Date: May 30, 2020
Season 7, Episodes 18 and 19
Musical Accompaniment: Some more piano covers I don’t think I’ve listened to before.
Interstellar News: We picked up almost 100 lbs. of meat today from a local butcher and spent most of the morning repackaging and vacuum sealing it. It was actually a lot of fun.
Favorite Quote from “Eye of the Beholder”:
Troi: I can’t explain it, but it feels real to me. Just like what happened in the nacelle tube.
Worf: There are things we do not understand, yet they exist nonetheless.Worf with some deeeeeeeep words.
“Eye of the Beholder” begins with Worf and Riker in the warp nacelle where Riker is trying to talk down Lieutenant Dan Kwan from jumping into the plasma flow. Riker is, unfortunately, unsuccessful, so Picard orders Worf and Troi to investigate. Kwan’s journals and girlfriend both show he was happy and not suicidal, but he had some empathic capabilities so Troi goes to the place where it happened and talks with his supervisor, Nara, who is also shook up. Troi gets a terrible feeling and reports to sick bay. Crusher determines there’s something wrong with Troi so she wants her to go with someone next time, at which Worf volunteers (and he also has a suuuuuuper awkward conversation with Riker).
Worf and Troi arrive to review the scene and Worf raises the door when suddenly Troi is overwhelmed by things happening when the Enterprise was being built. There is a man and a woman who are kissing and another man who has walked in on them, that man looks familiar to Troi. Her and Worf go to talk to Pierce (the man) down in engineering, but get nothing. Back in Troi’s quarters, her and Worf do the weird goodbye thing where neither person wants the other to leave and then… they kiss and have breakfast together the next morning. Troi takes the inhibitor from Crusher so she won’t be so overwhelmed and then heads over to find La Forge and Data in engineering where she keeps getting flashes of what happened and they find human remains in the wall. Pierce visits Troi in her room, she has security arrest him, but then she find Worf and Calloway kissing and laughing at her… so she kills Worf and runs to kill herself, just like Kwan. All of a sudden, Worf pulls her back because this entire paragraph happened in her mind in a matter of seconds. Turns out Pierce killed the other two and then himself using the plasma stream, but had some Betazoid in him so there was an empathic trace left behind that both Kwan and Troi picked up.
First, what is with all the heavy episodes in Season 7? Suicide, letting love get away, ordering someone to their death, almost killing an entire village, and let’s not forget a dead sister you never knew. Second, how does the impression of Pierce cause Kwan and Troi to want to commit suicide, did it have something to do with the plasma? Troi experiences a lot of time over just a few seconds, just as Picard did when he was out for 30 minutes in “The Inner Light“. There’s a lot that happens that didn’t really happen because it’s all part of Troi’s hallucination. Does she want a relationship with Worf, and he with her for that matter? They both have had experiences with the other that didn’t actually happen in this timeline that make me think they want to be more to each other, or maybe that’s the producer’s way of foreshadowing a romance? I’m still in the camp of Spock and Uhura being a thing in TOS, not that anyone asked.
There was some real talk about suicide and how it effects everyone around you. In counseling we use the term “protective factors” to determine if someone is a risk to themselves or others. Do they have a support system, a method available to them, prospects, etc.? Kwan had everything going for him and would have been a super low risk and, as it turns out, wasn’t really his fault anyway because someone else influenced his choice telepathically. Part of me thinks that was best, it would help his parents and loved ones to understand he had been killed in the line of duty rather than have taken his own life. Part of me, however, thinks it cheapens what could have been an episode pointing out that it’s never that hopeless. I’m so torn on how I feel about the suicide that wasn’t and also how most of what happened in the episode also didn’t actually happen, so what was the point? 5 bites on the neck from Worf on this episode, giggity.
Favorite Quote from “Genesis”:
Barclay: I’m curious, sir. Who’s the father?
Data: I am not certain. Spot has escaped from my quarters on several occasions and there are twelve male felines on board. I intend to run a full DNA analysis on the kittens once they…This was the most wholesome conversation ever. Of course Barclay is a cat person, it all makes sense now.
Data’s Not Really An Android: “I have spent the past nine weeks as an expectant parent. I would be happy to share my insights with your husband. If my experience is any indication, he will need all the help he can get.”
“Genesis” starts off in sick bay where Riker had a mishap on a date, Barclay is being his usual self, and both Spot and Nurse Ogawa are pregnant, hooray! Barclay has the flu and Crusher gives him something to help activate a particular T-cell. Worf is testing a new weapons system and is super excited but something goes wrong so Data and Picard have to take a shuttle through the asteroid field to go get it. Worf, of course, gets super cranky and Riker orders him to go relax. Worf is chowing down in Ten-Forward, annoyed by everything and everyone, and is acting very primitively. In fact, everyone else on board is acting strangely too. Barclay is going 10,000 miles per minute, Troi is dehydrated and cold, and Riker is losing his concentration and memory. Worf bites Troi and they both wind up in sick bay where Worf spray venom at Crusher and reports are coming in from all over the ship.
Three days later Picard and Data return to the Enterprise adrift and everyone on board has devolved. Troi is some sort of lizard, Worf is all animal instinct, Barclay is part spider, Riker is Cro-Magnon, and even Spot has turned into a lizard with a pink collar. Data figures out that everyone has synthetic T-cells and, of course, it’s Barclay’s fault. They have to use Data’s computer and realize the kittens are still kittens, so Data believes amniotic fluid will help… good thing Ogawa is pregnant. Data’s theory works and he sends the cure through the environmental controls. Crusher realizes it was her fault for not realizing Barclay had a mutation that activated his introns and so he gets to have a disease named after him, double hooray!
This was absolutely ridiculous but also a bit awesome. This time Picard gets to help Data save everyone while he is also acting his ass off having to be paranoid Picard, it’s glorious. It’s also a great avenue to show how far Barclay has come while also showing he still needs a bit of work to do. Worf does surly Klingon very well and Troi had me laughing at her constantly being cold, and the skit with Worf and Troi on the bridge reminded me of “Women’s Winter“. Picard should know better than to leave Riker in charge of the ship, I mean there have been several times where Riker has almost caused complete and utter ruin, most recently in “Timescape“. I loved that Data was so involved with Spot, but it was just tooooooo perfect that one of the crew also was pregnant and that was the key to saving everyone. There were adorable kittens, so it couldn’t be all bad… right? This episode really was so bad it was at least a little good, so I’ll give it 6 T-cells for all of its goofiness and KITTENS.