Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 6 Episode 18


Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Apr 08, 1998 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
146 votes
  • The Inquisition, look out for sin

    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.

  • A great episode, sadly overshadowed by its successor.

    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.
  • Bashir is acussed of being a spy for the Dominion.

    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.
  • Prequel to "In the Pale Moonlight"

    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.
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