Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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

Story:
  • 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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ST:TNG 2.13 Time Squared ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch



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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with one of my faves of Season 2!

Time Squared
Season 2, Episode 13

Story:
  • A shuttlecraft is drifting through space and when brought about The Enterprise it is discovered to have Captain Picard on board from 6 hours in the future.
Character Focus:
  • Picard is clearly the focus here, and although he plays dual roles as himself in this one, the future version is often non-communicative or passed out.  His current version has to deal with not only seeing himself (and not believing it) but alos plays the guessing game of 'what did I do to get us here?' or, there.....  UGH.  Regular grammar is tough enough, but add time travel and it's too hard to figure out!
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I LOVE this episode. I think it's the first one that really made me sit up and think that it was such an interesting idea that I had never thought of before.  Plus, I was totally freaked out about the 2 Picards!  Scary!T
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • My goodness gracious, Patrick Stewart does an awesome job in the dual role.  You literally can feel which is the regular Picard and which is the future Picard.  Even the conversations with each other/self(ves), it feels like a living, breathing conversation. Amazing.
  • It started with an adventureous real-cooked meal by Riker for Geordi, Data, Worf and Pulaski which totally threw me off thinking it was a different episode, especially as we get a little into Riker's back story. 
  • They get into the referential game on this one a bit discussing other time travel encounters including The Traveller from 1.06 Where No One Has Gone Before and the Manheim effect from 1.24 We'll Always Have Paris.
What feels different now, than then:
  • I was a little surprized this brought up the Pulaski/Troi conversation (again) about if Picard was fit to continue to lead given the circumstances.  I was totally with Troi believing he could handle it.
  • There is a great Riker/Picard conversation about Picard's personality, decision making and captaining style that I'm sure totally flew over my head until now. 
What remained the same:
  • The tone of this episode is very unnerving the moment they open the shuttlecraft, you can just feel something is 'off' and it puts everyone on edge.  For that, it reminds me a little of 1.07 Lonely Among Us.
What I see differently:
  • I see this one pretty much the same, as I think it was amazing at the time and still holds up very well.  It's definitely one that if I randomly came across it on TV I would stop and watch it.  
  • I'm amazed with the rewatch how often the come across beings and creatures of higher power/intelligences or have encounters, like this one, that can remain a mystery even after they have survived them.  Wild.
Great Quotes:
  • "Captain's personal log, supplemental - I have just witnessed the total destruction of the USS Enterprise, with the loss of all hands, save one - me." - Picard 
  • "We may be on a road that has no turns" - Picard
  • "Flair is what marks the difference between artistry and mere competence." - Riker
  • "Well, they say if you travel far enough, you will eventually meet yourself. Having experienced that, Number One, it's not something I would care to repeat." - Picard
Left off at:
Picard decides to move forward he must stop the cycle of events and therefore kills his future self and takes the different action than future Picard took.  This takes The Enterprise into the anomaly and straight through into normal space. 


Images Source: TrekCore

Monday, October 29, 2012

ST:TNG 2.12 The Royale ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch


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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with on that I was very happy to see, and one I remember very well....

