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At the end of Deep Space 9, Odo beams down to the surface of Cardassia to negotiate with the Female Changeling. She argues that

If I [surrendered], it would be a sign of weakness... an invitation to the Solids to cross into the Gamma Quadrant and destroy the Great Link. [...] The Dominion has spent the last two years trying to destroy the Federation... and now you're asking me to put our fate in their hands? [...] I can't do that, Odo. I don't share your faith in Solids.

In response, Odo asks her to link with him, and after a little cajoling, she does. Immediately afterward, she orders the Breen and Jem-Hadar to stand down and agrees to stand trial for war crimes. What could Odo possibly have told/shown her? It had to be something pretty damn powerful, since it would have been offset by the knowledge that the disease was Federation-created genocide. It also had to be something that happened (or he learned) since the last time they linked, when the Dominion controlled DS9.

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It didn't necessarily have to be since their last link. It's possible there were things he hadn't shown her before, things he'd held back. –  eidylon Jan 17 '13 at 2:17
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2 Answers

Two possibilities that I can think of, really. Quite likely a bit of both.

Odo shared his faith in the solids. Quite literally.

The Great Link was described waaay back in Season 2 by the female changeling as "A merging of form and thought, the sharing of idea and sensation." When Odo linked with her, their minds melded in a much deeper way than the Vulcan mind meld. He showed her everything, from his perspective. For example:

  • The morphogenic virus implanted into Odo was created by a small subset of the Federation that only cared because the Dominion was the enemy. The greater whole of the Federation (the part not working outside the public eye) worked to cure it, and succeeded.
  • The Federation is all-inclusive, former enemies (Klingons) and exiles of their current enemies (Garak) included.

It wasn't a faith thing, it was a negotiation

Odo was cured of the morphogenic virus. No one from the Dominion had the same skill. So he cured the female changeling during that link, but didn't pass the cure on to her - he held it back, and the Great Link continued to suffer until after he returned in the finale episode.

So he made a deal with her: Stop the war, or all the Changelings would die, regardless of whether or not they trusted the solids. And believing themselves to be "above" the solids - presumably including "more honorable" - they couldn't go back on the peace treaty.

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Good answer otherwise, this is just a quibble: I was with you on this until the last paragraph. I seem to remember that Changelings have said something along the lines of "a promise to a solid means nothing." Maybe this was something the female changeling said to Odo when she was trying to convince him to join the Link? (Does anyone else remember this?) –  neilfein Jan 17 '13 at 4:29
    
@neilfein Could be. I don't remember that, but it has been a while. It maay also be able to be interpreted as "you can't trust a solid to keep their promises", in which case - Odo wasn't a solid. –  Izkata Jan 17 '13 at 12:05
    
Although this is probably what the writers intended, I'm not a huge fan of this rationale. How did he have more faith in the solids than he did less than two years previously? (He had last linked with her at the beginning of season 6.) –  Plutor Feb 2 '13 at 1:41
    
@Plutor He went to war and helped save an entire race such builds faith. –  caseyr547 Apr 7 at 17:55
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The question has already been answered but I'd like to put forward a different theory; Odo and the female changeling swapped places!

Odo told the female shapeshifter he would take her form and she would take his and he would spend the rest of his life in a Federation prison and she would take the cure back to the Gamma Quadrant and stay there.

Now I realise that this is just speculation but what could Odo have told the female shapeshifter that he hadn't already told her the last time they linked.

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While their canonicity is ambiguous, post-DS9 novels contradict this. The theory also violates Ockham's Razor and you have provided no supporting evidence. –  James Sheridan Mar 13 at 11:19
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