Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Monday, May 15, 2017

ST:TNG Season Two, Episode Seventeen "Samaritan Snare"

ST:TNG Season Two, Episode Seventeen "Samaritan Snare"
Production Order: 43
Air Order: 43
Stardate: 42779.1
Original Air Date: May 15, 1989

Picard's Log 42779.1: "Gonna go check out some cool astronomical shit. Also, Wes Crusher is gonna take a shuttle to Starbase 515 to Starfleet exams."

Wes enters the bridge, and Riker hands him a USB with testing parameters on it.
Wes makes a face and Data says that it should all be fine.
"You're good, dude," says Riker. "The results from your first exams were pretty good, and you've been getting Academy credit for being here."
"Yeah, but... potential cadets are tough cookies," complains Wes.
"You have practical experience," Riker points out.
Data: "While the information imparted to cadets at the Academy is unquestionably vital for prospective Starfleet officers, it nonetheless requires a significant period of supplementary systems training and situational disciplines."
Riker: (smiling) "Didn't I just say that?"
Sassy Data Moment: "Yes, sir. But not quite as perspicuously."

Meanwhile, down in sick bay, Pulaski and Picard are going ten rounds. Pulaski wants Picard to go to Starbase 515 for a medical thing - he needs to have something replaced. Picard is being a stubborn a-hole about it.
"Fuck off!" he yells. "I have shit to do!"
"The hell you do," she replies. "Our next mission is to check out some astronomical thing. That's Science Division."
"I was looking forward to that," he protests, and not gonna lie, that sounds like a lame excuse for not doing something.
"Fine," she counters. "You can stay on the ship and I'll do the procedure."
"No way! I have an image to protect."
She accuses him of ego, then gives him a choice: he can stay here and have her do the thing, or he can go to Starbase 515, and she can keep the secret that he's having a medical thing done. 
"RAWR," he barks at her before storming out.

He stomps up to the bridge and tells Wes that he'll be going with him in the shuttle. Wes is surprised. Riker is too, and offers to do whatever thing Picard needs to do on the starbase.
"I have to do it myself," grouches Picard.
"But you're gonna miss the astronomical thing," Riker points out.
"I'm going to 515, so fuck off," replies Picard. He stalks into the ready room and begins gathering hand-bound books to read on the trip.
Riker follows him. "Dude, why are you suddenly leaving for Starbase 515? And why are you being such a dick about it?"
"I have to do a thing," Picard growls.
"So why can't I know about it?" Riker demands. "I have high-level clearance."
"It's not a Starfleet or ship thing," sighs Picard. "I just have to do a thing, okay?"

Geordi and Sonia Gomez are walking through the corridors with Wes. They're telling him that he'll do fine on his exams.
"I'm not worried about the exams. I'm worried about Captain Picard," he answers.
Sonia's Lone Sassy Moment: "Why? He's not taking the exams."
Wes admits that he'll be stuck for six hours in a shuttle with Picard, and has no idea what they'll talk about. Sonia lists off stuff that Picard is interested in, as a way to be helpful, but Wes looks skeptical.
The lift door to their left opens, and a glowering Picard steps out with his books.
"Nice day for a road trip," remarks Geordi.
Picard stares daggers at him, then silently walks to the shuttle bay.
"Fucking great," laments Wes, following.

Picard and Wes get in the shuttle, which Wes is piloting, and they leave. On the bridge, Riker watches the shuttle leave, and he and Data discuss the fact that Picard said he was looking forward to seeing the astro-thing.
"Hey, getting a distress signal from way out in BFE, Space," announces Worf. "No info given, just distress," he adds.
"We'll check it out," says Riker decisively.
"That would put us really far away from the shuttle," says Data, as a warning.
"I know," says Riker.
I guess maybe the astro-thingy is closer to the starbase than the place where the distress signal is coming from?

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

When we return, the E has encountered some kind of flying space casket.
Riker hails them.
Some alien toddler answers. "We are the Pakled. Our ship is the Mondor. We are far from home."
Sassy Riker Moment: "Aren't we all."
Geordi enters from the lift and watches the convo.
Sassy Geordi Moment: "Lemme guess: their rubber band broke."
"Our ship is broken," says the Pakled. "We look for things. Things we need. Things to make us go."
Data lists off their broken stuff, and Geordi volunteers to go over there to fix it up.
Wait - hold the comm badge. Data told the others that the Mondor was a sub-light ship. Isn't using Federation technology here a violation of the PD? The Pakled are being presented here as being pre-warp.
They cut the communication, and Worf demands to know why they're sending their chief engineer over to the other ship to fix things.
"Can't we just give them the info? We don't know them."
"These people can't seem to find their own asses with two hands," Riker points out. "Do you really think they'd understand our specs?"
Worf is pissed that his warnings are going unheeded.

