ST:TNG 4.04 Suddenly Human ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore

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

Suddenly Human
Season 4, Episode 4

  • The Enterprise responds to a distress call from a Talarian vessel and finds a teen human aboard who has been raised in traditional Talarian fashion and rejects human culture.
    Character Focus:
    • Jono , the human found on the Talarian ship, is the focus and the question if he is to be kept by The Federation or returned to the Talarain who raised him, Endar.
    • Picard also plays a large role in the episode as he is the only one Jono will listen to and therefore becomes a temporary parental figure, even though he does not want to be. We also learn that he put the road to become a part of Starfleet above all over things and sacrificed things like his childhood and friendships. I don't
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember the character of Jono, and the oddly he just read as 'rebellious teenager' rather than 'submerged in alien culture'. The loud music, the lashing out, the anger and the bravado were all very memorable.

    Images Source: TrekCore

    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • There are two awesome little scenes in the episode that I loved (pics above). First with Picard trying to convince Troi he isn't a good choice to be there for Jono and letting her in on the 'little secret' that he's not that good with children (that of course we all know). Also then there is this awesome moment of Data in Ten-Forward where her appears to second guess a move he's making in that space-chess game; it only lasts a few seconds, but it's totally delightful.
    • Wow, it is all family, all the time this season! This is the third episode in a row after 4.02 Family and 4.03 Brothers that is family-centric although this is a more non-traditional view of it.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • I think this episode is a fascinating way to explore the different takes on culture clash, but without having to deal with the Prime Directive which often is the focus in these kinds of stories. To explore whose interest is really at heart and whose traditions will be upheld, especially when they are in direct conflict.
    • I did not remember the end of this episode, and that Jono chooses to go back and stay with the his (adoptive-ish) father of the Talarian ship. It really feels like one of the few times where they hands-down just ask the person "what do you want to do?", and let them. Which is odd - isn't that a very Trek notion, to let the person who is being affected decide? Perhaps because it doesn't lead to a lot of conflict for the story to play out that isn't used much.
    • I thought it was a bit of a jump to Jono needing someone to connect to, to that person needing to be a parental figure. Why couldn't it be a friend?
    What remained the same:
    • The things I remembered felt the same, like the connection with Picard and the dismissing of the female crew members, but there were so many little bits that I didn't remember at all.
    • It still sucks to see a culture, alien or otherwise, dismiss an entire group of people like Jono does with the women on the ship. We do see him start to widen his understanding after getting a message from his grandmother who is an admiral and therefore outranks Picard, but it still sucks to see it.
    What I see differently:
    • I think it's wild that the resolve is that Picard admits that they were not impartial to the outcome of the situation, are were carefully trying to position Jono to 'choose' to be among humans and The Federation instead of asking him.
    • I was so happy that the attack on Picard wasn't a dream! I know that sounds bad, but it made me realize that TNG rarely (or possibly never) tricks out the audience that way and so many other shows do with something shocking, cut to commercial, and then return to all is well. Nope. Picard was stabbed, for reals! Super bad on Jono's part, but very gutsy on the shows part!
    Great Quotes:
    • "I've always lived with my Captain."- Jono
    • "You know, Captain - almost no one is born being a good parent. Most people just have to muddle through and do the best that they can." - Troi
    • "I can't do any of the things that calm me here."- Jono
    Left off at:
    Picard states that Jono would not have attacked his had they not kept him on the ship, and lets Jono to be returned to his Talarian vessel and father Endar. But before he transports he reaches out to Picard in a traditional, honouring, Talarian way.

    Images Source: TrekCore


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