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Old November 4 2012, 03:14 PM   #1594
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Waltz (****)

Waltz is yet another controversial episode. Many hate it because it strips away the fascinating shades of grey from Dukat's character and leaves him as a stereotypical villain. That's a view I'm somewhat sympathetic to. Others love the episode because it's a well-written psychological piece about a man's descent into madness. I'm also sympathetic to that view.

I don't believe in the concept of pure evil, even the worst human in history has committed some small act of good at some point. But I do believe in approximate evil, at some point a person can do so many bad things that they can be considered a bad, even evil, person. I consider Dukat to be such a person, he does have some positive aspects to his personality, yet he is driven largely by his own ego and not enough by his conscience. This episode doesn't present anything new to make Dukat seem evil, it just puts together all the pieces already on the table and allows Dukat to see what he really is. The episode goes a bit overboard towards the end with Dukat's insane ranting and Sisko's denouncement that Dukat is "truly evil", but if someone had just beaten me with a pipe I would probably say the same thing.

Another minor issue with the episode is that the set-up is rather unbelievable, Dukat and Sisko being on the same ship, travelling on its own near the Cardassian border, then they escape together to a habitable planet as two of only a handful of survivors? It's a bit outlandish. I'm willing to accept because it leads to some great interactions between the two characters, but in the early scenes it's difficult to get past just how convenient the situation is. Also, the b-story on the Defiant added nothing but a distraction, we didn't need a ticking clock to add suspense to the episode, there was plenty of drama going on in the cave set.
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