(written from a Production point of view)
Kira and Dukat search for the six-year-old crash site of a Cardassian freighter that was carrying Bajoran prisoners. Also, Sisko deals with Kasidy moving onto the station, a new development in their relationship.
Major Kira is in her quarters praying when she receives word from Worf in Ops that Razka Karn wishes to speak with her. In the course of the conversation, Kira's informed that Razka has found salvage from a missing ship called the Ravinok – but that she'll need to come to him in order to see for herself.
Later she's reviewing the criminal activity report with Odo concerning Trelos Vren in the security office, but she concedes that her mind is wandering. When she tells him that her thoughts are on the Ravinok, Odo wishes her good luck – he's certain that while she may be skeptical that there are any survivors, she won't rest until she's certain.
While Kira prepares for her departure from the station, Captain Sisko drops in on her and asks Kira to put off her departure, as the Cardassians have asked to send someone along with Kira. She tells Sisko that she'll wait two days, and not a minute more, before she leaves. Sisko tells her he will pass along the message to the Cardassian government
Sometime later, Sisko is in the docking ring with Jadzia Dax, and they're speculating on the depth of Kasidy Yates's interest in the captain. At just that moment, Kasidy walks up to them to announce that she's applied for a ship's captaincy with the Bajoran Ministry of Commerce. Dax's immediate response is to point out that if Kasidy gets the job she can live on the station, and meanwhile the captain's looking entirely overwhelmed at the prospect.
When Sisko makes it back to Ops, he's told by Worf that the Cardassians want to beam someone directly into Ops from the transport Rabol – someone who turns out to be Dukat. It seems that he is the one who's to accompany Kira on her search for the Ravinok, and he too is anxious to leave.
Aboard the USS Rio Grande runabout heading to Razka's location in the Badlands, Dukat inquires on Kira's motivation for the search. She explains that when the Ravinok was lost, one of the people aboard was Lorit Akrem, the man who recruited Kira into the Shakaar resistance cell. Dukat's bemused at that, and goes on to say that the Shakaar cell had been the focus of a lot of Cardassian attention during the Occupation. Thence he asserts that the Occupation did Bajor a favor, with which Kira hotly disagrees.
Back on the station, Sisko and Kasidy are having dinner in the captain's quarters and Kasidy announces that she got the captaincy she applied for. When she raises the possibility of getting quarters on the station, an increasingly overwhelmed Sisko calls it "a big step," Obviously, Kasidy is unimpressed by that response and declares that Sisko is afraid of commitment. She walks out on him.
When Kira and Dukat arrive at Razka's ship, Dukat's presence creates tension, and it is revealed that both Razka and Dukat are wanted men – Razka by the Cardassians, and Dukat by the Maquis. However, Dukat confirms that Razka's salvage is from the Ravinok. Informed that Dozaria was the last stop of the Ferengi ship that was hauling the salvage, Kira and Dukat leave. Once at Dozaria, they find emissions consistent with the presence of a damaged ship, and take the runabout down to the surface of the planet… where they find the hulk of the Ravinok.
At the station, Sisko is in the upper level of Quark's with Dax and Bashir, discussing how the captain can best remedy the fact that Kasidy is upset with him. There appear to be a few different ways to go about it. Quark, overhearing, gives his traditional Ferengi input of treating women "like the enemy." Once the captain leaves the table with a diplomatic acknowledgement of their advice, Dax and Bashir agree with the captain's judgment that the prospect of Kasidy living on the station is "a big step."
Back on Dozaria, they find that the ship was shot down. Furthermore, there were survivors, as there are 12 neatly arranged grave sites nearby. Dukat pauses to identify the remains. Kira also helps, but Dukat objects, saying funeral rites forbid non-Cardassians to view the remains. Kira eventually accepts it and goes to the ship. There, she finds the manifest and the fact that the ship was attacked by unidentified ships. Coming back out to inform Dukat, she finds he is holding a Bajoran betrothal bracelet, revealing his incentive for coming there – a Bajoran woman who was once his beloved mistress – was. Dukat doesn't want to dwell on the story, leaving Kira to identify the Bajoran remains. She discovers that Lorit wasn't killed when the ship crashed. Wanting to continue her search for Lorit, Kira explains that as a resistance fighter he had an implanted tracking device of sorts, the trail of which should lead them to the location of the survivors.
