Second Skin (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 3, Episode 5) Is Kira a Cardassian sleeper agent? Of course not, but it’s a fun story.

Rewatching ST:DS9

Quark notices Dax looking glum because Kira is late for her “anti-grav sailing” appointment in the holosuites.

Their outing is interrupted by a Bajoran archivist asking about Kira’s stay in a Cardassian prison — an event Kira doesn’t remember.

After consulting with Odo, Kira makes a video call to someone the records say was a fellow prisoner; he claims to remember her.

Kira checks in with Sisko, saying she needs a few days to get to the bottom of this.

Garak tells Bashir he misses traveling. Bashir asks whether Garak is afraid the Cardassian government would kill him if he left the station. Garak’s response is ambiguous, but he’s clearly pleased Bashir asked that question.

Dax learns that Kira missed her appointment with the Bajoran archivist.

Kira wakes up in a room with Cardassians; she also looks like a Cardassian now.

Entek tells Kira she is a Cardassian who had been altered to look like a Bajoran, and given artificial memories of growing up on Bajor, so that she could blend into the resistance. Like most Cardassians baddies we’ve met, Entek is professional, rational, deferential, and confident that he’s one of the good guys. 

Back on the station, Dax reports to Sisko that Kira was spotted near the prison on Bajor, and that she might have been beamed away or killed by a space-gun.

Kira meets Ghemor, who says he’s her father. He is kindly and patrician, bragging about his status, He brings her Bajoran food, and talks about the backstory of Ilana, his daughter.

Kira tells him she’s impressed, but she doesn’t believe him.

Meanwhile, Garak tells Bajor he has urgent news about Kira, and finds himself drafted into a rescue mission with Sisko and Odo.

Kira does not cooperate with Entek’s efforts to get information from her about DS9, and Entek becomes officially the “bad cop,” as he produces what he says is the corpse of the Kira who died in the prison camp, before Ilana was surgically altered in order to take her place.

Kira quite sensibly points out the body could be a clone, or that she herself could be in a holosuite right now, but Ghemor’s kindness and a recording made by Ilana before she took Kira’s place all seem to be very consistent.

On the Defiant, Odo has caught Garak snooping about and Sisko confines him to quarters; but then Garak’s quick thinking helps the Defiant bluff their way past a Cardassian security team.

Entek is ramping up the pressure on Kira, which creates tension between him and Ghemor. In fact, Ghemor seems to be so distressed at seeing “his daughter” being threatened, he says he’ll help her to escape.

A lot happens in the next scene… Ghemor, still convinced he’s talking to his daughter, gives Kira a bracelet that he says belonged to his wife, and introduces a young Cardassian who will help her escape. Kira realizes that Ghemor is part of the dissident movement within Cardassia, and intuits that the reason for this whole charade is to force Ghemor to make a0 move.

Entek has of course been listening, and when he charges in with armed guards he addresses Kira as “Major,” thus confirming her guess.

This being TV, the rescue party arrives just in time, Garak spars verbally with Entek, there is pew-pew, and our main characters escape with Ghemor.

On the station, Kira (now back to her usual Bajoran appearance) and Ghemor have the infodump conversation. Ghemor is in exile, but he believes his daughter is still alive. Kira agrees to keep the bracelet, and tells Ghemor she thinks he’s an honorable man.