Date: April 1, 2020
Season 3, Episodes 11 and 12
Musical Accompaniment: One hour of Punk Rock Instrumental (2017)
Interstellar News: Have someone read you a bedtime story, it can help just a little.
Favorite Quote from “The Hunted”:
Data: I do not mean to belittle your condition. I understand your dilemma. But I am curious. My program can be altered. Yours cannot?
Roga: The man I was is still inside me, but this conditioning has been imposed. Woven together with my thoughts and my feelings and my responses. How do you separate the program from the man?
Data: Without further analysis of your condition from Counselor Troi or Dr. Crusher, I cannot say. But I believe it is possible.Data trying to be helpful and Roga asking an important question.
“The Hunted” opens with my favorite dad from Revenge of the Nerds explaining a prisoner has escaped and requests help from the Enterprise, especially since the planet is petitioning for membership to the Federation. The prisoner is a one man fighting machine who reminds me of the Winter Soldier, and his name is Danar Roga. I’m only a little shocked when we find out he was a soldier, genetically and psychologically modified, and then sent off to live in what amounts to captivity after there was no more need for soldiers.
Troi and Data believe he can be helped and rehabilitated, but Picard has no choice and tries to transport him back. Danar is damn good and sets his comrades free and then storms the capital demanding better treatment. Picard leaves them to settle their differences and to apply back when things have calmed down.
This was a great episode to highlight what happens to soldiers when they are no longer needed, because this is unfortunately not a total fictional story. Look at Vietnam, Korea, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, I could go on. We do not do enough for our Veterans. When you are used to a certain way of life it can be hard to adjust to something to different. It’s interesting, though, that I find my veteran undergraduate students to be some of the best despite their many challenges. While they may be older and have families and other responsibilities, they know how to follow orders and deadlines and I appreciate the hell out of that. Regardless of your thoughts on war, it’s important to note that not everyone comes back and if they do, they might not be the person they were before.
Now that you’ve listened to my dissertation on the military, let’s get back to the episode. I think this was a great vehicle for showing what could potentially be done to humans in the future and how a civilization might enhance their military in order to prevail over their enemies. There were some things that were off, but overall I enjoyed it for what it was. A litter of 8 puppies for this episode.
Favorite Quote from “The High Ground”:
Riker: Are you going to tell me that little boy’s a threat?
Alexana: It’s possible. That shuttle bus I told you about? The bomb was set by a teenager. In a world where children blow up children, everyone’s a threat.Unfortunately still true today.
“The High Ground” begins on a planet that’s having some terrorism problems when a bomb goes off and Dr. Crusher, of course, goes to help. Worf and Data try their best to get her to beam back but she won’t until the local emergency medical team arrives. As everyone else is busy, one of the terrorists makes off with her using some transporter technology no one can trace.
Turns out the resistance needs a doctor because the dimensional transporters are all killing them. Finn, the leader, decides to beam aboard the Enterprise and makes off with Picard as well as some other supplies, but isn’t able to blow it up. With the help of Wesley, the away team and some Ruitan cops beam down to the resistance’s base. Picard and Dr. Crusher are freed but Finn is killed.
This was another strong episode that focused on terrorism. As someone who vividly remembers September 11, 2001, and several events before and after, terrorism is a subject that has been ingrained in my everyday life. This episode pre-dates a lot of modern day terrorism, but gets several things correct that are quite sobering. The other nice touch on this episode is seeing what the “other side” is fighting for. As with the previous episode, the “bad guys” and “good guys” aren’t so binary, it’s not so easy to tell who is really on the side of good. Also, this episode ends the SIXTH episode IN A ROW that started with the word “the”, so I’m totally giving it 6 times the word “the”. Also, I’m sure you would be disappointed if I didn’t point out the obvious Star Wars reference.