Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Twelve "The Wounded"

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Twelve "The Wounded"
Production Order: 12
Air Order: 12
Stardate: 44429.6
Original Air Date: January 28, 1991

I don't know why this didn't post on Monday. Oh, well. Happy Wednesday, I guess?

Picard's Log 44429.6: "Doing a mapping thing near Cardassian space, but it's all good, because we signed a peace treaty with them like a year ago."

Picard tells Worf to be on the lookout for a Cardassian patrol ship, which will probably call them to see what they're up to. Riker remarks that the Cardassians are still "skittish" about their borders, even after the treaty. Instead of pointing out that they were at war for a long time and that it takes time to establish trust with a former enemy, Picard tells them a story of Younger, Dumber Picard.
"I was gonna go talk to them per Starfleet's orders, and dropped my shields as a sign of goodwill, but they took out a bunch of my weapons right away. I turned and took off."

"Cardassians have no honor," declares Worf. "I don't trust them."
Troi reminds him that they're all friends now, and they need to establish trust.

Okay agreed, but you gotta start somewhere. Sometimes leaps of faith are required, otherwise you go in circles.
Picard and Riker are amused at this argument.

We switch over to the quarters of the O'Briens, where the Chief and Keiko are eating breakfast.
Can I just say how awesome it is that they didn't just marry off O'Brien and forget he existed in the first place? "Data's Day" fully established the fact that they intended to make Miles a full character in this show and it's fabulous.
There's a little tiny C-plot happening here where Miles and Keiko have grown up eating very different traditional foods, and now that they're sharing meals together on the regular, the discrepancy is obvious. Keiko has been introducing Miles to Japanese foods, and he diplomatically calls it "wonderful, but..."
"I'd like to share some foods with you from my childhood," he suggests.
Of course the foods he names are heavier Irish fare. He reminisces about his mother cooking, and Keiko is surprised.
"She cooked? She touched real meat? Really?"
"Yeah, she didn't believe in the replicator. Thought real food was more nutritious. I have to use the replicator, though. I'll make you something special for dinner tonight."
She agrees, but looks wary.

There's some sexual innuendo, and suddenly the ship rocks and there's sounds of weapons fire.
"The hell?" asks Miles.
"Red alert," calls Majel.

We switch to the bridge. Picard is cool as a cucumber and Worf reports in damage done by the weapon before the shields went up. Looks like a repeat of the story of Lil' Picard. The Cardassian ship is not answering hails.
"Fire back, but only hit their shields and engines," says Picard. It's clear he isn't interested in taking the little patrol ship down, just trying to get them to sit the hell down and talk.
It works. Worf fires phasers and does a bit of damage to their shields.
And suddenly, the patrol ship is willing to talk.

"I'm Gul Macet of the Trager. And I fired on you because we're at war."
"Um, no? We have a treaty."
"Did. But two days ago a Federation ship fired on an unarmed Cardassian science station and blew it all to kingdom come. So, we're at war again."
Picard pauses. This is pretty shitty news. "Okay, look: I'm gonna check on this claim, talk to my bosses, and get back to you in an hour." Macet seems unwilling. "Or, I could blow you to kingdom come. You know that's what's gonna happen if your little patrol ship keeps firing on us. You're outgunned."
Macet concedes.

Dramatic music! Opening credits break!

Ugh, I forgot early Cardassians wore those stupid helmets.

In the ready room, Picard calls an admiral and gets the bad news: yep, a Federation ship - the Phoenix - destroyed a Cardassian science station two days ago. (And we're just now hearing about it?) The Phoenix is captained a guy named Ben Maxwell.
Picard is confused. "That guy is one of Starfleet's most decorated captains."
"Yeah, and you're the nearest ship, so go into Cardassian space and check it out. The Cardassians have agreed to give you safe passage, but you gotta take Macet and some of his guys as a show of good faith. Here's the thing: we don't have the resources to go do a sustained conflict again, so you have to protect the peace at all costs, okay?"
Picard agrees and hangs up, but that "at all costs" thing is worrying. It means some shit will go down, and it'll probably end in this Sophie's Choice moment for Picard. Ugh.

Picard goes to the bridge to break the news to Riker, Data, Troi and Worf.
"So we're gonna have three Cardassians on board - Macet and two underlings. We're gonna look for the Phoenix together and share info and stuff. They're guests."
"I don't want to give them free roam," says Worf. "I want to post security Golds in the more sensitive areas of the ship."
Okay, that's reasonable. Picard balks, thinking that the Cardassians might take exception to that, but Riker agrees - the Cardassians don't need to go everywhere.
"Okay," says Picard. "but tell your people that the Cardassians are guests." He turns to Troi. "Watch our people. Some of them might be nervous with these guests on board."
He asks Data if anyone on the E served with Ben Maxwell.
"Yeah," says Data. "Chief O'Brien."

Macet and the two aides are met by Riker and Troi in the transporter room. Macet introduces his guys as Glinn Daro and Glinn Telle. (Glinn being a title like Gul.) Everybody does their nods and Riker introduces O'Brien to them, who is running the transporter. Nods all around again, and Troi studies O'Brien. They head out, and Troi glances at O'Brien again.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard, Riker and La Forge meet with Macet and the two glinns in the Obs Lounge. Geordi says they can scan about one sector a day in their search, but they haven't found the Phoenix yet.
"You have no idea if the ship is even here," says Macet icily.
Riker returns his frosty tone. "No, sir. We have no idea where the ship might be, but we thought checking its last know location might be a good place to start."
"Yeah, how do I know you're looking all that hard for your own ship?"
Picard is tired of this, and gives Macet a stiff smile. "I know you're worried, but we're sharing this info with you as we get it. You're not being left out of any meetings or anything. And in order to help us figure out what's going on, I've asked in Chief O'Brien, who served with Captain Maxwell on the ship Rutledge."
The camera pans out, and we see that O'Brien is sitting further down the table.

Picard adds some exposition: "So, I understand that Maxwell's whole family was killed in a raid on Setlik III?"
"Yeah, the Cardassians did a sneak attack on the outpost and killed 100 civilians," O'Brien confirms.
"Oh, so he's after revenge?" asks Macet.
O'Brien is rankled. "Hell no! Maxwell wouldn't do that!"
Picard puts a stop to the argument before it begins. "Dude, we're just doing facts right now, no guessing."
Worf interrupts over the comm system. "Found the Phoenix."
They all head for the bridge. The two glinns and O'Brien aren't needed there, so they share a lift to other decks.
Daro decides to break the ice by complimenting Picard.
O'Brien agrees stiffly.
Daro tries again: "Hey, our transporters are pretty old-school. Could you tell me about yours?"
Dude is making the effort to be friendly. Good for him.
"I need to ask Commander La Forge if that's okay first."
"No problem," says Daro. "In the meantime, we're going to Ten Forward. Wanna come with us?"
O'Brien is pissed. "If my commanding officers tell me to tell you about transporter tech and Captain Maxwell, I will. But who I spend my free time with, that's my business."
Wow. Rude.
The lift opens, and O'Brien gets out. The glinns exchange a look like, Well, crap.

