OK, another Ezri-focused episode, but I am a bit curious…wasn’t there a war going on? They sure do seem to forget that for various stretches of time.
Essentially, there’s a serial killer on the station. Ezri had escorted the first victim, a young officer who had drunkenly hit on her, only to learn he was shot dead mere minutes later. She only found out the next day. Oddly enough, the killer used a projectile weapon and not a phaser or anything along those lines. So, naturally, someone needs to find the killer before he strikes again. Sisko dishes out some orders, and while there will be two other victims, that does mean a good, old-fashioned investigation.
So, who looks into? Odo, right? I mean, it has to be Odo, right?
Well, he is, but it’s actually more Ezri. Sisko asked her to come up with a psyche profile, and she naturally assumes that means catching the guy herself or something. More like, she needs to call up the Dax persona that went a little crazy and killed some people. You know, the one that was kept as a secret from Jadzia because that’s what you do to serial killers: you forget all about them and get on with your life until Netflix makes a documentary or a docudrama or both about them.
In Ezri’s case, it’s the idea that to catch a killer, she’ll need to learn to think like one.
Now, that is not to say the other characters are useless during all this. Odo is quick to point out there should be powder burns around the bullet, and he knows this and Bashir doesn’t because Odo reads 20th century crime novels, a nice and obvious detail to the character. O’Brien then realizes how the murder weapon works. The crew knew about a Starfleet weapon meant to work in case of specialized scanners that might block a phaser, but it never got out of the experimental stage until something better came along. O’Brien then realizes that putting a miniature transporter on the rifle would allow the shooter to literally beam the bullet through a wall while firing.
Anyhoo, Ezri calls up Joran, the Killer. And Joran is full of all kinds of great advice about how good it feels to kill while appearing as an image that only Ezri can see and hear. It does mean that she gets into a chat with Worf, a nice one for a change, where the two discuss doing what needs to be done. I can get into something like that, but trying to turn a Star Trek series into an episode of CSI or a Law & Order show only works so far. Trying to use odd angles to make the station’s promenade look creepy doesn’t quite work. Joran is more of an annoying jerk because there’s no way Ezri is going to turn into a serial killer in the end. This isn’t that kind of program. The show, as established over six and a half seasons so far, can only be stretched so much.
I will say that making the killer a Vulcan is a nice touch. Even a Vulcan can snap under the right circumstances, and I’m typing this up a day after seeing a Vulcan crime boss on Star Trek Picard. That at least seemed to fit into the universe, and it made sense in a way that I can appreciate. But no, there was never going to be a scenario where Ezri was going to kill him, and she even manages to shoot him in self-defense before calling for a medical team to take care of him. Joran makes some ominous notes about how she’ll always have him inside of her, that she can’t hide him away like Jadzia and Kurzon did, but I know better. This is the halfway point for the final season of the show.
And there is still a war going on.