At the start of “Deep Space Nine,” Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) harbored a deep animosity towards all Cardassians for the atrocities they committed during their lengthy occupation of Bajor. This stance softened as the series progressed, with Kira befriending several Cardassians rather than allow herself to be consumed by her personal vendetta. The Season 5 episode “Ties of Blood and Water” displays just how much Kira has grown as a character, as she finds herself in the middle of Cardassian Union intrigue.
“Ties of Blood and Water” spins a tale about fathers and daughters, including the regret that comes from not being there for loved ones as they pass. Considered family by visiting Cardassian Tekeny Ghemor (Lawrence Pressman), Kira agrees to hear his bedside confession, struggling with her own unresolved feelings about the Cardassian occupation and her late father. Among Visitor’s finest performances as Kira, “Ties of Blood and Water” is overshadowed by the buildup to all-out war with the Dominion, but it remains a solid, character-centric episode.