Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Monday, September 18, 2017

ST:TNG Season Three, Episode Seven "The Enemy"

ST:TNG Season Three, Episode Seven "The Enemy"
Production Order: 7
Air Order: 7
Stardate: 43349.2
Original Air Date: November 6, 1989

Not to be confused with the TOS episode "The Enemy Within," where Kirk is split in two by a transporter accident, and is accused of attempted rape of a crew member, but is completely upstaged by this alien dog-thing:


Another week where we just jump into the action without any exposition first, and I'm really okay with that. The exposition openings are fine, and formulas are great when they work for you, but I like the shake-up every now and again. In this case, Riker leads an away team with Geordi and Worf to the surface of a planet that is nobody's idea of a vacation spot. The air is filled with electrical storms, and the wind is going pretty good. Yeah, it's kind of the visual version of "it was a dark and stormy night," but it works here. Riker drops a beam-out beacon on the ground and says they have less than 15 minutes to beam back up again, so you know they have to do this shit in windows. He asks Geordi if he can see any better than they can, and Geordi gives a positive version of "meh." Worf yells over the wind that the tricorders are only working about five meters out, and that communicators don't work. Riker remarks that it's a good thing they didn't bring Data, because this place would fuck him up good.
Okay, establishment set - why are we here?
Ah, an answer: they've spied some Romulan ship wreckage, and want to know why the holy hell the Roms are in Federation space?

Geordi looks at the wreckage with his special eyes, and predicts that someone blew up the ship after it crashed.
Riker decides that they should split up and move out in a 25-meter radius... and didn't Worf just say the tricorders wouldn't pick up anything outside of 5? Sounds like an excellent opportunity for something terrible to happen. He also throws a Ship-Disabler into the mix by reminding them that they have 12 minutes left in their window.
Worf goes around some rocks and stumbles onto an unconscious and bleeding friend.

Unfortunately, his manhandling of the guy and yelling to Riker wakes the dude up, and an injured, crash-weakened Romulan tries to choke out a healthy Klingon. Worf knocks him the hell out again.
Geordi, stumbling through the darkened storm, falls into a pit. It's filled with just enough water to not break his fall, but completely soak him to the bone. Just to add insult to injury, his VISOR falls off.

Worf and Riker carry the unconscious Romulan back to the beam-up beacon, but they can't find Geordi. 
Because Geordi is in a hole.
Four minutes left.
Geordi manages to find his VISOR and get it back on, but he can see that he's standing in a pit. He yells for his crewmembers and tries to find a way out, but the pit walls are deep and there isn't an easy exit.
Riker yells for Geordi for a few, but stumbles back to the beacon.
"I can't find him. We need to leave."
Worf makes to go back out again, but it's too late. A moment later, they beam out with the beacon and the Romulan.

Geordi sits on a rock in the pit and screams Worf's name.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

PIcard's Log 43349.2: "So we picked up this distress signal on Galorndon Core, a planet in Federation space, and we found a crashed Romulan ship that's been destroyed. The away team found one injured Rom, but now Geordi is missing."

(Dude, Galorndon Core is a cool name for a planet. Thanks for not calling it Psi 2000, or some stupid shit like that, show.)
Crusher rushes into the transporter room with one of those killer floating stretchers and a team of Blue shirts. They load the Rom on the stretcher and haul him off. Worf calls for Security to go with them and guard the Rom, but Crusher points out that dude is not going anywhere. Frankly, I think they both make good points.
Riker, who is clearly worried, takes out his temper on O'Brien, barking that he needs to find Geordi.
Ahh, the lovely feeling when a superior asks you to do something you all know is impossible, and you protest but they yell at you anyway.

Picard enters and Riker requests to lead another away team. but Picard turns him down. It's not safe to beam into that crap. Riker is told he can go down again when another window opens.
There's a nice segue here where we follow Riker and Picard out of the transporter room and down the corridors, talking about the away mission.
Sassy Riker: "The Romulan craft is a total loss. There's nothing there to salvage, unless you wanna use tweezers."
They try to reason why the Romulans were in that sector, as Galorndon Core doesn't really have anything to offer. Like, it's life-supporting, but kind of awful. The kind of place where you might have an unmanned mining station, or something.
"It might provide good cover for an offensive," reasons Picard.
Sassy Riker: "They certainly weren't there for the climate."

Damn, an eyeroll too!

