Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"A Simple Investigation"

***

Air date: 3/31/1997
Written by Rene Echevarria
Directed by John Kretchmer

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I'm talking to Kira."
"You're not talking, you're gossiping. And besides, Odo is quite capable of taking care of himself."
"Don't shout across the room. If you want to gossip with us then come down here."

— Dax and Worf

Nutshell: The story is fairly derivative, but the presentation and characterization makes it worthwhile. A slow, pleasant outing.

When Odo arrests a woman for illegally accessing station information, she reveals to him her troubles: She is looking for an Idanian agent who was supposed to meet her on DS9—someone who could help her with her big problem. The woman's name is Arissa (Dey Young), and she is a member of the nefarious, covert Orion Syndicate under an unseen, all-powerful commanding officer named Draim. Arissa hates the dreadful implications of her job and needs a way out of the Syndicate. But very few people who leave the Syndicate live long to tell about it; they're usually assassinated with prompt skill. And no one opposes the wishes of the infamous Draim.

In the episode's opening minutes, the Idanian agent Arissa is supposed to meet is vaporized by two Orion Syndicate thugs (who, unlike the Cardassians' Obsidian Order, hardly show the grace that would exemplify such a devious organization). When Odo finds evidence of the murder, Arissa looks to Odo for protection and her "way out." Odo, being the Changeling with the big heart, offers whatever help and protection he can provide so that Arissa can live to testify against Draim and send him to prison—not an easy task. In the meantime, Odo comes to respect Arissa's courage and finds himself falling in love with her.

"A Simple Investigation" makes use of a tried-and-true premise—that of a person in trouble who falls in love with the one who protects her. This premise is one that has been used in cinema, television, and second-rate novels so many times that the plot I just described probably seems mostly derivative.

Well, yes, the basic plot is derivative, and, at times, predictable as well. It hardly matters. Rene Echevarria (who I'm endeavoring today to label the best and most prolific Odo writer) supplies the script with the necessary, yet simple, character details and dialog that turns the episode into a slow, quiet, pleasant winner. This is yet another good Odo outing.

Watching "A Simple Investigation" reminded me of last season's also-quiet "Crossfire." Both are small Odo pieces written by Echevarria that provide minimal story substance that wisely plays secondary to amiable characterization. Neither show features anything that stands out as spectacular or instantly attention-grabbing. Both feature perfunctory plots. But, rather, the point of both is to simply provide a slow exposition on Odo's human condition within his identity of a Changeling.

One (although not the only) reason Odo is so intriguing is because he's the DS9 version of the Trekkian character who exists outside the "human condition" to make wry observations about humanity. Every Trek series has one. On the original series it was Spock; on TNG it was Data; on Voyager it's the Doctor. What makes these characters interesting when they're inserted into romance premises like this one is that it puts us, as viewers, into the intriguing mindset of trying to experience vicariously what it is to be human. To do this we attempt to get into Odo's mind and identify with what it means to not be human.

That's probably the deepest thing I can say about this episode, because there really isn't all that much to say about this show—at least, not thematically. "A Simple Investigation" is a simple show, and it's decent that way. I don't think I would look for something like this every week on DS9, but it certainly isn't a problem occasionally.

Aside from the Trekkian Human Question, the other big thing this episode gets right is the chemistry between Odo and Arissa. Chemistry is important in these types of shows, and "A Simple Investigation" features Odo at perhaps his softest in quite a while, yet he is still well within the boundaries of the character we know so well. Everything Odo does seems genuine and heartfelt; his attraction to Arissa never comes across as forced or insincere. By the same token, Arissa is pulled off skillfully by Dey Young, who has an aura of charisma about her that seems to give a reason for why Odo is so taken by her. The personalities here are on-target, and that's worthy of praise for both Auberjonois and Young.

