Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Monday, November 27, 2017

ST:TNG Season Three, Episode Fifteen "Yesterday's Enterprise"

ST:TNG Season Three, Episode Fifteen "Yesterday's Enterprise"
Production Order: 15
Air Order: 15
Stardate: 43625.2
Original Air Date: February 19, 1990

Okay, sorry for the hiccup. That would be one trip to the ER (friend Gimli is fine), one bad experience with socialized feral kittens (both kittens and I are fine), and an angry, frustrated cry and admission at blog deadline time that no, one cannot do all of these things and still write 1667 words per day for NaNoWriMo.


Worf is sitting at a table in Ten Forward when Guinan sits down with two glasses and tells him to drink what she's offering. He's suspicious, but does so. He actually really enjoys it, and she tells him that it's prune juice. She then says that she's noticed that he always drinks alone, and that maybe he should be looking for some companionship.
Oh, Lord. This isn't OkKlingon, Guinan. Let the man find his own dates.
He tells her delicately that he'd need a Klingon woman for that, because human females are too fragile.
"You don't know that," she prods. "There are some human females here who might find you tame."
He laughs.

His response to her goading him into trying is that he will never know.
"Coward," she teases.
Sassy Worf Moment: "I was merely concerned for the safety of my crewmates."
Sassy Guinan Moment: "Drink your prune juice."
They glance out the front window, and there's some kind of mysterious thing outside.
Worf gets paged to the bridge.
He leaves and she goes to the window. Clearly, she knows something.
"That's not right."

Worf enters the bridge, where Picard is asking Data for information.
"It's like... a wormhole thing? But it has no center or edge? It's weird. I've never seen anything like it."
Dude. Data's pretty much a walking Encyclopedia Britannica. If he encounters something he's never seen before, they're kind of screwed.
Wes' two-cents: "Yeah, it's weird."
The wormhole thing phases, and a ship starts to come out of it.
Then there's a strange visual effect that's supposed to represent some kind of shift.

The uniforms on the bridge crew are slightly different. The bridge is dark, like a car driving down the highway at night, and the only lights are coming from the dashboard display.
"What ship is that?" asks Picard. "Enemy ship, Lieutenant?"
He turns around.
Whoa, nelly.

"Dunno," says Yar.

Guinan turns away from the window. Ten Forward is now awash in people, while the PA system calls out assignments overhead. Not knowing what else to do, and maybe because the act is comforting in a jarring situation, she scoops up the nearest abandoned plate and cup and starts looking around while walking toward the bar.
"Not right," she repeats.

"The ship is getting clearer," says Yar, watching her instruments. "I can see the call numbers now. It's NCC 1701... C. It's the Enterprise."
Zoom-in on Picard!

Dramatic music! Opening credits!

Military Log (military log?!), Combat-Date 43625.2: "Whoa. Checking out some kind of anomaly, and out of the mist comes the Enterprise-C, predecessor of this battleship."

We're on the bridge, but not the bridge? There's a dais with just the captain's chair, and some stations behind Data and Wes, and whoa, Wes is a full ensign now! Noice!

He and Data talk about how the E-C was supposed to have been lost 20 years earlier with all hands near the Klingon outpost of Narendra III.
Picard postures that it may he been adrift all this time, and Data puts forward the hypothesis that the weird wormhole thing it came out of was a temporal rift. Picard thinks that theory is interesting.
"Yeah (science) means it might collapse at any time. Not stable," adds Data.
Yar suddenly announces that she's getting some life signs from the other ship. Riker immediately calls Crusher to request medical personnel to help out with the E-C, but Picard stops him. They get into an argument. Apparently, this Picard and this Riker are not bros.
Anyway, Picard's point here is that they could fuck up all of the temporal shit by interfering with the E-C. A distress signal comes in.
"Hey, this is Captain Garrett from the Enterprise. Got into a bad fight with some Romulans, and lost warp drive and most of our life support. Looking for some help."
"Uh, there's no record of that ship ever having gotten into it with Roms," Riker points out.
Yar says the live distress signal is gone, and she's just getting the automated one.
Picard decides to act after all. He calls the E-C and tells them he's from "...a Federation starship..." and that he's sending emergency medical teams to them.
"Get them up and running again and tend to their wounded," he tells Riker, "but don't talk too much. Butterfly effect and all that."
Riker takes Yar and they leave. Wes says Starfleet is reporting Klingon cruisers nearby.

Riker and Yar beam over with Geordi and Crusher. Everything on the E-C bridge is a mess, with actual burning fires in places. They find the captain, who is in bad shape, and Crusher takes a scan.
"Fractures and internal damage," she announces. "I need to beam her back to the sick bay on the Enterprise."
Dammit Doctor, you had one job!
"Where?" asks Garrett.
Riker tries to brush her off, but she insists. He gets away with a "tell you later" before she and Crusher beam out.
The rest of the bridge crew is dead, but Yar unearths the helmsman, Lt Castillo.
The crew of the E-C are all wearing Wrath of Khan uniforms, which is a nice continuity touch.

Riker calls Picard to say that life support on the E-C is back up, but it'll take time for Geordi to fix things right with the warp drive. He reports 125 survivors, and mentions that he'd hate to have to scrap the ship, because they're at war and need everything that flies on their side. Picard agrees and gives Geordi nine hours to fix it. If that works, they'll take it to the nearest starbase. If not, they'll take the survivors, and blow up the E-C.
"Understood, sir," barks Riker.
Dude, he and this other Picard hate each other or something.
Guinan enters the bridge and looks around, nonplussed. She goes straight to Picard.
"Everything is wrong, and we need to talk."

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard and Guinan go into the ready room, which now features a lighted map on the wall showing locations that either belong to the Klingons or the Federation.
"So what's wrong?" he asks.
"You. The bridge, the uniforms, everything."
"It's the same bridge."
"Yes and no? Also, families. There should be kids on this ship."
Picard is appalled. "This is a war ship! We're at war!"
"But we shouldn't be. The Enterprise is a ship of peace. Everything went wrong when the E-C came out of that wormhole thing."

Picard goes to sick bay to see Rachel Garrett.
Once she finds out how her ship is doing, and the status of her crew, she gets down to business.
"Okay, where the hell am I? Who are you guys, and what ship is this?"
Picard tries to brush her off like Riker did, but she isn't having any of it.
"Okay, so... this is the Enterprise D, and you're 22 years into the future. We think you came through a temporal vortex."
"You're shitting me."
"Nope. What do you remember right before you got here?"
"So we got this distress signal from a Klingon outpost, Narendra III," she begins. "And we go to defend it, but four fucking Romulan warbirds come out of nowhere, and that's absolutely not a fair fight. But we're in it anyway, and there are all these phaser volleys, and bright flashes, then we end up here."
"That sucks," he sighs. "If a Starfleet ship was seen helping a Klingon outpost, it might have prevented twenty years of war. I bet the temporal rift opened with help from the phaser fight."
(Okay: that's a weird theory. How exactly would a bunch of phasers open a temporal rift? Did they cross the streams? And if that happened every time the Roms got into a firefight, wouldn't they know they could secretly open temporal rifts? And maybe use it as a really inaccurate weapon?
"Tactical, we're outnumbered, so signal to the other warbirds that we're going to cross the streams and send this ship into a temporal rift. They can deal with the future."
"Where and when in the future, sir?"
"Eh, how should I know? Just do it."
Or is it just a question of crossing the streams near some piece of space that's ripe for temporal rifting?)

