Star Trek: The Next Generation

"The Wounded"

3 stars

Air date: 1/28/1991
Teleplay by Jeri Taylor
Story by Stuart Charno & Sara Charno and Cy Chermak
Directed by Chip Chalmers

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

The Enterprise is informed by a Cardassian warship captain, Gul Macet (Marc Alaimo doing the Gul Dukat performance without the Gul Dukat story baggage), that rogue Starfleet Captain Ben Maxwell (Bob Gunton) of the USS Phoenix is attacking unarmed civilian targets along their border. This is in defiance of a recently brokered treaty that ended a bloody war between the Federation and the Cardassians. (The Federation is apparently so vast that it was recently at war with another power that we'd never even heard of until now.) Picard must find and stop the Phoenix before the violence escalates and threatens to destroy the peace treaty.

"The Wounded" is a good story about the effects of war that I wish would've been even better — either more tense, or less obvious. Best about it, and most crucially, is that it's the breakout story for O'Brien, who is treated like a full-fledged regular character rather than just "the transporter chief." It reveals him as having a history and opinions, and it even ventures briefly into his life as a newlywed. (I enjoyed the Miles/Keiko discussion over breakfast, which was about breakfast.) He served under Maxwell during the war and knows him best among anyone on board the Enterprise. O'Brien's coldness toward the Cardassians is explained in a solid scene where he talks to one of them about the day during the war when he was first forced to kill an enemy: "I don't hate you, Cardassian. I hate what I became because of you."

"The Wounded" is also a crucial establishing point for the Cardassians and thus an interesting step (in retrospect) in the direction of DS9. Rather than making the Cardassians simple villains, the story shows how Macet is genuinely interested in keeping the peace. Macet is about as even-tempered as aliens-of-the-week tend to be on Trek.

The same cannot be said for Maxwell, who suspects the Cardassians of secret arms smuggling along these supposedly innocent shipping lanes. On this hunch Maxwell has attacked two ships and killed 450 Cardassians. After being tracked down, debriefed, and ordered to stand down, Picard still lets him return to his bridge, which strikes me as unlikely bordering on reckless — especially since Picard knows Maxwell's wife and children were killed by the Cardassians during the war. This leads to a standoff where Maxwell detains a Cardassian cargo vessel and pleads Picard to board it and find the weapons. When Picard refuses, Maxwell threatens to destroy it. O'Brien beams over to the Phoenix to talk Maxwell off his cliff, in what's a pretty good scene.

Overall, this is a good depiction of an embittered soldier who simply cannot give up the war, even after peace has been declared. But I think "The Wounded" might've been even better if Maxwell were not so clearly unhinged. I also think the twist at the end implying the Cardassians are actually guilty of Maxwell's charges is somewhat counterproductive to the point of the episode.

Previous episode: Data's Day
Next episode: Devil's Due

Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.

◄ Season Index

123 comments on this post

Fri, Mar 7, 2008, 11:22pm (UTC -6)
Jammer, I disagree with you about the ending to "The Wounded." It isn't counterproductive to the episode for it to turn out that Maxwell was right. It is essential. It's easy to argue for peace when the enemy is being open and honest; it's harder when the enemy isn't. TNG was largely a Cold War story, and Picard here opts to preserve the peace at the expense of the career of one of the fleet's finest officers, and basically tells Macet, "You lied to us this time, but we won't let you do it again." It's similar to the ending of "Data's Day." I think it's actually pretty brave of TNG to show the "good guys" losing--or suffering partial losses--so often.

I had remembered "Family" to be utterly brilliant, until I rewatched it a year or two ago and found it lacking; it's still good, but so many shows are so much better at the raw emotional stuff than Trek tended to be. It's good, and the acting is still fantastic though, but....
Mon, Mar 24, 2008, 4:24pm (UTC -6)
I'm glad to see more of these TNG reviews. Over the years, it's been fun to compare your thoughts with my own and with those of longtime Trek reviewer Tim Lynch, whose reviews I have also particularly enjoyed. (You guys were my springboards for reflection when watching DS9, and though Tim Lynch is retired as a reviewer, I still hop over here sooner or later after every BSG episode.)

I don't have much to add, but I will say that, like WilliamTheB, I'm a little surprised by your reaction to the ending of The Wounded.

I agree, at least in theory, that the episode would be better if Maxwell were "not so clearly unhinged." (In practice, I wonder if it would have been possible to develop the character in a much more nuanced fashion without taking the focus away from O'Brien where it belongs. As it stands Maxwell ends up being a sympathetic character and that's all the story really needs. If more worked, I'd gladly take it, but I would view it as bonus.)

However, I would have said that precisely because Maxwell comes across as someone who has plunged off the deep end into crazed warmongering, the twist that his suspicions of the Cardassians do have some foundation actually helps the episode immeasurably for me, rather than feeling counterproductive. It makes this feel less like a morality play and more like a messy, complicated situation. I don't think it's mutually exclusive that Maxwell can react excessively on the grounds of suspicions he reached partly for the wrong reasons, and *still* have it turn out that at the very heart of those suspicions there was a kernel of truth in this instance.

Don't get me wrong, I love a well-done morality play or I wouldn't like episodes like The Drumhead or The First Duty. But there are times when ambiguity hurts a story (something that I think our postmodern sensibilities don't always acknowledge) and times when it helps. I thought The Wounded was one time when the ending ambiguity helped, but I infer from your description of it as "counterproductive", that you thought it was one of the times when it hurt.

I suppose I'm less interested in persuading you otherwise than I am in hearing a little more what made you feel the ending was counterproductive in this case.

Thanks for once again sharing your reflections with us.

Mon, Mar 24, 2008, 6:44pm (UTC -6)
A couple comments on how this season would eventually build into DS9, the best Ster Trek series bar none. (I don't care what anyone else says.) Partly for these reasons, two of the best "arc" episodes in TNG are here, and their ramifications would carry for years to come.

First of course is "The Wounded," which is an easy 4 stars for me. I actually thought Maxwell was one of the best guest Starfleet characters on TNG because he was unhinged. It made him very interesting, and the fact that he was probably right about the Cardassians sets up how devious the Cardies would be in future stories. I love the Cardassians, partly because they were the best race devised in TNG. Screw the Borg! (J/K) Without "The Wounded" there's no DS9, or even Voyager. Of course one shouldn't judge an episode on future ramifications. I think it's a fabulous ep on its own, and its long-term setup is a major bonus.

Then there's "Reunion," which is another 4 star in my book largely for the introduction of Gowron, as well as the high drama of K'Ehleyr and Duras being killed. Worf's characterization is perfect here because he breaks Starfleet protocol, and Picard's dressing down of him is also wonderful.

Looking back on this episode, given where Gowron would go in DS9 episodes like "Tacking into the Wind" (a personal fave of that series), I've re-thought my suspicions regarding K'Mpec's death. In this ep Worf and the rest of the Starfleet characters think Duras poisoned him, but I wonder... The only proof of wrongdoing on Duras's part is that one of his bodyguards sabotaged the one meeting. Worf suspects Duras because he knows his family has no honor, but Gowron's background isn't well-defined. Indeed Gowron only accedes to the chancellorship by default. K'Mpec's death became an unsolved mystery. After the aforementioned DS9 eps, I think Gowron poisoned K'Mpec. He was no brilliant chancellor either. Storytelling like this is one of the reason why I'm a Ronald D. Moore fan.
Daniel Lebovic
Fri, May 1, 2009, 2:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: your comment about "The Wounded": "I also think the twist at the end implying the Cardassians are actually guilty of Maxwell's charges is somewhat counterproductive to the point of the episode." I think this comment begs the question as to what the point of the episode actually WAS. I don't think that the writers stated a clear point as much as they simply depicted the plight of a once-proud Captain driven to the point of obsession thanks to the Cardassians' killing of his wife and children.

Also, the episode did not, before is ending, uequivocally oondemn Maxwell (it raised the possibility that he was certainly correct that the Cardassian ship was carrying weapons), and even if, for argument's sake, the episode unequivocally condemned him, then the condemnation, I think, was a story flaw (I can't help but think of "Silicon Avatar" - must every life form that wreaks intentional terror be "misunderstood," and must every Starfleet admiral and captain other than Picard be, by definition, unhinged?)

As I read the episode, the point (or a point) seems to have been that although two powers had concluded a war, mistrust and suspicion (and in Maxwell's case, worse) still remained - as it does in such matters.

The climax of the episode, where Picard tells Macet that the Cardassians were indeed lying, and that they cannot be trusted (as recent foes canno be), made me think, insofar as Maxwell's reaction and how we were to think of it was concerned, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." This is a sentiment perfectly keeping in line with a story whose point, if any, is that peace does not put an end to paranoia and mistrust - only credible actions and words of your opponent - of both sides - do. Oh, and that, war is messy, hand has shades of gray. Small wonder, then, that the episode ended on a note with such a shade. Even if the final act was "counterproudctive," I'd still be less harsh on this episode than you were because the scene between Macet and Picard was written and acted to perfection.
Wed, Sep 30, 2009, 8:25am (UTC -6)
About "The Wounded", I don't think the ending is counterproductive, I think it's the whole point of the episode. It shows that even though Maxwell was right about the smuggling, his actions were still wrong, and Picard knew that preserving the peace at any cost was the most important. It was a trick on the audience, yes, but a good one.
Wed, Sep 29, 2010, 7:40pm (UTC -6)
Also liked the review of "The Wounded", though that scene where O'Brien and Maxwell start singing on the Phoenix is just embarrassing. Also, nitpicker alert: Maxwell killed 650 Cardassians, not 450....
Mon, Jul 11, 2011, 2:00pm (UTC -6)
In The Wounded I was surprised to hear that O'Brien had served as "the best tactical officer" Maxwell ever had. If so, what has he been doing wasting his talents as the operator of one transporter on the Enterprise? Is serving on the big E so valuable that officers are willing to scrub floors or wait tables in Ten Forward to stay aboard? And speaking of waiting tables on Ten Forward, who are those people? In the perfect future of Star Trek where everyone can do whatever they want with nothing like the need for money to hold them back, some people are still employed serving tables in bars?
Tue, Sep 20, 2011, 10:14pm (UTC -6)
I think the point at the end of "The Wounded" was meant to indicate that it didn't matter whether or not Maxwell was wrong or right, his actions were still way outside the standards of Starfleet, and indeed the human race of the 24th century. The Federation doesn't do pre-emptive strikes, especially on one captain's "hunch".

also the Cardassians apparently upgraded their weapons and ships between this and the D-wars. That "warship" was barely annoying the E-D.
Sun, Dec 16, 2012, 5:36pm (UTC -6)
Keiko is such a cutie. I loved this actor ever since I saw her in "What Dreams May Come ..." movie.
Sun, Dec 16, 2012, 5:37pm (UTC -6)
Mon, Mar 18, 2013, 12:36am (UTC -6)
Great and moving episode and memorable introduction of the Cardassians to the Trek universe. A good amount of deleted scenes from this episode were recently recovered including one where Gul Macet and Captain Maxwell are both on the bridge of the Enterprise staring each other down. Pretty cool stuff that's posted on YouTube.
Fri, Jul 5, 2013, 1:19am (UTC -6)
That Maxwell was right, but it didn't matter, was the whole point of the episode Jammer. It seems you're being MIGHTY hypocritical here, as you usually champion episodes of other series (DS9, BSG) for being "messy" with unclear morality. Why the change of heart here?

In all your TNG reviews, you seem to be SUPER nitpicky in ways that you're not for other shows. Why is that?
William B
Fri, Jul 5, 2013, 4:42pm (UTC -6)
I commented on this as "WilliamTheB" when it first came out (I liked "Family" more on the latest rewatch) and stand by the essential comment there, which is that it is very much the point of the episode that Maxwell be right (about the Cardassians' intentions) and yet still be wrong in his actions. This is what prevents Maxwell from being a mustache-twirling villain and also makes a powerful, difficult statement. It is one thing to argue for restraint in dealing with a former enemy when they are completely dedicated to peace, yet another to argue for restraint and caution in dealing with them when they may not be. All the while, Macet is portrayed as a true equivalent to Picard -- especially when he sends his junior officer to his quarters for snooping around the ship. It’s a situation in which there is something to be said for all the major players’ positions -- Picard, O’Brien, Maxwell, Macet, the Cardassian aide who talks with O’Brien -- making it a generally strong show.

