Saturday, March 23, 2013

10 Reasons You Should Watch "The Defector"

The third season episode, "The Defector" isn't an episode you hear much about. It's not fun and rompy and it's not epic or super dramatic. But I love this one and here are a few reasons why you should try it out:

1- Patrick Stewart is in the same scene as two different characters. Picard and this guy:

2- The whole reason Stewart is dressed up like this is because Data is trying to get a better understanding of humanity via the works of one of our best humans--Shakespeare. Even if you're not a Shakespeare nerd, this is pretty awesome.

3- This episode has some actual intrigue. We don't know until the very end whether Admiral Jarok's warnings about an impending war are for real. And, when we find out what's really going on, it's actually surprising.

4- I don't know about you, but I love Romulans. I seriously love them. Every time I get a Romulan episode, I'm excited. I don't fully understand this fascination and I anticipate writing about it at some point. Until then, what I do know is that "The Defector" is a great Romulan episode.

5- James Sloyan's portrayal of Admiral Jarok is fantastic. Apparently he said in an interview that he loved Star Trek because it was the only place an actor could "do Shakespearean acting and make it work for you on television."

6- Surprise Vocabulary Lesson: Riker and Jarok swear at each other in not one, but two alien languages.

7- Gene Roddenberry described this one as "The Cuban missile crisis at The Neutral Zone."

8- Picard, worried about the potential start of a war, asks Data to keep a record of all the events as they transpire. He wants to make sure that there's an official, dispassionate view of history. It's a great scene.

9- As Picard questions his decision to lead his people into the Neutral Zone, we get another Henry V quote, this time from the captain: "Now if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for their king, who led them to it.

10- As Data learns another lesson about the hope inherent in humans (and Romulans) we get an excellent, punch-you-in-the-gut ending. 


  1. I never liked the Romulans very much, probably because they reminded me of the worst versions of humans. I think it's the same reason I never gelled with the Cardassians either.

    1. I really think I'm in the minority in this one. I never liked the Cardassians either (though I did think they brought in some great plot lines) but I just can't help loving the Romulans.

    2. I kind of love the Romulans too, actually! I can't really explain it either.

  2. I think I feel the same way about the Klingons that you feel about the Romulans. DS9, and then Enterprise brought about some of the most interesting facets of Klingon culture and stories that I'd previously kinda hated on TNG. I do like the Romulans though. Duplicitous bastards that they are.

    Kellie mentioning that they're like the worst versions of humans is interesting to me, 'cause I always thought the Ferengi were far more representative of humans in their greed and the second class status of women. Amplified of course, but all-too-realistic. Yeah, they were used a lot for comic relief, but that seedy underbelly of a list of rules (not unlike our societies fixation on religions) and the attainment of wealth by almost any means.... very plausible for a human future. Scary.


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