|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5|
|Directed by||Jesús Salvador Treviño|
|Written by||René Echevarria|
|Featured music||Jay Chattaway|
|Original air date||January 27, 1997|
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures on the Starfleet-managed space station Deep Space Nine near the planet Bajor; later seasons depict a conflict with a hostile alien empire known as the Dominion, ruled by the shapeshifting Changelings. In this episode, Deep Space Nine's security chief Odo, a former Changeling who has been stripped of his shapeshifting abilities by the Dominion, attempts to raise an infant Changeling while contending with the scientist who mistreated him when he was an infant shapeshifter himself; meanwhile Major Kira Nerys gives birth to Keiko and Miles O'Brien's baby.
Deep Space Nine's bartender Quark has come into possession of an infant Changeling and sells it to Odo. Odo begins trying to teach his "child" to shapeshift; he is displeased when Dr. Mora, the Bajoran scientist who "raised" Odo, arrives to help.
Dr. Mora and Odo immediately clash over how to best raise the Changeling. Odo, still angry at the invasive methods Dr. Mora employed with him, hopes to reach the infant through encouragement. Mora insists on probing and measuring the creature, to Odo's disgust. Unfortunately, Odo makes little progress using his own methods. Under pressure from Starfleet, Odo has no choice but to resort to Mora's methods.
Using Dr. Mora's equipment, Odo employs electric shocks to prod the changeling into holding several basic forms. Both are both amazed when the creature imitates the shape of Odo's face. The moment brings Odo and Mora together—especially when Mora admits to Odo that his caring seems to have helped him form a connection with the baby. Mora's support helps Odo to finally forgive Mora for treating him more as a specimen than as a person. He invites Dr. Mora to celebrate their success with a glass of champagne. But the happy mood is shattered when Odo receives word that the little creature is dying.
Dr. Bashir is unable to save the "child". Odo holds the dying creature in his hands, and, as it dies, the infant Changeling merges into Odo and restores his shapeshifting abilities.
Meanwhile, Major Kira goes into labor, and gives birth as a surrogate mother to Keiko and Miles O'Brien's baby. At the end of the episode, Kira tells Odo about her feelings of loss, after turning over the baby to his parents. Odo tells her he knows how she feels, and the two go for a walk together.
This episode was directed by Jesús Salvador Treviño and written by René Echevarria.
Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode a positive review "This shouldn’t work. But it does."Keith DeCandido of Tor.com gave it 6 out of 10, and felt it was a lost opportunity not to use the character Worf, as he had helped Keiko with her delivery of Molly; this event was previously mentioned on the show in "Accession" (DS9 S4E17).
In 2017, in the book To Boldly Go: Essays on Gender and Identity in the Star Trek Universe they note that in this episode, Keiko and Miles's son Yoshi is born. Keiko and Miles are noted as the only successful long-term relationship in the entire Star Trek universe, with their marriage being featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation (starting in "Data's Day", S4E11) and across Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Their first child, Yoshi's older sister Molly was born in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Disaster".
In 2015, Geek.com recommended this episode as "essential watching" for their abbreviated Star Trek: Deep Space Nine binge-watching guide. In 2018, SyFy recommend this episode for its abbreviated watch guide for the Bajoran character Kira Nerys. They note this episode for having connections and "beautiful moments." In 2019, Tor.com also noted this as an "essential" for the character of Odo, but also noting the O'Brien's birth story with Kira and noting the common theme of parenting. In particular they note how they explore Odo's feelings about parenting, compared to issues he had during his upbringing.
- DeCandido, Keith R. A. (2014-06-11). "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "The Begotten"". Tor.com. Retrieved 2021-06-25.
- Zack Handlen (2013). "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "The Darkness And The Light"/"The Begotten"". The A.V. Club.
- Farghaly, Nadine; Bacon, Simon (2017-05-31). To Boldly Go: Essays on Gender and Identity in the Star Trek Universe. McFarland. ISBN 9781476668536.
- Ryan Whitwam (2015-01-19). "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine condensed: How to watch the most story-driven Trek". Geek.com. Archived from the original on 2016-11-20.
- Krishna, Swapna (2018-01-16). "A binge-watching guide to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Kira Nerys". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
- Britt, Ryan (2019-12-09). "Remembering René Auberjonois: 8 Essential Odo Episodes of Deep Space Nine". Tor.com. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
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