Friday, September 30, 2022

Star Trek: Vortex

Episode: "Vortex"
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1, Episode 12
Original Air Date: April 18, 1993

via Memory Alpha

Quark has an object of great value to sell to a pair of Miradorn twins.  Their transaction is interrupted by Croden, a mysterious stranger.  Odo, who made it into the room disguised as a glass, enters the fray.  In the ensuing melee, Croden shoots and kills one of the Miradorns.  What's more, Quark seems to have been in cahoots with Croden from the beginning.

But that's not the real story (though perhaps it should have been; we'll get to that).  Croden, who now comes under Odo's jurisdiction, claims to know something of Odo's species.  That revelation, and the relationship between Odo and Croden that evolves around it, drives most of the episode.

This is the first important Odo episode and as such, it launches one of DS9's essential arcs.  Odo is different from Worf or Spock in that he doesn't know anything about his own background.  As a result, his journey of self-discovery takes a while to get going.  But each little piece offered teases a broader canvas.  The superior writing and the never-to-be-undervalued generosity of the actor bring an intimacy for the viewer that we never experienced as strongly with either of Trek's previous "alien" principals.  "Vortex" is a good though not great starting point.  The best is yet to come.

Armin Shimerman complained to executive producer Rick Berman that his own character, Quark, was let off too easy in the heist narrative.  The bartender's value to both Odo and Sisko as an informant has already been well established by this point so some lenience is to be expected.  But in "Vortex," he is, an accomplice to murder, if unintentionally.  Shimerman felt it was a bridge too far and I'm inclined to agree.  As far as I remember, Quark's sins are less egregious moving forward.

Acting Notes

via The West Wing Wiki

Cliff DeYoung (Croden) was born February 12, 1945 in Los Angeles.  He graduated from Cal State-Los Angeles.  Before he became a professional actor, he was the lead singer of the band Clear Light, a 1960s LA-based psychedelic group.  The band only released one eponymous album.  It had modest national success.  After Clear Light split, he went to Broadway where he was in Hair, then the original cast of the Tony-winning Sticks and Bones.  In 1974, he hit #17 in the Billboard Hot 100 with the John Denver-penned "My Sweet Lady."

DeYoung's career on screen has been long and varied.  Films include Flight of the Navigator, Glory and Wild.  Television credits include JAG, The West Wing and The Young and the Restless.

DeYoung has been married to his wife Gypsy for 52 years.  

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