Star Trek Reviews

Return to season list

Star Trek DS9 - Season 6 - Episode 24

Star Trek DS9 - 6x24 - Time's Orphan

Originally Aired: 1998-5-20

While on a picnic, young Molly O'Brien disappears in a mysterious vortex, only to reapear as an 18-year-old woman. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.34

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 6 4 6 9 12 13 16 14 11 8

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- Worf's impassioned speech about his various accomplishments qualifying him to be a good babysitter is relevant to later Dax episodes. The line is in fact quoted in full at least once. If you haven't seen this episode, then you won't fully understand the reference. It is however a fairly minor detail.



Remarkable Scenes
- Seeing O'Brien's family again. Keiko, Molly, Yoshi, and even Chester! Keiko hates Chester. :(
- O'Brien and Keiko helping Molly assimilate back into society.
- Worf: "I am a Klingon warrior and a Starfleet officer. I have piloted starships through Dominion minefields. I have have stood in battle against Kelvans twice my size. I have courted and won the heart of the magnificent Jadzia Dax. If I can do these things, I can make this child go to sleep!"
- Old Molly saving young Molly.
- Morn Appearances; 1. Is seen when Molly freaks out at Quark's.

My Review
Keiko's return! We haven't seen her since DS9: The Begotten and it's a welcome reunion. I'm kind of miffed that Keiko hates Chester, but I suppose it's only natural. After all, O'Brien "acquired" him without her consent. What a control freak. :( Getting to more serious topics, this is Molly's episode. An innovative and original premise to make Molly prematurely grow up. Michelle Krusiec does a superb job playing the older Molly, convincing the viewer that she was a feral child for the last ten years. The ending is the obvious best moment for the episode; there's no doubt in my mind that she knew what she was doing when she sent her younger self through the little time portal. That's one of those moments that makes you sad and happy at the same time. Well done.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Abigail on 2008-12-25 at 10:58pm:
    Maybe time travel isn't really supposed to make sense, but I never got a good explanation out of this episode for how the 8-year-old Molly and the 18-year-old Molly could end up in the portal simultaneously. If it was just because the 18-year-old was sent back a few moments after the 8-year-old arrived, that's not really a good enough explanation. If they had sent her back four years later, would she have found 12-year-old Molly?

    Also, it disturbed me that Keiko and Miles were even willing to send the 18-year-old back. I didn't see that as the best option. However, since she ended up finding her younger self, it was still a satisfactory ending (minus the fact that I'm a little confused about how she found her younger self ...)
  • From Damien Bradley on 2013-02-18 at 2:56am:
    Bah! Reset button episode. The whole time I was thinking, "they had better not get the 8 year old Molly back." ... but they did. That kind of ruined it for me. I thought it would be really cool to see how this new, 18 year old "feral" Molly would progress and re-integrate herself into society, but no, they of course found a way to magically get the original Molly back. I'm surprised you liked this episode, Eric; you mention reset buttons all the time and how annoying they can be.
  • From OmicronThetaDeltaPhi on 2014-06-29 at 10:14pm:
    It was an interesting episode. It was a moving episode. But one thing deeply bothers me about it: The outrageous attitude of the Federation Magistrate towards Molly.

    He wants to take a frightened girl away from her parents by force, and lock her up in a "special care center". Without even seeing her. Without consulting her parents. Without even having a hearing.

    What's the deal with that??!! Is this Star Trek, or "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"?

    Fans usually target episodes like "For the Uniform" and "In the Pale Moonlight" as being anti-Roddenberry. But to me, it is episodes like this one which put the biggest stain on the utopian future that Star Trek is supposed to be.

  • From ChristopherA on 2021-04-05 at 3:55pm:
    @OmicronThetaDeltaPhi: I don’t remember it that way. The dialog is set up in such a way to make the protagonists sympathetic and the Federation official seem heartless. But actually, she is in jail for knifing someone, presumably she had a hearing but it is irrelevant since we know she is guilty, they don’t need her parents’ permission to detain her, in fact it would be inappropriate to just ignore the crime and release her to her parents. Moving her to a detention facility where she can actually get psychiatric help is actually far more helpful than just a normal prison.

    The works into one of Abigail’s points, that even though the narrative is designed to support the O’Brians’ belief that the only solution is to return her through the time portal, that is pretty questionable. Sure, her parents tried to help her and failed, but maybe, just maybe, a staff of experienced psychiatric expert actually COULD help her acclimate where her layman parents could not. Humans are social animals, they could at least give it a try before they commit various crimes and muck around with time travel equipment they don’t understand in order to condemn her to a life of eternal solitude.

    I thought the concept of the episode was worthwhile and interesting to think about, but it was kind of boring to actually watch, definitely not my favorite.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Return to season list