Saturday, December 22, 2012

Empok Nor

*** (3 stars out of 5)
It's not often you get a haunted house massacre where you supply everything yourself!  There's faceless nobodies Pechetti, Stolzoff, Boq'ta, & Amaro to be picked off one by one, Garak to be the murdering maniac, Cadet Nog to be the quivering hostage, and Chief O'Brien to be the brave and plucky Final Girl.

The titular Cardassian space station Empok Nor is dark and empty. Just add drugs for a fine old evening of racing around sweating, screaming, bleeding, tripping, falling down stairs, breaking necks and stabbing one another playfully with flux couplers!

The famously resource-poor Cardassian Empire never does anything in half-measures. Except when it comes to evacuating, stripping, and booby-trapping abandoned space stations. Leaving useful conduits, heaters, gravity generators, oxygen, expensive racially enraged super-soldiers programmed to murder non-Cardassians, and other bric-a-brac carelessly behind.

These intelligent, efficient villains leaving Empok Nor and its 2 out of 3 successful psycho killers so very intact is confusing. When they fled Terok Nor, Bajorans and Federation types moved right in. So... why was Empok Nor abandoned? It still works! Why isn't it crawling with Breen or whoever drove the Cardies out? Why not tow it away? Break it down for scrap? If it's so useless, WHY leave anyone to protect it? And why, why, WHY would Cardassians need psychotropic drugs to hate and kill? They're famous for doing those things while stone-cold sober enough to make good tactical decisions.

"Empok Nor" also begs the questions: why go into this dangerous place with a handful of frightened tech nerds in a relatively slow, unarmed space rowboat? If keeping DS9 in good working order is vital to the survival of the entire Federation, why is repairing it such a low priority? Why didn't they send in a starship with more troops in the first place? Amaro gets a lot of flak for being a racist in Starfleet, but that's one of the only parts I DON'T find illogical. If they're always one bad trip away from spearing you in the breadbasket, it's probably not easy to be loving and tolerant of the spoon-heads.

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