Friday, November 10, 2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Episode 164 (The Pegasus)

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

Everybody’s got a deep, dark secret. When Admiral Eric Pressman comes on the Enterprise on a mission regarding the U.S.S. Pegasus, Commander Riker knows that his dark secret has come back to haunt him.

12 years prior, Admiral Pressman was Captain Pressman, commanding officer of the Pegasus and Commander Riker was Ensign Riker, fresh out of Starfleet Academy. Something happened that caused Pegasus to explode. Pressman, Riker and a few others made it off safely, but they claimed that the ship destroyed. However, Starfleet Intelligence has reason to believe that the Pegasus is still out there and they have a pretty good idea where it is. Starfleet is pretty eager to get it back and they’ve put Pressman in charge of the mission. There is a Romulan ship out there looking for the Pegasus, so there’s a race to find it.

At first, Captain Picard doesn’t think much of the importance of the mission, but becomes suspicious when he calls in some favors and finds out that there was an alleged mutiny on the Pegasus just before its presumed destruction. Picard tries to pump Riker for some information, but Riker is under direct orders from Pressman not to talk about it. Picard is upset about it, but there’s little that he can do about it.

The Enterprise manages to get to the Pegasus first. Riker and Pressman beam over to the Pegasus and retrieve what they want, but shortly after they go back to the Enterprise, the Romulans seal them in. Fortunately, the device that they retrieved from the Pegasus is a cloaking device that uses phasing technology. When hooked up properly, it can make a ship become out of phase with normal matter so that it can pass right through it. Using this technology, the Enterprise is able to escape. (The reason that the mission was so secretive was that there’s a treaty prohibiting the Federation from developing cloaking technology.)

It was an interesting episode. It seems that the seventh season was trying too hard to deal with the main characters’ pasts, but I don’t think that this episode in particular did so. It had more to do with Riker’s involvement in a cover-up. He had hoped that this would never come back to haunt him and after what appeared to be the destruction of the Pegasus, there was a good chance that it wouldn’t. After facing up to what he did, Riker is essentially absolved of much of the guilt. It still doesn’t look good for him, but most of the blame is Pressman’s.

I really don’t know what happened as a result of the events in this episode. The Romulans now know what the Federation did, but there was no mention of what the Federation did with the cloak or what actions the Romulans took against the Federation as a result of what they did. Had this been done a few seasons earlier, there could have been a nice follow-up episode that dealt with it.

I’d say that this episode is worth four stars. It’s definitely one of the better episodes. For someone that hasn’t seen too many Star Trek episodes, this one will still be enjoyable. There really isn’t anything that isn’t mentioned in the episode that you would need to know and not knowing anything about Star Trek won’t really take away from this one too much. However, those that have watched the show will probably be able to understand it a bit more. The Riker that Pressman knew was a lot different than the Riker that Picard chose to be his first officer. It’s interesting to learn more about how the character has evolved. 

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