On the shuttle, Picard is trying to pass the time reading, but he gives it up as a bad job, and complains out loud that he should be back on his ship, and not going to Starbase 515.
"Then why are you here?" asks Wes bluntly.
Picard considers for a moment, then explains that his heart was injured at some point, and they put in a replacement. But the replacement is faulty.
"Why would anyone use a faulty replacement?" asks Wes.
That's a fucking stupid question. Like, why did he even ask that?
"Just drive," grouches Picard.

Geordi beams over to the Mondor, and is surrounded by a bunch of big dudes in an instant.
"I'm here to repair your ship?" he says, holding up his tool box.
The Pakled they had talked to on the viewscreen (Grebnedlog) steps forward.
"Who is in charge of engineering?" Geordi asks.
"My friend Reginod," smiles Grebnedlog.
Reginod steps forward, and takes Geordi to engineering.
"He is smart," asserts Grebnedlog, and the others nod.

Troi rushes onto the bridge.
"Why is Geordi on the alien ship?"
"He's helping them," replies Riker.
"I have no idea how they managed space travel," Data remarks.
"He's in trouble!" says Troi. "Those aliens are lying!"

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

"What do you mean, he's in danger?" asks Riker.
"You think they're weak, but they're perpetuating a ruse," Troi explains. "They don't want our help."
"Well. that's all they're getting," Riker says forcefully.
"Maybe we should listen to her," advises Data. "Troi often knows shit that no one else knows."
Riker glances back at Worf, who looks slightly mollified.

On the shuttle, Picard murmurs out loud that the mortality rate for the procedure he's having is hella low. Wes says that's good, then he asks why Picard he doesn't want to do the procedure.
"I don't want people in Starfleet gossiping about my innards," replies Picard.
"Okaaay, so... why didn't you have Pulaski do it?" asks Wes. "Then no one at Starfleet would know unless they looked at your medical records."
Picard pauses. "Shut up and fly the ship," he says finally.

Geordi is fixing some problems on the Pakled ship, finding the solutions to be simple. The Pakleds keep telling one another how smart Geordi is.
Riker calls Geordi. "Dude, the ship's counselor wants you back on the ship ASAP."
"Cool," says Geordi. "Should be done in a sec."
He puts the now-fixed parts in, and there's a main power failure.
"Will our ship go now?" asks Reginod.
"No, your power just failed," Geordi replies. He calls Riker again. "More shit just broke. Gonna be a little while before I can get back there."
"Fix it, and return," says Riker.
He and Troi exchange looks.

Wes decides to break some uncomfortable silence in the shuttle with some uncomfortable conversation.
"You probs would rather be hanging out with Riker. I know you don't like me," he adds.
Picard looks up from his book to stare out the window with a "WTF is this convo?" attitude.
"That's not true. You're an okay guy," he says.
"You don't have to pretend," Wes presses on. "Everybody knows you don't like kids. And that's kind of too bad, because I think you would have made a good father."
Picard snaps the book shut, says "thank you" caustically, and moves to the seat behind the cockpit to read his book without Wes interrupting. But even though this is a really loud sign for, "please stop fucking talking to me," Wes continues.
"Why didn't you ever have kids, sir?"
OMG, Wes. You can't just ask someone why they're childless.
"Wishing for a thing does not make it so," Picard snaps.

