ST:TNG 2.14 The Icarus Factor ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with family issue in....

The Icarus Factor
Season 2, Episode 14

  • Commander Riker is offered the position of captain aboard the USS Aries and low and behold who arrives to debrief him?  His own father.  And the big surprize there is that they don't get along.  We also have a grumpy Worf who approaches the 10 year anniversary of his Age of Ascension.
What the episode is really about:
  • I think this one is really about family, about the challenges and the celebration of as well as the non-traditional family that the crew of the ship create. 
Character Focus:
  • Riker is the focus here and his relationship with his father is the central focus of the entire episode.  There is so much tension there, and the history is revealed only a piece at a time and often not between Riker and Kyle Riker but more likely through other parties including Dr. Pulaski and Troi.  We do find out he grew up in Alaska, was on his on from 15 years old and that his mother died very young, and that he didn't have a strong emotional relationship with his father.  They finally have a father/son battle (literally) and in and around all of this Riker has the new captain position to consider.
  • Worf also has a strong storyline with being a grumpy pants and not among Klingons to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his Age of Ascension.
  • O'Brien is also starting to take a stronger supporting role in the series, and is involved with elements of both of the storylines in this episode.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remember this one as the 'Riker's father' episode, and I honestly more remember being surprized Pulaski has a relationship with him (Kyle, not Will) and would have taken him in a heartbeat.  There is so much tension in this one, with all the subtle negotiating with all the people around them trying to get them to reconcile.  Pretty touchy stuff.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I think this is the first time we see O'Brien with the crew in a non-work scene, he chats with Riker in Ten-Forward about his Dad and participates in the ceremony for Worf.  I really like O'Brien, so I'm glad to knwo that this means we should be seeing more of him! 
  • Wesley again is trying to make everyone feel better!  He's the one who noticed Worf (persistent) bad mood and worked to figure out what was wrong.
What feels different now, than then:
  • I was suprized that the Riker Dad and Worf Age of Ascension Anniversary were in the same episode, they both feel like main stories, and are both so family-related and filled with tension that I can see the connection but didn't remember it.
  • I loved how Deanna takes on Kyle and challenges how much he knows Riker, and what his own motivations are for him and their relationship.  She was bang-on.
 What remained the same:
  • I still don't understand the phrase Pulaski uses of that she'd take Kyle Riker "In a cold minute."  I don't get it.  Is that long? Short? Uncalculated? frigid? Nope.  I still don't get it. 
  • Also don't see the Icarus connection.  Didn't he have burning feet or fly all the time?  Okay, I looked it up and it denotes another trying father/son relationship, especially with a slant to getting away from each other.
  • Although I'm really glad Riker didn't take the gig, it's still feels odd he decides to stay on the ship.

Images Source: TrekCore

What I see differently:
  • I almost wished the Worf story was in a different episode and we could see more of it, it's quite amazing that Wesley, Geordi and Data pull together to figure it out and do the ceremony plus invite Pulaski and O'Brien.  I was also so surprized with how quickly Geordi says that they will attend because they are his family, it's really quite sweet.
  • I totally though the fight and showdown between Riker & his dad didn't end up resolving their issue or bringing them together.  I wasn't un-surprized it worked, it just oddly wasn't how I remember it (I thought Riker when now knowing his Dad cheating at the fight made him concretely recognize they would make different choices).
Great Quotes:
  • " I came here to bury the hatchet with my son, only to find out that the ground was frozen solid" - Kyle Riker
  • "Respect is earned, not bestowed." - Troi
  • "You choose your enemies; you choose your friends. But family - that's in the stars" - O'Brien
  • "Our feelings are what make us all human." - Riker
Left off at:
Rike and his father overcome the big void in their relationship, and Riker turns down the offered captain position in favourite of motivated self-interest stating that The Enterprise is the best place for him right now.

Images Source: TrekCore


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