(written from a Production point of view)
An attempt on Quark's life re-opens a five-year-old murder investigation.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Memorable quotes
- 3 Background information
- 4 Links and references
On Bajor, a lavishly dressed Bajoran woman named Vaatrik Pallra stands next to her window on a dark and stormy night. Quark is seated on a nearby couch as the two of them reminisce about the Cardassian Occupation. The woman reiterates that she did not kill her husband, although Constable Odo was convinced she did. It is clear Quark does not entirely believe the woman's claim, but he does not care. She hires the Ferengi to retrieve a box, the contents of which are not revealed, hidden in her husband's former shop aboard what is now Deep Space 9. Assuring her it will take a day or two at most, Quark leaves. After he is gone, a Bajoran man steps out from the shadows.
On DS9, as Odo goes about his daily routine, he commences recording a log.
- "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 lists 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 to this official record of this day. Everything's under control. End log."
Later that evening, Quark and Rom approach the former chemist's shop (now a storage area) cautiously on the darkened Promenade. Quark says he can break through the lock in twenty-five seconds, but Rom is able to do it in ten; he has used a desealing rod to break into the store room at Quark's on occasion while Quark was away. Although Quark accuses his brother of being a thief, Rom denies it. Once they are inside, Rom reveals that he has magnasite drop, which can instantly burn off the wall panel; Rom has had to use them to open Quark's latinum floor vault to store extra profits on good business days. Rom has been hoping that his ingenuity would finally earn his brother's trust, but the older Ferengi tells him never to touch anything in the bar again.
Quark takes out a small box from behind the wall panel, and he and Rom take it back to the bar. There Quark opens it to reveal a list of eight Bajoran names. Curious to find what they are, he tells Rom to fetch an imager before he reseals the box. However, while Rom is gone, the Bajoran man who was with Quark's employer emerges from the shadows, armed. The Ferengi immediately knows who sent the other man; their mutual employer knew Quark could not resist taking a peek. The man shoots Quark with a compressed tetryon beam and takes off with the list. Rom then comes back with the imager, sees his brother lying on the ground, and starts screaming for help.
Doctor Bashir is now kneeling over Quark's unconscious body, attempting to resuscitate him, as Odo, Commander Sisko and Major Kira look on nearby. Quark is immediately taken to the infirmary, and Kira goes off to secure outgoing vessels as Sisko and Odo turn their attention to Rom. While the younger Ferengi seems upset by the apparent loss of his brother, Odo suspects Rom of killing Quark for ownership of the bar. Rom is unable to conceal his elation at the thought of finally getting his brother's bar, but then realizes that that quickly makes him a suspect. Sisko (apparently playing "good cop") speaks up in Rom's defense, saying that his son is good friends with Sisko's, and asks Rom, as a friend, to share anything he knows that might be helpful. Rom comes across with the truth about the list and Quark's mysterious employer on Bajor.
Rom then leads Odo to the ship's store, mentioning that the list was hidden during the Occupation, when the room was the chemist's shop. Odo looks at him sharply, and he flashes back five years as the doors open.
Odo, dressed in a nondescript civilian outfit, enters the chemist's shop, where Dukat, the Prefect of Bajor and the commander of Terok Nor, is seated behind a desk in someone else's office, in complete control and enjoying it. Dukat introduces himself to Odo and says that the owner of the shop, Vaatrik, has been found murdered. The standard Cardassian form of "justice" in such an event is to execute ten random Bajorans as an example to the real murderer. But Dukat, claiming that he prefers to be more merciful on this occasion, would rather find the real murderer. Odo has something of a reputation for integrity and is known for breaking up disputes between the Bajorans, so Dukat asks him to conduct the inquiry – since Bajoran witnesses and suspects are hardly likely to be open to a Cardassian officer. Odo is at first resistant to the idea of working for the Cardassians, but agrees for the sake of justice: Finding the guilty party is preferable to decimating ten innocent Bajorans.
Dukat introduces Odo to the prime witness, the victim's wife, Pallra, who hasn't shed a tear since her husband was murdered. Pallra says right away that she knows who killed her husband: a young woman with whom he was having an affair. The woman is still on the station, and she points out a young Kira having a solitary meal on the Promenade.
The flashback ends as Kira approaches Odo. The attempt on Quark's life, and the mention of the list, has brought Vaatrik's murder to both their minds.
