Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Monday, June 21, 2021

ST:TNG Season Five, Episode Twelve "Violations"

ST: TNG Season Five, Episode Twelve "Violations"
Production Order: 12
Air Order: 12
Stardate: 45429.3
Original Air Date: February 3, 1992

Content warning: rape

I fucking hate this episode. Spoiler alert.
In fact, I wish I could just leave it at that, and declare that one sentence to be my entire review, but I guess I committed to watching all of Star Trek, even the episodes that I hate, so that can't be it.
I'm gonna complain about it, though.

Picard's Log 45429.3: "Setting up the episode for you by telling you about the peeps we're transporting, the Ullians. They're telepathic, and can read your memories, and have ways of drawing the memories out so you recall stuff you've forgotten. They're historians, and we're taking them to their next stop, because we're just doing this mapping survey thing that won't come up again."

Keiko is sitting in Ten Forward with the Ullians and a crowd of onlookers while the Ullian does his parlor trick. This is the part of this episode that I actually like: the Ullians are an interesting race, and their memory retrieval thing is actually pretty benevolent.
Keiko's lost memory involves remembering a chipped cup, but it isn't connected to anything in her mind. Just a nagging feeling that it's important. The shots here are interspersed: the Ullian encouraging Keiko to explore the memory through her other senses (what sounds she hears, what the dark liquid in the cup tastes like, ect); Keiko reaching for a cup that doesn't exist before her, and describing the memory based on those sense prompts; and the parts of the memory that she is recalling. Eventually, she remembers that the cup is the brush wash that her grandmother used when doing Japanese calligraphy. When she was small, it was Keiko's job to fill the cup with water, and bring it back to the table, where she would watch her grandmother write with the brush. She's delighted to get that memory back, and thanks the Ullian.

The Ullian - his name is Tarmin - fishes around the crowd for another participant, and invites Crusher, with the hook that she's "thinking about that first childhood kiss."
The younger Ullian, Jev, chastises him: they're not supposed to probe people's minds without permission.
"I know," says Tarmin cheerfully. "But I can't resist when there's a beautiful lady involved."
Ew. (Also, it seems that I've incorrectly assumed all these years that the older female Ullian, Inad, was Jev's mother. I figured they were a family unit. But Inad is quite a bit older than Tarmin and is listed as being just another member of the delegation, which is why she doesn't object to Tarmin flirting with Crusher.)
Crusher laughs, and she and Tarmin walk off together.
La Forge asks Riker if there's anything he'd like dug up out of his memory, and we get a Sassy Riker moment:
"None that I'd care to share with an audience."
Me: *claps like they do on Family Feud* Good answer, good answer!
They also leave, as do Keiko and Inad.
Jev sits down at the table and looks broody.

Dramatic music! Opening credits break!

Data and La Forge are on their way to an official dinner with the senior officers and the Ullians, and they have a brief convo about memory. Data is confused about how humans seem to forget things, especially since human brains are set up the way his positronic one is. La Forge corrects him, because they are set up the same way, but adds that human brains aren't as good at storing info for a long time.
"Like, I don't remember my last birthday at all," he says. "But I remember getting my first pet as a little kid. Remember it like it was yesterday."
"So you remember the good memories better?" asks Data.
"Not necessarily. Sometimes the bad memories are the most vivid."

At the dinner, the Ullians describe their work. This particular trio is traveling the stars, going to different planets, and retrieving important memories, then (presumably asking before) collecting them for posterity. It's a cool historical cataloging project, and I really like that.
Tarmin, gregarious and extroverted, interrupts Jev to tell the E crew that his son is not very good at memory retrieval, and bragging about how he got important memories out of certain people.
Crusher tries to goad Picard into retrieving memories, but he demures. Tarmin also tries to get Picard to participate, but Inad reminds him that influencing others is not their way, and that participants must be willing. Again, Tarmin defends himself by saying that he's seen plenty of people who want to do it, but need some encouragement to come forward. He tries to get Worf to sign up.
"Klingons do not allow themselves to be... probed," says Worf firmly.
Tarmin objects, and tries to get the other crew members to agree to the process, but there are no other takers.
They talk briefly about how memory retrieval isn't something all Ullians can do, and that it takes training. Inad says that Tarmin is especially good at it. Tarmin takes the compliment and again turns it around to insult Jev's abilities.
This is clearly not a new occurrence, and Jev excuses himself.

