"Family" is a very personal film to me. While the subplot with Wesley Crusher is of such significance to me, the "Picard returning home to France to salvage old wounds still bleeding just a bit" part is certainly a major reason the episode retains such a measure of value, with this power that resonates because of what just previously happened to the Captain in "The Best of Both Worlds".
In "Family" Picard's past will be open to us, as will his emotional wounds still gushing internally yet truly shared externally. Picard's brother, a wine grower, taking his father's place on the farm kept in the family for generations, still harbors ill will, resentment, and jealousy towards Jean Luc; mainly displeased with how he left behind such a shadow, brother Robert (Jeremy Kemp) considers him too arrogant, absent humility, and "too good" for the farm and little village of his youth. This is Picard's chance to right the ship and better his relationship with a brother he hasn't seen in 20 years (he hadn't visited the home of his youth in this span of time), but "Family" is also a chance to explore the Borg's rape of the Captain. Such violation gave Patrick Stewart an opportunity to expose emotions laid bare, with a vulnerability rarely shown at such a scale; Picard spends a lot of time distanced and withdrawn, until he finally admits it all in a confessional to a brother needing to see his "humanity". That muddy scuffle in the wine thickets is a chance to see just how damaged a person can be when violated as Picard just breaks open for Robert who is honest in that the Captain will have no choice but to live with what Locutus of Borg did to innocent life. That tension between brothers, with a charming Samantha Eggar as Robert's wife, Marie, trying to smooth matters over and offering a kindness Picard so desperately needs, provides plenty of emotional fireworks. Robert and Marie's son has dreams of being a starship captain, bonding with Picard while he's visiting. There's a beautiful closing scene where the kid is looking out into the stars that perhaps paralleled Jean Luc's own experience as a child. Sadly, as we learn later, this dream won't come true.
Also a marvelous subplot features Theodore Bikel and Georgia Brown as Worf's delightful human parents: unflappable, proud, and awestruck by their son's achievements and the Enterprise itself, taking advantage of the shore leave and the starship's docking at an orbit of Earth while under repairs after their war with the Borg, these two just want to see their son and spend time with him. Bikel, of course, is so amazed at the ship and wants to see every inch of it, fascinated by its inner workings because he was once an officer (now retired, of course, but still he's curious and interested), with Brown always so gushing with joy, sometimes embarrassing to Worf (he asks them to possibly "be more restrained"). A smaller but just as valuable subplot has Dr. Crusher going through her husband's things from Earth kept in a box for the right time, finding an "introduction" to her son from him, wondering if she should allow Wesley to finally see it (she feels uncertain because he's just coming to terms with his father's absence). Because I lost my father at such a young age, this was especially potent to me. Wesley seeing his father, the message directed to him right after birth, and the father talking as if he would have plenty of time to direct other messages to his son: this allows a son to see his father and accept that while he never would have time with him, he would know what this man really felt and the look on his face while speaking this to his son. Ultimately, this is about Picard coming to grips with a contentious past regarding his brother that needed settling and to no longer avoid the agony beset upon him by the Borg experience.
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