Date: March 9, 2020
The end of Season 1, Episodes 24 and 25
Setting the Stage: I watched both episodes, via Netflix, at my Dad’s house with just me and the dog. Bidgi, the dog, is so damn strange but she’s adorable and of course I love her. I’m also using my laptop instead of my usual dual screen environment and it’s ridiculous how inconvenienced I feel. I still had a productive day by submitting grades and getting some other items checked off my “to do” list. Tonight’s writing music is whatever is on the YouTube loop since my music is back in NC.
Favorite Quote from “Conspiracy”:
Data: You are aware, Counselor, that the holodeck can be programmed to recreate an oceanic environment?
Troi: Data, it’s just not the same. Have you ever been for a real moonlight swim?
Data: One can swim in moonlight?
Troi: How about you, Mr. Worf?
Worf: Swimming is too much like bathing.Michael Dorn with the delivery of the episode, I’m still laughing. Also, Data (and Brent Spiner) is fantastic as always.
“Conspiracy” begins with Data ruining La Forge’s joke and I hope Data never tries to laugh again because it’s just awkward and awful. Picard received a “code 47” and Walker requests a meeting immediately. As they arrive, Picard beams down alone. Walker uses the Harry Potter method of questioning if Picard is really Picard and we meet two other captains. Apparently there are strange goings on in the Federation but Picard is not convinced there’s anything wrong.
On the way to Pacifica, let’s hear it for try number two, there’s a nearby disturbance so they have to investigate. They find the debris of a totally destroyed Horatio, Walker’s ship. Data, who was ordered to scan the records, finds abnormal patterns and they decide to head back to Earth and Starfleet headquarters where they are greeted by a trio of admirals. The admirals are interrupted by Remmick and then invite Picard and Riker for dinner, while Quinn beams aboard separately with something strange in his case. Picard does not believe Quinn is Quinn and leaves Riker to babysit. Riker is beat up by the Admiral, then La Forge, and the Worf with Quinn’s stunt double. Dr. Crusher comes though with the stun gun and there’s a parasite that used the admiral as a vessel.
Picard is fed a bowl of worms and I’m so disgusted I can’t look, but I need to know what’s happening. Riker shows up, infected, as does one of the captains from the meeting at the head of the episode. It was all a ruse on Riker’s part and he and Picard kill everyone, including Remmick who acted as the mother ship for the parasites and everyone who isn’t dead is free from the parasite’s control. Data believes Remmick was sending a homing beacon and cue the music to end the episode with intrigue.
So I’m all for a mystery and conspiracy theories, but this was ridiculous. First we get a mysterious meeting on the heels of “Coming of Age” where the first threads of conspiracy were planted and it feels like it has some teeth when Walker’s ship is blown up. Picard, however, goes from not believing a word of it to being so in deep he’s got to go to Starfleet and ask his questions in person – completely unprepared for anything. I’ve got to hand it to Dr. Crusher, though, who clearly saves the day twice by using a weapon instead of engaging in hand-to-hand combat and by posing Riker as being infected in order to do Picard a solid. I’m curious what happened to all those who had been taken over and if anything happened to the beacon, but I just can’t get that bowl of worms out of my head and I can’t get past how neatly everything was wrapped up in one episode. That earns this episode a 3 point field goal.
Favorite Quote from “The Neutral Zone”:
Data: These are the most unusual humans I have ever encountered.
Riker: Well, from what I’ve seen of our guests, there’s not much to redeem them. It makes one wonder how our species survived the twenty-first century.A dig at the 21st century before it even happened IRL, but Riker’s probably not wrong.
“The Neutral Zone” sees Riker in temporary command while Picard is off at a conference, so Worf and Data investigate a floating space object. They come across some cryogenic containers and I’m screaming at the TV – “DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM KHAN?!” Most are skeletons because the seal was broken and the environment was corrupted, one is empty, and three turn out to be perfectly fine. They beam back the three vessels, Picard returns, and they head to the neutral zone. The Romulans are mentioned for the third time this season, but everyone acts as if it’s been FOREVER. Apparently the three people were frozen at the moment of death in order to be revived later and it works, but they are having a hard time adjusting to different life. Troi gives a report on the Romulans and Picard is thankful to have someone with a psychology background.
As the Enterprise gets closer to the Neutral Zone more and more places are just gone. Picard is cautious when the Romulans appear and WHY IS SECURITY SO BAD AT THEIR JOBS? They let one of the cryo-dudes on the deck, how does that happen? The Romulans decloak, Picard orders Worf to open hailing frequencies, and two Romulans appear on screen. It appears all outposts on both sides have been destroyed in the same manner so the two sides agree to cooperate in order to investigate the threat.
On one hand I really enjoyed how the three survivors dealt with being revived. There was the mom whose husband had made the decision for her and was just worried about her boys. There was the super rich dude who couldn’t understand the more advanced 24th century and had no idea how to chill out. Lastly we have the guy who gets high on life and has every vice he can, but is the quickest to adjust to his new life. Since those three can’t be a story on their own, we also have to add in a mystery about missing outposts and a potential Romulan threat. While our first story gets a little closure with the three heading to a different life, there’s absolutely nothing settled about the Romulans or what actually caused all of the outposts to up and disappear/be destroyed. There’s all this set up and no pay off and I’m left with a sad face because that was a terrible way to end Season 1. Seriously, with all of the not so great episodes I am curious how Season 2 even got made. Another trio of sad emojis for this episode, but hopeful for a better start (and eventual end) for Season 2.