Naturally, I wouldn't be doing my job as a reporter if I didn't comment on the inevitability of these two characters ending up in bed together. Although the implications of a lovemaking Odo had me wondering just how human Changelings can truly be (one question still remaining is "Did Odo morph his clothes off?", but never mind) I think it's also important to note that Odo has generally been as "solid" or as "human" in physical form as any given episode requires him to be. (This also explains, for example, why he can be knocked unconscious when hit on the head, as in "Vortex.") I'm not about to argue. It's the emotional aspects of the situation that are important, and I think the show handled them pretty well. Sure, some of the dialog turned repetitive and even obvious at times, but it was sweet and innocent because, well, Odo's just sweet and innocent in this sort of situation.

Quick aside: While we're on the subject of the (implied) sex in this episode, let me just make a quick juxtaposition: Unlike in the preposterously dumb and superficial Voyager offering, "Favorite Son," from a few weeks back, "A Simple Investigation" handles the sensuality with a tenderness and commitment that makes it worthwhile, rather than just laughable. Lisa Klink could take some pointers from Echevarria, if I may be so bold.

(On a totally unrelated note, Echevarria scores a few points with the amusing revisit to the "double-O-Bashir" program. It's nice to see that the crew decided to make the best of the rather weird situation that was "Our Man Bashir." Could all this subsequent role-playing have been Bashir's wild idea?)

So what about the plot of "A Simple Investigation"? Who cares? It serves its purpose by just sort of being there, and being out of the way when appropriate. Most of the plot revolves around the need to find out what mysterious information is contained on the data crystal that Arissa obtains early in the episode. The show's ending is Fairly Standard Espionage Stuff. It turns out that Arissa is really an undercover Idanian who had her memory wiped (and put onto the mysterious crystal) as a way of making her the best person (a person unaware of her motives) to infiltrate and expose the evil Draim and the Orion Syndicate.

Naturally, as these stories go, the plot twist is the catalyst for ending the relationship—in this case Arissa is not who she thinks she is, and when her memory is restored she realizes that she's married. I saw that one coming about a mile away, but it works okay here, nonetheless. We all knew that Odo's first relationship with a woman had to end in heartbreak. At least this way it was due to extreme circumstances. It could've turned out that Arissa was a spy and was really manipulating Odo—that would've been cruel, and I'm glad Echevarria didn't choose that route.

I don't really care much that the plotting is derivative; these machinations are not the point of this episode. The point is Odo's romantic situation, which proves intriguing most of the time, sincere all of the time, emotional at the end, and well-performed throughout.

Previous episode: Doctor Bashir, I Presume
Next episode: Business as Usual

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39 comments on this review

Nick
Sun, Dec 23, 2007, 12:41pm (UTC -6)
Dax playing "Lady Wantsomemore!" Now that's brilliant.
Jayson
Mon, Feb 11, 2008, 5:42pm (UTC -6)
Like most of your reviews, I do agree that this was a small quiet episode that was fairly entertaining. Now watching this episode again I noticed one slightly disturbing thing, why did Odo feel the need to create nipples, now thats commitment.
joe
Wed, Feb 18, 2009, 5:42am (UTC -6)
I love Dax comments in this Episode. And the little double07 scene is also awesome
EP
Sun, Mar 1, 2009, 2:11am (UTC -6)
Call me a scrooge, but I despite romances in Trek in any incarnation - yes, even everybody's favorite: TNG's Lessons. If I wanted to watch soap I'd turn on Days of Our Lives or something.

If the writers wanted to explore this part of Odo, couldn't they have done it before his miraculous recovery back from human to shapeshifter?

And the ethical lapse displayed by Odo, in becoming involved with his protected witness, would be grounds for dismissal in any normal universe. Not in Trek, though - everybody just stands around and grins like an idiot.

