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Star Trek DS9 - Season 7 - Episode 14

Star Trek DS9 - 7x14 - Chimera

Originally Aired: 1999-2-17

Synopsis:
Odo returns from a conference with an unexpected guest: a Changeling who tracked and boarded his runabout. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.69

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 42 3 4 13 10 15 13 12 13 14 18

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- This episode is a fun concept, but they don't really go anywhere with it.

Problems
None

Factoids
- J. G. Hertzler plays Laas in this episode. He also plays General Martok.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Changeling's appearance.
- Laas: "Odo, we linked. I know the truth. You stayed here because of Kira. If it weren't for her, you would be with our people. War or no war, you would be a founder."
- Laas' rude behavior, insulting humanoids.
- Laas' confrontation with the Klingons.
- Quark advising Odo about Laas.
- Laas: "What higher flattery is there? I who can be anything choose to be like you."
- I love Kira's lie to Sisko about how Laas escaped. "He turned into some kind of plasma energy and force his way through" the forcefield.
- Morn Appearances; 1. Is present when Laas is "being fog" on the promenade.

My Review
An interesting idea for an episode wrecked by filler syndrome. Introducing the Laas character, the second of the hundred for Odo to meet, was long overdue. Unfortunately just as before in DS9: The Begotten, the writers just didn't want to introduce another Changeling character. So we get a disgruntled Laas who hates humanoids and leaves as soon as he gets a chance. To me, this was a wasted chance to do something cool with the character. Imagine how the founders would have reacted to meeting Laas? Or imagine what Starfleet could have done with another allied Changeling? The only interesting thing this episode contributes to the story is the revelation that without Kira, Odo would be a founder regardless of the war. I think that really says something about Odo's character.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From MJ on 2011-08-04 at 1:59pm:
    J.G. Hertzler and Jeffrey Combs...did DS9 strike gold when it hired those two or what? Fantastic, versatile actors.

    I do agree this episode fails to explore some very interesting story arcs. At the very least, Laas could have showed up later in the season having found a couple more Changelings and that could've been worked in somehow...maybe to the sequel instead of wasting it on the ridiculous Pah Wraith/Prophet arc.

    But overall I really like this episode. Laas' behavior is understandable, and gives us some insight into why the Changelings have such a distrust for "solids". It's likely they experienced everything Laas did, and much worse, throughout their history. Laas proposal to form a new link is exactly what I would expect a Changeling in his position to want to do. I do think it was a bit absurd that he kept baiting humanoids, being deliberately confrontational. He had to know by now what the outcome of such behavior would be. More likely he would want to avoid them entirely, but of course that wouldn't have been much of a story.

    I give it a 6.
  • From John on 2011-12-22 at 1:30am:
    You have to love the irony of Laas complaining about how humanoids recklessly "displace all the life forms around them", while his people are trying to take over the entire galaxy and have killed billions of people and destroyed entire planets in the process.

    It seems to me 'the great link' is just the ultimate form of narcissism in the galaxy, and Odo is the only one who can see it for what it is.

    J. G. Hertzler does a fantastic job at portraying the arrogant and incredibly rude Laas here -- that alone makes this episode one of the best of the seventh season.
  • From 0mcn7 on 2012-01-09 at 5:51am:
    I loved Quarks commentary on why humans are so suspicious of anything out of the ordinary and also showed how Quark despite the constant rivalry really does care for Odo.
  • From Chris Wright on 2012-04-30 at 1:26pm:
    I can't believe this episode wasn't rated higher or that anyone on here hasn't pointed out the allegorical representations in the episode. While it has its problems (like why don't jails in the 24th century have surveillence cameras?), this epsiode excelled at beauty. It was beautifully acted, beautiful symbolism, and some of the lines are beautifully quotable. I gave it a 9.
  • From JR on 2012-07-02 at 12:19am:
    This is one of the episodes I remember fairly strongly from the first time I watched the series way back when. I thought it came much sooner though...I was expecting it in season 3 or 4.

    When Laas becomes fog and the Klingons take offense, I could swear that is Rene Auborjonis (Odo) playing the Klingon that Laas stabs in the chest. It greatly resembles what he looked like as a solid turned Klingon by Bashir in an earlier episode. I checked the credits and only one of the two Klingons is listed as a Co-Star.
  • From Bronn on 2013-07-25 at 11:32pm:
    I think this was poorly executed. It could have been a good episode, but they missed a lot of things. There's some people acting out of character in order for this story to work. Sisko is out of character-he wouldn't have handed over Laas to the Klingons for a trial that wasn't equitable. It's a callback to the extradition hearing in "Dax,"-he knew there wasn't a fair trial on the other side of it, so he wasn't about to let that trial happen. And while I can understand O'Brien being irritated by some of Laas' baiting, Bashir ends up biting on it too, which is unlike him.

    They also fail to address the obvious issue-people mistrust Laas not because of his inherent nature as a changeling, but because the changelings are leading an oppressive government that has declared war on the entire quadrant. The Klingons are persecuting him in much the way they did Odo during "The Way of the Warrior." They think he's one of the Founders. The fact that's unaffected by a virus which has only been revealed through third-hand sources isn't convincing to them.

    (also, you have to wonder what happens to Laas after this episode-he presumably catches this virus by linking with Odo...then probably dies not long after this)

    Moreover, I wish we'd taken time to explore the moral dilemma that spurs the conflict of this episode-the death of the Klingon. I felt like that could have been a really interesting use for this guest character. The Klingon tried to stab him, but it doesn't affect him much since he has no vital organs to injure, then he kills the other Klingon. Was he reaching for a knife, or for his disruptor? Laas COULD have responded with less than deadly force, as we've seen Odo do countless times-he could have extended his arm and disarmed the Klingon instead of stabbing him. The Klingons attacked, but did they attack with deadly force, and was he justified in responding with deadly force? It's kind of a staple of cop shows, but the dilemma there is always whether the other person had a gun or not. Using a changeling makes you really ponder the question of how imminently he was threatened, even after he'd been stabbed once. That was more mentally engaging to me than the main plot of the episode.
  • From L on 2013-08-17 at 4:28am:
    Wow, a non-lesbian homo-erotic subtext, that's pretty rare.
    Interesting episode.

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