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Star Trek TNG - Season 3

Star Trek TNG - 3x01 - Evolution

Originally Aired: 1989-9-25

Synopsis:
A computer breakdown threatens the ship. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.55

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 57 1 2 14 21 25 35 18 9 33 3

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The computer malfunctions were amusing.
- The ship spontaneously playing loud music.
- The experimenter doctor guy: "A brand new era in astrophysics postponed 196 years on account of rain."
- Wesley lashing out at his mother when she pounded him to take it easy.
- Data serving as a conduit for the nanites.
- Dr. Crusher observing Wesley at the end.

My Review
Dr. Crusher's return is refreshing, though I miss Pulaski. I thought Dr. Pulaski was a better character, but they never let her reach her full potential. Experimenter doctor guy's arrogance was annoying at times. Other times it was cool. His interactions with Wesley were especially annoying, but necessary as it served to validate Wesley's concerns about his causing the computer to break down. The nanites becoming intelligent was interesting and it was handled well. My personal favorite little detail is the fact that Wesley was only useful in discovering the problem, not formulating a solution. After all, he is still just a kid. Experimenter doctor guy's confrontation with Counselor Troi was eloquently done as well. But the ending was a little too perfect, rendering the episode largely inconsequential.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-05 at 2:30am:
    - Shortly after discovering that his nanites are missing, Wesley begins setting traps around the ship. In Ten-Forward he sets two traps approximately six feet apart behind the bar. Using this spacing would require thousands and thousands of traps. Does Wesley have thousands of traps to put out, or does he think the nanites like to hang out in bars? ;)
    - When the nanites start pumping poisonous gas into the main bridge, Riker and Picard leave the ready room and join in the coughing with the rest of the bridge crew. Riker then walks up to the environmental controls. The atmosphere on the bridge returns to normal. Is Riker the only person who knew how to do this? Otherwise, everyone would just have sat in their chairs and coughed until they died.
    - Given the attacks on the Enterprise by the nanites, it is difficult to believe that Picard would allow them to take over a bridge officer, especially one with the strength and intelligence of Data. (Worf is the only one who protests)
  • From djb on 2007-12-21 at 5:10am:
    While the science behind the idea of two little nanites created by a student replicating themselves into something capable of taking over a starship computer leaves something to be desired, the main thing that upset me about this episode was the "neutron star" explosion at the end. The astronomy in this episode is just appalling.

    First of all, it should have been called a white dwarf. A neutron star is, I believe, the remnant of a single star going supernova, and is very, very dense, and therefore small. Something like 50,000 times as small as our sun, in diameter. The type of situation in this episode is where a white dwarf is accreting material from a stellar companion. The result of such accretion is a periodic supernova.

    Material expelled by a supernova travels fast, but not as fast as it does in this episode. It might travel up to a tenth the speed of light- about 30,000 Km per second, but that's optimistic. Given the estimation that the white dwarf and its companion are, say, a million km apart, it would take the explosion at least 33 seconds to reach as far as the other star. Also, at its brightest it would be about 5 billion times as bright as the sun, which at that immediate closeness would probably overload the ship's sensors (and shields) and instantly blind anyone looking out a window. What to speak of the effect the emanating heat and radiation would have on the ship and the crew. Marshmallows anyone?

    They could have at least made the supernova look something like a supernova instead of a bomb explosion superimposed on the shot.

    And, of course, there should be no sound to go with it, but we reality sticklers gave up the "no sound in space" argument with Star Trek a long time ago.

    I know it's just a show, but I figure they could have made it look at least somewhat realistic.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-03-12 at 5:35pm:
    Finally a good Wesley episode. I rather like this episode; the scientist is interesting and acted fairly well, Wesley finally gets an episode in which his wunderkind aesthetic sort of falls apart, and the whole package is done well.

    My only beef with this episode is Picard's non-reaction to Wesley's delay in telling him about the nanites. By trying to capture them on his own when he'd already theorized they were causing the problem with the computers, he put the crew and the mission in jeopardy. Picard should have put the smack down on him then and there.
  • From KStrock on 2009-01-31 at 12:30pm:
    When he comes to the bridge, Wes relieves a guy wearing the old style uniform from Seasons 1 & 2.
  • From thaibites on 2010-09-24 at 9:32pm:
    This episode could've been really good if they would've focused more on interacting with the nanites and less on the visiting scientist. I think this episode has helped me focus on why I have a problem with TNG - the episodes are more about people and their emotions and less about scifi. It's kind of like "Soap Opera Trek" instead of Star Trek. The name of the episode is "Evolution", so why concentrate so much on the doctor and so little on the nanites? The nanites are the ones who have evolved so quickly into sentient life. Most of the show should've been the nanites talking through Data, instead of the scientist talking and talking and talking...
    Another disappointing episode out of many disappointing episodes so far. I was hoping for big things from this season 3 opener.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-29 at 3:06pm:
    This episode didn't impress me. Nothing I can pinpoint, it just seemed unsatisfying.

    Amazing how Federation scientists are still struggling to replicate the work of Dr. Soong, but Wesley creates a sentient life form accidentally. But then, the same thing happened with the holodeck. Apparently Federation technology has reached a point where sentience will self-generate if just given a chance.
  • From Jeff browning on 2011-09-26 at 1:44pm:
    It is exceedingly strange that you show Problems: None. The scientific problems of the nanites are legion. Just a few:

    1. How they communicate with each other? Data is infected with nanites, yet they continue to communicate with the collective mind. How? Radio? Subspace? Either way, how do devices with components the size of atoms develop transmitters and receivers?

    2. What is the power source? Much is made on star trek concerning power, yet it ignored here? To pull off what the nanites do here would require a great deal of power.

    3. The nanites effectively consume much of Enterprise's computer core. The problems created by this seem minor compared to what would happen in one of our current computers.

    4. Evolution requires mutation. There must be a mechanism for this. Biological reproduction is sufficiently buggy to accommodate evolution. Copying a very simple device would provide no such mechanism.

    5. Evolution also requires a life or death struggle to weed out the fit from the unfit. There is no apparent competition among the nanites to allow for an intelligent selection process, like that provided by biological evolution.

    6. Somehow the nanites repair the Enterprise computer core. How? What raw materials were used? Given that the bulk of the Enterprise's computer has been converted into nanites, do they scrifice themselves to accomplish this?
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-06 at 3:34am:
    Although I didn't much care for the scene in Nanites - and found their identification and targeting of the scientist unrealistic - I thought this episode was rather neat.

    The scientist is an interesting and somewhat complex character - he's both likeable and irritating, arrogant and, with a little help, willing to admit mistakes...and I like the way he's dressed and how he carries himself... it's all appropriately scholarly, somehow...

    More importantly, I like the basic premise. The idea behind the Nanites is deceptively original...the Nanites aren't just an artificial life form, but they are also *self-evolving* - self-creating, in a sense - and microscopic to boot. Any one of those on its own might not be all that interesting, but put them all together and it's sufficiently creative.

    - - -

    Not without a few problems, but with plenty of redeeming features to warrant the fan 6.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-07 at 8:18pm:
    PS

    Problem: Early in the episode Data says "there has not been a systems-wide technological failure on a starship in 79 years..." What about the Season 2 Iconian probe-related problems on board the Yamato? Especially given the outcome, I think that would certainly qualify... Maybe Data meant "spontaneous" technological failure, without identifiable external causes?
  • From Maurice Randle on 2015-12-01 at 9:31pm:
    I thought this was a solid episode, but my main gripe with this particular episode is that of the nanites. I know this is an old show, so iI cut the writers some slack, but considering the current trajectory of modern science/technology, one would think that they would have implemented nanotechnology centuries before the time period of the show and that it would be much more developed than just some school science experiment, but I digress.
  • From lordcheeto on 2017-08-02 at 1:36am:
    Data is no Vulcan, but it is...illogical to conclude that the nanites were intelligent because life support had been attacked.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x02 - The Ensigns of Command

Originally Aired: 1989-10-2

Synopsis:
Data attempts to save a human colony. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.15

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 40 4 7 4 22 27 49 31 36 10 9

Problems
- Why did Picard order Riker to make a helm adjustment? No helm officers today?
- In the scenes after Data destroyed the aqueduct, it was functioning perfectly with no damage.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The string scene at the beginning.
- Entering Picard: "Are we progressing Mr. LaForge?" Geordi among several failed attempts: "Not like you'd expect, sir." Picard: "Splendid! Splendid! Carry on!" Picard exits.
- Data using reverse psychology.
- Data's attack on the colonists.
- Picard's behavior at the end of the Shelliac negotiations.
- LaForge at the end of the episode regarding the transporter.

My Review
The Sheliac race is a great idea. I only wish we could learn more about them. The colonists on the planet were a bit stereotypical. A malevolent conservative short sighted leader and an offsetting liberal character. The areas the episode is found wanting are made up for in the performances of LaForge, Data, and Picard and the ending was especially humorous and satisfying.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-06 at 11:24am:
    - At times the Enterprise is so distant that it takes a considerable amount of time to get a message to another ship or planet. For instance, in "The Battle" it took a day to get a message to Starfleet headquarters. Most of the time the Enterprise can communicate instantly. In this episode, Picard wants to talk with the Sheliak home world, Worf says, "Their home world is quite distant. This will take some time." Presumably, Worf comments on the delay because it will take a while for the communications request to reach the Sheliak home world. Yet when Worf finally makes contact, Picard has a dialogue with the Sheliak. There is no delay for transmission time! In other words, Picard would speak a sentence and have to wait while the sentence traveled to the Sheliak. Then the Sheliak would reply, and the reply would travel back.
    - Data pilots Shuttle Craft "05" to the planet. In this episode, the name of the shuttle is Onizuka. However, in the episode "Times Squared," Shuttle Craft "05" was named El-Baz.
  • From paidmailer on 2009-09-24 at 2:32pm:
    I love this episode's Shelliac story. This is the kind of stuff I would like to see more. The colonist scenes were boring, but the whole diplomacy trouble picard found himself in was excellent.
  • From thaibites on 2010-09-24 at 10:28pm:
    Again, we have an episode that focuses on people's feelings more than it does on sci-fi. Does Oprah Winfrey write these episodes? More Sheliac and less human interaction and feelings, please!
  • From John on 2010-12-26 at 12:44am:
    You have to love Data when he basically gets up and says "Quit the BS and pack your bags. I'm done effing around with you people."
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-29 at 4:52pm:
    I generally liked this episode. It was basically two mini-episodes, each with a fun conclusion. My one reservation is that everyone takes a while to see the obvious. As soon as the colonists start to talk about fighting back, my first reaction was, "How?" But it takes Data forever to mention the obvious point that everyone will be obliterated from orbit and there won't be any fighting back! And the usually cunning Picard is rather slow to realize that the Sheliac won't listen to anything not backed by the treaty.
  • From Damien Bradley on 2015-01-20 at 2:38am:
    I've always liked this episode. Great character development for data, and great buildup to the scene where he uses the phaser. This time around, the scene at the end between Picard and the Sheliak had me giggling like a little kid! "You enjoyed that!" "You're damn right."

    One of my favorite things about this episode was how they didn't handwave/treknobabble away the problem of the transporters not working through the radiation (if it were that easy, it wouldn't be a problem!). No, they really couldn't do it--and they knew that the technological limitations would take years of research to get around. That is a little more realistic!

    Too bad we don't get to see more of O'Brien playing the cello in this series or DS9. Maybe he stopped playing in favor of married life and darts?

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Star Trek TNG - 3x03 - The Survivors

Originally Aired: 1989-10-9

Synopsis:
An elderly couple somehow survives a devastating attack. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.31

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 51 3 2 5 11 40 26 28 29 21 23

Problems
- During the second battle with the enemy vessel, Worf reported that "shields are down" three times.

Factoids
- There are Aquatic cities on Earth in this time period according to Data.

Remarkable Scenes
- Riker being caught by the trap and hung upside down.
- Worf: "May I say your attempt to hold the away team at bay with a non functioning weapon was an act of unmitigated gall." Kevin: "Didn't fool ya, huh?" Worf: "I admire gall."
- Worf embarrassed about the sudden appearance of the Husnock ship after his declaration of such an event being impossible.
- Worf: "Good tea. Nice house."
- Picard arrogantly solving the mystery but questions his resolve privately with Riker.
- Picard, after beaming up the survivors: "My apologies if I interrupted a waltz."

My Review
The Troi suffering scenes are getting old. Thankfully they didn't last too long. Kevin the mass murderer... but a crime of passion! PIcard was right. Kind of hard to pass any kind of judgment on Kevin. Not because we're not qualified though. Because we don't have enough information. I would have preferred less mystery and more exploration of what Kevin really was and especially what the Husnock were all about. All we get his Kevin's word on this. Some mud can also be thrown at this episode regarding the logic behind the attack and alleged colonial resistance. In fact the whole episode seems silly up until the surprise ending, but the logical problems are minor enough to be largely forgiven. Exceptional premise, flawed execution.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Vlad on 2006-04-01 at 10:04pm:
    I find it very interesting that DS9 is being called "the most human Star Trek series" even though that the regular cast features the least human characters. This applies here too. This episode is one of the most human episodes of TNG and the amazing thing is that the humanity comes from a creature who is as far from human as it gets.

    The Dowwd's dilemma is something, which I think many of us have had to deal with one way or another: How far would you go for the woman you love? Superbeing or not, love makes us do what we never thought we would.

    Am I giving him absolution? Absolutely not! Genocide is the worst imaginable crime. Like Picard said: "We are not qualified to be your judges!" But if you ask me if I would do the same if I were in his place... Why do I identify with this being, more so than with any other character I've seen on Star Trek? Why does his pain move my insides so deeply?

    This episode is a personal favourite of mine so I give it 10 out of 10! Call me biased if you wish!
  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-06 at 3:36pm:
    - Kevin perceives Troi is sensing he may not be human from the Enterprise, so he sends music to confuse her. He creates a warship that attacks and retreats from the Enterprise. He is able to control the warship's acceleration to maintain a constant distance from the Enterprise. Kevin destroyed an entire race, wherever they happened to be in the galaxy. Yet every time an away team beams down to Rana IV, Kevin acts surprised. How can Kevin be surprised by the presence of the Enterprise? He could sense the Husnak throughout the galaxy, surely he could sense the Enterprise in orbit around his planet.
    - An instant after Kevin begins to "transport" himself to Troi's quarters, Geordi turns and looks at the turbolift. This is before Kevin fully disappears. How did Geordi know that Kevin would use that particular turbolift?
  • From Evan on 2008-05-26 at 9:54am:
    I agree with JRPoole... I also suspect the arm sling at the end is a bluff. As for the comment about the universal translator, it's just using the same implant as the communicator.

    I also like to think that Picard doesn't think he's calling Liko's bluff, but is actually willing to die.
  • From Wes on 2011-03-24 at 1:50pm:
    There were some things about this episode that seemed quite familiar after watching TOS The Man Trap. What do you think? Kethinov?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-04 at 10:17am:
    I've always liked this episode. However, along the lines of what DSOmo was noticing, Uxbridge seems to be some sort of idiot-savant superbeing. How the heck can his power manage to find and kill every Husnock, when he has such a difficult time even keeping track of the Enterprise?

  • From Ggen on 2012-03-08 at 5:22pm:
    If it wasn't for the dramatic epic revelation at the very end, this episode would've been quite thoroughly lost... but the ending redeems it to a considerable degree.

    The premise with the music box and infectious telepathic tune starts off rather neat and eerily mysterious, but ends up being a bit over the top and somewhat silly.

    One thing I did like was how something like 1/2 way through the episode, you still really have no clue what the heck's going on. Everything's up in the air and it's not at all clear which way things are going to go. We know things are not as they seem, but what's actually up is quite a mystery.

    The way this is actually resolved and revealed is both a bit disappointing but, at the very very end, at least partially redeeming. The long-winded exposition seems sort of lame, just a poor way to resolve all the building tension...

    Thankfully we have this rather unexpected revelation: "All Husnock. Everywhere."

    That brings the whole matter to a whole new level, a different order of magnitude. As Picard says, "We don't even have the legal definitions to fit this crime" (something to that effect). In short, ep. is a mixed bag, redeemed by taking its premise to a rather extreme conclusion.
  • From Dominic on 2012-10-29 at 1:00am:
    I completely agree with the fact that this seemed like a really stupid episode until the ending.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x04 - Who Watches The Watchers?

Originally Aired: 1989-10-16

Synopsis:
Picard is mistaken for a god-like being. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.02

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 46 3 4 2 4 5 22 35 30 41 28

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Dr. Crusher mentions Dr. Pulaski's memory erasure technique. Good continuity with season 2.
- Troi and Riker attempting to free Palmer.
- Picard's condemnation of religion.
- Nuria's reaction to Picard's introduction.
- Picard carefully attempting to convince Nuria that he's not a god.
- Nuria asking Picard for miracles.
- Nuria finally "getting it" when she sees Picard is powerless against death.
- Picard struck with Liko's arrow.

My Review
Picard seems a bit cold hearted. "Why didn't you let him die?" Acceptable though because his crew members once again prevailed against his uncaring disposition. I like this episode's concept quite a bit. It represents a pipe dream in the modern world. Oh how great an opportunity it would be to study an ancient civilization like the Romans or Egyptians first hand. Think of how much more we could learn about them! This episode also serves as a firm reinforcement of Trek's anti religious standpoint; another feature of it I enjoyed. The climax of the episode is when Picard asks Liko to shoot him with his bow and arrow. I got the impression that Picard was calling Liko's bluff only to find out that he wasn't bluffing. :) All in all, one of TNG's finer moments.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-08 at 7:04pm:
    At the very end of the episode, in his voice-over, Picard claims that Dr. Crusher has tended to his injuries with her usual skill. But in the very next scene, Picard is wearing a sling to support his arm. Why is Picard in a sling? This is the twenty-fourth century, medicine has come a long way.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-01-30 at 10:34am:
    I think the sling was for effect, to show the natives that he'd actually been injured. To them, using the knitter to seemingly magically cure the injury would have seemed god-like, exactly what they were trying to avoid.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-03-12 at 5:40pm:
    I remembered this episode as one of my favorites, but when I watched it again this time around, I was a little disappointed. It's still a fairly strong episode, but there are some problems.

