A group of pompous Federation ambassadors arrive on the station, proceeding with a fact-finding mission concerning the wormhole. Sisko has the foresight to assign Dr. Bashir to escort them about the station while he prefers to tend to business. Among the ambassadors is Lwaxana Troi who develops an interest for Odo. Shortly afterwards a probe comes through the wormhole and after data has been downloaded from there, the station begins to experience strange malfunctions. A turbolift with Odo and Lwaxana Troi gets stuck, and there is no way of getting them out before Odo has to return to his liquid state. Lwaxana, however, assures him that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. O'Brien finally recognizes that the program behaves like a "puppy" that wants to be entertained, and so instead of trying to eliminate it he transfers it from the main system to a subroutine he calls a "doghouse".

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Odo originally proves himself worthy ot Lwaxana‘s affection by recovering her brooch. When it is lifted by a thief in Quarks, Odo suggests that Lwaxana sweep the room with her telepathic sense. She senses nothing but casts an accusatory glance at Quark, stating that Betazoid cannot read Ferengi minds. Odo responds with the tangential insult that Quark usually doesn’t have to resort to petty theft to fleece his customers. Odo then looks around the room and lays hold of a Dopterian. The Dopterians are distant cousins ot the Ferengi, and Odo wonders ii the Dopterian might be opaque to Lwaxana‘s telepathic sense as well. Sure enough, when the Dopterian empties his pocket, Odo finds a small pile of pilfered items, including Lwaxana‘s brooch. Odo then hauls the Dopterian off to the Security office and leaves the rest of the stolen items behind on the table! Either a deputy collected them, or the people in the room reclaimed their possessions.
  2. At one point an Arbazan ambassador tells Sisko that she can‘t stand the thought of spending another night in a Cardassian bed with gargoyles staring down at her from the wood poles. Both Past Prologue and Q-Less show us the guest quarters on DS9, and I do not recall seeing any gargoyles. (Bashir probably tried to do the ambassador a favour and put her up in the station's honeymoon suite. Knowing Cardassians, it probably also has handcuffs, leather restraints, and whips decorating the walls!) Maybe the gargoyles are near the ceiling, and out of view of the camera.
  3. When Odo finds out that Lwaxana has reserved a holosuite for them with Quark he exclaims, "Good Lord!‘ Which “lord” would this be? Odo has grown up around Bajorans. They worship the Prophets. (Just another one of those pesky human habits Odo is absorbing much too quickly. First it was pretence - see Past Prologue. Now it's exclamatories!) He probably researched human expressions when he learnt that Starfleet would be administrating the station following the Cardassian withdrawal.
  4. Discovering that Odo has been in a turbolift for four hours. Sisko asks Kira it she knows his regenerative cycle. Kira replies that she does not. Now, let me get this straight: This guy is your chief of Security. and you have no idea when he will be out of commission? Does this seem right’? Who wants to wager that Quark knows exactly when Odo will regenerate? Odo probably wanted to keep this secret.

Changed Premises

  1. Making a pass at the station's chief of Security, Lwaxana asks him if Odo is his first or last name. Odo simply answers, "Yes." Now. I realize that Odo’s under some pressure at this moment and probably would say anything to get away from Lwaxana, but in "Heart of Stone, Odo reveals that his full name is Odo Ital. Given the Bajoran format, that would make Odo his family name and Ital his given name. Odo is a very private individual, especially at this point, and doesn’t feel comfortable talking about his past, due to the bad memories of his early existence.
  2. In this episode Odo confirms that his regenerative cycle is sixteen hours long, not eighteen hours long as he stated in A Man Alone. See my explanation in the entry for A Man Alone.

