Star Trek 169: A Matter of Perspective

169. A Matter of Perspective

FORMULA: Court-Martial + Rashomon

WHY WE LIKE IT: An interesting way to structure an episode. A cool scene where Riker passes behind his holographic double.

WHY WE DON'T: The technobabble solution to the mystery. Mark Margolis is essentially wasted.

REVIEW: When Riker is accused of the murder of Nel Apgar, the holodeck is used to recreate various versions of the events leading up to the man's death. An intriguing notion, but the episode could have been a lot better. There's some fun to be had in seeing Riker squirm so much (as when he almost follows Data into the ready room), and there are some cool "split screen" effects, especially when Riker manages to walk around himself, but aside from that...

If the various versions of events were less biased, there would have been more room for ambuiguity, but as they are, I simply can't believe Troi could detect nothing on Manua Apgar. Fine, she chooses to remember her dead husband in a good light, and that it was Riker who was flirtatious, but a sexual assault? Come on now. I really like Mark Margolis who plays Apgar, but I find him wasted here as a one-note character being beaten up by Riker or beating Riker up. It quickly falls into the category of caricature. It doesn't matter anyway, since the solution to the mystery is clunky technobabble, starring an invented particle wave that acts differently from time to time, based on what the plot demands.

Cute moment when Data criticizes Picard's painting, though I wonder if we really needed the butt shot if everyone was going to paint chellos, etc. The scene has an all-too-obvious relationship to the episode's title, and from thereon, it sinks into a sea of drivel.

LESSON: Everybody's got a version of events. Probably, someone likes this episode to death.

REWATCHABILITY - Low: At best described as harmless fluff, I might've given it a Medium, but I think by this point, TNG should strive to be more than inoffensive.

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