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Deep Space Nine: Season 6

"His Way"

The Deeper Stuff     Best Quotes     Points to Ponder

The Story:     Stardates:   not given

The Stations's latest diversion from the pressures of deep space life, the Dominion threat and inter-personal struggles is Dr Bashir's new holosuite program, an early 1960's Las Vegas cabaret venue, whose resident lounge singer, Vic Fontaine, proves to be a remarkable, self-aware hologram.

Vic's program allows him to observe and analyse human interactions, making him an expert in the "human heart". On his first meeting with some of the senior staff of DS9, he is able to make accurate and deeply perceptive observations about Worf, Dax and O'Brien. He starts to make comments about Odo and Kira, who are also present, but then quickly changes the subject.

On leaving the holosuite, Odo overhears Bashir tell O'Brien how Vic's advice transformed his love life and brought him a date with a previously reluctant ensign. Odo also learns that Kira is about to leave the station to spend a few days on Bajor with First Minister Shakaar, her former lover. Odo is so devastated that Kira and Shakaar may be resuming their relationship, that he confides in Quark, who points out that Kira has known for over a year that Odo loved her - but he has failed to capitalise on this. His advice is that if Odo isn't going to do anything about Kira, he must forget her.

Realising it is make or break, Odo borrows the Las Vegas holosuite program and consults Vic Fontaine for advice. Disappointingly, Vic has no quick fix-it answer for him, but sets about encouraging Odo, over the course of several days to have fun, "thaw out" and express his hidden feelings and personality. This includes Odo spending time with a sensuous, holographic Kira whom Vic has created. Odo resists this hologram's approaches, because her personality is nothing like the real Kira Nerys. The hologram is programmed to find Odo attractive and he baulks at this.

Encountering the real Kira on her return from Bajor, Odo reverts to his former rigid, unemotional self and is unable to put into practice any of the lessons he has learned in the holosuite.

Vic, despairing of true love ever finding way, manages to communicate with Kira while she is trying to meditate in a holographic temple, and invites her to dinner in the holosuite, convincing her he is acting on Odo's behalf and dropping intriguing hints about Odo having spent time in the holosuites having "fun" in Kira's absence.

Vic then tricks Odo into meeting Kira in the holosuite for dinner and dancing by telling him he had redesigned the Kira hologram and made it more life-like.

Over dinner, Odo, thinking he is talking to a hologram, relaxes with Kira and opens up to her about his feelings. As they dance, it is clear Kira is finally seeing Odo as more than her friend, and beginning to understand the depth of personality and passion that lies beneath the mask of the 'unemotional' Constable.

In one terrible moment, Kira realises Odo thinks she is a hologram - and Odo is mortified to realise he has been dancing with the real Major. He leaves in pained embarrassment. The next day his upset has turned to anger and he refuses to listen to Vic, convinced he had lost his last chance with the major.

Meanwhile, a perplexed Kira asks Dax, "Have you ever had a moment of pure clarity, a moment when the truth just seems to reach out and grab you by the throat?" Dax has - but only once or twice in seven lifetimes. She urges Kira to act on the clarity immediately, before doubt or fear set in.

Meeting Odo in the middle of the Promenade, Kira suggests they need to talk about the previous evening. Odo is reluctant to do so, apparently fearing her anger and more hurt. Kira persists, suggesting they meet for dinner. Odo wonders how Shakaar would feel about her having dinner with another man. Kira indignantly points out she can have dinner with whoever she wants - she and Shakaar as only friends now, her visit to Bajor was on war business. Still not quite taking in what is happening, Odo asks diffidently: "And if we do, then what?" Kira suggests they might go dancing. Almost belligerently Odo replies: "And after that - I suppose you'd expect me to kiss you."

Equally belligerently Kira admits it is possible she would.

Frustrated, love-torn and ever business-like, Odo responds: "Then who needs dinner? Why don't I get it over with and kiss you right now?"

She challenges him to - and almost before the words are out her mouth - Odo pulls Nerys to him and kisses her. And kisses her. And kisses her....in front of Quark, an amused Dax and most of the station's inhabitants and transients...

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"His Way"

The Story     Best Quotes     Points to Ponder

The Deeper Stuff

Confession
The spoilers for this episode made me wonder if this would be the naffest episode in Star Trek history. But I loved it. So, the sixties lounge theme was maybe spun out a little too long, so, the plot is as old as Aristophanes - but it was a beautifully crafted story. What song could be more romantically expressive for a shapeshifter than "I've got you under my skin"? And how ironic that the cold, remote, intensely private Odo, generally assumed to be utterly devoid of emotion, delivers "the most passionate kiss in the whole history of STAR TREK" - not even behind closed doors but in full view of hundreds of bystanders.

It still could have been unmitigated slush, however, without the consistently powerful performances of Auberjonois and Visitor - not simply in this episode but through six seasons of subtly shaping the nuances of Odo's character and exploring the tension and torments of his secret and seemingly unrequited love for Kira. The plot and character responses in this episode were credible, because they were consistent with all that had been delivered so effectively by Auberjonois and Visitor over the run of the series. It's become one of my favourite episodes.......anyway on to higher thoughts.....