Riker has run out of patience with the Pakleds.
"Come on, Geordi, seriously. We need to leave."
"Almost done," Geordi replies.
He gets the thing up and running while Grebnedlog stares off into a space above and to the left of the viewscreen and says vaguely, "We look for things. Things to make us go."
Are these people on molly?
"Dude, we can tow your ship to the nearest starbase, and they'll fix your ship," offers Riker through his gritted teeth.
"He is smart, he can fix it," replies Grebnedlog.
"Okay, done," announces Geordi.
"You are smart, you are smart," chanted the Pakleds, surrounding him.
"Yeah, great. I need to go," answers Geordi, who looks creeped out.
"Beam Geordi the fuck out of there," Riker comms to the transporter chief.
"Can't," replies the chief.
"They have a shield up," reports Data. "It's like... Romulan? Way more advanced than the rest of their shit."
"Drop the shields!" Riker yells at the Pakleds.
"He is smart," says Grebnedlog. He pulls the phaser from Geordi's belt, and shoots him point-blank.
Then the viewscreen goes dark.
"They blocked us!" says Worf.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Riker tries hailing the Pakleds on all channels, but Data reports nothing available.
"They're ignoring us," states Riker.
Sassy Data Moment: "Apparently so."
(It's so hard to tell if Data is being sarcastic sometimes.)
The E takes a defensive stance.

Picard has decided to put down his book for a snack break. He offers Wes coffee and sandwiches, which Wes turns down at first, but then he put on the autopilot and climbs back into the cabin.
Then once more out of the gate with the personal questions:
"Were you ever married?"
Picard takes it in stride. "Never found the time," he replies.
"Don't you ever get lonely?"
Dude. Come on.
Picard pauses, then tells Wes that he has to make a lot of sacrifices if he wants to fast-track being an officer, and that he needs to avoid long-term commitments.
Wes replies with this gem: "No problem. Where women are concerned, I'm in complete control."
I'll pause here while you laugh at that.
Picard isn't quite buying it either, and he drops any guard he might have had. "Really? I always to work at that."
Wes asks if Picard was always this disciplined, and Picard replies, "fuck, no" before launching into a fabulous story with great visual descriptions.
Apparently, Picard had been some cocky douche-bro Academy cadet, when he was just a little older than Wes. He and his friends were at some rec center in BFE, Space, and the description he gives makes it sound similar to the Cantina on Mos Eisley, like super-sketch. So in walk three Nausicaans, and they're looking to pick a fight with hella-green Academy kids. Everybody else is smart enough to decline but not young Picard. He talks shit about the Nausicaans, and gets jumped by the three of them at once.
Just for reference, here's what a Nausicaan will end up looking like:

You're a dumb motherfucker if you pick a fight with these guys.
Picard admits that he wasn't doing too badly against the aliens, and Wes is all wide-eyed and asks how he managed to win.
"I didn't," Picard replies. "One of them stabbed me in the back. Pierced my heart. Didn't so much hurt as felt surreal. I actually laughed. But if I hadn't been so close to a medical facility, I would have died. And now you know why I had a heart replacement."
"That's fucked up, sir," says Wes.
"Indeed," replies Picard. "It was a shitty lesson to learn in a very hard way."

Data is working furiously to break through the shields on the Pakled ship, but so far, it is not working.

Geordi wakes up on the floor to find Grebnedlog pointing the phaser at him.
"Make us more weapons," the Pakled captain replies.
"You have a replicator?" asks Geordi in amazement.
"It is not broken," answers Reginod.
"Fuck you guys, I'm not making you more weapons," refuses Geordi.

Worf suggests to Riker that he can get through the Pakleds' shields with a photon torpedo, but Riker points out that that would put Geordi in a bad position. They ask Troi what the Pakleds want. Troi narrows her eyes and replies that the Pakleds have what they want... for now. She's pretty pissed off that no one heeded her warnings until it was too late.

Wes, back in the pilot's seat and leaving Picard alone to read, announces that they're reached their destination.
Picard packs up his book, then asks Wes if he read the book he gave him.
"Not all of it," Wes replies, begrudgingly. Picard seems annoyed, so he defends himself. "I don't have a lot of time, you know? And philosophy won't be on my entrance exams."
Picard argues that knowing stuff like art, history, and philosophy makes joining Starfleet worth it, and that he should make more time for such things.

Back on the bridge, Troi tells Riker that the Pakleds have been lying to them from the beginning. Data's better scans confirm this. He reports that all of the Mondor's systems function perfectly, and that the malfunctions had been carefully programmed into their computer.
"Why?" demands Riker.
"So they could kidnap Geordi," Troi replies.

Picard's Personal Log 42779.5: "Got to Starbase 515. Really don't wanna go in."

Picard walks into the medical center, and wishes Wes luck on his exams, but Wes follows him in.
"I don't need a chaperone," Picard tells him.
"Yeeeaaahhh, Pulaski asked me to make sure you actually went inside," Wes admits.
Sassy Picard Moment: "She would."
"I enjoyed the trip," Wes offers.
"Yeah, me too," says Picard.
They smile, and each go their separate ways.

