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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 07 E 09 Covenant

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Dukat tries a new evil plan: evangelism.
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Ezri, Bashir, and Odo are sitting at Quark's, having a pleasant chat. Kira, in high spirits after the service at the Bajoran shrine, joins them. They talk about the subject of the sermon — the importance of forgiveness — and Odo expresses regret that he is unable to share the sense of faith that is obviously so important to her. Maybe Odo could give Klingon religion a try, Ezri suggests? Nah. Odo doesn't eat, so how could he devour the hearts of his enemies?

Later, Kira is pleasantly surprised by a visit from Vedek Fala, one of her favorite teachers from when she was young. He's brought her a gift: a tiny gemstone. When Kira holds it in her hands, it transports her to Empok Nor, the abandoned sister to DS9. Only it isn't abandoned anymore. She is greeted by several Bajorans, whom Kira recognizes as Pah-wraith cultists, and their leader... Dukat.

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He apologizes for kidnapping her and gives her the Pah-wraith sales pitch, claiming that they are the true, benevolent gods of Bajor, and that he is a changed man who only wants to carry out their plan. Kira is not at all receptive to these claims, least of all coming from him.

Kira: I don't know whether you believe what you're saying, or if you're faking it, or if you're just insane.

She is especially angry at Fala, who admits that he has been a part of the cult since long before Dukat arrived. He believes fully in their new leader's sincerity, whatever his past crimes, and insists that they do not deserve their reputation for violence and hate. He encourages Kira to stay (not that she has a choice) and learn more.

Her first introduction is to Benyan and Mika, a young couple who are expecting a child soon. Mika is friendly to Kira, though Benyan seems more wary. If she had any doubts about their loyalty to Dukat, they are soon dispelled. During a service on the promenade, Kira swipes a phaser from an armed cultist and aims it at Dukat. Benyan and several others are quick to interpose themselves to protect him.

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Still, there are cracks showing in his Cult of Personality. The first appears rather suddenly when Mika goes into labor and gives birth... to a half-Cardassian baby. Dukat's face says it all. He tries to play it off as a miracle from the Pah-wraiths. Most of them buy it, including Fala, but it's clear that Benyan is holding on to some serious doubts, which Kira is ready to press him on.

Kira: Obviously Dukat did the right thing in giving his permission for you to have a baby.
Benyan: We prayed together many times. He wanted to be sure.
Kira: Did you ever pray with him alone?
Benyan: Yes.
Kira: Did Mika?
Benyan: ...Yes.

Mika is also having trouble sharing in the lie. In private with Dukat, though he acts pious and regretful over his "mistake", he is quick to stick her in the airlock after she expresses doubts about her ability to keep up their charade. Unfortunately for him, Kira and Fala arrive moments later and rescue her before she suffocates.

Dukat is in a bind now. It's too late for him to finish the job and Mika is sure to give him up once she regains consciousness. His solution is to announce a suicide pact with his followers, whom he claims have been invited by the Pah-wraiths to shed their corporeal forms in their service. He has some promazine pills, a product of the Obsidian Order made for captured spies, that are perfect for the occasion.

Kira is convinced by now that Dukat really thinks he's the good guy, but she knows better than to think he's honest about actually committing suicide. During the final ceremony, she tackles Dukat from the upper level, spilling the tray of promazine pills in the process. The one he was about to swallow gets lost in the pile, which seems to distress him a great deal.

Everyone calms down when they realize no one was hurt. Fala brings Dukat a fresh pill, but it seems he's had a sudden change of heart...

Kira: What's wrong, Dukat? Take it! They're all the same, aren't they?

Dukat has at last run out of explanations. He makes a few perfunctory appeals, but it's clear that his followers have turned on him. Under a tide of angry jeers, he flees in a rage by activating a transporter. Only Fala has remained silent, and despite (or perhaps because of) what has just happened, swallows his pill before Kira can stop him. All he says by way of explanation, as he dies in her arms, is "Faith..."

What he meant by that, Kira will never know for certain. The Defiant arrives to rescue Kira and repatriate the cultists, but even seeing Odo again is small relief. Dukat, she knows, is still out there, twisted by his new faith and more dangerous than ever.


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