Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993): S02E05 – Cardassians


“Cardassians” is the 25th episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It is the fifth episode of the second season.

Garak and Bashir investigate the identity of a Cardassian boy that had been abandoned on Bajor.


When Garak sees a Cardassian boy on Deep Space Nine, he decides to introduce himself, but the boy, Rugal, bites him on the hand. The boy has been raised by Bajoran parents and taught to hate and fear Cardassians. His adoptive parents claim that they do not consider him a Cardassian any more, but allegations of abuse lead to an investigation into the family. Gul Dukat tells Sisko that he is trying to bring orphaned Cardassians back from Bajor and that the discovery of Rugal will strengthen his case. Miles and Keiko O’Brien agree to care for Rugal during the investigation, and Rugal helps Miles overcome his prejudice against Cardassians.

Garak, suspecting (or perhaps knowing) that there is more to this series of events than meets the eye, persuades Bashir to request permission from Sisko for both him and Bashir to obtain a Runabout for travel to Bajor. The request is granted after Dukat informs Sisko that Rugal is the son of a prominent Cardassian civilian politician, Kotan Pa’Dar. Garak and Bashir then travel to an orphanage that took in Cardassian orphans when the occupation of Bajor ended and investigate the orphanage’s records. Garak suggests that the situation is tied to a conflict between military and civilian interests on Cardassia (Pa’Dar is a political rival of Dukat, having cost Dukat his position as prefect by ordering the Cardassian withdrawal from Bajor).

Back on the station, Pa’Dar arrives to greet Rugal, but the boy does not remember him and calls Pa’Dar a “Cardassian butcher.” Regardless of this, Pa’Dar wants his son back, but Rugal’s adoptive father refuses to relinquish him.

A formal tribunal is established headed by Sisko who, by agreement, is seen to be a neutral arbiter. Dukat attends the ensuing hearing. Meanwhile, on Major, Garak and Bashir track down the woman who took Rugal in at the orphanage and who remembers that a Cardassian woman attached to Terok Nor (the Cardassian name for DS9) brought Rugal to her.

Bashir interrupts the hearing, alleging that Rugal’s discovery was part of a conspiracy planned by Dukat all along: that Dukat ordered one of his subordinates to leave Rugal behind knowing that the boy would one day be found and that as a result Pa’Dar would be humiliated. Thus, the plot having been exposed, Dukat storms out of the room and Sisko awards custody of the boy to Pa’Dar, who reassures Sisko that Dukat will never reveal what happened now that he too has been humiliated. Later, Bashir and Garak sit down for lunch, and Bashir asks Garak for the truth about his history with Dukat. Garak smiles and tells him to notice the details, which he compares to crumbs scattered across the table.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Cliff Bole.
  • Writer(s): Gene Wolande and John Wright.
  • Release Date: 24 October 1993.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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