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His Way

Production no.: 544
Written by: Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by: Allan Kroeker
Stardate: not given 
First satellite airdate: April 18, 1998
Debi A. Monahan .....
Cyndi Pass ...............
James Darren ...........
Vic Fontaine

It's Las Vegas, 1962 -- at least, in the holosuite to which Bashir has invited his fellow officers, to partake of the latest program sent to him by his friend Felix. The program features Vic Fontaine, a swinging lounge singer who finishes "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You" to much applause. "Trust me, he's no ordinary hologram," Bashir promises the others. And he's right. Vic is not only heuristic and fully interactive, but he knows what he is (he calls himself a "lightbulb"). "If you're gonna work Vegas in the sixties, you better know the score," he explains. "Otherwise, you're gonna look like a Clyde."

The DS9 officers don't know what to make of Vic's lingo, but they can't help but be impressed when Vic guesses just by looking at Dax and Worf that they're married; he also easily divines that O'Brien misses his wife. He turns to Odo and Kira. "And as for you two -- " They instantly look uncomfortable, and Vic thinks better of whatever he was going to say. "Never mind. Forget I brought it up." As the group leaves, Vic advises them to dress more appropriately for the era next time they're here. "You guys look like a trapeze act."

Down in Quark's, Bashir swears he didn't tell Vic anything about them, and invites everyone back tomorrow night. Kira opts out: she's going to Bajor, and Dax spills the beans that she'll be seeing Shakaar. Odo hides the pain this causes him.

At the bar, Bashir and O'Brien talk about Vic; Bashir maintains that Vic is responsible for the fact that he's dating Ensign Walker, thanks to some pointers the hologram gave him. O'Brien ribs him a little about asking advice from a "lightbulb". Odo listens to the entire conversation.

Quark chides Odo later, for never having "opened negotiations" with Kira even though it's been a year since she broke up with Shakaar. "Odo, the woman waited a year for you to make an offer, any kind of offer. Face it, you've had plenty of opportunities, and you've let them all slip away." He counsels Odo to just forget about her. "You're not exactly the most lovable person in the galaxy. You're not even the most lovable person in this sector. Or on this station. Or even in this room. You're cold, rigid, remote." On that note, Odo is ready to let him leave, but then stops him. "Odo, make up your mind," Quark says. Odo has. He's got a favor to ask Quark. "It's about Dr. Bashir's new holosuite program."

Late at night, Bashir comes into Quark's looking for a way to relax. He was thinking of his new holoprogram, but Quark claims all the suites are in use. Disappointed, Bashir goes in search of O'Brien.

Meanwhile, Odo is conversing with Vic, alone in the lounge, and tries to get the hologram to clarify what he was going to say about him and Kira. Vic says he didn't want to give away any secrets; Odo asks what secrets. "C'mon, do I really have to connect the dots? You're crazy about the broad, but you're afraid to do anything about it. And she -- well, you know...It's the oldest story in the book. She thinks of you as a friend...But women have been known to change their minds. You just have to give them a reason." "You make it sound so easy," Odo observes wryly; Vic tells him, "That's because it's not that hard. The girl already likes you. That means you're halfway home."

Odo's not so sure about that. He believes that Kira prefers Shakaar. But Vic counters, "It's not the other guy you have to worry about, it's you...For starters, you've got to lose this whole Nanook of the North thing." "I don't understand," Odo says. "You've got about as much personality as an icicle," Vic informs him, not unkindly. "Cool is one thing, but you're frozen solid." Odo protests that he does have emotions. "I just don't always show them." "And therein lies the problem," Vic says. He proposes "thawing" Odo out. "Turn up the heat, get those emotions you claim to have bubbling to the surface. It's time to have some fun."

The first thing, he decides, is a change of clothing. Easily done; Odo morphs his uniform into a tuxedo and follows him to the stage as Vic explains that he needs a new piano player. Suddenly the lounge is filled with people, and Vic is sitting him down behind the piano. "Hit it, Nanook." Odo is bewildered; he doesn't play piano. For answer, the piano starts playing itself, and Vic admonishes him to "sell it". The song begins: "Come Fly With Me". Odo does his best to sham along. Slowly, his confidence actually begins to grow in response to the friendly reaction of the crowd and the band. By the end of the song, Odo has loosened up and is truly enjoying himself, which was Vic's intention. "Cool!" Odo exclaims as he basks in the applause.

In Vic's hotel suite later, Odo enjoys the glow of his triumphant debut, until the thought of his friends seeing him like that causes him to tense up again. "Look at you, I mean, you're standing there like a statue," Vic scolds. "The only things you're gonna attract are pigeons." He gets Odo to just relax and breathe deeply for a few moments. Then the doorbell rings. It's two sexily-dressed young ladies, Ginger and Melissa, who have been invited by Vic. They recognize Odo from the show; Melissa in particular seems rather taken with him, and pronounces his hands "artistic" when a bemused Odo shows them to her at her request. She proceeds to flirt with him quite heavily, and Odo is at a loss. But the women find him utterly charming.

