Synopsis: We open on what appears to be the set of Love Across Lightyears, a space soap opera I have previously hypothesized exists. There’s a blonde lady wearing this fancy white dress/pantsuit and earrings that look like she bought them at Disney’s Tomorrowland. She’s in a room lit only by candlelight, and looking out a giant window at what is possibly the fakest thunderstorm I have ever seen or heard on television, and she turns to a companion sitting on the other side of the room to say, “I didn’t kill him, you know. A lot of people thought I did. That shape-shifter thought so. But he was wrong.”
I guess we’re not on Love Across Lightyears after all, because the camera cuts to reveal that she’s talking to Quark, who says that whatever she was talking about was a “long time ago.” The Soap Opera Lady, who is Bajoran, flounces over to sit with him and charmingly says that at least the Cardassians kept the power on. But did the trains run on time? I think we’re all dying to know.
She offers to freshen up Quark’s drink, and says that he was always kind to her, giving Quark the opportunity to exposit that he ran a black market during the occupation, and never really saw himself as kind. She protests that he always slipped a little extra ginger tea into her packages, and Quark is all, “get to the damn point already,” or maybe that was me. Anyway, she explains that she called him to Bajor to ask for a favor: apparently her husband used to have a shop on the station (back when it was Cardassian and called Terok Nor), and he kept a strongbox hidden in the wall. She wants Quark to retrieve it for her, and she’ll pay him handsomely for returning the box full of “sentimental valuables.”
Quark asks why she doesn’t get it her own damn self, and she says that she can’t bear to be back in the shop where her husband was murdered. Quark suspects that she doesn’t want to run into Odo, and she smiles a mysterious little smile and tells him which wall panel the strongbox is hidden behind. She says she can pay him five bars of gold-pressed latinum, plus her “personal gratitude.” I was pretty sure that meant sex, and then Quark confirmed it for me by creepily stroking his ear. God, ew.
He tells he it’ll be a day, maybe two, and as he leaves she makes this really calculating look that is accompanied by a sudden crack of lightning, in case we didn’t already suspect that she was eeeeeeevil. Also, some dude steps out from the closet he was hiding in to reveal that he was listening to the whole thing, and she looks totally unsurprised to see him, so I suppose there will be some double-cross shenanigans.
After credits, Odo is doing a voiceover! I could not be more excited, because now it really feels like a gumshoe murder mystery. If I could only get Odo to talk out of the side of his mouth and call everybody “sweetheart,” it would be perfect. Odo explains that Sisko has mandated that he have a log from now on, even though Odo thinks it’s totally pointless. He says he thinks records are bullshit, and his memory is awesome, and after complaining about how stupid the whole idea is for about a minute and a half, he says, “everything is under control. End log.” He is so Rorschach sometimes, and it’s a stark contrast to the logs everybody else in Starfleet keeps.
Elsewhere, Quark has foolishly employed Rom to assist him in his heist. He wants Rom to play lookout while he spends 25 seconds picking the lock, but Rom thinks that’s too long, and they’ll get caught. He tells Quark he could pick it in ten seconds, but Quark scoffs at him. Rom says he knows he could do it, because it’s the same kind of lock they have on the storeroom at the bar, and he picks it to serve the customers when Quark forgets to leave him the “desealer.” Quark is all, “you’ve got it down to ten seconds?” and Rom matter-of-factly says, “you forget fairly often.”
Rom succeeds while Quark grumbles about the sanctity of his storeroom, and then Quark tells Rom to be lookout while he burns the wall panel off to get at the strongbox. Rom thinks this will attract too much attention, and says he has something called “magnasite drops,” which Quark has never heard of. Rom explains that magnasite drops are some sort of acid that will eat straight through the wall panel, and a small drop applied to each corner will make it fall right off. Quark is all, “and how do you know that,” and Rom hilariously explains that they did a really good business last week when Quark was having his Gamma Quadrant sleepover, and he naturally had to force his way into Quark’s floor vault to keep the profits safe. Quark is all, “you’ve been in my floor vault, too?”
