201: The Child
There's been some crew movements on the Enterprise
. Dr. Crusher has been
fired for complaining about the sexism of some of the scripts
transferred to Starfleet Medical and replaced by Dr. Pulaski, who awesomely tells Picard to STFU when he berates her for not reporting to him promptly on boarding the ship. The crew have also been joined by Guinan, a bartender who has built her own pub in the front of the ship. We never get a really good reason for this, but it's all good stuff anyway. Also, LaForge has been made Chief Engineer (huzzah!) and Worf is now formally the permanent security chief, although curiously everyone continues to ignore his advice, even when it turns out to have been correct.
Amongst all the changes, no-one really notices when a glowing spark enters the ship (is it Starscream's ghost from Transformers
?) and impregnates Counsellor Troi (guess not), who rapidly gives birth to a mutant child that grows to the age of about eight years in just two days. Worf suggests they phaser it to death and the show flirts with abortion issues before ditching them and having a neat resolution. Of course, having been pregnant and given birth, seen her child grow up rapidly in just two days and then vanish would be horrendously traumatic for Counsellor Troi, and probably explains why she never mentions it again. There's also a subplot involving a Gruff Federation Scientist being Gruff, but I literally cannot remember WTF it was about despite watching it less than three hours ago.
This episode has much potential, despite being a rewritten Star Trek: Phase II
script. The early scenes where Guinan shows up and it's like she's always been there, where Pulaski proves a substantial foil for Picard and where there is genuine conflict amongst the crew on how to treat the pregnancy are all quite well-written, and thoroughly entertaining. In fact, I was starting to revise my memory of the episode being total crap when it suddenly nosedived in the second half. Once Troi's baby is born the writers don't seem to quite know how to proceed and we end up with a fairly pithy ending which is the definition of lame. The episode's most significant revelation, in fact, appears to be that there are PUPPIES ON THE ENTERPRISE
. What happened to them? Were they killed (or assimilated?
) in the battle with the Borg? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PUPPIES?
202: Where Silence Has Lease
Riker and Worf enjoy one of Worf's exercises on the Holodeck, which involves beating two aliens to death (note: one of these aliens has a worse costume than the Gorn in TOS). The teaser then ends with Worf getting carried away and preparing to execute Riker, only to remember himself. Ah! An episode about Worf not being able to control his Klingon rage or something. Er no, it's an episode in which the Enterprise
gets stuck in a black void and into a battle of wills between Picard and an alien entity which is such a terrible special effect it wouldn't have passed muster on an early episode of Red Dwarf
Picard outwits the alien entity by being stoic and everything is okay.
This is an odd one. The episode starts with a Simpsons
-style teaser that has nothing to do with the rest of the plot, segues into a reasonably interesting SF mystery and ultimately ends up going nowhere. There are some effective scenes on the deserted Yamato
(including a Portal
-style puzzle that reduces Worf to rage: "ONE RIKER! ONE BRIDGE!") but ultimately the episode is the very definition of meh.
203: Elementary, My Dear Data
Data and LaForge (aka Troy and Abed '88*) take part in a Sherlock Holmes mystery that goes wrong because Data knows the resolution to every Holmes mystery. Frustrated by Data's knowledge and Pulaski's smirking assertion that Data cannot perform real deductive reasoning, LaForge challenges the ship's computer to create an opponent worthy of defeating Data. The computer unfortunately does this by creating Dr. Moriarty and giving him access to the ship's systems and knowledge. This is a Bad Idea and Moriarty ends up threatening to take control of the Enterprise
. Picard eventually agrees to preserve Moriarty in the ship's computer system until they can work out WTF to do with him.
Sometimes cited as the first 'classic' episode of STTNG
(I'm not sure I agree, but it's certainly the best to date), this ep takes a dodgy premise (the whole thing happens because Geordi misspeaks one word) and makes it work through tremendously good acting from both the regulars and Daniel Davis as Moriarty and a strong script. There's also a nice continuation of the story arc where Pulaski questions Data's status as a sentient lifeform with real human abilities (something that, thematically at least, culminates in The Measure of a Man
). Some ideas are under-developed and the scenes where Moriarty threatens to take control of the ship seem like fake jeopardy thrown into the mix for the sake of it, but overall this is an episode that is much more than the sum of its parts.
* As coined by Charlie Jane Anders from io9.
Edited by Werthead, 12 December 2012 - 09:11 AM.