Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Monday, July 31, 2017

ST:TNG Season Three, Episode One "Evolution"

ST:TNG Season Three, Episode One "Evolution"
Production Order: 2
Air Order: 1
Stardate: 43125.8
Original Air Date: September 25, 1989

Our opening shot is fabulous here, super-saturated with bright color, showing the ship slowly moving near an astronomical event.
The next shot is great, too. We sweep across a table and instruments of a lab, finally resting on the face of a sleeping Wesley Crusher.
Riker calls him on the comm, and teases him about forgetting to set an alarm: kid is late for work. he apologizes in that stumbling way that says "too early for mouth to work properly," and he rushes to clean up his experiment mess before rushing out.

When he hits the bridge, Riker points to the conn, but he seems more amused than angry.

Picard's Log, 43125.8: "We're in this system with a binary star, and this dude, Dr Paul Stubbs, is with us to conduct an experiment. He's a pretty big deal."

Wes pops into the conn chair and Stubbs turns and is all, "Isn't this exciting?"
Whoa y'all, it's Dr Kelso from Scrubs. Look how young he is here, in his late forties.
Anyway, he exposits to the audience through Wes that the smaller of the two stars keeps sucking up energy from the bigger star, until it explodes, every 196 years. Then the process will begin again. And the explosion/new countdown is due to start in about 18 hours. He's pretty stoked.

Picard comes out of the ready room, and asks if Stubbs wants to inspect his equipment again, but Stubbs interrupts with a Sassy Moment:
"I have been inspecting The Egg for the last twenty years. You may lay it when ready."
"Cool," says Picard.
He sits down, and we get our first-ever Picard Maneuver.

A quick glance into the shuttle bay reveals that The Egg is actually the containment unit from season two's "The Child," just tipped on its side. (Good job, Budget.) The engineers get ready to put it out into space when all these klaxons go off, and the ship starts to shake, and all the actors do that "ship is shaking" bounce in their seats. Except for Dr Stubbs. He falls the hell over and bangs into the railing.
Everyone starts yelling in efficient fashion how they've lost control of the ship, even though read-outs show them being okay.
And now, they're in danger of drifting into the stellar matter stream between the stars, and they don't have any freaking shields.
Actual Ship-Disabling!

Dramatic music! Opening credits!

We get a slightly different set of credits with this new season, one that shows different planets and stuff. Neat.

Anyway, hurtling into the star-stream and shit.
Worf manages to get the shields up. Geordi reverses the engines. Unfortunately, they're still gonna drift into that stream, and the the best they can do is just brace for it. The impact is kind of quiet, and the ship rocks gently. Then they move it out of the stream, and basically what just happened is when you're on a boat and turn it suddenly, then kill the engine. The boat keeps drifting in the same direction for a while, and you gotta turn the engine back on, and redirect the energy in order to keep the drift from continuing.
"Hey, computer," says Picard. "What caused that malfunction?"
"Nothing," you can hear Majel Barrett shrug. "There wasn't a malfunction."

Star Trek: Tokyo Drift

Wes goes to sick bay, where they're caring for people who didn't brace for impact or whatever. There seem to be an awful lot of injured people in sick bay, and I think it really has more to do with how much money the studio has, than anything else. Studio has more money to spend on extras - that was a terrible accident, and there were tons of people injured. Studio is flat-busted broke - if we see sick bay at all, it'll be one medical assistant helping one patient onto a bed because this crew is ready for anything, and they braced for impact like good little Starfleeters. If the busyness of this particular scene is any indication, then the studio has plenty of cash, all of the crew were caught off-guard by this accident, and none of them bothered to brace.

There are at least six extras in sick bay here.

