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Ties of Blood and Water (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"Ties of Blood and Water"
DS9, Episode 5x19
Production number: 40510-517
First aired: 14 April 1997
115th of 173 produced in DS9
115th of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 173 released in DS9 Remastered  
463rd of 728 released in all
Kira watches over Ghemor
Teleplay By
Robert Hewitt Wolfe

Story By
Edmund Newton & Robbin L. Slocum

Directed By
Avery Brooks
50712.5 (2373)
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Kira asks Tekeny Ghemor to come to Deep Space 9 to provide information about the Cardassian government and the revitalizing dissident movement; Gul Dukat arrives and demands Ghemor's extradition.


Dax, Worf and Kira are waiting at an airlock, awaiting the arrival of Tekeny Ghemor, Kira's Cardassian pseudo-father. The two have become very close in recent days. The legate is not secure on Cardassia since the takeover by Gul Dukat and the alliance with the Dominion. Kira is hoping Ghemor will lead the political opposition on Cardassia when he tells her that he came to DS9 because he is terminally ill. He has Yarim Fel Syndrome and will probably die soon.

Dukat contacts Captain Benjamin Sisko about an arrangement for Ghemor's extradition. Sisko has no intention of negotiating with him since the Federation doesn't even recognize the new Cardassian government and abruptly ends the transmission.

Major Kira offers to spend the next few days with Ghemor, replacing the daughter he doesn't have anymore. Their relationship is so close that he even offers to perform the Shri-tal, a Cardassian ritual that involves the dying person telling political secrets to the other, ensuring the survival of this information and its possible use against their enemies.

Then begins a series of long interviews. They are exhausting for Kira, but she doesn't complain. These are cut by brief flashbacks that make the parallel between her own father's death during the Occupation of Bajor and the agony of Ghemor.

Kira mourns for Ghemor

Kira mourns for Ghemor

Gul Dukat and Weyoun arrive at DS9 (with peaceful intentions even if they came aboard a Jem'Hadar battle cruiser) to reclaim the fugitive using standard Cardassian strategies. Dukat first offers to bring Ghemor's daughter Iliana back. Then he tries to turn Kira against him. Dukat also makes an attempt to poison Ghemor.

One strategy proves to be successful. Kira, even if she knew what to expect from Dukat, feels betrayed when she learns that Ghemor was present at the Kiessa Monastery massacre. She claims she thought Ghemor was different from the other Cardassians but now realizes he is not.

Kira's friends help her realize that even if Ghemor's past is stained by the occupation, he doesn't deserve to die alone. After a moment, Kira decides she will not do the same thing she did when her father died and won't find a last minute excuse to miss his death. A flashback shows that Nerys was in a raid against the Cardassians and missed Kira Taban's death by less than an hour.

After Ghemor passes away, Dukat insists on having the body brought back to Cardassia Prime in an attempt to turn the circumstances of the death to his advantage. Sisko informs him that the funeral arrangements have already been taken care of. Kira has Ghemor buried on Bajor, right beside her father, under the same tree.

Memorable QuotesEdit

"Still calling yourself gul? I'm surprised you haven't promoted yourself back to legate by now."
"I prefer the title 'Gul'; so much more hands-on than Legate. And less pretentious than the other alternatives: President, Emperor, First Minister... Emissary."
"How about Dominion puppet?"

- Sisko and Dukat

"Oh My... that is quite toxic, isn't it?"
"Are you... insane?"
"Oh, Vorta are immune to most forms of poison; it comes in handy when you are a diplomat."

- Dukat, and Weyoun (knowingly drinking a glass of poisoned kanar)

"DABO! That is dabo, isn't it?"
"I don't see why you insist on playing this ridiculous game."
"I like games."

- Weyoun and Dukat

"You are really enjoying this, aren't you? Hm? All your sick little games."
"I must admit, I do get a certain... perverse pleasure out of it."

- Kira and Dukat

Background InformationEdit

Story and scriptEdit

  • This episode reintroduces Weyoun after his "death" in "To the Death" and reveals that the Vorta clone themselves (a premise which was created specifically so Jeffrey Combs could reprise his role). As Ira Steven Behr explains, "When we first saw Jeff Combs do the role in "To the Death", we were wishing we could find a different ending to the episode, because we really didn't want the character to die. But we couldn't think of anything. The next thing you know, they're out in Griffith Park, shooting the fight, and he's dead. I knew immediately that he had to come back. There was no way he couldn't." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)


Avery Brooks directing 'Ties of Blood and Water'

Avery Brooks directs Lawrence Pressman and Nana Visitor on the set of "Ties of Blood and Water"

  • Of the montage sequence, director Avery Brooks says, "There is a suspension of time. Time is kind of irrelevant. Each shot was, for me, like a portrait. I was very interested in creating portraits, in terms of composition and lighting. Still portraits. Not photographs, but paintings." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)


