Posted in Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 221: Suspicions

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.22 Suspicions (05/08/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 1/20/54 

Notable Guest Stars:

James Horan (Dr. Jo’Bril)- Horan has done alot of voice work over the years in several highly known video games, including tie-in games for Star Trek, Star Wars, and Avatar. He will appear again in DS9 and Enterprise (as the humanoid figure seeking to change time). More recently he has played in Orville.
Peter Marx (Dr. Reyga) – Marx has played a series of Ferangi characters over the years, appearing first as Nibor in Menage a Troi. He will also appear in Voyager in the 2 parter year of hell
Joan Stuart Morris (Dr. T’Pan) – Morris has a fairly short credit list, with Star Trek in the middle. Her last credit is listed in 1995.
John S. Ragin (Dr. Christopher)- Surprisingly, this is Ragin’s last listed credit on IMBD. He is known for his roles on Santa Barbara, Quincy M.E., and The F.B.I. He died in 2013.
Tricia O’Neil (Kurak) – Tricia O’Niel is a Star Trek Alum, having previously shown up on TNG as Captain Rachel Garrett in Yesterday’s Enterprise. Of course, with the make-up and her acting skills you can’t recognize her.
Tracee Cocco (Ensign Jae) – while her roles are mostly listed as “Uncredited” Cocco has appeared in 62 episodes of TNG, 6 episodes of Voyager, 6 episodes of DS9, several movies, and a few video games. So for this episode, I’m going to acknowledge her contributions to Star Trek

Review:

This is an interesting episode. We start at the midway point as Guinan shows up at Beverly’s apartment seeking treatment for a tennis elbow, and listens to Beverly explain the events of the past few days. You see, Beverly was impressed by the presentation of a Ferengi scientist, Dr Reyga, and his metaphysic shield. However, Reyga was faced with some discrimination due to his being a Ferengi and in general no one trusting someone from that species to be a scientist with ethics.

So Beverly gathers a few scientists: Dr. T’Pan, Dr. Christopher, Dr. Kurak, and Dr. Jo’Bril. The four of them, along with Beverly procede to cautiously examine the data, and few the test run. Dr. Jo’Bril even offers to be the pilot of the test craft, to make it a bit more unbias. But then Jo’Bril suddenly dies, after what seems like a positive test run. Then Dr. Reyga dies. And Beverly has a hinky feeling about all this. Side Note: This review has some serious Spoilers as I have to talk about the end of the episode

Cue Beverly following her gut instinct. She feels that Dr. Reyga at least was murdered. Unfortunately his family is very against any invasive autopsy, so Picard forbids one, telling her she has to find her data elsewhere. So she does, interviewing the other scienctists. Finally she goes ahead and does the autopsy, and gets put on leave for her actions.

I do have an issue with this part. Even today we have methods of doing an autopsy without it being invasive. We have the technology, why wouldn’t Starfleet in the 2300s? We don’t see it on screen, but the implication of damaging the body was given, which would imply a traditional autopsy. I think it would have made more sense for her to do a technological autopsy, then when she couldn’t find any data, deciding a traditional one was required.

Also I find it weird that a society that cremates their bodies and sells them as tokens to celebrate a life would have such a problem with autopsies. But apparently the Ferengi have a population that does not do that, and in fact wants the body as complete as possible for an actual burial. I suppose its a problem that continues to hit scifi-the idea of a culture being all the same. That there wouldn’t be an alien world with different cultures, different religions and practices or even food. After so many years of seeing that, you come to expect that a alien world is all the same.

Or perhaps vacuum desecration is a bit like a state funeral. Its for people of high standing or rank within the community, not the average citizen.

Jo’Bril turns out to be the twist in the end. I kind of wonder if Beverly had issues later about the fact that she literally was doing an autopsy on a living being, while he was concious. Its a bit creepy, to be honest, and If I were her I’d be a little freaked out by it. But then I knew a long time ago that the medical field was not one for me. Also find it creepy that a alien can get a large gaping wound on his chest and then move around like nothing happened. I mean I have heard of species that can regrow limbs, but usually not in the middle of the body. Unless its an earth worm.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Joe Menosky & Naren Shankar
  • Directed by Cliff Boyle
  • originally the protaganist of this episode was Worf, but they changed it to Beverly as they thought Worf was being overused. Which I get, considering the next episode is heavily Worf episode.
  • Many rewrites were done to change the character, to add Guinan, and to add the twist ending. The writing team was not having as much fun with this episode given how much work they had to do to make it the way we finally see it.
  • This is Guinan’s last appearance on the series, though she returns in Generations. She will also appear in Nemesis, and Picard.

Pros:

  • There are not enough Beverly Episodes. Especially ones where she doesn’t have a weird love interest.
  • Showcases scientists from various cultures.
  • Showcases female friendships

Cons:

  • A bit of inconsistency with Ferengi death rituals. In an earlier episode of DS9 it is said that upon death, the remains are vacuum desiccated and sold in bits. In this episode, the family requires that the body not be touched before burial. I suppose that perhaps they do not want the remains disturbed before the desiccation. But really it isn’t very clear.
  • Jo’Bril creeps me out.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

Author:

A thirty-something Graphic Designer and writer who likes to blog about books, movies and History.

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