TNG Episode 2.09: The Measure of a Man

In which Bruce Maddox  just does not know how to express his Data crush appropriately.

Memory Alpha says: The Enterprise must defend Data’s status when Starfleet demands his reassignment for study.  (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information.)

My Review

I should reserve judgement on ‘best episode of season two’ when I’m not even half-way through, but oh gosh, this episode, you guys. It has so many of the best things about TNG. It has Data being smart and adorable and vulnerable and a challenge to the status quo by his mere existence. It has Picard being his dad and protecting him and getting to make a fiery courtroom speech all Crusading Silver Fox DA. (The episode was written by a former attorney, and only got a chance because of the writers’ strike, so it’s an ill wind that blows no good.) It has the staff poker game. It has a goddamn admiral. It has O’Brien. It has a guy called Bruce, which is probably the name, of all names, that I find most intrinsically comical (second place probably goes to Fred). Sorry, people called Bruce. So, despite my recent lassitude and ennui, I think it deserves a full write-up and will endeavour to deliver. (If I later bail out and revert to bullet points, sorry, people called Bruce and everyone else.)

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TNG Episode 2.03: Elementary, Dear Data

In which Geordi is a fun ruiner. He ruins people’s fun.

Memory Alpha says: The Enterprise is threatened when a character in Data and La Forge’s holodeck simulation becomes sentient. (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information.)

My Review
Here is the single strangest thing from the Memory Alpha entry for this episode: the equation on Moriarty’s chalkboard is a reference to the characters Ataru and Lum from Rumiko Takahashi’s manga series Urusei Yatsura, about an obnoxious teenage boy who is pursued by a mad alien princess in a tiger-skin bikini who wants to be his bride.

I just don’t know how to process that. But, okay, Rumiko Takahashi is an excellent artist and writer, and my favourite of her series is Maison Ikkoku. (You should have figured it’d be the one that is most like a comedic soap opera.) And I guess it’s no less cracky than the Ren & Stimpy tributes in early DS9. Read the rest of this entry »

TNG Episode 1.25: Conspiracy

In which EXPLODING HEADS. Okay just one! BUT EXPLODING HEAD!

Memory Alpha says: After the mysterious death of a distinguished Starfleet captain and the destruction of his ship, the Enterprise-D finds Starfleet Command acting erratically, with key officers possessed by alien neural parasites. (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information. The part in the Apocrypha about the Trills is pretty cool.)

My Review
Okay, I do remember seeing this episode when I was a kid, and digging it. It has the most astonishing moment of gore in all of Star Trek, and I just darn well like conspiracy stories, even if this one had to turn out to be masterminded by parasites, because Gene Roddenberry would not countenance a plot that relied on the existence of untrustworthy people in Starfleet.

My high school art teacher had a small scar on his neck in the approximate position of the alien ‘gill’ on the admiral’s neck, and being a complete dork I rationalised this as part of why I didn’t like him. (Main reason: he wanted me to draw a sheep’s skull when I wanted to learn to draw people. And I was an unreasonable little girl.)

Here we go! At least, it looks like here we went, but I actually went and made myself a grilled cheese sandwich in between paragraphs. Mm! Read the rest of this entry »

DS9 Episode 1.19: Duet

In which I probably don’t find much to joke about.

Memory Alpha says: After a Cardassian man arrives on the station suffering from an illness that he could only have contracted at a Bajoran labor camp during the Occupation, Major Kira leads an investigation to determine whether he is actually a notorious war criminal. (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information.)

My Review:
For much of Season One I’ve been pooting along saying ‘man I can’t wait for this show to get really good when “Duet” rolls round.’ So now of course ‘Duet’ is here and I’m semi-intimidated by it. It’s a big, impressive drama episode., and it cements DS9 as the Dark Trek, the one that rolls up its sleeves and handles tragedy on a much grimmer, less romantic level than the others. I had better just get on with it and not try to think of clever prefatory remarks.

Full summary, because I kept saying I was gonna. Read the rest of this entry »

TNG Episode 1.12: The Big Goodbye

In which Captain Picard and Data look completely fly in chalkstripe suits and fedoras and what else do I care about?

Seriously. Unf. Jaunty. Jean-Luc Picard knows how to angle a hat.

Memory Alpha says: Captain Picard and some of the Enterprise crew get stuck on the holodeck on their way to an important diplomatic mission. (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information.)

My Review
I think I’m going to write this one up as a proper summary with commentary, because I’ve been slothful lately. I know the bullet point commentary works okay for people who watch the episode themselves and then see what I had to say about it, but there’s something to be said for reading an episode. Sometimes it’s almost as satisfying as actually watching it, not that I can really explain why.

Anyway! This is the first episode to feature holodeck LARPing and start exploring the storytelling possibilities of this nifty bit of technology – which, if you want to be realistic about it, is obviously incredibly dangerous to have on your starship, almost as dangerous as Data. Both are extremely powerful and unpredictably glitchy – but the holodeck is fun and Data is lovable, and quite frankly we know where our priorities lie.
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