S2E22 – Shades of Gray

Or, “50 Shades of Riker.” A clip show? This series has not earned a clip show.

Riker gets Space VD – or Space Worms, or Space Flu, or whatever – and the only way to save his life is to force the audience to relive painful scenes from previous episodes. Being Riker, these are mostly boner scenes. This makes the Space VD go zoom, so Pulaski forces him to have sad scenes instead. When this isn’t enough, they move on to scenes of violence that end with Riker and his droogs out for a night of ultra — oh, sorry, I changed the channel.

This is simply a terrible hour of television. It’s contrived and pointless and may be the worst season finale I’ve ever seen of anything.

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S2E21 – Peak Performance

Battleship! In part because we recently met the Borg, Starfleet has mandated a battle simulation, pitting Picard and the Enterprise against Riker and a Rust Bucket. Seriously, the USS Hathaway is 80 years old. It’s like Jennifer Lawrence¬†fighting Betty White – they’re both totally capable and up to their jobs, but there’s only one of them you’d wanna bang.

Data learns fallibility. Wesley learns treachery, cheating, and improvisation. Worf learns arts and crafts. The Ferengi learn they are just the dumbest recurring enemy on this show.

S2E20 – The Emissary

Sisko! No, no. We are seven long years away from that awesomeness.

The Enterprise is on a super top secret double probation mission, but to get the details of this mission they first have to find a key, a note, and a minor boss – K’Ehleyr, who arrives in a bitchin’ special probe outfitted to transport one person at warp 9. K’Ehleyr is half Klingon, half Human, and all about Worf.

Seventy five years ago the Klingons sent a battle cruiser to the farthest Federation outpost to straight up kill some shit. Of course, the Klingons and the Federation have been besties for 72 years, and the Klingons on that battle cruiser have been asleep this whole time, and are just about to wake up, so whoops!

“Blah blah blah we can’t concentrate on our jobs because we have feelings.” Worf and K’Ehleyr do it just to break the tension. Worf devises a cunning ruse to convince the battle cruiser to play nice, without any bloodshed. Everyone is happy and does the Ewok dance.

S2E19 – Manhunt

The Intergalactic Limo Service is once again moving diplomats from one place to another. There’s some catatonic Antedeans and Lwaxana Troi.

Troi’s mom has the hots for Picard. I mean, she always does, but this is the menopause episode so she SUPER does. Picard does what any human male would do in this situation: He goes LARPing on the holodeck. She spends 40 minutes flirting and eye humping every man on board, and finally settles on a hologram to marry, before telling the crew that the Antedeans on board are assassins sent to kill the whole conference.

S2E18 – Up The Long Ladder

Worf has the measles, because apparently the Klingon’s are anti-vaxxers. The Enterprise saves a colony and their livestock, because what’s a childhood disease story without farm animals? Riker hires an Irish maid, and I think you can tell where this storyline is going.

Then the Enterprise finds a colony of clones, because if we have dirty farm folk we must counter balance with shiny technology. The clones are awful (aren’t they always?) and steal DNA from Riker and Pulaski. Only one of those makes any sense.

And hence we arrive at the crux of the story: the dirty farming colony has no place to live, and the awful clones need fresh DNA. This episode shows Pulaski completely respecting the Klingon culture, just to turn around and parade a whiskey drinking, Irish, backward, farming stereotype as the protagonist in this tale, and then juxtaposes it with the sci-fi trope of the unfeeling, advanced clone. I wish the writers would figure out what the fuck they are aiming for because you get awesome episodes like “Q Who” and terrific side stories like the one with Pulaski and Worf here but it’s buried in a mountain of stupid, bad, rote storytelling that makes me want to throw things at my TV.

S2E16 – Q Who

Oh my Continuum, you guys! The Borg are here! THE BOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGG!

Q kidnaps Picard and a shuttle and begs to become a member of the Enterprise, saying he’s been “asked to leave” the Q Continuum. Which, OK, but he still has all his powers? Powers enough to kidnap a shuttle and Picard, and return them, and then fling the Enterprise 7,000 light years away and back again?

Guinan gets a backstory! The Borg nearly wiped out her entire race, and Q seems to be afraid of her, which is awesome. Q spins the Enterprise way off course and, rather than listen to Guinan, Picard decides to explore a little, and WHOOPS! Borg! The Borg are scary. They are unstoppable. And Q knows it, and it forces Picard to accept Q’s help. But not before letting Riker, Data, and Worf beam over to a Borg ship, because I’m like 100% certain he wants the three of them to die.

S2E15 – Pen Pals

Wesley is put in charge of a science team and learns all about leadership, but not the reason why the top of his pants are always open in the back. Seriously, what’s with that?

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Why, in an entire season, did no costumer fix this shit?

Data is talking to a little girl on the radio, and this leads to another, in no way tiresome, discussion of the Prime Directive. In the corner of “let them all die for some nebulous philosophy we must stringently adhere to except when the plot says so” we have Picard and Worf. In the “dude you can’t just leave an entire race to die” corner are Geordi and Pulaski. And on the “well, this might be part of a larger plan” side we have Riker and Troi. And — what? What plan? God’s plan? Which God? We meet Gods all the time on this show. This is dumb.

Anyway, Picard hears the girl specifically ask for help and apparently that’s all it takes to throw the sacred PD out the window. It’s all OK though because her family was already moving out of the way, so they’re fine, and Data brings her up on the ship so she’s fine, and then they erase her memories, because that’s fine!

S2E13 – Time Squared

Our ship comes across a shuttle containing a duplicate Picard. There’s a giant vortex that wants to eat him and Picard II left in a shuttle to appease the vortex but the Enterprise blew up anyway and — did you ever see The Prestige? This is The Prestige. I wonder how many times Picard had to make this mistake, and maybe Picard II is really, like, Picard VI?

Patrick Stewart proves he’s the only one on this show who can act as well as Patrick Stewart. Since we can’t have that much awesomeness on our TV screens, he kills his double.¬†Stone. Cold.