Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Six "Legacy"

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Six "Legacy"
Production Order: 6
Air Order: 6
Stardate: 44215.2
Original Air Date: October 29, 1990

We open this week with another weekly card game in Riker's quarters.
Riker compliments Data's impressive poker face.
Data bets big. (Side note: are those chips worth anything? If there is no money in the future, then what is the point of gambling?)
Riker asks if Data has something good.
Sassy Data Moment: "It will cost you 20 to make that determination, sir."
Riker seems to decide that Data's algorithms have not yet reached the point where he can successfully bluff, so he folds.
Troi points out that Data and Riker have been scooping up the winnings all night.
Sassy Worf Moment: "I suspect conspiracy. But far be it for me to accuse my superior officers."

Riker compliments Data on his mastery of this game, and especially that it's now getting harder for Riker to bluff him. Data accepts the compliment, then Riker proposes that, for all of the chips, he can find Data's card in a deck. Troi laughingly warns Data against this, but Data is all in.
The trick is performed, with Data literally throwing cards over his shoulder when Riker instructs him to "throw them away." Riker does indeed find the card, but then Data perfectly explains how the trick was performed, and takes the entire pile of chips for himself.

Picard pages Riker. They're getting a distress call, and switching headings to answer it.

Picard's Log 44215.2: "We were going to Camus II for archaeological stuff, but we got this distress call from the Federation freighter Arcos, so we're gonna check it out. They're in orbit around Turkana IV, which is where Tasha Yar was born."

On the bridge, Geordi calls to say that the engines are good for now, but they were at warp nine longer than recommended. Worf reports that the Arcos' transmitter is failing. Audio only.
The engineer of the Arcos calls to say that they only have five minutes until a warp core breach. There's an explosion in the background.
"Make that three minutes," he amends. "Thanks for trying, Enterprise."
Damn. The engineer of this ship is a calm-ass legend.
Data says they won't be in transporter range for seven minutes. Picard pushes them to 9.6.

They basically skid to a halt in front of the Arcos, but it blows. O'Brien wasn't able to get a lock on anything. They notice that a little escape pod is moving off away from the site to the planet's surface.
"Um, the last time a Federation ship went to Turkana, it was the Potemkin, and they were warned that anyone who beamed down to the colony would be killed," says Data.
"Shitty," says Picard. "Riker, take an away team down."

Dramatic music! Opening credits break!

Picard's Log, supplemental: "So we're orbiting Turkana IV, an Earth colony that left the Federation 15 years ago. I need to send an away team down to find those missing crew members, but I'm skeptical that things will go well."

The away team meets up in the transporter room, and Data tells them that there's pretty much nothing left of the colony on the surface, and that everything has moved underground. O'Brien has figured out that the escape pod hit the surface just outside of the ruined colony.
Worf expresses some unfounded concern over Crusher coming by hauling out some twentieth-century patriarchal white knight-ism. "Tasha Yar said there were rape gangs there. It isn't safe."
"Fuck off," replies Crusher. "I'm not some delicate flower."
"Seriously, fuck off," chimes in Riker. "Those missing people may need medical attention right away. She's coming with us."
Nevertheless, the colony is less than safe. They set their phasers to maximum stun, then get into Charlie's Angels positions on the transporter pad.

Wow, what a charming place to visit.

This sign confuses me. Why is it still plugged in? Could you get good take-out there a little while ago, but not anymore? And why is half-burnt-out neon indicative of dystopias?

They go into the underground part of the colony, which is completely unguarded for some reason, and are wandering the corridors with the colonists for a few minutes before an alarm goes off, and a group of people point weapons at them.
"Who are you?" demands a guy with a weapon.
"Members of Starfleet," says Riker. "We lost two people down here. Do you know where they are?"
"Maybe," the guy replies. "Come with us."
A yellow light suddenly glows from the chests of the group members, and Worf tells Riker that they're proximity detectors. The rivaling faction on this planet is coming after the group that just arrived. The away team follows the group.

Once inside some kind of inner sanctum, another guy opens some box that the group brought him. This leader guy is Hayne, and the box the group stole is full of fake-ass booze. Hayne distributes some booze to the members of the group, who then clear out so Hayne can talk to the away team.
"The Alliance has your Federation people," Hayne tells Riker. "We're the Coalition. We run one side of town, they run the other. They'll probably ask for a ransom for your friends."
Riker is skeptical, and guesses Hayne's meaning. "You're going to help us, but only for a price, is that it?"
"Yeah. We need phasers. Your ship won't miss a few of those."
Ugh, is this a nod to A Private Little War?
"That is also a ransom," Worf points out.
"The Alliance are going to collect your ransom, and then kill those guys anyway. At least if you sign up with our... consulting service, you stand a chance of getting them out alive. Also, we want the phasers to keep the peace."
"Bullshit," says Worf. "You guys are hella violent." He gestures at the box of boozeahol.
Hayne brushes this off as a prank. "We all have proximity detectors, so we can't get close to the Alliance. But they just discovered a huge stash of weapons, so getting phasers from you would even the score."
Yep. It's A Private Little War all over again.

"Whatever, you guys aren't peaceful," says Crusher. "A former crew member was born here and told us all about it."
When Hayne tries to brush it off as "ancient history," he asks where the crew member is now. Data admits the she was killed in the line of duty, and Hayne mutters something about that being as good a way to die as any.
 Riker is over it. He tells Hayne that he'll go back to Picard with Hayne's proposal. Hayne gives Riker a stolen bottle of boozeahol to offer Picard, and the away team beams out.
Once they leave, Hayne turns to the guy who lead the away team to the inner sanctum. This guy has lines and is in several scenes, but he's referred to in the credits as "Man #1," so I'm gonna call him Chris, because that's the actor's first name.
"Chris, find out everything you can about the Enterprise."
Chris nods.

Back on the bridge, Picard sniffs at the lifted boozeahol, unimpressed.
Riker explains that Hayner and the Coalition are prevented from causing any deep strikes to the Alliance, because of those proximity detectors. So the two groups raid each other for non-essential supplies for funsies.
"They sound like street thugs," says Picard. "I'm sure as shit not giving them weapons. But we don't have any other contacts, and no safe way in other than through them, so we'll just prop that door of communication open."
"Turkana calling," announces Worf.
They put the call on the viewscreen. It's Hayne and some girl.
"This is Ishara Yar," says Hayne. "Thought you'd like to meet her."
"Tasha was my sister," says Ishara.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

We come back to the same moment.
"There's a saying," says Hayne. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I think it's in my best interest  to help you. No weapons exchange necessary. I just figured you might get stuck paying that ransom in weapons, and that wouldn't help me any. So Ishara can be your liaison, and help you get your people back."
Picard mutes the viewscreen, and everyone expresses their distrust for Hayne, for Ishara, and for the Coalition.
"He's totes lying," says Troi. "He's hoping he can manipulate you. I don't know if Ishara is who she says she is."
"I think we should explore other options as they come up," says Picard. "But this might be interesting, too, so I'm gonna agree to it, then go carefully."
He turns the sound back on, and agrees.
"Cool beans," says Hayne.

