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Fascination (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
DS9, Episode 3x10
Production number: 40513-456
First aired: 28 November 1994
55th of 173 produced in DS9
55th of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 173 released in DS9 Remastered  
340th of 728 released in all
Quark and Keiko
Teleplay By
Philip LaZebnik

Story By
Ira Steven Behr & James Crocker

Directed By
Avery Brooks
Unknown (2371)
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Ambassador Lwaxana Troi visits the station to attend the Bajoran Gratitude Festival, resulting in an outbreak of passion throughout the station as people admit their secret feelings for others.

Summary Edit

Jake is lounging in the quarters he shares with his father, gazing at an earring he intended to give to Mardah, instead of helping the residents of the station prepare for the Bajoran Gratitude Festival as his father figured he would. It turns out that Jake doesn't "have much to be grateful for," since Mardah has been accepted to a school 300 light years away.

Ben encourages his son to go to the Festival, since the point of the celebration is to let go of one's troubles "and make a new start." Jake reluctantly agrees to go, but promises not to enjoy it.

In the Replimat, Chief O'Brien and Dr. Bashir talk about the impending return of O'Brien's wife and daughter to the station. It seems that O'Brien's having a rough time without them.

On the Promenade, Odo encounters Major Kira, who's slated to preside over the Festival and is helping put up decorations. Odo says that he would like to join Kira in celebrating the Festival, but it turns out that Vedek Bareil will be coming to the station to do the same... which dims Odo's enthusiasm.

Later O'Brien and Kira are in one of the cargo bays waiting for the transport to arrive. Bareil disembarks, and he goes off with Kira joyfully; a few moments later O'Brien's wife and daughter do the same, but they're not nearly as joyful. According to Keiko, the Chief's wife, it was "the worst trip." Molly, his daughter, doesn't "feel so good" either... and when the Chief asks her what's wrong, she vomits noisily onto his uniform.

Lwaxana candy fascination

"I should never have given you all that candy."

At just that moment Ambassador Lwaxana Troi steps out of the airlock. Lwaxana says, "oh! You poor dear! I should never have given you all that candy."

Dimmed or not, Odo's enthusiasm is still adequate to the task of enjoying the festival. He's in the Security office outlining to a Starfleet Security officer the procedure by which he monitors Quark, when Mrs. Troi walks in and asks the Starfleet officer to leave so that she and Odo can have some time alone. It turns out that while she's on the station in her official capacity as a representative to the Festival, her real purpose is to see Odo and give him "a shoulder to cry on" about his discovery that the Founders are the power behind the Dominion. Odo's underwhelmed and politely exasperated at the prospect of being the object of so much personal attention from Mrs. Troi, who seems keen to "delve into the depths" of Odo's "pain."

The O'Briens have made it back to their quarters, where Miles and Keiko nearly get into an argument about their plans. They're anxious to please one another, but Keiko's wrung out and the last thing she wants to do is make any decisions. The two of them ultimately make plans to go the Promenade, but it is plain that neither of them is pleased with the idea since it is something of a compromise that doesn't go far to please anyone.

Kira gratitude festival fascination

Kira sets the flames to burn.

Finally, the Festival is about to begin. Celebrants and performers are walking along the Promenade toward the entrance to the Bajoran temple, where the Presider's dais is set up. After a showy but brief ceremony Kira declares the Festival begun, and people start to disperse. However, Jake and Bareil both have momentary headaches. Ben notices Jake's twinge of pain, but when he asks if Jake's all right, Jake says he "never felt better" and starts to smile.

Sometime later Jake walks up to Kira and offers her a jumja stick, asking for a few moments in private. They stand aside to talk, and Jake explains that he has feelings for an older woman but has no idea how she might feel. Kira believes that he's talking about Mardah, but Jake reveals a shocking surprise: the woman on his mind is actually Kira, who turns up speechless.