- "Security log, stardate 47284.1. In this job, there is no unfinished business. This assault on Quark re-opens 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."
In his office, Odo is attempting to get Rom's mind off of his possibly becoming owner of his brother's bar, and the two of them review the events of the night before in an attempt to jog Rom's memory. Although the Ferengi is unable to remember any of the complete names, he believes the first one started with "Ches'so". Odo gives the name to Kira, who goes to investigate as Odo enters another flashback.
Odo approaches a seated Kira in an attempt to seem casual; however, his behavior and lack of experience make it all too obvious that he is a security officer. Kira denies having had an affair with Vaatrik; in fact, she was transferred to the station from the surface after hitting a supervisor who made sexual advances towards her. When Odo asks her for an alibi, Kira says she was in the bar, trying to find work. Odo is a little frustrated at her reticence, and insists that he is not on anyone's side, especially not Dukat's. She rejoins that he will have to pick a side (Cardassian or Bajoran) eventually.
On Bajor, Odo interviews Mrs. Vaatrik in her home, which, in sharp contrast to the time of Quark's visit, is now brightly lit and sumptuously decorated. She claims to be ignorant of any list, or of the attempt on Quark's life. Odo asks whether the name "Ches'so" means anything to her, and she says no. As he is leaving he compliments her on the elegance of her home, then mentions that records show her power had recently been cut off for lack of payments, yet now she is living well again. With a smile, she states that she has received gifts of money from an acquaintance, whose identity she can't reveal. Odo, leaves and a distressed look crosses her face.
- "Security log, supplemental. The Ferengi holds onto life like it's gold-pressed latinum. Maybe he just doesn't want his brother to get the bar, or maybe he knows he's the only real witness I have."
Dr. Bashir is unsure if Quark will live. Major Kira stops by the Infirmary to tell Odo that she thinks she has identified the "Ches'so" he is looking for: a mining engineer named Ches'sarro Seeto, who traveled to the station frequently during the Occupation and has since been very active for charities benefiting Bajoran war orphans. The bad news is, Ches'sarro is dead – he drowned in a pond at his home the night before. Odo realizes that Mrs. Vaatrik had Ches'sarro killed as soon as he mentioned the name "Ches'so" to her. Realizing that Mrs. Vaatrik knows from him that Quark is still alive, he stations a security guard in the infirmary around the clock. Looking at the still-unconscious Quark, Odo enters another flashback.
As he enters Quark's and finds the Ferengi, Odo once again tries to be casual and discreet, and once again is unable to hide his role and connection to Dukat. When Odo asks him to confirm Kira's alibi, Quark insinuates that Kira was performing a sexual favor for him the night before, as an added "incentive" for him to hire her. But from what he gathered earlier, Odo knows Kira would not do this. Confronted with the truth, Quark admits that Kira paid him to provide her with an alibi.
Odo finds Commander Sisko and Lieutenant Dax sitting at a table in Quark's, and informs them that he has reconstructed the list from Mrs. Vaatrik's communications logs and bank records: eight people, who had no previous contact with her, suddenly began talking to her extensively after the list was stolen, and each of them has transferred 100,000 Bajoran litas into her bank account. The three of them reach the same conclusion: the men on the list were collaborating with the Cardassians during the Occupation and emerged from the Occupation very rich men; with the list, Mrs. Vaatrik has been blackmailing them. Odo admits that he doesn't have enough evidence to charge her with a crime, but he gets permission from Sisko to bring her from Bajor to the station in for questioning. Meanwhile, the man who earlier tried to kill Quark looks on intently and follows Odo out of the bar.
- "Nobody ever had to teach me the justice trick. That's something I've always known. A racial memory from my species, I guess. It's really the only clue I have to what kind of people they are. Are these kinds of thoughts appropriate for a Starfleet log? I don't care. There's no room in justice for loyalty or friendship or love. Justice, as the Humans like to say, is blind. I used to believe that. I'm not sure I can anymore."
In his office, Odo flashes back again.
In the security office, Kira admits that she lied about her alibi but swears that she didn't kill Vaatrik. Odo demands to know where she was, then, and she admits that she is a member of the Bajoran Underground and was part of a team that planted a bomb in the ore processing section of the station. She begs him not to expose her, saying that she will be executed by the Cardassians. Just then, Dukat enters, demanding to know whether or not Kira is guilty. Realizing that he has to choose a side, Odo does not expose Kira, but simply informs Dukat that he is satisfied she did not commit the murder, and she is free to go. Dukat grabs her by the arm and warns Odo about lying of her involvement in Vaatrik's murder. Odo responds by telling Dukat that if he knows as much about him as he says he does, Dukat should know that he never lies. Dukat releases his hand from Kira, and she leaves.
