ST:TNG 5.22 Imaginary Friend ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Young Clara starts getting into trouble when her imaginary friend Isabella gets aggressive in 5.22 Imaginary Friend.
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Images Source: TrekCore

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

Imaginary Friend
Season 5, Episode 21

  • While the Enterprise is investigating a nebula around a neutron star, an energy comes aboard and manifests asbrings young Clara Sutter's imaginary friend Isabella.
    Character Focus:
    • Clara Sutter and her imaginary friend Isabella are the focus, and this might be the first time we've had episode focus on two young actors. We often have stories about kids, but usually they are connecting, or more likely not connecting, to anyone.
    • Troi plays a strong role here, spending a lot of time with Clara as well as discussing the issue of the imaginary friend with Clara's father Ensign Daniel Sutter.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember it as the imaginary friend episode. Oddly, considering the wonder and expanse of the imagination in general this one isn't overly imaginary!
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • Data actually straight-up 2 jokes in this episode, and people don't get them! Or ignore them! He makes a joke in engineering with Geordi indicating he likes the alphanumeric name of the nebula better, and again in Ten Forward when discussing the interpretive possibilities of what the nebula looks like he dismisses Guinan's ideas and then says quite quickly that it's "obviously bunny ears". So funny!
    What feels different now, than then:
    • I actually didn't remember that Clara went from not seeing, to actually seeing, someone as her imaginary friend. I did fidn it odd that this didn't scare her.
    • The girl who plays Clara is quite good, and she pretty much single handedly holds the episode.
    • Ten Forward is an adult accompaniment place? Sure, I never noticed solo kids in there before, but I didn't know it was off-limits.
    What remained the same:
    • There is a great scene with Clara and Alexander in a ceramics class, they really do act like kids.
    • Isabella's pretty creepy, and I was surprized that it ended up that they aliens aren't more aggressive.
    What I see differently:
    • I totally forgot the resolve of this episode, and that the energy beings back off when Picard explains that children have rules to keep them safe. It was a little
    • It was really nice to have and episode with Guinan in it, she hasn't been in that many episodes this season and I always love seeing her and especially hearing her take on imaginary friends.
    • The scenes of the nebula are gorgeous!
    Great Quotes:
    • "I think she's real for you. And that is real enough for me." - Troi
    • "Children are a lot stronger than you think. As long as they know you love them, they can handle just about anything life throws at 'em, you know." - Geordi
    • "I knew, as long as that razor beast was around, nothing could hurt me. You know, over the years, his body kind of faded away, but the idea stayed. And I just don't seem to talk to him as often as I used to." - Guinan
    Left off at:
    When it becomes clear that Isabella isn't imaginary, Picard speaks to hear and clears up that the parameters on what Clara can or can't do is for her own safety and protection, not to inhibit her life. The aliens break off holding the ship and The Enterprise feeds energy into the nebula to help them.

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    Images Source: TrekCore


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