Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

ST:TNG Season One, Episode Twenty-Four "We'll Always Have Paris"

ST:TNG Season One, Episode Twenty-Four "We'll Always Have Paris"
Production Order: 24
Air Order: 24
Stardate: 41697.9
Original Air Date: May 2, 1988

Okay, so that was bullshit.
Pretty much the single second I completed my October project, I catch the plague. Out for the count. As I'm starting to get over said plague (I still, weeks later, have the lingering, hacking cough leftover), I get what I think is food poisoning. Only it wasn't food poisoning, because that also included lingering affects.
This is why I did not post on the 7th or 14th, as I had intended.
"But Lady Archon, could you not have written while sick?"
Friends, this is what my brain looks like with a fever:
I'm lying on the couch, half-dead, and Roomie is talking to me, but I have no voice, so I'm texting her my responses. Uhura runs across the keyboard of my laptop, pausing my Deadpool DVD.
"You can't yell at the cat," my brain reminds me. "You have no voice."
I reach for my phone.
"No, no," chimes in the brain. "You can't text the cat, either. You don't have her phone number."
I don't have her phone number. I don't. Have. Her phone number.
Wow thanks, brain. That's almost as helpful as the time you tried to tell me that my tea tasted like toys and candy.


Picard's Log 41697.9: "Heading for some shore leave. Been trying to get myself some down-time ahead of it."

We're treated to a scene of a couple of fencers engaged in a fight, and we have no idea who they are, because we can't see behind their masks. One person takes a hit and both masks come off. One is Picard, and the other is some unknown that Picard refers to as "lieutenant." The lieutenant has scored the point against Picard, and I can't help thinking, "That dude is brave - who the hell would agree to competing against the head honcho, especially given that this guy is a little better than Picard?" So the lieutenant tries to apologize, but Picard waves him off, because the lieutenant's shit is legit.
I kind of like that. It's a tiny bit of character development. Picard gives credit where credit is due.
Anyway, they go at it again, and Picard manages a hit. They end the fight. The lieutenant attempts to very carefully kiss Picard's ass.
"Interesting move, sir. What technique was that?"
"The technique of a desperate man."
Then, their actions are slowed down, and the convo repeats itself verbatim.
Picard looks at the lieutenant. "Was that kind of fucked up?"
"It was," replies the lieutenant.

Picard goes to the bridge in his fencing clothes. Riker tells him they experienced the same thing, like a two-second repeat in time. Worf says other decks have reported the same thing, and Data states that it also affected the computer system, which means that it actually happened, and was not a weird thing that just affected the crew.
Worf picks up an automated distress call from Dr Paul Manheim. Picard sits up and takes notice at this name, then orders Geordi to take them to coordinates mentioned.
"Do you think this is connected to that time lapse for a few minutes ago?" Riker asks him.
That's kind of a reach, Star Trek. Riker is clearly not familiar with that name or the time anomaly that just happened, but somehow he thinks that Picard thinks that they're linked? I mean, they are, but there's no way for him to have to any evidence to put those things together, just by the look on Picard's face. And frankly, Picard could have been frowning at just the distress call.
Picard answers, "I do. Fifteen years ago, Dr Manheim left Earth with some other scientists. They were going to do experiments on non-linear time. Looks like they were successful."
NOW, Star Trek. NOW would be a good place to insert Riker's question. AFTER he's gotten some exposition.
Anyway, dramatic music! Opening credits!

Ugh, I forgot. Cold-hearted bitches intentionally left Denise Crosby's name in the opening credits for the remainder of season one. "Don't forget! We killed somebody in the worst episode ever!"

