Star Trek Reviews

Return to season list

Star Trek TNG - Season 7 - Episode 12

Star Trek TNG - 7x12 - The Pegasus

Originally Aired: 1994-1-10

Synopsis:
Riker is ordered to conceal information from Picard. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 6.54

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 1 9 4 6 12 10 53 35 29 15

Problems
- Admiral Blackwell authorizes Picard to exceed warp speed limitations. What warp speed limitations? The ones they constantly ignore in most subsequent episodes because TNG: Force of Nature is ridiculous?
- Why didn't the Romulans make some kind of demand on the Enterprise for violating inter stellar treaty instead of just letting them leave?

Factoids
- This episode establishes that a treaty with the Romulans prevents the Federation from developing cloaking technology and that it's kept the peace for about 60 years.
- Commander Riker faced a deep moral crisis in this episode regarding whether or not to tell Picard about his involvement in the coverup with Pressman. In order to solve his moral crisis, he sought Troi's advice in secret. She recommended that he review a historic holo program in which Commander Tucker of the first starship Enterprise disobeyed orders to save his captain. This holodeck visit is documented in the finale of Enterprise, Ent: These Are The Voyages... The events of Enterprise's finale are most likely spread across much of this episode. Here's my analysis of the integration between the two episodes: Riker went to the holodeck right after Admiral Pressman arrived on counselor Troi's recommendation, then discusses it with her in Ten Forward. Riker then goes back to holodeck, stays a while, then leaves the holodeck to look at the records of those who died on the Pegasus after talking to T'Pol about following his instincts. Troi comes in to talk to him. Troi and Riker then go back to the holodeck. Eventually Troi leaves to go counsel Barclay. Riker stays in the holodeck until Trip and Archer save Shran's daughter. These events all probably occur right after Pressman's briefing, just after the teaser, but before the Enterprise encounters the Romulan Warbird. In the next scenes, we can see the Enterprise entering the asteroid field through the windows. Data contacts Troi about a counseling session, then Riker enters Troi's office. Riker tells Troi about The Pegasus. "It's past office hours," so this scene probably occurs after Riker discusses his beard and whatnot with Pressman in Ten Forward and probably after Riker was injured by Worf. Riker then goes back to the holodeck and talks to the crew about Tucker. After watching the rest, Riker says to Troi he's ready to talk to Picard then exits the holodeck for the final time. These events probably occur right after Picard chews Riker out for keeping information about the Pegasus from him. The only lingering question is why Riker doesn't tell Picard before they take the ship into the asteroid. Instead he maintains the secrecy clear up until they reach the Pegasus and he and Pressman discover the cloaking device still intact. According to my timeline of events, Riker proposes to destroy the Pegasus as soon as they find it, which is after all the events of Enterprise's finale. Maybe he was hoping he wouldn't have to tell Picard anything. By the time he realized this wasn't true, it was too late and he was ordered to accompany Pressman. A worthy explanation, but it would have been nice if it wasn't necessary.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard and crew's reaction to "Captain Picard Day".
- Picard arranging for a "Commander Riker Day" as revenge. :)
- Picard talking to Pressman about why he chose Riker as his first officer, a reference to what Picard told Riker upon their first meeting in TNG: Encounter at Farpoint.
- The revelation that Pressman was developing a cloaking device.
- The Enterprise cloaking.

My Review
So the Federation can't develop cloaking devices because of a treaty. That certainly explains why they've never used them, especially after TOS: The Enterprise Incident. I much enjoyed this episode, all except for a few small details. First of all, this is a much more powerful device than a simple cloaking device. Seems to me that phase cloaking goes beyond the scope of a regular cloaking device. Just how broad are the terms for that treaty? The Romulans and Klingons have never developed anything like a phased cloaking device, and the Federation completely abandons the research. The facts surrounding the usefulness of the technology leave me with a sort of sympathy for Pressman. Another detail I didn't like was the ending, where the Romulans just let the Enterprise go after a blatant violation of inter stellar treaty. The episode was good, but it could have been much better if they had chosen to handle the details a little better. I'm disappointed that we don't see this technology again. It would have been much less a disappointment if it was just a regular cloaking device, but alas they needed a reason for the Enterprise to actually use one, so they made this one uber powerful; utterly trite but still a decent episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-31 at 2:38pm:
    Factoid: This episode features Terry O'Quinn, who plays the character Locke on the show "Lost"
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-06-18 at 11:28pm:
    Problems:
    Pressman mentioned that the engineering section had been exposed to space for years, preserving everything. However, there is no way that the bodies stayed intact, since flesh explodes in a vacuum.

