Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Nine "Final Mission"

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Nine "Final Mission"
Production Order: 9
Air Order: 9
Stardate: 44307.3
Original Air Date: November 19, 1990

Picard's Log 44307.3: "Going to Pentarus V. There's this mining dispute and they want me to mediate. Gonna get there by shuttle."

Wes rushes onto the bridge and reports to Picard.
"I called you ten minutes ago," says an annoyed Picard.
"I know, I'm sorry," says Wes. "I was in the middle of an experiment, with these volatile chemicals, and I couldn't just walk away from it -"
Um, so when they call you to the bridge, how about maybe saying, "Be right there, I need to make sure the ship doesn't blow up from this experiment?" It's not like you can be expected to report in the second they call you, every time - sometimes you're called to the bridge when you're taking a crap. Or when you're asleep. Or when you're in sick bay having blood drawn. There's gotta be some leeway.
But Picard accuses Wes of giving him excuses, which is unfair. Kid just told you why it took him a few minutes to get himself to the top of the ship.
"This kind of crap won't be tolerated at the Academy," he lectures.
"I know," says Wes apologetically. Then his face lights up, and we don't know why. Because they talk about the Academy all the time, and what kinds of things to expect.
But then Picard happily clues in the audience: they have an opening at the Academy now, and Wes will start in two weeks.

I am excited for Wes, but briefly sad for whoever dropped out/ got expelled/ died/ect and left an opening.
"You're gonna have to work hella hard to catch up," Picard warns. "Told the admiral in charge that you could do it. Don't prove that my pants are flammable."
Everybody is all smiles.
"Riker says you've been studying Federation law and how it affects far-flung outposts, so I'm gonna take you with me to this miner thing so you can see firsthand what it looks like."
So there's our A-plot: Wes will go with Picard for one "final mission."
Now for the B-plot:
"Getting a message from a system nearby," says Worf.
They put up the call on the viewscreen, and... you ever look at an Alien of the Week, and think, "the producers probably gave Hair and Make-up an actor and told them to just go wild"?

"I'm Chairman Songi of Gamelan V," says the alien. "There's this weird ship in orbit, and they're not answering hails, and they're throwing off some insane radiation. The assumption is that we're under attack. Can you help us out?"
The E isn't close enough to do a scan, and there are no other ships nearby, so Picard tells Songi that they'll head over to check it out.
"Riker, you're in charge of B-plot while Wes and I are gone," says Picard.
Wes and Picard go down to the shuttle bay to board the shuttle the miners have sent, and damn. Shit should have been turned into the Cash for Clunkers program in 2009. I'm surprised one of the doors isn't a completely different color.

Geordi climbs out of the shuttle. "Hey," he says to the pilot. "So I've noticed that your thrusters are held on with bread bag twist-ties?"
"Yeah, it worked better than Elmer's glitter glue," responds the pilot. "More efficient."
Geordi seems stunned. Like, mildly impressed that this dude MacGuyvered his ship, but also concerned because maybe the seatbelts are actually bungee cords.
"You can study it if you want," says Captain Jury-Rig.
Geordi seems grateful when Picard and Wes enter, and he isn't forced to come up with some reason why he isn't remotely interested in poking around under the hood of this janky Honda. He tells Picard that he gave the ship a once-over, and while the ride might be rough, it's safe enough.

The pilot comes over and introduces himself to Picard as Captain Dirgo of the shuttle Nenebec.
There's a weird awkward moment where Dirgo claps Picard on the shoulder by way of greeting, but then Picard holds out his hand. They shake. I think Dirgo is pleasantly surprised that Picard elevated him to handshake status.
"Captain?" Wes incredulously asks Geordi. "Of a mining shuttle?"
And he's about as discreet as an old lady whose hearing aid isn't working properly.
Don't be classist, Wes.
Dirgo is salty. "Yes, ENSIGN. Captain. It's not pretty, but we've logged more than 10,000 hours together."
Picard smooths things over by groping for an adjective to describe the shuttle and settles on "sturdy."
Yeah... he's being nice.
Dirgo offers to let Picard ride shotgun, but Picard says he has to study up on the law regarding the mining situation, and says Wes will takes Ops instead. Dirgo looks so pleased.
They climb in the shuttle and take off.

The E takes off for Gamelan V.
In the Nenebec cockpit, Dirgo seems surprised that Wes is so proficient at Ops. But he gets in a dig at Picard instead.
"If your captain isn't tougher than that, the miners will eat him alive," he says.
Yeah, yeah. We get it. You studied at the School of Hard Knocks.
Feeling challenged, Wes tells him that Picard is tougher than he looks.
Unfortunately, no one is going to Pentarus V. The Millennium Falcon's cardboard cousin loses one of those thrusters, and they tailspin into a random moon.

Dramatic music! Opening credits break!

Picard comes flying out of the back and takes Wes' space at Ops, while Wes goes to some other panel. Dirgo tries to raise the E, but the Nenebec's Ship Disabling device is that the ship is totally disabled, and the E flew away.
Communication goes down. No way to raise Pentarus. Gonna have to crash-land somewhere on manual. Wes scans for class-M planets nearby and says that one of the Pentaran moons is, but it's hot AF. No life forms.
Good enough for government.
Picard orders him to switch the remaining thruster to manual, so they can use the impulse engines to coast in.
"I'm trying," says Wes, at a loss. "But this equipment is about a hundred years old."
Yeah, I get that feeling. It's like when my friends loan me their electric car, and I can't figure out how to get the damn thing to reverse. My car is a 15-year-old base model. Things are the same, but... not.
"I don't have the Federation's resources!" Dirgo yells back.
I think he's feeling attacked, but Wes is not attacking him. Wes is struggling to do a thing with equipment that is unfamiliar to him.
And when your shuttle is falling like blue ice from the sky, it is not the right time to call someone on their privilege. Shut up and land the shuttle, Dirgo.

They all swap seats. Picard reaches out to grab a pipe overhead to steady himself as he takes the helm, and that shit snaps off in his hand. How reassuring.
They brace for impact.
We skip over the actual crash but see then interior of the ship shaking and a flash of bright light, then we go to Picard opening the emergency hatch on top of the shuttle a moment later.

Ooh, promising.

