All good things must come to an end. Craggus’ Trek Trek Phase II Omnibus – Vol.25

Here’s your weekly Omnibus Edition of Craggus’ Trek Trek Phase II covering Season 7 episodes 18 to 25:

View this post on Instagram

#StarTrekTNG S7E18 - Eye of the Beholder. Murder she emote! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Troi dons her metaphorical deerstalker as she investigates the sudden suicide of a crewmember in the nacelle tubes. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's certainly interesting to see one of the areas of the ship we've never seen before and get even the slightest insight into why the nacelles glow blue. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Troi's investigations see her work closely with Worf, with whom she grows closer although their burgeoning romance quickly runs into trouble when Worf is caught flirting with a young ensign, provoking Troi into shooting him dead with a phaser and fleeing to the nacelle tube where she intends to fling herself in. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But it was all a dream, or rather nightmare - a telepathic rerun of a real murder which occurred during the construction of the Enterprise. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's an intriguing premise that's let down by the 'it was all a dream' ending and the awkward advancement of the eleventh hour Troi and Worf romance arc. ⭐⭐⭐ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #eyeofthebeholder #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #marinasirtis #michaeldorn #nacelletube

A post shared by thecraggus.com (@thecraggus) on

View this post on Instagram

#StarTrekTNG S7E19 - Genesis ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ High concept, pure sci-fi adventure as TNG does a monster mash of The Island Of Doctor Moreau and Alien to deliver another rare horror episode to the franchise's back catalogue. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There's shaky t-cell technobabble at play but really this is just an action romp and an excuse for the cast to indulge in a variety of animalisation and exciting prosthetics. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Directed by Gates McFadden - which is why Dr Crusher gets written out early on - it's a terrifically effective monster movie, with some spectacular make-up effects and tremendous physical performances from the series regulars. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There's an undeniable creepiness to the way the story is allowed to unfold slowly, subtly affecting the crew at first and then escalating into the genetic nightmare that Data and Picard return to find. And if nothing else, you have to respect the attention to detail that sees Picard's fish Livingston transformed into a jellyfish. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #genesis #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #patrickstewart #theislandofdoctormoreau #gatesmcfadden

A post shared by thecraggus.com (@thecraggus) on

View this post on Instagram

#StarTrekTNG S7E20 - Journey's End Nobody's favourite prodigal son returns as the series creators scramble to tie up plotlines that everybody had forgotten or stopped caring about. Remember the Traveler, who marked Wesley out as someone who's special way back in season one then popped back to help Beverly out of her (warp) shell in season four? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Well, he's back - in crushingly stereotypically Native American form as the franchise tests out some of the stultifying, po-faced dullness that it would continue to hone during the #Chakotay episodes of the soon to premiere #StarTrekVoyager. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The Federation's seemingly tremendously awkward treaty with the Cardassians once again causes problems when a Federation colony refuses to move despite the planet being ceded to the Cardassian Empire. It's yet another rehash of the moral quagmire of forced relocation, which the series has tackled already this season, badly, and in previous stories too (much better). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Wesley, meanwhile, is being a sullen, petulant asshole because he's decided to drop out of Starfleet Academy and 'find himself', which he eventually does by going off with the Traveler and seeking his destiny. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's a nice idea that not everyone's ambition is to serve in Starfleet and it's good that Wesley got a(nother) proper send-off but this story feels like a weird and patronising frame for it to happen in and anyway #StarTrekNemesis (among its many, many sins) ends up confirming that Wes' destiny was actually just to return to Starfleet Academy, complete his training and join Starfleet having, I guess, renounced his ill-defined 'special powers'. ⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #journeysend #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #wilwheaton #wesleycrusher #admiralnechayev #ericmenyuk #thetraveler #cardassians

A post shared by thecraggus.com (@thecraggus) on

View this post on Instagram

#StarTrekTNG S7E21 - Firstborn ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A bittersweet tale that's maybe a little better than you recall, it still suffers from a surfeit of Klingonness as Worf struggles with Alexander's reluctance to embark on the path of warriorhood. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When the ship unexpectedly has a gap in its schedule, Picard agrees to visit a nearby Klingon colony and attend the Kot'baval festival. There, Worf and Alexander are rescued from an ambush by K'mtar, an advisor to the House of Mogh. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ K'mtar tries to encourage Alexander to follow the way of the warrior but he is hiding a tragic secret of his own - he is actually Alexander from the future, having travelled through time to persuade his younger self to take up arms so he might be able to save Worf in the future. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Your mileage will vary with this episode depending on your tolerance for Klingon paraphernalia and Brian Bonsall's Alexander. It's a decent enough episode and it's nice that Worf comes to accept his son has no wish to be a warrior but like Wesley's end in the previous episode, future Star Trek episodes would all but erase the point of the father and son detente achieved here. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nice to see Quark, though. ⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #firstborn #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #AlexanderRozhenko #brianbonsall #jamessolyan #quark #arminshimerman #klingons #michaeldorn

