ST:TNG Treadmill Review #35: Sarek

Season 3 Episode 23
Original airdate: May 12, 1990

Netflix Synopsis

Legendary Federation ambassador Sarek visits the Enterprise to conclude peace talks with a race called the Legarans.

My Brief Review

You had me at Sarek. Spock’s father, Ambassador Sarek is one of my favorite Star Trek characters, and he also has the unique distinction of having appeared in the original series, the animated series, and several of the movies. (The actor, Mark Lenard, also played a Klingon captain in the first movie.)

For a long time, Sarek was really the only Vulcan we knew besides Spock himself, and he endeared himself to fans of the show. Or at least to me.

This episode is full of intense acting. Sarek, now aged 202, is being carried by the Enterprise to one final negotiation, for a treaty he has been working 93 years to complete. But Sarek is ill, with an incurable disease that destroys his ability to restrain his intense Vulcan emotions. Will he be able to complete the mission?

Before we can find out, we get to watch chaos break out all over the ship, including an intense row between Wesley and Geordi, a full-on bar brawl in Ten-Forward, and even a heated shouting match between Riker and Picard on the bridge — all caused by Sarek’s loss of emotional control, and his telepathic abilities.

Eventually Picard convinces Sarek to mind-meld with him, transferring Sarek’s emotions to Picard for the duration of the final treaty negotiations. Sarek (calling Riker “Number One”) is able to become himself again, while Picard unleashes a torrent of intense emotions. It’s an acting tour de force for Patrick Stewart.

Memorable Moment

It’s a tie, for me, between the bar brawl (although did it really have to be O’Brien who instigated it?) and the moment during Data’s Mozart concert when Sarek tears up. That image has stuck with me over the years.

Crew Rando

That would have to be the science officer who steals O’Brien’s table in Ten-Forward, precipitating the brawl.

Distance Rating: 5K

IMDb score: 8.2/10