Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 6 Episode 20

His Way

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Apr 22, 1998 on Syndicado
out of 10
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141 votes

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Episode Summary

Stardate: Unknown Odo uses Bashir's holosuite character of Vic Fontaine to bring himself and Kira closer together.

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  • Fine Odo Episode

    Late in the series, DS9 fearlessly introduces yet another recurring character in this Odo episode taking its title from Frank Sinatra's "My Way". James Darren, an old friend of the Rat Pack, steps into the shoes of Vic Fontaine, a self-aware holographic lounge singer with an intuitive understanding of relationships. Like Joe Piscopo teaching Data about comedy in TNG's "Outrageous Okona", Vic takes Odo under his wing and shows him how to cut loose and win Kira's heart. Auberjonois hams it up, and Visitor gets to perform a sexy song (which she does quite well), creating the light-hearted story needed to follow up the drama of "Inquisition" and "Moonlight". It's one of Star Trek's better romantic comedies, and.. with full length musical performances.. it's the only Star Trek episode to ever get an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Music Direction.

    Darren himself, playing Fontaine after Rene Goulet, Tom Jones, Jerry Vale, and Frank Sinatra Jr. declined the part, proves a breath of fresh air in the series and returns for seven more episodes, starting with the sixth season finale, "Tears of the Prophets".

  • A pivotal episode, but in the end not much more than fluff.

    Put me somewhere in between the other reviewers. This is about as close as Star Trek ever got to doing an old-school romantic comedy episode. Like Sam and Diane, getting Odo and Kira together was inevitable, and generated plenty of dividends later in the show's run.

    At the same time, there's nothing particularly magical about this episode. Vic Fontaine is a cool, if somewhat out-of-place character, but in this episode he seems like an improved version of earlier holodeck malfunctions. Likewise, his mentorship of Odo is entertaining but doesn't really fit in with our understanding of Odo's character. Lots of scenes, including the "climactic" kissing sequence on the promenade, have appeared in dozens of sitcoms and light dramas before this one.

    Overall, not a waste of time, but nothing special either.moreless
  • Full of cheesy, embarrassing cliches, and sub-standard acting (on Rene Auberjonois' part) this one was almost as bad as "a simple investigation".

    It was so bad at times I couldn't even watch the TV screen, there was almost nothing else even remotely redeeming about this episode: no humorous B plot - nothing. It's episodes like these that make people think DS9 is some kind of cheesy soap opera, when it is usually a good show. It's not that I don't like the romance/relationship episodes but I've never really found Kira & Odo's relationship particularly believable, they never had much chemistry together as a couple. I also thought it was weird that they would choose to get together so soon after Odo's (short-lived) personality change during the beginning of the season. They were fighting & not talking to each other after that, Kira was mad with him and I don't think they ever actually 'made up'. I certainly don't remember Odo properly apologizing to her.

    At this point, we knew that Odo was smitten but the writers didn't even drop hints that Kira liked Odo, so instead they made up some ridiculous, very random 'moment of clarity' that she had to explain her sudden change of heart, even though she showed no interest in him & they'd hardly spent any time together in ages. Kira & Odo could have expressed their love for each other in a much more dramatic way than they did. They could have gone on some away mission together or had some kind of life or death situation. Something like in "heart of stone" where Odo thought that Kira was going to die and expressed his love for 'her', or "change of heart" where Worf wouldn't leave Jadzia behind because he loved her too much & didn't want her to die. Those were both emotional episodes but this one was just anti-climactic and a totally wasted opportunity. The Vic Fontaine character certainly didn't help things, what exactly were the writers thinking when they thought some 60's lounge singer would appeal to a mostly young adult audience? Going on a traditional date with dinner, music, dancing and dressy clothes was also quite out of character for both of them. I expected Odo to still think of dates to be a stupid human ritual and Kira had never been a fan of the holodeck. The whole big kissing scene at the end not only looked so unnatural and forced but the way everyone stood around smiling was just plain stupid. They had an opportunity to do something with this storyline, and after such a big lead-up I expected something much better than this.moreless
  • The end of a long wait, and the beginning of something beautiful. A superb character (and, more importantly, relationship) development episode.