On the bridge, the E crew tells Picard and Macet where they found the Phoenix.
"Let's go to that spot and have a chat with Maxwell," says Picard.
"Hey," says Macet. "We're still a ways away. What say you give us some info on how to find the official position, then some of my guys can go in and keep him there?"
"Not gonna happen," smiles Picard. "Maxwell took out an unarmed science station, and if we send in more Cardassians to detain him, we'll have another conflict on our hands. We'll go in ourselves, thanks. Pretty sure you'd want the same if the position was reversed."
Yeah, Macet doesn't seem to agree.

It's dinnertime in the O'Brien quarters, and Miles is serving a potato casserole. Keiko looks uncertain, but open to trying it out. Miles is singing a song, and she asks about it.
"It's an old song called "The Minstrel Boy" that we used to sing on the Rutledge." He sings it for her, and song about a minstrel boy going to war. "Captain Maxwell liked that song, and I guess thinking about him lately has brought it back to memory." He pauses. "You know, when I was in that meeting earlier I could tell some people still don't like the Cardassians."
You mean like you, Minstrel Boy?
"Eh, that's to be expected," says Keiko fairly. "War lasted a long time. You don't just end a war and become instant buddies."
"I think people should be able to give that hatred up," he says.
And I'm over here like

"Didn't you fight the Cardassians?" she asks.
"A few little skirmishes under Maxwell," he admits. "But I feel fine about it."
And she smiles at him in a way that says, "You're so full of shit, honey."

On the bridge, Picard and Macet are checking out where the Phoenix is. The chart shows the Phoenix, but just numbers for another ship. And unfortunately, the Phoenix is chasing it.
"Looks like a Cardassian supply ship," says Data.
"How do you know that?" demands Macet.
"We... just know," says Picard evasively.
"You know how to read our transponder codes," Macet accuses.

Which must suck, because that's what he asked Picard for earlier.
"Worf, page the Phoenix and tell them to stand down. Make it really serious, so they know we're not fucking around." Picard turns to the now-suspicious Macet, because this transponder thing makes him look bad. "We'll get them. And you'll be here to also see that we are not fucking around."
Macet asks Data to show him where there are other ships in the area, then points out one of them. "That's a warship. If you give me the transponder codes for the Phoenix, the warship can detain the Phoenix sooner than we can. Or, you know... you can stand there while the supply ship becomes a smear in space."
Picard asks Worf if the Phoenix has responded, and when Worf replies that it has not, Picard chews his tongue, then tells Worf to give the transponder codes of the Phoenix to the warship.
"The warship will be able to take their shields down," argues Worf. "They will become the space smear."
At all costs.
"Just do it," Picard tells Worf.
Worf looks so pleased. He's probably updating his resume when he gets off duty.

Dramatic music! Very serious shot of Picard! Commercial break!

Picard asks Data to put up the weapons ranges of both the warship and the Phoenix, which are about equal. When they overlap, the warship opens fire and the Phoenix takes damage. The Phoenix powers up weapons, and... makes the warship a space smear.
"Whoa, shit," says Macet.
"Whoa, shit," says Picard. "What kinds of weapons does the supply ship have?"
"Like, Swiss Army knives."
Data says "The Phoenix is firing on the -"
Space smear.

Macet quietly tells Picard that the combined casualties just now were about 650 Cardassians.
"How long until we get there?" Picard asks Data.
"Seventeen hours," says Data.
"Hurry the fuck up," Picard tells the navigator, who bumps it up to warp nine.
Macet stalks from the bridge.

Picard goes to the transporter room to talk to O'Brien about Maxwell. When questioned about losing his family, O'Brien says Maxwell seemed to take it okay, probably broken up about it in private, but never missing duty because of it, and always seeming to have a joke or a smile for everyone.
"I don't think he'd take vengeance on anyone," says the chief emphatically. "He'd have his reasons for doing something. You should be investigating the Cardassians, not Maxwell."
"He just killed 600-plus Cardassians," Picard relays.
O'Brien is taken aback, but doubles down on the idea that Maxwell always has a good reason for doing things the way he does them.
"Thing is," says O'Brien, "you should watch the Cardassians. They're sneaky as shit."
Oh, Miles. You don't sound racist at all. Especially when you use phrases like "that Cardassian" and "those people."
"You don't like Cardassians?" asks Picard.
"I like them okay."
"I think," says Picard thoughtfully, "that when you live with anger long enough, you get comfortable with it, and eventually you forget what it's like to not feel that way."
Is he talking about O'Brien or Maxwell?

O'Brien is sitting at the bar in Ten Forward when Daro sits a few seats away and orders kanar, a Cardassian alcohol. Miles asks if he can join Daro and in response, Daro asks if he wants another ale.
In light of the fact that everything in Ten Forward is free, "buying" someone a drink doesn't really have the same weight when you're simply requesting another one from the bartender for them, but whatever. Miles offered an olive branch, and Daro will take that shit.
Miles remarks that he could never acquire a taste for kanar, and Daro admits that it "takes some getting used to." Lol, like ale?
I like Daro. He seems like a good guy, looking to bury some hatchets and move forward with the complicated humans of the Federation. He wants to be tech-nerd buddies with O'Brien.
"Soooo... sorry I was an ass in the turbolift," says Miles.
"This has been pretty hard on all of us. I'll be happier when I can be back on my own ship," admits Daro.
Miles says that he hadn't thought of it like that. He takes a sip of his drink and dives in. "Maxwell and I were on Setlik III the morning after the attack. There was pretty much no one left alive."
Daro offers the other half of the story: "It was a shitty mistake. We were told the outpost was a launching spot for a huge attack against us."

Miles goes on like he didn't hear Daro: "There were only a few people left alive on the far side of the outpost, and I was sent out there with others to back them up. I was with a group of women and children, and the Cardassians were advancing, killing people in the streets. Two soldiers came in. I stunned one and struggled with the other. A woman threw me a phaser and I fired on the soldier. It was set at maximum, and he disintegrated in front of me. I had never killed anything, not even a mosquito." He stands up. "It's not you I hate, Cardassian. I hate what I became because of you."
He stalks out of Ten Forward while Daro watches, a bit sadly.

Worf hauls Glinn Telle onto the bridge and announces that he found Telle dicking around on a computer terminal, accessing their weapons info.
"No way!" yells Telle. "I was only checking out their interface because it's better than ours! I didn't know what was in those files!"
Macet is seething. Even if Telle is being honest, he's made them look bad in front of their hosts.
"You're an idiot, and you had no business going near their computers. You're confined to quarters for the rest of this journey."
Picard requests that Worf escort Telle back to his quarters, and Worf does so gladly. No love lost there. They were yelling at each other, calling one another "Klingon" and "Cardassian."

