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Coward's Death (HF episode)

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The eighth episode of the second season of Star Trek: Hidden Frontier hand a plot-line concerning mental illness: the Andorian Thalek suffers a brain injury that gives him clinical depression and he contemplates a Coward's Death.

SynopsisEdit

"Captain's log, stardate 55832.6. The Excelsior is finishing up its patrol along the edge of the Briar Patch before returning to the station. As strange as this seems, I'm looking forward to seeing my daughter again. Guess I'm getting used to this father business."
Captain Ian Quincy Knapp

On the return journey a plasma conduit ruptures, injuring Thalek, an Andorian crewman. Damage to his brain gives him the effect of clinical depression. Doctor Henglaar tells Knapp that Andorian cultural attitudes mean they are more apt to seek death in battle rather than live with the condition. Will this pose a danger to his colleagues?

With Counsellor Elbrey he admits to struggling with suicidal thoughts and quotes William Shakespeare (Caesar, Julius Caesar Act II Scene ii), but Elbrey says Shakespeare does not understand depression. Afterwards she tells Knapp the Andorian medics she and Henglarr contacted showed no interest in curing Thalek, but were more worried about the shame he could cause his clan. The only culturally acceptable route to suicide is through reckless risk-taking, and this would endanger his colleagues. Thalek becomes obsessed with knives and swords.

Two weeks later the Excelsior is attacked by a Gray warship. The torpedo launchers are damaged. Thalek locks his companions out of the launch bay and fires the torpedoes himself—even though with the heat shields damaged he will be killed. At the last second he floods the chamber with insulation foam, saving himself as well as the ship. He has reached an accommodation with his condition.

QuotesEdit

"Andorians are as proud as Vulcans, and a lot more prickly about it."
— Dr Helgaar
"Bravery has no place where it avails nothing."
"I refuse to trade quotations with someone who has just spent the entire day in the ship's library"
— Thalek (quoting Dr Samuel Johnson) and Elbrey
"Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
— General George S. Patton
"There may be a day when my courage fails me, but there will be a thousand fights I have won before then. And how many warriors may boast of a thousand wins before they die?"
— Thalek

ReferencesEdit

Andorians, clinical depression, Myra Elbrey, Henglaar, holodeck, Samuel Johnson, kendo, Ian Quincy Knapp, Treya Knapp, Luko, plasma conduit, William Shakespeare, Elisabeth Shelby, snow globe, suicide, Thalek, USS Excelsior

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