ST:TNG 5.06 The Game ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Wesley picks the worst time to visits from the Academy as almost everyone on the ship becomes addicted in 5.06 The Game.

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with another memorable episode in ...

The Game.
Season 5, Episode 6

  • The Enterprise is headed to an uncharted area with many science teams aboard, but the interest of the crew and visitors shift when Riker shares a game that he picked up on Risa. Too bad it isn't just fun, but actually addictive and quickly spreads to everyone on the crew save Wesley and Ensign Robin Lefler.
What it's really about:
  • The audience gets to see Wesley again, and save the day, and get the girl! Wow, that's a lot for one episode. Go Wes!
    Character Focus:
    • Wesley is the focus here, in his first return to the show since he departed for Starfleet Academy in 4.09 Final Mission.
    • Ensign Robin Lefler also is a focus as she teams up with Wesley to solve the mystery of The Game and we also get to here about her 'Laws', 102 of which she's created after learning anything essential. We saw her briefly a few episodes back in 5.02 Darmok.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember this one quite fondly, and I remember the visuals of what The Game looked like really stuck with me. And how smart it was for Wesley and Lefler to make mock ups and pretend they are playing to buy more time. I also loved Lefler's Laws, I thought that was really cool - still do!
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • I quite enjoyed all the scenes where Wesley catches up with various members of the crew, and relays his adventures and experiences at the Academy so far. I forget how much I didn't give him a chance when the series first came out.
    • I'm not convinced The Game would work on Geordi, but they infer it I guess it does!
    • The alien they rendez-vous with is the same women Riker met on Risa! How did I miss that before?
    What feels different now, than then:
    • It's a little challenge not to go "Hey, that's Ashley Judd!" every time Lefter is on the screen.
    • The pro-active disabling of Data is pretty horrifying. I wonder how many times he gets disabled through the series? It's certainly not the first time.
    • It's a little odd not to see people like Riker and Beverly playing the game after a while. They did switch gears to doing what they were being told mode?
    • It's amazing that with all that is going on with the science surveys and The Game, Wesley and Lefler have time to go on a date!
    What remained the same:
    • I really like this episode, it's a really fast-paced one (once it's clear that Wes is in trouble), and the idea is fascinating and horrible at the same time.
    • I love the scene with Troi as she describes having the chocolate sundae to Riker. It's quite involved, and they are so cute as they talk.
    • The resolution of blinking lights was really clever.
    What I see differently:
    • I feel like I missed something in the explanation of the effects of The Game, because it's clear it's suppose to impair higher functions, yet the crew does lots of pretty fancy footwork to try and pin Wesley down. And disabling Data was very active action.
    • There was also no indication of how/why they communicated with the alien ship and followed their lead. Maybe it was implanted subliminally in the game? I did find it a bit of a sore spot.
    • It must have been fun for so many of the actors to get a chance to play 'bad guys' here as they race to chase down Wes. Although as a viewer, it's really creepy!
    Great Quotes:
    • " I never met a chocolate I didn't like." - Troi
    • " Law 17: When all else fails, do it yourself." - Lefler
    • "It's your turn. Play the game, Wesley."- Lefler
    Left off at:
    Wesley gets captured by the bridge crew who forcibly make him play The Game, but it was all a rouse to give Data enough time to create and disperse a palm beacon that counter effects the addictive nature of The Game. Wesley says goodbye to Lefter who gives him a copy of her 102 Laws for him as he heads back to Starfleet Academy.

    Images Source: TrekCore


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