Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Monday, October 28, 2019

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Twenty-One "The Drumhead"

ST:TNG Season Four, Episode Twenty-One "The Drumhead"
Production Order: 21
Air Order: 21
Stardate: 44769.2
Original Air Date: April 29, 1991


Okay, but like, why'd you choose Star Trek font?



*******




Picard's Log 44769.2: "Kayso, we've had this Klingon scientist onboard doing science stuff, and that's fine, but now we think he might have sabotaged our warp drive? That's some straight bullshit."

Riker and Troi are in some kind of quasi-courtroom, interrogating the scientist while Worf does his security thing (ie, standing in the corner glowering at people). J'dan, the scientist, accessed some warp propulsion files during his stay on the E, then a week later, the schematics ended up in Romulan hands.
"Wasn't me," J'dan replies.
Then, there was an explosion that disabled the warp drive, roughly when the Roms got those schematics.
"You think it's me because I'm Klingon!" he protests.
And maybe right here I would roll my eyes about this dude playing the race card, but spoiler alert, despite the Federation being the protagonists of this series, it is full of racist assholes who would do that very thing.
"Our security chief is Klingon," Troi points out. "That has nothing to do with it."
Ugh, that's a bit "I can't be racist, I have a black friend." Like, it's true here that neither Riker nor Troi seem to take issue with Klingons in general, but "I have a Klingon friend" doesn't automatically absolve one of being racist against Klingons.
Murky AF on all sides here.
"If you don't trust me, then send me home," says J'dan.
"Yeah, we already contacted the High Council," replies Riker. "You're most def going home."


Worf escorts J'dan out.
"He's hard to read," Troi tells Riker, "but he's hiding something."

In the lift, J'dan starts telling Worf that's it's like Worf never existed on Qo'nos. The Council has pretty much erased his existence. 
Worf says nothing.
"That must suck," continues J'dan. "I have friends on homeworld who could help you "exist" again... if you secretly get me on a shuttle now."     
Worf keeps quiet until they get to J'dan's quarters. Then the doors close, and he sucker punches J'dan.
"Mofo, I do not know how you passed info to the Romulans, but the High Council will execute you for it."                                                         
He leaves.

Dramatic music! Opening credits break!



Picard's Log, supplemental: "Retired Admiral Norah Satie, the lady who was in charge of the investigation into the alien conspiracy three years ago



has arrived to help us with this Klingon spy thing."

Admiral Satie arrives with two staff members (one Betazed) and they do intros all around. Riker takes the staff members to get settled, but the admiral wants to get started right away, so she and Picard go to the engine room.



Picard introduces Satie to Data and La Forge, who tell them that the engine is still sealed off for another two days because of radiation. They watch a surveillance video of the explosion and talk about how the part that failed had been covered in the stolen schematics.
"No other malfunctions in the system," shrugs La Forge.
"Thus why we suspect sabotage," adds Picard.



In his ready room, Picard remarks that it's pretty fucked up that a Klingon spy might have given information to the Romulans. He asks Satie if the Federation knows of other instances of that happening.
"That's none of your beeswax," she smiles over her tea.
Great. Another asshole who thinks having and keeping info makes her powerful.
Worf comes in with a hypospray and says it came from J'dan's quarters. J'dan has some autoimmune disease that requires injections, and this syringe has been modified to read Federation isolinear chips and convert the info into amino acids, where it can then be injected into someone as an inert protein and carried away.
Shit, that's complicated. Couldn't they just stick a micro-camera on a syringe and email the info?
Satie practically does a little dance of joy and asks Worf to be involved in the confrontation. He accepts and leaves. Picard looks concerned that Satie seems so stoked.



Back in the courtroom, Worf interrogates J'dan in front of Picard, Satie, and a bunch of others. He tells J'dan that he tracked the movements of all of the people that J'dan came into contact with on the E, and found one trader left the ship and then mysteriously disappeared in a nearby system.
"So fucking what?" asks J'dan.
Worf then presents the hypospray, with its weird extra features, and it's like the Scooby-Doo Gang pulled the mask off of some fake-ass ghost. J'dan monologues about how a peace treaty with the Federation has made the Empire weak, yada yada yada.
Satie then asks J'dan how he sabotaged the engine.
"Wasn't me," J'dan says flatly.
"So it was coincidence that a part blew up after you gave those schematics to the Romulans?" she demands.
"Not me," J'dan repeats.
Having confessed to the espionage, J'dan is taken into custody and lead away.
Satie consults Sabin, her Betazed staff member.
"He's telling the truth," says Sabin. "He stole the schematics and gave them to the Roms, but he didn't touch the engine."
"Oh, crap," says Picard. "That means someone else is involved."

