Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 3 Episode 20

Improbable Cause (1)

2
Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Apr 24, 1995 on Syndicado
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
141 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate: 48620.3 The Romulans are suspected in an attempt to kill Garak.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Improbable Fun. (There, is that witty enough?)

    8.5
    Picking up the loose threads of "The Wire" and "The Defiant" (and combining them) this Odo/Garak mystery episode begins with a bang and becomes more intriguing with each successive scene, weaving startling revelations throughout the story. (It even tosses in an "informant" scene that seems to have been lifted right out of the X-Files).



    A character driven piece with some intermittent fireworks, the pairing of the "constable" with "a simple tailor" proves to be a master stroke. With Odo specializing in uncovering the truth and Garak specializing in dancing around it, the dialogue between the two is a joy. (It helps to have two characters with such expansive vocabularies and two actors so capable of delivering elaborate wordplay).



    As a smallball episode masquerading as a bigger story (with more going on off the screen than on), director Avery Brooks builds the suspense and works his way to the climax so well, you can't help but wonder "how they'll get out of this Interestingly, the question proves a stumper for the writers as well.

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  • Great setup.

    8.5
    In many ways this classic two-parter reminds me of the classic TNG epic "Chain of Command". In both you have a first episode that functions as setup for a walloping conclusion, but stands up on its own merit.



    The Garak-centric "The Wire" developed the relationship between him and Dr. Bashir, but also planted the seeds for Odo's interest in the mysterious "tailor". That emerges full-blown here, as Odo tears through Garak's lies even faster than the latter can weave them. There are some classic sequences here - Garak's interesting perspectives on human culture ("The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in particular), Odo's eerie encounter with a mysterious Cardassian informant, Odo cutting through the elegant/pretentious wordplay of Cardassian spies like the B.S. it is.



    Of course, the punchline comes in part 2.moreless
  • Great episode!

    9.0
    I have to saw the writing, dialog & acting of these two episodes are simply excellent. While this first episode acts more like a mystery, which it aught to, there is plenty of suspense and drama to make it an exiting watch. Also the character development and interaction for both Odo and Garak is quite moving.



    As of course with the first of a two parter this one leaves you begging to see the second half. This excellent episode is only bested by the second half, but together these two episodes mark the best episodes I've seen yet of DS9moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman

Quark

Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

Lt./Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (Season 1-6)

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Alexander Siddig

Alexander Siddig

Dr. Julian Bashir

Carlos Lacamara

Carlos Lacamara

Retaya

Guest Star

Joseph Ruskin

Joseph Ruskin

Informant

Guest Star

Darwyn Carson

Darwyn Carson

Romulan

Guest Star

Paul Dooley

Paul Dooley

Enabran Tain

Recurring Role

Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson

Garak

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Nitpick: The audio and visual effects used when the two Romulans beam aboard Odo's and Garak's shuttle are the same ones used for the Borg transporter effects.

    • This story line explains why the Obsidian Order secretly organized a huge build-up of ships in the Orias System. Not to go after the Maquis, as Thomas Riker thought in the episode "Defiant", but to attack the Founder's Homeworld in a joint operation with the Romulan Tal Shiar to deal a crippling first strike against the Dominion.

    • Nitpick: Odo tells O'Brien the bomb that destroyed Garak's shop was triggered by a pheromonic sensor, and O'Brien seems unaware about what that is. In the first season episode "The Nagus" O'Brien tells Sisko that a bomb that almost killed Quark locked in on his pheromones. Therefore, O'Brien should know what a pheromonic sensor is when Odo tells him.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Tain: (on his reasons for trying to have Garak killed) Like I used to say, 'always burn your bridges behind you- you never know who might be trying to follow.'

    • Odo: (referring to Garak) He's telling you the truth, Commander, he doesn't know why the Romulans would try to kill him.
      Sisko: What makes you so sure?
      Odo: Because if he did know, he'd already be spinning out an elaborate web of lies to cover up the truth.

