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Star Trek TNG - Season 5 - Episode 08

Star Trek TNG - 5x08 - Unification, Part II

Originally Aired: 1991-11-11

Spock plans to reunify Romulans and Vulcans. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.33

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- Troi mentions that there could be a cloaked Romulan base on Galornden Core but in TNG: The Defector Data says that a cloaked base on that very same planet would be visible due to distortions.


Remarkable Scenes
- Picard's meeting with Spock.
- Spock mentioning his involvement in the formation of the Klingon / Federation peace treaty. A reference to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
- Data masterfully convincing the Klingons to give him access to their ship's resources.
- Riker's conversation with the wife of the arms trader that Riker accidentally killed.
- Data's conversation with Spock regarding their personal strives to be more human or vulcan respectively.
- Worf having the wife of the arms trader that Riker accidentally killed play Klingon opera.
- Riker confronting the fat Ferengi.
- Sela's appearance.
- Sela describing her evil plan: conquest of Vulcan.
- Sela, in response to Spock's declaration of non cooperation: "I hate Vulcans. I hate the logic, I hate the arrogance--very well."
- Picard, Data, and Spock altering Spock's "speech".
- Data using the Vulcan neck pinch.
- Spock's mind meld with Picard.

My Review
Oh my god. Sela you idiot! You lock Data, Spock, and Picard in your office, complete with a holographic generator and don't expect them to attempt an escape? You fool. Oh well, that's not unrealistic, just stupid. And Sela seemed pretty stupid to me. Twice she attempted to exact an indirect conquest on the Federation and twice she failed. For some reason, she's never seen again after this episode. Perhaps she was executed for her failures. It was interesting to create the character of Sela and effectively turn Yar into an enemy, but the character was just used poorly again and again. I am happy to see her go but saddened by the missed opportunity to develop her character. Sela could have been the driving force between peace with Romulans and the Federation. She is a union of a human and a Romulan. Her very existence is proof of peace. Yet she became a radical Romulan military fanatic. Indeed a missed opportunity. But much more than that. This episode attempted to be epic. I say attempted because it largely failed. While Spock's cameo majorly enhanced the episode, virtually nothing was accomplished. No peace is established nor the groundwork of that peace laid and we learn next to nothing about Romulus' and Vulcan's paralleling history. This episode, while a good two parter, was largely a disappointment because it could have done so much more. As a result we get two loose threads. We never find out what happens to either Sela OR Spock. How annoying.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-04-16 at 1:12am:
    The continued failure of the Romulans is due in large part to their overwhelming arrogance. Sela's arrogance and hunger for power is a little bit ridiculous, even for a Romulan. It seems as if every other episode the Romulans have devised some new scheme for bringing down the federation, but their obsession with conquest is not realistic at all.

    Despite the Romulan trickery cliche, I enjoyed the episode. Reminded me of Star Wars, what with the cantina scenes and all the hunting down of the rogue pilot, etc. Very starwars-esque.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-05-09 at 9:26pm:
    Just before Picard, Spock, and Data exit Sela's office, after putting her to sleep, you can see a cameraman's face in a glass jar in the foreground. He's chewing gum, too.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-09-09 at 5:39am:
    - The junkyard at Qualor II serves as a depot for all types of Federation ships, including ships with weaponry. For security reasons, doesn't it seem likely that the junkyard would be in an out-of-the-way and easily defensible location? Doesn't this make strategic sense? Yet in this episode, we find that Qualor II has a bar - a place that serves as a crossroads for every sort of riffraff, including arms traders!
    - To create a diversion, Data programs holographic representations of Riker and two ensigns. Afterward, Picard comments to Data that Data didn't get Riker's hair quite right. It's a cute moment, but not believable. Data is an android. His memories are precise and accurate.
    - After Spock sends the warning about the Vulcan ships, a Romulan warship decloaks beside them and destroys them. Geordi comments that there were more than two thousand Romulan troops on the ships. Troi adds that they destroyed their own invasion force. Doesn't an invasion force of two thousand troops seem a little small to conquer an entire planet?
    - Galorndon Core seems to have changed color. When the Enterprise visits Galorndon Core in "The Enemy," every shot of the Enterprise in orbit around the planet shows a predominantly blue planet. In this episode, the planet is mostly yellow, gradually fading to blue at the very bottom. This is a case where the creators could have reused footage and yet didn't.
  • From Rob on 2008-04-17 at 9:38pm:
    Just as an aside: Sela is demoted due to her Intelligence service failures, if you follow the ST Novels (and I'm not getting into Canon/Fanon/blah-blah, I'm just throwing it out there). She's given a out-of-date starship and assigned to a first contact mission in which the Romulans and Federation are attempting to sway a border-world to choose their side to sign into a treaty with... the Romulans win out on that score. I wish I could name the novel now, but with all of the fan-sites, it shouldn't be hard to locate for anyone with more obsessive-compulsive tendencies than I ;-)
  • From Kevin on 2008-05-21 at 3:49am:
    Couple of things I never understood about the 'Unification' episodes. How exactly were the Romulans and Vulcans to be united? Since Vulcan is part of the Federation, was Spock planning on Romulus eventually becoming a Federation member? Or, was he looking more towards Vulcan leaving the Federation and uniting with the Romulan Empire? This was never made clear. Also, I found it highly illogical (to use a Vulcan phrase) that 2,000 Romulans could take over the entire planet of Vulcan. Even if they did, wouldn't the result be an all-out war with the Federation?

