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Star Trek DS9 - Season 1 - Episode 04

Star Trek DS9 - 1x04 - A Man Alone

Originally Aired: 1993-1-17

Synopsis:
Security Chief Odo's character is questioned when he is implicated in the murder of a shady Bajoran. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.2

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 24 3 1 8 3 23 10 4 6 11 0

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- There's no essential plot or exposition in this episode that renders it unskippable and while the story has a decent sci-fi backdrop, it's largely poorly executed.

Problems
None

Factoids
- Ibudan's files has a note in it that says "Departure from Alderaan spaceport." Alderaan was the planet destroyed by the Death Star in Star Wars IV, A New Hope. ;)
- Odo: "You have 26 hours to get off this station." This is the first episode to mention the 26 hours Bajoran day.
- It is established in this episode that Odo has to return to his natural state once every 18 hours to regenerate. He "sleeps" in a pail in the back of his office.

Remarkable Scenes
- Bashir trying to seduce Jadzia again.
- Keiko appearance.
- Odo being a fascist prick.
- Jake's first meeting with Nog.
- Odo realizing that he'd been set up.
- Rom appearance.
- Quark and Odo bickering.
- Sisko: "Care for lunch?" Bashir, not realizing Sisko wasn't talking to him: "Sure!" Dax: "No, thank you."
- Odo: "Killing your own clone is still murder."
- Keiko's first day as a teacher.
- Morn appearances; 1. On the Promenade while Odo and Quark are talking, before Odo freaks out at the stranger; 2. Can be seen while O'Brien and Keiko attempt to resolve their argument on the Promenade; 3. Can be seen on the Promenade when Odo goes to his office; 4. Odo sits next to him when he sits at the bar. Everyone, including Morn, leaves when he sits down; 5. Morn was also in the mob outside Odo's office.

My Review
A man with a grudge against Odo clones himself, then murders his clone so that everyone will draw the conclusion that the only man who could have committed the murder was Odo, because his DNA would be at the scene of the crime due to the fact that he was the first investigator on scene. This is a somewhat overcomplex and slightly weak premise, but it works. The more emphasized plot regarding the Odo angst in this episode is a little more interesting. Unfortunately the mob mentality of this episode is silly and hard to believe.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-11-12 at 7:52pm:
    I'm in almost total agreement with the review, so I don't have a whole lot to say here. I do, however, absolutely hate the scene in which Jake and Nog let loose the flea-like insects as a prank. It works until the victims start rapidly changing color. I just don't see how this is possible, and it reeks of bad sci-fi: weird situations and improbable outcomes just for the sake of being strange.

    One of DS9's main attractions (and often a thorn in its side as well) is the galactic melting pot that it represents. The strange-looking aliens are almost all exectuted well, but it sometimes borders on the ridiculous, the way the bar scene with the intergalatic lounge band in one of the Star Wars movies does. Here's an example of that kind of visual stimulation getting corny.

    Wow. I just spent two whole paragraphs bitching about a throwaway scene.

    I do like Keiko's decision to start a school on the station, as it fits with the roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pitch-in aesthetic established by the rest of the crew.
  • From Bernard on 2009-11-16 at 12:22pm:
    I know that the reaction of the bajorans on the station is overplayed here to create the tension that the episode needs. I forgive this with the view that they are developing Odo's character and background and it would have been very pedestrian without any threat. The interplay between Odo and Quark is marvelous even at this early stage in the series. How well did those two actors nail their characters so quickly?

    Again, this episode is only hinting at how good DS9 can be. I gave it a 5.
  • From Bronn on 2013-06-10 at 10:36pm:
    It creates a bit of discontinuity with the later characterization of Odo that the Bajorans were able to so quickly incite a mob against him. Later on it's established that all the Bajorans who ever visited DS9 believed he was a hero who stood for justice within the corrupt Cardassian system.

    This was also before they'd established a few facts about shape shifters-Odo wouldn't shed skin cells like a humanoid. It's not to say that shape shifters never leave cells of their DNA behind, we don't actually learn that. But a big plot point of the show is that any part of a shapeshifter that becomes disconnected from their body reverts to a gelatinous state, so it wouldn't remain in the form of hair or skin cells.

    Those little continuity gaffes don't bug me because it was very early, and once they'd figured things out, they did stay consistent with them. What does bother me about watching this episode is that Terry Farrell's performance is VERY wooden for most of the first season. Her line reading is bad here, and was just as bad in the pilot. She got better, fortunately, but it's surprising she was ever cast with some of these early performances, especially since the producers made the decision to redesign Trills specifically because she had a pretty face that they didn't want to cover up.

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