Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1996): S05E04 – …Nor the Battle to the Strong


Introduction

“Nor the Battle to the Strong” is the 102nd episode of the American syndicated science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the fourth episode of the fifth season.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures on Deep Space Nine, a space station located near a stable wormhole between the Alpha and Gamma quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy. In this episode, Jake Sisko (Cirroc Lofton) finds himself helping out in an emergency field hospital at a Federation colony under Klingon attack.

This episode attained a Nielsen rating of 5 points, corresponding to about 4.9 million viewers when it was broadcast on television in October 1996.

Outline

Jake Sisko (Cirroc Lofton) is returning from a medical conference with Dr. Bashir (Alexander Siddig). Although Jake had intended to write an article about the doctor, he discovers he is having trouble finding anything interesting to write about. This changes when they receive a distress call from a Federation colony which has just been attacked by the Klingons. Jake is eager about the potential for a good story, and convinces Dr. Bashir to take him along to respond.

Meanwhile, Chief O’Brien (Colm Meaney) tries to get Major Kira (Nana Visitor), who is pregnant serving as surrogate for the Chief’s baby, to drink decaffeinated coffee – which proves impossible. Then Lt. Commander Worf (Michael Dorn) and Quark (Armin Shimerman) side with O’Brien in an argument of concern over Kira’s pregnancy, while Lt. Commander Dax (Terry Farrell) sides with Kira. Quark points out that Kira’s pregnancy would be considered a “rental” on Ferenginar. Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) enters and informs the others of the situation with Bashir and Jake. The USS Farragut is due to arrive at the colony in a couple of days, after which Bashir and Jake will be free to leave.

Jake finds he has trouble handling the chaotic emergency room situation at the hospital, particularly triage – the sorting of a patient’s severity. One of the patients, a Starfleet officer, claims to have been shot in the foot by the Klingons. Bashir later discovers that the wound was self-inflicted, intended to get him out of the fighting. Jake is disgusted by the man’s cowardice. Everyone expects the Klingons will take over the settlement within days if no reinforcements arrive.

Back on DS9, Constable Odo (René Auberjonois) is still adjusting to being a solid as he was released from the infirmary after a scuffle with a few customers at Quark’s. Sisko hears how he was injured, and learns he jumped off the stairs planning to shapeshift and catch the culprits. Odo notes that, though he is called “solid,” humanoid bodies are fragile. This makes Sisko worry about Jake’s safety, but Odo assures him that Dr. Bashir is watching him, and that worrying will do no good for either of them. Dax enters and tells Sisko the Farragut has been destroyed by Klingon forces, so Sisko quickly takes command of the Defiant and sets a course for the colony.

When the power goes out from a Klingon surprise attack, Jake and Dr. Bashir attempt to retrieve a portable generator from the runabout. While en route to the generator, they come under fire from the Klingons. Terrified, Jake abandons Dr. Bashir and runs from the bombardment. Jake comes across a mortally wounded combat officer and is desperate to help him, but the officer accuses Jake of trying to redeem his cowardice before he dies. When Jake returns to the cavern, he finds everyone relieved to find him. Because no one saw him running, he claims that he became disoriented and was knocked unconscious. Bashir blames himself for putting Jake in danger, which makes Jake feel even worse for his own failings, and more so for his refusal to admit what he had done.

En route to the colony, Sisko works on pattern buffers to power up efficiency and thus keep himself distracted. To put Sisko at ease, Dax tells him a story about one of her past lives as a mother with a sick child. Though the child recovered, neither of them talked to each other for eight years. They smile and return to work as the Defiant draws closer to Jake.

Jake talks to the soldier who shot himself in the foot, now more understanding of how he was feeling. The soldier knows his Starfleet career is over and is so distraught that he wishes he aimed his phaser higher up his body. Jake is also upset at how calm people are acting, especially taking issue with their gallows humour, and yells at them, saying nobody will remember this war in another decade. Bashir consoles him and tries to make him open up, knowing something is eating at him. Jake demands to be left alone, and when Bashir reluctantly leaves, Jake’s guilt drives him to tears. Then the Klingons attack while Jake is sleeping. As the medical team tries to evacuate everyone, Jake is attacked by two Klingons. He picks up the phaser of a dead guard and begins firing wildly, which causes a cave-in and knocks himself unconscious.

Jake wakes to see his father and learns that because of the cave-in, the patients were able to escape. He also survives without much injury other than a few bruises. He is considered a hero, but he knows he isn’t one, and so he decides to make the difficult decision to write the truth in the article, concluding that the line between courage and cowardice is much thinner than he had thought. He gives a copy to Bashir and another to his father, who understands how Jake was feeling and tells his son how proud he is.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Kim Friedman.
  • Writer(s): Brice R. Parker.
  • Release Date: 21 October 1996.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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