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Recap / Star Trek: Deep Space Nine S02E08 "Necessary Evil"

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Unusually for Trek, this is a Noir Episode, complete with some disturbing revelations.

Security Log, Stardate: 47284.1. In this job, there is no "unfinished business". This assault on Quark reopens a five-year-old murder case that I've never, not for a moment, closed. Patience is a lost virtue to most; to me, an ally.

A Bajoran woman hires Quark to recover an item on Deep Space Nine, which leads to the reopening of an old murder case, from the days of the Occupation, involving Odo, Gul Dukat, and Kira Nerys.


  • Age Cut: Odo realises the place Quark was breaking into used to be the chemist's shop owned by the long-deceased Vaatrik. He unlocks the door... which opens on Gul Dukat, waiting for Odo in the chemist's shop just two hours after Vaatrik's death.
  • And Another Thing...: Odo even makes a Columbo-like gesture while doing it.
  • Anti-Hero: Odo keeps insisting he's not on anyone's side. Kira notes that he'll have to pick one eventually.
  • Apologetic Attacker
    Trazko: (about to shoot Quark) I'm sorry.
    Quark: Yeah. Me too.
  • Bad Liar: Odo accuses Kira of being one. He underestimated her.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Rom averts his brother's Sickbed Slaying with some handy screaming. When he realises Quark's survival means he won't inherit the bar, he starts screaming again.
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  • Big "NO!":
    Rom: (screaming in fear)
    Odo: It's over Rom! Over! You're a hero.
    Rom: I am?
    Odo: You saved your brother's life.
    Rom: (realizes Quark's bar isn't his anymore; begins screaming again)
  • Body Language: On first meeting Gul Dukat, Odo barely looks him in the eye until Dukat says something to annoy him.
  • Call-Forward: Odo mentions walking out on the Bajoran scientist who was studying him ("The Alternate").
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Ironically, Odo's reputation for Brutal Honesty helps Kira escape Dukat.
  • Captain's Log: Lampshaded and spoofed in Odo's Deadpan Snarker style (despite his disdain, it eventually becomes a Private Eye Monologue).
    Odo: Commence station security log, Stardate 47282.5. At the request of Commander Sisko, I will hereafter be recording a daily log of law enforcement affairs. The reason for this exercise is beyond my comprehension, except perhaps that Humans have a compulsion to keep records and files — so many, in fact, that they have to invent new ways to store them microscopically. Otherwise their records would overrun all known civilization. My own very adequate memory not being good enough for Starfleet, I am pleased to put my voice into this official record of this day: Everything's under control. End log.
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  • Characterization Marches On: In this episode, Rom moves to being at a midpoint between his Season 1 characterization as a Stupid Evil character who's out to bump off Quark and take control of the bar, and his later Genius Ditz personality. He shows off some mechanical skill when he's breaking through locks, but also clearly isn't too bothered by the prospect of Quark's death, since it'll cause him to inherit the bar — albeit he doesn't try to finish off Quark himself, which he'd have done the previous season.
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: When she's accused of murder, Kira confesses to sabotage. Note that this would only be considered "lesser" by Odo; the Cardassians would be far more eager to execute a rebel than the murderer of a mere Bajoran. In fact she did kill the man in question, though it was a defensive murder during a robbery gone south, with the victim as a Cardassian collaborator.
  • Cyberpunk: The flashbacks definitley feel like this, being set in a dystopian, futuristic area.
  • Dies Wide Open: Quark after being shot. Fortunately Bashir doesn't settle for He's Dead, Jim.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: When Gul Dukat asks Odo whether he's ever seen a dead man before, Odo replies that he has... in the Cardassians' mines. Dukat rather dismissively says "Oh, those are casualties." Turns out what he was really asking Odo was whether he'd ever seen a murder victim (such as Vaatrik) before. Of course, taking his question at face value, Odo figures a dead man is a dead man, regardless of how he got that way.
  • Deadly Delivery: The assassin carries a bunch of flowers while visiting Quark. As the Bajoran deputy is explaining that he can't have visitors, the assassin shoves the flowers into his chest to cover his knife thrust.