Data meets Ishara in the transporter room. She has one of those "what are you?" moments, and he explains that he is an android, and no, he was not built for fighting, as the E is not a ship of war.
She gives him a USB of the underground, and he takes her to the Obs Lounge.
As they walk through the corridors, he remarks that he never heard Tasha speak of her, even though he considered her a good friend. Ishara says she is not surprised, and asks if Tasha ever talked about the colony.
"Yeah, only bad stuff, though," he replies. "She said she was lucky to escape."
"That wasn't luck, it was cowardice," she says bitterly.
He pauses. "I would not apply that term to Tasha."
She looks away (guilty?) and he says he's seen Tasha make that face.
"It's been 15 years," she answers. "I don't even remember what she looked like."

They reach the Obs Lounge and are greeted with this:

"You don't believe I'm Tasha's sister," she guesses. "You can check my DNA."
"I will," Crusher assures her.
We get some background info on the colony: about 30 years earlier, shit fell apart and the colony broke into all these little factions. The government couldn't control them, and asked the Alliance and the Coalition (the two biggest) if they would be the police (that's... that's stupid). Everybody got a proximity device as a way to keep the peace (o...kay). With the proximity devices, the Alliance and Coalition decided that they didn't need the government anymore, so now it's just the two factions.
"It's kind of fucked up that Tasha just left you there," says Geordi, who is clearly trying to reconcile this story with what he knew of Tasha Yar.
"She didn't abandon me," Ishara corrects. "She tried to get me to go with her when she left, but I had already joined the Coalition, and they were now family. I couldn't leave."

Worf breaks in to say that there's a call, and Picard puts it on the screen.
It's Tan Tsu, the Arcos engineer they talked to earlier. "Hey, so I'm being held captive by the Alliance, and they want me to tell you that you have 20 hours to make reparations for showing up on Turkana, or they're gonna fuck up our shit."
Crusher tries to ask if she can send some medical Blues to check them out, but the transmission cuts out.
"Best to take that seriously," says Ishara. "They'll torture and kill those hostages. We've never gotten a hostage back alive from the Alliance."
Wow, that's comforting. The E basically hired someone to do a job, and the rep just admitted that they've never successfully done it.
"They could be held anywhere," says Ishara. "Their compound is large."
"There's a thing in the escape pod that monitors the signals and vitals of the crew members and tracks them," says Geordi. "If I could get the pod, then I could find out where they are."
"I know where it is," offers Ishara.

Down in Engineering, Ishara shows the maps of the underground Alliance colony to the others. They come up with a few suggestions for how to keep the Alliance busy while Geordi grabs something from the escape pod. But none of these work. The Alliance is likely to be armed and on the lookout for them.
"Transport me in," says Ishara. "My proximity device will set off their alarms, and I can draw their fire."
"No, that's dangerous," argues Riker.
Ishara is pissed. "I'm here to help you get shit done, whether it's dangerous or inconvenient is immaterial."
Riker angrily agrees to talk to Picard while Data takes Ishara to sick bay to get her DNA.

Down in sick bay, Crusher runs a light over Ishara's arm to take her DNA sample. She says that the computer keeps the crew's DNA on file, then she moves to her office to start running the tests.
Ishara muses that her sister only exists as a computer file now, and Data corrects her, by saying that she also exists as a memory in the minds of her friends.
Ishara asks how Tasha dies.
"It was a pretty shitty death," Data replies. "Not in battle, or for any good reason. Some asshole mud puddle wanted to prove how big his dick was, so he killed her off."
"Well, that sucks," says Ishara.
Riker comes in and says that Picard approved her plan.
Ishara is good enough not to gloat, just to kind of nod solemnly.

Later, a new away team beams down into the Alliance tunnels. They get into position, then Riker comms O'Brien to have him beam down Ishara. The alarms immediately go off. A camera follows Ishara around as she sneaks through the tunnels, phaser drawn.
Meanwhile, back at the escape pod, Geordi is having some trouble with some damaged parts of the pod. He tells Riker he can fix it within about ten minutes, and Riker decides that Ishara has been down here drawing fire long enough. He comms O'Brien to beam her out, but O'Brien tells Riker that Ishara has moved too close to a subspace transformer, which is masking her signal. Riker assigns Worf to cover Geordi, against Worf's judgment, and takes off after Ishara.

In the tunnels, Ishara's sneaking hasn't been enough, and she's shot by an Alliance member. He runs forward (to loot the body? to check for ID?), but forgets to check his six, and is stunned by Riker. Riker grabs Ishara as more Alliance members close in, and he pulls her away from the transformer, so O'Brien can beam them out.

The others look none too pleased.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard is in the office part of his quarters when Riker comes in to report that Ishara just cracked some ribs and will be fine. Picard reports that Crusher says that Ishara is Tasha's sister. Picard then tells Riker that he took some personal chances on the surface, and Riker explains that Tasha was lost on his away team, and he didn't want something similar happening to her sister on his watch. Picard chides him for allowing emotions to cloud his judgment, but then tells him that he did a good job.

Picard goes to see Ishara in sick bay, and thanks her for doing a good job and helping them on the surface.
She makes another comment deriding Tasha, and Picard will have none of it. He tells her about the first time he saw Tasha, when she was helping wounded colonists as a member of another crew, and he requested her transfer to the E. He tells Ishara that he never saw Tasha put her own safety above that of the crew, and follows up by saying he thinks that Ishara would be proud of who Tasha became, and vice versa.

Data and Ishara are on the bridge at Science looking at the map again. Worf walks by and mad-dogs Ishara, hard. Ishara quietly asks Data where Tasha worked, and he tells her it was at Tactical, where Worf works now. Then she asks if Tasha had a lot of friends.
"Yep," says Data. "She was pretty close to Worf, Riker and me."
"Oh. Are you able to have friends?" she asks.

"Of course," he replies.
Data's description of friendship is the best: "Among humans, friendship is sometimes less an emotional response and more a sense of familiarity. ...As I experience certain input sensory patterns my mental pathways become accustomed to them. The input is eventually anticipated and even missed when absent."

