137 – Chain of Command, Part 2

Grade: A

Chain Of Command, Part II (1992) on IMDb


The Cardassians have captured Captain Picard, and they try to get information out of him by torturing him. Meanwhile, Captain Jellico is in command of the Enterprise, and he manages to alienate almost all of the senior officers.


This is one fantastic episode. It is easily one of the very best episodes that this series produced. Though I’m sure I’m in the minority, I think it’s better than Tapestry, but that’s a review for another day.

The story here is top-notch. Rarely have I seen an episode of Star Trek that had two very strong plot lines like this one does. Part 1 is also very good, but it’s not even close to Part 2. Many scenes are very difficult to watch – almost all of Picard’s scenes are painful. But it’s because the story is so well written, and the scens are so well acted, and the characters are so deeply portrayed. It’s a fantastic episode.

We also have an episode when the ending is not a let-down like so often happens in this season. The climactic scene when Picard is finally freed is so well done that it’s very emotional. By now, we’ve come to love these characters, and we’re so impressed with how Picard handled this imprisonment, but we come to respect him even more when he emphatically states that there are four lights. It’s really something to see.

I’m certain that this episode has a basis in real events. It’s just too realistic. But it’s also due to how great David Warner and Patrick Stewart were in their roles. Their scenes definitely belong among the best acted scenes in the entire series – there can be no doubt about that.

I find very little to criticize about this episode. If there is anything, it’s that some scenes are very painful to watch. And maybe not all of the acting was great. But character-wise, this episode has virtually no equals. This is definitely an episode you need to see.

Of Note

I think this is the only time in the history of the series that a guest character has added a log to the Enterprise. I think they did that so the viewer would be less certain that Picard would eventually return to his ship and his command. It was a very nice touch – and a great way to introduce that thought into the viewer’s mind.