Thursday, January 31, 2013

ST:TNG 4.22 Half a Life ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Lwaxana's back, and she has her eye on someone other than Picard in 4.22 Half a Life.

Images Source: TrekCore

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

Half a Life
Season 4, Episode 22

  • The Enterprise works with Kaelon scientist Dr. Timicin to try and re-ignite a dying sun.
What it's really about:
  • The audience gets to...
    Character Focus:
    • Dr. Timicin, is the focus here, he is a Kaelon scientist who works with The Enterprise to try to re-ignite the dying Kaelon sun. The episode strongly revolves around the Kaelon belief system which includes a ritual call The Resolution, a celebration of a persons life when they turn 60, and then they actively choose to die. Dr. Timicin is just on the verge of turning 60 when he comes aboard, fails to re-ignite the sun and falls for Lwaxana.
    • Lwaxana Troi is also a focus, as she falls for Timicin and protests his cultural belief system of his peoples to decide to die at 60. We last saw Lwaxana in 3.24 Ménage à Troi where she was kidnapped by a Ferengi that fell for her. She's quite the lovebird!

    Images Source: TrekCore

    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember Lwaxana being taken with Timicin, and the whole Resolution thing.
    • I also remember not knowing what asking for asylum meant! But I did, after asking!
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • I see a Michelle Forbes there under some alien make up! She plays Dr. Timicin's daughter Dara and she is the first person I've seen take Lwaxana to task! She has one scene, and totally nails it.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • It was interesting to see the flip side of the coin with Lwaxana have romantic problems, instead of meddling in others! There is actually a very touching scene with Lwaxana and Deanna, which shows how much more three dimensional her character is than can often appears.
    • I understand this episode on a more philosophical level now, where as when I first saw it I kind of wrote it off. Now the idea of going against everything you believed in, and everything everyone on your planet believes in, at the 11th hour holds a lot more weight. It was also interesting to see a culture of isolationists, but not xenophobes.
    What remained the same:
    • I love the story Lwaxana tells about the fashion that turned custom of Betazoid women who wore large cages on their heads with birds in them, in an effort to get Timicin to stand for change.
    • It's heartbreaking when Timicin asks for asylum, but then the Kaelon's won't accept his help because he's not accepting their ways.
    What I see differently:
    • I really loved David Ogden Stiers' performance as Dr. Timicin, it's understated but still varied. There are so many little moments of joy that come through, and it's delightful. It's amazing to see a great range, even in tiny little doses. I also had to look it up what I know him from, and I'm sure many people know him from M*A*S*H but for me the zinger was being the dad in Better Off Dead. "Right off!!"
    Great Quotes:
    • "I adore diplomacy. Everyone dresses so well!" - Lwaxana
    • "But I know you, Mother. And believe me, you will never be one of those who dies before they die." - Deanna Troi
    • "My father taught me to cherish the Resolution. I don't know how you have poisoned him to reject it." - Dara, to Lwaxana
    • "Because I do not terminate my life, they terminate my work. Alive, I am a greater threat to my world than a dying sun." - Dr. Timicin
    Left off at:
    Dr. Timicin decides against remaining in asylum on The Enterprise and returns to the planet to go through with The Resolution and have his life celebrated by his loved ones before his death at 60. At the last minute, Lwaxana appears and states she will be attending the ceremony, and promises to stay out of trouble.

    Images Source: TrekCore

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