(written from a Production point of view)
Odo falls for a mysterious woman who is targeted for murder.
An Idanian, in his quarters anxious about something, is visited by two unfriendly Finneans. They are convinced he has something they want and demand to know where it is. The Idanian plays dumb initially, but then appears to submit. He tries to shoot them instead, but one of the Finneans is faster. The short discussion ends up in the death of the Idanian. The two then mention a woman the dead Idanian was supposed to meet on the station, so they wait for her.
In Quark's on the second level of the bar, Jadzia Dax, Bashir, Odo and O'Brien talk about a new role playing holoprogram from Felix which has finally arrived, based on Bashir's secret agent series. All of them seem very eager to try it – although O'Brien would rather play a character other than Falcon, and Odo backs out upon learning that part of his role will be stealing a girl from the evil Falcon.
Odo then walks away to see Quark harassing a woman waiting at his bar (Arissa). While successfully convincing Quark to stop bothering her (she is actually waiting for someone), Odo involuntarily makes her believe that he is interested in her, leading to a slightly awkward situation ending with he almost running into the wall near the bar's exit.
Odo later is vaguely monitoring the transport of cargo in a cargo bay, full of new items for the new Klingon forces on the station. However, his focus is on his own reflection, still thinking about the "bedroom eyes" comment from Arissa earlier. Kira, complaining about getting a tentacle on her hand from gagh while conducting the inspection, is curious about Odo's preoccupation and says he should go see her again, as she's obviously very perceptive. Later, Odo finds the woman in his office with a security officer, caught trying to break into the station computer. She was trying to access the passenger manifest because her friend never showed up. She has a dataport and, while not illegal, this is very suspicious. However, she tells Odo that she attempted to bypass the system because she learned not to trust policemen.
Arissa explains the man she was waiting for, Tauvid Rem, was helping her find information about her daughter, who she gave up when she was born 15 years ago. She insists Odo not talk to him, that she instead needs to talk to him, since it's a delicate matter. Odo agrees, and takes her to him. There, they can see he's inside, but when Odo overrides the door lock, they can't find him. Odo, though, sees he's been vaporized after moving a chair covering up the remains.
Odo questions Arissa for a bit. She had no indication that someone would want to harm the Idanian, and supposes it had nothing to do with her or her daughter. She'll have to start over in her search. Odo decides to drop the charges against her, since it did no damage. She's very appreciative and leaves, though she gives him a second glance.
Later, Arissa again accesses the computer using her dataport and successfully obtains information. At night, she's caught by Odo coming out of the Assay office, not through tripping an alarm but because he'd been following her. She gives up a data crystal, which Odo finds to be particularly well encrypted for information concerning someone's daughter. Supposing her story isn't true, he suggests he could have her strip-searched and examined to see if she'd ever been pregnant. She toys with the situation, saying she won't try to read into that motivation too much, but then admits she does not have a daughter. Saying she works for a man named Draim, who Odo knows is with the Orion Syndicate, she wanted to get out and Rem somehow had information that could let her do that safely. She guesses Draim somehow found out and hired someone to kill Rem. She now thinks about facing the Finnean authorities, but Odo decides to put her in protective custody until the data on the crystal can be obtained, determined to get to the bottom of it. She is surprised he is willing to help, but Odo replies "why not?"
Meanwhile, the two Finneans know she's talking to Odo. Sharing some hasperat, they are determined to keep her from accessing the data, though regret that they have to kill her to do so.
Odo brings Arissa to some quarters, then promptly transports her once inside to his own quarters, thereby throwing off anyone who might be watching. Odo explains he found Rem isn't his real name, having used several identities while travelling on three different freighters. Arissa hasn't been able to identify anyone from security recordings, either. He also says Dax and O'Brien are trying to decrypt the data crystal, a dangerous activity since it shorted out the computer the first time they tried to access it. Arissa dwells on her situation, telling Odo how she got the dataport – she was a net-girl, selling access to her mind for money. Draim started hiring her to get information about people he wanted to ruin or kill. She kept herself separated from the consequences of her actions for a time, but she finally couldn't do that anymore. She supposes she will eventually be killed, but Odo promises that won't happen.
Odo struggles with the decision to pursue Arissa romantically, and goes to the holosuite to get Bashir's input. Bashir is wooing a woman – the woman who Odo was supposed to steal – in a limousine, when Odo knocks on the window. Bashir suggests he let her know he's interested, even if she rejects him, as it's worse to never know if it could have worked. O'Brien, as Falcon, stops the conversation and Odo goes.
Back in his quarters, Odo talks to Arissa for a bit, making sure she's comfortable. He's having trouble coming out and saying it, so he kisses her.
Later, in the bed, Odo admits she's the first woman he's ever been with. She's surprised, and says she couldn't tell. They both wish they could stay there forever, but her mind turns to her situation.