This really is quite the proto-Deep Space Nine episode:

1) Introduces the Cardassians;
2) the first episode which is nearly O'Brien-centric -- he and Picard are probably about even in terms of screen time;
3) Marc Alaimo as a Cardassian about whom we are not quite sure how we feel.

That's all great, but there are also aspects of DS9 which creep into this episode that feel just a little bit out of place in the TNG universe. Most significantly, while the focus on O'Brien is welcome and Meaney delivers a great, meaty performance, there are a few elements that strike me as a tiny bit off, as if the fact that this show takes place in the 24th century has been forgotten. The culture clash scenes between Miles and Keiko in which they attempt to introduce the other to Irish and Japanese cultures and are both grossed out and a little shocked feel a little odd, suggesting both a culture gap within Earth cultures that is wider than almost any we'd seen in this show in 24th century humans, and suggesting that the two barely even ate dinner with each other before getting married, which also feels backward. O'Brien's description of his tour of duty on the Rutledge, in which he served with an Irish officer always humming a 19th century Irish folk ditty and Maxwell himself (played by an actor of Welsh-Irish origin), and in which he shot a Cardassian after a woman had tossed him a phaser (...because she couldn't shoot it herself, being a woman?) all feel like before O'Brien got on board the Enterprise he served in a late 19th century Irish batallion. The sense that O'Brien, while definitely a great character, is more at home in the 20th century than 24th suggests the way in which DS9's characters are a little closer to home, for good or for ill; this makes them more relatable and leads to some great stories, but there is also the problem of Sisko's seemingly anachronistic feelings about race and the fact that several of the war episodes seem to be set in WW2 or Vietnam. This isn't really a problem, except insofar as it keeps DS9 and TNG a little out of step with each other in terms of what human society is like in the future. It comes down to which approach to characterization you prefer. It is worth noting, too, that O’Brien is the Everyman character, and as an enlisted man he is someone who still isn’t really represented in the TNG main cast, and this might account for some of the disparity. (Yes, Picard’s Frenchness comes up a fair amount, but there aren’t really any scenes I can think of where he has an explicit culture clash with another human the way Miles and Keiko do in this episode.)

O’Brien’s reflexive dislike of Cardassians is also a bit different from what we expect from the crew, though it’s certainly much milder than Worf’s hatred for Romulans (obviously). What really works about this is the way O’Brien characterizes his feelings about Cardassians to Keiko, denying that he dislikes them but acknowledging that war was war, and the way he doesn’t seem to believe himself to be all that uncomfortable with Cardassians, anyway. O’Brien mentions to Picard that he’s served with the two best captains in Starfleet, and insofar as this is partly an O’Brien show, he is the middle ground between Picard and Maxwell in terms of how to deal with the Cardassians: he is neither immediately gracious as Picard (who himself has had bad experiences with the Cardassians—though obviously in “Chain of Command” he will have worse ones), nor as willing to jump far outside the line of reasonable Starfleet behaviour as Maxwell. His eventually coming to agree with Picard fully is a way to demonstrate Picard’s position as a stronger one than Maxwell’s, and his being the one to reach Maxwell, as someone closer to Maxwell’s worldview than Picard is, also works quite well. I do like very much the way Miles’ scenes with the Cardassian aide go, especially the conversation in Ten-Forward; both are trying, on some level, and both acknowledge that it’s not easy for either of them.

While I do like this episode quite a bit, I do feel that there is something missing that I can't quite put my finger on. Somewhere in the 3 - 3.5 star range.
Fri, Jul 19, 2013, 7:33pm (UTC -6)
Wow, not one word about those 70s style mutton chops Gul Macet was sportin', lol, guess the Cardassians are a bit behind on facial hair style.
Thu, Aug 15, 2013, 10:02pm (UTC -6)
Fascinating that the final musical cue of the episode sounds very much like the DS9 theme, if you listen closely.
Fri, Sep 6, 2013, 2:51pm (UTC -6)
It's a bit absurd how overclassed the Cardassian capabilities were presented here compared to the Federation. The Phoenix, with its shields pulled down by the Enterprise, was still able to withstand a shot from the Cardassian ship, "move beyond the weapons range of the Cardassian ships", and, from there, fire a single shot at a Cardassian "warship" and destroy it, and then pick off a supply ship.

Makes the "war" with Cardassia that supposedly just ended seem awfully one-sided.
Latex Zebra
Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 6:03pm (UTC -6)
I remember this from the first time I saw it. Was pleased to get an O'Brien episode.
Some good tense moments, especially when first tracking the Phoenix.
I did wonder why they stayed at warp 4 though?

3.5/4 is probably fair. A touch more for nostalgia.

Hang on, the singing.

Sun, Nov 3, 2013, 12:50pm (UTC -6)
I felt this episode certainly deserved 4 stars :P The pacing was really well done, it kept you on the edge of your seat, but while still affording time for plenty of philosophical conversations between the characters. The cinematography was also very deep and well done for a Trek episode; I particularly enjoyed the scene with Maxwell and O'Brien: the low-light and the flashing red-alert indicator (but yet lacking signs of battle) perfectly conveyed the tense, cold-war era nature of the episode. O'Brien's face, partially cast in dramatic shadow spoke volumes of the darkness left inside him by the war against the cardassians, and that despite projecting a jolly persona, he's still haunted by it.

And I disagree regarding the ending, it would have been poor if Picard actually boarded the ship and somehow everything still worked out alright, but instead Maxwell was right that the Cardassians were not as peaceful as they claimed, but wrong to choose to retaliate. Picard's decision to ignore the Cardassians aggression (while still letting them know he was aware) was pretty meaningful and very classic Picardian. The whole ending was pretty much a futuristic allegory to the Cold War and the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (which Picard rejected by refusing to fire the first shot), and was very well done at that.

I'd say that while Measure of a Man is the classic Trekkian philosophy episode, The Wounded is the classic Trekkian action episode. Perfectly balanced plot progression, a little action, and some very profound character interactions.
Mon, Nov 11, 2013, 6:17am (UTC -6)
I loved this episode. Four stars from me.

That said, I agree with @William B regarding his assessment of the anachronisms - but those are so frequent in TNG (and TOS, too) that I have got used to them. Much like to the occasional lack of characterization depth due to the 45 minute format or the speed in which relationships develop or situations are resolved.

Sometimes it appears like nothing really happened between the 20th and the 24rd century,because culturally, sociologically and musically, everyone seems to be stuck in the 20th century. The writers could have shown a bit more imagination there. I like SciFi movies where at least an attempt is being made to display cultural developments between now and the future.
Sat, Nov 16, 2013, 4:28pm (UTC -6)
Considering the warm, close relationship O'Brien had with his former captain, and the way his previous position on the Rutledge was presented, it seems that the move to Enterprise may have been a demotion. I suppose it's prestigious to serve on the flagship of the Federation, but not at the expense of a lesser position.
Tue, Nov 26, 2013, 1:11pm (UTC -6)
Just an opinion, but this episode is a four-star affair. A good deal of rich - and beautifully delivered - dialog (may I add to those actors already mentioned in previous comments that guest Bob Gunton here adds his name to that long list of standout Trek guest performances ) skillfully employed to construct a fine tapestry of nuance and complexity in a very short space of time, and enabling two separate, engrossing payoff scenes...a laudible acheivement in just 45 minutes. I might add, here attempting to provide something I've not yet seen mentioned (and apologize if I'm repeating anyone) that a critical element of the episode seems to have been the conversation between Picard and the Starfleet Admiral. Specifically, it was unambiguously stated to Picard that Starfleet was unprepared, presumably as a consequence of their losses to the Borg (as depicted, of course, in the final episode of the previous season) to undertake a "sustained" conflct, and Picard was explicitly constrained to maintain the peace with Cardassia irrespective of any other considerations. This surely informed Picards' subsequent actions; we probably see this most plainly when he orders the Cardassians be provided the prefix codes of the Phoenix. Yet while in any reasonable scenario we would see one of Picards' actions, reigning in Maxwell, as an absolute certainty, we might wonder just whether, when and how Picard might have made different choices at other points along the story, or attenuated those portrayed, had the Federation been possesed of a stronger hand (ship-to-ship dominance not withstanding.)
Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 6:07pm (UTC -6)
I concur pretty much totally with your review. Colm Meaney is OK, Marc Alaimo steals the whole episode (no wonder they brought him back as Dukat), but Maxwell didn't really work for me, certainly not as the character was performed in this episode. His motivation for going rogue seemed insufficient and the performance was underwhelming, passionless and phoned-in. It also strained belief that Maxwell would be able to do what he did without his crew rebelling, and it thus harmed the episode that we never saw any of them. And it was awfully convenient that O'Brien was able beam over like that, plus ridiculous that Picard would allow Maxwell to retain command of his ship for the return journey after he'd just murdered 650 people. Maxwell is given far too much benefit of the doubt by O'Brien and Picard throughout the episode.

Often when TNG tried to do conflict, it came over as forced and inauthentic, and we this problem again here. A couple of O'Brien's scenes are too unsubtle and stagy, and I also didn't like how absurdly offhand Picard is with Macet at the end, even going as far as to turn his back on Macet by demonstratively rotating his chair. After everything that had just happened - a rogue Federation ship violating Cardassian space and causing massive casualties, then Picard almost letting the situation escalate even more through basic negligence and lack of discipline - it seemed totally out of character and incredibly crass for Picard to behave this way. Basically, this episode makes the Federation look like the dicks, not the Cardassians.

Also, yeah, O'Brien going from being tactical officer under Maxwell to transporter dude under Picard? What's with that? And why were they only chasing Maxwell at warp 4 for most of the way?
Sun, Dec 29, 2013, 9:23am (UTC -6)
@ WilliamB

I totally agree with you on the 20th centuriness of this episode. I find it's a general problem in Star Trek anyway.

Every time people refer to past celebrities, songs, dances, etc. they're 20th century references. As if people in 1991 were aware or referenced famous characters and songs etc. from the 16th century regularly. It makes absolutely no sense, and it's one of the things I hate the most in Star Trek.

I don't begrudge the writers for having ridiculous 75 kilos "laptops" and not having imagined that computers might one day have more than three colours.

I however do find them at fault for not acknowledging how far into the future they're setting this and trying to come up with a reasonably futuristic culture (even if they get it wrong, which of course they're bound to!).
Fri, Feb 7, 2014, 9:25am (UTC -6)
I wonder if the writers of this episode knew that they were setting a lot of the rest of Star Trek in motion ...

There are a few stumbles in this episode. The Cardassian uniforms are pretty goofy, especially compared with what we see starting in "Chain of Command." Also, Picard mentions the "Cardassian sector", which seems to indicate the Cardassians control a lot less space than they do later on. And, of course, Troi calls the Cardassians "our allies" -- and that clearly isn't in keeping with what we see later in TNG and on DS9.

Of course, the same could be said of the Bajorans in "Ensign Ro" compared with what they are in DS9.

Regardless, "The Wounded" is right up there with "Errand of Mercy", "Balance of Terror", "Ensign Ro", "The Last Outpost", "The Jem Hadar", "The Search" and "Q Who?" as a foundational episode of Star Trek.

Of course, it is odd that we've never heard of the Cardassians before with a war that presumably happened right before TNG began. I always figured it was a smaller-scale war than what we saw with the Dominion in DS9 (at one point, it's called a "border war.").
Fri, Mar 14, 2014, 7:24pm (UTC -6)
I'm with many of the other commenters here; the ending is what made the episode. Otherwise, it felt at times like it was straying dangerously close to being too preachy. Given TNG's reputation (particularly in the first season) of pretending that peace is attainable just by being nice to everyone, it's hard not to expect something similar here. Surely we would get Picard speechifying away, telling about how icky and awful it is to have prejudices against these nice wonderful Cardassians, and really the war that was just fought was really a minor detail and could have been avoided if we all just smiled nicer. And then it would end with everyone holding hands and singing John Lennon songs. Imagine no photon torpedoes, it's easy if you try....

Instead, the moral of the story was hidden away in an unlikely minor line that was given by Worf, the character who's usually there to give the annoying militaristic statements that everyone else immediately dismisses. "Trust must be earned, not given."

And thanks to the ending, that's really what the story is about. Presumably the Cardassians aren't going to start another war (given how pathetically outmatched they are here, why would they want to?). Yet they don't trust the Federation enough not to build advance basis just in case. Gul Beardy clearly doesn't trust that Picard is doing everything in his power to stop Maxwell. Yet he does seem to trust him more later on. Meanwhile, the Enterprise crew doesn't entirely trust their guests. The little subplot was with the techie Cardassian was pretty nice. Presumably he didn't mean to access any sensitive information; his statements earlier seem like he's just an eager nerd. But there's no reason to trust these guys, so he must be confined to quarters. Presumably a nicer alien race who stumbled upon something like that would be granted more leniency.