We go back to the E-C, where Yar and Riker are heading up the repairs with Geordi. Castillo is trying to talk himself around into this "being in the future" business and having limited success.
"My family is probably dead," he laments.
"Dude, it's only 22 years. They're most likely alive," Yar reasons.
She continues trying to fix the ship while he ruminates aloud.
"What's different in the future?" he finally asks.
"A lot of stuff. Long-ass war with the Klingons. We lost half of Starfleet to them already."
"Oh, we were working on a peace treaty with them in my time."
"Some crap has gone down since." She's still plugging away at the consoles, trying to make things work.
"...if we get a break, could you tell me about those changes?"

On the E-D, Data and Picard are discussing the temporal rift at the science station.
"Can we send the E-C back through that thing?" asks Picard.
"We could," says Data. "But it would put them right back where they started from."
So, in the middle of an unfair fight with four warbirds.
"They have no chance of surviving," Data replies.
"It's a death sentence," Picard agrees.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

I guess they've decided to skip being careful, because the butterfly was already out of the bag, and now they'll go whole-hog and just show the E-C crew everything, because they're either staying here in the future, or going back to die instantly, sooo...
Yar and Castillo are walking through the E-D corridors, which are hideously crowded because, as Yar tells Castillo, the E-D can move 6000 soldiers. She tells him that she's been on the E-D since she graduated from the Academy. She says she was lucky to get the assignment on the Enterprise.
"Me too," says Castillo. "Well, I mean, my Enterprise."
She smiles at him.
They go into sick bay to talk to Garrett.
Garrett makes Castillo her liaison to the E-D, as he is currently the senior-most bridge officer on the E-C. And she wants him to focus on tactical because Picard has told her that they need help in this timeline with the Klingons. She gets out of bed, and is immediately stopped by Crusher.
"My crew needs me," Garrett argues.
"You need 24 more hours in sick bay to heal," Crusher responds. "Why do captains always insist on pushing it?"
"Why do doctors always try to baby captains?" Garrett counters.
Really, Crusher has the authority to keep Garrett, but she decides to just let it go.

Guinan is summoned to the Obs Lounge to talk to Picard. All the little Enterprise models are gone, replaced by tactical maps and shit. And that long, black, shiny table with the office chairs? The chairs are gone, and the table is now standing-height.
"I need more info," says Picard.
"Wish I had more," she replies.
"You say they need to go back, but as soon as they get back, they'll all die. I can't just do that. There needs to be justification."
Guinan gets angry. "Dude, what do you want me to say? Not only do I not have info on why this is wrong, I can't even prove it, or prove why they shouldn't be here. All I know is that all the shit is fucked up. That's it. Have you ever known me to just screw with stuff? To tell you to change your plans based on a whim?"
"No. But it's still bullshit that they should die."

Castillo and Yar have ended up in Ten Forward, talking about deflector shields.
Guinan returns to Ten Forward and is immediately put off by Tasha Yar at the bar. She stares at Yar for a while, then takes their order. Apparently, in this timeline all energy is needed for war stuff, so no food replicators are in use. Everyone eats food prepared in Ten Forward. Yar orders rations for herself and Castillo after introducing him to Guinan. When Guinan leaves, Yar says she's never seen Guinan so put off.
Well no, Tasha. You and Guinan shouldn't exist on the ship at the same time. Interesting that Guinan knows enough about you to just go with it.
Castillo asks if he can call Yar Tasha, and she agrees. He says everyone calls him Castillo, and his mother calls him Richard.
"Okay, Castillo."
"...on second thought, call me Richard."
Picard pages the senior officers to the ready room. Yar and Guinan share one more uneasy meeting of the eyes as Yar and Castillo leave.

In the ready room, Picard announces that he's going to send the E-C back through the temporal rift. The others question his decision, seeing as how the crew of that ship have survived, just to be sent to their deaths. Riker is especially vocal.
"Look," says Picard. "You're not gonna change my mind. Why does Guinan think everything is wrong? Dunno. She doesn't either. No one is really sure why she noticed a change and none of the rest of us did. We don't know anything about her species, they may not see time as linear as we do. But she thinks this timeline shouldn't exist, and that sending the E-C back could fix that, could make this war non-existent."
"It's possible that in the other timeline, the Enterprise C was destroyed defending that Klingon outpost," reasons Data."That would have been viewed favorably by the Klingons, who would have seen their deaths as honorable. It could have kept us out of a war 22 years ago."
This is an interesting thought to the others, and when Picard dismisses them, they all get up talking to one another.

"This is so messed up," Crusher remarks as she and Geordi go into the corridor. "Who's to even say which of us is dead or alive in that other timeline?"
Yeah, guess who's standing behind them when Crusher says that?

Yar and Data get into the lift, and he correctly guesses that she's preoccupied with something bad.
She confesses that she's been working with an officer from E-C, and she's worried about what will happen to him.
"We'll never know," Data points out. "If we send them back, and switch over to the other timeline, none of this will have happened."

Back on the E-C, repairs are under way. Garrett is back on the bridge.
"So your bartender says we have to sacrifice ourselves?" she asks in disbelief.
"Yeah, I don't know what the deal is with her species, but they have this intuition, and she's never lead me astray."
"We kind of don't have a chance in hell of surviving," Garrett muses. (Guess Picard never mentioned Data's theory about Klingons and honor.) "Maybe if you came back with your advanced weaponry..."
"You know we can't."
"Yeah, it was a long shot." She pauses. "A lot of my crew have said they want to go back, either because they don't like living without loved ones, or because they dislike leaving in the middle of a fight. But I told them that if we stay here, you need us to fight the Klingons."
"Yeah, here's the thing... " he lowers his voice "...we're hella losing this war. Like, within six months, we'll have to surrender. One more ship fighting now... meh. But if you go back, you could stop this war in your time."
Garrett tells Castillo to tell the rest of the crew that they're going back through the rift.

Picard is ready to leave, but Yar requests a moment more, o he beams off without her.
"Good luck," she says to Castillo.
He looks at her like she just said "good luck with dying and all," because she really did.
"I'll... try to put your tactical advice to good use," he says in reply.
She attempts to reason with him about how his ship has better maneuverability that their Romulan counterparts, but then trails off.
He suggests that maybe someday they'll both make it back to Earth, and they briefly entertain the thought before the ship is rocked suddenly.
Oops, the Klingons have shown up. Yar and Castillo dash to the conn centers, and the E-D reports one Klingon cruiser.

