Date: April 3, 2020
Season 3, Episodes 15 and 16
Musical Accompaniment: A random Punk Rock instrumental track I found on YouTube.
Interstellar News: The weather was beautiful again today, but Fred was out of control.
Favorite Quotes from “Yesterday’s Enterprise”:
Picard: Guinan, they will die moments after they return. How can I ask them to sacrifice themselves based solely on your intuition?
Guinan: I don’t know. But I do know that this is a mistake. Every fiber in my being says this is a mistake. I can’t explain it to myself so I can’t explain it to you. I only know that I’m right.
Picard: Who is to say that this history is any less proper than the other?
Guinan: I suppose I am.Who made you judge, jury, and excecutioner? Uh, I did of course…
Worf’s One-Two Punch: Guinan: “It’s an Earth drink. Prune juice.” Worf: “A warrior’s drink.”
“Yesterday’s Enterprise” opens with a wormhole-like object in space and suddenly everything is different. The long lost Enterprise-C has come through the hole and our ship, the Enterprise-D is now totally different. The Federation is still at war with the Klingon Empire, Yar is still alive, and the colors are more vibrant and harsh. The Enterprise-C was trying to defend a Klingon outpost 22 years in the past, but they were up against and outnumbered by the Romulans. Guinan knows something is wrong and tries to explain to Picard that we’re supposed to be at peace. Damn it Barry!
The crew of Enterprise-D help to repair C’s ship and Yar tries to catch up one of the C’s crew on 22 years of tactical. Picard and Garrett (the other captain) discuss what to do and ultimately the Enterprise-C needs to go back through the wormhole, even if it means certain death for the now greatly reduced crew. The number of times they mention it though, I’m thinking they totally pull it off at the last minute… but what do I know? Honestly, all I know is this comes back in a few seasons because my husband doesn’t have a poker face, but I don’t know any of the specifics. Garrett dies before they can head back and Yar, having been told by Guinan that her death was without purpose, asks to transfer to the C in order to have a meaningful death. The C goes through the wormhole at just the right moment, all is well in the world, the timeline restored, and Guinan asks La Forge about Yar.
Guinan really needs to be on The Flash and knock some sense into Barry Allen. Aside from her jumping to another show, I have a lot to say about this episode. It says a lot when one of my favorite lines is Worf praising prune juice as his constant delivery of perfect one or two word sentences is leaps and bounds over anything Yar did in this episode. I knew what she was going to do as soon as I saw the C pop through that wormhole, but it was still a lot of fun to get there. I’m okay that I knew what was going to happen because it’s all about the journey and the character development. Yes, Yar’s death was so out of left field in “Skin of Evil”, but that’s what happens… we live and we die, and sometimes you don’t get to say goodbye. This was, however, a clever way to bring back a “dead” character because time travel is fun like that.
Picard is amazing because he’s totally still him but just a little different. You can tell he’s tired and the war has taken its toll on him, but he utterly trusts Guinan – he just doesn’t want to admit she’s right. He’s smack dab in the bargaining stage of grief because he’s just out of gumption. Guinan is also amazing because you can tell she’s frustrated… she knows she’s right damn it, just listen and send the damn ship back! I’m so interested to see where this story line leads as they clearly left the door open for Yar to return or at least be memorialized in some way for her heroic death as part of the crew… or maybe not. I’m super happy I’ve avoided a lot of 30+ year old spoilers, but Google is sometimes the enemy. I’ve got to go with 8 steak tacos for this episode because there wasn’t enough Worf and there was too much predictability, but otherwise it was fascinating.
Favorite Quotes from “The Offspring”:
Picard: It’s a life, Data. It can’t be activated and deactivated simply. This is a most stupendous undertaking. Have you any idea what will happen when Starfleet learns about this?
Data: I have followed all of Starfleet regulations to the best of my ability. I expected they would be pleased.
Picard: Well, you have taken on quite a responsibility, Data.Picard and Data talking about life and the responsibilities of creating a new one.
Lal: Then why do you still try to emulate humans? What purpose does it serve except to remind you that you are incomplete?
Data: I have asked myself that many times as I have struggled to be more human. Until I realized it is the struggle itself that is most important. We must strive to be more than we are, Lal. It does not matter that we will never reach our ultimate goal. The effort yields its own rewards.“The effort yields its own rewards.” For an android, he really knows more about the human condition than humans do.
Data’s Not Really An Android: Picard: “Data, I would like to have been consulted.” Data: “I have not observed anyone else on board consulting you about their procreation, Captain.”
“The Offspring” begins with Data sending for Troi, La Forge, and Wesley so he can introduce them to Lal, his android daughter. Data is adorable in that he read every parenting book in preparation and Picard is trying to impress upon the severity of doing this. Data allows Lal to choose their sex and appearance, and there’s an interesting short discussion on gender. Ultimately she chooses a human female and then there’s a montage about her learning and it’s super adorable. Data, at one point, does what all father’s wish they could and turns her off as she enters the “why” stage. Wesley suggests sending Lal to school, but unfortunately Lal is unable to “fit in” in school and she learns a lot of life lessons very early, so Data asks Dr. Crusher about successful parenting.
An admiral from Starfleet research is on the way to “assess the situation”. In the meantime Lal uses a contraction while speaking with Guinan, who also passes on the birds and the bees talk to Data. The admiral arrives and is hellbent on and will not be persuaded otherwise as he wants to take Lal away, but Lal wants to stay and then has a “panic attack” in the presence of Troi. Data gives a wonderful speech about what parenting should be all about, the admiral is still being a dick, and Picard takes a stand against him. When Lal malfunctions, the admiral helps and afterward he comes out like the doctor who breaks bad news in a medical drama and he’s actually tearful. Data and Lal have a tearful goodbye and Data transfers her memories into him so he will not forget her.
So I really need to not watch these sad episodes when I’m hormonal, especially because I didn’t see her malfunctioning and I thought (well hoped) it might end differently. It was also more heartbreaking that the crew was able to mourn and Data could not, but then again he just didn’t mourn in the human way, he did so in his own way. One thing that gets me is how Picard is adamant about Lal not being Data’s child until the Admiral wants to take Lal away and he realizes how much it will affect Data, then he’s like a mama bear protecting his cub because one does not simply hurt Data’s feelings (that he doesn’t have).
When Data and Guinan believe Ten-Forward is the best place for Lal to people watch, it reminds me so much of Sweet Home Alabama and it’s even better when the research admiral scoffs at Lal being a “cocktail waitress”. As a former waitress myself, I can tell you it teaches you very valuable life lessons. I truly believe everyone should spend at least six months working in customer service and we’d all be much nicer to each other. Data is absolutely correct though as it should be him who guides her just as Lal is correct that once she has learned everything the starship can teach her, then it would be best for her to move onto great things. It’s the “natural” order like when kids go off to school to learn things beyond the home. Unfortunately Lal suffers a malfunction and cannot be saved, so we do not get to see any more amazing parenting from Data. I really want to give this episode a 10, but there were a few small issues I had so it’s 9 chocolate covered bon bons instead.
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