Thursday, March 7, 2013

TNG: A Matter of Honor

You know, Riker gets a lot of flack for being a trombone-playing, skirt-chasing blowhard but I really love this guy. For one thing, all the trombone-playing and skirt-chasing he does, he comes by it honestly. It's in earnest. He really does fall in love with every single woman he happens to make eye contact with while playing smooth jazz in Ten Forward. He's a lot like Kirk in that way. The guy just can't help himself. He's up for anything all the time. And, that's exactly how he found himself in the middle of a Klingon ship about to attack the Enterprise. 

In the episode, "A Matter of Honor," Picard and Riker are having a totally nonchalant conversation (during their target practice on the holodeck because why not) about the Officer Exchange Program. Picard mentions that there's a spot on a Klingon ship and says he's thinking about asking for volunteers. Riker says he'll do it and when Picard asks why, Riker's reply is, "Because nobody's ever done it before." 

And that pretty much sums up Riker. I think, somewhere along the line, young Riker was sitting at his desk at Starfleet Academy in San Francisco, drawing Orion women on the back of his notebook and thinking about his big Parrises Squares match that weekend.  I imagine Riker hearing, "Blah blah new life... blah new civilizations blah blah..." And Riker isn't really listening but his ears perk up when they get to the whole, "boldly going where no man has gone before," thing. I imagine young Riker suddenly changing within. Sure, he's still going to play in a jazz band and fall in love every five seconds but now those things are merely the spice of his life--his real mission is hearing that something's never been done and then proclaiming, "Challenge Accepted!" 

And, sure, sometimes that means taking over a Klingon Bird-Of-Prey and telling the Enterprise to lower their shields and surrender while simultaneously making a new Klingon BFF and seducing not one, but TWO Klingon beauties. But, that's all in a day's work when you're Riker and your whole mission in life is to just do all the stuff nobody's ever done before. And, that right there, is why I not only love the guy, but made my very own Riker beard to wear around the house. I'll never be as bold and seductive as Riker, but I can at least pretend. 


  1. I've always thought his trombone playing, skirt chasing and beard growing were some of his best traits :D

  2. Hilarious. Klingon BFF.

  3. As my hubby and I continue our first watch of all the Treks, we decided that Riker has to be the president of the Space Gigilo Club (in our canon, Kirk started it). Their mission is to explore the galaxy and leave no, world untouched. ;) And their lovers can be female or male. The Space Gigilo Club is equal opportunity. ;)

  4. I quite often thought Riker was a dick too. Especially in the first two seasons of TNG, but then he mellows and becomes less a Kirk 2.0. I think he was the first character in Trek to ever mention Canada (which was a "Woot - we're still around!" moment.)

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Jonathan Frakes holds the distinction of being the only Trek actor to appear on TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. And though I didn't always love his character, I've always loved Frakes. :)

  5. Even though he was a tad arrogant/full of himself, I liked how his character matured... I totally changed my mind about him when he turned down his own command to stay with the Enterprise :)


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