(Dramatic music! Commercial break!



Satie and Picard have a friendly post-trial chat in his quarters, and Satie admits that being assigned to work as a team with Picard initially pissed her off because her father, the famous Judge Aaron Satie, taught her that partnerships were always lopsided. She waxes poetic about how her father used to propose topics at the dinner table for debate, then pit his kids against each other.
With stopwatches.
So they would learn brevity.
Wow, sounds like super fun. I'm willing to bet that of her brothers, one of them probably lives on an artists' commune where every question put forth to him is answered with, "whatever you want."
Anyway, Satie pays Picard the backhanded compliment of, "You're smarter than thought, so this might not suck as much as I anticipated."
Awesome.



Sabin and Worf are in the Obs Lounge. Worf gives Sabin a short list of people that J'dan interacted with while onboard, and Worf says he's pretty thoroughly investigated them all.
"Good," says Sabin. "We know about your father helping the Romulans, and thought maybe you were sympathetic to J'dan. Seems just the opposite, though. You appear trustworthy."
Y'all.
What is up with these people and the back-handed compliments?



Next up in the hot seat: Dr Crusher. She tells Satie, et all in the courtroom that J'dan came into sick bay once a week for his injections, and that he rarely spoke. But she didn't give the injections herself - a Blue assistant did. So the Blue is called, this kid named Simon Tarses. And he looks like he's only a year or so older than Wes Crusher. Also, he looks like he's about to throw up from anxiety.
Picard tells him that this is a casual thing, no bigs, but if he wants a lawyer, that's cool too.
Simon declines. "I have nothing to hide."
So they start asking him about himself, and he states that he's "largely human," but that his paternal grandfather is Vulcan.
He gave J'Dan his injections, like twice?
And J'dan didn't really say anything.
This kid is hella nervous. He's young and green and stuck in an interrogation.



Tarses leaves.
"He's lying," says Sabin. "A huge, overwhelming lie."
 "He's nervous," says Picard.
"No, I think he's our guy," Sabin states.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!



Picard and Satie go to the ready room so they can talk. Picard tells Satie that he’s weirded out by the idea of restricting the movements and access of Simon Tarses based solely on a feeling that Sabin had. He doesn’t like that Sabin, a Betazoid, is an investigator. 
“You have a Betazoid counselor,” Satie points out. “You never use her in interrogations?” 
“Yeah, but I don’t make decisions based just on her recommendations.” 
“Okay,” says Satie. “But if she told you that there was someone dangerous onboard, wouldn’t you base your next move on what she says?” 
Picard pauses. “Yes. But I think maybe I need to stop doing that.” 
Personal reflection and growth? Yass, queen! 
I like that this show checks back in with their characters and actions so often. This is not the first time we’ve reflected on the wisdom of using Betazoid empathic powers to get a leg up on others that don’t have those abilities. It also makes me wonder if the Federation restricts what kind of positions Betazoids might have because of those extra powers, or if Betazoids themselves might avoid certain positions in order to not be taken advantage of. So far we’ve seen Betazoid ambassadors (that’s fine), a first contact specialist (went pear-shaped, but mostly because of the individual), a counselor (pretty damn useful), and a negotiator (could be fine, but fuck Devinoni Ral in particular). It’s probably a question of the personality and values of the Betazoid in particular, as abuse of powers could go either way. 
Is it okay for Troi to tell Picard when she thinks someone is being shady? Maybe. Depends on the situation. Is It okay for a Betazoid to warn non-Betazoids of impending doom because lives will be saved? Now we’re getting into some Butterfly Effect shit. (Tangent: in a Federation court of law, is the testimony of a Betazoid used as evidence, or dismissed as hearsay?) 
Satie thinks Picard is being stupid: if Tarses is a saboteur, then Picard not restricting his movements could open the ship to more sabotage. Picard thinks that Satie is being harsh: there is no proof that Tarses has done anything wrong, beyond having a secret. 
They bicker back and forth for a few minutes before La Forge pages them to Engineering. 