The Royale
Season 2, Episode 12

Story:
  • After finding debris with that NASA emblem, Riker, Data and Worf beam down to a small inhabitable space on a highly violent planet, and go through revolting doors into the Hotel Royale, and can not appear to leave.
Character Focus:
  • Riker, Data and Worf are the ones that beam down to the planet, although this episode is more about the mystery of the story over their characters. 
What I remembered about this episode:
  • This one I remember pretty much beat by beat, and when it came on now I was happy because my first thought was "Oh! This is an easy one!", so it ended up being quite enjoyable to watch.  From the moment they beamed down and there was an absolute void behind them I felt at home, because anything could happen and this is one episode of The Next Generation that totally reads like old school The Original Series Star Trek, and in particular the episode "The Empath" with the character Gem.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I love how direct (ahem, untactful) Worf can be.  "How did a being like you get here?"  Really, Worf?  Ya think that's gonna work?
  • It's one of the few times where they continue on the away team mission because they think there is no danger, when in fact... there is.
What feels different now, than then:
  • It was surprizing that the they didn't try to explain how/what/who or if the folks in the casino were actual beings.  Often in episodes like this they are holograms or some kind of mind altering device, but this was put down to just straight up 'advanced aliens did it!' as a reason.
  • It's also a little surprizing that the images/action/story continued to play out after the astronaut who they created it to live in, passed away.  Perhaps this is a flip side to a story like Moriarty in 2.03 Elementary, Dear Data.
  • The idea of 'playing the role' often comes up in science fiction, although I find now characters resist doing it.  I wonder what has changed to curve that trend.
What remained the same:
  • It's pretty horrifying that the sole survivor of a deep space exploration trip ended up in a fictional story-loop like this, especially as he didn't like the story.  Not to self, always bring a happy book on long voyages!
What I see differently:
  • I always think of this as The Casino One, although it's situated at a Hotel.
  • I can *feel* it as late 80's, even though it's suppose to be timeless pulp novel setting.
  • The day the astronaut left was on my birthday!
  • I can't believe the sole survivor had a journal and like they for years upon years, but only made 1 entry.
Great Quotes:
  • "In our arrogance, we feel we are so advanced. And yet, we cannot unravel a simple knot tied by a part-time French mathematician, working alone without a computer." - Picard
  • "What is this place? How did a being like you get here?" - Worf
  • "There is a certain degree of random fortune involved. I believe that is why they call it 'gambling'." - Data
Left off at:
They realize that an option to leave the Hotel would be to assume the roles in the story of characters of the foreign investors who buy out the joint. Data wins at the craps table enough to buy it up and Riker spreads the love of the money to ensure they assume to roles from the book.  And they all walk out. 


Images Source: TrekCore

Friday, October 26, 2012

ST:TNG 2.11 Contagion ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch


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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with...

Contagion
Season 2, Episode 11

Story:
  • The Enterprise response to a distress call from it's sister ship, The Yamato, who is experiencing various ship-wide failures after researching and encountering an artifact from a near-mythic race of the Iconians, all within the Neutral Zone.
Character Focus:
  • Picard is a focus, as we learn of his love of archeology a bit more as he takes on the Yamato's mission as leads the away team to the planet even though the stakes were very high. 
  • Both Geordi and Data have key roles in unravelling the mysteries of the virus that slowly starts to take over the ship and to attempted understand the Iconican language, probe and systems.  We also have a near-miss with Data with a fake out that he might die, that lasts mere momemts.
  • We also get a further look at The Romulans as the episode takes place primarily in the Neutral Zone and The Romulans also end up being affected by the same issue that affects both The Enterprise and The Yamato.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I've actually been waiting for this episode!  I love the key code that Data gives Picard of "Key blue-amber-amber-red.", and how we also hear the computer read back Amber Amber a few times.  I know that's totally weird but it's true.  I didn't remember that it was the story with the gateway or that that story was about the system wide computer issues and Iconians.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • This appears to be the first time we see Picard say "Tea.  Earl Grey, hot." !!!  And it's in the middle of a random scene talking to Wesley, I guess it really got picked up as iconic later on.  It does serve to let the crew know the replicators aren't working and therefore the ship is beginning to take on the same symptoms of The Yamato.
  • There are a few funny moments where Data does something dangerous and Picard scolds him like a kid, like when he puts his arm through the 'gateway' to determine if it's a hologram or not. 
What feels different now, than then:
  • I kind of felt bad I didn't remember The Yamato blowing up.  That's a HUGE ship and it just blew to smithereens.
  • It feels a little 'quick fix' to just to send over the details of how to fix the ship to The Romulans, especially as the Romulan captain said she couldn't shut down the auto destruct.  It's unclear if they blwo up or not.
What remained the same:
  • I already mentioned it, but I love the scene when they are on the planet and figuring out the code and seeing the gateway, that was so cool.
  • Oh, and it's good to know Toronto City Hall will still exist in the time of Star Trek:

 
What I see differently:

