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Edited Length: 45:00
U.S. Airdate: January 3, 1993
Nielsen Rating/Rank: [12.9/2]
Ronny Cox: [Captain Edward Jellico]
John Durbin: [Gul Lemec]
David Warner: "Gul Madred"
Co-Producer: Ronald D. Moore
Line Producer: Merri D. Howard
Producer: Peter Lauritson
Supervising Producer: David Livingston
Supervising Producer: Frank Abatemarco
Co-Executive Producer: Jeri Taylor
Executive Producer: Michael Piller
Written By: Frank Abatemarco
Directed By: Les Landau
Executive Producer: Rick Berman
Co-Producer: Wendy Neuss
Story Editor: Brannon Braga
Story Editor: René Echevarria
Heather Lauren Olson: Jil Orra
Majel Barrett: Computer Voice
Currently, this feature is disabled... Sorry.
Picard, now heavily drugged, is being interrogated. He answers all questions put to him as best he can, including giving the names of the rest of his team; but when Gul Madred asks about the defense plans for Minos Korva, Picard has no answer. Madred orders the dosage increased and begins again...
Meanwhile, the negotiations are stalling back aboard the Enterprise, and are only made worse when Gul Lemec raises the issue of Celtris Three. When he is asked what evidence he has for Picard's team's "attack", he responds that they have Picard himself, and assures them that, although exactly how is not known, "we will respond." After he leaves, Jellico confirms to Riker and Troi that Picard and company were sent to Celtris, and that he may well be captured. He sends Riker in a shuttle to the planned rendezvous point to pick up whichever team members do return.
Picard is now brought back to Gul Madred, blindfolded. He asks to see a neutral representative, and is assured that one is en route. Madred plays the gracious host, removing Picard's blindfold and shackles, and the two then talk of Cardassian archaeology. When Picard eventually asks to be returned to his ship, however, Madred chuckles. "My dear captain, you are a criminal. You have been apprehended invading one of our secret facilities. The least that will happen is for you to stand trial, and be punished. But I am offering you the opportunity for that experience to be ... civilized." The price, of course, is cooperation with Madred's questioning, particularly as regards the defense plans for Minos Korva. When Picard assures Madred that he does not know those plans, Madred is skeptical; the Enterprise, after all, would be the command ship for that planet's sector in the event of an attack.
Picard is manhandled by the arriving guards and resists. "Wasted energy, Captain..." says Madred, now approaching Picard with a very sharp knife. "Are you in good health?" Picard protests that torture is forbidden by the code regarding prisoners of war, but Madred relentlessly carves off Picard's clothing. "From this point on, you will enjoy no privilege of rank, no privileges of person. From now on, I will refer to you only as ... human. You have no other identity." Picard, stripped naked, is shackled at both hands and feet and left to sleep while stretched vertically like a side of beef.
When Riker returns with Beverly and Worf (both bruised and scratched, but intact), Jellico puts Geordi to work analyzing Bev's tricorder readings. Riker asks permission to prepare a rescue operation for Picard, but Jellico refuses, saying that under the current circumstances, it would be foolhardy. "He's gone. I'm sorry, Will, but you're going to have to accept that."
Morning arrives for Picard, and with it Gul Madred. "Good morning; I trust you slept well." Picard is unshackled, but then subjected to watching Madred cheerfully drink his morning beverage while Picard suffers from thirst. "Thirsty?" Picard nods. "I would imagine so."
The interrogation begins again, with Madred professing to believe that Picard knows nothing of Minos Korva. Instead, Madred turns on four very bright lights behind him and asks Picard how many lights he sees. When Picard, not surprisingly, sees four, Madred rejects his answer. He calls Picard's attention to a small device that has been implanted in his chest, which Madred can use to produce pain in any part of Picard's body at will. When Picard continues to insist that there are four lights, Madred begins to use this device...
Picard's initial interrogation is shown to Jellico, Riker and Troi. Picard, it so happens, is not protected by the Seldonis Four Convention unless he is officially a prisoner of war; and the only way to establish that is to admit that he was acting under Federation orders, an admission Jellico is by no means prepared to make. Gul Lemec, of course, offers an alternate option: if the Federation withdraws completely from the sector, they will release Picard and forget the whole thing. Jellico requests a recess to consult his superiors, and ultimately ends up involved in a shouting match with Riker, who demands that Picard's life is worth the admission that he was acting on behalf of the Federation. Despite Troi's attempts to mediate, the argument escalates: "Are you questioning my judgement, Commander?" "As first officer, it is my responsibility to point out any actions that may be mistakes by a commanding officer, sir," snarls Riker. "Then maybe," responds Jellico in kind, "it's time you found other responsibilities. You're relieved; don't make me confine you to quarters as well." Riker stalks off.
Some time later, Jellico confers with Geordi and Data, who is now acting first officer. They reason that the Cardassians may have deliberately set a trap for Picard, and further suggest that it may be to get defense plans for this sector. They become convinced that the Cardassians are planning an imminent attack somewhere in the sector, and Jellico orders Geordi to scan Lemec's ship in an attempt to find out where it might be.
Gul Madred, meanwhile, has a brief meeting with his daughter in Picard's presence. After she leaves, Picard (now robed) expresses his surprise at Madred allowing her to see him. He further suggests, upon hearing statements from Madred that she knows "enemies deserve their fate," that she will soon learn to devalue those other than the "enemies," perhaps even including her own parents. This quickly evolves into a discussion of Cardassian history and what the ruling military junta has done for (and to) the Cardassians. Madred brags that since the military takeover, feeding the population is no longer a problem, and that "my daughter will never have to worry about going hungry." "Her belly may be full, but her spirit will be empty," retorts Picard. Madred, furious, slugs Picard and begins again. "How many lights do you see?"
