Star Trek TNG - Season 3 - Episode 18
- The cadet's uniform is the one that will eventually be used on early DS9 and Voyager.
- Seeing Picard in two places at once.
- Fake Picard's weird orders.
- Fake Picard barging in on the Poker match.
- Fake Picard seducing Beverly then asking her to leave.
- Fake Picard in ten forward. Jovial and singing... disturbing.
- Fake Picard turning Riker's argument against him.
- The crew mutiny.
- Picard's poetic justice.
This episode is, in a word, cute, as it's driven largely by humor. The ending is a bit rushed, and the aliens are bit moronic for all their advanced technology, but whatever.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From DSOmo on 2007-07-26 at 4:08am:
- As part of his odd behavior, Picard's replica reports for his physical one month early. Later, Dr. Crusher says the test results are identical to last year's physical. Why would the test results be identical? The aliens constructed the replica by scanning Picard, a Picard who was eleven months older than the last physical. Shouldn't the tests show that change?
- At the end of the episode, Picard manages to communicate his desires to the bridge crew with a single look. With one glance he tells Riker that he wants the aliens imprisoned. It is what should be expected from the bridge crew of the flagship of the Federation. After all, these are the best of the best. So why haven't we seen this type of working together before?
- The aliens seem genuinely surprised by Picard's anger over his kidnapping. When Picard calls kidnapping an immoral assault, the aliens merely respond that the whole concept of morality ia an interesting human characteristic. Yet, earlier in the episode, when Tholl asserted that they hadn't been mistreated, the cadet immediately responds, "We've been kidnapped! Locked in a room. You don't think that's mistreatment?" This makes sense until you realize that the cadet is one of the aliens. Evidently the aliens understand the mistreatment of kidnapping, because they said so through the cadet. So why do they play dumb at the end of the show?
- From JRPoole on 2008-04-10 at 5:40pm:
The premise of this episode--sentient beings of different backgrounds and talents being brought kidnapped for psychological experiments--is cliched, both in the Star Trek franchise and sci fi as a whole. As mentioned above, the aliens responsible for the kidnapping are moronic at best. The other aliens, especially the Chalna, are also rather broadly drawn, though I'll admit they do look cool.
The only thing keeping this from being a 1 is that the fake-Picard plot on the Enterprise is entertaining, and the end is genuinely funny.
- From Ggen on 2012-03-23 at 6:25pm:
This is a pretty good episode with a handful of flaws and confusions... The first thing that comes to mind is the incomprehensibility of the Pulsar diversion and the resultant mutiny. I like the idea of a Picard replicant, and I likewise dig the idea of a mutiny on the Enterprise... but why in the world did the clone take the ship dangerously close to the Pulsar? For seemingly no reason?
I may have answered my own question just now. I guess Picard's replicant was just an extension of the "authority experiments" carried out by the alien race... I think this could've been made more clear...
Beside that, the ending was just a tad too cheesy. I mean, this supposedly advanced and exotic species, with no conception of morality or authority, suddenly "learns" all these lessons when Picard traps them in a forcefield? Picard practically grabs their ear like an irritated taskmaster, and they plead like children... Its a bit too extreme and too silly a reversal. (On the other hand, I like how the crew communicated non-verbally to set the snare).
Another small thing I liked was the Beverly dinner scene. Chock full of subtle tensions, willingnesses, and reluctances, as well as the slightly bizarre disinhibition and detachment of the replicant.
So, kind of strange and imperfect, but a pretty good 'sode, all in all.
- From Dys on 2012-07-21 at 8:02pm:
Crew members have no problem playing poker with Deanna Troi and her empathic capacity? It must be difficult to bluff.
- From Mike on 2017-04-18 at 11:55pm:
I think what bothered me most about this episode is that Fake Picard ordered ales for everyone in Ten Forward, but obviously doesn't have to pay for a single damn one of them because it's the 24th Century. So what's the point? Is he giving everyone permission to have an ale, a drink that's normally rationed? That's never made clear. If not, it's an empty gesture and everyone should be thanking the bartender and his replicator.
All of this is to say that obviously I didn't find this episode very memorable overall. It was an interesting premise and it had some promise at first. But it just dragged on and ultimately led nowhere. Too much time was spent on Fake Picard's odd behavior, and on having the four "prisoners" accuse each other, all finally leading to somewhat buffoonish aliens conducting a study in power...not rewarding enough