Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 3 Episode 26

The Adversary

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Jun 19, 1995 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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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.
  • 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.