Just to remind you of the episode: it's episode 6 in the 7th Season, and here's the synopsis: Odo is skeptical when he receives a message from Gul Russol, who used to be one of his most reliable informants. Russol was executed when Cardassia joined the Dominion, or so Odo thought. At the rendezvous point on a barren moon, Odo instead finds Weyoun, who announces that he wants to defect to the Federation.
Back on Deep Space 9, Miles O'Brien is in dire straits. Captain Sisko has ordered him to get the USS Defiant's gravity net up and running in three days, even though the station already needs far too many repairs... and the needed graviton stabilizer won't be available for three weeks. Nog offers the chief his help, but O'Brien thinks that Nog will only get him in deeper trouble. (Synopsisfrom Memory Alpha)
Probably, this episode was one of the best in DS9, It has one of the greatest titles since that title applies to both the "A" and 'B" stories of the episode. It is also my personal favourite, despite the fact I'm going to criticize is in the lines to come...
Truth is that "Faith..." has more than one fault, and leaves much to be desired, else it would've been one of the greatest Trek stories ever...
I'll discuss this in 3 sections. The first will discuss the faith/treachery theme, the second some other points that don't make sense in the whole episode, and the 3rd, the "b" story-or the "river"
The "defecting" Weyoun 6 was defective, that's what the episode says, right? but what about Weyoun 7? Isn't it really stepping over the line for a Vorta to order the death of a Founder? And isn't it even more weird with Damar (an ally Weyoun looked upon with contempt and never really trusted- He just killed "him" for crying out loud!) standing there encouraging this course of action, and even manuevering the Vorta into it? I mean he orders the Jem'Hadar to shoot down the shuttle, and lies to the Founder when she comes in without flinching...That was totally out of character..
Many red lights flash up here:
1-Even changlings were severly punished for even mistakenly harming or killing other changelings (see the example in the Link's judgement of Odo when he killed a changling in self defense) What in the world would tempt a Vorta to do it? To safeguard the secrets his predecessor has by killing him and a god? Does winning the war or punishing his defective self justify killing a god? (whether this particular god thought of himself as god or not) this raises the question of what's more important: His faith to his gods, or winning the the war? Which is more powerfull, his faith or his ambition? The answer to this question suggests that 6 was the faithfull, and 7 the treacherous. 7 Knew the changelings were dying, and perhaps he had ambitions of his own once that was over, while this same fact was perhaps one of the reasons 6 defected; he was afraid his gods were dying and he'd be left all alone to face the treachery of Cardassians who just recently killed his predecessor, so he risks everything and seeks the only option left: a god who was not infected...
2-Another "defective" trait in Weyoun 7 was the fact that he finds it easy to lie to his gods. If he really thought changelings were gods, he'd be scared to death telling a lie of such magnitude when the female changling catches him and Damar in the act. But here, he was confident he'd get away with it, and she wouldn't know. In short, he's demonstrating to Damar that his gods can be manipulated and lied to, and that the Dominion chain of command is just a scam. Do you do this around an "ally" you don't trust? come on, no one's that stupid!
3-This point leads to another episode trend that doesn't set right: This Damar is unjustificably ascending in the Weyoun/Damar relationship into the dominant position. It would have seemed a well-founded turn of events if the arc made use of, and continued to build upon it, but it was only a one-timer, which made it odd. You see, Damar killed 5 so he'd perhaps get a chance at manipulating a younger, more malleable Weyoun 6. Perhaps he had a hand in introducing what made Weyoun 6 "defective". It turns out Weyoun 6 is too "malleable" that he grew a conscience, and now Damar has to eliminate all traces of his involvement. This could've given sense to all the meaningless issue of killing someone you know will be replaced sooner than you can blink, and would've made Damar's new manipulative position understandable...But the episode just leaves this an answered, and Damar returns to his old lousy self in the next ones.
Now with the faith/treachery issue discussed, there are other points that just don't register in this episode:
1- How can a lousy shuttle destroy a Jem'Hadar fighter? Ok Ok, it's Weyoun who gave that secret..but through all these battles, wasn't there a bright starfleet engineer who discovered this weakness? It's a BIG design fault, mind you--and a very convenient one for the storyline.
2- Can Odo really freeze to death? i mean, he doesn't have a humanoid's metabolism; he doesn't eat or excrecate; He doesn't need Oxygen in the same way solids do..Why is he there clutching himself and talking about freezing to death?
3- Genetically manipulating other creatures as kind payment for sheltering one changling...THIS seen as "an act of kindness"? Come on, Odo, this is sick!
4- What's the Female changling really doing there? Doesn't she know there's a search for one defective-defecting clone who happens to be her cheif of operations? I know she leaves such 'trivial matters' to to Vorta, but this thing is serious issue to be set aside.
5- Kira's last phrase in that episode sucks. It sounded like 'Ok, your people are dying, you have my sympathies, but they're the bad guys; they had it coming".
1- The contrast between the "A' and "B" stories was great, but it downplayed the tragic element in the "A" which weakened it somehow. Kira's insensitive remark in the end made it worse.