The Rewatch 198: The Next Phase

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 5.24 The Next Phase (5/18/1992)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/35

Notable Guest Stars:
Thomas Kopache (Mirok)- Kopache has played several roles on various Star Trek series, including TNG, DS9, and ENT . He has also appeared frequently on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, West Wing, Stargate, and the 2020 West Wing Special.
Susanna Thompson (Varel)– She appears in DS9 as Lenora Kahn, Jadzia’s love interest as her most notable Trek role. But she has also appeared on Voyager as the Borg Queen, so I may be wrong about that. I know her more from the series Arrow where she played Moira Queen.
Shelby Leverington (Brossmer)- It was kind of hard to find much on Leverington past 2009. She has been on several daytime Soap Operas, and her last recorded role on IMDB is an appearance on ER during its final season in 2009.
Brian Cousins (Parem) –like Levrington, he appeared on daytime soap operas (a bit later in his career), as well as appearing in several well-known crime investigation shows. He will appear again on TNG in “Descent” which is connected to this episode. He will however be playing a different character.

Review:

This is actually a pretty good episode. In this episode, the Enterprise comes to the rescue of a injured Romulan ship, assisting them in repairs.  Its probably one of the more friendly episodes of Federation-Romulan interaction.  Of course, its not completely friendly (The Romulans are still up to no good) but overall this episode is pretty friendly.

Geordi and Ro get out of phase due to chronoton particles, and spend the episode trying to get Data to realise the truth.  There are a lot of good moments of Data and Geordi’s friendship and how they intereact together. You also get to see Data in senior management mode.

This episode is really good at showing how things go when everyone is not on the bridge.  Picard is in his ready room, Riker’s on the Romulan ship, Deanna is no where to be seen now that she’s confirmed that Ro and Geordi are not in sense distance.  Data is pretty much everywhere, and Worf is doing more security work then we really ever see him doing when he’s at the tactical stand.

I feel this episode shows everyone at their strengths.  Picard almost takes a backseat in this episode.  Riker is running the show with the Romulans, organizaing the teams and getting things done.  Worf is working on making sure they are helping -but being secure that their advanced technology is not shared.  There is one scene where he goes to Riker being very concerned about the Romulans wanting a computer.  He lays out his issue, Riker takes it in and comes up with a solution to both help the Romulans and satisfy Worf’s need for security for the technology.

Data is running his own mission, figuring out the problems with the transporter and what happened to Geordi and Ro.  He probably gets the most screen time of any of the characters bar Geordi and Ro.  You see him run his tasks, and being very confident he knows what he is doing.  Which is not hard because Data is always pretty confident he knows what he is doing.  However, he is also not afraid to seek advice from other officers, such as when he asks Worf his opinion on funeral rites.

I find it interesting that Data, in the end, decides to have what appears to be more of a wake, with a bit of New Orleans flair to it.  I had to look up and see if Geordi was from New Orleans, but apparently he was not.  Still, Geordi was quite happy with what Data choose to do.  Ro a bit less.  Expecting something a bit more sedate.

I’m going to give this a 5/5 because it honestly is a good episode, well acted and written.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Ronald D. Moore
  • Directed by David Carson
  • This episode, meant to save the show money, ended up being the most expensive due to the special effects required.
  • The music featured in this episode was “Down by the Riverside” and When the Saints Go Marching In.”
  • This episode is loosely connected to the Seventh Season episode “The Pegasus.” I’m a bit bias against that episode since it is also connected to the worst Star Trek Finale, “These are the Voyages.” But that is neither here nor there. Yet.
  • This episode was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing.

Pros

  •  Data/Geordi friendship
  • Geordi being good at what he does.
  • Development of Bajoran beliefs
  • Riker/Worf friendship

Cons:

  • This whole Riker/Ro animosity thing is a bit annoying now.
  • I have to ask, why is Riker smiling so much at the funeral.  No wonder Ro shoots him.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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