  • Not too much, except nothing things I forgot like The Yamato, The Romulans and Iconians being part of this episode.  I also can't remember if the Iconians come up again.   I'll have to keep my eyes open for that. 
  • I did not that it's pretty funny that the fix pretty much is the standard tech fix step #1 these days, which is "Turn it off and on".  It's more involved in that, but still that's the general idea.
Great Quotes:
  • "Our own ignorance could kill us." - Riker
  • "It's a time-honored way to practice medicine, with your head and your heart and your hands, so - jump to it." - Pulaski
  • "Any answer would be mere speculation. This is yet another example of how our actions have random results." - Data
Left off at:
The virus enters Data, but with his self-cleaning system it clears it out by turning Data off, expelling the new data, and turning him back on.  Geordi figures it out and applies the same method to the ship as well as relaying the info to The Romulans.  And although Picard could have ended up anywhere in space through 'the gateway' he ends up on the Romulan ship and is quickly transported off by Chief O'Brien - transporter saves are pretty high this season!



Images Source: TrekCore

Thursday, October 25, 2012

ST:TNG 2.10 The Dauphin ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch


 

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with...

The Dauphin
Season 2, Episode 10

Story:

  • Wesley falls for Salia, whom The Enterprise is escorting along with her protector Anya from isolated protection to their home world where Salia is to become the world leader.
Character Focus:
  • Wesley is a focus here, and it's his first love episode so we gotta give him some props for that.
  • The future world leader Salia and her protector Anya are also a strong focus, and one of the few times where we see people who actually are not what they seem (literally, they aren't humanoid but appear so to The Enterprise crew) but they aren't devious either, just 'more advanced'.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • This is an "Awww, first love!" episode.  I also remembered the crazy teddy bear/sasquatch creature that they turn in to.  I did mis-remember it as a different episode where there was love involved, I wonder when that on will turn up (it turns up in Season 5).
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • The biggest thing I noticed differently on the rewatch was that it's pretty sweet of Wesley to try and share the 'wonders of the galaxy' with Salia.  Wesley has actually consistently done this in Season 2 to newcomers on The Enterprise, giving them a different perspective as well as hope.  I had no idea how much I dismissed his character when first watching the series.
  • I also *loved* that Worf was the one who kept a constant guard on the option to not be deceived by what you can only perceive, and how he notes to Anya that she was a worthy opponent.  Gotta love the strength and transparency of Klingons.
  • I also noticed that when they arrive at the destination planet they transmit a signal with such vast power, that The Enterprise can't even respond, which is one of several notations in the episode that they are way more powerful that the crew and ship.
What feels different now, than then:
  • There wasn't too much that felt too much different, although I tried to be more forgiving of the 'monster suit' creatures that they transformed into. 
What remained the same:
  • I adored the scene where Riker courts Guinan as an example of flirting for Wesley.  It's one of my favouite of the entire series, and I could probably quote it word for word.  The line "Careful. Putting me on a pedestal so high, you may not be able to reach me. " by Guinan wowed me.  What a great response (see the whole banter here).
What I see differently:
  • I loved all the different love advice that Wesley got from the crew, although it's a little strange he went to Geordi, Worf and Riker and didn't consider asking... Troi.  Maybe it's a gender thing to ask only your gender-peers.He does open up to Guinan in the end though, and they have a great conversation.
Great Quotes:
  • "Men do not roar. Women roar. Then they hurl heavy objects... and claw at you." - Worf 
  • "You are no more an old woman than I am a leader." - Salia to Anya
  • "Do not be fooled by her looks. The body is just a shell." - Worf
  • "I'm never gonna feel this way about anyone else." - Wesley
Left off at:
Salia steps up to the plate of ruling her world and is transported off the ship, it almost ends on a sad note of a bad goodbye between her and Wesley but her rushes in at the last minute with a treat and she transports away in her true form which looks like light and energy.

 
Images Source: TrekCore 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ST:TNG 2.09 The Measure of a Man ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch



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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with...

