July 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “The Defector”

A Romulan defector claims to have valuable information. Does he?

After attempting to come up with new adversaries for the crew of the Enterprise, by season three, The Next Generation decided to just use the Romulans after all.  With their combination of ruthlessness and arrogance, they make for the kind of bad guys the audience probably loves to hate.

Anyway, one decides to switch sides in this episode, and Jimmy and Tom, as always, have some thoughts.

“The Defector”

Also, Patrick Stewart played two roles in this episode, but we didn’t mention that.

Picard wonders if a Romulan defector is telling the truth.

jimmy:  They’ve really gone all in on the Romulans this season.

tomk:  You want the Ferengi back?

jimmy:  Dear God no.

tomk:  Then enjoy your Romulans.

jimmy:  It wasn’t a complaint, just that they’ve had a large presence this season.

tomk:  It’s a bait-and-switch.  Toss out a lot of Romulans, surprise people with the Borg at the end of the season.

jimmy:  Spoilers!

tomk:  You’re right.  We should be surprised when we get to the twenty+ year old episode that has one of the single-most famous season end cliffhangers of all time.

jimmy:  Not me, Tom, the readers!  Won’t somebody think of the readers?!?!

tomk:  We have readers?

jimmy:  We can dream.

tomk:  I was dreaming of going on a date with Amy Adams, but your dream is nice too.

jimmy:  I see somebody’s been watching the Snyder Cut.

tomk:  Or The Fighter.  Or Arrival.  Or Nocturnal Animals.  Or Vice.  Or The Muppets.  Or…

jimmy:  Yes, but you weren’t watching those. Just like no one was watching that the self-destruct was set on a ship 5 KM away.

tomk:  He probably set it before he beamed over.

You know, just to make sure.

jimmy:  Well, obviously, but the sensors never picked that up?  And not like he was there a minute and it exploded.

tomk:  He was under attack.  He had to set that thing well in advance, probably had a good idea how long it would take before the Federation decided to look at his ship, and so forth.

jimmy:  I still think they would have/should have noticed. Especially with the ship being inside their shields. Somebody dropped the ball. I blame that guy filling in for Wesley.

tomk:  You always blame that guy…even when it’s a different guy.

jimmy:  t’s always a different guy because they keep getting fired.

tomk:  Or killed.

jimmy:  That’s a type of fired.

tomk:  Or Worf ate them.

jimmy:  Admiral Ackbar, or whatever his name was, can understand that.

tomk:  It was a trap

jimmy:  But not for the Enterprise. Well, kinda.

tomk:  The Enterprise was a bonus.  That Tomalak guy really wanted to also get one over on Picard and get a promotion.

jimmy:  He never counted on those Birds of Prey.

tomk:  Well, neither did the audience.  They just kinda showed up.

True, it was cool and all, and Worf was told to contact the Klingons at one point, but the point stands.

jimmy:  They planted the seeds for it.

tomk:  You never expect Klingons to be quiet.  You expect them to be loud and bombastic.

jimmy:  Like Shaggy?

tomk:  Might depend on the Shaggy.

jimmy:  Well…that’s a Shaggy I’ve never seen before.

tomk:  Few have…and lived.

jimmy:  Dun dun daaaah!

tomk:  It’s like messing with Klingons.

jimmy:  I think there’s an in-universe explanation for this, but why haven’t the Klingons shared their cloaking technology with the rest of the Federation?

tomk:  Captain Kirk once stole a Romulan cloaking device in the original series.

No one seems to remember that.

jimmy:  And I think some Starfleet ships later do have cloaking. The Defiant(?) amongst others.

tomk:  Not sure.  Haven’t gotten that far in DS9 yet.

jimmy:  I can’t recall either. But I’m sure there are some eventually.

tomk:  It’s probably a good thing the Borg don’t seem to have cloaking tech.  Or if they do, they don’t care enough to use it.

jimmy:  It’s odd they don’t as I’m sure, especially later on, they assimilate Klingons and Romulans at least. Maybe they feel they don’t need it.

tomk:  Stealth isn’t a priority. Luckily for the Federation.

jimmy:  When you generally encountered little resistance, there’s no need to be sneaking around.

tomk:  They also tend to be easy to track. Just look for places where people aren’t around anymore.

jimmy:  The giant cube trying to assimilate you is a good clue too.

tomk:  Look, it’s taught at Starfleet Academy.  If a colony no longer exists but it’s just the people who are missing, it was probably the Borg.  If there isn’t anything at all left, it was probably the Crystalline Entity.

