To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S02E14: “Whispers”

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. 

All screenshots come from trekcore.com, which is the same place as the original TNG fashion blog (http://sttngfashion.tumblr.com/).


O’Brien is on a runabout going maximum warp to the Parada system. It’ll take an hour and fourteen minutes.

He starts a new personal log while he travels. He says he wants to set the record straight about the last 52 hours. He doesn’t know if anyone will listen to his log, but if he’s right about things, they won’t want him to reach the Paradas. He then asks for a double strong, double sweet Jamaican coffee.

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I’m not sure if this is a small dispenser area or a really big cup.

He says he doesn’t know who “they” are, as it’s part of the puzzle, and none of this makes any sense. He tries to remember when he noticed this were wrong.

~*~Flashback time!~*~
It’s the first morning after he got back to the station. He’s sleeping and his wife is not in bed.

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This isn’t a great image, but it’s a sort of silky blue blanket with some flowers on it. Also, I don’t understand the pillow design in Star Trek. Those don’t look very comfortable to sleep on.

O’Brien wakes up, confused, and finds his wife and daughter eating breakfast already.

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Keiko, as usual, is dressed in clothes that look almost normal to our eyes. Her shirt seems made of red and brown circles, with green sleeves that look like they have shoulder pads or something built into them? Interesting.

Miles has a blue sort of wrap shirt for his pajamas. I approve because unlike some men’s pajamas, they don’t show off too much of his bare shirt.

Keiko is kind of evasive when he asks why they’re up so early, saying something about having a lot of work to catch up on at school. It’s 5:30 AM. She says she has a lot of essays to read.

O’Brien orders his strong coffee. He asks Molly if she had sweet dreams and can he have a morning kiss, but she flat out tells him to go away, and then leaves. He asks Keiko what’s up, and she says it’s just a phase and not to let it bother him.

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Molly is dressed in normal little kid bright colors. Do people dress little kids in bright colors so they can find them more easily? Anyway, the red and purplish outfit looks okay on her, though it’s hard to quite figure out what’s going on.

O’Brien asks when she went to bed. Late. O’Brien says the trip took things out of him. He went to basic training on the security measures for a peace talks. He wishes Odo could have gone.

O’Brien offers to drop Molly at daycare on his way to Ops but Keiko says she’s taking Molly with her. When she’s got all those essays to read? Keiko says something about a Vulcan teaching program. At 5:30 am? She says something about Molly’s mind being fresh in the morning.

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Okay, so Molly is wearing a bright red shirt and pants (or jumpsuit) and then a darker red/blue/purplish dress over top of that. I still can’t quite tell if Keiko is wearing a single shirt or if the patterned part is a vest over top of a green shirt. Either way, I like the collar.


 

Someone in the security office is scanning things. O’Brien asks what’s going on and he says he’s just getting a head start. O’Brien calls the guy DeCurtis and says he appreciates his bushy tailed enthusiasm, but he’s waiting for Odo to come back from Bajor and some other technobabble. DeCurtis says that he’s got orders from Sisko. O’Brien is skeptical and says he’ll go check with Sisko. He leaves and DeCurtis goes back to work.

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Nothing to say about DeCurtis, he’s a faceless ensign, and I’m guessing doesn’t appear again after this episode. But there’s a screenshot of him anyway.


O’Brien goes out to the promenade and sees Keiko is talking to Sisko, which alarms him. He ducks behind a bulkhead to avoid Sisko seeing him.

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While he’s there, we also see a guy in a yellow shirt with a red vest.

CUE THEME

Back in the present, O’Brien asks the computer to scan for other warp signatures nearby. One is found. It’s the Starfleet runabout Mekong. He says he was expecting this – they’ll wait for him to drop out of warp and then….

He continues his personal log picking up the story from the past. He says it was curious but from the way the others were acting, they might have been planning one of those surprise parties he hates.


 

In the past, O’Brien gets to Ops and Bashir says that he doesn’t want any more excuses, and needs him in his office in an hour. Why? His physical. O’Brien says that it’s not a good day.

Bashir says it’s the perfect day – the commander has arranged to have him covered… O’Brien interrupts to ask why Bashir is going to the commander about his checkup? Bashir insists and threatens to order him.