    I'm not usually one to bitch about issues with the universal translator; we have to accept it as a convention of the show to make many of the plots work. Here it's a little more problematic. Theoretically, the UT works by broadcasting speech in the host language in some fashion while it's being spoken. That would seem to make it impossible to fool someone into thinking you're not using it, which makes Riker and Troi's foray down to the planet unlikely at best.

    That said, this episode is classic Trek in its insistence on rational thinking in lieu of religion. I also like episodes that showcase the inner workings of Star Fleet, and the duck blind scenario was great. All in all, an above average episode.
  • From TashaFan on 2008-10-27 at 9:39pm:
    DSOmo asks "Picard claims that Dr. Crusher has tended to his injuries with her usual skill. But in the very next scene, Picard is wearing a sling to support his arm. Why is Picard in a sling?"

    In my recollection, that IS Dr. Crusher's usual level of skill. I think Dr. Pulaski was a far superior physician (for instance, she could fix Geordi's eyes but when Crusher was the doctor, Geordi was told it was impossible), although Crusher had a better knowledge of things like herbal medicine.
  • From Stephen on 2010-08-13 at 10:52pm:
    I loved the simplicity and strength of this episode. Picard's dialogues were brilliant .. they were efficient, logical and pitch perfect.

    Only pet peeve was that the senior researcher studying the civilization was so disrespectful of it. He would completely wreck it by confirming their belief in a god. That should be the antithesis of his perspective.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-05 at 12:57pm:
    A solid episode.

    - Funny how the anthropologist is the one who is eager to ditch the Prime Directive. If there is a scientific basis for the Prime Directive, you would think it would be anthropologists who were responsible for it!
    - On the other hand, mabye there is no scientific basis for the Prime Directive, considering how the crew never seems to have any guidelines and always re-debates the philosophical meaning of it from scratch each time.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-09 at 8:10pm:
    This episode is a rather poignant and explicit assault on religious belief and its consequences (most of it justified, in my personal opinion... but not entirely).

    Riker: "It's worse than we thought. They're beginning to believe in a *God*."

    Need I say more?

    More about specifics: Picard and the crew are faced with an interesting and rather unique dilemma, a kind of Prime Directive Catch-22. They've been discovered and Picard is assumed to be a God. Do they now follow the anthropologist's suggestion and encourage a benign religion, something closer to the Mintakan's natural development, but also a throwback to earlier stages of their development, or do they do as Picard ultimately decides: expose all, take them on the Enterprise, introducing foreign concepts and foreign technology thousands of years beyond their current state of progress (but amenable and compatible with the general logical direction of their proto-vulcan evolution)? Either way, the intrusion, the "cultural contamination" is considerable.

    I don't even know how to pick a side here, from an Anthropological Prime Directive point of view, which is partly what makes this all so great... there is no clear path... arguments can be made for both sides.

    Anyway, there are things I liked about the execution as well, among them just seeing a logical and quite likeable primitive people... if only studying them was really studying ourselves (meaning humans), as Picard proclaims presumptuously. Human beings "in the Bronze Age" were almost certainly a much more fearsome sight...

    Along those same lines, Lico's character was delightfully sincere, emotive, and conflicted... His scenes and story arc were a pleasure to watch.

    So, rather excellent episode, on the whole. A great, original anthropological concept, skillfully executed. I think this falls somewhere in my TNG top 10.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x05 - The Bonding

Originally Aired: 1989-10-23

Synopsis:
The ship's archeologist is killed. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 3.67

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 39 7 14 20 23 16 12 12 11 9 1

Problems
None

Factoids
- According to this episode, Worf lost his parents to a battle when he was six and Wesley lost his father when he was "younger than Jeremy" was in this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard's horrified expression when Troi mentioned Aster had a son.
- Worf's Klingon ceremonies.
- Picard's speech about his objections to having children aboard ship.
- I love Riker and Data's conversation regarding the depth of losses depending on who's killed.
- Worf's reaction to a death under his command.
- Jeremy's cat, Patches. Such a great name for a cat that looks like that.
- Man I want a cat as affectionate as Patches.
- Picard to fake Lt. Aster: "What you're offering him is a memory. Something to cherish, not to live in."
- Wesley lashing out at Picard and Picard taking it so well.
- The whole ending was nicely orchestrated and touching.

My Review
We get great tidbits regarding Klingon culture in this episode thanks to Worf's reaction to Lt. Aster's death. An energy life form with a guilt trip. I enjoyed the dialog between fake Lt. Aster and Picard regarding the nature of human existence. Consequently thanks to the events, this turns out to be one of the better children centric episodes, and the R'uustai between Jeremy Aster and Worf was appropriate and touching.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-08 at 8:27pm:
    - From the time Troi senses trouble to the moment Dr. Crusher declares Aster dead, only about thirty seconds have passed. There are no resuscitation attempts and no efforts to get Aster stabilized. Was Aster not worth the effort?
    - It's no wonder that the energy beings think Jeremy won't be cared for. Shortly after Picard tells him about his mother's death, we watch Jeremy in his quarters. He is there alone, watching old movies of his mom. This concept of Jeremy being alone continues throughout the episode. Does this seem right? This kid has lost his only surviving parent, and everyone stays away. He is only twelve. Shouldn't someone be staying close by to help him through this time?
    - Who shot the old home movies Jeremy watches? It couldn't be his father. If it was, Jeremy hasn't aged in five years.
    - At the end of the episode, Worf says a Klingon phrase. Jeremy asks what it means, and Worf explains. Then Jeremy repeats the complete phrase! Jeremy must be quite a linguist. Do you really think a twelve-year-old boy could repeat that phrase after hearing it only once?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-28 at 8:20am:
    The idea of showing what happens when a crewmember dies is interesting. And I like Picard's discussion with the entity at the very end. Otherwise, this episode is adequate but not particularly inspired.
  • From Rydeen on 2011-08-20 at 4:40pm:
    I really liked this episode, it was quite touching. I gave it a seven, I really liked that the alien lifeform didn't turn out to be malicious, just very different. On the other hand, I think I will never get to like engergy lifeforms and their "powers", they're just so contrived.
    One thing that puzzles me is that Geordi mentioned that the explosives were just recently put there "to be found". But there's no follow up to this whatsoever and it goes unexplained. So why do it in the first place? That seems like really shoddy writing.

    I'd also like to address DSOmo's points:
    1. It's not that she "wasn't worth the effort", it's just that her injuries were to severe and they had to proclaim her dead. Not a flaw at all.
    2. You have to give children some space in such a situation. I'm sure he wasn't alone all the time, but it would also be a mistake to have someone there all the time. Not a flaw either.
    3. Well, that's a little movie mistake really. Though you could reason that it was a friend of the family, an uncle, etc. However, in the end, it was a movie mistake ;)
  • From AnalogyShark on 2011-09-20 at 2:43pm:
    In response to Rydeen's comment about the explosives being dug up, I took that as the energy lifeforms dug them out of the ground and disarmed them. They didn't want any more harm to come from the old war, and were probably upset that the mines had harmed someone. As to why the waited, energy lifeforms probably don't fear explosive devices, so it hadn't occurred to them to disarm them till they saw the enterprise crew harmed by them.
  • From Inga on 2012-01-14 at 8:12am:
    When Geordi increased the power of the shield and the contact with the energy being was lost for the fist time, why didn't Picard order to leave the planet right away? Didn't he think the energy being would make another attempt to reach them?

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Star Trek TNG - 3x06 - Booby Trap

Originally Aired: 1989-10-30

Synopsis:
The Enterprise is ensnared in an intergalactic booby trap. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.79

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 44 1 1 1 4 17 31 29 18 9 4

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Geordi in the opening scene. Ouch!
- Picard: "The ship in the bottle--oh good lord didn't anybody here build ships in bottles when they were boys?" Worf: "I did not play with toys." Data: "I was never a boy." O'Brien: "I did, sir." Picard: "Thank you, Mr. O'Brien."
- Guinan is attracted to bald men. Must be why she tends bar on Picard's ship. :)
- Reactionless Dr. Brahms and Geordi enhancing her personality.
- Picard taking the helm.

My Review
This episode successfully combines humor and danger. Picard taking the helm is thrilling and Geordi's holographic adventure is funny such that this episode comes across as entertaining, but with little beyond that. An enjoyably average episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-08 at 11:17pm:
    - If Iralius IX was originally a planet, wouldn't the assimilators have had to be placed in the debris after the battle that decimated the planet? And if the battle that destroyed the planet was the battle where the enemies fought to their mutual extinction, who placed the assimilators? Obviously the assimilators must have been placed before the final conflict, which means that the debris field could not be Iralius IX. But that would contradict Picard, because he identifies the Promellian cruiser as being among the ruins of Iralius IX.
    - Why hasn't someone already found the Promellian cruiser? It's been there for a thousand years. Evidently somebody investigated the area prior to the arrival of the Enterprise, since the crew knows that this was the location of the final battle.
    - These Promellians must make an incredible battery. Remember that the assimilators have drained all power from the vessel. Yet, it still manages to send out a distress call for a thousand years!
    - Why is the Promellian cruiser sending out a distress call? The captain of that ship knew the assimilators were destroying his ship. Why lure another craft into the trap?
    - At the end of the episode, Picard blows up the Promellian cruiser. This is a mint-condition, thousand-year-old artifact. Even Picard says it "belongs in a museum." There is nothing wrong with the ship. It is just surrounded by the assimilators. Doesn't the Federation have the technology to clear the booby trap and tow the ship out?
    - Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge is on the Enterprise, populated by the finest of Starfleet's engineering staff, and he has to get a holographic representation to help him solve a problem?
    - At the end of the episode, Geordi says they are going to shut everything off and use only two thrusters. When Picard flies the Enterprise out of danger, he actually uses three thrusters: starboard, port, and starboard aft.
  • From djb on 2007-12-25 at 1:50am:
    - A thousand year old derelict's gravity generator still intact?

    - There is nothing in space to stop a moving object's inertia. How did all that debris come to a complete standstill? Why didn't it strike anyone as being strange?

    "I'm not used to having people question my judgment." "And I'm not used to dying." Great comeback! Even if she's just a hologram.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-03-24 at 12:14pm:
    The above mentioned problems bothered me as well, but they didn't take away from the episode because I can rationalize some of them away. The only exception is Picard's order to blow up the booby trapped wreckage. Why not just put some warning bouys around the debris field until somebody can figure out how to clear the assimilators?

    This was a rare episode where the sub plot was more engaging than the main plot. The character development for Geordi was much-needed and well done, especially considering that there's some good continuity with the Lea Brahms character later in the series. Poor Geordi; even Data gets more action than he does.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-07 at 2:52am:
    My favorite part of the episode was the part with Geordi. I always liked the idea of Geordi falling in love with the hologram, he needed some character development. But the part at the end where Picard maneuvers the ship out always seemed rather forced – "lets make up some silly reason for Picard to maneuver the ship using thrusters, it's dramatic!"

    - DSOmo has a lot of valid comments.
    - It is funny how Geordi, chief engineer on the flagship of the Federation, seems to have no idea what the holodeck can do until the computer tells him. He acts like a kid trying to figure out a new toy for the first time. But this is consistent with many episodes, that holodeck is just full of surprises.
  • From John on 2011-08-31 at 8:01pm:
    The reason Geordi doesn't know what the Holodeck can do is because the audience doesn't know, and it has to be explained to them (us). It's called exposition. They might have been able to do it a little better if they had more time, but not within a 40-minute episode that also included Picard's own "archaeology" story.

    I love the way Picard relieves Wesley at the helm. Just like his counterpart on the alien ship, the Captain is taking full responsibility for the success or failure of the endeavor.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-10 at 4:03pm:
    I don't have too much in response to this episode, although it was quite good, quite entertaining. The main plot was rather static and not that intricate, but Geordi's romantic subplot adds enough color and flavor to compensate...

    I rather liked both of the two solutions presented at the end: let the computer make 1,000s of helm adjustments every second to "exploit the time differential" in the snare's response, or have someone, as it turns out Picard, fly the ship "on one propeller," with the lights and engines down, on thrusters only.

    Of course, I'm sure we've seen this "thrusters only" thing as a solution before (as we've seen the "slingshot off the object's gravitational pull" maneuver enough times to no longer be surprised - unlike Data, strangely enough)... but hey they had to write a lot of episodes... I don't blame them too much for recycling elements here and there.

    So, not a particularly remarkable or emotionally or intellectually gripping episode, but enjoyable nevertheless.
  • From Daniel on 2014-07-05 at 12:47pm:
    This episode is in my top ten of favorites of all STTNG episodes. I love it for its simplicity; the plot is basic and uncomplicated. I also love it for its uniqueness; the music used in this episode is very different than the music in any other episode... It has a very different flair. I find it interesting that when they first sight the derelict vessel, Worf is the first to recognize it as a Promellian Battle Cruiser. And when Picard starts talking about it, even Data has an expression of awe. I also love this episode for the way they explore Geordi's inadequacies with talking to women - that he is better with talking to the computer or a holographic woman... (And have you ever noticed that his only real friend is an android? - poor Geordi, not good with people, though he tries so hard.) I also love that they include Guinan in this episode - I love her character. The general fascination with the ancient ship and the way Picard is so taken with it is wonderful, despite that the wonder is soon lost when they realize the danger of the booby trap. One flaw I see in this episode is the condition of the captain and crew of the derelict ship. If they had been floating there in space for over a thousand years, it seems unlikely the ship would still have breathable oxygen. Even so, if the bodies of the captain and crew were positioned in their chairs for over a thousand years in an oxygenated environment, the skeletal remains of their corpses would not have skin or hair, and their clothes would have deteriorated to dust. But, regardless of how scientifically plausible or implausible that is, this is a great episode.
  • From Rob UK on 2015-02-17 at 11:04am:
    Poor Geordi couldn't get laid in a morgue, even in episodes where he would have been able to with ease like 'The Naked Now S01E03' when everyone is intoxicated and knocking boots on all floors where is Geordi? That's right he's not getting any action because he is strapped to a bed in sick bay. The poor fellow hasn't even got the cohonies to get some holo booty action with the construct of Leah Brahms, he even becomes her friend. I wonder if the title to this episode BoobyTrap is more a reference to the Nice Guy Trap that Geordi falls into in the pre title sequence rather than the space based dilema of the Enterprise

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Star Trek TNG - 3x07 - The Enemy

Originally Aired: 1989-11-6

Synopsis:
Geordi is stranded on a storm-ravaged planet. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.91

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 33 2 9 6 2 4 8 29 50 32 7

Problems
None

Factoids
- Andreas Katsulas, who plays Tomalak in this episode later went on to play G'Kar on Babylon 5.

Remarkable Scenes
- Geordi's escape from the sinkhole.
- Romulan: "You are my prisoner!" Geordi: "Right. Congratulations. Surely a strategic triumph for the Romulan Empire."
- Worf's refusal to be a donor to save the Romulan's life.
- I love Bochra's surprise regarding Geordi's blindness. "Your parents let you live?" he asks regarding being born that way.
- Riker encouraging Worf to forgive and forget.
- Bochra learning to work together with LaForge.
- Picard's proverbial chess match with the Romulan commander.

My Review
I absolutely love the opening of this episode. The obnoxiousness of the loudness and flashing is made up for by Geordi being lost to the sinkhole. I felt the same way as Worf did when they beamed up. Worf wanted to go find Geordi at any cost! But Riker stopped him... Moving on, I rather enjoyed all characters in this episode. Including Wesley, which is rare as he's given so few lines most of the time. Geordi of course put on an excellent show. My personal favorite scene with him is when he saves Bochra's life yet Bochra still maintains his mistrust. Conversely, the captured Romulan dies thanks to Worf despite the best efforts of Picard, Riker, and Beverly to convince Worf to drop the hate. Such a great contrast between Geordi trusting his Romulan counterpart, Worf being absolutely bitter with his Romulan counterpart, and Picard being kind of the halfway point with his Romulan counterpart (the commander). The parallels were intended, of course, but that makes them no less great.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-02 at 5:31pm:
    This is a solid episode all the way through. I don't have much to add to this review, other than I'm glad Geordi is getting some serious screen time and character development at this point in the series.
  • From wepeel on 2008-05-16 at 1:05pm:
    While tending to the Romulan in sick bay, Dr. Crusher tells Picard about her old-fashioned treatment, which involves "keep[ing] the fever down, try[ing] to let the body heal itself." However, a fever is not a sickness, it is the (human) body's way of burning out the germs/unknown entities within its system. The only way this would make sense...is if she was talking specifically about Romulan body structures (maybe they see fever as a disease), but it would be pure conjecture on the doctor's part because in "The Defector," it is hinted that very little is known about Romulan physiology.
  • From thaibites on 2010-11-26 at 7:12pm:
    I like most of this episode, especially the jarring, disoriented opening which launches us into a world of confusion. I love how Worf stands his ground under a lot of pressure, even though it was not the politically correct thing to do.
    The thing that ruined this episode for me was the way Geordi stupidly allows the Romulan to take him hostage AGAIN after the rock slide knocks the guy down. Think about it - this Romulan knocks Geordi out and takes him prisoner on some God forsaken planet on the edge of the neutral zone. When the rock slide knocked out the Romulan, any NORMAL person would either pick up one of the rocks and bash the guy's head in, or at least take the opportunity to take the phaser away. Geordi almost pays for his stupidity with his life. His actions are just too unbelievable. (I realize that if he did what I wanted him to do, the episode would totally change.)
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-13 at 8:36pm:
    Not a favorite, but a solid episode. There was some definite drama with the confrontation with the Romulans, and parts of the Geordi/Romulan team-up. On the other hand, there was some hokiness there too, with Geordi acting rather stupid about trusting the Romulan.

