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Old October 6 2012, 01:20 AM   #1
Admiral_Sisko
Lieutenant Commander
 
"Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

There's an obvious plot-hole in the episode "Children of Time" that I've always been curious about. Odo is unable to hold his shape because of the effects of the barrier sounding the planet, but his older self has learned how to counteract the barrier's effects. He's also "gotten better at shape-shifting," as evidence by his improved ability to imitate humanoid facial features.

Near the episode's conclusion, the older Odo links with his counterpart, so that the younger Odo would be aware of events that transpired while he was regenerating. This being the case, why didn't Odo's shape-shifting abilities improve as a result of the experience?

I do, of course, understand the logistical reason for not making the change. Odo's lack of facial features was part of his character, and a sudden change may have confused viewers who missed "Children of Time's" original airing. I'm also aware of the other plot-hole in which no explanation is given for how the other Odo didn't develop the disease that nearly wiped out the Great Link (beyond the fact that the idea hadn't been conceived yet). However, would it not have made sense from a character-development standpoint for Odo to have made significant improvements in his shape-shifting ability?
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Old October 6 2012, 03:36 AM   #2
Pavonis
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Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

I don't think that that is technically a plot hole, as Odo's morphing ability isn't really plot relevant. But, just because his future self has shared the memories of being able to better imitate humanoid features, it doesn't follow that younger Odo would have the ability suddenly.

Odo has linked with other changelings before, changelings who were able to perfectly imitate humanoids, and he never picked up the ability from them, either. It seems to be literally a matter of practice. If you shake hands with a body builder, you don't become muscular, do you? You actually have to work out yourself to get the muscles. I can only assume the same is true of Odo.
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Old October 6 2012, 03:45 AM   #3
E-DUB
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Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Not exactly the same thing. "The drop becomes the ocean, the ocean becomes the drop." The producers may have missed a bet by not having Odo able to do faces progressively better as the series went from season to season.
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Old October 6 2012, 04:01 AM   #4
Admiral_Sisko
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Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I don't think that that is technically a plot hole, as Odo's morphing ability isn't really plot relevant. But, just because his future self has shared the memories of being able to better imitate humanoid features, it doesn't follow that younger Odo would have the ability suddenly.

Odo has linked with other changelings before, changelings who were able to perfectly imitate humanoids, and he never picked up the ability from them, either. It seems to be literally a matter of practice. If you shake hands with a body builder, you don't become muscular, do you? You actually have to work out yourself to get the muscles. I can only assume the same is true of Odo.
Not a good analogy, as it doesn't accurately depict how linking works. Changelings describe the Great Link as a "merging of thought and form," which implies that ideas, emotions, and memories are shared between both parties of the endeavor. Shaking hands with a body builder wouldn't allow one to become muscular, but sharing the thoughts of a body builder should provide one with ideas on how to duplicate the other person's achievements.
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Old October 6 2012, 04:27 AM   #5
Pavonis
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Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Yeah, linking would give Odo the idea of how to improve his morphing. But it wouldn't be instantaneous. At best, he'd probably just learn that he needs to practice more. Like for 200 years or so.
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Old October 6 2012, 10:26 AM   #6
R. Star
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Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Suppose an older version of you came back in time to when you were 15 and showed you how to drive. It would still take you practice to master the art no matter how good the instruction was.
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Old October 7 2012, 02:37 AM   #7
Worf'sParmach
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Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Agree with the others. Though there are definitely plot holes inherant in stories like COT, this isn't one of them.
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Old October 8 2012, 12:38 AM   #8
Paul Weaver
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Location: Manchester
Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Children of time was certainly after the time odo was infected, so the only explanation would be the radiation from the rings caused the disease to remain dormant. Or perhaps the fact odo took years to learn how to shift meant the disease never took hold.
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Old October 8 2012, 01:11 AM   #9
Tiberius
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Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Zombie Redshirt wrote: View Post
Suppose an older version of you came back in time to when you were 15 and showed you how to drive. It would still take you practice to master the art no matter how good the instruction was.
But the link isn't like that, I don't think. A more apt analogy would be, "Suppose an older version of you came back in time to when you were 15 and and gave you his memories and knowledge about how to drive."
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Old October 9 2012, 06:02 PM   #10
R. Star
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Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Ti-BOO!-rius wrote: View Post
Zombie Redshirt wrote: View Post
Suppose an older version of you came back in time to when you were 15 and showed you how to drive. It would still take you practice to master the art no matter how good the instruction was.
But the link isn't like that, I don't think. A more apt analogy would be, "Suppose an older version of you came back in time to when you were 15 and and gave you his memories and knowledge about how to drive."
You can have all the memories and knowledge in the world. You can get every story, experience told to you, you can read every book, but you're still going to have to get behind a wheel and figure it out and you won't be perfect at first.
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Old October 9 2012, 06:20 PM   #11
Pavonis
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Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Ti-BOO!-rius wrote: View Post
Zombie Redshirt wrote: View Post
Suppose an older version of you came back in time to when you were 15 and showed you how to drive. It would still take you practice to master the art no matter how good the instruction was.
But the link isn't like that, I don't think. A more apt analogy would be, "Suppose an older version of you came back in time to when you were 15 and and gave you his memories and knowledge about how to drive."
Is the changeling-to-changeling memory sharing perfect? Is it everlasting? Is there perhaps an element of "muscle memory" that needs to be taken into account when shape-shifting? Having the memory of being able to do something doesn't necessarily translate into the perfect ability to do so. Maybe changeling linking is more impressionistic and dream-like and less like copying files between computers.

