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A Simple Investigation (episode)

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(written from a Production point of view)

Odo falls for a mysterious woman who is targeted for murder.

Summary Edit

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An Idanian in his quarters is visited by two unfriendly Finneans. The short discussion ends up in the death of the Idanian. The two mention an object they were looking for and a woman the dead Idanian was supposed to meet on the station.

In Quark's Jadzia Dax, Bashir, Odo and O'Brien talk about a new role playing holoprogram which has finally arrived, based on Bashir's secret agent series. All of them seem very eager to try it - although O'Brien would rather play a character other than Falcon – except for Odo, who finally refuses upon learning that part of his role will be stealing a girl from the evil Falcon.

Odo then walks away to see Quark harassing a woman waiting at his bar, (Arissa). While successfully convincing Quark to stop bothering her (she is actually waiting for someone), Odo involuntarily makes her believe that he is interested in her, leading to a slightly awkward situation.

Later, the woman is caught trying to break into the station computer. She was trying to access the passenger manifest because her friend never showed up. She has a dataport and while not illegal, this is very suspicious. However, she tells Odo that she attempted to bypass the system because she learned not to trust policemen.

As the episode unfolds, we learn that Arissa is trying to run away from the Orion Syndicate and the man she is trying to reach was to help her. All she is able to get is a data crystal but she is not able to decrypt it yet. Odo offers to protect her, hiding her in his own quarters. The two become increasingly close (with Dax keeping the Starfleet crew well aware) and we learn that Arissa is a former net-girl and a computer hacker who worked for Draim.

An Idanian arrives at the station following Odo's communication about the one that has been killed. The man explains that Arissa is an undercover agent who work for the Idanian government and that the crystal contains all her former memories, wiped from her brain to fool the telepaths used by the Orion syndicate.

Odo heartbroken

A man alone

These events happen while Arissa is making a deal of her own with her former employer, exchanging the crystal with her freedom. Draim, however, has no intention of letting her live, but Odo is finally able to save her with the help of the Idanian man.

Arissa's memories and physical appearance are then restored. She also informs Odo that she is married and, while it would be pointless to continue their relationship (since she is not really the same person anymore) there was a woman who truly loved Odo and that she still exists in a sense. While the constable ended up with a broken heart, he still had a positive experience and gained a little more self confidence with women.

Memorable quotes Edit

"I thought it was on stun."
"Look what you did to the carpet."

- Sorm and Traidy, after Rem is vaporized

"If people are talking, it's only because they care. You put on a good front, but anyone who really knows you can see that you're lonely."

- Bashir, to Odo

"What if I... what if she..."
"Rejects you?... She might. But you can't go through life trying to avoid having your heart broken. If you do, it'll break from loneliness, anyway. So you might as well take a chance. If you don't, she'll move on, and you'll never know what you might have had. And living with that would be worse than having a broken heart, believe me."

- Odo and Bashir

(in Falcon voice) "Car trouble, Mr. Bashir?" (regular voice) "Hi, Odo."

- O'Brien, as Falcon, pointing a gun at Bashir

"This isn't fair! Odo and I were talking!"
"Didn't anyone ever tell ya? You shouldn't stop for hitchhikers."

- Bashir and O'Brien (as Falcon)

"I've never done anything sexual before... could you tell?"

- Odo, to Arissa

"You are 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."

- Worf and Dax

"Where is Odo? He asked me to arrange a conference with Starfleet Intelligence at 0800."
"I guess he's running late."
"He's never late."
"He's never spent the night with a woman before."
"A woman? Oh that's nice..." (Sudden look from Kira) "Isn't it?"

