Man, we get Patrick Stewart vs David Warner and Ronny Cox off to the side in the definitive anti-torture episode of genre TV? And it’s a part two?
Jimmy and Tom have some thoughts on that below.
“Chain of Command Part Two”
Riker clashes with Jellico while Picard learns how to count.
jimmy: Do you think Picard’s confession at the end takes away from his scream of there being four lights just as he’s rescued?
tomk: Yes and no. It’s a point to show no one can hold out forever as many fictional characters like Picard often do and to further hammer home a point Picard made earlier in the episode that torture doesn’t work, but it does show he still had enough inside him to possibly show David Warner he lost.
jimmy: Yeah, I was mixed on it was well. The first reaction is that Picard never broke. Way to go Picard! But then it was like, oh, I guess he did break. But that just makes him human.
tomk: Right. You want someone who won’t break, use Data. Or Batman. Or maybe even the surprisingly durable Porky Pig.
jimmy: Do you think this was a worse experience for Picard than being assimilated?
tomk: Huh. Hard to say. He didn’t unwittingly betray Starfleet this time. What do you think?
jimmy: Say what you will about the Borg, they’re not cruel. And to my knowledge they don’t torture people.
tomk: Sure. Everyone likes having limbs removed and eyes experimented on.
jimmy: I’m not saying it’s great, but it’s probably not painful.
tomk: The Borg basically don’t care. The Cardassians want people to suffer.
jimmy: Right. They even teach it to their kids.
tomk: It’s better than the stuff they teach in the Bajoran schools according to this pamphlet written by Gul Dukat.
jimmy: That may be propaganda.
tomk: So I shouldn’t give all my money to the Pah-Wraith cult?
jimmy: Not all, no.
tomk: I wasn’t going to give any.
jimmy: Even better.
tomk: But what happened to Picard here certainly was harrowing.
jimmy: For sure. Did I mention the Cardassians are jerks?
tomk: Not recently.
But we did get some really good acting there with Stewart and Warner. And we know bad acting when we see it.
jimmy: I’m going to ignore that last part. Yes, Stewart and Warner were awesome. Even if we did see one of their naked behinds.
tomk: In shadow.
jimmy: Wasn’t much shadow in the first shot…it also might not have been Patrick Stewart.
tomk: Maybe it was the Garbage Day Guy.
tomk: It ain’t Captain Jake.
jimmy: No. You’d recognize that butt anywhere.
tomk: Captain Jake was probably offering up consolation drinks to Riker.
jimmy: Riker did seem pretty relaxed in his quarters.
tomk: It was no longer his problem what happened.
Despite the fact Jellico got all the results he needed to.
jimmy: I was surprised Riker didn’t break ranks and go after Picard himself.
tomk: Jellico took his shuttlecraft keys too.
jimmy: Heh. And wasn’t it Riker that fired on Picard after he was assimilated?
tomk: He tried to.
jimmy: So he knows that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
tomk:When it suits his needs.
jimmy: And the needs of the plot.
tomk: Well, it’s different when a Borg cube is parked right in front of you.
jimmy: And when you’re the actual Captain and not at odds with the current Captain who you don’t like.
tomk: Plus, near as I can make out, Jellico’s only crime was he wasn’t very sociable.
jimmy: That and making Data wear a red uniform, which just looked weird.
tomk: It did bring out the gold in his eyes.
jimmy: Yeah. Weird.
tomk: You can change your uniform if you get the right promotion.
Like when you got promoted to Gabbing Geek’s head of marketing.
jimmy: It was nice to get out of that French Maids outfit.
tomk: That wasn’t your old uniform. You just had to wear a tie and a pair of pants.
That’s not what Watson told me.
tomk: Since when did you listen to Watson?
jimmy: He does sign the checks.
tomk: That’s Ryan.
jimmy: Oh. Dang.
tomk: Watson is in charge of other departments of little importance to keep him busy.
jimmy: That makes more sense. Like Troi.
tomk: Troi does the HR stuff. And she didn’t really object to Jellico here meaning she probably thought Riker was in the wrong.
jimmy: Yeah, I was surprised she didn’t speak up there.
tomk: Did anyone? Looks like they all just did their jobs.
jimmy: Except Riker.
tomk: Worf was probably loving Jellico’s tough guy ways. The others hadn’t complained about a new officer like they did in Part One since the time Worf’s brother came over in that officer exchange program.