Meanwhile the Vedek tracks down Jadzia and starts laying on the compliments, leading up to an announcement that he'd like to get to know her "a lot better." Jadzia's response is one of annoyance.

Elsewhere Odo is enjoying some music, and Mrs. Troi catches up to him. He tries to get away, but she follows him. While they're making their way they encounter Jadzia, who's still miffed at Bareil... and as Odo and Lwaxana move off, Jadzia feels the same twinge that Jake and Bareil did.

Miles and Keiko are in Quark's, where their conversation starts out cordially enough. However, Keiko has some bad news: her project on Bajor has turned out to be a lot more complicated than anyone expected, and as a result, it is likely to run two or three months longer than planned. When Miles shares his (predictably unhappy) opinion about that, Keiko says that one of her colleagues whom she's taken as a confidant warned her about Miles' reception of the news. At that, the conversation devolves into a straight-up argument, and the two of them march off from the table in separate directions.

Later it turns out that Commander Sisko has gotten the news about Jake's crush on Kira, and he tries to talk his son down... but it doesn't work. A few moments later Mrs. Troi and Odo are walking out of Quark's, and they pass by the Chief as he sidles up to the bar. He gets the same twinge as Jake, Bareil, and Jadzia.

Sisko changes into street clothes and goes to the wardroom, which is being prepared for a party in honor of the Gratitude Festival. He finds Jadzia there, and hears all about her trouble with Bareil. He offers to help sort out the drama that's sure to result, and just then Jadzia starts draping herself all over him. The Commander, meanwhile, is at a loss to understand what's going on. In light of the strangeness with Jake and Bareil, he takes Jadzia down to the Infirmary, where Bashir gives her a clean bill of health. Sisko is embarrassed at the news, and tries to laugh it off without much success.

Miles apologizes fascination

He loves her, as always.

Meanwhile, the Chief has made it back to his quarters and he's under the impression that Keiko's re-evaluating their entire relationship. He asks Keiko to let him in their bedroom, but she doesn't want to talk with him. Standing outside the door, he apologizes at length for being "selfish and childish and pig-headed." Then he sits down dejectedly and goes on to say that he's left a letter of resignation on Sisko's desk, that he's ready to move down to Bajor (and ultimately back to Earth) so that he can be nearer to Keiko and Molly - without once making any conditions, because he loves her and always has. Keiko tells him that she needs time to think, and that he ought to go to the party in the wardroom.

Bashir kira kiss fascination

They apparently can't keep their hands off of one another.

Later Bashir is with Lwaxana and Odo in the Habitat Ring where they encounter Kira, who's angry and depressed because of Bareil. She explains about Bareil and Jake, and Bashir points out that Jadzia was acting just as strangely. He decides to return to the Infirmary and Kira decides to join him, but as they start walking, they both feel the same twinge as Jake, Bareil, and Jadzia. Once they get to the Infirmary they look one another in the eyes and without further pause begin to kiss passionately.

In the wardroom Jake's still obsessing about Kira, and Jadzia's trying to keep her distance from Bareil. Commander Sisko puts a call out to Bashir, who doesn't respond, so he sends Odo to the Infirmary to retrieve him, and Lwaxana follows Odo. Once Odo gets to the Infirmary Dr. Bashir and Major Kira are still kissing, and Odo needs to order Bashir out of the Infirmary.

Jadzia vs bareil round 2 fascination

Jadzia's serious about keeping Bareil away.

In the wardroom there are an awful lot of unhappy and confused people, but the Chief brightens up when his wife shows up, wearing an outfit that he's especially fond of. She tells him that he oughtn't resign, gives him a long kiss, and tells him that she loves him. However, there's still a lot of tension elsewhere in the room, and it comes to a head when Jadzia goads Bareil into starting a fistfight with Commander Sisko. Sisko blocks all but one of Bareil's punches with ease, but then Jadzia steps in and knocks him out.

Quark, who's moving around the room trying to serve food, nearly trips over
Keiko red dress fascination

She loves him, too.