Macet asks to speak to Picard alone in the ready room, and they do so.
"I'm sorry. Telle will be properly punished when we get back."
"Do what you think is necessary," shrugs Picard. "I think of the issue as being closed."
"That's pretty generous. I'd be more pissed off if I were in your place."
"People worked hard to bring us peace," says Picard. "I don't want to screw up their hard work."
Macet smiles. "I don't either. There are people who want war and need it, but I'm not one of them. I don't think you are, either. Let's make sure the peace continues with us."
Data pages Picard to say that they've found the Phoenix, and they'll be there in twenty minutes.

Dramatic music, even though this doesn't seem to be a terribly dramatic moment! Commercial break!

Picard's Log 44431.7: "Got a hold of Maxwell. He's going to come onboard."

Maxwell beams over. He's warm and friendly with Riker and compliments him on his work with the Borg, then notices O'Brien. They're old buddies and excited to see one another, and Maxwell compliments O'Brien to Riker as well. So far, this guy is lovely.
Riker tells Maxwell that they'll go see Picard and Maxwell turns a bit grave.
"Yeah, we have some things to talk about."
But he winks at O'Brien on his way out.

Riker takes Maxwell to the ready room, and then is dismissed. The captains shake hands and Maxwell breaks the ice by saying that Picard probably thinks he's crazy.
"I was so glad when I found out Starfleet sent you, because you know what's it's really like out here."
Picard is not getting pulled into a buddy-buddy situation with a dude who just sent 650 Cardassians to meet their maker. "I don't know what would possess you to do such a thing."
Maxwell leans forward like he's gonna tell Picard a good story. "Yeah, well get this: the Cardassians are arming for another go. The science station? Not for science. It was a military supply depot."
"How do you know?"
"What contacts? Where is your proof? Did you document anything?"
"I just know, okay? I know them. A science station doesn't make any sense for that location. But a military transport depot does. It's within spitting distance of three Federation sectors."
"Why the hell didn't you report this to Starfleet?"
"You know that system. I'd report it, and officials would sit on their hands for six months, discussing if it was true or not. Nothing would happen."
Dammit, this is still a thing in the 24th century? Get your shit together, Terrans.

"Why did you do it? Who did you think this would benefit? You killed almost 700 people."
Maxwell seems to decide that he and Picard are no longer buddies, and he says, "Seems musty in here, like a bureaucrat's office."
Dude, your tinfoil hat is showing.
"The peace treaty was a stall tactic, meant to give them time to regroup," says Maxwell.
"You used to have all of these principles, and you've abandoned them."
"Not true!" insists Maxwell.
"I think you killed those people because of what happened to your family," suggests Picard.
"You're very foolish. When the Federation finds out what the Cardassians are up to, I'll be vindicated, and you'll be seen as a fool. What are you going to do about what the Cardassians are doing?"
"It does't matter," says Picard.
"Why the hell not?"
"Come with me," says Maxwell. "We'll board a supply ship, and you'll see -"
"Not doing that," says Picard. "You're gonna go back to your ship, and then we will go back to Federation space together. Those are Starfleet's orders. I'm being nice and allowing you to retain command of your ship for this voyage. Otherwise, I'm gonna toss your ass in the brig. Got it?"
Maxwell, sensing that the game is over, quietly says "yes, Captain."
He is escorted back to the transporter room by Worf, and Picard stubbornly turns his back on Maxwell to stare out the window.

The E is escorting the Phoenix back to the nearest starbase, and they're a little over three hours away from the border when Data reports that the Phoenix is changing course.
"The hell?" asks Macet.
"The hell?" asks Picard. "Worf, hail the Phoenix and ask Maxwell what the hell!"
"Yeah, he's not picking up," reports Worf.
"He's going to warp nine," says Data. "And he's heading for a Cardassian ship. At our current speed, we won't catch up to him before he reaches that other ship."
Picard orders the conn to jump to war nine as well, and he asks Macet what that other ship might be.
"Probably supply," says Macet.
Because the Cardassians only have warships or supply ships.
Riker reveals that Maxwell said O'Brien was his tactical officer on the Rutledge, and Picard has O'Brien paged to the bridge.

When O'Brien arrives on the bridge, they've rolled up on the Cardassian ship and the Phoenix. The Phoenix's weapons are not powered up.
"What about the Cardassian ship?" asks Picard.
"Dunno," says Data. "We don't have the ability to access that. But it does have a pretty big subspace field around it."
Picard and Riker exchange a glance.
Picard goes to O'Brien. "Maxwell is putting me in the shitty position of maybe having to fire on him. Can you help me here?"
"Maxwell calling," announces Worf.
Maxwell comes onscreen. "Picard, board the ship. You'll see that I'm telling you the truth."
"Are you shitting me right now?" demands Picard. "Nobody is boarding any Cardassian ships. Get your ass back over here. You're going in the brig."
"Board the ship or I'll blow it up," warns Maxwell.

He shuts off the viewscreen, puts up his shields, and powers up his weapons.
"If Maxwell feels like his back is against the wall, he'll strike," puts in O'Brien. "Let me beam over and talk to him."
"He won't lower his shields for that," says Riker.
"Nah, but I know those transporters and shields," says O'Brien. "There's like, a fiftieth of a second where I can beam over in the shield cycle. No biggie."
He's talking about it like it's a hallway he can stroll down, instead of being like trying to squeeze around two side-by-side grocery carts at the store aisle.

Maxwell is in his ready room, staring out the window at the E, when the door chimes. He yells "not now!" but O'Brien strolls in anyway. Maxwell dives for a phaser and holds it on O'Brien.
"O'Brien, WTF?"
"Thought we might be able to talk our way out of this, sir," says O'Brien calmly.
"Great. Talk to Picard instead. Get him to board that ship."
"He won't do it," says O'Brien.
Man, imagine being this dude. Yesterday he just wanted to stop eating Japanese food for every meal. Today he's stuck mediating between his two favorite captains, and knowing where each draws their lines in the sand, and that neither will relent to the other. If he's really, really lucky, tomorrow he can complain about plankton loaf again.

"What's happening to this war?" asks Maxwell, stressed.
"There isn't one," O'Brien replies.
"Yes, there is!" Maxwell insists. "The Cardassians love war! They gotta have it!"
O'Brien snorts derisively. "Everybody thinks that about their enemies. They probably think the same thing about us."
"But we're not like them!" insists Maxwell. "We don't do sneak attacks or butcher innocents!"
Ohhh, honey. Yes, you do. For all the talk of peaceful exploration, you know some part of the Federation probably engages in shady shit. They just don't tell you about it. Also, you just blew away like 700 people. You don't have a leg to stand on here.
He's kind of torn up about his kids, even though he doesn't say it outright. Instead, he and O'Brien reminisce about a crew member that died on Setlik III during their mission.
"What was the song he used to sing?" asks Maxwell.
O'Brien starts singing The Minstrel Boy and Maxwell joins in. But O'Brien sings the last line by himself as Maxwell stares off into the distance, framed by quiet red alert lighting.