We go back to Geordi, still in the pit. There's a cool moment here where he uses his VISOR to see some minerals or something under some mud. 

He digs them out, but then for some unknown reason, he has to take them into the light and wash them off to see them properly? Couldn't he just see them under the mud a moment ago? Did they add that bit in because we expect other humans to wash off dirty things in water and look at them in the light to see them properly?
Anyway, he clears some mud away from a little outcropping of rock, then uses his fingers to make a long, skinny trench. Then he lines up the minerals he found in the little trench, and hits them with the phaser, melting them into one stick-thing. I have no idea what he's doing.

Back in sick bay, Crusher tells Picard and Riker that she thought this would be more like working on Vulcans, but it seems like there were far more differences than she expected. Dude has some cellular damage in important areas, and he's in need of a transfusion. They can't replicate what they need because his molecules are too complex. She's gonna set up some testing of the entire crew to see if anyone is a match. In the meantime, he's having some head problems as well.
"Like an injury?" asks Riker.
"Nope, like the magnetics on the surface are fucking with the synapses," she replies.
"Is Geordi getting hit with that?" Riker probes.
She nods.
And now, for the old Hippocratic Oath vs Military Needs: they want to question him about what he was doing there.
She agrees to wake him up for a few seconds, but can't promise they'll get what they need. She hypos the Romulan.

When the dude wakes up, Riker treats him as a hostile witness, telling him where he is, and demanding to know what he was doing on Galorndon Core.
"Fuck you," replies the Romulan. He starts to fall unconscious again, and Riker shakes him awake.
"Who was with you?" he demands.
"I was alone," the Rom growls.
"Is there someone I need to contact for you? A mother ship?"
This time, the Rom falls unconscious, and Riker lets him.
"He just wanted to tell us he was alone," muses Picard.
"Which means he wasn't," fills in Riker. 

We go back to the pit, where we find out what those trenches and minerals were for: Geordi has made a pair of silver pitons, and uses them to haul himself up the twenty or so feet out of the pit.
Fuck, that's smart. And really, who else but Geordi and maybe Data might have been able to do that? Dude needed his VISOR to be able to see them under the mud in the first place, and to see whether they were strong enough in the first place to hold his weight. It's fine to test them, but to be able to see ahead of time that they had no or few structural weaknesses is pretty awesome.

This episode is apparently about showcasing how clever people can be, so when we go back to the bridge, and Riker is demanding for peeps to put their heads together to come up with a way to see if Geordi is still alive down there, Wes comes up with a plan.
"Geordi's VISOR can see neutrino pulses," he explains. "We can put a portable neutrino source on a beacon and drop it at the landing site. If he's alive, he can signal us by changing the beam."
Data backs up this hypothesis.
"That's hella smart," declares Picard. "Make that shit so."
 Wes rushes off to set his beacon.
"Hey, I'm getting a signal parallel to the distress call?" says Data. "It's from Romulan space."
They put the recording on the viewscreen.
It's a Romulan commander, Tomalak. He's calling the Pi, which is the name of the little scout ship that's on the surface in tatters. "We're entering the Neutral Zone and will be there in six hours to get you."
Dramatic music! Camera zooms in on Picard like always! Commercial break!

"Oh, hell naw!" says Picard. "Open the frequency!"
Worf does so.
"Hey, Roms! This is Picard of the Enterprise."
Radio silence.
"Totes open," replies Worf, as though Picard doubted it.
"Let's get specific, then - hey, Tomalak! We know you're there! Don't you set one green toe in the Neutral Zone!"
And there he is on the viewscreen, all smiley and used-car-salesman-like. "Heeey, friendos. Apologies! If I had known you were here, I totes would have called you before entering Neutral space. So one of our little ships had a navigational error, and went off-course. Just a mistake, no aggression intended."
This guy smiles too much. It's like some Romulan commander gave a TED Talk about how humans like smiling, and if you smile at them a lot, they'll be friendly to you. Tomalak attended this talk and took too many notes, it seems.

