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Old 04-04-2019, 12:05 PM
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April 3rd, 1989, "Time Squared"

Interesting ideas here, but this episode raises far more questions than it answers. How would going back in time mess up the polarity of the shuttle systems and Picard2's biology that much? How did this whole time loop get started? If the same Picard is going back in time every cycle, isn't that a Groundhog Day-style purgatory?

Fiver (by Marc)
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

WORF: It is my understanding that in most human families, the woman shares in the cooking.

It's my understanding that with rare exceptions like Joseph Sisko, most families use replicators! Furthermore, I can't imagine that this kind of misogyny exists in Klingon tradition. Is he basing his whole worldview on the Roshenkos?

LAFORGE: Where did you get these eggs?
RIKER: On our last stop.
LAFORGE: At Starbase Seventy Three?

Geordi isn't sure of their last stop? Furthermore, why does any detail beyond "our last stop" matter to us, the viewers? Why make Geordi look like an idiot?

WORF: Delicious.

I wish this gag appeared a bit more often. Geordi's liquid polymer remark from Birthright comes to mind immediately.

PICARD: Number One, we've picked up an automated signal from a Federation shuttlecraft.

Wait, the automated signal wasn't inverted or whatever? Furthermore, wouldn't the signal identify the shuttle and mother ship?

PICARD: Doctor Pulaski, you are needed in Shuttlebay two.
PULASKI [OC]: I've been monitoring. I'm on my way.

Again, what does this kind of writing achieve except raising further questions? Either Pulaski was given a heads-up earlier to keep a line open to the bridge, or she just flat-out keeps a line open to the bridge at all times, just in case. A simple "Doctor Pulaski, possible medical emergency in Shuttlebay Two" and "I'm on my way" would achieve the same thing with fewer plot holes.

PULASKI: The life signs are very confusing. His heartbeat is strong, but the pulse is off.

Okay, for the sake of not ending the episode early let's accept that Picard2's brainwaves and sensory inputs are out of phase for some reason, getting more and more coherent as we approach his departure time. That doesn't explain the other stuff. How can he have a strong heartbeat but an "off" pulse?

DATA: The power requirements of the shuttle do not match those of the Enterprise. We will need a variable phase inverter, to align the power from the Enterprise to the circuits of the shuttle.

Again, why? It's not explained. This is bad writing all in the service of postponing giving us answers. At least technobabble like "the shuttle was hit by an unknown energy wave which scrambled the files in the computer, it'll take us time to sort everything out" would feel less insulting.

PULASKI: I'm just starting a complete medical work-up. His vital signs are distorted. Some of the indicators are totally depressed, others are fluctuating wildly. I can't explain any of it.

Lazy writing strikes again. The unknown energy wave which hit the shuttle is causing static in Picard2's brain that's preventing him from awakening, simple!

LAFORGE: I just don't understand how you could have ended up in a shuttlecraft while the Enterprise was being destroyed.
WORF: Nor I. The last thing you would do is leave the Bridge of the Enterprise during an emergency.

Exactly! More questions that will never be answered! And what's more, both Riker AND Picard left the Bridge during an emergency!

RIKER: Well, I know this much. We can't avoid the future.

The Guardian of Forever would dispute that statement.

PICARD: What force or phenomenon could cause the shuttle to be thrown back in time?
RIKER: None that we've encountered. In theory, accelerating beyond warp ten.

I guess the "Warp 10"="occupying all points in the universe simultaneously" hadn't been invented yet. I'm still not sure where "sufficiently fast warp speed"="time travel without any other factor" came from.

RIKER: We've never encountered a natural force that powerful. Why only six hours? Why not a day? Or a year?

It's a valid question, but one that can easily be explained by random factors. Once you establish that it was done on purpose by Q or whatever, you can start asking why six hours.

PICARD: The Traveller moved through time using the power of his mind.

He did? When did that happen? Invoking Q would make more sense.

LAFORGE: The pull on the Enterprise is steady. I'm having to hold the warp engines at thirty percent in order to maintain our present position.

Using the warp field generators to create an "anchor" is an interesting idea that doesn't appear anywhere else.

The Fiver

Sorry Marc, the fiver is serviceable but nothing really stands out.

Memory Alpha

Pulaski's unfamiliarity with Kyle Riker is brought up. I think it's easy enough to chalk this up to "Pulaski wasn't in the mood to bring up a long story and upset Riker needlessly."
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