It also helps to make Maxwell's perspective a little more believable. I know many people think Maddux was portrayed as over the top villainy here, and it certainly seemed that way to me too. He barely tried to convince Picard of his righteousness, instead hopping immediately to the conclusion that he was another bureaucrat who wouldn't listen. But maybe he did have a point. Maybe he did try, perhaps continually try, to convince Starfleet that the Cardassians were re-arming. Maybe he spent forever trying to convince them. Maybe he is absolutely convinced that an invasion is imminent, and Starfleet is just sitting on their thumbs. We know Starfleet's point; they don't want another war while still picking up pieces after Wolf 359 and dealing with the nascent Romulan threat. But to Maxwell, on the front line, none of this matters. He feels betrayed by the Federation. So when Picard seems to not care, of course Maxwell doesn't bother to explain himself. He knows how it will end up. So he goes with a last-ditch effort to prove it to Picard. To his credit, he didn't fire another shot after meeting Picard.

It might also explain one other little plot hole. Frankly, as soon as the Enterprise met up with the Phoenix, Picard should have arrested Maxwell, relieved the rest of the bridge staff for good measure, and had Riker take the ship back to Federation space. Letting him back to take command after unauthorized firing on other enemy ships is unbelievable. But it gets a tiny more believable if you think that Picard knows about the Cardassian lies by now. He knows Maxwell is right, even if his actions are wrong. So maybe that persuaded him to give Maxwell that dignity. But yeah, completely stupid thing to do. Maxwell never should have beamed over to the Enterprise.

Despite that, though, it really is a great episode. Good solid Cold War style episode. Even with a brand new alien race, it still has a strong impact.

I also agree with WilliamB that the food scenes were off, but for a different reason. So both of them kept their culture, fine. But they never introduced the other to their own cultures before getting married??? Never ate each other's food? As someone in an interracial marriage myself, it feels kind of stupid and insulting. As if Keiko suddenly appeared out of nowhere in Data's Day (which, of course, she did; but good writing shouldn't have made it look like that). And for that matter, if they hate each other's food so much, why not just replicate different stuff? It's not like there's any work involved in cooking dinner...
Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 12:07am (UTC -6)
As a fan of DS9, this is definitely a four star for me. All of a sudden we have chief O'Brien and Gul Dukat? Awesome. I'm astonished at how close Gul Macet is to Gul Dukat. Marc Alaimo never really changed the way he played the character.

But I also think it's a good episode on its own terms. It deals with very powerful themes. How do you forgive those who have killed your wife and children? How do you accept that your old enemy is now an ally?

It's true that Maxwell's motivations weren't explained very well, but it's easy to fill in the blanks if you've seen the DS9 Maquis episodes. He wants revenge, but more importantly, he doesn't trust Starfleet's diplomatic approach to the Cardassians. He thinks that they're hiding something and that Starfleet is blind to the threat they pose.

All of the actors here are first class, Maxwell included.

I personally don't think that Picard's decision to beam Maxwell back aboard his ship was foolish. First, I assume that they both have the rank of captain and I'm not sure that Picard had the authority to relieve him of his command. Or at least, he didn't have the inclination to do it. He respects Maxwell who has been twice decorated. He trusts that he will understand that it's over and that he has to face the consequences of his actions and come back to Starfleet. He wants to give him the dignity of surrendering himself. He doesn't want to treat a fellow captain like a common criminal. And, in my opinion, the fact that Maxwell had lost his wife and children doesn't mean that he's necessarily incapable of acting rationally. O'Brien, for example, is capable of getting past his desire for revenge.

I thought that the scene with O'Brien and Maxwell in his office was brilliant and touching.

The other great thing about this episode is that Picard knows that Maxwell was probably right all along, and yet he still followed Starfleet's orders. It shows that the Enterprise can't solve all of the galaxy's problems in one hour. It's a more subtle story than a lot of the "Enteprise is Superman" plots we've had.

@SkepticalMI To me, it was obvious that the Cardassian officer was trying to access sensitive information, but Gul Macet made a nice show of pretending to punish him. Cardassians are sneaky bastards.
Thu, May 1, 2014, 9:14am (UTC -6)
stviateur said:"In The Wounded I was surprised to hear that O'Brien had served as "the best tactical officer" Maxwell ever had. If so, what has he been doing wasting his talents as the operator of one transporter on the Enterprise? Is serving on the big E so valuable that officers are willing to scrub floors or wait tables in Ten Forward to stay aboard? And speaking of waiting tables on Ten Forward, who are those people? In the perfect future of Star Trek where everyone can do whatever they want with nothing like the need for money to hold them back, some people are still employed serving tables in bars? "

Yeah the Federation has been inconsistent on the money/compensation thing. Presumably Starfleet personnel aren't paid, but then you have scenes like in DS9 where, after Jadzia cancel their wedding to Worf, O'Brien and Bashir order an enormous meal at Quarks, but then when they reconcile, it's taken away, and Quark hollers "no refunds". So O'Brien and Bahsir and presumably other Starfleet personnel are acquiring latinum (or some kind of equivalent acceptable to Quark) from somewhere. No episodes ever bother to address just how.
Thu, May 1, 2014, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
@Jack: The DS9 creators sort of owned up to the currency inconsistency in "In The Cards", when Jake asks Nog for money. There's also an episode where O'Brien and Bashir are intent on beating Quark at Tongo and have only a small amount of latinum to get into the game. Of course, Jadzia also plays Tongo, and there's a scene where several DS9 characters (including Worf) are buying Nog's possessions before he goes to Starfleet Academy.

My take? It's not implausible that Starfleet officers serving on a Bajoran station could come by some latinum. Worf, too, is a Klingon so he might have access to money. But, generally, this topic is sort of like the universal translator. You shouldn't think too much about how it does or doesn't work.

As for O'Brien serving as tactical officer on the Rutledge, I think it's safe to say that high-ranking non-comms could have bridge positions on lesser ships than the Federation flagship. We know O'Brien was on the Rutledge shortly before the Enterprise launched (based on comments in "Tribunal"). And when O'Brien was first seen in "Encounter at Farpoint" he was the battle bridge conn officer.

So, perhaps Chief O'Brien left the Rutledge to transfer to the Enterprise where he was assigned to be a back up conn officer. Then, he was offered to be a department head on the Federation flagship.

As long as you don't remember that O'Brien was a lieutenant from the second season through the fifth or so -- Riker even calls him that rank at one point -- then it makes sense. ;)
Fri, May 2, 2014, 10:30am (UTC -6)
I like to think that although the Federation is moneyless, since they're posted on a Bajoran station they'd get some kind of stipend of local currency. I understand the ideal of the Federation being without currency but it's practical to keep some sort of reserve of international funds to allow your officers to do their job. Starfleet must have some sort of latinum reserve at least for trading purposes.

Tongo probably doesn't qualify as claimable on the Federation expense account though! If not that, it may be that Starfleet officers just come into a bit of local money and think it prudent to start building an account. Certainly if you were a US officer stationed in the Phillipines, for example, and for some reason there was no exchange rate, it'd be advisable to hoard a bit of local currency in case the need arises.
Mon, Aug 25, 2014, 7:10pm (UTC -6)
Regarding that huge meal Bashir and O'Brien ordered at Quark's...presumably they could order that same meal from their replicator in their quarters at no cost. Apparently they are paying for the pleasure of eating it at Quark's.
Mon, Aug 25, 2014, 8:03pm (UTC -6)
^ I don't presume that. I think replicators in quarters must be metered, and everybody has an account that gets charged. I'm sure it's still much cheaper than imported, non-replicated goods which are depicted as luxuries.
Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 3:46pm (UTC -6)
-Marc Alaimo was excellent as Gul Macet. (He later played Gul Dukat in DS9).

-The writers decided pretty quickly to abandon that weird Cardassian headgear that we see in the first couple scenes. We don't see them wearing it ever again.

-Colm Meany has already shown by this point in the series that he is an EXCELLENT actor. His delivery is always subtle and pitch perfect. So glad he got the opportunity for more depth in this episode.
Wed, Jan 14, 2015, 10:39am (UTC -6)
I'd give this 3,5 to 4 stars.

The ethical dilemma between pursuing the truth and keeping the peace is presented well, and it is made clear how difficult the decision against Maxwell is for Picard. O'Brian gets some welcome character development. The Cardassians are presented as real individuals, each of which is affected differently by their experiences, which is rare for the portrayal of alien races on Star Trek. Mark Alaimo delivers one of the best guest performances on the show up until now, and Bob Gunton and the actor playing the Cardassian in Ten Forward also play their parts convincingly.

I have only minor complaints, which do not affect my enjoyment of the episode as a whole. But nitpicking is more fun than giving praise, so I'll mention them anyway. :)
- Where's Maxwell's crew? This has already been brought up in the previous comments. I suppose that they might be so loyal to their captain that they would follow him in committing war crimes against the Cardassians, but the issue should be addressed somewhere in the show. From what we are presented, Maxwell might as well be flying the ship alone (which, as we have learned at the end of "11001001", is possible).
- Why was O'Brian demoted from tactical officer to transporter chief when we went on the Enterprise? This issue could easily be solved by just having him say "I don't want to talk about, it was a complicated matter", but it's strange that nobody on the ship ever talked to him about it.
- Why did the Cardassians let Starfleet get away? Even if they were secretly arming for a new conflict, it certainly does not justify attacking their ships without provocation and killing 650 people. Maxwell should have been tried by a Cardassian court, and the Cardassians are showing a big amount of good will (even when one considers the fact that Maxwell's accusations were right) when they agree to letting Maxwell keep command of his ship and be escorted to Federation space, as well as to Picard's offending gesture (turning his back to Gul Macet) at the end.
- Are humans the only sentient species in the Star Trek universe with more than one culture? By now, we have seen distinct Japanese, Irish and French cultures, while all other sentient species only seem to have one culture each. Is this just due to sloppy writing, or are humans supposed to be special in that way in the Star Trek universe?
- Speaking of humans: All admirals and captains in Starfleet seem to be human (and close friends with Picard!). Granted, this might be mainly because of budget constraints, and there are a lot of humanoid species on Star Trek who look like humans, but the high-ranking Starfleet officers all have English (or French, or Japanese) sounding names, so they are probably human. Judging from the number of ships and their sheer size, it looks like the best part of Earth's population is working in Starfleet!
Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 4:16pm (UTC -6)
There are a lot of really good comments here. The only thing I want to add is this:

There's a really good moment between Macet and Picard while watching the tactical overlay of the Phoenix vs. the Card warship and "supply" freighter.

Macet, shocked, asks Picard if his sensors are so advanced they can identify Card registry codes (or something) this far away. Picard admits that, yes, in fact they can. Watch the little pang of defeat on Stewart's face, admitting to a former enemy about this small shift in the balance of power.

Macet is a) probably worried about being busted then and there, but also b) understandably dismayed about Fed technology. Irrelevant of the former, Picard full well knows the implications of the Fed's ID technology. What's worse is that he previously treated it so casually, so benignly, and probably realizes why the Feds aren't entirely blameless in Cardassian paranoia. Hell, look at what Maxwell did, probably using that technology to aid him. Stewart is an absolute pro, wow.

4 stars for me. Excellent episode, maybe the best from S4 so far (narrowly beating "Reunion"). Maybe even better than S3's own cold war gem, "The Defector" too.
Wed, Mar 11, 2015, 9:44pm (UTC -6)
I've always been rather fond of this episode and I can't really further much of what has been said in Jammer's review and the ensuing comments. This is a good example of Star Trek delving further into intrigue and post-war issues that are/were building blocks for storyline revisits and arcs. And I think with a bit of minor structural rewrite this could have easily been a classic episode. As it stands, it is highly-recommended viewing to newcomers and those who may have watched latter ST series but missed out on TNG.

Thankfully, they got rid of the Cardassian "helmets" in future installments. I realize they're a different species with different reasons for dress code, etc...but they really seemed to stick out like a sore thumb.

Really good stuff all things considered.

3.5 stars.
The Dreamer
Sat, Mar 28, 2015, 12:07am (UTC -6)
Irony of Ironies. I am in bed reading comments on this episode while listening an episode of the new Hawaii-Five-O playing in the background. (S4:EP4 Netflix). The last scene is shown and they are singing the Minstrel Boy. I was not really paying attention to the scene but they started singing and I had to do a double take.

