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Star Trek TNG - Season 4 - Episode 02

Star Trek TNG - 4x02 - Family

Originally Aired: 1990-10-1

Synopsis:
The crew visits family. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.8

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 101 4 4 0 5 6 19 21 21 42 101

Problems
- When Wesley starts up the holographic recording of his father, there's no communicator on his uniform. In the next scene, there is one.

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of TNG Award."
- I'm not entirely sure, but I think that this is the first episode that we're given O'Brien's full name: Miles Edward O'Brien.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf's adoptive parents. Eccentric, loving people. The perfect contrast to cold, hardened Worf.
- Picard's nephew. An icon of innocence.
- Picard's brother. A miserable conservative.
- Picard's initial conversation with his friend Louis.
- Guinan asking Worf's adoptive parents why he never had prune juice.
- Guinan saying just the right stuff to make Worf's adoptive parents feel better about themselves.
- Robert and Jean-Luc's initially adversarial conversation regarding "what the devil happened" to him up there.
- Robert and Jean-Luc's brawl and subsequent moment of bonding. The part where Picard goes from laughing to crying in an instant is beautiful.
- Robert and Jean-Luc getting roaring drunk after their brawl bonding.

My Review
This episode features an incredibly moving story and excellent continuity. Worf's discommendation is discussed. Picard's aftermath from the Borg incident is examined. Picard's family is shown to us in detail, finally. Wesley getting in touch with his feelings again regarding his late father and other details. This episode is wonderfully woven into the series. Only an episode as carefully conceived as this one can have no scenes on the bridge and no action and still be great. Picard's scenes with his brother were simply beautiful. Some of the finest acting I've ever seen.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-03 at 7:19am:
    - Many times Star Trek will dispense too quickly with disastrous encounters in a character's life. For instance, it would have been very easy to jump right into a new set of adventures after rescuing Picard from the Borg. Instead, the creators took an entire episode to explore the emotional changes that the experience caused in Picard's life. Excellent!! One of my favorite TNG episodes.
    - Does it strike anyone else as odd that everyone in France speaks with an English accent during this episode?
  • From Wayne on 2009-07-13 at 10:12am:
    If I remember correctly this was also one of the lowest rated TNG episodes when it was first broadcast.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-02-24 at 10:09am:
    My wife and I watched this one last night. It was definitely a different type of episode and quite enjoyable. Picard's recovery and return to his home was heart warming and the rivalry with his brother was very realistic and brought their personalities out. Worf's story was also enjoyable and we always get a kick out of Worf's over the top Klingon reaction to things. Wesley still gets on my nerves but this was a better than usual story for him. Overall I gave it a 9 as I did miss some of the "real" science fiction.
  • From thaibites on 2011-04-02 at 11:12pm:
    I usually don't like human relationship episodes, but this one is really strong and a pleasure to watch. I think what makes it so strong is that the stories are all central and vital to each character - Wesley's father's death, Worf's discommendation, and Picard's emotional scars after being violated by the Borg. This is all pretty intense stuff, and there is no wasted fluff here. Great episode!

    And yes, I was wondering why everyone in France spoke with a British accent. I always wondered why Picard spoke with a mild British accent if he was supposed to be from France. Oh well, c'est la vie...(written with a British accent just to be consistent)
  • From CAlexander on 2011-05-26 at 11:06am:
    An excellent episode, very good all around. I wouldn't picture Picard as the sort of person that bonds with his brother by fighting with him, but it seems perfectly consistent with him growing up as the brash young man who picked a fight with some Nausicans and died laughing. And I love Worf's parents; they are so unlike him, but he just looks perfect as the child who is trying to be manly and is embarrassed by his doting parents. And while the Jack Crusher plot seemed rather extraneous, it too was well-written.
  • From Axel on 2015-03-23 at 10:43pm:
    This one may have been the lowest rated episode of the season when TNG was on the air, but I think it's gotten more appreciation as time has gone by. I doubt viewers enjoyed seeing Star Trek dabble in soap opera and now it's clear this is so much more.

    I agree that after Best of Both Worlds, it would've been strange to just go right to the next voyage of the starship Enterprise. Picard's visit home is the perfect epilogue. He briefly considers leaving his Starfleet career, showing just how much the Borg experience has shaken him. He and his brother continue the lifelong feud they've had, and I like that they really don't completely resolve it in the end. Instead, they reach an understanding through their fight that they both lead different lives, and that Picard's life is in the stars with his ship. The whole visit ends up being cathartic.

    It was also the perfect time to show how Worf's parents handle the news about his discommendation. They don't know what exactly it means, nor do they feel entirely comfortable asking Worf the details of it. What they do know is that they need to be there for their son. Despite his rigid emotional hide, Worf shows how much this means to him.

    The Wesley storyline was appropriately short, and was just enough to fill in between the others while also keeping with the theme.

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