There's a pause, and Maxwell accepts his fate, as hard as it is to swallow. "I'm not going to win this one, am I, Chief?"
"No, sir."

Picard's Log, supplemental: "Maxwell turned his ship over to his first officer and has been confined to quarters over here. Taking the Phoenix to the starbase."

In the Obs Lounge, O'Brien is debriefed by Picard and Macet. We don't really see any of it, and O'Brien gets up to leave.
"I just wanna say, that Maxwell was an awesome person to serve under, and while I know he's wrong now, I'm still proud to have served with him."
Picard nods and thanks O'Brien for doing a good job. O'Brien leaves.

"Wow, that dude is loyal," remarks Macet.
"Maxwell earned the loyalty that his crew gave him," corrects Picard. "And he was twice honored in war with the Federation's highest award. If he can't find a place for himself in peaceful times, we can pity him, but we won't dismiss him."
Ah, shades of "The Hunted."
"It's nice that you like Maxwell," says Macet, "But I'm really okay with him being locked up."
Macet turns to leave.
"Oh hey, Macet."
The Cardassian turns back.
"Maxwell was right," says Picard. "That's a dumb place for a science station, but a great place for a transport depot. And your "supply ships" all have high-energy fields that scramble signal readers."
Macet splutters. "Well then, why didn't you board that ship and see for yourself?"
"I was told to keep the peace at all costs. And if I had checked that ship, the peace would have been gone, and we would not be having this cozy chat now." Macet starts to give some weak-kneed response, but Picard interrupts again. "Go back and tell your fucking superiors that we'll be watching you."
And then he swivels his chair around like a badass. Because fuck the Cardassians.

really like this episode. It's not just because I like the Cardassians as a villain, and not just because I like Miles and Keiko. It's those things and more. It's the fleshing out of O'Brien as a character, seeing him in his downtime with his new wife, and how he interacts with her and Maxwell and some tertiary characters that he doesn't like.
But mostly it's the writing. Picard is being nice to the Cardassians because of a treaty, but they drop the bombshell on him that a rogue Starfleet captain is hunting Cardassian ships and destroying them without a known cause. Picard is embarrassed to find this to be true. Cardassians are invited to come on board while he tracks down the Phoenix and confronts Maxwell. The Cardassians attempt to be friendly. It's awkward on both sides. Miles seems to hover back and forth on his opinions of the Cardassians, being rude, then apologizing, and finally admitting his problem with them. In the end, Maxwell is caught, tries to explain his conspiracy theory and is ultimately brought in to face charges of blowing up a bunch of Cardassian ships. There's an amazing, quiet, powerful moment where O'Brien and Maxwell reminisce about earlier times, and Maxwell accepts his fate: he will not be believed or vindicated here. Before the Cardassians beam back over to their ship, Picard confronts the captain and tells him that Maxwell was most likely right, but Picard has opted instead to not call them out publicly. He will keep the peace, and Maxwell will most likely be punished, but the odds are good that Picard will tell the upper echelons of Starfleet what the Cardassians are doing.
No one is black or white here, simply gradations of grey. Daro is looking for common ground with the humans he will be spending time with. Telle seemed sincere in his protests that he was only interested in looking at the computer interface. Miles shifted back and forth with his opinions. Maxwell was all over the place. And the show seems to like to walk the line concerning how squeaky clean the Federation is. "We're the good guys but... you know... nobody's that good."

That grey area leads us straight back to O'Brien. Here we have a character who, until last week, had been another Nurse Chapel: one line or so, maybe on a weekly basis, but no more. Last week he got married. This week he leads a full life with a new wife, an interesting backstory, and a new revelation that he's racist. But he claims he isn't. But then he'll be racist again. And then we learn why. Does the fact that he has a reason for being racist excuse the fact that he is? Not even a little bit. But it does flesh things out. hate does not exist in a vacuum. Nobody wakes up one morning and thinks, "Huh. I really hate (specific group of people)." There's a reason why people hate other people, and then extend that hate out to others of the same group. Even in cases where someone can't pinpoint the moment because they were simply raised that way, the reason behind it is that they were taught that hate. It's never just a cut and dry "because." In O'Brien's case, he claims that he has no problems with the idea of the Cardassians, and attempts to convince his wife, his boss, and a Cardassian at the Ten Forward bar of this, but then also admits to some PTSD concerning an event that happened to involve the Cardassians. "I hate what I became because of you." That's a bit more complicated. He both does and does not blame the Cardassians or the war.
Maxwell is similar. He claims that the deaths of his family at the hands of the Cardassians was not the basis for anything he is doing now, but he still makes some racist remarks. He doesn't trust them. And horribly, his instincts were right rather than being way off base. Does this mean he'll be celebrated when he returns to Earth? Nope. Starfleet and the Federation are not like that. There is no "glorious honor of the Federation." If you break the rules, you face the consequences, regardless of the outcome. Might your sentence be lightened? Sure, but you're not getting away scot-free. The crew of the original Enterprise stole a Klingon ship, and even though they saved Earth, Kirk still got his slap on the wrist. A demotion was technically what he wanted, so it's not like he learned any kind of lesson ("don't steal Klingon ships"). So Maxwell, if not given jail time for killing a bunch of Cardassians, will at least lose his commission.
It begs the question: what will happen now?
Will Maxwell's crew back him up in stating that they also believed that the Cardassians were gearing up for more conflict? Will Picard? Will this lessen whatever punishment they throw at him? And what will happen to the information? Will it be covered up, tossed in some dusty filing cabinet in San Francisco? Will it be given to some kind of secret Federation investigation team?
The writing of this episode had parallels to other work that I liked. The question of how Maxwell's case might be handled reminded me of The One With The Whales, where Kirk receives his lighter-than-light consequence; and Picard talking to Macet about people who struggle to find a place in society in peaceful times reminded me of the TNG episode "The Hunted." Nicely done but a bit more subtle was the fact that Picard ended both of his conversations with Maxwell and Macet by firmly turning his back on them to stare out of the window.

A thing I wished had been different:
When the admiral tells Picard that he must protect the peace at all costs, he mentions that "the Federation cannot afford another sustained conflict." In truth, I assumed that because he did not mention it by name, he was talking about the war with the Cardassians, since it had ended only a year earlier. What he was actually talking about however, was the conflict with the Borg at Wolf 359. Admiral Haden was guilting Picard into keeping the peace by laying it on and reminding Picard that his being kidnapped by the Borg had cost them quite a bit. Truthfully? I wish they had mentioned Wolf 359 by name. In this way, Picard's choices might have felt more loaded than just cautious. It added a layer of tension to the episode after I read that, and I was sorry that the writers had not been more clear about what Haden was referring to in the first place.

