By season three, Star Trek the Next Generation started to showcase different characters in different episodes. Some of these characters–Picard, Data, Worf–loaned themselves out to such character exploration rather easily while others–most notably Troi–were not so lucky.
But what about Dr. Beverly Crusher? Jimmy and Tom saw one of her episodes, and they have some thoughts.
“The High Ground”
Terrorists capture Dr. Crusher!
jimmy: A planet where all the women are red heads. You must have enjoyed that.
tomk: Was there any other plot? I failed to notice.
That, and I think you are making fun of me.
jimmy: Not making fun at all. Just noting the obvious.
tomk: Well, OK then. Cousin Minka will come over, and she’ll wear the Dove wig.
jimmy: Now we’re talking.
tomk: Yup. She’s coming over here. You’re getting the guy who plays Hawk. He’ll have a ton of stories about how he also played Aquaman on Smallville.
jimmy: Aquaman. Geez.
tomk: OK, never mind all that stuff. Terrorists didn’t capture Hawk, Dove, or Aquaman. They grabbed Beverly Crusher.
jimmy: Right. And maybe I missed this, but why couldn’t they lock on to her and beam her out? And if it was because they didn’t know where she was…once they found the base, couldn’t they have just beamed her and Picard out of there? I mean, they beam right in.
tomk: Well, uh…I think it had something to do with the nature of their shielding. It’s what made getting a transporter lock on those trigger-happy jerks so hard to get in the first place. Once they had the coordinates from Wesley’s experiments, then they had somewhere to send Riker, Worf, and a bunch of badass tough guys.
jimmy: But why not beam them out first? Then send in your goon squad.
tomk: But then the bad guys would know they were coming when their prisoners just vanished.
jimmy: Not by very much. Beam them out, beam the other in. Almost simultaneously. Or how about just beaming all the rebels right to the brig?
tomk: You mean the guys that just teleport through the fourth dimension?
jimmy: Do you think they are all walking around their base with the transport devices on?
tomk: Those things are probably like smart watches. They do all kinds of things.
jimmy: I’ll let it go, but it just seemed like a bit of a plot hole to me.
tomk: Oh, I am sure it was. Those little moments that bother us are things that can harm a whole episode.
jimmy: Let’s get back to thinking about red heads.
tomk: Fine with me…say, why didn’t O’Brien just lock onto Crusher’s communicator the same way they did for Geordi’s the get rid of the bomb?
jimmy: That’s what I’m saying?!?!?
tomk: You’re a wise man.
jimmy: That’s what I’m saying?!?!?
tomk: I think that gets you a reward. Here’s a brownie infused with delicious peanut butter.
jimmy: The treats just get better and better. Unlike the DNA of the dimensional transporters.
tomk: How do you think I’ve been sending the treats? That one started off as a handful of pez, the candy people prefer for the dispenser.
jimmy: I was surprised that Riker didn’t end up in bed with that red head of security.
tomk: She didn’t seem like the type capable of having fun.
jimmy: Riker knows how to change that.
tomk: Well, Crusher never thought to beam wounded people directly to Sickbay rather then tend to them in a dangerous location away from backup and more equipment.
jimmy: There was no time!!!
tomk: You find your plot holes. I will find mine.
jimmy: Even if she wanted to, Picard probably would have said no. He just wanted to beam up his crew and get the hell out of there. Which probably wouldn’t have been a bad idea. Those random red shirts that died on the Enterprise would have appreciated that.
tomk: Picard already showed last time why following the Prime Directive probably saves people a lot of headaches.
jimmy: Does Crusher have a rank or is it just Doctor? I know she can make decisions with regards to Picard’s mental state, but can she boss Worf around like that?
tomk: I am not sure, but in cases involving medical problems, she probably outranks Picard.
jimmy: Worf knew not to mess with her. And Riker didn’t want to greet her in the transporter room if Picard forced her to beam up.
tomk: Is she that scary?
jimmy: Have you ever pissed off a red head Starfleet Doctor?
tomk: Can’t say that I have ever met one.
jimmy: You’d know if you did. They’re not to be messed with.
tomk: And yet, some fool still kidnapped her.
jimmy: He didn’t know any better. Nor did he care. He just wants to help his people and draw hands.
tomk: Something something cycle of violence…
jimmy: But that kid put his gun down. Maybe that breaks the cycle. Or they kill him or lock him away forever.
tomk: Or wait for Picard and Crusher to leave and then kill him.
jimmy: Yeah. That kid was probably toast.
tomk: Sometimes rebels have a point.
jimmy: But not always a cause.
tomk: All I know is, the crew was dealing with the Planet of the Jerks.
jimmy: Hopefully they didn’t come across the Statue of Liberty on the beach before they left.
tomk: No, but the Jerk Store called, and they were running out of Finns.
jimmy: Lol. Well done.
tomk: I learned from the master.
jimmy: Only a master of evil, Tom.
tomk: It wasn’t Watson.
