Date: March 20, 2020
Season 2, Episode 14
Setting the Stage: I watched this episode yesterday via Netflix. We had watched a bit more of All Saints Day while eating and then I watched “Time Squared” followed by this one. This morning we woke up early to drop off Professor Zoom to have his teeth cleaned but the person with the key hasn’t shown after 30 minutes we decided to get some breakfast and go home. Oh well, we’ll try again in April. After breakfast and a nap I’m feeling less annoyed and ready to tackle the day and finish this post. I am writing to the tunes of a meeting I am supposed to be participating in and the sounds of Professor Zoom snoring. Happy work-from-home day 1,426 (or really day 5 for me).
O’Brien: That is trouble. You choose your enemies, you choose your friends, but family? That’s in the stars.The family I joined by my birth is wonderful and loud and Italian and sometimes gets on my last damned nerve, but so does the family I’ve chosen over the years.
Data: In solitude, there is nothing to trigger unusual behavior.
La Forge: Good point. Let’s not tamper with the status quo.
Data: But that would defeat the opportunity for our behavioral research. In all probability, he is simply lonely. We can relieve his anxiety through socialization.
La Forge: Be my guest.
Data: Excuse me, Lieutenant. You seem to have lost the will to communicate with others. You have friends here. We, we care about you. Why, just recently, Geordi, Wesley and I were saying…
Worf: With all due respect, be gone! Sir.At least Worf always respects the chain of command.
This episode starts with a stop at Star base Montgomery to have an engineering check and, apparently, a promotion offer for Riker. A civilian advisor, who turns out to be Riker’s dad, is beamed aboard to brief Riker and it’s super awkward. Apparently everyone on the Enterprise has daddy issues. I mean take a look at Worf, who never knew his father, Wesley who has a dead father, Riker who is estranged from his father, Troi who had a human father, and I’m not sure if we know much about Picard or La Forge. Pulaski knows Riker’s dad (named Kyle) and that’s also super awkward. Meanwhile Wesley is super worried about Worf who has been a lot moodier than usual.
Worf wants to join Riker if he takes the assignment on the Aries because there might be the potential for conflict and then he can die a proper Klingon, in baaaaatle! Riker and his dad have a short and awkward chat and then Kyle meets with Troi, who does some fine Betazoid counseling and doesn’t take his shit. Pulaski sheds some light on Riker’s dad and how she was almost his step-mother, as I sit here and shudder at the thought. Wesley finds out it’s Worf’s 10th anniversary of his “age of ascension” and Data suggests using the holodeck as a place for the “party”. I had almost forgotten why they were at the star base to begin with until there was a scene in engineering and then we move to Troi and Riker having an awkward goodbye. WHAT IS WITH THE AWKWARDNESS IN THIS EPISODE?! Aaaaaaand Troi is crying.
Riker and his dad swing the testosterone around like it’s going out of style and have a yelling match as well as something that boils down to going to “take it outside”. Troi takes Worf to his surprise party where Wesley, La Forge, Data, O’Brien, and Pulaski wait. Worf moves through the gauntlet of holodeck Klingons and has some crazy impressive screams. The match between father and son reminds me of American Gladiators meets TRON and apparently the son has never beaten the father. Riker puts his dad on his ass and gets out some emotional baggage and then accuses his dad of cheating – which is totally true. Not sure how that piss poor scene led to them getting their “Hallmark moment” but they do and it’s still damn awkward. Riker decides to stay on the Enterprise, and I’m not surprised because there are 5 seasons left.
Well that was another waste of time. Father and son who hate each other, but I’m not really sure why and then they have a “Hallmark moment” and I have *NO IDEA* how they got there. After the cooking scene in Riker’s cabin the episode before, I was curious about his relationship with his father and I was so looking forward to knowing more about it. Pulaski sort of eludes to why Kyle Riker never remarried but it’s never discussed and I feel that would have helped explain things a lot. It also makes so much sense that Pulaski likes Riker senior and makes me hate her even more. The ending “fight” scene is so testosterone filled and ridiculous and I can’t not see American Gladiators when I watch it.
The ONLY thing that made this episode redeemable was the secondary plot of Worf’s Klingon madness. Wesley is a good friend and he rallies the troops in order to help Worf find his family. It’s just now occurring to me that this episode really centers around your born into family and your chosen family. It also highlights very well the family atmosphere of the Enterprise as it’s really hard to have work-life balance when you live where you work and you’re in outer freaking space! There was also the part about Picard being overly supportive of Riker, telling him “atta boy” for all of his hard work and that made him a good supervisor and mentor. However, was I really supposed to believe that “Number One” was going to leave part way through Season 2? No, absolutely not. That earns this episode a 2 piece and a biscuit.