Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Monday, July 5, 2021

ST:TNG Season Five, Episode Thirteen "The Masterpiece Society"

ST: TNG Season Five, Episode Thirteen "The Masterpiece Society"
Production Order: 13
Air Order: 13
Stardate: 45470.1
Original Air Date: February 10, 1992

Picard's Log 45470.1: "We're going to the Moab sector. Our scientists have been tracking the stellar core of a neutrino star, to see if it fucks with any of the planets it passes."

Picard enters the bridge, and Riker tells him that they have a problem: the core fragment will pass by Moab IV in six days, and while that was expected, they were not expecting a colony to be on that planet. And they're human.
"The hell?" asks Picard. "There shouldn't be humans here."
"They're in an artificial environment on the surface," Data confirms.
"Ships reported missing in this sector?" Picard asks.
Nope, none. And hails are getting no response.
"How'd they get here?" Picard is baffled.

"Pretty sure they know we're here," La Forge calls from the Engineering station. "I can see some activity."
"Let's try the lower EM band channels from the last century," Picard suggests to Worf, who opens the channels.
"Hey, this Picard from the Enterprise, the ship in orbit? Sorry to ring your doorbell, but we need to talk to you. Kind of urgent here."
"The defensive shield went up," Worf announces.
"Okay, we're not here to hurt you," Picard says. "Hella earthquakes coming to you in less than a week. Like, real bad. Everything-coming-down bad. Please answer."
And now they wanna talk.
A human named Aaron Conor shows up onscreen, and see that guy hovering in the background? That's Martin Benbeck, and he is not happy.

"Look, not to be rude," says Conor with diplomatic patience, "but we're not into chit-chat, and we don't like outsiders."
Huh, same. A whole colony of introverts?
"We only answered because of your warning," he adds.
"Yeah, this core fragment -"
"Cool," says Conor. "Listen, we've also been tracking that thing, and we're fine. Our structures have been designed to handle 8.7 on the Richter scale."
"Here's the thing," says Data. "Given the core's size, and what kind of quakes this will cause... y'all gonna die."
"We need to evacuate you," Picard says.
"Ooh, that's not gonna happen."
Like, flood waters are rising here, and you're all gonna drown, and they come by in a lifeboat, and you say No Thanks?
"Okay, we can find alternatives." Picard is losing patience. "You wanna come on board our ship, and we can figure something out?"
"Our environment is sealed," Conor argues. "Nobody can come in or out."
Picard smiles a Not-A-Smile. "We have matter/energy transport."
Conor has an "ooh, shiny!" reaction to that. He doesn't want to leave. He's the HBIC, and he's needed there. But he will consent to a few E crewmembers beaming down, if nothing more so than he can see it in action.
Benbeck's face has a "the fuck you say!" look now. We have no idea who this guy is, but he's pissed, and wondering how Conor has the audacity to let these people beam down.

We go down to the surface of Moab IV and get a nice matte painting of the surface:

Kinda scary, and... Mars-like. Not inhabitable outside.
Inside the biosphere, Benbeck follows Conor to berate him: outsiders are not allowed, period.
The away team - Riker, Troi and La Forge - beam down in a courtyard, and Conor has another star-struck moment.

But Benbeck is having none of it.

Dramatic music! Opening credits break!

In the courtyard, Conor and Benbeck tell the away team about how they have a closed society, which has been completely genetically-engineered: each person has been engineered to be the perfect specimen of their job and part in society, and their environment has as well, which is why leaving would fuck up all the shit.
"It would be suicide," argues Benbeck.
Getting a bit hyperbolic there, buddy. Have you all been genetically-engineered that you breathe a slightly-altered form of oxygen that's only available in this biosphere? No? Then it wouldn't be suicide to leave, just difficult. And it would leave an imbalance in the system, but no one would die.
Conor explains that the founders of their society selectively-bred its members to be without flaws, and to build a paradise.
"We've evolved," marvels Benbeck, "beyond..."
He stumbles in his thinking, because he's looking at La Forge, who is standing before him, physically disabled with a prosthesis.
"Beyond us," La Forge finishes in disgust.
You expect Benbeck to push back a little at that, to declare that that isn't what he's saying at all, but he says the quiet part out loud, possibly because good manners wasn't part of his genetic menu.
"Well, yeah. No one in our society would be blind. No offense," he adds.
Sassy La Forge Moment: "I can see you just fine, sir."
Benbeck starts to argue, but Conor cuts him off to say that this is an example that they haven't perfected everything yet, and they still need to work on some things.
Cooler in that shade, y'all.

Conor further explains that every living thing in the biosphere has been engineered to work in harmony with all of the others, to maintain a balance, so they can't just extract themselves.
"You being here has already affected The Balance," snaps Benbeck.
Spoiler alert: they will never show any evidence of this balance being tipped, which makes it hard to believe the struggle to evacuate is a real one, and not just something they've been programmed to think.
"If we all die, then The Balance won't matter much, will it?" asks Conor.
Benbeck closes his mouth and walks away.
Conor apologizes to the away team, but explains that Benbeck is "performing his function" exactly as he was designed. Dude is a human Data?
He explains that Benbeck's function is to interpret the desires of the founders and make sure that they're being carried out, like a judge.
Dude is a one-man Supreme Court? This is a TERRIBLE idea. Not to mention stagnating. What if the people decide to move forward in a progressive way, and Benbeck tells them no? Is there any way to enforce that, or is that the be all, end all? What The Founders Wanted isn't the only way to live. Just... this idea is awful. Maybe there are 8 other Benbecks who meet and make a judgement? I don't know. I just hate this system so much.
Conor says that he was designed to be the leader of the people, and that everyone knows exactly what their role is, and what to do. He launches into a defense of their society that's definitely still an issue here: are there people who go their whole lives without knowing their purpose? Are there people who are listless because they haven't figured out what they're good at? What if there are amazing poets stuck in deadend jobs, who can never become those amazing poets because of the aforementioned unsuitable work?
Now, I think about this a lot, because the things I am good at are not deemed worthy of paychecks in the current system.
But they took one problem, and genetically-engineered a solution? An entire society full of people who have been designed to never be unhappy at work, with a Benbeck to make sure they're smiling through it all? What if their scientists want to take up music as a hobby? Are they allowed hobbies?
Anyway, Conor says they treasure their way of life, and Troi tells him that they'll help him preserve it.

