WARNING: The following post may contain spoilers for this week's TNG episode, "Samaritan Snare". Proceed with caution. Okay, fine, be that way. Well, after "Q Who", I suppose anything would be a letdown. This really could've been better, though.
This episode was one of those that was great on characterization, but sadly lacking on plot. Even with two plots, it had problems :-). Here's a quick synop of the plots:
Plot One: The Enterprise, with Riker in temporary command (see plot two), intercepts a distress call. Answering it, they find a ship of beings known as the Packlets. (sp?) These people seem very, very dumb--it's really a wonder how they ever achieved space travel at all. They say their ship is "broken", but when Geordi beams over to fix it, we eventually find that it's a ruse. Seems that the Packlets don't like waiting for technology, so they steal it; through a hostage situation, generally. The situation is resolved, but I won't say how.
Plot Two: Picard is forced to go "ashore" at Starbase 515 for cardiac replacement, an operation which is usually very straightforward...usually. He also ends up sharing the shuttle there with Wesley, who is en route to take some exam or other.
Now, my usual rambling:
As I've already said, the best thing about this episode was the characterization. They gave us a lot of insight into Picard, and just generally do everyone else right (even Troi, for a nice change of pace). It seems that Picard was somewhat cocky as a youth; that is, until he got into a barroom brawl with some Nausicaans and ended up with a spear through his heart. Most of the scenes between him and Wesley are excellent, and I recommend them (barring, of course, those who vomit whenever Wes is onscreen).
Unfortunately, it's not so good otherwise. The plot with the Packlets started off pretty terrible, but improved. The resolution of that plot is actually quite nice. Sadly, though, it didn't entirely make up for having to sit through the abysmal talk of the Packlets. It was nice in moderation, but it didn't stay in moderation. Bleh.
The plot with Picard, on the other hand, just wasn't very good. The parts with Picard worried about his image on the ship were nice, but that's about all it had going for it. The scenes with the surgeon were abominable. Get someone who can act next time, okay? Yeesh.
In sum, it was nice to see, but not something I'll want to go back and see often.
Plot: 5. 3 for Picard, but 7 for Geordi.
Plot Handling: 7. 7 for each, actually.
Characterization: 9. Very nice, but not quite up to some.
Technical: 8. Nice. Not thrilling, but nice.
TOTAL: 7.25------> 7. I'm rounding down this time, 'cause it's not really up at 7.5 level. Oh well.
A world full of clones, that seem to want a certain captain and his first officer to donate some genes...hmmm.
Tim Lynch (Cornell's first Astronomy Major)
- "Don't tell me. Their rubber band broke, right?" ---Lt. Geordi LaForge
Copyright 1994, Timothy W. Lynch. All rights reserved, but feel free to ask...
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