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Star Trek TNG - Season 4

Star Trek TNG - 4x01 - The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

Originally Aired: 1990-9-24

Synopsis:
Riker must use Picard/Locutus to foil the Borg. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 6.48

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 71 23 4 2 4 4 1 7 27 67 118

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
- The deflector pulse firing and the Borg ship shrugging it off.
- The revelation that the Borg were able to resist because they have all of Picard's knowledge.
- Riker being promoted to captain of the Enterprise.
- Riker complimenting and promoting Shelby.
- Guinan: "When a man his convinced he will die tomorrow, he will probably find a way to make it happen."
- The Borg annihilating 40 Federation starships and an unspecified number of Klingon warships at Wolf 359.
- The Enterprise separating its saucer and attacking the Borg.
- Worf and Data sneaking aboard the Borg ship and retrieving Picard.
- Picard spouting Borg assimilation propaganda to the people in sickbay.
- The Borg ship passing Saturn.
- Data hacking into the Borg Collective via Picard.
- The Borg ship destroying Utopia Planitia's defenses.
- Picard regaining his individuality.
- Data putting the rest of the Borg to sleep.
- The Borg ship self-destructing.

My Review
Why the leisurely stroll through sector 001? A half hour to make it to Earth after dropping out of warp? They didn't seem to think the Enterprise, complete with a captured Borg, was any threat at all. In any case, this episode is definitely a match for the first part's writing quality. The various firefights with the Borg ship and the method the Enterprise uses to gain victory is brilliant. My favorite scene is the final scene. Where Picard reflects silently, genuinely disturbed over the events.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-30 at 3:35am:
    - In "Q Who," Q sent the Enterprise seven thousand light-years through space to meet the Borg. At the end of that episode, Guinan pointed out that the Borg would be coming. Also, Data states that it would take two and a half years to get back to the Federation at maximum warp. At the beginning of "The Best Of Both Worlds," Part 1, an admiral says that the Federation knew for over a year that the Borg were coming. Picard responds that the Borg must have a source of power far superior to their own. Yet, in "TBOBW," Part 1, the Enterprise manages to stay with the Borg ship for several hours. And in this episode, even after Locutus claims the Borg ship is proceeding without further delay to Earth, the Enterprise actually catches up to the Borg ship. If the Borg ship has a superior power source, why aren't they using it and leaving the Enterprise behind?
    - Someone reworked the layout and look of the battle bridge. The last time the series showed the battle bridge was during "Arsenal Of Freedom." This battle bridge is a great improvement.
    - This episode contains a very interesting scene concerning communications on the Enterprise. At the end of the episode, Riker sends an away team to the "sleeping" Borg ship. While walking through the halls of the Enterprise, Riker discusses the Borg ship with the away team. Shelby asks Riker if they should stop the Borg's autodestruct sequence. Riker turns the corner and doors pop open. He walks into the room with Picard, and both Dr. Crusher and Data give their opinions on Shelby's question! Since Shelby asked the question while Riker was in the hall, were Data and Crusher eavesdropping on Riker's conversation? Yet, moments earlier, Riker gave orders to ram the Borg ship - just seconds after talking to Data, Crusher, and Troi. Evidently they didn't hear Riker's intention to destroy the Enterprise, because they calmly discuss the meaning of Picard's "sleep" instruction. If they did hear the order, Data simply would have implemented Picard's instruction instead of discussing it. If some protocol exists for establishing open communications among all bridge officers during a crisis, wouldn't it be more reasonable for that protocol to be in effect during the Borg attack than afterward?
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-28 at 1:35pm:
    Outstanding. This is definitely the best espisode up to this point, and there's not much to complain about here. I only wish we got to see more of Shelby in the future; what a great character she was.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-02-23 at 9:46am:
    Myself and my wife enjoyed this episode and the first part immensely. I liked the scene with Guinan telling Riker he must forget Picard and then Riker's follow up when he takes forceful command of the ship and executes his plan. Data had another great episode and his joining with Picard was inspired. I was wondering how they would resolve having the Federation win this one and thought this method of taking over control of the Borg was totally feasible without being hokey or just pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Very logical plot to carry the story. While I am the big scifi fan in the house this episode and most of the others has my wife enjoying the show as much or more than me. When the show was on the air family duties and work prevented us from watching it but now being able to enjoy it at our leisure on DVD is great.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-02-24 at 11:52am:
    Addendum to my earlier comment today:

    I also found the ending so perfect. I don't know where or when but I have seen a painting/picture of the boy under the tree gazing at the night sky. It may have been something to do with Isaac Newton but whatever that scene was iconic and perfect.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x02 - Family

Originally Aired: 1990-10-1

Synopsis:
The crew visits family. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 5.83

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 99 4 4 0 5 3 17 17 21 42 101

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

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

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

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

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

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

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

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

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

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

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Star Trek TNG - 4x03 - Brothers

Originally Aired: 1990-10-8

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

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.1

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 72 11 1 5 9 8 11 42 51 32 15

Problems
None

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

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

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

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

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

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

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

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Star Trek TNG - 4x04 - Suddenly Human

Originally Aired: 1990-10-15

Synopsis:
Picard must decide a human boy's fate. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 3.48

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 69 5 7 6 15 23 13 28 6 7 4

Problems
- In the briefing room, the stars seem to start and stop moving seemingly at random. Though, star sync tends to be a common problem in TNG. Sometimes they'll be at warp and you'll see motionless stars...

Factoids
- The Talarians were mentioned in a previous episode, but this is the first time we see them.

Remarkable Scenes
- I like Data's blurb about Taliarn war tactics in the beginning. It gives us a familiar feeling with the aliens of the week.
- Beverly nicely compliments the feel of familiarity with the Talarians with her accusations of brutalization.
- Picard's reaction to Troi nominating Picard to be Jono's mentor.
- Picard restraining himself from blowing up and Jono when he becomes his mentor.
- Picard's "well rehearsed" plea to Troi that she remove Picard from the responsibility of being Jono's mentor.
- Jono's flashback of his parents being killed.
- Picard confronting Endar about Jono.
- Endar's explanations about Jono's injuries.
- Endar and Jono's meeting.
- Everybody scheming a way to keep Jono.
- Jono seeing a recording made by his grandmother.
- Picard and Jono playing hoverball.
- Wesley being slapped in the face with banana split.
- Jono stabbing Picard.
- Picard realizing that Jono belongs with Endar.

My Review
An alien of the week episode. They tried to make it seem not so "made up on the spot" with the use of a previously mentioned but never before seen race, and with Data's history lesson, so it isn't all that bad. Still, the fact that we're probably never going to see this race again annoys me. Especially seeing as how they seem to have fought a war with the Federation. Though, it doesn't bother me that much. It seems throughout the episode that they wouldn't pose much of a threat. So I suppose Star Trek not spending much time on this race is appropriate. The ending was definitely not expected, but it is indeed the obvious moral choice. I got the feeling throughout the episode that they would fight to keep the boy at all costs. Especially with Jono's grandmother entering the scene. But Picard comes to his senses. While I agree with the ending, I feel the episode loses some of its potential in the ending because we don't get to see how Jono's grandmother reacts to Picards sudden and hasty decision. A shame, it would have provided for some good drama.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-05 at 12:57am:
    - Dr. Crusher's skills must be improving. In this episode, Jono stabs Picard with a knife, and in a very short time, Picard seems to be fine. Crusher says the blade glanced off the sternum (a bone in the center of the chest.) In "Who Watches the Watchers," a Mintakan shoots Picard in the shoulder with an arrow, and even after Dr. Crusher fixes him up, Picard wears a sling to support his arm.
    - At the end of the episode, the transporter chief must have read the script to know when to transport Jono back to the Talarian ship. After Picard escorts Jono to the transporter room, Jono steps up on the platform and Picard says good-bye. Then they both pause for almost four seconds. (If I were the transporter chief, I would have hit the button at this point.) Thankfully, the transporter chief doesn't, because Jono wanted to have one final, tender moment with Picard. After this, Jono gets back on the platform, waits less than three seconds, and the chief transports him to Endar's ship. (In case you are wondering, no one says "Energize.")
  • From djb on 2008-01-30 at 8:14pm:
    I have a hard time believing that the Captain's quarters are left unlocked, especially when he's sleeping! Jono just waltzes in there and stabs him, and no one says a word about how he got in there in the first place. You'd think there would be at least a minimum amount of security on his door!
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-28 at 8:20pm:
    Actually, Jono had moved into Picard's quarters.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x05 - Remember Me

Originally Aired: 1990-10-22

Synopsis:
Dr. Crusher is trapped in a world created by her own mind. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.9

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 66 1 14 8 9 10 21 32 41 16 21

Problems
- If you can just order the ship to fly itself anywhere you want to go, why does the show ever bother with helmsmen?
- Geordi claimed that the bubble was collapsing at a rate of 15 meters per second and would last 4 more minutes and the bubble had already begun cutting apart the ship. According to these figures, the ship is nearly 4 kilometers long! We could attribute these inconsistencies with the fact that Beverly was in a universe created by her own mind. Besides, when the universe was collapsing in on Beverly, it wasn't chasing her 15 meters per second, as she was clearly outrunning it.

Factoids
- This is the second of three episodes that the Traveler will appear in.
- The Enterprise D was the fifth starship to bear the name Enterprise.

Remarkable Scenes
- Geordi freaking out at Wesley regarding his experiment.
- Beverly to O'Brien: "Was he invisible? Did I carry on a conversation with thin air?"
- People starting to disappear.
- Beverly griping about her missing staff and the bridge crew not understanding what she's talking about.
- Data justifying all the empty space on the space to Beverly.
- Beverly describing the missing crew to Picard.
- Picard trying to justify no crew to Beverly.
- Beverly confusing the computer when everyone disappeared but her.
- Beverly: "If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe!" Such a wonderfully audacious statement.
- Beverly asking the computer what the nature of the universe is and the computer responding with a prompt and definite but confusing answer.
- The computer attributing the explosive decompression to "a flaw in the ship's design." Sure, I guess. If you built your ship too large for the universe, that would be a flaw in the design!
- Beverly's return.

My Review
Static warp bubble? Excuse me? Now there's some incredibly absurd technobabble for you... This is one of the better Dr. Crusher episodes, except that it is plagued by technobabble and inconsistencies. The idea behind the episode itself is great, and fun in its execution. I enjoyed seeing Picard and Data justifying the immense size of the ship against an ever diminishing crew. It's also nice to see the Traveler back with Wesley. A loose thread picked up (but not wrapped up until later). I just wish the writers would have spent more time coming up with less absurd technobabble.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-05 at 4:04pm:
    - The graphics at the beginning of the episode, showing the Enterprise arriving and docking at Starbase 133, are the same graphics used in "11001001." However, on that episode the Enterprise was at Starbase 74. I understand the necessity to reuse these expensive-to-produce visuals, but why not make reusing them make sense? Wouldn't it have made more sense just to call Starbase 133, Starbase 74 instead?
    - When Quaice turns up missing, Data scans the entire ship for life forms. He also suggests they check the transporter ID traces to see if the man went back to the starbase. One of the graphics shows the Enterprise docked at the starbase and connected by a tube. Quaice could have just walked off the ship.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-10-18 at 2:14am:
    Near the end of the episode, when Crusher leaves the bridge, she boards a turbolift. When the turbolift starts to move, the light in the window goes from top to bottom. If the light is going from top to bottom, the turbolift is moving up. But Crusher boarded the turbolift from the main bridge. She is on deck 1. There is nothing above the main bridge to go up to. How can Crusher be going up?
  • From djb on 2008-02-01 at 12:52am:
    Although it wasn't the best episode, this one was in the "alternate universe/timeline" vein, like Parallels and Yesterday's Enterprise, and I especially enjoy episodes like that. Notice the theme running through all three of them: something changes and only one character notices. Guinan in Yesterday's Enterprise, Worf in Parallels, and in this episode, Dr. Crusher. (There are others but they don't occur to me at the moment.)

    One of the purposes of Star Trek, in my opinion, is to explore questions as to the nature of the universe, time, reality, perception, consciousness, etc. This is evident from the very start in the first Trek pilot, "The Cage." While the execution of this kind of philosophical/existential exploration may not always be perfect, I admire the willingness on the part of the writers and producers to go, basically "where no one has gone before," despite the imperfections. Crusher certainly went where no one has gone before in this episode: her own universe. Freaky! (There's something for your memoirs.) What if you suddenly started noticing drastic changes that no one else noticed? Put yourself in her place: I think she handled it quite well. A lot of people would go mad.

    I liked the return of the Traveler, though his abrupt appearance was a little contrived. I also like the brief explanation as to the various uses of a ship of that size, because anyone who has looked at the plans of the ship knows it can hold a whole lot more than a thousand people. Probably my favorite moment in the whole episode is Dr. Crusher literally being hurled back into reality! Must of been a ton of fun for McFadden. Overall a nice character piece for Crusher, nice continuity with season 1, and a less-than-perfect yet enjoyable episode.
  • From Rob on 2008-04-13 at 7:38pm:
    The part that always gets a laugh out of me is when Crusher and Picard are the only people left aboard and Beverly's utter astonishment at his attitude...

    "This is all perfectly logical to you, isn't it?! You and I just roaming about he galaxy...," ect.

    Just the way that Gates delivers these lines is really funny and the bemused look on Patrick's face.

  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-11 at 2:04pm:
    The first time I watched this episode, I was distracted and missed some of the key scenes on the real Enterprise when they discover what happened. That greatly improved the episode, as the good part is all about Dr. Crusher and the collapsing universe. I have fond memories of some of the ludicrous things like Picard's "We've never needed crew before" and the idea that it was a "structural flaw" that the ship wasn't designed to fit within the universe.

    Watching it in full, though, makes clear why this episode is memorable but not great. Unlike the other great "alternate universe" episodes, the main character can't move the story forward in any way. We see that the universe is collapsing, and it is cool to watch, but that is it. The resolution is in the real universe with Wesley and the Traveller, but I found that quite dull. I just don't understand how the cliched idea of Wesley being "the Chosen One", who can "use the Force" to rescue his mother, is in any way interesting in the context of Star Trek.
  • From sphere on 2011-08-17 at 3:18am:
    This was a great episode. It was spooky to see people disappearing so completely that no even remembered that they ever existed. The scene with Crusher and Picard absolutely alone on the bridge, alone on the entire ship - Picard still convinced everything that everything was fine and that Crusher had lost it - was haunting, compelling, and very well acted.

    "We've never needed a crew a before..."
    What a great line.

    The twist that it was Crusher that disappeared and not everyone else was very well done and quite unexpected. I mean, I knew it was all going to get resolved somehow, but not in such an elegant way. I like how that revelation was executed too - just a sudden cut to Picard making a log entry in the "real" universe.

    What almost ruined the whole episode for me was "The Traveler." He is like an amalgamation of every New Age cliche into an ever-smiling, infinitely annoying, quite unnecessary character. I found him very irritating to watch.

    And what the heck was up with the solution to all this? The solution is for Wesley to type equations blindfolded, like some kind of nerdy Kung Fu monk, while listening to "The Traveler's Motivational Hypnotherapy, Disk 1?" Very, very annoying.

    I want to give the bulk of this episode a 9, and the ending a 1, and I really don't want to average the two... so I think I will abstain from voting and recommend this episode, despite its unsatisfying, and rather irritating ending.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-29 at 12:33pm:
    A huge problem you missed. In "Where No One Has Gone Before", Kozinsky is shown to be a complete idiot and a charlatan. So why is Wesley performing an experiment based upon his equations? And why does Wesley consult with him on the issue concerning the warp bubble?
  • From Will on 2011-09-30 at 4:59am:
    In response to "If you can just order the ship to fly itself anywhere you want to go, why does the show ever bother with helmsmen?":

    A helmsman would be required for battle scenarios, which could potentially happen at any time.
  • From Inga on 2012-01-30 at 7:08am:
    When Beverly ordered the computer to monitor Picard's vital signs, the computer reported his body temperature as 37 point something. The norm is 36.6, so was he ill?
  • From Glen on 2013-10-11 at 5:43pm:
    It is interesting to go back and read the comment about absurd techno-babble when there are researchers looking into warp bubble technology today.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-22 at 5:19am:
    Inga: It's because Picard is just so super-cool, obviously.

    Great episode. One of my favorites. The vibe as everybody disappears slowly is very creepy. McFadden's acting as all of this is going on is spot-on. I'd have reacted exactly the same, very believable.

    I just wish the Traveler didn't have to come and ruin the ending. He's so ridiculously annoying. Why don't he and Wesley just get it over with and spoon with each other already?

    I'd have given this episode an 8, but I have to take off a point for the lame appearance of the Traveler and magical Wesley-fixes-everything-again ending... so it's a 7.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x06 - Legacy

Originally Aired: 1990-10-29

Synopsis:
The crew meets Tasha Yar's sister, Ishara. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.3

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 69 4 6 10 16 15 21 23 8 35 7

Problems
- Right after the phaser drilling and the away team beamed into the core of the alliance, Riker fired at an enemy and the phaser blast sent him flying halfway across the corridor! I imagine stun settings are pretty stunning, but that was an unrealistic blow. Despite this inconsistency, I rather enjoyed watching that. It's so funny to see that guy fly across the hallway like that!

Factoids
- In this episode it takes Beverly a few hours of testing to determine if Ishara is Tasha's sister. Just ten years later in Voyager, this kind of testing can be done in minutes.

Remarkable Scenes
- The poker scene at the beginning.
- Data's poker face.
- Riker: "Data have you got a flush or a full house?" Data: "It will cost you twenty to make that determination, sir."
- Data literally "throwing away" the cards he was asked to throw away.
- Data explaining Riker's trick to Worf and Troi, then taking the winnings.
- Data, describing Yar's death: "Lt. Yar was killed on Vegra 2 by a malevolent entity." Ishara: "In battle." Data: "No. She was killed as a demonstration of the creature's power without provocation."
- I like the scene where they're talking about using the phasers to drill a hole for the transporter and removing Ishara's implant. The dialog was all technically correct and appropriate.
- Ishara begging Data to leave.

