Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1995): S03E14 – Heart of Stone


Introduction

“Heart of Stone” is the fourteenth episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and originally aired on 06 February 1995 in broadcast syndication.

The story was written by Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe, while the episode was directed by Alexander Singer and the score was created by David Bell.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures on Deep Space Nine, a space station located near a stable wormhole between the Alpha and Gamma quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy. In this episode, Odo (René Auberjonois) and Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) are trapped on a small moon near the Badlands, while on the station Nog (Aron Eisenberg) tries to get Commander Benjamin Sisko’s (Avery Brooks) support for his application to Starfleet Academy.

The idea behind the main plot was inspired by a scene from the novel Sometimes a Great Notion. However, the rock prop used was unpopular with the cast and crew, and post-production effects were required. The episode was the first of an ongoing plot thread with Nog entering Starfleet, which initially concerned Eisenberg as he thought he was being written out of the show. The episode was the fourth most watched episode of the third series, with 8.3 million viewers. Critical response was mixed, with negative comments directed at the idea that the situation was created by the female Founder (Salome Jens).

Outline

On board a runabout, Odo (René Auberjonois) and Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) are in pursuit of a Maquis vessel in the Badlands. They pursue the vessel to a small moon and land nearby. They find that the Maquis vessel is empty, and split up to search for the pilot. After a short while, Odo comes across Kira, whose foot is caught in an expanding crystal mass. Odo is unable to either remove the crystal from Kira, or transport Kira back to the runabout.

Meanwhile, on Deep Space Nine, Nog (Aron Eisenberg) attempts to convince Commander Benjamin Sisko to endorse his application to join Starfleet Academy. Sisko is doubtful and suspects Nog is engaging in some underhanded scheme, especially since Nog’s request was accompanied by the customary bribe Ferengi culture expects when making such requests. To test Nog’s resolve and his motives, he gives the Ferengi the task of counting the inventory of a cargo bay, which he completes quickly but Sisko still has doubts. On the moon, Kira is slowly being covered by the crystal and insists that Odo leave her as there are increasing seismic tremors. He attempts to free her using an ultrasonic generator, and reveals some personal information to her as they wait for the crystal to shatter. As the crystal slowly swallows her whole after the generator fails to work, and the tremors become even worse, Odo confesses his love for Kira. To his surprise, she says that she is in love with him too.

On DS9, Sisko informs Nog that he will not give him a recommendation as he has concerns that it is a scheme. Nog confesses that he wants to do it so that he does not end up like his father Rom (Max Grodénchik), whom he describes as an engineering genius although his culture will not let him pursue his interests. Sisko, stunned by this confession of a Ferengi having such upstanding ambitions, responds by agreeing to recommend Nog to the Academy. Odo is suspicious of Kira’s responses and points a phaser at her, demanding to know who she is. Kira and the crystal suddenly morph into the female Founder (Salome Jens), who reveals that she stole the Maquis ship and she was hoping to convince Odo to return to the Dominion. She reveals the location of the real Kira and transports away. Odo finds Kira and tells her of the Founder, but not of his feelings for her.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Alexander Singer.
  • Writer(s): Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe.
  • Release Date: 06 February 1995.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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