Star Trek 372: Return to Grace

372. Return to Grace

FORMULA: The Voyage Home + The Maquis + Indiscretion

WHY WE LIKE IT: Dukat as a rebel fight? Delicious!

WHY WE DON'T: But changing his paradigm to an heroic one is dangerous.

REVIEW: Picking up where they left off in Indiscretion, Kira and Dukat go at it again, with poor innocent Ziyal in the middle. In DS9, there are definitely consequences to one's actions, and Dukat bringing his half-Bajoran daughter to Cardassia has precipitated his downfall. Now he's a humiliated, if not broken, freighter captain that even the Klingons don't consider worth killing. Enter Kira, who may be enjoying this.

What she doesn't enjoy however is Dukat pushing her buttons. What Dukat can't gain by playful banter, he tries to get by slinging mud at current boyfriend Shakaar. And of course, Ziyal tries to play cupid. Obviously, Kira will have none of it. After the Klingons have attacked a Bajoran/Cardassian conference, it forces her back into guerrilla fighter mode and into a necessary partnership with Dukat. As can be guessed, this shows her extremely good at dirty tactics, which leads to some fine effects shots and a wake-up call for martial arts trainee Ziyal.

But does it change her relationship with Dukat? He's himself to the end, even dishonorably killing the Klingons, but when their victory doesn't reinstate him in his former position, he shows he's a man of some principle and goes off after the Klingons all by himself. Kira makes a nice speech about how she's already been down that road, thank you very much, and in the process links herself to Dukat by becoming Ziyal's surrogate mother. As he leaves, she's surprised to find she actually does kind of like him... or at least tolerate him. No one knows for sure if this is a good idea, but don't worry, he won't stay a "good guy" for long.

This also marks the first appearance of Damar. You wouldn't think he would become an important player judging from his role here. And famously, neither did the actor.

LESSON: Dukat has seen one too many romantic comedies.

REWATCHABILITY - High: Some sharp writing, down and dirty fighting with the Klingons, an underdog story, and several changes and additions to the series. I'd call it quite watchable.