Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 4 Episode 12

The Wounded

5
Aired Unknown Jan 28, 1991 on CBS
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
201 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Stardate: 44429.6 A Federation captain has destroyed a Cardassian science station. Hails to the captain's vessel have been ignored. With a treaty of peace in place for over a year, Captain Picard must exercise diplomacy by stopping the renegade ship before its commander's actions lead to war.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Enter the Cardassians

    9.0
    Of all of TNG's enemies the Cardassians were the best. The Ferengi were supposed to be the villains but they were comic relief. As for the Borg they were the most powerful but they were had no personality. Enter the Cardassians who were a hybrid of the Klingons and the Romulans and will be the main villains in Deep Space Nine with Gul Dukat as the bad guy. As for The Wounded it was a great episode because it showed a flawed Starfleet Captain. Captain Maxwell is similar to the TOS Captain Willard Decker.moreless
  • Near great - should have been better....

    8.5
    .... By all accounts, "The Wounded" should have been one of the best episodes of Star Trek: TNG's fourth season and perhaps one of the best of the series. However, a couple of crippling flaws keep it from being one of the all-time great TNG episodes.



    "The Wounded" is certainly a good episode - a very good episode even - notable for giving Transporter Chief Miles O'Brien a prominent role. O'Brien's former captain Maxwell goes rogue, diving into Cardassian space and destroying Cardassian stations and ships. This, of course, strains Federation and Cardassian relations to the brink of war and the Enterprise takes off after Maxwell to stop his deadly actions - but is Maxwell in the right or is he protecting the Federation?



    Colm Meaney is a fantastic actor (even outside of Star Trek) and he created a terrific character with Miles O'Brien. I think the extent of Meaney's talent as an actor is no better shown than through the character of O'Brien, a character that was not meant originally to be particularly important (let alone an important character to carry over into another Star Trek series - which would be Deep Space Nine) but that ended up to be thanks to Meaney's natural genuineness and screen presence.



    The overall storyline too is a good one - engaging and thrilling.



    But the episode falls apart a little at the end. First of all, Bob Gunton's performance of Cpt. Maxwell is just awful - absolutely unconvincing as a tough starfleet captain. Secondly, the ending sees O'Brien trying to stop Maxwell's crusade against the Cardassians - through song. Yeah. It only takes a very heavy-handed, cheesy and poorly acted (on Gunton's part) ending to keep an otherwise good episode from Star Trek greatness.moreless
  • Another Fourth Season Gem

    8.0
    This tense "brink of war" episode, featuring Captain Picard and Chief O'Brien, is an edge-of-your seat thriller that leaves the viewer guessing how it will end until the resolution. With guest star Bob Gunton as Captain Maxwell (whose character is reminiscent of Captain Decker from the original series episode "The Doomsday Machine", but more subtly played), the introduction of the Cardassians, and the continued emergence of Chief O'Brien, this episode is not only great in its own right, but also an important forerunner to the next Star Trek spinoff series, Deep Space Nine.moreless
  • A rogue Starfleet captain wages a vendetta against the Cardassians, an alien race that just ceased war with the Federation. The Enterprise must work with the Cardassians and the captain's former subordinate Chief O'Brien to stop him.moreless

    9.0
    A very good episode that introduces many important elements to the series. First of all, we get our first look at the Cardassians, a race that would get some development in TNG before becoming a major power on DS9 and affected the course of storylines for years to come. We get some information on them here, where they're said to be ruthless and warmongering, but are shown to be honorable when need be and, in a twist at the end, deceptive. With Picard's final statement to the Cardassian commander, there is a fine setup to the conflicts to come. This episode also fleshes out the recurring character Chief O'Brien, who here gets one of his largest parts up to this point. O'Brien's history fighting the Cardassians is revealed as is his relationship to the rogue Captain Maxwell, wonderfully guest acted by Bob Gunton. It's a wonderful look of the effect of war, how it can turn decent people into broken shells of their former selves, of the prejudice formed when one is forced into mortal combat with a group of others, and at the importance of duty to the greater good where in this case Picard must do whatever he must to preserve the peace, even when he knows that Maxwell may be right. It is a fine entry in the series and another sign that by this point the show had long since found its stride.moreless
  • Probably the best episode of the fourth season.