My Review
I found Ishara and Data's interactions with each other a bit trite. There have been better episodes exploring Data's emotions and ability to form friendships. Though Ishara's latent disgust with her sister was realistic and interesting. To that end, I enjoyed the cameo. Though I don't think it was a surprise to anyone that Ishara was going to betray everyone, so her "friendships" with everyone seemed obnoxious. A decent, though a bit flawed episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-05 at 7:35pm:
    - After the first away team visits the colony, the leader of the Coalition tells a subordinate to find out everything "there is to know about the starship Enterprise." Evidently his search turned up the fact that Tasha Yar left the colony many years ago, joined Starfleet, and eventually served on the Enterprise, because, a short time later, he produces Ishara Yar and offers her services to Picard. Yet, earlier, Picard says that the colony severed relationships with the Federation fifteen years ago, and Data indicates the last contact came six years ago, when the Potemkin orbited Turkana IV. Also, Riker claims that the colony hasn't maintained reliable communications since the government fell apart fifteen years ago. Here is a colony, isolated from the Federation for at least six years, and the leader of the Coalition manages to extract a personnel list for a ship that wasn't even in service during the last contact? To explain this, the writers have Dr. Crusher say, "All [the leader] had to do was to search through their data base on Starfleet to find Tasha's name." Is it Starfleet's policy to continue to supply detailed information on crew rosters to colonies that no longer have relations with the Federation? Since the Federation has enemies, isn't it doubtful that Starfleet would leave this type of information floating around?
    - Ishara feigns an interest in joining Starfleet. Wesley's efforts to get into Starfleet seemed to indicate that only the best and brightest could get into Starfleet. Ishara has grown up in a colony in turmoil. Is it likely her education has prepared her for Starfleet Academy? And what about Tasha? Wouldn't she have had the same problems?
    - On the planet, the members of the Coalition, both male and female, wear the same type of loose-fitting, functional outfit. Yet once Ishara gets to the Enterprise, the crew makes all haste to get her changed into this really tight body suit. No one else in Star Trek - aside from Troi and Seven of Nine from Voyager - has to wear this type of outfit. Why does Ishara? Seems a bit sexist, doesn't it? At least the crew made sure that Ishara's little belt and holster for her phaser were color-coordinated with her outfit ;)
    - At one point in the episode, Geordi talks about the location of the hostages. A blinking dot indicates where the hostages are held. Geordi then suggests that they use the phaser to bore a hole in the granite and transport an away team into a storage area. When Geordi points to the storage area on the display, he indicates a spot on the other side of the city, nowhere near the hostages!
    - Of course, the larger question here is: Why send an away team down at all? Why didn't the Enterprise just bore a hole down to the hostages and beam them up?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-13 at 11:26pm:
    In response to DSOmo:
    - It would be consistent with Star Trek philosophy for Star Fleet to be looking for the most exceptional individuals, not the necessarily the best educated. After all, they want to have officers from a wide variety of cultures and races, not just Vulcan Science Academy graduates. I imagine Tasha would have needed a period of intense eductional training to get her up to speed, but that episode with the children learning calculus suggests they have advanced educational techniques. Still, to have learned so much, gone through Starfleet Academy, and risen to be security chief on the Federation flagship, she must have been pretty hot stuff!
    - Presumably they couldn't bore down to free the hostages because that would require them to bore through the complex, which they would not be willing to do. They could only bore down to a point on the exterior of the base, beam in, then work inwards.

    The positive side of this episode was that I found Ishara's story interesting and was wondering throughout the episode exactly how she would betray them and to what extent. But there wasn't much substance to the episode, and it I got tired of all the scenes with her and the crew after a while. And the way that the crew acted totally blindsided by her betrayal didn't make much sense. The episode would have had the same plot, but been more logical, had they known she would betray them, had no choice but to work with her, hoped that she would "turn to the light side", and been disappointed that she didn't.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-02 at 2:17pm:
    Regarding DSOmo's comment on Ishara's change in dress, it is interesting to me that TNG is no different from other Star Trek series in exploiting the physical attributes of extremely attractive women. Beth Toussaint who played Ishara Yar was certainly one of these. The use of a tight, form-fitting "onesie" as I have heard it referred to is definitely a feature of both TNG (with Troi) and Voyager (with Seven). Ishara's well-coordinated onesie is simply along the same vein. Certainly, the camera spends lots of time on Ishara's attractive body during this episode. I believe DSOmo is entirely accurate that the creators of the episode are pandering here. (Not that that made it any less enjoyable.)

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Star Trek TNG - 4x07 - Reunion

Originally Aired: 1990-11-5

Synopsis:
Picard mediates a Klingon power struggle. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.54

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 62 4 2 1 24 7 3 11 23 60 29

Problems
- Alexander's age is a problem. Depending on how you look at it, this episode gives the connotation that the boy is either too young or too old. Most people believe that he was conceived when Worf and K'Ehleyr were together in TNG: The Emissary. But if that were true, Alexander would be no more than two years old!
- If Worf transported without his communicator, how could the computer record that it was him who transported? Perhaps by pattern records?

Factoids
- This is the first episode in which we see a Vor'cha class Klingon ship.
- It is stated in this episode that K'mpec has ruled the Klingon Empire as chancellor longer than anyone in history.

Remarkable Scenes
- The sight of the Vor'cha class attack cruiser. A beautiful new ship. Love the closeups.
- Worf: "Captain, I must request permission to send another officer." Picard: "May I know your reason?" Worf: "My dishonor among Klingons may offend Ambassador K'Ehleyr." Picard: "Lieutenant, you are a member of this crew and you will not go into hiding whenever a Klingon vessel uncloaks." Worf: "I withdraw my request, sir."
- K'Ehleyr, to Worf: "Not even a bite on the cheek for old times sake?" Worf: "Perhaps you are not aware of my dishonor. I have accepted discommendation." K'Ehleyr: "I've heard. So now what, do I have to perform some ridiculous ritual to talk to you?"
- I love K'mpec's faith in Picard's ability as a mediator.
- I also love how K'mpec continues to drink the poisonous wine with dignity even though he knows it will just kill him faster.
- K'Ehleyr pressing Worf for answers regarding his discommendation.
- Gowron's first scene. I love that man's eyes!
- Worf restraining himself from taking the oath with K'Ehleyr out of fear for Alexander, even though he really wanted to.
- Gowron bribing K'Ehleyr. Though just about every scene with Gowron was remarkable. God I love that character.
- K'Ehleyr digging through the records to discover the truth about Worf's discommendation.
- Duras' aide's simple but effective method of distracting the guard...
- Duras confronting K'Ehleyr.
- K'Ehleyr uncovering Duras' plot.
- Beverly simultaneously and independently uncovering duras' plot.
- K'Ehleyr's death.
- Worf throws his communicator on his table and it falls to the ground...
- Worf's fight with Duras.
- Worf killing Duras. I was so surprised nobody stopped him!

My Review
This episode is very much about life and death. Two K'mpec, K'Ehleyr, and Duras all die, and Alexander and Gowron are introduced, both of which are characters we're sure to see again. It's interesting to watch how Worf's discommendation initially keeps him out of the loop on Klingon matters but slowly his integral connection to these people leads him to a direct conflict. The scene where Word murders Duras is easily one of the most powerful scenes TNG has shown us so far and well earned. An absolutely fantastic episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-06 at 11:06pm:
    During one tender moment between Worf and K'Ehleyr, she places her hands on his chest. In fact, she lays her hand directly over his communicator. Of course, it doesn't chirp. It must have a "loving embrace sensor" to know when not to turn on ;)
  • From JRPoole on 2008-05-02 at 10:05am:
    Another factoid established by this episode: there are representatives of 13 planets among the Enterprise crew.

    This is fantastic, definitely a candidate for my 'best of TNG' award. I especially like Picard's reaction to Worf going AWOL and killing Duras. This is possibly the best-rendered episode of Klingon intrigue, and there's not much to dislike here. Gowron eats the scenery every time he's on screen, Duras finally gets his due, the Romulan involvement in the Klingon power struggle gets teased out, K'mpec dies a death worthy of Shakespeare, and everything comes together nicely.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-05-06 at 1:14pm:
    Something I just thought about. As I pointed out in my mini-review, this episode maintains that there are 13 planets represented on the Enterprise crew. This number seems a little small:

    Earth (multiple examples)
    Betazed (Troi)
    Kling (Worf)
    Guinan's planet
    Bolia (I guess this is the name of the Bolians', as evidenced by Mot the barber's, homeworld)
    Vulcan (several Vulcans can be seen as crew members in the backgrounds of prior episodes)

    This is six already, nearly halfway there, and doesn't even count Data, who's from a colony planet, and the various obviously alien extras who've appeared in the background (the lady getting her hair done in the background of the barbershop scene in "Data's Day," etc.

    Okay, I've officially descended into Trek geek-dom by even thinking about this...
  • From MarkMcC on 2008-12-25 at 6:44am:
    I've been rewatching this show recently and this is definitely one of the strongest episodes so far. My only minor gripe is with the lacklustre performance of the Enterprise security staff again.

    Ambassador K'Ehleyr is playing a pivotal role in the mediations where one of the two sides has already poisoned K'mpect and set off a bomb, and has been directly threatened by Gowron. You'd think after all that, security might at least post someone at her door in case of emergency.

    And let's not even talk about the security officer's Keystone Cops-style chasing after Duras' associate. Would a trained Starfleet officer really fall for such an old ploy?

    Then again, if security ever did their job properly there would be a lot less drama (and stolen shuttlecrafts) in this great series.
  • From John on 2010-12-30 at 12:24am:
    Another "remarkable scene", in my opinion: at the end, when Alexander asks Worf "are you my father?" It's a nice reminder to us that Alexander has been pretty much ignored through all of this, even though it affects his life as much as, if not more than, anybody else's.

    I've always liked Alexander. I know some people hate him or find him annoying, but I sympathize with him. It's not easy to see your mother die a bloody death, and then find out your father is the biggest hardass in the galaxy.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-19 at 11:06am:
    Great episode. It could so easily have been done badly, but it was done well. I found K'Ehleyr very interesting to watch.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-19 at 8:05pm:
    One point I that was confusing to me was the bomb plot. They never described exactly how the plot was supposed to work and why it failed. It came across as though Duras randomly set off a Romulan bomb because, hey, he's an evil traitor, that's what evil traitors do.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-21 at 10:17am:
    Another excellent use of the "onesie", the tight, form fitting one piece outfit favored by Star Trek for young, attractive women, in this case K'Ehleyr, who did not disappoint in this area. See my comment on the previous episode.
  • From Axel on 2015-02-28 at 12:18am:
    JRPoole, I'll join you in geek-dom, years after your post.

    The Federation has a lot of planets and races, but how involved all of them are with Starfleet is unclear. Tellar and Andor are founding members of the Federation and we rarely see them as crew on any ship in most ST series. I think 13 is a reasonable number for the Starfleet flagship. It also stands to reason that humans dominate Starfleet if for no other reason than Earth is where the HQ is at, and therefore probably the main recruiting grounds.

    Descending even further into geek-dom, it's been implied that races like Vulcans and Andorians don't reproduce nearly as quickly as humans. Vulcans enter their cycle every seven years, Andorians need four parents, etc. This may also be why Earth and human-colonized planets dominate the overall Federation population.

    The simple, real-world reason why humans dominate Starfleet is that makeup and costumes inevitably consume budget money, but I still think that 13 is about right if you consider how many humans are on the Enterprise.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x08 - Future Imperfect

Originally Aired: 1990-11-12

Synopsis:
Riker awakens to find that 16 years have passed. [DVD]

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 6.21

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 13 4 14 7 13 8 28 54 48 16 14

Problems
None

Factoids
- Riker's "wife" Minuet is actually the holographic woman from TNG: 11001001.
- Andreas Katsulas, who plays Tomalak in this episode later went on to play G'Kar on Babylon 5.

Remarkable Scenes
- It's fun trying to notice all the small differences in the pseudo future. Beverly's hair, the communicators, a Ferengi helmsman, and more.
- The computer being slow.
- Geordi without his visor.
- Data in red.
- Riker's son... Jean-Luc
- Riker getting on everybody's case when he found out the deception.
- Riker telling Picard to shut up.

My Review
This episode is simply put, cute. I like the funny looking alien at the end and the innocence of the whole thing. It made for a fun episode, but the circumstances leave much to be desired. All this buildup about a Romulan conspiracy left me hoping for a Romulan ending. We didn't get it. Maybe the Romulans were the invaders that obliterated Ethan's people? But we're never told. As a result of these circumstances, I found this episode largely disappointing.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-19 at 2:03pm:
    - In Riker's future, Troi has left the Enterprise to work at Starfleet command. Was he lying when he tells her, "I can't imagine you ever leaving the Enterprise"? Evidently he could image her leaving, since Riker's thoughts are driving the holographic generators!
    - Troi says Riker will sign the new treaty between the Federation and the Romulan Empire. Riker will sign the treaty? He's just a captain of a starship. Leaders and diplomats sign treaties, not captains.
    - Everyone shows signs of age in the "imperfect future." Everyone, except for Ogawa. She looks unchanged.
    - When the boy takes Riker to his secret hiding place, he pulls out plans that he made of the tunnels. In the long shot, the plans are made out of a transparent plastic. In the close-up, the plans are on a thick white paper (not transparent.)
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-20 at 9:25pm:
    I generally liked watching this episode, it was interesting and suspenseful until the ending. The ending itself, however, was quite disappointing. A good plot twist should make the preceding events make perfect sense. But the second plot twist doesn't any sense out of the events before the first plot twist. If the alien boy just wanted a companion, why the convoluted future which seemed to be trying to get Riker to trust the Romulans and betray the location of Outpost 23? It seemed like the writers built up an episode that would require a really clever ending to make sense of, then couldn't think of a clever ending.
  • From tigertooth on 2011-05-30 at 8:48pm:
    I really liked the double-twist of the ending. To answer CAlexander, perhaps the kid knew that Riker would sense that this wasn't real, so he concocted a double-twist figuring that Riker would see through the first one, but not realize there was a second layer of deception.

    Also, it was a kid. Maybe he wasn't the most cunning adversary Riker has ever faced.
  • From rwe on 2011-08-17 at 4:14am:
    The only real shortcoming of this episode is the true appearance of the alien at the very end. It is ridiculous. It's like one of the aliens from Close Encounter of the Third Kind, complete with large bug eyes and long, twitchy fingers, but even more ludicrous.

    The episode itself was very well done, even though it doesn't really tie into any ongoing arcs or story lines (so it's essentially what the reviewer would call filler).

    I like the new look of the uniforms and seeing people in new positions - "Admiral" Picard for instance. The very concept of having the entire star trek TNG universe instantly moved forward 16 years was great (even though fraudulent).

    The revelations and plot twists were excellent. Just the first one about it all being a Romulan deception would've been satisfactory, but the writers up the ante and twist it all one more time in the end. Really quite fantastic.

    I like the clues about it all being a hologram - how the ship's computer was lagged and how Troi couldn't come up with a fully convincing reason for leaving the Enterprise... I do take some issue with the main clue, the one about Minuet...

    ...it's a bit fuzzy how the holographic process (whether it's Ethan doing it, or the equipment itself, or some mixture of the two, it's not clear) could recreate everything and cast the Enterprise crew so perfectly, and yet screw up on Minuet.

    But maybe it makes sense, I don't even know. In any case, this is a fun episode.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-30 at 7:09pm:
    A couple of issues:

    1. At the beginning of the episode, Geordi says he is detecting traces of "organic gases, including nitrous oxide, hydrogen sulfide, and methane". Of these three, only methane is organic. The other two are inorganic.

    2. The ability of the alien to scan Riker's thoughts and construct a false reality was only partially explained. The alien shows Riker the devices ( similar to holoemitters ) that allow the alternate reality to be created. But the ability to scan Riker's thoughts is never explained.
  • From Jason on 2011-10-14 at 5:02pm:
    Great overall episode, but the last 30 seconds with the reveal of the alien is one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I've ever witnessed.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x09 - Final Mission

Originally Aired: 1990-11-19

Synopsis:
Wesley is accepted to Starfleet Academy. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.94

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 9 4 4 10 10 13 20 53 15 8 9

Problems
- LaForge gives the shuttle a full safety inspection, which it passed. Minutes later the shuttle crashes. Great job Geordi!

Factoids
- The eventual periodically recurring character Boothy was first mentioned in this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- "Dear god." Picard's reaction to the desert environment.
- Picard so patiently handling Dirgo.
- Dirgo concealing some kind of beverage.
- Dirgo slamming himself into the fountain's forcefield.
- Dirgo getting himself killed.
- Picard describes Boothby to Wesley.
- Wesley getting to the water.

My Review
This episode has a number of small highlights. One of which is the music. It's of much higher quality than that of the average episode. Another is the duality of this episode. The two plot threads were both interesting enough to hold my interest. Finally, every character had an important role in this episode, which can be a rarity. Overall, an acceptable send off for Wesley. Certainly better than Pulaski's.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-03-31 at 4:38pm:
    I would give this episode a higher rating (7) because of the great Picard/Wesley interactions. It certainly has continuity with respect to the earlier episode focusing on them. It was quite touching to see Wesley open up to Picard and reveal how much he looks up to him. Picard's comment "I've always been proud of you" almost made me cry. The tear jerker son/father relationship between Picard and Wesley definitely gives this episode a better rating than 5.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-05-08 at 1:53pm:
    Major problem:
    When they first reach the cave in this episode, they start talking about the possibility of it being a natural formation. However, there are clearly steps inside the cave, right at the entrance. How could they not notice? These are scientifically trained people too.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-19 at 4:49pm:
    - Riker exposes the crew to almost lethal radiation by wrapping the shields around the barge. He says he does this to protect the barge from the asteroids. But the Enterprise doesn't reach the asteroid belt until the end of the show. Why not tow the barge until it reaches the asteroids and then extend the shields?
    - Isn't it unbelievable that the main computer can count down, to the second, when lethal exposure will occur? Is there really some magic length of time when, one second earlier, you will live although you may need treatment, but one second later, you will become ill with no hope of recovery? And is this time interval exactly the same for every member of the crew?
    - After the shuttle crash, Picard makes an arrow from scrap metal and places it on the ground. He says that the arrow will let rescuers know that they've headed for the mountains. When they start walking away from the craft, they aren't lined up with the arrow! In fact, are a good distance off.
  • From Mark McC on 2008-12-27 at 7:39am:
    They really should have made the asteroid belt a bit trickier to navigate. When the Enterprise finally arrives, there's a few very small asteroids floating slowly about and the ships sail through in a perfectly straight line! If it was that simple to traverse, they could have released the derelict at any time, letting inertia and the sun's gravitational pull do the rest.

