TNG: “Starship Mine” and “Lessons”

Date: May 17, 2020

Season 6, Episodes 18 and 19

Musical Accompaniment: Lost Jungle of Mysteries

Interstellar News: I have no actual idea what I did all day.

Favorite Quote from “Starship Mine”:

Worf: Captain, you keep a saddle on board?

Riker: Mr. Worf, I’m surprised at you.

Dr. Crusher: Anyone who is an experienced rider naturally has his own saddle.

Troi: It’s perfectly normal.

Crusher and Troi are waving their hands in sarcasm while Worf is totally confused.

“Starship Mine” begins with the Enterprise docking at the Remmler Array and evacuating the crew so it can go through the baryon sweep to eliminate any radiation on board. Picard deals with all of his department heads and encounters Data who has written as “small talk subroutine” that needs a little work, but Picard suggests he get pointers from Commander Hutchinson down on Arkaria. At the reception Hutchinson talks to everyone and happens to mention horses in from of Picard who is jonesing for a ride, so he runs back to the Enterprise to fetch his saddle. He sees that something is wrong and is attacked by Devor, but is able to subdue him. Unfortunately he runs out of time and the ship runs out of power before he can beam off and the scan begins.

The real Mr. Mot and Picard
I mean, I totally understand how anyone could confuse them…

On the ship Picard questions Devor but winds up having to knock him out and leave him in sick bay. Picard is caught, however, by Kiros and taken to engineering where he introduces himself as Mr. Mot, the barber. Picard creates a diversion, is chased by Satler who falls victim to Picard’s trap and dies. Picard head’s to Worf’s room and gets himself battle ready. He also speaks to Kelsey, the leader, and encourages her to forget the resin they’re stealing because it’s so volatile. Picard sets of his traps in Ten-Forward but Kelsey is beamed off the ship with the container. Unfortunately for her, Picard took the control rod.

"come out to the coast, we'll get a beer, have a few laughs"
This is what I thought of when Picard was crawling through the Jeffries Tubes

At the reception, Riker pairs Hutchinson and Data together and the two just babble about the most random of topics. La Forge’s VISOR reads something strange under the table and that causes Orton and the waiter to shoot La Forge and Hutchinson and take everyone hostage. Hutchinson is killed and La Forge is badly hurt. Dr. Crusher modifies La Forge’s VISOR so that everyone, except for Data, collapses so Data can try to save the day. Just then, Data hears Picard’s cry for help, shuts down the array, and inquires about the ship that’s escaping… which then explodes. Back on the Enterprise, Worf finds Picard’s saddle and all is well in the world.

This episode is a little bit Die Hard and a little bit Home Alone, and it’s not terrible but also not amazing. The bad guys had two women from Bablyon 5 on their team and they still lost? They had a plan and some contingencies, but when it comes to money someone always gets screwed over and, in this case, the entire crew died. I bet Worf was pissed he missed the chance to battle and he must have been honored that Picard chose his quarters to arm himself. This is also now time 4,267 that Data has saved the ship and everyone aboard. I’m a little taken aback by how Picard kills *almost* everyone, except I realize he doesn’t do it directly. He medically knocks out Devor, plants a trap for Satler, and uses the crossbow on the other dude, but each ultimately die of the sweep. Neil is killed by Kelsey, Kiros is also killed by the sweep, and Kelsey is killed because she greedily takes the unstable container and doesn’t check that they lock is still on. At least Picard seems a little sad about it each time. 6 crying clowns for Picard.

Favorite Quote from “Lessons”:

Nella: What kind of flute is that?

Picard: It’s Ressikan.

Nella: I’ve never saw one before.

Picard: They’re not made anymore.

Nella: Have you been playing long?

Picard: Er, yes, a long time.

Picard completely underplaying the significance.

“Lessons” begins with Data running the bridge of the Enterprise at 0300 and Picard wanting to work on a personal project but being unable to do much of anything because stellar cartography has most of the systems offline. Picard heads down to see what’s so important and he meets the new head of the department, Nella Daren, who makes him some herbal tea and piques his interest. Over dinner with Dr. Crusher it’s clear Picard is smitten. They head to see Data’s concert where it turns out Nella is playing piano and Troi has a knowing look in the background. The next day Nella stops by Picards quarters and they have a short jam session, which turns into another date where they play music in the Jeffries tubes, and it’s all super adorable.

Picard and Daren in the tube playing music together
“We can make wonderful music together” (eyebrow waggle)

After their tube date, Picard wigs out in the turbolift when another crew member joins them. This prompts a discussion with Troi about protocol and then a discussion with Nella about what will happen if they start to go steady. Picard shares with Nella what happened to him in “The Inner Light“. The Enterprise has to evacuate an outpost pm Bersallis III due to an incoming storm, but they have to do some quick thinking because they need more time to evacuate all 643 people. Nella makes a good point and Riker assigns her to coordinate the effort and Picard is a nervous wreck. Picard ultimately has to give them the order to hold their positions when the storm hits, and Riker reports that teams three and six, including Nella, are missing. Picard falls into the pit of despair but the Worf tells him there are some survivors, and one of them is Nella. While they saved all of the colonists, they lost eight crew members. Picard expresses his love for Nella but realizes he could never put her in danger. She decides to apply for a transfer and while Picard is optimistic that they will still see each other, Nella knows the truth.

Sponge Bob says "nah"... the caption reads "hopefully we can still be friends"
Oh Picard, you are terrible with women.

This episode started out entertaining, became super adorable, was then very suspenseful – the whole time I was going “oh come on don’t make her die”, and ended on the absolute worst note. Let’s break this down. First, I am in absolutely shock that there is no Starfleet rule about becoming involved with subordinates, even if it’s only that you have to disclose it or something. Second, this story could have benefited from either having their relationship develop over several episodes, or even a season, or from that thing TV shows do where they indicate more time has passed by doing a time montage or something. It was so endearing to see Picard in love, he was so instantly smitten. As someone who has experienced that exact feeling, I totally buy that.

What I don’t buy is his lame ass excuse at the end. If you’re the one who has a problem sending someone into danger, you’ve lost sight of your job as a captain. Go see Troi and get some therapy, but don’t throw away your love or ASK HER TO COMPLETELY UPEND HER CAREER! Like an idiot, however, Nella Daren agrees to ask for a transfer off of the flagship of the Federation because her new boyfriend thinks it’s too dangerous. If you can’t hear me rolling my eyes from here, know that that is what I am doing. Also, how eerie/creepy/weird was it that Nella and Crusher were, ummmm, pretty similar looking. Clearly Picard has a type. I will say there was one saving grace, and that was La Forge. When Nella suggests her idea, he gets all excited and it all “it just might work” and it’s adorable as hell. Three-quarters of this episode were good, but the ending really botched it for me. 7 off-key notes for Picard, and this episode.

"that's so crazy, it just might work"
Master of Disguise was adorably cute.

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.

5 thoughts on “TNG: “Starship Mine” and “Lessons”

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