Rom is just full of ideas tonight, isn’t he? This more of the writers trying to remake Rom’s image, and as such he Forrest Gumps his way into a lot of successes for a while (“Mama always said, ‘profit is as profit does.’”), to Quark’s amazement. As he pulls out the strongbox, he injuncts Rom from touching anything, ever again.
In the bar, the open the (very small) strongbox to reveal…only a piece of paper. Quark is disappointed, Rom hopes it’s a treasure map – man, if there’s anything that tells you about the difference in their personalities, that moment is it.
The paper has eight Bajoran names on it, which Quark wants to copy down before resealing the box. As Rom runs off to get a pen and paper or whatever, the Shadowy Bajoran Man from earlier sneaks up on Quark, who snaps that they’re closed, until the guy pulls a gun, at which point Quark quips, “well, if you really want a drink.”
Can I just throw out that Quark may need to beef up security at the bar? It just seems like this is like the third time in a year that someone has snuck in after hours and threatened his life, so he may want to consider investing in a deadbolt or something.
The Shadowy Bajoran says that the Bajoran Soap Opera Lady knew Quark couldn’t resist opening it, and he takes the piece of paper and says he’s sorry, which is really a pretty classy thing to do. Quark says “yeah, me too,” and then the guy shoots him with enough force to throw him across the room. Rom runs back in as the Shadowy Bajoran retreats, and screams for help as he finds Quark unresponsive.
Luckily Dr. Bashir is on call. You can just tell he practices for this late at night in his quarters, putting on old episodes of ER and internalizing the patter. When we come back from commercial he’s putting Quark on a gurney and yelling things like “TEN CCs OF ADRENALINE!” and “BRING ME THE CORTICAL STIMULATOR, STAT!” and “WHAT KIND OF WEAPON WAS IT, I AM WAITING” even though the only people in the room are Odo, Kira, Sisko, and his nurse, and they’re all standing within three feet of him.
Odo hypothesizes about the kind of weapon used to shoot Quark, saying it would have had to get past all the fancy weapons sensors they have on the promenade. Sisko asks what went down, and Odo tells him that Rom said it was a robbery, and claimed not to know if anything was taken, but he obviously knows. Kira says that security is stopping everyone at the airlocks, but that the assailant could have escaped the station in the five minutes it took security to get there and get set up. Sisko says to delay the vehicles trying to leave for as long as possible, and Kira goes to inform the security teams as Bashir rushes Quark to surgery.
Over by the bar, Rom is freaking out about what he’s going to do if Quark dies. As far as Odo is concerned, the chase is afoot, because he immediately points out that Rom would have plenty to do, since he’d get the bar, giving him a solid motive to have Quark killed. Rom is all, “wait, I get the bar?”, and in a truly great moment, Odo quotes the 139th Rule of Acquisition, “wives serve, brothers inherit.”
Odo says that Rom isn’t as stupid as he looks, and Rom yells, “YES I AM,” and protests that he would never kill his own brother. At this point, Sisko steps in to join the fun as the Good Cop, reminding Odo that Rom is a close family friend, since Jake and Nog are buddies, and Odo is all, “then you’ll have to tell him his dad is going to be serving some time on the chain gang,” and Sisko makes this hilarious, “oh, too bad,” face.
Rom is all flustered, and Sisko swoops in to put his arm around him and council him “as a friend,” to share anything he knows. Rom spills that the Shadowy Bajoran stole a list of eight Bajoran names that was in this box that they…found. Odo is all like, “found, huh?” and then Rom starts telling him everything he knows.
As they walk through the halls to the shop where the box was, Rom spills that someone on Bajor hired Quark to retrieve the box, but unfortunately, he doesn’t know who, because Quark never told him. He says all he really knows is that the box was hidden years ago, when the station was the Cardassian Terok Nor, in what used to be the chemist’s shop.
This information immediately piques Odo’s attention, he whips his head around so fast I almost expected some sort of “it’s a CLUE!” orchestration to be playing underneath. They have arrived at the chemist’s shop, and as Odo unlocks the door, he enters a flashback, in which there are a lot of Cardassians standing about, Odo is wearing a much more somber outfit, and everything is shot with an aggressive blue filter.
