Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 “Peak Performance” and “Shades of Gray”

Still a better love story than Twilight.

Still a better love story than Twilight.

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.

“Peak Performance”

Plot

The Enterprise is set up for some war games to test her crew’s military prowess with a Starfleet observer on board. Riker gets to hand pick a crew to pilot a derelict ship to challenge Picard. He also gets wrecked by Kolrami in Stratagema. Riker picks the crew and sets up the ship with some surprises. After Data is also defeated by Kolrami in Stratagema and the  In the middle of the simulated combat, the Ferengi show up and demand the “valuable” derelict. Picard pretends to blow it up and Worf makes a sensor shadow of a Starfleet warship and they flee. Then, in Data’s rematch he plays to draw and Kolrami leaves in frustration. Win?

Commentary

The moment I saw Kolrami I said “Yes!” quietly to myself because although I couldn’t remember the exact details, I remember this one being an episode I’ve enjoyed multiple times. It turns out there are good reasons to support that confidence. The plot centers around Riker’s command ability, but seamlessly wove in Data’s self-doubt which sets up Picard for a great and reassuring line: “You can do everything right and still lose.”

Kolrami is easy to hate, but I honestly appreciate him in some ways because he stuck to his character so well. There was no compromise there, and he only grudgingly offers a “favorable” report after Riker and Picard (and Worf!) manage to clear the Ferengi threat.

The episode as a whole clearly reflects the whole crew’s abilities rather than purely on Riker’s ability to lead. Riker’s leadership is  a valid starting point, but Geordi, Wesley, and Worf ultimately are the ones who save the day with their ingenuity (and cheating!). Both Troi and Pulaski’s interactions with Data brought up some good dialogue and thoughtful reflection: what would it be like to try to counsel a machine, after all? It’s a great episode that develops many characters in positive directions, something hard to do in 45 minutes.

Data’s decision to play to draw at the end is a fitting conclusion for a really excellent and genuinely thoughtful episode of TNG.

Grade: A “Great development of several characters combined with a fun premise and just the right mix of drama make this episode one of the greats.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A- “There was much excellent character development and I liked the showing up of the snooty guy.”

“Shades of Gray”

Plot

Riker gets attacked by an alien plant and his condition rapidly deteriorates. Finally, Pulaski tries to fight the illness by triggering a bunch of memories in Riker. The worse the memory, the better they fight the toxin. The worst memories are triggered. Riker recovers.

Commentary

I had forgotten this episode entirely, and for good reason. It’s entirely forgettable. After a rather interesting opening, we are treated to 30 minutes of flashbacks from earlier episodes while Pulaski and Troi give updates on Riker’s condition. Snore city. I read in my ultra-cool TNG book that apparently a writer’s strike had caused them to not have plot-lines set up for this point in the season, and “Q Who” had apparently drained funding. Thus, we get this.

The unfortunate thing is that I feel as though Riker could have carried this episode on his own to at least the middling range. His one-liners to the medical staff are great, and the intro was compelling enough to make me think it would be a decent episode. But no, we have an episode that’s 85% flashbacks.

Or, to sum up, my brother-in-law (here to visit for the weekend) put it this way: “Alien bug is just as sick of flashbacks as we are.”

Grade: F “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought I was watching a new episode.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: D+ “The only impressive thing about this episode was the fact that Riker was still able to have emotions while strapped to a hospital bed and unconscious.” 

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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Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 “The Samaritan Snare” and “Up the Long Ladder”

samaritan-snare

Don’t talk to someone when they’re reading, Wesley. Don’t do it! Oh… you did it.

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 Samaritan Snare”

Plot

Picard has to travel with Wesley to a starbase because his heart is giving out and he doesn’t want to lose face. Meanwhile, Riker and the Enterprise respond to a distress signal, which turns out to be a trap to try to capture a crewman from the ship. Geordi is kidnapped and eventually freed by tricking the aliens into lowering their shields, while Picard’s condition in surgery plummets. Dr. Pulaski is flown in and able to save Picard. High fives all around.