When we return, Geordi announces that it's a four-and-a-half hour trip to get to the place where the distress signal originated, and Picard calls on Data's massive positronic brain to give exposition to the bridge crew on Manheim.
Seems that Manheim was considered brilliant in the scientific community, and had several cool theories on time, but none were widely accepted.
Picard then adds that Manheim was teaching at the university in Paris while he was there, but he never met the man. Picard is fidgety, and excuses himself to go change out of his fencing clothes.
Troi catches him on his way into the lift. She says he seems emotionally all over the place, and was triggered by Manheim's name. She offers to talk to him professionally in the time before they reach the coordinates where the distress signal was coming from.
He blows her off. He's captain. Captains don't need safe spaces and shit.

Instead, he decides to go to the holodeck, and he tells the computer that he wants to go to a certain cafe in Paris, as it would have appeared twenty-two years earlier. He checks out the view from the cafe's balcony, a sweet matte painting with some shuttles flying by. (I can't be certain if those shuttles were models filmed during the original run, or if they were digitally added later, as I believe the TNG episodes on Netflix are all digital remasters.)

Picard ends up telling the maitre d' that he was supposed to have met a girl at this cafe twenty-plus years ago, and he never showed up. He kind of always imagined that she had, but he never bothered to check. The maitre d' says he will bring Picard something to drink while he watches the scenery and thinks.

That diamond shelf in the background came out of Kirk's apartment in
Wrath of Khan. It also appears in Troi's quarters in Encounter at Farpoint.

The focus shifts, and we listen briefly to an argument at the next table: the girl in pink is in the same boat as Picard's girl twenty years ago, and her friend insists that some guy isn't going to show. Pinky is certain that this guy will show, and her friend gets frustrated and leaves. Pinky catches Picard watching her.
"Why the hell are you staring at me?"
"You remind me of someone, sorry."
Pinky says out loud what her friend had been saying all along: that her dude was probably not coming. She then laments that she might have done something to "drive him away."
Picard, being "that guy" in another time, suggests that maybe her guy was afraid of commitment, or that he didn't know what he wanted because he was young.
Pinky looks at him like she can't quite believe this shit. Who's this old dude, telling her that her guy is afraid of commitment because he's young?

Picard gets mad at himself for engaging in "self-indulgence," and leaves.

You know, I gotta wonder at the holodeck, placing Pinky and her friend there with the same problem as Picard has right at that moment. Does this technology have the ability to figure out a person's problems, and then manifest a way for that person to work through those problems? I mean, Yar demonstrated earlier that a self-defense program could anticipate attacks and alter the program slightly to match its human counterpart - could an program be written where the NPCs anticipate what that other person needed, and then provide it? Here, probably not. It's most likely a coincidence. But a program like that could be really beneficial to someone like Troi.

Picard returns to the bridge. Riker reports that they've talked to a ship nearby and a farming colony, and both have said that they've also experienced that brief repeat of time. Riker says the ship captain referred to that moment as a "hiccup." Data butts in to say that this analogy isn't quite correct, and Picard asks what might be better, with interest. But when Data tries to pick a bodily function that would fit the bill, Picard cuts him off with that polite way of telling Data to STFU, as they all use: "That's enough, Data." 
I would like to point out, Picard, that you asked for more information this time.

So they arrive at the coordinates given in the recording, but instead of finding Manheim, there's just another recording, sending them to the far reaches of the galaxy. I guess Manheim is into astral-geocaching or something? So they trek all the way out to the new coordinates (because what choice do they have?), and they end up at some hunk of rock orbiting a binary star system.

They open hailing frequencies, and Picard starts in with his standard, "This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise..." but then he switches mid-sentence and goes with "This is the Captain of the Enterprise..."
Geordi and Data exchange looks.
A woman responds, saying it is just the two of them, and that "he's having convulsions." Just to add to the suspense, there's a force field around the hunk of rock that she has to drop in order for the E to beam them out.
Spoilers: she drops the force field.
They beam her and Manheim to sick bay.
Picard goes to sick bay, but at the last moment, asks for Riker and Data to go with him.

