10.28.2011

Star Trek TNG: Kenholic Log Zero-Zero-Five

Ah, Ensign Ro Laren; definitely the bright spot of this season. Her anti-authoritarian and selfish behvaiour brings an interesting dynamic that contrasts nicely with the rest of the crew. Despite her angry and rash persona, she showed glimpses of a fun loving and mischievous personality.

Otherwise, season five was rather boring. A large helping of ghost mysteries (that is, our perception of ghosts are replaced by alien entities hiding in uncharted nebulas/planets/meteorites) are thrown in between more interesting episodes. I find that I took a lot of mental notes about this though. If I didn't know better, the notion of bodily possessions and takeovers (the crew always fall victim to this, especially Troi) might actually be a metaphysical representation about struggling with our inner selves - that discovering the universe starts with discovering one's self - but that's giving them too much credit, I think they just ran out of ideas. Case in point: there was the episode with the slime straight out of Ghostbusters, sigh. 

It wasn't all bad though, here are a list of my favorites from this season:

S5,01: Redemption: Part Two. Possibly the high point of the season. A shame, considering it was the first episode.
S5,03: Ensign Ro. I wish she had more episodes, instead we got a bunch of Alexander episodes.
S5,08: Unification Part 2. Spock makes a return and waxes philosophical with Data.
S5,14: Conundrum. The crew's memory is erased and they are manipulated into fighting another's war.
S5,23: I, Borg. Picard plans to infect the borg, but soon discovers he got more than he bargained for.
*S5,25: The Inner Light. Picard lives another lifetime as a family man due to mind rays from a probe. Touching.
S5, 26: Time's Arrow: Part One. Data's head is found in San Francisco, aged by 500 years.

Trends:
  • Picard is softening up on kids, actually raises 2 kids in "Inner Light"
  • Data is still the ultimate plot crux killer.  I can attribute no less than 7 saves of the Enterprise and/or its crew this season to him.
  • For somebody with "mental powers", Troi gets possessed a lot.  You would think that she would have figured out some sort of defense after 5 years of this.
  • Riker's character has strayed from the his roots; maybe it's part of the maturing process he was talking about in season 4, but he's like a strict sounding board for common sense and rules/regulations now, as opposed to the ultimate risk taker he was hinted at being in S1-S2.

Trivia:
  • Tom Paris is Nicolas Locarno (the ace pilot/squadron leader in S5, 19).  The same actor, and despite what they say, the same character.  What a shame that they just didn't do it. This episode would have been a sick backstory for Tom's character in Voyager.

  • Kelsey Grammar (Frasier) makes a 30 second cameo as a confused captain.  I didn't buy it, it's more likely they found him in drunk in a back lot, ran make up on him, and plopped him in a chair. Anyways, he's the second member of the Cheers cast to play a trek character that I know of.  Kirstie Alley had a stint as a vulcan in the original series.

  • Famke Jenssen shows up S5,21 as a female metamorph - "the perfect mate".  She and Picard team up later in the X-Men movies, only this time, they aren't all over each other.

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