Date: May 23, 2020
Season 7, Episodes 4 and 5
Musical Accompaniment: Soothing Relaxation by Peder B. Helland
Interstellar News: I have no idea where the day went, but there was lots of Scrubs and Star Trek, so it was definitely not bad.
Data: Dismissed. Mr. Worf, I am sorry if I have ended our friendship.
Worf: Sir, it is I who has jeopardized our friendship, not you. If you will overlook this incident, I would like to continue to consider you my friend.
Data: I would like that as well.
Worf: Thank you, sir.Super damn adorable, formal, and polite.
Riker is a Raconteur: “Great story. I’ll remember it next time I’m in a knife fight.”
Troi: He’s all right. He’s only stunned.
Data: I must admit, I am experiencing a similar sensation.
Riker: This is going to take a little time to explain.Data does have feelings!!!! Excellent few lines there…
Part 1: We open to the Cantina on Mos Eisley, I mean some bar in a galaxy far, far, away, I mean, hmmmm let’s try that again. We open to Troi dealing with a sleazy bartender, Riker being his charming self, Worf making up stories about Riker’s made up sister, and Dr. Crusher being a badass, all to find out Picard has been vaporized and is dead. Riker gets permission to investigate so he, Worf, La Forge, and random security guard #236 beam down and find themselves under attack. 236 dies, Riker is captured, and then Data loses the ship Riker is now on. Their investigation leads them to Calder II, as it might be the next target of the ship they were pursuing.
On the mercenary ship Riker meets Baran, a whole host of other aliens, and… Picard, who is going by “Galen”. When their ship is in danger, Picard rigs it so Riker can save the day and get in good with Baran. Picard later confides in Riker that the mercenaries have weapons that can act as transporters and they are stealing Romulan artifacts and looking for a particular one. Turns out they are also heading to Calder II where Picard and Riker do some quick thinking and Data gets the message. Of course, the mercenary ship then fires on the Enterprise… dun, dun, dun.
Part 2: The ship does minimal damage to the Enterprise and Data plays along, making a good show of it as it were, so the mercenary ship high tails it out of there. Picard antagonizes Riker and then goes back down to evaluate the ruins and finds one that matches the profile Baran was looking for. Riker tries to get in with Baran, who wants him to root out who is on “Galen’s” side. Picard identifies the artifact to be Vulcan, not Romulan. The Romulan who sort of acts like a Vulcan (Tallera) confronts Picard and confides in him that she’s Vulcan security and explains about the Stone of Gol (a Vulcan weapon).
On the Enterprise, Data lectures Worf about how to be a first officer. They then encounter a lone Klingon named Koral who is not very talkative and apparently has the last piece of weapon. Picard and Riker are part of the away team to board the Enterprise but “Galen” gets the drop on Riker and everyone beams back to the mercenary ship, without Riker. “Galen” has a successful mutiny, kills Baran, but is later thrown under the bus by Tallara – who isn’t really a Vulcan operative. The rest of the crew only cares about their money so Tallara, Picard, and two crew members beam down. Tallara assembles the weapon, kills the two crew members, and just as she’s about to kill Picard, Worf, Riker, and an away team is there to help. Picard’s figured out that the resonator only kills when there is no peace and Tallara can’t kill anyone, not even Worf. Data points out that Picard is supposed to be dead and Riker is an outlaw, so they both get some sleep and Data stays in charge for just a while longer.
My Thoughts and Impressions: When Riker first sees that Picard is alive, and several other times during Part 1 (Oh I have a pregnant sister, do I now?), he has the ABSOLUTE WORST POKER FACE I have ever seen in my life! Given how often we’ve seen them play poker, I’m a tad surprised. Riker and Picard play things quite convincingly, and I think they really enjoyed beating the crap out of each other after years of serving together. Maybe it was just me enjoying the slapping, maybe. Later when Worf and Crusher see Picard is alive they don’t even raise an eyebrow, true champions those two. Troi, on the other hand, has her I’M SHOCKED FACE on the entire time Riker and Picard are in the room, and even Data has a moment before he remembers to go with the flow. Picard also plays the snotty and surly Galen super well, almost like he’s a really good actor or something.
Data’s chat with Worf was fantastic, adorable, and spot on. Data took to the captain’s chair quite well, as he did for real in “Redemption“, and as he does during the gamma shift. Worf, however, took at little time and reprimand to settle in. When you transition to a new position, sometimes your habits follow you from your old position. I always thinking about all the different hats I wear: teacher, supervisor, advisor, colleague, wife, mom, daughter, and so on. Sometimes those hats interfere with one another and I have to pick one. Worf’s “tactical hat” was still on when he needed to switch to the “first officer” hat and Data needed to remind him. They are also both so damn polite and formal in their professionalism, if only there was also a Vulcan involved in that conversation… one can dream.
I enjoy how Worf always thinks outside the box and he works well with Data who tries to reign him in. Data does this with La Forge a lot too. Worf’s scheme for searching the Klingon shuttle was devious and he’s quite the Slytherin. When Tallara uses the word “illogical” I instantly thought, hmmmm maybe she’s Vulcan, and it turns out she was. I was super disappointed that the resonator was such a bum weapon (don’t turn to the dark side and you’ll be just fine!), but I was super stoked that all of Worf’s Klingon Tai Chi is paying off. Also, the last bit of humor with Picard, Riker, and Data was superb and you could certainly tell that Brent Spiner was having a hard time keeping a straight face. This two-parter had its moments and was certainly better than the finale/opener, so that earns them a score of 6.5 meters above average.