The Pakleds have decided to strike up a conversation with Riker, so they call him.
"Let our guy go," Riker warns them.
"Fuck off," says Grebnedlog. "You think we are not smart."
"I think you're underdeveloped, and need more time," says Riker carefully.
"You want him back?" asks Grebnedlog. He shoots Geordi with the phaser, knocking him out again. The other Pakleds point phasers at Geordi as well. "Give us your entire computer."

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Riker holds a meeting in the Obs Lounge.
"We can't give them our computer - that's a breach of Starfleet security." he says.
"Then we have to take Geordi by force," says Worf.
No one disagrees.

We go into the operating room, where we see Picard on the table, while red-suited surgeons prep him for surgery.
Quick question - why does it seem like all medical personnel in the future wear red? Is it some kind of Deadpool thing? Are they making a tongue-in-cheek joke about Redshirts?
The head surgeon reassures Picard that he's done this a million times, and he'll pull through without fail.
"Just fucking do it," sighs Picard. "I have shit to do."
So the head surgeon knocks him out, explains the surgery, and cheerfully tells his team that, "we'll all be home for dinner."
And now we all know that some shit will be going down.

Back in the Obs Lounge, Data and Troi tell the others what they have pieced together about the Pakleds - that they're impatient for social development, and need things at a Veruca Salt level, so they trick other cultures into giving them advanced technology.
"I think we should perpetuate a ruse," suggests Riker. "I think we should give them what they want, then rescue Geordi and take it away."
"What if we fail?" asks Pulaski.
"We don't really have a choice," sighs Riker.

Geordi, injured and hobbling, makes his way across the Pakled ship.
"We are smart," Grebnedlog tells him.
"Cool," he replies. "Let me talk to my people."
They permit it, and Geordi is connected to the E bridge.
"Hey, Geordi," says Riker. "How's it going?"
"Shitty," says Geordi. "I'm being held prisoner."
"Do they steal technology?" asks Riker.
"They do," says Geordi. "Klingon, Romulan, Jerada... everyone they've come into contact with, they stole tech from. Now us."
"That sucks," replies Riker. "Well... we can't give them the computer, so it looks like you'll have to make the ultimate sacrifice. We'll miss you."
"Hey, wait --what?!"
They then begin this series of weird farewells, where they talk about good Geordi is at weapons systems analysis, and how much they'll miss him. Geordi eventually starts to play along.
"If you give them information," says Worf, "that's treason. You'll die without honor, and you'll never achieve the 24th level of awareness."
"Well that sucks," Geordi replies.
They hang up.
"You know about weapons," says Grebnedlog. "Make us strong."
"The hell?" asks Geordi. "I thought you wanted me to make you go."
"No." The Pakled captain pokes him in the ribs with a phaser. "No. Make us strong."

Back in surgery, the world's  universe's most dramatic doctor is playing soap opera over Picard's body. Like the acting is somewhere between a Simpson's character, and a young William Shatner.
"Damn it, man! We're losing him! We need 10 CC's of (24th-century tech gibberish), stat!"
The others are frightened of this man's terrible acting, and all look worried about appearing on-screen in a scene with him.
"We need a (vaguely future-y sounding med tech) in here! This man is dying!"

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

The Pakleds lead Geordi to the weapons systems.
"These suck," he says bluntly. "This isn't like showing up with a knife to a gun fight. This is like showing up to that gun fight, and trying to flick someone to death."
"Fix it," says Reginod. "Make us strong, and don't trick us. We can tell."
He brandishes the phaser at Geordi, who looks like he's being asked to make a gourmet fondue with government cheese.

We go back briefly to the surgery, and we still have no idea what the hell has gone wrong with this procedure, which has a mortality rate of 2.4%. We're not helped along any by the dialogue that follows, because they use more gobbledegook, but the dramatic doctor says he can't attempt the thing that they need to do because he isn't qualified to do it. Another doctor says he knows someone who is.

Spoilers: Picard lives. They're not gonna kill him off in the middle of the second season. In this case, wearing red doesn't mean jack shit, so trying to add tension by saying "Oh, noes, Picard could die!" is ridiculous.