That night, Kira and Dukat are setting up their bivouac when Dukat suddenly loses his usual controlled calm and repeatedly shouts "I sat on something!" Kira looks at his buttocks and removes a long, sharp object. She hands him a dermal regenerator, but he is so agitated that she has to remind him to turn it on. She breaks into laughter at his loss of dignity, and after a few seconds he joins in.
Afterwards, Kira points out that she learned from the ship's computer that the daughter of Dukat's mistress, one Tora Ziyal, was also aboard. Dukat declares that he's the girl's father, and that if he finds her alive, he will be forced to kill her. Kira is shocked.
The next day, Kira berates Dukat for what he's set to do. Dukat goes on to explain to Kira that if his paternity of the girl is made known on Cardassia, his political enemies would see him ruined. Kira is, of course, unfazed by this and suggests relocating her secretly to Bajor. Dukat refuses that kind of life for her or her mother. He also says he sent them away, via the Ravinok, so they could live on Lissepia for a relatively better life. Kira objects further, saying he could do that again, but he says he and his family would be in more danger now, with his alignment with the unstable civilian government. He warns her not to stand in his way.
Back on the station, Sisko talks with Jake, who informs him Kasidy is not taking the job because Sisko didn't want her to. Revealing he has been talking to Nog, he says he should let Kasidy take the job if she really wants it, because it was her decision and Sisko is scared of feeling guilty if things don't work out. He's a little stunned, with all this conversation behind his back.
Kira tries to order Dukat back to DS9 for reinforcements, but Dukat refuses and, with Kira also unwilling to leave Dukat alone, suggests a joint plan to infiltrate the mine. Kira bluntly promises him that if he kills his daughter, she will kill him.
Later, they manage to disguise themselves within Breen refrigeration suits. Once in the mine, Kira discovers that Lorit is dead. Dukat asks where the girl is, but they are soon under fire. Dukat runs off to find his daughter while Kira returns fire. Chased by Kira, Dukat finds Ziyal retrieving water from a spring. Ziyal immediately recognizes her father, and his response is to draw his disruptor on her. Just then Kira finds her way into the chamber, and draws her disruptor on Dukat.
Encouraged by Kira to run, Ziyal instead stands her ground and explains that even though she'd been warned of the likelihood that her father would want to kill her, she refused to believe it – she maintained her will to live by hoping and actually dreaming that she'd be rescued by him. The impasse is finally broken when Ziyal says to her father, "if I can't be with you, then I'd rather die" – and he embraces her warmly.
Back on the station, Captain Sisko goes to Kasidy to apologize for his gracelessness, as he'd been advised by his son to do. Kasidy accepts his apology and, though she turns away from his attempt at a parting kiss, implies that the two of them will be seeing a lot more of each other.
"Smuggling might not've been the safest line of work, but it was a lot more exciting than selling scrap metal."
- - Razka Karn
"I've found that when one has a difficult job to do, personal reasons can be quite an incentive. So who was he? A family member, a compatriot… a lover?"
- - Dukat, to Kira
"Could you muster up a little more enthusiasm?"
"I am enthusiastic…"
- - Kasidy Yates and Benjamin Sisko
"The voice of the new Cardassia – so compassionate, so understanding. Almost makes you forget that five years ago, he was working Bajorans to death in forced labor camps, and shooting anybody who tried to stop him! Almost makes you forget."
- - Razka, about Dukat
"It's going to be a difficult landing. I'll take the controls, if you like."
"Tch! That'll be the day."
- - Dukat and Kira
"Invigorating, isn't it? A bit sunny, perhaps, but this heat feels wonderful!"
"Only a Cardassian would call this hellhole invigorating."
- - Dukat and Kira
"Who knows more about women than me?"
- - Quark and Bashir
"What if your woman leaves you?"
"That's what holosuites are for."
