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In Homefront, the episode begins with the premise that Sisko and Odo are going to Earth to find changelings who have infiltrated and are actively causing destruction (having just blown up a conference, killing many important people).

In the conclusion, Paradise Lost, the script pivots to being about the dangers of giving too much power to the military in times of crisis. Sisko successfully prevents a military coup, but at the same time fails to make any progress in catching the changelings. The script leaves the seemingly very-real threat of the changelings totally unresolved.

Was this issue ever resolved on or off screen? If not, did the writers ever offer an explanation for not resolving it?

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    I think at that time, the real threat of the changelings was causing fear, suspicion and conflict between authorities and the public on Earth. Once this was realised and resolved and the detectors and limited blood tests were in place, their terrorism campain had failed. It didn't really matter if they stayed or not at that point. But you can never be sure if they are there or not, that was the point IMO. You can't let that suspicion take control. – n00dles Mar 23 at 5:23
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    Why yes, fellow 100% solid life-form, they definitely were. Wow it's great being solid isn't it. I'm going to head home now and just be entirely solid the whole time I'm there and absolutely not melt into a bucket. – Paul D. Waite Mar 23 at 15:48
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We actually only know of one changeling on Earth, the one that caused the original explosion that led Odo and Sisko to Earth in the first place. Although Changeling/O'Brien claims that there are four others, we don't really have any evidence to back that up and the absence of any further action (and the precautions put in place by Starfleet with low level room-phaser sweeps and blood testing) suggests that either there weren't any others in the first place, or that they left Earth shortly afterward out of fear of getting caught.

We also have a conversation with the Female Changeling (in Season 6) in which she states that after the wormhole was mined, she's been alone in the Alpha Quadrant. At face value this could be because her fellow changelings are deep under cover and can't get to her, but more likely it's because she and Odo are simply the only Founders on the DS9 side of the wormhole.

FEMALE SHAPE-SHIFTER: I was trapped here in the Alpha Quadrant when Captain Sisko mined the entrance to the wormhole. I've spent too much time among Solids. I came because I felt the need to be with one of my own.

DS9: Behind the Lines

Notably, those changelings that didn't leave at the end of hostilities would have been illegally present in the Alpha Quadrant and would presumably have left, along with any Vorta and Jem'Hadar present.

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  • She notably doesn't say that she is alone. In addition, we know from her devious behavior prior and after this point that she is almost certainly lying about why she came to visit Odo- her intention is likely to convince him to rejoin the Dominion, not just to harmlessly look for company. – MgSam Apr 5 at 13:00

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