Once there, La Forge and Data explain that they were able to access the engine room about six hours earlier, and having gone over the place with a fine-toothed comb, have come to the conclusion that there was no sabotage. 
“We found like, tiny microfractures in the metal composition of the hatch cover,” says Data. “It was replaced at our last pit-stop, but it was pretty undetectable, so the odds are hella low that this happened on purpose, or that someone made it happen.” 
So: J’dan stole some info and gave it to the Roms; an unrelated accident occurred on the ship, coincidentally at the time the Roms would have gotten that info; and a super low-ranking Medical Blue has a secret. 



“Bullshit,” says Sabin, when they tell him. 
He and Worf are working in the Obs Lounge. 
“Okay, just because there was no sabotage, doesn’t mean there’s no conspiracy,” says Satie. 
Bitch, you want there to be a conspiracy. 
“We have a confessed spy,” she adds. “He admitted his guilt.” 
“He had friends on the inside,” guesses Sabin. 
“I think we should still investigate Tarses,” says Worf. “He’s shady.” 
Then all three start talking about how, if they keep on with Tarses and he isn’t guilty, then they could use the info to unequivocally prove him innocent. 
Picard is frustrated, but agrees to let them go forward based on the whole “proving his innocence” thing. 



Picard shows up at the next part of the hearing, and is disturbed to see that the courtroom now has a full audience. 
“WTF?” he whispers to Satie. 
“It’s better to do open door policy,” she replies loudly enough for everyone to hear. “Keeps people from gossiping.” 
Or, you know, starts the rumor mill. One of those. 
“ALSO, spies don’t like the bright lights of open court. Makes them scurry like roaches.” 
Tarses, already in the hot seat, looks uncomfortable. Because, you know, some bitch just called him a cockroach. 
Picard starts the hearing and tells Tarses that he assigned Riker to be his counsel, just in case he wants it. Tarses replies that he won’t need counsel, as he has done nothing wrong. 
Then Satie ignores him, and starts grilling Crusher, who is sitting in the audience. 
“Have you seen crewman Tarses talking to J’dan? Like, outside of sick bay?” 
“Maybe?” says Crusher, taken aback. “Like, they were in Ten Forward at the same time.” 
“Yeah, who else was there?” 
Crusher is annoyed. She is not on trial, and she’s clearly in Picard’s camp here. “It was an innocent social gathering.” 
“Then how come you won’t give us their names?” Satie demands. 
Dude, WTF? 
Picard leans toward Satie. “Dude, WTF? Quit hassling my crew. Question Tarses so we can be done with this crap.” 



Sabin gets up to question Tarses. “As a crew member working in sick bay, don’t you have access to chemicals and files there?” 
“Yeah,” says Tarses. “A lot of Blues have access to that stuff. It’s part of our job.” 
“Really?” demands Sabin. “What if I told you that chemicals from sick bay were found at the explosion site in Engineering?” 





Sabin, you fucking liar. 
“I didn’t have anything to do with that,” says Tarses honestly. 
“How can we believe you?” shouts Sabin. “You’re a known liar!” 
Riker objects angrily, as does Picard. 
But Sabin is all,”I know him to be a liar. He lied on his fucking Starfleet application, then he lied to us. His paternal grandfather wasn’t Vulcan – he was Romulan! And Tarses honors that heritage!” 
Tarses half-crumples in his chair while Riker whispers in his ear. 



“Um, my counsel says I shouldn’t say anything, on the grounds that I could incriminate myself,” he replies shakily. 
Satie’s look: “Haha, got you!” 
Picard’s look: “Oh, fuck me.” 
Dramatic music! Commercial break! 



