The Rewatch 204: Schisms

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.05 Schisms (10/19/1992)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 1/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
Lanei Chapman (Sariel Rager) – A reoccuring Star Trek actress as Rager, this is the final appearance of the character. She then starred in a short lived series Space:Above and Beyond.
Ken Thorley  (Mot) – Thorley was a character actor, and appeared as more then one minor character on the series.
Tyce Bune (Lt. Edward Hagler) – I am honestly not sure what to say about his list of credits but I felt he should be on here since he plays a character who is a plot point.  His career became rather un-family friendly after his appearance on Star Trek.

Review:

This season is ramping up the Redshirt count it seems with nearly a death per episode.  This is odd to me because the last season was decidedly less deadly for the crew.  Still, TNG is way behind TOS at this point, and TOS only lasted 3 seasons.

This episode begins with a cold opening with Data performing his poetry.  Ode to Spot is probably one of the more famous lines of dialogue from this season. Its perfectly Data.

Its also nice to see Will Riker not being quite as polished as he usually keeps himself.  Also that the ship has replaced the shiney sheets of previous seasons with something a bit more like the sheets we have today.  It looks much more comfy to me.

Riker and several crewmembers are expressing weird sensations. Will himself feels trapped when he attempts to help Ensign Rager navigate. He goes to Deanna for help, thinking there is something wrong with him.  Deanna brings together the crew members who have all been experiencing similar situations into a group therapy session.

I found this scene weird. In some sense it makes sense, but as they try to gather what they have all remember, the computer makes leaps to the final design without all the information being given.It does however give a forboding sense as a set of an expiramentation arrives.

Eventually they figure they have been abducted by aliens through a schism in subspace.  A group of Aliens who could not handle our environment have put together a lab to understand the species they have encountered. The episode plays on known tropes and actually comes off a little unique.  Unfortunately one officer did die when his blood is switched to a synthetic.

Overall it’s a good episode, though perhaps forgettable among the others.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Brannon Braga based on the story by Jean Louise Mattias and Ron Wilkerson
  • Directed by Alexander Singer (his first work with Trek)
  • This is the last appearance of our favorite Bolian barber Mot, at least on screen.
  • Apparently this is the only time we see Will Riker take the conn during the run of the series. Which is kind of interesting because Picard has taken the helm several times. I would have thought the first officer would too from time to time.

Pros

  •   I do appreciate that its not just the senior crew that is being used this time.  In fact, only three of the senior crew are involved.  Four if you include Data (although he seems to not have the same after effects of the others.
  • I wish we could see more of Deanna and Beverly working together in tandem.  This episode shows it a little though they never really share a scene.
  • Riker is shown seeking help, which if this had been a mental issue is a good sign. Since he is in the “hero” category, Its surprising that they allowed him to see Deanna’s help.

Cons:

  •  The computer seems to jump to conclusions about the type of table etc as they are giving data. For example it goes from a wooden table to a metal examination chair/table.  It does other leaps of logic that make no sense because the data isn’t there.  Magic of TV land.
  • We never hear of these aliens again – According to Memory Alpha this is because the production team were all disappointed in the “Fish monk” appearance.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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