Past Odo enters the chemist’s shop to find Gul Dukat, who summoned him there, sipping a mocha frap and skimming his kindle. Gul Dukat introduces himself to Odo, saying Odo probably doesn’t remember their earlier meeting, which was at a fancy reception at a lab, held so that the Cardassian High Command could “view” Odo.
Gul Dukat is all about telling Odo how amusing he was, and how his “Cardassian neck trick” was hilarious. Odo, it is worth noting, does not appear to have the pride and military bearing we are so used to seeing from him. He’s sort of stooped over, and is staring at the floor instead of making eye contact with Gul Dukat – it’s clear he doesn’t want to be here, talking about this, and he rather tersely notes that the Bajoran scientist who worked with him had hoped the Cardassians would find him amusing, making him practice the Cardassian neck trick in particular for weeks on end.
Gul Dukat says that Odo was so gosh darn entertaining that a lot of the leadership wanted to send him out as a one-man Cardassian USO, but that he, Gul Dukat, though Odo might be more valuable elsewhere. He exposits that Odo defiantly left the lab he lived in, and Odo says he thought he could learn more about humanoids out in the real world. Dukat asks if Odo has ever seen a body before, and Odo says he’s seen dead miners. Dukat tells him that totally doesn’t count, and is all, “what we have here is a muuuuuuuurder,” pulling back a sheet nearby to reveal a corpse.
He’s decided that Odo is going to solve the case, even though he’s never done anything like that before. I guess Dukat just thought it would be fun to watch? Maybe he has some sort of Guys and Dolls-style bet going with the other officers, where they were just sitting around and Dukat was all, “I can turn anyone into a detective, anyone at all!” and one of the other Guls was all, “all right, smart guy, what about that shape shifter?” and Dukat was all, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.”
Odo, who has finally begun making eye contact now that it seems really important, protests that he doesn’t want to be a Cardassian agent. Dukat says he wouldn’t be, he’d be an impartial investigator, keeping things in order and upholding justice. Odo points out that there sure doesn’t seem to be a lot of justice in the occupation of Bajor, and Dukat is all like, “watch yourself, pal.”
He says that the way Cardassians would normally solve this would be to round up ten Bajorans at random and execute them on the promenade, and it’s Odo’s job to give him a better alternative. He also says that Bajorans seem to trust Odo, and that he knows the Bajorans on the station often go to him for King Solomon-style judgement about who gets which blankets and food rations, so I guess Odo does have some qualifications for this after all. Odo says the Bajorans consider him an impartial observer, and Gul Dukat says, “you’re not one of them, and for that you should be grateful.” Hey, everybody, it’s our old friend Casual Racism! Wave as he goes by, who knows when we’ll see him again! Maybe not for minutes.
Dukat says to think of finding the murderer as just settling one more dispute, and Odo, after a moment of intense silent deliberation, asks if there were any witnesses. Apparently there was, and, oh look! It’s Bajoran Soap Opera Lady, although looks decidedly poorer and less glamorous. She’s sitting in a holding area, which Dukat enters to introduce Odo as the man who will be investigating her husband’s murder. Dukat tells Odo that this space is his, and they’ll get him whatever resources he needs. He gives his sympathy to the widow and leaves.
Odo seems extremely ill at ease, but finally tells her he’s sorry for her loss. She thanks him, and he fumbles for a moment – before finally clasping his hands behind him in the “Odo’s On the Case” gesture we’ve all come to know and love. He asks if she has any idea who could have done it, and she says she actually does. Odo is totally taken aback, and when she asks if she can be honest with him, he earnestly says, “that might be helpful.”
She goes on to explain that her husband of only two years was having an affair with some young hussy who showed up on the station a few weeks ago. Odo says that she must have loved her husband very much, and then he goes all Monk on her ass, saying that she hasn’t cried in the two hours since his death, which he knows because people who’ve been crying have swollen epidermis below their eyes, and she does not.
She’s all, “oh, um, too angry to cry, uh, you know, the uhhhh, shock.” Odo is all, “but of course, now, please get back to accusing this other woman of murder,” and begins pacing. The Bajoran Soap Opera Lady says her husband confessed the affair to her days ago but said it was over, and Odo is all, “and presumably she killed him when he broke up with her.” The Soap Opera Lady says that’s about the size of it, and offers to point her out to Odo.
