Odo recovers his shifting powers as a gift from the infant changeling.
This episode marks the birth of Kirayoshi O'Brien.
This episode marks the final appearances of First Minister Shakaar (Duncan Regehr) and Dr. Mora (James Sloyan) on the series.
Nitpick: When baby Kirayoshi is first shown, his belly button was almost fully formed. This indicates that Bajorans also have umbilical cords, although it should still be attached in the shot.
Nitpick: No mention is made of the fact that the O'Briens' quarters were destroyed by the explosion of Silaran Prin's hunter probe in "The Darkness And The Light", the episode immediately preceding this one.
Sisko: (to Odo) Besides, it's nice having someone around to help change the diapers.
Mora: (after Odo's changeling responds to stimulus) I smiled the first time you did that. Little did I know you'd hate me for it.
Quark: What are you up to?
Odo: I'm happy, Quark. Can't you just accept that?
Quark: No. It doesn't fit. If you're happy, something's very wrong in the world...
Mora: Once I realised you were sentient, the Cardassians wanted to know everything about you. I was under enormous pressure to get results. And I did. My techniques worked. The fact that you're standing here, whining about them, is proof.
Odo: You enjoyed watching me suffer.
Mora: Do you really believe that? How pathetic. If it weren't for me, you'd still be sitting on a shelf somewhere, in a beaker labeled 'unknown sample'!
(talking about Odo's back problem)
Quark: I've got a holosuite program that'll take care of him. Three Orion slave girls strap you into a...
Quark: Go ahead. Suffer!
Worf: Constable, why are you talking to your beverage?
James Sloyan (Dr. Mora Pol) reprises his role from the DS9 episode "The Alternate". He played the role of K'Mtar in The Next Generation episode "Firstborn" and Sub-Lt. Setal/Alidar Jarok in The Next Generation episode "The Defector". On Voyager he played Jetrel in the episode "Jetrel".
At the end of the episode, Shakaar and Dr. Mora depart for Bajor on shuttle 4709. Writer Joe Menosky began including references to the number 47 in almost every episode of Star Trek since season four of The Next Generation. It is an in-joke, referring to The 47 Society at Pomona College in California, a college which Menosky attended.
The script indicates that the bird Odo changes into is a Tarkalean hawk, one of the things he had told the infant Changeling it could one day become.
Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax) and Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) do not appear in this episode.
Quark: "...the center cannot hold."
This is a reference to the poem by W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming, which goes: "Turning and turning in the widening gyre/The falcon cannot hear the falconer;/Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world."
This poem is also the underlying theme of Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart. In the book, an African tribe's way of life is destroyed with the coming of European settlers.