Riker and Data go down to Engineering to convince Sonia to help them in their ruse. She agrees, but wonders if Geordi got the message, if he can react the way they need him to, and if he has the equipment on hand that he needs.
Riker and Data seem more confident.
Worf calls Riker. "Emergency call from Starbase 515. Captain Picard is dying."
They all exchange worried looks, then Riker and Data take off for the bridge.
Hello, Ship-Disabling device!

Geordi flips some switches, and some lights go on. "You're strong now. You're armed to the teeth."
Reginod has a Drax moment: "Teeth are for chewing."
"No," frowns Geordi. "You have photon torpedoes. You're strong."
The Pakleds are pleased.

On the bridge, Data reports the photon torpedoes are armed.
"We have to go to the starbase now," reports Worf. "They want us to rush there at warp 9."
"We're not leaving without Geordi," Riker insists.
They open the channel to the Mondor.
"Give us back Geordi," says Riker.
"Give us your computer," says Grebnedlog.
"Fuck you."
"Yeah well, fuck you back, because we have photon torpedoes now."
"Oh, yeah?" says Riker. "We'll turn our awesome weapons on you, too!"
"They're gonna fire on us!" says Geordi, over-acting for the Pakleds' sake. "They're gonna kill us! I'm gonna arm the torpedoes!"
"Ha!" yells Grebnedlog. "We are strong, and he is on our side now!"
Both ships go through the motions of arming stuff, and we see Sonia pressing touchscreen buttons in Engineering. Countdowns start on both ships, and amusingly, they're both done by Majel Barrett. But when they get to one, some kind of red mist comes out of the nacelles, and Geordi screams that they've been disarmed by the crimson force field.
"Oh, we are not strong," says a sad Grebnedlog.
"Drop your shields!" yells Riker.
The Pakleds drop their shields and transport Geordi back.
"To Starbase 515!" Riker yells at the conn. "Warp 9!"
The E takes off at top speed.
"That was clever, blowing hydrogen exhaust through the Bussard collectors," Geordi tells Riker.
"Did you disarm the torpedoes?" asks Riker.
"Just in time. That's why you're still here," replies Geordi.

Picard wakes up from surgery as the rest of the doctors clear out. One doctor remains, and you know exactly who it is.
"Oh, what in gay hell?" he demands groggily.
"Lol, saved your life," smiles Pulaski.
"If you're here, then the E is here, and everyone knows," he grouses.
"Meh, you're good," she shrugs.
His "thank you" has a distinct "fuck you" tone.
Sassy Pulaski Moment: "You're welcome!"

Picard and Wes enter the bridge, and the asshole bridge crew start applauding. Picard is polite enough not to phaser their sorry asses off the plane of existence. He does give them some nasty side-eye, though.
"Wes' Academy exams were good enough that he can stay here to study with us some more," he announces as Wes takes the conn. "Furthermore, any rumors of my brush with death are greatly exaggerated." He sits. "Let's get the fuck out of here."

Like so many others, this episode also falls into the category of "mixed bag." Two things I liked: I like the concept of a race of people who are a little backwater, who could use a few more millennia to evolve, but who are impatient, and have become just smart enough to figure out how to steal technology from others. We've all heard of those people before, those clever enough to perpetuate a ruse on others for personal gain, but who refuse to use that cleverness to get ahead legitimately. I'm not sure how effectively the Pakleds came off in this episode, though, so there's that.
The second thing I liked here was Picard's backstory. It adds greatly to his character that this was a turning point for him, this stupid bar fight that almost killed his sorry young ass. What's more, it'll be the basis of another, really fantastic episode further down the line, and I love it for that reason as well.
The rest of the episode is kind of just okay. There was one thing that kind of irks me, though - that of transportation. I mean, I know that, for the story to work, Picard and Wes needed to be alone for an awkwardly long amount of time, but I just can't get around why they'd take a slow-ass shuttle to the Starbase. I know they needed to be there by a certain time for Picard's surgery and Wes' exam, but why was it necessary for them to go off on their own? Couldn't the E have dropped them off first before heading out to the astro-thingy? We know that time was not of the essence for the Enterprise, because they had plenty of time to get side-tracked with the Pakleds before rushing back to the starbase at the end of the episode with Pulaski. And while I can't make heads or tails of the time-speed ratios for the E, we do know that the ship was able to get to the starbase very quickly so Pulaski could save Picard, even though they were more than six-hours away at impulse. It's one of those things that makes sense for the story, but logistically in my head, not so much.
I'm also curious about Wes' exams. Did he fail to get into the Academy again? Or was the Academy testing him on his "home study course" to make sure he was still on track? Memory Alpha seems to think he took the same exams as last time and failed them again, meaning that the way Picard had announced it, he was putting some kind of positive spin on the outcome. Truthfully, it was just a tool to get him alone with Picard for six hours, but one wonders how that fit into canon.

