Jimmy and Tom suspected that, after the momentous “Q Who” that the next episode would be a bit of a let-down.
Well, the next was “Samaritan Snare”. Was it a big let-down to the guys? See below to find out.
Geordi’s well-meaning offer of assistance goes bad while Picard is away from the Enterprise.
jimmy: Surprisingly, Ensign Total Recall returns.
tomk: Apparently, she was intended as a love interest for Geordi in a plot that would have ended with him getting his eyes fixed so he could look at her.
jimmy: Seems kinda shallow.
tomk: Geordi’s love life always does.
jimmy: That’s cold.
tomk: Scotty’s was also pretty bad.
jimmy: It’s hard out there for an engineer.
tomk: I’m not joking here. Scotty’s love life on the old show is rather terrible. He’s either defending a woman he’s smitten with but who isn’t interested in him, he’s upset over a break-up between episodes, he’s a suspect in a murder for a woman he was last seen in, and so forth.
jimmy: Kirk probably scared off all the rest.
tomk: Or they went for Spock and wasted everybody’s time.
jimmy: Anyways, I guess we’ll see how long she sticks around. I was surprised it surpassed one episode.
tomk: There were plans! Like Worf with that Vulcan doctor!
jimmy: …who we haven’t seen since.
tomk: Look, if you’re gonna complain about love interests the show wasn’t really interested in, I’m going to suspect you don’t have much to say about the Pakleds.
jimmy: They look for things.
tomk: They’re smart.
jimmy: They’re jerks.
tomk: Really, though, you’d think about the Borg showed them they don’t always know what they’re doing, that they’d be a bit more careful before going over to an unknown spaceship.
jimmy: Heh, excellent point. This didn’t look very good on Riker’s resume.
tomk: Worf and Troi are the only ones who stop to think about the whole thing.
jimmy: And Troi was just going by “feeling”. Worf was going by logic.
tomk: Both of which were right.
jimmy: I get the nonchalance. They seemed like imbeciles. But when your security chief is raising such objections and you don’t even check with your empathic counselor who knew immediately they were lying, Riker got some ‘splaining to do.
tomk: Well, the Reverse Angle guys had some really strong opinions about this one:
jimmy: Geez guys, there’s really not much difference between a C- and a D.
tomk: Where I work, one of those is a barely passing. The other isn’t.
jimmy: We all know about your grading system.
Anyway, they do hit a lot of nails on the heads. Including Worf being the man and how Picard telling a story about kicking ass and almost dying was the best part of the episode.
tomk: That’s because Patrick Stewart can raise mediocre material to high art. I mean, have you ever seen Lifeforce?
jimmy: Seen or heard of?
jimmy: I’ll say no.
tomk: Well, he got his first onscreen kiss in it. It’s with a dude because his character is possessed by a space vampire that normally takes the form of an attractive naked woman.
tomk: Directed by Tobe Hooper of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame.
jimmy: I guess we’ll have to add it to Cult Watch if we ever bring that back.
tomk: Something tells me you’d like at least one part of the movie.
jimmy: I do like clocks.
tomk: I meant the gray walls with the flatscreen monitors.
jimmy: Oh, sorry.
tomk: Hey, I could have been wrong.
jimmy: You’d fit right in with most of the people in this episode then.
tomk: Sadly, yes. I too would have ignored the chief of security and the empath when it comes to trusting weird aliens.
jimmy: That’s why they needed the storyline to get Picard off the ship, because he wouldn’t have been so stupid. It was like the old Marvel Assistant Editor’s Month.
tomk: Picard did have all the best moments.
jimmy: The future needs better sandwiches though. I think they were just lettuce.
tomk: The replicators were also acting stupid this time.
jimmy: There was a lot of that going around. Even Picard’s insistence on flying in a shuttlecraft 6 hours (why so slow? And couldn’t the Enterprise had dropped them off?) instead of just letting Pulaski discreetly do the surgery? Even ignoring things going wrong and everyone finding out, his behavior was so suspicious, they were all likely to pry into it anyway.
tomk: Why? None of these people were curious enough to question the Pakled…aside from Worf and Troi. And you clearly can’t keep secrets from Troi.
Then again, I wondered if this episode would have worked better with Beverly Crusher. Asking Wesley to keep an eye on Picard would have made more sense that way.
jimmy: She also may have taught him how to open a door.
tomk: I was wondering if we’ve even seen Wes and Pulaski in the same room up until this point.
jimmy: Weren’t they both at the Worf Pain Stick Palooza?
tomk: Oh yeah. The one time someone challenged Pulaski as the most obnoxious member of the main cast.
