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Star Trek TNG - Season 4 - Episode 03

Star Trek TNG - 4x03 - Brothers

Originally Aired: 1990-10-8

Data faces his creator and his evil brother, Lore. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 4.96

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# Votes: 79 11 1 6 18 11 11 44 53 32 15


- Brent Spiner played three characters in this episode. Data, Lore, and Noonien Soong.
- Pakleds are mentioned as the reason Lore was reassembled. Some good continuity.

Remarkable Scenes
- The opening scene. I love the way Riker, Troi, and Data handle the child.
- I also love how Data stops talking mid sentence and starts acting weird when with the child, triggered by something we know not what at this point in the episode. Spooky.
- Data's head twitches early on in the episode. Not only does he play three characters in this episode, but he plays them brilliantly.
- Data stealing the ship.
- Picard desperately trying to regain control by planning to separate the saucer.
- Data entering a new and ridiculously long password for Picard's access to the ship.
- Data making his way to a transporter room and beaming off the ship.
- Noonien Soong.
- Picard: "Determine the absolute minimum power that Dr. Crusher needs to maintain the quarantine and use the rest to get me onto my bridge!"
- Data tapping his head, rubbing his belly, and whistling for Noonien Soong.
- Data's conversation with Noonien Soong about the nature of human existence.
- Soong presenting Data with the emotion chip and the short moment of bonding between Lore, Data, and Soong.
- Lore posing as Data to procure the emotion chip.
- Data saying goodbye to Soong.

My Review
You've got to feel pretty bad for Data at the end of his one. His evil brother steals his only chance at ever experiencing true emotion and his father dies. Worst of all he's the only one who seems to care, on screen anyway. This episode was largely meant to be filler. It fills in some gaps in Data's story, to be finished off later. But despite the filler premise, it was excellently pulled off. Seeing Data, Lore, and Soong in the same room played by the same actor was quite fun to watch. And watching Data take over the ship only to have no memory of it was also fun to watch. This episode is thrilling both intellectually and visually. A pleasure to watch.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Sherlock on 2006-10-09 at 4:14pm:
    Although I don't think this episode ranks up there with some of the Data episodes, such as "The Measure of a Man," I still bow down to Brent Spiner for his excellent performance of three very different characters. I love him as Lore- so brazen and sarcastic. You almost feel sorry for him though, because Soong did replace him with Data. Sibling rivalry between brothers! Whoda thought?
    I also love how Data commendeered the ship. It makes me wonder-
    if he can imitate Picard's voice and fool the computer with only a simple homing chip, wouldn't it be easy for an enemy of the federation to kidnap him and program him to take over the Enterprise? Data is both the most valuable and dangerous, in a way, member of the crew.
  • From Jem'Hadar on 2007-03-26 at 10:04pm:
    I don't know why so many people don't like this episode; it's the perfect Data episode.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-03 at 11:58am:
    - Voiceprints can be faked. As seen in "The Battle," when a Ferengi captain faked a confession from Picard. Since voiceprints can be faked, I would expect Starfleet to use some method to verify the authenticity of the voiceprint. In fact: Starfleet uses two methods: handprints and voice codes. The point is that it shouldn't be so easy for Data to present himself falsely as Picard. Since the computer can report the location of each person on the Enterprise, wouldn't it be logical for the computer to cross-check the location of the person with a command request? Yet for this seemingly important operation - localizing command function - only a voiceprint is required.
    - After the crew regains access to the main bridge, they find that Data entered a security code. It stops them from giving command orders to the computer. They decide they must go to the planet and capture Data. After a great deal of effort, the crew gets a transporter working, and an away team beams down. Couldn't the crew have saved time by taking the shuttle craft instead?
    - When Data falls into the trance, he rides a turbolift with the sick boy's worried brother. Moments later, Data reaches over to a panel on the wall of the turbolift and indicates his new destination. A panel on the inside wall of a turbolift? When did turbolifts get control panels?
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-28 at 8:19pm:
    Maybe it's just because this episode comes straight on the heels of two of the series' absolute best, but it leaves me a little flat for reasons I can't quite put my finger on.

    Spiner's acting here is quite good, and the story is poignant, but there's just something missing. Maybe it's that Data's "homing signal" seems pretty improbable. What's the range on this thing, anyway? How did Soong know where Data was? It also seems a little irresponsible to summon a very powerful android with a call that makes him act dangerously.

    Maybe it's the nonchalant way that the crew just blows off Data's commandeering the ship. Maybe it's the way they just leave Soong there without much of a struggle. Maybe it's just that TBOBW and "Family" were so stellar. I don't know. I give this one a 6, because it is above average.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-05-26 at 12:21pm:
    In general, I thought the episode was fairly effective with the desperate struggle to regain control of the ship, and in particular, the relationship between the brothers and Soong. Lore's jealousy and attempts to manipulate his father are well-played. And it was interesting how Soong, despite his awesome mad scientist cybernetic skills, is far from perfect. He is self-absorbed and not a very good judge of character; reasonable character traits to expect from a technology-obsessed hermit. Data is a wiser man than he is.
    - I had the same impression as DSOmo that it was awfully easy to take over the Enterprise just by using a voiceprint of the captain. But it is reasonable that he could have taken over in that fashion if you assume that, offscreen, he used his computer hacking skills to screw up the main computer and destroy its normal safeguard mechanisms.
  • From Daniel on 2014-04-25 at 8:47pm:
    This is a pretty good episode. I just want to point out two flaws I noticed. First of all, it would seem to me that with a complicated thing like a starship and all the rules and standards of Starfleet, there should be back-up procedures for every contingency; such as Data locking out the ship's computer functions from the rest of the ship. You would think Picard would have several methods of overriding command functions to prevent anyone else from taking over command. The other item, a trivial point, was when Soong asked Data to whistle. Data tried and could not achieve a proper whistle. However, in the first episode, Encounter At Farpoint, Riker meets Data in the holo deck and finds him whistling a tune. So, he can whistle.
  • From JB on 2020-05-14 at 4:17am:
    Soong used a signal that overrode both Data's and Lore's regular programming, turning them into homing automata until he reactivated them with his dental tool. Why did he not simply use the homing signal again once Lore stole the chip? Lore would have become powerless, just as he had been upon arrival when Data pleaded with Soong not to reactivate him.

    This seems to me a huge and obvious plot hole.

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