They climb out of the shuttle and Picard drops into CO mode. They need shelter from the sun, because they can't hang out in a metal ship in full sunlight. It's like 130 degrees outside (55 degrees Celsius). Also, they need something to cover their heads and eyes, medical supplies, and food and water rations.
"Well... the medical supplies are undamaged," offers Dirgo.
Picard knows what he means. "You... you don't have rations on your ship?"
"The replicator is busted."
"This isn't a fancy starship like the Enterprise. I have to choose what I carry."
Oh, for the love of -

Wil Wheaton gazes into the distance in a dramatic shot.

The E has reached Gamelan V and scanned the ship in orbit.
"It's unnmanned," says Data. "The engines haven't been turned on for about 300 years."
"The radiation coming from it is ridiculous," says Geordi.
"It's full of unstable waste material," Data supplies.
"A fucking garbage scow," Geordi guesses.
"Yeah, probably," Data agrees.
Riker calls Songi. "So you're not under attack. Somebody loaded up a ship with hazardous waste material and set it adrift. It was pulled into your planet's gravitational well."
"Do any of your people have radiation sickness?" Crusher asks.
"Not yet," says Songi. "But the levels we're detecting are crazy-high. Kind of just a matter of time."
"We'll take care of it," Riker tells her. He signs off.

"We're gonna huck it into the sun," Riker tells the bridge crew. "Objections?"
"Yeah," says Data. "There's an asteroid belt between here and the sun."
"Meh. We'll tow it through the asteroid belt."
"Oh, hell no," puts in Geordi. "We'll all get radiation poisoning being that close. I think we should send construction modules over to put thrusters on it, then control them from a distance."
"Incoming message," announces Worf. "Pentarus V says the shuttle with Picard on it has not arrived. They want to know if we've sent out a search party."
"Craaaap," says Riker. "Tell them we have an emergency, and we'll get on it as soon as it's resolved."
He turns to Geordi. "Do the thing, and make it quick."
Dramatic close-up on Dr Crusher!

Back on the Pentaran moon, our refugees have acquired doorags. Wes plays with a tricorder, and says he can get a few scans here on the surface, but not a whole lot, because this rock has a really high magnetic field around it. Dirgo exits the ship with scraps of fabric meant to be used as belts, and a trio of working, ancient phasers. Picard tells Dirgo that he is creating a metal arrow out of debris, so if anyone comes looking for them, they'll know that the group has headed for the mountains in the distance.
"We can't make that!" protests Dirgo. "It'll take forever to get there!"
"Mountains offer shelter," says Picard sensibly.
"Fuck that! Who said you were in charge?"
Hold up there, Gilligan. Your tin-foil ship and lack of foresight regarding provisions has landed you here. No one is letting you make the decisions.
Wes jumps up from his spot on the ground. He came out to learn about some boring-ass space laws, and he's honestly feeling so attacked right now. "Hey, fuck you, too! If anyone is getting us out of this, it's Captain Picard!"
"Okay, thank you, #TeamJean-Luc," says Picard calmly. He gives Wes the phaser. "Captain Dirgo, you're an able pilot. I welcome your input."
Smooth like a fresh jar of Skippy.
Dirgo has nothing, and concedes to Picard's plan. He grabs the medical supplies, and they head off... though kind of not in the direction of the arrow?

We see some shots of them walking in the hot sun with parched lips. Dirgo, bringing up the rear, trips. Wes gives him a hand up while Picard keeps going.
"And you were worried about Picard not being tough enough," he says.
Dude, not the time to be snide.
He turns and follows Picard, and Dirgo pulls this crap:

Motherfucker has a flask on him. Is anybody surprised?
Also, what's in that case? Because he says it's medical provisions, but based on his trustworthiness so far, I'm willing to bet that it's bootleg copies of Ocarina of Time.

Wes has his tricorder open again.
"You see water?" asks Picard.
"No..." says Wes. "I see energy readings. Like, regular repeating ones. Not naturally-occurring. And it gets stronger as we head for the mountains."
"Like a life-form?" asks Picard.
"Something may be waiting for us," says Dirgo.
"Yeah, maybe," Picard agrees. "But we won't make it back, and we can't stay here, so I guess we walk to whatever is waiting."

The trio enters a cave. Dirgo insists that there must be water here, because caves are formed by water, but Picard points out that caves are also formed by lava, and the walls are dry. Wes' scans indicate no water, but the energy readings are stronger and slightly different. Dirgo fluffs his shirt and the flask falls out.
"WTF?" demands Wes. "You had water this whole time? You asshole!"
"No, it's not water!" says Dirgo quickly. "It's dresci, from my planet. I wouldn't hide water. I was gonna share. It's medicinal, for emergencies."
Picard sniffs it. "It's alcohol. That wouldn't have quenched your thirst. Shit dehydrates you."
Duh. That's Booze-ahol 101.
Picard puts it with the medical stuff. "We're gonna keep it for sterilizing stuff."
Dirgo protests because he was getting White Girl Wasted, but Picard gives Wes the medical case, and makes Dirgo lead the way through the cave. He can't trust him to bring up the rear again.

Back at the E, Crusher is mobilizing her army of medical staff to treat the radiation sickness she anticipates the Gamelans getting. She tells her little medlings to start replicating medicine so they can send it down when need be. Troi comes in as the staff are dispersing.
"So we called the Federation for search ships, they said they'd do it, but they're a week out."
"Okay," says Crusher robotically.
"We asked the miners to send ships, so maybe they will." A pause. "You know, there could be lots of reasons why the shuttle hasn't gotten there..."
"I appreciate it," Crusher interrupts her. "I know you're trying to be all supportive and shit, but I'm really busy doing my job right now, and saving people's lives, so maybe don't, okay?"
And Troi looks concerned because her friend is worried, but is not reacting to that worry, and maybe I'm super wrong here, but I really think it's okay for people to soldier on for a bit when the shit is hitting the fan. As long as you don't try to swallow it and never deal with it, it's fine to set things aside. She doesn't need to be a puddle of worry this instant, Troi.

