Heart of StoneBy Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 12, 2004 - 11:06 PM GMT
See Also: 'Heart of Stone' Episode Guide
While Nog campaigns to get Sisko to recommend him for the Academy and proves himself effectively, Kira and Odo crash on a planet and take refuge inside a cave, where Kira becomes trapped in a crystalline rock formation which threatens to suffocate her. While he seeks a means to free her, Odo tries to keep her comfortable and entertained, telling her stories of an increasingly personal nature. When it becomes obvious that his efforts will fail and that she will die, Odo confesses that he loves her. Kira responds that she loves him, too.
Odo continues to work to free Kira, but his questions seem increasingly designed to test her. Finally he catches her in a lie, and declares that it's the second one she's told him that day: the first was her statement that she shares his feelings for her. He knows she thinks of him as a friend, a colleague, perhaps a confessor...but not a lover, and he demands to know why she would claim otherwise. When he threatens her, she reveals the truth: she's not Kira, but the female shapeshifter Odo has encountered before.
The shapeshifter tells Odo that she realized his attachments to the solids, particularly Kira, were the reason he refused to stay with his own kind. She asks him again to return to the Great Link; again he refuses. When he returns to the station and encounters the real Kira, she asks him what happened which made him realize that the impostor was not herself. "A slip of the tongue, nothing important," he replies.
When I heard that they were finally going to do a Kira/Odo episode, I expected to have one of several reactions. I thought it might make me cry, or leave me overjoyed if it was really well done (which I figured was impossible, Trek and relationships being irreconcilable). And if it was really awful - which seemed likely - I figured I'd throw things at the screen. I never expected to be bored. But I was. As usual, Trek provided us with a cop-out romance, which is the only sort we ever get between major characters - it was all a dream, they were possessed, they were in an alternate universe...you know the routine. Odo and Kira have had a beautiful, subtly-developing relationship since the first season, and I can see now that it's going to be driven into the ground.
The gimmick of this episode was unsuccessful because Kira and Odo have been so inconsistent this season, it's hard to tell when we're dealing with the real Kira and when it's an evil impostor. I didn't find it implausible that the present incarnation of Kira would lie to Odo about her feelings if she thought she were dying. I should have started to doubt her when she began sniveling, but Kira's done a lot of sniveling lately. It seemed strange that she would get weepy over a rockslide when the love of her life died a week ago, yet she as giggling with Odo through the entire teaser. She also seemed too scared, and not pissed off enough. So although I cringed when she came out with "I love you, too," I didn't find it THAT much more out of character then, say, her little fling with Bashir in "Fascination."
Odo was very moving in declaring his feelings, but the situation was so forced that I felt sorry for him more as a character on a bad TV series than as a person with pain I could relate to. He didn't get to show a lot of range, be he does anguish so well that I didn't much care. I wish he hadn't come out and said he loved her, that's the sort of scene that should be left to all of out imaginations...but since she didn't actually hear it, I guess it still can be. His explanations at the end were magnificently understated.
But what was the shapeshifter going to do if someone OTHER than Kira was in the runabout with Odo? Did she sit around and wait for the two of them to leave the station together? A lot more doesn't make sense than the fishy situation on the moon. And did they say they were going to fly the runabout into the Badlands, after we've been told specifically on Voyager that no other Federation ships can fly there? Sigh.
A lot of this episode reminded me of Classic Trek --I liked the big dark cave set, the Nasty Alien Entity which they immediately tried to kill because that's what one does with Nasty Alien Entities, the endless mechanical difficulties; the writers should try some hard-core hurt/comfort fan fiction. I loved the subplot, although I really thought Sisko needed to explain a thing or two to Nog BEFORE writing the damn letter! And I want to know what's Nog going to do when he gets a woman professor or a woman commander at the Academy - tell her to shut up and cut his food?
Michelle Erica Green reviews 'Enterprise' episodes for the Trek Nation, for which she is also a news writer. An archive of her work can be found at The Little Review.