Worf is meeting with a slew of security Golds in the Obs Lounge, telling each of them which part of Tarses’ life he’d like them to dissect. He gives specific importance to them looking into Tarses’ “old school friends.” 
Picard comes in and asks to speak to Worf. The others clear out. 
“This is crap,” says Picard at last. “A drumhead trial.” 
Most of the audience won’t get this reference, so they have Worf be confused so Picard can explain. 
“Five hundred or so years ago, they used to have these military trials during war. Whoever was the commanding officer would flip over a drum and use it as a desk out in the field. They would call forward officers and soldiers and accuse them of treason, but it wasn’t really a trial. That CO was judge, jury and executioner. Anyone brought to a drumhead was pretty much presumed guilty, and retribution would often be carried out right then and there. You couldn’t really defend yourself, and there were no appeals. It was bullshit.” 
“But we know there was a traitor,” argues Worf. “J’dan confessed.” 
“Yeah, and the council will deal with him,” Picard replies. 
Tarses is pretty much guilty of the same,” says Worf. 
“In what way? There’s no proof.” 
“He didn’t answer the questions. Innocent people answer.” 
“Not answering is not a crime!” Picard is clearly frustrated that Worf has climbed onto Satie’s Shitty Conspiracy Theory Roller Coaster. 
“If he was okay with the truth, he would answer,” Worf says stubbornly. 
It seems that claiming the fifth was an important enough principle that they made it the “seventh guarantee” of the constitution of the Federation. You’re allowed to not screw yourself over. Picard reminds him of that. 
“The Federation has enemies! We have to find them!” yells Worf. 
Picard: “Oh, yes. That’s how it starts. But the road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think. Something is wrong here, Mr Worf. I don’t like what we have become.” 
Appropriately dramatic music as he stalks from the Obs Lounge. 



Picard decides to get to know Tarses better, so he invites him to his personal quarters for tea. Tarses tells him that he was born on Mars Colony, and that it had been his dream to join Starfleet, so he enlisted, went to the Academy, and trained to be a medical technician. He was so freaking stoked to be posted to the Enterprise. 
Picard asks if Tarses ever thought about becoming an officer, and he says his parents wanted him to, but that he didn’t relish the idea of spending four more years at the Academy. He wanted to “get out there” and do good. 
“Now it’s pretty much over,” he says, crestfallen. 
“Not if you’re not guilty,” Picard points out. 
“No,” says Tarses sadly. “I lied on my application. That’s gonna follow me around forever.” 
Picard is troubled. Tarses is probably right. 



Picard tracks down Satie in a corridor. She’s busy, happily telling her assistant (the silent one who transcribes everything, not Sabin) to interview Tarses’ brother on Mars Colony, and to look into his old friends back home. (Isn’t Worf doing that? Freaking overkill for someone you suspect of doing... something. Like, they don’t even know what to accuse him of.) 
Picard asks Satie for a private word. 
“Off the record,” he adds to the assistant, who turns off her transcribing padd. 



In his ready room, Picard tells Satie that they need to stop this dumb investigation. 
Tarses is innocent.” 
She snorts with derision. “Oh, yeah? How do you know?” 
“I talked to him,” says Picard simply. 
“And now you’ve determined that he’s a victim of circumstance? You’re so na├»ve!” She sits down to tell him what I can only describe as a “sob story,” but it really isn’t: “I don’t really have a home, or any friends, and I haven’t seen my family in years. I just go from planet to starbase, protecting the United Federation of Planets from harm.” More waxing rhapsodic about herself as a young girl (with blankie in hand, no less!) with a father teaching her right and wrong, and how to find the difference. Then she tosses out a thinly-veiled threat. “I don’t know why you’re blocking this investigation, but you should know that other people have butted heads with me and lived to regret it.” 
Picard’s reply is simple: “These hearings against Simon Tarses will stop. Or I’ll go over your head to Starfleet Command.” 
“Oh, yeah? I’ve got news for you: I’ve been in contact with Starfleet Command this whole time. Not only are the hearings not stopping, they’re expanding. I’ll investigate every person on this fucking ship if I have to, to get to the bottom of this conspiracy! And all of the hearings going forward are going to include Admiral Henry of Starfleet Security.” 
“You never mentioned this to me.” 
“Whatever, bitch. I outrank you, and report to Starfleet Command. I don’t need to run things by you. I can do what I want.” She turns to leave. 
“This is shitty, and immoral,” he tells her. “It’s unethical. And I’m going to stop you.” 
“Do whatever you want,” she replies before exiting. 
“Fucking great,” sighs Picard. 



