Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Wounded

TNG Season 4 Episode 12
Air Date: January 28th, 1991

The Enterprise is attacked by a Cardassian warship that claims they are at war with the Federation even though there is a treaty, The reason for war is a rogue Federation starship has been flying around Cardassian space destroying Cardassian outposts and freighters. Captain Picard invites Gul Macet onto the Enterprise to supervise the Enterprises investigation into the matter, as a sign of good faith that it is a rogue ship.

They learn that the USS Phoenix captained by Benjamin Maxwell is the ship in question and that Chief Miles O'Brien had served with him. During the war between Caadassia and the Federation O'Brien's and Maxwell had defended a colony attacked by the Cardassians and saw the death and destruction of innocent civilians. Because of this, O'Brien spends a good part of the episode hating the Cardassians on the Enterprise though he is in conflict over this hate.

When the Enterprise finally catches up to the Phoenix, only O'Brien is able to convince Maxwell that he can't win in his mission to prove the Cardassians can't be trusted and Maxwell gives up.

The episode is a parallel for racism between two people that have been at war. I can't comment on what parallels Roddenberry was using in the early 90s, but today it is very similar to the general hatred that we are seeing against people of the Muslim faith primarily due to a few radicals that make the rest look bad. There is a conversation O'Brien has with a Cardassian in Ten Forward where you can see the Cardassian is trying to be nice and O'Brien is inches away from fighting.

This is the episode that introduces us to the Cardassians. There were a few sublet differences between the Cardassians in DS9 but overall they are a pretty close representation. The actor that played Gul Macet is the same that plays Gul Dukat in DS9, Marc Alaimo.


"What is it?" - Chief O'Brien
"Kelp buds, plankton loaf and sea berries." - Keiko
"Sweetheart, I'm not a fish." - Chief O'Brien

"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

"This has been hard on all of us. I know I'll be happy when I'm back on my own ship." - Daro
"I guess that's true. I hadn't thought of it like that. I was on Setlik three with Captain Maxwell the morning after the massacre. We were too late, of course. Almost everyone was dead." - Chief O'Brien
"That was a terrible mistake. We were told the outpost was a launching place for a massive attack against us." - Daro
"The only people left alive were in an outlying district of the settlement. I was sent there with a squad to reinforce them. Cardassians were advancing on us, moving through the streets, destroying, killing. I was with a group of women and children when two Cardassian soldiers burst in. I stunned one of them. The other jumped me. We struggled. One of the women threw me a phaser, and I fired. The phaser was set at maximum. The man just incinerated, there before my eyes. I'd never killed anything before. When I was a kid, I'd worry about swatting a mosquito. It's not you I hate, Cardassian. I hate what I became because of you." - Chief O'Brien

"Maxwell was right. Those ships were not carrying scientific equipment, were they? A research station within arm's reach of three Federation sectors? Cargo ships running with high-energy subspace fields that jam sensors?" - Captain Picard
"If you believe the transport ship was carrying weapons, Captain... why didn't you board it, as Maxwell requested?" - Gul Macet
"I was here to protect the peace, a peace that I firmly believe is in the interests of both our peoples. If I had attempted to board that ship, I'm quite certain that you and I would not be having this pleasant conversation, and that ships on both sides would now be arming for war." - Captain Picard
"Captain, I assure you" - Gul Macet
"Take this message to your leaders, Gul Macet. We'll be watching." - Captain Picard

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