Star Trek 182: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

182. The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

FORMULA: Q Who + The Tholian Web + The Motion Picture

WHY WE LIKE IT: Riker's strategy to get Picard back. Wolf 359. A cooler battle bridge.

WHY WE DON'T: Now Shelby's wishy-washy.

REVIEW: Last season's cliffhanger is cheaply resolved by having the weapon not work and Riker thus not destroying Picard, but since it solves none of our heroes' problems, that's quickly forgiven. Tension remains, and a sense of helplessness seldom seen in Star Trek. Guinan is once more well used, this time demanding the captain's ear and advising Riker to "throw out the book". Great stuff, well played by both actors. And Riker does, showing what I've always loved about him: His consistent originality when it comes to tactics. His ploy is interesting, sending Worf and Data on a "ninja mission" all their own, and again keeping all the characters busy. Oh, and they revamped the battle bridge a little. Nice.

It gets a little less exciting once Locutus is aboard, turning the action into a lot of talking, but we do learn a great deal about the Borg here, and Picard shows his true strength of will (as belated as he might think it is). Still, there are some cool moments, including the last second save, the destruction of the Borg cube, and oh yeah, the ship graveyard at Wolf 359, which is a real shocker.

Shelby is less annoying here, but as Riker shows more leadership, she shows less and less, suddenly becoming the "safe" one. She's still debating her orders, but the other way. And of course, in true television fashion, she's Riker's best friend and now leaving without a second thought for her prized position on the Enterprise. The Borg threat is just as easily dispelled with an auto-destruct sequence being fortuitously initiated. Yeah, it all ends a bit pat, but there's at least that final moment in Picard's ready room when he thinks about what he's done, what they did to him... and where he can still hear the Collective's voice? It's ambiguous enough that we can read that into it, and I do wish they'd have given us a longer moment.

LESSON: How to use car model kits to build spaceships.

REWATCHABILITY - High: Not quite on Part I's level, but still very solid work. And you can't really watch that Part I without watching Part II afterwards, can you?


Ami Angelwings said...

I loved this episode b/c it rly highlighted Riker. :D Who is my favourite character on the show (I'm prolly the only person who puts him #1 out of the chars XD) Imo, this was set up in Peak Performance (which was after all to put Riker in an out-gunned situation in preperation for the Borg) when Riker showed that he was at least Picard's match in battle b/c of his creativity.

I rly liked Locutus' use of the phrase "number one" to show that this wasn't just the Borg in Picard's body, but Picard corrupted complete with all his memories and thoughts and tactics. And Guinan was right, Riker had to fight Picard, not the Borg, and he did, using Picard's knowledge against him. :D

I wish I knew what that anti-matter spread did xD It looks so cool! Was it just a distraction, or can it actually harm things?

The ship graveyard had AWESOME music and always gives me chills thinking about it. I remember when I saw it which wasn't when it come out but still well before the end of the series, I still thought that 39 ships lost was nuts :O Back then there was no dominion stuff or nething, 39 starships lost was HUGE :O

I also like how when they faced the Borg for the final time, Earth was the backdrop behind the Borg on the viewscreen. It had a very "final showdown" feel to it. :D It's stuff like that, all the little things, the music cues, etc, that make BoBW pt 1 and 2 so great to watch and rewatch for me (it's on my Ipod Nano :D)

I like Shelby personally :]

Part of me wishes I could have seen what a Riker/Shelby TNG series would have been like xD

How come the Borg can't kill the Enterprise as fast as it kills 39 other starships? xD

Siskoid said...

Oh no you're not. I do too! Riker's my #1 (Picard's too ;) )


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