The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Necessary Evil

When Quark is attacked whilst breaking into the old chemist’s shop on DS9, it seems to tie in to the murder of the shop’s owner five years ago. As Odo investigates, he is reminded of that case – which was not only the first security work he ever did, but also featured Kira as the prime suspect.

Although Necessary Evil starts off by looking like yet another Ferengi episode hot on the heels of the last, it swiftly transforms into something more – a chance to go back five years and see how Odo came to be chief of security on DS9. Compared to the bluntness of season one Odo, this is a more nuanced insight into a man who values justice over all, and who became the neutral judge for both the Bajorans and Cardassian. We learn how he met Kira, Dukat and even Quark, back in the days when DS9 was the grimy and forbidding Terok Nor, an ore processing station.

We also get a look at past Kira, and this is another interesting case. We know that Kira was a member of the Bajoran Resistance, and that that comes with the implications of having killed people and performed terrorist acts. As a main character, the temptation must have been to keep her squeaky clean and above board, but here we learn that she killed someone, and that she has been keeping it from Odo all this time. Will this be a blow to their relationship, or will it be forgotten by next week? Certainly in the long run it didn’t do them any harm.

Other observations

  • This episode also marks the first time that someone acknowledges that Rom may not be a complete idiot after all – and right after I complained how disappointed I was that he was still being portrayed as an idiot. Not only does he have the skills to pick locks in under ten seconds, but Odo has grown to realise that Rom isn’t as stupid as he looks- all hints of things to come.
  • Here, Rom is torn between being upset over Quark’s death and excited at the thought of inheriting the bar. Last season he was actively trying to kill Quark.
  • The Bajorans have their own currency and money-based economy.
  • As we’ve heard before, Odo previously had a reputation for being able to do tricks and entertain crowds. When he became tired of this, he left the Bajoran scientists who raised him and went out to experience the world. During that time, he became someone the Bajorans trusted to arbitrate disputes, and later was invited by Gul Dukat to perform a security role on Terok Nor.
  • One of Odo’s standard party pieces was the “Cardassian neck trick”. We never learn quite what this involves, so I like to imagine Odo growing a long Cardassian neck and then tying a knot in it.

Summary – Necessary Evil: An interesting flashback to the days of Terok Nor.

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