It turns out that the ship is Kobliad and transporting a prisoner, who caused the fire that put the ship in distress in the first place. The pilot is dead. The prisoner doesn’t make it either. Well, not exactly. Before Bashir reads him as dead, the prisoner – Rao Vantika – grabs Bashir and says “Let me live.”
You see the Kobliad are, as Sisko puts it, a “dying species” and they need deuridium (which is apparently found in the Gamma Quadrant) to extend their lives. Vantika was heading to Deep Space Nine to hijack a shipment of it before he was caught. The Kobliad officer responsible for Vantika – Ty Kajada – says he has faked his death many times before. She’s not convinced he’s dead. She’s not wrong.
When Vantika grabbed Bashir, he initiated micro-generators under his fingernails that transferred his consciousness into Bashir. So now, with Bashir as host, he can continue his plan to hijack the ship. Actually it works out pretty well for that plan as Bashir can access station’s fleet of runabouts. Eventually, they figure out Vantika is in Bashir and Dax develops a method to separate the two (sending a pulse along the tractor beam). Kajada destroys the captured lifeforce of Vantika. Bashir doesn’t remember his body being taken over. The end.
That’s the short version, but it’s worth noting that our likeable, yet unsavory, barkeep Quark was involved in Vantika’s hijacking plot. This is DS9, not TNG. You have to accept more flaws in these characters.
So, Vantika was able to transfer his consciousness to another person by using micro-generators under his fingernails? Shouldn’t this be a bigger deal to everyone? I know we had the TNG episode “The Schizoid Man,” but still. Just saying.
This episode introduced a new Starfleet security officer – Lt. George Primmin. He butts heads with Odo, but actually helps to uncover part of the hijacking plot. His face looks familiar, but I can’t say if that’s because I have a memory of this episode, if the character sticks around, or if I’ve seen the actor – James Lashly – somewhere else. Either way, I’m curious to see what develops.
On the whole, it’s an okay episode and it was interesting seeing evil Bashir. One other thing that’s worth noting is that O’Brien is once again absent. I guess he’s still on Earth with Keiko? 🙂
– Evan Bindelglass
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P.S. I thought I’d mention that while I saw some of Deep Space Nine back when it aired, I did not watch “The X-Files” when it did. I am currently rectifying that. Last night, I finished season seven.