The Measure of a Man
Season 2, Episode 9

Story:
  • Data is requested to participate in an experiment by Commander Maddox to understand cybernetics more.  When Data denies the request via resignation from Starfleet, Maddox argues that Data is Starfleet property and can not refuse at which point Picard requests the local JAG office to hold proceedings to decide if Data is Starfleet property or not.
Character Focus:
  • Data is the obvious focus here as it's his life and choice in question with the trial  Although, strictly speaking he is talked about and featured a lot more than actually seeing/hearing him talk about himself which actually gives a bit of a meta-within-the-episode quality.
  • Both Picard and Riker iare very important as well, as they serve as the prosecution and the defense in the trial.  I was again impressed by Riker who you can see literally struggle with the thrill of the chase of the case balanced with the horror of possible being the one who condemns his own friend.
  • Commander Maddox, the Starfleet commander who makes the request and then order for Data to be subjected to the experiment.
What it's really about:
  • I think this one is really about the definition of and value of life, as well as the power of choice or in contrast the horror of non-choice.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remembered this one very well, and remembered being impressed with the arguments and the fact that Riker does his best as the opposition.  I think I was watching a lot more law shows in the 80's though, I don't want any now!  I also mis-remembered this one until they showed Maddox, earlier in the episode they have the crew playing poker (I think for the first time) and so I remembered it as and different episode that had poker in it.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I didn't realize that Louvois was running a JAG office - or what that acronym even meant!  I was so happy that they also said aloud "Judge Advocate General".  Did I mention I don't watch law shows?
  • They actually do some non-details in this one with back stories, both the Louvois/Picard relationship wasn't explored and neither was the precedent cast for the proceedings - which honestly I find pretty shocking, what other precedent would their be that would apply?
What feels different now, than then:
  • This is one that even though it's a good episode, it's a bit of a hard rewatch as not only do you know the outcome but because Maddox is so freaking rude to Data!
  • I forgot the overtones to slavery though, when Picard talks to Guinan she mentions what it would be like to have a 'race of disposable people' and I found that very disturbing.  
  • On first watch, I remember being a little put back when Louvois says something about how now one is saying what they are all thinking, that being "Does Data have a soul?", and I remembered thinking "That's not what I was thinking!", and still isn't!
What remained the same:
What I see differently:
  • I don't really see anything differently, I'm firmly in the 'everyone has the right to choose' boat.
Great Quotes:
  • "Overt sentimentality is not one of Captain Picard's failings. Trust me, I know." - Captain Louvois
  • "You are endowing Data with human characteristics because it looks human. But it is not. If it were a box on wheels, I would not be facing this opposition." - Commander Maddox
  • "Commander, continue your work. When you are ready, I will still be here. I find some of what you propose... intriguing." - Data
Left off at:
The ruling concludes with Data declared to have the right to choose, and he formally does to to Maddox with declining to participate in the experiment although encourages Maddox to continue to work.  Riker refrains from the celebration party, but Data reminds him that if he had not served as prosecutor there would have been no proceedings at all.


Images Source: TrekCore

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ST:TNG 2.08 A Matter of Honor ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch



Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with...

