Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 6 Episode 18

Inquisition

2
Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Apr 08, 1998 on Syndicado
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
143 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Stardate: Unknown Bashir falls under suspicion of unknowingly supplying information to the Dominion, however, all is not as it may seem.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Inquisition, look out for sin

    7.5
    Director Michael Dorn cuts a quick pace to build the tension in this Bashir episode that initially seems like a redo of TNG's "The Drumhead" - a witch hunt filled with paranoid hearings that mines past episodes in search of evidence of wrongdoing - before becoming more like "Future Imperfect". (Specifically,"Inquisition" gets a lot of mileage out of "Dr. Bashir, I Presume?", "In Purgatory's Shadow", and "Statistical Probabilities"). Alexander Siddig, avoiding the temptation of overacting, plays it well, showing frustration but never allowing Bashir to lose his head. He's joined by guest star William Sadler, serving as the episode's Joseph McCarthy, who gives a memorable performance as Sloan, injecting the mysterious figure with an almost cheerful feistiness as he tries to corner his opponent with words. Meanwhile, just as Picard is pulled into the fray in "The Drumhead", a frustrated Sisko comes to the aid of Bashir, allowing Brooks to deliver some passionate arguments, which is right up his alley. But as events and characterizations get more and more preposterous, it becomes evident that all is not as it seems, with Sloan turning out to be more Nathan R. Jessup than McCarthy, all but saying, "Son, we live in a world that has walls, and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives!"



    In the end we're teased with the promise of a sequel, which happens in six season's "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges". Meanwhile, the mysterious Section 31, introduced here, becomes a somewhat recurring part of Star Trek from here on out.

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  • A great episode, sadly overshadowed by its successor.

    9.0
    Placing "Inquisition" back to back with "In the Pale Moonlight" was an inspired bit of plotting by the show's producers. First, we learn that the saintly Starfleet is willing to get its hands dirty - then, that our protagonists may be willing to do this too!



    This episode mixes in a bunch of different threads from Star Trek history. The basic concept is reminiscent of "Future Imperfect" and "Frame of Mind" - an alternate reality, in the latter case designed in order to "break" an individual. Parts 2 of "The Search" and "Chain of Command" also anticipate some of the ideas.



    William Sadler is just the perfect antagonist here - I love the shots in which he is introduced, with diabolical shadows under his eyes. Relentless, merciless - the term "Inquisition" is used with intentional reference to the old Spanish sort.



    Bashir is the perfect counterpoint, naive and principled. Toward the end he begins to lose his sanity, much like Riker in "Frame of Mind".



    I didn't find the twist of Sloane offering Bashir the opportunity to work in Section 31 to be particularly convincing or necessary - but the open-ended conclusion does do a great job of opening a wonderful can of moral worms.moreless
  • Bashir is acussed of being a spy for the Dominion.

    10
    This episode is definitely one of my all-time favorite Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes. The main reason that this one of all-time favorite Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes is that is that it's a very Dr. Bashir-centric episode and Dr. Bashir happens to be both my favorite character from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the Star Trek franchise as a whole. Basically, any Dr. Bashir-centric episode is one of my favorite Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes. All in all, this is a great episode, and I have continued to enjoy it even years after seeing it for the first time.moreless
  • Prequel to "In the Pale Moonlight"

    10
    Much has been made of "In The Pale Moonlight" and its pulling of the veil from Gene Roddenberry's idealistic future. Virtually nothing has been said about this episode, which aired one week before and grappled with the same themes. "Inquisition" is not really an alternate reality episode, but it is one where the reality is much more horrifying than that which is experienced by Dr. Julian Bashir, Chief Medical Officer, Deep Space Nine.



    The story, so much as can be told, occurs when the staff of DS9 (less Sisko, perhaps because of his unquestioned integrity? This was pre-"Moonlight) is interrogated. Someone has been passing information to the Dominion, and before long, Deputy Director Sloane (played to menacing perfection by William Sadler) sets his sights on Bashir. Sloane's theory: that Bashir was broken by the Dominion during the events preceding "In Purgatory's Shadow" and made to serve them thanks to his logical sense and desire to save lives. It seems implausible, but then again, this is the man who wanted to surrender to the Dominion in "Statistical Probabilities." That incident, plus many others, are woven together to form a plausible conspiracy that even makes the audience believe.



    Why do I like this episode so much? For one thing, I love mysteries where everything rests on one insignificant clue. Also, it introduces Section 31, the shadow organization that acts like the CIA before the Church Committee, only they happen to be zealots instead of pragmatists. It also contains a message for our present-day situation, where secret organizations sap our rights and destroy our values every day without any seeming outroar--in order to end these things, a person has to stand up.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

William Sadler

William Sadler

Sloan

Guest Star

Samantha Mudd

Samantha Mudd

Chandler

Guest Star

Benjamin Brown

Benjamin Brown

Kagan

Guest Star

Jeffrey Combs

Jeffrey Combs

Weyoun

Recurring Role

Judi Durand

Judi Durand

Station Computer Voice

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: In a scene on the Dominion ship right after the Defiant attacks and before Bashir is beamed out by Kira and Worf Bashir's commbadge reappears for a brief shot and then disappears again.

    • Section 31 is first introduced in the Star Trek universe.

    • Sloan tells Bashir that Section 31 has existed since the inception of the Federation, and that they were originally part of the Federation Charter. However, as seen in the Enterprise two-parter "Affliction" and "Divergence", Section 31 has been operating since before the Federation was founded.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Bashir: (when Sloan tries to recruit him for Section 31) Well I'm sorry, but the ends don't always justify the means!
      Sloan: Really. How many lives have you saved in your medical career?
      Bashir: What has that got to do with anything?
      Sloan: Hundreds? Thousands? Do you suppose those people give a damn that you lied to get into Starfleet Medical?

    • Sloan: Congratulations doctor, it's not often we're proven wrong.
      Bashir: I take it you finally believe that I am not a Dominion spy.
      Sloan: I am leaning heavily towards that direction, but to erase any lingering doubts, why don't we do one final test?
      Bashir: I've finished playing games with you, Sloan!
      Sloan: I can assure you, this is no game.

    • Sloan: Our official designation is Section 31. We keep a low profile. Works out better that way for all concerned. We search out and identify potential dangers to the Federation. Once they're identified, we deal with them.
      Bashir: How?
      Sloan: Quietly. Section 31 was part of the original Starfleet charter. We don't submit reports or ask for specific approvals. We are an autonomous department.
      Bashir: But the original Starfleet charter was created over 200 years ago. You're telling me you've been working on our own ever since? Without specific orders? Accountable to nobody but yourselves?
      Sloan: You make it sound so ominous.
      Bashir: You and your friends function as judge, jury and executioners, and that's too much power for any department.
      Sloan: I admit, it takes exceptional people to do what we do, people who can sublimate their ambitions to the best interests of the Federation - people like you.

    • Kagan: I was with the Seventh Fleet when the Dominion attacked the Tyra system. Ninety-eight of our ships were destroyed in a matter of hours. I lost a lot of friends.
      Bashir: I lost friends there, too.
      Chandlet: I believe that, but yours were Jem'Hadar.

    • Sloan: I've had enough of your lies, Doctor! You think you're smarter than the rest of us, don't you? Smarter than the millions of brave men and women who are putting their lives on the line for the Federation. You want to do things the hard way? Fine. But I'm going to get the truth out of you. And when I'm done, I'm going to take whatever's left and lock it away.

  • NOTES (7)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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