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Star Trek TNG - Season 2

Star Trek TNG - 2x01 - The Child

Originally Aired: 1988-11-21

An alien entity impregnates Troi. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 3.17

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 76 27 20 24 19 31 34 9 4 5 11

- So radiation from the energy life form was making the virus grow? Radiation makes it grow? Basic physics anyone?
- Why was the child a boy? Its DNA was supposed to be identical to Troi's.

- This is the first episode of what many people call "modern TNG." Riker's beard, Worf in a yellow uniform, Geordi as Chief Engineer, Troi's wilder hair, Guinan, O'Brien as a transporter chief, Ten Forward, and the Shuttle Bay all first appear here.
- This also marks this first appearance of Dr. Pulaski whom replaces Dr. Crusher for this season only. Dr. Crusher became head of starfleet medical.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf demands Troi's pregnancy terminated!
- Pulaski insulting Data.
- Data's interrogation of the counselor as the birthing process begins is hilarious.
- Pulaski mispronouncing Data's name and then not really caring. Pulaski: "What's the difference?" Data: "One is my name. The other is not."
- Wesley speculating about Guinan's past.
- I like the way Picard teases Wesley at the end.

My Review
Most people throw more mud at this episode than I do. Maybe I'd hate it more if it didn't introduce so many interesting and cool new things to TNG (see factoids). And Guinan is a damn good counselor. Better than Troi! Funny that she never sought a commission. Oh well. Toss aside the factoids and this episode is somewhat dull and uninteresting. Leaves you with a sense that there should have been more to both plot threads.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-10 at 8:07am:
    When Hesterdel comes on the Enterprise he inspects the containment field for hours before allowing transport. Yet when the Enterprise reaches the destination for the samples, the Enterprise begins beaming them down immediately. Shouldn't Hesterdel be inspecting the containment field at the destination also?
  • From Evan on 2008-05-26 at 1:14pm:
    Regarding DSOmo's first comment, see "Thine Own Self". Crusher took the bridge officers' test a year before the first season (8 years before Thine Own Self) because she felt like challenging herself, not because it was needed for her carrier path. Pulaski probably didn't feel the same need.
  • From thaibites on 2009-12-03 at 4:55am:
    If you haven't watched this episode yet - grab some tissues, some chocolates, and a box of tampons because this one is a total chick flick!
  • From Anna Lisa on 2010-12-16 at 11:38pm:
    You'll need the tampons to throw at the screen when Pulaski is ragging on Data.
  • From John on 2010-12-23 at 4:41am:
    I'd suggest as another remarkable moment the way Picard instantly silences the debate once Troi states that she intends to have the baby.

    I'm all like "Hell yeah, Jean-Luc!"
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-21 at 3:20am:
    This felt like they filmed the first half of a good two-part episode, then never filmed the second half. I'm watching the episode, it seems promising, then suddenly it's all over, and nothing happened! Also, Troi seems to be filled with strong feelings, it is unfortunate that she never explains to the audience what she is thinking during the episode.

    In response to radiation making the virus grow: This doesn't seem strange for an alien virus. Radiation contains energy, living things can turn energy into growth. Plants grow when exposed to radiation (light). Even humans can grow when exposed to radiation (in that cancer is uncontrolled tissue growth).
  • From DanMcCoy on 2011-06-29 at 2:20pm:
    Problems: What about O'brien's pips? Why is he a lieutenant?
    So true about Guinan being a better counselor than Troi! lol
  • From Omcn on 2012-02-20 at 7:40am:
    Wouldn't it have been more interesting if the energy thingy (looking for someone to grow inside of) chose the hairy man instead of Troi?

    Bunch of men talking about what Troi should do with her baby, classic!

    The way our new doctor speaks about/to Data makes me want to smack her. Data's questions to Troi during delivery are to awesome for words.
    Tv birth scenes are always far to G rated, what silliness.

    I think the best part of this episode was not the plot or the actors of anything strange like that. The best part for me was how much of the ship was shown and that we get to see for the first time some of the functions of the ship. Blinds going down. The window in ten forward etc.
  • From Arianwen on 2012-12-14 at 3:23am:
    Re. "radiation makes it grow", photosynthesis is based on just that (energy from solar radiation is absorbed by a specialised molecule which sets off a reaction chain: basically, light energy is converted to chemical energy and stored by the organism). Whether this could work with something as simple as a virus is a whole other kettle of fish.

    BORING. Troy is mysteriously impregnated: possible threat. Highly dangerous viral strains must be taken onboard: definite threat. Troy has baby. Virus fed by radiation from child inevitably threatens to escape. Baby-now-child dies, neatly disposing of both threats. Troi explains everything in a ten-second infodump which the audience is too comatose with boredom to listen to. Oh, and Wesley's leaving. Wait, no, he isn't. Yaaaay.

    I've no doubt this was all very intriguing and exciting for the characters actually living it, in the same way your aunt's Barcelona holiday isn't accurately represented by her 1.12GB of photos of Gaudí's Casa Batlló. Fifty minutes of your life looking at someone else's holiday photos.

    You're welcome.
  • From tigertooth on 2017-03-20 at 4:04pm:
    Too bad nobody thought to send Troi and the kid out in a shuttle craft a safe distance from the Enterprise. After they offload the cargo, both can come back to the Enterprise, and the kid can stay/grow as long as he wants.

    Maybe they should have had the kid's energy "infecting" the warp plasma or something so that it would make more sense that he'd have to leave and never return.
  • From jeffenator98 on 2019-10-17 at 5:09pm:
    Only Worfs comment at the end "I will assume that duty." saves this one from being a zero 1/10.
  • From the obampresident on 2021-07-15 at 9:09am:
    I like how the new and improved doc treats Data. Aside from a few remarks from Riker in the first episode nobody on the crew ever seems to care that they are working with the only sentient machine in star fleet!

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Star Trek TNG - 2x02 - Where Silence Has Lease

Originally Aired: 1988-11-28

The Enterprise is engulfed by a mysterious hole. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.64

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 75 5 9 13 16 22 25 37 53 9 14

- An opening leading back to normal space appears 1.3 parsecs away and Picard orders the ship to go through at Warp 2. At this speed it would take months to make it to the hole. We have to assume the 1.3 parsecs figure is incorrect.
- Why was there no one in Engineering when they started the auto destruct sequence?

- Picard describes the Christian and Atheist versions of death to the fake Data then and dismisses them both!

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf kills stuff like in the opening on the holodeck even more violently every day.
- I love Worf and Picard's interaction about the probe disappearing. "Recommend we go to Yellow Alert, sir." And Picard saying totally confused: "Why?" Worf's story afterward was great.
- More insults to Data from Pulaski.
- Data: "Captain, sensors show nothing out there." Geordi: "Sure is a damn ugly nothing."
- Pulaski: "Isn't that a bit like curing the disease by killing the patient?" Riker: "It's better than doing nothing." Pulaski: "Why do I get the feeling that now was not the best time to join this ship..."
- Picard: "Abort auto destruct sequence." Computer: "Riker, William T., do you concur?" Riker: "Yes, Absolutely. I do indeed concur wholeheartedly." Picard: "A simple yes would have sufficed, number one." Riker: "I didn't want there to be any chance of misunderstanding." Picard: "Of course. You have the bridge."

My Review
This episode has lots of suspense but just as much confusion at the beginning. Pascal's death was wonderfully acted. One of the better small guests of the series. And where did Wesley go? He was on the bridge but then he gets replaced mid episode by this anomalous Pascal character. Why? I'll tell you why. They needed a redshirt to kill. That's why. Wesley then conveniently retakes his station after redshirt guy dies. I find it distasteful that Pascal's death was not more consequential. Other than that, this episode is interesting, but nevertheless it felt more like the writers were just trying to waste some time. A well done waste of time though.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-10 at 3:44pm:
    - In the episode "Hide and Q," Riker calls a meeting of the bridge staff, and Dr. Crusher shows up. But in this episode, Dr. Pulaski comments that she isn't a bridge officer. If Dr. Crusher had bridge officer status when she served as chief medical officer on the Enterprise, shouldn't Dr. Pulaski have that same status?
    - Nagilum notes that some of the humans have a different construction - they are female. To further its examination, it spins Dr. Pulaski around to examine her. Personally, given the choice of "dancing" with Pulaski or Troi, I'd picked Troi. I guess Nagilum has different tastes in women. ;)
  • From Daniel Blessing on 2009-09-18 at 2:46pm:
    I think another fact to add to the "Problems" section would be this; When they enter the "Hole" or "Void," w/e you want to call it, they attempt to escape but they believe they may not actually be moving at all. They drop a "beacon" in order to get a fixed point of reference. This beacon is broadcasting sound tones. The greater the distance the ship travels from them, the softer they get and longer in between tones. However, they are traveling at warp speed.. Faster than even the speed of light. How then could these updated tones be making it back to the ships computer? We all know that sound does not even come close to the speed of light. At one point Picard orders the increase to warp 2. There is no way that sound waves should be making it back to the ship in the form of telemetry. I have no explanation for this or any way to rationalize it.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-24 at 12:38pm:
    This episode could have come straight from TOS. Weird space phenomenon? Check. Floating head thing? Check. Red shirt death? Check. Do-or-die solution from the captain? Check.

    It's quite a good episode, as one would expect from the guy who co-wrote Wrath of Khan. I'll give it a 7 for the suspense, the mystery, and the overall acting quality.

    @Daniel Blessing - sound can't travel in a vacuum at all. Presumably they were using radio of some kind.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-21 at 4:22am:
    A solid episode, not great, not bad. I agree with rpeh that the plot is very TOS. But the understated way everything plays out is quite the opposite, totally TNG.
  • From Splonkadumpocus on 2011-03-30 at 8:32pm:
    Why is it that Starfleet captains continue to fly their ships into mysterious space anomalies all the time? Shouldn't they realize by now that doing that is never a good thing?
  • From Inga on 2011-12-27 at 2:28pm:
    -Nagilum calls everyone on the bridge by their last name except for Geordi

    DSOmo: I think Pulaski was a random choice. However, the fact that he did not acknowledge Troi as another being with a different "structure" still puzzles me.

  • From a2a on 2012-02-14 at 6:52am:
    This was not so great... I mean, it wasn't bad, I just think it's a little overrated, on the whole. This new creature was sort of like a disembodied and not quite as well-read, not quite as clever version of Q... wasn't it? Semi-omniscient, semi-omnipotent (oxymorons, I know), eternal, curious about humanity but also critical of its uglier aspects... We've seen this, no?

    Also, I kept waiting for Warf's crazy animal instincts to come to some kind of climax or resolution or plot point, but it never happened. It sort of felt tacked on and disjointed... I mean, he almost attacked Riker on several occasions, yet this wasn't explained and didn't go anywhere?

    Finally..., and this might be my own fault, but I don't understand what's with this new doctor and what happened to Beverly... This might be just me though cause I may have literally missed something (skipped some lower-ranked episodes).
  • From tigertooth on 2017-03-21 at 1:57am:
    When they're sitting around the table to come up with solutions, Worf says that 30%-50% casualties are acceptable in battle. That seems to suggest that he's leaning towards the idea of giving up the crew members. But there's no chance in hell Worf would advocate for anyone to die without honor. Clearly they were still figuring out the Worf character.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2020-09-02 at 4:37am:
    Decent episode for season two, but I'm pretty sure Naglium could have just turned off the auto-destruct on a whim considering his powers...

  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-13 at 3:57am:
    - Picard presents Christian and atheistic viewpoints on death as if they're the only two philosophies! It's true that Islam and some other religions have a similar viewpoint, but still, that's a bit narrow for Star Trek. Many religions and sects have different philosophies from either of those. Also, some atheists believe in a soul or afterlife, and some theists don't. God and the soul/afterlife are related but separate questions.

    - Data says his sensors show nothing there. Yet, clearly, the visual sensors are picking up something. The speakers on the bridge are playing back an audio signal from Nagilum that was picked up by some microphone, somewhere (ignoring, for a moment, the problem of sound propagating through space.) Or is Nagilum creating a collective visual and auditory hallucination for everyone? Perhaps he is messing with the screen and speaker outputs?

    - Nagilum notices Pulaski's anatomy is different from Riker, Picard, etc, but doesn't notice Troi or what appear to be at least two other female bridge crew members behind tactical. Kind of weird. It's a bit annoying that male and female are inadvertently framed here as "normal" and "different". To me it would seem more consistent with Nagilum's character that he would notice several different organ configurations among the bridge crew and remark on that. Not only are there at least two human reproductive configurations present, there is also a Klingon and a Human-Betazoid hybrid, both of whom would have internal anatomy different from that of full humans. I did appreciate Pulaski's comment about "minor differences" between sexes, though. :)

    - Nagilum threatens to kill up to half of the crew, we go to commercial break, then we're in the observation lounge? What, is Nagilum just patiently waiting for the senior staff to confer before he starts offing the crew? Or was he killing crew members one by one the whole time they were meeting?

    - Haskell's death bothered me profoundly. Not only did they introduce a redshirt specifically just to kill him, but "random Black character with no arc pointlessly dies" is such a historically common and harmful trope that I really wish TV producers would try to consciously avoid it. I know it was 1988, don't @ me. Where was Wes during that act? It seems they took out Wes and added Haskell just to avoid killing Wes. Haskell's only purpose was to deliver a few plot point lines and then die. Then Wes conveniently returns and nobody mentions it again. The humor and happy music at the end of the episode reinforce how little Haskell's death is regarded. Lazy writing strikes again! They could at least have had Haskell on from the beginning and then brought Wes on to replace him after he's killed. Or they could have killed any of the bridge extras that were already there the whole episode and made it both more believable and less obnoxious. They could have showed Wes witnessing a death, which could have been a good part of his character development. Or they could have killed Pulaski and Season 2 would have been marginally better, ha!

    - Speaking of Pulaski, why is she even on the bridge? She just wanders on and hangs out there the rest of the show. Was she summoned? Did she come of her own accord even though she's not a bridge officer? Why would a medical doctor's expertise be needed instead of, say, that of any number of astrophysicists on board? Would you send an injured crewmember to Stellar Cartography? I know, I know, they wanted to give Muldaur something to do. Eh.

    This ep isn't the worst; I like some of the themes it explores, and despite Nagilum's comical appearance, the "conscious void in space" is an interesting premise.

    Data emotion-spotting: Data looks quite vindicated when Pulaski reluctantly affirms he is "alive." Pulaski's a such a tool!

    @Daniel, I noticed the same thing. I think the tone we hear is an audio representation of a subspace signal emanating from the probe. The further away the signal, the lower a tone is played, to simulate the doppler effect.

    Beyond this place there be dragons!
  • From Ensign Ro bummer on 2021-08-13 at 6:57am:
    Haskell bothered me, too, because it seemed so obvious and redshirty, so I paid attention in the following episodes. They put a new guy on that position nearly every second episode. So Haskell was not just put there to replace someone who can't die.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x03 - Elementary, Dear Data

Originally Aired: 1988-12-5

Data enjoys a Sherlock Holmes holodeck program. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.71

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 55 4 22 5 7 17 27 32 32 14 13

- Uh, why not just cut the power to the holodeck? Sure evil hologram has computer control. He could stop you. But at least try!

- It's been said that the production of this episode cost tons of money because of the London set.
- Picard utters "merde" in this episode, which is a rather severe French curse word. Interesting how that gets by the sensors on American television. ;)

Remarkable Scenes
- Data "just throwing himself into the part" of Holmes.
- Data solving the first mystery by memorization and Geordi's reaction.
- Pulaski eavesdropping in ten forward, then taking the opportunity to bash on Data some more.
- I love the "odd surge of power" when the computer creates a Data-beating opponent. Foreshadowing maybe? ;)
- Picard flipping open his top hat startling both Worf and Data.
- Picard childishly regarding the mugger: "Data, let him go!"

My Review
A creative and fun episode with well placed humor. The debate regarding whether or not Data could handle an original mystery is fascinating and I love the verbal competitions between Pulaski and Geordi. The episode falls short however toward the end. When it is discovered that the hologram has become sentient, the entire situation is treated with the utmost lack of interest. As Picard says, the mission of the USS Enterprise is to seek out new life. But in this instance, when new life is discovered on the holodeck, it is treated as an inconvenience rather than a discovery. Moriarty should have received more than a pat on the back only to be forgotten for an unspecified period of time. I think the discovery of sentient holograms warrants a great deal of further study. But instead, Moriarty is casually swept under the rug, so the Enterprise can get back to making "important" discoveries. Indeed, this is not a technical problem but the exposition of a philosophy. Clearly, Picard et al do not see holographic life as to truly be life. This is an interesting position, given their undeniable respect for Data as a life form. Nevertheless, this contradiction, as perfectly realistic as it is for the characters to display, tramples all over the episode for me, reducing much of its potential greatness.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Sherlock on 2006-10-04 at 9:42pm:
    There are numerous mistakes that Data (actually the writers) make in regards to the Sherlock Holmes canon (one that comes to mind is Data saying Holmes only defeated Moriarty at Reichenbach at the cost of his own life), but despite it, I loved this episode and it's one of my favs. Daniel Davies gets special props for an outstanding Moriarty. He portrays him as intelligent and very aware, not evil.
    Brent Spiner and Levar Burton do a good job as well.
  • From Sherlock on 2006-10-07 at 4:41pm:
    Moriarty can clearly see Data, Geordi and Pulaski (and not who they pretend to be) and the arch before the computer bestows upon him the ability to defeat Data. He's looking at the trio oddly as Geordi imputs info with the arch.

