ST:TNG 3.10 The Defector ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with one of my favourite episodes of TNG...

The Defector
Season 3, Episode 10

  • The Enterprise receives an request for asylum from a Romulan defector Setol who claims to have urgent information regarding imminent preparations for an upcoming Romulan attack on The Federation.
    Character Focus:
    • Setol aka Admiral Alidar Jarok, a Romanulan Defector and to a lesser extent Commander Tomalak, and it's surprizing for us to have The Romulans appear again so quickly as they were just on 3.07 The Enemy, but hey any reason to see more Andreas Katsulas works for me!
    • Picard is also in the limelight as he is in the precarious position on how to act on the information from Setol/Jarok which to could irrevocably change the Federations relationship with The Romulans.  
    • Data as gets some time here as we see him working on acting with Picard as a coach looking at the work or Shakespeare (does Picard have the time to do that?), plus also he a conversation with Geordi about trusting 'you gut' and then having the disturbing experience of not having his own 'gut reaction' to draw on.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember how FREAKING AWESOME it was, great acting, fabulous story and heart-wrenching drama.
    • I also remember being so impressed I could pick out Picard and Riker in costume as characters in Henry V acting with Data in the holodeck. 
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • Wesley wasn't on this episode, I wonder if it's because it was so centred on possible outbreak of war that they didn't want a younger character on the show.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • It's a heck of a lot heavier than I remember, it's so weird because retrospectively I know that they don't go to war but the impact of the possibility is present in almost every scene especially the interrogation of Setol by Riker and Troi.
    What remained the same:
    • The story is so compelling and the acting by James Sloyan as Setol/Jarok is so good (he'll pop up again in both TNG and DS9 but not as the same character) that it really sets this episode apart from others.  The complexity of character that he was huge in previous conflicts that are referred to as massacres yet he betrays his people in the hopes for a better future for his race but in the end it was all a test of his loyalty fabricated by the Romulans, a test in which he failed. It's a true tragedy, and a rarely have I been so entranced by an episode that is so completely focused a guest stars story.  
    What I see differently:
    • Now I understand why they opened with the scene of Henry V and the discussion around the King disguising himself and getting a sense of 'being amongst his people'; this story has an interesting take on that as Adminal Jarok decides to play a commoner Setol and switches sides in an attempted to prevent a war.  
    Great Quotes:
    • "Oh, what a fool I've been - to come looking for courage in a lair of cowards. " - Setal
    • "There is much to be done. We have less than 48 hours to prevent a war - or perhaps... to start one." - Picard
    • "One world's butcher is another world's hero. Perhaps I am neither one." - Jarok
    Left off at:
    A war with The Romulans is averted but when Admiral Jarok realizes that he was fed disinformation to have his loyalties tested, he takes his own life by ingesting a poison with no antidote.

    Images Source: TrekCore


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