Question about an episode: The one where Picard got captured by the Cardassians.

  • Avatar of macadamwest

    macadamwest

    [1]Apr 5, 2007
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    I just saw this on spike TV and I got a little confused. All throughout the entire show the question was being asked, "How many lights do you see?" And Picard kept answering " I see 4 lights". The Cardassian would get mad because there were really 5 lights.

    Why was the number of lights so important? I know it has to be important because they would not continue to go back to it if it was not.

     Can anyone help explain this to me?

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  • Avatar of alex20020712

    alex20020712

    [2]Apr 5, 2007
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    Obviously, Gul Madred wanted to break Picard. This was a way of saying, "you will see the number of light *I* tell you to see. Your perception of reality and your thoughts are no longer yours."

     

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  • Avatar of macadamwest

    macadamwest

    [3]Apr 5, 2007
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    Ooooh OK. So Picard did indeed see 5 lights but he told him he saw 4 to protect his individuality and his identity and not for submission?
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  • Avatar of lennydonkey

    lennydonkey

    [4]Apr 5, 2007
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    macadamwest wrote:
    Ooooh OK. So Picard did indeed see 5 lights but he told him he saw 4 to protect his individuality and his identity and not for submission?


    Exactly. When Picard "saw" 5 lights it he knew it was a sign that the Cardasian had broken him, and he would belive what the Cardassian said was true, even if it was blatently false. Holding his ground and claiming he saw four lights was his last grasp at holding on to his individuallity.
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  • Avatar of lwnordrfn

    lwnordrfn

    [5]Jun 6, 2007
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    Great Picard epi!!! When Picard returns to the Enterprise, he tells Troi that even though he continued to say that he saw 4 light, by the end of his ordeal, he was actually seeing 5! ITs too sad!
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  • Avatar of thedirtyberk

    thedirtyberk

    [6]Jul 16, 2007
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    lwnordrfn wrote:
    Great Picard epi!!! When Picard returns to the Enterprise, he tells Troi that even though he continued to say that he saw 4 light, by the end of his ordeal, he was actually seeing 5! ITs too sad!

    Definitely... so sad. Chain of Command 1 & 2 are such amazing episodes! You guys explained the "How many lights do you see?" Madred/Picard debate very well...

    Even though these episodes are a rather [TV-14] version of torture, I think the writing staff did an amazing job on CoC 1&2 to push the boundaries and relate to the viewers' feelings and perceptions. Without being grotesque or overtly violent, they managed to convey ideas about the physical and psychological aspects of torture.

    Outside of the bit about the lights, I love the scene after the Gul's daughter visits... Madred "teaches" her how other races don't care about their children as "we" do... Poignant little scene touching on the nature of stereotypes and how easily one can be taught bigotry.

    Then, there's the best of all. Who (besides Picard) has the balls to go through all that and use his tormentor's own life story against him?

    "In spite of all you've done to me, I find you a pitiable man." Kinda gives me chills.

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  • Avatar of talshiarr

    talshiarr

    [7]Jul 17, 2007
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    Read 1984 if you want a true understanding of the reasoning behind the whole 4 lights/5 lights bit. That whole sequence was directly ripped from O'Brien's interrogation/torturing session with Winston near the end of the book and asking him whether he saw four fingers or five. Winston finally just gives up and says, "I don't know....I don't know...you'll kill me if you do it again. Four, five, six, I honestly don't know."

    "Better." said O'Brien

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