A Matter of Honor
Season 2, Episode 8

Story:
  • Riker participates in a exchange program and becomes first officer of the Klingon vessel Pagh, at the same time a Benzite ensign serves on The EnterpriseBoth ships become affected by a small lifeform that eats away at their ships hulls.
Character Focus:
  • Riker is clearly the focus here, we get to see him in a completely different environment on the Klingon vessel as well as this adventurous spirit for even wanting to go, and being unafraid.
  • Ensign Mendon, a Benzite who participates in the exchange program and serves temporarily on The Enterprise, shows a little into Benzite culture the challenge of not adapting that well to different surroundings and protocols.
What it's really about:
  • I think the clear message here is that you have more success in another culture if you learn, adapt and respond to their cultural norms, policies and procedures.  It's also a way for the audience to learn more about Klingon culture. I think it also says we can all gain from learning from each other and working together.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I think this is where I might have started to like, or at least see, Riker different.  I couldn't believe that he would be so gutsy to go on the exchange, and he really relished in the challenge and succeeded even though the environment was so much different than the Enterprise.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • Looking at this one more carefully, I'm a little surprized that the Benzite ensign wasn't aware of the correct Starfleet procedure to report that small lifeform as well as when he talks to Picard directly out of turn; I know this works for the story but he appears to be a Starfleet officer - is he from a Benzite ship?  Are Benzite ships Starfleet ships?  How are they run?  It got me all confused.
  • It's another time they seem to use 'real food' in Ten-Forward, they slowly seem to introduce this almost as a delicacy over synesthetic food throughout the series.  I'm going to keep an eye on this 
What feels different now, than then:
  • Oddly, not too much here feels different than my first views of the with the episode, except perhaps of being impressed by the fact that Wesley tries to keep Mendon motivated, and lets him know that mistakes happens and to just keep going and learn from it.
What remained the same:
  • Riker is awesome.  Gutsy, adventurous and he also is sensitive enough to get creative on adhering to the Klingon regs but also give the Captain of the Klingon ship an opportunity to not loose face or the respect of his crew.  That's class.
What I see differently:
  • One of the only things I see differently is that after watching all of TNG the Klingon culture is eased into use throughout the series and I love the Klingons so by now it feels pretty basic.  Season 1 had us introduced to the death ritual with 1.20 Heart of Glory, and I'm sure there will be much more in the seasons to come. 
  • I loved the scene in the Klingon mess hall where everyone is eating together, I think the only time Riker looks phased on the Klingon ship is when the female Klingons appear very interested in him!
Great Quotes:
  • "It's been my understanding that one of the duties of the first officer of the Klingon vessel is to assassinate his captain?" - Riker
  • "I'll do it your way. I'll work even harder than I did before. And I'll succeed brilliantly!" - Ensign Mendon
  • "I will obey your orders. I will serve this ship as First Officer. And in an attack against the Enterprise, I will die with this crew. But I will not break my oath of loyalty to Starfleet." - Riker
Left off at:
Riker saves The Pagh by getting command through transporting their Captain to The Enterprise is a clever trick.  Although Riker doesn't assassinate his Captain which would fit Klingon culture, he does act insubordinate upon the Captains return which allows for the opportunity for order, and honour, to be preserved.   Ensign Mendon also finds a solution to the small life form eating away at each of the ships hulls.

 
Images Source: TrekCore

Sunday, October 21, 2012

ST:TNG 2.07 Unnatural Selection ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch


Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with...

Unnatural Selection
Season 2, Episode 7

Story:
  • The Enterprise response to a distress call and finds a transport ship where the entire crew has died from old age in a very quick period of time.   
Character Focus:
  • Dr. Pulaski is a huge focus as they encounter a medical emergency as well as find out that she was adamant about getting the post on The Enterprise and knew it's history back and forth. 
  • Picard in his evaluation of Dr. Pulaski as well as their (continual) differing opinions on how to procede on pretty much everything but finally in this episode seem to find a way to hear each other... a little.  It's also time for Picard to evaluate Pulaski's performance as she has been on the ship for a fair amount of time now.
  • We also have O'Brien in a larger role on this episode, in taking part in a big meeting and his transporter theory is what brings Pulaski back and saves the day!
What it's really about:
  • It's a way for the crew, and the audience, to embrace Pulaski as a character after have a near terminal experience, and a way for Picard & Pulaski to resolve their non-agreement issues.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remembered it as the Pulaski-aging episode, although I frequently mis-remember it as it feels like an episode from The Original Series where people are reduced to their elements.  I totally forgot about 'the children' and genetic modifications in this episode.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I think this is the first time they quarantine a ship, and then leave it with beacons on to go on and continue looking for the cause. 
  • I didn't notice initially how both Picard and Pulaski are aware that there is tension in their relationship, and do try to work on resolving it, and there is a great scene with Pulaski asking Troi for advice on what's going on.
  • Worf Finally gets to blow something up! So often he gets shut down when requests any kind conflict or destruction, but here he gets to blow up the quarantined ship.  Even though it's not likely a very worthy a target, but it's good to flex those 'fire' muscles!
What feels different now, than then:
  • I really thought that Pulaski was going to supersede Picard's authority and expose herself to one of the children to see the effects - I totally didn't remember that they actually came into agreement on how to proceed, .. kinda.
  • I wonder if genetic engineering every goes in the right direction?  All the stories about it seem to be crazy and negative and lead to all sorts of bad things.
What remained the same:
  • When the 'child' beams over encased in some kind of shell to prevent contagion, it was pretty fraeking scary to be in status like that.
What I see differently:
  • I know hindsight is 20/20, but how could they not think that 'the children' could be the cause/carriers of the condition even though they aren't affected.  That felt very surprizing, although maybe I watch too much scifi that it feels like common knowledge!  At least it's the first time they did it on this show.
  • I've extremely surprized that Data piloted the shuttlecraft and therefore was exposed (but apparently immune & a non-carrier) of the condition.  That felt very high risk to me, and whereas Pulaski was completely on board for taking the risk, Data was never even presented the option to choose.
Great Quotes:
  • "Medical research is sometimes a risky business. It's all part of being human." - Doctor Pulaski
  • "Doctor, God knows I'm not one to discourage input; but I would appreciate it if you'd let me finish my sentences once in a while." - Picard
Left off at:
Time for the transporter to save the day!  O'Brien's suggestion of using a DNA sample in combination with something to do with the transported enhancing something or other provides the option to bean Pulaski over as she used to be.  This won't work for the people on the station or 'the children' who carry the very aggressive immune system, who will have to live out their lives in quarantine.


