Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Air date: 10/23/1995
Teleplay by Nicholas Corea
Story by Toni Marberry & Jack Trevino
Directed by LeVar Burton
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"Captain Sisko is right ... you are in love with the sound of your own voice." — Kira to Dukat
Nutshell: So-so. The early scenes are outstanding, but then the episode turns a bit trite. Some horrendous attempts at comic relief really hurt, too.
There are some very relevant moments in "Indiscretion," but this episode, alas, does not live up to what it easily could have been. It could've been another great installment, but it falls a little bit short because of its predictable conclusion and lapses of incredulity.
When Kira gets a reliable lead on the whereabouts of the Ravenock, a Cardassian ship with Bajoran prisoners lost since the Occupation, she sets out on a mission to search for it, hoping to find a friend who was on board. Since it was a Cardassian ship, the Cardassians also want to find it, so they send an official to assist Kira in her search. Surprise! The Cardassian official is Gul Dukat.
The most compelling moments in this episode come in the early scenes where Kira and Dukat begin their journey in the Runabout. Kira would be content sitting in silence. Dukat, however, decides to initiate a conversation, and pretty soon the two find themselves debating the Occupation.
This scene rings true all the way. Here are two characters who were on the different sides of a Holocaust-type situation. They're trying to accept each other now that the peace treaty is in place, but it's not that simple. Dukat used to command a slave mining station. How can Kira separate yesteryear's image of a Cardassian slave driver from that of today's newfound "ally"? At the same time, how can Dukat possibly apologize for a genocide that his people don't even want to admit? He tries, nonetheless, in his own way, but not without insulting Bajor at the same time. A lot of this discussion seems like the realistic views people in such a situation would take, and I liked the way the material in this scene was presented: without the dramatic cheats of instant mutual understanding.
Unfortunately, this scene has little to do with the rest as the story. Once they locate the crash site of the Ravenock, the plot thickens when we learn that Dukat is also looking for somebody—a Bajoran lover with whom he had a daughter. He finds that his lover has long since perished, but the daughter may still be alive, marooned on the planet. But since his daughter is half Bajoran, he informs Kira that he has to kill her—or risk having his career destroyed when his peers find out about his affair.
This is where the story slips up. It becomes a predictable tale of the Man who Reluctantly Heeds his Conscience. Will Dukat change his mind at the last second and realize that killing his daughter to save his career and reputation is wrong? Or will he shoot her with his phaser set on vaporize? Can we vote more than once?
Sarcasm aside, this might have worked, but the story ends with his choice played out in overly dramatic terms, and the issues from earlier in the episode fade into background conversation. The writers seem to have sincere intentions here, but the final result is just not that inspired.
Something else this episode does—and more successfully—is show the many faces of Gul Dukat. It makes Dukat into a more fully developed character that we can understand (although there were a few scenes where Alaimo's performance could've been a little bit better).
The big problem with "Indiscretion," however, is some filler which just doesn't sit right. A scene where Dukat sits on a spike and impales it in his rear is all-too-obviously played for laughs. Dukat starts yelping in pain and then shoves his rear into the camera while bending over to run a medical device over the wound. This makes Kira laugh hysterically. But the scene isn't funny. It's just a dumb contrivance to make Kira and Dukat a little more friendly toward each other. It's basically saying "We've had a good laugh, right? Now we're buddies." Thanks, but no thanks. This "comic" scene just feels way too forced and hokey, and doesn't balance very well against the serious tone in the Runabout. Aside from this scene, most of the Kira/Dukat scenes work well, although, aside from the Runabout scene, there's nothing particularly standout about them. Kira threatening to kill Dukat if he tries to hurt his daughter sounds like something which is supposed to make us gasp, but instead borders on being obvious and obligatory.
There's a B-story here, involving Captain Yates taking a job on Bajor which will allow her to be closer to Captain Sisko. She even considers moving onto the station. All Sisko can say is "It's a big step." (That was his first mistake.) The amiable results of this thread are amusing, particularly the series' running gag of Jake being the expert on his father's relationship. Lightweight, but likable.
Overall, "Indiscretion" is a decent episode that could have been much better. Pairing Kira and Dukat has so many possibilities and it's too bad the script doesn't realize more of them. This story shows promise early on, but then settles for less.