So Dr and Mrs Manheim appear on the sick bay floor, and she tells Crusher that he's been convulsing for hours. (Holy shit, hours?) They get him up on the bed, and Picard awkwardly enters sick bay. So now it's clear that he only asked Data and Riker to come with him as his bros, because he appears to want to sink into the floor.
Mrs Manheim smiles at him like her husband isn't possibly dying on the bed behind her, and she says, "I thought that might be you. Always knew you'd come to my rescue."
Really? You don't see him for twenty years, but you expect him to come riding to your rescue?
Riker and Data exchange looks.

Do you know Jenice Manheim? Maybe. That's Michelle Phillips, 25% of the singing group "The Mamas and The Papas." She looks too young for Picard, but I guess she was in her mid-forties here, and Patrick Stewart is only four years her senior, so the timing works.
Anyway, after a brief commercial break, Picard introduces her to Data and Riker, and they go into Crusher's office to talk about all the shit that's going down on this tiny rock.
She tells him that there were a bunch of other scientists working in a second lab on the other side of the planetoid, but there was some accident there a few weeks ago, and everyone died. Now it was just them. Data asks about her husband's work. She says she doesn't totally get it, but explains in layman's terms that Dr Manheim believes that portals can be opened into other dimensions by screwing with time in a certain way. They reveal that brief repeat in time to her, and tell her that it was felt light-years away.
She says she didn't think any of the experiments were dangerous, but says that maybe Manheim did - he put in the force field and a crazy security system, and made her hang out in "a protected room."
Picard says he wants to send some people down to the lab to check it out, but she says that the security system will keep them from going in.

Crusher comes in to say that Manheim is stable, but that she wants to run tests on Jenice. After Mrs Manheim leaves, Crusher tells Picard that Manheim is dying, but she doesn't know why. She gives him a few days until he'll kick the bucket, and says that Picard can't talk to him yet.

Picard, Riker and Data leave sick bay, talking about this new problem. They get into the lift, and then this shit happens:

Both Datas state that they feel no difference or ill-effects. The camera leaves the lift to stand next to the group in the corridor, and the lift door closes. Data uses the term "The Manheim Effect" and says that it is getting stronger.
"Which one was us?" demands Riker.
"Both," replies Data. "That was us on a different timeline, a little bit into the future."
The lift door opens again, and they all peer cautiously inside before getting in to go to the bridge.

Later, Picard is in his ready room, when he is joined by Riker and Data again. They've been studying the planetoid, and report that they discovered the other, destroyed lab on the other side, but there's nothing to be learned there. They also say that there's an energy source coming from the surviving lab, that they think that Manheim has figured out how to harvest the energy from the pulsar star, but that there's no way to confirm any of this without talking to Manheim or going to the lab to check his notes. They discuss the possibility that the security system was tied into the force field, and that Mrs Manheim turned it off when she turned off the force field. Picard tells them to put together a team.

They choose Worf along with themselves, and attempt to beam down. However, the beam goes awry, and they are not able to rematerialize in the lab. The beam just kind of fizzles out.
Dramatic music! Commercial break!

A few agonizing seconds go by, with the away team fizzling out between locations before finally solidifying back on the E transporter pad. The chief tells them that they're lucky to be alive.

Down in sick bay, Manheim awakes abruptly and demands to know where he is. Jenice tells him he's on the E, and that he sent a distress signal for someone to come help them. He doesn't remember sending any distress signal, but the dude seems manic at this point. He clutches at Jenice and tells her that he's gone to the other side, that part of him is still there now, and that everything that has happened or will happen was totally worth it.

