ext_2512: ([tng] bored)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: I'm surprisingly overwhelmed with Riker affection. )

Overall Reaction: This was a pretty fantastic Riker episode! Both in the sense that it was a great episode about Riker and that it was a great episode for Riker -- few people would have rolled with the punches with as much equanimity as he did here.

I loved the glimpse of the "future" Enterprise that we got -- I'm a giant sucker for time travel, amnesia, and both flashbacks and flashforwards, so I am not exactly having a surprised feeling -- which felt grounded and plausible, even if there was something ever so subtly off about it. The episode struck a very nice balance between giving us an Enterprise that could be, that never quite tipped too far into wish fulfillment to be possible (peace with the Romulans was obviously stretching it, but peace with the Klingons would have seemed impossible to Kirk), and suggesting that something not right was happening.

The fake-out was also handled extremely well, I thought. All the pieces that made Riker and us add up to Romulan plot were perfectly in place -- the establishment that the Enterprise was on the edges of the Neutral Zone at the beginning of the episode, the sliminess of Andreas Katsulas as Ambassador Tomalak that no one but Riker seemed to see, the bits of critical information the Enterprise was missing. In almost any other episode, this would have been a ploy to find out the location of a secret Federation base, and the familiarity of that plot successfully misdirected me from any suspicion that something different was afoot. Even science fiction's tendency towards plot holes worked in the episodes favor, causing me to ignore the logical inconsistencies that finally led Riker to the truth.

In short, I found this a very enjoyable episode plot-wise. I also loved it for its character moments, though! It was an especial pleasure to see Riker be such a wonderful father. Not...everyone...on the Enterprise takes to it so naturally. In the past three episodes we've seen Picard go into an awkward introvert freak-out over caring for a teenager, Worf be unable to acknowledge his own child, and Beverly actually hug Wesley after he made her vanish into an inter-dimensional bubble! Awkward parenting all around! But Riker doesn't freak out about discovering that he has a child (though he looks sad that he's lost his son's childhood and that his son has lost the father he knew), and he acknowledges the difficulties of their position while affirming his commitment to be the best father he can and to be their for Jean-Luc Jr in every way possible. I found their conversation in the lift sincerely touching, and I liked that care carried over to the ending, when Riker's (justified) suspicion gave way to empathy.

I make fun of Riker -- a lot -- but this episode highlighted all that's best about him as a character, while also delivering a nicely satisfying sci fi plot.

Also, lolllll, Riker realizing he's in a constructed reality because his dead wife was his holodeck gf. Finally his lechery serves him well!

Star Rating: *** 1/2

Quote of the Episode:
"Captain... perhaps it would be best if we discussed this--"
"Shut up!"
"I beg your pardon?"
"I said 'shut up'. As in 'close your mouth and stop talking'!" ('Ambassador' Picard and 'Captain' Riker -- this was honestly the most shocking thing ever shown on the program)

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My (Continuing) One Summer Mission

August 2014

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