To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S02E16: “Shadowplay”


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, which is the same place as the original TNG fashion blog (


Dax writes a log saying she’s heading to the gamma quadrant to investigate a particle field, and Odo is going along to search for clues to his origin. They’re in a runabout.

Dax is giving Odo a bunch of gossip about two officers who are in love but don’t know it or something. Odo notes that one of them has been distracted and he’s going to talk to her when they return. Dax says that wasn’t why she told him the story. Odo says he doesn’t get the point of her story at all except to illustrate the foolish humanoid preoccupation with romantic coupling. She says the point is that sometimes we don’t see true love when it’s staring us in the face.

She starts to give another example of a woman who keeps visiting the security office. Odo says that she has a cousin interested in law enforcement, and doesn’t think she’s interested in him. He thinks this is ridiculous. Dax thinks it proves her point that you don’t always see love when it’s in front of you. He says women aren’t interested in him like that, and she asks if he’s ever had an intimate female friend.

Their discussion is tabled when they detected the particle field, which Dax discovers is made up of omicron particles, which are incredibly rare. They’re only created by certain matter/anti-matter reactions. The field seems to be coming from a nearby planet, so they head there.

On the planet, it seems like all the particles are coming from a particular valley on the planet. Odo checks the sensors, which aren’t picking up any life forms, but Dax thinks the particle field is interfering with the sensors and says they should beam down.

On the surface, there’s a town.


Odo and Dax walk into some sort of town square.


I first thought there was a fountain here, but it’s really just that there are some random low walls and this big thing in the middle of the town.

Dax notes there’s a lot of interference messing with the tricorder. She pinpoints the source of the field as a weird sculpture thing in the middle of the square and thinks it’s an antimatter reactor of some sort.

Odo suggests they leave before they’re discovered. Dax delays. Odo turns to see an old man pointing a weapon at them.


It’s too dark here to really see what’s going on with this guy, but he seems to be a fan of beaded necklaces.



At Quark’s, Kira comes in when the place is closed. Quark tries to tell her to leave but she’s not having it. She tells him his cousin Kono tried to come aboard the station.


It’s dark here also, but he’s wearing his darker paisley jacket.

Quark feigns surprise. Kira says that when they tried to talk to Kono, he beamed on to a departed Tellaride freighter. Quark still claims to be confused about why Kono would be there, even though he’d been clearly waiting for someone before Kira came in.

Kira says she did some checking and Kono is wanted for robbing a museum on Cardassia V and she thinks he came there to try to sell the merchandise. Quark says she has no proof. Kira says that he won’t get away with anything while Odo is gone and she’s watching him. Also she despises him.


Sisko and Jake are having a conversation about Jake getting a job. He’s 15.

Jake is not thrilled.

Jake is wearing what looks like a giant sweater with twelve shoulder pads on it. It makes him look ridiculously skinny.


The elder Sisko, meanwhile has on purple pajamas and a red bathroom with a ridiculously low collar. We last saw this outfit in season 2, episode 5, and I was not expecting it to return, but here it is, in all its glory.

Sisko says that he had a job at Jake’s age. Also, Nog works and Jake is almost as old as Nog.

Jake reluctantly says he’ll ask Nog to get him some work at Quark’s. Sisko says he was thinking he could work with Chief O’Brien. Jake is reluctant, but Sisko talks him into it, saying that it’ll look great on his application to Starfleet Academy.

Back on the mystery planet, Odo and Dax have gone inside one of the buildings and are talking to the old guy who pointed a weapon at them.


Not only is the guy a fan of beaded necklaces, he also seems to have some on his head. It’s hard to tell whether they’re hair decorations or attached to his hat. The hat looks kind of like a squashed chef’s hat. (I asked my husband to describe it, and he said “Pillsbury Dough Boy.”)

His outfit, meanwhile, is a subtle pastel stripes. I thought it was plain pale white or off-white at first, but it’s clearly striped.

Odo asks if they’re being accused of a crime. The guy asks if they’ve committed one.

Dax says they just arrived. She tells him to check the ship’s log. He says logs can be tampered with, which Odo should know since he claims to be a security officer. Odo is frustrated.

He says that if they were guilty, they wouldn’t be there right then, and he’ll prove it. He orders the computer to beam him up, and vanishes. The old guy is apparently not familiar with transporter tech, as he is utterly astonished. Dryly, Dax tells him Odo will be right back.