The two travel to another part of the station, which, it should be noted, is far bleaker than it is in the present day. It looks a lot like a sci-fi Warsaw, really, all electrified fences and guards and oppressed and beaten-down people. Odo asks the Soap Opera Lady where she saw her husband last, and she says it was at the shop, where he was staying up late doing inventory. She’s also at least making an effort to look sad, now, wiping her eyes melodramatically and so on. She reveals that she and her husband had a private room, so they didn’t have to live out in the middle of the promenade with the other Bajoran rabble. Just then, she points to the adulterous hoskank who probably murdered her husband. Who could it be?
Just then, somebody unscrews the blue lens and we’re back in the present, on the promenade, where present, short-haired Kira is calling present Odo out of his reverie to tell him that they didn’t stop anyone worthwhile at the airlocks, and she can’t hold up outbound traffic anymore. Odo says that the bad guy probably ditched the weapon anyway, and Kra concurs. She says she heard about the list, and where they found it, and says she couldn’t help but wonder if it had something to do with the Dead Chemist from the flashback. Odo says he’s been wondering the same thing, and they share a significant look before she stalks off.
After the commercial, Odo notes in his log that there is no unfinished business in his line of work, including the five-year-old murder of the Chemist, which he says he’s never come close to solving.
He’s questioning Rom about the names on the list, but Rom doesn’t remember anything about them, and then they have a funny little exchange where Rom says “I have to get back to my bar,” and Odo reminds him that Quark isn’t dead yet. Rom frantically establishes that Quark wouldn’t want to be kept alive artificially, and Odo wearily says, “he’s clinging to life all on his own.”
He tells Rom to close his eyes, take deep breaths, and clear his mind of anything that might be there, and then asks him what he sees. Rom says he sees the bar with his name on it, and Odo is all, “what was on the goddamn paper, Rom,” and Rom says he thinks the first name on the list starts with a C, ends with an O, and has an apostrophe in it. Odo talks him through to the name “Che’sso,” but I’m pretty sure that’s going to be completely inadmissible in court. Odo, frustrated, tells Rom to call him day or night if he remembers anything.
Kira approaches to ask how it’s going, and Odo lets her know about the Che’sso development and asks if she knew anyone on the station by that name back then. Kira says no, but adds that she wasn’t here very long before the Chemist got murdered. Odo says he knew that, and Kira says she never told him, and Odo says he knew anyway. Kira says she would have been executed, and Odo reassures her that she wouldn’t have been because she was innocent. Kira says that innocent didn’t matter to the Cardassians, but Odo says it always mattered to him.
Just like that, we’re back in flashback times, where everything is all dystopian and still blue. We’ve returned to the moment when Past Odo saw Ponytail Kira for the first time, Ponytail Kira is eating some gruel in the Past Holiday Inn Express Breakfast Buffet, which is looking more like Holiday Inn Express Breakfast Breadline these days.
Odo sits down next to her and says that a “pretty girl like her” shouldn’t be eating alone. Kira, who sounds less angry than tired, informs him that she is not interested in servicing his genitals, not even if he has money or food to exchange.
Odo is visibly startled, and loses his cool immediately, tripping all over himself to explain that he’s investigating as an unofficial security officer. Kira is all, “how can you be a security officer without being official?” and Odo tells her that Gul Dukat personally asked him to solve the murder of the Dead Chemist, and that the widow said he knew Kira. The camera cuts to Soap Opera Lady, who is totally standing on the periphery of the food area giving Kira the stink-eye, which seems like really bad detective procedure to me.
Kira is all, “well, I guess she said I killed him,” and Odo accuses her of being in love with the Dead Chemist, and Kira is all, “no,” and Odo is all, “then he was in love with you,” and Kira is all, “no,” and Odo awesomely grumbles, “doesn’t sound like much of a romance.” Kira protests that they weren’t having a romance, and Odo is confused by the suddenly high amount of ambiguity in this case.
Kira says that she arrived two weeks earlier, and met the Dead Chemist soon after. He stocked a special kind of ginger tea she liked, which she never knew how he got his hands on (Quark!) and they bonded over it. She says he may have been into her, but if he was, it didn’t go anywhere. Kira also challenges Odo to consider why Dukat put Odo on this case instead of one of his own security people.
