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

Originally Aired: 1990-6-18

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

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 9.09

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 2 1 4 2 0 2 4 13 9 35 141

Problems
None

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

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

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

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-30 at 4:50am:
    - As the show opens, Riker leads an away team down to the destroyed colony. When they arrive, he asks O'Brien to confirm their coordinates. O'Brien verifies the coordinates and says that they are at the center of town. The next shot shows the away team standing at the edge of a gaping hole. No buildings ring the abyss. If the hole is all that's left of the colony and they transported to the center of town, shouldn't they be standing in the center of the pit?
    - With the Enterprise concealed in the nebula, both Worf and Picard make statements about what the Borg ship is doing. How do they know what the Borg ship is doing? If the nebula is dense enough to confound the Borg's sensors, wouldn't it do the same to the Enterprise's sensors?
    - Before the away team beams over to the Borg ship, Worf hands out phasers. Shelby then comments that they will only be able to use the phasers a few times before the Borg will adapt to the frequencies. Evidently, tuning these phasers is a big deal. Otherwise the away could fire a few times, use the controls to set a new frequency, and start firing again. However, in the episode "The Arsenal Of Freedom," Data continues to retune the frequency on his phaser to find the "precise frequency" to free Riker from the force field. If Data's phaser had this capability in the first season, what happened to the phasers in the third season?
    - At one point, when Shelby boards a turbolift, she states her destination as, "Deck 8, battle bridge." She and Riker then have a disagreement, and she leaves as soon as the turbolift reaches her destination. However, the turbolift doors open into a hallway, not the battle bridge. "Encounter At Farpoint" showed two entrances to the battle bridge: both were turbolifts.
    - The Enterprise seems to have solved its structural integrity problems. During the runaway acceleration of "Hollow Pursuits," the Enterprise began shuddering as soon as it passed warp 9.4. In this episode, the Enterprise sustains a speed of warp 9.6 for several hours and everything's fine.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-17 at 4:25pm:
    This is something I've wondered before, but I thought of it again watching this episode. Can Troi turn off her empathic abilities? If not, how is it fair for her to play poker? Couldn't she sense if someone was bluffing?
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2009-06-26 at 7:31pm:
    The cool thing is, this episode wasn't just about the Borg. Riker's personal and professional life was under a microscope and you had Picard pondering man's role in history while talking to Guinan.

    When you add all these small pieces to the main plot, you get a very enjoyable, movie-like episode.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-18 at 12:11am:
    A very good, but imho overrated episode. I'd give it a 7. The Riker/Shelby rivalry thing gets annoying very fast to me, and I thought Picard becoming Borg was interesting enough but ultimately pretty gimmicky.

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Star Trek TNG - 7x25 - All Good Things... Part I

Originally Aired: 1994-5-23

Synopsis:
Picard tries to prevent the destruction of humanity. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 9.08

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 2 3 0 0 2 1 3 8 15 17 109

Problems
- This episode recreates the past so well that they even copied one of the technical problems of the first episode. Data and O'Brien's positions appear to be reversed.

Factoids
- This episode (both parts) won the 1995 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard beginning to drift through time.
- Picard appearing during the time of the first episode.
- Yar appearance!
- Data's maid regarding Data's grey streak: "Looks like a bloody skunk!"
- Picard's odd behavior during the first episode.
- Data's objections to "burning the midnight oil" turning out (almost) exactly as before.
- The USS Pasteur. Captain Beverly Picard!
- Q's game of yes/no questions.

My Review
Troi's relationship with Worf finally reaches its apex, but the series ends and we never see them together again! One thing I liked about this episode was the remarkable detail the put into Picard's past experiences. The uniforms of the 7-years-ago Enterprise D were exact. Looked just like the first season! And Tasha's return was nicely done. The cliffhanger is exciting, one of the most exciting of the series, though not as much so as TNG: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I. I was nevertheless impressed with this episode.

No fan commentary yet.

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Star Trek TNG - 5x25 - The Inner Light

Originally Aired: 1992-6-1

Synopsis:
Picard lives another life on a faraway planet. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 8.98

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 14 6 2 2 4 9 12 11 11 18 317

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of TNG Award".
- This episode won the 1993 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. This episode was the first TV show episode to be given such an award since TOS: The City on the Edge of Forever.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard's reaction to his new location. "Freeze program! End program!"
- Picard talking to his "old friend" trying to get information about where he is.
- The revelation that the probe is making Picard live a completely new life and that for him, years are going by.
- Picard getting sick in his dream world thanks to the disruption of the beam transmission.
- Picard's wife's death.
- Picard's old friend returning from the dead to explain the probe to Picard.
- Picard having to rediscover who he is.

My Review
This episode is a fan favorite, and with good reason. The story that develops within Picards mind is captivating and just when it starts to seem familiar and warm, the characters explain to Picard what his new life really was. The idea behind the story is very simple. Picard is taken into a dream world by an alien probe in which he lives a completely new life. It's not the idea of the episode that is superb, but the execution. This episode features an absolutely stunning performance by Patrick Stewart as Picard. Arguably the best performance he's ever done. In the end, we're left with the tragic story of a civilization destroyed by their own sun going nova and a profoundly affected Picard. He will never be the same man again after this truly life changing experience. A TNG classic.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Rich Dixon on 2006-04-20 at 10:37pm:
    Patrick Stewart never quite fully received the accolades and recognition from the Emmy's for his portrayal of Jean Luc Picard during his stint on TNG. The show as a whole was disregarded come Emmy time. We all know the reason why. It was a science fiction show, syndicated no less. In the early 90s, there was no way in hell a sci-fi show would be nominated for best drama on TV. Now in the 21st century, things have changed of course. Shows on Cable TV are routinely nominated. I still wonder if TNG and Stewart would garner nominations even still today. Not that the Emmy's are the end all to be all. My point is this. Somebody had to give this man an award! Stewart's performance in this episode was a tour de force. It was just stunning. The Inner Light although simplistic in its story telling, encompassed everything that Star Trek represents. The aliens in this episode will never be forgotten. At least not for Picard, who was controlled by an alien probe from a world long since vanished. During a span of 25-30 minutes, he lives a lifetime of another man complete with a loving wife and two kids. He watches them grow up along with the decaying of his planet. We watch as Picard stubbornly and defiantly refuses to play along with these people who seem to believe he's another man. Eventually, Picard assumes the life of this man and leads the life he never had and longed for. He has a family. He has a companion who is loyal, patient and nurturing. Picard's brilliant mind leads him to find ways to save his planet to no avail. Ultimately, the aliens reveal themselves and inform Picard the truth about themselves and their planet. This was their way of being remembered. What an effective way to let others understand who you are. Let them live a lifetime as one of you. One of the most moving and touching scenes came at the end, in Picard's ready room. Riker walks in and gives the captain the only contents that were found in the alien probe. A flute Picard learned to play as this other man. When Picard was first abducted, he didn't even know how to hold it properly. As Riker leaves the captain to his thoughts, Picard stares out the window. He begins to play it with a feeling and passion that conveys everything we need to know. These memories will stay with him forever. This is an excellent episode. It's the very reason why I loved this show.
  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-05 at 3:08am:
    Is it just me or does the second version of picard (aged once) look a hell of a lot like Jimmy Buffett?
  • From Pete Miller on 2006-07-18 at 10:30pm:
    Sorry to come back and post again, but after I finished the series I decided to award my personal Best episode of TNG award.

    When I picked my "Best of..." episodes, I took into consideration what each series was really about. The Next Generation is truly about exploring the unexplored, discovering new people and cultures, and above all self-improvement. It is not like DS9, which focuses on more darker themes and contains more action. The Next Generation aims to paint an optimistic picture of the future, and to affect its audiences profoundly.

    The Inner Light accomplished all of TNG's goals. It is a masterful story of the tragic death of an entire species whose sun went supernova. The culture is not lost, however, but preserved through the memories of Picard, who is a changed man. It is a story of life in general, and of growing old and losing loved ones. The bottom line, though, is that the future is a bright one, and those things that we may consider to be lost causes today may yet live on in the future.

    This was a very moving performance by Patrick Stewart, the best actor to ever grace Star Trek. It was a perfectly written story, demonstrating the awesomeness of TNG's writers. I cannot subtract any points from anything, and the episode basically epitomizes TNG.

    It is with all of these things in consideration that I bestow my "Best of TNG" award to "The Inner Light". As soon as I finish Voyager I'll re-evaluate all episodes to find the best overall.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-10-05 at 7:29am:
    This is one of my favorite TNG episodes of all time. That is not correct. This is one of my favorite Star Trek episodes of all time! Jean-Luc Picard is one of my favorite Star Trek characters (it doesn't hurt having an amazing actor like Patrick Stewart playing the part.) However, yes, I have even "discovered" a problem with this episode.
    - This is a society with the technological level of midtwentieth-century Earth. It manufactured a device that can create an alternate reality within an unknown alien mind. Look at what this probe accomplishes. It scans the Enterprise and overpowers the ship's shields. It finds Picard and attaches an energy beam to him. This energy beam creates an alternate reality so complete that "it is as real as his life on the Enterprise." Does this sound like a project undertaken by a community who have just begun to launch missles? In the late 1950s, if the nations of Earth discovered that the Sun would soon explode, is it even conceivable that those nations would be able to build such a device?
  • From baron on 2010-12-11 at 7:49pm:
    After watching this I found the society that he lived in pretty unbelievable. All Picard seems to do is play his flute and look through a telescope. How did he raise a family just by doing that? Wouldn't he need a job and income of some kind? This isn't a futuristic society with food replicators and unlimited energy. They say they have to grow crops. Towards the end they say the crops are failing. Where are they getting their food from then? They say it takes a day just to send a message to the next village. It's pretty impossible that society could have built the probe in the first place.

    In an earlier episode someone mentioned that it would have been to impossible for a time traveler from the past to take a phaser and try to manufacture it back in his own society. Since their society wouldn't have the infrastructure in place to be able to manufacture it. Perhaps a phaser needs a mineral from another star system but they don't have the ability to leave their planet. But yet in this episode a 1950's era society can make technology more advanced than the enterprise.
  • From Autre on 2011-03-04 at 7:32pm:
    They are aliens, and regardless if they are in a 1950's era situation they are much different from humans. Rather than creating atomic bombs or weapons to destroy one another they all banded together as a race with a single goal in mind.

    If you were to take every scientist in the world and work them to one cause it is very likely something astounding would come from it.

    But again, the main point behind this is that they are aliens, and TNG has many episodes with aliens that appear to not be advanced but turn out having technological marvels.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-04-29 at 3:46pm:
    This was a very good episode but not nearly my favorite. In fact I rated it a 7. Stewart did do an excellent job of acting in the episode. But why I lowered my rating was that I did not find the scenario and the overall plot that exciting. While I could also say it was technically absurd, a race that seems to live a simple agrarian existence creating this marvelously advanced spacecraft that was launched on a very basic solid fueled rocket, that is not really my main complaint. It just wasn't that exciting or even enticing to watch Picard live this imaginary life. I am not a particular fan of massive doses of action or such but found this more of a soap operaish plot line. It appears I am the minority in this take on the episode but those were my thoughts while watching it. I found the interplay between characters much more interesting in the episode where Picard returns home and visits his brother.
  • From Alvlin on 2011-05-27 at 3:45am:
    I agree with Baron. While this is a great episode both emotionally & executionally, logically it has a HUGE flaw -- there is no way that such a "technologically primitive" society could manufacture & launch a probe that would be able to pierce the defenses of a ship 1,000 years into the future, not to mention reach directly into Picard's mind and play out a scenario based on his own reactions. A real strech which unfortunately hurts the overall credibility of this one.
  • From Bronn on 2011-09-25 at 5:33am:
    I just want to comment on some of the scientific critique's of this episode. One of the reasons I can buy is that I don't necessarily think their technology had to evolve at a similar rate to ours. Just because they weren't advanced in the field of space travel doesn't mean they weren't advanced in other areas-they just may not have been interested in space travel. It's worth wondering how interested humanity would be in space travel if this planet had no moon. The extreme advance of technology during the space race is partly owed to the existence of an easily definable objective: Let's put a human on the closest celestial object. It helps also to have such a close orbit body to fuel the curiosity of planet-dwellers, to give them an actual urge to reach space.

    What we see of the planet during this episode also represents a single agrarian community. It's not necessarily the best cross-section. If you visited 20th century Earth and all you saw was a farming community in Nebraska, you might not catch on that we can generate nuclear power, or that there is a laboratory in Geneva that can isolate atoms of anti-hydrogen. The native culture in this episode may have simply had some specialization in ways to affect brain chemistry, and this was a technology unique to their development.

    "But how does it pierce the defenses of the USS Enterprise!?" Well it's just possible that the Enterprise's defenses aren't designed to defeat the specific thing that the probe was doing. The shields are designed to repel only specific types of energy, and presumably solid objects (there are many inconsistencies with THAT). The shields clearly allow certain types of energy to pass through-as evidenced by the fact that the crew can actually see out a window even with the shields are activated, so visible light is not stopped by the shields. The crew is also still able to use communication frequencies with the shields up, so perhaps other parts of the EM spectrum are not screened out. It's not like this beam utterly defeats the Enterprise, since it takes the crew a whopping 5 minutes to figure out how to interrupt it (if that)-they are only stopped because removing it nearly kills Picard.

    Okay, so there's a little bit of a hand-waving in that the probe apparently "scans" the crew, or least has some method of identifying that there are life forms on board the Enterprise, and it manages to isolate one to communicate with, but it's not like we ever learn much about how the USSE itself scans for lifeforms. There's not really an issue with bad science in this episode, at least not enough to destroy willful suspension of disbelief, unless you're just looking for reasons not to like it.
  • From Rob on 2013-01-27 at 6:05am:
    I love this episode, it could be my own personal experiences that leads me to this but it seems to me to be an analogy to a psychedelic induced state of mind wherein the 'traveller' can experience an entire lifetime in the blink of an eye.

    Once returning to their original understanding of their reality and normal perspectives there is a struggle, a conflict between the person they were before the event, the person they were during the event and who they need to be to move on from the event. Everything that took place was easily as real as the present and past to them, completely linked with emotions and feelings as real as any other memory in their mind.

    The only way for the traveller to move on is to merge the persona they lived into their ego, challenge the resistance from the higher ego and accept that they experienced a true existence and that perception combined with perspective is all there is, we accept our current one as the only one in order to live.

    This analogy would have been complete if after returning to the enterprise when Picard was given the flute he was able to play it as proficiently as he did in the mental projection.
  • From skye_sken on 2013-03-28 at 12:31am:
    Just thought to comment on the allegations that a civilization such as theirs could not produce the technology needed for the probe to exist: I always figured the dreamworld that Picard experiences is rather an ideal representation of this people, or perhaps a "play" of a sort, rather than a full-on realistic portrayal of the advanced civilization they fostered just before the supernova event which eradicated it's people.

    When you think of it, some might say that a fine way to express one's civilization would be through art. It can be argued that technology is kind of homogenic in the way that any alien species can produce the same quantative results and inventions, whereas art I would suppose is always subjective and thus unique. I mean, showing aliens a play by Shakespeare would cover an immense amount of human emotions, those we hold so dear to us, and in a way sleek the image of humanity for the alien specators (after all, not many of us would sooner paint impressions of war, rape, extortion and other realistic qualities expressed by mankind).

    As someone before me noted, Picard doesn't seem to be doing any work, well, expect for his scientific research, which I guess many a folk do care for, and might deem important enough to sustain through their own labor. In the INNER LIGHT, art plays a key role in cultural preservation. In the dreamworld, we see art approached in the manner of the flute Picard gradually learns to play, the music of which in a way is a strong symbol of the lost people and a means to immortalize a part of their civilization.

    While we're making assumptions, I guess it's possible that if Picard's dreamworld was indeed a play, it was not entirely truthful, and this civilization never actually disappeared in a super nova after all; Picard just became a buffoon of an elaborate cosmic jape. But that's not nearly as romantic an idea, so forget it.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x09 - The Measure of a Man

Originally Aired: 1989-2-13

Synopsis:
Picard must defend Data against being disassembled. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 8.84

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 3 3 4 0 2 1 5 9 22 162

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of TNG Award."
- This is the first Poker game episode.
- Data's total memory is somewhere around 90 petabytes with "a total linear computational speed of 60 trillion operations per second."

