At Starbase 173, the crew have a bit of leave. Data learns some of the intricacies of playing poker while Captain Picard runs into an old friend of a sort, Captain Phillipa Louvois, who established a new JAG office at the base. She once prosecuted him, unsuccessfully, but there is admiration at least, on both sides. Problems arise however when Commander Bruce Maddox receives permission to disassemble Data to determine how he functions. When Data expresses doubts about Maddox's likelihood of success, he refuses to undergo the procedure and resigns his commission. He soon finds himself the center of a judicial inquiry to determine if he is just a machine and a piece of property or a sentient being who has the right to make his own decisions. Captain Louvois finds herself sitting in judgment with Captain Picard defending Data's claim against Commander Riker who is forced to present the opposing arguments.
Did You Know?
This is the first episode to feature a poker game in Commander Riker's quarters. This would become a common feature of the show for its duration with various officers and crew participating. See more
When Riker calls Data to the stand, the computer reads out Data's medals and commendations. Riker tries to skip the reading, but Picard objects and insists the full record be read, and the judge sustains the objection. Later, however, when Picard calls Maddox to the stand and the computer begins to read out his accomplishments, Picard tries to skip the reading, and Riker does not object. The judge had already warned Riker that any laxity on his part in prosecuting the case would result in a summary judgment against Data, and this would seem to qualify. See more
Starfleet is not an organization that ignores its own regulations when they become inconvenient.
Referenced in King of the Nerds: Trek Wars
Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
and Alexander Courage See more