Star Trek 403: Ties of Blood and Water

403. Ties of Blood and Water

FORMULA: Second Skin + Ensign Ro + Necessary Evil + Duet

WHY WE LIKE IT: Weyoun's back!

WHY WE DON'T: Maybe a little too much "I'm your father, Nerys".

REVIEW: Kira and Cardassians. It's usually a winning combination. Put her in a room with them and watch the sparks fly. So Worf is naturally surprised to see that she has a Cardassian surrogate father, though in a reversal of Duet, she'll go from caring about him to hating him (they're ALL guilty, remember?) when information comes to light about his role in the Occupation. It goes deeper than that however - Odo is essentially right that Ghemor's wrong-doing is minor at best. By juxtaposing a flashback to her father's death, we find a young woman who would rather take revenge than face a difficult situation, and who resents a dying surrogate father because she doesn't want to give him what she couldn't give her natural one.

Ghemor is a pathetic figure in his dying hours, growing more and more invalid. Kira's eventual anger towards him might mirror the frustration one might feel when taking care of an increasingly ill family member, a frustration you're naturally destined to regret. Though the episode starts out harping a little too much on the idea that he sees Kira as his only family, Nana Visitor gives us a potent, haggard and raspy performance that very realistically conveys the character's physical and emotional fatigue. Though she eventually needs Bashir to play the voice of compassion, the ending is quite tender.

But it's not all tears. The Cardassian political situation just got a little more complex with the arrival of the Dominion, and despite Dukat's claims of autonomy, he's inherited a traveling companion in the shape of a resurrected Weyoun. It's a testament to Geoffrey Combs' performance in To the Death that they would make up a story about cloned Vorta to bring him back. It's a different Weyoun here, a lot kookier, hyper and funny, but it's still brilliant. His drinking poison is a particularly fun moment. Their arrival (reminiscent of Star Wars' Imperial Battle Cruiser) also gives Dukat another round with Kira, and it's a doozy (what if he HADN'T avoided that cup?). Though he does poison Kira's love for Ghemor, if not the man himself, she ultimately scores the win by denying Dukat his Orwellian victory.

LESSON: Popularity trumps death.

REWATCHABILITY - High: A sad tale that manages to advance the Dominion War arc AND give Kira one of her trademark emotional journeys. Any scene with Dukat and/or Weyoun is especially strong.


Anonymous said...

Combs' is great in the role. I like how they play each version being a bit different in the course of the series.

Siskoid said...

How many did we see? Four or five? It'll be fun to see the character "evolve".


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