Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"A Simple Investigation"

3 stars

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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95 comments on this post

Sun, Dec 23, 2007, 12:41pm (UTC -6)
Dax playing "Lady Wantsomemore!" Now that's brilliant.
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.
Wed, Feb 18, 2009, 5:42am (UTC -6)
I love Dax comments in this Episode. And the little double07 scene is also awesome
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
2-1/2 Stars
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?
Fri, Aug 10, 2012, 9:21am (UTC -6)
Er, Bashir's genetic engineering was actually the previous week, not "a few weeks earlier."
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.
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?
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?
Sat, Oct 26, 2013, 10:14am (UTC -6)
Forgettable Odo episode.

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".
Thu, Dec 19, 2013, 5:08pm (UTC -6)
What a badly written, predictable, boring, snoozefest....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Tue, Feb 23, 2016, 7:21pm (UTC -6)
Odo might have to shrink his nose a little, it's cramping his make-out style.
Sun, May 15, 2016, 6:28am (UTC -6)

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.

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).
Sat, Mar 18, 2017, 12:35am (UTC -6)
Trek really sucks at romances, doesn't it?

An earlier poster said Kira blew Odo off as "inhuman" which is an interesting point of mishap in that writers and fans can't really comprehend the characters as but make up on human actors.

Getting really "alien" aliens is immensely difficult and challenging to do consistently and effectively especially with limited $.

Odo even as his most vulnerable I don't think would have been easily subdued by such a woman.
Fri, May 12, 2017, 8:17pm (UTC -6)
A whole planet of people who think they're Cornholio. Each time one of those Idanian idiots showed up on screen, I expected them to ask for T.P. for their bungholes.

Also, sex with a shapeshifting, ever-changing phallus! That must have been fantastic for Ms. Cornholio.
Tue, Jun 6, 2017, 12:17am (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone!

Silly things that stood out for me...

I liked the assassins. Just another day at the office for them. "I thought it was on stun", checks weapon and turns the dial. Later, when they are getting ready for the meeting with Arissa, he pulls out the weapon and thoughtfully changes the setting...

When Odo is above the bad guys, I was wondering what he would change into? Oh. Just Odo. Part of the fun with him is he can turn into anything during a fight. Otherwise, why have the ability? I figure stay liquid, wrap one up with a python arm, punch the other in the face with a sledgehammer. Nope. We got Odo. Okay, that's fine, but the baddies are knocked down/surprised, and I'm thinking she needs to jump on the guy with the gun. Nope. She starts to punch the Other one, while guy-with-gun stands up and starts to take aim. Yes, Odo was there to take him out with a non-sledgehammer punch, but I really wondered why she didn't go after the biggest threat.

Odo standing outside of the moving car was funny. And Bashir being upset Falcon got the drop on him was good too.

Everything else was pretty much mentioned. :)

Have a great day Everyone... RT
Thu, Jul 6, 2017, 3:10am (UTC -6)
This storyline would have worked better when Odo was a solid, because as a shape shifter, surely he can't feel kissing etc...

I'm not a fan of Odo in a romantic relationship, he's usually very relatable to viewers, who are in non-sexual relationships. I don't find it believable that this attractive women would fancy Odo or want to be with him sexually.

I like Odo because he's above all that human nonsense, which makes us no better than animals. He is a man of duty and honour. But not in this episode.
Thu, Jul 6, 2017, 8:38am (UTC -6)
You don't find it believable that a woman would be interested in a man that can change shapes? Really?
Wed, Jul 26, 2017, 7:45pm (UTC -6)
This episode was so boring. Thank goodness I was watching it on my computer so I could fast forward through the booring plodding predictable dialogue between Odo and that stupid woman that was so bland and unimaginative. It was just awful. It wasn't Odo revealing another side of his character. It was Odo acting completely out of character in order to accommodate this stupid derivative plot. Two thumbs down!
Thu, Sep 21, 2017, 5:14pm (UTC -6)
Seriously boring episode for long stretches-- just yawning as Odo and the shady lady play their game. Really dragged on way too long with their romance, which ultimately is under false pretences, but turns out to be genuine from both sides. But of course it can go nowhere. I asked myself if this is Star Trek I'm watching or some soap opera?