On the bridge, Geordi reports that the thrusters have been set up on the garbage scow, and they're ready to direct that thing to its doom. But thirty seconds after the thrusters are turned on, one of them flies off into the ether, weakening the hull structure of the scow, which is already threatening to fall the hell apart.
"Well, fuck me," says Riker. "Looks like we get to tow that shit. Throw our shields up around it to keep it in tact, and attach a tractor beam."
"Hey," says Majel. "You're gonna die soon from radiation poisoning. You might want to do something about that."
"Monitor the crew's radiation levels," Riker tells Data.
"Tell the miners we won't be there for a while," he instructs Worf.
"Also, I need Dr Crusher up here pretty quick."

Down on the Pentaran moon, the trio has been winding their way through the cave systems, and find themselves in a big room with a water fountain.
"I knew there was water here!" yells Dirgo.
He rushes forward, but is cockblocked by a force field, which lowers down over the fountain.

"What was that?" asks Picard.
"The energy reading I was getting before," answers Wes.
"I bet the force field is protecting the water," guesses Picard. "I wonder how we turn it off?"
"With a gun!" says Dirgo, and he starts shooting at the force field with his phaser.
"That's a dumb plan," cautions Picard. "You should probably knock that off."

"Energy levels are spiking," warns Wes.
Then this thing made of energy swoops into the room, causing minor rock falls around the room. It succeeds in knocking the phaser from Dirgo's hand, and loosens more rocks as it does so.

"WES!" yells Picard.
He pushes Wes put of the way, and the rocks fall onto him instead.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Dirgo and Wes provide first aid to Picard, with Wes taking the lead. He tells Picard that he has a broken arm, a broken leg, and a head wound.
"Cool," wheezes Picard. "I mean that sucks, but I can live through that."
"Not cool," interrupts Dirgo. "I can see the hints that you're bleeding internally and will die."
"Kindly fuck off," says Picard pleasantly.
Dirgo wanders off to sulk.
"So this will be unfun," Picard tells Wes, "but I'm probably gonna get worse rather than better, and you're gonna have to keep a tight rein on Dirgo. By yourself. Sorry."
"Well, shit," says Wes.

Riker's Log 44307.6: "Slowly dying from radiation poisoning. The ship has started pumping meds into the ventilation system to keep it in check."

On the bridge, Data reports that the medicated air will only provide a stop-gap of 38 minutes.
Crusher pages her team to tell them to evacuate certain areas.
"How long until we get through the asteroid belt?" Riker asks Data.
"51 minutes," comes the reply.
Geordi says they're pretty much at limit for how fast they can go when towing something via tractor beam, but as per the usual, he's asked to squeeze out a bit more. He figures out that they can go to half-impulse, but not three-quarter, because the tractor beam starts breaking down.
"Geordi, can you (science)?" asks Riker.
"I can (science)," says Geordi, "but probably not (other science) because (science). However, I can try (science)."
"Yeah, (science)," replies Riker.
"You're all gonna die in 35 minutes," announces Majel.

Wes goes back to the fountain room with his tricorder. Dirgo has been in there having a (very dry) Pity Party. Dirgo shows him the phaser that the ball of energy knocked from his hand earlier. It's encased in crystal or clear plastic or something.

"So the energy readings stay way low when we're not near the fountain," says Wes. He asks Dirgo to approach the fountain. "It just went way up. I bet that ball of energy only appears when we get too close to the fountain, like a guard or something."
"Less talk, more action," replies Dirgo. "You set this phaser to overload on maximum, and put it on a ledge. The energy ball will go for that while I blast the force field with this other phaser, which will be set on low."
"That's... bad science," argues Wes. "It's all sketchy, unproved theories based on your guesses. You have no idea how that plan will turn out."
"STFU," says Dirgo. "I'm the adultiest adult here right now, and I say we're doing it. While we're arguing, your captain is dying without water."
Oh, hell no. You do not gaslight the teenager because you're salty he took your drank.
Wes begrudgingly agrees, probably with the thought that this will fail miserably, and he can tell Dirgo off.
So he sets the phaser to overload on a ledge nearby, and Dirgo goes to the other side of the chamber and shoots the fountain. The energy ball comes back and goes briefly for Wes' phaser, just as Dirgo suggested it would. Wes steps behind a rocky outcrop, because he isn't stupid. Unfortunately, the energy ball fiddles with Wes' phaser, gets bored, and goes for Dirgo. Wes hears him scream, and when he ducks back around the rock -

RIP, Dirgo. You were a dumb asshole, but I suppose you didn't deserve to die.

Riker's Log: "Geordi is doing a thing so that we can try to tow the garbage scow through the asteroid belt. This is pretty much our last shot to get rid of this thing while not dying from radiation poisoning."

And so here's the question: if they can't get rid of it without dying, what's to stop them from contacting Starfleet and tagging it as a Superfund Clean-Up Site so people with more accurate equipment can clean this up instead? Like, are they really expected to die horribly if their time runs out? Will the ship break down and spill everywhere? My guess is yes, based on the fact that they're trying to take care of this before looking for Wes and Picard, but is there no way to contain the damage after the fact? I suppose we should assume the worst is the case so that the tension builds properly in the story, but I have a few more questions about this B-plot.

Geordi enters the bridge and tells Riker that they can safely speed up without compromising the tractor beam, so they take it to full impulse.
"Hey," says Majel. "Y'all are gonna die in about a minute."
They roll up on the asteroid belt.

The second they clear the belt, they shut off the tractor beam and fling that shit into the sun.

Bye, Felicia.

Wes goes back to Picard, who remarks that he's cold.
"Yeah, the sun went down, and high desert, and all that crap," says Wes.
He does that neat trick that Sulu did forever ago with the phaser and the rocks.

Wes haltingly tells Picard that Dirgo is dead, and that he should have tried harder to stop him, and he feels bad about that.
Picard starts to slip off, and Wes panics. Picard assures Wes that he is not dead yet.
Time for some confessions and a few verses of Kumbaya.
"You know when we took that shuttle ride to Starbase 515, and it was going to be six hours of hardcore awkward? I was super dreading it. But then we chatted, and I got to know you a little, and it turns out that you're a super cool person," says Wes.
"It's my fault you're here," moans Picard in response. "I wanted to do one last thing with you before you left, because I thought I might not see you again. Sorry."
"I'm super lucky," says Wes. "Not a lot of people get to serve with Jean-Luc Picard. And I... well, when ever I pushed myself really hard to achieve, it was because I wanted you to be proud of me. I promise to keep you alive and not give up, and get the water. I'll take care of you until they come find us."

