Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 5 Episode 24

Empok Nor

1
Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM May 19, 1997 on Syndicado
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
125 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Stardate: Unknown

In order to repair the damaged Deep Space Nine, O'Brien assembles a team to salvage parts from the abandoned Empok Nor, an old Cardassian station which is of the same design as Deep Space Nine. However, their presence sets off an old booby trap that puts all their lives in danger.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A taut, edgy thriller.

    9.0
    Of the dozen or so thriller episodes featured on DS9, this may be the most claustrophobic and intense. Taking place on a dark, derelict station, several Starfleet officers including Nog and O'Brien are hunted by a series of psychopathic, murderous Cardassians. The twist, of course, is that one of those psychopaths is played by Andy Robinson's Garak.



    Now, this kind of story isn't anything new - it's been used in countless horror movies, and contains a lot of the same cliches. But because of the history of the characters, there's a depth here that lifts it beyond the genre of cheap scares. (Though there are some of these two - I was on the edge of my seat even after repeat viewings.) We know the Chief's history and we know Garak's history - and that makes for compelling TV. The obviously-soon-to-be-dead engineers are given enough depth that their deaths are genuinely unsettling rather than just routine.



    A classic episode.moreless
  • One to watch.

    9.1
    Lets face it Garak is one of the more interesting characters in the entire show. His detachment from the rest of the station crew and his problems with his own people make his personal problems seem galactic compared with the other cast. Here these dilemmas are brought to the fore w/o any self-influence. With the station needing a replacement part, Sisko orders OBrien to go to an abandoned Cardie Space station in a nearby sector. Unfortunately because of the Cardassians love of booby trapping these places, Garak is asked to accompany the engineering team, inc. Nog. On the trip there, Garak keeps digging at the Chiefs time as a solider and his heroic action during a battle with the Cardies. OBrien wanting to keep the peace lets its go.



    When they get their immediately, things go wrong as two Cardiassan elite soldiers awake from statis. Drugged with a substance that makes Cardarssians deranged and attack any non-Cardie they set about killing the engineering crew, but not before blowing up the shuttle.



    Now trapped the engineering crew is taken out in twos. I thought this was a bit of false storyline in that someone with the Chiefs experience would have setup a defensive position and then tried to get things done from there. Having Garak trapped within their position would have made for a hilarious set of scenes.



    However, the inevitable change from one set of opponents to another is what drives the story in this episode and works expectionally well. With Nog and OBrien the only ones left to take on Garak we know that Nog will get captured for the Chief to be the last to face the superior strength of the Caradassian.



    The ending is a little predictable, but not entirely and Garaks revelation at the end is a good ending imo.



    Definitely a top season episode.moreless
  • The episode is memorable for one reason: Andrew Robinson's turn as a psychopathic killer.

    9.5
    It's not O'Brien's lucky week. When something on DS9 breaks that can't be replaced, he (along with Nog, Garak and a half-dozen engineering and security personnel) goes to the station's "sister station", Empok Nor, long abandoned by the Cardassians. At first things go smoothly, but soon it's clear that there have been Cardassians left behind. This is when the episode begins to morph into a version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which it pulls off actually quite effectively), but things change in a second when the crew realizes that Garak might be their real enemy.



    The episode does introduce the Empok Nor station, which the show would return to several more times. Also, it introduces the first racial slur in Star Trek history ("spoonheads" for Cardassians). Ultimately, though, this is an episode in which Robinson gets to reprise his psychotic killer persona from Dirty Harry, which he apparently was reluctant to do. Robinson makes for an electrifying and magnetic sociopath, totally unpredictable, that virtually every moment grabs your attention. This guy could have played a Hannibal Lecter so scary that Tony Hopkins would be under the covers. Robinson apparently didn't like this episode because he never wanted to be typecast as "crazy" types, however, it turns out to be memorable, but not in a permanent, character-altering way. Plus, I especially like O'Brien's final trick--he really is an engineer now, as he says.moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman

Quark

Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

Lt./Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (Season 1-6)

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt. Commander Worf (Season 4-7)

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Tom Hodges

Tom Hodges

Pechetti

Guest Star

Andy Milder

Andy Milder

Boq'ta

Guest Star

Marjean Holden

Marjean Holden

Stolzoff

Guest Star

Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson

Garak

Recurring Role

Aron Eisenberg

Aron Eisenberg

Nog

Recurring Role

Mark Allen Shepherd

Mark Allen Shepherd

Morn (uncredited)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (6)

    • This episode marked the first appearance of an environmental suit in Star Trek since the TOS episode "Whom Gods Destroy".

    • Nitpick: While they are working, there's an awful lot of chatter, particularly after they all know that they are being hunted by psychotic Cardassians! A security crewman like Amaro would know better than to talk rather than listen for the enemy's approach.

    • Nitpick: The phaser rifle used in this episode uses a white light attachment to illuminate their way. What should have been used (and is used in the US army) is a red light. This will not affect ones' night vision.

    • Nitpick: Amaro says that he and Stolzoff were at the Academy together, but both were clearly shown to be enlisted crew members (no rank pips), and so never attended the Academy.

    • Goof: When the salvage team is discussing how to call for help after the runabout is destroyed, O'Brien tells Pechetti and Stolzoff to go to the Habitat Ring. However, when they are shown (and killed) they are working on the Promenade, which is part of the central core, not the Habitat Ring.

    • Goof: As O'Brien and Nog discuss Setlek III, you can see a blue actor's mark showing where Nog is supposed to stand.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Garak: (refusing to go with Boq'ta) I don't intend to stand around waiting to be killed!
      O'Brien: Meaning what?!
      Garak: Meaning I'm going after those two Cardassian soldiers and neutralize them. Besides, all this whining is giving me a headache!

    • O'Brien: You look different. That's not the face of a tailor.
      Garak: I'm not a tailor. Not for the moment anyway.

    • Garak: Asking a Ferengi to play a Cardassian game, is like asking a Klingon to chew with his mouth closed.

    • O'Brien: So, how did Captain Sisko convince you to come?
      Garak: How do you know I didn't volunteer?
      O'Brien: He threatened, didn't he?
      Garak: Nothing so coarse. The Captain bribed me.

    • Garak: Well, it's just that lately I've noticed everyone seems to trust me! It's quite unnerving, I'm still trying to get used to it! Next thing I know, people are going to be inviting me to their homes for dinner!
      O'Brien: Well, if it makes you feel any better, I promise I will never have you over.
      Garak: I appreciate that, Chief.

    • Garak: Secure is such a relative term, wouldn't you agree?

  • NOTES (2)

    • The racist term "spoonhead" used by Amaro was not in the script and wasn't meant to be heard. It was left in because it made the scene more real. This does go against Gene Roddenberry's view that Starfleet personnel would never act racist.

    • Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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