DS9 Episode 2.8 – Necessary Evil

In which Odo Columbos.

Memory Alpha says: An attempt on Quark’s life re-opens a five-year-old murder investigation.

My Review

This is a lovely noir-tribute episode that focuses on Odo, and since René Auberjonois was pretty much the best actor in this show, you know it will be grand. (Not that I am slagging off any of the other actors, it’s a very strong cast – but it would be silly to pretend he isn’t outstanding.)

IT IS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT. Let’s go.

  • In fact, this opening scene is so gloriously stylised that I initially thought it was a holodeck game Quark was playing.
  • This woman’s outfit! Her hair! Magnificent. Obvious strumpet.
  • It’s strange to see an obviously rich Bajoran, but then, I suppose those who were willing to collaborate with the Cardassians could do quite well.
  • You see, this is another scene in which Quark is played as very savvy and connected, in contrast with his relative naïveté in the previous episode. I’m going to have to keep an eye on this and decide for myself whether it’s an ongoing problem or just an effect of the character being ill-defined in the early stages of the show.
  • This is also a scene in which I get the impression Armin Shimerman is enjoying himself.
  • I do enjoy Odo being snotty. He’s being very snotty. Yes, we do like to keep records. I’m just happy to listen to his voice. GRAVEL.
  • Okay, here is their first seeding of the idea that Rom is a technical savant, or at least a good lockpick.
  • Actually, why does DS9 have a ‘night’? I mean, it just gives nefarious scalliwags like Rom and Quark an opportunity get up to monkeyshines like this.
  • Aw, it’s pretty stationery. Is that a design of rainbows?
  • Rom has a weird, weird walk. Oh well, it gets him out of the scene so Quark can get attacked by some shadowy Bajoran dude.
  • URGENT DOCTORLY SHOUTING
  • I love the fact that Odo knows the RofA better than Rom does. And, of course, it’s one that’s relevant to CRIME.
  • ‘Constable, it’s his own brother!’ protests the Sisko, apparently having forgotten Rom’s earlier attempt to blow Quark out of an airlock.
  • Cardassians have groats?
  • ‘Ooooooh, irony of ironies!’ What a great awkward line.
  • Do you think Odo and Sisko agreed before going into the bar on their Good Cop, Bad Cop act? And was it anything like my favourite variation on the theme, from Black Books?  ‘So I’m Nasty, you’re Nice, okay?’ ‘You’re not so bad.’
  • THIS SHOP
  • THIS SHOP IS AN IMPORTANT SHOP
  • aaaaand flashback
  • EVERYTHING IS GREY AND BLUE
  • and DUKAT
  • and BEATEN-DOWN UNHAPPY SCIENCE EXPERIMENT ODO.
  • I know the Cardassian Neck Trick is supposed to be like the Noodle Incident, but damn it, I want to know.
  • Say what you will about Gul Dukat, but the man gave Odo his vocation.
  • I don’t have enough to say because I’m just so engaged by the Alaimo and the Auberjonois.
  • IT’S THE DAME. But she hasn’t gone platinum blonde yet.
  • I love all the grim industrial sound effects in the background and the smoky lighting, giving a completely different mood to the same sets. Do you think Chief O’Brien installed completely new lighting as part of moving into the station?
  • COLUMBO MOVES from Odo. I have never seen any Columbo but I suspect I should. There was some discussion of how excellent it was in the most recent episode of QI (‘Imbroglio’) which piqued my curiosity. On the other hand the same panellist went on about loving George Formby, so you know, horses for courses.
  • Look at Mrs Vatrik now trying to fake some tears because Odo has pointed out she should be crying.
  • I had a completely undignified flip-out the first time I watched this episode, because Flashback Kira has total Belle Hair. Which makes Dukat into Gaston, and he does have the neck for it.
  • EVERY LAST INCH OF ME’S COVERED IN SCAAAAAAAAAALES
  • I am being distracted from Odo’s interrogation of Rom by the fact that my bitchy tsundere cat Pearl has decided she loves me and wants to lie in my lap and look at me adoringly. She does this from time to time and it’s just best to appreciate it when it happens.
  • Is Odo actually using hypnotic regression here?
  • well of course you would have tried to defend her, but would you actually have been able to protect her? realistically?
  • SAD-EYED URCHINS
  • BELLE HAIR
  • AWKWARD OPENING LINE
  • Odo, you sort of have a blinking sign over your head that says COP.
  • his widow – the one over there giving you a blistering stink-eye
  • he got the ginger tea from Quark! (indirectly) I like that link-up.
  • aaaand origin of ‘constable.’ No indication of why that word occurred to her.
  • fancy fancy dress and hairstyle. This woman must just FROLIC through her wardrobe in the mornings.
  • YOU RECKONED WITHOUT A FANCY FEDERATION DOCTOR, DIDN’T YOU, MRS FEMME FATALE.
  • COLUMBO MOVE
  • I am doing such a rotten job with this episode and I really want to apologise for it. The thing is, episodes that are really engaging in and of themselves are sometimes harder to comment on. You just want to watch and listen, and there’s hardly anything to criticise or question; it just all fits together.
  • Odo is just detecting all over the place! He’s so thrillingly competent.
  • HISTORIC FIRST FRENEMY MEETING. Everyone’s heard about the fuckin’ neck trick.
  • look at that jackass Quark trying to imply Kira put out; look at Odo getting all GROWR about the honour of the woman he’s already helplessly in love with.
  • Ginger tea, chocolate and hookers. The three primary needs in Quark’s view.
  • The Bajoran currency is called litas? Or… Leetas? Like, is Leeta’s name basically Dollar?
  • YES THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY.
  • WOW that guy has an impressive widow’s peak.
  • ‘Nobody ever had to teach me the justice trick.’ Badass line is badass.
  • ‘Is this her? IS THIS HER? Hey she looks a little like a chick I boned a few years ago.’
  • IDIOT SECURITY GUARD. Why would you not be suspicious of someone bringing flowers for Quark? Not to mention they’re proteas. No good can come of proteas. Well, now you’ve been stabbed in the guts and it kind of serves you right, from a professional viewpoint.
  • I like how, in a super high tech futuristic sick-bay, you still get a good old-fashioned pillow-over-the-face murder attempt.
  • how did that security guy even know which buttons to press to turn life support back on.
  • ROM STOP MAKING THAT NOISE IT’S NOT AS FUNNY AS THE WRITERS THINK
  • another fantastic headdress from Mrs Vatrik. That makes three, a Vatrik hat-trick.
  • OH HO HO DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE
  • I love how ginger tea is so significant in this case. Ultimate marker of ill-gotten gains.
  • I like the idea that Dukat had a ‘network of Bajoran sympathisers.’ I bet he charmed them all with his smile and his neck.
  • DOWNBEAT ENDING.
  • Well, I have to apologise for not being very entertaining about that one. The episode itself is very entertaining – it feels shorter than it is because there are no parts that drag. So really, just watch it, and enjoy how DS9 has started to establish its own identity, because shit like this could never happen on the Enterprise.