    Also, the view screen showed the inside of solid rock as the Enterprise exited the asteroid. How is it lit up? I have never stuck my head inside a rock, but I'm pretty sure it would be dark.
  • From Rob on 2008-04-24 at 6:19pm:
    Just a note: When you said that the Klingons and Romulans never developed anything like the phased cloaking device, did you forget the Romulans did attempt it? Remember the episode where Geordi and Ro are accidentally phased. It's mentioned in the episode that it appeared the Romulan's were experimenting with a new system, which Geordi later realizes was involving a 'phased cloaking device'.

    It wouldn't surprise me to find the Klingons haven't experimented with this (that we know of) considering how they feel about scientists overall.
  • From Evan on 2008-05-26 at 12:26pm:
    To the primary comment why the Romulan's just let the Enterprise leave, it's possible that they didn't expect to be able to do anything. If the Romulans attacked, the Enterprise could have just recloaked; its unlikely that the warbird would have been able to do enough damage before the Enterprise recloaked. At the same time, such an act would have very profound implications. I'm sure the warbird captain already knew what was going on.

    Orion Pimpdaddy: first, no, flesh won't explode if exposed to a vacuum. "2001: A Space Odyssey" as well as TNG: "Disaster" get this right. (Or mostly right; in Disaster, Crusher says that she and LaForge should hold their breath when exposed to the vacuum. This is the wrong thing to do.) Second, the Enterprise does have exterior lights.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2010-01-11 at 9:46am:
    I realize now that flesh does NOT explode in space. My bad. Thank you for the correction.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-07-05 at 1:15pm:
    I rates this episode and 8 mainly because I liked some of the technical parts and the conflict between Riker and Pressman. Obviously there are technical issues as with almost any episode of ST. But I found the ship imbedded in the asteroid believable, assuming the technology behind the phase cloak was viable. I found Pressman realistic as a power hungry military guy who wants to one up the enemy and was willing to do whatever to do that, Dr. Strangelove anyone? I liked the conundrum of his crew having mutinied against him and Riker finally challenging him. Now how the Federation got rooked into a treaty preventing them from using cloaking devices while their enemies can seems like another logic flaw in the plot used only to move the plot forward. Hardly a perfect episode but for me it was good nonetheless.
  • From L on 2013-04-28 at 5:34am:
    A definite Star Wars moment entering the asteroid.
    The Romulan captain's politely threatening banter was great and well delivered.
    Terry O'Quinn has very pretty eyes.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-20 at 4:02am:
    Love the episode. This one gets an 8 from me. However... problem:

    - If the interior of the asteroid rock wall is visible outside the Enterprise while they're phased/cloaked, why is it magically invisible from the interior of the ship as they pass through it? Shouldn't everything have been pitch black and everybody blind?
  • From Axel on 2015-02-28 at 11:39am:
    I love how Worf is always so surprised when a Romulan ship decloaks and hails the Enterprise. The idea that the Romulans would talk instead of fight never seems likely to him :)

    This episode made me curious about Starfleet's chain of command protocol and arrest procedures. When Pressman was commanding the Pegasus, the crew had to resort to mutiny to go against his treaty violation. But on the Enterprise, Picard, a junior officer to Pressman, formally charges a higher-ranking officer and takes him into custody for that. It's confusing unless Starfleet has delegated that kind of authority out to the ships; in the U.S. Navy, for example, I don't think it's possible for a junior-officer to charge and arrest a senior officer without permission from a higher authority. If you are given an unlawful order or deal with unlawful command influence, I believe you refuse to carry it out and when you have the chance, bring it to the attention of someone.

    In Starfleet, if you have a rogue captain or admiral like Pressman, what exactly do you do since mutiny is clearly not the proper alternative? The First Officer of the Pegasus couldn't have charged and arrested Pressman like Picard did, so it's not clear how this kind of thing gets handled.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Return to season list