    • (Garak is sitting on a biobed in the Infirmary. Sisko and Odo are questioning him about the explosion at his shop)
      Garak: Who would want to kill me? A simple tailor?
      Odo: Simple tailor! A simple tailor who used to be an agent of the Obsidian Order.
      Garak: The Obsidian Order! Constable, you shouldn't put too much
      stock in the good doctor's flights of fancy. Now, are you sure this explosion wasn't an accident because I can't think of anyone who would wish me harm?
      Sisko: Someone tried to kill you, Garak. Whoever it was may want to try again so if I were you, I'd give this matter some serious thought.
      Garak: Well, let me see. There's the Nausicaan whose wedding suit I misplaced, and the Yridian I owe money to, and of course there's always Major Kira.
      Bashir: This is serious, Garak.
      Garak: I'm being serious! I don't think she likes me.
      Odo: She doesn't, but if she wanted you dead, you would be.
      Garak: You do have a point.
      Sisko: Could this attempt on your life have anything to do with the reason you were exiled from Cardassia?
      Garak: I seriously doubt the Finance Ministry would try to have me killed for failure to pay my taxes!
      Odo: You expect use to believe that's the reason you were exiled?
      Garak: You think I would lie about a thing like that? It's not something I'm proud of.
      Sisko: I don't like explosions going off on my station, Garak. Innocent people could have been hurt - you could have been killed. Now if there's anything you know that you're not telling us, I suggest you start talking!
      Garak: I've told you everything I can think of.
      Odo: (sighs) Alright, then, I'll investigate the 'leads' you've given us.

    • Cardassian Informant: There's been a great deal of unusual Romulan activity these past weeks. Cloaked ships believed to be Romulan Warbirds have been detected near the Cardassian border. Troop movements. Communication activity.
      Odo: Sounds like they're preparing for an invasion.
      Cardassian Informant: It has occurred to us, and we're ready for it if it should happen, but it doesn't make any sense.
      Odo: Does war ever make sense?
      Cardassian Informant: Still the wise observer of humanoid folly. Tell me, do you still do the Cardassian neck trick?
      Odo: No, I don't.
      Cardassian Informant: Pity. You were so good at it.

    • (after Bashir tells the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf)
      Bashir: The point is, if you lie all the time, nobody's going to believe you, even when you're telling the truth.
      Garak: Are you sure that's the point, doctor?
      Bashir: Of course. What else could it be?
      Garak: That you should never tell the same lie twice.

    • (talking about Enabran Tain)
      Garak: You, on the other hand, seem to have left your retirement far behind. Unless you're simply on a pleasure cruise with your pointed-eared friends.

    • Garak: The truth is usually just an excuse for a lack of imagination.

    • (Bashir is seeing Garak off the station. The two are talking outside the airlock)
      Bashir: I hope you know what you're doing, Garak.
      Garak: So do I.
      Bashir: Is there anything you need me to do while you're gone?
      Garak: Like what?
      Bashir: I don't know. Any unfinished business?
      Garak: Actually, doctor, there is something.
      Bashir: Well, what?
      Garak: If you go into my quarters and examine the bulkhead next to the replicator, you'll notice there's a false panel. Behind that panel is a compartment containing an isolinear rod. If I'm not back within 78 hours I want you to take that rod, and eat it.
      Bashir: Eat it?
      (Garak nods)
      Bashir: You're joking?
      Garak: Yes, doctor, I am.
      Bashir: Very funny.
      Garak: Well, I thought so.

  • NOTES (5)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • The Boy Who Cried Wolf

      This is a story by Aesop, in which the moral is suppose to be, "don't tell lies".

      Garak, however, sees a different moral: "Don't tell the same lie twice".

    • Julius Caesar

      Bashir and Garak discuss William Shakespeare tragedies, specifically Julius Caesar.

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