So Wes is here to talk to Stubbs, who is lying on his front on the exam table, being tended to by Dr Crusher, who... I guess is patching up his butt, or something? I have no idea how he's injured. H's here to tell Stubbs that Picard says that the experiment is good to go again, and the ship is ready to get back on track... because I guess the comm channels are down? Why did Picard not call him?
Stubbs replies by remarking that there are two Crushers onboard, and the elder Crusher backs up the weird hiatus by talking about how she did a year at Starfleet Medical.
"I missed about... two inches of him," she adds with a smile.
I kinda like that line.

"I def wouldn't wanna be stuck on a tin can in space with my mother," grouches Stubbs.
Turns out Stubbs' mother wrote an unauthorized biography of him, and Wes read it.
Another Sassy Guest Star Moment: "Doesn't this boy do anything but fly the ship and read? Doesn't he have any fun?"
Shut up. those things are fun!
Wes explains that he's training to get into the Academy, and that he earns credit for time spent working on the E.
His treatment completed, Stubbs invites Wes to go check on the Egg with him.
They leave, and Crusher notices that the food dispenser is continuously pouring a glass of some red juice or something.
"Computer, what's wrong with the food slot?" Crusher asks.
"Nothing," the computer shrugs.
Sassy Crusher Moment: "Check again."
"Dude, it's fine," replies Majel.
"Just... turn it off," says Crusher.

Crusher goes to see Picard, who is talking to Geordi over the comm. Geordi has also been receiving reassurances from the computer that there was no malfunction earlier, and that everything remains fine. Picard mentions that Crusher has already talked to him about the sick bay food dispensers. When he hangs up with Geordi, Crusher says she wants to talk about Wes.
She's worried because he's... too independent? Too focused on his future? Not getting into enough trouble? All of the above? She asks Picard how Wes has been while she's been away.
"A good officer," says Picard
"No, that's Starfleet crap," she says. "What is he like?"
"Like Jack," says Picard. "Honest and hard-working."
She smiles, but then wants to know things that a CO wouldn't know - does he have friends? Has he ever been in love?
Okay, so the answers are yes and yes, but... Picard is not Wes' babysitter. That was not the deal when Wes stayed onboard. The deal was that Wes would stay on the E sans mother, and the crew would keep an eye on him, but at 17, nobody is wiping his ass for him. And Picard isn't going to know that stuff.
He makes this face in response to the question.

"He doesn't get into enough trouble for being 17," she complains.
Lady, every mother on the planet is now rolling her eyes at you.
She's basically concerned that being on a spaceship with your mother should suck more than he lets on, and that he's too focused.
But he doesn't really have an answer for her.

Stubbs and Wes go down to look at the Egg in the shuttle bay, and Stubbs tells Wes about how he was a wunderkind, and how Wes is one, too.
"It's a burden," says Stubbs. "You'll never meet a greater adversary than your own potential."
Ain't that the truth.
Potential is a double-edged sword.
The klaxons go off, and the lights flash red.
Wes tells Stubbs that red alert means they need to go to quarters.