Sure enough, Odo reappears a moment later.

The guy says he has 22 people who’ve gone missing. Odo asks if they all disappeared at the same time. He says no, it started in the fall, and the last person vanished 6 hours ago. Dax points out that they weren’t even in the system 6 hours ago. She says that he can come back to the station with them to verify.

The guy doesn’t take them up on the offer, but sighs and stops pointing the weapon at them. Odo asks if he has any other suspects. No. They don’t usually have kidnapping or murder there.

Odo asks if he scanned for signs of transporter activity. He says yes, and didn’t find anything. So I guess he is familiar with transporters?

He says he’s been Protector there for 10 years and likes to think he’s good at his job, but now he’s desperate and he thinks whoever’s responsible is smarter than him. Odo suggests he needs some help.

They all go outside to the courtyard to talk to another guy identified as Rurigan, also a middle aged man.


Rurigan also favors beaded necklaces, and has some on his head, but his head beads are longer, and seem to only be on one side of his head. His hat looks slightly less squashed, and is instead flat on top.

Rurigan seems to think they ought to be in a cell, but the other dude explains that they had nothing to do with it, and Odo is a security officer and they’re going to help them. Rurigan asks how he’s going to do that.

Odo asks Rurigan about his daughter, the latest victim. When was the last time he saw her? That morning at first meal. But someone else saw her at midday. Taya, his granddaughter. He addresses the other dude as Colyus, and refers to his daughter as Anetra, and doesn’t think they’re ever going to be found.

Dax wants to scan the area again for transporter activity, but she’s still getting interference from the reactor. Colyus gives his own scanner, which he says never gives them any trouble. Dax uses that, saying that some transporters leave a residual electrostatic charge. She wants to look at Anetra’s workroom, where the granddaughter last saw her.

Odo, meanwhile, wants to talk to the granddaughter. Rurigan says she was last across the courtyard, and takes him to Taya. She’s playing with a spinning thing.


She seems to have either bones or really fat knitting needles in her hair. I assume they take all that out before sleeping, because it looks uncomfortable for that. She’s also got a shawl thing that looks like it’s crocheted rather than just linen like the rest of the clothing.

Taya is reluctant to answer questions. She says that her mom will return.

Odo asks if Taya’s mom seemed upset last time she saw her. Taya says she seemed fine. She wants to go to bed, so Rurigan says that more questions can wait until morning.


Back on DS9, Jake and Sisko meet up with O’Brien in Ops. They head off to work and then Sisko calls him back and gives him a comm badge. Jake seems thrilled.


I guess this is Jake’s official working jumpsuit, though the top looks like it might be a jacket. Light brown with dark brown stripes. Ick. It’s not his worst outfit, but it’s pretty ugly. The badge doesn’t really help.

On the promenade, Kira has asked Bashir to keep an eye on Quark when he’s not busy. Bashir is excited to be a spy and try out some surveillance techniques he’s learned from Garak.

Sisko calls Kira and says they’ve gotten word that Vedek Bareil is coming aboard the station right then. She heads off to meet him.

Kira tells Bareil he should have given them some advance notice so they could have a formal reception. Bareil says he wanted to avoid that. He is on the station because Prylar Rhit invited him to speak at the station shrine, but he’s really looking for an opportunity to see her.


Vedek Bareil is wearing his usual boring bathrobe of an outfit.

She says she’s honored. He says he was hoping for “happy.” She assures him she’s that, also.

They exit onto the promenade and walk away. Quark watches them go with a smile.


Back on the planet, Odo finds Taya with some friends playing with the spinning toy. Her friends run off immediately. He tries to ask her questions again.


Wow, she has long hair. I can’t quite figure out the mechanics of how to create that style, so I’ll just leave it there.

She’s got green boots, which look like they’re short boots, but we don’t see enough to really tell. A yellow skirt, which may be a dress with a white sort of sweater/jacket over it or might just be a skirt and the sweater thing is a top. She’s also wearing the same crocheted blanket/shawl thing from the previous night.

Taya asks about his face and what happened to it and he admits that he’s a shapeshifter and doesn’t do faces well. She’s confused and then says he’s a changeling. Yes. But there’s no such thing as changelings. They’re make-believe.