The E-C takes another hit, and Garrett tumbles out of her chair amid some debris.
The cruiser re-cloaks, and Picard calls Garrett for a report.
"Um, this is Yar. Captain Garrett is dead."
Oh, fuck you, Star Trek. You had that cruiser come out of nowhere just to take out Garrett, then had it go away for no reason.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Castillo goes back to the E-D Obs Lounge, where he tells Picard that he's perfectly willing to take the ship back, the way it was planned.
Riker is unusually combative, arguing vehemently against it, as the ship was never meant to be commanded by a lieutenant.
Dude, this is war, Riker. Sometimes shit happens and the senior-most officer is like an ensign or something. Deal with it.
"We can make repairs for the shit that was broken in this last firefight, and then I can take it back through and fix all this," Castillo says stubbornly.
"Either way, that cruiser is now reporting where we are to Klingon High Command, and they'll be back with reinforcements," Yar points out. "We have to get the hell out of here."
"Repair the ship. We'll cover you," Picard tells Castillo.

Yar takes Castillo back to the transporter room.
"We keep saying goodbye," he jokes.
"Wish we had more time."
"I think we've had all the time we can handle."
They make out in the transporter room. Good for her. Tasha Yar has had a pretty shit life, and she deserves to have a nice, normal.... never mind.
Castillo gets back on the transporter pad and beams back to his ship.

Yar goes to Ten Forward, which is surprisingly empty. She cuts right to the chase.
"What happens to me in the other timeline?"
"I don't really know," admits Guinan. "It's all kind of fuzzy for me. But I know that you shouldn't be here."
"Where should I be?"
"Dead. I know you, but I shouldn't. And I hate to break it to you, but your death sucked. Like, no meaning in it whatsoever."
Yar considers this, then leaves without another word.

Yar heads straight for the ready room.
"I wanna transfer to the E-C."
He frowns."What the fuck for?"
"They need a tactical officer."
That's true.
"I'm not supposed to be here. I should be dead."
And he knows who she has been talking to. He's pretty pissed at Guinan. "Why did she think it was appropriate to tell you that?"
"I guessed, and asked her. She said it was true."
"The E-C could totally fail."
"Yeah, I know."
"But it could succeed, and you could stay here and live a long life," he says.
"I know that it's important for the E-C to succeed, which is why I want to go. They need me there. It's kind of logical."
"Bullshit, that's not logical!" He pauses."They'll probably fail."
"Probably. But I could give them a fighting chance, even if it's a few seconds. Guinan says I died a senseless death in the other timeline. If I'm going to die in a Starfleet uniform, I want it to count for something."
He considers her. "Permission granted."

Castillo is on the bridge of the E-C, handing out assignments when Yar approaches and reports for tactical. He pulls her aside.
"What are you doing? This is a suicide mission."
"I put in for transfer."
"I don't want you here." He's clearly torn between being glad to see her again, and not wanting her to die.
"I'm the best person for the job, and you need me here."
"...okay. Report to tactical."

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Military Log, supplemental: "Tasha Yar has transferred over to the E-C. Klingon cruisers on long-range, headed straight for us."

Three Klingon ships are headed their way, not even cloaked. Bold as brass.
Picard climbs on the PA system. "Okay, we could totally outrun the Klingons, but we need to stay and cover the E-C as she goes back through the temporal rift. We need to make sure that happens."
The Klingons come out, guns ablazin'. The E-D fires back as the E-C turns toward the rift. Two cruisers attempt to draw the E-D off the E-C, while the third goes for the E-C. Damage reports coming in, Geordi is having some trouble with the power couplings, and Riker makes a quick remark about losing anti-matter containment. More hits taken, and they blow up a cruiser.

"Bridge, we have a warp core breach in two minutes!" yells Geordi.
He starts evacuating Engineering.
"Fifty-two more seconds until the E-C enters the rift!" calls Data.
Shit starts failing on the bridge. More hits. There's an explosion, and Riker goes flying.

Picard vaults over the partition and heads up tactical himself.
"Federation ship, surrender so we can board you," comes a Klingon call.
"Fuck right off," mutters Picard.
A fire has started on the E-D bridge.
Both cruisers are now firing on the E-D while the E-C slips unnoticed into the rift.

Picard in a regular slip-collar uniform says, "Lieutenant, wtf was that?"
He turns.

"Like, a ship came out of that wormhole thing for a split-second, then went back in? I don't really know," says Worf. "Space weirdness."
"The wormhole thing is closing in on itself," reports Data.
"Maybe we should send a probe in," shrugs Picard. He looks at Wes. "Set course for (location where temporal-shift Riker claims they kicked some Klingon ass)."

The comm channel opens. It's Guinan.
"Hey, Picard. Everything okay up there?"
Picard glances at Riker, and they both shrug. "Yeah, should it not be?"
"Naw, we're good." Down in Ten Forward, she gestures at a waiter to bring a drink, and she sits at a table with Geordi. "Tell me about... Tasha Yar."

Oops, they forgot to switch out Geordi's uniform.

This episode is fantastic. Rough-going, but good all the same.
I'm not a huge fan of time-travel stories (with some exceptions) because they tend to get very convoluted very fast, but this one managed to keep each strand separated and clear so that the audience doesn't have to struggle to keep up with where or when the story takes place. I always appreciate that.
Guinan being the only person that recognizes that something is wrong worked really well here. Her species (she's an El-Aurian, but we won't hear that name for quite some time) being mysterious and having powers not readily talked about works here. She doesn't have set boundaries to work within, and when time shifts, it somehow seems believable that she would move between the two realities (at least, more believable than a human crew member). This is also helpful as she's particularly trusted by Picard - would he honestly trust anyone else's opinion to possibly kill two ships' worth of Starfleet personnel? (This further explains Troi's absence, story-wise: she might have also felt the shift, even if she had not shifted the way Guinan did, and one person arguing for the sacrifice of a ship adds a bit more tension than two. This explains why she is ostensibly missing from the ship. I do wonder where she ended up in the alternate timeline, though - where did Betazed fall in this war?)
Some changes that I liked that marked the difference between the two timelines:
- The uniforms were similar, but not terribly different.
- Wes was made a full ensign. He was probably rushed through the Academy to get him into the field quicker. However, this does make him more likely to die in battle. (Written but unfilmed: Wes' death in the final battle scene by decapitation. Really glad that didn't make it in.)
- Guinan understanding who Tasha Yar is, but also not knowing her. In this period, they are shipmates, and the time shift seems to have given her information about her own timeline, as well as the alternate, as though she's watching both timelines overlapping on the same television screen at once.  Fully returned, she retains the knowledge she had, but requests more from Geordi.
- Alternate timeline Picard and Riker do not like each other. Alternate Riker seemed more tightly wound, probably a product of coming of age in the middle of a war. If his mother still died when he was an infant, and his father still abandoned him at fifteen, then Riker's survival of the fittest young adulthood would have been much bloodier. Picard, being older, has spent much of his life in relative peace compared to Riker, and I thought it was interesting to see where this difference cropped up. However, despite having a slightly harder edge, Picard has not much changed.
- The sets and lighting are marvelous. The bridge, ready room, Engineering and Obs Lounge all feature darker, duller blue lighting that has a more ominous feeling, while Ten Forward was brightened to accommodate a busier feeling, rather than a relaxed one. The bridge has a dais for Picard's chair and more work stations. With the command chairs missing from either side of the captain's chair, Riker was relegated to the station next to tactical, further separating him from Picard. The corridors bustle with people, to prove Yar's explanation that the E-D can carry up to 6000 troops.

