During his usual lunch with Bashir, Garak dismisses as farcical the notion that Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar would be surprised that his best friend betrayed him, in a literary reference that is definitely random and will certainly have nothing at all to do with this week’s plot.
Garak departs with a promise to deliver chocolates later, and a comic workplace scene between Kira and Bashir gets interrupted by an explosion.
Injured, lying in the rubble of what used to be his tailor shop, Garak quips about not being able to deliver Bashir’s pants as promised.
O’Brien’s tricorder (after this many decades shouldn’t it be an octocorder or a dodecacorder by now?) picks up the plot contrivance particles necessary to suggest that this explosion was no accident.
Predictably, Garak cannot imagine who might want him dead, and Odo is annoyed when he points out Major Kira has never liked him.
Bashir tells Garak the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Wide-eyed, the simple tailor suggests the content is a little dark for a children’s story, and suggests an alternate moral: “Never tell the same lie twice.”
I started suspecting this might be a two-parter when Garak’s story pauses to showcase Odo in full Colombo mode, manipulating a merchant to stop him from combining three different perfume samples, which would have formed a lethal gas.
Odo lets the suspect go, and arranges to follow him. Of course Garak expects to go along for the ride, but just when the buddy mission gets underway, there’s a ka-boom, and soon a Romulan is admitting in a video call that the Tal Shiar (secret police) blew up the merchant’s ship as part of a legal execution. She seems to be only vaguely aware of Garak, describing him as a cobbler.
I am still a little confused about the shadowy Cardassian figure Odo meets in a cave (again with the caves), but once Odo ends up with a list of people who all mysteriously died at the time Garak was attacked, Garak seems agitated and surprised.
Odo isn’t buying it, having deduced the suspect he interrogated was planning to poison Garak, and accuses Garak of blowing up his own shop, as a way to encourage Odo to investigate the incident. Maybe this time, we are meant to take Garak’s surprise as genuine.
Garak reaches out to an old contact who pleads for help in protecting Garak’s former Obsidan Order mentor Tain, who was responsible for Garak’s exile, but to whom Garak remains strangely loyal.
In another scene that does little to advanced plot but adds some enjoyable texture to every DS9 fan’s favorite bromance, as Garak prepares to depart for this dangerous mission, he tells Bashir of a data rod hidden behind a secret panel in his quarters, which sets up some more amusing and clever moments.
The Odo-Garak buddy adventure continues, featuring an interruption, a reunion, lots of posturing, and the long-awaited infodump, which involves a major development leading up to next season’s Dominion War story arc.
When Garak is offered the chance to serve again in the Obsidian Order, it seems we are meant to take his uncharacteristically beaming face as sincere — but the cynical Odo is our viewpoint character, and he has reasons to be less than enthusiastic.