    There was a lot of time spent on the Worf/prisoner plot, which I found surprisingly unmoving. Perhaps it is due to Worf's laconic nature – he just stands there and people talk at him. It bored me.

    - The reason for the Romulans breaking the neutral zone is rather opaque to me. It seems like a rather extreme action just to pick up a couple of officers.
    - The neutrino probe was one of the better bits of technobabble I've heard. It made sense to me how it was supposed to work, and seemed actually clever.
    - To wepeel: Although you are definitely correct about fever being a defense mechanism, an excessively high fever is not good, and controlling excessive fever is common practice.
  • From Inga on 2012-01-14 at 10:23am:
    Picard said that the Enterprise was going to escort the Romulan ship to the Neutral Zone, however, at the end of the episode, both ships are seen flying away in different directions from the planet.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-11 at 5:53pm:
    This was a rather exciting and dramatic episode, with some great "real stakes" content and considerations. The most notable points were "the first Federation/Romulan coventure" between Geordi and the Centurian, which was a pleasure to see develop and unfold. I loved how they were forced to help each other or die, a blind man propping up and led by a crippled man. But it wasn't all dire circumstances though - Geordi seemed to have also genuinely gotten through to his counterpart, made him see reason (as Picard later did with the Romulan captain).

    The part where the first Romulan survivor needs a transfusion from a reluctant Warf was also done well. This was a great little dilemma, and I loved how there was no predictable or happy outcome. Warf never warmed to the idea and Picard never ordered him, even though a life was at stake (and perhaps even a war) - and a life eventually lost. That's just great. I mean seriously, that's just great. Picard and Warf basically killed a man in cold blood (not quite, but still... rare enough of an event in Trek to warrant that kind of comparison).

    This tied well into the "brinksmanship" developments and made them rather realistic. There was no utterly villainous, singly culpable side here - the situation was not all the Romulans doing, even though they put the events in motion. As the Romulan capt. put it, Picard put territory over a man's life, ultimately leading to his death - so the Federation is itself guilty of contributing to the crisis (both sides involved, as in most real life military/political situations).

    - - -

    Detail: I liked how the Centurion's first words to his captain were "I told them nothing. I was not mistreated, but I told them nothing." The Romulan implication being that if a prisoner is alive and hasn't been tortured or beaten, then he must be a traitor or collaborator! Gotta love that Romulan military mind...

    Question: Interesting that Troi never approached Warf about the donor issue, and that Picard never asked her to. It would've been an obvious move with any other crew member. Funny how Warf's conflicted thoughts, feelings, and emotions are just assumed to be beyond Troi's capabilities!
  • From dronkit on 2014-02-16 at 7:41am:
    problem: Any vulcan crewman (several are seen in enterprise D) could have given blood for the romulan.
  • From Daniel on 2014-07-04 at 12:27pm:
    I like this episode for its use of contrasting friend / foe interactions; the building trust between Geordi and the Romulan, and Worf's choice whether or not to donate blood to the Romulan. And I like that they have yet another opportunity to seed an alliance between Federation and Romulan, because the Romulan credits Georgi for helping him - as in other episodes where Romulans and Federation work together to overcome a crisis. One item I should point out is the gurney; they use a flatbed type of carrier - looks like a divan without legs - which they glide across the floor to carry the wounded Romulan from the transporter. I believe this is the first (and only) time the medical personnel have used a gurney. Usually, they transport the injured directly to Sick Bay.
  • From lordcheeto on 2017-08-14 at 2:48am:
    Problem: it makes sense for Troi to be able to sense emotions from the occupants of nearby ships, but the Romulan ship was 6 hours away.

    I found Riker to be annoying in this episode.
    Raising his voice to O'Brien and the Captain.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x08 - The Price

Originally Aired: 1989-11-13

Synopsis:
Troi falls for a handsome dignitary. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.95

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 5 9 15 14 31 17 8 7 10 9

Problems
- When the empath guy is trying to intimidate Riker, Riker concludes the discussion by taking a final swig and saying "to the last mile." He then gets up and leaves the table, leaving his PADD.
- How could Troi tell that the daemon was lying? Betazoids can't read Ferengi.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Troi's frustration in the opening scene.
- The Ferengi entrance and subsequent scheming.
- Picard nominating Riker to become the Federation negotiator.
- The revelation that Troi's lover is quarter Betazoid.
- The revelation that the wormhole is not fixed at the exit aperture.
- The aerobic scene with Dr. Crusher and Troi.
- The look on the Ferengi's faces when the wormhole moved.
- Empath guy getting under Riker's skin. First by insulting his negotiating skills, then by insulting his rank, then by gloating about his affair with Troi!

My Review
This episode's premise is fascinating. A prospective stable wormhole in neutral space is discovered by a non Federation race and results in a power struggle for control of it by several independent bodies. The Ferengi involvement in this affair for once is in character and enjoyable, albeit still dreadfully idiotic. Troi's love affair was obnoxious. When Troi's lover empath guy defended his use of empathy for business to Troi, his argument was wholly hypocritical. First he said, "Everybody does this, I'm just better at it therefore it's okay." Then he said, "You do it to gain an advantage in situations of life and death. I just do it in business. Therefore you're less ethical." Uh, what? You either believe it's ethical or you don't. Don't go changing your argument on the fly. The sad thing is Troi just took it. Didn't even bother pointing out his hypocrisy. The ending amused me. Finding that the wormhole was neither stable nor were the Ferengi ever to return from the Delta quadrant was apt in many ways. It makes sense that Troi could figure out the foul play based on empath guy's feelings, but making it seem as though she could read the Ferengi was absurd. Overall this episode is one of the better and more memorable TNG installments, but its flaws are numerous and I must strike it down a few points consequently.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-19 at 3:00am:
    - At the very beginning of the episode, a tired Troi shuffles into her quarters. Troi gets paged by Picard. She reponds with "Now what?," sighs, and taps her communicator. A normal reaction from a person having a long and/or bad day. However, I have read, that Troi's badge tap was merely habitual, not necessary. When Picard called for Troi, the computer immediately connected Picard to Troi's room. So, the badge tap or communicator panel touch is unnecessary. This is the "answer" to all the communicator discrepancies. Removing the badge tap creates a problem. It obliterates a person's privacy. If this is true, Picard heard Troi's "Now what?" comment. This is a prime example of why "immediate connect" will not work. It's like a telephone that rings only once and then turns on a speakerphone so you can talk to the person on the other end.
    - When Picard, Riker, and Data discuss the worm hole, Picard says it might be a "proverbial lemon." Data reacts with confusion to this statement. Yet in the episode "The Naked Now," Riker (after referring to a needle in a haystack and seeing Data's confusion) clarifies his analogy by saying, "I should have said, 'proverbial needle in a haystack.'" At this point, Data understands. Did Data lose his understanding of the word "proverbial" somewhere along the line?
    - During Ral and Troi's intimate dinner, Ral puts his fork into the bowl in front of him and then draws the fork to his mouth, the fork has NOTHING on it!
  • From JRPoole on 2008-03-24 at 12:24pm:
    Up to this point in the series, the Ferengi are terrible characters. They're broadly written, over-acted, and their actions seem so stupid and self-destructive that it's hard to believe they'd be capable of this level of technological sophistication. That said, I love the plot surrounding the wormhole in this episode. It's a fascinating concept.

    My problem with this episoded is the subplot about Troi and the negotiator. The dialogue is straight out of a Harlequin romance novel, and it's hard to believe Troi would react this way. I found most of their scenes to be painfully embarrassing to watch. His turnaround at the end is also completely unbelievable. Uggh.

    Had this episode focused on the intrigue surrounding the wormhole, it would have been above average, as is, it wallows in cliche.
  • From Rob on 2008-04-13 at 6:02pm:
    Unless Troi actually says "I sense (blah-blah)" re: the Ferengi (and its been too long since I've watched this episode) then I would argue that knowing someone is lying doesn't have to necessarily be because of her empathic abilities. Troi is a trained counciler and part of her job would be to parse out when a patient is holding out on her with or without an empathic awareness of the client. She could have observed the body language of the Ferengi, sensed Ral's feelings toward the Ferengi and realized they were conspiring together, or done some deductive reasoning based on past experience dealing with the Ferengi. Like I say, it's been too long since I've watched the episode but it's possible that Troi could realize the Ferengi were lying without using her Betazoid abilities. Even humans have an empathic awareness of one another based on other's facial features, actions, body language, etc. and Troi would be trained to recognize these.
  • From online broker on 2009-09-26 at 5:56am:
    I really like this episode, but one has to fast forward through the troi/ral scenes, they are just mindnumbing, dreadful. But the negotiations and the ferengi are wonderful. The followup of the voyager episode just tops it off.
  • From thaibites on 2010-11-27 at 7:41am:
    Soap opera Trek:TNG marches on...YUCK!
    I need Borg.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-13 at 9:24pm:
    I have mixed feelings. The whole concept of negotiating for the wormhole was quite interesting, and the twist was clever and unexpected. On the other hand, the portrayal of Ral seems to achieve what it sets out to achieve, but I felt like I was watching a Lifetime movie about sexual predators.

    - This episode opens a can of worms that I think is best left closed. It acts like the concept of an empathic negotiator is a novel situation with no well-established ethics. But gosh, doesn't the Federation have an entire planet of super-telepaths (Betazed)? The Federation ought to use telepaths for every important negotiation, not to mention trials, interrogations, and many other circumstances. Even if they don't do this for some reason, you would think everyone would be paranoid at every meeting that the other side might have snuck in some telepaths, and there would be protocols to deal with that, which Ral would run afoul of. Oh well, we shouldn't think too hard about such things.

  • From EvanT on 2011-06-24 at 5:33pm:
    "their actions seem so stupid and self-destructive that it's hard to believe they'd be capable of this level of technological sophistication."

    Apparently, even the writers of the show caught on that and had the Ferengi admit in DS9 that they buy technology (e.g. Warp Drive) They've also made a point of showing that Ferengi scientists are rare later on (though, it's odd since there's obviously a lot of profit in new inventions, though perhaps not as effortless).

    What I didn't care in this episode was how poorly the romance was delivered. I've seen the episode several time and the romance has never felt natural for a second. I don't mind that Troi was slightly out of character (that's the point of "coup de foudre" anyway), but it's obvious the idea is that she has the hots for this guy and tries to hold back and then gets swept up in the moment, but it comes off as if he's using the Jedi mind trick to get her to bed. It all feels...TOO rushed to be realistic.

    To be fair, Sirtis acts out romantic scenes a lot better later on. Was it bad directing? Just a bad day for Sirtis? Too much material cramped in too little screen time?

    On the bright side we got to see a pleasantly surprising appearance of Matt McCoy in Star Trek.
  • From domi on 2015-07-11 at 10:30pm:
    i believe Data was confused at the "lemon" part not the word "proverbial".
  • From Phil on 2016-02-13 at 2:22am:
    Not that I think this episode was all that great, but I don't see the ethics argument as being particularly hypocritical. When he says "everyone does it" he is talking about using what you know about peoples' feelings, and when he says "you do it in matters of life and death" he is talking about *hiding* the fact that you are have empathic powers.
  • From Mike on 2017-08-13 at 8:22pm:
    I like Ral's character. He's a pretty interesting antagonist. On the one hand, he's cocky, slimy and brash. On the other hand, he's also got a good point when it comes to the use of his Betazoid empathic abilities. It's good that they show Troi at a loss when trying to differentiate between her services and his, because he's right. Of course, his methods ultimately backfire, but it doesn't take away from the fact that he presents an interesting challenge to the use of empathy in Federation dealings.

    I like how things play out in the end, with Ral once again attempting to subvert the Federation by making a backhanded deal with the Ferengi. Although Trio sees through it, it's a nice way to present the denouement.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x09 - The Vengeance Factor

Originally Aired: 1989-11-20

Synopsis:
Picard mediates a violent dispute. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.25

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 19 9 14 17 16 24 26 11 9 6 2

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The away team's fake escape from the ambush by vaporizing the metal alloy into smoke.
- Worf: "Your ambushes would be more successful if you bathed more often!"
- The negotiations. Tense but progressive.
- Riker killing Yuta.

My Review
Riker falls in love then finds out his lover is a mass murderer. Texas justice ensues. Nice if that's what you're into, but I found it largely unremarkable, predictable, and dull.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-19 at 3:02pm:
    - In this episode, Worf makes the comment about bathing more often to the ambushers. But in "Conspiracy," he says, "swimming is too much like ... bathing." I guess being with humans has changed Worf ;)
    - Riker stuns Yuta twice and then kills her!! I know he warned her twice, but did he have to kill her? The second time he stuns Yuta, she barely manages to get up. Stun her a few more times, or get the guards to grab her, or transport her back to the Enterprise, but don't kill her!
  • From thaibites on 2010-12-14 at 7:08pm:
    So...Riker spends most of the episode trying to charm little blondie. Then, when she comes to his room and wants to give him pleasure, he stops her and says I want you as an equal!?! Yeah, right... Oprah and Phil Donohue were probably high-fiving each other when they saw that. Sometimes TNG is so unrealistically lame and pro-social, it makes me sick.
  • From MJ on 2011-02-22 at 7:06pm:
    I think it's generally agreed the ending of this episode was a horrible waste of a potentially good story. I was very interested in the idea of a clan based society setting aside its differences and making peace, but not before some of its members wandered off to become intergalactic nomads. That peaceful society is now trying to incorporate the nomads, who obviously live very different lives. And the intrigue involved in the Acamarian ruler's personal aide secretly seeking a vendetta made for a superb twist.

    But in the end, it leads to a scene in which everybody is standing around while Yuta tries to kill Chorgan, and Riker repeatedly stuns and then kills her. I can think of several better endings, and I'm not a paid, professional writer. Have a bunch of people subdue Yuta and take her away. Or, if her death is to be a significant part of the plot, have Chorgan or one of his band of warriors kill Yuta, thus endangering the peace process and ending the episode on a question of whether the Gatherers will ever return to Acamar in light of what's happened. Something...anything...but what actually happened.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-14 at 12:01am:
    Mostly I thought the episode was entertaining, though not exactly inspired. But the secret revelation at the end was very odd. I was expecting Yuta to have been raised in the tradition of revenge, that would make sense. Where did this weird "genetic modification" thing come from? Somehow, in order to exact an exotic revenge scheme, they have discovered a way to greatly extend lifespan. Forget revenge, wouldn't everyone want that? It is like inventing time travel just to restart the warp engines! And I totally agree with DSOmo that there was no reason for Riker to kill her. Apparently the writers wanted her dead, and no one was going to stop them.
  • From Percivale on 2011-09-02 at 11:50pm:
    This episode had a vaguely interesting plot but the execution was dismal. I thought the Gatherer characters were obnoxious - no matter what their role was in the story at any given time, I just did not like seeing them on screen.

    The chemistry (or lack thereof) between Riker and Yuta was really awkward and unconvincing.

    I think 2 is more appropriate.
  • From John on 2012-12-05 at 1:23am:
    This episode isn't all that bad. The plot itself is somewhat formulaic, but the dialogue and character development are pretty good, so I give it a 7/10. It's certainly not an eye-roller, like some of the more terrible TNG episodes.

    That said, this is another one of those 'world divided' episodes where two groups of people from the same planet are completely different, except that one group no longer lives on the planet.

    The 'leaders' of both factions are portrayed quite well -- Nancy Parsons, in particular, does a good job as the Sovereign of the more 'civilized' sect, and Joey Aresco's Brull is interesting and fairly well-developed (for a one hour show).

    It's certainly entertaining, at any rate, even if you've seen it before. The dialogue is snappy enough to keep you interested.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x10 - The Defector

Originally Aired: 1990-1-1

Synopsis:
A Romulan defector leads the crew into a deadly face-off. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.2

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 104 13 16 4 3 9 14 14 48 56 58

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard and Data on the holodeck. When Picard interrupts, the characters nearly attack him, so Data freezes the program. :)
- Romulan standoff at the beginning.
- The closeup of the Romulan scout ship at the beginning. Romulan architecture is so beautiful.
- The Romulan scout ship exploding beside Picard.
- The defector and Worf insulting each other.
- LaForge using figures of speech on Data, confusing him.
- Picard's tension regarding what to do with the defector.
- Data attempting to console the Romulan defector.
- Romulan warships decloaking and attacking the Enterprise.
- Klingon warships decloaking and outmatching the Romulans.

My Review
An exciting Romulan episode. Lots of what Picard called "chess moves". In the end I really felt sorry for the defecting admiral. I enjoyed his final act, a letter to his family. That letter symbolized his belief that one day there would be peace with the Romulan Empire and the Federation. He risked his life hoping to preserve peace and thus his people. Even though he didn't fully trust the Federation at first, he still defected. A solid TNG episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-22 at 10:22am:
    The defector orders a glass of water from the food dispenser. He specifies "twelve ahgians." The computer replies that it is calibrated for the Celsius metric system. The Enterprise plays host to hundreds of races. What happened to the Universal Translator?
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-06 at 5:31pm:
    This is, in my opinion, one of the finest episodes to this point in the series. The Romulans are a much more interesting, well-written and developed race than the Ferengi, and the episodes that focus on them are generally better as a result.  The defector character is nuanced and well-acted, and his plight is endearing.  My only quibble with this episode is the way the Klingon aid is handled.  I realize that it was meant to build suspense, but the effect is rather cheap and the climax suffers a little as a result. Still, this is top-notch trek.
  • From paidmailer on 2009-09-26 at 5:36pm:
    Another great neutral zone episode. Two things I can add:

    -In the beginning , the character on the right of Data is played by Patrick Stewart.
    -Problem: Why did nobody search the romulan defector?