    A very clear case of one strand of the episode being unrealistically stretched out in order to allow time for some character development in the other strand. The Wesley/Picard bits are excellent, but I wish they'd thought of a better sub-plot to keep the Enterprise out of action while they bonded.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-19 at 10:49pm:
    The main plot with Wesley is reasonable, but not great. Wesley really isn't a bad character if you ignore those "Wesley saves the ship" episodes. The secondary plot about the radioactive ship is totally pointless filler. If they have to have filler, why must the solution be "we need to boost power above 100% in order to escape terrible danger at the last second" yet again?
    - I totally agree with DSOmo's first two comments. It just doesn't make sense to talk about "lethal radiation exposure in 5 seconds" as if it were a well-defined binary concept like "warp core breach in 5 seconds."
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-30 at 5:39pm:
    Dirgo was certainly the most annoying guest character I have seen in TNG so far. Also, Picard's handling of him was spineless. He shows him far more deference and respect than he deserves. In fact I was aching for him to die. If this was DS9, Kira would have killed him in the first 5 minutes. When he finally got killed I shouted "Yes!!!!".
  • From nokko on 2013-01-06 at 10:23am:
    There were several factual errors in this episode that really gnawed on me. Just a couple of them to name a few:

    Why did they not give the barge a nudge to allow the momentum to move it forward toward the star, instead of getting a hazardous dose of radiation while slowly tugging it behind them? That was really idiotic if you ask me, but then again, if in the world of Star Trek when you're minutes away from lethal dose, you'll be absolutely fine (not, for example vomiting blood or unconcious) if you manage to clear the area before the time is up, why bother?

    Asteroid belts (at least our own) are actually sparse, and not dense at all. You don't have to manouver carefully amidst the asteroids, as it would an astronomical coincindence to hit one accidentally. Granted, we don't know much about the belts of distant star systems. Still, it sucks as a popular assumption.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x10 - The Loss

Originally Aired: 1990-12-31

Synopsis:
Deanna Troi suddenly loses her empathic powers. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.12

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 12 8 26 20 20 19 10 16 2 11 2

Problems
- Data says gravity is pulling them into the cosmic string. So if gravity is pulling them, why were they moving at a constant speed? Gravity is an acceleration. Not a constant speed. It doesn't really matter, as Data was wrong. It was not gravity pulling them. Troi's "moths flying into the flame" analogy was instead correct. But of all people, I would least expect Data to make such an elementary physics mistake.

Factoids
- TPTB considered making Troi's loss permanent.
- Breen and Ferengi are mentioned as unreadable by telepathy in this episode. This is also the first mentioning of the Breen, who will later play an important role in DS9.
- Picard claims that "most starships captains have to be content with a human counselor." This implies that the crew of most starships are largely human. This is an inference supported widely by later episodes, but I never quite understood why. Humans must have started colonizing the galaxy and spreading themselves like the bubonic plague after the Federation was formed...

Remarkable Scenes
- The opening scene nicely demonstrates Troi's counseling skills.
- Riker criticizing Data for not calculating the ETA down to the second.
- Troi realizing her empathic abilities are gone.
- Troi freaking out at Riker.
- Troi taking offense to LaForge's comment even though it wasn't directed at her.
- Troi freaking out at Beverly.
- Riker accusing Troi of feeling aristocratic about her Betazoid abilities.
- Guinan picking at Troi about taking her job.
- Picard ordering Worf to fire at the 2d life forms. He seemed relieved when his attempt to kill them failed.
- Picard giving Troi a "get your ass in gear" speech.
- Troi discovering the solution. I enjoyed her "moths fly into flames" analogy. Quite appropriate.

My Review
The writers took the Troi suffering cliche to the extreme! But it wasn't so bad. It was interesting seeing Troi lash out at the crew, and the aliens of the week were a nice concept. Still though, the use of a cliche as a plot device is trite. And when Troi got her empathic powers back, we find out that the 2d life forms were intelligent, not idiotic moths. I rather liked them better as simple life forms. It would have matched up better with the fact that they were 2d and less complex.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-19 at 9:56pm:
    - When Troi experiences intense pain caused by the colony, she needs to call Dr. Crusher. She reaches up, taps her badge, talks to Crusher, and taps her badge to end the conversation. Isn't this proof that individuals must tap their badges to begin conversations? NO ONE in intense pain takes extra steps to call for help.
    - During the staff meeting about the existence of the two-dimensional colony, there are several different camera angles of the viewscreen. The colony's motion on the viewscreen changes from shot to shot (not always moving in the same direction.)
  • From djb on 2008-02-18 at 5:48pm:
    I liked this episode, but only part of it. The plot about the 2-d life forms unwittingly dragging the enterprise kind of gets lost amongst other (and often better) "losing control of the ship" scenarios like those found in The Last Outpost, Booby Trap, Contagion, Time Squared, etc. Also the "rescued at the last minute" thing is getting old.

    What I really liked about this episode was the character development for Troi.

    We've seen a lot of good character development for other characters so far. I can think of many high-quality episodes developing many of the main characters, but not so many, so far, for Troi.

    Unlike in "The Survivors," the whole "Troi in agony" bit was kept to a minimum, and unlike many other Troi-centered episodes, this one had nothing to do with her obnoxious mother.

    Instead, it makes the viewer acutely aware of how different Troi's experience is from those of her crewmates. Her empathic ability is literally another sense, and her losing that sense and only being able to experience others on the surface would be very similar, I suppose, to a full-blooded human losing their sense of hearing: much of our experience of others is not only what they look like, but their voice, which conveys much more personality than looks do. I imagine for an empathic person, a person's emotions are even more personal, and suddenly being unable to sense them in that way would make one feel extremely lonely and cut off, much the way I imagine I would feel if I was deaf.

    Troi's process of distress and her moving towards acceptance of it are very well-executed, and deepen the character. (Often, it is noted, people discover much about themselves when they lose something they take for granted.) It's quite interesting, as Riker points out, to see her not "in control". So often she is sensing and relating others' emotions, but we do not often get to hear about her own. Her transition from totally composed and regal, as usual, to a drastic lack of composure is pronounced yet believable, and her finally letting go and crying in Riker's arms brought a tear to my eye. (We know from Nemesis that they will eventually marry each other, but back in Season 4, we are still unsure, and it's nice to see tender moments between them in light of that uncertainty.)

    Guinan's presence is always welcome, and you can always rely on Guinan to say just the right thing. I don't recall a previous incident of Guinan counseling Troi, but it's a great scene. The way that Troi's process of discovering her human side (intuition, instinct) helped solve the puzzle of the 2-d beings was also quite nice.

    So: Ho-hum from a sci-fi perspective, but excellent from a character perspective.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-05-05 at 11:43am:
    The Troi-in-mental-agony plot staple reaches its nadir here. I am intrigued by the 2-D lifeforms, but this episode is pretty lackluster in execution.
  • From wepeel on 2008-06-02 at 1:52pm:
    Amazing, I was about to skip this episode due to all the other comments on here regarding Troi's suffering cliche. Granted, the season one episodes of "pain...intense, PAIN!" were bad, but this episode was great, and the comparisons regarding Troi's emphatic expressions were unfair.

    I decided to watch the episode again, muting the volume once Troi lost her powers. This idea came about after I read djb's comments on the episode, where he specified his analogy of losing empathic powers to becoming deaf. Honestly, I had never really connected with Troi centered episodes (other than Face of the Enemy) until I did this. I really connected with the message of losing a sense, and I would recommend others to give this episode its due credit via a second viewing.

    Plus, she saved the ship in a method that was quite convincing and innovative. I loved that she totally captured Data's attention as well as mine during her brainstorming =)
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-22 at 11:57am:
    The primary plot about Troi was jumbled and confused. But I think I liked that; it gave the impression that she was jumbled and confused and acting inconsistently because she was so distraught. I guess therapists really do make the worst patients.

    The plot about the two-dimensional life forms was mostly mundane, but did have some good points. I like when Picard, faced with a difficult moral dilemma, decides he has to attack the creatures, then is relieved when he doesn't kill them.
  • From 2d@d2.com on 2011-08-17 at 4:49am:
    This is a fair or even good episode.

    It's kind of interesting to see Troi act differently. And kind of interesting to consider why that might be so, the difference empathic abilities can make in your experience and in your personality. I was just mulling about this earlier today... If I *knew* without a shadow of a doubt, actually *felt* how others felt about me, in real time, I probably would be more at ease and more confident, just like Troi is normally. Much of our anxiety and insecurity rotates around what we think others think of ourselves, and much of it is unfounded...

    It's also interesting to consider that because Troi relies on her Betazoid abilities, her ordinary skills of perception, observation, and intuition are underdeveloped. The empathic powers have been like a kind of crutch, and she is kind of helpless without them, at least at first...

    - - -

    One problem:

    How the heck did the "forward sensors" miss the 2D beings? The explanation Data gives is utterly simplistic and nonsensical. For this to work, the forward sensors must be truly 2-directional! Like, fundamentally so - the sensors must be point sources with no height at all, not even a micron, and detect only what is directly in front them, not a micron or two above or below. Not only would they be quite useless on a starship, they would be quite bizarre and anomalous things in themselves. How would 3D engineers with 3D equipment build and maintain something like that? And why in the world would they?

    I might be wrong, but I don't think it makes any sense at all.

    As far as I can tell, actual forward sensors must detect what is in front of them, but not literally so. To be useful, they must operate in three dimensions, although within a limited "forward" range.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x11 - Data's Day

Originally Aired: 1991-1-7

Synopsis:
Data tries to comprehend human emotions. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.05

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 14 5 4 9 23 7 9 18 24 50 54

Problems
None

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

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

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

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I do wonder a little bit about the T'Pel thing. You'd think the Federation would be aware that Romulans might try to impersonate Vulcans. They apparently have different life signs, and a Federation ambassador would have very high clearance level which would require rigorous screening. It's somewhat surprising to me that a Romulan could do this at all. I'm sure there are explanations, but it seems to me that T'Pel/Selok gets away with an awful lot more than she should have.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x12 - The Wounded

Originally Aired: 1991-1-28

Synopsis:
A renegade Federation captain must be stopped. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 6.95

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 22 0 3 1 3 7 6 19 51 38 22

Problems
- Marc Alaimo played Gul Macet in this episode. He later goes on to play Gul Dukat in DS9. They're virtually identical characters, why did the name have to change? Granted Dukat sounds cooler, that's no excuse...
- Maxwell says O'Brien was his tactical officer on the Rutledge. So O'Brien goes from being a high ranking officer on the Rutledge to a chief petty officer on the Enterprise? Isn't that a demotion? Not impossible a situation, but certainly unlikely and annoying when no explanation is given.

Factoids
- This is the first episode to feature Cardassians, a race which will become majorly important later in TNG and in DS9.
- In the Ten Forward scene, the Cardassian orders Kanar. In the coming years, we will find out that it is the favorite drink of Cardassians. Virtually every Cardassian we ever see drinks it at some point.

Remarkable Scenes
- O'Brien and Keiko discussing food.
- first sighting of a Cardassian ship and the ensuing battle.
- The Cardassians trying to be friendly with an abrasive O'Brien.
- Picard carefully handling Macet's transponder signal request.
- O'Brien carefully discussing Cardassians with Keiko, trying to understand, but not wanting to reveal his hate.
- Data: "It appears to be a Cardassian supply ship." Macet: "How would you know that?" Picard: "We are able to make that determination." I love that enigmatic response...
- Picard backing down and giving Macet the transponder frequency he asked for.
- Watching the battle between the Phoenix and the Cardassians on the computer.
- Picard discussing anger with O'Brien.
- O'Brien describing the horrors of killing a man to the Cardassian in Ten Forward.
- O'Brien: "It's not you I hate, Cardassian. I hate what I became, because of you."
- Macet chastises his officer for breaking into the Enterprise computer. All his arrogance gone; seems he's been completely humbled after seeing his warships destroyed.
- Seeing the Nebula class starship. Beautiful design.
- Maxwell justifying his mass murder and Picard's responses of rationality.
- O'Brien's chat with Maxwell getting him to see reason.
- Picard digging into Macet about how Maxwell was right all along about the secret buildup.

My Review
Including O'Brien and Keiko as major characters in this episode just one episode after their wedding was perfect. It shows us that the writers aren't going to just brush these great characters aside because their 15 minutes of fame are over. That said, this is a major character building episode for O'Brien. We learn tons of great things about O'Brien and we also get a great introduction to the Cardassians and their deceptive and warlike nature. Well done.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-20 at 3:34am:
    - When the Enterprise first locates the Phoenix, Picard orders the con to lay in a course for the Phoenix at warp 6. After the Phoenix destroys the warship, Picard asks how long till they intercept, and Data replies, "At our present speed of warp 4 ..." When did the Enterprise slow to warp 4?
    - At one point O'Brien enters a turbolift with two Cardassians. As it travels, one of the Cardassians asks O'Brien to have a drink with them. When the turbolift reaches its destination, O'Brien mouths off to them and heads for the doors. The doors on the turbolift wait until he approaches before opening. Compare this to the operation of the turbolift doors in other episodes. As soon as the turbolift reaches its destination, the doors open. They do not wait for the person to approach. This is normal operation for turbolift doors.
  • From Rob on 2008-04-13 at 8:13pm:
    The only part I don't like about this episode (and it's so minor it shouldn't matter, but it's distracting) is the design of the Cardassian armor/outfits. They are fugly. I'm so glad that they are changed by the time they become a major baddie on DS9... especially those utterly ridiculous helmet-thingies they wear.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-05-06 at 10:12am:
    This episode is a perfect 10 until Maxwell shows up. I love the idea of a renegade captain, but Maxwell is written and acted so broadly that the character doesn't really rise above cliche. Parts of his interaction with O'brien are still moving, and Picard's chilly exchange with him after bringing him into his ready room is awesome, but overall, he's not one of the most memorable guest characters.

    Nearly everything else about this episode is great, though. Our first introduction to the Cardassians is a good one, and I love the way that Picard handles the tense situation. Even though Maxwell is right, and the Cardassians are up to something along the border, he knows that boarding the ship would lead directly to war, something he wants to prevent.

    The plot of this episode is crafted exceptionally well, with no easy answers and a lot of gray area to explore. Despite his violent actions and the coming court martial, Maxwell has in effect been a peacekeeper. He killed nearly 700 Cardassians without real provocation, but his actions ultimately led to Picard sniffing out the plot, which undoubtedly prevented an eventual Cardassian attack. We can posit that the Cardassians, knowing that the Federation's Star Fleet is reeling following the Borg incident, have beefed up arms along the border for a foray into Federation territory. Picard's frosty little speech to Macet at the end of the episode put the dampers on this plan, making Maxwell a sort of hero in disgrace since his outlaw actions led to this chain of events.

    Macet himself, like several other Cardassian characters we'll see later, is a well-drawn character. I get the feeling that Macet, like Picard, wants to avoid war--I tend to take his speech about some people needing war at face value--but he still is required by duty not to spill the beans about the border ramifications to Picard.

    Finally, this episode, like a lot of great Trek episodes, studies the nature of command very well. Picard's interactions with O'brien and Maxwell are indicative of his command style, as his handling of the incident of the Cardassian attempting to access the computer system. Macet's handling of this incident is interesting as well, and the actor playing the busted Cardassian is great. He implies with his eyes that he was acting on Macet's orders and is bewildered by Macet's reaction, but his sense of allegiance makes him follow orders. Contrast this with Picard's speech about Maxwell earning his crew's respect and allegiance.

    All in all, a great episode. I rated it an 8, but this one is not far from being a 10.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-22 at 10:55am:
    A tense, exciting episode. The plot, and the performance of Picard, are awesome. I tend to agree with JRPoole that the characterization of Maxwell is not very convincing and is a weak point in an otherwise superb episode.
  • From Nadrac on 2012-05-14 at 7:18pm:
    As an even bigger fan of ds9 i am quite enjoy to see familiar faces "back", happy for change to dukat i would have never taken him seriously with that helmet ;)
  • From Jake on 2012-09-19 at 11:41pm:
    I wonder if the writers planned to have O'Brien in DS9 way back when and gave him more development in this episode and the last because he would have a larger part in the Cardassian arc in DS9. This episode feels like a DS9 prequel on my rewatch.
  • From Praelat on 2013-11-27 at 1:42pm:
    Regarding the Macet-Dukat change: At the time of this episode, Gul Dukat would be commanding Terok Nor, supervising the Cardassian operations on Bajor. He would have no business chasing the Phioenix. Making Macet and Dukat the same character would make no sense.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x13 - Devil's Due

Originally Aired: 1991-2-4

Synopsis:
Picard fights a woman who claims to be the Devil. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.16

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 22 4 6 6 15 14 40 21 12 12 6

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Data's acting in the beginning.
- Picard's defiance that Ardra was really the devil.
- I like the speculation that she might be a Q.
- Ardra attempting to seduce Picard.
- Picard: "Just have Mr. Data fetch me in a shuttle. And have him bring along a uniform." Worf: "Did you see uniform?" Picard: "Yes I did!"
- Data finding a legal loophole in Ardra's claim to the Enterprise.
- Ardra making the Enterprise disappear.
- Data overruling Picard.
- Data: "The advocate will refrain from making her opponent disappear."
- Picard stealing Ardra's powers.

