A dark, painful, yet beautiful story. What a father most wants is for his children to be better and what a son most wants is to earn his father's respect--he already knows he has his love, but when a son earns his father's respect, that's when he knows he's a man.
I'm glad to know you feel like I captured that. I definitely feel like that foundation of love is important: that's what I think gives any child, whether they are a son or daughter, the confidence and the inspiration to go that extra mile and to know that even if it DOES go wrong, even when they do fail, they can start over again without fearing they're cut off forever.
Berat will tell you he had a terrible moment of weakness and made an awful choice, one that he regrets down to the very depths of his soul. The Cardassian mindset, furthermore, does not really make allowances for actions taken under duress: what you do even in such extreme situations, they believe, speaks to something in you and therefore is not to be cut (much) slack. That's how he sees what he did...yes, he was tortured, yes, he was being coerced, but in the end he made that decision.
He destroyed respect, he destroyed trust with that act (certainly, if his father had survived somehow, these would have been very possible consequences)...but in the end, when we've lost all of that, sometimes that love is all we have left to fall back on. And if that's NOT there anymore--that's
when we're truly and irrevocably lost. I think there's a reason that in our own culture, the story of the Prodigal Son has continued to strike so much of a chord.
In a way, that's what Berat is right now: the Prodigal Son returning home. He frakked up BIG time...and yet I think he's fortunate to know that there IS that foundation to rebuild even when as far as he's concerned, just about everything else he ever had was either taken away from him, or destroyed by his own hand.