"It's a wonder the Ferengi reproduce at all."
- - Dax, Quark and Bashir
"You're a good man, Benjamin Sisko – but you've got a lot to learn about women. Especially this one."
- - Kasidy Yates
"I can't see two meters in front of us, and anyway, we could use the rest. So… stop pacing and sit down!"
- - Kira, to Dukat
Story and script
- According to writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe, he modeled these developments on the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union, with the Obsidian Order based on the KGB. As with Cardassian Central Command and the Obsidian Order, the militarily sanctioned government of the Soviet Union could no longer maintain its dominance upon the collapse of the KGB. However, unlike the Soviet Union, Cardassia would soon return to a military government (in the episode "In Purgatory's Shadow"), something which Wolfe had always intended. His decision to give Cardassia a civilian government was always intended as a temporary development: "We always planned to make them go military again." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The basic plot of this episode resembles the 1956 John Ford western The Searchers (which starred Jeffrey Hunter), a favorite film along several of the writers. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 274). Kira's line "That'll be the day" is famously spoken by John Wayne in that film.
- Dukat was promoted to Legate prior to the events of the episode. The stage directions in the script mention "He's now a LEGATE, and his uniform has changed to reflect his promotion". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- After "The Way of the Warrior", this episode provides more details of the political changes on Cardassia Prime. Once the Obsidian Order was destroyed (in "The Die is Cast"), the Cardassian Dissident Movement (first seen in "Profit and Loss", and again in "Second Skin") were able to wrest control from the military (i.e. Cardassian Central Command), and at the time this episode takes place, a new civilian government has been established.
- This episode is of vital importance in the evolution of the relationship between Dukat and Kira Nerys. For much of season one and two Dukat was simply a villain, but the second season episode "The Maquis, Part II" began to soften his character and add ambiguity to his role as a villain. This softening was furthered in the third season with episodes like "Civil Defense" and "Defiant". At the same time, Dukat was shown to perhaps be attracted to Kira in "Civil Defense", while her opinion of him was seen as changing in "The Maquis, Part II". The softening of Dukat continued into the fourth season, with the episode "The Way of the Warrior".
- This is the first Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode to be directed by LeVar Burton. Burton had previously directed TNG: "Second Chances", TNG: "The Pegasus" and VOY: "Ex Post Facto". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, issue 4)
- The exterior scenes on Dozaria were filmed with principal and stunt cast at the P.W. Gillibrand Co. Rock and Gravel Quarry in the Soledad Canyon, north of Los Angeles, the same location that had been used for Cardassia IV in the second season opener "The Homecoming", and which would also be used for the fifth season episode "The Ship" and the sixth season episode "Rocks and Shoals". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- This episode marks the first appearance of the Breen, a species previously mentioned in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Executive Producer Ira Steven Behr has said that the Breen's distinctive, scratchy voice was inspired by the guitar feedback on Lou Reed's album Metal Machine Music.
- In "Indiscretion", the next chapter in the development of Kira and Dukat's relationship begins, something which director LeVar Burton was well aware of: "it focused on these two characters, characters who had an adversarial relationship and who had to re-evaluate who they were to each other and how they viewed each other." The scene when Dukat sits on the thorn is a pivotal moment in the episode and in this process of re-evaluation. Of this scene, Ira Steven Behr comments, "There are moments in life when you can be with someone with whom you have nothing in common, who you have nothing but disdain for, and then something happens: a moment of shared experience, or shared laughter, and it just changes the playing field. And it doesn't mean that you become friends afterward, it doesn't mean that you've broken through to a new level of understanding that'll be with you for the rest of your lives. But something has changed. It's a bonding moment. And though it's probable that neither of them would ever discuss it, after this, their relationship will never be quite the same again. They've started to see each other as people." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Despite the softening of Dukat's character, the ambiguity as to Kira's opinion of him, and the re-evaluation they undergo in this episode, both Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Nana Visitor were adamant that there was never going to be any hint of genuine romance between Kira and Dukat, not from her perspective anyway. On the other hand, actor Marc Alaimo felt it would be interesting to play the character as if he thought there might be chance for a relationship in the future, and the producers agreed. The final scene in the episode, when he says, "I'll let you know", is a nod towards his hope for a more intimate relationship with Kira. However, that this could ever happen was impossible. According to Wolfe, "If you put a gun to her head, I don't think Kira would ever consider it", while Nana Visitor says, "Playing Kira, I can't even entertain the thought. It's too disgusting." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- These issues would next be addressed in "Return to Grace", a 'sequel' to this episode.