Odo disagrees. She wants to see him change. He says maybe later, but right now he wants to talk. She says if she were a changeling, she’d change shapes all the time, and she’d have a lot of friends.

He says he wishes it were that easy. People used to say they were his friend, but they just wanted to see him become a chair or an animal. None of them cared about him. She says maybe they were scared. He agrees some probably were. She says she’s not afraid. He says he’s glad to hear that.

She asks about his parents. He says he never knew them, but has been looking for a long time. She says her dad died when she was 4 and she doesn’t remember him very well. Last time she saw her mom she was making pottery in her workroom. When she went to get her at midday, she was gone.

How did she act when Taya last saw her? Happy. She was making a vase for the baker. He really likes her mom so he saves them the best bread.

Has she ever gone away before? Trips? Vacations? They don’t go on trips. Never? No, they never leave the valley. Why not? Nobody does. Everything they need is right there.

Taya says her mom is never coming back. Odo asks why she says that. She says her grandfather says that. Odo says he doesn’t know where she is but he promises he’ll do everything he can to find her and bring her back.

O’Brien is explaining technology stuff to Jake. Isolinear rods. White labels have data relating to engineering systems controls. Red labels have library and information storage. Blue? Jake says he’ll never get it. O’Brien says it’s okay, he’s not going to the academy tomorrow.


Jake sighs. O’Brien asks what’s wrong. Nothing, it’s just why does everyone assume he’s going to the academy. He wants to go? Not really. Does his dad know? No, he wouldn’t understand.

O’Brien is sympathetic. His dad wanted him to be a musician. Jake laughs. O’Brien says he was supposed to be a cello player, and he was good. At 17, his dad sent a recorded audition in to a music academy, and he was accepted. But he didn’t know how to tell his dad that he didn’t want to go. So two days before he was supposed to leave, he signed up to join Starfleet.

Jake is astonished. What did his dad do? He was furious, but once he calmed down, he saw what he wanted to do, and now when he goes home, he’s announced as “my son, Senior Chief Specialist Miles Edward O’Brien.”

The point is you have to live your own life. Jake says he doesn’t want to disappoint his dad. O’Brien says he’ll come around, just give him time.

Kira leaves the shrine and meets Bareil for an awkward talk. He asks if she liked his speech. Everything but the content. She disagrees with his interpretation of the 8th prophecy. Passionately. She thinks he takes the prophecy and turns it upside down to give it a completely different meaning, and finds it infuriating.

He suggests they talk about something else. Like what? Agriculture? Sports? She is interested in the sportsing talk and says there’s a springball holosuite program. He wants to play. She’s surprised, but agrees.

Odo talks to Rurigan. He helped found the colony. Yes, and he’s the oldest one left. He’s very proud? Yes.


The culture seems very fond of layers and layers of fabric. Unlike his granddaughter, who had a shawl thing that was crocheted, Rurigan’s top layer looks like a very thin crinkled silk.

Odo says the colony is undergoing a serious crisis. His daughter is among the missing. But he doesn’t seem concerned. Rurigan speaks animatedly for a sentence and says there’s nothing he can do to change things. Can he go?

Odo asks if he’s sure he’s okay. Why wouldn’t he be? He seems to be in a lot of pain, he can see it in his eyes. Maybe he’d like to rest. Wouldn’t do much good. He’s dying. He says he has no regrets, though he’d like to see his daughter again. He starts to leave.

Odo says there’s one more thing he’s wondering. Why doesn’t anyone ever leave the valley? Rurigan says people don’t like to travel, and there’s nowhere to go. How can he be so sure. Has he ever left? No.

When he asked Colyus if he’d searched outside the valley, he was surprised, like he’d never thought of it before. He thinks that’s odd.

Rurigan says Colyus must have thought there was no point to it. He guarantees there are no missing people out there. He’s absolutely sure.

Taya walks outside the village with Dax and Odo. They climb down a hill. She’s telling a story about a changeling. She wants to see him turn into a loaf of bread. He refuses.

She points out a tree where they sometimes go to play, which is the furthest she’s been from the village. Odo says to wait there and he’s going to investigate. She wants to come but he tells her to stay. Dax goes with him, though.


