Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Necessary Evil": a Star Trek DS9 episode review

I just finished watching one of the most engaging episodes of Star Trek TV that I can remember seeing in a while. Glenn and I have been watching Deep Space 9 on DVD - after that, we will have caught up on the entire franchise, although I have never actually seen the original series start to finish. It's so campy I'm not sure I could get into it now, but you never know. Leonard Nimoy is just so friggin' cool, that should be reason enough!

However, I digress. The episode, Necessary Evil (reader beware! clicking on the link provided here completely spoils the episode if you've never seen it before! you have been warned), was your classic whodunit but with a twist. Because although it started out with a potential murder (Quark only got maimed), the investigation ultmately revealed the truth of an actual murder which took place five years previous, when the Cardassians still had control of the station.

This episode also provided a deep look into the storied past of the station known in the Alpha Quadrant as Deep Space 9: what the station looked like under Cardassian occupation, and how Odo met Kira, Quark, and Gul Dukat for the first time. Additionally, Quark's brother Rom proves there's more to the little Ferengi than meets the eye ... although he himself is never quite sure of it.

Everything came together to make this episode memorable and fantastic: the pacing, the acting, the writing, the directing ... everything! Even Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wikia) notes in the Background Information section that this episode is a "favorite amongst both cast and crew". It really comes through, too. Memory Alpha also draws the distinction in that same section that it "echoes strongly the classic detective fiction of the 40s" - but it does so in a very sophisticated way, not the more melodramatic, theatrical way a holodeck simulation conjures up. I don't want to give away too much information in case you, dear reader wish to find out for yourself how great it is. I rank it right up there with some of the best SG-1 episodes. I'm really just gushing here about how thrilled I am to have watched this great work of small screen magic! A great work of Star Trek magic, too.

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