It feels like, in some cases, the backstory and behind the scenes circumstances are important to an episode, and this episode fits well into that category. With "Yesterday's Enterprise," this seems very much like it. This episode actually originated as two scripts. The first, a spec script written by Trent Christopher Ganino, was only about the E-D encountering a ship that had slipped into their time, making no changes to the future, and Picard's dilemma as to whether or not to tell the other ship's crew about their fate before sending them back. The second script (written by Eric Stillwell) involved the Vulcans, Sarek (father of Spock) replacing Surak (father of Vulcan philosophy) in one timeline, and Tasha Yar. It relied heavily on time travel and alternate timelines. Stillwell had met Denise Crosby at a convention and mentioned how much he disliked Yar's death in the first season. They discussed bringing her back to kill her off properly. Michael Piller, having heard Stillwell's idea, suggested that he combine the "characters taking the place of other characters in other timelines" story with Ganino's time-swapped ships. Everyone was on board with killing Yar in a better manner via talking oil slick.

So what changes here? The E-C moves through the temporal rift into a time 22 years into the future, changing that future. In the past, the E-C coming to the rescue of Narendra III sort of sealed the deal between the Federation and the Klingons, despite being lost with all hands (or in this case, probably because of it). The sacrifice do not go unnoticed by the Klingons, who Castillo claims were in peace talks with the Federation. The destruction of the E-C told the Klingons "Got your back, bro." When the E-C disappears into the rift, either it remained a mystery as to what happened and the peace talks broke down, or the Klingons viewed this as the E-C taking off and abandoning the colony, allowing it to be destroyed by the Romulans, and causing the Klingons to start a war with the Federation. By sending the E-C back to it's own time to die defending the colony, they stopped the alternate timeline from happening, and stopped the war with the Klingons. In the regular timeline, Yar has died. In the alternate timeline, she is alive and well, and might have continued to live a long time. Her getting on the E-C sealed her fate there, ensuring she would die in the past with her adopted crew. Had she stayed behind, she might have died on the E-D, helping to ensure that the E-C get back through the time rift. But when the E-C goes back through the rift, it changes the alternate timeline back to the regular one, and the alternate E-D no longer exists. Yar escapes from a non-existence to a certain death. And that's the change: Yar gets a better death.
Had this episode been a bad one, the roller coaster they put us through might not have been worth it. But given that the writers, cast, Denise Crosby, and the pretty much the entire fandom hated Yar's death to begin with, the ride and the wait were worth it.

(This episode left me with one burning question: what happened to Worf? Did Khitomer occur in the alternate universe? If so, did Worf die in the wreckage with his parents? Was he rescued by other Klingons?)

Fun Facts:

- Along with Riker and Wes, Data was also supposed to "die," by electrocution.
- In Ganino's original script, the captain of the E-C was Richard Garrett, named after a pizzaria in Ganino's hometown of San Jose.
- Guinan was brought in at the last minute during script writing, and because of scheduling conflicts between Whoopi Goldberg and Denise Crosby, filming was pushed forward, and the writers had to push to complete the script over Thanksgiving weekend in order to film in early December. The writers were not completely satisfied with the short schedule, but enjoyed being able to write a darker episode.

- The special effect in the beginning of the episode which marked the change of the timeline was forgotten at the end of the episode.
- The shrapnel that killed Capt Garrett was a wing from the VF-1 Valkyrie model kit from the anime "The Super Dimension Fortress Macross." Interestingly, parts from the same model kit were used to build Constellation-class models.
- Tricia O'Neil, who plays Capt Garrett, will show up again as a Klingon in season six, and as a Cardassian in DS9.
- Christopher McDonald, who plays Castillo, had auditioned for the part of Riker.
- This is the last episode to feature all of the original cast. Wil Wheaton and Denise Crosby will show up again in other episodes, but never together.
- Denise Crosby cited this as her favorite episode. Jonathan Frakes was never able to get a handle on it.
-This is the only episode to feature the encounter of two ships named Enterprise.
-The Enterprise-D from the alternate universe has been in service at least a year longer than the one we are familiar with. Yar tells Castillo that the E-D is the first Galaxy-class warship.
- Castillo tells Yar that the Federation is in peace talks with the Klingon Empire. However, the follow year (1991), Star Trek will establish a different canon, one where peace treaties with the Klingons were signed over 50 years earlier (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country).
- The PAs on the E-D call for Lt Barrett (meaning Majel), and for Dr Selar.
- This episode won an Emmy for sound editing, and was nominated for sound mixing.
- The apocryphal novel "Q-Squared" set up that Troi did not exist in the alternate universe, as the Klingons had wiped out the Betazoids.

Red deaths: 0 (Alternative universe Riker technically never existed)
To date: 1
Gold deaths: 0
To date: 1
Blue deaths: 0
To date: 1
Unnamed color crew deaths: 126 (I couldn't find original numbers for the E-C)
To date: 127
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: 9
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Worf Moment: 1
To date: 5
Sassy Riker Moments: 0
To date: 10
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 8
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 4
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Troi Moments: 0
To date: 4
Sassy Guinan Moments: 1
To date: 4
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
To date: 1
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 0
To date: 13
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 0
To date: 20
Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 0
To date: 4
Number of times when Data gives too much info and has to be told to shut up: 0
To date: 2
Picard Maneuvers: 1
To date: 21
Tea, Earl Grey: 0
To date: 2

Avery looks like a kitten calendar model

Monday, November 13, 2017

ST:TNG Season Three, Episode Fourteen "A Matter of Perspective"

ST:TNG Season Three, Episode Fourteen "A Matter of Perspective"
Production Order: 14
Air Order: 14
Stardate: 43610.4
Original Air Date: February 12, 1990

This week's cold open starts with an art class: Picard and two other students (at least, we only see two) are painting with a live model. Data comes in to give Picard some news, and glances at his painting. Picard foolishly invites Data to critique the work. Data takes a careful look at each painting, then identifies the influences each artist is channeling, remarking on their success. He then notes that Picard is trying to marry two very different styles, and because he lacks subtlety, he straight-up tells him that it isn't working and why.
Dude, asked and answered. You got an honest critique from someone who is almost incapable of lying.
Still, Picard is pissed.

Picard's Log 43610.4: "We took a shipment of dicosilium to Dr Nel Apgar on Tanuga IV, and he's updating us on Krieger waves, which could be an awesome new power source for us."