    Suffice to say, there will be spoilers in this review. You've been warned.

    Five years...

    one hundred and forty-four episodes...

    almost six full seasons...

    and then it happens.

    Admittedly, it was an inevitable situation - as sure as every odd numbered Star Trek film is, well, you know - but it's certainly taking it's time getting there.

    Vic Fontaine, a self-aware hologram who seems to be based on Frank Sinatra, is introduced in this episode. Designed by the unseen Felix, Vic is a traditional lounge lizard, but far from a traditional hologram. As already mentioned, he's fully self aware (he claims that you have to have all the facts to work in the business) and he appears to have the ability to turn his own program on and off, as well as being able to communicate with people in the real world.

    Upon overhearing Julian discussing with Miles how Vic assisted him with relationship issues (one of the only points that I quibble - since when has Julian had issues with women? Aside from with Jadzia, he's always seemed very popular!), Odo decides that it may be a good idea to enlist Vic's help himself. This scene is played out especially nicely, with Julian and Miles in the foreground and Odo hovering around in the background, almost conspiratorially so.

    Confiding in Quark, much to the barkeeps annoyance, Odo manages to secure time with the Vic Fontaine program in a holosuite. A nice little touch on the relationship between Quark and Odo here, as not only does Quark provide the favour, he also covers for Odo when Julian arrives late one night wishing to use the holoprogram himself.

    As the episode progresses, Vic attempts to force Odo to act outside of his normal roles, to embrace life with a less detached attitude. At one point, Odo is "playing" the piano whilst Vic sings and the expressions on his face are nothing short of endearing.

    To attempt to introduce Odo to the art of social female interaction, Vic begins with two random hologram females and progresses to a full blown hologram of Nerys, at which time he makes a nice pre-episode reference to removing the holograms russian accent. The Nerys hologram, whilst visually identical to Nerys, is of course programmed to find Odo irresistible and he soon rejects her as unworkable.

    Vic then attempts to take his work one step further and moves into full blown matchmaking, arranging for Odo and Nerys to meet on the holodeck, whilst advising Odo that Nerys is in fact a very well-programmed hologram. It doesn't take long before the truth is revealed and Odo and Nerys leave the holosuite seperately and not on the best of terms.

    The last part of the episode sees Nerys walking with Jadzia and questioning her on moments of total clarity. Across the promenade, Nerys sees Odo and runs to him. An exchange ensues, almost an arguement, which results in raised voices and a back and forth not dissimilar to that of a passionate confrontation between lovers, until Odo shouts:

    "Why don't I just get it over with and kiss you right now?!"

    And finally, five years, one hundred and forty-four episodes and almost six full seasons later, finally, they Odo and Nerys kiss, in full view of many witnesses. A hopeless romantic as I am, I've been waiting for this for so long, that I have to confess it almost brought a tear to my eye to see.

    "His Way" is a fine example of a relationship development episode, something that the writers of DS9 are very good at, but do not do often enough in my humble opinion. This and "Change of Heart" (6-16) are my two favourite episodes of this kind in any of the Star Trek series and left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling that can only be created as a result of witnessing something that is truly right, in a universe that is wrought with the war with the Dominion and all that entails. "His Way" is truly a must for any fan of DS9 who has seen Odo deliberating over Nerys, admiring her from afar, and agonising over her relationships with both the Bareils, as well as Shakaar. Finally, something right, in a universe seemingly over-run with wrongs. The astounded looks on everyone's faces say it all.

    "You're right. Who needs dinner?"moreless
  • Adding a pivotal element to two of the series' characters, detailing the transition of Kira Nerys and Odo's relationship from "friendship" to lovers.

    This is a nice character episode as the shy, nerdish Odo attempts to express his feelings for Major Kira.

    He winds up doing so as a result of the advice of the self-aware holocharacter Vic Fontaine, well played by James Darren, doing an excellent job as a Vegas lounge singer reminiscent of Frank Sinatra. His Vic Fontaine is the essence of cool, savvy, and understands people thoroughly. He demonstrates this when people first meet him by reading them, making observations which show understanding of humans just from their affect -- their way of standing, touching, and the look in their eyes.