Commentary

Another episode with lots of elements, but this time they got put together in a cohesive and believable way. The background for Picard’s character, told through a dialogue with Wesley on the way to the starbase, was interesting and gave Picard’s character even more depth. It also says something about Patrick Stewart’s acting ability that he’s able to essentially deliver a monologue about his past and keep the audience in rapturous interest without any flashback scenes. Well done!

The main (or side?) plot with Geordi being kidnapped was a good premise, though the aliens couldn’t have been any dumber. It’s like they have an intelligence score in D+D of 3 or so (if you get that, you’re awesome). Anyway, it was resolved through some clever trickery, making light of a rather suspenseful situation (I mean, Geordi was basically tortured!), but not in a dismissive way. It was pretty well-executed.

The episode is not without flaws: the aliens are almost unbelievably stupid and one-dimensional, which makes it hard to believe they even managed to make it out of their beds, let alone off their planet. The fact that Riker doesn’t immediately act on Troi’s words telling him Geordi was in danger was really hard to comprehend, particularly since Worf concurred. As my wife said, and I agree, “When the Betazoid and Klingon agree on something, you’d better do it.” I mean seriously, your psychic counselor and warrior-man each say Geordi’s in danger! Time to act now Riker! Also, Pulaski’s bedside manner continues to be ridiculous.

Overall, though, it was a fun episode with elements of humor and some awesome character building for Picard. I thought about scoring it lower than I did, but I enjoyed it too much to be realistic with anything lower.

Grade: B “Patrick Stewart’s acting ability brings an average episode into the ‘good’ range.” 

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B “I enjoyed the character development but the Geordi kidnapping adventure was strange.”

“Up the Long Ladder”

Plot

The Enterprise responds to a distress signal and beams up a bunch of displaced 19th century Irish people (okay they actually left Earth to try to live a simpler life, but whatever). As they try to figure out what to do with them, they go to a second colony which apparently is populated entirely by clones. The latter colony faces a crisis of genetic breakdown as their clones continue to deteriorate in genetic quality. They steal Riker and Pulaski’s DNA but are thwarted. Ultimately, the solution is to lump the Irish with the clones so they can have a broader genetic base and learn from each other.

Commentary

Okay, let’s just get this out of the way quickly: this episode is made up of two episodes. Halfway in you’re thinking it’s about the weird struggle of coping with some Irish people, then the rest of the episode follows the drama of the clones. It’s as though the writers just put two episodes with the same premise together and then hack-jobbed an ending onto it. First half is an episode about trying to find a way to deposit the Irish, and, of course, Riker’s latest affair. Second half is a more intense episode about clones desperate for aid. Then, the ending is put forward to try to tell you that, oh yeah, we decided to make this one episode. It’s too crazy.

I should note the intro scene with Worf’s interaction with Pulaski was just awesome. Seriously, Pulaski still has a lot of growing up to do, but she delivered a great scene with Worf and the whole tea ceremony was epic. I absolutely loved it.

Random comments: Can I just question why it took Starfleet a month to respond to the distress signal? I mean seriously, what if everyone were dead? Also, how many women has Riker been with at this point in the series? A lot. I know he and Troi aren’t officially a thing, but come on! Show some restraint!

Anyway, the episode just seemed like two episodes that the writers decided to jumble together because they had similar premises. It just didn’t work. The ultimate solution–breeding with at least 3 different people–was absurd on its face both on the side of the clones and the Irish. Whatever happened to the Prime Directive, or does it not apply to human colonies? Moreover, how could Picard (and Troi, for that matter) sanction the “shotgun wedding” taking place (yes, that term was used)? It was just absurd. A roller-coaster ride of an episode with brilliant moments marred by lots of garbage time.

Grade: C- “Two completely different episodes + the need to put them into one episode = one deus ex machina (read: “absurd”) ending.” 

