Star Trek 155: Shades of Gray

155. Shades of Gray

FORMULA: Season 1 + Season 2, set blender to Purée, serve on ice

WHY WE LIKE IT: Uhm... the last of Pulaski?

WHY WE DON'T: Star Trek does a clip show. The franchise's lowest point.

REVIEW: I understand that the writers' strike made it hard for the second season to get as many episodes as they wanted (22 instead of 26, a few of them using scripts from the pre-Motion Picture series development), but a clip show? A clip show?!? We get 15 minutes' worth of new material before Pulaski starts triggering the flashbacks, and less than 20 new minutes overall. In that period, we do get to see a couple of interesting things. Riker's good humor in the face of death, for example, makes the character even more endearing than before. The intersticial material shows Pulaski as very competent (after all, this is her swan song), but Troi is much too teary. Get a tissue already!

And though the clip show is given some kind of plot-driven reasoning, it's not even a good clip show. First, by filtering it through a single character, it can't possibly be a "best of the first 2 seasons". Even within Riker's own experience, I'm afraid we're not getting the cream of the crop. I'd happily have given up material from Justice and Angel One to see scenes from The Measure of a Man and Q Who? And I'm not sure we got the best scenes of A Matter of Honor either. Minuet's back, but that's about the only place I didn't fast forward. Further, the episode sets a trap for itself, showing material that couldn't possibly have been in Riker's memory, such as bridge scenes when he's on the planet, or for no apparent reason, part of the Genesis Effect. Conveniently, there's nothing from before he joined the Enterprise crew. Bottom line though, even if you accept the idea of a clip show, it's much too early to have one after only two seasons.

LESSON: Only 21 episodes wouldn't have been that bad.

REWATCHABILITY - Low to none: Worst. Season finale. Ever. The flashbacks can't even properly be called highlights.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'd have to agree with you on this one, although your review was funny enough to make me laugh for several minutes. Thanks for the humor!


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