|Index||6 reviews in total|
Two plots. One, the near death experience of Jean-Luc Picard as he has a malfunctioning device replaced that causes his heart to beat properly. In the process, he bonds (as much as is possible) with Wesley Crusher who joins him on a long shuttlecraft ride. Picard has been hiding his condition from the crew because his ego can't handle needing others to look after him. The other, occurring during this time as a pack of strange aliens who seem mentally deficient, make a grab for weaponry on the Enterprise. Number One must confront these characters since the Captain is incapacitated. These guys are portrayed as such idiots it's hard to imagine how they could tie their shoes, let alone build and pilot a space ship. They are formidable, nevertheless, but reactive. This is what is used against them. When Picard takes a turn for the worse, Pulaski is pulled in. There are numerous lessons learned by various crew members, Picard included. The fear of vulnerability is something that has to be accepted because not everything requires unilateral thinking. So one half of the episode is intriguing; the other is suspect.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
ST:TNG:43 - "Samaritan Snare" (Stardate: 42779.1 - this is the 17th
episode to air of the 2nd season.
Wesley has to get ready for his Starfleet exams at Scylla 515 and guess who he has to travel with to reach his destination? - Captain Picard! In order to protect his "ego", he will go there "in secret" to undergo a cardiac replacement operation ordered by Dr. Pulaski. As Wesley and Picard have time to spare, Picard explains how this came to be in his past which necessitated a replacement artificial heart (this incident will actually be shown in the 6th season episode "Tapestry". But now that heart is faulty, hence the operation.
At the same time, Geordi helps the slow Pakleds try to repair their ship but they turn out to have a few tricks up their sleeve!
Trivia: Lycia Naff also makes a return as Ensign Sonya Gomez (we last saw her in the previous episode "Q Who?") in her second and final appearance. And Wesley reiterates Picard's dislike of children, and you get to see Picard drink coffee (unlike his usual preference of Earl Grey tea).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Story involves two subplots: One where Picard and Wesley go to Starbase 515 for different reasons, Picard for surgery and Wesley for Starfleet exams. Fairly interesting exchanges between the Captain and Wesley...they even bond to a small degree! The other plot/subplot involves a distress call from a ship which needs it's guidance system repaired. They act and appear to be quite mentally challenged which might seem to be a ruse. Geordi goes over to fix the problem and is taken hostage afterward so that the Pakleds can use him to "make us smart." I seriously question how the Pakleds EVER got into space. They look more suited to be a, uh, I don't know what to call it but certainly not able to figure out how to make a space ship!!! Oh, and in case I thought they might be trying to pretend to be mentally challenged, after Geordi gives them what they need they are all excited: "Now we are strong!" That's it...they don't revert to acting 'normally,' just keep saying "we are strong" or "now we are smart." Ugh.
Picard to get surgery, Wesley to take SF exam Pakled ask for help and
seem simple-minded but NOT --don't really want help but are devious
When the episode begins, Captain Picard announces that he's heading to the nearest starbase and Wesley, who needs to go there for the Starfleet exam, will be accompanying him. However, exactly WHY Picard is temporarily relinquishing command is unknown--and he's being very cagey about it.
Shortly after the Captain leaves, the Enterprise receives a distress call from the Pakleds. When Riker and the crew arrive to help, they are a bit bemused, as the Pakleds seem incredibly simple-minded and harmless. How they were able to obtain a spacecraft seems like a real puzzler. But, happy to be of service, LaForge goes to the Pakled ship to offer help--and soon gets the ship running well. However, when Troi learns that they are dealing with the Pakled, she is worried as she sees these beings as very deceitful and they are NOT as dumb as they've been acting. What's next?
Overall, this was both an entertaining episode as well as one that furthered Picard's character development--something sorely needed for the normally super-stoic leader. Well done and one of the better episodes of season two.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Okay episode of Star Trek The Next Generation has two alternating story lines both with effective hooks: Picard travels by Shuttlecraft with Ensign Wesley Crusher to Starbase 515, needing what he believes is a routine cardiac procedure where they install a new instrument to keep his heart beating that goes awry threatening his life while Commander Riker and the Enterprise deal with mentally slow but conniving aliens known as Pakleds who are successful in kidnapping Geordi by sending out a distress mayday signal calling for help (what they want is for Geordi to replicate weapons for them so "they can become strong"). The episode places Riker in quite a conundrum as he must figure out a way to get transport ability to beam Geordi out of there but the Pakleds' shields are quite impressive (obviously stolen using a similar scheme by using their intellectually inferior features and speech to lure advanced races into their trap to build up a better weapons and engine technology so they can compete with others in space) and they continue to use his own phaser to harm him (even on stun, multiple blasts will do considerable damage). Plain and simple, Riker and company will have to outsmart them by developing a ruse they will fall for due to their limited mental acuity. Meanwhile, we have a bit of bonding between Picard and Crusher as the two travels on a six-hour trip on the Shuttlecraft. The twist regarding who saves Picard when his procedure becomes life-threatening is important in how the Captain views privacy, wanting his physical injury to remain secret, and not entrusted in the hands of a capable doctor (it is a matter of not wanting his body visually viewed by those who serve with him, considering such intimate knowledge burdensome to his image!) who will see him subdued and "naked". Anyway, it is nice that Picard shares a story from his past as it contributes to why he must have surgery and details that he wasn't always so disciplined, and having a "moment" with Crusher conveys a kind of paternal aspect to their time alone on the Shuttlecraft. Seeing Riker on his own, depending on his crew for possible answers to get Geordi back, it shows how great a Captain he would be when the time was right. That said, the Pakleds aren't exactly the scariest foes the Enterprise has encountered (the use of their inferiority to gain advantage on those superior is fascinating, don't you think?), and anyone who believes Picard would perish in a surgery during only the second season certainly is easily gullible. The ending is wrapped up all nice and neat, but the Pakleds storyline's conclusion is a bit uninspired as if it was merely making up padded time for Picard and Wesley's trip.
Not a BAD episode, but I kept wincing at the stilted dialog and direction. Painfully awkward. Not a horrible plot, but very contrived in its development, and for me the whole episode is just plain awkward, from the dialog and direction to the plot and ending. TNG by the numbers, very little imagination or logic, and it seemed to end just because it was time. This is SO not one of the crisp, intelligent episodes that I make a point of catching. I just wish they'd give me a chance to rewrite the dialog, and give the characters more chance to actually express some intelligence, and not move through the scenes like robots. It's TNG, of course, and I'll continue to watch it. Unless there's something better to do.
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