I can't see this episode without thinking of the near screaming row that took place over it when it was shown on sky at lunchtime on a Sunday back in the mid 90's.
my auntie was having none of it and talked on why she felt it was utter rubbish, how bad the acting was bad "it's just people crying" and how utterly dull it was. how I kept a civil tongue in my head, is a mystery and nowadays I would just go not everything is for everyone and move the fuck on.
Then I bit my tongue and played the good nephew but it bothered me for some time.
this Is double levels of Irony as this is looking back a very strong episode of the show an atypical drama when it could've been a complete failure. The writers have crafted the story such that it appears to the audience the Cardassians might very well be telling the truth when watched for the first time
It's a terrific story with some great dramatic moments, with the added bonus of a satisfying conclusion—a refreshing cheat-free venture into Cardassian political problems.
It's really about how Kira finally accepts a lie after having it drilled into her head over and over. It also gives Kira a chance to develop a friendship with Cardassian Ghemor, who adamantly claims he's her father. The scenes between Kira and Ghemor are right on target, because they're both victims of the same deception
Finally, this episode sported another outstanding performance by Andrew Robinson especially when he kills Entek and simply says "What a pity, I rather liked him" and casually walks away. Strong acting all round.
I wish the episode addressed the unveiled dead body but I tend to take the view that the dead body is the agent who was made to look like kira.
also Am I like the only person that has a thing for Cardassian women? There is a really odd sexiness to them, and Kira looked so amazing as a Cardassian! What is it about Star Trek women that makes alien races want to kidnap and surgically alter them?...first Troi and now Kira... there a whole odd fetish right there. then having Garak come in and say... " Major, I don't think I've ever seen you looking so ravishing."
the original ending of this episode was more ambiguous in that the Doctor couldn't determine with 100% accuracy that Kira was Bajoran.... to underline the theme of "it doesn't matter who you've been, it only matters who you are."
In short my auntie is wrong about star trek and about this episode in particular.
"The Abandoned" Or Wow Ben.. those are dick moves all round.
The writers further affirm that they really know what they're doing with their characters when Odo tries to teach an orphaned Jem'Hadar about human values and the opportunities of life. O.k. while a tad derivative as far as philosophical content goes "The Abandoned" features some thoughtful dialogue about equality and the individual's role in life. What works best is some more development of Odo's character—the first of hopefully many follow-up stories to Odo's outing in "The Search."
Most notably, Odo moves into his own quarters and abandons his bucket.
We begin "The Abandoned" with Quark buying some junk scrap and inadvertently discovering a baby in the wreckage. Upon learning this Quark immediately does the honourable and noble thing... Not selling the baby on the blackmarket for parts or feeding it to the replicater for a cheaper power bill. -Nope he takes the baby to the Infirmary for Bashir to treat and informs everyone about what happened. How is he rewarded for this? Sisko acts likes an complete ass-hole to him because.... fuck Quark, am I right?! They then confiscate Quark's legally owned property because why the hell not and when Quark begins to protest he's basically told - "Go to hell! We're taking it without compensating you and you better damn-well be happy about it!" But all of this is acceptable because Sisko really likes kids and fondly remembers playing with baby Jake. Ah, we're off to a wonderful start!
People sure do treat Quark badly, don't they? Yes he needs to be the underdog and I don't think anyone really have preferred it if Quark was the Ferengi equivalent of Donald Trump?
After that rather disappointing opening things take a turn for the better So mysterious infant exhibits very rapid growth, reaching adolescence in a matter of hours. Even more impressive, he comprehends language almost instantly—apparently a biologically programmed trait. Before long, the crew discovers the boy is a Jem'Hadar. He escapes the infirmary and begins causing problems on the station.
This is when Odo decides to look after the Jem'Hadar, who has an instinctual implant compelling him to obey all shapeshifters. Odo tries to teach the Jem'Hadar that he can make his own choices, and that he doesn't have to be a killing machine that only answers to his instinct and to shapeshifters.
Odo even lets the kid exercise his desire for violence by giving him a holographic combat opponent. This is where the script fully realizes the point of the episode—that Odo's attempts are pointless—as the Jem'Hadar furiously fights and fights, constantly raising the strength of the simulation. After leaving the holosuite, the Jem'Hadar brags that everyone should be afraid of him because he could kill any of them. His instinct tells him that anyone who isn't a Jem'Hadar is inferior to him. It becomes obvious Odo's attempts will ultimately fail. we can easily draw comparisons to "Hugh" from TNG's "I-Borg"; the crew discovers a seemingly innocent being from an enemy race and tries to befriend it. The similarities end once it is realized that the Jem'Hadar are soul-less killing machines and can't be reprogrammed sorry De-programmed or reasoned with. I also appreciate how the Jem'Hadar boy serves as a reflection of DS9's darker tones, unlike Hugh's friendliness reflecting TNG's ubiquitous optimism .This adds depth to the seriousness of the Jem'Hadar threat.
The DS9 crew doesn't even attempt to name the Jem'Hadar. I understand the DS9 crew's reluctance to do so, much like TNG was apprehensive to name Hugh. However, Trek has always been wonderful at showcasing human compassion even in the darkest of times. One can argue that it is a further reflection of the series' darker tones, and that the DS9 crew is imperfect in their decisions
Another thing "The Abandoned" does effectively is further develop the Jem'Hadar as a Federation threat. We learn the Jem'Hadar not only have dangerous technology but are also a dangerous race of biological engineering—a race of preprogrammed killers who only take a matter of days after birth to fully develop, learn and join the ranks of warriors. It would be quite a one sided confrontation if the Founders decided to indeed "impose order in the Alpha Quadrant."
It takes 4 years to train a starfleet officer where as the Jem'hadar are ready to rock in a few days. one sided confrontation may be a understatement. hence why Star Fleet wanted him "for science". They saw the Dominion as a future threat, and the Jem'Hadar were the ruthless enforcers. They wanted intel. They wanted to develop an answer for them when they come-a-knocking.
Fuck you Ben, No, she is not a whore, she's not fucking random aliens live on stage at Quark's And even if she was and she was in at the doctors week with "Kirk's collection of STDs" and that would not happen as it's not a pisstake of HBO's star trek. in that case then Ben you may want to have a discreet word with your son, but no she's dabo girl making a living in a hard post war environment... both he and she could make far worse life choices. as a character later that takes a stand against the discrimination of the past, that's been gone from trek for 200+ years at this point, he's blind when he goes off and discriminates himself.
I would definitely not class them as sex workers. As far as we see Quark isn't pimping them out to customers (Again, perhaps he did during the occupation but I reckon in Quark's view Holosuite Pr0n has higher margins and less bother.
On paper I'm sure they are croupiers, but croupiers in the same way that a Hooters waitress is a waitress. Yes the job is to serve food (Hooters) or make the Dabo wheel go, but they are also unashamedly hired for their looks and that is a selling point for a Venue.
Quite frankly I'm amazed Quark is not selling "Dabo Girls of Quark's" calendars