Eh, at least O'Brien gets to chew the scenery as Falcon.
Blue
Wed, Mar 18, 2009, 8:06pm (UTC -6)
Deep Space 9 is the best of the bunch, but Trek is so damned annoying with regards to romances, and consequences, and reset buttons in general. What's the point of all these one episode love affairs? They're so meaningless and inconsequential, especially when 99% of the time there are no lasting effects on the characters whatsoever. If they seriously want to play it for drama (instead of laughs, where one-ep flings are fine- Dax was fine at this), it needs to last. Sisko + Casidy was a good example, though the whole Maquis storyline was rushed and emotionally odd. Rom + Leeta was also a decent slow-burner, though I don't particularly enjoy Rom's character at all. Would it kill the Star Trek guys to hire guest actors for multiple episodes? That way, the audience wouldn't necessarily know which are the flings and which are the "real" relationships, adding much-needed realism to the whole sorry affair.
megan
Thu, Oct 29, 2009, 2:37am (UTC -6)
I also think this episode was a needed character advancement for Odo to be seen as sexual and capable of sexual intimacy so if there was to be additional growth in the Odo and Kira relationship or anyone else it wouldn't weird or ick from low imaginationed sexually frustrated fanboys.

It was clearly shown Kira was intrigued and mildly jealous the thought a solid woman found Odo attractive/sexually appealing. Made her stepback about her own feelings towards him and Odo actually would be interested to return the affection, being that she had in Crossfire blown him off as inhuman and uninterested in emotional or relationship situations.
Nic
Mon, Mar 29, 2010, 8:30am (UTC -6)
I was a little annoyed with the first few acts of heavy exposition, and, as most have already noted, this would have been a better episode if Odo had still been a humanoid at this point. But I'll take Odo & Arissa over Rom & Leeta ANY DAY!
megan
Fri, Apr 2, 2010, 8:36pm (UTC -6)
As my previous post upthread implied and is now vindicated, little fanboys can only appreciate this episode if only Odo could be humanoid to allow classic literary fratboy penis, boner dick subtext angst humor so they could identify with their adolescent mentality. That'd be real drama, har har.
Otherwise, Odo changeling with women is icky, he ain't got a glorious dick.
Polt
Mon, Jan 31, 2011, 4:22pm (UTC -6)
I hate slow, boring episodes like this one. What was the point, to have Odo fall in love? Didn't he already do that, albeit unrequitedly, with Kira? Was the point to have him experience 'love lost'? Why? Does it make him a better character? No.

I simply just don't see the point to this snoozer of an episode.
Justin
Mon, Apr 2, 2012, 1:34am (UTC -6)
Excellent, insightful review. In fact I like the episode a bit better after reading it. I still find it a bit plodding, but it does provide some well done character growth for Odo.

@Megan, what do you mean by "little" fanboys? Surely you can be more subtle than that.

And while we're on the subject of relative pork sword proportions, I think Arissa might disagree regarding the question of Odo's "gloriousness." She's one Idanian whose pudding got a little bit extra spiced that night, if you know what I mean.

Be honest, what woman wouldn't go for a guy who could change the er...mass and density of his phallic instrument at will? I've heard it said that it's not the size that counts it's what you can do with it. Well, Odo would seem to have both of those bases covered. And he doesn't even have to think about baseball while he's covering those bases either.

Okay, I think I've got it out of my system now. In other words, I finished.
Snitch
Tue, May 1, 2012, 11:18pm (UTC -6)
A nice little spy story, I did not buy into the Odo romance part of it, but I liked the guest actor, overall a little bit of fluff, but not bad
either.
2-1/2 Stars
Grumpy
Fri, Aug 10, 2012, 9:18am (UTC -6)
The plug on Arissa's neck is one of the few cyberpunky elements ever used in Trek. (Combined with Bashir's genetic engineering a few weeks earlier, it was practically a wave of post-human SF.) Didn't figure into the plot except as an early hint that her brain had been tampered with. This wasn't the first mention in Trek of a person's identity being rewritten, but this episode makes me wonder how people would cope with such a technology. Could you ever trust your friends' memories? Or your own?
Grumpy
Fri, Aug 10, 2012, 9:21am (UTC -6)
Er, Bashir's genetic engineering was actually the previous week, not "a few weeks earlier."
John
Tue, Sep 4, 2012, 10:35pm (UTC -6)
Nah... This plays out too much like a standard TNG episode for me.