He’s only a master of baiting.
jimmy: This episode bordered on being preachy though, did you find? Especially the “Picard teaches Data about terrorism” scene.
tomk: Very much so. Beverly lecturing everyone on non-violence got to be a bit much.
jimmy: Yeah, we get it. Terrorism is bad. You’re paralleling real life. Ok. BTW, do you find it hard to believe that Finn had read history books about North America?
tomk: I find it hard to believe people read those now.
tomk: But terrorist leaders, at least in fiction, are often depicted as being well-read in order to counter arguments from a story’s protagonist.
jimmy: He seemed intelligent, and it was a decent point for him to make, it just came off odd that he would have researched that specifically…for no real reason. Not like it was done in preparation of kidnapping Crusher.
tomk: Well, he seemed to think everyone but his people were bad.
Plus, Picard gave more away than Crusher did.
jimmy: Picard DGAF
Maybe it would have gone better if he got the veterans from the previous episode to help out.
jimmy: They could have snuck in there with their lack of being picked up by sensors and gotten Beverly out in 5 minutes.
tomk: Worf would have taken less injuries that way.
jimmy: He bounced back pretty quick. Luckily only the extras get shot point blank in the chest.
tomk: While another just ran off in a less than compelling performance as a scared person.
jimmy: Haha, I was just going to mention her.
tomk: Plus, Geordi was the one who really saved the day with that sonic screwdriver stolen from Doctor Who.
jimmy: Heh. Yeah, that scene was a little weird. “They’ve got the bomb attached to the warp core somehow! I’ll just use this handy dandy device that is just sitting here and is exactly what I need. Must be one of Wesley’s experiments. Ok, lock on to my signal and transport…not as far away as possible, but just off the ship enough that we can keep it in shot.” Troi: “His signal?!?!”. Picard waves hand dismissively, he doesn’t care about Geordi. Or he knows that Geordi is putting his badge on the bomb so it can be transported. Something apparently Troi never heard of before. It also makes you wonder how do the transporters beam up anything/anyone that doesn’t have a communicator on it? Oh well, best not to think too much about that.
tomk: You put a lot of words into something you figured it was best not to think about.
jimmy: Good point.
Also, if one small hand held device can destroy the Enterprise, then they either really need to rethink the ship design, or the Skunk guys are a lot more dangerous than given credit for.
tomk: I think it was more of where they put the bomb and not how big a boom it would make in the silent airless void of space.
jimmy: Now who’s being picky?
jimmy: He’s like that.
tomk: You’re a better man than that.
jimmy: I try.
tomk: I mean, you don’t go around kidnapping medical professionals and expecting them to do work on your behalf for sick loved ones who used dangerous experimental technology.
jimmy: Or completely ignore said medical advice when the medical professional says to stop using the dangerous experimental technology that is killing loved ones.
tomk: Why even bother to get a doctor if you’re just going to ignore her anyway? Lousy Planet of the Jerks…
jimmy: I guess he didn’t know she couldn’t treat them when he kidnapped her.
tomk: He might have if he spent more time doing research on medicine and less on North American history.
jimmy: Heh. And he was pretty much told up front, “yeah, you shouldn’t use this dangerous experimental technology, it is dangerous”.
tomk: Some people just don’t listen very well.
jimmy: Sure I’d love a sandwich right about now.
tomk: You’re worse than Q.
jimmy: I’m not that bad.
tomk: Maybe Q isn’t either.
jimmy: Where are you going with all this Q talk, Tom?
tomk: It’s a lovely letter of the alphabet.
Also, Q is in the next episode.
jimmy: I thought that might be your objective.
tomk: Yes. Q teams up with Picard to battle R and S.
jimmy: Haha, Riker and…Slytherin? I dunno.
tomk: Or Q does some crazy stuff and we maybe have a good laugh.
jimmy: Sounds like you’re ready for the laughter.
tomk: We can keep talking about Beverly’s ideals or how Picard and Troi explained what happened to Wesley like the kid was five years old.
jimmy: He doesn’t know much about the ways of the universe. Remember when they had to explain drug addiction to him?
tomk: Be glad Picard explained where babies came from between episodes. That was awkward.
tomk: Oh yeah. Same hairline and everything.
tomk: Anything else to add, Jimmy?
jimmy: Nah. Decent episode if you don’t think too much about it.
tomk: Now you’re getting it!
jimmy: I’m a slow learner.
tomk: Well, maybe you’ll pay attention to Q.
jimmy: Maybe I will, Tom. Maybe I will.
tomk: Wanna see?
jimmy: I’m always up for a Q appearance.
tomk: Even if he were powerless?
jimmy: Say it ain’t so?!?
tomk: I won’t say. The series might instead.
jimmy: Let’s find out.