11.06.2011

Star Trek TNG: Kenholic Log Zero-Zero-Seven

serious picard is serious?
All good things, indeed. A long and intricate seven year journey (for me, a seven week journey), punctuated by a really neat final episode. I remember having a VCR recording of the final episode(s) which I must have watched at least three or four times in the past. I really enjoyed watching it all over again from the beginning ... as I mentioned last week, I feel like I have a new appreciation and a new perspective for the series, but that's a story for another time and post.

Season seven was a downer for the most part.  Too many fillers with more telepathic and/or ghost stories, i.e. too many uninteresting Troi stories (which Q later describe as pedantic - I agree).  I understand that they were tying up loose ends this season, so I will grant that some of them were done pretty well.  The exploration of the Picard/Crusher and Worf/Troi relationship subplots among them.   They continued a few good trends from last season though: more back story references and more picard-centric "away missions".  They also had some nice farewell episodes for lesser characters Wesley and Ro.  I feel these were few and far between though.  So as usual, I present a list of my favorites from this season:  

S7, 4 & 5: Gambit 1 & 2.  Picard is forcibly enlisted aboard a pirate ship.
S7, 8: Attached.   Picard and Beverly are telepathically linked and discover their true feelings for one another.
*S7, 11: Parallels.  Worf jumps between alternate dimensions.
S7, 12: Pegasus.  Riker confronts a major decision made in his youth.
S7, 15: Lower Decks.  A rare glimpse into the lives of the junior officers of the Enterprise.
*S7, 20: Preemptive Strike.  Ensign/Lieutenant Ro makes her finale.
*S7, 25 & 25: All Good Things.  The end.

Trends:
  • Picard got a lot of away type missions in the final two seasons.  However, every time we saw Picard wear his grey uniform with field jacket, he literally had a 50% (2/4) chance of getting captured by the enemy.  Bad luck uniform.
  • Also bad luck: I'm pretty sure that Reginald Barclay has an 80% (4/5) chance of putting the entire crew into catastrophic situations.
  • After I got sick of Riker's new authoritarian image (~season 4+), it seemed like they (the writers) made it a point to contrast his old and new styles via specific episodes in season six and seven.  I wonder if this was a widespread enough feeling (that new Riker sucks) to cause entire episodes to be written up to justify his character change.  Probably, and yes, he still sucks.  
  • I have a hard time believing that Troi would make Commander (3 bubbles) before Data (stuck at 2.5), who has been decorated numerous times in the past, has actually captained both the Phoenix and Enterprise for long periods, and more importantly, has been declared TNG MVP by myself.  I have a hard time believing that Troi would even make Commander before Worf, who has been a lieutenant (2 bubbles) since the time of Yar's death. 
  • As much as they tied off some plot points, they started a bunch of new ones and left them hanging too, for example - Data's recovery of the emotion chip (explored in the TNG movies), Geordi's missing mother (not mentioned again),  Picard/Beverly romance (don't remember), Troi/Riker/Worf triangle (movies), Wesley having Traveler (space/time) powers.  Ensign Ro (not mentioned again, I think).  
  • Data's cat, Spot.  
  • After 7 years, I can conclude that the Prime Directive doesn't mean much to the Enterprise and its crew.
Trivia:
  • Kirsten Dunst is the little girl in episode 7, Dark Page.
  • The evil bald guy from Lost (Terry O'Quinn) plays an evil half bald guy in episode 12.
  • Over the past couple of seasons, they keep mentioning a Dr. Selar.  I think she appeared once in season two, but never on screen again, despite a few "I'll have Dr. Selar look into it" moments from Dr. Crusher every season after. 

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