Ds9 Nor The Battle To The Strong (Tv Episode 1996), Full Cast & Crew

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Nor the Battle to the Strong”

Keith R.A. DeCandido


Also at the bottom of the ridge is a Starfleet officer named Burke, who’s badly wounded. He stayed behind so that his platoon could get away. Ashamed, Jake admits that he ran away. Jake tries to find a way to help Burke, but Burke tells him that life doesn’t work like that right before he dies right in front of him.

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The medical staff has a particularly morbid discussion about how the Klingons will kill them, and Jake pulls a nutty in the mess hall, ranting about how nobody’s going to remember what happened there no matter how dangerous or crazy or heroic. Bashir tries to talk to Jake, but Jake just wants to be left alone.

The cave is attacked by Klingons, so they’re evacuating to a new location—including taking all seventy patients. Just as the last people are evacuated, two Klingons enter the hospital room. The two security guards are killed, but Jake hides under a table, and uses one of the phaser rifles to fire blindly from his hiding place. His phaser fire collapses the ceiling on the Klingons, and on Jake himself, though he’s protected by the table he’s hiding under. When he comes to, he sees Bashir—and Sisko. The cease-fire has been reinstated and the Klingons have pulled out. Bashir says that Jake’s actions saved the patients, as his collapsing of the cave entrance bought them the time they needed to get the last of them to the hopper.

Jake shows Sisko a draft of the full article, which includes his entire experience, down to the running away. Sisko says that anyone who’s been in battle would recognize what Jake went through, though most wouldn’t admit it.

The Sisko is of Bajor: Sisko remembers when Jake was five years old and clung to him after he scraped his knee. As far as Jake was concerned, Sisko was the only person in the world who could make it better. That memory makes it hard for Sisko to deal with Jake being a secbrianowens.tv away in a war zone.

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Perhaps the best contrast is between the foot-shooting ensign and Burke. The latter is the stereotypical tough-guy soldier, demanding that Jake sit him up so he doesn’t die facedown in the dirt. He’s the ideal Starfleet officer, sacrificing himself to save others, and spouting a ton of tough-guy clichés while he’s at it. Meanwhile, the ensign is deemed a failure, with everyone looking on in disgust.

But not everyone’s cut out for this. Jake certainly isn’t. He even tries to make sense of what’s happening by trying to contrive an it-was-meant-to-be scenario with Burke—that he was fated to run away so he could save Burke. Burke’s subsequent death spoils that absurd notion.

However, what makes the episode particularly work is Jake’s evolution as a writer, as seen through the voiceovers. We start out in the teaser with musings and complaints about Bashir’s self-centered diatribes, which is followed by his stumbling over trying to write about triage. But as the episode progresses, the voiceovers get more eloquent and assured, to the point where he’s got a decent, if florid, piece of personal journalism describing the Battle of Ajilon Prime. Jake may not be much of an orderly or a soldier or a Starfleet officer. However, he is a writer, and if he can bring the experiences of Kirby and the Kalandra and the wounded ensign and Burke and the nurses and himself to others through his writing, then he’s served a purpose, just like Bashir and Kalandra do as docbrianowens.tvs and Burke did as an officer.

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Warp facbrianowens.tv rating: 8

Keith R.A. DeCandido reminds everyone that his latest Star Trek book The Klingon Art of War is now on sale. You can get the book at your local booksbrianowens.tve or order it online from Amazon,Barnes & Noble,Indie Bound, or directly from the publisher. He’s talked about the book on the podcasts Trek Radio, The G & T Show, SciFi Diner, and The Chronic Rift. He’ll be doing two more signings for the book in May: at Pandemonium Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Thursday the 15th and at the Enigma Booksbrianowens.tve (alongside fellow tie-in writers David Mack and Aaron Rosenberg) in Queens, New York on Saturday the 17th, both events at 7pm.


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