Picard is on the bridge doing his job - you know, running the ship - and his officers are noticing that he's distracted as hell. Satie's assistant finally gets a line, entering and telling Picard that Satie wants him in the interrogation room tomorrow morning, and that he will be questioned before the committee.

Dramatic music and zoom-in on Picard! Commercial break!



Picard's Log, supplemental: "Admiral Henry is here."

In the interrogation room (they're calling it that, but there's an audience, so I think that makes it a courtroom), Picard gets put in the hot seat. He gives his name and rank and all that good stuff, then says he wants to make a statement. Satie tries to bully him, saying he can do it later.
"Noop. (Code) says I can do it now."
She acquiesces.
"So there's some bullshit going down here," he starts. "We caught a guy engaging in sabotage. He admitted it, and will receive his consequences. But the hunt for more guilty parties continued, and what ended up happening was an innocent dude's career will probably be brought to a complete and grinding halt because his grandfather is Romulan, and the Romulans are a current enemy. There isn't anything that he's actually done wrong, besides lie on his entrance paperwork. Leave the guy alone. You put him on trial - and it was a fucking trial - for nothing."



Satie doesn't reply. Instead, she starts a new line of questioning, unrelated to anything at all.
"Did you know you've violated the Prime Directive nine times since taking command of the Enterprise?"
Say fucking what?
"Yeah, we're looking into those real closely, because that's Starfleet's biggest objective, and we want to know how closely aligned you actually are with their philosophy."
God, this woman is infuriating. Can I punch her?
Picard sighs. "Go through the records. All of it is there, including why decisions were made the way they were." 
Now Sabin gets up and starts talking about fucking T'Pel, that Romulan bitch that pretended to be a Vulcan ambassador, and does she seriously think asking Picard about T'Pel will hold any water whatsoever? T'Pel fooled the entire fucking Federation for years, and would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for you pesky kids Data and Picard doing some extra digging right at the end.
*Big-ass eyeroll*
"Did you try to recapture her as she stood proudly on the bridge of that Romulan ship?" demands Satie.
Seriously, my knuckles. Gonna drive 'em straight into her solar plexus.
Worf, formerly of #TeamInvestigateThemAll, is now pissed. He doesn't really care all that much if Satie and Sabin go after some low-ranking pointy-earred Blue shirt, but now they've sunk their teeth into the captain, and that's not cool. He jumps to his feet and yells that going after T'Pel might have gotten the Enterprise captured by the Romulans.



And what happens? Do Satie and Sabin call for order at this proceeding? Oh, hell no! Sabin demands to know why Picard has a security officer whose father was a Romulan collaborator.
Pretty sure Worf is about to rip off Sabin's head and shit down his neck.
Picard is pretty sure too, so he warns Worf to back off.
Satie then puts on this fake-ass "I'm a sympathetic friend" act to ask if Picard is fully recovered from his thing with the Borg.
"Must have been so awful, using your vast knowledge of the Federation against your own people. How many ships were lost, again? 39? And people? 11,000? Can you sleep at night?" And the claws come out. "I'm questioning your choices and actions and loyalty!"



Picard is done. He takes a deep breath, and begins quoting Judge Aaron Satie, talking about how everyone is damaged the moment one person's freedom is trampled.
Satie is incensed. She stands up and starts screaming at him about how dare he befoul her father's words by using them to prop up his traitorous dealings with the Romulans, and stepping all over everything she holds dear.
Admiral Henry's expression pretty much says it all:



He gets up and just walks the hell out.
Satie knows she's screwed.
Back to retirement with you, bitch!
"Um, let's take a recess until tomorrow," says Sabin quietly.
Everyone in the courtroom silently files out around Satie and her transcribing assistant, and then the assistant leaves too.



