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Heart of Stone (episode)

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"Heart of Stone"
DS9, Episode 3x14
Production number: 40513-460
First aired: 6 February 1995
59th of 173 produced in DS9
59th of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 0 released in DS9 Remastered  
348th of 728 released in all
She loves me not
Written By
Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe

Directed By
Alexander Singer
48521.5 (2371)
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Searching for a Maquis raider on an unstable moon, Kira is trapped in an expanding crystal formation that threatens to engulf her if Odo cannot set her free. Meanwhile, Nog attempts to persuade a skeptical Commander Benjamin Sisko to write him a letter of recommendation to join Starfleet Academy.


Returning from consultations at a Bajoran colony, Kira and Odo detect a Maquis attack in progress. They pursue the attacking ship in their runabout and due to prevailing conditions, the pursuit takes them down to the surface of a moon with an atmosphere that's impenetrable to sensors.

Nog seeks apprenticeship heart of stone

Nog announces that he wants to go to Starfleet Academy

On the station Nog is in Ops asking to see Commander Sisko on an "urgent" matter, and he's sent up to the commander's office. Nog comes bearing a quantity of latinum, which he's giving to Sisko because according to Ferengi statute, Nog is at the age where he must purchase an apprenticeship. Since he considers Sisko a mentor, he says, Sisko's the one from whom he intends to make the purchase - he wants to become a Starfleet officer. Sisko explains in brief that Nog needs to graduate from Starfleet Academy, and in order to be admitted there he needs "a letter of reference from a command-level officer." This is because Nog is not a citizen of the Federation. Since Sisko is just such an officer, Nog is certain that Sisko will provide the reference... but Sisko says he'll "think about it." Throughout the conversation, the two are pushing the stack of Nog's latinum back and forth across the Commander's desk.

Kira trapped heart of stone

Kira's trapped, and they're at a loss to free her

On the alien moon, Odo and Kira track the fugitive to a cave network and witness severe seismic activity. Since they need to cover ground quickly looking for the Maquis fugitive, they split up. Shortly afterward, Odo receives a combadge signal from Kira... who's trapped in one of the caves. When Odo finds Kira, her right foot is completely stuck in some sort of crystal formation that grows spontaneously. Odo attempts various approaches to freeing her, but none of them work.

Nog angry with jake heart of stone

Nog is furious with Jake

Sometime later Jake catches up to Nog at Quark's, under the impression that Nog's interview with his father was a joke. Nog angrily assures Jake that nothing could be further from the truth, extracting a promise that Jake will go back to his father and take back his assertion that it was a joke. Jake is confused, and asks for an explanation, but Nog refuses to give him one.

Meanwhile, Odo returns to the runabout and attempts to transport Kira out of her entrapment, only to discover that the nature of the moon's atmosphere makes it impossible to operate transporters or send a distress signal directly from the runabout. As he's returning to Kira's location he hears phaser fire, which Kira tells him was on account of the reappearance of the Maquis they'd been chasing.

On the Promenade, Nog collars Sisko outside Quark's and asks excitedly if he's decided to write the letter of reference. Faced with Nog's persistence, Sisko tells Nog unambiguously that he doesn't consider Nog a good candidate for admission to the Academy - but Nog wants nothing more than a chance to prove that he's better than Sisko's assessment suggests. With this in mind, he tells Jadzia to assign Nog to a cargo bay inventory. Jadzia's equally skeptical, but Sisko wants to give Nog a fair chance to live up to his promises - and that's exactly what he'll get, with "no help, no interference, no-one looking over his shoulder." Jadzia points out that they've already taken inventory of that cargo bay, which Sisko says makes it the perfect test: they'll know if anything goes missing. In the cargo bay, Nog takes the opportunity with extreme enthusiasm.

On the moon, Kira's still stuck. Working from information provided in one of the criminal activity reports, Odo comes up with an idea for freeing her - but time's growing short. To pass the time while they wait for Odo's solution to show positive results, Odo explains that he's been going to the holosuite
Jadzia nog cargo bay heart of stone

Nog enthusiastically takes the chance he's given

with O'Brien and witnessing O'Brien's fascination with kayaking. In the meantime an earthquake strikes, and Odo changes form to protect Kira from falling rocks. After the earthquake ends, Odo continues talking with her at a personal level. In the Replimat Sisko and Jadzia are reviewing Nog's performance on the inventory, which was excellent (Dax notes that Nog 'even found a few
Odo kira earthquake heart of stone

Odo protects Kira

containers' that the crew were missing from the last shipment). Sisko remarks that all the experience Nog gained from taking inventory in Quark's back room has now paid off. However, both of them are still completely in the dark about Nog's motivations for joining Starfleet. Eventually, Kira and Odo are forced to admit that they're having no success. Kira orders Odo to leave her, but he refuses to abandon her.
Sisko nog heart of stone

Sisko won't settle for anything less than the truth

Kira demands an explanation, and at the cost of demolishing his normal comportment, he confesses that he loves her. Much to his surprise, she tells him that his feelings are, in fact, requited.
Odo confesses feelings heart of stone

Odo confesses his feelings

Nog is sent to Commander Sisko's office, where Sisko explains that he needs to turn down Nog's request for a reference. Sisko's explanation is that near as can be told, this is another of Nog's schemes, over which Sisko can't afford to risk any of his reputation... but just as he did with Jake, Nog loses his composure and begins to explain himself. As voices raise, he tells Sisko point blank: "I don't want to end up like my father!" Nog goes on to point out that his father shows every sign of being a brilliant engineer, but that Rom doesn't have "the lobes" for the business life that is expected of Ferengi, any more than his own father did... and neither does he. Nog is anxious to avoid his father's fate, and is fixed on joining Starfleet exactly because that will give him one of his best likely chances to use the talents he does have. Having finally gotten a straight explanation of Nog's motivations, Sisko changes his mind and promises Nog his reference.

