Season 4 Episode 12
Original airdate: January 26, 1991
Capt. Picard races against time to find out the facts behind a Cardassian commander’s claim that the Federation attacked one of their outposts.
My Brief Review
I’m not a fan of the Cardassians (or the Kardashians), and have never really gotten into DS9 because of them. (OK, it’s mostly because of the Ferengi, but the Cardassians are annoying too.) Nonetheless, this was a pretty good, suspenseful episode, well acted by all involved, and it was most likely pivotal in setting up the dynamic between the Federation and the Cardassians that carries over into DS9. (That actually makes me a little less enthusiastic about it, because I feel like it kind of only exists for that purpose.)
The best part of the episode is the complexity of the final scene. Picard has removed Captain Maxwell and staved off outright hostilities, but he makes it clear to the Cardassian captain that he knows they were lying about the activities on the outpost Maxwell attacked. So, even though Maxwell was wrong to start hostilities the way he did, he was right that the Cardassians were preparing for war. Kind of a no-win situation.
Watching the long-range sensor projection of the Federation ship Phoenix attacking two Cardassian ships looks like something I would have thought was a pretty rad video game back in 1991.
There’s a new nobody ensign at the helm, but the real rando is Captain Maxwell from the Phoenix, played by Bob Gunton… the warden from The Shawshank Redemption! (3 years before Shawshank, of course.) As soon as I saw him I knew there would be trouble. He was perfect in the role.
Distance Rating: 2K
IMDb score: 8.2/10