Picard enters with Data and Troi, and introduces himself. Clealy, the Manheims have discussed Picard, because Manheim knows who he is already. Picard says things are bad. Manheim says they will get worse. He is asked how to stop things, and Picard tells him to talk to Data, an android.
"I know all your stuff," says Data.
"How?" asks Manheim. "I don't even know all of my stuff, and it's my stuff.  Also, the stuff I'm doing now totally makes all of my early stuff obsolete."
"It's cool, I'm an android."
Data fangirls about Manheim's work for a moment, in that way that one kind of expert fangirls to another, talking in jargon, and Manheim guesses that maybe Data does know what he's talking about. He's horrified to find that the time blip has moved beyond the planetoid, and tells them that he and his team opened a crack in the fabric of time, allowing him to slip through.
"It seems that I fucked up all of the shit. We gotta stop it. I'll give you the codes to beam down and get past the security system so you can shut it down."

Picard calls a meeting of the senior officers, and Data, having checked out Manheim's stuff, tells them that he thinks it'll be possible to shut that shit down, but it has to be timed perfectly with another time distortion, or there isn't any point in doing it. He thinks they can predict the timing. Picard assigns Worf to making sure the security measures are completely turned off.
Door opens. Not another senior officer, but Jenice Manheim.
"I was told I could find you here."
Um, yeah. But you're interrupting a meeting.
Excuse much. Rude or anything?
Picard declares that the meeting is over, and that she isn't intruding, and I guess old friends of the captain can just go wherever they want on this ship for whatever reason. Maybe next she'll wander down into Engineering and play with the dilithium crystals.
Okay, I'll stop bitching. This scene is actually really well done.
Everybody leaves so Picard can have a private chat with Jenice. She gets right to the point:
Jenice: Why didn't you come to meet me that last day in Paris?
Picard: ... I was afraid.
Jenice: (scoffs) I didn't want this.
Picard: What?
Jenice: The truth.
Picard: Oh, you want me to lie.
Jenice: Of course. A nice soft, painless lie.
Picard: Oh, I got the days confused. I thought it was Tuesday when it was Wednesday. I went to the Cafe Moulin instead of the Cafe des Artistes.
Jenice: Ah, that's better. It was raining, and you couldn't find a cab.
Picard: Mm-hmm.

Up until now, their conversation has been light and breezy, and there's less Captain Picard and more Jean-Luc. Because here's the thing: Patrick Stewart plays Picard in a certain way, a way that tells you that Picard is always cognizant of who he is in comparison to who he is speaking with. We only ever see Captain Picard, or just Picard. Even when he lets his guard down when he's speaking frankly with Riker, the crew member he seems closest with, there is still a tiny sense of formality. He's aware the whole time that he is Riker's superior.
But here, he's Jean-Luc, that twenty-something kid that skipped town two decades ago. Jenice Manheim represents something we rarely get to see in relation to Picard: he's vulnerable. He feels guilty for walking away and never contacting her again.
The first half of the conversation is airy. They are joking, and Picard lets his guard more than usual. I think it's a combination of good acting and good writing, but it's believable.
They continue on, and the conversation gets a little heavier:
She did wait all day for him at the cafe, and then she checked with Starfleet Headquarters, but he'd already shipped out. And he admits, again, that he was afraid of meeting her, and changing his mind about leaving with Starfleet, and staying behind, and becoming complacent.
She guesses that his biggest fear was that staying with her would have made him ordinary, and he actually laughs in this really genuine way.
"You're wonderful. And am I that transparent?"

Down in sick bay, Crusher is scanning Manheim when Troi comes in.
Troi asks how Manheim is doing, and Crusher starts to respond that he's about the same, but then she guesses that Troi has not shown up to ask about the scientist.
Troi follows Crusher into the office. Crusher desperately tries to do some busy-work to avoid having That Conversation with Troi, while Troi insists.
"I can't compete with a ghost from his past," Crusher says firmly before exiting back into sick bay.
(Hint: this scene mostly exists to remind you of the will they- won't they subplot present with all Picard-Crusher episodes.)