Raised more questions than answered:
- If O'Brien stunned one Cardassian, then why did that woman hand him a phaser that was fully dialed to Disintegrate? Didn't he already have a phaser in his hand that he had used to stun the other Cardassian?
- Miles and Keiko are presented as very different cultures (and truth be told, kind of stereotypical ones). In the 24th century, we have put aside our differences and formed a planet-wide government. My question is, have those different cultures been preserved through stubbornness, or have they become blended? Surely, Miles and Keiko being specific archetypes for their ethnicities means that there are still very separate cultural identities on Earth in the 24th century. South Park imagined a "melting pot" scenario where people from the future are all beige and speak a blended language. Yet, in Star Trek's vision of the future, cultures seem to be preserved in a kind of "differences are beautiful" manner. I'm not complaining - just seems like there would be more bleed-over.

- Fun Facts:

- This episode is similar to TOS' "The Doomsday Machine" in that it features two captains losing their shit and needing to be talked down from hunting their "white whale."
- "The Minstrel Boy" was written for the 1798 rebellion of United Irishmen. It will come up again in one of O'Brien's final moments on DS9.
- In the final, unedited scene where Picard confronts Macet, he says "We know. We'll be watching. And we'll be ready." The aired version stops after "watching."
- First appearance of the Cardassians.
- First appearance of kanar.
- Third appearance of Marc Alaimo, who plays Macet.
- Michael Westmore based the look of the Cardassians on an abstract painting he had seen of a woman with a spoon shape on her forehead.
- We'll never see those weird helmets or Macet's style of facial hair again. Fortunately.
- Other than season 2, this is the only time that Gates McFadden did not appear in an episode.
-  Actor Marco Rodriguez (Telle) looked oddly familiar. Turns out we've seen him before:

He plays the drone disguised as Captain Paul Rice, a friend of Riker, in "The Arsenal of Freedom." (You remember that shit, right? "What's the name of your ship, Riker?" "The Lollipop. It's a good ship.")

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: 1
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Geordi moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Riker Moments: 0
To date: 6
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 5
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Troi Moments: 0
To date: 4
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
To date: 2
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 0
To date: 15
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 1
To date: 11
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: 1
To date: 15
Tea, Earl Grey: 0
To date: 2

Bratty is cozier than you

Monday, October 15, 2018

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Eleven "Data's Day"

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Eleven "Data's Day"
Production Order: 11
Air Order: 11
Stardate: 44390.1
Original Air Date: January 7, 1991

Data's Log 44390.1: "Here's an epistolary entry that gives exposition. Basically, I'm writing a letter to Bruce Maddox at the Daystrom Institute because he needs info on my programming, and he wants to know how I deal with friendship. So this episode will be about me, told by me, to Maddox."

Data, you are a much nicer person than I am. I realize that you have questions about your own origins and are eager to learn more about yourself through Starfleet Cybernetics, but holy shit, guy. Bruce Maddox tried to declare you property of Starfleet in order to take you apart, like some kind of AI Green River Killer. If someone tried to do that to me, I'd tell them to get fucked, not help them with their research. (Though I can't deny that Data giving Maddox information means greater odds that Maddox will not try to disassemble him again - and could be a move of self-preservation - it doesn't mean that Maddox is not a huge asshole.)

Riker enters the bridge to relieve Data, and they talk about Data being "father of the bride."

Did... did I miss something? Did they bring back Lal?

Data exposition: "Friendships are tough. Emotions are tough. So I switched up my programming to try to predict how humans will act."

Sounds like some hijinks will ensue when the program predicts one thing and the humans do another.

He leaves the bridge.

We meet Keiko, the woman who will marry Chief O'Brien, and I'm pretty excited about this because I like both Keiko and O'Brien, and this means we'll get to see more of them going forward. Interesting that they pushed the story forward like that for the sake of one episode, though.

"We need a wedding for Data to be a part of. Who should get married? Should we do like Balance of Terror and make up two characters who will get married, or should we marry off a minor character?"
"How about O'Brien? We never see that guy, so we can make major life changes to his character, and no one will complain."
"Okay, cool. And because this is Star Trek, we should make her POC to remind the audience that in the future, humans are not assholes who object to interracial marriages. Also, let's make her a badass."
"Okay, I'm down. Data can play the role of Father of the Bride."

Keiko tells Data that she wants to cancel the wedding. She feels like she should be happy, but instead she's pretty sure she's Atlas.
"Would canceling make you happy?" he asks.
She thinks, then affirms it would. "Since you guys are good friends and you introduced us, would you tell Miles?"
Keiko, breaking up via Android is cowardly.
But Data doesn't know that, so he agrees to do it.

Slightly dramatic music!

Data goes to Ten Forward, where the wedding is being set up.
Data voice-over: "Chief O'Brien says he just wants to make Keiko happy, so by default logic, this will make him happy as well."

Sometimes I want to hug Data and say "d'awwww" at his naivete. Data, you poor clueless bb.

He walks up to O'Brien and Geordi and announces that Keiko has made a decision "designed to increase her happiness."
"She's canceled the wedding."
"WTF?" yells O'Brien. He storms out.
Sassy Geordi Moment: "Maybe next time, I should deliver the good news."

Data VO: "Well, shit."

Worrying music! Opening credits break!

DVO: "Here's some stuff happening on the ship today: birthdays and anniversaries and promotions and Ambassador T'Pel is coming aboard."

Data goes to the transporter room. There's another person running the transporter because hello! O'Brien took the day off. To be sad now, I guess.
Anyway, she beams T'Pel on board. And I hate everything T'pel is wearing.
Data greets her, and she immediately tells him that she wants to see Picard.
Damn, not even a "thank you" or a "nice to be on board." Ruuuude.
Then she just goes around him and out the door.

Ugliest crayon in the Crayola box

DVO: "I guess not having emotions makes me more like Vulcans than humans, but I'm not really into their shit, you know?"

Data escorts T'Pel into the ready room, where Picard introduces her to Riker.
"Everybody GTFO," she announces.
Data and Riker leave.
Sassy Riker Moment: "Charming woman."
DVO: "I think Riker is being sarcastic. Sarcasm is hard."
Data gets in the lift.
He goes to the ship's barbershop, where Geordi is having a friendly argument with the barber V'Sal about the haircut that V'Sal gave him last week.
Sassy NPC Moment from V'sal: "I'm a barber, not a miracle worker."
DVO: "Also, good-natured ribbing is hard. Also also, Geordi is my best friend."
"Here for a trim?" Geordi asks Data.
"My hair does not require trimming, you lunkhead."
"WTH?" asks Geordi.
"I'm trying light insults and goofing off with friends," says Data.
They agree that this needs work. Then they talk about Data's failed attempt to talk to O'Brien about calling off the wedding. Geordi assures Data that Keiko just has cold feet, and they'll still probably get married.