Troi follows Jev out to the lift, and says she knows how it feels to have an overbearing parent. She reveals here that she can't read Ullians, and they exchange children-of-challenging-parents stories. They share a laugh, and he thanks her when she gets out on her own deck. There's a brief zoom-in on him and some warning music.
We've had two close-up shots of this guy, and both have included scary dramatic music and a creeper look. They're not being subtle here.

Troi is getting ready for bed in her quarters when she starts to remember something. The memory scenes are fractured and filmed in a hazy fashion so it's obvious that the audience is looking at something that is being remembered, or that has been tampered with.
In the memory, Troi and Riker are cleaning up after a poker night in his quarters. She drops the box of poker chips, which scatter on the floor. Riker asks if she ever thinks about how they were together previously, and hints that maybe they should get together again. She tells him no, that it wouldn't be appropriate while they're serving on the same ship.
The memory disturbs Now-Troi, but it continues. And now Memory-Troi is on the floor, and Riker is on top of her, while she tries to push him off, crying for him to stop.

Then the memory changes, and now it's Jev (in Riker's clothes) forcing himself on her, telling her that she's pretty, and also Jev is watching himself attack Troi from across the room? 

Now-Troi screams and falls to the floor, unconscious.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard's Log 45430.9: "Troi is in a coma."

Down in sick bay, Crusher tells Picard and Riker that someone found Troi in a coma in her room that morning, when she failed to show up for an appointment. They can't find any cause for it, and they can't revive her.
"Who was the last person to see her conscious?" asks Picard.
"She left the dinner last night with Jev," says Riker. "I'll ask him if she seemed off."
Picard says to also ask the Ullians if they would be okay with an exam, and Riker leaves.
Crusher tells Picard that she will also check the bio filters, just in case the Ullians brought some kind of organism on board that the filters didn't catch.

Riker finds Jev in Ten Forward.
"Hey, so Troi is in a coma. You were the last person to see her before it happened. Did you go with her to her quarters?"
Jev is defensive, but not aggressively so. "Are you suggesting I did something to her?"
Riker flashes a smile that is not a smile. "No, I just want to know what happened before she fell into a coma."
"We talked in the turbolift," Jev replies grudgingly. "Then we got off on different decks."
"I'm not accusing you of anything. Did she seem sick?"
"Would you guys submit to an examination? Dr Crusher wants to make sure that you're not carrying anything that might have made her sick."
Jev scoffs. "Fine, I guess -"
"Cool, thanks," Riker interrupts, then he gets up and leaves Ten Forward.
As before, we watch Jev narrow his eyes, and there's dramatic music. Not suspicious at all there, buddy. You heard someone has had a medical emergency, and you show no concern, then get defensive.

Back in sick bay, Riker tells an unconscious Troi that he's heard that people in comas can hear others talking to them, and that maybe it's helpful for healing, and that he'd heard she had done the same for him. (He's talking about that shitty non-episode "Shades of Gray.") Then he basically starts reciting a personal log, about boring ship crap.
Crusher comes up to him, and pulls the Doctor Card, ordering him to go to bed, and promising to tell him the moment she wakes up.

Riker is in his quarters (not going to bed as ordered) when he starts remembering a bad memory: there's an emergency situation in Engineering, La Forge has to bring down a barrier to keep the emergency contained to the warp core area, and Riker is conducting people out.
"Keller is still in there!" a crewman yells at Riker.
Riker calls for Keller, but there's no response.
"I need to close the door!" La Forge yells.
Riker hesitates, then tells La Forge to drop the barrier.
"You've killed Keller!" the crewman screams.
It's a swirling mess of people yelling, and the crewman repeating over and over that Riker is responsible for Keller's death. Then the yelling crewman is Jev in a gold Engineering uniform.

Picard pages Riker, but gets no answer. He asks Majel where Riker is, and she replies that he's in his quarters. Worf offers to go get him. But when Worf arrives at Riker's quarters, he finds the commander slumped over his desk.
Guess he asked too many questions.

Dramatic music! Commercial break!

Crusher's Log 45431.7: "Riker is now my second unexplained coma patient. I looked over the Ullians, but they aren't carrying anything harmful."

