ST:TNG Treadmill Review #23: The Vengeance Factor

The Vengeance Factor
Season 3 Episode 9
Original airdate: November 18, 1989

Netflix Synopsis

The Enterprise pursues a race of “gatherers” who continue to raid Federation outposts, unaware of the dangers lurking among them.

My Brief Review

It’s Balbricker from Porky’s (seriously) vs. Snake Plissken (not seriously) in the ultimate smackdown!!

If your planet had a millennia-long history of clan wars, and made peace, except for one small group who were exiled to an existence as nomadic raiders, how would you expect them to look after a century? If you said, “Like a cross between Kip Winger and Snake Plissken,” you’d be right! Mullets and all. (It was 1989, after all.)

This is a decent episode, but a very poorly paced one, and it was difficult to get too enthusiastic about it even though the basic premise was solid.

The real problem comes in the climactic scene, however, when Yuta, the young woman who acts as the servant to the Sovereign of the planet (and who of course has had a romantic encounter with Riker earlier in the episode), attempting to murder Chorgan, the leader of the Gatherers by… uh… touching his face (it makes sense in context), is confronted by Riker with his phaser.

He stuns her… on a setting so weak that it’s little more than a weak punch in the stomach. She recoils, then takes another step towards her enemy. Riker turns up the phaser a bit, to “kickpuncher” level. She recoils again, then takes another step. Riker slowly turns his phaser up to maximum setting. She looks at Riker, then lunges at her enemy… and Riker completely vaporizes her!

In any other episode, phasers are set to “stun” which means “knock unconscious.” Why didn’t he do that so she could be taken into custody? It makes no sense for Riker to murder her. Of course, this isn’t the first time Riker has murdered with impunity and I suspect it’s not the last.

Memorable Moment

It’s hard to forget when Brull, the leader of the group of Gatherers who brings Enterprise to Chorgan, struts into Ten Forward, grabs another man’s drink out of his hand, walks over to Wesley, grabs his PADD, plops down with his foot up on Wesley’s table, and proceeds to… well… mock him for being a nerd, I guess.

Crew Rando

Backflip master Crewman Martinez was apparently in this one too but I didn’t notice him!

Distance Rating: 4K

IMDb score: 6.5/10