    Another Problem:
    Data takes the paper that Moriarty drew the Enterprise on out of the holodeck. And when Geordi is looking at it, he's looking at it upside down!
  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-16 at 8:53pm:
    - So the computer can create an entity aware of its own consciousness? Not only is Moriarty aware of his own consciousness, he may have qualified for the Grand Prize ... Sentience! In "The Measure Of A Man," we are told a sentient being must have intelligence, self-awareness, and consciousness. Definitely, Moriarty is intelligent. Data states that the computer gave Moriarty consciousness. Troi backs this up when she senses that a "unifying force, or single consciousness is trying to bring it all into focus." All that remains then is to decide if Moriarty is self-aware. "He seems fairly self-aware to me" (to borrow a line that Picard uses in "The Measure Of A Man"). If Moriarty is self-aware, he is sentient. If he is sentient, he is entitled to all the rights granted sentient life forms in the Federation. Doesn't shutting him off constitute a violation of those rights?
    - The whole idea of Geordi misspeaking only one word and narrowly averting disaster must be very upsetting to the crew.
    - The piece of paper leaving the holodeck has already been mentioned (and Geordi looking at it upside down), but what about Dr. Pulaski stuffing herself full of crumpets? When she leaves, does that matter evaporate? Some people would think this wonderful. Enter a holodeck. Eat all you want. Walk out, all gone! ;)
  • From Brian D. Parsons on 2008-11-21 at 9:46pm:
    The Enterprise crew ignoring Moriarty after he agrees to be saved in memory wasn't entirely voluntary, per this entry from the IMDb article on this episode:

    "The producers, believing that the Sherlock Holmes character was in the public domain, were most surprised when the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle informed them that they still retained the copyright on the character. They did, however, allow the episode to be aired because they felt that the show had done the character justice. Litigation kept the sequel episode "Ship in a Bottle" off the air for nearly four years."
  • From hmad on 2010-03-12 at 6:46pm:
    The controversy of whether holograms have a right to sentience is later explored in the Voyager series w/ the EMH doctor and Hirogen Prey episodes.

    Federation never regarded anything artificially constructed from their own technology, no matter how sophisticated, as something that should have the capacity for true self-determination. Take for instance the ship's computer, massively powerful and integrated into everything yet has practically no autonomy or decision making ability. Seems hard-to imagine that there would be no AI based technology at some point unless it may have been purposely avoided. (Remember the M5 debacle on Kirk's enterprise?)

    @ DSomo: I thought about that too, best explanation may be that food and basic items are somehow replicated on demand within the holodeck for the user's consumption.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-24 at 1:32pm:
    The original review and subsequent comments have said most of what needs to be said, but I just want to point out that the corpse, strangled by his common-law wife is blatantly breathing as it lies on the ground. I know it's a minor point, but hey!

    One slightly amusing point is that the French translation doesn't have Picard using the word "merde". Evidently it was too rude - they have him saying something else altogether, although I don't know what it is.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-22 at 11:14pm:
    Perhaps obvious, but Daniel Davis who played Prof. Moriarty in this episode appeared as Niles in the Fran Descher sitcom "The Nanny".
  • From Inga on 2011-12-27 at 10:22pm:
    Personally, I find the idea of a hologram becoming sentient and self-aware, let alone being able to take control of the ship, a little far-fetched
  • From a2a on 2012-02-16 at 8:46am:
    I thought this was a rather brilliant episode. Good idea and good execution. I appreciated how the writers held back and did not have Moriati assume total control of the ship. That would've been somewhat predictable... and of course utterly unrealistic for someone so technologically out of date and rather out of the loop about his actual place in the world. But I can accept that someone with a brilliant scientific mind and a fiery curiosity (and some intense computer processing power in his cranium) could figure out a thing or two and poke rather aimlessly at the ship's controls - even getting the thing to jostle for a moment or two.

    Moriarty was an altogether excellent character, and it was great how he became something so much more than a campy villain towards the end. The episode looks forward to more profound holographic-lifeform themes in Voyager and other series, and looks backward to the resolution of The Long Goodbye, when Picard spoke frankly to the holographic characters, who were then compelled to try to leave the holodeck... In fact, there was an either intentional or perhaps subconscious direct allusion to that episode: Moriarty says, "I hate long goodbyes." Picard replies, "Well, a short goodbye then." A clever reference vaguely disguised within a play on words? Or just something that happened spontaneously in the writing?

    Small qualm: if this episode was a two-parter or something, I would've expected Moriarty's desire to leave the holodeck to have been elaborated on a bit more. As it was, he never made the rather obvious demand that Picard simply leave him running in the holodeck - he implicitly equated dying with not being able to leave, either literally or by anology... but as far as he was concerned, his entire existence had hitherto been on the holodeck... so, it seems that the status quo would've been a logical (although logistically inconvenient) demand... Of course, I can understand how someone of Moriarty's caliber, having had his eyes opened by this experience, would no longer be satisfied with his prior existence. And I can understand that the writers had to speed through some things...

    Actual Problem: if the ship's computer is both powerful and imaginative enough to create Moriarty, a rather brilliant, and most importantly *self-aware* being (arguably life-form), who is capable of learning, innovating, and free will... why on earth does Starfleet need people like Doctor Zimmerman and the holographic engineering industry?
  • From Dstyle on 2013-08-08 at 1:25pm:
    Whenever someone is trapped in the holodeck (this episode, The Big Goodbye, Fistful of Datas, and more), I always wonder why they don't just get a transporter lock on them and beam them out. Oh, Dr. Pulaski is in danger in the holodeck? Well, we better dress in period costume to go in and get her out!
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-13 at 11:21pm:
    This episode is annoying, for many of the reasons already pointed out. For me the very premise of the episode makes it unsalvageable. As a result of the silly premise, I don't feel interested or invested in the proceeding question of how to treat a new holographic life form. If it's possible for someone in the holodeck -- with just a few magic words -- to inadvertently *create a new sapient life form* which can then *hijack the controls of the ship*, that shows us a catastrophically, criminally dangerous and absurdly overpowered device. (Everything in Trek is overpowered. The phasers, for example, being able to vaporize an entire person in a few seconds, is comical.) As with The Big Goodbye, the fact that they didn't try to cut power or beam anyone out is just the laziest of writing. Do I complain about lazy writing a lot? Yeah, but I'm not wrong!

    Data emotion-spotting: Even though Geordi seems more bothered by Pulaski's skepticism of Data's sentience, Data still seems invested in proving his abilities to Pulaski. (He seems to respond well to things that challenge him.) He also seems quite excited while in character. Curious! I'm noticing a pattern: Data exhibits certain emotional expressions in the context of learning about or attaining humanity. Even in the pilot, he said, "I'd gladly give it up to be human." (Gladness is an emotion.) He DOES clearly seem to exhibit emotions around his humanity, but apparently doesn't quite "experience" them, or report them as such.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x04 - The Outrageous Okona

Originally Aired: 1988-12-12

The roguish Okona charms the crew. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 2.65

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 95 30 18 19 11 28 21 17 5 4 4

- Data called it "an amphibian briefcase." But Fish are not amphibians. Maybe he used the word because the fish was meant to be out of water and therefore had amphibious qualities?
- Picard: "Lasers do not even penetrate our navigational shields." What the hell are navigation shields?

- When Data selected his comedian, the name of the comedian on the computer panel was Ronald B. Moore, who is one of the visual effects guys working on the show.

Remarkable Scenes
- Guinan: "Because you're a droid, and I'm annoyed." Data: "Humanoid." Guinan: "Yes." Data: "You told a joke." Guinan: "Yes!" Data: "I am not laughing." Guinan: "Yes!" Data: "Perhaps the joke was not funny." Guinan: "No. The joke was funny, it's you, Data." Data: "Are you sure?" Guinan: "Yes!" Data: "I agree."
- Data on the holodeck practicing humor.
- Data trying to tell jokes.
- The hostile but harmless ship.
- Picard: "They're threatening to attack the Enterprise!" Okona: "They're crazy, they wouldn't stand a chance!" Picard: "Right!" Then walks away with a confused look on his face. Poor Picard, trying to maintain good diplomatic relations with everyone can be hard!

My Review
This episode is entertaining, funny, and light hearted. This is both its greatest advantage and its greatest disadvantage. While this episode is quite accessible and easy to jump into, the degree to which it doesn't take itself seriously also makes it a bit hard to get into. Its biggest saving grace is that the actors selected for the guests all did a fine job, making the A plot at least reasonably compelling, especially when paired with a humorous Data side plot. However, once again we have an alien race that looks exactly like humans and a fairly predictable small scale plot. A fairly average, somewhat unremarkable episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-17 at 4:12am:
    When Worf goes to retrieve Okona, he find's him on deck 7. We know this because the first two numbers on the woman's door are "07." Yet when Worf and Okona walk out of the room and onto a turbolift, they are now on deck 11 (the door says "11"). Wrong door markings or did they take a side trip we didn't see?
  • From Jon on 2008-09-01 at 3:11am:
    Navigational shields are shields projected ahead of the ship by the deflector dish to protect the ship from damage by micro-particles, space dust and other small debris that could cause catastrophic damage to a ship traveling at high speeds, relatavistic or warp.
  • From Razorback on 2009-06-22 at 3:50pm:
    I agree with jon. It would make sense that all warp vessels have them.
  • From Daniel Blessing on 2009-09-18 at 3:35pm:
    You stated, and asked...
    "- Picard: "Lasers do not even penetrate our navigational shields." What the hell are navigation shields?"

    Navigation shields are the shields the ship uses to move aside space particles, dust, micro meteorites, e.t.c. while traveling. I am not 100% certain, but I believe they are powered by the main deflector. The power output required to keep them up and running is so minimal in terms of what the ship can generate, they are actually tied into life support systems. They are always up and running as long as life support is functional.

    This may however be the only time they are actually called "Navigational Shields." Silly Picard.. =]
  • From Matt on 2010-07-17 at 10:33pm:
    I think navigational shields are low powered shields that protect the ship's hull from various floating debris and radiation. They aren't shields powerful enough to stop phasers however.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-23 at 9:27pm:
    I can't exactly commend this episode, but it was amusing. It feels as though there wasn't really a script; the director just got up and said, "The premise of this episode is that Okona is a Loveable Scoundrel. Everyone act accordingly. Now improvise!"
  • From One mooo on 2012-02-21 at 6:27am:

    Perhaps it is because I have seen this episode half a dozen times before but the comic guy scenes are actually painful for me to watch. I would call this a so so episode. With a rating of meh.
  • From Chantarelle on 2014-06-29 at 9:16am:
    I'm not sure if it's coz I'm a girl, but I loved this ep. I agree that it was meh, and somewhat unremarkable, but that scoundrel was just too fun, and too damn cute not to enjoy. I wouldn't have cared if he was knocking up half of the galaxy, I just wish they'd put him in the same amount of clothing that the women from TOS had to wear ;-)
  • From Diane on 2015-06-20 at 4:24pm:
    Liked Okana and that TOS-ish storyline. Agree that the comic scenes are painful and that storyline feels like a worst night at the improv.
  • From jeffenator98 on 2019-10-25 at 5:16pm:
    Excruciating. 0/10
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-14 at 6:27am:
    "Well, the unexpected IS our normal routine."

    Data's explorations around humor in this episode are interesting and often entertaining. The way he moves his hands while telling a joke gets me laughing every time. And I like how he can't be funny on purpose, but keeps being accidentally funny. "My timing is digital!"

    I do feel like humor could be explained better. There's been a lot of theorizing about what makes people laugh, and it would have been interesting if they had dug into that a little more. Everyone is giving him examples, but nobody gives him theory that he could really dig into.

    Some of it was odd, like Data's line "jump around like an idiot," which seems out of character. You can also spot visible disappointment when he realizes the crowd is programmed to laugh. I continue to wonder if Data's clear expression of hope and/or letdown around his understanding of humanity is intentional or not.

    Data's habit of asking about a term he's not immediately familiar with, then looking it up in his own databanks and answering his own question, is getting pretty old. They did it in the pilot ("snoop"), they've done it a few times since, and they do it here ("rogue"). And then he runs at the mouth. Why, writers?? Why would Data ask a question when he has access to the answer?

    If you freeze frame right when Picard says "terminate communications" with the two other ships, both the men on the screen raise their arms up at the same time. Nice touch.
  • From MJ on 2023-01-17 at 7:03am:
    "A monk, a clone, and a Ferengi decided to go bowling together..."

    My rating for this episode, and the entire TNG series, takes a slight hit because we never get the punchline for this joke. At the very least, they could've made this the joke that Data finally "gets" when Geordi installs his emotion chip in the movie "Generations."

    Anyway, this is standard TNG Season 1-2. It's light and entertaining, a semi-interesting plot, but no real substance or intellectual delivery like we'll get in the later seasons. It doesn't suck, but it's not amazing. I think "5" is a very fair rating.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x05 - Loud as a Whisper

Originally Aired: 1989-1-9

A deaf mediator communicates through a Chorus. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 4.48

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 60 5 8 13 23 21 23 23 18 30 6

- Why can't Riva talk? Many deaf lip readers, who are exactly like Riva, have no problem with it.
- Why was Data signing to Riva? Riva lip reads! Also in a few spots, Data was only signing some of the time.

- Before Riva, there was no Klingon word for "peacemaker."
- The female on Riva's chorus (Marnie Mosiman) is the wife of John de Lancie, who plays Q.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard so easily dismisses Riker's objections with Picard leading the away team now. :)
- Riva's overconfident behavior.
- The death of Riva's chorus. Some neat special effects.
- The murderer of Riva's chorus being killed by his superior officer.
- The away team beaming back up to the Enterprise in desperation, leaving the superior officer of Riva's chorus' murderer in horror yelling "we need you!"
- The pain in Riva's face in the scenes after the death of the chorus and the sympathy of Picard et al is wonderfully done.
- Picard: "Data, he knows some kind of gestural language. Find out which one and learn it!"
- I love how Picard tries to reassure Riva that they're all in this together. So sad. :(
- Data's brief but impressive signing demonstration and Picard's reaction.
- Geordi considering surgery to fix his vision. I love Pulaski in that scene. "I can fix your vision." Geordi: "What? I was told that was impossible." Pulaski: "I've done it twice." Way to go arrogant Pulaski!
- The counselor forcing Riva to see the solution.

My Review
Another exactly like humans race! Riva's race. Despite this, Riva, his race, and his chorus were fascinating. The tragedy that was the death of his chorus was exciting, sad, and a powerful motivator for the wonderful ending. Also, adding the tiny tiny B plot of Geordi confronting his blindness due to learning of Riva's deafness was appropriate and interesting. It is regrettable that we're not informed of Geordi's decision. We must assume he decided to keep everything as is because nothing became of his visit with Pulaski.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-17 at 6:07am:
    - When the Enterprise reaches Solari V, Worf reports laser activity. Picard immediately tells the inhabitants of the planet that they must stop fighting or the Enterprise will leave. He says that he will not endanger his ship. Evidently Picard is simply bluffing because, in the episode just before this one, he and the bridge crew were joking about spaceships attacking them with only lasers ("The Outrageous Okona").
    - Riva's chorus' death is very spectacular but not expected for a laser weapon. Normally lasers only burn holes in stuff. Do the inhabitants of Solari V have some sort of special laser? If they do, maybe that is why Picard was worried about his ship ;)
    - After the death of Riva's chorus, Picard meets with Riva in the observation lounge. During their conversation, Picard tries to convince Riva to help the factions on Solari V. Riva refuses and storms out of the room. The observation lounge is on deck 1, just behind the main bridge. The only way to his quarters is via turbolift. Because riders must speak their destination on a turbolift, Riva isn't exactly equipped to wander around the Enterprise by himself!
    - Both times, just before they beam down to Solari V, Riker sets his phaser on stun by pointing the phaser directly at his stomach and then manipulating the control. Doesn't this seem like an unsafe practice?
  • From thaibites on 2010-01-20 at 4:10pm:
    Another touchy-feely, 2nd season episode designed to get those ladies watching. YUCK!
    Does season 2 ever get good?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-23 at 2:16pm:
    A good episode, the idea of the chorus was pretty cool.

    In response to previous points:
    - While it may be possible Riva could have learned how to speak, using the chorus is so much more effective that he probably never learned how to do so.
    - Lipreading is difficult and inaccurate compared to sign language. Data was being helpful by signing to Riva.
    New points:
    - Adding to the points about the phasers, it is interesting how each time they beam down, they set the phasers on stun, put them in their holsters, beam down, then immediately draw their phasers. Maybe they want to look nonthreatening during the beam down process?
    - A convention of Star Trek is that language barriers are ignored, everyone can speak English. Occasional references are made to the universal translator being somehow responsible for this. This episode sort of breaks that convention, suddenly Picard actually has to deal with the concept of being unable to understand Riva's language. Apparently the universal translator doesn't work on sign language! But if the universal translator doesn't work on visual communication, then Riva wouldn't be able to read lips unless he really did know the language being spoken. Just an interesting point.
  • From CasualLamb on 2021-04-30 at 10:07pm:
    Gotta say, my man Riker’s looking particularly dapper this episode.
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-20 at 9:28pm:
    Overall this time I think I enjoyed this episode more than previous times.

    I didn't like Troi calling out Worf's emotions in front of others. That's not cool. People's emotions are their own business if they don't make it anyone else's problem. She could have invited him to speak his mind, at most.

    I liked the blind man and the deaf man meeting. Geordi talking about his blindness and his VISOR: "They're both a part of me and I really like who I am, so there's no reason to resent either one." - Awesome quote. The phrase "I really like who I am" has stuck with me since I first heard it. #goals?

    I wonder what's in it for Riva's chorus? I mean... they're people with their own lives, friends, families, and interests, right? Do people have to work to live on their planet? Is the chorus well-compensated? Do they get time off? Are there substitutes? Do they get sick? They only seem to exist to serve Riva and his family --- consigned by birth into servitude. Maybe their species doesn't mind that sort of thing? Maybe the chorus members actively enjoy(ed) it? I hope so.

    The chorus dying suddenly is a nice twist the first time you see it. We get to know them a little bit, maybe even care about them, and then BLAM! They're gone and Riva is nerfed. He's suddenly out of control. I do like the resolution, even if (a la Trek) it's rushed. There isn't always a silver lining or a creative solution, but I liked the solution here. Reminds me how I think it's tragic that sign language typically isn't taught in grade school.

    In response to grumpy Mr. thaibites up there: Trek fandom has always included women. Women have always been part of its production, writing, and vision. It was a woman, Lucielle Ball, who saved Trek from cancellation before it was even aired, overriding an all-male board. (Not the only time it was almost canceled, but the first.) Also, "touchy-feely" plotlines (which can be enjoyed by any gender) are an intrinsic part of Star Trek. Deal with it ????

