"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" Duet (TV Episode 1993) Poster

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The best episode in the show's seven-year run
Reginald D. Garrard3 June 2006
As the title implies, "Duet" is basically a two-character study featuring cast member Nana Visitor (Major Kira Nerys) going head to head with guest Haris Yulin, playing a suspected war criminal, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Bajorans in an internment camp. As the two engage in a "war of words," the show, like good science fiction, has strong commentary on the intricacies of war and the roles that are played by both sides of the antagonistic "coin." Visitor is fantastic as her character struggles with her determination to see justice but must toy with doubts about the man's guilt. Yulin volleys back and forth as "suspect" or possible "innocent".

The end result of the drama is just as surprising to the viewer as it is to the on-screen characters.

This installment is a true example of quality television.
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DS9 manages to take the viewer to remarkable places without moving an inch.
cannotlogon10316 April 2010
I have long had mixed feelings about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. On the one hand, it has such fine pedigree, I can't help but be intrigued. On the other, the idea of a "trekking the stars" while aboard a stationary space port seemed a contradiction in terms, and a recipe for boredom.

And yet, a surprisingly high percentage of Trek devotees hold up DS9 as the very pinnacle of the Trek series and the Trek "mission". They will tell you it is the most cerebral, the most philosophical, the most challenging. And, more often than not, they are right. Unlike TOS, TNG, VOY and ENT, DS9 (particularly in its first few seasons) rarely relies on hostile aliens, pyrotechnic space battles and mysterious spatial anomalies threatening its crew to hold the attention of its audience. Warp is NOT a factor on DS9, as it is a series dedicated not to the exploration of the far reaches of space, but to the exploration of the even more inscrutable mysteries of the mind.

"Duet" is the best of the first season, and, arguably, the best episode of the entire series. (Some here have even suggested it may be the best episode of ALL the Trek iterations.) Using clever plot twists, seemingly contradictory clues, and brilliant dialog culminating with a revelation that hits the viewer square in the gut, leaving you quite literally breathless. It is a beautifully written, performed, composed and produced episode.

Others here have revealed enough about the basic plot that I need not restate it; instead, I post this review just to add to the consensus, and let all those considering watching this episode (and this series), that this is amazing television, and far-reaching "exploration" -- even though the space explored is no bigger than that between your ears!
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One of the best episodes of the best Star Trek series
DSNForever31 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is the best episode of Deep Space Nine's first season, one of the best episodes of the series and one of the best episodes of the Star Trek franchise.

Everything works in this episode. The cast's performances, especially Nana Visitor's, are excellent. Harris Yulin puts in one his amazing career's best performances as Aamin Marritza, a Cardassian who is disgusted at the war crimes his people committed on Bajor during the Occupation. To make his people admit their guilt, he disguises himself as the most bloodthirsty and cruel Cardassian on Bajor during the Occupation.

This is episode is the favorite of Nana Visitor and author Terry Erdmann among many others.
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Best of the best
David Kinne13 June 2010
I won't discuss in detail the plot of this episode - others have done so better than I can - but I agree that this episode is one of the best pieces of television I have ever seen.

Deep Space Nine always was/is the best of the Treks, as it did not always have a happy ending, but often made you think so that the "ending" depended on your outlook.

I remember seeing this episode when it was first run in Australia and being totally wowed by it. It is an episode that takes you down one direction, then swings you 180 degrees, and ends by making you rethink all you know about guilt and redemption. It truly was the best of the best.

A life changing episode for a thinking audience.
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Damn good episode
vorlonhomeworld4 September 2008
This was a damn good episode. Harris Yulin was superb as Guldar Heel (nice name for a villain too - get it, "HEEL" ) I loved the line "I'm your nemesis, I'm GulDar Heel"! He actually played two different character, Amin Marittza as Guldar Heel, then Amin Marittza as himself. Both were totally believable, and I love the wrap-around ending. The character at the beginning of the movie that was released from jail was told to "stay out of trouble", and he doesn't. The Cardassian that was seen as an enemy by Major Kira, is, considered , by implication, an ally. It was a hearkening back to the original star trek,where social commentary was disguised as Sci-Fi. Best episode on of that series ever!
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This is arguably the best episode of any Star Trek series ever.
jeffb-314-16904215 April 2012
It is difficult to discuss the meaning of this episode of DS9 without revealing important plot twists. However, I can say, as an avid fan of all the Star Trek series, this episode stuck with me more than any other.

The Cardassian occupation of Bajor was in many ways comparable to the Nazi extermination of the Jews. When it appears a Cardassian war criminal, who was responsible for countless murders of innocent Bajorans, might have been discovered on DS9, it looks, at first, like this episode will be some melodrama about the powerful victimizing the weak, or perhaps the evils of militaristic societies.

But this episode holds some surprises. I'll refrain from giving any more details about this episode other than to say this was one of the rare times that any TV show has inspired such an emotional response in me.

It is a shame that science fiction on television is not held in higher regard because this episode was worthy of an Emmy Award.
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A great episode
Tweekums26 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this episode would turn out to be of the type where somebody turning up at the station claiming to be a total innocent would be exposed as a war criminal and most of the way through it looked as if I was right. While that wouldn't necessarily have been bad it would be a little cliché, thankfully the ending was both surprising and touching.