Everybody meets up in Engineering for a meeting about how to get those guys out. The hostages sitting in a room under a bunch of granite, so that keeps O'Brien from beaming them out. Geordi comes up with a plan with a drill, but he needs two hours to prep it. Ishara keeps looking at the map, and she says that she used to spend a bunch of time there before the Alliance took over that area, and if she didn't have her proximity device, she could just lead them in.
"We can take it out," says Data.
"Naw, it has a detonation device that explodes upon contact with air," she replies. "When you join a faction, you join for life."
"Okay, but we can put up a force field around the incision, fill it with xenon, and then shut down the device upon removal," he replies.
She looks uncertain.
"Up to you," Riker tells her.

Later in Ten Forward, Ishara and Data have drinks and Ishara fills in more holes in her backstory: her parents were killed in some cross fire right after she was born, and "some people" took care of them for a few months, but disappeared one day. Tasha took care of Ishara after that, and Ishara joined the Coalition. But Tasha hated the factions, blaming them for their parents' deaths.
"I'm starting to see why she chased this life, though," she smiles. "It's nice to be friends with someone without wondering how much you have to watch your back. I think of you as my friend, Data. I feel like I can trust you."
"Cool," says Data. "I think of you as my friend, too."
"I wouldn't have joined the Coalition if had known about this place 15 years ago." She pauses. "Maybe it's not too late."

That guy in the red sits perfectly still, staring at the 3-D chess set, for most of
 this scene.

Data goes to the ready room to talk to Picard. Troi is there. He tells them that Ishara wants to have her implant removed. They both express happiness at this. Then he tells them that Ishara also wants to leave the colony and apply to the Academy.
Picard: "Eh...."
Troi: "Um..."
"Does she know what all of that entails?" asks Picard. "I mean, those are big decisions, and this is the only way of life she's ever known."
"Should we leave her in this shithole?" Troi asks Picard.
"Well, no," he answers. "What do you think about this?"
"She feels ambiguous to me," Troi replies. "Like she has several loyalties. I don't know if leaving and joining Starfleet is what she actually wants to do."
"Hmmm, yeah," decides Picard. "Okay, we'll do the proximity device removal and proceed with the plan, but let's put a pin in this "joining Starfleet" thing, okay?"
They all agree, and Troi catches Data as they head out the door.
"Hey Data, you seem to have a lot of faith in Ishara."
"Well, yeah," Data replies. "She's our best plan to get our guys back. Also, I've gotten used to her."
D'awwwww. I want Data to get used to me.
Troi smiles.

Data goes back out to the Science station to Ishara. Apparently, he went in to talk to Picard for her. He tells her that it's all good, and she thanks him.
"It feels so different," she says. "On the colony, no one does anything for anybody else unless there's something in it for them."
"There is something in it for me," says Data. "Your continued presence on the ship."
She seems pleased. Then her face falls. "I need to tell Hayne and the Coalition. That's going to suck."
He offers her the Obs Lounge for privacy for the call, and she kisses him on the cheek.

Ishara goes into the Obs Lounge and calls Hayne.
"It's working," she tells him.
Aw, fuck you, Ishara.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard's Log 44225.3: "Ishara's implant came out okay, and without meaning to, she's become a member of the crew."

Ishara is in sick bay, getting her post-op check-up. She thanks Data for staying with her throughout the procedure. Crusher hands her the now-defunct proximity detector, saying that she might want to keep it, because it's been with her a long time.
Ishara gives the implant to Data, to remember her.
"Have you changed your mind about staying?" he asks.
"No, but something might go wrong on the mission," she replies.
Liar. Data is your buddy now, and you want him to remember you after you betray him.
Interesting that the implant is Security Gold.

Worf walks Ishara to the transporter room.
"I hear you're gonna join Starfleet," he says.
"If I'm lucky."
"No, we will be lucky."
Looks like Worf has changed his stance on Tasha's sister.

On the bridge, Geordi fires up the phaser-drill so he can make a tunnel through the granite to beam the team in.

O'Brien sends the away team down (Charlie's Angels again), and they take off down the corridor behind Ishara. The others are nervous, cautioning her to be careful and asking if she knows where she's going. She admits that's it's been a long time, and certain things have changed, but she's pretty sure she knows where she's going. She also tells them that they're really deep in Alliance territory, so no one is expecting them to be there.

She points out the chamber where the hostages are being kept. Riker stuns the guard and they blow the door. The away team rushes in to untie the hostages while Ishara goes looking for trouble. She ducks and hides behind corners when encountering Alliance members for the most part, but is taken by surprise and shoots one of them. He's just lucid enough to shoot the alarm box nearby and set it off before either dying or falling unconscious. 

The away team rushes back into the corridor with Tan Tsu and his pilot, noticing the alarm and the fallen Alliance member.
Worf, showing his new loyalty, suggests that Ishara was trying to draw the Alliance's fire as she did earlier. Riker tells him to get the hostages back to the beam-out site, and he and Data will find Ishara.

Ishara takes down another guy, then phasers a fusion generator.

Data finds her. "What are you doing? This generator is overloading. Why are you disabling the defense system? We already rescued the hostages."
Oh, Data. You are so sweet.
Stonily, she tells him that she doesn't care about the hostages, and that the Coalition has 3000 people at the perimeter of Alliance territory, and with the defense system down, they can swarm in and take out the Alliance.
"The Federation will be responsible for the deaths that occur if such a thing happens," he tells her. "That is not permissible."
"I don't want to have to kill you," she tells him.
Oh, honey. *patronizingly pats Ishara on the head*

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

"The explosion will kill both of us," he tells her.
"I'm okay dying for the Coalition," she replies. "But if you leave now, you'll survive."
"Was this your plan from the beginning?" he asks.
"Yes. We never would have gotten this far into Alliance territory without your help."
"That wasn't our intention. You lied to us."
"So fucking what?" she demands. "You got your hostages. Why do you care what we do?"
Because that's a violation of the PD, hon.
"You also lied about being my friend."
"That doesn't matter! The generator is going to blow! Get out of here!"
She tries to shoot Data, but Riker steps in and calls her name. She turns her attention to Riker, and Data stuns her. They both rush forward as she falls, and Data fixes the generator.

Data explains to Riker what Ishara was doing. Riker checks out her phaser.
"Set to kill," he says.
So yeah, she killed two guys.

Upstairs, a now-conscious Ishara enters the bridge with Worf. She's directed to stand next to Picard. Data ignores her. Hayne is on the viewscreen.
"Your plan failed," Picard tells Hayne.
"You presented an opportunity," he shrugs. "Give me back Ishara."
"Fuck off," snaps Riker. "She attacked two Federation officers."
"You don't have jurisdiction here," sneers Hayne.
"Bitch, you don't either!" Riker yells.
Hayne takes the same tack that Ishara did - that they shouldn't care what the Coalition does because they got their guys back.
Riker starts to argue, but Picard cuts him off.
"Data, take Ishara to the transporter room."
Everyone turns and looks at him. Worf is flabbergasted.

