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Star Trek DS9 - Season 1 - Episode 12

Star Trek DS9 - 1x12 - Vortex

Originally Aired: 1993-4-18

Synopsis:
An alien criminal from the other side of the wormhole tempts Odo by telling the shape-shifter he can put the changeling in contact with others like himself. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.21

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 20 1 3 1 4 18 14 11 14 8 6

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- This is the first episode to mention that Odo's people likely originate from the Gamma Quadrant. It also establishes the character of his people as being distrustful of other species and that their colony is difficult to locate. However while some of this information could be taken as foreshadowing, strictly speaking none of it is essential exposition for proceeding with the story.

Problems
None

Factoids
- Randy Oglesby, who plays the twins in this episode, played one of Riva's chorus in TNG: Loud as a Whisper.

Remarkable Scenes
- Quark: "You think the whole galaxy's plotting around you, don't you? Paranoia must run in your species, Odo. Maybe that's why no one has ever seen another shape shifter! They're all hiding!"
- Odo: "There's no profit in kindness. Your favorite charity is your own profit."
- Odo luring his pursuer into a trap.
- Odo releasing his prisoner to the custody of the Vulcans.
- Morn appearances; 1. Can be seen as the Miradorns walk by in the teaser, back to camera. 2. Odo takes the honor of being the first to refer to Morn by name by pointing him out to Quark.

My Review
This is the first episode in which Odo's past is examined. We learn Odo is one of a kind and that he has possible ties to the Gamma quadrant. We also hear the name of his species for the first time: Changeling. While the plot is somewhat meager and strung together from seemingly random elements, the effect is still nicely profound for Odo's character. It's nice to see Odo so curious about his origins and it's nice to see Odo so compassionate to one of his prisoners. All very nice changes of pace for the character.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Jens-Ivar Seland on 2009-07-18 at 1:41pm:
    Come on! Don't you thionk it's a "problem" that Odo's knocked unconscious by a blow to his "head" ? :)
  • From Bernard on 2009-12-01 at 5:22pm:
    Okay, this episode has quite a few flaws such as Odo being knocked unconscious and Odo piloting the prisoner back into the gamma quadrant alone!

    It does provide a different angle with which to view Odo though. It also seems to have an emotional impact through the storytelling. I love the final line of the episode. I also love that the writers obviously thought their casual made up name for Odo's 'people', changeling (first heard in this episode) was really quite good so continued to use it as seasons two and the rest continued.

    I gave this a 5... unfortunately we now head into a run of mediocrity with the next few episodes...

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