DVO: "Worf and I are kind of alike because we were both rescued by humans, and live like outsiders in human society."

Data rolls into a room that has, I dunno, replicators in it? I guess you can go shopping here, because a pair of Blues in the background replicate a rabbit plushy and give it to a small kid they have with them.
Worf is flipping through a digital catalog of stuff he can replicate, and Data asks him for help getting a gift for Miles and Keiko. They talk about how Worf has been to a bunch of human weddings, and he knows what to get as a gift.
As a small aside, I'm not really sure why wedding gifts survived into a century where there is no money and you can get anything you want in the replicator room. The (soon-to-be) O'Briens didn't register for anything, as far as I can tell. Sooo, they're gonna get five toasters and have no place to store them in crew quarters. In addition to the one they already had, because when they needed toast, they replicated a toaster.
Worf gets to the tchotchke section and says his parents give shit like this at weddings. He stops at some crystal swan thing.
"I heard that the gift you give should reflect your personality. This swan thing doesn't say Worf."
They exchange a weird look, like Are we shopping for wedding gifts on this space show?

Data asks if Worf has ever been in a human wedding, and Worf says he has not, and he's kind of glad because those kinds of occasions include a lot of talking and dancing and crying. Not really Worf's thing.
Data realizes that he doesn't know how to dance.

He goes to sick bay.
Crusher is checking out a pregnant woman named Juarez who is in labor, and she stops to find out what Data wants.
"Can you give me dancing lessons?" he asks.
Crusher is kind of appalled, and she yanks him back into her office. "WHAT?"
Data explains that he saw in her service record that she took first place in a tap and jazz dance contest quite a while ago, and he needs lessons.
She balks, saying that she doesn't want to be known as the "Dancing Doctor" again, but agrees to meet him later to teach him how to dance.

Data gets paged to the bridge.
"I want you to look for ships along the Neutral Zone," says Picard.
"Anywhere specific?" asks Data.
Picard glances at Ambassador Hat, who shakes her head. Picard and the ambassador disappear into the ready room, but not before Picard asks Riker to suddenly change course and go in real close to the Neutral Zone.

DVO: "If I were a human, I would be nervous about going that close to the NZ."

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Data goes into the ready room to report his findings to Picard and the ambassador. He tells them that the Romulans have ships near the border of the NZ, and that their policy is in place to be aggressive to the Federation.
"Do you think that will continue?" asks Picard.
"Well... yeah," replies Data.
Picard and Ambassador Poorly-Dressed exchange glances, and Data is dismissed.

Data goes back to his quarters and orders cat food from the replicator.
Spot! Welcome to the show!

There's the door chime, and it's O'Brien, who seems nervous.

DVO: "When one of my friends is troubled, I try to make them comfortable."
Data spends a good deal of this scene offering O'Brien all the accouterments of a great nap: refreshments, a comfy chair, soft music, a pillow.
O'Brien refuses, and instead apologizes for shooting the messenger this morning. Data assures him that they're good, and O'Brien hesitantly asks Data to talk to Keiko for him.
"What about Counselor Troi?" asks Data.
"Yeah, she talked to Troi. She's still not going through with it. And she won't talk to me. You've worked with her for a while, she trusts you. Convince her to get married today."
Data is hesitant, and then offers: "I'll talk to her. Maybe she hasn't fully analyzed the situation."

DVO: "Keiko is pretty rational. That should make our convo easier."

Keiko is not open to Data's suggestion that she hasn't analyzed the situation fully, though.
"WTH, Data? I made a decision, and I'm sticking with it. Why are you bringing this up?"
"I'm just saying," says Data, "that you said canceling the wedding will make you happy. But you don't seem happy."
"Not that simple," she says, agitated.
"I think you may have unintentionally hurt Chief O'Brien's feelings."
"Ugh, go the fuck away, Data!"
And she storms out of the arboretum.

DVO: "Gonna go see Counselor Troi. She's the friend I understand the least because she deals in nothing but emotions, and I have none."

Data expresses confusion to Troi that O'Brien and Keiko have talked to their friends, but not each other. She laughs and tells him that the best way to help his friends is to stay out of it.
He replies that he wants to stand with his friends in their time of need, which is why he's been researching what makes a marriage work. But he's been pulling from tons of different alien cultures, and there won't be a lot of overlapping suggestions there.
Troi tells him that Keiko and O'Brien love each other and everything, but sometimes that isn't enough to make two people want to grow old together.
He latches onto that last bit and ponders it.
"I've often thought about eventually getting married myself - I think I have a lot of things to offer a mate - but I can't grow old with them."
Troi feels bad because she hadn't considered that he might want to get married some day. She gives him a hug and tells him that yes, he does have a lot to offer a mate.
Ambassador Hat pages him to her quarters.

He gets to her quarters and ugh, she's taken off that awful hat, but now she's just wearing that skull cap thing that was underneath. It's got like... a faux hawk.

It reminds me of Urgl from Neverending Story.

When Data arrives she checks that he has level three clearance in Starfleet, then tells him she wants info on the E's defense and navigational systems. Then she rattles off her own clearance code.
"Okay, cool, that code is valid," he says, "but if I give you that info, I'll have to tell Captain Picard."
"Because the ship's computer and I have the same fail-safe programs in place. Accessing that info means alerting Picard."
"Oh. I don't actually want the info. I was just checking your security safeguards. They're fine."
You fucking liar. I trust you about as much as I trust your fashion sense.
Data leaves.
DVO: "Kinda wish I had intuition. Vulcans aren't able to lie, so I have to take T'Pel's explanation at face value, which seems sketch."

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Data goes to the holodeck for his dance lesson. Crusher has programmed in a dance studio, and apparently told Data to wear taps, because she immediately shows him some tap basics. After he gets one step down, he advises her to skip to the end. She seems a bit put out, but does so. He gets it perfect the first time.
"You say you've never done this before?" she asks.
Android, girlfriend. Android.
In fact, she demonstrates several complicated steps, and he matches her and keeps going each time. She has to keep telling him to stop.

You can tell she's frustrated because it took her years to get this down, and Data does it perfectly after watching her for a few seconds. I'd be miffed, too.
"So I can dance now?" Data asks an out-of-breath Crusher.
"You have the basics," she nods.
"Great. Now I can dance at the wedding."
He starts to leave, but she stops him. "Hold up there, tiger. You didn't tell me this was for the wedding. Peeps don't tap at a wedding."
"...I don't really know."
She tries to teach him what looks like a box step, but he keeps stepping all over her feet, and can't figure out that she's trying to lead.
"I can't see your feet," he explains, when she complains that he was a great tap-dancer.
He starts to get it down, and she has him lead.
"Look into my eyes and smile."
Ugh, no. Never tell Data to smile. That shit is terrifying.
Crusher gets called back to sick bay, because Lt Juarez is almost ready to push, and Data programs in a female dance partner to continue practicing.

