“Chain of Command, Part II” is one of the most celebrated episodes of any Star Trek series, so it’s no wonder that Eric and Richard kind of dislike it. “Ship in a Bottle” is a mostly unnecessary follow-up to a season two episode that no one really asked for, so it’s no wonder that Eric and Richard kind of love it. Plus! Did Babylon 5 do something better than Star Trek: The Next Generation?
I disagree with both of you about Chain of Command Part II, and I think it stems from one very simple fact: You think Picard wasn’t broken by the torture. I think he was.
Yes, he gets a moment of triumph when he gets under the Cardassian’s skin, but then he’s left to suffer for hours. By the end when he’s given the offer, he doesn’t spurn it, he asks what he needs to do. The only reason why he doesn’t say there are five lights (which he later admits he could almost see 5 lights) is timing; if the Cardassian commander had come in 2 minutes later, he would have said it.