Conor takes the away team to a science lab and introduces them to Hannah Bates, a theoretical physicist. She and La Forge start comparing notes right away on the stellar core and what they can do to protect the colony.
Riker beams back, but Troi asks to stay to see more of the biosphere.
When Riker beams out of the lab, Bates also has an "ooh, shiny!" moment.

Spoiler alert: they're going to have Troi and Conor fall for one another.
Also spoiler alert: nobody ships this.
Troi and Conor walk through a garden, and she worries (but not a lot) that being there has fucked up all of the shit, but he shrugs it off as "damage done." He admits that today has been exciting, meeting new people, and meeting her. She tells him that this place is great, and that if they had a hotel, she'd book her next vacation there.
"I'll have them build a hotel," he tells her cheerfully.

In the lab, La Forge and Bates agree that the magnitude of the earthquakes caused by the stellar core fragment would destroy the biosphere enough to ruin the careful environment set up inside. Bates asks La Forge what kind of power the E can generate, and she shows him a theory she came up with when they first noticed the fragment headed their way: that they can move the fragment just enough to pass by them without impacting the planet. She tells La Forge that the colony doesn't have the power to move the fragment, but the E might.

La Forge and Bates tell Troi and Conor about their plan, and of course, Benbeck is there. He needs to be so he can tell them sternly that the founders would not approve.
Basically, Bates needs to transport up to the E to help La Forge alter the ship's tractor beam.
Conor notes that, prior to this day, no one had ever left or visited.
Benback tries to convince Conor not to let her leave, but does so in a plaintive voice rather than a lecturing one. He talks about The Balance again. And he's worried about how transporting Bates will affect her DNA.
La Forge is over this ableist asshole. "It won't! We have more than 100 years proof of that!"
Conor agrees to let Bates transport up, and she goes with La Forge and Troi. But not before Troi gets permission from Conor to come back. Because, you know, she like-likes him.

A shot of Benbeck looking disapproving! Dramatic music! Commercial break!

What is this, the animated series? He stood like this 
through the entire scene

Picard's Log, supplemental: "La Forge and Bates have been working on their plan, but they have to get it done within 48 hours, or we'll have to evacuate the colonists instead."

  In the ready room, Picard asks Troi how likely it is for the colonists to evacuate. She tells him honestly that they're very attached to their environment, and some will choose death over leaving.
He makes an irritated comment about how the colonists have taken "dubious science and turned it into dogma."
"You don't approve?" she asks.
"Eugenics was a crappy idea, and it should have been left in the past." 
When she notes that the colonists have seemed to make it work for them, he remarks that genetic manipulation has done away with all of the things that make a human a human: uncertainty and struggle and the like.
"I wouldn't want to live like that, with my future having been written before I was born. Would you?" he asks her.
She admits that she's been thinking about that a lot, but doesn't have an answer.
When he asks about Conor, she waxes poetic about how he's "the perfect administrator."
"Could you talk him into leaving, if need be?" he suggests. "If he's a good leader, he should be able to see reason, and the others may follow."

Downstairs in Engineering, things are not going well. Bates and La Forge keep trying to beef up the power to the tractor beam so they can shift the fragment, but the system keeps overloading.
La Forge sits down at a console, tired, and takes off his VISOR.
Bates is stunned to see his eyes. "Were you always blind?
Girl, how did you not know? Did you think he was wearing a banana clip on his face for fashion?
La Forge apologizes - he thought she knew, and didn't realize he'd dropped a bomb on her. But when he starts to put the VISOR back on to cover up, she quickly tells him not to, that she didn't mean to embarrass him.
 At least she's not a jerk like Benbeck is.
He tells her that he's never been embarrassed by it, and that he was born blind.
She asks to see his VISOR out of scientific curiosity, which he allows.
"I would never have been born on your planet, would I?" he asks.
"No," she admits.
"I would have been eliminated as a fertilized cell," he continues.
Bates explains that it was the wish of the founders that no one should suffer with disabilities. She isn't defending it, per se. Just stating facts. But she's lived her whole life with these facts, and no one has ever challenged them in her very small world.
"Who gave them the right to decide that I wouldn't have something to contribute?"
Bates is stunned. She doesn't have an answer to that, and says so. She's being far more open-minded about the situation than Benbeck. Handing La Forge his VISOR, she asks how it works.
He's more than willing to explain the science behind it, and when she asks how it handles sensory overload, he has a lightbulb moment. He realizes that the answer to their problems comes through with VISOR technology - that short pulses of energy won't overload the tractor beam system like a continues stream would.
She sees the idea immediately and recognizes that it could work.
"You see the irony that a man who never would have existed in your society, is about to save it, using tech that allows him to work around that disability, right?"
A little heavy-handed, Star Trek. But it's a point in favor of disabled people that he gets to point that out directly to her.
To her credit, Bates takes it in stride, and gives him a bashful smile in return.

Troi and Conor are enjoying an outdoor concert with a bunch of others, while a kid plays the piano. The concert is interrupted by a brief earthquake, and Conor tells the kid to continue playing, then he walks away. Troi follows.
"Maybe I'm na├»ve," she says, "but couldn't you just remake this somewhere else?" 
He responds by citing Humpty Dumpty, and there's her answer: once broken, they can't put it back together again.
She says she's sorry she can't help more, and he tells her that she's been very helpful and supportive these past few days. Then they both agree that starting an affair would be wrong of them, and proceed to make out in the garden.
Again, nobody ships this.

Upstairs, Bates and La Forge show their progress and plan to Riker and Picard, noting the VISOR technology. They can boost the power of the tractor beam by 300% this way, with the pulses.
"But you said you needed 400 percent," Riker reminds them.
"We do," Bates admits. "We can't get that, but we can move the fragment just enough that it won't do catastrophic damage. We'll have to shore up the biosphere. Between the two, that should do the trick."
"We can beam down teams of engineers to help with that process," adds La Forge.