Initially it's clear Odo's in love with her, but who knows what she really thinks/wants. She may be playing him, using him for protection -- he's a shapeshifter after all and she knows it. Turns out she's an intelligence officer. Too bad Odo. An all too familiar story.

I think we've long established Odo is lonely, struggles with women. Not sure what more is to be developed in his character on this aspect -- but he does go all the way with this chick. But he acts unprofessionally (a fool in love) - his judgment goes down the toilet and says he'll take a leave of absence to protect this women when the Dominion may be attacking imminently.

Trek tries to portray this women who is associated with the Orion syndicate, wants out. She's got the cliche sob story of being from some rough planet (wrong side of town). Is this supposed to be something like "Pretty Woman" for Odo? In the end it is all a planned setup.

And after surgery, the women comes back to effectively twist the knife in Odo's back. Turns out the intelligence agent is married but under the planted memories did actually fall in love with Odo. This ending scene just makes one feel bad for poor Odo.

1.5 stars -- barely watchable for long stretches as Odo and the woman warm up to each other and then go all the way. The whole elaborate plan of capturing an Orion crime boss is just a side plot for an excuse to get Odo to fall in love. "A Simple Investigation" is full of cliches (2 Orion thugs, a tall thin "smart" one and a short fat "dumb" one, the "Pretty Woman" theme, etc.) In the end, what more do we know about Odo?
Die Kiste
Tue, Jun 5, 2018, 3:30pm (UTC -6)
Wow, that was one boring stinker of an episode. This wasn't Odo having a character moment, this was Odo being twisted beyond recognition to accomodate a nothingburger of a plot. This episode is among the worst of all DS9. 0 Stars.
Thu, Jun 28, 2018, 2:04pm (UTC -6)
I think this episode would have worked A LOT BETTER had it taken place in the first half of the season, when Odo was still human. It would have been a nice pay off to the set up of the Season 4 finale that Odo would become intimate with someone.

Then we could have seen him exploring his sexuality in human form, now that he has sexual organs and whatnot. (I doubt he ever took the time to make them before he was human).
Mon, Sep 3, 2018, 2:05pm (UTC -6)
"A Simple Investigation" isn't a bad romance episode-not at all actually. There is some chemistry between the two actors that makes it watchable. But that's hardly a ringing endorsement either-though the episode doesn't make any major mistakes, it never comes close to greatness either.

2.5 stars.
Sun, Jan 20, 2019, 11:31pm (UTC -6)
Well, it lives up to its title by being simple.

Lonely Odo was attracted to a pretty, charming lady and indulged that attraction. He barely knows her so I really didn't see it as an epic love story, or see Arissa's departure as causing Odo anything beyond mild disappointment.

Despite the "starry eyed after his first time" vibes, Odo is basically portrayed as an adult.

They just wasn't much to this one. It was ok. Simple, a bit dull. It does portray an important step for Odo, in addressing his loneliness and inability to understand (or accept) his emotions and associated needs.
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 1:40am (UTC -6)
I thought it was a decent episode. Only lines I thought were really bad were Arissa’s “I’m dying. I can’t cry, the dead don’t cry” or something like that.
Fri, Jul 19, 2019, 6:29am (UTC -6)
Another uninspired romance-of-the-week episode. Slow pacing, predictable, with very poor writing for Aryssa, delivered as uninspiringly as possible, and utterly forgettable bad guys. Oh well, this is DS9, better give mandatory 3 stars and needlessly trash Voyager.
Tue, Aug 20, 2019, 3:53pm (UTC -6)
Apparently Odo sees no need in having the computer notify him when weapons go off in random quarters on the station. Ye olde 24th century 2nd amendment. 'Just another domestic'.
Lew Stone
Fri, Sep 27, 2019, 2:39am (UTC -6)
@ NoPoet completely agree with your last sentence "Oh well, this is DS9, better give mandatory 3 stars and needlessly trash Voyager." It's Jammer's "3 stars and go!" for a below average DS9 episode. But TNG's "Darmok" is 3 stars too, sure okay. Hey Jammer, "Darmok is at least 3.5 maybe 4, this crud is 1, 1.5. N'kay?

