ST:TNG 5.24 The Next Phase ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Geordi and Ro phase out due to a transporter malfunction and are thought to be dead in 5.24 The Next Phase.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with ...

The Next Phase
Season 5, Episode 24

  • The Enterprise response to a Romulan distress call and when Geordi and Ro are transporting back to the ship with a piece of equipment they disappear. The crew thinks they've died in a transporter accident, but they've actually become out of phase with everyone due to the Romulans using experimental, and unstable, technology.
    Character Focus:
    • Geordi and Ro are the focus here, as they are the two that gets phased out. The episode not only shows how their characters would react (Geordi looks for scientific explanation, Ro ponders the spiritual), but it's also a 360 as other characters prepare for a memorial in celebration of their lives.

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    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember that fabulous reveal moment on the Romulan ship when we see a Romulan is also out of phase, and comes after them. That was a great moment. And the horrifying moment when he flies off into space.
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • I actually think it's really weird that they would have one memorial for both Geordi and Ro, they are so different and in fact I can't think of anything they have in common other than Starfleet. I get why it works for the show in terms of logistics, but I don't know know how I would feel about that if a similar situation occurred.
    • During the memorial, it looks like Picard says to Beverly that he thinks Ro would have been promoted to Lieutenant Commander if she hadn't faced disciplinary action. I'm not sure I believe that...she'd very driven but also very prickly.
    • This is the first episode of the season to suggest the idea of an afterlife, only to thwart it again (along with 5.15 Power Play). Trek doesn't usually go spiritual.
    • This feels like the 10th time I've said so this season, but why oh why couldn't Troi tell they weren't dead? Maybe there was an explainer line, but if so I missed it.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • I was really happy to see an episode with more Ro in it, especially to hear her talk about Bajoran culture. She was just added this season, but she's not in tones of the episodes. It was cool to see her and Geordi together too, I don't think I remember them ever interacting before at all.
    • At first I couldn't place this one, and then I mis-remembered it - which leads me to remember another really fun episode is still to come!
    What remained the same:
    • The parts I love are still the parts I love: Ro being flummoxed by wanting to know what Riker would say about her at the memorial service, Data and Geordi having pretty much the same conversations they'd have together but not actually talking to each other because Geordi is out of phase.
    • I love how both Geordi and Ro treat Picard in the exact same way when they are out of phase with him, Ro is still intimidated and Geordi is exceptionally polite. Old habits :)
    • This also reminds me of a very scary episode from The Original Series, the one with Kirk in a space suit that appears and disappears. Creepy.
    What I see differently:
    • This one actually looked different, in terms of how Geordi and Ro appear when they are phasing back to regular ..ah...phased-ness.
    • We haven't had a 'The transporter did it!!!' episode for a while, they can be rather fun. In moderation.
  • There is a moment after Geordi and Ro are brought back to phase where Data looks confounded and alone, like his efforts for the memorial (party) were for naught. But Geordi comforts him. It's quite sweet.

  • Great Quotes:
    • "But... my uniform! My VISOR! Are you saying I'm some blind ghost with clothes?" - Geordi
    • "I don't believe this - they think we're dead and they're having a party?" - Ro?
    • "I am very happy for Commander La Forge. He has crossed over to that which is beyond. For a Klingon, this is a joyful time. A friend has died in the line of duty, and he has earned a place among the honored dead. It is not a time to mourn." - Worf
    Left off at:
    Ro and Geordi set of a phased disruptor to get a high decontamination beam sent to their own memorial service, which is enough for Data and Picard to see them for a moment, and Data pieces together what's been going on and is able to return them to regular phase. Then, Geordi informs them that the Romulans are trying to destroy the ship, which is averted.

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    Images Source: TrekCore


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