My Review
The Ventaxians look exactly like humans... Anyway, I loved Ardra's character. They picked the a perfect actress for her. This is in every way a successful humor episode, and I enjoyed it. The best part of this episode is its replay value. Watch it a second time and try to guess how Ardra was using holography, forcefields, transporters, tractor beams, and cloaking devices to make all her tricks happen.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-23 at 4:41am:
    - During a meeting with the senior staff, Data claims that the people of Ventax II consider it bad luck to speak Ardra's name. However, the prime minister does it quite frequently.
    - When Ardra shows up on the bridge, Picard has her beamed back to the planet. Immediately afterward, he orders an ensign to put up shields until further notice. The ensign turns around, it is Ardra again. A few minutes later, she leaves on her own. Picard never repeats his orders, and everyone on the bridge must have forgot he said anything about putting up the shields. The end of the show makes clear that she is using standard transpoter technology. That means the crew never raised the shields, because if they did, Ardra could not have beamed into Picard's bedroom later in the show!
    - During the trial, Ardra demands that Picard explain her abilities. He claims he can't. Granted, he doesn't know exactly where her power source is during this scene. However, earlier in the episode, he gave a good guess about her methods during a discussion with his senior staff. Instead of repeating that explanation, Picard simply replies that he can't explain Ardra's abilities.
    - After Picard performs Ardra's tricks, he explains that a team from the Enterprise took control of Ardra's ship. Picard then touches his communicator and thanks Riker for his help. Picard explains that the team had monitored him on his communicator. In other words, the communicator was already on. Does that mean that Picard shut it off when he tapped it?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-23 at 3:51pm:
    A solid episode. I thought the underlying concept was clever.
    - This episode seems a little confused about how it is trying to portray Ardra. In general, it seems to be saying that she is just a magician using clever tricks (like when they comment on her "bad copy of a cloaking device"). But at other times it seems more like the message is that she is a hyper-advanced alien, but still a con artist. In particular, her ability to undetectably beam people on and off the Enterprise is beyond any capability we've seen from normal Federation opponents.
  • From John on 2012-03-13 at 8:56pm:
    Factoid: Patrick Stewart would win the 1992 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show for his one-man adaption of "A Christmas Carol" on Broadway.
  • From Rick on 2014-03-07 at 12:44pm:
    Problem: Two parties cannot make a contract that binds or obligates a third (unrelated) party. I dont care how alien a world is, no one can make a contract that will give away the enterprise in 1000 years. That does not stand up to scrutiny.
  • From Rob UK on 2014-06-21 at 10:42am:
    Got a problem for you, the quote mentioned between Data and Picard when discussing the con game in regard to the P.T Barnum quote is incorrect, it was actually said by Barnum's competition Mr. George Hull, who said "There's a sucker born every minute." after Barnum tricked the press into believing and publishing that his stone giant was real and Mr Hulls a fake, both were fakes but Hull was the original creator of the scam

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Star Trek TNG - 4x14 - Clues

Originally Aired: 1991-2-11

Synopsis:
Data lies to the crew. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 6.96

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 16 7 5 4 14 13 11 30 56 53 34

Problems
- The premise, see my comments. Not necessarily unbelievable, but a bit absurd.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Guinan on the holodeck, trying to play along.
- Data using "less obtrusive" methods of contacting Picard.
- Data carefully persuading everyone to leave the star system.
- Beverly suspecting Data a liar.
- Picard getting rid of Data in the briefing room so they can speculate about him.
- Beverly digging up more evidence against Data using the transporter.
- Data's "I cannot confirm nor deny that" attitude.
- Worf: "There are very few people on board who could have broken my wrist. Commander Data is one of those individuals."
- Troi being possessed and speaking in an eerily flanged bass augmented register.
- Possessed Troi breaking Worf's wrist.

My Review
This episode's premise doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Wouldn't it have been easier to just claim the wormhole knocked everyone unconscious for a day instead of trying to rig the ship to make it appear as only 30 seconds had passed? That way all the "clues" that were left behind would seem to be nothing but a normal consequence of a wormhole knocking you into bio chemical stasis for a day. Of course, then we wouldn't have an episode now would we...

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-24 at 2:44am:
    - The computer apparently doesn't know that dead people don't move their eyes. When Picard and Guinan are in the holodeck at the very start of the episode, a holodeck character gets machine-gunned down. When Picard turns the man's head to face them, his eyes move around.
    - At the end of the episode, Data narrates a flashback to the first encounter with the Paxans. During his narration, the episode shows Data waking everyone while the Paxans attempt to override the shields. The Paxans penetrate the shields and take control of Troi. After she breaks Worf'd wrist, Picard asks, "Who are you?" The Paxans, speaking through Troi, do not answer. They simply maintain that they must destroy the ship. The dialogue continues until Picard and the Paxans reach a compromise. Then Picard turns to Data and orders him never to reveal what has happened, to conceal his knowledge of the Paxans for as long as he exists. How did Picard know they were called the Paxans? The Paxans never mentioned their name.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-05-08 at 10:46am:
    I agree with the general absurdity of the premise of this episode. How was Data supposed to cover up a whole day? If it was, say, Tuesday, and they woke up on Wednesday, how is that concealable? Even if the crew goes on thinking that only 30 have passed, won't there still be an unaccountable lag when they get back to a star base and it isn't the day they thought it was?

    Also, the direction and staging is poor in this episode. For instance, Geordi comes to the bridge, asks Troi to give him a moment with the captain in private, and they proceed to stroll around the bridge chatting about Data's deception. It seems like something they should discuss in the ready room.

    Still, there are some things to like about this episode, mainly Data's refusal to reveal the truth to the crew, so this one is a 2.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-05-08 at 7:35pm:
    I'm bewildered by the fan rating on this one. This one is more significantly higher than the host's rating than virtually any other episode. Is this one usually considered a fan favorite, or is this an anomaly?
  • From Bernard on 2008-05-14 at 7:23pm:
    Just to add to the above in the general berating of this episode...

    Take Picards preposterous reaction to Data's evident deceipt. He threatens poor Data with the suggestion that starfleet will dissect him to find out what has gone wrong with him! Considering the events of the episode 'measure of a man' this is not a possible course of action... Data could be court martialled etc. but not taken apart (without his consent anyway)

    Some really fundamental flaws with this episode that I agree with low marks as there is nothing else redeeming to save it
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2008-10-20 at 12:31pm:
    I always look forward to watching this episode again. Seeing Data lie and lose credibility among the crew is facinating to watch. Also, the revelation that the crew has lost a whole day's worth of memory always amazes me, even though I have seen it many times.

    I love the ending where Picard ALMOST turns the ship back to the planet again. If they had come back a third time, then aliens would have destroyed the Enterprise.
  • From trekstar on 2011-01-03 at 10:02am:
    I've always liked this episode. I was always under the impression that the aliens didn't just wipe out their memory for a day, but also placed them back in time. Which means although they had "clues" of life going on a whole day, in the time frame outside the ship, only 30 seconds had passed. That makes more sense...I think:)
  • From level@level.net on 2011-08-22 at 2:39am:
    I think the negative reviews are a little unfair. The holodeck sequence sucks, and the premise is kind of outlandish, but I think it falls short of being absurd. In fact, it's got some redeeming qualities. The sheer uncertainty in the first 3/4 of the episode is quite exquisite. Data is protecting the crew by concealing the events of the past 24 hours... Wtf? This was downright creepy at times. I was trying to picture what kind of horrible, traumatizing, life-altering things might've transpired...

    The real problem with this episode is not the premise, it's that the revelation is rushed to the point of ridiculousness. It runs like a Charlie Chaplin film, just a few steps too fast. (I like the episode but I'll be the first to admit it has some serious flaws) Here's a small one: what is up with Wharf getting all trigger happy on counselor Troi? All she did was get up kind of sudden, and he's ready to shoot/physically apprehend her? And then Picard says, "Who are you?" (Maybe it's Starfleet protocol to assume that anyone who gets up and quietly approaches you has been possessed by another lifeform?)

    Not very believable.

    Speaking of which, it just seems unrealistic how quickly everyone arrives at the "stalemate" position/solution. Captain Picard seems to lose all nerve whatsoever - it is expected that he would be diplomatic and conciliatory, especially when facing superior technology, but here he comes off as just downright spineless or something. It's not unreasonable that he would come to this kind of decision and suggest they all just "forget" the whole thing, literally, but I would imagine it would take some kind of process, dialogue, consultation, etc. Not quite, "Wait! Don't kill us! Just make us forget and we'll be on our way."

    Since that part of the story is revealed as a flashback, narrated by Data, we are perhaps meant to infer that there were other events that took place off screen... but this hardly changes the viewer's experience. The real problem, as I mentioned, is that the producers simply didn't have the space to do what they needed and make it seem believable. They just couldn't cram it in the 45 minutes, it seems, or made the wrong decisions about how to manage that space.

    So, interesting episode - not an outright disaster or absolutely absurd, just with a rushed, abbreviated, unconvincing conclusion, like a few other episodes. I'd give it maybe a 5/6.
  • From level@level.net on 2011-08-22 at 3:13am:
    (For a special treat, watch this episode right before or right after watching "TOS: The Menagerie." There are some great parallels between Spock's deception and Data's obfuscation, and their respective captains' reactions. One interesting observation - it seems a starfleet crew is much more likely to trust an oddly behaving Vulcan (even a half-Vulcan) than an android under suspicious circumstances.

    There's probably some kind an innate distrust of technology at work, which isn't entirely misplaced. "TNG: Brothers" comes to mind, specifically the scene when Data became completely subservient to his creator's homing beacon. And of course Data's brother became more or less insane, so there is some precedent for that as well...
  • From Rick on 2013-02-10 at 10:46pm:
    Reviewer:

    How is Data supposed to convince Picard that it took him a full day to revive them but in actuality it only took Data a few seconds? Wouldnt that be a big "Clue" that Picard may investigate further......

    Of course you could come up with a response to this but the point is that Picard may not believe whatever excuse Data would give.
  • From Daniel on 2014-05-24 at 3:03am:
    I like this episode, though I agree it is a flawed premise. I just want to point out one other odd detail I noticed. The oddity occurs at the moment when the Enterprise is once again facing the Paxans (the second time), and the green energy stream takes over Troi, causing her to become a zombie and act as a Paxan. According to the timeline of the story, Troi is possessed by the Paxans (the second time) immediately before confronting Data. Yet, at the moment of her possession, Troi is in bed in a nightgown. But, a moment later, she confronts Data in full uniform. Now, why would the Paxan that possesses her need her to get dressed, or would they have any need to dress her while possessing her? Just wondering.
  • From Axel on 2015-02-21 at 12:18am:
    Maybe I'm missing something here. Those of you suggesting that Data could've claimed the crew was out for a full day, thus avoiding the problems of a 30-second deception: how do you then explain the male crew's lack of beard growth? That was a major factor in the crew second-guessing whether they really were out a full day, until they learned they'd been placed in stasis. The lack of outward physical change, like beard growth, could only be passed off if the crew believed they were out for a very short time.

    Perhaps the Paxans are highly skilled as both barbers and mind erasers?
  • From Rick on 2015-10-15 at 1:59pm:
    To the people questioning the premise of the episode, and more specifically the time difference problem (i.e. how would they explain the difference in their chronometer with the next star base they encounter), you are forgetting that they think they passed through a wormhole. I believe it is reasonable to surmise that time passes differently inside a wormhole. Hence Data saying after they wake up that he will reset the chronometer with the nearest star base signal.

    This episode is difficult to understand but I think they did a pretty darn good job of covering all the bases.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x15 - First Contact

Originally Aired: 1991-2-18

Synopsis:
Riker is badly injured on a first contact mission. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.24

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 24 39 10 8 13 17 20 18 46 30 16

Problems
- How could the Malcorians not notice the big honkin' starship Enterprise in orbit of their planet? Seeing as how they're advanced enough to have warp drive, I would assume they'd have satellites in orbit capable of scanning the space around their planet.

Factoids
- This episode bears the same name as the famous Trek movie First Contact. The episode and the movie have much similar stories too. A race experimenting with warp drive is visited by a superior race.

Remarkable Scenes
- The aliens freaking out about Riker's alien physiology.
- Riker, regarding his fingers: "Yes, isn't that something? My father's were the same way."
- Picard and Troi beaming into Yale's lab.
- Yale believing that Picard and Troi are a joke.
- I like the mentioning that UFOs in the Malcorian sky were dismissed as weather balloons...
- Picard sharing the wine his brother gave him in TNG: Family with Durken. I like this detail, because Robert asked Picard not to drink it alone, and Picard kept his promise. Good continuity indeed.
- Durken: "I will have to say this morning I was the leader of the universe as I knew it. This afternoon I am only a voice in a chorus. But I think it was a good day."
- Nurse Lanel bribing Riker with escape if he has sex with her. The details aren't clear, but I think it's safe to say Riker took her up on that!
- The alien doctor refusing to do any harm to Riker.
- Krola attempting to martyr himself, only to be hit with a stun setting.

My Review
At first I found Krola's stark conservatism extremely annoying. His whole character seems so ridiculous, that even right wing purists would find him embarrassing to watch. But the episode's ending made it clear to me that the writers needed him to be an extreme to prove a point. That point being conservatives suck! I'm not going to go off on a political rant here, but I will say that this fictitious situation clearly illustrates how much a conservative mindset can hold back the progress of an entire society. A fine episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-24 at 6:44am:
    - The head of state needs a more observant receptionist. When the chief scientist introduces Picard to the head of state, they walk into his office. Actually, the scene features the calm voice of a receptionist - over an intercom - announcing that the chief scientist has someone for the head of state to meet. The receptionist's voice is amazingly dull considering the striking physical differences between Picard and the Malcorians.
    - After Picard proposes a toast, the head of state says of the wine, "We have something very much like this on Malcoria III." What are the chances that this man would use the same designation for his planet that Starfleet does, especially since the Malcorians believe they are the center of the universe? Would a culture that believes itself the center of the universe call its planet by the name of its sun and the planet count to that sun? Maybe we should change the name of our planet from Earth to "Sol III."
    - This makes three times that the matte painting of this city has been used: It was the main city on "Angel One"; it was also Starbase 515 in "Samaritan Snare"; and in this episode, it serves as a medical facility in the capital city of Malcoria III.
  • From djb on 2008-02-29 at 3:40am:
    - I wouldn't be so quick to judge Krola, or the writers' intentions in making his character as he was, or even conservatism in general. I definitely have my problems with conservatism, but I have my problems with liberalism as well. I think they need to both exist to balance each other out. Indeed, without conservatism acting as a bit of a brake on the speed of progress, things can easily get out of hand and overwhelm people. Of course, without progressive ideas, society stagnates. Krola may be an extreme example of conservatism, as he was willing to not only martyr himself but actually martyr himself in the context of a lie with very serious repercussions, but the point still gets across.

    The fact that a man like him is so high up in government strongly indicates that a large bloc of the population shares, to some degree, his conservative outlook, and would be just as hostile, if not more so, to accords with alien races. One can therefore come to the correct conclusion that the Malcorian people in general are not ready for contact with alien races, even though some of them might be happy about such a development. The final assessment that first contact should be put off for a time is sad, but most likely correct. Until the people in general reach a "critical mass" of readiness for such contact, ramifications of such an event could be disastrous, and counterproductive to the goals of interplanetary contact.

    - Establishing first contact with an alien race is the kind of mission I would expect the Federation's flagship to go on. It's good to see them doing something other than scientific surveys and taxi services. It's also good to peer into the very complex and delicate situation of first contact. Imagine yourself in Durken's or Mirasta's place... or Picard's. Or Riker's!

    - I liked the humorous interlude of the Malcorian nurse bribing Riker for sex. You could tell her intentions the minute she walked in the door! (Can any one say "Xenophile?") Riker is a ladies' man, for sure, but you could tell he was more than a little dismayed at being forced into sex with an alien just to get free... only to be beaten within an inch of his life while attempting escape. Talk about adding insult to injury. Or, in this case, injury to insult.

    - Just a thought: The Malcorians apparently have a 29-hour day. I wonder... since they don't have ten distinct digits like we do, who's to say they are necessarily operating in base 10? Or did the universal translator figure that out? How long is their day, really, and why in the world would anyone use a large prime number for any measuring system? One wonders...

    - I, too, wonder why someone down on the planet didn't notice a rather large UFO in orbit. Even if the Federation is against the idea of their ships using cloaking devices, wouldn't they want to develop them for this purpose at the very least? A civilization advanced enough to develop warp drive is almost by definition able to detect objects in orbit around their planet!

    - The only drawback of this episode, for me, is how it starkly reveals the shortcomings of the "universal translator" storytelling device. Riker had the Malcorians fooled until they discovered his out-of-place organs and his digits. Either Riker learned the Malcorian language flawlessly (not very plausible), or the Universal Translator manages to simultaneously translate the speaker's words, simulate their voice, and make the speaker appear as if they're speaking the language (also quite implausible). This makes me beg the question: how exactly does this device work?! Do the producers just sacrifice believability for ease in storytelling?
  • From JRPoole on 2008-05-09 at 12:45pm:
    I'm in almost complete agreement with the post above. Aside from the (admittedly huge) problem of the univeral translator, this episode is top-notch.
  • From Jim on 2008-06-08 at 9:19am:
    "I'm not going to go off on a political rant here, but I will say that this fictitious situation clearly illustrates how much a conservative mindset can hold back the progress of an entire society."

    You clearly are going off on a rant. Krola's point is one which the writers may not be sympathetic with, but which is understandable and which the Prime Minister sympathises with. Your own propensity to fly off the handle at 'conservatism' makes you seem as narrow-minded as the people you criticise.
  • From Kethinov on 2008-06-08 at 3:49pm:
    Your comment is as needlessly insulting as its point is baseless. The whole point of conservatism as a political ideology is to keep things as they are. That is the very antithesis of the progress and growth of a society.

