ST:TNG 3.05 The Bonding ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore

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

The Bonding
Season 3, Episode 5

  • While on a routine away mission to an planet of extinct race, an Enterprise crew member is killed in an explosion and survived by her now orphaned son Jeremy.  Worf was leading the away mission and feels responsible and wants to complete a Klingon ritual with Jeremy but in the midst of the mourning Jeremy's mother appears to...appear.
What it's really about:
  • This one is a bit of a 'reminder there are kids on the ship' one, and it also feels like an 'understand Wesley' on as it looks at what his past was like.  This is the second of this ilk and Season 3 as 3.01 Evolution not only focused on him now, but also a possible look forward to what Wesley's life could be like as we see another Wunderkind all grown up.
    Character Focus:
    • Jeremy Aster is the focus of the episode being the orphaned kid, and of course his mother Marla.
    • Worf also plays a key role as he feels responsible for Marla's death and wishes to bond with Jeremy as they are now both orphans and can combine their families.
    • Wesley and Beverly also play an important part as Wesley is asked to speak with Jeremy as he has gone through something similar with the loss of his father, although he is resistant but Beverly reminds him that they had each other.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember this episode pretty well, mostly with hope freaky and scary it is (at least it is for me) when Marla reappears after she dies.  That being said, I initially this mistook this episode for what is an oddly similar episode, at least I think it's oddly similar but I will have to wait for it to pop up in the rewatch to see if that's really so. 
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • I totally missed that this episode is mostly about grieving, and the need to grieve even in the resistance of the pain of the reality.  Totally missed that the first time around.
    • Troi does a great job of keeping Jeremy's interests at heart, so many people are sad and confused and lost for what to do but she's really centred on what he needs at this particular time.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • It feels pretty fast acting for Worf to step in and propose The Bonding to Jeremy, because it's really fast after everything happens.
    • The title is totally spoilery!  There is so much of the episode that you don't know what will happen, will Jeremy go to Earth with distant relatives, will he go to the planet with the alien-mom, will be bond with Worf?  Take a guess. Remember, it's called The Bonding.
    What remained the same:
    • It still creeps me out, anything like this does - people appearing when they can't?  Spooky!
    • Even know I'm not sure how the non-mom Marla appears, I assume that the aliens felt bad and therefore did this but *how* is the question.  How?
    What I see differently:
    • This one is pretty by the numbers, but the retrospective vision on it that feels weird is that although Worf and Jeremy do bond, we never see Jeremy again in the series.  
    Great Quotes:
    • "Since her death, I have been asked several times to define how well I knew Lieutenant Aster. And I heard you ask Wesley on the bridge how well he knew Jeremy. Does the question of familiarity have some bearing on death?" - Data
    • "The Marla Aster I knew and honored is not in this room, nor does she await you on the planet. She now only lives here...(points to heart)" - Worf
    • "We deal with our pain in many different ways. But over the years, I've discovered it's in joy that the uniqueness of each individual is revealed. If I can help a person back to a state of joy... well, my role has its rewards."- Troi
    Left off at:
    When the alien-version/apparition of Marla finally sees that Jeremy needs and understands that his mother is gone, the apparition disappears.  Worf and Jeremy then perform the bonding ritual to honour their mothers bind their two families.

    Images Source: TrekCore


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