Series: Star Trek:TNG
Episode: 2.21 Peak Performance (7-10-1989)
Redshirt Status: 0/18.5/21.5
Notable Guest Stars:
Roy Brocksmith – Sirna Kolrami
Armin Shimerman – Bractor. Armin Shimerman pretty much plays 90% of Ferengi before he lands as Quark in DS9.
David L. Lander – Tactical Officer. He played Squiggy on Laverne and Shirley.
Glenn Morshower – Burke. He has appeared on several Sci-fi shows I’ve watched, but he has also appeared on 24, which I don’t but one of my long-time friends loves that show so I feel I should mention it.
This is a pretty well-rounded episode. It plays up all the main character’s strengths and manages not to be overly obvious about it. Picard shows his ability to get his crew into their best selves. Troi gets to be a counseler, and we get to see Riker in command of his own ship, showing that he can be a Captain if he so choose.
Wesley, Worf, and Geordi also show their skill set on the Hemingway. Although again, I question the wisdom of sending a person who hadn’t finished the academy on this, but Wesley doesn’t do too badly. There are only two people who fail in this episode. The first is Sirna Kolrami who spents half the episode hating Riker for no good reason and half the episode annoying Picard. Actually he annoys Picard the whole episode. The second is the Ferengi who spend most of TNG being idiots which is why they failed at being a good villain for the franchise. DS9 develops them better, although potentially worse at the same time given, they were working on the original concept which has been accused of being antisemitic in nature.
Interestingly enough, this episode helps defend my personal head canon that Data actually does feel emotion, he is just not equipped to deal with it in the same manner as humans, or perhaps to feel as deeply as humans. He feels a loss in confidence, brought on when he loses a game that everyone, including himself, thought he would be good at. I’m sure we have all felt that at times when we fail at something.
Picard gets pushed into helping Data out, and shows how he is probably the most likely to effect Data overall. Deanna and Pulanski are his friends, but he sees Picard as his mentor, the person who is helping him the most to be human.
This episode does make me wonder one thing though. Why haven’t the Federation come up with a way to make synthetic Dilithuim crystals. It just seems that they have such problems with the crystals chipping or cracking that they would have found out some way of making a synthetic version, if only to act like a flat tire till someone gets to a Starbase.
- Written by David Kemper
- Directed by Robert Scheerer
- Reuses set designs from previous episodes.
- Character showcase for almost all characters
- “It is possible to make no mistakes and still loose.”
- Nothing really stands out in this episode.
Screencap via CygnusX1.net