This episode is another one that concentrates on Odo and gives us new clues into his possible origins as well as giving us new insight into his character, with his stern and grumpy character apparently covering a vulnerable and compassionate inner, which he purposely hides to avoid being taken advantage of.
Randy Oglesby, Star Trek veteran actor, with at least 6 different parts to his name (we love how Star Trek recycles its actors!), best known as Degra in Star Trek Enterprise, plays the Miradorn twins Ah-kel and Ro-kel, who get mixed up in a criminal enterprise gone wrong when Quark hires a Rakhari man (Croden) to interrupt a sale and one of them, Ro-kel is accidentally killed. (Both are apparently Gamma quadrant species that we never meet again. DS9 seems quite lax on the first contact formalities.)
“Have you known any twinned Miradorn, commander?”
“I’m afraid I haven’t met any before now.”
“In my species, we are not just twin brothers… together we are a self…
two halves of one being. I am incomplete now.“
Croden is played by Cliff deYoung, the father in one of our all-time favourite family sci-fi films, ‘Flight of the Navigator’ (affectionately known in our house as ‘The One with the Boy’), and also the medical examiner in the pilot episode of X-Files amongst other things.
In jail, Croden presents Odo with a tantalising clue to the origins of the changelings when he shows him a key which transforms itself into the shape of the lock to which it belongs. So when later, Odo has to take Croden back to his homeworld, he is inclined to believe him when he says that the authorities there had unjustly accused him, and killed his family because he was a political dissident, and allows him to retrieve his daughter who was being held, for her own protection, in a stasis chamber which the changeling key unlocked.
When Ah-Kel, furious about his brother’s death, chases them into the Gamma Quadrant and attacks them on the moon where the daughter was, Odo is knocked unconscious and Croden has the opportunity to escape his custody and leave him there, but he doesn’t.
“You could’ve left me behind.”
“Don’t thank me, I already regret it.“
When he wakes up, he is back on the runabout with Croden and his daughter, and Ah-Kel is still trying to kill them. Odo cleverly fools Ah-Kel into destroying his own ship and, instead of taking Croden back to the Rakhari homeworld, he allows him and his daughter to escape by transferring to a Vulcan transport ship which offers assistance.
In the end, Odo is no closer to really finding out who his people are or where they might be, but at least he has a good idea now that he at least does have a people somewhere.
Again, I’m seeing Odo as myself in this story. Somehow over the years I seem to have developed a hard and tough exterior in response to ‘life’ and all that stuff. I’m definitely stern and grumpy now. But inside I’m still a softie and I think people like that have to guard against the kind of people who take advantage. It’s a challenge to be just tough enough to protect yourself without becoming bitter and too rough and tough for people to rub up against you as friends. Odo seems to balance it just right it seems – no matter how stand-offish he tries to be, he doesn’t manage to drive people away. Even Quark is fond of him, and they’re the best of enemies.