Like many posters have written this was a trite episode also lacking in credibility. The lack of credibility comes from the character I know of as Odo actually falling for this lady. Several others have mentioned above, and I agree, that the writers stretched the character to match their storyline. The Odo of old, who put duty first, suspicious of everyone, would never fall for a person that admitted to being a criminal who might still be conning him. Also, as a "constable" (is this England?) it's beyond stupid to become romantically involved with anyone you are investigating, protecting, etc. I don't believe that Odo would bend his values for this. If the writers wanted Odo to have a romantic interest (other than Kira) this was the wrong episode for it.

A few positives: the girls gabbin' gossip/Work becoming irritated, O'Brien on the Holodeck, and Rene Auberjonois' superb acting, per usual.

Also, let's face it, Odo looks like a person who is starving or sickly, "bedroom eyes"??!! Gotta freaking be kidding me! More like dead eyes.

1.5 Stars
Peter G.
Fri, Sep 27, 2019, 10:30am (UTC -6)
@ Lew Stone,

"The lack of credibility comes from the character I know of as Odo actually falling for this lady."

Don't mean to sound harsh, but I think you missed the point of the episode, then. It's a noir-style episode about a guy who reads noir detective fiction. Those stories are literally about hard-boiled guys who don't fall for women, and in a given story the unlikely happens and they meet a woman that they fall for and it gets them in over their head. The episode is a genre reference to this. Now I can understand critiquing the actual chemistry between Odo and Arissa, which I think is probably a bit meh, and frankly they could have gone further with the noir atmosphere in terms of lighting and sound, but the premise is straight out of these kinds of stories. The implausibility of Odo falling for her is a feature, not a bug, in a detective story. That's how it's supposed to be structured.
Top Hat
Fri, Sep 27, 2019, 11:34am (UTC -6)
In addition, we've seen in "Crossfire" Odo actually neglect his duties when overwhelmingly lovesick. Romantic behind cynical exterior is prime Odo (and a lot of classic detectives, as noted).
Lew Stone
Sat, Sep 28, 2019, 2:55am (UTC -6)
@ Peter G. no, I get it, specifically you're referring to the "femme fatale" trope. I've seen Bogart's detective movies along with other incarnations of this tired old plot line, but here's the thing, doing "ode's" to genre's or popular movies is a poor way to tell a story because it means a writer has no great or good ideas left so they have to use already well-worn material to create a plot.

Another problem with giving a "tip of the hat" to the noir-detective genre is that it pulls Odo out of character, which damages his credibility as a character by having him behave in a way that is unlike his character, i.e. he is not Sam Spade.

@ Top Hat "Crossfire" is a completely different circumstance because Odo is falling for a co-worker, Kira, whom he knows well and trusts. The gist of my point is that in "A Simple Investigation" Odo does not know Arissa, she admits she's worked for the Orion S. (highly dangerous criminal organization) and lies to Odo, that business about finding her daughter. This is my point, Odo, as he's been presented to the viewer, would NEVER fall for this person, in fact, he'd be incredibly leery of her. But, as we all know DS9 does not like to live in the reality of the Star Trek Universe.

DS9 consistently has poor episodes because it lacks credibility much of the time and this episode is an example. It's also predictable and boring most of the time. Yet consistently there are apologists who come out of the woodwork to point out why someone "missed the point". We didn't miss the point, we got the point, it was simply a poorly executed point.
Sat, Sep 28, 2019, 1:20pm (UTC -6)
While I agree with many of Lew Stone’s criticisms, the one about Odo and Arissa not being compatible because of their different backgrounds got me thinking. Odo is often touted as a keen observer of humanoid behavior and I wonder if on some subconscious level he picked up on the fact that Arissa was really a security operative in disguise. Perhaps it was something about Arissa‘s demeanor that made Odo think she had something more than a criminal history that made her worth protecting.

