To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S01E16: “The Forsaken”

To Boldly Sew is a recap of DS9 episodes, with a specific focus on the fashions of the many aliens and other characters that make up the series. Feel free to discuss matters of plot and general Star Trek things in the comments. 

I’m getting all these screenshots from, which is the same place as the original TNG fashion blog (

Sisko’s log informs us that they’re being visited by a delegation of ambassadors on a fact finding mission to the wormhole. He has assigned Bashir to look after some ambassadors.

Bashir is talking to a woman in pink dress and updo. She is complaining that her quarters are too small, and he’s apologetic that the guest quarters are too small and the crew quarters (which she also suggests as an option) are occupied. She wants someone to move; Bashir for example.


I really like the coral colors of her dress, and the lines going in different direction add some neat visual interest. There’s also a sort of floral/paisley shawl type thing that’s draped diagonally like a sash over her chest. Her jewelry is tasteful, though her hair is a bit ostentatious, and the makeup seems a touch more heavily applied than I would have done (not that I often wear makeup anyway).

Also a blue-faced guy in a sort of floral print jacket says that the woman was demanding on the trip over and is never satisfied. The woman counters that he bothered the ship’s captain constantly with suggestions on how to run the ship. The man says the captain welcomed the suggestions, and Commander Sisko will welcome them also, if they ever get to see them.


It’s only in examining this screenshot that I note the gold details on his jacket, the hems on his lapels and the golden collar around his neck. The fabric is really interesting, and I like the way it picks up the blue tones in his face.

Bashir says Sisko is unfortunately very busy with a…recalibration…sweep. The third ambassador, a Vulcan, asks what they are recalibrating. Bashir says it’s basically everything – all systems. The Vulcan would like to observe this recalibration. Bashir says he assumed they would like to stop at a holosuite after their long trip. The woman in pink is offended by the suggestion they indulge in a “disgusting Ferengi sex program.”


Like most Vulcans, this guy favors stiff, broad shoulders, with said shoulders defined by slightly different fabric than the rest of his jacket, which has this neat sort of braided red embroidery on the front. He also has a gray-ish silver turtleneck underneath.

Bashir tries to explain that there are other options, but the blue-faced guy just laughs and says that she’s quite sexually repressed. The woman is also upset that Bashir, a first year officer, was assigned to be their liaison. Bashir tries to defend himself, but then they’re interrupted by a woman’s screams nearby.

“Oh, it’s gone!” the woman is screaming and we’re just going to pause for a moment and admire the hair and outfit of one Lwaxana Troi.


Pink hair, which is done in an updo that is more ostentatious and yet less polished than the other ambassador lady. But that’s hardly the most impressive thing about her! Her sleeves, chest, and belt seem to be made of some material that I initially identified as feathers but now I’m not so sure about – it might just be some elaborate ruching (a good example of such here) in a multi-colored fabric. Theories welcome!

Bashir comes over to investigate, and Ambassador Troi laments that her latinum hair brooch is missing. Bashir calls over Quark and explains the problem.


Quark is wearing his usual shirt, and his lighter-colored upholstery jacket, which I don’t think we’ve seen in a few episodes. I appreciate his willingness to change clothes periodically.

Quark says that the establishment is not responsible for the loss of any personal items, as explained on a tiny sign over the door that can only be read if one stands on a chair. Lwaxanna grabs him by the ear and tells him all her titles and calls him a little troll. She wants everyone in the room strip-searched until they find the brooch.

Odo appears. Troi explains that the brooch has been in her family for 36 generations, it’s priceless, and she’s certain she was wearing it because she always wears it with this hair. Odo notes that she’s Betazoid. He asks if she senses guilt in the room. She says no, but also admits that she cannot read Ferengis.

Odo says that Quark does not usually resort to petty theft. Odo then goes behind the staircase and finds this dude in a shiny purple outfit. He demands the dude open his pockets. He has a bunch of stolen things in them, including the missing brooch.


Odo explains the guy is a Doterian, and Doterians are related to the Ferengis and that’s why Troi couldn’t read him either. He leaves with the culprit. Lwaxanna tells Bashir she wants to know more about Odo.