Later, Manheim calls Picard down to sick bay to talk to him alone. He starts giving Picard some cover story about how he couldn't remember all of the codes to shut off the security system completely.
"Also, I want to talk to you about my wife."
"Dude, seriously?" balks Picard. "Be professional."
"I want you to take care of her, in case something happens to me," says Manheim.
"Oh. Okay, that's cool," replies Picard.
Wait, are you kidding me? An old girlfriend you haven't seen in twenty years rolls into town or whatever, and her husband asks you to take care of her after hanging out for like, ten minutes? Would you honestly agree to that? Like, even if the husband wasn't dying? I don't know about you, but there's no way in hell I'd "take care of" my ex from twenty years ago.
Oh, wait. There's more.
Now Picard is suddenly the Manheims' couples therapist, because Manheim starts telling Picard that Jenice has been unhappy for the last few years while he's steadily becoming a workaholic, living in the middle of nowhere.
Again, I'm thinking about the spouse of my ex, telling me about their marital problems. 
No. Fuck off.
Manheim starts crying about how he doesn't deserve Jenice, and Picard is like, "No, I'm out," and he takes off.

Picard and Data are walking through the corridor, discussing the away mission. Picard tells Data that he wants him to go alone, that he doesn't think they should risk anyone else.
"Oh, that's cool," says Data. "I get it. I'm a machine, so I'm dispensable."
Picard realizes that what he's said was phrased in such a way as to come off whatever the android version of racist is. He back-peddles.
"Okay, no. Let's try this again. I don't think you're dispensable. Just the opposite. But in this case, I want it to be just you, because you ride out the time distortions better than your human crewmates."
Data agrees with this assessment, so now he's the only guy going on the away mission.

Data beams over, where he discovers that there are parts of the security system that Manheim forgot to mention. He pulls out some Bond moves getting away from lasers. (Sadly, I did not see any ill-tempered sea bass.) He leaves his comm badge open so the bridge crew can hear him get carved up by the lasers. Data manages to phaser the security system and get into the lab.
And now, my favorite sound effect description of season one TNG:

WTF does a chiming roar sound like? you may ask. Like a roar of loud-ass chimes. I know that sounds like a dumb tautology, but that description is actually pretty apt for that sound.
Backstage, writing the closed-captioning:
Writer 1: "How should I describe this sound?"
Writer 2: "Hmmm... a chiming roar?"
W1: "What the fuck is a chiming roar?"
W2: "...that."
Man, I love closed captioning.

So Data is now in the lab with these huge sheets of glass (which are engaged in a chiming roar), and they're sort of rotating. Not spinning, but like, moving around one another (which is causing the chiming roar). That's the thing that's fucking up all of the shit. Data checks the computer and says that it predicts there will be another time distortion in 90 seconds. He has to dump anti-matter into the roaring, chiming glass panels or something.
"Will that plug the hole?" asks Picard, because we've determined that the shape of the thing is now a hole instead of a crack. Or maybe we're just fishing for analogies. Whatever.
"I guess?" replies Data.
Man, if Data doesn't know, you could be screwed.
So he's talking to the others on the comm badge (because how else are we gonna get that exposition?), and he tells them that when the time distortion comes up again that it'll open that crack to the other dimension, and then he has to pour the anti-matter in to seal it back up.
He goes to another station and takes out a canister using a pair of tongs because Manheim just randomly keeps anti-matter in his lab.
Data requests a 27-second countdown from Geordi, which he is granted. The countdown has a weird echo as time distorts around Data, and oops. Now there's three of him.

"Fuck," says the Data on the dais. "Which one of us is supposed to drop this shit in the hole?"
The three Datas all think for a moment while Geordi's voice continues its echo-y countdown.
Then Star Trek makes a pair of snafus in one sentence.
"Me!" yells the Data in the middle. "It's me!"
Firstly, this group of Datas seems awfully emotive. We know that Data is not supposed to be emotive, because he hasn't reached this stage of development yet. I mean yeah, Data could conceivably destroy life as we know it by doing this incorrectly, and I get that that's stressful and everything, but androids do not emote, even when doing stressful things. Their roller coaster of life contains no hills or valleys, just straight road.
Secondly, Data uses a contraction here: "It's me!" Since determining that Data is not advanced enough to use contractions (one of the differences between himself and Lore), Star Trek has been pretty consistent about always giving Data lines that contain no contractions. If you see them here, it's because I'm paraphrasing and dicking around. Contractions actually spoken by Data stick out like sore thumbs.
Come on, Star Trek. Pay attention.

