TNG: Episodes 17 – 21

Date: April 19, 2020

Season 4, Episode 17 – “Night Terrors”, Episode 18 – “Identity Crisis”, Episode 19 – “The Nth Degree”, Episode 20 – “Qpid”, and Episode 21 – “The Drumhead”

Musical Accompaniment: I was in the mood for more piano after listening to a lot of Billy Joel after the last few days, so I found some Piano Covers.

Interstellar News: Today’s entry will be different as I will cover five episodes. I’ll still include a favorite quote but the summary will be a lot shorter.

Favorite Quote from “Night Terrors” – Data’s Not Really An Android: “Sir, as my final duty as Acting Captain, I order you to bed. I shall do the same for all personnel.”

“Night Terrors” has the Enterprise investigating the Brittain which has been missing for a month and the crew apparently all killed each other, except for one Betazaoid found in shock. The ship can’t leave because they are stuck in a Tyken Rift and need a massive explosion to help, but the crew all start acting wonky. Turns out no one can enter REM sleep and are all starting to go a little crazy. It also turns out that another species has been trying to contact them telepathically, so Troi and Data work together since they are the last two mostly functioning and everyone lives to move onto the next mission.

Bugs Bunny looking all disheveled at the end of the bed. The caption reads "When you wake up in the morning and it feels like you only slept for 8 minutes."

Everyone did a really great job acting and looking sleep deprived in this episode. There were subtle differences in their mannerisms and appearance that was just amazing work by the makeup and costume crew. There was one scene where Worf goes to commit suicide because he “feels fear and isn’t a warrior anymore” and thank goodness for Troi. That was such a powerful scene about how some people, and cultures, view weakness and may act when they feel hopeless, when it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. The other crew members are all at each other’s throats, Guinan has a great line holding an alien machine gun, and even Picard realizes he’s not above needing rest. There were two things at work here, the other aliens and the rift, which was a nice challenge to the mystery.

Guinan holding up her weapon.
Say hello to my little friend…

There were a ton of downers about this episode, however. What happened to Hagan? Did the Enterprise ever communicate with the other aliens and tell them to maybe not do that anymore? What on Earth was up with the Troi “nightmares”, how does anyone call those bad dreams? Once the explosion actually does occur, in the last 10 seconds of course, Picard immediately snaps out of it… which is NOT how sleep deprivation works. Someone give the crew a 5 hour energy, at least that’s what I’m rating this episode.

Favorite Quote from “Identity Crisis”:

Dr. Crusher: You’re worried about Geordi, aren’t you?

Data: I am an android. It is not possible…

Dr. Crusher: …for you to feel anxiety.

Data: Starfleet personnel have vanished. Others may be at risk. We must do the best we can to find out why. However, I am strongly motivated to solve this mystery.

That was quite possibly the sweetest thing Data has ever said.

“Identity Crisis” has the Enterprise investigating something weird that happened over 5 years ago when La Forge was part of another crew. 49 people disappeared on Tarchannen III five years ago and La Forge was part of a five person team investigating the disappearance, though everyone but him and Leijten have also disappeared in the last week. At one point Leijten starts acting strangely and begins to turn into an Avatar-like creature. Dr. Crusher figures out what the problem is an helps reserve Leitjen’s condition, but La Forge has already turned and is on the planet’s surface, oh and they TURN INVISIBLE! As they are visible in UV light the away team locates and helps La Forge turn back to normal and Picard orders the planet quarantined.

A picture of one of the female Avatars from the movie AVATAR
Like these Avatars but without the hair or ears…

So this was a gooooood mystery on top of another mystery. What happened to all the people? Why is this one away team all of a sudden returning to the scene of the crime? I like that we get the answers to these questions, and it kind of sucks they can’t figure out how to get the others back. I do, however, have one GIANT question. If implanting others with their parasite was their way of reproduction, then did Picard just condemn an entire species to die by blocking off the planet? If they can’t implant their DNA into someone else, how are they going to reproduce? I need answers people! I’ll supply an away team with 7 people to answer my question.

Favorite Quote from “The Nth Degree”:

La Forge: Reg, something’s happened to you, and we can’t ignore that.

Barclay: Yes. I’ve finally become the person I’ve always wanted to be. Do we have to ask why?

La Forge: Yeah, I think we do.

Barclay asking a really good question and La Forge making an excellent counterpoint.

“The Nth Degree” starts with us seeing that Barclay has made some great strides since we last saw him, so he goes along with La Forge to investigate an alien probe that is hanging around the Argus Array. The probe emits a light that La Forge’s visor filters out, but knocks Barclay unconscious. When he comes to, he’s a new man both on and off the clock… including a very suave pass at Troi. At one point he merges himself with the system’s computer and takes the Enterprise over 30,000 light years away to the Cytherians, who don’t get out much. In fact they send the probes in order to guide people to them so they can exchange information, which the Enterprise does on behalf of the Federation. After 10 days they are safely returned to Federation space and Barclay is back to “normal”, well.. sort of.

The image of the Wizard of Oz as a great floating head.
I am Vigo the Carpathian, wait… wrong movie.
Didn’t the Cytherian old white dude give you serious Wizard of Oz vibes though?