And now, the inevitable break-up.
It's morning on Moab IV, and Troi is picking out a song on the piano like an adult who half-learned a song as a kid and wants to see if she can still remember how to play it.
Conor approaches and says she's up early, implying that she slept with him.
"I'm going back to the ship, and I won't be coming back here," she tells him. "This is wrong, and I'm angry with myself for letting it happen."
"It's fine," he tries to tell her, but she cuts him off.
"Really? And how would Benbeck feel about adding half-Betazoid DNA to your society? A few days ago, you wouldn't talk to us, and now you're inviting me to stay here and further fuck up The Balance!"
He attempts to argue with her, saying that they don't have to continue a relationship, that he'll be a good boy, and keep it in his pants if she'll stay and help him, but they're interrupted by Bates and La Forge beaming down.
"We can do the thing," Bates reports. "But we need 50 scientists and engineers to beam down and help us fortify the shields and structure."
Conor balks. That's a lot of people messing up this unseen Balance that they keep going on about. "Alternatives?"
"None," she states.
 He agrees, and La Forge starts beaming teams and equipment down.
There's another slight earthquake, and now I'm wondering... is the earthquake supposed to represent the shift in The Balance? It's never talked about, and this whole time I've been thinking that these smaller tremors were due to the fact that the fragment is inching closer to them, but maybe these other, smaller ones were due to the balance shift. That's confusing. Is it an indication of imbalance or not?
Anyway, beam-down, tremor, dramatic music, yada yada, commercial break.

Picard's Log, supplemental: "Gonna do the thing."

They bring the ship up next to the fragment, and down in Engineering, La Forge and Bates wish each other luck before going to different stations to work on shifting the stellar core.
They start the process, and to make the scenes involving "move big ball a little bit" more tense, they're moving life support to the minimum levels, and then they lose life support completely on several decks. Worf gives evac orders to those decks. La Forge calls for more power, Riker gives it but warns that they need to use the power quickly, and some emitters shut down. They manage to move the Big Glowy Ball just enough, five seconds before all life support shuts down ship-wide.

Picard calls Conor to tell him the good news, and they also patch Bates and La Forge in in Engineering.
"That's so great!" says Conor. "Bates, we can't wait to honor you when you get back!"
And Bates smiles, but when they cut the screen, she stops smiling, and steps into the immediate foreground, with the faraway look that says "trouble brewing."

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard's Log, supplemental: "Moved the fragment enough that, even though the colony was rocked heavily, it's in one piece."

Downstairs, La Forge and Riker are overseeing the pack-up and beam-up of the E crew and their equipment, and they say goodbye to Conor.
An alarm goes off, one that Conor recognizes as a breach warning. They all run for Bates.
We jump to Bates scanning the inside of the biosphere with a little handheld. She tells them that there's very tiny structural damage, and that the biosphere has been breached, and that they may have to evacuate in the next few hours. They begin moving very fast toward the lab to run diagnostics, and in the end, only La Forge and Bates end up there.
She starts typing frantically, telling him that there's a small crack below the surface, and includes a toxic leak.
"Uh-huh," he says flatly. "Why are you doing this? There's no leak, and no breach. My VISOR would have seen it instantly."
Ah, Bates had not banked on that. "Well, fuck. Here's the thing: I was bred to be the best scientific mind in my generation, but here I am, seeing your tech, which is so far beyond what we have. And I have to wonder if someone deciding all of my needs would be met way before I was born would lead us all into a situation where we're living in the Dark Ages."
"I guess necessity really is the mother of invention," he replies.

We jump to the Obs Lounge, where La Forge tells the senior staff that Bates wants to leave the colony.
Riker then tosses in that there are probably more than just Bates: the away teams were getting a lot of curious questions from the colonists about the World Outside.
"She wants asylum," La Forge says.
A discussion erupts about whether or not they can grant that. Starfleet basically says yes, and Gates McFadden gets paid to sit in on this one scene and deliver two lines about how genetically integrated the colony is, and how there will be big gaps in The Balance if some people leave.
"Well, we saved them from destruction," shrugs Worf.
"Did we?" demands Picard. "Fuck, I need to meet with Conor."

Troi is chosen to go to the surface with Picard, to introduce him to Conor, and they get in the lift.
"So hey," she says uneasily. "I screwed Conor. Thought you'd like to know. It was not professional at all, and I ended it, and I didn't intend to see him ever again, but here we are."
Picard pauses. "Everybody makes mistakes. Pobody's nerfect."

Awkward Elevator Conversations With Your Boss, Vol I

On the surface, we're joining an argument already in progress between Conor, Benbeck, and Bates. Bates tells an angry Benbeck that the best course of action would be for the colony to rejoin the human race. Benbeck chastises her for wanting to leave, and further upsetting The Balance. Troi and Picard come in, and Benbeck yells that they should have never picked up the phone when the E called.
"We'd be dead if we hadn't answered those hails!" Bates yells back.
"You can't take her!" Benbeck yells at Picard.
"I'm leaving, and I'm taking the dozen or so people with me that want to go!" she fires off.
Troi takes Bates for a walk while Picard and Conor talk. 
That... leaves a weird taste in my mouth, two dudes deciding whether or not a woman can leave. I know there's a bit more to it than that, but... yeah.
Benbeck does not go quietly.

Seriously, what is this TAS homage?

"He saw this coming," laments Conor.
The following argument between them is basically Conor talking about how he knows how Bates feels, because he has also been dazzled by the outsiders, but he was bred to be the leader of the colony, and cannot allow it to be destroyed by letting people leave.
"Just take your ship and go," he begs.
"I can't," says Picard. "They as humans have a right to request asylum. I can't ignore that."
"But what about the rights of others who would stay behind and have to deal with their loss in the colony? The loss of The Balance?"
"Let's have a meeting with the people who are thinking of leaving," Picard suggests. "I can encourage them to stay, but if they want to go, I'm taking them with me."

And now, another argument: Picard admits that they have been disruptive to the colony; Conor begs the defectors to stay; Benbeck yells that they can't leave, and Bates insists that she and the others want the opportunity to explore the stars, like Picard does. 
Conor proposes that the defectors wait for six months, as a compromise.
"That's six months of you trying to convince us to change our minds," Bates points out.
"Wait the six months," Picard urges. "See if you really want to leave. We'll come back then, for those who still want to leave."
"I'm not changing my mind," Bates insists.
Conor pauses. "When you want to come home, we'll welcome you."

Later, Troi and Conor walk in the garden again.
Conor ends up telling her that he's in love with her, and always will be.
She doesn't reply.
Because even she doesn't ship it.

In the last scene, Riker enters the ready room to tell Picard that 23 colonists have come aboard, and they're ready to leave now. Picard suggests that this is a good example of the Prime Directive, but Riker doesn't think it is, because the people in question are human, and the PD is about alien cultures. Picard ends the episode by stating that he thinks their presence at this colony may have been just as destructive as the core fragment might have been.