Bareil but only says, "Commander, you throw one hell of a party." Quark continues to move around the room, then feels a twinge of his own... and proceeds to put his serving tray down and declare his deep attraction for - of all people - Keiko. The Chief pulls Quark away from Keiko by the lobes and is about to take things even further when Sisko stops him, saying that it is not Quark's fault... and then points at Mrs. Troi.

In the Infirmary, Bashir diagnoses Lwaxana with Zanthi fever, but she's certain that's impossible since it only affects "older Betazoids." Bashir explains to Sisko that, as a result of her condition, Mrs. Troi's been projecting her feelings of affection (in her case, for Odo) onto those who are nearby her when she suffers an attack, which handily explains the day's misplaced amorousness from people who'd been near Mrs. Troi that day, and felt latent, subconscious attraction to others on the station. Things should, Bashir says, "be back to normal in a day or two" – which is how long Sisko tells Bashir to avoid Major Kira.

With the Festival over, Mrs. Troi, Keiko, and Molly are leaving the station. Mrs. Troi tells Odo that if he ever gets tired of waiting on Kira, she'll be happy to have him in her life. As for the O'Briens, things have been set right - there's nothing latent about the Chief's love for his wife, and she'll be back to the station in a few months.

Log Entries Edit

  • Commander's Log, supplemental. I'm happy to report that Dr. Bashir's diagnosis has been proven correct. My son, and all the others affected by Mrs. Troi's condition, have made full recoveries.

Memorable Quotes Edit

"Odo... don't worry. I'm here to help you."
"What... kind of help do you mean?"
"Oh. Well, a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on... a lap to melt in?"

- Lwaxana Troi and Odo

"I never expected Kai Winn to make me one of her principal advisors."
"I think she asks your advice just so that she can do the exact opposite of what you recommend."

- Bareil Antos and Kira Nerys

"Jadzia, of course. I've never understood how the two of you could be such good friends. She's so... unpredictable. And you're so..."
"Well, I didn't mean it like that."

- Bareil and Kira

"I love you, Nerys. Want to go out with me?"

- Jake Sisko, to Kira

"Miles, I didn't say I was going to! I just meant I could use some."
"That's okay. If you need to sleep, go ahead! I'll understand."
"No, you won't. You'll be disappointed and you'll start brooding and stomping around like an Andorian bull."

- Keiko O'Brien and Miles O'Brien

"Morn, It's hard to believe a handsome, fun-loving guy like you could have so many problems! My advice to you is to burn this as quickly as possible and don't look back."

- Jadzia Dax

"Oh, dance with me, Odo!"
"I'm sorry. I don't dance."
"Nonsense! I saw you moving to the music!"
"That wasn't dancing. That was... swaying."
"Oh, then sway with me, Odo! Sway with me."

- Lwaxanna Troi and Odo

"Commander... you throw one hell of a party.'"

- Quark, after Dax knocks Bareil flat on his back

"Zanthi Fever?! Oh, that's ridiculous. Tha- that's impossible. That only affects older Betazoids."

- Troi, to Bashir

"My headache was just a headache. I never was affected by Mrs. Troi."
"Well, I guess that means you don't have a latent attraction to me after all."
"Nothing latent about it. Or weren't you paying attention last night?"

- Miles and Keiko

"You're saying Dax...?"
"Only on a subconscious level. Best not think about it too much, if you ask me."

