Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1996): S04E26 – Broken Link


“Broken Link” is the 98th episode of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the final (26th) episode of the fourth season.

Odo becomes ill which affects his ability to hold a solid form, so the USS Defiant goes to the Founders’ homeworld for a cure.


Aboard space station Deep Space Nine, Constable Odo suddenly collapses, and is taken to the Infirmary. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bashir performs an exam, and determines that Odo can no longer maintain a solid form, but Bashir can’t find an explanation as to what is happening to Odo. The only thing Bashir can do is to give Odo medical orders to remain under observation and to take a rest from his duties. Odo is reluctant to do so, but decides to obey the doctor’s orders for the time being. Kira stops by, and brings him a report of the day’s criminal activities. She hopes that this will take his mind off what is happening to him. While reading the report, he notices something that catches his eye. He then attempts to leave the Infirmary to investigate. He does not make it far, and loses his shape and collapses into a puddle on the floor.

Odo then comes to the realisation that the only people that can help him are his own people, the Founders. With the help of Captain Sisko, Lt. Cdr. Worf, Dr. Bashir, Lt. Cdr. Dax, and Elim Garak, Odo is taken to the Gamma Quadrant aboard the starship Defiant. They are met by the Female Changeling and three Jem’Hadar soldiers. The Female Changeling tells Odo that the only way he can be helped is by coming with them to join with the Great Link. The Jem’Hadar soldiers then pilot the Defiant to the location of the Great Link, using a device to keep the location of the Great Link a secret. Later on in his quarters, the Female Changeling visits Odo, and by linking with him she is able to temporarily stabilise his condition. Odo quickly comes to the conclusion that he was somehow infected by the Changelings in order to force him into returning to the Great Link. He also learns he is to be judged by the Great Link, as he is the only Changeling to have killed another of his kind.

The Female Changeling tells Odo that he must join the Great Link to be cured, but to also let the other Changelings know why he killed another of his kind. She tells him that the Founders have infected Odo with the disease. Odo is also told that while he is in the Great Link, he will be judged by the other Changelings, and that at the same time his punishment will be determined. Sisko and his crew try to protect Odo, but he tells them he wants to be judged. As a man of justice all his life, he feels that he is not above justice himself. Afterwards, Garak asks the Female Changeling if there are any Cardassian survivors from the failed Cardassian–Romulan attack on the Founders’ homeworld a year earlier. She bluntly replies there were no survivors and that Cardassia is doomed. Sisko and Bashir accompany Odo and the Female Changeling to the surface of the planet they are orbiting. Once on the surface, on a small island in a large sea, they finally realise how many Changelings there are; the planet-enveloping sea is actually Changelings in their liquid form. Odo and the Female Changeling then walk into the sea, leaving Bashir and Sisko to wait for them.

On the Defiant, Worf catches Garak attempting to fire the ship’s weapons on the planet, and stops him from committing genocide on the Founders and killing Sisko, Bashir and Odo in the process. Back on the surface, time goes slowly and Bashir in his boredom nearly throws a stone into the Great Link, but is stopped just in time by Sisko. Later, Odo is expelled from the Great Link – as a human. The Female Changeling explains that this is Odo’s punishment. Odo later notes that the Founders left his face as it was to remind him of what he lost. Soon after the return to the station, a message from Gowron, leader of the Klingon Empire, is received. As the crew watches what borders on a declaration of war against the Federation, Odo reaches a startling realisation – Gowron is not a Klingon at all; he has been replaced by a Changeling.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Les Landau.
  • Writer(s): Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Ira Steven Behr.
  • Release Date: 17 June 1996.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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