Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chain of Command, Part II

**** (4 lights out of 5)

In the immortal words of the man they call Jayne: "It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here."

War has ruined the economy of planet Cardassia Prime, poverty has destroyed their cultural treasures, and their populace dwells in misery. I mention this because that's their excuse for being such Cardassholes.

Truth serum having failed, Picard is stripped, starved, and tortured in violation of the treaty.

Jellico rushes to the rescue, oh wait. No. That's what disavowed means.

For some unfathomable reason, it's Take Your Daughter To Work Day for torturer Gul Madred. He has always taught his child that "Enemies deserve their fates."

Picard believes that "When children learn to devalue others, they can devalue anyone. Even their parents."

Me, I can't value David Warner enough. He scares the Taspar Eggs out of me.

"What did peace and spirituality get us? People starved by the millions. Bodies went unburied. Disease was rampant. The suffering was unimaginable."

Madred tells his captive that Worf was killed and Crusher is next up for torments if Picard won't co-operate. And since Jean-Luc knows nothing of the battle plans Jellico is cooking up, it's only a battle of a sadistic will: Madred demands Picard see 5 lights when there are really only 4.

Jellico thinks Riker is insubordinate, Riker thinks Jellico's a joyless control freak. Both are right. But either way, Geordi and Will set magnetic mines in a nebula that adhere to the Cardassian fleet. Jellico forces their surrender, and the immediate return of Picard. So, Jellico's big accomplishment was getting things back to the status quo.  Except for the once again shattered body and spirit of Picard.

"Chain of Command, Part II" came out before 24 made torture humdrum and prime-time. I was REALLY not prepared for this: it was upsetting. It's a great piece of acting from hero and villain. I never get enough of the fierce strength of Mr. David Warner, good guy or bad guy. TRON 3 requires his brilliance!

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