- Commander Sisko and Bashir

Background InformationEdit

Story and scriptEdit


  • Director Avery Brooks has a somewhat unusual evaluation of this episode; "I guess it was over the top. But what is over the top, after all? If you're having a pint of Guinness and you see the foam pouring over the top, you think, 'That's great!' But in a television episode, there's this concern about action being too large. It all comes down to rhythm, and whether a scene has it or not." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • This is one of director of photography Jonathan West's favorite episodes due to the fact that director Avery Brooks allowed West to try some new cinematography techniques: there was more light on the set than usual, color was emphasized much more so than in a standard show, all the characters were bathed in a subtle pink light to enhance the mood, balloon foil was used in the background of many shots to get random sparkles, and purple (a color forbidden from the Star Trek color palette due to its association with "old science fiction artificiality") was allowed to be used. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • Costume designer Robert Blackman and composer Dennis McCarthy also love this episode because of the freedom they got to experiment and try things which they would never have been allowed to try normally. According to Blackman, "It was a nice opportunity we hardly ever get. Everybody gets nice dress-up stuff." Similarly, McCarthy enthuses, "It gave me the chance to compose a little bit of humorous music. On Star Trek shows, we're normally leery of doing comic music." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • This is Armin Shimerman's least favorite episode of all DS9 episodes. Shimerman, who teaches Shakespeare, has said of the show "I thought it was embarrassing". Alexander Siddig was also unimpressed with the episode, saying it is "memorable for not quite pulling off what it attempted to do". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • René Echevarria commented "There are some really nicely staged scenes. There are these beautifully orchestrated tracking shots through the Promenade - really impressive stuff. A change-of-pace episode. A lot of fans despised it, and a lot of people thought it was very funny and enjoyed it". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 88)
  • Majel Barrett commented "It was marvelous. It was great being with everyone again and it was also kind of nice doing a part that wasn't just the lead character all the way through. I loved the idea of working with all the other characters. It was the first time since the show started that all of the DS9 characters were together on the same show. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 88 - p. 89)


  • Frequent references are made to previous DS9 episodes, including Lwaxana Troi mentioning her carrying Odo's liquid state in her dress in "The Forsaken", Keiko O'Brien leaving on a botany expedition in "The House of Quark" and Odo's discovery of his people in "The Search, Part II".
  • This episode is important in the development of the O'Brien-Bashir friendship. The writers originally wrote Keiko out of the show so they could develop this friendship, and at the conclusion of this episode, as Keiko leaves the station, Bashir throws O'Brien a racket, symbolically "replacing" O'Brien's wife. Indeed, the notion of "competition" between Keiko and Bashir for O'Brien would become a comic thread upon Keiko's return in the fourth season.
  • The Bajoran Gratitude Festival symbol seen on a banner and small pennants on the Promenade bears a striking resemblance to the logos of Tantalus V and Elba II, minus the dove.
  • The attraction that Kira and Bashir displayed in this episode was even more evident off-set: Nana Visitor and Alexander Siddig, the actors who play Kira and Bashir, had a son and were married while DS9 was still in production. Kira's pregnancy in Seasons Four and Five was written into the show as a result.
  • This is the first episode to openly acknowledge that Odo has feelings for Kira.
  • It is revealed in this episode that despite the animosity between them, Kai Winn appointed Vedek Bareil to a senior advisory position after her election. This information would return three episodes later, in "Life Support".
  • Molly O'Brien's stuffed animal "Piggy" appears to be a stuffed targ.

Video and DVD releases Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Also Starring Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Co-Star Edit

Uncredited Co-Stars Edit

Stunt double Edit

Stand-ins Edit

References Edit

47; agrobiology; Andorian bull; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran betrothal bracelet; Bajoran Gratitude Festival; botany; brain; deputy; distant past; divorce; Earth; ecosystem; Ermat Zimm; Ferengi; Ferenginar; Human; humanoid; humor; I'danian spice pudding; infection; intoxication; latinum; Mardah; marriage; "Old Man"; peldor joi; Piggy; practical joke; Presider; Promenade; Prophets; Quark's; racquetball; Redab; regeneration; Regulus III; Regulus III Science Academy; renewal scroll; Replimat; ritual; Sebarr; Starfleet Academy; tradition; vital signs; Winn Adami; zoologist

External links Edit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Previous episode:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 3
Next episode:
"Past Tense, Part I"

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