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Star Trek TNG - Season 6 - Episode 05

Star Trek TNG - 6x05 - Schisms

Originally Aired: 1992-10-19

The crew suffers bizarre symptoms after an alien visit. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.13

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# Votes: 71 2 8 5 4 6 16 48 41 38 9

- In this episode it is said that cargo bay 4 is on deck 4. But the big schematics on the wall say it's on deck 10. And in TNG: Power Play it's said to be on deck 18...
- There is a moment of unintentional comedy when Troi says: "Computer, make this a metal table." The innocuous wooden table then suddenly transforms into a scary metal torture table with no additional input or context given!


Remarkable Scenes
- Riker's hair at the beginning of the episode and his fatigue and behavior at Data's poetry reading.
- Data's Ode to Spot...

"Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
an endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature.
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses,
contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.

I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
a singular development of cat communications,
that obviates your basic hedonistic predilection,
for a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents.
You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance,
and when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
it often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

Oh Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display,
connote a fairly well developed cognitive array,
and though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend."

- Worf freaking out at the Bolian hair stylist.
- Everybody collectively remembering weird crap, then going to the holodeck to reconstruct it.
- Riker kicking some goblin ass.

My Review
This is a skillfully written episode from beginning to end. Everything from Data's poetry to the gradual building of suspense to the climax at the end was intelligently written. The episode was captivating and easily kept my interest all the way to the final moments. The holodeck scene in particular is one of the most memorable scenes in all of Star Trek. It's fun to see them use the holodeck as a tool, and not as a fantasy, or a place where things are always going wrong. The only failing in this plot is that in the end, we're left with a clear impression that these aliens would return. But they never do. You'd figure the writers would have learned from their mistake with TNG: "Conspiracy" by now. Oh well.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-06 at 5:23pm:
    I completely agree with eric. The episode is captivating, and in my opinion the aliens are thoroughly creepy with all their clicking and whatnot. Very disappointing to see them not return. This episode was a breath of frsh air from that crap with troi and scotty.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-05-21 at 11:20am:
    When Riker, Worf, Geordi, and Troi are in the conference room discussing their shared experience, pay attention to the "ordinary" woman in there. The writers gave her one of the worst lines in the history of TNG. Her line was "yeah, cold." The way she says almost ruins the whole scene.

    When they step into the holodeck, she has another bad line, "yeah, it was long." It just seems like she was pasted onto the scences at the last minute.

  • From JennyDaTrekkie on 2007-08-03 at 8:12am:
    Although this episode was engauging at the time, and I really enjoyed the holodeck sequence, I feel the 'inteligent cliffhanger' merely made the episode seem unrewarding and pointless.
    However, I found the episode worth watching just for the use of the holodeck and Data's helarious attempt at poetry.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-10-11 at 3:34am:
    - When Riker first goes to Crusher complaining of tiredness, she finds nothing physically wrong other than muscle tension. She then wonders out loud that his problems might come from REM sleep deprivation. In "Night Terrors," Crusher said that this condition causes a unique chemical imbalance in the brain, and she is able to verify that crew members have this imbalance. If she really suspects dream deprivation, why not just check for the chemical imbalance?
    - In the last captain's log of the episode, Picard reports that all crew members are "safe and accounted for." He must have an interesting definition of the word "safe" because one of the abductees, although "accounted for," is dead!
    - Since everyone in the group remembers a table of some kind, Troi asks the computer to create a conference table. Geordi responds that the table is too high and orders the computer to lower it. Then, Worf says the table should be tilted. Instead of tilting the conference table, the computer replaces it with an entirely different table! Then Riker says the table should be metal, and the computer replaces the angled wooden table with a metal examination table. At no time does anyone ask for a different table design, simply modifications to the current design, but the computer takes it upon itself to start from scratch every time.
    - Everyone in the holodeck agrees that the aliens' examination table was tilted. However, when the episode finally shows the aliens' lair, the tables are flat.
    - After Geordi makes his modifications to the sensor array, the computer reports a massive explosion in Cargo Bay 4. The next shot shows the emergency team "rushing" to the scene. Did I say rushing? More like strolling!
    - When a crew member reappears after an abduction, Worf reports his quarters as being on "deck 9, section 17." However, when Crusher needs a plasma infusion unit for the stricken crew member, she tells her medical technician to bring the unit to "deck 9, section 19."
    - Just before Riker makes his desperate dash through the closing subspace hole, he grabs a fellow crew member. This action pops his phaser loose from its holster, and it falls to the floor. Once Riker returns to the Enterprise, the phaser is back! Yet at no time does Riker stop to pick it up.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-11 at 2:11pm:
    This episode is more genuinely creepy than any of the Halloween-y episodes or ghost stories that Trek sometimes trots out, and it’s one of the best stand-alone episodes of the series.
    It’s not truly great in the same way that, say, “The Inner Light” is, but it’s still good solid sci-fi.

    The only thing keeping this one from a 9 for me (10 is reserved for story-arc episodes and really exceptional stand-alones) is the weird random lady mentioned above. She’s cozying up to Picard at Data’s poetry reading, and their body language seems to indicate they’re pretty familiar, then she shows up to deliver those incredibly stupid lines like “cold. It was cold,” that some of you have mentioned. What in the world is she all about?

    The other-universe aliens concept is great. My only question is what Data mentions at the end about the aliens’ cells being salanogen based. WTF does that mean? I love the way this one ends in mystery, and I also like the lovely little ensign who’s been manning the helm for the past few episodes and gets taken by the aliens. I give it an 8.
  • From IUU on 2010-02-13 at 10:11am:
    Trivial continuity note: Dr. Crusher *prescribes* a hot milk toddy, and ascribes the recipe to Picard's Aunt Edell.
  • From Quando on 2011-08-23 at 8:05pm:
    I was frustrated that everybody kept dogging on Data's poetry, suggesting that they should pretend to like it just to be nice. I thought it was brilliant and wanted to hear more! Whoever wrote that should get a gold star.
  • From Percivale on 2011-11-09 at 9:00pm:
    Great episode. Skilfully creepy.

    One comment: I always find it funny when characters get impatient when the computer doesn't understand their incredibly vague commands. Usually it's Geordi - the very adaptable, technically minded engineer - as demonstrated in the holodeck scene of this episode, when he's talking about the lighting. Calm down, dude, and just tell her how much light you want.
  • From lumzi23 on 2017-03-16 at 5:00pm:
    This episode is great. The whole concept of alien abduction in the 24th century is great. It is excellent and clever.
  • From Shrub on 2019-10-24 at 3:18am:
    I have an issue with the hot milk toddy in this episode. In the episode "Cause and Effect", Picard shares this recipe with Dr. Crusher, however the ship is destroyed in this loop, and the recipe is not shared in the following loops. I suppose it is possible that she could remember the recipe, but it seems unlikely that she would remember that specific detail. It's also possible that the recipe was shared between these episodes, but I find it odd that it would be shared twice within a year when it had not been shared in the several years prior they spent on Enterprise.

    Just a thought.

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