Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 5 Episode 8

Things Past

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Nov 18, 1996 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
143 votes
  • Odo goes loco

    This episode, reminiscent of "Spectre of the Gun", is a companion piece to second season's "Necessary Evil," returning us to the dark days when the Cardassians ran Terok Nor (Deep Space Nine) and exploring Odo's past in a roundabout way. The plot goes in circles for a while, coasting on the mystery of the premise, before finding a direction in the second half and turning into a satisfying Odo character piece (making us wonder why Sisko, Garak, and Dax are such a large part of this thing to begin with). Overall, however, it comes across as a poor man's "Necessary Evil", with the same dystopian cinematography and a similar surprise revelation, but without the great plot and story structure of its predecessor.

    Worth watching? Yes. A special DS9 episode? No.
  • The counterpart to "Necessary Evil", but not quite as good.

    One of the recurring themes in DS9 was "can one be a collaborator without moral corruption?" This episode actually does a pretty good job of exploring that by examining one uncorrupted collaborator, Odo - perhaps the only individual who escaped the occupation with his moral standing untarnished.

    Within the context of this episode, we discover that maybe it's not possible to avoid corruption. Even good old Odo sentenced innocent men to their deaths - not willfully, of course, but due to banal negligence. It's a great story, and the final revelation is powerful, as is the final scene with Major Kira. (An intentional homage to "Necessary Evil", when the shoe was on the other foot.) Kurtwood Smith nails Odo's mannerisms, something you appreciate even more on repeat viewing.

    Revisiting the grim environs of Occupation-era Terok Nor, with its dim lighting and unrelenting grey colours, is also a welcome surprise. But nevertheless, this episode never quite manages to reach classic status. It's not really clear why the other crew members are along - they don't add much (aside from some revelatory scenes with Gul Dukat) aside from being Odo's loyal audience. And unfortunately, we know right away that it's somehow all in Odo's head. Perhaps they could have revealed that at the very end?