Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 6, Episode 19

Lessons (3 Apr. 1993)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Picard falls for the new head of the stellar science services department, but has feelings of misgivings when he's forced to assign her to a dangerous mission.



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Episode cast overview:


Wondering why an experiment at stellar cartography has most of the ship's resources reserved for hours, Picard goes see the stellar sciences section's obnoxiously assertive new head, Lieutenant Commander Nella Daren. Spending some time together they find they share several interests and enjoy playing music together. The relationship gets tested by balancing his authority and her tendency to sort of abuse his feelings for her. Then she suggests a way to help colonists about to suffer a severe stellar storm, and joins one of the rescue teams, which is badly hit... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

3 April 1993 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A rare episode in which there is no narration of a log entry either before or after the opening credits. See more »


Some obvious matte work to simulate a long access tunnel when Picard and Darren play music in the Jeffries tube. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Now, perhaps you can tell me what was so important that it required depriving the Captain of his cup of Earl Grey?
Lt. Cmdr. Nella Daren: Earl Grey? No wonder you can't sleep.
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Inner Light (1992) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Lessons? What lessons?
29 November 2012 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

Summary: Picard learns the hard way that business and romance don't mix.

Jean-Luc Picard is "a very private man". We don't see him connect to other people on a personal level very often. So it's a welcome change to have the captain meet and fall for a woman for once.

As an added bonus, his love-interest (Cmd. Daren) is written pretty well and we can buy him falling in love with her: She's brilliant, cultured, witty, outspoken and physically attractive enough. Plus Picard and her actually have common interests besides working on a starship - something Hollywood frequently ignores when matching up characters. The actual "falling in love"-moment is done very well, with Picard talking about his experience during "The Inner Light". Both the writing and acting are good and help to sell that scene.

When they get together, it's TNG's format which instantly raises alarm-bells with the audience: We know that the laws of a weekly TV-show won't allow Picard to fall for a guest-star character and stay with her. So right from their first kiss, we wonder how the writers will break up the newly formed relationship. And it's here where the plot falls apart.

After a false lead involving Picard's awkward treatment of her in public, the story goes for the obvious choice: Placing Picard in a position where he has to put his love-interest in a dangerous situation. It's done in such a rushed way that you can almost feel the writer's desperation to have everything "back to normal" by the end of the episode.

And it just doesn't ring true. Picard has put his senior officers into countless life-threatening situations before. Including Dr. Crusher who he clearly has feelings for. He never asked her or anyone else to apply for a transfer. Plus: How realistic is it for the head of stellar cartography to be part of a dangerous away mission like the one in the show (or in fact any dangerous away mission)? She struck me more as the brainy type, someone who'd run experiments in a laboratory. Not someone who'd routinely run around on dangerous planets or who'd get sent into a firefight.

To me, it would've been much more interesting if the writers had actually dared to keep Daren on the show for a couple of episodes. It would've broken the "reset everything for the next show"-routine and would have been a nice opportunity to explore the Picard-character as a private man.

As it is, the title of the show doesn't have any real meaning: What lesson did Picard learn? It's pretty standard knowledge that mixing business and romance can be tricky (although other characters like Riker don't seem to have a problem with it at all). And the way they both agree to end their relationship isn't earth-shattering either: Nobody really gets hurt and come next episode, the Daren-character is completely forgotten. So there are no real lessons or consequences here.


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