In Ops, Dax and Kira gossip about Odo. Dax is convinced something's going on, but Kira assumes Odo's just being protective of her by using his quarters. Worf interrupts them, chiding them for gossiping, then states Odo knows what he's doing. Sisko comes from his office, looking for Odo since he's late for a meeting with Starfleet Intelligence which he himself set up. They inform him Odo had a woman over last night, and he understands. Just then, Odo arrives and the talking stops.
Meanwhile, Arissa is at the computer again, asking to make a deal with Draim. Draim tells his hired guns that she will give them the crystal, however, she will think she's being let go, but they are to kill her anyway.
In his office, Odo meets another Idanian following Odo's communication about the one that has been killed. The man explains that Arissa is an undercover agent who works for the Idanian government and that the crystal contains all her former memories. He asks to see her, and Odo agrees. They head to the science lab, where they find a security officer and O'Brien knocked out. She has stolen the data crystal. Fortunately, the Idanian can track it with a device he's carrying.
In a cargo bay, Arissa meets with the Finneans. One of them, however, is hiding and preparing his phaser.
The Idanian and Odo search for the device, but the signal has faded. Meanwhile, in the cargo bay, the Finnean makes the exchange with Arissa, and the other Finnean surprises her with a phaser. He is about to shoot when all the doors suddenly open and Odo, already above them, drops down and subdues them with the help of the Idanian who comes later. They go to the infirmary, where Bashir hooks up the data crystal.
The Idanian explains the whole situation. The procedure of wiping her real identity from her brain was to fool the telepaths used by the Orion syndicate and allow her to become a trusted member of the organization. She volunteered for the mission and was undercover for two years. He's confident that when she is restored, they'll be able to prosecute and imprison Draim. Odo challenges how the events of the last few days played out, but understands the motives. They couldn't risk Draim intercepting communications from the government. Bashir then brings Arissa to surgery to restore her appearance.
Odo waits in his quarters for Arissa, with her memories and physical appearance restored. He supposes Arissa is not her real name, and she confirms, also saying that she is married and, while it would be pointless to continue their relationship (since she is not really the same person anymore) there was a woman who truly loved Odo and that she still exists in a sense. While the constable ended up with a broken heart, he still had a positive experience and gained a little more self confidence with women. After she leaves Odo's quarters, he turns and stares out at his viewport, not looking back.
"I thought it was on stun."
"Look what you did to the carpet."
- - Sorm and Traidy, after Rem is vaporized
"If people are talking, it's only because they care. You put on a good front, but anyone who really knows you can see that you're lonely."
- - Bashir, to Odo
"What if I… what if she…"
"Rejects you? She might. But you can't go through life trying to avoid having your heart broken. If you do, it'll break from loneliness, anyway. So you might as well take a chance. If you don't, she'll move on, and you'll never know what you might have had. And living with that would be worse than having a broken heart, believe me."
- - Odo and Bashir
(in Falcon voice) "Car trouble, Mr. Bashir?" (regular voice) "Hi, Odo."
- - O'Brien, as Falcon, pointing a gun at Bashir
"This isn't fair! Odo and I were talking!"
"Didn't anyone ever tell ya? You shouldn't stop for hitchhikers."
- - Bashir and O'Brien (as Falcon)
"I don't have a heart."
"You could have fooled me."
- - Odo and Arissa
"I've never done anything sexual before… could you tell?"
- - Odo, to Arissa
"You are not talking, you're gossiping. And besides, Odo is quite capable of taking care of himself."
"Don't shout across the room. If you want to 'gossip' with us then come down here."
- - Worf and Dax
"Where is Odo? He asked me to arrange a conference with Starfleet Intelligence at 0800."
"I guess he's running late."
"He's never late."
"He's never spent the night with a woman before."
"A woman? Oh that's nice…" (Sudden look from Kira) "Isn't it?"