Not really important but had to share it.
Sun, Jun 7, 2015, 11:13am (UTC -6)
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the similarities between this episode and the DS9 Season 3 episode "Defiant".

Both episodes have the same basic plot line - Starfleet officer goes rogue with a starship to expose Cardassian secret operations. Said officer seems crazy at first but is eventually vindicated by events, and is punished anyway with no significant change occurring as a result.

"The Defiant" is a much better outing because it operates in the context of a Federation/Cardassian relationship that has already been established in DS9 and doesn't waste time on what Miles and Keiko are eating for breakfast. Also it's much more clear that Tom Riker was right in "Defiant", while "The Wounded" only heavily hints that the Cardassians are engaged in something underhanded.
Sun, Jul 5, 2015, 5:02pm (UTC -6)
An all-around superb episode, with one major flaw.

First, what's so good? Well, the introduction of the Cardassians for starters. Leaving aside their stupid looking uniforms and helmets (not to mention Marc Alaimo's ridiculous looking facial hair), these are villains of the week that really stand out. I'm trying not to look at them through the lens of the following nine seasons we end up spending with the Cardassians after this and only focus on this episode. If they were simply intended to be another alien menace of the week which later got picked up as recurring (and then main) villains, the writers did an excellent job of making them as three-dimensional as possible. Macet is obviously a good man who wants peace (seen in the scenes where he reprimands his aide on the bridge and his talk with Picard afterward) but who also isn't above skirting the edges of the treaty for Cardassia's benefit (the ending and the scene where he suspiciously eyes Picard and Riker when they discover the supply ship has heavy sensor shielding). A normal villain of the week would be just straight-up evil and not so well-rounded.

Then there's O'Brien. It's wonderful that a guy who has been a part of this show from the very beginning is finally given an episode of his own. And Colm Meaney knocks it out of the park, as his is wont to do. Anybody who says this isn't proto-DS9 must not have been watching the same episode as me.

Finally, there's Maxwell. I have to disagree with everyone saying he was unhinged. I don't think he was unhinged at all; and that's what makes him so compelling. He's obviously a very damaged man but not unhinged. He doesn't go around in fits of anger or paranoia. He's rather restrained for a man who lost his family and is seeking some form of revenge. And to that the fact that he actually is right in the end and I can't see how he's "unhinged." And, now looking at the events of "The Wounded" with that nine years of hindsight we have on the Cardassians, history might very well side with him and view Picard as a fool.

And that brings me to the major problem I have with this episode - the insistence on maintaining the treaty above all else. Picard is even directly ordered by Admiral Haden that he "must preserve the peace, no matter what the cost." It's all based on the fact that the Federation is not in a position to sustain a new war. Obviously this is a reference to the critical blow dealt to Starfleet by the Borg at Wolf 359. Now the problem is this - the Borg only destroyed 39 ships at Wolf 359. The only way that that could conceivably be considered a "crippling blow" is if Starfleet is a teeny, tiny organization, which it simply cannot be. Even if we assume that the 39 ships lost were among Starfleet's topmost ships of the line it still can't be a "crippling blow." If we were talking about the U.S. Navy, then, yes, a lost of 39 capital ships would indeed be a devastating loss. In fact, it would most likely bring an end to the U.S. Navy as a strategic power. But, we're not talking about the U.S. Navy. We're not even talking about the combined navies of Earth. We're talking about an organization that is the combined military (navy and army), not to mention the exploratory, scientific and partial diplomatic/judicial organization, of countless worlds! Starfleet simply has to be GARGANTUAN in size!

This has always been a particular pet-peeve of mine when it comes to Trek. Starfleet is almost always presented as this small close-knit organization when it simply cannot be. It even goes so far as having virtually everyone with the rank of Captain or higher be on a first-time basis with each other. It's so bad that at one point in DS9 when Dax refers to a Captain Shelby, intended to be Shelby from "The Best of Both Worlds," the writers flipped out because in the Expanded Universe novels (yes, I'm bringing EU stuff into this, sue me) Shelby was still a Commander. So they came up with a convoluted explanation about how Dax was referencing someone else (because we can't possibly expect the viewers/readers to simply assume that there are two people in Starfleet with the last name of Shelby who aren't directly related to each other - it's impossible!) Thank God DS9 eventually gave us scenes of large Federation fleets with hundreds, if not thousands, of ships during the Dominion War.

This absurd situation really harms the drama here in "The Wounded" because the drama is absolutely based on it. The Federation, with Picard as its agent, must maintain the peace because they lost a grand whopping 39 ships less than a year ago. SMH, it makes no sense.

Mon, Aug 10, 2015, 11:32am (UTC -6)
Great episode!

I do wish they would've either renamed Dukat Gul Macet for DS9 or had him be Dukat for this one. I know at this time likely Dukat was running Terok Nor but still.

But the worst part of this- and a mistake Picard would NEVER have done, ever, is think that the best way to diffuse a situation where your rogue federation ship that's just destroyed 2 Cardassian ships RIGHT IN FRONT of Gul Macet is to just let the captain right back on his ship and hopefully he'll follow his orders and fly back to the nearest starbase for questioning or whathaveyou.

That was really the most glaring gaffe to me.
Sun, Sep 6, 2015, 4:47pm (UTC -6)
@Luke I think they might have meant combat capable ships. Remember, before that point, Starfleet really hated the idea of them being a military. Personally, the small size of the Starfleet never bothered me. Given how one ship can get anywhere almost immediately, does pretty much everything at the same time and are obviously expensive (I know they don't have money, but they do make these ships out of stuff) and take time to produce, I don't think it's that much of a stretch. Of course, the main reason why it is that way, is that otherwise, it would make even less sense for Starfleet to always use one ship at a time for everything.
Sat, Sep 12, 2015, 11:48pm (UTC -6)
I think y'all might be taking "the treaty must be maintained at any cost" a little too literally. I didn't take it as "the Cardassians will be marching on Earth by next week", but more like "the current administration invested a lot in this treaty, and if Starfleet f***s it up, both of our heads are gonna roll."

I think this episode and later ones all through DS9 establish Cardassia as the "Iran" of the Star Trek universe -- a second-tier power with delusions of grandeur and just enough capacity to be a destabilizing influence and overall Pain in the Ass. Starfleet -could- crush the Cardassian fleet just as the U.S. military could conduct an invasion of Iran and defeat their army in the field in a matter of weeks -- but for various diplomatic and political reasons, that's not going to happen, so we get to play carrot-and-stick with them instead.
Diamond Dave
Sun, Sep 13, 2015, 12:24pm (UTC -6)
An extremely strong episode, with some excellent performances from the guest cast and a break out story for O'Brien. In retrospect it's nice to see the earliest seeds of DS9.

Introducing the Cardassians as another strong alien race is key. Of course Marc Alaimo knocks it out the park as Gul Macet - the multiple levels in the performance, capturing the sly, knowing character that Gul Dukat will be, is all there from the beginning. That the Cardassians are not one note villains was established from the start - there's immediately a depth and richness.

Ben Maxwell is ultimately a tragic figure - not least of which because the ending strongly suggests he was right - and I don't see him as unhinged at all. And that again lends depth as Picard has been told to keep the peace whatever the cost. If the cost is Maxwell's career and by failing to uncover the truth, then so be it. Maxwell's exchange with Picard to his final "I'm not going to win this one, am I?" summarise a man burdened with personal loss and prevented by expedience from gaining a measure of peace from the truth. It's a strong performance.

For O'Brien there's also greater depth - and the scene with the Cardassian in ten-forward is another highlight. 3.5 stars.
Sun, Sep 13, 2015, 8:57pm (UTC -6)
Has anyone else noticed that the score during the last scene of the episode (when Picard gives his warning to Macet) is reminiscent of the DS9 theme? As DS9 was still two years away, it's probably a coincidence, but it's still rather remarkable, considering that this episode introduced the Cardassians, fleshed out O'Brien, and had a darker tone than most of TNG.
Fri, Sep 25, 2015, 6:37pm (UTC -6)
Peremensoe said:

"I don't presume that. I think replicators in quarters must be metered, and everybody has an account that gets charged."

I don't see why there'd be any limitations. Based on what dialogue has said the raw material is for replicators, they're essentially eating their (or someone else's) own prior waste.
Mon, Nov 9, 2015, 1:33am (UTC -6)
Personally, I thought the purpose of the episode was to make a commentary on people who hold grudges against a race or country due to a war that's no longer taking place. Whether or not Maxwell was right, it was his grudge that was in question throughout the episode. Only at the end did Picard address the issue of Cardassian duplicity itself.
Fri, Nov 13, 2015, 7:19am (UTC -6)
When I initially watched this one, I recall feeling that it was a sad, tortured man that was the Captain of that ship. I watched it over and over again over the years, because the tone and feel just struck a chord with me.

I liked when Macet looked at Picard and said (paraphrasing) "You can read our transPONnder codes...", which seemed to be both a question and a statement. I just liked the silky tone he used, and would later use to great effect on Deep Space.

It's probably been mentioned above somewhere, but I must reiterate: During the first three and a half seasons, they were AT WAR?! WITH A DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS FOE?! WHAT?! Nonononowaitadarnedminute... They said the war had been over for a year or so, so yep, that is the first 3 1/2 years (if it was going on the whole time), and they never said word one about it. Yes, the writers didn't think of putting in a war until this episode, but it should have been over for maybe four years (I think the premise would have still worked). But I don't buy their timeline because we had the flagship of the Federation bumping around those silly planets in the first two seasons, instead of at the front lines KICKING CARDASSIAN BUTT!!! Nope, they would've been at the front lines, or pretty darned close. Especially if Picard had fought them before, he would know some of their strategies and whatnot.

Perhaps if the Enterprise hadn't been set up as the flagship of the Federation, I might be able to see that. You'd still need ships out by the Romulan Neutral Zone, or keeping an eye on things elswhere, while the fighting was going on. But the Flagship? Naaaahhh...

Have a great day Everyone... RT
Andy G
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 11:04pm (UTC -6)
One of my favorite episodes for all the groundwork it lays for DS9 O'Brien getting a chance to shine and of course the "warden.". My one nitpick is that no one on Maxwell's crew objected to his course of action.
Jor-El H
Thu, Sep 22, 2016, 9:37pm (UTC -6)
If this isn't a 4 star episode, I don't know what is. And you don't have to be a DS9 fan to love this episode: I'm not and I do. Like many other comments here, I found the ending to be far from 'unproductive' - it adds a level of nuance that puts this episode over the top. It shows how deep Picard's calculations were, how sometimes even if you're right you need to look at the bigger picture before you act. And it prevents this episode from being a predictable, black-and-white affair. I think it's actually one of the best and most powerful endings ever to an episode of TNG.
Wed, Oct 26, 2016, 7:47am (UTC -6)
Why didn't the Phoenix take part in the battle of Wolf 359? I'm surprised that there were any starships remaining after that besides the Enterprise.
Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 6:31am (UTC -6)
Oh how I wish Marc Alaimo (either as Mucet or Dukat) faced Patrick Stewart's Picard more often. Two fine Trek actors.

I agree with Andy G, how Maxwell's bridge officers let their captain get away with his raids was a little hard to believe. Riker's already shown he would take command if Picard (the fake one) was acting irrationally. Maybe all crews are not the same.
Tue, Jun 6, 2017, 2:24pm (UTC -6)
A lot has already been said about this great episode. I will therefore only stress Stewart's acting: it is superb. Especially in the last scene, where he is bitterly defending peace despite the fact that the Cardasdians do not really deserve it, is great.
Tue, Jul 25, 2017, 6:01pm (UTC -6)
"The Wounded" is a very important episode in the canon -- the introduction of the Cardassians, building up of O'Brien's character -- really plants the seeds for DS9.

Overall a terrific episode -- helped by great guest actors playing Gul Macet and the corrupt prison master from "The Shawshank Redemption" as Maxwell.

Plenty of good individual dialogues here: O'Brien and Maxwell singing a war hymn prior to the latter standing down, O'Brien and the Cardassian having a drink and explaining war/hate/killing, and finally Picard and Macet with Picard just turning away in the end realizing what the Cardassians are doing but trying to maintain peace for now.

Maxwell is after revenge and defies Picard -- if the Phoenix captain was truly gone and could not give up the war (after killing over 600 Cardassians -- correcting Jammer's 450 number) then an alternate (and more powerful) ending might have been him destroying the Cardassian freighter and the Enterprise having to destroy the Phoenix. I think that would be quite powerful as a lead-in to the ending when Picard finds out the Cardassians are mobilizing. Anyway...

