Date: April 28, 2020
Season 5, Episodes 11 and 12
Musical Accompaniment: Listening to Keith R. A. DeCandido give a panel at a Virtual Writing Conference, because I’m ridiculous and then setting my iTunes to random.
Interstellar News: Husband is liking Scrubs… who is your favorite character?
Favorite Quote from “Hero Worship”:
Data: I am designed to exceed human capacity, both mentally and physically.
Timothy: Androids are better than humans?
Data: Better is a highly subjective term. I do not, for example, possess the ability to experience emotion as humans do.
Timothy: No emotions? You mean you can’t be happy or sad?
Data: That is correct.Some days I’m convinced I’m an android, other days I only wish I could.
“Hero Worship” has the Enterprise investigating a missing research ship named the Vico, which looks like it has sustained some damage. Riker, La Forge, and Data beam over to investigate what happened and they find a boy named Timothy who is the only survivor and who Data has to help rescue because O’Brien wasn’t at the transporter. Troi believes Data and Timothy should spend some time together to aid in recovery and Timothy starts to mimic Data, but in a sort of adorable way.
The Enterprise, meanwhile, explores the black cluster and Picard tries an experiment to see why the phasers and sensors do not work. It turns out the Vico could not have been attacked by another ship, curiouser and curiouser. Data explains why he wants to be human to Timothy. Timothy explains what he thinks happened to his ship and then the same things start to happen on the Enterprise and Data asks the Captain to drop the shields and everyone is saved, because it was the shields that caused the problem on the Vico.
This is now another time a child has latched onto Data, the first happening in “Pen Pals“, mostly because Data is often childlike in his understanding of humanity. I enjoyed this episode because it was a very real look into childhood trauma and how to deal with it. Timothy did a very good job impersonating Data and made the logical decision, at first, to choose to “become and android” so that he wouldn’t have to feel sad. I loved when they were painting together, because painting can be a wonderful therapeutic technique, especially in traumatic experiences with children, but it wasn’t really gone into. Timothy quickly realizes that staying an android means that he also can’t enjoy things or feel anything at all and once he realizes he wasn’t responsible for the death of his parents or the rest of the ship and he helps to save the Enterprise, he pulls a Pinocchio and “returns” to being a real boy.
While the counseling aspect was great, nothing really excelled this story past “just okay”. They mystery of what happened to the ship was interesting, but finding out what happened was a two second clip near the end and heartbreaking because that means they were the instruments of their own destruction. Also, why was Timothy left in his room all by himself? No ground breaking TV here folks, just something on channel 5.
Favorite Quote from “Violations”:
Picard: In the meantime, we must consider restricting them to their quarters, as a precautionary measure.
La Forge: If one of them is behind this, will keeping telepaths in their quarters prevent it from happening again?
Picard: What else can we do? Station a guard? Set up a force field? I don’t see that those would be any more effective.La Forge asking the good questions and Picard coming up with even more.
Data’s Not Really An Android: “It would seem there is no predictable pattern to human memory”
“Violations” begins with a race called the Ullians who demonstrate helping Keiko remember a long-forgotten memory as they are being ferried by the Enterprise to Kaldra IV. Troi’s Betazoid telepathy cannot work on the Ullians but she is still able to read between the lines as Jev is put down by his father Tarmin at dinner. In Troi’s quarters she is brushing her hair and starts to remember a memory of her and Riker, but it’s suddenly Jev in the memory and it turns violent, very reminiscent of rape. The next morning Troi is found to be in a coma.
Riker begins the investigation and is next on Jev’s hit list and winds up in a coma himself after reliving a memory about losing a crew member. Dr. Crusher is the third victim on the chopping block, though she is able to rule out certain conditions, after a run in with Jev. Her memory is especially painful as it is about seeing her husband dead, but neither memory is as violent as Troi’s was. Worf is skeptical, as always, and Picard is trying to be diplomatic, so he has La Forge and Data check on the other planets where the Ullians have recently visited. Once Troi wakes up Jev suggests a mind probe on her and as she is recalling the memory, he implants his father as the aggressor. La Forge and Data realize it was Jev and not Tarmin, just as we see Jev is in Troi’s quarters. Troi is able to fight back enough for security to intervene and Worf takes Jev away. Tarmin sends his physicians, is clearly subdued, and explains it is a mind rape and thought it was all 300 years behind his people.
Another therapy heavy episode, but only where we see the trauma and none of the work that will go into the healing process. Jev was all but wearing a sign that he was the bad guy and you don’t at all feel bad for him in any way. Lock him up and throw away the key, I say. There was no build up for who it could be, no mystery, and you know that the father being implanted in Troi’s memory was all a ruse by Jev. La Forge gets a gold star for figuring out that not all doctor’s are as careful as Dr. Crusher, but that’s only to prove what the viewer already knew. Worf also has a line about “the aliens” that makes me realize that Worf might be a touch racist, or just really paranoid about everyone. I have no kind words to say about this episode, except for the first part with Keiko – because that was fun. Picard also has some wise words at the end, but not his finest speechy moment. That earns this episode a limit of 1 roll of toilet paper at the grocery store this weekend.