Rather than listen to this cover-up, Picard reveals that they have a survivor of the Pi.
Tomalak's smile fades. "You have him? And will you meet up with me in the Neutral Zone to give him back to me?"
"Noop, we have an away team on the surface," Picard replies. "Is there anyone else on the planet we should look for?"
"One-man craft," says Tomalak evasively. "We'll be at the Neutral Zone border in five hours. Be there."
He hangs up.
"He'll stop at nothing to complete his mission," says Troi.
Typical Worf: "We shouldn't give him back. Let's interrogate him instead."
Interestingly, Riker agrees in anger: "We have the right to hold him and question him about what they were doing here."
"Slow your roll," says Picard. "It's not that simple. If we fuck up here, Galorndon Core could be another Pearl Harbor, or Station Salem-One: as a preamble to war."
I love it when you do that, show. I love it when you give me two examples, and one of them is easily recognizable from the past, while the other is from the fictitious future.

In sick bay, Crusher tells an assistant to take the Rom off all of the drugs they have him on, because they aren't making any difference. She calls Picard to tell him that the Rom isn't doing much better than before, and of the humans she's tested, they've all come up too different. So have the Vulcans onboard, which is interesting, because they came from the same ancestors. For now, she's going to keep his fever down, and see if his body will heal itself.
Wes returns to the bridge, all smiles because the neutrino beacon is ready. They launch it.

Downstairs, Geordi is forced to climb across a rock face to avoid having to cross a body of water, but he's still getting wet because water is streaming down the rock face as well.
Sometimes I imagine the Post-It notes attached to these scripts:
Jonathan Frakes (Skin of Evil): "You're gonna have to swim in Metamucil and printer's ink here."
LeVar Burton (The Enemy): "You're gonna be wet and dirty for 99.9% of this episode."
Michael Dorn: (every episode) "You get to spend three hours in the make-up chair again."

We dash back to the bridge for half a second, just long enough for Data to report that the beacon has landed and the neutrino beam is broadcasting back to them.

On the surface, Geordi ducks into a tiny cave for a few seconds' reprieve, and he spies the neutrino beam. For some reason, he immediately guesses it's the work of Wes. Maybe this plan has "Wes" stamped all over it in a way that we don't realize? I dunno.
He starts making his way over to it, picking his steps among the rocks on the ground, and we drop to his feet, which is always a red flag that someone is about to grab your ankles or something. Nope, it's boots. Another set of feet fall in line behind Geordi, and while he's focused on the neutrino beam, a fist comes down between his shoulder blades and knocks him the hell out.
Oh, noes! It's a Romulan with bed-head!

Dramatic music with nostril-flaring! Commercial break!

When Geordi comes to, the Romulan has his phaser and his comm badge (which doesn't work anyway, so who gives a shit about that?). He sits up.
"Don't move!" barks the Romulan. "You're my prisoner!"
Sassy Geordi: "Right. Congratulations. Surely a strategic triumph for the Romulan empire."
The Romulan yells at him to hold still again, and he replies, "Fuck you, there's sand in my boots."
Then the Rom demands his name and rank, which Geordi begrudgingly gives while he empties his boots.
Sassy Geordi: "Don't think I caught yours."
"A Romulan ship will be here shortly, and you're going with me!"
"Yeah, no," bluffs Geordi. "We intercepted your transmissions, and the sky is full of Federation ships."
Not knowing the Rom's name or rank, he starts sarcastically calling him "Commodore." I'm gonna award him one Sassy Point collectively for all the Commodores.
The Rom accuses him of lying, and starts to monologue, but then there's a lightning strike above them, and Geordi jumps back while the Rom is pelted with falling rocks. Nothing huge, but enough to knock him down and maybe injure him a little. Dude will for sure have a bunch of bruises later.
Once the rockslide is over, Geordi hoists the injured Romulan to his feet, and helps him limp into a cave. But he foolishly didn't take the phaser from him, so as soon as they're safe and Geordi asks if he's okay, the Rom pulls out the weapon again and yells at Geordi to sit down.
Sassy Geordi, dumping sand out of his boots: "Are you fucking serious right now? Welcome to Galorndorn Core, where no good deed goes unpunished."

Worf reports to Crusher's office, where she tells him that he's the only match for the cells that the Romulan needs to survive. He stares at her.
"You understand that's what all the testing was for?" she asks.
"I didn't object to the testing," he replies coldly.     
She says that she understands his feelings toward the Romulans in general, but this isn't the time or place.
He reminds he that the Roms killed his parents.
"Point blank," she states, "if you don't donate, he'll die."
"Then I guess he'll die," he answers, stalking from the office.

