Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 2 Episode 8

Necessary Evil

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Nov 14, 1993 on Syndicado
out of 10
User Rating
168 votes

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Episode Summary

Stardate: 47282.5 Quark is injured in an attack which Odo suspects is related to a murder committed five years before, in which Kira was the prime suspect.

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  • Star Trek invents Lost

    A good film noir story? Others episodes may try. This one succeeds. Beginning like a Quark episode, our favorite Ferengi is quickly moved out of the picture to allow this one to be the Odo show. And while it might resemble The Maltese Falcon or Columbo stylistically, its structure is virtually identical to the episodes of a more modern TV hit: one that didn't debut until DS9 was off the air. With the dual story format, taking us back and forth between the past and present before the two stories converge in an unexpected climax, "Necessary Evil" serves as a template for ABC's hit show Lost, missing only the "thoomp" flashback sound effect. But whatever its roots or visionary precedents, the episode is among Star Trek's most intriguing, intense, and ambitious, thanks to the complex script, breathtaking cinematography, and superb performances. What's especially wonderful is that the episode happens so early in Deep Space Nine's run, it's able to serve as a launching pad for more great stories such as fifth season's "Things Past" and raises the bar for all future episodes to come.moreless
  • Among the best episodes of the 2nd season; some events from the past should remain buried.

    Though DS9 did improve after the Dominion arc was introduced, episodes like "Necessary Evil" and "Whispers" indicate that the show was already capable of great things on a semi-regular basis by its second season. It's almost enough to make you forget about nonsense like "Melora" and "Second Sight".

    This episode dives into the film noir genre without any hint or irony or parody. (Compare it to the Dixon Hill episodes on TNG.) Odo is the gritty investigator who reopens a case from his past, and in the process shows us how he met several key characters - Dukat, Quark, and most importantly Kira.

    The plot is great - dense and intense, with no fat or let-up. Kira is revealed to be a murderer. Odo, despite his protestations to be in pursuit of justice, inevitably is forced to decide whether to let a criminal slip through. The final scene is among the best non-resolutions of the entire series.

  • In a word: brilliant.

    In a few more words...

    'Necessary Evil' is without question one of the show's finest episodes and probably stands out as the best episode of the second season, although there are a couple of other contenders. It's a gripping and beautifully scripted film noir with a jaw-dropping conclusion that packs a considerable emotional wallop.

    The performances, directing and production values are absolutely superb and it's fantastic to see a glimpse of live aboard Terok Nor under Cardassian rule. The overall theme of the episode is that in desperate times, even the best of us are capable of doing dreadful things - a theme that DS9 would tackle again repeatedly in later seasons.

    A brilliant piece of work - atmospheric, gripping, emotional and thought-provoking.moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman


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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Odo: (Odo meeting Quark for the first time) I'm looking for the proprietor of this establishment.
      Quark: Does he owe you money?
      Odo: No.
      Quark: Are you here to arrest him?
      Odo: No.
      Quark: Then you've found him. Quark, at your service.

    • Odo: (talking to Rom) 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..

    • Odo: Nobody ever had to teach me the justice trick. That's something I've always known. A racial memory from my species, I guess.

    • Rom: (while being questioned by Odo) I really ought to be getting back to my bar.
      Odo: He's not dead yet, Rom.
      Rom: They're not keeping him alive by artificial means, are they? My brother wouldn't want that.
      Odo: No, he's clinging to life all on his own.
      Rom: (disappointed) Typical.

    • Odo: Patience is a lost virtue to most; to me, an ally.

    • Rom: Ohhhhhhh, irony of ironies! I finally get the bar and I'm falsely accused of my brother's murder.

    • Odo: I've had my eye on you for a long time, Rom. You're not as stupid as you look.
      Rom: I am too!

    • Odo: 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 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.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Odo: (as Odo is about to walk out the door) Oh, there was one other thing.
      This is a allusion to Columbo's famous "Just on more thing" gag from the show of the same name, usually done as he would be leaving. Odo's speech and physical motions are very similar to Columbo's as well.