Star Trek TNG - Season 4 - Episode 16
- The scene where Picard informs Geordi that his dream woman is coming aboard.
- Brahms' hostile first meeting with Geordi.
- Geordi accidentally inferring that Brahms should remember a modification that her hologram helped Geordi make.
- Geordi surprising Brahms once again by "coincidentally" knowing her favorite food.
- Picard reluctantly firing on the alien.
- Picard feeling horrible about killing the alien.
- Brahms blowing off Geordi's advances so abruptly. Ouch!
- Geordi trying again on Brahms in the Jeffries Tubes only to find out that she's married. Ouch again!
- Beverly performing stellar surgery.
- Beverly: "Captain, I would like to announce the birth of a large baby... something!"
- Great continuity with the Brahms events in TNG: Booby Trap. Geordi even mentions the margin for error the comptuer warned him about.
- Brahms stumbling on her holographic double.
- The look on Geordi's face when Brahms confronted him about her holographics double.
- Geordi standing up to Brahms.
- Brahms' idea to sour the milk.
I enjoyed this episode thoroughly. One reason is because its premise is based off continuity from a previous episode. Dr. Brahms was originally featured in TNG: Booby Trap as Geordi's holographic partner where he fell for her. The aliens of this episode were once again unique and interesting. That and the dilemma faced by the crew. Finally I found the interactions between Geordi and Brahms fun to watch. A nicely done episode.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From DSOmo on 2007-08-24 at 4:19pm:
Great confusion surrounds this matter/antimatter ratio thing. When Brahms come on board, she claims the matter/antimatter ratio has been changed. She says that the mixture isn't as rich as Starfleet specs call for. In "Where No One Has Gone Before," Picard says Kozinski is coming on board to test "different intermix formulas." And the chief engineer in "Skin Of Evil" talks about setting the ratio of matter and antimatter to 25 to 1. Isn't there only one matter/antimatter ratio? While taking the Starfleet exam in "Coming Of Age," Wesley and Mordock said there is only one ratio with matter/antimatter ... 1 to 1.
The energy needed for warp drive come from the mutual annihilation of matter and antimatter as they mix in the dilithium chamber. When an electron and a positron meet, an explosion occurs, destroying both entities. If two electrons and positron meet, wouldn't that leave one electron with nothing to do? So if the ratio is anything but 1 to 1, what does the extra matter do once the antimatter is used up?
- From djb on 2008-02-25 at 4:47am:
Poor Geordi! He just tries too hard.
I was excited when they mentioned Leah Brahms at the beginning, because Booby Trap left open so many great questions: What is she really like? Will Geordi ever meet her? If he does, is his love life finally going to change for the better?
Geordi is a great character, very likable. Unfortunately, his luck in love hasn't always been so great. I really root for him, but have to shake my head at how he shoots himself in the foot. Having them meet in his quarters, him in casual clothes, with just the right lighting and music... really laying it on thick!
I like how he finally starts to be honest with her; as he points out at the end of the episode, he should have just told her about the holodeck program from the beginning. Of course, we wouldn't have had that great scene between them later on! I like how they come to terms at the end, even if it is abrupt. The poignant ending with Brahms answering a call from her husband was a nice touch.
I was a little disappointed in Geordi's handling the situation in general; he still seems pretty insecure, even though he supposedly gained confidence after an encounter with the alien in "Transfigurations." Maybe it would have been even worse...
I enjoyed this episode on multiple levels. One level is obvious: good character development for La Forge. Another is more subtle, but also important: holodeck ethics. Hearkening back to "Hollow Pursuits," one wonders what really are the ramifications of being able to holographically simulate real people? If the holodeck were a real invention, would there be laws or restrictions as to whom you can simulate, or what situations? Would people have to sign releases allowing their likenesses to be used in holodeck programs? Would hackers sell underground holodeck programs that illegally simulate celebrities or other people for consumers' basest fantasies? I mean, what happens when a wife walks in on her husband having sex with a virtual woman?
More relevant to this episode is the striking contrast of holodeck reality with actual reality. Even though I doubt Geordi had replayed that program in the year or so between meeting holodeck Leah and meeting actual Leah, one gets the strong impression that the one exchange on the holodeck in "Booby Trap" made him develop a serious crush on Leah. Or, at least, holodeck Leah. In the time between meeting holodeck Leah and actual Leah, it's clear he'd thought about her a lot, imagined the possibility of a romantic connection, and probably gotten a little carried away.
Unfortunately, as Guinan tries to warn him, there's a big difference between a holodeck's approximation of a person (which is, basically a computer program) and the person herself (not at all a computer program). To me, this is a warning about not becoming too emotionally involved in a fantasy, whatever that fantasy might be.
I like the actress who plays Leah and it was good to see her again, and it's great to see subplots in characters' lives pick up where they had left off in previous episodes.
I found the plot about the space-borne life form mostly unremarkable, except I did like how the two subplots fused towards the end.
And hats off to whomever came up with the name! "Galaxy" refers to both the life form's home (interstellar space), as well as the Galaxy-class Enterprise; "child" refers to the dead life form's offspring as well as both La Forge's and Brahms' attitude towards their engines! Great name.
- From JRPoole on 2008-05-07 at 10:20am:
I don't usually comment on technobabble errors, but the matter/anti-matter thing bothered me as well. But DSOmo has already said that. In other technobabble news, what in the world are Geordi and Brahms referring to when they say that all matter in space resonates at a 21 centimeter interval? Granted, I'm not a physicist, but this seems absurd to me. Can anybody explain this, or is it just another instance of really stupid technobabble?
I do, however, really like the idea of the space creatures. We've seen something sort of like this with Tin Man, but these seem to be slightly lower-order animals, I'm thinking something along the line of "space whales." The Geordi/Brahms plot is welcome as well. Overall, a decent episode.
- From CAlexander on 2011-04-28 at 9:14am:
A solid episode. I actually rather liked the "filler" B plot about the baby.
Answer to JRPoole: 21 cm is the "hydrogen line" that can be seen in interstellar space from quantum transitions in hydrogen. So all matter with hydrogen (not "all matter in space") would emit a tiny bit of radiation at this wavelength. Not that this really justifies the technobabble, but it is based on something.
- From EZ on 2012-05-06 at 7:33pm:
Wow, this had such great potential and then crashed at the end. Calling Geordi's emotional hissy fit "standing up to Brahms" is baffling.
Once she discovers what's going on, she has every right to be outraged. Geordi is right, it's not what she thinks. But instead of explaining that to her, the writers have him get emotional and shut her down because he "tried his best." What a horrible excuse.
Her response should have been something along the lines of "How dare you try and make me feel bad about this. You were the one creating and then flirting with a digital duplicate of me. You're the one using that experience to hit on me, despite the fact that I am not interested. You are the one who crossed boundaries. You do not get to pretend that you're the one on the high road here. You're the one that needs to explain yourself."
I could have chalked that up to the characters. But the worst part is Geordi's hissy fit ends up solving the problem. Not only that, but now she's acting shy around him and begrudgingly takes her husband's phone call. A man who was established that she's strictly monogamous with. The whole ending completely undermined Brahms character in order to try and show Geordi as the good guy in the end. Geordi did and acted nothing like a good person would. And a strong female character like Brahms had been up until that point should have called him on that and not been taken in.
Such a wonderful and interesting thing to explore, completely ruined not just the episode but the character of Geordi by poor writing without a lick of emotional intelligence.