Down in the cavern, the Rom is still holding Geordi at phaser-point, and Geordi is still being sarcastic as hell. The Rom mocks him for being afraid to die, and Geordi gives him a resounding "You bet I am! Who is isn't?"
Eventually, the Rom spouts some nationalist crap about humans going extinct and the Romulan Star Empire stretching across the galaxy.
"Sure, Commodore," Geordi shrugs.
Finally, the Rom growls that Geordi can address him as Centurion Bochra. They bicker some more, and Bochra starts coughing.
"What's wrong with you?" asks Geordi. "Your heart rate just shot up." When Bochra looks at him questioningly, Geordi taps the VISOR. "I can see all kinds of shit with this."
"But you're blind without it?" asks Bochra suspiciously.
Geordi nods.
"How did that happen?"
"Born that way."
"And they let you live?" asks Bochra in disgust.
"The fuck?" demands Geordi.
"No wonder your species is weak," mutters Bochra. "You waste time and energy on defective children."
Because of course the Romulans murder handicapped children.
Geordi's vision gets staticky, and he mumbles that the diagnostics say it's working fine.
"Your body temp just shot up another point," he says, alarmed. "I think this place is wreaking havoc on our nervous systems."  He struggles to his feet. "We need to GTFO."
"Sit down!" roars Bochra, still pointing the phaser at him and hacking up a lung.

On the bridge, Riker keeps looking over Wes' shoulder at the instruments and asking, "what's that?"
"He hasn't found it yet," says Wes, being pretty patient while Riker is buzzing around him asking "are we there yet?"
Worf reports that Tomalak is calling, even though they haven't reached the Neutral Zone border yet. But they're only 30 minutes away, which is close enough to know that the E hasn't shown up, or even moved yet.
Tomalak comes on screen. "Picard, WTF? We were supposed to meet at the border so you could give me my guy!"
"We're still waiting for a break in the storm to collect our away team," explains Picard. "Don't you go entering Federation space!"
"Dude, I already told you how my guy got there," says Tomalak. "It was a mistake, now get him back here before we start some shit together."
"Yeah, I don't buy your story," snarls Picard.
They get into a tiff about Tomalak being willing to risk lives (by entering the Neutral Zone or Federation space) for the sake of one life, which is interesting, because Picard is doing the same thing - he won't meet Tomalak at the border because he's waiting for a window in which to beam up Geordi.
Either way, they're both pissed off.

Downstairs, Bochra and Geordi are having a similar conversation from the other side. Geordi wants to go find the beacon so they can get the hell out of Dodge, but Bochra doesn't want to play prisoner to the Federation.
"Would you rather die for your ideals?" demands Geordi.
They decide that sometimes this is an okay thing, but maybe not today.
Bochra finally relents, and they struggle to their feet to find the beacon. But two steps in the right direction, and Geordi comes to a halt.
He is blind.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Worf goes to Riker's quarters. Riker grants him entrance, and Worf sees that he is watching something on his laptop and drinking. My guess is porn, or anime, or maybe both.
"You're busy," says Worf. "I'll come back later."
"It's cool," says Riker. "Just so you know, I get how you're feeling."
"Not possible," says Worf. "I hate all Romulans forever for what happened to my parents."
Riker asks if he thinks about the possibility that the Federation may one day make peace with the Roms, and when Worf declares this to be impossible, Riker points out that that, not so long ago, the Klingons and Federation said the same things.
"We couldn't be here now together if someone didn't didn't let it go," says Riker.

He makes a good point here: "If that Romulan dies, will his family carry on the tradition of hating Klingons?"
"Do you think I should do it?" asks Worf.
"My opinion doesn't count here."
Worf admits that he is struggling with opposing viewpoints: his Starfleet training, which says he should do it; and everything else in him, which says he should not.
Their convo is cut short when Crusher pages him to sick bay.

Worf goes to sick bay.
"He's dying," says Crusher. "You still have time to donate, though."
She walks back to her office, and he approaches the Romulan.
The conversation that follows is a series of sarcastic remarks, threats and dick-waving.
The shaky Rom tells Worf to come closer so he can die with his hands around Worf's throat.
Worf responds by saying that he could easily save this dude's life.
"You've come to hear me beg?" asks the Rom.
"Nope," says Worf.
"I would rather die that pollute my body with Klingon filth," rasps the Rom.
He collapses again, and you think maybe he's died, but I guess not.
Worf walks away.

