DS9: S5E19: “Ties of Blood and Water”

In which I didn’t ask for these feelings, damn it. 

If you're asking someone to lead an Opposition movement and they say 'nah' maybe take the hint.

If you’re asking someone to lead an Opposition movement and they say ‘nah’ maybe take the hint.

A new transport is docking, and Kira is super excited to have the head of the Cardassian dissident movement here to lead the opposition to Dukat’s Quisling government. Also, you’ll recall that Tekeney Ghemor is kind of Kira’s godfather, in a really weird way. Worf is a bit reluctant to shake hands, but everyone else seems warm enough. Kira shows him to his quarters where he devolves into existential angst about the fate of his real daughter, undercover for ten years and still missing. And he’s not all that interested in leading a Cardassian government-in-exile. Mainly because he’s dying of a degenerative illness. Bashir agrees, there’s not a whole lot he can do about it, but he’s willing to try.

Sisko’s about to enter a log wen Ops receives a call from Gul Dukat, full of demands. Also still calling himself Gul, not Legate. For reference, this is the dictator of a country calling himself Captain instead of General because it’s ‘more hands-on.’ You could spin it as showing respect for military tradition by not giving himself a promotion he hasn’t ‘earned,’ but he doesn’t. Just that it’s ‘less pretentious’ than President. The real point of the call is, of course, ‘extradition’ of Tekeney, but since the Federation doesn’t recognize Cardassia’s new government, and the old Cardassian government doesn’t actually have extradition.

Legate Ghamor even gets a change to play with Kirayoshi, his it’s-complicated-grandson. The two of them talk about family things, including the fact that he’s inquiring about her relationship with Shakaar, and as a public figure people gossip about her. He still wants to help, and there’s a Cardassian tradition where the dying give their secrets to their families, to exact political vengeance on their enemies. Since Kira is all Ghamor has left, he wants to give those secrets to Kira. And she feels way more conflicted about it than Sisko does. I’m not sure why, either. Hearing his secrets would uphold his traditions and his dying wishes, plus she already wanted him to lead the Opposition government. Mainly it seems she just wants to make sure she can ask him all the right questiosn. And we flash back to Kira’s time in the resistance. Oh wait, there it is. She’s remembering the time her actual father died. It’s a tough thing to have to relive, but she’s gonna do it anyway.

Bashir has Ghamor set up in a hospice bed on a space-morphine drip, ready to start passing on his secrets. In the future, apparently they don’t have straws, so after a small spill, they get started. Also, Ghamor isn’t positioned to click up his own drug feed. Ghamor goes on with the secrets, and Kira continues to relive her father’s death.  After handing off the secrets to Sisko and Starfleet Intelligence, Kira gets called down to Ghamor’s quarters again – he’s no longer responding to Bashir’s treatment, and he wants to make sure she gets the needed information before the end.

No joke here, just appreciation for some classic framing.

No joke here, just appreciation for some classic framing.

While this is happening, a Jem’Hadar ship menaces in towards the station, weapons on and targeting up. When they call, it’s Dukat because of course it is. He’s here to take Ghamor, by force if necessary. Sisko invites Gul Dukat and the Vorta Weyoon, or his previous clone. Dukat’s argument is that Tekeney Ghamor will be ‘better taken care of’ by his own people, and he’s been fully cleared for his wrongdoings by the new Dominion courts. Ghamor’s not interested, until Dukat offers him information about his daughter, but Ghamor remains resolute. There will be no dealing with the Dominion, although the decision clearly haunts him.

The days press on and he keeps spilling his secrets to Kira, who gets more and more exhausted by caring for him, caring about him, and listening to all these secrets. Notably, Quark’s a good enough bartender to know when his patrons need a glass of warm milk instead of a drink.

Dukat’s next attempt is on Kira, by handing her a piece of Ghamor’s war record, which she is absolutely not in the mood to read with Dukat watching, but which curiosity compels her to pick up regardless. After reading it, she’s a lost less understanding with Ghamor, given his involvement with burning a monastary to the ground. He sincerely regrets his actions now, but Kira isn’t hearing it.

"Are you embarrassed, Dukat? Because honestly I'm a little embarrassed for you."

“Are you embarrassed, Dukat? Because honestly I’m a little embarrassed for you.”

Weyoon seems to really like Dabo, much to Dukat’s dismay, when Sisko stops by for a drink, to play a good host. Or maybe not – the kanar he brought is full of a Cardassian poison, in abundantly lethal dosage, and was initially delivered to Ghamor. No wonder Dukat doesn’t want a drink. While Sisko and Dukat stare each other down, Weyoon has a lot of fun watching, and then drinking the poison just for fun. Apparently Vorta are immunite to most poisons, but can taste or otherwise detect them. Handy skill for a diplomat.

Kira’s stopped visiting Ghamor, and is emerging from prayer in the temple when Odo confronts her with some uncomfortable truths – that she’s upset about something more than just Ghamor’s record when he was 19. During the war, Kira took part in a raid on the soldiers who mortally wounded her father, rather than staying with him to watch him die. Back then, it was easier to be angry than sad. Still is, when Bashir comes by to give Kira the one-hour warning. After all, if she wasn’t there for her father, why should she be there for a Cardassian? In the end, though, she does go to him. And forgive him.

I wonder what the Bajoran translation for the concept "rolling in his grave" is.

I wonder what the Bajoran translation for the concept “rolling in his grave” is.

Bashir gives the death pronouncement to the computer. As the doctor, he’s pragmatic and official. Kira’s witness statement is… less so. It’s what Kira needed, though. Now that Ghamor is dead, Dukat’s going to leave, with the official statement that Ghamor embraced the Dominion on his deathbed. He also wants the body for a propaganda funeral, but Kira already buried him on Bajor. Next to her father.

Did we miss something awesome?