ST:TNG 1.21 The Arsenal of Freedom ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore 

The Star Trek: The Next Generation re-watch continues with...

The Arsenal of Freedom
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 1, Episode 21


  • The Enterprise investigates the disappearance of a Federation ship nearing a planet known for selling weapons, and as it happens this ship was captained by an old acquiescence of Riker.  
What it's really about:
  • It's one way of selling buying/selling as trade is outdated (and dangerous) way of living, although I don't think it's really a hard and fast 'message' episode.
  • We get to see both the away team and the remaining crew of the Enterprise reacting to dangerous situations while they can't communicate with each other.
  • We also see them tackle 'superior' firepower, although they outwit them where so many previous visitors failed. 
Character Focus:
  • This one has several great character developments and insights, although it's not driven by one particular character.  From the crew, we do see insight into:
  • Riker when he talks to his old friend Rice, he clearly knows something is off and in so delivers one of my favourite lines in Star Trek: The Next Generation where he claims his ship to be The Lollipop, and that it's a good ship.  We also get some back story and find out that Riker was offered command of The Drake but decided to serve on The Enterprise instead.
  • Geordi has amazing character development in this episode, as he is quickly given command when Picard wants to see what's going on down on the planet.  When the situation becomes heated and they are under attack and incommunicato from the away team, the Chief Engineer tries to take command over him, but Geordi doesn't back down.  He's innovative, solves the problem and with some helpful advice from Troi, learns to encourage the younger crew that's forced into this high stakes situation.  Fabulous!  Go Geordi! 
  • And I always love episodes where there is some Beverly/Picard moments, and in this one they fall down a ditch and Beverly gets hurt so clearly there is some time together.  We also find out that she knows about roots and herbs and their healing powers from her Grandmother.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remember it as the Lollipop episode!  I love that line, go Riker! 
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I didn't realize the planet of perfect weapons episode was the same as Picard & Beverly fall down in a ditch episode.  Funny how often that has happened, that I remember the plot lines and moment seperately, but not together.
What feels different now, than then:
  • The message of arms being bad and selling weapons as power felt a little heavier handed now, and a little surprizing that the creators would be killed off by their own weapons
  • I was so impressed by Geordi taking the lead on The Enterprise and standing up to the guy who outranked him.  He had a great line in there about if Picard knew what would happen, he wouldn't have left the ship.
  • I'm noticing Yar's ideas aren't always that awesome, one tactic she suggests to Riker is for them to split up to increase the chances of one of them survivor - a suggestion to which he calls her one.  It does play back to her survivalist background, but was still surprizing.
What remained the same:
  • It was pretty shocking that Riker gets incased in an energy field and I remember thinking when originally watching that I didn't know if he would survive.  Although now I know it all ends up okay, it was still a very powerful moment.
  • I love the actor who plays The Peddler, Vincent Schiavelli, and that was an instant trigger to know which episode it was.
What I see differently:
  • I thought the idea of the weapons creators killing themselves off by their own weapons felt a little simplistic, but other than that I felt pretty similar to original watching and it's a pretty cool episode.
Great Quotes:
  • "No, the name of my ship is the Lollipop. / It's just been commissioned. It's a good ship. " - Riker
  • "If you need a little something "special," be it for one target, or multiple targets, we got it, you'll see it, here on Minos, where we live by the motto, 'Peace through superior firepower'." - The Peddler (played by Vincent Schiavelli).
  •  "To be totally armed is to be totally secure! Remember: the early bird that hesitates gets wormed!" - The Peddler
Left off at:
The away team outwits the holograph salesman by agreeing to buy weapons, Geordi & battle bridge newbs defeat the orbiting weapon attacking them and beam up the away party.  Although the ship is in 2 pieces they leave Minos intact.

Images Source: TrekCore 


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