Star Trek 164: The Vengeance Factor

164. The Vengeance Factor

FORMULA: That Which Survives + Up the Long Ladder + The Outrageous Okona

WHY WE LIKE IT: Yuta is a sympathetic character. Some interesting locations.

WHY WE DON'T: The ending is senseless, and the pacing slow throughout. Jonathan Frakes turns on the melodrama.

REVIEW: The Vengeance Factor's teaser has an interesting green lighting, which I'd forgotten, but nothing really happens in it, which must be why. And in a way, that's how I feel about the entire thing. I like things about it, but then I also dislike things about it in equal measure. For example, there's a cool location with the rafters is an unusual vertical set, but you can tell it's the same old cave set nonetheless. Riker starts out in good form, trying to make Yuta see her options, but Frakes gets incredibly mannered and cheesy in his quarters, and then senselessly executes her aboard Chogran's ship. She comes across as sympathetic, so it's a bit of a bummer when he sets his phaser to disintegrate. Couldn't he just have overpowered her? She's only poisonous to one guy in the entire universe.

Picard's mediator role is well played out, and his interventions are always interesting, but we get no insight from the negotiations with Brull, and little with Chogran, so those scenes are basically peppered with grand-standing from Marouk or crass behavior by the Gatherers. While Brull was interesting, the plot demands a second negotiator we learn little about, so that first character is abandoned. He still gets a scene with Wesley, which seems to hark back to Okona, but may be little more than padding. All in all, the pacing is slow and repetitive.

I did like how the away team tricked the Gatherers with the gas cover. The main cast are competent throughout. The main guest stars do a good-to-fair job with the matierial. The idea of a very specific engineered virus is a good SF standard, but does anyone buy the fountain of youth Yuta got a taste of? It's an odd plot-point when she could just as easily have been a long-lost granddaughter of the Tralesta or something.

LESSON: If at first you don't succeed, stun, stun again.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Some good stuff, some bad stuff. Not a disagreable 45 minutes, but it won't stay in your thoughts for long.

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