TNG: “Second Chances” and “Timescape”

Date: May 20, 2020

Season 6, Episodes 24 and 25

Musical Accompaniment: Shadows and Chaos

Interstellar News: Today was another day of rain and meetings. Happy birthday to my Father-in-law who is a Trek fan.

Favorite Quote from “Second Chances”:

Worf: I am not easy to get along with.

Data: But Commander Riker and Lieutenant Riker are. Yet they seem to have trouble getting along with each another. I have found that humans value their uniqueness, that sense that they are different from every one else. The existence of a double would preclude that feeling. Could that be the source of the friction?

Worf: Or perhaps it is more a matter of seeing something in your double. Something you do not like in yourself.

Same, Worf. Same.

“Second Chances” begins with the Enterprise attempting to retrieve data from a science station on Nervala IV that was abandoned eight years earlier. There’s a distortion field that makes it impossible to beam in or out at certain times, and they won’t have much time to do what needs doing. Riker, Data, Worf, and random security guard #358 beam down but someone is approaching them, and it’s… Riker, but in yellow. Dun dun dun. Yellow Riker explains how he never made it out of the transporter beam and assumed everyone thought he has died. La Forge figures out what happened and it’s true, both Rikers are real. Yellow Riker is super happy to see Troi, but Troi explains what happened to her and red Riker.

Yellow Riker on the left and Red Riker on the right.
So you’re saying we’re related? I don’t see it.

The original team and yellow Riker beam back down during the second break to try and make the computers work again, but need to beam back to get parts. While back on board, yellow Riker leaves notes for Troi in a scavenger hunt that leads to Ten-Forward where they chat for hours about the last eight years. Picard consults with red Riker about the plan and decides to go with yellow’s plan, even if it’s riskier. The two Rikers work together to implement the plan, and there’s some drama with a catwalk, but they are able to retrieve the data. Yellow Riker decides to go by “Tom” and begin an assignment on the Ghandi, but it hopeful that Troi will join him at some point in the future.

Grumpy cat says "sometimes life give you a second chance, so can screw up again"
Oh Grumpy Cat you just GET things, ya know?

So Tom doesn’t die and there are just two William T. Riker’s running around in Starfleet? Wouldn’t that be a little confusing? They have the same voice pattern, the same name, the same looks, the exact same date of birth, you get the picture. I guess you can just tell everyone that Tom was an identical twin, maybe. I will say that Frakes did an amazing job at helping me tell the difference between the two Rikers, even if I had the extra clue of them wearing different colored shirts. It’s a great play on “The Best of Both Worlds” where we see Shelby and Tom are suuuuuuper alike, right down to going to Picard behind Riker’s back and Tom crashing the poker game. To be fair, both times Riker never went to Picard he just shot them down instead of letting the captain decide. I wonder if he gave away his trombone in order to not have Troi ever ask him to play “Night Bird” again. In the end this ends the same as “Lessons” where the guy chooses his career, asks his lady love to give up her career to follow him, and they part as friends who will probably lose touch sooner than they would like. Also, if the catwalk collapsed, how did they get back? I can think of so many better ways they could have handled this episode, so this earns a 5 of diamonds from me.

Favorite Quote from “Timescape”:

Data: It would appear that I am not capable of perceiving time any differently than my internal chronometer.

Riker: Well why don’t you turn it off?

Data: Sir?

Riker: Data, people do not have internal chronometers. Why don’t you see what happens if you turn yours off.

Data: Thank you, sir. I will try that.

Riker: Just don’t be late for your shift.

Riker having a find brainstorming session with Data, but then reminding him what is really important.

“Timescape” has the Enterprise responding to a Romulan distress call while Picard, Data, Troi, and La Forge are en route back to the ship from a conference. The foursome decompress about the lectures they attended; Troi does a great impression of a horrible pickup line, Picard joins in an does an impression of his presenter, but La Forge had a wonderful time… until everyone but Troi freezes and she is super concerned and they unfreeze just a few seconds later. They start to try and figure things out, but then Troi is frozen for three minutes and more things start freezing because they have entered a temporal disturbance minefield. They’ve essentially run out of gas and are running on fumes and time is running at a different speed in each pocket, so they have to be slow and deliberate.

"welcome to where time stands still... no one leaves and no one will"
“Welcome Home” by Metallica

They arrive to see the Enterprise and a Romulan ship stuck in time and firing at each other. The devise a plan that allows them to move around and not get trapped in their time, so Data, Troi, and Picard beam over to the Enterprise first. They find Crusher about to get axed by a Romulan, typical, but then they find Worf beaming over Romulans, the warp core is breached, and some other things that indicate maybe both ships were in trouble. Picard has an adverse reaction, so he and La Forge swap out and the trip move onto the Romulan ship. They find the Romulans were in the midst of evacuating as well as trying to help the Enterprise, and an aperture that allows time to resume briefly, forwards and then backwards. They also find one Romulan is awake, but that’s because he’s not really a Romulan. Turns out some time aliens thought the Romulan’s core was a good place to put their babies to nest, but it wasn’t, and caused all this mishegos. Picard and crew figure out a way to run time backwards, dispense of the runabout so the power transfer doesn’t blow everyone up, and we end with Riker wanting answers from Picard and and helping Data with his experiment.

Picard laughing at and pointing to the smiley face he just drew in the cloud.
The pure joy on Picard’s face is adorable.

I love seeing Troi and Picard do their impersonations at the beginning, it was good to see them all decompressing after a long conference. Picard drawing a smiley face on the cloud in engineering and then laughing was hysterical and a bit creepy at the same time. I realized I started to notice things before they were brought to my attention, like the alien lady who “woke up” in sick bay or when Picard enters and the fruit was rotted. For once, they had all the time they needed to implement a plan. It was also very interesting for the first impressions to be so wrong; Crusher was not the intended target, Riker was being helped up, the two crews were actually helping each other! There were also great bits of humor. Of course Crusher is a cat person and Riker isn’t, I mean it totally fits. Also, Data gives great face at the end of the episode and I think even Spock would have been proud, but Spot could care less. A litter of 6 kittens for this episode, and they’re all named spot!

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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