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Star Trek TNG - Season 3 - Episode 07

Star Trek TNG - 3x07 - The Enemy

Originally Aired: 1989-11-6

Geordi is stranded on a storm-ravaged planet. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.8

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- Andreas Katsulas, who plays Tomalak in this episode later went on to play G'Kar on Babylon 5.

Remarkable Scenes
- Geordi's escape from the sinkhole.
- Romulan: "You are my prisoner!" Geordi: "Right. Congratulations. Surely a strategic triumph for the Romulan Empire."
- Worf's refusal to be a donor to save the Romulan's life.
- I love Bochra's surprise regarding Geordi's blindness. "Your parents let you live?" he asks regarding being born that way.
- Riker encouraging Worf to forgive and forget.
- Bochra learning to work together with LaForge.
- Picard's proverbial chess match with the Romulan commander.

My Review
I absolutely love the opening of this episode. The obnoxiousness of the loudness and flashing is made up for by Geordi being lost to the sinkhole. I felt the same way as Worf did when they beamed up. Worf wanted to go find Geordi at any cost! But Riker stopped him... Moving on, I rather enjoyed all characters in this episode. Including Wesley, which is rare as he's given so few lines most of the time. Geordi of course put on an excellent show. My personal favorite scene with him is when he saves Bochra's life yet Bochra still maintains his mistrust. Conversely, the captured Romulan dies thanks to Worf despite the best efforts of Picard, Riker, and Beverly to convince Worf to drop the hate. Such a great contrast between Geordi trusting his Romulan counterpart, Worf being absolutely bitter with his Romulan counterpart, and Picard being kind of the halfway point with his Romulan counterpart (the commander). The parallels were intended, of course, but that makes them no less great.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-02 at 5:31pm:
    This is a solid episode all the way through. I don't have much to add to this review, other than I'm glad Geordi is getting some serious screen time and character development at this point in the series.
  • From wepeel on 2008-05-16 at 1:05pm:
    While tending to the Romulan in sick bay, Dr. Crusher tells Picard about her old-fashioned treatment, which involves "keep[ing] the fever down, try[ing] to let the body heal itself." However, a fever is not a sickness, it is the (human) body's way of burning out the germs/unknown entities within its system. The only way this would make if she was talking specifically about Romulan body structures (maybe they see fever as a disease), but it would be pure conjecture on the doctor's part because in "The Defector," it is hinted that very little is known about Romulan physiology.
  • From thaibites on 2010-11-26 at 7:12pm:
    I like most of this episode, especially the jarring, disoriented opening which launches us into a world of confusion. I love how Worf stands his ground under a lot of pressure, even though it was not the politically correct thing to do.
    The thing that ruined this episode for me was the way Geordi stupidly allows the Romulan to take him hostage AGAIN after the rock slide knocks the guy down. Think about it - this Romulan knocks Geordi out and takes him prisoner on some God forsaken planet on the edge of the neutral zone. When the rock slide knocked out the Romulan, any NORMAL person would either pick up one of the rocks and bash the guy's head in, or at least take the opportunity to take the phaser away. Geordi almost pays for his stupidity with his life. His actions are just too unbelievable. (I realize that if he did what I wanted him to do, the episode would totally change.)
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-13 at 8:36pm:
    Not a favorite, but a solid episode. There was some definite drama with the confrontation with the Romulans, and parts of the Geordi/Romulan team-up. On the other hand, there was some hokiness there too, with Geordi acting rather stupid about trusting the Romulan.

    There was a lot of time spent on the Worf/prisoner plot, which I found surprisingly unmoving. Perhaps it is due to Worf's laconic nature – he just stands there and people talk at him. It bored me.

    - The reason for the Romulans breaking the neutral zone is rather opaque to me. It seems like a rather extreme action just to pick up a couple of officers.
    - The neutrino probe was one of the better bits of technobabble I've heard. It made sense to me how it was supposed to work, and seemed actually clever.
    - To wepeel: Although you are definitely correct about fever being a defense mechanism, an excessively high fever is not good, and controlling excessive fever is common practice.
  • From Inga on 2012-01-14 at 10:23am:
    Picard said that the Enterprise was going to escort the Romulan ship to the Neutral Zone, however, at the end of the episode, both ships are seen flying away in different directions from the planet.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-11 at 5:53pm:
    This was a rather exciting and dramatic episode, with some great "real stakes" content and considerations. The most notable points were "the first Federation/Romulan coventure" between Geordi and the Centurian, which was a pleasure to see develop and unfold. I loved how they were forced to help each other or die, a blind man propping up and led by a crippled man. But it wasn't all dire circumstances though - Geordi seemed to have also genuinely gotten through to his counterpart, made him see reason (as Picard later did with the Romulan captain).

    The part where the first Romulan survivor needs a transfusion from a reluctant Warf was also done well. This was a great little dilemma, and I loved how there was no predictable or happy outcome. Warf never warmed to the idea and Picard never ordered him, even though a life was at stake (and perhaps even a war) - and a life eventually lost. That's just great. I mean seriously, that's just great. Picard and Warf basically killed a man in cold blood (not quite, but still... rare enough of an event in Trek to warrant that kind of comparison).

    This tied well into the "brinksmanship" developments and made them rather realistic. There was no utterly villainous, singly culpable side here - the situation was not all the Romulans doing, even though they put the events in motion. As the Romulan capt. put it, Picard put territory over a man's life, ultimately leading to his death - so the Federation is itself guilty of contributing to the crisis (both sides involved, as in most real life military/political situations).

    - - -

    Detail: I liked how the Centurion's first words to his captain were "I told them nothing. I was not mistreated, but I told them nothing." The Romulan implication being that if a prisoner is alive and hasn't been tortured or beaten, then he must be a traitor or collaborator! Gotta love that Romulan military mind...

    Question: Interesting that Troi never approached Warf about the donor issue, and that Picard never asked her to. It would've been an obvious move with any other crew member. Funny how Warf's conflicted thoughts, feelings, and emotions are just assumed to be beyond Troi's capabilities!
  • From dronkit on 2014-02-16 at 7:41am:
    problem: Any vulcan crewman (several are seen in enterprise D) could have given blood for the romulan.
  • From Daniel on 2014-07-04 at 12:27pm:
    I like this episode for its use of contrasting friend / foe interactions; the building trust between Geordi and the Romulan, and Worf's choice whether or not to donate blood to the Romulan. And I like that they have yet another opportunity to seed an alliance between Federation and Romulan, because the Romulan credits Georgi for helping him - as in other episodes where Romulans and Federation work together to overcome a crisis. One item I should point out is the gurney; they use a flatbed type of carrier - looks like a divan without legs - which they glide across the floor to carry the wounded Romulan from the transporter. I believe this is the first (and only) time the medical personnel have used a gurney. Usually, they transport the injured directly to Sick Bay.
  • From lordcheeto on 2017-08-14 at 2:48am:
    Problem: it makes sense for Troi to be able to sense emotions from the occupants of nearby ships, but the Romulan ship was 6 hours away.

    I found Riker to be annoying in this episode.
    Raising his voice to O'Brien and the Captain.

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