Remarkable Scenes
- It's nice to learn more about Picard's past through Louvois. That, and it's nice to get more small tidbits of info regarding Dr. Noonien Soong.
- Got to point out the beautiful model used on that space station.
- Data tearing down Maddox' argument (on many occasions in this episode).
- Data suddenly ripping the gift wrap.
- Pulaski to Worf in a happy tone: "I couldn't disagree more! We'll save that argument for another day." Regarding the novel gift from Worf.
- Riker objecting to prosecute Data. The whole adversarial scene is awesome.
- Riker gets a look of such profound happiness when he realizes that he has a good argument against Data. Then a look of such profound sadness when he realizes that using it may kill his friend.
- Picard's argument is that much better though.
- All of the dialog in this episode is articulate and well placed.

My Review
At what point does artificial intelligence become "alive" with the same rights and responsibilities as any other "real" person? This is a very high brow science fiction question but in very few places is it examined as eloquently as here. This episode is a TNG classic and one of the best Trek episodes ever written.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-24 at 12:39am:
    Data: "That action injured you and saved me. I will not forget it." (Great line)

    - Data tells Picard that Maddox was the only dissenting member of a sceening committee that approved his entrance into Starfleet. Maddox did this because he did not believe that Data was sentient. It seems reasonable that Starfleet would allow only sentient beings to attend the academy. However, since the rest of the members of the committee disagreed with Maddox's position, didn't they already imply that Data is sentient? If so, when did Data lose that label?
    - Maddox asks the JAG officer if Starfleet would let the computer of a starship refuse a refit. But the comparison doesn't match up at all. Starfleet built the computers on starships. They did not build Data. If Data belongs to anyone, he belongs to Dr. Noonian Soong. All Starfleet did was find him.
    - JAG officer to Riker if he doesn't prosecute: "Then I will rule summarily based on my findings. Data is a toaster." A toaster? That seems a little antiquated for the twenty-fourth century. Wouldn't a person in the twenty-fourth century illustrate their point using an everyday item for them - something like a food replicator, a tricorder, or a communicator?
  • From TashaFan on 2008-09-28 at 11:34pm:
    I LOVED the reference to Data being "a toaster"... because "toaster" is what the Colonial warriors in "Battlestar Galactica" called the Cylons, who are also a mechanized artificial lifeform. I wonder if Ron Moore, who went to spearhead the "reimagined" Battlestar series, had anything to do with this reference?
  • From Razorback on 2009-06-26 at 1:26am:
    A shocking episode.
    They have stripped away all of the trappings of a normal star trek episode, and done away with the sense of intergalactic exploration that gives me a reason to continu watching.

    Istead, they have created this terrible episode.

    You ask me to justify this?

    It has ruined me for the rest of star trek.
    No oher episodes will have even the slightest chance of ever living up to this one, seemingly set up to allow patrick stewart to prove exactly why he is seen as one of the greatest actors of all time. Brent spiner and Jonathan Frakes also outdo themselves - the dialogue is wonderful, the character's magnificent, and the whoe issue outstanding - leaving us with the question are we not all man made machines?

    I would also like to note the look on maddox's face at the end of the episode, as he relises that Cmr Data is far more wonderful than he'd ever imagined.

    Definately a 10 rated episode - a wonderful example of exactly why star trek is more than a sci-fi show.
  • From Ching on 2010-04-06 at 3:38am:
    Thoroughly moving episode, but there are two things I question. One is to do with Picard's speech being, perhaps, unrealistically effective. I think I received it as one of those fictional events that has a perfect effect in it's story, but realistically would be questioned or perhaps a bit unprofessional (with Picard being so intimidating and emotional). But I'm much hazier on whether I find that an issue (and it wouldn't be a huge one) or not. I'm also not exactly well versed in court procedures to begin with.
    The second issue is with Riker's role in the story. I know the episode makes it clear why he was unfit to have taken the prosecution role, but does anyone know why there's a rule that the next most senior officer of the 'defendant's' ship becomes 'prosecutor'? I know, at least, that a jury is chosen specifically as an impartial body of people, so why chose a prosecutor who's in agreement with the defender? Makes no sense to have your opposing forces biased in the same way, but it certainly created an interesting drama. And like I said before, I really liked this episode on the whole, despite some confusion about common sense.
  • From tigertooth on 2011-03-24 at 2:12am:
    I agree that the episode was great. My quibble: the first thing Riker does is call Data to the stand as his witness. Would he call a tricorder to the stand? Or the ship's computer? No, you call *people* to the stand as witnesses. If I was Picard, I would have said "There you go! Case closed!"

    But anything that gives Picard (Stewart) a chance to go off on a righteous monologue is pretty much guaranteed to be great.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-29 at 2:13am:
    This is a fine episode. I especially love the way Picard starts his speech by dismissing the opposing arguments as irrelevant. The only caveat I have about this episode is that it portrays Starfleet's judicial system as oddly primitive and arbitrary.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-23 at 11:24pm:
    Agree with CAlexander's comment about how crude the Federation legal system appeared. As an attorney, I found it embarrassing. Several obvious issues:

    1. Data can't choose his own counsel? He is told that Picard will represent him. Picard offers to replace himself, but Louvois makes no such offer. The choice of defense counsel is totally in the control of the defendant in all civilized legal systems.

    2. The notion that Riker has to prosecute is absurd. He has a strong personal relationship with the accused. He is obviously not qualified. He would have to recuse himself.

    3. Why didn't Maddox appeal? You're telling me that a ruling by a mere JAG officer in a remote star base is final?

    You get the idea. Anyone with any legal training can find holes big enough to drive a truck through on this one.
  • From One moon shirt on 2012-02-27 at 3:56am:
    I would give this episode 100 if there was such a rating. This is some of the best Trek out there. The issue of slavery and human rights is classic, this is an episode that will always endure the test of time, people will be watching this one in the 24th century :)
  • From Rick on 2012-10-10 at 4:11am:
    This may well be the quintessential star trek episode. How do we treat new life forms?

    A commenter above notes that this episode may be flawed because Maddox already made the argument that Data was not sentient and he lost. This point of view is flawed, however, because although Maddox made the argument that Data is not sentient, the Board may have ruled that Data could be admitted to Starfleet on alternate grounds. This is a technical legal point but it is certainly plausible. The board simply couldve punted on the sentience issue and ruled that Data was admissible to Starfleet for whatever reason.

    The rest of Maddox's argument is rather poor upon further examination, as other commenters have noted. His entire reasoning is based upon analogy to other types of machines. Fatal flaw? No other type of machine is capable of or would refuse his examination. It seems pretty obvious to me that as soon as a being is capable of refusing to be destroyed (albeit potentially), it has earned the right not to be.
  • From Rick on 2013-11-11 at 5:19pm:
    One more thing. Even if Data is ruled to be property why would he be Starfleet's property? Isnt he still his creator's property? Maddox would have a tough time explaining how he was against Data being able to join Starfleet while also believing that Starfleet owns him. If I were the judge it wouldve been an easy ruling to say even if Data is ruled as property Starfleet has no ownership so the whole case is irrelevant.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x15 - Tapestry

Originally Aired: 1993-2-15

Synopsis:
Q gives Picard the chance to change his destiny. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 8.8

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 9 2 2 3 2 5 3 3 14 27 145

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is the winner of my "Best Episode of TNG Award" and is therefore a candidate for my "Best Episode Ever Award."

Remarkable Scenes
- Q's declaration that he's god and Picard's reaction.
- Q: "You're lucky I don't cast you out or smite you or something."
- Picard regarding Q being god: "I refuse to believe that the universe is so badly designed!"
- Watching young Picard fight the Nausicaans. He even laughed, just like the story he told Wesley in TNG: Samaritan Snare.
- Q: "Is there a John Luck Pickerd here?"
- Picard waking up next to Q...
- Picard alienating all his friends.
- Picard passing Q's test and seeing the results of his new life.
- Q making his point about how Picard's history of risk taking shaped his life.
- Q: "That Picard never had a brush with death, never came face to face with his own mortality, never realized how fragile life is. Or how important each moment must be. So his life never came into focus."
- Picard: "I would rather die as the man I was than live as the man I saw."

My Review
This episode is absolutely perfect from beginning to end. In many ways it reminds me of TNG: Family; but with a particular emphasis on Picard. The simple, yet profoundly powerful point this episode makes is done in an articulate downright moving manner. There are many things to redeem this episode. Firstly, it doesn't waste any time on pointless action scenes; in particular we don't see how Picard was injured at the beginning of this episode. Why? Because it was completely unimportant. Next, this episode presents Q in a completely unusual manner. As the series develops, it becomes clear that Q has something of an affinity, or perhaps a sympathy for Picard. Q begins to like Picard and wants to see him succeed; despite his adversarial appearance. As it was put at the end of the episode, it's almost hard to believe Q could be so nice. Finally, this episode allows the average viewer to connect excellently with Picard. Everyone has moments of their lives they regret or would like a chance to change. But like it or not, they are a part of who we are. Pulling a single thread in the tapestry of our lives would have profound effects on who we would become later. This episode is nontraditional in terms of the issues Star Trek usually tackles, but is nonetheless completely successful and one of the most memorable and moving episodes ever written.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Wolfgang on 2006-07-10 at 1:04pm:
    Remarkable Scenes

    -Lieutenant Picard !
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-18 at 3:58pm:
    There's not a whole lot to complain about here, but I'm not as smitten with this episode as many fans are.

    It's great to see Picard's past, and his evolving relationship with Q is certainly interesting. But I find the It's-A-Wonderful-Life theme of this episode is a bit heavy-handed and explained to death. I also think they could have done a better job writing the characters of the young Picard's friends, who both seem pretty broadly drawn and never really elevate out of stereotype.

    Still, this is solid, and I can definitely see the charm, but I can't list it as one of the absolute best episodes. I guess I'll have to wait until I finish the series to make that call, though.
  • From Dennis on 2013-04-02 at 10:05pm:
    I couldn't wait for this one to be over, and I've never felt that way about any other episode. The stupid costumes and make up. The over the top acting by Picard's adversary's, Q, all of it just stupid. The story had nothing to do with the theme of Star Trek. It could have easily been an episode of Mayberry RFD. Sorry if I'm a little heavy handed but they can flush this one.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x11 - Chain of Command, Part II

Originally Aired: 1992-12-21

Synopsis:
The crew attempts to rescue Picard from Cardassians. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.72

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 4 1 2 2 1 0 13 8 14 24 98

Problems
None

Factoids
- Patrick Stewart performed the scenes where he is stripped by the Cardassians fully in the nude, so as to better act the part.

Remarkable Scenes
- Zombie Picard being interrogated.
- Gul Madred describing a peaceful, prosperous Cardassia of 200 years ago, before the military takeover.
- Madred's psychotic torture techniques.
- Jellico relieving Riker of duty.
- Data in red!
- Madred exposing his daughter to his work. That man is insane.
- Madred and Picard discussing Cardassia's history.
- Madred bluffing about holding Beverly and killing Worf to get Picard to be more cooperative.
- Picard eating a live Taspar egg.
- Picard defying Madred.
- Picard continuing to defy Madred while the pain device keeps him in constant agony.
- Geordi carefully trying to put in the good word to Jellico about Riker.
- Riker taking pleasure in Jellico's brief moment of humility.
- Geordi: "Do I wanna know how close that was?" Riker: "No."
- Jellico playing his minefield card to the Cardassian captain.
- Picard taking the pain inflictor controller and smashing it. Madred: "That won't help, I have many more." Picard: "Still... felt... good."
- Madred trying one last time to get Picard to submit to him by telling him that there are five lights. Picard, one last time defying him and continuing to tell the truth: "There... are... four... lights!" The guards try to help Picard get to the door, Picard pushes them away. He walks to the door with dignity on his own power.
- Picard describing his ordeal to the counselor and admitting that he was almost about to give in.

My Review
Two rivalries, one between Jellico and the Cardassian captain, and one between Madred and Picard. In both the Cardassians start out on top, but get outmaneuvered by the humans. With regards to Madred and Picard, we get an utterly amazing performance by Picard once again. Madred also did an amazing job showing us just how much of a twisted man he was. I like how in the end, Madred only wanted to break Picard. He wasn't interested in getting any information from him. He just wanted to win the rivalry. All things considered, this episode features one of the most impressive displays of acting and character usage ever shown on Star Trek. It's also one of the most disturbing episodes ever shown on Star Trek. A truly memorable showing.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-11-12 at 7:58am:
    - Madred asks Picard the names and ranks of those who accompanied him on the raid. Picard responds with "Chief Medical Officer Beverly Crusher and Lieutenant Worf." Isn't "chief medical officer" more of a title than a rank? Crusher's rank is commander, in the same way that Riker's rank is commander and his title is first officer.
    - Both Part 1 and Part 2 of "Chain of Command" suggests that the Cardassians were able to lure Picard into their trap simply by using theta band emissions as the bait. Is Picard really the only person in Starfleet who knows about these kinds of subspace waves? What happened to the rest of the crew on the Stargazer? Data seems to address these questions when he says that Picard is "one of only three Starfleet captains with extensive experience in theta band devices. The other two are no longer in Starfleet." But is this the type of mission that Starfleet feels must be lead by a captain? Isn't this really just a commando raid to seek out and destroy a Cardassian lab? Does it seem reasonable to send the captain of the flagship of the Federation on a grenade-throwing mission? And does it seem reasonable that the Cardassians would expect that they could capture Picard simply by transmitting a bunch of theta waves?
  • From wepeel on 2008-05-04 at 6:11pm:
    While DSOmo is once again on point with Picard saying the title Chief Medical Officer instead of Crusher's rank (like he was asked to), and is probably a writer oversight, one could make the argument that the writers deliberately wrote that line to illustrate the view that information extracted via torture is neither ethical nor reliable. Picard was simply too exhausted to give the most appropriate answer...
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-16 at 5:13pm:
    This is one of the stronger episodes of the series, and one that's often overlooked.

    The only problem I see here is that it seems a little unlikely that Star Fleet would choose to send it's flagship captain on such a dangerous mission. We're given some justification of that -- Picard is an expert on the techno-babble issue of the day-- but it still seems like a long shot for the Cardassians to lure him in this way. I can't imagine that Star Fleet couldn't simply train some special-ops task team on the subspace emissions and turn them loose rather than sending Picard. But that's a minor thing, and the this episode is more than worth the suspension of disbelief needed to get through it.

    The torture scenes are acted wonderfully by everybody involved, and they're some of the most gripping scenes of TNG. This episode also features a great guest turn by the actor playing Jellico, as well as the one portraying Gul Madred. We also get that rarest of TNG treats, a Ferengi character not so annoying and overdrawn that the Ferengi at large seem unrealistic. This is quality stuff, and I give the two-parter as a whole a 9.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-01 at 11:26pm:
    As far as I'm concerned, this is the best episode in the entire Trek oeuvre. The story is gripping from start to finish and then... Patrick Stewart.

    His acting in the torture scenes was nothing short of perfect, and the final line in the scene with Troi... well. Perfect again. This is one episode where the TNG writers finally realised that had a serious actor on their books and gave him a chance to show off his talent.

    It's almost as if every other actor steps up a gear given Stewart's performance. Frakes in particular loses some of his usual cardboard edge and gives a great show as Riker, and the others are almost as good.

    It was the memory of this episode that made me get the old DVDs down off the shelf and watch them all again. Absolutely brilliant.
  • From nirutha on 2010-11-21 at 11:28pm:
    I really dig David Warner as Gul Madred. He has the perfect voice for that role, one that seems to belong to a man both sophisticated and sadistic. (He also voice-acted Jon Irenicus in a similiar role in the RPG classic Baldur's Gate 2.)
  • From John on 2011-02-01 at 3:46pm:
    Once again, DSOmo manages to suck all the mystery and fun out of a fictional show. I bet he's a lot of fun at parties. And funerals.
  • From anon on 2013-12-29 at 1:14pm:
    I feel kind of sorry for captain Picard at this stage. He's lived a very hard life. First he was a borg, then he lived a whole false life in 'Inner Light' (to suddenly discover your children and wife weren't real would be devastating) and now he has been tortured. Plus it appears that he has never been in a very serious relationship despite him appearing to want companionship.
  • From Quando on 2014-03-19 at 9:47pm:
    The whole "how many lights do you see" thing was borrowed (stolen?) from George Orwell's great novel 1984, in which the protagonist Winston was being tortured by the state and asked repeatedly how many fingers the torturer was holding up (there were only four, but the torturer insisted that there were five). Like Picard, in the end Winston said that he really did believe that he saw five fingers, although there were only four.

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Star Trek TNG - 7x26 - All Good Things... Part II

Originally Aired: 1994-5-23

Synopsis:
Picard tries to prevent the destruction of humanity. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 8.72

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 10 5 0 3 1 6 1 11 14 10 155

Problems
- People like to bitch about "warp 13" in this episode, but those orders were given during one of Q's future fantasies, so who cares?
- Data sat in the helmsman's position during the present in this episode.