  • From thaibites on 2010-12-20 at 7:39am:
    Finally, a good episode! This one has it all - action, intrigue, suspense, wits, Romulans. It shows what TNG was capable of doing, but up until this point, rarely delivered. I especially liked how the Klingon situation was handled. They throw you one little hint that makes you scratch your head and say, "Whatever..." And then it all falls into place at the end. I really enjoyed this one!
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-18 at 9:44pm:
    A superb episode. It really catches the tension involved in Jarok being a defector. And this episode shows the Romulans at their finest. I think the ending is well done.
  • From EvanT on 2011-06-24 at 6:12pm:
    "twelve ahgians."
    I can see two explanations for this:
    1) The computer really had no idea the Celsius equivalence of the anghian (lack of information about Romulan culture)
    2)This signifies that the defector is all alone on an alien ship (he can't even have a glass of water) He's truly alienated (isn't this the same scene where he thoughtfully studies his suicide pill?)
  • From Inga on 2012-01-15 at 11:06am:
    I really liked to see Klingon ships and the Enterprise lined up against the Romulans
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-13 at 6:39pm:
    A rather excellent episode revolving around an excellent guest character (the defector). Through him, we get an inside look into Romulan culture and sensibilities - which, at least in this case, prove to be more rational and sophisticated than previously depicted - and even a sneak peek at Romulus itself (or its holographic recreation). There is of course also the issue of loyalty and betrayal, and the odd matter of betraying out of one's personal interpretation of patriotism (planeterism?).

    Lots of great lines strewn along the way, as the defecting Admiral has a rather lyrical bent.

    Question: Riker suggests the defection is a ploy to draw the Federation into the neutral zone, and Picard finishes his sentence, "Then they will have a legitimate excuse to respond with force." *Why* would the Romulans need "an excuse?" In front of what interstellar authority? The implication, perhaps, is that Romulan internal affairs are quite a bit more complex and less monolithic, and their society less thoroughly militarized than it appears... (This, of course, is reinforced by the defecting Admiral's personal beliefs and actions.)
  • From Matt N on 2013-06-01 at 11:32am:
    I loved the use of the Klingon music from the old Star Trek films when their ships appear.
  • From Lloyd on 2016-07-12 at 3:20pm:
    I found it unlikely that the Holodeck would have exact specifications for an area of Romulus, yet the computer cannot convert Celsius to the Romulan unit of measure for temperature.
  • From tigertooth on 2016-09-28 at 9:26pm:
    It's curious how many 0 votes this episode got. Yesterday's Enterprise and Deja Q also got a surprisingly high 0-vote total despite being well-liked episodes otherwise. Hmm.

    Anyway, one aspect that they didn't explicitly touch upon was the fact that Jarok clearly viewed this as a suicide mission. He surely intended to kill himself regardless of the outcome. And it seems likely he was driven to that partially by his demotions. I feel like as much as he loved his daughter, he was so dispirited and humiliated by being pushed to the side that he was trying one last gasp at being important. Sad that his ego overtook his love for his family and his home.
  • From Mike on 2016-11-26 at 1:37pm:
    I'm also surprised by the number of low ratings this episode got from so many fans. I tend more toward the webmaster review and other comments here about the excitement of the plot and the character of Admiral Jarok.

    I like the hesitation he shows in revealing too much about Romulan technology and tactics to the Enterprise. A lifetime of loyalties would be hard to overcome, even if he's defecting in order to prevent the war he believes is coming. It's also a nice touch having him miss Romulus and Data taking him to the holosuite to see it. In hindsight, his statement "I have sacrificed everything...it must not be in vain" has even greater meaning. It's not just his career, and never seeing his home and family again. He is preparing to sacrifice his life.

    Re: Ggen, I would think interstellar opinion in the ST universe still counts for something, and the great powers would need to legitimize or gain sympathy for actions that would otherwise be naked aggression. An unjustified Romulan move against the Federation might cause other neutral worlds to sympathize with or even support the Federation. And within the Romulan Empire, the civilian government would no doubt need reasons to support this move, as their internal politics and civil-military relations are shown in several episodes to be complex. It's definitely not a military dictatorship.
  • From Keefaz on 2016-12-22 at 6:50pm:
    The voting for this episode has clearly been hacked for some pathetic reason. Probably best ep to this point.
  • From Charles Gervasi on 2017-03-19 at 6:34pm:
    It's seemed odd to me that relations between the Federation and the Romulans was so bad they could not even deliver a message.
  • From tigertooth on 2017-04-24 at 10:18pm:
    One thing I caught this time around: when Jarok blows up his ship, he expresses disgust that the Federation was eager to pick apart the Romulan craft for its technology, implying that Romulans wouldn't act that way.

    Then when Tomalak thinks he has the upper hand on the Enterprise, he gloats about how he's going to pick apart the starship for all its technology!

    Jarok's position was obvious puffery - who wouldn't want to look at an adversary's tech? But it was amusing to see the hypocrisy revealed.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x11 - The Hunted

Originally Aired: 1990-1-8

Synopsis:
The crew deals with a dangerous prisoner. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.18

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 1 3 4 5 24 15 40 35 15 7

Problems
- I will never understand how someone can move around whilst in a transporter beam.
- Why are the Jeffries tubes so large? In future episodes they are smaller...

Factoids
- This is the first episode to feature a Jeffries Tube, named after Matt Jeffries who created the first Enterprise.

Remarkable Scenes
- The prisoner. It took five men to restrain him! Then his personality was totally opposite. I loved how rational he seemed and how eloquent his conversations were with the crew. I also love how everyone wanted to help him but had no means by which to do that.
- Worf fighting the prisoner.
- The prisoner's valiant escape.
- The escaped prisoner: "To survive is not enough. To simply exist is not enough."
- Picard bailing out of the situation, giving the supersoldiers a chance to reclaim their freedom peacefully.

My Review
Another race that looks exactly like humans! Anyway, the idea of creating a supersoldier is terrifying and this episode explores it well. I remember hearing a story once about one of my relatives returning from Vietnam and suddenly having a dual personality. A usually kind and gentle man suddenly and seemingly randomly becomes violent. Likewise to the episode the society of these people decides to ignore the aftermath afflicting their war veterans. But in this episode, it all comes back to haunt society.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-22 at 7:43pm:
    - The brig has been retrofitted. In "Heart Of Glory," the brig was a room with a force field around the door. In this episode, the brig is a large room with a detention cell in it.
    - Supposedly the Angosians are technologically inferior to the Federation. Yet one of their soldiers gets loose on the Enterprise and wreaks havoc. Danar makes one pass through Engineering and comprehends all the systems of the Enterprise. He defeats Data in rerouting power systems. He knows the exact location to place an overloading phaser so it will cripple all exterior sensors. He "hot-wires" a phaser to supply power to a transporter. Granted, Danar is supposed to be brilliant, but this is like taking someone who is a genius at fixing tube-type electronics and turning him loose on integrated circuits. He isn't going to get very far.
    - Dr Crusher indicates that the reason the sensor can't lock on Danar is because of the substances the Angosians put into his body. Later, the prime minister admits that the chemicals can be removed, but the mental programming cannot be undone. If you are trying to keep these guys locked up, doesn't it seem reasonable that you would take away any edge they have? Why let them remain invisible to sensors?
    - Danar tries to force a confrontation between his men and the Angosians by firing at a wall. The weapon blows a chunk out of the wall. Several seconds later, the same shot shows that the wall is COMPLETELY WHOLE!
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-05 at 9:22pm:
    My only problem with this episode is the way Danar breaks out of the brig. WTF did he do to fight off the transporter beam?

    Other than that, and the slight stretch of plausibility mentioned in the above comment, this is a top notch episode. I love Picard's reaction to the stand off.
  • From Bruce Dudley on 2009-09-27 at 10:57pm:
    Problem: After the prisoner has left engineering and as the the camera pans around, Geordi's visor is on the ground some distance from Geordi. When Worf walks into engineering, Geordi is wearing his visor.
  • From MJ on 2011-02-23 at 5:52pm:
    I think Season Three of TNG is in the running for "Most New Alien Races Introduced In a Single Season".

    This time it bugs me though. Everything about the ending of this episode suggests to me that we should see the Angosians again, either in TNG or maybe DS9. As one of the comments above pointed out, they designed a genetically enhanced soldier that was more than a handful for the Federation's flagship. It seems they have the knowledge and technology to warrant being seen again, especially when the Federation is fighting the Borg or Dominion.

    I do like the issue this episode deals with, though, that being veterans struggling to live in a civilized, peaceful society, and that society having no place for them. This episode, like the DS9 war trauma episodes, is interesting to watch in today's context.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-11 at 7:16am:
    In response to previous comments:

    I, too, found it somewhat difficult to believe that the technology of the Angosians could produce something as deadly as Danar. But I think it is explainable. It appears that the Angosians are inferior to the Federation in most technlogoy but superior in the rest of the galaxy in super-soldier technology; that would explain the Enterprise being unable to handle his anti-sensor and anti-transporter abilities. And if the Angosians are applying for Federation membership, they may already have regular relations with the rest of the galaxy and have access to Federation scientific knowledge. They just haven't had time to build up their infrastructure. Indeed, the enemies of the Angosians probably had better hard technology too, so disabling advanced enemy starships may have been exactly what Danar was trained to do.

    Still, I found it weakened the episode that I had to explain so much in order to believe it. And it seemed a bit of a copout to set up a moral quandary about what to do with the super-soldiers after the end of the war, then get out of it by having the Angosian government turn out to just be too cheap and lazy to deal with the issue. But in general this was a good and memorable episode. I liked the character of Danar and the hunt for him was quite exciting.
  • From Autre on 2011-03-13 at 6:06pm:
    -Picard says that Danar is in their "Highest Security Detention Area" yet when Troi senses his emotional tension moments later she walks in and there isn't a single guard in sight!
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-21 at 5:55am:
    In response to the comments by others saying that the reasons given by the Angosians for failing to treat the super soldiers was lame: not so! The real reason is quite chilling and given by one of the Angosians in an almost off-handed way, it is this: "We might need to use them again."

    If you had access to a devastating weapon, would you give it up readily? Certainly, the Angosians decided not to. They wanted to retain the option to deploy the super soldiers against another potential enemy.

    This scenario has many parallels in history. Ancient Rome is a great example. Rome developed the Legions, the most devastating military power of their time. The ancient equivalent of nuclear weapons. Once they had the Legions, though, the Romans found them both difficult to live with and impossible to get rid of. This led to instability eventually resulting in the downfall of the Roman Empire.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-14 at 7:14pm:
    I had a mixed reaction to this episode, but I think it's decent and definitely belongs in the series... The issue of reintegrating war veterans, dealing with PTSD, etc. is important enough that I can applaud the writers for tackling it, and forgive them for doing so in a less than subtle and slightly bumbling manner... (I'm thinking here specifically of the very contrived final scenes, the soldiers rappelling down out of nowhere, the final dialogue and exposition...).

    But there were definitely redeeming features, even beyond the social commentary. I liked the nuanced antagonism that eventually developed between Picard and the fugitive, with both apparently respecting each other but forced to contend due to circumstance. I also enjoyed seeing a sympathetic super-soldier wreak total havoc on the Enterprise, outsmarting the entire crew. (I was going to say that the writers preempted The Bourne Identity, but I just learned that the book was written prior, in 1980). I only wish the first fight scenes were a bit better. The crappy choreography doesn't fit the super-soldier plot...

    Problem:
    How the hell did Crusher "examine" the fugitive? Warf can't take down the forcefield for .1 seconds without him escaping, but Crusher can perform a complete and thorough examination?




  • From Daniel on 2014-01-26 at 2:06pm:
    Actor side note: the Angosian Prime Minister Nayrok in this episode is played by James Cromwell, who also played Dr. Zefram Cochran in Star Trek: First Contact.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x12 - The High Ground

Originally Aired: 1990-1-29

Synopsis:
Dr. Crusher is kidnapped by a terrorist group. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.18

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 17 2 4 18 11 21 22 14 16 10 8

Problems
None

Factoids
- According to Data, the Irish unified in 2024 due to terrorism.

Remarkable Scenes
- The doctor's bravery in the beginning.
- Wesley's resolve toward saving his mother.
- The concept of the inter dimensional transporter.
- Beverly's captor does a great job of making himself seem noble.
- Geordi saving the ship.
- Picard attacking the intruder.
- Picard: "You plant bombs in shadows yet you accuse us of cowardice?"
- Dr. Crusher's captor drawing sexy pictures of her. Disturbing!
- Riker: "Maybe it ends with one boy putting down his gun."

My Review
Another race that looks exactly like humans! This story nicely parallels middle eastern terrorism. The solution to the show's problem is to overpower the terrorists. A basic and bloody though effective solution. The question of whether or not independence is to be granted to those who seek it is largely ignored. As if they deserve no rights. A decent but not perfect episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-22 at 10:52pm:
    Several times during the episode the terrorists use their dimensional shift to board the Enterprise. Beaming up to an orbiting spacecraft requires a great deal of accuracy. First of all, how do these terrorists locate the Enterprise? They would have to have access to sophisticated sensor equipment. Even then, they would also need detailed drawings of the Enterprise to accomplish the kind of raid that occurs in this episode. The terrorists beam directly to Engineering - one to the upper level of the dilithium chamber and one on the lower level. After the first attack fails, they beam to the bridge and take the captain. Is information about Galaxy Class starships freely available?
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-03 at 10:00am:
    This episode leaves me flat. I generally like it when Trek does shows that can be seen as an allegorical take on real-world issues, but sometimes they can be pretty heavy-handed, like the TOS episode "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield," which is a fan favorite I've always considered fairly weak.

    What's not clear in this episode is why, exactly, the separatists feel oppressed. Like the review above states, the question of whether they deserve independence is ignored. Another thing that bothers me about this episode is the action sequences. The music and the pacing of the episode remind me of cheesy 80s tv shows like the A Team. That combined with the surface-only exploration of the problem of terrorism seriously detracts from this episode for me.

    On a side note, I wonder how this episode would have been viewed had it come out in a post 9/11 world?
  • From thaibites on 2010-12-24 at 7:45am:
    I think ALL of the opinions about this episode show that the commentators are so wrapped up in their self-righteousness that they missed the fact that 50% of this episode is devoted to hearing the "terrorists" explain their position.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-20 at 5:14pm:
    The terrorist leader is truly chilling as a multi-dimensional, well-spoken, but totally ruthless man who can easily justify any action he takes, no matter how many lives it costs. It is interesting how Dr. Crusher develops a hostage mentality (as Picard points out).
    - I totally agree with DSOmo that the attack on the Enterprise showed startling sophistication. But then, so did the dimensional transporters; these were not your ordinary terrorists, they were equipped with superior technology. Maybe they were being supplied with tech by some hostile power?
    - It is odd that the episode doesn't go the way you expect for a morality episode. But that may an intentional plot twist; you expect it to be resolved by diplomatic Federation mediation, but that isn't what happens. The situation on the planet is portrayed as way beyond the crew's ability to solve, all they can do is take decisive action against the immediate threat to themselves and hope that peace will some day come.
  • From Phil on 2012-03-11 at 12:36pm:
    The BBC banned this episode when it was first aired due to his political content regarding the unification of Ireland. It was a bit of a hot potato for them!!!

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Star Trek TNG - 3x13 - Déjà Q

Originally Aired: 1990-2-5

Synopsis:
Q is condemned to live as a mortal. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.18

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 116 2 3 2 2 4 8 12 39 52 60

Problems
None

Factoids
- The opening scene where Q appears nude has an interesting story behind it. The production crew went to great lengths trying to make John DeLancie appear as though he was naked whilst preserving the essential clothing. But after some frustration, John just stripped nude and cleared the scene in one shot saving everybody some camera trouble and providing a good laugh.

Remarkable Scenes
- Q's appearance. John DeLancie is such a great actor.
- Q: "What must I do to convince you people!" Worf: "Die." Q: "Oh very clever Worf. Eat any good books lately?"
- Every moment of Q in this episode is great.
- Q describing sleep.
- Data to Q regarding his becoming human: "You have achieved in disgrace what I have always aspired to be."
- Q's solution to the asteroid. "Change the cosmological constant of the universe." Duh...
- Beverly and Q.
- Guinan and Q.
- Data mimicking the term "little trained minions" Q used to describe the crew.
- Q: "It's difficult to work in groups when you're omnipotent."
- Data saving Q's life.
- Q to Data: "If it means anything to you, you're a better human than I."
- The two Qs.
- Q's celebration in the end.
- Data laughing.
- Q in the end.

My Review
A race that doesn't looks exactly like humans! Yay! :) I love the show's initial dilemma. A decaying moon orbit on an alien planet and the Federation steps in to assist. This premise by itself is good, but the added appearance of Q makes it even better. Not only that, but a helpless and powerless Q adds new flavor. This is truly a recipe for what is indeed a great episode with a phenomenal ending.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Vlad on 2006-05-22 at 9:41am:
    If there was a voting pool for the funniest Star Trek episode ever, this should take first place! I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. Q minus his powers was more irritable than an Andorian and more fun than a Ferengi. And again, as it was the case with "The Survivors", we learn a little something about what makes us human with the help of a superbeing... as unlikely as that may seem.

