‘THE WIRE’ (DS9)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This isn’t one of my absolute favourite episodes from the ‘DS9’ series, but it does highlight more on Garak’s character. This is especially in terms of his background and the relationship he has with Bashir.
In the episode, Andrew J. Robinson as Garak is about to have his weekly lunch date with Bashir. But while they are waiting, Garak seems to have severe headaches. He refuses to allow Bashir to help him.
As Bashir wonders what’s going on with Garak, he later overhears him making a business deal with Quark. Bashir tries to confront Quark on what the business arrangement was, but Quark doesn’t share.
The following day, Garak is drinking heavily in Quark’s bar. Quark summons Bashir to take Garak away whilst he’s getting drunk. Garak soon collapses in pain before Bashir has him transported to the infirmary.
It’s soon discovered that Garak has an implant in his brain. Bashir suspects it’s a punishment device. He with Odo’s help try to listen in to Quark trying to obtain a similar piece of Cardassian biotechnology.
The transaction deal goes wrong for Quark with a certain Cardassian. It’s revealed that the piece of technology Garak has inside his brain was from the Obsidian Order – a Cardassian intelligence agency.
The Obsidian Order is a feared Cardassian intelligence agency like the Tal Shiar in the Romulan Empire. This episode is the first time we’re introduced to the Obsidian Order connected with Garak’s character.
It’s interesting how this episode unveils more of Garak’s backstory. It’s still shrouded in mystery as we don’t know the full reason why Garak was exiled. This is especially in how Garek keeps changing his story.
When Bashir confronts Garak in his quarters after escaping from the infirmary, Garak reveals to Bashir how the implant was given to him. It was given by Enabran Tain – the former head of the Obsidian Order.
The implant was designed to make him resistant to torture. Garak has used the device lately to cope with the pain of living in exile aboard DS9. He’s become addicted to it and the device is breaking down.
One of the stories Garak tells Bashir is that he deserves his punishment because he destroyed containing 98 Cardassians, including his aide, Elim. Bashir’s determined to save Garak, no matter what.
He has the implant turned off, which causes Garak to be extremely agitated. This leads to some really well-acted scenes between Alexander Siddig as Bashir and Andrew J. Robinson as Garak in the episode.
Garak tells the story to Bashir during his agitation that he was exiled for releasing a group of Bajoran children he was supposed to interrogated. This is instead of that tale he told about killing his aide Elim.
Through his agitation, Garak expresses how much he despises Bashir and being friends with him. Bashir ignores that. His duty as a doctor comes first. Garak soon lashes out upon Bashir in his quarters.
Garak soon loses consciousness again as Bashir has him transferred to the infirmary again. As Garak dies away, Bashir considers turning the implant back on to save him. Garak tells him not to do so here.
In another story Garak tells Bashir, he tells him the ‘truth’ about Elim not being simply his aide but also his childhood friend. Garak asks Bashir to forgive him for the ‘wrongs’ he did before getting exiled.
Bashir, still not understanding, forgives Garak for whatever it was he did between him and Elim all those years ago. Soon, Bashir sets out to find Enabran Tain to ask his help in order to save Garak’s life.
Paul Dooley guest stars as Enabran Tain in the episode. He would return to the ‘DS9’ series in a much larger role. Here he has one scene with Bashir and shares more about Garak’s backstory in the episode.
Tain is of the opinion that Bashir should let Garak die if he were truly his friend. Tain also tells Bashir that Elim wasn’t a friend of Garak’s. Elim happens to be Garak’s first name. He also helps to save Garak.
The episode concludes with Garak recovered and resuming his weekly lunches with Bashir. It’s funny that Garak tells Bashir that all the stories he told were true…even the lies…especially the lies! So Garak!
‘The Wire’ is an intriguing character-focused episode on Garak and Bashir’s relationship with him. It’s not exactly a favourite as there’s less action in it. But it was an intriguing insight into Garak’s character.
‘The Wire’ (DS9) rating – 6/10
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