Thursday, April 4, 2013

TNG: Season 3 Essentials

Season Three is a pretty big one. I really feel that Star Trek: TNG started to come into its own in Seasons 2-4 so it's really been a joy to re-watch those episodes. Of course, that makes choosing the essentials even harder. After a lot of debate, here's what I came up with:

The Defector
-Watch this one for some sweet, Romulan action.
-There's a whole Shakespearean through-line that's pretty wonderful and the end of this one has some nice bite.
Stand Out LineNow if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king, who led them to it.
Deja Q
-Is it possible to not include a Q episode in an essentials list? I guess we'll see. 
-Basically, in this episode, Q comes to the Enterprise as a human. He's lost all his super powers as punishment for being a jackass. 
Stand Out Line: Very clever, Worf. Eat any good books lately? 

Yesterday's Enterprise 
-Tasha Yar is back and EVERYTHING is wrong. The only person who realizes this is Guinan and, thankfully, Picard listens to her. 
-Seriously, this is one of the most memorable, most beloved episodes of the franchise so seek this one out ASAP. 
Stand Out Line: Geordi, tell me about Tasha Yar. 

The Offspring
-This is the episode wherein Data has a kid. I'm going to let you know up front that it will rip your heart straight out of your body and, while you will get it back, the episode will keep a tiny piece of your heart with it for all of eternity. So... don't say I didn't warn you/encourage you to sit down right where you are and watch it. 
Stand Out Line: This is a most stupendous undertaking.

The Best of Both Worlds: 
-Remember how "The Offspring" ripped your heart out? It's like that. Only kind of worse. 
-This is the Season 3 Finale and it's really a 2-parter. It involves the Borg, Picard, Guinan, and lots of great moments. If you don't watch this, and its second half, you'll be lost when Sisko goes on and on about Wolf 359 for seven years in DS9. 
Stand Out Line: I am Locutus of Borg

Runners Up

Sins of the Father
-This is the first truly awesome Worf episode. (Worf-isode?) Not only do we get a lot of scenes with Klingons (who I love) but we get the whole set up of "Son of Mogue" which would end up lasting the rest of TNG and DS9. So, it's kind of iconic. 
-Additionally, we get a new, deeper relationship between Worf and Picard which is pretty priceless all by itself. 

-This is a beautifully, sincerely written episode about what it's like when a beloved, older person begins to lose their mental faculties. Using Sarek, who we've known since TOS, in this episode really heightens the themes here.  And, the scenes between such accomplished and talented actors as Leonard and Stewart are truly heartbreaking. 
-I've read that this episode was, in many ways, about Gene Roddenberry, whose health was beginning to go downhill during the third season of TNG. Like Sarek, he was a father figure, someone we all loved, someone who had made a huge impression. I imagine that, seeing him begin to falter, would have been difficult for everyone involved. 

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