Wednesday, March 16, 2016

TNG Re-Watch: Datalore

This is a big one. Lore is such a huge part of the TNG... lore... and it's a little mind-boggling to think that it all starts way back here in this wacky-ass first season.

I remember watching this one when I was little, remember hating Lore (as we're supposed to) and I remember going the rest of my life thinking about how I needed a code word or phrase just in case I was covertly replaced by a doppelgänger.  In case you're wondering, yes, my spouse and I have set up an elaborate series of identity checks so that I can't be easily replaced by another me (from a mirror universe, or with my roboticist father's second child, or with someone from Earth 2, or a synth from The Institute) I even have a codename for alternate me just in case she shows up and I'm not even going to tell you what it is because there can be only one.

Anyway, back to Datalore:

We all know what a jerk Lore is and what an obviously lovely time Spiner had playing him and he'll come up again and again. What totally throws me about this episode is the way it all comes around to the end. Basically, Wesley has to save the day because Wesley saves the day in approximately 75% of these early episodes and yet no one will listen to him. This is the episode that features the famous, "Shut up, Wesley!" line from Picard. Which, let's be honest, this is ridiculous at this point. We all know that Lore could have replaced Data. We all know Wesley has already saved a ship-full of supposedly capable, intelligent, highly-trained Starfleet officers many, many times already. We know Picard has a special/weird/guilty relationship with Wesley. We know Wesley has a friendship with Data and would be the person to know whether he'd been switched out for the newer model. And yet, when Wesley says, "Hey, uh, Cap, I think maybe--"
and also: 

I don't know, I'm not trying to champion Wesley or anything but, come on. This makes zero sense. They go along, not listening to the teenager who keeps saving all of them, and (big surprise) he saves all of them again and then it's basically, "Oh, what a crazy day we've all had. Am I right? See you guys back at the office." Like it's no big thing that Data's brother almost got everyone killed and the only way the whole ship didn't bite it was that a teenager and his reluctant mom snuck off and fixed said teenager's robot bestie.

In spite of all this, Datalore is still one of the best first season episodes. I can deal with my hangups about it because Lore ended up becoming a legit baddie and this is where it all starts. First seasons (as I've stated over and over) are always rocky and a little slapdash and TNG's first season is no different. Next up is Angel One and you all know how I'm looking forward to that biz.

1 comment:

  1. That's what the series had to overcome, artificially goosing the stories with wacky character mischaracterizations like that. Because they really didn't know the characters all that well. Except Wesley. It only figures.


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