> EPISODES >
Episode Synopsis by Tracy Hemenover
Sisko enters his quarters and is surprised to see Jake moping on the
couch. He had expected his son to be off on the Promenade, putting up
decorations with Mardah for the Bajoran Gratitude Festival. "That was
the plan," says Jake, "but it turns out I don't have much to be grateful
for." Mardah has been accepted to a science academy, and has left the
station. Sisko (perhaps secretly a bit relieved) tells his son he'll
survive and find someone else. "Who knows, maybe you'll find someone
tonight at the Gratitude Festival." He points out that the purpose of
the Gratitude Festival is to leave troubles behind and make a new start.
Finally, Jake agrees to go. "But I'm not going to have any fun," he
In the replimat, Bashir is amused by O'Brien's constant coffee
consumption. The Chief is anxiously looking forward to an imminent visit
from his wife and child. Bashir observes that they've played 70 games of
racquetball since Keiko's been gone. "Thing is," O'Brien says, "they're
only going to be here for two days. That's barely enough time to say
hello. And then they're back to Bajor again for another four months."
"Four months," Bashir says with mock dread. "That's another hundred and
fifty games of racquetball. I don't think my elbow can take that kind of
abuse." O'Brien vows that he will make the best of what little time he's
going to have with Keiko before she leaves again.
The Promenade is largely empty except for a few people hanging brightly
colored banners and streamers all over the place. Kira is taking a break
when Odo approaches her and rather awkwardly initiates a conversation.
He mentions that he's thinking of attending the Festival this year,
instead of working. "If I'm going to live here with you humanoids, I may
as well immerse myself in your rituals." Kira is happy to hear that, and
says she will make time to see him around later. "Just look for me. I'll
be with Bareil." She doesn't notice the trace of disappointment on Odo's
features as she goes on to say that she had thought Bareil would be
celebrating on Bajor, but he's arriving on the next shuttle. She goes
off to meet it, leaving Odo standing there looking wistful.
Kira and O'Brien are both waiting at the airlock when the shuttle
arrives. When Bareil disembarks, he and Kira kiss and walk off happily.
But O'Brien's reunion with Keiko isn't nearly so pleasant. Keiko is
exhausted and in a bad mood, and Molly vomits into her father's lap.
"You poor dear," says Lwaxana Troi, stepping out of the airlock behind
them. "I should never have given you all that candy."
Odo is briefing the Starfleet security officer who will be relieving him
during the festival when Lwaxana arrives at his office, much to Odo's
surprise, and embraces him. The security officer leaves them alone at
her request. Lwaxana tells Odo she's officially here to represent
Betazed. "But the truth is, I came to see you. You poor, sweet, tortured
man!" "Excuse me?" asks Odo. Lwaxana has heard about his finding out
that his people are the Founders, and wants to help him get over it. She
offers "a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on, a lap to melt in." Odo
politely declines, saying he's accepted the situation. When he tells her
he was planning to attend the opening of the festival this afternoon,
Lwaxana is quite happily prepared to accompany him. "I promise you, Odo,
you'll never be alone again." This is not how Odo had envisioned
spending the festival. Lwaxana leaves to go freshen up; in the turbolift,
she experiences a sudden, brief but sharp headache.
Kira and Bareil relax in her quarters. He is now one of Kai Winn's
principal advisors, and says the office has changed her. Kira breaks off
their kiss to go set up renewal scrolls along the Promenade, with
Jadzia's help. "Jadzia, of course," Bareil says sourly. He's a little
jealous that Dax gets to spend more time with Kira than he does. But he
reluctantly lets her go.
Keiko has put Molly to bed, and flops down on the couch. The trip was a
disaster, and now she just wants to sleep. Trying to hide his
disappointment, O'Brien says he'll understand. She knows he won't, but
leaves the decision to him. So he decides they'll go to the festival,
but says she can relax first and then change into something nice, "like
your red dress." Keiko is less than enthused; she finds that dress a bit
tight. "That's why I like it," her husband leers. In a put-upon sort of
way, she goes to change for the festival. "I can hardly wait," mutters
O'Brien, who, like Odo, is faced with a festival that looks like it'll
be far less than he hoped for.
