Star Trek: TNG Season 4 “The Loss” and “Galaxy’s Child”

Troi- check your body language! You're better than that!

Troi- check your body language! You’re better than that!

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.

“The Loss”

Plot

The Enterprise encounters some two-dimensional life forms and during the encounter, Troi somehow loses her empathic abilities. As she struggles to come to terms with this loss, the crew of the Enterprise seeks to escape from the creatures’ hold on the ship as they are brought into peril. The crew figures out a way to escape the clutches of the 2D creatures and after escaping, Troi’s abilities are restored.

Commentary

It was very interesting to see Troi have to deal with the loss of her abilities and come to the realization of how much she relied on them–yet could succeed without them. It was a great way to introduce some major character development for Troi. In particular, her realization that she could be a successful counselor apart from her abilities lends her character insight going forward in a believable fashion. The problem with “The Loss” is the major pacing issues that crop up throughout the episode.

It just doesn’t move very quickly. The interactions with Troi are compelling and really the only thing that held my attention throughout. The use of the 2D creatures seemed simply unimportant. It would have been better if the episode had simply focused more on Troi and her difficulties overcoming grief that came with the loss of her empathic abilities. She delivers a stirring performance and traces the “5 stages of grief” in an engaging fashion, but any scene without her basically became background noise against the drama of her character’s struggle.

A good episode with (finally) some development for Troi’s character. I just wish it had done more with it.

Grade: B- “Interesting premise, but a plodding pace sinks it.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A “The character development of Troi was really great and dealt well with issues of loss and sickness.”

“Galaxy’s Child”*

*This one is out-of-sequence because the discs were packaged 1-2-4-3-etc. instead of 1-2-3-4. Blame the manufacturer and enjoy this review anyway!

Plot

A previously un-encountered being is accidentally killed by the Enterprise when it acts aggressively. However, it turns out the being was pregnant and the Enterprise works to save the child. It imprints upon the Enterprise and the crew must hurry to get it to seek after its own kind. Meanwhile, Dr. Brahm–previously encountered only on the holodeck in “Booby Trap,” is on board and Geordi La Forge struggles to reconcile his concept of her with his experience of her holodeck persona. Ultimately, the two must work together to save the ship. They succeed, leading to their ultimate reconciliation and friendship.

Commentary

Look! An episode about Geordi’s ineptitude regarding women! We haven’t seen this before! Oh wait.

Seriously though, “Galaxy’s Child” is an entertaining episode all-around. The discomfort La Forge suffers with his encounter with Dr. Brahm provides an intriguing look into how we view reality through lenses. La Forge’s lenses seem to be clouded by his connection with a holodeck imitation of the real thing. When he founds out she’s married, his interactions afterwards with Guinan are good too. It’s not the worst portrayal of broken hearts in the series so far.

The plot with the “child” is also interesting, but ultimately does not carry as well as it may have. The delight that Picard and Riker displayed upon realizing they’d never encountered such a being before was so in-character and superbly done! Picard’s distress over killing it was also spot-on.

This week had two episodes carried by characters outside the usual suspects. It was an uneven ride, but ultimately a good one. TNG continues to thrive on its superb characterization.

Grade: B- “A decent, but not enthralling look at poor Geordi’s love life.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B- “It was okay, but nothing was particularly compelling.”

Links

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!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

Star Trek: TNG– For more episode reviews, follow this site and also click this link to read more (scroll down as needed)! Drop me a comment to let me know what you thought!

SDG.

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