Saturday, February 16, 2013

ST:TNG 5.07 Unification I ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

It's a rare mid-season 2-parter involving Vulcan, Romulans and old friends in 5.07 Unification I.

Images Source: TrekCore

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

Unification I
Season 5, Episode 7

Story:
  • Captain Picard is informed that Admiral Spock is rumoured to be on Romulus, putting The Enterprise into investigation mode from a scavenger hunt of Vulcan debris to Picard and Data going undercover as Romulans.
What it's really about:
  • The audience gets to see Spock! Sure, sure there is some roots in a large puzzle, but really...we get to see Spock.
    Character Focus:
    • Picard is a big focus here, and he gets to get off the ship doing a lot of the hands on investigating and even gets to go undercover along with Data.
    • We also get to see Spock's parents Perrin and Sarek, who is now immensely suffering from the effects of Bendii Syndrome and does pass away. We saw both of them back in 3.23 Sarek.
    • Obviously Ambassador Spock is a key focus of the episode, although his presence is not revealed to the final part of the episode.
    • Lastly we are introduced to Senator Pardek, a Romulan whom Sarek indicates Spock had maintained contact with over the years and in contrary to many Romulans, advocates for peace.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember it as The Spock episode. I can often be leery of guest stars on shows that feel like they are there entirely for the enjoyment of the audience (and not believeable story-wise), but given that Spock is a Vulcan and it felt 'logical' that he would still be alive, I was okay with it.
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • Not much actually happens in this episode. I enjoyed Picard's visit with Sarek and of course anything/everything Spock and even the junk yard and Klingon ship scenes, but all in all this one mostly feels like a set up for Part II.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • It is pretty shocking that Gowron ignores Picard's hails given that it was just a few episodes ago in 4.26 Redemption that Picard completed the succession process and named Gowron High Chancellor. One more nod to the benefit of watching in sequence getting to pick up on that!
    • This is one that I remember what happens in the second part, so it's not quite as engaging watching just Part I. I toyed with the idea of going ahead without do the write up, but now that we are in Season I'm pretty stuck in my ways!
    What remained the same:
    • I remember the opening credits indicating the passing of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry when I watched it originally back in 1991 when it first aired. It's so sad that was lost him.
    • The scene between Sarek and Picard is quite touching, especially when Sarek can't remember the classic Vulcan phrase "Live Long and Prosper" in it's entirety. Heartbreaking.


    Images Source: TrekCore

    What I see differently:
    • I totally forgot the whole part of the show where The Enterprise investigates the Vulcan debris, including going to the junk yard. It was quite entertaining, especially the very King-of-the-Castle quartermaster that has no inclination to help them. This part actually feels like a genuine mystery and I don't remember where it leads, especially as Riker (accidentally) blows up the ship that was their best lead.
    • I think both Picard and Data make quite convincing Romulans!
    • The scene with Picard and Data sharing quarters on the Klingon ship was totally cracking me up, Picard unable to sleep because Data *wasn't* staring at him, the whole 1 'shelf'-like bed, oh man... it really had me going. I like seeing them act together in the same scenes, quite a treat.
    Great Quotes:
    • "I never knew what Spock was doing. When he was a boy, he would disappear for days into the mountains. I would ask him where he had gone, what he had done; he'd refuse to tell me. I insisted that he tell me; he would not. I forbade him to go; he ignored me. I punished him; he endured it, silently. But always, he returned to the mountains. One might as well ask the river not to run." - Sarek
    • "He's king of his particular hill, Commander. You'll have to treat him that way." - Troi
    • "Sarek... We're a part of each other. I know that he has caused you pain. But I also know... that you love him."- Picard (regarding Spock)
    Left off at:
    When Data and Picard are spotted on Romulans, sentries pull them aside and they are taken to Senator Pardek...and Ambassador Spock himself! And it's a to be continued one folks, so we have to wait another episode to see where the story goes.


    Images Source: TrekCore

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