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Star Trek TNG - 2x06 - The Schizoid Man

Originally Aired: 1989-1-23

Enterprise provides medical aid for Dr. Ira Graves. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 4.11

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 66 2 3 7 18 20 24 23 17 9 9

- Near warp transport seems a bit too risky for the gain. They cut what... a few seconds from their journey at the risk of killing the away team? Seems a bit reckless.
- Graves' world looks remarkably like Saturn. I do believe that it's just a Saturn image. Not necessarily a problem, but a bit unoriginal.
- There's a scene order mess up in this episode. When Data and Graves' assistant are in the observation room when the shp goes to warp, the first scene shows Data sitting, Then the next scene shows Data walking around behind her, then the next scene shows Data sitting again. Data's fast, but not that fast.

According to, "[t]his episode was intended as a homage to the British series "The Prisoner", which had an episode of the same name. Patrick McGoohan, who played the lead in that series, was considered for the part of Graves."

Remarkable Scenes
- Data's beard, identical to Riker's without coincidence I'm sure. "Don't I appear more intellectual?"
- Troi: "For a moment, I thought I was stuck in that wall!" Worf: "For a moment, you were." Regarding the long range near-warp transport.
- Troi: "It's an honor to meet you Dr. Graves." Graves: "Yes, of course it is. This is one of the truly great moments of your life."
- Worf being insulted.
- Data calling Graves grandpa
- Graves is so wonderfully immodest.
- Graves mourning himself and Picard ceasing it.
- Wesley reminding Graves/Data that they're similar in age, bodily anyway.
- Graves/Data mouthing off to Picard.

My Review
A nicely done episode with a genuine and interesting moral dilemma. The episode features a nice plug about Data's father's past adding more detail to the mystery regarding his origins and more hope that he could in fact become human some day. Picard's speech about how one life should never be usurped by another is great and the fact that it forces Graves to realize the atrocity he had committed is fantastic. The story ends with a wonderful bit of irony when Graves ends up sacrificing himself to save Data. Graves' consciousness is lost, but his knowledge preserved. So it's not a total loss but the story isn't entirely a happy ending making Graves' statement that "real life" doesn't always have a happy ending. Despite being such a nice episode, it could have been improved by spending more time on the moral issue and less time on showing us how evil Data + Graves was. Only a tiny fraction of the episode was dedicated to the moral issue. The ending seemed abrupt, though still enjoyable.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-18 at 6:08am:
    - At the very beginning, Pulaski does a voice-over while going to the bridge. She never opens her mouth the entire time she is on the turbolift. How did the turbolift know where to take her?
    - Just after the "touch and go" transport, Data contacts the Enterprise. However, the Enterprise is traveling at warp during this time (it's on a rescue mission, I'm assuming it is traveling at warp 8). Very impressive range for these little communicators.
    -When Picard thinks Graves is dead, he says, "Whatever scientific secrets Ira Graves was about to unlock have been lost forever." Didn't Graves take notes? I would think someone as egotistical as Graves would keep very detailed records (not just for someone to build on his research, but so he could get credit for any discoveries)
    - When Graves/Data becomes angry with Brianon, he tightens his grip on her hand. According to Dr. Pulaski, this action fractures her hand in two places, but Brianon's reaction is amazingly passive. As Graves/Data storms out, she simply sits and watches him go.
    - When Data/Graves backhands Picard, he swings his hand from the left to the right. Picard then spins a full turn to the LEFT, then stumbles to the right. Picard spins in the opposite direction as the force of impact!!
  • From Daniel Blessing on 2009-09-18 at 4:17pm:
    "- Near warp transport seems a bit too risky for the gain. They cut what... a few seconds from their journey at the risk of killing the away team? Seems a bit reckless."

    From a viewers perspective, yes it seems to be only a few seconds. However, I believe that if you view the entire coming out of warp, getting into a "safe orbit for transport" and then executing the transport normally or standard procedure, this saves more time then we actually get to see visually. Consider the time constraints the show is forced to endure. Often we get a calculation of "We will arrive at the destination in approximately 10 hours." Just then, we get a Captains Log entry and the ship has arrived. Only a few seconds have passed...
    The bottom line here is that we may not ever get to see all of the required steps involved with coming out of warp at a safe distance, traveling the remaining distance to get into range for transport, and then all that is involved with safe planetary transport.
    If I had to guess at how much time all of these things would take, (and again, this is pure speculation,) I would guess that by doing this form of transport, they could have saved anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes. Not worth the time of the lives being risked by any stretch. Especially considering they were not at maximum warp and could have made up the lost time by simply increasing to a slightly faster warp factor.
    This was obviously an attempt to introduce us to something new. It was never used again, and for good reason. It was fail.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-25 at 9:19am:
    Factoid: the away team that beams down is the only one in TNG that doesn't contain a 100% human. It has an android, a Klingon, a Vulcan and a (50%) Betazoid.

    Brent Spiner's acting is the high point here, but the rest of the episode has some nice points too. I'd have loved to find out more about the relationship between Graves and Soong though.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-29 at 1:23am:
    The episode revolved heavily around the character of Dr. Graves, but I never felt I understood him. They mentioned his disease affected his brain. How much of his egomania was natural, how much caused by the neurological disease? The entire episode is spent showing how utterly arrogant and self-centered Dr. Graves is, then at the end, he is convinced to give up Data's body. I didn't understand why he did this. Why let the greatest mind in the universe die just because lesser mortals aren't strong enough to be around it? Picard's speech was good, but not that good. Dr. Graves didn't say or do anything that would make me understand why he suddenly develops concern for others.
  • From Inga on 2011-12-28 at 7:54pm:
    Finally, a Vulcan character with lines :)

    I agree with CAlexander, Graves' character seems a little unrealistic.
  • From a2a on 2012-02-19 at 11:19pm:
    This episode was alright but Graves' assistant was painfully one-dimensional. Throughout the entire episode, beginning to end, she had the same helpless, vulnerable demeanor. That's probably my main complaint...

    I liked how this episode tackled some "transhumanist" concepts with a balanced perspective... The show presents an interest in "bridging man and machine," but also a commonsense cautiousness. Graves' assistant is repulsed at the idea of turning into an android, Picard considers what Graves did to be "cheating" and a kind of perversion, and Graves himself in the end decides it wasn't a good idea. The experiment is terminated.

    In the end, Picard is very satisfied with the ship's computer carrying Graves' knowledge, but not his consciousness.

    - - -

    This is an altogether level-headed take on futurist/transhumanist concepts... concepts which may become real, tangible concerns within our lifetime...
  • From Gategod on 2012-07-29 at 1:52pm:
    I love this idea, but the actions in it INFURIATE me.

    This stupid girl is in love with an old guy, who is also in love with her, but the moment he isn't "old" anymore and the two of them can actually be together... she pulls away. She is disgusted by him and becomes fearful. To me, this is ridiculous and comes out of nowhere.

    Also, Counselor Troi must have had a copy of the script, because she assumes WAY too much and basically figures out the problem magically.

    Data/Graves should have been able to full everyone, for the entire episode... if not an entire SEASON. He is supposedly the most brilliant man ever, yet can't control himself for 10 minutes? UNREALISTIC.

    He should have been happy after backhanding Picard and took off in a shuttle all la-de-da to continue his research for the next thousand years. He cheated death, only to suicide himself out of nowhere because of a bald man (whom he hated) told him too.

    That's how I would have written it. The "bad" guy should have won out here, and Data should have been gone for good. If not, at least draw this out more. People shouldn't even have SUSPECTED that he wasn't acting right. Not for another 20 minutes, if not 20 episodes.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x07 - Unnatural Selection

Originally Aired: 1989-1-30

Pulaski suffers from a disease that induces rapid aging. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 3.44

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 57 6 15 17 16 23 20 13 8 5 5

- The genetic engineering done on that planet is strictly forbidden by the Federation canonically as of TOS: Space Seed. We're forced to assume they had special permission.
- The transporter cure is a bit far fetched and plagued by meaningless technobabble.

- This is the first episode to mention O'Brien's name.

Remarkable Scenes
- The crew's horror toward what happened to the Lantree is nicely done.
- I like Riker's discreet commenting on Pulaski's hatred of the transporter.
- Data's little smile after Pulaski talks up his computer skills.
- Picard's interaction with Pulaski's former captain is fantastic.
- The destruction of the Lantree.

My Review
Truly Pulaski's episode, and she deserved one. She interacts so nicely with Picard, Data, and the rest of the cast. It's truly unfortunate though that the problems of this episode drag it down quite a bit. First, we must assume that they've been given special permission to do that genetic engineering, but my assumption doesn't make the problem go away. That stuff is illegal. Second, the way the disease is cured and the problem is solved is highly lame. We're given no acceptable solution. Despite the fact that I like O'Brien's character and I'm glad he got screen time, his lines are mostly nonsensical technobabble resulting in a largely unexplained cure. Moreover, in the tradition of TOS: The Deadly Years, the transporter is used not only for a miracle cure, but a miracle cure for aging! Once again, like in that episode, we must assume that the "aging effect" is not in fact "true" aging and thus the transporter cannot be used to cure "normal" aging. Despite all this, what the episode lacked in continuity and technicality, it made up for in performance and character interactions. If we needed any more evidence that Pulaski is McCoy 2.0, we just got it. ;)

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-22 at 6:31am:
    - When Pulaski decides to test her theory that the genetically perfect boy is harmless, she has Data pilot the shuttle. Why can't they pilot the shuttle by remote or have Data beam back to the Enterprise before they beam the boy over to the shuttle? That way, if something goes wrong, they will lose only one senior staff member, not two.
    - Because this cure with the transporters filtering Pulaski's DNA worked, everyone in the Federation can now remain eternally young. All they have to do is take a sample of their DNA when they are young. When a person approaches death, they can have the transporter redo their DNA. At this point, they should become young again.
    - When the Enterprise reaches the Lantree, Data reports that all systems seem functional. This seems reasonable. The problem with the Lantree wasn't the ship, it was the people. So why was the first transmission from the Lantree full of static and the voices garbled?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-23 at 2:54pm:
    I agree with your points. I especially liked the efficient way they investigated the Lantree disaster and the respectful sendoff at the end. But the technical flaws were really noticeable. The genetic engineering is a huge discontinuity with both Space Seed earlier and DS9 later, where it is made clear that even subtle forms of genetic engineering are illegal and heavy discouraged. In this episode they proudly announce that they are creating fast-growing superbeings with flying hunter-killer biological defenses, and the crew doesn't seem bothered in the slightest. Then there is the cure. Let me paraphrase the scene where Picard comes up with the cure:

    Picard: "Chief O'Brien, I just had an idea. Could we modify the transporter into a magical plot device that can modify the molecules in the target in any way we choose?"

    O'Brien: "Sure, Captain, but I'll have to make a few modifications."

    I'll imagine what must have happened after that scene:

    Data: "Fascinating that no one ever thought of that before. A 10 second conversation has resulted in a discovery that will have massive repercussions throughout the galaxy."

    Picard: "No, Mr. Data, I'm a modest man. Let's forget about my little invention and never use it again."
  • From Inga on 2011-12-29 at 11:59am:
    The planet, Gagarin IV, was named after Yuri Gagarin (???? ???????) - the first human in space
  • From One Moonie Pants on 2012-02-22 at 8:49am:
    Rename: In which Pulaski makes a complete ass of herself. Once again she is quite rude to Data and then complements him later. She is outright nasty to Picard. Many medical officers learn to pilot a shuttle craft, I can only guess that she never learned cause she thought that particular skill would never come in handy on a starship?! Where is Crusher, I dislike this lady very strongly.
    OK done ranting about Pulaski, the positive points of this episode were the introduction of O’Brian who is an excellent actor (unlike Pulaski). The techno babble in this ep. I think is just to show that this new guy knows his stuff and therefore is awesome and worthy of hundreds of hours of screen time in future. Up until now he was just some dude standing where so many others have stood before (like the good looking women who the "rouge" hits on in 2x4.
    I thought the transporter cure was very far fetched and brought up to many questions, it was too much like cloning an earlier version of her. If that were the case why did she retain memories from her time over on the station. Also if she is in some way a clone then this would solve the death of every crew member…… ever. Just make a new copy from a hair when they get really old, human aging problem solved...?
    Early in the ep. The computer takes control of the ship and shows view screen of the bridge, trick was pretty cool. I wonder how many times that could have been used to solve problems on other episodes? :)
    All around this ep was just, put up with annoying character that we have to live with this whole season. As well as intro of new awesome character. The plot of this one is pretty dull and the philosophical eye brow raising was nonexistent.
  • From idiotek on 2012-09-04 at 6:10am:
    I want to believe you're trolling with the Pulaski love-in, seeing as she's the worst recurring character out of any TV show ever (never mind the trek franchise). Don't think you are though. McCoy 2.0 is probably the biggest blasphemy you could have gone for. Picard facepalm.
  • From McCoy on 2017-11-13 at 8:24pm:
    Sorry, Idiotek. Pulaski is my favourite character from TNG:) What a shame she was only for one season. I'm serious, really.
    And this was nice episode with good interactions between her and Picard.
  • From jeffenator98 on 2019-10-02 at 5:04pm:
    They did use this technique before in TAS episode the Lorelei signal. I also like Pulaski.
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-15 at 6:56am:
    The treknobabble in this episode is just .... mwa! *chef's kiss*

    "Well, I'd have to get into the bio-filter bus and patch in a molecular matrix reader. That's no problem. But the waveform modulator will be overloaded without the regeneration limiter in the first stage circuit." ... Makes me wonder if the Trek writers read their own scripts sometimes.

    Amazing job that transporter did on Pulaski's makeup!

    I don't dislike Pulaski as much as I dislike Crusher's absence. Nice to see her learning to be a little less of a jerk to Data.

    Data emotion-spotting: he smiles a little bit when Pulaski says he has a way with computers. He's clearly programmed to crave human approval and display signs of vindication when he gets it.
  • From The USS Obamtry on 2023-04-23 at 4:13pm:
    Pulaski is great, she is more interesting, fun interactions with some of the crew, finally someone who rembers that Data is an android, and she was in TOS a few times!
    And to that guy who says she is a bad actress, ridiculous! Unlike for most of the usual trek cast, including the Crushers, she had a multifaceted acting career besides Trek.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x08 - A Matter of Honor

Originally Aired: 1989-2-6

Riker serves as first officer on board a Klingon ship. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.13

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 27 1 23 10 5 5 12 36 57 43 14

- There is a lot of talk about why Klingon isn't translated by the universal translators. I like to explain this one way by saying the translators can't handle it. The real reason though is that speaking in Klingon makes them look cooler and serves to further make them seem like the strange and foreign Russians they're supposed to represent.

- The first mention of Klingon delicacy Gagh.
- This episode confirms what many of us suspected, each starship has a majority race on board, in the case of the Enterprise, mostly human. It's confirmed by the Benzite telling us about "his race's ships" even though they're part of the Federation.

Remarkable Scenes
- The phaser range match between Riker and Picard is nicely done.
- I love Picard's sociological curiosity regarding Klingon culture.
- Klingon ship's first appreances and close ups are impressive.
- Riker's assertiveness toward the Klingon second officers is fantastic.
- Klingon Officer: "If Klingon food is too strong for you, then perhaps we can get one of the females to breastfeed you!"
- All of the dialogue between the Klingons and Riker is articulate and interesting.
- After demanding Riker give him the weaknesses of the Enterprise and Riker refuses, the Klingon captain says, "if you had told me those secrets about the Enterprise, I would have labeled you a traitor [to your people] and killed you where you stood."

My Review
The Benzite was annoying. But the way the crew reacted to him was satisfactory. I liked Worf's reaction to him the best. Beyond that, the whole episode was just thrilling and fun. The Klingons w/Riker gave an excellent showing and thankfully very little screen time was devoted to the dumb Benzite. Unfortunately, as nicely portrayed the Klingons were and some points, they seemed kind of dumb at others. I doubt most sane Klingons would attack a Federation ship at the drop of a hat like that. Not really that serious a problem though seeing as how the rest of the episode establishes so much nice continuity with Klingon culture. A good episode all together.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-22 at 7:52am:
    - If Mendon is a Starfleet officer, the testing officer during Wesley's entrance exam lied. After Mordock won the competition, the testing officer congratulated him as the first Benzite in Starfleet.
    - During a meal aboard the Klingon ship, the second-in-command tells the story about his father and his father's dishonor. It shames the second-in-command, and he states that he refuses to go see his father. Riker reacts with disbelief, repeating over and over, "He's your father!" Doesn't this behavior seem a bit hypocritical for Riker? The episode "The Icarus Factor" reveals that Riker hasn't seen his own father in fifteen years and they are definitely not on good terms.
    - What happened to the weapons scan in the transporter? The Klingon captain manages to get through with a live weapon.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-25 at 10:34am:
    The food scenes are great fun. I love the way Riker really gets into his food while the other humans react with horror at what he's eating. Riker's banter with the Klingons is fun too.

    The Benzite is annoying, but no more so than any other. It's pretty much established that some species are just more annoying to humans than others. At least he doesn't get much screen time.

    @DSOmo - perhaps emergency transports have less stringent checks?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-02-22 at 4:45am:
    While I didn't think much of the Benzite subplot, I loved the primary plot of Riker with the Klingons. It really achieved its goal of showing the Klingons as being very different and scary, but having some good qualities of their own. I thought the episode really made good use of the Riker character, which not many episodes do. Riker's brash, gung-ho attitude made him absolutely the perfect person for the job, I could totally believe that he would dive into Klingon culture where other characters would fear to tread, and earn the respect of the Klingons.

    In response to previous comments: My impression from the episode was that the Benzites have a spaceship fleet which is not part of Starfleet, and that is why the Benzite was part of an exchange program. So Mordock could indeed be the first Benzite in Starfleet, even if he wasn't the first Benzite to serve on a starship.
  • From Inga on 2011-12-30 at 8:46pm:
    I really like the idea of this episode, although I find the Klingon Captain's aggression toward the Enterprise rather unprofessional and weakly motivated.

    As for the 'Problems' of the episode, I personally like when Klingons speak their language - it seems more realistic
  • From a2a on 2012-02-20 at 1:14pm:
    Great episode. Perhaps the first (and perhaps even the best) (modern trek) illustration of what Klingons are about and how they think and operate. Quite brilliantly done.