Hayne tries to sanctimoniously thank Picard and say that he was only trying to keep the peace, but Picard is all, "shut that mofo off," and Worf powers down the viewscreen. Data leads Ishara off the bridge.
"You're nicer than I would have been," says Riker.
"I'm fucking pissed as hell," replies Picard. "We all really wanted to like her, to see something of Tasha in her. We were all wearing blinders."

Data escorts Ishara to the transporter room.
O'Brien is unimpressed when she walks in.
"You're not saying anything," she points out.
"What do you want to talk about?" he asks dispassionately.
"I did what I had to, but I'm sorry if you got hurt."
"I'm an android. Not possible."
She gets on the pad, and tells him that she wasn't always lying to him, that the time they spent together was the closest she came to having friends.
He pauses, then gives a hella-cold answer: "Energize."
She beams away.

The E leaves orbit of Turkana IV.
Data rings the chime of, and receives entry into, Riker's quarters.
Riker is surprised to see him.
"It's been a few days since Ishara left, but I keep thinking about her," says Data. "It's like a feedback loop."
"Yeah, me too. We were all mislead." He invites Data to sit. "With all trust, there's a possibility of betrayal, but I don't think you anticipated that."
"Did you?" asks Data.
Riker shakes his head. "Nobody ever really does."
"So we should not trust others?"
"Nah, because if you don't trust people, then you can't have friendships. There's risk involved." He smiles, clearly indicating that it's worth it.
"Maybe it's lucky that I don't have the emotional risk," suggests Data.
"Maybe," agrees Riker soberly.

Data walks out into the corridor, holding the proximity device and thinking.

I have mixed feelings about this episode. On the one hand, I liked that Ishara has a different opinion on Tasha than the rest of the crew. Her insistence that her sister was a coward and a jerk makes Tasha more dimensional, as we are kind of seeing her through Ishara's eyes. Siblings are less likely to be complimentary to one another, especially after a log time apart. I liked that everybody was willing to see Ishara as another Tasha because they missed their friend, even after their initial distrust of her.
I liked the underground scenes, some of which utilized hand-held cameras, and which involved sneaking around through tunnels. It made for some interesting tension.
I liked Ishara's wardrobe. The jodhpur-like pants, leather jacket and cream colored blouse made for a slightly revolutionary uniform and looked good on the various Coalition members that we saw dressed in that way. I also liked the blue Deanna Troi-type jumpsuit with the different blue pieces on the chest and back (even if her severe haircut with pompador combined with this jumpsuit make her look like Gozer Gozerian).

Things that were douchey: Ishara getting her implant removed by Crusher. Now she can go into Alliance territory without setting off their alarms, giving the Coalition a leg up, even if the plan fell through.
Also douchey: Ishara and Hayne had no fucks to give if the Federation got blamed for the deaths of those Alliance members. There's a pretty fine line between doing what you need to survive, and being so self-centered that you'll let a (mostly) innocent party take the fall for your murders.
Annoying: things are set up in such a way that Chris seems like Hayne's Number One. But he just disappears once Ishara hits the scene. Would have been nice to see him again, even if he was just standing at ease in the background.
Where I find myself on the fence is with the ending. No, she was never going to be just added to the crew. But it's possible that they could have dropped her off somewhere, to start a new life and consider the possibility of Starfleet. She didn't even have to do that part. Just leaving that crappy colony would have been acceptable. I'm always disappointed when she elects to betray the E (and freaking Data) in order to go back to the Coalition. It's like watching a friend return to an abusive relationship because their partner is "really sorry." You know that it's going to end badly. And you see that the writers could have taken her in a thousand different directions. But instead they had her admit that she had been lying from the word Go, and then sadly tell Data that she had really wanted to be his friend.
I know that's what the episode was shooting for, for us to root for Ishara to leave her old, shitty life in favor of a better one. But Ishara and Tasha were very different people, and giving Ishara a happy ending would not have made the episode better.
So we can just sit here and be disappointed.

- Fun Facts:

- As of this episode, TNG had now officially made more episodes than TOS.
- Things related to that nod:
             - The last ship to have contact with Turkana IV was the USS Potemkin. The Potemkin was                      also a ship that was mentioned in TOS' final episode, Turnabout Intruder.
             - The title of this episode refers to the fact that TNG now has more episodes than TOS.
             - Camus II is mentioned. This planet was also featured in "Turnabout Intruder."
- This episode was supposed to be about gang warfare. Eh, I guess.
- This was Joe Menosky's first writing job for Star Trek.
- Director Robert Scheerer watched all of the Tasha Yar episodes before filming this one. He also recommended Beth Toussaint for the role of Ishara, after working with her previously.
- The Turkana underground sets are just redressed Borg ship interior sets.
- Hayne uses the phrase "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Star Trek: Into Darkness reuses this phrase.
- Michael Piller thought that this episode was good, but kind of forgettable.
- Robert Scheerer said that this episode was fun to film, as the underground set was kind of labyrinthine, and they filmed a lot of those scenes with hand-held cameras, running around and blowing out doors.

Red deaths: 0
To date: 0
Gold deaths: 0
To date: 0
Blue deaths: 0
To date: 0
Unnamed color crew deaths: 0
To date: 11,000
Obnoxious Wes moments: 0
To date: 0
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Geordi moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Worf Moment: 1
To date: 2
Sassy Riker Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Data Moments: 1
To date: 1
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Troi Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
To date: 0
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 4
To date: 7
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 2
To date: 6
Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 0
To date: 0
Number of times when Data gives too much info and has to be told to shut up: 0
To date: 1
Picard Maneuvers: 0
To date: 8
Tea, Earl Grey: 0
To date: 2

Frick has beautiful pumpkin-colored eyes

Monday, May 21, 2018

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Five "Remember Me"

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Five "Remember Me"
Production Order: 5
Air Order: 5
Stardate: 44161.2
Original Air Date: October 22, 1990

Once again, we have a episode whose title instantly reminds me of a song. Only this time, it's a sweet song.


Crusher's Log 44161.2: "Docking at this station to rotate out some crew. Gonna meet up with my old friend, Dr Dalen Quaice. We're taking him back to his home planet."

Crusher meets an older guy as he appears on the transporter pad.
Hey, it's that guy who's in everything!
They exchange pleasantries, and he says it was nice of them to offer him a ride, and she says it's on their way, so no biggie.
She thanks O'Brien as she and Quaice leave the transporter room.
Side note: her buddy seems like he's human, and his home planet is not Earth, so I guess there's a colony on this mystery planet, which is kind of not part of the plot either way.