I don't know why Maxwell couldn't give Picard more proof that the Cardassians were arming up (was it Cardassian sensors preventing a scan?). Because he came across as totally reckless in killing Cardassians and with his reactions in his meeting with Picard. Otherwise, I think Picard was correct to let Maxwell go back to his ship and follow the Enterprise back.

I guess the episode also makes it clear the Cardassians aren't as powerful as the UFP -- the Phoenix made quick work of the Cardassian warship, and their transporter technology isn't as advanced.

"The Wounded" deserves a 3.5-star rating. Great plot, the introduction of a new enemy in the Kardashians (UFP already has the Romulans and the Borg still going) and plenty of compelling dialogue. Lots of great stuff to build on for future episodes and in DS9.
Tue, Aug 22, 2017, 7:54am (UTC -6)
This is a good episode. But...

What the hell is going on with the phoenix? Where's the doctor to relieve him of duty? Where's the counsellor to prevent him cracking up in the first place?

I can't believe that starfleet wouldn't have strict protocols to prevent exactly this kind of situation.
Peter G.
Tue, Aug 22, 2017, 9:03am (UTC -6)
@ Mikey,

He's not cracking up, he's 100% correct and is totally sane. Maxwell's problem is that he values the treaty with Cardassia less than what he sees as the truth about what they're doing. He doesn't want the Federation to be duped and will ignore the rules to protect it. This probably isn't right, but given what we later learn about the Cardassians I'm not sure how unreasonable it is to take preemptive action. Take a look at what Jellico does in Chain of Command and this suddenly doesn't look quite as bad. The worse part was Maxwell killing people in the course of his investigation, but then again if you're dealing with people who are willing to throw the lives of their people away on a bluff can you really blame yourself entirely if that's what they do? Terrorists will routinely place military targets in hospitals or civilian sites to dare the other side to attack such a place. Well that choice is on them, not on people who eventually have to liberate the location.

It's a murky subject, so I'm just offering a bit of the other side in it. But I definitely think Maxwell is totally sane. I always sort of hoped he got a forced retirement with honors rather than a court martial for this. He's portrayed as a man of action who can't sit back and abide abuses during "peacetime" when it puts his people in jeopardy. There's something tragic about that, and he comes off as very positive to me in the episode.
Jason R.
Mon, Jan 15, 2018, 6:21pm (UTC -6)
Maxwell claims at one point that O'Brien was his tactical officer on the Routledge but O'Brien is an enlisted man, not an officer. This just wrecks the episode!

But in all seriousness, this is an understated little gem of an episode. For me it's a high 3.5 stars maybe even 4 stars. Patrick Stewart and Colm Meaney just make the episode for me. Meaney is just a secondary character in TNG but just nails it in every scene. There's just this subtlety and dignity in these performances, so full of unstated feeling - makes you realize how dead something like Discovery is and how poor they are to lack even a fraction of the talent we took for granted on TNG each week.

And I disagree 100% about the ending with Jammer. I get chills when Picard says "we'll be watching". Just awesome.
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
I just can't forgive this episode for saying that, for the first two years of this show, there was a MAJOR WAR going on that no one referred to AT ALL! (I know, I know, it's just a TV show, lol!)

The Cardassians were great creations (once their makeup and costumes were tweaked) that were a great addition to the overall tapestry of Star Trek. I wish they had been the new "big bad" at the series' start instead of the Ferengi. But the fact they were shoehorned in to the narrative like they were always there just bugs me to no end.

One almost hopes for an explanation that there was some kind of temporal incursion (hello, "Year of Hell"!) that just inserted them into Federation history.
Joey Lock
Sun, Feb 18, 2018, 12:04am (UTC -6)
One thing that struck me about this episode was how in the end they sort of justified Maxwell's "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude as you said Jammer, although I understand why they did it so they could start building up the Cardassians as the future enemy but the conclusion seemed to be "Maxwell was right, we may quarrel with how he went about it but he did what had to be done" rather than "This guy was a PTSD and grief stricken man seeking revenge but just happened to be also right about his hunch".

Also Maxwell's insulting Picard by saying it "smells like a bureacrat's office" is essentially the 24th Century of a Conservative moaning about "liberals" holding him back, who try seek peaceful solutions instead of charging into war like he wants to.
Wed, Mar 14, 2018, 5:05pm (UTC -6)
I think I agree with you Jammer here.
So, the Ferengi are now accepted as a rubbish enemy,we don't want to overdo the Romulans and the Borg should be used sparingly so out of nowhere we have -the Kardashians.
Much of this story's internal logic is good, it is great to have Colm Meaney's character blossom but the ending is only acceptable as an element in the creation of DS9, along with the Bajorans and what knot in due course.
So this is a bit of a partial pilot.
Sarjenka's Little Brother
Sat, Jun 9, 2018, 9:35pm (UTC -6)
The first episode of DS9, and it's a good one.

It is odd there was this big war that just ended a year ago. Not good writing. All they had to do was say it ended five years ago (putting the peace treaty about a year ahead of the show's intro). Maybe it was like the Vietnam War -- with the fiercest fighting in the middle and then long, slow, painful years before a final peace.

I had not seen this one since the original run of the show. It's even better than I remembered.

Question: That music in the ending scene ... does anyone else think it sounds a little like the DS9 theme?
Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 11:28am (UTC -6)
Having recently finished watching all of DS9, and now going backwards to watch TNG, this episode is painful.

The Cardie headgear in the first scenes...what are those, Aussie rules football helmets? Awful.

The Cardie uniforms. Truly dreadful. Like puffy ski jackets.

Dukat-who-is-not-Dukat: that beard/mutton chop/disco porn star facial hair. Ugh!

The Cardassians were so much improved for DS9. The plot might be good, but the visuals stink.
Sat, Jul 28, 2018, 12:16pm (UTC -6)
re: "One thing that struck me about this episode was how in the end they sort of justified Maxwell's "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude as you said Jammer, although I understand why they did it so they could start building up the Cardassians as the future enemy but the conclusion seemed to be 'Maxwell was right, we may quarrel with how he went about it but he did what had to be done' "

Think it made him more understandable, not correct. The whole Secret Cardassian Buildup thing is a lot like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Imagine if some US submarine captain had unilaterally launched torpedoes at a Soviet supply ship and sunk it. Would he have been right to do so? That's Maxwell.
Sat, Aug 11, 2018, 2:47pm (UTC -6)
So the Phoenix is 300,000 kilometers from the Cardassian warship.......ummm, thats 186411.358 MILES!!! Nice to know phasers and photons can do that......or did the writers just figure nobody would notice? SMH
Tue, Oct 23, 2018, 6:58pm (UTC -6)
Ken.... 300,000 KM is the distance light travels in one second.

Work out why this was actually good science. Trek frequently gets it wrong but this isn't one of those times.
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 11:23pm (UTC -6)
Hello Everyone!


---Think it made him more understandable, not correct. The whole Secret Cardassian Buildup thing is a lot like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Imagine if some US submarine captain had unilaterally launched torpedoes at a Soviet supply ship and sunk it. Would he have been right to do so? That's Maxwell.---

Wow, that is so close to the truth of what nearly happened. A Soviet submarine almost did that during the Cuban Missle Crisis, with a nuke-tipped torpedo:

If not for Vasili Arkhipov, the world we know now might be very different, or not exist at all...

Regards... RT

P.S.: Good men of good conscience exist in all countries, and hopefully in all worlds...

I now return you to your regularly scheduled Jammers Reviews...
Sun, Dec 23, 2018, 4:42am (UTC -6)
2.5 stars.

This was kind of a slow episode. Lethargic almost. The scenes weren’t as involving or thoughtful as I’d have come to expect from TNG. Overall just very “there”
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 1:07pm (UTC -6)
Startrekwatcher writes:

"2.5 stars.

This was kind of a slow episode. Lethargic almost. The scenes weren’t as involving or thoughtful as I’d have come to expect from TNG. Overall just very “there”"

Does Startrekwatcher actually watch Star Trek??

Seem to find too many of his/her comments/ratings that are way off the mark. Should just go back to ignoring them.
German Trekkie
Sun, Feb 10, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -6)
I really appreciate the Episode to be the unofficial Pilot Episode for DS9 :D
I think I am going to watch all Cardassia/Bajor related episodes of TNG now.

@ Sarjenka's Little Brother:
Regarding the "Proto-DS9" Theme at the end - exactly what I was thinking... and to imagine that when the episode aired no one could know what DS9 would become is amazing.
Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
9/10 this episode was very enjoyable. I remembered whole scenes and lines as I was watching it and wondered when I had seen it last. It was good to see that cardassian (Gul Dukat's look alike ha ha).

This episode also drives home how much TNG relied on Patrick Stewart's acting abilities for its success. If they had had an actor at the same level as those playing Troi or Riker, then good night, it wouldn't have been even half of the show it was. And am I to understand the show became crafted around Picard once the show realized this to be true?

Any episode that shows the shades of grey - such as the fog of war, or uneasy recent peace - is much superior over the creature of the week and so on.
Thu, Aug 8, 2019, 7:29pm (UTC -6)
The O'Brien/Kieko scenes really felt like they should have happened in early dating, not once they were married.

I can't help but suspect that the relationship was created purely to service what was really a Data episode, and then the writers realized they liked the relationship and wanted to explore the characters more.

Had they thought of that earlier, the two dating could have been a subplot for a season or two, culminating in their wedding.

But they didn't, so we get scenes like this were the dating happens post-marriage. A pity. I would have liked to see their first meet-cute.
Tue, Aug 13, 2019, 1:17pm (UTC -6)
I have no trouble believing that the Rutledge's crew could be in agreement with Maxwell's plan. This is a battle-hardened crew that probably had experiences during the Kardashian war that mirrored O'Brien's. O'Brien even starts to stick up for Maxwell early in the episode before Picard cuts him off. Loyalty like that is hard to come by, as Picard even says to Gul Macet at the end. On the Rutledge, it also appears that Maxwell was a lot more "chummy" with the lower ranks than Picard is. He's more of a friend to the crew than a distant leader.

The Enterprise-D apparently didn't see much action in the war, unless this episode takes place in an alternate timeline/universe, of course. It's a luxury liner, whereas the Rutledge is a sparse tactical vessel with a crew of maybe a hundred at most. Things would be a lot different on that ship, especially with a war-weary crew. I figure the crew was with Maxwell all along and would never have voiced an objection to the captain that had kept them alive all those years in the war.

However, it's also possible that the Rutledge crew was starting to mutiny behind the scenes as Maxwell became unhinged after meeting with Picard. The Rutledge was turned over to its first officer for the trip back, meaning that the Enterprise could probably trust that the crew would accompany them back to the starbase properly.

Either way, it doesn't strike me as a plot hole at all.
Peter G.
Tue, Aug 13, 2019, 1:32pm (UTC -6)
Good points, HackFarlane. I definitely also get the sense that the crew of the Rutledge is loyal to him for a reason.

And in my view it's clear as crystal that Maxwell is 100% correct about the Cardassians. The only difference between him and Picard is that Picard believes in honoring treaties for their own sake, and for the sake of the ideal of peace, whereas Maxwell won't pretend to honor a treaty that the other side isn't honoring anyhow. Especially not when he believes they're planning an invasion.


And he is right about that too, since one season later we find out that's exactly what they're doing. If not for Jellico discovering their hidden fleet and neutralizing it I have to believe that they'd have successfully invaded a Federation system and begun a new war.

So the only question in this episode is whether it's morally right to play the bad cop and get the information proving their activities, or to be like Picard and sue for peace almost at any cost. I don't want to call Picard naive in this case, but I've said before that if Picard had been in charge during Chain of Command things would have turned out poorly for the Federation. We should be thankful for men like Picard to reign in bullies and pragmatists, but at the same time we should be thankful for Jellicos and Maxwells who have the guts to go in and get the job done. I do like in this episode that Maxwell isn't shown to be a disgraceful Captain gone off the rails, but rather just one who's seen too much to let the Cardassians get away with it again. When O'Brien talks him down at the end the turning point into their conversation isn't that Maxwell is a loose cannon who needs to be taken in, but rather than he's tactically out of options. That's why it was important for it to be O'Brien, who could size up any tactical situation instantly, who had to be the one to tell him. Maxwell wasn't a bad Captain, just out of options in this particular circumstance. He wanted to be able to do something about it, sort of in heroic fashio, but there was just no feasible way to do it within Federation law.