Actually, Crusher being the expert needed might have also been a good reason for Picard to be wary of doing it on the Enterprise.
jimmy: I think she was there when he got command of his first team too.
tomk: Given how little Pulaski appears in some episodes, it’s probably not that surprising I didn’t notice her interacting much with her predecessor’s son.
jimmy: You probably missed all the times he typed “You suck!” On all the terminals in sick bay too.
tomk: That was Data.
jimmy: Oh. You’re right.
tomk: Don’t ask what Worf did in her office.
Though I am a bit surprised Geordi took a phaser with him on a solo repair job. If he was that worried, he could have gone with more people.
jimmy: Good point. Maybe they are standard issue for any solo away missions.
tomk: Probably, but what was he going to do if he got into trouble and wasn’t stupid? Phaser everybody?
jimmy: Sure. Stun’em all.
tomk: Instead of his episode-long stunning stupidity, he could have just started stunning. Got it.
jimmy: Now you’re getting it!
tomk: I was too enraptured by Picard’s story on how he got an artificial heart.
jimmy: Do you really think that Picard could have an artificial heart and no one on the ship know about it?
tomk: Do people know you have a cybernetic foot?
jimmy: Only everyone.
tomk: Well, that’s because you like to show it off. Picard doesn’t like to show potential problems to the rest of the crew.
jimmy: Fair enough. But you’d think someone would have heard somewhere along the lines. From a friend, at Starfleet, something.
tomk: Oh, like Picard has friends aside from all those friends he has.
I’m surprised you haven’t brought up Cobra Commander yet.
tomk: He was a Klingon.
jimmy: And a Pakled.
tomk: Well, I didn’t need to point it out because you did it for me.
See, now you know (who he is).
jimmy: Just read that he died at 44. Sad.
tomk: You go for sad after I set up a “now you know,” so this is on track for being as messed up as anything involving Pakleds in the A-plot.
jimmy: Sorry, I missed that. Good one.
tomk: You missed it like Geordi thinking Pakleds are harmless.
jimmy: Not just Geordi.
tomk: Well, Geordi was the one who went over and got phasered a bunch of times.
If only he’d just built the Pakleds a phony photon torpedo made of used pinball machine parts, he could have left much faster.
jimmy: Speaking of used parts…so the crew knows “something” happened with Picard and likely that he had surgery and almost died…but do they know exactly what happened? Pulaski and Wes obviously know.
Also, I know it’s the future, but getting a replacement artificial heart hardly seems like day surgery and you’d be back on the bridge in a couple of hours.
tomk: Those are good points. I spent the episode wondering how the hell the Pakleds managed to use that “we’re helpless” trick to fool the Romulans and the Klingons without getting killed.
jimmy: Stupidity is a powerful thing.
tomk: See, here’s how I think that would have gone down…
PAKLEDS: We need help.
ROMULAN CAPTAIN: Get lost, losers!
PAKLEDS: We have your engineer. We’re smart.
KLINGON CAPTIVE: TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE!
KLINGON CAPTAIN: Open fire.
jimmy: Both plausible. Though I doubt the Klingon’s even send their engineer over to help. So the first line could have been the same in both scenarios.
tomk: Probably. Romulans are ruthless. Klingons just like fighting.
jimmy: Neither are as stupid as the Enterprise crew. Hence Worf is the only one that objects. (For reasons other than being empathic.)
tomk: He should get a promotion.
jimmy: I agree.
tomk: But he won’t.
jimmy: I’ve seen a few mentions of the Pakleds storyline dragging the episode down and taking away from the Picard storyline. Could Picard’s surgery have been used to carry the entire episode? Obviously, it would need to be flushed out quite a bit.
tomk: It would have gone better. The Pakelds, at best, feel like a colossal waste of time.
Well, before this chat becomes a colossal waste of time, do you have anything else to add, Jimmy?
jimmy: Not really. It’s funny, usually the bad ones lead to lots of conversations, more so than the good ones. But I guess it is easier to talk about plot holes than the entire Enterprise crew acting stupid. Except Worf.
tomk: And a little bit Troi.
Then again, there are bad episodes…and then there are BAD episodes.
jimmy: Uh oh…I hope that’s not a segue…
Shall we go on anyway?
jimmy: Before we do, I read that this was Ensign Love Interest’s last appearance. Sorry Geordi.
tomk: Geordi can’t catch a break.
jimmy: He’ll always have Data.
tomk: And Data has…perfect recall of Tasha Yar.
jimmy: Fully. Functional.
tomk: Well, at least it doesn’t suck to be Data.
jimmy: Who does it suck to be?
jimmy: Maybe he’ll make out better in the next one.
tomk: Maybe. Shall we go and see?
jimmy: We shall.