    Maybe you didn't notice, but the whole point of this episode was to take the conservative political ideology to its logical extremes to point out how silly the whole perspective is in the first place.
  • From Bernard on 2008-06-08 at 6:51pm:
    Firstly, I like this episode a lot, mainly for the reasons djb has already stated. But I have to say that I feel that storytelling works nicely when you use characters to portray opposing sides to a debate. Here we have Yale on one side, Krola on the other and Durken somewhere in the middle. I do not agree that they are trying to show the futility of conservatism at all, they show both sides of the argument and allow the viewer to make his/her own mind up. Some of us will see it one way and some of us will see it the other way and some of us will probably come into the middle. It is precisely this that makes it a good episode for me anyway, you can have good people on both sides of an argument. Perhaps this is the point that jim was trying to put across. :)
  • From Mark McC on 2008-12-30 at 10:43am:
    I first watched this episode when it aired and I was quite young. Watching it again today, I can't believe I missed the parallels it draws with the alleged Roswell, 1947 alien spacecraft crash that conspiracy folks are so fond of. Only here we have Riker as the alien whose body is recovered and taken to a government medical facility.

    Later, when the Chancellor informs Picard of his decision to keep the truth about first contact from the people, he rhymes of a list of ways in which the evidence of alien life will be dismissed or watered down, including weather balloons (which were the official US government explanation of what was recovered at Roswell).

    Overall, I think this episode is a very enjoyable piece of allegory about what would happen if/when an advanced civilization contacted us here on Earth; even going so far as to suggest that maybe they already have and the government of the time decided that we too weren't ready for such a consciousness-raising event.

    PS not a UFO nut/conspiracy believer in any way, but it's always fun to speculate ;)
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-24 at 10:16am:
    I enjoy this episode, getting to see first contact from the point of view of the "aliens" is pretty cool. But I wouldn't say it was a great episode, in many ways it is rather timid and limited in how it shows the first contact. As though it needed more time to really explore the situation on the planet and the motivations behind the Malcorians.

    - Why was Riker carrying a phaser on a delicate first contact mission? And even if he had to for some unknown reason, it seems like it should have been built with a safety mechanism so it can't be activated by the natives.
    - Bringing a member of a race subject to the Prime Directive off of their home planet, and into the Federation, is rather unusual in Star Trek, for good reason. Picard doesn't want to give advanced technology to the Malcorians, as they won't have the wisdom to use it. Now Mirasta is going to enter the larger universe and will surely learn that technology. That's fine, but what if she becomes homesick and tries to charter a flight home? Starfleet is put in the awkward position of having to either forbid her from seeing her friends and family, or trust that she won't reveal her scientific knowledge to a planet for which she is (or was) the Minister of Science!
  • From Pete on 2011-07-08 at 8:54am:
    This fictitious situation clearly illustrates how much the conservative mindset can hold back society?

    Give me a break. The majority of conservatives don't fear "progress" they just don't want to pay the bill.

    If progress is to punish those that are smart and work hard and reward those that are lazy and stupid... I don't think we'll be getting out of this solar system anytime soon.
  • From Kethinov on 2011-07-13 at 1:04am:
    Conservatism: a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society.

    How does that not precisely describe Krola's character, who is the clearly unsympathetic antagonist of this story?

    Not all conservatives are as absurd as his character, but I think it's pretty clear that this story was meant to attack conservatism in general, as does much of the storytelling in Star Trek.
  • From thaibites on 2011-07-30 at 9:09am:
    Personally, I think this episode is a "tip of the hat" to Galileo and acknowledges all the aggravation and oppression he suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church. The Malcorians talked about how their doctrine claimed their planet was the center of the universe, and the Church used to BELIEVE that the sun revolved around the Earth - God's perfect creation. To question either of these beliefs is/was heresy and is/was sure to irrevocably destroy everything these people held dear. It would be the end of EVERYTHING! (Or at least that's what the people in control thought and told everybody...) Honestly, those in power ought to give common people some credit and stop trying to spoon-feed them and "protect" them all the time.
  • From Brad Smith on 2011-09-13 at 1:48am:
    Good review of this episode as it is quite fascinating. Your understanding of conservatism is a little lacking though and the "conservatives suck" comment is certainly unnecessary. I think you are confusing the classical definition of conservatism with the way it is used in the modern day U.S. Generally, the word just describes people who want smaller government, lower taxes, fewer regulations and the preservation of federalism. The group you are describing makes up an extremely small portion of conservatives and it is a little offensive to pigeonhole all of us into that category.
  • From Kethinov on 2011-10-07 at 3:19am:
    I'm sorry you feel that way. To be clear, the episode's critique of conservatism (as well as my own) is limited to the aspect of that political ideology which resists change. Certainly the branch of modern conservatism which favors smaller government, lower taxes, and fewer regulations is not at issue here, as those are actually desires *for* a change from the status quo. Granted, I am critical of that branch of conservative politics as well, but for entirely different reasons which have nothing to do with the political commentary reflected by this episode.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-23 at 6:11am:
    Nurse Lanel was played by Bebe Neuwirth who was a star in the movies "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and "Jumanji" as well as a major character in the TV show "Cheers". I loved her performance in this episode. So deliciously salacious. It is apparent tha Riker did indeed have sex with her. Riker is a total manwhore as I have pointed out elsewhere. There is no question Riker would readily agree to have sex with Nurse Lanel.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x16 - Galaxy's Child

Originally Aired: 1991-3-11

Synopsis:
Geordi is crushed when he meets his dream woman. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.76

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 19 4 2 42 12 12 31 21 17 7 4

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The scene where Picard informs Geordi that his dream woman is coming aboard.
- Brahms' hostile first meeting with Geordi.
- Geordi accidentally inferring that Brahms should remember a modification that her hologram helped Geordi make.
- Geordi surprising Brahms once again by "coincidentally" knowing her favorite food.
- Picard reluctantly firing on the alien.
- Picard feeling horrible about killing the alien.
- Brahms blowing off Geordi's advances so abruptly. Ouch!
- Geordi trying again on Brahms in the Jeffries Tubes only to find out that she's married. Ouch again!
- Beverly performing stellar surgery.
- Beverly: "Captain, I would like to announce the birth of a large baby... something!"
- Great continuity with the Brahms events in TNG: Booby Trap. Geordi even mentions the margin for error the comptuer warned him about.
- Brahms stumbling on her holographic double.
- The look on Geordi's face when Brahms confronted him about her holographics double.
- Geordi standing up to Brahms.
- Brahms' idea to sour the milk.

My Review
I enjoyed this episode thoroughly. One reason is because its premise is based off continuity from a previous episode. Dr. Brahms was originally featured in TNG: Booby Trap as Geordi's holographic partner where he fell for her. The aliens of this episode were once again unique and interesting. That and the dilemma faced by the crew. Finally I found the interactions between Geordi and Brahms fun to watch. A nicely done episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-24 at 4:19pm:
    Great confusion surrounds this matter/antimatter ratio thing. When Brahms come on board, she claims the matter/antimatter ratio has been changed. She says that the mixture isn't as rich as Starfleet specs call for. In "Where No One Has Gone Before," Picard says Kozinski is coming on board to test "different intermix formulas." And the chief engineer in "Skin Of Evil" talks about setting the ratio of matter and antimatter to 25 to 1. Isn't there only one matter/antimatter ratio? While taking the Starfleet exam in "Coming Of Age," Wesley and Mordock said there is only one ratio with matter/antimatter ... 1 to 1.
    The energy needed for warp drive come from the mutual annihilation of matter and antimatter as they mix in the dilithium chamber. When an electron and a positron meet, an explosion occurs, destroying both entities. If two electrons and positron meet, wouldn't that leave one electron with nothing to do? So if the ratio is anything but 1 to 1, what does the extra matter do once the antimatter is used up?
  • From djb on 2008-02-25 at 4:47am:
    Poor Geordi! He just tries too hard.

    I was excited when they mentioned Leah Brahms at the beginning, because Booby Trap left open so many great questions: What is she really like? Will Geordi ever meet her? If he does, is his love life finally going to change for the better?

    Geordi is a great character, very likable. Unfortunately, his luck in love hasn't always been so great. I really root for him, but have to shake my head at how he shoots himself in the foot. Having them meet in his quarters, him in casual clothes, with just the right lighting and music... really laying it on thick!

    I like how he finally starts to be honest with her; as he points out at the end of the episode, he should have just told her about the holodeck program from the beginning. Of course, we wouldn't have had that great scene between them later on! I like how they come to terms at the end, even if it is abrupt. The poignant ending with Brahms answering a call from her husband was a nice touch.

    I was a little disappointed in Geordi's handling the situation in general; he still seems pretty insecure, even though he supposedly gained confidence after an encounter with the alien in "Transfigurations." Maybe it would have been even worse...

    I enjoyed this episode on multiple levels. One level is obvious: good character development for La Forge. Another is more subtle, but also important: holodeck ethics. Hearkening back to "Hollow Pursuits," one wonders what really are the ramifications of being able to holographically simulate real people? If the holodeck were a real invention, would there be laws or restrictions as to whom you can simulate, or what situations? Would people have to sign releases allowing their likenesses to be used in holodeck programs? Would hackers sell underground holodeck programs that illegally simulate celebrities or other people for consumers' basest fantasies? I mean, what happens when a wife walks in on her husband having sex with a virtual woman?

    More relevant to this episode is the striking contrast of holodeck reality with actual reality. Even though I doubt Geordi had replayed that program in the year or so between meeting holodeck Leah and meeting actual Leah, one gets the strong impression that the one exchange on the holodeck in "Booby Trap" made him develop a serious crush on Leah. Or, at least, holodeck Leah. In the time between meeting holodeck Leah and actual Leah, it's clear he'd thought about her a lot, imagined the possibility of a romantic connection, and probably gotten a little carried away.

    Unfortunately, as Guinan tries to warn him, there's a big difference between a holodeck's approximation of a person (which is, basically a computer program) and the person herself (not at all a computer program). To me, this is a warning about not becoming too emotionally involved in a fantasy, whatever that fantasy might be.

    I like the actress who plays Leah and it was good to see her again, and it's great to see subplots in characters' lives pick up where they had left off in previous episodes.

    I found the plot about the space-borne life form mostly unremarkable, except I did like how the two subplots fused towards the end.

    And hats off to whomever came up with the name! "Galaxy" refers to both the life form's home (interstellar space), as well as the Galaxy-class Enterprise; "child" refers to the dead life form's offspring as well as both La Forge's and Brahms' attitude towards their engines! Great name.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-05-07 at 10:20am:
    I don't usually comment on technobabble errors, but the matter/anti-matter thing bothered me as well. But DSOmo has already said that. In other technobabble news, what in the world are Geordi and Brahms referring to when they say that all matter in space resonates at a 21 centimeter interval? Granted, I'm not a physicist, but this seems absurd to me. Can anybody explain this, or is it just another instance of really stupid technobabble?

    I do, however, really like the idea of the space creatures. We've seen something sort of like this with Tin Man, but these seem to be slightly lower-order animals, I'm thinking something along the line of "space whales." The Geordi/Brahms plot is welcome as well. Overall, a decent episode.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-28 at 9:14am:
    A solid episode. I actually rather liked the "filler" B plot about the baby.

    Answer to JRPoole: 21 cm is the "hydrogen line" that can be seen in interstellar space from quantum transitions in hydrogen. So all matter with hydrogen (not "all matter in space") would emit a tiny bit of radiation at this wavelength. Not that this really justifies the technobabble, but it is based on something.
  • From EZ on 2012-05-06 at 7:33pm:
    Wow, this had such great potential and then crashed at the end. Calling Geordi's emotional hissy fit "standing up to Brahms" is baffling.

    Once she discovers what's going on, she has every right to be outraged. Geordi is right, it's not what she thinks. But instead of explaining that to her, the writers have him get emotional and shut her down because he "tried his best." What a horrible excuse.

    Her response should have been something along the lines of "How dare you try and make me feel bad about this. You were the one creating and then flirting with a digital duplicate of me. You're the one using that experience to hit on me, despite the fact that I am not interested. You are the one who crossed boundaries. You do not get to pretend that you're the one on the high road here. You're the one that needs to explain yourself."

    I could have chalked that up to the characters. But the worst part is Geordi's hissy fit ends up solving the problem. Not only that, but now she's acting shy around him and begrudgingly takes her husband's phone call. A man who was established that she's strictly monogamous with. The whole ending completely undermined Brahms character in order to try and show Geordi as the good guy in the end. Geordi did and acted nothing like a good person would. And a strong female character like Brahms had been up until that point should have called him on that and not been taken in.

    Such a wonderful and interesting thing to explore, completely ruined not just the episode but the character of Geordi by poor writing without a lick of emotional intelligence.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x17 - Night Terrors

Originally Aired: 1991-3-18

Synopsis:
The crew is threatened by hallucinations and panic. [DVD]

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 5.24

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 7 14 14 13 26 18 17 15 11 17

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- O'Brien freaking out at Keiko for no good reason.
- Picard hearing his door chime in his head even though it wasn't there.
- Picard freaking out in the turbolift.
- Good continuity with TNG: The Best of Both Worlds with Data's mentioning of their attempted (but failed) technique using the deflector dish as a possible means of escape from this situation.
- Beverly trying to convince herself that she was hallucinating when all the bodies sat up.
- People starting to slur their speech.
- Worf attempting suicide.
- Troi discovering that emitting hydrogen is the solution.
- Guinan breaking out her gun.
- Data becoming acting captain.

My Review
Wondeful, we get to watch everyone go insane! And we get to watch Troi have nightmares! By the end of this episode, I was becoming as sleepy as our main characters were. The plot was horribly slow and even repetitive. While the conclusion wasn't obvious per se, it was not all that surprising. O'Brien and Keiko's appearance was a plus, but it does little to improve a rather dismal episode, especially since O'Brien was acting like such a prick. The overall low point had to be the brawl in ten forward, which Guinan handled quite nicely. It was nice to see Data take charge as well, but overall I found this episode somewhat offensive.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-05-11 at 10:02pm:
    Problem:
    In some of the scences where Troi is "flying" you can clearly see strings attached to her butt.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-24 at 7:31pm:
    - When the crew looks for a way to create a massive explosion and escape the rift, no one mentions setting the Brattain to self-destruct. Wouldn't an uncontrolled overload of a warp drive system cause a pretty good bang?
    - When looking for a message to send the aliens, Data scans through the available elements on the Enterprise. One shot shows the elements zipping by, from bottom to top. When Troi spots hydrogen, she tells Data to stop and go back. The next shot shows the elements scrolling slower, but they are still scrolling from bottom to top. It would confuse the hell out of me, going forward or backward through information and having it move in the same direction.
  • From Mark McC on 2008-12-30 at 11:42am:
    At one point we're told the ship doesn't have enough power left to replicate any explosive elements. Maybe if they shut down all those replicators producing synthahol in Ten-Forward they might have had more power and saved themselves the embarassment of a bar-room brawl.

    It was convenient that Data decided to visually review the elements available on the offchance that Troi would look over his shoulder and spot something that correlated with her dream. Normally he would have just accessed his memory banks for the information instead of slowly (by his speed) scrolling through them on a terminal.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-29 at 12:16am:
    The plot of the episode is good in the abstract. But I agree that it progresses rather slowly and without a lot of interesting things happening. And Troi's silly-looking dream sequences are definitely not the high point of the episode.
  • From ok@ok.ok on 2011-08-26 at 4:32am:
    This was a fairly decent episode. I like the explanation behind what was happening, and I like how we never actually see the aliens or get a clear shot of their ship... all we get is some indication that they were in the exact same quandary, and could only communicate briefly and indirectly, hoping on a whim that someone will figure out what's needed...

    Seeing Data as acting captain was awesome.

    Seeing Guinan pull out some crazy plasma rifle from behind the counter was amusing.

    As for everyone going more or less insane, well I feel like there were a few missed opportunities here... but at the same time there were some nice subtleties, for instance Crusher trying to tap her com badge and missing the first time (there were a few of these very subtle, easily missed things). Also Wharf being late to a meeting. Things like that which vaguely hint that something just isn't right.

    So, maybe not great but certainly not awful, and the premise and explanation hold up and are surprising and interesting enough.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-30 at 4:52pm:
    This episode had two basic problems, in my view:

    1. The plot was too simplistic. There just wasn't enough here. Almost all good star trek episodes consist of two story lines woven together. For example, in TNG: Family you have the threads of Picard on Earth with his brother's family, and Worf on the Enterprise with his adoptive parents. (In that episode you even get a bit of a third with Wesley and his father's holorecording.) Another great example is TNG: Galaxy's Child where you have the two threads of the space creature and Geordi's relationship with the holographic Dr. Leah Brahms. In this episode we have just a tiny bit of that with the crew's struggle with lack of REM sleep and Troi's issue with nightmares. But effectively these issues are one and the same. Thus, there is just not enough storyline here to sustain a one hour episode. Effectively, the plot summary becomes:

    A. Enterprise gets stuck.
    B. The crew's condition deteriorates.
    C. Trio has bad dreams in which she flies around in a very unflattering outfit.
    D. Repeat steps B and C a truly mind numbing number of times.
    E. Enterprise gets unstuck.

    2. The music sucks. Not only was it very consistent ( reinforcing the repetitive nature of the episode itself ), but it consists almost entirely of this depressing dirge. It certainly did not help to improve the episode.
  • From Bronn on 2013-11-07 at 8:04pm:
    The Troi flying stuff is what really ruined this for me. It's not that I hate every episode in which she's featured, it's just that when she's featured, the writers often had her saying stuff repeatedly, with highest level possible of melodrama. "I have to find you! I have to tell you...!" That was a terrible climax for this episode. Face of the Enemy was a great episode in which she was featured because she wasn't constantly repeating herself, or using a melodramatic delivery.

