Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Indiscretion   Rewatch 
January 17, 2016 8:29 PM - Season 4, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Major Kira has an unexpected team-up with Gul Dukat, and finds out a deep, dark secret of his... which is absolutely no surprise to anyone who's had even the slightest acquaintance with his character. Also, Sisko gets cold feet. (No, not that kind of cold feet. Not yet, anyway.)

Courtesy of Memory Alpha:

- The basic plot of this episode resembles the 1956 John Ford western The Searchers (which starred Jeffrey Hunter) and which was a favorite film along several of the writers.

- Dukat was promoted to Legate prior to the events of the episode. The stage directions in the script mention "He's now a LEGATE, and his uniform has changed to reflect his promotion".

- In "Indiscretion", the next chapter in the development of Kira and Dukat's relationship begins, something which director LeVar Burton was well aware of; "it focused on these two characters, characters who had an adversarial relationship and who had to re-evaluate who they were to each other and how they viewed each other." The scene when Dukat sits on the thorn is a pivotal moment in the episode and in this process of re-evaluation. Of this scene, Ira Steven Behr comments, "There are moments in life when you can be with someone with whom you have nothing in common, who you have nothing but disdain for, and then something happens: a moment of shared experience, or shared laughter, and it just changes the playing field. And it doesn't mean that you become friends afterward, it doesn't mean that you've broken through to a new level of understanding that'll be with you for the rest of your lives. But something has changed. It's a bonding moment. And though it's probable that neither of them would ever discuss it, after this, their relationship will never be quite the same again. They've started to see each other as people."

- However, despite the softening of Dukat's character, the ambiguity as to Kira's opinion of him, and the re-evaluation they undergo in this episode, both Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Nana Visitor were adamant that there was never going to be any hint of genuine romance between Kira and Dukat, not from her perspective anyway. On the other hand however, actor Marc Alaimo felt it would be interesting to play the character as if he thought there might be chance for a relationship in the future, and the producers agreed. The final scene in the episode, when he says, "I'll let you know", is a nod towards his hope for a more intimate relationship with Kira. However, that this could ever happen was impossible. According to Wolfe, "If you put a gun to her head, I don't think Kira would ever consider it", while Nana Visitor says, "Playing Kira, I can't even entertain the thought. It's too disgusting."

- This episode is also the first appearance of Tora Ziyal. Cyia Batten plays her again in the next appearance of the character in "Return to Grace". Tracy Middendorf plays her once in "For the Cause". Melanie Smith plays her in the fifth and sixth seasons.

"I've found that when one has a difficult job to do, personal reasons can be quite an incentive. So who was he? A family member, a compatriot... a lover?"

- Dukat, to Kira

"The voice of the new Cardassia – so compassionate, so understanding. Almost makes you forget that five years ago, he was working Bajorans to death in forced labor camps, and shooting anybody who tried to stop him! Almost makes you forget."

- Razka, about Dukat
posted by Halloween Jack (8 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I still have a theory that Tora Ziyal was going to wind up being Kira's half-sister. Even with the timing established in a later episode regarding Kira's mother's death, it could still be possible if it turned out that it was just one other thing Dukat was lying about. Remember, Dukat lies all the time.

Of course, it wouldn't have worked in the long run, as Kira would have straight-up murdered Damar, which would have been bad news for the Cardassian resistance.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:47 PM on January 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

which is absolutely no surprise to anyone who's had even the slightest acquaintance with his character
"And you, a married man!"

The Breen are really dicks.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:15 AM on January 19, 2016

The Breen are really dicks.

And Dukat admires them for their ingenuity!

I think it's telling that Dukat is most magnanimous to Ziyal when she says, "If I can't be with you, I'd rather die." That sort of desperate dependence on him just feeds his narcissism. Once Ziyal develops the nasty habit of caring about people who are not Dukat, his fangs will come out again.
posted by creepygirl at 12:15 PM on January 20, 2016 [5 favorites]

A couple of further thoughts:

-The scene in which the writers introduce the Ravinok is really well scripted- it's handled as the continuation of a series of conversations that Kira and Odo have been having for some time. It's a great framing device for the episode, as well as a reminder that Kira and Odo have a backstory that goes back much further than the series. Visitor and Auberjonois do a great job with this.

-Sisko's insistence that Kira work with the Cardassian's representative again emphasizes her centrality to Bajoran-Cardassian relations in the post-occupation period, and foreshadows her even greater role later in the series. Not only does it remind us that her, Odo, and potentially Quark are really the protagonists of the series, but also that Kira may be one of the most important people in the whole sector (whether she realizes it or not).
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:01 PM on January 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

I don't know that I'd call them protagonists, exactly; the whole series is predicated around the opening of the wormhole, and Sisko is responsible for that. But they all have decent character arcs (with the possible exception of O'Brien, who mostly just has bad things happen to him), and it would be fair to say that Kira is the deuteragonist, especially with her position at series' end.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:22 PM on January 20, 2016

The comment regarding Marc Alaimo's ideas, and the producers support of those ideas, is ambiguous, but the idea of Kira having a romantic relationship with any Cardassian is perhaps the looniest possible outcome of the plots of DS9 I can imagine.
posted by Slothrop at 4:41 AM on January 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think I the clear implication from Alaimo and the producers was not that it could happen, but that Dukat would think it could because he's just that narcissistic.
posted by dry white toast at 8:29 PM on January 31, 2016 [3 favorites]

Road trip! I love the DS9 road trip episodes! When Gul Dukat beamed into ops we all decided his back was full of snacks.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:08 PM on January 20

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