ST:TNG 3.04 Who Watches The Watchers ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore

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

Who Watches The Watchers
Season 3, Episode 4

  • While on a mission to provide emergency support to a holographically hidden watch outpost, an Bronze-Age planet of Vulcan-like inhabitants accidentally experience advance technology of being transported and healed and misinterpret these actions to be from 'the god' of The Picard.
    Character Focus:
    • Picard is obviously a focus, although a bit removed as it's the reaction to him by the Mentakans that is the most important thing.  He's actually not in it that much, but of course is very important. 
    • Riker and Troi are also in focus here as they go down to the planet and pose as Mentakans to try to assess and dissipate the growing idea of The Picard as a God.  They also hold Troi hostage for a while and contemplate sacrificing her to The Picard.
    • The Mentakans as a Bronze-age Vulcan race, and in particular their leader Nuria as well as Liko who is the one who retains memory of being on The Enterprise and sees 'The Picard'.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • It only takes until Season 3 for Picard to become a deity!  This one can easily be remembered as "The Picard" episode, but I also remembered that it seemed weird for the Federation folks to be watching these people, and even in this watch I missed the significance of that. 
    • I also remember having a really hard time recognizing Troi and Riker when they are in the Mentakan garb with make up, it's a pretty good job and even on this watch it wasn't easy to spot them unless they were speaking
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • I was so happy they noted and addressed the whole 'Hey, let's wipe their memories!' which was oddly, and felt so randomly, introduced last season with Pulaski in 2.15 Pen Pals.  I thought it was good to get a nod that the technique is neither generally-accepted/easy and also that it doesn't always work.  Beverly does get a little dig in there about being 'aware of' Pulaski's technique, although if I remember right Picard was the one that asked Pulaski to do it.  Regardless, I'm glad they addressed this and also that it didn't work on the Mentakans..
    What feels different now, than then:
    • It feels almost mean when Troi dismisses Liko's memories of Picard as a dream, talk about a way to make someone feel crazy!.
    • I was also surprized that Troi stays held captive.  Why doesn't she escape?  I totally think she could have managed that, although after Riker leaves they keep a strong eye on her.  I wonder if this is a breadcrumb for other episodes with her in the future.
    What remained the same:
    • I generally am not a super-fan of 'let's demonstrate The Prime Directive' episodes, and that holds true on this one.  Although I did find it pretty surprizing they paralleled 'supernatural' with 'deity' without skipping a beat.  I don't remember many religious notation of humans or The Federation in the series, it's usually placed in alien cultures and either embraced, dismissed or celebrated.  Interesting.  I'm going to keep an eye on this!
    What I see differently:
    • I was shocked that the scientist observing the colony tell Picard to just go along with The Mentakans believe that he is their deity, to just give them some rules and let it be.  Craziness! 
    Great Quotes:
    • "You have taught us there is nothing beyond our reach." - Nuria
    • "Are you sure you know what he wants? That's the problem with believing in a supernatural being - trying to determine what he wants." - Troi
    • "If you believe I am all-powerful, then you cannot hurt me. If, however, I am telling the truth, and I am mortal... you will kill me. But if the only proof you will believe is my death... then shoot."- Picard
    Left off at:
    The Picard tries really hard to convince both Nuria and The Mentakans that he is not a God, but it takes actions to speak louder as his words and only when Liko shoots him with an arrow do they see he is not all powerful.

    Images Source: TrekCore


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