The Mind’s Eye
Season 4 Episode 24
Original airdate: May 25, 1991
La Forge is brainwashed by the Romulans and ordered to assassinate a Klingon ambassador.
My Brief Review
This is a pretty great episode that I don’t remember ever having seen before. We haven’t had a lot of Geordi attention in season 4, so it’s nice to have an episode that features him.
It starts off like a number of other episodes, especially in this season: a crew member (in this case, Geordi) is in a shuttlecraft, far away from Enterprise, when a Romulan warbird uncloaks in front of him. Bad news! Why they ever let shuttlecraft fly outside of visual range of the Enterprise, I’ll never understand. Something bad always happens.
The Romulans beam Geordi aboard their ship, send a half-assed Geordi lookalike in a cheap knock-off VISOR to take Geordi’s place on his trip to an engineering conference on Risa (another place where something bad always happens), and proceed to undertake an aggressive behavioral reprogramming process on Geordi, while also hacking his VISOR to allow them to transmit orders directly into his brain.
The intrigue is all focused on getting Geordi to assassinate a Klingon colonial governor (not an ambassador… the ambassador is there, but — spoiler alert! — he’s in cahoots with the baddies), thereby destroying the Federation/Klingon alliance and plunging them into war, to the benefit of the Romulans.
Ultimately Data figures out that Geordi’s shuttlecraft had been tampered with by the Romulans, and he pieces things together — far more slowly than I would expect his positronic brain to be capable of, to be honest.
It’s probably worth mentioning (gasp!) that I’ve never seen The Manchurian Candidate and leave it at that.
There are plenty of interesting moments, including when Geordi unknowingly hacks the Enterprise’s transporter system, and then innocently joins in the effort to try to track down who did it. My favorite random bit of weirdness though is when Geordi is summoned to the Klingon ambassador’s quarters, where he tells him how he should commit the assassination. The ambassador is sitting down in front of a massive Klingon feast, and here’s the bit I just can’t get over. He very carefully unfolds a cloth napkin and places it in his lap before digging in. What true Klingon would do that?!
They aren’t real, but during Geordi’s reprogramming, he’s put into a simulation of Ten Forward, where he is ordered to assassinate Chief O’Brien. After an initial hesitation, he goes through with it, and then asks O’Brien’s two companions if he may join them. They agree without reluctance, Geordi pushes O’Brien’s lifeless body aside, picks his chair back up, sits down and drinks O’Brien’s drink! Damn! (Is that really how the Romulans think humans would react in that situation?)
Distance Rating: 3K
IMDb score: 7.8/10