Rene Auberjonois' performance is pretty much the only thing worth the trouble. Dey Young doesn't work for me at all. And don't talk to me about Terry Farrell's part in this.

Rene Echevarria's only truly engrossing "love story" is Season 7's "Chimera".

I did however like the scene where Odo interrupts Bashir in his little fantasy holo-program. Nice touch.
William
Sun, Nov 25, 2012, 7:40pm (UTC -6)
I'm generally not a fan of the one-hour Trek romances, and this one was no exception. The actress in the guest role didn't do much for me.

I did like the twist at the end that she was a spy.

I like the whole Orion syndicate concept, but only Enterprise really explored it well. Where were the green women?
Cyndi
Tue, Mar 5, 2013, 11:43pm (UTC -6)
I think this ep was great. We got to really see what Odo is like when he lets his walls down. I can't help wondering if Bashir's statement about giving love a chance and having your heart broken is better than having it break from loneliness is what would be sticking in Odo's memory during His Way.

Remember, Odo did look up texts about mating and sex while he was solid because he thought that was going to be the rest of his life.

And come on, a guy who can shapeshift will probably be really darned good at tantra and kama sutra! *DUCKS*

Also, bedroom eyes = win.
Nick P.
Thu, Aug 22, 2013, 5:58am (UTC -6)
I liked this episode, and that does say alot, because most Trek romances are garbage. However, I did not like the "gossiping" the "gals" were doing in ops. Seriously, go to the bar, how annoying. Also, isn't there something sort of anthropomorphizing about having Odo "fall in love". I buy that data would, since he was studying humans, and I buy that Spock would because Vulcans reproduce also, but why does Odo have to have romance?
Kotas
Sat, Oct 26, 2013, 10:14am (UTC -6)

Forgettable Odo episode.

4/10
Jack
Tue, Nov 19, 2013, 11:23am (UTC -6)
"I did however like the scene where Odo interrupts Bashir in his little fantasy holo-program. Nice touch."

Which is why it was so absurd that in "Our Man Bashir", Julian claims that it is illegal to enter a holodeck program in process. We've seen it happen throughout all 3 24th century shows...Riker and Troi invaded Barclay's in "Hollow Pursuits", the Doctor invaded Paris' Proton thing in "Night", and here the law enforcement officer "breaks the law".
eastwest101
Thu, Dec 19, 2013, 5:08pm (UTC -6)
What a badly written, predictable, boring, snoozefest....
Vylora
Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 9:42pm (UTC -6)
Jack: In this particular instance Odo wasn't breaking the law. He was invited to be a part of the program. I would imagine it was a standing invitation despite the reason for his appearance. Barclay was neglecting his duties in your other example. The Doc in VOY is a hologram himself so there's probably a dispute there of a different nature. Besides the "law" in question was probably an amendment made specifically for ports of call such as DS9 had become. Otherwise it may just simply be a matter of respect to not interrupt. I can only guess.

This episode, though, was a pleasant enough one and I really can't find anything wrong with it per se. It was a decent example of taking a couple of characters, putting them in a well-worn setting, and let the dialogue do the rest. I guess the only thing I could find fault for it is that it's too pedestrian. I don't dislike this episode by any means. But I don't feel it stands up to a 3 star. Not for this viewer anyhow.

2.5 stars.
Eli
Fri, Feb 28, 2014, 6:58pm (UTC -6)
This is my favorite Deep Space Nine Episode. The complexities of the conflicts that each character faces (Odo and Arissa) are exquisitely developed throughout the episode. The love story and at its center and sweet and straightforward. Plainly poetic.
Toraya
Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 8:35am (UTC -6)
Because Arissa was immediately shown to be a clever sneak and liar, I had no idea why Odo suddenly decided to believe and trust her. Did he think she was only capable of one lie per week? This seemed so gullible and out of character, that I couldn't enjoy the plot because I kept waiting for her to be unmasked as a manipulative criminal.

