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"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Lessons (1993)

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19 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Picard's new love interest.

Author: russem31 from United States
30 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

ST:TNG:145 - "Lessons" (Stardate: 46693.1) - this is the 19th episode of the 6th season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

While on a late night visit, Picard accidentally interrupts a Stellar Cartography experiment newly headed by Lt. Commander Daren, whom he immediately becomes infatuated is. It turns out the attraction is mutual and they soon become romantically entangled.

Picard soon contemplates whether he should pursue a romance with someone under his command, and this comes to a test when she is part of an Away Team on Bersallis III that may threaten her existence.

Trivia note: we see the flute from "The Inner Light" again (when Picard and Daren play together - she is on her portable piano). And EXCELLENT use of music when Picard and Daren are playing together (especially of the theme from "The Inner Light". We also see another concert that Data is part of, playing the violin again.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Delicate Episode

9/10
Author: Hitchcoc from United States
29 September 2014

Patrick Stewart is a great actor in any sense of the word. Here, his Jean-Luc Picard is smitten with an attractive woman who is multi-talented, both in her vocation and her avocation. She is a masterful musician, a pianist of great skill. One of Picard's few opportunities for artistic fulfillment, comes from a flute he was given in the episode where he lives an entire lifetime on a doomed planet. He plays along with computer generated music all by himself. He is immediately attracted to this woman and the loneliness of his position becomes a force with which he must deal. He is her superior on the Enterprise and there are understandings. Just because her role is research doesn't mean she may be required to perform a dangerous mission given the right circumstances. This episode is so beautifully done, with so much hurt and heart, that it really grabs us. Eventually, of course, those decisions are going to be made, and the role of Captain must be recognized. It's sad and poignant.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Lessons? What lessons?

6/10
Author: sascha-17 from Germany
29 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

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.

6/10

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Zen in Space.

8/10
Author: davidegede_744 from Denmark
28 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I Like this episode. Thou it is on the romantic stuff. But I love everything with Piccard. And the fact that this a semi sequel makes it even better. (to The Inner Light). I see it as an ongoing story, it is a sort a story a captain should have plenty of. That is what makes him who he is. And that is challenged in this episode. Identity is the question in the face of love. Again make note of the use of music. It is refined, maybe strong words for what it is, but is it not just that. Also all the small stuff, the familiar stuff. The tea, the night watch, the different parts of the ship. 10 Forwards. The fact that they have a grand piano. Datas observations. Then the crises, things are in motion, and a resolution. Rhythm is key. And much Zen to produce this. Not always success, but from time to time something like this(I don't know this, pure speculation). Modern CGI would do a difference here and there, but where would we be then? 8 out of 10 yes. Again I cry, not for the loss of his love, but for the memory that is inside Piccard. The pain of the "unknown" loss, the spring of the music they played and he to her, gone. If that was to come pass the strength found in playing the flute becomes poison to him. Never again, But then the story unfolds and the loss is not that big. But The Captain found the way, and the way was to part. D.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A love for Picard

8/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
18 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When Picard gets up at three in the morning he is somewhat annoyed that several systems are down at the request of the Stellar Cartography department; unable to do what he planned or even have a cup of Earl Grey he goes to see what can be so important that key systems must be taken off line. Here he meets department head Lt. Commander Nella Daren. He finds himself attracted to her and after discovering that they share a love of music they start spending more time together. He plays the Ressikan flute that he got in the episode 'The Inner Light' and tells her about the events of that episode. As their relationship develops it makes things a bit awkward for Riker as Daren asks him for the allocation of resources and personnel; routine requests that any section head might request but made awkward because she is seeing Riker's boss. Then the Enterprise is called in when a dangerous firestorm approaches a Federation outpost and her skills mean she is called on to take part in the evacuation. The storm is worse than expected and it looks as if a couple of the away teams may have been lost; including Daren's. Back on the Enterprise Picard feels helpless and unable to function properly.

This is one of those episodes that is more about the emotions and relationships of the crew rather than about the action. The action that we do see is there to serve the emotional side of the story. It was nice to see Capt. Picard forming a relationship that went beyond friendship especially when it managed to link to 'The Inner Light'; one of the series best emotional episodes. This episode does have one major weakness; the nature of the series meant we know from the start his relationship would be over before the episode was. It would have been nice if the relationship could have been allowed to last a few episodes so its end wasn't so obvious… at least they avoided the cliché of having her killed and dealt with the difficulties Picard would have sending her of further away missions. Guest star Wendy Hughes did a fine job as Daren; the relationship between her and Patrick Stewart's Picard was believable and touching; I especially liked their playing music in the Jeffrey's tubes. Overall a good emotional episode.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Picard is in love...so you KNOW it is doomed!!!

8/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
29 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A new officer has been stationed on the Enterprise, Lt. Commander Daren. The Captain becomes infatuated with her when she begins giving him music lessons and he discloses to her how he learned the flute in the episode "The Inner Light". It's kind of cute to see these folks together and everything is happy and good...so you KNOW that something bad must happen to this relationship. My daughter kept rooting for Daren to be evil and I assumed she'd be dead by the end of the show. After all, the lonely and stoic Captain CANNOT be happy--this is just one of those unwritten rules.

The best thing about this episode is its continuity with "The Inner Light". I really appreciate the references to this earlier (and fantastic) episode and it made Picard's playing for Daren a lot more special. All in all, a touching and well made show...but one that is also sadly predictable, as you KNOW the writers won't let the relationship work in the end.

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Picard gets music lessons

3/10
Author: skiop from United States
20 April 2016

"Lessons" should be called "Music Lessons". In this episode, Picard meets the obsessive Commander Daren and the two begin a relationship, mostly consisting of them playing music (Picard the flute he got in "The Inner Light", and Daren a little keyboard pad). This is all dull and when the manufactured dilemma (which shouldn't have been a dilemma at all) comes around, are we supposed to care? This episode came right after the tense "Starship Mine" and the two episodes couldn't be further apart. A tense thriller followed by an uninteresting romance; the former is definitely much more memorable.

The German title of this episode is "Der Feuersturm", which might give you even higher expectations than "Lessons". "Lessons" implies that there's perhaps actually a point to make, which there isn't. "Der Feuersturm" gives an impression of danger, which doesn't exist for an instant.

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3 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Excellent episode

Author: PWNYCNY from United States
25 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Captain Picard demonstrates poor judgment and personal weakness as he permits himself to be influenced by an attractive and assertive female science officer. The captain's effectiveness as a commander starts to erode as he permits his personal feelings to cloud his decision making. The problem is not the female officer, it is the captain, who should have known better than to allow himself to become personally involved with a subordinate. And to make matters worse, in a discussion with his chief adviser, the captain questions whether he is violating rules of ethical conduct but is told that his conduct is understandable and therefore appropriate. After all, the captain has feelings too. This episode shows what happens when people mix business with pleasure. The results can be embarrassing, frustrating and devastating. Excellent episode.

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