Star trek: Deep Space Nine 7.07b - Chimera
Stardate around 52290
Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities
Odo (René Auberjonois) returns from a conference with an unexpected guest: a Changeling who tracked and boarded his runabout. Odo recognizes him as one of The Hundred Changelings who were, like himself, sent out as infants into the galaxy to learn about other species. Back at the station, Sisko (Avery Brooks) warily releases the visitor to Odo's custody. The Changeling, known as Laas (Garman Hertzler), queries Odo about their unique species - with which Laas has made no contact since his infancy - and The Link, a Changeling ritual that allows Changelings to meld with one another and thereby form a single, sentient collective life form.
Persons of interest
- Avery Brooks .... Commander Benjamin Lafayette Sisko
- René Auberjonois .... Constable Odo
- Michael Dorn .... Lieutenant Worf
- Nicole de Boer .... Lieutenant Ezri Dax
- Cirroc Lofton .... Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney .... Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman .... Quark
- Alexander Siddig .... Doctor Julian Bashir
- Nana Visitor .... Colonel Kira Nerys
- Majel Barrett .... Starfleet computer voice
- Garman Hertzler .... Laas
- René Echevarria .... Screenwriter
- Steve Posey .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
- FYI: In Greek mythology Chimera - the daughter of Typhon - was a fire-breathing she-monster with a lion's head and a goat's body and a serpent's tail
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
Yay! A nasty Changeling!
While Odo has had the benefit of being able to fit in somewhat, Laas was less fortunate. The solids he lived with were not as open-minded as Bajoran/Federation types. He is also a lot older than Odo. He can do things of which Odo has never dreamed. Spatial life forms, fog, fire...
Laas is the exemplification of why the Changelings founded the Dominion: they decided that solids were too much of a threat so, since they couldn't leave, they made the pro-active decision to enslave all the monoforms. Entirely reasonable from their point of view. There's no doubt that Laas will be heading over to Cardassian space to say a few hellos on his way to finding all the rest of The Hundred. Just how long do Founders live, anyway?
Laas' arrival makes Odo question his own existence among the solids. How do they really see him? Are they really his friends? Do they harbour some closeted polyformophobia? What does Kira really think about him? Them's big questions, and they get big answers. Quark gives a great explanation of Humanoid paranoia: how do you fight a million years of evolution? Kira gives another answer.
This is Odo's wrapping-up episode: he finds his place in the scheme of things, and learns a whole heap about himself in the process. It's damned good.
I am also delighted that this episode is full of overt homoerotica: Laas and Odo have a truly intimate relationship. Odo has linked with lots of Changelings before - the female Founder (educationally), the Admiral Leyton impersonator (aggressively), the Great Link on the Founders' homeworld (punitively), with the other member of The Hundred (curatively) - but this is the first time that he has linked without an agenda. He and Laas simply shared the joy of their togetherness. It's subtle, like the first lesbian-themed episodes, but it's a beginning.
Security censorship classification
PG (Low level violence)
Not for public release in Australia before date
VHS rental and retail: 9 July 1999