Star Trek 146: Time Squared

146. Time Squared

FORMULA: We'll Always Have Paris + The Immunity Syndrome + The Enemy Within

WHY WE LIKE IT: The exploration of Picard's character.

WHY WE DON'T: Nothing is explained. Very frustrating.

REVIEW: Temporal paradox episodes can be immensely entertaining, but as with We'll Always Have Paris, TNG misses the mark here. The problem is that the story is too opaque, yielding too few answers. Things happen just because they happen, and the characters aren't even shy about saying so. I've read that this was originally going to be a set-up for Q Who? and that Q would appear at the end to reveal this was a test to see if Picard could solve a non-linear riddle (a test he will administer in All Good Things eventually). Well, those plans fell through, and so we're left without a clue as to what just happened.

It's too bad too because the scientific mystery is intriguing, and Patrick Stewart plays his present self remarkably well. You know the show is acting-based when they allow for a scene where he just goes to the shuttle bay, stares at the future shuttle for a moment, then leaves wordlessly. Picard confronts a future indecision in a considerably complex performance. I don't like that Troi and Pulaski have to reduce it to psychobabble, especially since Stewart manages to convey it all without that unnecessary exposition. "Do you know what you're doing?" "No." A hair-raising ending, but it's hard to see how this is more than a leap of faith.

Other things to like include some background on Riker (setting up the next episode) and his fondness for cooking. And then there's the seamless duplicated Picard scenes. Well done.

LESSON: If I met myself, I'm not sure I would like me.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Watch it for Patrick Stewart's acting and the SF questions the episode poses, but don't expect a satisfying resolution. In the end, it just makes the episode forgettable.


Anonymous said...

I frequently want to punch myself in the throat.

I don't, however, because without the nifty benefit of having a doppelganger to be on the receiving end of said frontal offensive, I'd have to absorb the brutality myself, and it's much, much easier to let my self-loathing dissipate in time and have my epiglottis remain intact.



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