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The Forsaken (episode)

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"The Forsaken"
DS9, Episode 1x17
Production number: 40511-417
First aired: 23 May 1993
16th of 173 produced in DS9
16th of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 0 released in DS9 Remastered  
272nd of 728 released in all
Lwaxana in love
Teleplay By
Don Carlos Dunaway & Michael Piller

Story By
Jim Trombetta

Directed By
Les Landau
46925.1 (2369)
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An alien computer program wreaks havoc with the station's systems.



"Station Log: Stardate 46925.1. We have been honored with a visit by a delegation of Federation ambassadors on a fact-finding mission to the wormhole. Fortunately, I have just the officer to take them off my hands."

Dr. Bashir sits in Quark's with a trio of ambassadors, who pester him in every way imaginable; he cannot please them no matter how hard he tries. Their conversation is interrupted as the fourth ambassador, Lwaxana Troi, cries out from the dabo table. Her latinum hair brooch has been stolen. Quark claims his establishment is not responsible for lost or stolen items, but the Betazoid seizes his ear and demands that everyone in the room be strip-searched until her brooch is found. Fortunately, Odo arrives and, after a few brief questions, glances around the bar and apprehends a Dopterian pick-pocket who has it. Amazed, Lwaxana asks him how he solved the mystery, and he explains that, since she couldn't sense any guilt in the room, the thief had to be someone immune to telepathy, such as a Ferengi like Quark, or, more likely, the Ferengi species's distant relatives, the Dopterians. As Odo leaves, Lwaxana commands Bashir to tell her everything about "The Constable," and it becomes apparent that he has caught the ambassador's eye.

Act One

In Ops, Chief O'Brien struggles to force the Cardassian computer system to work, as it has a tendency to argue with his suggestions and even on occasions overrules his requests. The problem is so bad, he explains to Commander Sisko, that he is seriously considering completely overhauling and replacing the computer, a procedure that would take around two years to complete. As Bashir and the other three ambassadors arrive in the turbolift, a mysterious probe comes through the wormhole. The ambassadors seem intent on observing what may be First Contact with a new species, but Commander Sisko assures them there will be a briefing later.

Meanwhile, Lwaxana finds Odo in the security office and flirts heavily with him. She is fascinated by the idea of "being" with a shapeshifter. However, the constable is visibly disquieted by her advances and pretends to have business to which to attend, leaving in a hurry.

Act Two

Odo finds Sisko and complains to the commander about Lwaxana's advances, but Sisko is unable to help him. As they talk, O'Brien and Dax interface with the probe, and the chief finds that the station's computer is cooperating surprisingly well. However, the probe's computer system is unlike anything they've ever seen before.

Lwaxana manages to catch up with Odo despite his attempts to avoid her, and she follows him into a turbolift headed for one of the upper pylons. Before they reach their destination, the turbolift stops abruptly as the station's systems begin acting up. Dax attempts to beam them out with the transporter, but something causes it to malfunction.

Odo is forced to put up with Lwaxana while the chief attempts to remedy whatever is going wrong and the doctor attempts to survive his time with the ambassador. Although he is hesitant to say anything to Sisko, O'Brien claims the computer seems nicer somehow, ever since he downloaded the information from the probe. Additionally, every time he leaves Ops, a new problem comes up – as if the computer wants to keep him busy.

Act Three

"Station log, supplemental. Odo and Ambassador Troi remain trapped in turbolift four. As of yet, we have been unable to ascertain what is causing the station's computer to malfunction."

Sisko meets with Dax and Kira in Ops and they attempt to come up with an explanation for what is happening. Dax hypothesizes that the information in the probe might be a type of sentient non-biological lifeform. When O'Brien attempts to re-download the information into the probe, the lights go dim and the station shuts down. Sisko and Kira realize that it is almost time for Odo to regenerate, meaning he will revert to his liquid state unless they can get him out of the turbolift.

In the turbolift, Lwaxana begins to be more company than Odo initially thought. Meanwhile, O'Brien has come up with a plan to distract the lifeform that has taken over the station; as he slowly tries to cut it off from the station's systems, Sisko and the others give the computer increasingly complex commands. The plan seems to be working, but something goes wrong and the system overloads. A fire erupts in one of the corridors, where Bashir is escorting the ambassadors to their quarters.

