TNG: “Evolution” and “The Ensigns of Command”

Date: March 27, 2020

Season 3, Episodes 1 and 2

Musical Accompaniment: 2 Hours of Sad Instrumental Music

Interstellar News: The introduction was watched, as it is a new season, and I was thrilled to find out two things have changed! Thing one is the introduction background itself with brighter, more vibrant colors. Thing two is that Dr. Crusher is back and has a new hair do, hooray! The State of North Carolina is starting a 30 day Stay at Home order on Monday, please send good vibes our way and #stayhome.

Anna and Elsa: "WFH because of Covid-19, introvert (anna excited) vs. extrovert (elsa worried)
Unfortunately, I’m an extroverted extrovert.

Favorite Quote from “Evolution”:

Stubbs: I see a lot of me in you. In my youth, they called me a vunderkind. Do you understand vunderkind?

Wesley: It’s German, isn’t it?

Stubbs: It means wonder child. It is reserved for those of us who achieve early in life. Now the burden is yours.

Wesley: Burden?

Stubbs: To fulfill your potential. You will never come up against a greater adversary than your own potential, my young friend.

As a former GNT kid myself, this line hit hard and deep.

“Evolution” starts with the Enterprise ferrying around Dr. Bob Kelso, I mean Dr. Stubbs, to a star system that’s about to have it’s “once in every 196 year” explosion. They launch an “egg” toward the star system but the computers go all wonky and clearly something is amiss. In fact there are several malfunctions throughout the ship but when you ask the computer, it thinks it’s just fine thank you very much!

The meme with the dog sitting in a room that is on fire and it says "this is fine."
Really, I don’t think it’s too hot in here!

Wesley realizes it’s likely his science experiment gone awry, damn nanites. Dr. Stubbs and Wesley start a discussion about baseball from the 21st century, which I happened to watch this episode on what was supposed to be Opening Day for the 2020 Season and it made me sad. As the nanites are interfering the computer system and the mission, Dr. Stubbs goes a little crazy and kills some of them, so they launch a counter-attack on him. Data is able to establish contact and act as a conduit for the nanites who have advanced so much they now require their own planet, but they also repair the ship and Dr. Stubbs is able to apologize and proceed with his experiment and life’s work.

An image of opening week from Yankee Stadium in NY.

This is a pretty standard season opener. Wesley puts a lot of pressure on himself and takes on too much work and doesn’t perform enough self care. Dr. Crusher is a mother who always feels guilty for working and now has a moody teenager on her hands as well as having to be the ship’s medical chief again. Picard has to put the safety of the vessel and the crew above the mission and he is at odds with a determined scientist who will do anything to achieve his goal. Technology gets out of control because a child was left unsupervised and, well, that’s what happens when you do science sometimes. Nothing terribly exciting or terribly boring, nothing out of the ordinary, but a solid episode that gets me interested in what is to come. That earns this episode a 5 card draw.

Favorite Quotes from “The Ensigns of Command”:

Ard’rian: You don’t really understand human behavior, do you?

Data: That is something of an understatement.

Ard’rian: Sometimes I don’t either. Androids are a lot more rational.

I find I have more in common with Androids than I thought. Why can’t we all be more rational.
Data and Ard'rian
 Data meets a colonist named Ard’rian who is fascinated with him.

Gosheven: I really was willing to stay here and die for this.

Data: I know that. This is just a thing, and things can be replaced. Lives cannot.

Data with surprising insight for being “just an Android”.

“The Ensigns of Command” starts off with a concert in Ten-Forward where O’Brien plays the cello, Data the violin, and Picard having to leave too soon because there’s a message from the Sheliak Corporate. There are humans on a planet they wish to colonize and the Enterprise has only a few days to get them out before the Sheliak exterminate them. Data, as the only member of the crew who can withstand the atmosphere, takes a shuttle craft down and finds out they are survivors of the Artemis and there are over 15,000 people in the colony but their leader does not want to evacuate – something to do with his grandfather being buried on some hill somewhere. Picard asks La Forge and O’Brien to do the impossible and takes the task himself to be diplomatic, but it is falling on deaf ears.

My favorite moment from the episode.

Picard tries to intercept the Sheliak ship that’s on the way and Data is convinced to be less honest in order to assist the colonists to evacuate. Troi does some fine psychoanalyzing and Picard attempts to do in-person negotiation, but Picard and Troi do not make progress and are beamed back against their will. Data gives a great speech, but Gosheven has a serious prejudice against machines and is a bit of an ass, especially when he electrocutes Data. This gives Data the idea that actions speak louder than words so he stuns the four security guards and sends a blow up the aqueduct and the colonists all decide to evacuate.

Evacuation plan: (there is a post it that says) RUN! Simple plans are the most efficient.

Picard scans the treaty , which he should have done forever ago, and requests third party arbitration with a species that are in their hibernation cycle and won’t be available for at least six months. This leads to negotiation finally and Picard looks like the cat who caught the canary.

This is another spectacular scene in this episode, totally worth watching the whole clip.

I absolutely loved this episode. Data meets a girl and he’s super clueless and super adorable, but he’s also committed to his mission and uses amazing problem solving skills. Picard tries his hand at negotiation and is clever and cunning and I absolutely love both scenes I included in the video clips. Sir Patrick Stewart knows how to deliver a damn line. O’Brien, Wesley, and La Forge try their best to “do the impossible” like their predecessor Scotty used to do on the regular, and of course they sort of make progress, come up with a plan, and then are not needed. This was just such an awesome episode all around that I give it an I-9 so it can work anywhere in the United States of America.

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.

2 thoughts on “TNG: “Evolution” and “The Ensigns of Command”

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