Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Crossfire   Rewatch 
February 14, 2016 6:52 PM - Season 4, Episode 13 - Subscribe

What becomes of the broken-hearted... especially when they have to protect the new lover of their crush?

- The story for this episode originated in Robert Hewitt Wolfe's idea to do a Bodyguard-type story (the Lawrence Kasdan movie starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston). The idea was for Odo to be the bodyguard protecting Kira from something, and falling in love with her. As things transpired, the audience found out about Odo's love for Kira in a completely different manner (in the episode "Heart of Stone"), but nevertheless, the producers still liked Wolfe's basic idea, and they kept the story in mind.

- In René Echevarria's original draft for this episode, towards the end, there is an explosion, and Shakaar and Kira are in the path of a fire, and Odo has to decide which one to protect; he loves Kira, but he has been assigned to guard Shakaar. He chooses to save Shakaar, and Kira is almost killed. Then at the end of the episode, we find out that Odo made his choice out of spite. According to Echevarria, this dénouement "just didn't work. So we massively overhauled the story and made it a much more gentle show."

- In the scene where Quark finds Odo sitting on the ground of his demolished room, a strand of Odo's hair is loose. This was an improvisation by actor Rene Auberjonois. Some of the producers, Ira Steven Behr included, weren't happy with the look, but they decided to leave it in the episode because it was argued that if Odo's hair is falling out of place, and his hair is 'part' of him, then it symbolizes that Odo is literally falling apart. According to Auberjonois however, "I just pulled some strands because I was trying to evoke an image from a Japanese print I'd seen of a warrior in defeat."

- The plant which Odo destroys against the wall to begin his rampage was given to him in "The Abandoned" by Kira, and the pot was the bucket Odo had previously used when he regenerated into a liquid state, making the destruction of the plant and the pot highly symbolic.

"Little tiny feet skittering across the floor. Back and forth. Back and forth."
"You could hear that?"
[points to his ears] "Hello?!"

- Quark and Kira

"There are other ways to create order in your life. Your quarters, for example. Everything in mine has its specific place, and it's all arranged just so."
"Yes, mine too. Even with my eyes closed, I would still know where everything was."
"I would not tolerate it any other way."
"I'll tell you what else to do. Make sure everyone knows they can't just drop by your quarters to say 'hello'. If someone does, whatever happens, don't make them feel welcome."
"Of course not. That would only invite subsequent visits."

- Odo and Worf
posted by Halloween Jack (8 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is probably as good a time as any to point out that Mrs. CoB and I have a running joke concerning my prejudice against Bajoran men as uniformly bland, dull, and feeble. The exceptions I can think of off the top of my head are Brian Keith and the one guy who looks like he's about to punch the Jem'Hadar kid in "The Abandoned."
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 12:24 PM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I like Furel, because he and Lupaza somehow remind me of most of the long-term couples in the pagan/SCA/SF&F axis that I've known. I also liked Razka, the smuggler-turned-junk-dealer who has zero time for Dukat's bullshit. They tend not to have that annoyingly-squared-away look that most Bajorans have on DS9 (probably because most of the ones we see are either militia personnel or religious types of some sort). But, yeah, for some reason they got rid of Shakaar's rock-star hair and gave him a bad haircut.

Overall, this isn't a bad episode, since it gave us bonding moments for Odo with Quark and Worf, who had been clashing with Odo not that long ago. And the Odo-trashes-his-quarters scene was pretty good. However, I was really expecting the assassination plot to go somewhere besides "oh, yeah, we just happened to catch the guy, no big whoop." I was expecting it to turn out to be Shakaar's slightly-too-intense adjutant, maybe because he secretly wanted the Cardassians to come back and rationalized it by claiming that they'd be better with a civilian government in charge. They also could have done the having-to-choose-between-Shakaar-and-Kira scene without having Odo's choice be because he was butthurt over being rejected.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:00 PM on February 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

This was a weak episode, with the wrap-up of the bad guy getting caught without much effort and off camera being fairly tame. We learn about Odo's feelings at the start, and it is clear which way this is going to go when Shakaar arrives. The only minor piece of intrigue is whether Shakaar will be killed or live. The only thing this episode has going for it is setting up some cool Dukat dialogue where he goads Kira about Shakaar in the next episode.

