Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 3 Episode 6

The Abandoned

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Oct 31, 1994 on Syndicado
out of 10
User Rating
150 votes

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Episode Summary

Stardate: 48301.1

A Jem'Hadar child is found abandoned in the wreckage of a salvaged ship and Odo attempts to raise him to be something other than a ruthless soldier of the Dominion.

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  • Sort of an allegory about raising a pit bull... who eats your children.

    This Odo episode is sort of a poor man's version of "The Child" (TNG, second season) with a similar idea but without the heart.

    The real problem is that the writers want to keep viewers from forgetting about the Dominion, but they don't want to move the Dominion story forward (at least not at this point). That leaves us with a difficult marriage of ideas: a Dominion filler episode. It's something the show would do better in subsequent seasons, but we're not there yet!

    For this one, it seems like director Avery Brooks and the writers are on different pages. Brooks lets the early scenes play out in a way that sets up "I, Borg" expectations. The writers, however, aren't going in that direction, giving us a payoff that's something else altogether. (Perhaps the whole thing would play out better if the baby was a Vorta).

    Meanwhile in the B story, sixteen year old Jake introduces his girlfriend to his father. (Did I mention she's a twenty year old Dabo girl who's built like an Orion slave girl?) It's actually an interesting, if short, subplot with some great facial reactions from Jake and his father; although I do wonder if Sisko (and the writers) would act the same way if we were talking about a sixteen year old daughter dating a twenty year old guy who seems to be falling out of his clothes. Still, I'm sure Cirroc Lofton (Jake) and sixteen year old boys around the world like the writers' choice. (Not to mention the choice of the casting director; although one wonders if Lofton picked out the actress himself. Speaking of which, it must have been interesting for Lofton and guest star Jill Sayre to shoot the "meet the Dad" scenes with "Dad" as the director). Whatever the case, it distracts from the A story like a Dabo girl distracting us from the game... which might be the point. What's this episode about again?

    Oh yeah overall the episode isn't that good, even with Auberjonois trying his darndest.

  • Character development filler - solid, not great.

    I'm surprised by the other reviewer's statement that this feels like a TNG episode. If anything, it's a mirror universe version of "I, Borg". Yes, our heroes discover a lost "infant" descended from the most dangerous of enemies. Yes, that infant is forced to discover who he really is when separated from his society. And yes, one character tries to "bring him up right" despite the wariness of his crewmates.

    But that's where the similarity ends. "I, Borg" was a classic, uplifting tale in the best TNG tradition - upbringing matters, a child born of evil can be redeemed. "The Abandoned" teases us (and Odo) with this possibility for a while, but eventually hammers home a brutal moral - some evil is completely beyond redemption.

    Overall, this is not the most interesting or exciting episode, but its implications echo through the rest of the series. (And turn out to be false - nobility occasionally emerges in the infant's species, even if it is rare.)moreless
  • Great DS9 episode, but feels like a retread of TNG

    This episode is really great, it's one of the better episodes that tries to humanize Odo. However i do have some complaints. First the jake story line seems really out of character, i found it odd he is dating a woman 5 years older then him especially since he rarley appeared in the last few episodes so the audience still sees him as a kid, the writers should have included more "growing up" scenes in the past few episods to gear us up to seeing jake dating a woman. Also, this episode while great is very reminicent of the TNG episode "I, Borg". so much in fact that i found my self distracted by comparing the two episodes, and in my case the TNG episode was much better. Still a solid Ds9 outting, but if your a TNG fan you might find that you spend half the episode wishing you were watching "I, Borg"moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman


Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

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

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Alexander Siddig

Alexander Siddig

Dr. Julian Bashir

Leslie Bevis

Leslie Bevis

Boslic Captain

Guest Star

Bumper Robinson

Bumper Robinson

Teenage Jem' Hadar

Guest Star

Jill Sayre

Jill Sayre


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Odo moves to his own quarters in this episode and no longer returns to his bucket when he has to regenerate himself. The bucket he had been sleeping in now has a potted plant in it.

    • Rule of Acquisition #218 Always know what you're buying.

      After Quark had purchased some salvage which included the baby Jem'Hadar in an incubation unit, Sisko asks Quark if there's a rule covering the inspection of merchandise before the purchase. Quark says "yes", but he doesn't quote the rule directly.

    • Goof: At Time Index 33:15. When Odo and the Jem'Hadar go from his quarters to the holo suite, the Jem'Hadar's hair changes styles completely from down and loose to up and braided.

    • Nitpick: Given that Odo was trying to make an emotional connection with the Jem'Hadar boy, it seems strange that he never gave the boy a name. That would be an easy first step in the bonding process, as it was when Captain Picard and his crew were trying to break the Borg boy Hugh from his conditioning in the Next Generation episode "I, Borg".

    • Odo shows Kira his new additions to his room, saying he wants to "practice" his shapeshifting and "experiment" with changing into different forms. This indicates that some forms are more difficult than others to assume.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Kira: I never thought I would say this to you, but you are listening to your heart, not your head. That boy was created in a laboratory. His body, his mind, his instincts, are all designed to do one thing: to kill.
      Odo: My body, mind and instincts were designed to be a Founder. You were trained to be a terrorist. But each of us chose to be something different. I just want to give him the same chance we've had.
      Kira: All right. Give him a chance. Just don't forget he is a Jem'Hadar. He's dangerous!

    • O'Brien: I still don't understand why they would engineer someone to be addicted to a certain chemical.
      Odo: I suspect it's another way of insuring the loyalty of the Jem'Hadar to the Founders. If the soldiers are addicted to a drug that can't be replicated, and only you can provide, that gives you a great deal of control over them.
      O'Brien: Seems a pretty cold blooded thing to do.
      Odo: My people don't have blood, Chief.

    • Odo: What do you want? Do you have any needs or desires of your own?
      Jem'Hadar Boy: I want to fight!
      Odo: Who? Me?
      Jem'Hadar Boy: No. The others.
      Odo: Why?
      Jem'Hadar Boy: I don't know! But that's what I want to do! Is that wrong?

    • Mardah: The first rule of dabo is: watch the wheel, not the girl.

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode is directed by Avery Brooks, who plays Benjamin Sisko on the series. This would be the first of 9 episodes Brooks would direct.


    • Drone
      This episode is a parallel to the Voyager episode "Drone". The accidental creation of new Borg drone utilizing the Mobile Emitter. Seven of Nine attempts to integrate the new life into Federation lifemuch in the way Odo did for the Jem`Hadar infant.

    • Jurassic Park
      The concept of a life-giving enzyme being used to control the Jem'Hadar is identical to what was used to keep the dinosaur population in check in the film Jurassic Park.