    The funny thing is, that was a beautifully creepy dream sequence if they didn't have her take off flying. The effects were fairly nice-greenish clouds with the moon circling, always in her line of sight. Having her constantly walking through it with that music playing actually WORKS as a nightmarish dream sequence. Having her flying around in that leotard turns it on its head. It's also ridiculous that it took them all the way until season six to realize that they needed to give her a uniform.
  • From Axel on 2015-03-23 at 11:28pm:
    Great concept for an episode, but poorly executed. This had the makings of a really good Troi moment. Instead of always saying things that are blindingly obvious or telling the captain she senses...something...from some aliens, Troi is the key to solving a dilemma that the ship is facing. It's a situation for which her Betazoid powers are perfectly suited.

    Unfortunately, she puts too much drama into the role. There are also scripting problems. Her telepathic dialogue with the other Betazoid and aliens stuck in the rift sounds awkward and child-like.

    Overall I like the story for this one. But this is a rare case where the cast's acting just doesn't seem on point. They do this eery sci-fi type of stuff quite well in other episodes, but here it's fumbled.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x18 - Identity Crisis

Originally Aired: 1991-3-25

Synopsis:
A parasite transforms Geordi. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.82

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 4 21 12 10 22 19 23 9 4 7

Problems
- Since the computer tracks people using their communicators, there's no reason why it should have been reporting that Geordi wasn't aboard ship after he transformed.
- Why didn't they just shut off the program rather than explore the holodeck when Geordi turned up missing?

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Dr. Crusher hounding on Data trying to point out that he's showing signs of emotion. Worrying about Geordi.
- Geordi's friend freaking out about wanting to return to the planet.
- Geordi's friend when she started transforming. I loved the blue veins.
- Geordi tinkering with the holodeck trying to determine the source of that shadow.
- Geordi's friend freaking out some more even after she was healed.
- I love the way the transformed aliens looked when Data shined his light on them.

My Review
It's nice to explore some of Geordi's past through seeing a bit of the history of his previous assignment in this episode. Once again, the aliens of this episode were also pretty cool. I love it when Trek comes up with something as original as this. A decent stand alone episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-24 at 9:43pm:
    - Both Picard and Dr. Crusher allow Geordi to return to work alone - even though they know that the change can strike suddenly. Picard should have assigned Data to watch over Geordi. Data, on his own, does make a halfhearted attempt at offering his help to Geordi. Geordi gives him a feeble excuse. Data accepts this and leaves.
    - If the computer was programmed to monitor Geordi's movements, wouldn't it sound an alarm as soon as Geordi disappeared? Of course, if an alarm sounded, or Picard had assigned Data to Geordi, it would have been a short episode.
    - Evidently, the show was running a little short on time anyway. Data takes "forever" converting a flashlight to emit ultraviolet light so they can locate Geordi on the planet's surface. Earlier in the episode, Data states that he is "strongly motivated" to help Geordi. Data is an android, in other episodes, has worked so fast that his hands become blurred. If Data is so strongly motivated to help and he can work that fast, why is he moving like his batteries are nearly drained?
    - When the away team beams down to rescue Geordi, Leitjen tells them to turn off their flashlights because the light will scare the aliens. Leitjen tells Riker that the ultraviolet light is "beyond their visual spectrum." Yet when Data illuminates them with his flashlight, Geordi and the other two aliens immediately turn and run away!
    - During the scene when Geordi is trying to determine the source of the shadow, the light strikes his visor at an angle, and we can see LeVar Burton's real eyes (black pupils, not the "white eyes" we normally see when Geordi removes his visor.)
  • From JRPoole on 2008-06-15 at 2:23am:
    This is a better-than-average stand-alone episode. The alien of the week was actually interesting, Geordi got some character development, and it was all executed fairly well. The scene where Suzanna coaxes Geordi back to the ship was a little much, but this is pretty good all in all. I give it a six.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-05-01 at 12:22pm:
    The good part of the episode is the way it presents and explores the mystery. It is well done. But the plotting is not consistently strong throughout, many scenes feel off.
    - As DSOmo's examples show, there is an awful lot of "crew idiocy".
    - Another example is how utterly ineffective they are when they come to capture Geordi in the holodeck. They were just told that he will be hard to see, but they don't account for that at all. And not only could they have turned off the holodeck, with some imagination they could have changed it to a setting that would make it easy to find Geordi (a pristine field of snow, for instance).

  • From o@k.aok on 2011-08-26 at 9:20pm:
    Agree with the reviewer on all counts. Good episode, even better than a 5. Some good performances in this one.

    Also, Geordi tracking down the mysterious shadow in the holodeck was downright creepy. Actually, there were a number of "horror movie" elements in this episode, all tactful.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x19 - The Nth Degree

Originally Aired: 1991-4-1

Synopsis:
Aliens endow Barclay with super-human intelligence. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 6.86

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 0 3 6 5 8 32 31 25 18 25

Problems
None

Factoids
- The Cytherians occupy the center of the galaxy.

Remarkable Scenes
- Everyone being courteous to Barclay's poor performance in the opening scene.
- It's nice to see Barclay's holodiction is still largely unresolved. In fact, we find out later that it never is, as Barclay is a tragic character.
- Barclay thanking Geordi for inviting him to come on the shuttle mission. It's nice to see the show isn't trying to pretend Barclay has been getting more attention since TNG: Hollow Pursuits.
- Barclay starting to get funky weird, but brilliant ideas.
- Picard: "I am willing to entertain suggestions."
- Barclay enhancing the shields. I love how his personality lost its nervousness and instead he became quirky and weird. So wonderfully acted.
- Barclay explaining how he enhanced the shields to Riker.
- Barclay's reformed and stunning acting performance.
- Barclay making a pass at Troi.
- Barclay becoming the computer.
- Barclay humbled in the end.
- Troi going on the date Barclay offered.

My Review
This episode has a great beginning but a dismal ending. It was cool that the Cytherians were benevolent, but we learn next to nothing about them. The "ten days" the Enterprise spends with them all occur off screen! Furthermore, this amazing new propulsion technique that's used isn't retained, for reasons we're not told. Sorry, the mysterious ending cliche just doesn't fly with me. A great episode up until the end.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-25 at 3:34pm:
    - Normally, when Geordi transfers engineering control to the bridge, he walks off the turbolift, presses a button on the Engineering station, and the station lights up. At the beginning of this episode, Geordi walks on and the station lights up before he reaches it or says anything.
    - This is the only time a shuttle is used to gather information in the series. In all other cases, the sensor arrays on the Enterprise have always proved sufficient. Of course, if Geordi and Barclay don't get in a shuttle and fly out to the probe, Barclay can't get flashed.
    - Shuttle Craft 5 has changed again (see comments from "The Ensigns Of Command" and "Transfigurations.") In all previous episodes, it was a two-passenger, angular-looking, subcompact craft. In this episode, it becomes a sleek, rounded-edged, multiple-passenger unit.
  • From JTL on 2008-03-29 at 2:52am:
    I enjoyed this episode, though the lack of information at the end of this story is frustrating and opens up many realms of conjecture. Is it possible that the prisoner entity revealed in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a Cytherian? Unlikely, but a pet theory of mine nonetheless.
  • From thaibites on 2011-09-07 at 8:46pm:
    I absolutely love this episode. This is TNG at its absolute best! The fact that bumbling, weirdo Barclay is the one that will take the Starship Enterprise "where no one has gone before" is just icing on the cake.
    How about the slow reveal in the holodeck where we see Barclay's brain interfacing with the computer - it's a very dramatic, cold, and creepy scene that conveys very strongly that Barclay is losing touch with his humanity, and underscores the fear and uncertainty that the rest of the crew is feeling.
    The ending is an awesome sci-fi concept (and very surprising the 1st time you watch it). Aliens that explore the universe by bringing others to them - I love it!

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Star Trek TNG - 4x20 - QPid

Originally Aired: 1991-4-22

Synopsis:
Q complicates a reunion with Picard's old flame. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.94

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 22 6 4 10 8 7 33 20 19 30 18

Problems
None

Factoids
- When Vash tripped all over her dress, that wasn't actually scripted. She messed up the scene, but they left it in because they thought it was true to Vash's character; that she wouldn't know how to wear such a garment.

Remarkable Scenes
- Beverly barging in on Vash and Picard.
- Picard, not wanting to divulge his personal relationship with Beverly to Vash in his introduction: "Uh, that's all right, uh, allow me to introduce you. This is uh Beverly. Doctor Beverly. Doctor, Doctor Beverly Crusher."
- Picard getting all tense in the company of Beverly and Vash.
- Riker hitting on Vash.
- Riker: "How was the reception?" Picard with a dismal tone, not looking at Riker, and not slowing down in his pace to his ready room: "Splendid."
- Q's appearance.
- Picard: "I've just been paid a visit by Q." Riker: "Q? Any idea what he's up to?" Picard: "He wants to do something nice for me." Riker: "I'll alert the crew."
- Picard trying to avoid being seen going to Vash's quarters.
- Picard's crew in the audience slowly changing into Robin Hood characters. I especially like when Data goes to raise his hand and finds he is holding a giant leg of meat.
- Worf: "Sir, I protest! I am not a merry man!"
- Vash's reaction to being transported into the Robin Hood fantasy.
- Worf smashing Geordi's guitar.
- The sword fight.
- Vash deciding to go with Q to see the universe.

My Review
An episode with absolutely incredible continuity. Firstly, this episode picks up on the events from TNG: Captain's Holiday, with Vash's character returning. It also picks up on TNG: Déjà Q regarding the favor Q owes Picard. Finally, it will later run into DS9: Q-Less which will pick up on the adventures Q and Vash have together. That said, it functions wonderfully as a stand alone episode as well. It has action, adventure, humor, and it holds the interest. Truly one of TNG's most memorable episodes.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Whoa Nellie on 2007-04-15 at 2:56pm:
    This episode is a perfect 10! If you're going to have someone who is not a Trek fan or even a sci-fi fan watch an episode of TNG, this is the episode to have them watch. Like the TOS's 'Trouble with Tribbles,' Qpid is pure, unmitigated fun! Patrick Stewart's Picard doing Errol Flynn's Robin Hood, you just have to love that! Picard and Vash have a very compelling 'battle of wills' dynamic to their romantic relationship. The combination of Picard/Vash and Q is unbeatable. Star Trek at its character driven best!
  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-26 at 4:15am:
    - When Q barges into Vash's room and discovers a rescue note to Riker, Q calls for the guards. The guards rush in, grab Vash, and march her out of the room. She's already in a cell in the tower. Just where are they taking her?
    - When Q returns the crew to the Enterprise, Picard immediately notices that Vash is missing. Picard taps his communicator and asks the computer to locate Vash. The computer replies that Vash is not on board the Enterprise. I thought the computer used the communicators to locate people. Vash doesn't have a communicator. So how does the computer know Vash isn't on board?
  • From Dio on 2009-01-02 at 4:35pm:
    I had to rate this episode 10. Vash is a great character, representing both romance and adventure, so she automatically gives this episode 5 points. Q is always fantastic and adds another 2. The last 3 come from the humor, production and continuity.

    I wish Vash had made one more appearance in TNG. maybe this could have been a 2 parter with the second episode focusing more on Picard and Vash before Q whisks her away...
  • From John on 2010-12-31 at 11:49am:
    Worf saying "Nice legs. For a human." -- priceless.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-05-26 at 8:45pm:
    This episode feels aimless. Q pops in and argues with Picard, then puts him in some random situation for no apparent reason, then they act out part of an old movie. I did, however, like some of the funny bits, like Picard being embarrassed by Vash and Worf's reaction to becoming a merry man.
    - It is cool that Vash tries to use guile to manipulate the imaginary characters, which puzzles Q since he knows, as do we, that the Enterprise crew would be too principled for such a thing.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-18 at 12:35am:
    Pointless, boring, cheesy episode with a few laughs scattered about. The only bad episode of TNG starring Q. This one gets a big fat ZERO from me. Vash is the worst TNG guest star. Even worse than the traveler, that creepy interdimensional space-pedo.
  • From Axel on 2015-03-17 at 6:57pm:
    Either Q endowed Picard's team with special swordfighting skills for the purpose of this fantasy, or fencing is apparently a top past time for most of the senior officers :) I could see Picard himself learning to fence, and obviously Worf has a natural weapon proficiency. But LaForge? How the hell did he so good with a blade?

    Anyway, this is a pretty amusing episode. It was good to see Vash again as she is the perfect woman to trip up Picard a bit. There are a lot of scenes I also enjoyed in this one, aside from the ones listed by the OP. For some reason, the scene where Riker is fighting one of the soldiers while Q is munching on a piece of chicken really cracked me up.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x21 - The Drumhead

Originally Aired: 1991-4-29

Synopsis:
A Starfleet investigation becomes a witch hunt. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 7.09

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 7 5 3 16 10 34 12 27 40 57 46

Problems
None

Factoids
- According to Satie, Picard has violated the Prime Directive 9 times since he took command of the Enterprise.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf's reaction to being bribed.
- Sabin mentions Worf's father a traitor. I like that detail. As far as he's concerned, that's true, as he wouldn't know the secret the high command is maintaining.
- The revelation that the engine explosion was an accident.
- The revelation that Tarses is part Romulan, not Vulcan.
- Good contintuity, mentioning the Romulan spy from TNG: Data's Day. As well as the mentioning of Picard being assimilated in TNG: Best of Both Worlds.
- Picard getting Satie all wound up.

My Review
This episode examines a very real moral dilemma, but I found the way in which it did so utterly offensive. Nobody seemed to be in character until the end, except for Picard, and the paranoia exhibited throughout this episode just seemed ridiculous. The various plot threads didn't seem to connect very well, and loose threads are left behind. What happened to Tarses? How and why did a Romulan enter the Federation and take a human wife 100 years ago? All the interesting things about this story were neglected while it concentrated on fear, uncertainty, doubt, and paranoia.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-03-31 at 9:41pm:
    This episode is one of the few times I disagree with Mr. Kethinov. To me, this episode is what Star Trek is all about.

    Negative : What's up with all the 70 year old Grandma Admirals in Starfleet? I do agree that some of the characters were out of character. And the episode lacks, shall we say, action. As silly as it may seem, a 10-rated episode for me has to have SOME action. So -1 for those things.

    Positive : This episode builds a very intriguing and nicely done story right from the beginning with the Klingon spy. I liked how the grandma admiral gradually transformed from a typical bureaucrat into a ruthless monster. I would not say that the paranoia seen in the episode is at all ridiculous. It is quite real, as was seen partly in the McCarthy trials, but most prominently in the Salem witch trials. The mob rule sentiment makes your blood boil, yet it is extememly applicable to the world today.

    "Witch hunting" in the sense exhibited in this episode is something that has occurred throughout human history. It is important to have episodes like this that remind us of problems within our culture. This episode is a manifestation of Gene Roddenberry's intentions at their finest, and as I said earlier they are what Star trek is all about. Makes you want to read the Crucible by Arthur Miller. Great Episode, I'd give it a 9, perhaps even a 10.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-05-07 at 2:26pm:
    "Trial" episodes of Trek have never been disappointing, but most fall along a predictable plot line. The trial always gets out of hand with the protagonist about to win, but the defendant pulls off a remarkable comeback in the end.

    It is always great to see Picard's moral conscience react to the things going on around him. This episode brings that out a lot. Worf, on the other hand, seems to be easily influenced by what is happening. This becomes out of line with his character as we know it. He may kill a person every now and then, but it is unlikely for him to conduct an unhonorable witch hunt.

    Although the Drumhead immediately relates to some of the issues of the modern world, such as the interrogation of suspected terrorists, I just find this episode forgettable just hours after I watched it.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-26 at 5:15am:
    A Klingon exobiologist? Not a "normal" occupation for a Klingon. Doesn't seem like a very "warrior-like" line of work to me.
  • From Firewater on 2008-03-03 at 7:47am:
    I have admired many of your TNG reviews although I will, respectfully, disagree with your comments on this one.

    I believe making the characters "out-of-character" until the end propelled this episode's story. At it's essence, it *was* about fear, uncertainty, doubt and paranoia. It was an example of how even the best of men/women can fall to the influence of such things, despite their intentions.

    All of the Romulan/Tarses shenanigans were red herrings. In the end, it was all a witch hunt with no verifiable ties to anything at all. To be honest, I see this as a very TOS episode, hinting at the way our society could easily shift back into McCarthyism even though (when this episode was aired) it was the 1990s.

    In fact, I would even go so far to say that this would be relevant today post-9/11. So I would just suggest looking at this episode from a slightly different viewpoint.. I think it's highly underrated and worth another shot.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-06-25 at 11:53pm:
    I'm in almost total agreement with the review here. I don't find this offensive really, but I do find it dreadfully dull, didactic, and obvious.

    On the subject of Tarses' Romulan heritage, I think the most reasonable explanation is that his grandfather was a defector who lived his life posing as a Vulcan to avoid trouble. Probably only his family knew the truth.
  • From Flot on 2010-09-24 at 7:40pm:
    I agree with your view, and think this episode could have easily been fantastic if it didn't feel like it came out of nowhere, nor end with no real consequences.

    I found it frustrating to watch because you could see that they were trying to take advantage of a lot of good content and continuity, but to no avail.
  • From MJ on 2011-01-07 at 5:27pm:
    I also agree with the vast majority of the webmaster’s ratings, but I would give this one a 7. The lack of explanation of Tarses fate doesn’t ruin it for me, nor does the lack of sufficient explanation for what exactly he did wrong (was it falsifying the application or the fact that his grandparent is Romulan?).

    The drama of the episode is irresistible, and the issues it grapples with are both complex and timely; it would’ve been interesting to see how differently this might have been written in a post-9/11 world. I also don’t think everyone is quite out of character. Worf’s paranoia at the prospect of having a Romulan spy on board seems very fitting, for example.

    The only other snag which knocks the episode down somewhat is that it seems strange that Admiral Satie would’ve been able to use tactics like this in all her investigations without throwing up any red flags. Sometimes it seems everyone at Starfleet are blind, despicable fools compared to Picard and crew.