The Odo/Quark bonding stuff was pretty cool, but the 2 actors playing the 2 roles are so good in them that they make that work.
posted by marienbad at 1:58 PM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Odo/Quark bonding stuff was pretty cool, but the 2 actors playing the 2 roles are so good in them that they make that work.

Armin Shimerman's read of the line "Nah" was truly eloquent.

I wonder if the writers, with 20/20 hindsight, would have bothered having Shakaar show up again after the first episode. It turned out that Kira/Odo/The Founders was a much more interesting source of triangulation than any of the other complications/love interests they tried to introduce. And Winn was a more interesting representative of Bajor (even though she sets my teeth on edge every time she's on screen.)
posted by creepygirl at 9:34 PM on February 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

This storyline was so similar to the Li Nyalis storyline and also some of Barail's. Aren't there any charismatic leaders on Baajor who actually have any interest in leading? And who are actually charismatic? Other than Kai Winn, obviously.

I follow someone on Tumblr who ships Odo/Quark, and while that's not really my jam...I can see it.
posted by chaiminda at 3:51 AM on March 14, 2016

Auberjonois and Shimerman do great work to sell this, but turning Kira into basically a plot device (again) is, as my wife said, "some real nineties bullshit."
posted by Navelgazer at 2:04 PM on May 17, 2020

I was really expecting the assassination plot to go somewhere besides "oh, yeah, we just happened to catch the guy, no big whoop."

I actually thought it was pretty effective to resolve it that way! For me, it was emphasizing just how badly Odo was disconnected from the work he was actually supposed to be doing. He's supposed to be the guy who catches the criminal, and not only did he not catch the guy, he wasn't even in the loop about any of the evidence that led to his capture. Completely out of nowhere for him, and in this episode the audience is following Odo's viewpoint so it's out of nowhere for us too. I liked that.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 8:41 PM on March 25, 2023 [1 favorite]

First of all: really good episode. Auberjonois and Visitor might be the most interesting actors in the main cast. Yet, one of the parts I loved most is where Odo and Worf are bonding over how they don't fit in with all the humans.

I don't wish to complain so much as muse over what is missing here. Odo is about the most alien of all aliens that Star Trek has encountered. Yet his emotional journey here...OK, we do have the very mature actor unable to manage his infatuation and jealousy like a teenager...but this apparent anomaly aside (and after all, I guess he's only been sentient for something like a teenager's lilfetime), the experience is utterly typically human. Where's the sci-fi angle on this? I wish something could at least be said about it.

The way I'm squaring it in my head is that whatever shape Odo takes, he truly does become that thing. Moreover, he wouldn't be in love with Kira if he hadn't taken the shape of a man. He said as much in a recent episode: if he turned into a--oh, I don't know what he said...maybe a duffel bag--then the scanners would only show a duffel bag. Sure, he complains that he doesn't understand humanoids, but what is the evidence? He holds a conversation. He uses and feels sarcasm. He makes friends. He understands the morality and obligation of his relationships with others. I say he understands humans just fine, even if he doesn't believe it himself. And of course, feeling like you don't understand people is a common human experience.

Thinking about when he transforms into a can't just make a paper mache mock-up of a bird and expect it to fly. It has to truly be a bird, down to the microscopic level. A bird's feathers have fine structures and the bones have to be as lightweight as possible and blah blah blah. And then a bird needs all of the reflexes and instincts that have been fine tuned over millions of years or it won't be able to fly.

Maybe I'm just reading between the lines the way the writers intended, but I'm not so sure. My ideas seem to contradict the fact that Odo can't properly form ears or a nose and he says he doesn't eat and doesn't care to. And when he said maybe his seagull imitation wouldn't be so impressive to a real seagull--well, that's an interesting thought but he's gotta get so much detail right if he's going to fly at all.
posted by polecat at 10:22 PM on February 14

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