Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Season 4, Episode 18

Hard Time (15 Apr. 1996)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 514 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

O'Brien tries to re-integrate to life on the station after serving 20 years in a virtual prison.

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(based upon "Star Trek" created by), (created by), 4 more credits »
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Odo
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Rinn
Hana Hatae ...
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Ee'char
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Argrathi
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Storyline

O'Brien has been accused by the Argrathi of espionage and has already been sentenced: twenty years jail time in a artificial reality. While O'Brien felt like he was twenty years in a cell, only a couple of hours has passed. But the memories sure feel real for the chief. The crew of Deep Space Nine do their utter best to let O'Brien re-adjust to the 'new' situation, but it is clear the happening has had a major impact on him. He gets increasingly more violent to even his closest friends and refuses to go to a psychiatrist. O'Brien even purposely tells he was alone in his cell, while this clearly isn't true. Something about his cell-mate Ee'Char is bothering him immensely. The fact that a hallucinative Ee'Char hunts him is driving him mad. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

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15 April 1996 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

47 Reference: O'Brien opens weapons locker 47. See more »

Quotes

[Kira returns with O'Brien from the Gamma Quadrant]
Chief Miles Edward O'Brien: I used to dream about this - being in a runabout, coming through the wormhole, seeing the station again. Now I keep expecting to wake up and find myself back in the cell.
Major Kira: Being in your cell was a dream. *This* is the reality.
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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Main Title
(uncredited)
Written by Dennis McCarthy
Performed by Dennis McCarthy
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User Reviews

 
Civilized treatment?!
3 January 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

When the show begins, a much older Mile O'Brien is shown in a prison cell. He has a very long beard and tattered clothing and it's obvious he's been there for many years. However, soon you realize that this prison was a virtual prison and instead of being for 20 years, it actually only lasted a few hours. So what gives? Well, it seems a planet's government think that O'Brien was involved in espionage and they sentenced him to this 'humane' treatment-- implanting very, very clear memories in O'Brien. However, despite being released, it soon becomes obvious that the alien world did TOO GOOD a job on him--and they left him with horrible post-traumatic stress disorder and he's only a shell of his old self.

This episode is truly amazing. The idea is very novel and it really gave Colm Meany (O'Brien) a great chance to act and even further expand his character. Well done and a very sick sort of punishment, to say the least...and a bit heartbreaking as well.


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