"The Wounded" is therefore not just the war-weary veterans who would say "never again" when seeing the Cardassians ramping up for war again, but also perhaps the voices of the dead crying out for something to be done when the enemy is on the move again. This balance between "don't act just because you've been injured" and "act because the wounded need you to act for them" seems to be central to this episode. Likewise, the Cardassians being described as pack wolves (at some point, can't remember if it's here) plays to this theme because their M.O. is to prey on the wounded, which is exactly the last thing a benevolent society should tolerate.
Tue, Aug 13, 2019, 1:57pm (UTC -6)
Peter G. wrote:

"So the only question in this episode is whether it's morally right to play the bad cop and get the information proving their activities, or to be like Picard and sue for peace almost at any cost. I don't want to call Picard naive in this case, but I've said before that if Picard had been in charge during Chain of Command things would have turned out poorly for the Federation. We should be thankful for men like Picard to reign in bullies and pragmatists, but at the same time we should be thankful for Jellicos and Maxwells who have the guts to go in and get the job done."

I think both TNG and DS9 leave it open to interpretation whether the pragmatic approach gets the job done. I mean sure, Maxwell was right here, but his actions may have escalated a relatively small problem that could've gone away on its own as the people got comfortable with peace. Despite these pragmatists getting their hands dirty because Picard won't, war still breaks out again with Cardassia. Thus, you have to wonder if being dirty didn't cost the Federation more in the long run.

And to be fair, you could argue that not taking action sooner like Maxwell wanted led to more war. There's no way to know for sure - the writers don't give us the info and leave it up to the viewer. One interpretation is that war was inevitable, another is that the hawks on both sides sabotaged any chance for peace.

I think what makes a lot of this story still relevant is we see these kinds of petty skirmishes with the Russia and Europe/USA to this day. You have to wonder what the best way to handle this is and whether we need a Maxwell or a Picard or maybe someone *completely different* to help stop the cold aggression.
Peter G.
Tue, Aug 13, 2019, 2:23pm (UTC -6)
@ Chrome,

Good points. One difference I see in the case of the Cardassians is that we have no reason to believe good faith on their part, whereas in the case of the modern world I think we need to be cautious about the motives of other nations. Like, there is no Federation on Earth right now, and all actors involved are provoking each other. But in Maxwell's case I really do believe his assessment is correct, that negotitation with Cardassia is just used by them as a stall tactic to regroup, and that there are literally immune to being persuaded by treaties or overtures.

Now some of our 'certainty' of this comes as a result of being a viewer and seeing things most people don't or can't see in real life. And this also goes across two Trek series. So we have 'cheat' info that doesn't exist in real life, and that has to be taken into account. I too am deeply disturbed by war hawks, but for some reason in this particular case I find myself unwilling to believe that Maxwell is actually doing anything that provokes them. What it does is give them room to complain and make demands, which for them is a strategic consideration, but I don't think they are actually aggrieved in the sense of being pushed into violence when they otherwise would have avoided it. For the most part I think the Federation was not just fair to them but in fact seemed to go overboard to satisfy them according to DMZ colonist. Picard's position in this one seems less to me like JFK in the Cuban Missile Crisis and more like Neville Chamberlain when making a treaty with Nazi Germany. Or at least, Picard *risks* being seen in that light if things go pear-shaped and the treaty ends up being blamed for Cardassia being able to regroup and re-arm. It's his "we'll be watching" that at least shows he's got teeth and isn't just in it for appeasement.
Tue, Aug 20, 2019, 2:53pm (UTC -6)
Strange how something can just strike a person so funny:

Kardashian War...

I had to take off my glasses, wipe my eyes, take a sip of coffee, all before I could continue.

I'm picturing nice-looking but largely expensive, useless ships; with huge engines.

Enjoy the day everyone... RT
Dr Bob
Mon, Sep 23, 2019, 2:50pm (UTC -6)
Some have commented that O’Brien was demoted. This was probably correct since a tactical officer had to be at least an ensign.
Top Hat
Mon, Sep 23, 2019, 8:52pm (UTC -6)
Some elements of O'Brien's backstory are kind of odd because they were conceived when he was understood to be an officer (he wore lieutenant pips and was even referred to as "Lieutenant" in dialogue once or twice). They only decided he was enlisted later on.
Thu, Dec 19, 2019, 6:52pm (UTC -6)
Notable because: The Cardassians!

Whether it's a marriage or a treaty, it takes some love and trust and patience and hardwork to get used to each other, and make it work.

Try my seaweed; I'll try your potatoes. It's hard to part with the familiar, to accept change, to put the past behind you. Just ask Captain Maxwell, whose familiarity with O'Brien (trust in him) helps save the day.

Both partners must be acting in good faith, though, for a cross-cultural marriage to work . Keiko and Miles are hesitant about each other's food preferences, but they want the marriage to work.

The Cardassians . . . I think they've been fooling around behind The Federation's back!! Jean Luc tells Gul Macet he'll be going through his Facebook messages and texts from now on.

A good one. The Cardassians and O'Brien: always an entertaining combination.
Fri, Dec 20, 2019, 12:36am (UTC -6)
@ Springy, I just want to say I've been loving seeing your thoughts as you go! Fun little overview of the episode.
James G
Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 10:38am (UTC -6)
Just watched this one. Although I saw most of them 30 years ago, I had no memory of this one at all. I think I may well have been watching it for the first time.

It's intriguing until the last ten minutes or so, then it sort of collapses on itself. It doesn't conclude satisfactorily.

It's very odd to me that Maxwell is received so politely and casually aboard the Enterprise, when he's gone rogue and killed hundreds of Cardassians. It's even odder that he's allowed to return to command his starship and its crew, even under escort - and his subsequent actions are extremely predictable.

Considering what Maxwell has done and the unauthorised carnage he's caused, Picard seems a bit too quick to defend him to Gul Macet at the episode's conclusion, and too dismissive of Macet's disdain. If anything, Macet is extremely restrained in the circumstances.

That peculiar moment between O'Brien and Troi, when the Cardassians come aboard. For a moment I wondered whether she'd detected him having lustful thoughts about her. The look she gives him fits perfectly.

The Enterprise's long range scanners are remarkable. They accurately detect and plot ship movements and photon torpedo discharges during the first exchanges between the Phoenix and the Cardassians at a location so remote that it's 16 hours, 44 minutes away at Warp 4.

I think it's an OK episode. It doesn't live up to the promise of the first 20 minutes.
Peter G.
Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 10:43am (UTC -6)
@ James G,

"Considering what Maxwell has done and the unauthorised carnage he's caused, Picard seems a bit too quick to defend him to Gul Macet at the episode's conclusion, and too dismissive of Macet's disdain. If anything, Macet is extremely restrained in the circumstances."

Macet could have done more fake posturing, but by the end he and Picard both knew that the Cardassians were covertly arming up for a new offensive in violation of the treaty. The reason Captain Maxwell is received with such honor is that it's pretty clear he was 100% correct in his assessment of the situation. The problem was that he had to (a) violate treaty, and (b) attack ships outside of a time of war, in order to prove he was right. The letter of the law is exactly what the Cardassians were using to get the upper hand, and Maxwell did descend into ignoring it as well to catch them. But the bottom line for Picard is that the law must be upheld.

To me the major contention of the episode is that law and honoring the treaty comes first, over and above proving that the Cardassians were violating it and preparing for war. Maxwell was a pragmatist, while Picard and idealist who favored working within the system. I'm not quite sure it's clear-cut that Picard is 'right' but his side certainly gets the floor for most of the episode. I've never felt that Maxwell was a villain, just a guy who never really believed the war was over. It's worth asking whether that was a fault or just realistic understanding.
Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 4:11pm (UTC -6)
I disagree, I think the idea of the Cardassians truly being guilty as not just innocent bystanders and victims adds an ominous undertone to the characters. Especially we you take into account Picard's reaction at the end.
Peter G.
Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 7:19pm (UTC -6)
@ The_Man,

You disagree with what?
Hotel bastardos
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 10:15am (UTC -6)
Bloody good stuff- lots of ambiguity and a study in the psychological aftermath of war on both sides. Still, those reptilian kardashians are almost as shifty and dubious as the other reptilian and dodgy kardashians in this here reality. Not as utterly pointless though....
Hotel bastardos
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 11:03am (UTC -6)
Considering Maxwell had murdered all those people without provocation (whether they were up to no good or not), he got a helluva chummy welcome from Riker and O'Brien when he came aboard....
Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 4:23pm (UTC -6)
Great episode, and the actor playing Maxwell does a fabulous job of playing slightly off.

Though the, “oh by the way, the Federation has been recently at war” feels like a very uncomfortable retcon. Kind of changes the tone of earlier seasons, worrying about Riker’s career and so forth. Though, as well seen in Insurrection, it’s nothing at all unusual to have the Enterprise out doing boring, silly stuff during war. Apparently the Enterprise is on detached duty!
Wed, Mar 24, 2021, 6:56am (UTC -6)
The Wounded

TNG season 4 episode 12

"Last time I was in this sector, I was on the Stargazer, running at warp speed ahead of a Cardassian warship…. I'd been sent to make preliminary overtures to a truce. I'd lowered my shields as a gesture of good will. But the Cardassians were not impressed. They had taken out most of my weapons and damaged the impulse engines before I could regroup and run.”

- Picard

4 stars (out of 4)

War with the Cardassians may have been going on for more than 20 years by the time we reach the events of “The Wounded,” and given what we know of DS9, the Federation will again be at war with Cardassia in just a few years, but “The Wounded” takes place a year after a treaty is signed between the Federation and Cardassia - a treaty that will allow the two to live in peace, at least for a spell.

That doesn’t mean they trust each other. As Worf so clearly puts it, "Trust is earned, not given away.” For now the two sides benefit from peace, so there is peace. But both sides know that as soon as peace is no longer in their interest, they are likely to fall back into war. There is every reason to think that both sides are taking advantage of the peace to bolster their positions along the border. The final treaty that outlines the border and the Demilitarized Zone is still a couple years away (“Journey’s End”).

The Cardassian situation is a metaphor for every protracted generational war man has seen for millennia. That the episode is able to pack in hate, and brutality, and history, and loss, and death, and bitterness, and hope, and diplomacy, and resignation, and sorrow all into 45 minutes of compelling TV is a remarkable feat. That all of those things can fit into the confines of a TNG story, well, that’s nothing short of a miracle.

The emotional core of the episode is a song written by the Irish more than 200 years ago. It tells of their comrades who fell in their struggle for independence against the British. The Minstrel Boy’s haunting lyrics are about a young musician-soldier who gives his life for his country,

The Minstrel-Boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you'll find him;

His father's sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him.

"Land of song!" said the warrior-bard,
"Tho' all the world betrays thee,

One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

Anyone with even a passing familiarity with Irish history knows that the Irish Rebellion was far from the last battle in the generational war between the British and Irish. In “The High Ground,” Data tells us about how it all ends for the Irish in the Star Trek universe,

DATA: I have been reviewing the history of armed rebellion and it appears that terrorism is an effective way to promote political change.

PICARD: Yes, it can be, but I have never subscribed to the theory that political power flows from the barrel of a gun.

DATA: Yet there are numerous examples where it was successful. The independence of the Mexican State from Spain, the Irish Unification of 2024, and the Kensey Rebellion.

So just 3 more years till Ireland is unified!

The Irish have a long history in Star Trek. Back in TOS we had Kevin Thomas Riley, the singing lieutenant who had a soft spot for Sulu and Uhura. And now on TNG, we have O’Brien.

And we have an old Scottish captain, Maxwell. You can take my life, but you canna take ma freeeeedoooom?

Enter the Cardassians. The future Gul Dukat does an excellent job from day 1 setting the tone for this brand new species. If Lenard Nimoy and Mark Lenard defined the Vulcans, while Michelle Forbes and Nana Visitor defined the Bajorans, then for Star Trek, few actors can take the credit Marc Alaimo rightly gets for defining this fascinating race of aliens. It is amazing how consistent Alaimo plays his Cardassian roles over the next 8 1/2 years of TNG and DS9! But that all starts here, and “The Wounded” has to get some of the credit.

The second great character to come alive is O’Brien. Heretofore, TNG has used him largely like a doorman, the type of person you see at the entrance to fancy apartment buildings. He’s there. He has a great personality. He sees all the human interactions of people saying hello and saying goodbye. He’s a witness, but he doesn’t get in the way.

