The Rewatch 158: Final Mission

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.09 Final Mission (11/19/1990)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/33

Notable Guest Stars:

Nick Tate (Dirgo)
Kim Hamilton (Songi)

Review:
 

Those of you following along might notice that I skipped episode 8.  I am not a fan of Future Imperfect and decided I wasn’t going to force myself to watch an episode.  This is for fun, and if I force myself to watch episodes its not going to be fun anymore.

So, here we are, going to Episode 9 instead.  We have a Wesley episode, this time his farewell as a main character. Wil Wheaton went onto other things, and Wesley FINALLY gets to get his higher education.

I feel like this may be Wesley’s best episode because he must try. In a lot of Wesley’s episodes, he’s basically the wonderkid.  He comes up with a last-minute solution that saves the day, or is the one to figure out there was a problem to begin with despite there being several more experienced space travelers around. It always seems to come easily to him.

In this episode however, he is shown more like an officer.  He has (finally) been given a proper uniform, for one so he looks the part.  This probably should have happened a season or two ago.  He also has to work his way through a problem because everyone is relying on his experience and knowledge to save the day. It isn’t automatic, and there is time shown to have passed.

It was a good send off for Wesley and Wil Wheaton.

Its also an interesting episode, because it is another example of how sometimes the Captain (or XO) has to put the needs of many ahead of the needs of the few when Riker has to decide to help Gamelan instead of immediately going after the lost ship.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Kasey Arnold-Ince
  • Directed by Corey Allen (who also directed four other TNG episodes, and four DS9.)
  • This episode was written specifically to get Wesley a good sendoff.

Pros:

  • Wesley gets to act more like an officer then a wonder kid.  And it is about time he got to the Academy he’s been trying to get into it for three years.
  • I like the difference between the first episode and this episode in regard to Wes & Picard’s relationship.

Cons:

  •  I find Dirgo to be vastly annoying.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

The Rewatch 157: Reunion

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.07 Reunion (11/05/1990)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/33

Notable Guest Stars:

Suzie Plakson (K’Ehleyr) – Plakson has appeared before on TNG as a vulcan medical officer and once before as K’Ehleyr. She’ll return as Lady Q for Voyager.
Robert O’Reilly (Gowron)- 
He is an award winning director of theatre and will appear as Gowron for several years on TNG, DS9 and Star Trek: Klingon video game.
Patrick Masset (Duras)-
He is better known for his writing and production credits.  He did appear in the series Friday Night Lights, which he wrote and produced as well. More recently he produced The Black List.
Charles Cooper (K’mpec) –
Cooper returns as K’mpec for his second appearance but he also appeared in The Final Frontier as General Korrd.
Jon Paul Steuer (Alexander) –
The actor playing Alexander would be changed over the years, but Steuer got to create the role.  He was also known for his roles on Grace Under Fire and Little Giants.  However, he unfortunately died in 2018 at 33.
Basil Wallace(Klingon Guard) –
He gets a special mention for being in West Wing, though I honestly don’t recall his character. 

Review:

Continue reading “The Rewatch 157: Reunion”

Rewatch 156: Legacy

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.06 Legacy (10/29/1990)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/33

Notable Guest Stars:

Beth Toussaint (Ishara Yar) – She started off her career with modeling work and appeared in a few music videos, and a reoccurring role on Dallas. More recently she briefly held the role of Hope Wilson on The Young and the Restless in 2006.
Don Mirault (Hayne) –
While this may be his most known TV credit, he has also done a lot behind the scenes.  He is a skilled choreographer and owns his own publishing company.
Christopher Michael (Coalition Lieutenant)-
His largest role appears to be Sergeant Michaels from 7th Heaven. 
Vladimer Velasco (Tan Tsu) –
Velasco has a relatively short credit list according to IMDB.com but he has appeared on several shows including JAG.

Review:

Continue reading “Rewatch 156: Legacy”

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:

Continue reading “The Rewatch 154: Suddenly Human”

The Rewatch 153: Brothers

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.03 Brothers
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/33

Notable Guest Stars:

James Lashly (Ensign Kopf) – Lashly would appear as various characters on Deep Space Nine

Review:

Once again we are dealing with family – in this case Commander Data’s.  The Bplot is that the Potts brothers have gotten in trouble after a prank went too far and now the youngest is in seclusion because of a parasite.  Although why would they have such an infectious plant just handing around the common areas of the ship, I don’t know.  But Alas, poor baby Potts has a parasite that only a Starbase can take care of.

Of course, Data’s family is not noted for their timing.  Data’s homing beacon is activated, and he takes the ship on a joy ride to visit his ‘father’ Dr. Noonien Soong.  Dr. Soong, long believed dead, is actually alive and well, maybe not well but he’s got some stuff to do. 

Side note: This episode is perfect for reaction pics/gifs.  Picard’s “I’m done with this” face was perfect.