Fun Facts:

- Though Wes calls it "shuttle 2," the shuttle shown in the original footage was of the Sarkhov, shuttle 1. This was digitally corrected in the Blu-Ray edition (which must be the edition that Netflix uses), as the shuttle footage here says "02 Einstein."
- Originally, Picard and Wes were supposed to take the "captain's yacht" to Starbase 515. The captain's yacht is a little ship that docks to the underside of the saucer section. While it's mentioned in specs and added to models, it's never mentioned on-screen or used.

- Starbase 515 is actually a reuse of the matte painting of Angel One.

- Christopher Collins, who plays Grebnedlog, also played Captain Kargan on "A Matter of Honor," and will return in that same role later this season.

- The crimson force field trick is similar to the the one Kirk used in "The Corbomite Maneuver."
- Picard's insistence that "rumors of my brush with death have been greatly exaggerated" is an homage to Mark Twain, who said something similar.
- Wes mentions Picard's story having taken place before "the Klingons joined the Federation," and Picard says it was, but this doesn't quite gel with continuity. He may have been talking about the Treaty of Alliance (2352), as Picard's story takes place in 2327. There was a Federation crest next to a Klingon crest in the background of a Klingon cruiser in "Heart of Glory," possibly marking them as allies, but if you wanna get technical, the Klingon Empire is not part of the Federation. That bit of dialogue has never been properly explained in canon.
- The Mondor bridge features the "Custodian" console from "When the Bough Breaks" and another console from Captain Okona's ship from the episode "The Outrageous Okona." They also use actual military equipment as props.
- Director Les Landau kind of liked this episode, saying that the Pakleds kind of mirrored humanity in a way, which is something Gene wanted his show to feature. Maurice Hurley thought it was "strange, but nice" because he liked working with LeVar Burton, and thought it gave Geordi decent screen time. But writer Dennis Russell Bailey thought this episode was the absolute worst thing that had ever been produced by Star Trek at that point, and he went on for several paragraphs about why he thought it sucked. He said this episode inspired him to write another episode, although he didn't really go into why (presumably, he felt that his episode fixed the problems he thought this one had).

Red deaths: 0
To date: 2
Gold deaths: 0
Blue deaths: 0
Unknown color crewmember deaths: 18
Obnoxious Wes moments: 0
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Geordi moments: 1
To date: 6
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Riker Moments: 1
To date: 6
Sassy Picard Moments: 1
To date: 12
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Data Moments: 1
To date: 6
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Pulaski Moments: 1
To date: 3
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 0
To date: 19
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 3
To date: 22
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: 12

Episodes Left Until We Get Rid of Pulaski:

"Dis my pillow!"


  1. I read something years ago about how the Pakleds were controversial, because it was thought by some that the episode was making fun of people with developmental disabilities.

    1. Truthfully, I was concerned about that as well when writing this review. I think the writers were most definitely going for "this race could use some more cognitive development, but wants to rush ahead, and aren't humans a bit like that as well?" rather than, "Lol, people with developmental disabilities are sure funny!" But given that we've become increasingly sensitive to these groups, it makes this episode seem a bit dated. I doubt they could make this episode today and not get eaten alive.

  2. Worf is pissed that his warnings are going unheeded.

    Given how often that happens, who can blame him?

    1. Right? And in this case, Troi gave similar warnings that also got brushed aside. The thing that I like about Worf is, even though he always seems to yell "threat!" that's his job. Picard actually pointed it out in "Datalore" when Worf asked if Data could be trusted (because his brother had been shown to be a complete sociopath). Everybody's standing there like, "you asshole," but Picard's like, "That's a valid security question, and I'll punch any of you that gives Worf shit about it." Worf recognizes the fact that he always has to be on the look-out for sketchy stuff, because no one else is likely to be, and because they're likely to vote against him in Obs Lounge meetings. Totally #TeamWorf