Time Travel via the Orb of Time in the episode that originally aired on April 1, 1998, This is Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night.
Station Log Star Date undetermined:
After Dukat informs Major Kira that he and her mother were once lovers, Kira travels to the past using the Orb of Time to determine the truth.
After trying (and failing) to convince Worf to throw a party, Jadzia finds Kira preparing to celebrate her mother’s birthday even though the Bajoran officer never got to know her. Later, in Kira’s quarters, the Major is contacted by none other than Gul Dukat who is calling to ‘help her’ the way ‘Captain Sisko helped him’. His help comes in the form of information about her mother that shocks her to her core. It appears that Kira’s Mother and Dukat were once lovers and she did not die in a refugee camp like Kira’s father always claimed.
That morning in ops it becomes increasingly clear that something is bothering Kira as she begins snapping at everyone under the guise of ‘having work to do’. She continues her abrupt behavior when she confronts Odo about the ‘increased criminal activity’ on the Promenade. Odo informs Kira that word has gotten around that she is being irritable and offers to help. After she refuses his offer, he suggests that she take action to fix what ever is bothering her. Reporting the incident to Sisko, the Captain is shocked at her revelation. Kira asks Sisko to use his pull as The Emissary to allow her to use the Orb of Time in order to go back and find out about her mother. He reminds her of Star Fleet’s position on Time Travel but reluctantly agrees to allow her to go.
Visiting the temple, she confronts the Orb and is instantly transported to the past. There she finds her family facing a difficult situation as other Bajorans try to take her family’s rations. After getting into a fight with the scavengers, Kira fends them off. Interacting with her family, they are soon interrupted by Cardassians taking women to be used as ‘comfort women’ on the nearby space station, Terok Nor.
On the station, the women are given their room assignments and Kira is set to room with her mother, Meru. Kira is shocked to watch her mother dive into the food provided by the Cardassians but dismisses her excitement when the woman begins weeping for her family. Kira begins to plan a mission for the two of them to escape and finds her mother has a scar on her face she has been trying to hide.
The Next morning Kira and the other women who were conscripted, are instructed in their new duties as ‘Comfort Women’. Basso, the Bajoran collaborator, is interrupted by Gul Dukat who immediately takes a liking with Meru when she speaks out asking about her family. He is intrigued by the scar on her face and repairs it with a dermal regenerator as a gesture of ‘good will’. Later, attending a party for the Cardassian officers, Kira watches while Gul Dukat defends her mother from another Cardassian and asks that she is taken back to her quarters for her safety. It soon becomes clear that it is a setup when the Cardassian Kira is with seems to know Dukat’s moves word for word.
Kira and her Cardassian ‘friend’ head back to her room and soon she finds him more handsy than she would like. After she refuses his advances she is shocked to find Basso in her quarters informing Kira that Meru has been sent to Dukat’s quarters. After attacking Besso and his guards, Kira is tossed into the pens with the slave laborers as punishment. After a few weeks, Kira learns that Meru and Dukat have been off the station together ‘on vacation’. Kira has since made friends with some of the resistors and learns that they are planning an attack. Soon Basso summons her back and Kira comes face to face with Meru who seems to be in good spirits.
Kira is shocked to find that her mother has become compliant with Dukat and has found solace in her captives arms. Dukat arrives and informs Kira that he has treated Meru with nothing but kindness and that Meru has asked for Kira to be her companion. Determined to convince Meru of Dukat’s true nature, Kira confronts her mother with the truth only to drive a wedge between them. It soon becomes clear that Meru is convinced that she is allowing herself to be taken care of by Dukat in order to care for her family. Meru has become a collaborator and Kira can not stand aside and watch it happen. Returning to the slave pens, Kira begins working with the Bajoran slaves to help assassinate Dukat even if it means her mother dies in the process.
Kira informs Basso that she has decided that she wants to be Meru’s companion and that she is sorry for her actions. Heading to Dukat’s chambers with a bomb disguised as an earring, she enters his quarters only to find Dukat and her mother sharing a meal. Dukat reluctantly agrees to allow Kira to stay with them, assigning her her own quarters. Kira quietly plants the bomb in a plant only to watch as Meru plays a transmission from her father. It seems that Meru truly believes that her family is being taken care of. Kira, realizing the truth of the matter, decides to save Meru and Dukat from the bomb she has planets getting them out moments before the explosion only to find herself transported back to the present.
Kira shares her story with Sisko and finds herself at odds with her beliefs. She has always felt that collaborators were the worst of her people but still had to save her mother, even though Meru had survived seven more years in relative luxury while Kira and her family suffered.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Wow, talk about some heavy character development. I love it when an episode really dives into a single character allowing the entire narrative to focus on the inner workings of that person. For this episode we really get a deep dive into who Kira is and how she reacts to some rather devastating news about her own mother.
Since we have known Kira Nerys, she has been a staunch advocate that any and all collaborators with the Cardassians must be punished. Not only did they work with the enemy but they they were also traitors to their own people who benefited from the suffering of others. It is no secret that Nerys hates collaborators with a passion so, when Dukat reveals that her own mother was secretly one as well, this is a major blow to the image she had set up in her mind about Kira Meru.
Imagine idolizing someone, literally considering them as a role model that helped define the very person you are only to discover that this person is the complete opposite of what you were led to believe. That sort of revelation can significantly damage a person and their own self identity. For Kira, she believed that her mother had suffered in a refugee camp after being separated from her family. In Meru she saw the definition of a hero, someone to fight for and to remember with every Cardassian Kira took down. Meru was her own personal rallying point and someone she aspired to be when she grew up. All of this came crashing down the moment she learned the truth allowing self doubt and anger to become a constant distraction. This revelation will have lasting effects on the character and further solidifies her hatred for Dukat himself.
Now let’s talk about Dukat. While it is never officially stated, in many ways this is just a small part of Dukat’s long game to destabilize the crew of DS9. Dukat is a master tactician and rarely does anything that does not have a significant gain in the future so who better for Dukat to attack than Kira herself? With Kira otherwise distracted, he has an opening for a later attack.
All that being said, I have one question…So they’ve had this time travel orb this whole time? I mean, couldn’t they have used this a few times in the past like, I don’t know, preventing the destruction of The Enterprise D? Also, did Sisko have to consult with the Office of Temporal Investigations before allowing Kira to go back in time or was he exempt from it since he was acting as The Emissary? I have lots of questions here and, while it was a tremendous episode, there are some serious plot holes once they showed that Bajor literally has a Delorbian.
Fine, convenient plot device set aside, this was a wonderful episode that indicates that the writers of the show just had a rough patch and that they really do know what they are doing. Good stuff.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Dukat send a transmission using LCARS, looks like he is still on his stolen shuttle!
- This assassination was mentioned in Waltz, pretty stellar foreshadowing to be honest.
- While it is firmly established that Tora Ziyal is the daughter of another of Dukat’s mistresses, you have to wonder if Meru had any half Cardassian kids of her own. Now THAT would have been a heck of a plot twist, evil Cardassian sister Kira. They could have named her Kym.
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Late To The Game 3/12/2022 (Originally published 1/13/2020)
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