- Sisko and Dax

Background informationEdit

Story and scriptEdit

  • This episode was inspired by the 1952 Richard Fleischer film The Narrow Margin. In the movie, Charles McGraw plays a policeman who is assigned to escort Marie Windsor to an important trial in which she is a key witness. Over the course of the film, he falls in love with her, even though he knows he shouldn't, as there can be no future with her. At the end of the film, it turns out that Windsor is also a cop and is acting as a decoy for the real witness who has gotten to the trial a completely different way. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • The writers had originally planned for Odo to have a sexual relationship with Chalan Aroya early in the fifth season while he was still a humanoid, but they felt that she wasn't right for him when she was introduced in "Broken Link", so they altered their plans. By the time they got around to doing an Odo relationship story however, he had regained his shape-shifting abilities. This was something that displeased Ronald D. Moore; "I wish we'd done the show while Odo was still human. If he had been Human, the relationship with this woman would have carried a little more weight." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • In René Echevarria's original teleplay, there was a scene where Arissa comes out of Odo's bedroom and finds Odo regenerating. She walks over to him and touches him, and he morphs onto her. Echevarria was especially proud of this scene, but Ira Steven Behr felt it was thematically more important for this particular episode that Odo make love as a humanoid. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Echevarria's scene however would resurface, when Odo does the same thing with Kira in the seventh season episode "Chimera". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • Rene Echevarria's original draft featured a character that would later become Vic Fontaine. Ira Behr recalled: "While we were writing "A Simple Investigation", Rene Echevarria said, 'Lets put the scene with the night-club singer in here. And I said, 'We're not gonna get Frank Sinatra, Jr. but maybe we can get Steve Lawrence or someone. So Rene wrote a scene, and that's when the character became Vic Fontaine. But the show was too long and we heard that Steve Lawrence wasn't available, so it never really made it beyond the first draft". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • The producers intended this episode to illustrate to viewers that Odo was no longer in love with Kira. They were satisfied with how the relationship had ended in "Crossfire" and they felt that the only chance Odo and Kira had to get together was while he was a humanoid, but with Shakaar in the picture, this never happened. As such, as far as the producers were concerned, Odo and Kira were back to just having a very deep friendship, something which this episode was designed to illustrate. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) However, only five episodes later, in "Children of Time", they changed their minds again and Odo's love for Kira would finally be revealed to her, albeit not by him.
  • Bashir's secret agent holonovel was purposely limited in its screen time by the writers, who also kept the homages to James Bond restrained after they were threatened with legal action by MGM following the airing of the episode "Our Man Bashir". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)



  • Rene Auberjonois commented "I thought ["A Simple Investigation"] was terrific and really just loved working with Dey Young. I had a great time, and the director, John Kretchmer, was terrific. I think that was the show in which I chided Ira [Behr] about how he always made Odo suffer". ("Morphing On Up", Star Trek Monthly, issue 33)
  • Dey Young greatly enjoyed the episode, particularly working with Rene Auberjonois and John Kretchmer. Young commented: "In all the years Paramount has done the show, I am the only love interest that Odo has had, so it was important that it was real and that we had a great relationship. We really worked on that. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it". Dey Young hoped that Arissa might make another appearance on the series, commenting: "There's talk of bringing her back. How they would do it, I don't know. We'll see". ("Love Hurts", Star Trek Monthly, issue 29)
  • Of this episode, Ira Steven Behr says "I think we do crappy romances. But in terms of romantic shows, this wasn't a bad one." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)


Video and DVD releases Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Guest stars Edit

Co-star Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit

References Edit

airplane; assassination; assay office; automobile; Cardassians; carpet; Danube-class; data crystal; dataport; Draim; driver; Dunlap, Nigel; Falcon; Federation; Felix; Finnea Prime; Finnean; gagh; graviton emitter; hasperat; hitchhiker; holo-scan; holosuite; Idanian; manifest; murder; net-girl; Orion Syndicate; phase inverter; Promenade; protective custody; quantum scan; Quark's; Queen of England; raktajino; Rem, Tauvid; Risean tapestries; security protocol; socialite; Starfleet Intelligence; strip search; Talarian; tentacle; Wantsomore, Lady; Yeager-type

External linksEdit

Previous episode:
"Doctor Bashir, I Presume"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 5
Next episode:
"Business as Usual"

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