    I also enjoyed how Riker's exchange was mirrored by the alien ensign's tour on the Enterprise, and how the two plots intertwined.

    But most of all I enjoyed watching a tense but self-assured Riker on the Klingon ship - his interactions with everyone there were great. The scene with him in the mess hall - getting picked on, joking around, getting hit on by Klingon women, eating live serpent worms - was absolutely priceless.

    Interesting detail: at the end, when Riker deposes the captain, he claims it was because the Klingon was acting irrationally, and no one challenges him. This type of scenario is discussed throughout the episode, so there is plenty of foreshadowing... except that the criteria for assassinating and usurping your superior is always talked about as *weakness* not foolhardiness. Perhaps Riker succeeded in teaching the Klingons that irrationality is itself almost inevitably a weakness. If that is the case, then this little exchange had a truly profound effect on both sides.
  • From rick on 2013-11-11 at 4:14pm:
    "This episode confirms what many of us suspected, each starship has a majority race on board, in the case of the Enterprise, mostly human. It's confirmed by the Benzite telling us about "his race's ships" even though they're part of the Federation."

    So the federation doesnt stand for forced diversity in Starship settings? Well alright, chalk that up as a very conservative standpoint for Star Trek. I guess they have never read any of the Supreme Court busing cases.

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

Originally Aired: 1989-2-13

Picard must defend Data against being disassembled. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.8

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 54 4 5 5 2 2 4 8 18 35 219


- 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.
  • From the obampresident on 2021-07-16 at 5:44pm:
    Why starfleet property? Because finders keepers :D

    Also the whole starship computer refit argument was strange. What if one of those computers really refuses? I am sure investigating the reasons (like possible sentience) for refusing will be more interesting than getting the refit done.
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-17 at 2:37am:
    This episode still feels relevant, as our species continues to struggle with the challenge of seeing the humanity and intrinsic worth of people who look or act different. Despite ample evidence, Maddox could not see what everyone else could see: that Data exhibits enough obvious signs of sapience, personhood, and self-awareness that we should treat him like a person. He has a will. He's not predictable. He arouses emotion in others. It makes no sense NOT to treat him like a person.

    It took considerable effort to get Maddox to see Data's personhood even a little bit, and it wasn't until then that Maddox used Data's correct pronoun, thus signifying his acceptance of Data's autonomy. I find this quite a powerful allegory for the many people whose humanity, whose reality, whose lived experience, has been or is still denied for various reasons.

    Fortunately for both Maddox and Data, Data is not capable of being insulted by this or holding a grudge. (In "Data's Day" we hear him reading a letter he is sending to Maddox.) Most of us are not so lucky.

    I love the shameless flirting between Picard and Louvois!

    "If we weren't around all these people, do you know what I would like to do?"
    "Bust a chair across my teeth?"
    "After that."
    "Oh, ain't love wonderful?"

    Damn. Thirsty Trek best Trek.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x10 - The Dauphin

Originally Aired: 1989-2-20

Wesley falls for a mysterious young girl. [DVD]

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 4.03

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 17 15 26 20 21 16 43 6 8 3 4

- Why is the computer voice different (male) when LaForge asks it for the energy depletion level?
- When Pulaski calls for security, a full team including the captain of the ship (!) walks in a second later. Sorry, that's just not possible. Not even for Hollywood.
- When Wesley and Selia are standing on the asteroid on the holodeck, a big point is made about the sound they're hearing. Uhh, hello? No sound in space?

- The Federation at this time has charted 19% of the galaxy.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard: "Mr Worf, have our passengers accommodations met with their approval?" Worf: "I doubt if anything ever meets with that woman's approval... sir."
- Worf's description of the Klingon mating ritual.
- Riker seducing Guinan.
- Anya: "I cannot rely on your primitive technologies! Kill the patient."
- Worf and Anya coming to blows.
- Mutual respect gestures from Anya and Worf in the ending.

My Review
If you don't find the idea of shape shifters pretending to be human or a love story centered around Wesley very entertaining, then this is most definitely not the episode for you. There are aspects of this episode that are quite entertaining generally, but by and large the episode is quite routine with very little contention and intrigue.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-24 at 4:15am:
    - At the beginning of the show, Wesley is helping Geordi in Engineering. At this time, Picard is talking with Anya. Before beaming aboard, Anya asks what species they are. From events later in the episode, it is obvious why Anya asked this question. Wesley realizes this fact in one of his last conversations with Salia. But how did Wesley know that Anya asked the question of species in the first place? He was in Engineering at the time, and the question itself is seemingly pointless, not the type of thing to be repeated readily.
    - As Picard escorts Anya and Salia to their quarters, Wesley steps off a turbolift, carrying the SCM Model 3, and sees Salia for the time. The numbers on the turbolift doors are "22." What is Wesley doing on deck 22? He already has the SCM, shouldn't he be headed back to Engineering on deck 36?
    - Why is Wesley so offended to learn that Salia could change her shape? I think it would be fun, "Let's try blonde today, maybe a little taller, how about some bigger ...." ;)
    - During the episode "Where No One Has Gone Before," Kozinski states that in the past three hundred years, humanity has charted only 11 percent of the galaxy. Wesley tells Salia that they have charted 19 percent of the galaxy. The Federation has been busy!! (or someone is wrong)
    - When the Enterprise arrives at Daled IV, the atmosphere of the planet interferes with their communications. The Enterprise can't even talk to these people, and they can still transport Salia down? Isn't the transporter usually the first thing to go? It seems reasonable that transporting living beings would be a lot more difficult to accomplish than communication.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-01-25 at 5:58pm:
    I gave this episode a 1.

    "The Dauphin" offends my sensibilities for a couple of reasons. First, virtually all Wesley-centered episodes (especially the earlier ones) are terrible and this is no exception. I realize that Wesley is an adolescent, but his actions in this episode are ridiculous. He loves this girl? Please. They've known each other for about, what 3 days? Why doesn't Geordi snatch a knot in Wesley's ass for not having his head in the game when they're performing maintence on the engines? Again, I realize Wesley's an adolescent, but he's also a serving ensign on the ship, and he can worry about poontang when the work's done. Isn't that the very kind of thing he's supposed to be learning? It seems he already knows everything there is to know about the Enterprise.

    The Wesley episodes always leave me cold because they're a waste of a character. Instead of doing something worthwhile with the character, they churn out shlock. His wide-eyed boy wonder sthick gets old really fast, and this episode is an prime example.

    In additon to the problems already mentioned, I submit the following:

    --I don't buy the sickbay scene. If these shape-shifter beings are really some sort of "light energy" beings, are they really in danger from a virus?

    --Why is the crew incredulous that shape-shifting beings exist? They act like they've got the Loch Ness monster or Sasquatch on their hands, but this has been established before. Iman's character in Star Trek III is a shapeshifter, and there are a few more examples as well.

    --The teddy bear incarnation of Anya is incredibly stupid.

    --This isn't necessarily a problem, but it's underdeveloped. At one point, Picard (I think it was Picard, anyway) hopes that the Federation can establish "formal relations" with Daled IV. Isn't ferrying their new leader around the galaxy something that should qualify as "formal relations"? How is it that the flagship of the Federation comes to be the personal taxi service of a planet they don't seem to know anything about at all?

    --Is it just me, or does the scene between Guinan and Riker just not jive with Guinan's character somehow?

    --Worf's final exchange with Anya is painful to watch.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-25 at 11:52am:
    For some reason, I quite like this episode. There's a decent amount of technobabble like "In a moment, the harmonic resonance from the neutrino clouds will become synchronous"(!!!!!). There are basic mistakes - you already mentioned the sound in space, but how about you can see the planet rotating? It would fly apart if it was spinning that fast. There are bad alien costumes.

    But... it works. For some reason I don't find Wesley objectionable in this one, and the love story is quite believable. I like the interaction between Anya and Worf. I'm not claiming it's brilliant, but I'll give it a 6.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-22 at 11:54pm:
    Some of the worst special effects in the history of Star Trek. Even much of TOS was better than this! The shape shifting scenes were embarrassing.
  • From Inga on 2011-12-30 at 10:34pm:
    Salia's true form somehow reminds me of the Companion from the TOS episode "Metamorphosis".

    Also, I agree with JRPoole - Worf's final exchange with Anya WAS painful to watch :/
  • From One Moon Circles eyes in the dark on 2012-02-27 at 5:40am:
    Falling in love your first time as an adolescent actually does happen when not even knowing each other and it can happen in just 2 days. I can testify to this from personal experience. :) Other than that this episode is just so wrong in so many ways I don't even know where to start. I gave this one a 1. The last episode was a hard one to follow but this one didn't even make an attempt.
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-16 at 2:12am:
    Ah, young love. It's true, adolescent experiences of "love" can seem trivial through the mists of time, but for them it's pretty damn powerful. And yes, it's possible to get *very* attached to someone over just a few days! Even at 39, I'm not too jaded to watch the scenes between Wes and Salia and feel a little bit of it myself. I think the two actors did quite well together. I even teared up when Wes came to say goodbye, but I'm a sap and I accept that. Kudos to Geordi for realizing Wes was gonna be useless for a little while and validating to Wes how intense puberty is.

    I have a soft spot for this ep for a couple reasons, and NONE of them have anything to do with having a huge crush on Salia, nope! How dare you even suggest that!

    - Worf's rather licentious description of Klingon sex.
    "what does the man do?"
    "he reads love poetry. ... he ducks a lot."
    Cracks me up every time.

    - Guinan's and Riker's (mock?) flirting. Fantastic. Almost sounds like they're reciting a famous play or something. Guinan: "shut up, kid." Thirsty Guinan, rare form!

    - Guinan's insight to Wes at the end. I've always loved it. "Each one feels different" may sound like a basic lesson in love, but it's one worth hearing anyway. Wes won't feel the same way again, and that's OK. Salia will be unique to him in that way.

    It's not a great episode, but I don't think it tries to be. For me it's enjoyable for what it is.

    Worf: "do not be fooled by her looks. The body is just a shell." Indeed.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x11 - Contagion

Originally Aired: 1989-3-20

The Enterprise computer is infected. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.8

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 7 4 8 12 5 16 45 36 37 21

- Why did Riker order the helmsman to raise the shields?
- How can one talk during transport?

- This is the first episode in which Picard orders "tea, Earl Grey, hot."

Remarkable Scenes
- The destruction of the Yamato.
- Captain Varley's logs.
- Wesley's history lesson regarding the Iconians.
- Picard: "Now that should not have have happened." Regarding the replicator messing up his tea.
- Geordi running to the bridge trying to stop the captain from capturing the probe then almost dying in the turbolift.
- Picard: "Welcome to the bridge, Mr. LaForge."
- The computer electrocutes LaForge then to save him, Data throws him halfway across the room. I love the facial expression on Data's face when he realizes he used too much force. And I love the short dialog between them afterward.
- More away team bickering between Riker and Picard. Riker puts up more of a fight, but so does Picard.
- Riker: "Fate protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise."
- Troi: "In another time or place, this could be funny."
- Riker: "If it should become necessary to fight, could you find me some rocks to throw at them?"
- Riker to Taris: "Perhaps we should postpone the war until our more immediate problems are solved."
- Picard, more or less, "Data, decipher this language. Now." Ah Data, Picard's personal away team laptop.
- The look on Riker's face when he says to Troi, "You're jumpy," is great.
- Data's over explanation of how he deciphered the language. Picard, more or less, "Yes, yes, just translate." Poor Data. So under appreciated.
- Data: "I believe this is manual override." (Giant flash of light opening a gateway.) Data: "That was not manual override."
- Brent Spiner's acting as a damaged Data was wonderful.
- Picard has a couple of good "final" lines before his brush with death. "I hope that was not a stutter." Regarding Data. Then "very shortly, anywhere will be preferable to this room."
- Worf just appearing on the bridge.
- Data's resurrection and confusion.
- I love the countdowns in the alien languages (Iconian and Romulan).

My Review
This is an exciting episode right from the beginning. Very short into the episode there is fear of a catastrophic design flaw which is milked for all its worth. Then we get an even bigger implication: Iconian technology is destroying the ship accidentally and at the same time must be kept away from the Romulans to keep them from getting a major tactical advantage. Despite heavy politics and heavy tension, the episode bears great archaeological and cultural tidbits. The revelation that the Iconians might not be conquerors and that they were slaughtered by those fearful of them is fascinating. The discussion about it between Picard, Data, and Worf is apt and interesting. This episode very easily could have scored a 10. I take one point off for no follow up and one point off for the "destroy it all now!" attitude. I understand why Picard made that decision, but that Iconian gateway is a wonderful bit of technology that could have been studied in great detail. Picard just blows it up over political fear. Seems reckless. Nevertheless, a wonderful episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-24 at 7:25am:
    - Are computer viruses unknown in the twenty-fourth century? Even unsophisticated, twentieth-century hackers knew about reinitializing a computer system and reloading all the software.
    - Every accomplished programmer understands that computer users need to be protected from accidents. That's why the more user-friendly programs tell you when you are about to do something disastrous. For instance, while trying to delete or overwrite a file, the program will usually ask the user to confirm his or her actions. Doesn't blowing up a substation seem like a fairly serious course of action? Wouldn't the programs make this fairly difficult to accomplish? Obviously not, because all Picard has to do to close the bay doors after launching a probe is tab a button three times.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-01-25 at 6:07pm:
    The talking during transport thing doesn't bother me that much here. It always seems that there is a moment between the transporter beam grabbing hold and the moment when your atoms become converted into energy, and it seems reasonalbe to assume that motor functions could still work during that moment.

    Regardless, I agree with the review here. This is a taughtly constructed, exciting episode and one of the best of the second season.
  • From KStrock on 2009-01-14 at 3:10pm:
    I think you should mention that the solution to the entire problem on the Enterprise is ridiculous:

    Tech Support: "Did you try shutting down the computer and restarting it?"

    Really? Just shutting down and restarting? It almost seems like a joke by the writers in a time when PCs were starting to really appear in homes.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-25 at 1:10pm:
    I agree with what's already been said: a very enjoyable episode with a few minor problems.

    The panel on the Iconian console is really annoying. If everything is done through three taps of different colour blocks, that only gives you 27 different functions, and why bother with all the fancy symbols in each block?

    "Shut down and restart" is a bit of a cliche now, but at the time it was probably fair enough.

    The gateway itself reminds me of TOS: The City on the Edge of Forever, and I agree it was a shame it was destroyed. Also, as a big fan of architecture, it seems odd that Picard was so keen to do it.

    Still. I'll give it an 8.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-13 at 9:56pm:
    Definitely an interesting episode, I thought it was a good one.

    - Picard's stated reason for staying in the Neutral Zone - due to the risk of a design flaw - makes no sense. Surely it is more risky to offend the Romulans than worry about a possible design flaw that could manifest at any time, or never. Maybe it was just an excuse and he really just wanted to stay for other reasons.
    - Blue blue blue? A few simple button presses to destroy the base? No wonder the Iconians didn't survive! The Enterprise would have been destroyed many times over if they had such a control system.
    - There is something quite odd about how Picard says "I doubt any Iconians survived this orbital bombardment" right after he beams down into a fully functional and beautifully intact command center.
  • From Inga on 2012-01-01 at 6:37pm:
    Why didn't Picard or that other Captain inform the Starfleet of this discovery? Can a mere starship captain make such a decision himself?
  • From Ggen on 2012-02-24 at 10:16pm:
    This episode starts up with a wicked, satisfyingly frenzied pace. Within the first few minutes we have an exploding Federation Starship, a tense face-off with a Romulan ship, the threat of catastrophic systems failure on the Enterprise, and hints of an ancient civilization with powerful technology.

    But the same thing that makes this episode so riveting also costs it a few points at the very end. In the last few minutes, Data is pronounced dead, Data is pronounced good as new, Picard is held captive on the Romulan ship, Picard smugly escapes via transport, an out of control Romulan ship is about to self-destruct, the Romulan ship is back to normal...

    With so many dramatic turnings and reversals, the ending of this episode feels simply *rushed*. It needed another 20 minutes or so to wrap everything up.

    Small details:

    - Episode very cleverly sneaks in what would otherwise have been gratuitous-feeling exposition about the Iconians by having Wesley bring it up with Picard... to have Wesley ask Picard, as if he was a little kid asking about myths and fairy tales, is of course utterly ridiculous... but the writers cleverly get away with it by making it a false pretense and not Wesley's real reason to talk to the captain.

    - I liked the tortured look on two nameless crewmen's faces as Pulaski first bitches her heart out to some poor soul, and then gives a semi-ironic pep talk about splints and practicing medicine "with your hands." It's as if the writers are giving us someone to sympathize with. "Yes, yes, Pulaski is intolerable, we know... hang in there..."
  • From jeffenator98 on 2019-12-27 at 6:18pm:
    It's good to know that 300 years from now that the old turn it off turn it on trick still works. 6/10

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Star Trek TNG - 2x12 - The Royale

Originally Aired: 1989-3-27

The crew is trapped in an alien casino. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 4.36

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 27 25 17 14 18 35 28 14 20 7 10

- LaForge claims the temperature is -291C. That's below absolute zero, which is impossible. Also, if the temperature is below absolute zero, how can you have wind? Much less 312 meters per second of wind?
- Picard is attempting to solve Fermat's last theorem. Whoops! Little did the writers know that the years 1983 through 1986 remarkable progress had already been made trying to solve it. In fact, by the time this episode was written in 1989 it had already been proven that Fermat's last theorem was 1. solvable and 2. would yield an elliptical curve. The theorem was ultimately solved 6 years after this episode was written by Andrew Wiles and Richard Taylor. The writers must have been very pessimistic about the progress of finding the solution, or they were just uninformed that it was progressing at all.

- There are 52 stars on the American flags in this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- Riker: "Yes. We're from the United Federation of Planets." Clerk: "Of course you are. Welcome to the Hotel Royale."
- Riker: "He means this planet. What do you call it?" Clerk: "Earth. What do you call it?" Worf: "We call it Theta 8." Clerk: "Quite charming."
- Data: "What sort of bu'iness do you suppose he's getting down to?" Mimicking the slang.
- Data playing Blackjack.
- Worf refers to the elevator as a turbolift.
- Worf: "Terrible way to die." Regarding dying in one's sleep.
- Data reading the book at lightning speed.
- I love the insults thrown at this book in the episode.
- Worf answering the phone.
- Data cheating in the game.

