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The Rewatch 215: Lessons

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.19 Lessons (4/5/1993)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 8/19/54

Notable Guest Stars:

Wendy Hughes (Lt. Commander Nella Daren) – Most of Hughes’ work was in Australia so unfortunately I have not had the chance to see much of her work. She did appear in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries which I saw an episode of. Unfortunately she died in 2014 of cancer.


This episode is a much lighter episode then the one before, and is more about character then it is about action. Picard slowly falls in love with a new member of his crew, Lt. Commander Nella Daren, who runs the Stellar Cartography lab. The two Their romance is paired with them and their music, playing together in the Jefferies tube and generally enjoying their time together.

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The Rewatch 210: Tapestry

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.15 Tapestry (2/15/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38 

Notable Guest Stars:
Ned Vaughn (Cortin Zweller) – Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know that Apollo 13 has been my favorite movie since it came out in 1994.  Ned Vaughn appears in the movie as CapCom 2.

J.C Brandy (Marta Batanides)- J.C. Brandy has appeared in various tv series over the years, including a couple soap operas.  She also made an appearance in the Halloween film franchise.  She was 17 years old when she filmed this episode.

Clive Church (Maurice Picard) – This appears to be his first -and only – known credit.  Which was notable enough for me to include him in this section.

Rae Norman (Penny Muroc)- Rae Norman was appearing on Guiding Light around the same time she was on Star Trek.


I have to admit this is not one of my favorite episodes of TNG.  Every show has their “It’s a Wonderful Life” episode, it seems, and this was TNG’s.  Picard, having received a near-fatal wound, finds himself in a space with Q.  Q uses his powers to show Picard what might have happened if he hadn’t been stabbed by the Nausiccaans, a story mentioned earlier in the show.

My problem was most IAWL like episodes show the effect someone has on other people, not just their own life. And Picard had a deep impact on the other characters.  For example, there is a scene where Altered Picard talks with Will Riker.  Will is still the executive officer even though its been pretty much implied that the main reason he hasn’t taken a ship of his own is because he wanted ot learn more from Picard. I find it hard to believe that Will would still be on Enterprise and not on his own ship.  And, what does this mean for Jack Crusher? 

Of course, this could all be explained away as being part of Q’s made-up world.

There is also the weirdness of the Marta romance.  For one, they never really made Picard out to have been a lothario till this episode.  And the actress for Marta was 17 years old. While neither actor seemed to find anything amiss, the fact that the crew thought she needed to be aged up by make-up makes me wonder why they didn’t hire an older actress.

This episode did launch a thousand memes of Picard waking up to Q in his bed. 

This episode is usually critically accepted as good, and while I may not particularly feel driven to watch it, I don’t think it’s the worst episode ever. (You have seen me skip episodes so you know that). 

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Ronald D. Moore
  • Directed by Les Landau
  • This episode was inspired by “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
  • The brainstorming team liked this episode as a comparison to Picard’s wild child youth and studious adulthood while Kirk was a studious young man and only earned his reputation as a risk taker as an adult (and as a Captain).
  • First appearance of the Nausicaans


  • I wonder if they realize that they made Q appear pansexual at this point. I mean it would make sense for an energy being such as the Q continuum not to limit their interests by gender.


  • I feel the story seems a little farfetched as far as it not effecting other people that where Jean-Luc was in life was different.  Our lives are ripples, not stagnant dots no matter what Q believes.

Screencap via

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The Rewatch 209: Chain of Command (1 & II)

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.10-11 Chain of Command (Part 1: 12/4/92  Part 2: 12/21/92)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
Ronny Cox (Edward Jellico)- I know him best as Senator Kinsey, the thorn in the side of the Stargate program.
Natalia Nogulich (Alynna Nechayev)-
She will return as Nechayev several times over the course of TNG and DS9.  She has also appeared on the West Wing as an Israeli ambassador.
John Durbin (Gul Lemec)-
Durbin will appear on DS9 and Voyager as various characters.
David Warner (Gal Madred) –
David Warner previously was in the Undiscovered Country as Chancellor Gorkon.  He had also previously worked with Patrick Stewart on a performance of Hamlet.