Additionally, she admitted to being a sleazy criminal blackmailer -- yet instead of being disgusted, Odo immediately assumed she was a victim and not responsible for her actions. (Shades of last week, when Bashir's mother went unpunished.).

If every female criminal can get around Odo by merely batting her eyes and spinning a tale, he's a lousy security chief.
Che
Sat, May 10, 2014, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
When Odo suspected Quark of being in the Orion Syndicate he was happy to ship him off to a prison on some distant world without a second-thought. When it's a doe-eyed female on the other hand he's putty in her hands. I'm surprised they did this to his character; he's always seemed bound by his own code of honour. Despite his loathing for Quark and clear attraction to an admittedly-beautiful woman, he ought to have stuck by his principles.
Dusty
Wed, Aug 6, 2014, 10:15pm (UTC -6)
Most of these Trek love stories just don't click, do they? Here's another one that left me a bit cold. Even though it wasn't TOO corny or predictable, it still felt contrived in the second half and Arissa's story didn't interest me much at all. Odo is a great character, but even he loses his edge when the show plunks him down in a seemingly random romance.
Yanks
Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 11:03am (UTC -6)
Was Odo's "interest" because he was emotionally interested in this gal or was that just his excuse to get to the truth?

I enjoyed Dey Young in this episode.

2.5 stars for me, I can't go above average.
$G
Sun, Sep 14, 2014, 9:14am (UTC -6)
I've enjoyed the episodes in Odo's breaking-out-of-his-shell arc. "Heart of Stone" was good, "Crossfire" was very good, and "The Begotten" was solid (for Odo, not its middling B-story). "A Simple Investigation" works, though not nearly as well as it should.

The problem is that far too much time is spent on the criminal plot. It's clumsy, and, as I've said before, the more an episode hinges on guest characters the more ways it can go wrong or feel rote. Because we don't have an iota of investment in, say, the assassins everything they say or do has to be perfunctory (down to the painfully obvious "look what you did to the carpet!" after they murder another guest character). Odo will pick up on this clue and yada yada yada.

"Crossfire" was awesome because Odo's investigations were secondary to the real story. We didn't have to watch guest characters fumble through the crime - only how Odo reacted to events alongside pining for Kira. The assassination plot was never shown, simmering beneath and eventually demonstrating Odo's inability to focus on his job. "ASI" shouldn't have copied that treatment for its own story, but it could really have used something to distance the generic moments from what's really important (Odo's relationship with Arissa). As it is, it all feels like fifth season Odo starring in a first season episode. The necessary characterization needed this long to develop but the plot isn't confident enough in it being the selling point - not entirely unlike a shakedown episode that has to show off everything about Odo at once so that we'll be on the same page moving forward.

I usually give 2 and a half stars to otherwise good episodes that end up with a noticeable flaw (poor ending, bad B-plot, etc.) or ones that are acceptable but not particularly outstanding. "ASI" is the latter. It's got moments that a viewer will no doubt recall when putting together a definition of Odo as a character, but as its own 40-minute slice of entertainment it's mostly forgettable.
MsV
Wed, Mar 4, 2015, 7:42am (UTC -6)
I kept thinking when I saw Dey Young, she looks familiar and couldn't place where I had seen her. She is Leigh Taylor-Young's younger sister. Leigh plays Ezri's mother in "Prodigal Daughter".

I am glad Kira realized Odo could be interested in someone other than her. She seemed a little jealous when everyone thought Odo spent the night with Arissa.
Nathan B.
Sun, Jul 19, 2015, 9:02pm (UTC -6)
Very touching episode.
Sam
Fri, Aug 14, 2015, 9:39pm (UTC -6)
If nothing else, this episode is worth a watch just for Miles' "Hi Odo" in the holosuite as he has a gun pointed at Bashir's head.
MsV
Sun, Aug 23, 2015, 1:44am (UTC -6)
As I said before, Dey look familar she was in TNG, "Masterpiece Society" also in Enterprise, "Two days and Two nights."
methane
Tue, Jan 12, 2016, 7:07pm (UTC -6)
The twist at the end - the woman finds out she is an undercover agent with her memory replaced - is a re-tooling the plot of "Second Skin", where the Cardassians attempt to convince Kira she is an undercover agent with her memory replaced.

