“Return to Grace” is the 86th episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 14th episode of the fourth season.
It marks the first appearance of the recurring character Damar (played by Casey Biggs), and Dukat’s daughter Ziyal, played by Cyia Batten returns. The narrative between Kira and Dukat picks up from “Indiscretion” earlier in the season.
“Return to Grace” had a Nielsen rating of 6.5 when it was broadcast on television in 1996.
This episode features interior and exterior shots set on the Star Trek franchise famous “Bird of Prey” starship which was introduced in 1984 with the film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and featured throughout one of the most popular Star Trek films up to that time Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. This also depicts a Cardassian space freighter design including a bridge and cargo bay sets.
Major Kira is shocked to find out that Dukat will be captaining the freighter transporting her to a conference regarding the Klingon Empire. Dukat was recently stripped of his rank and title because of the revelations surrounding his daughter, Ziyal, and he now works in a dreary job flying an unremarkable trading ship.
When they arrive they find the conference site obliterated, and a Klingon Bird of Prey leaving the area, not even bothering to attack what it considers a lowly freighter. Kira suggests that they adapt the planet’s defences for use on the freighter, turning it into a Q-ship, and then they head after the Bird of Prey. They soon find it, and after tricking the Bird of Prey into thinking they are carrying valuable cargo, use its new weaponry to cripple the Klingon vessel.
After commandeering the Bird of Prey and transporting the Klingons to the freighter, Dukat mercilessly destroys the freighter. Hoping that the capture of the Klingon ship would regain some respect, and spur the Cardassians into fighting the Klingons, Dukat is disgusted by the apparent wishes of his superiors to reach a peaceful solution to the problem instead.
Dukat vows to fight the whole Klingon Empire if he has to, and offers Kira a place on his crew. She declines, taking Ziyal back to Deep Space Nine with her until Dukat’s personal war is over.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Jonathan West.
- Writer(s): Tom Benko.
- Release Date: 05 February 1996.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.