On the bridge, the computer has reported a Borg ship nearby, but they can't get a visual. They also have no shields. Supposedly, the ship is firing weapons at them, and while the ship rocks, there isn't any damage reported. Instead, the lift doors open and close.
"Computer, what's the fucking malfunction?" Picard demands.
This time, instead of insisting that there isn't one, Majel starts talking like she's playing a game of chess.
"WTH?" yells Picard.
Geordi says he needs to leave the bridge to check the engine and Picard sends Worf with him to check the shields.
"Meeting in the Obs Lounge," says an irritated Picard to Riker.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard meets with Riker and Data about the ship malfunctioning.
"There hasn't been a systems-wide ship malfunction in Starfleet in seventy-nine years," says Data.
(Ugh, he's talking about the malfunctioning Enterprise-A from STV. Like, hooray for continuity, but can't we just call STV apocrypha and leave it at that?)
Troi comes in and starts to tell Picard that Stubbs is outside and wants to talk to him, but Stubbs just walks in behind her and steps all over the end of her sentence.
Again, I'm left wondering why no one is using the comm system. I mean, guests were not allowed to use the system (as per canon discussed in "The Neutral Zone"), and they weren't issued badges, but could they not have called someone with that person to talk to another on their behalf? Could Troi not have commed Picard about Stubbs?
Picard invites them to sit at the table, and right away Stubbs makes it clear that he blames Picard for this shit going sideways.
"Okay," says Picard, ignoring the slight, "if these malfunctions get worse, and we can't find the reason, we may have to leave, to keep the crew safe."
"I've been working on this for-fucking-ever," replies Stubbs. "I'd rather die than leave."
"I know how much this sucks -" starts Troi.
She's interrupted by Stubbs. "No offense, Counselor, but turn off your beam into my soul. I'll share my feelings when I want to."
Okay, two things here: one, that was fucking rude. Two, he's right. She just basically starts talking about other people's feelings all the time without considering whether or not they wanted others to know that shit. Sometimes she's careful about what she shares, knowing that some stuff may be sensitive, but what about when she runs into people like Stubbs, who are closely guarded and want nothing shared?
He storms out, and Troi tells Picard that his coolness is on purpose and used like a shield. She also says that Stubbs saying he would rather die than leave is the truth - he's wrapped his self-worth up in this experiment.

Wes is down in Engineering with Geordi, trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with the ship. Geordi isolates some tiny thing in some remote corner of the engine.
"I don't even know what that is," he laments. "It's like someone crawled in there and started taking things apart."
Wes gets an "oh, shit," look on his face.
He rushes back to the lab he vacated this morning and looks at a container that appears to be a futuristic Thermos. It's empty. Another "oh, shit" face.

Wes is crawling around on the floor behind the bar in Ten Forward, putting out these little round things. He is surprised to see Guinan, because it's still Red Alert.
"I'm not very good at being confined to quarters, as my husbands can attest," she replies.
Guinan... who you marryin'?
She wheedles out of him that he was doing a science experiment with nanites, trying to see if he could get them to work in tandem to do a better job. His theory was working, but he pulled an all-nighter getting his data, and fell asleep with the container open. He's afraid that the damage that Geordi found in the engines was caused by these two nanites, and might also be the reason that the ship is malfunctioning. So he's setting traps.
(By the by, Star Trek, what does one use to bait nanite traps?)
"It's just an experiment," he adds, as though that makes it okay.
"Yeah, I had a doctor friend tell me that once," she says. "His name was Frankenstein."
I... I can't tell if she's joking. I mean, she has to be, but...
Crusher calls Wes. She went by his quarters, and he wasn't there, and seeing as how it's Red Alert...
"Yeah, yeah," sighs Wes.
He signs off.
"Are you gonna tell anybody what I told you?" he asks Guinan.
She just stares.
"Yeah, I know. I'm gonna tell 'em. Like, if it turns out that that's what happened."
"Do you think you'll get a good grade?" she asks, as he packs up his traps and makes to go.
"I always get an A," he says sadly before going.
"So did Dr Frankenstein," she replies.
I... do not see the correlation between Wes accidentally setting nanites loose in the ship, and a 19th century novel about a guy looking for ways to cheat death, but okay...
Anyway -

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard's Log, supplemental: "So there's something wrong with the computer that suggests someone has been screwing with it, but we can't figure out who. If we don't get our shit together on this, Dr Stubbs' experiment may be over."

Stubbs shuffles across the bridge, while Geordi reports that the manual restart of the ship's computer has been completed.
"Cool," says Picard. "Launch the Egg."
The shuttle bay reports that the doors won't open. They try to bypass it on the bridge, but a Sousa march starts playing instead. Like at top level.
"The fuck?" demands Picard.
"It is Stars and Stripes Forever, by John Philip Sousa," starts Data.
"Shut up, I know!" barks Picard. "Turn it off!"
"It's on all the comm channels," Data replies.
"So shut off power to the bridge!"
The power goes down.
"Get us the hell out of this system," Picard adds.
Stubbs is pissed.
The E moves off slowly.

