Sunday, May 14, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 112 (Violations)

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

You wouldn't think of an empath as necessarily being a historian, but the Ullian have such people. Not every Ullian is capable of retrieving memories, but some are. The Enterprise is transporting three Ullians to their a planet, where they will record the memories of as many people as they can. The episode opens with one of the Ullians trying to help Keiko O'Brien elaborate on a memory of a chipped cup. She starts out with just the image of the cup and ends up remembering where it was from.

Trouble begins shortly after the opening scene when Counselor Troi, an empath herself, starts reliving an old memory that turns violent. She then falls into a coma. The thing is that we know who did it. In the relived memory, we can see a Ulian called Jev. However, since Troi falls into a coma, she can't exactly pick Jev out of a lineup. The next to fall into a coma is Commander Riker. Both show similar signs, and those signs would point to a particular illness, but some of the other signs of that illness are lacking.

This is one of those times where the writers didn't dumb down the main characters. The bridge crew realizes that the comas occurred during the stay of the Ulians and go through every other possible cause of the comas before saying to the Ulians that it can't be a coincidence. However, before Dr. Crusher can perform appropriate tests on the Ulians, she also falls into a coma.

Troi is the first to wake up, having been in a coma for three days. She can't remember what happened, but allows Jev to help her. Captain Picard and others voice concerns, but figures that Jev has the right to defend himself. He helps Troi recall the events leading up to her coma, but inserts the face of his father over his own face. Thus, Troi points the finger at Jev's father. Meanwhile, Data and La Forge are going over records of the Ulians' travels and find that there are several similar comas and a few unexplained ones during the Ulians' stay on several planets and that Jev is the only one at all of the locations. Worf leads a security team to Troi's quarters before Jef can attack her again.

It's difficult to press charges against Jev since the Federation has never had to deal with anything of this nature. Fortunately, the Ulians have had to deal with this. The problem is that they haven't had to deal with it in 300 years. They have medical records that far back and offer to do what they can for the three victims on the Enterprise.

Of the three victims, Troi was the best acted. She seemed to show the most resistance to what was going on. Maybe she had the best resistance since she was an empath; I don't know. There's also not much suspense. From the first attack, we know that it's Jev. Granted, just as Jev inserted his father's image, one of the other two Ulians could have used Jev's image. However, you have to figure that it was one of the three Ulians on the ship; it was just too easy.

Overall, it was a good episode. There are no plot holes or obvious mistakes. I'd say that it's a four-star episode. The use of this sort of invasion is used as a metaphor for rape, and is even called as much by Jev's father. (After all, the name of the episode is "Violations".) Those that watch Star Trek regularly will still be able to enjoy the episode. Those that don't might be a little lost and will probably miss a few references. If you're going to watch this episode, you'll probably want to start watching episodes prior to this one.

IMDb page

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