Factoids
- This episode (both parts) won the 1995 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

Remarkable Scenes
- A clean-shaven Riker!
- Picard investigating the anomaly in all 3 time periods.
- The three nacelled Enterprise!
- Geordi's regenerated eyes and Ogawa losing her baby.
- Q showing Picard the primordial soup.
- Picard senilely describing a temporal paradox and Data catching what he's actually talking about.
- Picard manipulating the Enterprise in all 3 time periods.
- Picard: "Mr. Data, you are a clever man in any time period."
- The sight of all 3 Enterprises together.
- Q: "I'm going to miss you Jean-Luc, you had such potential. But then again all good things must come to an end..."
- Picard thanking Q.
- The crew discussing the changes in the timeline.
- Picard joining the Poker game.
- The last line on of TNG TV series: Picard: "So, five card stud, nothing wild, and the sky's the limit!"

My Review
This episode finishes off with a bang, much more exciting than the first part. The issue of Troi and Worf's relationship is neatly tied up here. It would have been nice if in the TNG movies it was at least somewhat addressed, but it's certainly better than no explanation at all. The series ends making just as grand a point as it began with. Humanity is evolving and its collective mind is expanding. I like the sense of camaraderie at the end of the episode, both between Q and Picard regarding their relationship; Q really is a good guy, guiding humanity, and protecting humanity as they grow. Also the camaraderie between Picard and his crew as he finally plays Poker with them for the first time. This episode is a wonderful conclusion to Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-07-09 at 1:16am:
    I give All Good Things a 10 overall. I did not rate Part 1 and Part 2, since I watch it on DVD and have no idea where the halfway point is.

    The episode itself is actually better than all the TNG movies. Everything about it is genius. Having the episode take place in three time periods is genius. Having the episode be a sequel to the very first episode is genius. I always look forward to watching it again.
  • From Tony on 2008-09-09 at 4:23am:
    The whole idea of working among diferent time periods and Picard in that "one moment" open to new posibilities and things to explore is great, but there is one problem: the movies and series set after this episode in time seem to show that humanity didn't expand in ways predicted in this episode and just settled back into their old ways. Admittedly, our current minds are not highly evolved enough to comprehend such endevers, but it does seem odd that both humanity doesn't advance (except maybe in VOY: Relativity dealing with an even farther future) and that the Q doesn't seem to care. This is not a strike against this episode, but a strike against future episodes relating to this episode.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-11-05 at 8:09pm:
    I just finished the entire TNG series, so this is a review of the series as a whole as well as a comment on this episode.

    "All Good Things" is phenomenal. It's intelligently written, fleshes out the characters well, and filled with fanboy fun stuff that doesn't get in the way of a good episode. I gave it a 10.

    TNG overall was also solid. Like the original series, it had its lame moments, but it was able to take the original concept and turn it into a sleek, intelligent show that took itself seriously but was still still fun. The best moments of TNG ("Measure of a Man," "The Inner Light," the Klingon saga episodes, the Borg invasion, Wesley's continuing journey to higher astral planes, et al) get at the heart of what Trek was really about. Now I'm looking forward to seeing DS9. I've seen a good bit of it, but a lot of it will be new to me.
  • From djb on 2009-04-03 at 8:20am:
    I loved the 3D space battle scene. Unfortunately throughout most of Trek, the potential allowed by the three dimensions of space is wasted and most everything is in two dimensions, as if they were in a ship on the ocean. The brief battle scene here with the Enterprise arriving from a totally different angle and orientation was brilliant, and I wish we could have seen more battle scenes like that.
  • From Ali on 2009-04-12 at 4:21pm:
    I love this episode too, but I think the science is a little bit iffy.

    Since Picard establishes that changes in timelines don't affect each other (i.e. Deanna doesn't recall him ordering a red alert on his first mission), then the fact that the first amino acid doesn't bond in the past shouldn't affect their known future or present...

    Multiple Universe Theories generally say that if an event is changed in the past, it will not alter the present; rather, create a new alternate Universe with that decision. And since there are infinite universes that exist where life did not end up occurring on earth, it wouldn't be that amazing. Life would have continued as normal to their perspective...
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2011-10-01 at 1:49pm:
    If it's a 10, why isn't a candidate for your "Best TNG Episode" award?
  • From Kethinov on 2011-10-07 at 6:49am:
    Both parts of the episode would have had to be rated 10 for it to be considered.
  • From Vlad on 2012-02-13 at 3:49pm:
    This is one of my favourite episodes in all of Star Trek, but one little problem kills the magic for me...

    An early draft of the script, which was discarded for budget reasons, had the future crew stealing the Enterprise from a museum. Which meant that they started the search for the anomaly in the Enterprise and not the Pasteur.

    In the final version of the script they were on the Pasteur.

    Later, present-day Data says that the resonance pulses (or whatever they were called) inside the anomaly were identical "as if all three originated from the Enterprise".

    But they didn't!

    Anyway, aside from this little nitpick I have with the episode it's a fantastic send-off for TNG.
  • From michael on 2012-08-07 at 10:03pm:
    If the anti-time reaction in the future goes backwards in time - how were they able to see it in the future? From the point of origin it travels backwards. From the perspective of linear time it would be impossible for anyone perceiving the forwards movement of time to see a reaction that moves precisely in the opposite direction?
  • From Captain Keogh on 2013-03-17 at 10:38am:
    I loved this episode, just saw it on 26.12.2012 and thought it was brilliant, I gave it a 10.
  • From thaibites on 2013-04-16 at 11:41pm:
    This is a great send-off for TNG. It's obvious a lot of thought was put into this episode. For example, I love the shot of Baby-face Riker they lifted from the 1st season. It was ingenious how they had new audio from Frakes while the shot shows Picard looking at the monitor, and then cuts back to Riker actually saying something from the season 1 footage. It was seamless and shows a lot of attention to detail.
    But the bigger aspect here is that All Good Things is what Star Trek is all about - pushing frontiers and going where no one (man) has gone before. Plus there's a lot at stake here - the existence of humanity (and the existence of every species between Earth and the Neutral Zone). This is awesome science fiction and TNG at its best!
  • From L on 2013-05-09 at 12:32pm:
    This definitely was a great finale, epic and exciting. But a little frustrating too.

    Why do the Q continuum continue to torture Picard? They create some nonsensical dilemma and accuse Picard of being the cause when it was solely due to them that the crisis existed in the first place, just so they can force him to make some grand act they approve of.
    I thought the dilemma and its solution was totally irrational and may as well have been a dream, but it is implied that to evolve humanity must stop exploring real world science and technology and devote more time to this sort of thing. It seems they want to hold them back more than anything.
    I was annoyed at Q seeming to revert back to his earlier character after all they'd been through together, but felt better when it turns out he was acting under orders and did try to help after all.

    It was awesome seeing how irritable Picard was as an old man, and seeing Troi in a mini-skirt. It was a shame Guinan didn't make an appearance for the last episode.
    The last scene was perfect and uplifting.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-09-23 at 3:03pm:
    This episode first aired when I was in middle school, and I remember being very annoyed at the fact that the anomaly, which is supposed to be moving backwards in time, was somehow moving forward in time after it was created. It was the first time I ever noticed any logical inconsistencies in my favorite show (which is kind of funny now, looking back on all the various logical inconsistencies throughout TNG's run), and it still hinders my enjoyment of this episode. But I guess it would have taken too much screen time for the future crew to create the static warp bubble in the past by slingshotting around a sun or something.

    I've always wondered why star ships always seem to be on the same plane when they run into each other, so it was good to see the future Enterprise approach and attack perpendicular to the Klingon Birds of Prey. Shame future Star Trek's didn't continue with this.

    Everyone thinks future Picard is crazy, but they inexplicably (or perhaps touchingly) humor him because he is Jean-Luc Picard. He refuses a brain scan at Cambridge, insisting instead that they immediately get a ship to the neutral zone. The "present day" crew, on the other hand, believe Picard completely, in part because Beverley was able to show (via two brain scans) that he had accrued two days worth of memories in a matter of hours. Why didn't future Picard immediately insist on the same brain scans? Wouldn't it have been much, much easier to get everyone on board with him (and to avoid being sedated) by easily providing evidence that what he was saying was true?

    Future Geordi is married to a woman named Leah. Leah Brahms, perhaps?

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Star Trek TNG - 3x15 - Yesterday's Enterprise

Originally Aired: 1990-2-19

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

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 8.55

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 10 1 6 0 15 4 1 6 24 51 149

Problems
None

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

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

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

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-24 at 6:59am:
    - The major plot oversight in this episode concerns the personnel aboard the Enterprise during the alternate future created by the Enterprise-C. In the alternate future, the Federation and the Klingon Empire have been at war for twenty years. In war, people get killed. In fact, Picard says the Klingons have destroyed half of the Federation's fleet. Since people get killed in war, people get promoted quickly. It is inconceivable that Riker, Data, and Geordi would still be serving with Picard. They would have their own commands fighting the Klingons. Of course, this is a television series. The viewers want to see the same set of core actors from week to week.
    - Picard has an odd sense of three-dimensional space in this episode. He meets with Guinan on the spacious observation lounge. He meets with Riker and Yar on the spacious observation lounge. However, when he meets with his senior officers, five in all, he crams them like sardines into his ready room.
    - At the beginning of the episode, emergency teams beam over to the Enterprise-C. Dr. Crusher determines to take the captain back to the Enterprise-D. Dr. Crusher taps her badge and calls for transport. She then puts her tricorder away and reaches up to tap her badge again. At this point a befuddled look comes across her face and she puts her hand back down to her side. I guess she realized she didn't need to tap her communicator to shut it off.
    - After Crusher leaves, Riker and Yar find a survivor in the wreckage. The survivor is buried under a bunch of rubble on a darkened main bridge. Riker and Yar dig him out. What's the first thing they do for him after he's out? They shine flashlights on his face!
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-21 at 2:14am:
    One of the great Star Trek episodes. I'd like to add one more Remarkable Scene:
    - Picard discussing how the war is going badly, and Federation defeat is inevitable.
  • From Percivale on 2011-09-05 at 5:02pm:
    A perfect Star Trek episode - worth a 10.

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

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

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

    But the interesting cinematography, the dramatic tension, the moving ending - Man, I could watch this one over and over again (and have).
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-21 at 12:31pm:
    I agree generally that this is a fabulous episode. For one thing Denise Crosby is terrific. Perhaps because she was unhappy in her role in season 1, she seemed to be lacking in that season. Her performances were rather wooden, I thought.

    One logical issue: when the Enterprise D is holding off the Klingons, it takes the Enterprise C friggin' forever to go into the temporal rift! What's up with that? At the distance they were from the rift, they should have been through in a couple of seconds. As it is, it takes several minutes. Of course this adds to the tension, but it still creates a logical problem.
  • From Sean on 2012-01-07 at 1:20pm:
    As I write this, there are over 700 episodes of Star Trek and eleven movies, and "Yesterday's Enterprise" still stands as my favourite episode of all time, twenty years after it first aired on television. To me, this episode is a perfect representation of what Star Trek is about: hope for the future. In this timeline, Picard is still as loyal and reflective as his normal counterpart, but he's a man who's been turned bitter by decades of war. I love seeing his slow turn from stubbornly refusing to sacrifice the Enterprise C ("Every instinct is telling me that this is wrong, it is dangerous, it is FUTILE!") to slowly realising that Guinan has introduced an incredible idea: that this ship has altered history - badly ("I've weighed the alternatives. I will follow Guinan's recommendations").

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

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

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

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

    "Yesterday's Enterprise" is Star Trek at its best. My favourite episode of not only The Next Generation, but all of Star Trek. "Let's make sure, history never forgets the name... Enterprise."
  • From meinerHeld on 2012-02-10 at 6:36pm:
    Keith: "I like how the writers gave Yar a better send off in this episode than in Skin of Evil."

    Three cheers for that one!
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-21 at 6:21am:
    This was a rather excellent episode. In fact, of all the time travel episodes throughout Trek, this has got to be one of my favorites, for several reasons: For one thing, this episode accomplishes so much more than just the typical temporal parodox. 1) It is also a "mirror universe" episode of sorts, because the alternate militarized timeline is so fundamentally different from the norm. [And rather awesome to observe, I might add. I've long wondered about the straight-up military dimension of Starfleet - nice to finally see it on display] 2) It is very much so a Tasha Yarr episode, and a damn proper one at that. Tasha's oddly timed and oddly executed first death is rather gloriously redeemed here. 3) We're introduced to the mysterious and unique Al-Aurian "perceptions beyond linear time," which is a neat concept and a useful plot device. 4) Finally, this time travel episode is the only one I know of where someone (in this case Picard) asks the crucial question, "Who's to say *this* history is any less proper than *that* one?" This typically unexamined question has been perpetually in the back of my mind throughout the rest of Trek, causing me to cringe every time I heard the words "polluting the timeline."

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

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

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

    - Alternate Picard's jargon: "miltary log," "combat date," "battleship."
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-16 at 7:05am:
    One of the best TNG episodes ever filmed, without a doubt. However, one major problem I noticed.

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

    Granted, there wouldn't be much of an episode if they weren't. It's just something I was thinking about while watching.

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Star Trek TNG - 7x15 - Lower Decks

Originally Aired: 1994-2-7

Synopsis:
Four junior officers are involved in a top-secret mission. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 8.55

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 2 3 2 3 3 4 3 8 33 42 81

Problems
- In the junior officer Poker game, Ben has a King, a Jack, a Ten and an Eight. Lavelle has two Sixes and two Sevens. It is impossible for Ben to win no matter what his other card is! Why does Lavelle fold even though his victory is a certainty?

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Lavelle complaining about Taurik as his room mate.
- Lavelle attempting to be social with Riker.
- Picard chewing out Sito.
- Geordi bluffing about "testing the hull" of the shuttle and Taurik seeing straight through it.
- The two Poker games running simultaneously.
- Worf teaching Sito to stand up for herself.
- Sito standing up for herself to Picard.
- Sito attending the senior staff meeting and voluneering for the mission.
- Sito's tragic death.

My Review
This one's a classic. One thing I liked was one of the inclusion of Nurse Ogawa in the lower decks posse, reusing an existing character along with the three new characters. Besides the excellent acting by all characters, the main plot is enticing. A Cardassian, who's a spy for the Federation, needs to get back to Cardassian space. The two plot threads about the Cardassian and the junior officers are wonderfully integrated with one another and the ending is quite tragic and touching. My only regret regarding this episode is that we never see these characters again, with the obvious exception of Ogawa, as I especially liked Levelle and Taurik and it's a shame they're wasted. Though it should be obvious by now that Star Trek throws away good guests of the week all the time.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From FH on 2009-02-04 at 9:45am:
    Sito is not a new character. She was in Wesley's team at the academy in "The First Duty".
  • From askthepizzaguy on 2010-08-10 at 5:56pm:
    I thought that the actor that played Taurik went on to play a vulcan on Voyager, Vorik.

    Vorik is basically a Taurik clone. Similar to Tom Paris and Locarno being a clone.
  • From MJ on 2011-04-25 at 10:04pm:
    This is one of the best episodes of the seventh season of TNG, and is probably one of my top 10 for the whole series.

    First, the concept itself is unorthodox. Not many television shows put their main casts in a side role and make the story revolve around a bunch of characters, some of which haven't been introduced before. It works, too, because the actors and actresses pull it off and we still see enough of the main cast-it's just that we see them through the eyes of junior officers. The writing is perfect because we instantly get a sense of the characters and their relationships with each other.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, including Picard's testing of this young ensign in order to prepare her for a dangerous mission, with the added benefit of having some nice continuity from TNG: The First Duty. Worf was well written in this episode too. His bonding with Sito was both believable and a nice fit to the overall story.

