10 Star Trek Twists You Never Saw Coming

This entire article was written whilst still inside Luther Sloan’s mind.

Eddington Deep Space Nine

When it comes to writing a good story, some follow T’Hain of Vulcan to dictate the action through the characters, and others just make it up as they go along for those "unexpected plot twists". You may want to rely on a Muse Eternal for your sudden reversals, or, if you’re out of ideas to surprise your audience, simply add a moustache and change the name to Marseille.

Star Trek has provided us with countless moments we never expected: twists and turns that upended the plot, left us desperately awaiting the next episode, changed a character or characters forever, and even transformed entire lore. Most of these revelations have ultimately proven for the better of the episode or the series, and the fact that the audience (the vast majority, at least) did not anticipate them is testament to the skill of the writers. It is that carefully-crafted touch of the unforeseeable that keeps us on our toes.

Very occasionally, however, the reason for a twist’s unpredictability is the trivial irrationality of an anti-climax. You didn’t see that one coming because you’re asking, 'why on Earth would I have seen that one coming?' Some of these moments will also be discussed here. Looking at you, 'The Burn'!

And, of course, avoiding major plot points is all the more difficult in the social media age. That there are spoilers ahead in this article almost goes without saying.

10. The Odo Origination

Eddington Deep Space Nine

As unexpected twists go, we could have talked about the de-cloaking of Starfleet’s first ever warship at the start of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode The Search Part I, and left things there. This "little surprise for the Dominion" is, of course, the Defiant. The reveal was certainly a surprise for the audience, more used to the runabouts and the Treaty of Algeron. There is more to this two-parter, however.

Odo’s search for his origins forms a large part of seasons one and two of DS9. Both the character and the audience had little to go on. The scientist Doctor Pol, who discovered Odo floating in Bajoran space, didn’t recognise that the "shapeless viscous mass of fluid" was sentient at first, and it took time for Odo even to realise he could shapeshift. We get a few hints as to Odo’s beginnings in season two, such as when DNA similar to his is discovered on a seemingly abandoned planet in the Gamma Quadrant.

When Odo finally finds out where he really comes from in The Search Part II of season three, it comes quite a shock. Odo is actually a member of an alien race called The Founders, who created and lead the Dominion, holding 'solids' in low-esteem. The DS9 Series Bible entry for the character stated that "[Odo] is certain that justice is an integral part of [his species]". The truth couldn’t have been more different, and Odo is left estranged from his warmongering people until the very last episode of the series.

A certain Michael Eddington was also introduced in The Search Part I...

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Jack Kiely is a writer with a PhD in French and almost certainly an unhealthy obsession with Star Trek.