My apologies for taking a while with these… I got side-tracked doing life things. Here’s two more I watched the other week…
Haven is one of those episodes with a relatively boring premise, largely dealing with the incredibly dull “Didn’t they or Didn’t they / Imzadi” plot between Ilia and Decker… erm, sorry, Troi & Riker. Fortunately, it’s also one of those episodes that’s saved by a brilliant guest star. Or, more accurately, by its brilliant gueststars.
Like John de Lancie as Q, even a bad episode of TNG with Lwaxana Troi in it is a pretty amusing episode, and Mr Homn… well, let’s just say this fine fella deserved a spin-off series.
The over-all story is probably a bit more Star Trek’y than some earlier stuff, but then… I’m watching these episodes in the order they appear on iTunes store in HD, not in the production order, original TV airing order or DVD order… all of which are seemingly wildly different. So, keeping in mind this was actually an episode produced about half way through the first season, it makes sense it doesn’t suck quite so much.
I’m always confused by what they’re intending with Riker. We see him alone in his quarters, beaming from ear to ear at two creepy holographic women who’re playing harps. What the shit kind of weird sexual fantasies does this guy have? I’m probably reading too much into this scene, but it’d have been much less creepy if we just found him in his quarters banging some ensign or something.
Armin Shimmerman (Quark, various other crappier Ferengi) plays, uh… the automated wedding box?
A very young Jimmy Dolan from Carnivale (and Sid Rothman from the short-lived Mob City) plays Wyatt, Deanna’s betrothed ’80s-haired love-interest. Seriously, he looks like he walked off the set of a Men’s Hair ad.
And Wyatt’s father is, seemingly, the Federation President from Star Trek IV. Heh.
Wil Wheaton gets a reprieve in this episodes, and was probably chilling out doing some school-work or something.
I’m out of things to say. It’s a memorable episode in your mind, until such time as you try to recall the specifics of the episode. Meh.
Lonely Among Us
Now, this was an episode I loved as a kid. Creepy as hell to Young Me, and showing some glorious “humans are advanced and awesome and very mature” Trek stuff. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t stand up very well in retrospect.
The A-plot for this episode is that an entity which can magically blend in people’s brains but is transfered between the crew using a very shiny-looking ILM lightning sequence is trying to get off the ship after accidentally being scooped up because La Forge can’t fly straight and gets too close to cloud of scientient beings.
The B-plot is that two awkward-looking alien races hate each other and want to cook each other.
Neither work very well, and there’s a lot of heavy-handed writing.
Our designated comic relief for the episode is “Data discovers that he loves Sherlock Holmes”. Oh ha-ha. Lots of fun. Everybody laugh. Good joke. (On the bright side, it pays off later as some of the Data-as-Sherlock moments actually prove to be pretty neat in future seasons)
O’Brien is back! But in his gold engineering uniform rather than being referred to as “Ensign” and wearing red like in Encounter at Farpoint.
Allegedly, one of the “out of ideas for aliens – let’s just make them look like Earth animals again, yeah?” B-plot fellas is Marc Alaimo (Dukat from DS9) even though he isn’t credited.
I just love the way the diplomatic “dress uniform” idea in TNG, starting in this episode, is taken so literally.
Some nice gender-neutral use of clothing styles, really.
The thing I remember really liking as a kid and still liking as an adult with this episode is that the episode felt very creepy and dark.
It turns out the “it felt dark” vibe I got as a kid was actually just because it is dark. For some reason the overly-bright cinematography TNG used pretty much up to Generations took a back seat and this episode’s Director/DP decided to dim the lights. In fact, a whole deck is shown dark during a ship’s “night cycle”. Probably done so as one of the alien guest stars needed to get the drop of a Starfleet Officer.
The Roddenberry “Humans as evolved species” thing is pretty heavy here. They’re mediating a dispute between two species who want to eat each other, and think that humans not eating the flesh of animals any more is “sickening”.
To be fair, it’s not so much that they’ve all become vegetarians, as that they’ve used the replicators to create “chicken” that was never a live chicken, etc. This, apparently, is the sickening thing. I’ve heard those purely-emotional arguments from meat eaters, actually, and it’s never made sense. “Would you eat vat-grown meat?” “Ew, no! That’s gross!”
Anyway, that stuff is kinda nerfed a bit with the awful “humour beat” at the end of the episode, when it’s discovered that one of the deligates has gone missing and the other party was found cooking some fresh meat.