Chief is running diagnostics. He’s not happy with the computer, because it thinks that 13% below normal is within specifications.  He asks a Bajoran woman named Anara to help him. She has a fancy bun going on.


They talk some technobabble. Chief asks the computer to perform an operation but the computer refuses and says it is not recommended.

Sisko appears and tells him to chill just as Chief is ready to throw the computer out an airlock. Chief says the computer is his arch enemy. He says he wants to go into its guts and rebuild it from the ground up, which will take 2-3 years. Sisko doesn’t think it’s necessary.

Bashir appears with the ambassadors (except Troi). Sisko is clearly unhappy with their presence and Bashir is apologetic. The lady in pink is complaining about the accommodations again.

Bashir is literally hanging his head here. Ha!

We get a better look at the blue guy’s jacket here. It reminds me a bit of a shower curtain due to both the pattern and the shininess of it.

Kira interrupts to say that there’s a vessel coming through the wormhole and Bashir shows them the wormhole opening. The ambassadors are not impressed.

The vessel doesn’t seem to have any life forms, and they can’t figure out what it is. Maybe a probe? They can’t quite tell. Dax and Sisko debate. The Vulcan ambassador suggests Dax doesn’t have enough experience, but Bashir stops him from mansplaining (vulcansplaining?) and getting involved by telling him that the “young woman” has more than 300 years experience.

Sisko tells Kira to tow the vessel to a spot near the station, but not on board, and tells Chief oto set up an interface link with it so they can try to understand its purpose. He then gives Bashir a Look to indicate he’d like to get rid of the ambassadors.

The blue-faced guy tries to get involved by saying the vessel might represent contact with a new species and at least one Federation ambassador should be present.

But Sisko shuts him down and says he’ll brief them all later. He then tells Bashir they can view the probe from a window near one of the docking ports, and this convinces them to leave.

Meanwhile, Odo is working in his office.

Troi comes to try to seduce him.


She wearing a blue lacy top and black and dark blue and white skirt. Her hair is quite bright red. She admires his work ethic and calls him the thin beige line between order and chaos. I read this as a subtle dig at the Bajoran security uniform. It’s probably not meant that way, it’s just a variation on the “thin blue line” that we use to refer to police since the currently wear blue, but if anyone was going to insult the Bajoran uniforms, it’d be Lwaxana Troi.

He asks if he can help; has she lost anything else? She says only her heart. She also asks whether Odo is his first or last name, to which he replies, “Yes.” She says his name is lyrical. She moves in close and backs him up to a wall.

He says he has a lot of work to do. She says he’s a shape shifter – she’s never been with a shape shifter. He doesn’t understand the term “been with.”

Odo claims that he’s heard a communication from Ops (he hasn’t) and rushes out.

The whole scene is hilariously uncomfortable for Odo, but Troi is not dissuaded in the slightest. She watches him leave with a smile.

Chief and Dax are arguing with the computer in order to get it to transfer the data from the weird vessel. Things seem to be working fine. Chief is surprised.

Odo goes to speak to Sisko. He confesses he has an issue with Lwaxana; she is now grateful for his help and seems interested in him. He hasn’t the slightest idea how to deal with it.

Sisko finds this amusing and gives this wide grin. He suggests letting her catch Odo. Odo says he doesn’t have time for this. He complains about humanoid mating rituals being useless and doesn’t think procreation requires writing bad poetry or changing how one smells.

Sisko is amused that Odo can handle thieves and killers and not one woman. He also says he can’t really help. Odo says he’s trying to avoid a diplomatic incident. Sisko admits this is a concern and says to handle the matter with delicacy. Odo says he doesn’t do delicacy well. This seems destined to end poorly.

Chief, Dax, and Anara (the Bajoran woman with the fancy bun) examine the probe. There’s no science modules or communication system, but there’s plenty of computer capacity. Chief thinks that’s a lot of computer hardware for a simple probe.

Kira comes over to ask if they have any updates, but they don’t.

Odo steps off the turbolift and Lwaxana appears immediately.


She’s wearing a classic reddish pink dress and bright yellow hair. I really like this dress, although the color is a little bright for me. It says casual ballerina, with this same-colored belt around the waist – seems like something you could go to an 80s workout wearing, and then go find a shapeshifter to seduce.