Odo asks where she was last night, and she says she was trying to get a job at the bar, because it has to be better than the mines (considering how Quark treats his Dabo Girls, I don’t know about that). Odo goes all Monk again and says he can tell by her hands that she hasn’t spent any time in the mines. Kira, rather than getting angry, cracks a bit of smile and says, “hey, you’re not bad at this.”
She says she worked at a replicator factory on Bajor before this, and she would up here because she hit a supervisor for coming onto her. Wow, Zek didn’t know who he was fooling with when he was doing all that ass-slapping last week.
Odo tries to do the standard “don’t leave the jurisdiction” line, but Kira is all, “well, the Cardassians would stop me if I tried, so I guess I’m not going anywhere, am I?” As Odo stands to leave, Kira impresses upon him that he can say he’s unofficial if he wants, but he’s still working for the Cardassians, and at some point he is going to have to choose a side. Odo tries to say that he doesn’t choose sides, because he’s the King Solomon of bedrolls or whatever, and Kira says that everybody has to choose a side. She also calls him “constable,” which is, I believe, the first time in Odo’s life anyone ever does so.
Back in the present, where things are orange, Odo is questioning the Soap Opera Lady at her house, where she has a variety of absurd throw rugs that I didn’t notice the last time we were here. The Soap Opera Lady is coolly denying that she knows anything about the list, and Odo asks why her husband would have hidden such a thing. She tries to suggest that it wasn’t even his list, but Odo says that someone on Bajor told Quark where to find it.
She’s all, “too bad about Quark being dead, I kind of liked him,” and Odo tells her Quark is still alive, and she’s all, “oh, that’s…nice.” Odo asks her if she knows anyone named Che’sso, and she says no, but that if this has anything to do with her husband’s murder she wants to help. Odo thanks her politely, and as he goes to leave he thinks of one more question. He asks if it’s true that her power was recently cut off for lack of payment, and her smile tightens as she confirms it. Odo’s all like, “yeah, huh, and yet you managed to pay the power company this morning. Interesting.”
He asks her where she got the money, saying it’s part of a routine investigation, and she says a friend spotted her. Odo is all, “and that friend is…” She refuses to tell Odo, claiming that her “friend” is married and she doesn’t want to drag him into Odo’s investigation. As Odo finally leaves, her face basically melts off to reveal her concern and disbelief that Odo is now a really kickass detective.
Odo voices-over that Quark is holding onto life “like it’s gold-pressed latinum,” possibly, Odo hypothesizes, because he so deeply doesn’t want Rom to get the bar. In sick bay, Bashir says he’s done all he can do and now they just have to wait.
Kira finds Odo to tell him that she thinks she might have found Che’sso, who is a Bajoran mining engineer who has done a lot of charity work for Bajoran War Orphans. Kira says some connections from her past indicate that he might be their man – he was on the station a lot at the time of the Chemist’s murder. Unfortunately, he’s dead. He drowned in a pond on his own property (dun-dun-DUN) last night.
Odo says it’s his fault for mentioning the name Che’sso to the Soap Opera Lady, who obviously put the pieces together and had him whacked. Odo says he wants Kira to let the medical examiner know to perform a complete autopsy on the guy, and to let it be widely known that they’re treating it as a homicide. He asks her to get all the phone records for the Soap Opera Lady’s house for the last couple of days, and to be ready to subpoena some bank records, too. “Whose?” Kira asks, to which he responds, “I don’t know yet.”
Kira runs off to take care of that, and Odo tells a security officer to put a round-the-clock watch on Quark, and not let in any visitors. We cut to Quark, laughing in the bar, and for a second there I thought he’d had a miraculous recovery, but then I realized how blue the bar was all of a sudden, so we’re in the Past again.
Past Odo comes into the bar, presumably checking out Ponytail Kira’s alibi. He tells Quark that he’s looking for the proprietor, and, after verifying that Odo is not there to arrest him or collect a debt, Quark reveals his identity and asks what he wants. He offers Odo his first drink on the house (“a dreadful old Cardassian tradition”), but Odo says he doesn’t drink. Quark is all, “then have a soft drink,” and Odo is all, “no, I don’t drink anything at all.” Quark pauses and then responds, “I guess that’s why we don’t see you around here much.”