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B- “The divergent colonists made for an interesting dilemma but the solution involved a lot of people acting out of character.”

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.

Star Trek: The Next Generation “Pen Pals” and “Q Who?”

q-who

At last we reveal ourselves to the Enterprise; at last, we shall have revenge.

I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. Here, we’re in season 2 and discussing episodes fifteen and sixteen. 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.

“Pen Pals”

Plot

Wesley is put in charge of a team for a geological survey of a planet in order to continue his development towards officer training. Meanwhile, Data receives a transmission asking “Is anyone out there?” and decides to answer it by saying “Yes.” It turns out the transmission is from a young girl whose planet is experiencing geological upheaval. Data wants to fix it, but this would violate the prime directive. Ultimately, Wesley’s team figures out a way to stop the upheaval while Data saves his interstellar pen pal, after which her memory is erased.

Commentary

Wesley’s struggles with his first command of a team were actually pretty compelling. It was delivered in a winsome way while also cashing in on the premise. Watching him in a command situation while also trying to figure out the nuances of the situation was well-done and even well-acted.

The discussion over the Prime Directive between the senior officers was interesting, and the juxtaposition between Worf’s absolutism and Pulaski’s willingness to bend it was great. The ensuing debate over fate and the plight of a world was great, bringing forward philosophical ethical issues. Picard’s reasoning about moral certitude was catching, and Data’s insight into the issue not being a philosophical debate was well-placed.

The episode raises these questions alongside the debate over wiping the memory of the alien girl. Pulaski comforts Data by pointing out they need to wipe the girl’s memory to allow her to stay on whatever path she was born into, but one wonders whether perhaps her path would be to discover that there is life “out there” among the stars. Similar questions about fate were raised with the previous discussion on the Prime Directive, and TNG often tries to answer the questions. Here, we’re basically just served a number of questions without a proposed solution. It’s frustrating and charming all at once, and it calls for reflection afterwards as well.

Despite all these great aspects, there really was quite a bit of need for “suspension of disbelief” throughout this episode above and beyond the standard fare. Why didn’t Data immediately report this contact with alien life to Picard or a superior? Why does O’Brien unquestioningly transport Data and this alien to the Enterprise? Wouldn’t there be some kind of discipline for flaunting the Prime Directive so eagerly? Since when did they have the technology to wipe out memories, and how easily could they solve other Prime Directive issues with it? (Or apply it to crazy amounts of criminal activity?) How does a planet’s geological upheaval get fixed within seconds? The questions just keep coming, and the episode almost gleefully flaunts these issues without offering any explanation. They keep “Pen Pals” from being the great episode it could be.

Grade: B “Any episode that stars Wesley and isn’t terrible is refreshing. The stretching of imagination, however, got painful.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: C+ “It was nice to see Wes grow in his character, but the plot was very hard to believe.” 

“Q Who?”

Plot

Q shows up and is petulant because Picard won’t make him a crew member so he shoots the Enterprise off to meet the Borg. The Enterprise is worse for the wear after the engagement and Picard appeals to Q to get them back home. He does, the end. Oh, and Guinan is apparently hundreds (or thousands… or millions… or !?) of years old and has some history with Q somehow. Oh, and there’s a new engineering Ensign named Sonya who’s overeager and a klutz.

Commentary

If my summary seems a little chaotic that’s because I was trying to reflect the episode: it has a lot going on and seems a bit thrown together. We never get any reason behind Sonya’s introduction and she seems tacked on. The encounter with the Borg has much drama, but Q was there to deus ex machina the whole thing. It was cool to have the episode point ahead: “Look out for what’s coming!” but hard to follow that theme alongside weird revelations about Guinan. Lots of questions were raised, and no answers provided. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it also leaves me scratching my head. What was the point of this episode? It’s like an episode-long version of “What’s next on TNG.”

