The Best Garak Episodes from Star Trek Deep Space Nine

The Best Garak Episodes from Star Trek Deep Space Nine


Posted 2023-08-04 by Marisa Quinn-Haisufollow
Photo from Wikipedia

"Oh, it's just Garak. Plain, simple Garak."

Elim Garak, “Past Prologue”, Star Trek Deep Space Nine

Garak is one of the most popular and quoted characters in all of Star Trek. He used to work as an operative of the Cardassian Obsidian Order, but was exiled from Cardassia due to reasons he will not talk about. Garak moved to Terok Nor and set up a clothing shop where he started working as a tailor. When the Federation and Bajor took over the station and re-named it Deep Space Nine, he started working with them, and aided them throughout the Federation-Dominion War. Garak is a fan favourite among Trekkies. He is a charismatic, charming liar, with a mysterious past and a razor-sharp wit. He was played by actor Andrew Robinson from 1993 to 1999. This list contains some of my favourite episodes of Star Trek Deep Space Nine that feature this simple tailor.

1. In The Pale Moonlight

Episode Details: Season 6 Episode 19
Air Date: 15 April 1998
Best Quote:

"That's why you came to me, isn't it captain? Because you knew I could do those things that you weren't capable of doing. Well, it worked. And you'll get what you wanted: a war between the Romulans and the Dominion. And if your conscience is bothering you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Alpha Quadrant, and all it cost was the life of one Romulan senator, one criminal... and the self-respect of one Starfleet officer. I don't know about you, but I'd call that a bargain. "

Garak confronts Captain Sisko, "In the Pale Moonlight", Star Trek Deep Space Nine

In The Pale Moonlight is one of the highest rated and popular episodes of Star Trek Deep Space Nine and considered to be one of the darkest Star Trek episodes ever. The episode is presented to the viewer as a flashback; Captain Sisko addresses the camera and the audience takes on the point of view of the computer as he dictates an entry into his Captain's Log. We learn from Sisko's narration that the Federation is losing the Federation-Dominion War and that morale is low from all of the losses that the Federation is suffering. Sisko decides that the answer is to force the Romulans to enter the war. He goes to Garak and asks for his help. Garak reluctantly agrees and puts together a plan to force the Romulans into the war.

Garak's involvement creates utter chaos for Sisko on multiple fronts; he is forced to lie and to cheat and to mix with criminals. But he gets what he wants in the end. The Romulans are tricked into entering the war. There is a great scene between Garak and Sisko where the two of them have a heated argument. Sisko punches him several times, but Garak is unfazed. He tells him that everyone loses their innocence in war and reminds him that making hard and morally grey decisions is sometimes necessary to win wars.

2. The Wire

Episode Details: Season 2 Episode 22
Air Date: 8 May 1994
Best Quote:

Bashir: "Of all the stories you told me, which ones were true and which ones weren't?"
Garak: "My dear Doctor, they're all true. "
Bashir: "Even the lies? "
Garak: "Especially the lies. "

Garak plays mind games with Dr Bashir, "The Wire", Star Trek Deep Space Nine

The Wire is a really interesting episode that explores Garak's character and the relationship that he has with Dr Bashir. The episode opens with Garak and Bashir having one of their lunch dates. Garak winces in pain and Bashir offers to take him to the infirmary, but he declines. Bashir is hurt that Garak doesn't trust him enough to tell him what is wrong. Bashir begins noticing more strange behaviour from Garak over the next few days; displays of anger, going to Quark for help, public drinking, and injecting himself with pain killers. Bashir is eventually able to get Garak to the infirmary where he discovers that Garak's pain and odd behaviour is being caused by an implant embedded in his brain. Garak tells him that the device was gifted to him by Enabran Tain, the head of the Obsidian Order. The device is meant to trigger endorphins if Garak is tortured to make him feel less pain. Garak turned on the device a couple of years ago and started using it every day because living in exile on Deep Space Nine is a form of torture for him because the light are too bright and the temperature is too cold and everyone hates him. He's been using the device for so long he's become addicted to the rush of endorphins it gives him and now it's breaking down.

Bashir vows to remove the device, but Garak doesn't think he's worth saving. This episode features some excellent acting between Andrew Robinson as Garak and Siddig El Fadil as Dr Julian Bashir. Bashir wants desperately for Garak to trust him and to be his friend, but Garak cannot stop lying about his past. The quote included at the top of this summary is one of my favourite Garak moments because I think it says a lot about his character.

3. By Inferno's Light

Episode Details: Season 5 Episode 15
Air Date: 17 February 1997
Best Quote:

"I'm sorry, but that's absolutely unacceptable. I'm under enough strain as it is, I can't have you quitting on me. Get a hold of yourself, Garak. After all, you haven't had one of these attacks in years. Yes, this is a tight enclosed space. Yes, there's not a lot of room to move. But a disciplined mind does not allow itself to be sidetracked by niggling psychological disorders like claustrophobia. Besides, this isn't like Tzenketh. The walls won't collapse in on you. Your friends are near by, there's plenty of air, so there's nothing to be concerned about. Focus on the job. You're the only person who can contact the runabout. People are depending on you. Ziyal is depending on you. You promised her you'd come back, and that young lady has had quite enough disappointments in her life without you adding to them, so control yourself. You're stronger than this. A disciplined mind-"

Garak talking to himself inside an enclosed space, "By Inferno's Light", Star Trek Deep Space Nine

This episode opens with Garak, Worf, Bashir and Martok struggling to escape from a Dominion Internment Camp. Life in the camp is very tough; Worf is forced to fight in a fighting ring every day, food is scarce, and morale is low. Garak and the others are desperate to return to Deep Space Nine to let them know that there is a Changeling on the station masquerading as Dr Bashir. The prisoners come up with an idea: if they can find a way to contact their runabout in orbit they might be able to transport themselves out of the camp.