Sisko comes out and asks if there’s a problem. Bashir says that O’Brien won’t come for his physical. Sisko says he should get his physical because Bashir has to give a report on the senior staff to Starfleet and it’s due next week. O’Brien reluctantly agrees to be there in an hour.

He asks Sisko if they can talk, so they go into Sisko’s office. Sisko says that he heard from DeCurtis that O’Brien was upset and he apologizes for assigning him before talking to O’Brien, saying he dropped the ball. O’Brien says he felt out of the loop.

Sisko says he’s gone through the reports on the Paradas, and they seem unusually preoccupied with security. O’Brien says they’re a little paranoid, but it’s understandable as they were in a civil war for 12 years. Sisko asks if there’s anything else he should know, or unusual protocols. O’Brien says no.

Sisko asks him to give him something that he didn’t put in the reports, that might help him during the peace talks. O’Brien initially declines but then says that they have an odor from some skin excretions that changes with moods and gets very strong when they’re upset. Sisko says he’ll try not to get them upset. He also says he’s been communicating with the leaders regularly and they’ll follow the security recommendations to the letter.

O’Brien says he’ll see to it. Sisko says that he’d like him to check everything, but the main work can be left to the Engineering crews. He has bigger problems for O’Brien – all three upper pylons are down again. Chief says that’s impossible and gives a few reasons. Sisko says they had to tow in a freighter that morning so something must be broken. O’Brien says he’ll get on it right away.

After your physical, Sisko reminds him.

O’Brien then mentions that he saw Sisko talking to Keiko that morning. Sisko says it was about Jake, as his grades have been falling.


Bashir scans O’Brien with multiple scanners and asks him questions that O’Brien thinks are pointless. Bashir makes a note of his short temper.

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The physical forces O’Brien to wear the usual medical outfit. This seems unnecessary for a physical – I thought you only had to wear the hospital gown if you were there for a procedure or due to illness.

Bashir asks how his sex life is. O’Brien refuses to answer. Bashir asks if his parents are in good health and O’Brien reminds him he’s talked extensively about his father’s remarriage after his mom died two years prior. Bashir says he remembers.

He’s not done yet. More tests to run. O’Brien says he hasn’t had a physical take this long since he was born and unless he’s dying…wait…is he dying? There is something wrong with him. That’s why everyone is strange.

Bashir says he’s giving him a clean bill of health and he can get dressed.

O’Brien walks away, giving us this nice shot of the back of the medical outfit:

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Much like our medical gowns, it fastens in the back, but with a series of ties. I assume this is because the censors don’t want us to see Colm Meaney’s behind (he did get a shirtless scene earlier this season [here] and that was Too Much for them, I suppose) but it also makes me wonder how that works. Does a nurse help you tie the gown? Because that was tied far more competently than I’d be able to.


O’Brien runs into Jake in the hallway and Jake asks him for some technobabble advice on a project for school. O’Brien says they’ll have to clear it with Keiko, but he wants to help Jake get his grades back up. Jake says his grades are great and he wants to keep them that way.

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I’m torn on this jumpsuit. On the one hand, it’s a jumpsuit and looks weird, but on the other hand, the colors aren’t as horrible as they could be, and I do admire the sort of silver striping. It also seems sufficiently Sci-Fi to me, with the lines kind of mimicking the shapes you see on a starship.


Future O’Brien narrates to tell us that Sisko was telling the truth about the upper pylons failing. It didn’t make any sense because he’d recently installed new pressure locks – so it had to be an entirely new problem and was going to take him some time to figure out. He wonders if it’s a coincidence that this will take him away from the security arrangements for the Paradas.

O’Brien checks in with DeCurtis. He says he’s on schedule and has made a complete sweep of the quarters assigned to the Paradas. O’Brien wants to check on his work. DeCurtis says the security seal is already activated and only Kira has the code.

O’Brien calls Kira to ask for the codes. Sisko comes on the line and asks what he’s doing. O’Brien says that he spent a week with the Paradas going over the arrangements and he needs to be involved. Sisko shuts him down and tells him to work on the upper pylons.

After he leaves, O’Brien hides behind a bulkhead, and sees that DeCurtis unlocks the quarters and goes inside easily.


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In the promenade, Jake is studying a Thingie with this dude, who looks sufficiently like a Serious Badass. Here are my thoughts on the dude:

-I have no idea what he’s wearing over his shirt. Is it a shield or some sort of padding for safety purposes? Is it decorative?

