Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999): Season 5, Episode 12 - The Begotten - full transcript

The discovery of an infant Changeling gives Odo a chance to correct what he sees as the "mistakes" in his upbringing. But as Starfleet's pressure for results grows, he has to turn to his "father," Dr. Mora

Good morning, Constable.

And what can I do for you...

It's my back.

Let's take a look.


It happened this morning
when I got out of bed.


I have Alvanian
spine mites, don't I?


I'll be in pain
for the rest of my life.


you have a pinched nerve.


It comes from bad posture.

Me? Ridiculous.

You've never seen
anyone sit so straight.


You carry yourself too rigidly.

This is how
I've always carried myself.

You haven't always
had a spinal column.

You're not a changeling anymore.

Now that you're a humanoid,
you have to learn to relax.

Well, that's what
you said last week.


And it helped.

That and the prune juice.

There. You see?


I know what I'm talking about.


Back trouble?

It's none of your concern,

Bad posture.

Will you get out of here?

What you need is
a good stretching regimen.

Worf's morning exercise class
should be just the thing.

Forget that.

I've got a holosuite program
that'll take care of him.

Three Orion slave girls
strap you...


Go ahead... suffer.

What do you want?

A Yridian I've been dealing with

sold me something
that might interest you.

I don't think so.

You don't even know what it is.

I know I don't want it.

In that case, can you tell me

how to get in touch
with the Founders?

I know they'll want it.

What are you talking about?

It's a changeling...

or it was anyway.

Since it's dead

I'll let you have it
for five slips of latinum.

It's not dead.

In that case, make it ten.

It's sick.

Eight and we'll call it even.

It's a pleasure
doing business with you.

If that is a changeling

maybe we should get it
into a security field.

That won't be necessary.

But if it gets
out of that container

it could be dangerous.

It's not going anywhere, Doctor.

It doesn't know how.

It's just a baby.

A baby changeling?

Mmm. Centuries ago,
my people sent

a hundred of us
out into the galaxy

so we could learn
about other races.

When I was found, I looked
very much like this.

You were this small?


Like a humanoid child,
it will grow.

Its mass will increase

as its shape-shifting
abilities develop.

As far as I can tell,
it was exposed

to a massive amount
of tetryon radiation.

I'm going to have
to purge the isotopes

with an electrophoretic

Get on it.

Are you sure it poses
no danger to us, Constable?

When I was first discovered,
I didn't know what I was.

I had no memory
of where I was from.

I didn't even know
I had the ability

to mimic other forms.

Why would the Founders send

such helpless creatures
out into space?

To find out if the species

they encountered
posed any threat.

What better way
to gauge another race

than to see how it treats
the weak and vulnerable.

I see your point.

How long before it is able
to take humanoid form?

Several months.

Well, there's still

a lot we don't know
about your people.

The changeling could
provide Starfleet

with invaluable information
about the Dominion.

Well, that being the case

I'd like to be allowed
to work with it...

to teach it how to shape-shift.

Oh, I can't think of
anyone better qualified.

You might just want
a little help.

Maybe you should
contact Dr. Mora.

Mora? Why?

Well, he managed to find a way
to communicate with you.

He obviously knows
what he's doing.

Maybe so, but...

I prefer to do this alone.

It's your call.

But it's, uh, always nice
to have someone around

to help change the diapers.

I'll keep that in mind.

The purge was almost
100 percent effective.

The concentration of isotopes
is nearly negligible.

Well, it certainly
looks healthier.

Well, I better go
and check on Kira.

Did you hear?

She's in labor.


But I guess
you have your own baby

to think about.

There is still a small
degree of instability

in its morphogenic matrix.

I'm hoping it'll level out.

I've set the computer to monitor
for biomimetic fluctuations

just in case.

Thank you, Doctor.

Good luck.

How do you feel?


I realize you can't understand
a word I'm saying

but that doesn't matter.

I know you're aware of me.

You see, I was once like you.

I spent months in a lab
being prodded and poked

by a scientist
who didn't recognize

I was a life-form.

He thought I was a specimen...

a mystery that needed
to be unraveled.

He never talked to me.

It didn't occur to him.

I didn't know what I was...

or what I was supposed to do.

