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Star Trek DS9 - Season 3 - Episode 05

Star Trek DS9 - 3x05 - Second Skin

Originally Aired: 1994-10-24

Synopsis:
Kira is kidnapped by the Cardassians, who try to prove to her that she is really one of their people. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.88

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 45 4 3 5 7 7 16 18 21 16 14

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Kira's Cardassian "father" will become a more important character later and Garak's role in this episode is also important to his ongoing character arc.

Problems
- Why didn't the Defiant cloak through Cardassian space instead of risking exactly the kind of incident with the Galor class warships they ran into?

Factoids
- Kira declares her hatred of holosuites in this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kira meeting people who remember her who she's never met.
- Kira a Cardassian.
- Kira chatting with "her father."
- Sisko and Odo extorting Garak to help them.
- Kira seeing her own dead Bajoran body.
- Garak bluffing(?) his way past the Galor class warships.
- Kira uncovering the plot to ruin the Legate.
- Garak killing his old nemesis.
- The Legate telling Kira never to trust Garak despite how he helped them.
- Kira's expression of respect to the Legate in the end.

My Review
This is a nicely constructed episode. The mystery plot is enticing all the way up to the end. All through the episode, the mystery just gets more and more confusing; personally, I enjoy an episode I can't immediately figure out which surprises me in the end. I like how the climax involved a minimal amount of senseless violence. Garak's pointed murder of his old nemesis being the exception, but this is Garak we're talking about. He's forgiven! It annoys me once again that the Defiant is being used as Sisko's personal taxi, but we're given a better reason this time, the ship almost came to blows with Cardassian warships. Finally, I enjoyed the ending, especially the final scenes. Usually in stories like this, the victim (in this case Kira) is left with a profoundly traumatic experience. But Kira has developed a new respect for Cardassians, similar to what we saw of her in DS9: Duet. This episode could have been much better though if so much time wasn't wasted on the mystery. I'm not sure what they could have replaced it with, but if you watch this episode and compare it to DS9: Duet, something about DS9: Duet just feels like stronger storytelling. A fairly average episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From martin on 2007-09-26 at 4:21pm:
    I think the Defiant did not cloak because of their deal with the Romulans about not being permitted to use it outside the Gamma quadrant.
  • From Pemmer Harge on 2010-06-19 at 5:51pm:
    The best episode of Deep Space Nine
  • From McCoy on 2017-01-04 at 3:30pm:
    You've rated this only 5? Same as previous, boring Dax story? I really don't understand. This episode is absolute 10 for me. Intiguing mystery, solid emotions, great development of Kira-Cardassians relationships. Truly, one of best DS9 episodes!

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