So... this episode is not really worth writing home about. Director Winrich Kolbe noted that it lacked energy, and I have to say that I agree. There are multiple takes on eugenics in Star Trek, and this is just another. Let's put it this way: you go to the library looking for a book about the Earth. You take down all the books the library has about Earth, and you look through them all, trying to find the most new information. Each book has repeat information, though some have something new. This episode is like the book that has repeat information only. It tried to have something new, but didn't succeed. The closest it comes is to ask, "we saw what happens when people who have genetic manipulation like what they got, what happens when they don't?" And the answer is... they are dissatisfied, and leave. Honestly, I think the better story here would have been to follow those people and see how they fit into the society they were re-entering, as people who had had their flaws genetically removed prior to birth. This episode is really just an entry in the category of "Star Trek episodes that deal with eugenics." And there are better entries.

The one thing this episode has going for it is the point that disabled people have something to offer society at large. In this case, La Forge's VISOR held the key to keeping the colonists alive, and without that technology, finding the answer to their problem would have been nigh on impossible. Interestingly, fans found themselves wondering if this episode had a pro-life theme. Show-runners denied this, though it is a conversation that occurs organically here.

In the end, there were several things that bugged me about "Masterpiece Society."
One was that it takes place so soon after last week's episode. Troi, Riker, and Crusher were all mentally assaulted, and the last time we saw the E, it was headed for the Ullian homeworld so those crewmembers could undergo treatment for their assaults. We have no idea how long they were there, but less than two weeks lapsed between the beginning of that episode, and the beginning of this one. Not only was the time short, but it feels like Troi would know that it was not a good idea to jump into a new relationship with someone right after that kind of trauma. And she fell immediately for a guy who's about as interesting as dry toast.

Second: the whole Balance thing was murky at best. It's never show in any tangible way, and it's never explained if those smaller quakes were The Balance trying to shift itself. The whole episode keeps telling us about an invisible boogey man, but never gives evidence. Was the evidence supposed to be those smaller quakes? It's unknown; not one line of dialogue ever indicates that the quakes were either related to the core fragment, or related to The Balance. Why not toss a line in, and clear that up?

Thirdly, this colony was established after the (in-universe) Eugenics War of the 1990's, but before Khan and his ilk reappeared on the scene in the 23rd century. (Given how isolated the colony was, they would not have known about his return either way.) This means that these founders chose eugenics for their colony, knowing only that a race of superhumans had been bred on Earth, and proceeded to take over, and fuck up all of the shit. Did the aforementioned founders decide that they alone knew how to genetically manipulate DNA to make good humans? Did they figure that being tied to a society, as well as the conditions in the biosphere, would keep them all in line? What were they using to prevent more Khans?

This could have been a pretty good episode, but it just wasn't.

* A quick note about using the name Moab here. For all of us asking, "Like the Mormon city in Utah?" the answer is no, it was named after the biblical city of Moab (MOH-ub), which was in Jordan. While digging for whether or not there might be Moab, UT connections, I found that Moab, UT was so named (as the tale goes) by a postmaster that noted that both Utah and Jordan were part of the "far country." Future residents didn't like that Moab the biblical city was known for incest and idolatry, and several attempts were made to change the name, but it remained Moab. Could some connections be made between the Moab System and ancient Moab being incestuous and idolatrous? Meh. You can make it if you want to. But the writers only cared to share enough with interested fans that they used that name to reference Moab in Jordan. (They did, however, seem to use the Moab, UT pronunciation of the name: Moh-AB.) 

Fun Facts:

- The story for this episode was titled "The Perfect Human," and featured an Eden of beautiful people and skimpy clothes. Which sounds exactly like season one's "Justice," honestly. In this case, everyone was beautiful and perfect because of genetic engineering. But there wasn't anything terribly interesting about that.

- It passed through the hands of five writers before getting to Michael Piller, who wrote the script we see here, which is... kind of nothing like the original story. Piller's struggle with this script was to figure out how to define a genetically-engineered society.
- Producer/screenwriter Adam Belanoff suggested that it would be far more interesting to have a more diverse group of people, who have each been engineered for their specific goals in life, and to have them work and exist in perfect harmony with each other and within the biosphere. Belanoff explained that, in a world where everyone is perfectly engineered, people would get bored, and things would stagnate. So, the struggle comes from one person destroying the balance if they left.
- Rick Berman wanted to make sure that the tumultuous outdoor effects could be seen through the windows of the biosphere, which proved a little tricky for the production team. It involved a lot of blue screens in the background.
- Sick bay scenes were filmed at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Maybe those ended up on the cutting room floor? There were no sick bay scenes in this episode.
- Ron Canada (Martin Benbeck) and Dey Young (Hannah Bates) will return again in episodes of DS9.
- John Snyder also played Bochra on season two's "The Enemy."

- Picard's opinion of eugenics being a bad idea whose time has passed refers to the Eugenics Wars of the 1990's, and Khan Noonien Singh.
- It also comes up in "Unnatural Selection," though Picard offers no criticism there.
- Eugenics will come up again in DS9 and Enterprise.
- Michael Piller was apparently not loving this season up to this point, but considered this to be kind of a turn-around for him. He liked the idea that this situation featured a Kobyashi Maru, in that everyone did everything right, but things didn't turn out well in the end.
- Neither Rick Berman nor Jeri Taylor liked this episode. Berman thought it was "slow and talky," while Taylor just didn't like the concept at all.
- Berman and director Winrich Kolbe both referred to "casting difficulties" when discussing their dislike of this episode, which is a diplomatic way of saying that neither liked John Snyder (Aaron Conor) in this role. There may have more to it than that, but that was all that Memory Alpha would admit to on the subject.
- Ronald D Moore had a colorful way of expressing himself here: "This is another example of a show that doesn't really work too well. We sort of show up at a genetically perfect colony - which in and of itself is starting to bore me - and when we get there, it's "Gee, Troi falls in love with one of the people." You can't wait to get up and get a beer." Lol.
- Adam Belanoff's genetics teacher called him after watching the episode, telling him that the drama was good, but the science was "terrible."
- Found a 47:

Red deaths: 0
To date: 1
Gold deaths: 0
To date: 0
Blue deaths: 0
To date: 0
Unnamed color crew deaths: 0
To date: 0
Sassy La Forge moments: 1
To date: 0
Sassy Ro Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Riker Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date:  0
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Keiko Moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Troi Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Guinan Moments: 0
To Date: 1
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 1
To date: 3
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 0
To date: 31
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 0
To date: 8
Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 1
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: 3
To date: 8
Tea, Earl Grey: 2
To date: 5
Mentions of the number 47: 1
To date: 2

Our Don-Don passed away this weekend. Gentle reminder to 
consider senior cats and those with FIV when adopting. <3

Monday, June 21, 2021

ST:TNG Season Five, Episode Twelve "Violations"

ST: TNG Season Five, Episode Twelve "Violations"
Production Order: 12
Air Order: 12
Stardate: 45429.3
Original Air Date: February 3, 1992

Content warning: rape

I fucking hate this episode. Spoiler alert.
In fact, I wish I could just leave it at that, and declare that one sentence to be my entire review, but I guess I committed to watching all of Star Trek, even the episodes that I hate, so that can't be it.
I'm gonna complain about it, though.

Picard's Log 45429.3: "Setting up the episode for you by telling you about the peeps we're transporting, the Ullians. They're telepathic, and can read your memories, and have ways of drawing the memories out so you recall stuff you've forgotten. They're historians, and we're taking them to their next stop, because we're just doing this mapping survey thing that won't come up again."

Keiko is sitting in Ten Forward with the Ullians and a crowd of onlookers while the Ullian does his parlor trick. This is the part of this episode that I actually like: the Ullians are an interesting race, and their memory retrieval thing is actually pretty benevolent.
Keiko's lost memory involves remembering a chipped cup, but it isn't connected to anything in her mind. Just a nagging feeling that it's important. The shots here are interspersed: the Ullian encouraging Keiko to explore the memory through her other senses (what sounds she hears, what the dark liquid in the cup tastes like, ect); Keiko reaching for a cup that doesn't exist before her, and describing the memory based on those sense prompts; and the parts of the memory that she is recalling. Eventually, she remembers that the cup is the brush wash that her grandmother used when doing Japanese calligraphy. When she was small, it was Keiko's job to fill the cup with water, and bring it back to the table, where she would watch her grandmother write with the brush. She's delighted to get that memory back, and thanks the Ullian.

The Ullian - his name is Tarmin - fishes around the crowd for another participant, and invites Crusher, with the hook that she's "thinking about that first childhood kiss."
The younger Ullian, Jev, chastises him: they're not supposed to probe people's minds without permission.
"I know," says Tarmin cheerfully. "But I can't resist when there's a beautiful lady involved."
Ew. (Also, it seems that I've incorrectly assumed all these years that the older female Ullian, Inad, was Jev's mother. I figured they were a family unit. But Inad is quite a bit older than Tarmin and is listed as being just another member of the delegation, which is why she doesn't object to Tarmin flirting with Crusher.)
Crusher laughs, and she and Tarmin walk off together.
La Forge asks Riker if there's anything he'd like dug up out of his memory, and we get a Sassy Riker moment:
"None that I'd care to share with an audience."
Me: *claps like they do on Family Feud* Good answer, good answer!
They also leave, as do Keiko and Inad.
Jev sits down at the table and looks broody.

Dramatic music! Opening credits break!

Data and La Forge are on their way to an official dinner with the senior officers and the Ullians, and they have a brief convo about memory. Data is confused about how humans seem to forget things, especially since human brains are set up the way his positronic one is. La Forge corrects him, because they are set up the same way, but adds that human brains aren't as good at storing info for a long time.
"Like, I don't remember my last birthday at all," he says. "But I remember getting my first pet as a little kid. Remember it like it was yesterday."
"So you remember the good memories better?" asks Data.
"Not necessarily. Sometimes the bad memories are the most vivid."

At the dinner, the Ullians describe their work. This particular trio is traveling the stars, going to different planets, and retrieving important memories, then (presumably asking before) collecting them for posterity. It's a cool historical cataloging project, and I really like that.
Tarmin, gregarious and extroverted, interrupts Jev to tell the E crew that his son is not very good at memory retrieval, and bragging about how he got important memories out of certain people.
Crusher tries to goad Picard into retrieving memories, but he demures. Tarmin also tries to get Picard to participate, but Inad reminds him that influencing others is not their way, and that participants must be willing. Again, Tarmin defends himself by saying that he's seen plenty of people who want to do it, but need some encouragement to come forward. He tries to get Worf to sign up.
"Klingons do not allow themselves to be... probed," says Worf firmly.
Tarmin objects, and tries to get the other crew members to agree to the process, but there are no other takers.
They talk briefly about how memory retrieval isn't something all Ullians can do, and that it takes training. Inad says that Tarmin is especially good at it. Tarmin takes the compliment and again turns it around to insult Jev's abilities.
This is clearly not a new occurrence, and Jev excuses himself.

Troi follows Jev out to the lift, and says she knows how it feels to have an overbearing parent. She reveals here that she can't read Ullians, and they exchange children-of-challenging-parents stories. They share a laugh, and he thanks her when she gets out on her own deck. There's a brief zoom-in on him and some warning music.
We've had two close-up shots of this guy, and both have included scary dramatic music and a creeper look. They're not being subtle here.

Troi is getting ready for bed in her quarters when she starts to remember something. The memory scenes are fractured and filmed in a hazy fashion so it's obvious that the audience is looking at something that is being remembered, or that has been tampered with.
In the memory, Troi and Riker are cleaning up after a poker night in his quarters. She drops the box of poker chips, which scatter on the floor. Riker asks if she ever thinks about how they were together previously, and hints that maybe they should get together again. She tells him no, that it wouldn't be appropriate while they're serving on the same ship.
The memory disturbs Now-Troi, but it continues. And now Memory-Troi is on the floor, and Riker is on top of her, while she tries to push him off, crying for him to stop.

Then the memory changes, and now it's Jev (in Riker's clothes) forcing himself on her, telling her that she's pretty, and also Jev is watching himself attack Troi from across the room? 

Now-Troi screams and falls to the floor, unconscious.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard's Log 45430.9: "Troi is in a coma."