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

 Riker's Log, supplemental: "Flying back to the last place we knew the Nenebec was."

"Found a bunch of debris," announces Data. "But not enough to comprise a whole ship."
"Yeah, Dirgo's shuttle was held together with zip ties and duct tape," adds Geordi. "If one of his engines freaking fell off, that could explain a small amount of debris."
"If he still had one engine," says Riker, "then they could probably land somewhere."
Data says that the only class-M planets in the system are Pentarus II and V, which the miners already searched. "But," he points out, because Data is smarter than your average bear, "there are also four moons that are class-M."
"Miners search those?" asks Riker.
"Nope," says Worf.
The closest moon to this location is called Lambda Paz, and they make for that one.

Picard sings that one song that he sang with his brother while Wes does science on his tricorder.
"Where are we?" asks Picard, which is worrisome.
"We crashed? There was a fountain, and this idiot shuttle captain named Dirgo?"
Picard seems to retrieve the information based on the mention of Dirgo. "Oh, yeah. I need water."
"There isn't any. I'm using my comm badge parts to alter my tricorder, and I think I can get the energy-guard-thing to let us near the water -"
"Okay, hey," interrupts Picard. "I might not make it, but you should do a thing when you get to the Academy. I know this guy, he's crazy smart, and he helped me when I was there. His name is Boothby, and you should tell him you and I were friends so he'll help you too."
"I will," promises Wes. "What does he teach?"
Picard almost smiles at the thought that he's about to throw Wes for a loop. "He's the groundskeeper."
Wes agrees to find Boothby, and Picard admits that he envies Wes because Wes is just "starting the adventure."
"Go do your thing and get the water," Picard croaks. "Stay alive."
Wes gets up with the med kit and heads for the exit before Picard calls him back.

Wes makes his way back to the chamber with the fountain, and shoots at the water with his phaser. The force field goes up, and the energy guard returns. Wes spins around and starts working his tricorder furiously. The guard seems confused, then suddenly flies through Wes' torso, and hits the force field, which melts. Wes takes one more scan, determines that the water is safe to drink, then fills the empty med kit, which I guess must be water-proof.
He rushes back to Picard and carefully pours handfuls of water into the captain's mouth.

The E rolls up on Lambda Paz.
Shortly afterward, Crusher wakes up her sleeping kid. Medical Blues put Picard on a stretcher and start to carry him out. Crusher does a quick scan on him to determine that he's essentially fine, then asks the Blues for a stretcher for Wes as well. He declines.
Don't be stupid, Wes. You're dehydrated, exhausted, and probably on the verge of collapsing. Allow them to carry you out.
Picard calls for Crusher, who assures him that they've stabilized him and that he'll be fine, so he calls over Wes.
Sassy Picard Moment: "What are you doing in such a filthy uniform?"
Wes Sassy Moment:

They shake hands, and Picard tells Wes that he will be missed. They continue to hold hands as Picard is carried out of the cave.


This is another one of those episodes where outside influences figure heavily into the forming of the story. Wil Wheaton told the production crew of his intention to leave the show to focus on films, and everyone was still on good terms. Unsatisfied with Yar's exit, they decided to simply (finally) ship Wes off to the Academy, freeing Wheaton up to pursue other career avenues, but still leaving things open should they want to have Wes back for the occasional future episode. This was definitely one of the better decisions for this series. Denise Crosby's exit was an abysmal failure, and every time they've had her back on, it's required to include alternate timelines or dream sequences or whatever sorts of non-death consequences the writers can come up with. Simply sending Wes off to the Academy was easier and left the door propped open. What's more, we all knew it would happen eventually, as it was put forward from the get-go that this was Wes' goal, and he cold only hang out in legitimate/illegitimate Ensignland for so long before Starfleet officially asked him to pee or get off the potty.

Director Corey Allen with Wil Wheaton

So now onto the actual story.
It was decided right away to write a Wes-Picard story for Wheaton's last regular appearance to give Will the opportunity for a juicy part. And he gets a lot more lines and screen-time here than in other episodes where he just kind of shows up sometimes. This was a good idea. Wil gets to stretch his acting muscles, Wes gets a good exit, everyone is still friends. (Also, some good dramatic shots in this episode.)
One thing that makes me sigh: Wes cites the shuttle ride from "Samaritan Snare" as a changing point in their relationship, and that he did what he did in order to impress Picard. That much is rather evident. Picard is an alternate father figure for Wes, and has been for quite some time, despite the fact that he admitted to once being very angry with Picard for living when his father died. These things were partially unspoken, but still obvious. But then Picard admits that he wanted Wes along on this mission because he was being "selfish," that he thought he wouldn't see Wes again, and wanted one last adventure with him. That... doesn't ring as quite true to me as the writers want me to believe. They made Wes ambitious, and set out to give him a minor hero-worship attitude involving Picard, but beyond those nice scenes from "Samaritan Snare" where they're friendly, we don't really see Picard taking on any kind of mentor role. Truth be told, I saw a tiny bit more of that in the Riker-Wes relationship than in Picard-Wes. I have no problem with them going in that direction for this episode, but I wish they had built it up a bit more in the episodes previous. It's possible that that fell on a nice to-do list of character development, but Wil Wheaton announced his departure before it could be added in. Building up the relationship would have given them more bang for their buck in this episode, and I'm sad it didn't happen that way.

