Thursday, November 10, 2016

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 9 (Justice)

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

Throughout the run of Star Trek: The Next Generation, there seemed to be a few throwaway episodes that seemed to serve no purpose other than to fill out the season. These throwaway episodes suffered from bad writing, bad plots and/or bad acting. “Lonely Among Us” is one of those episodes. (Most of the throwaway episodes seemed to be concentrated in the first two seasons.)

The Enterprise is taking two sets of delegates to a planet called Parliament. Both worlds have been at odds for as long as each world has had interplanetary travel. On the way, the Enterprise encounters some sort of cloud made entirely of energy. The ship picks up some sort of energy being, which goes into Worf. Worf is knocked unconscious and taken to sickbay, where the being transfers to Dr. Crusher, who then begins to act strangely.

From Crusher, the energy is transferred into the ship’s computers. Once that happens, things start malfunctioning; the assistant chief engineer is killed by the energy being, albeit accidentally. It eventually finds its way into Captain Picard, who also starts acting strangely. The crew knows something’s up, but no one has grounds to remove Picard from command. The episode ends strangely. I don’t think that I could adequately explain it if I wanted to. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me.

Part of the problem is that the energy-based life form dominates the story. The delegates seem to be there only to add urgency; it wouldn’t be that much of a problem if the delegates didn’t need to get somewhere. The problem doesn’t pose an immediate problem to them and there’s no hard deadline on their arrival, but it’s still a nuisance.

Then, there’s the body-snatching aspect. How many times has some alien entity invaded someone and left them with no memory of what happened? In Worf’s case, he was unconscious the entire time. However, it would have been nice for someone to be able to convey some sense of what the entity wanted.

I give this episode one star. The story just doesn’t seem to have much substance. There was nothing learned or gained. One could very easily be skipped without gaining or losing anything. I really couldn’t find any redeeming quality to the episode other than the acting, which again wasn’t exceptional.

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