Mrs. Vaatrik's assassin enters the infirmary with a bouquet of flowers and uses them as a cover to stab the guard Odo has posted there in his chest. Approaching Quark's body, he turns off the Ferengi's life support monitor and then starts to smother him with a pillow. Rom enters the room, and, seeing the attempted murder of his brother, begins screaming at the top of his lungs. The assassin throws Rom aside and tries to run, but is stopped at the door to the infirmary by Odo and his deputies. Odo restrains the assassin and summons Bashir to the infirmary. Rom is still screaming, and Odo tells him he can stop, he has heroically saved his brother's life. Rom appears pleased for a moment, only to realize he has now lost possession of the bar, causing him to start screaming again. On the infirmary bed, Quark has just regained consciousness and gives a small but triumphant smile.
In the brig, Mrs. Vaatrik is brought to view the assassin, and calmly states that she's never seen him before. Odo and Kira say that her communications records and bank transfer statements tell a different story. Vaatrik says she wants her advocate, and Odo locks her in a cell next to the assassin's while she is waiting. Mrs. Vaatrik defiantly says that no matter what else Odo thinks she may have done, she didn't kill her husband and Odo can't prove that she did. To Kira's surprise, Odo replies, "I know."
Outside in the security office, Odo confronts Kira with what he has figured out: Vaatrik himself must have been a collaborator, or else he wouldn't have had a list of names hidden in his office. Dukat could not risk exposing his other contacts on Bajor by investigating Vaatrik's murder himself, which is why he recruited Odo to do it. Also he knows that Vaatrik's wife wouldn't have killed him, since he was the one keeping her in luxury. All this means that the people with the strongest reason to want him dead would have been the Underground. Kira admits that another resistance fighter sabotaged the ore processor, while she was sent to Vaatrik's shop. She was not sent to kill him, but to find the list, knowing that Vaatrik was Dukat's liaison with his network of collaborators. She was searching the shop when Vaatrik surprised her, forcing her to kill him.
Odo asks her why she didn't tell him the truth, even after the Cardassians left and it became clear that he was not working for them. Kira says she couldn't bring herself to tell him the truth, for fear it would create a schism between them. He tells her that this incident may not affect their friendship, but when Kira asks him if he'll ever be able to trust her in the same way again, Odo can find no answer.
"She sent you, didn't she?"
"She knew you wouldn't be able to resist taking a look. Sorry."
"Yeah, me too." (gets shot)
- - Quark and Trazko
"Help! Somebody help! My brother's been killed!"
- - Rom, after he finds Quark on the floor
"I've had my eye on you for a long time, Rom. You're not as stupid as you look."
"I am, too!"
- - Odo and Rom
"Rom, as a friend, if you know anything that might be useful, I think you should tell us."
"…There was a list. The man who shot my brother stole a list."
"What kind of list?"
"Of names. Eight Bajoran names. It was in this box we… we found."
"In a manner of speaking."
- - Sisko, Rom, and Odo
"I really oughta be getting back to my bar."
"He's not dead yet, Rom!"
"They're not keeping him alive by artificial means, are they? My brother wouldn't want that."
"No, he's clinging to life all on his own."
- - Rom and Odo
"All right, let's try again. Close your eyes, take a deep breath… clear your mind of anything in it… if there's anything there… breathe… breathe… now, what do you see?"
"With my name on it!"
- - Odo, trying to spark Rom's memory, and Rom
"Pretty girl like you shouldn't be eating alone"
"I don't do whatever it is you want. Not for money, not for food."
"No you misunderstand, I… I'm sorry. Of course I can see how you could… Let me start over."
- - Odo and Kira meeting for the first time
"You're not planning on leaving the station soon?"
"If I were, would you have the Cardassians stop me?"
"Then I'm not planning on leaving the station soon."
- - Odo and Kira Nerys (on Terok Nor)
"I'm looking for the proprietor of this establishment."
"Does he owe you money?"
"Are you here to arrest him?"
"Then you've found him. Quark, at your service."
- - Odo and Quark, their very first conversation
"I misjudged you, major. You were a better liar than I gave you credit for."