I was lost.


But it's not going
to be that way with you.

No, I'm not going
to make the same mistakes

that were made with me.

Come on.

I want to show you something.

I'm sorry.

Something's wrong.

Kira said this would
only take about an hour.

For Bajoran women

giving birth is
all about being relaxed.

He's right, Miles.

That's why
it's so important for us

to keep the rhythm.

She's not going to relax
until Shakaar gets here.

I called him
almost six hours ago.

Only takes half that time
to make the trip from Bajor.

He's the First Minister
of Bajor...

he's a very busy man.

And so am I.

I have three surgeries
scheduled this afternoon.

I'll try and pop by later.


the baby is moving.



It won't be long now.

Sorry I'm late.

How are you?

All right.

I threw you off, didn't I?

It's all right.
I'll get back on track.

I'm glad you're here.

This is the Replimat.

Humanoids come here to eat.


we, rather, need
to ingest nutrients.

This is my home.

It's a space station.

People of many different
species live here together.

After you've learned
to take humanoid shape

I'll show you everything.

You can live here, too,
if you want.

It's a fascinating place.

Constable, why are you talking
to your beverage?

It's not a beverage.

It's a changeling.

Excuse me, Commander.

There we go, huh?

Now, doesn't that feel better?

Nothing like spreading
yourself out

after being cooped up
in a jar, huh?

You have no idea of the marvels
that are in store for you.

Do you know what you are?

You're a changeling...

a shape-shifter.

You can be anything...

a Tarkalean hawk
soaring through the sky

or a Filian python burrowing
deep beneath the ground.

It's all yours for the taking.

I was never
a very good shape-shifter.

If you could see
the face I'm stuck with

you'd know what I mean.

But I think I can be
a good teacher.

You'll be better
than I ever was.

And I promise I'll never treat
you the way I was treated.



Dr. Mora.

What are you doing here?

Well, I heard
about the changeling.

I came to help.


You know, i-i-it's
much larger than you were.

What is that...
about a quarter of a liter?

I suppose so.

You didn't measure it?

What difference does
it make how large it is?

It could make a great
deal of difference.

Size could be
an indication that it's

already exercised
its ability to shape-shift.

I thought you were on Earth
working with Starfleet

on new ways to detect
changeling infiltrators.

Mmm. Fortunately, I was visiting
my parents on Bajor

when I got the news
of your find.

How are you, Odo?

I've been worried.


I heard that your people

took away your ability
to shape-shift.

Thank you for your
concern, but I'm fine.

I knew you were going
to say that.

You never want
to give anything away

even though it's all
right there in your face.

Well, let's get started, hmm?

We have a lot of work
ahead of us.

Actually, Doctor...

I told Starfleet
I wouldn't be coming back

for a couple of weeks.

That may have been premature.

No, it'll take
at least that long

to get the changeling
to respond.

Don't do that!

Well, I see you
still have trouble

controlling your temper.

I was just trying
to determine its mass.

Dr. Mora, I understand
that you want to help

but I'm going to do this alone.


Odo, you don't know
the first thing

about teaching a changeling
how to shape-shift.

Well, then, I'll just
muddle through somehow.

You did.

It's too warm in here.

You know, a changeling's

morphogenic matrix
is most malleable

at 17 degrees Celsius.

I used to be able
to change shape

in almost any temperature.

That's true, but why not
make it easy for the changeling?

It took me weeks to figure out
the optimal temperature

the humidity,
even the light levels.

Now, don't you think that's
information you could use?

Well, I...

suppose I could look
at your reports.

Oh, well, feel free
to, of course...

except I was never one
to keep extensive records.

I always wanted to move
on to the next test.

Oh, believe me,
I remember your tests

very well.


So that's what this is about.

You still resent
the things I did to you

in order to induce you
to shape-shift.

Well, I know they weren't
pleasant for you

but really, Odo, I would hope

that you would get
past that by now.

I am disappointed.

I have my own ideas

about how to teach
the changeling.

I imagine they're less invasive.



You don't think
that I can do it, do you?

I didn't say that.

As a matter of fact

I'd be fascinated to see
what you have in mind.

Well, in that case, why don't
you stay... and observe?

If you insist.

What's wrong?