Stubbs and Wes are back in the shuttle bay. Stubbs tells Wes that failure sucks, but never getting the chance to go up to bat is worse. He asks if Wes knows about baseball, and Wes replies that his father taught him. Then Stubbs talks about how he likes to imagine plays in his mind, as a reward for working hard. He goes over a bunch of classic baseball games in his imagination, with all the greats playing.
Then, as they're leaving the shuttle bay, he says sadly, "A brand-new era in astrophysics, postponed 196 years... on account of rain."
Okay, that baseball-astrophysics thing seemed a bit mismatched as well, but it came off less-awkwardly than the Frankenstein thing.

Wes is in the lab checking his traps. He finally gets a signal from the machine that his trap has caught something (again, what bait did he use?).
Crusher comes in. "Hey, what are you doing?"
"Setting traps to see if I can figure out why the ship is malfunctioning."
"Like, on whose orders? You're not on duty now."
"Nobody's. Just helping out. We need to figure this shit out before we run out of time for Dr Stubbs' experiment."
"WTH? You're 17, and why do you have the whole world on your shoulders?"
Wes gets mad. "I just do, okay? I'm an active crew member and I have to fix this!"
"... let me help you," she suggests softly. "I know I haven't been here, but I'm here now."
He hesitates.

We switch scenes. Now we're in the Obs Lounge, and Crusher is giving a PowerPoint on nanites to the others. They're tiny robots for medical use only, to go in and repair cells, and are kept in non-responsive states in storage when not being used. But Wes ends up admitting that he accidentally let them out, after having them work together and allowing them to become enhanced. They're now reproducing mechanically. Wes puts a tiny amount of computer core in the trap with the nanites, and projects the inside of the trap on the Obs Lounge viewscreen. The blue nanites are going over the gold core sample, and turning everything blue.
"They're eating it up like candy!" says Riker.
I... feel like this is not so much science, as just... they couldn't figure out how the nanites were changing everything, so they just kind of implied that the nanites were eating it, or something.
"This is fucking up the last twenty years of my research," says Stubbs. "Call an exterminator and get rid of them."
Crusher raises an eyebrow. "Um, they're now working together as a collective, and teaching each other new skills."
"No way!" says Stubbs. "This is not a new civilization of computer chips! They're made in a plant in Senegal!"
He tries to compare it to viruses and bacteria, demanding to know how many bugs Crusher has killed. Not the same, though.
"Yeah, this might be intelligent life," Picard tells him. "We still have time to do the experiment. But Wes and Data will work together to see if we can remove them safely from our systems."
"If we die in the process, we'll still get into the history books," says Stubbs darkly.

Stubbs goes to see Wes, Geordi and Data in the computer core. He reminds them that the computer needs to be at 100% in less than eight hours.
"We're trying low-level gamma radiation to slow them down," explains Wes.
"How about high-level?" asks Stubbs.
"That would kill them," Data replies.
"I know," says Stubbs, and he shoots the core with a phaser.

Picard and Riker are in the ready room discussing temporary tactics on how to function until the nanite thing is resolved, when they smell something weird in the air. They run out onto the bridge, which is filled with smoke.
"Nitrogen oxide, in toxic levels," says Riker, reading the science station screen.
He manages to switch environmental controls over to manual.
Power fluctuates on the bridge as the lift doors open, and Worf hauls Stubbs out, followed by Wes, Data and Geordi.
"He killed all the nanites in the upper core," says Worf.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

The ship is rocking, and the power keeps going on and off.
"What the hell have you done?" demands Picard.
"The only way to get rid of these dumb machines is to kill them," Stubbs answers.
"You just proved that wrong," Data puts in. "You just killed a bunch of them, and they are retaliating by fucking with our life support systems."
"Seriously," says Picard.
"Extermination may be the only answer at the end of the day," says Worf.
"Dude, confine Dr Stubbs to his quarters," says Picard.
Worf hauls the bad doctor away.
"Can you figure out how to talk to the nanites?" Picard asks Data.

