367. [DS9] The Passenger
SCORE: (2/5 stars)
Oh God. If you want to watch painfully bad overacting, watch this episode, but be sure to grab a drink. Bashir is being his cocky self after saving someone’s life and making Kira hate him as he brags about what a genius he is on the runabout ride home when they pick up a distress signal and attempt a rescue of the crew of a ship on fire. There’s only two people alive… the prisoner who started the fire, and the warden who had finally caught him and warns them not to help him. Well, Bashir isn’t about to let a prisoner burn to death just because he’s a criminal, and when he attempts to aid the man in his cell, he gets strangled for his efforts. Not strangled quite long enough for my tastes, but that’s okay, Bashir does get better later in the series.
The man dies after strangling Bashir (after demanding “make me live”) but his warden Kajada is not at all convinced he’s actually died. She’s not even finished being treated in DS9’s infirmary when she insists on seeing the body and running all sorts of scans. You see, this criminal by the name of Vantika has been known to fake his death before, and has been obsessed with using medical experiments to prolong his life. He had actually been heading for DS9 when he was captured. A shipment of deuridium is due to arrive at the station, and it’s a substance that Kajada and Vantika’s species use to repair genetic damage and keep from dying out. For a guy obsessed with staying alive, getting his hands on this shipment makes a lot of sense, and because Kajada is so convinced that he’s still alive, Sisko decides to err on the side of caution.
A side plot ensues with Odo butting heads with a Starfleet security officer. It’s always been clear that Odo doesn’t play well with others, but in this instance he seems to want to be the only cop on the station, even threatening to resign over having to work with him. Sisko’s able to talk him down from that by saying that it’s absurd to expect Starfleet to administrate the station without bringing along security to safeguard their interests, and that Odo is still in command of all security matters on the station, and is to be considered the superior when dealing with Starfleet security. The security officer doesn’t mean to step on Odo’s toes, and actually proves quite capable in his own right once he learns to play a little looser with Starfleet standard operating procedures.
366. [TNG] Tapestry
SCORE: (4/5 stars)
Picard is beamed into sickbay, his uniform charred in the chest, his vitals slipping. As Dr. Crusher attempts to revive him, he finds himself passing into a place of pure light and finds an angelic being waiting to greet him. As the being steps out of the blinding light… we find that it’s Q. “Welcome to the afterlife, Jean-Luc. You’re dead.” Q goes on to explain that he’s God, a notion Picard instantly dismisses on the notion that the universe isn’t so terribly designed as to have been Q’s project. A fair point when weighed against Q’s certainly god-like powers.
Q explains that Jean-Luc died because of his mechanical heart failing, and opines that if he had his real heart, he may very well have survived the operation. He offers Picard a chance to go back to that fateful event where he started a fistfight with three Nausicaans and got stabbed through the back, and choose a different course. Picard is afraid of messing up the timeline, but Q insists that he won’t change anything except himself. The universe will go on as it always has. And he can decide while he’s there whether to stop it or go through with it.
Picard, or “Jonny” as he’s called by his friends Marta and Corey (who is so ginger he has -1 souls) are enjoying their graduation from the Academy on a space station. Picard has been chasing skirts with variable success, Corey has been killing it at the Dom-jot table (think pool meets pinball) and Marla is… well, I’m not sure what she’s up to other than hanging out with them. Picard still appears as his old self when looking in the mirror, but everyone else sees him as his young, completely un-Tom Hardy-like self.
ChronoTrek Livestream: [TNG] Tapestry
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After being attacked on an away mission, Picard dies and meets Q in the afterlife who offers him the chance to change a crucial moment in his history and prevent the mistakes he made in his youth.
365. [DS9] Dax
SCORE: (4/5 stars)
This episode could be called “The Measure of a Trill.” Dax is nearly kidnapped from DS9 by a man named Ilon Tandro (played by Gregory Itzin, who we’ve seen portray unpleasant characters in everything from Enterprise to 24 to Firefly), who claims he’s extraditing her to his homeworld to answer for the murder of his father 30 years ago. Obviously, he’s talking about Curzon Dax, not Jadzia Dax. Because the Federation has an extradition treaty with the Klaestron, Sisko has to resort to using the Bajoran status of the station. With Kira’s assistance, he’s able to get the extradition delayed until the Bajoran government can hold an informal hearing on the matter.
