TNG: “Ensign Ro” and “Silicon Avatar”

Date: April 24, 2020

Season 5, Episodes 3 and 4

Musical Accompaniment: A musical journey through the 2Cellos YouTube channel.

Interstellar News: I got to play with a pruning lopper and a wood chipper today after work, life is good but I’m exhausted.

Two things that have been helping me these past few weeks are Death by Improv and KRAD Covid Readings, so you should subscribe to their YouTube channels.

Favorite Quote from “Ensign Ro”:

Guinan: I told you. I’m Guinan. I tend bar, and I listen.

Ro: You’re not like any bartender I ever met before.

Ro is correct, though we could all use a Guinan in our lives.

“Ensign Ro” begins with an emergency signal near the Cardassian border and then it’s gone and the Bajoran rebels take responsibility. Ensign Ro is assigned to the Enterprise by Admiral Kennelly because she’s Bajoran, but apparently she’s got a record and an attitude. She suggests Keeve Falor as the man to talk to and he gets Picard in touch with the rebels. Picard, Data, Troi, and Worf beam down and not only find Ro, but the rebels too who insist they were not responsible.

crazy pepe conspiracy theory map meme
The truth is out there.

Ro is confined to quarters but Guinan helps her to trust Picard and Ro explains what the Admiral told her, so Picard sets a trap. The Admiral orders them to withdraw and the Cardassians blow up the Bajoran ship, but SURPRISE… no one was on board, and the Admiral is now in serious trouble. Picard requests Ro to stay in the Starfleet and she agrees, as long as she can put her earring back on.

I loved this episode and I’ll tell you why. The episode starts off with a standard mission but the twist is Ensign Ro who even Picard thinks is a hopeless case. Picard who thinks Barclay shouldn’t be someone else’s problem draws his line at ex-convicts. Riker doesn’t like her attitude and it makes me wonder what the uniform regulations are, it seems to be okay for Worf to wear his family sash but not okay for Ro to wear an earring? Sounds like the uniform regulations at Cracker Barrel to me. Anyway, I loved the scenes between Ro and Guinan because Guinan is incredibly good at her job and delivers her words in such a way that you are compelled to listen. Ro realizes she’s with the one person in Starfleet she could truly trust and Picard is ready to test her theory, which everyone but the Cardassians totally saw coming.

The dialog was great, I didn’t care that I could tell what was coming ahead at certain times because it was still a good story, and there was also some good rapport between the crew and the guest stars of the week. Picard realizing the Bajorans had to have their base needs on Maslow’s hierarchy filled before they could even think about anything else was so powerful that even Picard knew he needed to give them whatever he could. I will say, however, that as much as I liked this episode I’m not sure that it’s perfect – just something I personally enjoyed and would likely re-watch again. A litter of 8 kittens, all named Dara.

Favorite Quote from “Silicon Avatar”:

Dr. Marr: A girlfriend? I never knew about that. Of course, the last person he would tell would be his mother. What was she like?

Data: He enjoyed her kindness, her gentleness, her… (eyes shifting a bit) physical attributes.

Data may have a lot to learn about humans, but he knows enough to not tell the mother of a 16 years old boy anything indiscreet.

“Silicon Avatar” begins with Riker down on the surface of the Melona IV colony and flirting hardcore with Carmen when the silicon entity from “Datalore” returns and kills Carmen and an older man while everyone else hides in the cave until the Enterprise can come save them. Dr. Marr, an expert on the entity, beams aboard and instead of wanting to be shown to her quarters, she wants to get down to business.

"let's get down to business" --- to defeat the huns!
Anytime I say, think, or write that line… this song plays in my head.

Dr. Marr is at first hostile against Data because of Lore and she thinks Data is in league with the entity and it’s later revealed her son died on Omicron Theta. Marr thinks they’re on a mission to destroy the entity and Picard explains their role is to first make contact, see if they can be peaceful toward each other. Marr makes nice with Data and they talk about her son, when there’s a distress call from another ship… but the Enterprise arrives too late and the crew is lost. They intercept the entity and are making progress in figuring out how to communicate with it, but Dr. Marr decides to blow it up.

an image of the crystalline entity with the Enterprise-D in the background.

When they exit the cave and see the devastation left behind, it’s incredibly sad and sobering… much like this mishegoss of an episode. There’s a little bit of “The Devil in the Dark” and a lot of “One Of Our Planets Is Missing”, but none of what made those episodes good. In each of those episodes, Spock connected with the entity and made it understand what it was doing was wrong and each side came to an agreement on how to proceed. Here, Dr. Marr took that chance away from Picard and that ended the episode on such a sour note… I mean Picard totally looked like you killed his puppy (no one tell John Wick for the love of all that is holy) because he’s all about communication and understanding, the whole point of the Enterprise is.

Why does no one stop Marr? How come Data never figured out how to communicate with it, or Troi for that matter? Why doesn’t Troi sense the grief and rage that has to be within Marr to do this, her spidey senses weren’t working that episode? The transition Marr goes through with first being openly hostile to all of a sudden being Data’s best friend, and then thinking Data is her son is all too quick of a mental breakdown for me. No one can tell what she’s doing and no one really moves to stop her until it’s too late. Also, the first five minutes with the Carmen and Riker show was just a whole lot of ick for me and really only there so when Riker says “maybe we should think about killing it” does make me think Picard was asking the right questions no matter how perturbed Riker looked. What member of the Enterprise doesn’t know what their ultimate mission is? I’m not even sure what to rate this, because there were some okay bits – maybe a 4 of clubs?

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.

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