447. Prodigal Daughter
FORMULA: Journey to Babel + Honor Among Thieves + Necessary Evil
WHY WE LIKE IT: Well drawn guest characters.
WHY WE DON'T: The coincidental premise.
REVIEW: Just what I was afraid of when Ezri joined the cast... Episodes that flesh out her character at the expense of the rest of the cast and the greater story arc of the show. At least Prodigal Daughter follows up on O'Brien's promise to look after Bilby's wife, but only to tie up that loose end permanently. And it does so by tying her to Ezri's family, which is fortuitous in the extreme. It's even odd that Trills would be on a non-Federation world. Nice matte painting though.
At least Ezri's family is an interesting lot, despite it seeming at times like she's walked into a soap opera. She's never gotten along with her mother, well that's classic Trek, but Mrs. Tigan is well drawn as a smothering and controlling, hard-edged matriarch who loves her children, but doesn't realize she's destroying what she loves. Janel is the older brother trying to hold the business together, all pragmatism and no sense of humor. Norvo is the idiot brother, sensitive and artistic, immediately sympathetic, whose very psyche is being destroyed first by his judgemental mother, and then by a dark secret.
The sad ending isn't really shocking, but you've been pulled so efficiently into this family drama by the actors, that it still may cause your heart to ache. Ezri's final reaction to her mother is still a harsh one, and the Orion Syndicate stuff remains unresolved (they're very much just set dressing in this story, there to tie Mrs. Bilby to the Tigans). The episode makes Ezri as "damaged" as other DS9 characters in the least amount of time, I suppose.
LESSON: There's more than one type of gagh.
REWATCHABILITY - Medium: A soapish family drama that nonetheless works well, even if its agenda is loaded with too many elements for its own good (flesh out Ezri + the Bigby thing).