Downstairs, our boys are back to moping on the cave floor. Bochra says his legs don't work so much anymore. Geordi reckons his "synapses have turned to jelly." Basically, the VISOR works fine, but it's not connecting to his brain.
"How do we find the beacon?" asks Bochra.
"We can't," says Geordi. "I can't connect to the VISOR, so unless you have some way of sniffing out neutrinos, we're up Shit Creek."
"You have a sensor device," says Bochra, meaning the tricorder. "Connect that to your VISOR thing."
"Dude, I'm BLIND," reiterates Geordi. "And that shit is touchy. I can't can't feel my way through it."
"I got working eyes," Bochra reminds him.

We go back to the bridge for two announcements: firstly, that Data predicts they'll have another storm window in less than an hour; and two, that Worf has seen that the Romulan warship has crossed the Neutral Zone border, and is heading straight for them.
"Red alert," says Picard.

Dramatic music and zoom-in on Picard's face! Commercial break!

In the cave, Geordi is walking Bochra through the process of connecting the two pieces of tech and making them talk. Bochra turns it on, and finds a heading, making me wonder how he's able to read whatever written language the Federation uses. Geordi practically throws a party at their success. They hear the storm breaking outside and Debbie Downer notes that he'll soon be the prisoner of the Federation.
He isn't walking well, so Geordi sort of half-carries him while Bochra tells Geordi which direction they need to go. I'd make a joke about the blind leading the lame, but it's low-hanging fruit, so... eh.

Picard is in his ready room when Worf enters.
"You know what this is about?" Picard asks.
"Yes," says Worf.
They talk briefly about how the Romulan is more valuable to them alive than dead, and how it could start something big if he dies at the hands of the Federation.
"I could order you to do it," says Picard.
"If you do, I will do it," says Worf.
"I don't want to," Picard explains. "I'm going out on a limb, and begging you to volunteer."
"I won't," Worf replies.
"Lieutenant," says Picard in an official tone.
Worf snaps to attention.
"Dismissed," he finishes, to Worf's surprise.
Worf exits.
Picard calls Crusher. "You can stop asking Worf to donate," he says sadly.
"Don't need to," says Crusher. "The Romulan is dead."

Downstairs, the boys stumble a few yards to the beacon, and begin altering the signal so the E knows that there's someone to beam up.

Upstairs, the Romulan ship has come into range, the window will be open for less than ten minutes, and the neutrino beam has not been altered.
Picard has Worf open the channel.
"Dude, you're in my space," warns Picard. "You're in violation of our treaty."
"Gimme my guy!" demands Tomalak.
"He's dead," says Picard.
"Then he's gonna be the first to fall!" roars Tomalak, hanging up.
He powers up his weapons. The E's shields go up. And of course that's when the beacon is altered. So once again, lots of danger all at once, and it'll come down to the wire. If they lower the shields to beam up Geordi, they risk being an easy target for Tomalak.
"Three minutes left in the window," announces Data.
Picard thinks, then has O'Brien lock onto whoever is at the neutrino beacon.
"Getting weird signals back," says Data, "but I think there are two life-forms on the surface."
They try calling Tomalak, but the Romulan is ignoring them.
"They don't know how good our sensors are," says Picard to Riker. "Let's bluff."

"So, hey," says Picard casually. "Found another one of your guys at the crash-site of your one-man craft. Gonna beam them up. Savvy?"
Tomalak does not answer. He's probably on his ship muttering "fuckfuckfuckfuck."
"We both have pretty big guns," Picard continues. "And we both have the ability to be the bigger man and lay down our weapons. Who will go first? In this case, it's me. Cuz I gotta drop the shields to beam those guys up. Of course, you could fire on me then, kill us all, and violate the cease-fire we have. Totally your choice."
And he has Worf drop the shields and O'Brien beam the pair directly to the bridge.
Geordi and Bochra appear, hella dirty. For some reason, Bochra is able to stand on his own, Geordi has his comm badge again, and his synapses seem to be working just fine, as he puts his VISOR back on.
"No one will hurt you," Picard says quickly to Bochra.
Geordi backs up the sentiment.
"Well?" Picard asks the open frequency.
Tomalak's face reappears. "If you fucking tortured my guy -" snarls Tomalak.
Bochra makes a weak salute at the viewscreen. "I haven't given them any information," he tells Tomalak, "and nobody mistreated me. Actually, this human saved my life."
"Oh," says Tomalak, surprised. "Well, um, that's nice."
"Yeah, you know what else would be nice?" asks Picard."You powering down your fucking weapons."
So Tomalak nods to some dude off-camera, and the weapons power down.
"Awesome, thanks," says Picard. "How about we beam your guy back over, and then we escort you back to the Neutral Zone?"
"Sounds good," says Tomalak, all smiles again. He signs off.
Geordi tells Picard & Co how he wouldn't have made it back without Bochra, and they kind of smile at one another like they're going to exchange addresses and be pen pals after this, but you know that's not going to happen. At best, Bochra will give TED Talks about how humans aren't so bad, and everyone will give him side-eye for years for believing such nonsense.