Picard enters the bridge, now wearing his uniform, and greets Geordi, who had apparently been on the Tanuga space station-lab thing as part of the away team. Geordi is uneasy.
"Anything wrong?" asks Picard.
"Not with the science," Geordi admits. "Riker will explain it when he gets back."
Right on cue, an agitated Riker calls and asks to be beamed back right-the-fuck-now.
"I'm on it," comes O'Brien's voice.
I guess it was a conference call?
Anyway, O'Brien starts to beam Riker back, when there's a sudden power drain, then -

- oops.
Dramatic zoom-in on Picard!
O'Brien admits that he's having trouble with the signal, but is finally able to git 'er done as the space debris starts clearing.
Riker appears on the pad.
"Got him!" yells O'Brien.
"Why do you sound surprised?" asks Riker suspiciously.
"The station just blew up!"
"Well, shit."

Dramatic music! Opening credits break!

Picard's Log, supplemental: "So Riker says only Dr Apgar was on board the station when it exploded. We're gonna hang out for a bit, see if we can figure out what caused it."

O'Brien is busy in the transporter room, checking out his stuff. He calls Picard to say that he's pretty sure that the transporter didn't cause the explosion. He still doesn't know what caused the power drain, though.
Data reports that the reactor core on the station overloaded.
"Was the station having core problems?" Picard asks Geordi.
Picard looks at Riker, who looks really uncomfortable. "Dude, Geordi said there was some weirdness?"
"Yeah," Riker admits, "but I'm sure it's unrelated."
"Hey," says Worf. "A guy named Krag wants to beam up - says he's the Chief Investigator for the Tanugans."
"Cool," says Picard.
Worf fetches Krag and brings him to the bridge while Riker tells Picard his uncomfortable story.
Krag exits the lift and tries to arrest Riker.
"Say what?" demands Riker.
"We suspect you of the murder of Dr Apgar," Krag tells him.
Picard says he'll more than willingly give them Riker, but first he wants to chat with Krag in the ready room. He puts Riker in charge of the bridge.
Everybody on the bridge gives Riker the side-eye before going back to work.

"Riker told me his side of the story," says Picard, "but what's this shit about murder?"
"Two witnesses have said he made threats against Apgar," Krag responds.
Then he tells Picard that on Tanuga, a person is presumed guilty until proven innocent.
"Also, you're in my neck of the woods," he points out.
This guy puts the dick in jurisdiction. He's also checked out the Federation's policies on extradition (okay, that's fine: he should be doing that), but Picard adds that he should have read the fine print - the captain of a ship reserves the right to decide if extradition is warranted. tl;dr: Krag can have Riker if he proves that there's enough evidence for a trial.
They get into an argument. Picard suggests that Krag do the interrogation on the ship. Krag suggests that Picard will simply leave the star system.
"Besides," argues Krag, "to do the investigation, we need to have witnesses painstaking replicate a simulation, and for that, we need to go to the surface."

"Au contraire, dumb bear. It's called a holodeck, and you bet your ass we have one." Picard calls Data into the ready room. "Hey, can we take witness testimony and lab station blueprints and stuff and recreate the scenes before the explosion on the holodeck?"
"Yeah, if I can get specs for pretty much everything on the station."
"Make that shit so. Also, take the Inspector back to the transporter room."

"Hey, you guys gonna extradite me, or...?"

Picard marches out of the ready room with a plan. Geordi and others will recreate the scenes on the station. And Geordi and Riker will give detailed accounts of what happened. Picard tells Riker that he'll use any evidence found here to decide if he'll be extradited.
"Um, can I talk to you?" asks Riker.
"Sorry, no," says Picard sadly.

Sadd-ish music ramping up! Commercial break!

Data's Log 43611.6: "So it took freaking forever to program the holodeck, but everything is uploaded and ready to go, including all the witness statements, information from the lab on the surface, the station schematics, and Dr Apgar's personal logs."

Picard, Riker and Troi enter the holodeck with Krag and take a look around.

Then they sit at a table for the deposition.
Riker starts: "I didn't kill anybody. I went to the station to talk to Dr Apgar about Krieger waves. That's it. I didn't do anything inappropriate."
They run Riker's deposition program.

In the program, Riker and Geordi beam onto the station, where they greet Apgar and he introduces them to his assistant, Tayna. His wife Manua comes in and also greets them.
"Nice to meet you, Mrs Apgar. So tell us about Krieger waves," says Riker in a friendly tone.
"Yeah, we'll get there," says Apgar, annoyed. "I really don't like that you've come so early. Starfleet will get it's converter. But it's not going very quickly."
Manua keeps checking out Riker, who is ignoring her.

"It's cool," says Riker. "We're not here to turn the screws on you. Just an update on how it's going, is all."
Geordi goes off with Tayna to look at data and stuff, and as they exit, she tells him that they have to have their generator on the planet's surface because it needs 5000 km to create power.
Manua suggests they have a drink, and takes Riker by the arm to lead him to a different room. A sullen Apgar follows while Manua waxes about how nobody wants to hear about boring old Krieger waves, anyway.
They drink something like champagne and toast to Dr Apgar's future success.
"And the rewards that come with it," adds Manua.
Apgar asks Riker what he's doing there, as he isn't due to turn over the Krieger wave converter for three months.
"It's no bigs," shrugs Riker. "We were nearby, and you asked for more dicosilium, so we thought we'd do a pop-in."
When Manua asks about what other missions they were doing nearby, Riker admits that they were dropped off by the Enterprise. He adds that he and Geordi made plans to stay on the planet, but Manua insists that they stay the night on the station. Apgar seems put out.
"Whatever," she replies. "You wanna be a hermit, but I want some company."
She's clearly flirting with Riker.

Krag stops the program to ask if it was really Mrs Apgar's idea that they stay the night.
"Yep," says Riker.
Would like to point out that Riker said they had already made accommodations on the surface, and that's a real easy thing to check.
The program starts again, this time in another room. Manua shows Riker to his quarters, and says she hopes he'll be comfortable in her sanctuary.
"It's very nice," he replies. "Okay, goodnight."
She doesn't take the hint, but instead shows him where the light switch is like he couldn't find it on his own. And she drags her hand lightly across his stomach when she moves past him. Then she closes the door and turns down the lights.
"I'm often left here alone for long periods of time," she purrs.
"Sucks to be you."
She starts to take off the white, outer part of her dress and fall into his arms, but he backs up and says, "Dude, no thanks. It's late and I'm tired."
Of course the door opens, and it's Apgar.
"A-ha! I knew this would happen!" He accuses Manua of flirting with Riker then yells, "I'm not the fool you take me for!"
He slaps her.
"Whoa, nelly!" yells Riker.
Apgar takes a swing at Riker, who side-steps it.
"You won't get away with this!" yells Apgar.
He exits the room in a hurry, and Manua hurries after him.

Riker freezes the program to say that Apgar asked to see him alone the next morning, and Geordi beamed back to the ship. Manua and Tayna have gone to the surface.
Apgar says he thinks that if he makes a formal complaint against Riker, then Riker will talk some shit about him in his report.
"No way," says Riker. "My report has nothing to do with your wife hitting on me."
"Starfleet suspects something is wrong because I asked for more dicosilium, right? That's why you're here?"
"Naw, I told you - we were in the neighborhood."
"I can explain the dicosilium!"
"I don't need any explanations -"
"Fine. Whatever. Leave."
Apgar goes back to his equipment.
"Fine," agrees Riker. "I'll tell my captain that you'll be complaining."
He requests a beam-down (up? out? sideways? away?).

