Dukat is back for another Kira episode about the two at odds. Turns out that the Cardassian has done a pretty good job of making a copy of all he's lost. Taking over Deep Space Nine's abandoned sister station, Empok Nor, he's become the head of a cult of Bajorans that worships the Pah-wraiths. In a way, it's better than his time as head of Deep Space Nine; he has no superiors, and the Bajorans love him. The only thing missing from his fantasy life is Kira, whom he fetches (or abducts, depending upon your choice of words) to begin the episode. And with that, we're off and rolling.
Like he does in TNG's "Birthright Part 2", Rene Echevarria sketches out the characters and layers them into the battle of wills between the protagonist and cult leader. But whereas Birthright is more like a prison escape story, this episode draws from the Heaven's Gate Cult (which ironically borrowed from Star Trek, with members, including Nichelle Nichol's brother, wearing "Away Team" patches when they committed suicide in 1997). Kira sees the group descending into madness but is powerless to stop it.
Mark Alaimo, of course, chews the scenery and is great as Dukat; but it's Norman Parker with an outstanding performance as Vedek Fala who really anchors the episode.
Unfortunately, Echevarria's exploration of cult life (and death) must fit inside the hour (with time for commercials too), limiting his plot points and forcing a quick conclusion. But even if the ideas are oversimplified, the issues of the cult mind that are addressed here make for interesting television.