Troi goes to Stubbs' quarters.
"I'm afraid your single-mindedness here will be your destruction," she says. "I think when you finally fail, it'll snap you in half."
Creepy, WTF response from Stubbs: "When this is all over and I'm successful, I'll take you to (fabulous city) on (some planet) and we'll drink champagne and laugh."
"... that's creepy," says Troi. "Your self-image is really practiced. I'm worried what's underneath."
"Nothing is underneath," he answers.
She gets the fuck out of Dodge.

Data researches how to change the universal language program to talk to the nanites.

Stubbs is in his quarters, laid out in a chair, talking to himself about baseball and falling asleep. He doesn't see that the screens in his quarters are all going blank and crackling with energy. Then the energy zaps him. He screams, but the doors have clamped closed, and the Gold Shirt in the corridor can't get in to rescue him. Then the door opens, and he falls onto the Gold Shirt.

Stubbs is hauled off to sick bay, where he is being tended to by Crusher.
"I don't think this attack was an accident," Picard tells her.
Stubbs grabs the front of Picard's uniform. "You have to protect me!"

Picard goes to the bridge. "I think we need to think about radiating the computer consoles to get rid of the nanites," he tells Riker.
Behind him, Worf makes the preparations. But in front of him, Data has been quietly working with the universal translator. The screen starts turning up binary.
"Made contact," says Data.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Now more people are gathered behind Data, watching the binary pile up.
"Each new generation of nanites is learning to communicate with us from the previous one," he says.
"Can we actually talk to them?" asks PIcard.
"Worth a try," says Data.
"Go get Stubbs," Picard tells Riker.

Riker leads Stubbs down the corridor to the lift.
"This is a shitty idea," says Stubbs. "They already tried to kill me once."
Sassy Riker Moment: "Another way to get into the history books, doctor?"

Everyone is gathered behind Data now.
"Tell them the mofo that killed their people is here, and wants to talk," Picard instructs Data.
"This is stupid," says Stubbs.
"Fuck off," Picard replies. "You're gonna apologize and fix this shit."
"Do you want to negotiate face-to-face?" asks Data. "I can make that happen. If they hop into my circuitry, we can talk."
"That's what they were actually designed to do," says Crusher.
"But that's a terrible idea," puts in Worf. "They'll have access to a Starfleet commander."
"Yeah, that's true," says Picard. "How can we be sure they'll leave when we're done?"
"It's a risk," shrugs Data. "But it would be an act of good faith on our part."
He proposes the idea to the nanites, who agree.

Picard, Data, Riker, Worf, and Stubbs all go back down to the computer core. Data works at the console for a moment, then puts his hand under some kind of microscope with crystals. The microscope shows multiple magnifications, and you'll be pleased to know that Dr Soong gave Data fingerprints. The nanites go in through there, and he stands up, a new man. Or you know, a series of new... people.
"You are... weird-looking," says Data-nanites.
"Yeah, we've done a lot of traveling," replies Picard. "We've seen a lot of weird-looking people, too."
"Why did you attack us?" asks Data-nanites.
"When you started expanding, it messed with our ship," says Picard. "We thought you were attacking us."
"No, we were looking for materials to help us replicate."
"Yeah, mistakes were made on both sides," Picard answers. "We wanna leave peacefully, though."
Data-nanites focuses in on Stubbs.
"I, um. I killed your people," says Stubbs.
"We know," says Data-nanites. "Why'd you do it?"
"When you were expanding, it messed with the ship, and threatened an experiment. The experiment is my life's work, and I overreacted. I'm... I'm really sorry. I'm at your mercy."
"What does "at your mercy" mean?" asks Data-nanites.
"He's asking for forgiveness," supplies Picard. "We want peace."
"Yeah, us too," says Data-nanites. "Okay, we forgive you. But you need to get us the hell out of Dodge. There's not enough space on this ship."

