Second SkinBy Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 12, 2004 - 11:01 PM GMT
See Also: 'Second Skin' Episode Guide
Kira is kidnapped by Cardassians and transformed via plastic surgery into one of them. A man who claims to be her father tries to convince her that she is a deep undercover operative, with false memories of being Bajoran. He turns out not to be her father, but a member of a heretofore unknown Cardassian resistance group.
Despite similarities with "Face of the Enemy," this was an original and moving episode with a lot of character growth for Kira. She knows who she is - first as a Bajoran among Cardassians, and later as a person who can separate out the evil she attributes to a species from the goodness of individual members. In many ways this episode was a logical outgrowth of "Duet," forcing Kira to look at the good in a man wearing the face of the enemy, telling lies which ultimately proved to be for the good of her own people.
The premise was a teensy bit shaky only because I'd assume Bashir or someone would have figured out long ago if Kira were not Bajoran, so there was no reason for her to doubt herself at all. And I wish we'd found out the real identity of the woman stalking her early in the episode. We learned a bit about Kira's parents, such as her mother's death when she was merely three. We also found out that holosuites don't turn her on, and that her hatred of Cardassians really is only skin-deep. Nana Visitor's performance was breathtaking subtle; the scenes when the Cardassian Kira viewed her Bajoran corpse and when Kira told Illyana's father that his daughter must have loved him very much were real tear-jerkers. This was a moving, bittersweet, very skilled episode.
Michelle Erica Green reviews 'Enterprise' episodes for the Trek Nation, for which she is also a news writer. An archive of her work can be found at The Little Review.