    Oh, and Corbin Bernsen's otrageous appearance as Q at the end was an added bonus. What an amazing actor he is!
  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-23 at 1:26am:
    - When Worf takes Q to the brig, Worf has to press a button on a panel beside the door before it opens. Later in the episode, Data simply walks through the doorway. Why the difference?
    - When Q hurts his back in Engineering, Data taps his communicator and calls for a medical team. Note: He TAPS his communicator. If badge tapping is simply habitual, why is Data tapping his badge? He is an android. Data doesn't do things out of habit. Data always "does things by the book." If the book says that a badge tap is unnecessary, Data would not tap his badge.
    - Dr Crusher fixes Q's back with a tool that looks exactly like a hypospray. But it doesn't make a hypospray sound. Maybe the hypospray is a mulipurpose machine. Then again, maybe the prop department didn't have time to make another medical device.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-14 at 9:21am:
    This is one of the top 10 episodes of all time. Q is hilarious, the writing is crisp, the Calamarain are interesting, Guinan's response to Q is great, as is Picard's, and this is all-around top-notch.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-20 at 7:55pm:
    There were definitely a few jokes I liked, but in general I found Q's complaints about humanity tiresome and overly exaggerated.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-21 at 5:22am:
    Sooooo, what about the Prime Directive? If the idea of the Prime Directive is to allow a sentient species's society to evolve naturally, wouldn't preventing natural catastrophe be exactly the type of interference to short circuit evolution? Indeed, this exact point is made in TNG: Pen Pals where there is a huge debate over saving a species whose planet is threatened by geological activity. Why no debate here? Perhaps the Enterprise folks have decided to Hell with either Prime Directive.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-16 at 3:57pm:
    Solid episode. Another excellent Q edition. Love the premise of Q becoming human and stumbling through all the physiological and psychological pitfalls. And a nice little ironic reversal with Q suddenly helpless and at Picard's mercy.

    The other story arc, with a Japanese-like alien race ( I think they were even played by Asian actors ), worrying about a moon-related Tsunami, was also nicely done. Same for the rather nondescript aliens seeking revenge on Q.

    As one would expect in any good Q episode, this one is chock full of witticisms and clever lines. One of my favorites is Picard's "It's a perfectly good shuttlecraft." The Mariachi sequence at the end is ridiculously appropriate, though the final "Engage" cigar gag was just a little bit much.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x14 - A Matter of Perspective

Originally Aired: 1990-2-12

Synopsis:
Riker is accused of murder. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.58

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 13 5 7 36 20 20 27 12 8 10 3

Problems
- That was a rather large space station for only a few people.
- The testimony that Riker fired his phaser at the space station core mid transport seems a bit difficult to believe from a technical standpoint.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Data criticizing Picard's painting.
- The space station explosion was quite surprising.
- Riker watching curiously as Data enters Picard's ready room.
- Recreated Riker attempting to rape Mrs. Apgar.
- Picard and Geordi solving the mystery.
- The holodeck exploding around them.

My Review
Another TNG guest star with a secret. The number one TNG cliche. The holodeck recreations were interesting though. It was fun to see all the different perspectives on the events leading up to Dr. Apgar's death. This is a decent TNG episode though a bit cliched and predictable. A bit sub average, but not by much.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-23 at 5:52am:
    - Krag claims that Riker fired a phaser just as he beamed out. No one on the Enterprise disputes this. Yet in "The Most Toys," O'Brien can tell that Data has fired a weapon just as O'Brien beamed him off Fajo's ship. If O'Brien can read Data's weapon, why can't he read Riker's weapon? And if O'Brien didn't read a weapon in discharge, wouldn't that constitute evidence that Riker didn't fire a weapon?
    - If the sensors could tell that an energy beam went from Riker's position to the science station's generator, why couldn't the sensor's register the first energy beam coming from the generator to Riker's position?
    - Every scene showing the Enterprise orbiting Tanuga IV has the ship moving across the face of the planet while the planet turns in the other direction! So how did the Enterprise manage to be above the generator at precisely the right time to intercept the lambda field (every five hours, twenty minutes, three seconds)?
  • From Shashank Mayya on 2007-08-11 at 12:21am:
    How come the 24th Century does not have something akin to a Closed Circuit Monitor/Camera. Even my local grocer has two.
  • From tur1n on 2010-02-15 at 9:31am:
    I don't get why Riker would have been armed in the first place. The mission certainly didn't require one.
    Plus we never see that thing in one of the other scenes.

  • From MJ on 2011-01-05 at 1:08pm:
    I agree this is an average episode. I still don't understand why Troi would perceive that Apgar's wife is being honest when her account is so very different from Riker's. I can understand innocently forgetting a detail or two, but she seems to be deliberately framing Riker and yet there is no deception from her at all?

    Still, for some reason, I like this episode. Maybe it's the interesting concept of a society where hearsay is considered valid testimony and where innocence must be proven in court. I'm not sure, but I enjoy what the episode is trying to do.
  • From thaibites on 2011-01-09 at 8:02pm:
    Hey MJ,
    Are you sure she is trying to "frame" Riker? Remember the name of the episode, "A Matter of Perspective". From HER perspective, that is what really happened. From HER perspective, she is not lying and that is why Troi doesn't sense deception. Truth is relative, my friend.
    The problem I had was the fact that all 3 accounts show Riker and Space-MILF touching in an inappropriate way. That means it happened. Somebody had to initiate the contact. Who was it? Since they're all telling the "truth", one of them must be completely insane. Couldn't be our dear Riker, could it...?
  • From MJ on 2011-02-13 at 10:52am:
    I don't necessarily think she's trying to frame Riker, only that her account of the events is so drastically different from his that I find it hard to believe there isn't deception on some level. Two people can give different versions of the same story, and as you say that's what this episode is all about. But I think it was a bit mishandled here because everything, from the behavior to the actions, is so different that neither account really resembles the other. They could've had a more slight variation in details and still made the point about perspective.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-20 at 9:32pm:
    I'm a sucker for a good gimmick episode, and this is a good gimmick episode. I tend to agree with some of the technical complaints DSOmo and MJ bring up. I don't think these points are impossible to explain, but they did make me scratch my head as I watched the episode. Nevertheless, I found the episode memorable, and generally fun to watch.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-21 at 8:51am:
    I agree with MJ in that there had to be some deception somewhere, especially on the issue of sexual seduction. In the three versions shown, Riker claims that Mrs Apgar seduced him, Mrs. Apgar claims that Riker seduced her, and the aide recounting Dr. Apgar's version clais that Riker attempted to rape Mrs. Apgar. These cannot all be true, even from a perception point of view. Sexual relations don't just happen. Someone has to be the initiator. Unless Mrs. Apgar is a master of rationalization and self deception, we must conclude she is lying. Unless, of course, Riker is lying. But Troi would never let him get away with that. So we are left with a logical fallacy, as MJ says.
  • From Arianwen on 2012-12-17 at 6:58am:
    I agree with CAlexander. The technobabble was used remarkably well in this episode, especially given the usual standards (the biological nightmare of Picard's heart operation is still fresh in my mind). The waves bouncing off at different angles actually made sense! Probably only superficial sense, true, but it passed my willing suspension of disbelief and it works with the plot.
    Re. DSOmo, if the generator broadcasts in all directions the Enterprise would receive the signal so long as it was within 90º or more of the generator. The waves only hit the Enterprise twice, so even in a low orbit it'd likely still be within range. After all, what matters isn't the risk of a third attack but the unique time difference between emissions.

    Re. the "seduction": anyone telling an embarrassing story will unconsciously cast themselves in a better light. Riker and Mrs. Apgar weren't being deliberately dishonest, so Troi wouldn't detect deception - and in both cases it was the other one who started things! Since the personality of the rape projection was so unlike Riker, and since Riker is... well, put it this way, Riker must be at least distantly related to Jim Kirk, I think they probably both seduced each other.
    In other news, watching Dr Apgar punch out Riker was hilarious.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-09-17 at 11:29pm:
    The most unbelievable part of this episode: the fact that the Enterprise crew all seem to think it would be completely impossible for Riker to mack on some foxy alien lady while on duty. Umm, you guys have met William T. Riker, right?
  • From Rick on 2014-03-05 at 1:34pm:
    I agree completely with MJ. The wife is lying and its a plot hole that Troi doesnt recognize it. The whole "matter of perspective" theme only goes so far. Where it doesnt go, is attempted rape. Next, where does everyone get off saying it would be in character for Riker to seduce and take advantage of this lady? Riker will no doubt go for the young, single alien females but since when is it Riker's practice to seduce older married women in front of their husbands?

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Star Trek TNG - 3x15 - Yesterday's Enterprise

Originally Aired: 1990-2-19

Synopsis:
An Enterprise from the past mysteriously appears. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.1

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 74 1 6 0 18 4 1 12 32 68 162

Problems
None

Factoids
- Worf's love affair with prune juice begins here.
- This episode scored third place in the viewer's choice awards.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf laughs at the thought of any human woman not being "too fragile" for him.
- The transformation from the starship Enterprise into the warship Enterprise.
- Tasha Yar's appearance.
- Picard not wanting to be specific of which ship he commanded: "This is Captain Picard of the Federation Starship... er... a Federation Starship!"
- Guinan's intuitions.
- The Enterprise D operating on such a nicely superior level of efficiency in the alternate timeline.
- Likewise I love the retro feel of the Enterprise C.
- Picard and Guinan arguing over which history is the "correct" history.
- Guinan freaking out over Yar.
- Guinan explaining Tasha's death to Yar.
- I like how the writers gave Yar a better send off in this episode than in Skin of Evil.
- Picard: "Let's make sure that history never forgets the name. Enterprise."
- The battle between Enterprise D and the Klingons.

My Review
The idea that a ship from the past entering the future and instantly changing history is fascinating. This episode has everything a great Trek episode needs. Excellent continuity, a genuine and interestingly new dilemma, action, and excellent character development. Tasha Yar's guest appearance was wonderfully appropriate and Guinan's involvement in the story was a rare treasure. Truly one of TNG's finest moments.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-24 at 2:59am:
    - The major plot oversight in this episode concerns the personnel aboard the Enterprise during the alternate future created by the Enterprise-C. In the alternate future, the Federation and the Klingon Empire have been at war for twenty years. In war, people get killed. In fact, Picard says the Klingons have destroyed half of the Federation's fleet. Since people get killed in war, people get promoted quickly. It is inconceivable that Riker, Data, and Geordi would still be serving with Picard. They would have their own commands fighting the Klingons. Of course, this is a television series. The viewers want to see the same set of core actors from week to week.
    - Picard has an odd sense of three-dimensional space in this episode. He meets with Guinan on the spacious observation lounge. He meets with Riker and Yar on the spacious observation lounge. However, when he meets with his senior officers, five in all, he crams them like sardines into his ready room.
    - At the beginning of the episode, emergency teams beam over to the Enterprise-C. Dr. Crusher determines to take the captain back to the Enterprise-D. Dr. Crusher taps her badge and calls for transport. She then puts her tricorder away and reaches up to tap her badge again. At this point a befuddled look comes across her face and she puts her hand back down to her side. I guess she realized she didn't need to tap her communicator to shut it off.
    - After Crusher leaves, Riker and Yar find a survivor in the wreckage. The survivor is buried under a bunch of rubble on a darkened main bridge. Riker and Yar dig him out. What's the first thing they do for him after he's out? They shine flashlights on his face!
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-20 at 10:14pm:
    One of the great Star Trek episodes. I'd like to add one more Remarkable Scene:
    - Picard discussing how the war is going badly, and Federation defeat is inevitable.
  • From Percivale on 2011-09-05 at 1:02pm:
    A perfect Star Trek episode - worth a 10.

    I feel that the ingenuity, energy and skill that went into this script surpasses any of the TNG movies (and most TOS movies) and feels much more epic.

    Wouldn't it have been great as a film? The only important characters left out of this are Wesley and Worf. I don't know (and frankly don't care) what could be done with Wesley, but there's an obvious role for Worf - as a Klingon commander attacking the Enterprise, of course!

    I especially love how they let Guinan really shine in this one. It shows the strength of her character and the depth of her relationship with Picard - even in a depressing alternate universe - and we are even left with another tantalizing clue as to the nature of her species. I don't think there is another episode where we are shown quite as clearly why she is on the Enterprise.

    But the interesting cinematography, the dramatic tension, the moving ending - Man, I could watch this one over and over again (and have).
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-21 at 8:31am:
    I agree generally that this is a fabulous episode. For one thing Denise Crosby is terrific. Perhaps because she was unhappy in her role in season 1, she seemed to be lacking in that season. Her performances were rather wooden, I thought.

    One logical issue: when the Enterprise D is holding off the Klingons, it takes the Enterprise C friggin' forever to go into the temporal rift! What's up with that? At the distance they were from the rift, they should have been through in a couple of seconds. As it is, it takes several minutes. Of course this adds to the tension, but it still creates a logical problem.
  • From Sean on 2012-01-07 at 8:20am:
    As I write this, there are over 700 episodes of Star Trek and eleven movies, and "Yesterday's Enterprise" still stands as my favourite episode of all time, twenty years after it first aired on television. To me, this episode is a perfect representation of what Star Trek is about: hope for the future. In this timeline, Picard is still as loyal and reflective as his normal counterpart, but he's a man who's been turned bitter by decades of war. I love seeing his slow turn from stubbornly refusing to sacrifice the Enterprise C ("Every instinct is telling me that this is wrong, it is dangerous, it is FUTILE!") to slowly realising that Guinan has introduced an incredible idea: that this ship has altered history - badly ("I've weighed the alternatives. I will follow Guinan's recommendations").

    Ultimately, Picard puts the needs of the many (the billions lost in the way) above the needs of the few (the crews of the Enterprise C & D). It's Star Trek at its very best. The fact that the crew all accept this is just beautiful - there's no dumb mutiny by a character who's looking out for his own skin, everyone realises that by sacrificing themselves, they are saving billions of lives and creating a brighter future for humanity. Even in this dark version of the future, the crew stays true to Roddenberry's vision of a united humanity. Even Riker, who clearly disagrees with Picard's decision, speaks to him with respect and once Picard makes his decision, that's it.

    What truly makes this episode so perfect, though, is the performances. As I've already mentioned, Patrick Stewart is in fine form, as are all the other regulars. Tricia O'Neil gives Captain Garrett a tough, strong personality without ever making her annoying. Whoopi Goldberg is suitably spooky, yet Denise Crosby steals the show by giving Yar the send off she deserved - particularly the scene where she requests the transfer to the Enterprise C. Seeing her explain to Picard that she's "supposed to be dead" always moves me.

    Of course, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the space battle, which to this day is impressive to look at, hardly aging at all. I love how the ultimate fate of the Enterprise C - it's final stand and it's destruction by the Romulans - is left to our imagination.

    Others may complain that it should have been a two-parter, or that Worf should have been on board the Klingon battleships, but I disagree. Having only one episode gives it a quick, almost panicked pace - after all, the Klingons are on their way! And we don't need to see the Klingons, or Worf, or any other part of this dark world, it's so much more interesting to see the story at the intimate level of just one starship. Often the best way to tell a large story is to just tell a small part of it.

    "Yesterday's Enterprise" is Star Trek at its best. My favourite episode of not only The Next Generation, but all of Star Trek. "Let's make sure, history never forgets the name... Enterprise."
  • From meinerHeld on 2012-02-10 at 1:36pm:
    Keith: "I like how the writers gave Yar a better send off in this episode than in Skin of Evil."

    Three cheers for that one!
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-21 at 2:21am:
    This was a rather excellent episode. In fact, of all the time travel episodes throughout Trek, this has got to be one of my favorites, for several reasons: For one thing, this episode accomplishes so much more than just the typical temporal parodox. 1) It is also a "mirror universe" episode of sorts, because the alternate militarized timeline is so fundamentally different from the norm. [And rather awesome to observe, I might add. I've long wondered about the straight-up military dimension of Starfleet - nice to finally see it on display] 2) It is very much so a Tasha Yarr episode, and a damn proper one at that. Tasha's oddly timed and oddly executed first death is rather gloriously redeemed here. 3) We're introduced to the mysterious and unique Al-Aurian "perceptions beyond linear time," which is a neat concept and a useful plot device. 4) Finally, this time travel episode is the only one I know of where someone (in this case Picard) asks the crucial question, "Who's to say *this* history is any less proper than *that* one?" This typically unexamined question has been perpetually in the back of my mind throughout the rest of Trek, causing me to cringe every time I heard the words "polluting the timeline."

    I also loved the high stakes of the final scenes - revealed when Picard admits that the Federation is doomed to lose the war within 6 months, failing some radical change of events.

    I don't know if I entirely follow how all of the events tie together to the very beginning and the very end, when the Enterprise (in "present" time) stumbles onto the space-time anomoly, but in this case I'm willing to just assume it makes some sense.

    Details
    - Warf calling prune juice a "warriors drink," and being sort of chauvinistic and piggish.

    - Alternate Picard's jargon: "miltary log," "combat date," "battleship."
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-16 at 2:05am:
    One of the best TNG episodes ever filmed, without a doubt. However, one major problem I noticed.

    - Since the Enterprise-C traveling into the future caused such a radical change in the timeline, do you really think the Enterprise-D would have still been at the exact position in this new timeline that they were at in the old timeline? That is, at the site of the temporal distortion at that particular moment in time. I'd say the chances are practically zero percent.

    Granted, there wouldn't be much of an episode if they weren't. It's just something I was thinking about while watching.
  • From tigertooth on 2017-04-30 at 10:30pm:
    This is great. I loved the instances of Picard arguing against the logic of the plot. NOT GOOD ENOUGH, DAMNIT! And also when he and Yar have the scene in the Ready Room. He tells her it's illogical for her to go, which it is! But I still completely dug it.