Wheaton and Stewart film "Final Mission"

While this is a pretty solid episode, there are a few things that I'm ambivalent, or just annoyed, about. Michael Piller admitted that the story of "two guys trapped on a planet" was not very original, and I have to agree. Fortunately, they bumped up the emotional parts, or it would have just been survival mode story start to finish, and frankly, that's boring.
Piller also did not think very much of the garbage scow B-plot. It was added in really because they needed a B-plot, and that's about it. A reason for the E not to run to their rescue right away. I actually really liked that B-plot. I like the idea that some jerks chucked their trash into space and set it adrift, only to have it become someone else's problem. But getting back to that question of whether or not it had to be the E that took care of it: sometimes the show needs us to assume the worst to keep the tension up, and instead all I see are plot-holes. Was it really necessary that they do it? Sometimes the Enterprise, flag ship of the Federation, comes off as a weird combination of benevolent space cop and janitor. Seems like they could have called in someone better-equipped to handle that scow. Haul it out of orbit, yes, but then call someone to take care of it.
I'm a touch miffed that we never find out who the garbage scow belonged to, nor who the fountain was built by. Have these people died out? Sure the miners did not put the fountain and its security system on Lambda Paz? The set-up appears to be religious or spiritual, yet the miners seem to be ignorant of its presence. And the garbage scow is only a little older than 300 years old. Did no information exist in the E's databanks to identify which people might have made it? Was this episode filmed and pt out into the world, then a writer sat up in bed one night years later and muttered, "crap, I forgot to explain that fountain"? I guess I really just dislike unexplained mysteries.

Stand-ins Dennis Tracy and Randy Pflug on location

There's a weirdness in this episode that's not often addressed on this show: that of privilege. When you're in Starfleet, you belong to the Haves. Your life is probably pretty good, you know where your meals are coming from and that you'll have a warm bed to sleep in. But every now and again, you realize that the protagonists of this show have it fairly easy in comparison to others. Could Dirgo have chosen a life in Starfleet? Yep. Did he? Maybe. We don't know his backstory. But we do know that he seems to be kind of bitter about the fact that his shuttle ended up in the bay of a huge, new starship, and that Wes gave him some shit about that. I'm glad Wes got the smack down for it as well. Picard's reaction was showcased nicely here - Wes was not used to seeing a Have-Not, and reacted by making fun of Dirgo. He is young and ignorant. Picard, who is older and wiser and more diplomatic, assesses the situation and realizes that Dirgo reacts favorably to being treated as an equal to himself, and that his complaints go out the window when his opinions are requested.
It's a strange sort of departure for me when I think about it. My favorite protagonists are typically underdogs. They start out at the bottom and work their way to the top. But every now and again, the audience is reminded that the crew of the Enterprise (for the most part) did not start out that way. They are currently at the top of the food chain, and operating there. They do not seem to look down on the Have-Nots generally, but it does come up from time to time.

The cast at Wil's going away party
Overall, I think I'd give this episode a B. Maybe a B+. Not the best episode I've ever seen, but pretty solid and a good departure for Wil Wheaton.

- Fun Facts:

- Holy crap, this is what actor Kim Hamilton looks like under the Chairman Songi make-up:

- Jury-rigged means something was made with materials on hand. Jerry-rigged means something was built cheaply. Both apply to that busted-ass shuttle.
- In the original story, the moon that the shuttle crash-lands on is an ice planet. It was thought that a desert planet would be easier to create.
- The original title for this episode was "Turnabout."
- The Nenebec shuttle was named after Star Trek reference writer Larry Nemecek.
- The Lambda Paz outdoor scenes were filmed on location at El Mirage Dry Lake Bed near Los Angeles.
- The fountain was created on a stage, but Rick Berman reported that the whole thing was a headache, start to finish. They build the fountain, but it didn't work properly. So they planned to do the whole thing optically, but that didn't go according to plan, either.
- Wil Wheaton will appear in four more episodes, and Star Trek: Nemesis.
- Nick Tate (Dirgo) will appear again, in season six of DS9.
- The phasers that Dirgo finds on his shuttle are props from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (taking place about 80 years earlier). This is keeping with the idea that everything on the Nenebec is old and outdated.
- First mention of Boothby, who we'll meet in the next season.

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: 1
To date: 1
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Wes Moments: 1
To date: 1
Sassy Geordi moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Wes Moments: 1
To date:1
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Riker Moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Picard Moments: 1
To date: 5
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Troi Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
To date: 2
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 0
To date: 8
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 1
To date: 9
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: 0
Picard Maneuvers: 0
To date: 12
Tea, Earl Grey: 0
To date: 2

I did the thing.

Monday, August 6, 2018

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Eight "Future Imperfect"

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Eight "Future Imperfect"
Production Order: 8
Air Order: 8
Stardate: 44286.5
Original Air Date: November 12, 1990


SirPatStew confirmed on Twitter.
Am I disappointed that they're hiding it behind a paywall?
Would I reconsider ponying up for All Access to watch this show?
Here's the link for that story:


Picard's Log 44286.5: "Chilling near the Neutral Zone. No Roms in sight."

It's Riker's birthday, and he's playing the trombone in Ten Forward for his friends. Apparently, he's not very good at this particular song.

Sassy Troi Moment: "Some things improve with age. Maybe yours can be the trombone."
Bahahaha, damn.
They go to the cake and he blows out the candles. Interesting that they still have those traditions in the 24th century. (This week's rabbit hole: that tradition started in ancient Greece.)
"What did you wish for?" asks Troi.
"Music lessons," he laughs.
It's a nice time. I like when they show the crew during downtime, just enjoying themselves.

On the bridge, Picard tells Data that they have to hurry along to the party, but of course they get stopped before they reach the lift, because there's an anomaly or some shit. They check it out. The E is being probed by the third planet in a nearby system, which reports say is uninhabited. Picard muses on the rumor that there's a secret Romulan base in this sector.
Ooh, a secret Romulan base! Mystery! Intrigue!
Meh, I tried. Romulans bore me.
Picard calls Riker in Ten Forward.
"Hey, I know it's your birthday party and all, but I need you to head an away team right now."
Ugh, lame. There's no emergency. Let the dude finish his damn cake.

On the bridge, Data tells Riker and Picard that the planet is class-M, but it's "barren and inhospitable." The scan is coming from a cave under the planet's surface.
Worf guesses Romulans.
Riker picks him and Geordi for an away team.
The boys beam down.

They takes scans. Geordi names off a bunch of crap in the air that sounds like a bad time.
"Will we be okay?" asks Riker.
Sassy Geordi Moment: "For now. Wouldn't want to spend my vacation here."
Picard calls, and from the shitty reception, they all agree that maybe the away team should beam back up. Geordi adds they better do it soon, because the chamber they're in is gonna fill with gas soon.
An attempt is made. The lady running the transporter can't get a good lock.
The away team starts to choke as the chamber begins filling with gas and smoke. They cough. Riker keels over.