She has reserved a holosuite with Quark, which means Quark knows about this and Odo is appalled. He says he must get to Upper Pylon 3 immediately and she follows him into the turbolift. She says she’s always wanted to see an Upper Pylon. Me, too!

She suggests they have their picnic at Upper Pylon 3, and that they ask Quark to send the picnic basket she asked him to prepared. Odo explains to Lwaxana that he does not eat and has no real mouth, no esophagus or stomach and that every 16 hours he turns into a liquid. She shrugs and says she can swim.

The turbolift breaks. It is dark. Odo calls Ops. Anara says that power to the pylon turbolifts has failed. Kira investigates and says they’ll beam him out. Dax tries to transport, but that doesn’t work either. It seems the transporter is also down. Dax calls O’Brien for assistance.

At Ops, the computer insists everything in the turbolift system seems fine, but nothing is working. Chief goes to work on that.

Kira calls Odo and admits that it will be a while until they can get the turbolift working, and she’s not sure on the timeline. She also advises that he shouldn’t shapeshift out either, because there’s some exposed circuits that make this dangerous. He agrees reluctantly with Troi when she says that wouldn’t be polite.

Lwaxana is pleased that they can get to know each other. Odo would like to pass the time quietly. This quiet doesn’t last very long.

Lwaxana starts talking, of course. She sits on the floor. She admits that she needs to talk but it’s okay if he wants to say silent. Odo says he understands. He says there’s nothing to be afraid of. She starts telling an anecdote about being stuck on a Ferengi freighter with her daughter, and Odo rolls his eyes several times throughout her story, which I’m not going to relate here because it doesn’t make a lot of sense or proceed in a chronological order. Odo stares off into space at the exposed circuit that’s preventing him from shapeshifting out of the turbolift, and wonders how many volts are in it.

Meanwhile, Bashir talks to Sisko about the ambassadors. He is unhappy about having to escort the rest of the ambassadors, who are unhappy and quite intent on spreading unhappiness.

Sisko is easily amused in this episode. He had the same reaction to Odo’s problems. 

Sisko is unimpressed and laughs, but tells him he used to have to escort VIPs until he hit one of them, but advises Bashir not do the same.

Sisko then talks to the Chief about the computer – it seems to be acting less difficult since they downloaded the information from the probe. He asks the computer a few things and the computer replies immediately. He says the computer’s personality has changed. But the turbolifts and transporters are still broken and Odo and Troi are still stuck.

He also feels like the computer doesn’t want him to leave, because when he tries, something else breaks. Sisko says this sounds like a child.

Sisko, Kira, Chief, and Dax meet to discuss. They theorize that they’ve somehow downloaded a non-biological life into the program and it’s trying to communicate with them somehow. Since it doesn’t seem to be sentient, Kira compares it to a puppy rather than a child.

Sisko asks how to get rid of it so that they can get the turbolifts and other systems working again.Chief suggests transferring the files they downloaded from the probe back to the station, in hopes the entity might go along with them. Dax wonders if it’s integrated, but Chief doesn’t think it’s trying to be destructive. There’s a bunch of other technobabble in this conversation, but that’s the gist of it.

The comlines are down, and Odo and Troi have been stuck into the turbolift for almost four hours. Sisko and Kira wonder about his regenerative cycle. Neither of them knows it.

Chief tries to transfer the information to the probe. Then the lights go out.

The ambassadors are with Bashir on the promenade, and complain about this to Bashir. The Vulcan says he thought Chief was competent, so why aren’t the backup systems functioning? Bashir suggests they go back to quarters to wait it out.


The pink lady with the updo is wearing a long dress. Sadly, it’s too dark to see the pants the blue guy or the Vulcan guy are wearing. The woman also worries about whether the climate control is working okay, as she hasn’t brought any warm clothing. I wonder if she could borrow some from Lwaxana.

Back in the turbolift, Lwaxana finally stops talking and decides to ask Odo to talk about himself.