Odo wants to ask him some questions, and then Quark is all, “wait a minute, you’re that shape shifter who works for Dukat,” and Odo protests that he doesn’t work for Dukat, he’s just trying to solve a murder. Quark wants to see his Cardassian neck trick, which really seems to demoralize Odo. He gets Quark back on track asking if he remembers seeing Kira last night. Quark says he does, and when Odo asks how long she was there, Quark lasciviously says “long enough.” Odo is all, “what does that mean?” and Quark is all, “you know,” and Odo is all, “know what?” and Quark says that Kira was “showing her initiative.” Odo point-blank asks if Quark is making “some sort of sexual reference.”
Odo is not impressed by this display of misogyny, and reaches across the bar to grab Quark by his lapels and bring them nose-to-nose for them very first time. Memories.
Odo says he wants the truth, or he’ll give Quark to Dukat, an argument Quark finds persuasive in the extreme. He says, “fine, I didn’t realize we were dealing with a murder, here. She didn’t pay me enough for that, anyway.”
Odo threatens to tell Dukat that Quark took money to lie for Kira, and Quark says he bets that’ll cost him a case of Cardassian ale. “Two cases, at the very least,” Dukat says as he emerges from the room where he has probably been tracking Odo’s progress via security cameras. He asks if there’s anyone Odo wants arrested, and Odo says not yet, and Dukat is all, “but soon, right?” and Odo says that Dukat will get his name when he, Odo, is sure it’s the right one.
Dukat seems amused that he has created a monster of impartiality, and banters with Quark about how Odo seems like the right man for the job. Quark, who knows which way the wind is blowing, offers to make up to Odo for his earlier rudeness. He asks if he could offer Odo chocolate, or perhaps “companionship,” which is such a funny progression to me – “hey, maybe I could hook you up with a gift certificate for the Godiva store on the promenade, or, you know, a hooker. Whatever floats your boat, man.”
Odo is shocked by this suggestion, and Quark and Dukat laugh at him like he’s adorable. We cut back to people laughing in the present-day bar, where Jadzia and Sisko ask Odo how Quark is doing. Odo says he’s stable, and then hands them his reconstructed version of the stolen list, which he compiled from the Soap Opera Lady’s phone records. He says she’s been talking to each of those people a lot, but she’d never talked to any of them until two days ago, and each of them has transferred 1000 Bajoran dollars into her bank account since then.
Since it was obviously blackmail, Sisko wonders what they had to hide, and Odo says that they were definitely hiding that they had that much money coming out of the occupation. He says he thinks they were Cardassian collaborators, which explains a lot. He says he doesn’t have enough to charge the Soap Opera Lady, but he wants to bring her in for questioning with Sisko’s permission. Sisko assents, and as Odo walks out to take care of business, we see that the Shadowy Bajoran who shot Quark has overheard the whole thing. That’s what you get for having your secret law enforcement conversations in a bar, I guess.
Later, Odo is gazing over the promenade and voicing over that “nobody ever had to teach me the ‘justice trick,’ it’s something I’ve always known.” He muses that his people must be just people, whoever they are, and justice is in his DNA somehow. He goes on to say that “there is 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.”
Back in the security office of the past, Ponytail Kira is protesting that while she did fake an alibi, that doesn’t make her a killer. She says last night she was asleep, alone, and Odo says she’s lying, and that she’s not good at it. She asks him what side he intends to be on, because when she tells him the truth he’ll have to pick. He goes on a rant about how no, he doesn’t, he is the outsider, the impartial observer, the King Solomon of granola bars, and all he’s interested in is justice. He says it’s a simple equation: if she’s guilty, he’ll turn her in, if she’s not, she’ll go free.
Kira says that she didn’t do it, because when he was killed she was on level 21 (ore processing) and Odo will see the security breach if he checks the logs. She’s in the Bajoran underground, and came here specifically to perform acts of sabotage, and Odo checks the records and says that the big ore processing machine does appear to have been damaged by some wooden clogs the night before.
