Thursday, November 10, 2016

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 4 (Code of Honor)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

“Code of Honor” wasn’t one of the Next Generation episodes that I particularly remember. As I’ve said before, it takes a while for a show to find its place. With Star Trek: The Next Generation, it’s apparently going to take at least four episodes. There are a lot of factors behind that.

The Enterprise is sent to a planet called Ligon to get a vaccine, which is urgently needed. It can’t be replicated and apparently, there’s nowhere else in the known galaxy where it can be obtained. The Ligonians are willing to negotiate for it. During the negotiations, Lutan, the leader of the Ligonians, kidnaps Chief of Security Tasha Yar. According to the Ligonians’ code of honor, this is considered a bold move, designed to get someone’s attention.

It worked, and now Captain Picard has to politely ask for her return. However, Lutan announces that he wishes to make Yar his first wife. His current first wife, Yarina, protests and challenges Yar to a death match. Now, Picard is in a really tough position. According to the Federation’s rules, he can’t interfere. He needs the vaccine, which he could just take. However, his own code of honor would prohibit that. Yar wants to fight, which the captain is inclined to allow.

I won’t reveal how the episode ends. To ruin the surprise would be unnecessary in this case. I will say that the episode is very unremarkable. It’s similar to “Amok Time” from the original series in that two people have to fight to the death over a spouse, leaving someone else to figure something out. Also, notice how similar Yar is to Yarina. Also, when I first watched the episode, I kept expecting people to say lieutenant whenever people said Lutan. Coincidentally, lieutenant is Yar’s rank. (Lutan + Yarina = Lieutenant Yar?)

I would have to say that this is among the ten worst episodes of The Next Generation. A lot of it has to do with the story, which I’ve mentioned in the above paragraph. It seems more like it’s being used to set up other episodes. Wesley gets to sit at ops and Data explores humor. Part of it is also the acting. When Yar is kidnapped, Picard doesn’t seem to react with shock. He simply calls security to inform them of what’s happened. Actually, no one seems to react with shock at first.

I’d give this episode one star. There’s no way that I can recommend this episode. Even if you get it as part of the DVD set, I think that you could easily skip it and not miss anything. 

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