Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 06 E 11 Waltz

Following the destruction of the Federation starship Honshu, Sisko is severely injured and trapped alone on a deserted planet with Dukat, who becomes increasingly unstable.

Tropes featured:

  • Abandon Ship: Happens off-screen before the Honshu is destroyed; several other survivors turn up while the Defiant's crew is searching for Sisko.
  • Badass Boast: Dukat's final lines to Sisko:
    "I have unfinished business on Bajor! They thought I was their enemy?! They don't know what it is to be my enemy, but they will! From this day forward, Bajor is dead! All of Bajor! And this time, even their Emissary won't be able to save them!"
  • Bottle Episode: As the writers themselves noted, they were rather uncertain whether they could pull off having a story involving little more than "two guys arguing in a cave" as its plot. Nobody but the regular cast has any lines in this episode, and all the sets are recycled.
  • Clueless Aesop: "Waltz" was written as an attempt at putting a stop to the Misaimed Fandom surrounding Gul Dukat, ending with Captain Sisko telling Jadzia that even when you live in a world full of shades of grey, true evil (such as Gul Dukat) can still exist. Even so, partially because of Gul Dukat's awfully persuasive delivery of considerable testimony on his own behalf in this episode, his fandom was not so easily dissuaded.
  • Cut Apart: Right about the time Sisko starts transmitting a Distress Call on a Starfleet frequency, the Defiant picks up a distress call. They lock on to two life signs—and beam up two human women.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Dukat reveals that he couldn't understand why the Bajorans wouldn't submit to his kinder and gentler implementation of Cardassian rule.
  • Explosive Decompression: Dukat mentions a Noodle Incident with his having to clean up the mess when this happened to some other Cardassians and how he couldn't sleep for a week afterward.
  • Foreshadowing: Dukat says he and Sisko won't be seeing each other again for a while. Indeed, they won't share a scene again until the Grand Finale.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Sisko vs. Dukat. Especially during the mock-trial scene. Gul Dukat's hallucinations of Kira, Damar, and Weyoun join in.
  • Honor Before Reason: Dukat alerts the Defiant to Sisko's location. He can't very well exact the ultimate revenge on him if the Captain dies on a barren planet.
    • Worf, as usual, believes it would be dishonorable to try to ignore their explicit orders in order to try to save Sisko; justified, however, in that their orders to break off the search are in order to protect the lives of some 30,000 Federation troops in an otherwise defenseless carrier convoy that the Dominion is almost certain to attack.
  • Hope Spot: The Defiant beamed aboard two people. Instead of Sisko and Dukat, it's two women from the Honshu.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Kira's message that the Defiant has to depart soon is garbled by subspace interference. Bashir and O'Brien attempt to invoke this trope in order to continue searching for Sisko, but Worf and Dax shoot them down.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sisko spends much of the episode trying to undermine Dukat's resolve. He ends up strengthening it instead, due to Dukat's giving as good as he gets.
  • Sanity Slippage: Dukat undergoes a serious case of this during his isolation with Sisko, and this after he'd begun to improve in the care of the Federation's psychiatric facilities. He gets into spirited arguments with hallucinations of Kira, Damar, and Weyoun, and even fires at them with his phaser several times. It's during one of these attacks that Sisko realizes he's dealing with a madman, as he sees that while one of these assaults came dangerously close to hitting him, he wasn't where Dukat was aiming. (He was aiming at Kira, who seemed to be standing just over Sisko's shoulder as she mocked him.)
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: After Dukat's rant about how he's been way too nice to the Bajorans and he really should just have killed them all, Sisko knocks him out, retorting "...and that's why you're not an evil man!"
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Dukat's rebuttal to Sisko's contentions.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Dukat's ultimate conclusion is that he was far too lenient and forgiving toward the Bajorans who resisted his rule, and he should have just exterminated them all; so that (along with restoring that rule) is going to be his new goal from now on.
  • Villain Decay: Invoked by the hallucination of Weyoun. He doubts Sisko would have any respect for Dukat if he knew about the Gul's repeated breakdowns in the hospital.