Geordi's scans suggest that Lemec's ship may have recently been in the McAllister Nebula, a nebula very near the Cardassian/Federation border. Jellico quickly believes that a Cardassian fleet is hiding in that nebula until they can attack, and a check of the area suggests that Minos Korva (a prior Cardassian target) would be a prime location to attack from that site. Jellico orders the Enterprise to Minos Korva on the double.
Madred, at this point, tries another tactic. He commends Picard as being remarkably strong- willed: "I see no point in keeping you here any further; you may go." Picard slowly pulls himself up off the floor of the chamber and begins to lurch towards the open doors, only to hear "We will get what we need from the human female." Madred tells him that both Beverly and Worf have been captured (Worf killed), and that since he proved so unhelpful, they will have to get their information from her. Picard protests that Bev knows nothing of defenses; she's a medical officer. "You might be right; I'll have to determine that for myself." Picard drags himself back to Madred's desk and sits, offering to stay.
With the Enterprise en route to Minos Korva, Jellico outlines his plans to hit the Cardassian fleet in the nebula before it leaves it. Despite objections from crewmembers that his theory is by no means certain, he holds firm, ordering Worf to prep 500 antimatter mines and Geordi to prepare a shuttle for the journey. Beverly goes to prepare sickbay for the inevitable casualties, very bitter at Jellico's attitude.
As morning comes again, Gul Madred shares a breakfast of taspa eggs with Picard. Picard, finding his egg contains a still-living taspa, eats it greedily anyway. Madred, amused, talks of eating his first live taspa when he was six years old, and of having other eggs from the same nest taken from him forcibly by an older boy. Rather than accepting this, however, Picard pursues it. "It must be rewarding you to repay others for all those years of misery."
"What do you mean?" "Torture has never been a reliable means of extracting information. It is ultimately self-defeating as a means of control. One wonders why it is still practiced." "I fail to see where this analysis is leading," says Madred dully. Picard pounces, despite his tired voice. "Whenever I look at you now, I won't see a powerful Cardassian warrior. I will see a six- year old boy who is powerless to protect himself." Madred erupts into a rage, turning the lights on Picard full blast. "Be quiet!" "In spite of all you have done to me, I find you a pitiable man." "Picard, stop it -" Madred raises the pain inducer. "- or I will turn this on and leave you in agony all night." Picard laughs. "Ha! You called me Picard." "What are the Federation's defense plans for Minos Korva?" "There are four lights!" Madred, enraged, begins tormenting Picard anew. "There are five lights! How many do you see now?" Picard, despite his agony and growing incoherence, manages one final barb before lapsing into screams. "You are six years old! Weak and helpless! You cannot hurt me!"
Jellico and Geordi, meanwhile, talk in the newly prepared shuttle of old piloting runs. When it turns out that Jellico needs the best pilot around to conduct this strafing run, Geordi tells him that Riker is the best they've got.
Jellico eventually goes to Riker and asks him to pilot the shuttle, but not until the two drop ranks and trade barbs. But eventually, Jellico asks Riker for help. "Will you pilot the shuttle, Commander?" "Yes." Jellico turns to leave. "You're welcome."
Riker and Geordi swoop into the nebula in their shuttle and plant the mines on the Cardassian ships. Once they have returned, Jellico signals a very angry Gul Lemec on the Reklar. "I'm not going to argue with you, Gul Madred. Every one of your ships has a mine on its belly, my finger's on the button, and you're in a very bad position." After the weakness of the situation becomes apparent, Madred agrees to all of Jellico's terms, including the immediate release of Picard.
This news, however, has yet to reach Picard, who finds himself alone and takes the opportunity to smash the pain inducer, despite the knowledge that Madred has duplicates. Madred, arriving, tries to break Picard one last time by telling him that the battle has been won by the Cardassians, that the Enterprise is burning, and that Picard is theirs forever.
He offers Picard a choice: academic pursuits and comfort, or a continuation of the days of torture. "It's up to you. A life of ease and reflection and intellectual challenge ... or this."
"What must I do?"
"Nothing, really. Tell me ... how many lights you see. How many?"
Picard stares at the lights abjectly for a long time. As the guards come in, Madred urges Picard to tell him before it's too late. "Don't be a stubborn fool! How many?"
One of the arriving Cardassians, however, is Gul Lemec, who demands to know why Picard isn't ready for his journey back to the Enterprise. He tells Picard to go with the guards to get cleaned up and ready for his return. Picard stands up and screams defiantly at Madred, "There are FOUR LIGHTS!", then stalks off with the guards, refusing any help with the walk.
Some time later, Picard returns to the Enterprise intact and obtains his command back from Jellico. His first action as captain, however, is to give Will the bridge and talk to Troi in the ready room.
"What I didn't put in the report was that, at the end, he gave me a choice between a life of comfort, or more torture. All I had to do was say that I could see five lights when in fact there were only four."
"You didn't say it."
Picard tries to reassure her. "No. No." He becomes pensive again, however: "But I was going to. I would have said anything. But more than that, I believed that I could see five lights..."
And the Enterprise sails out among the stars.
Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: January 28, 1995 || Last Modified: November 09, 2010