    His quickly (and politely) abbreviated observation of Odo and Kira piques Odo's interest, and Odo starts taking advice from Vic which draws Odo out of his shell, thus making him more approachable.

    He helps Odo get more confidence in his interactions with people and teaches him to loosen up and be, if not actually cool, at least a bit more relaxed.

    Even so, in the end, Odo's shyness pretty much does him in, except for Vic's machinations (remember, he's a self-aware AI entity -- he knows about the DS9 world outside his Vegas nightclub) which lure Odo and the (unknown to him) real Kira into a romantic interlude, which, predictably, fails, but despite that failure manages to break the icy shell around Odo and forces them both to confront his long buried feelings and Kira's nascent attraction to Odo's Vic-assisted persona.

    This episode introduced the Vic Fontaine character, who played a part in many more episodes as the series continued through to the seventh and final season.moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman


Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

Lt./Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (Season 1-6)

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt. Commander Worf (Season 4-7)

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Debi A. Monahan

Debi A. Monahan


Guest Star

Cyndi Pass

Cyndi Pass


Guest Star

James Darren

James Darren

Vic Fontane

Recurring Role

Mark Allen Shepherd

Mark Allen Shepherd

Morn (uncredited)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Kira: I don't care whether he approves or not. Shakaar and I are friends, That's all! Friends! The First Minister asked me to update him on the war with the Dominion. My visit was strictly business. Now, are we going to have dinner together or not?!
      Odo: And if we do, then what?!
      Kira: (almost shouting) I don't know, maybe we can go dancing!
      Odo: (equally loud) And after that I suppose you want me to kiss you?!
      Kira: That's possible!
      Odo: Well then, who needs dinner?! How about I just get it over with and kiss you right now?!
      Kira: All right! Why don't you?!
      (Odo and Kira kiss passionately)

    • Vic: in Vegas, there's only one way to make sure you don't lose any money: The moment you step off the plane, you walk right into the propellers.

    • Odo: This isn't working.
      Vic: I thought you two were getting along just fine.
      Odo: Of course we are. You've programmed her to find me irresistible. If I read her a criminal activities report, she'd think it was poetry.

    • Vic: Tell me something, how do you get to Carnegie Hall?
      Odo: I have no idea.
      Vic: Practice! Practice! Practice! Get it?
      Odo: No.

    • Vic: For starters - you've got to lose this whole Nanook of the North thing.
      Odo: I don't understand.
      Vic: I mean, you've got about as much personality as an icicle. Cool
      is one thing, but you're frozen solid.

    • O'Brien: Julian, are you telling me you discussed your love life with a hologram?
      Bashir: Vic's not an ordinary hologram. He knows about life, love, women...
      O'Brien: Three things you know nothing about.
      Bashir: (hurt) Now that's unfair.
      O'Brien: Then why are you asking for advice from a light bulb?

    • (to Bashir, O'Brien, Worf, Dax, Kira and Odo)
      Vic: By the way, this is a high-class joint. That means coat and ties for
      the gents, dresses for the ladies. (looks at their Starfleet uniforms) You guys look like a trapeze act.

    • Vic: If you're going to work Vegas in the sixties, you better know the
      score. Otherwise, you'll look like a Clyde.
      Kira: A Clyde?
      Vic: You know, a Harvey.
      Worf: Harvey?
      Vic: A square - you know what a square is, right?
      O'Brien: One side of a cube?
      Vic: I guess that answers my question.

    • Jadzia: Are you going to tell me what's wrong?
      Kira: Nothing's wrong... have you ever had a moment of pure clarity? A moment when the truth seems to just leap up and grab you by the throat?
      Jadzia: I bet this has something to do with your visit with Shakaar.
      Kira: This has nothing to do with Shakaar. Now tell me, have you ever had a moment like that?
      Jadzia: One or two. Of course, that's over a span of seven lifetimes.
      Kira: You've had only two moments of clarity in seven lifetimes?
      Jadzia: Nerys, total clarity is a very rare thing.
      Kira: I guess so.
      Jadzia: And when it comes, it's important that you act on it. Because, believe me, confusion and doubt will take over before you know it.

  • NOTES (6)