Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ST:TNG 5.14 Conundrum ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

No one on The Enterprise remembers who they are in 5.14 Conundrum.

Images Source: TrekCore

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

Conundrum
Season 5, Episode 14

Story:
  • After being scanned by a small vessel, The Enterprise crew looses their memory in terms of their role on the ship or their personal relationships, but they still know how to run the ship. The ships records indicate the Federation is at war with The Lysians, and are on a mission to destroy the Lysian command centre while maintaining strict radio silence.
What it's really about:
  • The audience gets to see the crew in a different way, see what roles they would assume given the circumstances when they find out they've lost their memory. I think my favourite is Data thinking he's a bartender because he was at that moment making a drink for Troi!
    Character Focus:
    • This is definitely and episode where we get to see each and every member of the regular crew, which is something I always love! We also see how they assume different roles, most notably Worf assuming command because he is a 'decorated' officer
    • There is a new face aboard, who is eventually called Keiran McDuff and is noted as the first officer, but they use the term executive officer. He eventually is revealed to be a Satarran, who are the ones actually at war with the Lysians.
    • There is also quite a fun love triangle in this episode, which I don't think they've ever done in TNG until this point. They play it up with having Riker and Ro pre-memory erasure being totally at odds with each other, but when the memory goes they get along *really* well. We also have Troi in this mix as she feels a familairty with Riker, describing it as an memory of an emotion.


    Images Source: TrekCore

    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember really liking this episode, because we get to see the characters act still true to their personality but in a slightly different way. I always like these ones, and we see them pretty often in 'genre' television of scifi/fantasy/paranormal/horror.
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • OMG the alien is CREEPY looking when they hit him with a phaser! I wonder if they changed how that looked or if I just never noticed it before. It kind of reminded me of the pre-head-explosion in 1.25 Conspiracy.
    • I noticed right away that McDuff wasn't part of the crew and was part of the problem. I don't remember if I picked up on that quickly or not on first watch, but I saw a lot of them out of sequence so might not have.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • Although I love the gag that Data thinks he's a bartender, it's a bit convenient that Guinan isn't in Ten Forward or apparently on the ship at the time. She is always one who notes in these odd situations that something is off, or she's unaffected by these kinds of encounter.
    • It's horrifying that Picard first on the small Lysian ship and destroys it, he tried not to but once they fired on The Enterprise it was game over.
    What remained the same:
    • Seeing Riker and Ro get along was WILD. And it worked. Now that's good acting, to have both the angry/awkward scenes and the flirty/romantic scenes work.
    • I loved that you can really see people are who they are, and you can't supress your personality or rather those that normally do but how it came out here. I felt that was the case with Ro and Worf, Ro was much more relaxed and Worf was much more commanding than normal. It lends to the idea that they have acclimatized to their environment on the ship and toned down their personalities, although both of them have had a pretty trying past which can strongly affect demeanor. In that sense, it feels like it's saying that your personality doesn't come from situational learning, but rather is more rooted in our psyches.
    What I see differently:
    • I actually was a bit off my game remembering this one, and kind of blurred it in my mind with one that's kind of similar but different and hasn't come up in the rewatch. It's amazing how often that happens
    • It was really cool to see people try and self-discover who they are, like Riker listing off the things he found in his quarters that speak to who he is.
    • Looking at the screen cap images of this episode when they show a lot of the crew manifest, and for Dr. Crusher they have Wesley listed under 'offspring'. That's hilarious! Not so, not children, but offspring.
    Great Quotes:
    • "For all we know, you and I could be married." / "For all we know, you and I could hate each other." - Ro / Riker
    • "Nothing feels right. This room, this ship... most of all this war we're fighting." - Troi
    • "I feel as though I've been handed a weapon, sent into a room, and told to shoot a stranger. Well, I need some moral context to justify that action. And I don't have it. I'm not content simply to obey orders. I need to know that what I'm doing is right." - Picard
    Left off at:
    When they finally get to the target of the Lysian command centre, it becomes clear that something is off af The Enterprise could overpower the Lysians with a singular weapon discharge. McDuff tries to fire the weapons himself and activate Worf in a mutiny, but in the end is fired on by Riker and Worf which reveals *he* is the enemy of the Lysians, not The Federation.


    Images Source: TrekCore

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