The Good: Plot, Characters, Acting
The Bad: None
The Basics: A perfect episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, "Necessary Evil" is accessible to anyone!
When Star Trek Deep Space Nine does something right, it has a tendency to do it completely right. "Necessary Evil" is the perfect example of that. This episode is the perfect murder mystery.
When Quark is gunned down in his bar, Odo begins his investigation only to find that Quark's assassination may be the closure to an unsolved mystery in Odo's past. As Odo pieces together the pieces of the murder attempt on Quark, he finds himself in contact with leads from the unsolved murder years ago, when the Cardassians ran Deep Space Nine.
The episode is a flashback episode; as Odo follows leads to Quark's attempted killer, he reflects on circumstances some fifteen years before. The case then was the murder of a Bajoran shopkeeper and the suspects include Kira, the Bajoran first officer of Deep Space Nine. The episode is a wonderful collection of events, featuring Terok Nor (Deep Space Nine during the Occupation) with ghetto fences, Gul Dukat, Kira with long hair, Odo in a quasi-Cardassian uniform and the first meeting between Quark and Odo.
It's a rare thing when a series can do a strong character episode that fills in backstory while still maintaining continuity. In this case, the story is strong on Odo and explicitly illustrates the fine line he walked during the Occupation. Odo's character has always been an outsider and in "Necessary Evil," we are treated to his past in such a way that illustrates his value as an outsider, as well as the isolation he faces as a result of it.
The acting here is wonderful. From the creepy superiority of Gul Dukat (played masterfully by Marc Alaimo) impressing the surprisingly introverted Odo to the expression on Quark's face when he knows he's about to be shot, everyone is giving their best in this episode. Marc Alaimo (Dukat), Armin Shimerman (Quark) and Rene Auberjonois are all given the difficult task of acting with expressive and deep emotions outside heavy prosthetics and they pull it off wonderfully. Shimerman is great at expressing with his eyes, Alaimo with his voice and Auberjoinis is amazing with the depth of expression in his body language here.
Nana Visitor (Kira) and Rene Auberjonois play off each other perfectly and when the episode resolves itself, it's a perfect and dark moment.
"Necessary Evil" is beautifully shot on top of everything else. It's a very complete story and everything needed to understand it is in the actual episode. Revealing more of the plot - especially what makes this such an intense and perfect character episode -does a disservice to the viewer. Going in underprepared is better here, though as I stated, this episode is remarkably thorough in answering all questions, making it great for someone who has never seen the show before.
This is an essential episode but there is so very much for everyone to appreciate here that it's recommended strongly for anyone who loves character-driven works! And even better, like "Duet" (reviewed here!) this episode stands up after multiple viewings, even after one knows the end!
[Knowing that VHS is essentially a dead medium, it's worth looking into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete Second Season on DVD, which is also a better economical choice than buying the VHS. Read my review of the sophomore season by clicking here!
For other Star Trek episode, movie and DVD set reviews, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2008, 2001 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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