As the Presider, Kira opens the festival, chanting a Bajoran blessing
and pouring a flask of oil into a large brazier, igniting the fire that
will burn there for the duration. She then places the first renewal
scroll into the fire. "As the scrolls burn, may our troubles turn to
ashes with them." The crowd cheers. Lwaxana, who is with Odo, has
another quick headache; and at the same time, Bareil and Jake seem to
experience headaches too. Sisko asks his son if he's okay. Jake looks
up, and smiles as if he has seen something wonderful. "Never felt
better," he says.
Kira and Bareil walk down the Promenade; she notices that he seems to be
scanning the crowd for something, but she doesn't get a chance to
question him before Jake comes up with two jumja sticks and gives one to
her. He wants to talk to her for a second. Bareil wanders off as soon as
Kira goes with Jake to see what he wants. "I need some advice," Jake
tells her. "You see, there's this older woman, and I think we're perfect
for each other." Kira thinks at first he's talking about Mardah, but
Jake says they broke up. "You broke up?" asks Kira, puzzled. "Well, then
who?" "You," he tells her. "I love you, Nerys. Want to go out with me?"
Kira is thunderstruck.
Bareil finds what he was looking for: Dax, who is advising Morn to burn
his scroll when the vedek approaches. "You have such a wise, generous
spirit," he says. "I only wish I had a friend like you." Dax smiles; she
does think of him as a friend. Bareil says he wants to get to know her
better. "A lot better," he adds meaningfully, and actually puts a hand
on Dax's knee. She takes one look at his besotted expression, and
excuses herself, uneasy.
Odo is enraptured by the music of a Bajoran trio, and has even begun to
sway a bit. Then Lwaxana finds him and tries to get him to dance. He
remains in place, looking desperate as she swings his arms about, until
finally he says he's needed in Security. He can't escape that easily,
though; Lwaxana has every intention of coming with him. On the way, they
meet Dax. Odo asks her if she's having a good time, and she says, "No."
Odo, who can relate to that, moves on, not seeing Lwaxana react to yet
another headache. And now Dax experiences one too.
As Quark is hawking pens to write on the scrolls with, and jugglers and
acrobats are entertaining the crowd, Keiko and O'Brien are sitting at a
table on the second level of the bar, trying to have fun. He asks how
the survey is going; she tells him some of the difficulties they've
encountered, but she's having a wonderful time. However, there's one
problem she needs to talk to him about. The expedition looks like it's
going to take longer than anticipated. She's not sure just how long, but
it's something like two or three extra months. This is just what O'Brien
did not want to hear. The argument escalates when she remarks with
exasperation, "Sebarr was right. I never should've mentioned it." Sebarr
is a zoologist she's been working with, and a friend. O'Brien does not
react well. He's jealous, and he finally blurts out that he wants her to
stay here with him. "Miles, right now, I don't even want to sit at the
same table with you," Keiko says. "Fine. Go on. Leave. Go back to Bajor,
and your plants, and Sebarr. See if I care!" he shouts at her retreating
Sisko intercepts Jake as he's searching for Kira on the Promenade. He
wants his son's help getting ready for the dinner they're hosting in the
wardroom tonight. When Jake says he has to find someone, Sisko knows
he's talking about Kira; he's just seen her. "You know," Jake says, "you
were right about me meeting someone at the Festival." "I did not mean
Major Kira," Sisko tells him. He tries to explain that Jake is just
experiencing a crush right now, having a reaction to the breakup with
Mardah. Besides, Kira is in love with Vedek Bareil. Even that doesn't
deter Jake, who thinks Kira needs someone who can be with her all the
time, like him. He reassures his father that everything will be fine,
and goes off to look for Kira some more. Sisko lets him go, sighing.
Lwaxana continues to cling to Odo, while O'Brien sits at the bar nursing
a headache of his own. Quark hands him a pen to write a renewal scroll
with. "There isn't a scroll long enough for all my problems," says
O'Brien morosely. "Really?" says Quark. "I thought you could sum them up
with one word -- Keiko." He thinks it's O'Brien's own fault for letting
her go down to Bajor. "You hew-mons, you never learn. You let your women
go out in public, hold jobs, wear clothing, and you wonder why your
marriages fall apart." On his homeworld, Quark says, "husbands and wives
never argue. There's no divorce, no broken homes, nothing but peaceful
conjugal bliss." O'Brien asks why Quark is still single, and Quark
replies that he hasn't met the right woman yet. "Well, I have," says
O'Brien. "And she just walked out that door." "And out of your life,"
Quark says pointedly. O'Brien stands up, determined. "Not if I can help
Kira finally meets up with Bareil again, but he seems distracted and
uncomfortable with her attempts to get in some makeout time. He's too
busy looking for Dax. "I'll explain everything later," he says, and
thanks her, "for being such a good friend." "Friend?" she repeats in
astonishment as he leaves.