  • Double Entendre: When Pallra spells out the job she has for Quark, she promises to pay him in both latinum and her "personal gratitude". Quark gently strokes his lobe at this. Considering lobes are highly erogenous parts of Ferengi anatomy...
  • Dramatic Thunder: Throughout Quark's meeting with Pallra.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Gul Dukat would rather find who's responsible for a murder than randomly execute ten Bajorans, as the government would like him to do.
  • Exact Words: Used twice.
    • When Dukat presses about Kira, Odo tells her she's not the killer. When Dukat warns him of lying, Odo fires back "if you knew me as well as you say you do, you'd know I don't lie." And he didn't; he just neglected to add that Kira, in clearing herself of the murder, had also identified herself as a member of the Resistance.
    • In the present, Odo tells Kira "you were a better liar than I thought" for hiding how she was the killer. Kira defends herself on how her job was never to assassinate the shopkeeper, just steal his list of collaborators and he caught her in the act.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Upon realizing Trazko is going to kill him for Pallra, Quark chooses to make a sarcastic quip rather than beg for his life.
  • Femme Fatale: Pallra oozes this trope, but it's a Red Herring. The true Femme Fatale is Kira.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Nobody ever had to teach Odo the "justice trick" — it's ingrained into him on a genetic level, an early glimpse of the Founders' inborn need to impose order. Intentional or not, Odo's blunt statement at the start that "Everything's under control" is chilling in retrospect once we learn about the Dominion's true leaders.
    • Rom's surprising facility with technology ends up being very, very important by the end of season 5.
  • Friendship Moment: Odo points out that it's been over a year since the Cardassians left, and Kira could have told him the truth any time. When she admits she didn't want to risk their friendship, he notes that it might not have to.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Sisko and Odo, respectively, when grilling Rom about why Quark was shot. Odo plays on the "fraternal inheritance" motive angle along with the usual Perp Sweating, while Sisko uses family friend connection between his and Rom's sons to "rein in" Odo.
  • He Knows Too Much: Pallra sends a guy to shoot Quark after he uncovers the list, knowing he wouldn't be able to keep himself from looking.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Odo notes that Vaatrik Pallra hasn't been crying as she claims since her eyes aren't swollen.
  • Irony: Odo says that his passion for justice may be his only clue to the nature of his own kind. Turns out their desire for order and security is the closest thing they have to Odo's ideals.
  • It's What I Do: In the present, Kira tries to thank Odo for clearing her of the murder charges in the past. Odo shrugs it off, stating matter-of-factly, "You were innocent of the crime I was investigating." In an ironic twist, we later find out that she in fact wasn't.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: Kira tells Odo she was looking for a job at Quark's when the murder happened. Odo goes to check this out.
    Quark: She was showing me her, er, initiative.
    Odo: Is that some sort of sexual reference?
    Quark: These jobs are hard to come by. Her credentials were very... impressive.
    • In exchange for getting the list, Pallra promises Quark five bars of latinum and her 'personal gratitude', whereupon Quark leers and rubs his ear in an obvious reference to oo-mox.
  • Left Hanging: In the end, Kira asks Odo if he can trust her in the same way ever again. He silently starts to gaze downward as the episode fades to black.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The murder victim in the past turns out to have been a mole for Gul Dukat, hence Dukat's desire to appear hands-off in the investigation, Ches'so's comfortable lifestyle, and the mystery surrounding the list of names — they're all Bajoran informants.
  • Literal Metaphor: Quark offers Odo a drink on the house, to which he replies "I don't drink." When Quark suggests a soft drink, Odo repeats the statement (meaning that he literally does not drink, not merely that he abstains from alcohol).
  • MacGuffin: The list of names is a list of Bajorans who worked as informers for the Cardassians, whom Pallra intends to Blackmail. Her late husband Vaatrik was the contact between them and Dukat.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Odo lets slip to Pallra that Quark has survived the attempt on his life, plus the name of one of the people on the list he was trying to steal. When the latter turns up dead, Odo realises what happened and puts a round-the-clock guard on Quark.