We follow Crusher and Quaice off the lift and into the corridors, and she tells him that she's sorry to hear that his wife died, asking if he's leaving the station because of that.
"Pretty much," he admits. "We were together for a really long time at that starbase, and it was hard being in those spaces without seeing her everywhere."
She says she gets it, because her own husband died, and she had similar feelings.
He talks a bit about getting older and watching loved ones slip away and realizing too late that you forgot to tell them how much they mean to you. Then he apologizes for heaping emotional baggage on her and quips that he "usually travels light."

A bit later, Crusher goes down to Engineering on her own. Wes is frantically doing a thing at the pool table, and Geordi is getting pissy because Wes' experiment thing has commandeered the warp engines. Geordi wants his shit back yesterday.
Crusher is clearly there to see Wes, and when he notices her, she sees that he's busy and waits patiently for him to finish.

Hmm, that looks familiar.

There's a brief flash, and it sounds like motherboards have fried.
"The fuck?" asks Wes.
"The fucking fuck?" asks Geordi. "Majel, check out our systems."
"Systems are all good," Majel reports.
"What the hell happened?" Geordi asks Wes.
"Dunno," says Wes. "We shouldn't have seen anything outside of the warp drive."
Riker calls to say that they're ready to leave, and Wes confirms that he's done with the engines.
He glances over at where Crusher was standing but she isn't there anymore.
The E leaves the starbase.

Welcome back, LeVar Burton!

Crusher goes to her friend's quarters and rings the bell. When no one answers after several chimes, she opens the door to look for him.
No one inside.
"Majel, where is my friend, Dr Quiche?"
"Dunno," says Majel. "Not on board. Nobody by that name."

Mystery music! Opening credits break!

Crusher is still sitting in Quaice's quarters when Worf rings the chimes and comes in.
"Hey," she says. "So yesterday, my friend came on board and was assigned these quarters."
"Oh. Um, I've never heard of this passenger."
"I thought it was standard procedure for Picard to tell you of any passengers when they're approved."
"It is," he confirms. "But continue."
"So we were supposed to meet for breakfast, but now I can't find him."
Worf asks Majel to find Dr Quince, and when she replies again that he is not on board, Crusher presses him to start a search, because he's an older guy, and may have fallen or damaged his comm badge or something. He agrees. On his way out, he turns and asks why Quiche's belongs are missing, if he's injured somewhere.
She shrugs.

Later, Crusher meets with Picard, Worf, and Data in the ready room. The searches have turned up nothing, and Data's scans of the ship show only the crew.
"They wouldn't show anything if he was dead," Crusher suggests.
Data agrees.
I... that seems like something they should fix. I mean, wouldn't the comm badge of a fallen crew member still show up? Feels like, by the 24th century, they should be able to locate dead bodies on the ship.
Anyway, Picard suggests that maybe Quince went back to the starbase on some emergency, and failed to tell Crusher. "We should call the starbase and Starfleet Command."
They all agree and are exiting to the bridge when Picard calls Crusher back.
"Sooo, you didn't put in a request for your friend to come on board," he says.
"Noooop, I submitted that weeks ago," she replies. "And it was approved."
It seems weird to Picard that Crusher would not follow protocol, so he lets it go. Instead, he suggests that they figure out if Quiche had any enemies on the starbase.

On the bridge, Data tells Crusher that he can't find records of Dr Dennis Quaid on Starbase 133. He also can't find records of Quaid having a service record with Starfleet, or being born.
"I tried like, 170+ variations of his name."
"The hell?" asks Crusher. "I interned with this guy. I've known him for 15 years."
Worf comes back onto the bridge to announce that the search is over, and they couldn't find Dr Quaid.
"Somebody went to a lot of trouble to erase all traces of this guy," remarks Riker.
"I met him in the transporter room!" says a frustrated Crusher.
Crusher and Riker go to the transporter room to talk to O'Brien.
"I beamed someone on board?" asks O'Brien. "Pretty sure I didn't."
"Was I talking to thin air?" demands Crusher. "Was he freaking invisible?"
"No," said O'Brien. "You came into the transporter room, looked around, then said "thank you" and left."
"The hell?" asks Crusher.

Mysterious, dramatic music! Commercial break!

Frustrated, Crusher and Riker get back in the lift and Crusher accuses O'Brien of lying. Riker walks her back from this, and she admits that, with all of the crew transfers, O'Brien might have not remembered correctly. There was no trace of Dr Quince in the transporters.
"I didn't just make him up!"
She calls Quaice "one of my best friends." No... don't...don't do that, Star Trek. Don't conjure someone from thin air and bestow a bestie title on him because you want to tug at our heartstrings. We saw the guy for five seconds, and we're supposed to feel bad for Crusher, but this is a "disappearing mystery," not an occasion where he died tragically.
Riker suggests that maybe she run a "diagnostic" on O'Brien to check to make sure he hasn't been "tampered with" as well.
O...kay. Look, it's nice that everyone immediately believes Crusher, but you're now suggesting that there's something wrong with O'Brien. To the tune of you possibly performing invasive medical procedures on him to figure out why they can't find a person that Crusher says is real, but who they can find no trace of. No trace whatsoever. And no one has ever seen him.
Just before getting off the lift, Riker says he'll check the replicator logs, because Dr Quinn, Space Medicine Guy has been missing for 18 hours now, and he'll have had to eat.
Do the replicators keep track of who has ordered food from them? Or will Will just be looking for rando orders in unexpected places?

Crusher goes back to sick bay, where O'Brien is waiting for her to give him an exam. He protests that
she can check his eyesight, but he didn't see her friend. She assures him that she intends to be "more comprehensive than that," and calls another doctor, a Dr Hill we've never heard of. No answer.
"How about Dr Selar?"
Yes, please. I'd like to see Dr Selar again.
"There are no doctors on board named Hill or Selar," responds Majel.
O'Brien looks at her with pity, because girlfriend is clearly crazy.

Crusher goes to Picard to complain/check in. Drs Selar, Hill, and four other members of her medical staff are missing, their families don't remember them, and neither do two duty nurses.
He asks her if they came on board with Dr Quince, and she responds that they've been on board for months. She misses the fact that Picard did not know who these doctors were, either. Even if he didn't know Hill or the other medical staff, Selar has been on board for at least two years.
Wes pages Picard. "Um, come to Engineering? We got weirdness here that may connect to Dr Quaid's disappearance."
On their way through the bridge, Picard asks Riker about the replicators, but Riker says the ones in Quaice's quarters haven't been used... the quarters that we'd already established were unoccupied. Did Riker assume that maybe Quaice was living in the walls? Wouldn't Majel have reported that?
"Dr Quaice is currently in bulkhead C, Deck 12, guest quarters 10."
Picard also asks Worf to check their systems for weird anomalies and shit.
"I have. They're fine."
"Then run like, a manual diagnostic. I want to find this missing man that only Crusher thinks exists."
Worf looks so, so pleased.