Images Source: TrekCore

Friday, October 19, 2012

ST:TNG 2.06 ~ The Schizoid Man ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch


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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with...

The Schizoid Man
Season 2, Episode 6

Story:
  • The Enterprise response to a distress call for a health concern for a reclusive cybernetic genius; when his condition proves terminal he relays his consciousness into Data.  
Character Focus:
  • Ira Graves a is a focus, as he is the scientist that they go to help, although for most of the episode we see him 'as' Data..
  • Data as himself, and as Ira.  When we get to see him not as himself, we realize how much we know him.  It's also a reminder that one thing Data doesn't do is lie, which sets thew crew off to investigate what the oddness of him is.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I only have vague memories of this episode, and oddly the strongest one was of the visual stimulation test Data has to take to 'see if he's crazy or not'.  I thought it was pretty surprizing or scary that it was a requirement to be in Starfleet because it seemed pretty personal.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I think is the first episode when someone made a pass at Deanna that didn't get Riker all pricklyk, but that probably because it's the first time he wasn't in the room when it happened!
  • I totally recognized Lieutenant Selar, who plays the Vulcan doctor, who will be in more TNG episodes as well as on Voyager.
What feels different now, than then:
  • It's a little sad that an age difference between Ira and Kareen was a barrier, although I get that they had known each other since Kareen was a kid and how that is creepy, but not the age thing alone.
  • There is a side story where there are lots of people that need help on a distress signal, and Dr. Pulaski goes with The Enterprise there while the away team stays with Ira & Kareen on the planet.  Nothing comes of this storyline of the ship diversion other than a 'near warp transport' and them being on the planet a little longer than expected, which just feels a bit weird.
What remained the same:
  • Almost everything, this is the basic 'you have no right to overtake someone else so you can live' story, and I'm already in that camp.
What I see differently:
  • How on earth did it take them so long to notice that Data wasn't Data?  Mind you I'm seeing it with the eyes of someone who has seen every episode multiple times so I could tell right away (plus I knew the story), and they do give us a nice scene with Geordi and Picard explaining that his pursuit for humanness can leave him a little lost the in the process.
  • I was very surprized that the test results of the 'is he crazy' test led us to know that Ira was the dominate of the two personality.  I wouldn't think of Data as dominate, but he was non-existent once Ira was in place in his body with the exception perhaps of doing regular duties on the ship.  Just seems a little weird.
Great Quotes:
  • "It's an ancient little tune called "If I Only Had a Heart" - a plaintive lament sung by a mechanical man who longs to be human. It's his only wish." - Ira Graves
  • '"That was a great speech, Data. "To know him is to love him is to know him... " '- Wesley
  • "Graves... every man has his time, every man, without exception. But you've cheated. You have extended your life at the expense of another." - Picard
Left off at:
After Ira (in Data's body) hurts several people including Kareen and Geordi and is found out by Picard (whom he also hurts), he removes himself from Data and appears to input himself into the computer.  The Data we know and love, is restored.

Images Source: TrekCore

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ST:TNG 2.05 ~ Loud as a Whisper ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch


Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with...