The next day, Worf approaches Picard, who is staring out the window in the Obs Lounge.
"Admiral Henry called an end to the hearings, we're not gonna do anymore. And Admiral Satie has left."
"You know," says Picard. "We think we're pretty hot shit, and we've evolved past witch hunts and stupid crap like this, and then BAM - we're knee-deep in it again."
Worf is annoyed. "I totally believed her. Like, I went along with this garbage, and I helped her. I didn’t see what an asshole she was.” 
Picard: “Mr Worf, villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged.” 
Worf: “I think, after yesterday, people will not be so ready to trust her.” 
Picard: “Maybe. But she or someone like her, will always be with us. Waiting for the right climate in which to flourish. Spreading fear in the name of righteousness. Vigilance, Mr Worf. That is the price we have to continually pay.” 
They exit the Obs Lounge to hopeful music. 
I wish I was that hopeful. 



                                                                                    *******
                                               
I kind of hate it when Star Trek episodes are a little too relevant to real life. I get that they wanted to show that this kind of shit still happens in the 24th century – and can happen at any time – but dear gods, can I have a moment when I get to pretend that it’s not possible, and that by 23-whatever, we’ve outgrown this crap? One moment when I don’t have to think about the fact that people at this very point in time are being sent to lock-up without due process? That there are conspiracy theories everywhere, some more believable than others? I can really only devote so much time per day thinking about the heinous fuckery currently going on in the world before I need to read some click-bait and hide from everyone for a while. 
So here’s some shit that doesn’t suck about this episode (which I would, under normal circumstances, upvote as being a great episode): 
- The premise is good. It Can Happen Here. And Everywhere. At Any Time. (I just can’t deal with it NOW.) 
- I like Satie initially. She’s likable. And Picard likes her. She enjoys her job... until you find out she takes it to a creepy extreme and essentially executes innocent people. 
- I feel for Tarses. He’s also likable, and frankly, a sweet cinnamon roll. He should be protected. 
- I like that Worf gets caught up in things. At first, it’s about J’dan, and Worf is like, “fuck you, I don’t have anything to prove.” But when it’s no longer J’danWorf is briefly tugged in the “I have everything to prove” direction, and he hops on Satie’s Drumhead Train. He’s certain that she’s correct, because he gets caught in the fervor of it all. It’s not merely that as head of security, he’d have to haul all of these people in for questioning, and possibly assign details to them, and look into their histories, it’s that he wants to prove that he is super loyal to the Federation, despite what others might say about the House of Mogh. And then he realizes that he’s been taken in, and he’s not only pissed at Satie for convincing him to go along with her bullshit, but he’s pissed at himself for believing it. It’s a sympathetic route. How often do we get angry at a situation, because our beliefs or actions lead us there? 
- I like that Henry put a stop to Satie’s conspiracy-digging. Feels like in real life, it wouldn’t be quite that quick or easy, and that it would drag out longer, pulling not only Tarses, but possibly countless others along in its wake. Instead, Picard sets up Satie, she makes her own “have you no sense of decency, sir?” moment, and Henry, recognizing the crazy in her eyes, pulls the plug immediately. And maybe it does carry on in the background. Maybe she runs to Starfleet Security and tries to plead her case. Maybe she gets shot down. Maybe she’s asked to retire, in that way that really isn’t asking. 
- The costuming is great. Satie’s robes are layered for different looks, and I’m super into the architectural aspect of them. She doesn’t have a bad look in any of the scenes she’s in. J’Dan’s shirt is a bit Davey Crockett for my liking, but it isn’t terrible. Sabin’s clothing was quiet and understated, and that was probably done on purpose on his part, so he would look like a proper assistant next to his flashier boss. It also helps to downplay his initial power, as you don’t find out what a complete asshole he is until the proceedings start, and he does all of the examining. Nellen Tore, the note-taking assistant... I like her costume, with its grid patterned over-garment, but... it also very much reminds me of those little styrofoam protective sleeves that sometimes come on fruit.  



So I guess in conclusion... good episode. Watch when it doesn’t hit quite so close to home. 

Tune in next time, when the episode is about... 
*checks roster*
...euthanasia.
Fuuuuck me.
"We think they're insulting to the audience. They tune in and then you create this false jeopardy and then flashback as their memory goes back to the wonderful time they had before they got trapped in the elevator and 


- Fun Facts:

- This episode is a bottle episode. The studio originally asked for another clip show, but Michael Piller and Rick Berman both told them to fuck off. Michael Piller: “We think they’re insulting to the audience. They tune in and then you create this false jeopardy and then flash back as their memory goes back to the wonderful time they had before they got trapped in the elevator and all that bullshit.” 

