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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 1 Episode 19


Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Jun 13, 1993 on Syndicado
out of 10
User Rating
221 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 46933.4

Major Kira makes a shocking discovery while trying to uncover the identity of a suspected Cardassian war criminal.

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  • Harris Yulin rocks.

    Still in the red due to the expensive pilot, DS9 follows gives us a brig episode (essentially the same idea as an elevator episode but probably more Star Trek: a prisoner spends an episode in the brig while the regulars spend the hour talking to In this case, it's a circular story that takes Kira (and the viewer) on a journey that becomes more about her than the prisoner. Without fancy effects or the razzle dazzle of gamma quadrant (or a B story, a rarity for DS9), this sort of episode requires top notch writing and performances to keep the viewer interested. It gets both.

    The episode itself is a mystery which (like a Garak episode) has lies that are as interesting as the truth. Eventually we discover that the real issue we've been exploring is not the predictable "Nazi" fallout story it seems to be (which the original series does in the first season episode, "The Conscience of the King" an episode that is similar to this Instead, it's a bolder, more personal character study that packs an emotional wallop and leaves the viewer breathless.

    But what really makes the episode special is the acting. Nana Visitor is great, and Harris Yulin takes it to another level as the "war criminal". The two have a chemistry together and turn the episode into a must see.

  • Best of Season 1

    Not all Cardassians are evil; not all Nazis were evil.

    This episode clearly reflects on the horrors of the Holocaust, comparing the Cardassians to the Nazis and the Bajorans to the ones trampled beneath their feet on their "path to glory."

    This episode is a clever blend of Sci-Fi and mystery, this episode twists and turns, with a surprising, but good, ending.

    This is the best of season 1 of DS9.moreless
  • DS9 at its best. Evocative and clever.

    When I first started watching DS9, I was a young man, and I didn't appreciate so much episodes like this. Oh what a fool I was. Yes the huge ship battles are cool, and the war with the Dominion was a very entertaining storyline, but they are a little in your face. Episodes like this are where the real gold is. Now I've seen the entire show several times, it's episodes like this one I come back to.

    Here, a Cardassion comes to the station. Kira believes him to be a war criminal from one of the labour camps on Bajor and sets out to investigate as such. What she finds leads to twists and turns in the episode, taking the viewer first one way and then another and giving strong emotions both ways. Visitor is good here, and it is a development story about her at the centre, about facing her feelings for Cardassians and trying to overcome them. But if you watch this episode, it's the Cardassian himself who's going to be the one to watch. His speech about being proud of what he did was truly a treat to watch - both frightening and glorious in equal measure.

    A very worthwhile use of 45 minutes.moreless
  • Words just cannot do this episode justice......

    'Duet' is an absolute masterpiece on every level and is undoubtedly one of the finest hours of television I've ever seen.

    A brilliant script is brought to vivid life by stunning, gut-wrenching performances by both Nana Visitor and Harris Yulin as suspected war criminal Marritza. Some really chilling, harrowing character scenes and a genuinely moving coda are topped off by a final twist that's almost too much to bear. It doesn't matter how many times I've seen this episode - I still find it an absolute gut-wrencher.

    This is about as good as television gets. It's nothing short of a crime that this episode didn't win some kind of award or at least get recognition for the strength of the writing and acting.

    Simply perfect.moreless
  • The first classic episode in DS9's run, and one of the best. Exceptional performances and writing.

    In Next Generation, the season 2 episode "Measure of a Man" showed that the show was capable of truly great stories. Fortunately, DS9 hit that point late in the 1st season with this classic. (To be fair, DS9 benefited from experience.)

    Though many younger newcomers to DS9 may not appreciate it, this episode had particular relevance in 1993, which saw crimes against humanity in both Rwanda and the Balkans.

    But this isn't just an "issue show". It's an extremely intense character-driven episode. The evolution of Kira's character as she confronts her own racism and then transcends it, as well as the extremely harrowing interrogation scenes, make this a gripping 45 minutes. Though Nana Visitor was still smoothing the rough edges, her skills as an actress make it one of the best non-Meaney performances in season 1. Harris Yullin, though, is the true star here - his chilling and eventually heart-breaking performance as a "war criminal" is unforgettable. The writers deserve kudos for a fantastic script. And of course, we get our second visit from Gul Dukat.