The object of Bareil's quest is in the wardroom, setting up things for
the dinner, in hopes of keeping out of Bareil's way. "He can't keep his
hands off me," she explains to Sisko, who is puzzled. "That doesn't
sound like Vedek Bareil." Dax agrees. She doesn't know how to tell Kira;
it'll break her heart. Sisko offers to do it, if she thinks that's the
best way to handle it. "I'd really appreciate it, Benjamin," Dax says
warmly. "I mean, this whole thing is ridiculous. How could I be
interested in Bareil? We both know, it's always been you."
And she happily snuggles up to a very startled Sisko. "Have I ever told
you that you smell wonderful?" Sisko decides she must be joking, and
laughs. She laughs too. "Benjamin, stop acting so coy. There's no one
around." Sisko calls Bashir.
Bashir finds absolutely nothing wrong with Dax, who smiles wickedly at
Sisko. "Julian, you should've seen his face. Admit it, you were this far
away from total panic." "I think we've both been victims of a practical
joke," Bashir says good-humoredly to Sisko, who doesn't seem entirely
convinced. As he and Dax leave the infirmary, he tells her it's her own
fault for taking it so far. "If I didn't love you so much, I'd be angry
with you," she says, and kisses his ear before sauntering off.
Kira is sitting in the replimat, depressed and hurt by Bareil's behavior,
when Jake joins her, offering to cheer her up. "Jake, do me a favor,"
she says. "Leave me alone." Jake dreamily watches her go.
O'Brien comes home, where Molly tells him Mommy is in her room, sad.
Sending the little girl off to play, he stands and talks to Keiko
through the closed door. "You're right. I'm an idiot, sometimes. If I
don't get my way, I can be selfish and childish and pigheaded. I said
some things to you that were pretty stupid. I wish I could take them
back. But even if it's too late for that, there's one thing I want you
to know, Keiko. I love you. I always have, and I always will." He tells
her he's left a letter of resignation on Sisko's desk, and he'll move to
Bajor with her if she wants. "I'll do whatever it takes. I just don't
want to lose you." Keiko says she needs time to think. They can talk
when he gets back from the party. "If that's what you want," he says
Odo, Lwaxana, and Bashir run into Kira, who doesn't want to go to the
party because Bareil will be there. She's stung by the fact that Bareil
would rather be with Dax than her. "And to make matters worse, I have
Jake Sisko chasing me around the station, professing his undying love."
Bashir remembers the business with Sisko and Dax earlier. "Apparently it
was only a joke." "Are you sure?" asks Kira. "People are acting very
strangely today." Bashir decides to look again at Dax's test results. At
that moment, Lwaxana has her little headache again, and so do both
Bashir and Kira, as Lwaxana and Odo move on.
Kira decides to go with Bashir to the infirmary, suggesting that he
examine Bareil and Jake while he's at it. Once they're inside the
infirmary, however, suddenly the two of them throw themselves at each
other and start kissing madly.
At the party, no one seems to be having a good time. Lwaxana tries to
get Odo to tell her what's bothering him, but he claims to be fine. "Why
do I find stubborn men so attractive?" she laments. Over at the buffet
table, Bareil is making puppy-dog eyes at Dax, who irritably shrugs him
off. Jake is pestering his dad about Kira. Then Dax mischievously gooses
Sisko, who tries calling Bashir. But the doctor doesn't answer, though
the computer says he's in the infirmary. Sisko sends Odo to go get him,
and Lwaxana, of course, is on his heels.
Kira and Bashir are still all over each other. "This is very
embarrassing." "We have to stop." "Definitely." They keep right on
smooching with feverish abandon, and are still at it when Odo and
Lwaxana arrive. Odo is nearly speechless as he takes in the spectacle.
He barks at Bashir to go to the wardroom, now. Bashir and Kira finally
walk out hand in hand, and Lwaxana sees Odo's dismayed expression.
