Thursday, January 17, 2013

ST:TNG 4.12 The Wounded ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Time for Cardassians action on TNG! So exciting to see their first appearance in 4.12 The Wounded.

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with ...

The Wounded
Season 4, Episode 12

  • The Enterprise rendezvouses with a Cardassian vessel, who fires on them as the USS Phoenix has been attacking Cardassian outposts and vessels without provocation.
    Character Focus:
    • The Cardassians are seen for the first time, primarily Gul Macet (played by Marc Alaimo) who captains the Cardassian vessel. They are described as allies to the Federation after a long fought out treaty was made between The Cardassian Union and The Federation.
    • O'Brien and Keiko start their married life, and this is the first traditional couple we've had on the ship, or in Star Trek so far at all. We also learn more about O'Brien in particular as he served with Captain Maxwell and fought against the Cardassians, which he obviously has issues with as he says he's 'fine' with them but then can be rather rude. It's revealed that in a skirmish he thought he was stunning one, when in fact he ended up killing them which is the first time that had happened and changed him, which he didn't like. We also find out he's a whiz at providing options in odd situations, and that he can break through the Phoenix's shields to beam aboard.
    • We are also introduced to Captain Maxwell, who did fire on and destroy several Cardassian outposts and vessels. Chief O'Brien served under him, and it's revealed that Maxwell's family was killed at the hands of the Cardassians although the Chief maintains he would never act out of vengeance.

    Images Source: TrekCore

    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember the introduction of the Cardassians, and how they felt so different from any other race on the show. It was cool to see someone new and it really seems to shake up the crew.
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • The idea of Captain Maxwell not fitting into a time of peace is an interesting perspective, and not one that's often seen in Trek when it comes to a Federation officer.
    • This is a pretty grey episode, and we don't get a lot of grey on Star Trek. There is the confounding notation that Maxwell isn't a crazy man but there is no proof as to why he fired on The Cardassians. O'Brien insists Maxwell a level headed man and isn't doing this out of spite or revenge, that he did bad things but isn't a bad person. So what is actually going on?
    What feels different now, than then:
    • It's a pretty unusual situation to be going after a Federation vessel with the race they fired on aboard not only the ship, but the bridge! Gul Ducet continuially asks for the Phoenix's prefix code as they won't reach the ship before a possible attack, but it would give the Cardassian vessels a chance.
    • This might be the first episode that I'm writing about that it's really hard not to talk about future things that happen, and try to see it from fresh eyes and just with the knowledge garnered in this episode. But I'm holding to my guns and holding my tongue
    What remained the same:
    • I was shocked, and confused, about O'Brien's reaction to the Cardassians and how different he is when he talks about them vs interacts with them. It feels like straight-up racism, although he does explain it and apologize for his actions it still is very unnerving.
    • I find the Cardassians fascinating.
    • I love Marc Alaimo, who plays Gul Ducet here. He's absolutely amazing, and I recognized his voice right away. Great actor.
    What I see differently:
    • I wonder if we've had O'Brien more strongly cemented as part of the crew (see 4.11 Data's Day where he get's married to Keiko) to be a part of this storyline with the Cardassians, and having a crew member that's been on a different ship and with a different captain to give a different perspective.
    • Who is The Wounded here, as the title refers to it? The Cardassians? Maxwell? O'Brien?
    Great Quotes:
    • "When one has been angry for a very long time, one gets used to it. And it becomes comfortable, like... like old leather. And finally... becomes so familiar that one can't ever remember feeling any other way." - Picard
    • "I like them fine. It's just... Well, I know them. You learn to watch your back when you're around those people." - O'Brien responding to Picard question of not caring for The Cardassians
    • "They're our allies now, Mr. Worf. We have to trust them." - Troi
    • "I'd just like to say, sir... he was a good man. What he did was terribly wrong, I know that now. But I'm still proud to have served with him." - O'Brien
    Left off at:
    When Captain Maxwell makes another attempt to go for the Cardassians and insists Picard should board and search the vessel, O'Brien beams over and talks him down. Although Picard won't board the Cardassian vessel, we are left on an ominous note when he tells Gul Ducet that The Federation will be watching.

    Images Source: TrekCore

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