    This episode operates as a mystery - there are several surprising twists - but even on second viewing, the emotional power lingers. Essential viewing.moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman


Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

Lt./Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (Season 1-6)

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Alexander Siddig

Alexander Siddig

Dr. Julian Bashir

Harris Yulin

Harris Yulin


Guest Star

Ted Sorel

Ted Sorel


Guest Star

Tony Rizzoli

Tony Rizzoli


Guest Star

Marc Alaimo

Marc Alaimo

Gul Dukat

Recurring Role

Mark Allen Shepherd

Mark Allen Shepherd

Morn (uncredited)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Kira: What was your rank at Gallitep, what were your duties?
      : You don't want to know.
      Kira: Just answer the question.
      Marritza: You'll be disappointed...
      Kira: I'll risk it.
      Marritza: I had the distinction of serving in the exalted position of filing clerk.
      Kira: Filing clerk?
      Marritza: I told you you'd be disappointed. Actually I would have preferred to avoid military service altogether, but I had the good fortune to be posted to the records office at Gallitep, and I turned out to be an exemplary file clerk. In fourteen units of service, I never misplaced or lost a record. I received numerous commendations. Gul Darhe'el himself called my computer filing system "a masterpiece of meticulous exactitude". Well, there you are. My secret's out, my crimes laid bare... I await execution. (holds his napkin over his face to simulate a hood)

    • Kira: Why are you doing this?!
      Marritza: For Cardassia! Cardassia will only survive if it stands in front of Bajor and admits the truth! My trial will force Cardassia to acknowledge it's guilt. And we're guilty, all of us. My death is necessary!
      Kira: What you're asking for is another murder. Enough good people have already died.

    • Kira: You once said we were friends. I'm asking you as a friend to please let me conduct this investigation. I owe it to them.
      Sisko: You mean the victims.
      Kira: That's right. The ones who moved too slowly and never moved again. I'm asking for all the Bajorans who can't ask, let a Bajoran do this!

    • Kira: You claim you weren't at Gallitep.
      Marritza: Yes, I missed that honor.
      Kira: And that your illness is not Kalla-Nohra.
      Marritza: Again, true.
      Kira: Again, false. Our doctor verified that you DO have Kalla-Nohra, which means you were at Gallitep. If your lies are gonna be this transparent, this is gonna be one short interrogation.
      : In that case, I'll try to make my lies more opaque.

    • Kira: I hope I won't disturb your dinner if I ask you a few questions.
      Marritza: And if I refuse?
      Kira: I'll ask them anyway.

    • Kira: (Maritza has admitted everything) Make sure you tell that to the tribunal.
      Marritza: Oh, I will!
      Kira: Then they'll sentence you to DEATH!
      Marritza: Let them! Don't you see it doesn't change anything?! Kill me! Torture me! It doesn't matter! You've already lost, Major! You can never undo what I've accomplished! The dead will still be dead!!

    • Marritza: And what will you do now, Major? Withhold my medicine?

    • Odo: Survivors of Gallitep. They're waiting for justice I suppose.
      : Gallitep?! Can you imagine living through that hell-hole? The pain... the sorrow. Do you think they like to gamble?

    • Kira: Why?! He wasn't Darhe'el!
      Kainon: He's a Cardassian! That's reason enough!
      Kira: No!... it's not.

    • Kira: Nothing justifies genocide.
      Marritza: What you call genocide, I call a day's work.

    • Marritza: War crimes? How could there be war crimes, when there hasn't been a war? Of course, I can understand how you might wish there had been a war... Your need to indulge some pathetic fantasy of brave Bajoran soldiers marching to an honorable defeat. But in fact, Major, you and I both know there was no war; no glory; Bajor didn't resist. It just surrendered.

    • Kira: Commander, if you'd been there twelve years ago when we liberated that camp... if you'd seen the things I saw... All those Bajoran bodies, starved, brutalized... Do you know what the Cardassian policy was?! And I'm not even talking about the murder; murder was just the end of the fun for them! First came the humiliation! Mothers, raped in front of their children, husbands beaten until their wives couldn't recognize them, old people buried alive because they couldn't work anymore!

    • Marritza: Don't leave now, Major! It's just getting good! How many Cardassian civilians did you kill?!
      Kira: LOOK! I regret a lot of what we had to do.
      Marritza: How convenient for you.
      Kira: WE HAD NO CHOICE!

    • Kira: You admit your atrocities.
      Marritza: I ADMIT EVERYTHING! Why not? I was the best at what I did! My accomplishments speak for themselves! Can YOU say the same? You and that little... Shakaar resistence cell you belonged to - all you did was annoy Cardassians while I was out exterminating Bajorans!

  • NOTES (1)


    • Silence Of The Lambs
      The relationship between Kira and Marritza/Gul Darhe'el seems like the one between Clairice Starling and Hannibal Lector in Silence Of The Lambs, especially the way he admits to his crimes, and the way he questions Kira.