Season 2, Episode 13
The avid reader of this blog will notice that our re-watch project seems to be happening quite out of order. Until recently this was very true. When I decided to start sharing this experience with friends who could sit down and watch the show with me I started asking them “what episode do you want to watch?” I would narrow down the choices to a season- but ultimately I let my guest watchers determine the order in which I experienced the show. Looking back, it was probably a mistake to publish the entries in the order I watched them. I should have published each entry in episode order so the blog would be easier to navigate. I could go back and rearrange the entries, but… that seems a little like being a history revisionist. Perhaps, in the future, I will endeavor to publish in episode order. We’ll see.
In any case, I’m bringing this up now because even though Erin and I are well into Season 3, there are a few episodes back in Season 2 that I never published. I rewatched this one back on April 8th but I just couldn’t bring myself to write about it. I visited it again on June 21st and took some more notes. Basically- I hate this episode. It’s hard to write about the shows I didn’t like. It’s hard to dedicate my free time to something that makes me sad. This episode makes me sad because it doesn’t live up to Trek’s potential.
We start out with Riker scrambling eggs for his crew mates. We’re made to understand cooking is quite a novelty in the 24th century, but Riker enjoying being a little old school. That’s cool, right? Sadly, his eggs are disgusting. Even sadder, the eggs represent our hopes for a good episode.
The long and short of it is the Enterprise finds a shuttlecraft with a Picard from a few hours in the future. In his timeline the Enterprise has been destroyed and he is the only survivor. Picard prime eventually resolves this mystery by killing the alt-Picard. The end. There, I saved you 43 mintues of your life!
We don’t really get to see Picard deal with is own death– he plays it very emotionless. Also, the 2 Picards should have known each other very well. Why is this guy a mystery to you– HE’S YOU! It would have been interesting to see a real scene between them. Maybe they decide together that one of them had to die. Maybe Picard prime has to die and we spend the rest of the series with this alt-Picard. That would have made it more interesting. We see Janeway play a scene with herself in an episode of Voyager and it’s handled much better by the writers. Here the alt-Picard seems to be a shallow almost mindless creature. He is fixated on leaving the ship. The end. There’s no human being inside– just a plot device. Picard prime’s final words “It’s not something I would care to repeat.” are echoed by myself as the end credits roll.
A side note, originally this episode was the first of a 2 parter what would introduce the Borg! We were going to learn that the temporal anomaly that the ship stumbles into was actually caused by the Borg. But that got written out of the episode. Alas.