My Review
Really quite a dreadful episode. Between the technical problems and the juxtaposition of a book with a horrendous story as this episode's main plot, there is little to redeem this episode besides the occasional well placed humorous scenes. Even those however are difficult to appreciate with all the various cliches and lameness spread about. Most of this episode's single point comes from my appreciation of the characters too complaining about the book. It's almost as if the characters also despise the episode. ;)

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-24 at 5:36pm:
    - Just before beginning his attempt to win the funds needed to buy the Royale, Data explains the rules of craps to Riker. Doesn't it seem odd that Data has to explain the rules of craps to Riker? Riker is one of the best poker players on the Enterprise. If Riker has such a deep interest in poker, wouldn't that translate to at least a passing familiarity with other games of chance?
    - I've read that the scene with Data at the craps table is a knock-off from a scene in a movie called "The Questor Tapes." A two-hour TV pilot in 1974 created by Gene Roddenberry.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-04 at 4:24am:
    I liked this episode, despite the lack of any real meaning. It was just fun to watch the crew discover what is going on and execute their escape. A relatively simple, light-hearted episode.

    In response to DSOmo:
    - It is quite likely that Riker would be ignorant of craps despite knowing Poker. They are very different games. Poker is a game of skill and psychology with an element of chance. Craps is purely a game of chance, a simple-minded gambling game quite likely to have vanished utterly by the 24th century. And the average poker player today knows nothing about many of the games played in the 17th century.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-20 at 4:30pm:
    Wind speed of 312 meters per second would translate to:

    312 x 3,600 / 1,000 = ~1,000 KPH

    That's pretty %#%^ fast! Maybe too fast. Certainly too fast to survive without some elaborate protective gear. Possibly even faster than escape velocity for a planet this small.
  • From Abigail Chappell on 2012-08-12 at 9:25pm:
    Fermat's Last Theorem: My friend Lucas (who went to ESU but transferred there after you left) was watching this episode and caught the problem with Fermat's Last Theorem. He emailed me about it, and I just showed him this website so we could post it under "problems" and look smart. Darn, you're ahead of us!
  • From Arianwen on 2012-12-15 at 3:43am:
    If this episode had a theme, it would be "apathy". The entire crew appear to be suffering from depression, such is their disinterest in events. The away team shows no curiosity, the Enterprise crew no urgency. When your premise is shallow, your plot revolves around a cliché and your atmosphere is nonexistent - this is the result. It's a shame, because it could have been so much more. Picard's agony as he reads The Royale is relatable and very real: clearly they just taped the script to the set without warning Patrick Stewart. One point for emotional honesty and Data hamming it up with the dice.

    Re. Fermat's Last Theorem, Wiles worked on the proof in complete secrecy for seven years and when the the time came to proofread the proof (ha) he only told one person. The final publication hit the mathematical world like a falling piano, so at least the writing team cannot be faulted for their research. My headcanon is that Picard was referring to Fermat's claimed "wondrous proof" rather than Wiles' monster of a solution. People still hope to find that mythical elegant proof, though I believe most mathematicians now agree that Fermat had likely made a mistake somewhere. It's likely people will still be keen on finding it three centuries from now.
    (Sorry for the infodump, but Fermat's Last Theorem is fascinating.)
  • From Harrison on 2013-07-14 at 9:50pm:
    Undoubtedly one of the most poorly executed Trek episodes ever, replete with narrative sloppiness, stilted acting, bad science and irritating plot flaws. It is certainly Patrick Stewart's most lightweight performance ever.

    Too bad, because the original script may have had some potential. All that time wasted on unconvincing dialogue could have been used to give the "future Picard" character a little substance. The time paradox, while hardly novel, could have been woven into something rich enough to at least pique the imagination.

    At the very least, this episode more than any other probably put the final nails in the coffin for the irksome "Dr. Katherine Pulaski" character. Silver lining, I think, because she exemplifies the worst Season 2 had to offer.
  • From Harrison on 2013-07-31 at 5:21pm:
    OK, it's a weak (and super low-budget) episode with a lot of flawed science & unsubstantiated plot assumptions.

    Nonetheless, it's not entirely a waste of time. Lots of very amusing interplay between Data and the (holographic?) denizens of the Hotel Royal. The Texan and the airhead bimbo are both highly watchable.

    It's a lightweight, forgettable vignette. Don't expect a whole lot. But for a filler episode made on a shoe-string, it's not bad. Quality, relaxed performances from just about everyone.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-10-21 at 12:08am:
    Very underrated episode. A 1? Come on, it's not THAT bad. It may not be the most engaging story or have any real relevance, but it was a fun little episode. The long-dead NASA astronaut found in the hotel room and his note was interesting to me. That was a very unique plot point. Try to imagine being in his shoes!
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-12 at 8:31pm:
    Just to expand on my last comment...

    I also enjoyed watching Worf deal with the situation, a lot of laughs from him in this one. I especially loved Data interacting with the characters in the casino. Funny stuff, and overall an episode that I enjoy watching every now and then. Not every episode has to be dark, serious, and relevant. It was a nice change of pace.
  • From Ryan on 2015-08-06 at 2:54am:
    Data says that the odds favor "standing pat" on 13 when dealer is showing 10, but in any variation of blackjack I know of the odds would actually favor hitting.
  • From Quando on 2017-02-07 at 1:54am:
    Call me crazy, but I kind of like this episode. It is goofy and kind of silly, but I like how baffled the away team is about the whole thing (like not knowing how elevators work). I think the best line in the episode goes to Worf. When they find the old astronaut in bed and mention that he appears to have died in his sleep, Worf says, "what a horrible way to die."
  • From lordcheeto on 2017-07-23 at 4:59am:
    Perhaps the near extinction of humanity following WWIII in the 21st century resulted in the loss of the solution to Fermat's Last Theorem.
  • From Jamie on 2018-09-19 at 11:21pm:
    Kethinov's review of all Twilight Zone episodes: 1. Cliches and lameness abound.
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-19 at 10:25pm:
    So bad, it's good! The cheesy soundtrack, the halfhearted writing... This episode is special. A bit like "Move Along Home" in DS9. Sort of enjoyable if you treat it like a joke.

    "None of these people are emitting life signs."
    "You mean they're not alive?"

    Problem: Troi can sense Riker's emotions from that far away? Wouldn't that sense be subject to the inverse square law, or something? I heard it pointed out that one of the big problems with Troi's character, and one reason she's constantly underutilized, is that nobody could seem to pin down exactly how her empathetic abilities worked. Case in point: what is the range? Does it work by proximity, or by sight?

    Data emotionspotting: he looks quite satisfied after winning that hand of 21, then very obviously lights up when he gets into character playing craps!
  • From Pipanni on 2021-09-07 at 2:35pm:
    I too liked this episode. It's very creepy and sad what happened to the lost astronaut. If you just skip ahead all the book-story parts (which suck bigtime) it turns into a rather enjoyable episode.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x13 - Time Squared

Originally Aired: 1989-4-3

The crew encounters a duplicate Picard. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.9

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 26 19 4 18 15 14 23 23 32 16 4

- Picard leaves sickbay and orders Troi to watch the other Picard. An argument between Pulaski and and Troi ensues regarding whether or not Picard is fit to command. Troi sticks up to Picard, but then she just leaves! Defying Picard's order for her to stay! One wonders just how much faith the counselor has in Picard's command ability after all...

- Riker's mother died when he was very young.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf: "Delicious." While everyone else hates the eggs. Ah the everlasting contrast between human and Klingon taste buds!
- Picard: "So you're saying I should sit down, shut up, and wait."
- Picard second guessing himself.
- The graphics of the vortex and the ship interacting with it were well done.
- Picard: "Release him." Pulaski: "Do you know what you're doing?" Picard: "No. Release him."
- The dialog between the two Picards is great.

My Review
The plot of this episode is extremely slow paced. A lot of sitting around, waiting for something to happen. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, as it's believable for sure. However the whole "out of phase" and "off the mark body clock" stuff is pushing what I consider acceptable technobabble. I also think that early in the episode Picard was acting extremely out of character. Though he improved quite a bit as the episode went on. The story concept is definitely intriguing but I can't help but feel empty at the end with the inconsequential ending. The whole thing seems a bit underwhelming.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-25 at 9:50am:
    - One of the last times Picard goes to sick bay, Troi follows him in a subsequent turbolift. Yet when Picard arrives in sick bay (after a commercial break), Troi is already there!
    - Having an ensemble cast makes it difficult to provide lines for all the actors in every episode. However, this episode goes a bit far. After Picard kills Picard, he calls for Dr. Pulaski. When Pulaski shows up, Chief O'Brien comes with her! Does he moonlight as a medical technician? Of course, the real reason O'Brien is there is so he could be in the shuttle bay to see the 2nd Picard disappear. This allows him to get a few lines of dialogue in this episode.
    - While the Enterprise is flying into the vortex, everyone bounces around in their seats on the bridge. However, O'Brien in the shuttle bay is standing perfectly straight even though the floor is moving around.
    - In the episode "11001001," Picard and Riker go to the "Weapons Room," and use a voice print identifier to get access to some phasers. On a ship with civilians (especially children), it is not a good idea for phasers to be accessible easily. Yet in this episode, Picard simply reaches back to a wall panel, flips it open, and grabs a phaser. With these easy access wall panels, why do they need the Weapons Room?
  • From TashaFan on 2008-09-29 at 2:18am:
    Of course the quick access to the phasers is for the convenience of the script... but we can make a case for it. The crew is most likely to need phasers on an away mission, which would mean the phasers should be stowed near the shuttles and near the transporter. And although it's ridiculously easy to steal a Federation shuttle, we can assume the shuttle bay at least SHOULD be a secured area where children and civilians can't wander.
    On another subject I have to disagree that the ending is inconsequential. On one level it's a "RESET button" episode - everything ends up how it was. On another level, Picard ruthlessly guns down someone to save the ship... and that someone is himself. Does one have more right to kill a version of oneself from the past (future?) than to kill someone else? In any event the first time I saw thoughtful, pensive, slow-to-raise-shields Picard just shoot and kill the other Picard, and then leave, I was kind of shocked.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-04 at 1:14pm:
    I think I pretty much agree with you on your comments. Usually I love this style of episode. But not this time. It is just off. They say things which don't match the action or make sense. Like Pulaski complaining that Picard isn't fit to command because he has been under intense stress. Where did that come from? The whole situation only started a few hours ago! Then suddenly Picard is asking the other Picard for advice. Why? Why ask future Picard for a plan when now Picard knows the same info and could make the same plan? And why did Picard shoot Picard?
  • From Ted on 2011-07-21 at 12:26am:
    An interesting point is raised in your criticism. In order to enjoy SciFi/Fantasy, and in fact all dramatization, one must allow a 'willing suspension of disbelief'. When a dramatization steps beyond an individuals threshold of disbelief, the 'illusion' is compromised and the ability to empathize and enjoy a show is lost. For example, I don't believe in magic/superstition and so I have a hard time enjoying most fantasy movies.
    All that said, this episode didn't violate my sense of ST believability and I enjoyed the fact that the phenomenon remained a mystery. All to often in ST, such phenomena are explained with a neat and tidy bit of technobabble that tends to lessen the experience for me. I can certainly understand why you didn't care for it, but I rather like this episode. 8 out of 10
  • From Ggen on 2012-02-25 at 11:47pm:
    This... did not really work out. There is a somewhat interesting premise and a promising opportunity to explore Picard's psyche, but it doesn't really come together.

    One - I don't understand why every space anomaly out there has to be a mysterious lifeform. It seems like Troi picks up a "consciousness" and an intent from everything and its mother... Can't some things just be things? Can't some anomalies just be anomalies? (I'm not faulting how they write Troi, I'm faulting how they write these damn anomalies...)

    Two - no question, the technobabble here stretches credibility, especially in light of the countless other time travel episodes where people act more or less normally, despite being "out of phase." The future Picard being sort of comatose and then zombified, not really aware of what was happening around him was just sort of annoying and disappointing.

    Three and Four - agree with Kethinov about all the other points... the pacing, the lackluster ending...
  • From One moon in blue pants on 2012-03-02 at 7:29am:
    I love this episode, it is one of my fav. I love the technobabble scenes in the conf. room. I love the pacing of this ep. It is not rushed like so many others, things are just aloud to happen. I think this might be the first ep. in which Troi has a little betazed orgasm-mind meld kind of moment when reaching out to future Picard. So yeah I give this one a 9. Plus the band Orbital used a sample from worf in one of their songs so it is all just too awesome.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x14 - The Icarus Factor

Originally Aired: 1989-4-24

Riker is reunited with his estranged father. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.2

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 16 11 12 26 36 27 18 11 2 13 2

- Riker's father at one point mentions falsely that this is the first time Riker has been offered a command.

- This episode establishes that the Federation had an armed conflict with the Tholians 12 years ago.
- 2nd time (at least) Riker refuses a command on screen.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf yelling at Wesley.
- Data exploring Wesley's curiosity about Worf.
- Worf to Data: "With... all due respect... BE GONE! ...sir."
- Pulaski regarding Kyle Riker: "Did he ever tell you why he never remarried?" Riker: "What woman would have him with an ego like that?" Pulaski: "I would have, in a cold minute."
- Picard "crudely" spelling out Riker's choices to him.
- Data to O'Brien: "If I were not a consummate professional and an android, I would find this entire procedure insulting."
- O'Brien: "That's right. The animal's head exploded [literally from the pain]."
- Troi's discussion of barbarism with Pulaski.

My Review
The game Riker played with his father was silly and the resolution of their problems was hastened too much. I also don't like how no real reason was given for Riker's last minute refusal of command. Not that I wanted to see him go, but the whole episode just seemed to end abruptly. I do like, however, how one episode after Riker bitched about his father to Pulaski, there's an episode involving him. I wonder if Pulaski blew the whistle on him. ;) On the other hand, the events leading up to Worf's "celebration" of his right of ascension nicely made up for the silly father/son adversarial plot.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-27 at 8:34am:
    - Picard and Riker are both fascinated with the fact that the first officer of the Aries can speak forty languages (and it is an amazing feat). But who really needs to speak multiple languages anymore? The Universal Translator takes care of that, right?
    - At the very end of the episode, Wesley says, "Breaking synchronous orbit." But the shot of the Enterprise just before, shows the ship moving in one direction and the planet in an other.
  • From Rob on 2008-04-13 at 8:40pm:
    I would disagree only with your placing the statement that Riker's father wrongly states this is Will's first offer of command under "Problems". Rather, I think it could be placed under "Factoids" as we already know that Will hasn't spoken to his father in quite some time. The point that Kyle doesn't know that Will has already turned down a command promotion by this point speaks to this estrangement (not that I think this wasn't just a writer's error, but still....)
  • From Keen on 2009-07-17 at 7:50pm:
    It was also mentioned in the episode: "Time Squared" that the Federation shuttle craft does not have warp drive.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-25 at 4:41pm:
    Your review hits the nail on the head here. Riker vs Riker was boring, although Anbo-jyutsu is worth mentioning as one of the three most stupid ideas any TNG writer had. The Worf B-story was much more interesting, and it was nicely done. I'd have preferred it if his friends had been wielding the pain sticks themselves, but I suppose that wasn't likely given how shocking it was.

    I'll give the Riker plot 2 and the Worf plot 7. Minus 1 for Anbo-jyutsu and averaged, makes a 4.
  • From James on 2011-03-27 at 5:57pm:
    Almost nothing happens in the episode. It's extremely boring. Probably the funniest part is the joust game: the outfits and set design are unbelievably bad, and I love the way it's introduced as "the ultimate evolution in the martial arts". It's funny that this aired just a few months before American Gladiator started.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-05 at 1:54pm:
    Oh God, not Anbo-jutsu! It wouldn't be so bad if they didn't have to declare it to be "the ultimate evolution of the martial arts". I still feel compelled to mock that every time I see it.

    In general, the main plot about Riker and his father had its heart in the right place, but I thought the execution was too hokey to take seriously. I liked the little B plot about Worf, though.
  • From Inga on 2012-01-02 at 1:52pm:
    I agree with others so I won't repeat the points mentioned.

    I'd like to add a point of my own that I don't like the conversation between Troi and Pulaski. "Despite human evolution there are still some traits that are endemic to gender." Then the bit about father-son relationship, and lastly "It's almost as if they never really grow up at all." What? Am I the only one who finds this insulting to men? I thought people of the 24th century got over the 'men are hunters and women are homemakers' idea.
  • From Bronn on 2015-03-13 at 5:57am:
    Eh, I actually like this episode for the most part. Though your point about the resolution for Riker is well-said-he just decides, off screen, that he's not going to accept the command. Then boom, off we go.

    The Anbu-Jitsu game was unintentionally hilarious. Riker's dad calls it "The ultimate evolution in Martial Arts," which is something that you'd only hear in a farce. Yet it's played completely seriously in a way only Star Trek can. But there's a hint of subtlety tied in: during Worf's ceremony, Data mentioned that it's important for warriors to state their deepest emotions under extreme duress. Then Riker and his father start shouting their deepest emotions during their match, which connects the resolution of the two plots.

    Things I really liked:
    -The connection between the two plots, and how the family issues of Worf and Riker share similarities, despite their extremely different backgrounds
    -I love seeing early O'Brien, just as a reminder that the writers maintained a quality B-cast. Colm Meany just shines in any little scene he's in.
    -I actually liked the conversation between Pulaski and Troi. There was a subtle connection between Crusher and Troi since they each shared a history with the Captain and First Officer, respectively, but it was seldom remarked. This helped establish a connection between Pulaski and Troi that really helped Pulaski's character. However...