  • This episode is a favorite of Nana Visitor's; "I like playing the truth of things. I love that they did this with my character, that they wrote that Kira isn't Miss Perfect Saint. It wasn't about her not loving the person she cared for. It was about 'This is tough.' And that it required more of her than she had at the moment. And it was a learning experience for her." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • Lawrence Pressman was impressed by Avery Brooks' direction of the episode. Pressman commented "Avery's a man who keeps to himself, not somebody who chats easily, but as a director he was right there and extraordinarily helpful. Somebody said to me 'Avery talks like jazz'. It's true, he does. What's more, its brilliant jazz, wonderful stuff. He gives you images, and he does it through eye contact with you, so you get the feeling of what he wants. He gave me a lot courage. It would be so easy to go the wrong way with the character. He pushed me constantly in other directions, then pushed me even further in that direction. You can't ask for anything more than that". ("Back for Ghemor", Star Trek Monthly, issue 30)
  • For Robert Hewitt Wolfe, the most important scene in the episode is the scene where Kira introduces Tekeny Ghemor to Kirayoshi O'Brien; "This is her family. The father that is not her father. The baby that is not her baby. That's Kira's family." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)


  • This episode is a sequel of sorts to the third season episode "Second Skin", and, as it is the first episode to feature Dukat since Cardassia joined the Dominion, it clarifies some of the political maneuvering which has taken place on Cardassia since "By Inferno's Light". As we know, after the Cardassian Dissident Movement ousted the Central Command, they set up the Detapa Council to govern the planet. Dukat himself was a high ranking member of the council, having allied himself with the Dissident Movement when he saw that the position of Central Command was untenable (this all took place just prior to "The Way of the Warrior"). Later, Dukat was demoted when it was revealed he had a half Bajoran child, and he was made the commanding officer of a freighter called the Groumall (this took place sometime between the episodes "Indiscretion" and "Return to Grace"). At some stage after that (presumably shortly after the episode "Apocalypse Rising"), Dukat began secret negotiations with the Dominion, which ultimately resulted in Cardassia becoming a member of the Dominion (this took place in "By Inferno's Light"). Dukat was subsequently made 'leader' of the planet, having apparently managed to wrangle control back from the civilian authorities and once again establish military rule. Although exactly how he managed to oust the Detapa Council and return Cardassia to a military state is never explained in any detail, presumably, the Dominion forces assisted him in his re-attainment of power in return for his (and Cardassia's) loyalty to the Founders. There certainly wouldn't have been enough time between "By Inferno's Light" and "Ties of Blood and Water" for Dukat to gain power through legitimate channels, such as elections, so the assumption must be a coup d'etat, supported by the Dominion and Cardassian officers loyal to Dukat.
  • This episode marked the first obvious appearance of the Jem'Hadar battle cruiser. In the episodes "In Purgatory's Shadow" and "By Inferno's Light", the battle cruiser is seen flying through space but is never mentioned.
  • This is the first episode in which Kira is shown wearing her normal uniform since becoming pregnant.
  • Thomas Kopache also portrayed Kira Taban in the sixth season episode "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night".
  • When Kira first appears in the flashback sequence where her wounded father is brought to her at the Shakaar resistance cell base, another resistance fighter to her right can be seen holding a Jem'Hadar Kar'takin years before the discovery of the wormhole.


  • It is revealed in Fearful Symmetry that Dukat did in fact know Iliana Ghemor's location, meaning that his offer was at least partially honest. Given his treatment of her, however, it is doubtful that he would have followed through.

Video and DVD releasesEdit

Links and referencesEdit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Guest starsEdit


Uncredited co-starsEdit


Alpha Quadrant; Bajor; Bajorans Bajoran ale; Bajoran assault vessel; Bajoran Intelligence; Bajoran Militia; Bajoran Resistance; Bajoran Security; Bajoran temple; barrowbug; black hole (beverage); Bolian; Borven; Cardassia Prime; Cardassians; Cardassian Central Archives; Cardassian Central Command; Cardassian military; Cardassian dissident movement; Cardassian sun; Cardassian Supreme Tribunal; central nervous system; Chief Archon; clone; counselor; dabo; diplomat; Dominion; Dopterian; Emissary of the Prophets; emperor; Enyak's milk; exile; Federation; First Minister; Fourth Order; funeral; Ghemor, Iliana; insanity; glinn; gul; hexadrin therapy; Jem'Hadar battle cruiser; kai; kanar; Kiessa Monastery; legate; medic; monk; mortar (weapon); neuro-regeneration procedure; Ninth Order; O'Brien, Keiko; O'Brien, Kirayoshi; Occupation of Bajor; pagh; poison; president; Promenade; propaganda; Prophets; prylar; Quark's; Quen; red carpet; Shakaar Edon; Shri-tal; skimmer; Starfleet Intelligence; Tempasa; toxic; triptacederine; Trepar; uniform code; vole; voraxna; Vorta; Winn Adami; Yarim Fel Syndrome

External linkEdit

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
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