Equipment Oddities

  1. Complaining about the fusion reactors on the station, O'Brien says that he would trade it in for a Federation model tomorrow it he ooutd. But it's all they've got. Wait a minute: Doesn’t O‘Brien fix every broken ship that wanders by? What does he use? Cardassian parts? Bajoran parts’? Wouldn't he use Federation parts? And in The Survivors" (TNG), Picard gave a fusion-powered replicator to Kevin Uxbridge and his faux wile. The Federation has never seemed stingy when it comes to its equipment. So why can't O'Brien get a couple of fusion reactors? They may not be compatible with the Cardassian equipment on the station.
  2. Early on. O'Brien complains about the Cardassian computer system and how he is going to have to rebuild it from the ground up. That's funny; I thought in Emissary that O'Brien said that the Cardassians took “every component of value." (Then again. From the way O'Brien is talking, I suppose this would be a true statement!) O’Brien may have temporarily restored components for the computer that the Cardassians had considered to be valueless.
  3. I realize that the transporters on the station are down and that’s why Sisko's team doesn’t just beam Odo and Lwaxana out of the turbolift, but why doesn‘t anyone mention the transporters on the runabouts? Are they out of commission, too? And it so. why? Are their computer systems connected to the main system on the station? Perhaps the turbolifts are designed to block transporter beams – especially those from non Cardassian transporters.
  4. Once again—as was the case on the Enterprise—when the computer is unhappy, great arcs of electricity erupt from the terminals. One has to wonder why the designers of these death traps constructed them to run on 50,000 volts instead at the normal low-power method used today. These computers may need a large amount of power.
  5. At the end of this episode, Bashir and three ambassadors find themselves in a plasma-flame-engulfed corridor, Wisely, Bashir leads them into a conduit. Several minutes later, Sisko and company charge to the rescue. After coming to the conclusion that Bashir and the ambassadors must be dead, Sisko happily watches as the hatchway to the conduit flies off and everyone emerges a bit singed but safe. Aren't these conduits inter-connected? Why didn't Bashir lead them to safety on another level? Was the conduit blocked off in some way? The group probably decided it would be safer if they stayed where they were.

Continuity And Production Problems

  1. Nearing the start ol his regenerative cycle. Odo begins to do his impression of the Wicked Witch of the West. (“I'm melting. I'm melting.") Oddly enough. though his face and hands look like they are ready to drip, his clothes look just fine. Yet every time Odo morphs we see that his clothes are actually pan of him, So why aren't they melting, too? Odo is concentrating on maintaining his body, as that constitutes the bulk of him.

Nit Central

  1. ScottN on Wednesday, June 02, 1999 - 1:42 am: That Vulcan ambassador wasn't a very good example of his species, is he? Of course, any ambassador will pale in comparison to Sarek… Maybe he was chosen as Ambassador in order to get him away from Vulcan!
  2. Did the "puppy" get destroyed when they blew up the computers when the Cardies came back? Maybe they transferred it and it’s ‘doghouse’ to the Defiant, before passing it to Starfleet Corps of Engineers for further study.
  3. Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Thursday, July 27, 2000 - 2:23 am: So Dopterians are distant cousins of the Ferengi? Does this mean that Ferenganar produced two intelligent species, or are we supposed to believe that two separate worlds produced lifeforms that are similar enough to be called 'cousins'? (Of course, this is the same universe that allows people from different planets to have children, so I guess anything's possible.) Chris Thomas on Friday, July 28, 2000 - 12:24 am: Romulans are distant cousins of Vulcans so maybe there was a breakaway group of Fernegi aeons ago that set up home somewhere else?
  4. When the fire filled the corridor, I thought, 'Isn't this where those little oxygen masks should drop from the ceiling?" This is a space station, not an airliner! Besides, having oxygen masks drop from the ceiling of a corridor full of fire is unlikely because
    1) This is a mining station designed and built by Cardassians, who aren’t exactly safety minded.
    2) Having oxygen masks dropping into a fire filled area will raise the risk of them catching fire and exploding.
  5. John A. Lang on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 10:05 pm: Why aren't there "emergency escape doors" on the turbolift cars on DS9? In "Disaster" (STTNG) the Enterprise-D turbolifts had a hatch in the roof of the car for people to escape. Brian Fitzgerald on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 2:41 am: Because the Federation are the types to say safety first. The Cardassians (who built DS9) are probably the more "take you chances" type Pentalarc on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 10:08 pm: Re: Cardassians being "take your chances" type
    I don't know, their computer certainly seems overly idiot proof, seeing as it won't let O'Brien override like he really needs to. Are the Cardassian computer designers that paranoid? Are the Cardassian computer operators that incompetent? Or is O'Brien that much of a hotshotter when it comes to computers?
  6. D.K. Henderson on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 8:35 am: When Sisko and Kira were in the fire-ravaged corridor, a hatch pops open and Dr. Bashir scrambles out. This makes sense, for surely Julian would have gotten the ambassadors safely inside before crawling in himself. But you would have thought that they would have the lady go in first, and therefore be the last out--unless the conduit has lots of room to move about inside, which doesn't seem logical. John-Boy on Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - 4:35 pm: With the fire approching them, they may not have had time to worry about being nice and letting the lady go first. :) Seniram Depends on whether they left by the same hatch they entered or not.

Deep Space Nine Season 1
Emissary I Past Prologue I A Man Alone I Babel I Captive Pursuit I Q-Less I Dax I The Passenger I Move Along Home I The Nagus I Vortex I Battle Lines I The Storyteller I Progress I If Wishes Were Horses I The Forsaken I Dramatis Personae I Duet I In the Hands of the Prophets
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