    This one gets a 10 from me.
  • From L on 2013-05-02 at 4:02am:
    Genuinely moving at the end, and great to see the view from other members of the crew. I like how we were kept in the dark as much as the characters were, which is how it must be for 98% of the crew every time a red alert or an emergency is happening.
    Incidental personnel aren't usually privilege to exposition, unless Picard does a weekly 'This week on the Enterprise' public announcement wrap-up.
    Sad to know we won't see any more of the perky Cardassian. Loved the way Whorf and the Captain helped to build her up.
  • From L on 2013-05-02 at 6:34am:
    Oh crap. I meant 'perky Bajoran'. Embarrassed apologies.
  • From Quando on 2014-01-27 at 9:55pm:
    I just watched this episode again, and I think it is my favorite of the whole TNG series. I love that we get to see a "crisis of the week" in a way that the crew would actually experience it -- learning bits and pieces here and there but never really knowing exactly what is going on, even when it is over. I also loved the somewhat parallel but different dynamics between each of the senior officers and their corresponding junior officer counterparts (Riker/Lavell, Beverly/Ogawa, Geordie/Taurik, Worf/Sito). Lavell being terrified of Riker, but trying to kiss up to him, and Riker eventually realizing that he was being too hard on Lavell, possibly because he saw some of his own young self in him. Worf personally vouching for Sito and trying to give her more confidence and an opportunity to succeed, only to see her killed and feel like it was partly his fault (note how he protectively stands next to her when she is sitting in the observation lounge meeting the Cardassian). Geordie getting over his pride and annoyance with a show-off newbie and Taurik learning a little about how to interact with humans without coming across as a jerk. Letting the senior officers interact with new characters in the crew who are somewhat more developed than the usual "redshirt" extras lets us see old, familiar characters in a new light. Also, the ending of the episode is sad but perfect. The crew has to presume that Sito is dead based on some pretty strong circumstantial evidence, but in the end nobody really knows for sure what happened - and we the viewer don't even get to see it from our usual third person omniscient point of view. We get to see no more that the crew does, and even the senior officers don't know (indeed, there are no shots outside of the ship in the whole episode). Very true to life. My only complaint is that with the exception of Ogawa (IMO the least interesting of the four), we don't get to see any of these interesting characters ever again. I would have even liked to see a whole episode about Ben, and how he ended up tending bar on a starship. But this was the last TNG season, so I guess time had kind of run out. Even so, this is a really great story about the people on the ship and how they act and react to each other, and for that reason I give it a "10" and my vote as the best episode of TNG.
  • From dronkit on 2014-03-14 at 6:58am:
    Another favorite episode for me, when I saw it the first time years ago I loved it, seeing new characters developed, a civilian and lower rank officers, and I loved the new reformed Zito and her destiny was so sad.

    Anyway I came to say: Troi playing poker?!? She should be banned!

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Star Trek TNG - 7x11 - Parallels

Originally Aired: 1993-11-29

Synopsis:
Worf finds reality changing, but no one else notices. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.53

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 1 4 0 4 4 4 5 11 34 51 79

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is presumably the beginning of Worf's short lived relationship with Troi.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf's surprise party.
- The crew singing "He's a jolly good fellow" to Worf in Klingon.
- Troi: "It wasn't easy to translate. There doesn't seem to be a Klingon word for jolly!"
- I love the first few scenes of small things changing.
- Worf proposing Troi become Worf's stepsister so that she could become Alexander's godmother. I love Worf's reaction when Troi tells him that would make her mother his stepmother. Worf, very seriously: "I had not considered that! It is a risk I am willing to take."
- Worf appearing on an alternate Enterprise.
- Troi married to Worf!
- Worf asking Data for details regarding "when, where, and how" Worf and Troi coupled.
- Worf becoming first officer and Riker becoming captain. I like the mention of Picard being killed by the Borg.
- Wesley appearance!
- The mention of the Bajorans overpowering the Cardassian Empire and becoming a hostile power in the galaxy.
- Thousands, maybe millions of Enterprises!
- Wesley: "Captain, we are receiving 285,000 hails!"
- One of the Rikers: "We won't go back. You don't know what it's like in our universe. The Federation's gone, the Borg are everywhere! We're one of the last ships left. Please, you've got to help us."
- Riker destroying his counterpart.
- Troi: "I know Klingons like to be alone on their birthdays. You probably want to meditate, you hit yourself with a pain stick or something."

My Review
This one's a classic. Worf was perfect for the role because he remained defiant of the changes in the timelines longer than anyone else would have. Another good detail in the episode is the incredible amount of continuities with other episodes. Too many to even list. All of them excellent and entertaining. This one is a gem among the 7th season and among all of TNG itself.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-06-21 at 1:56am:
    It is always fun to watch this episode. The problem with Worf switching realities becomes worse and worse. You start to feel bad for him. The only drawback is that the solution was too easy. Get in your shuttle, emit this kind of field, and off you go. However, that part is long after all the cool things happen. I'll never forget the Enterprises filling space, or the Enterprise from Borg infested space, who's Captain Riker refuses to go back. This episode it a balls to the ground classic. I'm giving it a 9.
  • From Wolfgang on 2006-06-29 at 8:48pm:
    The disappointing ending turns a nearly-perfect one into a superb one. I guess that a 2-part episode may have presented the room for a more dramatic final, although it could have been difficult not to frustrate the viewers, and to maintain the tension.
  • From Jason on 2008-02-07 at 10:41am:
    Did you notice how in one of the timelines Data had blue eyes? Spooky!
  • From Paul on 2010-08-17 at 10:13pm:
    Really enjoyed this episode, the scene with hundreds of thousands of enterprises! I also enjoyed the subtle changes that were unlaboured, like data's eyes and the picture on his wall constantly changing
  • From Bronn on 2013-06-04 at 5:51am:
    Agree with others that the ending was disappointing and rushed. There were some serious changes in some of the timelines, and especially with the last one, which could have been explored more. Science Fiction fans always love to ask "What if?" This episode could have been a two parter.

    The first part could have ended with the revelation that Worf's shifting, and his inability to perform his duty had killed Geordi. That was a moment that was not very well explored in this episode. Deanna rather casually shows up in his quarters, lightheartedly mentioning that she'd heard he'd had some trouble on the bridge. It would have had real dramatic weight if she'd had this attitude of concern and nervousness in knowing that he'd screwed up badly enough that one of their dear friends and comrades had been seriously injured. The second of the two parts would have only had one timeshift, but it would have deal with Worf accepting some of the realities of his current universe in his attempt to get back. It's a different, and grimmer one, without Captain Picard or LaForge, and they'd end up losing Worf also (most likely, since we never see what happens in that timeframe after the shift back). The grim reality of a Deanna Troi forced to give up her husband and an Enterprise losing its first officer would have made for great drama. A second part of this episode would have been a greater contribution to Trek history than some of the later episodes in season 7, like Genesis and Sub Rosa.
  • From TheAnt on 2013-11-04 at 3:33pm:
    A shuttle full of Worf's.

    There's a bit too many episodes with time loops and alternative timelines in Star Trek.

    But if we would have to remove one such, this is not one of those that would have to go. Since even though it is weird, and of course completely impossible, the idea presented here is indeed found in actual scientific discussions. That for every action with a choice - two timelines would be created.
    Even the conservation of energy in creating the new split off universes would not be violated, in case the universe is a hologram - which is part of a hypothesis that have been introduced after this episode of TNG were made.
    (Not that I even for a split second think the universe works that way, but consider it to be one interesting model only.)

    The telling of the story is also better than for a few other alternative episodes in Start Trek. So with good science and one enjoyable story I give this episode a solid 8.

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Star Trek TNG - 5x18 - Cause and Effect

Originally Aired: 1992-3-23

Synopsis:
The Enterprise is trapped in a time warp. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 8.51

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 6 0 2 3 2 4 7 5 23 81 67

Problems
None

Factoids
- Kelsey Grammer plays Captain Morgan Bateson in this episode. Grammer is well known as Dr. Frasier Crane on the TV shows Frasier and Cheers. He also plays the voice of Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons.

Remarkable Scenes
- The opening scene. Wow! :)
- Data's fast shuffling.
- Riker and Worf's suspicions that Data is stacking the deck.
- Worf getting emotional at the Poker game.
- Watching the collision and the Enterprise explode never got old.
- Beverly, Worf, and Riker predicting the hand Data will deal.
- Beverly knocking over her wine glass over and over again serving as a bad omen.
- Data replaying recordings of the disaster.
- Data stacking the deck with threes.
- Data realizing Riker's suggestion is correct.

My Review
Dr. Frasier Crane is to blame when weird stuff starts happening to the Enterprise... This episode is a TNG classic and truly memorable. Some people object to its repetitive nature, but I think it was well done. Nicely repetitive but not overly so. The only improvement I can think of is to perhaps cut one of the repetition scenes so that some time could be spent exploring Captain Morgan Bateson and his crew's culture shock as they come back to their lives in the Federation. Saving that, an exceptional episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-04-23 at 3:38am:
    problem: How the HELL can casualty reports be coming in from all over the ship a mere 2 seconds after impact?? A little ridiculous.

    Some of the stuff in this episode is just chilling. Like hearing Picard order all hands to abandon ship, while he's sitting there at the table

    I love how they refuse to reveal the actual year at the end. Picard just craftily tells him to beam aboard, but doesn't say "well its actually ____ A.D." I thought I could finally know, but I guess we're just damned to deal with their stardates.

    Wonderfully directed, Jonathan, wonderfully directed
  • From DSOmo on 2007-09-30 at 7:15am:
    - At the end of the show, Worf checks with the nearest starbase and discovers that the Enterprise has been stuck in the loop for more than seventeen days. If that is true, the crew hasn't been repeating the same fragment of time. If they were repeating the same fragment of time, the ship's chronometer would line up with the starbase's chronometer, since the entire universe would get reset at the beginning of each loop. Instead, the crew of the Enterprise must have been repeating the same actions, and somehow everything on the ship - including the crew's memories and the ship's chronometer - got reset at the beginning of each loop.
    - The episode never adequately explains where the other ship came from. The show implies that the USS Bozeman has been caught in a loop for eighty years. If so, how did the Bozeman get started with its loop? According to Geordi, the Enterprise began its loop when the ship exploded. The captain of the Bozeman made no mention of any explosion before seeing the Enterprise. He simply said the time-space distortion appeared and was followed by the Enterprise. The Bozeman could have jumped forward in time eighty years when it entered the time-space distortion. It could have exited the distortion and collided with the Enterprise. That would explain the lack of explosion for the Bozeman. If that is true, Picard should be treating the Bozeman the same way he treated the Enterprise-C in "Yesterday's Enterprise." Just after the Enterprise-C came through the temporal rift, Picard realized that disclosing information to the crew of the Enterprise-C could fundamentally alter history if the Enterprise-C ever returned to its own time. In this episode, Picard's behavior is quite the opposite. He immediately invites the captain aboard for a conference.
  • From djb on 2008-04-16 at 10:05am:
    I love this episode, and always have, and the one thing I think that's lacking was already brought up: what the deal is with the other ship and why it's 80 years off, where the enterprise is only 17 days off.

  • From online broker on 2009-10-04 at 9:17pm:
    I love this episode, its my favourite of TNG, and has been since I was 12 and saw it on TV. I always thought it is called "Deja Vu"!
  • From musterpuffer on 2010-03-04 at 9:11pm:
    One of my favourite episodes ever, I love the repetitions which are slightly different from time to time. Jonathan Frakes is such a talented guy!

    I think Data should have found the way out of the loop though: At one critical point they discuss whether to change course or not. Picard speculates that altering course might have caused the problem in the first place. But, the single reason the discussion arises is because they have become aware of the loop by now - hearing the echos etc. The very first time around there was no loop and no echos or other pointers so therefore there would have been no reason to change course. From which they might have concluded that there was no course change in the original timeline. But then the episode would have been a lot shorter so it's not meant as a criticism! Great stuff.
  • From Jason on 2011-01-06 at 4:06am:
    My question: how can the crew program the number 3 (recognizing Riker to be correct in his strategy for avoiding the collision) when they have no tangible memory of these (for them) still future events? The crew has no idea what is coming through the rift and yet they retain memory of who had the correct strategy of how to avoid it? Seems far-fetched and certainly not adequately explained

    Otherwise an excellent episode and a season (and series) highlight
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-07 at 6:27pm:
    When I think of my favorite TNG episodes, this always comes to mind first. Really skillfully done.

    In answer to Jason's question: Seconds before the Enterprise is destroyed the last time, Data realizes his strategy was wrong, looks at Riker's 3 rank buttons, and sends the message to the next iteration. This is clearly shown, but easy to miss since it happens so fast and with no verbal explanation.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-12 at 1:27pm:
    I don't like this episode, not just because it indeed is very repetitive, but because of a couple of other reasons too:
    1. Timeloops dont make any sense and the technobabble explaining them is complete bullshit, period.
    2. Moreover there is no believable explanation for why they have memories of past runs through that loop. Dekyonparticles interfering with their brains or what? Where did I hear that before? ... Ah, that's it! I bet Geordi is wrong and the midi-clorians told them what happened last time! That's where the whispering came from too! Midi-clorians, Dekyon-Particles, both just pathetic excuses for magic mumbo jumbo, nothing more. Star Wars was about magic, at least before George Lucas screwed it, so at least they have an excuse.
    Doesnt make sense at all. If I want to watch magic mumbo jumbo then Star Wars does a better job.
    3. Why do they remember some unimportant things like the cards they got dealt but not important ones like using the tractor beam doesn't work? Very easy answer, plot convenience, that's why.
    4. The story they repeat over and over again ... *headdesk* ... it's just boring as hell!
    You might argue: "But the Enterprise explodes!"
    Sorry, still boring, taking into account the poor special effects of that explosion and the annoyingly stupid explosion sound they play every f***ing time when a ship blows up in Star Trek.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-12 at 1:57pm:
    @ Jason:
    Since CAlexander didnt really understand your question, here's the explanation:

    They altered the dekyon grid last time they went throught the loop and that alteration manipulated Data (his Brain seems to be sensitive to these dekyon field emissions) into unknowingly placing that 3 everywhere he went this time.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-12 at 4:20pm:
    Sry, it's me who didnt understand Jasons question. ^^
    He asked for the message, I explained the delivery method. CAlexander is right of course.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-04-19 at 11:39am:
    I only rated this a 6 as I found the episode beginning to get repetitive and a bit boring as a result. Certainly there were minor differences each time which managed to hold my interest a bit but I told my wife, one more repetition and I'm giving up on it. Now at the same time I did find the idea somewhat interesting although flawed a bit but then while being fairly good technically ST still deals with some of these things as magic rather than technology. The crew interaction was good and that also kept me from turning it off. Still, one more time through this loop would have been it for me.
  • From Rache on 2012-05-03 at 8:29pm:
    My favorite TNG episode too!
  • From Keith on 2013-08-21 at 8:46pm:
    Love the episode, but absolutely hate the poker. Once a pair of queens is showing everyone should have folded, looking at the cards there is no conceivable way that Worf or Data should have stayed in for as long as they did, that is lousy poker, and while Riker may have wanted to bluff Crusher should have bet whatever the limit is before the last card giving him a possible straight. Finally, poker in general in STNG is silly. Poker only works if there are stakes or consequnces to betting, i.e. losing money, if played for points nobody folds and it is just a silly game of luck.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x16 - Q Who

Originally Aired: 1989-5-8

Synopsis:
Q hurls the Enterprise across the galaxy. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.4

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 1 1 15 2 1 2 2 5 14 42 79

Problems
- Not so much a problem but a nitpick. Geordi makes fun of his new officer for saying "please" to the computer when that is precisely what Data was doing in the last episode! I guess when Data does it, it's okay?

Factoids
- Ensign Sonia Gomez will appear on the show only one more time (the next episode). Seems her confrontation with the captain resulted in a dismal career!
- The Borg were originally supposed to be an insectoid species but such special effects could not be worked into the budget.
- The Borg ship was originally supposed to be a sphere, but the cube form was selected so the show wouldn't be accused of plagiarizing Star Wars' Death Star.
- This episode establishes that Federation shuttlecrafts of this time period do not have warp drive.
- This episode establishes that Guinan is at least 200 years old and is "not what she appears to be." She and Q also have had some sort of previous business.

Remarkable Scenes
- Guinan interacting with Q.
- The sight of the massive cubic shaped alien vessel.
- Guinan: "When they decide to come, they're gonna come in force."
- The Enterprise battling the Borg.
- Picard begging Q to end the encounter.

My Review
Meet: The Borg. Q demonstrates interesting character in this episode by introducing the Federation to the Borg "far sooner than expected." As Picard said, Q may very well have done the the Federation a favor. The eerie music played throughout the episode is entirely appropriate, complimented nicely by Guinan's fear and feelings of absolute hopelessness due to her people's history with the Borg. Indeed, this episode sheds a great deal of light on her character and her history. The idea that an entire society can be unified under a collective mind is fascinating at first, but then you have to wonder what happens to the individual. This episode doesn't quite dive into this, but it's not hard to imagine. The Borg are a well presented mystery in this episode and unlike TNG: Conspiracy, I look forward to this alien's return.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-02-18 at 7:21pm:
    This is perhaps the first truly important episode of the series in terms of long-term developments, and it's a fittingly good one.

