Friday, January 25, 2013

ST:TNG 4.18 Identity Crisis ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Geordi uses the holodeck to investigate the mystery of missing crew mates from a 5 year old away mission in 4.17 Identity Crisis.


Images Source: TrekCore

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

Identity Crisis
Season 4, Episode 17

Story:
  • Crew members from a mission on the USS Victory from 5 years ago go missing to the point where only Geordi and Susanna Leijten remain alive and unaffected. At least that's what they think, until Susanna becomes compelled to return to the Tarchannen III outpost and starts to transform into a light-sensitive being.
    Character Focus:
    • Geordi gets lots of screen time in this episode, not only do we get to see and hear about his time on the Victory, we also see his friendship with Suze, he works on solving the mystery of the disappearances and well...I guess I have to mention that he to begins to transform into a creature.
    • Susanna Leijten is very key to the episode, as she's the first one who begins to turn and if she wasn't on The Enterprise and with Geordi at the time she started transforming, they wouldn't have been able to find out what the source of the transformation was nor save her and Geordi. She also is able to reach out to creature-Geordi and get him to come back to the ship willingly.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remembered this one from the very first shot, I think of it as the one where Geordi uses the holodeck to see that there is an additional person among them from the video and by using the holdeck to recreate the event. I remember being blown away by that the first time I saw it, not only for the impressive technology, but also because it was totally freaky and scary that someone else was there but they didn't know!


    Images Source: TrekCore

    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • More of Geordi being always the bridesmaid and never the bride, here with a strong female friend in Suze. I actually quite like their friendship, and how it's more like family and they bring that in with her never being on the show before and it feels pretty seamless.
    • There is also some classic No One Listens to Worf in this episode, as when they beam down to the planet to investigate he knows they are not alone and no one pays ANY attention. Turns out, he's right!
    What feels different now, than then:
    • This is one of the few episodes that shows visually recorded material of a mission, which is something that I've noted on this re-watch is odd that we don't see more of. I don't know when home video cameras became popular, but to me it feels like that was around this time so the idea was out there. The only time we've seen something close to this was the episode where they streamed what Geordi sees through his visor via a visual acuity transmitter to the bridge on an away mission in 1.20 Heart of Glory and that tech feels actually more advance than record/replay. Perhaps it's something that would be more used on a research or science ship, but still it was cool to see it here.
    What remained the same:
    • This one is still pretty scary on a concept bases, the idea of a parasite from 5 years prior being in you and then you transform into a creature and go live somewhere else? Creepy! Suze says it's their form of procreation, but what if no one visits the planet? It's also totally scary that the crew members that had been there for a bit were too far gone to be helped.
    • I get a little confused and/or persnickity on how they can or can't 'detect' people. Is it by their communicator, their life signs, or both? I think there is a logic path in this episode, but it's still confusing. They say they will continually monitor Geordi to make sure he doesn't leave the ship, but then they can't monitor him. I know he turns into the creature and leaves his uniform on the holodeck, but I can't quite figure it out.
    What I see differently:
    • I think Season 4 is one of the season I know very well, because I not only spotted this one quickly but also knew other recent episodes it felt similar to including fear of losing control that was evident in the previous episode 4.17 Night Terrors as well as long-dormant element in the body come to now effect the host idea which was also in 4.08 Future Imperfect (although in that episode the idea was presented, however was not the cause of the effect on the person).
    • I totally thought Geordi solved this one with figuring out the thing on the holodeck, but that's neither really here nor there as Dr Crusher figures out what's wrong medically and Suze is a creature for a bit so she 'understands' what they were doing. Not that the discovery that Geordi made wasn't awesome, but it actually didn't snowball effect to the solution. And Data rigs a UV light so the away team can find Geordi, but that's for the audience benefit to 'see' him, because Suze can find him without it.
    Great Quotes:
    • "Five years later, the away team that was investigating their disappearances have started to disappear themselves." - Riker
    • "Starfleet personnel have vanished. Others may be at risk. We must do the best we can to find out why. However, I am... strongly motivated to solve this mystery." - Data, in response to Beverly saying he was 'worried'.
    • "You know... down there, I... I didn't know who you were. And yet... somehow... I believed you. I trusted you." - Geordi
    Left off at:
    Beverly figures out Suze has a parasite that's changing her DNA, removes it and then Suze and an away team go to the planet and she talks him down to coming with back with them to The Enterprise.


    Images Source: TrekCore

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