Geordi and Worf take Bochra to the transporter room, there's no discussion as to what happened with the body of the dead Romulan, we never find out what Bochra's mission was, and the two ships fly off in opposite directions, even though Picard just said he'd escort Tomalak back to the NZ.

I have two opinions on this episode, one of them probably unpopular.
The first: I think Romulans are a terrible villain. Not terrible as in scary, but terrible as in stupid. I dislike when a show tries its hardest to convince me that a certain person or race is a thing to be feared, but it's mostly the characters talking about the scary they are, and when they finally show up, they don't do anything worth being afraid of. To me, this is the Romulans. They show up in TOS, and everyone is gobsmacked because no one has interacted with one in years, and the myth has built up. Don't get me wrong, that was a great episode, but it went nowhere after that. The Romulans disappeared from the rest of the show. Then they show up again in TNG, and they're just space dicks. They blow a lot of hot air, and declare that "we're back" at the end of the episode, and everyone on the E collectively gasps, because Romulans are scary. And then? Nothing. They talk about scary the Romulans are every few episodes, but then nothing is provided to back up that claim. They show up, they talk trash, they do nothing. Space dicks. Which is a shame, because I love a villain who is an unapologetic asshole. The Cardassians are unapologetic assholes... but they do shit. The Romulans just talk a big game and go home, and everyone whispers, "wasn't that scary?" Fuck no, it wasn't scary. DO SOMETHING. That being said...
Opinion two: this is a fucking great episode. It's multi-faceted. The B-plot of "Worf needs to donate genetic material to a Romulan" doesn't feel like a typical "meanwhile, back at the ranch" B-plot, but a story that's just as strong as the A-plot. The title of "The Enemy" refers to not only Geordi's reaction to Bochra, but Worf's dilemma with the dying Romulan, Picard's dancing with Tomalak, and even Bochra's interactions with Geordi. These people have been pitted against one another for generations, and none of them is necessarily inclined to swim against the tide.
Geordi, and to some extent Riker, are willing to help the stranded and helpless Romulans, regardless of their current status with the Federation. They're open to the idea that this may not end badly for all involved. Geordi gets frustrated with Bochra, but is still willing to work with him to facilitate their escape. Riker willingly beams the other Romulan up to the ship to get him medical help, and then speaks sensibly with Worf when the Klingon seeks someone to bounce ideas off of. Both are okay with the concept that that they might not be so different, and in Geordi's case, he finds this to be true.

Picard is trapped in the unenviable position of having to be diplomatic with someone unpleasant. Tomalak keeps trying to be manipulative and secretive about his motives, and Picard likes to play a straighter game than that. One wrong move, though, and they could start an intergalactic incident. So he tries to get some info - ultimately failing - while returning what is essentially a POW. He doesn't really want to play this game, but has no choice. That being said, he came off as more aggressive than usual in this episode, and I'm not sure that tactic was necessary, especially after he had stated that they had to go carefully in this situation. Possibly he perceived that Tomalak would only respond to aggression? I'm not sure here.
Bochra's interactions with Geordi, and Tomalak's with Picard, are both based on their own people feeding them information about humans. Tomalak smiles too much, something that Romulans don't seem to do often. They're a bit slimy with their smiles, but being openly friendly is not a trait they're known for, and when Tomalak does it, it feels as though someone had told him that would be an effective way to talk to humans. It's also condescending, which is absolutely a Romulan trait. Bochra smiles too, but it comes off as crazy, and is done in his most manic moments. In Bochra's case, he also reveals that he thinks humans are weak, and then pulls confirmation bias from the fact that Geordi's parents opted not to kill him. They are taught that humans are not an adequate match for their battle prowess. In the end, Bochra is willing to set these things aside to work with Geordi, and seems to have changed his opinions of humans. (It happened a bit quickly, though I have to admit that, with time a factor, that was sort of bound to happen.) They didn't have "Enemy Mine" time. (Also a fabulous movie. Actually, you should stop reading this crappy blog and go watch "Enemy Mine" again.)