    10
    This is probably the best episode of the fourth season (with the possible exception of the two-parters) and one of the best stand-alone episodes of the entire series, and is highly recomended for fans of the the next series, Deep Space Nine.



    "The Wounded" marks the introduction of the Cardassians and a seminal episode in the character development of Miles O'Brien, both of which would become key to Deep Space Nine when it would be introduced two seasons later. The introduction of a hint of darkness in a major character would also be expanded upon in that spin-off, but here it is used to show that the scars of war can leave lasting effects that sometimes even the individual affected cannot see.



    But even in addition to the character development for Deep Space Nine, "The Wounded" stands on its own. Both of the major guest stars, Marc Alaimo (Gul Macet) and Bob Gunton (Benjamin Maxwell) portray their parts excellently. The plot itself is also excellent, leaving the viewer guessing as to who truly is in the right until the very end, and even then no doubt viewers will disagree about whose actions were more justified.



    Overall an excellent episode and a prime example of the best Star Trek has to offer.moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt./Lt. Cmdr. Worf

Marc Alaimo

Marc Alaimo

Gul Macet

Guest Star

Marco Rodriguez

Marco Rodriguez

Glinn Telle

Guest Star

Time Winters

Time Winters

Glinn Daro

Guest Star

Colm Meaney

Colm Meaney

Miles O'Brien

Recurring Role

Rosalind Chao

Rosalind Chao

Keiko O'Brien

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Despite the fact the Cardasssian ship has the Phoenix's transponder codes and warning that Maxwell is coming, and scored a direct hit on the Phoenix previously, they are destroyed by one burst of photon torpedoes.

    • After the Phoenix destroys the Cardassian warship and supply ship (which the Enterprise crew watches on long-range sensors), Picard asks what the Enterprise's ETA is for intercepting the Phoenix, and Data says that they're presently traveling at Warp 4 - less than half their maximum speed. Why, when they found the Phoenix, did they not crank up their speed to Warp 9? They knew that Maxwell had already destroyed one space station, and though Picard theorized that it was an isolated incident (before the Phoenix destroyed another two ships), why did he not play it safe? If they'd gone to Warp 9 in the first place, they may have arrived in time to stop Maxwell from murdering 650 people.

    • Trivia: The song O'Brien and Maxwell sing together is Thomas Moore's The Minstrel Boy.

    • Over this and several other episodes of TNG, an error made by a writer resulted in the lack of continuity of O'Brien's rank. In this episode, O'Brien is usually addressed as "Chief" (an enlisted rank; Chief Petty Officer) but has two pips on his collar.

    • While in the observation lounge, Picard is contacted over the ship's comm system, yet when replying he taps his commbadge.

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (6)

    • Dr. Beverly Crusher does not appear in this episode.

    • Along with the introduction of the Cardassians, the origin of the Maquis is already being foreshadowed.

    • It is revealed in the Deep Space Nine relaunch series of books that Dukat and Macet are cousins and that's why they look like they might have been played by the same actor on TV. Also, Macet is the only Cardassian to be seen on TV with facial hair.

    • The Nebula-class Phoenix was constructed out of parts for the Galaxy-class Enterprise, just as the Miranda-class Reliant was made of parts from the Constitution-class Enterprise in Star Trek II. The Nebula-class starship would make several more appearances in the Star Trek series, with modifications to the model, most noticable in the small "dish" on the ship's stern.

    • This episode marks the first appearance of the Cardassians in the Star Trek universe. They would reappear several times in later episodes of TNG, and would play a more major role in Deep Space Nine.

    • Marc Alaimo (a.k.a. Gul Dukat, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) makes a guest appearance as the Cardassian Gul Macet.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Ship Name
      The Zukhov was named for Marshall Zukhov, one of the senior Soviet commanders at the end of WWII. He sent over 30,000 soldiers to their deaths trying to break through to Berlin.

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