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Apr 00

Star Trek DS9: Empok Nor (Ep 5.24)

An unusual episode of Trek. Effective lighting created a gloomy and surreal mirror image of Terak Nor (aka DS9). It’s an episode containing suspense of the shock type. This is the only episode of Trek which has made me jump – something I totally did not expect. Credibly done, it’s only when Garak is affected by the psychotropic drug does the episode move into a “second plot”. Garak tries to bring out the primal instincts of O’Brien, goading him and trying to induce him into “going psycho”, continutally referring to O’Brien’s time as a soldier. However, O’Brien manages to contain himself somewhat. Unfortunately this was not wonderfully executed. Especially to see the closing scene where Garak and O’Brien resolve things. I couldn’t help but think back to the episode where O’Brien was “virtually imprisoned” by the Argrathi (Hard Time) and pushed to, and over, the edge. In this episode, O’Brien endures 20 years of hardship before he snaps and his “evolved sensibilities” crumble. When you think of how Garak only has a few hours to provoke him, and how O’Brien has gone through the immense psychological trauma in Hard Time and has had to recover from that (he probably still has the occasional nightmare about it) it’s not hard to see how he managed to keep his wits. Colm Meaney’s one of the better Trek actors.

Three more episodes left in the season.