ST:TNG 4.03 Brothers ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore

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

Season 4, Episode 3

  • While the Enterprise races to a starbase for medical treatment for a brotherly practical joke gone wrong, Data is overtaken by a homing beacon and diverts the ship and eventually meets his creator Dr. Noonien Soong for the first time.
    Character Focus:
    • Data is clearly the focus here not only for being overtaken but also meeting his maker Dr. Noonien Soong for the first time and being reunited with his brother Lore. This is quite the surprize as both Soong and Lore were thought to be dead. Data has some major character development in this episode, including finding out that Lore lied to him about being less-perfect and less-liked by the colonists.
    • We also get to know the brothers Jake and Willie Potts who are the bookends of the story and the cause/result of a practical joke gone horribly wrong.

    Images Source: TrekCore

    What I remembered about this episode:
    • Not much! I was taken a back for the first several minutes of the episode because I couldn't place it (it's about the practical jokester who has to see Riker and face his brother being in dire circumstances). Even after realizing which episode it was I only really remembered the end result of what would happen (the emotion chip), and I didn't pick up on that until pretty far into the episode.
    • I did remember that Dr. Soong had the nickname from the colonists of "Often Wrong" Soong. Pretty mean nickname!
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • Almost everything, because my memory of it was so vague! One of the things I noticed now though was that through several write ups of this re-watch I had to hold my tongue because I knew Dr. Soong was alive and that Lore survived the perceived 'death' from back in 1.13 Datalore.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • It's kind of funny that Lore got along with The Pakleds, given The Enterprise had lots of trouble with them back in 2.17 Samaritan Snare where they kidnapped Geordi. I'm trying to remember how Data reacted to them in contrast but I'm not quite coming up with anything, he's not big on expecting deception but Lore is a fast friend to it.
    • I wonder if Data will be reprimanded for his actions here, he took complete control of the ship, impersonated Picard and locked everyone out of The Bridge. I was impressed that O'Brien was able to stall him on the site-to-site transport though, go Miles!
    What remained the same:
    • I know when I originally watched this I had no idea that Brent Spider played Dr. Noonien Soong, and even watching it now I can barely tell it's him. There are just a few voice-moments that are quite Lore-like that play to it.
    What I see differently:
    • Now it makes sense that Data wasn't in the previous episode 4.02 Family, not only is this episode almost purely focused on his family but Brent Spider does triple duty by playing Data, Lore and Dr. Noonien Soong. That's impressive.
    • Soong without a doubt acts to both Data and Lore as a father, he's understanding of Lore and confident that he wouldn't cause trouble or isn't as 'evil' as Data thinks. Although it's not clear if this is true, Lore does intercept the opportunity to take The Emotion Chip which is bad but not necessarily malicious, and then after that it's hard to distinguish his behaviour motivation without taking the chip into account.
    • The spend a surprizingly amount of time of the brothers on the ship and how they aren't getting along and the gravity of the situation, and I get that this is an analogy or possibly a contrast to Data and Lore as brothers, but it feels like it has a lot of weight when it's such a side story. Perhaps it's to balance the impact/pressure on the 3-performance scenes of Data/Lore/Soong.
    Great Quotes:
    • "Often Wrong's got a broken heart - Can't event tell his boys apart." - Lore
    • " I never felt too comfortable living anywhere without a prearranged route of escape. I admit, I, uh, I wouldn't have guessed I'd be running from a giant snowflake, but, uh... " - Dr. Soong
    • "I am not less perfect than Lore." - Data
    Left off at:
    Lore impersonates Data to be the receiver of the emotion chip, which was not designed for him, and then disappears. Dr. Noonien Soong passes away in Data's arms and The Enterprise arrives to a starbase in time to get the sick boy out of the woods and for the Potts' brothers to reunite.

    Images Source: TrekCore


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