    I guess I view it as all the characters having a less defined version of the El Aurian senses. Guinan can sense the anomalies far more than anyone else, but the others sense it, too. That's the only reason I can imagine for Picard and Yar's actions. And it works for me.

    I will say the death of Captain Garrett was not great. The shot of her wide-eyed with shrapnel in her forehead was more comical than anything else. The Riker death scene was only better by comparison. Overall the director did a great job, but that was a clunker. The casting of Castillo was questionable, too.

    One other quibble: right after Riker was killed, it probably would have made more sense for Picard to talk about surrender terms with the Klingons if for no other reason than to stall them while the Enterprise-C got through the rift. But the awesomeness of Picard's "That'll be the day!" and vaulting back to tactical? Those far outweigh the logic issue.

    But overall this was great - a terrific sendoff for Yar, a fascinating look into a possible military Starfleet, some juicy moral conundrums... what more could you ask for?

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Star Trek TNG - 3x16 - The Offspring

Originally Aired: 1990-3-12

Synopsis:
Data becomes a father. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 6.83

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 33 3 3 3 5 12 10 24 42 38 56

Problems
None

Factoids
- Riker was largely absent from this episode because he directed it, his first directed Star Trek episode. When Frakes asked Rick Berman if he could direct an episode, Berman told him to go learn a bit about directing first. So Frakes spent weeks intensely studying the subject until he was finally allowed to give this episode a shot. TPTB were so impressed with his directing ability in this episode, that he became a regular director on Star Trek, including the famous Trek movie First Contact to his credit.

Remarkable Scenes
- Data being secretive.
- Picard's annoyance with Data's undertaking of a project to produce a new android in secret and Data's responses.
- Wesley: "Data, she could learn a lot by being around children her own age." Data: "She is only two weeks old..."
- Lal's continual questions, one of which was "why is the sky black?"
- Lal in the turbolift with Data after the school day.
- Lal inadvertently insulting Guinan's age.
- Lal using a contraction.
- Lal seducing Riker and Data walking in on the situation. Data: "Commander, what are your intentions toward my daughter?"
- The admiral's disgust with Lal working in Ten Forward. Talk about bad first impressions.
- The admiral's meeting with Lal.
- Lal getting scared and seeking out Troi.
- Data's argument to the admiral supporting his belief that Lal should not be taken away from him.
- Picard: "There are times, sir, when men of good conscience cannot blindly follow orders."
- The admiral's change of heart, trying to save Lal's life. I love the way the admiral described Data trying to save Lal's life.

My Review
I like the continuity with and similarity of this episode with TNG: The Measure of a Man. Picard mentions that he helped define the rights of androids, and the definition he set ultimately prevailed. What is most remarkable about this episode is that it serves as a very enlightening character piece for Data. You can learn more about Data's motivations, desires, and goals in this episode than virtually any other through the process of creating, teaching, living with, and witnessing the death of a pseudo-loved one. Encased in an emotionless shell on the surface is in fact a very emotionally moving story.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-24 at 4:55am:
    - During a voice-over, Data talks about teaching Lal "to supplement her innate android behavior with simulated human responses." The scene shows Data teaching Lal to blink. But in many of the scenes preceding this one, Lal can be seen blinking.
    - Picard makes the correct stand at the end of the episode - that Data is a sentient being with rights, and those rights include the right to raise a family. The state cannot simply take children away from their parents. Why does Picard have to take this stand in the first place? Why haven't Admiral Haftel's superiors shut down Haftel already? Or does the decision reached in "The Measure Of A Man" - defining Data as a sentient being - mean nothing? Or is Starfleet simply setting aside both their protection of the family unit and Data's sentience simply because these principles are inconvenient?
    - While Data and Wesley discuss Lal, Dr. Crusher pages Wesley and reminds him of a hair appointment. Wesley responds that he is on his way. He then shakes his head and says, "Parents!" There is no badge tap. Neither Dr. Crusher nor Wesley said "Out." There is no indication that the communication channel had been closed. In other words, Dr. Crusher heard Wesley say "Parents!"
  • From Rob on 2008-04-13 at 6:29pm:
    This episode is amazing in that its revolving around an emotionless android (Data) and a never-before-seen guest star (Lal) and yet it so emotionally moving. The death of Lal actually brings a lump to my throat, especially when she's in Troi's quarters thumping at her abdomen and saying "This is what it means to feel."

    Phenomenal work by the actress (Hallie Todd?) and everytime I've watched the episode I'm saddened all over again that she suffered that cascade failure. She would have been a fascinating addition to the cast.
  • From Crispy on 2009-07-22 at 4:11pm:
    Excellent episode - one of the few truly emotionally moving TNG episodes.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-21 at 12:09am:
    An excellent episode, rather touching. I found myself pondering Data's arguments. That is a good sign.
    - Since DSOmo brings it up, I'll point out that I don't totally buy Data's argument that he need not inform the Captain about his experiments because he is merely procreating like anyone else, and thus his actions are beyond question. This might be true if Data were a member of a race of androids who had reproduced since time immemorial by building new copies of themselves. But he is creating a brand new experimental life form that may or may not work. So his analogy is flawed; he is not the same as a normal human having a child, and more like a childless man trying to create a genetically engineered superbeing to act as his progeny. While it is reasonable that Data be allowed to "reproduce", his argument that he need not tell anyone else doesn't hold water.
    - Furthermore, the danger involved in building Lal is not merely theoretical. The existence of Lore suggests that Soong-type androids have a fairly high chance of becoming super-powered homicidal monsters. I think it would have been wise for Data to create Lal in a high-security facility with more oversight.
    - Data also defends himself by saying that he took all the steps that any other cyberneticist would have taken. But this is self-serving and thus irrelevant; it is like someone secretly building atomic bombs in their basement then saying it is OK because he promises he took all the necessary precautions. We believe Data, but there is no reason for Starfleet to take his claims at face value.
  • From rpeh on 2011-06-04 at 5:15am:
    I think this episode rates much higher than a 5. The acting by all the principal characters is superb, and the story is engaging and well-told. It manages to be touching without being overly cloying, which Trek can sometimes do.

    The only problem is the usual Reset Button: what happens next? Having demonstrated that he can create other androids, why does Data never apply what he learned and create more? Does he not give his new information to Star Fleet?

    Apart from that, it's great. I give it a 9.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-27 at 10:08am:
    I agree wholeheartedly with rpeh. Our webmaster has nothing but praise for this episode, but rates it a 5? Talk about damning with faint praise. I think it deserves at least an 8.
  • From John on 2011-11-22 at 7:12pm:
    One of my favorite episodes of any Star Trek series ever.

    Everything about this episode is great. The story is interesting and the actress who portrays Lal is superb in her role. Frakes direction is well-paced and thoughtful.

    The ending of this episode always gives me a lump in my throat and makes me tear up a bit, which I think is a good thing. It's very moving, and raises some interesting questions about the nature of life.

    Personally, I give a 10/10.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x17 - Sins of the Father

Originally Aired: 1990-3-19

Synopsis:
Worf defends his late father. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.41

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 4 2 2 4 26 2 6 13 31 52 30

Problems
None

Factoids
- This is the first Star Trek episode in which we get to actually see the Klingon homeworld.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kurn. Has everybody on edge. He is the very model of a modern Klingon.
- Kurn patronizing Worf.
- Kurn: "If it were a Klingon ship, I would have killed you for offering your suggestion."
- Kurn's reaction to human food.
- Worf confronting Kurn.
- Worf confronting the Klingon High Council.
- Worf: "It is a good day to die, Duras. But the day is not yet over." The first time the classic Klingon phrase "it is a good day to die" was ever used on screen.
- Picard trying to find a way to clear Worf's name.
- K'mpec urging Worf to dissolve his challenge.
- Picard holding his own against Klingon assassins.
- Kahlest insulting K'mpec's weight.
- K'mpec: "Kahlest, it is good to see you again." Kahlest: "You are still fat, K'mpec." Kahlest exits...
- Picard standing up to the chancellor of the Klingon Empire in defense of Worf, knowing that he may be about to start a war...
- Worf's discommendation.

My Review
A soap opera episode and a continuity goldmine. First, we get mention of Riker's experience aboard the Pagh. Then we meet Kurn, son of Mogh. Worf's long lost brother! Then we get to hear about Worf's past and about his father. This is also a milestone TNG episode which will have a serious impact on Worf's character in the coming years. We even get to see the great leader of the Klingon Empire who presumably forged the alliance with the Federation. Marvelous!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-25 at 4:10am:
    - Someone needs to replace the light bulbs in the transporter room. When Kurn beams aboard the Enterprise, the transporter platform is very dark. Maybe he called ahead to tell the transporter chief he wanted to make a dramatic entrance ;)
    - Picard replicates a variety of foods for Kurn to sample. One of them is roast turkey. Why would the replicators aboard the Enterprise replicate bones? Doesn't this seem like a waste of enegy? Picard must be a real stickler for authenticity ;)
  • From thaibites on 2011-02-05 at 12:05am:
    To say that this episode is a soap opera brings dishonor to this episode. A soap opera is where some slut is having an affair with her boss, while her Mom is banging some guy upstairs, and then the boss wants to bang the Mom, but the Mom is now depressed because blah, blah, blah...

    This episode is intense and obviously had a lot of energy put into it. I love how the Klingon homeworld is shown as a dark, sterile, foreboding place. The lighting is great! For me, this is the best episode of TNG so far, chronologically speaking. It's flawless.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-22 at 10:12am:
    This becomes a really superb episode once the main plot starts. No wonder Klingons became popular, they had some strong episodes in TNG. It also adds a lot of dimension to both Worf and the Klingons to see that not all Klingons are as rigidly obsessed with honor as Worf – that he has essentially overcompensated for his Federation upbringing by trying to become the perfect Klingon.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-27 at 10:48pm:
    Tony Todd who played Kurn, Worf's younger brother, also appeared in several other Star Trek episodes, two TNG episodes where he reprises the role of Kurn (as he does in one DS9 episode) plus one other DS9 episode (The Visitor) where he played the older Jake Sisco. This DS9 episode is arguably the best Star Trek episode ever. Certainly, Todd's performance was a major factor in that. Todd also plus the Alpha Hirgen on Voyager.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-28 at 12:47pm:
    Tony Todd who played Kurn, Worf's younger brother, also appeared in several other Star Trek episodes, two TNG episodes where he reprises the role of Kurn (as he does in one DS9 episode) plus one other DS9 episode (The Visitor) where he played the older Jake Sisco. This DS9 episode is arguably the best Star Trek episode ever. Certainly, Todd's performance was a major factor in that. Todd also plus the Alpha Hirgen on Voyager.
  • From John on 2011-11-22 at 9:33pm:
    That I really like this episode. I tend to like most Klingon episodes, but this one in particular because it's the first time we get to meet Worf's brother Kurn, played so well by Tony Todd.

    There's only one thing about this episode that confuses me. It's really a nitpick, but... when Picard first finds out the story behind why Kurn is there, he orders a course change to the first city of the "Klingon Imperial Empire". As opposed to the Klingon "non-Imperial" Empire. If it's an empire, then it's imperial. What's up with the redundance?

    Other than that I think this episode is great.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-22 at 12:21am:
    Another excellent episode. There are almost two separate halves here, each interesting in its own way: first Kurn as exchange commander, and then Warf's legal drama on the Klingon homeworld.

    Kurn is a great character, with the tension on the bridge practically dripping off the ceiling... And the heartfelt scenes of loyalty between both Warf/Kurn and Warf/Picard were great. And finally the legal drama was excellent, with all its open court and behind-the-scenes elements.

    I'd imagine this is how many of our earlier courts operated, complete with stabbings in the halls. Unfortunately, I also strongly suspect that our modern courts aren't a heck of a lot better, not when there's a "powerful family" involved, and there's a perceived threat to "national security." There are backroom deals, plea bargains, and all sorts of extralegal, purely political considerations. See the mock "trial" of MLK's assassin, James Earl Ray, for a very prominent example.
  • From Daniel on 2014-07-02 at 6:04am:
    I too loved this episode for many of the same reasons as others do. I like the introduction of Kurn and the seeding of a future storyline with Worf and the Klingons. I do have one nitpick about one particular scene... When Wesley Crusher is at his post to navigate and Kurn is in command, Kurn gives the coordinates and speed, then says "Execute" - which is the Klingon version of Picard's "Engage"... Now, any other Starfleet officer would have simply replied, "Aye, Sir!" And obeyed the command. But, Wesley, upstart brat that he is, replies very vehemently "Engage!" Thus correcting his commanding officer's choice of words in pure spite. No one seemed to notice this. If Kurn had noticed Wesley's smart-ass response, he would have killed him, as any Klingon would do. If Picard or Riker had noticed Wesley's contempt of his commanding officer, they'd have scolded him and possibly reprimanded him. Yet, somehow, the boy wonder gets away with being insolent. Doesn't seem right! What about the rigid Starfleet regulations and code of honor? Since when is it okay for a Federation Starship crew member to correct his superior officer... And spitefully too, since the correction is unnecessary?
  • From Axel on 2015-03-02 at 9:13pm:
    John's comment made me laugh only because I thought the same thing. THe first time I saw this episode, I had to rewind and listen again because I thought I misheard. But "Imperial Empire" doesn't make a lot of sense. Was that in the script or was it just a flub-up?

    That redundancy aside, this episode was awesome with lots of great plot twists. The Worf-Picard relationship evolves a lot in this one, and will continue to do so in "Reunion" and "Redemption" as they discuss Worf's family honor and their mutual struggles to balance between Federation and Klingon interests and cultures.

    On a side note, Tony Todd is one of the better guest actors in Star Trek. He does a great job as Kurn in TNG and DS9, and also portrays an older Jake Sisko in DS9: The Visitor.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x18 - Allegiance

Originally Aired: 1990-3-26

Synopsis:
A replica of Picard replaces him on the Enterprise. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 5.7

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 16 3 6 7 11 27 40 27 27 11 9

Problems
None

Factoids
- The cadet's uniform is the one that will eventually be used on early DS9 and Voyager.

Remarkable Scenes
- 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.

My Review
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

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Star Trek TNG - 3x19 - Captain's Holiday

Originally Aired: 1990-4-2

Synopsis:
Picard's vacation is interrupted by time travelers. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.38

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 22 2 7 11 10 21 18 30 27 10 7

Problems
None

Factoids
- Max Grodenchik, who played Sovak in this episode, goes on to play Rom in DS9.

Remarkable Scenes
- Everyone pressuring Picard to take a vacation.
- Picard annoyed at everything during his visit initially.
- Picard insulting the Ferengi.
- The time travelers' appearance and Picard's sudden interest in the mystery.
- Picard thoroughly enjoying punching the Ferengi.
- Vash and Picard flirting.
- Vash's deception to Picard regarding the treasure.
- History fulfilling itself by Picard destroying the treasure.

My Review
Welcome to Risa. The infamous pleasure planet. Vash, Sovak, and the time traveling aliens provided a most entertaining story, though It was all a little too silly. A fairly average episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Whoa Nellie on 2007-04-15 at 4:45pm:
    This episode is a perfect 10. It was marvelous to get to see the relaxed, off-duty Jean-Luc Picard suavely romance the beautiful, lady archaeologist. Wonderfully written by Ira Steven Behr, this episode is an homage to the great romantic films of the 40's. Vash is Bacall to Picard's Bogart. Watch Bogart and Bacall in the classic movie "To Have and Have Not" and then watch "Captain's Holiday." Vash's brazenness complements Picard's more sedate personality perfectly. Picard and Vash have a very compelling 'battle of wills' dynamic to their relationship. The characterizations and relationship dynamics between Picard and Vash makes this episode a pure joy to watch this episode.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-28 at 12:27am:
    The Uthat is located in a cave that is twenty-seven kilometers from the resort. It takes Picard and Vash two days to get there. Yet when they leave, they leave their backpack behind. The backpack had their food, drink, and bedding. Did they steal Sovak's transportation? Did they "rough it" all the way back?
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-10 at 7:56pm:
    This is a fun episode, but not a truly great one.  I agree with the review above in that it's great fun to watch Picard off of the Enterprise, especially when he "pulls a Kirk" and hooks up with the guest star of the week.  I also like the alusions to the films the reviewer above mentions, and the whole episode is good entertainment.

    The result of all this, however, is that it's hard to take this episode seriously. If the Uhtat is all it's cracked up to be, it could have been the subject of a seasons-long plot arc. As is, it's largely tossed off. This brings me to another gripe. If the Vorgons are really time travellers from the 27th century, why can't they just time travel again, back to five minutes before Picard destroys the Uhtat now that they know how, when, and where he does it? Like the aliens in "Allegience" a few episodes earlier (who, by the way, look very simliar)

    And the Uhtat itself is a little problematic. A crystal? Really? Come on.

    All that aside, this is a solid episode if you don't think too much about it. The interaction between Picard and the crew is hilarious, especially at the end, and we weren't subjected to a lame sub-plot about what was going on onboard the Enterprise during Picard's absence.
  • From KStrock on 2009-03-08 at 11:39pm:
    Why does Riker mention Risa like Picard's never heard of it? Even Archer and crew were well aware of Risa's reputation.
  • From Inga on 2012-01-21 at 1:29pm:
    The dialogues between Picard and Vash were terribly cliched.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-24 at 9:48pm:
    Enjoyable and quite amusing, with an excellent guest character (Vash), but a bit on the silly side. I question the mish-mash of elements composing the main plot: a legendary artifact, star-killing technology, and alien time travelers from the future. Was all of that really necessary to let Picard play Indiana Jones with a sexy woman for a little while?

    And what was up with that Transport Code 14 business...?