We know Odo himself has taken on other forms in order to conduct his investigations, so in that regard he must be able to relate to the kind of undercover work Arissa herself is really involved in. It’s hard for me to believe the writers weren’t thinking about this connection when they wrote this script.
Lew Stone
Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 4:33am (UTC -6)
@ Chrome. Thank you for your post. It exemplifies my complaints about DS9 fans absolutely! You have created your own truth about Odo in this episode in order to fit his inaccurate and bizarre characterization. Kudos!

In the episode there is no evidence that Odo somehow "picked up on the fact" that Arissa was actually a "security operative", no hint of dialogue or behavior led the viewer to this conclusion. Thank you for providing insight into the twisted mind of a DS9 fan (not a pretty sight). I'm starting to understand why people like this show. If you simply make up your own reality about characters, plots, etc. it does become more enjoyable! (sorry for the slight snarkiness)
Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 4:38am (UTC -6)
@ Lew Stone
"You have created your own truth about Odo in this episode in order to fit his inaccurate and bizarre characterization."
That made me chuckle a little.
It is official people. We finally have found the one fan who possesses ultimate objective truth about star trek. All hail Lew Stone! Provider of anwers!

Yeah chrome get a hold of your twisted mind, you star pervert!
Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 6:51am (UTC -6)
Actually, I based my theory on facts from the series. I realize that Odo didn’t explicitly didn’t pick up on the fact that Arissa was an agent and was advancing a fun theory. If you simply make up that everyone that disagrees with you is some sort of blind fanboy then you’re removing yourself from a rational discussion.
Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 9:24am (UTC -6)
@Lew Stone

It's nice to point things like that out as long as you know they're not ever likely to change their minds or see the light. And, yes, Chrome is a fanboy - as you've already sussed.

I wish people could look on writing objectively, but it seems to me some poor sods think this fiction is reality.
Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 10:20am (UTC -6)
What a productive discussion.
William B
Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 10:47am (UTC -6)
This was a strange place to pick on someone for being a "fanboy" imo. Chrome didn't even say he (I think he, correct me if I'm wrong) liked the episode and specifically said he thought this angle he mentioned wasn't intended. The only thing he did was present a theory that could account for Odo's behaviour in universe. Lots of us find that kind of thing fun even if it has little bearing on the "objective" quality of the show.
Peter G.
Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 11:18am (UTC -6)
@ Lew Stone,

If you're going to throw around vitriol at least have the decency to know what you're talking about. You've picked on the one regular poster here who typically brings discussions back to the episode's facts and often resists far-flung fanboy interpretations, at least as far as I can tell. He is a DS9 fan, true, but making up stuff to justify an episode isn't his deal. So what's your deal?
Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 11:41am (UTC -6)
I find that a bit of theorizing -- perhaps not directly supported by the explicit facts of this or that episode, but making a kind of sense of them -- is pretty much essential to supporting the "the reality of the Star Trek universe."
Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -6)
Odo is a changeling. If we take that fact serious then there is really now way to say what is in character because he isn't human. Plus he breaks "character", a concept Lew Stone has in his head, several times. What does it even mean that somebody breaks character??
Does this mean that everybody has to always stay in his lane. Odo a few episodes back had a life changing phase: He was human. Could that mean that his entire reality even existence was shaken. YES.
Top Hat
Mon, Sep 30, 2019, 6:44am (UTC -6)
It seems uncontroversial to suggest (as others have) that this episode would have worked better during Odo's tenure as a solid (did they pull the plug on that prematurely due to poor fan reaction, by the way). It would be easier to spin Odo's behaviour as adjustment to his new state.
Lew Stone
Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 12:17am (UTC -6)
Wow! Lots of sensitivity here. I did apologize for the snarkiness.

Good stories have credible plots and characters, there are certain rules to great or even good fiction. I'm not going to try and teach you these rules but whether or not these rules are adhered to make the difference in quality of story.

