Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1997): S05E19 – Ties of Blood and Water


“Ties of Blood and Water” is an episode of the syndicated American science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the nineteenth episode of the fifth season.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures on Deep Space Nine, a space station located near a stable wormhole between the Alpha and Gamma quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy. In this episode, Major Kira (Nana Visitor) must deal with her feelings over the impending death of her friend Tekeny Ghemor (Lawrence Pressman) as she takes notes from him as he reveals secrets about the Cardassian Union and the Dominion.

This episode marks the second appearance of Weyoun, played by Jeffrey Combs. Although his character was killed in “To The Death“, the producers were impressed by Weyoun and established that the Vorta were clones in this episode.


Two years earlier, Major Kira (Nana Visitor) had been abducted and told she was the long-lost daughter of a Cardassian Legate named Tekeny Ghemor (Lawrence Pressman), disguised as a Bajoran for a top-secret mission. Although Kira never truly believed it, Ghemor did, and as he attempted to reestablish a bond between them, Kira developed a sympathy for him. When the truth came out and Ghemor realised she was not really his daughter, he told Kira he cared for her anyway.

Now Ghemor is dying. He wishes to participate in the ritual of shri-tal, a Cardassian tradition in which a dying person reveals their secrets to the rest of the family for use against their enemies. He chooses Kira, since, as he told her before, she is the closest thing he has to family. Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) encourages her to participate, as this could help the Federation and Bajor.

Kira is initially hesitant, but Ghemor begs her to be his daughter one last time – to hear what Ghemor knows and use it for good. The shri-tal commences, but is later interrupted by Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo) who takes a series of steps to attempt to prevent Ghemor from sharing his wealth of knowledge with Kira and the Federation. When attempts to persuade and then poison Ghemor fail, Dukat tells Kira about a massacre of Bajoran monks that Ghemor had participated in. Infuriated, Kira leaves Ghemor.

She soon learns Ghemor would have only been nineteen at the time of the murders. While he was a part of the Cardassian military, and did take part in the raid, he was simply a soldier whose unit had been told that the monks at the Bajoran monastery had been stockpiling weapons that were being used to kill Cardassians. Also, Kira recalls that when her own father was badly injured she chose to participate in a counterattack rather than stay with him, and missed his death by minutes. Realising she is just making another excuse, she stays by Ghemor’s side until the end. After Ghemor dies, Dukat intends to save face by claiming Ghemor praised the Dominion on his deathbed. Kira arranges to have his body buried on Bajor – next to her biological father, Kira Taban.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Avery Brooks.
  • Writer(s): Edmund Newton and Robbin L. Slocum.
  • Release Date: 14 April 1997.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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