Daily Archives: December 27, 2018

Episode 2-21, Peak Performance

Peak Performance has a near perfect script. I can’t think of another episode that utilizes each character as well as this one. Everyone plays to their strengths and even the subplot serves to keep the emotional and philosophical core of the story moving forward. It even manages to take into account the Borg threat so it further builds the 24th century world. Great episode that’s also fun and exciting and even lets both Picard and Riker win when they compete against each other.

Episode 2-20, The Emissary

Star Trek screwed up by not finding a more permanent role for Suzie Plakson. First she played a Vulcan doctor, and now as a Klingon she does a fantastic job as Worf’s lover. She’s such a good actress and has such good chemistry with all the main characters that they should have found something more for her to do. Otherwise this was another good Klingon centered episode, even if the set up was sort of weak, but exploring the personal, sexual, and emotional side of Klingons was interesting and well done by both Plakson and Dorn.

Episode 2-19, Manhunt

While this is a silly episode, I always had a soft spot for Lwaxana, she just has so much personality and vulnerability that I would enjoy knowing her in real life. I suppose it’s an odd crush, but I just think she’s cool. Anyway, the episode tries to do too much and really just goes nowhere, though the fish people (Mick Fleetwood) were neat.

Episode 2-17, Samaritan Snare

I know this episode is notorious for being considered dumb, but I always liked it, even if it is contrived and doesn’t even pay attention to the the character’s own dialogue. Still, it has a charm to it that I always liked and it follows the Borg episode well by showing from another POV how an advanced culture can outsmart a weak one. Also, I liked Ensign Gomez, but dropping her for Barclay who will come later was a good choice.

Episode 2-16, Q Who

I remember when this first aired and what a huge deal it was when the Borg were revealed but even now, 30 years later it’s still an incredible episode and the Borg are the greatest scifi “villains” of all time. Interesting how the idea of a collective, decentralized threat predicted what would happen about a decade later when Al Qaeda was the world’s greatest threat, and even now with an organization like ISIS. There really is nothing more chilling than an enemy that you can’t really see. I also love how the Borg are so clearly inspired by HR Giger whose Alien design was equally horrific and depersonal. This episode also gives Star Trek the much needed sense of real danger that had previously been missing and there are real stakes now going forward.

Episode 2-15, Pen Pals

Pen Pals is a very sweet episode, but it also shows how the Prime Directive can be untenable in some circumstances. And this is an important aspect of the show because it reveals how humanity is still evolving and is imperfect. Would be interesting to explore this episode with a sequel 30 years later where the little girl still has the alien stone and her life has been far more altered than Picard and Data could have ever predicted.

Episode 2-14, The Icarus Factor

The Icarus Factor is a good example that shows no matter how advanced humans think they are they will always struggle with personal matters, even resorting to violence. Interesting choice to have the subplot be about Worf wanting to endure physical pain since that juxtaposes well with the emotional pain of Riker and his father. Also, all things Klingon are awesome.

Episode 2-13, Time Squared

Time Squared is exactly how to play out a mystery. No extraneous plots, just all the pieces fitted together in service to tell the main story. I really like how a lot of these episodes focus on just one character as the central focus because it really helps to feel like we know these characters inside and out. Great little episode.