That said, the Borg are awesome. The creators did an awesome job introducing a truly sinister threat, but doing so in a way that isn’t over-the-top. There’s no question that the Borg are a major threat, but there’s also no question that they aren’t sporting devil horns and worshiping Satan; that is, they’re not evil for evil’s sake. There’s a mystery to them that makes the episode more appealing and wins me over despite its total lack of cohesion.

If the episode had simply stayed about the Borg and Q trying to show Picard they need to prepare even more, it would have had more cohesion. As it stands, it’s got too much going on to be a truly great episode.

Grade: B- “Introducing the Borg was genius, but it could have been done without so many distractions.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B+ “It was very interesting but the Q manipulation felt artificial… and annoying.”

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.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 “Time Squared” and “The Icarus Factor”

icarus-factor

“Riker, I am your father!” “NOOOOO!!!” *read as Vader*

I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. Here, we’re in season 2 and discussing episodes thirteen and fourteen. 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.

“Time Squared”

Plot

The Enterprise discovers its own shuttle from 6 hours in the future, complete with Picard. They scramble to find out what went wrong as the ship’s destruction is imminent. Picard is forced to kill himself (?) in order to stop the time loop and prevent the continuation of a cycle of death for the Enterprise.

Commentary

TNG has become famous for its time-travel episodes, and “Time Squared” is another great reason why. A sense of impending doom and mystery pervaded throughout the whole episode, as they raced against the clock to discover how to save the Enterprise. The sense of mystery is never fully resolved, either, which adds to the compelling nature of the episode. How long had the loop been going for? How many times had Picard made the wrong choice? Was it only once? Could they have been stuck in the loop for thousands of times? If future-Picard was killed, does that impact an alternate universe? These questions, and more, are raised by the episode.

The discussion between Pulaski and Troi over Picard’s potential lack of capacity for command was a great use of both characters as well. They took a concern for the safety of the ship to the forefront and delivered on a great character-building conversation.

I should briefly mention the fun intro scene in which Riker makes a eggs for his friends. The humans all think they are disgusting, but Worf pounds them down and his only comment is “Delicious.” Love it. Worf is so awesome.

Overall, this is one of the better episodes in a solid season.

Grade: A- “Another awesome time-travel episode to add to TNG’s list.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: C “It was interesting but there didn’t really seem to be a reason for any of it.” 

“The Icarus Factor”

Plot

Riker is given the chance to promote and has to meet his dad to discuss the aspects of his possible new assignment. Pulaski apparently was in love with Riker’s dad. Meanwhile Worf is mad for some reason. Wesley helps solve the issue by giving Worf a Klingon-pain festival, while Riker solves his daddy issues through future-martial arts. Ultimately, Riker turns down the promotion and it’s business-as-usual on the Enterprise.

Commentary

This episode suffers from a bit of “too much of a good thing” complex. There really is enough going on in this episode for 2-3 episodes, and it shows as no aspect is given the screen time it deserves. Worf’s character is always interesting, and it seemed to undercut his character to have his tension so cheaply resolved by a trip to the holodeck. The love-tension between Riker’s dad and Pulaski is another interesting facet to Pulaski’s character, but is left essentially unresolved at the end.

There is a decent amount of gender essentialism in this episode which drove me up a wall. According to Troi, despite our evolution as a species, there are still things that each gender must hash out in their own ways. Troi and Pulaski then shake their heads collectively at all men-folk. This concept of having each gender specifically acting out in certain ways is largely shattered by simple observation, but it also makes one wonder about men who do not fulfill such stereotyping now (i.e. I am not a martial artist and have not been in a fistfight… therefore I solve problems in a less manly way?). For a show that is supposed to be set in the future, it sometimes looks into the past with its comments on gender.

The “Ultimate Evolution” of martial arts is hilarious and awesome at the same time. Where did they think of this? Blindfolding combatants and having them find each other with staffs that make sounds when they find the adversary is genius and fun to watch. I hope we make this into a real thing someday.

