Date: March 29, 2020
Season 3, Episodes 5 and 6
Musical Accompaniment: The Best of Tycho
Interstellar News: Today was also not a good day. Tomorrow doesn’t look good either.
Favorite Quote from “The Bonding”:
Picard: It is part of our life cycle that we accept the death of those we love. Jeremy must come to terms with his grief. He must not cover it or hide away from it. You see, we are mortal. Our time in this universe is finite. That is one of the truths that all human must learn.Apparently Picard went to counseling school…
Data’s Not Really An Android: “But should not the feelings run as deep regardless of who has died?”
“The Bonding” has the away team beaming up in an emergency and the ship archeologist, Dr. Aster, is dead on arrival after a surprise bombing. Troi reports that Dr. Aster left behind a 12 year old son, Jeremy, and Picard now must notify him. Jeremy says he’s now all alone and Picard does the bravest thing I think I’ve ever seen him done – he takes his hand and tells him no one is ever alone on the Enterprise.
Troi thinks Wesley might be a good person to talk to Jeremy, but it brings up all the old feelings of Wesley’s Dad’s passing. While Jeremy is looking at old videos, his “mom” reappears in his room and wants to take him down to the planet but she disappears while they are on the transporter pad. As Troi and Jeremy arrive back at his quarters there is a replica of his old home on Earth, complete with Patches the cat, and he doesn’t want to leave. As they try to leave, Picard blocks their way and finally finds out who the Aster clone is. Picard calls Wesley in and they get the chance to clear the air. In the end, Jeremy lets Worf help him and they become family through a Klingon ceremony.
As someone who recently lost their mother and is ridiculously sad at the moment, this episode hit me right in the feels. Troi does some great grief counseling here and the show does an excellent job at showcasing how it effects all of the other characters. That’s the thing about grief, though, you never know when it’s going to pop back up. I once read this theory that grief is like a box with a button and a ball in it. At first, the ball is HUGE and hits the button on the wall at everything and you’re always sad, or mad, or something. As time passes, the ball grows smaller but it will still hit the button from time to time. It’s not a regular interval and you never know when the ball might get bigger, but the pain is still as sharp as the first day. The point remains that you should always tell those important in your life how you feel, you should keep your loved ones close, and you should always be kind because you never know when the grief will hit. I can’t rate this one because I’m not in a good frame of mind, but it was an excellent episode.
Favorite Quote from “Booby Trap”:
Picard: It is exactly as they left it, Number One. In the bottle.
The ship in the bottle.
Good Lord, didn’t anybody here build ships in bottles when they were boys?
Worf: I did not play with toys.
Data: I was never a boy.Ask a stupid question…
“Booby Trap” starts off with the Enterprise receiving a 1000 year old distress signal. Picard wants to beam over to the ship, he’s super excited it’s something he played with as a boy, so he heads over with Worf and Data. There are some power dips happening all over the Enterprise and Guinan proves a bartender can really be a good counselor. I should know, I’ve been both a bartender and a counselor. They find an old data storage device and it plays a message from the old captain, but they beam back after. As they are about to leave there is a large drop in energy and radiation heading at them. Picard believes they may have fallen into a 1000 year old booby trap.
Everyone divides up to try and tackle the problem. La Forge goes to the holodeck and learns from Dr. Leah Brahms who helped develop the warp drive, Dr. Crusher is setting up contingency plans for radiation sickness, Data and Riker found more information on the old ship, but they don’t make a lot of progress. La Forge and Brahms come up with a plan to turn the ship over to her, ahem, the computer. La Forge figures out something else with only 12 minutes left. Picard takes the helm, the plan works, and they blow up the field so no one else gets caught.
The episode starts out awkward with Lieutenant Awkward La Forge and his holodeck “date” and continues to be awkward with La Forge falling for the computer-generated Brahms and kissing her, sigh. Also, WHY IS HE NOT WORKING WITH HIS ENGINEERING TEAM? I teach engineering students I know they mostly hate teamwork, but are forced to do it anyway because that’s how things get done in the real world. You need the diversity of perspective, location, upbringing, and knowledge to make something better or to create something new. La Forge has access to Starfleet’s best and brightest but because he goes at it alone because there was probably not a budget for a big team meeting, oh and because we have to show the hot guest star. I’m not sold on that part, which was a big part, of the episode. I love the idea of a booby trap, but it would have been better if everyone was involved or the whole of engineering saved the day. Oh well, at least I know more about La Forge and Guinan for that matter. 4 blue stars for this episode.