Date: April 5, 2020
Season 3, Episodes 19, 20, and 21
Musical Accompaniment: Acoustic Guitar Covers
Interstellar News: Braved the outside world for the important things in life today: grated Parmesan and sliced mozzarella.
Favorite Quote from “Captain’s Holiday”:
Picard: From the moment I met you, I knew you were going to be trouble.
Vash: You look like a man who could handle trouble.I’m pretty sure I’ve had some form of this exact exchange with every man I’ve ever been romantically involved with… fascinating.
“Captain’s Holiday” has the whole crew ganging up on Picard in order to convince him to take a vacation, even having Dr. Crusher pull a Spock, but Picard catches on much faster than Kirk did. Picard relents and goes to Risa based on Riker’s recommendation and request for a certain item, that unfortunately has the “unintended” side effect of women interrupting Picard’s reading time in the sun. A Ferengi named Sovak starts to bother Picard and just as I start to get strong James Bond vibes for this episode, the “Bond girl” named Vash appears. There’s a mystery with an object from the future and Picard and Vash are going to pull an Indiana Jones and go exploring for this item.
Picard and Vash make camp for the night and keep themselves warm with lots of kissing. The next day they find the place where the item is supposed to be and start digging. The time traveling aliens and Sovak both show up, but the item just isn’t there so Sovak has a mental break and is left digging while everyone else leaves. Picard, however, figured out that Vash had already found the item and wanted to sell it so he calls on the Enterprise to destroy is via the transporter and all is back to normal.
This was a fun episode to show off a different side of Picard, but that was about it. It was a little bit James Bond meets Indiana Jones in space, but it doesn’t have all of the character of the Enterprise because no one else was in it! I understand that sometimes the captain needs some alone time, but I truly enjoyed everyone ganging up on Picard more than the rest of the episode. It wasn’t awful, but it lacked what I’ve come to expect from a TNG episode. I also think it’s funny that all Picard wanted to do was read in the sunshine, which is all I ever want to do when I go on vacation, but he had a great time n the hunt for the missing object. I guess the moral of the story is you don’t know what you really want until some mystery woman invites you on a quest for hidden treasure… wait. I’ll rate this 6 “shiver me timbers” and a shoulder parrot who only knows curse words.
Favorite Quote from “Tin Man”:
Tam: The ship and the crew existed symbiotically. They needed one another. When Gomtuu had no one left to care for, it no longer had a reason to exist.
Data: Is that the purpose of existence? To care for someone?Data asking the good questions and, for once, I have an answer. Yes. We are all here to take care of one another.
“Tin Man” starts off with the Hood inbound at warp speed with orders and mission specialist named Tam Elbrun who used to be a patient of Troi’s, as he is a special kind of telepath. Elbrun is more of a mind reader than Troi is and keeps interrupting the Captain and everyone else. Elbrun was an indirect cause of a disaster that Riker is salty about, which causes some friction. There will soon be a supernova but there is also an organic creature/starship hybrid and they want to be the first to meet it and before the Romulans can – it’s kind of like the space race of the 1960’s.
Troi does some fine counseling with Tam and gets him to inadvertently admit he’s been in slight contact with the “Tin Man” entity. They arrive and Tam is enamored but a Romulan war bird attacks to get them to delay their first contact. Unfortunately the Romulans cannot interact with “Gomtuu” and intend to destroy it, but Tam sends a message ahead and it sends a destructive wave that destroys the Romulans and severely damages the Enterprise. Gomtuu is there to die as its crew died and it hasn’t seen another of its kind for thousands of years. As the other Romulan vessel wants to destroy Gomtuu, Picard makes the decision to beam over Tam and Data in order to try and assist Gomtuu. Tam decides to stay and be one with Gomtuu and Gomtuu sends a blast to push the Romulans and the Enterprise out of the danger zone just as the star goes supernova. Data explains to Troi what Tam decided to do and Data was also able to gain something valuable from the experience.