A post shared by thecraggus.com (@thecraggus) on

View this post on Instagram

#StarTrekTNG S7E22 - Bloodlines ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Of all the plotlines that TNG had picked up and left open throughout the previous 172 episodes, was the one you were most hoping to revisit as the series entered its final weeks the one about the Ferengi captain who bears a grudge from a battle some fifteen years previously in which his son was killed? Me neither. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The story apparently came from an idea of Patrick Stewart who might have been the only person who thought there was any chemistry to the Picard/ Bok rivalry, never mind enough to warrant a revisitation. I mean, he's hardly Khan, is he? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nevertheless, the episode sets out to steal a little bit of that 'Wrath Of Khan' magic by introducing a son Picard never knew he had before Bok (who has the uncanny and narratively convenient ability to project and teleport onto the Enterprise from great distances at will) promptly kidnaps him and threatens to kill him. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Of course, it's all another of Bok's over-engineered scams and the glee with which Picard debunks his claims and delivers the news that Bok's genetic gerrymandering has left his 'son' with a neurological condition is pretty callous, given his son is right there hearing the news for the first time too. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Although there's some fine acting from Stewart in the tentative father/ son scenes, the estranged dynamic is just a retread of #SuddenlyHuman and does nothing to justify this sequel nobody wanted to an episode nobody cared about. ⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #bloodlines #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #patrickstewart #daimonbok #ferengi

A post shared by thecraggus.com (@thecraggus) on

View this post on Instagram

#StarTrekTNG S7E23 - Emergence ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If in doubt, start with Shakespeare and this time it's The Tempest which is interrupted by the unscheduled arrival of The Orient Express. But this is no ordinary holodeck-gone-wrong story, no. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Having grown tired of seeing crew member after crew member discover long lost children or create their own, the Enterprise herself decides to give procreation a go, creating a new life form of its very own. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Although it's told in quite bizarre, allegorical fashion, this episode might be one of the very best TNG ever did about emergent machine intelligence and sentience. The curious thing is how sanguine everyone is about the idea that the Enterprise's computer and extensive database achieved some kind of critical mass and became conscious or sentient. There's no real closure to what was created apart from some kind of living bead maze and, a bit like the warp speed limitation before it, the idea that a ship will eventually amass so much data it will become sentient is a huge deal which never really gets brought up again. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Production-wise, there's an air of 'end of term' madness to the episode and it feels like they were clearing out the prop and costume cupboard and decided to use up everything they could fit into this story so there'd be less to tidy up come the end but it's still a good episode and an entertainingly bonkers slice of traditional Star Trek storytelling. ⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #emergence #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #TheTempest #TheOrientExpress

A post shared by thecraggus.com (@thecraggus) on

View this post on Instagram

#StarTrekTNG S7E24 - Preemptive Strike ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Wesley isn't the only character brought back for one final episode only to go native - Ro Laren is back too, newly promoted to lieutenant after completing Starfleet's advanced tactical course. Her first mission upon her return is to infiltrate a Maquis cell and, inevitably, she finds her loyalties divided as she sees her fellow Bajorans struggle. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ While the episode itself may play out quite predictably, it does at least offer one last appearance for Ro (she surprisingly never turns up on Deep Space Nine) and showcases the special relationship that existed between her and Picard, a connection which always felt more natural and authentic than any of the surrogate sons they tried to give the Captain over the years. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Michelle Forbes and Patrick Stewart have marvellous on-screen chemistry and when Ro tearfully asks Riker to tell Picard that she's sorry, you know she means it. ⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #preemptivestrike #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #bajorans #cardassians #themaquis #michelleforbes #rolaren #patrickstewart

A post shared by thecraggus.com (@thecraggus) on

View this post on Instagram

#StarTrekTNG S7E25 - All Good Things.... ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A masterpiece of Star Trek storytelling, a benchmark for how to end a long-running series and far better than the two hours of Next Generation storytelling that followed it on the big screen, All Good Things brought us a celebration of everything which made the series great, a victory lap through the past, present and possible future and a cracking good sci-fi story to boot. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's great to have Denise Crosby and Colm Meaney back for the flashback timeline and the possible future versions of everybody are fun to see (well, not so much for you Troi - sorry). The presence of John De Lancie is a bonus too, tying the overall series up in a wonderful bow that promised a spirit of exploration and discovery which the TNG movies never even attempted to live up to. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On its own merits, it's a triumph - as a series finale, it's astonishing, summoning one final Herculean effort to go out at the very top of its game. If you put aside the medium, it's the second finest feature-length story in the entire Star Trek franchise to date, and definitely the best one ever on TV alone. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #StarTrek #TheNextGeneration #allgoodthings... #CraggusTrekTrekPhaseII #StarTrekTheNextGeneration #patrickstewart #jonathanfrakes #brentspiner #michaeldorn #levarburton #gatesmcfadden #marinasirtis #denisecrosby #colmmeaney #johndelancie #seriesfinale #q

A post shared by thecraggus.com (@thecraggus) on

And that’s it for Craggus’ Trek Trek Phase II.

You can still follow @TheCraggus on Instagram
and don’t forget to check back here on TheCraggus.com for ongoing coverage of Star Trek Picard. 🖖

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.