Just listened to the Garak episode on the way to work this morning. It is amazing, isn't it, how there can be so much to discuss about a character who appeared in only 33 episodes out of 175 - less than a fifth. That's a testament not only to the writers, but also of course to the actor, who gave the writers reason to give him such good material.
Una and you both gave me things to think about I hadn't considered before - the link from "Second Skin" to "In the Pale Moonlight," or the effects of his relationship with Ziyal and later her death. I don't think he loved her in a romantic sense, but he certainly loved having her around as simply another Cardassian, and one who wasn't involved in all the other shenanigans Cardassians generally are. Good stuff to think about.
This has got me thinking now, wondering what else Garak was up to during interesting episodes where you would think he was have an interest in events but wasn't actually seen on screen. Like Una said, it's almost like there are unfilmed scenes on the cutting-room floor.
Like, for example, what did Garak do during "The Seige", when all non-Bajorans were forced to leave as a more militant Bajoran faction (very much anti-Cardassian) took control of the station? Did he just evacuate with the other civilians, or did he stay behind and try to delay the Circle's progress from his hiding place?
And what about "Destiny," when three Cardassians visited the station, one of whom was Obsidian Order? Would she have recognised him? Maybe not everyone in the Order knows everyone else. But maybe she would have, if Garak hadn't been keeping a low profile and staying out of her way. (We know from A Stitch in Time
that they are aware of each other, at least by the post-war period.)
Or "The Darkness and the Light," when a Cardassian madman is trying to kill a heavily pregnant Kira. Was he secretly feeding Odo leads about who might be behind it? Was Garak one of Odo's mysterious contacts? (We know from Fearful Symmetry
that Kira's attack on Gul Pirak's compound was partially thanks to the OO, so maybe they kept tabs on the survivors.)
Or just as Una said, what about "Doctor Bashir, I Presume" ? Garak must have had some interesting things to say after Bashir's genetic enhancements were revealed. And what about his discovery that Starfleet has its own Obsidian Order in the form of Section 31? Una herself dramatised that in Hollow Men
, but it would have been interesting to see his reaction on the show itself.
So much to think about!