Down in sick bay, Crusher tells Picard and Riker that someone found Troi in a coma in her room that morning, when she failed to show up for an appointment. They can't find any cause for it, and they can't revive her.
"Who was the last person to see her conscious?" asks Picard.
"She left the dinner last night with Jev," says Riker. "I'll ask him if she seemed off."
Picard says to also ask the Ullians if they would be okay with an exam, and Riker leaves.
Crusher tells Picard that she will also check the bio filters, just in case the Ullians brought some kind of organism on board that the filters didn't catch.

Riker finds Jev in Ten Forward.
"Hey, so Troi is in a coma. You were the last person to see her before it happened. Did you go with her to her quarters?"
Jev is defensive, but not aggressively so. "Are you suggesting I did something to her?"
Riker flashes a smile that is not a smile. "No, I just want to know what happened before she fell into a coma."
"We talked in the turbolift," Jev replies grudgingly. "Then we got off on different decks."
"I'm not accusing you of anything. Did she seem sick?"
"Would you guys submit to an examination? Dr Crusher wants to make sure that you're not carrying anything that might have made her sick."
Jev scoffs. "Fine, I guess -"
"Cool, thanks," Riker interrupts, then he gets up and leaves Ten Forward.
As before, we watch Jev narrow his eyes, and there's dramatic music. Not suspicious at all there, buddy. You heard someone has had a medical emergency, and you show no concern, then get defensive.

Back in sick bay, Riker tells an unconscious Troi that he's heard that people in comas can hear others talking to them, and that maybe it's helpful for healing, and that he'd heard she had done the same for him. (He's talking about that shitty non-episode "Shades of Gray.") Then he basically starts reciting a personal log, about boring ship crap.
Crusher comes up to him, and pulls the Doctor Card, ordering him to go to bed, and promising to tell him the moment she wakes up.

Riker is in his quarters (not going to bed as ordered) when he starts remembering a bad memory: there's an emergency situation in Engineering, La Forge has to bring down a barrier to keep the emergency contained to the warp core area, and Riker is conducting people out.
"Keller is still in there!" a crewman yells at Riker.
Riker calls for Keller, but there's no response.
"I need to close the door!" La Forge yells.
Riker hesitates, then tells La Forge to drop the barrier.
"You've killed Keller!" the crewman screams.
It's a swirling mess of people yelling, and the crewman repeating over and over that Riker is responsible for Keller's death. Then the yelling crewman is Jev in a gold Engineering uniform.

Picard pages Riker, but gets no answer. He asks Majel where Riker is, and she replies that he's in his quarters. Worf offers to go get him. But when Worf arrives at Riker's quarters, he finds the commander slumped over his desk.
Guess he asked too many questions.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Crusher's Log 45431.7: "Riker is now my second unexplained coma patient. I looked over the Ullians, but they aren't carrying anything harmful."

In the Obs Lounge, Crusher tells Picard and Worf that her examinations of Riker and Troi were compared to previous physical results. Their comas looks like Iresine Syndrome, but it can't be, because that illness has decreased histamine levels, and neither Riker nor Troi have those changes.
"No one was sick before the Ullians came on board," says Worf. "We should quarantine them."
Ah, Worf. Straight to the most severe solution, but the man really is just doing his job. I think he'd probably start chucking people out of airlocks if Picard would support it.
"I think it's too early in the game to do that," says Picard.
"Here's the weirdness," says Crusher. "The increased electrical activity I found in both Riker and Troi is in the same area of the brain that deals with memory."

Picard and Crusher talk to the Ullians.
"You think we did something to them?" asks Termin.
"You already examined us," says Jev. "We aren't carrying anything."
"Sure," concedes Crusher. "But these comas are producing electrical activity in the memory function part of their brains, and we're thinking that it might be related to your procedures. I'd like to monitor your next memory retrieval."
They agree.
And of course, the scene ends with a close-up on Jev, who literally makes the villainous eye movement of looking back and forth quickly.

Later in sick bay, Crusher tells Keiko that, as the only person on the E who has gotten the memory retrieval, they'd like to examine her to see if she has any of the activity that Riker and Troi do. Keiko gladly agrees, but Crusher's exam turns up nothing.

In Engineering, La Forge argues with Majel. He's trying to find any non-medical causes for the comas, but scans for chemical causes turns up nothing.

Crusher is in her office when Dr Martin, the other doctor working on this case with her, drops in. She tells him that she's still looking at the medical records, but can't find anything. He says the same, and it seems his shift is over, so he's taking off. After he leaves, she starts to zone out, and we see more of that memory view, hazy and vertigo-inducing.
In the memory, younger versions of Beverly and Picard go to see the body of Jack Crusher. In the jumbled way of these scenes, we get snippets of mixed conversation - Beverly thanking Picard for coming, him telling her that she shouldn't remember Jack this way, she insisting that she needs to come to terms with the fact that he's gone. Jev, dressed as Picard, pulls the sheet back to reveal a now-scarred Jack. Now it's Jev as Jack. Jev-Jack opens his eyes, and Beverly screams while Jev-Picard watches.

In the corridor, La Forge tells Data that he's spent the last two hours looking for any kind of agent that might have caused those comas, and found nothing. They turn into sick bay to find Crusher slumped over her desk.

Our boys go up to the ready room to talk to Picard. La Forge says Crusher had him checking for non-medical things that might have caused the comas, but it turned up nothing.
"Crap," says Picard. "The only link left is the Ullians. We're going to have to restrict them to quarters."
"Is that going to help anything, seeing as how they're telepathic?" asks La Forge sensibly.
"Meh," Picard admits. "But what else can we do? Post a guard? Set up a forcefield? None of those are going to make a difference, but this is our only choice. Data, will you look at the other planets the Ullians have visited where they were retrieving memories? See if there were other comas?"
Dr Martin pages Picard - Troi is awake and asking for him.

Picard interviews Troi in sick bay while Dr Martin runs an exam. Unfortunately, the last thing Troi remembers is brushing her hair, and then, nothing. She's surprised to learn that she's been in a coma for three days, and that Riker went into a coma the next day, and Crusher last night. Behind her, Dr Martin runs through a series of emoticon-faces. Picard tells her to stay in sick bay and rest, and to call him if she remembers anything else.