Soong has brought Data to his lab because he is dying and his last wish is to give Data the chip that will allow him to process emotional input, something he failed at when it came to Lore.  Who, as it turns out, also has a homing beacon and has arrived at Soong’s lab.  Soong is surprised, thinking Lore to be stuck on a shelf still.  Lore, as usual, is upset. 

I feel this episode allowed Brent Spiner a lot of leeway as in how he could act.  We have Data, who is emotionally disconnected (I still hold the belief he can hold some emotion), Lore who is emotionally unstable and prone to anger and Soong whose dying and has his two mechanical sons* to deal with.  Technically I imagine was difficult to film since the actor had to basically act with nothing and then switch parts.  They would have had to do some editing later to meld the scenes together.  I think that’s why a lot of scenes have the three sitting apart enough from each other they won’t be in the same scene.  They could use a stunt double for the back of heads, or arms, but there were a few scenes where the characters interacted on screen.

I’m giving this a 5/5 because I think everyone did an excellent job, even Rick Bergman who I’m a little iffy on his production choices.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Rick Berman
  • Directed by Rob Bowman (his final episode)
  • From what I have read on Picard, Soong had a biological son as well.  All Soongs, of course, are played by Brent Spiner.  Some very consistent genes in that family.  Except for Juliana (Soong) Tainer who is, in fact, not Brent Spiner.
  • The ditty that Lore sings is Abdul Abulbul Amir.  I found a full version sung by Frank Crumit (1927)

Pros:

  • Definitely an acting showcase for Brent Spiner
  • Shows more of the activities on the ship then just the bridge.  Now we know they have a arcade area.

Cons:

  • It seems at the end they are pushing Data to try to forgive Lore because he’s Data’s brother, but honestly the guy has done more then a bad prank. 
  • I find it questionable that two children would be left onboard the starship while their parents are on sabattical.  Especially where there is no evidence of guardianship.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

The Rewatch 152: Family

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 4.02 Family
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/33

Notable Guest Stars:

Theodore Bikel (Sergei/Sergey Rozhenko)- Bikel was a Academy Award nominated performer. He also worked with Samantha Eggar on a Columbo production.  He helped create the character of Captain von Trapp in the original production of The Sound of Music. The song Edelweiss was written specifically for him.
Samantha Eggar (Marie Picard).
Eggar was also an Academy award nominated performer, as well as a voice actress. She performed as Hera in the 1997 Hercules animated work. She also appeared in Doctor Doolittle (1967) as Eliza Fairfax along with Rex Harrison.
Jeremy Kemp (Robert Picard)
He had a varied career, but the highlight that I found was Darling Lili, which is a film with Julie Andrews and Rock Hudson.  Its actually not a bad movie and I recommend watching it.
Georgia Brown (Helena Rozhenko)-
Brown was most known for her work in theater, particularly the 1960 run of the musical Oliver!.  Part of the musical was rewritten for her to make use of her various talents.  She also got to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show the same evening as the Beatles, which I found interesting. You may also recognize her from guest appearances on Cheers and Murder She Wrote.

Review:

If there was a theme for the next four episodes, it’s the idea of family.  This episode obviously holds to that theme with a focus on Picard and Worf and to a lesser extent Wesley Crusher.

This episode isn’t particularly important to the overall arc of the show, but it is important if you like character focused stories. It is also the unofficial third part of “The Best of Both Words” arc, as Picard is dealing with the mental aftereffects with being made into the Borg.

To me, its obvious that they needed to do this story.  It’s a pet peeve of mine that so many shows do some awful stuff to their characters and they bounce back like nothing happened.  Some shows are better about it (ER for example, although they sometimes took it a step farther).  But Scifi in general is bad about dealing with mental health issues.  Episodic television in general is bad on physical injuries.  Some genres can get around time spans to deal with medical injuries (Scifi for example – Cue super healing!) but some don’t, then it seems super weird when the actor themselves has an injury and they have several months go by with these injuries.

In this episode, Picard has healed (physically) from his borg-related injuries. Psychologically he is still recovering, still trying to find himself after such a loss of control over his own being.  He decides to visit home while he is on earth.  I googled the city he mentions, and it is an actual city, though spelled differently then what it sounds like (which isn’t a surprise). Laval is in northern France, so you can actually go there.

Another improvement in Season 4 is that Troi is given a chance to show her status as a counselor.  She did to a point with Barclay in season 3, but here we are told she has spent awhile with Picard helping him deal with the aftereffects of his abduction.  I think one of the failures of previous seasons is not showing the characters excelling in their individual roles on the ship.  Troi was used as an emotional meter, almost just there to go “I sense a lot of danger, Captain.”  Its good to see her being a counselor rather then just Picard’s early warning system.

I still hold my theory that Picard sees some of his senior staff as pseudo-children.  Not in that they are children, but they hold the roles emotionally for him.  He and Will seem to have to have that father/son relationship and I think with Deanna as well he sees her as almost a daughter.  A later episode deals with his relationship with Wesley in particular who sees Picard as a father figure.

