ST:TNG 1.22 Symbiosis ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore 

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

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 1, Episode 22

  • While observing a natural phenomenal The Enterprise receives a distress signal from a freighter in which the crew is incapable and unaware of the technical fix to their ship. It turns out that the freighter carries precious trade cargo and representatives of both sides of a trade deal gone sour.  
What it's really about:
  • It's hard not to see this one as a cautionary tale of "DRUGS ARE BAD", because that's really the message loud and clear here in several veins.  From having a totally lopsided trade relationship to the possibility of technological advancement being capsized by addiction.
  • There is also a tough call here regarding The Prime Directive, on when to intervene both from the perspective of helping as well as preventing harm, that's quite an interesting dilemma.
Character Focus:
  • Picard is in the spotlight a lot as the Prime Directive dilemma is up for a lot of discussion and most of those discussions are with Beverly.  Between the two of them they play both sides of the coin of the argument on acting or not acting to enable the issues with the 2 cultures.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remember this as the druggy/addiction episode, although it took me longer to recognize it than I would have though.  The beginning of the episode is a lot about the solar phenomena and it takes a while to rev up to seeing the freighter in distress.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I was really distracted by the actor on the drug dealing race, but when I did a little digging I realized he was from the 80's miniseries V!  This episode also has the actor that played Kirk's son David in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • Riker for the second episode in a row in held hostage by energy force/discharge.  Poor guy!  What a rough few weeks for him!
What feels different now, than then:
  • The message is so loud and clear that it kind of feels like the only thing in the episode, and there are usually at least 2 threads going on.  We do get a little bit about people discussing addiction from a cultural perspective to more personal perspective, but still that is very connected to the main story.
  • The whole thing about the people each having a natural control of energy discharge weapon was way cool, I wish they talked about that more.  There is a good conversation between Riker and Yar, but it sort of highlighted how Yar didn't have a way to deal with it (and from which Riker got attacked).
What remained the same:
  • I understood what they were saying, but wasn't all that interested in addiction themes.  I was again, very impressed with Picard's creative go around of upholding The Prime Directive and not enabling the imbalanced 'symbiosis'.
What I see differently:
  • I kind of thought Beverly might have gone against the rules and told the folks that were addicted they didn't have a plague anymore, but she didn't.
Great Quotes:
  • "Let's just get some distance between us and this system." - Picard
  • "What's missing is a little compassion!" - Beverly
  •  "The Prime Directive is not just a set of rules. It is a philosophy, and a very correct one. History has proved again and again that whenever mankind interferes with a less developed civilization, no matter how well-intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous." - Picard
Left off at:
Picard decides not to interfere with two cultures which are in effect drug dealers and addices, and also does not tell the addicts they aren't actually addicted. But, in a clever turn he also will not help them with technological elements to reinforce their transporters, so if they want to continue trading with each other they will have to start to maintain their tech or end up weaning off the drug due to lack of access.

Images Source: TrekCore 


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