I... I don't know.

It was like a cramp
or something.

You shouldn't
be feeling any pain.

Well... it appears
you're not going

to be having the baby today.


You were in labor too long.

I wonder why.

For whatever reason

you weren't able to fully relax.

Your system had to stop
producing endorphins

before they accumulated
to toxic levels.

When will she have the baby?

It could be a few more days...

or a few more weeks.


Oh, if I don't have
this baby soon,

I'm going to go out of my mind.

Well, if you want, you can go
see Dr. Bashir and have him...

No, no, I...

I want to have this baby
the traditional Bajoran way.

We're a hundred percent
behind you, Nerys.

Right, Miles?


Can you stay?

I'll have to rearrange
my schedule

but I think so.

Nerys, return to your quarters
and rest.

I'll come by and see you later.


Be punctual next time
or don't come at all.

And you?


This... is a sphere.

It's one of the most basic forms
in nature.

See how it rolls?

Interesting, isn't it?

You're in my light.


this won't hurt a bit.

Here we are.

Here we go.

Yeah. Yeah.



this is also a sphere.


Feel... its symmetry

the softness of its shape?

The sameness, huh?


you try.


There we are.

I understand

that you prefer
to remain shapeless.

Believe me, I remember
how relaxing it could be.

But you have to learn
to take other forms.

That's what changelings do.

It can be immensely rewarding.

I remember the first time
Dr. Mora here coerced me

into taking the shape
of a cube

with one of his electrostatic

Once I did it, and he turned
the infernal thing off

I was perfectly content
to stay a cube for hours.

It was fascinating...
all those right angles.

Of course, he had other plans.

Before I knew it

he had me spinning
around in a centrifuge.


if you're not interested
in a sphere right now

we can always try...

a cube.

What do you think?

All right. Now...

this is a pyramid.

It's one of the most
mysterious shapes in nature.

What are you doing?

I'm measuring its volume.

It's been here a week,
and it's only grown 17 percent.

After three days in my lab,
you were twice that size.

Well, maybe I was
anxious to grow up

so I could get out of there.

My point is,
you've made no progress.

By this time,
I'd already gotten you

to mimic half a dozen
simple forms.

I am trying to gain
its confidence

not teach it tricks.

It's a shame
you're not a changeling anymore.

You could link with it

and teach it everything
it needs to know.

You make it sound
like it's my fault.

It might very well be.

Let's face it, Odo.

Your shape-shifting ability
was somewhat limited.

Maybe that's why your people
were able to force you

to take a humanoid form.

That is pure speculation.

Let's run a few tests
and find out.

Oh! You are just dying to get me

into one of your contraptions,
aren't you?

I'm trying to help.

I am not about to submit myself

to another round
of your experiments.

Everything I did to you
was for your own good.


True, some of the tests
that I subjected you to

proved inconclusive.

The vacuum chamber
springs to mind.

The cytoplasmic separator...

Come to think of it,
the protein decompiler as well.

How could I know
until I tried?

By the Prophets, Odo

I wasn't even sure
you were a life-form.

I wasn't sure about you either.

Once I realized
you were sentient

oh, the Cardassians
wanted to know

everything about you.

I was under enormous pressure

to come up with results,
and I did.

My technique worked.

The fact that you are standing
here, whining about it

proves it.

You enjoyed watching me suffer.

You really believe that?

How pathetic.

If it wasn't for me

you'd still be sitting
on a shelf somewhere

in a beaker labeled
"unknown sample."

If it wasn't for me,
you'd be a nobody.

Starfleet wouldn't hire you
to judge a science fair.

I'm getting a little tired
of sitting around watching you

but I can't seem
to pull myself away.

I can't wait to see what
next preposterous thing

you're going to try.

Who knows?
Maybe in a couple of months

it may get so tired
of your incessant chatter

that it might
actually do something.

Oh, you'd just love
to get your hands on it

wouldn't you?

You could sell tickets
on the Promenade.

"Dr. Mora's Chamber of Horrors...
open for business.

Right this way!"


How's it going, gentlemen?

Making progress, sir.

I'm glad to hear it.

I was just talking
with Starfleet Command.

They want you
to establish communication

with the changeling as soon
as possible.