Odo is all, “oh, that’s why you bought an alibi,” and Kira says if Odo tells the Cardassians the truth she’ll be executed for sure. Just then Gul Dukat comes in and is all, “excellent progress, Odo, is this your fake alibi lady?” and Odo lies and says no and jerks his head dismissively at Kira to indicate she should leave. Gul Dukat grabs her arm on the way out and says Odo is going to get it if he’s lying.
Odo says that if Dukat knows him at all, he knows that he doesn’t lie, and he’s convinced that Kira didn’t kill the Dead Chemist. Dukat lets her go.
Back in the present, the Shadowy Bajoran appears in sick bay with flowers, asking if it’s too late for visitors and looking sketchy as hell. The stocky security officer is all, “no visitors, sir,” and the Shadowy Bajoran is all, “maybe you could just put these in water for me,” and the security officer actually says, “why, of course, sir,” and then the Shadowy Bajoran stabs him with his concealed knife. If that guy survives this, he is so fired.
The Shadowy Bajoran turns off Quark’s machines, and picks up a pillow and begins to smother him. Just then, however, Rom enters and does one of the things he does best: scream like a girl really loudly. Even when Odo and backup arrive and subdue the Shadowy Bajoran, Rom keeps screaming. Odo tells him to stop, and that he saved his brother’s life, and Rom goes silent and looks pleased with himself. Then he looks at Quark and starts screaming again, because Quark has woken up.
Later, Odo has brought the Soap Opera Lady in so that she can deny knowing the Shadowy Bajoran, and Odo is all, “then why did you make and receive a bunch of calls to and fro, his house?” Kira takes a special satisfaction in adding that the Soap Opera Lady transferred a large amount of money into his account, also. The Soap Opera Lady asks for her lawyer, and Odo deadpans that she can introduce herself to the Shadowy Bajoran in the cell until he gets here. Kira locks her up, and the Soap Opera Lady says that Odo will never prove that she killed her husband, because she didn’t.
“I know,” Odo tells her regretfully, and Kira looks at him all like, news to me. The two of them return to the security office, and Kira asks Odo when he realized. Odo says it was when she figured out Che’sso’s identity so quickly. He says that Kira’s underground buddies must have known that the Dead Chemist was a collaborator, and had a list of other collaborators – after all, he had a lot of money and fancy tea and private quarters. He says the murder makes sense now, because someone in the Bajoran underground would be very interested in killing a Cardassian collaborator.
Kira sighs and says a friend of hers sabotaged the ore processor, and it was her job to find the list of collaborators. They knew that the Dead Chemist was one, and that he was the point man who got orders from Dukat, which explains why Dukat asked Odo to investigate the murder in the first place – to stay as far away from it as possible and keep his network of collaborators safe. Kira was looking for the list in the Chemist’s shop when he came in, and she had no choice but to kill him.
Odo coldly says that Kira is a better liar than he gave her credit for being, and he obviously feels super betrayed that she never told him the truth. She says she tried to a hundred times, and she was scared that it would ruin their friendship, which means a lot to her. Odo gruffly says that maybe it doesn’t have to. “Would you ever be able to trust me the same way again?” Kira asks. Odo just looks at her, and she looks back at him, and they both seem uncertain. And then credits.
Remember last week when I mentioned that Rom was getting redone as a character? This week we got a LOT more of that. Rom in this episode is extremely smart and good-natured and really loves his brother. This is wildly different from the backstabbing Rom of the past. I believe that without this change in Rom, future Ferengi episodes would have gotten worse over time.
In the A plot, I am incredibly impressed with Rene Auberjonois. The difference between the past low self-esteem Odo and the present supercop Odo shows a ton of his talent. This episode is really something special if you’re an Odo fan.
This episode gives us a lot insight into Odo’s character while still keeping him extremely mysterious. Remember, we don’t know exactly where he came from or what species he is (nor does he) – but now we have a good idea of how he became Odo, Station Constable Extraordinaire. The contrast between the Odo-of-today and the Odo-of-the-past is really noticeable, thanks in large part to actor Rene Auberjonois. He creates a markedly different physical presence and body language for past-Odo, and then slowly builds in many of his standard Odo gestures as the episode goes on, so we feel like we’re actually witnessing his transformation.