The element of Chrome's argument that I chided him about was something he legitimately made up to make the story fit. A few of you stated that Odo is a changeling so now he has no identifiable personality? That we've gotten to know over the years? That was a silly argument. Or that he went through something traumatic recently, so he's acting differently. Here's a bit of education for you. When the writers want you to think that Odo is acting differently because he recently went through some trauma then they will give you a hint, even if it's the slightest of hints. None of these implausible theories that you all mentioned actually took place. The simpler and more logical answer is that the show is not of high quality or even good quality most of the time. That seems more plausible then all of these mental gymnastics that you all are using to explain weird character choices. Oh well. And sorry if my harsh humor came across as sincere, it was tongue-in-cheek, I mean we're all ribbing each other here right? Sheesh.
Provider of Answers
Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 12:21am (UTC -6)
@ Booming, I like it " Provider of Answers". Great title, thanks!
Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 1:01am (UTC -6)
@ Lew Stone
Hehehe. Ok ok. :D
"When the writers want you to think that Odo is acting differently because he recently went through some trauma then they will give you a hint, even if it's the slightest of hints. None of these implausible theories that you all mentioned actually took place."
Well, during his time as a solid he showed numerous unusual behaviors (confused, insecure, absent-minded, snarky, enraged and so on) and this episode happens shortly after becoming a changeling again. They actually planned to do this episode during his solid time but couldn't fit it in.
I get it that you dislike the show but that has obviously influenced you perception.

And to mention it. In internet based communication it is often useful to include emoticons or something similar because people have a hard time understanding the intend of a message and tend to see it more negatively as it was meant because of the lack of intonation, gestures and so on.
Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 9:54am (UTC -6)
Don’t worry guys, I know how to laugh off dumb comments. So, I’m not convinced at all Odo was acting out of character in this episode. This episode has issues, but I think the romance is actually the best thing it has going for it. I might write some more up about if I get the time.
Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 11:49am (UTC -6)

"I wish people could look on writing objectively, but it seems to me some poor sods think this fiction is reality."

Boy, you must be fun at parties...
Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 1:28pm (UTC -6)
This is no longer about you. We are basically here now.
Another show made by the hacks/savants who made Galactica
(even though I kind of hated it that the homosexual woman was of course the villain. Representation... yeah??)

Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 3:37pm (UTC -6)

Adding fuel to the fire much? Talk about being over-dramatic...
Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 3:48pm (UTC -6)
@ Omicron
Come on guy learn to laugh. There are far more darker things in the path of the West than debates about Star Trek :)
Lew Stone
Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 2:08am (UTC -6)
@ Booming. Point taken about adding emoticons.

It makes more sense that this episode was supposed to be added when Odo was human. I can easily believe that going from Changeling to Human would throw anyone for a loop in a huge way.

It's true, I don't like DS9 much. I've tried to like it, seriously. I've heard so many positive things about it, and negatives, but I've watched about 4 seasons and still it's my least favorite ST. I've written stories myself, lots of poetry, and recorded an album of original music. I've read lots of American classics as well, and devoted a lot of time thinking about what makes a great story versus an average story versus a poor story, how to create believable plots and so on. At one time I quit my job and devoted all of my time for several years to this endeavour. I ended up switching to music and had more success (paying gigs). Maybe my expectations are too high, this is TV after all. My snarky sense of humor gets me in trouble as well. Don't blame me, I used to be a lawyer.
Lew Stone
Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 2:28am (UTC -6)
@ Booming : In regards to our latest dust-up I quote from the BSG video that you so generously provided.

"I assure you I heard them out. I weighed their statements against those of the guards and I took into consideration their service records and commendations. It was a difficult decision Commander Booming but I dare say, it was a fair one.

Regarding my conclusion on the quality of DS9:

"I am a Flag Officer on detached service during a time of war. Regulations give me broad authority in this matter."

