***** (5 stars out of 5)
Odo never kept a log before Sisko insisted. From his perspective that's why humans invented more and more ways to store their journals and lists microscopically: "Otherwise their records would overrun all known civilization." To that end, his first entry is 'Everything's Under Control'. If only I could master Odo's brevity, my blog would just say 'Superlative Episode. Go hug your family.'
Rom is a much better thief and tech guy than Quark expected. With electronic skeleton key and magnacite drops to eat through duranium, the femme fatale's list of eight blackmailing names is theirs! Quark also receives a free trip to a coma courtesy of a Bajoran hit man, and a free ride on the anti-gravity gurney Bashir somehow got working now that Melora doesn't need it.
Sisko and Odo play good cop, gestapo cop with 'grief-stricken' Rom. But there was a time when Odo was the good cop, and "gestapo" was not mere tasteless hyperbole.
Ever wondered what Terok Nor was like back in 2365? Not a vacation spot.
Recently having shed himself of the Bajoran Center for Science, sullen young Odo is brought in as an investigator by the tyrant Dukat. Odo has been a neutral observer and resolver of disputes, and if the shifter finds the murderer of the station's chemist Vaatrik, Dukat won't have to 'solve' the problem by killing ten Bajorans at random. This is also how Dukat solves plumbing problems and long lines at the movies.
The widow Vaatrik (Quark's future femme fatale) fingers Kira (not like that!) for the deed. Sullen young Kira just lost a job in a replicator plant for hitting a supervisor who came on to her. Grilled by Colombodo, Kira says she's hoping to get a job at Quark's rather than wind up in the mines. Quark breaks that alibi pretty quickly. She didn't pay him enough for a spine that functions in front of Hitler Lizard. Kira confesses that she sabotaged Ore Processing for the underground... and since that's technically not his case, Odo lets her escape.
Back in the present, the truth comes out: Kira's confession back then was really her alibi. She did kill the collaborator Vaatrik. Was lying to Odo about it somehow worse than the crime itself? (Please put your responses in the form of a baked apple pie.)
"Necessary Evil" brings us Odo's nearly genetic devotion to justice, a closer look at Kira's misdeeds, and the recognition that under Dukat nobody was exactly doing the right thing.