Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 3 Episode 26

The Adversary

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Jun 19, 1995 on Syndicado
out of 10
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Episode Summary


Stardate: 48960.9

After Sisko is promoted to Captain, he and the Defiant crew are manipulated by a Changeling posing as an ambassador.

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  • Captain Sisko in his first mission. (There, is that clever enough?)

    This ensemble episode begins as a mystery before turning into the old "runaway train with a monster on board" story. (Okay, I admit, most train stories don't do the monster part). Most of the episode takes place on the Defiant, which stands in for the locomotive, and the monster aspect is an extension the season's opening two parter. It's an intelligent but suspenseful story that moves swiftly and challenges the viewer while still featuring plenty of action The Defiant itself includes a gorgeous new engineering set, and the ship's inclusion gives the writers a chance to expand on the character of Lt. Commander Eddington (Kenneth Marshall) while keeping the viewer on his guard as the episode develops into an effective paranoid thriller.

    With an ending that vaguely but successfully sets the stage for the future of the series, "The Adversary" is a unique season finale that serves up enough of a conclusion to satisfy the viewer but also has enough of an abstract cliffhanger to entice that viewer to return for the next season.

  • An excellent thriller episode. Who's the Changeling?

    This episode, season 3's finale, uses a classic plot device that plays on one of society's deepest fears -- that one of us, a completely ordinary-looking individual, is in fact a dangerous outsider bent on sowing death and destruction. In this case, the Defiant's crew is infiltrated by a Changeling who has sabotaged the ship and is trying to instigate war between the Federation and one of its neighbors.

    The actors do a really good job of conveying the extreme paranoia of the situation. At a certain point they become convinced (along with much of the audience) that Commander Eddington, a not-particularly-sympathetic character, is the Changeling. Yet the writers pull a big plot twist. The scene near the end with O'Brien and the two Odos is fantastic.

    All in all, a wild ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Odo's ominous warning to Sisko at the end of the episode is a nice setup for the 4th season.moreless
  • An Expert Exercise in Rug-Pulling

    Newly-promoted Sisko and Co. have been dispatched to "show the flag" near the border of a hostile race known as the Tzenkethi, with whom the Federation have already fought one war. Once they reach the aliens' space, though, they lose control of the ship, which is then programmed to attack a Tzenkethi colony. There is a shapeshifter on board, and Sisko and his crew have to work hard to figure out where (or who) it might be. At this point, if you haven't seen the episode, you might want to stop reading or you'll accidentally learn that it's Bashir, not Eddington, who the Changeling is impersonating.

    It's a wonderful ruse on the part of the writers, though. Eddington has never exactly been a comforting presence. He was introduced as Odo's professional rival, and in "The Search, Part II", he was the chief collaborator in the Dominion's fantasy game for the Defiant officers. Admittedly, the latter wasn't really Eddington, but sabotaging the cloaking device in "The Die is Cast" certainly didn't help. As a result of these instances, when his changeling "identity" is revealed, we see it as only natural--maybe he's been one all along? I read somewhere that after watching the episode, people didn't believe that Eddington wasn't a Changeling, even though the real Bashir was shown. That the show's writers were able to cultivate the "Eddington mystique" and then so effectively pull out the rug from under us is what makes the twist in this episode such a good one. Then again, there is a big hint earlier on (when Eddington talks to Odo) that indicates that he isn't, but it's too subtle to catch the first time around.

    There are other important events in the episode: the aforementioned promotion, Sisko's realization that blood tests can screen changelings, and Odo's chilling revelation at the end of the episode, which sets up the excellent (and quite relevant) plot of the mid-season two-parter in Season 4.

    Of course, you shouldn't get too comfortable with the idea of Eddington as a good guy. His understated scene with Sisko in the episode is full of subtext. He's got secrets, and they eventually come into view--in a big way--in Season 4.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

Lawrence Pressman

Lawrence Pressman

Ambassador Krajensky

Guest Star

Jeff Austin

Jeff Austin

Bolian Security Officer

Guest Star

Ken Marshall

Ken Marshall

Lt. Cmdr. Michael Eddington

Recurring Role

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Computer Voice

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • This episode marks Benjamin Sisko's promotion to Captain. Dax is promoted to Lieutenant Commander and Bashir is promoted to Lieutenant.

    • First appearance of the Defiant's engineering room.

    • This is the only episode where blood tests are an effective way of screening for changelings. The Founders quickly find a way around this. In the very next episode, the Changeling posing as Martok fakes this test in front of Sisko and Kira, then acts paranoid that they might be changelings, thus completing his disguise.

    • This episode marks the second time out of three that we have seen a Changeling die. The first time was in the episode "Crossover" and the last time was "Apocalypse Rising".

    • It is shown that Bolians have blue blood.

    • Goof: It is stated quite clearly in the episode that the phaser rifles were set to the special phaser setting to combat the changeling, however, after the incident between Kira and the Bolian, near the transporter, the rifles all fired their normal phaser beams.

    • Nitpick: Why did Odo go on the mission to Tzenkethi space? As far as the crew knew, they were going on a patrol along the Federation-Tzenkethi border, therefore there would have been no need for him to go along. Odo is Station Chief of Security, so he should have remained on the station - Lieutenant Commander Eddington is the Starfleet Chief of Security.

    • Lt. Commander Eddington announces "Captain on the bridge" when Sisko first boards the Defiant. This appears to be irregular, as nowhere in the history of The Original Series, The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine (until this episode) is a captain given such treatment. previously, this sort of formal honor had been reserved for Ambassadors and Starfleet Admirals. Perhaps he says it just to commemorate Sisko's new rank, though.

      Depending on the stardates, the phrase "Captain on the bridge!" is in fact spoken aloud in the Next Generation episode "Chain of Command Part I" to acknowledge the arrival of Captain Jellico onto the bridge. This however may or may not come before the DS9 episode.

    • In this episode's promotion ceremony, Sisko, Dax and Bashir still have their original rank on their collars and in the credits. The promotions just don't show up on their collars and in the credits in season 4's "The Way Of The Warrior". There is never anything specific said in any episode about when or how the promotions took place.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Odo: Where's the Changeling? I lost him in the conduits.
      O'Brien: We haven't seen him.
      (another Odo emerges from another access port)
      Changeling/Odo: Wait. It's me, Odo.
      O'Brien: (looks at both Odo's) You don't say.
      Changeling/Odo: Chief, remember the last time we went kayaking in the holosuites? You had lamb stew for lunch.
      O'Brien: That's right.
      Odo: (to O'Brien) But you forgot to bring a fork. Anyone could have gotten that information.
      Computer: Auto destruct in five minutes.
      Changeling/Odo: You'd better make a decision. We're running out of time.
      O'Brien: Look, I've more important things to do than play 'Choose The Changeling'. (to co-worker) Keep the phaser on both of them.

    • Changeling: Why are you protecting these solids? You don't belong with them. You belong with us. Let go. Don't you see? You've lost. It's too late for you to help them, but it's not too late to help yourself. Link with me, Odo. We can escape together.
      Odo: I don't think so!

    • Odo: Captain, there's something you need to know. The changeling, before he... died, he whispered something to me.
      Sisko: Go on.
      Odo: He said... 'You're too late. We're everywhere'.

  • NOTES (1)