Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 06 E 17 Wrongs Darker Than Death Or Night

Dukat contacts Kira on the anniversary of her mother's death, claiming that her mother didn't actually die on a labor camp, but instead was his lover for several years. Kira doesn't quite know what to believe, so she decides to use the Orb of Time to visit the past and find out the truth about her mother.

Tropes featured:

  • "Awesome McCool" Name: The episode itself... which is rather a letdown. With such a name, you'd expect some sort of horrible atrocity to be happening, or a great betrayal of some kind (say, Vulcan joining the Dominion)... but it's about Kira going back in time to find out if Dukat slept with her mom.
    • It's about deconstructing the role of The Quisling and, specifically, women involved with occupiers. Sex with occupiers is, obviously, of questionable consent to begin with and yet is treated doubly harshly.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: The idea her mother may be faking attraction and friendship to the Cardassians in order to see her family protected never enters Kira's mind.
    • Meru herself once goes as far to claim the genocide on Cardassia isn't taking place because Dukat ... until its revealed this is her attempt to rationalize her own complicity.
  • Incest Subtext: Dukat's long-term 'interest' in Kira has a disturbing aspect after the reveal that her mother was his mistress.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Dukat, whose Pet the Dog moments are just a ploy to manipulate women he's 'saving.'
  • Moral Myopia: Kira forgives Odo for being a Lawful Neutral Constable working for the Cardassians during the Occupation. She is utterly incensed at the possibility her mother was a semi-willing mistress to Gul Dukat in exchange for her family being protected.
  • Parental Betrayal: Deconstructed. Kira, who's murdered Quislings during the Occupation, is completely ready to kill her own mother for being potentially evil. Even after realizing Meru's motivations, she admits that she's still disgusted that her mother lived in relative luxury while thousands and thousands of Bajorans suffered and died. But the whole affair is too messy for her to justify the action entirely.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If Kira's dad had told Kira about Meru's struggles or if Meru told Kira her reasons for staying with Dukat, most of the conflict would nothave occurred.
  • Questionable Consent: In-universe. Meru doesn't really have much of a choice if the Gul takes an interest in her, though he tries to be charming about it. Likewise, she uses it to look after her family. Kira, however, reacts as if her mother ran one of the Cardassian's camps herself and assumes it was all voluntary until the end.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: When Dukat first meets Kira, he should remember that a woman who looked exactly like her once saved his life from a bomb, but apparently he doesn't.
    • On the other hand, how much would you remember of one person that you met for a very short period of time many, many, years ago (also keeping in mind that if "Luma Rahl" had been 34 years old back then as Kira was, then she would be in her 60's in the present day)?
    • On the other, other hand, this might explain his attraction to Kira...
  • Sex for Services: More like, "Sex for not letting my family starve to death."
  • Smug Snake: The Bajoran collaborator who helps the Cardassian troops pick the next batch of comfort women.
  • Stable Time Loop: Not confirmed on-screen, but heavily implied when Kira meets her 3 year old self (introducing herself using the alias "Luma Rahl" which she seems to remember as part of an ontological paradox).
  • Stockholm Syndrome: One interpretation of Meru's behavior.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The time travel in this episode appears to work quite differently than in the previous ones. Kira affects her own past, but that doesn't seem to have any ripple effects. It remains unclear whether she even physically travels back in time, or whether everything that happens is some kind Intangible Time Travel type of vision caused by the Orb. The previous time the Orb was used it worked like a regular time machine, though.
    • The Prophets Did It. Indeed, the Prophets' treatment of Akorem's brief trip into his future strongly implies that time travel involving the Prophets (or their Tears) can work in strange manners.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Kira is so incensed at what she finds, she takes part in a plot to kill Dukat, knowing her own mother will be killed in the explosion.
  • Victim Blaming: The "comfort women" are generally denigrated as collaborators. Even though the episode reveals that they were frequently abducted at gunpoint and were clearly unhappy about being used sexually by their oppressors, there's no real acknowledgement by the characters that these women are still treated unfairly in the present.
  • Your Favorite: Dukat knows what kind of flowers Kira's mother liked, the first clue that he's telling the truth.