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Star Trek DS9 - Season 3 - Episode 02

Star Trek DS9 - 3x02 - The Search, Part II

Originally Aired: 1994-10-3

While Odo struggles to learn the ways of his people, Sisko discovers that the price of peace with the Dominion may be too high. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 4.56

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Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.


- This episode establishes that the shape shifters are the leaders of the Dominion.
- This episode confirms the conjecture that the Changelings are a paranoid race because they were hunted. They created the Dominion to protect themselves.
- This episode establishes that the Founders sent out 100 infant changelings to explore the galaxy.
- This episode establishes that the Dominion controls hundreds of races in the Gamma Quadrant.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kira and Odo meeting the Founders.
- Female shapeshifter: "The link is the very foundation of our society. It provides a meaning to our existence. It is a merging of form and thought; the sharing of idea and sensation."
- Female shapeshifter: "To become a thing, is to know a thing. To assume its form is to begin to understand its existence."
- Garak: "There's an old saying on Cardassia: Enemies make dangerous friends and I fear the Dominion will make a very dangerous friend indeed."
- Sisko barging in on the Dominion negotiations.
- Odo describing what it's like to be a bird.
- Garak's conversation with Sisko.
- Garak's crazy plan.
- Garak's final words: "Doctor, I'm afraid I won't be able to have lunch with you today."
- Female shapeshifter: "Major, the Changelings are the Dominion."
- Female shapeshifter: "No changeling has ever harmed another."

My Review
Odo found his people! And they're the mysterious founders of the Dominion! Unfortunately, this episode features an annoying reset button, which as usual turns out to be a poor choice. The Dominion was in fact running test scenarios on real Federation crew members. Nevertheless, despite the "it was all a dream!" aspect, I enjoyed it anyway, especially the parts with Odo and the Founders, but then those parts were real! ;) I like how Odo uses his influence as a Changeling to get everyone freed. I also like the female shapeshifter's resolve, claiming she will not be so generous next time. I like the way the female shapeshifter justifies her conquests. She's "imposing order on a chaotic universe." I also like how she parallels her desire for order with Odo's desire for justice. As much as Odo would hate to admit it, he really is much like the Dominion. But he has none of their ethnocentrism, and believes that everyone was born equal. So he can't join the oppressive Dominion.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JJ on 2010-08-06 at 5:27pm:
    There's not really a problem in that they are able to destroy the wormhole with photons as it's not real but part of the illusion.

    The pillar in the background when the female shapeshifter is explaining Odo's history to him is the same as in the previous episode where the DS9 crew collects some shape shifting matter from a planet and bring is to the station!
  • From John on 2011-01-08 at 9:20pm:
    I enjoyed this episode a lot, with the exception of the scene where Kira is talking to the "arboretum" about her plans to send a disguised message from the runabout. She knows that the Changelings don't like or trust her, and she has no idea if one of them could be one of the forms in the garden, listening to what she's saying.

    She's normally a lot more cautious than that when dealing with anyone who isn't a Bajoran.
  • From Lt. Fitz on 2012-06-24 at 9:59am:
    Yeah, this episode was a real downer. Here I thought they were going to get really bold with the collapsing of the wormhole (I thought they would find some Star Trek Magic way of opening it back up again, perhaps “spiritual” communication with the prophets from Bajor or something), but then it became this silly Matrix thing which took all the suspense out of it. The founders needed to see how far the federation would go to defend themselves? The fact that they lost an entire starship rescuing TWO people from the nearby planet the last time you met them didn’t convince you that they were gutsy? And then to top the whole thing off, the founders just LET THEM ALL GO. This following the dominion showing that they are willing to fly their own ships into starfleet vessels to prove their ruthlessness! This made no sense! Why let them go? So they can just go and prepare to defeat the Dominion when they finally get around to invading, which I assume is coming in the future? Kill them while you have them! Destroy what’s left of the Defiant! They kill the entire crew of the USS Odyssey (in the most edge-of-the-seat scene of the series so far – I literally shouted “WHOA!” in my living room), but then they are all, “OK! Take ’er easy! We’ll kill you… I mean see you later!” It totally reminded me of the James Bond cliché of the bad guy having Bond for dinner, giving him a comfortable room, and letting him walk freely around the moon base or whatever. I mean there’s evil arrogance and then there is plot convenience. I know that they couldn't kill off the cast of the show, but they needed some other ending that had some level of plausibility. I even thought that maybe the admiral lady and the fed security guy might have been replaced with replicants or something and perhaps Dax and Obrien also, which would explain the sudden and easy return to the station and the hidden and quick pro-Dominion result to negotiations. At least then there could have been some sort of more realistic ending in which the non-replicants fight back on the station and truly prove the tenacity of the federation-bajoran alliance, pushing the first intrusion of the dominion back into the Gamma quadrant. But, no. They were never at the station, any of the good writing during those scenes is simply gone. Reset button time. Total bummer of an ending to such a stellar season opener!

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