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Star Trek DS9 - Season 6 - Episode 22

Star Trek DS9 - 6x22 - Valiant

Originally Aired: 1998-5-6

Synopsis:
Jake and Nog find themselves on board a rogue starship, piloted by a fresh-faced crew of Starfleet cadets. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.22

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 24 5 5 5 14 7 10 12 25 17 6

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- A fun, action-packed episode, but nothing significant in the story arc actually takes place.

Problems
None

Factoids
- The USS Valiant's registry is NCC 74210.
- Earth's moon was named Luna at some point. Some people, like Jake's father, still call it "the moon, like it's the only one or something."

Remarkable Scenes
- A squadron of Jem'Hadar ships attacking the starbase.
- The Valiant's appearance.
- The Red Squad crew telling their story to Jake and Nog.
- Collins describing what it's like to live on Luna.
- Jake being accosted by Watters and Farris.
- The battle with the battleship.
- The destruction of the Valiant.
- Morn Appearances; 1. First scene.

My Review
An episode exploring groupthink. Some of the greatest tragedies in our histories were the result of groupthink, a consensus driven mindset in which achieving unity in decisions is more important than making the best decisions. In this case, Captain Watters was a bad captain. He was driven too much by his pride and the crew blindly followed him, despite the fact that some of them knew he was in error. This leads me back to quote Tuvok made in Voy: Year of Hell. He told Seven of Nine never to question the captain because "the captain is always right." At what level is groupthink tolerated and even promoted in Starfleet? This tragic story is but one example of how powerfully negative groupthink can be and it's very touching and well acted all across. Nicely done.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Dio on 2009-02-05 at 12:17pm:
    This one got a 9 from me, really enjoyed seeing the young officers trying to fill roles of mature officers. After hearing about "Luna" I wanted to see a shot of it, perhaps to see the girl reunited with her family, oh well. Still, very well done and one of my favourites!
  • From MJ on 2011-01-31 at 11:56am:
    The most interesting scene in this episode to me is when the escape pods are leaving the Valiant. We're used to seeing escape pods get away successfully in Star Trek, but the Jem'Hadar ruthlessly target and destroy some of the pods; others don't get away in time and are consumed by the exploding ship. I think this scene was reinforcing the brutal dose of reality these cadets got. It's as if their mistake was pursuing them even in the end, denying them of the chance to learn from it.

    But all the other lessons about the cult of personality, the arrogance of youth, and the danger of the group mentality are aptly explored and upheld here. Nicely done episode, including some interesting moments between Jake and Nog.
  • From Christopher Wright on 2012-01-18 at 8:53pm:
    I agree with the other comment how it was a dose of harsh realism to see escape pods being destoyed, but having only one escape (the one with our heroes) was a little too contrived. Anyone else wonder why the secret battleship even allowed their pod to survive? I mean was the dominion captain like, "oh well, we missed that pod with one torpedo, better let it get back to federation space with knowledge of our top secret ship."? Other than the plot holes like that a very well-acted and entertaining episode.
  • From McCoy on 2017-03-03 at 11:44am:
    Hm... J.J. Abrams obviously didn't saw this episode before filming his first Star Trek film. If you give a ship to cadets, you can expect nothing more than a disaster.

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