Matters on the alien moon also reach their denouement. Odo's been thinking about the things that Kira's told him, and they don't add up. Kira's stated feelings don't follow the body language with which he's grown familiar, and there are a number of inconsistencies in the other things she's said. When he's done laying out his thoughts...

"Kira" changes form into the Female Changeling. By way of explaining herself, she says that the whole thing was staged because she needed to understand why Odo had chosen to remain with the Solids rather than returning to his own people.
Female changeling heart of stone

The Female Changeling finally ceases her deception

She reveals Kira's actual location, but not before asserting that Kira will never love Odo, because he is a Changeling. The Female Changeling transports off the moon, and Odo retrieves Kira.

Back on the station, Odo tells Kira that he realized what was going on when the Female Changeling made "a slip of the tongue - nothing important.'" In Quark's, Quark is incensed and attempts to forbid Nog from joining Starfleet... only to be overruled by Rom.

Log entries

  • "First Officer's log, Stardate 48521.5. Odo and I are returning to Deep Space 9 after reviewing security procedures at Prophet's Landing, the Bajoran colony closest to the Carorian border."

Memorable quotes

"That's right. I want to be the first Ferengi in Starfleet. Now. Who do I see about getting a uniform?"

- Nog

"No, it's my fault. I should have explained it better."
"Of course it's your fault. Everything that goes wrong here is your fault. It says so in your contract."

- Rom and Quark

"... it's been my observation that you humanoids have a hard time giving up the things you love... no matter how much they might hurt you."

- Odo

"After all, we've been in worse situations than this one, and come out all right."
"Name three... I can't think of any, either."

- Odo and faux-Kira

"So your name is 'Unknown Sample'?"
"No. "Odo'ital" literally means the word "Nothing." Even after it became clear that I was sentient, the Bajoran scientists kept calling me that. As a joke, they split it into two words, like a Bajoran name: "Odo Ital." Which eventually got shortened..."
"To Odo."
"I thought it was the most appropriate name anyone could give me. And then I met you..."

- faux-Kira and Odo

"No. I won't leave you."
"Because... Because, I'm in love with you."

- Odo and faux-Kira

"My father is a mechanical genius. He could've been the chief engineer of a starship if he'd had the opportunity. But he went into business like a good Ferengi. The only thing is, he's not a good Ferengi... not when it comes to acquiring profit. So now all he has to live for is the slim chance that someday, somehow, he might be able to take over my uncle's bar. Well I'm not going to make the same mistake. I want to do something with my life... something worthwhile."

- Nog

"Well done, Odo. You really are quite a skillful investigator."
"And you're quite a skillful Changeling."

- Odo and the Female Changeling

"She's never going to love you. How could she? You are a changeling."

- The Female Changeling, to Odo

Background information

Story and script


  • The 'rock' prop on this episode was extremely unpopular among both cast and crew. Ira Steven Behr called it "that horrible, horrible prop of a rock". Nana Visitor was also disappointed with it; "It didn't look like I'd imagined it when I read the script. I thought it was going to be like my body turning to stone. Instead I looked like a big old hot fudge sundae, and my head was the cherry on top". Director Alexander Singer said "nothing made the pinkish lavender rock look more realistic", while visual effects supervisor Glenn Neufeld claimed of the actual shooting of the rock that "pretty much none of it worked". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)



Video and DVD releases

Links and references


Also Starring

Guest stars

Special guest star



attitude stabilizers; Avesta; Badlands; Bajoran-Cardassian Treaty; bandwidth; Bemar; Cardassians; Cardassian border; Cardassian language; cargo bay; Chief Engineer; Chief of Security; colony; computer; contract; covariant oscillator; crystal; dinner; diplomacy; ensign; Enterprise-D, USS; exploration; Ferengi Attainment Ceremony; Garak, Elim; gas giant; governor; holodeck programs; holosuite; individuation; interference; ionization; kayaking; latinum; Lissepia; Louie, Louie; lunch; major; manifest; Mekong, USS; meter; Mora Pol; Nausicaan; O'Brien, Keiko; O'Brien, Molly; Overseer; pattern enhancer; Peregrine class; phase matrix recalibrator; plasma field; police record; power coupling; power supply grid; prison; probe; Promenade; Prophet's Landing; Quark's; rapids; Remmil VI; replicator; Replimat; resignation; sensor; shoulder; solar system; Starfleet Academy entrance exam; Starfleet Security; starship; sympathetic vibration; system overload; transponder; tricorder; ultrasonic wave; United Federation of Planets; Vilix'pran; weather

External links

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