TNG: “Bloodlines”, “Emergence”, and “Preemptive Strike”

Date: June 2, 2020

Season 7, Episodes 22, 23, and 24

Musical Accompaniment: Back to my iTunes mix with all the Warped Tour compilation albums, Maroon 5, Billy Joel, Linkin Park, and a few movie soundtracks.

Interstellar News: Yesterday, when I watched these episodes, I completed five loads of laundry and today we watched five episodes of Scrubs.

Favorite Quote from “Bloodlines”:

Bok: How touching. Your apology is worthless to me. I demand that you repay me for my loss.

Picard: You cannot put a price on a life.

Bok remembering he’s a Ferengi and Picard being, well, Picard.

“Bloodlines” begins with the Enterprise intercepting a probe that shows a hologram message from Bok (last seen in “The Battle“) proclaiming that “Jason Vigo is as good as dead”. Jason might be Picard’s son and Bok is still out for revenge, so they head to Camor V and beam up Jason. Turns out his mom died but Crusher’s DNA test says they’re a match. Jason is no angel and also has no interest in getting to know Picard, but Picard is determined to be there for his son and to protect him from Bok. Jason has a seizure, Crusher finds out his has a rare disorder, but then Bok transports Jason off of the ship. Picard follows and explains to the others on board that Bok lied to them, there is no profit, and Jason isn’t actually his son because Bok faked the DNA test. Bok is arrested by the other Ferengi, Jason heads back to Camor V, and Picard promises to visit sometime.

Jason Vigo in his red vest
Jason with his nifty red vest.

Apparently Season 7 has turned into “let’s have a lot of sad episodes and also have all the bridge crew take a turn at being parents”. Crusher and Worf we’ve seen, Troi was a parent in “The Child” and in some alternate realities, Riker in “Future Imperfect“, Data in “The Offspring“, and now Picard sort of gets his turn. Picard does all the right moves but he does it without much feeling, he’s just suuuuuper awkward. Jason plays the “mad at his dad that was never there” kind of low key and I don’t really buy either of their performances. There are some great lines between the two, like where Picard tells Jason it doesn’t matter about his criminal activities and they end joking about hairlines.

Gollum says "the bald and the beautiful"
My precious… hair!

Bok is another one who is off in some way. In “The Battle”, you can tell he’s grieving and just a bit crazy. Here, Bok’s just meh, I don’t find him as compelling as a victim and the danger never seems real. The subspace transporter thing just seems to show up when needed and also doesn’t actually pose any of the threat we’re warned about. I also don’t understand why Bok mutated Jason’s genes, because if Picard ever found out (like he did) then it would just be some random person that Bok killed. I wish he had played it a little more crazy instead of the “aw shucks you caught me”. I was also a bit confused at first why there were other Ferengi on board and felt it was super in character for them to switch sides as soon as they realized there was no profit. This episode felt, just like the last few, like it could have been so much better. At least it got the parts right about being a supportive parental figure no matter what, 5 cheers for Jason and Picard.

Favorite Quote from “Emergence”:

Data: The object could have been dangerous. It may in fact, be dangerous.

Picard: And I have allowed it to go off on its merry way.

Data: Yes, sir.

Picard: The intelligence that was formed on the Enterprise didn’t just come out of the ship’s systems. It came from us.

Here’s the thing: you’re never going to know how something will turn out. The best you can do is nurture the fuck out of it and hope for the best.

“Emergence” begins with Data and Picard on the holodeck when there’s a malfunction. Later the Enterprise goes to warp speed and then stops without an order either time, though an investigation reveals they would have blown up if they didn’t move just then, curiouser and curiouser. Data and La Forge find a new node and then several others around the ship, they are strikingly similar to Data’s neural net. Worf, Riker, and Data head to the holodeck where a train program is running along with several others, but they don’t have any tickets so they leave after the engineer gets shot.

