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Star Trek DS9 - Season 4 - Episode 24

Star Trek DS9 - 4x24 - The Quickening

Originally Aired: 1996-5-20

While traveling in the Gamma Quadrant, Kira, Dax and Bashir respond to an automated distress call from a planet that the Jem'Hadar destroyed 200 years ago. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 5.67

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 21 6 2 8 6 14 16 17 31 13 12

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- No significant exposition, events, or consequences. And a lame episode on top of that. The ending is touching, but you have to wade through a lot of muck to get there.



Remarkable Scenes
- Quark's "little advertisements."
- Julian's teddy bear story.
- Julian discovering a vaccine.

My Review
Another alien race that looks exactly like humans. This episode examines euthanasia. A blight is killing people on a massive scale. Since there is no cure on this planet, a man is euthanizing people en masse when they come to him to make their death quicker and less painful. Interestingly, Julian and Jadzia both display abhorred reactions to the concept of euthanasia when confronted with it, which is consistent with the Federation's "do no harm" and "never execute anyone" attitude. It also seems a bit impractical. What is the point of prolonging life when life is always painful and there is no hope of a cure? Well, Julian's attention quickly shifts away from the euthanasia problem and dives into finding a cure. The episode thus conveniently avoids making a statement about euthanasia and instead the episode becomes your average miracle cure show. Granted Julian wasn't able to "just" find a cure, keeping the episode nicely realistic, I still feel this episode is a severe missed opportunity to say something profound about euthanasia.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Remco on 2009-02-13 at 9:41pm:
    Now we've had two Star Trek shows failing to address the issue of euthanasia acceptably, and that only mere weeks apart. Voyager's Tuvix was a lot more disturbing than this, even though in this episode someone is euthanizing on a massive scale. The difference is that it is voluntary.

    "What is the point of prolonging life when life is always painful and there is no hope of a cure?"

    This is exactly the discussion with euthanasia. Are we supposed to allow the voluntary killing of loads of people who are incurably suffering? Should we instead allow them to suffer? It's a bit of a stalemate. No argument is going to change anyone's mind. But you could still present the arguments nicely.

    The thing that saves this episode, is that there is at least some productive opposition to the euthanization. Bashir doesn't agree with the status quo, so he tries to find a cure.

    The big problem with "Tuvix" was the lack of differing opinions. In "The Quickening" we can see the moral ambiguity shine through the characters' opinions, even if it doesn't shine as bright as it could have.

    I'd rate it a 4. Missed opportunity, but not offensively so.
  • From John on 2011-09-20 at 7:02pm:
    One thing I liked about this episode is that we get to see some growth in the relationship between Julian and Dax -- the days of him pining for her, and of her constantly teasing him, are largely in the past at this point.

    I didn't mind that the aliens (once again) looked exactly like humans -- I guess I've just gotten so used to the fact that they can't all be Cardassians or Ferengi.

    I do, however, agree that this episode would have been much more interesting if the morality of euthanasia were explored more.

  • From hugo on 2012-06-12 at 6:40am:
    I gave this a 7, the story was a tad flat, but I liked the direction, the acting, the light and the sets. The matte paintings are gorgeous, and I loved those giant round buildings.
  • From Gaius Gracchua on 2021-12-27 at 11:18am:
    This actually isn't pure filler. The Quickening comes up in S7E16 "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" as the purpose behind Bashir giving his medical presentation.

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