Date: May 21, 2020
Season 6, Episode 26 and Season 7, Episode 1
Musical Accompaniment: I’m attempting to listen to my “5 star” playlist on iTunes, the stuff that has words in it. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Interstellar News: Happy wedding anniversary to me and the hubs. We celebrated four years together by ordering Indian food and eating ourselves stuffed while watching Scrubs. Then we watched the Season 6 finale and the Season 7 opener, where nothing new happened in the credits.
Newton: Do not patronize me, sir. I invented physics. The day that apple fell on my head was the most momentous day in the history of science.
Hawking: Not the apple story again.
Data: That story is generally considered to be apocryphal.Just three scientists and an android playing poker, nothing to see here folks.
Picard’s Poetry: “It tells you that these things are wrong, doesn’t it, Data? So how can actions that are wrong lead to a greater good?”
Data: Anger is a negative emotion. I wanted to concentrate on something more positive.
Troi: Data, feelings aren’t positive and negative, they simply exist. It’s what we do with those feelings that becomes good or bad. For example, feeling angry about an injustice could lead someone to take a positive action to correct it.Troi with some excellent psychology to help Data understand his feelings.
Part 1: The Enterprise responds to a distress call from Ohniaka III and encounter an unknown ship that is completely ignoring them. Worf, Data, and Riker beam down to find dead people and THE BORG! A firefight ensues and Data gets angry, which is weird because he’s not supposed to experience emotions, and then the Borg just high-tail it out of there. Back on the ship they all discuss how the behavior of the Borg has changed while Data tries to experience other emotions, he even watches porn! La Forge tries to explain what anger feels like, and fails, but Troi and Data have an excellent discussion about emotions and Data’s concerns that he will become a bad person. Admiral Nechayev reams out Picard for not ridding the world of the Borg and orders him to not make the same mistake. The Borg ship attacks again and beams two onto the bridge. One survives and identifies himself as Crosis, does something to Data, and the two leave in a shuttlecraft through a conduit that, when the Enterprise follows, they find to be 65 light years away from where they were. Crusher is left in charge of the ship so that everyone can go down to the planet and find Data. Picard, Troi, and La Forge find a structure but are captured by the Borg with Lore as their leader and are surprised that Data has joined him.
Part 2: Lore explains what happened when Hugh returned to the Borg collective and has Data imprison Picard, Troi, and La Forge, and also take their com badges and La Forge’s VISOR. La Forge explains that he can see the carrier wave that Lore is using to influence Data. La Forge is also taken by Data to go get experimented on. The Enterprise is being attacked by the Borg ship again so she beams as many people up and then warps away with a few more than her skeleton crew, though Worf, Riker, the Captain’s team, and 47 others are still stranded on the planet. Riker and Worf go to search for the Captain’s team but encounter Hugh and some other Borg who did not drink Lore’s Kool-Aid for very long. Picard and Troi try to break out, and fail, but are able to steal something to try to break Lore’s connection to Data. Crusher returns and beams everyone back except for our six bridge crew members, enables the metaphasic shielding so they can hide out in the sun for a bit, and Taitt comes up with a plan and blows up the Borg ship. Lore, meanwhile, is giving Data emotional fixes like they were drugs to try to stop his ethical program from working. Lore asks Data to kill Picard, then asks the Borg to kill Data when he can’t go through with it, but Hugh interferes and there’s another brawl, including Worf and Riker to the rescue. Data confronts Lore, deactivates him, and finds that the emotional chip made for him has been damaged… but Data’s relationship with La Forge will be just fine.
My Thoughts and Impressions: This reminds me a lot of Angel vs. Angelus as Data’s ethical program works very much like Angel’s soul. The unfortunate thing is we don’t get to see how Data is without Lore’s influence. Is he really able to make his own choices or is he only a function of his programming? On paper, I think this story could have been really compelling, but in practice it just sucked. I never really felt like I understood what Lore was really doing, how he used the Borg to get to Data in the first place, or why he even needed Data. Was it just the one Borg ship or all Borg everywhere? Also, almost every admiral we’ve encountered has been a supreme douchebag, for lack of a better word. I wonder why that is? There are also some serious issues on the Enterprise because their damn shuttlecraft keep leaving unauthorized, I mean come on! I’m also only slightly disappointed that Data didn’t leave on his own accord. It would have made more a more interesting story if he wanted to see what being bad was like and then realized what it would cost him, rather than be essentially drugged.
I did find it humorous that the same actor that played Jo’Brill played Lieutenant Barnaby and was the one to enable the metaphasic shielding. I also loved Ensign Taitt, she had the exact amount of enthusiasm and sass I like in an ensign. Crusher felt more sure of herself in command than Troi did, but I am sure she was glad to hand things back to Picard. The poker game at the beginning of Part 1 was fun, Hawking and Newton were full of sass, but Einstein left something to be desired. It was also a bit ridiculous that each time there was a four some, there was a “red shirt” with the group that got killed just for the hell of it. Those scenes brought me back to TOS where that was done almost every episode, and it’s not a good look for TNG as it didn’t bring any meaning to the story. To be honest these two episodes didn’t have a whole lot of “good” between them.