Earlier this season in “Remember Me,” Beverly can’t believe O’Brien doesn’t remember her friend Dr. Dalen,

O'BRIEN: Doctor Quaice? Was he part of the regular crew rotation?

RIKER: No. He's a friend of Doctor Crusher’s.

O'BRIEN: When did he arrive?

CRUSHER: Yesterday at sixteen hundred hours.

O'BRIEN: That was my watch. I beamed this man onboard?

CRUSHER: Yes. I was here to greet him. An elderly man, not in the best of health.

O'BRIEN: I'm sorry. I remember you were here for a short while, but you were alone.

CRUSHER: Was he invisible? Did I carry on a conversation with thin air?

O'BRIEN: No, Doctor. As I recall, you came in and you looked around for a few moments. I asked you if I could help you with anything. All you said was 'Thank you.' I said, 'My pleasure,' or something, and that was the end of it. There was no one else here.

Was he invisible? Did I carry on a conversation with thin air?

O’Brien has been there, but for many high-ranking officers, he’s pretty much invisible, like a doorman. “The Wounded”, as @Jammer says, fleshes O'Brien out with a full back story and family life. It is quite a coup for this non-commissioned officer.

And then there’s Ben Maxwell himself. It is a treat when TNG has a truly outstanding guest character - but here we get two, Dukat (or whatever his alias is in this episode), and Maxwell. From the moment Maxwell steps off the transporter pad, you can tell he’s going to go down as an iconic captain of Star Fleet.

TOS had a string of these larger-than-life captains. The crazed Captain Tracey from “The Omega Glory.” The wounded (?!?) Captain Pike from “The Menagerie.” The obsessed captain Commodore Decker from “The Doomsday Machine.” And of course the mad fleet Captain Garth of Azar. But TNG rarely shows us the same range of captains. When it did, it was a genuine treat. Seeing the crew adjust to Captain Jelico’s command style in “Chain of Command” was something to relish! We got a few hints of other captains here and there (“Conspiracy” we meet a few captains for a few moments, in “Tin Man” we get a brief exchange with Captain DeSoto, etc.) - but other than those hints, we get very little of other captains in TNG. “The Wounded” is one of the few TNG episodes where we get a good look at the other captains in the fleet.

Maxwell couldn’t be more different from Picard. He’s married. A widower. He’s a father. His son is dead. Picard spent the Cardassian war running away from Cardassian fire (TROI: Running, Captain? You? That's hard to believe. PICARD: Believe it.). Maxwell was in the thick of it (PICARD: Benjamin Maxwell earned the loyalty of those who served with him. You know, in war, he was twice honoured with the Federation's highest citation for courage and valour.). If Picard breaks out into song with his men, the command staff start contemplating mutiny ("Allegiance”). Maxwell is at his best when carrying a tune with his people,

Starfleet is well aware that it takes a very special type of Captain to deal with the Cardassians.

Picard was given the Enterprise, and the ship was posted so far from the Cardassian front, we never even hear about the war. To answer @stviateur’s key question above, emotionally scarred by the war, O’Brien also takes a nice quiet posting on this ship, far, far away from the front. As O'Brien says in DS9’s Empok Nor, "I'm not a soldier anymore. I'm an engineer.” If you’ve ever met a non-com with a comfy desk job after years in the field, you’ll immediately recognize the type.

When it comes time for the Enterprise to finally go head to head with Cardassians (Chain of Command), Starleet doesn't give the ship to Riker - even after Riker's stellar performance against the Borg (MAXWELL: I know all about you, Commander. Fine work you did with the Borg. We all owe you on that one.). Instead in Chain of Command, Starfleet puts a very different man, Jelico, on the job. So is it any surprise that the Federation has sent not the Picard-type, but rather the Maxwell-type of Captain to keep an eye on the Cardassian boarder?

The treaty is only a year old. I'm sure no at Starfleet Command trusts the Cardassians to keep their word. This is, after all, a Starfleet run by admirals like Nechayev, Haftel ("The Offspring"), and Satie. Not exactly the trusting types!

So no one with half a brain trusts the Cardassians (TROI's brain: They're our allies now, Mister Worf. We have to trust them.).

O’Brien is our bridge between these two very different sides of Starfleet. In DS9’s “Nor the Battle to the Strong,” we see how out of place the ordinary Federation citizen would be on the front (there Jake is thrust into the middle of things). Here, in one of the most powerful scenes from “The Wounded” we learn over a couple cold ales how O’Brien was changed from a regular Federation citizen ("I'd never killed anything before. When I was a kid, I'd worry about swatting a mosquito.”) into a soldier, a killer.

What we see on TNG is that O’Brien's journey back from the abyss has been equally hard fought. He wants to be a regular Joe with a regular family life and regular job. Those feelings of hate and resentment are just below the surface. In the scariest scene of the episode, we see Troi reading O’Brien’s mind, sensing the hatred he has for the bloody Cardi’s. No words are exchanged, but these are real people with real feelings. Had this been TOS’ “Day of the Dove,” those feeling might have burst out onto the surface in this way,

SCOTT: Keep your Vulcan hands off me. Just keep away! Your feelings might be hurt, you green-blooded half-breed!

SPOCK: May I say that I have not thoroughly enjoyed serving with humans? I find their illogic and foolish emotions a constant irritant.

SCOTT: Then transfer out, freak!

But of course this is TNG, a far cleaner version of humanity. We have a trained empath on board to counsel out all these ugly feelings before they can overtake us (PICARD: Counsellor, I want you to stay as close to the crew as possible. Some of them may feel uncomfortable with Cardassians on board. I don't want any incidents.). 10-Forward is not Quark’s bar. No blows are exchanged here.

The episodes shows its brilliance with its deep understanding of what it means for two great powers to enjoy an uneasy peace. As a clever man once said, we make peace with our enemies, not our friends,

There are a million reasons to break the peace. It is a herculean task to maintain the peace. It is often a thankless task. Today Picard and Gul Dukat (or whatever his alias is) kept the peace. For one more day, at least, the fighting is kept at bay. Meanwhile, everyone sharpens their swords. And waits.
Mon, Apr 19, 2021, 4:35pm (UTC -6)
Regarding whether Maxwell was "unhinged"-- interesting debate, I remember wondering if he was unhinged or not. In Trek, there's about a 95% chance a visiting Starfleet officer will be unhinged.

But I didn't see him as obviously unhinged. I think the actor did a great job skirting the line. He definitely seemed war weary and troubled. I guess ultimately he really wasn't unhinged.

Bleh, I still wish they had found a way to bring this sort of thing in without there having been a massive ongoing war that was never before mentioned.

It really seems like they were itching to do this kind of thing as soon as Gene was practically on his death bed. The problem is, this kind of thing just turns Trek into something else.
Chief O'Brien
Tue, Jun 1, 2021, 3:32pm (UTC -6)
How you can rate this lower than "Data's Day" is beyond my understanding. This episode has so much going for it: no Deanna, no Riker, lots of O'Brien, intergalactic politics, a strong guest cast - it's excellent! Definitely deserving of a 3.5. I guess if you find the ending "counterproductive" then that explains the lower score, since you obviously missed the intent of the episode.
Mon, Aug 16, 2021, 8:45pm (UTC -6)
O'Brien's starring role in TNG. This episode honestly felt like a pilot for Deep Space Nine, where O'Brien and the Cardassian's are main and center and a nice preview of what was to come.

The peaceful solution at the end of the episode was a nice resolve of conflict compared to what would have been a much worse ending. And the Cardassian's are not let off scott-free either, as we know something is up with them. Strong show.
Sat, Aug 28, 2021, 3:19am (UTC -6)
Was this episode suppressed in the UK because of the Irish marching song? Does anyone here know? Either that, or I have unaccountably forgotten that this was when the Cardassians were introduced.

It’s a very good episode. A Federation starship pursuing another, with representatives of the “enemy” on board; the general theme of “what aggressive action is justified to preserve peace?” and “who is the enemy?”; the whole air of mistrust and the main characters dancing delicately around each other. It was realistic in its depiction of “the uneasy peace” and the suspicions aroused, but with two leading commanders determined to preserve it as far as possible.

I actually didn’t like Maxwell’s character: there was nothing about him to justify O’Brien’s claim “I’ve served under the two finest captains…”. He just seemed like a typical obsessive, irrational and violent towards his personal enemy. Was he correct about the “supply ships “? It was a good question to leave hanging at the end, but one thing was very clearly a main point of the story: without any firm proof, suspicions do not justify killing 700 people under any circumstances; Maxwell could easily have shared his thoughts with the Enterprise first, and discussed what action was necessary - Picard was not, after all, a “time wasting bureaucrat”.

One question: how does O’Brien demote from Tactical Officer under Maxwell to Transporter Chief?

Not quite 4 stars but definitely 3.5
Jason R.
Sat, Aug 28, 2021, 8:45am (UTC -6)
"One question: how does O’Brien demote from Tactical Officer under Maxwell to Transporter Chief?"

It's the Enterprise, the flagship of the fleet. Not necessarily a demotion.
Sat, Aug 28, 2021, 8:57am (UTC -6)
Let's just forget about O'Briens rank because that makes no sense. You cannot be demoted from being a tactical officer to what O'Brien is. Well, maybe if you crash a ship while being drunk.
Peter G.
Sat, Aug 28, 2021, 10:26am (UTC -6)
@ Tidd and Jason R,

"It's the Enterprise, the flagship of the fleet. Not necessarily a demotion."

DS9 addresses this point. Tidd, have you watched that show yet?


In DS9's Empok Nor we hear a bit about how O'Brien was in security/tactical leading up to the Cardassian war, but because of the things he had to do in the war he switched career tracks into engineering. Presumably this meant starting lower down in the totem pole as he got experience. The actual rank is of course a wash, since TNG messed up on the officer/noncom issue. But it makes sense he'd have a less prestigious position if he had just switched into engineering at the onset of TNG.
Sun, Aug 29, 2021, 2:16am (UTC -6)
@Peter G

Thanks for that. It’s a long time since I watched DS9 and I’m not so good at remembering that level of detail!
Sat, Oct 2, 2021, 5:13pm (UTC -6)
I know I am totally twisted and this is coming completely from left field, but I have always found the Cardassians to be very sexy. What can I say, it all comes down to individual taste... Wait, they don't exist and I'm married to a human male. Love you, hon!
Big Poppa the XVII-th
Fri, Oct 15, 2021, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
Phoenix with it's shields DOWN - two-shots a Cardassian "warship", then one-shots a supply ship.

And I'm supposed to believe the Cardassians were ever an actual threat to the Federation? LOL what a joke.

Hell, let Maxwell off the leash, and tell him to set course for Cardassia Prime and steamroll any of their "warships" on the way. No support needed, no battlegroup. JUST the Phoenix. Then issue a surrender ultimatum to the Detapa Council. A week later, Cardassia is a Federation world.

End of story XD .
Big Poppa the XVII-th
Fri, Oct 15, 2021, 12:20pm (UTC -6)
Oh and while he's at it, he may as well detour to the Talarian Republic and bring them to heel too (they are right next to Cardassian space, and are even more technologically pathetic).

2 flies with 1 stone.

Just imagine if the Federation had even 1/10th of the Terran Empire's expansionist bias. Alpha and Beta quadrants would have been conquered long ago.
Wed, Dec 1, 2021, 3:23am (UTC -6)
This is one of the best Star Trek episodes, as seen by the thoughtful comments here and how affected many of us are by it. Mal's review above is superlative and was a particular pleasure to read. I hope that Jammer watches this episode again, as his comment about the ending strikes me as having missed the beat on this one. I give it a 9/10.

The ending is beautiful because it creates a likelihood that Picard and Maxwell are both right. Picard knows this. They both did what they had to do, heroically, and it is grim for both of them. Maxwell is quite possibly a hero who stopped a massive Cardassian sneak attack against the Federation from occurring. He might well have saved millions or even billions of Federation lives. There's a good chance that he deserves another medal for what he has done, and a good chance that history, when more of the facts are eventually revealed, will credit him for his actions. At the same time, Picard's actions to stop and detain Maxwell are necessary and likely save millions of lives by preventing escalation to war. Picard's role requires him to persecute the hero for the greater good. The hero's role requires him to become the villain for the greater good. The federation is not prepared for war, they could lose, Maxwell saved them, and Picard also saved them.

It's not 100% clear that Maxwell was correct in his conclusions about Cardassian actions and intent, but the ending indicates it is extremely likely that he was. Once Picard had seen more or less what Maxwell saw about the situation in that area and the ships that the Cardassians were running there, he came to the same conclusion himself.