Riker freezes the program. "And I beamed back to the ship. When I rematerialized, they said the station had blown up."
"Anything else?" asks Krag. "Anything about firing a phaser?"
"No, I never did that," Riker replies.
"Oh, yeah? Didn't you have a power drain during transport?"
"We did," confirms Picard.
"We have a theory that Riker fired a phaser at the converter," says Krag, smugly. "Computer, play my program!"
In the program, Riker calls for a beam-out. Just before he disappears, he pulls out his phaser and fires it at the converter.
"Then the station exploded. We confirmed all of this with the computer lab on the surface."

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Data, Geordi and Wes are at the science station on the bridge. Apparently, the Tanugans were right about a phaser-like blast to the converter just before Riker beamed off the station.
Being loyal to his crewmates, Wes protests that it just couldn't have been Riker. Geordi admits that it's damning that the phaser blast seems to have originated from where Riker beamed out, and then he laments that he beamed out when he did.
Geordi stalks off to do science.
Worf calls Data over to tell him that there's been some kind of radiation burst outside a cargo bay on deck 12.
"What kind of radiation?" asks Data.
"Dunno," replies Worf.
"Majel, what kind of radiation is that on deck 12?"
"Dunno," replies Majel.

Geordi and Wes go down to deck 12 to check it out and find a panel that's burst like a giant metal zit. They scan it, and come up with more dunnos. They also dunno where it came from.

Krag re-enters the holodeck with Manua Apgar. Troi kindly tells her that this is probably going to be tough for her, and if she needs a break, all she has to do is ask. (They don't really give Troi a whole lot to do in this episode, so they probably inserted extra lines for her like that so she's not just set dressing.)
Manua's statement: "I just know he did it. He killed my husband."
Okay, inflammatory. Let's proceed.
Manua's simulation starts in the living room chamber set, where Manua makes sure that her husband looks presentable and tells him that if he looks nervous, it'll reflect badly on him, and that he needs to turn up the charm a little.
"You're better at that than I am," he protests. "When this is all over, I'll get you the rewards that you deserve."
"I have all the rewards I need," she says, and they kiss.
I vomit.
Okay, I know that people tend to exaggerate and change things subtly in order to appear more sympathetic, but holy shit, is she ever laying it on thick. In Riker's version, Apgar is an agitated scientist, and Manua is a shameless flirt, a bored housewife being ignored by her brilliant husband. Here, he's just nervous and lacks social skills, while she's his patient, ever-loving cheerleader.
They start the introductions, and Manua enters. Her dress is buttoned up all the way in her version. It didn't seem overly sexual in Riker's version that it was undone, as we can see other parts of that peach underdress, but when you compare the two, Manua's buttoned-up version seems kind of prudish.
When Mrs Apgar is introduced, Riker calls her Manua, and casts her lecherous looks. She is clearly uncomfortable.

Tayna and Geordi go off together, and everyone seems to agree on that part, because nothing has changed. But now, when Apgar tries to show Riker around the lab, Manua tells him to leave those things to Tayna and that she'll pour Riker and himself a drink and they can have a chat about Krieger waves, and how close he is to a break-through. Patient, ever-loving cheerleader.
Once in the living room area again, Manua passes around the champagne drink, and they toast briefly.
"We're gonna stay here tonight," says Riker.
"That's kind of inconvenient," Manua replies.
Riker hints that things might not go so well if they don't let him stay, and they relent.
In the next scene, she shows him the guest quarters.
As they're walking in, the show either reused earlier footage, or else goofed up when filming, because her dress is briefly open at the top, then closed again in the next shot.
She explains, as in Riker's version, that this room is her sanctuary,  but this time, instead of complimenting the room, he leers at her and asks, "Who do you need sanctuary from?"
She ignores him and shows him the environmental controls. He closes the door. Then he grabs her wrist.
"Please," she says, "it's late and I'm tired."
Funny how those exact same words came up in his version, but were spoken by him, trying to escape her advances. Clearly, someone said that... but who?

He grabs her and says that it's sad that her husband doesn't appreciate his pretty wife, and she protests that she and her husband love each other very much. There's a struggle, and he tries to slip her dress off her shoulder.
"The fuck? She's lying!" bursts out the real Riker.
Picard pauses the program.
Riker walks over to the frozen holograms and tells them that this version is not him, that "I didn't close the door, I didn't proposition her, and I certainly didn't try to rape her!"
Whoa. It isn't often that a show (a prime-time show at that!) actually uses that word. It's usually something like, "I never forced myself on her!" It makes me wonder why we're so afraid of the word rape.

Manua, for her part, seems little too calm and collected when she looks at the others and says, "That's exactly what happened," as though mildly scandalized that he would question her version.
Troi encourages Riker to sit down again so they can move forward with the deposition.
When the program starts again, an irate Apgar bursts in and yells, "I knew I'd find you here! I saw you ogling my wife! I'm not the fool you take me for!"
(Again, the same phrase, only this time, he's yelling it at Riker instead of Manua. Both added it to their programs, and Manua was not present to see Riker's program, so we can guess that whatever is repeated is what was actually said. Too bad they're attributed differently each time.)
Apgar tries to punch Riker, but Riker beats the hell out of him.
"Your career is over!" yells Apgar from the floor.
Riker implies that reporting the incident would have a terrible outcome for Apgar. Manua helps her husband up and they exit into the corridor.

Real Manua shakes her head and says that Riker's career was safe, and that in another day or so, Apgar would have been distracted by some other bit of science and forgotten all about his complaint to Starfleet. She excuses herself and hurries from the holodeck.
I have to say, her insistence that her own husband would have forgotten about the attempted rape of his wife in a day or two is a bit disturbing. Deciding not to report attempted rape of your spouse because they ask you not to, or because they want to forget the incident, or because they want to avoid further trouble brought about by an accusation... that's one thing. Saying that he'll actually forget about it because something more interesting comes along... damn, either Apgar is an asshole, or Manua has a pretty low opinion of her late husband.

Picard calls a recess from the deposition. He pats Riker on the shoulder in a supportive way as he exits, and alone, Riker turns to Troi.
"Why would she lie about that?"
Troi pauses. "She wasn't lying. Or at least, I wasn't catching any deception from her."
"Then you think I tried to rape her?" he demands.
"No, because I know you, and I know you would never do anything like that," she reassures him. "But you each told the truth as you remember it."
"That's crap," he says. "One of us has to be wrong. Also, her version "as she remembers it" puts a noose around my neck."
I kind of wish they hadn't involved Troi here. Because Riker is correct - one of them has to be wrong. Is it possible that the truth of what happened lies between the versions they each told? Most assuredly. But each of their stories has the other one as the aggressor. Did she attempt to cheat on her husband, or did he attempt to rape her?