Picard's Log, supplemental: "For some reason, Dr Stubbs has the power to give some planet to the nanites, so once they helped us repair the computer core, we transferred them to that planet. Then we launched Dr Stubbs' experiment in time."

The star explodes. Stubbs monitors the experiment at the science station while everyone else watches on viewscreen.

Dr Crusher goes to Ten Forward. She sits at the bar and asks Guinan if she has kids.
"Lots," replies Guinan.

"Ever have trouble relating to any of them?"
"Just one," says Guinan. "He wouldn't listen to anyone, which is weird in a species of listeners. But I got him to come around after a few hundred years, just by listening to him. Mothers shape their kids in ways they don't realize." The door opens, and Wes comes in with a girl. "That's a cute couple."
"See? That's what kids Wes' age do! They hang out with kids their own age. And that girl looks way into him, too..." She turns back to Guinan suddenly. "Tell me everything you know about that girl!"

Light-hearted music! End credits!

So this is definitely an episode about Wes, about growing him as a character from some kind of smart kid to a young adult who does other things than study and do Starfleet stuff. It's pretty much assumed that Stubbs is Wes in about forty years, and maybe Wes and Stubbs had similar upbringings with similar paths. And maybe Crusher sees this and worries that Wes will become an anti-social asshole like Stubbs, a little too into himself and his work to function normally in the word.
This is not the first time we've seen the wunderkind all grown up and battling with his own potential. Remember Dr Daystrom? Same thing. And neither of these wunderkinds grew up to have normal lives. They were always attempting to out-do themselves, to stay relevant, and make better work. Daystrom ended up kind of losing it by the end of the episode, but at least made his mark, as the Daystrom Institute was named after him. Here, Stubbs commits genocide, but his apology manages to make things right, and his experiment goes off nicely, probably gaining him the results he wanted.
So there's one goal in our plot - Crusher is concerned that Wes will become another Stubbs. But she's also concerned that her kid no longer relates to her or needs her. He's been living on his own for a year, and has taken on the responsibilities of an adult. Truthfully, if he hadn't had those qualities when she left and he opted to stay behind, then they wouldn't have let him stay in the first place. If he was some kind of screw-around, they'd have booted him back to Starfleet Medical.
We have two Wes-based plot points and one scientific - that of the ramifications of Stubbs killing a large number of life-forms in order to get his experiment up and running. It's a bit... Nazi scientist. There wasn't any backlash from it, either. Just "I killed them, I'm sorry, and I have a place for you to live and expand." It wrapped up a bit too nicely. Writers Piller and Wagner didn't really have a good ending for this episode, and so just kind of tied up some loose ends. Stubbs having access to a planet with the right conditions for the nanites, and just being able to give it to them, was a bit convenient.
Overall, this episode wasn't the worst ever, but it did have some stumbling blocks. There are a few points on which I agree with the writer and producers here - it's not bad, and I like having Crusher back. It gives Wes another person to relate to (or not). But this episode couldn't decide whether this was a family problem episode, or an episode about science. It kind of tried to be both, and while it left the Wes-Beverly problem open to exploration, it just kind of dropped the moral ramifications of genocide.
If I were to give this episode a letter grade, it's be like a B- or C. Not awful. Not amazing. A little more than middle of the road.

