The Rewatch 146: Hallow Pursuits

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 3.21 Hallow Pursuits( 04-30-1990)
Rating: 4.5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/.5/22

Notable Guest Stars:

Dwight Schultz – Reginald Barclay.  Barclay is a important minor character, more so for Voyager then TNG.  He’ll return in several episodes in the franchise.
Charley Lang –
Duffy. He played Congressman Skinner on The West Wing and was on Days of our Lives.

Review:

Reggie Barclay has arrived!  I’m mixed on him, similar to how I am with Q.  I honestly like him better on the other series then his TNG episodes.  This episode in general squicks me for a few reasons.

He creates holographic depictions of his crewmates to relieve his anxiety.  Which makes sense, I suppose. But his creations were not with the consent of the real people, and in Troi’s case he made more then just a caricature. He acts romantically with Beverly and Deanna.

In the very first scene, he acts up, drinking on duty (within his fantasy), being disrespectful to his boss (LaForge) and romancing Deanna. I almost get the whole thing with Riker, he’s probably seen as a challenge to Deanna’s affections, but what did LaForge do other then make him do the job he was supposed to do?  I suppose it’s supposed to make it look like he needs therapy.

On a bridght side, this episode does show a chain in command that they normally skip over.  Barclay isn’t a bridge crew member.  He answers to LaForge as his Chief, who then relays any problems to his own supervisor – which would be Riker.

Ignoring the slightly grey areas of consent, there is the more positive showing of someone with anxiety. I think many of us can relate to not feeling like they are fitting in or having a fear of messing up in front of others. Its nice to see it on the screen by a character.  Especially since Barclay is a reoccurring character, not someone who is one episode and done.  And he’s shown to be good at his job…if not all the particularities.   

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Sally Caves
  • Directed by Cliff Bole
  • According to Wiki/Memory Alpha Sally Caves suggested that Barclay was an allegory of an obsessive Trekie.  None of the production staff seemed to have had that as a plan.  The reference for Caves comment comes from a 1996 article on Feminity in Star Trek.  Wiki points out Sally Caves comments, Memory Alpha only posted the production staff.  My thoughts are the writer forgot to tell the production team, or they were trying to placate offended fans – rightfully so.
  • This episode was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling for a Series.
  • Wesley’s outfit in the fantasy segment was based on a painting.

Pros:

  • Expansion on ship daily routines
  • Showing a character who deals with anxiety and introversion

Cons:

  • The fact that Barclay made figures of Beverly and Deanna and acted romantically with them. I feel this is a little be more then a simple crush.  It just weirds me out.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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