Star Trek’s Odo: The Best Episodes About Trek’s Natural Trick-Or-Treater 

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

star trek changelings

It’s that spooky time of year, and Star Trek nerds everywhere have been revisiting the scarier episodes from the many decades of this Paramount franchise. However, if you’re really feeling the Halloween spirit, you should definitely watch some Deep Space Nine episodes focusing on Odo. This cranky shapeshifter is Trek’s natural trick-or-treater, and we’ve brought you a Halloween basket of king-sized candy goodness: the best Odo episodes from throughout all of DS9.

6. “Necessary Evil”

star trek odo

More than other Star Trek shows, DS9 loved to put very different characters together to see what happens. That’s how Bajoran freedom fighter (some would say terrorist) Kira ends up working side-by-side with Odo: someone who once worked for the very Cardassians Kira and her people fought for so long.

In “Necessary Evil,” we see how uncomfortable and strange this period was for Odo. But in fine Star Trek fashion, the episode also reflects Kira’s time with the Resistance and how her actions might undermine the righteous nature of her mission. Ultimately, it’s a great character study for Kira and Odo alike, all while giving fans an invaluable glimpse of the shapeshifter’s earlier life.

5. “The Forsaken”

How much Star Trek fans will like the DS9 episode “The Forsaken” depends largely on how much they like Lwaxana Troi. Back in TNG, she spent most of her time aggressively flirting with Captain Picard, and now, she has turned her amorous intentions toward Odo. It sounds like a disaster on paper, but the episode ends up surprisingly sweet and insightful.

In this Star Trek ep, the often one-dimensional Lwaxana gets some much-needed depth just as the hard-edged Odo gets to show us his softer side. Plus, if you have a dirty enough mind, you’ll never forget Lwaxana’s response to Odo when he tells her he turns into liquid every 16 hours: “I can swim.” Trust us when we tell you we’re still pondering the erotic implications of her three-word response.

4. “Homefront” And “Paradise Lost”

star trek odo

Hopefully, Star Trek fans won’t consider it a Halloween trick that we’re “treating” the two-part story of “Homefront” and “Paradise Lost” as one big episode. Together, they provide a fun narrative of misdirection in which we see Earth go into a kind of lockdown after an alleged terrorist attack by Odo’s people. Once Odo and Sisko really look into the matter, though, it starts looking like the real threat is closer to home than anyone had imagined.

We love these eps because they showcase Star Trek at its best: we get great character moments that also help to move the overall narrative forward. In this case, the narrative is about a potential war with the Dominion and their shapeshifting Founders, and we get great insight into the Founders’ culture and humanity.

3. “Heart Of Stone”

Like other big franchises, Star Trek is filled with ‘shippers who long to see certain characters confess their feelings and live happily ever after. On Deep Space Nine, the ‘shippers were rooting quite mightily for Kira and Odo to get together. But that might never have happened without the excellent episode “Heart of Stone.”

The premise of this Star Trek ep involves Kira and Odo landing on a small planet while searching for a Maquis vessel. When Kira appears to be fatally stuck in a fast-growing rock formation, Odo pours out his heart to her, only for him to find out that this is really the Female Changeling in disguise. In any other show, this would feel like a narrative cheat, but future Deep Space Nine episodes end up getting plenty of dramatic mileage out of the fact that Kira doesn’t know just how much her grouchy colleague loves her.

2. “The Ascent”

star trek quark

After you’ve seen a few episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, you’ll quickly understand the dynamic between Odo and the resident criminal-turned-bartender (or is it the other way around?) Quark. Normally, these very different personalities bounce off each other for a scene or two and go their separate ways. But in “The Ascent,” the two of them must team up together to survive after their sabotaged Runabout crashes on a chilly planet.

At this point in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Odo has lost his shapeshifting powers, so he and the Ferengi Quark must navigate the unforgiving terrain the old-fashioned way. In a familiar trope, the two must learn to get along and help each other, but they don’t exactly become fast friends. In fact, even the very end of the episode emphasizes that whatever this hilariously oddball duo learned on the planet, it most certainly wasn’t how to get along.

1. “Things Past”

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As a Star Trek fan, what are you looking for in a great Odo episode? Do you want to learn more about this mysterious character, or do you just want to see an amazing performance from acting legend René Auberjonois? If you just answered, “why not both,” then it’s time you go watch (or rewatch) “Things Past.”

This Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode uses a fun sci-fi conceit to accidentally have Odo make telepathic contact with Sisko, Dax, and Garak. We get another wild flashback to Odo’s time with the Cardassians, and we learn that his hands aren’t necessarily as clean as “Necessary Evil” made them out to be. All of this culminates with Kira confronting Odo over his history as a kinda-sorta war criminal (or at least, a collaborator), adding amazing layers of complexity to both this character and the romantic relationship he hopes to have with Kira.