He wakes up later in sick bay.
Nurse Ogawa calls Crusher, telling her that Riker is awake.
Crusher looks different.

He calls her by name.
"Oh, good. You remember me. That's awesome, Captain."
"Captain?" he demands.
He sits up, and once again, there's an oddly-placed (read: convenient) mirror in sick bay, where Riker can see that his hair is shot with grey.

Dramatic, psychological music! Opening credits break!

When we return, it's revealed that there are more high-tech mirrors around the sick bay bed where Riker is sitting. He tells Crusher that he's very confused, and beeteedubs, why is she calling him captain? He is a commander.
She asks what he last remembers before waking, and he talks about the away team with Geordi and Worf.
"Yeah, it was nothing but toxic gas, and they barely beamed you up in time, right? That was 16 years ago," she replies.
She tells him that he contracted an Altarian virus from that away mission, and it tends to do its thing, then hole up in your system, dormant, for years. When it comes back, it erases all of your memories back to the moment when you first got the disease. For the past ten days, he's been in a coma with the virus.
"Your fever finally broke this morning," she says, which does not explain why he's in full uniform and not a sick bay gown.

"You've been captain of the Enterprise for nine years now. Memories are formed by association. Stuff that's familiar. So you should move around the ship and see if it triggers anything."
"Great," he snaps. "Let's go."
"Um, just so you know, in a lot of these cases, the memory loss is permanent."

Also, some things have changed.

On the way to the lift, Crusher tells Riker that neither Geordi nor Worf contracted the virus, just him. She wants him to go back to his quarters to see if anything there will jog his memory, but he insists on going to the bridge. He tells Majel to take the lift to the bridge, but she asks him to repeat himself. Crusher tells him that there's something wrong with the computer, and Geordi has been fixing it. We find out that Mr La Forge is now a commander. Good for him.
There are a few surprises on the bridge. Geordi has cloned implant eyes. Worf has a crazy scar all up his face. Data is now Number One. There's a Ferengi ensign at navigation.

"Warbird uncloaking," announces Worf.
"Whoa, shit," says Riker. "Red alert, shields up!"
Everyone looks at him funny, but the ship goes to red alert.
"Um, we were expecting the Decius," says Data.
"Oh, um, okay. Cancel red alert."
The viewscreen comes on.
Hey, hey!

They make some small talk, then beam over.
Picard, Troi and Riker go to Obs Lounge to talk. However, no one mentions the fact that Picard is wearing extensions, or the fact that they all have grey paint in their hair. Nope, they talk about the mission.
Seems that four years earlier, a wounded Romulan battle cruiser limped into Federation space, and Riker managed to fix them up. The Romulans were impressed and opened talks with the Federation. The negotiations are mostly complete now, with Riker at the helm of it all. They just need to take the Romulan ambassador to the final signing, and everyone will be buddies.
"Ooh, this is shit timing," says Riker. "I don't remember any of this. I can't do it."
"Should be fine," shrugs Picard. "We'll just brief you really well."

Troi suggests that they go to Riker's quarters to see if he can regain some memories.
"Good idea," he agrees. "I've had enough surprises for one day."
Yeah, about that -

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Mini Riker is chatty and friendly, but soon his face falls. He realizes that Riker doesn't remember him. Troi asks the kid, Jean-Luc, to step out of the room so she can talk to his father.
"What the hell?" he demands quietly.
"Crusher thought springing him on you might help you remember stuff," she says.
Noop, clearly not.
And now, the million-gold-pressed-latinum-bar question: "Who is that kid's mother?"
"Your wife Min died two years ago in a shuttle accident," she says quietly. She describes a woman who could be anyone, then adds that Min was a great captain's wife, and the ship's counselor who replaced her when she took a better position at Starfleet Command.
Holy shit, Will. Are you planning on dating every ship's counselor? Are you dating the current one, too?
She encourages him to spend time with his son, then leaves.

Riker goes into the next room with Jean-Luc and gives him tips on the trombone. He plays "Misty" again and hits the wrong note, joking about how, after 16 years, he should be able to get it right.
"You always get that note wrong," Jean-Luc laughs.
Riker goes into the front room and asks Majel to give him his service record. She gives him a technical shrug. Jean-Luc comes into the room, and Riker grumps at him that Geordi is doing a diagnostic thing, and he can't get at his stuff. The kid turns the computer towards him and then back again. The written record is now up.
But no time to look into that now, the bridge is calling to say the ambassador is here.

Picard, Riker and Troi walk to the transporter room to meet the ambassador, who will be going to the signing via the E.
The ambassador beams over.
Oh, fuck me.
It's that asshole Tomalak.

Everyone but Riker exchanges pleasantries, and Picard and Tomalak leave.
"Are you shitting me?" Riker asks Troi. "Fucking Tomalak?"
"It's cool," she assures him. "We're buddies now."

They make their way to the bridge, exchanging more pleasantries about how the treaty will benefit both cultures, and Tomalak says it's fortunate that Riker is well enough to go to the signing, as he deserves to see the fruits of his labor.
On the bridge, Riker pawns Tomalak off on Data for a tour, and he yanks Troi and Picard into the ready room for a harried chat.

"Come the fuck on," says Riker, once they're all seated. "You really trust this guy? Also, did I hear right that we're signing this treaty at Outpost 23? Like super-hella-secret Outpost 23?"
"Oh. Right. Crap," says Picard. "Outpost 23 is no big deal anymore. It hasn't been for a few years now. It's okay for the Romulans to know where it is."
But no time to worry about that now: Crusher calls to tell Riker that the son he met like ten minutes ago is now injured.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Riker rushes down to sick bay, where it is revealed that his kid has broken his wrist playing Parrises Squares.
"WTF?" demands the elder Riker. "You might have broken your neck!"
Crusher pulls him aside while Nurse Ogawa mends the wrist.
"Chill the hell out," Crusher advises.
"I've been a dad for pretty much one day, and my kid tries to kill himself," he protests.
"Uh-huh. And how old were you when you started playing Parrises Squares?"
He manages to look abashed, because he was younger.
"How about easing up?" she suggests. "Kid lost his mother, and now his father doesn't remember who he is."