    Although I enjoyed the acting, Spock's cameo and the humour, the 'Unification' two parter was poorly thought out.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-07-23 at 4:09pm:
    This two-parter is a fanboy dream with the presence of Spock and the Romulan Tasha Yar, but it never really comes together for the reasons mentioned in the posts above. I wish that they would have decided to further this plot idea in the movies, as it would have been nice to have some closure, and it would have explained how the takeover was planned, etc., but as it is we're left with more questions than answers.

    That said, this is a well-paced two parter, and the Sarek/Picard interaction was handled very well. Mark Leonard is a great actor, and it's rare when someone steals a scene from Picard, but he managed to do it.

    I also liked that they had the 'junkyard' run by the Zakdorn, picking up an interesting race we've seen a little of before, rather than resorting to yet another alien-of-the-week. The Zakdorn administrator was a cool character. Too bad the bar scene in which Riker confronts the Ferengi is poorly done, though.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-02-26 at 2:02am:
    I agree with Kevin that this episode is filled with things that are highly illogical.
    - As he mentions, can 2000 troops really take over Vulcan? Especially when the Vulcans are prepared for them to be full of Romulans.
    - Sela acts exactly like a campy supervillain. She explains her plan in detail, says "I have duties elsewhere", and leaves the heroes alone so they can escape her deathtrap. Except that she forgets the deathtrap part. This would be OK on the 60's Batman TV show, but seems out of place on ST:TNG.
    - Sela mentions that she can't make the holo-image interactive. Romulan holo-technology must be pretty far behind the Federation. Maybe the Romulans are only humoring Sela and she can't afford sufficient troops or good technology.
    - The capabilities of the Klingon cloaking device, on the other hand, are pretty scary. How can the Romulans survive a war if the Klingons can send a ship undetected to their homeworld and transport people (bombs, armed photon torpedoes?) down undetected? And the Romulans have the cloaking device, so why the ruse? Why not just send a few cloaked ships to Vulcan and send in the troops by surprise?
  • From Quando on 2011-08-15 at 3:25am:
    For me the believability of the episode was shot by the set design of the Romulan Preator's office (is that what he's called)? I mean, this guy is the leader of the whole freaking planet - indeed, the whole Romulan star empire - and he has an office about the size of an IBM middle manager. The guy doesn't even get a window! Just a cheap glass desk and two guest chairs (even Picard's ready room on a starship had a couch). In fact, it appears that Sela got an office the same (pathetic) size. I know they were trying to save money on set design, but that is really weak. We have a two-parter about the Romulan home world, and all we get to see are a few matte painings of the city, a lame interior office, the inside of some nondescript caves, and a soup shop.
  • From Mike on 2016-10-27 at 4:02am:
    Yeah I agree with the issues that have been pointed out about this two-parter. Sela's boneheadedness is especially inexcusable since the writers had a built in way of getting Data, Picard and Spock free: they could've had Romulan dissidents pose as security guards, or maybe there are security guards that are secretly part of the dissident movement, perform that task. Anything would've been better than asking us to believe Sela would leave them alone in an office with access to a computer.

    In "Face of the Enemy" we learn the Romulans are aware that the Federation has sensors and listening posts that would make it difficult for cloaked Romulan ships to operate very long in Federation space. Are we to believe the Romulans, who invented the cloaking device, don't have a similar setup given that they've been at war with the Klingons?

    I think Spock should've known something was wrong when the Romulan proconsul said he'd support reunification. If the goal is for Romulus to give up its empire and become more like Vulcan, then this just seems ridiculous coming from anyone in the Romulan government. And if that's not the goal, why would most Vulcans, including Spock, ever agree to unify with anything resembling the Romulan Empire? Spock falling for all of this just makes him look extremely gullible and naive.

    I can buy that Data successfully hacks the Romulan information net. But why didn't the Federation and Klingon Empire try this sooner? "You guys provide the cloaked ship, we'll provide the android computer genius, and we'll never have to worry about another Romulan surprise again".

    All in all, a disappointing end to what began as a promising two-parter. Like the movie "Generations", I think the goal here was to dangle a TOS/TNG merger in front of us fans like a set of keys in the hopes that we wouldn't notice the gaping plot holes. They should've known better....
  • From Subcommander T'Obummer on 2023-05-12 at 4:22pm:
    Romulus has a very open society to let a half-member of an enemy species into such an important position.
    Many civilized nations today don't allow members of hostile nations even into deskjobs of their military organizations, even if like Sela they have spent their entire lives there and are only one parent is foreign.

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