In the teaser, Bashir is monologuing for an evidently awestruck Bajoran woman, while O’Brien looks on scornfully.
A barely functional runabout has just made it back through the wormhole. Dax has picked up a passenger, whom O’Brien recognizes as Vash.
I enjoyed Vash’s chemistry with Picard in her first appearance (TNG s3e19 “Captain’s Holiday“), and though the Robin Hood sequence was the occasion for some great comedy in her return (s4e20 “Q-Pid“), this episode that hinges on the Q / Vash relationship just doesn’t work for me. Q needs to be credibly menacing in order for it to mean something that Picard sticks so closely to his Federation ideals. Yes it was amusing seeing Bashir flirt with Vash, but I just wasn’t that invested in Vash’s moral growth.
Are we really being asked to believe this omnipotent entity Q really *has* the emotions he’s mimicking? Picard would have harshly dismissed Q’s display of sincerity as just another ruse.
The B-plot about the plot contrivance particles technobabbling the jimberjam gives the rest of the cast something to do, but the big reveal about Vash’s artifact is so tangential the story it barely even works as an homage to first Q episode (TNG s1e1 “Encounter at Farpoint“).
While I like the idea of Vash and Quark working together, Quark is one of our lead characters, and we are presumably supposed to respect his business acumen; so seeing him this easily outmaneuvered because a guest star strokes his earlobes reduces him to a caricature.
It’s not awful, but it’s the first episode of DS9 that sets my phasers to “meh.”