Even in the Great Link, the other changelings were able to mislead Odo into thinking Gowron was a changeling. So I doubt that changeling linking is a perfect method for memory transfer.

Besides, in the context of the episode "Children of Time" if Old Odo "never existed", then Young Odo could not have any memories from him! We know that's not what happened, but perhaps the memory faded after the incident due to the timeline shift.
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Old October 10 2012, 01:35 AM   #12
Tiberius
Commodore
 
Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Zombie Redshirt wrote: View Post
Ti-BOO!-rius wrote: View Post
Zombie Redshirt wrote: View Post
Suppose an older version of you came back in time to when you were 15 and showed you how to drive. It would still take you practice to master the art no matter how good the instruction was.
But the link isn't like that, I don't think. A more apt analogy would be, "Suppose an older version of you came back in time to when you were 15 and and gave you his memories and knowledge about how to drive."
You can have all the memories and knowledge in the world. You can get every story, experience told to you, you can read every book, but you're still going to have to get behind a wheel and figure it out and you won't be perfect at first.
I'm not talking about just words, I'm talking about the memories of the actual experience.
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Old October 10 2012, 01:39 AM   #13
R. Star
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Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Ti-BOO!-rius wrote: View Post
Zombie Redshirt wrote: View Post
Ti-BOO!-rius wrote: View Post

But the link isn't like that, I don't think. A more apt analogy would be, "Suppose an older version of you came back in time to when you were 15 and and gave you his memories and knowledge about how to drive."
You can have all the memories and knowledge in the world. You can get every story, experience told to you, you can read every book, but you're still going to have to get behind a wheel and figure it out and you won't be perfect at first.
I'm not talking about just words, I'm talking about the memories of the actual experience.
I addressed memories in my previous post you quoted. I still don't think that's a substitute for doing it yourself.
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Old October 10 2012, 02:37 AM   #14
The Borg Queen
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Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

I think it's like the difference between theory and practise. He may be aware that he CAN do it, but without the amount of practise his amorphous form doesn't have the equivalent of "muscle memory" to do the more subtle elements of shapeshifting.
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Old October 10 2012, 03:23 AM   #15
Tiberius
Commodore
 
Re: "Children of Time" Plot-hole Question

Zombie Redshirt wrote: View Post
I addressed memories in my previous post you quoted. I still don't think that's a substitute for doing it yourself.
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