"You were working for the Cardassians."
"I haven't been for more than a year. You've had all that time to tell me the truth."
"I tried to tell you the truth, a hundred times… What you think of me matters a lot. I was afraid…"
"That it might affect our friendship?"
"Maybe it doesn't have to."
"Will you ever be able to trust me the same way again?"
(Last lines of the episode. Odo does not answer.)
- - Odo and Kira
(Piercing screaming from Rom)
"It's over Rom! Over! You're a hero."
"You saved your brother's life."
(More piercing screaming from Rom) (Quark gives a small smile)
- - Rom and Odo, after saving Quark's life
- A scene was deleted from the third act that revealed that Pallra was having an affair with Dukat. Michael Piller thought that cutting the scene was a mistake. Piller commented: "The greatest regret I have about that show is that I allowed Rick [Berman] to take out one scene that would have really made it better. That was a scene where Odo, having just talked to Kira, was going to see Pallra and he sees Gul Dukat coming out of her room and he kisses her goodbye, indicating that they just had sex. When Dukat walks away, we go around the corner where Odo was and there is now a picture that is crooked. Gul Dukat straightens it out and walks on, and then Odo goes to see Pallra. If we had left that in, that would have suggested Gul Dukat, a red herring, might have also been involved in the murder and was involved in covering it up somehow. That would have been an interesting additional element for people to be thinking about during the course of the show. I have never been as sorry about cutting something out as I felt about that." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 65)
- Marc Alaimo was irked that the scene where he kisses Katherine Moffat was cut. Alaimo commented, "Dukat was quite taken with [Pallra]. There was a scene where he walks her to her door and they kiss, but they cut it. I suppose they didn't want Dukat looking soft or something". ("Marc Alaimo: The Unlikely Sex Symbol", Star Trek: Communicator issue 111)
- This episode, with its first-person narration, hard-bitten detective main character, flashbacks to a time of war, and overall noir feel, echoes strongly the classic detective fiction of the ’40s. Moreover, Rom’s interrogation by Odo and Sisko shows the police tactic also known as “good cop/bad cop”, because Odo is aggressive towards the Ferengi and tries to threaten him, while Sisko is more supportive and shows sympathy for Rom. (This technique is often used by police characters in movies and TV shows.)
- A photo of special-effects designer Dan Curry was used on the PADD showing Ches'sarro Seeto.
- The Season Five episode "Things Past" acts as a companion piece of sorts to this episode, revealing a dark mistake Odo had made during the Occupation that he had kept a secret from Kira and the others.
- This is the only episode of the series in which we hear Odo narrate a log, which he does several times. It would seem from "The Ascent", in which he records what he believes to be his final entry on his communicator, that he kept the tradition up; however, we do not hear him recording logs in the traditional sense of "captain's log" entries outside of these two episodes.
- This is the first episode where we learn that Rom may be a lot smarter than most people think and that he is in fact possessed of a great deal of mechanical/technical knowledge and expertise.
- Rom references the time Quark stayed "in the Gamma Quadrant overnight", which occurred in the previous episode, "Rules of Acquisition".
- When Odo is questioning Vaatrik Pallra he goes to leave the room, stops, turns around and says "One more thing" before asking her another question. He also says the phrase "All part of a routine investigation." Both phrases are a homage to the show Columbo, numerous episodes of which were written (uncredited) by Peter Allan Fields.
- In this episode, we see Odo meet Gul Dukat, Kira Nerys, and Quark for the very first time.
- Chronologically, in the Star Trek timeline, Kira (as part of the Bajoran Resistance) is the first person to call Odo "constable." The line of dialogue is, "Everyone has to choose sides, Constable."
- Referenced Rules of Acquisition: #139 ("Wives serve, brothers inherit")
- Colm Meaney and Cirroc Lofton do not appear in this episode.