Dax, surprisingly, seems to have no interest in defending herself or even discussing the charges. She just sits around her quarters and mopes and won’t answer Sisko’s questions on the matter. He’s got his staff doing as much research as they can into the legal status of Trill personhood and whether a host can be held responsible for actions of a previous host, as well as the medical aspects of Trill joining. They’ll win with any legal technicality they can get their hands on if it has to come to that. The charges Dax faces hold the death penalty on Klaestron Four.
Meanwhile, Odo goes to Klaestron Four to investigate the case further, and meets Ilon Tandro’s mother (who will soon play Data’s mother). She talks about how her husband is seen by their people as a war hero and a great leader and she has been relegated to a historical trophy, expected to show up at events to represent him. Nobody cares about who he really was, they care only about the perception they have of him, but she knew the real man. She also knew Curzon very well, and insisted he was good friends with her husband, but because of the circumstances of his death, being ambushed on a secret route only five people knew about, Curzon was the only one of those five without an alibi. She is also visibly shocked when she learns that Curzon is dead. It seems he meant a lot to her.
364. [TNG] Face of the Enemy
SCORE: (5/5 stars)
Troi wakes up in a dark room. The computer doesn’t respond to her request for lights. She stumbles around and finds a mirror, and as she approaches, the lights come on. She finds a Romulan staring back at her from the mirror. Another Romulan named N’Vek comes into the room and explains that she’s been kidnapped to aid in the defection of some high-ranking Romulan dissidents to the Federation. She is to pose as a Tal Shiar agent, basically the Romulan KGB, and order the ship’s commander Toreth to rendezvous with a mercenary ship in the Kaleb sector.
Meanwhile on the Enterprise, nobody seems to be aware that Deanna has been kidnapped, but they pick up a Starfleet officer who defected to the Romulan Empire 20 years ago and has decided now to return. He’s told he’s being court-martialed as soon as he beams aboard, but he doesn’t seem to care about that. He has a message from Ambassador Spock to deliver to Captain Picard: we’re in need of some cowboy diplomacy again. So he sets course to the Kaleb sector.
Deanna has to maneuver her way around the ship, convincing everyone that she’s a Tal Shiar agent, and must rule with fear and ruthlessness. The Tal Shiar are not beloved—they are obeyed because to disobey means death for you and your family. Toreth is someone that, if it weren’t for the fact she’d kill Deanna in a heartbeat if she knew the truth, I would really be rooting for. She sympathizes with the dissident movement in the Romulan empire. Her own father was executed for simply speaking his mind. I’m sure Deanna sympathizes, definitely empathizes, but to act on that would mean death, so she must continue to be ruthless.
363. [DS9] Q-Less
SCORE: (2/5 stars)
A runabout carrying Dax and Ensign Not-Appearing-In-This-Film arrives at DS9 without power. When they finally manage to get the hatch open, they discover that though the runabout went into the wormhole with two passengers, it came back with a third: Vash, Picard’s lady friend. What was Vash doing in the Gamma Quadrant? Well, if you remember last we saw her, she took Q up on an offer to explore the galaxy. Sounds like she got quite a bit of distance out of that offer. But of course, if Q got her to the Gamma Quadrant, and now she’s here… well, the impish god can’t be far behind.
Vash has all sorts of archaeological finds from the Gamma Quadrant, but rather than take them to the Daystrom Institute for study, she takes a business offer from Quark to auction it all off for hundreds of bars of gold-pressed latinum. But Q is not at all happy about his plaything abandoning him, and constantly badgers her to return with him to travel. Come on, man, you’re billions of years old. You can’t have just now discovered a mortal you can’t live without. Yeah, she’s hot and everything, but come on. You’re married to Suzie Plakson.
Meanwhile, the power drain that affected the runabout has begun to affect the station. It appears as though energy from the station is being converted to graviton particles, which translates from treknobabble to “something is pulling DS9 out of its stationary position.” Initially, they suspect it’s Q’s doing, but Q insists he’s got nothing to do with it and is only here for Vash, although he can’t resist showing off in Quark’s bar for Sisko, and gets punched in the face for his trouble. “Picard never hit me!” “I’m not Picard.”
362. [TNG] Aquiel
SCORE: (1/5 stars)
Geordi’s inappropriate and stalkerish behavior toward women knows no bounds as he falls in love with a murder suspect by going through all of her personal logs and adopting her dog in this stinker of an episode that tries too hard to get Geordi some romantic action. The Enterprise arrives at a listening outpost to find that the station is empty except for a dog and some organic residue that appears to be a vaporized humanoid. Its DNA is a match for a Lieutenant Aquiel Uhmari, and it is presumed that she has been killed. Rocha, the other Starfleet officer on the station, is nowhere to be found.