So Data #2 determines that he is in the correct time stream, and he steps forward and dumps his anti-matter into the crack-hole. (That's...that's just wrong. It even feels wrong typing it.) There's a bright flash of light, and then all of the chiming-roaring glass slabs disappear with the extra Datas, and he's just left standing on the dais.

"Are you there?" asks Picard. "Is it closed?"
"Um, it's patched," says Data. "But closed? Eh, that's not something I can promise."
"Close enough," shrugs Picard. "Beam back, please."

Down in sick bay, Manheim has made a full recovery. He tries to describe to his wife what The Other Side is like, but he doesn't have the words. She is hesitant to go back to the lab, but he talks her into it. Picard tells Manheim that the Federation will probably want to help them.
Read: "You kind of fucked up all of the shit here, Manheim. The Federation will probably send you some scientists to work by your side to ensure that you don't almost destroy the universe again."
Anyway, the Manheims are all lovey-dovey again, and Picard sees that he probably won't be getting any on the side, especially as they're going back to that hunk of rock in the middle of nowhere.

A little later, Troi shows Jenice to the holodeck, and she enters into a program that is already running. Surprise, it's the cafe! They have champagne, and he says he wanted to say goodbye for realsies this time.
She responds by saying that she expects him to "always come charging to my rescue." Sooo, not your husband, then? He's not allowed to "rescue" you? It needs to be the guy who ditched you 20 years ago? Girlfriend: it is the 24th century. Rescue your own damn self.
They say their official goodbyes, and she leaves the holodeck.

Picard returns to the bridge sometime after they've dropped the Manheims back on their rock. He remembers that they're supposed to be going on shore leave. (Why the hell does all of this stuff crop up shortly before they're due for shore leave? Like, every time?) He has Geordi set in the coordinates for the planet they'll be visiting, and then settles in for the ride.
Riker starts chatting about some bar on this planet where they make some kind of cocktail. (Narrows it down, dude. Thanks.)
But Troi knows where he's talking about, and offers up a nearby landmark as a way to find it again.
"It's called the Blue Parrot Cafe," says Picard. "And you're buying," he adds to Troi.

Red deaths: 0
Gold deaths: 0
Blue deaths: 0
Obnoxious Wes moments: 0
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
Sassy Geordi moments: 0
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
Sassy Riker Moments: 0
Sassy Yar Moments: 0
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
Sassy Data Moments: 0
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 1
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 2
Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 0
Number of times when Data gives too much info and has to be told to shut up: 1

Fun Facts:
- The maitre d' is the only TNG actor to have a French accent whose first language is actually French. (Everybody else was faking.)

- Some of the writers wanted Picard to hook up with Jenice over a commercial break, but they were shot down by other production workers and Patrick Stewart. Good thing, too. Picard hook up with a married woman? Tacky.
- The name of this episode comes from the movie "Casablanca." The mention of "The Blue Parrot Cafe" was another callback to that.
- An early shot from this episode actually features the arm of Tasha Yar in the background.

- Listed on the cafe menu: Tribbles in a blanket and Antimatter Flambe.
- Filming had to be shut down on this episode so that the ending could be written, as this episode had been affected by a writer's strike in 1988.

Lord, can we talk about Jenice Manheim's outfit here?