    But overall, I really enjoyed it!
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-03-16 at 8:43am:
    I personally found this to be a very good episode which I rated 8. I suppose a big part of that for me was the way it applies to our present Muslim fear mongering which is actually going on as I write with Rep. King's Muslim witch hunt in congress. It was so pertinent the way a powerful politician can gain fame by preying on the fears of the populace and undercutting our fundamental principles using this fear. It of course also reinforces that persons personae for personal gain. It was so great to see Picard handle this is such a moral and principled way that is portrays what one rationale individual can do to put these glory seekers in their place. I did not find the characterizations out of place and Worf has always been a character to jump off the deep end at a moments notice, not an inaccurate portrayal of his Klingon genetics at all. So for me using this alliterative to present day and historical events was quite good and I rated this episode quite high.
  • From ChristopherA on 2012-06-18 at 9:13pm:
    This is an excellent morality play, though a little clunky a times. While it is true that the characters seem to fall into the witch hunt mentality somewhat too easily, morality episodes like this usually have to play rather aggressively with characterization in order to get to the point and fit the episode within the time available. Also, it can be hard to set stories in a utopia. Measure of a Man has exactly the same issues as this – it makes the Federation justice system seem awfully unfair – but it works if you just accept the premises and go with the episode.
    - They never explain why Tarses lied on his application at all. So what if he is part-Romulan. Is the Federation racist? I thought it had been established that they had gotten over that. Perhaps the Federation is only racist when it comes to races that are currently enemies of the Federation.
    - DSOmo: Although the Klingons love thinking of themselves as warriors in spirit, that doesn't mean they have no other occupations. Somebody has to fill all those support roles.
  • From Quando on 2013-07-31 at 1:13am:
    This episode raises a question I often ask about Star Trek TNG: why is there no lawyer assigned to the Enterprise? This is the flagship of the Federation, and it's not like this is the first time that having a lawyer around would have really come in handy (see, e.g., Data's trial in the Measure of a Man, or the episode where Picard is analyzing the really complicated treaty with the Sheliac Corporate looking for a loophole). I mean, the Enterprise seems to have everything else. They have a botanist, a bartender, several waiters in Ten Forward, a barber, and even an expert on 20th century earth history (Wyatt what's-his-name on The Long Goodbye episode). But the best they can do for poor old Simon Tarses, with his career and maybe even his freedom hanging in the balance, is appointing Will Riker as his "counsel" (practicing law without a license). Remember when they stopped at that planet where everyone was half-naked and peaceful for shore leave? They asked Lt. Yar (who, I assume, has no legal training at all) to review the planet's legal system, and she concludes that there is "nothing unusual". Except, as it turns out, that they have the death penalty for EVERYTHING - including stepping on the flowers. Nice job Yar (although, you almost got Wesley killed, and in the words of Galron, I consider that "no small favor"). Come on. The Enterprise needs a lawyer. I'd be glad to volunteer!
  • From Troy on 2015-06-08 at 2:28pm:
    Yes a lawyer for the Enterprise...make him an ambulance chasing Ferengi!
  • From Chantarelle on 2015-12-23 at 1:07am:
    Like other commenters, I mostly agree with the reviews on this website, however, I disagree with most of this one. I’ll agree that the premise of the episode, and the witch hunt involved was kind of clumsy and forceful, however, if that had been handled better, then I think the Enterprise’s reaction, and their being ‘out of character’, would have been completely believable. That’s the whole point of causing that kind of fear and paranoia. I especially liked Worf’s embarrassment at being swayed so easily.
    Interesting to see that comments going back to 2006 talk about how relevant this episode is in ‘today’s’ world. Sadly, it seems to be even more relevant today than it was 10 years ago. Can only hope that people won’t still be saying that in 2026.
    Eric, if you read this, I’d be curious to know whether you have reviewed your opinion on this one since posting the review, and whether your opinion may have changed at all either due to some of the comments here, or a rewatch? Not that I’m implying it *should* change. Just curious :-)

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Star Trek TNG - 4x22 - Half a Life

Originally Aired: 1991-5-6

Synopsis:
Lwaxana fights to stop her lover from ritual suicide. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 6.35

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 10 1 7 7 8 8 40 28 24 27 10

Problems
None

Factoids
- Michelle Forbes, who plays Dara in this episode, goes on to play the Bajoran Ro Laren.

Remarkable Scenes
- Troi: "Counselor Deanna Troi personal log stardate 44805.3: My mother is on board."
- Picard carefully trying to avoid Lwaxana but utterly failing at it.
- Lwaxana's armorous advances on Timicin.
- Lwaxana calling Troi "Mr. Wolf" and Worf working hard to restrain himself.
- Timicin regarding Lwaxana as "vibrant". Yes, I'll agree to that.
- The Enterprise accidentally blowing up a star.
- The revelation that Timicin will soon die.
- Lwaxana's initial outrage to Picard about Timicin's ritual suicide obligations.
- Lwaxana's outburst in the transporter room.
- O'Brien "gracefully" exiting and locking out the transporter just before he left.
- Lwaxana debating the morality of the ritual suicide with Timicin.
- Timicin realizing Lwaxana is right and asking for asylum.
- Timicin, Dara, and Lwaxana meeting each other.
- Lwaxana in doubt of her strong moral convictions against the ritual suicide.
- Lwaxana joining Timicin to observe his resolution.

My Review
Lwaxana's character, for once, didn't annoy me in the slightest. In fact, she stole the show. Her speeches on the morality of euthanasia were extraordinary and invoke powerful emotions. Furthermore, Timicin and Lwaxana had excellent chemistry while together. So what's right here? Is it right to prolong old people's lives even when they become invalids and become nothing but a drain on society? Is it right to purge such people? I'm not qualified to answer such a question, but this episode explores it well.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-05-07 at 1:06pm:
    Half a Life takes the euthenasia issue and stuffs it into a Lwaxana Troi episode. While it is nice to see a more rounded characterization of Lwaxana, I was not moved by the many heavy conversations between her and Timicin, or between her and her daughter. This emotional disconnection is coupled with a bit of bad science. How can you alter a massive star with photon torpedos? The Enterprise has almost become a Death Star, able to wipe out whole systems with a push of a button. While I find the moral issues intriguing, I just wanted more out of this episode.
  • From Frogshortening on 2006-08-25 at 6:24pm:
    I loved the way they pu the serious issue in with Lwaxanne- showed that she really did take some things seriously... and the contrast between her normal self and the one who was upset about Timicin's decision made it all the more dramatic! They WERE very moving scenes! (so there)!
  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-28 at 8:01pm:
    - When Timicin first beams aboard, Picard immediately sticks out his hand to greet him. This action confuses Timicin, and then he comments that he has heard humans shake hands to greet each other. For a man as well versed in diplomacy as Picard, this seems very out of character for him. Timicin comes from an isolationist planet. Why make him feel immediately uncomfortable by forcing him to participate in a human ritual? Prior to this episode, Picard initiates a handshake only one other time, and that was only in respond to a physical greeting from the other party ("Final Mission")
    - In this episode, Lwaxana orders Oskoid from the food replicator. When Timicin asks what it is, Lwaxana says it is a Betazed delicacy. But during the picnic in "Menage a Troi," Lwaxana offers Riker an Oskoid leaf and he acts like he's never had one before. Riker offers it to Troi, as if she'd never had one before. If Oskoid leaves are a Betazed delicacy, why do Riker and Troi act like they'd never eaten them before? Troi grew up on Betazed, and Riker was stationed there for several years.
    - When Timicin and Lwaxana transport to the planet they are holding hands. Their hands are outside the confinement beam but they manage to transport OK (see "Sarek")
    - After Timicin asks for asylum, Lwaxana and Troi have a talk. The scene opens with a shot of Lwaxana leaning against a mirror. As she walks away, the pole from the boom mic can be seen in the mirror. When the scene changes and follows Lwaxana walking across the room, the boom mic shadow can be seen moving across the wall.
  • From djb on 2008-03-13 at 3:17am:
    This was a valuable episode in many ways.

    As others pointed out, I liked how Lwaxana's character was a bit more fleshed out in this episode. Usually she's just obnoxious and insufferable, but here we get to see something really, truly bother her, and see her go through some intense emotions. Much better.

    At first I thought it strange that Lwaxana would become so romantically attracted to a man (an alien, at that) at first sight, but I then remember that she's a telepath, an especially talented one at that, who can basically "read" the gestalt of a person in the first few moments of knowing them. What takes us humans months or years to find out takes her minutes instead. Makes you think about what Betazoid culture must be like, with basically no one able to lie to each other...

    I like how this episode brings up the issue of moral relativism. Normally I'm not a moral relativist; I think that there are some standard rights we can uphold for all of humanity. But what about when other sapient species come into play? The "Resolution" concept sounds to us like euthanasia taken to an unacceptable extreme, but I actually tend to agree with Timicin's daughter when she basically tells Lwaxana she has no place to judge their people's practices. Even though it sounds abhorrent to us, we're talking about a different species, planet, culture, psychology, history; enough to determine that we have no moral jurisdiction. Plus, it sets a bad precedent: species intervening on other species' practices they find offensive can lead down a totalitarian path pretty fast.

    So much of Star Trek is based upon speculation. We really have no idea what other species in this galaxy are going to be like. An episode devoted (partially)to one alien's personal dilemma makes me think about what fields of study will pop up once we start making contact with extra-terrestrial species. Basically take any field we have now and add the prefix "xeno," and you have a new field: Xenobiology, xenopsychology, xenosociology. Xenoethics. Xenotheology. Xenomusicology! The possibilities are endless...

    Good point someone made about the star subplot... The idea that a starship can make a star go nova with just a few specially-modified photon torpedoes, in minutes, is ludicrous (at least they made the nova look semi-believable, unlike "Evolution." They still don't get that novas appear for weeks, even months). If not ludicrous, extremely scary. The power not to destroy planets a la Death Star, but to cause the devastation of an entire solar system! This system had no inhabitants, but what about systems that do? If life on any of the planets survived the radiation and solar debris, how long would life last without the primary power source? How would they react gravitationally to a white dwarf (which will be less massive than the original star)? If this kind of stellar apocalypse is possible, why didn't the Romulans send a few cloaked ships into sector 001 and just decapitate the federation as soon as it became a threat?

    If anything I'd say that an unsuccessful result of this experiment would be no change in the star. I also think that if the experiment were successful, we wouldn't find out for months, even years. Remember we're talking about a body that's about 1 and a half sextillion (1.5x10^21) cubic meters in volume and about 2 nonillion kilograms (that's 2x10^30) in mass. Whatever effects our special little torpedoes might have is going to take quite some time in real life.

    Anyway, bad sci-fi, but great character study, great themes. Also, David Ogden Stiers is such a good actor that even though I've seen him in M*A*S*H countless times, I didn't realize it was him until I looked him up! Great guest star performance. An 8.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-06-26 at 12:43am:
    I don't have much to add to the commentaries here. This is about as good as stand-along episodes get: interesting (if not very plausible) science, great guest actors, interesting themes, and finally a Lwaxana episode that doesn't annoy. I give it a 9. Did the Enterprise wait for Ms. Troi? Or is she staying here until she can hitch a ride back to Betazed?
  • From John on 2010-12-31 at 3:36pm:
    You have to love how good an actor David Ogden-Stiers is. He renders his part with a quiet dignity that perfectly fits the character. I can't think of anyone better suited for the role. Certainly one of the best guest-stars TNG has ever had.
  • From MJ on 2011-01-05 at 2:12pm:
    I also agree with the vast majority of the webmaster’s ratings, but I would give this one a 7. The lack of explanation of Tarses fate doesn’t ruin it for me, nor does the lack of sufficient explanation for what exactly he did wrong (was it falsifying the application or the fact that his grandparent is Romulan?).

    The drama of the episode is irresistible, and the issues it grapples with are both complex and timely; it would’ve been interesting to see how differently this might have been written in a post-9/11 world. I also don’t think everyone is quite out of character. Worf’s paranoia at the prospect of having a Romulan spy on board seems very fitting, for example.

    The only other snag which knocks the episode down somewhat is that it seems strange that Admiral Satie would’ve been able to use tactics like this in all her investigations without throwing up any red flags. Sometimes it seems everyone at Starfleet are blind, despicable fools compared to Picard and crew.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-03-17 at 9:50am:
    Some of the other comments are very pertinent. As far as the backup story about rejuvenating a star with photon torpedoes, that is technical bunk. Stars burn based on their internal hydrogen and other element components and the fusion induced by the mass and these components makeup. If this star had burned out of hydrogen a photon torpedo barrage is not going to make it spontaneously rejuvenate. This was only a device to allow for the fundamental plot line of euthanasia.

    Now that part was quite interesting to watch and quite pertinent in many ways to our present conditions. While there is the prime directive to not get involved in other species culture, if there was a cultural decision years ago to go this course that is not a reason to consider changing a flawed decision. However that would have to be instigated in person by Timicin but with support of Lwaxana and/or others. I wanted that to start out of basic morality but felt in the end Timicin was only returning to accept his preordained fate rather than starting a fundamental examination of a flawed law. He should have become the catalyst but it was not in his psyche. The same is so true of so many things on our planet at present, women's rights, children's rights, etc. If one person does not start a movement or does but gets not support it is fundamentally unjust. But for no one to even try then the conditions will simply stay the same flawed way. I do enjoy these episodes that examine fundamental human rights.
  • From Lee on 2012-04-25 at 12:27pm:
    Since I don't care much for technical problems (as long as they aren't as severe as in VOY: Threshold of course), I could really enjoy this episode. It's also the chronologically first Lwaxana-episode I really like!

    It not only has the typical TNG-themes, it's also very sad and the acting of the guest star was magnificent! And although the science of the episode is probably not the best, it has still some awesome visuals.

  • From Douglas on 2016-04-21 at 8:48am:
    I've watched this episode many times but only just saw that when Georgi is at his console, the file number for the experiment is 4077. Nice in-joke since guest star David Ogden Stiers was in M.A.S.H. and the unit he was posted to was the 4077th.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x23 - The Host

Originally Aired: 1991-5-13

Synopsis:
Dr. Crusher falls for an alien who relies on "hosts" to survive. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.73

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 17 7 11 16 8 16 13 13 26 2 5

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Beverly and Odan poorly attempting to avoid Data.
- I like the way Odan is always referring to Dr. Crusher as "Dr. Beverly".
- The character of Odan. Such a nicely confident character.
- Odan discussing personal details about Beverly with Picard.
- Odan/Riker: "Speak softly governor. Those who cannot hear an angry shout may strain to hear a whisper."
- Frakes did such a wonderful job playing Odan's character.
- Odan/Riker mediating the dispute.

My Review
What a fascinating species: the Trill. With a blended species, what defines a person? The symbiont? The host? Or does it vary? Watching Odan merge with Riker and seeing some of Riker's personality bleed into Odan was good fun; these are exactly the sort of alien species ideas Star Trek should be exploring more often. Odan the character doesn't quite do justice to the Trill species concept though. A deeper exploration of the Trill with better characterization would have been nice.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Jennifer on 2006-04-02 at 3:13pm:
    In stark contrast to our fab web-master here, I did really like this episode. I liked the romance that Crusher had with the man at the beggining, and the part where she kisses Riker (but not really Riker) is both moving and funny. It's fascinating to see how well Jonathan Frankes carries off another role still technically being the same person. I loved the crushing, totally unexpexted twist at the end.
  • From Andy978 on 2007-05-10 at 10:09am:
    Who, exactly, says that we have to "dismiss" seven years of DS9? They changed their mind about how Trill are supposed to work after this episode, end of story. It doesn't "negate" anything, nor does it expect us to take one more seriously than the other.

    In short... I don't think your review or argument makes any sense here. Sorry. Your argument seems to be based on a straw-man controversy, and if revelations made in a later series actually ruin your enjoyment of this episode... man, you've got serious, serious problems. (by your logic, we can't enjoy Star Trek IV. After all, there's a woman in the Captain's chair, when we ALL know from "Turnabout Intruder" that women can't be Captains. No, no, it's not that the creators of the show changed their mind 20 years on due to changing social mores... it's *obviously* sloppy writing and we should consider this an "inconsistency.")

    This isn't a flame - this is a great website and, for the most part, I appreciate your opinion and analysis. Please consider it more of a "constructive criticism." Saying "I don't like it because of something that came later that was different," isn't a very good argument, and it's sort of disappointing because most of the time, your opinions at least hold water.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-31 at 3:28am:
    - Troi walks into the beauty parlor and takes her seat beside Dr. Crusher. Troi then looks over. A surprised expression comes over Troi's face, and she greets Crusher. Should Troi be surprised to see Crusher? When Troi walks into the room Crusher is sitting low in a chair, with her back to Troi. Shouldn't Troi's empathic sense tell her that Crusher is in the chair? Wouldn't there be something like an emotional fingerprint?
    - There is a minor tension point in the plot near the end, when Dr. Crusher removes Odan from Riker. Odan can survive in stasis for only a few hours, and the host is still nine hours away. The Enterprise rushes to meet the Trill ship at warp 9. What's the rush? Why not just implant Odan into another person on the Enterprise?
  • From JRPoole on 2008-06-26 at 4:42pm:
    I find the debate here amusing. While the inconsistencies mentioned above annoy me to no end, they shouldn't ruin the episode.

    But, why, oh why, does every Beverly-centered episode have to descend into melodrama? At least they didn't go for the shock value of a lesbian make-out scene at the end, though I'm sure it would have heightened this episode's fanboy appeal....
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2008-10-24 at 12:10pm:
    This is a very emotional episode, and very well acted. Beverly, Picard, Riker, Troi, and Odan pull off splendid performances. Riker REALLY looked sick and unhealthy, like he'd swallowed poison. I think he is underated as an actor.

    Though, I have trouble believing Riker had enough room in his chest for the symbiont. I think his intestines would probably have to be removed and set aside for a while.

