No notes, because everything I has to say deserves to be said outside of the cut.
Overall Reaction: Watching this episode was like being stabbed over and over again in the heart.
1) The action plot of meeting an incredible new creature...and killing it, was actually very well-done. Picard's happy little face on encountering a new lifeform is what Trek is all about. But, still -- they killed a pregnant mother. And then the baby imprinted on the ship because it had no living parental figures. WHY WOULD SOMEONE EVEN WRITE THAT STORY.
2) The romance plot gave me lots of feelings, too. Feelings of "WHY," and "WHY GOD WHY," and "STOP PLEASE STOP," and "I am so grossed out, so grossed out."
Show, I want to like Geordi LaForge. I really do. And, when he is not interacting with women, I usually do. But his discomfort with women is not charming or relatable; it is adolescent, and frankly a bit disturbing. He is a Nice Guy (TM) -- he feels he is entitled to a woman, but can't accept the fact that the woman he wants might be a real person with her own needs or desires that don't perfectly mesh with his own. He spends most of this episode alternately punishing Dr. Leah Brahms for not being his fantasy girl or coming on much too strong because of some false sense of intimacy from the Holodeck. She, on the other hand, is initially brusque -- even rude -- but she quickly acknowledges that she that she made hasty judgements and resolves to take Geordi on his own merits; she behaves, after their first meeting, with polite professionalism. Geordi plays soft jazz at her.
This episode wants me to see this as "they both made prejudgements! They both learned about each other and came to work as a team! They finish each other's sentences, it's charming!" I just can't go there. I appreciate that Leah is married, and so Geordi isn't rewarded with romance -- he does have to acknowledge the difference between fantasy and reality. But it's not some cute foible that can be aw shucksed off. His behavior was creepy and inappropriate and if I were Brahms', I'd have written him up for more than fucking with my engine design. She was right to feel violated when she found out about the Holodeck program, and she shouldn't have had to get over it.
Star Rating: **, but purely because I think Leah is great and the space whale plot, while SOUL CRUSHING, was pretty good
Quote of the Episode:
"All right, look. Ever since you came on board, you've been badgering me. And I've taken it. I've shown you courtesy, and respect, and a hell of a lot of patience. Oh, no, no, no, wait a minute! I've tried to understand you, I've tried to get along with you. And in return, you accused, tried and convicted me without even bothering to hear my side of it. So, I'm guilty, okay? But not of what you think! Of something much worse. I'm guilty of... reaching out to you. Of hoping we could connect. I'm guilty of a terrible crime, Doctor. I offered you friendship." (Geordi, UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH)