Star Trek 347: Heart of Stone

347. Heart of Stone

FORMULA: Vortex + Final Mission + The Search, Part II

WHY WE LIKE IT: Nog in Starfleet.

WHY WE DON'T: A static dilemma.

REVIEW: When you haven't seen the episode before, Odo and Kira's dilemma is so static (she's stuck in a fake-looking rock for 40 minutes) that you want to revisit the subplot some more. When you HAVE seen the episode, and you know what's really going on, it goes from static to no dilemma at all, just a longish conversation about anything and everything. When it's not technobabble, it's the Founder Leader fishing for personal information. I didn't think the Dominion was that interested in O'Brien sea shanties.

But really, what she's trying to gauge with her somewhat overwrought plan is what kind of bond Odo has with the solids. What's keeping him on DS9. There's a bit about how he got his name. A sharing of hobbies with O'Brien which is never shown onscreen (first the Mike Hammer books, now kayaking), and the Big One, of course, his being in love with Kira. It actually causes Odo pain to admit to "Kira". It's a strong performance from Auberjenois, but it lets the cat out of the bag AND doesn't own up to the consequences (it's not really her). A bit of an anti-climax.

Over at the station, the subplot rewrites Rom and Nog as the most uncommon of Ferengi. Rom is now a mechanical genius, where before he "couldn't fix a bent straw". What that just Quark keeping him down by propagating the fallacy that he was an idiot? And Nog now wants to join Starfleet. Not such a stretch, but he's never mentioned it before. His motivation is an emotional one - deep shame for his father, and the desire not to follow in his footsteps. He doesn't realize he's more his uncle's nephew than he is his father's son.

That story is the real reason to watch Heart of Stone. There's a lot of good comedy in it, especially in Nog trying to buy his apprenticeship from a suspicious Sisko. His good job at doing an inventory raises a few eyebrows, though it's technically in the Ferengi skill set. And while it's the light portion of the episode, there's a real emotional impact to its reveal. Nog and Rom are on their way to the rest of their arcs.

LESSON: You can't buy yourself into Starfleet Academy. It's free.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: The main plot takes too long to get to the point, though it does have a couple things to say about Odo. The Nog subplot is more fun, more interesting and more satisfying.

3 comments:

De said...

Nog trying to buy his apprenticeship from a suspicious Sisko

This is my favorite scene in the entire episode. I really liked Sisko being more skeptical of Nog's past behavior than the unusual Ferengi custom.

Anonymous said...

Was Nog ashamed of his father? I didn't read it that way at all: he may have acknowledged Rom's lack of business acumen, but he also praised his mechanical genius. Didn't seem like shame, just recognizing that being a good Ferengi doesn't work out for everyone.

LiamKav said...

Rewatching DS9 I'm always amazed at how they managed to push the LGBT boundaries after TNG's "don't mention the gays" approach. There's a conversation in this episode about a male crewmemeber who is "budding", which makes Sisko go "oh, he's pregnant", and then Bashir and Sisko have a delightful conversation about throwing this pregnant man a baby shower. There's no smirking, no childish joking. It's lovely.

Slightly balanced by the ever present feeling that everyone is slightly racist towards the Ferengi, but there you go.

 

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