The Good: Character development!!!! Acting, Twist, Garak!
The Bad: Moments of obviousness.
The Basics: A solid episode, “The Search Part 2” is an essential Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode that is action packed and filled with character development and political intrigue. Enjoyable for all!
"The Search, Part II" changes things. The Dominion has been a threat for a year and now they are front and center. They are run by a shadow race known as the Founders and the rising question is who are the Founders. Well, you shouldn't read any reviews for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine after this one for the simple reason that they will assume - or explicitly state - who the Founders are. If you're going to watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, now is the time to go back and watch them up until this point. After you watch this episode, start reading reviews again.
"The Search, Part II" is a split episode. The first plotline begins where "The Search, Part I" ended, with Odo meeting his people. Finally, Odo has found other shapeshifters and they call this place they have ended up home. They express interest in Odo and challenge him to develop his shapeshifting abilities. Odo resists his urge to get carried away and is clearly torn between the life he has known and the potentials that now exist for him. Kira is with him and she is determined to get back to Deep Space Nine, a mission complicated by not being sure who survived the attack on the Defiant.
The other plot involves a beleaguered, wounded Sisko and Bashir making it back to Deep Space Nine to discover that following the crippling of the Defiant, the Dominion made contact with the Federation and now peace talks are in process involving the Dominion and many Alpha Quadrant races.
Things are not so simple as that, though. T'Ruth makes it clear that she will make an issue of the Romulans being excluded from the peace talks. Sisko's crew is being re-assigned, O'Brien is beaten up by a Jem'Hadar, and territory, including Bajor and Deep Space Nine, is being ceded to the Dominion. When the visiting Admiral Necheyev threatens Sisko, he must make a choice to mutiny.
What works is the solid formula. We know that this episode is going to try to tie up some loose ends for us. The magic is that it does it Star Trek: Deep Space Nine style; the loose ends don't quite work out. The beauty is that is answers enough questions and leaves us wanting more. The Founders are revealed. Odo makes some tough decisions with dealing with his people and Sisko makes some difficult decisions about the importance of Bajor in his life. The characters truly move the episode.
What works better than usual is the pacing. The episode is action packed and filled with political intrigue that will keep non-fans of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine watching with enthusiasm. Garak is wonderful in his interactions with Sisko and his presence allows Sisko to make his decision.
Only the moments of obviousness, especially in Odo's plot, hurt this episode seriously. Odo's relationship with his people is instantly troubled and his exploration of what it is to be a shapeshifter is plagued by some obvious questions like, "if we've seen Odo be other animals, why is it now he understands what it is to be more than himself?"
But the shapeshifters are a wonderfully paranoid bunch and Odo's decision at the end makes sense. What also makes sense is the delicious surprise ending with the Sisko plot. Peace with the Dominion is not meant to come so quick, if at all. When the Founders are revealed early in the episode, Sisko is disappointed with himself. When the true Founders are revealed with the surprise ending, we understand and the viewer would be disappointed had the Founders been anyone else but who they are revealed as.
I won't ruin the surprise, not here. But after this point, it will be assumed you'll know who they are. Proceed with caution. A part of the essential Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
[Knowing that VHS is essentially a dead medium, it's worth looking into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete Third Season on DVD, which is also a better economical choice than buying the VHS. Read my review of the breakout season by clicking here!
See how this episode stacks up against other Star Trek franchise episodes, movies and DVD sets by visiting my index page with the reviews organized best to worst!
© 2011, 2007, 2002 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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