Riker takes Jean-Luc back to his quarters, and apologizes for starting out on the wrong foot. He admits that his own father was shit, and that he really wants to do right by Jean-Luc, to avoid turning out like Kyle. They hug it out, and make plans to go holo-fishing. Jean-Luc tells him some stories about holo-fishing with Riker and Min the Mystery Mom.

When they get back to their quarters, Jean-Luc disappears into the bedroom to change out of his Parrises Squares clothes. In the meantime, Riker asks Majel to show him family pics. Majel pulls up a video of Riker and Jean-Luc.
"That's neat," he tells Majel, "but how about something with my wife in it?"
"Huh?" asks Majel.
"Freaking computer hiccup," mutters Riker.
Jean-Luc enters again, and after asking what's wrong, is magically able to get the computer to fetch what Riker wants. On this new video, Riker and Jean-Luc goof around, then a dark-haired woman brings in a lighted birthday cake.

"Minuet?" demands Riker. He stares suspiciously at Jean-Luc.
No time for that now, though. Geordi pages him to the bridge.
"What?" demands Riker, hitting the bridge.
"Engines on the fritz and stuff," says Geordi cheerfully. "Gonna fix all the things."
"Really?" demands Riker. "Just like you fixed the computer?"
Geordi is pissed. "I said I'm doing the thing!"
"For thirty fucking hours? Geordi isn't that incompetent!" Riker turns on Worf. "Where'd you get that scar?"
"Combat," says Worf vaguely. He isn't able to give details.
"How long between here and Outpost 23?" Riker interrogates Data.
The android pauses before answering, but Riker throws more equations at him, rapid-fire. Data does not answer.
"Sorry, sir. Some anomalies are interfering with my abilities, and I can't -"
"You used a contraction!"
Picard, Troi and Tomalak enter the bridge. Picard and Troi try to calm Riker, but he barks at them to shut the fuck up.
"End this charade!" he yells.

"Okay," says Tomalak.

Dramatic music! Commercial Break!

*le gasp!*
Riker comes to surrounded by Romulans, wearing the correct number of pips on his collar and the right comm badge. Wherever he is looks like a sweet burger joint hangout from a 90's sitcom. Pastels, neon, and abstract geometric shapes.

Also, why is everything pink? I'm reminded of TAS' pink Klingons and Tribbles.
Is the art director for this episode also colorblind?

"That shit was fake," Riker spits. (He's talking about his scripted life, and not the 90's diners.)
"Yeah, we did it through neural scanners and a holodeck," says Tomalak. "How did you figure it out? It should have been good enough to convince you."
"You guys tried to fake me out with the ol' holographic wife trick."
"No way," says Tommalak. "In your mind, that girl is real and alive, and you were in love with her."
"Still fake," snaps Riker. "She was from a holodeck program. If you wanted info on Outpost 23, why didn't you just use your neural scanners to get it?"
"Those are calibrated for Romulan brains," says Tomalak sulkily. "Human brains are different. There were gaps. So we spent a bunch of time and effort constructing an elaborate ruse for you, to get it that way."

That subordinate Rom leaning against the wall is killing me.

Tomalak escorts Riker to the brig, explaining on the way that the away team beamed down really close to the base, and it was super easy to divert his transporter signal.
"We let the others beam back up."
"They won't stop looking for me," argues Riker.
"They already have."
 He shows Riker to a cell, which is already occupied.
"Jean-Luc?" asks Riker.

"Bitch, that's not his name," laughs Tomalak. "We just used his image to augment your program."
The kid takes off into a corner like a feral kitten.
Tomalak tosses off some last douchey thing before turning on the brig force field and walking away.
Riker gets the kid to give him his name: Ethan. He tells Riker that he and his parents were at a station on some uninhabited planet near the Neutral Zone, and the Roms hauled them away, separating them. He also has no idea why the Roms are keeping him here.
Riker mentions getting them out of here, and Ethan says he's tried it before, hiding in a secret place for weeks, but the Roms caught him again when he came out to get food.

Tomalak stomps back in to demand the location of Outpost 23, and Ethan unexpectedly starts a fist fight with the Romulans. Riker just kind of goes with it and ends up with a disruptor, which he uses to stun a Rom in the corridor outside the cell. He stuns another guy as he and Ethan run to Ethan's Secret Base (No Girls Allowed). They close themselves up behind a screen, which Riker jury-rigs with a bit of wire.
The Roms run up and shake the screen.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

The Romulans move on, and Ethan says that the scans don't pick them up because of the rocks in this area. He leads Riker down a tunnel and talks about how the Roms forgot about this storage area when they redid their tunnels. Also, Ethan has a chart of the tunnels, which he explored previously.
They get down to brass tacks, cuz there's only five more minutes left in this episode.
Ethan points out the shuttle hangar, and Riker mumbles plans to get shuttle, but there's a snag: the system is voice-activated.
"Whose voice?" asks Riker, who knows the answer already.
"Ambassador Tomalak," says Ethan.

Oh, fuck. Here we go again.

"Oh, reallyAmbassador Tomalak? You wanna tell me how you heard he was an ambassador, when dude is only a captain?"
"Um, you told me?"
There's a pause, and the sound of a commotion nearby.
"They found us!" yelps Ethan. "We need to go!"
Wow, how convenient.
"Yeah, no. Tell me who you are, and what you have to do with this."
And I'm not even shitting you here, the Roms come bursting through the wall like douchey Kool-Aid Men.

Riker looks at Ethan. "You wanna tell me the truth?"
The Roms disappear. Also, the tunnels.
Yeah, it was All About Ethan.

Upstairs, Data has found Riker's comm badge signature on the planet's surface.
"You okay?" Picard pages Riker.
"Yep. Geordi and Worf?"
"Beamed up an hour ago, but we lost you mid-beam."

Riker says he'll get the scoop on what's going on, and he signs off. "Spill it," he tells Ethan.
So Ethan (not his real name) was left on this planet by his mother. Their planet was invaded, and the invaders wanted her, so they killed everyone and hunted her down. She left the kid on the planet with a bunch of scanners to keep him safe from more invaders, and a super-sophisticated holodeck program that reads his mind. It gives him pretty much anything he wants. But he essentially kidnapped Riker because he wanted someone real to hang out with. He set up Riker's program to give him the things he thought Riker wanted as well, but it fell apart, and he had to think up other stuff to try to keep Riker on the planet with him.
Riker is less pissed. "I have to go. But you can come with me."
The kid changes over to his real form, and says his name is Barash.
And... you know how when you see an alien costume, and you know someone in make-up and effects put a lot of time and effort into something, but it still comes off looking like an alien costume from a 1950's B-movie? Yeah.

