Date: May 22, 2020
Season 7, Episodes 2 and 3
Musical Accompaniment: The soundtracks from Spider-Man 1, 2, and 3… the Tobey Maguire days, and some random Warped Tour compilation albums.
Interstellar News: It was sunny… and then it rained, but at least I got a walk in. Five loads of laundry completed over the last two days, go me!
Favorite Quote from “Liaisons”:
Worf: I do not see why it is necessary to wear these ridiculous uniforms.
Worf: They look like dresses.
Riker: That is an incredibly outmoded and sexist attitude. I’m surprised at you. Besides, you look good in a dress.Worf making a good point about dress uniforms, but Riker making an equally good point and poking fun at Worf, just a smidge.
Worf’s One-Two Punch: “Klingons do not procrastinate. It is a… tactical delay.”
“Liaisons” begins with an exchange of some sort; Picard is heading to Iyar with a pilot named Voval, Troi will be showing around Ambassador Loquel, and Riker’s ambassador, Byleth, decides to go with Worf. Troi and Loquel get along nicely, but he becomes a bit obsessed with the concept of “dessert” and is fascinated by a child… apparently Iyaarans come out of pods fully grown. Byleth is demanding, temperamental, and rude to Worf, which turns into a physical fight between the two at a poker game.
Meanwhile, Picard and Voval encounter an issue and have to crash land on a planet. Voval is hurt and while looking for help Picard gets struck by lightening and saved by a woman named Anna. Anna has apparently been stuck on the planet, alone, for seven years and instantly falls in love with Picard. Anna tells Picard Voval is dead and that the device on him is to help his broken ribs, but Picard only has eyes for escape. Anna brings back a part, though she “accidentally” damaged it in the process, and Picard is suspicious of her behavior. At one point she literally throws herself at him and then runs away when he tells her “no”. Suddenly Voval appears and they go to search for Anna, but Picard realizes something is fishy and Anna turns into Voval. Their species did not understand pleasure, antagonism, and love, so each ambassador was charged with trying to experience it. They return to the Enterprise and the Iyaarans depart with more knowledge than before.
Wow was this episode stupid. The best parts of the episode were all of the ones with the usual crew and the ones with Loquel, but only because he was adorable. I’m glad they went the food route with experiencing pleasure because I don’t think I could have taken two attempted rapes in one episode. His surprise at eating food for fun, his delight at seeing a tiny human, and his general lack of reaction at the poker game when the fight was on truly made me smile. Byleth was just an asshole and I’m surprised it took Worf so long to beat him up, that Klingon really has way more self-control than he gives himself credit for. Anything with Voval/Anna, though, was just awful and I want to forget all about it… just as Picard probably does. This is another attempt at alien races experimenting on the Federation folks instead of talking to them, sigh. Only 2 pieces of chocolate cake for Loquel, and Loquel alone. Alright fine, Worf and Troi can also each have their own piece.
Favorite Quote from “Interface”:
La Forge: What are you doing?
Data: I will monitor the interface and attempt to keep you safe. I can not have you confined to quarters for something you have not yet done.
La Forge: You know we could both get in a lot of trouble for this.
Data: There is a high degree of probability that you are correct.Data toeing the line.
“Interface” begins with La Forge, sans VISOR, climbing through the Jeffries tubes and reaching through fire to engage the suppression system, when we see he’s hooked up to a probe and he’s virtually controlling it. The Enterprise is on a rescue mission as the Raman is trapped and the plan is to use this experimental probe with La Forge at its helm. An admiral contacts Picard to explain the Hera is missing and La Forge’s mother is apparently the captain, rut roh Raggy.
La Forge decides to go ahead with the mission as he believes his Mom is still alive, just missing, and the crew of the Raman might be alive. La Forge listens to his mom’s last message and feels guilty about not getting back with her when he could. Unfortunately the crew of the Raman is all dead and then La Forge gets hurt. La Forge’s Dad is talking about having a service and La Forge refuses to believe any of it until he has more physical proof, he wants to hold onto hope. He and Data chat, but Data isn’t really comforting either. On the second try running the probe, La Forge sees an image of his mother explaining that her ship is on the surface and they need help. He latches onto this and refuses to hear anyone refute his belief, so much so that he disobeys orders and goes back. Turns out the image of his mother was a life form that was trapped on the Raman and needed help to get back to the surface, but La Forge walks away with some closure.
I’m not sure what alternate reality I just stepped into with the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Trek episodes, but I want out right now. There’s cool VR technology and it’s barely explored. La Forge’s mother is beautiful and in just the one snippet of her message I feel everything about her conveyed by La Forge’s brief conversation with Troi. The biggest problem is we are the ones who don’t get closure at the end of the episode. Maybe they’ll revisit it later (though my two insider Trek-sperts say “no”), but there’s no resolution for the viewer. To be honest this would eat at La Forge if she was just missing forever, I sincerely doubt he was able to jump from denial to acceptance that quickly. For an engineer, especially, dealing with uncertainly is the absolute worst. You want to plan for as many contingencies as possible and you want your answers in black-and-white, grey is the worst.
Considering La Forge is the last of the bridge crew to have their family introduced, and given they are in Starfleet you’d think it would have been easier, but there’s no feeling involved. I think I felt more when Riker was telling the story about his mom than I did from anything La Forge did. I did like that Data did La Forge a solid because he knew he needed it, and Troi was only given a little bit of time but did excellent with the counseling as always. Allowing La Forge to be visor-less was also awesome, though I thought it was maybe a dream in the first sequence. I loved when he saw his reflection and remarked about how he had forgotten how handsome he was. All told, however, it’s these little moments that make me not take this episode altogether… but it’s not great either. A family tree of 4 with two parents and two children for this episode.