Warning: This episode contains possible triggering content such as torture and gaslighting. When watching it has graphic torture scenes.  My review also references them, though I will not describe them in detail.


This duo has a lot to unpack. It’s a fairly important episode Franchise wise for a couple of reasons. There are several character development scenes in these episodes from a TNG standpoint. It also sets the stage for DS9, which will premiere next (and shall be Rewatch 209).

Admiral Nechayev comes onboard the Enterprise to surprise Picard with a special mission to go undercover and seek out a possible metagenic weapon which makes current biowarfare seem like toys. He is relieved of duty as Captain and Edward Jellico, a more by the book and militant style Captain is brought in to relieve him.

Jelico is a bit of a debate.  Some fans feel he was an amazing captain, others fell the opposite. I’ll get to my own opinion in a bit.  Regardless he makes an impression because as soon as he transports over, he starts to change the way the ship works. He wants them to switch up their duty schedules into four shifts rather then three.  Which honestly doesn’t quite make sense.  A four duty shift means six hour shifts. It would spread the crew more thinly, and also seems a waste of resources.  But he’s preparing for war, so perhaps he’s trying to make sure everyone is well rested in case of battle.

He also has requests of each department that sometimes borders on incompletable.  For example, despite Data saying it was an attainable goal, Geordi knows it will take the whole department two days of round the clock work to complete.  And Jellico removes part of the tema for security.

Isn’t there already a security department on board?

Its hard to tell with Jellico if he’s just being premptifully prepared or just has unrealistic expectations of his crew on an larger ship.  Either way it puts him at odds with Riker, who is more of a relaxed command structure kind of guy.  Which is good for the Enterprise because it’s a science ship, and he knows his crew and when to be more firm then others.  Might not be so great when it comes to militiarlistic situation.  That being said, Riker has already shown he can take command of those situations.  He did so in The Best of Both Worlds.

Jelico also makes Deanna wear a uniform, which is probably my favorite thing about this whol episode.  It always bothered me that Deanna never wore her uniform unless it was in an alternate timeline or the first episode.  It has been argued that she wears something to make her patients feel more comfortable, but always?

Meanwhile while Jellico and Riker are fighting (and Deanna playing mediator) Picard, Crusher and Worf are all sneaking into what is supposed to be a Cardassian lab.  Except it was just a lore to get Picard.  To get information about a planet they want. Information that Picard does not have.

Picard is tortured in this episode both mentally and physically.  He spends a portion of this episode strategically placed as he is nude.  They don’t shy away from the fact that this is in fact a torture scene. The most popular phrase to come out of this episode is “THERE. ARE. FOUR. LIGHTS.” It comes from when Picard is being tortured while being asked how many lights there are.  He is tortured to the point that he admits (later to Deanna) he almost gives up and says there are five lights just to get relief.

.I do think it is important that afterwards he goes to talk with Deanna. He seeks mental health services, instead of the usual “forget anything happened to him before this” situation that TV dramas seem to take as their go-to.   He’s seen seeing his therapist, even if it seems like he’s just sitting down with a friend. I think that is a very good sign.  I wish that TV shows would show their heroes seeking mental health help when they need it.

This episode develops Picard, as information of his past come to light. Some of which we already knew, some of which is new. It definitely showcases his character, and how he deals with things. He is rescued before he breaks down from the torture, but he still admits at least to Deanna that he was close to just believing there were 5 lights.

It develops Riker to a certain point, because it shows how willing he is to rebel when he doesn’t think the commanding officer has the best interests of the crew in mind.  Although I do think that he’s a little reactive in this episode, considering he himself has had to deny going back to get someone till after they finish something else.