Loud as a Whisper
Season 2, Episode 5

Story:
  • The Enterprise is transporting the incredible mediator Riva to solve an extremely long dispute between two warring factions. 
Character Focus:
  • Riva and his chorus of The Scholar, The Warrior/Lover and Harmony who interpret and relay his thoughts are the focus here.
  • Deanna is also in the spotlight as not only does Riva take to her, but also as she ends up being in the position to mediate when things go haywire.
  • Geordi also has some spotlight time in terms of discusses is able-ness with both Riva and Pulaski (who offers the surgical option of giving him normal sight, something that previously was said to be impossible).
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I strongly remember this episode for so many different things.  I thought the idea of the chorus was fascinating and wondered if the there elements/perspectives they represented would encapsulate teh entirely of a person.  I think it might have also been the first time I really thought about the role as a mediator, what it means for not only the dispute but the role of the mediator themselves.  It really gave me so many ideas to think about.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I didn't have too much new noticing, as I quite strongly retained this episode in my mind but I did think it was hilarious that Riker was quite unimpressed with Riva's confidence (although he reads as ...um... the same way....)
  • I did love how strong Troi was when she was being thrown into the situation on possibly being the replacement mediator, and her fierceness on taking any help she could get on doing something that she'd never done before.  That felt really brave.
What feels different now, than then:
  • Re-watching this episode I felt that Riva's connection with Troi to be forced and even a little inappropriate, he's clearly interested in here but I didn't feel the same as much from her and that seemed off even though the dialogue matches them.  It just didn't quite sit right with me.
  • I also thought the end scene with Picard and Troi where he indicates how much he values her felt a bit odd, not that it was unfounded, but I just didn't get it.  And it was even odder as the exact same line was delivered earlier in the episode.
What remained the same:
  • I'm still captivated by the idea, what it would mean to have different voices for different parts of yourself, and to have those divisions work together.  Fascinating.
What I see differently:
  • Not so much different, but I did totally forget that the chorus bites it on the planet and that throws Riva into a totally hissy fit and felt completely defeated.  
  • I also wonder how they knew that Troi was an empath, and mis-thought that perhaps Riva was a telepath which he didn't appear to be but was connected with his chorus.  I also wonder what or if the chorus got any off time.  Seriously... don't they get to go play tennis or something?
Great Quotes:
  • " The real secret is turning disadvantage into advantage." - Riva
  • "This is 'blue'. This is 'the blue ocean'. This is 'the blue ocean at sunset'. This is two people walking along the beach by the blue ocean at sunset. This is two happy people in love walking along the beach by the blue ocean at sunset. This is two people...." - Data
  • " Confidence is faith in oneself. It can't easily be given by another." - Troi
Left off at:
Riva uses his disadvantage as an advantage for the 2 warring sides who will learn sign language together and in that process will start to understand each other.


Images Source: TrekCore

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ST:TNG 2.04 ~ The Outrageous Okona ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch



Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with...

The Outrageous Okona
Season 2, Episode 4

Story:
  • The Enterprise helps out the charismatic Captain Okona with repairs to his ship, only to find not one but two other vessels are looking for him.  
Character Focus:
  • Although Captain Okona holds the title of this episode and a lot of the energy being a cad and very popular with the ladies, he actually isn't the main focus but rather deflects us from it.
  • Of the main crew, Data is clearly in focus and his attempt to understand humour.  It's not the first time this has come up for him, but this is where we see how not understanding could set him apart from others.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remembered is as the 'Han Solo' like ep, because that what Okona felt like to me - although more cad-like.  Actually this is the first episode of the re-watch were I remembered pretty much everything about it.
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I can see the sense of un-belonging in Data by not understanding humour, although the odd thing is not only is he often the comic relief in the show, no one doesn't accept him because he doesn't get humour.  Talk about a tragedy in the making!
What feels different now, than then:
  • Not too much, except that it's a reminder that contextual humour doesn't serve well over time, although oddly puns do!  Who knew?
What remained the same:
  • Almost everything, this one I remember beat-by-beat with the main story of Okono, ladies love him, other vessel, hidden Romeo & Juliet story, yadda yadda.  
What I see differently:
  • We are now starting to see Guinan more and more, and she's becoming an informal counselor for people to share their troubles with. And she's really good at it!
Great Quotes:
  • "Captain! They're now locking lasers on us." - Worf /  "Lasers?" - Riker
  • "Ah! A colloquialism, meaning a severe, rigid, close-minded audience. I understand. I will attempt to be an easy room." - Data
  • "Take my Worf, please!" - Data
Left off at:
The issue with the 2 peoples who are gunning for Okona is resolved as a hidden love is revealed, plus Data attempts to do a comedy routine to a holodeck crowd and fails but still manages to make the bridge crew smile (by accident, of course).


