#DS91sttime: Season 4, Episode 13, “Crossfire”

February 13, 2014 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

Odo spends a lot of time having that look. Season Four, Ep 13, "Crossfire".

Odo spends a lot of time having that look. Season Four, Ep 13, “Crossfire”.

Everyone’s been there before: a time when the demands of career and personal life collide in a way that leads to a sense of unraveling. Odo experiences just such a period in “Crossfire”, when First Minister Shakaar visits the station and Kira falls head-over-heels for him.

There’s a background plot that sets this all up. Shakaar’s arrival is marked by suspicions that a terrorist faction might be out to get him. Not everyone is wild about the idea of Cardassian\Bajoran reconciliation, and they might just send a message about it by killing the First Minister.

Who this eventually leads to is less important than the fact that Odo and Worf are on the case, and that–as Shakaar comes aboard–Odo being required to protect the First Minister will place him in a number of emotional binds.

Odo is wracked with conflict in this very strong episode. Not only does he have to watch for Shakaar’s safety, but he must try to find who is gunning for the man, deal with Worf’s competence potentially unseating the station’s (and Ben’s) respect for himself, and try to deal with his feelings for Kira in light of all the many ways they are so different.

It made me incredibly sympathetic to Odo’s plight. Anyone could understand where he is. I would imagine that there were quite a few “shippers” out there during DS9’s run, following the Kira\Odo angle, and that they were beside themselves waiting for Odo to open up to how he felt about her.

I won’t spill the beans on how exactly the episode resolves (although you should probably stop reading here, if that’s a concern of yours). What I will say is that scene after scene is realistic and satisfying. There’s intrigue here, sure, but the best moments actually arise from Odo’s grip on his job slipping as he spends so much energy wrapped up in his emotions. A dressing-down by Sisko is both hard to watch and an excellent scene for the two characters. The relationship troubles also let Quark and Odo’s odd friendship explore new territory.

In Odo, we have an alien that can change himself into whatever he wants, except for a person that can neatly resolve these problems in time for a happy ending. What he chooses is a compromise, and one that we sense isn’t fulfilling. That’s life: you do what you can with what you have, and have to realize it can’t ever be perfect.

Call me crazy, but I love a good unhappy ending.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars.

See the rest of the review series here.

"Beacon" Part IA young couple’s miracle at the last star left in the Universe will lead to a specter from the past returning to confront mankind…and the end will become the beginning. Try Part I of the Beacon Saga Serial, for your choice of ebook platforms.