In the Obs Lounge, Crusher tells Picard and Worf that her examinations of Riker and Troi were compared to previous physical results. Their comas looks like Iresine Syndrome, but it can't be, because that illness has decreased histamine levels, and neither Riker nor Troi have those changes.
"No one was sick before the Ullians came on board," says Worf. "We should quarantine them."
Ah, Worf. Straight to the most severe solution, but the man really is just doing his job. I think he'd probably start chucking people out of airlocks if Picard would support it.
"I think it's too early in the game to do that," says Picard.
"Here's the weirdness," says Crusher. "The increased electrical activity I found in both Riker and Troi is in the same area of the brain that deals with memory."

Picard and Crusher talk to the Ullians.
"You think we did something to them?" asks Termin.
"You already examined us," says Jev. "We aren't carrying anything."
"Sure," concedes Crusher. "But these comas are producing electrical activity in the memory function part of their brains, and we're thinking that it might be related to your procedures. I'd like to monitor your next memory retrieval."
They agree.
And of course, the scene ends with a close-up on Jev, who literally makes the villainous eye movement of looking back and forth quickly.

Later in sick bay, Crusher tells Keiko that, as the only person on the E who has gotten the memory retrieval, they'd like to examine her to see if she has any of the activity that Riker and Troi do. Keiko gladly agrees, but Crusher's exam turns up nothing.

In Engineering, La Forge argues with Majel. He's trying to find any non-medical causes for the comas, but scans for chemical causes turns up nothing.

Crusher is in her office when Dr Martin, the other doctor working on this case with her, drops in. She tells him that she's still looking at the medical records, but can't find anything. He says the same, and it seems his shift is over, so he's taking off. After he leaves, she starts to zone out, and we see more of that memory view, hazy and vertigo-inducing.
In the memory, younger versions of Beverly and Picard go to see the body of Jack Crusher. In the jumbled way of these scenes, we get snippets of mixed conversation - Beverly thanking Picard for coming, him telling her that she shouldn't remember Jack this way, she insisting that she needs to come to terms with the fact that he's gone. Jev, dressed as Picard, pulls the sheet back to reveal a now-scarred Jack. Now it's Jev as Jack. Jev-Jack opens his eyes, and Beverly screams while Jev-Picard watches.

In the corridor, La Forge tells Data that he's spent the last two hours looking for any kind of agent that might have caused those comas, and found nothing. They turn into sick bay to find Crusher slumped over her desk.

Our boys go up to the ready room to talk to Picard. La Forge says Crusher had him checking for non-medical things that might have caused the comas, but it turned up nothing.
"Crap," says Picard. "The only link left is the Ullians. We're going to have to restrict them to quarters."
"Is that going to help anything, seeing as how they're telepathic?" asks La Forge sensibly.
"Meh," Picard admits. "But what else can we do? Post a guard? Set up a forcefield? None of those are going to make a difference, but this is our only choice. Data, will you look at the other planets the Ullians have visited where they were retrieving memories? See if there were other comas?"
Dr Martin pages Picard - Troi is awake and asking for him.

Picard interviews Troi in sick bay while Dr Martin runs an exam. Unfortunately, the last thing Troi remembers is brushing her hair, and then, nothing. She's surprised to learn that she's been in a coma for three days, and that Riker went into a coma the next day, and Crusher last night. Behind her, Dr Martin runs through a series of emoticon-faces. Picard tells her to stay in sick bay and rest, and to call him if she remembers anything else.

 Picard goes to see the Ullians, and ask that they remain confined to quarters. 
Tarmin is pissed. "We haven't done anything!"
"I'm not saying you have," Picard says calmly. "Thing is, we've tried looking for everything that might have possibly caused this, and you guys being part of it is still coming up the only answer."
"You think we intentionally harmed someone?" asks Jev.
Oh, shut up, you sociopathic motherfucker.
"Can we prove our innocence?" asks Jev. "Bring us Troi. You said she doesn't recall what happened before the coma. I can do a retrieval, and then we'll know for sure."
Um, shouldn't it be the most talented person for the job doing the retrieval?
"I want no part in this!" Tarmin storms from the room, and that settles that.
Picard hesitates. "I don't want her going through what might be a dangerous process."
"It makes the most sense, though," reasons Idan.
Okay, and why isn't she doing it? She's the oldest member of the team and has most likely been doing it the longest. Why are they relegating this task to the junior member?
Idan asks if Keiko has suffered any adverse affects, and when he says she has not, Idan tells Picard that they may monitor the situation with doctors and witnesses. Picard agrees to talk to Troi.
And, as with every scene that includes Jev, the scene ends with a close-up on him.