Crusher and an assistant Blue are examining a patient when Worf calls.
"Evacuate sick bay!"
Fortunately, they appear to be the only ones in sick bay at the moment, because as they leave, a hole gets eaten through the wall.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

The gang is all in sick bay later, checking out the hole in the wall. Data, Geordi and Wes have noticed something weird: the two metal-melting radiation events happened five hours and twenty minutes apart.
"We can't say for sure," says Data, "but we think it might be related to the explosion on the station. It's a tiny bit different, but still really close. If another one happens in just over five hours, then we'll be able to establish a pattern."
"If it's true," says Picard, "we may have to move the ship."
That's a slightly different Ship-Disabling device: they need to stay for deposition and possible extradition purposes, but this new occurrence might force them to leave, probably at the protest of the Tanugan government.

Back on the holodeck, Krag has invited Tayna the assistant to come in and give her statement. He explains to Riker and Picard that Apgar went to Tayna after the fight with Riker, and told to her what happened. Krag has made a simulation based on what Apgar told her.
"Um, that's hearsay," Picard replies. "It's not admissible."
"Apgar is dead, so Tanugan law says it is."
Krag starts the simulation.
We go back to the sanctuary/guest quarters, and now Riker and Manua are making out. Manua's top dress is tossed aside, and she's just wearing the silky peach underdress.
Apgar bursts in. "I knew you'd be here!" Now he's talking to both of them. "Did you think I wouldn't notice how you were looking at each other? I'm not the fool you take me for!"
Riker takes a swing at him, but Apgar proceeds to beat him up.
"I'm reporting this, Riker!"
"You're a dead man, Apgar!" yells Riker from the floor.
The scene shifts, and we're back in the main lab room again. Apgar tells Tayna that he wants her to take his wife and go back to the surface. (That must have been a fun trip.) Tayna protests, saying that she doesn't think Apgar should be alone on the station with Riker if Riker was throwing threats around.
"It's fine," he tells her. "I don't want Riker alone with the equipment."
Tayna says she's going to contact the authorities, but he shuts down the idea.
"Then Manua and I left for the surface," Real Tayna tells them. "When the lab exploded, I knew Riker had killed Dr Apgar."

She leaves the holodeck.
"There's my evidence," Krag tells Picard. "In pretty much any Federation court, it would hold up, and Riker would be extradited. I await your answer."

Picard is pacing in his ready room a little bit later, talking to Troi.
"This is such bullshit! Krag has a bunch of evidence to go to trial, and I can't find a reason to not extradite him."
"We both know he's innocent," she puts in. "Did you see enough evidence that he might be cleared of all charges?"
"No," he sighs. "And my saying "he's my friend, and I know he couldn't have done it" isn't going to hack it."
Data calls. "Hey, we have something you should see here on the bridge."
They exit the ready room for the bridge.
Our boys have figured out the radiation bursts.
"So the bursts occur every five hours and twenty minutes," says Geordi. "Turns out the planet-side field generator has that exact same interval when putting out a charge. Then it takes five hours and twenty minutes to create another burst."
"Somebody left it on when the station exploded," Wes explains.
"But it's just a generator...?" says Picard.
"Yeah, we know what's causing those bursts on the E,"
"Also, why the station exploded."
"Also also, who killed Dr Apgar."

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

On the holodeck, Picard is walking through the simulation and giving what kind of amounts to a lawyer's closing arguments. The basic gist: "We haven't actually seen what happened."
"Um, we have...?"
"Nope. Lt-Commander La Forge is going to show us what happened."
Picard sits down with Krag, Manua, Tayna, Riker and Troi. Then he has Majel pull up Manua's deposition from when she met Riker.
"Starfleet will get it's converter, I've just had a few setbacks," Apgar is telling Not-Riker.
Picard freezes the program. "Mrs Apgar, this sounds like he hadn't actually created any Krieger waves."
"No, but he was close to a breakthrough."
"He was upset that we showed up early. I submit that he had made Krieger waves and was lying. He thought we were wise to him."
"That makes no sense - why would he lie?" asks Krag.
"For a while now," says Geordi, "we've been getting hit with these radiation bursts. Turns out they were Krieger waves."
"The station blew up," frowns Tayna. "Where would  they be coming from?"
"The holodeck," says Geordi. "We recreated every inch of the lab for this simulation, which means that when the generator on the surface of the planet goes off, it shoots up here, turns on the simulation, and creates Krieger waves that are burning holes in our ship. The reason why it keeps hitting the ship in different places is that the ship is orbiting the planet and is at different angles when the waves are created."
"But the holodeck can't make anything dangerous," Riker protests.
Shut up, Riker. He's proving your innocence.
"It didn't, though," says Geordi. "The generator shoots radiation at the converter here, which bounces out Krieger waves. The holodeck isn't doing it."

"Okay, but why would Apgar lie about his converter not working?" asks Krag.
Picard plays Manua's simulation again, this time where she and Apgar are in the living room before going out to meet Riker and Geordi. They have that convo where Apgar tells her that some day, he'll get her everything her little heart desires, and she replies that she has all the rewards she needs. He then plays Riker's deposition, where the three of them toast to success, and Manua adds, "and the rewards that come with it."
"Oh! I never said that!" protests Manua.
Turnabout is fair play, Mrs Apgar. In his deposition, Riker had you make an off-hand remark about the rewards of success, and you claim you never said that. In your deposition, you accuse Riker of attempted rape, and he claims that never happened.
Anyway, Picard feels that multiple mentions of being rewarded for success point to Apgar's motivation in this venture - he wanted to buy his wife some nice stuff.
When Manua protests that there's nothing wrong with that, Troi points out that he wouldn't have made much selling the converter to Starfleet, because they only wanted a new power source.
"As a weapon, it would have been worth more," adds Geordi. "To the Ferengi... the Romulans...."
"He was ordering a bunch more dicosilium. He was afraid that we were cottoning on and would cut him off before he finished. He said in each version that he needed more time," Picard finishes. "Then he found Manua and Riker together."

"I think he decided to murder Riker," says Picard.
Everyone reacts in a shocked manner.
He plays Tayna's deposition. Not-Tayna says she'll contact the authorities, but he tells her not to, and sits down at a computer console.
"What's he doing?" asks Picard.
"Activating the planet-side generator."
"Yeah, I think he was deciding to murder Riker here, and setting it up."
He plays Riker's version again, where Apgar argues with him one last time, about how he needed more time, and could explain the extra dicosilium, and Riker brushes him off, saying his doesn't need explanations.
"Dude, the energy pulse that blew up the station came from Riker's spot." Krag is still determined to prosecute Riker.
"Sort of?" replies Geordi. "Our guess is that Dr Apgar meant to kill Riker by sending a Krieger wave at him at the same time he was beaming out. He wanted it to look like a transporter accident. But it backfired. The Krieger wave bounced off of the transporter beam and hit the converter, blowing up the station. In fact, we've set up another program here to show how that happened. We've coincided the program to run exactly when the next radiation burst goes off, so we'll see right away if we were right or not."
That's hella coincidental, but okay.