Breaking through the doors sealing Bashir and the ambassadors in the corridor will take longer than expected, but O'Brien comes up with a plan. Thinking of the lifeform as a puppy, he realizes it thrives on attention and begins to "build a doghouse," although Dax has no idea what he is talking about.

Act Four

As Odo begins to lose his ability to hold his shape, Lwaxana can see that his is in pain, yet he turns his back toward her and refuses to show his weakness. Knowing no one has ever seen Odo this way, Lwaxana shows him her wig, as no one has seen her without her wig before either, her own, real black hair is underneath, tightly pinned up, to allow the wig to sit on top, seamlessly. Eventually Odo has no choice but to trust Lwaxana, and accepts her offer to use a fold in her dress to contain his liquid state.

Kira and the others continue to try to get into the corridor while O'Brien prepares to set his plan into action. He sets up a special program through which all station commands can be performed, transferring the "puppy" into the doghouse. Satisfied to be at the center of the action, the lifeform returns the station to normal.

As a result, Sisko and a team finally manage to enter the corridor where Bashir and the ambassadors were trapped, and the fire suppression systems begin to work. After being briefly thought dead, Bashir and the ambassadors emerge from a conduit, sooty and disheveled but completely uninjured, with the ambassadors' opinions of Bashir considerably changed, having been quite humbled by the experience.

Their ordeal over, Odo and Lwaxana say their goodbyes. Odo has grown quite fond of Lwaxana, who is now much calmer and more comfortable around him. She promises him they will meet again.

Memorable Quotes

"You are dealing with a daughter of the Fifth House, holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed!"
"Ah! My ear, please!"
"Yes, and I know where it hurts the most, you little troll! Now I want this room sealed, and I want everyone in it strip-searched until you find my brooch!"

- Lwaxana and Quark

"What seems to be the problem?"
"Well, my brooch has been stolen. It's been in my family for 36 generations, it's absolutely priceless and I want it back!"
"You're certain you were wearing it today?"
"Yes, of course I'm certain. I never use this hair without it."

- Odo and Lwaxana

"Obviously the young woman doesn't have the necessary experience, I'm..."
"The young woman over there has over three hundred years experience, ambassador."

- Lojan and Bashir

"Is Odo your first or last name?"

- Lwaxana and Odo

"You are the thin, beige line between order and chaos."

- Lwaxana, to Odo

"I understand you're a shapeshifter."
"That's correct."
"I've never been with a shapeshifter."
"...Been with?"

- Lwaxana, to Odo

"All the men I've known have needed to be shaped and molded and manipulated, and finally I've met a man who knows how to do it himself."

- Lwaxana

"Procreation does not require changing how you smell, or writing bad poetry, or sacrificing various plants to serve as tokens of affection."

- Odo to Sisko, in his office, baffled by humanoid mating rituals

"Constable, you can handle thieves and killers, but not one Betazoid woman?"
"I understand thieves and killers. I don't understand... her!"

- Sisko and Odo

"I've always wanted to see an upper pylon."

- Lwaxana, pursuing Odo

"I don't eat! This is not a real mouth. It is an approximation of one. I do not have an esophagus, or a stomach, or a digestive system. I am not like you. Every sixteen hours, I turn into a liquid!"
"I can swim."

- Odo and Lwaxana

"Great. Everything's in working order, except nothing's working."

- Kira

"All of us have had these assignments, Doctor."
"Have you, sir?"
"As a matter of fact, Curzon Dax used to take perverse pleasure in assigning me to take care of VIP guests."
"Ah, so now you take the same perverse pleasure in doing it to me."

- Sisko and Bashir

"Nothing makes them happy! They are dedicated to being unhappy and to spreading that unhappiness wherever they go! They are the ambassadors of unhappy!"

- Bashir, on the Federation delegation

"I guess you could say I was the life of the party."
"I don't think I understand."
"My way of trying to fit in. I found I could be entertaining. 'Odo, be a chair.' I'm a chair. 'Odo, be a razorcat.' I'm a razorcat. Life of the party... I hate parties."
"Maybe you've just been to the wrong ones. Come to one of mine, I'll make sure that all the guests are there to entertain you."

