Date: February 24, 2020
Season 1, Episodes 4 and 5
Setting the Stage: I began watching these episodes on Sunday while husband finished staining the fence in our backyard. Fortunately/unfortunately the smell of stain makes me gag, so I had to sit inside with alllllll the fur babies, watch Star Trek, do laundry… woe is me. Although I’m a bit ahead in my viewing, I am behind in my writing. I’m chowing down on some leftovers while writing this post and realizing why it always takes me so long to eat my lunch. I’m also supposed to be going to Florida for Pensacon this weekend, so I hope to still be able to watch and write during this crazy week. Today’s writing music is Music for Reading by Halidon Music, as found on YouTube.
Favorite Quote from “The Last Outpost”:
Tarr: We will return your worthless T9 device and we offer the life of our second officers as required by the Ferengi code.
Data (to Geordi): Fortunately, Starfleet has no such rules involving our second officers.
Tarr: Is this to your satisfaction, Picard Captain?
Picard: Your offer may be inadequate, but I will discuss it with my staff. Stand by for further communications.Tarr misunderstanding the situation, Data with the humor, and Picard rolling with it
“The Last Outpost” begins with the pursuit of a Ferengi vessel, that looks an awful lot like a mushroom, because they stole a device. We’re about to be in a First Contact situation, but the Ferengi fire twice and then the Enterprise loses power and both ships are stopped in place. Picard calls a conference to sift through all of the options but, in a strange turn of events, the Ferengi think the Enterprise is asking for their surrender as they are also in the strange force field. The nearby planet is an outpost for the now defunct TKON Empire, so Picard sends an away team to investigate and also ask the Ferengi to send a delegation of their own. The away team is separated upon arrival and the Ferengi attack but Yar shows up with a phaser, much to the chagrin of the Ferengi who do not work with or even clothe their females, yikes.
Back on the ship Dr. Crusher and Picard are trying to help with the failing life support systems, but it looks grim. On planet, the power gathers into the head of an old man that turns into a corporeal form. The Ferengi lie to this entity through their fanged teeth, blaming everything on the humans. When it looks like Riker will be attacked, Sun Tzu saves the day and power is restored to the Enterprise. In, what I feel is a throwback to the Tribbles, they beam aboard a box of Data’s Chinese finger traps as a “thank you” to the Ferengi vessel.
I always love a good first contact situation, and to see how well Riker handled himself at the end was a reason I see he’s a good fit on the away team and a promising “Number One”. The Ferengi, however, were not what I was expecting given all the lead up to their reveal. It was quite disappointing to see them reduced to a punchline rather than an adequate foe. Maybe the idea was to stray as far away from the Romulans and Klingons as possible, but who knows? There were bits of humor peppered into this episode, but it didn’t do much for anyone buy Riker who became chummy with the guardian of the outpost. This episode earns a 6:1 aspect ratio.
Favorite Quote from “Where No One Has Gone Before”:
Riker: Sir, shall I send for Doctor Crusher?
Picard: Why? Is someone ill? Or would you rather tell her about this, Wes?
Wesley: If you don’t mind, sir, I’d like to sit here awhile. I’ll tell her later.Riker in complete understanding of the situation, Picard being oblivious for a second, and Wesley being a typical child who forgets to tell their mother everything, sigh
“WNOHGB” opens with a man named Kosinski beaming aboard, with his assistant, in order to run an assessment and some tests on the engines. The actor who plays Kosinski has been in a ton of stuff, but I know him best from Monk, and am sorry to hear he passed away several years ago. Kosinski is going 5,000 miles per minute about how awesome he is but Riker explains that not only his permission is needed, but that of the chief engineer before anything can be done. Wesley, who is working on a school project, quickly bonds with the assistant and hangs around to observe the test.
When testing at warp 1.5 the assistant begins to phase and something is happening to the warp engine and they begin to pass warp 10 (which has never been done before). The Enterprise has traveled over 2 million light years and at least two galaxies over from their own. Picard asks him to take them back and Riker looks over to see what is happening to the assistant part way through the second test. Though the Enterprise never left warp 1.5 this time, they are in a new place (hence the title), and they went even more forward in time and space- over a billion years away, extra yikes!
On the bridge Worf’s pet shows up, then Yar’s cat, and Picard almost falls out into space when trying to exit the turbo lift… always check before you exit folks! Time, space, and thought starts to meld together and the crew starts to experience strange things. Picard sees his mother, which is heartbreaking for a minute, and she’s everything I thought she would be. The assistant is actually a traveler who wants to experience the reality of the Enterprise and he’s a focus for thought. Picard tells the crew to not have any stray thoughts, and all I’m thinking about is the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, haha.
They try again to make their way back home and as the Traveler is fading, Wesley holds his hand to try to give him strength… which magically works and they make their way back home, but the Traveler disappears. Wesley is made an acting ensign because of his heroism and that the Traveler called him a genius.
Okay, so I get that the Traveler had to tell Picard something about Wesley to make it practical for him to be a part of the team. It’s hard to really fit a kid into an adult setting if you don’t have a reason. I also totally understand the kid that’s too smart for their own good and is so much ahead of their time and soooooo much better with people much older than they are, because I was that kid. Sometimes I still feel exactly like that kid. I can imagine that having a young man save the crew time and time again will get boring if this happens every episode, but for it to happen once in a while makes sense. Adults sometimes don’t always remember what it’s like to see a problem with a fresh set of eyes or with a different life experience.
I totally love that they really have the discussion about “do we stay or do we go” because, on one hand, this is essential Starfleet to go forth and discover things. On the other hand, as Picard puts, who would they report this to? Also, I sincerely hope that the message is received in 50 years and one the crew laughs about that one time they got sent to a really far away place in the cosmos. I’m also glad they didn’t just get through on the second try, that they had to figure out what really happened, but it was cheesy as hell that it took a little hand pump and a kind word. Doesn’t make me like this episode any less, and it’s a solid 9 on my completely made up scale of awesomeness… and finally we’re getting somewhere with these TNG episodes.