TNG: “Inheritance” and “Parallels”

Date: May 26, 2020

Season 7, Episodes 10 and 11

Musical Accompaniment: A mix inspired by “Mambo Italiano” by Hetty and the Jazzato Band

Interstellar News: Today was the worst roller coaster of emotions in a while.

Favorite Quote from “Inheritance”:

Juliana: Deanna Troi, is that who you’re going to visit?

Data: Yes.

Juliana: Your father would be so pleased.

Data: Pleased?

Juliana: He was worried that the sexuality program he designed for you wouldn’t work.

Data: You misunderstand. Counselor Troi is a therapist.

Juliana: Goodnight (eyebrow waggle)

The absolute best exchange between mother and son, complete with Data’s embarrassment.

“Inheritance” has the Enterprise helping the good folks of Atrea IV with a planetary situation and they choose a plan similar to what we saw in “A Matter of Time“. One of the scientists, a woman named Juliana, claims to be Data’s mother. She explains how she knew him, why they abandoned him, and how she wants to get to know him. She’s very much like every mother telling embarrassing stories about Data’s “childhood” and such. Data discusses Lal and Dr. Soong’s death when Juliana reveals the prototypes before Lore and her trepidation at creating more androids, as well as the truth about why he was left behind.

Dr. Juliana and Data walk the halls of the Enterprise
Well your father and I… oh, maybe that’s not a story for children.

Data asks his mother some questions, then goes to Dr. Crusher. When the cave destabilizes, Juliana and Data have to jump down and it reveals that Juliana is really an android. Data finds a chip and runs it in the holodeck which reveals a program Dr. Soong left explaining that there was a human Juliana but she died and so he programmed this Juliana as a replacement, but she eventually left him. He explains it’s imperative she not know she’s an android. Data agrees to follow his father’s wishes, the planet is saved, and Data promises to visit his mother next leave.

I did not feel the suspense of “the planet is going to explode” at all, except for the one scene in the cave that was clearly only there to expose Juliana as an android. I am also a little mad at the writers for throwing in the line Juliana’s husband delivers about not trusting machines and then, when his wife is revealed to be one, nothing happens. Come on! It reminds me of the line in Anchorman where Brick comments about a woman’s period attracting bears and then, when she falls into the bear pit, another missed opportunity! Oh well, you can’t win them all.

The cover of "the electric grandmother" DVD case
Go watch it, it’s amazing.

I was so excited to see how adorable they were together as a mother/son duo, but this episode made me think of more questions and didn’t provide me with enough answers. Once she realized Data was not at all like Lore, why didn’t she look him up? How did no one know she was an android? She never had an accident before? I so wanted to love this episode way more than I did, but there are too many things I cannot overlook. It all kind of reminds me of The Electric Grandmother. I’ll give this a 5 for all the members of Data’s family: Dr. Soong, Dr. Juliana, Lore, Data, and Lal.

Favorite Quote from “Parallels”:

Troi: It’s a great honor. So, that would make me your?

Worf: The closest analogy is step-sister.

Troi: That would make my mother your step-mother.

Worf: I had not considered that. It is a risk I am willing to take.

Troi: I accept.

The absolute look of horror on Worf’s face is absolutely priceless.
Troi trying to kiss Worf and Worf's face is classic
I mean, just look at it!

Worf’s One-Two Punch: “I am old enough.”

“Parallels” has Worf returning from a bat’leth tournament via a shuttle en route to the Enterprise, he explains how he won first place. It’s also his birthday and he’s worried Riker’s arranged a surprise party, which turns out to be true despite Riker’s objections. During the party Worf is a little dizzy and all of a sudden his chocolate cake is yellow and Picard is there eating cake, when Riker had just told him Picard was on the bridge… weird. They’re heading to the Argus Array because something’s wrong and it turns out the Cardassians have reprogrammed it. Worf thanks Troi for helping with Alexander and asks her to be his soh-chim, which she accepts. Down in engineering Worf has another episode and heads to sick bay where Crusher explains he had a concussion from the tournament and his logs and trophy now say he came in ninth place… super weird.

Worf in red
Worf looks damn good in red.

Things keep changing around the ship and La Forge’s VISOR winds up being the triggering point. One time the painting in his room is moved, the next it’s a different painting, the next Troi’s clothes change, and now no one remembers that the Cardassians reprogrammed the array. At one point Worf looses time and is being ordered to raise shields, he can’t due to a totally weird panel, and La Forge is critically injured. Nurse Ogawa is the CMO, Troi and Worf are married (and have kids!), his brother went to the bat’leth competition in his place, oh and Worf is first officer to Riker’s captain, with Wesley at tactical, because Picard died in the Borg attack. Data figures out that Worf went through a quantum fissure and has just been shifting between realities, almost Quantum Leap-like. The Bajorans attack while the Enterprise has a beam at the fissure and suddenly there are over 200,000 other Enterprises. One of them has Picard and sends the shuttle so Worf can return and everything can be reset. This works and Worf is back in the shuttle with his first place win. This time there is no surprise party but Troi does give him a gift and then he invites her to dinner.

all the enterprises in front of the fissure
Crisis on Infinite Enterprises?

This episode was AMAZING from start to finish. In each reality just a little something is changed (like Data having blue eyes) and there are callbacks to so many episodes. One of the Enterprises has a fuzzy Riker who absolutely does not want to go back to their universe where the Federation is no more and the Borg have taken over. Each time Worf has an episode, him and Troi get closer and closer and it’s absolutely adorable. She’s been a wonderful mother-figure to Alexander and she isn’t scared to call Worf out on his bullshit when he won’t talk. I absolutely love when she goes to kiss him and he freaks out, it’s everything I expected and Michael Dorn plays it beautifully. My favorite was when they sang “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow”, translated in Klingon of course, likely because Trek didn’t want to pay for the rights to “Happy Birthday” (I’m looking at you Sports Night). I also loved that in none of the realities does Worf wear blue, well at least in none of the ones that we saw. He is genuinely saddened by the loss of Alexander in one of the timelines and it proves he’s come a long damn way since “Reunion“. I was going to rate this episode “10th place” but then I realized that doesn’t work, so you figure it out.

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.

4 thoughts on “TNG: “Inheritance” and “Parallels”

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