One cool thing
The opening shot to begin the episode is beautiful. It’s an angle of the ship that we don’t see a lot of, and it doesn’t look like it’s from the 80s. For a TV show!
Most of the planets I’ve seen on these season one DVDs have been indeterminate spherical blurs–impressionist paintings of planets. The starbase has lights and details.
My DVDs were so inexpensive that I doubt they’re the newest thing out there, but after seeing that shot I wonder if they haven’t been fixed up…
About the Bynars
The Bynars were interesting, and I want to learn more about them. For starters, it seems like they always stand shoulder to shoulder and work as one, but each person in each pair only uses one arm. I wonder if that means they always put lefties and righties together.
I wonder how pairs are determined. Do they grow up together as pairs and become either a lefty or a righty based on that pairing and not an innate physical trait.
Wasn’t it interesting that they only thought of the Enterprise as a large mobile computer?
Perhaps they would be the natural result if humans were to develop the BrainPal technology in John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series.
Riker made a joke about a blind man teaching an android to paint. I found it insensitive. He might’ve shamed them from trying to improve themselves. Not cool Will.
Top Five Riker Quotes:
9 It’s me. It’s what I am.
8 A trio. Piano, bass, and drums. And a ‘bone for me.
7 I’d be a fool not to realize how lucky I am.
6 Gentlemen if this is what you call enhancement, you’ve got a gift for understatement.
5 Blondes and jazz seldom go together.
4 What’s your name? Tell me you love jazz.
3 How far can this relationship go? I mean how real are you?
2 Maybe it’s my music.
1 What’s a knockout like you doing in a computer generated gin joint like this?
Sultry Sits at the Bar
Minuet is captivating. She is confident and calm. Her slow speech is almost robotic, but at the same time, one suspects passion smoldering behind her eyes. And the eye contact between her and Riker. Wow. It’s supposed to be a Riker episode, but in truth, it’s hers.
A Good Wingman
I agree with Minuet that Riker is happy at his work because of Picard’s captaining, but in that scene, I was surprised with Patrick Stewart. The fantastic intensity between Riker and Minuet could’ve been undermined by Mr. Stewart’s screen presence. But I could feel him sitting back and letting the other two actors have the scene.
A Good Captain
Is it me or does Data make a great captain. He went from relaxation to making difficult decisions in no time at all. He made them without any doubt, but don’t think he’s not a person. He had plenty of doubts after all the crew and the other people on the starbase were safe, and he showed them as well.
Now, I have to admit that it was kind of stupid for him to leave without confirming the whereabouts of the captain and first officer, but I guess lives were at stake. He won’t give up so easily next time.
Morals, messages, and meanings
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help – the Enterprise crew would’ve probably helped the Bynars if the Bynars had only asked. Instead they went through a lot of trouble, and nearly failed at their mission.
- Don’t take choice from others – not to mention that by not asking for help, they denied the people of the Enterprise their right to choice. That’s why they’re punished.
- Stay involved – Don’t completely hand over control of the important things in your life to experts. They may not act with your best interest at heart. Know your upgrades.
- Don’t trust something just because you’re supposed to – Both Wesley and Riker were suspicious of the Bynars, but Riker allowed himself to be distracted, and Wesley never stopped them from doing what they were doing. After all there was a Starfleet officer with them. It was supposed to be OK. That’s what tripped them up.
- Don’t look for the perfect woman on the holodeck – if you do, you might find her. Actually chances are quite good. I mean really, really good. After all, if you tell the computer everything you want in a woman and it creates said a woman, then you might fall for the illusion. (As long as she has no choice but to be attracted to you, she’ll never be real enough).
- Learn to look at things from the others’ POV – In order to figure out how to return the data to Bynaus, Picard and Riker have to think like the Bynars. The effect is that they are changed. In the scene in which the Bynars wake up, Picard and Riker move in unison. Having put themselves in the shoes of these aliens, they have seen things differently, and it has changed them.
Does it hold up?
Yes. And after Angel One, I needed this episode.
The Bynars and the idea of sentient beings integrated with computers is interesting. (Though the name is so on the nose, it’s a tad corny.) Minuet is great. Data is cool (moving from comedy to drama).
I don’t know how I feel about Riker. He was a little creepy. Why is he so captivated by a woman programed to tell him exactly what he wants to hear?
Those are just the beginning of the questions I’m left with.
Since you’re curious, I’ll tell you more:
Deanna is often absent. Was Marina Sirtis on a different kind of contract?
Was she doing some other acting gig at the same time?
Was she fighting with Wil so much that they threw her off the set?
I notice she never appears in episodes depicting the holodeck, and I’m starting to suspect that the role of the holodeck is played by her.
I could just Google it, but what would be the fun in that?
Despite having questions, I thought it was a good episode in terms of production, directing, acting, and writing. It was also a nice cohesive story that had different ideas, but never felt like it was being pulled in different directions.
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