And if it’s just some arrogant dicks that like to sign their own work and gloat before they actually win, it was probably the Romulans.

jimmy:  Crystalline Entity.  Like that ever made it to the level of being taught at the Academy.

tomk:  You have a hand in the syllabus, don’t you?

jimmy:  Yes.  And one off appearances don’t make the grade.

tomk:  You seem like the kind of guy whose students keep running into deadly entities.

jimmy:  In this universe, that’s every teacher.

tomk:  Even Lisa?

jimmy:  Especially Lisa.  But especially…ok, I got nothing.

tomk:  This is why if Lenny could teach a class, then he could teach a class…or you could.

jimmy:  Lenny can do anything.

tomk:  Can he tell when a Romulan is really defecting and trying to give over useful information?

jimmy:  He probably could.  Thinking about that, Picard plays it like he doesn’t believe the defector, but really, he was telling the truth.

tomk:  Not all of it. He left off important stuff like his real name and rank.

jimmy:  Fair enough, but that was part of his strategy to get believed.  For all he knew he was defecting to prevent a war to save his family.

tomk:  Yeah, well, lots of people tell lies to protect their families. Upstanding citizens like Walter White, Marty Byrde, and Tony Soprano do it all the time.

Besides, it could very well be Picard’s fault too.

jimmy:  Did he lie to protect his family?

tomk:  Homer mostly lies to protect himself.

jimmy:  So with Jarok a traitor and subsequently killing himself….do the Romulans kill his family?

tomk:  Well…that’s a dark question we probably can’t answer. I don’t think Romulans go that far.

jimmy:  I wouldn’t think so either.  But he left them at their mercy but killing himself.

tomk:  He would have known himself.

jimmy:  And probably figured he would be put to death if he did return.  That said, he easily could have stayed with the Federation.  But maybe that would be taking his betrayal too far.  He didn’t want to share Romulan secrets, just prevent a war.

tomk:  He may also have had more Lexus TV commercials to narrate.

jimmy:  It was the best selling car on Romulus for the previous 15 years.

tomk:  That actor actually did narrate Lexus ads for years.

jimmy:  I figured as much when you said it.  :slightly_smiling_face:

tomk:  Plus, Beverly mentioned recent experience with Romulans (camera cuts to Worf scowling).

jimmy:  It’s common knowledge.

tomk:  But that’s continuity. You like that stuff.

jimmy:  I do!

tomk:  That makes you happier.

jimmy:  It does!

tomk:  We even got that Romulan commander back. More continuity.

jimmy:  You love that guy!

tomk:  Well, perhaps. But the day was ultimately saved by Picard’s diplomacy with the Klingons.

jimmy:  Picard’s or Worf’s?

tomk:  Yes.

jimmy:  Teamwork!

tomk:  Exactly. You can hang out with them both later.

jimmy:  Awesome!  I’ll let Picard pick the munchies.

tomk:  He brings lettuce sandwiches.

jimmy:  I will take it over whatever Worf would bring.

tomk:  No interest in Klingon Blood Wine or GAGH!?

jimmy:  Do I look like Riker to you?

tomk:  You look like Hugh Jackman.

jimmy:  Exactly.

tomk:  He looks like he’d eat the GAGH!

jimmy:  Fine.  Bring on the GAGH!

tomk:  Eh, I ate it already. Tasted like chocolate pudding.

jimmy:  Real chocolate pudding?

tomk:  Yes. With less sugar and more protein.


tomk:  Well, this is all well and good, but do we have anything to add about how things work much better for the Federation where everyone gets along and trusts each other versus the Romulans who apparently can’t do that?

jimmy:  It’s always good to learn how to share your toys.

tomk:  And not to be a lying sneak.

jimmy:  Even to stop a war?

tomk:  Well, the whole thing started to test one guy’s loyalty…in a way that could have started a war…

jimmy:  I don’t know that the Romulans are too concerned about that.

tomk:  And that’s why Picard makes them look bad, and he’s only one guy.

jimmy:  But he’s The Picard.

tomk:  You always say he’s The Picard. Or you say something about Batman.

jimmy:  After X number of years and so many shows we’ve watched together, I only have so much material.

tomk:  Are you saying you want to move on to the next one?

jimmy:  I’m saying I only have so much material.  :slightly_smiling_face:

But I’m fine to move on if you are.

tomk:  Well, then we can. Maybe you can get some new material with a new episode.

jimmy:  I’ve been 46 years working on the material that I got now…I can’t make any promises.

tomk:  We can try with a manhunt on the Enterprise.

jimmy:  A Manhunter on the Enterprise?!?!?

tomk:  Not quite.

jimmy:  Dang.

tomk:  We can look anyway.

jimmy:  Let’s do it!

tomk:  Engage!

Next:  “The Hunted”