She tries asking Odo about his hair and how he decided on his hair. Odo admits that he copied the hairstyle of the man who studied him in a laboratory. Troi is astonished that he grew up lonely in a laboratory, and sympathizes with him. He explains he didn’t really “grow up” the way people do, but transitioned from what he was before to what he became eventually.

Troi says it sounds lonely, and he says he was always self sufficient. She says he must have had to be to survive, being that he’s so different from everyone else. He tries calling Ops, but comm lines are still down.

He looks very stressed and anxious, and Troi asks if he’s well, noticing he looks warm.


He agrees to talk about his earlier life before DS9, and says he found himself to be an entertainer by shapeshifting into different things. He says he hated parties, so Lwaxana says he should come to one of hers and she’ll make sure he’s entertained.

He makes a groaning noise and bends over, and then confesses eventually that he’s in hour 15 of his 16-hour regenerative cycle.

Back in Ops, some technobabble is going on. Chief thinks he can manually transfer the file by distracting the computer with multiple requests at the same time. The computer starts talking slower.

The computer explodes. And then a plasma explosion happens in the guest quarters where Bashir and the ambassadors are.

Always share fire photos.

The fire-suppression systems aren’t working, so Kira and Sisko head down.

In the guest quarters, Bashir can’t get the door open; he and the ambassadors are all inhaling smoke. The fire is growing.

Sisko and Kira arrive at the habitat ring. They find the door closed, and try to cut through with phasers, but the door is too thick.

Dax and Chief relate the computer situation to a small puppy. Chief thinks puppies want attention, and this seems to be the case with this life form. It wants to be where the action is, and where the active computer is working.

Back in the Turbolift, Odo is doing horribly. He looks like he’s sweating a lot.

He won’t show his face to Troi. She tells him it’s okay, but no one has ever seen him like that except the scientist who studied him.

Troi asks how she can help, but Odo doesn’t know. He says he’s fine.

Finally, she takes off her wig and shows it to him, saying no one has ever seen her without a wig. He turns around to see her with very short hair.


She really doesn’t look terrible. It’s obviously not as ostentatious as any of the wigs she’s worn so far, but it’s not like she’s totally bald.

He says she looks fine – she says it looks ordinary, which she’s never cared to be. Odo looks like he’s melting. He says she’s not what he expected; she says this is the best compliment she’s ever gotten.

Finally, Odo cannot hold his shape any longer, and Troi says it’s okay, so he melts into her arms, into a pile in the folds of her dress.


Sisko and Kira are trying to blast through the door into the habitat ring where the ambassadors and Bashir are.

Chief and Anara are ready to fool the computer. They create a subprogram called “PuP’ and reroute their backup functions through that subprogram, then all the probe data and programs into that subprogram as well. The lights come on! Fire suppression systems come online.

Sisko and Kira are able to open the door and start looking for Bashir and the Ambassadors. They don’t see them at first, and the area looks damaged.


Suddenly, a panel of the wall opens and Bashir emerges with the ambassadors.

Sadly, the updo did not survive. 🙁

They are all complimentary of him, calling him “Julian” and saying they’re going to put in a commendation. The woman even asks him to call her by her first name.

Troi and Odo are freed from the turbolift now. He apologizes that the “picnic” she planned was not as expected, and she says the company is all that matters. He says he appreciates her sensitivity and discretion, and she says that next time they meet she will give him a lot more to appreciate.


Stray Thoughts:

* The scenes with Lwaxana Troi and Odo were quite moving. Lwaxana is usually seen as a rather comic or flippant character without a lot of depth, and this episode was a good showcase for her as a character. It makes sense that an empathic person would be able to bring Odo out of his shell a little bit.

* The technobabble parts are, for me, one of those things that works best in the abstract, but I can’t follow as well when I think too hard on it. A computer program/nonbiological entity that’s like a puppy? Okay, sure.

* I appreciate the attempt to give Bashir a bit of characterization here, but it would have been helpful if we’d actually seen his heroics instead of just cutting to his being praised for them.

* Also, did Lwaxana Troi not have any official ambassador duties? Aside from a brief period at Quark’s in the beginning, where she’s apart from the group but at least in the same room, she is never with the rest of the group. Is she part of their official group or is this just a vacation for her? It’s not quite clear.