So even less original than Jammer's review states, but I still mostly agree with the review. A decent little episode.
William B
Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 4:10pm (UTC -6)
The chemistry between Odo and Arissa is fine, and overall the dynamic between the two makes some sense. I like that the episode has some commonalities with "Necessary Evil," and Odo falls here for Arissa who is in a sense another femme fatale (as Kira was in some respects); this time, Odo's sense of justice is different than it was years ago, and so he immediately sees something of value in the woman who is somewhat on the outs from the law. That Odo forms a solid-to-solid relationship with her now does suggest that the episode maybe should have happened before he became a changeling again, but I guess there is the advantage the way the episode played out that Odo does still see relating to solids as important (as a result of his solid experience), without necessarily having to be a solid actively at the time. His talk about Arissa's bravery in walking away suggests a new maturity regarding his role with the Cardassians; in some ways he is rewriting history, since I didn't get the impression that Odo consciously believed that he was doing wrong while working for the Cardassians, but it makes sense that post-"Past Tense" Odo is more open about the realization that he was complicit with the Cardassians despite his claims otherwise. That they bond over some of Odo's own traits -- she is observant, too! -- is nice. That she falls for Odo I'm not so sure about -- she is a criminal, metaphor-prostitute, and she has reason to distrust lawmen, and so I question the sincerity with which she puts her trust in and starts sleeping with Odo. Should she be more traumatized than this?

Overall, though, "A Simple Investigation" strikes me as too simple, and not much of an investigation: Odo is a bit of a weak protagonist in this, in that he does not even particularly resolve any of the mysteries here. Nor for that matter does Arissa. Odo solved the problem by, ahem, contacting some authorities, who then came in and told him what the real solution was. Arissa wandering off to go try to make a deal mostly seems to happen in order to provide an action climax, even though the plot was effectively already over. That mostly all the decisions are removed from the characters' hands, and Odo does not even really complete the investigation, is something of a disappointment; unlike in "Crossfire," there is not the sense that we are meant to see the ending as Odo having been blindsided by emotions. The ending sort of takes the choice away from the characters, in particular introducing a husband for Arissa (who was not an impediment for her to go deep undercover as a net-prostitute). It may be a bit of genre snobbery on my part, but this episode's noir detective romance isn't really much of a detective story, and also does not subvert it too much in an interesting way. This is not just a plot issue but a character one as well, because Odo's skills as an investigator really are a fundamental part of who he is.

The character material is fairly reasonable though. Probably on the 2-2.5 border, let's say a low 2.5.
William B
Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 4:20pm (UTC -6)
A bit more:

It might just be that my cynicism is showing, but I did not entirely believe either that these two trusted each other so much. She has given him ample reason to distrust her, and she has been badly burned by authority figures before (or at least, so seems to be the implanted memories). Her flirting with him is stunningly obvious, to the point where it mostly makes sense if it's actually rehearsed (I found the "you do have bedroom eyes" thing particularly cliche). The episode does not quite examine the difficult power dynamics here enough -- given that she relies on Odo for protection, is it appropriate for him to sleep with her? How much is she defaulting to using her attractiveness as a way to ensure safety, as she has no doubt been trained to do? That real feelings can develop I don't doubt, but it's complicated. Certainly, she can "take back" her sexuality and make the choice to sleep with whom she wants, but the power dynamics with Odo do make it kind of worrisome, in a way that episode does not quite get into. And while the idea may simply be that Odo is willing to be distracted by love, I don't buy that his investigative powers get turned off, to the point where he doesn't recognize that she could run away and do something stupid (as she does, trying to confront Draim's men herself at the episode's end), let alone *actually* betraying him (which she did not do, but would certainly have been possible). It just doesn't quite fit to me that they trust each other to the extent they do, for this entirely positive and generative brief relationship, in the middle of the structure of a noir story, and the reliance on cliches does not help me feel convinced it's authentic. I guess actually I'll move down to 2 stars.
Diamond Dave
Sun, Jan 24, 2016, 6:59am (UTC -6)
A fairly bland, perfectly competent, quiet and reflective mid-season standalone time passer. I suppose that for Odo's character development something like this was always going to happen, and although the themes are indeed fairly tired it's all handled well enough - with a surprise enough twist that actually justifies a bit of melancholy at the end.