So this is a beautiful, tragic story that is full of depth.

All of the Cardassians felt fleshed out and real. Time Winters, who played the friendly Cardassian, Glin Daro, was especially convincing imo, and that role went a long way in giving the Cardassians depth.

The one glaring flaw in the episode, for me, was Picard allowing Maxwell to return to his ship and continue to command. This completely broke my suspension of disbelief, but with so much other great stuff going on in the episode it can be set aside and looked over. What I actually expected when they caught up to Maxwell's ship was that Maxwell would be handed over to the Cardassians. It would make sense for them to insist on at least that much.

There are other nitpicks and small incredulities or inconsistencies, but no more than is found in almost any TNG episode.

To answer a couple of quibbles mentioned by other reviewers :

Were the Cardassians so damn weak that one second class Federation ship could take them all out? I didn't find it that way, Maxwell launched a sneak attack in the first place and didn't seem to be fighting Cardassian flagships but a random warship that happened to be nearest his vicinity (plus the suspicious "supply ships"). Also, the Federation ships seem to be quite powerful individually, when they get in fights with, e.g. Klingons, the enemy often is running multiple ships while the Federation ships tend to run solo. It doesn't seem surprising to me that one federation ship is pretty formidable in one v one battles.

What about Maxwell's crew? The scene with Obrien and how Maxwell was so ready at the hip with his phaser indicated to me that Maxwell had seized direct control of his ship and was operating it personally. This may have been easier than it sounds if the crew was basically sympathetic to his intentions and offered only lukewarm resistance. But even if they offered strong resistance, as one of the Federation's finest officers, a Picard/Kirk type of figure, it is within his potential capabilities to seize full control of his ship and lock out the crew. The readiness with the phaser indicates he anticipated possible confrontation from the crew. This would also protect his crew from the consequences of his actions, which fits Maxwell's reported exceptional qualities. Overall, it makes perfect sense to me and is logically consistent, it also explains why Picard would allow the first officer to subsequently command the ship back to Federation space after putting Maxwell in the brig.

I thought that the ancient Irish ballad was well used, and go look up the words it's a beautiful poem.
Jason R.
Wed, Dec 1, 2021, 8:35am (UTC -6)
@Troubador another aspect of the show that I found a bit hard to accept was the total absence of Maxwell's crew in the affair. When O'Brien beams over he just waltzes into Maxwell's office (presumably through the bridge!) and it just seems like the Phoenix must be uninhabited save Maxwell.

What did the crew of the Phoenix think about this? Especially once the Enterprise showed up! Were they that devoted to their captain that they were cool with running away from the Federation flagship to go on a renegade mission to hunt Cardassians? I mean maybe Maxwell could have initially pulled the wool over their eyes by saying the attacks were on secret orders from Starfleet but surely once the Enterprise was on the scene the jig was up. The episode seems to make Maxwell the only player in this, which I get from a dramatic perspective in the confines of a 45 minute episode, but nevertheless it strains credulity.
Jason R.
Wed, Dec 1, 2021, 8:38am (UTC -6)
Boy I guess I should have read previous comments first as my point about Maxwell's crew was already made by others.
Peter G.
Wed, Dec 1, 2021, 8:48am (UTC -6)
Personally I don't view the issue about Maxwell's crew as being such a mystery. We're told in the episode that those who serve under him are insanely loyal to him, O'Brien included, even though the latter's duties are to Picard and the Enterprise now. But he still sticks his neck out for Maxwell. I don't need to have scenes with extras bowing to Maxwell as he walks by to know they're on his side. Of course they are, he's a great man. His trouble is that he's a man suited probably better to war, and believes he is still in one, probably correctly. And this explains his phaser as well: in wartime, behind enemy lines, he is probably expecting to suddenly be borded on short notice, so it makes sense to have a sidearm handy. If we wanted to nitpick, what actually doesn't make sense is the lack of body armor and personal deflector shields. So I'm happy to let that sort of minutiae rest, and to settle for understanding that Maxwell's phasor is an indicator of him being in a state of open hostilities with the Cardassians.

I think Maxwell anticipates the later Captain Jellico, in that without such men the Federation would be at a disadvantage against ruthless foes. You can't have diplomats occupying all the captain's chairs. In fact, I'm almost wondering why they didn't bring Maxwell out of house arrest of whatever to be the one to command the Enterprise in Chain of Command. That would have been some sweet continuity, and would have gone a long way to explain the immediate ruffled feathers with the Enterprise crew. Not that I'm complaining about Ronny Cox, who is awesome.
Mon, Dec 13, 2021, 8:40pm (UTC -6)
Good episode, but one thing that seemed very out of place is this 'song' Chief O'Brien and the crew sang no more than 5-10 years ago on a Star Fleet Starship and not a part of the British Royal Navy circa 1850. Cant imagine the crew on a Star Fleet ship having a war song they would sing.
Thu, Dec 30, 2021, 9:53am (UTC -6)
One thing that I think that has happened also:

Picard had a gut feeling that Maxwell, as unhinged as he was, wasn't completely without reason. Offcourse he could not reveal the plot of the Cardassians itself, because his hands where bound, and war would've broken out if he where to go in and investigate Cardassian ships.

So I think Picard was at least 2 x 'neglectfull' in his persuit of the Phoenix, so that Maxwell could play the cards Picard couldn't.

First when the situation was hot, the Enterprise only went in persuit of the Phoenix with warp 4. And secondly he returned Maxwell to the Phoenix because he knew exactly that Maxwell would reveal the plot.

Picard played this cold war diplomatic chessgame like a master. Keeping the piece and still revealing the Cardassian plot at the border.
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 3:35am (UTC -6)
SkepticalMI said:

"And thanks to the ending, that's really what the story is about. Presumably the Cardassians aren't going to start another war (given how pathetically outmatched they are here, why would they want to?). "

See...this is why I agree with Jammer than the ending *doesn't* work.

Why would a so obviously weaker foe be the aggressor? It makes no sense.

The episode tried to have its cake and eat it too, so to speak, by having the Cardassians be both aggressive *and* pathetic.
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 4:49am (UTC -6)
"Why would a so obviously weaker foe be the aggressor? It makes no sense."
There numerous instances in history where a far weaker foe was the aggressor. One of the most glaring examples is the second Boer War. When the Boer republics declared war on Great Britain, the Brits thought it a joke. The soon found out that it was anything but.

Alexander's conquest of Persia is another example. Japan's attack on the USA. Essentially all wars of national liberation. A fairly recent example (2008) is the Russo Georgian war.
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 6:12am (UTC -6)
"There numerous instances in history where a far weaker foe was the aggressor. "
So so right.
Confederate States of America (1861).
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 6:28am (UTC -6)
True. Another example would be the Falkland war.
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 6:31am (UTC -6)
This episode takes place in 2367. Just six years later, Cardassia does engage in a major war with the Federation, and this fleet was surely an important part of the war effort. I can't imagine Maxwell was sitting in his cell just a few years after this episode saying anything other than "I told you so".

As above, it is right to say that being weaker in itself needn't stop an aggressor, and obviously what happened here is the aggressor found a very strong ally anyway.
Jason R.
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 7:49am (UTC -6)
True. Another example would be the Falkland war."

Debatable. One lucky hit with an Exocet would have ended that war. History is full of examples of weaker parties using a combination of diplomacy and force to defeat stronger opponents. Worked like a charm for Hitler.
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 8:08am (UTC -6)
@Jason R
I wasn't arguing that Argentina could have won that war even though I find that doubtful. This example was about the fact that Great Britain was far more powerful than Argentina and Argentina still attacked. In that sense it fit.

There is an interesting aspect (Well, I find it interesting) about the form of government and success in war. Dictatorship far more often lose wars than democracies who win the vast majority of wars and win all the time when they start a war. There are several hypothesis why that is. 1. It is easier for dictatorships to start wars. 2. Dictatorships want to prolong their lifespan by starting a war 3. Democracies don't attack other democracies 4. Democracies only attack weaker enemies; to name a few hypothesis.
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 8:09am (UTC -6)
This would apply to the Cardassian Federation conflict.
Jason R.
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 9:01am (UTC -6)
"There is an interesting aspect (Well, I find it interesting) about the form of government and success in war. Dictatorship far more often lose wars than democracies who win the vast majority of wars and win all the time when they start a war. There are several hypothesis why that is. 1. It is easier for dictatorships to start wars. 2. Dictatorships want to prolong their lifespan by starting a war 3. Democracies don't attack other democracies 4. Democracies only attack weaker enemies; to name a few hypothesis."

Democracy is such a new thing (at least the liberal kind) that the sample size is way too small to draw any real conclusions.
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 9:40am (UTC -6)
The Democratic Peace is a well established theory.

Sample size is a point of contention. Here is a reputable study from 1998 about the topic.
Jason R.
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 9:54am (UTC -6)
Well okay but does team dictatorship get credit for all of Germany's conquests during WW2?
Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 10:04am (UTC -6)
The methodology is explained in the study. :)
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 1:41am (UTC -6)
Great episode imo. I like to pretend that it really is Gul dukat but he's going by a different name that starfleet doesn't yet know so he would be more likely to get their cooperation. Marc alaimo is a great actor and even his first cardassian role is played so well.
Thu, Jul 21, 2022, 11:20am (UTC -6)
Having the Cardassians actually be guilty of what Maxwell was accusing them of really hurt the episode in my opinion. They shouldn't have tried to justify what he did, there was no justification for disobeying orders or mass murder. One of the things I never liked about the show was how enemies like the Cardassians and the Romulans were always treated as one-dimensional over the top evil races.

It was ridiculous that Maxwell wasn't thrown into the brig immediately the first time they caught him. Letting him return to his ship and maintain his command for the journey back to Federation space? Absurd. Imagine the police catching a murderer and then telling him he was free to drive himself the police station as long as he promised to be good.
Thu, Jul 21, 2022, 12:33pm (UTC -6)
The Cardassians and Romulans are clearly not shown as "one-dimensional over the top evil races." Watch Balance of Terror. Watch The Enterprise Incident. Watch The Defector. Watch Duet. Watch any Garak episode. And on and on and on.

The twist at the end of The Wounded gives the episode another layer of depth. It isn't there to "justify" what Maxwell did. It's there to drive home the point that sometimes, even when you are technically right, you can still be wrong. Maxwell was right about what the Cardassians were up to, but it didn't give him carte blanche to kill civilians or start an interstellar war.
Thu, Sep 22, 2022, 1:14am (UTC -6)
It is interesting to note that brief melody of the closing music as Picard turns his chair and his back on Gul Macet has shades of the DS9 Theme, which is quite interesting given the other DS9 parallels.
Gilligan’s Starship
Sat, Dec 10, 2022, 3:50pm (UTC -6)
This is a pretty tense, well-done story — I only had a couple quibbles with it, but they are more than made up for by the stronger elements of the script.

And Patrick Stewart’s understated performance in this ep is just top-notch, you can feel the conflicting emotions within him about this mission, but without any over-the-top histrionics. Plus, Marc Alaimo superbly lays the groundwork for Gul Dukat in this ep. He plays the “villain” with so many layers, you’re just not sure if you should side with him or hate him. I can see why they ended up casting him in DS9. Also, loved the bar scene with O’Brien & the Cardassian—wasn’t expecting it to go down the road it did & it was powerful.
Thu, Dec 22, 2022, 8:49pm (UTC -6)
This was a rough patch for Picard. In the previous episode he gets duped by a Romulan spy. Here he watches Maxwell murder 650 Cardassians before finally deciding to go to warp 9 ( for some they were only at warp 4).

Then Picard nonchalantly ignores the Cardassian snooping around Starfleet computers.

He then refuses to put Captain Maxwell in the brig, resulting in his escape which then leads to a hostage situation.

Picard wants to trust everybody, but it doesn't serve him here very well. He's a great explorer but he's terrible at maintaining basic security when the stakes are high.
matthew h
Mon, May 29, 2023, 2:25pm (UTC -6)
I disliked O'Brien gettting away with the old Golda Meir self-righteous aggression excusing cop-out of will we forgive them for killing our kids but not forgive them for making us kill theirs.,love%20their%20children%20more%20than%20they%20hate%20us.%E2%80%9D
Thu, Jul 13, 2023, 9:20am (UTC -6)
The Cardassian uniforms look like they are made of chocolate.

Submit a comment

I agree to the terms of use

◄ Season Index

▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2023 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. Terms of use.