When it becomes clear that Vic means for them to all go out together, Odo holds back. He's sure Melissa is a nice girl, he tells Vic, but she's not Kira. "Tell me something, how do you get to Carnegie Hall?" Vic asks. Odo has no idea. "Practice! Practice! Practice! Get it?" "No." "Think of this evening as a trial run. Trust me, you're gonna do great."

The next day, Odo brings Sisko a report, and as he waits for the captain to read it, he unconsciously begins humming, then quietly singing "They Can't Take That Away From Me". Sisko looks up in astonishment, but, not wanting to break the mood, starts snapping his fingers to the beat. Odo stops, and is honestly surprised when the captain informs him he was singing just now. When there's another moment of silence, however, he starts again, and Sisko joins in.

Dax shares a turbolift with Bashir, who tells her that Kira is staying on Bajor for two more days. "She and Shakaar must be having a good time," Dax smiles; Bashir agrees, but then Dax's face falls. "Poor Odo." "Odo? What's he got to do with it?" asks Bashir. "Not a thing," Dax says. "That's the problem."

In the holosuite, Odo finishes another song with Vic, who notices his pensive expression. He's still wondering what to do about Kira and Shakaar. The singer reminds him that he hasn't steered Odo wrong yet. "Trust your Uncle Vic." Vic then introduces the audience to a chanteuse named Lola Chrystal, who begins singing a sultry rendition of "Fever". Odo sits up and takes notice -- Lola looks exactly like Kira. And as she sings, her attention eventually centers squarely on him. She ends up draped over the piano in wanton abandon. Odo is mesmerized. "Don't look now, but I think she likes you," Vic tells him.

The three of them share a toast in Vic's suite, "to whatever makes you happy"; then Vic retires for the night. Odo experimentally flirts back at Lola, who is very amenable. She leans in for a kiss, and he is about to try it, but then pulls back. He just can't. Vic, called back into the room, is puzzled. "I thought you two were getting along just fine." "Of course we are," Odo tells him. "You programmed her to find me irresistible. I could read her a criminal activities report, and she'd think it was poetry." The problem is that while Lola looks like Kira, she's nothing like her in personality. "I appreciate what you've done for me," Odo says. "But I'm afraid it's all been in vain. I may be Romeo in the holosuite, but I know the first time I see the real Kira, I'll turn back into Nanook of the North." He turns to leave. "I'm sorry, but I'm tired of discussing my feelings with a hologram."

A couple of days later, Kira is back on the station, and calls to Odo on the Promenade, asking brightly if anything interesting happened while she was gone. "Interesting? No, no, nothing at all. As a matter of fact, it's been rather dull," Odo exclaims awkwardly, and escapes. Not having a clue what that was about, Kira goes into a holosuite.

There, as she's meditating, she is startled when Vic appears and speaks to her. He's between sets, and transferred his matrix to this suite temporarily. The subject of his visit, he tells her, is Odo. "Don't be coy. We both know he's nuts about you." Kira is skeptical on hearing of Odo hanging out in a holosuite. "That's just not the Odo I know." "Which tells you what?" Vic asks. "You don't know him as well as you think you do. He's not the same stick-in-the-mud anymore. That cat can swing...But let me tell you, the only chick he wants to swing with is you." "I take it that's a good thing," guesses Kira, not sure of the hologram's hip talk. Vic smiles. "It's love, baby. Nothing better than that."

Kira tries to get back to her meditation, telling him to leave. Vic looks at her. "Talk about your cranky aliens. You two really are made for each other." He comes to the point, which is to ask her to the holosuite tonight, to have dinner with Odo. Kira wonders why Odo doesn't ask her himself. "Because I'm asking you for him," Vic tells her logically. "And neither one of us will take no for an answer." Amazingly, Kira finds herself agreeing. "Well, then I'd better say yes." "Crazy," Vic grins.

Odo, in his office, is startled to hear himself being addressed by Vic over the com line, asking him to come to the holosuite tonight. He's done a complete overhaul on Lola. "I'm telling you, Odo, you're going to think she's the real thing. She walks like Kira, she talks like Kira." Odo is skeptical, but intrigued.

That evening, Odo and Kira (in tux and evening dress, respectively) find themselves gazing at each other across the holo-lounge. Vic suavely guides them to a table, where he'll be serving them an elegant French repast. Kira comments on how silly it feels to be in a holosuite, causing Odo to look approvingly at Vic: this is more like the real thing.