Data and La Forge are working at the science station and talking through things: they've heard back from 9 of the 11 planets the Ullians have visited, and have found no unexplained comas.
"Maybe..." muses la Forge, "we're not looking for the right thing. Crusher said it looks like Iresine Syndrome, but with decreased histamine levels, right?"
Data agrees.
"What if other doctors are not so meticulous, and never bothered to check histamine levels?"
Data muses out loud that La Forge is now looking up cases of Iresine Syndrome on those planets, and surprise: they find two on one of the planets the Ullians visited, during the time of the visit.
They start checking the others.

Idan and Jev have gathered in Troi's quarters, along with Picard and Worf. (Kind of surprised that a member of medical staff isn't there as well, but okay.) Picard tells Troi that she doesn't have to do this if she doesn't want to, but she's adamant, because something happened, and she isn't sure what other way to take to get the information.
She gets her hairbrush at Jev's request, and holds it as he focuses.
"Someone's touching my hair," she says in confusion.
"There was someone in your quarters with you?" asks Jev.
"No," she amends. "I was brushing my hair, then I got hot chocolate, and I was thinking about something that happened years ago. I was thinking about Will Riker." She smiles.
"That's a good memory," says Jev. "Go into it."
And we know how this goes. The original memory is corrupted when Riker suggests they get together, and she turns him down, and instead of being disappointed like he probably was IRL, he instead begins assaulting her. Only this time, fake Riker doesn't turn into Jev. He turns into Tarmin.
Troi is crying, and tells lying liar Jev that, in her memory, she was assaulted by Tarmin. 

Extra-dramatic music! Commercial break!

Picard's Log 45433.2: "We're headed for the nearest starbase, where we're going to drop the Ullians. They're going home."

POS Jev meets with Picard in his ready room.
"If you want to press charges against my father, you can," Jev tells him. "The punishment for such a thing is stiff on our planet, and you can easily add your own."
For the second time since we started following his career, we see Picard frown and admit that the Federation doesn't have a punishment to fit that kind of crime. He admitted as much in The Survivors, where the punishment would have been for genocide. (And we know that the Federation has laws against genocide, given that this was discussed during TOS' The Conscience of the King.) Here, he admits that memory invasion is not considered a crime.
Y'all, that's rape. It's a violation of bodily autonomy. Just like it was in the last fucking movie, when Spock forced his way into Valeris' mind. And even if there's no current law against that specifically, that's often how we get laws: someone does something really awful or dangerous, and we decide to make a law making it punishable if that thing is done again. And even if there is no law made, that's never stopped us before. The phrase "crimes against humanity" is basically a short version of "we all got together and decided that you're a real piece of shit."
Quit pussy-footing around this "we don't have laws against that" business. We've met several species that possess telepathic powers, and I'm willing to bet that the ones in the Federation have laws against mind invasion. Adopt those. It wouldn't even be that hard - you have a friend in the JAG office, for fucks' sake!

Jev tells Picard that he has recently learned that mind invasion used to be a problem with his people centuries earlier, and Picard asks what would tempt a person to do such a thing?
"A perverse sense of pleasure?" asks Jev, most likely naming his own list of reasons. "A wish for control?"
"Your father maintains his innocence."
"My father doesn't like to admit when he's wrong," says Jev.
But he isn't wrong here.
"It's hard to believe he'd be capable of this," he adds.
He wasn't.
Before leaving, Jev tells Picard that they are monitoring his father's telepathic activities, to ensure he would assault anyone else.
He won't, because he hasn't. Is anyone monitoring you?

Picard calls La Forge and Data at the science station for a check-in. They make plans to contact back all of the medical facilities and let them know the real reason for the comas. They sign off from Picard.
'Hey, just heard back from those last two planets," La Forge tells Data. "No Iresine Syndrome, but two unexplained comas on one planet. And both occurred when Tarmin was back on his home planet, nowhere near there."

Jev drops in on Troi to say goodbye and apologize for his father again.
"We can still be friends," she says.
"After what he's done? I'm not sure I can."
Okay, so: rapist, lying liar, playing the victim, anything else?
"You're upset, do you want to talk?" she asks. "You'll feel better."
"Why do you have to be so nice?" he laments. "So lovely."
Oh, there we go. Victim-blaming and gaslighting! A whole row in Abuser Bingo.
And the tainted memory comes up again. Riker's quarters, post-poker, Troi spills the chips...
"It's happening again," says Now-Troi in a panic. "It was you all along!"
"So beautiful," he oozes. "So fragile."

