Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 05 E 24 Empok Nor

When Chief O'Brien needs special parts to repair the station, he decides to get them from Empok Nor, an abandoned Cardassian station built on the same design as DS9. The Cardassians are known for booby-trapping installations that they leave behind, so Sisko enlists Garak to go along with Chief, Nog, and a crew of red-shirt engineers and security personnel as the booby-trap expert.

Exploring the station, they discover two recently-emptied stasis chambers. It appears that two Cardassian soldiers were left behind, and triggered to awaken when the station was boarded, and now they are stalking the visitors. As they pick off the red-shirts one by one, Garak goes in search of them, seeming to turn from his usual sly and urbane self to a violent hunter.

Tropes

  • Black Dude Dies First: Stolzoff, the only black and only female crew member is the first to get killed.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": O'Brien, when Nog reports to the runabout and calls him "sir."
    O'Brien: One more "Sir" and I'm leaving you behind.
    Nog: Thank you, s—Chief.
  • Fantastic Racism: It's barely audible, but Amaro can be heard calling the Cardassians 'spoon heads'. It's another sign that Deep Space Nine wasn't your typical Star Trek show since Gene Roddenberry had been adamant there was no racism in Starfleet.
  • Not Himself: Garak is turned Ax-Crazy by the experimental compound the Cardassians left on Empok Nor.
  • Oh, Crap!: Nog, when he sees the runabout float away from Empok Nor and explode.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Garak asks O'Brien to make sure that the wife of his victim know that he's sorry for what he did. It's the only time in the series that Garak apologizes for taking a life, which shows just how guilty he feels.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Crazy!Garak taunts O'Brien for no longer being a soldier. Subverted when O'Brien says "You're right. I'm an engineer." and uses an improvised bomb to stop him.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Stolzoff despite a trained security guard, points her phaser rifle at another crewmember who asks her not to with Stolzoff's only response that the safety is on.
  • Red Shirt: The uniform color may have changed, but...
  • Shout-Out: The episode is based on the Japanese soldiers in the Philippines who still thought World War II was still being fought.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Stolzoff. Despite already warned about the Cardassian soldiers, she doesn't take the situation seriously including the above-mentioned Reckless Gun Usage and gets herself and the engineer she was supposed to protected killed.
  • Variant Chess: Kotra, a Cardassian version. Nog's playing style is too conservative for Garak's taste.
  • Worthy Opponent: Garak displays a significant amount of respect for O'Brien's service during the Federation-Cardassian war, even wanting to face off against him in a Cardassian board game revolving around strategy and risk.


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