- Jeri Taylor wrote the script based on an idea that Ronald D. Moore had, which he called “It Can’t Happen Here” (most likely based on the novel of the same name). She added in touches of McCarthyism and the Salem Witch Trials. Taylor would name this script as the one of which she was proudest. 

- This episode was directed by Jonathan Frakes, who admits to setting up some of his shots based on his favorite courtroom films. 




- It will later be revealed that Norah Satie was the admiral who formally “requested and required” Picard to take command of the Enterprise. 

- The ships of the admirals are Excelsior and Oberth classes. 

- This is the second time we see the Interrogation Room. (First time: “The Defector.”) It is a re-dress of the bridge set from the first Star Trek film. 

- Ensign Kellog finally gets a name after being a long-time background player. In this episode, she receives an assignment from Worf to look into Tarses' background.




- This episode is the only time when we see the inner isolation door in Engineering. Normally during a warp core breach, we only see the outer door. 

- This episode establishes that it is possible to pass encoded information through the body via proteins. 

- This is one of Michael Dorn’s two favorite episodes (the other being “The Offspring.”) 
Jonathan Frakes also named this episode as one of his favorites. He was excited to work with Jean Simmons. 

- When Sabin tells Worf that he and Satie have complete confidence in him, Sabin is lying. The script says that Sabin actually wants Worf to feel like he has to work harder than anyone else to prove his loyalty to the Federation. Because Sabin is a total dick. 

- This is the first Star Trek appearance for Bruce French, who plays Sabin. He will appear three more times, twice in shows and once in a film. You may recognize him from quite a few things, as French has been a character actor since the 1970’s. 

- It’s never revealed what punishment if any Simon Tarses received for lying on his entrance papers. It seems that he has a career following these proceedings though, as he is featured in quite a bit of apocrypha, mostly novels and video games. One may choose him as a crew member in the game Star Trek: Starship Creator. (In this game, Tarses receives a six-month suspension, and then Picard encourages him to go to the Academy. He graduates with the rank of lieutenant and becomes a nurse on the Enterprise-E. However, the game is not considered canon, so his punishment remains unwritten.) 



- Spencer Garrett (Simon Tarses) will appear once more in DS9. 

- This is the first Star Trek appearance for Henry Woronicz (J’Dan). He will appear twice more in Voyager. 

- Earl Billings (Admiral Thomas Henry) doesn’t actually have any lines in this episode. He merely appears onscreen during the proceedings, then gets up in disgust and leaves. And I will use that screencapture of his disgust at Satie for a thousand more things.

- Norah Satie played a major role in uncovering the conspiracy in the Federation at the end of season one, though she was never mentioned in that episode. 

- This is Jean Simmons’ only appearance on Star Trek. She had a flourishing career in film and television from the 1950s through the 2000s, and if she sounds familiar, it may be because she voices Grandma Sophie in the English-dubbed version of Howl’s Moving Castle. 



- This is the only Star Trek appearance for Ann Shea, who plays Nellen Tore, Satie’s note-taking assistant. 

- It is noted that, following these proceedings, both Sabin and Nellen Tore were disgusted by Satie’s behavior and seemed to regret being a part of her entourage. 

Gene and Jean





Red deaths: 0
To date: 0
Gold deaths: 0
To date: 0
Blue deaths: 0
To date: 1
Unnamed color crew deaths: 11,000
To date: 0
Obnoxious Wes moments: 0
To date: 1
Legitimate Wes moments when he should have told someone to go fuck themselves: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Geordi moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Wes Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 4
Sassy Riker Moments: 0
To date: 7
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 12
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 1
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Troi Moments: 0
To date: 6
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
To date: 4
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 0
To date: 23
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 0
To date: 17
Number of times that Geordi "looks at something" with his VISOR: 0
To date: 1
Number of times when Data gives too much info and has to be told to shut up: 0
To date: 1
Picard Maneuvers: 1
To date: 19
Tea, Earl Grey: 3
To date: 11


Mona wins Most Adorable Mommy Award