She’s using the weird sensor that Coylus gave her, which is round, and says there’s no indication of other life forms. Suddenly, it vanishes from her hands. She notes it was just as they passed by some bushes.

Taya is picking some berries on the bushes. She comes closer to give them to Dax and Odo. As she reaches out, the berries and her hand disappears. She pulls her arm back and then it reappears.

Back in the town center, we get this shot of some random villagers.


The overall vibe to me is like a Greek toga, but with more layers, as though the Greeks lived somewhere that had harsh winters and they also had an abundance of fabric they needed to use in some way or else.

Dax is working on the reactor thing. Colyus and Odo appear. She says she thinks she knows what happened to the villagers.

It’s complicated to explain, but she can show him. She asks for his cloak. He agrees, removing it.


The cloak I guess is the term used for the top layer of the outfit, which I wouldn’t have called a cloak, maybe a shawl? Without it, Coylus just looks like a guy wearing a really long tunic/dress and baggy pants.

Dax folds the cloak and sets it on a bench nearby, then fiddles with the reactor thing. The cloak vanishes. Coylus is quite upset. He goes to reach for the spot, but Odo holds him back. A moment later, the cloak returns.

Colyus cautiously reaches out to take the cloak back. He concludes that someone is using the reactor to transport the victims away. No, Dax says, it’s a holographic projector. It creates an omicron particle field and then manipulates that field to create things like his cloak.

What does this have to do with the missing people, he asks. Dax says that the people are also made of omicron particles. They’re holograms? Yes. The component that controls the particle field is breaking down and that’s why people are disappearing.

Colyus thinks this is ridiculous. He knew the people – one was his nephew. Dax says if she’s right, everyone and everything in the village is a holographic projection. Colyus finds this ridiculous. Odo says they have more proof.

Dax explains that the field ends just past the village, and tell about what happened with Taya’s arm. He wants to see for himself.


Back on DS9, Kira apologizes to Bareil for kicking his ass at springball while they eat a meal together.


I don’t know anything about springball, but apparently it involves wearing a headband and dressing like an 80s pop star. I do like the color of her shirt, but the headband seems over the top.

Neither of them look as bad as Bashir in his workout outfit, though.

Bareil, meanwhile, is wearing a blue shirt with a sort of wrap collar. The color looks normal but the shirt is sort of baggy and doesn’t seem like the sort of thing you’d want to wear during a vigorous session of sports.

He’s impressed at her skill. She used to play with her brothers at a refugee camp, as there wasn’t much else to do. He briefly mentions another camp he was at, which stops the conversation cold.

They’ve finished their food and he tries to help her clean up. They bump into each other, stare awkwardly, and then kiss. She says she’ll have to thank Prylar Rhit for inviting him.


They keep kissing and talking about Prylar Rhit, who’s run up a great gambling debt and is probably returning to Bajor. She stops kissing him. Prylar Rhit owes money to Quark? Who? The guy who runs the dabo tables? She needs to talk to Prylar Rhit now. She apologizes and runs out.

On the planet, the people are clamoring loudly and Colyus is trying to call for order. They finally calm down.


The men are fond of beads, but the women seem to not bother with jewelry. Some of them (like the lady in front here) wear head coverings reminiscent of habits, while others (like the woman behind her) remain unadorned. I wonder if it has to do with marital status or age.

Several people shout that he ought to be looking for the missing people and not listening to the strangers. Colyus says they all witnessed what happened when they brought them to the edge of the field. One man saw his hand disappear. The man says maybe it’s a trick.

Dax says it wasn’t. How come they’ve never learned of this before? a woman demands. Odo says because they never tried to leave the valley. Colyus says maybe they were programmed not to leave or they would find out the truth.

He turns to Dax. She said if she could fix the machine, she might be able to bring back the missing people. She says they hope so. Rurigan asks what if she turns the projector off and can’t get it back on? The village will cease to exist.

She says the system is a few months away from complete failure, but this way they have a chance to try. Taya says they should try. Rurigan agrees, saying they can’t go on like this. Colyus asks if there are any objections. No one has any.

Taya says she can’t wait to see her mom and then she tells Odo that his face isn’t scary once you get used to it. He thanks her.

Dax goes to the machine and starts to fiddle with it. The people and the buildings disappear. Only Rurigan remains. He says he’s as real as they are.