    Some redeeming features to be sure (the Horgon thing was hysterical), but the whole episode could've been streamlined and simplified and polished up a bit.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x20 - Tin Man

Originally Aired: 1990-4-23

Synopsis:
The crew faces off against the Romulans. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.41

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 0 1 1 6 13 39 26 23 9 9

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Telepath guy speaking other people's thoughts.
- Seeing Tin Man.
- The Romulans decloaking and attacking.
- Telepath guy working with Data.
- Tin Man destroying the first Romulan ship.
- The revelation that Tin Man the last of his species.
- Picard questioning telepath guy's judgement.
- The second Romulan encounter.
- Telepath guy finding peace with Tin Man.

My Review
A psychotic telepath prodigy first contact specialist and an organic ship creature pursued by both the Enterprise and the Romulans. A truly fascinating premise by which to begin the episode. Telepath guy so well describes his pain. "Getting it all at once." One can only imagine having one's mind constantly bombarded with other people's thoughts. Seems only natural that adept telepaths might go insane from other people's unchecked thinking. I love the resolution in this episode. Two wayward souls find peace by joining together. One of those truly happy warm and fuzzy endings.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-28 at 7:53pm:
    The writers didn't do their math for this episode:

    - The maximum range for safe transport is 40,000 kilometers. In this episode, Data and Tam beam over to Tin Man when the Enterprise is 18 minutes away by impulse. Traveling at full impulse is traveling just under the speed of light. The speed of light is just under 300,000 kilometers per second. In other words, Data and Tam beamed a distance of almost 324,000,000 kilometers. This is well above the maximum transporter range.
    - Wesley tells Picard that the repulser wave from Tin Man threw them 3.8 billion kilometers. However, only 50 seconds elapse from the time the repulser wave hits the Enterprise until Picard witnesses the supernova of the dying star on the main viewscreen. As noted above, light travels just under 300,000 kilometers per second. If the Enterprise was thrown 3.8 billion kilometers from the dying sun, it would take about 12,667 seconds for the light of the explosion to reach the Enterprise. That figure equals 3.5 hours. It is not possible for the light produced by a supernova to reach a distance of 3.8 billion kilometers in 50 seconds.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-10 at 7:59pm:
    Solid all around. Math problems aside, this episode features an interesting premise, Romulan intrigue, and a solidly written and acted guest of the week.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-26 at 6:09pm:
    You know what, I thoroughly enjoyed this one, much more than most people it seems. For one thing, this is very much a psychological episode, almost a psychological profile of "Telepath guy," and a rather believable one at that. (Maybe it's the fact that I have some personal experience with intense, almost overwhelming empathy, and the resultant anti-social tendencies that almost automatically come with it...)

    I just love this tortured soul, unable to shield himself from other people's thoughts, "loves, hates, desires... needs," drawn to thoroughly non-human, "restful" sentience like Data's, Tin Man's, and other non-humanoid life.

    The connection with Data is another thing that makes this episode rather grand, because this also manages to be very much about Data... Data is used brilliantly here, both as a contrast to the crew (from a telepath's POV), and as a parallel to both Tin Man and Telepath Guy, as a unique lifeform trying to make sense of himself and his role in the universe.

    The whole episode is considerably more layered than I first described it - it's much more than a simple psychological profile of a single character. It's about "Telepath guy," Tin Man, and Data, all three rather fascinating beings, all three struggling to find meaning and a suitable place in the universe...

    And they all succeed in the end!

    So, quite excellent, on the whole. Makes great use of a number of elements and concepts: nearly crippling telepathic ability, a living ship, Data... all tied together into something surprisingly coherent and compelling.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x21 - Hollow Pursuits

Originally Aired: 1990-4-30

Synopsis:
Lt. Barclay's Holodeck obsession threatens the ship. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 6.82

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 5 2 9 2 10 16 38 41 32 19

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The opening scene where Barclay's kicking everyone's ass.
- Wesley starting the "Broccoli" fad.
- Picard's resolve toward helping Barclay.
- Geordi being nice to Barclay after Picard's lecture.
- Barclay showing up "just about" online.
- Wesley overwhelming Barclay.
- Troi, the "Goddess of Empathy."
- Barlcay finding a lead on the mystery.
- Picard slipping up and calling Barclay "Broccoli" and Data trying, then aborting his attempt to make Picard feel better about it.
- Guinan: "The idea of fitting in just repels me."
- Guinan: "If I felt nobody wanted to be around me, I'd probably be late and nervous too."
- Geordi walking in on Barclay's holodeck fantasy.
- Barclay describing his anxiety.
- Barclay freaking out when first encountering the real Troi then bailing out the first chance he got.
- Riker, Geordi, and Troi walking in on Barclay's program.
- Geordi: "Commander, I don't think there's any regulation that--" Riker: "Well there ought to be."
- Riker meeting his double. Troi and Geordi finding it funny.
- Troi meeting her double. Riker and Geordi finding it funny.
- Barclay sleeping in fake Beverly's arms.
- The Enterprise hurtling toward its own doom. The engineering team trying to make sense of it.
- Barclay contributing to solving the mystery.

My Review
Meet Lt. Barclay. On the holodeck he's arrogant and confident. In the real world he's a nervous wreck. Beneath both personalities he's a genius just waiting for attention. The ending to this episode was highly satisfying. Barclay proves himself under pressure and breaks his holodiction. But saves one of this programs before erasing the rest. So we're left open for more holodiction Barclay episodes in the future...

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-28 at 9:26pm:
    - The engineers get contaminated because a seal on one of the medical containers is broken. The engineers contact the invidium as they carry the tissue sample from the transporter pad to an antigrav unit. Why are Geordi's top engineers carrying medical containers? Isn't that a job for the medical technicians?
    - After the engineers load these precious medical samples on an antigrav unit, Geordi tells Barclay to fix the antigrav unit. Geordi says it has an intermittent problem. Is this a standard procedure on the Enterprise? Does Starfleet have a regulation, "Whenever you encounter a problem with a piece of equipment, put a lot of really important stuff on top of it and then get someone to fix it?"
    - When Geordi faces the problem of the ship "flying apart," he calls his team of senior engineers together to solve the problem. This is a sound approach. If you have a staff of highly trained individuals, why not consult them? In previous shows, however, Geordi has always tackled the problems alone or with the help of a holographic representation.
    - Barclay enjoys a holodeck-created Ten-Forward. He walks over to Troi and she says, "I feel your confidence, your arrogant resolve. It excites me." At this point the companel beeps and someone says, "Lieutenant Barclay report to Cargo Bay 5 now!" Barclay responds by telling Troi, "It'll have to wait till later, darling." He quickly adds, "Be right there." So what did the guy at the other end of the conversation hear? In response to his command that Barclay report to the cargo bay, did the man hear Barclay tell him in loving terms that it would have to wait until later?
    - Geordi originally discovers Barclay's fantasies by strolling into the holodeck. Later, Riker, Geordi, and Troi do the same thing. They simply walk up to the panel, Riker punches a few buttons, and the door to the holodeck pops open. Shouldn't there be an etiquette involved with entering the holodeck? These holodecks function as recreational areas for the crew. Even Geordi admits that what people do on the holodeck is their business. Isn't it an invasion of a person's privacy to allow others to walk into that person's fantasy?
    - Picard must have one of those screen savers that blanks the screen until some activity occurs. Just after he tells Geordi to make Barclay his "project," Riker and Geordi leave Picard's ready room. Picard reaches over and turns his display panel toward him and studies it - except the panel is blank before he turns it!
  • From djb on 2008-04-04 at 5:47am:
    I watched this episode over a month ago, and I JUST today got that the episode's title is a pun. Hollow = Holo --> Holodeck. Very clever.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2009-06-07 at 12:16am:
    What a refreshing episode! Barclay feels real; I sometimes have to look away from the TV when he is having his awkward interactions with the crew.

    And who can forget the Goddess of Empathy?
  • From thaibites on 2011-02-25 at 9:15am:
    This is a lame and unbelievable episode. Geordi says it all early in the episode when he wonders how a guy like Barclay makes it through Star Fleet Academy. The truth is he wouldn't. Which means he wouldn't serve in Star Fleet, and he would never serve on the flagship Enterprise. This whole episode was a fantasy from the beginning. It could never happen. Barclay's a loser and that's all.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-05-01 at 2:19pm:
    An excellent episode. It is totally effective at portraying Barclay's character.
    - The characters wonder how he made it through Starfleet thus far, and this is never directly explained to the viewer. Presumably his intelligence offset his lack of confidence until he got on to the Enterprise, which, as the flagship of the Federation, was just a bit too stressful for him. Then he started spending too much time on the holodeck, reducing his performance, lowering his confidence further, encouraging even more holodeck abuse, until he is the nervous wreck that LaForge can't tolerate anymore. Quite realistic.
    - Star Trek is full of characters who are psychologically flawed, but usually they are unbalanced in the arrogant, overconfident direction. This episode shows someone flawed in the opposite way.
    - Echoing DSOmo, the scene with the antigrav unit bothered me too. It is really weird – "The antigrav unit isn't working correctly. These containers we've precariously stacked on the antigrav unit are extremely important. Activate the antigrav unit." The scene would have worked fine if it had just been executed a little bit differently.
  • From Nicolas on 2011-08-06 at 10:41pm:
    It should be standard enough to do a background check on the parties involved in serious accidents, just in case. Doing so would have saved them some time.
  • From TheRealProj on 2011-12-23 at 2:22am:
    Ugh. Wicked gay episode. Another throwaway that belongs somewhere in season 1 or 2.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-28 at 7:42pm:
    Another poignant and thoroughly excellent psychological episode, this one with a healthy dollop of humor on the side.

    I'll touch on the lighter aspects first... the humor here is excellent. Some of the lines from Barclay's fantasies are perfect. I especially enjoyed Troi as the "goddess of empathy," and Troi as the seduced counselor. "I feel your arrogant resolve - and it excites me!" Hah, that's great, made even greater by the next line, "Please report to Cargo Bay 5." Not even 1 or 2, but *5* . Hah.

    Beyond the humorous scenes, Picard's slip of the tongue among them, this was a brilliant depiction of, and commentary on, social anxiety. I love how you can absolutely see Barclay's effect on others, you can *see*( how tense he makes the people around them (equally brilliant was Guinan's acknowledgement that there's a bit of a feedback loop here, the more uncomfortable Barclay makes others, the more uncomfortable he gets, and so on). Barclay also just lays it out to Geordi, explains quite effectively what its like, "afraid of forgetting a name... not knowing what to do with your hands... the guy who ends up in the corner trying to look comfortable examining a potted plant." That's great.

    I also appreciated how serious the whole thing became, first threatening to end Barclay's career, and later threatening to put the entire ship in jeopardy - though of course Barc came through in the end. Might as well mention that the technical problem (the contamination) and the technical solution were both pretty neat.

    So, I thought this was thoroughly excellent. I've seen some of the other Barcley episodes, both TNG and Voy, and I believe this was the best one, possibly because it's the first. In later episodes, the actor playing him gets a bit too comfortable in the discomfort, if that makes any sense... the stuttering etc starts to seem more predictable, more rehearsed. Here the performance is entirely convincing... (I wonder if they didn't have him improv. some of those lines to get the desired effect...)
  • From Arianwen on 2012-12-17 at 6:20pm:
    thaibites - it is perfectly possible to succeed, and succeed spectacularly, while still having difficulty with your personal life. Social anxiety and academic /career excellence are not mutually exclusive.
  • From Damien Bradley on 2015-05-14 at 4:33am:
    A few thoughts...

    - Did anyone else catch the reference to the "flux capacitor" during Barclay's fake counseling session? Awesome! Wesley called it a flow capacitor in the preceding scene, but Barclay said "flux" instead. :)

    - I like what someone else said about Geordi having a team of engineers he heads up. I would have loved to see some recurring characters (Sonya Gomez?) that way. But why, oh why, do they all have to be dudes? And with exception of Geordi, white dudes? Come on!

    - I loved the continuity with Booby Trap when Geordi mentions he "fell in love" on the holodeck. I wish there had been more offhand references to other episodes like this!

    - How many holodecks are there and how do people reserve time on them? With a thousand crew members, it seems weird that one lieutenant seems to be able to use them whenever he wants. It seems holo time would be scarce and in high demand.

    - It also seems there would already be strict regulations around simulating existing people, *especially* superior officers. Everyone seems so surprised as if no one has ever thought of creating a holodeck program where you can punch out your commander or ravish your counselor.

    - It's kind of fun to see Troi lose her poise. We see it in The Loss as well. I'm surprised that she was surprised at her own representation, though. She would have certainly sensed Barclay's lust toward her, and expected it once she saw he was simulating crew members. Then again, Trek writers conveniently forget about her empathic abilities all the time, so no huge surprise.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x22 - The Most Toys

Originally Aired: 1990-5-7

Synopsis:
Data apparently dies in a shuttlecraft explosion. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.31

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 51 2 1 5 4 1 16 34 39 15 15

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The shuttle explosion at the beginning, with Data presumably aboard.
- With such concern for the mission, no one had time to mourn for Data. It was obviously painful for them.
- Data's eccentric captor.
- Data's Captor's Assistant: "The Andorians wish to make a bid on the shipment of Toulorian spices you offered." Data's captor, frantic: "They had four days to decide! Why do they have to decide right n--" Data's captor, suddenly calm: "All right."
- Wesley and Geordi mourning Data in Data's quarters.
- Data weaseling his captor's assistant into sympathy.
- Geordi refusing to accept Data making pilot error.
- Worf taking ops.
- Data's captor dissolving away Data's uniform.
- Data's passive resistance.
- Picard's faux pas with Worf.
- Data finally sitting in the chair.
- Data's captor killing his wife with the painful-death disruptor.
- O'Brien beaming away Data just as he was about to kill his captor.

My Review
Another Data episode. I liked Data's captor quite a bit. Especially the scene where he goes from rage to acceptance in a split second regarding the Andorian bid. His frantic personality is a flaw in the character but not necessarily the writing. I found the story itself largely enticing and the path Data chose for resistance appropriate. As the story went on, Data's captor got more and more sadistic and the story got more and more interesting. The conclusion leaving us with a mystery regarding whether or not Data would have killed has captor and whether or not Data felt genuine emotion is truly fascinating.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Ivan on 2006-07-29 at 6:21pm:
    During the scene where Fajo is provoking Dataabout his not capable of killing someone, I kept shouting 'Kill him!'. The Data in this episode shows some kind of 'emotion' but in an android sort-of-way. 9/10
  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-29 at 4:41am:
    - When Data begins his final run to the Enterprise in the opening scenes, he reports his progress to Geordi. After the crew of the trader ship stuns Data, his captors talk freely about the components of Data's body. Isn't it very convenient that Data's communicator happened to shut off at just the right time so Geordi wouldn't hear their discussions? Wouldn't an open communications line be standard in these types of dangerous situations?
    - The opening shot shows the Enterprise almost head to head with Fajo's ship. That means that Data must execute two 180-degree turns to get from Fajo's shuttle bay to Shuttle Bay 2. If hytritium is so unstable, why not put the ships back to back? In that way Data could fly out of one shuttle bay and make a straight line to the other.
    - Evidently, whenever there is any sort of dangerous job, Picard sends poor old Data to do it. For Fajo's plan to work he had to know, in advance, that Data would be the shuttle pilot. Requesting Data would cause too much suspicion later.
  • From Schn on 2010-02-01 at 7:41am:
    Is there really a mystery? The transporter chief stated that the weapon was in the process of discharge while in transit. It seemed to me that we realise in this episode that Data has more complex rules for killing than self defence.
  • From thaibites on 2011-03-01 at 7:51pm:
    This episode is great! I love Data episodes (mainly because you know that Riker or Troi won't be humping the first alien that comes on board). Anyway, Data calculated the possibility of how many people would suffer or be killed by his captor, and then fired. He knew if he killed one man, many lives would be saved. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
    Also, the personality of the captor is spot-on. The actor did an outstanding job of portraying an unpredictable, quirky, manic collector who was capable of doing anything. At what point does eccentricity devolve into self-absorbed madness...?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-05-01 at 1:14pm:
    The good part of this episode is the way that Data reacts to his imprisonment. The writing is excellent at portraying his unique point of view. On the other hand, the plot on the Enterprise, while necessary for pacing, didn't seem to work so well for me. The fact that I knew the answer to the mystery seemed to rob the scenes of interest.
  • From Lee on 2012-04-07 at 5:43pm:
    After watching this episode, I first thought too, that Data wanted to kill his captor. But he tells Riker and O'Brien, that the weapon might have been triggered during transport. So that would mean, he would be lying to them! For me, that is impossible, especially since killing him would have been justified, so Data had no reason (at least not from his "android-point-of-view") to lie.

    But it could have also been a problem with the dubbing, because I watch all the episodes in German with my family (they don't understand English well). So just ignore this comment if it all makes sense in the English version.
  • From Ggen on 2012-04-07 at 8:48pm:
    Great episode. Vaja (?) (the captor) basically makes this entire episode. He's a unique and all around excellent guest character...

    The little "subplot" with the water poisoning situation, which eventually traces back to Vaja, is done well also.

    Finally, we have the interesting little tid-bit of an ending: Data for all intensive purposes kills Vaja, with an exceptionally "vicious" weapon, no less. (Not really but he resolves and attempts to - comes within milliseconds of success). This despite the fact that no life was actually in jeopardy, only his own freedom. (He could've chosen to obey, to placate Vaja, to remain captive)

    So, was Vaja right in his early discussions with Data? Was Data's talk about using deadly force only for "defensive purposes" a kind of justification of murder?