So Worf. Worf does not donate his material to save the life of the Romulan. This was initially not the preferred way that Michael Dorn thought the story should go, as he thought that making the donation would be the honorable way to go. But Piller and Berman both insisted that Worf was becoming "too human" and argued that Worf needed to have some morals that were Klingon-based rather than human-based. They guy is, after all, a Klingon raised by humans, and nature vs nurture will come up with him a lot, as well as vendetta issues surrounding the death of his birth parents. It was felt that Worf needed to stand firm on his convictions here, to be more Klingon that human. Michael Dorn would later come to agree with this course of action, and while I had wished he had made the donation initially, I feel like I also agree with this assessment. Being raised by one group of people does not mean that you won't fall back on the beliefs of the people who sired you from time to time, and Worf is very much a guy who has been in touch with his Klingon heritage.
Interestingly, the family of the dead Romulan is never brought up again. Riker's assertion that it might just fuel more hatred from the Romulans sort of dies on the E, as it seems that the Romulans never learned of Worf's refusal to save one of their own. Of course, it could just be a wash, as the Romulan refused to take Worf's material anyway, and they might have looked at the whole thing as a Romulan dying for his purist ideals. Too bad, though. Might have made for a good follow-up.

Fun Facts:

- Troi was supposed to be trapped on the planet with Geordi in the initial script. She was written as having knocked Bochra. But when the script was rewritten, not only was Troi not on the planet, she had Christine Chapel lines. Marina Sirtis counted this as one of those times when Troi was underutilized.
- The launch of the probe with the neutrino device was stock footage from "Where Silence has Lease."
- This is the first time we see Commander Tomalak. He'll show up three more times.
- John Snyder, who plays Bochra, will show up again as a different character in the fifth season of TNG.

- Steve Rankin, who plays the Romulan who dies in sick bay, will later play a Klingon. He'll appear twice more in Star Trek beyond that.

- Dr Crusher has long hair in this episode. Oddly, she has short hair in both the episode before and after.

- Technically, all three of the officers who talked to Worf about the transfusion procedure outrank him, and could have ordered him to do it.
-Writer/Producer Brannon Braga cited this episode as being the one that convinced him that the show was good. He had tried to watch earlier episodes and had had been unimpressed prior to "The Enemy."
- Though not mentioned on-camera, the Romulan who dies in sick bay is named Patahk.

Red deaths: 0
To date: 0
Gold deaths: 0
Blue deaths: 0
To date: 1
Unnamed color crew deaths: 0
Obnoxious Wes moments: 0
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Geordi moments: 4
To date: 7
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Riker Moments: 2
To date: 4
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 3
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: 1
Sassy Guinan Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
To date: 0
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 0
To date: 7
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 1
To date: 10
Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 2
To date: 2
Number of times when Data gives too much info and has to be told to shut up: 0
To date: 1
Picard Maneuvers: 1
To date: 13

Harvey the Parkour Kitten is improving!
Two more weeks in this new splint.


  1. OMFG, Harvey is adorable! <3

    Could Worf have been ordered to donate after the Romulan explicitly refused it? Granted, only Worf heard this, but I'm guessing there are cameras in sickbay.

    I thought I'd read something about the final shot being corrected for the remastered edition. I guess not.

    Yay for Bev's magic hair.

    I doubt the Federation has one official language. Even the EU has 24.

    If you mean Starfleet, that would be English. Setting aside all of the English on computer screens, there's also:

    *The promenade's directory on DS9 has English among the alien languages.

    *The very names Starfleet, Enterprise, and Stargazer are in English.

    *Kirk reads the 1992 book, "Chicago Mobs of the 1920s".

    *Riker reads the 21st century novel, "Hotel Royale". Picard later brings it up on the computer and reads it. Given its shittiness, it likely never warranted a translation into a hypothetical future language.

    *Sisko and Bashir don't miss a beat and easily converse with 2018 Americans (after their com badges had been stolen).

    *That one 20th century jackass brought up Voyager's computer files and read all about the ship.

  2. Good job, Harvey. No Klingon cells needed for you!