- Odo and Lwaxana

"No one's ever seen me like this."
"Why? It looks fine."
"It looks ordinary. I've never cared to be ordinary. So you see, Odo, even we non-shapeshifters have to change who we are once in a while."
"You are not at all what I expected."
"No one's ever paid me a greater compliment."

- Lwaxana and Odo, when she shows him her wig as he begins to melt

"I know that wasn't exactly what you had in mind for your picnic."
"When it comes to picnics, the only thing that really matters is the company."

- Odo and Lwaxana

"Keep it off the furniture."

- Commander Sisko, speaking of the life form after O'Brien gave it a "doghouse" to play in.

Background Information

Story and script

  • The working title of this episode was "Only the Lonely", named after the song by Roy Orbison. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • Writer Jim Trombetta says of the psychological implications of what Odo goes through in this episode, "It goes back to the Renaissance and the characters referred to as 'gentlemen'. They had to be hard warriors with a hard shape, like armor. There's an anxiety if men become soft. They become helpless, babylike. Men don't like that. So here that caption works very vividly. Odo's a constable and a very tough guy, but he has to undergo that process and allow someone else to help him. He has no choice." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)


  • This episode is one of actor Rene Auberjonois' favorites, as he feels it is extremely important in the early development of Odo; "it helped to establish Odo and give him more dimension than he'd had up to that point. Through his relationship with Lwaxana, the audience was introduced to an aspect of him that made him endearing, and they really connected with him." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)


Video and DVD releases

Links and references


Also starring

Guest stars

Uncredited co-stars


2366; adaptive interface link; alloy; ambassador; Andevian II; Arbazan; baby; backup system; Bajor; Bajoran earring; Bajoran master data bank; Bajoran Research Center; Bajoran serena; Bajoran wormhole; bed; Betazed; Betazoid; bipolar torch; Bolian; brooch; carbon reaction chamber; Cardassian; Cardassian operational guidelines; chair; Chief of Operations; child; circuit; combadge; com line; communications system; computer array; computer virus; concert; conduit; control network; control relay; Corado I transmitter array; core memory; corundium; crew level; DaiMon; daughter; dawn; Dax, Curzon; day; Deep Space 9 levels; deuterium; dice; digestive system; docking port; docking ring; dog house; doorstep; Dopterian; earring; electromotive coil, emergency crew; emulator module; engineer; ensign; USS Enterprise-D; EPS power flow; esophagus; exposed multi-phasing alternating current; Federation; Ferengi; Ferengi cargo ship; Fifth House of Betazed; fire; fire extinguisher; fire-suppression system; First Contact; first year officer; furniture; fusion powerplant; Template:ShipClass; Gargoyle; guest quarters; habitat ring; hair; hairstyle; hardware; heart; high resolution scan; historical database; holoprogram; holosuite; Holy Rings of Betazed; hour; Human mating rituals; humanoid; isolinear rod; killer; Krayton; laboratory; latinum; laser-induced fusion; level 1 diagnostic; liaison officer; lifeform; load detection; long range sensor; manual fire gear; memory node; meter; minute; mirror; moon; Mora Pol; mother ship; mouth; necklace; Nehru colony; New France colony; non-biological lifeform; oo-mox; ops; ops o-2 sensor; oxygen; pail; petty theft; phaser; picnic; picnic basket; plant; plasma; plasma burn; plasma surge; poetry; positioning mechanism; probe; procreation; Promenade; "Pup"; puppy; pylon; Quark's; razorcat; recalibration sweep; regenerative cycle; replicator; root canal; runabout; Sacred Chalice of Rixx; scanner; scientist; science module; second; security chief; security office; security sweep; sensor; sex; shapeshifter; shield generator; sir; soul; Starfleet; Starfleet captain; Starfleet Command; starship; station log; stomach; subprocessor module; subprocessor pattern; subprogram; subspace emitter; subspace link; subspace link-up; swimming; syntax; tech manual; thief; Tog; tongue; toranium; transporter; transporter pad; Troi, Deanna; troll; turbolift; turbolift power net; viewscreen; volt; Vulcan; waltz; Wanoni tracehound; wanted poster; wig; woodpole; wormhole; wrestling; year

External links

Previous episode:
"If Wishes Were Horses"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1
Next episode:
"Dramatis Personae"

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