Riker says he'll always think of the kid as Jean-Luc, then they both transport up.
The end.

I'm not really sure where I stand on this episode. There are parts that I like, and parts that fall a bit flat for me.
Things that worked for me:
- The disease that Riker contracts that reoccurs, and drags you back to the initial infection time, erasing all of your memories in between. That could be a super interesting subject to explore. I can see the Federation opening an in-patient clinic for people who lost a shit-ton of memories. Like a strange memory-care facility where you eventually are able to leave once you can coincide the fact that you lost a bunch of stuff in the meantime.
- Riker struggling with being a parent, and then committing fully to the idea because Kyle was a shitty father, and Riker wants to avoid that at all costs. He also admits to the kid that he had been afraid of the idea of parenthood, specifically because he didn't want to repeat his father's mistakes. That's good character development there.
- There are small hints that the kid is the key, but it's not overly obvious. The episode manages to keep the focus on everything else so that you don't figure things out as quickly.
- The kid choosing Minuet as his substitute mother. As Tomalak said, the algorithms chose her because Riker had fond memories of her in his mind. I like that that callback was included, and that it was the ultimate downfall.
- They didn't go straight for Troi, but had her life go in a different direction. She and Riker are still friends, and she coaches him through some changes.
- Riker's actions with the Roms landed him in the favored position of heading up the peace talks. Saving a Romulan ship was right in line with Riker's character development. Riker may hate you, but he's not gonna let you die in space. His attitude toward the kid was in line as well.

Things that worked less for me:
- Every time the program had trouble figuring out what to do, it was explained as a computer malfunction. That got old. Then the kid would have to do a patch himself. Felt a little convenient.
- The holo-ception. I was okay going along with it when it was just "Romulans kidnapped me and played with my brain," but it turned out to be a fantasy-within-a-fantasy, and while I was okay with that in the movie "Inception" (because they tell you right away that that's what you should expect), I was less patient with the "fooled you again!" presented here. I guess they started out with just the Romulan ruse, but it wasn't working, so they added the next layer with the kid. But... that's not especially satisfying to me. It's the same ruse, but with two layers.

- Fun Facts:

- If the plot point of "oddly convenient mirror in sick bay allows crew members to see how they've aged prematurely" sounds familiar, that's because it is: it was used in TOS' "The Deadly Years."

- For all of the TNG and Law & Order I've watched over the years, it never once occurred to me that Minuet and Dr Elizabeth Olivet were played by Caroline McCormick. And now I feel like a crappy fan of both of these shows.

- Apparently, the idea for this episode (Riker wakes up 16 years in the future, captain of the E and a father) was an instant-buy. Michael Piller was really into it.
- The only major change to the original story was the inclusion of the holo-ception. It had a kind of dream-ending, which Piller didn't like, so they added the Romulan ploy. Writer David Carren was talking to Piller, and Carren was not understanding what Piller was saying. "You mean Riker thinks that it's a Romulan plot for an act?" asked Carren. "No," Piller started started to reply, then realized that he liked the idea.

Gene Rod visits the set of "Future Imperfect."

- The title is a play on words. Past perfect is used to describe a tense that talks about an event that occurred before another. Here, Riker is dealing with the future, and an imperfect one at that.
- The scene in the turbolift with Riker and the kid was added the night before filming. The episode was running a bit short. Glad it was added. I think that scene introduced some good character development for Riker.
- Andreas Katsulas (Tomalak) was not especially comfortable playing his role as a person interacting live with other actors. He preferred to play Tomalak as a giant floating head on the viewscreen. (Sounds a bit like "what do I do with my arms in these huge sleeves?")
- The Romulan base was a redress of the Borg Cube sets.
- Interestingly, in the original version of this episode, Riker asks "Shall we end this charade?" and pronounces the word "charade" the way the British do - as shuh-RAWD instead of shuh-RAYD. It was later redubbed so that he says shuh-RAYD, but you can briefly see that his mouth doesn't sync right to the American pronunciation.
- This episode takes place in 2383, sixteen years in Riker's future. It predicts a lot of things that actually come true:
  - Nog would become the first Ferengi in Starfleet only seven years in the future (DS9).
  - B'Elanna Torres becomes the first (half)Klingon Engineer Chief in Starfleet four years in the future (Voyager).
  - Geordi gets ocular implants in the film Star Trek: First Contact, and his retinas are briefly regrown in Star Trek: Insurrection.
  - Here, Riker becomes captain of the Enterprise seven years into the future, though in the actual timeline, he becomes captain of the USS Titan twelve years into the future.
  - This false future takes place as the same time as events from the film Star Trek: Nemesis. In that film, peace with the Romulans has begun four years earlier. So... kind of right on schedule.
  - Troi wears the standard bridge uniform in this episode. She'll actually start wearing it regularly in season six.
  - Riker's relationship with his son is similar to the one Benjamin Sisko has with his son at the beginning of DS9: both had lost mothers, both had fishing as an important bonding ritual.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Nurse Alyssa Ogawa.
- Barash was played by Dana Tjulander. It is her only acting credit. They needed someone who was over 18, but very small, and she fit the bill.
- Tomalak will appear once more (on a viewscreen) in the series final of TNG.
- Andreas Katsulas is best known for his roles as the one-armed man from The Fugitive and as Ambassador G'Kar on Babylon 5. Along with his final appearance as Tomalak on TNG, Katsulas would appear once on Star Trek: Enterprise before his death in 2006.

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: 1
To date: 0
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Riker Moments: 1
To date: 3
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 4
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Troi Moments: 1
To date: 2
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
To date: 2
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 1
To date: 8
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 2
To date: 8
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: 0
Picard Maneuvers: 2
To date: 12
Tea, Earl Grey: 0
To date: 2

When the dogs are crated, Aries takes advantage.