Back on Worf’s side of the episode, he must deal with his discommendation/dishonor and how it effects his relationship with his human parents. I think this episode shows both Worf;s backstory but also shows a happy healthy adoptive parent situation which honestly you don’t always see. These parents clearly love their son and try their best to understand the culture of his native people. Despite not always having the same reactions a Klingon parent would have, they make sure Worf knows he is loved and supported by them if no one else.

Overall this episode is pretty well acted, written and directed and I enjoyed it.  Is it important to the overall series?  Not necessarily but I still feel if you care deeply about knowing the characters who are in the show this is important to watch for both Picard and Worf, and to a lesser extent Wesley Crusher who has an ongoing plot arc from season 1 of dealing with his father’s death.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Michael Piller
  • Directed by Cliff Bole
  • So, production notes have it that Rick Berman and Gene Roddenberry were not happy with the script because it was more drama than action (Berman) and had animosity when the future is a utopia where we are beyond such things (Gene Roddenberry).  I disagree with both of these men because not dealing with the emotional/mental aftereffects of being captured, having your body modified and controlled by an outside entity and working towards killing your fellow colleagues would be wrong and unrealistic.
  • Several of the guest stars of this episode returned in later seasons. Bikel and Brown returned as the Rozhenkos, David Birkin returned as a younger Jean-Luc rather then Rene Picard, and Doug Wert would return once more as Jack Crusher.
  • One of the few episodes with no Bridge scenes.
  • Only episode that does not include Data, but given the next episode, he probably deserved the break.
  • Miles O’Brien’s rank is finally acknowledged as Chief Petty Officer.  There is a lot of development for Miles in this season.

Pros:

  • Character development for both Worf and Jean-Luc.  We get to meet their families, and how they deal with them.  And these families are important to the character going forward.  Unlike Riker’s father, they are mentioned again.
  • The showcase of the friendships beyond being good coworkers. These people genuinely care for one another.

Cons:

  • This would have been a perfect time to mention Riker seeing his Dad, but it looks like Kyle is missing in action.
  • I don’t really see this as a “con” per say, but its not really a pro.  Everyone in France speaks British English.  Was this a deliberate choice, since Stewart has a British accent, to make it seem like everyone in this little corner of France has such an accent?  Obviously, they spoke in English as this was an American TV-show but I’m going to guess we are to assume that despite hearing English and British accents, its really French and French accents.  At least that is the theory I’m going with.

Editing Note:  As of now, I have caught up to where I am watching/Reviewing so posts might not be every day but I’m going to try to get ahead again as I’m off due to a surgery and therefore have some extra time.
I’ll also be working on some other types of posts as well.

Screencap via Cygnus-X1.net

The Rewatch 151: The Best of Both Words ( 1 and 2)

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 3.26 The Best of Both Words 1 (6/18/1990) 4.01 The Best of Both Worlds 2 (9/24/1990 )
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 11/11.5/33 (season 3) 0/0/33 (season 4)

Notable Guest Stars:

Elizabeth Dennehy (Lt. Commander Shelby) She appeared on several TV shows, including the soap opera Guiding Light. She is also the daughter of Brian Dennehy.
George Murdock (Admiral Hanson).
He appeared previously in Star Trek V as ‘God’.

Review:

Continue reading “The Rewatch 151: The Best of Both Words ( 1 and 2)”

The Rewatch 150: Transfigurations

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 3.25 Transfigurations (6/17/1990)
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/.5/22

Notable Guest Stars:

Mark LaMura (John Doe)- He has a wide array of credits, including television and stage.  He had a long term stay on All of my Children.
Julie Warner (Christy Henshaw)-
She appeared in Tommy Boy, Puppet Masters, and Indian Summer which I might need to watch because the cast sounds amazing.  She also appeared as this character earlier in the season.
Charlies Dennis (Sunad
)-  Dennis is a writer and actor, having started his career as an 8 year old.  He even tried his hand as a film critic before moving onto TV, film and video games himself.

Review:

Continue reading “The Rewatch 150: Transfigurations”

The Rewatch 149: Ménage a Troi

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 3.24 Menage a Troi
Rating: 5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1/22.5

Notable Guest Stars:

Majel Barret (Lwaxana Troi) I don’t really think I need to note anything about Majel anymore.  She’s the First Lady of Trek.
Frank Corsentino
(Daimon Tog)- Corsentio’s last three roles (according to IMDB) were on Star Trek.  He has played Daimon Bok from an earlier episode and will later appear as Gegis on Voyager.
Ethan Phillips
(Farek) Speaking of Voyager, Ethan Phillips may be a guest star on this episode, but he will appear as a regular on Voyager as Neelix.
Carel Strucken
( Mr. Homm) I love Mr. Homm.

Review:

Continue reading “The Rewatch 149: Ménage a Troi”