Date: March 23, 2020
Season 2, Episode 17
Setting the Stage: I watched this episode yesterday via Netflix and, to be honest, have no idea who was with me when I watched it or even what I was doing. I forgot to write that down and this last week has become one big blur for me. The one good thing about working from home is that I can steam Gargoyles on Disney+ and have it in the background while I answer emails because there are no students knocking on my door. I mention that because Frakes, who plays Riker, and Sirtis, who plays Troi, both lent their voices as Xanatos and Demona respectively. There are also several other amazing actors who had critical roles, but in the Wikipedia entry there’s even a whole Star Trek section. It’s like the game I play with my husband when I’m watching a random show and he strolls on in, points at an actor, and goes “Oh, they were on Star Trek“, and wanders off.
I hope you’re all safe and hunkered down as the more people who are able to stay at home the better and we can hopefully come out and play soon. For those that are unable to work from home, I owe you several adult beverages and baked goods when this is all over. Today I did four loads of laundry and answered a lot of emails. Tonight I’m listening to This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic by Minus the Bear.
Wesley: I guess you would have preferred Commander Riker as a traveling companion.
Wesley: It’s okay. You’re not too comfortable with me. I understand.
Picard: Ensign. Wesley, that’s not true. You’re a fine young man.
Wesley: You don’t have to say that, sir. It’s pretty obvious how you feel.
Picard: Is it? How so?
Wesley: Everyone knows. You don’t like kids. That’s too bad. You’d have made a good father.
Picard: Thank you.
Wesley: Didn’t you ever wish you had kids of your own?
Picard: Wishing for a thing does not make it so.“Wishing for a thing does not make it so.” Don’t I know that.
This episode starts with Wesley heading to have another crack at his Starfleet exams and Pulaski ordering Picard to get a medical procedure since he doesn’t want her to do it. That means Wesley and Picard will be shuttle craft buddies for at least 6 hours and Riker will be in charge until they get back. No sooner do they depart, the Enterprise receives a distress signal. The aliens they encounter seem harmless and, despite Worf’s objections and Troi’s warning, Riker sends of La Forge to complete the repairs.
Back on the shuttle craft, Picard and Wes have some candid conversations and Picard shares that he needs to have his artificial heart replaced and how he came to need one in the first place (spoiler: it involves a bar brawl). They arrive at the Star Base where Wesley goes off to take his exams and Picard is greeted by the Imperial Royal Guard, I mean his doctors. One of the doctor’s makes the mistake of saying “this is routine and we’ll all be home for dinner” so now I know there are going to be complications, sigh.
On the alien ship La Forge keeps fixing things and then running into more problems. Once he tries to beam back to the Enterprise, he is attacked and forced to stay on board. Riker doesn’t quite know how to negotiate but comes up with a plan so when they next talk with La Forge, it’s he, Worf, and Data that provide a coded message – that La Forge picks up on an enacts. It’s a big bluff by Riker but he reads his opponents well and, in the nick of time, as Pulaski is needed on the Star Base in order to finish Picard’s procedure. See Picard, you shouldn’t argue with your doctor!
I loved the scenes in the shuttle craft, it was great to finally see Picard showing some vulnerability. I also think he needs to chill with the crotchety old man routine. I get it, you just got out of surgery, but why on Earth would Pulaski have been there if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. I also liked that Riker got what he deserved for not listening to Worf and Troi, but hated it was at the expense of La Forge. The whole situation was ridiculous and then they just give up at the end because of a red cloud of smoke… what gives? It had promise, maybe, but not enough in the delivery. This episode earns 3 bottles of red wine, but the cheap kind – the “two buck chuck” kind.