ST:TNG Treadmill Review #41: Suddenly Human

Suddenly Human
Season 4 Episode 4
Original airdate: October 13, 1990

Netflix Synopsis

On a rescue mission to a Talarian shipwreck, the Enterprise team discovers that one of the alien crew is a young human.

My Brief Review

Wow, season four is all about family, isn’t it? In this case, Picard spends a few days as a surrogate father to an angsty teenager. Fighting over loud music, even.

The boy was captured by the Talarians, a patriarchal, warrior race, and raised as one of their own. But when he comes aboard Enterprise, it’s discovered that he’s actually the son of a Starfleet commander, who had been killed in a battle with the Talarians. His grandmother is a Starfleet admiral. Which place is his home? Is his Talarian father a serial abuser? Will Captain Picard survive young Jono stabbing him while he sleeps? (Yeah, that happens.)

In the end, Jono makes his choice, but he learns a lot about being human along the way.

Memorable Moment

Jono creeping up on a sleeping Picard and thrusting a dagger into his chest is certainly memorable, but the moment from this episode I immediately remembered from years ago is him sitting in Ten-Forward with Wesley Crusher, jabbing a spoon violently into a banana split, and splattering blue (?) ice cream all over Wesley’s face. Wherein Data gets a lesson in slapstick humor.

Crew Rando

Crewman Martinez (a.k.a “backflip master”) appears here, but I think we only see the back of his head. But in a more general “rando” sense, let’s talk about Jono’s Talarian father, Captain Endar. He’s played by Sherman Howard, who has appeared in a million small roles, including a bunch of Star Trek stuff as well as tons of video game and cartoon voice work. But his most memorable moment may be as playing Roy, Elaine’s ex-boyfriend in the Seinfeld episode The Junior Mint. Yes, he’s the patient who’s being operated on when Kramer drops a Junior Mint from the viewing gallery.

Distance Rating: 4K

IMDb score: 6.5/10