"Booming has taken us over the line. He's left me with no choice. Launch the Alert Vipers!"
Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 3:09am (UTC -6)
@ Lew Stone
to your first post. It's perfectly fine to dislike Ds9, of course. It was pretty revolutionary in it's days using season long arcs which nowadays is the norm. When you get into it you can see that many of the things that seem random to a less enthusiastic viewer do make sense. Odo's whole role in the later seasons is about him dealing with his experience as a human. It is the starting point of a shift in his character that becomes central to the main story at the end.
But DS9. which I consider the best Star Trek show, can be slow, uneven and has some terrible episodes. The thing is compared to Voyager or Enterprise which both fell flat for me DS9 always gets a reaction out of me, good and bad.
We seem to accumulate a group of combative lawyers here. One of the people here is also one and also quite frank opinion-wise ;)

To your second post
This one gets it. :D
Jason R.
Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 5:58am (UTC -6)
"It was pretty revolutionary in it's days using season long arcs which nowadays is the norm."

Season long arcs are great but they tend to blind the devoted viewers to alot of weaknesses that would otherwise be apparent to casual viewers.

I am a big DS9 fan and long considered it to be the best Trek series, even above TNG and TOS. But now I am not so sure. I find myself coming back to it less and less, while my ability to watch TNG and TOS seems almost unlimited.

That said I don't really see Voyager as the counterpoint to DS9. Voyager was just so flawed on so many levels it never ceases to amaze me that it has so many boosters to this day. And Enterprise? Oh boy. Just finished watching that turkey through for the first time. Wow. No wonder Trek died.
Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 9:23am (UTC -6)
@Jason R.

"Season long arcs are great but they tend to blind the devoted viewers to alot of weaknesses that would otherwise be apparent to casual viewers."

Just to focus on DS9 vs. VOY, the former benefits from having some meaty background permeating many of the weaker episodes such that they don't end up feeling quite as weak. How many times on VOY do we come across the random "hard-headed aliens of the week"? Whereas on DS9 the antagonists are much more developed as part of a long arc so the episode winds up feeling like it was better. I think the casual viewer (which I am not) may find that there are some flaws in DS9 due to holes, missing background etc. But I would largely dismiss such criticism. The episodes can't truly be evaluated as standalones. What's interesting for me, given that I like DS9 a lot more than VOY, my average rating for it is just marginally higher than that of VOY.

"I am a big DS9 fan and long considered it to be the best Trek series, even above TNG and TOS. But now I am not so sure. I find myself coming back to it less and less, while my ability to watch TNG and TOS seems almost unlimited."

I am a fan of all the Treks except DSC and I'd say DS9 is my 2nd favorite. Having gone through it multiple times, I do find there are a ton of episodes I have no desire to see again but enough that I would re-watch. However, DS9 is nothing like TOS where I have basically re-watched it I don't know how many times. As for TNG, my 3rd favorite Trek, there's just far more dross to skip past, but what it, DS9 and TOS managed to do is to come up with the very best episodes Trek has ever produced. Achieving these heights is something VOY and ENT never managed to pull off.

I think those that boost VOY prefer something less dark and more fun. Whether the show-runners intended it or not, I do see it as kind of a counterpoint to DS9. And as for ENT, it has grown on me greatly. My initial viewing of it left a bad taste in my mouth (including "Faith of the Heart") but I now like it a lot and I appreciate the main characters a lot more and whenever I watch it, I never miss listening to that theme song!
Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 10:12am (UTC -6)
I agree with Rahul in regards to DS9. When you’re deep into the fifth season with this episode, you’ve already bought into the serialized structure of the series and should be expected to look outside the four corners of the episode for answers to character development.

Serialization has it’s risks and doesn’t always allow us to look over flaws. The horrible ending of the Ferengi arc in this series, for example, retroactively damages a lot of the strong Ferengi material before it.
Fri, Oct 18, 2019, 8:25pm (UTC -6)
Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 11:49am (UTC -5)

"I wish people could look on writing objectively, but it seems to me some poor sods think this fiction is reality."

Boy, you must be fun at parties...


