harvey Kitzman on Wednesday, August 11, 1999 - 10:33 pm:
    First of all, why don't Kira and Sisko do a retina scan (ala STII - TWOK) in ordering the self destruction instead of a palm scan? Retinal scans may take too long.
    Secondly, when was this Tzenkethi war? I have not seen any official information on this. In fact, I don't think that we hear from the Tzenkethi ever again in the series. Does anyone have this information? According to Paradise Lost, this war took place during Ben Sisko’s assignment as first officer of the Okinawa, which was sometime after he graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2353/4, but before he was assigned to the Saratoga prior to the Battle of Wolf 359 in early 2367.
    Finally, regarding Eddington's comments about not getting to be captain if you wear a gold uniform - why? His comment implies that security, engineering, and other support officers are not as good as the red-shirted command staff? Didn't everyone go to the Academy and learn the same things? Is the gold uniform a consolation prize if you can't make command staff? Scotty was third in command of the Enterprise, Geordi showed that he was capable of command, and Data was in command several times. The comment by Eddington implies that these gold-shirts are "second-class" Starfleet officers, when clearly that is not the case. He could be making assumptions, possibly based on a perceived lack of career progress on his part.
  7. Chris Thomas on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 3:52 pm:I was thinking about the comments Phil made in the DS9 book when O'Brien calls out to see if someone is there and Phil wonders why he didn't scan for life signs - granted, it seems like a sensible thing to do but would the computer pick up a Changeling? Especially one disguised as something else? If it was that easy, wouldn't DS9 continually be scanning for Changeling lifeforms that weren't Odo to pick out any infiltrators? Slinky Frog on Thursday, December 02, 1999 - 5:22 pm:I think I remember comments made by the Female changeling to Odo, that to change shape properly, is to become that shape. That means what ever that shape, that is how is shows up on sensors. So if O'Brien scanned for lifesigns, it wouldn't pick up the changeling, it would pick up Dr. Bashir. Though, I agree, O'Brien should have scanned who was there. Steve Kreisler on Monday, February 28, 2000 - 5:06 pm:About the scanning for life signs thing, I'm pretty sure that in this very episode Odo states that if a Changeling assumes the form of something, it will show up as that thing on a sensor scan (he gives a colorful example which I've sadly forgotten). Nevertheless, I agree that scanning for life signs would have been a prudent thing for O'Brien to do.
    Note also that scanning for life signs is not the same thing as asking for the current location of a crew member. The computer would probably have reported human life signs, after which O'Brien might have asked it to identify the humanoid. It would probably have identified it as Dr. Bashir (assuming the Changling did a good job duplicating the good doctor) and left it at that, unless O'Brien, in a burst of inspiration, had asked it to check for any other Dr. Bashirs on board. Tam-Borg on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 1:46 pm: Sadly, it is not that colorful. His example is a rock. (If a Changeling assumes the form of a rock, the scanners will read a rock).
  8. Kinggodzillak on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 1:37 pm: Why did they lock up the escape pods and shuttles during the self-destruct sequence? I'm guessing that's not standard procedure, as the Enterprise's escape pods were launched after the destruct sequence was initiated in First Contact. Are they all locked up automatically in the last five minutes, or something? Why wasn't anyone allowed to use them? OK, so the changeling might be able to get away in one...but it's not like it could have done much in an escape pod...The changeling could have altered the system, to stop the crew escaping.


  1. There is a precedent for this - in the late 1930s warnings about the effectiveness of the A6M from Claire Lee Chennault were dismissed out of hand!

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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