The Enterprise responds to a distress signal from one of the farthest colonies. They beam down and find… nothing. A huge hole where a town should have been.
An Admiral shows up, because that’s what happens with 900 people disappear. He and his protégé are convinced it’s the Borg. She is young and blonde because we have to get Riker interested in the plot somehow. Also, “strong” women are written and/or played as straight up career bitches at this point in TV history, so I don’t know if I am supposed to like Lieutenant Commander Shelby or want to stuff her out an airlock. And then the point where Riker stops what he is doing and makes sure to ask the male Admiral to join his poker group but does NOT ask the chick whom he is escorting to the actual crimey-wimey stuff? Not sexist at all, writers.
So now there’s a stupid subplot about how Shelby should be the new Number 2 on the Enterprise because Riker has been offered his own commission and “This is the third time we’ve pulled out the Captain’s chair for Riker. He just won’t sit down.” Did you turn the chair around? Because Riker don’t sit on no regular facin’ chair.
Blah-blah-techonbabble-we-can’t-beat-the-Borg. They hail Picard by name and demand he surrender. He doesn’t, so they kidnap him instead. As the leader of “the strongest ship in the fleet,” the Borg tell Picard he speaks for his people. This leads to awesome philosophical one-liners:
“Strength is irrelevant. Resistance is futile.”
“My culture is based on freedom and self determination!”
“Freedom is irrelevant. Self determination is irrelevant.”
“Oprah’s book club is irrelevant. You should chose your own reading materials based on your tastes.”
“Donald Trump is irrelevant. It is ridiculous to us that you ever took him seriously.”
“Death is irrelevant.”
“Ben Carson is futile.”
Data, Crusher, Worf, and Shelby beam over to the Borg ship to find Picard. If you guessed “Five and a half minutes until Worf is knocked out by a stiff breeze,” you have won the Klingons Are Feeble” lottery.
Picard is now Locutus of Borg. Riker contemplates blowing him up on sheer principle.
Geordi is brave, attractive, and utterly bereft of any semblance of game. When the others take shore leave on the Planet of the Thai Whores, Geordi is the designated driver. The goddamned robot has gotten more tail than Geordi.
The Enterprise comes across a damaged messiah in a crash. He heals O’Brien’s shoulder. He literally brings Worf back from the dead after tossing him like a rag doll. And Geordi? Geordi, who lends him his lungs and breathes for him while he’s rushed to sick bay? Geordi who is legit, for life, handicapped in a way that a canoeing injury does not equate? And yeah, he resurrected Worf but it’s not like he fixed his glass-jaw, injured-more-often-than-Michael-Vick problem in general or anything. But the ONE dude with an actual disability? Does he fix his eyesight?
No. No, he gives Geordi the gift of lady-killing. Geordi can’t see, but he can pimp his way across all of Ten Forward.
Writer’s Cripple Fight: “Who can we write worse – Troi, or any random Ferengi? And let’s throw her mom in for good, obnoxious measure.” Also, for two entire seasons Betazoids have been able to read Ferengis. The writers choose now to randomly and explicitly change that for some reason. Oh, and Wesley gets a grown up uniform.
PS, I am not proud about sharing this, but I can’t help myself.
Spock’s dad is old, and has Old People Disease, which apparently is part Alzheimer’s/part Asshole Syndrome, and it makes him have the feels. He’s making everyone else on the ship in to an asshole, kind of like that time your grandad got in to the egg nog at Thanksgiving. He mind melds with Picard to get through this, turning our Captain in to a sobbing bitch instead of knocking him out with some hypo spray and letting him catch up on some zzzz’s while Sarak ambassadors and stuff.
It’s a Marvel/Star Trek cross over event, as The Collector fakes Data’s death in order to, you know, collect him. It’s another dissertation on the nature of man and whether Data is a being or a thing, but this time it’s got Saul Rubinek being creepy and evil and awesome so I’ll let it slide.
Reginald Barclay is a creepy, creepy little man who creates holodeck simulations of his coworkers so that he can woo and belittle them as he sees fit. Troi is absolutely terrible at her job and has no clue he’s got a big ol’ crush on her. She is the worst psychiatrist in ten star systems. I wish Wesley had stuffed Barclay out an airlock.