The Forsaken (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 17) Lwaxana Troi and the station computer harass Odo and O’Brien, respectively

Rewatching ST:DS9

Bashir is hosting three high-maintenance ambassadors, while Odo’s professional competence attracts the attention of Lwaxana Troi. 

O’Brien brings Sisko his concerns about the station computer (his “arch enemy”), Odo brings Sisko his concerns about Lwaxana, and Bashir brings his concerns about the needy ambassadors. The commander seems to enjoy telling each of them to just work it out.

A probe comes through the wormhole. It’s got a lot of computer power but doesn’t seem to serve any purpose. Of course it makes sense to download whatever’s in the alien probe’s memory to the station’s main computer. No point in using the computer on a runabout, or on someone’s PADD, not when the computer that runs all the crucial systems on the station is available — the same computer that O’Brien was complaining about.

When the computer acts up, trapping Odo in an elevator with Lwaxana, and trapping Bashir with the ambassadors, the plots actually work together fairly well — better than the similarly themed TNG s5e5 “Disaster.” 

The formula for Lwaxana was set from her very first appearance (TNG s1e10 “Haven“): start the episode with her being outlandish and annoying, and give her a moment of insight that surprises us. In this episode, we learn a bit about Odo’s backstory, and the writers’ concept of Odo’s gelatinous physiology begins to… er… take shape. But Lwaxana’s moment of generosity and empathy is really very touching.

The computer storyline drives the other plots, but is the least interesting. O’Brien’s supposed rivalry with the computer seems forced, and we have to take his word for so much (the computer’s change in attitude, what the computer’s motivations are, how to respond, why that response didn’t work, whether it finally did work in the end) that I found those scenes talky. 

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