    Some of Picard's best moments are when he's antagonized by Q. You can really see his frustration that he's being toyed with by a petulant child who happens to be endowed with omnipotent powers. It offends his sensibilities that he's subjected to this, and it shows in his demeanor with Q. Even his plea at the end, when he admits that the Federation is outmatched by the Borg, is spiked with contempt for Q.

    My only quibble with this episode is the interaction between Q and Guinan. I like that they know each other, but the way they raise their hands at each other like some kind of fantasy wizards seems out of character and rather silly. Still, this doesn't tarnish an otherwise excellent episode.
  • From JR on 2008-10-26 at 5:46pm:
    "This episode establishes that Federation shuttlecrafts of this time period do not have warp drive."

    Thad had been established in Time Squared.
  • From paidmailer on 2009-09-23 at 2:56pm:
    Great episode, but isn't there one GIGANTIC plothole? If the planets destroyed look like the destroyed outposts in the neutral zone, then the borg were already there, so Q did not lead the borg to the federation, did he?
  • From Inga on 2012-01-03 at 7:01pm:
    "Q may very well have done the the Federation a favor" how is that a favor?

    Also, agree with paidmailer.
  • From Kethinov on 2012-01-03 at 8:15pm:
    Paidmailer, no, it's not a plot hole. Q was trying to warn them that the Borg were a yet-unnoticed threat that they should begin taking seriously.

    Inga, that's the favor that Q did for the Federation. He alerted them to the threat of the Borg that they had previously been oblivious to, but existed and was coming for them nevertheless.
  • From Ggen on 2012-02-27 at 2:06am:
    This episode is superbly done and full of great moments, "both subtle and gross," to quote Q.

    It presents good continuity with events from last season, when both Romulan and Federation outposts were mysteriously "scooped up" by an unknown force. But most of all it brilliantly and seamlessly weaves together a number of great elements: the greenhorn Sonya subplot (itself useful in creating the social atmosphere on the ship, reminding us that there's a full complement of different characters, not just those we're most familiar with), Guinan's character development and history (with more background on the El-Aurians), the very first Borg encounter (and an exciting and dramatic one too), and a masterfully executed "Q returns" main plot.

    All of this is done well and nicely tied together. Sonya is convincingly overexcited and shaky under pressure, the Borg are perfectly cold, creepy, and confidently indifferent, Guinan is mysteriously wise, and Q is... well, Q ("next of kin to Chaos," according to Picard, and arguably at his best, with plenty of great lines of his own).

    This is exactly what a Q episode should be, and should've been all along. Less posturing and historical references, less "weird animal things" in costume dress, less inconsequential illusions and more serious threats, more real developments and dangers, including casualties.

    (I love how Q refers to the loss of several sections across a number of decks, along with 18
    crewmen, as "a nosebleed.")

    Finally, I love how Q is the archetypal "trickster" figure. Neither obviously good and beneficial, nor explicitly malevelent - and how his actions often have seemingly unintended positive consequence (in this case, giving the Federation a "kick in its complacency," to quote Picard).

    (From Wikipedia:

    "In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a god, goddess, spirit,
    man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and
    conventional behavior.

    The trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously (for example,
    Loki) but usually, albeit unintentionally, with ultimately positive effects. Often, the
    bending/breaking of rules takes the form of tricks (e.g. Eris) or thievery. Tricksters can be
    cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when considered sacred or performing
    important cultural tasks. An example of this is the sacred Iktomi, whose role is to play tricks and games and by doing so raises awareness and acts as an equalizer."

    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trickster)
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-10-21 at 12:51am:
    "Con permiso, capitàn. The hall is rented, the orchestra engaged. It's now time to see if you can dance."

    Wow, what an episode! I can watch this over and over again, and not get tired of it. The only thing that I thought was stupid was when they went over to the Borg ship, and Data said something like "we were scanning for individual life forms" when Riker asked why their sensors didn't detect any life signs when there were that many Borg.

    That's one of the stupidest "technical" explanations of the entire series.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x04 - Relics

Originally Aired: 1992-10-12

Synopsis:
Scotty returns after being in stasis for 75 years. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.1

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 7 1 2 2 3 5 8 16 28 66 48

Problems
- The Enterprise beamed Geordi and Scotty through the old ship's shields. Maybe they were weak enough or something.

Factoids
- The Dyson Sphere concept is based off of a non Trek related SciFi idea, named after its creator, Dyson.
- According to this episode there have been "5 Federation ships" by the name Enterprise.

Remarkable Scenes
- The sight of the Dyson Sphere.
- The sight of a TOS transporter rematerializing Scotty.
- Scotty not aware of how much time had passed.
- Geordi, regarding rigging the transporter to survive: "That's brilliant!" Scotty: "I think it was only 50% brilliant. Franklin deserved better."
- Beverly, on Scotty's health: "I'd say you feel fine for a man of 147."
- Scotty fumbling over the new technology.
- Scotty: "I was driving starships when your great grandfather was in diapers!"
- Data explaining synthehol to Scotty.
- Scotty: "Synthetic scotch. Synthetic commanders."
- Scotty: "What is it?" Data: "It is... it is... it is green." A reference to Scotty's famous line in TOS: By Any Other Name.
- Scotty: "NCC 1701, no bloody A, B, C, or D."
- The original Enterprise on the holodeck.
- Picard: "Aldebaran whisky. Who do you think gave it Guinan?"
- Picard and Scotty discussing the ships they miss.
- Scotty, with regards to the holodeck: "Computer, shut this bloody thing off."
- Geordi trying to cheer up Scotty.
- The old ship holding the Dyson sphere open with its shields.
- Geordi discussing his adventure with Dr. Brahms with Scotty.

My Review
The simplistic plot is perfect because it allows us to spend more time on Scotty and less time on SciFi concept of the week. The greatest thing about it though was the SciFi concept of the week was a wonderful idea. So the whole plot just wove together into to an impressions show. Everything in this episode was geared toward impressing the viewer. Especially if the viewer was a longtime Star Trek fan. Yes, this episode is completely fanboyish. Oldschool TOS character returns and an obscure but well documented SciFi concept given a cameo as well. This whole episode seems to be a cameo. But it couldn't have been done better and I enjoyed it greatly.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-10-10 at 8:49am:
    - When the Enterprise first discovers the Dyson's sphere, Data states it is 200 million kilometers in diameter. Riker responds, "That's nearly as large as the Earth's orbit around the Sun." The Earth's orbit around the Sun is approximately 297 million kilometers. I leave it for you to decide if a difference of 97 million kilometers qualifies as "nearly."
    - When Scotty rematerializes, his arm is in a sling. Later, Crusher states that he has a hairline fracture of the humerus - the long bone of the upper arm. Surprisingly, Scotty seems to feel no pain as Geordi bumps the arm several times and gives it a good whack right where the injury is!
    - When Data discovers Scotty doesn't care for the taste of synthahol, he tells Scotty that Guinan keeps a store of true alcoholic beverages and proceeds around the bar to fetch some. Can anyone just help themselves to Guinan's provisions?
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-07 at 1:30am:
    I agree with everything here. One nice touch to this episode is Scotty's relationship with Worf. He refuses to shake Worf's hand at the end of the episode. I like this because it's true to his character and it's not a pollyanna feelgood ending, as some things never change.
  • From KStrock on 2009-01-23 at 1:43pm:
    In reference to DSOmo and the alcohol.

    In Season 2's episode "Up the Long Ladder", Worf states that true alcohol can be replicated. Although then we would't be able to reference the "It is...green" scene.
  • From Ali on 2009-03-22 at 6:04pm:
    When Scotty is first brought back, and Riker tells him he is from the Enterprise, Scotty assumes Kirk is commanding it, and Riker has to explain the time passage, etc.

    But Kirk is dead at this point (or believed to be by the world). According to the Generations movie, he was picked up by the Nexxus, and Scotty is one of the first ones to find out he is gone.

    So, did Scotty forget this? At first, I thought maybe Scotty had been placed in this beam before the Kirk incident, but then Scotty never returns to the earlier time from whence he came, so Kirk's death must have happened beforehand.

    Someone tell me if I am missing something here!
  • From Someone Else on 2009-05-04 at 1:11am:
    Ali:

    No, you're right, and this is the main problem with this episode - however, bear in mind that this episode was filmed a considerable time before Generations. And, who knows? Maybe being stuck in the transporter buffer for half an aeon can lead to temporary amnesia or something.
  • From Daniel Blessing on 2009-09-16 at 9:30pm:
    Beamings happen all of the time between Federation ships while shields are active. I am surprised you have not mentioned that as a problem in more of your episodes.
    My only reasonable explanation for these occurrences is that the Federation ships are all provided with either a universal transponder code, or they are provided with every commissioned ships transponder codes, including old, lost, and out dated ships. This could explain how they were able to beam the two of them out while the shields were up. They also are able in certain episodes to beam people aboard while their OWN shields are active... This could be a bit harder to explain, unless again, my theory is applied? They are able to beam thru the shields if they are aware of how to "penetrate" them.
  • From direktbroker on 2009-10-06 at 12:13pm:
    Nice thought,but no good Daniel, just think of all the times they could not bring back their own teams because their own shields are up due to some terribly artificial threat in orbit.
  • From rpeh on 2010-07-19 at 11:21am:
    I may be an old softy, but the bit on the holodeck where Scotty raises a glass to his all crew and toasts them with "Here's to ye, lads" always brings a tear to my eye.

    Of course, Bones was still alive in the very first episode and Spock's still around too, so it's not totally impossible that he could catch up with two of his best friends from the old Enterprise.
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2010-08-18 at 4:22am:
    The Dyson Sphere, although a popular device in sci-fi, is not a "sci-fi concept"; it's a hypothetical structure proposed by the very real and very brilliant theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson.

    Good review, though and a fantastic site overall. Count me as your newest fan!
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-13 at 1:05pm:
    Dyson himself refered to that idea of him as a joke btw.

    I nevertheless wished they would have concentrated more on it and even the slightest bit on its creators and less on Scotty. I really like him but using such a wonderful idea as the Dyson Sphere only for the usual Star Trek problem of the week is a waste. So for me it's just an okay episode, way above the crap u would expect from a TNG episode though.
  • From John on 2011-08-30 at 3:53am:
    Once again, DSOmo proves that he does not understand the concept of narrative writing. He also proves his desire to tear down things other people in enjoy with petty nitpicking.

    Riker's statement that the diameter of the Dyson sphere is "nearly the orbit of the earth around the sun" is meant to to fire the imagination of the viewer by planting the idea that the sphere may be habitable. We find out later that it is (or was). Perhaps it's not close enough to the mean orbital diameter of Earth to qualify as "nearly", but who cares?
  • From Will on 2011-10-30 at 1:41am:
    Earths orbital radius may not be the same in 300 years for all we know.
  • From Inga on 2012-01-12 at 12:51pm:
    I really wish they would explore the Dyson Sphere more, though.

    Also, maybe I just missed something here, but how did the Enterprise get free from the pull at the end of the episode?

    1. The helmsman said they've lost main power and the auxiliary power is down

    2. Then she stated that they were still being carried by the initial motion of the tractor beam and that the impulse engines were offline. She also said "I can't stop our momentum."

    3. They couldn't use the maneuvering thrusters, until they diverted the remaining auxiliary power to them.

    4. Then, they achieved orbit, yet it seems they couldn't escape it (?). I mean, why else would they wait until their shields went down and the solar flares would burn them up? Couldn't Picard order Data to scan for another exit from a safer location?

    5. So when Geordi contacted the Enterprise, how did they manage to escape?

    I feel like I just missed or misunderstood something, though :/



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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 - 8.09

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 2 2 1 0 1 4 2 20 15 40 23

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 7:02am:
    - 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 2008-07-02 at 1:00am:
    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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Star Trek TNG - 6x18 - Starship Mine

Originally Aired: 1993-3-29

Synopsis:
Picard is trapped on the ship with interstellar thieves. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 8.06

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 1 1 0 1 1 6 9 7 65 31 22

Problems
None

Factoids
- Tim Russ, who plays Devor in this episode, goes on to play Tuvok on Voyager.

Remarkable Scenes
- I like the teaser of this episode, where Picard is micromanaging so many different things.
- Data attempting smalltalk.
- Picard granting Worf to be excused from the reception, but not Geordi. Picard: "Worf beat you to it."
- Data mimicking Hutchinson.
- Picard walking into a wall while he's attempting to leave Hutchinson's reception.
- Picard Vulcan neck pinching Devor.
- Riker unleashing Data on Hutchinson.
- Riker: "I have to admit, it has a certain strange fascination. How long can two people talk about nothing?"
- Picard pretending to be the barber who never shuts up.
- Picard killing the invaders of his ship en masse.

My Review
I like this episode quite a bit. The humor regarding Hutchinson and Data is slapstick but still tactful. The terrorist threat aboard the ship during the Baryon sweep is original, interesting, and thrilling. Most interesting though was Picard the killer! Picard murdered at least half a dozen people in this episode in defense of his ship; setting them all up to die one by one! This of course is the best part of the episode. Picard's tactics and trickery were superb and fun to watch. The episode maintained a consistent level of excitement all throughout and a fun level of humor at the beginning. The technobabble was borderline annoying, but served mostly as a successfully exploited plot device, so I don't dislike it too much. A great episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From djb on 2008-07-20 at 8:36am:
    I've seen this episode many times, but I just got what might be a little joke at the end. This bit of dialogue between Picard and Worf:

    "I only wish I'd had the opportunity to use it on a horse."

    "Of course."

    Reminds me of Mr. Ed....
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-22 at 10:17pm:
    Not so much a problem as a WTF moment: Data mentions that ther are several Terralians living on the Enterprise, and that Terralia is one of only a few inhabited planets without any atmosphere whatsoever. How in the world can someone from a planet with no atmosphere exist in the first place--perhaps an underwater civilization? In any case, it's hard to believe they could function on a ship.

    This episode is pretty incosequential in the long run, but it's a perfect 10 from an entertainment stand point. As mentioned in the review, Picard the killer is cool in James Bond mode here, and there is some serious McGuyver action with Geordi's visor being turned into a weapon. Come to think of it, Spock was doing that sort of thing long before McGuyver anyway.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-23 at 1:56pm:
    An afterthought:

    With the obvious exeption of the Borg conflict episode and the occasional random death-of-an-entire-civilization plot, this episode has to have one of the highest body counts ever recorded in a Trek episode. Picard kills pretty much all of the thieves and even indirectly blows up their shuttle. Plus, "Hutch" is gunned down and presumably dies as well.

    The slapstick stuff with Data and Commander Hutchinson is funny and well done. I also love the way Troi rolls her eyes when Picard excuses himself from the reception.
  • From Mark McC on 2009-02-08 at 1:58pm:
    Some on the production team was obviously a fan of the Bruce Willis move, Die Hard, and decided to make Die Hard in Space! There's a whole raft of similarities, the staff/crew are both held hostage at a social function while our lone hero runs around the building/ship causing mischief. In both, what we assume to be terrorists actually turn out to be mercenaries doing it purely for profit.

    Even the scene where Picard pretends to be Mott the barber is a reversal of the movie scene where Alan Rickman, the leader of the bad guys, fools Bruce Willis by pretending to be a clueless hostage escaped from his captors.

    I enjoy Trek for the range and depth of social and moral questions it explores, but sometimes an all-out entertainment episode like this is a breath of fresh air.

    Data and Hutchinson's slapstick is the icing on the cake, the comic timing and quick repartee between the two is fantastically done. 9/10
  • From Markus on 2009-11-09 at 8:33am:
    Didn't they forget to save Picard's fishes from the sweep?
  • From Inga on 2012-03-20 at 5:01pm:
    Is it me, or did Picard use a Vulcan nerve pinch on Devor?
  • From Bronn on 2012-12-25 at 8:22am:
    Picard executing the Vulcan nerve pinch is actually a subtle, but nice, continuity nod. Remember that he's been in a mind meld with both Sarek and Spock, by this point. He should possess quite a bit of Vulcan knowledge.
  • From dronkit on 2014-03-09 at 3:19am:
    A barber without hair? lol

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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 - 8.04

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 23 3 1 3 3 0 5 20 52 103

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 7:35am:
    - 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 5:35pm:
    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 2:46pm:
    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 4:52pm:
    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 - 7.99

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 14 4 3 0 5 1 10 12 17 35 88

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 11:19am:
    - 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 2:12pm:
    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 3:09pm:
    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 2011-04-03 at 3:12am:
    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 3:06pm:
    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.