They run Geordi's program concurrently with Riker's program. Riker and Apgar exchange their final snotty "Fine" and Riker requests to be beamed back to the ship. Apgar glances back as Riker starts to dematerialize. A beam from the converter shoots out at Riker, then bounces back at the converter. Apgar has a split second to glance up at it before the whole thing blows. The program disintegrates, and the table with the real people are left on the holodeck grid. Manua exchanges a look with Krag.
"Dr Apgar killed himself trying to kill Commander Riker," says Picard quietly.
"O...kay," says Krag. "I'm not gonna extradite Riker after all." He apologizes to Riker.

Back on bridge, and everyone is feelin' fine.
"Do we have anything else to do while we're here?" asks Picard.
"Noop," says Riker. "Let's GTFO."
"Course laid in," announces Wes.
"Great. Engage that shit."
And away they go.

Our tally for this episode: some good stuff, some bad stuff, some good science, some iffy science, and a whole lot of grey area. Nothing too heinous, but nothing super memorable as great, either. In the middle, like most Star Trek episodes.
Let's start with the interesting premise: gonna go with a good ol' Rashomon-style storytelling. if you're not familiar with it, Rashomon is a Japanese film from 1950, in which four witnesses describe a murder differently. Star Trek is not the first television show to utilize Rashomon storytelling, nor will it be the last. (Though it is used more often in sitcoms than space dramas.) With this particular trope, sometimes you get a definitive answer as to what actually happened (as is the case here), and sometimes the audience is left to argue about it with each other afterward. What counts most here is ferreting out the different personalities and prejudices of each person telling their side - how does each character insinuate that they are more innocent than another if guilt is discussed? Here, Riker insists that Manua came on to him, while she insists that she was innocent of any wrong-doing and was, in fact, a victim of Riker. His version makes him less like a guy who would murder a scientist out of anger or revenge, and her version paints him as just such a person.

What's interesting here is that they don't actually get down to the nitty-gritties of the murder until the very last few minutes of the episode. Because this deposition is to determine whether or not they have enough evidence to hold Riker for trial, it becomes more a question of "what was Riker's motive for killing Apgar?" From Riker's point of view, he had nothing to do with it, and Apgar's death did not occur until after he had left the station. He simply had a nasty argument with the guy over his wife. Because the writers chose to focus on that, they gave Manua a huge reason to kill Apgar: he tried to rape her, and when Apgar found them and threatened to tell Starfleet, Riker decided that Apgar should die.
Now. we all know that Manua's side of the story is crap. We've spent two and a half seasons with this guy, and even if you're of the mind that he's a bit of a player, we have yet to see him do anything manipulative or violent to a partner. The sex that he's had has been consensual. And again, it would be so easy to figure out who had suggested that he and Geordi stay the night because they had already made plans to stay on the surface. Presumably, they had to cancel a shuttle down there or something.
We also know that she seems to be in it to win it, and she wants to get Riker tried for murder, so she probably "spiced up" her story a bit. It's possible she shined a light on him because if it turned out to be true that she was looking to cheat on Apgar, then it would weaken her own alibi, and she could be looked at for his murder instead.
So then we're left with the question of Riker and Manua. Somebody closed the door. Somebody said "it's late, I'm tired." And when Apgar came in, he yelled at either one or both of them. My inclination is toward Manua flirting with Riker, Riker rebuffing her, and Apgar yelling at both. But Troi insists that neither was lying, so I guess we don't get to know. We just know that Apgar killed himself accidentally, and that's the end of it.
Some stuff that worked for me: Apgar's side gig to sell the Krieger wave converter as a weapon because the returns would have been better; the twist that Apgar killed himself accidentally; the Krieger wave set-up. Stuff that did not work for me: even though this episode came first, when I look at Apgar, all I see is Jeffrey Tambor in the live-action Grinch movie.

It's probably a combo of nose and hair.
The second thing that didn't work: the fact that the holodeck managed to convert Krieger waves, and the transporter beam on the holodeck managed to deflect them. They went to the trouble to establish that the holodeck cannot create anything dangerous, then went ahead and shrugged it off. Even Riker protested at that, because the writers knew the audience would as well. They broke canon. But then they have Geordi explain it in some way that made it sound like they had done such a good job making the recreation, that it still made the Krieger waves, which weren't dangerous, but were still eating holes in the ship. What? That's... that shouldn't even be possible. The stuff in the holodeck is matter made of light. It's kind of the equivalent of cardboard set pieces in a theatrical production. Even if you build a full model of the converter out of cardboard, it will still not convert radiation into Krieger waves. That should not have been. Wish they had found another way to make the big reveal work without the use of the fake-not fake converter on the holodeck.
Thirdly, had Krag actually believed Manua's story, then Riker should have been charged with two crimes: killing Apgar and assaulting Manua. But once he was cleared of the murder, no mention of the assault came up. I guess he decided she was lying.

Fun facts:

- This was Ronald D Moore's first writing assignment. He uses the rather horrifying phrase "gang-bang rewrite" to refer to scripts that get quick rewrites from the whole writing staff rather than one or two people. This script was one of those.
- The Krieger waves from this episode were named after David Krieger, a scientist who was working as a consultant on the show for seasons three and four. He had an explanation of how they worked added to the script, but it was cut.
- This episode is considered to be a bottle show.
- The science station is a reuse of the one used in Wrath of Khan, which was a reuse of the one used in the first film.
- This is the only time we ever see Picard painting. A deleted scene features him throwing red paint at the canvas after Data's unfavorable critique.
- This was one of the only times that Krieger was invited to a story meeting. He had made up a kind of way that the geometry of the holodeck would react to the radiation in such a way as to create Krieger waves. They didn't have a name for the waves yet, so the writers dubbed them Krieger waves. Krieger was amused when he watched the episode and noticed that the name had stuck.
- Ira Steven Behr and Ronald Moore both thought this episode was terrible, and called it "one of the worst of season three."
- Director Cliff Boyle found the episode tough to film, as everyone involved had to keep track of what was happening at any one time. He found the episode clever. He seems to have been the only one.
- Michael Piller was proud of the script for this episode, but disappointed by the final product overall. He felt Manua had been miscast, and that if they had found the right actor for her, it would have been great television. This episode was actually scheduled to be rerun in June of that same year, but Piller thought the Emmy Awards voters might be watching at that point, and had it swapped with another episode.
-We'll see Juliana Donald (Tayna) again in DS9. She also had a part in an interactive Star Trek video game.

Doug Drexler adjusts make-up on
Juliana Donald
- Craig Richard Nelson (Krag) will appear in an episode of Voyager.

Red deaths: 0
To date: 1
Gold deaths: 0
To date: 1
Blue deaths: 0
To date: 1
Unnamed color crew deaths: 0
To date: 1
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: 9
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 4
Sassy Riker Moments: 0
To date: 10
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 8
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 4
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Troi Moments: 0
To date: 4
Sassy Guinan Moments: 0
To date: 4
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
To date: 1
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 0
To date: 13
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 1
To date: 20
Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 0
To date: 4
Number of times when Data gives too much info and has to be told to shut up: 0
To date: 2
Picard Maneuvers: 1
To date: 20
Tea, Earl Grey: 0
To date: 2

Ridley: toes for daaays