This was a great episode, a lot of fun. Barclay is better but still in need of some work when he is clearly altered but not really causing too much harm. Picard doesn’t really see the need to do anything until it’s too late, but at least Barclay helped them to achieve the Enterprise’s mission at meeting new civilizations! The acting job is superb all around, even in the one like that Riker uses when he’s trying to not let on that he has no idea what Barclay is talking about. It was also a nice, slow ramp up to Barclay going out of control. First he tells La Forge he’s sorry if he overstepped, then he asks for “help” from the engineering team and Eisenstein in the holodeck, then he retreats to the holodeck to build a better interface by MERGING HIMSELF WITH THE COMPUTER, and then he’s sort of back to good ol’ Reg who might have learned how to play 3D chess… fascinating. Some of it, however, felt a bit patronizing. That’s my only low note on the episode, oh that and the old white dude who played the floating head. That gives this episode an 8… 4 witches of Oz + the 4 regions of Oz.

Favorite Quotes from “Qpid”… brace yourselves there are FOUR of them:

Picard: I’ve just been paid a visit from Q.

Riker: Q? Any idea what he’s up to?

Picard: He wants to do something nice for me.

Riker: I’ll alert the crew.

The way that Jonathan Frakes delivers the last line left me in stitches, it was SO GOOD.

Worf’s One-Two Punch:

“Nice legs…. for a human.”

“Sir, I protest. I am NOT a merry man.”

Two excellent Worf quotes.
Worf as Will Scarlett in the episode Qpid
Worf in red… swooooooon.

Vash: You mean you came here alone?

Picard: That’s right, now come on.

Vash: What kind of plan is that?

Picard: It’s an excellent one if you’ll just hurry up.

Vash asking two excellent questions and Picard being exasperated.
Q in the captain's chair asking "How about a big hug"?

“Qpid” doesn’t begin with Q popping in, but instead Vash from “Captain’s Holiday“. As Picard is a private man, he hasn’t told anyone about Vash and she gets quite upset with him. When he goes to apologize he realizes she’s there to break the law and he leaves in a huff. Q, in the meantime, feels he needs to repay Picard for the events of “Deja Q” which allowed Q back in the Continuum and he does so by transporting the bridge crew and Vash into a Robin Hood fantasy where Picard is Robin, Vash is Maid Marian, and Q is the Sherrif. Oh and did I mention Marian is about to be beheaded? Picard goes off alone, because he’s like that, Vash is the consummate survivor, and the rest of the crew doesn’t listen to Picard but do create a diversion that allows them to win. There’s a great fight scene while Q eats a turkey leg, but Q beams everyone back but Vash… because they are going to be partners together.Q promises she will not be harmed and Q is such the voyeur, what a perv!

Disney's Robin Hood
There’s Disney, Men in Tights, and the BBC Show that rank in my top 3 Robin Hood adaptations.

At first I thought Vash was Q doing some shape-shifting and I am SO GLAD I was wrong, but now I cannot get the image of Stewart and Delancie kissing out of my head. The first half of the episode was super boring as you’re just waiting for whatever Q is going to do, but once he pulls the trigger it is so much fun. It’s so much fun to see Vash mystifying Q and also Q using “As you wish” from The Princess Bride. It’s also quite interesting that Picard and Q would fall for the same type of woman, but everyone seems quite taken with her from their first meeting. I loved this for the silly, ridiculous episode it was… as I really needed to laugh today. I especially loved when Worf smashed La Forge’s instrument reminiscent of Animal House, and when Troi accidentally shoots Data/Friar Tuck. If it was not for Worf, I don’t think I would have liked this episode as much… so that’s a 8, where we have 3 cheers for Worf in this 5th appearance by Q.

Favorite Quote from “The Drumhead”:

Worf: He refused to answer the question about his Romulan grandfather.

Picard: That is not a crime, Worf. Nor can we infer his guilt because he didn’t respond.

Worf: Sir, if a man were not afraid of the truth, he would answer.

Picard: Oh, no. We cannot allow ourselves think that. The Seventh Guarantee is one of the most important rights granted by the Federation. We cannot take a fundamental principle of the Constitution and turn it against a citizen.

There are two lessons here. 1. NEVER, EVER lie on an application. 2. It’s okay to be afraid of the truth, but not wanting to admit something out loud does not make you guilty.

“The Drumhead” has a Klingon spy aboard and there many be a mole on the crew of the Enterprise, escandalo! Admiral Satie is called out of retirement to find out what’s going on. Worf makes a break in the case that leads to the medical staff and La Forge is able to determine that the bomb was likely an accident. J’dan, the Klingon, admits his guilt as a traitor, but Tarses from the medical staff is pulled in and found out to have lied as he is part Romulan, not part Vulcan. Satie goes on a witch-hunt and eventually comes up against Picard and mentions events that happened in “Data’s Day” , “Sins of the Father“, and “The Best of Both Worlds” to question his loyalty to Starfleet. Picard whips out some words from her father and she loses it, showing everyone in the room that she had no ground to go up against Picard.

Office cat meme says "You think there's a mole in the office? no problem, I'll have it on your desk by 4:30"
Oh, do I love Office Cat.

The episode starts off innocently enough, there’s a spy on board. It then escalates to a conspiracy quite quickly, as do the actions of Satie. She was fine at first and then just turned into the worst possible human, especially in her comments to Picard. It’s an important episode about not lying on an application and not thinking everyone is guilty because someone thinks there might be a conspiracy, but we didn’t need 45 minutes on it. I totally understand why Tarses lied and why he chose the enlisted route, but I don’t excuse his actions by any means. The truth always comes out. As there were only 2 things I got out of this episode, that’s it rating.

TA Out!

Published by njdevil12

I'm just a big city girl living in a not so big city with my fur children and partner.

5 thoughts on “TNG: Episodes 17 – 21

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