    That Data hides all this from Riker and the crew after the fact is equally interesting. Perhaps Data is most human in these rare little contradictions, questionable judgements, and deceptions...
  • From Jack on 2014-05-11 at 2:15am:
    Something to add to the Problems section: After the shuttle explosion Geordi is talking to Picard and Riker in Picard's ready room and Picard calls Geordi "Lieutenant" but Geordi is a Lieutenant Commander.
  • From Rob UK on 2014-06-17 at 11:41pm:
    Good episode, I believe that Data was on the edge of a cascade failure (See Lal in The Offspring) which brought on the quasi emotional state and more human behaviour, all triggered by the moral conflict and emotional turmoil so strong his positronic brain and programming malfunctioned, the trigger for the cascade failure in Lal was the thought of being taken away from her father and friends. Maybe if Data had murdered his captor and stayed he too would have experienced a cascade failure resulting in his death exactly as his more evolved daughter did under less emotional duress.

    All just 5am theorising after spending too much time with midnight mary watching the Trek telethon style

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Star Trek TNG - 3x23 - Sarek

Originally Aired: 1990-5-14

Synopsis:
Sarek of Vulcan visits the Enterprise. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.92

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 3 14 4 1 4 10 12 21 38 25 24

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Sarak freaking out and getting emotional.
- Geordi and Wesley arguing.
- Data's string scene with Sarak crying.
- Beverly freaking out at Wesley.
- O'Brien starting a brawl.
- Sarak's vulcan helper admitting Sarak's weakness.
- Picard and Riker arguing.
- Picard confronting Sarak.
- Sarak freaking out in front of Picard.
- Picard freaking out after the mind meld. Marvelous acting.

My Review
An excellent episode from a fanboyish standpoint. We all remember Sarak from TOS/TAS. The chance to see him in his later years is indeed appealing. I for one will never forget Picard's performance venting Sarak's emotions. Truly great acting. Very touching. A fine episode. My only regret is not seeing Spock.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-29 at 11:26am:
    - When Picard approaches Sarek about the mind meld, he comments that it is the only logical choice. Wouldn't another Vulcan be the more logical choice? There is a Vulcan on Sarek's staff, and there are also other Vulcans on board the Enterprise. "The Schizoid Man" featured a Vulcan medical doctor.
    - When Sarek and his wife beam off the Enterprise, they join hands. This puts their hands outside the transporter containment field. Thankfully, the transporter still manages to work "correctly." Otherwise, Sarek and his wife would be handless when they arrived at the transport ship.
  • From Mario on 2012-02-15 at 9:24pm:
    "An excellent episode from a fanboyish standpoint." I disagree with you on that.

    I really don't care if Sarek is Spock's father. It doesn't affect the story at all, which is - at least to me - the exact opposite of a SciFi fanboy story: It is rather a quite universal tale of coming to grips with one's mortality - and a really good one too.
    It's about losing control because of ageing, an aspect which is more and more important in our ageing society. The denial of losing his mind, the difficulty of accepting help, the fear of becoming an undignified burden to your loved ones, the silent tear during the concert - everything about this episode was beautiful and touching.

    Your only regret is not seeing Spock? And that cost the episode 3 points? What a shame...
  • From Ggen on 2012-04-08 at 11:58pm:
    A pretty good episode. Interesting just how illogical vulcans can be - not only Sarak with his debilitating illness, but also his vulcan aide (at least until Data pushed him a bit).

    I thought the mind meld was used appropriately here and in an interesting and rather novel way.

    One thing they could've been mentioned was why Sarak didn't meld with his vulcan aide instead (it could've easily been explained that the illness could be transferred among vulcans through melds, plus Picard has the benefit of a diplomatic mind). It made sense, pretty much, just had to fill in the dots on your own...

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Star Trek TNG - 3x24 - Menage a Troi

Originally Aired: 1990-5-28

Synopsis:
The Ferengi kidnap Counselor Troi and her mother. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 3.15

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 31 25 14 15 10 13 13 14 7 1 1

Problems
None

Factoids
- Ethan Phillips who plays a Ferengi in this episode goes on to play Neelix in Voyager later.

Remarkable Scenes
- Lwaxana avoiding the Ferengi.
- Picard avoiding Lwaxana.
- Lwaxana continuing to treat Deanna like a child and Deanna finally getting annoyed with it for once.
- Picard getting Riker back with the shore leave impositions.
- Betazed. Such a beautiful Federation world. We see so little of it :(
- Lwaxana called Tog a "demon" as opposed to his Ferengi title "daemon."
- Tog beaming the women out of their cloths.
- Riker tricking and angering his Ferengi captor with chess trash talking.
- Wesley's solution.
- Picard professing his love for Lwaxana. Sucking at first, doing well later.
- Picard's bluff.
- Picard ordering Wesley to set course for Betazed at warp 9 to avoid Lwaxana!
- Wesley's promotion.

My Review
Finally a Ferengi episode where the Ferengi are completely in character. This episode is nice for its cheeky humor and interesting tidbits, but little more.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-29 at 4:15pm:
    - Changed Premise: This episode makes the point, several times, that Betazoids cannot read Ferengi minds. Troi is half Betazoid. That means her empathic capabilities are scaled-down versions of a full Betazoid's telepathic capabilities. Yet in several previous episodes, Troi comments that she senses certain emotions from the Ferengi.
    - At some point the Ferengi gave up their "phaser whips." In "The Last Outpost," the Ferengi used a bullwhiplike device that emitted a stream of energy when snapped. In this episode, the Ferengi use more conventional-looking weapons.
    - When Lwaxana beams from the Ferengi ship to the Enterprise, she starts out sitting on the Ferengi captain's bed and ends up standing on the bridge. In other words, the transpoter had to rearrange her skeletal-muscular structure in transit.
    - I think Wesley would do a lot better with the women if he'd remember to zip up his pants. The pants on Wesley's "acting ensign" uniform don't close all the way in back! Maybe his promotion and Starfleet uniform will help ;)
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-15 at 1:23pm:
    Uggh.  My general disdain for Ferengi episodes aside, this is still a mess.  I can't buy the way Riker is able to make subtle shifts in the warp signature without being able to read Ferengi.  I can't buy the Ferengi themselves; they're just to ludicrous.  I can't buy the new-found (and then suddenly lost again in subsequent episodes) chemistry between Riker and Troi.  This one is a zero for me.
  • From Kethinov on 2008-04-15 at 4:18pm:
    Keep in mind, JRPoole, that it's always been implied that the universal translator allows people to read alien languages as well as understand the spoken variety.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-06-13 at 3:06am:
    I guess you're right about the universal translator. But that would that mean the translator is inside the brain?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-05-26 at 10:34am:
    I don't much like Lwaxana, I don't much like the Ferengi, and the combination of the two is almost too much to bear. The only parts I liked were Riker's escape from the prison cell and Picard's Shakespearean performance at the end.
  • From Bronn on 2012-10-19 at 5:13pm:
    What I hate about Lwaxana is that, for a telepath, she's so terribly uninsightful. Also, I hate Deanna for telling her that she needs to speak out loud around non-telepaths. She already is too overbearing and loud to begin with.
  • From TDV on 2014-07-28 at 2:35pm:
    The worst part of this episode is that it provided the still frame for all the horrible "annoyed picard" gifs on facebook!

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Star Trek TNG - 3x25 - Transfigurations

Originally Aired: 1990-6-4

Synopsis:
The Enterprise encounters an incredibly powerful humanoid. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 5.02

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 4 6 4 24 11 24 17 11 8 5 7

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode marks the first mention of O'Brien injuring himself on the holodeck kayaking. Though he mentions that he injured himself "again" denoting that this isn't the first time he's done it, this is the first of many mentions on screen.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf and Geordi eyeing women in the opening scene.
- Worf, annoyed at Geordi's and Data's technobabble: "Less talk. More synthehol. We came here to relax."
- Worf, regarding Geordi finally getting the courage to snag his woman: "I've been tutoring him. He learns quickly."
- Geordi's newfound confidence.
- It's nice to see Wesley sporting his new uniform.
- Superhuman guest guy healing O'Brien.
- Geordi and Data solving the mystery.
- Worf's fatal fall.
- The revelation at the end.

My Review
It's nice to have an episode focused nicely around Beverly that isn't surrounded by sorrow. I enjoyed the beginning of this episode quite a bit. A survivor of a terrible accident benefiting from the generosity of a Federation starship. But the stereotypical fascist Zalkonian ship commander, complete with a ship as powerful as the Enterprise annoyed me. I know the Enterprise is at the edge of Federation space and all, but why do we need to make up new aliens every week? Especially ridiculously powerful new aliens? If they were this powerful and this aggressive all the time, why don't we hear about them at all after this episode is over? It could be argued that the Zalkonians are never heard again because our guest shows all his people how to ascend to a higher plane of existence, but that makes it no less lame. A good try, but I found the episode lacking overall. It tries to be something profound yet also attempts to remain inconsequential (as we never hear of the Zalkonians again). Incompatible goals.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-29 at 9:44pm:
    - This episode opens with Geordi and Worf in Ten-Forward at the bar. Geordi points out a woman at a nearby table. He questions Worf as to what he should say to her. The conversation makes it sound like they've never met. In fact, Geordi has already taken her out at least once. He programmed an entire holodeck sequence for her at the beginning of "Booby Trap," and all she said was she didn't think of Geordi in "that way." Now here she is making eyes at Geordi and acting like she wants to get something started. What changed? Why is Christie Henshaw so interested in Geordi all of a sudden?
    - After Dr. Crusher beams John Doe up to the "Enterprise, she puts him in full "biosupport." One shot shows the panel that displays his current physical status. All the triangle indicators are white and around the middle of their ranges. Later, Crusher says in a voice-over that she has removed John Doe from biosupport and that his major organ systems can now function on their own. So why are the triangle indicators in this shot red and at the extreme left side of their scales? Don't red triangles all the way to the left indicate that a patient is dying?
    - In one scene, Riker waits outside a turbolift. The door opens and reveals Geordi embracing Christie Henshaw. As she leaves the turbolift, Riker enters. Riker says, "Bridge," to state his destination. Geordi adds, "Deck 6," and the turbolift takes off. Why did Geordi have to state where he is going? He was already on the turbolift, it should already know where to take him.
    - Shuttle Craft 5 is once again the object of renumbering or renaming. In the episode "Times Squared," Shuttle Craft "05" was named El-Baz. In the episode "The Ensigns Of Command," it became the Onizuka. Finally, in this episode, Shuttle Craft 5 returns to El-Baz.
  • From Rob on 2008-04-13 at 6:54pm:
    I mostly find this episode boring, but the reason I'm commenting is on your complaint of "never hearing from the Zalkonians again". This is true of many, many ST guest alien species so I'm not sure why it stuck in your craw here, but aren't the Zalkonians described as "Xenophobic". I could be wrong here. Again, it's been a long while since I've seen the episode. If they are Xenophobic, it's likely they keep to themselves and only become "aggressive" when their territory is trespassed in. Starfleet would surely avoid intentional trespass against such an aggressive race who is not interested in diplomatic dialog (now if Kirk were in charge of the Federation, that'd be different... how many times did that guy totally ignore warning beacons saying "Go Away").
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-16 at 2:03pm:
    Re: DSOmo's first comment about Christie Henshaw's apparent changing attitudes toward Geordi. This didn't bother me. It seemed pretty in character for a woman. She isn't interested per se, but wants to keep him on the hook. I guess Geordi's new found confidence left with the alien of the week, as I don't think we see Ms. Henshaw again.

    I agree with most of the critiques of this episode found here, but I rather like this one. I think the idea of a species on the verge of evolution to a higher plane of existence is interesting, and I like that it's happening on a biological rather than a metaphysical level.

    My main problem here is the choking scene. Is the Zalconioan commander doing that with his mind? Or is it some sort of weapon? It's unexplained and rather annoying.
  • From Ted on 2011-07-29 at 6:54am:
    Ugh, this episode is a perfect storm of wrong. I probably said, "ugh" at least 10 times in this episode. The story itself and the dialog is ridiculous. The dialog is, I'm sure, the cause of some especially bad acting by almost all of the members of the main cast; notably, the interaction of the Crushers talking about the dreamy alien. The direction is also off in this episode with odd angles, cuts, and continuity (oh, I guess a month just went by). I don't even feel that I need to criticize the character of the near messianic alien.
    Oddly enough, the sick bay and the shuttle bay have never looked better. Did they think that dropping a ton of cash on sick bay props would fix this episode?

    Clearly, this is only my opinion as other seem much less critical, but this is surely one of my least favorite in the series. 1 star for the humorous interactions of Geordi and Worf in 10 forward.
  • From archibald on 2011-09-26 at 11:42pm:
    Why is Data seen contorting on the floor of the bridge with all the breathing humans during the Zalkonian attack? Was he copying their agony for the human experience?

    Also, why does Worf think he is such an authority on women? He has spent almost all of his life in Federation space, surrounded mostly by humans. And up to this point in the series he has repeatedly said that he is not exactly sexually compatible with human women. It sounds as if the poor man's sex life is rather limited by his surroundings....
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-21 at 9:01am:
    As I have pointed out before, TNG has a funny, unscientific concept of evolution. As any student of biology knows, evolution is not pretty. It is dog-eat-dog, kill or be killed. There is no way that a sentient species somehow "evolves" into this higher semi-divine state, absent a struggle to survive.

    Frank Hebert and Isaac Azimov both understood this. Gene Roddenberry was undoubtedly influenced by the Bahai faith, of which he was a member. Like many New Age religions, Bahai teaches that humanity is evolving into divinity. Comforting, yes, but not terribly scientific.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-16 at 3:29am:
    Great episode. I noticed the webmaster tends to really (in my opinion) unfairly detract from episodes sometimes just because what happens is never referenced in the future. Just take an episode for what it is! Could TNG have benefited from a little bit more continuity? Sure, but it wasn't written that way. Doesn't make the individual episodes any worse on their own.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x26 - The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

Originally Aired: 1990-6-18

Synopsis:
The Enterprise has a deadly encounter with the Borg. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.88

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 7 1 4 4 1 2 4 18 11 47 163

Problems
None

Factoids
- Third time Riker saves his life by refusing command of another starship.
- This episode (both parts together) is often regarded as the best TNG episode ever done.

Remarkable Scenes
- Shelby after Riker's job. Even defeats him at Poker. Something rarely done!
- Riker trying to figure out why he's still resisting when starfleet offers him ships.
- The sight and music accompanying the approach of the Borg cube.
- Shelby's idea to release the Enterprise from the Borg.
- The Enterprise running and hiding.
- Picard's capture.
- Troi striking down Riker's decision to lead an away team.
- The firefight aboard the Borg cube.
- Seeing Picard assimilated.
- Riker ordering Worf to fire on the Borg cube. Truly one of the most badass moments of all Star Trek.

My Review
The controversy between Riker and Shelby was annoying. They're facing a major inter stellar war and all Riker can think about is his damn pissing contest with Shelby. I was impressed with Shelby's restraint against Riker's testosterone flaunting though. I was equally pleased with Riker admitting that he admires her. Still though, even after he admits he likes her, he strikes her down for no reason in Engineering regarding her request to continue working with Data and other times as well. That said, this is truly the most captivating, interesting, and exciting episode TNG has done so far. Only minor blemishes.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-30 at 12:50am:
    - As the show opens, Riker leads an away team down to the destroyed colony. When they arrive, he asks O'Brien to confirm their coordinates. O'Brien verifies the coordinates and says that they are at the center of town. The next shot shows the away team standing at the edge of a gaping hole. No buildings ring the abyss. If the hole is all that's left of the colony and they transported to the center of town, shouldn't they be standing in the center of the pit?
    - With the Enterprise concealed in the nebula, both Worf and Picard make statements about what the Borg ship is doing. How do they know what the Borg ship is doing? If the nebula is dense enough to confound the Borg's sensors, wouldn't it do the same to the Enterprise's sensors?
    - Before the away team beams over to the Borg ship, Worf hands out phasers. Shelby then comments that they will only be able to use the phasers a few times before the Borg will adapt to the frequencies. Evidently, tuning these phasers is a big deal. Otherwise the away could fire a few times, use the controls to set a new frequency, and start firing again. However, in the episode "The Arsenal Of Freedom," Data continues to retune the frequency on his phaser to find the "precise frequency" to free Riker from the force field. If Data's phaser had this capability in the first season, what happened to the phasers in the third season?
    - At one point, when Shelby boards a turbolift, she states her destination as, "Deck 8, battle bridge." She and Riker then have a disagreement, and she leaves as soon as the turbolift reaches her destination. However, the turbolift doors open into a hallway, not the battle bridge. "Encounter At Farpoint" showed two entrances to the battle bridge: both were turbolifts.
    - The Enterprise seems to have solved its structural integrity problems. During the runaway acceleration of "Hollow Pursuits," the Enterprise began shuddering as soon as it passed warp 9.4. In this episode, the Enterprise sustains a speed of warp 9.6 for several hours and everything's fine.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-17 at 12:25pm:
    This is something I've wondered before, but I thought of it again watching this episode. Can Troi turn off her empathic abilities? If not, how is it fair for her to play poker? Couldn't she sense if someone was bluffing?
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2009-06-26 at 3:31pm:
    The cool thing is, this episode wasn't just about the Borg. Riker's personal and professional life was under a microscope and you had Picard pondering man's role in history while talking to Guinan.

    When you add all these small pieces to the main plot, you get a very enjoyable, movie-like episode.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-17 at 7:11pm:
    A very good, but imho overrated episode. I'd give it a 7. The Riker/Shelby rivalry thing gets annoying very fast to me, and I thought Picard becoming Borg was interesting enough but ultimately pretty gimmicky.
  • From Daniel on 2014-07-04 at 1:22pm:
    I love this episode, as well as Part 2. One thing I want to say about this episode is that it's perhaps the best cliffhanger episode of any series! I shall never forget that famous ending with the music building and Riker giving the command "Fire!" Then... To be continued!

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