I do find it funny that all of a sudden he is the best pilot on the enterprise but we hardly ever see him fly anything.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by (Part One) Frank Abetemarco and Ronald D. Moore (Part Two) Frank Abetemarco
  • Directed by (Part One) Robert Scheerer and (Part Two) Les Landau
  • This episode has a homage to the George Orwell classic “1984”.In the novel, a character uses gaslighting to mentally manipulate someone into believing an alternate reality (five fingers instead of four, or in this case, five lights instead of four)
  • This episode was originally meant to be a one parter, but they decided to stretch it out into a two parter to help save on their budget.  In the end it ended up being a good decision because the story needed both parts.
  • David Warner was a last minute casting, as the actor who had been cast had to pull out for undisclosed reasons.  He had to have his lines held up because he had no time to learn them.  Considering all that, he did an excellent job.
  • This episode was meant to help establish the situation around DS9, with references to Cardassia’s history, and their removal from the Bajoran sector.  Solok was originally meant to be Quark, but it was decided against that when they got to the final script.
  • Abetemarco did research on torture responses with Amnesty international to get the scenes right. Patrick Stewart also made sure to do research into make this episode believable.


  • Excellent acting by Patrick Stewart.  This is perhaps one of the darker episodes of TNG and he did a great job in showing Picard’s struggle.
  • Excellent acting all around really.
  • Deanna Troi gets her uniform back. If nothing else, I thank Jellico for that.


  • While I don’t think Jellico was a bad captain, I feel he could have saved himself some energy and figured out what was working on Enterprise before trying to alter it.  Many arguments can be made over his overall choices though.

Screencap via

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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.


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.


  • 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.


  • 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

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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’.


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The Rewatch 144: Captain’s Holiday

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 3.19 Captain’s Holiday (04-02-1990)
Rating: 4.5/5
Redshirt Status: 0/.5/22

Notable Guest Stars:

Jennifer Hetrick – Vash.  She will return as the character twice more, once on TNG and once on DS9.
Max Grodenchik –
Sovak. He played many characters over the year, but mostly is known for being Rom, Quark’s younger brother on DS9.Apparently he’s in Apollo 13, but I don’t recall seeing him.  Oh, well.  What a hardship to rewatch my favorite movie again.


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The Rewatch 101: We’ll Always Have Paris

*Note: This was posted in reverse order with the next episode. This aired before Conspiracy*

Series: Star Trek The Next Generation
Episode: 1.24 We’ll Always Have Paris. (05-2-88)
Rating: 3.7/5
Redshirt Status: 0/4

Notable Guest Stars:
Michelle Phillips – Jenice Manheim. You may know her more for her music career then her acting career.
Rod Loomis – Paul Manheim. He appeared in Bill & Ted as Sigmund Freud. Which I find easier to notice now because I recently watched Bill & Ted to celebrate the third film coming out.


This episode has two plot lines. The main plot line is that Paul Manheim has found evidence of time manipulation. The Enterprise crew of course has to figure out what is going on, only to find out that Manheim’s team has been killed, and he is the last survivor other then his wife.

Plot two, the lighter of the two plots, is that Jenice Manheim is a former girlfriend of Picard. I kept seeing Imzadi parallels thanks to the book Imzadi (Peter David), which isn’t canon anymore by a long shot but still. Two lovers were meant to meet somewhere, and the dashing Starfleet officer leaves his love behind to ship out. Only this one ends differently with Jenice staying with her husband who she loves, and Picard staying with his ship.They share a fond farewell, but both know they are better for it.

I honestly don’t have much to say about this episode. I like the inclusion of the holodeck, and the backstory for Picard. I also like the fact that they point out that no one sees Data as just a machine (like the alien from the previous episode). Data thinks he is disposable, but that is not Picard’s thoughts at all. Overall it was neutral though. Its not an episode that leaves an impression unless you are there specifically for character moments for Picard and Data. So I’m going to give it a 3.7.

With the influence of the Imzadi backstory, I have to wonder if Picard and Riker talked about what was going on and Riker felt his own story playing out in a way.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Deborah Dean Davis and Hanna Louise Shearer.
  • Directed by Robert Becker
  • Title references Casablanca (as does the Blue Parrot Café). A classic film I still have yet to see.


  • Data getting to save the day


  • Not really a amazing episode. Kind of dull.