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Star Trek TNG - 7x16 - Thine Own Self

Originally Aired: 1994-2-14

Synopsis:
A stranded Data loses his memory. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 7.77

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 2 0 2 1 2 2 14 15 30 22 21

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Nice to see Beverly in command.
- Data having lost his memory.
- Troi's "Riker bashing."
- Troi discussing her desire to gain rank.
- Data's physical. Data is an "ice man."
- Data lifting the anvil.
- Troi's holodeck simulation, getting herself killed.
- Data contradicting the school teacher about fire and water being elements.
- Troi arguing with Riker about being cut out from the tests.
- Troi ordering Geordi to his death in the simulation.
- Data proving the concept of radiation.
- Data losing his skin.
- Data impaled.

My Review
This is a very intelligently written episode giving us one plot where Data has to prove the concept of radiation to a primitive culture and another where Troi has to face ordering someone to their death to pass a promotional test. Both plot threads are interesting, and given a nice share of time. Troi's testing reminds me quite a bit of the one which Kirk faced and cheated on as mentioned in Star Trek II. And while sending Data into backward cultures is starting to become a cliche, it was handled well in this episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-06-20 at 1:50am:
    This a cleverly written episode. The pro-science arguements are woven into the plot seamlessly. Each scene is intriging and fun to watch. The things that happen are unusual, such as Data getting inpaled, Troi taking a test on the holodeck, people handling radioactive metal. What a great episode! My only complaint is that the protagonist blacksmith was a one dimensional character. If it wasn't for that I'd give it a 10, instead I'll give it a 9. I am surprised that people don't talk about this episode more.
  • From Wing Fat on 2007-10-12 at 3:01am:
    You list no problems with this episode, but I think the fact that Data can (after a brief recovery period) speak high-level English but doesn't know what the word "radioactive" means could be considered a problem. Regardless, I loved this episode and consider it one of the best from Season 7.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-10-30 at 2:42pm:
    This is a personal favorite. I absolutely love the scientist/teacher lady, especially her insistence on empirical knowledge, even if her "empirical" knowledge is dubious.

    As for Wing Fat's comment above, I don't think this is much of an issue. I see it as a universal translator thing. I think it's meant that Data is conversing with the natives in their own language, partially via the UT and partially via his own innate ability to learn and decipher languages. The fact the the magistrate calls the English language something like "these symbols" seems to indicate this. Then again, you have to sort of suspend disbelief with UT issues anyway, and this episode is far from the worst offender in that category.
  • From djb on 2009-01-30 at 8:59pm:
    Neat episode!

    As Kethonov pointed out, it's good to see Crusher in command; I'd say it's good to see more women in command in general (this reminds me of what a shame it was to lose Yar in season 1).

    I also like seeing Troi's more "professional" side; the producers finally wised up in season 6 and had her start wearing a regular uniform. I think the writers have done a disservice to Troi throughout the series (up until season 6 and 7) in keeping her character and dialogue relatively confined to her "counselor" role, where in fact she is also a lieutenant commander, a rank which is no small feat to obtain.

    I like the continuity with Season 5's "Disaster," wherein she found herself in command and was definitely in over her head-- and that she wants to become a more capable officer.

    The only reservation I have about this is that this highlights one of the necessarily unrealistic things about this show-- that everyone continues to get promoted but the senior staff/crew stays the same. In real life, people would get transferred (and killed) more often.

    Now, of the seven main characters, we have one captain, two lieutenant commanders, one lieutenant, and three commanders! Also interesting how both Crusher and Troi outrank Data, who is technically third in command. How does that work?

    As for the other plot, it's great to see Data be Data even without knowing who or what he is-- all by himself he discovers radiation and a cure for radiation poisoning, which no other character could have done. This whole section was very well written!

    As for the antagonist blacksmith... some people just are one-dimensional. The guy was a jerk!
  • From Drake on 2010-11-29 at 7:11pm:
    This was the very first episode i ever saw

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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 - 7.72

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 1 4 3 5 19 5 6 13 13 43 53

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 4:22am:
    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 9:06am:
    - 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 3:50pm:
    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 2011-06-27 at 3:16am:
    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 3:56pm:
    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 2013-11-22 at 4:25am:
    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.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x17 - Sins of the Father

Originally Aired: 1990-3-19

Synopsis:
Worf defends his late father. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.69

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 1 1 1 2 22 2 4 10 24 46 27

Problems
None

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

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

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

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-25 at 8:10am:
    - Someone needs to replace the light bulbs in the transporter room. When Kurn beams aboard the Enterprise, the transporter platform is very dark. Maybe he called ahead to tell the transporter chief he wanted to make a dramatic entrance ;)
    - Picard replicates a variety of foods for Kurn to sample. One of them is roast turkey. Why would the replicators aboard the Enterprise replicate bones? Doesn't this seem like a waste of enegy? Picard must be a real stickler for authenticity ;)
  • From thaibites on 2011-02-05 at 5:05am:
    To say that this episode is a soap opera brings dishonor to this episode. A soap opera is where some slut is having an affair with her boss, while her Mom is banging some guy upstairs, and then the boss wants to bang the Mom, but the Mom is now depressed because blah, blah, blah...

    This episode is intense and obviously had a lot of energy put into it. I love how the Klingon homeworld is shown as a dark, sterile, foreboding place. The lighting is great! For me, this is the best episode of TNG so far, chronologically speaking. It's flawless.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-22 at 2:12pm:
    This becomes a really superb episode once the main plot starts. No wonder Klingons became popular, they had some strong episodes in TNG. It also adds a lot of dimension to both Worf and the Klingons to see that not all Klingons are as rigidly obsessed with honor as Worf – that he has essentially overcompensated for his Federation upbringing by trying to become the perfect Klingon.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-28 at 2:48am:
    Tony Todd who played Kurn, Worf's younger brother, also appeared in several other Star Trek episodes, two TNG episodes where he reprises the role of Kurn (as he does in one DS9 episode) plus one other DS9 episode (The Visitor) where he played the older Jake Sisco. This DS9 episode is arguably the best Star Trek episode ever. Certainly, Todd's performance was a major factor in that. Todd also plus the Alpha Hirgen on Voyager.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-28 at 4:47pm:
    Tony Todd who played Kurn, Worf's younger brother, also appeared in several other Star Trek episodes, two TNG episodes where he reprises the role of Kurn (as he does in one DS9 episode) plus one other DS9 episode (The Visitor) where he played the older Jake Sisco. This DS9 episode is arguably the best Star Trek episode ever. Certainly, Todd's performance was a major factor in that. Todd also plus the Alpha Hirgen on Voyager.
  • From John on 2011-11-23 at 2:33am:
    That I really like this episode. I tend to like most Klingon episodes, but this one in particular because it's the first time we get to meet Worf's brother Kurn, played so well by Tony Todd.

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

    Other than that I think this episode is great.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-22 at 4:21am:
    Another excellent episode. There are almost two separate halves here, each interesting in its own way: first Kurn as exchange commander, and then Warf's legal drama on the Klingon homeworld.

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

    I'd imagine this is how many of our earlier courts operated, complete with stabbings in the halls. Unfortunately, I also strongly suspect that our modern courts aren't a heck of a lot better, not when there's a "powerful family" involved, and there's a perceived threat to "national security." There are backroom deals, plea bargains, and all sorts of extralegal, purely political considerations. See the mock "trial" of MLK's assassin, James Earl Ray, for a very prominent example.

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Star Trek TNG - 7x24 - Preemptive Strike

Originally Aired: 1994-5-16

Synopsis:
Ro Laren infiltrates the Maquis. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 7.65

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 1 1 0 2 3 4 15 15 25 18 20

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The Maquis attacking a Cardassian ship.
- Ro taking her ship through the Enterprise's shields and beaming away medical equipment.
- Ro Laren betraying the Enterprise crew.
- Picard's reaction to learning of Ro Laren's betrayal.

My Review
This episode is finally TNG doing something valuable with its finite time left after two bad episodes in a row. Some nice points are the continuity with DS9: The Maquis, and the return of Ro Laren, a character who almost became a missed opportunity for a good episode. If only TNG could have wrapped up more of its loose ends. The graphics were certainly above TNG's average, and the story of Ro Laren's betrayal was enticing. Though I like what happened to Ro, I really wish we could have seen her again. It would have been more interesting if her contract was inclusive such that she became a member of the crew of Voyager or something. Oh well, all things considered it was a great episode considering it was the last stand alone TNG episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-06-04 at 10:34pm:
    Wow! Having Ro Laren on the cast of Voyager would have made that show WAY better. I bet it would have been much more popular, too.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-11-05 at 3:26pm:
    This has always been one of my favorite episodes because it looks at the Federation from an outside perspective. The Federation has always been presented as somewhat infallible; the politics of the show are rarely in disagreement with those of the Federation itself. This is a little different.

    I think that everyone was right here. The Federation was acting in its best interest in the treaty with Cardassia. The Maquis certainly have a valid point, and their militancy, especially for the Bajorans among them, is understandable. Ro made the right moral decision by joining them, and Picard's insistence on duty is also understandable. All this also sets the tone not only for Voyager, but for what DS 9 becomes as well. I give it an 8.
  • From Paul on 2010-08-19 at 3:14pm:
    Bajoran Hasperat = a fajita
  • From Lt. Fitz on 2012-06-19 at 9:45pm:
    It seemed to me that Picard had very deep feelings for her - sort of like a daughter to him. I felt like he was more upset that he wouldn't be able to continue in occasional relationship with her on federation terms than he would have been about her simply defecting. It was a very moving episode for me. Although I felt the Ro character was a bit overwritten, I sympathized with her a great deal.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x10 - Chain of Command, Part I

Originally Aired: 1992-12-14

Synopsis:
After being reassigned, Picard is taken hostage. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 7.6

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 1 2 0 3 14 2 2 18 24 35 19

Problems
None

Factoids
- The writers considered having this episode tie in more directly with DS9, replacing the Ferengi character we see in this episode with Quark. But some scheduling eliminated this possibility. :(

Remarkable Scenes
- The matter-of-fact matter in which the admiral dispersed her orders.
- Captain Jellico's enthusiasm.
- The command transfer ceremony.
- Jellico: "Oh... and get that fish out the ready room."
- Jellico criticising Troi's uniform.
- Jellico "being blunt" to Picard.
- The Ferengi claiming that "he's not a smuggler"; overly paranoid about an accusation not made...
- Beverly seducing the Ferengi into helping.
- Beverly and Worf picking on each other.
- Jellico's deliberate rude behavior to the Cardassians.
- The Cardassian captain giving (perhaps not so) subtle foreknowledge of Picard's mission with Worf and Beverly.

My Review
Like any cliffhanger, this episode can not be fully judged until part II. But standing on its own, there are several nice features. Certainly, the tension level of this episode is its greatest feature. Everybody is on edge. The whole episode is like an adrenaline rush. In addition, this episode sets up the premise for DS9. We're told that Bajor has finally won its freedom! A shame we don't get to hear Ro Laren's opinion on the salvation of her planet. The new uniforms of the Cardassians are also established here. Due to all this, I consider this episode the first episode of the DS9 era. Starting here, Star Trek takes a turn into a bold new direction.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-11 at 3:50am:
    That whole thing with Jellico relieving picard in front of the whole ship PISSED ME OFF. I absolutely hate all admirals in starfleet. I STILL stand not having seen a decent one up to this point, and I've seen 5.5 seasons!!!!

    Jellico is a complete bastard. Time to rant about him. "Get it done" is an asinine saying. I hate how he uses data as his personal bitch. He doesn't give a shit about people's feelings, or schedules. "I don't have time for a honeymoon with the crew". What an asshole.

    Jellico ranks as a worse bad guy for me than a Borg or a Romulan any day of the week. I actually found myself enjoying the Cardassian making a fool of Jelico and the federation. That's not supposed to happen!
  • From DSOmo on 2007-11-11 at 5:41am:
    - While rearranging the Enterprise to suit his own taste, Jelico tells Troi that he prefers a certain formality on the bridge. He then requests that she wear a standard uniforn. After seeing Troi function in a standard blue uniform, you suddenly realize the injustice the creators have done to her character. In a standard uniform, Troi becomes a serious professional woman of the same standing as Crusher. Troi's character could have been just as effective, maybe even more effective, had the creators opted for something other than the obvious. Certainly Troi's physical beauty is not diminished by wearing a standard uniform.
    - As the commandos navigate through a maze of caves on Seltrice III, a cave-in buries Crusher. Unbelievably, she's okay even though she was buried under a huge pile of rocks. Maybe the rocks were the Seltrice III equivalent of pumice?
    - Shortly after taking over the Enterprise, Jelico tells Riker to change the functions of the Science I and Science II workstations on the bridge. They are supposed to be "dedicated to damage control and weapons status from now on." Yet when reporting that the theta band emissions from Seltrice III have stopped, Riker stands with Jelico in front of Science I and it still says "Science I" at the top and Riker is still using it for planetary scanning, not weapons status, as Jelico ordered.
    - The creators reused the matte painting of the colony on Moab IV ("The Masterpiece Society") as an establishing shot just before the bar scene.
  • From djb on 2008-05-31 at 8:07am:
    Good episode. I like 2-parters, especially with this series because it's so episodic, i.e. there are hardly any interweaving storylines. 2-parters allow for a larger, more detailed story to unfold.

    - I fully agree that it's high time we saw Troi wear a standard uniform. Too bad it's only for just over 1 1/2 seasons that she actually gets to wear something that makes her look dignified. Why hasn't she been wearing one up to this point? Surely it can't just be for ratings. Now she looks like an actual officer. Anyway, good call on Jellico's part.

    - I'm confused as to why Jellico would want a four-shift rotation instead of 3. That means 6-hour shifts instead of 8, which means less work. What? Unless he's expecting the crew to pull double shifts, in which case, it makes sense.
  • From Mike on 2008-06-13 at 3:08pm:
    Absolutely love this episode, and Ronnie Cox was BRILLIANT as Captain Jellico. I actually would've like to have seen more of this character - it was very cool to see the Enterprise under a different commander.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x16 - The Offspring

Originally Aired: 1990-3-12

Synopsis:
Data becomes a father. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 7.56

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 12 1 3 1 4 10 9 15 35 30 50

Problems
None

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

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

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

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-24 at 8:55am:
    - During a voice-over, Data talks about teaching Lal "to supplement her innate android behavior with simulated human responses." The scene shows Data teaching Lal to blink. But in many of the scenes preceding this one, Lal can be seen blinking.
    - Picard makes the correct stand at the end of the episode - that Data is a sentient being with rights, and those rights include the right to raise a family. The state cannot simply take children away from their parents. Why does Picard have to take this stand in the first place? Why haven't Admiral Haftel's superiors shut down Haftel already? Or does the decision reached in "The Measure Of A Man" - defining Data as a sentient being - mean nothing? Or is Starfleet simply setting aside both their protection of the family unit and Data's sentience simply because these principles are inconvenient?
    - While Data and Wesley discuss Lal, Dr. Crusher pages Wesley and reminds him of a hair appointment. Wesley responds that he is on his way. He then shakes his head and says, "Parents!" There is no badge tap. Neither Dr. Crusher nor Wesley said "Out." There is no indication that the communication channel had been closed. In other words, Dr. Crusher heard Wesley say "Parents!"
  • From Rob on 2008-04-13 at 10:29pm:
    This episode is amazing in that its revolving around an emotionless android (Data) and a never-before-seen guest star (Lal) and yet it so emotionally moving. The death of Lal actually brings a lump to my throat, especially when she's in Troi's quarters thumping at her abdomen and saying "This is what it means to feel."

    Phenomenal work by the actress (Hallie Todd?) and everytime I've watched the episode I'm saddened all over again that she suffered that cascade failure. She would have been a fascinating addition to the cast.
  • From Crispy on 2009-07-22 at 8:11pm:
    Excellent episode - one of the few truly emotionally moving TNG episodes.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-21 at 4:09am:
    An excellent episode, rather touching. I found myself pondering Data's arguments. That is a good sign.
    - Since DSOmo brings it up, I'll point out that I don't totally buy Data's argument that he need not inform the Captain about his experiments because he is merely procreating like anyone else, and thus his actions are beyond question. This might be true if Data were a member of a race of androids who had reproduced since time immemorial by building new copies of themselves. But he is creating a brand new experimental life form that may or may not work. So his analogy is flawed; he is not the same as a normal human having a child, and more like a childless man trying to create a genetically engineered superbeing to act as his progeny. While it is reasonable that Data be allowed to "reproduce", his argument that he need not tell anyone else doesn't hold water.
    - Furthermore, the danger involved in building Lal is not merely theoretical. The existence of Lore suggests that Soong-type androids have a fairly high chance of becoming super-powered homicidal monsters. I think it would have been wise for Data to create Lal in a high-security facility with more oversight.
    - Data also defends himself by saying that he took all the steps that any other cyberneticist would have taken. But this is self-serving and thus irrelevant; it is like someone secretly building atomic bombs in their basement then saying it is OK because he promises he took all the necessary precautions. We believe Data, but there is no reason for Starfleet to take his claims at face value.
  • From rpeh on 2011-06-04 at 9:15am:
    I think this episode rates much higher than a 5. The acting by all the principal characters is superb, and the story is engaging and well-told. It manages to be touching without being overly cloying, which Trek can sometimes do.