No. That's terrifying. Stop that.

Data reports to the bridge, musing on the idea that humor and sex are linked in the minds of humans.
Picard and T'Pel enter the bridge as well, because they've reached the coordinates that Picard specified.
"There's a Romulan warbird nearby," says Data.
Picard calls for yellow alert, and T'Pel gives him a suspicious look, but she doesn't stop him. Because the Federation and Romulan Empire are enemies, you can't expect anything less than caution.
Worf hails the warbird, but they respond with text only, because that isn't sketchy at all. The text says the E should go to the agreed-upon coordinates. Worf lets them know when they are in phaser range, and Picard tells them to go to red alert.
This time, T'Pel looks at Picard in shock.
"I trust my crew not to be aggressive," he tells her.
She panics a bit and types new coordinates into Data's panel. "Go there."
When they arrive, she orders Worf to open the channel. Worf is less than pleased taking orders from T'Pel.

A Romulan comes onscreen. Immediately, he's all, "I see your weapons are powered up."
"Yeah, I see yours are, too," says Picard warily.
"Not a threat," says the Romulan breezily. "I salute your show of power."
Ew, dick-measuring.
T'Pel introduces herself to him, and he says his name is Admiral Mendek. There isn't protocol for this kind of meeting, so she suggests that she should just beam over to his ship and start talks.
After they sign off, Picard implores her to reconsider beaming over, saying that they could easily host the Roms with little or no change in security.
"That's illogical," barks T'Pel.
Kind of hate her. Vulcans are stoic and have a dry wit, but she's just a jerk.
She gets in the lift to go to the transporter room.

Picard calls the transporter room, and surprisingly, O'Brien answers. Did he pick up a shift because Keiko canceled the wedding? Or did he really not take the day off?
Anyway, Picard tells him to beam T'Pel over, then he turns and tells Worf to keep a lock on T'Pel, and if anything goes sideways, to beam her back.
Worf and O'Brien walk them through the beam over, and an alarm sounds.
"Losing her pattern!" yells O'Brien.
They try to boost shit, but finally O'Brien apologizes. The ambassador is dead.

Dramatic music! Zoom-in on Picard! Commercial break!

Data's Log, supplemental: "Death is a thing you have to accept when you live on a starship, but when it happens, everyone is emotional but me. Sometimes that sucks."

All of the senior officers are doing CSI: Space on the transporter pad. O'Brien tells Picard everything was fine until it wasn't. Data says that nothing like this has occurred aboard a starship, because there are so many fail-safes in place to prevent it. Geordi reports that there's nothing wrong with the unit.
"We just serviced it and replaced some parts last week," says O'Brien.
Picard orders a level-one diagnostic done on all of the transporters. "Was there interference from the Romulans?"
"Not that we can tell," says O'Brien.
What a shit day for him. Wedding hangs in the balance, and now someone has died on his transporter pad, on his watch.
Crusher comes forward to say that there's a bit of organic material left on the pad, but not enough for an autopsy. T'Pel basically disintegrated as soon as the pattern was lost.
Picard laments that this was a crappy way for a celebrated ambassador to die.
Worf pages Picard and tells him that Mendek is calling and wants to talk to him.

Picard reluctantly picks up the call.
"Where the hell is T'Pel?" asks Mendek.
"She was killed just now, in a transporter accident. We're investigating -"
"Ugh, fuck the Federation," says Mendek. "You guys aren't interested in this conference at all. You don't like the idea of normalizing relations with the Romulan Empire, so you made it look like an accident occurred to kill the ambassador. How very Romulan of you."
OMG, eyeroll at the immediate conspiracy theory. Romulans are exhausting.
"No way," says Picard. "I'll negotiate the contract under the same terms as T'Pel."
"Yeah. We were only willing to work with T'Pel. I suggest we both leave the Neutral Zone before another "accident" happens."
Fuck this guy.
He signs off and flies away.

Picard tells navigation to go back to Federation space and angrily assigns Data to get to the bottom of the transporter accident.
Data leaves the bridge, and we get a montage of him doing studious things in Engineering with Geordi, and running transporter tests with O'Brien. The whole thing is done to a voice-over of Data talking about Sherlock Holmes.   

Data goes to sick bay, and asks Crusher if he can see T'Pel's remains. Crusher is working on the report now, and he asks if she's compared the genetic code in the remains with her last transporter trace.     


Data, you're my favorite.
She humors him, and runs the test. The samples appear to be the same, but there's something weird. "Looks like replicated material?"

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Data reports his findings to Geordi, Picard and Riker in the ready room.
"I think they beamed the ambassador off our own pad while simultaneously beaming replicated material onto the pad."
"That's fucked up," says Picard. "Hey Worf, where are the Romulans?"
"In the Neutral Zone, heading for home," replies Worf.
DVO: "The right course of action here is to alert Starfleet and await instructions, but I doubt the captain will do that."
"Let's go fuckin' get 'em," announces Picard.
Everyone flies into action, and they warp back to the NZ.

They catch up to the Roms pretty quickly, and Mendek drops out of warp, turning his ship with weapons drawn.
Mendek calls to remind Picard that he agreed to leave the NZ, but Picard interrupts him.
"Cut the crap," says Picard. "You kidnapped our ambassador."
"Nobody kidnapped anybody," growls Mendek.
And another warbird decloaks nearby.
"You won't start an incident," guesses Mendek.
"If you kidnapped one of our citizens, this is the hill I will die on," replies Picard.
Data does some voice-over about bluffing and poker while Mendek and Picard size each other up.
"I'm not willing to start a war today," Mendek finally answers. He gestures to someone off-screen, and here comes someone familiar.
"T'Pel," says Riker.
"Yeah, I'm Subcommander Selok," replies the person we knew as T'Pel.
"A fucking spy," mutters Picard.

"Thanks for the ride," laughs Selok.
"Maybe you should leave," says Mendek smugly, cutting the transmission.
"Three more warbirds approaching," announces Worf.
"Sometimes you get the bear," says Riker. "And sometimes the bear gets you."
"Ugh, let's GTFO," says Picard.
They turn and head back to Federation space.

That's a pretty sweet shot.

Data goes back to the arboretum to find Keiko.
"I offended you, and I need to know how to fix that," he says.
She laughs. "You didn't offend me. You need to get dressed for my wedding. I have the perfect carnation for you."

