Monday, August 6, 2012

Second Skin

*** (3 stars out of 5)
So, the result of discovering one was once a psycho killer (in Dax's case) is mild surliness.
Also some anti-grav sailing with Kira in the holosuites! Kira doesn't like holosuites, thinks they can't match the adventures of the real world.  Silly Kira! Saying that is almost like daring the real world do something outlandish...

Kira gets a weird call from a woman researching Elemspur Detention Center, and although Kira believes she was never in a Cardassian prison, they have a picture and a punched time-card or something. She and Odo check up on her co-ed cellmate, who nods along. A plan for a ten year death camp reunion has Kira leaving the station all alone, much as O'Brien recently did... and (surprise, surprise) waking up on Cardassia. Much as O'Brien recently did. Does DS9 have K & R Insurance? Or do they just collect frequent kidnapping miles?

Makeover! Kira's having one of those 'Face of The Enemy' days. Deanna Troi knows what I'm talking about! Her "old friend" and "mentor" Entek tells her she's long-term covert agent Iliana Ghemor of the Obsidian Order. She was given a Bajoran terrorist's face and memories a decade back. For funsies! Restoring the face is easy, but the memories... not so much. Her powerful Legate "Daddykins" Ghemor wants to welcome her back but she only remembers being Kira.

Sisko takes reluctant Garak along on the Defiant rescue, under threat of exiling the deadly tailor from the safety of his exile.

Entek shows "Iliana" the corpse of the real Kira, and a recording from her patriotic young self heading into surgery to stop the Bajoran terrorists. Kira starts to crack up.

Kind-hearted Ghemor, to spare his daughter Entek's interrogation, uses his dissident contacts to get her to safety. Which is what the Order wanted all along: evidence that Ghemor is a traitor. Garak's quick draw phaser ends Entek, but despite his obvious helpfulness and utility, Ghemor warns Kira never to trust Garak. Obvious fatherly advice to file alongside 'hot coals make terrible earrings'.

The resources needed for Obsidian Order Operation "Second Skin" are staggering. Gul Madred told sob stories of Cardassia's starving street urchins, whose only art supplies are bleached bones, yet Entek set up this insane, dangerously unpredictable, and presumably expensive plot simply to expose Ghemor, with the emotional torment of some minor former terrorist as the icing on the Tarvokian pound cake. Falsified records, activated agents, abduction across interstellar borders, clones, finicky surgeries. And what's a sarium krellide battery for a phaser cost? Like ten credits?

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