Silent Bob in DOGMA "no ticket"
I do love me some Dogma.

This time Troi goes with Worf and Data into the train where they follow a man with a brick. They realize things are happening to the ship when something happens in the holodeck and that the ship is creating something and needs more vertion particles. Picard and La Forge come up with a plan to create artificial ones, which works, and the object comes to life and flies away. Data laments that it might be bad, how do they know how it’s going to turn out? Picard gives some bullshit about how the Enterprise is made up of good people and I’m sitting here staring in horror thinking about Barclay’s holodeck fantasies and Moriarty.

Flexible, colorful bendy straws
This was my first thought at what “the node” looked like.

When Data and La Forge are traversing the Jeffries tubes, for the upteenth time, I realized that anytime people were crawling through the tubes and talking it felt a bit like The West Wing in space. I guess since Season 7 is wrapping everything up there had to be just one last holodeck malfunction, just to bring closure to those of us who clearly didn’t get enough the first several times. This could have been awesome if the crew was able to interact with the computer, but I guess the train concept was okay too. It would have been nice if there was a callback to the times we have seen the holodeck in use, like maybe one of the bad guys from Worf’s calisthenics program or something from one of Barclay’s programs. When I read the teaser (The Enterprise’s computer is showing signs of sentience) I proclaimed “If Majel Barrett herself doesn’t materialize on the bridge, I’m not interested” and I wasn’t wrong. No one seemed to give two flying fucks that their ship was CREATING LIFE, they all treated it like it’s a daily occurrence their star ship flips out and decides it wants to be a parent. Then the thing flies out into space and no one is worried in the slightest, except for Data. Oh there were parts I thought were funny, but most of this episode was a big fat flub. 3 sausage links for this episode, mild and made with tofu or something equally as gross.

Lt. Ro showing up for her welcome party
Clearly the look of someone who is overwhelmed.

“Preemptive Strike” sees the return of Lieutenant Ro, last seen in “Rascals” as a little kid and Ensign. The Enterprise is in the DMZ and defends a Cardassian ship from an attack by the rebel group known as a Maquis. Admiral Nechayev is back and wants to send Ro undercover to infiltrate the Maquis. Ro shows she has an aptitude for undercover work and gets in with the Maquis, especially after she steals medical supplies from the Enterprise. Picard wants to lay a trap and Ro is apprehensive, but understands the mission. Macius, the leader of the Maquis cell, is killed by some Cardassians and Ro starts to get cold feet, so Picard sends Riker along. Just as the Maquis are able to cross the border, Ro betrays the Federation and beams away to be with the Maquis… though she leaves Riker alone and with a message for Picard.

Riker and Ro in the shuttlecraft, her holding a phaser to him
“Hey, Ro. Whatcha gonna do with that thing?”

I really liked the character of Ro and, although I hate the decision she made it’s totally in character for her. She finally found a place she belonged and it’s hardest on Picard because it’s yet another young person he trained to drink the Starfleet Kool-Aid that just didn’t want it (I’m talking about Wes, in case anyone missed that). There wasn’t much dialog that stood out for me in this episode, hence the lack of quote, and it was mostly just there. You can see what’s happening before it happens but there’s still hope that Ro will be on the side of the Federation because they’re the good guys, right? It does prove a good point that when one group makes a decision that effects others, it doesn’t always turn out all roses and such. Listening to what happened to Macius and known what happened to Ro’s father makes her defection not so surprising, but she latched on to him much quicker than she did to Picard. Yet there’s still the guilt of what Picard did for her to even get to that place, she might still be in prison if not for him. As with the other two episodes I watched, I wish this was better… but it wasn’t awful. A phaser on setting 6 for this one.

Tomorrow we’ll end Season 7 and The Next Generation, Thursday we’ll watch Generations, and then Friday will be the start of Deep Space 9.

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.

3 thoughts on “TNG: “Bloodlines”, “Emergence”, and “Preemptive Strike”

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