 Picard goes to see the Ullians, and ask that they remain confined to quarters. 
Tarmin is pissed. "We haven't done anything!"
"I'm not saying you have," Picard says calmly. "Thing is, we've tried looking for everything that might have possibly caused this, and you guys being part of it is still coming up the only answer."
"You think we intentionally harmed someone?" asks Jev.
Oh, shut up, you sociopathic motherfucker.
"Can we prove our innocence?" asks Jev. "Bring us Troi. You said she doesn't recall what happened before the coma. I can do a retrieval, and then we'll know for sure."
Um, shouldn't it be the most talented person for the job doing the retrieval?
"I want no part in this!" Tarmin storms from the room, and that settles that.
Picard hesitates. "I don't want her going through what might be a dangerous process."
"It makes the most sense, though," reasons Idan.
Okay, and why isn't she doing it? She's the oldest member of the team and has most likely been doing it the longest. Why are they relegating this task to the junior member?
Idan asks if Keiko has suffered any adverse affects, and when he says she has not, Idan tells Picard that they may monitor the situation with doctors and witnesses. Picard agrees to talk to Troi.
And, as with every scene that includes Jev, the scene ends with a close-up on him.

Data and La Forge are working at the science station and talking through things: they've heard back from 9 of the 11 planets the Ullians have visited, and have found no unexplained comas.
"Maybe..." muses la Forge, "we're not looking for the right thing. Crusher said it looks like Iresine Syndrome, but with decreased histamine levels, right?"
Data agrees.
"What if other doctors are not so meticulous, and never bothered to check histamine levels?"
Data muses out loud that La Forge is now looking up cases of Iresine Syndrome on those planets, and surprise: they find two on one of the planets the Ullians visited, during the time of the visit.
They start checking the others.

Idan and Jev have gathered in Troi's quarters, along with Picard and Worf. (Kind of surprised that a member of medical staff isn't there as well, but okay.) Picard tells Troi that she doesn't have to do this if she doesn't want to, but she's adamant, because something happened, and she isn't sure what other way to take to get the information.
She gets her hairbrush at Jev's request, and holds it as he focuses.
"Someone's touching my hair," she says in confusion.
"There was someone in your quarters with you?" asks Jev.
"No," she amends. "I was brushing my hair, then I got hot chocolate, and I was thinking about something that happened years ago. I was thinking about Will Riker." She smiles.
"That's a good memory," says Jev. "Go into it."
And we know how this goes. The original memory is corrupted when Riker suggests they get together, and she turns him down, and instead of being disappointed like he probably was IRL, he instead begins assaulting her. Only this time, fake Riker doesn't turn into Jev. He turns into Tarmin.
Troi is crying, and tells lying liar Jev that, in her memory, she was assaulted by Tarmin. 

Extra-dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard's Log 45433.2: "We're headed for the nearest starbase, where we're going to drop the Ullians. They're going home."

POS Jev meets with Picard in his ready room.
"If you want to press charges against my father, you can," Jev tells him. "The punishment for such a thing is stiff on our planet, and you can easily add your own."
For the second time since we started following his career, we see Picard frown and admit that the Federation doesn't have a punishment to fit that kind of crime. He admitted as much in The Survivors, where the punishment would have been for genocide. (And we know that the Federation has laws against genocide, given that this was discussed during TOS' The Conscience of the King.) Here, he admits that memory invasion is not considered a crime.
Y'all, that's rape. It's a violation of bodily autonomy. Just like it was in the last fucking movie, when Spock forced his way into Valeris' mind. And even if there's no current law against that specifically, that's often how we get laws: someone does something really awful or dangerous, and we decide to make a law making it punishable if that thing is done again. And even if there is no law made, that's never stopped us before. The phrase "crimes against humanity" is basically a short version of "we all got together and decided that you're a real piece of shit."
Quit pussy-footing around this "we don't have laws against that" business. We've met several species that possess telepathic powers, and I'm willing to bet that the ones in the Federation have laws against mind invasion. Adopt those. It wouldn't even be that hard - you have a friend in the JAG office, for fucks' sake!

Jev tells Picard that he has recently learned that mind invasion used to be a problem with his people centuries earlier, and Picard asks what would tempt a person to do such a thing?
"A perverse sense of pleasure?" asks Jev, most likely naming his own list of reasons. "A wish for control?"
"Your father maintains his innocence."
"My father doesn't like to admit when he's wrong," says Jev.
But he isn't wrong here.
"It's hard to believe he'd be capable of this," he adds.
He wasn't.
Before leaving, Jev tells Picard that they are monitoring his father's telepathic activities, to ensure he would assault anyone else.
He won't, because he hasn't. Is anyone monitoring you?

Picard calls La Forge and Data at the science station for a check-in. They make plans to contact back all of the medical facilities and let them know the real reason for the comas. They sign off from Picard.
'Hey, just heard back from those last two planets," La Forge tells Data. "No Iresine Syndrome, but two unexplained comas on one planet. And both occurred when Tarmin was back on his home planet, nowhere near there."

Jev drops in on Troi to say goodbye and apologize for his father again.
"We can still be friends," she says.
"After what he's done? I'm not sure I can."
Okay, so: rapist, lying liar, playing the victim, anything else?
"You're upset, do you want to talk?" she asks. "You'll feel better."
"Why do you have to be so nice?" he laments. "So lovely."
Oh, there we go. Victim-blaming and gaslighting! A whole row in Abuser Bingo.
And the tainted memory comes up again. Riker's quarters, post-poker, Troi spills the chips...
"It's happening again," says Now-Troi in a panic. "It was you all along!"
"So beautiful," he oozes. "So fragile."

In the memory state, Jev is immediately Riker, on top of her, asking if she still thinks of them. But Now-Troi fights back, slapping Jev, hauling out her Klingon self-defense moves, hitting him with a padd. He manages to literally throw her off, then the door opens behind him, and Worf levels Jev with one good punch. He's followed in by a couple of security Golds and Data. Jev gives her one last longing look before being hauled off.
"How did you know?" Troi asks Data.
"Jev was the only Ullian present for all of the unexplained comas we found," he tells her.
Troi's look says, "oh yay, a serial rapist."

Picard's Log 45435.8: "We're dispensing with the starbase and going straight to the Ullian homeworld."

The senior staff meets with Tarmin in the Obs Lounge. Gone is the gregarious guy. Now he's the somber father of a serial offender.
"The finest doctors and specialists are standing by on my homeworld to help you over your trauma," he tells them. "We haven't had to deal with this kind of rape for centuries, but the medical records still exist, and they'll be able to help you."
Picard gives a quiet speech about how humans also used to be violent, but they evolved past that and found other ways to resolve differences, but the seed of violence exists in everyone still, and they must guard against allowing it to consume them.
The end, roll credits, hopefully to never watch this episode again.