He says he was happy on Yadera Prime until the Dominion took over and changed their whole way of life. He realized he didn’t belong there anymore, so came to this planet and used a hologenerator to recreate everything he’d lost. He lived in the village for 30 years, watched the people marry, have kids, grow old, and sometimes forgot they were holograms. But it’s over. He asks them to take him back to Yadera Prime.

What about the villagers, Odo asks. His granddaughter? Rurigan says they weren’t real. Odo says he supposes that’s technically correct, but who’s to say their definition of life is the only valid one. If they asked Taya, she’d say she was real – she thinks and feels.

Rurigan says she only seems to, it’s all an illusion he created. Odo points out that he created the village 30 years ago, but Taya is only ten. He says he created the program so the villagers could have kids. Dax points out that Taya’s personality is a combination of her parents’ personalities. Like real kids.

But she’s still a hologram! Maybe, Odo admits. But he saw that Rurigan held her hand and comforted her when she was scared and frightened. He says he didn’t want her to get hurt. Didn’t want her to cry. Odo asks why should it matter if a hologram cries? Because he loves her.

Dax says she loves him back. Odo says she’s real to him, and to himself. They’re all real, and he can’t turn his back on them now.


Back on DS9, Jake goes back to their quarters. He says work was okay and it’s fun working with O’Brien, but would be better if he knew what he was doing.


I’m just sharing this shot because I really dig the purple pillow on the Siskos’ couch.

Sisko says he’s glad Jake decided to stick with it. He agrees meekly, then after a minute says he doesn’t want to join Starfleet. Sisko gets up and walks over, and asks “since when?”

Jake says since forever. He thinks Starfleet is too much like his dad and he wants to be his own person. Sisko is supportive and says he should find something he loves and then do it the best he can. Then he’ll make his dad proud.


At Quark’s, Kira finds Quark as he’s serving drinks and tells him that they found his cousin trying to come back to the station, and he was carrying bone carvings stolen from a museum on Cardassia V. Quark says he knew Kono was no good.

She says that she heard from Prylar Rhit that Quark encouraged him to invite Bareil to the station. Is that a crime? No. But she wants to thank him because she found Bareil very diverting.

She walks across the promenade to where Bareil is waiting. Quark watches them leave and says “not diverting enough.”


Back on the planet, Dax is ready to reboot the system. Rurigan stops her and asks a favor. Please don’t tell the others that he’s not like them. He doesn’t want to be treated differently. They both agree.

Rurigan walks back over to where he was standing before, and Dax reactivates the system. The crowd comes back into place. Taya finds her mother. Odo and Dax look on happily.

Colyus thanks them for their work. Dax explains how they upgraded the system so no one else will disappear. He wonders who created the program. Odo says whoever it was did a fine job.

Rurigan smiles, and Colyus thanks them again for their helpful. Taya comes over and tells Odo that her mom is back. She is sad to hear that he is leaving. He says he’ll miss her too. She thanks him for bringing back her mom and hopes he finds his parents. He says thanks.

He walks back toward where Dax and Colyus are talking and then spins and turns into one of the spinning toys that Taya and her friends were playing with. She is delighted, and giggles. Then, he turns back into himself, and they both beam away.


Stray Thoughts:

* I appreciated the relatively light tone of this episode after the last one. No one was even mildly injured. I confess I remember having seen this episode before (I don’t remember most of these episodes so I don’t know if I watched them before) so I can’t comment on how long it took me to figure out that it was all a hologram; partway through I started wondering if this was that episode, and, well, it was.

* When last we saw Bareil, a number of people commented on how boring he is. He seems even more boring…and awkward! in this episode. I think the moments where he and Kira are staring at each other are supposed to be read as romantic tension, but to me they just seem…awkward. They really feel like they have no chemistry to me.

* Jake doesn’t want to join Starfleet? This is simultaneously shocking and also not shocking. I remember on first run of this series thinking that of course Jake would join Starfleet, because why wouldn’t he? But his decision not to go to the academy is interesting because it presents, possibly for the first time, the idea of a life and a career that doesn’t involve Starfleet, which of course must exist, but since most of our time is spent dealing with people who work in Starfleet or work with Starfleet (in this case Bajorans), it’s easy to forget that not everyone is in Starfleet or wants to be, and that there are certainly many other options available for people. It’s kind of world-expanding.