- As with "Duet" from the first season, "Necessary Evil" is a favorite amongst both cast and crew; David Livingston calls it "one of our best shows", Ira Steven Behr says it was a "great show", and actor Rene Auberjonois enthuses that it was "one of the best episodes we've ever done." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 99))
- Ira Steven Behr also commented: ""["Necessary Evil"] was an attempt to see how Odo and Kira met for the first time and see Odo as an investigator. Then it just grew. What nailed it was the sense of betrayal and the fact that this close relationship between Kira and Odo started out based on this lie, which just makes for fascinating storytelling. I think the director, who also did "Duet", Jim Conway, can take a lot of credit. It worked. All pistons were firing; it was a great show." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 66)
- Nana Visitor commented: "What I loved about that show is that it was left ambiguous between [Kira and Odo]. Odo doesn't trust me the way he did and he never will, and that's so truthful to me. That's real life, and that's one of the things this show does very well. It doesn't tie things up in nice, neat little bows for the audience. It gives them more credit than that." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 65)
- Michael Piller commented on the episode that it "was as close to a perfect episode as we have done. There was great stuff between Kira and Odo and Katherine Moffat did wonderful work in the Lana Turner role as Pallra." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 65)
- David Livingston commented: "Jim Conway is an extraordinary director, and it was an extraordinary script. Jim wanted to do film noir, and Marvin Rush delivered it. It has a terrific look and it shows you what the station was like under Cardassian rule." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 66)
- In Star Trek 101 (p. 125), Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block list "Necessary Evil" as being one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- Remastered footage from the episode is featured in the documentary What We Left Behind.
- The Star Trek: Terok Nor novel Dawn of the Eagles depicts Kira killing Vaatrik, whose given name was revealed as Drasa, and goes into further detail regarding Odo's investigation into the murder and its immediate aftermath. As depicted in the subsequent episode "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night", Dukat began an affair with Kira's late mother Kira Meru in 2346 and, following her death in 2353, he attempted to track the movements of her children as best he could. Consequently, he was aware that Kira was not only responsible for Vaatrik's death but that she was a member of the Shakaar resistance cell. However, he had his personal aide Basso Tromac obstruct Odo's investigation to prevent him from learning the truth. Nevertheless, Odo took sympathy on Kira and arranged for her to be transported back to the Dahkur Province on Bajor the following week with the assistance of his deputy Dalin Russol, who was secretly a member of the Cardassian dissident movement, supposedly on Dukat's authority. Basso learned of their plan and arranged passage on the same transport. When he ordered the pilot to return the transport to Terok Nor, Kira wrestled Basso's phaser from him and killed him. While not related to the murder investigation, the novel also revealed that Morn arrived on the station during the events of this episode, specifically the day after Odo began the investigation, and almost immediately sat down in what became his regular spot in Quark's. Although Morn would ultimately become his best customer, Quark was initially reluctant to serve him as he regarded Lurians as bad for business.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 14, 23 May 1994
- As part of the DS9 Season 2 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
- Kevin Brophy as Bajoran security deputy
- Tracee Lee Cocco as Kobheerian
- Dan Curry as Ches'sarro Seeto
- David B. Levinson as Broik
- Robin Morselli as Bajoran officer
- Randy Pflug as Jones
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Human resident
- Michael Zurich as Bajoran security deputy
- Unknown actors as
2363; 2365; 2369; accusation; advocate; agent; amusement; anti-grav lift; apostrophe; assailant; autopsy; Bajor; Bajoran; Bajoran Center for Science; Bajoran language; Bajoran underground; bank account; bar; bar (money); blackmail; Bosotile; Cardassians; Cardassian ale; Cardassian neck trick; Cardassian Empire; Cardassian groat; Cardassian High Command; case; Central Bank of Bajor; chemist's shop; chemicals; Ches'sarro Seeto; chocolate; collaborator; companionship; compressed tetryon beam weapon; constable; cortical stimulator; cortolin; Deep Space 9 levels; desealer; desealing rod; duranium; epidermis; eulogy; false accusation; Federation; Ferengi; floor plate; Gamma Quadrant; gold-pressed latinum (latinum); gul; Hadar; hanging; holosuite; homicide; ice; imager; investigator; Kressari; lita; magnasite; Markalian; medical examiner; Meldrar I; Mora Pol; murder; night; Nog; Occupation of Bajor; ore processing; pond; power company; proprietor; pulsatel lockseal; Promenade; Pyrellian ginger tea; Quark's; rebel; replicator; robbery; Rotciv; Rules of Acquisition; salvage team; Sector 4; security detail; security officer; shape-shift; ship's store; shock; soft drink; storeroom; sub-nucleonic device; supervisor; sympathizer; Terok Nor; tetryon; thoracic cavity; Tygarian; vault; vial; work detail; work station
- "Necessary Evil" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Necessary Evil" at Wikipedia
- "Necessary Evil" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Necessary Evil" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
"Rules of Acquisition"
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