Riker’s change of heart over accepting the promotion would have been shocking if it weren’t obviously going to happen. His explanation is simple, but one has to wonder whether he did it to rebel against his father or to follow Troi or simply because he wanted to learn more.

It’s not at all a bad episode, it just has far too much going on to really get on board with any one of the many threads throughout.

Grade: C+ “Too many plot threads and gender issues bring down this otherwise compelling episode.”

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B “It was good character development but very busy.”

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!

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2, “Unnatural Selection” and “Matter of Honor”

unnat-select

First one to lift their hands loses!

I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. Here, we’re in season 2 and discussing episodes seven and eight. 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.

“Unnatural Selection”

Plot

A Federation ship is found with the whole crew aboard dead… of old age. The crew of the Enterprise traces it back to Darwin Station, where they discover some disease has taken hold. Pulaski dives in to try to solve it but ultimately ends up contracting it herself. Ultimately, all is saved when the Enterprise uses the transporter to reconfigure people to their old DNA.

Commentary

Wow. I had forgotten how good this episode is. The plot actually kept me guessing. I’d seen it before of course but it’s been years and I couldn’t remember all the twists and turns. It was a great feeling of mystery and discovery. Pulaski’s voiced-over commentary at the end was interesting and having her commentary on human discovery and how it came at a cost juxtaposed over the destruction of the ship that had been completely killed off by the “disease” was poignant and well-delivered. It’s the kind of monologue-type thing that probably wouldn’t make muster in today’s television but sets apart TNG as a great show with (sometimes) awesome commentary.

The character development for Dr. Pulaski was also excellent. She finally got a chance to shine in her role and remind of why I came to like her character. She apologized to Data (!), had some good interactions with Picard, and overall kicked some butt and took some names throughout the episode.  The way she took charge, was willing to take risks for herself, but ultimately unwilling to risk the health of the entire ship just to save her finally painted her as a strong personality rather than simply an obnoxious one. Picard and Pulaski’s attempts to discover more about each other made the episode feel like it had bigger implications than just a one-off.  This is one of the best episodes so far.

Grade: A-

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A- “It was good character development and a not wholly-expected plot.”

“Matter of Honor”

Plot

Riker is sent to serve aboard a Klingon Warbird, Pagh, as part of the Federation officer exchange program. A biological threat emerges attacking both the Enterprise and the Pagh and the captain of the Klingon vessel sees it as a threat. Meanwhile, Mendon, an alien ensign, is struggling to learn his own way aboard the Enterprise and attempts to discover how to fix the issue. In the end, Riker takes over the Pagh, Mendon figures out how to rid both vessels of the biological threat, and high-fives are given all around–one of them in the form of a backhand to Riker’s face.

Commentary

I think this episode is the kind that TNG thrives on. It’s fun, it has a fast-paced, high-risk plot, and it allows individual characters to shine. Mendon’s struggles aboard the Enterprise aren’t as painful as they could have been and it’s actually interesting to see his character develop. I don’t remember if we see him ever again, but I wouldn’t mind a reprisal later. Riker aboard a Klingon vessel is genius. He fully embraces the role, eating still-living Klingon food, joking with those aboard the Pagh, beating up other officers, all in a day’s work on a Klingon ship! Some of the one-liners in this episode are just great, and Worf gets his own share of them in when interacting with Mendon: “You may impress me” (followed by look-of-death).

All of that said, the pace starts to bog down towards the end and that’s what prevents this episode from being on the list of true “greatest” episodes for the show. Some scenes seem to just take too long, and while the comedy mixed throughout the episode helps keep it entertaining, there are points where it just felt like filler.  The resolution is interesting but expected, though Riker sitting as Captain and ordering Picard to surrender is quite fun. Overall, a good but not great episode.

Grade: B+

Wife’s Grade and Comment: B+ “Riker’s exploration of the Klingon traditions was entertaining.”