My parties are frequented by intelligent people, like me. We discuss fiction as a fiction (when/if we discuss it). We don't talk about fictional stories as if they defined us or as if they are real. We don't make excuses for shite writing by coming up with something pulled out of our brown end. Your parties must be good to laugh at if you're someone with an IQ over 100.
Sat, Oct 19, 2019, 9:27am (UTC -6)
Purely out of curiosity, DLPB, why was your time here when everyone is so beneath you?
Sat, Oct 19, 2019, 1:15pm (UTC -6)
There's somthing hilarious in a guy who comes to a discussion board for Trek nerds and:

(1) Makes a jab at their IQ.
(2) Claims that they are morons because they "think Star Trek is real" (talk about being completely unable to understand nuances).
(3) Tops it all with statements about his own great intelligence.

Talk about a person just not getting it...
Sat, Oct 19, 2019, 1:55pm (UTC -6)
Purely out of curiosity, DLPB, why was your time here when everyone is so beneath you?

This is a review site for Star Trek. Do i need to like you or think of your intelligence as worthy in order to enjoy posting rants / reviews / or putting your silliness in its place?

I don't come here thinking "Gee, I love the community! Can't wait to agree!"

@Omicron I can't make what I said any more simple for you. If you don't like my opinion, I can't say I'll lose any sleep over it.
Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 1:49am (UTC -6)
I know you won't.

That's what you get for thinking that you're smarter than everyone else, and when you come here to belittle others rather than to exchange opinions. You never learn anything.

I personally think that coming to a discussion board with such an attitude is a complete waste of time. But whatever rocks your boat, sir.
Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 5:07pm (UTC -6)
Definitely something that feels strange to have *not* been one of the solid Odo episodes. I can't help wondering, what specifically would changeling Odo get out of sex? Emotional intimacy, closeness, being able to please a partner, taking part in what's seen by many as a pretty damn fundamental part of "The Humanoid Experience"... all pretty solid (ha ha) reasons. Would he get anything out of the act itself, though?

For what it's worth, it does seem like Odo's been hoping a little more intimacy in his life, and not just Kira. That one self-help book he was reading in 'In Purgatory's Shadow'... and not to mention his choice of reading material in 'The Ascent'. Research, huh? That's next of kin to "reading it for the articles".

I will say that this feels like it worked better than a lot of Trek's sex (that rhymes). I mean, compare this to 'Let He Who Is Whatever'... that gives you a super low bar to clear, but still. It *kiiinda* feels like the main purpose of this story (on the level of the series as a whole) was to establish that Odo Can Sex, and it's pretty clearly heading that way from "bedroom eyes" onwards. It does also give a precedent for him actually having some success in romance, which might hopefully do something to increase his confidence in general -- if he can get over the heartbreak, that is.

Arissa here has details filled in well enough that I can muster up empathy, so that's good at least, and things like her data port and her involvement with the Orion Syndicate hint at greater worldbuilding. But it's clear she's not going to persist beyond the end credits, and all through her growing closeness with Odo I was thinking "okay, betrayal's gonna happen any time soon". So yes, this is still very much The Odo Show.

In other news: we have the triumphant return of the James Bond shenanigans! I *love* how much fun Dax has with the holosuites. Sure seems to be having fun with her gossip too, huh.

Also the two Orion Syndicate guys are a fun diversion, and that hasperat they get from the Promenade looks really nice. This line of the comment brought to you by Fenn's rumbling stomach.
Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 7:34pm (UTC -6)
I ALWAYS forget this happened post Odo's de-solidification. Course I always think of this episode as "the one where Odo has sex", which DOES make sense pre "The Begotten."

Presumably, because Odo has lived as a solid, the knowledge of how to replicate the "full" human body, inside and out now rests within him. Whether he chooses to replicate his organs all the time or not is a matter of debate, although I guess that would mean we might see him eat once in awhile after this. Though maybe he doesn't like the hours long digestive process. But he can probably replicate all the necessary equipment and brain impulses to enjoy intimate acts if need be.
Wed, May 6, 2020, 12:13pm (UTC -6)
I would have to give this episode a 1/4 stars. It’s not terrible, but it is way below average. If I wanted to watch a soap opera, I wouldn’t be watching sci-fi. And nearly all Trek romances that feature a love interest of the week have soap-level acting and direction. I almost expected them to randomly climb a tree like in Meridian. The problem in this one having Odo fall for someone after hearing a terrible pick up line in a bar. I haven’t heard the phrase “bedroom eyes” in 20 years, much less believe it would be used by a different culture centuries in the future.