Crusher and Picard rush down to Engineering, where Wes says he's been fucking around with the equations for Kosinski's warp bubble experiments. You remember Kosinski, right? That first-season asshole who came on board with nonsensical equations meant to improve warp engine efficiency, but who was actually a total fraud because all of the work was secretly being done by his alien time-traveling assistant? That guy?
(Okay, he's not a complete fraud, but you'd think that the E's previous experience with the dude would dissuade Wes from screwing around with Kosinski's work, which mostly only worked because his assistant was stacking the space-time deck in his favor.)

So Wes is playing with these equations, and there can really only be two outcomes here: nothing will happen because the equations are crap and never worked in the first place, or something went sideways because they did kind of work and wunderkind Wes understood enough of it to know that it will work, just not how to fix it if it goes off the rails.
You can guess which one it is.
"Yes, I've read your reports," says Picard.
Okay, you let him play with that shit? Like, in the warp core?
"Captain Picard, may I play with dynamite? I understand how gunpowder works, and I have goggles."
"Sure Wes, have at it! Send me updates!"
Wes and Geordi show Picard and Crusher the specs for the warp bubble that Wes made in the warp core, trying to see if they could keep it stable.
"We couldn't," says Geordi. "There was a flash of light, and it collapsed."
They're suggesting that Dr Quaice was inside when it collapsed.
"Where would he be now?" asks Picard.
"Dunno," says Geordi. "Maybe anywhere."

"Was Quaice down here when you were doing the experiment?"
"Did the bubble leave Engineering?"
"Then how could it have trapped him and the others?"
"What others?"
"Others who weren't in Engineering."
Picard tells them to keep plugging away, because they don't have any other plans.

Crusher goes back to sick bay, but it's empty. Frantic, she rushes to the bridge.
"No one is in sick bay! At least four members of my staff are supposed to be on duty at any given time!"
"Um, you do not have staff," says Data. "You're the only medical personnel on board the E."
"Are you kidding me? I'm the only doctor on board a ship with over 1000 people?"
"Noooo..." replies Data. "We only have 230 people on staff here."
Weird, suspicious music. The only senior officers give her some side-eye, because clearly, there is something wrong with this person who thinks that 800 people are missing from the ship.

Picard asks her to come to the ready room with him.
"Sooo, Wes' experiment couldn't have encompassed the whole ship, and we haven't found anything weird, but you're saying we're missing a whole shit-ton of people."
"Do you still believe me?"
"I kind of have to," he admits. "My crew is in danger." He gives her a weird look.
"Yeah, I examined myself," she admits. "Nothing wrong with me."
"But why are you the only person on board who hasn't been affected by this... whatever it is?"
She sighs. "Yeah, I'll talk to Troi."
Just before exiting, she turns and frantically asks him to return to the starbase for a full diagnostic.
He agrees, because he's always trusted her word.

Crusher goes back to sick bay, I guess to hang out by herself, and while she's there, some kind of windy vortex opens and tries to suck her in.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

The senior staff go to the Obs Lounge to talk about what just happened. Geordi tells everyone that he and some others spent two hours scanning sick bay and found nothing. Data comes in and says there's nothing wrong with the ship. The only Federation ship in the vicinity says nothing is wrong, as does a Ferengi ship nearby.
"How many people are on this ship?" Crusher asks hesitantly.
"114," says Data.
"That's how many there should be," says Data.
"That's over 900 missing," insists Crusher. "How does this ship on have a hundred people on board, and tons of empty quarters?"
"We do diplomatic missions," explains Data. "And evacuations. We need the room for those people."
That... is actually a good explanation.
"Okay," sighs Picard. "Confine all non-essential personnel to quarters and toss on red alert."
"Can we have Worf set up a thing to monitor their life signs?" Crusher asks.
He gives her a blank look.
"Seriously? Worf, the chief of security?" More blank looks. "Big guy who never smiles?"

Troi, who has been absent for the first half of this episode, is walking through the corridor. Crusher catches up to her.
"Hey Troi, am I actually crazy?"
"If you're actually asking, then the answer is probably no," replies Troi.
"But what if the problem is with me, and not with anyone else? It means I've delayed a mission and scared the hell out of a bunch of people."
"So what?" asks Troi. "You were acting in the best interests of the ship. That's okay."
I feel like she's downplaying this a bit too much here, and that Crusher could have gotten herself checked earlier without interfering with the running of the ship quite so much, but that's not where the episode wants to go, so...
Troi promises to order a complete physical and psychological work-up of Crusher when they get to the starbase, and Crusher pessimistically mutters about the possibility of reaching the starbase at all.
Then she suddenly remembers that she still has a kid on board (maybe), and rushes off, accompanied by mysterious, worried music.
Troi looks uneasy.

Crusher goes rushing into Engineering, calling Wes' name. She's pretty sure all is lost, when he steps out of the back.
"We don't have a lot of time," she says.
He hesitates, and she correctly guesses that she doesn't believe her.
"Tons of people are missing, and we only have your experiment to help us figure out why."
Wes gets a little short with her, and explains that he already talked to Kosinski on subspace, but the freaking fraud had no ideas, because he's a freaking fraud.
"I could try Kosinski's assistant, that traveling alien who combined warp energy with his own thoughts, but I don't know how to contact him."
"Oh! Maybe you recreated something he did!"
"I doubt it," says Wes. "That was some next-level shit. I mean, I sent a message to his home planet, but it's really far away, and that guy was super sick when we saw him last, he might not even be alive. But if anybody has answers, it'd be him."
"Let's go talk to Picard!" says Crusher.

"Our chances are slim at this point," Crusher continues, "but I'm feeling like teaming up with Picard and this traveler guy might just be enough to get us some info."

Crusher bursts onto the bridge to find just Picard. She moves to the door leading to the Obs Lounge and checks in there, to no avail.
"Lemme guess," she says, looking a bit off, "it's only ever been the two of us in this big empty ship, and you've never heard of any of the crew members that I clearly remember?"
"I've been entertaining this weird notion you have of a crew, but I'm kind of losing my patience," he replies.
She speaks of the missing crew members, talking about character traits they have that she likes, but he just stares at her like she's crazy. She tells him about The Traveler, and how they need to find him.
"When we get to starbase, I'll look for him," he assures her, in a patronizing voice.
"I want to set the computer to monitor your life signs out loud," she presses.
"Until I disappear?" he smiles.
"It'll happen."
He agrees, and they sit in the command positions. Majel begins reading out his vital signs.

