Monday, July 27, 2009

Star Trek: The Next Generation--"The Battle"

The second appearance of the Ferengi makes a much better splash than their debut. At the very least there was no more jumping like a jittery Chihuahua at loud thunder. Here they present both a more formidable villain and, in the case of the first officer’s reaction to his captain’s private vendetta, an added dimension beyond pure adversarial behavior.

Picard is suffering fro unusual headaches while simultaneously having to deal with a Starfleet ordered rendezvous with the Ferengi. They have brought a “gift’ for Picard--his old ship, the Stargazer. The Stargazer was lost nine years previous when it was forced to defend itself against an unknown ship, which it subsequently destroyed using what would become known as the Picard Maneuver.

In truth, it was a Ferengi vessel commanded by the son of Bok, Daimon of the current vessel meeting with the Enterprise. Bok is seeking revenge on Picard by altering the Stargazer logs to an admission of guilt for destroying a vessel flying uner a truce flag and using a device on picard that forces him to relive the memory of that battle as though it is happening now.

Bok’s crew mutinies because there is no profit in revenge, but will not help rikersave Picard. Riker is able to convince Picard to destroy the memory control device before he uses the Picard Maneuver to attack the Enterprise.

The plot is fast paced and exciting. One of the few times we ever see some self-doubt in picard is during the too brief period of time when the altered Stargazer logs might have been accurate. It was awkwardly brief. It might have made for a more interesting episode if the circumstance of the battle had remained ambiguous rather than let us know even before the next commercial break the logs were falsified.

But even that was not the most trite element. I have been advised not to hate on Wesley any further, but I just cannot help it. During the climax, he discovers signlas from the Stargazer match Picard’s brain patterns. He comes out of no wherewith this info after being off screen for forty minutes and discovers the source of a problem the entire crew of commissioned officers were not only unable to find, but did not know existed. When he does so, he smugly mutters to himself, “Adults.” it makes you want him to get flipped inside out in a transporter accident.

Aside from the moment Wesley went from mildly annoying kid to a teeth gnashing pain in the butt, “The Battle” was an enjoyable episode. The first season was starting to come together at this point. There will be a few more dips this season, but the future potential is becoming clear.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment