Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 01 E 06 Captive Pursuit
DS9 receives its first visitor from the other side of the wormhole. A very curt alien of reptilian appearance. Appearing on their side with a damaged ship, he very reluctantly agree to be tractor beamed in for repairs.
O'Brien, being resident Mr Fix It
and the one who seems able to converse most easily with him, is sent aboard his ship.
The alien identifies as Tosk. Whether this is his name or species is made unclear when asked. He is simply Tosk.
With repairs on his ship scheduled to take a few days, Miles decides to show his new friend around Deep Space 9. But Tosk is hiding something. Most evident when left alone. His first action is to scan for where the weapons on station are stored.
Sisko and the others are unsure of what to make of him. Tosk simply wants to leave, and he won't reveal who attacked him or why he's running. Answers soon come when Odo and his security contingent catch Tosk trying to break into the weapons storage. After he's detained in a holding cell, more of Tosks people come through the wormhole and beam onto DS9.
After a brief firefight with the crew, they locate Tosk and reveal they are hunters. Tosk is their prey. A position of great honor for his species. He provides them an exciting hunt across space, and he is returned home in honor when caught and killed.
Miles tries getting Tosk to seek asylum with the Federation, but he can't think of it. He became a Tosk to die with honor. And the hunters have decided he's not worthy of that honor. He will be returned home alive. The greatest shame a Tosk can endure.
With the Prime Directive tying his hands, Sisko has no choice but to let Tosks people take him. But Miles isn't having any of it. After a brief stop by Quark's, he decides to change the rules of this hunt.
Tricking the hunting party leader into a powered up weapons detection field, followed by cold-cocking him for good measure, Miles and Tosk flee into the station's duct work. Odo seeks to pursue them, but Sisko insists there's no rush.
Miles and Tosk fight their way through DS9's corridors. Defeating the hunting party, and getting Tosk back to his ship. His honor as prey restored, Tosk leaves DS9 to resume him role as the hunted. And to die with honor.
This episode provides examples of:
- Badass: Tosk.
- Death Seeker: A Tosk's greatest glory is to die after providing a thrilling hunt for his pursers.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: A great deal of the episode is about the clash of values between the two sides. To Starfleet, the hunt looks like a barbaric blood sport, but to the Hunters, it's entertainment. Neither is Tosk the victim he seems to be, and flatly refuses to consider seeking asylum when O'Brien suggests it.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Odo states this preference in this episode.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Even with Quark's usual sleaziness, forcing his employees into prostitution is pretty beyond the pale, and reeks of "We haven't quite figured these characters out yet."
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The Tosk hunt.
- Invisibility: One of Tosk's favorite tricks.
- No Name Given: Neither Tosk (who may not have a name at all) or his hunters are called by name.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: O'Brien breaks a lot of rules by helping Tosk escape, but justifies it by pointing out that both sides were unhappy with how things had turned out. Sisko gives him a major tongue lashing anyway, though it's clear he doesn't really mean it, since he intentionally held back security from responding when it happened.
- Straight Man: Tosk is notoriously lacking in a sense of humor, leading Miles to describe him as a natural straight man.