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Old 05-15-2019, 12:44 PM
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May 15th, 1989, "Samaritan Snare"

No fiver
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

PULASKI: The truth is, you've ignored this far too long.
PICARD: This ship has a mission to carry out.
PULASKI: An astronomical survey to be conducted by the science officers, I believe.
PICARD: And I 'was looking forward to seeing the Epsilon Pulsar Cluster for myself.

The writing backfired here. I'm not on Picard's side for this one. He knows that his heart has to be replaced within a certain timeframe, so he has the luxury to pick which mission to skip out on. Given how often the E-D is treated like a taxi, surely he could've picked one of those missions to take a medical leave on.

RIKER: As First Officer, I have complete security clearance.
PICARD: This has nothing to do with ship's business, Number One. Suffice it to say, it is strictly a matter of image.

First, even Picard doesn't have "complete security clearance". Second, even if Picard doesn't want the crew to know about his heart, surely he could trust Riker with this information.

WESLEY: It's just the two of us, in a shuttlecraft for six hours. What am I going to talk to Captain Picard about for six hours?
SONYA: Archaeology, semantics, literature, art. You could learn a lot from Captain Picard.

Wesley may be some sort of savant when it comes to technology and starship operations, but he knows next to nothing about the arts, at least on a level that won't bore Picard. As for what to talk with Picard about, how about asking about what his parents were like before he was born?

(The Sahkarov is lined up with the bay doors)
WESLEY: Shuttle number two is ready for departure.

It occurs to me that even with formal names, TNG tends to refer to shuttles by number only most of the time. I wonder why.

GREBNEDLOG [on viewscreen]: We are Pakleds. Our ship is the Mondor. It is broken.

I promise to not harp about the idiocy of the Pakleds for the entire episode, but I have to bring it up once. I dislike the very concept of this race. A certain amount of technological competence is required to keep a starship running, and the Pakleds don't have it. Furthermore, the idea that the only way that they improve their technology is by stealing it is ludicrous. Perhaps technology is strictly plug-and-play within a specific race, but making disparate parts compatible doesn't work without a certain amount of expertise.

LAFORGE: Commander, from the looks of their ship, I could have them up and running in no time.
RIKER: You sure?
LAFORGE: Yeah, no problem.
RIKER: Very well. Our Chief Engineer will beam over to help you. Close.
WORF: Commander? Do we truly need to send our Chief Engineer over to them?

Given the lack of knowledge about the Pakleds, I'd think sending a security team over with the engineering TEAM would be prudent. And I don't think Geordi is required in this case, surely he has a specialist on staff who could handle this.

WESLEY: ETA thirteen thirty hours, sir. It's not exactly warp speed.
PICARD: More like a late twenty-second century interplanetary journey.
WESLEY: Sir?
PICARD: You should read more history, Ensign.

I know that this isn't an Enterprise reference, but these days it comes off as such. Besides, if they're only on impulse they're screaming at us to Do The Math. Six hours at full impulse is an hour and a half at Warp One, or about nine minutes at Warp Two, or 2.3 minutes at Warp Three, or a little less than a minute at Warp Four. You wonder why the Enterprise couldn't drop off Picard and Wesley at the starbase on their way.

(La Forge beams in and is immediately crowded by four very big guys. Think Vogons without the green skin)

I'm not a Doctor Who fan, and even I could make a comparison to Sontarans instead of Vogons.

RIKER: Well, our help is all they're going to get. They can't force us into anything, can they?
TROI: You think they're weak.
RIKER: Look at them. They're certainly not Jarada or Romulans.

Simply being idiots doesn't make them not a threat, Will.

WESLEY: You don't have to say that, sir. It's pretty obvious how you feel.
PICARD: Is it? How so?
WESLEY: Everyone knows. You don't like kids. That's too bad. You'd have made a good father.
PICARD: Thank you.
(Picard takes his book to a rear seat)
WESLEY: Didn't you ever wish you had kids of your own?
PICARD: Wishing for a thing does not make it so.

This is a lengthy topic for another day; why Picard doesn't like kids. The thing is; he implies that he never had the chance. I call shenanigans. At bare minimum there's Jenice Manheim, and in a different reality you can toss in Phillipa Louvois. And had Picard chosen a career in archaeology he could've easily fit a family into the picture.

WESLEY: Were you ever married?
PICARD: Never had the time.

Overly simplistic. The novels also explain that during the time period between the Stargazer court-martial and the launch of the E-D he left active service to pursue archaeology for a time. Plus there had to have been an alternate science officer path he could've pursued and had a family on a starbase or whatever.

WESLEY: Don't you ever get lonely?
PICARD: For ambitious Starfleet officers, there are certain costs involved.

Well, that's depressing. I'm also offended at the notion that the only form of companionship is dating/marriage. Friendship doesn't count for anything?

PICARD: Several friends and I were on leave at Farspace Starbase Earhart. It was little more than a galactic outpost in those days.
WESLEY: Was this before the Klingons joined the Federation?
PICARD: That's right.

Cue series bible rant again. Here's the thing: if it's supposed to be canon at this time that the Klingons have joined the Federation, we should've seen another Klingon in Starfleet by now.

PICARD: Did you read that book I gave you?
WESLEY: Some of it.
PICARD: That's reassuring.
WESLEY: I just don't have much time.
PICARD: There is no greater challenge than the study of philosophy.
WESLEY: But William James won't be in my Starfleet exams.
PICARD: The important things never will be. Anyone can be trained in the mechanics of piloting a starship.
WESLEY: But Starfleet Academy
PICARD: It takes more. Open your mind to the past. Art, history, philosophy. And all this may mean something.

I still find it fascinating how I remember more of the liberal arts from my private reading than all of those college courses. I do believe in being well-rounded, but I'm not sure enforced education is the way to do it.

GARAK: Please, Doctor. Spare me your insufferable Federation optimism. Of course it will survive, but as not the Cardassia I knew. We had a rich and ancient culture. Our literature, music, art were second to none. And now, so much of it is lost. So many of our best people, our most gifted minds.

GREBNEDLOG [on viewscreen]: Good. We want all computer information from your ship. Now.

Ha ha, good luck with that. The E-D has the largest mobile computer core in existence! It just won't fit, even if Riker wanted to accept defeat.

PULASKI: Is Geordi all right?
WORF: He's already been hit by multiple phaser stuns.
PULASKI: He could need medical attention.

I'm reminded of the zat guns on Stargate. You know, one shot stuns, the second shot kills? How much time has to pass before the second shot only stuns again? What kind of damage does multiple stun blast do?

PICARD: What the hell are you doing here?
PULASKI: Saving your life.
PICARD: Oh, come on. This is a routine procedure. Quite commonplace.
PULASKI: True. But you are not a commonplace man.

In plain text it seems like they said that the operation was routine a few too many times, but I'd have to watch the episode again to see if this is true or not.

Memory Alpha

* Budget constraints prevented use of the Captain's Yacht (the Calypso, FYI) here. A shame, but I understand. It's not just building a yacht model, it's building a portion of the underside of the saucer for it to come out of. A shame.
* Final appearance of Sonya Gomez. She did seem more developed here, but I guess it was too little, too late.
* As brought up in the Captains' Logs books, this episode is full of contrivances and bad writing.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Why would the Klingons or Romulans fall for the Pakled's strategy?
* Doesn't Wesley know what it feels like to be stabbed through the back from "Hide and Q"?
* How can Wesley earn Academy credits on the Enterprise if he hasn't been accepted into the Academy yet?
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