ST:TNG Treadmill Reviews #37 and #38: The One (I mean Two) with Locutus of Borg

The Best of Both Worlds, Parts 1 and 2
Season 3 Episode 26; original airdate: June 16, 1990
Season 4 Episode 1; original airdate: September 22, 1990

Netflix Synopsis

Part 1
Responding to a distress call on one of the Federation’s outermost colonies, the Enterprise arrives and must face a powerful foe.

Part 2
As acting captain, Commander Riker has no choice but to fire full force on the Borg starship, despite Capt. Picard being on board.

My Brief Review

I didn’t have a chance to write my review last night after watching part 1, but it’s just as well, so I can review the entire story here.

Season 2 ended on as low a note as imaginable, with a dreadful, hackneyed clip show. Dreadful and hackneyed even for a clip show. The producers were determined to do better this time, and ended season 3 with A CLIFFHANGER!!!

And what a cliffhanger! Not only does Picard get captured by the Borg and turned into Locutus of Borg but part 1 ends with Riker in command of Enterprise, and a special doomsday weapon made out of the deflector shield and the warp engine trained on the Borg cube — with Picard Locutus on board.

The last words we hear: “Mr. Worf, fire!”


And back in 1990 we had to wait all summer to find out what was going to happen. I’m trying to remember what it was like back then, without the Internet, relying just on whatever came out on Entertainment Tonight or in Entertainment Weekly, speculating for three months about what was going to happen. Did we know Patrick Stewart wasn’t leaving the show? Did we know Jonathan Frakes wasn’t leaving, for that matter? After all, the first half really set up the possibility that Commander Shelby might be a permanent addition to the crew.

…three months later…

“Mr. Worf, fire!”

(Voice of Majel Barrett): “And now, the conclusion.”

Of course they didn’t blow Picard Locutus to bits!

On the contrary, after the super weapon utterly fails (because, y’know, the Borg are, like, inside Picard’s brain now), a daring rescue is executed, involving separating the saucer section, “Captain” Riker commanding from the battle bridge, Worf and Data coasting in a powered-down shuttlecraft through the Borg shield, nabbing Picard Locutus, and high-tailing it back outside the shield just in time for O’Brien to beam them to safety moments before the Borg destroy the shuttle! (Of course!)

Oh, by the way, spoilers!

But I’ll stop there. Needless to say, it all works out in the end. As long as you don’t mind the destruction of dozens of Federation ships at the Wolf 359 outpost. (Oops. More spoilers.)

Memorable Moment

Riker with four pips! Enough said.

Crew Rando

A double episode leaves room for plenty of randos, including some who even get named! But I believe I’ll go for our old friend Ensign Russell, who accompanies Worf and Shelby on an away team to the Borg cube near the end of part 2. If any TNG character is going to get “red shirted” you’d think this would be the moment, but no! The away mission is brief and uneventful. (I mean, it’s, like, shockingly uneventful, especially for an away mission to a friggin’ Borg cube!)

Distance Rating: 5K + 5K

IMDb scores: 9.4/10 (part 1); 9.3/10 (part 2)