136 – Chain of Command, Part 1

Grade: B+

Chain Of Command, Part I (1992) on IMDb


Captain Picard takes the Enterprise to the Cardassian border, where he meets with Admiral Nechayev. She relieves him of command and places Captain Jellico in command of the Enterprise. Picard, Worf, and Crusher are sent on some kind of secret mission, involving the Cardassians.


Though it had been a long time since I had seen this episode, it is one of the most memorable that this series ever produced. It has a great opening act – when Captain Picard is relieved of command – and a great ending – when the Cardassian threatens to kill Picard. It also has a wonderful new character in Captain Edward Jellico. He’s so annoying and so different from Picard that it’s a breath of fresh air to have someone on the ship stir the pot so much.

Ronny Cox plays his role extremely well, and anyone who has had to deal with a new boss at work can certainly understand all of the discomfort everyone on the ship must be feeling. He’s certainly no Picard. And yet, he shows no sign of weakness and seems certain he’s doing the right thing. I loved it when Riker said that Jellico was sure of himself, but then Troi countered with “no, he’s not.” Finally, that’s a great use of Troi’s abilities.

Speaking of Troi, I thought it was funny when Jellico insisted that she wear a standard uniform when she’s on the bridge. It’s obvious Jellico is the villain here, but he really makes this episode stand out. You can’t help but notice him, and he annoys even the most patient viewers.

But as great as this episode was, I can’t rate it too high. I thought the storyline was a bit padded in places – like right after Picard, Worf and Crusher leave on the shuttle craft. I didn’t need to see the scene with the Ferengi captain, though it was kinda funny. The scene when the three of them are crawling around in the caves seemed a bit extra long, too. But these are minor weaknesses. The rest of the episode is fantastic – well, except for Jonathan Frakes’ overacting when he’s passed up instead of promoted to Captain. It reminded me of the scene in Angel One when he had to pretend to have been insulted. Kinda lame, actually. But overall, it’s a very good episode and definitely one that you’ll want to see.

Of Note

Yet again in this episode, someone has to bring up Riker’s 6 years as a First Officer – and his inability to have become a captain yet. It’s extremely annoying.