The conversations between Tam and Data are awesome and I love that Tam lets Data know that being “different” is okay. Tam is so much like Mrs. Troi, and I hate to say I like the full Betazoids better than Troi’s more reserved nature. I made the link that Tam, and children like him who are born with telepathy, are much like Superman when he’s a child and all alone on Earth. There’s a scene in Man of Steel where Clark locks himself in the closet because he can hear all of his classmates thoughts and his X-ray vision has just come online and he’s only able to get through it because of Martha Kent’s superior mothering technique. All I’m saying is that Tam could have used Martha’s ministrations.
Aside from Tam, though, the Romulans were just being dicks and I felt like they tried to fit too much at once in the last 15 minutes of the episode. Picard lets Tam lay hands on him, never fires on the Romulans, and only has one great line where he lies through his teeth to the second Romulan commander. Troi has a good moment, Data gets a few good ones, but nothing is great. I wanted to like this episode much more than I did, so we’ll be in the 7th circle of hell: violence. Worf will be happy with this rating.
Favorite Quote from “Hollow Pursuits”:
Picard: And yet he chose this way of life. He has made the same commitment to Starfleet that we all have. It’s easy to transfer a problem to someone else. Too easy.
La Forge: Captain, it’s not like I haven’t tried.
Picard: Try harder, Geordi. He’s a member of your team. Try to find some way to help him to make a positive contribution. Get to know the man better. Make him your best friend.
La Forge: With all respect, sir, my best friend? I can barely tolerate being in the same room with the man.
Picard: Then I suggest you put your personal discomfort on one side, Commander. Dismissed.
La Forge: Yes, sir.Picard being an excellent leader, understanding that someone has got to take responsibility for Barclay and if La Forge wants to be the Chief Engineer, he’s got to work at it. We’re all professionals here at Starfleet.
“Hollow Pursuits” begins in the holodeck with a very timid engineer named Barclay, who is apparently always late to work and doesn’t quite “fit in”. Picard orders La Forge to “make a crewman” out of Barclay anyway, because that’s the Enterprise’s way. Odd things start happening on the ship, malfunctions that just can’t be explained. La Forge interrupts Barclay in the holodeck during a 3 Musketeers like program and refers him to Troi like a good commanding officer should, not knowing he has an intense crush on her.
Barclay has the world’s worst first counseling session and winds up being late for a briefing. Riker gets annoyed so Riker, Troi, and La Forge head to holodeck 2 to find Barclay but instead encounter the musketeers, Riker’s shorter clone, Troi’s empathy goddess, and Dr. Crusher’s french renaissance mother character with Barclay asleep on her lap. All of a sudden the Enterprise picks up speed and is out of control but there’s nothing anyone can do. Engineering is trying to figure it out and they have a round table when Barclay thinks the Corona Virus has hit the Enterprise. He really means something that is highly contagious and hard to detect, but you all know what I mean. They figure out it was one of the canisters from the top of the episode and in true Star Trek fashion figure it out with 30 seconds to spare.
It took me episodes to realize but this is the only place you can call someone “chief” and it’s acceptable. I’m a little disappointed there are no women in engineering, or at least not in the senior staff briefing. I’m also slightly horrified that Barclay uses the holodeck to be intimate with Troi and possibly Dr. Crusher, it’s just so… creepy. It reminds me of the episode in Babylon 5 where one of the customers ordered a sex robot that looked just like Captain Lockley, ick. However, this episode is brilliant in displaying good counseling technique and how to be a good leader. Counseling takes more than one session to be effective. The mark of a good leader is to identify why one person isn’t performing as expected in the environment, rather than just moving them elsewhere and them being someone else’s problem. This was like an episode of House where it took the team to solve the problem and I loved it. Program number 9 gets to stay.
You’ve all been treated to this triple threat post because I have been informed that the Season 3 Finale is a “Part 1” and the Season 4 Premiere is the “Part 2” and I would like to do both of those in the same post. The plan is for tomorrow to be episodes 22 and 23, Tuesday to be episodes 24 and 25, and for Wednesday to finish out Season 3 and begin Season 4. We’ll see if I can stick to the plan!