Welcome to another installment of my reviews for all 715 episodes of Star Trek. Today I finish Deep Space Nine Season 5. I’m rating these episodes on a scale of 1 to 10 with the following meaning:
1. Abysmal, 2. Terrible, 3. Bad, 4. Poor, 5. Mediocre,
6. Fair, 7. Good, 8. Great, 9. Superb, 10. Perfect
In addition, I’ll be rating (on a scale of 1 to 10) the historical importance (HI) of the episodes – looking at how much they tie into other Star Trek episodes or lay down important precedents.
Empok Nor: 7.5
Scavenging an old Cardassian space station for equipment, O’Brien’s team discovers they are not alone.
Air date: 5/19/1997
Teleplay by Hans Beimler
Story by Bryan Fuller
Directed by Michael Vejar
“I’m not a tailor. Not for the moment anyway.” – Garak
It’s O’Brien and Garak in a murder mystery without the mystery. (Actually, it evolves into DS9’s version of “The Most Dangerous Game”.) This horror episode, pairing up the two characters for the first time, takes place on a mostly abandoned sister station, giving the episode and the show a new setting at no expense. (Here’s a secret: the sets for the sister station are actually the regular DS9 sets with new lighting! Don’t tell anyone.) Star Trek, going back to “The Man Trap,” has often struggled with horror stories, but director Mike Vejar is up to the task here, handling the timing with expertise. The episode builds its suspense nicely before delivering “jump” moments at just the right times. Meanwhile, having a sister station not only saves money but story time. There’s no need to orient the viewer to the new setting. We know the Promenade is the Promenade and Ops is Ops.
Is Empok Nor a Top Ten episode? Of course not. It’s a low-budget filler episode that doesn’t lend itself well to repeat viewings. (Nobody would argue that this is either the best O’Brien episode or the best Garak episode.) But does it succeed at what it sets out to do? Absolutely.
Read the rest of this entry »