This is one of those episodes where the budget was saved for the finale, or already spent and funds needed to be clawed back.
At its hearts is an endearing story with a what-if theme. Its deeper meaning perhaps goes to show the loss of a child and their recovery, focusing on the journey of hardship those involved must go through.
Some of you may enjoy its tender and deeper meaning. Those of you who prefer their DS9 with an edge - should move along. I fall in the first catergory. I actually enjoyed the episode. The story is logical. At its heart is the agonizing story of the loss of a child and the journey that must be taken for reconcilation. As well as the problems that must be overcome to return to some sembelance of normality. Sure its not heavy, this is Star Trek, afterall.
Its packed with a fair amount of emotional drama. There is warmth in the initial setup scenes. Panic and despair when Molly is lost and joy and resolution when she is recovered. Which changes to resignation and an overwhelming sense of loss when Miles and Keiko realise what they must do to save their girl. I would give both actors the credit of doing a decent job in convey what needs to be.
There are number of nice little twists along the way, which drive what little conflict there is and the action that accompanies it. There is a good dose of action in the third act which leads to a resonance filled perfect ending. Where the paradox is explained to a satisfying degree.
Of course you can see it would have been better suited to the more moralistic regimen of ST:TNG, but this episode makes a nice break from what is a non-stop plot-arc for season 6. Yet I can see why some would not like it. The thing is that tv series need to balance the books and that mean's stories with as few cast and little special effects, so that the epic space battle episodes can be made. This is one here. I was in two minds as where I should give this a 6.5 and 7.0. I opted for a good because for the lack of hardcore ingredients, I rather enjoyed this tender story. Perhaps you will too?!