Star Trek the Next Generation is still a bit hit or miss in its second season. There has been some improvement, but it still isn’t the show Jimmy and Tom know it some day will be.
But then we get to “The Schizoid Man” and see…the beard.
“The Schizoid Man”
Data is acting a little weird after the ship attempts to help a dying scientific genius.
jimmy: So I could have turned this one off after the scene with Data’s beard and called it the best episode of the season.
tomk: But you didn’t so what happened?
jimmy: Well, I could have turned it off, but I’d be turning off a part of myself.
tomk: Well, to know you is to love you and to love you is to know you, so that would suck.
jimmy: Lol. I might have to write that speech into my will for someone to perform at my funeral.
tomk: Like Watsom?
jimmy: He can love me from afar.
tomk: Well, don’t die just yet. You may want to grow a beard first.
jimmy: I have a beard right now thank you very much!
tomk: Well, shave it off and grow it again
jimmy: Well, I did start it with the pandemic, so since that’s over I might as well.
tomk: Jimmy, I told you to stop getting your medical advice from pamphlets at the Tim Horton’s check-out.
jimmy: But they have the best donuts!
tomk: This is about their literature, not their donuts.
jimmy: And slightly about their computers that you can download all your knowledge but not your personality too. Nobody tell Moriarty.
tomk: He’s been saved.
jimmy: They do like to find different ways to give Spiner a chance to stretch his acting chops.
tomk: While showing how slow the rest of the crew can be to notice Data is acting weird.
jimmy: They seemed to be a bit quicker on the uptake here than when Lore showed up.
tomk: They may be used to it by now.
PICARD: Number One, does Commander Data seem a little off to you?
RIKER: It is Thursday, Captain.
jimmy: Haha. Well, he was in his quarters trying on beards.
tomk: That may have been the first sign!
jimmy: He should have asked Riker’s opinion instead of Troi’s.
tomk: Troi might have…other thoughts on bearded men.
jimmy: That’s why she ran off giggling like a school girl.
tomk: Oh my…!
But, whenever trying a new look, you should always ask your blind friend for help.
jimmy: Geordi can see better than the average person, especially beards.
tomk: The VISOR has beardo vision?
jimmy: It’s an upgrade.
tomk: Oh. Silly me.
So, did you notice the Vulcan doctor?
jimmy: It was hard not to.
tomk: I learned something about her.
So…ready for some trivia?
tomk: Ok, the character never appears onscreen again, but is frequently mentioned as being on the ship somewhere.
She was originally intended as a love interest for Worf, and while the character isn’t seen again, the actress is…as Worf’s Klingon love interest and Alexander’s mother.
jimmy: I knew she looked familiar.
tomk: That, or you have a thing for Vulcan medical professionals.
jimmy: Or that.
tomk: She may have gotten more screen time than Pulaski for this episode.
jimmy: Not a bad thing. At least Pulaski didn’t go on some anti-Data rant as this episode was prime for it.
tomk: You shouldn’t mock a guy meeting his grandpa for the first time. Also, Data needs a better firewall.
jimmy: Or shouldn’t go around telling people where his off switch is.
tomk: Or that he has one.
jimmy: Even better.
tomk: I get the impression Data doesn’t know the concept of TMI.
jimmy: They don’t install the Watson Patch until season 4.
tomk: Probably shouldn’t give him classified information. I mean, he’s only third in command on the ship.
jimmy: Maybe he only tells relatives.
tomk: Grandpa isn’t really his grandpa.
jimmy: Don’t tell Data!
tomk: I think he knows that.
jimmy: Data is too trusting. Next he’ll be taking candy from some Romulans he doesn’t know.
tomk: Good thing he doesn’t eat. He’ll probably just give it to Geordi or, worse, Pulaski.
jimmy: Pulaski will be busy rescuing someone else than the one involved in the main plot. Kind of a weird choice, why marginalize her unless they simply wanted to give her less to do/she had some sort of scheduling conflict.
Or they simply needed a more attractive doctor for Grandpa to hit on.
tomk: Or they were setting Doctor Vulcan up for plot lines that never happened.
jimmy: Or that.
tomk: And maybe they should stop letting every genius have his own planet. This is like the second or third time we’ve seen that lead to trouble.
jimmy: Planets are not “very big” in science fiction. Star Wars is the same way. Two outlaws on the run can’t hide on the same planet.
tomk: Well, those planets only have one inhabitable zone. Mos Likelyplace.
At any rate, I take it nothing matched Data’s beard in your mind and the rest of the episode…well, to know it may not have been to love, and to love it maybe meant you changed the channel when that scene ended.
jimmy: Well, we did get to see Picard get slapped around.
tomk: So, you had two highlights?
jimmy: You make it sound like I didn’t Lille the episode, but I did.
Grandpa seems like the kind of actor you’d have some story about?
tomk: Not really. He’s done a lot of sci-fi, including other Star Trek roles. I was just going by what you said at the start about Data’s beard.
jimmy: Clearly a highlight. Worf also needs to do a better job of speaking under his breath…as does Grampadata. They used that trick a few times in this one.
tomk: Not everybody can be as smooth as you in the Gabbing Geek breakroom.
jimmy: Well, obviously.
And I’ve been having far less accidents lately too.
tomk: Well, it’s not like you transferred your deteriorating mind into the Roomba or something.
jimmy: I guess given our current health crisis it should be no surprise, but I always find it odd when the crew comes across a disease it has no cure for when they can cure cancer and regrow kidneys and such with a single pill.
tomk: Don’t forget repair brain damage by running a gizmo three inches from someone’s forehead.
jimmy: That’s the Degrundyizer.
tomk: And that’s you connecting disparate fandoms.
Geeking Across the Curriculum.
jimmy: It’s what we do.
tomk: Still, maybe if these genius scientists didn’t live so far from any doctor, they could get medical treatment before it’s too late.
jimmy: And how do they survive with just 2 people on a planet?
There’s a lake made of delicious chocolate pudding?
jimmy: No wonder he was so into that young woman.
tomk: Or any woman from the looks of things.
jimmy: When you get to that age, you got no time to mess around.
tomk: Even if you transfer your mind into a potentially immortal android?
jimmy: Well, at that point he did only have eyes for his assistant.
tomk: She was the only one there.
jimmy: I’m sure he could have tracked down Dr. Vulcan.
tomk: Oh yes. Who doesn’t want to date a Vulcan?
jimmy: If you can stick around until Pon Farr, you might be suitably rewarded.
tomk: Well, some people don’t mind a fight to the death every seven years.
jimmy: They sure don’t. I just had one last week!
tomk: I think I can see why Worf might have gone for that. Also, I am glad you won. Doing these with Jenny probably isn’t the same.
jimmy: Definitely seems like Worf’s kinda thing. Maybe the Klingons and Vulcans have more in common than they’d like to admit. Just don’t call him a Romulan!
tomk: Or expect any action between those seven year instances.
jimmy: That part…could be frustrating.
tomk: See, not so much fun now.
jimmy: Guess it depends on how good it was. And if you survive.
tomk: And you probably only have to fight to the death once.
Hmm. We seem to be talking more about hypothetical Vulcan dating issues than the episode on hand.
jimmy: It’s easier going when we have stuff to pick apart. Not that this is an all-time great episode, but it was perfectly cromulent.
tomk: That sounds like a good way to explain this one. Ready to move on?
jimmy: I am.
tomk: Good. We’ve got a Dr. Pulaski episode up next.
tomk: We can’t just skip these things. Theoretically.