We go straight to the wedding. Data walks Keiko up the aisle in Ten Forward, she and O'Brien drink from a cup, and Picard starts the ceremony.
DVO: "I don't get a lot of human emotions, but I do understand the desire to be loved."
Keiko and O'Brien kiss, and friends rush forward to congratulate them.
Data does a non-tap dance with Keiko, and fortunately, he does not smile.

Data goes to sick bay to see Dr Crusher, and instead, he encounters Picard watching the new Juarez baby.
"While we were facing destruction, this small miracle was taking place," says Picard, a bit sentimentally. "Welcome aboard," he tells the baby.

We finish up with a changing of the guard. Data enters the bridge, and Worf relays everything that has happened during the previous shift. Data then relieves him of duty and sits in The Big Chair to start the third shift.
DVO: "I think being human is not being born flesh and blood, but thinking, feeling, and acting. And if that is the case, I may find my humanity. Until then, I'll keep striving for it."

I really like this episode. It's light-hearted and I like it when they toss in scenes of the crew just going about their days. Also, again, I like the O'Briens and the fact that they'll be appearing more often is awesome.
I didn't even mind the B-plot with the freaking Romulans. You probably know by now that the Roms are not my favorites because they talk a big talk and do little to no walking, but here it's revealed that Selok played the long con, probably posing as T'Pel for a good deal of time, at least enough to earn Federation-wide admiration. That's some straight Cold War shit right there, and it's ballsy. What's more, she hitched a ride on the flagship of Starfleet and convinced the Federation (at least for a little while) that she had died in a transporter accident. No need to go looking for her, because she was supposedly dead at the hands of her own group of people. Mendek's conspiracy theory that the Federation manufactured the accident on purpose was annoying, but that might just be me. I have no patience for conspiracy theories these days. Either way, that was bullshit on his part as well.

There were some nice callbacks in this episode. Data has clearly been corresponding with Maddox, as he referred to past "letters" sent, and again, he's nicer than I am, but at the end of "Measure of a Man," he does encourage Maddox to keep up his research and offers the a-hole insight on request. There is an allusion to the fact that Gates McFadden was a choreographer before working on Star Trek. They mention Lt Juarez being in labor several times throughout the episode before showing her baby at the end. The speech that Picard gives at the end of this episode mirrors the one that Kirk makes at the beginning of "Balance of Terror." Data talks about his love of Sherlock Holmes stories, and the detective's method of deduction. V'Sal's reworking of Bones McCoy's iconic line "I'm a doctor, not a ________."
It's lovely to see things from Data's POV, and how he interacts with people on this ship. We're much more likely to see things the way Picard sees them, or as the ensemble sees them, rather than one person strictly moving around in the space, going about their day.

Something I find interesting that didn't really fit in any other place in this review: the lights on the bridge are dimmed for third shift (overnight), then brightened for day shift. Is... is that necessary? I mean, I know that the lights are dimmed and red lights are used on submarines in order to be able to see the equipment properly and to not ruin the eyesight of the crew. And maybe the third shift on Navy ships dims the lights for this purpose on the bridge, but... no matter what time it is in space, it is always night. There is no technical day. It's all just a construct, a perception. One still has Circadian Rhythms, yes, but what if there is no actual lighted time outside to tell you when to be tired or awake? The closest answer I could get would be from asking people on the International Space Station - do they have times when "daytime" does not correspond to when the sunlight hits the station? Technically, time is relative on the Enterprise, anyway - being in closer proximity to another sun would not automatically make it daytime, regardless of the time being kept on the ship. And different planets will have different lengths of time that make up a solar day cycle, so they're technically keeping Terran time on the ship. They'd have to - only counting days when they are in close proximity to a sun would throw off their sleep cycles, and they'd lose their minds.
So... are they dimming the lights for third shift based on old traditions of working graveyard shifts, where it really has no other meaning? Or does the body actually react in such a way to brighter lighting during those hours that it is necessary to dim them?

- Fun Facts:

- Like "Balance of Terror," this episode involves a run-in with Romulans and a wedding.
- Doing "a day in the life of" episode had been bandied about since the third season. Suggestions for who to focus on included Picard and the ship itself. They eventually chose Data because "he's the only one who is up for 24 hours." Pillar and Berman insisted on a running story arc, so the Romulan spy plot was added.
- The story does indeed cover a full cycle, as it begins with Data completing the third shift on the bridge, and begins with his starting a new third shift.
- A wedding had also been considered for quite some time, and once they settled on O'Brien, the original idea was to marry him to Allenby, the ensign who replaced Wes at navigation. But Pillar thought that might make him a supporting character, and didn't like the idea. So they went with Keiko.
- Brent Spiner and Gates McFadden did their own dancing in this episode, with the exception of the overhead shot. Spiner requested a double, because he didn't feel confident enough in his dancing for that shot. Spiner and McFadden also developed the dialogue for the dancing scene.
- The events with "T'Pel" will come up in a later episode.
- This is the first appearance of both Keiko, and Spot.
- First appearance of the arboretum, the barbershop, the nursery, and the replication center.
- The name of the barber, V'Sal, was not mentioned in this episode, and the Star Trek Encyclopedia thought that he and another Bolian barber, Mot, were the same person, but this barbershop simply employs two Bolians.
- In the barbershop, there is another officer getting their hair dyed in the background. The wand used for the dying is usually seen in Engineering, as a tool.
- The replicating center is a redress of the Enterprise bridge from the first three movies.
- The actual timing of this episode is a bit goofy. Data states both that this date is the 1550th day since the E was commissioned; and that the Hindu Festival of Lights is being celebrated. The Duwali Festival takes place in October, but Data's date count would put the commission of the E in July. The The Next Gen Technical Manual says October, however. Using Data's date count would put the wedding on January 1st of 2368.
- Picard's wedding speech would later form the basis for another on DS9.
- Technically, a ship's captain could not marry couples unless the captain was also a notary public, and the honor was bestowed upon them (it wasn't for every Navy). Many Navies simply included notary public licenses along with ship mastery certifications.
- Sometimes the lines on the transporter pad are inconsistent in this episode. This is because they were redressing the transporter room set to use in movie #6.
- Though the lights are shown dimmed in scenes in other episodes, this is the first time the overnight shift is correlated to the dimmed lights.
- We'll see Alan Scarfe (Medek) as another Romulan in the sixth season, and later as a different alien on Voyager.
- I was today years old when I learned that the lionfish in the ready room is named Livingston, was named after producer David Livingston, and that Patrick Stewart thought that a captain in Starfleet would not approve of keeping an animal captive.

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: 1
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Geordi moments: 1
To date: 2
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Riker Moments: 1
To date: 6
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 5
Sassy NPC Moments: 1
To date: 1
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Troi Moments: 0
To date: 4
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
To date: 2
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 6
To date: 15
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 0
To date: 10
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: 1
To date: 14
Tea, Earl Grey: 0
To date: 2

Goodnight, Uhura