I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. I’ve also included a score and comment from my wife, who has never seen the show before. There are SPOILERS for each episode below.
A friend of Dr. Crusher’s comes aboard ship, but promptly disappears without a trace–even a paper trail. Wesley was apparently doing some warp field experiment around the time it happened. Time goes on and more and more crew members disappear, without anyone having any memory or any record of them ever existing. As the crew dwindles down more and more, Dr. Crusher races to figure out what’s happening. However, it turns out she’s actually the one trapped inside the warp field and Wesley and others are trying to rescue her. Finally, she manages to put her trust in the notion that “her” universe is not the “real” one and jump through a closing portal to safety.
Once again, TNG proves it is capable of carrying episodes purely on individual character on the crew. Dr. Crusher is marvelous in this episode, as she deals with the sense of impending doom and possible insanity as people continue to disappear with only her realizing it. We as viewers know right away that it is almost certainly due to Wesley’s experiment (which, by the way, he never gets in trouble for–can we ever get some consequences for this guy’s mad scientist experiments?), but the twist of having Beverly being the one who is taken rather than the others is what makes the episode really hit home. She has to figure out what’s going on from the perspective not of preventing it–her instinct–but of being the one trapped. That’s what keeps “Remember Me” going throughout, and it’s a great ride.
The plot is really thin, but the mystery of it allows it to carry through the whole episode without ever feeling slow or boring. It’s a compelling episode that really only suffers from having perhaps too few elements. It’s great to finally have a really solid episode under the belt for Dr. Crusher. I enjoyed this episode immensely.
Grade: B+ “See? Dr. Crusher can totally carry an episode too!”
Wife’s Grade and Comment: B+ “While it didn’t really explain the situation, it was very interesting to see Dr. Crusher’s character respond over the course of the episode.”
The Enterprise comes upon a distress call from a Talarian ship. The Talarians are a warlike people, but Picard decides to mount a rescuing mission. One of the five people rescued, Jono, is a human and the grandson of a Starfleet Admiral. The crew starts trying to integrate Jono into human life, but he is resistant and insists that he is the son of a Talarian leader, Captain Endar. Endar shows up and demands to have his son returned, threatening to escalate to violence if needed to recover him. Finally, Picard decides to peaceably return Jono because he clearly feels he is part of Talarian, not human, society.
The moral question of what to do with a young man who was kidnapped at a young age and raised in a different society was one of great interest, I thought. The episode interestingly conveys several different aspects of the problem while never trying to browbeat a point into the viewers, which is appreciated.
It was great to watch Picard and Jono interact. Picard also hilariously said that people might not be aware that he’s uncomfortable around children. No, really? It probably won’t help that this child tried to stab him to death in his sleep.
There are some flaws in the episode, as it is hard to believe people like Picard, Troi, and Riker who are supposed to be great diplomats would be so ignorant when it comes to thinking that this boy, Jono, could just be immediately placed in a different context and succeed. The plot also suffers from either too few or too many elements. That doesn’t make sense? Well what I mean is that either they needed to up the suspense further and perhaps have the Admiral speaking to Jono or some other ways to build the interest or they needed to really hone in on some of the specifics of the plot more. Nonetheless, this was an episode with many areas of interest and it explored a serious moral question in such a way as to make readers think further, which is always a positive.
Grade: B “A solid premise with some minor flaws.”
Wife’s Grade and Comment: B “It presented an interesting dilemma for Picard and company.”
J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!
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