Sure, Jimmy and Tom have maybe not been the biggest fans of Geordi-based episodes since so many of them are about his (at best) pathetic attempts at romance. But that doesn’t mean they’re all like that. In fact, “The Mind’s Eye” might be the best Geordi-based episode there was.
They talk about it below.
“The Mind’s Eye”
Geordi is captured and brainwashed by Romulans!
jimmy: Great episode.
tomk: Yes. Poor Geordi finally meets someone, and she wasn’t even real.
jimmy: That’s the way he likes’em!
tomk: This one was less real than most.
jimmy: Maybe they were implanted memories from Faux Geordi.
tomk: That Faux Geordi thinks he’s so clever with his engineering degree and fashionable jorts…
jimmy: He probably had a better time on Risa than real Geordi would have.
tomk: Oh, I am starting to think nobody actually has fun on Risa. It probably always just devolves into aliens attacking with songs designed to stick in your head.
Regardless of what Faux Geordi got up to, have you ever seen the movie The Manchurian Candidate, Jimmy?
jimmy: I don’t believe I have. Is that some sort of hovercraft?
tomk: Um, no. Why? Do you want some kind of hovercraft?
jimmy: Who wouldn’t?
tomk: Well, I don’t have one of those. Would you settle for a bag of chips?
jimmy: Sure. And you can tell me how this relates to that movie.
tomk: Easy. The movie inspired this episode. The plot of the movie is some American soldiers are captured in Korea by communists and brainwashed. One will assassinate a presidential candidate to ensure a Senator working for the Chinese is elected president next. The unwilling killer even murders another soldier under orders from the commies. No holodeck version of O’Brien there!
And the communists had an inside agent in the form of the brainwashed assassin’s evil mother played by Angela Lansbury.
Great movie. You should check it out. The director of this episode was a fan and even tried (unsuccessfully) to get a cast member in the episode at least as an extra.
Instead, he just did what he could to make the episode look like the movie in places.
jimmy: Nice try, Tom. Is this in the Peanut Butter Falcon cinematic universe? You almost had me, but Angela Lansbury evil? I don’t think that’s possible.
jimmy: You win this round.
tomk: But that just means you get another bag of chips.
jimmy: Good. The other one is gone like Geordi’s memory of what really happened.
tomk: Or your memory was fiddled with and you don’t remember when or if you actually got them.
jimmy: Got what?
tomk: A jet pack that may or may not work.
jimmy: I’ll give it to Watson to find out.
tomk: And if it does, good luck getting it back.
Though I did wonder how Geordi sees holodeck constructs. Do they have heat signatures like regular people?
jimmy: Good question. Maybe not identical, but the holodeck can simulate heat, so you would think they would have some kind of signature. And maybe his visor is not all based on heat signatures or he’d have trouble seeing lots of stuff in the real world too. Like how can he read or operate a touch screen?
tomk: If he can’t read, he’s pretty good at faking it.
jimmy: I’m just picturing Geori sitting at a terminal and randomly touching buttons and going “boop boop boop”.
tomk: Well, the others must be too polite to say something. Except Data. Data would definitely say something.
jimmy: No doubt.
Like how does Geordi know what color is uniform is?
tomk: Same way Daredevil does?
jimmy: The few times they have shown Geordi’s visor at work, it definitely begs more questions than answers.
tomk: Then again, if this episode is based on The Manchurian Candidate, I think that makes Data the Frank Sinatra stand-in.
jimmy: Sinatra stopped Geordi in the original?
tomk: He…tried to. It’s a more tragic story.
jimmy: RIP Klingon guy we never see again.
tomk: He was a jerk. Getting Worf’s hopes up. Being nice to Picard while planning to frame the Federation for war. Eating all the GAGH! that the replicators could produce at once.
But he was a Klingon Angela Lansbury. And if you think she was so sweet and innocent, remember she had a TV show where people kept conveniently getting murdered whenever she was in town.
jimmy: Are you saying she hired the killers to set up the plot of her next book (24 times a year)?
tomk: Or she did it herself and pressured other people to take the fall for her. She’s probably Wesley’s great great great great great grandmother.
tomk: Exactly. You get a chocolate pudding.
So, this was another time I wondered why they didn’t use the transporter. Either beam Data directly to cargo bay 4 or, probably even better, beam Geordi directly to the brig.
tomk: Or have Worf walk around rather than through the other Klingons.
Or maybe Data can run down there rather than casually stroll.
jimmy: I was surprised Data didn’t break into a run as well.
tomk: Data don’t care if some Klingon dies.
jimmy: But he cares about Geordi.
tomk: Well, that’s why Picard is there.
jimmy: Good thing too or Geordi would have fried that Klingon.
tomk: I’m sure someone would have done something. Like O’Brien suddenly slugged Geordi for spilling that drink on him.
jimmy: Why did he even do that?
tomk: Because Machete didn’t give him a rancor?
jimmy: Possible. But outside of the brainwashing scenario, O’Brien played no role in things. Not like spilling a drink on him got him out of the way to do something else. Unless it was just a test to prove he would follow his orders.
tomk: You made another good point. Have another pudding.
jimmy: You must have a package of puddings from Costco you need to get rid of.
tomk: No. But Watson used to.
I got ‘em after he wandered off to test that jet pack.
jimmy: Well played, Tom. Well played.
tomk: Unlike the Romulans and their familiar-sounding mysterious leader, I know how to pull off a plot.
jimmy: I bet that mysterious leader had something to do with those fake Starfleet weapons!
tomk: Yeah. She probably built them in her garage.
jimmy: He’ll do.
tomk: Yes. Yes, he will. Anything else to add here, or would you like to see an episode that puts Picard behind the camera?
jimmy: Hmm…not sure I knew Picard ever directed.
tomk: He directed a few. And this time, Data tries dating.
jimmy: He can’t do any worse than Geordi would.
tomk: You’d think so. Would you like to find out?
jimmy: I would.
tomk: Good. Time to find out why dating an android might be a bad idea.
Weekend Trek “Ship In A Bottle”
Vikings: Valhalla “Pieces Of The Gods”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (September, 1967)