Recap: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 01 E 19 Duet

Gul Darhe'el...or not.

Series:Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Episode: Season 1, Episode 19
Previous: Dramatis Personae
Next: In The Hands Of The Prophets
Recapper: Rms Oceanic

Duet begins with Kira and Dax discussing their dating lives when a ship containing a passenger (Harris Yulin) suffering from Kalla-Nohra docks at the station. Kira heads down to Doctor Bashir and, seeing the passenger is Cardassian, arrests him on the spot. As it transpires, Kalla-Nohra is only ever found in people who were at a specific work camp during the Occupation of Bajor on the day of a mining accident. Many bad things happened at that camp, so Kira has arrested him as a war criminal.

His claims that he does not have Kalla-Nohra, but instead a similar disease that was mistaken by the transport doctor he was traveling with, are quickly dismissed, and he keeps insisting that he is Aamin Marritza, a military file clerk, who had nothing to do with the crimes committed by the Cardassian occupation. During Kira's questioning of him, a Drunken Bajoran is released from holding muttering about being imprisoned with a Cardie.

While Sisko faces pressure from the Bajoran Government to hand him over for trial, he holds off while he attempts to verify his identity, which is tricky when there are few images of the work camp. During this he discusses the matter with Kira, and his intent to release Marritza if his story checks out. Using a picture from the work camp, the prisoner looks nothing like Marritza...but he is a spot on match for Gul Darhe'el, the camp's administrator.

Confronted with this, he admits that he is Gul Darhe'el and gives a long boastful confession about how he slaughtered people and all his other crimes, and how Kira and her Shaakar resistance cell were insignificant. With this it looks like he will be handed over to Bajor for Trial and Execution, but something's amiss...how did he know the name of Kira's Resistance cell?

With this loose thread to sort out, Odo gets in contact with Gul Dukat, who provides surprising information: Not only has Gul Darhe'el already died and been buried in a public military funeral (which Dukat attended), but he was not even on Bajor on the day of the accident and so would never have contracted Kalla-Nohra. Further investigation of the prisoner's home reveals he spent a lot of time researching Kira, and taking medication for the after effects of surgical alterations. Once again, Kira confronts him with the evidence, claiming that he is Marritza after all trying to pass himself off as Gul Darhe'el, but he tries to cling to it:

Marritza finally admits his true identity and his motivations: He believes Cardassia has to face its past and accept responsibility for what it has done, and by having a very public trial he can force Cardassia to deal with it. With this, Kira releases him, having realised that his death would just be another murder.

Kira arranges transport for Marritza to return to his home, saying Cardassia needs good men like him if it's ever to reform. As they head for this transport, the drunken Bajoran from earlier comes up and shivs Marritza in the back. As Kira cradles him as he dies, she looks at the Bajoran.

Kira: Why did you do it?! He wasn't Gul Darhe'el!

The TV screen tends to become unusually blurry at this point, and no amount of whacking seems to fix it...


  • Accomplice by Inaction: Marritza's guilt stems from the fact that he was a witness to the atrocities at the Gallitep labor camp, but was powerless to prevent them. Kira also feels this way in the beginning, when there is no evidence that Marritza was anything but a filing clerk.
    Kira: As far as I'm concerned, if he was at Gallitep, he is guilty. They're all guilty. His punishment will let Bajor feel some... satisfaction.
    Dax: It sounds like you're trying too hard to believe what you're saying. You already know if you punish him without reason, it won't mean anything, and you already know vengeance isn't enough.
  • Aesop Amnesia: This episode, unfortunately, started the trend of Kira learning, then forgetting, then learning again that no single nation, particularly the Cardassians, is completely evil (or good).
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Kira asked Maritza what a File Clerk was teaching at a Cardassian military academy.
    Maritza: Believe it or not, filing.
  • The Atoner: Marritza.
  • Bottle Episode: The episode, which needed only one guest star and used entirely existing sets and costumes, cost less than half of the usual budget and is considered one of the finest episodes of the series.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Invoked by Marritza while pretending to be Gul Darhe'el.
    Darhe'el!Marritza: What you call genocide, I call a day's work.
  • But He Sounds Handsome: As Gul Darhe'el, Marritza compliments his own filing system.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Gul Darhe'el's death was a matter of public record on Cardassia, which is what eventually blows Marritza's cover when Odo gets access to those records.
  • Death Seeker: Marritza, who impersonates Darhe'el in the hopes of being tried and executed, motivated by his guilt over what he witnessed during the Cardassian Occupation.
  • Growing the Beard: Several critics have suggested that this is the point where this happened to DS9, as this episode showed what new and different stories could be done with the series' unique setting.
    • On a more troper-personal note, it's worth pointing out that it's the second-highest-placing episode on TVT's own Favorite Episode page, and the only season one episode to place in double digits.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Kira's rationale for having killed Cardassian civilians. Marritza also quotes this trope almost verbatim while impersonating Darhe'el.
  • Jerkass Fašade: Marritza.
  • Motivational Lie: Marritza lied about his identity and running the work camps, to motivate Kira to put him on trial.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Marritza's stories of the work camp are clearly meant to invoke Auschwitz, with the Cardassians being analogous to Nazis, and the Bajorans to Jews (and to other minorities put in concentration camps).
  • Red Baron: Gul Darhe'el. AKA "The Butcher of Gallitep".
  • Shout-Out: To The Man in the Glass Booth
  • Spotting the Thread: The first clue that Darhe'el is not who he says he is comes when he mentions the name of Kira's former resistance cell. Kira doesn't think anything of it at first, but Odo finds it incredibly suspicious that Darhe'el, a Gulnote , would know (let alone remember) such a specific piece of trivia.