ST:TNG 3.26 The Best of Both Worlds (Part 1) ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with bringing the formidable enemy The Borg back and leaving us on the edge of our seats in...

The Best of Both Worlds (Part 1)
Season 3, Episode 26

  • After responding to a distress call, The Enterprise finds the remnants of a descimated colony which leads them to once again engage The Borg.
    Character Focus:
    • Riker is a strong focus here, mostly reactionary as he's offered the command of his own ship for the third time (I only remember one other time coming up though), but is leaning to decline the position and then goes to question what he's doing.
    • New character is introduced of Lieutenant Commander Shelby, who is Starfleet's Borg expert who has been working on any way to combat them. She's a fireball, and is the up and coming gunning Riker's job and has no quams about going over his head and straight to Picard.
    • Picard is also a focus as The Borg play a different card and request him by name and then abduct him and 'make' him into 'Locutus of Borg' in what has to to be the craziest cliffhanger of the series.

    Images Source: TrekCore

    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember mostly The Borg parts of this episode, and the chilling reveal of Picard as Locutus.
    • I also remember the sheer shock that it was a 'to be continued' episode, and I think I watched it when it was new which meant waiting the WHOLE SUMMER to see the reveal of what would happen. All that time to be scared for Picard being turned into Locutus. Yucky.
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • Although there is a huge focus on The Borg, we don't see them to quite far into the episode and there is limited engagement with them.
    • They use the old 'hide in the nebula' trick! I was a bit surprized at this because one of the things about nebulas is you can't 'see' the other ship but it doesn't feel like The Borg rely on their eyes. I was impressed that they found a way to create like electrical storms or something to find The Enterprise, that was pretty cool. Evil... but cool.
    • This is the second time this season that a crew member has passed up advancing their career at Starfleet, here with Riker not taking the Captain position on USS Melbourne although techincally Picard tells him to keep thinking about it so it's not a done deal and then just a few episodes back Wesley stays on the ship to help solve the myster of the abduction of Riker, Troi and Lwaxana in 3.24 Ménage à Troi, although he does get promoted he missed the opportunity to enter the Academy.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • There are so many iconic moments, phrases and references in this episode that appear here for the first time whether it's that Sector Zero Zero One is where Earth is or using a modulating frequency against The Borg, plus the phrases "Resistance is futile" and "They've adapted". These all become strong trademarks of the series and the conflict with The Borg.
    • I easily understand most of the techno babble, and forget that it was once 'new ideas' that they propose to combat The Borg.
    What remained the same:
    • The grating tension between Riker and Shelby is almost unbearable. It's really strange to see a character like Riker to be overrun by another Starfleet officer.
    • It's horrifying that Picard becomes a Borg in this episode. In their previous Borg encounter in 2.16 Q Who, I think the phrase of 'we will add your collectiveness to our own' is said, but no crew members become Borg. So for the first time to se this have it be the captain, it's so shocking! Because they are such a persistent enemy, sometimes it's easy to forget the horrific first stages of the conflict and encounter between The Federation and The Borg.
    What I see differently:
    • I'm indecisive on if I agree with the fact that Riker 'plays it safe', and how it's inferred that he's lost his edge. Would it be better for him to take a Captain position? I'm sure no one would want him to leave the show, er...ship :)
    Great Quotes:
    • "If you can't make the big decisions, Commander, I suggest you make room for someone who can." - Shelby, to Riker
    • "When the Borg destroyed my world, my people were scattered throughout the universe. We survived - as will humanity survive. As long as there's a handful of you to keep the spirit alive, you will prevail - even if it takes a millennium." - Guinan
    • "Strength is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. We wish to improve ourselves. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service ours." - The Borg
    Left off at:
    When the rescue mission to get Picard fails and he is revealed to be Locutus, Riker declares the order to fire their newly devised weapon up The Borg cube even though it would be firing on Picard.

    Images Source: TrekCore


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