Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1998): S07E09 – Covenant


Introduction

“Covenant” is the 159th episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the ninth episode of the seventh season.

Set in the 24th century in the Star Trek science fiction universe, this episode focuses on the character Kira (played by cast regular Nana Visitor) as contends with a group of Bajorans lead astray by a deranged Dukat.

This episode is largely set in another space station, rather than the titular Deep Space Nine, however it is they same type of Cardassian spacecraft design so the overall setting is similar.

An evil cult led by Dukat causes trouble for its members.

Outline

Odo wishes he shared Kira’s belief in the Prophets so he could spend time with her during worship. The sermon that day was given by Vedek Fala, who visits Kira in her quarters later to give her a gift, which is quickly revealed to be a transponder that beams her off the station.

Kira finds herself at Empok Nor, now inhabited by 50 Bajorans who believe that the Pah wraiths are the true Prophets of Bajor. The leader of their cult is none other than Dukat. The Bajorans’ faith in Dukat is so strong that when Kira threatens to kill Dukat with a phaser, many of them place themselves in Kira’s line of fire. Kira is knocked unconscious by one of the cult members, waking up in Dukat’s quarters.

Fala introduces Kira to cult members Benyan and Mika. Mika will give birth soon, while Benyan is seen working on a mural showing Dukat in a friendly pose with Bajorans, with the Celestial Temple as background. Kira is not convinced.

When Mika gives birth, with the whole station’s populace waiting in the lobby, the baby turns out to be half-Cardassian. Shocked at first, Dukat improvises a speech in which he calls the baby a “miracle” from the Pah-wraiths, a sign approving their faith in Dukat. But Kira is immediately certain that Dukat is in fact the biological father of the child.

Mika and Dukat have a conversation in an airlock in which Dukat states that the child is his, and he promises to stand by her. But as soon as he gets out, Dukat closes the inner door of the airlock and opens the outer door. Mika is nearly blown out into space, but survives, though with severe injuries. The doctor reports that Mika is likely to recover fully. Dukat calls the incident an “accident”, but prays to the Pah-wraiths, concerned that his followers will discover what he has done. Ultimately, Dukat decides to have the Bajoran believers commit mass suicide and announces it at a special service. He then confronts Kira, describing how the poison he intends to use will reduce the body to dust within a few hours.

Locked in her quarters, Kira hears Dukat’s sermon and discovers a way to break out. She arrives in the promenade just in time before Dukat swallows his suicide pill, knocking it out of his hand and onto the floor with the other pills. Dukat then tries to find his pill amongst the others, at which point Kira accuses him of trying to use a placebo, having no intention of dying himself. With this revelation, the Bajorans turn against him. Dukat beams out, and Fala takes a pill and swallows it, explaining his decision with the word “faith”.

The Defiant arrives and takes the Bajorans back to DS9. Kira ponders the meaning of Fala’s last words and acknowledges that Dukat may truly believe in what he was doing, making him more dangerous than ever.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): John Kretchmer.
  • Writer(s): Rene Echevarria.
  • Release Date: 25 November 1998.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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