Geordi begins going through Aquiel’s logs to see if he can find an explanation or motive for what happened, and while creepily falling in love with what he presumes to be a dead girl, he sees her mention something about a Klingon who’s been harassing and threatening them every time his ship comes through the sector. Potential motive?
Picard contacts the local Klingon Governor Torak, who is initially offended at the accusation that a Klingon may have something to do with the murder on board the station and refuses to cooperate. He acquiesces to assist the investigation when Picard suggests that he might just take up the matter with Gowron, who owes him a few favors after that whole being Arbiter of Succession thing and neutralizing the Romulan alliance with the House of Duras.
361. [DS9] Captive Pursuit
SCORE: (4/5 stars)
The first ship from the Gamma Quadrant passes through the wormhole, and in typical Star Trek fashion, it’s heavily damaged and they need to rescue the sole crewmember. He is unwilling to be parted from his ship, so instead of beaming him over, they allow him to dock and send O’Brien over to help fix his ship and make official first contact with the first encountered species of the Gamma Quadrant.
O’Brien learns that the reptilian aboard the ship is Tosk (though whether that’s his own name or his species name, only Tosk knows). Tosk can turn invisible at will, and indeed stayed cloaked for much of O’Brien’s first examination of his ship. Tosk is in a hurry to get the ship repaired and be on his way, and O’Brien is willing to help him, but the ship configuration is very unusual to him and he’ll need Tosk’s assistance to get it done.
O’Brien takes Tosk to some temporary quarters, but Tosk seems to have little need of them. He only sleeps for seventeen minutes at a stretch and has no need of food as his body holds stores of liquid nutrients. (One wonders how he replenishes those, but never mind.) As soon as Tosk is alone in his quarters, however, he asks the station computer to locate where the weapons are stored. What are you up to, Tosk?
360. [TNG] Ship in a Bottle
SCORE: (4/5 stars)
When the culprit of a crime in Holodeck 221B fails to be left-handed, Barclay is sent to investigate problems with the Sherlock Holmes holoprograms, where he unwittingly reactivates the sentient Professor James Moriarty from the season 2 episode “Elementary, Dear Data.” Moriarty demands to know why he has been left forgotten for four years, while Barclay is stunned to find a self-aware program. He alerts Picard, who comes down with Barclay and Data to talk to the hologram.
Picard insists that they have not forgotten him and research has been continuing in Starfleet (I’d put my money on Jupiter Station, given Dr. Zimmerman’s posting there and his holographic expertise), but they have not yet found a way to allow him to step outside the bounds of the holodeck. Moriarty decides to demonstrate a little mind over matter, walks through the holodeck doors… and doesn’t vanish.
Medical scans show him as completely human. Nothing they pursue can explain how Moriarty is able to exist outside the holodeck and Picard is even willing to call it “a miracle” in absence of any good scientific explanation. Moriarty, now freed from the confines of his vessel, wants his companion the Countess Regina Bartholomew granted the same intellect as him and freed from the holodeck as well. Picard is hesitant to sanction this act, and not even certain it’s an event that they could duplicate, and because there is no such thing as data backups in the 24th century, he decides not to risk her program by making the attempt. Ignoring this, Moriarty manages to grant her this intellect anyway.
359. [DS9] Babel
SCORE: (4/5 stars)
O’Brien is being worked to death. Nothing works on this station. As soon as he’s put out one fire, four more spring up in its place, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Surely there are more important systems to be working on than the replicators (Starfleet probably carries rations for such an emergency) but when Boss Man Sisko says fix the replicators, you fix the replicators… and activate a not-friendly looking device hidden in the ship’s circuitry in the process.
When O’Brien starts speaking in nonsense words, it’s initially thought of as a rare stress-induced aphasia event, where the language center of the brain fails to properly translate inner thought to outer word. Usually they’re brought on by cranial trauma, but maybe O’Brien’s just been worked to death. But then Dax starts presenting symptoms, and there is no medical history of aphasia ever being contagious. A quarantine is put up on the station, with all non-essential services shut down.
Well, apparently Quark didn’t get the memo, and he’s been sneaking food in from a functional replicator in some crew quarters. Unfortunately for the station, the virus turns out to be coming from the replicators themselves. The sabotage device is discovered and it appears to be infusing all replicated foods directly with the aphasia virus. Worse, it’s too late to contain now, as the virus has mutated and become airborne. Slowly, everyone begins succumbing to the virus and communication quickly breaks down. O’Brien begins exhibiting feverish symptoms and Bashir determines that he has maybe hours left to live if they can’t find a cure.
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