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Star Trek DS9 - Season 5 - Episode 24

Star Trek DS9 - 5x24 - Empok Nor

Originally Aired: 1997-5-19

Crew from Deep Space Nine must salvage needed parts from a derelict Cardassian space station. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 6.12

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Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- This episode features some minor, but fun continuity that will be somewhat relevant later: Nog's experience with Garak will have a lasting impact on his opinion of Garak and this episode is of course the first episode to feature Empok Nor which will later recur.


- Empok Nor was abandoned about a year before this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- 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."
- The detached Runabout drifting away then exploding.
- Pechetti admiring Cardassian military insignia, suddenly being killed by one of the Cardassian assassins. The scene looked straight out of a horror film to me.
- Garak starting to act a little weird.
- Garak assassinating the Cardassians, then turning to Amaro.
- Garak fighting O'Brien.
- Morn Appearances; 1. First scene, sitting at the bar.

My Review
DS9 does horror. Drugged Cardassians moving about, killing people, Garak going psycho, killing people. All very dark stuff. Well, there are good things and bad things about this episode. First, the bad stuff. No less than four redshirts died needlessly. Thankfully, their deaths were not completely meaningless nor forgotten immediately. Second, this entire mission was manufactured danger. It seems highly unlikely that Starfleet couldn't have manufactured the necessary replacement parts rather than plummeting six of its officers (and Garak) into needless danger. The Jem'Hadar threat alone is enough to not want to undertake such a reckless mission, much less this drugged Cardassians part. In the episode's favor are the four redshirts. They may have died needlessly, but their contribution to the story was great. I loved all four of them, especially Pechetti and his emblem obsession. I always like seeing O'Brien take charge of a situation; he's a great leader. And as always, Garak is a fascinating character. One final comment, why was Empok Nor constantly shown tilted in external shots?

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Renee on 2008-09-09 at 4:20pm:
    Why was Empok Nor shown tilted? My guess would be that it was done that way to avoid confusion with Terok Nor alias Deep Space Nine.
  • From lt. Fitz on 2012-06-29 at 2:30pm:
    Perhaps the station was shown tilted because the cameras, working ships, and working stations are always set up to be aligned with the galactic horizon. Keeps space travels from getting dizzy. :)
  • From Hugo on 2012-10-13 at 4:41pm:
    Loved it! Garak-heavy episodes are always good. When I first saw the crew on the runabout - and them being introduced with names etc, my first thought was "redshirts"! And sure enough...

    Does this ep count as an "O'Brien-must-suffer" episode?

    Loved the twist and the mood by the way - reminded me of "Project Firestart" (cinematic Commodore 64 game) and "System Shock". Just having two Cardassian soldiers on the loose was good, and then having Garak switching sides was a good turn.
  • From ChristopherA on 2020-12-16 at 12:02am:
    This is a bottom-tier episode for me. I just couldn’t stand how incredibly stupid the Federation forces were, repeatedly ignoring danger and splitting up just like a group of teenage campers in a cheesy horror movie. First, they are specifically told that the station is likely to be booby trapped, but as soon as they get past the airlock the first thing they do is start wandering around randomly touching things. Second, once they discover that there are enemy forces hunting them down, they decide to split up their forces and do nothing about the threat. I mean, we all expect Federation security to be terrible, that is a given in the Star Trek universe. But this really goes beyond into a level of deliberate incompetence that I found maddening.
  • From Empok Obummer on 2022-10-25 at 3:10am:
    Agreed, too much Redshirt killing. What irked me as well were Garaks statements about killing Cardassians, I mean during his time in the Obsidian Gestapo he probably killed more than O'Brien did. We even saw him murdering a few on the show!

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