Date: April 21, 2020
Season 4, Episodes 24 and 25
Musical Accompaniment: A compilation of music by the Dallas String Quartet
Interstellar News: Yesterday I did four loads of laundry, today I made buffalo chicken won tons, and tomorrow I’ll probably bake something.
Favorite Quote from “The Mind’s Eye”:
Picard: Governor, you speak as if we are enemies, not allies.
Vagh: And you speak the lies of a taar’chek.
Picard: Qu’vath guy’cha b’aka.
Vagh: You swear well, Picard. You must have Klingon blood in your veins.Apparently that’s Picard dropping an “F-bomb”, one of my favorite curse words in any language, and I am quite impressed
“The Mind’s Eye” begins with La Forge on a shuttle craft bound for a conference on Risa when he is captured by the Romulans, who send a body double in his place, and they reprogram him a la A Clockwork Orange. They run several simulations by giving La Forge commands and seeing if he carries them out and then he is returned to the Enterprise as if nothing happened.
Klingon Ambassador Kell has arrived to help Picard and Governor Vagh of Krios come to an understanding because the Federation is absolutely, positively not helping the rebels fight for independence. Vagh is unconvinced, there are federation weapons in the hands of the rebels after all and then they are “caught” red handed being transported off of the Enterprise. La Forge and Data figure out that the Romulans were the ones duplicating the weapons – they aren’t really Federation issued after all. Data also figures out that the anomalies on the E-band are being aimed at La Forge’s VISOR almost at the same time that La Forge tries to kill Vagh, oh and it’s all Kell’s fault… so the Klingons take him into custody.
One thing that stuck out to me was when Data tells Worf to apprehend La Forge and Worf goes “Sir?”, making sure he understood, Data quickly goes “that’s an order” which is the kindest way I’ve ever heard anyone say “I outrank you, do my bidding!”. Now I know it’s been said several times, but it’s the way Worf and Data deliver it that’s so good this time. Another thing that really hit me in this episode is how young La Forge really is and how this is going to affect him in the long run. Just as Picard will be dealing with his captivity by the Borg for the rest of his life, so will La Forge of his time with the Romulans… especially if he begins to remember. It was great to see him with Troi at the end as every traumatic experience should end with a counseling session, but it broke my heart to hear him go on about his time at Risa that never actually happened. This one gets 8 Klingon pain sticks, Qapla’.
I’m going to do something a bit different for this episode. I loved a lot of the dialog, so I’m going to post my favorite quotes after the summary… enjoy!
“In Theory” has the Enterprise exploring a dark matter nebula so Data is modifying the photon torpedoes and spending time with his friend Jenna D’Sora. Jenna and Data play in a wind ensemble together and then chat with O’Brien and Keiko afterward, Jenna hardcore flirting all the while. Jenna starts falling for Data and it’s suuuuuper weird, so he starts to ask for advice. Guinan and La Forge tell Data to look elsewhere, Troi tries to get Data to understand this is not an experiment, Worf tries to play the “in loco parentis” card, Riker tells Data to go for it (I am SHOCKED, as I wave my hands in sarcasm), and Picard is just the best. Data decides to proceed, writes a new romantic relationship program, and brings Jenna flowers.
As Data and Jenna progress in their relationship, strange things are afoot on the ship. Spot, Data’s cat, was loose on the ship but no one had been in the room. The items on top of Picard’s desk are on the floor of his ready room and the conference room has all of its items jumbled in one big mess. The worst comes when a crew member is stuck in between two decks of the ship and dies. Picard pilots the shuttle to fix things, which works because he’s a boss. Jenna, however, breaks up with Data because he’s emotionally unavailable (I totally saw that coming) and he’s left alone with his cat.
Favorite Quotes from “In Theory”:
- Data: “As you requested, I will now remind you of the reasons you decided to end your relationship with Jeff.”
- Data: “But I am not capable of love.” Guinan: “Then it’s going to be a very unique experience.”
- Worf: “However, Lieutenant D’Sora serves under my command. If she were mistreated, I would be very displeased, sir.” Data: “I understand.”
- Data: “Captain, I am seeking advice in how…” Picard: “Yes, I’ve heard, Data, and I would be delighted to offer any advice I can on understanding women. When as I have some, I’ll let you know.”
- Jenna: “This is all part of a program?” Data: “Yes. One which I have just created for romantic relationships.” Jenna: “So I’m just a small variable in one of your new computational environments?” Data: “You are much more than that, Jenna. I have written a subroutine specifically for you. A program within the program. I have devoted a considerable share of my internal resources to its development.” Jenna: “Data, that’s the nicest thing anybody’s ever said to me.”
- On a personal note, I once made a comment about how I’m probably an android. The reply was “If you are an android, you’re a fucking well made one”, and it was the nicest thing anybody’s ever said to me.
- Jenna: “I couldn’t wait. I wanted you to have this.” Data: “You have often expressed dissatisfaction with the spartan nature of my quarters. Is this an attempt at embellishment?” Jenna: “The cat’s out of the bag.” Data: “Spot?”
I think that Data did the best at romance as he could. He did his research, programmed a special program, and even calculated the correct pressure to kiss her with so he didn’t hurt her… that’s more than most men will do in a lifetime. It’s a silly plot that was mixed in strangely with the “that escalated quickly” plot, especially when a crew member dies. This would have fit much better in “Data’s Day” as an entry to Maxwell or in a lighter episode. I’m glad they didn’t try to bounce back and forth once things got serious, but the episode just didn’t seem to flow very well. While the dialogue was funny in some places, some of the other scenes just didn’t. I wanted this to be so much more, but I’m stuck in the second0hand embarrassment loop with Jenna the obsessed and Data the awkward. This gets a 4 flower bouquet of half-wilted roses. Trust me Data, a single long stemmed rose or fake flowers will go along much further.
Tomorrow, hopefully, I will be able to finish Season 4 and start Season 5, another Part 1 and Part 2 situation. I am starting to see a “recurring motif”, if you will.
2 thoughts on “TNG: “The Mind’s Eye” and “In Theory””