Since he thinks this Kira is a hologram, Odo is more relaxed and open with her than he might otherwise be, and Kira is somewhat taken aback by this new Odo. She admits to being a bit nervous; after all, it's their first date. "There's nothing wrong with being a little nervous," Odo tells her. "As long it doesn't get in the way...Of enjoying yourself." "I thought the only thing you enjoy is your work," Kira observes. To her puzzlement, he seems surprised that she knows that, and she can't fathom why he would say, "Well done, Vic," under his breath. Odo gets back to the conversation. "I do enjoy my work. But I'm afraid I've used it as an excuse to avoid the rest of my life," he confesses. "I know the feeling," she agrees.

At that moment, Vic begins softly singing "I've Got You Under My Skin." The air seems charged as Odo and Kira look deeply at each other. "What do we do now?" Kira asks. Odo sees only one thing to do: dance. She complies, and is amazed by his confidence and skill as they glide across the floor together. There comes a point when the music pauses; Kira gazes into his eyes as if she's seeing him for the first time. "I had no idea you could dance." "It's amazing what you can learn in a holosuite."

Then Kira comments that she can't believe they're doing this in a holosuite, and suggests a restaurant elsewhere on the station. But Odo demurs, telling her as delicately as possible that it would be difficult for her to leave the holosuite. "You make it sound like I'm a hologram," she says, and is startled to learn that that is exactly what Odo thinks she is.

Odo appeals to Vic to tell her the truth. "There's nothing to tell," Vic admits. "I'm good, pally, but I'm not that good. You've been dancing with the real McCoy." Odo and Kira are both thunderstruck. "Hey, I brought you two lovebirds together," Vic protests. "That was the whole idea, wasn't it?" Unable to find the words to explain all this to Kira, Odo flees the holosuite in mortification. Kira looks accusingly at Vic, who holds up his hands. "Don't say it. Computer, end program."

The next morning, Vic calls Odo in his office, but Odo doesn't want to hear anything the hologram has to say. "It was for your own good," Vic insists. "It was time for you to stop playing around with holograms and start playing around with the real thing." Besides, he points out, would Odo have come if he'd known it was really Kira? "If you think about it, there's not much to be mad about. I saw the way she looked at you while the two of you were dancing. The lady digs you big time." But Odo is too angry and humiliated to listen. He cuts off the transmission.

On the Promenade, Dax notices Kira's preoccupied mood. "Have you ever had a moment of pure clarity?" Kira asks at last. "A moment where the truth seems to just leap up and grab you by the throat?" Dax guesses wrongly that this has something to do with Shakaar; when pressed, she admits to having had only one or two such moments in all her seven lifetimes. "Nerys, total clarity is a very rare thing...And when it comes to you, it's important that you act on it. Because believe me, confusion and doubt will take over before you know it." At that moment, Kira sees Odo exiting his office. "You're absolutely right," she tells Dax. "Makes perfect sense." Moments of clarity might be rare, but this is Kira's second one in two days.

Kira catches up to Odo, who says he would prefer to forget all about last night. But she insists that they need to talk about what happened. Over dinner. Anywhere but in a holosuite. Odo asks acidly if Shakaar would approve, but Kira informs him that she and Shakaar are just friends. Her trip was only to update the First Minister on the war. "Now are we going to have dinner together or not?"

Their voices begin to rise, and so does the chemistry between them. Odo wonders what's supposed to happen afterwards; Kira suggests maybe they could go dancing. "And after that, I suppose you'll expect me to kiss you," Odo challenges. "It's possible," she allows. "Well, then who needs dinner?" he exclaims angrily. "Why don't I just get it over with and kiss you right now?" "Well, why don't you?" she half-shouts.

Odo then does exactly as suggested: he grabs her and kisses her passionately. They're oblivious to the fact that they're in the middle of the Promenade, being eagerly watched by dozens of people. Finally they break off. "You're right," Kira says when she can breathe again. "Who needs dinner?" In answer, Odo kisses her once more, and this time it's deep, long and sweet.

Sometime much later, Odo enters Vic's again. "Julian tells me that you and the Major are quite an item," the singer says. "For the moment," replies Odo, unwilling to trust in his good fortune. "Who knows how long it'll last?" "That's my Odo, always ready to turn victory into defeat," Vic chides. However, Odo thanks him for all his help. Vic invites him to sit in on a number; when Odo declines, he asks for a favor. "Leave the program running for a few minutes after you leave. I feel like singing." "Whatever makes you happy," smiles Odo, and he leaves the suite to the strains of "Come Fly With Me".

  • Nana Visitor's real voice was used for the song "Fever" (which she selected herself).
  • Ira Steven Behr had wanted for a long time to introduce a lounge singer hologram to advise lovelorn characters; finally, Vic Fontaine made his debut in this episode. Behr envisioned Vic being played by Frank Sinatra, Jr., who wanted to be on Star Trek, but only as an alien. At one point, a Vic scene had been written for "A Simple Investigation", but was dropped.
  • The episode received an Emmy nomination for music direction.