    Also, am I to believe that he had sex with Crusher? He didn't look like he was in the condition to do so.
  • From Pemmer Harge on 2010-04-07 at 2:57pm:
    You can't mark this episode down just because DS9 contradicted it, you just can't! That's DS9's fault!
  • From ChristopherA on 2012-07-05 at 3:33pm:
    When watching this episode now, it is very hard to think of anything other than how different this older Trill concept is from the DS9 concept. Yet it just doesn't seem fair to judge this episode down just because they later made changes to the concept. In effect, this episode is about a different species of hosts and symbionts than the ones in DS9.

    In that light, I think the episode is rather thought-provoking. The idea of that the man Dr. Crusher is in love with inhabits the body of someone she knows only as a friend and comrade, and wants to continue their intimate relationship through that body, is creepy and interesting. Also interesting is the question of whether it makes a difference that he never revealed to her his fundamental nature, as well as the twist ending. None of the actual "suspense plot" was particularly meaningful or memorable. But at the same time, it didn't detract from the central point either. I figure that if I come away from an episode thinking and pondering, it must be a good thing.
  • From lumzi23 on 2017-02-15 at 7:15pm:
    Regarding what someone above said. I think it is unfair to say someone has "serious problems" due to having issues with changes and inconsistencies as a series progresses. I personally don't always have such issues but as someone who watched Star Trek out of order (for the most part) I can understand why such changes might be jarring especially when they are so obvious.

    Note: I didn't see the original comment and I'm only commenting on this part of what his responder said.
  • From Kethinov on 2017-02-16 at 12:18am:
    The comments flaming me here were in reference to the original version of the review (from a loooong time ago) where I docked points on this episode due to its inconsistencies with DS9.

    In the end, I ultimately found Andy978's argument persuasive and altered both my review of this episode and my stance towards how to handle continuity errors across the board accordingly.

    That's why some of the comments here seem to be flaming me over a nonexistent issue. They convinced me they were right, so now what they were responding to is gone.

    I should probably remove all comments relating to the debate, as there is no debate now. But I'll leave the comments up for now, at least until the new version of the site that's being developed is launched Real Soon Now™.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x24 - The Mind's Eye

Originally Aired: 1991-5-27

Synopsis:
Romulan mind control transforms Geordi into a killer. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.31

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 23 2 29 6 5 9 17 25 28 24 7

Problems
None

Factoids
- John Fleck, who plays Taibak in this episode, goes on to play the equally evil Silik on Star Trek Enterprise.

Remarkable Scenes
- Geordi talking to the computer in the shuttle.
- Geordi freaking out when he sees the Romulan warbird.
- Picard insisting that Worf not be ignored despite his discommendation.
- Taibak taking over Geordi's vision.
- Kell expressing gratitude to Worf for killing Duras.
- The holographic scene where Geordi kills the holographic O'Brien. I love the whole indifference to killing thing.
- Troi laying into Geordi about the details of his Risa trip.
- The Klingon and Picard cursing at each other in Klingon.
- Geordi intentionally spilling his drink on O'Brien.
- Geordi investigating himself. Obviously not having a conscious memory of his crime.
- Kell giving Geordi Romulan orders.
- Data discovering the mind control technique.
- Data using the computer to uncover evidence of what really happened to Geordi.
- Geordi's scene with Troi at the end.

My Review
I'm quite fond of this episode. The way they directed the sudden appearance of the Romulan warbird was great. Off the top of my head, they only ever use this technique one more time, with the appearance of a Borg ship through the window of a shuttle in a Voyager episode. My affinity for the opening scene aside, this episode just struck the "correct" tone with me. It has good contintuity with previous episodes once again regarding Worf's discommendation, it begins a new plot thread involving Sela, a Romulan Tasha Yar lookalike which gets picked up later, and it's a nicely done believable Romulan plot story, which is completely in character all the way around.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-09-02 at 3:26pm:
    When the episode opens, Geordi flies through space in a shuttle. Geordi asks the computer how long until he reaches his destination. The computer replies three hours. How long would it take for the Enterprise to fly over at warp 7 and drop him off? Why travel three, or six, or nine hours in a subwarp shuttle, when the Enterprise could have you there in a matter of minutes? It is a plot device to separate a character from the Enterprise or force a group of characters to be together for extended time.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-06-26 at 9:42pm:
    I am also quite fond of this episode for the reasons mentioned above. The Manchurian Candidate-esque plot is interesting, and the continuity with past Klingon soap opera episodes is great. My only quibble is that the reset button gets pushed with regards to LaForge's brainwashing aftermath. I find it a tad unbelievable that a Star Fleet officer who was brainwashed into nearly killing a Klingon governor can simply go back to duty after a few counseling sessions. But then again, how many times has Data malfunctioned and nearly killed everyone?

    Poor Geordi. He's almost as tragic as Beverly. The only time he has any luck with the ladies is when an evolving alien endows him with artificial confidence. His dream woman shows up and busts him for fantasizing about her on the holodeck. He transforms into an alien species through a process which killed several of his friends. And now he gets brainwashed by the Romulans. Picard goes to Risa, gets laid, and has an adventure. Geordi doesn't even get to set foot on the planet.
  • From DIo on 2009-01-04 at 7:34pm:
    I wasn't as impressed by this episode. The opening scene was enjoyable, Levar Burton is great. However, I found Geordi's disconnection/clueless routine to be a little frustrating. Why did the Romulans have to subject him to horrors in order to 'brainwash' him? Why can't they just directly feed orders to his brain?

    I also didn't enjoy the frequent cuts to the purple/green visor view: once is enough, we know they are watching. I did enjoy Picard's Klingon cursing though! Overall, a below average episode for me. For Geordi, I prefer Booby Trap, Galaxy's Child or Aquiel a lot more.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2010-02-10 at 3:30pm:
    The Romulans in this episode are scary, cold-blooded, deceptive, intelligent, and dark. It should be used as the bible for designing all Romulans in future TV shows and movies.

    And yes, they should always have hair.
  • From Nick Counts on 2011-02-23 at 11:05pm:
    The scene where Geordi and Data investigate the phaser rifle horrifies the engineer in me. Does anything about live firing an energy weapon within feet of the warp core seem safe? Not to mention the conspicuous lack of safety barriers or precautions for personnel. I know they try not to build sets unless absolutely necessary, but it still makes me cringe to watch.
  • From Bob on 2012-05-08 at 4:20pm:
    This is one of my favorite Star Trek TNG episodes.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-15 at 11:42pm:
    This episode never did much for me. Since when does just forcing people to see really horrible things for a few days make them forget what happened, kill friends without question, and think they were on a peaceful vacation with exquisitely detailed memories of it? Too much suspension of disbelief required for me.

    I'd give this one a 3 or 4. Kethinov gives this one a 7 and The Drumhead a 1? Wow, really have to disagree with those two ratings!
  • From Axel on 2015-03-30 at 1:16am:
    Yeah, the phaser rifle test fire in main engineering messed with me as well. A shuttle bay would've been a better place to test something like that.

    As for Geordi's brainwashing, they just showed the part where the Romulans are demonstrating how they can control what he sees, measure his responses, and send information to his brain. I'm sure they did more than just show LaForge a few terrifying images in order to complete the process. It likely would've taken days to reprogram his brain.

    This is probably the best La Forge episode, overall. The plot, his acting, etc. It all comes together well, and is nicely woven in with Worf's arc and an intriguing Klingon-Romulan storyline too.

  • From Dstyle on 2015-06-14 at 3:33pm:
    I'm a sucker for episodes that show Data confidently taking charge and taking command. He's always such a naive Pinocchio figure that I often forget that he's second-in-line behind Riker in the command structure, and the scene where he confidently ordered Worf to detain Geordi was, for some reason, really cool to me.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x25 - In Theory

Originally Aired: 1991-6-3

Synopsis:
Data pursues romance with a crew member. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.2

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 23 3 4 20 8 31 19 24 12 12 14

Problems
None

Factoids
- This is the second episode to feature Data's pet cat Spot.

Remarkable Scenes
- Data reminding Jenna, as asked, why she broke up with Jeff.
- Data, Jenna, Keiko, and O'Brien joking around.
- Jenna: "I wish we were back there right now, you and I." Data: "The unidirectional nature of the time continuum makes that an unlikely possibility."
- Data analyzing the molecular compound of the drink Guinan offered.
- Data: "I require advice." Guinan: "Don't look at me." Data looks away! Haha
- Geordi returning Spot to Data.
- Data talking to Troi about pursuing a relationship with Jenna.
- Worf: "Klingons do not pursue relationships. They conquer that which they desire."
- Riker advising Data to jump right into the relationship.
- Picard to Data: "I would be delighted to offer any advice I can on understanding women. When I have some, I'll let you know."
- Data's androidal view of his relationship with Jenna.
- Worf: "I am puzzled, sir." Picard: "So am I, Mr. Worf." Worf: "The only detectable bio electric residuals are your own. You did not--" Picard: "No. I did not... Well. Perhaps we have a poltergeist?" Worf: "Sir?" Picard: "A mischievous spirit." Worf: "Sir." Picard: "Perhaps not."
- Data attempting to be warm and loving to Jenna.
- Data picking a fight with his girlfriend.
- Jenna: "What were you just thinking?" Data: "In that particular moment, I was reconfiguring the warp field parameters, analyzing the collective works of Charles Dickens, calculating the maximum pressure I can safely apply to your lips, considering a new food supplement for Spot..." Jenna: "I'm glad I was in there somewhere."
- Picard piloting the shuttle, guiding the ship out the nebula.

My Review
An entertaining, if a bit ridiculous Data episode. Data just tried too hard to emulate the behaviors associated with love. Furthermore I'm a bit dismayed at how the death of a crewmember in this episode is seemingly casually brushed aside. Nobody seemed really all that broken up about it. Just another dead redshirt. Not that this episode wasn't entertaining, because it really was. There's just a bit of room for improvement.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-09-02 at 8:32pm:
    - Whenever this episode shows a graphic of the distortions, it depicts them as static chunks moving through space. Yet, on the Enterprise, the distortions seem to appear and disappear randomly. If the chunks move through space retaining the same shape, their paths through the Enterprise should define a line. When a distortion hits the hull, there should be decompression of the closest room. As the distortion continues through the ship, the internal sensors should be able to track it until it exits. This isn't what happens on the Enterprise. The distortions phase in and out. But if the chunks phase in and out, this would completely nullify the value of putting a shuttle craft out in front of the Enterprise. A distortion could disappear as the shuttle passed through it and then reappear before the Enterprise arrived at that spot.
    - The crew members directly link the navigational controls of the ship to the shuttle. If they can directly link the navigational controls, can't they link the sensors also? Why not put an unmanned shuttle out in front? The Enterprise could display the shuttle's sensors on the main viewscreen and make course corrections for itself and the shuttle at the same time. In that way, if something happened to the shuttle, no lives would be lost. Instead, Picard places his life at risk.
    - As Data tries to please Jenna, he offers to organize her closets for her. He comments, "I have found that by grouping apparel, first by function, then by color - from light to dark - one can more easily find the desired choice." Considering that Data has never worn anything but a uniform on this series, this is a very funny statement. (Data did wear something besides a uniform in "The Most Toys" and "Brothers," but in both cases the clothing was forced on him.) Even for his last romantic dinner with Jenna he wears his uniform. Since Data has only one type and color of clothing in his closet, what did he mean when he claimed that he had discovered the best way to group apparel?
    - When the computer reports atmospheric decompression in the observation lounge, Worf claims that the sensors do not register a hull breach. Yet after life support is restored and the bridge crew enters the lounge, all the furniture is pushed against a window. Evidently a distortion passed through the lounge window, venting the atmosphere into space and causing the furniture to pile up. Sure sounds like a hull breach, doesn't it?
  • From Fred on 2008-01-06 at 11:33am:
    It turns out this is the first episode directed by Patrick Stewart... was he trying to out do the first episode Riker directed? (also a 'data episode') (how many others has Riker directed? I think it would be good to have the director/writer noted for each episode on your reviews.

    I've been reading your reviews as I watch through TNG for my first time. They've been interesting. It's been good to see your feelings and comments and the contrast of your rating with the 'public' rating. Also the more holistic view, relating TNG episodes to the rest of the Star Trek serieses, which I have seen only a little of. Thanks!
  • From Mike on 2008-03-14 at 11:34am:
    Thought this was a relatively weak episode... some comments:

    - Jenna was an extremely annoying person, I can see why she's been through some boyfriends!

    - Brent Spiner did a great job, but "android tinkers with romance" was really sort of a ridiculous plot

    - The death of that crewman totally freaked me out - very cool idea! I agree that I wish they wouldn't have blown her death off like they did, though.

    - Why did Picard fly the shuttle? Seemed sort of silly... he's not the best pilot (Riker or Data would've been better), and Riker was right in telling Picard he shouldn't be going.

    - I though the premise of the B Plot was pretty interesting, and would've made a more palatable "A" plot.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-07-01 at 5:44pm:
    I'm fond of this episode, though I can see why others are not. The subplot was a bit ridiculous, and Picard piloting the shuttle was, as someone mentioned above, beyond stupid. It was a classic Kirk move, and out of character for Picard.

    I'm a bit disappointed that the episode largely ignores the subject of sex in the relationship, although that could easily have gotten out of hand. As interesting as I find Data's attempts at romance, I'm glad (for once) that this is a reset button episode, as Jenna is extremely annoying.
  • From ChristopherA on 2012-07-11 at 9:48am:
    This episode is just OK for me. The concept of the relationship is good, and I generally liked the overall flow. I enjoyed the performance of Jenna as someone who wants a relationship with Data for not quite the right reason. And I liked the various different forms of advice given by each character to Data about dating. And the break-up at the end, with Data's reaction of total indifference, is really fitting to his character. The downside is that I didn't find it entertaining to watch Data act out his lengthy series of artificial "courtship" programs. And the plot about the distortions is forgettable (and, as others have noted, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, and having Picard insist on piloting the shuttle is rather unnatural).
  • From Daniel on 2014-06-28 at 6:07am:
    This is one of my favorite episodes (I have dozens of favorites). I think Data's attempts at a "romantic program" seem a bit forced and fake. Certainly, by now, he should have a better grasp of human behavior.

    One item in this episode puzzles me; it is a technical/costuming glitch I noticed. In the scene where Data is on his "date" with Jenna, and he begins picking up clothes and humming a tune... When he turns away from the camera to walk into the other room, I noticed a big lump on his back. It looks like there is something under his shirt. Later in the scene, the lump is gone. Perhaps it was a stretched piece of fabric which later smoothed itself, or maybe it was a microphone under his shirt which was quickly removed during filming when they noticed it. Does anybody else see it, or am I imagining it?

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Star Trek TNG - 4x26 - Redemption, Part I

Originally Aired: 1991-6-17

Synopsis:
Worf is torn between the Federation and his people. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.37

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 2 1 1 1 5 3 23 20 46 28

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Gowron's appearance. The eyes! The eyes!
- Picard encouraging Worf to challenge his discommendation.
- Gowron asking Picard to assist his installation.
- Picard suspecting Romulans as aiding the Duras' family.
- Worf discussing the truth behind his discommendation with Gowron.
- Guinan target practicing with Worf.
- Worf discussing Gowron with his brother.
- The Duras sisters confronting Picard privately in their house. Picard accuses them of behaving like Romulans!
- The battle between the Klingon factions.
- Gowron giving Worf back his honor.
- Worf resigning from starfleet to fight for Gowron's cause.
- Worf's send off.
- A Romulan Tasha Yar?

My Review
More Klingon soap opera and brilliant continuity. This episode opens with Picard encouraging Worf to challenge his discommendation (TNG: Sins of the Father) whilst the Enterprise is en route to the Klingon homeworld to observe Gowron becoming leader of the high council. Gowron meets them early, but tells Picard that the Duras family is still running amuck. Picard mentions that Duras was killed (TNG: Reunion) and attributes corruption to why the Duras family still has power in the empire. Additionally, we get great continuity with TNG: The Mind's Eye first regarding Picard's mentioning and suspicion of the Duras family having a Romulan connection and the revelation of who the shadowy Romulan figure is. A Romulan Tasha Yar? That's a little lame. But it does little to stain an excellent episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-09-03 at 3:02am:
    - Near the beginning of the episode, Worf and Guinan practice together on the phaser range. Guinan tells Worf she had a bet with Picard that she could make Worf laugh before he made the rank of lieutenant commander. "Not a good bet today," he replies. The conversation seems to imply that Guinan has never made Worf laugh. In the opening scene of "Yesterday's Enterprise," Guinan did make Worf laugh. Was there an alternate reality that was caused in that episode by the older Enterprise coming through the time fissure and then returning so that Worf never laughed in Ten-Forward?
    - When Gowron first tells Picard of the Duras sisters' challenge, Picard asks for details. Gowron has none, stating that women cannot serve on the High Council. That must be a new rule, because Gowron offered K'Ehleyr a seat on the High Council in "Reunion."
    - As Worf prepares to leave the Enterprise, he packs his belongings in a large chest. Picard comes to his quarters for a chat. During the conversation, Picard says he will make sure Worf's belongings get transferred to the Klingon ship. Just before Picard escorts Worf to the transporter, Worf closes the lid on the chest and they walk out. However, while they were talking, a pan of the room showed Worf's bat'leth still hanging on the wall. In "Reunion," Worf explained to his son that the weapon had been in his family for ten generations. There is no way Worf would leave that behind. Was he hoping that Picard would remember to pack it also?
    - When the family of Duras attacks Gowron, two Klingon warships attack, pummeling Gowron's ship. Picard observes the battle as Data narrates. At one point, Data says, "[Gowron's ship] has lost her port shield. It is unlikely that they will withstand another hit in that quarter." The shot changes to the main viewer of the Enterprise. As Data continues narrating, the graphics show Gowron's ship taking not one, not two, not three, but four more phaser hits on the port side, and in each of those hits the blast disperses as if the port shield still functions!
  • From JRPoole on 2008-07-01 at 9:00pm:
    This two-parter would be a candidate for my best of trek award. The only small problem for me is the Romulan Tasha Yar, which, despite the explanation coming in the second part, is stretching it a little.

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