At the rate we're going,
that is still a long way off.

Better not be too long.

Starfleet is going to want

to take over the project.


As long as you're
making progress

there's nothing to worry about.

Oh, by the way...

Starfleet wants you to file
daily reports for their review.

Understood, sir.

Carry on.

Now you understand
the kind of pressure

I was going through.

I brought my old equipment
from Bajor.

Maybe it's time
we started unpacking.

Anytime you're ready.

Don't worry.

You're going to get
through this all right.

Oh, no... no, no.

I'm just an observer here.

Odo, the changeling
won't respond

to anything less
than six millivolts.

There must be some other way.

Spare the rod, spoil the child.

Odo, without discomfort

the changeling will be
perfectly comfortable

to remain
in its gelatinous state.

It'll just lie there...

never realizing it has the
ability to mimic other forms...

never living up
to its potential.

Odo, six millivolts
is not going to hurt it.

Once it realizes there's
no charge in the center

the procedure will be finished.

Checking to see
if I'm enjoying myself?

That's it.

You've found it.

I smiled the first time
you did that.

Little did I realize you would
end up hating me for it.

Well, shall we move on?

Why not?


How you feeling?

I'm all right.

My feet are a little swollen.

A little?

They've never been this bad.

Well, there's a zero-grav
tumbling performance

on the Promenade tonight.

Do you want to go?

Well, maybe.

You can't go standing around
for an hour.

Chief, would you mind
leaving us alone for a minute?

I'm almost done.

Well, I'll take over.

I think it's time.

You got to do it harder.

I know what I'm doing.

- It's time.
- And you got to work

up the legs.

It's time!

Now, if I were you,
I'd hold this shape.

Otherwise, you'll be
in for a little shock.


Wait a minute.

I had to try that three times
before you caught on.

Actually, the first two times

I didn't hold my shape
on purpose.

You're not serious.

I suppose I didn't want
to give you the satisfaction.

Well, someday,
if you're very lucky...

this changeling...

will give you
the satisfaction of saying

"Thank you very much.

You did so much for me."

Then again...

it may leave...

the way you did.

It will announce

that it's striking out
on its own

and you will never...

hear from it again.

I'm going to get something
to eat.


- I mean, the eyes...
- When he rose up...

...the eyes are incredible.
...for a minute there

I thought he was going
to say something.

Oh, put that down.
We're celebrating.

Oh, uh, it's just that
I've fallen behind

in my security reports
over these last few days.

Well, you can catch up later.

Aren't you excited
by what happened?

Of course, I'm excited.

You know, tomorrow, we
can expose the changeling

to some simple life-forms

so it can mimic them...
some algae, some fungus.

In a few more days,
maybe even an invertebrate.

I can't wait until I can
actually communicate with it.

There's so much
I want it to see

so much I want to share.

Well, you may get that chance
sooner than you think.

The changeling is developing
far faster than you did.

L-l-I don't mean that
as a criticism.

If anything, it's a compliment.

I mean, I was wrong.

Your approach to communicating
to the changeling was sound.

I mean, don't you see?

It's reaching out to you.

It's curious about you.

The first time
you ever did anything

like that was when you
formed a tentacle

to slap my hand
away from the control panel.

I remember.

I wanted you to stop zapping me.

You formed a connection
with this changeling.

That is something I was
never able to do with you.

That's not true.

I respected you.

You feared me.

You didn't know what I was.

You were experimenting

on what looked like
a lump of organic residue.

That's what I'd still be
if it weren't for you.

You don't know
how much it means to me

to hear you say that.

I'm sorry.

I know this kind of talk
makes you uncomfortable.

But I suppose it's all my fault.

If I hadn't poked
and prodded you so much

you may have grown up with
a less forbidding disposition.

Well, something tells me

no matter what we do
to that changeling

it's going to have a more
pleasant disposition than mine.

It's just the way I am.


I'll leave you to your work.

Dr. Mora?

Two glasses of champagne,

We're celebrating.

The baby has turned.

It's time.

Awake, child.

We await you with love.

And welcome you into the world.

Why don't you stay there?

I can't see from here.


It's my baby.


I think it would make
Nerys uncomfortable.

What are you talking about?