Moments of Clarity

There are about a 100,000 Christian books on "guidance", "revelation", "call of God" and related topics.....If only, before turning themselves into spiritual knots on these matters, not to mention wasting a fortune, folk would watch this episode of DS9....

Moments of clarity are the key to effective living and fulfilled spirituality and personality. They are the moments that happen when we are being real - with ourselves, with others and with God. Moments when all the behaviours, devices and defences we adopt to hide our true self - from others, ourself and God - fall away, when all our preconceptions and prejudices are suspended and we are in a sense naked and faced with a clean sheet of possibilities.

Moments of clarity are often sought by people, whether in prayer or other ways, for a revelation of the future - about what they should do. That is missing the point completely.

Moments of clarity don't reveal what to *do* but what to *be*. By getting a glimpse of who we are, and, importantly, who we are in God, we understand what we have to become... And sometimes that can make one particular option or path more obvious for us.

For as some theologians, and anyone who has watched "The Emissary" know, for a Deity (or wormhole aliens) who live outside linear time, *being* is all, *doing* is a temporal and less significant adjunct. (Think about it - who does the God, whose name was so holy His people wouldn't utter it, say He is? - "I am". How does Jesus define himself? "I am the...." "I am the...")

Moments of clarity are about seeing things - as they are. Not how they should be, nor how we want them to be, nor what they might be like in future. But as they*truly* are. As Dax says, such moments are quite rare - maybe not as rare as twice in seven lifetimes - but certainly not a daily occurrence for most people. They come in different ways - in prayer, or doing something utterly mundane, through something you read, or hear, or see, or dream or through nothing in particular. People call these experiences different things - a revelation, a prophetic insight, an encounter with God - or a moment of clarity. You can't really anticipate them or predict when they will happen but as Dax says - when they come, you need to act on them, because confusion, doubt, apathy and a whole host of other things soon come in to cloud both the moment - and your recollection of it.

Go for it!

Does anybody have a copy of the script...?

Maybe it was because, in a Bogart-Bergman way, the actors had no idea for several seasons how the Kira - Odo relationship would turn out, they delivered such credible performances. Like real-life friendships, neither protagonist, nor actor, knew for sure where it was going.

Pressures arise in all relationships because people have differing needs in respect of knowing where "the plot" is going. Some folk want to know "the outcome" from the first page of the script. They want to know "where they stand", "whether there is a future in this" - while perhaps their partners are more comfortable with uncertainty and ambivalence. Unfortunately, life's relationships don't come with a readily-available pre-written script. The truth is we never know what a day will bring forth, and we can never really know what we, or our relationships, will become. That doesn't mean adopting a fatalistic view and stoically accepting whatever happens. Instead we need to accept there *are* things in life none of us can control, - like other people, but at the same time we should never be shy of endeavouring to reach for the stars in all our relationships.

The Dance of Human Friendship

Odo and Kira had initially a grudging friendship that had built up over a long time between two very strong but very vulnerable people, neither of whom found trust easy. The friendship had highs and lows, became much more important to one of them than the other, was stretched to breaking point by other factors. Like real-life friendships, the depth of commitment from the protagonists varied as other things happened in the rest of their lives.

Tension arises in all relationships because we rarely have the same expectations and desires of the same relationship at the same time. One friend/partner/spouse needs a sense of stronger connection and greater exclusiveness - while the other is in a place where they need more space and flexibility. Then the needs and desires shift in each person and a new tension comes in....

All relationships play out a complex dance of participants advancing and retreating, moving fast, standing still - often at different tempos. Harmony, synergy - and joy in relationships come when we get better at anticpating our partner's movements and needs and become more concerned with responding to them than doggedly pursuing our own agenda. And its not a once-for-all process: it's a day-by-day life-long or friendship-long effort - that with practice needs very little effort at all.....

 

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The Story     The Deeper Stuff    Points to Ponder

Best Quotes...

'It's not the other guy you have to worry about it's you'

'You think I have no emotions? Believe me I do. I just don't always show them.'

'You have got about as much personality as an icicle. Cool is one thing but you are frozen solid'

'Turn up the heat, get those emotions you claim to have bubbling to the surface - it's time to have some fun!'

'Have you ever had a moment of pure clarity? A moment when the truth just seems to leap up and grab you by the throat?'

'Only two moments of clarity in *seven* lifetimes?'

'Total clarity is a very rare thing. And when it comes to you, it's important that you act on it. Because, believe me, confusion and doubt will take over before you know it.'

 

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The Story     Best Quotes     The Deeper Stuff

Points for Pondering.....

When did you last have a "moment of clarity"? - And what have you done about it?

How might you enhance your chances of being in the right state of mind and being to be open to further moments of clarity?

Can you be comfortable with not knowing "the ultimate script" for your most significant relationships - and be faithful and loving to the people involved, regardless of what is or is not involved in it for you?

Are any of your friendships / realtionships out of synch because of differing demands and expectations?

 

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