Sunday, January 13, 2013

ST:TNG 4.08 Future Imperfect ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

It's a Riker one, and a mysterious one at that in 4.08 Future Imperfect.

Images Source: TrekCore

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

Future Imperfect
Season 4, Episode 8

Story:
  • Riker, Geordi and Worf go to investigate odd readings on a planet near The Neutral Zone and when the atmosphere gets hectic and they are being beamed away, Riker comes to 16 years in the future on The Enterprise as the Captain of the ship. Or, does he?
    Character Focus:
    • Riker obviously, is the focus he being the person this episode is centred around, and also because this episode is actually *not* in the future but rather in his mind we see his perception of what the futures would hold for his crewmates, although he is suprized at many of the things that happen.
    • Jean-Luc, who appears to be Riker's son in this future, although the charade collapses with the reveal that 'Jean-Luc's' mother in Minuet from 1.15 11001001 who is of course, a holograph. After this he is referred to as Ethan, another captive of the Romulans along with Riker, and then after that is revealed to also be a charade the character's true name is Barash.
    • Although we only see him in a charade, I can't help but mention this epsiode also features Romulan Tomalok, (played by Andreas Katsulas) inferred here to be an Ambassador although in reality he is a Commander.



    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember that this one tricks us! It took me a good 15 minutes or so into the episode to figure out which episode this one is, but once 'Jean-Luc' appears playing the trombone, I knew the rest of the episode beat by beat.
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • It's an interesting concept to project into the future of the characters of the entire crew and Federation purely from the perspective of Riker, mind you as I write that I'm not entirely sure that's how it works. But, if it had to be a believable future, and if Riker's memories were all they were basing it on than it would have to be from that. It's also interesting to see what does, and doesn't, come true but on the off-chance someone reads this on their first watch, I won't spoil the surprize(s).
    What feels different now, than then:
    • This is one of the few that I find a little challenging to re-watch after I know what's going to happen, and oddly because it's a double-reveal it feels even more so for some reason. You are just waiting for the reveal and know that everything up until there isn't that relevant.
    What remained the same:
    • The (first) reveal really is clever, there is almost no way you'd be able to figure it out. I've seen every episode many times over and even I could only pick up on the one inference that's noted before Riker himself figures it out (Troi calls his wife 'Min', short for Minuet).
    What I see differently:
    • I thought it was hilarious when Riker gets all up in everyone's face and talks back to them after he realizes it's all a rouse. Who knew we'd see him tell Picard to shut up!
    • Considering the amount of times Riker has been kidnapped, altered and messed with on away missions - I totally can understand why Picard isn't supposed to go on them! Now that's a strongly demonstrated reason to not leave the ship.
    Great Quotes:
    • "It would never take you more than four. You're incapable of that level of incompetence, Mr. La Forge!" - Riker
    • "Well - would anyone else like to speak up? Or shall we end this charade?" - Riker
    • "To me, you'll always be Jean-Luc."- Riker to Barash, aka Ethan, aka Jean-Luc
    Left off at:
    Riker figures out this is all a charade when he sees his wife was Minuet, a hologram. The fiction morphs into being kept captive by Romulans, which is also a charade and the real reveal is he was lured to the planet with alien Barash who is the last of his kind and was left in hiding by his mother to be protected with only a holodeck-like capable environment to keep him occupied. Riker takes Barash with him and off the planet so that he can live amongst others again.


    Images Source: TrekCore

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