O-Deck Re-Watch — Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 1.11, "The Vortex."

“from the colony of the Changeling.”

*There will be spoilers.*

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This episode shows how easy it is to con Odo. All that’s needed is a trinket and vague innuendo.

Some Miradorn twins show up at Quark’s looking to sell some stolen merchandise. Quark moves the exchange to a holosuite, out of Odo’s prying eyes — but he tags along shape-shifted into a bar glass. A third party, a Gamma Quadrant alien named Croden, enters the holosuite, shoots one of the twins, and attempts to steal the merchandise. Odo stops the theft, arrests Croden, and tries to get him to implicate Quark in the mess. All Croden does is call Odo a “Changeling” and drop hints about Gamma Quadrant shape-shifters. Croden even gives Odo a pendant with a proto-Changeling in it.

“The shape-shifters are harsh in their judgement.” They are outcasts as well. Because Changelings don’t prefer to take humanoid forms and don’t assimilate to other cultures they are ostracized and persecuted everywhere they go. Driven off planets, they seclude themselves in a distant nebula.

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This is what Croden shares with Odo to gain his trust. It’s mostly accurate, except for the nebula. All that’s hiding there is a stasis pod housing Croden’s daughter. The crimes he committed on his own world got his wife and other children killed. Every half-truth he shared with Odo was to get to his daughter. Odo not being the typical Changeling, he takes sympathy on Croden and his daughter, sending them off with some Vulcans, instead of back to his home world to face execution. But this episode was always about teasing out the backstory of Odo’s people, and will be the last tease about them as a species until they are fully revealed.

Fun Facts from Memory Alpha

  • First aired April 18, 1993.
  • Morn is officially named in this episode.

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