"I'm sorry I lost my temper just now," she says calmly. "You remember that, don't you?"
Sassy Picard: "Vividly. But if I've forgotten my closest friends and colleagues, then I deserved the tongue-lashing."
"There's something I want to say to you, that I've been meaning to say to you for a long time..."
Here comes the will-they-won't-they moment, but you know the show won't let that happen.
She glances away, and starts her speech, noticing too late that Majel has stopped speaking.
When she looks back, the captain's chair is empty.
"I won't forget any of you," she tells the deserted bridge.
The vortex returns, big and badder this time, attempting to pull her through the viewscreen.

Heard through the vortex are the warped voices of Geordi and Wes.
"Wes, did you get her this time?"
"No, it isn't holding!"
The vortex starts to subside on Crusher's end, but we follow it through to the other side.
Geordi and Wes are trying to keep the vortex open, but what they're doing isn't working. Wes sees the bubble collapse completely onscreen.
"It's over, we lost her."
Geordi apologizes to the deflated Wes, but another voice says, "It isn't over, Wesley. There is another way."

Yay, Traveler!

Dramatic, hero-worshiping music! Commercial break!

Picard's Log 44162.5: "We tried twice to get Dr Crusher back, but haven't been successful. But The Traveler just showed up, so yay us."

In the Obs Lounge, Picard asks The Traveler if Crusher is alive.
"If she thinks she is, then she is."
Dude, that's not an answer. That's philosophy.

The Traveler says that human meatbags have a really narrow perception of time, space and thought. When Crusher got caught in the warp bubble, she created her own solipsistic nightmare. What she was thinking about when she got trapped was what formed the reality that she's stuck in.
"Can you get her back?" asks Troi.
"No, that's her reality. I can't go in, just like I can't go into her thoughts."
"Cut the bullshit," says Wes. "You said there was another way."
"There is," responds TT. "I can help, but you need to assist me. There's a power in each of us that most people don't recognize, but you have begun to recognize it. Together, we can do the thing."
Way to Vaguebook it, Traveler.

Crusher is pissed, and goes back to sick bay, determined to double-down on this shit.
She thinks out loud, because there's 14 more minutes of this show, and just watching her try stuff without saying anything the rest of the time is not entertaining.
"Starting with the assumption that I'm not nuts," she begins. "Majel, read me off the crew roster."
"Just you."
"Have I always been the only crew member of this big-ass ship?"
Sassy Crusher Moment: "If this were a bad dream, would you tell me?"
Majel makes a noise like she's having trouble computing. "That's not a valid question."
"The fuck it's not."
Crusher walks down the corridor, asking Majel questions about herself to confirm what is still true, while opening doors and checking for other people.
"What's the primary mission of the starship Enterprise?"
"To explore the galaxy," replies Majel.
"Am I qualified to do that alone?"
"Then why am I the only crew member?"
Majel makes that noise again.
"Uh-huh," says Crusher.
"Um, that info isn't available," Majel tries to recover.
"Whatever." She waves off Majel's response, but you know that if this were not a "family" show playing during prime time that she would have flipped Majel off.

Crusher goes back to the bridge and sits in The Big Chair.
"Majel, do you know Tau Alpha C?"
"Cool. There's this guy I need to talk to from there, or someone from his race. Are there any nearby?"
"Okay, how long to Tau Alpha C from here at warp 9.5?"
"Like 4 months."
Crusher sighs. "Okay, do it. Tau Alpha C. Warp 9.5. Engage."
Nada. No va.
"Majel, what the hell? Go."
"I just told you! Tau Alpha C!"
"Are you high?" asks Majel. "No such place."
"Fuck," says Crusher.
No crew, no galaxy.

Picard's Log 44162.8: "Going back to starbase 133 and the exact location where the warp bubble was first made."

The Traveler is down in Engineering with Wes, telling him that they have to go beyond the equations to form the gateway.
"You gotta let go of your guilt, too," he tells Wes.
"Still my fault," objects Wes.
"Immaterial," says TT. "You gotta be present, or this mystical shit will not work. Close your eyes."
Wes gives him a "bullshit" look, but does so anyway.
"See past the numbers," says TT. "See the blondes, brunettes and redheads."
Wes tries typing in the numbers with his eyes closed, but he immediately snaps them open after like zero effort and proclaims that he can't. Bitch, you have to try.
"When the time comes, you will," says The Traveler.
Um, when is that, exactly? They don't really have all the time in the world, TT.

Back in the warp bubble, Crusher has decided to call the starbase. No one is picking up.
"Turn on the viewscreen."
Majel turns it on, and there's a weird blue mist outside.
"What is that?"
"An energy field about 705 meters in diameter."
"It surrounds the ship?" Because she just knows the exact dimensions of the ship.
"Maybe I'm not crazy. Maybe there's something wrong with the universe." Pause. "Majel, what's on the other side of that mist?"
"Dunno. Can't see beyond it."
"Okay, here's an impossible question: what's the nature of the universe?"
"The universe is a spheroid region 705 meters in diameter."
And now she's fucked, because the entire universe is an empty ship. What a nightmare. It's like she's that poor astronaut from The Royale. Only she doesn't even have Sam Anderson to talk to.

The E approaches Starbase 133, and it's a damn nice composite shot.

They're swinging back into the exact position they were in before, and TT and Wes are standing at the pool table with their eyes closed.
"There's the bubble," says TT.
Wes sees it too.
The Traveler makes a Hmmmm face, because The Traveler does not panic. "The bubble is collapsing."

Crusher goes to the science station and asks Majel to show her a drawing of the universe. It looks familiar.
"Is that... Wes' warp bubble?" Pause. "Oh! I'm in Wes' warp bubble!"
The ship rocks.
"Majel, what was that?"
"A flaw in the ship's design. I'm sealing off the forward decks."
"Show me, with one image superimposed over the other."

That's one hell of a ship flaw, not designing or building the forward decks like that.
It's similar to this flaw in the Titanic:

"Aw, crap. It's collapsing."
Yes, ma'am.
"How long until my life support fails?"
"Like four minutes."

The actual E that isn't a figment of Crusher's imagination is now in position, and the rescue is ready to begin.
You know that comment The Traveler made about "when the time comes..." and it sounds like Wes has years to work on it?
No, it's now. The Traveler meant like two minutes. Two minutes to achieve math nirvana.
Wes punches in numbers with his eyes closed.
The Traveler coaches him like a martial arts master.

