TNG: “Home Soil” and “Coming of Age”

Date: March 3, 2020

Season 1, Episodes 17 and 18

Setting the Stage: I watched both episodes, via Netflix, after coming home from work and voting. The Democratic ballot in NC had 15 choices for President while the Republican ballot had 3, and our county had 13 positions to vote on this Super Tuesday. Professor Zoom was fast asleep and does not seem to give one iota about The Next Generation, not that he’s ever really excited about anything on the TV for that matter. Tempura was the only one really hanging around, but this morning I was surrounded as it was clear all my fur babies missed me while I was on my trip. Tonight’s writing music is a mix by the Dallas String Quartet.

Just one more week of plugging Bad Ass Moms, let’s meet some stretch goals! http://kck.st/2SimbnD.

Favorite Quote from “Home Soil”:

Voice of life force: Ugly, ugly giant bags of mostly water.

Picard: Bags of mostly water?

Data: An accurate description of humans, sir. You are over ninety per cent water surrounded by a flexible container.

I still can’t stop laughing, this was the best damn line of the whole episode

“Home Soil” has the Enterprise checking in on the group in charge of terraforming Velara III. As Director Mandl becomes obstinate and Troi detects erratic behavior, Picard insists the away teams beams down to check things out. One of the workers goes off into another room and is severely injured by a drill and then beamed up to sickbay. Data investigates and finds that the drill was somehow programmed to kill and we’ve now got a murder mystery on our hands.

La Forge and Data go back to investigate and think they’ve found a life form, which turns out to be inorganic and why it was missed during the several checks beforehand. In Dr. Crusher’s lab it duplicates right in front of the crew’s eyes but after an unsuccessful quarantine, they evacuate the lab. At one point the light life form tries to communicate and begins to look like a Tesla Coil.

tesla coil
I used to love playing with these as a kid, hell I still do (shutterstock.com)

The light life forms admit to killing the man with the laser and declare war on the humans because they do not believe they came in peace. The crew figures out how to affect the entities and Picard is able to negotiate peace with them. The entities ask humanity to try again in 300 years and is now a beautiful crystal structure. Picard recommends the planet to be off limits and away we go.

The Final Form of the light life form (from memory-alpha.fandom.com)
The Final Form of the light life forms (from memory-alpha.fandom.com)

I liked that Troi finally got a lot to do this episode though she still always looks pained. I also noticed that La Forge really tries to be funny, but his one liners are often delivered dead panned and don’t really land. He and Data have a great relationship and I wish we saw that a little more. I’m also finding that I don’t dislike Yar as much as I used to, but that’s also a function of her not really having much to do. Back to the episode I love the idea of terraformming and have always been fascinated with it. I love that they spent time explaining the subject and didn’t think it took away from the episode at all. I also think that this episode helps the Federation actually learn something about the universe it hadn’t before; life doesn’t always look the same. We can abstract out all we want, but in the end there will always be something that challenges our standard definitions. It’s sad someone had to die, especially since I really liked his enthusiasm for the .5 seconds we got to meet him, but in the end it was a pretty good episode. I give this one a solid 8 of hearts.

Favorite Quote from “Coming of Age”:

Worf: The psych test is no more or less important than the rest of the process.

Wesley: That’s what they said, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

Worf: Thinking about what you can’t control only wastes your energy and creates its own enemy.

Worrying means you suffer twice, as I always say. GIVE ME MORE WORF already!

 “Coming of Age” begins with Wesley and another teenager having a weird teen moment before we find out that Wesley qualified to take the Starfleet entrance exam and he beams down to the planet. Just as soon as he’s beamed down an Admiral Quinn and “internal affairs” officer Remmick beam in to see if there’s anything wrong with the Enterprise and its crew. Remmick starts with Riker, who does an impressive amount of overreacting, about “discrepancies” in the captain’s logs.

"They're historical documents" from Galaxy Quest
The Captain’s Logs are absolutely historical documents

Jake, the teenager from earlier, steals a shuttle craft. Picard helps Jake through the malfunction and gets him back safely, showing he’s truly a badass. On the planet Wesley meets three other candidates who will all be working toward securing the one slot for the Academy and they begin several rounds of testing. Wesley does a great job on the tests, shows an aptitude for understanding other cultures, and helps another student through a problem even to the detriment of his own test. During the “psych test” Wesley proves to himself, and the examiner, that he can make the command decision – but is ultimately not chosen for the slot.

Remmick delivers his final report to the Admiral explaining that he couldn’t find anything wrong and then asks Picard if he can serve on the Enterprise in six months when his tour is up. After Remmick leaves, Quinn explains that he believes there’s someone trying to destroy the Federation and he had to be sure Picard hadn’t been compromised. The Admiral offers the position of commandant of the Starfleet Academy to Picard, which he turns down. Wesley learns that Picard also failed his first entrance exam and we head to a party.

So it took me several episodes to realize that the red and yellow shirts were switched for this series, and I’m not sure why it took me this long. I mean I noticed it on the first episode, of course, but didn’t think anything of it until I saw a cute comic about red shirting in reference to sports and was like – wait, Picard wears red now!

"are you red-shirting him?" "that seems a bit extreme" "delaying kindergarten a year?" "oh, is that what that means?" "yeah, why? what did you think it meant?" - shows the kid being attacked by an alien while kirk, spock, and mccoy look on
from litterboxcomics.com

Anyway this episode was okay, but not great. I really need more Worf. Event though he had very few lines he is such a commanding presence. He’s becoming a top favorite, along with Data of course. I like this side of Wesley and I like seeing him interact with others his age and on his level, he was smart but not arrogant. He showed great maturity for an almost 16 year old and he even blushed a little when a girl called him “cute”. Remmick plays a great internal affairs guy and you can see that he has the tenacity to get to the bottom of a mystery, but also the understanding that his premise may not be true. He cheered when Picard helped Jake and understood the crew was more like family. This episode gets a solid six of clubs, in sticking with today’s theme that I didn’t even know I had.

TA Out!

Published by njdevil12

I'm just a big city girl living in a not so big city with my fur children and partner.

4 thoughts on “TNG: “Home Soil” and “Coming of Age”

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