Garak volunteers to crawl into a tight space within the walls of their cell and work to contact the runabout by creating a makeshift communicator from wires and computer parts ripped from the wall. As the other prisoners stand guard, Garak spends hours working within the wall. He starts talking to himself and flinching at every small sound and flickering light. Garak suffers from severe claustrophobia. He eventually becomes so overwhelmed, Bashir is forced to remove him from the space and make him rest on a bed.

The prisoners wonder if they need to come up with a new plan, but Garak tells them that's not necessary. He gets up from his bed and tells them it's time for him to go back to work in his dungeon. He goes back in and this time is able to contact the runabout. The prisoners beam up to the runabout and make their escape. I love Andrew Robinson's acting in this episode. It turns out that Andrew suffers from mild-claustrophobia in real life so when he was filming the scenes in the crawl space he really was scared and wasn't acting. It made the scene all the more believable and added an interesting side to Garak.

4. Our Man Bashir

Episode Details: Season 4 Episode 10
Air Date: 27 November 1995
Best Quote:

"If I were in your shoes, I'd grab a bottle of champagne and shoot me! "

Garak joins Dr Bashir in the holodeck, "Our Man Bashir", Star Trek Deep Space Nine

Our Man Bashir is a classic example of a fun episode of Star Trek. The episode is a parody of 1960's spy movies and Ian Fleming's James Bond series and uses the classic Star Trek storyline of a holodeck malfunction as its main plot point. The episode opens with Bashir acting out a James Bond inspired spy fantasy in a holodeck program. He is having a lot of fun pretending to be a secret agent when he is suddenly interrupted…by someone clapping. It is Garak. He is broken into his holodeck program to find out what Bashir has been doing with his time. Bashir is angry that Garak has invaded his privacy and tries to make him leave, but Garak uses his charm to convince him to let him stay and join in.

"Don't worry, Doctor," he tells him. "We're going to have a wonderful time. After all, what could possibly go wrong?"

A lot in fact does end up going wrong. A transporter accident sees the physical forms of the station's senior staff beamed into the holodeck program and their memories wiped and rewritten so they think they are characters in the program. Bashir and Garak cannot turn the program off because that would give the senior staff brain damage. Garak and Bashir are left with no other option but to play the game out to completion to give the people working outside the holodeck time to try and fix the transporter accident. The episode unfolds like a typical classic spy movie with Bashir acting in the role of the hero, Captain Sisko as the moustache swirling villain, women in short skirts, and multiple references to the 1960's and James Bond.

I love Garak's (who once really was a spy) observations about Bashir's holodeck program as he tags along with Bashir throughout the episode. He starts off amused by the whole thing, but as the stakes begin to rise he starts to get annoyed with Bashir, and accuses him of having a childish fantasy and not facing reality. This is a great Garak and Bashir episode. It has a lot of humorous moments in it and really helps to build the relationship between Garak and Bashir.

5. Body Parts

Episode Details: Season 4 Episode 25
Air Date: 10 June 1996
Best Quote:

"We're running out of options... You don't want to be vaporized because you need a body. The disruptor ruined your clothing, the knife was too savage, the nerve gas smelled bad, hanging took too long and poison... What was wrong with poison?"

Garak and Quark discuss murder, "Body Parts", Star Trek Deep Space Nine

In this episode Quark returns from a trip to his home planet of Ferenginar with some distressing news: he has a terminal illness called Dorek Syndrome and only has six days left to live. Quark decides to sell his vacuum-desiccated remains on the Ferengi Futures Exchange in an effort to raise enough money to pay off his debts. He receives an offer from someone willing to purchase 52 discs of his remains for 500 bars of latinum.

Quark accepts the offer and begins planning on how he will use the money to settle his debts. He later receives a visit from Dr Bashir who tells him that his doctor had it wrong. He doesn't have Dorek Syndrome and isn't dying. Quark is thrilled because it means that he will be able to sue his doctor back home for malpractice. Later that day, Quark receives a visit from a Ferengi named Brunt. Brunt reveals that it was him who purchased the 52 discs of vacuum-desiccated Quark. Quark tells him he is not dying and offers him a full refund. Brunt is not interested and demands he receive his merchandise in six days. Quark's options are to either break the contract or kill himself.

Quark visits Garak and hires him as an assassin to kill him. The next scene is one of my favourite Quark and Garak scenes. We see Quark eating food at a bar. Garak walks up to him from behind and snaps his neck. Quark's head hits the table and he dies. Garak steps back from the table and Quark walks over to look at what he's done revealing that the two of them are on the holodeck. Garak turns to Quark with a smile and asks "How's that?" like they're in his tailor shop looking at clothes. Quark replies "Awful!" and the two of them have a long discussion about how he wants to be killed.

I love how Garak is so quick to accept Quark's request for him to kill him. He isn't bothered by morals or ethics or the question if what he is doing is right or wrong. In his mind it's just a job, there is no emotion involved, he does what he is asked to do with a smile and without a care. He is terrifying and that is what makes him so fascinating. In the end Quark decides to break the contract with Brunt and cancels his arrangement with Garak. Body Parts is a great episode that sheds a lot of light on Ferengi culture and Quark's character and his relationship with Garak. I always find it enjoyable to re-watch.

More Star Trek Articles by Marisa
The Best Doctor Episodes from Star Trek Voyager
The Top Ten Strangest Alien Races on Star Trek Voyager
The Best Captain Janeway Episodes From Star Trek Voyager


85809 - 2023-06-11 07:14:26


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