It's Only a Paper Moon

After losing his leg in battle, a somber Nog returns to the space station to recuperate. The crew try their best to cheer him up, but the young ensign is struggling, both emotionally and physically, to cope with his disability, even though his new biosynthetic leg works perfectly. After pushing away those who try the most diligently to help, Nog decides to take his medical leave in the holosuite world of 1962 Las Vegas lounge singer Vic Fontaine.

Although Rom is skeptical of his son's decision, Ezri supports Nog's desire to escape for a period. Ezri briefs the holographic Vic on Nog's condition, and explains that although Nog seems to depend on a cane, the problem is purely psychological. That evening, Nog is upset to find Jake and his date Kesha in Vic's lounge. Nog's sensitivity about his handicap erupts in an angry outburst, and he punches Jake. In response, Vic throws Nog out of his club.

A chastened Nog apologizes to Vic and offers to straighten out the singer's tangled financial affairs. Later, Ezri comes looking for Nog to discuss the incident, and to persuade him to leave the illusory world of the holosuite. Nog refuses, and threatens to resign his commission if Ezri tries to force him out. What's more, Nog announces his plan to expand Vic's "business" by building a new casino.

While observing Nog from a discreet distance, Ezri notices that he's no longer limping, nor does he need to use a cane. He's even upbeat when Rom and Leeta visit him at the club. Ezri congratulates Vic on Nog's progress, but intimates that it's time for Nog to come back to reality. Vic picks up Ezri's cue and tells Nog to leave. When he protests, Vic abruptly ends the program.

At first, Nog tries to reactivate the holosuite, but O'Brien informs him that Vic controls the program. Vic reappears, and despite Nog's reluctance to leave the safety of Vic's virtual world, the singer convinces Nog that he must. Later, Nog visits Vic to thank him for his help, and to surprise Fontaine with the news that his uncle Quark has agreed to keep Vic and his holosuite club running around the clock — in essence, giving the lounge singer a "real" life.