Coming up are some episodes that I remember finding fairly annoying, ‘Second Sight’ (Sisko falls in love with a disappearing elf lady) and ‘Sanctuary,’ (people with crusty skin think Bajor is the Promised Land) but after that we get to ‘Rivals,’ which is utterly justified by O’BRIEN AND BASHIR RACQUETBALL OUTFITS. So I will just be holding out for that.

(I know Julian’s absurd silver jumpsuit is the star of the episode, but I find O’Brien’s rugby shirt really adorable.)

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6 Responses to “DS9 Episode 2.8 – Necessary Evil”

  1. solo Says:

    I love everything about this episode, from the very noir lighting, to the parallel stories, to the Odo and Kira relationship, to EVERYTHING. There really should be more stories partially set on Terok Nor because it is my favorite! Also NOIIIIIIR. (Sorry, I’m a little over enthusiastic today.)

  2. ricardienne Says:

    This is totally one of my favorite episodes (also the later one where Garak, Sisko, Dax and Odo go back into Odo’s guilt-stricken conscience). Also say what you will about Cardassian Collaborators, but they have fabulous fashion sense (I bet she and Garak have a lot to talk about).

    • picardigan Says:

      I still want to see Garak make something for Lwaxana. It would either be the most fulfilling professional experience of his life, or it would break him.

