#DS91sttime: Season 4, Episode 5, “Indiscretion”

September 13, 2013 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

There are some actors and actresses that can pull your attention completely to the screen and hold it there. Mark Alaimo is one such actor, and in my book is not just one of the best performers in Deep Space Nine, but across the entire Trek universe as well. It’s the range of emotion he gives his character; the sense that Dukat is forever in conflict with the society he’s a part of–at once a willing participant and a victim of its savage power struggles and strange mores. He is a man of duplicity, as human as any of us beneath his alien skin.

“Indiscretion” shows that off by teaming up Dukat with his old nemesis, Major Kira, in a mission of compelled cooperation that has the Bajoran disgusted and frustrated. Alaimo and Nana Visitor were made to scrap with each other via their characters. Deep Space Nine is a show built around an ensemble cast, but it’s adept at (and sometimes seems most-comfortable with) pairings like this, that bring out the best in those involved. Some others that typically produce solid moments are Bashir/O’Brien, Odo/Kira, Sisko/Sisko, and the brothers Quark.

Kira and Dukat in Season 4, Ep 5: "Indiscretion"

Kira and Dukat in Season 4, Ep 5: “Indiscretion”

Having heard rumors and found evidence of a long-lost ship that might harbor an old friend, Kira’s hope is sand-bagged when Sisko announces a Cardassian envoy will accompany her, since the ship in question was a Cardassian prison transport. Beaming onto the station, Dukat announces he’s ready to leave, and Kira is forced to put up with his verbal jousting. This trip isn’t just a voyage to find the vessel; it’s also an opportunity to continue the slow mend of Cardassian/Bajoran relations, and both parties begrudgingly try to make the best of it.

Meanwhile, Sisko has some problems of his own. He trips over his own tongue when Kasidy Yates announces she’ll be taking a job with the Bajoran Government, meaning she’ll be moving in, basically. This puts Sisko face-to-face with a level of commitment he’s initially uncomfortable with, and it shows, and Kasidy storms out of his apartment, understandably hurt.

Where the two plots differ is their resolution. Sisko/Yates ends fairly well for our lovebirds, as might be expected. It’s satisfying but pedestrian–a continuation of B-plots of late, in that it’s largely character development with little influence on the Grand Scheme of Things.

Of larger scope and greater interest, Kira’s mission turns up equal amounts of startling discovery and good special effects, and an enjoyable but brief performance by Roy Brocksmith, playing a Bajoran named Razka Karn. Some of the bonding between Kira and Dukat feels a little too forced, it must be said. I wouldn’t imagine someone opressed by the Stasi laughing it up with one of their former officers after the Berlin Wall fell, and it makes about as much sense for Kira to do the same after Dukat hurts himself. Further–and despite its appropriate use here–our old friend, the cave set, once again gets a workout in this episode. I’m starting to think every alien planet is riddled with caverns. Can we get a break from this trope?

A new species is introduced, or at least seen for the first time. The Breen are apparently a mysterious race of cold, detached oppressors, and I’m told by other viewers that they’ll feature more in later episodes. Here, they look like a combination Halo soldier/dirt biker/Cylon, and Dukat and Kira take them apart without much trouble. It’s not the Breen that matter, really–it’s what comes next. It’s a choice that takes center stage, and one the episode has alluded to for some time. I won’t spoil it for you.

Why you'll really watch "Indiscretion"

Why you’ll really watch “Indiscretion”

As episodes go, this one feels almost like it’s pulled from another series, with a used-future, space opera flavor. A good ole’ adventure is always welcome, in my book, but I think the real reason you’re going to give it forty-five minutes is to see Dukat undergo hard internal consideration on what his lifestyle and loyalties are really costing him. These moments are some of the best of this season thus far, and Dukat’s ongoing acceptance and rejection of various drivers in his life continues to grow my interest in his character. At the end of the episode, we’re given a final bit of enigmatic subtext, showing us that Dukat will continue to surprise us, and perhaps the crew as well.

I dig surprises.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

See the rest of the review series here.

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