In the memory state, Jev is immediately Riker, on top of her, asking if she still thinks of them. But Now-Troi fights back, slapping Jev, hauling out her Klingon self-defense moves, hitting him with a padd. He manages to literally throw her off, then the door opens behind him, and Worf levels Jev with one good punch. He's followed in by a couple of security Golds and Data. Jev gives her one last longing look before being hauled off.
"How did you know?" Troi asks Data.
"Jev was the only Ullian present for all of the unexplained comas we found," he tells her.
Troi's look says, "oh yay, a serial rapist."

Picard's Log 45435.8: "We're dispensing with the starbase and going straight to the Ullian homeworld."

The senior staff meets with Tarmin in the Obs Lounge. Gone is the gregarious guy. Now he's the somber father of a serial offender.
"The finest doctors and specialists are standing by on my homeworld to help you over your trauma," he tells them. "We haven't had to deal with this kind of rape for centuries, but the medical records still exist, and they'll be able to help you."
Picard gives a quiet speech about how humans also used to be violent, but they evolved past that and found other ways to resolve differences, but the seed of violence exists in everyone still, and they must guard against allowing it to consume them.
The end, roll credits, hopefully to never watch this episode again.

So there you go, an episode I hate, mostly because it's one in a series that I call The Victimization of Troi Series. 
We started out season two with Troi being impregnated without her knowledge or consent. While she ultimately chooses to keep the pregnancy, we have no idea how much of that was due to the influence of Ian, the alien baby who, you know, did the deed.
This is our second installment, where a sociopath breaks into Troi's mind to mentally rape her.
In season six, we get an episode called "Man of the People," where yet another sociopath does shitty mental things to Troi without her knowledge or consent.
(And I'd be a bit remiss in not mentioning "The Price" from season 2, where Troi falls in love with (surprise!) a sociopath. While no violations occur there to her, the writers like to hook her up with people who have no remorse for hurting others, so "The Price" gets an asterisk in this list.)
And here's a shitty spoiler: in the tenth movie, Troi gets mentally raped again, and the writers explain that it was "an homage" to this episode.
How about this? STOP RAPING TROI.

Every time I have a hardcore emotional reaction like this, I tend to check in with others: did they feel anything similar? Is this episode well-liked, and I'm the odd-one out? Am I over-reacting? Have I put some spin on it due to personal experience?
The answers I got back were all over the place.
The show-runners and writers all think that this is an exemplary episode, and they are proud of themselves for having written and produced a rape episode that is not only different, but was "handled well."
I found out through clicking around that IMDB offers users the opportunity to review episodes out of 10 stars, and again, it was a mixed bag. Some found, like the writers, that the exploration of "a different kind of rape" was interesting and lent a nice sci-fi bent to the concept. Others rated it low, and stated flat out that the subject matter would not be suitable for all viewers. One reviewer noted that someone else had mentioned that this episode contained "no suspense, only rape," and found this to be true going forward: Jev is revealed to be the antagonist at the outset, and you don't have to ask yourself "who is the actual mysterious rapist?" It's Jev. The episode tells you that in the cold opening. Some recalled the mind rape of Valeris in "The Undiscovered Country." All told, more than 2000 IMDB users rated this episode, and it came up with a 6.3 out of 10.

I also ended up in conversation about this episode with my friend Legolas, and he confessed that he too hated this episode. He suggested something I found rather disturbing: that this series of "Troi is Violated" episodes unintentionally points to Star Trek telling viewers that empathy with only bring you harm. 
I balked at this, because that's a ridiculously harmful message, but here we are - Troi, the most trusting and open person on the crew, is often abused by people who are able to break into her head and manipulate her. She carries a vulnerability that's different from the others. Am I saying it's just her? Hell no. We've seen plenty of other characters on this show be abused by outsiders who use their particular vulnerability against them. But in this case, we are not talking about the entry being blindness, or being an android, or coming from an honor-bound culture, but empathy. It's a thing most people have, and should use more often, but why would we when we're being taught to always have our guard up, to not trust people, to make ourselves vulnerable for the sake of seeing others, when the outcome is that someone with no empathy will view us as weak? Jev even calls Troi "fragile." Is this the ultimate take-away? In the TOS episode "The Empath," the empathic, mute alien Gem carries the wounds on her body every time someone else is hurt, and at the end, takes on Bones' fatal wounds to save him, sacrificing herself. All so some shitty aliens can gain some knowledge via experimentation. She was asked to die, basically.

