Star Trek: Deep Space Nine aired the perfect episode on Halloween
On October 31, 1994, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine aired a new episode which perfectly fit in with the time of year. Though many Halloween stories involve horrific killers, like Leatherface and Pinhead, “The Abandoned” was about an abandoned Jem’Hadar baby that Quark finds in the wreckage of a salvage sale. Odo eventually takes to the child and believes he can help him become more than what he has been bred to be—a killer.
Major Kira warns Odo that he is thinking with his heart and not with this head, but Odo is insistent that there must be some way the Jem’Hadar can learn to be different, to learn to not want to kill. As the episode progresses, the child’s aggressive tendencies grow stronger, and he starts to enjoy the fact that people are scared of him because they know he can kill them. It’s clear that what Odo is trying to do isn’t working. And it doesn’t work.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s “The Abandoned” is a lesson in evil
When the Jem’Hadar learns that he is to be taken by Starfleet to be examined, he points a phaser at Captain Sisko, insisting that he’s not going with Starfleet. He wants to find his people. He tells Odo that he doesn’t know what the other changelings are like, but he knows they’re not like Odo. In the end, the Jem’Hadar demands to be taken to his people and he will kill anyone who tries to interfere, and Odo takes him on a runabout.
Odo wanted so desperately to change the Jem’Hadar. He believed the boy could anything he wanted to be, take an interest in something besides killing. But the Jem’Hadar were bred to be killers. It was an inborn instinct that could not be overcome. The boy went on his way to join his people and embrace what was his destiny.
Just like some of the most notorious Halloween movies, “The Abandoned” shows the birth of evil. Even as the Jem’Hadar leaves Deep Space Nine, the people he leaves behind knows he will eventually kill. So while not the obvious choice for Halloween, the episode is a first-rate look at a child born with the drive to kill. And that’s pretty evil.