ST:TNG 2.03 ~ Elementary, Dear Data ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with...

Elementary, Dear Data
Season 2, Episode 3

  • While the The Enterprise has down time, Geordi & Data head to the holodeck for Sherlock Holmes adventure.  When knowing all permutations provides no mystery for Data, Dr. Pulaski poses the question that he could not solve a truly unique mystery.
Character Focus:
  • Data is in the spotlight here, as he is the one being put to the test of solving a unique mystery.
  • Geordi also plays a key role in being Watson to Data's Holmes, but also for asking the computer to create a foe for Data.  Not the best move for the just-promoted Chief Engineer!
  • We see a holodeck enhanced version of Moriarty, a nemesis for Data.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remembered this one as the Moriarty being created and achieving a level on consciousness, although didn't remember many specifics other than that.  I do have a tendency to lump all the Sherlock Holms & Dixon Hill eps together as I tended not to be a big fan of the genre of mystery (until I did an analysis of mystery as a genre when reviewing The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest).
  • I was also pretty happy with myself that I recognized it quickly, I've been a little off my game on the past few episodes!
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I find it interesting that although this started with a question about creating a unique mystery, it went in the direction of creating a nemesis - an actual person to challenge as oppose to mystery to solve.  Perhaps they are saying that any mystery can be solved, but only the uniqueness of another mind is something than can truly perplex.
  • And Geordi continues to be the adept assessor of the situation, starting the episode off with how making something real (as opposed to a simulation), is the nature of challenge.
  • There is also a continual play between 'real' and 'simulated', especially in connect with what their value is.  Real tends to be the dark horse in this series - definitely appreciated, but way less often the way of experiencing something.  It's also interesting that so far we've only seen replicated food to be taken as a positive thing as well.
What feels different now, than then:
  • It feels like every episode on the holodeck, something goes terribly wrong!  I know it's rather 'new' technology, but wow, it's pretty buggy. 
  • As it turns out, Pulaski appears to be right in a way, although the mystery of who Moriarty is and finding the Doctor, Data wasn't a match for him and could not 'solve' the case.  He went to Picard, who in tern rectified the situation.  I didn't notice that before.  
What remained the same:
  • The idea of mis-speaking a command to the computer which can lead to everything going haywire, totally freaks me out.  I wonder if Geordi gets super careful after this one (although, I'm thinking not).
  • It totally cracked me up to hear Riker's long-winded enthusiastic response to turning off the auto destruct.
What I see differently:
  • I'm again impressed with the chutzpah of Dr. Pulaski, although often indelicate she is always willing to express her opinion, follow through on a challenge and admit when a different light is shed.  Love her!
  • The idea of a holodeck created individual with sentient thought, is also quite freaky.  What will they do?  Being so smart, yet aware of a 'limited' existence is so tragic.  I really felt for him.
Great Quotes:
  • "It's human nature to love what we don't have." - Geordi
  • "To feel the thrill of victory, there has to be the possibility of failure." - Dr. Pulaski
  • "I can't help thinking how... or what else might have happened, all because I misspoke a single word." - Geordi
Left off at:
Picard goes to see Moriarty and after a false concede it turns that Moriaty is the one that relinquishes his power over The Enterprise. In tern, Picard saves the Moriarty program and relays hope that one day there will be a way from him to pursue his existence outside the holodeck walls.

Images Source: TrekCore


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