Pesky Little Critters

Earwig Invasion:
A Recap of Star Trek’s Creepiest Episode

Updated: March 30, 2023

Star Trek is known for its wide range of storylines, from epic space battles to encounters with alien species. However, one episode that stands out as particularly creepy is “Conspiracy,” which features an invasion of parasitic earwigs that take control of Starfleet officers. This episode, which aired during the first season of The Next Generation, leaves a lasting impression on viewers due to its disturbing imagery and suspenseful plot.


The episode begins with Captain Picard receiving a message from an old friend, Captain Walker Keel, who warns him of a conspiracy within Starfleet. Picard is skeptical at first, but as he investigates further, he discovers that several high-ranking officers have been replaced by parasitic creatures that control their minds. These creatures, which resemble earwigs, are part of a larger invasion force that plans to take over the galaxy.

As the crew of the Enterprise uncovers more details about the conspiracy, they become increasingly paranoid and suspicious of their fellow officers. They eventually discover that the highest-ranking officer on board, Admiral Quinn, has also been replaced by one of these earwigs. In a dramatic showdown, Picard and his crew manage to defeat the invasion force and save Starfleet from being taken over.

Creepy Imagery

What makes “Conspiracy” so memorable is its use of creepy imagery to convey the horror of the earwig invasion. The scenes where the earwigs crawl out of people’s mouths and take control of their bodies are particularly unsettling. The make-up and special effects used to create the earwigs are also very well done, making them look both realistic and otherworldly.

Another memorable scene is when Picard and his crew perform an autopsy on one of the infected officers. They discover that the creature inside him has taken over his entire body, including his brain. This scene is particularly graphic and emphasizes the horror of the invasion.

Suspenseful Plot

In addition to its creepy imagery, “Conspiracy” also has a suspenseful plot that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. The episode starts out slow, with Captain Picard initially dismissing Captain Keel’s warning as paranoia. However, as more evidence is uncovered, the tension builds and the stakes become higher.

The reveal that Admiral Quinn has been replaced by one of the earwigs comes as a shock to both the crew and the viewers. This twist adds an extra layer of suspense to the episode, as it becomes unclear who can be trusted.


“Conspiracy” is a standout episode in Star Trek’s long history, thanks to its creepy imagery and suspenseful plot. The use of earwigs as parasitic creatures is a unique and effective way to convey the horror of an invasion force taking over Starfleet. While it may not be for the faint of heart, “Conspiracy” is definitely worth watching for fans of science fiction and horror.


Q: What season and episode number is “Conspiracy”?

A: “Conspiracy” is the 25th episode of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Q: Is “Conspiracy” a standalone episode or part of a larger storyline?

A: “Conspiracy” is a standalone episode and does not have any direct ties to other episodes or storylines in Star Trek.

Q: Are there any other Star Trek episodes that are similarly creepy?

A: Yes, there are several other Star Trek episodes that feature horror elements, including “Frame of Mind” (The Next Generation), “Schisms” (The Next Generation), and “Night Terrors” (The Next Generation).