Date: April 6, 2020
Season 3, Episodes 22 and 23
Musical Accompaniment: An acoustic guitar collection from 2019
Interstellar News: I’ve been cooking and baking again: roasted red pepper hummus, Mongolian beef via the crock pot, crab Rangoon, and another round of cannoli cream. We’re also down to 20 rolls of paper towels, oh the humanity.
Favorite Quote from “The Most Toys”:
Fajo: I think you should be flattered.
Data: I am not, sir. Most intelligent lifeforms find involuntary confinement offensive and inequitable. Moreover, you have violated Federation law…Another episode in dealing with captivity of intelligent beings.
“The Most Toys” begins with Data transporting unstable items back and forth to help with a problem on another planet but he is shocked and unable to move as the assistants helping load the shuttle scan what he is made of. As the shuttle departs it explodes and Data appears to be lost forever. As the Enterprise leaves Data is shown to be alive on the other ship because Kivas Fajo kidnapped him, he’s a collector of unique things. Fajo brings a friend along and Data does not speak or move, much to Fajo’s deep disappointment. As he will not willingly destroy Data, he instead attempts to kill his assistant Varria until Data listens and sits on the chair.
Back on the Enterprise, La Forge and Wesley go through Data’s stuff and reminisce about the past but La Forge thinks something is fishy. Worf is promoted to ops in Data’s place and Troi and Worf discuss his propensity for replacing dead crewmembers. La Forge realizes something is wrong when Data didn’t follow protocol. Worf reads something weird down on the planet they were trying to help and they realize that there might be a bigger issue at hand and they catch on that Fajo likely wanted Data and they head back to try and find his ship.
Varria and Data try to make a break for it but Varria is killed and Data holds Fajo at a lethal phaser point. Just as he discharges the weapon, O’Brien beams him back and Fajo is taken into custody. Data lies to Riker and O’Brien about what happened and he tells Fajo that his collection has been dismantled.
So this episode got really dark really fast. We’ll start with the good as Brent Spiner is fantastic when he is acting like Data in protest, not blinking and falling over without so much as a movement. This is also the second time Picard has let something slip and instantly regretted it, the first being when he uttered “Broccoli” in “Hollow Pursuits“, and this time when he issues a command for “Mr. Data” and it should have been “Mr. Worf”. The “bad”, which is simply the dark parts of this episode, is Fajo’s inability to see how wrong it is for him to imprison Data and also how wrong it is for him to hold his assistants has hostages to get what he wants.
I’m reminded of “Bread and Circuses” and “The Squire of Gothos” where punishment was used to illicit entertainment and a child-like personality took captives through force. A phrase that would be used today would be “white male privilege” as Fajo explains his father was rich and he does what he wants without consequence. I understand why they chose to not have Data actually kill, that would the heel turn of the century, and I cannot have Data be the bad guy. Another episode about captivity and another person who believes Data is a thing, what a sad time the future might be. This episode earns a 9th entry in the Royal Rumble.
Favorite Quote from “Sarek”:
Picard: Peace and long life.
Sarek: Live long and prosper.Picard with the hard truths. This “stay at home” is starting to feel like imprisonment, sigh.
“Sarek” begins with the news that the Enterprise will be hosting a conference with a new alien species, the Legarens. Sarek will be coming aboard with a new wife, as Spock’s mother is likely dead by now, and this will be his last mission of peace before retirement at the age of 202. As Sarek is ancient, he’s going to need a lot of rest per his chief of staff’s request, but Sarek is all business when he beams on board and wants to go to the conference room. Wesley and La Forge are working on getting the conference room ready but it’s just not correct yet and Sarek is a bit, dare I say, emotional.
Sarek cannot meditate, Wesley and La Forge get into a huge argument, and something is afoot on the ship. The concert is lovely, so much so that Sarek cries – he sheds a few tears people! – and they leave before the end. Dr. Crusher also starts acting strangely and slaps Wesley, in fact everyone is acting strangely and a bar brawl breaks out in Ten-Forward. Turns out Vulcans over 200 can sometimes have a syndrome that can be telepathically transferred to others, most noticeably in a scene with Picard and Riker. Sarek doesn’t believe he is sick and tries to use logic on Picard, but Picard out-logics him, fascinating. They come up with the proposition of a mind meld with Picard and Sarek. Sarek is in control of himself again and Picard is an utter mess, but the conference goes well and Sarek can retired in peace.
Mark Lenard is amazeballs and hell, so is Sir Patrick Stewart. The emotion of these two actors is so captivating that I’m clinging to every word. To know that Sarek loves so deeply and that Vulcans have these intense emotions they choose not to experience because it almost drove them mad centuries ago is craziness. The fact that Picard is able to lend his calmness to Sarek is another show of Picard’s ability to lead a starship. There are a few things that I didn’t like about the plot and I absolutely hate when people lie to coverup something that relates to the pride of someone else, it always ends poorly. However, the last 20 minutes were so good that this earns an 8 track tape.