Images Source: TrekCore

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ST:TNG 2.03 ~ Elementary, Dear Data ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch


Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues into Season 2 with...

Elementary, Dear Data
Season 2, Episode 3

Story:
  • While the The Enterprise has down time, Geordi & Data head to the holodeck for Sherlock Holmes adventure.  When knowing all permutations provides no mystery for Data, Dr. Pulaski poses the question that he could not solve a truly unique mystery.
Character Focus:
  • Data is in the spotlight here, as he is the one being put to the test of solving a unique mystery.
  • Geordi also plays a key role in being Watson to Data's Holmes, but also for asking the computer to create a foe for Data.  Not the best move for the just-promoted Chief Engineer!
  • We see a holodeck enhanced version of Moriarty, a nemesis for Data.
What I remembered about this episode:
  • I remembered this one as the Moriarty being created and achieving a level on consciousness, although didn't remember many specifics other than that.  I do have a tendency to lump all the Sherlock Holms & Dixon Hill eps together as I tended not to be a big fan of the genre of mystery (until I did an analysis of mystery as a genre when reviewing The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest).
  • I was also pretty happy with myself that I recognized it quickly, I've been a little off my game on the past few episodes!
What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
  • I find it interesting that although this started with a question about creating a unique mystery, it went in the direction of creating a nemesis - an actual person to challenge as oppose to mystery to solve.  Perhaps they are saying that any mystery can be solved, but only the uniqueness of another mind is something than can truly perplex.
  • And Geordi continues to be the adept assessor of the situation, starting the episode off with how making something real (as opposed to a simulation), is the nature of challenge.
  • There is also a continual play between 'real' and 'simulated', especially in connect with what their value is.  Real tends to be the dark horse in this series - definitely appreciated, but way less often the way of experiencing something.  It's also interesting that so far we've only seen replicated food to be taken as a positive thing as well.
What feels different now, than then:
  • It feels like every episode on the holodeck, something goes terribly wrong!  I know it's rather 'new' technology, but wow, it's pretty buggy. 
  • As it turns out, Pulaski appears to be right in a way, although the mystery of who Moriarty is and finding the Doctor, Data wasn't a match for him and could not 'solve' the case.  He went to Picard, who in tern rectified the situation.  I didn't notice that before.  
What remained the same:
  • The idea of mis-speaking a command to the computer which can lead to everything going haywire, totally freaks me out.  I wonder if Geordi gets super careful after this one (although, I'm thinking not).
  • It totally cracked me up to hear Riker's long-winded enthusiastic response to turning off the auto destruct.
What I see differently:
  • I'm again impressed with the chutzpah of Dr. Pulaski, although often indelicate she is always willing to express her opinion, follow through on a challenge and admit when a different light is shed.  Love her!
  • The idea of a holodeck created individual with sentient thought, is also quite freaky.  What will they do?  Being so smart, yet aware of a 'limited' existence is so tragic.  I really felt for him.
Great Quotes:
  • "It's human nature to love what we don't have." - Geordi
  • "To feel the thrill of victory, there has to be the possibility of failure." - Dr. Pulaski
  • "I can't help thinking how... or what else might have happened, all because I misspoke a single word." - Geordi
Left off at:
Picard goes to see Moriarty and after a false concede it turns that Moriaty is the one that relinquishes his power over The Enterprise. In tern, Picard saves the Moriarty program and relays hope that one day there will be a way from him to pursue his existence outside the holodeck walls.


Images Source: TrekCore