86 – The Wounded

Grade: B

The Wounded (1991) on IMDb


Captain Picard is ordered to capture a rogue Starfleet Captain named Maxwell, who has been attacking Cardassian ships. In order to maintain peace with the Cardassians, Picard invites Gul Macet on board the Enterprise to help with the pursuit.


In many ways, this is a very good episode. There are some great insights into Chief O’Brien that will help shape his character for the rest of the time he is in this franchise. We also meet a new race of aliens that we’ve never heard of before, and they’ll play a huge role in future episodes and series. In fact, this is the first time we ever hear about the Cardassians. One other thing, it’s a great nod to one of the very best Star Trek films ever made – The Undiscovered Country. Not everyone is comfortable with peace when it comes.

But this episode also has a few problems, and that’s why I can’t grade it higher than B. The biggest problem that I see with this episode is that there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason for Captain Maxwell to change at the end. The set-up is basically this: Chief O’Brien beams over to his ship and they talk about the good ol’ days and someone they both used to know. Then after they sing a song together, the captain finally realizes he’s in the wrong, and he turns himself in. It’s a very sudden change which is made far too quickly for it to seem realistic.

Another problem is that this is the first time we’ve heard about the Cardassians and the supposedly very costly war which is supposed to have ended just one year earlier. The problem is that there has not been even one single hint of the Cardassians until now. It would have been far more realistic if they had said the war ended just 5 years ago, but that the peace treaty is just now being signed after years of negotiation and cease fire. If there had been a very long war with the Cardassians, shouldn’t we have heard about it by now?

Other than that, I thought the acting and the storyline were slightly above average, and not really worth a grade higher than B. But you should still see this episode if you haven’t yet.

Of Note

At one point in this episode, Counselor Troi says that the Cardassians are now Federation allies. Seems like a stretch. Just because you’re not at war with someone does not mean you’re an ally.