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Star Trek TNG - Season 4 - Episode 11

Star Trek TNG - 4x11 - Data's Day

Originally Aired: 1991-1-7

Data tries to comprehend human emotions. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 6.9

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- Data's pet cat, Spot, makes his first appearance in this episode.
- The previously mentioned but never before seen ship's arboretum is first shown in this episode.
- The character of Keiko was created just for this episode, but as O'Brien develops into a major character as Star Trek continues, Keiko's role expands.
- According to Data, Andorian marriages involve groups of four.
- Picard's speech at the wedding is identical to the one Kirk used in TOS: Balance of Terror.

Remarkable Scenes
- I like the detail that Data introduced Keiko to O'Brien.
- Data delivering the "good news" to O'Brien.
- Data insulting Vulcans in his log.
- Data experimenting with friendly jives and insults.
- Worf and Data discussing human weddings.
- Data asking Crusher to teach him how to dance.
- I want Data's cat... :(
- Data trying to make O'Brien feel more comfortable.
- Data frustrating Keiko.
- Data's intuition regarding T'Pel.
- Data's tap dancing lesson.
- Data confused about why they don't do a lot of tap dancing at weddings and Beverly's response.
- Data's partner dancing lesson.
- Data's disturbing smile while dancing. Utterly terrifying. The next time you want to make babies cry, show them a picture of that...
- Data: "I could be chasing an untamed ornithoid without cause." Beverly: "A wild goose chase?"
- Picard confronting the Romulans about kidnapping T'Pel.
- Data's poker analogy.
- The wedding.

My Review
This episode is a major character development episode not for Data, but O'Brien. Unlike many made up on the spot TNG characters, O'Brien and Keiko become important characters in later episodes. Specifically in DS9. Even setting that aside, this is a fantastic Data episode. There is continuity with TNG: The Measure of a Man right in the opening scene, as Data's log entry is addressed to Bruce Maddox, the man who tried to have Data's rights taken away. It seems Data holds no hard feelings for the man, and even wants to aide his cybernetics research! The side plot with T'Pel and the Romulans is interesting and appropriate with but one flaw. What was T'Pel's mission? Overall though, one of the most memorable TNG episodes I've ever seen.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-10-18 at 12:22am:
    No major problems with this episode ;)
    Just a couple continuity/production problems:
    - Data orders food for Spot. The bowl that materializes contains a very small amount of something on the bottom. Yet, in the close-up, the bowl suddenly becomes over half filled with food.
    - The wedding glass O'Brien and Keiko drink from appears to be empty. The glass is translucent, so it is difficult to tell. If there was any liquid in the glass, I think it would show up.
  • From djb on 2008-02-20 at 4:06am:
    - Notice how data's hands are twitching when he is explaining his findings about the transporter malfunction to the rest of the crew? I wonder if it as all related to Lore's facial tick. I'm more inclined to suspect it was just Brent Spiner being fidgety.

    - This is one of the funniest episodes I've seen so far. It's up there with "Deja Q" in terms of how often it made me laugh out loud. Data's logically coming to conclusions that we find so obvious is priceless. I bet Maddox will laugh his ass off when he gets the letter. Worf's assessment of human bonding rituals is also funny; it reminds me of his description of Klingon mating in "The Dauphin." ("...he reads love poetry... he ducks a lot.") Also, Data's big smile is something to remember.

    - Notice how Data's dance partner looks a lot like Tasha Yar? Seems appropriate given their connection. It wasn't Denise Crosby, but she sure did look similar.

    - Nice balance of character development and overall plot advancement. Very interesting existential questions brought up in line with "The Measure of a Man." It seems Data doesn't take personally Maddox's desire to disassemble him. But... since Data is not really a "person" in many senses, one wouldn't expect him to.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-05-05 at 11:50am:
    This is up there with the best TNG had to offer. I love episodes that give the viewer an idea about what goes on behind the scenes on a normal day aboard the Enterprise, so this one is a personal favorite. Data's attempts at uderstanding human behavior here are priceless, O'brien finally comes into his own, and overall this is phenomenal. My only (small) quibble is with the T'pel side-plot. It's interesting, and well-done, but it could have made a great episode of its own, and sometimes it cuts into the plot concering Data and the wedding a little too much. I still give this one a 10.
  • From thaibites on 2011-06-26 at 11:16pm:
    I've been watching TNG sequentially, and this is the WORST episode so far. I was shocked to see that so many people liked it. Another "soap opera" episode with very little sci-fi. And what's up with Kaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyko!?! What an emotionally unbalanced, useless twit! We have to treat that as an equal!?! If I was a woman who is striving for all women to be treated as equals, I would be angered and sickened by the writer's portrayal of Keiko as being a completely emotionally out of control woman. This episode is crap!

    In the review, the website creator says, "It seems Data holds no hard feelings for the man..." Excuse me...HELLO???? Data doesn't have ANY feelings at all for anybody or anything. That's one of the big points of this episode!
  • From Kethinov on 2011-06-29 at 11:56am:
    You don't need to have feelings to exhibit the qualities of bias toward an individual. It would be well within the realm of realism for Data to break contact with Maddox in an effort to avoid any further unpleasant dealings with him. In that respect, the phrase "hard feelings" need not be taken so literally.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-21 at 11:25pm:
    Very surprised to see this episode rated so highly by everyone. It's a cute little episode with a few laughs, but belongs nowhere near the top of the TNG heap!

    There's basically no sci-fi to be found, and it's not like we learn anything new about Data from it either. Overall just a very watchable, but go-nowhere filler episode that earns a very average 5 rating from me. Not something I'd put on heavy rotation. I did, however, enjoy seeing O'Brien get some more screen time finally.
  • From Axel on 2015-02-28 at 4:02pm:
    The last thing Data says to Maddox in "Measure of a Man" is that Maddox should continue his research and that Data is ready to help in the right way. So, apparently Data had no negative views of Maddox even immediately after the hearing. I like that the writers handled it this way and picked up the Data-Maddox relationship for this episode. It makes sense for the character to view Maddox's research as intriguing rather than hold a grudge, which would be a purely human thing to do.

    Anyway, this episode had a lot of great stuff. It was funny, touching, and had several plots working together nicely from the perspective of Data.

    I do wonder a little bit about the T'Pel thing. You'd think the Federation would be aware that Romulans might try to impersonate Vulcans. They apparently have different life signs, and a Federation ambassador would have very high clearance level which would require rigorous screening. It's somewhat surprising to me that a Romulan could do this at all. I'm sure there are explanations, but it seems to me that T'Pel/Selok gets away with an awful lot more than she should have.
  • From Chris on 2018-04-05 at 10:55am:
    My only whine about this episode is that Data didn't have that goofy smile on his face during the real dance with the bride!

    I would have passed beer through my nose because I was waiting for it, but alas! :-(

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