Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 6 Episode 11


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

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
143 votes
  • Elevator Episode, but pretty good

    Following up on "Sacrifice of the Angels", this Dukat/Sisko episode is a classic "elevator" episode, though not quite as literally as "The Forsaken". In the more Star Trek way, the two characters are stuck on a planet (the cave set) waiting for rescue. The point, of course, is to allow the dialogue to carry the show, and Moore, Alaimo, and Brooks bring the goods, resulting in one of Star Trek's better bottle shows.

    The interesting thing is that it starts off as if the writers are backing off of Dukat going crazy, like they're trying to tell us to forget the events at the end of "Sacrifice". Then then proceed to bring alive the voices in his head through a chorus of personalities played by Weyoun, Damar, and Kira. It's a device that illuminates Dukat's mind in a unique way that even a monologue could not achieve. Within its construct, Weyoun represents Dukat's feelings of inadequacy, Damar represents his pride, and Kira represents his self doubt. As the episode progresses, we move from Dukat's need for validation to his self satisfaction at finally defining himself, which leaves us realizing he's even crazier (and more dangerous) than we first thought.

    While all this is going on, there's a short B story with the Defiant about the search for Sisko. While the meat and potatoes of the episode lies with Dukat's self-exploration, the Defiant story includes a classic fake-out moment, and the two stories strike the perfect balance for what they each are.

  • 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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