The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Duet

When a sick Cardassian comes aboard DS9, Kira is certain that his illness could only have been contracted at one of Bajor’s most brutal labour camps. Although the man claims to be an innocent filing clerk named Marritza, Kira is determined to dig into his background and prove him guilty of crimes against Bajorans.

This is an episode full of twists and turns, starting with Kira expecting a heroic Bajoran labour camp survivor, and instead discovering a Cardassian. From there, she becomes determined to prove his guilt, only to ultimately discover that he wants to be found guilty – even though he is innocent. This man is not the butcher he claims to be, but he was deeply affected by the atrocities he saw, atrocities he was powerless to change. Unable to live with the burden, and with the real perpetrator having died peacefully in his sleep, what is left for Marritza but to escape the pain of his life by making an example of himself? Only then can he finally draw the Cardassians’ attention to the horrific things that were done on Bajor.

It’s also a turning point for Kira, as she grows to realise that not only is Marritza innocent, but that he was as scarred by events at Gallitep as any Bajoran. The cruel twist of Marritza getting murdered in the closing minutes only serves to bring home a new realisation for Kira – once, she would have agreed that all Cardassians were worthless and worth ending, but now she knows differently.

Bits and pieces

  • Odo and Kira don’t seem that concerned in getting medical assistance when Marritza is stabbed. We’ve seen Starfleet doctors successfully treat worse injuries.
  • Why did Marritza change his face five years before taking any action? During that time, did no one else remark on how much he now looked like famous military officer Gul Darhe’el?
  • This is the first mention of the Shakaar resistance cell, of which Kira was a member. We’ll meet Shakaar himself in due course.
  • Marritza mentions how his meal would have tasted better with yamok sauce. Shame Jake and Nog traded all theirs away a few episodes ago.
  • That good old magical technique of image enhancement is used to examine Darhe’el and Marritza in the picture from Gallitep. As in all crime shows, this is bollocks – you can’t add accurate information that wasn’t there previously.

Summary – Duet: Kira realises that she doesn’t hate all Cardassians.

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