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

    Apart from that, it's great. I give it a 9.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-27 at 2:08pm:
    I agree wholeheartedly with rpeh. Our webmaster has nothing but praise for this episode, but rates it a 5? Talk about damning with faint praise. I think it deserves at least an 8.
  • From John on 2011-11-23 at 12:12am:
    One of my favorite episodes of any Star Trek series ever.

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

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

    Personally, I give a 10/10.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x25 - Timescape

Originally Aired: 1993-6-14

Synopsis:
The Enterprise is frozen in time on the brink of annihilation. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.56

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 2 0 1 1 16 2 6 12 26 25 23

Problems
None

Factoids
- This is the first TNG episode to feature a Runabout class vessel which are more commonly featured on DS9.

Remarkable Scenes
- Riker describing that his injury was the fault of Data's cat.
- Troi describing being seduced by an alien at the seminar.
- Picard: "There was no pause. He just kept talking in one incredibly unbroken sentence moving from topic to topic so that no one had a chance to interrupt it was really quite hypnotic."
- Everyone freezing in time except Troi.
- Troi freezing. I like the camera work.
- Picard's hand aging faster than the rest of his body.
- The sight of the Enterprise and the Romulan Warbird frozen in time.
- I love the eerie sights abord the ships, making it look as though the Romulans were trying to take over the Enterprise.
- Picard drawing a smiley face on the warp core breach.
- Time starting back up, the Enterprise exploding, then time reversing...
- The crew positioning themselves in key spots within the ship before they run time backwards to fix things.
- I like how Data has to step out of the way of one of the backward walking crewmen.
- The teapot scene in the end. Very well done.

My Review
This is one of the more unique TNG episodes, and certainly one of the most exciting. There's good continuity too with regards to Troi's acquired knowledge of Romulan technology from TNG: Face of the Enemy. The science of this episode is a little shady. For example, how can the life support systems of a slowed down starship support the normal-speed characters? It's best if you don't think about it too much I suppose. Time travel gives me headaches. While the excitement remains high, another detail I liked was the ending. In the end, no, it wasn't a Romulan attack on the Enterprise but in fact the Enterprise assisting a Romulan ship in need. They lost their ship, but the Enterprise saved most of the Romulan crewmembers and returned them to Romulus. A shame the Romulan Empire didn't seem to appreciative of this act. Nevertheless, the episode demonstrated the Federation's goodwill toward the Romulans despite past hostilities, and it presented a very unique and memorable story.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-22 at 1:42am:
    One of my favorite episodes EVER. The whole concept was really cool, the story was engrossing, and I enjoyed the romulan-federation cooperation. The only thing keeping it from a 10 is that it's not profound or anything. Only episodes that move me deeply get 10's. But certainly a 9.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-06-04 at 8:52pm:
    This episode is fun from beginning to end. The plot moves along nicely with enormous challenges for the characters involved, such as the warp core breach, Beverly receiving a point blank phaser shot from a Romulan, and the difficulties with working in a suspended environment. There are a lot of memorable scenes, such as when Picard draws the happy face. The science portion is also well explained.

    Deserving of a 9.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-06-04 at 8:57pm:
    Problem:
    I could be wrong about this, but when Picard, Troi, Data, and Geordi first see the Enterprise and the Warbird frozen, their descriptions don't seem to match up with what is shown. The refer to a second beam, but there is only one beam visible. I don't think they are talking about the photon torpedos that the Warbird is firing.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
  • From Kethinov on 2006-06-05 at 4:56am:
    I'm pretty sure the warbird was firing disruptors and that that's indeed what they were referring to, Orion.
  • From Evan on 2008-05-26 at 2:36pm:
    I don't think there's an issue with the life support per se. What would it need to do? (1) Keep the Enterprise warm enough and (2) provide enough air. The first wouldn't be affected by time, and the second wouldn't matter so much because there would be plenty of oxygen in the spaces available to last for the "fast" characters' short visits. The bigger problem is where the O2 that they breathe come from, since the air molecules would also have been slowed.
  • From J Reffin on 2009-08-05 at 8:34pm:
    A very fast moving episode packing a lot in to the time available.

    One of the actors playing a Romulan can't help swaying slightly in the background when Picard is making a speech on the Bridge on the first visit (no - not one of the aliens). Must have been tough to hold a freeze pose for that length of time.

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Star Trek TNG - 7x05 - Gambit, Part II

Originally Aired: 1993-10-18

Synopsis:
Picard and Riker masquerade as mercenaries. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.51

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 1 1 2 0 11 0 6 16 23 32 9

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Riker hitting Picard back. Go Riker!
- Data's chat with Worf.
- Picard: "Oh what a tangled web we weave. I have difficulty remembering whose side I'm on!"
- Picard: "Will, you always seem to be after my job."
- The "revelation" that the Romulan was a Vulcan.
- Worf's "health and safety inspections" idea.
- Beverly nervously introducing herself to the pilot of the Klingon shuttle and conducting her search.
- I love the behavior of the Klingon pilot.
- Picard taking over the smuggler ship.
- Picard carefully testing his "Vulcan" friend.
- Picard's solution to the resonator.
- Picard jokingly ordering Data to escort Riker to the brig and Data following his orders very thoroughly. Hilarious!

My Review
The second half of this episode retains the same level of excitement and intelligence. It goes slightly sour with the psyonic resonator, a super god weapon, suddenly real. I love the ending though. The weapon is useless against a disciplined mind! Overall this is one of the most memorable episodes of TNG.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-10-15 at 1:53am:
    This one just isn't working for me. The melodrama at the beginning of the first part with Riker and Troi hashing it out over Picard's death is badly acted and written. The psyonic resonator turns out to be exceptionally lame. The pain/control devices have been done to death. James Worthy's klingon character is just lame.

    That said, there is some memorable stuff here. Data's interaction with Worf is well-done. And there is some good intrigue on a plot level.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2008-11-25 at 8:22pm:
    They did all this work, in two episodes, to assemble the artifact, only to find a "gun" that takes 10 seconds to fire. I felt let down.
  • From tigertooth on 2011-01-05 at 1:55pm:
    So what would have been the downside if Data had just ordered that the Enterprise fire on the pirate ship and disable it? I think I have to side with Worf on this one.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-06-22 at 12:29pm:
    I was somewhat let down by the second half of this episode. The first 3/4s of it were fine and continued with the first halfs exciting plot and fair amount of action. However the ending was a big let down for me. As was stated in another review, the "ultimate" weapon was a real let down and the Vulcan peace versus war morality from Picard just came out as extremely lame. The Vulcan woman's reaction was totally out of place and I almost expected to see her go into a childish rant about it throwing it on the ground and stomping on it. Again, the plot line devices are just too convenient and everyone beaming into the cavern at the end seemed too convenient. So this one only gets a 6 rating from me.
  • From dronkit on 2014-03-13 at 3:41am:
    "my name is actually T'pol and I'm a member of the [vulcan security]"

    o.O They were taking lots of names from these episodes, lol

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Star Trek TNG - 5x01 - Redemption, Part II

Originally Aired: 1991-9-23

Synopsis:
A civil war threatens the Klingon empire. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.49

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 0 2 16 1 1 4 8 20 45 32

Problems
- Q once said "Drink not with thine enemy" is a "rigid Klingon code". They appear to be doing that in great numbers in this episode.

Factoids
- This episode marks the first appearance of a tachyon beam being used to detect cloaked ships.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kurn's trick causing a stellar flare to destroy his opponents.
- Riker accepting (temporary!) command of a ship!
- Data requesting command of a ship.
- Kurn celebrating the war.
- Data took command of a Nebula class starship. :)
- O'Brien as tactical officer! Woot!
- Gowron meeting the challenge to his authority and swiftly defeating it.
- I love how Guinan's race has something of a sixth sense, to see events across the timelines.
- Sela's story about what happened to the second Yar from TNG: Yesterday's Enterprise.
- The Duras sisters seducing Worf.
- Data (angrily?) yelling at his first officer.
- Data ignoring the Enterprise's orders.
- Data briefly revealing the Romulan fleet and forcing them to turn back.
- Data chastising himself for disobeying orders.
- Gowron giving the son of Duras' life to Worf and Worf sparing him.

My Review
While I found the prejudice against Data a little absurd, I enjoyed the explanation of why Sela more or less was Tasha. Connecting this episode with TNG: Yesterday's Enterprise is genius continuity. I love it. I also love hearing what happened to the second Yar from the alternate timeline. Finally, the way this episode ties Federation, Klingon, And Romulan politics together is just beautiful. An excellent showing.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-09-03 at 8:59pm:
    - At the end of "Redemption," Worf was leaving to serve as weapons officer on Gowron's ship. Yet this episode opens with Worf serving under his brother Kurn on Kurn's ship. Did Worf get a demotion?
    - Worf's brother claims that the bar is filled both with men loyal to Duras and those loyal to Gowron. At one point, men loyal to Duras attack Worf in the bar. They knock him unconscious and drag him out. Why doesn't anyone come to Worf's aid?
    - Sela gives Picard an accurate recounting of the facts of "Yesterday's Enterprise." Specifically, she knows that her mother came from twenty-two years in the future. If the Romulans knew that Yar came from twenty-two years in the future, it is inconceivable that they would kill her. Yar was a tactical officer with in-depth knowledge of weapons systems. The Romulans had unlimited time to torture her until she cooperated. It makes no sense for them to throw away a resource like that just because she tried to escape.
    - After the sisters of Duras fail to convince Worf to join their cause, Sela appears on a viewscreen and gives them new orders. Worf calmly looks at the screen before they lead him away. Is Worf still groggy from the beating in the bar? The viewscreen shows the face of a woman he called a friend - a woman he thought died years ago. His reaction should have been similar to Picard's: shock and amazement.
    - Picard's entire plan for exposing Romulan involvement hinges on the successful detection of cloaked Romulan supply ships. The successful detection of the supply ships rests solely on the blockade using active tachyon beams. When the main computers on both the Enterprise and Sela's ship show the blockade, the graphics show lines connecting the Starfleet ships. If the Starfleet ships are using beams, they've got problems. The Romulans could detect the gaps and fly through them. To get the type of density they need, the Starfleet ships would have to be clustered very closely together. And if the ships are clutered that closely together, then the Romulans could simply fly around the blockade. Picard and the main computers on both the Enterprise and Sela's ship must be confused. The Starfleet ships must be sending out "waves" of tachyon emissions. This would fill in the gaps.
    - At one point, O'Brien tells Picard, "The detection net is picking up activity from the Romulans ... fifteen cloaked ships spreading out along the border." O'Brien says this before the Romulans cross into Klingon space. If the blockade could only detect a cloaked ship when it crossed a "beam," how does O'Brien know that there are fifteen cloaked ships getting ready to cross?
    - When Sela speaks with Picard, she asks why twenty-three Starfleet ships lie on the Romulan border. If there are twenty-three ships in the blockade, why do only seventeen show up on the viewscreens both on the Enterprise and Sela's ship?
    - After the Romulans flood the border with tachyon emissions, Picard orders the ships to fall back. Data realizes that the Romulan ships might be detectable for a short time. He gets to work immediately, disobeying a direct order from Picard. Aside from the fact that everything in Data's programming supports his full compliance with orders from a superior officer - Data's disobedience is totally unnecessary. In the time that Data spends arguing with his first officer about Picard's orders, Data could simply say, "Data to Captain Picard. There may be another way to detect the Romulans. Stand by." Data's disobedience is simply a plot contrivance to add tension.
    - Worf's resignation from Starfleet was a major component of the cliff-hanger of the finale for the fourth season. Then, just before this episode concludes, Worf turns to Picard and says, "Request permission to return to duty, sir." Picard says ok, and they leave together! That's it? That's all? A person can resign from Starfleet and all they have to do is say, "Oops, I've changed my mind," and everything's fine?
  • From Bernard on 2008-05-26 at 12:09pm:
    I have to say that after such a great buildup in the first part in terms of klingon political intrigue what we get in this concluding part is an episode that deals mostly with a romulan/federation confrontation and a rather out of place storyline for data. Surely we're all thinking 'lets see klingons!!' all the way through the other scenes. Judging by the average scoring others no doubt disagree with me.

    Solid episode, but such a disappointment for me considering how well the first part sets things up.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-02 at 3:49pm:
    Problem: During the battle among the three Klingon Warbirds (one of which is commanded by Kurn, Worf's brother), Worf announces that the aft shields are gone. Immediately afterwards, the ship takes several direct phaser hits on the aft section. It would have been totally destroyed without shields. However, the shots are clearly deflected off the Warbird's aft shields. Which is of course inconsistent with the statement Worf just made.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x21 - Frame of Mind

Originally Aired: 1993-5-3

Synopsis:
Riker is trapped in an alien mental hospital. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 7.46

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 4 7 5 9 3 17 12 26 65 40

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Riker starting to freak out.
- The insane "officer" from the Yorktown.
- Riker seeing and hearing things in his second acting of his play.
- Data complimenting Riker's ability to play a demented character.
- Riker refusing to believe Beverly's, Worf's, and Data's appearances were real.
- Riker realizing he's still in an illusion.

My Review
This episode features an excellent acting performance by Johnathan Frakes as Riker. The plot itself is a little weak; the motives of the people who captured Riker aren't entirely explained. Nevertheless, this is still an excellent episode and a fun one to watch. As Data points out during the episode, Frakes presents an extremely convincing madman!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-21 at 9:48pm:
    Yeah, yeah. good acting by frakes. However, acting doesn't get you anywhere if the plot is incoherent, which the plot of this one is. The entire thing is unbelievably fucked up, and just impossible for the viewer to follow along. It took me like 15 minutes to sit there and rationalize what was real and what wasn't, and just figure out the whole thing. And they didn't even explain it well at the end. I didn't care for this episode at all. It's like star trek on PCP. I can't believe someone gave it a 10.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-06-07 at 1:16pm:
    Myself and my wife didn't care much for this episode either, we rated it a two. There have been three or four dream based episodes like this and there were some on DS9 as well. The dream sequences seem to get out of hand and the surrealistic scenes of the dream episodes never play well with me. While I managed to pick up on what was reality and what was dreamed a short way into the episode, I was telling my wife this scene will end up being a dream, the numerous episodes of dream became far too much. And the beginning where you are given the scenario apparently was a dream as well but necessary to setup the episode which didn't play well with the overall logic and flow. Frakes did do an excellent job of acting but as mentioned previously, that can't make up for a very flawed theme.
  • From Ggen on 2012-04-22 at 10:19am:
    This is a brilliant episode that goes straight into my personal TNG hall of fame.

    The writing in this episode is consistently top-notch, as is Jonathan Frakes' performance. The story has some superficial similarities to a previous great showing from this season: Ship in a Bottle. Gotta love the multiple levels of illusion.

    I've actually had some amazingly vivid dreams where I've "woken up" inside what turned out to be yet another dream, and then had yet another false awakening, and so on... So I can identify with Riker a little bit in trying to sort out fact from self-generated fiction. I also know the feeling of your subconscious throwing up clues that something's not quite right here (in Riker's case, it was the recurring cut on his head that served as a sort of "reality check"). And of course there's the ever-present problem of memory, also similar to remembering dreams (or remembering you're dreaming while inside a dream) - when Riker's on the ship, it's almost as if he has access to one set of memories, when he's inside the hospital, a different set. The ship memories have their own internal logic, but then make no sense from the perspective of the other reality, and vice-versa. Anyone who's messed around with lucid dreaming will find a number of things familiar here.

    That's part of the damned awesomeness of this episode: it's a considerably sophisticated psychological episode, well beyond the token Troi psychobabble. The whole thing really made a damned lot of sense.

    As Riker eventually realized, the preparation for the mission, the preparation for the play, the play itself, being transplanted *inside* the play, all of that was self-created from recent memories in his mind's attempt to hold itself together and regain consciousness. The way it all plays out - the switching back and forth, that one alien being the "one constant," the "reflection therapy," the multiple layers - is all pretty much brilliant.

