Star Trek 406: Children of Time

406. Children of Time

FORMULA: Second Chances + The City on the Edge of Forever

WHY WE LIKE IT: What might have been. The Sons of Mogh.

WHY WE DON'T: Necessary technobabble. Unseen wives.

REVIEW: Children of Time is far from the only temporal paradox story in the canon, but it's one of the better and more original ones. When the crew of the Defiant encounters their own descendants on Gaia, they learn they are destined to crash there 200 years in the past. The paradox is that they can now avoid a collision with the temporal anomaly responsible and doom their descendants to non-existence. And since Kira didn't make it in the original history, there's an imperative to avoid the crash, but is her life worth those of the 8000 colonists?

What you don't expect from this high concept conundrum is to actually care about the descendants enough to kinda wish the Defiant does go through with it and fulfill its destiny. We get a nice snapshot of what might have been, and aside from Kira's death, it doesn't seem like such a bad life. Worf becomes a legend and the founder of a Klingon sect, which just seems perfect, as are the descriptions of his wedding to Jadzia. I do wish they'd shown us the women O'Brien and Bashir would have ended up with though. DS9 is also well suited to jumping into its own future because the Dax symbiont and Odo are very long-lived, and both make it to this point. And it's these two characters who have the most at stake.

Dax still feels responsible for stranding the crew, but has chosen to protect the community rather than nullify it. For his part, Odo has regretted losing Kira and does want to reverse history. Both will betray the Defiant crew. Yedrin's plan to have his cake and eat it too is a ploy to strand the Defiant crew like in the original history. But ultimately, the crew will decide to "do the right thing" by their descendants, sacrificing their former lives for the hardships of Gaia. And it's hard not to agree. The community's courage and dignity as its faces the void is inspiring, and there's a great and unusual planting sequence, both beautifully filmed and scored. Hard to resist those kids too, isn't it? Worf's legendary status is confirmed by his bringing the Sons of Mogh to the fields where he explains that time is their enemy, wonderfully bringing their entire colony together.

But Future Odo has other plans and he betrays the Gaians and the Defiant, preventing Kira's death, but also voiding 8000 lives. It's an even more massive betrayal than when he betrays his own confidence by letting Schroedinger's cat out of the bag regarding his love for Kira. It's not the best scene in the episode as I think Kira should have admitted that she kinda knew (at least, her behaviour suggested it sometimes), but in the end, his love is too dangerous a thing (it overrules the ethics of the situation). And our Odo doesn't quite understand what he did/would do wrong, so it is his betrayal as well, and I think a possible reason why these two aren't getting together quite yet. (But at least it's over with Shakaar - Yay!!!)

I just read that this is the last time we see the Gamma Quadrant until the very last episode. I hadn't realized, so I thought I'd mention it.

LESSON: Love conquers all, but sometimes maybe it shouldn't.

REWATCHABILITY - High: Sad but not a tearjerker, Children of Time has moments of great lyricism and a poignant ethical dilemma.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder why When Odo Linked with his future self it didnt create a Paradox.....as 2of the same objects in the same time cannot occupy the same space

Siskoid said...

Is that a Trekkism? Because I don't think it is.

 

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