Riker's delight at being offered a command of the USS Aries turns to frustration when the man sent to prepare him for his mission is his estranged father; Worf's behavior leads Wesley to delve into Klingon tradition.
When Riker is offered the command of the the USS Aries he and Picard are pleased. They are stopping at Starbase Montgomery where they are taking a civilian on board to brief Riker on his new assignment. When it turns out to be Riker's father -they haven't seen each other for some 15 years - it seems he knows Dr. Pulaski with whom he obviously at one time had a serious relationship. It takes a physical encounter for father and son to solve their issues. Worf meanwhile has been quite irascible lately and it's left to Wesley Crusher to figure out what he needs. While at the base, the crew is also taking advantage of the facilities to have the engines looked at. Written by
John Tesh: erstwhile host of Entertainment Tonight (1981) appears as the Klingon K'Tesh in Worf's Ascension Chamber on the holodeck. His appearance was heavily featured in "Entertainment Tonight" at the time. See more »
Kyle Riker mentioned to Deanna that Will was about to be offered his first command. Command of the Icarus was the second time Commander Riker was offered a ship of his own. The first was the U.S.S. Drake, which he turned down in order to serve as the First Officer onboard the Enterprise. See more »
Kyle Riker (Mitchell Ryan)--hyper-competitive and emotionally absent lots of macho theatrics Worf's right of ascension
Whether you like "The Icarus Factor" or not might well depend on whether you like soap operas. Instead of the usual missions, there are two crew members who have serious growing up issues...and for once, it ain't Wesley!
In the first theme, Riker is being offered command of a ship. But, there is a problem--his father had come to talk to him about this assignment and ready him should he accept it. Why is this bad? Well, Riker has daddy issues--and he and his father are not at all close. Much of Will Riker's childhood was spent with a hyper-competitive dad who was also emotionally absent. And, although he behaves as if he doesn't need his father or care, Will obviously is carrying a lot of pain and needs to deal with this.
The other involves Worf. Wesley has noticed that Worf is even more emotionally distant and surly than usual and he brings this to the attention of Worf's other friends. They have no idea what's going on...until Wesley realizes, after doing some research, that Worf is feeling alone and alienated from his Klingon heritage because there are no Klingon friends with him to celebrate his Right of Ascension. So, the crew prepares for the ceremony--with involves 'pain sticks'!
As I said, this is a soap opera-like episode. Nothing really occurs except for some occasionally embarrassing emotional baggage coming to a head. It is fitting, then, that Ryan Riker (the dad) is played by Mitchell Ryan--a very familiar face on soap operas like "All My Children", "Dark Shadows" and "General Hospital". As for me, I really found the episode a bit poor--with a real slump in writing and not enough happening other than a couple folks whining about their childhoods.
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