Holy shit, dude.
Costume designer 1: "You know how, in the future, everybody thinks that we'll all be wearing unisex silver unitards and boots?"
Costume Designer 2: "Yeah?"
CD1: "What if we do that, but instead of the stretchy spandex, we make everything billowy? Also, kind of holographic. And the shirt should be a front panel, a swingy panel with a dropped neckline in back, and some billowy sleeves. But no sides. Michelle Phillips is in her forties, so I want to see some side-boob, but it needs to be tasteful side-boob. Like, church side-boob."
CD2: "There's no such thing as church side-boob."
CD1: "Then figure it out, and invent it. This is Star Trek: somebody needs to be showing side-boob, but it can't be any of our main ensemble, because we have to show that we respect women by not showing any of their side-boob. Only guest side-boob will do. Oh, also, her boots should be suede and not quite match her outfit, and even though we're putting her completely in cool colors and pastels, she should be wearing really bright red lipstick."
CD2: "Tasteful side-boob and clown lipstick. Got it."

So let's cut to the chase here: like a lot of season one, this episode is forgettable. Not great, not mind-bogglingly awful, just forgettable. It has good points and bad, and they're all linked..
Good points:
- The science fiction part is actually pretty interesting. A dude moves to the middle of nowhere to experiment with time, but something goes awry, and he accidentally opens a rift in it, causing himself to partially slip through and be in both places at once. That's pretty good. Worth exploring.
- The scene in the observation lounge between Jenice and Picard actually rang pretty true for me. I believed that he was on friendly terms with this woman, and I liked to see that looser version of Picard, the one where he feels comfortable enough to joke with someone else.
Bad points:
- The science was the B-plot instead of the A-plot. The sci-fi was interesting, but went nowhere because we were too busy focusing on whether or not Picard could survive an encounter with an ex.
- With the exception of the observation lounge scene, I wasn't sure I ever fully bought the idea that Picard and Jenice were a couple. I bought her with Manheim, though. Their brief scenes worked well.

Bottom line: not enough sci-fi, which was buried under a Picard romance. I do not like Picard romances. It is not helped by the fact that I ship Picard and Crusher, as the writers want us to do, and it is also not helped by the fact that Picard is a difficult character to write romances for. The person at the top is typically set up as being alone, because it's a bit of a truism that it's lonely at the top. Why did we need a Picard romance at all? It swallowed the sci-fi whole, which was the more interesting plot of the two.


Teeny Zealand


  1. Welcome back! I'm glad you're on the mend. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's missed you.

    I like your idea about the women in the Paris cafe being adaptive NPCs. After all, Picard did flat-out explain why he was there to the waiter, so the computer could have taken that as a cue to simulate what Picard had described. The alternative is that someone programmed a heartbroken young woman into this cafe for some reason. (Maybe the cafe is part of a larger storyline, but Picard didn't ask for a storyline.)

    1. Right? I mean, the waiter would definitely adapt, but he didn't ask for the computer to make him any NPCs to talk to about the situation specifically, which means that Pinky and her friend were either subtly added after he mentioned his problems to the waiter (making the holodeck program far more sophisticated than previously thought), or Pinky's issue was pure coincidence. And not gonna lie, I'm with the Holmes brothers on the subject of coincidence: "The universe is rarely so lazy."

  2. Manheim just randomly keeps anti-matter in his lab.

    I think we know what happened to his other lab.

    1. "Dude, I learned how to juggle - bet I could juggle these anti-matter canisters! ...hold my beer."

    2. Ha!

      That reminds me of this funny thread. (Sorry it's just an image. I couldn't find the original.)

      The United Federation of "Hold My Beer, I Got This"

    3. Lol, I forgot about that thread. Best Imgur ever. :D

  3. Yay! Welcome back lady archon!

  4. Welcome back! :)

    By "digital remasters", do you mean the versions that were edited from the original film stock for the Blu-rays? If so, then no. I watched all of TNG on Netflix fairly recently (last year). It has the original edit of season 2's "The Measure of a Man". The Blu-ray version has a bunch of extra, previously unseen footage added to it, making it 50+ minutes long.