Episode 3.14: Heart of Stone

Odo really has no idea on what to do with romantic feelings.  It is very apt and appropriate that whenever the issue of loving Kira is brought up, Odo seems mentally paralyzed.  Throughout the first two thirds of this episode, Odo is completely out of control.  His feelings are thrust to the forefront while he’s forced to be problem solve outside his expertise (notice he struggles with dealing with the computer, the interference, and the harmonic generator…all scientific or engineering problems).  Only once he gets control of his mind and apply his detective skills is he able to force the Female Changeling into the open and expose the deception.

Odo’s heart of stone is melting toward himself, not toward Kira.  His heart of stone is negative; he is closed to intimacy.  He is gradually accepting his love for her over many episodes; this kind of vulnerability is shocking and scary to Odo.  Before being able to engage with Kira romantically, he has to do his own shadowboxing on becoming softer and vulnerable.  Odo’s ability to state his feelings here, I think, is due to Lwaxana’s influence.  She both 1) named his feelings for him in Fascination (Ep. 3.10), and 2) she was able to weaken emotional barriers within him during her visits to the station (the other so far being, The Forsaken, Ep. 1.17).  Odo’s journey toward Kira needs to be a process.  In a lovely bit of character design, the shapeshifting Odo has a slow to change personality.

What absolutely doesn’t melt are his feelings toward Kira.  His reaction to learning of the Female Changeling is monumental:  Odo picks up a weapon and points it at her.  Odo never uses weapons.  When Kira’s safety is in peril though, he abandons his own principles to defend her.  This says to me that his feelings outwardly toward her are positive; it is Odo’s fears towards his own feelings that hold him back.  His excruciating declaration of love for her is tragic; at his most vulnerable moment yet, it isn’t the woman he loves that hears it.

Nog’s heart of stone is more positive; it refers to his steadfast determination to join Starfleet and better his life.  He has the wherewithal to recognize that his father’s path was a very poor path for Rom, and that Nog would do better by not being the typical Ferengi.  In a moment that I think is beautiful, Nog’s determination to forge a different path than Rom is due to the respect Nog has for Rom’s mechanical ability and Quark’s tenacity.  Nog does not wholesale reject his heritage!  Deep within Ferengi (ie modern humans) are honorable values; they just tend to apply them in selfish ways.  Bettering Nog’s life is immensely appealing to Sisko.  This is one of the great opportunities Starfleet can offer.  This mirrors the opportunities that can be found in modern military service (though I recognize the nuance and dangers this path can bring as well).  Sisko needed to assess both Nog’s motivation and his trustworthiness; neither of these can be taught at the Academy.  What Nog lacks, grades and discipline, can be taught.  Overall, I felt the two-sided use of the title was clever.

Random Thoughts:  1) The new treaty from the previous episode is in force.  2) Again, I like how Nog doesn’t leave his heritage behind.  He starts by offering Sisko a bribe to be an apprentice.  Typical Ferengi custom.  3) The Female Changeling uses her own “phaser” on her foot.  That means the phaser and the beam are all changeling.  4) Bashir talks of a man being pregnant.  Nice use of sci-fi to push cultural envelopes.  5) Once “Kira” gets fearful, I think the Female Changeling overplays her.  Kira wouldn’t get that scared at the prospect of death.  Not after the Resistance.  6) Odo’s full name is Odo Ital, from the Cardassian word odo’ital meaning nothing.  This is how he truly felt about himself for so long.  His friendships, specifically naming Kira and Quark, have shown him that he is more than nothing.  6) 18th Rule of Acquisition!

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~ by Joshua Black on January 27, 2017.

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