  3. Curuchamion Says:

    * “Not that I am slagging off any of the other actors, it’s a very strong cast – but it would be silly to pretend he isn’t outstanding.’ – He is THE BEST of the post-TOS actors, is what I always say, and I include Sir Patrick Stewart in that assessment. (Armin Shimerman comes very close, as indeed do Frakes and Spiner… but as one of the showrunners said, “René can say more with his eyes than most actors can with ten pages of dialogue.” So he wins.)

    (I say post-TOS because one cannot compare anybody with Spock and Bones. It just doesn’t work. They are on a unique level. *solemn face*)

    * “This woman’s hair! Her outfit! Magnificent. Obvious strumpet.” – I LOVE ALL HER OUTFITS SO MUCH. I think, just offhand, that probably S2 has the best of all the oneshot!guest-star outfits, between this ep and “Rivals” and a few of the others. I need to hurry up and do some more of the Epic DS9 Fashion Picspam of Epic…

    * “I get the impression Armin Shimerman is enjoying himself.” – I always love the bits where Armin appears to be enjoying himself. He seems to have such fun being a cunning and devious Ferengi – almost like Julian playing at being James Bond – and it comes out in Quark’s personality. (It took a while, but I am a huge fan of Quark now. It was “House of Quark” that finally did it, I think.) And of course, he’s right up there with René for actual acting ability; the writing on Odo+Quark doesn’t settle down to “normal” till halfway-ish through S1, but you don’t notice till afterwards, because the chemistry is there from the beginning.

    * “I do enjoy Odo being snotty.” – SNOTTY ODO IS MY FAVORITE ODO. *big grin* That whole Spockian/Dataesque “outsider observing human nature” thing is really, really fun when it hits the mark, and Odo’s judgey voice is the best ever for delivering that kind of remark. (Even better than Spock’s. IMO.)

    * “Say what you will about Gul Dukat, but the man gave Odo his vocation.” – FACT. I so want lots more Odo+Dukat interactions; there’s all that unexplored backstory between them, and such a fabulous tension between their different brands of snark. ALL THE AWESOME. (Plus, Alaimo is definitely on the Shimerman-Auberjonois level of Awesome Trek Actors, although he is only a guest-star and doesn’t get nearly enough screen time. …it amuses me that all three of those guys were the first of their respective alien species. XD)

    * “EVERY LAST INCH OF ME’S COVERED IN SCAAAAAAAAAALES” – *giggling forever* (Also, if I had seen more TNG, I would totally have the Riker!Gaston vid on my list of “vids to make once I learn how to vid”. Because I am going to learn how to vid as soon as I get the Captain America DVD. *nods*)

    * “Odo is just detecting all over the place! He’s so thrillingly competent.” – INORITE? I could just watch seven seasons of a show that was Odo being competent and detectively, and Quark being… Quarkish. (New favorite thing to do when stalled on DS9 fic: pull up Wikipedia’s “Quark (disambiguation)” page and learn about, say, Quark flashlights or quark cheesecake. Or of course that old standby, Top Quark vs Bottom Quark et al. *snorts*)

    * “The Bajoran currency is called litas? Or… Leetas? Like, is Leeta’s name basically Dollar?” – Huh! I never thought of it that way before, but it would be both interesting and creepy if that were so. (Would that be her last name, though? *thinkyface*)

    * “‘Nobody ever had to teach me the justice trick.’ Badass line is badass.” – FAVORITE LINE IN THE HISTORY OF EVERYTHING. I could totally liveblog the steps by which I fell in love with Odo over the course of this ep, and that line right there was the clincher. Yes. (And then the ending, and I was just all “awww! *must hug now*” Of course.)

    * Also, O’Brien’s rugby shirt is indeed adorable! And Rivals has not!annoying Keiko, a moment at which I always cheer. *waiting eagerly*

  4. Josh Tolles Says:

    Well, I never watched much DS9 back in the day, but was really into all other things Trek. Anyway, A few weeks ago, I started watching the series from the beginning.

    This is far and away my favorite episode so far. I mean, way, way out there in front. The three-parter or whatever it was that opened Season 2 was pretty good, but this was one floored me. So much that I had to take to the internet to see if anyone else thought so.


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