ST:TNG Treadmill Review #46: The Loss

The Loss
Season 4 Episode 10
Original airdate: December 29, 1990

Netflix Synopsis

While the Enterprise struggles to contend with a mysterious life-form, Troi inexplicably loses her empathetic powers.

My Brief Review

“Empathetic”? Well, whatever. This is not a great episode. I have never really enjoyed episodes that explore Troi’s empathic powers. I’ve never found the idea of the empathic powers compelling, and the way Troi is written as a character is often not great. I do not blame Marina Sirtis for this. It’s the writers and producers. She was not given a lot to work with.

The idea of the two-dimensional beings drawn to the cosmic string fragment like moths to a flame is kind of interesting, and was very timely with the ongoing development of string theory at the time of the episode. I guess the past couple of decades’ failure of string theory to prove at all viable kind of sours me on this. (I was a big reader of popular writing about theoretical physics by the likes of Brian Greene and Michio Kaku in the ’90s.)

On top of what was already a bit of a throwaway episode (aired between Christmas and New Year’s when people were probably less likely to be watching anyway), this also proves to be the first episode in the entire season that isn’t about family in some way.

Memorable Moment

Honestly… not much? Troi comparing the beings to moths being drawn to a flame, I guess. This episode’s details are especially unmemorable, considering that I had actually just seen this one randomly on TV within the last year or so. I remembered that I had seen it, but very few of the details came back to me until moments before they were going to happen.

Crew Rando

OK, we get a serious crew rando this time around. Yes, Ensign Allenby is still at the helm, but we are treated to several scenes featuring Ensign Brooks, whose presence on the ship seems only to be relevant when we need to see Deanna Troi doing her job as ship’s counselor. (Which, strangely, she never normally has to make time for. She’s always on the bridge, and now suddenly she’s seeing patients?)

Distance Rating: 2K

IMDb score: 6.0/10

#rpm12 day 2: Does the world really need more music?

One of my tentative song titles for this year’s RPM album poses a question, in humorous song title parenthetical form:

(Does the World Really Need) More Music (?)

I wondered that again as I awoke this morning with Death Cab for Cutie’s “Codes and Keys” in my head. It’s the title track from an album they released last year. It’s a pretty good album. Every time I listen to it I think, “This is pretty good. I should listen to it more often.” But then I rarely do, because there’s just so much really good music being produced these days.

Do I really need to toss my little CD onto the already massive mountain of music (not the most poetic alliteration ever) being produced every year?

Well, that’s not really why we make music, is it?

I want my music to be heard. I want it to be enjoyed by others. But mostly I want it for myself. I have an urge to create that comes from a place I don’t completely understand. But yet I do it. I must do it. Because that’s what I do.

My music isn’t the expression of a troubled soul. I’m not bearing my heart with the music I create. I just have sounds in my head and I need to get them out.

But the creative drive goes deeper. It’s not the most satisfying realization, but I’ve come to learn that on some level, I just need there to be things in the world that I’ve made. In the words of Steve Jobs, I want to make a “dent in the universe.” Existence is so incomprehensibly vast, and we are such an infinitesimal part of it. But, for a few dozen of the Earth’s trips around the sun, we’re a part of it. And, what’s more, we know it.

I guess that drive to simply leave a mark before I’m a pile of dust is the driving force behind a lot of the creative impulse, at least for me.

I used to think that this creative impulse was at least partly tied to an instinct for procreation, that bringing new life into the world was what I really felt compelled to do, for simple biological reasons. But I have kids now, and while they’re great in many ways, it hasn’t lessened that urge to create art.

So, I continue to make music. I explore. I refine. I grow. And I keep trying to get it all out of my head and into the world.

This is not at all where I had intended to go with this post. I was going to just talk about the song I worked on last night, which ended up sounding a little bit like a Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross soundtrack… if all of their soundtrack tunes were 12 minutes long and ended with an extended, unaccompanied theremin solo. But that’s probably not as interesting as probing metaphysical reflection.

The short version of the daily progress report is, last night was another productive session, and I extensively employed two new apps I just discovered last night through the App Store’s often questionable “Genius” tool: Alchemy and SoundPrism. The latter gets an endorsement from Jordan Rudess, which is good enough for me.

First RPM track complete (I think)

Anagrammatic Pseudonyms coverI’m never totally sure a song is finished until I’ve had a chance to listen to it several times on different sets of speakers, but I’m liking “Tornado Scents” so far.

This is one of three songs that are fairly far along already, though it’s the first one I’m ready to tentatively call “done.” The others should be to that point within 24 hours and I’ll post them here.

“Tornado Scents” is set to be track 4 on the album. The other two I’m currently working on will be tracks 3 and 5, so when they’re all done, it will be possible to imagine a good solid chunk of the track sequence. I especially like the way the preceding track is going to lead into this.