The Rewatch 154: Suddenly Human

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.04 Suddenly Human (10/15/1990)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/33

Notable Guest Stars:

Chad Allen (Jono/Jerimiah Rossa) – You may recognize Chad Allen as Matthew, Dr. Quinn’s adopted son in the show of the same name. He is an activist for LBGT+ causes and currently works as a clinical Psychologist.
Sherman Howard (Endar) – Howard would return in several Star Trek series.  He has also done a lot of voice work and guest spots across Television.  Most recently he appeared in The Code as General Geiger. He also from 1989-1992 held the role of Lex Luthor for Superboy.

Review:

I was a little disappointed in this episode.  The premise has merit – a human child was taken in and raised by the aliens that killed his family.  He was raised as a son, no different then any other Talerians.  When he is recused from a failed training mission by the Enterprise, they are surprised to find what appears to be signs of abuse.

Chad Allen was hard to believe as a 14 year old.  To be fair, he was actually a teenager when he filmed this, which is better then most TV shows today which have 16 year olds played by people in their mid to late 20s. He was born in 1974, which makes him 16, and he looks 16. This might also be because I saw him as Matthew on Dr. Quinn and he looked pretty much the same so its hard to see him as a younger teenager.

I have a few issues with this episode.  Once again Deanna Troi appears to be the only counselor onboard.  No one brings up a male counselor to help Jono, making it look like Deanna or Picard are the only options.

Also I find it odd that Admiral Rossa’s feelings on the matter are never taken into consideration.  Could Picard have negotiated a form of a communication.  She had lost her whole family and now has one piece left.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Ralph Phillips, John Whelpley and Jeri Taylor (her first episode!)
  • Directed by Gabrielle Baumount
  • LeVar Burton was still out due to a surgery so appeared only in recycled footage.

Pros:

  • Nothing particularly stands out.  I believe everyone did a good job, but the episode overall is kinda meh.

Cons:

  • Admiral Rossa’s part on Jono’s life never gets resolved
  • They never explain why Picard is so easily convinced it isn’t abuse, or why Beverly was so convinced it was.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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