ST:TNG Treadmill Review #34: The Most Toys

The Most Toys
Season 3 Episode 22
Original airdate: May 5, 1990

Netflix Synopsis

After the crew transports a dangerous material to the Enterprise, a collector carries out an intricate plan to kidnap Data.

My Brief Review

Once again I’ve skipped an episode… specifically, the one that introduces pathologically shy, Holodeck-obsessed Lt. Barclay (“Broccoli”). Barclay plays a fairly significant role later in Voyager but I really do not care for him and I know that episode annoyed the crap out of me even when I was 16, so… no thanks.

This episode, on the other hand, is another great feature for Data. Trader and collector (also thief) Kivas Fajo, played excellently by the great character actor Saul Rubinek, tricks Enterprise into believing Data has been destroyed in a shuttlecraft explosion. In fact, Fajo has kidnapped Data for his collection, which includes, among other things, Dali’s Persistence of Memory, a one-of-a-kind Roger Maris baseball card, and the sole surviving member of an alien species that looks like a cross between a cobra and a cat, with giant compound eyes like a housefly. It’s quite a pet. And Data is the ultimate prize of his collection.

Meanwhile back on Enterprise, Geordi thinks something is up, and won’t give up trying to make sense of what happened to Data, while Worf awkwardly accepts another promotion in the wake of the death of a crew mate.

Data plays dumb for a friend Fajo is trying to impress, then plots an escape with one of Fajo’s lieutenants after she realizes Fajo is willing to kill her just to make Data sit in the chair.

The escape is foiled, Fajo uses his illegal disruptor — well, one of the four he owns — on her, and Data is — gasp! — just beginning to fire the same deadly weapon on Fajo when Enterprise returns and beams him aboard.

Memorable Moment

One scene in the collection room begins with us looking at Data, who is looking up curiously, attempting a strange half smile… then we see what he’s looking at: the original Mona Lisa, another prize of Fajo’s collection.

Crew Rando

Well, that would have to be the ensign who anonymously assumes Worf’s security post after Worf is promoted to ops. How does it feel to Worf to know that it was a big effin’ deal for Picard to decide to promote him to Data’s post, yet he hastily filled Worf’s own post with some nobody?

Distance Rating: 3K

IMDb score: 7.7/10

ST:TNG Treadmill Review #33: Tin Man

Tin Man
Season 3 Episode 20
Original airdate: April 21, 1990

Netflix Synopsis

A former patient of Troi’s arrives to help the Enterprise establish contact with an unusual alien ship before the Romulans can reach it.

My Brief Review

Another synopsis that threw me off the trail. I remember this episode very well. But this description does not evoke it for me.

Tam Elbrun is a Betazoid with extreme telepathic powers. So powerful, in fact, that he is sent on special missions by the Federation to make first contact with extremely non-humanoid species. But that same skill makes it unbearable for him to be around humanoid species, where he can hear every thought around him at all times.

An alien ship — literally… an alien that is a spaceship — is orbiting a star that’s about to go supernova. Tam’s mission is to make contact with it and get it to leave the star, which happens to be in space claimed by the Romulans.

Of course the Romulans want to kill the ship — “Tin Man,” although its real name is Gomtuu — assuming they can’t capture it. But Tam has a more important mission: to join with Gomtuu. To give it a purpose again, thousands of years after its symbiotic crew had been killed, and to save himself from the voices.

Memorable Moment(s)

There are three images from this episode that have stayed with me over the past 3 decades: First, the moment when Tam telepathically warns Gomtuu about the Romulans’ hostile intent, and Gomtuu responds by flaring up and spinning, sending an electromagnetic shockwave that destroys the closest Romulan ship and knocks out most of the systems on the Enterprise. Second, the moment when Tam and Data are aboard Gomtuu and Tam makes contact — literally pressing his hand into the fleshy wall of the corridor they’re standing in. And finally, when Gomtuu forms a chair out of… itself… for Tam to sit in on its bridge.

Crew Rando

Russell! Ensign Russell, whom Geordi addresses by name, not once, not twice, but thrice!

Distance Rating: 5K

IMDb score: 7.3/10

ST:TNG Treadmill Review #32: The One Where Picard Punches a Ferengi in the Face

Captain’s Holiday
Season 3 Episode 19
Original airdate: March 31, 1990

Netflix Synopsis

After mediating a treaty, Capt. Picard is encouraged to take a much needed vacation — yet his efforts to rest are repeatedly interrupted.

