What does it say when a society tries to plan things out and the outside world gets ahead of them anyway? That seems to be the main issue in “The Masterpiece Society,” and Jimmy and Tom have some thoughts on that.
“The Masterpiece Society”
The Enterprise crew’s efforts to help a planned society has unexpected consequences.
jimmy: I don’t know why, but I found this episode extra long. Not in a bad way, but it felt longer than usual.
tomk: You only say that because they saved the day and the episode kept going for another ten minutes or so.
jimmy: Could be. It definitely had that feels like multiple endings thing going on.
tomk: It might depend on what the point of the episode was. Was it Prime Minister Inadequate Johnson romancing Troi? Was it stopping a giant space rock? Was it letting smug jerks know how behind the times they were? Was it to allow Geordi to be a righteous dick? Was it to muse on the Prime Directive? Or was it just to remind everyone to listen to the wisdom of a man named Rob Canada?
jimmy: I’ll take all of the above for $500 Alex.
tomk: And the answer is “The Masterpiece Society”.
jimmy: By the by, his name is Ron Canada…and he’s American.
tomk: All I know is Canada possesses a lot of wisdom and experience more people should listen to.
And autocorrect is worse without my reading glasses.
jimmy: That’s what I’ve been saying!!!
tomk: Have some poutine.
jimmy: About Canada…though autocorrect does suck.
Is it real poutine?
tomk: Would I offer the fake stuff sold out of the back seat of an old minivan from the parking lot of a defunct Blockbuster Video?
Unless you’d rather have Cousin Minka’s recipe.
jimmy: I’m sure hers is delicious.
tomk: As good as anyone from LA can make it.
jimmy: Just don’t ask Troi to deliver it, she might fall in love with me.
tomk: Are you worried about that?
jimmy: The Ms might not be happy about it.
tomk: She does seem to disapprove of your chick magnet charisma.
jimmy: It’s a blessing and a curse.
tomk: In that case, you won’t need this book, Dating Tips from Geordi LaForge: The Big Book on What NOT to Do.
jimmy: I ghost wrote that.
tomk: That’s so the Ms doesn’t turn you into an actual ghost, right?
jimmy: Pretty much.
tomk: Smart move.
jimmy: Ron Canada advised me.
tomk: He tends to know what he’s talking about. He knew the colony was going to be ruined.
jimmy: It’s an interesting social experiment though. As “advanced” as they were through genetic engineering, they lacked technological advances since they were never challenged to come up with them.
tomk: Yeah, well, I think I’m on Geordi’s side this time. That sort of genetic engineering or breeding or whatever they were doing is kinda too close to eugenics for my taste.
jimmy: Too close or exactly the same?
jimmy: I see.
tomk: Geordi doesn’t.
jimmy: It was interesting that Geordi’s visor became the solution to their problem…right after I thought it was going to turn into an after school special about abortion.
tomk: In the 90s? Not likely.
jimmy: Good point.
tomk: You need like premium cable or Bea Arthur in the 70s for that.
jimmy: Either way, Geordi’s lucky he wasn’t conceived on Masterpiece Island.
tomk: He might have been better off on Monsterpiece Island.
jimmy: Are you saying Geordi is a monster? That’s not very PC Tom.
tomk: No, I’m saying he might be the only one there who isn’t Claudius.
jimmy: Maybe it’s his middle name? Geordi Claudius Laforge.
tomk: You have a point there. Have a KitKat.
tomk: It may be one of those Japanese ones in the flavors you can’t get in the United States (and possibly Canada).
jimmy: I’d be willing to try one.
tomk: In Japan, they are for luck.
jimmy: Masterpiece Theater has probably evolved beyond KitKats.
tomk: You are right. Have another.
jimmy: So, did this episode do anything to support that the biodome was a sensible way of life? (Let alone a superior one.)
tomk: Probably not, though I did think of a solution to their problem.
See, the Amish are a community that keeps away from everyone else and avoids using modern technology, but when their children come of age, they go out into the modern world to see what it’s like. The idea is they need to choose to come back and be Amish. Many do, some don’t, It seems to me Picard or Prime Minister Inadequate Johnson could have some up with something like that, then their people could go out, see what’s there, and then come back because they want to, not because they have to. Plus, they can bring new tech.
jimmy: My first thought was “that’s what they tried to do”, but the 6 month delay thing was to stay in the dome and think it over.
It’s a bit of a different scenario as people are already adults. It could be a solution moving forward though.
And interesting point about bringing the tech back, the Amish probably can’t do that.
tomk: It kinda defeats the point of being Amish.
“Hello, Jebediah. I return here with this marvelous invention: the swimming pool.”
jimmy: Exactly. I do wonder if the Ron Canada’s of the dome would accept tech like transporters with open arms if someone came back with it after their excursion to the rest of the universe.
tomk: Well, sure. If you learn how to block ’em, no more unexpected visitors.
Regardless, Jimmy, what did you make of Picard’s thoughts on the Prime Directive at the end of the episode?
jimmy: I think they apply. While they are human, they are 200 years removed from Earth, and have their own delicate ecosystem.
tomk: Riker doesn’t get it. But he only really understands sex and violence.
jimmy: He was all smiles when introduced to that engineer for the first time.
tomk: Well, he understood if his space condom didn’t do its job with her, he probably wasn’t going to end up with space child support.
jimmy: Beards had been genetically removed from their society, so any child would have been destroyed like a Geordi would have been.
tomk: That or they hate jazz.
We’d have to consult Ron Canada on that.
jimmy: He’d be very anti-Riker in any capacity.
tomk: I think that says it all.
jimmy: He’s a harsh mistress.
tomk: Indeed. And I think we all learned a valuable lesson.
jimmy: Except Riker. He never learns.
tomk: Well, I was hoping someone would tell me what that lesson was because I’m not sure.
Picard might not even know.
jimmy: Don’t sleep with the head of a genetically engineered colony? Don’t let your head engineer leave the colony to see how far behind the times their technology is? Don’t get Data’s help figuring out this incredibly important and time sensitive physics problem?
tomk: Data was busy.
jimmy: He was looking after that kid from a couple episodes back.
tomk: He was tracking how #EvilWesley set the space rock at the colony in the first place. With or without that kid.
jimmy: It was #EvilWesley all along.
tomk: Well, Wesley needs better advisers.
jimmy: It was a REALLY big rock.
tomk: Yeah, well, it would have killed Ron Canada otherwise. He was probably the real target. Joe America next to him wouldn’t have believed it.
But America tends to disregard Canada’s ideas and problems anyway.
jimmy: We’re easy to disregard. All tucked away down here.
tomk: Well, is there anything else to add?
jimmy: I look forward to catching up with our 2 dozen new characters that have left the colony and seeing how they make out.
tomk: They’re all babysitting Data’s kid friend.
jimmy: Data needs the help.
tomk: What would you say if Data was the help?
jimmy: I’d say you’re segueing.
tomk: I forget.
Or I am segueing more.
jimmy: You are the master.
tomk: Interested in remembering?
jimmy: Remembering what?