Mark Watches ‘Deep Space Nine’: S03E14 – Heart of Stone

In the fourteenth episode of the third season of Deep Space Nine, WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME? Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek. 



Let’s talk about something that genuinely feels good before we get to the main plot. This episode may not have been intended to follow “Life Support,” but it works SUPER WELL as a way to suggest that maybe Nog learned a lesson from his talk with Jake in the previous episode. Of course, that’s not his primary motivation for approaching Sisko and asking him to be his mentor. Over the last two-and-a-half seasons, we’ve seen enough evidence to support Nog’s heartbreaking conclusion here. Even before Nog spelled it out for Sisko, I assumed that Nog wanted a future that had nothing do with what he’d seen of his father’s future.

Still, it was a treat to watch Nog’s excitement over the course of “Heart of Stone.” Despite that Sisko and Dax AND Jake all believed that Nog was joking, this was Nog at his most sincere. He truly wanted a chance to prove himself more than ANYTHING EVER. He proved that to Sisko that he was dedicated, and yet, Sisko was still confused by it all. It seemed like such an absurd idea, no? Not a single Ferengi had ever expressed interest in Starfleet, and Nog honestly seemed like the worst possible candidate because of… well, his very long history of breaking all the rules. All the time. Like, literally all of the time, I’m sure. HE HAS BROKEN SO MANY RULES.

That’s why Nog’s story is so powerful. His emotional outburst in front of Sisko gives him a depth that the character lacked before, and now I’m incredibly eager to see if the show will continue to explore the challenges he’ll face by being the first Ferengi to pursue Starfleet Academy. It’s a huge change for Nog, and Aron Eisenberg rose to the occasion in his portrayal of the character. I honestly can’t wait to see Nog again. I’M SO PROUD OF HIM.

Heart of Stone

I’m thankful that both the story and the acting for Kira and Odo’s plot was as stunning as possible here because… lord, that weird prop/costume was really distracting. Not enough for me to dislike the episode, but it just looked bad, as if it was leftover from the construction of some awful theme park ride.

I’m going to ignore it for the remainder of the review because I really need to talk about Odo. In hindsight, the signs that this wasn’t Kira were all there. Namely, it seemed weird that after the death of Bareil, Kira would so readily admit to being in love with Odo. However, I was lost in the moment. I was so consumed by trying to figure out how  Odo would solve this impossible problem. I was distracted by the thought that they’d still never seen the Maquis pilot they’d been chasing. And let’s be real: I had picked up on Odo’s attraction to Kira many episodes ago, and when a ship you dig is about to come true in canon, IT’S VERY EASY TO BE DISTRACTED. I was so blown away by the fact that it was happening before my eyes that I just wanted them to escape.

Their conversation throughout this ordeal had felt so real and so raw that I never questioned its authenticity. Instead, I assumed the show was treading in a very familiar trope: bringing a character close to death so that they could admit their deep love for someone else, and then BAM! Everything is solved, and now these characters must deal with the public admission. I had no idea that the writers were plotting a different trope, a long con set up by THE LEAD FOUNDER. Is it ridiculous that she does all this instead of just asking Odo why he refuses to join the other Changelings in the Dominion? Of course it is. That’s a trope in and of itself! But there’s a cruel twist to it in “Heart of Stone” because Odo believed the deception so fully that he confessed his biggest secret to Kira. AND THE SCENE IS SO PERFECT OTHERWISE. That’s the worst part! He is so poetic and emotional during it, and THE WHOLE THING DIDN’T MATTER. It was all so that the Founders could learn more about Odo’s bizarre attachment to the Solids.

THE FOUNDERS ARE SO FUCKED UP. While I don’t think this is even close to the last time that this part of Odo’s story will be addressed, I’d like to remind everyone that Deep Space Nine just punched us all in the heart. THIS IS SO MESSED UP.

The video for “Heart of Stone” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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