I'm not sure this is going to be the worst of the season (I very rarely know
exactly what numbers a show is getting before writing the review, except for
obvious 10's and obvious 0's), but it might be close. It wasn't particularly
good. Here's a (hopefully brief) summary:
Picard returns from a two-week session of creating a trade agreement between
two very difficult races. He's tired and grumpy. Crusher suggests a vacation
to him, but he detests going on vacation, so he refuses. Riker then gets in on
the act, and then Troi. Finally, realizing that everyone (with the possible
exception of two ensigns stationed on Deck 30) is going to harass him about
this, he consents, and beams down to Rysa, a paradise of a planet. On his
initial arrival, he's greeted with a kiss by a woman he's never seen before.
After several conversations with women (who are interrupting his reading out in
the sun), the woman from his arrival returns. Her name's Vash, and it seems a
Ferengi is after her, and after a disk she apparently has her hands on. She
surreptitiously puts it in Picard's pocket when the Ferengi, Savak (sp?) un-
expectedly shows up. Picard returns to his room and encounters two Vorgons
from the 27th century. They are there looking for a weapon (a "quantum phase
inhibitor, which is capable of stopping all nuclear reactions in a star") that,
after one attempt at theft, was hidden back in the 22nd century, and it has
remained hidden ever since. Their history indicates that Picard finds it on
After that, things are reasonably predictable. It turns out that the mysteri-
ous disk belonged to Vash's old boss, a professor who searched for years for
this weapon (the name of which escapes me, alas), before he died (any rumors
that he was kidnapped by Nazi spies are pure fiction :-) ), and contains the
results of his final analysis. Vash took it, AND Savak's money, and fled to
Rysa to find it. Picard and Vash start digging in the cave to which the trail
leads (after a small romantic interlude), but find nothing. This failure par-
ticularly annoys Savak, who followed them and then forced them to finish dig-
ging at gunpoint. It also disturbed and puzzled the two Vorgons, who appeared
close to the end of the excavation. However, Picard figures out that Vash must
have found it earlier and rigged the whole thing to throw Savak off the scent.
The Vorgons appear and ask for the weapon. Picard asks for some proof that
they're really the good guys, and the Vorgons threaten him. He calls upon the
recently-returned Enterprise to initiate transporter sequence 14, and the wea-
pon is destroyed. Picard returns, in better spirits. THE END.
Okay, so it wasn't much of a synop. It wasn't much of a show, either. But, I
suppose you want some more specific commentary, huh? :-)
First, the bad points:
1) I thought Savak's makeup job was terrible. Just an observation.
2) The plot was entirely too predictable, from beginning to end. It was obvi-
ous that the disk was somehow connected to the weapon, and that Vash wasn't
quite as innocent as she originally claimed, AND that she and Picard would
eventually end up in the sack (but see my commentary on that below), AND that
the Vorgons weren't entirely on the up-and-up. Sheesh.
3) Too much of a bad knock-off of Indiana Jones. Besides the professor who's
sent his life searching for the weapon, Vash wears a vaguely Jonesian outfit
(no hat, though) when going off to the site and seemed to be trying to project
a Karen Allen-like personality (an attempt she failed, I might add). Also, she
and Picard's conversation right before their tryst was very reminiscient of
that between Jones and Ilsa in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", AND I al-
most expected Vash to respond to the question of what she wanted from the wea-
pon with "Fortune and Glory." If I want Indy, I'll watch the real thing, thank
4) Now, about that romance. While I'm not surprised that Picard has hormones,
I cannot see their encounter (hell, their whole RELATIONSHIP) happening quite
so spontaneously. Picard strikes me as entirely too honorable to get involved
with someone so shady.
5) The "quantum phase inhibitor" deal. If they'd just said it could halt
all nuclear reactions in a star, I could've bought it. But, to the best of my
memory, most stellar reactions could care less about phase factors, so calling
it a QPI is about as explanatory as calling it Ethel.
6) I like Picard as much as the next guy (probably more than most, in fact),
but I like episodes where we SEE the rest of the crew for more than a couple
of minutes. The rest of the regulars had little more than walk-ons.
Now, for the good points. Yes, there were SOME.
1) The performances and characterizations of the regulars were actually pretty
good. Troi's artifice in getting Picard to go on the holiday was absolutely
splendid (she pretends her mother's coming to meet the ship at Starbase 12).
Also, Riker's asking Picard to pick up a "horgon" (apparently a symbol of
sexuality) had some wonderful results. I could just see Picard thinking to
himself when he found out what it means, "ACTING...ENSIGN...RIKER!" Lovely.
If we'd seen more of the Enterprise crew and less of the planet, I'd have been
2) I believe this is the first time in TNG that we've seen beings from beyond
the 24th century. While they could have been better used, I'm glad to see some
evidence that the history of the universe doesn't end in 2366.
3) There is no #3. Two good points--that's all.
At any rate, I'm still tired from my flight in, and I've said about all that
needs to be said about this. Some ratings, then:
Plot: 4. Barely.
Plot Handling: 4. That's mostly due to the all too few scenes aboard the
Characterization: 6. Wonderful aboard ship, rotten on the planet.
Technical: 3. Boring--and the QPI didn't help much.
TOTAL: 4.3. The worst of the season. Pity--it almost had promise.
A rerun. Bleah. But it's a rerun of "The Defector". WHOOPEE!!
Tim Lynch (Cornell's first Astronomy Major)
"Anything directed by a guy named Chip..."
--me, upon seeing the lead credits.
Patrick Stewart said at the Palo Alto Con that this was one of more fun
episodes to film this year.
In article <1990Apr3.0...@heights.cit.cornell.edu> tly...@heights.cit.cornell.edu writes:
>4) Now, about that romance. While I'm not surprised that Picard has hormones,
>I cannot see their encounter (hell, their whole RELATIONSHIP) happening quite
>so spontaneously. Picard strikes me as entirely too honorable to get involved
>with someone so shady.
On the contrary, I thought this aspect of the show was in keeping with a
side of Picard we have seen before: That of the shady private eye. I thought
his "...what the hell, this is a vacation, let's go with it..." attitude
was in keeping with this fascination he has with detective fiction.
>Now, for the good points. Yes, there were SOME.
>3) There is no #3. Two good points--that's all.
Nonsense; you forgot the best quote in the episode:
"Forget the holodeck!" - amen to that...
>TOTAL: 4.3. The worst of the season. Pity--it almost had promise.
I bet I could name several worse episodes from this season. Well, maybe I
can't, since I have taped over them. I don't think I will tape over this
one, however. 'Nuff said.
It is nice to see that Picard doesn't have to spend all his nights alone,
though. Tough being a Federation capatin.
| Greg Goebel NET: gvg@hpislx |
| Hewlett-Packard HP DESK: GREG GOEBEL / HP0900 / EM |
| MSO Marketing PHONE: Telnet/303 679-3424 |
| POB 301 / MS-CU312 / Loveland CO 80539 FAX: Telnet/303 679-5957 |
Good heavens, I sure set myself up with that one ... forgot all about Jimmy