When Aamin Marritza, a Cardassian, arrives at the station asking for medicine for a disease which has only one known source; an accident at a forced labour camp on occupied Bajor. Major Kira wants him to be sent to Bajor so he can be tried for war crimes. At first he claims he wasn't there but later admits that he was but only as a lowly file clerk. When the Bajorans send the only known photograph of Aamin Marritza it doesn't match the man they have in custody, he is in the picture though, only he is not the lowly file clerk but notorious camp commandant Gul Darhe'el. When confronted with this new evidence the prisoner changes his story to such an extent that he positively revels in the atrocities... there is just one problem; Gul Darhe'el was away from the camp at the time of the accident so couldn't possibly have the disease the prisoner clearly does. Ultimately we learn that he was in fact that lowly file clerk, a man who was so disgusted by what happened at the camp that he was willing to stand trial so justice could be seen to be done even though the true war criminal was long dead.

This episode featured great performances from Nana Visitor as Major Kira and guest star Harris Yulin as the Cardassian prisoner.
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Transcendent television
troyroebuck7 February 2011
The Star Trek franchise has often been thought of as television light. At times that's been a fair criticism, with exceptions such as TNG's "The Inner Light" and "City on the Edge of Forever" from the original. With "Duet," Deep Space Nine makes its case to be taken seriously.

I feel no compulsion to run down the plot points of "Duet," DS9's second to last first season episode. "Duet" transcends Star Trek, or science fiction, for that matter. It is simply one of the finest hours of television you'll likely ever see. Harris Yulin's stunning performance is Emmy-worthy. And Nana Visitor holds her own in her self-described favorite episode.

Rarely do you find such a sublime example of writing, acting and theme on the small screen. "Duet" is TV as high art, something that's become far too rare.
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A gem of an episode for a mediocre series.
eeow125 June 2006
As Deep Space Nine was my least favorite offshoots of the STAR TREK franchise, I must agree that this is just about as good as TV gets when it comes to writing and acting. Even from beneath layers of alien makeup. actor Harris Yulin gives a stimulating and thought- provoking portrayal of a genocidal maniac OR an inept soldier/excellent file clerk.

Furthermore, if this story had been portrayed on almost any other war setting such as a civil war epic, WWII, Vietnam, Iraq...it still would be as powerful an experience especially with actors like Yulin and Visitor.
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A Waltz for Major Kira
XweAponX26 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I must say in response to something that greatly offends me: Deep Space Nine was in NO WAY a "Mediocre Trek" - DS9 rose above all of the standards for Science Fiction Television shows of the Networks, of the Trek Franchise and no other show has come close to the Quality of Imagery, of Writing, and of Acting in this one Trek show that stands all by itself outside of the Franchise.

This episode is Bookended to S6E11 "Waltz" and has a much similar structure. That episode had The Sisko having his personal confrontation with Gul Dukat, who had gone mad, and had been given every opportunity to make up for a past filled with Murder and Destruction.

In this episode, a man named Amin Marritza, who has "Kallo-Nohra Syndrome" is brought to the Station by a Kobheerian Freighter Captain, played by Normal Large: Who was Romulan Proconsul Neral in ST:TNG.

As Kallo-Nohra Syndrome was contracted by Bajoran Prisoners from only one place: The Gallitepp Forced-Labour Camp, Kira is excited to meet one of her personal heroes. But when she gets to Sick Bay, she is confronted with Amin Marritza (Harris Yulin), who is a Cardassian.

The only other people to contract this disease other than the Bajora, were their Cardassian Overseers and Torturers, and so Kira immediately has Marritza arrested by Odo.

If it were up to The Sisko, he'd have Marritza released immediately, but Kira makes such a stink about this guy, she thinks he is actually Gul Darhe'el, a Cardassian War Criminal who the Bajora had never gotten the opportunity to arrest.

In a way, this mirrors the prosecution of Nazi War Criminals post WWII, maybe some of them deserved Prosecution, and maybe some of them were like Marritza: They were forced to do their jobs even though they hated what they were doing.

If Nerys is correct, this guy is Darhe'el, and he deserves to be put to death.

But The Sisko has Odo and Dr Bashir do further investigation. While waiting for results, Major Kira has several conversations with Marritza: Who at first refuses to admit he is Gul Darhe'el. But as he is pressed, and it becomes apparent that this guy *is* hiding something, he breaks down and Admits to Nerys that he really is Darhe'el and actually enjoyed murdering and torturing Bajorans.

Someone mentions "Man in the Glass Both" and I agree that this episode is an Homage to that play. But here, we have some of the best Dialogue of The Series, in Kira's Discussions with the great Harris Yulin.

In "Ghostbusters II" Yulin gets to go off on one of his little Orations: This was how I recognized the actor in this episode as 'The Judge who wanted to burn Ghostbusters at the stake!" Here, he is describing the Horrors he inflicted on The Bajorans at Gallitepp, with the exact same relish as that character.

That Dialog alone makes this one of the greatest Television Episodes, of any series, ever. I could have lived if this guy really was this "Butcher of Gallitepp" - But as it was found out, Marritza was exactly who he said he was at the beginning of the episode: A Clerk and Accountant, who used to cover his ears when the Screams of the Bajorans came at night. This is another part of the conversation which is Mirrored in "Waltz" - When Dukat's internal "Weyoun" tells Dukat how much he really enjoyed those same screams.

In this episode, we have a meek man, pretending to be a Butcher, in "Waltz" we have a Butcher who is trying to convince The Sisko, he is NOT a Butcher.

Great Writing and Great Continuity between a Season 1 and Season 6 episode, and by the time Season Six rolled around, Marc Alaimo (Dukat) was able to pull off what Yulin pulls off with ease in this episode.
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