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DS9 1-04

DS9 1x04
"A Man Alone"

Original airdate: 1/17/1993
Rewatch date: 5/30/2013

A man Odo helped put in prison is murdered, and Odo is the only viable suspect. Meanwhile, Keiko O'Brien considers starting a school on board the station.

Spoiler-free notes:

When Odo is looking through the murdered man's itinerary, it reads that he was recently at the "Alderaan spaceport." Alderaan? Wasn't Alderaan destroyed a long time ago, and wasn't it in a galaxy far, far away? This Ibudan guy gets around.

Why does Bashir announce the "new evidence" in front of the giant, angry mob? Wouldn't it make more sense to be discrete?

So nobody has any ethical qualms or concerns with the fact that they just brought a clone to life and let him go off to live happily ever after immediately after his creation? Seems a bit odd.

As with Spock and Data before him, Odo is clearly the character who is struggling the most with his own alien nature. Also, his shape-shifting ability has the potential to be a fascinating trait and tool, along with the potential for serious complications (as this episode hints at). It's a good thing he's a good guy, because it wouldn't be easy to contend with a shape-shifter.

The title, "A Man Alone," could be seen as a reference to Odo, but also as a reference to the murdered man, who was "alone" at the time of his murder.

I get what this episode is trying to do, but it fails to live up to its potential. If it gave us more reason to suspect that Odo is a shadier character than we already know him to be, it could be a bit more provocative. I like the idea of everybody trying to get used to these new accomodations along with Odo as somebody afraid of human relationships, but it feels rushed and unfocused. Also, the "twist" that Ibudan created a clone is way too obvious, and the subsequent reveal is pretty hokey.

Spoiler section:

Rom seems very different from the character he grows into. Even his voice and mannerisms are off.

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