She's been living in my home
for the last five months.

Be quiet.

What's that supposed to mean?

Look, I missed Molly's birth.

I am not going to miss this one.

I'm trying to have a baby.

I am sick

of this ridiculous
little competition

between the two of you.

Now, if one of you
says one more word

you're going to have to leave.

- Fine, just tell him to...
- Just tell him to...

All right, that's it.
Out, both of you.

- Kira...
- Nerys...


You're joking.

Does it look like she's joking?


Nice going.

Oh, do me a favor.

Next time you have a baby

leave my girlfriend
out of it, huh?

Comes to...

three hundred and twenty-four.

I'm going to have to start
watering the drinks again.



What are you doing back there?

What does it look
like I'm doing?

We're closed.

Have a seat.

You're in a good mood.

Yes, I am.

Which means you're probably
about to arrest me

on some trumped-up charge.

Not at all.

I am buying you a drink.


Dr. Mora has gone to sleep,
and I...

still feel like celebrating.

What are you up to?

I am happy, Quark.

Can't you just accept that?


It doesn't fit.

If you're happy

there's something
very wrong in the world.

The center cannot hold.

There we go.

I've got it.

You're getting back at me

for selling you
that sick changeling.

Actually, I should thank you.

If you want the money back,
just say so.

It changed my life.

Here's to you, Quark.

All right, all right,
I confess.

I don't know what I did,
but I did it.

Just stop.
I can't take it anymore.

Do you ever think
about having children?


See, I never did.

It just seemed like
too much trouble

but then fate...

dropped one into my lap...

and I couldn't be happier.



Over the past few months,
I came to accept the fact

that I'd never have any contact
with my people again.

They rejected me.

They turned me
into a humanoid and...

part of me was lost forever.

But that...

little ball of goo
back in the lab

changed everything.

I feel as if I'm...

experiencing what it is...

to be a changeling again.

And somehow...

being a solid
doesn't seem so bad anymore.

Fill me up.

Computer to Security Chief Odo,
please acknowledge.

Go ahead.

The life-form being monitored
is displaying

biomimetic fluctuations
beyond stated parameters.

Have Dr. Mora meet me
in the Science Lab.


What's happened?

Its morphogenic matrix
is destabilizing.

It's dying.

Its life signs are fading.

The radiation must have
damaged its cytoplasm

in a way we weren't
able to detect.

There must be something
you can do.

You might try
an enzymatic induction.

That might stabilize
the biomimetic fluctuations.

It's worth a shot.

It has to work.
It has to...

Odo, please, wait outside.

We'll do everything we can.

I feel...

so good.

You're doing great, Nerys.

Here he comes.


would you do me a favor?

Kira said you can
both come back in

if you promise to behave.

Oh, after you.

Oh, no. After you.


Will you two get in here?

You're going to miss everything.

That's it, Nerys.


Let it come.

That's right.


Look at him, Miles.

He's beautiful.

There's nothing we could do.

I'm sorry, Odo.

It won't be very long now.


don't die.

There's so much
I want to show you.

I was going to teach you
how to be a Tarkalean hawk


What happened?
Where did it go?

It somehow integrated itself
into Odo's body.

Odo, what's wrong?

It can't be!


This, uh, might be a good time

to take some leave
and come down to Bajor.

Mmm... maybe in a few weeks.

Right now, I feel
like staying here.

So you can be close
to the baby.

He's a good-Iooking boy.

He is, isn't he?

Shuttle 4709 for Bajor
now departing.

You'd better go.

I have a few minutes left.

How does it feel
to be yourself again?

I just... wish it hadn't
happened the way it did.

I am sorry.

If it helps...

think of it as a gift...

something the changeling
wanted you to have.

I think...

I finally understand
how much I meant to you...

and what you must have
gone through when I left.

You had to find
your own way in the world.

I should have included
you in my life.

You still can.

Take care of yourself, Odo.

Uh, I thought the O'Briens
were having a party.

Shakaar and I stopped by.

I didn't feel much
like celebrating.


I got into this
because the O'Briens

needed my help.

I never wanted a baby.

But now?

I just wish I could
hold him in my arms...

and never let him go.

I think I know
how you feel, Nerys.

Want to take a walk?