My Brief Review

This Netflix synopsis makes the episode sound like a bad sitcom, but once again it only describes the first few minutes.

Immediately upon his arrival on Bikini Planet, Picard bumps into a woman, who promptly kisses him, to elude a Ferengi who’s after her. We know immediately that she’s going to be trouble for Picard, and before long we’re on a quest for a McGuffin from the future.

The setting on Risa, a mysterious woman, and time travel all give this episode a strong feeling of Star Trek: Enterprise to me, which of course came a decade after TNG, but having watched it more recently, it’s fresher in my mind.

This episode is… pretty good, if only for one reason. Picard punches a Ferengi in the face.

The whole time travel thing is a bit problematic, and my initial reaction to why it’s problematic actually gets addressed near the end of the episode, but in a way that doesn’t really make any sense.

Memorable Moment

Picard punches a Ferengi in the face.

Crew Rando

Even though this episode takes place almost entirely off the Enterprise, with no one from the crew except Picard, we actually have a named rando! At the very beginning of the episode, Ensign Bennett is at the helm, for unexplained reasons (probably just that Wil Wheaton, whose presence in this season was intermittent anyway, couldn’t be bothered to be on set for one brief scene), and Picard addresses him, by name.

Distance Rating: 3K

IMDb score: 7.3/10

ST:TNG Treadmill Review #31: Allegiance

Allegiance
Season 3 Episode 18
Original airdate: March 24, 1990

Netflix Synopsis

Capt. Picard is kidnapped and held with three different aliens, while an impostor takes his place aboard the Enterprise.

My Brief Review

At first I was inclined to skip this episode; for some reason the synopsis didn’t appeal to me. But I’m glad I didn’t, because this is another classic episode that I remember well from the original airing.

Picard and three other species are imprisoned in a strange room. They are four archetypes, and their differences create conflict as they try to find an escape. This part of the story has a very strong Twilight Zone vibe for me, specifically the legendary episode “Five Characters in Search of an Exit.” If this were the entire story it would be a great episode, but there’s another half…

The real Picard has been replaced with an exact replica. Well… almost an exact replica. He has Picard’s knowledge, but his behavior is… well, just a bit off. In ways that at first merely confuse but ultimately nearly kill the entire crew.

Will Riker orchestrate a mutiny to save the Enterprise? You’ll have to watch to find out. I’ll just say it was a weird feeling to watch this episode literally at the very hour that the House of Representatives is debating the second impeachment of Donald Trump.

Memorable Moment

There are plenty of memorable moments in this episode, but definitely the most lasting image for me is of Picard first discovering the “food” being offered in the prison… basically a red translucent hockey puck.

Crew Rando

I found myself strangely aware of all of the random people just roaming the halls on the Enterprise in this episode. In particular, I found it odd that so many people would just be passing by the quarters of whichever officer hosts the poker games. But guess what… “backflip master” Crewman Martinez once again makes an appearance, apparently… I still haven’t actually figured out who he is.

Distance Rating: 4K

IMDb score: a shockingly low 7.5/10

ST:TNG Treadmill Review #30: Sins of the Father

Sins of the Father
Season 3 Episode 17
Original airdate: March 17, 1990

Netflix Synopsis

A Klingon commander boards the Enterprise in an officer exchange program initiated by Starfleet, much to the chagrin of the crew.

My Brief Review

Uh… wow. Whoever wrote that synopsis (which is identical on IMDb) clearly only watched the first few minutes of this episode, as “the chagrin of the crew” is only relevant for the first couple of scenes.

This is a classic episode, and one of the first in which we really get a glimpse of the Klingon empire. That Klingon commander who comes aboard is really Worf’s brother Kurn, come to find Worf to go to the High Council and challenge the posthumous ruling that has labeled their father a traitor and brought dishonor to the family.

This all, of course, is a cover-up, and Worf along with his “cha’DIch” (Captain Picard) means to get to the bottom of it!

This is the beginning of a story that will come back in future episodes.

Memorable Moment

Picard, in his cha’DIch duties, seeks out the old woman Kahlest, who was Worf’s nurse and was believed to be dead, but has in fact been in hiding. After failing to convince her to testify on Worf’s behalf, Picard is jumped by three Klingons and holds his own… until he doesn’t. Kahlest stabs one of them to save Picard, and agrees to testify.

Crew Rando

“Transporter Technician” — who manages to get a credit, while the ever-present Crewmen Nelson and Martinez once again do not!

Distance Rating: 6K

IMDb score: 8.2/10