Necessary Evil (****)
When this episode comes up in discussions it is often pointed out that it sets the show apart from TNG because Kira actually killed a guy. And I guess that my response to that is "So?" She was a member of of resistance movement during an occupation, collaborators are routinely killed in these kinds of situations, it's not unexpected that Kira would have carried out such an act in her past. DS9 set itself apart by putting her in the show in the first place, this episode doesn't change my opinion of the character much. Kira has killed lots of people, some of them were probably civilians that were caught in the crossfire, and killing a man that claimed to be a civilian when he was secretly working with the occupiers seems like the lesser of those two crimes. It wasn't even premeditated murder, she was caught trying to steal his info and she either had to kill him or allow herself to be captured and executed. I'm not saying it was right, I'm not making any moral judgements, I'm just saying that it's not as shocking as some make it out to be.
I have some minor issues with this episode. Firstly, there's Odo's log entries. I get that they were going for a film noir feel for this episode and the log entries play into that, but they just didn't sound like Odo to me, they came across as forced. Secondly, Rom's characterisation gave me whiplash. He spent the previous episode concerned about losing his brother's affections, but in this episode he wants him to die again because he wants to own the bar. If this episode had come a couple of episodes before Rules of Acquisition
it wouldn't have been a big deal, but here it felt like a stab at humour that missed the mark.
However, I consider those to be minor faults in an otherwise great episode. Seeing the station during the occupation was fantastic, as were seeing Odo's first interactions with Dukat, Kira, and Odo. Dukat's in particular was excellent, you almost believe him when he says that he wants Odo to find the killer so that he doesn't have to go through the brutality of killing 10 innocent Bajorans, when the truth is that he knows Odo is the best hope of routing out members of the Bajoran underground. A part of me wonders if Dukat actually believes his own lie. It's fascinating seeing these four characters in their first entanglements with one another, especially knowing the important roles they're going to play in one another's lives. Also, after hearing so much about the horrors of the occupation, it's about time that we got to see how bad things were back then.