Star Trek Episodes: Deep Space Nine Episodes - Season 2: Episode 17
Initial Airdate: 1994-02-27
Director: David Livingston
Written by: Jim Trombetta and Michael Piller
A Dax-centred episode.
The episode begins with Trill initiate Arjin (Geoffrey Blake) arriving on Deep Space Nine with Dr. Julian Bashir. Arjin is here to being training with Lieutenant Jadzia Dax, something that makes him very nervous. Dax under Curzon was notorious for 'breaking' initiates. Julian assures Arjin that Jadzia's actually quite nice, but Arjin remains quite nervous.
Arjin finds Dax a somewhat overwhelming personality, first meeting her as she plays Tongo with a bunch of Ferengi at Quark's Bar, and the next morning wrestling in her quarters with an alien. Shortly afterwards, the arrive at ops where O'Brien and Kira are trying to capture some Cardassian Voles. Jadzia jumps in the help, stuns a vole, and hands the large lizardy rat to Arjin, who is slightly less enthusiastic about such creatures than Jadzia. A meal in a Klingon restaurant where the food crawls around the plate does little to improve his day.
Arjin and Jadzia take the runabout Mekong through the wormhole and run into an interphase pocket in the Gamma Quadrant. After returning to the station with a strange object embedded in their starboard nacelle, it's transferred into a holding container in the science lab. After studying the object for a while, they determine that it's a tiny proto-universe, and that it's expanding periodically, and displacing the current universe in the process. They device a way of destroying it by surrounding it with a strong forcefield, but before enacting the plan they discover life--possibly intelligent--evolving in the mini-universe.
Meanwhile, Dax, on Sisko's urging, confronts Arjin about his apparently lack of direction. During their Klingon meal, she had asked him about his ambitions, and he had merely recanted the story of how his father's one goal was for his children to be joined. Beyond that, he hadn't really thought about what he wanted to do. When Jadzia expresses that she's 'concerned' about him, however, Arjin gets upset. After her repeatedly telling him he didn't have to 'impress' her an that she's not Curzon, he feels she's now judging him unfit after knowing him for less than two days.
Meanwhile, Sisko must decide whether to destroy the proto-universe--and all life within it--or to risk it destroying his universe. Eventually, he decides they'd be like the Borg if they indifferently destroyed these lives simply to save their own, and so he allows it to expand.
The first expansion destroys the science lab, and the next one is expected to destroy an entire section of the station. It's decided that it must be flown through the wormhole and released there, far from the station. Jadzia and Arjin fly it through the wormhole weith some precision piloting to avoid hitting the nodes in the wormhole. If they proto-universe were to hit one of the nodes, it would cause a cataclysmic explosion that would be 'felt on the Cardassian homeworld'. Luckily, Arjin is a Level 5 pilot (Jadzia is only level 3) and makes it through safely.
Afterwards, Arjin leaves, but not with the bad recommended from Dax that he had feared.
Now...let's think about this. The mini-universe is expanding at a rapid rate, and displacing the current universe. Did they come up with the technobabble solution of making it out of phase so the universes could exist in parallel? No. Instead they sent it out in space to continue to grow. Either this universe will be destroyed (maybe the Dominion will find it and be cleverer than the Federation) or it will continue to grow and eventually destroy the entire universe. Yes as far as the writers are concerned, the problem was nicely wrapped up simply by flinging the universe out into space. Nope, sorry. That doesn't work.