  • Noir Episode: The episode follows a detective examining a murder, portrays almost all the characters as morally ambiguous, and employs a chiaroscuro visual style previously unseen in the series. It even has as a version of Private Eye Monologue in the form of Odo's log entries, used for the first time here.
  • Noodle Incident: Odo doing the 'Cardassian neck trick,' which apparently left the entire Central Command in stitches for weeks.
  • Oh, Crap!: Rom, when he realizes that by saving his brother's life, he gave up his claim to the bar.
  • Origins Episode: Specifically, shows how Odo came to be a security officer on the station, and met Kira and Quark.
  • Private Eye Monologue: As mentioned above, Odo's Captains Logs turn into this gradually over the course of the episode. By the fifth act, "Security log, supplemental" isn't even mentioned.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • During the Occupation, Odo was regarded as a fair, neutral observer who the Bajorans came to when they needed to settle disputes.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Granted, Quark likely would've tried to do something unscrupulous with the information he got from peeking at the list, but trying to have him assassinated put Odo on the case.
  • Right Behind Me: Odo is interrogating Quark.
    Odo: She paid you for an alibi? I wonder how Gul Dukat will react when I tell him about that?
    Quark: (looking over Odo's shoulder) I'm sure it'll cost me a case of Cardassian ale.
    Dukat: Two cases at the very least.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Jeez, Rom, get it together.
  • Sherlock Scan: Odo can tell Vaatrik's 'grieving' widow hasn't been crying as the skin around her tear ducts isn't swollen, and knows Kira is lying about working in the mines because her hands are too smooth.
  • Ship Tease: While doing his Private Eye Monologue, Odo says that justice is meant to be blind; that there's no room for loyalty... or friendship... or love. Cut to Odo interrogating Kira.
  • Smarter Than You Look: During the theft, Rom demonstrates several techniques that leave Quark stunned (largely because Rom previously used them to get into the bar's storeroom and vault). On the other hand, while getting grilled:
    Odo: You're not as stupid as you look.
    Rom: I am too!
  • Standard Female Grab Area:
    • Dukat grabs Kira this way in one of the flashbacks and she submits to it silently. Considering that he was in a position to have her executed with a word, he probably could just as easily have restrained her with a finger.
    • Kira then grabs Pallra this way when hauling her into a cell. She yanks her arm away angrily, but Kira just lays an even firmer hold on her.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Odo's dilemma in the flashback: trying to keep "order" while the lawful authority is a brutal occupation. While he chooses not to expose Kira's resistance ties to Dukat, that's only because he's convinced she didn't commit the murder.
    Odo: If you're innocent, you'll go free. If you're not, I'll turn you over to Cardassian authorities. That's the only choice here.
  • Twisted Echo Cut: Quark and Dukat are sharing an Evil Laugh when the scene Age Cuts to a group of customers laughing in contemporary Quark's.
  • Villain Respect: Dukat is satisfied that he picked the right investigator when Odo says he won't give him a name until he's sure it's right, even under pressure from Dukat himself.
  • Vorpal Pillow: Attempted on Quark, even though the knife the assassin used on the guard would have been quicker. It seems he planned to have Quark die of "natural causes" quietly and didn't change this plan even though he'd already blown the whole point of this subterfuge by stabbing the guard.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: The ever-pragmatic Dukat told Odo he was hiring him to investigate in preference to the recommendation of his superiors, who told him he should just round up and execute ten Bajorans at random in retaliation for the murder. Odo failed to find his culprit, however; which leaves us to wonder whether Dukat decided to carry out those executions.
    • Considering that a later episode shows Odo present at just such an execution, the answer is almost certainly "Yes".
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Much of this story takes place during the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor.
  • You Got Spunk: Dukat is amused that Odo is not afraid of him.


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