    Things I didn't like
    -The gender-bashing during said conversation. Though if you look at Troi's relationship with her mother, it really echoes many of the things she says about fathers (always seeing their children as young, trying to control too much-does that sound like Lwaxana at all?)
    -The interpretation of events at the beginning. Wesley is babbling away at someone who is clearly thinking about something else, and the fact that Worf tells him to go away is taken as a sign that Worf has a problem. To me, the way Wesley was chattering DEMANDED someone tell him to shut up, but of course, it's Wesley Wonder-Boy, so he was right. Speaking of which, with all this talk of family, how come the fact that Wesley is separated from his mother and also lost his father not even an element this episode? It would have made for a nice subtext, but seems a missed opportunity.
    -The cause of the rift between father and son. Will says, "It should have been you who died!" but he didn't ever know his mother. We never learn how she died. His father says that Will was all that kept him going, but then he apparently abandoned Will when he was 15-how do those two ideas connect? There is some information missing, which is regrettable because this season offered a lot of teasers about Riker's relationship with his father (in "A matter of Honor" and in "Time Squared.")
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-18 at 8:28pm:
    I enjoyed this episode more than I expected to this time. There's nothing huge in terms of major plot points, conflicts, or life-threatening danger, but instead we get a sort-of cross section into the personal lives of the crew and more mundane ship operation. It's nice to have these lower-stakes episodes to give some breathing room and character development. And of course, character development is what helps make us care what happens to these people in the first place. A plot is only as good as its characters, and if you don't care about the people, you generally don't care about the plot. I think Riker's relationship with his old man explains lot about him, and Pulaski's relationship with his father adds depth to their relationship, as well as between Pulaski and Troi.

    I agree with some of the other commenters that the ending was rushed. That is often the case with TNG. At least we got some O'Brien!

    I like Troi in the scene with Kyle Riker, calling him down. It's a great example of her ability to be incisive, firm, and yet gentle. Troi is so tragic in how often she's underutilized or poorly written. But to me she's in great form here.

    I'd totally forgotten the plot point of Pulaski's history with the elder Riker. I'll admit, I kind of like Pulaski in this episode. It's all a bit soap opera-y, but she still has something unique to do, a unique take. She doesn't feel shoehorned in, as with so many other episodes in season 2.

    Though they don't use the term, I like the "chosen family" theme. A lot of the main cast have fraught relationships to family. Worf is an orphan, with only his human adoptive parents on earth, who know next to nothing of Klingon culture. Data, as far as he can tell, is effectively orphaned as well (his brother quite estranged), and Wes' father is dead. And of course, as we see, some others on the crew have fraught relationships with their family. Many folks are forced to find new family, and that is a valid kind of family to have.

    As others have pointed out, Troi's and Pulaski's conversation about gender felt rather reductive, especially for the 24th century. Pulaski's comment about the Klingon rite being barbaric is pretty culturally insensitive of her too. I also disagree with both women in this scene about "barbarism." The Riker boys needed a way to dig down to what they were feeling, and sometimes a good spar is exactly what you need. (For what it's worth, the screenwriters of this episode were men. Who knows why they wrote such an unflattering conversation about their own gender.)

    "Perhaps that's part of their charm, and why we find them so attractive." Speak for yourself, Deanna! Some of us ladies don't find men appealing at all. :) And plenty of straight or bi women are NOT attracted to the same qualities in men.

    Final thought... who was that cute bartender in Ten Forward????? ????

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Star Trek TNG - 2x15 - Pen Pals

Originally Aired: 1989-5-1

Data fights for a friend's life. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.04

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 28 3 8 14 15 27 18 21 28 13 6



Remarkable Scenes
- The debate about the Prime Directive.
- Wesley standing up for himself and taking charge of his team.
- Riker: "O'Brien, take a nap. You didn't see any of this. You're not involved." O'Brien: "Right sir. I''ll just be standing over here dozing off."
- Data returning to the ship with the girl.
- Picard's initial reaction to Data bringing the girl to the bridge.
- The Enterprise correcting the tectonic problems on the girl's planet.
- Pulaski wiping the girl's memory.

My Review
This episode is pleasant in both a routine and unusual way. On one hand, it's nice to see a bit of maturation in Wesley by watching him lead a relatively insignificant team on a fairly unremarkable mission. On the other hand, the debate about the Prime Directive and eventual betrayal of it that Data unleashes is fascinating. Even moreso is the conscious hypocrisy of the main cast concerning the Prime Directive. As has been done before, this episode is further acknowledgment that the Prime Directive is routinely reevaluated on a case to case basis by Starfleet captains. This episode also raises an interesting question. Did Picard cover up the events of this episode and not reveal anything that happened to Starfleet? One thing that leads me to wonder this is Riker telling O'Brien to keep quiet about it. I wonder if the whole ship is hush hushed too.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-27 at 9:33am:
    - Why did Data even start this whole episode with the little girl? Data is an android. He is not swayed by emotions.
    - Picard orders Data to sever the contact with Drema IV. Data responds to Picard's order by piping the transmission from Sarjenka into the captain's quarters! This is NOT severing contact. This is a willful violation of a direct order.
    - Picard states that the Prime Directive is "to protect us - to prevent us from allowing our emotions to overwhelm our judgment." And then Picard does a 180-degree turn and decides to help Drema IV. Why? Because he heard Sarjenka's plea for help - precisely the type of action the Prime Directive was designed to prevent. In "Encounter At Farpoint," the Bandi city gets blown to bits while the leader screams for help and Picard calmly discusses his options. In "Symbiosis," the drug-addicted Onarans beg Picard to help them. He refuses because of the Prime Directive. Maybe the leader of the Bandi should have had one of the children call for help. If the Onarans had brought out one of their little girls - writhing in the pains of withdrawal - would that have caused Picard to change his mind?
    - When Data takes Sarjenka back home, he places a singer stone in her hand. Data leaves tangible evidence of the Enterprise's presence.
    - Did Data produce the stone with a replicator? It looks identical to the one in Dr. Pulaski's office. She agreed that erasing the girl's memory was the wisest course of action. She would not have agred to provide evidence of their involvement. If the stone was not replicated, it was stolen.
    - The house on Drema IV is very interesting. It has a door that can evaporate on command. The door represents a very sophisticated technology, a scientific advancement not reflected in the rest of the home.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-05 at 3:24pm:
    A terrible episode, everyone is out of character. First, the basis of the episode is supposed to be Data's connection with the little girl, which we never see. Not to mention that it is clearly inappropriate behavior on his part to have a secret conversation with an unknown species for several weeks using the ship's equipment, and we never know why he does it. Then Picard sets up the Prime Directive as an impossibly unyielding strawman, claiming that they can't intervene to save a civilization from destruction, it has to be left to its own fate. They've never had this mystic view of fate before, the Prime Directive was to avoid screwing up the population's natural development. There won't be any development if the planet explodes! Then Data demonstrates that he has developed an emotional attachment to the little girl. What? Then, for the rest of the episode, Picard becomes a spineless jellyfish who gives in to every demand from Data because they have to save the little girl. This, on the other hand, is exactly what the Prime Directive was meant to avoid! Picard becomes a huge hypocrite – it is OK for millions to suffer for the Prime Directive, but if one of them is a cute little girl, apparently that is totally different. It is as though the writer doesn't care about the characters and just wants to write a little morality play, though what the moral actually is I'm not certain.

    Wesley's plot is OK but not stimulating television.
  • From Bernard on 2011-04-05 at 10:44pm:
    I find it interesting that CAlexander brings up the point about the Prime Directive. At this point in the evolution of the Star Trek universe the way that starship captains interpret the Prime Directive seems to be seen as flexible. So in this situation where people will die if they do not interfere then Picard breaks the Prime Directive. He breaks it many times in fact.

    Take the actions of Captain Archer in the episode Dear Doctor (I think it's Dear Doctor) where they condemn an entire population through inaction. Captain Archer who, incidentally, baulks later on in the series when the Organians show up and intend to do the exact same thing to him and his crew, i.e. they don't want to interfere with lesser species.

    What I'm trying to say is that through the years of writing Trek the creators/writers seemed to decide to turn the Prime Directive into something that it was not supposed to be. Perhaps this episode was the start.

    I agree that it is an abominable episode by the way and cannot believe that our webmaster has rated it so highly!
  • From Alex on 2020-02-20 at 1:38pm:
    I absolutely cannot call this episode dreadful. It may be a less stimulating episode but I feel that it belongs in the "skeleton" that composes the whole body of the series.

    I also feel there's a rather obvious difference between this case of violating the PD and when they didn't do it with either the Ornarans or the Bandi. Both "Symbiosis" and "Encounter..." dealth with already space-faring races. In both cases it was not a force-of-nature scenario that would lead to tragedy. In both cases there *was* an option that ultimately would resolve it. This time there was no undercover plot. The species would go extinct because planetary mechanics.

    Regarding the comments here: How is anybody "out of character"? They're absolutely IN their character when they debate the PD. Worf says that rules are rules and must be obeyed without second thought. Pulaski of course sees the humanitarian angle. Picard himself isn't a robot, he doesn't like condemning a species by inaction, and it was so often that he prefers compromise, this ended up being exactly that. And "Data lacks emotions so why did he bother" simply sounds like not understanding his character, at all. Data doesn't fully understand emotions, but he can think and decide what is right or wrong. This wasn't ever an issue of him being unresponsive to moving situations!

    The most "out of character" bit for me was when they theoretically discussed the "cosmic plan" and how it can be factored it. That sounded maybe a little bit unscientific and it was unusual to see several characters at once discussing it like that.

    Overall I agree with Kethinov that the episode is "routinely pleasant". I'd rate it a 6.

    P. S. Oh one last thing. When Data transports into Sarjenka's house, you can see in the background an endtable-height thingo that is very much shaped like a goat head! So intriguing to find on an otherwise alien planet!
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-20 at 3:15am:
    I heard it pointed out somewhere that the Prime Directive could be seen as a certain kind of apologetics for colonialism. Picard often stresses: "history has shown that any time a more advanced civilization comes in contact with a less advanced civilization, despite the best of intentions, the results are disastrous."

    Are they, though? Necessarily? Always? This attitude posits that the atrocities committed by, say, European colonists to the natives of the American continents were cosmically inevitable once they made contact, rather than a product of human ignorance and greed of the time. This, in a way, absolves colonizers of culpability and acts like it's not possible under any circumstances for a "more advanced" civilization to benevolently interact with less advanced societies. (At least to the point of warp, I guess.)

    It's a perspective I'm still mulling over. But either way, I think this episode highlights the failures of the Prime Directive. Picard even said it in "Justice": "There can be no justice so long as laws are absolute."

    An absolutist approach may seem simplest, but it is not always workable. Failure to prevent harm when you are able to, to me, is ethically questionable. Hiding behind some abstract principle (based on dubious assumptions) doesn't magically change the reality of the harm that is poised to come to these people. I think Picard's faith in the PD is one of his character flaws. For a man of such thoughtfulness and depth, he can also be quite rigid.

    CAlexander points it out well: the PD is intended to avoid messing with a society's natural development. But unless the Enterprise intervenes, there won't _be_ any development, for reasons outside the society's control!

    It almost feels like an attempt on Picard's part to _feel_ like he's "doing the right" thing by doing nothing. It's a nice reminder that our shining Federation is not necessarily the arbiter of good in the universe.

    Data emotionspotting: He's clearly attached to Sarjenka. And when Picard orders him to sever contact, he instead plays a recording -- thereby attempting to appeal to human emotions. It shows an understanding of emotions that enables him to manipulate everyone. And it works! Everyone sees his blatant appeal to emotion and yet it still works! (Also: "Sir, I feel it important...")

    In a comment above, DSOmo says "Data is an android. He is not swayed by emotions." This is a little simplistic and misses the point. Data displaying signs of emotion or attachment is not a writing error. It's part of his character. It may be written a little inconsistently, but Data clearly has _some_ rudimentary emotions, even if he doesn't report experiencing them as such. Indeed, you can't completely separate logic from emotion anyway. Logic is a human construct, and human intelligence is a thin veneer over our core of instinct and emotion. At this level of technological ability, one couldn't design an android trying to be human without it showing something that reads as emotion to other emotional beings.

    I think it's a very Trek-esque plot point that it is the supposedly "emotionless" (though not really) artificial being that has to remind everyone else of their humanity (humanoid-ity?).

    Little peeve: the Enterprise fixing the planet. This is one of many episodes where a process that should take weeks, months, or years takes seconds. Imagine one starship having _that_ kind of immediate power over a planet! Another hasty Trek ending.

    Pulaski: "My emotions are involved. Data's friend is going to die. That means something."
    Worf: "To Data."
    Pulaski: "Does that invalidate the emotion?"

    Pulaski admitting Data's ability to have friends???? Wow. Nice character development!

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Star Trek TNG - 2x16 - Q Who

Originally Aired: 1989-5-8

Q hurls the Enterprise across the galaxy. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.13

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 4 2 18 4 4 3 6 8 21 58 95

- 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?

- 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."

  • 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.
  • From Seven Inch Screw on 2020-09-17 at 11:24pm:
    One of my favorite Data moments is in this episode.

    LaForge: "He's got the straight flush, folks."

    Data: "Not necessarily. ::leans in intently:: Commander Riker may be bluffing, Wesley. ::Quietly folds, stares at Wesley::

  • From obummer forever on 2021-07-18 at 4:24pm:
    I don't like that Q gets 18 people killed, it mars all future fun encounters with him. What if someone important had died, like Troi or Worf, would they joke with him about it later? Doubtful

    Also, I still don't buy the not a plothole thing, if these Borg are already active in the neutral zone, why does Q make it seem like they are 7000 LYs away? Not to mention, why are they not doing more than eradicate some outposts? It makes no sense.
  • From Mitchell O on 2024-03-23 at 3:14am:
    “ 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!”

    Rather amusing that 30 years later we learn that she did quite well for herself! (LD: 2x10)

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Star Trek TNG - 2x17 - Samaritan Snare

Originally Aired: 1989-5-15

Geordi is taken hostage by the Pakleds. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.05

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 7 8 9 6 20 46 22 7 8 3

- Welsey: "Was this before the Klingons joined the Federation?" Picard: "That's right." Er... how about no? The Klingons never joined the Federation. Wesley's line should have read, "was this before the Klingons made peace with the Federation?"


Remarkable Scenes
- Picard's adversarial conversation with Pulaski then his tragically coincidental forced travel companion being Wesley, whom he despises, then his having to give embarrassingly confusing orders to his crew.
- The Pakleds. So absurd that they're funny!
- Picard's stout refusal to admit the details behind his operation and why Pulaski can't perform it is great.
- Wesley: "Didn't you ever wish you had kids of your own?" Picard: "Wishing for a thing does not make it so."
- Picard, to Wesley: "Why do I get the distinct impression that you're acting like some kind of escort?" Wesley: "Doctor Pulaski asked me to make sure that you actually went inside." Picard: "That woman... she would."
- Attempting to discretely communicate the plan for the ruse, Data: "Goodbye Geordi. I shall miss you at weapons systems analysis." Geordi, obviously confused: "Uh huh."
- After being clapped at, Picard says: "I beg your pardon?"

My Review
It's nice to learn more about Picard's past though this forced trip he has to take with Wesley. It's also nice to see Picard realizing that he tends to treat Wesley unfairly, thus making an attempt to change his attitude. There seems to be almost a sort of bonding that takes place. Despite the obvious contrivance of the Enterprise rushing into action to save Picard in the end, the entire story was most enjoyable. Even the Pakleds, for who I can say nothing else except they were inexplicably boundlessly entertaining.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-28 at 8:19am:
    - As the shuttle prepares to leave the Enterprise , Wesley says, "Shuttle Craft 2 is ready for departure." Yet all of the markings on the shuttle say "01."
    - Why doesn't the Enterprise warp over to Starbase 515 instead of sending Picard and Wesley on a shuttle? If it did, it would be a short show because all the dialogue between Picard and Wesley would be missing.
    - Troi warns Riker that La Forge is in great danger. Although Troi has demonstrated her accuracy and worth many times before, Riker does nothing. If he did listen and beamed La Forge back to the Enterprise ... it would be a short show ;)
    - After surveying the Pakled ship, La Forge claims that it contains equipment from the Romulans, Klingons, and the Jaradan. First of all, the Pakleds don't seem like brilliant strategists. Nonbrilliant strategists tend to use the same approach over and over. If that's true, the Pakleds did the same thing with the Romulans and the Klingons. Does this seem like an approach that would work with Romulans and Klingons?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-10 at 4:40am:
    An average episode, the Pakleds are amusing and there is some good interaction between Picard and Wesley.

    DSOmo: I agree that their tactic of stealing a crewmember wouldn't work too well with the Klingons or Romulans. But frankly, it wasn't working too hot with the Federation either. The whole idea is, appropriately, idiotic. My best guess: The Pakleds suckered some benevolent race, acquired some technology, then went around robbing small vessels and obtaining second-hand technology one way or another. When they saw how big the Enterprise was, somebody had the bright idea of using trickery again, but didn't think it through so well.
  • From lordcheeto on 2017-07-29 at 3:15am:
    After the main power failure, Geordi uses his communicator to inform Riker that it's going to take him longer than he expected.

    Riker says "on screen", even though Geordi wasn't communicating with the ships system, and it still works.
  • From McCoy on 2017-11-18 at 8:44am:
    I'm rewatching the series and still wandering... Why most people hate Pulaski, but call Picard best captain of all Trek series? This episode is one of best evidence that Picard is jerk, while Pulaski is great doctor and compationate person. Picards attitude towards her after his surgery is horrible. On her place I would leave Enterprise at once.
    PS - Pulaski once claimed she could help Geordi with his eyes. I bet she could. If she says she can do something, then she can:)
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-22 at 2:34am:
    Agreed with DSOmo above. Riker, you of all people know better than to ignore Troi's warnings. Seriously! Geordi wasn't even sent over with a security detail. In just the previous episode, "Q-Who?", the crew learn an important lesson about complacency, and now this!

    SO disappointed they didn't utilize the captain's yacht in this episode. I know, I know, budget. ...but still. I wish they had contrived something better than a tiny, slow shuttlecraft. Overall a pretty solid episode, though. Good backstory for Picard that gets revisited in "Tapestry" later.

    "Any rumors of my brush with death are greatly exaggerated."

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Star Trek TNG - 2x18 - Up The Long Ladder

Originally Aired: 1989-5-22

Two races fight for survival. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 1.46

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 136 607 13 11 18 19 22 7 16 4 8

- Not so much a problem as a nitpick, the synopsis from describes this episode as two "races" fighting for survival when they are clearly both human.
- That class M planet that the advanced half of the colonists were from looks remarkably like Saturn, which is hardly class M.
- The concept of replicative fading is ridiculous. Even if we do accept it at face value, all they'd need is a small sample of an original host's DNA, say, oh, a few trillion cells. Which isn't very much physical material. They'd have clones for thousands of years.