I'd like to hope that "people with empathy are weak and ripe for the picking" is not Star Trek's message here, collectively. But the fact that they keep selecting her over and over again for this kind of torture makes me think that it might be possible, which I hate. 
I want to think that this show teaches empathy and acceptance. But it gets a little harder to believe that each time they play Troi Gets Violated.

Fun Facts:

- The script went through multiple rewrites, each coming at the rape aspect differently. They knew they wanted to do a rape episode, but didn't want it to be the same kind of story that the writers had seen many times before. They came up with the mental violation as a way to add the sci-fi spin.
- Jeri Taylor liked the idea that the assault was mental rather than physical, and exploring the violation of the mental vs the physical was the goal.
- The writing staff wrote memory sequences for all of the major characters and then chose the ones they liked. La Forge's fire memory from "Hero Worship" was written for this script, as well as a memory for Ensign Ro about the action that resulted in her dishonorable discharge and arrest.
- Eve H Brenner (Inad) will return to play a different character in season three of Voyager.

- Rick Fitts (Dr Martin) will return to play another character in Voyager, season 4. Sadly, we will not see him as Dr Martin again, which is a shame, because I liked Dr Martin.

 - This is the only time in Star Trek where Keiko appears onscreen, but Miles does not.
- This is the second of three appearances by Doug Wert (Jack Crusher).
- Brannon Braga and Rick Berman were both pleased with how this episode turned out.
- Jeri Taylor called it "Roddenbery weirdness." She felt that some of the episodes they had been doing were more political, or emotional, and that they lacked a bit of sci-fi.
- Jonathan Frakes felt that it would be out of character for Riker to dwell on the death of a fellow crewmember, but Michael Piller felt that Jev was just going inside Riker's mind and playing around, trying to up the drama.
- Jeri Taylor noted that she received disappointed letters from fans afterward, saying that they hoped the flashback scenes would lead to a rekindling of the Riker-Troi romance, but she stated that the flashbacks were only meant as flashbacks, and not as an indication of the future.
- Though not a fan of specialty camera effects, Berman gave director Robert Weimer permission to use the one for the memory sequences, as he felt that it was warranted to differentiate between reality and memory.
- This is the first episode produced following the death of Gene Roddenbery. Production was shut down early one day so that cast and crew could attend the funeral.

Red deaths: 0
To date: 1
Gold deaths: 0
To date: 0
Blue deaths: 0
To date: 0
Unnamed color crew deaths: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Geordi moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Ro Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Worf Moment: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Riker Moments: 1
To date: 0
Sassy Picard Moments: 0
To date: 0 
Sassy NPC Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Data Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy O'Brien Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Keiko Moments: 0
To date: 3
Sassy Crusher Moments: 0
To date: 0
Sassy Troi Moments: 0
To date: 2
Sassy Guinan Moments: 0
To Date: 1
Sassy Guest Star Moments: 0
To date: 2
Number of times that it is mentioned that Data is an android: 0
To date: 31
Number of times that Troi reacts to someone else's feelings: 0
To date: 8
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: 5
Tea, Earl Grey: 0
To date: 3
Mentions of the number 47: 0
To date: 1

Orwin, the dragon cat


  1. the writers explain that it was "an homage" to this episode.


    I mean, I know it happens, but...damn. That explains why it seems to come out of nowhere, too.

  2. I don't even like the starting premise of this episode, the whole "memory retrieval" thing. It was too close to the "Satanic panic" lunacy of the 90s, where people's lives were ruined by false memories of ritual abuse "retrieved" by "professionals". Memory is a squishy, unreliable thing, recreated and manipulated each time we tell ourselves the story, and the Ullians have an easy shortcut they can abuse. What if others do what Jev does, but more subtly, even subconsciously?

  3. Some days when I don't feel like doing anything I'll turn on BBC America's daily block of TNG. Even some of the not so good episodes are like comfort food. This one, though, I hate so much it will make me get up and turn the TV off.
    So I guess that's something positive that can be said about it.