-The texture of his pants is wild. Is that ruching? Why isn’t my spell-check recognizing ruching as a word?

– Are his hands actually huge, or is he just wearing extra-large gloves.

Jake goes up to O’Brien as he’s walking through the promenade with the Thingie and asks if it’s what he needs for his project. O’Brien asks where he got it. He hasn’t seen one since he was a kid. Jake says he replicated it after he found it in an old data file in the library. O’Brien tells him to come by his place after dinner and they’ll work on the project.

He then asks Jake if anything unusual happened while he was away. Before Jake can answer, Kira calls from an upper level and says that Sisko has been looking for Jake.

Future O’Brien says that he worked on the pylons all day and it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. It turned out to be a crack in an RF power conduit, which he couldn’t imagine how it occurred unless someone did it deliberately.


O’Brien goes home. Keiko asks if he wants to lie down for a little, but O’Brien says Jake is coming over. Keiko says that Sisko just called and Jake can’t come because he’s not feeling well. O’Brien is skeptical as he seemed fine before. Keiko thinks he just ate too much junk.

Also Molly is away at another couple’s quarters.

O’Brien gets ideas and tries to embrace his wife. She’s clearly not into it. He asks what the problem is. She says she’s just not in the mood and had a hard day.

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The face of a woman who is Not In The Mood. I really like the painting behind them, though. If I had dark colored walls (like I would if I lived on a space station) it would look really good. I’m going to imagine Keiko picked it out. Not just because she’s the woman, but it feels like the sort of thing she’d like.

O’Brien agrees to just eat. So they sit at the table and she serves fricandeau stew. He is skeptical as she doesn’t like fricandeau stew. She says that he does. She eats a salad instead as she had a late lunch.

He suspiciously moves the stew around. Keiko asks how it is. He lifts the fork to his mouth and then lets it fall and says that he will lie down. He says he doesn’t have an appetite at the moment.

Future O’Brien says that he doesn’t know if there is anything wrong with the stew, and when he went back later to check she had already disposed of it. He says he knew when he looked at her that she was not his Keiko though.


On the runabout, O’Brien continues to update his log. He plays back the sentence about Keiko that he just said and then continues.

He says he didn’t get much sleep. He waited for “Keiko” to go to sleep and then he started research to see what was going on. He sits in the living room and talks to the computer.

I feel like if he wanted to be secretive maybe he shouldn’t use the voice commands, but maybe that’s the only way to do it, and maybe the bedrooms are sufficiently soundproofed that he won’t wake up Keiko.

Anyway, everything he searches for comes out negative.

He brings up a list of ships that arrived while he was gone. Nothing from the Gamma Quadrant. He sighs and leans back on the couch. Then he goes and gets another Jamaican coffee, double strong, double sweet. He tells himself he’s drinking too much of it and then tells himself it’s to stay awake.

He asks the computer to play all the vocal officers’ logs in the same time parameters.

The computer starts with Sisko talking about Admiral Gupta assessing Cardassian movements, then Dax talking about new life forms, then Sisko talking about a lost shuttlepod, then Kira complaining about ministers, then DeCurtis talking about something functioning, then Sisko summarizing the Admiral’s visit, and then, suddenly, access denied.

The station logs are restricted after a certain point. The day O’Brien returned. It’s restricted to level 1 security. O’Brien is level one. He enters his security code but is denied access.

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O’Brien heads up to Ops in the turbolift. He casually plays with a computer terminal, then walks through and goes to another part of the area, where he takes off the outer casing and goes inside the wiring.

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DeCurtis stops by and asks if he can help. O’Brien says he’s working on the upper pylons, so DeCurtis leaves.

Future O’Brien explains that there were traps laid into the computer subroutine to let someone know if he’d passed the security restrictions. However, he is able to get passed the traps without anyone knowing and releases the protected files.

He says that the files didn’t answer his questions but they did confirm some of his fears – they were analyzing and re-analyzing everything he’d put into his report about Paradan security, and had read his personal logs as well. He also notes references from Sisko about secured messages from the Parada system, but no indication what those messages were about. Maybe because they were afraid O’Brien would get into the files.


An airlock opens and a bunch of people come out including Odo.

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There are no good screenshots of all the passengers, so we’ll settle for this person wearing a blue jacket that seems to be of similar texture as the dude’s pants mentioned before.

