The Rewatch 148: Sarek

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 3.23 Sarek (4/14/1990)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/.5/22

Notable Guest Stars:

Mark Lenard (Sarek) – Mark Lenard has played Sarek in several episodes of Star Trek as well as the films.
Joanna Miles
(Perrin) – Joanna Miles won 2 Emmy Awards for her acting in the film The Glass Menagerie. She also will return as Perrin in the later episode Unification.
Rocco Sisto (Sakkath) Sisto has been on several long running shows as a guest star, including JAG, Crossing Jordan and of course Star Trek.
William Denis (
Ki Mendrossen) Denis does not have an extensive IMDB profile, but his first role listed was on the Golden Girls.

Review:

For the first time since the pilot episode, we finally see a member of the TOS cast return to the screen.  In this case, it is Ambassador Sarek.  Sarek has come to negotiate with a new species, the Ligurians.  He is accompanied by his second wife Perrin, his personal assistant, and his chief of staff.  The three of them are trying to help protect the Ambassador’s secret that he is slowly losing his ability to suppress his emotions.

In the end, to save the conference, Picard ends up mind melding with Sarek to give him some assistance.

This episode might seem on the outside not to be too deep and rather simple, but it gives an insight into the amount of emotions swirling around in a Vulcan’s mind.  It also has good acting from Mark Lenard and Patrick Stewart as they portray Sarek’s loss of control.

 This episode isn’t important overall to the grand scheme of things as far as TNG.  I don’t recall the Ligurians coming up again (I could be wrong).  It is however probably important to watch for understanding Vulcans, and later Romulans.  We see Sarek again (in his end days) when Picard goes searching for Spock who is trying to reunite the warring cousins.  So I would definitely include this for those reasons in any rewatch.

Plus its just good acting.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Marc Cushman , Jake Jacobs and Peter S. Beagle
  • Directed by Les Landau
  • Other then the pilot episode, this is the first time direct references to characters in TOS have been made.  Gene Roddenberry originally didn’t want TNG to touch TOS, but lightened his strictness on that fact as time went on. 
  • This episode is a metaphor for dementia and/or Alzheimer’s, but also for the declining heath of Gene Roddenberry.
  • The mind meld scene was taken in a single take.

Pros:

  •  Vulcan development
  • Sarek Appearance
  • Updates on Spock (Vague but there)
  • Strong acting from Mark Lenard and Patrick Stewart. 
  • Music

Cons:

  • The vagueness about Spock

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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