While long running, beloved shows like Star Trek the Next Generation had plenty of episodes both beloved and derided. But what happens when you have an episode that is perfectly “meh”? It’s not a bad episode, but there’s nothing particularly good about it either. Well, Jimmy and Tom have that on hand with this installment as they talk about the episode “Identity Crisis”.
Members of a years-earlier survey mission start to disappear from their posts, and Geordi may be the next to go!
jimmy: I would have liked to see the continuing adventures of Ultraviolet Lizard Geordi.
tomk: The one who wasn’t blind?
jimmy: Being an invisible lizard can cure what ails ya.
tomk: Which made me wonder why he was still blind when they turned him back. You’d think there’d be a side effect to the complete alteration of his DNA.
jimmy: I guess you just go back the way you started.
tomk: Kind of a weird way to reproduce. Wait for someone to come by, change their DNA…
jimmy: Agreed. And now with a beacon above the planet warning others, hasn’t Picard basically given the species a death sentence?
tomk: Jeff Goldblum said life has a way. Probably after he turned into the Brundlefly.
jimmy: Geordi shouldn’t have bought those transporters for 35 cents.
tomk: Eh, you get what you pay for.
jimmy: So how did the invisible lizard man leave a shadow?
tomk: They got Predator stealth fields for 35 cents?
jimmy: Did the Predator leave a shadow?
tomk: No, but it bled. And if it bleeds, you can kill it. The 35 cent model leaves shadows.
jimmy: Is that like if it has nipples, you can milk it?
You have some interesting turns of phrase in Newfoundland.
jimmy: You have no idea.
jimmy: And have never seen Meet The Parents.
jimmy: Aw. Well, that’s the joke.
tomk: I see.
In that case, have a bottle of expensive wine that goes well with a lobster dinner.
jimmy: BTW, you can’t milk DeNiro.
tomk: I didn’t want to.
jimmy: Good, good.
tomk: Is this where you cryptically say it’s all going according to plan or that the invisi-lizards started to turn Watson but ended up sending him back later?
jimmy: No. But that last part probably happened.
tomk: Well, good. On the plans part. Those are never benevolent plans. The Watson thing is just inevitable.
jimmy: You have to wonder how these creatures survived so long without something like this happening, where Picard set up a beacon to warn others.
tomk: Wesley probably grew those guys in a vat back in kindergarten.
jimmy: Quite possible.
tomk: That or it was Geordi’s friend. The TV friend that has apparently been a friend forever but we’ve never seen or heard about before and probably won’t again.
jimmy: They probably don’t get a chance to get together much being on different ships flying around the galaxy.
tomk: What if they’re on the same ship?
jimmy: Then they’d hang out.
tomk: Wouldn’t we see them more often that way?
jimmy: Yes. But they’re not, so we don’t.
tomk: You sure are rather ruthless on this topic.
jimmy: That’s just the way it is.
tomk: True. I was thinking more about all the times a TV character has a good friend no one saw fit to mention before and that we won’t see again. Like that time Ryan brought the Cyclops from Krull over.
jimmy: Worst. Supper. Ever.
But yeah, that is a common TV trope. The great friend who never appeared before nor will again.
tomk: So much so that Geordi referred to them as well-known problem solvers. Whatever her name was.
jimmy: Lt. WK Problemsolver I believe.
Part of that is on the audience though. We see these people 45 minutes a week for like 22 weeks a year. Surely we don’t even see a fraction of what they are up to.
Our own lives are like that. I have groups of friends/colleagues/teammates who know nothing about the existence of the other.
tomk: Like how the Moose thinks Watson is an urban legend?
jimmy: Does “urban legend” in America mean douche?
tomk: Well, it generally means something that are only known by second or third hand sources and may not even be real.
jimmy: Oh, he’s real all right.
tomk: Does the Moose know that? That’s my point/question.
Regardless, Jimmy, I think we have a small problem here.
jimmy: That being?
tomk: It’s not a great or terrible episode, so there may not be much to talk about.
jimmy: That’s not true. There’s…uh…and when the thing happened to…ah, the guy with the face and ya know, all the aliens. And stuff.
tomk: Well, when you put it that way…
jimmy: So, do you think/know if Lizard Geordi was played by Levar Burton?
tomk: Probably. Don’t know. Ask Jenny. She probably doesn’t know either, but the answer will be entertaining.
However, I will say this: TNG did a good job of giving secondary characters the spotlight. Lwaxana Troi isn’t part of the main cast, but she pops up often enough to have character progression. I think next time it might be time to look at one of those secondary characters again, one we maybe haven’t seen in a while and who is definitely not Troi’s mother. What do you think, Jimmy?
jimmy: Is it Barclay?
tomk: Um. Yes.
It ain’t Ensign Ro.
jimmy: We don’t know who that is yet.
tomk: Sure we don’t.
Wanna check in on Barclay?
jimmy: I might regret this, but yes.
tomk: Maybe not. We shall see.