**** (4 stars out of 5)
Dr. Julian Bashir, genetically engineered monster, proven liar, and surrender-monkey falls afoul of Starfleet Internal Affairs Director Sloan and his cronies. Are you a Dominion spy, they ask? Are you sure? Are you SURE you're sure?
Well, THAT'S what a spy would say!
The watchmen-watchers clap Bashir in Jeremy Irons... but who's lying to whom? What's really happening? What rank is it again if your pips are UNDERLINED?
Sloan purports to work for Section 31, created in the original Starfleet Charter to autonomously protect the good guys by any means necessary. Galaxy Defenders, here come the Men In Black, they won't let you remember. Show love to the black suit.
Like the actual James Bond franchise, spying is all fun and games until the waterboarding starts. Is Section 31, by virtue of its lack of virtue, the only thing keeping the Federation afloat? And if so, YIKES. The Great Bird of the Galaxy must be spinning in his space-bird grave.
In the wise, panicked words of Chandler Bing: "Can... Open. Worms... EVERYWHERE."
With "Inquisition", writer/producer Ira Steven Behr seems convinced that a utopia like Roddenberry's doesn't exist without some grown-ups around to do the murdering.
Every society has above-the-law covert agencies, like the Romulan Tal Shiar and the Cardassian Obsidian Order. Or in the present day, the USA's CIA and Canada's CIBC.
I have no desire to see the future ensured by leather-clad goose steppers perpetually asking every Explorer Dora "What's in the Backpack, kid?", but Section 31 makes for top-notch drama. And that's what I tune in for, peeps!