- Ira Steven Behr commented, "'Indiscretion' I enjoyed. It was well directed, nice location. I thought the relationship between Kira and Dukat was interesting. Those two actors worked very well together". Behr also pointed out that he felt that, in relation to Dukat's character, the episode "ran a certain risk that I think we're going to resolve in the fifth season. There's one thing between showing, as Renoir said, that every man has his reason and taking a guy who's basically not the nicest guy in the world and making him a little too accessible. I think we have to find, not the villain, though maybe that as well, but the man who is willing to go places that some of us might not be willing to go". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, issue 4)
- On Sisko and Kasidy's storyline in the episode, Penny Johnson commented, "More of that is what I like because they're in love and they mean something to each other, but at the same time they have a difference of opinion. I would love for her to continue to have those womanly points of view and not cloud them with the captain point of view when she's sharing because she's both. I have a great chemistry with Avery, and we just fly when we're together. It's not hard at all. He's charming, intelligent, and he really is a gentleman. It's like I've known him forever". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, issue 4)
- This episode is the first appearance of Tora Ziyal. Cyia Batten plays her again in the next appearance of the character in "Return to Grace". Tracy Middendorf plays her once in "For the Cause". Melanie Smith plays her in the fifth and sixth seasons.
- This episode reveals the name of another Kai – Meressa.
- Roy Brocksmith previously played Sirna Kolrami in TNG: "Peak Performance".
- Colm Meaney (Miles O'Brien) does not appear in this episode.
- Among the costumes and props from this episode which were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, was Marc Alaimo's Breen cool suit. 
- In reaction to Dukat's suggestion that Bajorans and Cardassians work together, Kira agrees to the principle but not to her and Dukat specifically. In the final season, Kira ends up working with the Cardassian underground to overthrow the Dominion rule, and Dukat with Kai Winn to bring back the Pah wraiths.
- Remastered scenes from the episode are featured in the documentary What We Left Behind.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.3, 25 March 1996.
- As part of the DS9 Season 4 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf
- Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
alloy; Alpha Quadrant; arrest warrant; assay office; atmosphere; authorization code; Azin; Badlands; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran-Cardassian Treaty; Bajoran Intelligence; Bajoran Ministry of Commerce; Bajoran pledge bracelet; Bajoran resistance; Bajoran sector; black marketeer; Breen; Breen (planet); Breen warship; Cardassia; Cardassians; Cardassian Central Command; Cardassian civilian leader; Cardassian military; chief military advisor; class M; compatriot; computer; dermal regenerator; Detapa Council; dilithium; disruptor; Dozaria; Dozaria system; Dukat's children; Dukat's wife; family member; Ferengi; Ferengi scrap-metal merchant; field rations; funeral; holosuite; ionic interference; Jake-o; kai; Klingon restaurant; labor camp; Lissepia; Lorit Akrem; lover; magneton radiation; manifest; Maquis; meter; mistress; Meressa; molecule; navigational array; Nog; Occupation of Bajor; PADD; pagh; phaser; pickpocketing; Promenade; Prophet; Quark's; Rabol; Ravinok; Ravinok-type; restaurant; runabout; sand spine; scrap-metal merchant; sensor array; Shakaar resistance cell; slavery; smuggler; soul; subdermal implant; subspace anomaly; survivor; tempering; Tholians; Tora Naprem; Trelos Vren; tricorder; thief; tritonium; uridium; Vulcan; Vulcan restaurant; warp nacelle; weep; Xhosa, SS
- "Indiscretion" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Indiscretion" at Wikipedia
- Indiscretion at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
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