    - - -

    This line was just a bonus: "That's not a phaser. It's a knife. You took it from one of the food trays."
  • From thaibites on 2012-09-22 at 12:33am:
    I really enjoyed this episode tremendously. It was great to see Riker completely out-of-control and manic. He's usually so perfect - a true Renaissance Man. Which is probably why they did this episode, so that he could break out of his "perfect" mold. Or maybe they were addressing complaints about Riker's character?
    I think the comment by Pete Miller really sums up this episode well. He says the plot is incoherent. Well...YES! What do you expect from a story about a man slowly being driven insane? I think it was a brilliant decision by the writers to do this, and they should be applauded not panned.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x14 - Face of the Enemy

Originally Aired: 1993-2-8

Synopsis:
Troi becomes a pivotal part of a Romulan defection. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 7.45

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 2 16 0 0 4 5 22 35 43 16

Problems
None

Factoids
- This is one of many episodes to mention that the Romulans use quantum singularities as power sources.

Remarkable Scenes
- Troi's briefing from N'Vek
- Trio's abraisive meeting with Commander Toreth.
- Riker arresting Ensign DeSeve for treason.
- DeSeve delivering Spock's message.
- N'Vek blaming firing on the freighter on Troi.
- Troi and N'Vek discussing the failure of their plan.
- Commander Toreth's objections to Troi's new plan to cross into Federation space.
- Troi forcing her plan on N'Vek.
- Troi challenging Toreth's command.
- N'Vek firing a low powered disruptor to piggyback a transporter.
- N'Vek's death.
- Troi's escape.

My Review
A human defector to Romulus returns to the Federation and Troi unwillingly becomes a Federation spy on board a Romulan warbird. The political web weaved for this episode is a complex one, but definitely interesting. Seeing more of the inside of Romulan vessels is certainly interesting as well. The thrilling plot keeps you on the edge of the seat as the warbird and the Enterprise become ever so dangerously closer to one another, climaxing with Troi's extremely risky maneuver hailing the Enterprise under the guise of being a member of Romulan intelligence. Granted, N'Vek's death is a huge cliche and in this case extremely needless. There's no reason the plot couldn't have been further complicated by Troi pleading Picard to transport him out too, only to find that his fate was now sealed once the warbird went to warp. I enjoyed watching him vaporize, but it seemed entirely senseless. Having him simply remain on board while Troi escaped would have beared so much more emotion. Finally, this is possibly Troi's greatest episode in that she played the most important role and did so spectacularly. Bravo.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-17 at 2:58pm:
    This episode is great. The plot hatched by N'Vek is far-fetched at best, but this it's worth it in the end. I love the way that Troi starts to throw her weight around, and I absolutely love the way that the Romulan people are presented as a very complex people. Recently they've been been fleshed out much more than they ever were in the past, and I like that Spock's work on Romulus is revisted here. Overall, this is top-notch. I give it a 9.
  • From J Reffin on 2009-08-03 at 2:02pm:
    It's a great episode, but The Inner Light (s 5) is in another league.
  • From Inga on 2012-03-17 at 10:12pm:
    I liked the Romulan Commander. A strong episode with strong female characters and an engaging plot.
  • From Dennis on 2013-03-31 at 11:29pm:
    I didn't know they could spend money. Riker tells Ensign DeSeve to go buy some civilian clothes because he doesn't want to see him in a Star Fleet uniform.
  • From Harrison on 2013-08-24 at 10:52am:
    Any weaknesses (there are few) in this episode are rendered trivial by the outstanding performance by Carolyn Seymour as the Romulan Commander Toreth. It's a compelling and memorable portrayal, of a calibre rarely achieved on television.

    Marina Sirtis delivers a pretty remarkable performance, too. It's a little shrill in places, but her repartee with the Romulan Commander is pulled off wonderfully. It's almost jarrig how departs so thoroughly from the soft & sensitive "Deanna Troi" in this episode.

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

Originally Aired: 1989-10-16

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

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 7.43

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 6 2 3 2 2 5 15 28 23 37 25

Problems
None

Factoids
None

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

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

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-08 at 11:04pm:
    At the very end of the episode, in his voice-over, Picard claims that Dr. Crusher has tended to his injuries with her usual skill. But in the very next scene, Picard is wearing a sling to support his arm. Why is Picard in a sling? This is the twenty-fourth century, medicine has come a long way.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-01-30 at 3:34pm:
    I think the sling was for effect, to show the natives that he'd actually been injured. To them, using the knitter to seemingly magically cure the injury would have seemed god-like, exactly what they were trying to avoid.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-03-12 at 9:40pm:
    I remembered this episode as one of my favorites, but when I watched it again this time around, I was a little disappointed. It's still a fairly strong episode, but there are some problems.

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

    That said, this episode is classic Trek in its insistence on rational thinking in lieu of religion. I also like episodes that showcase the inner workings of Star Fleet, and the duck blind scenario was great. All in all, an above average episode.
  • From TashaFan on 2008-10-28 at 1:39am:
    DSOmo asks "Picard claims that Dr. Crusher has tended to his injuries with her usual skill. But in the very next scene, Picard is wearing a sling to support his arm. Why is Picard in a sling?"

    In my recollection, that IS Dr. Crusher's usual level of skill. I think Dr. Pulaski was a far superior physician (for instance, she could fix Geordi's eyes but when Crusher was the doctor, Geordi was told it was impossible), although Crusher had a better knowledge of things like herbal medicine.
  • From Stephen on 2010-08-14 at 2:52am:
    I loved the simplicity and strength of this episode. Picard's dialogues were brilliant .. they were efficient, logical and pitch perfect.

    Only pet peeve was that the senior researcher studying the civilization was so disrespectful of it. He would completely wreck it by confirming their belief in a god. That should be the antithesis of his perspective.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-05 at 4:57pm:
    A solid episode.

    - Funny how the anthropologist is the one who is eager to ditch the Prime Directive. If there is a scientific basis for the Prime Directive, you would think it would be anthropologists who were responsible for it!
    - On the other hand, mabye there is no scientific basis for the Prime Directive, considering how the crew never seems to have any guidelines and always re-debates the philosophical meaning of it from scratch each time.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-10 at 1:10am:
    This episode is a rather poignant and explicit assault on religious belief and its consequences (most of it justified, in my personal opinion... but not entirely).

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

    Need I say more?

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

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

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

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

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

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Star Trek TNG - 5x02 - Darmok

Originally Aired: 1991-9-30

Synopsis:
Picard deals with an alien who speaks in metaphors. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.42

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 34 5 2 8 10 5 17 19 20 31 135

Problems
- The Enterprise fired its phasers from the torpedo tubes...

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of TNG Award."
- Picard (and only Picard) gets a new uniform in this episode. Curiously after he ripped it, he's not seen wearing it in the final scene. Seems he couldn't be bothered to replicate a replacement...
- Data has encountered 1754 nonhuman races in his time with starfleet.

Remarkable Scenes
- The discussion of the Tamarians in the opening scene. A species which WANTS relations with the Federation, but communications could not be established. Excellent idea!
- The Tamarians and their unique language.
- Picard's confrontation with the Tamarian captain. He throws down the dagger rather than enter (supposed) combat, while his first officer risks combat with the Tamarian ship.
- The campfire scene with the Tamarian captain and and Picard on the planet.
- Troi and Data attempting to decipher the Tamarian language.
- Picard refusing to fight the Tamarian captain, not realizing it was an alliance he sought.
- Picard cracking the Tamarian language.
- Picard screaming "No!" when the Enterprise attempts to beam him up, away from the battle.
- Data and Troi cracking the Tamarian language and explaining it to Riker.
- Picard attempting to speak to the injured Tamarian captain using his language.
- Picard discovering why the Tamarian captain brought him to the planet to fight alongside.
- Picard telling the story of Gilgamesh.
- The Tamarian captain's death.
- Picard speaking the Tamarian language with the first officer of the Tamarian ship.

My Review
The most underrated episode in Star Trek history. We have two plot threads. First, Picard refuses to fight the Tamarian captain and vigorously attempts to understand his language. Second, Riker's attempts to rescue Picard at all costs and using violence if necessary. These two different approaches taken by Picard and Riker contrast each other beautifully. And ultimately it is Picard's cracking of the Tamarian language which saves the day. Regarding that, I absolutely love the way Data sums up this language barrier. They know the grammar of the Tamarian language, but not the vocabulary. Speaking in metaphors and saying only proper nouns holds no meaning to a listener who doesn't understand the reference. But in time, as Picard demonstrated, the language could be deciphered. A properly educated linguist and historian could adequately communicate with the Tamarians. I felt thoroughly bad for the Tamarian captain in the end. What a great man, who makes a truly noble sacrifice in the hopes to establish friendship with the Federation. To sum it up, this is an extremely intelligently written episode and one of the finest examples of what Star Trek really is all about.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Vlad on 2006-03-31 at 9:11pm:
    When I want to introduce a non-trekker to the world of Star Trek I make them watch this episode. Isn't this a marvelous compliment? To me this is Star Trek at its best. The idea that we must find unity even if we must pay the ultimate price is extraordinary and oh so resonant in this day and age.

    But the philosophy of the piece is really presented through Picard. On a personal level he makes a new friend... and loses him, but in the end comes to understand his sacrifice. As a Starfleet officer, he is given a tough assignment, but he manages to do what he does best - preserve the piece and help bring about mutual understanding. On a universally human level we are left to ponder a very difficult question: Would we do the same if we were in the place of the Tamarian captain?

    Now, if only I could find the way to communicate to my mom just how good this episode is and make her watch it with me ;)
  • From Pete Miller on 2006-04-14 at 7:24pm:
    Problem: If the language is based solely on reference to myth and history, then how does a child learn what happened in these myths? The language can only be spoken by referencing to something that both communicating parties are familiar with.

    A fine episode, but it just seems like speaking only in metaphor is an extremely improbable form of communication.
  • From Bob Bracegirdle on 2006-08-04 at 10:10am:
    I could never see why Picard deciphered the language but for years previously the Federation had tried without success. Apparently they never even got the idea of metaphor. Were they stupid? I jumped to that conclusion within seconds of hearing it at the beginning of the episode - clearly a greek myth allusion.
  • From benq on 2006-12-05 at 7:53pm:
    Darmok is another one of those episodes that reminds us that other races don't value life and freedom the same way we do. The language barrier is a poor excuse for the inciting incident of stranding Picard and the Tamarian captain on the planet with a disappearing beast, and even the explanation of the language barrier is dubious, given the historical overtones of every language. It has its place in the season 5 arch, but Darmok is probably one of the worst executed TNG stories that nevertheless touch us.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-09-04 at 9:07am:
    Data and Troi deduce that the Tamarians speak in metaphor when they cross-reference the proper names "Darmok" and "Tenagra" to a mythological account from one of the planets nearby. After they give this information to Riker, Troi claims that communication is hopeless, since all they know is that Darmok was a hunter and Tenagra an island. If they know that Darmok is a mythological hunter, doesn't it seem likely that they would have access to some of the stories about him? Out of those stories, they might find something they could use.
  • From KStrock on 2009-01-27 at 2:55pm:
    How could they have cultural stories on file about a race with whom they have no prior relationship?
  • From Wes on 2010-05-07 at 7:07pm:
    You make a great point about Starfleet uniform code with Ro's earring and Worf's sash. Another interesting thing is that Mr. Mott said that he cut Commander Riker's hair a few days earlier. Look at Riker's hair. Sure doesn't look like he recently got a haircut. In fact, looks to me like he is due for one.
  • From Vinny on 2010-07-29 at 8:41pm:
    Call it absurd fanboyism, but the one thing I remember clearly from seeing this episode the first time is totally falling in love with Robin Lefler, the first on-screen performace Ashley Judd ever made. Ah, the agony... I would have SO traded places with Wil Wheaton in the episode "The Game".
  • From tigertooth on 2010-10-20 at 9:53pm:
    To me it seemed as if the Tamarians lacked verbs. They used nouns, prepositions, and adjectives, but I don't recall any verbs. That was kind of interesting.

    But as a previous commenter said, the idea that they could speak only in references seems far-fetched.
  • From Quando on 2011-08-12 at 10:20pm:
    My question is this. How did a species with a language like this ever manage to develop the technology of space travel? I mean, how do you explain the technical specifications for building a warp core (or even a Model T) using only analogy to mythical figures? How would you even ask someone to hand you a tool? "Kinta, his 3/8" wrench open, his eyes red"! How do you talk about things like return on investment, varying interest rates, detailed medical procedures, etc. The whole language only seems suited to conveying basic ideas and emotions. It seems to me that a species with a language like this would never advance beyond the basic tribal hunter-gatherer stage.
  • From Will on 2011-10-29 at 1:55am:
    The fact that you can rate this episode a 10 after all of the times you downrate episodes for bad science astounds me. As Quando and Pete have pointed out, the main premise of this story is scientifically implausible. I, for one, believe that the implausible is at the core of what science fiction should be, but based on your attitude toward episodes with such absurd science as this thus far, it seems unfair to be giving this episode a 10.
  • From Kethinov on 2011-10-30 at 1:22am:
    Will,

    There's nothing fundamentally unsound about a language arising in this way. The fact that it's extremely improbable is an asset to the story in that the universal translator can translate the literal meaning of the words spoken but not the true meaning of their metaphorical basis.

    While I realize that it is hard to imagine a society being capable of functioning this way or developing advanced technology, I don't necessarily think it's beyond the bounds of realism, especially if you assume that the Tamarians have brains which more intuitively grasp metaphor or that there is a crucially emotive characteristic to the language.

    For instance, how a metaphor is stated and what body language is used may be just as important as what metaphor was used. The episode itself concludes by acknowledging that further study of the language would have to be done to fully grasp all its nuances. Just because the episode doesn't give us all the answers doesn't mean that no answer is workable.

    Since, in my judgement, the technical issues presented by the language aren't unworkable, the omissions of detail are not sufficiently distracting to the story, and the story itself is an outstanding piece of drama and science fiction, I stand by my classification of the episode's perfect score.
  • From packman_jon on 2012-05-13 at 10:33pm:
    Very good episode. Tough to really get into, but this episode really rewards the viewer.
  • From RM on 2012-08-03 at 7:33pm:
    This is one of the episodes that I like to watch even though they don't make terribly much sense. It is sufficiently suspenseful and has its good moments, definitely resulting in an entertaining episode that does more than show mindless battles.

    On the downside, the presented concept of the language never seemed convincing to me. I don't refute the idea that a civilization might base many of its expressions on metaphors (you could say that so do we in some respects; think of expressions like "a Valentine to all fans"). When talking about complex topics without requiring infinite time, many of the metaphor references might have to be "compressed", but possibly what we saw in the episode was sufficient for efficient communication. Likewise, the problem of how to describe the meaning of a metaphor in the first place does indeed exist, but this might indeed be achieved with a limited vocabulary.

    My two major gripes, however, were on the one hand how the language can possibly include references to off-world myths even for basic concepts. Does that mean the language only evolved after the Tamarians got in touch with cultures from other planets? Highly doubtful. On the other hand, I always wondered why the federation would be able to correctly translate prepositions and a few nouns when the meaning of the statements was unknown in the first place. How could a translator trying to figure out an unknown language (no matter whether it's a computer program like the universal translator or a living being doing that work) possibly know that in a sentence like "Shaka, when the walls fell." (note that what we see as English is actually incomprehensible Tamarian here) there's a proper name "Shaka" and four single words that mean "when the walls fell"? Wouldn't that translator recognize the same indicators used when deciphering other alien language that the topic is "failure" and then consider "Shakawhenthewallsfell" as one word, meaning "failure"?

    As much as forgotten Earth colonies are a trope that should be avoided, I'm convinced that the language trouble would have been a great deal more plausible if the Tamarians had originally been from Earth. That way, they could have used English words while the meaning of the sentences still wouldn't have been clear.
  • From TheAnt on 2013-11-02 at 7:33pm:
    Cpt Picard on Forbidden planet.

    This is indeed one excellent episode.
    And even though Picard suspected that there would be a duel, I did assume that the alien indeed were proposing that they were going for a hunt as a means of building bridges between the two peoples.
    I've never lost a limb on a mountainside and as certain as the bear crap in the woods there had to be a monster challenge - one that had me think of the invisible beast from Forbidden planet.

    I found the comment by Pete Miller amusing since his name suggest he is from a culture that have a language that indeed use a lot of metaphors in daily use.
    Even so both the British and Americans are able to learn their language - also myself. So I do not see any problem in that respect.

    There's several examples on Earth of languages such as synesthetic ones, where the universal translator would be a lead balloon.
    So why not for one completely different species that have grown up on one isolated planet.

    And no actor but Patrick Stewart could have done the summary of the Gilgamesh epic as well as here. A solid 10 as certain as the pope wear a funny hat. :)

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