Fun Facts:

- Though the main characters received the new uniforms with the high-collars and separate pieces, background characters got stuck wearing the season one and two spandex unitards. The new costumes cost about $3000 each.
- Data's remark about how there hadn't been a systems-wide ship malfunction in 79 years was probably writer Michael Piller's nod to STV. This was the first thing filmed after STV was released in theaters.
- Between seasons two and three, Geordi received a promotion to Lieutenant Commander, and Worf went from Lieutenant Junior Grade to Lieutenant.
- The baseball game that Stubbs daydreams about before the nanites try to kill him was the 1951 tiebreaker game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants.
-This is the second time we see the sick bay lab. The first time was in "Home Soil" (ironically, also an episode where a non-living thing is declared to be living and tries to kill someone). The lab set here has been slightly altered from the one previously.
- This is the first time we see one of the computer core rooms. It was built on the bridge set from the films.
- Michael Piller credits his addition of baseball to getting the head writer job. Rick Berman was also a baseball fan, and Piller said that he felt the baseball connection forged a partnership between them.
- This episode was inspired in part by K. Eric Drexler's theories on nanotechnology.
- Quite a few scenes were cut from this episode that might have taken it in different directions. for instance, a whole sideplot about some of Wes' friends ended up on the cutting room floor. Eric, his unnamed girlfriend, and her friend Annette wanted Wes to come on a holodeck skiing trip with them as a double-date (Annette being the blonde girl that Wes is seen entering Ten Forward with in the last scene). Wes turns them down, as he is going to check on Stubbs in sick bay. Later, Annette is helped to sick bay with a broken leg when the holodeck malfunctions due to the nanites. This would have altered the story slightly in two ways. Firstly, kids Wes' age have not really been shown before on the Enterprise. We've seen younger kids, but not teens. Secondly, the nanites only try to kill or hurt Stubbs. Harming Annette, even unintentionally, would have shifted the balance of blame between the humans and nanites here. There was also a scene cut where the nanites electrocute a medical assistant. This would have further added to the blame game, and not in the nanites' favor.

- Another scene has Worf expressing the opinion that an outside foe has been causing the malfunctions to the ship, but everyone else just kind of shrugs and says "maybe?" They don't follow up on it at all. And Troi says she doesn't think it's any living thing, because she can't feel any new emotions related to that. In a different eliminated clip, she decides that she can feel another presence, meaning that the nanites have evolved emotions. This makes no sense, as she can't even sense Data and Lore.
- Further deleted moments discuss Stubbs' misogyny. Along with his creeper remark about sipping champagne with Troi, he demands to know why "women want to try to de-mystify me."
- In one scene I would have liked to see stay, Stubbs approaches Wes about possible extermination of the nanites, and Wes does not agree. Stubbs likens Wes to a younger version of himself, and declares that "no one understands us or how important our work is to us!" Wes flat-out tells him, "If I don't get into the Academy, I'll be okay. I have other things to live for."

You can watch the deleted scenes here. Scrolling down to the bottom of the article will link you to a second article with the other set of deleted scenes from "Evolution."

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



  1. Genocide?? Nazis??! Stubbs was merely deactivating machines---that he very rationally assumed were malfunctioning---that were harming the ship. Additionally, at that time he had no reason to believe that they might be bona fide life forms.

    On his decision about whether or not to take aggressive action against the nanites, Picard guessed correctly (as always!: eye roll). But he could have been wrong, and the nanites could have killed the entire crew or unintentionally enabled the destruction (vis-a-vis the planetary explosion) of the ship. So...Stubbs was more of a hero than a self-obsessed a-hole.

  2. Episodes like this one make me chuckle nervously at how readily available hand-held death rays are in Star Trek.

    1. Right? I mean, at that point, it seems like they were mostly used for stunning, but there's still definitely higher settings on those phasers. And was it his? Did he bring it on board? Get it from the armory? It's a bit shady, like Amortentia in Harry Potter.

  3. The deleted scenes were cool. I wish Wes' subplot had stayed.

    Hmmm, what would have happened if the Enterprise has taken off, and the nanites took down the deflector dish?

    Beverly's obsession with what Wesley's doing is weird. That, combined with her comment that she "missed about two inches" of them made me remember a really old TNG fanfic (from 1994, not long after the series ended) in which Beverly had sex with a holographic recreation of Wesley.

    1. Ugh, dude. Did not need to know about that last Rule 34 :P