- - Sisko and Dax
Story and script
- This episode was inspired by the 1952 Richard Fleischer film The Narrow Margin. In the movie, Charles McGraw plays a policeman who is assigned to escort Marie Windsor to an important trial in which she is a key witness. Over the course of the film, he falls in love with her, even though he knows he shouldn't, as there can be no future with her. At the end of the film, it turns out that Windsor is also a cop and is acting as a decoy for the real witness who has gotten to the trial a completely different way. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion [page number? • edit])
- The writers had originally planned for Odo to have a sexual relationship with Chalan Aroya early in the fifth season while he was still a humanoid, but they felt that she wasn't right for him when she was introduced in "Broken Link", so they altered their plans. By the time they got around to doing an Odo relationship story however, he had regained his shape-shifting abilities. This was something that displeased Ronald D. Moore; "I wish we'd done the show while Odo was still human. If he had been Human, the relationship with this woman would have carried a little more weight." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion [page number? • edit])
- In René Echevarria's original teleplay, there was a scene where Arissa comes out of Odo's bedroom and finds Odo regenerating. She walks over to him and touches him, and he morphs onto her. Echevarria was especially proud of this scene, but Ira Steven Behr felt it was thematically more important for this particular episode that Odo make love as a humanoid. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion [page number? • edit]) Echevarria's scene however would resurface, when Odo does the same thing with Kira in the seventh season episode "Chimera". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion [page number? • edit])
- Rene Echevarria's original draft featured a character that would later become Vic Fontaine. Ira Behr recalled: "While we were writing "A Simple Investigation", Rene Echevarria said, 'Lets put the scene with the night-club singer in here. And I said, 'We're not gonna get Frank Sinatra, Jr. but maybe we can get Steve Lawrence or someone. So Rene wrote a scene, and that's when the character became Vic Fontaine. But the show was too long and we heard that Steve Lawrence wasn't available, so it never really made it beyond the first draft". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion [page number? • edit])
- The producers intended this episode to illustrate to viewers that Odo was no longer in love with Kira. They were satisfied with how the relationship had ended in "Crossfire" and they felt that the only chance Odo and Kira had to get together was while he was a humanoid, but with Shakaar in the picture, this never happened. As such, as far as the producers were concerned, Odo and Kira were back to just having a very deep friendship, something which this episode was designed to illustrate. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion [page number? • edit]) However, only five episodes later, in "Children of Time", they changed their minds again and Odo's love for Kira would finally be revealed to her, albeit not by him.
- Bashir's secret agent holonovel was purposely limited in its screen time by the writers, who also kept the homages to James Bond restrained after they were threatened with legal action by MGM following the airing of the episode "Our Man Bashir". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion [page number? • edit])
- Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode.
- Rene Auberjonois had to shave his entire upper body for this episode. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion [page number? • edit])
- The costume worn by Dey Young as the undercover Arissa was previously used for Young's portrayal of Hannah Bates in TNG: "The Masterpiece Society" and later for Keyla in ENT: "Two Days and Two Nights".
- Among the in-jokes listed as Arissa accesses the passenger manifest with her dataport are "Jerry Maquire," "Either Oneorother," and "Elbow Grease."
- Rene Auberjonois commented "I thought ["A Simple Investigation"] was terrific and really just loved working with Dey Young. I had a great time, and the director, John Kretchmer, was terrific. I think that was the show in which I chided Ira [Behr] about how he always made Odo suffer". ("Morphing On Up", Star Trek Monthly, issue 33 [page number? • edit])
- Dey Young greatly enjoyed the episode, particularly working with Rene Auberjonois and John Kretchmer. Young commented: "In all the years Paramount has done the show, I am the only love interest that Odo has had, so it was important that it was real and that we had a great relationship. We really worked on that. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it". Dey Young hoped that Arissa might make another appearance on the series, commenting: "There's talk of bringing her back. How they would do it, I don't know. We'll see". ("Love Hurts", Star Trek Monthly, issue 29 [page number? • edit])
- Of this episode, Ira Steven Behr says "I think we do crappy romances. But in terms of romantic shows, this wasn't a bad one." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion [page number? • edit])
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 5.9, 21 July 1997
- As part of the DS9 Season 5 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf
- Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
- Dey Young as Arissa
- John Durbin as Traidy
- Nicholas Worth as Sorm
- Randy Mulkey as an Idanian operative
- Cathy DeBuono as Starfleet officer
- Brian Demonbreun as sciences officer
- Cynthia Madvig as Falcon's girl
- Dan Magee as operations lieutenant
- Robin Morselli as Bajoran officer
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- Susie Stillwell as Bajoran security deputy
- Scott Strozier as Bajoran security deputy
- Unknown performers as
airplane; assassination; assay office; automobile; businessman; Cardassians; carpet; Central Bureau of Rehabilitation; data crystal; dataport; detective novel; DNA; Draim; driver; Dunlap, Nigel; Falcon; Federation; Felix; Finnea Prime; Finnean; gagh; graviton emitter; hasperat; heart; hitchhiker; holo-scan; holosuite; Idanian; indictment; intelligence agent; loneliness; murder; net-girl; Orion Syndicate; passenger manifest (aka "manifest"); phase inverter; plot; Promenade; protective custody; quantum scan; Quark's; Queen of England; Queen's Gambit; raktajino; Rem, Tauvid; Risean tapestries; robbery; security protocol; sex; sober; socialite; spicy; Starfleet Intelligence; strip search; Taal; Talarian; tentacle; Walther P38; Wantsomore, Lady
- "A Simple Investigation" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "A Simple Investigation" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "A Simple Investigation" at Wikipedia
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