I was giving it a little slack due to some great acting by Rene Auberjonois, but then suffered brain damage by the ridiculous ending. It was like Poochie on Itchy and Scratchy, where to get him off the show he was like “I’m an alien from another planet” and dies on the way back to his home planet off screen. That’s the same level of dumbing down we have to accept when Soapy McSoaperton says “I’m married.” Oh really? And your husband was fine with wiping your memory, being sent away from him to risk your life, break laws, fall in love, etc with no memory of him? That’s quite the family dynamic. They must be really close.
Fri, Nov 6, 2020, 4:40pm (UTC -6)
Though a rather dull and familiar episode, "A Simple Investigation" is nevertheless clever in the way it mirrors Odo's "real life affair" with an alien woman, with a hologame played by Bashir, Dax and Miles.

And so Odo's affair is revealed to be as false and simulated as Bashir's hologame, the latter fueled by pixels and computers, the former fueled by alien tech and Odo's own fantasies and desires. This is love, yes, but love as a shared simulation and/or delusion, each person acting out fantasies unwittingly ported, not only from biology, but a wider cultural/social program as well.

But while interesting on a philosophical level, the episode fails dramatically. It tries to mimic old film noirs, but the best of those crackled with clever dialogue, a gruff hero, sexy femme fatales and interesting camera work. In contrast, "A Simple Investigation" plods, and Odo is a weak noir hero, a sexually inexperienced man child lacking the smoke-shrouded menace exhibited in "Necessary Evil".
Tue, Aug 2, 2022, 7:43pm (UTC -6)
The end of this episode illustrates one of my pet peeves about DS9 -- alien makeup. Throughout the episode we see Arissa as a smooth faced humanoid, but when she is reverts to her true self as a whatever-alien-it-is-this-week, she has a large almost horn like structure on her face. How did that get taken away and then restored? Yet, it's just one example of the often nonsensical facial structures that Michael Westmore, et al. indulged in DS9 (and other Trek shows). Often I feel that they went overboard with some fanciful structure simply because they could.

Otherwise as to this episode, any story that let Rene Auberjonois run with it as Odo would be entertaining if only for his performance.
Sun, Sep 11, 2022, 2:06pm (UTC -6)
B-O-R-I-N-G. PAINFULLY so. Of course, it gets three stars because it features Dodo, who is a protected species, I guess, but I don't like his character, I don't like vapid flings on a sci-fi show, I don't like dumb, lazy holodReck nonsense, I don't like boring characters having a boring conversation for five full minutes. This ep. is chock-full of ALL of it.


I honestly can't justify to myself the time I wasted persevering with this atrocity. (I did skip 10 or so minutes though.) I wanted to see the resolution to the "whodunnit" arc, but even that was unsatisfying.

1/2 star.
Sun, Jan 1, 2023, 10:34am (UTC -6)
This was an awful episode. Much of it was just Odo and this lady exchanging painful small talk with few camera changes or music. It would have been better had they dumped the whole "let's get Odo laid" juvenile frat plot and focused more on the Orion Syndicate with some cat/mouse action moments.

Rene Echevarria (who is known for his slow and one-dimensional episodes) can't be entirely blamed for this one. His original concept had Odo and the lady "mating" with Odo in his liquid form. But Ira vetoed this and and insisted on Odo making love "as a man". By anthropomorphizing Odo, Ira made him bland and uninteresting. It would have been better had the lady been revulsed by Odo when physically courted...instead we get another cliche soap-opera in space moment and yet another uncompelling Star Trek romance.
Balok Face
Sat, Jan 21, 2023, 11:08am (UTC -6)
In the Holosuite, when Bashir says, "Driver, stop the car," Odo was already standing at the window talking to him. Was Odo on roller-skates like at a 1960's Drive-in?

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