So there you go, an episode I hate, mostly because it's one in a series that I call The Victimization of Troi Series. 
We started out season two with Troi being impregnated without her knowledge or consent. While she ultimately chooses to keep the pregnancy, we have no idea how much of that was due to the influence of Ian, the alien baby who, you know, did the deed.
This is our second installment, where a sociopath breaks into Troi's mind to mentally rape her.
In season six, we get an episode called "Man of the People," where yet another sociopath does shitty mental things to Troi without her knowledge or consent.
(And I'd be a bit remiss in not mentioning "The Price" from season 2, where Troi falls in love with (surprise!) a sociopath. While no violations occur there to her, the writers like to hook her up with people who have no remorse for hurting others, so "The Price" gets an asterisk in this list.)
And here's a shitty spoiler: in the tenth movie, Troi gets mentally raped again, and the writers explain that it was "an homage" to this episode.
How about this? STOP RAPING TROI.

Every time I have a hardcore emotional reaction like this, I tend to check in with others: did they feel anything similar? Is this episode well-liked, and I'm the odd-one out? Am I over-reacting? Have I put some spin on it due to personal experience?
The answers I got back were all over the place.
The show-runners and writers all think that this is an exemplary episode, and they are proud of themselves for having written and produced a rape episode that is not only different, but was "handled well."
I found out through clicking around that IMDB offers users the opportunity to review episodes out of 10 stars, and again, it was a mixed bag. Some found, like the writers, that the exploration of "a different kind of rape" was interesting and lent a nice sci-fi bent to the concept. Others rated it low, and stated flat out that the subject matter would not be suitable for all viewers. One reviewer noted that someone else had mentioned that this episode contained "no suspense, only rape," and found this to be true going forward: Jev is revealed to be the antagonist at the outset, and you don't have to ask yourself "who is the actual mysterious rapist?" It's Jev. The episode tells you that in the cold opening. Some recalled the mind rape of Valeris in "The Undiscovered Country." All told, more than 2000 IMDB users rated this episode, and it came up with a 6.3 out of 10.

I also ended up in conversation about this episode with my friend Legolas, and he confessed that he too hated this episode. He suggested something I found rather disturbing: that this series of "Troi is Violated" episodes unintentionally points to Star Trek telling viewers that empathy with only bring you harm. 
I balked at this, because that's a ridiculously harmful message, but here we are - Troi, the most trusting and open person on the crew, is often abused by people who are able to break into her head and manipulate her. She carries a vulnerability that's different from the others. Am I saying it's just her? Hell no. We've seen plenty of other characters on this show be abused by outsiders who use their particular vulnerability against them. But in this case, we are not talking about the entry being blindness, or being an android, or coming from an honor-bound culture, but empathy. It's a thing most people have, and should use more often, but why would we when we're being taught to always have our guard up, to not trust people, to make ourselves vulnerable for the sake of seeing others, when the outcome is that someone with no empathy will view us as weak? Jev even calls Troi "fragile." Is this the ultimate take-away? In the TOS episode "The Empath," the empathic, mute alien Gem carries the wounds on her body every time someone else is hurt, and at the end, takes on Bones' fatal wounds to save him, sacrificing herself. All so some shitty aliens can gain some knowledge via experimentation. She was asked to die, basically.

I'd like to hope that "people with empathy are weak and ripe for the picking" is not Star Trek's message here, collectively. But the fact that they keep selecting her over and over again for this kind of torture makes me think that it might be possible, which I hate. 
I want to think that this show teaches empathy and acceptance. But it gets a little harder to believe that each time they play Troi Gets Violated.

Fun Facts:

- The script went through multiple rewrites, each coming at the rape aspect differently. They knew they wanted to do a rape episode, but didn't want it to be the same kind of story that the writers had seen many times before. They came up with the mental violation as a way to add the sci-fi spin.
- Jeri Taylor liked the idea that the assault was mental rather than physical, and exploring the violation of the mental vs the physical was the goal.
- The writing staff wrote memory sequences for all of the major characters and then chose the ones they liked. La Forge's fire memory from "Hero Worship" was written for this script, as well as a memory for Ensign Ro about the action that resulted in her dishonorable discharge and arrest.
- Eve H Brenner (Inad) will return to play a different character in season three of Voyager.

- Rick Fitts (Dr Martin) will return to play another character in Voyager, season 4. Sadly, we will not see him as Dr Martin again, which is a shame, because I liked Dr Martin.

 - This is the only time in Star Trek where Keiko appears onscreen, but Miles does not.
- This is the second of three appearances by Doug Wert (Jack Crusher).
- Brannon Braga and Rick Berman were both pleased with how this episode turned out.
- Jeri Taylor called it "Roddenbery weirdness." She felt that some of the episodes they had been doing were more political, or emotional, and that they lacked a bit of sci-fi.
- Jonathan Frakes felt that it would be out of character for Riker to dwell on the death of a fellow crewmember, but Michael Piller felt that Jev was just going inside Riker's mind and playing around, trying to up the drama.
- Jeri Taylor noted that she received disappointed letters from fans afterward, saying that they hoped the flashback scenes would lead to a rekindling of the Riker-Troi romance, but she stated that the flashbacks were only meant as flashbacks, and not as an indication of the future.
- Though not a fan of specialty camera effects, Berman gave director Robert Weimer permission to use the one for the memory sequences, as he felt that it was warranted to differentiate between reality and memory.
- This is the first episode produced following the death of Gene Roddenbery. Production was shut down early one day so that cast and crew could attend the funeral.

Red deaths: 0
To date: 1
Gold deaths: 0
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Blue deaths: 0
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Unnamed color crew deaths: 0
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Sassy Geordi moments: 0
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Sassy Ro Moments: 0
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Sassy Worf Moment: 0
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Sassy Riker Moments: 1
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Sassy Picard Moments: 0
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Sassy NPC Moments: 0
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Sassy Data Moments: 0
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Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
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Sassy Keiko Moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
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Sassy Troi Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Guinan Moments: 0
To Date: 1
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
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Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 0
To date: 31
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 0
To date: 8
Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 0
To date: 1
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: 5
Tea, Earl Grey: 0
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Mentions of the number 47: 0
To date: 1

Orwin, the dragon cat