Remarkable Scenes
- Data: "Mariposa. The Spanish word for butterfly." Picard: "Thank you, Data." Data: "I thought it might be significant, sir." Picard: "It doesn't appear to be, Data." Data: "No sir."
- Data talking to himself whilst Picard is talking to himself and Picard's subsequent interruption.
- Worf: "Like tea, death is an experience best shared."
- O'Brien appearance. I love O'Dell's interaction with O'Brien regarding their Irish background.
- Picard: "I do not own the Enterprise, I command her."
- O'Dell trying to marry off his daughter to Picard.
- Worf: "She is very much like a Klingon woman." Regarding O'Dell's daughter.
- Worf replicating a Klingon drink for O'Dell.
- Worf: "Madam! Have you ever considered a career in security?!" To O'Dell's daughter.
- Riker: "One William Riker is unique. Perhaps even special. But 100 Rikers? A thousand? Diminishes me in ways I can't even begin to imagine."
- Geordi the human lie detector.

My Review
Vibrant Irish drunken farmers and incompetent cloners with sex phobia. This episode is, in a word, cute. The humor is effective but the science is not. The episode loses some points for its bad science fiction, but retains quite a few points for being just so damn entertaining in that charming and funny way. O'Dell's daughter alone makes this episode worth at least a few points.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-01 at 12:32am:
    - How did the Bringloidi send a distress call in the first place? When the Enterprise arrives at the Bringloidi's planet, the sensors show no advanced communication network and no artificial power source. These people use spinning wheels and were still able to send a distress call all the way back to Earth?
    - Dr. Pulaski claims that the clones are "among the walking dead now. They just haven't been buried yet." If the clones are really that bad off, why would anyone want them to be part of the gene pool to repopulate a planet?
    - When Riker and Pulaski go to the cloning lab, a close-up shows the markings on the machines. The markings are some sort of alien calligraphy. These people are humans. Wouldn't it make more sense for the writing to be in English? True, the clones have been isolated for three hundred years, and language does evolve. However, three hundred years is not a very long time. Old English documents from three hundred years ago are still readable today. A few characters differ, but the majority are the same.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-02-15 at 10:17pm:
    I'm in almost total agreement with the review here; this is an entertaining episode if you just take the bad science at face value. O'Dell's daughter is an entertaining character--as are all the Bringloidi, even if they're a little stereotypical. She's also exceptionally beautiful.

    I'm also enough of a dork to like any episode that shows us the inner workings of the Enterprise, like the fire containment field.

    I do have a few other quibbles with this episode. The first is fairly serious: I don't buy Riker's response to seeing the clones. Despite the fact that these beings were created without permission, they're still life forms. They seem virtually ready to be viable outside of their cloning chambers, and this is still murder. Even if we don't define it as murder, it's enough of a gray area that I can't imagine Picard and Star Fleet would approve of Riker's rash action.

    The other two are fairly minor. Geordi's lie detecting abilities are problematic. Does he cheat at poker? Wouldn't this have come into play earlier in some more serious situation?

    And finally, just what is a normal shift like onboard the Enterprise? Is Will free to go chasing tail in the middle of his duties? I always wonder about this when a bridge officer gets a summons to the bridge in the middle of a holodeck program or something, and this episode made me wonder what a normal workday on the Enterprise is like.

  • From Eric on 2011-02-07 at 4:57pm:
    I think many TNG episodes are fraught with problems, but this one horribly so. As mentioned, Riker nonchalantly murdering the clones seems awfully unethical. A cloned human is a human.

    O'Dell's daughter commented on not being sure she wanted to be Eve. Isn't she already in that position? How many of their people are there? It didn't look like very many.

    Watching it this time around, I was really bothered at the crew's attitude toward the Bringloid. Those people didn't have much choice other than be fairly unsophisticated. Also, surely the crew would have interviewed them at the earliest opportunity to learn anything they could. They would have known about the other ship. Instead the Enterprise beamed them up,was repulsed by them rather than interested in them, and made no effort to learn anything!

    I like the premise if the episode could be 99% re-written.

    This time around I've also noticed that the writers were really trying to make Pulaski an important character. For at least a few episodes she was on the bridge a lot, for no apparent reason.

  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-12 at 3:48pm:
    A mediocre episode at best, but amusing. There are a lot of things that are odd or out of character in this episode, but I didn't mind as much as usual because I chalked it off to being a humor episode.

    - When the Mariposans ask for 5 cell donors, Picards says no one on the Enterprise will agree, and acts like that is the end of it. This seems rather disingenuous on his part. The Mariposans won't die out for years; surely they could find somebody – somewhere – who would sell them some cell samples. I can only imagine that cloning is viewed by the Federation as either illegal, or so abhorrent that Picard will have no part in helping the Mariposans.
    - It is hard to figure out the ethics of disintegrating the clones, when the cloning technique makes no sense to me. At first I assume the Mariposans were making real life clones who start as babies. But no, we see they are making Hollywood clones that start as adults. But that kind of clone usually involves copying the mind of the clonee, and there is no indication of that. And Mariposan technology is too primitive for that anyway. So how are the clones given personalities? Are they raised like children, but in adult bodies? Seems strange, but the most likely possibility. In which case I guess they are total blanks when they are killed by Riker.
    - Speaking of ethics, it seems odd that there is no moral debate about killing the clones. But it does have some nice continuity with the Federation dislike of genetic engineering and computer-controlled starships and cyborgs. They seem to have a humanistic belief that people should live out their own potential and not change themselves into something else.
    - I'm not convinced replicative fade is totally unreasonable, but it is odd. The presumption has to be that the cloning technique only works on cells fresh from a living host. But I certainly couldn't say why. Especially when suspended animation was standard technology in the 1990's in the Star Trek universe.
    - I agree with the gene pool comment, I also thought that the Mariposans wouldn't have great genetic material. But I don't think we can complain, the DNA just has to be good enough, and more diversity is better, especially when the Mariposans' have an understandable desire to be included in their own gene pool. Maybe that is the reason for the three husbands concept.
    - I agree that Geordi's lie detection is problematic (and soon forgotten).
  • From John on 2011-11-21 at 3:44am:
    @DSOmo: The Bringloidi didn't send the distress message, the other colony did -- the two planets were within half a light year of one another. The Enterprise just happened to enter that sector of the galaxy nearest to the Bringloidi planet and encountered them first.
  • From Inga on 2012-01-06 at 11:26am:
    @John Then why were the crew surprised to learn that there were another colony?

    Also, why didn't the Mariposans take Geordi's DNA? They did ask for 5 donors, so why take only 2, when you can take at least 3?
  • From Ed Flinn on 2012-03-31 at 12:49am:
    Stan Freberg used to claim that the Swiss were the last ethnic group against whom bigotry was safe. Star Trek claims that in the 24th Century it's the Irish, as long as its done with a smile.
  • From John on 2012-12-03 at 3:48am:
    @Inga: they were surprised because they were under the impression that the one ship they found the record of only went to one destination. The only information about that ship was the cargo manifest, which said nothing about the mission itself.

    It's not shown, but I suspect a red flag went up when they discovered the Bringloidi had no communications equipment. A second colony was confirmed when the leader asked about the 'other colony'.
  • From Arianwen on 2012-12-15 at 6:46pm:
    Cute? Fecking offensive would be my word for it. I'm not Irish, and I'm not hugely familiar with Irish stereotypes, but this is so unsubtle it sets even my alarms blaring. And hey, the only two speaking parts are given to English actors (good though they are) because there are clearly not enough actors in Ireland: aside from dialectisms, the accents sound very Scottish at times. And, of course, the accordion, the whisky and the sweary women who complain that the husbands do no work. See, when an Irish show does it it's self-parody, and it's funny. That's the difference.
    The other objection I have is the moral of the episode, or rather the lack of morals. The crew simultaneously preaches tolerance of other cultures while displaying an uncharacteristic revulsion towards both sets of colonists. Case in point, Riker kills the clones with no move to check whether they're alive yet. He's motivated solely by disgust and a sense of property (my DNA! mine!) and yet no-one calls him out on this. The "solution" to the population problem is to effectively press-gang a more primitive people into becoming breeding stock for a technologically advanced elite. Not a hint of dilemma throughout. WHAT.

    One point, for the
  • From bodner on 2014-05-27 at 8:36am:
    Pretty troubling that they just murder their clones and there are no repercussions.
    But maybe Picard showed the way when he murdered the timeshifted version of himself some episodes before.
  • From Rob UK on 2015-02-16 at 11:58pm:
    Beardy Bill the Enterprise's resident sex pest at it again

    "As first officer i feel it is my duty to smash your back door right in pet, legs get them dorty feet washed"

    Fun homour episode, i like the old hooch fiend trying to palm his mental henpecking daughter off on anyone he can he thinks has a few quid
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2018-02-12 at 2:34am:
    I find myself agreeing with every criticism I’ve read here. This episode is morally and culturally offensive; logically and scientifically absurd.

    I would also ask: even if cloning was the primary way they grew their population, why would it have been been necessary to “suppress the natural sexual drive”? It’s not like sexual activity would get in the way of cloning! Also they could get a few new gene combinations, that could add some strength, it certainly wouldn’t do any harm.

    And... why would they not try to get LaForge’s tissue sample? Is it because he is blind? It’s not the sort of thing the audience should have to guess at.

    I do like the idea of 2 peoples who started out together being separated for centuries and then being the exact answer to each other’s problems. But beyond that generic notion, nothing about this episode is remotely tolerable. Even the so-called “humor” is nothing more than derision based on ethnic and gender stereotypes. I give it 1.
  • From jeffenator98 on 2019-05-30 at 5:24pm:
    Picard had more fun in "Chain of command 1 and 2" than I did watching this episode. Embarrassing 176 out of 176.
  • From Alex Malizia on 2020-08-28 at 3:02am:
    While a terrible episode, the bit with O'Dell and Worf and talking about the moment of fun/silence being paid for by his wife shrill yell in the background (err, daughter i guess) is hysterical.

    "Every moment of pleasure in life has to be purchased by an equal moment of pain."
    "Remember what I said about the moment of pain? Well, 'tis about to begin!"
  • From Poutine_On_The_Ritz on 2023-02-01 at 5:40am:
    O'Dell and his daughter definitely salvage the episode, as you say. Otherwise, I'd give it a 1 or 2.

    I do have one factoid on this one: there's a 1981 Broadway musical called Copperfield. It includes a song called "Up The Ladder" performed by a character named Uriah Heep. Heep is played by Barrie Ingham, who also plays O'Dell in this TNG episode. I have no idea if the writers of this episode named it after the song that O'Dell performs in Copperfield, but it seems like a crazy coincidence if they didn't.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x19 - Manhunt

Originally Aired: 1989-6-19

Picard is subjected to Lwaxana's amorous advances. [DVD]

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 3.23

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 41 11 15 16 24 8 12 6 6 6 4

- Lwaxana speaking during transport at the end is a little ridiculous.

- Mick Fleetwood, the drummer for the band Fleetwood Mac, played the Antedean dignitary in this episode after requesting a cameo role on Star Trek TNG

Remarkable Scenes
- O'Brien appearance.
- Worf admiring the comatose aliens.
- Lwaxana's reaction to the transporter / comatose aliens.
- Mister Homn drinks the whole bottle Picard brought in one swig.
- Picard using Data to get revenge on Lwaxana for her deception.
- Picard relaxing whilst the hologram wants to kill him.
- Picard with a cigarette.
- Lwaxana being tricked by the holodeck.
- Lwaxana discovering the assassins.

My Review
Lwaxana's "amorous advances" in this episode took obnoxious to a new level. As is the way she always treats Troi like a child. All in all this episode focuses on Lwaxana's non-issue of attempting to find a mate and not on anything that matters. There were some nice moments though, so not a total waste of time.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-01 at 6:49am:
    - Given Lwaxana's dislike and distrust for transporters, why are they beaming her aboard the ship? She is traveling in a "small transport craft." A shuttle craft? Why not just dock the craft in one of the shuttle bays and let her walk off. But then we wouldn't have had the "Legs, where are the legs?" scene.
    - Doesn't Troi have a dress uniform? Every time the delegates come or go, Captain Picard gets in his dress uniform, but Troi wears the same outfit for the whole show.
    - Troi takes her mother out into the hall to have an intimate conversation about her mother's condition (because Mr. Homm is in Lwaxana's quarters). On top of that, they have the conversation out loud when they could communicate telepathically. Not a very private conversation!
    - After exposing the Antedian assassins, Lwaxana states that it was quite easy for her to read their minds. If it was so easy, why wasn't Troi at least able to get a sense that the Antedians were up to no good?
    - In "The Big Good-bye," Picard begins coughing immediately after lighting up a cigarette. In this episode, Picard just starts puffing away.
    - Also, in "The Big Good-bye" Picard wore his uniform into the holodeck the first time he entered. Several holodeck creations commented that he looked like a bellboy. In this episode, Riker wears his uniform into Rex's bar and no one gives it a second look.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-02-15 at 3:20pm:
    I agree with the overall sentiment on this episode, but it makes me smile, so I can't hate it altogether.

    I have a hard time believing that Lwaxana doesn't know what a holodeck is, but the bit with she and Picard in her quarters is priceless. The alien-of-the-week here was ridiculous as well.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2009-05-04 at 3:11pm:
    The first half of the show has a lot of funny moments that are fun to rewatch. The seconf half, after Picard steps onto the holodeck for some Dixon Hill, is very boring.
  • From Rob Herbert on 2010-06-22 at 2:11pm:
    It's worth noting that Robert O'Reilly, who plays the wide-eyed villain who grabs Dix/Picard's lapels in the Holodeck returns in the future, still with wild, staring eyes, as Gowron.
  • From Ry-Fi on 2010-08-14 at 9:39am:
    After Lwaxana passes on choosing Worf as a mate, saying "Pity, you'd have made a fine choice", the shot switches to Worf for a second, then back to her. Is it just me, or does she look down at his crotch for a split second and smile before looking back up and turning around?

    I burst out laughing when I saw that! It would in no way surprise me if that was an intentioned little flair that Majel threw in there. What an AMAZING woman she is! Her acting nuances are sublime!

  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-15 at 3:12pm:
    There are a couple of cute scenes, but basically this episode is pointless. Not to mention that I find Lwaxana painful to watch.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-20 at 7:48pm:
    Everyone is always hating' on Lwaxana,when I love her! I suppose she is an acquired taste, though.

    This girl has an organizing principle to her life: She just wants to get laid. She is so deliciously ranchy and blatant in her sexual appetites.

    The problem is: With her level of nobility, sex must be accompanied by marriage. (I love it when she recites her titles: "daughter of the seventh house, holder of the sacred chalice of reeks, heir to the rings of Betazed". It's particularly great when Deanna points out that the sacred chalice of reeks is just "an old clay pot with mold growing in it".)

    You get the imoression that she would love it if she could just blow all of that off and go shag someone.
  • From John on 2012-03-08 at 3:59pm:
    re-watching this episode and I just noticed something: when Riker is on the bridge telling Wesley and Data about Ms. Troi complimenting the captain about his legs, Data is shown laughing.

    I repeat: DATA IS LAUGHING. At this point he doesn't have an emotion chip and Q isn't helping him, so why is this not a big deal to any of the other crew members. I'm guessing Spiner just maybe adlibbed it or something? Still, it's very odd that it's not a big deal, given that one of Data's goals is to learn to laugh.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-08-21 at 8:48pm:
    Maybe I missed a similar interaction in the first Lwaxana episode, but I love the moment when she interacts with the ship's computer. Majel Barrett acting opposite Majel Barrett!
  • From Arianwen on 2018-07-26 at 1:38pm:
    @John re. Data laughing: in an earlier episode this season Data is shown practicing laughter, so I think this is only continuity. It sounds quite unnatural, too ("Ha ha ha ha!") and you can even see the moment where he goes "ah, this is a place where laughter is socially appropriate".

    ...oh god, this is my life now.
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-22 at 6:33am:
    Egads, Lwaxana is over the top. This "phase" she's supposedly in doesn't just make her horny; it makes her *stupid.* (Protip to the writers: those are different things!)

    Data emotionspotting: do you see how excited he is to get into character and get back on the holodeck? He's like a little kid! It's rather cute.

    Those fish-like aliens are fascinating to look at.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x20 - The Emissary

Originally Aired: 1989-6-29

Worf is reunited with an old flame. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.34

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 9 3 6 3 9 14 21 29 39 15 9



Remarkable Scenes
- Poker scene at the beginning.
- Worf's girlfriend having traveled inside a probe no larger than two meters. Not a trip for the claustrophobic!
- The graphics for the probe and the ship intercepting were well done.
- Worf: "I've noticed that some people use humor as a shield. They talk much but say little."
- I like the part when Worf's girlfriend goes to explain her plan to Worf and Data and suddenly the scene changes over to a briefing.
- Worf acting as the commander of the Enterprise.
- Worf: "Welcome to the 24th century."

My Review
A solid episode with strong character development but little more beyond that. The concept of a bunch of Klingons that still think they're at war with the Federation is enticing, but unfortunately little time is spent on it. The situation is adequately dealt with though. Overall a satisfying episode. A better episode would have developed Worf's relationship with the emissary more along with featuring the ancient Klingons more prominently.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-01 at 7:10pm:
    I don't usually comment on Continuity Errors (i.e. in one camera angle someone's arms are folded and in a different angle their arms are at their side). Main reason, just too many! There are continuity problems in almost every show.