jimmy: And like you said, Jellico got the job done. Even if people didn’t like/weren’t used to his style of leadership.
tomk: Yeah. If Picard did all that to save Jellico, we wouldn’t be complaining.
jimmy: The only one to really push back was Riker. And that might have been more personal than anything.
tomk: Riker just isn’t as professional as Troi, Geordi, Worf, Data, Crusher, Captain Jake, Ensign Ro, Guinan, Barclay, you, all of Geordi’s ex-girlfriends, Data’s cat, the holographic woman from Riker’s jazz club, Alexander, Picard’s fish, or the O’Brien clan that moved to Deep Space Nine.
tomk: They had a big party between episodes.
jimmy: They better have.
tomk: I was there. Didn’t you get the invite?
tomk: Must be why I saw the Garbage Day Guy there.
jimmy: Glad I missed it then.
tomk: Yeah. Worf kicked his ass and tossed him out an airlock to the approval of all.
tomk: You miss all the good parties.
jimmy: Story of my life.
tomk: I hear you instead go to even better parties.
jimmy: Probably why I don’t remember them.
tomk: Those are Captain Jake’s best parties.
jimmy: Jellico’s parties are not so great.
tomk: Mostly because he doesn’t throw any.
jimmy: That’s not great. Though I don’t say Picard does either.
tomk: Picard throws classy, formal ones.
jimmy: He definitely seems more like a fancy dinner party sorta guy.
tomk: Yeah. Probably not the place to gulp down raw eggs.
jimmy: The only place for that is when you’re starving to death.
tomk: Probably because of torture or war or because you have a big fight with Apollo Creed coming up.
jimmy: All acceptable.
tomk: Maybe David Warner would have problems breaking Rocky Balboa.
jimmy: You think Rocky would be hard to break?
tomk: Apollo couldn’t do it, and that guy is a god.
jimmy: It’s not all about physicality. Picard’s far from Rocky Bslboa-shape.
tomk: Rocky’s whole thing is he doesn’t quit.
jimmy: What is he like some not giving up guy?
tomk: But not for a school guy.
jimmy: Completely unrelated, did we know Riker was the best pilot in Starfleet?
tomk: It comes up sometimes that he’s the best on the ship. Better than Geordi, who used to be the pilot, and Data, who is Data.
jimmy: And the time Picard flew the ship instead of Data.
tomk: And Riker.
jimmy: That’s consistent.
And Geordi even said he could fly the mission, but Riker would be better. If Geordi could do it, why ask Riker and reinstate him?
tomk: Because then Riker won’t be like Achilles sulking in his tent.
jimmy: And the producers needed to give him something to do to justify his salary.
tomk: Unlike Troi.
Unless Jellico asked Riker to go because he was hoping Riker was going to get killed in the flight.
jimmy: Ohh…interesting spin.
tomk: But that would be unprofessional.
jimmy: But interesting.
tomk: As interesting as Cardassian Take Your Daughter To Work Day?
jimmy: That’s more on the disturbing side.
tomk: You only say that because you don’t like it when that Watson girl from that alternate reality comes to visit.
jimmy: Very disturbing.
tomk: You were saying there were five lights when she left at the end of her last visit.
jimmy: I would have said 10.
tomk: There were two.
jimmy: I stand by my answer.
tomk: Do you stand with Riker or Jellico?
jimmy: Well, everything worked out, so I guess Jellico was right. But Riker is my guy.
tomk: Jellico even got Picard back.
tomk: Still, this was a great episode for the Picard stuff alone.
The Jellico stuff just shows a Star Trek where people could not get along and still get the job done.
jimmy: Which is probably more common than the lovey dovey TNG “family”.
tomk: Gene Roddenberry thought everyone in the future would get along. Just like in Star Trek Picard.
jimmy: That doesn’t hold up, even for TOS, or there wouldn’t be a show.
tomk: You just have problems with guest stars.
jimmy: I do not. Ronny Cox was just a jerk.
tomk: No, I meant the show would, not you personally. You just have a problem with Watson and the Garbage Day Guy.
tomk: But maybe there are other forgotten foes that Picard might need to deal with.
jimmy: He has a lot of those.
tomk: This one may be a bit more familiar to you.
jimmy: Only one way to find out.
Wednesday “Quid Pro Woe”
Noteworthy Issues: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #13 (March, 2023)
The X-Files “Talitha Cumi”