Friday, April 1, 2016

TNG Re-Watch: Home Soil - Symbiosis

This week I watched Home Soil, Coming of Age, Heart of Glory, Arsenal of Freedom, and Symbiosis.

The first season is still rocky as hell but everyone is beginning to find their footing. Patrick Stewart is phenomenal as always. LeVar Burton is fantastic and I love just about every moment he's on screen. Frakes is charismatic even if they still don't really know what to do with his character. The higher ups didn't seem to really know what to do with any of these characters at this point but the lady types seem to have had it worse than the rest. Troi, Crusher, and especially Yar are all examples of well intended characters that nobody understood how to write. They're all more of a statement than a real person with real motivations, thoughts, and emotions. As a consequence Sirtis, McFadden, and Crosby don't get a lot to work with and their characters tend to fall fairly flat, which is a shame.

Heart of Glory is my likely favorite pick out of these, mostly because it's Michael Dorn's first chance to really shine as Worf. You get a better understanding of what this Klingon is doing on a Federation ship--how his parents died on Khitomer (he thinks) and how he was found and raised by a Starfleet officer who settled in a farming colony. It's a solid foundation for one of the most interesting characters in all of Trek--a character we wouldn't truly get to know until DS9. We also see the Klingon death ritual for maybe the first time. And that's nice. It's always fun to watch a bunch of Klingons get all shouty.

Symbiosis is the last of the bunch and the high point here is seeing Judson Scott show up as the narcotic peddling ponce from Brekkia:

You'll remember him as Khan's right hand man, Joachim: 

Or, more recently (for me), as Commander Rekar in Voyager's fantastic Message In A Bottle: 

Actually there is one more thing: This is Denise Crosby's last shot episode and contains her "goodbye" to the show, the fans, etc at about 42:14, just as Crusher and Picard leave the cargo bay (and their wonky understanding of the Prime Directive) behind.

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