I did like Odo swooping from the ceiling Batman-style and Sisko's "niiiiice" on hearing the gossip though. 2.5 stars.
JC
Tue, Feb 23, 2016, 7:21pm (UTC -6)
Odo might have to shrink his nose a little, it's cramping his make-out style.
Luke
Sun, May 15, 2016, 6:28am (UTC -6)
Nutshell: https://youtu.be/H9nPf7w7pDI?t=193

You know, for yet another romance-of-the-week episode, "A Simple Investigation" works rather surprisingly well. That's probably because unlike virtually all other episodes of this type, it actually has good chemistry between the two leads, wonderful characterization for the main character involved and an ending that, while supremely predictable is legitimately capable of evoking some pathos. I really don't have much to say about this one because, as Jammer says, the plot is fairly derivative and there really isn't that much to sink one's teeth into this time around - it just a thoroughly enjoyable character outing.

There are two things I'll point out, however. First, on the characterization front, I never noticed it before but in the final scene between Odo and Arissa, his forehead scowl lines are gone. After the two of them made such a big deal about them in their post-sex scene, I'm amazed that always slipped by me until this rewatch. It shows that Odo is having trouble controlling his emotions as he has to say good-bye to the woman he's come to have feelings for. I'm reminded of the scene in "Crossfire" when he trashes his quarters and a piece of his hair falls out of place because he let his emotions run wild. It's a nice, subtle bit of character work. Second, the ending - given that everyone and their brother knew that these two characters simply would not end up together long-term and could see the eventual break-up coming from a mile away (this is, after all, still a romance-of-the-week story), it actually does elicit some genuine heartfelt emotion. That's a testament to the writing and acting right there - the fact that Echevarria, Auberjonois and Young were able to take something that had been so completely run into the ground as a Star Trek cliche and deliver something like this from it. Bravo! And, of course, there's a return to Bashir's James Bond holo-program. As a huge Bond fan, how could I not love that?

I think it would be safe to say that "A Simple Investigation" is easily the best "romance-of-the-week" episode in the franchise.

7/10
Quarkissnyder
Tue, Nov 1, 2016, 5:46am (UTC -6)
I thought this episode was adorable. The fact that it was so derivative and predictable made it relaxing.

Unlike others, the love story didn't bother me. It was necessary to move Odo's character development along.

I'm trying not to think to much about the mechanics of Odo having sex. But . . . oh, never mind.

Will ex-Erisa be safe now? It should be pretty easy for the Orion syndicate to track her down, whether or not she's still the same person.

In one of the Star Trek TOS movies, I forget which one, everyone immediately knew when someone had fired a phaser on board. Does DS9 not have the same technology? If bodies just disappear after you kill someone ala Buffy the Vampire Slayer it must make murder pretty easy to get away with.

Bashir is not the character one would be most likely to talk to about relationship issues. How about a character who has actually had a relationship that has worked?
David Pirtle
Tue, Nov 29, 2016, 10:23pm (UTC -6)
Random observations.

I wonder if detectives actually do read detective novels. That has to be dull. I just realized that the fake stars outside DS9's windows slowly move. Nice touch. I liked the Finnean design. It's always good to see Trek do an alien with more than just a weird forehead (e.g. the Idanians).

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