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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Return to Grace

Review by An Honest Fangirl

"It appears that whether you like it or not, our lives have become deeply intertwined."
"That really pleases you, doesn't it?"
"Pleases me? Major, it gives me a reason to live."

Dukat escorts Kira to a diplomatic summit and it's exactly as much fun as you would hope.

With no other regular cast member appearing for more than a handful of lines, this was really Kira and Dukat's episode. They might honestly have one of the more intriguing dynamics of the show. So much history colors their every word and action that it's impossible to look away whenever they're on screen together.

Kira hates Dukat for very valid and obvious reasons, but it's clear that the feeling isn't mutual. Dukat respects her. He's attracted to her and seems to genuinely like her as a person, which of course just seems to make Kira progressively more uncomfortable and annoyed. But at the same time, they really do make a good team. They work well and effectively together, which might be the most uncomfortable thing of all for Kira.

Dukat has done some truly horrific things. Even if (and that is a big if) he is a better person now, it's like Kira said: a lot of innocent people died before he could get there. And being a better person now also doesn't erase the things that he had done in the past. I thought that it was very interesting that we were told how Dukat has bettered himself but we saw him continue to be ruthless and self-centered.

All of this makes for a more complicated character than I ever would have expected when this show first started. I also never would have expected him to become a resistance fighter, but it does make sense. Dukat is a soldier. He doesn't do well in peacetime, especially when that peace comes after suffering a major loss. He only really seemed to come alive when facing down the Klingons, and he never seemed so drawn and defeated as when he learned that his exploits didn't carry the glory that he expected.

Kira is different, though. She's been down the path that Dukat is about to follow and she definitely doesn't want to do it again. I smiled when she told him that she wasn't even really tempted by his offer to join his new resistance. I'll be curious to see if Dukat ultimately comes around to her point of view, if his fight ends up destroying him from the inside out. Especially since he really doesn't have a lot of support or infrastructure to back him up.

Overall, this was a very tightly focused and enjoyable episode with a lot of possible ramifications down the line. I'm excited to see the consequences!

Random Thoughts

It always feels very weird to me when they just casually refer to Kira as a terrorist.

This episode marks the first appearance of Damar, who will be a reoccurring character.

An Honest Fangirl loves superheroes, science fiction, fantasy, and really bad horror movies.

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