Date: April 30, 2020
Season 5, Episodes 14 and 15
Musical Accompaniment: I still have a few hours left on my iTunes instrumental playlist.
Interstellar News: It rained almost all day and I spent all day inside because I have not been feeling well.
Favorite Quote from “Conundrum”:
Ro: The Counselor tells me that at times like that, we might do the things that we’ve always wanted to do.
Riker: She said that?
Troi: It’s psychologically valid.The tenor and body language which Troi and Ro deliver their lines is absolute perfection.
Worf’s One-Two Punch: “Perhaps we should not jump to conclusions. I am decorated as well.”
“Conundrum” begins with the Enterprise investigating some subspace signals while Data loses to Troi in chess (so he has to make her a drink, per their agreement), Dr. Crusher attends to an injured young woman, and Riker and Ro bicker on the way to the bridge… a totally normal day. They encounter another vessel and, after being scanned, everyone on board completely loses their memory, kind of. No one remembers who they are but they all still know how to operate the ship and such, though the computer is thoroughly borked.
Worf assumes command and wants to be ready for battle, Data is thought to be the bartender, Troi realizes she’s empathic, and there’s some dude on the deck who has an awful lot of dialog for someone I’ve never seen before in my life. The computer comes through in dribs and drabs and it’s found out that Picard is the Captain and MacDuff, the guy NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN BEFORE, is the first officer. The computer also tells them that the Federation is at war and they are on a mission to destroy the enemy’s headquarters. Something doesn’t feel right to Picard and Troi, but they wind up destroying a small ship anyway. Things keep not adding up, however, and between outclassing their “mortal enemies” and how selective the memory’s have been wiped, they decide not to pull the trigger at the end. Turns out MacDuff was a Satarran, the race actually at war with the Lysians. Oh, and Riker sleeps with Ro, did I mention that?
Every so often you’ll see me have a Data quote with the preface “Data’s Not Really An Android”. It comes from the name of a nail polish color I like called “I’m Not Really A Waitress”. I used to wear a lot while moonlighting as a waitress during my undergraduate teaching assistant days. I like that Data’s not really a bartender, but at first he is thought to be. Now you know how my brain works and thanks for coming to my TED talk.
Worf is the consummate Slytherin on the deck, absolutely ambitious and loyal as hell, and it’s so much fun to see how he would be in charge and then realizing what an ass he was when it’s revealed their actual roles. I really wish they would have just kept everyone in the roles they assumed at the top of the episode, because it would have been stronger to have Worf make the call Picard did, rather than just put up a fight with MacDuff at the end. When I was writing up this section, I realize the girl in the bathing suit just disappears and I’m left wondering why she was even ever in the episode to begin with. It was easy to tell that the bridge member who we’ve never seen before who suddenly had a speaking role was going to be the bad guy, but I wonder why he didn’t make himself the captain. The dialog is a lot of fun in this episode and it’s interesting to see how it plays out. I really though Picard wouldn’t blow up the first ship, and I was a bit heartbroken for him at the end when he realized what he did. I also love how Riker is so totally confused at the end, it makes for just a run and interesting episode. 7 coats of polish for this episode, and don’t forget to tip!
Favorite Quote from “Power Play”:
Keiko: I would die to save the life of my child.
Worf: To die defending one’s ship is the hope of every Klingon.
Picard: If you each know the officers you inhabit, then you know they’re equally ready to give their lives for this ship. Free them now and I will return you to the moon’s surface.The invaders realizing they have lost. No one messes with a mom, a Klingon, and a starship captain. Though that does sound like the start to a really bad joke…
Worf’s One-Two Punch: “I have no fear of death.”
“Power Play” has the Enterprise heading to a supposedly uninhabited moon that’s issuing a very weak distress signal. Data believes it might be coming from the missing Essex that was lost over 170 years ago. There’s too much disturbance to get the transporter really going, so Data, Riker, and Troi take a shuttle craft down, but crash land into the surface. O’Brien transports down, because the story needs him to, in order to boost the signal, but something knocks the four of them out. Three little beams of light enter the others, but Riker is spared because he wakes up first and puts everything in place to beam them back. They all wind up in sick bay and report back to duty after they recover.
Troi asks to speak with Picard, O’Brien is at one of the consoles, and Data tries to talk Riker into moving the ship in a certain position. Almost all at once the trio tries to take over the bridge and then try to head to engineering once control is sent there. They are blocked so they head to Ten-Forward and take hostages. Crusher figures out what might be wrong with them and Picard exchanges himself for those that need medical attention. La Forge and Ro almost come through with a plan, but it doesn’t work. Troi introduces herself as the captain of the Essex, but Picard isn’t buying it though he plays along enough to try and get the hostages to safety. The trio decides to move to the cargo bay and each take a hostage… O’Brien takes Keiko, Troi takes Picard, and Data takes Worf. Troi finally explains who she is, she and her comrades are part of a penal colony, but Riker enacts the second plan and the prisoners are forced to get stuck back on the moon while the trio is returned to their usual selves.
I loved seeing sneering Data and evil Troi, but seeing O’Brien act that way was just cruel and unnerving. I also was not buying that they were the survivors of the Essex but I did not see a 500 year old penal colony… I mean, can’t someone leave a damn warning? Also, why does everything always seem to happen on the fourth planet? It’s fun to see everyone in the cast have something to do and nothing felt out of place or forgotten, it simply was a good invasion story with two good plans… which is why you should always have a backup plan for your backup plan, contingency is the word of the day. There was a lot more action in this episode than there normally is, but I liked it for a change of pace. There was a phaser fight on the bridge and a crying baby in a bar, what more could you want in a Trek episode? I mean it wasn’t perfect, but it was fun. I’ll go with a phaser setting of 8 for this episode.