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: The Next Generation Season 2, “Elementary, Dear Data” and “The Outrageous Okona”

elementary-dear-data

I have deduced that this is a shoe.

I’m going through “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and reviewing every episode, complete with commentary and a grade from A-F. Here, we’re in season 2 and discussing episodes three and four. This week I’ve changed the format a bit by including scores from my wife, who has never seen the show before. There are SPOILERS for each episode below.

“Elementary, Dear Data”

Plot

Data and Geordi trade moments of sharing favorite things. Data’s is Sherlock Holmes but he has all the novels memorized and so they present no challenge. Dr. Pulaski argues Data can’t reason himself out of a box, but Geordi is convinced Data could solve a mystery and sets the holodeck to create a mystery and nemesis that could defeat Data. The computer complies, resulting in a nemesis, Professor Moriarty, who can eventually take control of the Enterprise, who is ultimately not defeated but allowed to continue on in the code of the computer until the technology comes along that can maintain his existence outside of the holodeck.

Commentary

I loved the interplay of Data and Geordi in this episode. Geordi sharing one of his favorite things with Data and agreeing to share in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Dr. Pulaski being the character to spur Data into a challenge to see if he can solve it is a good use of her character. She has officially grown on me marginally, but she still treats Data in a manner unbecoming a Doctor, in my opinion. The use of Moriarty as the nemesis of Holmes/Data is also well done and the building suspense is interesting and entertaining. I can’t but say that the episode entertained me. Character growth for both Data and Geordi was both needed and welcome. Their dynamic is great and I can’t wait to see that develop more.

Despite that, the episode really pushed the “suspension of disbelief” envelope. Why would you build a holodeck in which failsafes were able to be turned off so easily and unintentionally. I mean, shouldn’t there at least be a warning: “Hey, you’re making a really dangerous program, proceed?” Why not have a failsafe that allows you to just turn the power off no matter what? Importing my philosophy background: how does a computer that is non-sentient come up with a program that “gains consciousness”? If I were Picard, I’d be thinking it is time to ban use of my holodecks.

That said, I actually liked this episode a lot. It had lots of flaws, yes, but it was entertaining and fun. At the heart of Star Trek, that’s what the show is all about.

Grade: B

Wife’s Grade and Comment: A-/B+ “It was pretty good… I was entertained.”

The Outrageous Okona

Plot

A ship is broken down, the Enterprise assists. The ship’s captain, Okona, is Han Solo (basically). Two ships come wanting Okona for different reasons. It turns out that their reasons are linked and Okona was kind of the fall guy trying to help young love happen. In the end, young love wins, and Okona leaves safely. Oh yeah, Data also tried to find out what’s funny.

Commentary

Okona had a lot of promise when he showed up. Sure, he’s a stereotypical rebel-without-a-cause character/Han Solo, but who doesn’t like Han Solo? (Lower your hand, you!) Unfortunately, that never plays out. Instead, we have to endure shots of Data trying to figure out what’s funny while Guinan scorns his efforts in between shots of Okona being the ravishing space captain.

There are a lot of problems here apart from mere disappointment, however. Guinan has apparently joined the bash-Data club of which she and Pulaski are the founding members. Data’s interplay with “the comic” were initially sort of fun but dragged on forever and became dull and painful to watch. Okona’s character was utterly stereotypical. The commentary on a father being upset that a guy got his daughter pregnant and then ran off was just weird. I believe the word they used was “ancient” customs. It seemed disrespectful to the real plight of the woman involved. Another failed effort at egalitarian themes. The big reveal in which the young love was shown to be the thrust of the plot was a potentially interesting twist that just fell flat due to its surroundings.

This episode was very *shrug*-worthy, and at times painful. Long story short, the episode was boring.

Grade: D+

Wife’s Grade and Comment: C “Data jokes weren’t that funny; two groups fighting over one thing feels like it’s been done before.”

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!