Chief says he has a problem and need to talk. He explains the situation to Odo. Odo asks if anyone thinks he’s suspicious and O’Brien says probably.

He isn’t sure what to do – he could alert Starfleet, but what would he say? That his wife is not his wife, and Sisko is making security arrangements behind his back? Odo agrees that they might call Sisko and ask him questions about O’Brien.

The Paradas are due in 38 hours. Odo says he doesn’t want them to come until this is cleared up, and tells O’Brien to go on about his business and not do anything to call attention to himself. He’ll do some investigating. If they can confirm their suspicions, Odo can go to the Bajoran authorities.

Future O’Brien says he’s happy that he has an ally and now just needs to wait. But he’s not good at waiting and he has a few tricks up his sleeve. He goes to his quarters and plays with a metal thingie.


At Quark’s O’Brien is sitting on an upper level. Quark comes by and says the odds are against him. O’Brien gets upset with him and grabs him by the collar, but then Quark clarifies and says he’s talking about the racquetball rematch with Bashir.

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Quark is wearing his green paisley jacket, which we have not seen for awhile. I admire his ability to rotate his wardrobe enough that I don’t get bored.

He sits down with O’Brien, who demands he change the subject. Quark asks about the Paradas. O’Brien asks why he cares. Quark says it’s good business to know about your customers before they walk in the door. O’Brien asks which Rule of Acquisition that is. Quark says one of the higher numbers, maybe 194. O’Brien says he’ll have to find out about the Paradas from someone else.

Odo calls and asks to see O’Brien in his office.


 

Odo tells O’Brien that he sees what he means, invites him to sit. What do you know about the Paradan rebels, he asks. O’Brien says the politics are complicated but he knows they’ve been fighting the government for 12 years. Why? Odo says he’s trying to understand the player.

O’Brien says that Sisko’s logs indicate that there have been messages from the Paradans. Could they have been from the rebels? Odo says they are. O’Brien says this is already a breach of the security agreement they signed and it’s a good reason to cancel the talks.

Odo says this might still be premature. O’Brien says of course it is and then realizes that they got to Odo. Odo says no, that’s ridiculous, but O’Brien turns and sees that Sisko, Bashir, and Kira are coming in with phasers pointed at him.

Kira says they don’t want to hurt him. Bashir tries to give him a sedative. O’Brien uses the metal thingie he was working on, which turns out to be a flash bomb.

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He grabs a weapon and runs out the door while the others are blinded. He shoots DeCurtis and another security guard who are outside, and then runs off.

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Dodged!

O’Brien tries to get the computer to transport him to the Rio Grande but the computer can’t comply and says something about needing a commander. He tosses his badge and keeps running, then comes up to a forcefield.

He goes to a nearby computer station on the wall and enables all the forcefields, saying that if they want to get him they’ll have to release all the fields. This happens immediately and he continues running.

He runs past a door as Jake is coming out.

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Jake has switched to a dorkier jumpsuit, all blue with purple shoulders and wrists. It’s not his worse, but on the Jake Sisko Jumpsuit Scale, it ranks lower than the one he was wearing earlier.

He asks if Jake is okay. Yes. He tells him something isn’t normal around here. Something’s happened and they’re the only ones that can help. Jake taps a communication panel on the wall and tells Security where O’Brien is. He says to surrender and he’ll be fine. Then he leaves.

O’Brien pulls a panel off the wall and climbs inside as Security comes by. He hears Odo telling the others to advise people to stay where they are and not let anyone in and check all quarters.

O’Brien climbs up a ladder in a narrow tube, going pretty high up. Then he crawls down a narrow corridor and emerges above a cargo bay. He climbs down some cargo and goes to a transporter pad there and beams himself onto a runabout. After a bit of finagling with buttons, he starts up the power.

Sisko immediately comes onscreen and orders him to shut down his engines and he won’t be allowed to leave. O’Brien says that he’s not doing that. He says that the station’s tractor beam is offline and the mooring clamps have been released, then hangs up on Sisko.

He raises the shields on the runabout and flies away from the station. The station shoots at him. The shields are down to 49% so he transfers power from emergency life support, which raises them to 94%. He sets in a course at full impulse. Confirmed.

He opens a channel to Admiral Rollman at Starbase 001.

