Friday, March 24, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 85 (Data's Day)

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


We had a string of family-centered episodes beginning with Family and ending with Legacy and Future Imperfect.  Then, we had character-centered episodes, starting with Final Mission, which focused on Wesley Crusher.  Then, we had The Loss, which centered on Counselor Troi.  Now, we have Data’s Day.  As you might expect, it focuses on Lt. Cmdr. Data.  Data is to give away Keiko Ishikawa at her wedding to Miles O’Brien.  We even have Data narrating through letters to Bruce Maddox, who he has presumably forgiven.  (You may remember Maddox from the second-season episode, The Measure of a Man.)

The events surrounding the wedding are very confusing for Data.  Keiko gets cold feet and calls off the wedding.  Data assumes that since the decision is designed to make Keiko happy, it will make Miles happy.  Data is confused when Miles storms off.  Data also has to play messenger between the two in order to get the wedding back on, which Chief Engineer La Forge is certain will happen.  Data also has to learn to dance for the wedding, leading to a funny scene in the holodeck.

The B story involves Vulcan Ambassador T'Pel, who’s being transported to the Romulan Neutral Zone to meet for some sort of super important negotiation that only she can conduct.  It comes as a shock when she dies in a transporter accident.  Or did she?  There seems to be some question as to what happened.  And all of those questions she was asking were kind of suspicious.

This is one of those episodes where you could probably follow it if this was your first time watching, but you’re going to miss a few things.  For instance, during the second season, Commander Bruce Maddox tries to have Data report to a starbase to be disassembled and studied so that more androids like him might be built.  I did find it odd that there was no mention of family for the bride or groom.  If you’re wondering if you missed anything, you didn’t.  I understand that they’re on a starship, but you’d think there’d be some mention of some siblings wanting to attend or something.

This is one of the few times we get to see a bridge crew do anything with a non-bridge officer.  Yes, it does happen.  Mostly, It’s a bridge officer dating someone and realizing that it’s not meant to be.  I think there was a later episode focusing on non-bridge officers, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen that episode.

I would recommend watching the episode, but I would suggest watching the episodes in order. A lot of the humor comes from knowing that Data doesn’t understand the nuances of human behavior.  While picking out gifts, he and Worf (a Klingon) discuss human weddings.  Both are outsiders, but they have slightly different perspectives.  Data also experiments with jokingly calling people names.



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