Dax resorts to using Sisko as a human shield against Bareil, who says
pleadingly, "I only want to give her this." It's a Bajoran betrothal
bracelet. "Can I see that?" asks Dax, who takes the bracelet and walks
off. Kira and Bashir drift into the room, still in a flurry of hands and
arms and lips. "You've got to get me away from Kira," moans Bashir. "I
can't keep my hands off -- " "What's worse, I can't keep my hands off
him," gasps Kira. Sisko looks at Odo, who has just returned with Lwaxana.
"I can't explain it either," the constable says, with a long-suffering
expression as Lwaxana embraces him.
Jake, crushed at the sight of Kira and Bashir, slumps off to sit by
O'Brien, who's got problems of his own. "You're better off," the Chief
says glumly. "In the end, they only break your heart." Then a vision in
red enters the wardroom. "Although sometimes it's worth it," he adds,
his face lighting up as he walks over to join his wife, who smiles at
him. She asks if he really handed in his resignation, and he confirms
this. "Well," Keiko says, "you'd better get it back before Commander
Sisko sees it." O'Brien kisses her; she tells him, "I love you so much,"
and they bask in the warm, fuzzy marital glow.
Quark enters with a tray of I'danian spice puddings, as Dax tries to
give Bareil's betrothal bracelet to Sisko. It's too much for Bareil, who
starts swinging at the commander. "I'll fight for her if I have to," the
smitten Vedek declares. But Dax steps between the two of them and knocks
Bareil flat on his keister. "I'm sorry, Benjamin," she says as she
embraces Sisko again. "He was just starting to annoy me." "Commander,"
says Quark appreciatively, "you throw one hell of a party."
Quark offers some pudding to Lwaxana, who declines, and then gets
another headache. This time Sisko and Odo see her rub her temples, and
they see Quark rub his. Quark gives the whole tray to Dax, his interest
alighting on Keiko, who has knelt by Bareil to ask if he's all right.
"Forget about him. What about me? I need you, Keiko. My ears tingle at
the sight of you. Marry me." "She's taken, Quark," O'Brien growls
menacingly, hauling the Ferengi up by the ears, ready to punch his
Sisko restrains O'Brien. "Easy, Chief. He doesn't know what he's doing."
He and Odo both look over toward Lwaxana, and so do O'Brien and Quark.
She looks nonplused. "What are you looking at me for?"
Not long afterwards, Bashir has just finished examining Lwaxana, who is
astonished to learn she has Zanthi fever, a virus which only affects
older Betazoids. Bashir explains to Sisko that the condition causes
"mature" Betazoids to project their own emotions to others. Sisko
deduces that Lwaxana's amorous feelings for "someone on the station"
were being passed on to the people around her. "Not everyone," says
Bashir. "Only those within close proximity to her when she had an
attack. And even then there would have to have been some pre-existing
latent attraction." Sisko looks startled. "You're saying Dax...?" "Only
on a subconscious level," Bashir assures him. "Best not think about it
too much, if you ask me." Lwaxana apologizes for the trouble she's
caused, but Sisko doubts there was any permanent harm done. Bashir
confirms that an antiviral agent should cure her, and everyone else will
return to normal in a day or two. The doctor then starts to head off for
Kira's quarters. Sisko stops him. "I think you ought to postpone that
visit. For a day or two."
After the festival is over, Odo walks with Lwaxana along the Promenade,
before she leaves for the trip home. "I hope everything works out for
you, Odo," she says. "With Major Kira." He professes not to know what
she means. Lwaxana smiles. "Don't worry. Your secret's safe with me.
After all, I know what it's like to be attracted to someone who doesn't
necessarily feel the same way." Odo's silence is all the answer she
needs. Accepting the facts, Lwaxana looks at him with sympathy. "If you
get tired of waiting for her -- " She kisses him. "You know where to
find me." "I'll keep that in mind," Odo says.
O'Brien, meanwhile, is saying his goodbyes to Keiko and Molly at the
airlock. He never was affected by Lwaxana, he says. "I guess that means
you don't have a latent attraction to me after all," Keiko says slyly.
Her husband smiles. "Nothing latent about it." He kisses his wife and
daughter, and they board the ship for another few months on Bajor. As
O'Brien is leaving the airlock, he catches a racquetball racquet that
was tossed to him by Bashir, who has another racquet and a ball. The two
men walk off down the corridor, ready for another 150 games.