    But I thought I should mention the Poker Game. It is a gold mine of continuity errors. As the episode joins the game, Riker, Pulaski, and Geordi all bet "five." Data folds and Worf bets fifty. Riker then bets fifty and drops the chips into the pile in the middle. A close-up shows there are no neat stacks of chips in the middle. Pulaski beats one hundred. She puts them next to the pile of chips in two neat stacks. A long shot shows there are now four stacks of chips near the pile! Geordi folds. Worf bets one hundred, moving two stacks to the piles. There are now six stacks in the middle. Riker folds, and Pulaski calls Worf's bet. A close-up shows her moving the stack of chips to the center of the table. However, hers is now the only stack of chips! Somehow a bunch of chips just disappeared. Did Data take some with his incredible speed when no one was looking? Worf wins the hand, and Pulaski comments that she has no chips left. The next hand begins. Everyone antes up with two chips. Worf opens with fifty. An emergency message comes through breaking up the poker game. A long shot shows the ante-up pile in the center with three stacks of chips standing near it, AND Pulaski suddenly has chips again!
  • From tigertooth on 2011-04-11 at 10:29pm:
    The first scene that Worf and K'Ehleyr have alone together is so, so bad. The dialogue is awful and the incidental music is supercheese. Overall the episode has merit, but they could have executed the concept much better.

    And I wish they would have given some reason why the Klingons would send their ship into suspended animation. It's a neat idea except for the fact that I can't think of any tactical purpose for it. If you're in a war, you don't plan for the war to last 70 more years! Plus, you would know that you would be sending a ship that's 70 years out of date into combat. Imagine if Nazi Germany did the same thing, and we suddenly noticed WWII-era planes coming across the Pacific to the US. They wouldn't stand a chance against current technology; they'd be decimated with ease. Those planes would do the Nazis much more good in 1941 than they would in 2011.

    I think they should have said it was a mission that was supposed to keep them in suspended animation for just a few months, but something went wrong. They had thought the ship was lost, but now they know that the system just kept them suspended for far longer than intended.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-18 at 1:57pm:
    - I quite like this episode because I like K'Ehleyr and her clever banter with Worf, and that plot takes up most of the show. I wish she could have been appeared more often, she is a very engaging character.
    - The plot about the Klingon ship doesn't take much time, which is good, because it isn't handled well. As tigertooth points out, the idea of a sleeper ship is cool, but bizarre. In order for this idea to make sense, they needed to give us a clever explanation. We got no explanation at all.
    - The Klingons are portrayed as completely irrational beyond belief, more stupid than Ferengi. Are you really going to go to sleep for 70 years, then wake up and launch an attack without even receiving a strategic update from Klingon high command? Even Klingons understand concepts like chain of command and the difference between being at war and not being at war.
    - However, if you suspend your disbelief and accept the premise, the scene at the end was amusing.
    - Disturbing that the Federation cannot protect its colonies from the attack of a single 70-year old warship without getting warned ahead of time by the Klingons. How the heck did the Federation survive the war with the Klingons in the first place?
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-20 at 8:32pm:
    The onesie! Here it is again!

    For those of you who have not read my other posts, one thing I point out is the use within Star Trek of the "onesie", a form-fitting, tight, stretchy and provocative one-piece outfit for young, attractive females. In this episode we see K'Ehleyr sporting exactly such an outfit. And she looks good, too! Suzie Plakson is so dang tall! What a set of legs.

    Suzie appears in several other episodes of TNG, one other as K'Ehleyr, and one (TNG: The Schizoid Man) as an MD. She also appeared in Voyager as a female member of the Q Continuum.

    Other uses of the onesie include:

    1. Troi after she loses the micro mini she wore in TNG: Adventure at Farpoint is pretty much always wearing a onesie. Sometimes, it is not very flattering, unfortunately. Marina Sirtis is a bit fat.
    2. Seven (of course). Seven is the archetypal sex bomb on Star Trek. When the camera is on her moving around on Voyager wearing her onesie, we literally wear out our eyeballs staring. (At least I do.)
    3. Kira Nyres ends up wearing a onesie as her uniform, unfortunately. In her case, again, it is kind of unfortunate. Nana Visitor is just not able to pull it off that well. (But how we wish we could get Terry Farrell (Jadsia Dax) in a onesie! I personally believe that Terry Farell is the most meltingly beautiful woman to ever grace the screen on a Star Trek series.)
    4. Other guests have worn onuses. One is Fenna on DS9: Second Sight who is a love interest of Captain Benjamin Sisko. Another is Ishara Yar (sister to Tasha Yar) who shows up in TNG: Legacy and is given an electric blue onesie (with color-coordinate phaser holster!) which shows of her smoking hot body to great effect. (And the Star Trek TNG camera crew takes full advantage of this opportunity, believe me.)

    There are probably other examples of the use of the onesie. I will point them out as I come across them. In the end, the onesie is a reminder that, for all it pretensions, Star Trek is really a show for us horny, sexually repressed geeks.
  • From Ggen on 2012-02-29 at 11:24pm:
    Not my favorite type of episode, but if I had to watch a slightly sappy romance story, I would definitely prefer it to involve conflicted Klingons like Warf and his half-human counterpart...

    Also, I liked seeing Warf's solution in the end. He is finally becoming a little less comical, less silly and irritating, if that isn't too harsh a word, than in the earliest episodes.
  • From Arianwen on 2012-12-15 at 10:06pm:
    I'm not usually keen on love-interest stories, but I quite liked this one. It may be because it contains some actual tension instead of fluffy gooey "your eyes are the stars" situations, or it may be the depth of the characters involved. I like Worf: he always seems to be one of the more sensible people on the Enterprise ("shouldn't we send a security detail, sir?" "No, I'm sure everything will be quite all right!")

    The main and subplots interact quite nicely, and the whole thing holds together. I agree the reason for the Klingons' 70-year hibernation should have been given: I expected some sort of plot or battleplan, and was disappointed when neither turned up.

    The flute tune at the start, as tigertooth points out, is inappropriate to the situation and rather corny, but it's still good music and I think it worked better in the closing scene. The incidental music that starts when the Klingons come into range is superb.
  • From Bernard on 2022-01-26 at 6:53pm:
    Can’t believe in ten years nobody has taken issue with Jeff Browning calling Marina Sirtis a bit fat! That is ridiculous! Partly because she plainly is not, and secondly because…. Well I probably can’t say on here why! Crazy.

    This episode though, is solid, the Worf/K’Ehleyr stuff is good, the rest is very season one ish. Like the returns of the poker game and the calisthenics program…
  • From Encounter at Obamberg on 2023-04-26 at 5:01pm:
    Why is Worf still using this archaic calistenics program, has he not heard of the "ultimate evolution of martial arts"? :))
    And Jeff, the traveler also wore a onesie in the second appearance

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Star Trek TNG - 2x21 - Peak Performance

Originally Aired: 1989-7-10

A simulated war game turns deadly. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 4.48

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 112 5 4 5 3 21 12 13 49 27 33

- Antimatter is pretty nasty stuff to be letting young Wesley tinker with as if it were every day chemistry class chemicals.
- It makes sense that Worf would have the ability to fake out the Enterprise computer... but the Ferengi ship?

- Armin Shimmerman, who later plays Quark in DS9, plays Bractor in this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kolrami had such wonderful arrogance.
- Worf and Riker discussing the wargame and Riker recruiting him.
- I love the strategema side plot.
- Picard: "It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose."
- Picard: "And Data, will you leave your hesitation and self doubt here in your quarters?"
- Data over analyzing Riker.
- Picard fooled by the simulated Romulan ship.
- I love how Picard goes from being amused to serious in a split second. One second he is complimenting Worf for fooling their sensors again. The next second Picard is spouting desperate defensive orders because that the Ferengi ship wasn't a ghost.
- Data "busting up" Kolrami.

My Review
An action packed episode filled with effective dialog, great side plots, and a fun ending. Only the technical problem regarding Worf faking an incoming ship to the Ferengi stains the episode. Otherwise one of TNGs more memorable installments and I dare say would have been a worthy season finale. The episode after this one was entirely unnecessary...

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-02 at 12:55am:
    When Wesley gets his experiment (the antimatter) out of its storage bin, he is very careful. Later, when he and Geordi place it in the warp engines, Geordi urges caution. Yet, when Wesley beams it over to the Hathaway, he beams it onto a small tabletop. Since the container is round, it rolls to a resting place (it is a nice effect). If this thing is so unstable, why beam it onto a tabletop and take the chance it will roll off?
  • From JRPoole on 2008-02-20 at 3:50pm:
    This is a solid episode, but not one of my favorites. Aside from Worf's perplexing ability to fake out the Ferengi sensors--why hasn't he been doing this all along to every body the Enterprise meets in battle?--there aren't many real problems. But something just isn't right here for me.

    Maybe it's just my predisposition to turn up my nose at any Ferengi episode, but the Ferengi presence here seems rushed. I know they're driven by profit, but I don't really buy their willingness to potentially start a war over the Hathaway. Again, maybe that's just my anti-Ferengi bias. I've always thought them to be a silly, over-drawn, stereotypical species, and here is one of the worst offenses this side of their initial appearance.

    I love the sub-plot with the Stratagema game. I find the finger-interface and the game display to be ridiculous, though.
  • From KStrock on 2009-01-24 at 11:55pm:
    Starfleet doesn't conduct military routine exercises? What about Section 31's activities? I find that hard to believe given the (fairly recent) wars with the Klingon Empire and the brutal war with the Romulans that lead to the establishment of the Neutral Zone.

    Also, I find Picard and Riker's distaste for the whole exercise as "unnecessary for an officer's makeup" bit out of character. Both men surely would see value in having their crews trained for battle stress.
  • From Yaspaa on 2010-05-07 at 10:42pm:
    I wasn't keen on Pulaski at the time. On watching the episode now (after not watching an episode in 9ish years) she is, dare I say, a better more enjoyable character to watch. Both Pulaski and Crusher have the old hippocratical oath
    caring tendencies. Pulaski is more abrasive however, making her more interesting, purely due to the friction her personality can generate.
  • From THoyt on 2011-04-12 at 9:09pm:
    The Ferengi attacked and gave Picard "10 of your minutes" to surrender the Hathaway. The Hathaway had no real weapons to speak of, and the crossover relays between the Enterprise's real weapons systems and simulation systems were "fused", rendering them unable to fight back against the Ferengi. How did they manage in 10 minutes to have 4 very real photon torpedos ready to fire at the Hathaway? And if indeed they were able to get weapons online, why not just fight the Ferengi and send them running?
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-18 at 2:39pm:
    - I pretty much liked the plot about Riker getting his own command, picking the best crew, and cheating like heck to try to beat the Enterprise.
    - I was guessing from the start that the battle would be broken up by a real enemy. Maybe because that was exactly the premise of an old scenario from Star Fleet Battles (a Star Trek wargame). I wonder if the writer of this episode read that scenario.
    - The subplot with Data was sort of peculiar. Pulaski wants to bring Kolrami down a peg, and she assumes that since Data is a Deus Ex Machina who can do anything, he's bound to win. When Kolrami wins, she thinks the plot just isn't supposed to be written that way.
    - It is remarkable about how petty everyone is towards Kolrami beating Data. Nobody is impressed by his incredible accomplishment. They just want to wipe that smirk off his face. When Data can't win, but manages to upset Kolrami, everyone cheers.
    - As KStrock mentions, it is very hard to believe the comments about the crew not needing to practice war maneuvers because Starfleet is not a military organization. Of course it is! I'll assume that Picard was really just being diplomatic, what he really thought initially was that the specific test Kolrami planned, spending a great deal of time preparing for a brief, totally uneven matchup, was stupid and a waste of time.
    - In response to THoyt: It was established in the first Ferengi appearance that they have starships equal in power to Federation starships. The Ferengi made what was effectively a sneak attack on the Enterprise, and the Enterprise shields "can't take another hit" and the weapons are scrambled. Presumably 10 minutes was enough to get a few torpedoes online, but not enough time to give the Enterprise a reasonable fighting chance against the Ferengi.
    - I agree that Worf's ability to fake out the Ferengi was hard to believe, not a very satisfactory conclusion to the problem. But then again, those TNG Ferengi are so stupid, maybe they don't know how to read their own instrument panels properly.
  • From g@g on 2012-03-03 at 2:10am:
    Agree about the main technical problem.

    Otherwise, plenty of good stuff in here. The strategist was a pretty neat and memorable guest character. Also, Warf has an especially great and useful role to play (again, just like in Emissary) and some good lines to go with it(Data: "That would be unfortunate." Warf: "*Very* unfortunate. We will be dead").

    Data's little crisis of confidence subplot was great... I loved Picard's reaction to having to "handhold an android," and likewise Data's reaction to Picard. Also, it was great to see Pulaski finally come around a bit towards Data and "anthropomorphize" him like everyone else - what I really mean is show him some understanding, compassion even.

    Besides the main tech. problem, my other questions would be:

    1) Data's tactic of playing for a draw seems a bit obvious to have such devastating consequences on a grandmaster. But he's Data, so maybe it was the semi-obvious tactic combined with his mad processing powers.

    2) Shouldn't the Ferengi's brazenly firing on the Enterprise have some kind of serious longterm consequences?

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Star Trek TNG - 2x22 - Shades of Gray

Originally Aired: 1989-7-17

An alien organism invades Riker's brain. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 1.02

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 232 53 13 11 8 2 4 2 4 4 9

- Riker "remembered" some things he wasn't actually there to see.

- This was an extremely low budget episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- The joking scene at the end when Riker is cured is neat.
- Some of the scenes in Riker's dream are fun to watch again.

My Review
The problem this episode suffers from is severe lack of plot. This was due to budget problems. They didn't have enough money to do the big action packed season finale they planned for. So instead they made a clip show. What confuses me the most about this situation is why they bothered to make this episode at all. The previous episode (TNG: Peak Performance) would have made for a far better season finale.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-04 at 10:05pm:
    - Pulaski recognizes that the microbes respond to brain endorphins. She then proceeds to jolt Riker with a machine so his brain can produce them. Yet, she worries that the stress may kill him. In "The Battle," Dr. Crusher claims that twenty-fourth century medical science has "mapped the brain." If they have, doesn't it seem reasonable that they would understand the endorphins the brain produces under different circumstances? Shouldn't they be able to manufacture these brain endorphins in a replicator and inject them in Riker? Then again, if Pulaski could make the endorphins, we would miss all there wonderful flashbacks! (Sorry, fighting to control my hatred for flashback shows)
    - As Pulaski uses a machine to stimulate Riker's brain, she looks in a pair of eyepieces and presses buttons. She seems to hit the right buttons without even looking. Considering that all the control surfaces on the Enterprise are flat, that's quite a feat!
  • From JRPoole on 2008-02-21 at 2:58pm:
    This is not a comment on this episode--what is there to say about this one, really?--but on the second season as a whole.

    The second season is superior to the first, mostly because the characters started coming into their own, the seeds of coming plot arcs are sown, and the writers stopped rehashing TOS plots (with the exception of "Unnatural Selection"). On my slow process of re-watching the series for the first time in years, I was surprised to see that some of the episodes I remembered most fondly--"Contagion," "Up the Long Ladder," "The Emissary," "A Matter of Honor," "Q Who"--are all this early in the series. I distinctly remember it getting better as it went along, so I'm looking forward to the upcoming seasons.

    I'm watching the series via Netflix, and the last disc I received contained the final two season 2 episodes and a smattering of special features. One of the special features was called "Memorable Missions" and consisted of the actors, producers, writers, and other behind-the-scenes types discussing their favorite episodes. I was surprised to see that the people behind the show seem to love "The Dauphin," which I consider to be among the worst episodes in existence.

    Anyway, on to season 3....
  • From JR on 2008-10-28 at 3:02am:
    DSOmo commented:

    "If they have, doesn't it seem reasonable that they would understand the endorphins the brain produces under different circumstances? Shouldn't they be able to manufacture these brain endorphins in a replicator and inject them in Riker?"

    Neurotransmitters released in the bloodstream can't reach the brain because of the blood-brain barrier. So this wouldn't have the same effect as stimulating the natural production of endorphin.
  • From Wayne on 2009-07-16 at 5:36pm:
    No one seems to remember that this episode and "peak performance" were made at the beginning of a writers strike. that why the seconds season only has 22 episode instead of the usual 26. This was a clip show that was made as filler to finish the season.
  • From curt on 2010-04-15 at 6:19pm:
    Its a clip show show, so I don't hate it! it is what it is. Im not really a fan of it, Id not even give it a rating.
  • From thaibites on 2010-09-19 at 12:21am:
    This episode is a microcosm of the 2nd season - crap. It's all probably due to the writer's strike, but it's still crap and you can't polish a turd. The only memorable episode was "Q Who". The rest were OK to forgettable. I like action, tension, and big stories. Season 2 was a collection of little stories that allowed us to get to know the characters better, which is nice, but there needed to be more "on the line" - more stories where you felt they were pushing the limits of space and may not survive. Also, Pulaski was a complete disaster. Thank God she didn't survive season 2.
    Bring on season 3 - give me Klingons, Romulans, Borg, ANYTHING - just give me some action and suspense!
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-18 at 4:42pm:
    This episode is a fraud perpetrated upon the innocent viewing public. It should come with a label – "Warning – we didn't have the money or the script to make a genuine Star Trek episode. Proceed at your own risk."

    I watched it not knowing what it was. The first 15 minutes seemed promising. Then the clip show starts. So pointless! So random! But if that isn't bad enough, when they return to the main plot, it starts to get melodramatic. And the acting gets more and more painfully awful, the clips more and more random, until I was begging for the episode to end.
    - The one good point is the final scene. It made me laugh.
  • From Dstyle on 2015-11-09 at 2:19pm:
    Pulaski (melodramatically): "We need to access intense, negative emotions to drive this infection away!"

    Troi (even more melodramtically): "Well, how about the time his mother died when he was a child? That was a major trauma! Or how about when his father abandoned him when he was fifteen? Or the time he had to fight his way off The Pegasus when the crew mutinied against the captain, even though his actions went against his principles? I mean, his early years are a goldmine of negative emotions!"

    Pulaski (desperately melodramatic, somehow topping Troi's melodrama): "No! For some reason I can only access negative memories from the last two years!"

    Clip shows, eh? What can you do? I feel bad for cast members like Brent Spiner and Michael Dorn who had to sit in the makeup chair for hours so they could be a part of this. (Wait, was Worf in this episode? Maybe in the beginning? No, I don't remember him in it at all, probably for exactly this reason.)
  • From Mark Boris on 2016-08-27 at 4:02am:
    Finally got around to watching this one. Only one I hadn't seen, can you believe it? I saved the worst for last it seems.

    Away teams ought to beam down in biohazard suits. Just sayin'.

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