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I think we’ve seen her before, but I’m not sure. The admirals are kind of interchangeable to me.

She knows who he is. O’Brien explains the situation. The admiral tells him to go back to DS9. O’Brien says that he thinks the senior officers are under some kind of influence. She just says that he should turn around and go back. He hangs up on her.

Now he wonders, has someone or something infiltrated all of Starfleet? He heads through the wormhole instead.


 

O’Brien has a coffee. He’ll be in the Paradan system in a minute and will beat the Mekong by 7 minutes. He identifies the largest planet, Parada IV and heads that way. There are 7 moons.

He drops to impulse. The Mekong is following him. They are 2 minutes behind. O’Brien tells the computer to have them catch up in 30 seconds.

The computer alerts him that they’re entering a polar magnetic field and sensors won’t work for 27 seconds, so he should switch to manual navigation. He does so. Then engages full impulse engines on manual.

Then he shuts down all engines and main power to maintain silent running status, making it hard for the others to find him. They leave. The computer says they are going to Parada II. What’s there? They’re beaming to the surface. 3 people, no one left behind.

O’Brien heads to Parada II and then beams down into a cave.

He passes through a door and finds Sisko and Kira there with some aliens.

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I kind of like the purple and gold design of this room. I think the Paradans are kind of lazy costume design, though, and it’s obvious when they start speaking that they’re just guys with rubber masks.

O’Brien concludes they’re negotiating with the rebels. Sisko says he doesn’t understand but he’ll explain once O’Brien puts down his weapons. O’Brien refuses.

He tells them to put theirs down first. They agree, and he tells the Paradans to do the same. One of them says that everything he needs to understand is behind a door. O’Brien thinks it’s a squadron of rebels waiting for him. After some debate, they shoot O’Brien.

The door opens and Bashir is behind there with another O’Brien. The second O’Brien says that he looks just like him. Kira says that he thought he was him. The Paradan says that they thought it would make it more convincing. They believe there was some triggering device programmed into him that would take over during the peace talks. The government has done surprising things with replicants.

O’Brien asks what he was programmed to do. The Paradans say that they’re not sure but probably to assassinate at least one person. Sisko says they were tipped off by an informant in the government. There was a rumor that O’Brien had been abducted and replaced, and the Paradans had been looking for him ever since. Bashir says there was no way to prove he wasn’t O’Brien.

He passed a physical exam with flying colors and knew his way around the station. O’Brien says that he had a lot of wires attached to his head and now he knows why. Kira says they were trying to shut him out of sensitive security activity and so he was wondering what was going on.

They heard about the real O’Brien’s rescue, but by that point the fake O’Brien had been en route to Parada. They don’t know why he was going there. O’Brien says if it were him, he’d be trying to warn someone about what was going on at the station. Sisko muses that fake O’Brien was trying to be a hero in a strange way.

Fake O’Brien mumbles Keiko, and tells real O’Brien that he loves…and then dies.

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The end?


 

Stray Thoughts:

* Well, that was a roller coaster of emotions, and I almost didn’t see the ending coming. I maybe wouldn’t have, except that I’ve been watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a bunch lately, and they had a similar plot with a Life Model Decoy – who didn’t realize they weren’t the real thing – replacing people. So, part way through this, I started thinking “what if O’Brien is the one who’s off, rather than the entirety of DS9,” and then I started wondering if he was a duplicate android.

* So, when they didn’t know the whereabouts of Real O’Brien, they were intent on not killing Fake O’Brien so that the Paradans didn’t know they knew that FO’B was a fake. But then why were they hesitant to kill F’OB once he was on the planet. Why did they put down their weapons when he first entered the room? Now that they had RO’B, why not just destroy FO’B – which they ended up doing anyway?

* Also, the whole time that final showdown was going on, Bashir and RO’B were hanging out in that tiny room? Why? And why did the Paradans think that showing RO’B to FO’B would make F’OB break down and understand?

* Did they attempt to explain this all to Molly, or did she just pick up that he wasn’t her real dad? Because she seems kind of young to not blurt out the truth to FO’B or be a good enough actress to hide that something’s off. Speaking of which, everyone is kind of terrible actors. FO’B picks up pretty much immediately that things are off, not just from his wife and kid, but from random ensigns.

* On a lighter note, fricandeau stew is an actual thing. Here’s a link to a recipe.