*** (3 stars out of 5)
It seems very, very likely that Quark arranged the whole thing and probably gave Croden the gun. For some reason, Odo does not pursue this with any legal charges.
Even though Morn (the potato-shaped barstool accessory) confirms he saw Quark and Croden together.
Maybe Bajor's gun laws are ultra-lenient. For all I know, Ferengi phasers come free with a bowl of stew at Quark's. Still, Odo seems like the kind of guy who'd arrest Quark for littering if he could, so why does he let the 'conspiracy and abetting robbery/homicide' evidence slide by?
Imprisoned Croden names Odo "Changeling" and claims they are a harsh and judgmental people known to him. He has a trinket "from the colony of the changelings": a key that shapes itself to fit a lock. Bashir's analysis is that, like Odo, the key stone is somewhere between organic and inorganic. Might be a relative. Odo's desperate to find his people, but Croden's not exactly a good egg.
The Rakhari don't do trials, and they want Croden back. Odo immediately delivers him by runabout. (Remember how just last month they protected Tahna Los and explained asylum to Tosk? O.K., Tosk hadn't killed anybody, but as you'll recall- neither does the Federation. Handing him over for summary execution without moralizing is a little reminder that they do things differently here. And inconsistently.)
Croden relates how his government's security broke into his home at night and killed both his wives. He slit the cop's throats in return. A grisly tale, if true. He also claims changelings were too proud to maintain a humanoid shape on his world, and were persecuted because of it. Swell planet.
Instead of the gallows, Odo delivers Croden to the Chamra vortex, to the purported changeling colony. Unfortunately, the changeling stuff is all from legends. The key stone's origins are unknown, and the only thing on the asteroid is the only thing Croden cares about: his daughter Yareth in stasis.
Once it turns out the guy's a family man, (and Ah-kel conveniently blows himself to smithereens) Odo does a complete 180 and lets Croden go! He's killed at least three people and he's a professional liar. He belongs in rehab! Or just wandering free in the utterly honest touch telepath society of Vulcan. That should be fine.
"Vortex", as I mentioned, has a strange idea of justice. Still, the mystery of Odo's origins was intriguing. Also, this is the first time Morn is named, an anagram for that other bulky barfly from 'Cheers'. We learn that, like Cliff Clayvin, Morn's a motormouth: except he never talks onscreen.