Thursday, September 10, 2009

Star Trek: The Next Generation--"Booby Trap"

Poor La Forge is the unluckiest guy in Starfleet when it comes to love. The big reason is because he falls for such weird women. Case in point: a hologram version of Leah Brahms. I think he has been in engineering too long.

“Booby Trap” marks the second time the Enterprise has gotten into trouble attempting to satisfy curiosity. The first time around was in “Where Silence has Lease.” You may recall a crewman was killed in that one and Picard decided to blow up the entire ship after they got trapped in a cloud inhabited by the curious, but sadistic, Nagilum. Here they get caught in a booby trap that releases deadly radiation if theship uses power or some such. The episode is full of VOY-esque techno babble that does not seem to mean much at all. The cool part is Picard nearly kills them all yet again as part of the solution. The crew stays loyal to this guy anyway. Wonder of wonders.

Picard wants to investigate an ancient ship adrift in an asteroid belt. The aliens that used it were exploring space when humans were living in medieval times. The ship is adrift because it got stuck in the previously mentioned power turns to radiation trap. The Enterprise gets stuck, too. Thanks, Picard. You and your nostalgia for building ships in bottles.

La Forge has no time to lick his wounds from a failed date when he has to recreate Leah Brahms, the designer of the Enterprise’s warp engine, in help him find away out. La forge falls in love with her along the way. And why not? She is brilliant, geeky, and is touchy feely. She is perfect for him. Well, except for that being a hologram bit.

They find a techno babble solution that involves literally coasting the ship out f the asteroid field with minimal power. We know it is going to work because the procedure is demonstrated in a simulation that does not look much better than contemporary 8-bit NES game. The future ain’t what it used to be.

Although the plan is likely to work, picadors his best to screw it up by taking the comm himself. Because he has not done so in years and it would be way too logical to let the perfect android, who normally handles the comm, you know, perfectly, do it. But the risk in only smashing into an asteroid and being completely destroyed, so what the heck. Let an old man have his fun. At least hedid not decide to set the self-destruct this time.

In spite of my snark, the plan works. Picard flies perfectly, and La Forge is back to being unlucky at love. The best part about the latter is not only will La Forge meet the real Brahms in the future, but she is a witch on wheels in real life and discovers he recreated her on the holodeck. Dude just cannot win for losing.

Not a bad episode, but it starts a long string of bad luck for la forge that reaches the point of incredulity. Seriously, nothing goes right for him until he gets new eyes sometime before Star Trek: First Contact. Here is the Dr. Mark Greene of TNG, except that he always survives to be tortured yet another day.

Oh, and yes, you dirty minded perverts, I do note the double entendre with ‘booby’ relating both to the trap and to La Forge getting the hots for a woman. I do not think that was intentional. It is funny as all get out, though.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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