Date: May 10, 2020
Season 6, Episodes 4 and 5
Musical Accompaniment: Mysterious Fantasy Music
Interstellar News: Today was not a great day. I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately.
Favorite Quote from “Relics”:
Picard: How are you feeling?
Scotty: I don’t know. How am I feeling?
Dr. Crusher: Other than a couple of bumps and bruises, I’d say you feel fine for a man of a hundred and forty seven.
Scotty: I don’t feel a day over a hundred and twenty.Scotty with the sass, boy did I miss him.
“Relics” begins with the Enterprise is responding to a distress signal that turns out to be the Jenolan, a ship that went missing 75 years ago. It crash landed on a large mass that is very likely to be a Dyson sphere, so Riker, Worf, and La Forge go to investigate. The transporter on the Jenolan is rigged in such a way that there are two patterns still in the buffer and out pops none other than Captain Montgomery Scott from The Original Series. Scotty explains to La Forge how he got there and regales him with a few tales of the olden days, is cleared by Dr. Crusher, but then annoys La Forge who is wound a bit tight.
Scotty find Ten-Forward, Data, and some green drink (a shout out to “By Any Other Name“) and then makes his way to the holodeck to get “his Enterprise” to reappear. Picard joins him, they have a drink, and Picard asks La Forge to use Scotty to try and get information from the Jenolan. While those two are gathering data, the Enterprise is sucked into the clearly abandoned Dyson sphere and are hours away from getting blown up. Scotty does what he does best and concocts a crazy plan, which works just fine. We end the episode with La Forge regaling some tales of his time as Chief Engineer and the crew gifting Scotty with a shuttlecraft to go out an explore the universe some more.
Scotty is just like me: a geeky extrovert that loves telling stories, loves hanging out in engineering, and hates being alone. I’ll start with the bad, of which there is not much. I wish they had done more with Scotty and Worf, because that would have been SUCH A BIG DEAL. I mean the two scenes together were done well, Scotty was never one to jump to the phaser, but a quick line would have been so beneficial. I also feel like there should have been a scene with Troi, Scotty’s a man out of time and all that.
Now onto the good. I really, really loved this episode. Imagine meeting the person who occupied your position about 50 years ago. It would be super cool at first, but then you have to explain ALL THE THINGS, all the technological advances and such, and of course you still have work to do. La Forge plays it right, even if I didn’t like him for it in that moment. There’s a wonderful throwback to a few TOS episodes, and even a few past TNG episodes, just in case you forgot this was a franchise. The humor is excellent, the science is fascinating, and I could see if I had watched this episode as a kid wanting to be an engineer much earlier than 16. The scene with Picard and Scotty was heartwarming and I could watch this episode a bunch. It gets 9 engineering miracles for the few small things that would have made it awesome, but it does wind up on my list of favorite episodes.
Favorite Quote from “Schisms”:
Data: Did it evoke an emotional response?
La Forge: Well…
Data: Your hesitation suggests you are trying to protect my feelings. However, since I have none, I would prefer you to be honest. An artist’s growth depends upon accurate feedback.Data making a very good point.
“Schisms” begins with Riker having trouble sleeping and La Forge tinkering in engineering to try and help them speed up the mapping of a new system. Data reads poetry he’s written, one is about his cat Spot, and Riker is falling asleep. Dr. Crusher doesn’t really see much wrong so she prescribes him a warm milk recipe from Aunt Adele. There are all sorts of crazy things happening in Cargo Bay 4 between faulty sensor readings and weird glowy things. Riker is still having trouble sleeping, La Forge’s visor keeps shorting out, and even Data’s chronometer is on the fritz.
Troi gathers Worf, Riker, La Forge, and some random woman who apparently all have the same kinds of feelings. They gather in the holodeck and recreate what looks like an alien abduction table, and sure enough that’s what it is. Turns out two crew members are currently missing and Riker’s arm was apparently amputated and surgically reattached… what is going on?! They attach a homing beacon to Riker and get him super high so he’ll be able to sense what is going on when he’s taken. The aliens abduct him right on schedule, he grabs Ensign Rager and jumps through the rift, right before the Enterprise is able to close it.
So this is your classic alien abduction story, but way creepier. As much as I love Data, I have no idea what the purpose of his poetry reading was other than to show Riker nodding off. I will say the holodeck scene where everyone pitches in to the recreation of the table was well done, but did go on for a little too long. What went from something akin to “Night Terrors” went to weird and creepy super fast. It was an interesting mystery but hardly one I’d ever want to watch again. Also, why doesn’t the Enterprise set up a way for the computer to monitor when people have left the ship all the time? You’re hurtling the space, you don’t think it would be wise to check that no one is missing to head off some of these odd occurrences? 4 night of alien abductions for you, and Riker too.