Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 6 Episode 11


Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Jan 08, 1998 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

out of 10
136 votes
  • An intense psychological drama.

    I've always assumed that, with the producers' love of symmetry in DS9, "Waltz" echoes another intense psychological drama - season 1's "Duet". It's also a commentary on the series of DS9 as a whole - yes, the lines between good and evil may be blurry at times, but in the end evil is evil.

    Marc Alaimo gives one of his best performances of the series - perhaps THE best - as a man slowly losing his grip on reality but desperate for validation from his biggest adversary. Avery Brooks offers great supporting work, as do Jeffrey Combs, Nana Visitor and Casey Biggs.
  • So, it turns out that Dukat is, in fact, evil.

    In an episode that, at its climax, feels like a Eugene O'Neill play, Waltz puts together Sisko and Dukat for a final extended conversation. After their ship is destroyed, the recently-imprisoned Dukat saves Sisko's life because he thinks that Sisko secretly admires him and wants to hear it. Unfortunately for Sisko, Dukat seems to have suffered a schizophrenic break, since he is tormented by the visions of Damar, Weyoun, and Kira, who question his every move. As the two begin to talk about the Occupation and who was really to blame (with Sisko engaging in his own type of appeasement policy), things hit critical when Dukat discovers Sisko's deception (about the Occupation and that he is trying to contact help).

    This is when the episode becomes really brilliant. There is a scene, after Dukat has attacked a weakened, defenseless Sisko with a pipe, where the two finally communicate honestly, which is where the O'Neill comes in. They talk like estranged members of a dysfunctional family, yelling and screaming at each other. Sisko's clever tack to slowly draw Dukat away from his oft-repeated bromides about how the casualties were forced upon him to his unflinching acceptance of the need to destroy Bajor is a marvel of acting and writing. It sets the battle lines for the series' end game and puts an end to the kinder, gentler Dukat that periodically surfaced (in season 4 especially). With his daughter's death, he no longer had any anchor on the side of the angels, so moving to the side of the demons was only a matter of being pushed.
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