In the meantime, Crusher asks herself about The Traveler and his ability to make thoughts into reality. She then reviews what she was thinking about when the warp bubble probably formed, and it was her friend Dennis Quaid and his thoughts on people going away forever without knowing how you felt about them.
"I started losing everybody because I was thinking of losing everybody! I created this reality! Can I think my way back out?"
"That info is not available," says Majel.
"STFU," replies Crusher.

Wes and The Traveler are working at the pool table, and The Traveler starts phasing in and out of time again.

"Hey, Majel: if I were in a static warp bubble, how could I get back out?"
"I dunno, you'd have to create a threshold between the bubble and the outside world."
"Okay, what would that look like?"
"It's never been done. How would I know?"
"Bitch, theorize!" barks Beverly. She only has three minutes of life support left.
"I guess like a vortex?" suggests Majel.
"Aw, shit," mutters Crusher. "They kept trying to get me out."
Nothing sucks more than the realization that you could have been done with this bullshit a long time ago.
She decides that if they're going to set up another vortex, it'll probably be in Engineering again, so she hops in the lift.
"I can't take you to Engineering," says Majel. "There's a problem with the lift."
Crusher is over it. "Anywhere on deck 36!"

Whoa, now Wes is phasing, too.

When the lift stops, she gets out just in time. The bubble has pretty much reached exactly where she is now, and is following her down the corridor. She hits Engineering, and lo and behold, there's a fat-ass vortex, just for her.

Crusher head-dives through it, and comes out the other side, a heap in front of a bulkhead. Wes faints. Picard helps Crusher up, and she hugs him.
She asks The Traveler if she should thank him. He humbly says no, and gestures at Wes, who is struggling to get up. Wes tries to be all professional, and even pulls out a Picard Maneuver before allowing his mother to hug him.
"How many people on board?" she laughs.
"Um, 1014," says Picard, "including your friend."
"That's the exact number there should be," she smiles.


Some stuff about this episode that were pretty cool:

- This is a Crusher-centric episode. I like that. We don't get very many of those, and I think she's an interesting character.
- Gates McFadden carries a lot of this episode by herself. That's pretty impressive. It's not quite on par with "Brothers" where Brent Spiner not only does scenes by himself but plays three different characters in heavy make-up in each of those scenes, but it's still cool that she's able to carry a large part of a 50-minute show on her own.
- The return of The Traveler was nice. I like Eric Menyuk, who brings an otherworldliness to the character.

...this episode is a bit meh. I mean, I want to like it more because of the above stated reasons, but I feel like those things were not enough to not only hold my interest, but keep me wanting more. The sci-fi was good, and the psychological parts interesting, but I generally forget this episode exists.

Here's a weird general question: as the audience, we're asked to suspend our disbelief at certain things in order to make the show work. There is a Normal setting for the show that does not quite jive with Real Life As We Know It. The show wants us to believe that there is a fleet of ships in the future that explore the galaxy and beyond, and that we meet and live with other species. Okay. Also, there is one governing body of Earth and we all generally get along as a species. Okay. No money. (Sometimes.) No religion. (We'll see.)
But the show has to have these Normals established in order to establish what is not normal, so that we might understand the conflict. In this case, a warp bubble swallowing a person, who then creates her own reality within it, is not within those established Normal parameters. Okay. And I get that Dr Crusher is a trusted member of staff, as well as being Picard's personal friend. But he let her go on for a really long time before suggesting that maybe the problem was with her.
And so, my actual question: how much weirdness is considered too much to be outside of the show's Normal? Like, this show hits a lot of weirdness. A LOT. And while I know that's necessary for plot, it sometimes seems like too much. What are the parameters for weirdness in space travel? Is it Anything Outside The Realm of Aliens And Space Fleets?

- Fun Facts:

- A cut scene establishes that Dr Hill's first name was Richard, and that he was an osteopath. He had come aboard six months earlier with his wife Cara, who was an exobiologist. When questioned about Dr Hill, Cara could not recall ever having been married, just that she was an exobiologist who had come aboard the Enterprise six months earlier, alone. Dr Selar's family was likewise questioned and did not remember her.
- Gates McFadden did several of her own stunts for this episode, then discovered that she was pregnant.
- This is a bottle show, but you've figured that out already.
- This episode is considered 2 of 3 of The Traveler arc.
- This episode was originally the B Plot for "Family" but the writers felt that there was too much going on in this episode to cram it all in with Picard's PTSD story.
- The Traveler wasn't added to the story until the third script. The first script ended with it being all a dream, but that was unsatisfying. (Um, yeah.) They had wanted to bring The Traveler back for another episode, and thought, "why not here?"
- Director Cliff Bole felt that the impetus for bringing back The Traveler was that he was popular at conventions.
- Starbase 133 was reused footage of Starbase 74 from "11001001."
- Dr Crusher's uniform is a bit lighter than Dr Quaice's. This may either be a difference in fabric, or in laundering. Dr Crusher is seen more than any of the other science or medical officers on the show, so her uniform would naturally get washed more often.

- The Traveler's make-up was modified for this episode, and the third that he appears in. It is lighter here than in the first episode.
- Reality weirdness: Dr Crusher was not wearing her lab coat when she got sucked into the bubble. She then put it on while inside the bubble. When she dives through the vortex and into actual reality, she is still wearing the lab coat.
- Rick Berman felt this episode was a bit confusing. It involves tricking the audience into thinking there is only one reality at work for most of the episode, and tricking the audience isn't his cup of Earl Grey.
- Cliff Bole has said that this was not his favorite episode, but noted that he got a lot of positive feedback from the fans about it.
- This is the first episode to feature the black outlines on the transporter pads. All other transporter pads across the franchise will feature these lines going forward. (Despite the fact that I never noticed those before.)

- This is the third instance that I can remember off the top of my head where Wes was playing with some experiment in a way that was inadvisable for most people, that ends up fucking up the shit  ship, The other two being "The Naked Now" and "Evolution."

Red deaths: 0
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Gold deaths: 0
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Blue deaths: 0
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Unnamed color crew deaths: 0
To date: 11,000
Obnoxious Wes moments: 0
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Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
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Sassy Geordi moments: 0
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Sassy Wes Moments: 0
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Sassy Worf Moment: 0
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Sassy Riker Moments: 0
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Sassy Picard Moments: 1
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Sassy Data Moments: 0
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Sassy Crusher Moments: 1
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Sassy Troi Moments: 0
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Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
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Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 1
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Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 1
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Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 0
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Number of times when Data gives too much info and has to be told to shut up: 1
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Picard Maneuvers: 2
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Tea, Earl Grey: 1
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